Sponsored by Target.

Target lamp

I’ve resisted using that post subject for every lighting related post for three years and finally the temptation was too great.

I really do love my new lamp that I picked up for a steal at the Target home sale (the regular price of $80 was still great value but I scored it for $60!). I’ve been looking for a floor lamp for the living room for years and I could never find the right thing because they were either too big or they were about $300 over my budget.

The simple design fits perfectly in the narrow spot in the corner and it adds a nice layer without making it look cluttered (and of course the evening glow is lovely). The brushed chrome finish ties in with a few other pieces in the current room, but I know the classic design will be really versatile in the future (I’m picturing it as a reading lamp over a big cushy armchair).

The room is now one step closer to being ‘finished’ (I use inverted commas since I’m a firm believer in interiors that keep evolving).

What item have you been searching high and low for? Has your quest finally been successful, like mine?


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There are no big projects happening for us at the moment – after all, Spring Cleaning month is all about those little updates that maybe only you will notice.

Once such tweak I’ve just done is replace the ironing board cover we’ve had since we moved in over five years ago (I know, nothing but excitement around here). It had gotten a bit scalded and threadbare and the wadding was so thin I was getting the metal pattern of the ironing board imprinted into whatever I was ironing.

I picked up this cute cover from Barefoot Lake on Etsy, plus some new wadding. I’ve been a big fan of Joel Dewberry’s patterned fabrics for ages so I’m happy I’ve finally found an excuse to have some in my home.

Only problem is, the little birds are upside down!

Oh well, if you don’t look too closely it’s still a fun addition to the laundry.

Have you had any great Etsy finds lately?



Remember this antique find? After a bit of deliberation, The Man and I decided to use it as a utensil holder.

We removed the lid, cord and element (it’s an early electric kettle). Fret not, we did some research and it’s not particularly valuable, however we did keep the original attachments anyway in case we want to restore and sell it later.




We mainly use non-stick plastic and silicone utensils so the metal and wooden ones you see here aren’t used on a daily basis. So to be honest it’s not really any more convenient than before, although it has freed up some space in the overflowing drawer so it’s not completely without practical benefit.


How about you? Do you keep your utensils within arm’s reach or do you prefer to tuck them out of sight?


Here’s a roundup of all the bathroom posts from this month:

August is… Bathroom Month

Moodboard: Bathroom update inspiration

Bathroom before photos

Bathroom progress

Bathroom update reality

Even though I was working on it fairly solidly throughout the month (I spent many nights prepping and painting after working a 10-12 hour day) the project took way longer than expected. More on that – and a proper set of before & after photos – coming as soon as I’ve completed the finishing touches.

In the meantime, September’s theme will be spring cleaning – so make sure you hit me up with your housekeeping questions.


The July Book Nook was Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik. Were you as inspired to get stuck into some cheap and easy projects like I was?


What projects were you working on this month? Any bathroom renovators like me?


This post is sponsored by Target.


Woohoo! I can finally show you the bathroom!

Here’s how took the inspiration and turned it into reality. The adjoining room (the upstairs landing) is green so I thought I’d go for mainly white with green accents.

Target bathroom makeover

Decorating in the bathroom should above all be focused on functionality, so most items are completely practical.


They had some brand new storage gear in store, including the white tins and wicker baskets, so I ended up using those instead of my original plans. Even The Man commented how cute they were – win!


After five years, we were well and truly due for some new towels. I’m loving these new thick and fluffy Egyptian cotton bath towels – such a pretty colour don’t you think? Our daggy hand towel was also ready for replacement and I opted for a contrasting rather than matching one.

bathroom after-2

I bought most of the items that you see here from Target  but mixed in some existing pieces I had on hand.

My main tip is to think outside the bathroom aisle! I used some items from the storage department, homewares and even kitchenware for storage and decor.

What aspect of your bathroom could use snazzing up?



I mentioned that we did a spot of antique shopping last weekend in beautiful Strathalbyn in the Adelaide Hills.

We have zero room for any more furniture but we did pick up a couple of little things, one being this great Art Deco kettle.



I also picked up these metal type letters that some enterprising soul had fashioned into people’s names. You know I’m a total type nerd so I was delighted to find my name. Unfortunately they arranged it so that each letter (rather than the entire word) is reversed, so I will rearrange it and attach them together with something other than sticky tape as it is currently.

Not sure what I’ll do with them yet – watch this space!

Have you made any great second hand finds lately?

This post is sponsored by Target


1. Hurricane vases  2. Picture frame  3. Suction shower shelf  4. iShower bluetooth speaker  5. Seagrass basket  6. Towel set  7. Faux orchid  8. Shelving unit  9. Lantern  10. Wire basket  11. Soap dispenser  12. Soap dish  13. Bath mat 

I’ve been busy prepping the bathroom for its much-deserved makeover. To while away the hours painting, I’ve been mentally forming an image of what I want the end result to look like.

It will mostly be white, but I want to add some texture and depth using natural materials in shades of greige. Naturally, no room in my house can escape some colour, so I’m adding pops of green to tie in with the adjacent stairwell/landing walls.

The freestanding unit will be perfect for extra storage and the baskets will be great for spare toilet rolls and such. I’ve also looked outside the bathroom aisle for pretty storage (like the hurricane vases  for cotton balls and makeup brushes) and decor such as the faux orchid and lantern.

I’ll be back later in the month to show you how I’ll be bringing this inspiration to life!


Spring collection poster by Peanutoak Print 

In keeping with this month’s penny-pinching theme, I’ve dedicated my July Houzz guest picks to 20 bargain decor finds.

Read & enjoy!

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Maybe you could write something about “blogging envy”?! I always find myself reading beautiful design and DIY blogs and then having the urge to go out and buy whatever has caught my fancy at that moment. Like, it’s sometimes hard to stop yourself spending because “everyone has it” or someone styled it so beautifully, you want it as well. Or am I the only one this happens to? Also, knick knacks – knick knacks are the devil when it comes to sticking to the budget!

– Johanna (Dear Life We Need To Talk)

Fantasy image: Amy Butler‘s  home.

Firstly, Johanna, you are not alone!!

This is something that has always been around but has come to the forefront since the advent of blogs and sites like Pinterest. Not only are All The Things more in-our-face than before (when you only got your fix from a monthly decorating mag) but with DIY bloggers such as yours truly it now seems as though it’s not just a unrealistic catalogue image but that there’s the pressure for everyday folk to have incredible ‘pinnable’ homes.

Being the decorating-obsessed and somewhat impatient person that I am, I know that I would find it frustrating to go about creating our home in a slow and sensible way regardless, but being immersed in so much inspiration does increase the challenge.

Here’s how I deal with my own green-eyed monster…

Stop comparing

You don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Perhaps they forgo other luxuries like travel, eating out and clothes so they can pour everything into the renovation that has you swooning. Maybe they’re in credit card debt up to their eyeballs to afford the ‘perfect home’. They could be miserable because they’re tied to a job they hate but at least it pays for the latest must-have.

Or maybe they just live in an area with a different cost of living to you. I know that whenever I see US makeovers and they list the prices I’m like well no wonder they can afford to do more projects than me, when furniture and paint is half the price that it is here.

See past the things

I get a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers – in fact it’s one of the reasons why I started my own blog in the first place, to give back. But seeing a full-on before & after doesn’t necessary mean I then think I need to rip out my kitchen or redo my entire living room.

It might be something much smaller that I take away, like the brightly coloured front door, or the furniture arrangement, or the vignette or the way the family photos are displayed. These are cheap or even free projects that  you can achieve in a weekend.

Focus on what you can do

Focusing on the fact that you don’t have the money for your dream kitchen right now or that you can’t paint because you’re in a rental is only going to make you feel frustrated and jealous. Instead think of all the things you can do.

You could put a rug over those ugly rental carpets, switch out cupboard door handles, bring in an indoor plant or update your bathroom with new towels. A small change that you have achieved is better than a big change that you are only dreaming about.

Find the real reason

Sometimes it’s not even anything to do with the inspirational home image that brings out pangs of envy. Seeing (seemingly) perfect home after perfect home might simply be making me frustrated that I’ve let clutter get out of control or I am working too hard to actually enjoy our home.

No amount of cute new Etsy purchases is ever going to solve those problems.

Does it work for you?

One easy test to keep my coveting under control is to ask myself: if money weren’t even an issue, would this item even work for me? I mean, why feel bad that you can’t buy a piece that wouldn’t even work with your home or lifestyle anyway? I don’t fall in love with bookcases / bar stools / armchairs  because I have no space or need for them.

Instead, I focus my energy on the things that my home does need, such as some window treatments, a front porch/yard makeover and a new bathroom.

Be selective

Okay, strange advice, I admit, coming from someone who has 7,941 pins. But they are by no means my must-haves or must-dos, it’s simply my way of finding my style.

By doing this, I can keep track of which ideas I keep coming back to time and again and which were passing obsessions. Then when I do the next project on our home or make plans for a future home I can be confident that I’m making choices based on what I truly love, not on the latest trend.

Avoid the knick knack trap

Of course, it’s hard to resist the latest in-thing when all you can see is gold lamps, honeycomb vases and geometric print cushions everywhere. Whenever I’m tempted by a piece like this, I ask myself if I want it because I really love it, or because everyone else has one.

Sure, I want our decor to look fashionable, but not in a tragic fad-obsessed kind of way. I prefer to keep the majority of our homewares as meaningful items such as special gifts, souvenirs from our travels, original art and handmade pieces. From there it doesn’t cost a lot to mix in a couple of key trend pieces to bring the look up-to-date.

You can’t have everything

No really, if you had everything, where would you put it? If you actually had everything you ever wanted, your house would look like a complete dog’s breakfast of styles. Not to mention the clutter!

By realising that you don’t actually want everything, you can be more comfortable and less envious that you can’t buy everything.


I hope that’s answered your question, Johanna, and helped anyone else who has struggled with this.

Anything to add? Leave your own tips and thoughts in the comments!

If you have a question that you’d like answered in a post, please email hi@atypicaltypea.com.


new kitchen light
Our kitchen after its budget makeover.

Yesterday we went through some no-cost ways to refresh your home. If you want to go one step further but still have a modest decorating budget, here are some project ideas that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Share your budget-friendly renovating and decorating projects in the comments!

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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