Monday, January 24, 2011

Small-Town Finds, Plus

So, I've been a bit remiss in sharing loads of New House Photos... mostly, because there's just not much to see!  Honestly, I've been struggling a bit with this "Home Decor Thing."  

Which is a bit puzzling to me.

I mean, I know what I like. {And what I don't like.} I have Opinions.  I enjoy procuring Pretty Things.  I have Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People and Domino: The Book of Decorating on my coffee table.  Sprucing up our living space should be right up my alley!

So why the ineptitude?  I think there are a couple of factors at play...

(1) Space.  We didn't used to have lots of it.  Now we do.  Until last weekend, we'd yet to purchase a piece of {substantial} furniture together... which means all our stuff sailed into our marriage from law school and, thusly, is "apartment-sized."  It's a bit overwhelming when everything in your house appears to be appropriately proportioned for Barbie. {Donde esta mi Dream Car, Ken?} Where to even start?  {Answer: Buy a sectional and dinning room table. At least we hope that's a good jumping off point!}

(2) Anti-Hoarding Tendencies.  As a kid, I kept everything.  For proof of this, visit my parents in Austin and have them give you the tour of my childhood bedroom, a/k/a The Shrine to All Things Kate, Ages 10 to 18.  Now?  I'm a Purger. {of the non-Portia de Rossi variety.} I don't like clutter, or closets bursting at the seams, or unorganized drawers.  I don't collect knick-knacks.  The only things I hold onto with an iron grip of death are books, photographs, and old letters.  While the photographs and books do help with Empty Built-in Syndrome, I need loads more "pieces of interest"... which means erasing the phrase "Blah I don't want to spend money on something that does nothing" from my daily jargon.

(3) Conflicting Tastes.  Nope, not Kate vs. Evs... it's Kate vs. Kate... or even sometimes, Kate vs. The House.  I have absolutely no anchor when it comes to my "home decor style" {vom}.  I'd be just as pleased living here as I would living here. Actually, I'd be happiest if the two styles met in the produce aisle, went out for risotto, drank three too many glasses of pinot, boinked like animals, and created a bouncing, giggly love-child. IN OTHER WORDS, I like clean and classic... but I need a heaping dose of funk or vintage intrigue or whatever you want to call it...  Whimsy, perhaps.  Right now?  I'm dealing with very little whimsy.

{Except for the Suns.  Which?  I am now totally enamored with, by the by.  The Suns stay.}

And our house, while I love it to pieces and want to pinch it's cheeks with glee, could skip easily down the "I'm So Late-90s, Where's All My Wrought-Iron Wall-Hangings & Heavy Leather Furniture & How About Some Large Ceramic Roosters Just For Fun" Path if left unsupervised.

Ramble.  Ramble.  Ramble.  Where was I?

Oh yes!

I bought some things this past weekend!  Things for the house!  Things that I think are going to rehab my decorating paralysis!

My mom and I hightailed it down to Salado, Texas last Saturday to see what we could see.  Salado is about half-way between Waco and Austin, and is a small town mecca of antiques, art, collectibles, etc.  Definitely worth a pit stop if you ever find yourself trucking it South down I-35.   We also hit up Hobby Lobby {Word to the Wise: Waco has what is perhaps the best HL I've ever experienced}.

Jan has many excellent qualities, I'll tell you. One being that she is not a big shopper and doesn't frivolously spend money... So when she goes all "BUY THAT! SUCH A GREAT DEAL!" on you, you can scoot on back to Dallas, laden down with pottery and glass and musty books, with an entirely clean conscience.  I actually procured everything below {some of which are my grandfather's belongings given to me by my gracious grandmother} for under three hundred smackers.  Considering I paid money for 20 items (that's an average of $15 per item, for those keeping count), I merrily plunk this in the "Not Too Shabby" Category.

Let's take a looksee a the whole kit-n-kaboodle, shall we? 

{Hardbacks & Smaller Items}
- Turquoise Gourd Lamps from Target
- Brass Duck Bookends - Daddy Jim's
- Glass Owl - Daddy Jim's
- Ceramic Blue Birds ($3 a piece!) - Magnolias
- Turquoise Frame - Charlotte's
- Artichoke Votives (below) - Shop next to Side by Side

These hardbacks were all my Daddy Jim's.  I have tons of books, but many of mine are paperback and look really cheesy displayed in built-ins.  I was going to hit up Half Price Books for old hardbacks to use as shelf-fillers, but these were free and - more importantly - very sentimental.  I have them separated into (a) ophthalmology / medical, (b) history / environment, (c) popular, and (d) books that were special to my sweet grandfather...

... the latter is obviously my favorite stack.  You can bet these won't be up high on some shelf. 

{Pottery & Glass}

Now we're talking steals, folks - steals!   The large glass jugs?  Remind you of anything?  Well, Wah-Wah Pottery Barn, I spied both of these at Hobby Lobby - 50% off - the pair for under $90.  BOO YAH.  The green glass and the birdcage (another "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" to PB... mine was $14) also came from HL.  The turquoise pitcher (te amo) was purchased with the artichoke votives at The Place Whose Name I Don't Recall.  The scrolly candelabra, the mondo brass plate, and the mustard... um... thingies hail from Horsefeathers.  

That's my haul!  I did okay, yes?  

Now... where to put it... stay tuned. 


  1. Lookin' good! Now, will you come decorate the nursery for us? K thanks!

  2. Love it all! Can't wait to see everything in place. :)

  3. Wow! you did hit the jackpot! I am smitten with that turquoise pitcher!

  4. the wall in our living room is bookshelves shoulder hight and down, with th exception of a fireplace in the middle. I've been slowly putting stuff together on the shelves, but you took home a killing! I'm more than a little jealous :-)

  5. I am also currently going through the same decorating dilemma as you - Matchbox size house to a house with actual space. I finally bit the bullet today and bought a new bed after much agony. Decorating is daunting! I love those finials you found. Very pb!

  6. I have those same glass jugs from Hobby Lobby, love! You did good!

  7. YAY for great finds. I totally understand the home decorating thing--we were in a similar pickle when we bought our first home. We bought in a less expensive neighborhood so we got more house for less $$. Good thing, yes. Bad thing? We owned no real furniture. Fun times. My parents gave us stuff, which was nice, but, I HATED it and I couldn't handle spending on stuff. Ugh. Now? I think we're coming along. Ahem, three years later.

    You did an awesome job with all that stuff chica. Oh, and, my grandpa had the same brass duck bookends! I love that you have so many items from your Daddy Jim!

  8. KATE, I love it all! I am a total sucker for the Spade casa, and have to admit that ALL of my favorite trinkets are quirky hand-me-downs or {gasp} Goodwill finds. From owl pass-downs to a brightly colored collection of vases to a porcelain geisha. Most recently convinced the guy at a cigar store to sell me a few of the coolest wood display boxes for a few dollars each. I can't wait to see pics of your display! And tell no one about the Goodwill confession.


  9. Oh, I can totally relate to the decorating paralysis...can I ever. I have my ideas and my things I love etc, but I too have trouble picking one style/figuring out how to blend them, AND...committing to buying and living with things because sadly the money tree out back done quit growin' and when we buy something, we may have it for a while :) LOOOOOOOOVE all the stuff you got -- can't wait to see where you put it! Also? LOL that you love the suns. So funny.

  10. Everything looks fabulous! Especially the stack of books from your grandaddy. :-)

  11. Decorating big open shelves is tough! I rearrange mine 23409817 times before I'm happy with them, and then I don't touch them for an entire year. Perhaps I should find some moderation on both ends, no? You have some good stuff there- good luck!

    PS. Try pilfering from your kitchen. I put some big pretty serving platters up on my shelves and get lots of compliments on them.

  12. I LOVE HL! And Waco's is definitely one of the better ones! I think you got some awesome finds. I adore your lamps!

  13. We need to get that Dallas trip on the calendar - I would loooove to hang out in your spacious abode and brainstorm it with you room by room!

  14. I find total comfort in your indecisive "home decor style." Nick gets so frustrated with my constantly changing opinions on the framed food photos in our kitchen, the dishes on our hutch, the table runner on our dining room table, and -- perhaps worst of all -- the pillows on our bed.

  15. Kate, your finds look fab! Love them.

    Everything you could possibly find in MN on a trip like that would involve Moose, miniature log cabins and things with Scandinavian patterns. NOT THE SAME.

  16. I totally get the I-Know-What-I-Like-But-WTF-Do-I-Do-With-That-Knowledge paralysis. I feel the same way most of the time. I'm fortunate, though, because we are currently renting. All decor shortcomings are being blamed on that.

    But great job! Love your loot!

  17. My kind of shopping trip--pretty purchases, good prices and going with you! I'm glad you like everything you bought and that Evs approved too!

  18. oh, you did great with what you got for the money! I love the big glass pieces. Of course, the older hardbacks are so sweet. I love items that are sentimental. :)


happy little comments!