Category Archives: Accessories

7 DIY Rug Options for Renters Or the Noncommittal

When you’re decorating a room, rugs are a fantastic way to make a huge impact on a space – the bigger, the better.  However, the prices of large rugs can intimidate a renter who’s decorating a temporary space, or a homeowner who is on a tight budget.

Now that I’m trying to finally decorate our basement TV room, I’m on the hunt for an inexpensive, large rug.  I’m happy to invest in a beautiful piece of furniture, but since we are renting, now is not the time to splurge on a fancy, over-sized rug.  That led me to search for DIY and budget options – and I was thrilled by the many results I found.

7 DIY Rug Options for Renters

1.  Painted Cloth Rugs – This option seems to be a popular one with DIY bloggers.  You find an inexpensive, plain rug, then either tape off a pattern or use a stencil when you paint it.  I haven’t found much info on how well a painted rug holds up to foot traffic, but it sure looks like a fun project that could yield great results if done well.

This painted rug by Sarah M Dorsey Designs is my absolute favorite:

Sarah of Diddle Dumpling painted her white Ikea rug using a DIY stencil. It looks fantastic!

2.  Painted Jute or Sisal Rugs - Jute Rugs are another great candidate for the paint treatment.  Below, Marian of Mustard Seed Interiors gave a simple jute rug a classy upgrade with a simple white border.

3.  Sharpie Sketched Rug – This is a newer twist on the painted rug concept.   Katie of Upcycled Treasures created a great West Elm knockoff for only $25 by using a sharpie to create the rug’s pattern.

4. Fabric Scrap Floorcloth – This funky rug is essentially a small quilt!  The blogger at Craftapple turned it into into a sturdy rug with a few simple supplies.  Skeptical? I was too, until I read how she did it.

5. DIY Fabric Yardage Rug – Camila of Effortless Style sewed a chevron rug out of fabric and rug backing.  I think this is a great option for renters who are stuck with dingy wall-to-wall carpet in living rooms or bedrooms.  A simple DIY rug like this would pull the room together if placed under or a bed or coffee table, and you don’t have to worry about heavy wear since it would sit over carpeting.

6. Remnant Cutout Rug – Finally, you could get an inexpensive remnant from a wall-to-wall carpet store and have it bound.  But why do that when you could cut out a fun shape instead, like they did at Offbeat Home?  A simple wavy edge could kick things up a notch.

7.  Overdyed Vintage Rug – I’ve saved my favorite DIY rug option for last.  To transform an old, unfashionable rug, you dye it a rich jewel or dark tone.  The former pattern peeks through, but the wash of bold color helps overcome the outdated pattern.  Be sure to use a natural fiber rug (cotton or wool)  to ensure it drinks up the dye evenly.

This rug at Paperblog is my inspiration – and you’ll never believe what it looked like in the “before” image!

I also love how this one by Kristen F Davis Designs turned out:

For our basement solution, I’m leaning towards that last option – overdying a vintage rug.  Now it’s time to hit the thrift store in search of an old, unloved rug!  In the mean time, you can find more rug and floor covering ideas on my Rugs & Floors Pinterest Board.

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Simple Pleasures: Clean Sheets & a Sydney Hale Candle

Simple Pleasures is a new quasi-series.  I want to make it extra clear that this series will never be sponsored.  It’s just me sharing something that makes me happy.  Because life is too short not to find happiness in the little things.

The other night I came home from a winery outing / small business group meeting, spent some time watching a movie, and then decided I wanted to get cozy in bed and do some writing. I’ve been writing a lot more lately, a lot of which isn’t shared on this blog.  Maybe someday.

But I digress.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-1

I lit one of my scented candles, the Lemon & Olive Blossom by Sydney Hale, and was about to climb into bed with my laptop when I thought “hmm. . . it’s been a week. . . I should change the sheets.”

We only have two sets of sheets – our winter flannels and our summer cottons, because I learned that having fewer sets means you can’t procrastinate on washing or folding the laundry as much. Plus, it leaves more room in the linen closet for things like fun throw pillows by Janery ;)

So with clean sheets on the bed, an absolutely heavenly-smelling scented candle burning on the night table, and two big cuddly dogs, I settled in for an awesome hour of writing and thinking.

And that’s when I thought to myself how sometimes the little things can really make a moment.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-3

Let’s chat about the candle for a minute, because I think it should go straight to your Chrsistmas list.  And they aren’t paying me to say this.  I buy the candles with my own money, and they don’t know who I am.

The Sydney Hale candles cost $28 each.

What?? Twenty-eight dollars?

Yeah, I know.  That’s a lot of money for a candle.

I thought so too the first time I bought one.  I don’t even remember why I bought it.  But then I burned it in my house, and it smelled so amazing.  Amazing in a natural, real way, not amazing in a fake chemical way.  And it burns for 50 hours.  I haven’t timed it precisely, but I have burned this specific candle a lot for two months now and it’s still going strong.

I’m telling you, if you light one of these and then climb into a nice clean bed with a good book, you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.  And if you think about it, 56 cents an hour for an amazing, naturally scented candle isn’t so bad.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-2

But speaking of sheets, there’s something about the feel of fresh, clean sheets when you climb into bed.  They feel 200% better than even day-old sheets.  Why is that??

I think if I ever win the lottery, I’ll put a fancy candle in every room, and hire someone to put clean sheets on my bed every day. 

What’s one of your simple pleasures?

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Dining Room Art Wall Dilemma: Prints or Paintings?

I’m rethinking my approach to the gallery wall in our dining room/kitchen area.  Here’s why:

The dining/living/kitchen area is all open and flow-y.  Or something like that. And that’s why I’m starting to think that the art that goes on one of the two dining area walls should fit the same style as the rest of that are.

For example, on the living room wall we have two paintings, one of which is this:

Living Room Oil Painting Corner | The Borrowed Abode

And if you continue down that wall to the dining area, we have a moody Ships at Sea painting which I picked up at Just L, our favorite mid-century modern shop, during the minimoon.  I am absolutely in love with both of these paintings.

Dining Room Painting Ships | The Borrowed Abode

So with that in mind, I think it might be too random and clashing to have the opposite dining room wall display a growing gallery of random modern art prints and photos, framed in plain white frames.

Dining Room Beginning Art Gallery Wall | The Borrowed Abode

The photo above shows the current state of the wall (I just spackled all the holes in preparation for refreshing the paint).

If we continue that white frame wall over to the island, that’s going to be a heck of a lot of white on that wall.  I feel like it may just look boring.  I don’t like boring.

Random old paintings, however, in funky ridiculous old lady frames, however, may add a little more fun to the wall while blending better with the rest of the art we have in the entertaining spaces of the first floor.

Here’s some of what I’m loving, via Etsy, right now:

1.  This Moulin Rouge oil painting via Shop on Sherman at Etsy.  But at $190 it’s a little more than I think we’d like to spend right now. The style is so much like the Italian painting in our living room.

Moulin Rouge Oil Painting via ShopOnSherman on Etsy

This set of two miniature Dutch Oil Paintings via LittleBearandBunny on Etsy.  I am really craving some miniature sets of paintings right now, I have no idea why.

Miniature Dutch Oil Paintings

With this in mind, I’m actually wondering if I could mix some older, classical-style paintings with some of our more modern art prints that we love, such as the Washington DC print in our kitchen photo above.

What do you think?  If I popped the pop art into some old Granny style frames, would that help it all come together as a cohesive collection?  Or do I need to pick one style – prints or old paintings?

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