mud cloth pillows

We went to the Long Beach Flea Market on Sunday, and the only thing on my list was to pick up some plain African mud cloth. I was in and out of the market in 20 minutes because we had plans to spend our afternoon at the aquarium. I used the mud cloth to cover the cushion on the French bed in our school room, and I had plenty left over, so I made pillows too. Previously, there was a white polkadotted sheet covering the cushion and antique grain sack covered pillows (you can see a tiny bit of it here). I really didn’t like the polk-a-dot (it used to be on one of the girls’ beds), I realized a few years ago that I’m not a polk-a-dot type of person, but it was there until I figured out what I wanted. I like this mud cloth fabric so much better.

Looking at the room, I think it’s time to switch out what’s hanging on the walls, and maybe even the rug (possibly with this one, since it’s no longer in the girls’ room). We’ve got a lot of books since I homeschool 4 girls, and have 4 readers, so I’m thinking we might need a bookshelf somewhere. I need to get rid of curriculum we no longer use in our school cabinet, so maybe once I do that, all our books will fit in there and I won’t need a bookshelf. I’m excited to change this room up a little, and the new mud cloth cover and pillows were the perfect start.

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kid room dilemmas

I posted this dilemma (#firstworldproblems) in my Insta story, but thought I would share it here too. We cleaned up Soul and Glow’s room (see before here) and now we are debating on whether or not to leave the rug, use sheepskin, or let the floors steal the show. Glow likes the rug, but Soul doesn’t, so that doesn’t help the decision much. I like the rug, but I think it makes things look a bit cluttered. The bare floors are pretty, but it looks like it’s missing something. Maybe it needs some texture? The sheepskin does seem to solve that problem, but is the room more cozy with a rug? I don’t know. What do you think?

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refresh with pillows

I don’t redecorate often, and my style doesn’t really change, so everything in our home stays pretty consistent. I only buy things I really love, so there’s never really a need to switch things out. It probably makes for bad blogger material, but whatever, I know what I like and that’s that. I’ve mentioned recently that I have been itching to redecorate a little, and the first thing on my agenda was to change out the pillows. I was going to order some from H&M (see this post), but after finding a stash of white, cotton canvas in my workroom, I got sewing and made the pillow covers myself. Then, I remembered I had a large collection of antique grain sacks and used a couple of those to cover two more pillows. The mix of textures go well together and I’m happy with our new pillow arrangement.

Over the weekend, I picked up a new pot at Home Goods  (it’s holding the plant on the coffee table). Also, I moved a couple of plants and decor items around, and while the changes aren’t major, it’s just enough to make things feel a little updated. I want to get a bigger plant for the corner, something about 8′ tall, and I’ll probably remove the hanging basket once I find the perfect plant. Ben thinks we might still need a couple light pink pillows for the sofa, so I may order one or two (or dye my own fabric), and see what that adds to the sofa. Other than that, I like the little changes we made and it’s just the beginning of a little bit of rearranging in our home. I have no plans to by anything major, but just do a little switch-a-roo with different pieces from other rooms.

If you’re dying to hit the refresh button on your home, maybe doing a little pillow switch-a-roo is just the update you’re looking for too.

See how this room looked like before the pillow switch-a-roo here, and past room tours here and here. You’ll notice I’m pretty consistent.

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simple throw pillows

Love this stack from Urban Outfitters.

Eyeing this pink velvet pillow from Target. I like the border around the pillow.

H&M carry these simple pillow covers in linen, cotton canvas, and velvet.

Now, I just need to choose which ones I want. I’m leaning towards a couple linen and velvet covers from H&M. I just need to measure my existing pillows to be sure the covers will fit. I’m leaning towards 1 or 2 pink velvet pillows, and a few cotton canvas or linen in white. I’ll be sure to share my choices once I have all my pillows figured out and in place!

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decorating with pink

Once school lets out for the school year, I am ready to redecorate (a little). Maybe move things around, change out pillows, switch some tables, move plants around. Nothing major, but simply do a little refresh. I  love having pink touches throughout the house, so I’m going to try and tone down some other colors, and simplify the color palette a little (it is pretty simple already, but I don’t think I have a cohesive palette. I’m thinking green, light pink, white, and browns.

image credits from top to bottom: bang & olufsen, simon watson, sigurd grünberger, rent patina.

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cool and stylish household fans

In the middle of last summer, our AC decided to quit, so it set us back about $1500 to fix. #ohthejoysofhomeownership Ben took a look at how high our electrical bill was, so he decided to keep the AC at a higher temp (84), and we mainly relied on oscillating fans to keep us cool. Ben is a researcher, so he researched lots of reviews for many fans, and so he settled on getting us this Vornado. We went with white and it worked well in getting us through our hot summer. Our electric bill stayed under a hundred during the hottest months of the year, which helped take a small bite of the cost to fix our AC. Don’t you love the irony though? We pay to get it fixed, only to no longer use it. I did complain many times during the heat because my fingers and feet would swell, so it wasn’t the most comfortable, but sometimes you have to sacrifice to save.

Now, I’m not a fan of how bulky fans look (pun intended), and I’m not really into the modern ones (like this) either. When Ben was researching, he was trying to find one that had solid reviews, but also looked decent and would blend with our style. I think the Vornado does a decent job at checking off all our boxes. Then, as I was going through my IG feed last summer, I spotted a good looking fan in this picture by @hidinginhere. I asked her about it, but she was staying in an Airbnb, and didn’t know where the fan was from. I did a lot snooping online to see if I could find it, but wasn’t sure if it was the one, so I contacted the Airbnb owner to find out. She was kind enough to answer my question and shared that she bought it several years ago from Restoration Hardware. After finding that out, Ben and I went to the site, and lo and behold, they had an updated version of the fan. Bad news though… it’s an online-only item and was almost $4o0 not including shipping, so we said, “No bueno.” Once we knew what brand the fan was, we started looking up ratings and reviews on it, and all of them said good things about the Allaire fans, but we definitely didn’t want to pay that price.

If you’ve been following here awhile, you know we can be patient and tend to internet stalk things we like until they go on super sale. Later in the fall, the fan price finally went down, but not nearly significant enough to what we were willing to pay. Then, the price went lower after that, but still not low enough. That happened a couple more times (ironically, with holidays having zero impact on when the discounts occurred), until earlier this month, where it finally dropped to a price that was closer to our budget. Ben still debated holding out to see if it would go lower, but customer service did let him know that if at any point it did go lower within 3o days of our purchase, they would do a price adjustment. We finally bit the bullet, and ordered a floor and table fan, and after using it for a few weeks now, we are very happy with our purchase. They are heavy duty fans (emphasis on heavy) made to last and the lowest speed on the 16″ is still higher than the highest on our Vornado. It definitely cools a room down and it’s not bad to look at either.

We started to look at the possibility of getting solar, but we aren’t quite ready to make the leap yet as we still have much research to do on it. For now though, we will be getting through the coming warmer temperatures with our Vornado on my side of the room and the Allaire on his. Even in the winter, we have a fan on for white noise. I wish we could sleep with the windows open to take advantage of the cool air, but Ben is very sensitive when he sleeps, so the outdoor noise (dogs barking all around) would hinder a good night’s rest for him.

Ben did his research and read plenty of reviews of fans last summer, so I’m glad to share our choices and our thoughts about it here, so in case you’re looking for a good fan for when the temps heat up, I think you’ll like the ones we chose. Get our Vornado fan here, and our Allaire floor fan here (we have the 16″) and the table fan here. We also purchased this small one for one of the girls’ room (had great reviews) and it indeed works well too. We also considered this Vornado, but decided it looked too retro for our home. Ben has always liked ceiling fans, but since I’d rather have vintage or modern light fixtures, there is no space on our ceilings for fans!

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