Fixer Upper Season 4 Premiere

Eek!! Who watched Fixer Upper Season 4 premiere last night?? It would be plain sinful if I didn’t completely dedicate a post to my beloved Fixer Upper. The premiere gives me the perfect opportunity to do so. If you aren’t familiar with HGTV’s Fixer Upper (omg, go watch Season 1 on Netflix right now), Chip and Joanna Gaines are admired for transforming the most helpless homes into a dream oasis.

If you missed last night’s episode, here is a quick recap:

The Couple:

  • The Chapman’s – husband and wife with 2 dogs
  • Looking for a house in the Mountain View area
  • All-in budget = $450,000

The House:

“Cargo Ship House”

  • 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom 2340 ft2 listed at $285,000
  • Purchased for $266,500 leaving $183,500 for a renovation budget

Demolition aka #demoday:

  • Remove awkward utility closet
  • Knock out railing
  • Gut kitchen and bathroom (cabinets, appliances, and sinks/shower)
  • Remove limbs from the live oak tree that are hovering over the roof

At one point, Chip comes busting through the wall—why is that so funny to me?

Reno Plan:

Exterior

  • Re-pitch the roof—The 2nd story master bedroom add-on made the house to look off-balance. Pitching the roof allows the home to take on a more uniform shape
  • Add a large front porch with corbles—A porch gives curb appeal while adding to the symmetry
  • New shutters and windows
  • Update paint

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Living room

  • All new railing (made custom by welder friend, Lonny)
  • Add a tall, double-sided fireplace between living room and sun room
  • Use faux beams on the new vaulted ceiling. While not authentic, the beams are significantly lighter and only a fraction of the price!

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Kitchen

  • Complete reno with white cabinets, blue island, and new appliances. Enough said.

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Master Bedroom/Bathroom

  • Add sliding barn door for privacy
  • New windows
  • Complete bathroom reno
  • Freshen up

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The Reveal:

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The new porch is so gorgeous. Amazing what a little paint and some shutters can do to an exterior, too!
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Living Room: the pitched roof opened up the space significantly and the double-sided fireplace fits so well there!
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Kitchen: white is just so heavenly. Sigh. Look at those gorgeous sconces!!
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The blue/charcoal accent paint really pops and I’m swooning over those pendants.
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Master Bedroom: the new windows add a lot of natural light. So relaxing!
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Master Bathroom: a typical reno by Joanna, but those wooden framed mirrors never get old. Check out how the vanity lights are attched to the mirros. Neat!
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Laundry Room: my favorite part is the herringbone floors!
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Mud Room: all you need is a little storage and a couple of hooks. Remember my post on mud rooms?
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Last, but not least, the “doggy spa”…so conveinent! At the end of the epsiode, Chip says that the doggy spa trigged an impulse to buy the kids two more puppies. How sweet!

(all photos by: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images from http://www.hgtv.com)

Gosh, Fixer Upper never disappoints, does it? I already can’t wait for the next episode! Stay tuned for a post about Joanna’s design style and where to buy her new Magnolia line! What was your favorite part about last night’s episode?

Thanks for stopping in!

-Summer

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means it is officially Christmas season! Not only are lights, trees, and tinsel socially acceptable after Thanksgiving, but now I have free rein to listen to Christmas music on repeat (hello, Michael Buble Christmas album) from now until December 25 (sorry, not sorry). To kick off my first of many Christmas posts, I wanted to share a few of my favorite places to buy Christmas decorations. Whether you’re going for a traditional theme or end up choosing something unique like “winter wonderland” or “cozy, mountain house” I’m certain you’ll find something new to add to your collection at one of these places!

Cost Plus World Market – Ornaments

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I’m loving World Market for ornaments! They have over 1000 unique ornaments to choose from, so it’s easy to create your own look with such a wide variety. Shown above is the metallic ornament collection. From now until 12/11, get 30% off all ornaments, plus use the ad to get an extra 10% off your entire purchase.

DECORATING TIP: Start with your base ornaments (buy a set, like this one with 24 glittered pinecones) and space them out evenly across the tree. Fill in remaining gaps with your other favorite ornaments.

Target – Gift Wrap

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What is a Christmas tree without presents around it? Wrapped gifts can add a lot to your Christmas decor if you coordinate it appropriately. Sugar Paper has some gorgeous gift wrap at Target, everything from bags and boxes to ribbon and gift tags. I love their gold foil wrapping paper!

TIP: If you don’t have enough gifts to put under the tree yet, wrap empty boxes to give off the perfect illusion!

Pottery Barn – Pillows and Throws

Uh-oh, here I go on my pillow rant again. Pottery Barn’s holiday pillows and throws are so stinkin’ cute though! Get yourself a few classic Christmas pillows with a plaid blanket and your living room is instantly transformed. Get 30% off select throws and pillows now. (pom pom knitted throw // plaid throw // Christmas pillows)

Stockings – Restoration Hardware

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Faux fur is my new favorite way to decorate for Christmas! It just makes everything feel so warm and cozy. Originally, I ordered my fur stockings from another vendor and had them monogrammed. Long story short, the monograms were messed up multiple times and I had to send them back for replacements three times. They still never got it right and I was not a happy camper. Luckily, RH had similar stockings that I decided to get instead and they turned out fabulous! I highly recommend the luxe faux fur stockings. They are on sale now for only $17 each! (add $8 for personalization)

At Home – Wreaths, Trees, and Lights

At Home (the former Garden Ridge) is literally Christmas heaven this time of year. It is hard to spend less than an hour shopping in that place! I highly recommend it for purchasing an artificial tree, any type of lights (indoor/outdoor), wreaths, or garland, mainly because they have a large selection and at a great price point.

Michael’s – Everything Else

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If you want a one-stop shop for Christmas decorations, this is your place. At Michael’s you can get everything I’ve already mentioned and more! Not only that, but usually they are running a sale! I love their Pinecone Lodge Collection shown above. Go now to get 50% off all Christmas decor and trees!

Where is your favorite place to shop for Christmas decorations?? Stay tuned, I’ll be posting some pictures of how I chose to decorate later this week:) Thanks for stopping by. Happy decorating, everyone!

-Summer

*Contemporary Charm participates in several affiliate advertising programs. Clicks and/or purchases made through links on this blog may provide me with a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions on this blog are my own.*

Easy, Last-Minute Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Y’all, Thanksgiving is literally HERE. Isn’t it crazy how it manages to sneak up on us every year? If you are hosting guests for Thanksgiving and really want to impress, check out this gorgeous centerpiece my mom made. Not only is it relatively quick and easy to create, it is super inexpensive! But before we dive in, I have to brag on my mom for just a minute. She is amazingly talented when it comes to design and decor. I’ve always admired her creative mind and excellent taste. We share a lot of the same style, so she is a constant source of inspiration for me. She is one of the biggest reasons I started this blog, so thank you, mom! I fully anticipate incorporating her projects and featuring her gorgeous, Dallas home in future posts, so y’all are in for a real treat!:)

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Ok, who reads Southern Living? (me, me!) If you don’t, you should. It is the poster child for all things beautiful and, of course, southern. In the November issue, they have a centerpiece how-to article, which was the original inspiration for my mom’s creation. The article features an entirely “living” floral arrangement. While very beautiful, it has its downsides. For one, real flowers are expensive. You might as well go buy an arrangement from a florist if you are going to spend that kind of cash.  Second, it’s messy. Think: leaking water and gooey floral foam. Yuck. Third, it dies, and that’s sad. So, my mom opted to make a hybrid centerpiece (mostly artificial flowers and greenery with a few real flowers and vegetation) for the sake of ease.

Ready to get started?

SuppliesAll can be found at a craft store. I prefer Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.

Steps:

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Start with a sturdy rectangular basket, box, or crate like this one from Hobby Lobby (similar). Baskets are currently 50% off!

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Line the basket with burlap to keep things contained. If you use real flowers, get something water-resistant such as floral foil. Then, place the foam blocks on top. The foam acts as the base to secure the arrangement. Use the extra burlap as a table runner if you wish!

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Use moss or another natural substance to cover and fill. It comes in many different colors!

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Choose your assortment of fall floral. Make sure to incorporate different colors and textures (acorns, sorghum, mums, willows, etc). Fall floral is 80% off now at Hobby Lobby! Say what? This entire pile was only ~$25

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Don’t forget your seasonal fruits and veggies. Choose from acorn squash, apples, mini pumpkins, radishes, turnips, or whatever your local grocery store has! Make sure you rinse them and shine them up with some vegetable oil before adding to the arrangement.

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Use your floral cutters (or wire cutters) to trim the stems to the desired length. You may need to break up some of the floral bunches into smaller pieces.

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Here goes nothing! Start securing stems in the foam, working from the outside in. You can use floral wire if you need to bunch pieces together, but the foam provides great support on its own!

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Keep adding and moving pieces around as you go. Trim any excess. There is no science to it, so make it your own!

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Eventually, it all starts to come together!
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Lastly, if you are interested in using real flowers, this is where the water picks come into play. They house a small amount of water for each stem to keep your flowers fresh. Easy enough!

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Voila! Is that not stunning, or what? I told you my mom was talented;) How perfect and easy. Now, run out to Hobby Lobby so you can get started on yours!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! As always, thank you for reading and God bless!

-Summer

Makeshift Mudroom

Something I’ve been struggling with lately: clutter. There is a never-ending stack of mail on the counter, shoes all over the house, to-do lists scribbled on scraps of paper, a missing purse, and a horrifying junk drawer (gasp). At first, I attributed the disarray to being in a new house, getting settled in, and figuring out where everything was going to go. Now, I realize that even my massive amount of storage space and a best effort to stay organized is not enough to keep my “daily clutter” in check. A simple mudroom would be the ultimate fix!

mud-room: n. a small room or entryway where footwear and outerwear can be removed before entering a house. Genius, right? You don’t need your shoes or coat in the house, so leave it at the door. I get it, not all houses come with a mudroom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make one. Pick a space and get creative! A mudroom can be anything from a simple coat rack at the front door to a completely customized room. The best part is, there is no right or wrong way to make a mudroom. Simply incorporate what best suits your needs and tack on that personal touch!

Not sure where to start?

Location: What door do you use to enter/exit the house most often? This is where your mudroom should be. It could be a small space inside the front door, a shared room with the laundry, or an area off the back porch.

Space: Now that you know where your mudroom is going to be, how much space do you have to work with? If it’s a smaller space, consider a tall coat rack paired with a boot tray and a set of wall hooks. If it’s a larger space, use cubbies with baskets, shelving, or additional cabinetry for storage. A bench or sitting area is a nice touch, too!

Get inspired by these darling mudrooms:

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AKA Design
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Crate and Barrel
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Nina Hendrick Blog
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Studio McGee

Need more inspiration?  Here’s how I turned my small laundry room into a makeshift mudroom. I wasn’t able to utilize a bench or shoe rack due to limited floor space, but I’m very happy with the items I was able to incorporate!

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These industrial hooks are on my list of must-haves. Durable enough to hold my heavy purse along with coats, dog leashes, and more!
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These vertical bins were a saving grace. I finally have a place to put all that mail! Plus, find this on sale at Target for $20.99!
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The tiny, hidden hooks on the side were a nice surprise! The perfect landing spot for my car keys:)
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This calendar chalkboard by Ubrands is so adorable! The white chalk pencils are easy to write with plus the board is magnetic!

What items are you going to incorporate in your mudroom?

Thanks for reading!!

-Summer

Pillow Cover Confession

4 Reasons Why You Need Throw Pillows

I have a confession. I’m obsessed with pillows. I was so thrilled the other day when I got a package from my favorite pillow shop on Etsy. I quickly traded out some pillows on the couch and smiled to myself at how satisfied I was. About 30 minutes later, I hear Kevin from the other room, “Babe…”  He wasn’t pleased. “I have no clue what you’re talking about,” I said. Tehehe. “Didn’t you just buy new pillows a few weeks ago?” To which I quickly replied, “Yeah, weeks ago!” I seriously can’t help myself. Pillows are such an easy way to transform a room. They add that perfect pop of color to the living room or that comfy, cozy feeling to the master bedroom. I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way!

The obsession started when Kevin bought a new sofa last year. I love it. I actually helped him pick it out. It’s a great size with a nice, neutral color and it’s comfortable! Like most couches, this one came with its own “matching” pillows. Little did I know they were absolutely hideous. To their defense (I never thought I would defend a pillow, but that’s how much I love them), they were well made with a stitched floral design on the front and the matching couch material on the back. I tried my best to make them work by pairing them with over-sized orange pillows from At Home. I thought it would all tie together. Wrong. It was still ugly and the new pillows quickly got flattened and deformed. See below.

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Those pillows…yikes! This sectional and ottoman (similar), on the other hand, are awesome.

I clearly knew little about throw pillows, so I decided to do some research and ended up purchasing some hand-made ones from Etsy (support small businesses!) This is where I discovered pillow covers. Say what? Why would I want to get a pillow cover and a pillow insert when I could just buy a regular throw pillow for half the cost? Well, here’s why:

  1. SHAPE. Remember my flattened, deformed, ugly, orange pillows? I was forced to throw them away (after letting Drake roll around on them since he prefers anything over his own dog bed) simply because they lost their shape. With pillow covers, you don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite pillow because all you need is a new insert. Magic!
  2. CLEANING. Spills and stains are much easier to treat with a pillow cover. Ever tried washing a throw pillow? Yeah, it doesn’t work and then you end up with yet another deformed pillow. Fail. Most pillow covers are machine-washable.
  3. STORAGE. The space needed to store one is less than a folded up t-shirt. I love to change out my pillows with the seasons, and if I had as many pillows as I do pillow covers, I wouldn’t have enough storage.
  4. COMFORT. This doesn’t have as much to do with the pillow cover as it does with the pillow insert you choose. I prefer the feather down pillows (if you are allergic you can opt for the synthetic version). This way your pillows can be pretty and comfy unlike the throw pillows stuffed with poly-fil.

Here are a few of my favorite pillow combinations:

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    Mixing patterns and textures is so fun! Try out these from Motif Pillows on Etsy. Both are on sale for $25 each! greek key and multi-colored stripe [cable knit throw]
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    Brighten up your space with a paisley pattern paired with white or beige
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    Still loving my pillow combo from last spring! white, seafoam, mint floral
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    Layering pillows on a bed adds dimention and character. Again, don’t be afraid to mix patterns!  blue chevron, coral nautical (similar)
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    This South Carolina pillow is darling! It was a gift from my mom and it is one of my favorites. They make them for different states, cities, and countries, too!

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    Monkey in the middle! Two matching pillows with an oddball in front is a popular way to put pillows on a bed. Shhh, this little pillow isn’t actually a pillow cover! [P.S. I’m loving the quilt and sheets on this bed!]

Most of these pillow covers were purchased from various vendors on Etsy. Other great places to buy pillow covers are Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Restoration Hardware. While I love Target and HomeGoods for other decor items, they don’t typically carry pillow covers.  *TIP: Crate and Barrel includes a pillow insert with the purchase of a pillow cover (sweet!), so it’s a great place to start your pillow collection.

Where do y’all love to buy pillows?

Thanks for reading!

Summer

Knock, knock

Hey everyone! Thank you for stopping by Contemporary Charm. Blogging wasn’t something I planned on getting into, let alone blogging about interior design, but let me explain.

The past four years I’ve been consumed with pharmacy school. Literally. Eat, sleep, breathe, study, repeat. When people asked me what my hobbies were, I never knew what to say. Who has time for hobbies? I might say something like baking or traveling, but never decorating. You see, I lived in an apartment where I didn’t feel the need to “spruce up” because it never felt like my home. I also never felt “creative enough” to style a room and be proud of it (I’m a science geek, c’mon). Instead, I chose to put my spare time and cash into things like shopping and other weekend festivities (no comment). This all changed last May when I finally graduated pharmacy school and moved into a home with my boyfriend Kevin in Charlotte, NC. What was I supposed to do with all this spare time on my hands? I swear, overnight I became smitten by decorating my new house. Ideas of color palettes, pillows, light fixtures, you name it, are constantly flowing through my head. Now, I spend my weekends [window] shopping at HomeGoods and Crate and Barrel. When I discover an online home sale, I get more excited than Christmas morning. Home decorating has not only become my hobby, but something that genuinely makes me happy, and hey, I’m not half bad at it! So now, instead of stressing about studying for boards and finding a job, I’m busy channeling my new found creativity into crafting my perfect oasis. So the short side of the story is, why not start a blog?

After some deliberation and brainstorming, Contemporary Charm was born. The purpose of this blog is to share my personal experience designing and decorating my home as well as provide tips and inspiration that I find helpful for decorating any home. My style is a hybrid of contemporary, rustic, and farmhouse with a hint of charm, of course. More to come on this, but for now I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of my mini home tour! Thanks for reading!

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My “Contemporary Cottage”
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The Entry — Say hello to my pup, Drake!
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Guest Bedroom #1
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Guest Bedroom #2
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The Dining Room

 

Disclaimer: Y’all, I’m not a trained interior designer or photographer, nor did I study either in school. I’m just a nerdy pharmacist who happens to enjoy home decorating and wants to share it with you 🙂

Summer