I love surprises, and John’s an expert at pulling them off. He’s done everything from arranging for my best friend to fly in for my birthday to pretending to go to work and retuning home 5 minutes later to say that we’re going on a trip to the beach. So from time to time I like to stage a little sneak attack of my own. And when I saw an amazing leather arm chair at Target.com, I just had to order it for him asap. It’s usually scary to buy furniture without actually seeing it (or sitting in it, in this case) but the 5 star rating accompanied by a bunch of rave reviews made it a no-brainer.
And when it arrived two short days later it was everything I hoped for and more. It’s big and super comfortable, the leather is soft and supple, the coloring is a rich brown tone- it even arrived almost completely assembled. And it looks great in the corner of our bedroom (since our room’s similar in size to the guest bedroom, we’re always looking for ways to make it seem more master-y). Here’s a picture that does it absolutely no justice.
But what I really wish you could see was John’s reaction when he got home. There were a lot of excited outbursts followed by what can only be described as a Tony Soprano moment. John sauntered up to the chair, took a load off, and pretended to smoke an imaginary cigar. The only thing missing was his club jacket. Absolutely priceless.
And when I mentioned that I scored the chair (which was originally around $500 with shipping) for a mere $230 thanks to a few promotions, he raised his imaginary cigar in my honor.
(Half of a post by Sherry)
John here. Ok, so I’ve pulled myself out of my new chair long enough to write the second half of this post. One the best parts of getting that surprise yesterday was not only the fact that my wifey scored another great deal, but the fact that I already had a little surprise in store for her.
Mine wasn’t quite as creative, but it went right along with the tradition I set back when we first got the house. And how can you go wrong with flowers?
This little bouquet from ProFlowers.com arrived on our doorstep today (afterwards, I told Sherry not to read into the fact that it was called a “baby bouquet”). I had attempted to order an arrangement short enough to fit on the kitchen counters, but no luck. So, here it is in the living room instead:
I promise it’ll look even better once the lilies and irises bloom – just in time for our company this weekend (see, I was thinking ahead!). But the best part, if I do say so myself, was the sweet note that came along with it… but it’s private so you’ll just have to trust me.
(Other half of a post by John)
At this point you all probably know three things about me: I love a good transformation, I adore a good bargain, and I’m obsessed with my dog Hamburger (that last fact is unimportant to this story, but is too obvious to ignore when stating defining facts about myself). Anyway, I recently found a big round mirror at Home Goods so hideously ugly that the deeply discounted $19 price tag didn’t surprise me. But most round mirrors of this size are around 90 to 150 bucks, so of course I had to buy it.
Since I forgot to take a “before” pic, please allow me to describe my grotesque purchase in detail. The frame around the mirror was made of that fake fiberglass stuff that plastic outdoor urns are made of, and it was faux-finished with swirly brown and bronze splotches. TERRIBLE. So bad that I almost told the cashier that I was planning to do some major surgery on the mirror before hanging it for fear that she was judging my taste. So here’s where I’m asking you to envision that tacky splotchy plastic abomination of a mirror.
And here’s what it looks like with a fresh coat of glossy white paint:
Not bad huh? It looks just like one I saw a while back in a Pottery Barn catalog for 250 beans (plus shipping). Who spends that much money on a basic round mirror anyway? The cool thing is that now you’d swear our mirror was painted wood, even when you touch it. Is there nothing that white paint can’t cure?
It looks great in the den above the tv where that big clock from Target used to hang (which has since been relocated to the sunroom where it should have lived all along).
Here’s a wider shot for the full effect:
I just love a good frog-turned-prince home improvement fairytale, don’t you? Now send us your best home makeovers. Apparently we just can’t get enough of them.
When it comes to decorating a dining table I’ve always stuck to a simple formula. One thing in the center of the table.
Sometimes it’s a large platter. Sometimes it’s a simple candle. Sometimes it’s a huge clam shell (which by now you’ve probably noticed is our new kitchen’s fruit bowl). I guess I never really thought about my table decorating technique until I started seeing cute little dining table vignettes in every publication from Domino to Pottery Barn. You know what I’m talking about, those perfectly asymmetrical arrangements with some plates and a cup full or spoons- or a casual stack of napkins and a collection of glasses.
Well, I never thought I could pull of such a breezy “accidental” look, but when I actually thought about it there was nothing particularly difficult about the execution. So yesterday morning when my momma-in-law and I went on a mini-shipping spree, I decided to recreate the look on a budget. First we hit up Target, where I grabbed a $14 linen runner that’s identical to a spendier version I saw at Pottery Barn a few weeks ago. Next we ventured into Sur La Table, where I enthusiastically snatched up some gorgeous beachy glasses with woven straw sleeves (that slide off for easy dishwashing). Did I mention the glasses were originally $5.99 each but I got 6 of them for $12 since they were on sale for $1.99? Go team! Then I picked up two glass Pellegrino bottles at the grocery store for around $3.
So for less than 30 beans (plus an old vase, some free backyard greenery, and three mercury candle holders I already had) I ended up with this:
What do you think? I love it because it just seems so fresh and unexpected, especially to a girl who used to have a bare table with one measly candle in the middle.
I’m sure most of you already have everything you need to create this look for absolutely nothing. Try a stack of plates with some linen napkins, or a bottle of wine with some wine glasses and a bowl of apples. I even think a few bottles of Tang would be super cute grouped with some glassware and a few branches from outside in a vase (or even a ceramic pitcher). So go ahead and make a little vignette of your own. But don’t forget to send us the pics!