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Ideas & Inspiration

Festive Outdoor Decor to take you from Fall to Thanksgiving

Just a few easy changes make your home's decorations work from September thru November
Filed Under > Entertaining

The minute October, more like September, hits I’m ready to decorate my porch in all of the festive-goodness the season brings.  However, when I first bought my home four years ago, I found that I was spending a ton of money decorating for each season: fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. So over the years, I’ve made it my mission to figure out how to make my outdoor decor able to transition through the seasons with only minimal changes. And after a few rounds of trial and error, I think I’ve finally gotten it down well enough to share.

Before I dive into the details, I thought it important to share that this is not my home.  This is one of my Waiting On Martha Home Retail Manager’s gorgeous home. I think it’s important to state that because you may be looking at this and feel, “my porch is not near this large so this look just won’t work for my home.” Well trust me, my porch is tiny (like tiny-tiny), and this same formula works, I just use less of it.  So whether you have a giant farmhouse with a sprawling yard, a row home stoop, or even an apartment balcony you want to make feel more festive, this will work. I promise. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty shall we?

When building the “bones” or base of the outside design I first start with the idea of fall. For me, fall means corn stalks, mums, and plenty of pumpkins. The great thing about starting here is it’s obviously the first season, but all of the fall decorations will also work for Thanksgiving.  If you have any pillars to work with, corn stalks are a great way to decorate those.  All you have to do is tie the stalks around the pillars using two ropes and then peel back the corn husks to reveal the corn.  Corn stalks are pretty inexpensive and will last from fall to Thanksgiving. Corn stalks also look great flanking each side of a garage, or any driveway gates or fences posts as well.  For this particular look, I used two bunches of stalks per pillar, so four total, with each bunch costing $10 each. If you know a local farmer, he or she may even give you a few bunches for free!

Next up, pumpkin stacks and mums.  Mums are the quintessential flower of fall. I love them because they come in a variety of colors and as long as you water them they can easily withstand the Georgia heat.  Typically I pick them up at Costco or Home Depot and then place them in my large apple barrel baskets which I get at Hobby Lobby. The apple barrel baskets will be a one-time investment that you’ll have for years to come. I personally love to mix up the sizes and colors of the mums to accentuate all of the colorful pumpkins.

Which brings me to my favorite part, pumpkin stacks.  Warning, this is the most expensive part of the look, but for me going to my pumpkin patch and supporting my local farmers is something I look forward to each and every year so I just bite the bullet and know that pumpkins are always going to cost me a bit of dough.  They’re costly mainly because I love the specialty pumpkins; the whites, greys, greens, and princess pink pumpkins which are harder to find.  These specialty pumpkins are also the easiest to stack because of their shape. I do make sure to work in the less expensive standard orange pumpkins, and also talk to the owner of the pumpkin patch about pumpkin rot which I suggest you do too  Because of the Georgia heat and also the bees, sometimes pumpkins rot before the season ends.  My guy makes me a promise that if that happens to any of my pumpkins I can just come by and pick out another at no cost.  That way I feel like my investment is worth it because I’m assured my decorations will last the entirety of the season.  Another option is to go faux. Faux will save you money year over year, and time. Plus faux pumpkin stacks like these have gotten very close to looking like the real deal.  Completely up to you.

To finalize our fall (which remember will also be our Thanksgiving) design I completed the look with a great wreath and doormat. I chose to go with a green pumpkin wreath rather than your traditional orange because I knew with the mums and pumpkins I’d have a lot of oranges already present. Totally your call though on color, just buy a good wreath. Wreaths can be a bit of an investment, but I believe they’re the one thing you should actually invest in. Out of everything you’ll see in this post I’ve had the wreath the longest, 4 years now.  And it’s still in perfect condition. I’ve purchased less expensive wreaths in the past and what I’ve found is they simply fall apart. So if you’re able to, listen to Miles Redd and “buy the best and you’ll only cry once.”  That and store it in a great wreath box like this

Lastly, adding a festive doormat is the perfect way to cap off any design. Because I typically find that all the fun, festive doormats, to be too small for the actual space I love layering the doormat on a larger rug such as this.  It adds depth to your design and allows you to switch out doormats easily. I’ve got a pumpkin doormat shown here, but just after our shoot, my new one came in that’s a bit more on the fun side.

I’ve scoured the internet and the closest I can get to mine (the one in the picture) is this one from Frontgate. Typically my store has these exact ones, but we sold out within the first week of putting them up. I promise next year I’ll buy more for y’all.  But there are some gorgeous harvest colored ones I’m loving like this one from Williams Sonoma that would look just as good.

And with that, we’ve completed the perfect outdoor design for fall and Thanksgiving. Now, without disrupting the overall scheme, it’s time to add a bit of Halloween into the mix.

To take my porch from fall to Halloween all I did was switch out the wreath and doormat, plus added a few crows and witches brooms.  

Because the crow wreaths were smaller, I decided to hang two vertically with fishing wire to really make a statement.  The doormat, witch-themed, to match my overall theme. Crows from Amazon I placed in the mums and on the pumpkin stacks. And lastly two crooked, old witch brooms from my shop. I mean how easy is that? Changes that took me less than 10 minutes to complete, with items I’m able to use for more than one season.

*Sorry the brooms are too tall to ship, but if you’re local stop in we’ve got plenty left*

Halloween Porch Ideas Halloween Porch Ideas

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way this look turns out each and every season and I know you’ll love it too and let it transition you from September thru November.  Happy fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving friends! Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White Interiors

Creating A Cozy Space with Serena & Lily

Switching up my favorite little nook with the help of an amazing rattan daybed
Filed Under > Get The Look

Styling a daybed, Waiting On Martha Styling a daybed, Waiting On Martha rattan daybed styling, Waiting On Martha Styling a daybed, Waiting On Martha rattan daybed styling, Waiting On Martha

I’ve always been a fan of the daybed, and as of late daybeds are showing up everywhere in the home.  Outdoor space, add a daybed.  Nursery, add a daybed. Breakfast nook, add a daybed.  Plus they’re chicer than ever.  Take for example this Avalon rattan daybed from Serena and Lily.  When I first spied it I knew I had to find a space for it.  That space turned out to be my sitting room in my bedroom.

Let’s pause right here to discuss something for perspectives sake.  When you read the sentence above you probably thought, if I have a sitting room in my bedroom then my home must be quite spacious.  Not exactly.  My home is great, but it’s not a McMansion by any stretch of the imagination. For some reason when they built our home they added a sitting room to the master making it larger than our family room and dining room combined.  However, because we don’t have a basement and only a family room, I was committed to making the sitting area an actual space that was used and not just a pretty room to look at. 

Since my husband and his abnormally large television took over the family room, I naturally retreated to our bedroom.  Which was fine by me because the bedroom is, and always has been, my favorite room in every home I’ve ever lived in. I know most sleep experts would warn against it, but there’s nothing I look forward to more than cozying up in my bed with a stack of magazines, a great glass of wine, and the apple tv fired up and ready. It’s like that Drake song; “I only love my bed and my momma.” Preach Drake, preach.

Anyway, I’ve gotten off track, back to the Avalon rattan daybed.  Before the daybed entered our life I had a whole sitting area set up with two very large chairs, a coffee table and ottomans.  That worked, but over the years how I’ve used the space has changed.  Before I really only used it to watch a movie.  Now I was craving a new space I could spend my morning quiet time, work, and watch a movie when the mood hit.  And the daybed was the perfect way to make this new vision become a reality.

The chairs and coffee table went bye-bye, and the whole room shifted.  I put the Avalon rattan daybed against the wall and loaded it down with my favorite gingham sheet set and quilt from Serena and Lily plus a few throws, and a good amount of pillows. This created the perfect, and most cozy spot, to spend quiet time in the morning and movie time at night.  Because there wasn’t room for a coffee table I added an end table that can easily move around to where it’s needed most.  And lastly, I brought a small white desk up and placed it opposite the daybed. By positioning the furniture like this I maintained the square shape which helps it feel like a separate space rather than just an extension of the bedroom.

I’ve been living with this new set up for a few weeks now and I’m loving it.  And I’m not the only one, you can see that Addison has really taken to the daybed as well! Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post was in collaboration with Serena & Lily.  A brand I love and adore.  Opinions are 100% my own.

Gutting & Renovating A Bathroom in Two Days & For Around $1,000

Mint Shiplap, white marble, and matte black fixtures completely transform this space.
Filed Under > Ideas & Inspiration

When I opened my brick and mortar, Waiting on Martha Home, this past summer the list of improvements was long and my budget was tight.  I basically had to gut the entire space to feel more like the WOM we all know…”happy and bright.”  I’m talking floors ripped up, wallpaper installed, custom cabinetry created, walls knocked down, and more gallons of paint applied than you can imagine.  I of course, like most people when faced with a large reno, went over budget.  Not by much, but it was enough to make me push the bathroom renovation to a later date. 

When it finally came round to give the bathroom the attention it needed, I wanted to give it a full face lift, but on a budget.  And time was of the essence.  I couldn’t have my bathroom out of use for more than a few days.  Well, I’m thrilled to share with you the full bathroom reveal that was completed in two days and with a budget of $1,000.  So how did I complete this kind of reno with that kind of budget, let’s first discuss.  Starting with the before shall we.

As you can see by this picture the bathroom was brown and bland.  Brown tile, brown granite, brown wood paneling; yes it appears brown was the theme.  When thinking about what I could do on my budget I knew I couldn’t do everything.  So I chose to change what I felt would have the biggest impact and try to mask the rest.  For me that meant, changing the walls by adding texture, and ripping out the current sink and countertop situation. 

While in a dream world I would have loved to rip the tile out it would have been too timely and expensive of a project for this particular reno.  I also felt that once everything else was lightened up and a great rug was added the floors wouldn’t be near as noticeable. 

For the walls, ceiling and trim I chose to continue the shiplap and coloring scheme that was carried out in one of the rooms in the Shoppe. I personally prefer a wider shiplap with a square edge, so I went with Home Depot’s 8 x 8 shiplap in pine and painted it Farrow & Ball’s Pale Powder in a flat finish.  I love a flat finish on the shiplap itself, as it maintains more of it’s unfinished vibe with a flat paint rather than a semi or high gloss. And I did paint the shiplap after it was installed rather than before. 

For the trim I continued the Shoppe’s color scheme of Farrow & Ball’s Dimity with a lacquer finish and the ceiling was painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White. I just love how the mint colored shiplap plays off the high lacquer vanilla feel of Dimity and the white and bright ceiling.  I also changed out the ceiling light and fan to a simple, yet modern, one by Hunter.

One thing to note about the paint and the budget, I did have left over paint from the Shoppe to complete this bathroom project so when you look at the final total I didn’t have to count paint into my budget. 

Next up, the sink and countertop.  This was tricky.  While I would have loved to rip the whole thing out and put an all-in-one vanity situation that wasn’t an option as my Shoppe bathroomhad to be ADA compliant.  At first my father and I were just trying to find a piece of marble in this shape to simply switch it out.  But once looking at my options, and my numbers, I knew I couldn’t afford to do that.  The solution, cut the counter in half by not having it run all the way to the wall.  By making this simple change I was able to get the marble vanity top with the sink built right in from Home Depot making my job so much easier!

This may sound a bit tricky to execute, but it was a lot easier than it looks and that’s coming from a non DIY-er like myself.  All we had to do was unhook the faucets and rip the siliconed top off, which ended up being a breeze because it wasn’t attached well to begin with.  Then I let my father fire up the saw and he cut the front piece of wood off that extended to the wall, and placed a new wood panel on the bottom and side.  I then painted it Pale Powder to match the shiplap and installed the vanity top again with silicone.  Easy breezy.

With the heavy lifting done, all that was left was fixtures. I went with Pfister’s Venturi matte black faucet and Pfister Venturi hooks because I loved how they looked in my home bathroom makeover.  And rather than putting up the terribly boring mirror we took down I added a small oval latitude mirror with matching matte black fixtures. 

Striped Waste Basket | Juju Hat | Oyster Basket | Diffuser | Rug | Oils | Mirror | Faucet | Vanity | Shiplap

 

And voila, a full bathroom reno that came in on time…only two days…and on budget! I mean it feels like a completely different space does it not?! Of course the aesthetics helped too. The rug, as mentioned, masks the brown tile and I definitely added a few hints of fun with my striped waste paper basket and feather juju hat.  But really, the star of the show is the physical transformation of the space.  Tell me friends, did this make you feel ready to tackle your own home reno? Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White | This post was in collaboration with Home Depot and Pfister, brands I love and adore.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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