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My Little House Design: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

My First (tall) Christmas Tree

As I shared in this post, I had a small tree that has served it's purpose well for the past few Christmases. This year, since I won't be going out of town for the holidays and since I have my own house I knew I wanted to get a bigger tree. The one I had was like 2' or something so I thought a 4-5' would be a good improvement. Then I got stuck because I couldn't decide if I wanted to get a real or fake tree... Here is the mental chart I made:

REAL TREE: pretty, expensive, you have to buy a new one every year, hard for me to carry in and out of the house, messy?, better for the environment

FAKE TREE: very bad for the environment, cheesy?, ugly (sometimes), suburban, you have to store it, you only have to buy it once, expensive, lots of color options

After this internal battle I finally decided, I wanted a real tree that was 4-5' tall... well, turns out it didn't matter what I wanted because one night my Dad showed up at my house with a 7' fake tree. Here's the thing about my parents, they just love me too much. Seriously, they just want to buy me everything and it's so annoying. No, I'm joking, it's awesome because I'm kinda broke so I totally take any freebies people hand out. Anyway, he found one on clearance and just bought it on a whim. Thankfully, I like the tree! It is a fake 7' tree which is basically the opposite of what I had decided I wanted but you know what, life's short and I don't really care because it will be up for three weeks a year.

The End.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paper Clip Ornament Hanger

Two things happened this week:

1) I found a tub of paperclips that I've had since middle school.
2) I started putting ornaments on my tree and had about 20 with no hooks.

These two occurrences + laziness + frugalness =

 Yep, I took my endless supply of paperclips (they sell them in packs of 750 and I think I've maybe used one a year for 15 years so I had about 735 to work with)...

 and my ornaments with no hooks and I made ornament hooks. Which saved me probably $3.99 and a trip to the store so not big stakes but still a win-win!

 First, I first spread the clip apart so it made this 'S' shape
 Then I inserted the smaller end into the ornament
Then I pinched the ends together so that the ornament wouldn't slip out
And then I hung it on the tree. I also sort of love that my paperclips are colorful but the plain silver ones would work too. I'm sure I didn't invent this idea but I am glad that I pulled it from the recesses of my mind so I didn't have to go out and buy ornament hooks.

Have you done this before? Also, my tree is up! I'll post about it tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mini Yarn Wrapped Wreath Ornaments

I am not super crafty. I enjoy doing crafts but it is a lot of work to gather all the right materials and then to make the whole craft come together. But last Christmas I actually did a craft that was easy, attractive, and affordable - yay!

 I made mini yarn wrapped wreath ornaments. You know why I love them? Because they are miniature of course! There is literally no skill involved in making these so that makes them even better. Here is what I bought:

1) 3" Styrofoam Wreaths - I bought a pack of 20 for $15.00 from here.

2) Yarn. I got four colors: red, green, cream, and dark grey. I still have a lot of yarn left over since these ornaments are so small, but I wanted a variety of colors. This is a great project if you already have yarn sitting around.  I wrapped the yarn around them, tied it off, and cut it very close. This one below has lots of knots because I did it color blocked. If you're picky you could tuck the knots under the yarn but clearly I'm not so I just left it like this. It will eventually be hanging on a tree so only one side will be visible anyway.

3) I also bought a pack of mini trees and mini bells to add to a few of them. 

Here is a sampling of the finished products. 

I made 18 out of 20 ornaments last year. The 19th is below. Apparently I just couldn't take it another second so I left this one half finished all year. That's extreme laziness for ya, I could finish a one minute craft haha.

I loved this craft so much I decided to do a bigger wreath. I got a 12" styrofoam at Michael's for about $12.99 and wrapped it in the same way I did the little ones (why are styrofoam wreaths so expensive??? Seriously, it is like 4 oz of styrofoam, it can't cost that much to make).

I love this wreath! I think I left it at my parent's house so I need to get it so I can put it on my front door.

So that is my craftiness of last year. I don't think I'll be doing any Christmas crafts this year. I think I'm more of an every other year kind of Christmas crafty gal.

You should totally do this craft because it is easy, cute, and cheap (about $1.50 per ornament, $15 for the bigger wreath).

Happy crafting!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

West Elm Lovin'

As I mentioned here, West Elm just opened a store in Indianapolis. This weekend I visited the new store and I loved it! Looking online or through a catalog is totally different than going to an actual store (I tend to forget that since I don't go shopping very often).

Here are few things I noticed and the one thing I bought. None of these pictures are good because I felt super weird taking pictures in the store. It somehow felt wrong so these are pictures that I took very sneakily.

This pictures is of a hand carved bird statue. They were adorable but mostly I took this picture because they represent something super cool that West Elm does... they sell Etsy products in their stores! So cool. These little birds are from a shop called 50 Little Birds and they are made locally here in Indianapolis. 

I love this wreath made of felt balls. They also have it in a garland. Although I would love to buy it I also know it is totally DIYable.

It may be hard to see from this picture but these are paper flowers. I don't know why but I really loved them.

This is what I bought (obviously, since it's on my dining room table). Yep, I bought a white ceramic cornucopia. Super random? You bet. But I actually pinned it a while back because I liked it and it was on sale in the store. Originally $40 I got it for $19.99. It is pretty big at about 15" long and about 5 lb. (I'm mostly exaggerating about the weight but it is pretty heavy especially when you are trying to carry it around a mall).  This purchase typifies my 'tip' from this post. If you can hold out through a holiday everything is really marked down afterward. 

If you live in Indy you should check it out. It was fun to visit the store.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Design Icon: Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen lived from 1910-1961 and is most famously known for two things:

1) The St. Louis Arch

2) The Tulip Table

I find it interesting that famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Eero Saarinen who built famous structures also built furniture. Designing buildings and furniture seem like two totally different things to me but what would I know. I guess what I do know is that I love the tulip table.




So simple and classic. Getting an original or licensed tulip table will set you back a few thousand dollars but of course there are reproductions galore. IKEA makes the most popular reproduction.

For only $199 you can get this Docksta dining room table. I know I should feel guiltier about buying knock-offs but I don't.

Saarinen made other famous pieces of furniture which included matching chairs to the tulip table.

Tulip Chairs

Womb Chair and Ottoman

Executive Chair

Do you recognize any of these pieces? I know when I first started researching Saarinen I was surprised at what he had designed. Now I play a sort of game when I'm looking at design books and magazines... what designer pieces can I name?




What do you think of Saarinen? I love the modern look of his pieces but I don't think I'd want a complete matching set... I like that modern plastic mixed together with rustic wood in the last picture..

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Decorations for Beginners

As I mentioned in this post about fall decorations I grew up in a house that was decorated to the nines for the holidays. So for me to feel like I was at home during the holiday season I wanted my spaces to feel decorated for the holidays. But being that I was/am broke I had to be seriously creative to get the look I wanted. Here is what I came up with.

In 2008 I bought an 18" pre-lit (is that how you spell it?) tree from Target for about $20.00 and I had about seven ornaments that my mom gave me to put on it. Not the greatest looking thing but it was my first year on my own and I was happy to have something.

Fast forward to 2011. Same tree but with significantly more ornaments. My big tip of the day? If you patiently wait until the day after Christmas there are massive deals in the Christmas aisle at every store. Before Christmas ornaments are $3.99 and after Christmas they are $.50! Every year I go to the Christmas aisle and pick out a few ornaments that I like.

Last year I bought a wreath form for about $12 and used yarn to create a holiday-ish wreath. It isn't super Christmasy but it has a holiday-vibe with the bells.

These two images are of little garlands that I made. Like I said, I was broke so I got creative. I used ribbon, a $5 pack of mini-ornaments from Target, and a pack of vintage looking gift tags. I strung them together and hung them around my room. I loved the look! Another tip: Use gift tags as ornaments. Some of those gift tags are seriously cool looking and you can get a pack of 100 for $5.00 which is much cheaper than real ornaments!

My first few Christmases on my own I didn't have a lot of money but I wanted to get that cozy Christmas feeling of home. I think I accomplished my mission. This year I have my own home and a little more money than I did my first year out. I think I will get a real tree this year (and one that is bigger than 18"). Stay tuned for pictures!

Happy Christmas Decorating Day (as it's known to those of us who decorate instead of shop on Black Friday)!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Online Window Shopping: Table Lamps

* I fixed the comments! Thanks to those of you that gave me feedback about the problems you were having. Hopefully you are able to comment now if you want and thanks for visiting my blog!

I grew up in a house without lamps. I know that's a weird statement to make but it's true. Homes built in the 80s - 90s have overhead lights in each room so there was never a need for lamps. But now that I live in an older home not all my rooms have overhead lighting plus I just really love lamps now (there's an Anchorman joke in there but I'm too lazy to write it well). Of the eight lamps I have four are from IKEA, two are from Target, and two are from thrift shops. What I love most about lamps is that they make rooms feel more intimate than a harsh overhead light. They also are a great way to create a vignette in any corner. If you have a side table, a lamps, a stack of books, and ceramic animal you have an instant design moment.

Here is a roundup of some cool and inexpensive lamps from around the interwebs.

Vintage lamp from Era for $40. Vintage lamps are pretty easy to find at thrift shops and garage sales. Buying vintage lamps is great because you can find them for pretty cheap and since they are unique they will add interest to any design.

Owl lamp from Target for $33.99. I chose this lamp to typify the 'animal' trend in home decor. Owls, birds, elephants... you name it I've seen a lamp with it. Animal lamps are a fun way to add personality to a side table or nightstand without being too crazy.

Copper lamp from Walmart for $64.00. This lamp is blowing my mind because it is cool and also because it's from Walmart... ???

Tall white lamp from Walmart for $48.00. I love how tall this lamp is at 25" and also because this is the perfect kind of lamp to jazz up the lampshade.

Ada white table lamp from CB2 for $59.95. I love this lamp! In fact, I think it just went on my Christmas list. So mod, so Saarinen, and decently priced too.

Kulla lamp by IKEA for $49.99. I love this lamp! Mostly because I love black lampshades. Just image if you had two of these on a credenza... perfection. Also, hot tip: lamps are always better in pairs.

So are you into lamps or are you happy with overhead lighting only?

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