Opposites, The Art of Inspiration & What to do When You Find It (& how to add a referral code to a Pin)

This room has gotten a lot of attention over the past few months (and I have a huge $25 update that I’ll reveal next week that changed the ENTIRE room for the better and nope, it’s not paint).  Anyway, back to this room and all it’s attention-getting from Better Homes and Gardens DIY (forgive me for linking again) to getting pinned on West Elm’s ‘Spotted’ board (in my little world it’s a big deal, so let’s pretend it is.).  So I wanted to scientifically break down why I think this room is so appealing.  You know because I’m all sciency and junk.


I think it has something to do with opposites.


  • It’s symmetrical but also, not.
  • It’s got rustic wood and a mirrored disco ball.
  • It’s got brass and silver, round and square, curves and corners.
  • It’s feminine and yet also somehow masculine.
  • It’s got cowhide, linen and noodle shag.
  • It’s got modern glossy finishes and distressed paint.
  • It’s got $4 sheets on the windows and $150 sheets on the bed.
  • It’s a completely neutral room, if not for those three shots of pink.
  • It’s sophisticated and a little quirky.
  • It’s pointy and soft, light and dark, old and new.
  • As I look around rooms in my house that I love, I’ve found the whole “opposite” thing to be true everywhere.



I thought about how I did that and a few things stuck out to me.  Two in particular.


1. I’m VERY patient. 


Only when it comes to a few things and one of them is when I need to buy something and putting a room together (I’m impatient when it comes to painting and sewing and waiting for my iced coffee).  Two years ago I knew I wanted an upholstered headboard, I just got one a few months ago.  It was worth the wait.  We don’t use credit cards and I’m very picky about where I spend my cash so I’d rather wait for something and research it than buy it on a whim.


2. I’m willing to shop ANYWHERE.


I’m using the word “Shop” lightly knowing that sometimes I “shop” at the side of the road (stumps anyone?).

One of the most common questions I get asked is “Where do you shop?“, I think some people assume I have a secret store that I sneak in through the back door in an adorably decorated alley.  However, every room in my house is a good mix of retail and thrift, new and old and free and high-end.  I usually have something I splurged on, a few quality workhorses, a mix of items I got for killer deals at yard sales, a few handmade items from local artists or etsy sellers and a couple of DIY and madeover items that I did myself.  And I think that’s why it works.  Here’s the breakdown for the master bedroom:


  1. Twin sheets from Ollie’s (a local discount store) Curtain rods from Big Lots
  2. Chair: One Kings Lane, Pillow: West Elm
  3. Disco Ball: Ebay, Pair of Lamps: Home Goods
  4. Cowhide Rug: Metrolina, Shag Rug: One Kings Lane
  5. Mirror: DIY, Lantern: Habitat ReStore
  6. Bed: Joss & Main, Sheets/Blanket: One Kings Lane, Black and White Pillow: Etsy
  7. Pair of side tables: One Kings Lane, Wood tray: Target
  8. Chair: Salvation Army, Pillow and Pouf: One Kings Lane

  1. West Elm Table via the Thrift Store, Thrifted planter for plant, Thrifted book
  2. Z Gallerie Boots, Yard Sale Ottoman turned makeover, Bust: Home Goods
  3. Monogram: Southern Nest via Etsy
  4. Lamp: Home Goods

If I bought everything in this room from Ikea, it could still look good, I love me some Ikea, but it wouldn’t have the same collected feel.

As I think about the two rooms I’m working on next–the boys shared room and our guest room, I’m making sure to allow for the yin and yang to interact.   One of the places I keep an eye on is One Kings Lane.  They are having some great sales today all about Mastering the Mix and pairing up opposites and asked to sponsor this post if I’d pass the word along to you.  And I want to pass on more than “Hey go look at these sales, you’ll be glad you did.” I want to tell you how I use One Kings Lane.

As you can see in my rundown of sources up there, OKL had a big impact on our master bedroom.  I used to be afraid to shop online but now I actually prefer it for many items. One Kings Lane is a flash sale site (that means they have curated sales that last for just 72 hours) I’ve purchased things from them for about two years now.  And I use their online shop to my advantage.

Here’s how I shop at OKL:

I categorize::



This is all stuff I would consider purchasing. I love all the different styles (I love most of what is sold at One Kings Lane) but I have to be picky because of the price.  These items are things I love, that I think are worth the money *note: opposites: modern vs. rustic, netural vs. saturated color, girlie vs. masculine, metal vs. cushy.

I use flash sale sites to my advantage.  I don’t go in blindly and automatically believe that everything I see is the best deal ever to be had. But there are deals to be had if you are an informed shopper.

And then….


This stuff above I love. But I wouldn’t pay that much for BUT, it doesn’t mean I get all mad at One Kings Lane and never look there again oh, no.  This is valuable.  Because when I go to the cottage and see Angela’s cypress table::

And find out that she paid only $35 for it?  I realize it’s a steal. So if I’m out and about and see one for $100 that I love, in the past I might not want to pay $100 for a side table but after seeing one at One Kings Lane for $899, I realize that $100 is still a great price. (side note, if anyone sees one for $35, call me?).  It’s the same with all of those items up there, I love them, and they teach me what to look for and to recognize a good price when I see it.  Kind of like when you are buying a house and you spend so much time on the MLS website that when you see a super amazing deal you almost think there is something wrong with the house because the price seems so out-of-place.  That’s how I am with household items and One Kings Lane is a big part of that.


Pin it, and Add A Referral Code


So, yes, I encourage you, if you are a person who likes to be schooled in knowing a good deal when you see it, join One Kings Lane (you give your email and they send you daily emails that you can opt out of) and pin things for your home that you love for future inspiration.  ALWAYS look at the prices because sometimes, you’ll find something amazing.  And, be sure to use your referral code even on Pinterest, that way if someone clicks and buys, you’ll get a $15 credit in your account.  What a fun surprise!

Here’s how:

1. Hit the “pin it” button when you see something on One Kings Lane you want to pin.

2. Categorize it and write whatever you want, then hit “pin it”

3. At the top of the One Kings Lane page in red it says “invite friends” click that and it will take you to a page like this.  At the bottom there is a little code starting with “http…” copy ALL of that code then…

4. Go into your Pinterest account, find the pin you want to add the referral code to and hover over it until the “edit” button pops up. Click “edit pin” and then delete the old code in the “LINK” field and paste your referral link in.   The new link should look something like what mine looks like up there only it won’t say Nester Smith.  Then hit “save” and you have added a referral link to your pin.  If someone somewhere sees the pin and clicks on it and joins OKL and buys something, you’ll get $15 credit in your account within a few hours.  And you can use that same link on your facebook page or blog.

 Now go on, start practicing, visit One Kings Lane, get inspired, pin something, buy with purpose, consider using opposites and learn!

PS, all those items featured in the photos are currently for sale (until it sells out!)

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  1. Great ideas and thanks for the OKL pin tip. And being pinned onto the west elm spotted board is a big deal , I crowed a bit when they pinned my son’s room:)

    • and, you can use the pin tip for ANY site that has a referral code (like amazon) word on the street is, if you pin something from a site that has affilates/referrals and don’t include a code, Pinterst has a robot that add their own in, why not keep the pocket change yourself?


      • Wow, didn’t know they had their own robot. I need to set up some affliate/referral stuff.

      • Good to know! I wasn’t sure about the amazon linking!

        Your bedroom looks fabulous! And I love that you home has a collected feel! I have turned my just thrifting ways and am starting to be more patient and allow myself to save for some big ticket items. It makes such a huge difference and pulls everything together.

        Everything you mentioned in this post points out exactly to why I love your design sense!

        • well, now I’m not sure about Amazon either–I can’t actually use Amazon links because I live in North Carolina and we are not allowed by our state. And I just got an email from someone who said their Amazon inks immediately get changed.

          I just looked at OKL links I did from a week ago and they still have my referral link in there. It may be that they allow referrals but are cracking down on affiliates? Or just Amazon. Anyone know?

  2. You have a fantastic ability to share your style and the way you shop. It’s hard to be patient but you set a really, really good example.

    • OH thank you, Suzanne! I hope it’s not disappointing that there’s no magical shopping spot. But, really, it should be encouraging that ANYWHERE can be a great place to shop!

  3. Just want to let you know that 5 years ago we bought our first house and I didnt know where to start with decorating. My husband is a pastor and we were on a budget. Your website helped me so much. The first thing you taught me was to hang your curtain rods HIGH and out. I have passed that information out to so many people. I still have white plates hanging on my walls thanks to you. Just want to thank you for all the help you have given me through the years :)

  4. You know, affiliate links on Pinterest is something I’ve thought about but never tried. I think it’s a great idea, but after a little researching, it looks like maybe having affiliate links in your pins can get you spam blocked by Pinterest, or they will modify your affiliate links to their own. This applies specifically to Amazon. Have you heard anything about this?

    • I’m not sure, Amazon could be a different animal. I’m in NC so I can’t do amazon affiliate.

      I’m researching it right now, they may differenciate between affiliates and referral links–affiliate where you get a percentage and referrals where you get points or credit or something but yes, I think you might be right about them blocking amazon links–anyone else know?

      • Also, does anyone know if it’s possible to link to the specific One King’s Lane product through your referral link, instead of just to the home page?

        • I don’t think so because you only get referral credit for a new customer, so they would need to sign up before they are allowed to visit the site.

      • I’ve read a lot of articles that say Pinterest will replace your affiliate link with their own. People have experimented and gone back in later, after adding their own only to find Pinterest’s link in there. Pinterest has a lot of new usage policies as of early this year and I think they might have mentioned something about. You can still pin stuff from your own blog or whatever with affiliate links on your own site and you can use Shopsense to make a little money on pins too

  5. Oh, girl. It’s beautiful. No wonder it’s been featured. I love the look even though I don’t really like pink–with all the neutral, the pink looks gorgeous, kind of like lipstick and maybe toenail polish.

    So you couldn’t duplicate that look if you bought everything at IKEA. But you know, you couldn’t duplicate that look even if you bought everything at Restoration Hardware. It’s the stuff-I-love-collected-over-time look that’s so warm and comfortable and approachable-looking.

    Can I come sit in one of your chairs and talk with you?

  6. where’s Lumber Jill & her chainsaw? she’ll make one of those tables for you :)

  7. What a beautiful room! I love all the combinations – it feels so comfortable and very you :)

    Thank you again for being such a NICE person at She Speaks. You really were lovely to meet in person!!!

  8. I can’t wait to see the $25 difference!! Just like I can’t wait to see how you incorporate your new sofa in the living room.

  9. Here in TN and points farther south, you’ll find ‘good ol’ boys’ selling the cypress tables off the back of their pickup along side the road. $25 to $35 is about the going price. I have a 3 level one I got for around $30.

  10. Great room! Great ideas! Thanks for always inspiring me to make my home beautiful.

  11. I love One Kings Lane & have bought many wonderful things there as well. I just did a post about it myself if you want to check it out
    I love your blog & also your gorgeous bedroom! Love the pops of pink….just enough without going overboard. Congrats on your West Elm pin

  12. Sorry, my blog didn’t show up! I thought it would…

  13. such a great room. such a great post.
    Nester, I am a hard core lover of the design philosophy of “opposites,” or “contrast” as I love to call it {and go on and on about….}. It truly makes a room come alive and it keeps the energy moving in the space.
    You created such a gorgeous space here!

  14. It’s ALL about the juxtapose. And you nail it.

  15. Your bedroom deserves all that attention. Just when I think I’m going to go all dark in our bedroom, I see a pretty light one like yours and then I get all confused.

    I’m happy that I wasn’t the only one thinking about my steal-deal cypress table today when I saw OKL! :) And I ALMOST didn’t stop at that junk store…and I ALMOST missed it when I was leaving the junk store…

  16. You have figured it out! It’s the mix that makes it magic. Waiting until you can get just what you envision instead of settling for something that’s just OK. Can’t wait to see your update!

  17. GREAT information, Nester — I’m a huge fan of OKL, so now I’m thrilled to know how to collect a little $$ for my pins! Thanks for sharing!
    xo Heidi

  18. Love this post!! thank you for sharing your secrets :)

  19. i love the tip about adding your referral link – im going through all my old pins to “fix” them now!

  20. Is anyone else having trouble adding the OKL referral link to a pin? Every time I try to add it (following your FABO instructions), I get a “502” message. Any ideas on how to get around that?

  21. Thank you for the great referral link tip. (and the room is beautiful, too!)

  22. Robin Horton / Urban Gardens says:

    Lovely, cozy room and great share about shopping and finding–I’m with you, anything goes as far as where one locates something that fits.

    I heard at BlogHer that Pinterest uses Slimlinks which might replace any affiliate links one places there. Not sure. Also heard if one uses Slimlinkk, it can be a work around the Amazon affiliate restrictions for certain states (mine too.) Now I have lots to research!

  23. What color gray did u use on the wall? Beautiful!

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  26. I subscribe to both OKL and Joss and Main but have never purchased. Primarily the “no return” policy freaks me out. I’ve so wanted to purchase an upholstered bed for one of my guest rooms but even though the prices are usually great compared to local retailers it’s still a big chunk of cash for a possible quality mistake. How do you like yours? Sturdy?
    Thanks for any insight

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