Thursday, November 7, 2013

88 A Little Credenza Styling Challenge

One of the 846 reasons why I love this blog is because it challenges me in new ways.  Today, I was challenged to participate in a styling challenge.  Yep.  Me.  Um... yikes.

I have always enjoyed experimenting with textures, colors and finishes around our home.  But one area I have always wanted to grow my skills in is styling.  And not for the blog or for pretty photos, but to ultimately enhance our personal spaces.  My problem is that my organizing brain looks at all of my accessories as if they are clutter.  I also have symmetrical disorder.  I typically just default to stacks of books and magazines and call it a day.

So when my beautiful friend, Michaela, asked me to join in on a little bookend styling challenge with Lulu & Georgia, I got giddy excited to step out of my comfort zone.  The bookends I selected to style with were these Mustang bookends.

Here was the space I was going to focus my attention on.


Back in February, we gave gave this little entry a simplified facelift, but it has been begging for more each day since then.  We walk by and glance at this area of our home about 50 times per day.  We use the cabinets to store our boy's school and winter gear, but the top is fair game for mom and dad.  It was the perfect spot for me to finally focus some efforts and use this styling challenge to finally make some decisions.

I am no expert so I can't offer up any styling "tips" today, but I can share what I did to figure this spot out for us:

  • I cleared the top of the credenza and gave it a blank slate
  • I created a small pile of items that we wanted to be sure to include.  Two things that were important to me were a decorative box to hold my keys and a dish to hold my favorite family Instagram prints.  Oh!  And the bookends of course!
  • I gathered all of my favorite home accessories and made a giant pile to select from.  That included dishes, frames, trays, vases, plants, decorative objects and books.
  • I looked at a few inspirational "styling" photos that I had pinned online for ideas.  And then I tried to create rules and analyze them and got frustrated and decided it really all relied on my gut for this one.

Here is where I eventually landed.


We had earlier stole the lamp from this spot, to spray paint and use in our bedroom.  I took the lamp back temporarily to see how it would work here now that it is a brilliantly bold blue.  I love the pop of color, so now I know that I need to find an awesome colorful lamp to invest in for this space.


Next to the lamp I placed a pretty bowl, which is filled with printed Instagram photos of our family memories.  I love stopping and sifting through them at random times in my day.


The bookends were a must for this "challenge", and knowing how visually heavy a stack of books is, I wanted them to rule the center of the credenza.  I could have just left the bookends alone, and placed them on either side of the books, but I wanted it to be a little more interesting.  Not to mention, there was already a lot of white going on, so I felt the need to break it up a bit.  The bases of the bookends received a little gold leaf, and I played with how the books were stacked and arranged.




For the final end of the cabinet, it was time to balance out the weight of the tall lamp on the other side.  I used a large planter filled with succulents, paired with a frame I spray painted and a small decorative box for my keys.


I didn't pay too much attention to colors and finishes, although, I do like they all play nicely together.  I did have to bring in my small touches of pink within the framed art {cut from my Silhouette} and within a few of the book spines. 




The white cabinets received some gold love with some of my favorite pulls {which I also used in my studio and our recent bathroom update}, and some corner brackets {which I also used in our other bathroom update}.


I also popped one of our little stools at the end for the little guys to sit on while they put on their shoes.


And one last look at the newly styled entry area.




I now really really love to walk through this happy spot of our home.  It feels so much more finished, and pretty.

Although in this post, you would think that this was whipped up in just minutes, and for a interior pro, it probably could be {or done even better}.  But nope.  It looks so simple and understated and I seriously worked on this on and off all day.  I would walk by, move the books.  Stand back, swap things out.  Take time away and revisit.  Use the planter, remove the planter, use the planter again.  Fill and layer frames, remove the frames.  And the hardware was a last minute after thought because no matter what, it didn't feel finished.  I followed no rules, just went with what my eyes and gut liked.  And in the end, I didn't just like it, I loved it.

OK, so I gotta know.  Do you have styling secrets?  Anything that works for you every time?  Or "go to" accessories that you adore?  Where do you find your styling ideas and inspiration?  



A special thank you so Lulu & Georgia for providing me with the beautiful bookends and inviting me to participate in this styling challenge along with other fabulous bloggers: Simplified Bee, The Inspired Room, A Piece of Toast and Mackenzie Horan

IHeart Organizing readers can receive FREE SHIPPING on Lulu & Georgia orders with code BOOKWORM through Thursday, November 8th.

88 comments:

  1. It looks wonderful & love the gold touches you added to the bookends. And the blue lamp just finishes it nicely, you definitely have to keep that or find another LOL! I live by the "Law of 3s" and "Symmetry"....I design that way in my work so it helps me in my house to follow the same. Thanks for sharing!

    hugz,
    Suzanne

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  2. where did you find that bowl i love it! thanks

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    1. Hello! I found the bowl at C Wonder. xoxo!

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  3. I long to be able to take my cloches out of storage and use them to display pretty things! I also wish we had any kind of entry area to speak of, though that shoe cabinet just might work by our back door. :)

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  4. I find this SO hard as well. When we created a "tv nook" in our house, I could not figure out how to style to top shelf. The bottom one had frames which was easy, but the top one I stare at daily and want to change! Love how yours turned out! Having beautiful things around really makes a day better.

    Here is my "finished" shelf: http://createbakecelebrate.blogspot.com/2013/06/create-graduation-wall.html

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  5. Loved the end result. Was also interested in your choice of design books. Going to check some of them out since the only one I have and recognized is Domino. :)

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  6. What site/source do you use to print instagram photos? Would you recommend them?

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    1. Hi Katy!

      I always print from Printsagram: http://printstagr.am/ and I love the 4x4 inch squares. They print beautifully on thick photo paper.

      xo!

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  7. What do you use to print your Instagram pictures?

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    1. Hi Kari!
      I always print from Printsagram: http://printstagr.am/ and I love the 4x4 inch squares.
      xo!

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  8. Oops- I think that was the wrong link. So sorry about 2 comments- I know you have lots of other things to be doing!
    http://createbakecelebrate.blogspot.com/2013/07/create-one-last-piece.html

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  9. Great work! Where did you get the lacquer box?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The box is from Target. xo!

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    2. I walked around with the black version of that box on Wednesday morning and ultimately put it back. Now I wish I had grabbed it. It's an awesome piece for an awesome price.

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  10. OMG! I love it! It's amazing how just a few accesories can make the space that more interesting

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  11. You have me wanting to restyle our entry! I just LOVE the pops of color! That lamp is to-die-for with the blue. Gorgeous!

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  12. It looks amazing Jen! I have found over the years that if I just go with it, rather than being so picky about placing each object and analyzing it, my shelves and surfaces tend to come out looking better...not so staged. I go back and forth with my flat surfaces...wanting them clean and streamlined, but then feeling like they are missing something. Trying to find a happy medium.

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  13. LOVE everything!! Those pulls and corner brackets really make your credenza! Super pretty!

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  14. Jen, i love that deep blue with the light green walls. So gorgeous. I too have issues with styling, i almost wish there were hard and fast rules although it is made easier by balancing each end with something large (like a lamp). I have a new IKEA credenza coming soon that I'm going to be struggling to style next week! I'll look back here for inspiration.

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    1. Thanks Dervla! Have fun with the new credenza! So much space on top to play with!

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  15. This is beautiful! The original was great and didn't look like it needed anything but the small touches really did make it pop. Where did you get the credenza and I guess that's a shoe holder by the door? The credenza looks exactly like I want in my kitchen but can't find anything with storage space that big, just stuff with alot of wasted space.

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    1. Hi Janet!

      I pieced together the credenza out of BESTA units from IKEA. The shoe cabinet is also from IKEA, it is from the HEMNES line.

      xo!

      Delete
  16. This looks great Jen! Those details really elevated the space. Impressive and inspiring.

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  17. Styling is a real challenge for me... I try to stick to the "rule of 3" when I can, and use succulents as greens (I'm allergic to flowers), but I can never get it too look like the magazines! Great job... and I love the credenza!

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  18. Great job - it looks so fun and fresh (and organized, of course)! :) Where did you get the stool at the end of the credenza? I looked on your website but couldn't find it... Love. Any help? Thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much Rachel! I actually found it at a thrift fair that comes around our area seasonally and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

      xoxo!

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  19. I love how you brought this space to life with a few impactful changes! As for my decorating formula, I'm still working on it. I started out 11 years ago embracing the "old world" look. I quickly realized that it wasn't me at all. Then, I veered wildly to the "modern" look. Now, I feel that I've found the perfect mix of what I love and what my husband loves, which is a "transitional" look.

    I am so much happier in the spaces of my house that we've decorated this way. I'm enjoying this slow and creative process of switching spaces over. It's cool how I end of not having to change much for a space to speak to me! I'm very thankful for all of the design inspiration that's now at our fingertips in the blog world. :)

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    1. I am with you Jen! My style has also evolved and I feel like I am slowly making changes, but I also love how older pieces still work with newer visions to make our house feel more like home. :)

      xoxo!

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  20. Looks awesome. Where did you get the rug?

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    1. Hi Angela! The rug is from Pier 1 last year. xo!

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  21. I feel the need to say that your styling skills ... for your home and all your projects ... are what originated my great love affair with this blog and the blogging world in general. I hardly ever say anything positive about myself, but I can confidently say that I am and always have been as well organized as you ... but I never made anything _pretty_. What you have inspired me to do with my organizing projects and my house has brought me so much happiness. :) So thank you!!!

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    1. You win the award for sweetest comment of the day! ;) You really made my heart flutter, thank you so much! I guess we are our own worse critics, and it is so lovely to hear your kind compliment. Thank you again! xoxoxo!

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  22. Love the blue rug. Where did you get it from?

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    1. Thank you! It is from Pier 1 last year. xo!

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  23. I love the gold hardware! A great addition that makes it look like a much higher end piece. However the top is a bit too full for me - I prefer a more clean look

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  24. The gold hardware is exactly what was missing! It adds a touch of sophistication and really finishes the space. Also, I love the fact that you added gold and actually styled the bookends rather than just sandwiching some books between them. So intentional and gorgeous. Love it! Great work (as usual!)

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  25. Love the Rug Too!! Where is it from?? Love your Style!!

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    1. Thanks Melanie! I found it at Pier 1 last year. xo!

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  26. I love it! Such small changes can make such a big difference. I need to start adding gold to my house, but I am not sure how to do it. I will definitely be browsing your blog for inspiration!
    Dez @ www.lifeasdez.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Dez! The best part is that gold works well when mixed with other metals and finishes, so even just starting small here and there will make a difference. Have fun!! <3

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  27. I too find styling incredibly difficult. But I like how it makes a home so much more personal, attractive and even functional. Practice makes perfect, right? I really like the contrast that you introduced to your credenza. It seems to have much more presence now with the darker lamp and pot, the pops of pink and the accents of gold.

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  28. It looks fantastic! The lack of wall space makes it a little more challenging. The use of the dome and little bowl of photos is darling. I enjoy the trial and error of styling. Sometimes you just can't know that a space is right until you've lived with it for a day or two.

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  29. Love the green walls! I've been going crazy finding a good green. What color is that?

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    1. Thanks Melanie! The color is Behr's Grape Leaves. :) xo!

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  30. I love the gold hardware and that lamp! Beautiful!

    Jen =)

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  31. Say what?! I have always admired your styling, Miss Jen, and when you have an eye as good as yours, you don't need any rules! I LOVE what you did with the space, and the little bit of gold leaf on the bookends just makes them! You can come over and style my house any time you want to! ;)

    ~Abby =)

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  32. I love the credenza. Is there any way you could post a link for which besta units you used? I love this space!!!

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    1. Sure Ashley!

      One of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40134050/

      One of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00134052/?query=001.340.52

      These doors: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10210818/?query=102.108.18

      We also added feet: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00211922/

      and the top: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20196529/?query=201.965.29

      Thanks so much!

      Delete
  33. Where is your rug from? I'm in love and need it for our office! :) You always do such fun updates.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Julia! I purchased the rug from Pier 1 last year. xo!

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  34. I need to know where that black and white bag in the one picture is from!!

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    1. Hi Heidi! The bag was an Anthropologie clearance find earlier this year, so I am not sure if they still stock it. xoxo!

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  35. I love your paint color! Do you remember the name of the color and brand of paint it was? Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Kristen! The paint color is Behr's Grape Leaves. It really is a great color! :) xo!

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  36. Jen, This is gorgeous!!! I love every little detail. It looks so high-end. My favorite is how you stacked the books and turned the bookends. I am pinning to my interior styling tips board right now!

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    1. That means so much coming from you Jackie! Thank you!

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  37. You are my very favorite organizing blogger...ever.....in the history of time. Part of the reason I love your blog so much is that I LOVE YOUR STYLE. It's perfect. You are above the rules Jen. Just go with your gut, and you'll win every time!
    P.S. I'm so excited for Christmas this year! I am going to copy your idea of the Christmas box and having a family activity everyday in December! I can't wait! I finally found a box...it only took me a year and a half!!!
    P.S.S I loved how you put your bookend in that apothecary jar! Brilliant!!!

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    1. Aww, shucks Amber! Your sweetness is super appreciated! <3 And yay for the countdown box! I am so excited to get ours back out! It is one of my most favorite times of the year! xoxo!

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  38. Hi..love it! My favorite part is your mention of "your little guys." I always referred to my sons as my little guys. They are grown now. My oldest is in afghanistan...just 11 more days before he heads back home to his wife and 2 little guys...just wanted you to know that on nites when I couldn't sleep..and worry would begin..your blog has kept me company. Thanks to you and your blog world friends like layla at the lettered cottage and the inspired room. Just thought you might want to know that your blog inspires in more ways than just organizing our homes..xo

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  39. Hey Jen, that looks amazing! Great job, it was such an inspiring transformation!!

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  40. Wow! When I see your 'before' pictures, I usually cannot imagine that it can get any better, and you manage to do just that every time.
    Love it!

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    1. That is so sweet Marei! Thank you so much! I am all about the constant need to tweak and update things! :)

      xo!

      Delete
  41. I know that this is pretty random but I am diggin' the tote/bag that is sitting on the floor next to the credenza. What kind of bag is it and do you remember where you got it? Sorry but I had to ask...and were you using this as your current handbag? Thanks!
    Love reading about all your styling and projects.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Joyce! It is actually my travel bag {for when I fly or take long trips}. I had just returned home from a trip and plopped it down and I liked how it worked in the photo. :) Happy accident.

      I found the bag on Clearance earlier this year at Anthropologie {it is a weekender bag}. Not sure if they still carry it as it was pretty discounted when I found it.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  42. Good Day Jen,
    I love the entire space. It looks like it works well. I really like your bookends. Where find them? I may need to "find" myself some. Really enjoy your blog and all of the great inspirations. Keep up the good work.

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  43. Just wondering if you can post a link to the credenza. I might be the solution by our front door. We need something narrower

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    Replies
    1. Sure, the unit was pieced together from Besta units from IKEA:

      One of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40134050/

      One of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00134052/?query=001.340.52

      These doors: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10210818/?query=102.108.18

      We also added feet: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00211922/

      and the top: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20196529/?query=201.965.29

      Thanks so much!

      Delete
    2. Hi Jen,
      I found your blog just the other day and after reading your new Living Room Reveal after the Reveal post I am completely in love!! I adore this Besta Credenza Unit, but I can't get the links for anything but the top glass piece and the legs to work. The other three just take me to the Ikea living room web page. When searching for Besta and looking through the pieces, I don't think I see what you have used. I know it was a couple years ago when you purchased but do you think it's still available? Also, how tall is your piece without the feet? Everything on the site seems like it would be shorter. Thanks for any information you can give me and I really love how you're so gracious and kind to allow us into your beautiful home!

      Delete
    3. Hi Janie!

      Here are the new links to the base units we used:
      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50245953/#/10245846
      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30245850/

      Without the legs the unit is 25" tall.

      Thank you!!
      Jen

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    4. Jen,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for providing the updated links. I kept searching and found what I thought you used, but it feels good to be exactly certain now! Also, one last thing, did you use the Stubbarp legs or something else? I am loving the chunky legs on your credenza but they didn't quite look the same to me. I have been looking for two years for a cabinet I absolutely love for a wall and hadn't fallen in love with anything until I saw yours. I think it was because of the gold hardware details you added to it! Perfect addition. And best of all, it is super functional as well!
      Thanks again!

      Delete
    5. We used legs sold by IKEA, but I am not able to find the exact ones online any longer. They are similar to the style you mentioned, but more tapered. IKEA tends to switch things up over time, looks like the new legs are more in line with their HEMNES series. xoxo!

      Delete
  44. I adore mason jars, any kind of blue glass (or beach glass) and funky little pots and mortars. So versatile!

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  45. Hi Jen!

    Did you get a new couch? I think that I sort of saw something vaguely in one of the pictures.

    Thanks!

    Sarah

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    Replies
    1. Ah! Yes! I am a bad blogger. We purchased a new couch about a year and a half ago, I just never posted about it {and clearly, haven't blogged much about our living room in a loooong time}. I will be sure to put together an update post or home tour photo.

      xo!

      Delete
  46. That lamp & the gold hardware make all the difference! I am so jealous!!!

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  47. So colorful and organized! I love the blue and gold/bronze.

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  48. It came out so good! I'm the same way as you- I typically do the same thing with symmetry- just stack stuff until it looks neat and uncluttered haha. I would love to style a bookcase sometime soon

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  49. I absolutely love having one bookend under a cloche! I am so borrowing that idea! Gorgeous as always - thanks so much for all your hard work and sharing through your blog!
    Christie B.

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  50. Ummm hello gorgeous!!! Seriosuly I don't even know where to start with this. First let me say I'm in LOVE with the navy lamp!!! And I adore the styling. Love that you used one bookend in the apothecary jar. So smart! Great job lady :)

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  51. My absolute favourite thing is that you've placed one of the book ends under the glass cloche and on top of the book stack- perfect! Stealing this idea as soon as possible ; )
    Sarah @ stayathometerritory

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  52. i have been searching all over your site to figure out how to adhere the brass L brackets (along with the brass pulls) to my besta unit. HELP???

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    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,

      The pulls and brackets both came with hardware to use to attach. If the screws are too long, you may need to look into shorter options at the hardware store. I believe we were able to use the ones that came with the brackets, however, Bryan always has a supply of options on hand so I can't be entirely sure any longer.

      xoxo!

      Delete
    2. thanks so much! I wasn't sure if the screws would split the material on the ikea piece...

      Delete
    3. Gotcha! We always pre-drill to prevent splitting whenever possible. xoxo!

      Delete

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