With most of the first floor renovations complete at Kyle’s house, he’s put me to work decorating. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Before living on my own, I always attributed decorating to being a bit like picking out an outfit – just dressing a space instead of myself. But I’ve learned it’s a lot harder, a LOT more expensive, and something most of us don’t get to practice very often. I mean seriously, besides interior decorators, most of us probably haven’t had the means to decorate more than one or two spaces, college dorms aside, before we’re thirty. Until now, furnishing a place, for me, has consisted mainly of hand-me-downs from my parents and a few IKEA purchases here and there.
That aside, we’re having some friends over for dinner in a few weeks so I’m focusing on the dining room first. Kyle’s one rule: No re-painting walls. (Disappointing but after eight months of renovations, I suppose I see why.) So to get my own creative juices flowing inside the sage green walls and before going crazy with Kyle’s credit card, I put together some ideas:
1. Mirror, Z Gallerie (or my DIY version here) | 2. Parsons Side Chairs, Overstock.com | 3. Chandelier, Overstock.com | 4. Paint, Cedar Grove 444, Benjamin Moore | 5. Rug, Pottery Barn | 6. Table, World Market
I love fresh flowers – especially peonies, hydrangeas, and roses. They bring an instant sophistication and chic vibe to any space. But always having fresh flowers around my apartment simply isn’t doable on my budget. It recently hit me that I could use silk flowers instead. While silk flowers get a bad rap for looking cheap or unnatural, they can be used to achieve the same effect as real flowers if they’re quality and arranged correctly.
I found some lovely silk arrangements on Etsy but couldn’t believe the price tag that came with them ($225 for peonies in a small square vase) so I came up with the DIY version below for under $35.
- Glass vase (I used a 4” square vase from Jo Ann fabrics)
- Silk flowers (Depending on the quality of the silk flower you use, flowers can get expensive. However, stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-Ann’s often have 40% or 50% off some varieties of silk flowers, or check online for coupons. You’ll want to make sure to get enough flowers to fill your vase minus the leaves.)
- Quick Water, or another clear floral setting resin (available at craft stores)
- Wire cutters
- Determine the height at which you want your flowers to stand within in the vase and cut the stems accordingly with a good pair of scissors or a wire cutter.
- Trim the leaves off or back to your liking.
- Mix the floral resin according to package directions. Pour into the center of your vase.
- Arrange the flowers in the vase. Most clear resins don’t begin to “cure” for about an hour after mixed, so you can spend some timing arranging. I recommend having at least some idea of how you plan to arrange your flowers before putting them in the vase. NOTE: The resin is sticky! Try not to pull your flowers completely out of the resin (but rather just move them around in it). I did this and things got a little messy! If you do spill any, some rubbing alcohol will clean it right up.