Whether it's an apartment, condo or house, buying your first home can be exciting as well as expensive. After depleting your savings account purchasing your home, you might start to feel the pinch when it comes to furnishing it.
Here are some of my top tips to get the look of luxury without the price tag:
Be Resourceful. How do you find quality furniture without paying a high price? If you're willing to put in some time, buying unfinished or used furniture to refinish can save you a lot of money and leave you with the same look for less.
Sniff Out Bargains. Hunt for fix-me-up furniture in attics, garage sales and flea markets. Some of the best pieces could be hiding in a friend's or relative's attic. Keep in mind that finding the perfect piece may not be love at first sight. Look beyond the surface to see if there is potential for refurbishing.
Transform Timeless Furniture. Before you take home any piece of furniture, check for structural flaws such as cracks, loose joints, lifted veneer, warped surfaces or uneven legs. If the integrity of the piece is still good, refinishing it can change the appearance from old and worn too beautiful and timeless.
Give Furniture a Facelift. Before you can banish the old finish, you need to find out what you're removing. Give it the cotton ball test. Dampen a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover, then choose an inconspicuous test spot and dab it with the cotton. If it sticks or the finish softens, you have a varnish, lacquer or shellac finish. Formby's recommends using their Furniture Refinisher, which will gently dissolve this type of finish. If nothing happens when you dab the cotton ball, then the finish is most likely paint or polyurethane. Try Formby's Paint & Poly Remover to lift and remove the old finish. After a light buffing with Paint & Poly Remover Wash, you're ready to add a beautiful new finish.
Rub On the Finishing Touch. Applying a finish is essential for protecting stripped, stained or bare wood from moisture and wear. Formby's Tung Oil Finish imparts a warm, hand-rubbed luster to wood, enhancing its natural charm. By hand-rubbing Tung Oil into wood, you eliminate the potential for streaks, ensuring a beautiful, smooth finish. Tung Oil penetrates wood, protecting from the inside out.
It can be tricky to get bookcase styling just right! I like to make sure my bookcases look pretty and aren’t cluttered, but I also don’t want them to feel impersonal. I think sometimes when shelves are styled too perfectly with purchased objects it can look beautiful, but also sterile. Here is how to style a bookcase in 3 easy steps to create a beautiful and functional display.
3 Simple Rules for Bookcase Styling
First, you should shop and collect things from around the house that spark joy! Find travel mementos, photographs or trophies. Even old letters look lovely in a frame! Don’t overthink it and worry about how everything will work together at first. Just collect the items you love.
Next, find books. I like to collect books about design, astrology, and self-help! If travel is your thing find beautiful travel books. If you love fashion collect those etc… And if you love fiction, or you find that the jackets of your books aren’t visually cohesive you can always cover them. I like to use linen or kraft paper. And you can always hand letter or add pretty labels so you still know which book is which!
Once you’ve created a collection of objects and books that you’d like to display it’s time to start arranging. I like to place larger pieces like framed art, oversize objects or stacks of books first and then fill in with smaller pieces around them.
3 Guiding Principles
I am mindful of 3 guiding principles when arranging my shelves:
Go through the items you’ve gathered and assess which ones work well together. Is there a colour palette or style that really stands out to you when you look at what you’ve chosen? Maybe everything is very neutral so you choose to put aside one or two colorful items. Or maybe everything is colorful and eclectic so you put aside a few more rustic items. It’s an exercise that can help you narrow down what your preferred style really is! Bonus!
Make sure your shelves are balanced by grouping objects in a purposeful manner. I usually alternate shelves when stacking books and also I switch up stacking them vertically or horizontally. And I add in smaller objects with each large piece… again to create balance!
Remember to leave empty space to allow the eye to rest. You don’t want to create clutter. You want to create visual interest. Resist the urge to keep adding more items to your shelves, especially smaller pieces. You can quickly turn curated into crowded! Less is more!
Stack books both vertically and horizontally to create interesting visual contrast.
Tip: This is one time that I would say the rule of 3 or the rule of odd numbers does not apply! I actually like to add books horizontally in stacks of 2 or 4, or vertically just a couple at a time.
Even on the kitchen window ledge, I like to lean a couple of pretty cookbooks against the wall to add some interest to the space.
Pretty cookbooks double as decor propped on the kitchen window ledge.
It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task to style your shelves. Just follow the simple principles I’ve laid out and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect! You are styling your home, not a store display. Make it personal and make it something you love to see!
Toscano Interiors has served Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities now for over 10 years. Ten hard, wild, amazing years.
My dream was to give you all intimate glimpses into my own life and interior space work- to inform and inspire your own journey. To build a beautiful community – interested in creating homes and living lives with passion and purpose. To create opportunities for growth and change – individually and together. One room, one life, one family, one world…at a time.
So many friendships have been made these last 10 years, many of you have watched our children grow up- words cannot describe how thankful we are for everything. The honor to stage and design your homes, every detail that was lovingly crafted to support your experience working with my team and myself. The luxurious design process I built up to this point has included so much intention, soul-searching, and creative play. It’s an authentic expression of who I am and what I do in the world --
But now it's time for me to spread my wings and discover new breakthroughs and in turn give my life a beautiful, meaningful, functional space to land and grow someplace new. Colorado is the only home I have ever known...I have lived here all 42 years of my life, and it will always be home, but there is something magical about life shifting and upgrading you.
I have resisted this decision so many times over the years. Every time I got the idea that maybe it was time for a change, I got scared. Feared it. Tried really hard to stick my head in the sand and pretend like I was comfortable living out the rest of my adult life in the same boring place.
Worst of all, I carried all of this around like a secret. I thought I was the only one having a hard time with change — like I wasn’t there the day they passed out the “grown-up” cards.
Eventually, I realized: change isn’t going anywhere. It is inevitable in this lifetime — and I might as well learn how to deal with it.
So I became a student of transition. I studied change, and learned about its rhythms and melodies. I got more and more comfortable with the process of transformation — both within myself and in other people. And I quickly learned:
This is such a shame. Because the truth is …
Transitions – beautiful, painful, and messy – grow us into the fullness of who we are and all that we can become.
When we try to avoid transitions — or simply go through them unconsciously — we miss out on vital opportunities for growth. We stay stagnant, and continue living out the same old, unhelpful patterns. Or we disintegrate, chicken out, and go through the motions without reaping the deep gifts.
My happiness is directly related to how well and resiliently I can support myself through life transitions and integrate their lessons. And let's face it...my business made it through a global pandemic, marital problems, kids school schedules, a newborn while running a full time business, custody battles, an ex-employee who stalked me for 4-years, the floods in Manitou Springs (when my store was located there)...I can probably list dozens of other things.
Learning to navigate transitions is an essential life skill, but one we’re often not taught about. I’ve supported countless clients/friends through transitions, and many of you helped me navigate through all the transitions I listed above- and for that I will be forever grateful to you and will miss you all more than you know. Thank you.
Your life is a story of transition. You are always leaving one chapter
behind while moving on to the next.” ~ Linda Seidler
At this time, we do not have a specific timeline of events, but we’re aiming to be fully closed by September 1st.
Listed below are more details
-How and when can I shop?
We will only be open Monday through Friday for in person sales from 10 am- 2 pm. Beginning the week of July 19th. The website store is no longer available for online purchases out of State
-What’s for sale?
All of our existing products, along with furniture, displays,
All sales will be final. If you have any layaway items, these items need to be paid in full NO LATER THAN AUGUST 5, 2021, and all Gift Certificates will be Null and Void August 15, 2021.
Sending you all love and gratitude,
*For vendors and artists, letters have been mailed with instructions on pick up. To review a copy of our Consignment Agreement that all Vendors/Artists sign, click here. If the 30 days has passed, your items have already been donated or disposed of. Unfortunately we are not a storage facility and many vendors/artists left items for as many as 4 years before asking for their items back. Since we are a small shop, those items were taking up real estate in our store, and we lose money by holding items for this long. We hope you can understand this business move, as we are not in the business to keep your items but we also cannot be responsible for items forgotten about by a fellow business owner.
This week's blog post is courtesy of Karl Kennedy with Projectortop.com. He has you hooked up with how to enjoy your summer nights by creating the BEST outdoor movie theatre!
Watching a movie on the big screen is always fun, whether you’re by yourself or enjoying a good film with company. But sometimes, it’s rather inconvenient traveling to the theaters and spending all of that money on a cinema experience.
What if we told you that there’s a way to avoid going to the local theaters? All you have to do is install your own personal outdoor movie theater in your backyard! It’s perfect for the summer months, it’ll save you money, and over time, the backyard cinema will have paid for itself.
Let’s not forget that having a movie theater at home gives you the utmost comfort and privacy. You also won’t have to choose from the movies that are currently being offered, like at the movie theaters. You’ll have the opportunity to put whatever it is you want to watch on the screen.
And, before you get too worried, know that the process of buying the equipment and setting it all up is a lot easier than it sounds. It’s even easy to stick to a budget if you do your research. An outdoor home movie theater can be as simple as a projector and sheet combo or it can be as boujee as a large outdoor screen, receiver, and speaker mix for the best audio and video quality.
Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get into explaining the core components you’ll need to pull your at-home, backyard movie theater together.
Buying a projector is the better movie, especially when compared to bringing your flat screen television outside every time you want to view a movie.
Purchasing a projector will absolutely “wow” your guests every time they come over. It’s bright enough to showcase any movie as soon as the sun sets, but keep in mind that it won’t do too good in the daytime.The visuals once the dark sets in are impeccable, to say the least.
Just remember that items like the projector and similar technological equipment should not be left outdoors all the time; the rain and other conditions could always temporarily or permanently ruin the technologies.
Projector screens aren’t necessarily needed, but they definitely come in handy. Many first-timers will use the side of their house, primarily because it’s a free alternative to a screen. However, we do not recommend it in the least. Movie screens are supposed to be smooth and color free, and we can guarantee you that the side of your house is anything but that.
If you’re looking for a more affordable solution, you can definitely purchase a large white sheet and hang it up; you’ll get decent viewings. But, you’ll have to try your best to keep the sheet wrinkle free and secure it to something. The wind can technically cause the “screen” to move, and that’s highly inconvenient in the middle of watching a film.
Honestly, buying a projector screen is your best option. Plus, it comes with a sturdy frame to avoid any blowing over.
Now you need to think of how you’re going to watch the movies. Sure, you can always resort to a DVD or Blu-ray player, but streaming sticks are way more magical.
Not to mention they connect directly to the projector, pick up Wi-Fi fairly quickly, and have a plethora of movie options to choose from.
Good audio is a must when it comes to a great outdoor movie theater set up. To get you started, the projectors have minimal speakers, but they don’t work very well. If you’re looking to use the built-in speakers, you should plan on only having a couple people over to view the movie. If you would like to be the host for the evening and have a big group of friends or family over, it’s best to get larger speakers. The additional support is much appreciated.
Think about it this way, a big screen deserves big noise, it’s the best scenario. And, if you don’t know what specific speakers to purchase, just head on out and ask a professional to get the best, most extraordinary experience with your at-home, backyard theater.
This week I am excited to share a special guest post from one of our favorite contributors, Alice Robertson of Tidyhome.info She shares some great tips on how to create an optimal home office!
Do you work from home full- or part-time? If so, a place where you can work comfortably and productively is a must. Even if your workspace is just a go-to for your side gig, designing it properly will keep you going strong. The following tips and resources will help you create a home office with your personal and professional success in mind.
Places and Spaces
Choosing the right spot to work can make a big difference. For the best energy and focus, think about the following components:
Solutions for Your Space
Sometimes the ideal workspace doesn’t present itself right away. You might need to do some additional tweaking to work things out.
Physical discomfort will get in the way of your productivity, so ensure peak performance with a few ergonomic essentials:
Safe and Sound
The last thing you want is to put your household or livelihood at risk. There are plenty of great ways to resolve security issues for your home office and provide peace of mind.
Whether you’re hitting the daily grind from home or just picking up a few hours here and there freelancing, your home office should be set up for success. Optimize your productivity and comfort with these simple tips and resources.
My whole life I’ve been fascinated by transitions: the stages of newness, disorientation, and re-integration they bring us; the deep inner work of re-evaluating our identity; and all the inner, outer, and cultural supports we can lean on through them.
Right now, I’m smack-dab in the middle of this transition... a very messy and complicated separation. This is the sacred chrysalis time, the transformational moment, the period of Huge Unknown: getting a divorce and trying to move away from the only home I've ever known, but I’m already forever changed. I am asking questions such as: What does being a single mother mean to me at this stage in my life? How will my life change? Who will I be at the end of this transition? And how can I bring the very best of myself to this precious time? Separation and divorce are traumatic. The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.
Today I would love to share the practices and perspectives I’m relying on as I navigate this transition. Whether you’re going through a relationship change or facing a completely different transition (like a pregnancy, a career shift, or even a personal growth spurt), — I hope these suggestions help you feel more supported, resourced, and clear.
Tend To Your Heart
Right now, in the middle of this transition, I’m being as open and gentle with myself as possible. I’m listening to what I need and giving myself permission to do/eat/be and feel those things. I’m surrendering to the entire process. I truly don’t know who I’m going to be on the other side of this journey. So right now I’m exploring the aspects of my spirit I know I want to bring forward … while opening myself and allowing this transition into the unknown to change me.
I’ve also been struck with (and surprised by) a strong sense of introversion during this separation. I’ve become a little more private, quiet, and even a bit socially withdrawn. I have plenty of energy — yet I’m craving quiet and lots of alone time. I am trusting this, honoring it as much as I can and paying close attention to exactly what I need in any given moment.
Finally, I’m staying keenly aware of when I start comparing myself to other women or am trying to base my decisions and reality on the things that make other women happy. It’s such a practice, to return over and over again to my own heart, and listen to her wisdom.
Cultivate Your Mind
Transitions are a mental activity, too: they ask us to shift our ideas about who we are, and what we’re doing in the world.
As I think about this divorce, I have a certain level of fear and anxiety bubbling up. But rather than getting swept away by it or making it wrong, I’m trying to normalize and honor my fear. This is easier said than done….But I’ve learned over time: the most fulfilling things in my life have also been the scariest and most vulnerable. I am constantly reminding myself that these feelings aren’t a bad thing: they’re actually a sign that something wonderful, important, and precious is underway. Reminding myself that I am worthy.
Honor Your Body
Divorce does play a role on your physical body, obviously not just mental and emotional aspects (stress makes me stop eating, and self-care for some goes to the wayside) — but I think caring for our bodies provides massive support, no matter what’s going on in our lives.
Right now, I’m doing my best to take exquisite care of my body. I’m listening to her cues, watching her change and getting to know who she is becoming. Consistent exercise has been essential, for me. Hot yoga has been my go to. I’m also drinking plenty of infused water to keep my mind clear and my mood up.
Being in a state of limbo can be powerful when we stand fully in, and open to, everything that is unknown.
Pay Attention To Your Relationships
Just as I am shifting and changing so are many of my relationships. Some are maturing and deepening to new levels, others have needed updating and re-evaluating and a few have completely fallen away. Just as I have been grieving parts of my life that are going to dramatically change after this divorce, I am also grieving how my relationships are going to shift as well. My time and energy already isn’t what it once was, and my priorities around what is most important to me are changing too. I feel my circle getting smaller. More potent, but also more spacious.
Having conversations with those I love most has been extremely important, especially my children. Being very mindful of how I show up for them during this transition too. Some friends and family have been concerned, annoyed and questioning of me. Others have been trusting, supportive and loving. I have found that sharing openly and honestly about where I am and what I need has worked the best. Spaciousness to change and the freedom to do so without judgement or expectation has been my greatest request.
I have been able to really reflect on past relationships and where I was showing up and how I was allowing others to show up for me. From the countless intimate relationships that never offered any type of intimacy or safe haven that honored my heart, my friendships where they always took more than they gave, all the situations when someone told me “we’re in this together” or “I got you” then abandoned me, leaving me to pick up the pieces when shit got real, leaving me to handle my part and their part, too. All the lies and all the betrayals from my current marriage and all the hurtful things he continues to do. I've learned along the way that I just couldn’t really trust people, sometimes I couldn't trust myself, and that is not the person I want to be. I also realized something very important about intimate relationships and that is no matter how spiritually “woke” we may think we are, we still have deeper issues which can only be worked out within the context of relationship.
Left alone, we settle into comfortable patterns that limit the range of our emotional awareness and personal expression.
However, once we step out of our comfort zone and open up to others, previously unnoticed/denied aspects of ourselves begin to emerge.
At first, they make waves in the calm waters of our hearts, evoking passion and excitement. But when we let them in deeply enough, it’s like stirring up a pool of still water - all the heavy and messy things which settled at the bottom of our awareness are forced to emerge to the surface.
When our otherwise hard-to-reach issues get stirred up for us to look at, we have an opportunity to embrace these fragmented parts of ourselves, to become more integrated and whole. This is a blessing in disguise, albeit a challenging one.
Intimate relationships demand a depth of intensity and vulnerability which is the fuel for both transcendent passion and crippling conflict. This is why many esoteric teachings point to the “polar couple/ twin flame” archetype as the most powerful of alchemical unions. Intimate relationships have the potential for astoundingly accelerated transformation.
Whether that transformation leads to conscious evolution or unconscious sabotage depends entirely on each person’s individual state of Being.
If you and your partner aren’t engaged in sincere, deep, holistic self-work, there can only be 2 outcomes for this kind of relationship.
Either you and your partner will settle into a relatively comfortable but very limited relationship of matrix-based pleasures and pursuits where your dysfunctions harmonize, but leave little room for expansion of the soul…
OR… the relationship will dissolve to make way for something greater in your life.
This is the case with the vast majority of relationships in the world, which is why people are often so dissatisfied in relationships.
However, if you and your partner are committed to nurture the healing alchemical fire within each other, the richness of this kind of relationship is extraordinary. This is what I was committed to, but unfortunately my husband felt differently. So please understand that even though I feel familiar with the process of transition, it’s still a huge deal and I’m certainly not immune to the disorientation and anxiety that comes with it. These tools and insight truly are helping me navigate this moment, and dance with all the Big Unknowns with more presence and ease.
And something I want you to remember, however “common” the transition, everyone navigates it differently. Listen to the voice of your own heart: what will make YOU happy?
Whatever transition you are going currently through or have gone through in the past, please remember….
You are worthy of having support.
You are worthy of having true partnership.
You are worthy of love.
You are worthy of having your heart held.
You are worthy to be adored.
You are worthy to be cherished.
You are worthy to have someone say, “You rest. I got this.” And actually deliver on that promise.
You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy.
You don’t have to earn it.
You don’t have to prove it.
You don’t have to bargain for it.
You don’t have to beg for it.
You are worthy.
Simply because you exist.
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."
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