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Our Year ‘Round Mantle

24 Aug

In the fall, our mantle changes with each month. I go all out for the holidays. (Check out last year’s Halloween, Autumn, and Icy Winter mantles!) But throughout the rest of the year, I just don’t have the time or energy to change the decor for each month, so I keep it “seasonal neutral” and just match the scheme of our living room.

It’s colorful and simple. I always love having the drawing of our wedding done by my sister-in-law front and center. To the left, is a simple black matte framing a magazine page that matches our decor. (It actually says “May” but I like the way it looks so I leave it throughout the summer months. Hey, it’s about what makes you happy, right?)

Further to the left are two silver candlesticks, which were a wedding present from my grandmother and a purple bouquet.

On the right is a grouping of purple vases (which were heavily discounted at Hobby Lobby last year) and one of our wedding reception centerpieces (tutorial here). I added the purple ribbons to tie it into the colors.

And, there you have it. Our year ’round mantle. I must admit that I am very excited to start breaking out the holiday stuff. But, alas, it’s only August!

What do you do with your mantle? Change it up every month? Or leave it the same year ’round?


Our Bedroom Makeover: Easy changes = Big improvements

16 Aug

Well, fall approaches and things are finally getting back to normal around here. Josh spent the summer working out of town. I stayed home to take some summer classes and work. It wasn’t necessarily fun living by myself for the past few months, but I’d like to think I took advantage of the opportunity by sprucing up the apartment. I made major changes to our bedroom and the kitchen and I have plenty of pictures of both!!

There wasn’t really anything wrong with our bedroom before, but I felt like the blue we chose when we first moved in turned out to be way too dark for me. I wanted more of a relaxing oasis. I really inspired by a card I bought for my best friend’s wedding. (I loved it so much, I bought the card for myself and then baked cupcakes to match!)

want to see more of cupcake pictures? check out my company blog for my eye candy!

Our room already had gold accents with the budget statement art and some other accessories, so only a new wall color was needed to acheive the light airiness of the card I was inspired by. Take a look at the difference it made!I added to revamped nightstands that I purchased from Goodwill. A quick sanding, coat of white paint, and some new hardware made them clean and stylish. I also got some simple bedside lamps (also from Target) for night time reading. For the past year, we have used TV trays for nightstands and have had no bedside lighting so these additions have been

the best by far! New white curtains (also from Target), keep the room feeling airy.

Now for some detail shots. I styled our nightstands with books in a similar color scheme of the room and added a few punches of pink to tie in with the artwork we have by the dresser.

Josh’s nightstand is clearly more masculine with the addition of darker woodtone accessories, which tie in well with the furniture.

I was a little sad to see the original curtains I had made for the room go, but I knew white panels would make a huge difference. I contemplated making another set as I had previously and then I found these sheer white panels from Target and fell in love. There is a very subtle, circular pattern on them, and during the day time it is much more pronounced as the light shines through. It almost gives the room an ethereal feeling.

Here you can see the circular pattern on the curtains.

And this revamp was pretty easy on the wallet. Here’s how it breaks down.

  • 1 gallon Color Place’s “Nature’s Cool Water Pond” satin finish: $15.96
  • Extra paint supplies: $15.00
  • Nightstands found at Goodwill: $22.50
  • White paint for nightstands: already owned
  • 2 curtain panels from Target: $15.92 (2 @ $7.96)
  • 2 table lamps from Target: $29.98 (2 @ $14.99)

Total: $99.36

Have you done any budget revamps lately? Or maybe a simple improvements that made a huge difference? Please share!

Fireplaces in the Off Season

19 Jul

When it’s about a-billion degrees outside (like it is in Texas), our fireplace is the last thing on my mind. But lately, I’ve been making some improvements to our apartment (lots of posts coming soon!) and I wanted to improve the look of our hearth.

Last winter, we didn’t have a chance to buy a screen or even use our fireplace so it’s been bare since we moved in. And, go figure, they don’t sell that kind of stuff in the summer wit the aforementioned “billion-degree weather”. So, I searched out some alternatives to make our fireplace less of a black hole. Here are some of the ideas I love and the one I chose.


I love the look of this fireplace in general. It’s light and cheery, which is the opposite of what I envision when I think fire. Love it! Get this look easily with some vases in complimentary colors to your room decor and fill with faux blooms to keep your display looking good all through the warm months.


I love this idea! Especially for a room that isn’t full of wood tones and natural wood furniture. Here, it really brings warmth to the crisp white walls and fireplace. It’s not exactly functional if you’d like to use your fireplace, but if you aren’t really a fan of the flames or have a non-working hearth, then this would be a beautiful option!
I kept it simple with some pillar candles and a mirror. It keeps option of soft light and looks good when it’s not lit. The mirror also helps brighten up the black hole that was our fireplace.

Have you used any of these techniques? Or any other fun ideas? I wanna know!

Icy Winter Mantle

24 Jan

Well, hello, blog family! Today I bring you another peek into the Willis Household with our Winter-y Mantle. I’ve really taken changing out the decor to heart over the past few months! It’s just fun to keep it fresh and change the view.

For January, I wanted to keep it looking like winter with an icy, snowy feeling. Using stuff that I found around the house or on sale!!! (You can bet I hit up those after Christmas sales pretty hard!)

Here’s a cute little Eskimo couple that my Grandma gave to us. They just add a cute, romantic touch while maintaining the “it’s really frikking cold” motif I’ve got going on here.

A now for a breakdown of some of the fun elements. The silver trees were on super discount at Target after the holidays. I used one of our wedding centerpieces to add some floral and would you eve believe those pumpkins are the ones I used for Halloween? I spray painted them gold a while ago and they have held up really well. I definitely got my money’s worth.

So, there you go, our cute winter mantle. It’s neutral but still fun!

Autumn Mantle

18 Nov
I can’t tell you how tempting it was to skip the “Turkey Day” decorating and go straight for Christmas but Josh wouldn’t let me. And I just couldn’t justify leaving Halloween decor up through November. So, I set out to create a cute Thanksgiving Mantle without spending a thing and by looking around the house and the outdoors, I would say mission accomplished!

On the very left hand side, you can see a branch that I found and spray painted gold. I used these paper patterns to punch out circles and decorate the branch.

I switched out the “October” page for another magazine clipping that reflected a Fall theme and spruced it up with a vintage cookbook I received for Christmas last year.

I decided to leave the birdhouse and mini-pumpkins but added my pumpkin pie candle (yum!) and a vase filled with the cutest little acorns. And used a cursive font to print out a cute sign.

In total, I spent zero dollars! But maybe I paid for it in something else as I tried to inconspicuously tear a branch off of a tree in our complex and pick up acorns from the tree by our bus stop. Eh, it was worth it!

PDA: Pretty Displays of Affection

4 Nov

Since our wedding pictures turned out so beautifully, I wanted a really fun way to display them. See what has now been deemed as “the wedding wall”.

This project was fairly budget friendly as most of the frames came from the dollar store. I picked up a can of black spray paint from Wal-Mart to give them all the same finish. In addition to pictures, I opted to display some of our wedding cards and our marriage covenant (it’s our vows written out and we signed it during our ceremony). I even painted the light switch plate black so there wasn’t a void space in the frame pattern

See my blog header in here?

Adorable card from our good friend, Ashley.

One of my favorite cards, from my sister and Maid of Honor.
She picked this up in England while she was interning at Oxford.

The black and white pattern the frames make match the curtains in the living room and our new black bar wall. Plus, it filled the void of that blank wall. It took a while to complete this project, with school and work being so busy, but now that it’s done I love it!

Statement Art on a Budget

28 Oct

Art on a newlywed/college kid budget is a little hard to come by, but there are absolutely ways to have statement art in your home for less. Prints! Take a peak at the statement art I put up in our bedroom.

Total, this project cost about $35.00. This posters and small prints were half off, the small frames were $3.00 each at Wal-Mart, and (the mega-daddy sale item!) the large frame was $10.00! I spray painted them a satin gold, and that was it!

So, while one day we’ll be able to have authentic art in our bedroom, I have no problems with this! I’m actually quite fond of our little set up!