Episode #10: How to Decorate Affordably (And Not Just From Target!)

Episode 10—double digits! You know, when we started recording a few months back, one of our main (and only) goals was to post an episode once a week without missing any weeks through the new year. We knew that if we continued to plan and plan it could go on forever and that what we needed to do was just jump in and TRY. We still have so much to learn and improve, but in just 10 episodes we’ve already learned a lot. It feels good. So whether this is your first week to jump in or you’ve been one of our loyal cheerleaders since episode one (THANK YOU), we hope you see us doing this scary/potentially awkward thing and it helps you feel the confidence to do that in your life too!

Wow—random! OK, we’ve got a fun episode this week based on a listener question about where to find DEAL$. We’re also doing guilty pleasure treasure and Elsie talks about her new schedule with two kiddos.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher.

Show notes:

-We love Target, but since their decor selection has gotten more and more popular it sometimes feels like everyone has the same stuff, which makes sense because there are SO many locations around the U.S. compared to a lot of other home stores. So we loved this reader questions and today’s episode is devoted to ways to find inexpensive home decor BESIDES the aisles of Target. We’re mentioning them here in the order they’re mentioned in the episode:

IKEA (Elsie is still bitter IKEA isn’t coming to Nashville!)

Home Goods + TJ Maxx (Emma’s go-to)

World Market (Elsie’s go-to)

-Flea markets

We love flea markets because they tend to have highly curated booths, and once you get to know a certain flea market or antique mall you can better expect what kinds of things to search for there.

-Elsie’s favorite Nashville, Tennessee spots are Gaslamp Antiques (and Gaslamp too, which is basically just next door!).

-Emma’s favorite Springfield, Missouri spot is Relics Antique Mall (and it is epic!).

-Thrift shops

A complete wild card—you just NEVER know what you will find. Our best tip if you want to find amazing items is to create a routine where you can stop in often.

-Facebook Marketplace (Craigslist, etc.)

-FB Marketplace is amazing in the Nashville area, great for very large furniture since it’s local! I know people who have furnished their whole homes with it. It’s definitely a great resource!

-We wanted to mention Craigslist free because we’ve given SO much stuff away on there. It’s very time-sensitive, but it’s possible to find great vintage furniture totally for free—which is mind-blowing.

Our tips for flea markets, thrifts, FB Marketplace:
-Keep a list on your phone of everything you are searching for.
-You can’t always shop quickly, so choose items you can shop slowly for and give it time.
-Remember that at flea markets and on FB Marketplace (not thrifts) you can offer a lower price—you never know!
-Create a ritual where you can stop into your favorite spots often.


I have bought a lot of vintage on eBay and it continues to be my number one spot for vintage year after year. I’ve bought a lot of vintage decor, records, brass objects, door knockers, rugs, vases, holiday decor and more.

Etsy: Etsy is vintage rug heaven. The prices may be a bit higher than eBay, but the photos also tend to be more accurate.

Online deal spots: Amazon, Wayfair, Anthropologie (look for 40% off sale items), The Home Depot (decor stuff is mainly online—they have a lot of stuff you can’t find in stores).

OK, let’s move on to DIYing! When we first started this blog 12 years ago, we were on tight budgets and living in rented spaces. Through every stage, DIY has been a HUGE part of our home decor and it’s no secret that you can save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself.

These are a few inexpensive DIYs we have made and loved:

-Dining room tables: Here is the dining room table Emma still has in her home. Here is Elsie’s new modern farmhouse table. And here’s Emma’s first table—an industrial honeycomb table.

-Faux weavings (and other beautiful things that you can make): Here’s Emma’s faux weaving. Here is a gorgeous latch hook wall hanging you can DIY. Here’s an easy wall art you can make with yarn. Here’s Elsie’s DIY fiber art.

And if you want to learn to weave for real, here’s your first stop.

-Emma’s frame accent wall.

-Elsie’s recolored appliances.

DIY shiplap 

-Hand painted wall murals. OK … I could go on and on … we’ve done SO many over the years. And compared to the supply cost and install cost of wallpaper, you will almost definitely save thousands by doing this!

DIY stenciled cactus “wallpaper” 

Geometric painted “wallpaper” 

DIY Instax wallpaper (wow—a trip down memory lane!)

My favorite DIY wallpaper of all time. This was so much fun and really made the room!

20+ Easy Accent Wall Ideas 

Floor to ceiling rainbow bookshelves

-Here’s another podcast episode with tips on decorating affordably!

Guilty pleasure treasures!

Elsie’s: A Bad Moms Christmas 

Emma’s: Baby Yoda memes … if you know then this needs no other explanation, but if you haven’t heard of “Baby Yoda” just go on Instagram and type that in the top tags search. You’re welcome.

(Uhhh, how is that not Baby Yoda? I still don’t understand. -Elsie)

We also mentioned Shailey and Katie’s podcast in this episode. You can listen to it here!

We’d love to hear your 2020 episode and segment requests! Thank you soo much for listening to our podcast!!! Love, Elsie + Emma

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 10 Transcript

Emma: Welcome to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today we’re talking about home decor and affordable ways to decorate your home, other than just buying everything from Target. We’re also sharing some current guilty pleasure treasures. Elsie is going to talk about her child care situation. We’re going to touch briefly on everyone’s favorite topic, baby Yoda and so much more.

Elsie: Ok, so this entire episode is based off of a listener question. I’m sorry I didn’t write down the name of the person who sent it to us, but whoops, my bad. But it was, you know, how do you decorate your home affordably besides just buying everything from Target? And I thought it was a great question because truly, like when I’m in a pinch, I go to Target like we all do. And Target has really gotten great on certain categories of quick, cheap home decor.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: But there’s so much more. And yeah, I think if you get stuck where like Target is like your main home place, then there is kind of this it’s kind of annoying because everyone has the same shit.

Emma: Yeah. I just feel like everyone’s house starts to look the same. And I mean if you like the same trends and you like the same colors, great. You know, you like what you like.

Elsie: It’s not like it was three years ago where it was like a hidden gem if you found like a gold mirror from Target, it was like, where’d you get that Target? Now it’s like duh it’s from Target. Like, everyone knows that because everyone shops there and they’ve they’ve worked very hard, and like, you know, rightfully so, earned their place in the store, the staples of home decor. But yeah, it is so common now that it’s fun to like think of ways to branch out from that.

Emma: I can tell when my friends are from a big city, though, because sometimes they oscillate between Target and IKEA. But where I’m from, there is no IKEA. You have to order it online or drive home here.

Elsie: Oh IKEA. I would do anything. OK. So when I first moved to Nashville, there was an IKEA planning to open and then a year or two into living here, they canceled it and it was devastating. I’m still devastated. And I would have really, really loved to have it especially for DIY people.

Emma: Yeah. And Nashville, such a big city. I mean, I certainly don’t know all the ins and outs of their business. I’m sure they have a reason. You know, maybe the infrastructure of where they’d have to put it in the parking didn’t work.

Elsie: I don’t know. But the closest one is Memphis, which is really a four hour drive. It’s yeah, I know, still far.

Emma: My closest one is Kansas City.

Elsie: I’ve never gone there and I’ve lived here for almost five years.

Emma: Yeah. I just if I order anything from there ordered online and I actually don’t order a ton from IKEA just for that reason. But I can tell when my friends have an IKEA.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Because a lot of their stuff’s from there.

Elsie: If it were in our city we would go there often. It’s on our list. So they got their shoutout. OK, moving on.

Emma: Moving on. Yeah. Both those stores are getting big shoutouts from really no reason. And we’re about to tell you where else to shop…

Elsie: This whole episode is about shopping. A lot of people are getting shout-outs. Nothing is sponsored.

Emma: Nah.

Elsie: And so let’s just get that out of the way. It is what it is. This is coming from our hearts.

Emma: Oh, yeah. When something’s sponsored, you’ll hear our sponsored music. We have ads, you know, like we’re we’re very up front with you guys. Let’s talk about other places to shop and then also other just things beyond shopping for how you can affordably decorate your home and make it your own.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: But let’s start with other places to shop. So two places I wanted to mention off the bat that I go to often is HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx. We have both of those in Springfield, Missouri. And I love them. So, yeah. And they have a lot of like…

Elsie: And say a couple of your favorite things you bought from there.

Emma: Well, so we just got through the holiday season. So I did buy quite a bit of holiday decor stuff from both those places, especially HomeGoods. I feel like I get a lot more…I do get a lot of decor from T.J. Maxx, though. But yeah, but I also get like bathmats, small rugs, bath towels, things like that from time to time. Anytime I need something like locally, but I don’t want to get it from Target. I always pretty much go to HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx.

Elsie: Yes. I feel the same way as this, but about World Market. So I like World Market. There’s only one in Nashville now. So, yeah…

Emma: We don’t have a whole market.

Elsie: Yeah. There used to be one pretty close to my house and now there’s not anymore. But I still go there and they really have like a good variety of things. And I feel like I’m kind of mixing it up when I go there because it’s something different. Yeah.

Emma: I got a lot of stuff from world market but online for my Florida house that I did with my modern Harry Potter inspired theme. Oddly enough. Lot of World Market stuff.

Elsie: They have good online stuff. Our Holiday House table came from there and it was like a whole drama that we won’t get into, but we had to like get two of them. And it took a few months. But it’s a beautiful table.

Emma: Hmm, yeah.

Elsie: Emma’s holding a grudge.

Emma: I kind of am. Anyway, it’s a cool store. Everything’s okay.

Elsie: So, like. Okay. Homegoods, T.J. Maxx, World Market. We know about those. Those are probably ones you would’ve guessed would be on the list. Next, let’s talk about flea markets, because this is definitely like my number one.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Especially for furniture. So if you want to buy furniture that’s inexpensive, like really inexpensive, say like under $50, you’re going to have to go to a flea market or a thrift store, pretty much for sure.

Emma: Which in my mind, flea market and thrift store are actually very different. But I think that’s also because I do shop those pretty often.

Elsie: Clarify the distinction.

Emma: I think, of flea market, I don’t know what the actual definition like in a dictionary or whatever would be, but I think of a flea market as a little bit nicer. Like everything there may not be your style, but it’s gonna be in good shape. Well, people have taken time to make booths and everything is like pretty much undamaged and is in good condition.

Elsie: That’s what I think. It’s the sort of thing with booths where the vendors have like applied to be there in it, depending on, you know, which when you go to there is a level of curation like the one I go to here in Nashville is like really, really fancy and nice.

Emma: Yeah, sometimes they can be very, very fancy. But at least…

Elsie: Gaslamp Too, by the way. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. My favorite one in Springfield is called Relics. Anyway…

Elsie: Relics is amazing.

Emma: It’s huge. And it has a little like a tea house, has a little place we can eat lunch.

Elsie: Yes. Ana who works for us tipped me off that you can walk around drinking mimosas in that flea market. So that is a nice flea market.

Emma: Actually didn’t know that. Oh, smart. Ana knows everything. Okay, so flea market, that’s flea markets to me. Thrift stores are more like this is where I donate stuff. So yeah, you know, and buy stuff. So things can be damaged, sometimes you’ll need to repair things. It’s just a very like last level before it goes to a landfill. So it’s more like you should expect, you know, just double check. Like it’s like pretty…

Elsie: Expect the unexpected.

Emma: Yeah. You need to be ready to maybe give it a little more TLC. Like you’re gonna refinish it. You’re gonna paint it. You’re gonna maybe repair it a little bit, especially if you’re buying furniture. You can find stuff that’s in perfect condition, but it’s more like a garage sale. It’s a very random assortment of things.

Elsie: I think of it as like a complete wild card. Because You could find like you don’t know, you could walk in there and find like a brand new bed set from West Elm that’s still selling for $100. That could definitely happen in a thrift shop. But also, you know, yeah, a lot of broken shit that you don’t want at all.

Emma: And it’s just random. So like my number one, like kind of tip for thrifting because if I’m like, oh, I need to buy a bathmat like today, I really do need it today. I have guests coming or whatever. I’m probably not going to go to a thrift just because it’s not a for sure thing. Right. I probably would go to like a T.J. Maxx or HomeGoods. But what I like to do and I have another friend who does this.I think it’s Katie Day and she has a podcast, Shailey and Katie’s Podcast. Check that out if you like. But anyway, I have like a in my notes app on my phone. I have a list of things that I’m kind of like looking for that I don’t need immediately. And that helps me when I’m thrifting because other times it’s something that’ll catch your eye. And if it’s in really good condition, it’s really cheap. It can be hard to be like, no I don’t really need that. You’re like, oh, I should get it. But I look at my notes app and it’s like, oh yeah, I do at some point need a new floor lamp for this one spot in my house. I don’t need it today, but if I ever see a great floor lamp out, that’s in great condition, I should get it. So I kind of have like a list of things like that. That all I’ll keep a running list.

Elsie: That’s definitely a life hack that if you care about stopping into flea markets and thrift stores, you should always have a note on your phone for the different categories, your home, your closet, you know, even things for your kids, even things you have coming up, you know, whatever, so that you can keep an eye out because you know, you can’t shop quickly. You can’t expect to shop quickly. Like right now, I’m shopping for mid-century China Hutch and like God knows, like it could take six months. You know, I don’t know. And like, I’m looking kind of all the time.

Emma: We did very randomly, though. You were in town for, I guess, Halloween. Was it? I don’t remember. But when we were like, we need to find a little hutch for those Holiday House.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: And in my mind, we were going to Relics. We went to Relics. And in my mind I was like, well, we won’t find one because it’s so specific it needed to fit a certain wall. And it’s kind of a certain style. I was like, there’s no way like this is a thing you have to just search for randomly. But we had some time, so we went, but we did find one. It was like someone had just put it there and it was like the very last aisle we walked down. And it almost didn’t…it really didn’t fit in my car. We had to, like, strap it into my Subaru, but then we got it home. And every time I look at it in the Holiday House now I’m like, that was kind of a miracle. That was a miracle shop day. That never happens. If you’re like, I need this one thing. I’ll go to a flea market and find…That’s just so lucky.

Elsie: Yeah. Those big giant flea markets are good for stuff like that. But you still might have to go like several months in a row before you find — especially if you’re like real picky like that time I don’t think we were super picky. Like I wanted something that looked kind of rustic and not like, obviously, not midcentury and not too like decorative. So it just had to kind of be in that middle category and it was perfect. That was a lucky day.

Emma: That was a very lucky day.

Elsie: Let’s talk about Facebook Marketplace while we’re already talking about flea markets, because it’s kind of the same thing. It’s like sort of an online version of a flea market.

Emma: Like Craigslist, although I guess no one uses that anymore. Now it’s Facebook marketplace. I don’t know. I still use Craigslist, to be honest, but I’m kind of a grandma. So.

Elsie: Well, here in Nashville, more people use Facebook Marketplace. As soon as I realized it, like it was pretty life changing. But you do still have to put in a lot of effort because once you find something you like, you know, you have to message the person. They might not still have it. You have to set up a time to meet them. It’s a whole thing. Yeah. So I probably will never get to the point where I buy little things from it because it’s just not worth it to me. But for furniture, it’s very worth it because it’s like there in your city and it usually is very good prices. So especially if you’re someone who loves vintage, it’s definitely a great place to look and maybe check in a couple times a week.

Emma: Can I tell you something random about Craigslist?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: So anytime I have something from my house that I need to get rid of, like if I get a new coffee table and my last coffee table, like I need to get rid of it. Sometimes things don’t fit my car, so I can’t take it to a…

Elsie: Do you do Craigslist Free?

Emma: Yes. Yeah, I do that. I do. I put it on my curb. I take a photo with my phone and then I list it and I always say like, don’t contact me, just come get it. Don’t knock on my door and ask if I still have it. Yeah. Once it’s gone I take the listing down and I work from home. So it’s pretty easy for me to kind of keep an eye out and I do take the listing down when someone takes it. So it’s really you know, so I would say if you’re really, really on a budget, I would check Craigslist free or other things like that. I don’t know if Facebook Marketplace has a free section. I have no idea. But just because I’ve put some pretty nice stuff on there before, because I just had like one thing and I was like, I don’t want to save this for a garage sale because I do a garage sale maybe once every five years. It’s not really my thing. I work full time. I just don’t feel like I have the time to do all that stuff. So I was like, I’m just going to put it on Craigslist free and somebody is going to get one hell of a deal here. They’ve just got to come by and pick it up. So.

Elsie: That’s true.

Emma: Hot tip!

Elsie: Our friend Janae has found a lot of things that way in Springfield and I never have. But I’m not like…You have to be pretty religious about checking into it if you’re going to get things in that way. But good for you, because I’m sure that there are amazing things that pop up and someone’s actually like within the hour.

Emma: Yeah. And I do also like offer really good things to my friends first. If anyone wants to come take something, you know, like I’ll do that first. But yeah. Anyway, I just think if you’re really, really on a budget check that Craigslist free because you never know…

Elsie: It can save you a trip, too. So let’s talk about eBay real quick, because I do think that even though they’re similar, it’s worth mentioning like eBay and Etsy are where I have bought the majority of my vintage rugs. I’ve bought a lot of brass like I have a couple of like brass cowboy boots. They’re super cute that I’ve got in my eBay cart right now. I buy quite a lot of vintage from eBay, probably more than anywhere else. And then Etsy, I found is a little bit better for rugs because even though the price might be a little bit more, the pictures are so much better. And since they’re not returnable, that tradeoff is worth it to me. Maybe you don’t want to buy like a big piece of furniture on there because a lot of times ship they’re not shipping or yeah, the shipping is real expensive or unclear, which I don’t like.

Emma: No, I do not like that.

Elsie: But for let’s say like a mid-sized thing, a toaster or an espresso maker or something or smaller, eBay’s probably my number one because the…Here’s what I love about it. Like, if you go to a flea market and you find a brass mid-century something, you can look on eBay and see like every different variety of those. A lot of the time. And then pick your very, very favorite one. And I just love that freedom. And a lot of the times the prices are just as good as a flea market.So…

Emma: I will say, too, though, I don’t love bidding on eBay. Do you do a lot of the bidding? I like the buy now option more.

Elsie: Not so much. Yeah, like on the…

Emma: I’m just not good at keeping up with it.

Elsie: The last time I bid was when I was doing that vintage record wall for the Florida house and had all this like Disney records. I had to do some bids on those. But yeah buy it now is kind of where it’s at.

Emma: Yeah. I just can’t keep track. So it’s not a good system for me. But if you have the time or if you’re just better keeping track of things, then yeah. So we went through some of our favorite places to shop locally and then a couple of online options. But Elsie, do you have any of like your very favorite online places to get deals for home decor?

Elsie: Yes. OK, so obviously Amazon like I know that I’m going to get like some emails if you mention the word Amazon, like I. I get it, but I will say that when we moved to our current home, we had a lot of rooms to furnish and a small budget and I did find some amazing deals on there. So that is one. Wayfair is great for sales. Like the best. On Black Friday, I had to order a few light fixtures, like large ones in a certain style, and I was able to get four light fixtures for $400, which is kinda crazy. Usually one light fixture in this style would be more than that price. So that’s a good spot for deals. And then I will also say Anthropologie, like I know that everyone thinks of Anthropologie is expensive and it can be, but they always do this thing where it’s like discounts on top of discounts. So it’s like 40 percent off sale items and then those items end up being super, super, super discounted. So if you’re open to like scrolling around and you’re not shopping for something specific, then watch for those sales because it can be like very deep discounts and sometimes some furniture.

Emma: Yeah, I know getting lots of newsletters can be a bit overwhelming and you know, unsubscribe if you can’t do all that. But if you do have a favorite online places to shop, getting on their newsletter is a good idea because that’s when you see that if they’re having a 40 percent off day or, you know, whatever, because sometimes, you know, a lot of times they’ll be like small discounts, like 5 percent off or 10 percent off. And that’s great. Like if I’m already going to buy it, I will take 10 percent off anytime. But if you’re subscribed to someone’s newsletter, you really will see when they’re having their big crazy, you know, annual sale. And that can be a really good time to be like, okay, I’m going to get my couch. And the last place that I want to mention. If we are just mentioning online places that sometimes have great deals and have a lot of options, I do. I’ve bought a lot of stuff from the HomeDepot.com this past year and they are a past sponsor. This segment is not sponsored, as we said. So none of this is sponsored none of these people have paid us to say that. I have bought a lot of stuff from there. They have a huge selection. It is very different than shopping in their stores where it’s much more like, yeah, go there for hardware…

Elsie: Yeah. They have a lot of decor and stuff.

Emma: I got all your Christmas trees or the Holiday House.

Elsie: The pink Christmas tree! Everyone knows — it’s so pretty.

Emma: And it was on sale the day I got it. So you know, I just think. Sign up for those newsletters. If if you can stand if you’re like I don’t need newsletters in my life. It’s too much. It’s like that’s cool. I get it. But if you want to get those big deals, I do think that’s kind of the way to do it.

Elsie: That’s true. Okay. One more tip. You can also email or, you know, write a support message or whatever. Like any furniture company or home decor company and ask them when is your biggest sale of the year and when is your next big sale? And they’ll tell you. So don’t be afraid to do that, especially if you’re going to spend like $2,000 on wallpaper or, you know, a thousand dollars on a sofa or whatever. A thing you’re looking at that, you know, where 20 percent could make a huge difference. Then I write the email just in case. Yeah, it could be in like 3 weeks and you’ll be really glad you wrote that.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: Although a lot of places do have a policy and you can check that too. Like if you notice you bought something and then like a week later there’s a big sale. A lot of times places will sometimes honor that. So it doesn’t hurt to look for that, too.

Elsie: Let’s talk a little bit about DIY thing, because I will say especially…I mean, this is like when we started our blog. This is a lot of what we did in our first couple of homes. We DIYd almost everything. And a lot of the DIY is that we created like kitchen tables. We both still have kitchen tables that we built are because we wanted to save money. So yes, there is like a joy and a pride and like learning to make something. But it also can save you a lot of money, sometimes thousands of dollars. So let’s talk about a couple of our favorites.

Emma: One is my dining room table in my home and we will put links if we have them in the show, notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. And I do have a link to this. So originally when my dining room table was built, it was at our studio house in Springfield, Missouri, and it was white. It has copper legs and it still has copper legs. But when I moved it to my personal home, I think five years ago now, I painted it black because I have a very I’ve lot more black in my home. And I kind of like the black because we don’t always remember to use coasters. And sometimes I make projects on the table and it just hides stuff easy.

Elsie: It’s nice having a dining room table where you kind of have let it go. Yeah, if you will.

Emma: Spoiler I make a lot of crafts. I like having a space where I feel like I have to keep it perfect.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: So anyway, so it’s black. And it still is a great table. We love it. Yeah, love it. OK, so that’s one next one. I have this faux weaving in my living room. So it’s not a real waving. It’s like it’s made up of tassels and like those little felt balls and it’s like glued together on top of a rug anyway…

Elsie: We’ll link to that and then I have a faux waving as well that I am obsessed with in my bedroom. So we’ll get to both of those. They’re both easy to do. And, you know, really can tie a room together.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: And, you know, big weavings are expensive. So you don’t have that money.

Emma: I have a few weavings at my home that I’ve bought from makers love that. Also, if you’re into weaving and you want to get into it, we have a lot of tutorials for that, too. So link those. But this one’s a faux weaving. So if you’re like a. I just really have this one wall that I need to fill out and I don’t really feel like learning a new skill. This is an easy and very inexpensive thing to do. I think I even made mine out of yarn I already had. I just. But again, I’m a crafter, so of course I kind of have random supplies around, but I love finding projects where I can use them. Anyway, I love this weaving it looks great in our room and I’m really happy with it. And then my last one is in our living room. Still, we have this wall that our projector goes over. So when the projectors down, we like watching TV. You can’t really see this wall. But a lot of the time when we’re not watching TV, which most of the time really we have the projector up and it sucks up into our ceiling and I have this wall that’s painted a dark, dark green and it has a ton of thrifted picture frames on it. And the picture frames don’t have anything in them. They’re just decor. They’re just there for texture. Yeah. So it’s basically a wall that has an interesting texture because it has all these empty picture frames in the picture frames and the walls are painted the same dark green. And it was a really fun and very easy and fairly inexpensive project to make. I did have to a lot of the frames I bought and I bought them all thrifted. So some of them I had to kind of open them up and take the old art out, lots of like Grandma swans and things and like take some of the glass out. So, you know, that was a little bit of a thing, but not hard. It just took a little bit because some of it was like a little bit rusty and you had to be careful. That was very easy, very inexpensive. And I love that wall. Those are my three things. What are yours?

Elsie: All right. So have way more than three. Of course. But I did kind of put a two-fer in there. Okay. So my first one is my colored appliances. The reason why I did this was because when we moved into our house, we basically renovated too many rooms at once and made up too much of our budget. And I didn’t have like a healthy budget to do my kitchen. I had to get like the cheapest appliances that I could find. So I really wanted to get those, you know, really high end, light colored appliances. Different companies make them. They’re gorgeous. They’re very expensive. But I couldn’t afford it. So I had this idea, actually, I think Ting had the idea. So I have to give him credit. He is my mentor. And yes, we’ll have him on episode cause every time I mentioned and people say he should be on an episode and I’m like, okay, if I can get him to then we’ll do it anyway. So I went to a car vinyl place and this is the kind of place where…we live in Nashville…they print a lot of like country music stars’ faces on the side of tour buses and like flames and things like that. Like there they have giant printers and they print out vinyl.

Emma: So you could have got a Dolly Parton fridge. You’re saying?

Elsie: Oh, yeah, I could have had any pattern in the world. I picked a plain Pantone color and had to go back like six times. It kept coming out totally wrong.

Elsie: They were like, are you sure, you don’t want flames? (laughs) We we mocked up some flames just in case, you know. No, I don’t want flames.

Elsie: It was weird. Like it was uncomfortable going there. I’ll just say the truth.

Emma: Because they thought it was a weird project. And they’re like, eh…

Elsie: Yeah, like there’s just times in life when women don’t feel like super respected or super listened to. And this was one of mine. And…but it was worth it because I didn’t really have a lot of choices. And I wanted the outcome and I do love the outcome. So they came to my house. They installed it on the stove and on the fridge. There’s like one tiny flaw that you’ll never see. And let’s just pretend it’s not there.

Emma: I’ve never even seen it, and I’ve seen these many times.

And, but for the most part, they did an excellent job. The installation was maybe like $100. Like the whole thing was like, I think $400. So it was very, very worth the savings that I had on the overall appliances. And it’s definitely one of the most common things about my house that people want to know is like, where is that from? And if it’s a DIY, is it, you know, like, how can I do it? So it was very worth it. I would do it again. And I recommend it.

Emma: It’s lasted too…

Elsie: Yes, it really lasted. You can wipe it. It really hasn’t aged at all. So, yeah. And I also had a part — the side of my fridge, like no one probably notices this part, but I had it done in white vinyl just because it was like gray. And it shows it’s like next door where my blender is. And I just would rather have had it white and they were able to do that, too. So that was kind of nice.

Emma: Yeah, I have seen that and I never really thought about it. But yeah, you’re right. It’s not silver.

Elsie: Yes. So even if you want neutral colors, you know, it’s all possible. Like if you have. Like, say, you move into a house, you the appliances are really nice and new. But for whatever reason, you just don’t like the color. This might be way worth it to you compared to switching them out. Yes. OK, so the next thing is. OK. DIY shiplap and hand-painted wall murals. So. Laura’s done a ton of hand-painted wall murals in her house. In this house, I’ve mainly done the cactus bedroom, which I’ll link in the show notes where we kind of stenciled with a gold foil pen cactuses around the whole entire room and it looks like wallpaper. People often ask me like, where are the wallpapers from? We also have quite a bit of DIY shiplap in our home and it’s easy to do. It’s very inexpensive. Like each wall, maybe between one and two hundred dollars without labor, of course. And then we also paneled my living room ceiling, which is where I really felt like I probably won’t do any ship lap in my next home, but I probably would panel a ceiling again. It was it’s beautiful. It had a lot of texture. Sometimes there’s just like a character problem with your ceiling and you can’t put your finger on it. And this was $200…

Emma: It’s too high. You can’t put your finger on it…

Elsie: …because you can’t touch it. (Laughs) Well, that room it just had, it’s it’s very like high. But not that big. And it had a vibe problem. Like, I don’t know if you ever felt it, but it had it definitely had a vibe problem. And it doesn’t now it feels cozy and it feels good. And it was it really happened when we added that paneling to the ceiling. And yeah, I couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was compared to so many other things you do. My next one is our floor to ceiling bookshelf. I just love it. It’s not a DIY that we wrote because it was just like custom for our space. I do think that we’re gonna put a post about like just building shelves in general. And there are good ones, several up already. But we did a floor to ceiling bookshelf in our living room. It made the room look bigger. The books look amazing. It looks good. In all four seasons we like switch them around for the fall and Christmas and then we turn them back to being a rainbow after the new year. And it’s just been perfect for our space. And when we move, it’ll probably be the thing in our home I miss the most. I’m really glad we did it.

Emma: That’s a good sign.

Elsie: Yeah, it really makes the room. And like, it feels good when you live in a space that’s not quite right for a couple years. And then you think of an idea that makes the room. And this was one of those things like it wasn’t even on our list, but, you know, it was like a necessary thing to kind of fix the vibe. And it really did. Okay. And then last but not least, just I just had to say this, but anything with my daughter or any kind of child craft, any kind of like painting of hers that we can hang up. I know that it’s not saving us money, but it’s like this is…this is your life. Are you who you want to be?

Emma: Oh, yeah.

Elsie: Switchfoot. Switchfoot song.

Emma: OK. Guilty. Pleasure, treasure. Do you wanna go first? You want me to go first?

Elsie: I’ll go first, let me just get this over with. This week my husband went out on like a guy’s night and he was like, do you want to watch TV? And I was like, actually, I want to watch Bad Mom’s Christmas. And I did. And it was amazing. So, yeah. If you want something, it’s it really is like a true guilty pleasure. But it has some of my favorite actors in it.

Emma: Who’s in it? Yeah.

Elsie: Okay. So, you know, like the wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Emma: Yes, she’s hilarious.

Elsie: And obviously like Kristen. Wait, Kristen. What?

Emma: Kristen Bell?

Elsie: Kristen Bell, yeah, and Mila Kunis are like the main people. It’s just amazing. It’s just perfect. It’s really good. It doesn’t deserve its very poor Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Emma: Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t even trust them.

Elsie: Rotten Tomatoes is full of shit because here’s why…

Emma: Rotten Tomatoes can go to hell. (laughs).

Elsie: Like if you. They shouldn’t rate movies like that. They should just put an A. Because it’s really not applicable to that type of movie. Like we don’t need your snobby opinion about. It’s called Bad Mom’s Christmas and it delivers on what it promises. The end.

Emma: Cool. All right. And my guilty pleasure lately is simply baby Yoda memes. I don’t even have Disney+, I have requested it. I don’t really know how to use our TV. I’m not very good at technology, even though I own a tech company. I suck, so I don’t really know how to like get that onto our.

Elsie: We have it. You can watch it on ours.

Emma: Okay. Can we watch the Mandalorian because I love baby Yoda memes and I’ve never even seen it.

Elsie: Isn’t it like a whole series?

Emma: Yeah. It’s a whole series. I just love watching him and I love all the tiny memes people make about him where he’s like drinking a little drink in his cup and everyone’s I don’t know. It’s just funny.

Elsie: I know, I feel like…Is it too soon to plan like my Halloween costume with like baby Yoda in a carrier or is everyone going to do baby Yoda in a baby carrier because…

Emma: I’ve always suggested it to so many people. Please make your baby into baby Yoda for Halloween. I know it’s like twelve months away. But please, please, please, because I love baby Yoda.

Elsie: I’m not probably going to watch it. I’m not like much of a Star Wars person. I don’t know what’s, what’s what. But it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I mean, it’s adorable.

Emma: Yeah, he’s very cute. And I also realize it’s not actually baby Yoda. No need to write me an e-mail. I really just love…

Elsie: What?! Did you say a spoiler on our podcast?

Emma: That’s not a spoiler. It’s just he’s not. He’s part of a different race. If I think if you watch the very first episode, you would know that was not actually Yoda.

Elsie: Whatever, whatever.

Emma: It just looks like baby Yoda. That’s why people call it that. Anyway, I just love…

Elsie: It’s not really baby Yoda?! Why not?

Emma: You didn’t know that?

Elsie: No.

Emma: Okay. Actually, you can write us an email.

Elsie: What is the point of this show? Well, I thought that baby Yoda was like the big…

Emma: It’s about the bounty hunters. You know that race.

Elsie: He’s a different race and he’s not Yoda? But why does he look exactly the same?

Emma: Well, probably cause everyone, you know, at Disney knows that we all love Yoda. Yeah, because he is a great character. So they just made a character that looks like that’s like him. I mean, I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s actually Yoda. It’s an entirely different thing. Listener question, OK, and this question is for Elsie. So I’m going to read it and let her do her thing. Hello, Elsie and Emma. Congrats on the podcast. Really enjoying it while I walk my 10 month old son around in a stroller. That’s cute. Question for Elsie. Can you share with us what a typical day looks like with your kids? Do you have specific daily and weekly routines? Are they in daycare or kindergarten already? I will return back to work in January after a year home with baby and looking for inspiration regarding family routines and how to make day to day life runs smoothly with kids. Thanks Viola.

Elsie: Hi, Viola. All right. So I am happy to answer this question. A typical day for me is not the same every day. So that’s a part of it. But the things that are the same, I wake up every day around 6:15. My husband has like the alarm clock that kind of plays like music, like gently wakes you up.

Emma: Trey has that.

Elsie: So I don’t even hear that. I just hear when he turns the fan off because we sleep with a fan and I wake up, make coffee real quick, make the kid’s breakfast, and then we get both our kids up and we have breakfast with them. It takes way longer than you think it would. And then we get them dressed. We each do one switch back and forth and then they go to school and yes, they do go to school full time. Each of them goes five days a week.

Emma: To daycare.

Elsie: Yeah, Nova’s in preschool technically, it’s kind of similar situation…

Emma: Because their ages are 1 and 4. And yeah. Nova will be entering kindergarten next August, so it’s really not that far away. But yeah, our kids have always gone to daycare or preschool except for the maternity leaves, which was a couple of months each time. And yeah, it’s an adjustment for sure. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s hard for you at first. But what I do that makes a lot better for me is that I kinda just speed work like that when they go to school. I think of that as my time to like really get some stuff done. So I squeeze everything possible into my working hours so that by the time they get back home, I can focus on them again. So do your work, work as hard as you can. And then I also have to put in personal things because like if I want to go to the doctor or the dentist or, you know, whatever else, it’s going to have to be in those hours because I’m not going to, you know…well, I guess maybe some of those things you could do on a weekend, but mostly no. Our kids come home between 3 and 5 p.m. It depends on if our day has been, you know, good or bad, if we’re done with our work or not. Most of the year they were coming home closer to 3, but in December, has been both my and my husband’s busy season. So they’ve been coming home closer to five. And then during the evenings I try to completely unplug. They go to bed around 7:00, so I try to just kind of be with them. We do dinner. We do a little dancing time. We do like dance in a circle. All four of us in, you know, kind of like a I don’t know, we call it ring around the rosies, but you never fall down…Yeah. Play music. Have story time. And then on the weekends is really like our big quality time where we get to hang out, you know, for all day and, you know, go to restaurants and go out and see Nashville more.

Emma: I heard Nova call it like mom and dad day.

Elsie: Yes, she calls it “momma dada all day”. Yeah. And then after our kids go to bed is basically the only quality time I have with my husband right now. We’ll do a date night, maybe once every month to two months. Which something like, I don’t know last year before we were matched we started doing one every two weeks and that was actually amazing. So that might be a good goal for next year, but right now it’s kind of not really happening. We’re currently rewatching Mad Men since it’s December I have to work a little bit sometimes at night, like just to like be like at peace, right?

Emma: Yeah, finish something that’s like going to bother you to where you can’t sleep.

Elsie: But really, I feel like I have a pretty happy life. I go to bed at 9:30. Most nights and, you know, I go with my friends maybe once a month at the most. Like, I’m pretty much a homebody and living in a routine. And I love it. Yeah. And there’s different seasons of life. So I think if you ever feel like, oh, this isn’t my favorite, it probably isn’t going to last forever.

Emma: Yeah, I don’t have kids. So I’m not giving my kid advice, but I just really do think life ebbs and flows.

Elsie: Recently one of my friends gave me the best…and this is probably like the best parenting advice I’m ever going to say on this podcast. So listen up.

Emma: Who is his friend? What’s their first name?

Elsie: Her name’s Denina. And she said to me, because I was talking about how I feel guilty that I can’t really like go out and do things right now. It’s like I just don’t really have like the motivation on top of the time. Like, I’m just tired every night. Like at the end of the day, like, all I want to do is like, you know, drink some tea and watch a show with Jeremy and then go to bed. So anyway, she said, “your friends can wait you have a couple of years, maybe three to five years at the most where your kids are little like this. And then it will change and you’ll spend the rest of your life missing this time”. And when she said that, I just like I kind of like cried I’m like, kind of crying right now because her kids are like upper elementary and one of them’s a teenager. And yeah, I think that was really true. So…

Emma: I think good friends definitely recognize that because I have a couple friends who have very young children. You included. But these are friends who live in my town. And there’s a lot of times like I really don’t see them unless I pop over at their house with a latte or something. And I always know in my mind…it doesn’t bother me at all because I know in my mind I’m like her kids, like, you know. I don’t know, 12 months. Give her a couple years.

Elsie: It’s just the time of life I’m in.

Emma: It’s not a big deal. Like it’s not…time passes. It really does. What is the thing that people say? Days are long and the years are short. And I think that, you know, you just gotta kinda do what you can.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: I do want to ask you to just because I know you so often about daycare and preschool and all that. Was it hard dropping off your kids? Because I have friends who they were like, oh, it’s so hard. I cried and I have some friends who were like, it was great. I finally felt like I could be a parent. And then I had time to work my career. And I like having those two things. So what was the experience for you? Because it sounds like this gal’s been home for a year, so it’s gonna be a big adjustment no matter what she’s doing. So yeah.

Elsie: For me I was both like I never had an experience where my kid cried every day for months and if I would have had that, that’s different. That’s hard. Yeah, that sounds really hard. Our kids cried only for like a couple days and then they adjusted really quickly and accepted the situation. And they both love going and then they’re happy at the end of the day, too. Like we felt really lucky in that way.

Emma: Yeah Nova loves school.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s a big part of her life. And I have zero guilt sending my kids to daycare and school. And I think that the best thing for me is just to remember. I mean, when I was on maternity leave. Yes, I love it. And I was so grateful to have it. But I did miss work. And it does bring this like balance to your life. And like for me, it’s like a form of adult time. It’s like the main form of adult time that I have right now is doing my job. And like talking to you guys on my podcast. It’s like talking to friends, you know, like it’s like I’m…at lunch or something.

Emma: Yeah we say cuss words. I don’t do that when I’m hanging out with Nova.

Elsie: Right?

Emma: Hell no.

Elsie: So, yeah, we’re just making sure we keep that explicit rating on every episode. Even if it’s a throwaway curse. Thank you so much for listening to our podcast today. If you have any questions or request for our 2020 episodes, we will love to hear them at podcast@abeautifulmess.com We’ve also noticed a lot of you posting Instagram stories lately, sharing our podcasts, which we just wanted to say thank you because it really helps us so much. We’re right now only 10 episodes into this podcast and still brand new and we still feel like it’s kind of, you know, a little flower that we need to water. So thank you for helping us with that.

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  • Hi
    I discovered your podcast this week and am currently binge listening. I am loving your conversations, advice, photos, sibling relationship, etc. You have given me so many things to think about, research, and try. I am also excited about working through your blog ☺
    I am in the UK and, like so much of the world, trying my best to get through this current corona virus pandemic. So far the episodes of you podcast have made me feel so positive going forward.
    I just wanted you to know that you are doing a fab job with your podcast ????????
    Christina x x x

  • Great episode! And great timing too — my husband and I just bought a house so I am currently on the hunt for new furnishings!

    I would LOVE if you guys would do a post about your built-in shelves. My new house has a room that looks very similar to Elsie’s and I have been dreaming about doing a similar built-in for it. Your tips and advice would be much appreciated! Even if I don’t have “some guy named Colin” to build them for me. ????????????

  • Longtime reader and recent podcast listener chiming in from Memphis! You should totally make the trip here to check out IKEA…and our awesome local shops! I’ve lived here for almost 3 years and there are some great thrifting gems here (Find Memphis, Flashback Vintage, Summer Antique Mall, many many more). I grew up in Nashville and so love that ABM is partially based there…but Memphis is worth checking out! Y’all would also love the South main area with the mid century modern dream at the Central Station Hotel and bar 8 & Sand. Not to mention Cooper Young… but I won’t go on and on.

    The 180 Mile drive isn’t that bad 🙂

  • You guys! I can’t wait to listen to this! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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