HUGE Area Rug Round Up (My Favorite New + Vintage Rugs Right Now)

One of my favorite things to do when I want to switch up the look of a room is to get a new area rug. I’ve gone through MANY rugs in the last few years, which has ended up being great for me because I now know some key things to keep in mind while looking.

in our living room, I’m now on my fourth area rug… (we’ve lived here for less than two years *insert face palm emoji*)

I wanted to pass along some of my lessons learned, as well as show some amazing rugs I’m loving right now! As far as the lessons go, there are just a couple things I keep in mind now whenever I’m looking for something.

1) Bigger is usually better. I’m not going to say always, because I think there are some scenarios where a bigger rug could overwhelm a room. In most instances, however, you’re stuck between two sizes, it’s probably safer to get the bigger one.
2) Think about your whole home. What I mean by this is try and think if that rug would also work in other rooms of your home besides the one you’re shopping for. This isn’t a make or break point but just something to consider. If you want to change things around in the future, it’s helpful to already have a place where you can put the old one. I also think that the cohesiveness of your home is very important. If you think a rug would work in multiple rooms then that means that the style and colors flow with your current home decor.

Now onto the rugs… STARTING WITH VINTAGE RUGS…

why buy vintage?

I personally love the look of vintage rugs. They’re each so unique- while some have similarities, you’ll almost never see two of the same one. I love rugs that have some fading as well, and I’ve read that fading is actually a sign of good quality. Vintage rugs are also extremely durable. Wool is very easy to clean as well as being highly water resistant- this makes them perfect for high traffic areas!

*this post contains affiliate links. the rugs listed below were available at the time of writing this post… if they’re no longer available, there’s a good chance that I already scooped them up!! ;-) (kidding)

And before you think you can’t afford these beauties— most of the runners are under $200, and the small ones are all under $60!!

one  /  two  /  three  /  four  /  five  /  six

one / two / three / four / five / six

one  /  two  /  three  /  four  /  five  /  six  /  seven  /  eight  /  nine

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

Now for some affordable new rugs… (these are all from RugsUSA)

You might also notice some rugs on their website that only come in size 5x8 and that are all $49.99 — these rugs are limited stock or sample sale rugs. Most of them only have 1 or very few left! Here are 6, but there are SO MANY more that are gorgeous!

one  /  two  /  three  /  four  /  five  /  six

one / two / three / four / five / six

That’s all for my big rug round up- hope you found this helpful!! If you end up getting any of these rugs, I’d love to see them in your space!! If you upload a pic to Instagram, be sure to tag me (@meredithlynndesigns)!

How To Fill That Big Empty Wall (6 Ideas For Your Blank Wall)

Wall decor has always been my least favorite part of decorating a room. I always get stuck on how to fill the empty space without making the room look too busy, or finding the right size decor. Recently I’ve been trying to think of what to do with one of the walls in our kitchen… and then one of my friends (hi Colleen! <— check out her blog!) texted me saying she’s been struggling with a wall in her living room! Sooo I’ve decided to put a list together of some good go-to’s for when you have no clue what to do with a wall!

1 ) FLOATING SHELVES / ART LEDGE

Floating shelves or art ledges are an amazing way to fill space! Plus, you can switch out the decor that you display on them whenever you feel like it. You can decorate these with minimal decor (think: mostly white/ beige decor, or only black and white prints) or you can use them to display your favorite shelf styling accessories and art! In children’s rooms or playrooms, art ledges are also amazing to display kids books!

Example of beautifully styled floating shelves from  Amber Interiors

Example of beautifully styled floating shelves from Amber Interiors

Christ &amp; Julia of Chris Love Julia made this  DIY Art Ledge  to fill the space above their couch

Christ & Julia of Chris Love Julia made this DIY Art Ledge to fill the space above their couch

In my own home, I have an art ledge from IKEA with some simple decor as well as a small floating shelf above the chair in my living room.

In my own home, I have an art ledge from IKEA with some simple decor as well as a small floating shelf above the chair in my living room.

2) A MIRROR

A well placed mirror can work miracles for a room! Whether you choose a leaning floor mirror or wall mirror; they can help a dimly lit room appear brighter, while also helping to fill some of that empty space! Mirrors are great to use when you need to fill an area but don’t want it to overwhelm the overall design.

IN THIS DESIGN BY STUDIO MCGEE , AN OVER-SIZED FLOOR MIRROR IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF STATEMENT THIS WALL NEEDED!

IN THIS DESIGN BY STUDIO MCGEE, AN OVER-SIZED FLOOR MIRROR IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF STATEMENT THIS WALL NEEDED!

THIS MIRROR FROM  BALLARD DESIGNS  LOOKS PERFECT ABOVE THIS BENCH!

THIS MIRROR FROM BALLARD DESIGNS LOOKS PERFECT ABOVE THIS BENCH!

3) WOVEN ART / TAPESTRY / BASKETS

I lumped these three together because they all help to add a sense of texture to your room. Woven wall art can include macrame, fiber art (those beautiful yarn wall hangings), or even any type of woven sea grass art!
Tapestries were in style when I was in high school, but those were crazy tie dye ones that you had when you went through your “hippie” phase. These days, they make wall tapestries to suit every decor style! Basket walls definitely had a major moment- almost everyone had a wall dedicated to their gorgeous basket collections! I still love them, especially when paired with a more minimal style!

I’VE HAD THIS PIN SAVED FOR SO LONG, I LOVE HOW IT’S COLORFUL BUT NOT OVER THE TOP!

I’VE HAD THIS PIN SAVED FOR SO LONG, I LOVE HOW IT’S COLORFUL BUT NOT OVER THE TOP!

I LOVE HOW MODERN AND MINIMAL THIS  WALL TAPESTRY  IS! SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD ALSO BE A SUPER EASY DIY.

I LOVE HOW MODERN AND MINIMAL THIS WALL TAPESTRY IS! SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD ALSO BE A SUPER EASY DIY.

I LOVE HOW THIS  MACRAME  IS STYLED IN A MORE TRADITIONAL ROOM. IT SHOWS THAT MACRAME DOESN’t HAVE TO MEAN BOHO.

I LOVE HOW THIS MACRAME IS STYLED IN A MORE TRADITIONAL ROOM. IT SHOWS THAT MACRAME DOESN’t HAVE TO MEAN BOHO.

4) PLANTS

Hanging planters, plants on wall hooks, plants on floating shelves, wall planters - however you want to add them, plants make a great addition to any room! Bonus points for if you use real plants and can keep them alive (I definitely can’t)!!

THE MIX OF GREENERY ON THESE FLOATING SHELVES ADDS SO MUCH TO THIS ROOM! (via  a beautiful mess )

THE MIX OF GREENERY ON THESE FLOATING SHELVES ADDS SO MUCH TO THIS ROOM! (via a beautiful mess)

ANGELA MUELLER OF  RESTORING HOME  USES SIMPLE WHITE WALL PLANTERS TO CREATE A MINIMAL WALL GARDEN

ANGELA MUELLER OF RESTORING HOME USES SIMPLE WHITE WALL PLANTERS TO CREATE A MINIMAL WALL GARDEN

5) GALLERY WALL

What I love most about gallery walls is how they different they can be. You can make them minimal and organized, or colorful and random- and everything in between! You can really flex your creativity when dreaming up a gallery wall.

THIS GALLERY WALL MAKES A BIG STATEMENT WITH DIFFERENT SIZED FRAMES, HOWEVER KEEPING ALL THE PHOTOS BLACK + WHITE STOPS IT FROM BEING OVERWHELMING. ( VIA PINTEREST )

THIS GALLERY WALL MAKES A BIG STATEMENT WITH DIFFERENT SIZED FRAMES, HOWEVER KEEPING ALL THE PHOTOS BLACK + WHITE STOPS IT FROM BEING OVERWHELMING. (VIA PINTEREST)

THIS GRID STYLE GALLERY WALL FROM  STUDIO MCGEE  LOOKS VERY CLEAN + POLISHED.

THIS GRID STYLE GALLERY WALL FROM STUDIO MCGEE LOOKS VERY CLEAN + POLISHED.

THIS GALLERY WALL IS HELPING TO TAKE FOCUS OFF OF THE TV.  (VIA EMILY HENDERSON )

THIS GALLERY WALL IS HELPING TO TAKE FOCUS OFF OF THE TV. (VIA EMILY HENDERSON)

6)WALL HOOKS

Wall hooks are the latest thing I’ve become really into when deciding what to put on a wall. There are so many different styles of hooks available (a couple of my favorites affordable hooks: these + these). Hooks are also very functional! You can use them to hang up/ display your beautiful purses, scarves, or hats. You can put hanging planters or hanging banners on them. Or in a kids room or playroom, you can hang fun costumes from them!

THESE WALL HOOKS ARE VERY FUNCTIONAL, BUT KEEPING EVERYTHING HANGING ON THEM IN THE SAME COLOR PALETTE PREVENTS IT FROM LOOKING MESSY. (VIA  INSTAGRAM )

THESE WALL HOOKS ARE VERY FUNCTIONAL, BUT KEEPING EVERYTHING HANGING ON THEM IN THE SAME COLOR PALETTE PREVENTS IT FROM LOOKING MESSY. (VIA INSTAGRAM)

DIFFERENT TEXTURES + NEUTRAL COLORS MAKE THIS SPACE BY  AMBER LEWIS  BEAUTIFUL!

DIFFERENT TEXTURES + NEUTRAL COLORS MAKE THIS SPACE BY AMBER LEWIS BEAUTIFUL!

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE (tips + advice)

With the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge quickly approaching, I thought I’d put together a post of tips I learned from my first challenge last fall. If you’re not familiar with the One Room Challenge, it is a bi-annual design event that takes place every April + October. Over the course of six weeks, 20 featured designers along with a ton of guest participants work to makeover one room in their home. Every Thursday, everyone involved posts an update of any progress that’s been made. The last day is the big reveal. One of my favorite aspects of this event is that it’s not looked at as a competition- it’s definitely a supportive community where everyone cheers each other on!

I participated for the first time last Fall, and it was a lot of fun. Before starting, I was worried that the restrictions on my budget, time, and resources would prevent me from creating a design that people would find interesting enough to post about. I decided to just go for it anyway, and I’m so glad I did! I made over our master bedroom, and it didn’t take me long to realize that you don’t need a ton of money to create something beautiful! As long you as you plan ahead and get creative - you can totally do this challenge! Keep reading for some tips I put together!

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TIPS + ADVICE FOR YOUR FIRST ONE ROOM CHALLENGE:

1. PLAN AHEAD. If you’re anything like me and like to change up your design about 10 times before you actually settle on it, then definitely start planning this ahead of time. Start putting your design boards together at least a month before the challenge actually starts. The One Room Challenge website also lists out the dates of when each blog post is due (here). I really recommend jotting those dates down and thinking about the possible blog post topic you can cover on those days.

For example…
WEEK 1: APRIL 4th - Post before photos + design plans
WEEK 2: APRIL 11th - Post any progress photos (paint? furniture moved out?)
WEEK 3: APRIL 18th - Post any products I’ve bought + any DIY projects
WEEK 4: APRIL 25th - Post any progress shots, possible styling ideas
WEEK 5: MAY 2nd - Post about differences between original design plan + actual design/ unexpected problems
WEEK 6: MAY 9th - REVEAL POST! Post after shots + sources
Obviously you won’t stick to what you plan exactly because you can’t predict the future, but it definitely helps to have some sort of an idea of what you can write about. Also remember that not every post has to be a novel- if not a lot has changed from one week to the next, then write that! You can add in what you hope to accomplish by the following week.

2. SCHEDULE YOUR BLOG POSTS. I usually scheduled my blog posts a few days in advance, even if I didn’t have all the photos taken yet- I’d still save the written portion as a draft and go back to add photos later. This makes life a lot easier. I also recommend having the post go live on your personal blog on the Wednesday before (link up to the ORC site is every Thursday). When you link up to the ORC site, you need to have the URL ready… you also need to think of a title/caption for when you upload to the ORC site. I suggest putting your blog/Instagram name in every title so it’s easy for people to follow along with you. Also make sure you select a good photo for your thumbnail (it will automatically default to the first photo that appears in your blog post). I know that when I’m scrolling through the hundreds of guest participants, the ones with good quality photos always make me click first!

3. ALWAYS HAVE BACK UP OPTIONS FOR PRODUCTS. This sort of goes hand in hand with the planning ahead point - when you’re putting your design board together, have back up options in mind just in case something sells out, or ends up not looking right in your room, etc. You don’t want to have your heart set on something that doesn’t end up working out and then have to scramble to think of a replacement!

4. TAKE BEFORE PHOTOS FROM EVERY ANGLE. This is something I didn’t do and wish I did! Having the exact same view in a before and an after will help people see the extent of your transformation. You don’t have to use all your before photos in your first post, save some for the reveal.

5. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE QUALITY AFTER SHOTS. In my opinion, the reveal photos of your room are incredibly important! It would be such a shame to spend so much time creating a beautiful design, only to have the photos not do it justice. Allow yourself enough time to get the right shots- and definitely plan for a couple of days just in case one of the days doesn’t have sufficient natural light.

6. HAVE FUN + SUPPORT THE OTHER GUESTS AND DESIGNERS. I discovered so many amazing people throughout my first season! I tried to spend an hour on Sunday or Monday going through the other guest participant posts and commenting on their blogs or Instagram. It’s great having a little “tribe” of people who understand you and have the same interests!

Those are all the tips I can think of! If you have any of your own, let me know!! Hope to see you all in the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge!!


Parent's Living Room Makeover - Progress Post

This post contains affiliate links.

A few weeks ago I posted about how I’m working on making over my parent’s living room. Since then, the two chairs and the coffee table have been delivered! With all the dark furniture out of the room, the space is already feeling so much brighter! I went over this past weekend to take some progress photos- I already post a couple on Instagram and I was SO happy to see everyone’s kind words!!

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I BORROWED THEIR KITCHEN BENCH TO SEE HOW ONE WOULD LOOK HERE.

I BORROWED THEIR KITCHEN BENCH TO SEE HOW ONE WOULD LOOK HERE.

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I love how it’s coming together so far and I’m so excited to see how the sofa fits into this space! I’m changing up my original vision a little bit - which I knew was going to happen because no matter how much you measure- things just tend to look different once they’re actually in your room. I was originally planning to place a bench along the one wall, but after seeing how low the furniture is- I think a console table would look best (to add some height). I made a few other changes to the plan so I created a revised design board. I also included my thought process for each change. I know that I love when design shows talk about the reasoning behind certain decisions, so I’m hoping you all find this helpful!

I also put together a little “mock up” of how the cabinets, lamp, and sofa might look in this space. I think it helps to have as many visual aides as possible. This process might seem a little intense, but it’s what I do behind the scenes for every project I work on- whether it’s a total room makeover or just some minor changes. It has definitely prevented me from buying the wrong pieces on more than one occasion!

Obviously the exact dimensions aren’t accurate in this mock up - the sofa is going to be bigger and we’ll have to move the chairs + coffee table a little. But seeing everything together in the actual room gives you a better idea on whether or not the colors and materials look cohesive.

The sofa won’t be delivered until mid-late February. In the meantime, we can get start looking for a side table, a couple of lamps, and possibly get the cabinets. Be on the look out for another progress post next month!!


SAVE TIME & MONEY: 7 Home Products that Made My Life Easier!

I’m excited to share a few products I’ve been using lately that have made my life a little easier! Working full time, having a toddler, and trying to blog/ keep up with Instagram all mean very little time to get stuff done. So when I find a product that truly works or one that consolidates steps to get something done, I’m 100% on board with it!
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you.

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1.) 3M PATCH PLUS PRIMER: I love this tool!! It is for filling in nail holes and has a putty knife on one end and a patch of sand paper on the cap! It makes filling in annoying holes SO much easier. I especially love that you don’t have to go looking for sand paper, a putty knife, AND the spackle- everything is combined in one easy to use tool!

2.) DREAMBABY CABINET LATCHES: I 100% recommend these to anyone with a baby/toddler!! We’ve tried other cabinet locks in the past that worked but they were big and bulky and such a pain for us to open when we needed to. These are pretty much as sleek as cabinet locks come, but even better than that is the fact that it is SO easy for adults to open and when they’re unlocked, the lock doesn’t get in your way at all! We have them on our kitchen cabinets and drawers! They also come in two sizes.

3.) FULL CIRCLE HOME BUBBLE UP BRUSH: I’ve been using this for a while now and this dish brush is the real deal! Amazing quality- it’s held up so well! The fact that it actually looks pretty sitting on our counter is definitely a bonus!

4.) DISHWASHER SAFE BAMBOO CUTTING BOARD: I first saw these at HomeGoods and my mind was blown! I’m the person that always puts her bamboo cutting boards in the dishwasher until they eventually crack and break and I have to buy new ones (because plastic cutting boards just aren’t cute enough)! But a bamboo cutting board that is made to withstand the dishwasher?! YES PLEASE.

5.) FUZZ REMOVER: This tool is marketed to remove the pilling on your sweaters, but I got it because our sofa from West Elm started pilling and made it look SO old! This little thing did an amazing job of removing it from the fabric and made our sofa look brand new again! I will say that you do have to go over the same area a couple times, but I think it’s worth it!

6.) ZEP CARPET CLEANER: This stuff works miracles!! Our son had reflux as a baby and was constantly spitting up on our white carpet. I tried about 3 or 4 different carpet cleaners but this one was the only one that actually worked! It has even removed blackberries that he has spit out onto our carpet, black paint that I spilled, literally everything! I’ve even used it on our sofa before and it removed the stain perfectly!

7.) DYSON CORDLESS VACUUM: This one is pretty pricey but definitely worth it, in my opinion. Since getting it, we vacuum at least 4 times a week if not more. The ease of being able to quickly vacuum every room downstairs without having to unplug and plug/ deal with an annoying cord is something that you just can’t put a price on!! It comes in different models, with I think different battery strengths. If you have a bigger home then you might want to look into one with a battery that lasts longer. But this model is perfect for our 1800 sqft home. I’m able to vacuum our entire first floor and our stairs before it needs to be plugged back in.


So those are the products that I’ve been loving lately! Let me know if you have any must have home products I should try!!

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5 Tips for Shopping at Goodwill

I just recently discovered how amazing Goodwill can be, so I’m definitely no expert… YET! But I have picked up some techniques that make my shopping trips a little more efficient, so I decided to share those with you!

I mostly go to Goodwill expecting to find random decor items- baskets, pottery, etc. There have been a couple times where I’ve scored some great pieces of furniture which is a huge bonus! Most decorative items are priced between $1-$5, I remember my first time at one I really thought everything had been priced wrong!

Before I get into my tips, I’ll share some photos of my finds (I put black rectangles around the pieces I found at a Goodwill)!

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This vintage MCM dresser is BY FAR the best thing I’ve ever found! It was only $15!!

This vintage MCM dresser is BY FAR the best thing I’ve ever found! It was only $15!!

This chair was also only $15, and in fantastic shape!

This chair was also only $15, and in fantastic shape!

A closer view of the decor on my dresser. That mini peacock chair was only $2 or $3!

A closer view of the decor on my dresser. That mini peacock chair was only $2 or $3!

Mixing in Goodwill finds with newer items is so fun, and gives your space a collected look!

Mixing in Goodwill finds with newer items is so fun, and gives your space a collected look!

With all of the unique pieces I’ve found, Goodwill has quickly become my go-to whenever I need some new shelf decor! Here are the tips I’ve put together for making the most out of your shopping trips!

1.) TRY TO GET THERE WHEN IT OPENS. Since I work full time during the week, most of my trips happen on Saturday or Sunday. The aisles in some of the stores are pretty narrow and it can be tough to navigate when it gets too crowded. I also like having first pick over the inventory!

2.) HAVE SHELF STYLING PHOTOS SAVED ON YOUR PHONE. Goodwill shelves are usually packed to the brim with tons and tons of stuff! There is a lot of JUNK surrounding all of the good stuff. Everything can be pretty overwhelming and sometimes it makes it harder for me to decide if something is actually cool or not. That’s when I look at pictures of my favorite “shelfies” I have saved on my phone or in Pinterest to help me remember what types of decor items I’m looking for.

3.) ALWAYS GET A CART. I always get a cart when I first walk in- whether I’m planning to get a lot of stuff or not. In addition to getting a cart, I recommend to put anything in your cart that catches your eye. If you like something but don’t grab it, you could decide after shopping around that you do and it might be gone! I always fill my cart up then edit it down before checking out.

4.) FIND OUT ABOUT OTHER GOODWILL STORES IN YOUR AREA. After my first trip to a local Goodwill, I asked the cashier if there were any others nearby that had more furniture. He told me about another one about 15 minutes away that is larger- I went the next day and scored that awesome Mid-Century Modern dresser! I’m lucky to live in an area that has several all within a 10 mile radius. I’ve found that they’re all good for different things. One is better for shelf decor, the other is great for furniture, and the third one has a ton of great decorative books and baskets.

5.) SIGN UP FOR A REWARDS CARD. Their rewards card is quick to sign up for and every day different items are 25% off. It also makes you eligible for any random sales they might have. One time I went in and everything was 50% off for card holders.


Hope these tips are helpful! If you have any of your own, feel free to share!!