Seasonal Scapes 2016 | Summer

Well hello there, Summer, I thought you’d never arrive!

I hope you’re all able to soak up some extra time with family and friends over this Memorial Weekend like I am!  And, if you’re like me, that means hosting backyard get-togethers.

Wait, you’re backyard isn’t ready for guests, you say?

Don’t panic!  Keep reading for 3 seriously easy, and affordable!, ways to jazz up your outdoor space in time for hosting those summer BBQ’s and bonfires!

1- Refresh your accent pillows and toss in a summer-weight throw for added style

I typically design my backyard areas to reflect the the feel and decor I have going on inside my home, but also love the fun surprises that bright pops of color can bring to outdoor spaces!  There are no rules when it comes to decorating backyard, in my opinion, so go wild and bold if you’re feeling it!

Switching out pillows and throws is hands down the easiest way to refresh a space, both indoors and out, and make it feel new and inviting.

And, don’t feel restricted to just ‘outdoor’ labeled items made from fabrics such as Sunbrella.  Often times I choose indoor pillows and coat them with a Water Repellent spray like Rust-Oleum’s NeverWet before using.   Keep in mind though that it’s still recommended to bring them in each night.

 

2- Setup a designated ‘serving’ area for beverages and food items with outdoor safe serving ware in a coordinating color

AWellDressedLife by Jaime Spencer

I love shopping HomeGoods’ selection of seasonal items!  They always carry pretty collections of melamine and shatterproof serving ware in fun colors and styles.  And at the typical price point of $2.99/glass, they’re totally affordable, too!

Also, if you don’t already own an apothecary style beverage dispenser, you’re missing out.  I’ve collected several over the years and use them every time I entertain- year round.  They really jazz up your drink selection and look so much more put together over just sitting out basic pitchers of tea or lemonade.  Toss in a decorative tray and you’ve rounded out a simple, but thought out beverage station!

 

3- Ambient lighting

I’m a huge fan of the cafe light trend.  The kits are easily found at any retailer that carries seasonal outdoor decor like Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and AtHome Stores, and pretty simple to install.  If you don’t have a structure overhead to attach them to- like a pergola or low hanging trees, a great alternative is using eye hooks (from the exterior of your home) to posts or tall rods positioned out in the yard.  For easy DIY tutorials, check out these posts from Bright July, Blue i Style – or for a more permanent, commercial take on this look, see Gray House Studio’s amazing project!

Or, if you’re down to the final hour before guests arrive, strategically scattered outdoor lanterns are a quick way to add lots of visual interest to your entertaining area!  I stock up on the battery operated candles made specifically for outdoors- meaning they’re made of plastic, NOT wax!, like 99% of BOC’s.  Trust me, the wax versions last about a day under the hot sun so make sure to read the packaging to confirm their material!  The plastic versions can be somewhat hard to find, but I’ve spotted them at Pier One recently.  My favorite brand, however, is the Luminara that I buy from Pottery Barn (along with the remote!) for their realistic flame.


** GIVEAWAY Alert**

My good friends over at Lauren Nicole Designs are giving away the gorgeous Mercury Glass Hurricane with LED lights ($60 value!) pictured above, far right!  This is a perfect addition to your summer entertaining setup and who doesn’t love the Mercury Glass trend! To enter, all you have to do is comment on their blog post today (Monday 5/30/2016).


And for more Summertime inspiration, head over to see what these sweet girls are doing, too!

 

Happy entertaining, ya’ll!

Derby Garden Party

I’m thrilled to finally be able to post about the over-the-top shoot I was invited to participate in by my dear friend, Sarah Knepp of Sarah Sofia Productions!

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Who wouldn’t have a fabulous time partying in these gorgeous hats provided by Dee’s– straight from Louisville, of course!

 

 

And how about this ah-mazing new friend I made!  I was dead set on bringing this sweet girl, Sybil, home with me after hanging out with her all afternoon.

(The hubs quickly vetoed my idea)

 

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But what I did manage to sneak into the house were a few of these too-good-to-eat decorated cookies from Edible Art Cake Shop – right here in the QC!

 

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Head over to Sarah Sofia Productions to check out the rest of our amazing shoot with the talented Miss Andi Perullo!

 

Vendors

Venue & Horses: Breezy Meadows Farm

Photography: Andi Perullo de Ledesma Photography

Planning, Coordination, Design, Peach Mint Julep, Décor DIY, FoodSarah Sofia Productions

Hand Painted Invitation & Betting Cards: Paperie Off Park

Tables, Linens, Chairs, & Silver Platters: Classic Party Rentals 

Dresses:  LaRoque

Mini Desserts: Edible Art Cake Shop

Macarons: Treehouse Macarons

Flowers: The Flower Diva

Hats: Dee’s Designer Hat’s & Fascinators

Curated Art: Christenberry Collection (Meredith Christenberry)

Personalized Cheers Y’all Mason Jars: Shutterfly

Personalized cocktail napkins: Tiny Prints

Petite Blossom Cups – Springtime & Gold Mini Square Trays: Via Blossom

Printables: Hostess With The Mostess

Models: Jaime Spencer – A Well Dressed Life , Kristen Shaeffer –Every Chic Way, Elise Houston – Her Heart and Home and Dominique DeLaney – Comfy Cozy Couture

Pink and gold plates & pastel vintage glasses: Anthropologie

White dinner plates & white horse head statue: HomeGoods

Wooden crates, Picture Frames & Pink Glass Cake Stand: Michaels

Limited Edition Derby Bow Tie: Vineyard Vines

Gold Horse & Jockey Figure, Plastic Horse Figures, & Mini Plastic Horse and Jockey Figures: Amazon

Mini Cake Stands, Straws & Oh Joy Spring Collection Plate: Target

 

 

One Room Challenge 2015: Week 6: REVEAL!

EEK!  Talk about bringing up feelings of showing up to middle school without your homework!  That’s exactly how I felt come last Thursday when my ORC wasn’t quite ready for revealing.  Don’t get me wrong, I had all of the details lined out and (the main) installations were complete, but I could not get desirable photos with all of the nasty weather we’ve had lately.  Total bummer!

So, without further delay- I present you with my much brighter, and a bit glamourpuss, home office reveal!

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I love the brightness that the white board+batten brings to the room, especially since the dark bookcases could have easily darken this space more than I would have like.

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These Ikea Ribba frames were a no brainer for their size (appx 20×20) and fantastic price point (they started out at $19.99 each when I started buying, but dropped to $14.99 by the time I purchased the last 5- yasss!)

To keep costs down, when I ordered my prints from Shutterfly, I chose the 11×14 size, instead of the 16×20 that would have actually been the size needed to properly fit the Ribba’s matting.  The price difference was about $7 per print (times 8 photos = enough to purchase several accessories)!  To make up for the gap, I used simple gold cardstock from Michael’s, cut out the centers to give me a 1.25″ border and mounted them to the back of the included mats.  It also added a nice pop of metallic gold so it was a win/win!

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I fell in love, first, with this cute acrylic trinket box with a stunning pink agate on top (Hobby Lobby) and would end up carrying the pink and agate theme throughout the room.  What are the odds that Target has a Christmas Collection that includes agate ornaments?!  I snagged two pink ones and simple ornament displays (from Hobby Lobby’s Christmas section and spray painted gold) to hang them from.  And, my office wouldn’t be complete without Paisley Girl’s stash of treats 🙂

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This 9-drawer filing console was a part of my old furniture collection and started off black.  I did some research on ‘no sanding’ and found several tutorials that recommended priming first with Zinsser Cover Stain.  Two coats of that, followed by two coats of BM Paper White (the lighter shade), BM Harbor Gray for the stripe and gold craft paint for the dip-dyed effect.  I finished it off by applying metallic gold drafter’s tape (found in the drafting aisle of HB) to outline the color blocking- MUCH easier that trying to paint all of those straight lines!

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The top pulls are also fro HB and I ordered the 6 ring pulls from Home Depot and covered them with my favorite gold foil spray paint (Krylon Foil Metallic from my Hobby Lobby).

Can we talk about these window trimmings?!  Get all of the deets on the custom made rod and info on the panels here.

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Hobby Lobby seemed to be my go-to for so much of the room makeover- I swear they’re not paying me, I just found almost everything I needed in one place.  SCORE!  See the full HB shopping list, as well as the others, at the bottom of this post.

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Styling the bookshelves was so much fun!  I can’t believe I found so many agate-inspired pieces, especially this framed one!

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The storage boxes made for an even mix of pretty and practical.  The grey and ivory fabric covered ones are all Ikea, so super budget friendly, too.

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I hope you enjoyed watching this home office makeover as much as I did doing it.  I love my new space and it brings so much cheer to my workdays!

 

-Source List-

Hobby Lobby:

Gold hanging Sunburst Mirror | Greenery | Bookshelf Artwork (all 4 framed pieces) | Pink Agate Bookends | Gold Pineapple Bookends | Mini Gold Sunburst Mirror | Acrylic/Agate Trinket Box | ‘T ‘Drawer Pulls

Target:

Pink Tufted Stool | Gold Turtle Trinket Box | Agate Ornaments

Ikea:

Grey Bookcases | Grey Custom Desk Pieces | Grey and Ivory Fabric Covered Storage Boxes | Ribba Gallery Frames

HomeGoods:

Silver Leafed ‘O’ Ring Lamp | both White Orchid Arrangements | Tulips | White Quilted Leather Work Chair | Fuschia Nailhead Storage Box | Gold Tower Candleholder | Decorative Gold-lettered File Folders & Stationary

ZGallerie:

‘Paris’ Storage Books | Seafoam Lotus Tealight Holder

Misc:

Gold ‘Thumb’ Bowl :: Tiffany&Co

 

One Room Challenge 2015: Week 5

Hello Week 5!

Things are finally starting to heat up around here as the styling portion of our makeover begins!

This week I hung our custom lucite-inspired acrylic curtain rod and drapery panels.

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I have to give credit to Kris (one of my favorite bloggers) over at Driven by Decor for her amazing post on this very same project.  She credits Grace from A Storied Style for her inspiration to tackle this DIY as well providing a great tutorial (found here). Fortunately for those of us that have since followed in Grace’s lucite-loving footsteps, she’s already done the majority of the research on this project for us.  Online, she found Nationwide Plastics– a company that sells acrylic rods for much less than any retail version I’ve been able to find to date. She provides excellent details on the various options for rod types, lengths, and sizes as well as their contact information here (FYI- while you can email them for a quote, they ask that you call in to place the order for credit card security safety).

Based on Grace and Kris’s fantastic recommendations, I too went with a 1 1/2″ cellcast acrylic rod in the longest single run available- 8′ long (NP will cut the rods to any length for you at no additional charge should you need yours shorter.  However, if your window requires a rod longer than 8′, you will simply order two rods cut at 1/2 the needed width each and butt them together at the center bracket as Kris did).  With s/h, my rod ran right about $100- A far cry from those $500-$700 rods trending in all of the magazines!

Also following suit, I ordered the same brass supports (3 of the 1.5″ OD polished brass railing brackets) from BuyRailings.com (sourced by Kristin of The Hunted Interior) and choose the matching flush endcaps from there, too.  Why try to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to, right?!  Thanks ladies for all of your fancy leg work!

While I searched high and low for inexpensive brass/gold hardware, I came up empty on finding ones large enough to fit a 1.5″ diameter rod in a price point I was comfortable with.  Eventually I just settled on these simple satin nickel ring clips from Lowe’s and spray painted them with my favorite metallic gold paint (Krylon Foil Metallic from my Hobby Lobby). That particular Krylon spray paint is a dead ringer for the polished brass brackets and matched to a T!  (My favorite matte gold spray paint can be found here).

The super chic striped taffeta panels where a steal from Overstock, but are now out of stock.  However, you can still find them through Wayfair.

One Room Challenge: Week 3

Welcome back for the Week 3 progress update of our Home Office Makeover.  If you missed the first two weeks of my ORC, you can quickly catch up here:  Week 1  |  Week 2!

This week came with very little glitz or glam- matter of fact, NONE.  We assembled our Ikea pieces, glued and screwed them together and set everything up to arrange- no fancy pants pretty stuff going on over here this week.  But, our 2nd largest project was complete, so there’s that…

Early on, I fell in love with the Liatorp Collection from Ikea for it’s lines and (gasp!) beautiful grey color option.  I knew I could use this, coupled with another collection from there, to custom build the perfect workstation I’ve been waiting for since we bought this house.

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Because I wanted to create an ‘L’ workstation with tables, I knew I’d need to come up with a storage plan since I’d be losing all of my drawers.  I purchased 2 of the Liatorp bookcases– to flank each side and style with cute storage boxes.  The bookcase assembly was simple and no alterations were needed.

The desk was the main DIY project.  To create the ‘L’, we used two of the matching Linnmon table tops and legs– 1 of the ‘Small‘ and 1 ‘Large‘.

Here’s the layout plan:

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First, we started by laying everything on the floor and arranging the pieces as they should go, essentially making a ‘T’ with the two table tops.  I had the hubs rip the smaller top, length ways, so that it would match the depth of my bookcases (appx 13.5″ deep).

Since the table tops are virtually hollow (particle board only along the edges and the centers filled with a cardboard honeycomb), we needed to add stability at the seam.

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For that added support, he cut a piece of plywood to brace the two tops at that weakest point.  He pre-drilled holes and inserted anchors for additional ‘grab’ through that interior honeycomb.   *The rough edge you notice above won’t be seen as it’s the side that will butt up against the wall = no need for any fancy fixing.

We propped everything up on soda cans (shout out to Sun Drop!), then glued the seam where the two tops intersect.  [I found that the Gorilla Wood glue worked perfectly.]  Once dry, I added a nice layer of glue where the plywood will sit, laid it down and screwed it all together.

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Just to be safe, I allowed the ‘T’ to sit overnight and cure.

 

The next day, we installed the legs (2 at the front corners of the small top and 2 at the far end of the long, large top) and anchored it to the wall between the bookshelves using L-brackets.

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Come back next week for some far more visually appealing photos as I transform our tired, old black filing console into a chic one of a kind piece!

 

One Room Challenge 2015: Week 1

Holla!  That time of year has finally come around again for the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE™ and I’m so excited to be participating in the linking party!

Linda from Calling it Home has once again put together an awesome group of 20 interior designers, decorators and bloggers with one major goal- transforming 1 room in only six short weeks. They will be updating their progress every Wednesday (click over to Linda’s blog if you miss any), and then join the rest of us on Thursdays! ORC-LP-250x183

I’ve been anxiously preparing our next big project to align with the Fall ORC and I’m so happy to share our progress along the way with you.  Choosing which room to makeover was simple.  I couldn’t stand our Home Office in it’s current state even one more day!  Since I work from home, having to spend 8+ hours in this space everyday, by golly, it needs to be gorgeous!  How else am I supposed to get through my work day lol.

Also, since the office is the first room you see from the front door,  I feel ultra compelled to make it just as beautiful as it is functional.  What we started with was just a boring 12×12 empty room, still sporting contractor beige paint and lacking, well, everything!  The only real design element that exists is the french doors- thank goodness for those!

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Pardon Our Mess (I was so anxious to get started that I didn’t even stop to take ‘real’ before photos)


Before Collage

I originally outfitted the space with all of black office furniture from our previous home (the Oxford Collection from HomeDecorators.com).  And while it couldn’t NOT work in this new space, it truly wasn’t adding much either.  It had to go, along with all of the other miscellaneous items that don’t ‘go’ in any other room so they’ve been housed in this makeshift storage room-slash-office (don’t judge me, you know you have one of those rooms, too).

I began my design planning process based around a more functional work station that both my husband and I could use in tandem (we’ve had two separate desks until now and it just doesn’t ‘look’ the best).  Since I do work from home, I definitely need functionality to the max, but since he simply docks his laptop and checks a few emails each evening, he can work with much less fluff.  I’ve tossed around the idea of custom built-ins, but think we can achieve a similar look by altering some off the shelf items.  More on that later.

If you’ve read even a single post from me, it will be no surprise that I chose a color scheme that includes… wait for it… grey!  gasp, I know!  But this time, I’m adding in lots of gold, ivory and (husband willing) pops of fuchsia.OB-Home Office Makeover

I don’t know about you, but this mood board makes me giddy!  I love it all and hope the real thing turns out just as fabulous.

If you want to follow along, here is a run down of what’s to come:

  • Week 1:  Introduction and Design Plans (yay, you’re here!)
  • Week 2:  Painting, Wallpapering and Constructing a Board+Batten Wall
  • Week 3:  Designing and Building a Semi-Custom Workstation
  • Week 4:  Up-cycling Existing Pieces with Paint and new Hardware
  • Week 5:  Custom Window Dressings
  • Week 6:  The BIG REVEAL!

 

Wish me luck!

DIY- Industrial Chic Lighting Fixture

Back in February- yes, I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile- we churned out a pretty cool DIY project that I had my heart set on since choosing an Industrial Chic scheme for our Mancave project.  I love how it turned out and I’m excited to show you how to create one, too!

Industrial Light Fixture via AWellDressedLife

Like many of our home improvement projects, this one started out as an idea in my head- which grew into a sketch on paper (mainly so I could more adequately explain the inner workings of my brain to my not-always-so-enthusiastically-supportive ‘Handyband’ [handyman/husband]).  I wanted a statement lighting piece- since it’s hanging over the longest sectional on the planet- {seriously! It’s over 120″ long}- in hopes of making the sofa appear more anchored and intentional.

And, since this is in our bonus room with partially slanted ceilings, I wanted to play up on the slant instead of allowing it to run the show.  So, in lieu of attaching the light bar to the wall, we drilled right into the ceiling (nerves of steel!).  This raised the feel of that slanted portion and also allowed for longer pendant cords.

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I need to point out that this project could be done two ways- hardwired and plug-in.  I chose the plug-in route for saving time and money.  This tutorial is for the plug-in method.

Supplies Needed:

*Depending on the size of light bar you’re creating, the piping items will vary

Pipe- Long Runs (we used 2)

Floor Flanges (we used 3- 1 on each end and 1 in the center)

Nipples (for returns to the ceiling, 3)

90 degree Elbows (2)

Sekond Cord Sets (Ikea, 7)

Ottava Light (Ikea)

Assortment of Metal and Cage Shades (Lowe’s- I used thesethese and these)

Power strip (with enough plugs for the amount of pendants you have)

Zip ties

Spray Paint (optional)

Light Bulbs (Lowe’s- I chose these)

supplies

We started out by deciding how long we wanted the lighting bar to be- again, wanting it to be significant enough to anchor the sofa beneath it.  I went with 60 some odd inches, 1/2 the length of the sofa, and then found the center above it.  (That center mark will be where we cut into the wall to feed the cords- but we’ll get to that in a bit.)

Since galvanized pipe is only available “off the shelf” in certain lengths, we made it easier on ourselves by butting up two long runs with a T flange (that will be anchored into the ceiling at the center point).

pipe segments

After spray painting all of the piping pieces, we laid them all out on the floor and assembled them.  I used Rust-Oleum in Soft Iron Flat. Then, with the help of another set of hands, the fully assembled piece was held up to the ceiling while I marked the holes for the floor flanges.

Holes were drilled and anchors where installed. Notice the vacuum attachment used while drilling- HUGE mess saver! holes drilled

hung pipe

Once the bar was hung, we cut through the planked wall and into the attic space on the other side, creating an entry point for all of the cording (more on the technical stuff in a bit).

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Now it was time for me to get busy wrapping the excess cording of the light kits around the piping bar.  There’s really no right or wrong way of doing this, I suppose.  I just wrapped until I liked the appearance- you just need to ensure you leave enough loose ‘tail’ for it to reach the center, through the wall opening and plug into the power strip.cord wrapping details

I started on the far left end, wrapping pendant number 1 first.  When I got it hanging at the length I wanted- and the excess cord looking the way I liked- I ran the tail along the backside of the bar and zip tied it into place (just temporary until I get #2 started- I cut them off when finished).  I started wrapping #2 around the bar and tail of #1.  Once I had it at the varied height that looked right to me, I did the same zip tie method and moved onto #3.

After #3, I skipped the center pendant (#4) and moved straight to the opposite end, continuing with pendant #7, and working my way backward towards the middle.  Once all 6 of the side pendants were finished, I started hanging the center light.  I worked in this order so that the center cord would be used to wrap around all 6 other cords and secure them to the bar neatly.  Once finished, I fed each cord- one by one- through a wall plate (painted to match the plank wall) and then into the hole while the hubs was pulling from the attic side.

He went one step further and changed out the light switch on the room side, too and wired it up so that the one switch will control the power strip on the attic side (so it acts just like a hardwired lighting fixture- more about that below). 

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One thing I really wanted in this design was for my center pendant to be beefier than the others with lightweight shades.  I wasn’t able to find one (that I was willing to pay the big money for), so I flipped when I came across this Ottava light while shopping at Ikea (only $34.99!)!  The caveat is that it’s a true lighting fixture meant to be hardwired.  No worries, though!  Just dig the guts out and run a light kit through it!  It now appears just like the other pendants and no one is the wiser.

Just know that in order to get the electrical plug through the top part of an Ottava, you’ll need to use wire snips and it may not leave the pretties metal behind.  This wasn’t a big deal for me as mine is hung high and no one will ever see the top.  Just FYI.

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Ok, now this is were it gets technical…

Next to the attic access door, the hubs altered the wiring of the existing single light switch in order to create a dual switch.  This gives us the ability to turn the light bar on and off as if it were hardwired.

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On the attic side, we hung a 6-plug* power strip on the wall next to where we cut into it through the planks, and plugged it into a new outlet he ran from the new dual switch on the other side.  Luckily, my husband has been running electrical work for years, but if you’re not familiar with it, I’d recommend hiring a professional.

details of attic side wiring*I wasn’t able to find an 8-plug power strip so I opted for a 6-plug.  Obviously, with 7 pendants, this left me with one cord short so it earned it’s own spot on the new receptacle alongside the power strip plug (see the white and black cords in diagram 3 above) 

Further details…

  • In deciding the length of each pendant, make sure you double and triple check what it will be like while sitting underneath- you definitely don’t want anyone banging their heads while finding their seat.

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  • Also, I went with Edison-style bulbs in Amber to continue with the industrial-chic vibe in this room- they’re super cool IMO and give a nice warm glow.  PS- I found them in the pendant/shade aisle of Lowe’s- not in the light bulb aisle as I would have assumed.
  • The cage shades are originally a ‘French Bronze’ color so I spray painted them with Rust-Oleum Antique Nickle Flat.

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More reveals of the Bonus Room/Mancave coming soon!