Accessorize with LOVE :)

I would hate to have a cookie-cutter show room, wouldn’t you? It would be totally devoid of me and the things I love.

I decorated my room with my favorite belongings from my travels and life in general. Hanging above my bed are cheap posters I got in the Montmartre (Moulin rouge area) district of Paris. I have pictures from when I was a kid hanging up as well. Seashells from Florida are pictured with a moon-shaped street corner find at Put-in-bay (50 cents, yo!). My favorite poem, Robert Service’s “The Spell of Yukon,” is in an Anthropologie clearance frame. I love penguins, palm reading, and elephants, so all of those things are detailed in my room.

Adding accessories that I love makes me feel happy & at home in any room. Even accessorizing my car in this way makes it feel homey. Don’t make a show room - it won’t be as “you” :)


Pallet Couch

Video instructions soon to come! Basic instructions:

1. Pick four study wooden pallets

2. Paint them black (or whatever color you desire)

3. Screw them together

4. Screw thin, flat piece of wood (also painted black) on top. This is to give your day bed an even surface.

5. Measure wood for side shelves. 

6. Cut this wood (I used a circular saw) and screw drive together. I did a very basic shelf on each side with two short sides and a long piece of wood on top.

7. Place mattress. Mine was twin size and covered with donated muslin fabric.

8. Accessorize! I sewed these pillows using fabric from the Wal Mart bargain bin and purchased pre-stuffed pillows from JoAnn’s. 

Good luck! :)


Jenny’s Rules for Design

  1. Find your style and stick to it. My style is a mix of cosmopolitan and bohemian. I incorporate glamourous and international pieces to achieve this. I recommend that you figure out what you truly like and what suits you - what makes your surrounding environment feel like home? Have your refurbished furniture adopt your style. 
  2. Incorporate personal details. My favorite parts of my room are the details that reflect who I am. I love to make a space my own. It is what separates a room from being a cookie-cutter show room to being individualized. For instance, in my room I have twine with dip-died clothespins. Attached are Polaroid-style photos of my friends, family, and life. Put your personal artifacts on display and the room becomes more personal, fun, and interesting. 
  3. Research the psychology of color. I painted my room faint coral, but can you imagine how different it would look if it is ballet pink? The colors are only a shade different, but have completely different connotations. My coral was much more worldly and chic than a little girl’s pink. Think of what your color represents before you paint and accessorize accordingly. My black chalkboard wall and deep, dramatic details (reds, purples) added a layer of maturity that would not have been apparent if I had used a pastels palette. 
  4. Do not be afraid of power tools. Learning to use saws, drills, and many other power tools made me a much handier furniture decorator! Have an experienced person explain how the tools work, and then go for it!
  5. Hunt for deals. Exploring abandoned sheds, picking pieces of the street, and asking around is how I spent barely any money on furniture. Go to local yard sales and call construction companies - they will usually be willing to help! Also, most craft stores have coupon magazines at the entrance. I saved fifty percent of fabric by checking the coupons. 
  6. Ask for help. A lot of my supplies were given to me by friends, family, and teachers who no longer had use for it. Let people know you are re-decorating and they will be willing to give! Also, seek advice from those who have attempted similar projects. When I was making my chevron rug, I was originally using cotton fabric. My art teacher, Ms. Lynn Kirby, suggested canvas instead. It turned out way better than my fabric would have! Ask for advice from art teachers, decorators, carpenters, constructers, etc. 
  7. Get creative. Look on Pinterest for cool ideas, but think of your own, too. For example, I tried to create my chevron rug with an ombre, gradient style. I attempted that, but it didn’t turn out as expected. So I switched the colors to black and faint coral and it looked better than expected! Take your own personal, quirky twist on the directions. “Color outside the lines!”

Tough and RUGged (Sorry for the bad jokes, they’re my only entertainment)

The carpet in my room is a plain cream and dull. To spice it up, I created a chevron rug. Using canvas material, my 5x4 had alternating chevron stripes of faint coral and black. I painted the stripes using JoAnn’s fabric paint and carefully measured, marked with pencil, and taped off the lines in between the stripes. 


Shake it like a polaroid picture.

I’m obsessed with my chalkboard paint wall. It’s a really easy, cute focal point for any room. Polaroid pictures of my family and friends were made using an online polaroid-making app. Chalk from Walgreen’s. Every time I look at this corner I get SO HAPPY :) Love it!


The Wonders of Black Paint!!

Re-painted a twin size bed from my childhood black. Instantly way chicer! 


Vintage Turquoise Dresser

This dresser was $20 dollars at the local Good Will - score!! It was a really easy fix. The wood on the dresser looked very outdated, totally 1990s. I wanted to give it a chic, Anthropologie-style upgrade. I painted the dresser a beautiful turquoise (“Pale Jade”) to give it a bohemian, quirky vibe. What really made this piece a success was, of all things, sandpaper. I sandpapered all-over the piece to create a vintage flair. This was SO easy - anyone could make this for less than $30 (and it would probably sell at Anthro for hundreds). 


Step One: Gather Materials and Stain Them

I used wooden shipping pallets. Pallets can be found at any furniture store and are free. Never pay for pallets - they are everywhere! I gathered mine from a construction company. I also needed wood for the legs of the coffee table, a measuring device, a circular saw, screws, and a drill. The distressed farm-wood was found in an abandoned shed in the Ostrander district. I stained all wood with the same dark color before I began work. A picture of the stained wood is in the appendix (Figure 1). 

Step Two: Making Measurements 

I had to measure all of the legs to makes sure they were the same size because no one wants a wobbly coffee table. It is extremely important to mark the measurements with pencil so they can be cut at the same spot. Figure 2 shows my measurements for the table. 

Step Three: Cutting Legs (Hopefully not your own!)

Figure 3 is a picture of me using the circular saw! Yes, I was surprised I didn’t cut off a finger, too. I was a little worried about using the saw, but thankfully I had a seasoned professional looking after me (my dad). The trick is to hold the wood steady with one leg and wear protective glasses! The photo shows I am cutting the legs to my coffee table. 

Step Four: Screwing Everything Together

This was surprisingly simple! I just screwed all of the materials together with a drill. 

Step Five: Farm-Wood finish

When my family found this farm-wood driving around one day, I thought it was totally rustically gorgeous and knew I had to use it somehow. I ended up screwing on top of the pallet coffee table. This created a sturdy surface for drinks, magazines, food, etc. and fed into the “farmhouse chic” look my dad’s house is characterized by. Figures 4 and 5, shows my finished product!