It’s that time of year- turkey and sweet potatoes and pecan pie! Before our family Thanksgiving, I wanted to have our friends over for a Friendsgiving and celebrate the friendships we’re so lucky to have. I love hosting, and I love decorating my house for parties— especially the dining room table.

Pretty tablescapes are one of my favorite things and I’m constantly finding inspiration on Pinterest or in magazines of how I want my table to look for different events. For this year’s Friendsgiving, I wanted a table with a lot of natural elements like greenery and lit candles. I pulled some inspo from one of may favorite bloggers Living With Landyn, if you want to check out her gorgeous table!

I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on table decorations, so was able to be a little thrifty and come up with some inexpensive ways to make this dinner table pop.

table, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving table, tablescape, Southern Style Diaries The lanterns were actually used at my wedding on top of the fireplace mantle, and I got them from an older sorority sister who used them at her wedding. They’ve been through a lot! I used little battery-powered votive candles inside, because our venue was a wooden horse barn and we couldn’t have real flames. I left those little guys in there and just switched them on. 

The real candles were unscented, so we didn’t have an overpowering smell on top of the cooking in the kitchen. I got a set of 20 of these small, white candles from Amazon for $10.99 and I know I can use them at tons of different parties we have! I lit them at 4 p.m. and they burned until my husband blew them out around 10 p.m. They’re surprisingly good quality!


The two little pumpkins are porcelain and from Target’s dollar section. Honestly I would have preferred the real, small pumpkins but Target didn’t have any and I definitely didn’t feel like going to another store…

The greenery is clipped from my mom’s garden. There is no need to buy greenery if you, your family, or your neighbor has a garden! You can clip several stems of greenery off a tree or bush and the tree looks no different. Plus, its free! (just make sure you ask first!) I tried to get a variety of leaves and stems, but I focused on laying the flat magnolia leaves across the table and then adding in the spruces in the more bald areas.



The stone and copper coasters were both gifts- the copper a wedding gift and the stone a Christmas gift from years ago. Here are some similar options for both!

Do you like setting up a pretty table, or are you more a grab-and-go kind of family? Let me know if you try this look!

Happy Thanksgiving/ Friendsgiving y’all!


You always want the places in your house that you’re in most often to look, and feel, the best. My favorite spots in our house are where we gather with our friends and families– in the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. But, there’s one more room I spend a majority of my time… my record room and office. And recently, I got the urge to give that room a makeover.

When we first got settled, we bought a record player and put it in a small room down the hallway. We bought great records, and turned up the volume so we could hear it down the hall. Those were great memories— but eventually, we used that room for something else (a closet) and moved the records, and I combined that room with my sudo-office.

I’m slightly embarrassed to show these before pictures… but one thing led to another and this mess just got out of control!


I knew something had to give. So, I went to HomeGoods and the Dollar Tree and went to work.

Unfortunately, you have to make a mess to organize. First, I took everything out and laid it on the desk. I did a huge clean out, and threw away anything that was old or I didn’t use.

(I’m sorry for the dark pictures. I got the urge to start this makeover in the middle of the night… )
office makeover, office, home, decor


Then, the fun part.  After a day of work, I did it!

I knew I needed several plastic containers to organize eye makeup, foundation, lipsticks, etc. I bought a few in different shapes and sizes to see what worked best, and to keep things a little different.

I had painted these mason jars copper a few years back for my brushes, but they were just too big. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought glass marbles, poured them in the jars to fill the bottoms, and then stuck my brushes in. Viola!

I also bought this rustic little cart, where I put some the containers to keep everything more organized. I also have a few wicker baskets, and I think it looks really cool combined with the plastic containers and my white desk. The desk? IKEA! 

The jewelry holders are both from HomeGoods and also things I had at my parents’ house. The cute, boho rug is also from HomeGoods. Can you tell I’m obsessed?

And that cool green glass bottle? The Dollar Tree!

I hope this post helps you get some ideas to organize your office or desk. If it does, please let me know or send me pictures of your progress. As always, thanks for reading the Southern Style Diaries.



This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own


This weekend I went a little home improvement crazy… but I got so much done! Something I have been wanting to do forever was tile the fireplace surround in our bedroom, and I finally did it. No, I had never tried tiling, but I watched dozens of YouTube videos about it and got the confidence up to try.

We planted boxwoods and sodded our front yard this weekend too, but that’s another story…

Below I will share my process and the tips I learned through the experience. It might be a pain, but you can do it!

Choose your tile

I purchased mine at Lowe’s, but you can buy tile at any home improvement center. Make sure you know what form of tile you want when you go in- do you want uniform, square tiles that you have to individually place? Or do you want tiles arranged in a pattern on a mesh backing? I opted for the second kind, because I wanted a subway tile that has a stacked look.

Knowing what style or color you’re going for before you go to buy will make it so much easier!

tile, fireplace

Plan out your tiling area

The best advice I can give you is what my mom told me: Buy a big piece of cardboard and draw out the area you are planning to tile. Use the exact measurements and outline your area with sharpie, so you can see the edges while you’re laying out your pieces.

Now, lay down your tile! Figure out what pieces need to go where and which ones are going to have to be cut (if any). If you have to cut a few pieces, get a ruler and mark the spot that needs to be cut. I used pencil, but you can use sharpie on the back of the tile too.

While this part is the most tedious of the entire tiling process, I swear to you it’s worth it. You can play around and work out the kinks before it becomes a disaster.

TIP: If you buy your tile at Lowe’s, they will cut it for 25 cents a piece. All together, I got everything I needed cut for under $4, and I had to cut quite a bit. If you have to cut it yourself, you’ll need a wet saw or a tile cutter—- you need a wet saw, which is more expensive, if your tiles are natural stones like marble or granite, otherwise the tile cutter should be fine.

Lay the tile

Clean your surface, clean your surface, clean your surface! I used a vinegar mixture, but any sort of degreaser works fine. Now you’re ready to go!

Now, you can use mortar to lay the tile, but I found that to be a overkill for the small area I was working on. I used adhesive mats by Musselbound- I cut the shape I needed and stuck it to my surface, and then peeled the label off the front to stick my tile. It was the easiest part of the whole process. The sheets come in different sizes and can be cut to fit any area. I highly recommend it!

Now comes the tile. Make sure you know what pieces go where (thanks to your handy layout!) and start placing on the sticky mat (or mortar if you choose to go that route). Lay your tile from the bottom up and start every section from the bottom! A Lowe’s employee told me that, and it made a world of difference. Tiling is different for everyone because of your space, but I think that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

My tiles were on a mesh backing, which was helpful because I could lay a sheet of 5 or so but also pull off one if I didn’t have space for it.



If you used your new BFF adhesive mats, then you don’t have to wait to begin the grouting process. This is unfortunately much messier than I imagined, forewarning.

When you purchase grout, you can buy the separate products to mix together or you can buy it premixed. While premixed came out to be a little pricier, I went with that so I didn’t have to buy an electric mixer and go through the headache of mixing. The premixed comes in different colors, too- I bought white. You’ll also need a few sponges, something to spread with (I used a plastic putty knife) and a grout float.

Here we go! As scary as it is, you just kind of have to do it. I used my putty knife to spread grout on the end of my flout, and started rubbing it across the tiles diagonally, pushing it into the spaces between tiles. Safe bet that this will take longer than you planned for.

After each section, wipe down the tiles with a wet sponge. Try not to wait more than 10 minutes before wiping down an area, or the grout gets stuck on like glue. I learned that the hard way.

Once you’re finished, feel free to give it another wipe down with a clean, damp sponge. (I got the grout all over my fireplace cover, but I am planning to paint it anyway so I wasn’t too concerned.)

You’re finished!

Ah! While it’s a time consuming and labor intensive process, tiling was definitely not the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I bought my tile and planned it out on Thursday, cut it and laid it on Friday, and grouted Saturday. It’s the perfect weekend project, and won’t break your bank! For an idea, here is an approximate value of what the project cost me. It was SO worth it for me, because the fireplace is something I see every day and the tile makes me feel like my home is so much more put together.

$80 tile, $4 cutting, $49 premixed grout, $6 float= about $140



Happy tiling!  

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own


It’s been a while since I made a post on my home, so I thought right now was the perfect time. Everyone is starting to get in spring-cleaning mode, and what’s a better way to change up your space than hanging something new on the walls?

One of my favorite forms of art is old concert posters. I think they are so vintage and classic, but still can look clean and polished if you frame them correctly. Don’t think about your teenage bedroom- think about a funky, new-age loft.

My mom got me five amazing posters from some of my favorite artists in New Orleans… for $1 a piece! She brought them back and helped me frame, and hang, them once we had our hallway painted. (Yeah, she’s an angel.)


Below is how we styled my concert posters, and how you can too!

You’ll need scissors or an X-Acto knife (which will change your life if you don’t have one), a ruler, nails or hooks, and a hammer for the basic framing and hanging. I’ll talk more about the frames below.

First, get a mental image of how you want your posters to look when they make it on the wall. Do you want them scattered in a gallery wall? Or diagonally stacked, like mine? What color room are you hanging them in? This is all important as to the size and color of the frames you will purchase.

Once you figure that out, I suggest buying frames that do not require a mat. It will save you time (and stress) if you can make your poster fit in the frame. My posters were closest to the frame size 11×14– they needed a little trimming for a perfect fit. For the frames, I suggest buying ones that the 4 edges slide off and then slide back on to reconnect. These are perfect!  (via Amazon)

This is how these kinds of frames work: Lay your poster on top of the cardboard that comes with the frame. Trim your poster to the exact size of the cardboard, using your ruler as a straight edge. Then, lay the poster on top of the cardboard and start with one of the the SIDE edges- I’ve found that this makes the rest of the process so much easier. Slide on the side piece, encompassing the cardboard, poster, and glass (or plastic).


Getting started is the hard part- now you just have to add the other three sides! I suggest doing the top piece second, bottom piece third, and adding the other side piece last. Viola! You’re done! (Now, just do that to every poster.)

Arrange your posters

Once you’re finished framing, take the posters to the area you want to hang them in. At this stage, it helps to have another person to help you arrange the frames in the order you want.


Your frames will have some sort of hanging mechanism on the back, probably a small triangle hook. Pencil in where you want the nail to go, and hammer in the nail (a flat hook against the wall will work better if you have the triangle hook attached to your frame). Hang and repeat.

Tip: If you have plaster walls like I do, place a piece of masking take over the penciled spot where you’re planning to hammer. It will prevent your walls from crumbling!

You did it! If you like this look, or use this tutorial, please leave me a comment or photo showing your progress! And if you want more posts like this, let me know in the comments.

Happy decorating!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own


I don’t say renovation lightly- most of the time, a bad room or home can be completely transformed. Not by gutting half of the building or knocking down walls (although sometimes that is necessary), but by paying attention to details. From my experience, I’ve learned that small things like new switch plates and clean baseboards can totally change the look and atmosphere of your space.

My current project, an off-the-bedroom porch, has reminded me of this idea. Here are my top must-haves when giving my space a facelift! 

(ThinkStock Photo)

New fan plugs

 For some reason, this tiny change makes everything look so much cleaner and nicer (probably because the old ones are covered in dust). You can find themed pulls for children’s rooms with butterflies and basketballs, or more decorative ones for subtle detail. 

Buy these at your local hardware store or Lowes for as little as $3.

Pillow covers

 I had pillow stuffings on hand, so I picked up some cute pillow covers at IKEA. The ones I bought have a small green pattern, which make them look like they belong outside. The fabric is also thick, and seems like it can withstand some wear and tear.

You can buy stuffings/covers at any home store, and they can change the look of a couch or a chair in seconds. When you get tired of the color or pattern, just switch the cover. And, the best part about these is, when they start getting dirty you just unzip and throw them in the washer! Easy as pie! 

IKEA sells covers starting at $4, but you can find them at places like Target, WalMart, or Tuesday Morning.


A few plants can change the vibe of any room- inside or out. In my living room, I have a larger plant in the corner with tall leaves in an ornate looking pot. The pot is actually plastic and from a garden shop, but it looks expensive! Big plants are perfect for corners, because there isn’t much else you can do with that space.

Smaller succulents or plants look great on entry tables, shelves, or mantles. Get colored pots for a little more detail! If you can’t seem to keep even the hardiest plants alive, try fake ones. You can often find cute, artificial plants already in decorative pots at TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. And, they’re usually inexpensive! 

Glass jars and vases

I have to admit that I have a slight obsession with glassware (and with decorative bowls, but that’s another story). My favorite ones are made from colored glass- the green, red, and purple look so festive in the fall.

The cool thing about vases and jars are you can use them for so many things. Stick pens or markers in one, flowers in another, and forks in the more stout container. Or, leave them empty and let the colors reflect in the sunlight! These look great on a bar cart or shelf, and can jazz up any side table. 

Hobby Lobby has a good selection, as does IKEA and HomeGoods.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own


The upstairs porch is off of my boyfriend’s man-cave, so it’s safe to say that his messiness spewed out onto the porch. This fall though, I am determined to make that porch my getaway spot! This weekend, I am taking the plunge: I’m going to IKEA.

Some things I am planning to get include pillows, tableware, pots or planters, and décor. I also wouldn’t mind another chair, because there is another side to this porch that has no furniture and is not pictured.

This is a totally blank space- which is exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

I’ve tried to get an idea of what I want the final result to be, and this is what I have currently:


-String lights: Since there is no overhead lighting out here, string lights seemed like the best option. These lights are from years ago at Target- they had been sitting in the basement forever but, low and behold, they are hung now! There is another side to the porch that we didn’t have enough lights for, but Target doesn’t sell these exact lights anymore. I’m either going to have to get a new style of lights for the whole porch or just convince myself to use two separate styles. Stay tuned for that decision.



-Throw: Tuesday Morning (I wouldn’t mind grabbing another, more plush blanket for cooler nights)

-Cushions: Tuesday Morning

-Runner: Bargain Hunt


-Dining table: Courtesy of my brother’s old apartment

-Wicker side table (not pictured): Garage sale


Stay tuned for my post in the coming weeks on what I bought from IKEA and how the transformation goes!

(Oh, and please throw any suggestions or ideas my way. Lord knows I need them.)

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.



My kitchen pantry has been a point of frustration for quite some time. It’s not very big, but the kitchen doesn’t have a lot of cabinet space – meaning that we need to utilize every square inch of the pantry.

The pantry has always bothered me, but in the last few months it got out of control. And I mean, OUT of control – like a hurricane had blown there and somehow missed the rest of the house.

On the last weekend in July, I was determined to clean and organize the pantry. I needed this for my sanity.

Toss or keep?

First, I took everything out. I made piles across the kitchen floor: Keep, trash, storage.

The ‘keep’ pile had things like canned food, chips, snacks, and baking necessities. The ‘trash’ pile was mostly just food items that had expired, plastic containers missing lids, and random things that had somehow made a home in the pantry. The ‘storage’ pile was mostly holiday decorations for the dining room, which belong in our Christmas boxes in the basement.

Next, I grabbed a basket and started breaking things from the ‘keep’ pile into categories. My categories included things like snacks and baking, but I also had a pile for protein powder and for party needs. I made one for my roommate and her things, too. Everyone’s categories will probably be a little bit different according to your lifestyle, and that’s okay!

Try to not be too obsessive about what goes in each category – as long as it makes sense to you, that’s all that matters.


Then, separate your categories into different baskets. You can get baskets that match or try different ones that fit the mood of your kitchen. Also make sure to store the things that you have the most of in the biggest basket!

My kitchen has a rustic feel, so I went with wicker baskets (HomeGoods), wire baskets with copper handles (Target), and galvanized steel buckets (my local hardware store, Little Hardware). They don’t match, but they all have the same vibe.

Once you arrange the baskets or containers, you can label them. This is totally optional and more for looks than anything, but I thought it was so cute that I couldn’t resist.

I used chalkboard gift tags from Target, but any type of tag will work. Write the name of whatever category is in the basket on the tag, using any sort of lettering you want. I went with a loopy script.

Then, grab some ribbon, twine, or yarn and tie the tag to the basket handle or to an opening in the wire.

After I did all the organizing, I steam cleaned the floor with my Swiffer Bissel Steam Cleaner and put in a new light bulb (bad lighting will kill the mood of a room in a split second).

Voila! You’re done! The whole process probably took me 3-4 hours, but I had a lot of trash to clean out.

Does your pantry need a makeover? What kind of organization do you follow in your kitchen?