It seems like just yesterday we were talking about Spring making its mark on our yard. And now, here we are; school supplies are flying off the shelves and fall decor ideas are flying around the Blogosphere. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Fall (and so does Greg). It’s just weird how time flies.
One thing I love about the changing seasons is the changing out of home accessories at stores like Target, Kohl’s, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel. Around this time is when the summer lines are going out and the fall-inspired accessories are coming in. Not only do I find new things to add to my wish list, but I also get the chance to pick up some great pieces on the cheap. While browsing the clearance aisles of Target the other day, I managed to get my hands on a lot of goodies. Here’s the photo I texted to my mom saying, “This is why I shouldn’t go to Target alone!”
Among my finds, I found a huge faux leather tray tucked in the back of a shelf. (You can see it sticking of my cart in the top right corner of my photo.) According to the price tag, it was originally priced at $25, but it had been marked down to just $17! However, I’m pretty sure I saw the same tray a couple of aisles over a few months ago for around $50. Maybe the $25 was the sale price? I’m not sure. Regardless, $17 is a very good price for a 16 x 26 tray – especially when I found a very similar one (though made from authentic leather) online to the tune of $499! A classic “Look for Less” moment. Elisabeth Hasselbeck would be proud.
When I got the tray home, it practically gravitated to the living room coffee table…
Ideally, I’d like there to be more contrast between the tray and the coffee table. However, that doesn’t bother me too much due to the fact that the coffee table isn’t going to be with us forever. I’ve been not-so-secretly obsessing over this one I found at Home Goods a while back.
I’ve been kicking myself ever since for not going ahead and snatching it up. The reclaimed wood look would tie in with the reclaimed wood mantle that’s on our wish list. For now, we’re working with what we’ve got. So, I digress.
Now time to “dress” the tray. I didn’t want to use a bunch of impractical “foo foo” items that would end up being dust collectors. Instead, I wanted to make sure what made the
cut tray were things we would use on an everyday (or semi-everyday) basis. With this in mind, I decided to approach the task Emily Henderson-style: layers. For the first “layer”, though it seems like the obvious choice, I wanted a place for some magazines and a current favorite book or two.
The tray ended up being the perfect size for a good amount of magazines and a few of my current favorite books. I didn’t want to stack things too high because I knew I wanted to add something on top of each stack (for layers 2 and 3) and I didn’t want to block the view from the love seat to the TV.
I love, love, love having fresh flowers in the house. By the way, I recently realized it’s much cheaper to get fresh cut flowers from our local florist (Strange’s, for you Richmond-ers) rather than the grocery store. They look better and last longer, to boot. While I was trying to decide what to do with the tray, I asked Greg to pick up some flowers on his way home from work (doesn’t that sound awful… I asked him to pick up flowers. He totally does that on his own from time to time. Promise.). When he came home, I put them in a short vase I picked up at the Williamsburg Pottery for $6 a few months back. Et voila… “Layer 2″ is born.
Now obviously, life isn’t a Disney movie (unfortunately) and we don’t live in a fantasy land where we have fresh cut flowers around all the time. No worries, though, because I can always find something else to put in the vase. For example, in the fall, I could fill the vase with acorns and add a chunky pillar candle. Once winter hits, I’m thinking faux snowballs… the possibilities are pretty much endless.
For “Layer 3″, I decided to use this cute little dish I bought on Etsy (from this shop) for $8.50. Since we’re not really candy dish people, and Greg and I enjoy playing card games from time to time, I opted to add a few decks of cards to the mix.
I feel like I’ve reached the goal of putting together something that’s aesthetically pleasing yet functional. You can get to everything on the table without too much effort, but it looks “together” at the same time. Over the last few days, we’ve especially enjoyed the fact that the playing cards are now within arm’s reach. Where ordinarily we’d play four games in a month, we’ve played four games in the last three days.
Overall, Greg and I are pretty pleased with what has become of my $17 Target find. He’s really digging the balance of form and function, and I love how everything is neatly organized and easy to maintain. Yay for the Target clearance aisle! So how about you… find any good clearance items lately? While you’re at it, do you have a favorite two-person card game?
By the way, don’t forget about our new daily feature in the sidebar to the right, “Side Notes”!