Thursday, July 7, 2016

Making a House a Home | Part Two

Hello There!

We've been in our current apartment for longer than we anticipated so we started a few months back making some updates and changes to make this place a little more comfortable while we are still here.

I have previously done a post a little over a year ago on some of the ways you can make an apartment feel like a home, head over here to see the first in this series!  While I typically talk about how to make apartments feel more home-like and personal (because that's what I am currently working with) these tips and tricks apply to any home space.

One of the bigger things that we have done recently is to have the top of our armoire removed (you can see the before here).  I love this armoire so chopping the top of it off took a lot of convincing from my husband, but now that it is done I love it.  It opens up our space completely and brings in so much more light than before.  We also were able to upgrade our television with the removal of the top, which makes hubs very happy. Next to the armoire on the left is a mail basket I picked up at Target that actually keeps my mail organized and I don't let it pile up.  

A few well-placed decorations can add a lot to a space.  On top of the armoire I placed two small wooden signs, a picture frame, and this gorgeous tree tea light holder that is so versatile.

Here is a better look at the Nordic tea light trough*.  It has a row in the middle and slots for four tea lights to fit into and the trees coming up on either side of the row.  The trees are made of metal and the base is sturdy, but the trees are a little delicate.  I have these battery operated flickery tea lights that I got around holiday time last year.

You can use either regular tea lights or battery operated, which ever your preference.  I love that you can use this as a decorative piece when unlit and then it creates a whole ambiance when lit at night.  I have had it out on my coffee table during the day or in front of my TV and then at night I bring it into the bedroom to watch it glow.  

I also used it in my bathroom (as seen here) to give beautiful soft glowing light during a bath.  The closer you situate the trough to the wall the smaller the trees will be so if you really want the trees to be huge projected on your wall just pull it away from the wall a bit.  I love Fall and Winter and while this is a decoration for all year 'round, the cozy woodsy feel makes me so happy and relaxed.

Here you can see it in action.  It really is just a stunning piece of art.  This is perfect for any space that you don't want to damage your walls by hanging art, but want something to take up blank space on your walls.  Light this up and you're in a wooded wonderland.

I am constantly changing up my coffee table with various items and the placement of said items.  A few statement art items and some well-stacked books can make an impact and give someone insight into your personal tastes and style.
I change out certain touches based on the season like the seashells you see here for the summer will be replaced in the fall by mini pumpkins and pinecones.

Some recent pieces I have added onto my coffee table are the small golden pineapple candle, the little pottery turtle box we got on our honeymoon, and this geometric cat candle.

This is the Kisa cat candle in gray*.  It has a cool geometric shape and a surprise inside once you burn the candle down.  Honestly, it was such a hard decision whether to burn this guy or not because it is so cute and is a nice decoration on its own without burning the candle, but I just had to get to the inside!

If you follow me on snapchat (@effulgentlove) you've probably already seen this, but if not I put together a gif so you could see the process (if you look closely you'll catch glimpses of my two cats in the background!).  

Normally when a candle is done I am just left with an empty jar, but I can't get over how cool this sculpture is that I now get to display on my coffee table.

Both the cat candle and the tree tea light trough are from Uncommon Goods.  I have long been a fan of their products.  The cat and trough are two of my favorites of their home and garden pieces.  Some of my other favorite items are from their Uncommon Collection which was introduced in 2015, the Uncommon Collection is an exclusive assortment of products that meet their highest standards for uncommon design, sustainability, and doing good.

I love that not only are these pieces beautiful and unique, but they support small (and big) artists in their craft.  Each item you can purchase you also get a little background on the maker.  They also have behind the scenes with a different maker each week that gives a new perspective on something you might purchase.

Something massively important to me is donating and supporting causes dear to me.  Uncommon Goods as an independently owned business, has the freedom to support causes they believe in and to impact the world in a positive way. With every purchase you make, donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice. Since they started the Better to Give program 12 years ago, they have donated over $1Million to charities around the world!  

It just makes me feel good about buying from a business I know is out to do good in the world whether by supporting makers or donating to charities.  I can't wait to add more of their pieces to my coffee table.

This coffee table was another big upgrade because we needed one that had more functionality.  It has so much storage and lots of areas for knickknacks to go.  The table is more function than form, but I love it anyway.  It has two alcoves on each side that I have baskets in, a big open spot in the middle I have another basket filled with magazines in, and a lower shelf below the top that is great for storing small board games, books, and little figures (like our Amibos).

I need to get some bookends to organize my books better and I am obsessed with the cat scratch ones from Uncommon Goods.

To the couch we didn't do much except add two pillows, the bow and the "hello lovely" are both from Target.  They managed to be such a simple way to elevate the style of our couch.

For small spaces make sure you utilize any spare room that you have.  Under our couch I keep weights, larger board games, and my craft supplies.  They're organized, neat and this is a way they are easily accessible, but out of site.

We made huge changes to this corner of our apartment.  We used to have a large dining table that took up way too much space and therefore we never used it.  We replaced it out for this small breakfast nook bar table and a bookcase that we picked up from Target.

We don't really eat meals at this table (we eat them at our desks or on the couch) so we've turned it into a bar.  The two drawers are perfect for storing linens, lighters for candles, other barware, and spare straws.  I love having fresh flowers (much to my husband's chagrin) and they look so pretty in this vase I got at my bridal shower.

The happy hours sign I got at target, the clock was a gift to us for our wedding, and the tag banner I made.  We have gotten a few pieces of bar ware as wedding presents and the rest we've picked up over time ourselves.  

I would love to add a few more unique bar pieces like Uncommon Goods nautical themed whiskey stones and their gorgeous oval oak wine carafe.

We are hoping to move within the next year, but in the meantime we are making changes to make the space we have work better for us.  We plan to do some bedroom changes soon as well, but for now we're happy with all the changes to our main living area.

I hope this gave you some ideas for your space.  Leave me any tips/tricks you've picked up below!

Until next time,

Disclaimer: A massive thank to Uncommon Goods for sending me the Kisa Candle and Nordic Tea Light Trough for consideration.  There are no affiliate links in this post.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own