DIY: Autumnal Decorating Finds for Under $30

With the autumnal equinox approaching, we’re inching closer and closer to crisp, fall weather. And, on the heals of our recent feature in the “autumn” edition of Cottages & Bungalows Magazine, we’re excited to share the fun & seasonal decor we incorporated into the magazine photoshoot (with sources!)

We’ve come up with 10 Autumnal Decor Finds for Under $30 that will have your home feeling cozy and inviting just in time for the cool weather.

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FEATURE: Cottages and Bungalows Magazine

Mid November 2018, John and I were contacted by Cottages and Bungalows Magazine about a possible photo shoot here at Content.

Forgetting the long lead time of print media, I assumed the shoot would be focused on Christmastime. But after a few emails with our content director, the intent of the shoot was clarified, and “Autumn 2019” was the focus.

Based on our personal calendar and Airbnb reservations, we determined the shoot would need to happen right after Thanksgiving.

Cottage & Bungalows Magazine - Oct_Noc 2019 (1).jpg

We made the best of the timeline and established a style outline for the shoot that focused on highlighting our existing, vintage furniture accented with seasonal color and texture.

Side note: Though the house is ours, all the photography rights are reserved by the publication. You may notice the low quality of these images, as they have been screen shot in order to share them. To see Content in all its high def glory, be sure to grab a copy of the print or digital version.

Side note: Though the house is ours, all the photography rights are reserved by the publication. You may notice the low quality of these images, as they have been screen shot in order to share them. To see Content in all its high def glory, be sure to grab a copy of the print or digital version.

I initially called my mother to freak out about the amazing opportunity, and within minutes began to freak out that most of my autumnal accents (pumpkins and mums) would be half-dead after Thanksgiving. If you look closely at the cover shot below, you’ll notice our corn stalks are wilting and a few pumpkins have turned to mush, but that’s real life, folks. We’re certainly not perfect, not even on the pages of a magazine… And for that we are very proud!

The shoot came together very naturally, because this is the way we incorporate all seasonal decor. Nothing kitschy, just well thought out additions that mirror the changes happening outside Content’s windows.

Cottage & Bungalows Magazine - Oct_Noc 2019.jpg

You can read the full feature in the October /November 2019 edition by purchasing a print copy here, digital version here, or by visiting Barnes and Noble which carries Cottage and Bungalows magazine on their shelves year round.

Interested to see Content in other features and publications? Check out our Press page.

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE (Week One): Annex Guest Room Makeover


Twice a year, in October and April, Linda from Calling It Home and House Beautiful hosts a One Room Challenge. Over the course of 6 weeks, 20 select designers and bloggers tackle renovating or redecorating a specific room, and share their progress with weekly blog posts. 

When the April 2017 list of selected designers was announces, I was so inspired by how many of the participants are blogs and designers I admire. I knew I wanted to participate too!

The One Room Challenge encourages Guest Participants, so I'm joining the fun, sharing the magic of an Annex Guest Room makeover we have yet to tackle.

What's even more exciting, is this is a linked event, which means that all the Guest Participants will share a common link and you'll be able to easily surf through a ton of room transformations. You'll find that link at the bottom of this post!


Warning: The following "before" images are scary!

I often share this 'before' image with people who don't know the state in which we acquired Content.


I suppose this Annex Guest Room image was taken during the bank's repossession of the property prior to foreclosure.

Luckily, when we closed on Content in October 2014, the trash and junk had been cleaned out.

But, it always amazes me that just 5 short months after this picture was take, two knuckle heads (John + I) showed up bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and jumped feet first into the biggest renovation project of our lives.

Even though we've done a lot since 2014 (i.e. the blood, sweat and tears chronicled throughout this blog), nowadays the Annex Guest Room has mostly been used as storage.



Here's John and my Dad, likely discussing how I'm a closet hoarder of second-hand furniture. 


Over the coldest winter months, I did spend a few days replacing all of the window weight mechanics so all the windows now properly function.





Overall, the Annex Guest Room has awesome bones, just like the rest of the house. This space features a brick fireplace (which needs a mantel), exposed beam ceiling and four original, double pane windows.

The original wide, hardwood pine floors are still in this room. And the space has beautiful ceiling and baseboard molding too!



The overall goal of this makeover is to clean up the walls and ceilings with fresh paint, and create a "disappearing" guest room. Huh?



Stay with me... We refer to this as the Annex because it attaches to Guest Suite #1 and the Great Room. We think this would be the perfect space to provide friends and family, traveling together, with additional accommodations.

But we want to reserve the ability to remove the beds should the space be needed for a special event, in conjunction with the Great Room.





So far, I have a vintage camp theme in mind. I think this will lend itself well to the "disappearing" beds, as well as to a lounge setting.

I have a bunch of ideas floating around, and can't wait to see this fun, quirky makeover come to life.

Be sure to follow along with our progress and comment below with your thoughts!


KEEP IT GOING!

You can connect to all the One Room Challenge Guest Participant week 1 updates here! #oneroomchallenge


2016 Holiday House Tour of Content.


As some of you may remember, last year's Christmas decor-spectacular was brought to you by the lovely Monica Mangin of East Coast Creative and Lowe's.

We were the recipients of a Holiday Makeover, and Monica and her team came to Content. in October (just days after Halloween) and decked our halls with a ton of Christmas cheer. You can check out Monica's recap of the Makeover here.






Well, this year, it's up to me. Thankfully, all the decor used in the Makeover was ours to keep for years to come. The Makeover was just in the Great Room, so I wanted to spread the cheer out a bit throughout the house and add my own spin.

Content. has 10 fireplaces. One day I hope to decorate them all completely different, with their own theme, but 2016 was not that year...




This year, our theme was "don't spend any money + use what you have". We added greens and garland to accent the mantels, and I reused my favorite mix-and-match brass candle sticks with simple white candle sticks.

My favorite Makeover keepsake, these blackboard Nutcrackers!


The Great Room is a pretty large space, so we used both of the artificial Christmas trees again, which are prelite and a dream to put up and take down.


I'm not sentimental about having a real tree. I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to them, in fact, and with all the foot traffic Content. sees, let things to clean up (ie needles) is preferred. 


We did quite a bit of personalization this year, adding this cherished ornament to the tree which was a gift to us from our friend Lin.

Lin is not only super thoughtful, she's also REALLY creative. For a whole year, she held onto this stamp which she received and saved from our wedding invitations and collected these tiny pine cones from the camp where we were married.

She made this beautiful ornament and it was a house warming gift when we moved into Content. and we couldn't love it more.




A little holiday cheer was added to Guest Room 1. The large green accent wall was begging for some holiday inspiration.

What, doesn't every room need a full sized toboggan? I certainly think so...


Never one to eliminate chairs from a room (I love guests!) I simply moved these loungers, displaced by the tree, closer to the front door. Luckily, we have two front doors, so blocking one wasn't a problem at all.

This little spot is now the perfect nook for reading Twas the Night Before Christmas.


We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I wanted the holiday decor to be minimalist. These simple window wreaths and ribbon are subtle but beautiful and just the right amount of holiday without being over the top.




The dining room got some handmade love. The wreath on this fireplace was made by me during a second annual wreath making day with my favorite girlfriends.

My girl Veronica captured this pic and said it best:





Here's my attempt at displaying all of the beautiful Christmas cards we receive each year. I created this "Christmas Past and Present" banner using a free printable I found online.


I picked a few cards from Christmas past to display along with the new cards we received this year.






Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas! From Content. we hope your season is Merry + Bright!

LIFE AT CONTENT: Halloween 2016

This year, I decided to re purpose my Halloween decor, and not buy anything new. Don't get me wrong, with almost 10 years of Halloween party hosting on my resume, I had plenty to work with.

Also, I'm not a kitschy Halloween decorator, and prefer to use common household items in creative ways to suggest spook. I also love the Dollar Store, so my displays usually max out at $5.

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RENOVATION REVEAL: Content Master Bathroom

Taking a look back, and realize I never gave you a full look at the before and after of our Master Bathroom. So, here is the entire run down including all the before and after shots, which I know you all enjoy so much!

And, UPDATE: You can now see this before + after featured on Apartment Therapy!

For basic necessity, the master bathroom was the first space that needed to be tackled FAST in order for us to move into Content. 

BEFORE

Our main priorities in the master bath were to:

  • open the room up

  • bring back some historic, architectural interest

  • and add interest and a modern touch with a bold accent.

First, we removed the existing Jacuzzi tub that was taking up nearly half the floor space.

With a ton more square footage to work with, we created a full walk-in shower:

With such a large space, we decided to construct a wall to separate and enclose the toilet. Not only did this add privacy, but allowed us to add necessary storage as a built-in.

Privacy wall for toilet & added storage

Privacy wall for toilet

To bring back the historic, and architectural detail that this old home deserves, we added an cast iron, claw foot tub that I found on Craigslist and refinished in a matte black. I kept the feet original because I loved the nostalgia the old paint colors invoke. 

John wanted to create interest and detail in the master bath, and did so by joining the double windows with a decorative trim which acts as a picture frame for the claw foot as well.

Then, we chose a deep, dramatic blue paint color for the walls to highlight the freshly painted trim, exposed ceiling beams and original, oak hardwood floors.

Ready for the glamour, after shots? Enjoy!

AFTER

Now you can get this look through our Shop Our Home page here.

Sources

WALL PAINT: Van Deusen by Benjamin Moore

TRIM PAINT: Advanced White by Benjamin Moore

CLAW FOOT TUB: Vintage from Craigslist

VANITY: John's custom design made from walnut. Content Woodworking

VANITY COUNTERTOP: Blue stone

SCONES: French, vintage, Ebay

RUG: World Market which is currently unavailable but a similar is here.

WINDOW SHUTTERS: Lowe's

ACCORDION COAT HANGER: World Market

WALL SHELF: John's custom design made from walnut. Content Woodworking

PLANT POTS AND BASKETS: Ikea

CHAIR: Vintage

TOWELS: Crate and Barrel (teal)