Marion, Kansas

Last week, I shared with you all one of the stops that I made on my ten day road trip (so fun!). Well, from here on out I’ll share with you all the shops we stopped out. But, I just had to share the site around Marion, KS. Well I mentioned last week that we stayed out at the Historic Elgin Hotel B&B. Sherri, the hotel manager, was awesome! I mean, true hospitality. She chatted with us late at night, met up when we got in later than the check-in time and was overall just lovely. Also, she made caramelized French Toast for breakfast. Yum.

The hotel was originally established in 1886 and has gone through quite a journey to become what it is today. The place was made into an apartment building in the ’70s. When the current owner took it over, they decided to fully restore it to what their research said it looked like when originally built. They’ve truly done a wonderful job restoring this place and I’m so glad we chose to stay there. Not to mention, it is within walking distance to Bearly Makin’ It Antiques! Bonus.

I loved the bathroom. It just proves such timelessness with white subway tiles. All the white was beautiful and I wish this was my bathroom!

Octagon and dot tile. I love it so.

The hotel owners have worked so hard to restore this place even down to the engraved marble above the elevator.

 This staircase was visually striking with this massive chandelier and dark wood paneled walls.

 In the lounge space, on the second floor, there was this light blue Chesterfield couch. Isn’t it beautiful?

 This is the view from the top of the staircase. That golden velvet loveseat was so pretty.

This space is in the ballroom area. Another beautifully decorated spot in the hotel.


 After we left the hotel, we set out to see the charming city. We drove up and down the original red brick streets, and I was intent with capturing the charm of this little town with my camera. I had my mom pull over so I could grab a quick pic of this perfect turquoise 1950s Chevy Viking.

Since we were here on the weekend before July 4th, everyone had out their red, white and blue decorations. Most of the time, I’m a bit adverse to July 4th decorations because I think that they quickly become cheesy, over the top, and lack taste. If you love the over the top decorations for July 4th, then by all means put them out! I’m just sayin’ they’re not for me. So, when we saw this house with the red, white and blue bunting, I thought it was perfect. I love how it fits with the style of the house and such a lovely contrast to the beautiful white moldings. Also, can you see the scalloped details near the roof? I love this! I’m pretty sure that I had my mom drive by 5 times before I got the right picture. I didn’t want to appear creepy by snapping a photo, but I just thought it looked so perfect.

 A lot of this town was established in the late 19th century, but they’ve preserved so many of the architectural details beautifully. This art deco building had also been kept completely intact and preserved beautifully.


We also spotted this perfect house. Look at that wrap around porch, those white moldings, the white columns, the stone walls, and that red roof. Perfect, right? There’s also large green ferns hanging between each column. Beautiful.

After driving around town we headed out to lake outside of town. Out there we saw this awesome vintage RV. It’s so shiny. So pretty.

The town, as I’ve heard from Jess about a lot of Kansas, is that it’s done a phenomenal job at preserving itself. The town was so quaint and quintessential Midwest. The old stone, the intricate architectural detail, just screams of a town that truly cares about it’s history and preserving it. I love that.

Thanks for being to good to us, Kansas!

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As Jess mentioned, I recently traveled the Midwest to make it to a friend’s wedding.  We hit 11 states in 10 days! Whew. It was so much fun and I’ve got a ton to share with all of you. My mom and one of my sisters went with me and we thrift/estate sale/antiqued shopped all along the way. I wanted to mainly visit places that I had seen on the blogosphere and friends recommend. We did just that, and it was amazing. I’m ready to do it again!

On the way up to the wedding, I knew I had to make a special stop at Bearly Makin’ It Antiques. They’ve got a huge barn full of stuff and they have a store in Marion, KS. It was featured on American Pickers but they didn’t show the store in town. Personally, the store was the best part. I heard about this place from Meg at Whatever, and knew we needed to make a special trip there. After stopping at Antique shops/markets in KS, MO, IL, MI, and OH, this was by far the best stop we made! I could spend hours and hours going through this shop. I’m most definitely going back!

We drove straight to Marion from my parent’s house outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. After a night’s rest in Marion, we headed to the shop.

First off, my photos with vintage graphic design. I really love old tins, and if the practical side of me were to vanish someday, I’d have an antique tin collection.

 Coffee is bliss, after all.

Look at this little gem! A Kitchen Maid Cake box. So pretty. I can just imagine being at a party where this was brought in and a delicious homemade cake was served. Perfect!

Since I spend my days working with children, I’ve really come to love old children’s books. Not to mention, Dr. Seuss was a genius.


Mason jars! I love the blue and the lids.

How sweet is this little lipstick caddy? The ribbon font is just too lovely. I’m kinda regretting not buying this.

Quilts!!!!! I’ve shared my love of quilts, right? The past several years, as I’ve developed my tastes more, my love of quilts has remained the same. There were so many and they were so nicely rolled that I was a little overwhelmed to pick through them. After seeing that $18 price tag right there, I wish I would have.

How great is this clock? What a cool piece for a kids room. The little gold feet, the green casing, the unique hands, and the man and monkey just make it look so playful. But considering the condition and the $45 price tag, it didn’t go home with me.

This place was amazing and soon I will be posting about all my buys from the trip. It wasn’t much, but I love what a got.

If you’re driving through Kansas, you must make a detour to check out Barely Makin’ It Antiques. Their inventory is so extensive, and the people who work there were great! We weren’t able to check out their barn because for some reason it wasn’t open, which turned out to be okay because I’ve got no clue how we would have brought back large items.

Stay tuned for more from my trip! Update: Here’s the rest of my write-up from the lovely little town of Marion, KS.

I linked up over at Her Library Adventures: Flea Market Finds.


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iPhone Case Cover Redo

Last week I dropped my iPhone and didn’t have a case on it. Big. Huge. Mistake. Thankfully, the glass didn’t break (nope that happened 33 days AFTER I bought my phone) but what did happen was that the top lifted up a little bit causing the buttons to pop loose. I wasn’t able to turn it off, listen to my head phones, change the volume, or put it on silent. Oops. Well, long story short, my sister is an electronic genius and fixed it! Yay!

After she fixed it, I got a case! Yay! I just went to Tuesday Morning and they had a Speck case for $7.99. Sold.

I didn’t love the black and white plaid, but I didn’t hate it either. I also didn’t want to spend much on the cover since I’ll be upgrading from my 3G to something better this fall.

Anywho, right after I bought the case the fabric started coming off. Damn.

So, my creative juices started flowing and I decided to take on recovering my phone. The black and white plaid was a lighter grade upholstery weight fabric. I dug into my stash and found some scrap yellow and white chevron fabric that was pretty much the same weight.

I took off the plaid fabric and used it as a template.

Traced and cut it out on paper. Then laid that template on top of my new fabric after a good ironing.


After I cut out the new, I folded the part with the circle in half. Just to make sure I got a nice round cut.

Then, I was ready to adhere. I used craft spray glue and sprayed the fabric first. I had to do this outside on a piece of paper, because a certain someone has complained about my usage of craft glue in the house. Hmm, I wonder why?

After spraying the glue, I hurried to place the fabric back on the case. I started with the laying the top part on first because it was the most detailed and I wanted to make sure the circle lined up. After some pulling and adjusting, I used a razor blade to trim off the excess. And used my fingernails to get a tight fit in the crevices.

After trimming I had some fraying with the fabric, so I just used a tiny amount of super glue to keep it from fraying more. This made the edges a little stiff. I’m not quite sure of a remedy for this yet, but I figured it will soften after some usage.

After about 30 minutes, it was all done! I’m really happy with the outcome! Cute, huh?

Here’s the breakdown:


Fabric covered phone case

Scrap Fabric


Super Glue

Paper for Template

Exacto knife or razor blade


30 min or so


$8 for the case

Check out the other great thrift finds (and maybe some other upcycles) at Her Library Adventures’ Flea Market Finds and Apron Thrift Girl’s Thrift Share Monday.

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I love how unique this Recycled skateboard belt buckle by crimsonking is. My brother has skated for years and I love how beautiful the boards are at the beginning and how scratched up they are by the end. When he started skating, he preferred a shoestring to a belt, but maybe he’s grown up enough now that this would make a great Christmas gift — or a project we could do out of his own old boards.

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Continuing on with our goal of discussing affordable decor on this blog, we’ve reached the point in our “Choosing Secondhand Furniture” series when it’s time to think about if you should consider refinishing when you see used furniture.

A lot of people have a really hard time finding the potential in a piece. Also, some just ride it off entirely because they don’t find themselves handy enough. Well, here’s some tips on how to see the potential in a piece that just needs a little TLC.

Condition of Current Finish: What’s the current finish like and what shape is it in? Is it chipping, just dingy, multiple layers of paint? We discussed this some when we talked about recognizing quality in a piece of used furniture, but it definitely plays a part in whether or not you should buy. If it’s something you can paint over and you like then by all means purchase the piece. But that’s the easy answer, right? But, sometimes this might not be that easy. For instance, my Lane end tables first looked like this:

And our coffee table was way, way worse:

To some, this damage would seem too much and the tables wouldn’t be worth it. But, it was only only $30 for the two tables and I figured the risk was worth it. After lots and lots of sanding and some spray laquer, here’s the end result:

We also purchased a second end table at Room Service Vintage when they were having a sidewalk sale. It was in the same condition as the others and so Brendan gave it some TLC, too. All of the table lost their original finish, because of the sanding but I honestly love how the refinishing brought out the dovetail details ever more.

Use your imagination: What would this piece look like painted? Or stripped to the original word? Or what if you styled it right, how would it look in your space? Ask anyone who purchases used furniture and they will all tell you this, “Everything looks worse in the store”. It’s so true. So when you see a piece just stare at it and think about how it might look with a fresh coat of paint.

Professional Refinishing: If you get them professionally refinished you have to ask yourself if spending the money is worth it? For our Lane tables, it wasn’t. It would have cost a couple hundred and at that price we could purchase them in really good condition at a local vintage shop. But, for a great couch, it might be worth it. Recently, I received a pair of 1950s shellback, patio chairs. They were my grandmothers and my mom had them professionally repainted in the 80s. So, when I got them this last summer they were in desperate need of another refinishing. At this point, the cost to have the chairs properly done was way more expensive than what it would cost to buy the reproductions. But to me, these were my grandmother’s and so I loved them more than just trying to get a good deal. In fact, after talking to my mom when trying to decide if we should have them powder coated, she gave me the best advice for thrifting, “Not everything has to be a good deal.” Do I love, love, love a good deal? Hell. Yes. But in this case, the chairs and their history were more important.

Do you have any other tips or advice to share? If so, send it over! We’d love to hear your thoughts!


For the past several weeks Jess and I have been posting about things we think everyone should know about purchasing furniture secondhand. Just to recap: We wrote about why we buy secondhand in the first place here and here. Also here’s a quick recap of our previous posts.

  • Know Your Shared Style: Jess wrote about figuring out what works for both you and your partner. This leads to a happy home.
  • Reality versus Vision: Jess gave some great advice about taking a step back and not falling in love with a piece right away (some advice I should heed).
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As part of our ongoing series on choosing secondhand furniture, I’d like to discuss research tips when shopping for something secondhand.

Researching in the moment: Bringing along your smart phone or iPad and hit up Google, Ebay, or Etsy. These are quick sites to find what the item you’re looking at is currently selling for. More than likely you’re wanting to research quickly if you’re standing in the middle of a store, at a yard sale, or in someone’s home at an estate sale. Look up numbers, names, or any other information you find on the piece. If you don’t have a smart phone or iPad handy, then ask around. In a thrift store, someone might actually know something about the piece you’re looking at (patrons and employees). I know that this can be risky, but at the same time you might just find somebody nice. Often, if you’re at an estate sale, auction, or yard sale people might know about the piece anyway.

If you decide to buy without being able to research (at a thrift store), ask about the return policy. You can just go look it up and possibly return it if you’ve made a bad purchase. Most likely, you’ll love a piece regardless of what you find out.

Researching Later: If you think a piece might be a good deal and you’d like to look up quality, then feel free to leave. Go home (or to the nearest library) and do a quick Google search. Look for like items or things that might tip you off about what a piece is worth. Also, if you’ve got a camera phone or camera on hand then take a picture. If not, then jot down a description. That way it’s easy recall when you go to look it up.

Ongoing Research: For some folks the idea of researching just turns them off entirely. Which, I understand. Trust me, after grad school for 3 years, the word research still kinda makes me cringe. BUT, I love researching things that I’m totally into. Of course you can do this online, but another way to do “blanket” research (a one stop shop of sorts) is to get some books. If you’re like me, the reason you’re looking for a good deal in the first place is because of finances so loading up on books of your own isn’t an option. Well, that’s where your local library and Google Books comes in. My favorite find lately is by James W. McKenzie titled Antiques on the Cheap: A Savvy Dealer’s Guide to Buying, Restoring and Selling.

This book mostly has tips for used furniture hunting, but I’ve really enjoyed reading it. This author gives such a great run down and tips for antique buying. No, I’m not a dealer (even though I’ve got dreams of being one), but I still like to know what I’m buying. Also, he covers if it’s worth restoring yourself. Good questions and thoughts.

Lastly: If you like it and you don’t care about its history or worth, then by all means buy the damn thing. If it’s got value to you, for it to enter your home, then kuddos and happy thrifting!

Other tips for researching that I didn’t cover?

For the past several weeks Jess and I have been posting about things we think everyone should know about purchasing furniture secondhand. Just to recap: We wrote about why we buy secondhand in the first place here and here. Also here’s a quick recap of our previous posts.

  • Know Your Shared Style: Jess wrote about figuring out what works for both you and your partner. This leads to a happy home.
  • Reality versus Vision: Jess gave some great advice about taking a step back and not falling in love with a piece right away (some advice I should heed).


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Upcycled Pallet Path

Pallet Path via Little Eco Footprints

I’m really wanting to do this in my backyard. I’ll be sure to let you know if it happens.

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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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