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Jun 3, 2014

Staircase Vignette Makeover with Barn Junk

I have been doing quite a few projects around the house and I feel a little guilty keeping them from you guys! Recently, I finally put together a little vignette display underneath my staircase. It's a simple project that has been weighing on my mind for this space the last two years since we moved in. Every time I walked by this space, which was like 3 million times a day, I'd cringe.

Our friends had an antique drop leaf table finished for us as a wedding gift. Supposedly I had pointed this table out at an antique store. My friend went back shortly after our visit and picked up the table. She had a friend refinish it. It's a very special gift and I had a spot for it the moment we moved in. I just never really put much effort into decorating it.

I slapped a table runner, an enamel washtub filled with burlap and light up grapevine balls and called it a day.


Can you say, B-O-R-I-N-G. It just wasn't working for me. And I left it like that for TWO YEARS.

I knew it was a little dark under the staircase so I knew I wanted a lamp on the table. I searched and searched for the perfect lamp but every lamp I had my eye on came with a very fat price tag. I have an obsession compulsion when it comes to decorating my home. Everything I bring into it has a place and a purpose. I like everything to flow together especially when it comes to colors.

So today, I said goodbye to the enamel tub. No worries, it's going towards another project I have planned for the laundry room. There's no way I would toss out a piece from my beloved vintage enamelware collection!

And I came up with this.... utilizing some things I already had around the house.

I think the new vignette is a lot more cozier and adds a little light under the staircase. I honestly stole my little lamp from the kitchen. I've had it in there on the counter and I never turn it on. It's the perfect size for what I needed and I can no longer use the fact that I don't have a lamp as my excuse for not doing something more with this space. It came from The Tractor Supply Company and I think it's suppose to be a pitcher so that's why it was in the kitchen. We can pretend it's an oil lamp for now. I hated the shade that came with it so I glued some hemp on the corners and around the bases to give it a little more rustic appeal. 

I really enjoy grouping similar items together. I think you can do this concept with a lot of different items. The lamp and the books looked really nice by themselves, but they oil cans just really add to the missing touch the table needed. 

There's a little history to all the other pieces in this display. The red can in the far back came from my in-laws. They were cleaning out their garage and thought I would be able to use it in my home decor. My dad and my grandpa used the glass oil jar on the right back in the day. My dad was also cleaning out his garage as well and thought I would like it along with the other oil cans. See, I have my relatives trained to pick junk for me! 

The old books happen to be the original Alice and Wonderland. They were my Nonnie's back when she was a kid. I've always had them on my bookshelf growing up. Now, I am excited to use them in my decor. They were stolen from the TV stand in my living room.

The window is from a buddy's chicken coop. He had the windows replaced on it and thought I would do something fun with the old windows. I had this one out in my landscaping but the wind kept knocking it over. I think it makes a nice backdrop for now until I come up with something a little more colorful.

The old colander is to corral things by the door. Mail to send out, cell phone, keys, etc. I told myself we weren't going to pile junk up by the door. Well, it happens. No matter how hard you try. I will use the colander until I find something better! Maybe a wire basket or something. The colander belongs above my kitchen cabinet.

So what do you guys think? Do you like the before or the after better? I am really digging the after. I'd like to incorporate a pop of color into it somehow. Maybe a blue mason jar or two? Should I hang anything around the window frame? Put black and white photos in the panes? Or just keep it the way it is? Send me your suggestions please!

This project was very spontaneous and a lot of fun. Even better, it didn't cost me a dime.

Do you have any projects you've been putting off that are driving you absolutely crazy? 


  1. Absolutely love it! Come and decorate my home please!

  2. Looks awesome!! I would hang a wreath in the center of the window and you can change it with the seasons!

  3. Kelly,
    I like both arrangements. After so long we just need to look at something different for a while.

    The re-due is really creative. I like your collection of "old things" and the window idea really appeals to me.

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog via Google+ and your vignetting hashtag. I think its a lovely vignette. Nothing like a bit of good old rustic, country charm. Nice blog by the way....I have a tiny obsession with vignetting at the moment to fill a boring shelf void in my kitchen. I am in the process of thinking up my next one to beat these winter blues that are suddenly upon us in Southern Aus.

  5. I have yet to see a part of your house that says B-O-R-I-N-G! Looks awesome - such a welcoming space.

  6. Love it! Maybe add a wreath to the window or a sprig of flowers, greenery, around the oil cans to change out with the seasons. looks good without also!!

  7. Can I just say how happy it made me when I saw the cowboy/girl boots lined up in the background of the second shot from before? :) So awesome!

    I love the vignette makeover! It's so cozy, warm, and inviting looking. Plus, all the vintage decor catches your eye immediately. Love it! If you wanted to add a pop of color, you could make little bunting flags and drape them over the window.


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