Category Archives: For the Casa

How to Get Rid of Corner Protectors (No Drywall Required!)

When we bought our house four years ago, every single corner on the first floor had a faux wood corner protector. This is the only picture I could find that shows them. It’s not great, but you get the gist.

We didn’t think it would be an issue to take them off—until we discovered that there was nothing but metal underneath. What we thought would be a simple touch-up paint job turned into a somewhat pricey drywall project. We took care of half of the corners when we knocked out one of the walls, but we still had two entryways that had them. We painted them to match the wall color, which helped, but we still couldn’t wait to get rid of them.

Fast forward to this spring, and we finally got around to doing something about the ugly corner protectors. We didn’t feel like dealing with everything that a drywall project entails, so my oh-so-smart husband got creative. Using three 1×6 planks of finished-grade wood and some decorative molding, he built a new entryway that completely covered the nasty metal corners that were left after we yanked off the corner protectors.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and relatively cheap way to get rid of corner protectors, or you just want to dress up your entryway, this little DIY project can be done in a weekend. Simply measure and cut the planks so that they essentially box in the existing entryway. Cover the facade with the molding (if you’ve never hung molding before, you’ll need a mitre saw to get the angles right). Use wood filler and caulking to fill in any nail holes and gaps, and then paint with a couple coats of gloss paint. Voilà! A brand new entryway with all the character of original architecture!


The New “Shops” at Target

I went to Target yesterday for the first time in a while and was surprised to see that they have adopted “shops” much in the way the new JCP has done. It must be the latest thing in retail. Target’s shops include The Webster (Miami), Privet House (Connecticut), Cos Bar (Aspen), Polka Dog Bakery (Boston), and The Candy Store (San Francisco).

The Candy Store’s collection of gourmet and nostalgic candy would make a cute and quick hostess gift for all those summer barbecues, and some of the Cos Bar nail polishes are bright and trendy but a little out there for me.

The real stars of the shops are Privet House and The Webster. The kitchen and housewares from Privet House are great. A few of my favorite pieces:

Warren Orchards Black Fig & Honey Candle, $15.99

Open Storage Box, $34.99

White Embossed Pitcher, $24.99

White Round Basket, $34.99














The Webster shop features men’s, women’s, and girls’ clothing, as well as shoes and accessories. I scored this great sheath dress, which doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but it fits really nicely:

Sheath Dress, $39.9

A few of my other Webster favorites:

Infant Girls' Swim Suit, $14.99

Dress, $42.99

Men's Button Up Shirt, $29.99

Cap Toe Flat, $29.99















The prices are a tad higher than you usually see at Target, but they are on par with some of the other designer partnerships Target has done in the past. In any case, it’s nice to see a little something different for a change!

Freshen Up Your Living Room With Pillow Covers

I love swapping out throw pillows as an easy way to freshen up a room and give your couch a mini-makeover. But who has room to store multiple sets of throw pillows? To solve this  issue, I use pillow covers. For the past couple of years, I’ve been going back and forth between three sets, all from Pottery Barn: white with a cobalt blue shell print, brown with a light blue stripe, and silver (not crazy silver, but cute for the holidays).

I recently decided that my living room is in desperate need of a happy pop of color. Unfortunately, nothing at PB fit the look I had in mind, so I turned to Etsy. Why have I not thought to look here for pillow covers before?! Not only did I find a mind-blowing selection, but the prices are, on average, HALF of what I was paying at Pottery Barn.

My living room is painted a very pale blue with white trim, the couch is taupe and our furniture is dark wood, so I thought something in the red/orange family would be a great contrast. I’ve narrowed my choices down to the following. Let me know what you think! And if anyone has ordered pillow covers from Etsy before and can recommend a particularly good shop, please let me know that too!

Thread Pairs, 2 for $22

Posh Street Pillows, 2 for $36

Fabric Junkie, 2 for $30

Elemenopillows, $18

Larksong Creations, $19

Sew Gracious, 2 for $30

Vintage-Framed Photography

We hit up the Fairfax Fine Arts Festival this past weekend and bought an awesome new print for our dining room. The artist, Dan Albright, takes photos all over the world and then expertly mats and frames them in antique and vintage picture frames. My dad is a framer, so I know how unique these frames are—and how expensive they can be. So I thought the $65 price tag was a good deal.

We loved this quote from W.C. Fields and thought the picture would look great next to our bar. Mr. Albright even allowed us to switch the print to a different frame that we thought would match our house a little better. I still have my eye on one of his other prints in a cherry red vintage frame—could be a great pop of color in our new master bathroom!

If you’re looking for some unique framed photography for your home, definitely check out Dan Albright Studio!

A Nursery That’s for the Birds

Birds and owls seem to be everywhere, especially when it comes to nursery decor—and they’re not just for girls. I’ve curated some of the cutest stuff on the web, so start clicking and get inspired!

1. I love the watercolor quality of this bird print by cute little nursery on Etsy, $12
2. Owl Always Love You clock from Target, $29.99
3. It may be pricey (as far as nightlights go), but it’s darn cute. Nocturnal Owl Nightlight from Land of Nod, $49
4. Speaking of pricey but adorable, Jonathan Adler bookends, $195
5. Ferm Living Tweeting Birds wall stickers, $69
6. Every baby needs a humidifier, so why not get this cute little guy?! Crane Humidifier, $45
7. Great print for a boy or girl—Dwell Studio crib sheet, $40
8. Pottery Barn Kids’ Birdie Anywhere Chair, $139
9. Soooo many great prints on this site- I had trouble picking just one! Sleep Baby Sleep print from Oopsy Daisy, $60.03
10. Owl Alphabet print (also comes in pink) from Gingiber on Etsy, $20
11. Handmade crib mobile from lovely friend on Etsy, $78
12. Skip Hop Treetop Friends crib sheet, $24
13. Perfect for those newborn pictures—Two’s Company picture frame, $25.95
14. Metal bird hooks, $19.99
15. Silver Bird Set from Pottery Barn Kids, $29

The Look for Less: White Ceramic Serveware

I recently went to brunch at a coworker’s house and took her a cute cream and sugar set I found at Target as a hostess gift. I realized later what a good deal I scored when I found a nearly identical set at Crate and Barrel for more. Fast forward a couple of weeks. . .I see a fabulous ceramic bread basket at Williams-Sonoma, and it hits me that there’s one just like it at Target—for $32 less! Call it copy cat, call it imitation, call it whatever you want, but Target’s new White Collection is giving some higher-end shops a run for their money. Here are a few of my favorite looks for less!


Great Online Resources for Home Design Inspiration

We all know that Pinterest is a great place to start when you’re looking for design ideas and inspiration for your home. But if you’re looking for a few more helpful sites and resources, visit some of my favs below.

Copy Cat Chic specializes in finding the inexpensive alternative to that tulip chair you covet that’s not quite in the budget.

Decor8 has “fresh finds for hip spaces” and features beautiful photography full of chic urban lofts and pops of color.

One of my favorite DIY inspiration sites is Young House Love. John and Sherry Petersik (along with their dog and baby girl) have renovated and redecorated not one but two (!!) houses. I love their style and ability to deliver a high end look on a budget.

I discovered Apartment Therapy when a friend’s sister had her apartment featured a couple of years ago (click here to see the article). The site is super easy to navigate, with menu categories including small spaces, budget living, green living and searching by room.

The HGTV web site is a great resource for info on a plethora of topics. I love looking through the Rate My Space rooms to get inspiration from everyday spaces, especially when I was working on the little one’s nursery.

Houzz is a great site if you’re not only looking for design inspiration but also want the ability to search for and purchase items. I find it so frustrating when I find the perfect bath vanity in a picture and have no way of knowing who the manufacturer is or where I can buy it.

Finally, House Beautiful is where I go when I’m putting together my dream home in my head. The designer-styled rooms are simply stunning. I love them.

What sites do you frequent when looking for design inspiration?

Birdrizzle? Foshizzle

Photo via

I know I just wrote that post title, but I’m already embarrassed by it. I can’t help it—it was the first thing that popped into my mind when I came across this adorable little guy at West Elm. The Birdrizzlers by PO: (that colon is part of the company name, not a typo, just to clarify) offer a unique alternative to your everyday oil and vinegar cruets.

In somewhat macabre fashion, the head pops off to reveal the hollow for the oil or vinegar. I didn’t buy one, so I can’t speak to whether or not there’s a tight enough seal to prevent leaks, but they do have silicone rings for a snug fit. I have to admit, these are definitely a fashionable upgrade from my $4 oil cruet from HomeGoods!

Great Deal in Target Dollar Spot!

I always make a point to swing through the Dollar Spot whenever I go to Target. I don’t usually buy much more than a notepad for the frig or a toy for my daughter, but I do occasionally come across something worth getting (for a great deal, no less). The other day, I found these adorable springtime prints on everything from notepads to gift bags to stationary. I can never have too many gift bags or thank you notes on hand, so I took the opportunity to stock up. They’re so cute, I’m thinking about going back for more! The gift bags come 2 for $1 and the stationary comes in packs of 8. Can’t beat that!

Finny and Zook Wall Art

Finny and Zook specializes in whimsical prints that are perfect for a nursery or big kid’s room. There are alphabet images for every letter that would be adorable framed and hung next to each other to spell out a child’s name or initials. And the most important part? The prices range from only $8 up to $40 for larger prints, which is a steal!

Bonus: Zulily has Finny and Zook prints on sale now through Friday morning for only $7.99 a print! Plus, they have additional graphic prints that are not available in the Etsy store.

Seriously, how cute are these?!