Domino Effect

You know how sometimes you do one tiny thing to your home – buy a new soap dish or have a couple of throw pillows dry-cleaned – and all of a sudden you get this seemingly-out-of-nowhere intense energy burst that inspires you to overhaul every single inch of your entire place?

(Is this just me? I don’t think it’s just me. …Is it?)

The other day, I brought home three vintage apothecary jars from a flea market up in the mountains that I went to with my friend Elise…and four hours later, I had a reorganized bookshelf and a Windexed vanity, and had commenced a Google search for the words “dining room console decor ideas.”

how to decorate with vintage apothecary jars

Side Note: Before I go any further: can I ask what you think I should do with these things? My original intention was to use them to hold cotton balls and q-tips and such in our master bathroom…but our master bathroom is one of my work-in-progress spaces, and now that I have them there, I feel like they’re just too pretty and spare and cool-looking to waste in a room where they sort of disappear into the un-cute ether.

Any ideas??? …Help?

So I brought home these apothecary jars. And I put them in my bathroom and realized that my bathroom countertop was way too cluttered to have such lovely little jars on it, and ended up getting all inspired to (finally) sort through the (truly unconscionable) number of products I have sitting on my countertop. I gave the unused ones to friends, and threw years-old bottles containing mere dregs of conditioner or toner or whatever into the trash.

But even with my sparkly countertop situation, the jars still didn’t look right. So I thought about putting them on my mantle. Which made me realize that my mantle was cluttered, which made me realize that I have too many random framed photos strewn about, which made me realize that I could create a dedicated photo-display area on my dining room console, which made me realize that my dining room console was overloaded with junk and kinda looked like crap, which made me realize that the entire lighting scheme in our dining room/kitchen was completely off.

So obviously I needed to fix all of those things immediately.



When it was all over, I was sweaty and frizzy and kind of hungover-feeling the way you sometimes are after you go on a major cleaning tear…but I had also redone about 90% of our home.

Bedside table with Lulu & Georgia midcentury lamp

Table Lamp

This is my bedside table. It is normally is home to five or six tabloid magazines, a few lip balms, a value-size tub of cocoa butter, glasses that I will not be able to find despite the fact that they are right there on my bedside table, and the wrapper of the ice cream sandwich I ate in bed last night.

This is so much neater than it usually is that I am confused.

How to declutter your most cluttered spaces


This is a not-especially-pretty spot in my house. (It’s the top of the mirrored cabinet I use to store everything from my makeup to my baseball caps and some fake hair that I used to wear constantly and that is now essentially a very matted and immobile pet, and is usually home to jewelry I never wear and some stray dominoes.)

It’s still not very pretty. But at least it no longer looks like this, so that’s something.

White minimalist mantle decor ideas

Milk Glass Vase Jadeite Hand

My mantle vexes me. I cannot figure out how to make it look like one of those spectacular mantles that I see in magazines. But perhaps this is because I am a person, not a person in a magazine.

Anyway, I found 5 mismatched antique milk glass vases for $3 apiece (!) and thought they might look pretty alongside the jadeite hand that my friend Audrey sent me awhile back.

They do look pretty there. Still not quite right, though. (I think I need a little more drama.)

(Again, ideas are supremely welcome!)

How to create the perfect bookshelf and display case

Check out how we transformed this room 

This is our playroom/office bookshelf/toy chest. Things had gotten a little crazy in these parts since I took these serene and aesthetically pleasing photos, and omg it feels good to restore peace to my workspace (which is also the playspace, which is an impossible-to-navigate dichotomy that is also entirely my fault because that’s how I designed the room but egggggh, whatever).

Dining room console decor ideas

Chair Console Nude Beach Print Candlesticks

This spot has always been a mismosh of things I like and don’t know where else to put. Now it’s a mishmosh of things I like and don’t know where else to put…but trays are involved! Ergo it’s now “an eclectic decor choice” rather than “a mess.”

(Also adding that lamp made the biggest difference; it made our dining room – which always felt weirdly cold to me – feel about a thousand times cozier.)

Stacking cookbooks on a dining room console

And finally: why not utilize my console for a little shameless self-promotion? (SHAMELESS, I say!) (Also pictured: a few of my favorite cookbooks: Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Kitchen and Jamie’s Italy and Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess.)

And there you have it: a house that has been reorganized from top to bottom, and three little $5 apothecary jars that I have no idea what to do with to thank for it.

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