Our Bedroom Furniture: Opinions, Please!

Friends, I need help. More specifically, I need opinions. Most of the time, I’m pretty decisive about our home decor, but I’m really, really struggling with our bedroom furniture.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know what our master bedroom looks like:

Master bedroom with high ceilings via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Master bedroom with white beams via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted velvet headboard and wood platform bed

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Master bedroom with black furniture

(PS: Those pictures are old. I have since replaced my white broken nightstand lamp with this one, and swapped out those tacky candle holders on the mantel with some stacks of books. Just so you know.)

You may have noticed that the majority of our furniture is black and appears to be from a matched set. There’s a story behind that.

When I got my first apartment my sophomore year of college, bless my parents – they didn’t take me to Ikea to buy me a bunch of cheap particle board pieces. They took me to Raymour & Flanigan and purchased me the most solid, heavy, sturdy dresser and nightstand you’ve ever seen.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black tallboy dresser

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black two-tone nightstand

As you can see, the past nine years have not been kind to these pieces. I mostly blame my cats – those scratches are their doing. They also could probably stand to be dusted more, and maybe I shouldn’t let reed diffuser liquid pour all over the tops of them, but nonetheless, they’re fantastic quality and would be as good as new with some TLC. (Ignore the one random oil-rubbed bronze knob on the nightstand – I’m testing options.)

When Brad and I moved into our first home in Atlanta and had some more space, he took my tall dresser and my parents bought me yet another piece – a much wider solid wood dresser. I had no idea what my style was at that point, so I picked out another two-tone country piece that would match the dresser and nightstand we already owned.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black wide two-tone dresser

My dresser styling is sub-par. I know this. Let’s not talk about it right now.

A few months later, Brad and I returned to the store where we got the wide dresser and purchased another nightstand. We couldn’t find one that matched perfectly, so we just picked a black cottage-y style. It’s currently much too messy to photograph (and cleaning it is much too daunting to deal with), so here’s a stock photo I found on the internet:

Value City NJ - Cottage nightstand black

So, that’s our bedroom set, essentially. My jewelry armoire and our bed are a darker, warmer mahogany-type wood, but for the most part, there’s a lot of black happening. Now that we know what we like, the black is an issue; the matching is an issue; and the country style is an issue. These issues need to be resolved.

The look-and-feel we’d like to have, ideally, would be something like this:

La Dolce Vita - via Nuevo Estilo - Colorful bedroom with tufted headboard and exposed beams
Via La Dolce Vita

Emily Henderson - The Curbly Bedroom Makeover
(Via Emily Henderson)

In my dreams, our bedroom is eclectic and relaxed. It has personality and style, but in a very calm way. It speaks quietly so that it doesn’t wake us up at night. You feel me?

So, the way I see it, we have a number of options. None of those options include replacing either dresser. The quality is too good and the sizes are too perfect – plus, there’s an emotional attachment. I would, however, consider replacing the nightstands. They’re actually a little too large for the space now that we have a king-sized bed, and while I don’t want our whole bedroom to match, I would like matching nightstands. I think they’d lend some maturity and symmetry to the room (which would be helpful, considering that the windows and beams are completely off-center). I’d love to bring in some mid-century pieces, like these or these. Or maybe Brad could build something! Eh? Eh? Brad?

In any outcome, though, the hardware on the dressers needs to be replaced, and the two-tone look has to go from at least my dresser. The top of Brad’s is harder to see because it’s taller, so I might let the wood top stay. His dresser is never going to completely escape the country look – the shape is too distinctive. So, I’ve been thinking maybe some chalk paint would be the way to go.

If we brought in another color for the nightstands, we could stay black with the dressers, and do something like this:

Somerset Bay - Gloucester Chest - via Centsational Girl
(Via Centsational Girl)

Ciruelo Interiors - Dresser in Amsterdam Green
(Via Ciruelo Interiors

Cirueolo Interiors - Annie Sloan graphite sideboard
(Via Ciruelo Interiors

Or we could paint it a cement-y gray to lighten things up. We could leave the top as-is, like this dresser:

Lucy and Co - Two-tone dresser
(Via Lucy and Company)

Or paint the whole thing, like this one:

The Everyday Life - Dresser in Annie Sloan French Linen
(Via The Everyday Life)

My dresser, on the other hand, is a little more basic, so I think I could skew more modern and get away with it. I’d probably paint it all black, and then I’d love to replace the knobs with these pulls (two smaller ones on each of the top two drawers and one wider one on each of the lower drawers):

Home Depot - Liberty Artesia Drawer Pulls in Sedona Bronze
(Via Home Depot – we also used these on our DIY orchid and gold tray)

If I kept my nightstand, I’d replace the knobs with these, which come from the same set as the pulls above:

Home Depot - Liberty Artesia Cabinet Knob in Sedona Bronze
(Via Home Depot)

I already brought one home to try, and it looks awesome. I still would have NO idea what to do with Brad’s nightstand, though.

So, as you can see, I’m a bit lost. There are too many options and I just don’t know what to do. Help! Would you replace the nightstands? Keep them and paint Brad’s so that they’re both all-black, then replace the hardware? Paint Brad’s dresser all black, or paint it beige/grey?

Please. Leave comments. I NEED YOU. And if you’re interested in keeping up with this thrilling saga, you can follow my Our Bedroom Furniture Needs a Makeover board on Pinterest.

Roomy Rustic Camel Leather Totes (Say That Three Times Fast!)

I have about four DIY projects in progress right now, but none are ready to share, so let’s talk bags.

Every day, I walk in and out of work with no less than three bags, and it is no fun. There’s this thing, see – I call it Steph’s Law. Steph’s Law states that if anything can get caught or tangled on something else, it will. I’m constantly muttering obscenities while trying to yank my computer bag out of my car, only to find that the strap has somehow wrapped itself around my emergency brake. UGH.

I really think it’s time for me to grow up and get a “work” bag, so I’m in the market for a casual, versatile camel leather tote. I’m obsessed with the color of my current purse – a Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. in Almond – so something about the same shade would be ideal. Camel is the best because it goes with black, brown, light, dark … everything!

I still have a little bit of birthday money left, but I’m trying to save some, so I’ll probably buy on the lower end of the spectrum. But some of these bags are just so beautiful, I had to share them anyway.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Roundup of Roomy Rustic Camel Leather Totes for under $350

  1. MIVO Medium Light Brown Leather Tote from Misoui on Etsy: $326.12. This bag is handmade in Warsaw. The shop also sells matching zip pouches that can attach to the inside of the toast with a snapped strap. Probably a little out of my price range, but aren’t they beautiful?
  2. Cuyana Tall Leather Tote in Caramel: $160 ($150 without the monogram). I’ve seen this one all over the place, and from what I hear, it’s for good reason. My friend Bianca just purchased one, and she says it’s “the most perfect thing in the entire world.” I’m digging it for the gold stamped monogram and the super-reinforced straps. I tend to overload my bags, so strong straps are a must.
  3. J. Crew Downing tote in English Saddle: $168 ($178 with a monogram). This one might be a little preppy for me, but the leather is a gorgeous shade.
  4. Maycomb Mercantile – The Scout Leather Tote in Caramel: $225. This bag is locally made in Atlanta, which is always cool. You can also monogram it with gold or blind embossing. I like the brass details, too. The only problem is that it’s constantly selling out!
  5. Leather totes from Joy and Surprise on Etsy: $113 for small, $118 for large. These bags come with a separate zippered canvas inner bag. I’m guessing they’re removable. My only concern is the single line of stitching that holds the straps on – I wonder how strong that is.
  6. Madewell Transport Tote in English Saddle: $168. The black version of this bag can be monogrammed, but it’s not an option for the English Saddle version at this time, which is a bummer. Other than that little problem, though, this bag is tempting. My blog pal Alex posted about it a couple months ago and got a million comments with everyone saying, “BUY IT!” which makes me think it’s a keeper.
  7. Large Brown Camel Leather Tote from MISHKA Bags on Etsy: $180. This is one of the biggest bags of the bunch, and it comes with an attached zipper pouch. So cute!
  8. Brown Leather Market Bag from Sord on Etsy: $235. This bag has two interior slip pockets – always helpful. The leather looks nice and thick, too.

Honorable mention goes to this bag from Candy Ruan on Etsy. I really like it, but there isn’t currently a brown option in the shop. I sent the owner a message to see if they do custom orders – I’ll update this post if/when I hear back!

UPDATE: Just came across this gorgeous cognac leather tote for $178. It’s currently back-ordered, but will allegedly be back in stock at the end of the summer.

So, what do you think? Which bag would you pick?

My Yoga Must-Haves

First of all, happy early Fourth of July, everyone! We’re celebrating both the holiday and our three-year anniversary, and we’re doing so with our usual method of celebration: eating. Mmmm. I’m looking forward to trying out Shucks in Brookhaven. They have a happy hour special in which you can get a dozen oysters for $6. Sign. Me. Up.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since our wedding, and six years since I moved to Atlanta. My time in Georgia has been full of wonderful things, but I must admit, after a long period of drastic change, I find myself wanting to get back to my roots. You know, the things that have made me historically happy. Playing my guitar is one of those things. Yoga is another.

Brad and I have tried a couple generic yoga classes at the various gyms we’ve belonged to since moving to Atlanta, but ashtanga is my true love. Brad likes it, too. So, when we saw that an ashtanga-focused studio called onlYoga was offering a fantastic Groupon deal, we jumped at the chance to sign up. It’s only been a couple weeks, but we’re loving it so far, and I have optimistic dreams of making it my home studio.

Since I’ve got yoga on the brain, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. Of course, yoga and materialism aren’t really supposed to go together, but this is me we’re talking about, so clearly, I’ve gotta have the best gear. I have issues.

Glitter and Goat Cheese Yoga Must-Haves List

  1. Manduka PROlite Mat in Quest: When I started yoga in 2006-ish, I had no idea what I was doing, so I bought a super-thin Nike pilates mat. It worked out OK for a while, but now, my bones are getting older, I guess, and the cushioning just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. So, I recently upgraded to a big girl mat by Manduka. I did a lot of research, and I narrowed my choices down to the Manduka Pro (too heavy for walking to class from work), the Jade Harmony (not durable enough), Lululemon’s The Mat (Lulu has enough of my money), and the aforementioned PROlite (the winner!). I read a lot of reviews that said the PROlite could be quite slippery, but I prefer to use a non-slip towel on top of my mat anyway, so stickiness wasn’t a big factor for me. So far, I love it! It wasn’t cheap, but it has a lifetime guarantee, so hopefully, I’ll never have to buy another yoga mat again.
  2. BKR 500mL bottle in Cupcake: I totally fell prey to the marketing of this little guy. It’s all over the internet, and I’ll be honest: I wanted one because of the pretty factor. I got one for my birthday, and thankfully, it totally lives up to the hype! It’s pretty amazing how much better water tastes in a glass bottle, and the BKR has the perfect size and shape. Mine goes with me everywhere – it’s become like a security blanket. If you’re considering getting one, DO IT. You will love it forever and ever.
  3. Lululemon Swiftly Racerback in Heathered Black: As I mentioned before, I don’t love supporting Lululemon. But I have to admit: the products in their Swiftly line are great. You can sweat for hours, and they really do stay dry. And they don’t get smelly! It’s like magic. This particular top is a little too see-through for me to wear by itself, but I love it as my first layer. It’s nice and long, too.
  4. Yogitoes Mat Towel in Lapis: Mat towels are an absolute must for me. There are allegedly mats that keep you from slipping when you sweat, but I feel that I sweat an inordinate amount. We’re talking puddles underneath me (sorry, TMI?). Even if a mat could keep me from slipping in those conditions, I’d still have puddles on my mat, and that’s gross. I have to have a towel to soak up the sweat, and this one is the very best. It has little nubbins on the underside that keep it from moving around. Sadly, I actually don’t have this beautiful tie-dye one – my plain blue and orange towel is on its eighth year and still going strong. But if I ever replace it, you can bet I’ll be going for something with a little more pizazz.
  5. Athleta Relay Capri in Bora Bora Blue: These are technically running capris, which means they have a little zippered pocket on the back that might bother you during yoga. It can’t even feel it, though, and I prefer thicker bottoms – yoga pants tend to be on the thinner side – so these are perfection. They’re super slimming, and so comfortable!
  6. Manduka GO Roam bag in Pewter: When I upgraded my mat, I discovered that it no longer fit in my old Gaiam bag. Oops. Since I’ve been walking to class from the office, I figured another upgrade was in order. I just ordered this, so I can’t really review it quite yet, but I’ll check back in when it’s gotten some use. It has a large compartment in back for the mat, and two separate organized pockets in front for cell phones, keys, wallets, sunglasses, towels, etc. I think my water bottle will fit nicely in the mat compartment, too. I’m so excited! PS: All of Manduka’s yoga mat bags are on sale right now with free shipping, and you can get 15% off with the promo code INDULGE15. Shhh. You didn’t hear it from me.
  7. Lululemon Bang Buster Headband: As much as I want to, I just can’t seem to quit Lulu. This headband is amazing because nobody wants to wear bobby pins or hair clips during yoga. They stab you in the head! Not good. The extra-wide band on top keeps my bangs completely off my face, but the slimmer part underneath means I can still wear a low braid. I can’t find the one I have – “Wamo Camo” in pink and slate – on the site anymore, but I think they still have it in stores. It’s so damn cute, too. Ugh.
  8. Athleta Chi Tank Extra Long in Grey Heather: These are SO GOOD. They’re not too thick and not too thin. They’re not skin-tight (important for those of us who aren’t skinny minnies), but they’re fitted enough that they don’t fall down when you’re doing inversions. They’re the perfect length (make sure you get the Extra Long!). They come in beautiful colors (though they all appear to be sold out in my size), plus a few other patterns on the site. I only have one now, but as soon as my size in back in stock, I plan to stock up. Love ‘em.

So, those are my current favorite items! I already owned a few pieces, but many of them were birthday purchases. Happy birthday to me!

What’s on your favorite workout gear list? Link me – I want to see!

A New Home for My Guitar

I have, in my possession, what I consider to be a very gorgeous guitar.

Ovation Legend in Cherry Burst - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I decided to take up playing when I was 14 or 15, and on Christmas morning, I came downstairs to find an Ovation sitting on a stand in front of the tree. I thought it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I took lessons until I graduated, and while I didn’t possess much natural ability, I loved everything about the culture of acoustic guitar. I had crushes on boys who changed my strings and taught me Copeland songs; I ran in crowds that strummed Dave Matthews and Dispatch around summer campfires; I spent school nights staying up late practicing Dashboard Confessional.

My sophomore year of college, I moved in with my cousin and started spending a lot of time with his friends from Berklee (including my brand-new boyfriend, a certain Brad Fisher). Hanging out with real musicians, I became a little bashful about my own lack of skill, and slowly started playing my guitar less and less. I’m ashamed to say that since then, my beautiful baby has spent most of its time in its case in a closet.

For some reason, though, lately I’ve wanted to play. I’m terribly out of practice and it’s been doing horrible things to my gel manicure, but it feels like I’m getting back to my roots and I love it. And if I want to keep that up, it needs to stay out of the closet. So, it’s time for my guitar to have a better home.

In the corner of our living room, there’s currently a giant bookcase.

Large wood bookcase in living room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

It’s in decent condition, but it’s not really our style anymore, and it’s just so big. We’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of it since we moved in. We even took pictures of it for Craigslist, but for whatever reason, we never posted it. All of our books are on a bookcase in the guest room, so this one just holds random picture frames, vases, and other knick-knacks that could easily be relocated. We have limited floor space downstairs, so when I decided that my guitar needed a new home, the first thing I thought of was hanging it on the wall. And there’s some prime wall space hiding behind that giant bookcase. So it’s time for it to GO.

Once we’ve moved the bookcase, I have big dreams. Brad wants to hang up his bass, too, which I’m completely on board with. When I was growing up, my dad had electric basses scattered all over the house and played them all the time, and I’m eager to hear the familiar sound again.

We want our guitars downstairs so that we’ll play them, not so they’ll look pretty, but since this is a home design blog, let’s look at some of my favorite hanging-guitar inspiration, shall we?

Thomas and Nicole Colbert's living room via Design Sponge

Thomas and Nicole Colbert’s living room via Design*Sponge

Hanging guitars next to navy bookcase by Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda‘s old living room

Hanging guitars in Lesley W Graham's bedroom

Lesley W. Graham‘s bedroom

Living room by David Benrud for Pottery Barn - via Apartment Therapy

Design by David Benrud for Pottery Barn, via Apartment Therapy

We don’t have a ton of space to work with now, but ultimately, we plan to replace our couch-end table-chaise situation with one sectional couch which would theoretically not go as close to the wall. And we do need some storage over there. So, we’re thinking of replacing the bookcase with something smaller-scale. We’re toying with the idea of Brad building this piece from The Design Confidential. The guitars would hang over it.

The Design Confidential - Two-door Campaign Side Table

Wouldn’t it be pretty painted white with brass hardware, like this?

So, what do you all think? Since I have an even number of items to hang, I should offset them with some art, right? This is going to be fun!

Lonely Home = House Updates

My husband just returned from a six-week tour, and boy, am I glad to have him back. I didn’t mention this before because I try not to advertise being home alone, but he was out guitar teching and running monitors for our good friends Manchester Orchestra. It was such an amazing opportunity for him and really exciting for both of us, but I have to admit, it was rough for me to spend so much time without my husband. I really, really missed him, and I was just so BORED.

To keep myself distracted (and to take advantage of being completely in charge), I made just a few updates to the house. It cheered me up substantially, and luckily, Brad approves of all the changes. Want to see?

Colorful living room with gold, blue and fuchsia accents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The changes might not be super obvious, so for reference, here’s what our living room looked like last fall:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful living room with framed maps

Some day, we’re going to hide those cables hanging from the TV. I swear.

I finally bit the bullet and picked up the mango wood box frame coffee table I’ve been eyeing at West Elm. I’ve been hoarding gift cards since 2012 (literally) and stalking the table to see if it would go on sale. Finally, there was a 15% off sale for Memorial Day, so I went for it. I picked it up at the store, carried the box inside, and built the thing all by myself. So proud!

Living room with abstract art, West Elm box frame coffee table and Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

You may have noticed that I chose not to keep the overdyed rug I got from Rugs USA. In case you haven’t been keeping up with this saga, here’s the summary: I ordered this rug during a sale, but when it arrived, it was very clearly this rug. I called customer service, and I was informed that Rugs USA’s policy does not allow exchanges – even in the event of company error. Despite the fact that I was sent the wrong product, it was on me to photograph the rug I received, file a formal report, wait for a return shipping label to be emailed to me, and then package and ship back the rug. In the meantime, the company would not be able to send me the correct item. I would need to wait for my return to be processed, and then I would be issued a refund. With said refund, I could decide whether to re-order the original product. What if the rug was no longer available? What if it was no longer on sale? Too bad, they said. I was told on the phone originally that Rugs USA would set up a UPS pickup. When I received my shipping label, I asked about the pickup, and I was told that this wasn’t possible.

Honestly, the whole thing was absolute nonsense. I know a lot of people have been thrilled with their purchases from Rugs USA, and the sales are great, but this company could not care less about their customers. If you get the right rug and you like it, fantastic. If not: Lord help you. Once I started Googling, I found countless examples of other customers who had gone through a similar experience and vowed never to shop at Rugs USA again. I’m joining their numbers. I opted not to re-order the fuchsia rug, and instead, I bought the rug I’d wanted all along: the Lalita rug from Lulu and Georgia. I’d passed on it originally because it was a little bit more expensive, but now that I have it, I can see that it was worth every penny.

Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug and West Elm box frame coffee table - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The quality is beautiful, and the colors are crazy-vibrant.

Close-up of Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The 5’3″x7’6″ is obviously a bit on the small side for our living room, but there was no chance I could afford anything bigger (and I think the color would probably be overpowering in a larger size), so once we ditch our wall-to-wall carpeting, I’ll probably layer it over an 8×10 jute rug. By the way, I know the rug is supposed to go underneath the front legs of the sofa, but have you ever tried to lift a sofa and simultaneously move a rug all by yourself? It ain’t easy, my friends. I’ll have to get Brad to help later.

Colorful living room and dining room via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Did you notice the new woven yellow tray? It’s Nate Berkus for Target, and they only have it in pink and green on the website now, but I’m sure they still have the yellow one in stores. The plastic coral one that used to be there wasn’t jiving with the rug, and I’m trying to bring in some more natural textures, anyway. I love it!

I already posted about our new Moroccan end table (also made of mango wood, like the coffee table) from TJ Maxx and the vintage gold mini-cabinet from DuPre’s, but I feel that they deserve better quality photos.

Moroccan mango end table from TJ Maxx - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m not so sure about the shade of orange on that coral lamp anymore. There’s plenty of orange in the new rug, but it’s a bit lighter and brighter. I might need to tape off the base and give the orange part a coat of spray paint. Maybe in a pale yellow?

Our mini-cabinet is currently hanging out by the front door. It looks a little odd, now, but I think it’ll be better when the living room and hallway aren’t separated by different types of floor.

Colorful living room with Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Vintage gold brass cabinet - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t mind the mess in my hallway that you can see in the reflection. Yes, I move things out of sight and throw them on the floor when I’m taking pictures. You do the same thing – I know it!

I didn’t change much in the dining room, but I did take the sheepskins off our ghost chairs for summer and bring in a lot of plants from our deck. They looked beautiful out there, but I wanted to have a little more control over the amount of watering the succulents got.

Blue and fuchsia dining room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Gray and gold Ikea Rast hacks with succulents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m a little embarrassed that I forgot to move the paper towel under my succulent bowl before I took this picture. I also haven’t re-glued one of the brass corners that fell off our Rast dressers. Oopsies.

So anyway, that’s about it. I’m really starting to love our downstairs, but I still can’t wait to replace our shlubby old sofa and get some hardwoods in there. Can you picture it?! It’s almost there!

Have you made any late-spring updates to your home? Tell me about ‘em!