Showing posts with label decorating tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decorating tips. Show all posts

Monday, May 12, 2014

How To: Host a Succulent Bar

Like everyone else, I've been a bit obsessed with succulents lately. I brought a few that I planted in vintage containers to Vintage Market Days last month and they were a hit. Trying to think of a fun way to bring people to the shop for some spring shopping, I came across the idea of a succulent bar. We supply the succulents, soil, rocks, containers, etc. and customers could stop in and put together their own potted plant. Leaving the mess to us!

This would also make a great addition to a birthday party or gathering. It's a fun way to get creative and plant something of your very own (without having to buy more supplies than you actually need).

Here's a few tips to get you started:

Note: If you are able, check out a wholesale nursery that sells to the public. I headed to the St. Louis Floral Market or Florist Row to pick up our succulents. It was my first time and I was completely overwhelmed. The nice folks at Baisch & Skinner helped me out and got me all set up. The selection was much better than what I would find at Home Depot or Lowe's garden centers (and better prices).

1/ Choose a selection of small, medium and large succulents. Depending on the size of containers you will be using, your guests could pick just one succulent or several. Make sure to have a good variety on-hand.

2/  Get creative with containers! I searched for a few weeks, curating a unique selection of containers. Popular planters included milk glass, vintage tea cups, vintage trays, and newer mercury glass candle holders.


3/ Give a little guidance. We hosted our succulent bar as a special event at the shop, so I printed up a la carte price sheets. The cheapest potted succulent went for under $10. Depending on the container, they went up to $50. I picked up some tips while I was at the floral market, and I offered those up as customers put together their plants. {hint: over watering seems to be the #1 killer of these cuties).

4/ Don't forget the details! Put out some gardening gloves, small scoops and shovels and mini watering cans! Give your guests all the tools they need to dive in!

5/ Have fun! Many of the people who stepped up to the succulent bar just happened to wander was a fun surprise for them. Mother's Day was right around the corner, so alot of pots were put together with Grandma and Mom in mind. It was definitely messy, but that was the point!

DIY Succulent Bar

Succulent Bar

The succulent bar was a huge hit with kids (they loved planting in the vintage tea cups) and it was fun watching guests carefully select each item that went into their finished piece. Everyone not only left with a truly unique plant that they created, but a huge smile on their face.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Playing Around with Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint

The countdown is on...28 days until we close on our house. And, I have no less than five pieces of furniture to paint and seven chairs to recover. First up, this sideboard. Here it is in it's natural state.

It's from my mother-in-law and I painted it for the first time last year (painted sideboard reveal). At the time, in blended in with our walls and decor. I was only a little thrilled with it.

Now that we are moving into a new space, we are trying to work in some color. We've gone back and forth on palettes. Our first purchase was a navy, velvet couch. Next up, an earthy, green chair and blue/natural chevron rug. We contemplated orange for an accent color. Or, purple. Finally, we settled on yellow. Miss Mustard Seed Yellow to be more specific.

Mustard Seed Yellow

 Mustard Seed Yellow

Since this paint is know for it's unpredictable chippiness and I didn't want any of the former finish to come through, I gave it a coat of paint. (Oh...and stripped the top).

 Also, since I am totally impatient, I painted it almost immediately with the milk paint. This ensued...

In some areas, the milk paint stripped the paint right down to the original finish. In other cases, it stripped off the last coat I put on, down to the coat I hoped to hide. In all cases, it took off the last coat I put on (I'm guessing I didn't let it cure long enough?). Lesson learned.

Here's what I was left with. I did no distressing. Just flaked off the chips and gave it a coat of dark wax:

Mustard Seed Yellow Sideboard

Here's a look with the newly stained top (please forgive me for the poor lighting).

Miss Mustard Seed Yellow
Miss Mustard Seed Yellow

Miss Mustard Seed Yellow
Miss Mustard Seed Yellow
Miss Mustard Seed Yellow

 Miss Mustard Seed Yellow

The wax deepened and darkened the yellow and I love it. It will be the very first thing you see when you walk in our new house...I can't wait to move it in!

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to Decorate for the Holidays for $10

For the last three years, I've decorated my tabletops, mantle AND buffet for Christmas on the cheap. $10 to be exact. My secret?

$10  White Pine garland at Home Depot.

It's easy to work with, gives the house a fresh, piney, Christmasy smell, and makes a huge mess.

Three things I look for in every project I do.

To be fair, I have an arsenal of other decor I add to my piney friend. Pine cones, red berries, shells (we like it beachy around here), and DIY mercury glass with candles (click here for a's soo easy to do!) all play a part. After the holidays, they get packed up and wait until it's time to come out again.

I'm able to get alot of mileage out of the garland. It goes on the Breakfast Room table.

Breakfast Room

On the buffet in the Dining Room.


 On the Dining Room table.

Dining Room Table

 And, on the mantle.


I've been using this same theme for the last several years. I could change things up. But, I love it.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tips for an Eclectic Dining Room

I love the look of a mismatched dining area. I'm talking different styles and colors of chairs. Or, just pairing two different styles together. We've got that going on in our breakfast room, where we've paired matching chairs with a bench.

I really want to get some cushy chairs in here...but that will have to wait. Until then, I wanted to give you some ideas/tips on how you can create the mistmatched and eclectic look in your favorite dining area.

#1: Select your table. It will be much easier to find chairs to go around it than try and find a table that will be a good fit for your seating. Are you going with a round or rectangle table? Or square? Choosing your table first will make finding your chairs much easier!

#2: Pay attention to chair height. You don't want your guest at the end of the table sitting down lower than your other guests. It's not only uncomfortable having to peer up at the person sitting next to you, but it makes it awkward to eat! When shopping, know how tall your dining room table is so you don't end up buying a chair that is too low or too high. And, don't forget to test it out! If it's a cushy chair, do you sink down?

#3: Know your table's dimensions. This goes along with Tip #2 -- know your table like the back of your hand! How much room do you have on the sides? Are the ends wide enough to accommodate a chair? Our dining room table is very narrow...standard chairs don't fit on the ends. Bring measurements, a tape measure and a photo when you head out shopping. It will save you less headache in the end!

#4: Don't forget your style! What will work best for your home? Do you do a lot of entertaining? Have little ones running around? You might love the idea of having a couple of cozy white chairs flanking your table. But, if you have young kids, this might not be the best option for you right now (or, get something that is washable!). If you like to have guests over (think clients, the boss), you might want to look for chairs that are comfortable and steer clear of the industrial/metal chairs. Make sure your selection fits with your style and life.

#5: Select chairs with some corresponding elements. While I like the mismatched look, I still think it's important to have SOME cohesive elements. Whether it's sticking with a similar shade, chair style, matching cushions or picking two different matching sets, you can still get the eclectic look, and have it look more natural.

The rooms below do a great job of mixing things up, without going overboard.


Etsy is a great resource for finding unique chairs. Here's a Treasury List of some of my favorite finds. Let me know your favorite!