shabby chic

Restoration Hardware chandeliers at a fraction of the price!

restoration hardware chandelier for less

Without fail, I walk into any store and gravitate toward the most expensive thing in there.  The old adage couldn't be more true... I've got champagne taste on a beer budget.

I spent last weekend shopping for the finishing touches for our upstairs renovation.  The nursery and bathroom are complete, but we need new light fixtures for the guest bedroom and landing.

I checked out Home Depot and Lowe's for something cheap, but wasn't happy with anything I saw.  Next, we visited Lighting Inc., but had the opposite problem.  Everything I liked was outside our thrifty budget.  We stopped by Dop Antiques.  It's my go-to... a hot and sweaty warehouse, filled with European antiques and reproductions.  Again, it was more than we wanted to spend.  I hopped online and picked a couple mediocre options from Lamps Plus.  They'd work in a pinch, but I wasn't thrilled.

Suddenly a light bulb turned on.  It was the most brilliant interior decorating idea I can't believe I've never had before!  Children's stores!

I adore almost everything at Restoration Hardware, but who really wants to spend $2,000 on a chandelier?  So tried Restoration Hardware Baby and Child instead.  It was a GOLD MINE!  Their styles are so classic, you'd never know they're intended for children and the prices are a fraction of the "adult" store.

For $500, I got not one, but TWO stunning rustic, French country chandeliers.  And that included shipping!

Take a look for yourself, would you ever know the difference???

Historic hidden gem oozes with old world charm

Working with buyers to find their dream homes in New Orleans, I come across the good, bad and the ugly. Yesterday, I stumbled upon the incredible!

Tucked into a quiet block of New Orleans' tourist-filled French Quarter is the home and office of Kim Hunter. She's not a buyer, but rather, the branch manager of Movement Mortgage.

She's lived in the historic home since she was one year old and every nook and cranny just oozes old world charm. From the exposed brick walls to the tucked away courtyard, there's a feeling of warmth that only 200 years of history can offer.

I think you'll fall in love as quickly as I did!

          

Shabby chic Christmas decor with rustic burlap and sparkling touches

DSC05252 Merry Christmas, y'all!

This is a big one.  Two years ago, Joe was fighting for our country in Afghanistan.  Last year, I was unexpectedly in the hospital as Beau decided to arrive two months early!  So, it's our first real Christmas in years.

In the spirit of celebration, I decked out the homestead in burlap, silver and gold.  It's rustic and *sparkly*!

For the burlap garland, I used my favorite trick.  I took a roll of burlap (you could also use ribbon) and every two or three feet, I tied a big bow.  Then, I wove it through the swags and tree.  It adds much more dimension than the burlap or ribbon would on its own.

Beau and the beagles are already trying to dig into the gifts.  We'll see if they can hold out until the big day!

Shabby Chic Kitchen Renovation, BEFORE and AFTER

  New cabinet finish, counters and backsplash

It's amazing to think that our kitchen renovation is finally done!  We've been enjoying the finished product for about 6 months now, but with baby Beau hogging my free time, I just now got around to taking some AFTER pictures.  The kitchen renovation was a much longer process than I ever anticipated.  I started in earnest while Joey deployed last year to Afghanistan.  We didn't finish until he returned.

I'm incredibly proud to say we did every ounce of work ourselves, with the exception of fabricating and installing the granite counters and an emergency visit from a plumber when not once, but TWICE, my below-sink plumbing exploded!  Here's a list of the improvements we made (with links if you'd like to check out the original posts), along with the before-and-after photos.  I still can't believe it's ALL OURS and it's ALL DONE!

Knowing the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into this project, makes us enjoy the end result more than I ever could have imagined.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

XOXO, Anne

Kitchen renovation AFTER:

Kitchen renovation BEFORE: