Dining Room Update

I know you all have been waiting with baited breath to take peek into my dining room! Well maybe not, but it is always fun to see how other people have decorated a space.

My dining room started as a blank space. The first thing we did when we bought the house was paint the living space white. After we painted it white I realized our trim and ceiling are not white, so that was fun surprise that will get fixed eventually.  Here are some before pics for your viewing pleasure.

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And now for some afters!!!!!

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The dining table and matching chairs, china hutch, and wicker chair are all things I had before. The china hutch was previously a bright teal. I painted it black to make it a little more neutral.

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I think I need to paint the inside of the cabinet to make all my pretty plates pop out a little more, i’m just not sure what color yet. I just stacked all that art up there to make it look a little taller since the ceilings are so high, but I probably should curate it a little more. I also now spot that one of the drawers is missing some hardware. My bad….

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I am aware that my dining table has a large stripe on it. The table is old, and the leaf was obviously not used as much. I plan on refinishing the table to bring it back to it’s glory days. We usually don’t have the leaf in all the time, so it’s really on the bottom of my list.

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I got that bar cart a few weeks ago at a vintage show and it only cost me $50! It really classes up my drinking habits. Please try and ignore the tiny tiny art, I just put that there for now as a place holder. I am on the lookout for something amazing and bigger for that corner.

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I got that cowhide rug in Round Top and it is #bestrugever! One of our cats straight up peed on it the other day and it just wiped right off. I love an indestructible AND pretty rug.

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All my chairs are mismatched because of my desperate need for more chairs for the holidays, but i’m starting to really get into the mismatched look.

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I am planning on making a plant bench for this window so all my plants can feel like something special instead of just cast off’s on the floor. I already have the legs for the bench, I just need to get my butt to the salvage yard to pick up some wood.

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That wall hanging was made by yours truly and it took me 20 hours. My cat tried to “help” me make it, so it took twice as long as it should have.

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So there you have it! What is still left? My house is in desperate need of some art. The ceiling and trim needs to be painted white. Table needs to be refinished. I also have a chandelier that is going where that ceiling fan is, and a plant bench to make so stay tuned!

 

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Our House Buying Story Part: II

Our House Buying Story Part- 1 (3)

I had some requests from my loyal followers (shout out Therese) to post part two of our house buying story. You can read Part: I here. Where did we leave off?  We decided to move south! When I say south, I mean South West Oak Cliff. I still wanted to stay in Oak Cliff, but I was prepared to explore some lesser known areas.

Once we decided we really need to refocus our home search  I spent a few mornings driving around Kiestwood park and it’s surrounding neighborhoods. That is the best way to decide if you like a neighborhood. Drive around different times of day, and get out and walk around. I like to pretend I already live there and i’m out for my evening or morning stroll. I wave at the neighbors and pretend they are my neighbors. I do stop just short of walking up to my favorite house and pretending it’s my house because I don’t want to go to jail ya’ll.

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                                                                   The Entryway

I very quickly fell in love with Kiestwood and its shaded streets filled with mid century homes. I fell in love hard. I have a distinct memory of driving around the neighborhood and crying because it felt so cozy and I just had to live there. I have a huge soft spot for mid century homes and Kiestwood was house after house of beautifully preserved mid century.

On one such driving morning I passed a house with a for sale sign up. I immediately pulled over and looked up the house. Nothing. I couldn’t find a single mention of this house on the MLS. It was 7am so I waited an hour or so until normal people wake up to call the listing agent. He had just put the sign up and it was going live that afternoon. Me and Corey went to go look at the house and it was so great. It wasn’t perfect, it needed some work, but it needed the kind of work that was fun. Refresh some bathrooms, redo countertops, etc. It was priced wayyyy under our budget and the backyard was perfect for us so we decided to go big on our offer. We offered 5k over what they were asking and opted for a very short option period. We both felt good. I really didn’t think there was any way we wouldn’t get the house. For you real estate newbies out there, going 5k over ask is a big statement. 5k ain’t nothing to us. We wanted this house an extra 5k worth.

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                                                                    Dining Room

About two days later we found out we didn’t get it. There was one other offer that was very similar to ours, and they went with that offer. I was very shocked and Corey swore off buying a house. He said he didn’t want to go see anymore houses and get emotionally attached and he really thought we would never get one at this point. I too was having doubts. Even though I’m an agent and tell my clients that it may take awhile but everyone finds a house. I was doubting my own words.

It is kinda crazy how attached you can get to a house you have only been inside once, but that feeling is real. It stayed with me a long time on that house, and sometimes I drive by and it still makes me a little sad.

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There was another house on the market a few blocks south  of the dream crusher house, so we went to take a look. The second I walked in I hated it. Straight up hate. I hated the floors, the tile, the awkward backyard, and the carpet in the bedrooms. I walked in and couldn’t find anything I liked. I’m usually someone who can see the potential in any house. I can walk in and take walls down in my mind and imagine what a brand new coat of paint can accomplish. Obviously looking back, we were both still very upset and were still picturing the house in Kiestwood. We walked out promptly and put that terrible ugly house out of our minds.

A week later, the house was still on the market and I casually suggested we go take a look again. The previous house reject was starting to sting a little bit less now. We walked in and I thought we might be in a different house. Our hearts were a little more open and we both saw the potential this time. I saw that if I painted the walls white it would open up the living room. I could paint  cabinets and add concrete counter tops in the kitchen. Instead of seeing the awkward backyard, we saw the potential for a huge relaxing backyard oasis. It was a flip house, but that didn’t mean I could changed things to fit my style. We drove around the neighborhood (Brettonwoods) and ogled at the heavily treed yards and unique houses.

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Even though we were seeing the potential, we needed a third opinion. My parents came and looked with us again, and they said we were crazy and this house was beautiful. That gave us the push we needed to make an offer.

We made a pretty reasonable offer and it was very quickly accepted! I know I had doubts as we were going through the closing process, and i’m sure Corey did too. I was terrified of actually buying a house and all the work that went with it. I was afraid to leave our cozy corner near Bishop Arts and our tree house apartment. I came so close to saying we should back out so many times, but I always stopped just short of saying it aloud. I kept my doubts away and enjoyed the last month in our apartment as best I could.

Now that I have been in our new house for almost a month I’m so glad we made this decision, and i’m so glad we ended up with this house. The day we closed and we put the first roll of paint on the wall I felt at peace. We might be incredibly broke and have a mountain of to do items, but I feel so at home here. Before we moved, I kept saying we could live in this house a few years and then move back to North Oak Cliff. Corey now says he doesn’t want to ever leave this house. “Bridal Wreath 4EVER” is Corey’s new favorite quote. While i’m not committing to anything 4EVER, I can see us living here for many, many years.

PS: Our cats LOVE the new house and they can’t believe we ever made them live in that tiny shoe box apartment (their words not mine)

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Our House Buying Story Part: I

Our House Buying Story Part- 1

Our house buying process was not easy. The beginning, middle, and ending were all incredibly difficult, but we got through it. Now we have a house that I LOVE.

We have wanted to buy a house since we graduated college, but the expense always held us back. We actually fell into the process by accident. We were very happy with our apartment and it was hard to imagine living anywhere else besides Oak Cliff. We thought we couldn’t afford a house in  North Oak Cliff with the current market, and that ended up being kinda true.

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                                                         Our Old Apartment

I was doing an MLS tour (local real estate board tour of houses) and fell in love with a house on the tour. It was located in Elmwood, which is filled with smaller mid century homes. The house was across from a creek and I could picture ourselves living there so perfectly. Corey was pretty sure we still couldn’t afford to buy, but I tricked him to go look at the house anyways because I knew once he saw it he would love it too.He did love it and the seed was planted. We were not even approved for a loan yet, but we immediately went online and got approved from one of the lenders I frequently worked with.

The truth was, the asking price was way out of our range, and I thought the house was overpriced. We submitted an offer about 10k under ask, and I knew it was a LONG shot, but I was just happy to be starting the process. I knew we wouldn’t get it with our bid, and we didn’t, but at least we took that first step.

We started looking more seriously and I think a few weeks went by before something popped up in our price range. We saw the house within the first six hours it went on the market and again, fell in love. It had a great layout, was in a great neighborhood, and had a ton of potential. Looking back we were ignoring all the red flags. The house had potential yes, but it needed a TON or work. It was a rental house and the tenants hadn’t really taken care of it. It need a lot of landscaping work and a fence. The bathrooms were pretty grimy and it had obvious foundation issues. Ignoring all the bad things and only looking at the house through rose colored glasses we submitted an offer at asking price. We went under contract and I think we both thought this was THE house and were so excited. However, the inspection happened and made our dream world crash to the ground.

It needed a new roof like yesterday. It was just super old and in danger of getting some serious leaks if it rained. New roof quote came back at 10k. Yikes. It also had worse foundation issues than we even suspected. A ton of dirt would need to be excavated by hand, and it had to be done immediately, and the estimate was 15k. Double yikes. We just could not afford it and asked the seller to fix the roof and foundation. We kept fingers crossed for days waiting to hear back.

The seller let us know they would not be fixing anything, it was all on us. We talked and tried to justify going forward, but we couldn’t afford 25k of repairs right up front. We had no choice but to terminate the contract. We were pretty depressed and this point  had all but given up on buying a house. We were out $500 from the inspection and option fee, and although we wanted to keep looking, we didn’t think we could handle another rejection.  We also had a pretty good set up at our apartment and I think we both silently decided to be happy with what we had. We even decided to book a vacation to Montreal to have something to look forward to.

Now looking back, i’m so glad we didn’t buy that house. We would have been so broke and it was so much work. We would have spent years doing the work slowly and I am not a patient person. We were so excited at the prospect of owning, we weren’t thinking realistically about our situation.

Our Old Apartment
                                                   Our Old Apartment

So a few weeks went by, we went about our life. Of course once you decide you want to buy a house, it’s hard to accept apartment living. We started to explore farther south, still Oak Cliff, but not what most people think of as Oak Cliff. We discovered Kiest park and the surrounding area’s filled with beautiful mid century homes. I still held out that I didn’t want to live that far south. We could walk to Bishop Arts from our apartment in under ten minutes. Why would we give that up?

I spent some time thinking about what I wanted in a home. I wanted more space. I wanted to be able to work on furniture and hoard more vintage finds. I wanted a larger kitchen because I love to cook. We started to look at how frequently we went to Bishop Arts. We probably went only once a month to eat/drink. It’s not exactly an everyday place. I had to leave Oak Cliff just to find a decent Kroger. I had to drive to the other side of Dallas to do most of my daily shopping. Corey accepted the idea of moving south much more quickly than I did. I think I still felt sad about leaving the Bishop Arts area right up until we moved.

Corey's Garden at Our Old Apartment
                                          Corey’s Garden at Our Old Apartment

Even though I was still a little uneasy about moving south, we decided to start home searching again, and open up our search area….

Our house buying story Part: 2 will bring us to an “undiscovered” part of Oak Cliff

Want It Wednesday: Country Edition!

McKinney Home

For this edition of Want It Wednesday, we are going country ya’ll! This house was featured on the Ebby Blog, and I just had to share it. Now probably most people wouldn’t consider McKinney “country” but I do. If I have to go beyond 635, then its the country. I hope you city folk will agree 🙂

Now here are some details on this house in case you have a big pile of money laying around:

  • Priced at $750,000
  • On 10 acres of land
  • 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,759 square feet
  • Barn/workshop, 3 car garage, covered porch, and fenced in backyard

McKinney Home

Oh man, I think I want to move to McKinney guys! I never thought I would say that. I have this small part of my heart that loves country homes. I will thank HGTV for that.

The homes entry shows off the high ceilings, beautiful hardwoods

Perfect entry way that just shouts “hey you are about to enter the most precious home you have ever seen you will want to throw up it is so perfect!!!!!!!!!!”

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So in my mind, a cool young family live here. I’m sure you have seen them around. That perfectly dressed mom and dad who look so effortless even though they probably haven’t slept in like a year. And their kid has on a freaking bowtie and looks better dressed than me. I hate them, but can’t help but respect.

The dining room/breakfast area is located ideally between the li

I wish I was cool enough to have a lime green island….I would never be able to pull it off. Every time I would have someone over I would just be trying to prove how cool I was to justify a lime green island.

The spacious, first-floor master suite has its own fireplace and

WHAT I NEED THIS. This bedroom is totally ridiculous in size, but yet somehow, I need it.

The master bathroom features dual vanities, a large glass shower

Now this house is just messing with me right? Is this the kind of bathrooms you get in McKinney? My bathroom is literally the size of a broom closet, just enough room to squeeze in and out.

8GetMediaSlow clap for the colors in this house. They just really nailed that laid back without trying too hard but yet still fun vibe.

The home also features its own laundry room with a sink and abun

 This laundry room puts mine to shame. My washer and dryer has crusted detergent running down it, this one is so perfectly perfect I am about to run into traffic so I can go to laundry room heaven.

Barn with loafing shed.

So this is described as a “barn with loafing shelf” WHAT IS A LOAFING SHELF?!?!?! Is that where you house your loaves of breads? I would bake so much bread if I lived here.

Privacy abounds with this property. Behind the home are numerou

Ok so this is where the house lost me and why I don’t move to the “country.” My three greatest fears in life are 1. aliens 2. possums 3. rats in that order. This yard is just asking for an alien ship to come and land in the front. And there are probably possums and rats abound. NO THANKS

And that concludes this week of Want It Wednesday! Did this house convince me to give up on the city life and become a country girl? Almost. I would love to sit and bake bread all day but I have a feeling that there are a lot more chores than just baking bread when you are living in the country (McKinney).

Lake Cliff Park

This time of year is so beautiful in Dallas. The flowers are blooming, the sun is not trying to melt your face off yet, and everyone is outside enjoying life.

Unfortunately for me, Corey suffers from allergies as many people do. So if I want to go outside and enjoy the weather with him, I have to suffer through sneezing and snotty noses. Corey decided to suck it up enough for a few minutes to take me to Lake Cliff Park.

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History lesson time. Lake Cliff park was founded in 1906 unofficially, officially 1914. When it first opened it had an amusement park, water slide, skating rink, three theaters, a casino, and Dallas’s first municipal swimming pool. Back then it was probably THE place to be.

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Now it’s a beautiful outdoor space to spend the day. It’s a HUGE park. If it wasn’t for Corey’s allergies and my disdain for sitting on grass, we would be having romantic picnics here every day. There are tables, grills, and lots of large trees to accommodate your picnic needs. There is a lot to discover around this park, so let’s get going!

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First we came across a pull up bar! Now I am physically incapable of doing a pull up. My feeble arms can barely hold me up, nevermind actually pull up my whole body. But if you are in such shape, come enjoy a park workout!

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Next we find the rose gardens! The rose garden was designed in 1934 and has a really pretty variety of rose bushes. I almost went a little crazy and started pulling all the roses off but then I remembered that is not proper park etiquette.  I recommend coming here for a tasteful engagement or prom photo shoot.

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Doesn’t that look like something you would find in Paris?!? Just imagine all the Spanish signs are actually in french!

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There is actually a ton of flowers all around the park. I recommend going soon before the spiteful Texas sun burns them all to a crisp and leaves everything brown and in danger of bursting into flame at any moment!

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There are some random statues/art, so go around and learn something new!

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You can live in this building!!!! I’m really dying to go in and take a look around, but I think it’s mostly condo’s these days.

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The first thing you see of the park from the road will probably be the giant fountain. I’m guessing you could once swim in it, but I would not recommend that now. Unless dirty trash water is your thing, then go for it. Joking aside, it’s a really impressive pond. Sit like Corey, and enjoy the beautiful water view!

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What park would be complete without a playground?! This one comes in the theme of “Go America!”

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And finally, we have the natural/wildflower area. Or more commonly known as, wild snake pit. I hate hate hate snakes, so I remained a safe distance away.

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Lake Cliff Park is a bright spot on the Dallas landscape. In a city so lacking in green space, its refreshing to have this spot just a few minutes from my house.

I Rode the Oak Cliff Street Car!

I moved to Oak Cliff a little over two years ago. Since then, the street car has been on my mind. While there are plenty of public transportation options in Oak Cliff (trains, buses, and the D-link) Street cars are just way more fun, so I was pretty excited when it finally had its maiden voyage this week.

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I decided to take a ride since the hop on point is only a quick five minute walk from my house. Problem number one is pretty apparent right away. Its hop on point is in a terrible spot. There are so many pretty places in Oak Cliff, it’s a shame they chose the corner which houses a Walgreens and is also one of the busiest intersections. I suppose if you want to walk to Jonathan’s, VH, or Spirals Diner, it’s a pretty quick 5-7 minute walk. If you want to get to Bishop Arts you are looking at a 12-15 minute walk. I walk around Oak Cliff all the time, but I know a lot of people are not that comfortable with it, and having the street car stop at a busy intersection will not improve people’s comfort levels.

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Now the street car only runs during the week, from morning til 7pm. I don’t get it either. I’m still not sure what exactly the whole point of it is, and who their target market is, but hey, having a street car makes us sound cooler.

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The street car itself is a modern, clean little pod. It still has that new public transportation smell (is that a thing?) so ride it now before some little kid throws up on it!

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The ride to downtown is pretty quick, going over a small bridge, and stopping at Union Station. That was the first time I’ve been to Union Station since my high school prom, so I was having some seriously depressing flashbacks. I did not peak in High School, that’s for sure.

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Once I got off the trolley, sorry street car (I desperately want this to be an old timey trolley) I walked around downtown enjoying the view. From Union Station you have easy access to the public library and can get to Dealey Plaza in about five minutes. One of these days I will go to the 5th floor museum, I promise.

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I passed by the Lawrence Hotel on my way back, which I refuse to go into because it is THAT creepy. Right next door though is a little slice of heaven known as Cindi’s Deli. I love carbs. Like I want to marry cereal, then divorce it, then marry cake, then divorce it, then marry a plate of pasta, etc. Cindy’s has the BEST bagels I have found in Dallas. I admit I haven’t looked that hard, because if I did I would weigh 300 lbs. eating all the bagels.

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You get a pretty sweet view of the Trinity River while riding over the bridge on the street car. I still don’t believe my Mom when she says that the trinity used to flood and cover the highway. Literally impossible, refuse to believe.

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All in all, if you have two random hours to spare in the middle of the week, give it a try! I love when Oak Cliff gets more connected to the rest of Dallas, and this is a step in the right direction. They have plans to expand the street car to go all the way to Bishop Arts, so keep you eyes peeled!

Three Small Decorating Accessories I’m Loving Right now

These days it seems like it’s all about the little things. All the decor mags are publishing cute little vignettes all around the house. You need accessories for your bookshelves, coffee tables, bar carts, china cabinets, credenzas, etc. That’s a lot of little stuff! One of my favorite layering accessories is brass. I LOVE BRASS. I love that it’s shiny and makes anything look super fancy. Brass fingers? yes I will have you. Brass baby sculpture? Give me that now. Large brass Victorian boot? I WILL GIVE YOU ALL MY MONEY. Corey doesn’t get my fascination, but who makes the decisions around here anyways?

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I got this fabulous boot at an estate sale a few weeks ago. The woman that owned this house was really into Parisian flair. I spotted this boot across the room, quickly shuffled over, and cradled it like a baby. I whispered sweet nothings to it until I saw the price tag of $25. Yes I love brass, but I am also a rational human being.

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I slowly put it back while weeping silently. I must have been causing quite a commotion, because a sale worker came over and offered it to me for $5. So naturally my sad tears changed to happy tears and now I can cuddle and whisper sweet nothings to my boot whenever I want.

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I paired the boot here with a geode picture holder (SO GOOD) holding the cutest little picture of my husband that has ever been taken. Look at that little suit and bow tie!!!!! My second favorite accessory of the moment is pottery. Each piece is different and provides great texture and color to any space.

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If I see any pottery at a sale, I buy. I buy all the pottery. These two have great colors and I love the shape of the tall blue one. I can use it as a vase for some small cool flowers, or just layer into my bookshelf as is. IMG_4268_edited-1

There are all kinds of shapes and colors out there, so keep your eyes peeled and start your collection NOW! My third favorite accessory right now is vintage cocktail glasses. If you have a bar or bar cart you NEED cool glasses. And if you don’t have a bar, then what are you doing with your life? Even if you don’t drink, you can come home from work and pretend to be Betty Draper while sipping some cucumber water from a fancy glass with geisha’s on it. IMG_4298_edited-1

I am so guilty of buying any cool cocktail glasses I see. Just right now in my possession, I have glasses with mushrooms, bamboo glasses, and watermelon ombre glasses. I can’t have enough. They add such a fun spirit to your room, and can display your personality immediately.

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These glasses have images of Geisha’s on them and are the perfect size for a rock and a splash of whiskey. Do I sound classy yet? Sure I am usually drinking wine from a plastic cup, but at least I have pretty glasses on my bar cart! Just keep your eyes open at those estate sales. Search through those gross kitchen cabinets and you too can start an unnecessary collection of vintage cocktail glasses! Never skimp on accessories throughout your home. They add personality to your home in small ways with big impact!