Sprucing Up Our Bedroom with a Bench

Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

Bedroom with Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

Stan and I have been talking about designing our bedroom for over a year now, and I’m getting antsy. If it were up to me (and if this wasn’t a crazy idea), we would have been flooring and painting in the middle of winter. But because I realized this was a crazy idea, I contented myself with doing a little pre-spring cleaning and re-arranging. I didn’t do this with shelves or boxes. I did it with a bench.

Bedroom Before Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

You see, Stan and I still kind of live like college students. Our furniture is mis-matched hand-me-downs, and none of the rooms look curated or put together. What kills me the most is our laundry situation. We keep dirty laundry in baskets on the floor of our bedroom. When we’re really lazy, we keep the clean laundry in baskets on the floor too, and jokingly call it “the floordrobe.” It just looks so bad!

Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

So when Sauder (rhymes with “chowder”) asked me to participate in their Put Together Design Challenge, I leapt at the chance. Finally! A real piece of furniture that I could style like a real adult! We don’t have an entryway, so our new Cottage Road Bench went straight to the bedroom. It was super easy to assemble — no crazy undecipherable Ikea-esque instructions. Now, dirty laundry goes in one basket, tucked away neatly under the bench. And I’ve instituted a new rule for clean laundry: it must be put away within two days of washing it.

Bedroom with Sauder Cottage Road Bench clothing detail via @poorandpretty

The bench also acts as a space for me to lay out my outfits for the next day, which keeps me organized and eliminates that frenzied morning I-have-nothing-to-wear feeling.

Bedroom with Cottage Road Bench reed diffuser detail via @poorandpretty

Plus, I put a pretty reed diffuser (which will soon need refilling) on it to keep the room smelling fresh and lovely. The scent is Bella Sucre by Voluspa — I love their fragrances!

Sauder Cottage Road Bench as photography backdrop via @poorandpretty

Because our front bedroom gets really great sunlight, I’ve also begun using the bench as a photography backdrop. 

Sauder Cottage Road Bench as photography backdrop closeup  via @poorandpretty

You might remember this photo from my recent For the Makers catch-up post.

Putting on shoes on my Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

And of course, I sit on the bench too! Especially when I’m getting dressed or slipping on my shoes.

Sami sitting on Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

It’s not a total room (re)design, but it’ll hold me over for now. At least our bedroom finally looks “put together!” :) Check out even more room inspiration in Sauder’s Put Together Lookbook.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine. You can read more about my sponsorship and affiliate link policies here. 


Maison St. Germain: A Vintage Boutique

Maison St Germain vintage boutique Woodbury CT

Nestled in a shopping center behind Dottie’s Diner at 744 Main Street South in Woodbury, CT is the sweetest little vintage boutique I’ve ever stepped foot in: Maison St. Germain.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - jewelry

Owned by mother-daughter team Debra and Nicole, it’s filled with wonderful little treasures that make you think you’ve stepped right into an Audrey Hepburn film.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - antique sofas

It’s only a few minutes from Timex, so my friend/co-worker/fellow thrifty shopper Ali and I popped in to check it out during lunch on Friday.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - English pub table

I have been to quite a few vintage shops, thrift stores, and flea markets, searching for the perfect backdrop or table to set up in my office for photos and I finally found it at Maison St. Germain! I took this adorable little English pub table home with me and immediately squeezed it into my already-crowded office. But it’s okay because next year I’m moving my office into what is currently our bedroom — a much bigger space for all my crafty supplies and madness! I so wish the cute green chairs came with it, but they were sold separately so I didn’t take them.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - orange dresser

I was also in love with this big orange dresser. Beautiful! And unlike many of the antique shops in the area, Maison St. Germain’s prices were very reasonable. I hate when shop owners find a trashy piece of furniture in a junk yard somewhere for pennies, and try to sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. It’s clear that Debra and Nicole carefully curate every piece they bring into their shop and lovingly transform it into something unique, filled with personality. Debra even writes a blog about their adventures: Capers of the Vintage Vixens.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - vintage tea cups and plates

Oh, and if you’re looking for vintage teacups to turn into candles, you’ll find plenty here!

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - blue table

I love the way they merchandised everything. This table made me want to sit down and have a tea party.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - pink vanity

I can’t even handle how perfect this pink vanity is!

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - dressing room small bust sign

…Or this sign I found in the dressing room. Ha! Amen, sisters!

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - vintage clothing

Their back room was filled with unique vintage clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories. I wanted that cute pale pink ballerina skirt, but I picked up a slightly more sensible purple pencil skirt and a gold purse instead.

Maison St Germain vintage boutique - cash wrap

Even their cash wrap/checkout area was set on a beautiful vintage dresser or countertop. I had a wonderful time poking around during my lunch hour, and am so happy with the table I picked up. I’m sure you’ll start seeing it here on the blog all the time now! ;)

If you’re in the area, or looking for somewhere to pick up unique antique furniture or clothing, please stop by Maison St. Germain and say hello to Debra and Nicole! Please note that the address listed on their website is their previous address. Their current address is: 744 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT.

Lead photo courtesy of Maison St. Germain. All other photos by me.


SoWa Sundays & my new vintage skirt

My new vintage skirt - Poor and Pretty

This past Sunday, I vended at the SoWa Open Market again with Kleiner Eisbär, where I picked up this awesome skirt! Traffic was slow, so I was able to explore the different parts of the fair, including the vintage market.

Swift & Faire Co. vintage wall

I picked up the yellow skirt — made by dsb in the 1970’s — from Swift & Faire Co.

Swift & Faire Co. vintage

Another gem I found at the vintage market was Neatly Nested, run by Danielle Platzer, an interior decor lover and antique furniture enthusiast. Danielle breathes new life into run-down furniture through repair, reupholstery, and fresh paint, giving antique pieces a more modern look:

Neatly Nested dressers

Neatly Nested wooden bench

Neatly Nested wooden table

Danielle blogs about her new projects and house renovations at design-eyeonline.com.

IMPRESSED by nature booth SoWa 7-7-13

Back outside at the Arts Market, I fell in love with IMPRESSED by Nature, pressed botanicals sealed in thin plastic and turned into beautifully unique jewelry. It immediately reminded me of the pressed leaves and flowers Suzi and I used to make with our Nana when we were little.

IMPRESSED by nature earrings

Of course, these were much more elegant. I also loved the simplicity of the booth and displays.

IMPRESSED by nature necklace displays

We were also joined by our friends Rachel DeCavage of sugarplum USA and Julia Sloan, Brazen Betties, who were sharing a booth:

Sugarplum USA SoWa booth 7-7-13

And speaking of displays I love, Krissy and Dennis have fun ways of displaying their new screen printed baby and toddler clothing:

Poor and Pretty Kleiner Eiesbar SoWa booth 7-7-13

If you haven’t yet, come visit us at the SoWa Open Market on July 21, August 11 & 18, and we’ve added September 1 to our SoWa tour! :)

My new vintage skirt - Poor and Pretty


Outfit details: Sunglasses: Marshalls, $6. Cardigan: Jackie Cardigan in white, J.Crew, $20 on sale. Belt: courtesy of sugarplum USAWatch: Timex Originals Classic Round, courtesy of Timex. Skirt: dsb, vintage, Swift & Faire Co., $24. Shoes: Bamboo, Urban OG, $18 (similar).

This post was inspired by the delightful finds at the SoWa Open Market, and is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #103 Vintage Vixens.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.