DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsLately I've been rearranging practically everything in our home, finding new sweet spots for vases, art, and potted plants. When creating new vignettes, I like to vary the heights of objects to add interest. Usually I'll do this with stacks of books and magazines, boxes, or pedestals, but when it comes to styling plants, I'm always mindful of moisture. Plant stands are really the most practical and stylish way to add some height to a pot, but it can be tricky to find smaller stands that fit specific size and aesthetic goals.

And this, my friends, is why we DIY!

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsWhat I wanted was a chic little plant stand that would add style to a vignette, without overpowering the arrangement with a strong stylistic presence or deep color. I've been really drawn to vintage lucite objects as of late, so I figured acrylic would be a great material for my project. I just love how it turned out, and I've gotta say – this might be the easiest DIY project I've ever shared here.

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsSupplies:
-9" x 1" acrylic circle
-3 acrylic ring displays
-epoxy plastic binder
-200 grit sandpaper
-masking tape
-disposable stirrer + plate or scrap of cardboard/wood

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsStep One: Peel off the protective paper from one side of the acrylic circle. Arrange the three ring holders (which will act as feet) evenly around the perimeter of the circle, keeping them 1" from the edge.

Step Two: Mark the placement of the feet (ring holders) with masking tape.

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsStep Three: Lightly sand the flat surface of the feet to allow for a better bond with the epoxy.

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsStep Four: Mix a small amount of epoxy according to the instructions. Be sure to use clean, disposable materials for this step, and definitely make sure you're in a well-ventilated area. There will be fumes.

Step Five: Dab a moderate amount of epoxy onto the sanded surface of the feet and lightly press them into place in their designated taped-off areas. Remove the tape right away. If you notice any glue seepage (eww, hate that word!), clean it off immediately with a cotton ball, cotton swap, or paper towel dipped in rubbing alcohol.

You have about two minutes to make sure all of the feet are straight and pointing the correct way. The epoxy will set up solid after 20 minutes, and then you can flip the stand right-side-up and remove the remaining protective coating.

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsI think small amounts of lucite can add the perfect touch of glamour to a space. I'm loving the '70s influence we're seeing in interiors these days, but I prefer more of a gentle nod than a heavy hand when it comes to incorporating the decade into my own home. (...Says the girl with a glitter countertop! Ha! Although, I suppose that's more of a '50s element, eh?)

DIY Lucite Plant Stand with Tapered LegsClearly lucite is having a moment right now (har har), and I personally am having a moment of satisfaction with how this little project turned out! I love it when things are easier than I'd hoped, and just as cool. I hope you'll give it a try! -Mandi

Credits //Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson.

Emma's front living room progress     Front living room progressOK, so this is one space in my house that has been pretty awkward since we moved in. It's kind of a second living room, as we have a TV living room we use most of the time. This space is just across from the kitchen, and that door leads to a laundry room hallway with a small half bath and then access to the garage. We come in through that door often, so this space really greets you when you get home. I wanted it to feel cozy and super inviting, but I've had a hard time styling this space for some reason. 

And I suspect that reason is the fireplace. Ha! I'll tell you more, but first, here's a mini tour of this room. 

Emma's front living room progress   Piano Emma's front living room progress  Emma's front living room progress Leather poufAll we've done is paint the walls and trim white, hang curtains, and move all our stuff in slowly. No real renovations have happened in this space. But there is quite a bit of furniture. 

First, this is the first home that was large enough for Trey to move his piano from his parents' house to his house. They had always told him that one day he could have this piano, but it really didn't fit in our last house. So when we found this house, we knew we'd finally have space to move it. Trey is probably more into guitar, but he plays piano and drums some as well, and I love to hear him play on this now and again. So that's on one wall. In front of the window is where we put the couch we inherited from the studio house. And those were the main two pieces in the room until recently. 

I knew I wanted to infuse a little more color into this space since the floors were brown, the stone fireplace is brown, the ceilings are brown, and then the piano and couch are brown. I love brown as much as the next gal, but that's just a bit too much! So I knew I wanted a light colored rug with some color – and that's exactly what I picked out. That has made a TON of difference in the space already!

Coffee table updateI also moved our coffee table into the room but decided to paint/stain it as it was brown and, again, there was already plenty of brown in the room. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out. It's OK, but not exactly the color or texture I was going for. I was trying to stain it a bright lipstick red, but it looks more like a poorly painted orange Pepto-Bismol color to me. So I'm OK with it, but I'll probably change it eventually. 

What to do with this fireplaceHere is our fireplace. We found some photos of our home online from before the previous owner fixed it up, and it turns out that this fireplace was painted white before. The last owner painted it a faux stone color. I think they did a pretty good job as I actually thought it was really just stone at first. I probably would have preferred the white to the faux stone, but I don't think we'll paint it back as that just seems sort of crazy to me. Ha! But, never say never I guess. :) 

Guys, I just don't feel like I know what to do with this fireplace. I had a mantel installed, but I still don't love it. I took out the insert (but saved it) as we never used it. I need to clean the inside (again, I had it professionally "swept" before last winter) and maybe paint it a solid black. I like the candles, but I need to elevate part of it. And then it has this unpainted edge all around the opening that I have to figure out if I'm going to try and paint to match the faux stone look, or if I'm going to build some kind of frame to go over it. What do you think? 

Smile and Wave weavingI did commission Rachel to create an oversized weaving for me that I plan to hang above the mantel area soon. Isn't it beautiful!? It's going to look so good when I finally get it hung. Right now I just have it hanging around the house on a photo stand so it doesn't get dirty or wrinkled. So, I think that will help the fireplace area, but I still feel like it's just not quite coming together yet. 

Emma's front living room progress So far that's about it. Lots of progress but still feeling stumped about the fireplace area. Maybe I should see if my library has a How to Decorate a Fireplace for Dummies book or something. :) Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Room Sources: Rug c/o Rugs USA, Wicker chair and pouf c/o Joss & Main, Couch/studio house via Fab, Curtains/IKEA, Record table/flea market, Coffee table/DIY, Cactus light/gift from Elsie via Etsy (similar), Oversized portrait painting/my mother's from college. 

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. 

DIY Mid-Century PlanterHey, friends! Today we're partnering with Osmocote Plant Food to bring you a highly requested DIY – a mid-century inspired planter. 

You guys are always asking me where you can get cute, retro-inspired planters for a reasonable price. And, if I'm being honest, they're typically pretty pricey! But I love the look of wood legs and unique designs, so I set out to create a budget-friendly version for you guys! The wood legs on my planter are mid-century inspired and the clay balls are inspired by this incredible vase by Kelly Wearstler

And, you guys, not only is this project affordable and unique, but it's super simple to make at home! OK, let's get started! 

Supplies neededFor full instructions, see our video below! I used Osmocote Plant Food to complete this project. One application contains 11 essential nutrients and feeds up to 6 months. Works with virtually all plant varieties and growing conditions. Each granule is coated with a unique resin that controls nutritional release. 

Supply Links:
-wood beads
-air dry clay 
-Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Plant Food 
-for the flowers I used Zinnias 

DIY Mid-Century Planter DIY Mid-Century Planter DIY Mid-Century Planter DIY Mid-Century Planter I'm so happy with how this little guy turned out! Not only was it easy, but I've never seen another one exactly like it. What do you guys think, will you try this DIY? Gift idea maybe? xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. 

Emma Chapman   Wheelhouse in Springfield MO Wheelhouse in Springfield Outside lunch Emma Chapman Avocado purseI had it on my summer list to go get lunch at my favorite food truck in town, The Wheelhouse, with Janae someday when we worked together. So just before September began, we FINALLY made it happen. And it did not disappoint! If any of you Springfield natives haven't been yet, you must give them a try—Thai noodle dishes, tacos, lots of vegetarian options... I mean, it's sort of the best ever! :) 

Guys, I am so excited for September! I will be traveling to Nashville twice during the month (some for work, and some for fun) as well as speaking at Chopped Con. I get super nervous before any speaking event, so I've already started to have dreams where I forget my slides or am running late and can't find the event. Neither of these are likely to happen, but I always wake up from these dreams feeling anxious. I honestly love getting to speak from time to time, as my favorite part is getting to meet fellow bloggers or readers in person—so fun! But the actual speaking part always has me feeling nervous up until I actually do it, which is always a thrill. So I guess that's why I keep doing it every now and again as opportunities arise. Sometimes it's kind of good to do things that scare us. It keeps me from living too much in my comfort zone all the time. :) 

Also, isn't this avocado crop top the cutest! I was so stoked when I saw it on Nutrition Stripped. I love that site!

Emma Chapman Avocado shirtEmma's Wearing: Shirt/Nutrition Stripped, Jeans/F21, Purse c/o ModCloth (sold out, but you can find it here!), Shoes/ASOS, (similar here, and here!) Bracelet and Sunnies/Moorea Seal

Take it away, Sister!

Elsie LarsonMmmmm! Food Trucks. Jeremy and I have been trying to hunt down this food truck for weeks. (So excited!) 

Besides re-watching The Office for the 47th time, I don't have a lot of summer goals that are unfulfilled. We traveled less this summer, and I felt like I really got to enjoy all Nashville had to offer. Two weeks ago, when I saw the Halloween decor filling up the craft stores, I was pretty uninspired. But I have to admit—I'm warming up to it, and with September coming here I am getting excited to FULLY experience my first autumn season in Tennessee. Last year we were moving, so it didn't really count. 

If anyone has any Nashville or Tennessee fall traditions, please let me know!! 

Excited for those changing leaves! 

Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie's Wearing: Top/Vintage, Shorts/Madewell, Bag/Kate Spade, Sunnies/ZeroUV, Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens

Credits//Author: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy and Amber Ulmer. 

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.                 One thing that can really make or break an outdoor space is lighting. Lighting is what really sets the mood as a hot summer night starts to wind down and a cool breeze (hopefully) begins to blow. Our last house had a pergola already built on the property, so it was easy enough to string some globe patio lights around the edge of it and call it a day. But at our Nashville house, well, there is no pergola to speak of. So what’s a mood-lighting-lover to do? Figure out another way of course!

Since we are just starting to work on the outside of our house, I don’t know what kind of deck or pergola we might want to build in the future. So I wanted a solution that would stay as long as I wanted it, but wouldn’t have to be permanent in case our plans changed. I started investigating online and saw that there were a few variations of outdoor lighting that one could rig up using a long pole mounted inside of planters, and I decided that would be the perfect solution for the space. And since you don’t have to install anything permanent for this set up, it’s totally something you could do if you were renting a house as well. Let’s get started!

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorialSupplies:
-10’ metal pole or pipe (about 1”-1.5” thick)
-3 J-bolts long enough to go through your pipe and 2 corresponding nuts for each bolt
-metal drill bit the size of your J-bolt
-outdoor globe patio string lights
-Christmas light gutter clips
-tall planter
-rebar (optional)
-50lb bag of quick dry cement (I used 2)
-dirt and decorative rocks (optional)

First I determined how high I wanted the lights to be off of the pipe, and since 10’ seemed like a good height, I left the pipe the length it came in (you can have them cut it shorter at the store if you need to). Mark your hole locations with a marker and use a metal drill bit to drill three holes (all the way through) spaced about 2” apart at the top of the pole. Put your J-bolt through each hole with a nut on each side of the pipe to keep the bolt in place.

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial. Place your pole in the middle of your planter and pour the cement into the planter one bag at a time. Use a hose to add water to the planter. Then use a scrap piece of wood or a strong stick to stir the water with. You can follow the amount directions on the package or basically just get the cement to where it’s thoroughly wet but not soupy, and it should turn out just fine. It’s best to have a helper on these steps so you can have one person to stir and mix and one to hold the pole straight as the cement sets. Add another bag of cement as needed. You want to make sure that your pole and planter aren’t going anywhere, so make sure to also take into account how skinny or wide your planter is and how tall it is when deciding how much to fill it (I filled mine about 18” deep with cement). Since the pole isn’t that thick, wind just goes around it, and it feels very sturdy in the base.

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.                     Use a level to make sure your pole is standing up straight in the container and allow the cement to dry (make sure your hooks at the top are facing the direction you want as well). You can either fill the planter to the top with cement or leave some room to fill with dirt and a few small plants or some decorative rocks instead.

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.  Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.  Measure the distance from your pole placement to the gutter line at each area you want to attach lights and sketch out a rough estimate of your light strand path. Knowing the distance will let you know what length of light strand you need and allow you to make placement adjustments before you start. Believe me, it’s way easier to do it on paper than when you’re on the ladder! I haven’t found any light strands that will let you go longer than 100 feet without blowing fuses (I learned that the hard way after stringing up too many strands and having to redo the whole thing!), so adjust your design as needed or add in another extension cord to plug in two lights. Anyway, once your plan is mapped out, use a ladder and the gutter light clips to string your lights from the gutters to one of the pole hooks and back again until you have your lights set up!

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.
Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.         You can have an outdoor extension cord plug into your lights at the top of the pole to give you a few more hanging lights, or you can wrap them around and down the pole if you have lights to spare. We have an outdoor electrical box in that corner of the porch from where an old lamppost used to be, but you can also just run your extension cord to your closest outdoor plug instead and watch your porch glow!

Important note!! Make sure to hang the lights without the bulbs first, and then add the bulbs once the lights are secure. This will save you cleaning up lots of broken glass if you accidentally drop light strands onto cement. Twice. Just believe me OK…

Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.            Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.            Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.            Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.            Create Outdoor Patio Lighting Without a Pergola (Renter Friendly!) Click through for tutorial.            Isn’t it so cozy looking?! As soon as we put the lights up, I knew that’s what this space had been missing all along. I love being able to sit back here now and just take in the hot summer nights and listen to all the crickets and cicadas in the woods behind our house. If you are looking for a short or long-term lighting solution in your backyard, I hope this option works for you as well! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree


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