Decor Dilemmas and Fortuitous Finds

I've really been getting into all the decor and crafty blogs lately, ever since I found out that Brian did get me a  birthday present after all: a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens (he totally forgot about it!). While I'm impatiently waiting for it to arrive, I've been soaking up ideas from the blog world. I have found some great stuff! I love My Domestic Bliss, because she finds the most amazing stuff on Craig's list, at garage sales, and in the trash! (Stay tuned for my Craig's list find) She shares everything from recipes to . Another favorite of mine is My Desert Cottage, A. because she lives in Arizona too, and B. because she has fabulous shabby chic style and ingenious creations, including tutorials!

This is decor dilemma #1: my fireplace. Now, the corner shelves aren't the issue, nor is the metal butterfly, is the lack of anything interesting below that point. 
So, I added my fortuitous find from Anthropologie that I mentioned buying earlier. This is how it looked for a few days. 

While it looks better, maybe, than it did before, it's just not enough to balance all the stuff on the shelves and the butterfly. So I added a hat box that I got as a wedding gift, and a few books, and got this:  

The big picture looks like this: 

I'm much happier with it this way. Maybe sometime I can get a hat box that matches better too. What do you think of this arrangement? Any suggestions? I love getting help.  

Ok, design dilemma #2. This lamp is sitting on the sofa table in our dining room. 

Confession: I really don't like this lamp. At all. It's HUGE, and heavy, and really old. But, it belonged to Brian's great-grandmother, so he says it's not going anywhere. So I'd like to know, what would you do to make it look better? Any pictures or links you'd like to share for ideas? I'm open to any suggestions! 

Now it's story time! So I decided I wanted to get a coffee table and a couch with my birthday money. Where can you find a coffee table or a couch for $75? Craig's list! It's the BEST. I have never been on it before, but after reading through Domestic Bliss's tips, I had to check it out, and Ooh la la! I'm in love. I searched through pages of listings for coffee tables under $50, and get this: they weren't all crappy college apartment tables! The moving sales were the best, but sometimes people were just getting new furniture and didn't have room. I found tons of potential coffee tables, and created a Word document with the pictures and emailed it to Brian. He wasn't as thrilled as I was with the $10 ones or the really unique ones, and he didn't seem to share my love of shabby chic/French country style. It took us awhile, but we finally decided on a $30 old English style table. Gorgeous red-gold color, fancy carvings, and...two glass panels. I don't like glass panels, because they're a pain to clean, not to mention a safety hazard for our future children. But I compromised because of the price and it was pretty. 

In the description, it mentioned a "small chip" in the glass. It wasn't no small chip; there was a chunk of glass missing! There was no setting something on top to hide it; it would have to be replaced. I calculated it mentally: 18"x18, thick, 1" beveled edge, lightly tinted, and scalloped corners = expensive. We said no thanks and drove away, but the owner called us a few minutes later, offering to give it to us for $10. Brian told me he guessed the price of glass was $150, so I said no, but thanks again. The owner said she had no idea glass cost that much, but if we priced it out and found out it was less, we could still have it for $10. I called a glass company the next day, and the quote? $185, not including tax. So I went back to the computer and started over. But, it was good practice in saying no! I think I needed that. 

I finally narrowed it down to my top 6, and got an ok from Brian to call on the first one. I left a message and sent an email, and went to call the second one. It was gone! The beautiful black rustic French cottage table was sold. So I called my third choice, a white table with a shelf and two drawers. She was busy at the moment, so we set up a time for an hour later. Right after I got off the phone, my first choice called back. I was almost too excited to sit down and eat supper, but we ate fast and were out the door. The pictures didn't do it justice! Actually, there were two pieces, the coffee table and a matching end table, with a pull out compartment and cup-holders. I called the white table lady back and canceled, and we took these home. 

Guess how much? Asking price: $50. Paid price: $40. I can't believe he took $10 less. I actually offered that by accident, because I'd read the posting wrong online and thought it said they were $30, and so when Brian offered him $50 I interjected with $40. And we got them! Aren't they perfect

Have you shopped on Craig's list before? What's the best thing you've found? If you decided to start today, there's a few cedar chests out there that I've got my name on! Not officially, but I'll be really disappointed if you buy them all up before I get one! 

Labels: , ,