Design on a Budget

Fall in the Home

Like most everyone else, I am beyond excited that it’s officially fall! Fall is such a fun time of the year and goes by so fast as we’re typically too focused on the upcoming Christmas season. Now, I’m all about Christmas but I think fall deserves its season!

I kept the fall decor pretty simple in my home this year! You may also notice the little black device in the right corner of the above photo. That’s my new Nest camera from Verizon that they let me take for a test drive. I love how it’s not super bulky and doesn’t stick out from my decor like a sore thumb!

It’s always fun to bring out seasonal decorations each year and remember everything that I have and certain memories that go with each item!


The Everyday Mr. loves when I keep the coffee table decor to a minimum so that it’s not in the way. Which is a good point so I try to keep this in mind whenever I’m decorating! I used one of my favorite items-this reclaimed wood gold and capiz bowl with a few white pumpkins I picked up at Target last year.

And would it really be a change of decor if you don’t change out the pillows and throws? Not for this girl! I love that gather pillow from Target last year but they have so many cute pillows and fall decor this season too! Shop the pieces I’m loving here.

Though sometimes I go big on decorating my tablescape for the seasons its just not as practical. We actually like to use our table and it’s a lot to clear off every evening for dinner!

This isn’t quite fall themed, however, next month (October) is our anniversary month and I wanted to break out our wedding champs glasses! The bar cart wanted a little festivity too.

From this angle you can barely see that Nest! I love how easy the Nest is to set up, all it takes is plugging it in, scanning the QR code with the Nest app on your smartphone and ta-da! That’s it! It will send you an email when it detects a person, and you can also speak through the camera- super perfect if you want to mess with your dog or your husband πŸ™‚

The mantle needed some changing as well. I didn’t make it super fall-ish, yet mixed some more natural elements with metallics for the season!

That’s it for this year’s fall home tour. Like I said, I wanted to keep it simple this year. Fall decor makes me happy, even in small doses! Have you decorated your home for fall yet or do you wait for October to change it up? I can’t wait to share more fall fashion with you in the coming weeks!

Buy This, Not That: Fall Is Around the Corner

Happy Friday Eve! I’m back today sharing a few fall accessories I’ve been lusting over lately. It’s all too easy to scroll through instagram lately and find beautiful things that you want just to find out they are way out of your price range. That’s exactly what my Buy This, Not That series is all about!

I definitely love high end, designer items just as much as the next fashion blogger. However, buying a $1400 bag whenever I want isn’t my reality (if its yours, go you!!) so I have to find alternatives. I am loving this dupe from SheIn. I first posted about SheIn a long time ago and I still love this website. They have so many on trend items for amazing prices. Plus shipping is free, my favorite type of shipping! πŸ™‚ 

If cute bags aren’t your thing maybe shoes are? The mule trend is giving me life right now. I love all the different styles out there including these and these if you like a little more flair than the nude ones. What’s so great about this trend is that they are uber comfy and can be worn during late summer and all the way through fall!

Last but not least what’s a fall fashion post without mentioning some super on trend booties? Last year I bought some maroon suede booties I shared about in this post. When I saw the blush ones floating around social media I knew I needed them, now who’s going to hint that to #everydaymr?? We do have an anniversary coming up πŸ™‚


Buy This, Not That Pre Fall



4th of July

It’s Friday which if you have off Monday and Tuesday (like I do!) it’s the start of your long, long 4th of July weekend! (insert salsa dancing emoji) I’m popping up on the blog to share a little of how I decorate for the 4th + a little 4th of July outfit inspo!

I know that a lot of people don’t like decorating for “small” holidays such as the 4th of July, Valentine’s day, Easter etc. I kind of find that idea funny as every other holiday, “big” ones included are still just a day! 

I enjoy decorating for all holidays, big and small! Though I certainly don’t go all out like I do for Christmas I enjoy having a few, cute, unique pieces for the different holidays or seasons.

A couple things that I’ve always wanted in a home are a front porch and somewhere to hang flag bunting. Well color me tickled this house has a front porch and it’s perfect for flag bunting-it’s even painted blue which is the perfect patriotic color for my flags! I ordered these flags from Amazon Prime of course, you can find them here and get them just in time if you have a prime membership!

I also picked up these little flag printed bows at Walmart for $1 each to put on my small pots. And how can you decorate for a holiday without changing out your wreath?? You can’t I tell ya! I didn’t have a 4th of July themed wreath already and I didn’t want to make/buy a completely new wreath. I found myself in Target (shocker) in the dollar section and saw this cute hanging galvanized aluminum cutout of the United States. Immediately snatched it up before knowing what I was going to do with it! I already had my beloved boxwood wreath hanging on the door and I thought it would be cute paired with my dollar section cutout. And guess what?? I love it together!

I couldn’t be happier with how my few, small patriotic decorations turned out! Definitely goes to show it doesn’t take a lot of money, time, or effort to make a space fun, themed and beautiful!

Now that we have the house looking festive all we need is a patriotic outfit to go with!

You might remember this red off the shoulder top I shared on my instagram a few weeks back from Foi Clothing

I love this top so much and can’t get enough of the off the shoulder trend, so hopefully it doesn’t go out of style any time soon! These shorts are from LOFT last year (shop similar here), the sandals are Sam Edelman (similar here).

Those tassel earrings are Stella & Dot, I also love the black and white tassel ones they have right now as well. What I love about these tassels are they can also convert to a really cute stud as well. I love decorating for any holiday, party what have you and love sharing it with you! Would love to see what you guys are wearing for the 4th and how you’re decorating!

Making Builder Grade Custom

Do you ever find yourself on Houzz and Pinterest loving all the home design and decor pins but thinking “that could never be my house” or “I don’t have that kind of budget”? I certaintly felt that way in our first home! This is not to say there was anything wrong with our house but I felt like aesthetically it didn’t match my decor or overall feel I was going for. So today I wanted to share with you some of my top tips for making a builder grade home feel more custom. Here was our home when we moved in:

Ha! Kidding that’s the after! This was actually our home when we moved in:

 Again, nothing wrong with it per say, but it just wasn’t super thrilling. For one let’s talk about bland. The house and trim color were barely a shade apart and that brick. I have nothing against brick, I live in an all brick house currently. The problem with that brick though was that it was probably the cheapest brick around and just felt and looked cheap. No variation to it whatsoever. Second, the landscaping. You can’t see it really well in this picture but it had red lava rock in the beds, making the red brick and rock stand out even more. 

I think one thing that holds us back is sometimes it’s overwhelming to figure out where to start. And by looking on Houzz or Pinterest you feel like it all has to be done at once. While that’s great if you can make that happen it’s not realistic for most people’s time and budget constraints. I always think a good place to start is to paint your space. Paint can change a space so quickly and is relatively inexpensive. 

Paint is primarily what spruced up the exterior. We got rid of the ugly red brick color by painting it white and painting the siding gray. Add in a fun front door, new exterior lighting, pots and change out the red lava rock with river rock and we had so much more curb appeal!

Of course I didn’t take many pictures when we moved in because 1. I didn’t have a blog then and 2. Instagram was so new! Above is a picture of our kitchen after I painted the walls and put new hardware on the cabinet doors. Like holy wow, honey oak. So, so much honey oak in that house. So if you can picture that honey oak on all doors, trim, cabinets then you get the gist. 

Here are a couple photos I found going way, way back on Instagram! Here’s the mantle in the great room that attached to the kitchen/dining. More honey oak! And you can see the original wall color that was everywhere in the house. Pretty much the same off white that’s on the exterior of the home.

After all walls were painted (Sherwin Williams Dovetail in main living spaces, Sherwin Williams Watery in kitchen/dining) something needed to be done about the flooring. There was an awful vinyl “tile” (think one sheet, not actual tiles) in the kitchen/dining and all bathrooms except the master. In all living spaces and bedrooms was a cheap low pile off white carpet. The builder was also so kind as to bring that into the master bath…who does that?? So we picked out a Pergo engineered hardwood at Home Depot that was installed in all main spaces, entry, and bathrooms. 

Now let’s get real ya’ll. This did not happen overnight. Just the mere fact of painting all the walls took a while especially because we had vaulted ceilings. We started in the kitchen/dining and did the great room and entry later. We didn’t paint the master until right before we were married and I painted my office after that. And then even later, the basement living room. The wood floors happened right before we were married and were a wedding gift from my parents. We also had the kitchen cabinets refinished the summer after we were married which you can read about here

Having our kitchen cabinets refinished completely changed the look and feel of the kitchen. Add in new hardware, new faucet and new stainless steel appliances over time (the dishwasher never got changed out!) and you have a completely new space. 

Had we stayed in the house I wanted to do new backsplash and countertops as these were laminate and the backsplash matched and was off white. However, all the other changes that happened in here it kind of made the countertops and backsplash disappear. If you can accomplish that in your space that’s awesome as countertops cost so much!

Another big project I did after wood floors went in was to paint all the trim on the main level white. If you’ve ever painted your own trim you know it’s no joke. That was a huge job, time wise, but made all the difference in my mind. And of course some cute decor can help as well. Everything in this picture decor wise is either from TJ Maxx or Target, because duh.

For one of the One Room Challenges I participated in I redid this bathroom that was our guest bath on the main level. You can read all about that here. I learned something amazing about myself during the time we lived here: I was willing to give anything a try if I wanted it bad enough. Take this bathroom for example, had I ever put up wallpaper before? Heck no. Did I teach myself how to anyways? Heck ya! I only did one wall as an accent and because I didn’t want to commit to doing the whole room. I repurposed leftover wallpaper from my parents house so I paid nothing! Another huge task I put my hand at is that concrete countertop. This was probably the most work I’ve ever put into a project but well worth the effort!

The master bedroom was the result of another One Room Challenge as well. Read more about that here. Walls are Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray.

Another top tip for making your builder grade home more custom is changing out the lighting! This made for a huge difference in all the spaces we did this in. Like the dining room, entry, master, and bathrooms. A couple of my favorite sources for inexpensive lighting are World Market, Wayfair, and IKEA. And lastly, furniture and decor that makes you happy and fits your aesthetic will make all the difference for your home. So making your home feel more custom is to simply make it unique to you. We aren’t bound by Pinterest or Houzz though it does give good ideas! I find more enjoyment in seeing an idea and figuring out how to accomplish it on my own and/or cheaper, like I did with our cable railing in our current house.

To recap my top tips to making your home more custom on a budget:

  1. Paint! Walls, trim, cabinets. Basically everything.
  2. Flooring! This might not be necessary or doable for your budget but think outside the box like painting over laminate in a space or pulling up carpet and staining concrete
  3. Lighting! Find unique, size appropriate fixtures for your space to literally brighten it up.
  4. Furniture & Home Decor! Find pieces you love that match your style. Check facebook trade sites if new isn’t in your budget.

Making our first home feel custom didn’t  happen overnight. It was an ongoing process from when we moved in to when we moved out. It took a lot of time, effort, planning and sometimes redoing because I made a decision to hastily. That’s the beauty of DIY, you can always DIY again, though it may irritate your husband πŸ™‚ If you live in a home like I first did I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration! 

To see all the pictures of our previous home go here.