Both Mary and I are road-tripping this week. Sadly, I am going to Austin just when she’s headed out of town. My brother is moving into a co-op down there, and Kyle and I are helping him drive down. Then, we’re tacking a few extra days onto our stay, so I’ll get to enjoy Mary’s new-to-her leather sofa.

Here are some of my new and new-ish accessories that are making the journey with me!

I bought this Olsenboye Foldover Tote  at jcpenney for only $14 on Saturday. I’ve been wanting a new purse for a while, and I had so much trouble finding one I really liked. Everything was too expensive, too big and unstructured, or too small. This one is definitely on the huge side, but since it folds over and has a bit of structure to it, it’s not so bad. I bought this particular style because it was the one on sale, but it’s really grown on me. I think I’d like some of the brighter patterns they have for $35, but this matches almost everything.

These bright blue skinnies are the $340 J Brand Midrise Skinny Bright Royal from MRS H version of the $4 Gordman’s clearance bright blue skinnies I bought on Friday. They also had orange/coral, mint, and yellow on clearance but for $20. And $16 dollars worth of difference made blue my number one choice. I love them! I wore them Friday night and Saturday and Sunday when I went to my parents to deliver the cat before the road trip. They’re currently in the washing machine so they’ll be ready for another wear this week!

Finally, my favorite little iPod Nano. I bought this over memorial day so I could add music to my elliptical workouts (and maybe eventually start running outside if it ever cools down). I’ve loaded it with an audio book, so that if my passenger wants to sleep on the way down or back, I have something to keep my mind active and awake.

I started The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch on a drive last week, and I think I’ll really like it. Hopefully it does it’s job. I’ll be driving a rental van and Kyle will be driving my parents Highlander, so we’ll either have my brother or his girlfriend as a passenger… I’m sure they’ll be tired from moving and going away parties.

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Jess’s Picks

  • Today at 5 p.m. marks the start of my vacation — which includes a trip to Austin to move my brother into his new co-op and several days to play around in Austin. It also marks the end of my July 4 – Vacation alcohol fast. Needless to say, I’m in the mood for a little frivolousness right now. Perfect timing for 10 Clever Multi-Purpose Furniture Ideas Meeting the Needs of a Modern Lifestyle at Freshome. I think this wine table is my favorite. The glass window in the top is excellent!
  • This Mint, Coral, and Pink style palette at Making it Lovely has some great accessories for vacation. I don’t think it’s cool enough to wear any of the clothes yet, but I’m looking forward to the day this heat wave/drought breaks and a 3/4 sleeve sweater feels perfect. (I think this will be the first autumn in my lifetime that I’ve looked forward to more than the return of football.)
  • Maybe instead of pink, mint, and coral clothes, I’ll go for pink, mint, and coral hair chalking. I’m a little late to this party, probably, but I just discovered hair chalking this week and I’m anxious to try this CHALK IT UP tutorial from The Beauty Department. I want something a little dramatic and rebellious for vacation.

Mary’s Picks

  • I’m loving these color palettes based off Wes Anderson movies from Whorange. The Rushmore palette is my favorite. Love the saturated colors. (via Making it Lovely)
  • The Makeshift Society sounds amazing and I wish it was in Austin. I’d love to sit around with women who are talented, creative, and encourage one another in their creativity. (via Design Sponge)



The season finale of Design Star on HGTV aired last night. Did you watch? Did you watch this whole season? I love Design Star and I love getting to watch the challenges. It’s fun getting to think about what you would do in a space or how you might fix something. I know they have crazy amounts of limitations with budget, places to shop, and overall resources. So I think what they manage to come up with is awesome. (From here on out there are spoilers about the finale so stop reading if you haven’t watched it yet!)

The challenge was for the two finalist, Britany and Danielle, to create a 5 minute premier of their show. Wow, that’s a lot of pressure. To come up with a whole show concept. I’ve got no clue what I would do. Probably something about how to nap efficiently in a space. I’m pretty good at that.

Here’s the final product of Britany’s room:

I love the color of that couch and how well it goes with that rug. It’s really pretty. But am I the only one that doesn’t understand sectionals? Sure, they totally work in some rooms but I’m not so sure it works in this space? Maybe it’s the camera lens, but from this angle there seems to be a lot of wasted space behind the couch. Hmm, again, limited time and resources. This room is really pretty though and honestly, who am I to say anything less than positive? (Also, those stupid florescent lights they had to put up to take the shots of the rooms are really ugly and distracting.)

Next up: Danielle’s room. Based on her room and her pilot, she was the obvious winner. She did a sectional but for some reason I totally get it in this space. Also, she did a great job of not making this room look like a show room. So many of the finished rooms on this show look like show rooms and not like lived in spaces. I really like this space! I love the midcentury pieces and I love how she incorporated their artwork. That would have hung me up because the artwork isn’t my taste at all. And I don’t think it was Danielle’s either, so major kudos to her for doing such a great job! Congrats, Danielle!!!

Do you have any thoughts on Design Star? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Inspired by Bathrooms

My least favorite room in our house: the bathroom. I’ve tried really hard to keep it looking pretty and even gave it a paint job. But the reality is, our bathroom could use a major facelift. Things just aren’t working in there anymore. The tile easily molds, the window has been painted shut, and the caulking in there is cuckoo. As you know, we rent and like most people on Pinterest I pin the hell outta my “dream house”. Including, dream bathroom. Who knows when that will happen and I’m sure that I’ll most likely change my mind by the time I’m able to work on a bathroom.

It’s lovely to look at beautifully designed spaces anyhow, though. My favorite aspect of this bathroom is its versatility. Just change those paint colors with the trends and, most likely, it’ll be decades before this bathroom has to be redone. I love it because it’s nothing fancy or over the top. Simple and pretty. There’s no odd tile choices that will leave someone (well, not me at least) just wanting to rip this bathroom out in 5-10 years. The pops of color are perfect. They make the space look updated while still feeling original. That’s aard to achieve but my most favorite spaces are able to do it. A girl can dream, right?

(via Pinterest and Jeskya D’Itri Marés)


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Friday Reader Roundup

Mary’s Picks

  • First off, our thoughts and prayers today are with those in Colorado. These tragedies not only create so much turmoil for the families but also everyone else that’s involved. My hope is that fear will not take over.
  • Are you familiar with the website? It’s the absolute best way to search for airfare. You can’t buy directly from the site but it lists where the prices are the lowest. We are attempting to plan a couple of trips this year on a really tight budget so it’s helping us make those happen. Also, their smartphone app is the best.
  • I’m starting to really educate myself on health and the kinds of foods we eat. Honestly, it’s a lot of inconvenient truths but I sincerely believe it will be better for our health in the long run. One of my favorite blogs during this process has been Food Renegade and the reoccurring article they do called Decoding Labels. Last week she decoded the label of V8 Fruit Splash. Eye. Opener.

Jess’s Picks


Mast Brothers Chocolate

While Brendan and I were walking through Central Market today, Mast Brothers Chocolate caught my eye. I stopped just to take note of the beautiful wrapping of the chocolates. In continuing with Monday’s talk about branding and design, Mast Brothers definitely knows what they’re doing.

Mast Brothers Chocolate

The wrapping is graphic, eye catching, and hip. It’d be awesome to enjoy the chocolates and then use the paper for a small gift.

Mast Brothers Chocolates

They are based out of Brooklyn, NY and handcraft all their chocolates. Hopefully, we will be making a trip to Brooklyn soon to visit friends and will be checking these guys out.

Austin, Texas is full of some truly beautiful graphic design and branding. Since there’s such a major focus on small businesses here, you’ll find totally unique signage on almost every corner.

My favorites are the branding design done by FÖDA Studios in Austin.

Inspired design and branding goes such a long way in customer experience. Doesn’t this beautiful work make you intrigued about these businesses and want to try out their food?

Elizabeth St. Cafe is owned by the same folks that own Perla’s. They also have two other restaurants, Lamberts and Fresa’s, and they used FÖDA for the branding on those too. All so beautiful!

It’s amazing how much goes into branding and when it is done well, how it sticks with you as a customer. Huge kudos to the folks over at FÖDA Studio for their amazing work.

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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