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The Estate of Things About Us Lifestyle GRID

The Estate of Things is a blog about stylized living, home decor and renovation. It is co-authored by Sarah and Betsy, two long time friends exploring a shared passion for design. 

Sarah and I dreamed up our home decor website on a set of barstools in Southern Pines, NC in the dead of winter, I believe it was a Christmas Break 2007. It was the same night that I traded a pair of knit gloves right off my hands to some intoxicated dude for a twenty dollar bill. I’d bought them earlier that day for 75 cents and cut the fingers off.

We all sat around and laughed and talked about our dreams for the future. Sarah and I always came back to our shared love for home decor and our aspirations to open up a brick and mortar store. It was her wordsmith husband Dan who came up with the best names as we all tossed ideas around. The Estate of Things stuck and soon after a blog was born.

Our initial goals were about building authority on a domain name, in hopes for future Ecommerce shop that would help us build the capital to open our storefront. It was 2007, the year that all of the best blogs starting to catch audience from the mainstream as a more personal alternative to shelter magazines. We had no idea that we were embarking on something so special at the perfect time, we just knew a blog was a great place to share inspirations, organize Sarah’s renovations work and share with one another the styles that we were most recently obsessing over.

While The Estate of Things continues to exist primarily a blog with hopes for future eCommerce, it is a passion project that we both happily tend to in our spare time. We are both working women with families and hobbies galore. The Estate of Things provides us both with our own litle place on the internet to purge the swelling creativity in our bones. We forge ahead with hopes that one day we might actualize our dream, to retire from our demanding 9-5s and truly mold The Estate of Things into the dream that started it all, a brick and mortar storefront.

Latest Posts

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Formal Dining Rooms Turn Casual

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How many people do you know that say, “we never use our dining room,” “It’s the lowest on the decorating priority list,” “We only use it on holidays,” “My parents gave us their old dining room set and so we stuck that in there” I’ve heard all of these excuses. It’s obvious how this room functions, but when you think more specifically about what kind of experiences you have in your home, it can bring you closer to turning an unused room around. No matter how you use it, we need to send boring, matched dining room sets and heavy draperies out with the next purge and go casual, with style of course. Questions to ask yourself about your forgotten dining room: What kind of food do you cook? Do your family or guests tend to linger at the table, engage in friendly or unfriendly debates, have too much wine and…

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Checking in on Pillow Progress

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Hi friends. Sarah and I got together recently and styled up a new collection of pillows that we pulled together from vintage indigo textiles and mud cloths from Mali. Our launch was a mere two weeks ago, and already the huge stacks of product that I traveled to North Carolina with has dwindled. Now we are scrambling to get more pulled together, and fast! I’m so excited by our progress with the pillow sales, I can’t wait to branch out into more product ideas that we are cooking up. For now though, have a little look at what’s left, it’s slim pickings in terms of quantities, but we do have just a few more options in each design left for sale. Click the image to shop.        

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I’m a Big Fan of Independence

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Today is a great day for BBQs, pool parties, at home fireworks, a family reunion by the river, little kids and puppy dogs, maybe some sparklers. Sarah and her crew are after it in the mountains of NC, and we’re going to get to it here in SoCal in just minute. It’s an interesting time to feel patriotic in this country. I’m not going to climb atop a soapbox to talk at length about how energized I am to see actual progress, or how disheartened I am to see social evidence of ignorance as close to me as the people that I’m connected to through social media. But, I have taken a moment of time on this slow morning to consider inalienable rights. I do want to remind us all to muse a bit on the notion of independence. Happy Fourth!

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House Hunting: It’s DONE Y’all

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Now that the house purchase is complete, we will happily be bringing the HOUSE HUNTING series to a close. (… until Sarah decides to move again, which could happen any minute knowing her crew.) But as for us, let’s have a cheer since we are donezo! I’ve never been more grateful. The news came in last Friday that we officially closed (10 days and ten thousand headaches beyond our contract close date.) We were pulled through the mire a bit on the nuances of lending protocol, so it was hard to feel anything more than mere relief. The champagne is still chillin’ in the fridge. Thank God for our real estate agent, Joyce Gottlieb though, who I can’t recommend enough. She was super savvy and tough as nails on hard core sellers and less than stellar funding agents. God bless her! I wish I could buy 50 more houses with her. So, here we…

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Settee 3 Looks

Vintage Rattan Settee 3 Ways

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It all starts with our vintage rattan settee. Not sure where to go from there? Allow us…here are three suggestions to jump start you in to creating your own look with our settee. Source it out below.     Modern Calypso St. Barth Sheepskin/Kaya Kilims Menay/The Estate of Things white African mudcloth pillow/ The Estate of Things black African mudcloth pillow/ Serena & Lily Cooper Stool / Crate & Barrel Rex Floor Lamp Bohemian Chic Maroc Tribal Carpets Beni Ourain/ The Estate of Things Indigo Mudcloth Pillows/ Tshaj Hmong Stripe Pillow/ The Estate of Things Hmong Lumbar Pillow/ Jayson Soud Cloth/ Anthropologie Marble Top Table/ Crate & Barrel Lapel Floor Lamp Feminine Traditional Ballard Designs Seagrass Rug/ SparkModern Peter Dunham Rajmata pillow/ Whitlock & Co. spring botanical pillow/ Lulu & Georgia Nautine throw/ WS Home Cane Garden Seat/ Dwell Studio Albert Floor Lamp

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White Place: A pocket neighborhood?

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In the late 1800s, S.R. White platted 38 acres of what would become White Place in Bloomington, Illinois. Why is this interesting? Well… because when we stumbled upon White Place off University Avenue I immediately thought– pocket neighborhood and I’m fascinated with pocket neighborhoods. I recently visited Bloomington IL, a moderately sized midwestern town but certainly bigger than my own southern home. A two and half hour ride from Chicago, Bloomington is home to State Farm, Illionois State University, Illinois Wesleyan and had he not been assassinated maybe Abraham Lincoln’s post-presidential home. The downtown area of Bloomington is a renovator/house flipper’s Graceland. Prices stay low (for now), the streets are lush and green (for now) and the potential is high. The streets are lined with Queen Annes, craftsman bungalows and prairie style houses. I’m not sure why anyone would want to live anywhere else in Bloomington but in a downtown…

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Quick Paint Update

A Quick Paint Fix

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A little cottage dining room recently required some quick updating.. Getting rid of the dated paint colors was first and foremost on the list and what resulted is just further confirmation that paint will go a long way. Tan walls be gone, We used Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue to brighten up the dining room. We also replaced the existing light fixture with an easy Allen + Roth drum pendant from Lowe’s. How fresh is that?! We also sent pouty Laney to the pool, so we don’t have to hear “Mom I don’t want to go see any more houses”

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From our Phones

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Summertime has taken over the Southlands, which means June Gloom in SoCal, and unbelievable three digit temps in the South. Moving on to to the lighter moments in life, here’s what we have been inspired by via cellphone.   You can always follow along in real time via Instagram – our most favorite place to hang out when we aren’t here on the blog. SARAH is @theestateofthings BETSY is @betsymoyer

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African Kuba Cloth Inspiration BlackBirdsLA by Barbara Bestor

Spotted: African Kuba Cloth

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Around these parts, our attentions wax and wane, depending on latest projects and life’s very real demands. I used to give myself a hard time about this, but I’m accepting the natural order of things, and just going with it. Self help articles demand focus focus focus, but how can I with so many new inspirations flying into my face daily? Can you relate? Speaking of focus, we SHOULD… and we should focus on Sarah’s renovation efforts. We have some exciting news to share soon, since she has totally wrapped the Bennett Kitchen renovation. … But with the surprisingly successful launch of the TEOT pillow collection – the focus lately has been on home decor sales via ETSY. So, that’s just what’s up with us. As a result, with news of Barbara Bestor’s BlackbirdsLA project, comes eye candy with an emphasis on African inspiration, including some very wantable Kuba Cloth pillows scattered throughout…

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Boho Meets the Classics

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Yesterday we took a little room tour to break down the Bohemian Luxury label it was given. Today, I thought we might explore what a TEOT version of that room might look like. I started with Sarah’s classic design picks, these are all timeless pieces that we keep coming back to. They will stand the test of time and are great investment pieces for your home. The next section is the boho glaze that you can put on top. These layers could stack up endlessly on top of the classics for a real textured boho Betsy flair (don’t get too cluttered), or you can choose your glaze sparingly and distinctively for Sarah’s boho traditional twist.     We featured a few of our favorite products above, available at many fine retailers online and off. Let us help you source any of the products above! We love shopping with you.

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Bohemian Luxury by Williams Sonoma Home

Conversations: Bohemian Luxury

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Last night I was on the phone with my dad for a nice long chat and at one point he says “You know, I had an idea for your The Estate of Things.” Oh, I was piqued and just loved the conversation that ensued. His idea was for Sarah and me to please illustrate for him just what exactly bohemian versus traditional would look like in the same space. His suggestion was to design a room using all of the necessary elements that could illustrate how one might lean toward tradition with elements of the eclectic. He wanted to see us style it Sarah’s way, Betsy’s way and the together way. Sweet Daddy. We’ll work on that for you. Meanwhile, it made me think of this image that Sarah snapped for me as she was cruising through the most recent Williams-Sonoma Home Catalog. Sarah had asked: “Betsy do you see flashes of your *boho…

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Our Etsy Picks for June

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It’s summer time and we’re all aflutter with lust and love for the following items from Etsy.   New Mexico Tea Towel  |  Tie-Dye Clutch  |  Color Block Quilt  |  Marbled Silk Ribbon  |  Bar Cart  | Tribal Wallet

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TEOT Launches Custom Pillow Collection

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We’ve sourced, sewn and styled a whole prolifery of pillows from on-trend vintage global textiles and one by one we’re uploading them to our TEOT SHOP. We are selling them. What do you think? We like to call this little girl in the middle Lotty Dotty. She likes to party. We have a thing for blue you know. It’s really apparent in all of this wonderful vintage indigo fabric that we scored at the Santa Monica Antiques Market. It’s from Africa, and most of it is from Mali specifically. If I had to choose my favorite combo, I think I’d lean this way, below. In fact, I’d be happy if this scene were replicated exactly in my own home. I’ll do my best to recreate it, it’s going to be hard without that rattan bench in my life. I would take a little dose of Sarah styling all of my accessories too. I’ll tell…

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A bolt from the blue - black houses by the estate of things

A Black House

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Around these parts, we’re into classic design choices – the kind that aren’t destined to go out of style, the timeless materials and good bones. The design elements that last. But equally, we’re moved and inspired by trends – the bolder the better. Here’s one that we are feeling intrigued by. Let us know what you think! Would you live in a black house? A Bolt from the Blue – featured in Lonny Mag I have such a crush on Barbara Bestor. I love how she pays homage to timeless design, but completely puts it on its head with her bold bohemian approach. She bought her personal home, the Bestor House,  near Elysian Park/Silverlake as a shack in a pre-gentrification era and started a revolution in her neighborhood. I love how she was inspired by a child’s drawing of a home. The simplicity and the color really make this home unique….

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