Tag Archives: real readers

Real Readers: Christina & Jodi

7 Jun

I have featured Christina & Jodi in my recent post about Etsy activists but today I want to share more about this creative roommate duo.

Christina is an accomplished jewelry designer (now taking it to the next level and moving to New York!) and Jodi is a Psychology graduate student and homemade card designer.

Now, take a deeper look into how their innovative minds worked together to decorate their chic and comfortable Houston apartment.

Christina & Jodi


How she came up with the feel of her room, in her own words:

“I love white brown and turquoise. I found the duvet from Target and the Headboard from Hayneedle. I love that the headboard is an ivory color with nailheads. I found the turquoise mirror from Marshall’s and think it adds a great touch and finish to my room. All the pillows are from Target. (Yes, I looove pillows) I’m really happy how my bedroom came out from the white base color to the brown and turquoise accents. It feels fresh and like me.”


The bedside tables are from Z Gallerie — a great store to find mirrored furniture for decent prices. The crystal lamps that are from Marshall’s complete the old Hollywood glam look that Christina loves.

This piece is from a furniture store in Fort Worth, Texas. Christina’s next move is changing out the drawer handles which is a perfect way to change the look without ruining a piece of perfectly good furniture.

Take a note from Christina’s book and hand paint a few plain wooden frames! This way she can match other painted pieces in her room (see below) and get the perfect pop of color she was going for. Ever the little artista, she decided to add the hanging caged candle holders to the corner to “add dimension” to her room.

In her own words:

“I painted the drawer turquoise to add a pop of color and then added a fun knob. This is my jewelry making table as you can see the various items already made. As you can see from my room, I love flowers and since I can’t afford to switch them out every week, I went with the fake ones. The cross was stolen from my parent’s house and I love it.”

– Christina

If you ever get the opportunity to travel, you must buy art from the cities you visit. It is a great way to relive a special vacation or memory from your life and adds such interest to your home. The art hanging above Christina’s toilet is a little piece she purchased in Paris while traveling abroad. Luckily it depicts the entire city AND the colors coordinate perfectly with her scheme. The two silver jewelry boxes below the mirror were handed down in her family from her Great Aunt Dorothy. So much history!

Here is another piece of decor from Marshall’s — Christina uses the silver vase here to pull silver from her bedroom and coordinate with the vintage metallic jewelry box given to her by her cousin.

Jewelry organization — clearly an obsession of every girl on the planet — is at its peak here in Christina’s bathroom. As I mentioned, she is just starting out in her jewelry making profession and has been enamored of jewelry as long as she can remember. Using these inexpensive square corkboards (from Target, Office Max, Hobby Lobby, etc), she added pushpins at the top so that her necklaces never tangle. Genius!


Beautiful Bella Notte bedding! This stuff is expensive but completely worth it. The softest assortment of textured fabrics you’ve ever felt, everything is dyed to order, and the best part is that it’s all washable. We sell it at the store that both Jodi and I work for, Nest & Cot. I have the same coverlet on my bed. Love!

Jodi’s mom picked up this gem of a chair and ottoman at the Dallas Market — a place for designers and vendors to come together and see all the goods at once. If you know anybody who is a designer or has a license of any kind in interior design, chances are they get great wholesale deals. You should ask them if they’ll help you make some nice purchases for a small fee or help you find discounts — it will still be less than retail pricing.

Sidenote: Jodi admits that her big weakness in life is trying to keep everything organized and she’s still looking for a way to keep all of her school books and gadget cords neat!

Jodi’s parents picked this gorgeous Hermes scarf on a special vacation. Jodi went to a custom framing shop to get it stretched and framed. It now serves as a focal point in her mature post-college apartment and an heirloom for the future.

Here’s a great tip: Look for furniture in the “damaged goods” or outlet section of a large store. Jodi found this huge and sturdy dresser in just such a section of Crate & Barrel. A simple scratch (that you wouldn’t even notice) brought the price down by over $1000.

Jodi’s sister, Jessica, followed in suit of her parents and returned from travels with this vintage Spain poster. Vibrant colors and a great story.

Love the shower curtain…it’s from Target!

Such a simple and chic way to decorate a blank wall: Framed cards bought on Etsy!

A neutral mirror bought at Marshall’s decorates this side of Jodi’s bathroom. Anthropologie can be an expensive store to outfit your entire house from, but try simply purchasing one vase or another small item for a punch of style. Jodi’s turquoise vase and cup for make up brushes do just that.


A drop leaf table is an amazing way to utilize space in a small city apartment. This particular one was purchased at a  consignment store and extends to a full dining table. The fact that is it a beautiful antique only adds to its appeal.

A nice view of the kitchen. Christina had originally intended to use the trunk on its side as a nightstand but fell in love with the mirrored ones you saw above. Now it acts as extra seating and a place for the girls to stub their toes. Ouch!

The wine rack is a surprisingly functional and beautiful find…for $60 from Sears?! Christina got it in college from Sears’ online store because she loved one that a friend already owned. A self-admitted wino, it allows her to hold everything she wants and needs 🙂

The turquoise flower picture is another product of Christina’s artistic abilities, created for her college room and now an integral part of a wall collage in her and Jodi’s apartment. According to both girls, the wall is a “work in progress.”

Who says the word “vintage” has to mean from decades ago? This special little pink phone is from Jodi’s 6th grade room — a “vintage” Pottery Barn find.

The girls combined many of their extra decorations in the kitchen to make it home-y.

Their living area is both inviting and fashion-forward. The zebra chairs actually have a significant history being passed down from generation to generation (and being recovered along the way) in Christina’s family. Other pieces in the room such as the throws were gifts from friends. The cow hide rug was won at a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo auction. No home in Texas should be without one. Except mine is…I need to get on that.

Another antique piece that finds its way into the modern girl’s home. This vintage round table was once Christina’s grandmothers.

Another special hand-me-down item is this mirror which belonged to Christina’s late grandmother. She plans to keep it prominent in every future house she owns as a testament to her grandmother’s great taste and as an inspiration to her jewelry line.

The couch is from Pier One. Gotta love the nailhead look.

Thank you Christina and Jodi for letting us pick apart your lovely home!


Real Readers: The Etsy Connection

20 May

As you all know by now even if you only look at the pictures on my blog, I am a huge fan of Etsy. This online marketplace for vintage and homemade goods is an amazing site to easily find one-of-a-kind pieces for your home at a reasonable price. It is a community where people support and encourage artists and craftsmen to keep creating by  buying and promoting your products. How fabulous is that?

I have been dabbling in the Etsy business myself thanks to my Craigslist fetish and the fact that I have no more room in my apartment to keep the things I make. It’s harder than it looks, people — but I’ve made my first two sales!

Inspired and humbled by this event, I would like to introduce to you a few other of my Etsy friends who are in my “circle” (it’s an Etsy term). Click their links to find out more about them and what they are creating.

Jodi,  Green Antler Card Company

Beautiful handemade cards and envelopes for any occasion.

You should also check out her insightful blog, The Real World is Weird.

Christina, Christina Greene Designs

Handmade jewelry inspired by vintage designs. What started out as an Etsy business has blossomed into a full-fledged website, brand and business as of this week. Congratulations, Christina!

Mollie, Come and Take It

Taking vintage Texas goods and turning them into fabulous modern treasures.

Visit her blog where you can read about her latest projects and request custom jobs: Come and Take It

If you are on Etsy, or know someone who is, send me an email to be featured! thefunkybear@gmail.com

Real Readers: Caroline, Taylor, and Sheridan

23 Jan

These days, I am obsessed with the chic, sophisticated and downright pretty house of these cute girls!

Names: Caroline, Taylor, Sheridan

Age: 24-ish

Current City: Houston, TX

Caroline – Event/Fundraiser Coordinator for a Non-Profit Organization
Taylor – Law Firm Recruiter
Sheridan – Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse

Decorating Styles:
Caroline – Traditional,  anything “anqituey” — she likes having a neutral base and then throwing in a splash of color.
Taylor – Shabby Chic, French Country…a self-proclaimed “Plain Jane” who gravitates towards creams, whites, and neutrals over bold and bright.
Sheridan – Likes coming home to a soft, calming atmosphere. She chooses any piece that makes her happy.

Right when you walk in, you are greeted with a quaint little set up. The antique-looking carte goes great with the wall sconces and framed artwork.

The streamers hanging down from the door frames are not a part of their usual decor. They were party decorations for Caroline’s 24th birthday! (Happy Birthday!) This is the visual you get in when you come out of the entry way. Believe it or not, all of these pieces of furniture are hand-me-downs from their various grandparents. The chairs were a completely different fabric and got recovered in simple white from the Design Center of Houston to match the house’s clean motif.

Cute crystal-looking lamps! Try Target, Marshalls’, West Elm or Pottery Barn for some inexpensive ones.

Taylor already had this zebra print pillow in her possession but lacked its matching partner. Thankfully, she found it at a cute boutique in Houston called, A Bientot. Don’t forget to try gift shop and jewelry boutiques for small home accents.

This pretty piece is perfect for holding all your knick-knacks. I even have the same painting they do at the top! Love!

Pretty little dining room set up. All antique hand-me-downs from the grandparents again…slipcovered in a softer linen fabric to protect the seats and cover up older fabric.

It’s all about the crystal and clear glass. Classic and easy to find at so many stores.

Islands in kitchens add SO much space and personality. Obviously not everyone has one built in but if you have the room, you can buy a stainless steel table/island and use it much in the same way. Here are all of Caroline’s birthday treats laid out!

The  curtains actually came with the house! Rather than spending a fortune on new Roman shades (that’s what they’re called) they added a few cute candlitas (little candles? si?) and made it their own.

The couches were covered in white by Sheridan and the unique end tables are from Nadeua in Highland Village in Houston. The glass lamps are from Marshall’s, and the pristine linen lampshades are from Pottery Barn. The pine wooden coffee table is from her parents’ house, but try Craigslist for other people’s old pieces.


These paintings are another great bi-product of Pinot’s Palette…the place in Houston where you get to BYOB and learn to paint a famous painting in a group. It’s only $35 for the canvas and a 3 hour class then you get beautiful art work to bring home.


A beautiful 4 poster bed (handed down from her parents) with stunning white bedding from Kuhl-Linscomb make for a fresh combination or old and new. The walls came the pale seafoam color and Caroline used it to her advantage to keep it classy with the white linens and paisley euro shams (Pottery Barn). Although she is not the biggest fan of her room (she thinks the Pottery Barn pillows were a random impulse buy)…I think it is sooo much more sophisticated than I could ever hope to be. But then again I guess I am 2 years younger than her? Does that count? Let’s hope so.

Crystal knobs on the dresser are a fun add too! Pretty, pretty!


All of Taylor’s gorgeous bed linens are from Pine Cone Hill. At the store I’m working at now, we sell this brand all the time. It has so many beautiful options for a VERY reasonable price. And it looks custom! Check out their website for more details (or come into Nest & Cot to order!).


Even the bathroom is pretty! Baskets are an easy way to both hide and store all of your bathroom necessities. And wicker and white go so well together!


Coral, white and turquoise…oh my! This traditional bed belonged to her grandparents and she had it recovered by a local guy in a flax linen color. She then uses this linen again to create a romantic little vanity.

Cute knobs!

And she has a coral bowl! LOVE!

A plastic organizer for jewelry. It’s great for storage and being able to see exactly what you’re looking for.

In case you didn’t know…How To Be A Lady. I may actually need a copy of this?

A vanity is both romantic and practical. Every girl needs one! (I know all the guys are rolling their eyes at this point…if there is even one reading). The mirror is from Marshall’s. Further proof that you can always find something to fit your style for cheap there!

Caroline, Taylor and Sheridan’s house is proof that you can mix old and new, vintage and modern, inexpensive and expensive to create a comfortable and chic home. And despite all of their class and style, they say their favorite part is actually one of their more modern creature comforts: Speakers all over the house! This includes the backyard and the bathroom (I would know — I was listening to a football game while I was using it!). TMI?! Who cares.

Hope you enjoyed visiting their home as much as I did!

Casa de Funky Bear: Day 1 – Blair

7 Dec

It’s safe to say that this Funky Bear has taken a little hiatus from blogging. A 6-week long break, to be exact. My life has been full of interesting surprises and new work lately (such as I am now working for a children’s interior design boutique and LOOOOVE it).

And although I know my devout followers have missed me in my blogging absence (how could you not?), my first post back is not about me. On the contrary, it is about my great and wonderful roommate: Blair.


Name: Blair

Current Town: Houston

Job: Analyst for a Houston energy company

Fun Fact: Blair is a fabulous roommate and has made me pancakes numerous times — especially to surprise me in the morning (aw!). Here’s a little Blair tip: use a sprinkle of cinnamon and a couple of bananas in the batter for extra goodness. It’s what I get to wake up to every morning…sometimes. Only twice but still.

Decorating Style: Feminine and shabby chic

Obviously if Blair was worthy of being my selected as my roommate for my first apartment, I knew she would bring unique style and taste to our decorating that would be unrivaled. We settled on finding an apartment in one day. Seems rash but we love it. Great location. Great amenities. Great price point…you get the picture. Both Blair and I took different roads to decorating our rooms. Below, you will find Blair’s room pics. Full of mellow blues and neutral champagne hues, her room has a softness and maturity to it that I always strive for but never seem to be able to achieve thanks in large part to my obsession with animal print and bright colors. Enjoy your tour of B’s room today and the next time I post I will keep unveiling our our fabulous little apartment.

Here’s a quick view of Blair’s room from the entrance. Gotta love the great color of the accent wall!

Her bedding is by House, Inc. which she found through Layla Grayce. The bedding has been an investment piece that Blair has had for a few years. Therefore, moving into our new place she knew she had to build her room and color scheme around them.

She also knew should would have to incorporate her existing furniture pieces and headboard.

Last weekend, Blair and I visited Houston’s Urban Market which is an outdoor collection of antique sellers who get together every so often to showcase and sell their products. We found this interesting old criss-cross shelf unit and Blair mounted it above her bed. The idea is to collect enough little trinkets to decorate it or perhaps even leave it plain. What do you think??

Blair has always wanted a sitting area in her room and let’s face it — who doesn’t. Having a designated area for lounging adds a flair of luxury that’s hard to resist, even if you don’t have much room. Rather than adding an oversized couch or plush chair which she did not have space for, she re-purposed these old navy blue chairs that her mom had in storage. Originally, she planned to recover them but ended up loving the dark color in her room full of neutrals. The mirrors above the chair were purchased at the Guild shop, a resale shop in the Houston area. We are still searching out fabric to cover the table. Any ideas???

Here is a more close up view of the accent wall and its decor. The two big pieces of furniture came in a matching set, along with a dresser she keeps in her closet for her jewelry.  Love the other chair she uses both to fill unused space in the corner as well as ad visual interest and texture to the room.

Above her TV are 3 small mirror-type plates that she bought at Marshall’s.

Above is a close up of Blair’s main dresser in her room. She has added a few personal knick-knacks and picture frames along with some more unique ones…

This great vintage mirrored platter also came from the Guild shop in Houston. It has a super old-Hollywood glam feel when paired with her perfumes.

This jewelry holder has a morbid past…Blair is a native Texan and has grown up participating in all the stereotypical Southern activities you can think of. Including hunting. This skull is from the first buck she shot at age 13. Now she uses it as decoration and to hold her bracelets. It looks a look creepier in this picture than it actually is in real life. Even though I’m not sure I agree with the macabre nature of its existence on her dresser, I can definitely appreciate that it has a background story that is personal to Blair. Everyone needs pieces in their home with a story.

The final piece of Blair’s furniture set sits in her closet and holds more clothing and acts as a large jewelry box of sorts. One of the perks of our apartment is that it has huge walk-in closets which is amazing for extra storage to hide out of sight from visitors.

Finally, Blair ties it all together by using a second set of the hooks used for jewelry organization in her closet to store sunglasses in her bathroom. Her shower curtain is from Dillard’s and adds a splash of bright red color.

Can’t wait until next time I post when I get to show you my little piece of heaven in our humble abode…

Blog Buzz: The Green Tex

30 Sep

If you are interested in all things green, innovative, stylish and fresh, you need to follow my friend Sydney’s new blog: THE GREEN TEX!

Sydney helped me make my big debut into the blogosphere on Day One of the Funky Bear and now I’m returning the favor.

How freaking cute is she?!

In her own words:

“Green Tex was started as a product of my unusual childhood in Texas and my journey for a clean & green life. My parents followed their dream and started an organic pecan farm, and all of the sudden my life was filled with organic, biodegradable and natural everything. As a stylish young woman, my goal is to find and expose the the great green products that fit into the everyday life of modern people. I plan to tackle the green side of just about everything: beauty routines (for ladies & gents), products for our furry friends, everyday house-hold cleaners, interior design, food and more!”

Even though the very idea behind going green is supposed to involve simplifying your life, finding the products and ways in which to do so can be SUCH a process/drag. Where does one even start?

That’s where The Green Tex comes in. Sydney brings fresh perspective to a world cluttered with waste, complication and drama. She is a voice of authority to investigate and report on topics related to being “green & clean.”

Some of the interesting topics she’s already written about include:

  • FEED bags — charitable purses and bags
  • How to cook pasta with pasta with squash and cauliflower
  • The plastic water bottle epidemic
  • Pet shampoos
  • Bobbi Brown makeup
  • TOMS shoes
  • Method cleaning products

If you’re interested, do yourself and the planet a favor and follow her blog (www.thegreentex.wordpress.com) to find out how you can begin going green in a stylish and fabulous way.

DIY: Household Helpers

1 Sep

We all know this recession is kicking people’s money spending habits in the butt.

So how on earth are you supposed to outfit your home with beautiful, unique personality-filled decorations that are likely to be super pricey?

If there’s one lesson I have been learning in life, it’s that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Seriously! (Like my car for example. She is an oldie but a goodie if you know what I mean) I highly advocate checking out resale shops, garage sales and discount stores for inexpensive decorations, furniture and odds ‘n ends.

However, there is a place literally closer to home where you can find old things and repurpose them to be new and exciting.

It’s your time to become a Recessionista and Do-It-Yourself-ista…

If you look around your house, garage, storage unit, attic, whatever…I bet you can find some of the following items:

  • Ladders
  • Old Doors
  • Old Chairs
  • Shutters
  • Window panes
  • Chains


Simply hang sideways and voila! A shelf.

Inspired by: A Rustic Garden

Depending on ladder thickness, you can place tons of things on your new shelf securely.

Inspired by: Trash to Treasures Decorating

Here an old wooden ladder makes a unique towel hanger in this bright bathroom.

Inspired by: Bijou Kaleidoscope

Check out this baby ladder as a desktop ornament.

Inspired by: Trash to Treasures Decorating

A quick and easy night stand when used with clip on accessories like this desk lamp.

Inspired by: The Lovely Undergrad

Shelving + Showing Off your favorite books and things to collect.

Inspired by: Networx

Use ladders in the kitchen to hang your pots, pans and cute little lights!

Inspired by: Trash to Treasures Decorating

This close up should help your turn that ladder into a hanging pot rack to die for. All you need are some chains and pegs and you're good to go.

Inspired by: Decorating Addict


Repurpose old french doors as interesting artwork against a wall.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

Even these cute antique cottage-inspired doors can act as great room decor.

Inspired by: House of Turquoise

An old friend of my sister's, Lindsey, sent me this picture. She took an old door and bought door knobs to screw in all over. Then she could hang her pretty jewelry and purses for display and storage. This is the kind of thing anybody could do and everybody has a use for! Thanks Lindsey 🙂

Inspired by: Lindsey W.


Recycle your old, uncomfortable metal chairs by applying a fresh coat of fun paint and hang on the wall.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy


This is one of my FAVORITE things in the world. A younger girl in my sorority at UGA, Chi Omega, used old shutters in her room to display her pictures.

Here's a close up. She used clothes pins to hang the pics giving it an extra home-y feel. Thanks for your contribution Ashley!

Inspired by: Ashley H.

Maybe Ashley got her idea from here? These are posted with office clips. SO PRESH!

Inspired by: Decor8

Or just post old window panes against the wall with...giant scissors? Hmm...

Inspired by: Living Etc.


Grab an old window pane and post your pictures in the glass.

Inspired by: Trash to Treasures Decorating

We've already seen this little number in my past article on Real Reader (and Real Sister), Caroline.

Inspired by: Caroline

And this one dates back to one of my first posts, from Sydney's house!

Inspired by: Sydney


Use a chain not only to hang ladders up as pot racks, but as an industrial way to pull back curtains!

Inspired by: The Decorista

So now that you know all of these wonderful things can exist if you just re-think old furniture and knick-knacks, get out there and repurpose some junk! This is your project for over the Labor Day weekend…I better get some pictures people…

Obsession: More Ikat

29 Aug

If you recall from my last ikat article, ikat is a fun and vibrant fabric that can add a great deal of personality to any room. This is just a little update of some more ikat inspiration.

Earlier this week, my friend Jodi told me that she was inspired by the Funky Bear to buy some pillows. I was pleasantly surprised when she sent me the pictures of these pillow and they were ikat! She clicked through the websites from my ikat article and found a few cute pillows she loved on Etsy. She said they were affordable and are great quality. So if my first article didn’t have you convinced that you need to own some ikat, I hope looking at Jodi’s cute pillows will!

Love ’em! Also, as I’ve been scouring the web for deals on cute things for my new apartment (I finally get to move in September 17!), I stumbled across these lovely ikat slipper chairs from Urban Outfitters (which is quickly becoming one of my fav places to find FUNKY pieces to decorate).

Whether you are in the market for a chair or just like to window shop to earmark things for the future, check out Urban Outfitters’ website to find out more about these great ikat-patterned chairs.

And FYI — chairs are expensive. I know when I saw the price of these chairs ($328 each) I balked a lit tle, but nice sitting and lounge chairs for your own room or den can be around $500 depending where you look. Just keep that in mind when shopping for chairs (on Pottery Barn, patterned slipper chairs similar to the ones below are $699).

All images inspired by Urban Outfitters.

Moral of the story: If you haven’t found a way to work some ikat magic into your home, now you don’t have an excuse. Everyone needs pillows and chairs. So get on Etsy or  Urban Outfitters and buy that ikat!

%d bloggers like this: