West Elm Manzanita Candelabra Look-alike

“Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.” Rosie Perez as Gloria in White Men Can’t Jump.

Does this happen to you? Sometimes I see something I really like from one of my favorite stores, and I think to myself, “I’ll wait for it to go on sale,” only to find that it’s sold out when I go look for it. Such a bummer! If it’s something I really love, I can often manage to find it on eBay or craigslist (win!)… but sometimes, I don’t (lose!).

Today’s post is kind of a “tie.” I immediately fell in love when I saw the Manzanita candelabra from West Elm a couple of years ago. But since I didn’t really have a use in mind, I procrastinated. Now, I’d really love to have this for our winter decor, and it’s all sold out. No luck on eBay either.

West Elm Manzanita Candelabra

So off I went on a copycat chic, high/low adventure!

I did find this one which looks very close but costs a bit more than I want to pay.

Finally, I was happy to find a candelabra at Target:

I used silver¬†spray paint on mine, and I actually love how it turned out! The silver color makes the chunky metal look sleeker, and it’s going to be perfect!

Which is your favorite?

No longer desperately seeking candelabra,


DIY Gold Feather Table Runner for Fall

Thanksgiving at our house has been pretty small the last few years. Most of our family is not in town, so we enjoy a quiet long weekend with just me, Steve, and the kids. Sometimes, however, I crave the hustle bustle madness of a big Thanksgiving celebration. I’m excited this year because we get to host one of my new coworkers!

To help make our Thanksgiving dinner this year extra festive, I have some new decorations planned. One of them is this simple linen table runner.

I sewed the runner and used gold craft paint to add this feather design inspired by a rubber stamp Creatiate on Etsy.

Up next, a “stenciled” runner for our dining table. Red wine included ūüôā

Happy Turkey Day! May your hearts be full of thanks!


Recipe for a Mod Metallic Christmas 

You know decorating for Christmas is a serious thing in our house, and to keep my sanity, I usually try to start planning early. This fall, though, every spare moment outside of work and basic survival has been consumed with stuff for the boys’ school and birthdays! Now, I’m starting to feel a bit of breathing room – or I’m forcing myself to maintain some sanity.

I honestly had so much fun with last year’s retro Christmas that I thought about recreating it. I’ve decided, however, to try a new variation I’m going to call a “Mod Metallic Christmas.”

Here is an inspiration photo (source):

Three years ago, I did simple white and grey Christmas theme, and I’m excited to add some glitter and glam this time around!

Taking inspiration from The Design Cookbook, I created a “recipe” to help me focus my vision for this project and keep it on track:

  • Color scheme: white, grey, black, gold, silver
  • Natural elements like branches
  • Glam/ mod touches, such as clean lines, geometric shapes, and faux fur

Some projects I’d like to work on include:

Metallic garland (source):


Tin can luminaries (source):

Dip-painted wooden ornaments (source):

Painted pine cones (source):

Felt garland (source):

And here are some more inspiration photos (source):


What do you have in mind for holiday decorating?




DIY Gold-Painted Vases

One of my favorite partners in craft-crime recently hosted a bridal shower for one of our coworkers, and I offered to make some decorations. First, I made giant paper flowers for a photo backdrop, and next up were these gold-painted vases.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home


  • Empty glass jars (pasta sauce, peanut butter, mustard, etc.)
  • Goo gone
  • Painters tape
  • Gold spray paint


  • Clean your jars thoroughly. I peel my labels as much as I can and then use Goo gone to remove the adhesive. Then, I run them through the dishwasher.
  • Mask off the area you don’t want to paint. I did a few¬†variations: simple horizontal stripes, uneven edges (tape some torn paper around the vase), elastic bands, and geometric angles. You could get creative with round stickers for polka dots, etc.
  • Spray with gold spray paint and ta-da!

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

I love how this textured jar turned out. I think it was a sauerkraut jar.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

At the shower, I grouped vases together, so these small arrangements made a big impact.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

From “trash” to treasures!DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

I gave most of the vases away as party favors, so the is the only picture I have of one of the diagonal geometric designs (far right).DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

Of course, now I am seeing beauty throughout my pantry and already have plans for another set of vases!



Book Review: The Design Cookbook

I love books. Not just the stories in them, but the feel of hefty printed pages in your hands. I especially love looking at used books stores and book sales. There’s something about the combination of a good deal on a newer book mixed in with the curiosities of vintage books that makes for such an enjoyable browsing.

I was recently in Chicago, where I met up with some friends from high school to do the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer. On our last day, having walked 39 miles through the beautiful city and shopped our hearts out at the fashion outlets, a friend and I hunted down a big used bookstore: after-words in River North.

I found some fun books for souvenirs for the boys, and my personal pick was The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards. Even in this day of Pinterest, I find there is something special about browsing glossy images in a book or magazine.

Kelly Edwards really captures my style goals in this book – the rooms all have an eclectic combination of classic, modern, and whimsical elements. This can be a hard look to pull off, because the room is much more than a sum of the parts, so the “cook book” format is especially helpful. Kelly shows a series of rooms and then breaks them down into a list of features, like a painted lamp and dark walls. I like how this step-by-step approach to decorating can help you with recreating any room you see. The book also includes a handful of DIY projects.

Here are a few of my favorite vignettes from the book.

I am definitely feeling inspired, and I hope you are too! ¬†For the “recipes” for these rooms and more, check out¬†The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards.


Chinoiserie Chic Living Room

Our living room has evolved over the years. Here’s a look at some of our latest additions, including the color block drapes and these pretty turquoise chairs from Article (formerly Bryght). I have to admit I was pretty nervous when the intense color showed up in my living room, but I am so glad I took a risk!

Over on the other side of the room, I have a little bar set up next to the dining area:

I recently moved this painted Chinese screen over the bar area when I was rearranging our art. I really like how it brings the eye up and emphasizes the tall ceilings.

And here are two paintings by my mom that I recently added to the living room. These remind me of De Gournay wallpapers and add an authentic bit of Chinoiserie to our home.

Hope you enjoyed the details in our living room!


Ideas for Handmade Romantic Gifts

So, it was just Valentine’s Day and¬†we’re going to Steve’s sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I’ve been busy searching for the perfect romantic gifts with a handmade touch.

Here are my favorite ideas. I’ve tried some of them and can’t wait to try the rest!

1. Printed pillowcases


I love this and all the other whimsical designs from ZCreate on Etsy, and how perfect that this business is run by a couple!
2. “I love you” collage


I made this collage for our family a few years ago. It took a lot of time and work, but it’s not technically difficult, and it’s almost free! You could customize this with a wedding date or other details.
3. A year of dates
This is what I actually ended up giving Steve for Valentine’s. One activity for each month, some at home and some out on the town, including some local adventures I have been waiting to try!

4. Personalized wine or bar glasses

I love these vintage monogrammed glasses I found for our Mad Men party a few years ago. You could also make your own with Glass Etching Cream.

5. Personalized wine labels


What a fun way to personalize a gift of wine, with these milestone labels available from Label the Occasion and other sellers on Etsy. Or design your own and print on blank labels.

7. Message written with paper mosaic

I used Chinese characters (love, double happiness, and family), but you could do this with an English phrase, too. I printed out the template in reverse, glued one inch squares onto the back side of the paper, then cut out the template and glued it on a background.

8. String art heart

string art heart

You can buy this from Etsy or make your own with some wood, nails, and red embroidery floss. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while!

9. Personalized luggage tags


I made these luggage tags and other art projects out of wedding invitations. I found the self-laminating tags here.

10. Framed wedding invitation art

You could also do this with a birth announcement. It’s ¬†special way to preserve your friends’ favorite images.


Hope you’re in the mood to create something special for the ones you love!


DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper 

As you know, this Christmas, I’m decorating with a retro mid-century ¬†theme. Our tree is trimmed with globe ornaments in red, turquoise, and pink, including these scrapbook paper and washi tape globe ornaments.

I was looking for the perfect tree topper and saw this fabulous atomic topper from Over the Top Finials on Etsy. They have lots of fun products!!

Since I had all the supplies in the house already, I thought I’d try a DIY version, and I’m pretty excited with how it turned out!

Here’s what I rounded up to make the tree topper:

  • 11 bamboo skewers – paint with silver spray paint
  • Medium styrofoam ball – paint with silver craft paint
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Green felt to cover roll
  • Assorted small balls and beads. I used some vase filler (which also came in handy when making my ornament wreath; I might have some trouble filling a vase in the future…)

Here’s how to put it together

  • Paint the skewers and styrofoam ball and let dry
  • Cut the toilet paper roll lengthwise and tape it into a narrower and tapered roll. Push the narrower end into the ¬†styrofoam ball. Cover it with green felt to blend into the tree.
  • Cut the skewers into varying lengths, cutting on an angle to make sharp ends.
  • Stick the small balls and beads into the skewers.
  • Stick the skewers into the center ball, spacing them out in all directions and with varying lengths.


DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home
DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home

And here’s how the tree has come together, including the retro Christmas Ornament tree skirt!

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home
 I think our Christmas tree looks far-out and groovy with its new topper!


Guest Room – A Home Away from Home

Every room¬†is a combination of¬†the essentials that make it work and the decor that makes it beautiful. These elements are so important in a guest room, where you want your friends and family to feel both like they’re as comfortable as they are at home¬†as well as¬†transported on a great adventure.

When we finished our basement, we built in a small and cozy guestroom. When my sister planned a visit, I was motivated to finally finish decorating it. Luckily, I have a very understanding, sister – see?

First, the essentials, and then onto the fun part – decorating!

Guest room essentials:

  1. Bed – I love using a daybed in the guestroom. It serves as a sofa, when you don’t have guests. It works as a single bed, and then with a trundle or sleeper sofa, you can also accommodate couples. Ours is the Lubi Sleeper Daybed from CB2.
  2. Bedding – I splurged on a memory foam topper for our guest bed, to make sure that weary travelers get a good night’s rest.
  3. Towels
  4. Cups for water
  5. Toiletries – I’ve saved a few travel toiletries and display them in these upcycled jars for our guests to use.
  6. Reading lamp – in a small space like ours, a wall-mounted swing arm lamp like this is a great idea.
  7. Closet – even if you’re using the guest closet for storage (who isn’t?), clear out a little space to help family and friends feel settled in.
  8. Wifi password
  9. Magazines and books with local interest
  10. If your guests include kids, a step stool will make their visit more comfortable.

Here’s our daybed:

It converts into a queen mattress:


Or two twin mattresses:

Now, onto the decorating!

Guest Room Finishing Touches:

Window coverings ‚Äď it’s important to have good like control in your guestroom, since you may have visitors who are jetlagged and need to sleep when it’s light outside. Our guestroom is in the basement, which means that the windows are at ground level, so these wood blinds were the perfect solution for privacy and light control.

A mirror is also a great addition to any guestroom. In our case, the mirror also helps bring more light into this basement bedroom.

I added some travel themed art that had been up in the boys’ room before they switched over to superheroes. Finally, I love this oversized map where all of our guests can mark their hometowns.

We look forward to welcoming more friends and family to this home sweet away-from-home!