Fall Decor Preview

I love Summer, and believe me I am not rushing it along, but September is by far my favorite month of the year and we are just days away from being there. Often as hot as August, the weather in September is much more manageable with cooler nights and less humidity. It’s the best of both Summer and Fall, all wrapped into one!

My home always shows my excitement for Fall decor, and this year will be no different! I definitely have more Fall/Autumn items than any other season, which requires some creative storage but also quite a bit of time for setup. Each year I do everything differently, and that’s all part of the fun! We have an event here the first weekend in September, so my goal is to have everything decorated by then. Fall decor takes a bit of work, but is so versatile and lasts all the way through Thanksgiving. I will just add a few pumpkins/gourds in October and boom! Done!

I have a few areas of my home already set up for Fall, and today I am sharing them to hopefully bring you some inspiration when it’s time to decorate your own home. I will note that I don’t change anything out for Halloween, but that is just my own preference. This year I am really feeling inspired by the neutral tones and I tried to incorporate them as much as possible on my front entryway table. Here are a few photos.


I tried to keep this area fairly simple, as it is highly trafficked by the 1 year old and items are pulled down constantly to be played with. I haven’t really embraced neutral white or brown decor for Fall in the past, but I am experimenting and incorporating it this year. Decorating is an ever evolving hobby!

Next up is my dining room buffet!


I brought in a bit more color to this nook of the home, as this buffet sits right next to the dining room table and that will undoubtedly have some bright displays when I am done with it.

I have recently discovered a company that takes antique pieces and re-purposes them into candles, and I had to have one. This bucket candle is filled with ‘Fall Harvest’ and it’s fitting in just perfectly with my Fall decor!


That’s all the Fall decor I have ready to go as of today! I hope some of this can inspire you for your own decorating this season, and as always feel free to share your photos with us either here or on Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate it!

Happy Decorating!


Spring Front Porch

Happy Spring to all of you!

It’s been a little while since I have had time to get on here and share what we are up to, which consists of a long list of projects that seems to grow by the hour! I feel like the winter was so long, that when spring finally arrived we ran out and attempted to do all of the things. We may have taken on a bit too much all at once, but that just means we have more fun projects to post in the upcoming weeks.

For today, I’m sharing my front porch setup for spring. We still have tricky weather here in Iowa, so unfortunately no live plants are included in my decorating this go around, but hopefully I can add some soon. I’m all about budget friendly decorating, and today’s post includes just one purchase, a $10 rug. So let’s get to it!

We will start with the left side of the door…


Recently, I picked up these ultra heavy duty closet doors (that look like shutters) for free on Facebook Marketplace. I knew I wanted to used them on the front porch, since their weight would help withstand the wind/storms of the Spring weather here in the Midwest. I went through my garden supplies and found these steel buckets from a few years back (they are originally from Lowe’s), and filled them with dirt and faux succulents. Real plants would be ideal, but since we had a freeze warning (and snow!) as little as a week ago, I had to hold off for now.


Next, we have this vintage water pump and wash tub I picked up at a flea market a couple years back. Simple!


A neighbor was cleaning out their home and had an old red metal star they gifted to me, which I simply spray painted black and hung on the door. This white door is not our permanent front door, just one we used to secure the house during construction. Somehow we have lived here three years without replacing it, but Adam assures me this is the year the official front door will be installed! Until then, we have this plain one to deal with. And in this photo you can see my ‘home sweet home’ rug from Target.


On to the right side of the door, which includes more faux plants, and a very old milk jug that is epic heavy. I also included my ‘hello’ metal sign from JDH Iron Designs, I used a few command strips and stuck it right to the stone.


Alright, here is the full photo of the entire front porch! I am enjoying the little pop of red from the water pump, and the simplicity of the rest of it. I hope this post has brought you some inspiration for your own front porch and as always, thank you for stopping by today!

Happy decorating!


How To Clean Up Your Vintage Glass Bottles

Today I am writing from SUNNY and WARM (ish) Iowa! I can’t tell you how excited I am to not have to brace my face for the cold every time I open a door. Today’s post goes along with all things ‘spring cleaning’ which is the theme at my house these days! We have been doing all those yearly tasks, cleaning out dryer vents and bathroom fan motors…safety first!

If you have been following along you know I love everything budget friendly, and therefore I find a lot of my decor pieces at thrift shops. I love the hunt for a good deal, and I recently came across a collection of medicine bottles and many were marked $1 . I have a plan to display them in my bathroom (after I re-paint it) and while I love the look of vintage bottles, I noticed some of these had a residue or film on the inside that was taking away from the look.

After a little research, and some trial and error, I came up with a fairly simple method to cleaning some of the residue out of the bottles that didn’t use any harsh chemicals and also didn’t damage them. The end result was not a sparkling clean look, but it’s better than where we started!

Here are a couple before photos to show you what I was working with…


As you can see there was quite a bit of buildup on the inside of these bottles, and it was taking away from their appearance. Here is how I cleaned them up:

  1. Fill them half way with warm water and other half white vinegar

  2. Let them sit on the counter for 24 hours

  3. Rinse well

  4. Fill them completely with white vinegar

  5. Let them sit for another 24 hours

  6. Rinse well and dry

You could repeat this process as many times as you wish to achieve your desired result.

Here are the after photos…again they are not perfect but definitely an improvement!


These bottles are now ready to be added to my collection that I’m working on for the spare bathroom, and of course I will share that cabinet and collection when I get it completed. Now that the weather is nicer, we have been working outside most days but I will find time for the indoor projects again soon!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today, and feel free to pin this post for later use!


Toy Chest Makeover - DIY

Hi friends! It seems we have found ourselves in an endless cycle of snow days here in Iowa, but I’m using this time to complete all those small projects I never seem to have time for. Today I’m going to share with you my most recent project, a quick and easy makeover of a children’s toy chest.

My husband found this toy chest on Facebook marketplace a few months back, and it had been sitting in our garage as a kind of ‘rainy day’ project. Well recently I found myself with some free time due to terrible weather, and decided to give it a quick makeover.

Here are a couple before photos of the top and sides of the piece.


I removed the hardware that attached the top to the rest of the box and ran a sander over the entire piece to smooth out any rough edges, since a one year old would soon be climbing all over it.

Next, I painted the entire toy chest with some furniture paint and allowed it to dry. The original hardware was a dull brass color, but some black spray paint fixed that!

I decided to add a little DIY stencil to the top piece of the toy chest, and if interested you can see my complete stencil tutorial here.

My ‘stencil’, which is just large font printed on regular paper.

My ‘stencil’, which is just large font printed on regular paper.

Below is an up-close photo of how the stencil turned out, ignore the mess!


After everything was dry my husband was nice enough to put it all back together, and he added a couple rubber stoppers to the inside of the lid to prevent little fingers from being pinched. Overall, it was a quick no-cost makeover and now matches the decor in my daughters room.

Rubber stopper to prevent pinched fingers

Rubber stopper to prevent pinched fingers


That’s it! This project was a little time consuming due to the stencil, but with several days in a row of negative windchill, it seemed I finally had the time to take this on so I went for it!

As always, feel free to follow us on Instagram (@aps_design) for all of our up to the minute projects and behind the scenes antics! :)


My (No-Cost) Entryway Table Decor

Hi all! I have (quite unexpectedly) found myself in the middle of a January heat wave here in Iowa, and that has brought about inspiration to purge all things winter, clean, and organize. Now depending on where you are from, you might not think 50 degrees is a heat wave, but to an Iowan this kind of weather calls for opening windows and doing some spring cleaning!

Now if you follow me on Instagram, you know that recently I tackled the large entryway table to my home and cleared all Christmas decor and started fresh. This table has always been challenging to decorate, partially because it is so large and also due to the rest of my entryway being so bare, making it the focal point for all visitors.

Also, being that I was in a cleaning and purging mood, I didn’t want to have to leave and purchase any decor items and interrupt my motivation so I decided to style the table with only items I had on hand. If you have been following along for a bit you might remember that I took this same ‘no-cost’ approach to my front porch this holiday season and that blog post received the highest traffic of any that I have written, so I know you all enjoy my re-purposing and budget friendly take on decorating! If you missed that post, I will link it here.

OK, let’s get to it!

I tackled this large table in sections, pictured below is the right hand side of the table.

IMG_0513 (1).JPG

Here we have a vintage birdcage that we used as a card holder at our wedding, as well as an old spool (from a friend’s basement clean out), a tray of pine combs, and some twine. Easy!

Up above the birdcage, and on both sides of the table, I have these copper lanterns I purchased years ago at Hobby Lobby, and they are both hanging on iron hooks that were in an old carriage house that we tore down after it sustained wind damage beyond repair. These hooks held the bridles and other equipment for the horses that resided in the barn. You can see an up close picture below.

IMG_0504 (1).JPG

Next up, the left side of the table!

IMG_0505 (1).JPG

This end has quite a collection of miscellaneous items! I have absolutely no idea where the basket is from, I have had it for so many years. I filled it with a metal canister I previously picked up at a thrift store, a distressed mason jar that I made, some wood slices and a wooden sign that I had laying around.

Now for the finishing touches and final picture!

IMG_0509 (1).JPG

Here is the finished table! In the middle I added some additional wooden signs, a small bit of greenery, an old re-purposed shutter and a metal ‘hello’ sign (it’s an entryway after all!).

This metal sign I picked up at JDH Iron Designs down in Waco, Texas when I was there almost two years ago to see the Magnolia Market. If you followed along on the HGTV show Fixer Upper, you might remember that Jimmy Don and JDH Iron Designs made all of the metal signs that were featured in the market and in the finished homes. My sign is even autographed by Jimmy Don! If you ever make it down to Waco I highly recommend visiting his shop. (Not a sponsored post, I just really like his work!)

The actual sawhorse table was built by Adam and APS Construction, I think it might have been the very first piece of furniture he made.

Well, I’m off to take advantage of this warm weather and tackle a few more things outdoors before it returns to January around here! I hope this post has provided you some inspiration for decorating your own home and I will see you guys soon!


Coffee, Tree Trimming, and Christmas Decorating

Hi! Can you believe next week is already Thanksgiving? I still cannot wrap my brain around it. Either way, Christmas decorating is in full swing at my house and while I’m not quite ready to share what I have done so far, I did help a dear friend decorate her home yesterday over some much needed Starbucks, and wanted to quickly share what we did in case some of you are planning on whipping out your holiday items on Thursday night.

You all know I love everything budget friendly, and holiday decorating is no exception. While I do often buy a small item here or there, I reserve most of my décor shopping for after the holiday (or season) to take advantage of those steep discounts. As a result, I often forget what I have from the year before when it’s time to dig it all out of storage again, and this is why I prefer to get all decorations spread out in one place before beginning to place them throughout my home. I often reuse items in a new way than the year prior, or simply put them in a different room to give the illusion of ‘new’, without going over budget.

Ok, lets get to it!

Having an infant on the move, my friend wanted to utilize some higher spaces in her home to place décor that her baby could not get into. She had two shelves on either side of her fireplace/tv area that she wanted to fill, and we also needed to figure out something for her tree to make it somewhat baby friendly.

We tackled the shelving first, and to do so we needed to paint a few mason jars white to go along with her Christmas theme this year. If you need a DIY tutorial on how we did it, click here.

Next, we needed to figure out how to keep the little one out of the Christmas tree. To do this, we used a smaller, 'planter’ style tree that would normally be used on a front porch or as an accent tree. I trimmed most of the red ‘berries’ off of it, since red wasn't really in the color scheme this year. We snagged a $3 tree skirt from the Target dollar spot, an old metal tub that I had laying around, and got to work!

IMG_5155 (1).JPG

The tree base looked a bit ‘empty’ in the large wash bin by itself, so we gathered up other items (ornaments, stocking holders, random things) and filled the wash bin until the base of the tree was no longer visible.

We placed the whole thing on top of an end table, out of reach of little hands.

We finished the look with a metal Christmas tree sign, which was another Target dollar spot deal.

The dollar spot is on point this season!

We had a great time decorating while catching up and spending some time with each other, after all, that's what this season is all about!

Here are some pictures of our finished products! Happy decorating!

6 Low Cost Tips to Decorate Your Farmhouse for Fall

Fall is upon us here in the Midwest and that means it’s time to spruce up the front porch and put out décor! Here are my 6 totally EASY and budget friendly tips :

  1. Get a bale of straw from your local farm store, these are usually around $5 and you can re-use for future years if stored in a cool/dry place

This one is from Theisens!

This one is from Theisens!


2. Grab a couple items around your house that you can repurpose, maybe an old milk can or crate, a bird cage, or wooden tray you were using for something else. Gather all these items together to make it easy to see what you have to work with. REMEMBER: If you are putting items outside make sure they won’t be damaged by the weather or sun!

Old milk can that I found at a flea market, stuffed with some dried grass!

Old milk can that I found at a flea market, stuffed with some dried grass!


3. Buy re-useable décor at the end of the season and save it for next year! My favorite locations for discounts on décor are Hobby Lobby and Target, often items will be up to 90% off after the holiday!

IMG_4676 (1).JPG

4. Take advantage of what nature has provided! Pine cones, dried flowers, dried grasses, branches…the possibilities are endless, and FREE!

Wood slices from a wedding!

Wood slices from a wedding!


5. Rummage/Estate sales: I am always surprised at what people are parting with at rummage, garage, or estate sales. Check your local facebook groups or craigslist!

This apple crate was less than $5 at a local estate sale!

This apple crate was less than $5 at a local estate sale!


6. FREE Printable Décor! Join APS Design’s mailing list for your free FARMHOUSE printable, take it to your local print shop for larger sizes or just print it at home!

IMG_4652 (1).JPG

No time for thrift shopping or scavenging your woods?

No problem! Check out these budget friendly fall items that can be shipped right to your door!

Boom! Done!

Take me to the online things! <——

Disclaimer: the above link contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if an item is purchased, however this never results in an increased cost of the product. The commission earned from affiliate links help pay the fees to keep this blog running.

Now, lets put it all together!