Faux Fireplace + Vintage Mantle

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I’d say 2018 was one of the fastest years of my life.  It literally flew.  I attribute this to the whole home buying process.  The pre-approval process, the house search, countless hours on Zillow, and then of course the renovation.  It really was a great year.  It had some rough points.  But nothing God couldn’t heal.  It’s funny, because if we were to sit down and chat about the worst thing that happened to me in 2018, it would directly lead me to tell you about the BEST thing that happened to me in 2018.  Isn’t that just classic Jesus?  He has this beautiful way of taking a painful mess, and turning it into something beautiful.

2019. Is it really you? I know we haven’t known each other long, but I like you already. 🙂 So far, 2019 has been the year of organizing and goal planning.  Go watch Tidying Up on Netflix. Don’t question it, just do it.  You’ll want to have Marie Kondo as a friend.  She makes cleaning a joy-filled thing and I love that!

God has already provided in so many little ways this month.  It’s cool how He provides even for my insignificant, unnecessary wants.  Like two free mid century dressers from my Grandma-that are both special and my style.  Like, wow! God loves us in ways that are so personal.  He gets us.

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This vintage painting gives me all the Prince Edward Island vibes!

Okay, so now let’s talk about that faux fireplace that I mentioned in the title of this post.  We found this beautiful wood mantle at a vintage store.  It’s from the 1800s, ya’ll.  It was one of those pieces that I knew we would regret it if we passed it by. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

I’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace!  And this mantle made that a reality in a way. It really adds such a cozy ambiance.

I wish I had a lot to say about HOW we did it, but it was pretty simple to install.  (Other than the fact that it was so heavy!) We just used L shaped brackets to attach it to the wall in the studs, then hid the brackets with some bead board.  The bead board also adds a different texture than just drywall.  So it makes it look like its own structure.

And that was it! Now the fun part–I get to decorate a mantle each season! I think it’ll be a fun little space for me to change and refresh throughout the year.  Eventually, I want to get a larger vessel for the firewood, so that it fills the space better. But for now, I’m just using what I have! We also plan on getting some white cord covers to conceal the tv cords.

Got a dream for your space? Chances are it’s achievable with a little imagination and creativity.  Don’t be afraid to do something different. Your home isn’t about achieving Pinterest perfection.  It’s a dwelling you create to bring YOU and your family joy—and that looks a little different for everyone.

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Introducing The Youthful Home

I’ve been on quite the journey with blogging.   I’ve been at it for a few years now, and it’s become a happy little hobby of mine.  You see, I love writing. I love taking pictures.  I love creating.  And if I can do all that, and maybe inspire someone at the same time, then mission accomplished.

With all that said, I’m excited to announce a little change happening around here. This blog is now titled The Youthful Home.

To some of you, you may have already seen this coming. Because honestly, decorating and making a home have become my greatest passions.

I’ve mulled this idea over for awhile now. When my husband and I bought our first home a few months back, the timing seemed right to focus in on a topic more.  My favorite place. The home.

So what does this change mean for the blog? Here’s the type of content you’ll be seeing:

  • Our Home Renovation Journey
  • Budget Friendly Home Decor Tips
  • DIYs
  • Seasonal Decor Tips
  • Interior Inspiration
  • Vintage and Thrift Shopping Hauls
  • Recipes
  • Faith Inspired Content

The Youthful Home is where I hope to inspire you to love your abode.  To create spaces that tell your story.

You can read more about the heartbeat behind The Youthful Home in the About Me page!

I passionately believe the home should be a peaceful sanctuary in which you can be your utmost, childlike self.  A place where your faith grows.  A place where your love is shared. My goal is to never lose my young, joyful spirit and I’m inviting you to join me.

Welcome to THE Y O U T H F U L HOME

Ahhhh this little homemaker is so very excited and joyful about this! Love to you all!

Apt. Reveal :: The Living Room

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Curled up with a blanket atop my lap and a cup of tea in hand (well, actually its resting on a coaster, but tea in hand sounds much more poetic),  I am thrilled to be composing the second installment of our apartment reveal: the living room. If you haven’t already, check out the bedroom reveal here.

It wasn’t until I had my first apartment with my hubby that I realized a talent and passion of mine: interior decorating. Prior to being married, I was actually a little messy. My room always had a chair with a pile of clothes on it. (Sorry Mom and Dad.)  I didn’t always make my bed. After having my own space, to my own surprise, I’ve become somewhat of a neat-nick.  I think it has to do with all the heart and attention to detail I’ve put in, that I strive to maintain a home that best displays my handiwork.

img_7595 One of my favorite parts of my new-found hobby is the hunt. I try to be very intentional and particular in my purchases.  If I don’t love it, I will pass and continue the quest for that just-right piece. I think that’s why I enjoy vintage markets so much–you invest time and exploration into a well-loved treasure.  (Also, it’s cliche but true: They just don’t make things like they used to. Shop vintage when looking for quality, made well pieces.)

When creating a living space, it is of great importance.  This is a co-space.  A space where not only you will dwell, but your friends and loved ones too.  It must be inviting, cozy, and story-telling.  Don’t just slap some stuff on a wall.  Find pieces that mean something to you. What speaks to you? What represents you as a person? Your family. Culture. Upbringing. Hobbies. Colors. Your home is a giant painting of who you are and I think that is absolutely beautiful.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • I am Italian and so very proud of it. Therefore, the framed map of Italy is not only beautiful and special but represents something very unique and specific about me and my family.
  • I like nature. Being outdoors refreshes the soul.  So, I like to bring the outside–in, with lots of (faux) plants, wood, and natural textures.

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Without further ado, kick off your shoes, and have a seat on our sofa. Welcome to our living room.


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Let’s start with this space pictured above. When choosing pillows for your sofa, think: cozy, soft, and texture. Target never fails me when it comes to pillows. All my living room pillows are from Target. Shocker. The blanket on the back of the sofa adds visual interest with a homey-feel.  It was hand-knit by my Grandma Nancy as a wedding gift. This Lane cedar chest is one of my favorite pieces in our entire home.  My Grandma gave it to me. It was given to her when she was 13 years old.  Not only is is it stunning, but it also serves as a great storage solution.  It houses all my fall/winter clothes!

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Let’s talk about this rug, shall we? Now, its quite clear I am a neutral-loving girl. But when choosing a rug, I wanted something that wouldn’t show dirt, would add a pop of color and a sense of warmth, and would play up the vintage vibe I got going on.  This Magnolia rug checked all the boxes.  It is seriously the star of the room.  When decorating, choose one item to be the focal point.  This prevents a room from looking cluttered or too loud.

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We purchased this loveseat to serve as additional seating for when guests come over.  It is quite comfortable, and is where I teach all my online classes.  I appreciate its slim design.  It doesn’t overwhelm the space.  As for the pillow: I searched for a blush pillow for months. I kid you not. Just ask Billy.  When Target released this velvet blushing beauty, I knew it was the one.  I’m telling you–wait for the pieces that you love…not like. What I love about this pillow, is its still a neutral.  But it subtly introduces a hint of color and pulls from the colors in my area rug. Win.


Here are some more details from our living room. Remember: greenery transforms a space. Add some life. It will take your home to a whole new level.

We’ve had a lot of luck at yard sales.  Historic neighborhoods often have community yard sales, and typically people with historic homes own vintage things. Yard sale gold!  The wood end table pictured above was only $20 at a yard sale. I love its raw beauty. The kerosene lamp was a yard sale gem as well! Only $5! And the table housing our record player was another $20 yard sale find. Using vintage items gives your home instant character and prevents a space from looking too “sterile.”

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Well, that’s all for now, folks! If you’d like links to any of the products discussed in this post, simply comment below or contact via the contact page. Remember to create a home that you enjoy. That brings you peace and admiration. That envelopes your loved ones with comfort from the moment they enter. Happy decorating, friends! Stay tuned for the bathroom and kitchen reveal.

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Apt. Reveal :: The Bedroom

A few months ago we moved about an hour away due to my husband’s job.  Although relocating has been hard in some ways, there has been so much joy in it. So much blessing. And so much to look forward to. We’ve actually come to fall in love with our new city. It’s quite beautiful and scenic. A refreshing change of pace.

We were very excited to make our new apartment home. And I must say: we were seriously stoked about finally having white walls. lol. We are very minimal in that way! Needless to say, I am so excited to share with you our home.  This is the first blog post of the series. Today I’m sharing our bedroom, because it has completely transformed from our old apartment.  Below are pictures featuring details, links to products, and our design tips and inspiration.

Welcome to our home.

Nightstand Details

I knew I wanted mid century nightstands for our bedroom update. However, everywhere we looked they were all so expensive! Starting at $150. No, thanks.  I found these at Target and fell in love! Exactly what I was looking for and only $80 a piece. You can shop them here. The drawers slide nicely and they look so classic. The “Mr.” and “Mrs.” chalkboards are from our wedding. A special little reminder of our day.  The box on my nightstand is a vintage Lane cedar chest. Dried eucalyptus in an old bottle adds just the right touch of greenery and character.

Let’s talk these lamps. I love them because they don’t take up room on our nightstands and they give that “hotel” vibe. The picture frame is from Marshalls and houses a special picture from our dating days. The faux fiddle leaf fig tree looks shockingly real and completely transforms the space. I can’t stress the importance of greenery enough!

I wanted some sort of candle holder on one of our nightstands. This one comes in a set of 3, of varying heights. Looks expensive, but the set was just under $10. I like the subtle vintage vibe it gives, and it ties the headboard in nicely.

The Space

I’ve been getting lots of questions about this mirror lately.  It is our latest addition to our bedroom. Mirrors are an excellent way to open up a space and bounce light. I like the rounded edges of this one and the matte gold finish. It quite nicely complements the gold accents we have throughout our home. For an affordable price, this mirror looks much more expensive and the quality is very pleasing.

Our wedding shelf is a darling memento to our big day. It houses our toasting flutes, communion cup, a jar from our centerpieces, our wedding invitation, and our homemade candle favors.

The Vanity

I love this little space. It allows me to get ready for the day, without hogging up the bathroom. This vanity was purchased from Target but is no longer available. Here is a similar option. This oval vintage mirror is a favorite of mine. It has so much character.  Billy got it for free awhile back, and painted the wood frame a muted gold. Love.

Garden Vibes

This butterfly wall hanging is not only classic and stunning, but also near and dear to my heart. It was our guestbook at our wedding. I love walking by it each day and catching a glimpse of a sweet message someone wrote. Puts a smile on my face. Every. Time. 🙂

These succulents are, yet again, fake. But so lifelike! We purchased these and the twine at Michael’s a few years back. A whimsical touch indeed!

The Bed

This quilt gives me all the cozy feels. I love its old fashioned look and its soft material.  We bought it at Target a few years ago.  I’ve gotten some questions on our new headboard! It is from Wayfair and is an excellent price! Again, it has such a vintage flair. The painting above our bed is from a local vintage market. I saw it across the room when we were checking out. I said, “Billy! That painting! Over there! It’s perfect.” And it truly is. I love its rugged wood frame, its character, and the woodsy feel it brings.  It makes me think of all our fun adventures in Georgia.

Life Update

If you haven’t already heard–we got a puppy! This is Lady Darling Brown and she is the cutest little sweet potato.  She loves squeaky toys, stealing daddy’s socks, the dog park, long naps on the balcony, and staring at herself in the mirror. A constant joy, this one.


With our bedroom, we really tried to give it character. It reminds me of a cute little bed and breakfast and I love that! We stuck with a very neutral color palette of white, black, brown, and greenery. Gold accents give it a little something extra. When decorating, I always try to stick with classic pieces. Because classic never goes out of style. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment of our apartment reveal! Decorating is such a passion of mine. I enjoy it ever so much.

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Bringing Back Print…With Artifact Uprising


Photographs. Real, tangible photographs. The kind that can send you straight back to another time, another place, another era…with just one touch.

I remember going over to my Nonna and Nonno’s house as a child and spending hours looking through boxes of photos. My tiny fingers perused the photos with admiration. Their adventures in Italy made me dream. Their stories of moving to the United States fascinated me. Pictures of my mom and aunt growing up warmed my heart. (And made me laugh.)

It’s amazing how a simple photo can freeze a moment.

We live in the era of smartphones. We are taking pictures constantly, and with ease. Which is awesome. And yet, we are seldom printing these photos. They are at the mercy of our camera rolls. Lost in infinite scrolling.

This is honestly heartbreaking. There is a rather large chunk of my life that I have little to no tangible photos. If I had continued down this path, I would have very little to show for my kids one day.

Unfortunately, there’s something so utterly unappealing about drug store prints. The quality is rubbish and this takes away from the art of the photo. And I think this is why people don’t bother printing their photos anymore. Because the quality is so low. I was taking beautiful photos, yet I had no beautiful way of bringing them to life.

Then one day, I was introduced to Artifact Uprising.


Beautiful, thick prints. Matte finish. With an eggshell texture. A classic white border. Rich color. Timeless and quality. From the moment I held an Artifact Uprising photo in my hands, I was hooked. And a new habit was formed: ordering prints.

I think all it really takes is seeing these photos in person for yourself. My husband has a few prints on display on his desk at work. His coworkers were instantly intrigued, and one of them even ordered some for himself. That’s the power of displaying the everyday.

Bringing back print is something I am quite passionate about. Getting a box of Artifact Uprising prints in the mail is a little like Christmas. They come housed in a lovely box that allows you to label the collection. I am now in the regular habit of getting my pictures off of my camera roll and into my home.


My heart beats so greatly for the #bringbackprint movement, that I’d like for you to experience these divine keepsakes for yourself. Now through October 9, 2017, you can use my code JULIA10 to receive 10 free everyday prints, any size, excluding shipping. Everyone is a winner with this one! Get started HERE.

If you choose to order your ten free prints, please reach out to me and tell me how you love them! It would certainly make my day!

Remember the soccer game. The anniversary trip. The late night icecream run. The selfie you took by that funny looking statue. Get it all off your phone and IRL. ✌🏼

I hope I’ve inspired you to bring your Instagram feed to life. To display the everyday. To #bringbackprint

*This post is in collaboration with Artifact Uprising.


Meet My Apartment Part 2: Living

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Welcome, back friends! If you haven’t read Meet My Apartment: Part 1, be sure to check that out before you continue reading. Today, I’d like to highlight the living room of my apartment.  This is my favorite room. There is such a tranquil vibe in here, and nothing relaxes me more than sitting on that sofa with some green tea and Gilmore Girls.

When you first get an apartment or a home, you have this blank canvas. An empty space. And it can be shaped and molded into anything you can imagine.  It’s rather exciting, taking an empty room, and making it something beautiful. In last week’s Meet My Apartment, you saw what this room looked like virtually empty. But looking at the picture above, it now has a theme, a vibe, an atmosphere.

Taking a blank slate and making it all your own can be intimidating.  How do you make a space flow? How do you make it make sense? How do you create a room that is inviting and functional at the same time?

First, you need a theme. Are you going for a modern look? A minimalistic look? Perhaps upscale? Or maybe cozy and warm? When creating the theme for this space, I wanted a cozy atmosphere, with vintage touches to compliment the natural charm of the apartment.

Second, you need a color pallet.  The color pallet gives you something to go off of when selecting decor and furnishings.  We’ve chosen mint and gold as the color pallet for pretty much our entire apartment.  This gives a flow to our home.

If you have a solid theme and color pallet for your space, you have the beginnings of a beautiful room/home.

Let’s talk about the lovely details, shall we?

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Pictured above is my favorite piece in the entire apartment: my Grandma’s cedar chest that she had since she was 13 years old.  I had been wanting a trunk for a coffee table for a really long time.  When we first got the apartment, my Grandma called my mom and asked her if I’d be interested in having her cedar chest.  She had no clue that I had been wanting one.  I was so excited to receive this special beauty.  It will no doubt be a part of our home forever.  It is truly a gorgeous piece and a perfect nod to our vintage theme.

The rug adds some nice texture and defines the space.  I like how it’s not floral or too distracting.  The TV stand is your classic Ikea shelf.  Functional, but looks nice and clean.

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So, how do you style a coffee table? Well, there are no rules.  However, a great place to start is with a tray.  This red tray with gold flowers was given to me by my parents.  Place some pretty/decorative books in a stack and place a small plant on top.  Then, have a nice catalog or coffee table book for guests to flip through.

Display “special things” on a high shelf to make them stand out.  This solid oak clock has our names and anniversary on it.  It was handmade by one of my husband’s best friends.  The Willow Tree figurine was a gift from my hubby to me on our first married Christmas together. 🙂

Remember, not everything has to be hung in a frame on the wall.  Hang some succulents from the ceiling.  These were super inexpensive from Michaels.  Hanging string lights from the windows gives a cozy ambiance to the room. Coffee, string lights, and a book- I’m in my happy place.

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The picture above just says “sanctuary.” Soft colors, warm accents, and cozy textures. Again, the mint striped pillows and gold pillows (from Target) tie in the color pallet.  The gallery wall has lots of gold touches as well.  I love how metallics add a sort of richness to a look.  In a future post, I will give my tips to creating the perfect, balanced gallery wall!

I’m a lover of all things cream and sweater-like.  I wish I could tell you where I bought this gorgeous blanket, but it’s not store-bought! My Grandma Nancy made this for me as a bridal shower gift.  Stunning! So many intricacies in its pattern. Another favorite of mine.

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They say “home is where the heart is.” I think our heart is stamped all over this beautiful space. Love is sprinkled on every detail.

My greatest advice for aspiring decorators, is to be intentional with every detail. Don’t just throw a bunch of nicknacks on a shelf. Select them intentionally. May your apartment/home share your story and speak your heart. “The Brown Abode” is a painting of our love.

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Meet My Apartment: Part 1

Today I’d like to introduce you to my apartment, my home, my sanctuary, “The Brown Abode” as my husband and I call it.

We browsed Zillow excitedly for months prior to settling on the vintage gem we now reside. Our place is clad with old fashioned radiators, original hardwood floors, hexagon bathroom tile, and just that charming vibe that I absolutely adore. As far as first apartments go, I couldn’t be happier or more blessed.

When we first got the apartment, it was empty and brimming with potential. However, 675 square feet has its challenges when it comes to storage. I’ve learned how to love “small living” and have embraced storage challenges with a creative mindset. Pictured below is our apartment when we first got it. All we had was our new couch and a vintage lamp refurbished by my father in law. But that natural light has me like 😍.


Over the course of a few blog posts, I want to share different spaces of our home and show you how we utilized even the smallest of spaces.

Today I’d like to show you our miniature “office.”


I find that this space is a welcoming work environment. Every item is very intentional to the theme. When creating any interior look, a theme and color pallet must be chosen. Here the theme is bright and elegant, and the color pallet is mint and gold. (We have carried the mint and gold color pallet throughout the apartment to give a sense of flow and continuity. You want each room to make sense together as a whole.)

Many of the gold items pictured are from Target. (I usually have to be restrained whenever I enter Target. Too much cute. Too much trendy. Ahhh!) I now have gold scissors as well, which are not pictured. As you see different rooms in my apartment, you will almost always find a plant in some corner, whether real or fake. Greenery/florals are a must. The desk lamp is from Ikea and the bulletin boards are simply embellished with scrapbook paper and various Pinterest pins.

Now about that desk and chair. The desk was an old gray desk Billy had for years and the chair was just your standard wood chair. So with the help of some mint and gold paint, this desk and chair went from drab to fab. The gold knobs added a hint of character and class.

The moral of the story is, almost anything can be transformed into something pretty and unique. An old, tired desk can be made beautiful. See the potential in things you already own, or perhaps go thrifting for a unique piece.

I hope you enjoyed the first glimpse into my little home. I’m off to make some green tea and curl up with a good book.