Monthly Archives: July 2011

How to Prepare for a Garage Sale

The much-anticipated garage sale is tomorrow! Y’all, I am so ready. I’m not the kind of girl who is okay with late nights spent frantically sorting and pricing, so being prepared well in advance was important to me. I’ll be sleeping like a baby tonight dreaming of the millions of dollars I’m about to make.

I started, of course, by gathering all my crap. This was easy because I already had a room full of junk. Having an area to stage everything was a big help.

I worked one piece at a time, moving items that were priced and ready to sell to the front of the room and items that were going to stay to the back. Once I got through all the stuff that was in here I went on a hunt around the rest of the house, searching one room at a time for items I no longer needed or wanted.

The key here is that I did a little bit every weekend. I worked in short bursts so that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. In the end I was left with two piles of items to sell.

Millions of dollars worth of stuff just waiting to be sold. Ha!

I’m really proud of my pricing system. I printed various denominations on green fluorescent stickers from Office Depot. This both marked items as mine (as opposed to my sister’s, who we’re having a joint sale with) and prevented me from having to write out every. single. price.

I set up a little table to be my pricing station and spread out all my little sticker sheets. My stickers read 50¢, $1, $3, $5, $7, $10, and $15. I also used these little merchandise tags (also from Office Depot) for items that weren’t exactly sticker-friendly (like blankets and towels). I just stuck the sticker on the tag and, if I thought it would help, I used a pen to write a brief description of the item on the backside. These tags were also really helpful for tagging teeny tiny items, such as earrings, and could even be used to tie the earrings together. I kept a roll of string and some scissors nearby for tying linens into a bundle (I’m selling two sets of bedding), and plastic bags and a sharpie for bundling groups of items (ex: bag of fabric scraps for $1).

I also gathered a bag of stuff that’s free. These are items I don’t want anymore but can’t imagine anyone actually buying (bath scrubs I never used, stuffed animals we caught in parades, etc.). If I can send this stuff to a better home instead of a landfill I’ll be stoked.

Since we’re moving the whole operation over to my sister’s place, I used boxes to corral everything as I sorted. We moved everything the same way that we sorted and priced it: a little bit at a time. Nick’s loaded his car up with stuff twice this week and dropped it off at my sister’s after work. As of this moment only a small pile of larger items to stuff into my small SUV remains. Totally manageable for bright and early tomorrow morning.

As far as advertising goes, we settled for just an ad on craigslist. I think my sis might make a few signs for the neighborhood.

The biggest challenge of this whole thing has been gathering tables. I was going to sell that small black folding table I used as a pricing station, but I now recognize its value as a display space. We’ll also be using a dining table and bookshelf that are not for sale and Nick thinks he might be able to borrow one or two folding tables, but finding a place to display all of our wares is definitely going to be interesting.

This is the first garage sale I’ve had as a full-fledged adult and I’m really excited to see how it goes! Any tips from the wise?

P.S. If you’re in the Baton Rouge area and want to buy my stuff, or just say hello, we’ll be in the 400 block of Laurie Lynn Drive in Baton Rouge from 9-2 tomorrow. 

How to Thrift

I haven’t been doing much of it lately in an effort to avoid shopping in general (to save up for my future family room), but perusing thrift stores remains my favorite way to snag awesome stuff for your home. Bear in mind, though, that thrifting is not for the faint of heart. You’ve gotta be patient and creative. Without further ado, here are my six best tips for a successful trip to the thrift store.

Take your time. Move slowly up and down each aisle, being sure to scan every shelf (the shelves of despair, as one of my favorite bloggers calls them). I usually walk down each aisle twice so I can concentrate on one side at a time.

Remove it from the context. When examining an item for purchase, ignore the thrift store aura and imagine it in your home all cleaned up, hanging out with your stuff.

About half of what you see here is thrifted

Imagine it at its best. Almost any little knick-knack looks fancy after a coat of high gloss paint. Look past the dated finish of all that 80′s furniture and imagine it painted to match your taste. Clean white? Bold yellow? Sophisticated gray? Classic black? Look for solid wood, quality construction, and a nice shape. If it’s got a cushion, could you reupholster it? (check out my technique for reupholstering a basic cushion here)


Ask yourself what you can do with it.  Hang a silver platter as wall art. Use a coffee creamer or small bowl as a teeny tiny planter. Place a small dish as change-catcher near the front door. Repurpose an old dresser as a TV console or dining room buffet. Remove the original art from a frame and use it to display something more your style. Stack books on top of a chair for a unique bedside table. Platters are plentiful and are easily repurposed as trays for corralling everything from remotes to the contents of your pockets.

Real Simple

Judge a book by its cover. Check out the book section for hardbacks with attractive bindings (take a peek under the dustjacket). Jacket-free hardcovers stacked here and there are oh-so-Pottery Barn.

Pottery Barn

Look at the lamps. Many thrift store lamps have classic shapes. Look for one you can update with a fresh shade or a coat of paint and you can get a Z Gallerie look for a fraction of the price.

Z Gallerie

In summary, the key to successful thrifting is to have an open mind. See not what lies before you upon the shelves of despair, but what wondrous whatnots could abound in your home. The proceeds often go to charity, so you’re saving the world by shopping (not to mention saving some of that stuff from ending up in a landfill). What could be better?

Life is Art

The other day I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest:


I kept thinking about it, and kept thinking about it, and eventually decided that this little quote needed to adorn the walls of my home. I just really like it. I think life is beautiful and this is a nice way to express that.

So I found this piece of wood lying around my house and decided it would be my next crafting victim.

I coated it with a little bit of paint leftover from the samples I collected when I painted the laundry room.

Then brushed on some Dark Walnut stain before wiping it off with a damp paper towel.

I love the way the stain mellowed out and aged the blue. Next, I gave it a few coats of some creamy white mistint paint I had on hand.

And gave it a vigorous sanding.

My board was about 8×11, so I printed out my quote on a piece of paper to get an idea of the scale.

This next step was kind of troublesome for me. I really do not have nice handwriting. But the quote said specifically that “how your writing looks” is art, so I decided to embrace the spirit of the message and let my handwriting be known to all who gaze upon it. I penned the quote directly onto the board using a black Sharpie.

I stapled a piece of wire to the back and hung it in my bathroom.

It’s still a little hard for me to look at my boyish scrawl and think “art,” but I’m working on it. I’m on this new kick where I try to find the beauty in everything. I’m not sure this piece has found its forever home. Something’s just not quite right. Perhaps it’s too philosophical for the bathroom? Too small for the space where its hung? It may just be better suited to living on a shelf somewhere, but I’m gonna give it some time to settle in before making any changes. Sometimes I find I’m not a fan of new things just because I’m not used to them yet, and I’m quite positive that I find this particular piece offensive because it displays my handwriting. I think I need to take some time to let that soak in.

P.S. Looking at the photo above, I kind of have an idea to move the board so it hangs beneath the light switch and fill the area above the toilet with an asymmetrical arrangement of frames and whatnot. What do you think? Should I try it?

Be My Guest

For the first time ever in the history of Living Well on the Cheap, check out our guest bedroom.

I’m a lucky lady to have this awesome vintage bedroom set. It was in the room my sister and I always slept in at my Nanny and PawPaw’s house when we were kids. Shannon inherited it (I got Nanny’s diamond engagement ring), but there’s no room for it at her place and I’m happy to give it a home for as long as she’ll let me.

My Nanny was a fan of the upgrade, and I remember sometime in my childhood she switched out the original hardware for these glamorous white pulls. I’m quite sure she had PawPaw do the actual chore of switching them. I don’t think Nanny ever wrapped her manicured fingers around a screwdriver. She was much fancier than me. I must’ve gotten my do it yourself attitude from my Grandma Sandy. I can totally picture her wielding a power tool.

But everything old is new again, and when I found the original knobs in a vanity drawer I decided to switch them back in.

Obviously the larger white pulls caused some uneven changes in the color of the wood. I’ve decided to wait and see if it evens itself out.

I only found nine of the old pulls, leaving me one short. I decided to use the opportunity to use a fancy Anthro knob on the armoire door. I could never stomach the cost of outfitting an entire set of drawers in Anthropologie’s eclectic goodness, but since I just needed one pull here I figured I could splurge. I stopped by Anthropologie after work yesterday and picked out four knobs to try.

I think that this green glass one was really meant to be a hook, but it looked like it could work as a door pull as well so I decided to give it a shot.

This pink knob was feminine and sweet.

I really liked how this one covered the discolored area from the old pulls.

The ceramic white flower was pretty.

So, which did I end up going with?

The one with the metal backplate! It relates well to the other pulls but still feels a little extra special. And, of course, the fact that it covers up the discolored area is a nice bonus.

I was so enamored with the green glass pull that I decided to use it as a hook on the back of the closet door. The other two knobs (the pink glass and the white flower) will go back to Anthro.

A few of the old/new knobs were missing bolts, so I need to pick up a few at the hardware store before I can switch out the ones on the vanity. I can’t wait. I’m really happy with the new look on the armoire. It’s a little more authentic vintage and a lot more my style.

Inherited furniture is the best. Funny fact about this set: the bed is not a standard size. It’s bigger than a full, smaller than a queen. I use queen-sized linens on it and they’re just a little big. One of these days I’ll invest in a fluffy featherbed to fill out the fitted sheet a little more, but it looks like I’m stuck with the original mattress and boxspring for life. They must not make ‘em like they used to because I can’t imagine a boxspring made today still being good 40 years from now.

Have you ever done something simple to update a piece of vintage furniture? Or restore it to its roots?

P.S. Those framed photos above the armoire are my Nanny and PawPaw. Nanny passed away in 2004 and PawPaw now lives in the Texas panhandle with his wife, Edith. I don’t get to see him much these days so it’s nice to have those photos up to remind me of them.

How to Organize Fabric and Sewing Supplies

Getting ready for this garage sale has brought all sorts of unintended benefits. As I’m emptying space in my house I’m seeing more ways to make the best use of what I’ve got. Yesterday, I noted the irony of several empty spaces in my cube storage (liberated by a major book purge) and wads of fabric piled on top. Why not store the fabric in the cubes?

I measured my cubes to be 11″ tall, wide, and deep, so I cut a piece of cardboard to 5″ by 11″. My idea was to use the cardboard as a template for folding the fabric so that two piles could fit neatly side by side in each cube.

I folded my fabric lengthwise so that it was around 9″-11″ deep, then laid the cardboard on top and rolled it over until I reached the end. I just tucked in any weird, jutting-out pieces, like I had on the piece of fabric below.

Then I slid the cardboard out and was left with a neatly folded little package.

I repeated this with each piece of fabric, just folding it however I had to so that it was about the right depth and then rolling it up using the cardboard template. I folded the green gingham fabric pictured below lengthwise into thirds. Note that I completely neglected to iron. I figure I’ll probably iron out the creases when I use the fabric anyway, so why add an extra barrier to keeping myself organized by requiring that everything be ironed in advance?

See how it ends up looking pretty smooth despite the wrinkles?

I got tired of battling various animals so I moved my folding station to the glass-top coffee table in the living room.

If the last little bit of fabric was too short to fold over I simply tucked it into the last fold.

I had some oddly shaped pieces, like this dress that I cut up for the gathered flower pillow and wanted to hang onto for more such projects. I just folded it like you see below and then rolled it up like the rest of the fabric.

Pretty soon I’d sorted through my whole fabric stash and had several neatly folded piles of what I wanted to keep. I sorted out a significant amount to sell at the garage sale. One girl can only use so much white fabric and I think I’ve got enough to last me quite a while.

I made a slight miscalculation when planning this project. The folded pieces were significantly wider than the cardboard template thanks to the thickness of the fabric, meaning that two pieces could not fit side by side in each cubby. Total bummer until I realized that I could make use of the extra space by sorting my sewing supplies into small plastic bins.

That mason jar holds the beginning of my mother of pearl button collection. I hope to someday have a whole jar full.

I even used one bin to hold scraps that were too small for the cubbies but that I wasn’t yet ready to part with.

Sorting my supplies into those little bins freed up this set of plastic drawers to be sold at the garage sale! It used to hang out underneath the sewing machine holding scissors and needles and whatnot.

I no longer have to pull that set of drawers out from under the desk and open it up every time I needed scissors or more thread. Now, my most oft-used sewing supplies are all in one little bin that I can just bring with me over to the machine whenever I’m whipping up another little wonder of crafty goodness.

I was inspired by this project to sort through my yarn stash, as well. I took a good hard look at all the yarn I’ve accrued in the midst of various Hobby Lobby shopping sprees (fueled by those beguiling 50% off sales). I sorted most of it out to sell at the garage sale.

I put what was left into this little fabric bin I already had, using a mason jar to organize all my circular needles.

The bin now lives in one of the lower cubes.

It’s much easier to see what I have now and, as long as I can bring myself to fold each piece of fabric before storing, it should be pretty simple to maintain. If you squint real hard here you can see that I slid the cardboard template alongside one of the small plastic bins. Keeping it handy will hopefully make it easier for me to remember to use it.

I had all these bins already, they were just full of crap I never used. Now I’ve got all my stuff neatly organized and do you know how much I spent? Zero dollars. That’s the power of decluttering, my friends. Use what you have, only have what you use. That’s my new motto.

Come on in, Have a Seat!

Whoever designed our little bungalow decided that any house with such a generous porch didn’t need much of an entryway on the inside. I’ve created a hall of sorts using the back line of the sofa, but the front door essentially opens right into the living room. I brought in a vintage piano bench and an inexpensive hook rail a while ago to add some storage and a little pizzazz.

Everything looked kinda dinky, though. The bench is a little too high to sit on comfortably and it’s so light that it moves really easily (awesome if it’s used as a piano bench, not awesome if you just wanna plop down for a second to put your shoes on). I hardly ever even used the storage area under the seat because everytime I lifted the lid the whole bench would move away from the wall, scraping my floors and threatening to topple over. Plus the whole operation is too narrow for the space.

So the other day I finally used a gift card I’ve had since my birthday in April and got this storage bench that I’ve been lusting after (from Target).

It was a little bit more expensive in the store (about $85 after tax), but I figured I probably would’ve have spent close to that after shipping had I bought it online. Plus I got the instant gratification of bringing it home that day. Side note: I couldn’t find it in my local Target even though the website said it was available, so I asked an employee and he got one for me from the back. Thanks Mr. Target Man! It never hurts to ask!

I added a yellow pillow I already had to give it a little “oomph.”

I like that it’s a lot more substantial than the piano bench and is definitely more functional for the space. It’s soooo comfy to sit on and everything from Nick’s tennis racket to my extra purses fits inside.

I moved a magazine basket I already had over here to corral catalogs and magazines for my perusing pleasure. Since these things both come in the mail and are often grabbed by me on my way to sit on the porch this is a great spot to store them.

I’m kind of thinking of adding an umbrella stand or a small basket for shoes on the other side, but I’m just not sure. I don’t want things to look too cluttered and in real life our wet shoes or umbrellas are usually left on the porch. It would be a cute spot for a houseplant if I wasn’t on a gardening strike. No more plants until I can keep the ones I’ve got alive.

Next step: replace that hook rail with a DIY solution that takes full advantage of the space. I’m on a hunt now for inexpensive double hooks. This, from Ikea, is the best deal that I’ve found so far, but I’m still searching.

P.S. Did I imagine it, or did Ikea used to sell a little hanging basket thingie that was perfect for gloves and dog leashes and whatnot in the entryway? Sorta like this but more basket like?

Basket 2.0-make use of what you have

Nick has had this little woven basket since his days of living in the frat house. I’m guessing he swiped it from his mama to store his dirty socks. I hope she didn’t want it back because I’m kind of in love with it now.

It’s really convenient for keeping in the laundry room. The colors weren’t really working for me, but I didn’t want to part with it, especially since it was a perfect fit on my new laundry room shelves.

I started by removing the liner. Even though a fabric liner is awesome for easy cleaning (just pull it out and toss it in the wash), the gingham was looking a little worse for wear and kinda clashing with my blue walls.

Even without the liner, I still didn’t like the color of the basket, so I decided to stain it. I had no idea how the material would take to stain so I was kind of taking a risk, but I figured what the heck, I like to live on the edge. I used some Minwax Dark Walnut stain that I already had.

Please forgive the blurry picture of my staining process. My right hand was covered in stain and I was struggling to hold the camera steady in my left. Working in small sections, I used a staining sponge to coat the surface of the basket with stain, squeezing the sponge so that stain ran into all the nooks and crannies of the woven surface, then came back with the same sponge and wiped up the excess. I applied one coat of stain to the whole surface, inside and out. Stain dries really quick, so I was able to do the whole thing in one sitting. Unfortunately, anything stained stays stinky for a few days so I had to wait a while before actually being able to bring it inside.

When Mrs. Basket finally did return to the laundry room it was a glorious reunion. She finally feels at home!

Can you believe it’s the same basket? Look how suave and 2011 she is now.

I feel really proud for working with what I already had instead of going out (or clicking over to Amazon) and buying something new. Baskets can get pricey if you start buying them left and right, and sometimes I struggle to find the size, shape, and color that I’m looking for. I’ve experimented with painting thrifted baskets before and was never thrilled with the result, but I’m totally stoked to know now that staining is a realistic option for giving something that’s still in good shape an updated look.

Have you found any simple tricks for updating something you already had?

Vintage Quilt

Remember my burning desire for a new quilt? Well, I put Etsy’s search function to work, narrowing it down to vintage quilts under $50, and found this lovely lady (from etsy seller estatehound):

Sold. Can you believe that price? Even after shipping it was under $30. That’s way cheaper than even what I could have made myself. And yesterday, it arrived.

It’s exactly what I wanted. The colors are lovely, it’s a perfect fit for the couch, and it’s definitely not too precious to get clawed up or covered in cat hair. I knew that if I spent a lot of time quilting something myself I’d freak out the first time it got a rip or tear, but this one’s already sporting an authentic lived-in look in several areas.

Nick’s comment was, “It looks like it’s been here a while,” which I took as a compliment. One of my goals in decorating is to create a layered look that feels like it’s been put together over time (as opposed to ordered all at once with a few clicks). This blanket, so soft and worn, brings a fun, slightly kitschy vibe to my classic sofa. It looks like something I inherited, only I didn’t. I love to think about where it might have come from, who made it and why, and what memories it might hold for someone who recognized it.

I also love that it’s narrow enough to drape over the back of the sofa without folding in half, making the view especially nice from the back of the room and ensuring that even the most rambunctious of kitties won’t move it around too much (the old quilt seemed like it was constantly falling down).

Sheila’s a fan. I hope that this quilt gets to live a long and fulfilling second life with us. This isn’t the first time I’ve found exactly what I was looking for on Etsy. I got a small vintage tablecloth and a Degas print before I started blogging, and just in the past few months have gotten my peacock print and mother of pearl buttons. Shopping on Etsy is like heading out to a giant, well-priced arts and antiques market combined with the power of the internet to search and pinpoint exactly what you want. I may have been able to snag this quilt for less than $30 if I spotted it at a yard or estate sale, but it would have taken who knows how long for me to find it on my own. Etsy allows me to search through what all these wonderful small business owners have already found. Etsy is an amazing resource for decorating a space inexpensively, so if you’re looking for handmade or vintage items to add a little character to your space without dropping a bunch of cash you should definitely check it out.

So Poufy it Hurts

What I meant to say is that it’s so awesome I can’t even help myself. I just die. In less than two hours and for absolutely zero cash, I made my very own pouf:

It’s the perfect perch for extra guests and soooo comfy for me to prop my feet on after a long day of being awesome.

I used this pattern and tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens, but modified it to suit my fast and loose crafting sensibilities.

I started by harvesting canvas drop cloth material from the overhang on my slipcovered sofa. All that extra fabric hanging around has been kinda bugging me for months anyway, and now all I have to do is hem the cut edges the next time I take it off to wash.

Guess who the new camera hog in our house is? Juliet is even worse than Pistachio about wanting to be all up in my business. Lucky for her she’s so adorable.

Now that I had my free fabric, I used the pattern to cut out 8 matching pieces to construct the pouf.

I probably should have taken more pictures to explain the sewing process, but I was so “in the zone” and blown away by how easy it was that I just snapped a picture after each step. Since dropcloth material is so sturdy, I skipped BHG’s recommendation to layer muslin with the upholstery material. This made for half the cutting and kept sewing pretty simple. Working two pieces at a time, I stacked two pieces on top of each other and sewed them together all along one side. This gave me four pieces that were kinda shaped like orange wedges.

Then, I took two of those pieces and layered them inside of one another, making sure that the seams were all facing the inside of the sandwich, and sewed them together all the way down one side. I repeated with the other pair, yielding two halves of a sphere.

Turns out the only picture I took of my half-spheres was Nick wearing one as a hat. You get the idea.

With my two halves ready to go, I sandwiched them together (with seams all on the inside) and sewed them together all around, leaving a big honkin’ hole for me to get the stuffing in. I was especially careful around the point where all the wedges met to make sure that everything was all closed up. This was the only time that I wished I’d followed the tutorial’s instructions to iron all of my seams open. I was dealing with kind of a lot of material and it was hard to see what was what, but I made it through.

With my pouf shell ready to go, I gathered my stuffing materials-two fiberfill Euro pillows that I didn’t want anymore, two down-stuffed pillows that had seen better days, and a bunch of fabric scraps that were either too small or too weird for me to do anything with.

I opened up the pillows and got down to business. My basic strategy was to use the fabric scraps as the core of the pouf, with feathers adding a cushiony middle layer and fiberfill giving a soft outer crust.

I just started stuffing, and stuffing, and stuffing.

Things were looking pretty good after one pillow each of fiberfill and down (photo below), but when I gave it a test sit I fell over. A sure sign that I needed to firm things up a bit.

After using every last bit of stuffing I’d gathered (minus the feathers that ended up all over me and the floor), I declared it done.

A test sit confirmed that this pouf was destined for greatness, so I brought it into the living room and sewed up the opening by hand while catching the end of the Women’s World Cup final.

I flipped it over so that ugly hand-seam was on the bottom and spent the rest of the day reveling in its wonder.

It’s my new favorite thing. And word on the street is that I’m knitting an awesome cover for it, but you know how I am about projects that can’t be completed in one sitting. I’m really excited about the thick, rope-like yarn that I’m using, but I’ll be shocked if the dang thing ever gets finished. What’s great about this project is that it really was so much easier than I thought it would be. The fact that I skipped the octagon top and bottom pieces and decorative stitching recommended by the tutorial went a long way to keeping things simple. If you’re a details person, though, you could probably add those elements without a lot of drama. I’m all for decor that’s casual and not too fussy, so I don’t mind the rough seams a bit.

The canvas dropcloth material is really inexpensive and durable, but if you’ve got kids or are spastic yourself and are worried about stains showing on the light fabric, I think it wouldn’t be too hard to make a slipcover for it using the same pattern and snaps or velcro to close it up on the underside. Also, you could use Rit Dye to change the color to better suit your space or to hide dirt and stains a little better. Just dye the pouf shell in the washing machine before stuffing it and people will think you spent a lot of money on some beautifully dyed linen.

This project has been brewing in my mind for some time and I’m really glad that I finally did it. It really is such an awesome thing to have in the living room. So simple and comfortable. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

DIY Patterned Coasters

I mentioned on Friday that one of my goals for the weekend was to make my own coasters, and, good news, I actually did it!

This project has been brewing in my head for over a year, so I already had the supplies on hand. Here’s what you’ll need to get ‘er done yourself:

  • 4×4 inch white ceramic tiles (about $1 each at home improvement stores)
  • Some felt or cork
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Decoupage medium

Way back before I had a blog motivating me to actually finish what I started, I got going on this project and got as far as cutting and gluing squares of felt onto the back of each tile. Those boh-ring white tiles served as coasters for the past year or so, but they never really did it for me. Plus, the super-slick surface of the tile occasionally formed a seal with whatever condensing container sat atop it, creating a recipe for disaster when you picked up your cup and the coaster was still attached. Every time this happened to me I would inevitably over-correct and spill my drink everywhere.

So I finally got down to business taking those coasters from “tile aisle” to “super style.” I started by tracing my tiles onto pretty patterned scrapbook paper left over from another project (my punched paper garland), then I cut each square out and tested its fit on the tile, giving a trim and a shave here and there as needed.

Then, I used a foam brush to coat the surface of the tile with a thin layer of decoupage medium.

I smoothed my paper square onto the tile, then applied another layer of decoupage on top, and I was done!

Let it dry for 20 minutes and you’re in business. I read somewhere online, though, that it’s best to let the decoupage cure for a few days before putting a drink on it, so I’m erring on the side of caution and just looking at them adoringly for now.

I cut one square a smidge small and didn’t have enough paper to make another full square, so I decided to bring in some other paper that I only had a small bit of and create a patchwork look, layering a few different pieces of paper to cover the entire area. I went ahead and used the same strategy on a fifth tile just so it wouldn’t be all alone in its patchworkiness.
I’m excited about the little pop of color these lovelies will add in the living room, and I’m hoping that they’ll be textured enough to avoid the condensation-vacuum effect I had going with the plain tiles. I’m not really obsessive about using coasters, especially since we have a glass-top coffee table that’s easy to wipe down, but two of the end tables in our living room are solid wood and belonged to my grandparents, and one of them just happens to be my favorite spot to set down a drink. Every time I set a glass on the bare wood I imagine my Nanny cringing.

She kept it ring-free for a loooooong time. Who am I to mess that up?