Goldilocks' Gold: The Less Than $5 Secret For Glamorizing Thrift Store Finds and Anything At All

All that glitters is gold—but why does that gold always have to be so yellow or brassy?

Nailing down the right tone of gold paint reminds of highlighting my hair—it’s a rarity when my roots don’t leave the salon too brassy, yellow or grey and washed out. That’s probably because my porous hair is screaming for a conditioning treatment, but we’ll tackle that another day.

From someone who has tried every paint under the sun [where you’ll actually find me spraying my latest thrift find], the ever-elusive beautifully-toned gold has always seemed out of reach.

For awhile I was a fan of adhesive gold leafing, but my leaf-flaked-floors and fingernails speak for themselves when they tell you that they’ve had enough of that mess.

Having fallen in love with the silver foil spray paint you’ve heard me go on and on about, I figured the gold version of its silver sister would be a no-brainer.

Here’s a glance at the silver foil spray paint in action on a Salvation Army candlestick and Bertha the skull. Nobody can stop her silver shine. Am I right?


The gold version of this foil paint, however, was a total letdown—super brassy and unattractive.

I’d given up on my ‘Goldilocks’ gold until I found two very unique frames at a garage sale that were in need of a refresh. Aside from knowing I’d replace the pictures, I wanted to preserve the gold if [and only if] I could brighten it up with a tone I actually liked.

Back to the drawing board I went, purchasing quuuite a few options at Michael’s and conducting a scientific, Breaking Bad-like experiment on my office floor.

Then, I found it—the Goldilocks gold.

Hang tight for the pic replacements, but directly below, check out the paint comparison.

Side note: I’m enamored with the metallic cowhide rug underneath the frames I recently bought with a birthday gift card. You know my metallic cowhide obsession if you’ve read my pillow dupes.

 LEFT: the original gold of the frame. Right: matching frame painted with  ArtMinds Brushed Metallic in Champagne Gold .

LEFT: the original gold of the frame. Right: matching frame painted with ArtMinds Brushed Metallic in Champagne Gold.

Brighter and much more glamorous, right? It’s the perfect gold for modernizing and glamorizing practically anything, but it especially highlights antiques that are ready for a rejuvenation.

As I mentioned, I only brushed on one light coat to avoid sacrificing too much of the frame’s intricacy and dimension. Though it appeared more yellow than I anticipated during the application process, once it dried, it was just right.

Here’s a snapshot of one of the finished frames and art pieces. I’ll reveal my latest gallery wall soon on the blog so you can see the full effect.

One more sneak peek of the gold in action—painted on [only half, for comparison] an antique mirror I found at my favorite consignment shop.

Get your Goldilocks gold and get to work! XO

The Easy 5-Part Picture Recipe for a Gallery Wall that Wows

This should probably just be called ‘the 5 Parts to a Gallery Wall that Won’t Make You Gouge Your Eyes Out,’ but we’ll go with a more subtle one.

I Googled ‘gallery wall trend’ for kicks, but I wasn’t prepared for so much animosity channeled towards a group of inanimate objects. Headlines screeched why they’re the ‘worst,’ why the trend is ‘outdated’ and why it needs to be ‘over for good.’ Most articles argue big wall art is back to stay.

Translation: people are tired. They naively saw a Pinterest image of a floor-to-ceiling statement gallery wall and thought ‘I definitely have enough generic family pictures and frames laying around the house to replicate this tonight.’ Until the next thing they knew they were rocking back and forth on the floor in the fetal position, begging someone to finish it for them. The horror.

I’ll admit—I had a little frustration of my own when I embarked on a gallery wall for the made over guest room. I knew I wasn’t one for the perfect grid look in that I didn’t want all the frames to be sized the same or aligned perfectly, so I didn’t fixate too much on that. I also knew I wanted, for the most part, an overall modern, abstract look—not one full of sentimental memories.

But I wasn’t without struggles. I had a little mental back and forth [if that’s a thing—could also just be called talking to yourself] while establishing the right balance of femininity / masculinity among the pictures. I wanted each piece to have its own personality—all of which would contribute to an edgy end look.

However, struggles included, I wholeheartedly feel the gallery wall is what anchors the guest room and gives it an identity, making it feel cohesive, dimensional and *finally* complete. My struggles = your secrets. You’ve just got to be willing to execute a simple 5-part recipe.

What is that recipe? Is it gluten-free? It’s the 5 types of pictures combined that finally satisfied my perfectionistic personality. If they can please me, they can certainly please you.

Why 5? Because 5 picture selections is the threshold for that fetal position scenario we discussed earlier. You could always add more [if you dare] on top of and below the middle picture if you choose. I ended up really liking it without though! It’s balanced but not painfully symmetrical.

Here are the 5-parts of a gallery wall that wows

More tips for preventing gallery wall woes:

  • Don’t obsess over measurements too much. See what frames you have [like the matching silver frames I had that were black before spray paint] and what frame sizes will suit your space before you go duplicating exact measurements of another gallery wall.

  • Randomize frame color[s] and picture mats. See how only one has a mat in this group?

  • Hate glares? Remove the glass! I don’t miss mine at all. With the exception of the teal abstract piece with glass built into its frame [can’t promise I won’t purposely break it soon], I removed all glass. I prefer the matte look over a shiny, ‘preserved’ glass aesthetic that can detract from the image. Unless a guest dumps a glass of red wine upside-down onto the pictures while jumping on the bed, I should be good—at which point there are probably bigger concerns to deal with anyway. Bonus: they photograph better without glass, too.

Get to work on that gallery wall! XO

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The Origins of a Classy, Sassy, & Thrifty Eclectic Wall Shelf

But first—let me take a #shelfie.

I was never much of a wall shelf enthusiast until my husband started rubbing off of me. He’s developed an affinity for all things wood that can add a custom feel to our home—including the molding and windowsills he’s been installing all over the place. Do yourself a favor and do NOT attempt to cover up his newly acquired passion with curtains. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

Once we’d hung a pair of floating shelves in our bedroom nook, I began to understood the opportunity presented before me: an eternal stage for my ever-vignette-loving heart to style with all the random finds I accumulate. Organized chaos dipped in gold, if you will.

Cut to—and these bad boys are now in four rooms in our home, including the gallery wall I’m currently working on in my office. I can already tell I’m going to love it just a little more than the others, much like my parents love me slightly more than my twin brother.

However, taking center stage today are the shelves hung above our kitchen bar cart. One of my missions behind this blog is to empower others to look beyond the belief that the perfect design aesthetic is a list of predetermined trendy items you have to spend a small fortune on.

Because interior decorating is so incredibly visual, I thought I would show—rather than tell—you more about what’s behind the curtains [that are NOT covering up the molding, I might add] of my latest styled floating shelves.

The only piece I didn’t already have was this beautifully abstract and obscure Society6 print—which is what gave me the fall-inspired color palette I was craving in our kitchen. It’s actually a poster [cheaper than their small prints] that’s been trimmed down to fit a frame I had.

Considering I made a few of the items myself, I know it’s a little quirky [with a lot going on]. That’s exactly what I love about the platform floating shelves give you—one so intricately curated that no one else is going to have one quite like you.

Sidenote: floating shelves would probably be the 16th element I’d add to my 15 Timeless + Glamorous Elements for the Redecorating Addict, but I like the number 15, so there’s that.

Now let’s take a closer look at the original home of each wall shelf item that I’m collectively calling ‘The Origins of a Sassy, Classy & Thrifty Eclectic Wall Shelf.’ Is that how SEO works?

Takeaway: don’t judge a wall shelf by its cover. You get the point.

Get to work! XO

Items below contain affiliate links, meaning if you click or purchase these specific items, I could make a small commission. I only include items I love and would purchase myself!

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3 Design Dupes for the Pillow Obsessed

Three dupes walk into a bar.

I’ve got nothing—except possibly your attention?

A dupe, which I can only guess was coined by a fellow millennial, is short for duplicate. It's long been used in the world of makeup artistry. 

The philosophy is this: why buy a high-quality product at a high price when you can buy a replica of equal [or possibly even better] quality for a satisfyingly lower price?

Let’s also consider the real meaning of the word dupe: to deceive. The perfect segue for this post.

When it comes to high-end design, there seems to be a misconception that specific pieces MUST be included even if they absorb a lot of the budget. Don't be deceived by this. Chances are there's a dupe or two floating around that you could fall even harder in love with. 

The dupe mentality works wonders for pillow hoarders like me. For the sake of full disclosure, the pillow dupes I'll share below are just pillow covers.

That's the best kept secret for decorating addicts that are constantly 'inspired' [triggered]. New covers, rather than pillows, keep the price low and the closet from raining down plush boulders. 

Shall we?

Some - not all - of these include affiliate links, meaning I could make a tiny commission at no extra cost to you if you click or purchase them. I personally own these dupes, so you know I love 'em!

Metallic Speckled Cowhide Dupe

I'm obsessed with anything metallic cowhide, but I've always admired this simultaneously neutral, rustic and glam textile from afar since even Home Goods will probably run you upwards of $60-80 for one throw pillow.

That's why my ever-pillow-loving heart start racing when I stumbled upon a $30 metallic cowhide pillow cover at Hobby Lobby [knowing I could get it for $15 with their daily coupon].


I wasn't even aware that Hobby Lobby had  a pillow cover section [located near the upholstery fabric] until I got lost looking for something else. Hobby Lobby has a daily coupon for 40% or 50% off one regularly priced item. If the cover isn't regularly priced that day, chances are it's because it's being featured for 50% off that week anyway. 

I paid $30 for the pair, which is a nice alternative to $438 for two of the Le-Coterie version that I CANNOT believe some people pay $219 for. Please excuse me while I go loudly scream into one of my many throw pillows. Okay - I'm better now. 

The quality of these covers is impressive. I think I actually prefer the dupe because it's brighter and less masculine. Walmart has a metallic cowhide that includes the actual pillow. Go 'head, Walmart!

Let's check out how these bad boys are looking in the recently revamped guest room which I've yet to reveal: 


Deep Teal Velvet Dupe

Up next: deep teal velvet dupes. I can't say enough good things about either of these [see teal and velvet-obsessed visual above], so I'll just leave this here. 


Again, I prefer the color of the double dupes. They're pictured above in the guest room.

$149 for the One Kinds Lane version vs. a set of 2 for $13.99. Thaaat's a toughie.

Wild Zebra Print Dupe

Ahhh… zebra print. This trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere on the things-your-room-needs-to-be-Instagramworthy list, so some might decide to splurge here. I, on the other hand, will proudly and tightly clutch my $12.99 dupeUPDATE: it’s now $7.99!


The fabric is thick, textured and very high-quality. I promise it's not the ultra-bright-white-ghetto-dorm-zebra-print you're picturing. Not that I'd know aaanything about that. At 20 x 20, it's also a little bit larger than the standard throw pillow, so it definitely creates an impact. 

Let's check out how it looks in the living room.


Hmm. Maybe there is such a thing as too many pillows. 


Get to work! XO