We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

Simple Winter DIY Home Decor Updates

Simple Winter DIY Home Decor Updates

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We couldn’t be more excited to be back and comin’ at ya with our first blog post of 2019, and to be kicking it off with what you know is one of our favorite subjects… DIY home decor projects! We took a glorious couple of weeks off from cranking out new blog posts to enjoy the holidays with our friends and family and prep some big projects, and what an incredible break it was. Not only do we just love time spent relaxing and hangin’ with our families, but it’s also a wonder what a couple of weeks to mentally check out of does for the health of our creative juices. Now we’re recharged, filled with awesome new ideas to bring your way and we’re thrilled to hit you more fun, carefree, lived-in, loved-up home decor and DIY inspiration throughout the course of this year. As you know sometimes we talk about style, sometimes we talk about home decor and sometimes we talk about adventure here on the blog and it usually happens in natural phases, but right now we can say that we’re definitely in a “cozy-up the home” phase and we couldn’t be happier about it!

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One of our goals for this year here on the blog is to share more of the small updates and DIY home decor projects we tackle that aren’t necessarily entire room re-dos or overhauls or major furniture makeovers with long how-to breakdowns or intricate step by step instructions. We get so much joy out of the small DIY updates we do around the house and we’re constantly filling our weekends with them, but we realized that we weren’t really sharing a lot of those little projects here on the blog… which is so lame! The small projects make just as much of an impact around our house over time as the big ones do, and can serve as the most fun, easy and inspiring ways to update your house to make it a home without a ton of time, money or energy spent.

Which is why today we’re showing you two easy DIY updates we tackled around the house over the holiday break that were as simple to execute as they were affordable, but served as major upgrades in our eyes! It’s the little things, isn’t it?! It’s so funny how one itty bitty change can really upgrade an entire piece or corner, and it can also be so hilariously maddening because every time we do one of these small updates or swaps I always think to myself, “Now how come I didn’t think of that before today?” I can stare at a piece in our home for years not knowing exactly what it is that I don’t love about it, and then one day lighting strikes and I know exactly what the problem is and how we can easily fix it. Light bulb!

The first project we tackled that seems so insanely obvious now is one that I’d been wracking my brain over for months - the mirror in our living room that sits above our bookcase/credenza. I picked this mirror up at a flea market five years ago when I first moved into the house. I liked the shape and style, scored it for almost pennies and it happened to fit the space, so it was just the ticket at the time. But over the last six months or so I realized that I might enjoy another mirror there more that would better suit the space, add some warmth with maybe be a stained or raw wood, and just generally thrill me more every time I looked at it. Easier said than done! Like I always do I searched OfferUp, antique stores and the like for months on end with basically no success - everything I came across was either not the right size or not quite the right style and I had kind of given up. Then I took a closer look at the mirror and it dawned on me - “Why don’t we just sand this puppy and see what happens?!” As most of you have heard us say before, sometimes when you sand you strike gold, and sometimes you find… particle board. Usually we can get a good guess going, but sometimes you don’t totally know until you uncover it. But we agreed that whatever we found, it couldn’t hurt so we sanded away and totally struck gold! We used the finishing sander with a 100-grit sandpaper attached and found that the wood underneath the chippy paint was beautiful and exactly what we were looking for! So we sanded most of it off while leaving a little bit of paint being in the grooves, and couldn’t be more in love with what it looks like now. A win for small DIY home decor projects with big impact!

Left: Before, Right: After

The second little project was one that wasn’t necessarily a long time coming or something that had been keeping me up at night, but was something that popped into my head one day when I was staring out at my beloved “nap couch” in the living room while making dinner. If you’ve been around this blog for a minute you know that my wheat-colored chenille “nap couch” is one of my favorite pieces in our home and that I’ll never let it go despite how lovingly “broken in” it gets. Though my love for it doesn’t mean that I love every single part of it. The style of the feet that came on the couch are pretty underwhelming and don’t really do anything to enhance the style of the couch overall - BO-RING! And when I was standing there staring at it that day I realized that I could give the couch an instant upgrade by simply swapping out those feet for one of my favorite styles of feet on almost any chair or sofa… turned bun feet! Pretty sure I love them as much for their name as I do for the actual way they look. Bun feet for all!

Left: Before, Right: After

Though 4” turned bun feet like these aren’t exactly a super inexpensive swap if you’re buying 4 (we got ours at Home Depot out of convenience and they’re about $9/foot there - probably the cheapest you’ll find), they are extremely easy to attach. Once we took the original feet off of our couch we were happy to find that the couch had pre-tapped holes that perfectly fit the bolts that came attached to the bun feet, so all we’d have to do is screw them in! One little tip - if you buy bun feet and find that the bolts appear too short to attach to your furniture piece, fear not. Just gently unscrew the bolts another 1/4 inch or so to extend them further and that should work. We did a poll on Instagram Stories to see if you guys thought we should stain our new bun feet or leave them raw, and overwhelmingly the vote was to stain. The people have spoken! So stain the feet we did. Except the stain that we love and use on just about everything that was hanging out in our shed - “Sunbleached” wood stain by Varathane - looked really terrible on these when we tested it on one of the feet, so we sanded and decided to throw a simple whitewash on them for the time being. We don’t hate it, but we’re not totally attached to the look either, but since they’re so easy to take on and off, we can sand and paint them again any time we want. What do YOU think we should do with them? Drop us a comment!

So there you have it guys - small updates, major upgrade! We’re dying to know what’s happening around your houses as the new year kicks off - any home projects, big or small, that you’re resolving to tackle this month or in the next year? Tell us what you’re up to in the comments and let us know if you want to see more of our small DIY projects around the house in the next year. Cheers!

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Happy Holidays from Us + Our Favorite Winter Sweaters!

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