Ashley Russell has loved to create ever since she was a girl. She grew up with a passion for the home and was always inspired by her mother, a wedding florist. When she started her own family, she had to become a DIY gal on a very tight budget. She feathers her nest by reinventing things and loves “the mix and depth you can get by adding thrift and recycled items to new purchases.” Russell, who describes her home as “Modern Cottage,” chronicles her projects in her blog, The Quirky Sophisticate.
Photography by Shanna Michelle Photography
Russell created this gorgeous tablescape for her own Thanksgiving with her husband and four daughters. It caught my attention with its fresh take on a Thanksgiving look. Gray and Tiffany blue replace traditional autumn colors, yet it still very much gives us a warm and fall feeling.
Choosing to use her wedding money for new tires over china, her crafting skills were put to the test to come up with a solution for dinnerware. She dressed up some simple chargers with a free printable of a turkey she found on The Graphics Fairy website. She decoupaged one to each charger and laid a glass plate from IKEA on top. Paired with a wicker charger and a striped, paper napkin that she ironed and starched, each place setting was gorgeous and rich looking for very little cost.
It’s the details that can make a tablescape look expensive without spending much. Layered scrapbook papers and wooden buttons dressed up napkins holding flatware.
This centerpiece was originally a candle holder she covered in cardboard and then layered with different types of moss that she tucked in between. Large acorns her parents gathered on a fall walk became the perfect filler for this reinvented piece.
This sleek and modern table was once a retail display shelf she purchased from a store going out of business. She covered its original maple top in silver leaf and had a piece of glass cut to size to finish it off. “It’s really great to protect the paint, and all I have to do is Windex it to keep it clean,” she says.
The tablecloth is a burlap slipcover Russell made for “tailored-modern twist on the traditional tablecloth.” I love her use of a rustic material and how she left a fringe-like border on the edges.
These gorgeous vintage chairs were a Craigslist find. She lives in Utah … the chairs lived in Florida. Clearly, I need to start searching outside my local area on Craigslist. I don’t seem to be finding gems like this when I search!
Russell used wooden cedar fence posts to make this clever sign. After coming up with the saying, she cut out white paper letters and decoupaged them onto the boards. An acorn garland finished off the top.
Modern meets rustic at its best with this beautiful vignette. Horizontal painted stripes on the wall create a beautiful backdrop for a sunburst mirror. A stalk of wheat against silver candlesticks illustrates what Russell means when she says her “style is a mix of everything.”
Russell and her daughters painted a dressing table that doubles as a worktable and holds their crafting supplies.
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