Downtown Raleigh Bungalow Project | The Parlour

Downtown Raleigh Bungalow Project | The Parlour

Back in 2015, I was working for a Home Builder in their design center. One day I had an appointment scheduled with a new home buyer and her real estate agent, Meg. To be honest, I usually dreaded appointments where a client's agent was in tow. They were often condescending and didn't trust that I also had their client's best interest in mind. Turns out Meg was the complete opposite. She was so positive, kind, helpful, enthusiastic and just a genuinely nice person. I knew that if we ever sold our house, I would love to work with her. A year later, she helped us do just that and then recently she helped us find our current home (she is the most amazing real estate agent ever). During that time, she and her husband, Gary, bought an adorable fixer-upper bungalow in downtown Raleigh and took on the huge project of renovating and restoring it. They executed the renovation beautifully - the perfect mix of old and new - with so much original character still infused throughout the home.

10 Easy + Affordable Real Estate Staging Tips from an Interior Designer

When you are selling your home, the importance of staging is often down-played. In my opinion, staging is incredibly important when selling a home, if not completely necessary. Think of it like a job interview. When you are going to interview at your dream company for your ideal job, you are going to present the best version of yourself, right? If you show up in your PJs with bedhead, it's going to be hard for an employer to see you fitting in at their company. The same goes for buyers. The majority of potential buyers will have a hard time seeing through clutter, wild paint colors, and outdated finishes, even though you know the house is a wonderful place to live. 

High/Low Lighting | Myrtle House

If you follow along on Instagram (@elizabethburnsdesign), you may realize I am a tad lighting obsessed these days. There is good reason, however, as our electrician will be starting in a few weeks. I think we are finally done purchasing, and am pleased to report we came in a hair under our anticipated budget of $350 for all of the lights in the house. I love the mix of old and new and can't wait to see it all installed! In the meantime, I wanted to share two fixtures in particular that we purchased. I had originally fallen in love with their more expensive cousins, and was thrilled that we were able to find comparable substitutes for a fraction of the cost. First up is the Clarissa Chandelier from Pottery Barn. It looks like it might have just been discontinued (still available in a smaller silver version), but here it is in a blogger's home. This beauty retailed for $499.

And below is the Lowe's version that we snagged on clearance for $47. That is over a 90% savings! I was going to tell you to go out an snatch one up for yourself, but it looks like it may be about out of stock (at least in the RDU area). :/ The Lowes version has less crystals and slightly less detail than the PB version, but it is still gorgeous. If I get ambitious, I may try to add a metallic rub to the metal to make it appear more vintage.

Another chandelier we bought is for the guest room. While the two below are not exactly like it, the general design is similar. The Arteriors Chandelier from Layla Grace goes for $1236, and the Shades of Light Chandelier is $789.

Again, this fixture was purchased on sale for $39.75. It is very pretty in person and a great scale for a small bedroom. There is a green version of it too if you are looking for something darker.

I was surprised by how expensive lighting can be, especially when you are given the task of buying lighting for an entire house all at once. Have you ever had to outfit a whole home with lighting? Where did you shop? Did you splurge or save?

Lighting | Myrtle House

We recently learned that the electrician will be starting sooner than we expected, which is awesome, but we were lacking the majority of the fixtures for the Myrtle House. I prefer to collect things like light fixtures over time - buying slowly as I can find good deals instead of all at once. In a slight panic, Brian and I went to the Habitat Restore in Cary to see if we could find anything that would work and not break the budget. We found some amazing lights at such great prices! Most of them need a good cleaning and a few will get a coat of paint, but here are a few photos of the fixtures we picked up.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Myrtle House Light Fixtures
Elizabeth Burns Design | Myrtle House Light Fixtures

While we were not able to find everything secondhand, we did find some great deals at Lowes and on Ebay. I have been wanting to do a beach-y look in the guest room since I already have this "ocean" colored rug and am in love with the beaded and shell chandeliers that can cost quite a pretty penny. I saw this chandelier for 75% off at Lowes, and knew it would be great in this space. Plus, Brian had a gift card so I think we ended up paying about $3 out of pocket for it. :)

Elizabeth Burns Design | Myrtle House Lighting

We also decided to buy the guest bathrooms' lights new. I found these chrome three-light vanity fixtures on Ebay on sale for $25.49 each (free shipping, no sales tax!) and bought two. I had originally seen them at Home Depot, but they are out of stock until December. :/ Luckily, these ended up being even less expensive!

Elizabeth Burns Design | Myrtle House Lights

So between the old and the new, I think we have our major fixtures purchased with the exception of the kitchen light (thinking this for over the table). When all is said and done, we will probably end up spending close to $375 for all of the light fixtures in the house which I am happy with. I think it will be a fun mix of vintage and modern. :) Where do you shop for light fixtures?

Travel Photos Gallery Wall | Design

It is well known that a good gallery wall is all the rage right now. I too love the eclectic look said gallery wall gives, but if I am being honest, I am slightly partial to symmetrical groupings of photos or frames. Call me boring, but there is just something so clean about frames all lined up in a row. For a while now, I have been wanting a way to display photos from our trips. Brian and I love to travel, and it feels like such a shame to keep those fun memories sitting on a hard drive. This project is a little down the line (I kind of need walls first), but here are photos I am drawing inspiration from until we can tackle this project (click image to link to sources).

I love this look and size of this Ribba Frame. How do you display your travel photos? Any frame recommendations?

Double Vanities Under $1000

I have been on the hunt for a double vanity for a few months now and was quite surprised by how expensive these pieces are, especially when you realize you can buy two single vanities for about 20% of the cost of a double vanity. Ugh. I was hard pressed to find anything that would work for under $1400, and frankly, that just is not in our budget for the vanity. Well, we ended up buying a used double vanity off of Craigslist that I plan on re-finishing (which was the worst CL experience to date, but that story is for another day). During our search, however, I did find a few deals I wanted to pass along in case you too are on the hunt. Here are the best double vanities I found for $1000 or less at Home Depot.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Budget-friendly double vanities

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