Lunchtime Design: Animals in HomeGoods

This edition of Lunchtime Design didn’t actually take place during lunchtime. It was about a month ago on a Sunday afternoon. But it still counts!

I went into HomeGoods to walk around and see what inspired me. Pretty soon, I noticed a theme. Luckily, that theme was one of my favorites: animals! There were animals all over the place.

First, I saw this display of owl platters. I loved the round one in the back right corner.

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Then I saw some glass animals. First, a turtle:

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Then, a fish:

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Then I moved to the food section, where I saw this adorable cheese grater. I think it was a porcupine? Or maybe a hedgehog? Either way, it was cute. If I ever had any occasion to grate cheese, I would have bought it.

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Then, there were these butterfly mini-cake tins.

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And then these cow salt and pepper shakers…

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In the kids’ section, I came across this cute polka-dotted piggy bank.

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In the pet section, I saw this trio of ceramic winged dogs.

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They reminded me of Falcor, but not as awesome.

In the bath section, I saw this seahorse-shaped shower caddy:

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And then this elephant soap dispenser:

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Then, there was the Halloween decor section (already?! it was August 18!), which was filled to the brim with owls of all sorts. I think this was intended to be a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” set.

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Next up was this shiny silver rhino, which I now realize didn’t photograph well on an also-silver background:

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There seemed to be lots of roosters, but I’ve always hated rooster decor, so I avoided taking pictures of those. But I found the idea this plump hen roosting on her nest sort of endearing:

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Finally, I made it over to the lamp corner, where I was surprised to find more animals. There was this pair of huge seahorse lamps (see how the bases are the same height as that average-sized table lamp in between them?):

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And lastly, this gold bird-on-a-branch lamp:

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Interesting, right? I’m glad there are so many options for my love of animals to translate somewhat into my home decor–in ways other than my two real kitties shedding all over everything!

(Disclaimer: Most of the things in this post don’t align with my own style, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying to blend all of these things together! I just thought they were some cute ideas for inspiration for anyone who loves animals like I do.)

What do you think about incorporating animal-themed pieces into your home?


Yard Sale Hopping: Look What I Bought

Two weekends ago, a Catholic church here in Charlottesville had their annual yard sale fundraiser. I saw the announcement on Craigslist and decided to go take a look. I’m glad I did! Here’s what I found.

First up, the books (because apparently I’ve been on a secondhand book buying kick lately)…

The Taste of Summer cookbook (which I figured would be pretty just to display, in the event that I never get around to cooking anything in it…):

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Some light reading:

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And a handy reference book, in case I ever get around to purchasing my first home:

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Then I headed to the housewares room, where I found these…

Another silver platter (which attracted Elephant‘s attention while I was snapping these photos):

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A small glass baking dish (perfect for banana bread!):

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And a mini cupcake tin!:

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All of this for only $5!

Since I was on a roll, I headed to the Schoolhouse Thrift Shop, which I’ve driven past a million times in my life, but had never been inside. I learned that their profits support several charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Ministry With the Aging, The Alliance for Interfaith Ministries, and the Gertrude Mitchell House, and that they’re staffed by volunteers. I had no idea!

Their inventory is mostly clothes (and a surprising number of shoes), but I wound up with another book. I’d seen this one for sale several times before and always thought “I know nothing about either of them; I should really read that!” So for 50 cents, I figured it was worth the investment:

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The next morning, I set out with a list of yard sales around town, but was disappointed with what I found. One promised blue Mason jars, one promised antique trunks, and one offered lots of furniture, but I didn’t see anything I liked besides–you guessed it–another book. This one should help me get my life on track:

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For another 50 cents, I couldn’t pass it up. I’ll let you know if I wind up reading it and figuring things out.

All in all, not too bad for $6, right?

Goodwill Hunting: Look What I Bought

It turns out I’ve been doing a lot of Goodwill shopping lately. And finding lots of good stuff!

A few weeks ago, I found this silver dish at the Goodwill location on Pantops.

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I really loved the rainbow effect of the patina on it, so for $1.95, I bought it!

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Another day, I headed across town to the Goodwill on 29, where I found tons of books. I’m normally kind of snooty about the books I buy, because some secondhand books can feel really dirty. But I took a look, and found some that seemed to be in really good condition.

I was excited about this one, because I know nothing about British royal history. Maybe one day I’ll actually get around to reading it and learn a little something!

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Speaking of British history, the English major in me geeked out quite a bit when I saw this one on the shelf:

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Next up was another novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, since I read Middlesex a few months ago and LOVED it. (Book review hopefully coming soon!)

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Then I grabbed this hardcover novel, because the plot sounded interesting, and I was on a roll:

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I was quite happy with my haul, but then I saw this cute little gold tea light dish:

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So I grabbed it, too! Since all paperbacks are $1 and hardbacks are $2, along with the gold dish, my total for this stop was $5.95 plus tax.

For less than $8.50 total, I’m pretty happy with my recent Goodwill runs. Has anyone else found anything awesome in a Goodwill lately?

Lunchtime Design: Roxie Daisy

Last Thursday during lunch, I ducked in to Roxie Daisy, a shop just off the Downtown Mall that’s full of “elegant, and elegantly rustic, home furnishings.” (I always enjoy window-shopping as I walk by on my way to lunch, but on this day I specifically planned to go inside.)

Although Roxie Daisy is stocked with lots and lots of beautiful furnishings, nearly everything in the store is a bit out of my price range at this point in my life. (Sigh.) But as I was perusing, I noticed trends that I thought still served as very good design inspiration.

Mostly, I was taken by their shelving. I loved these industrial metal shelves that were backed with wood paneling and used to display books. This look could definitely be replicated on a budget!

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I’ve seen these same stools at Patina here in Charlottesville, and I just love the way they look. It seems that both shops keep a set by the check-out counter. Perhaps seeing something pretty encourages people to spend more money? 🙂

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I loved this antique shelving unit with numbered wire baskets. This would be an excellent storage system for a home office or craft room. Imagine each of those baskets filled with pretty fabric scraps!

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This was a lovely, airy, feminine bedroom display set up in the store. The white brick walls, big windows, fluffy white bed, and gold accents added up to a really soft and inviting look.

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I always find myself interested in different takes on deer mounts. (Because P would die to have a real one in his house and I would kill him if he did…) This one was fabric and stuffed. Much cuter than an actual Bambi head on your wall!

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I loved this light fixture, but like everything else with my phone’s camera, it was hard to grab a great picture.

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I liked the linen slipcovered sofa and the huge coffee table for displaying books…

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…But I really liked this other industrial-looking shelving unit on casters that was used for displaying candles and those annoying scent diffusers.

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So that sums up my lunchtime visit to Roxie Daisy. It’s a beautiful shop filled with wish-I-could-have-that! items, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.

Lunchtime Design: The Second Yard

One afternoon last week, I visited The Second Yard here in Charlottesville, which claims to offer “the best and biggest selection of decorator fabrics and quality home furnishings in Virginia.” I didn’t know what to expect upon walking in to a massive fabric store, but I was pleasantly surprised! The store is in an old house downtown, so each of the rooms on the lowest level and most on the middle level are staged as actual rooms, with upholstered furniture, mirrors, artwork, and accessories on display. (Here’s where I apologize once more for the less-than-beautiful pictures that result from my phone being the best camera I own…)

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I loved the fabric on this chair so much that I took a seat in it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as comfortable as it is pretty.

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I liked the idea of these coordinating-but-not-matching green armchairs, especially with the gold mirror.

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Ugh! These pictures came out so badly! Anyone have any camera recommendations? (Cheap + good quality is the way I’d like to go.)

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I loved the antique gold mirror above the mantel, and the tailored, crisp lines of the sofa.

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An elephant lamp!!

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And once I got past the staged rooms, I got to the main event: the fabrics! Room after room after room of gorgeous fabric. There were SO MANY ideas in my head. I had never really considered how inspirational fabric can be, but man! I wanted to design whole rooms around some of these.

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Naturally, the blues were some of my favorites.

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I really loved this large-scale black and white print. It would make for some dramatic curtains.

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These were gorgeous because of the texture. You can only sort of see it in this picture, but all of these fabrics were plush and soft and would have been perfect to add just the right amount of cozy to a room.

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A lot of the rooms were organized by color, which I found helpful. Here’s the red room (and looking at these pictures makes me cringe–my phone somehow made some gorgeous fabrics look just awful!).

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And then there was a green room…

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I loved these outdoor fabrics with the fish pattern!

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Finally! A picture that’s true-ish to life. This was one of two rooms with cutting tables, with many more bolts of pretty blues!

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I feel good about ending with that picture, because it’s so pretty. I really enjoyed perusing The Second Yard (in truth, it was more like exploring, since the place is so huge!), and wound up just wandering and thinking about different fabrics to mix and match. It was really inspirational–if only I could find a house to start decorating!

Lunchtime Design: Circa

Yesterday at lunch time, I realized it had been far too long since my last Lunchtime Design outing. It’s been all home buying all the time for the past few weeks around here, and I needed a break! So I headed to Circa, a Charlottesville staple that I’m embarrassed to say I had never visited before. At least now I can’t say that anymore!

I didn’t really know what to expect upon walking in (I was anticipating prices a bit out of my reach), but the mission listed on their website pretty much sums it up. Circa wants “to fill the void between junk stores and pricey antique ‘shoppes.'” And that they do. Here’s what I loved…

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This $95 midcentury chair caught my eye, and I was surprised. I usually prefer furniture that looks like it’s straight out of the 21st century. But I liked the clean lines of the wood, and I actually didn’t mind the original green tweed upholstery. Once I realized that the chair kind of rocks/bounces, I was fully on board.

Initially I didn’t see anything that looked liked it was made in the last 20 years, so I didn’t think I would see anything I liked, and thought my post would be a bust. But apparently I was in a midcentury mood! Next up, I spotted this chest, which I loved.

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I loved the detail on the top two drawers, the pulls on the two bottom drawers, and the simple legs! For $165, I’d say it was priced pretty well. (A little more than I’d normally want to pay, but probably still priced right.)

Next up was another midcentury piece, this time a full dresser.

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Floorspace at Circa is at a premium, what with all the good stuff they’re overflowing with, so it was really hard to get a photo of the entire dresser. This one is a little blown out (also thanks to my phone), but it shows the general idea. Clean, simple lines, and 9 big drawers. I couldn’t find a price tag on this one.

I seemed to have stumbled into what I’d describe as their “large furniture room” first, and then realized that there’s another building attached. The second building I entered had more of a traditional antique store feel (and smell–does anyone else think that antique stores have a distinct “old” smell? I used to refuse to go in antique stores when I was little because I hated the smell so much).

I saw yet another antique piece that I liked!

2013-07-15 12.37.53I normally don’t like antiques, and I normally don’t like green! But I really liked this chair. For $75, it would be a great accent chair. I’m picturing it in a guest room for some reason.

Next up, I stumbled upon an antique globe, which I was tickled to see labeled Russia as the ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’ I got a kick out of that for some reason. The globe was $30, which I think is probably a good price for a lifetime of geography lessons.

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On the way into and out of the second building, I was greeted by a kind of vestibule that was almost wallpapered with mirrors. I’ve been on an unusual gold gilded mirror kick lately (I say ‘unusual’ because I usually hate gold), so I was excited to see a variety of mirrors with gold frames.

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As always, it’s hard to get a good picture of a mirror, but even harder when it’s a whole collection in a sunny entryway! I didn’t catch the prices of any of them, but I’m sure they were within reason. Everything seemed to be!

Has anyone else been surprised to find themselves drawn to a new style out of the blue? Anyone been to visit Circa here in Charlottesville? Any other awesome finds?

Lunchtime Design: Tuesday Morning

Since I’m off work this week, yesterday I stopped by the Tuesday Morning at Pantops in Charlottesville. Looks like the Lunchtime Design series is going strong so far!

I’m pretty sure that the last time I set foot in a Tuesday Morning, it was during the ’90s, and it was entirely against my will. My mom used to like shopping there when I was little, and I was often dragged along. But I heard recently that they had ceramic garden stools for 25% off $59.99, which was true! (I didn’t snap a photo because I ultimately decided that I didn’t like the two in the store. Maybe I should have.)

Anyway, yesterday, I was surprised to see lots of rugs! I had no idea what Tuesday Morning sold, but I guess I was expecting it to be something akin to Big Lots. (No offense to Big Lots, but the one in Charlottesville was awful…the one time I was there, about 5 years ago.) I now also know that they have a pretty big luggage section, as well as lots of pots and pans and small kitchen appliances. Good to know!

This orange, magenta, maroon, lime, and white striped lady was a 5’x’7′ for only $49.99! (It actually looked a lot bigger than 5’x7′ in person as well as in this picture.) I liked the tight woven texture (it might have been a natural fiber? or I could be completely making that up…) and really liked the fun colors. I could see it in a kitchen or a kids’ play area.

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This next one was hard to photograph, but it was tangerine and white stripes in a tight rectangular pattern. It was 7’6″x9’6″ for only $199.99! Could be really cute in a little boy’s room. Or even interesting in an adult living room with all black and white furniture and accents? Who knows. Orange is a hard color to work with, but I still liked this one.

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I was in LOVE with this next one. It was hard to leave the store without it, even though I have absolutely nowhere to put it, and there’s no way it would have fit in my car. I loved the trellis print in 4 shades of blue. It was another 7’6″x9’6″, but it was priced a bit higher at $299.99.

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After circling back several times to continue rifling through the rugs, I made it over to the opposite side of the store, where it was kind of a hodge-podge of things. I didn’t see all that much that I loved, but I thought these three fuzzy chevron throw blankets were nice and graphic. They were 50″x60″ and $14.99. And really fuzzy.

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So that was it for my Tuesday Morning roundup (on a Tuesday afternoon). I’ll have to remember to head back there when I’m looking for cookware! I’ve been wanting to invest in some new stuff for a while now…

Does anyone else have any awesome Tuesday Morning finds? Any other ideas for ways to use these pieces in your home?