06.25.2014 / Make it Work: Steamer Trunk

What?  Another new series?  I’m on a roll!  I hope you’re loving them!

In the past I’ve shown you all the treasures (and some not so much…) for sale on Craigslist, but I though it would be fun to not just show you the piece, but also show you how you can make it work in your own space

This week’s treasure:

The steamer trunk

Currently listed on the Boston/North Shore Craigslist for $10.  Seriously $10.  The picture makes it look pretty decent and if the inside is clean and usable, $10 is a steal!

craigslist steamer trunk

Antique steamer trunk, meet modern home:

How I would style this piece:

Well traveled steamer trunk living room // Year of Serendipity

1/ IKEA Stockholm sofa-  Surprise! Just goes to show you can have style at any budget!

2/ Olia Table Lamp via Lulu & Georgia

3/ Penelope Night Stand via West Elm

4/ Racing Stripe Pillow via Serena & Lily

5/ Domino Pillow via Lulu & Georgia

6/ Sculpted Metal + Leather Bowl Chair via West Elm (another surprise)

7/ Triangles Dhurrie Rug also via West Elm


Are you loving/hating my new series posts?  I’d love your feedback on Make it Work, 5 Ways, or Crash!

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06.23.2014 / Caught White Handed

Oh no, she got hold of the spray paint again!!  Every man for themselves!


I’m not sure what spoke to me about this hand vase (must have been sign language…), but when I saw it at an estate sale this weekend, I felt compelled to pick it up immediately.  $4? Ok, if you insist.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  Even the strangest things can look elegant in white ceramic, right?


I tried cleaning it up, but it still looked like dingy old off-white with a bad manicure.


After checking it to make sure there were no markings that this was a priceless heirloom (spoiler alert: it wasn’t), I took to it with some fine sand paper before I let her have it.


Flat white spray paint was all I had on hand (pun intended, but also true).  The white paint was just what this piece needed to make it look fresh and clean.

I borrowed an air plant from the kitchen to test out my vision.  I need to get some more air plants.  In the past year I’ve only killed 1 out of 5.  That’s pretty decent for me with plants- I’ve kept 4 alive!  Throw me a parade- I’m a saint here!  Too far?  Anyway, so HAND!


For $4 you could get a fancy latte at Starbucks, but I think spending it on weird hand vases is so much more fulfilling.  It looks exactly how I pictured it on my shelf and I kind of love it.  High five! Sorry, sorry, I’ll stop with the hand puns, scouts honor…. ok that was the last.  really.


I’ve been picking up cool old books at tag sales and estate sales, so my living room bookcase is just screaming for a full restyle in the very near future and not just the shelves that end up in hand photo shoots.

Apparently I’m feeling very cheeky pre-coffee this Monday morning.  My apologies if my cheese level was off the charts- I’ll try to be more docile in Wednesday’s post.  No promises.

Happy Monday!

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05.21.2014 / Color Blocked Deco

I know you must be on the edge of your seat with anticipation- What did Karen spend her last $3 on at Brimfield??  Fear not, I’m here to put you at ease!

Piled under other several other items, I discovered the most adorable wood and metal deco tray.  The handle caught my eye and once I moved the junk piles from it, I realized that it was in amazing condition.  I would’ve paid more than $3 for it if necessary- that’s how much I love it.

deco wood tray

At first I just cleaned it up with a little wood conditioner (which worked miracles!) and fine steel wool on the metal, but I wanted to kick it up a bit.

deco tray progress

While adorable on it’s own, it needed a pop of color.  After racking my brain for what pattern this little guy wanted- herringbone?  diamonds?  free-handed feathers?- I kept coming back to color blocking.  Why resist the urge?

Color blocked deco wood tray via Year of Serendipity

It’s the perfect size to hang out next to my computer and corral the everyday necessities.

My sexy mac is in the shop, so I’m borrowing Hubby’s extra lappy currently, hence the less-sexy black box.  Hopefully only another day or so.

deco tray syled desk

Considering I used paint, wood conditioner, and steel wool that I already had, the only cost here was the $3 tray!  And what a pretty $3 tray it is!

DIY color blocked deco wood tray via Year of Serendipity

I’m so happy that I could keep the integrity of the piece and give it a quick update.  My favorite type of DIY!

So, what do you think?



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