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!

The Past Few Weeks, According to My Phone

Oh, hey, everyone. I really hate when I don’t post for a long time, but I’ve been stupid busy, which is partly good and partly just obnoxious. I have a bunch of projects I want to start/finish and a bunch of things I want to take pictures of, but I haven’t had a free second! Boohoo, poor me, etc. So, I figured I’d share a few of the things with iPhone pictures of subpar quality. Please, keep in mind that I took most of these for myself, so the areas of my home you’re about to see are, uh, not styled or cleaned up or prettified. We’re keeping it real today.

I recently took some rough measurements of our downstairs to get an idea of how much it might cost to redo the terrible, tragic floors, and I confirmed what I already knew – that it’s going to be a while before we can afford it. So, I’ve endeavored to cover them up as much as possible so that my hatred for them won’t burn me up inside with QUITE as hot of a fire. I started with this runner from Overstock.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Foyer with gold frames and geometric area rug

I pushed myself out of my gray comfort zone to get the Brown/Bone, and ultimately, I’m glad I did. We needed some warmer shades up in here, and it also should be pretty good at disguising dirt. In the above photo, you can also see that we’ve made some progress on the gold frame collage in the stairway, and you can see my new vintage brass(-ish) mini cabinet thing in the bottom left! I don’t know what time period it’s from or even what to call it, but I just love it. I found it at DuPre’s Antique Market in Marietta Square and felt that I couldn’t live without it, so my mom bought it for me as an early birthday gift. I’ll post better pictures of it some day soon!

I’m still pretending to know how to take care of plants, so I got a few hanging baskets for our porch. I did a fair amount of research on shade-friendly flowers that can handle being neglected, and I came up with lobelia.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hanging lobelia

Aren’t they pretty? They droop when they’re thirsty, then I water them and they perk back up. I like plants that tell me what they want.

Speaking of plants, I was CRAZY bored the other night, so I said to myself, “Self, you should gold leaf something,” and the first thing that came to mind was terra cotta pots, a la The Hunted Interior. I’m really feeling how they came out.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY gold leafed terra cotta pots

I usually try not to tell the internet if I’m going out of town, but now that I’m back, I can tell you that I spent last weekend in California(!). Brad was there working with our insanely talented friends from Manchester Orchestra, so I got to see them play two nights in a row.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Manchester Orchestra Cope tour

I’ve been to many Manchester shows, but they inexplicably get better every time I see them, and this tour is particularly amazing. If there’s a show near you and it isn’t already sold out, you need to get yourself a ticket.

For another part of my trip, I visited my dear friend Katie in San Francisco.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Steph and Katie in San Francisco

Katie and I met in college, and after graduation, we both scattered across the country, so we don’t get to see each other much. I was really pumped to spend even a couple days with her, and she showed me SUCH a good time. I love San Francisco! I couldn’t believe how GREEN everything was. I know I probably drove everybody nuts by talking about the plant life so much, but it’s just a really beautiful city. And really fun, too.

Another great thing about Katie is that she introduced me to this amazing kale and brussels sprout salad recipe.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Kale and brussels sprout salad

I made it the other night and it was even more delicious than I expected. To counteract the healthy factor, I served it with spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches. Holy moly.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Spinach artichoke grilled cheese

I find food photography to be an extremely intimidating art form, and I’m pretty sure this phone photo hasn’t captured the magic of these sandwiches. But trust me when I tell you that they may be one of the tastiest things I’ve ever put in my mouth. TRY THEM. TODAY.

Jumping back to when I went out of town: My dog, Macy, had a bit of a tough time. She was at the kennel and decided she was just done and wanted out, so she wouldn’t let anyone near her. I had to hire a trainer to go pick her up (PS: Frogs to Dogs is AMAZING) and then our petsitter took care of her the rest of the weekend. She’s a very special creature, and I just want to be with her and protect her at all times.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Steph and Macy

My poor sweet little fool.

Lastly, I ordered this rug during the Rugs USA Mother’s Day sale, and it came today. Imagine my surprise when I unrolled it and instead of being violet, it was hot pink. Of course, I had to lay it out to see how it looked.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Rugs USA Windsor Overdyed Grove Rug in Pink

This is what it was supposed to look like:

Windsor Overdyed Grove Rug in Violet

Ohh, you guys, I don’t know what to do. Fuchsia is my favorite. And I think that would look really good in here. But the pink is so cheerful and warm, and it has less of the distressed white parts, and UGH, I don’t know. I attempted to PhotoShop it into fuchsia to see how it would look.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room with Photoshopped rug

I’m very, very torn. I’m not sure I can live with myself if I don’t try the fuchsia, but how much would it stink if I sent the pink back and ended up liking it better? I’m going to call Rugs USA tomorrow and see what my options are.

So, that’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods. What’s up with all of you?

Throw Pillow Surgery

When I was in high school, I was really into this Live Journal community called “T-Shirt Surgery.” It still exists – see? Basically, t-shirt surgery involves taking a big old t-shirt and turning it into something cute, like a sassy halter top or a studded vest or something. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and desperately wanted to be a part of such a hip movement, so I begged my mom to buy me a sewing machine. After a lot of obnoxious pleading, she obliged, and I was soon stitching pink satin ribbon ruching into the sides of every heinous Goodwill shirt I could get my little high school hands on. It was just adorable.

Like many of my adolescent hobbies, my t-shirt surgery phase was not terribly long-lived. But! I still have my sewing machine, and I still use it. Except now, I cut up throw pillows instead of neon XXL shirts that say “Dad’s It and That’s That.”

This pillow is from West Elm. I bought it because I liked the pattern and it was on clearance, but it was larger than all my other throw pillows, and it was stiff and uncomfortable.

Blue throw pillow before surgery - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

This one is from One Kings Lane. I love the watercolor look and the colors. But again, it was stuffed with poly fill, which I’m just not into.

Throw pillow surgery - the before - by Glitter and Goat Cheese

I felt brave a couple weeks ago, so I decided it was time to put my surgeon’s mask back on. The first step to dismantling a fabric item is to rip the seams open with – you guessed it – a seam ripper.

How to rip open a pillow seam - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

It was unbelievable how much poly fill was stuffed into these pillows. I pulled it out and saved it for a rainy day. It’s currently taking up a lot of space in two garbage bags in my office closet.

I wanted to make two pillow covers from each existing pillow, so I bought some basic Kona cotton in solid contrasting colors from Joann. The colors were good, but the fabric was a bit thin, so I lined it with white muslin.

It’s generally a good idea to make your pillow covers a little smaller than the inserts so that they’re not loose and saggy. I made mine 19″x19″. For this size, you need a 20″x20″ square for the front, and two 13″x20″ pieces from the back. That gives you an extra 3″ on each back piece for the overlap. My Kona cotton and muslin were 44″ wide, so I only needed half a yard of each per pillow.

Cutting overlapping back pieces for envelope throw pillow - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

As long as you’re making a cover that’s the same size or smaller than your original pillow, you should have plenty of pretty fabric to cut your front square. Just be careful with that seam ripper!

After I cut my fabric, I pressed, pinned and sewed a half-inch hem on one long side of each 13″x20″ piece. You want the fabric to look nice where it’s going to overlap. A seam gauge is your best buddy for the pressing and pinning part.

Ironing a throw pillow seam allowance - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Sewing an envelope throw pillow seam - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Then, I laid my pretty 20″x20″ piece of fabric face-up, and laid the two hemmed 13″x20″ face-down on top of it.

Making an envelope pillow cover - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Next, I sewed all the way around the square, leaving a half-inch seam allowance on each side. (That’s how you get the finished product to 19″x19″.) This part is easy, so don’t be a dummy/sloppy sewer like me and let this happen.

Twisted envelope pillow cover - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

You’ll also notice that I don’t have a full half-inch on every side, because I didn’t cut a perfect square. Did I mention I’m not great at this?

Let’s just switch colors and look at one of the pillows I didn’t screw up, OK? (For the record, even if you do make this mistake, you won’t be able to tell once the pillow cover is turned inside-out. So don’t worry ’bout it.)

So anyway, the back should look like this.

Envelope cushion cover - by Glitter and Goat Cheese

And the front will look like this.

Envelope pillow cover - by Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t forget to sew back and forth a few times at each corner to make sure they’re super-strong.

I like to cut the excess fabric off with pinking shears to avoid fraying.

Sewn envelope pillow cover - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Then, you just turn the whole thing inside-out, using a chopstick to poke out the corners if necessary, and shove your pillow insert into it. (I always buy the Ikea Fjadrar down inserts for $6.99. And I don’t want to know how they get those feathers, so please don’t tell me.) Easy!

Completed blue watercolor envelope throw pillow by Glitter and Goat Cheese

Updated blue graphic throw pillow by Glitter and Goat Cheese

I actually think I like them better with the contrasting solid on the back, instead of the pattern on both sides.

Completed envelope throw pillow cover by Glitter and Goat Cheese

So now, because they have down inserts, they’re super soft and comfy, and I can finally karate chop them. I like doing that. Don’t judge me.

Completed colorful envelope throw pillows by Glitter and Goat Cheese

Plus, I have a matching pair of each, which really calms my inner crazy person.

Updated throw pillows by Glitter and Goat Cheese

Ahhh, symmetry.

Speaking of my inner crazy person, please don’t look at my icky sofas or my carpet. I’m super self-conscious about how gross they are. Just humor me and DON’T LOOK.

Would you ever cut up a throw pillow just to sew it back together again? Or am I a total whack job?

Our Real Live Piece of Art (And Our Living Room)

Remember when I posted about how badly I wanted a large piece of colorful abstract art? Well, apparently, my super-talented best friend (who just happens to be an artist) read the post, because look what she painted for us!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Abstract blue and purple art

Isn’t it beautiful?! It was a Christmas gift, but we just finally got to bring it home after our trip to Cape Cod in August. I had shown Alisa some pieces I liked and suggested a few colors, but the rest was all her, and it is absolutely perfect.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Abstract art in blue purple pink and yellow

It fits perfectly into our living room, which I suppose I might as well show you, so you can see the where the painting lives. (If you’re interested in seeing what the living room looked like when we first moved in, there are photos in this post.)

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Gray blue and purple living room

Please do not judge us for how shlubby our furniture looks. The two beige couches are old, and the Ikea Kivik chaise … Well, it came that way. It’s comfy, but not super cute.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful living room

As you can see, this room doesn’t really have an official color scheme. Anything goes!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room with DIY gold Ikea Vittsjo shelf

Hey, look! It’s my gold Ikea Vittsjo hack!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful living room with framed maps

Those two framed maps are my Cape Cod treasure and ghost maps. They may be my second favorite thing in the room. They live in what a friend recently called my “ocean corner.”

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Framed Cape Cod maps

There are two Cape Cod maps, a gold seahorse, a coral lamp, a watercolor-y pillow and an octopus. And I didn’t even notice I put them all together, I SWEAR. I guess I just miss living near the coast, so I brought the coast to Atlanta subconsciously, ya know?

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful throw pillows and painted midnight blue door

Oh, and there’s my kitty cats! (Can you spot both?) And our midnight blue front door!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room with blue purple and pink abstract art

And there’s one more photo of the painting, because it’s the bomb. Thanks, Alisa!