IMHO, nothing can compare to the beauty and interest that a vintage rug can bring to a space! I’ve gotten to the point where I’d definitely rather spend $40 or $50 on a small Turkish rug, than waste $20 on one from Home Goods that A) I’m going to get sick of soon or B) isn’t going to hold up to the wear and tear from my toddler! I’ve linked up some gorgeous options, all under $60!Read More
I made some more progress on my sister’s beach house makeover! This time we also made some minor changes to her dining room that made a BIG impact! I love how just by updating a light + adding an area rug, you can totally transform the look of a room!Read More
With the weather finally warming up, and people spending more time outside- it’s the perfect time to give your front porch a little makeover! I’m telling you 5 simple ways you can refresh your home’s exterior!Read More
I’ve made some pretty great progress on my DIY bathroom makeover! I’m so much happier with how it looks now. It’s more proof that you don’t need a ton of money or crazy DIY skills in order to give your home a fresh look!Read More
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!!
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!
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)!
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!
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.
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!
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)!!
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.
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!
This year I’d like to include more blog posts about what my thought process is when designing rooms. I’ve learned a lot over the past year (and I’m still learning!) and I’d love to pass any knowledge or new ways of thinking about design onto you all!
I’ve been thinking about what type of coffee table to get for a while now. We were originally waiting because when our now toddler was first starting to walk, he had a tendency to hurt himself on any and all furniture- so it was just easier to not have one! Now that he’s a mature one-and-a-half year old (LOL), he has a little more control over his body and the only foreseeable issues are him 1.) climbing on top of it or 2.) pushing it out of the living room. BUT he has to learn appropriate behavior somehow, right?! So keep reading to see what I’ve been thinking about throughout my coffee table search!
important factors when picking my coffee table
FURNITURE WEBSITES MAKE IT SO EASY TO FIND YOU’RE LOOKING FOR- THESE ARE WHAT I’VE BEEN FILTERING ON FOR MY COFFEE TABLE SEARCH…
1. SIZE / SHAPE
*general rules of thumb:
-you should leave about 12-18” of space between coffee table and any seating
-height should be same as sofa seat or 1-2” lower
MY FILTER: 28” - 32” + ROUND ( I decided on round because this space is on the smaller side and round would make for easier flow of traffic)
*as with any design “rule” - these are just meant to guide you in the right direction, there will always be exceptions to the rule!
My style is very neutral. One thing I already knew was that in order to keep neutral or tonal rooms from feeling boring was to incorporate different textures. However, something that I kept forgetting to keep in mind was that in addition to texture, contrast is also very important in a room! I realized this when I couldn’t put my finger on why I wasn’t happy with my living room- it wasn’t because it needed any color, it’s because it needs something to break up the tans + whites. Contrast can also be bringing in a new material or mixing wood tones. I’m also not just looking at how the coffee table will look in the living room. Our dining room opens up to this space, so I’m keeping in mind the different colors and tones of wood that are in there.
MY FILTER: White, Gray, Brown
I don’t want to spend a ton on a coffee table, but I also would rather spend a little more on the “right” one than settle for a cheaper one that I just end up getting sick of in 2 months. I’ve been filtering for coffee tables under $300, but ideally would like to keep it under $250.
Another thing I’ve been keeping in the back of my mind is the weight of the coffee table (but this is not make or break). Our son is absolutely insane, and it would just make life easier if the coffee table was too heavy for him to push out of the room. I joked with my husband that it can’t be on the edge of heavy where he can sort of push it, because then it will just end up making him stronger haha! #boymomlife
*this post contains affiliate links
Sadly, after searching high and low… there weren’t many options for smaller coffee tables in my price range. I did however find a TON that I loved that were way too big… so if you’re in the market for a coffee table that’s 35” wide or bigger, you’re in luck! So anyway… for me, it really came down to two different tables - and one of the tables had two shades of wood I was considering.
You can see table number one in the photo above. I love this shade of wood, and I think it’s one that could compliment a lot of different furniture! My main concern is that when just looking at the living room, it’s not enough contrast and would just fall flat.
The shape of this second coffee table grabbed my attention right away, but I wasn’t totally sold on either of the two colors right away. I was worried the dark one would be too dark with the dining room furniture and side chair (my number one interior design pet peeve is a room with ALL DARK BROWN FURNITURE)! The “natural” wood color they offer really comes off as orangey/yellow on the website. I tried finding other photos of it through google but really had no luck. I suspect that it’s not actually that color in real life, but I’m not sure I want to take the risk of having to lug it into the store to return it if I don’t like it.
When I first started writing this post, I was still deciding on which one to buy. Since finishing though, I’ve pulled the trigger on one! Which do you think I went with?! I’m excited to show you all, and maybe a coffee table styling post will be coming in the future!
I’ve been a huge fan of Syd & Shea McGee of Studio McGee for a while now. They have a bright and airy aesthetic that makes all of their designs stunning! They’re also amazing at mixing different materials, textures, and styles to create beautifully, curated rooms.
I’ve always known that they had a store (McGee & Co) where they sell various home goods- but I always just assumed that it was out of my price range. I decided to take a look at it the other day for inspiration, and was surprised to find that they actually offer a ton of reasonably priced decor! Before I get into the decor, I’ll show you a few of the many amazing shelf styling shots that they designed.
You’ll be able to spot many different pieces throughout their designs that they sell. I think that’s so awesome because it gives you the chance to buy what they really use and almost feel like you can create and live in a “Studio McGee” designed house. So I’ve put together some of my favorite decorative items I found for under $50! You can find the links to everything under the collage!
*Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you.
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)!
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!!
I’ve always loved finding a good deal but since starting my first One Room Challenge, I’ve learned so much about not only finding the most affordable decor; but how to find affordable decor while also creating a unique & collected looking design.
I love Target as much as the next girl (probably even more) but I’ve found that whenever I find awesome Target clearance decor, there’s a very good chance that every other person on Instagram has also found it! And suddenly my space starts feeling less and less unique. (Totally not saying that I’ll ever quit Target clearance or Target in general— just making more of an effort to mix it in with other things!) Keep scrolling for some tips on how to decorate on a budget!
Instead of going to a big box store for shelf decor or baskets, I’ve started beginning my search at Goodwill! It has definitely become my go to spot for random shelf accessories and nice baskets. Almost all of the pieces I’ve found were under $5!
If you need solid colored pillow covers, definitely go to IKEA! They have so many different color options for under $10— also their down pillow inserts are amazing! I also always go to IKEA for curtains. They’re usually about $20-$30 for a pair AND they’re long enough to hang high! I always end up cutting a couple inches off the bottoms and then using hem tape to give it a finished edge.
I broke down the stores I’ve been going to the most and what I go to them for:
-Shelf styling accents (pottery, bowls, vases)
-Furniture (VERY hit or miss but when you do find something, it’s usually less than $20)
-Solid colored pillow covers
HomeGoods / TJ Maxx
-Throw pillows (definitely your best bet to find cool, patterned pillows)
-Kitchen decor (wood cutting boards, dish towels, little bowls, etc)
-Big artificial plants
I love stores like HomeGoods because their inventory is constantly changing and you’re less likely to see your decor in everyone else’s home. Another thing I’ve been doing is going through the furniture and decor we have stored away in the basement and selling things on Facebook Marketplace. Clearing out clutter AND getting some extra spending cash?? WIN/WIN!
I haven’t been to any estate sales yet, but I know that they can be another great resource for budget decorating! You can find upcoming estate sales in your area by googling “estate sales + your zip code”. They usually have photos of everything that will be for sale, so you’re not going in blind.
Those are all my latest secrets for decorating on a budget! I’d love to hear of any other places you guys love, let me know in the comments!