My Parents' Kitchen | Design

What's a girl to do when she wakes up at 4 am and can't fall back asleep? Design a kitchen remodel, naturally. ;)

My parents have a large 3000 square foot home in the burbs here in Raleigh. It was a great house for them while us five kiddos were growing up, but now as they look towards retirement and being empty-nesters, they are considering downsizing and putting their house on the market. Their home was built in the early 1990s and hasn't seen much updating since, especially in the kitchen. Budget is the name of the game here since the whole house will need to be updated.

Luckily, the layout and condition of the cabinets are good, so we plan on painting them white and doing the center island in a greige tone (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, to be exact). The walls were already painted SW Sea Spray a few years ago, so I want to incorporate an accent tile in the backsplash to tie in the gray and blue/green tones. The chandelier pictured above was scored at the Rehab store a little while ago. What do y'all think about the hardware? I know when selling a house having mixed metals can be a bit of a wildcard, but I love the price of these and I think they would really bring out the warmth of the greige. 

I am really excited about this project and hope we can get started later this summer. Still a lot of selections to be made, but I am liking where this is going! Enjoy the rest of your week. :)

Budget Wedding Shower | Entertaining

This wedding shower is an oldie but a goodie. :) My dear friend Amanda tied the knot in 2013 and I wanted to throw a little party in her and her fiance's honor before the big day. In the past during my more reckless spending years, I have spent a ton of unnecessary money on entertaining. Over time, I have learned that the sweetest get-togethers don't have to cost a lot of money. Some of my favorite memories include entertaining family with cheap bottles of wine and Trader Joe's frozen pizza. In fact, the party I spent the most money on (complete with a hired bartender) was the most miserable soiree to date. I was trying to impress a bunch of people whom I shouldn't have been and it was just a mess. This wedding shower was different. It was simple; full of true friends and lots of laughter. I wanted to share with you lovely people some of my favorite parts of this event in hopes to inspire you to have sweet, budget-friendly parties with your loved ones.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

This particular event was a very low-key couple's shower. The down-to-earth bride only wanted close friends so the guest list was small and intimate. The couple (especially the groom) are big fans of southern food - in particular good ol' Bojangles' biscuits. So this became the theme of our shower!

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

We bought a ton of Bojangle's biscuits: mostly chicken but some plain. We also laid out an assortment of jams to create a mini "biscuit bar". Some more traditional hostesses may turn up their noses at the thought of serving (gasp) fast food at a shower, but the guests LOVED it, I didn't have to worry about not burning those darned mini quiches (that no one really likes anyways) and I was actually able to enjoy the party myself instead of being stuck in the kitchen. This is also a very economical option for a filling meal for a shower.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower
Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

To accompany the biscuits, we served fruit salad and potato chips. I thought chips in a bowl are kind of boring (and reminiscent of a super bowl party) so I shortened some paper bags I had on hand and threw in coordinating sheets of tissue paper (also on hand) to dress up this otherwise blah side item. As a bonus, it also made serving a breeze since people could just grab a bag and throw it on their plate.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

I think this DIY "naked cake" took... well, the cake at the shower. :) It was SO easy to make, ridiculously cheap, and quite impressive-looking if I do say so myself. I am by no means a good cook and a far worse baker, so when I make a sweet treat, you better believe it is going to come from a box. For this layered cake, I used two boxes of white cake mix and two cans of white frosting. I made four 9" round cakes, flattened the tops after they had cooled, and then dyed the pre-made frosting in shades of pink to create an ombre effect. The beautiful flowers on top were borrowed from a neighbor's camellia bush. All in all - this cake cost less then $5. A trick I learned to make a box cake taste more like it came from a bakery? Make the cake the night before and let it sit covered in the fridge overnight. It gets extra moist and I swear your friends will never know the difference. :) 

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower
Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

The favors were also really fun to put together. For the ladies, I purchased some adorable gift bags from Etsy (sadly no longer available) and filled them up with inexpensive nail polish, a nail file, and good chocolate. Don't ever skimp on chocolate. :) Since I figured the men-folk wouldn't care as much about the packaging, I brought back out my handy paper bags, some twine I had stashed away, free chalkboard printables, and filled them up with guy-approved items: whisky, coke, and beef jerky.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower
Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower
Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower
Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

For the decor, my motto is always "less is more," so I used a lot of things I already had on hand to create simple pieces. More camellias from my generous neighbor placed in an empty diffuser bottle from Target became the centerpiece outside. I cut up a clearance Christmas tinsel garland and attached to shish kabob sticks for drink stirrers. I used some leftover yardage of yellow chevron fabric as a table runner. A big gallon of Bojangles sweet tea become 100 times more elegant in a glass pitcher with lemon slices. Extra name tags from my sister's wedding were used as food labels. Pink doilies from my wedding dressed up the cutlery. I think a lot of people panic and buy a bunch of things for a party, but if you take some time to hunt around your house and get creative, you probably don't need to buy as many things as you think.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

My gift to the couple were these cornhole boards. I bought them primed from a seller on Craigslist, and then painted the bride and groom's monogram on each board. The great thing about this gift is that we broke it in at the shower (instant entertainment) and then my sweet friends used them again at their actual wedding reception.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget Friendly Wedding Shower Ideas - Biscuit Themed Couples Wedding Shower

On food, favors, decor, and gifts, I don't think I spent more than $200 on everything. It was such a sweet little party; one that I will always cherish and I hope the guests will remember too. I would love to hear from you - any entertaining on a budget tips?

Best Navy Paint Colors | Paint Colors

I am thinking that many of you found my little blog from my most popular post to date: Perfect Shades of Greige. Since paint colors seem to be such a hot topic (one I think a lot of people want to hear about), I wanted to write a post on my newest color obsession - navy!

Elizabeth Burns Design | Perfect Navy Paint Colors - Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, Sherwin Williams Navy, Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur, Benjamin Moore Deep Royal

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

This navy as seen here in Stephanie Krauss' lovely dining room is a wonderful shade. It is vibrant yet subdued. BM Hale Navy HC-154 will give the space that sultry va-va-voom navy does so effortlessly without being in-your-face obnoxious. I love this color in a dining room! 


Sherwin Williams Naval

SW Naval 6244 is a true navy to me. I love the richness of this hue. I don't think I would go any brighter or deeper than this paint color; it could start to look a little garish or juvenile. Sherwin Williams Naval is cheerful and preppy but still sophisticated.


Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur

BM Raccoon Fur 2126-20 is slightly more subtle than the two colors above and I think it is gorgeous on cabinets. I think when you go bold on something like cabinetry, selecting a more neutral navy will look more upscale. This color has a bit more gray in it to balance out the rich blue tones. (P.S. - How random is this name?!)


Benjamin Moore Deep Royal

I can always count on finding awesome paint colors in Studio McGee's stunning portfolio! BM Deep Royal 2061-10 has a more fitting name than the color above. :) This navy paint color is broody and a tad masculine and looks stunning here in an office paired with feminine furnishings. I think this color would also look amazing on cabinetry.


So there you have it! My top four navy blue paint colors. If there are any tried and true colors you recommend, please share in the comments!

Sewing Table Makeover | Myrtle House

On Instagram, I have been going on and on about the pantry in the Myrtle House. Funny story about this room - once upon a time, it was going to be a powder room. Towards the end of the subcontractors' work, I came to my senses and realized that we didn't need 3.5 baths in a 1500 square foot house. So we changed the framing a bit and the door placement to create a walk-in pantry. The house was far enough along where the plumbing was already run to this area. Talk about a waste of a few hundred bucks! The pantry is not quite ready to show it's pretty face (still some touch up left) but I wanted to show you how cute this little sewing table makeover turned out. It is one of my favorite projects to date!

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Modern Bathroom Design | Inspiration

After growing up during the 90s, I (like most millennials) have sworn off brass lighting, faucets, and hardware. Brass might as well have been a four-letter word in the housing industry for the majority of the last decade, especially in my book. When I saw those first flecks of gold pop up in trendy bathrooms a few years back, I thought the designers had lost their mind. People have worked so hard to rid their home of the brass! Put your house on the market with brass door knobs and you might as well have popcorn ceilings and tacky floral wallpaper; you can kiss that quick sale goodbye. I fought it off as long as I could, but even I have to admit, marble, gray, and gold look so dang good together. Satin nickel was starting to get a bit boring. And when I saw this light fixture at half price, I knew I was a goner and joined the dark side. So here is a little inspiration board for an inexpensive bathroom I threw together that embraces the brass tones (or champagne-bronze in this case).

Elizabeth Burns Design | Cheap Modern Bathroom Design, Gold Light Fixture, Champagne Bronze, Marble Chevron Tile, Wood Tile Floors

Light Vanity Floor | Accent | Wall | Faucet

There are so many good deals on this board. The vanity is 20% off, the light fixture is 50% off, and those wood floor tiles? 75% off! Sure, the marble accent and faucet are a bit of a splurge, but they add SO much to the overall design. I think the warm tones of the gold and wood balance the coolness of the grays. Since I am officially out of bathrooms to design (at least for the moment :) please let me live vicariously through you. Go out and snag up these bargains to transform your bathroom into a gold-infused oasis. And send me pictures if you do!

I would love to hear from any real estate investors, renovators, or house flippers - would you put gold fixtures into a property you are selling or are potential buyers still scared off by brass?