Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All over the map...literally!

Here is a looooong overdue return to decorating, blogging and just home in general! The past 5 months have been the busiest of my life. I have been on numerous trips, hosted guests in my home, did a little decorating for clients, oh, and I managed to squeeze in caring for a 2 1/2 year old and almost 1 year old in my spare time:) I'm pooped! I am not complaining believe has been FUN, inspiring, and we have created lasting memories. Pure bliss. But I have to admit, I am ready to head indoors. I am ready for some hot cider and pumpkin bread. I can't wait to cozy up next to our first fire of the season. Apple picking... Hay rides... Halloween... Thanksgiving... Christmas... I'm ready. And I am literally brimming with ideas that I can't wait to share!

So let me start by giving you a glimpse of a trip that I took this summer. Do you watch 9 By Design on Bravo? It is a must see if you love design and have a family! Bob and Courtney Novogratz own Six Design in NYC and it is their story of running a huge design business all while raising 7 kids...yes, 7 kids...the oldest of which is 12:) They are masters of mixing styles and creating art out of thrift store finds. They designed a hotel on the Jersey Shore and my husband and I went there for a few days for our 10 year anniversary. It was amazing. Here is a little tour to inspire...

The room...crisp white on white decor with bright pops of color. And the bed was heaven.

That's me hanging by the outdoor fireplace. Comfortable lounge area punctuated by these great hourglass tables and overflowing with atmosphere.

Anne Carrington's 'The Queen'. Her works were displayed in every guest room as well.

Another Anne Carrington piece.

Signature Bob and Cortney backlit letters.

The hallway. Such a great design technique-- wallpapering alternate walls. It really draws your eye down the hall without making you feel dizzy:)

The beach of course

I saved the best for last...that's my man! Isn't he cute:)

Ahhh...I'll just daydream here for a minute...

Okay, let's get back to business:) The long awaited Kitchen Countertops have been finished for awhile, and, well, you know...I've had no time to blog! BUT I'm ready to blog about them. I heart them. They make such a huge difference in my kitchen and I can't tell you how many people think they are granite. When I tell them they are painted, the reponse is always..."WHAT?!" I'll take that as a compliment:)

Here's a sneak peak...

Now let me get writing...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Golden Gal Makeover

I have been off the map has become so crazy busy but thankfully there is an end in sight. I have not mentioned this until now, but I have a HUGE project that is upcoming that I can't wait to share with you. It is a unique project as it presents many different challenges... budget, design and emotional challenges all rolled into one project! So what is it you ask??? Well, my mother is moving from my childhood home in MI to a condo in FL. If anyone has been through this, you know that there is a lot of emotion and excitement tied up in this move. I'm sad to never be able to go back to my childhood home, but I'm excited for the new opportunity's that this move creates for my mom and my family. So mom has slated me with design duties in the new condo. This is a huge challenge because the condo is a rental which means that we are limited by paint color, window treatments, light fixtures and permanent finishes like countertops, cupboards, etc. At first I thought---"ugh, how is this going to feel like home?!" And then I realized...this is a perfect new challenge for me. So many people rent homes, condos, and apartments and think they will never be able to create a space that feels like their own. That is simply not true.
So this excites me! To be able to create an amazing design working with existing paint color, window treatments and finshes (and they are not neutral, by the way--mauve anyone???). But we can create a great design and we will. The reveal will happen over Memorial Day weekend and there is much to do before then. Now for the pics..

The Master Bedroom with sliders out to the Lanai...

The trick will be to play down the pattern of the drapes with a couple of calming colors. I'm thinking crisp white and navy is where we will go. Add in some beautiful bedding and accessories and those drapes will fade into the background. I know, you're thinking..."no way!" Wait and see...:)

Guest Bath
Pretty straightforward. But we will give it some "wow" in the form of a shower curtain in a modern fabric...maybe a fretwork print. Like this one from Waverly. Looks kind of green in the pic but it is actually chocolate. Throw in some hand towels and some great artwork and done.

The Living Room
Now the real work begins...
This is where my decorating chops will be tested:) These draperies are actually not bad in person. They have a light yellow background color that gets completely lost up against the white (with a hint of pink) walls. Wish we could paint, but the owner just re-painted the place so that is a no-go. So the furnishings will be the catalyst to bring it all together. We are looking at a buttercream slipcovered sofa and some colorful accent chairs.

The Kitchen view to the Dining area...Living Room to the left. Like I said, mauve anyone??? That's okay, we can bring this up to date with some great runners, place mats and dishes. It'll me:)

More Living Room/Dining area photos and sliders to the Lanai.

And really, it is all about this view...I mean, that is why you move to Florida right???View from Living Room to Dining areaMaster Bath...needs a little pizzazz...Mom wants to use this room as her office slash guest room. Needs a window treatment and maybe we will tie in the gray from the carpet to bring it all together.

Stay tuned!! Can't wait to see this Golden Gal pad get the update that it deserves!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Outdoor Space Renovation : Siding, Screens, and Sofa

Okay, my blessed husband and I have been working our tuckuses off getting this space put together! We have made great strides and the hardest part is done...the screens!

Let me remind you what the porch looked like before...

Take note of the ripped screens courtesy of Mr. Woodpecker:)

Here are pics of my very own "Ty Pennington"...
Some screens were easier than others! All in all, re-screening was challenging but definitely doable. Now that we have done it ourselves, I don't think that I would pay someone to do this in the future. It was fairly easy, but definitely a two person job and very time consuming. It took us 4 hours straight of both of us working to complete the project. One of us had to hold the the screen taught while the other person stapled the screen in place. We then had to nail finishing strips in place to frame the screens.

It is coming along nicely, but something that has been bothering me about this space is this wall of vinyl siding. This is what you are facing when sitting on my lovely "new to me" outdoor sofa. The wall looks like this...Totally uninspiring. It just bothers my eye immensely! So I decided to do a white wash on the siding to give it a very Cottage-like appearance. This was my inspiration photo...
And this is the result...I really like the way it turned out. It was pretty simple to complete. I simply watered down white outdoor paint until the consistency was like this...

And then I just painted over the whole area making sure that everything was covered. Now this is vinyl siding which has no depth whatsoever versus the real wood in the inspiration photo which has lots of depth. So I had to build in the depth with additional layers of paint. How? I'll tell you...after letting the first layer of white wash dry, I dipped a tiny bit of my brush in the full strength paint. I then brushed the paint over the area in an erratic manner. I repeated this step until I achieved the desired look.

So now for my Craigslist outdoor sofa reveal! And let me say, I have been looking for this exact piece for YEARS but could not justify paying full price for it. It is the Pottery Barn Seagrass sectional and I had given up all hope on ever finding it on the cheap. But I did...and like I've said before, I'm still riding the bargain shoppers high!
We still need accessories and some artwork...I have some Fab&Frugal ideas for those. But hey, we've come a long way baby!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Treasuring Your Treasures

First of all, so sorry to everyone! I have been on a little hiatus! But don't think that I have been resting on my laurels. I have some huge reveals coming up that you will not want to miss!

So I have been wanting to do something creative with some special mementos ever since my precious son was born 2 years ago. You know how you hold on to their first little onsies, hats, binky's, etc...just to end up throwing them in a box in the attic never to be seen again? Well, this is a mini project that you can do to honor those special mementos. I bought a shadow box picture frame and gathered up my scrap booking supplies and precious mementos.

Look at the size of that onesie!! It is almost the same size as the 5 x 7 photo next to it! I can't believe that this guy... was that small! He is actually wearing that onsie in his newborn photo that I am using for this project. I had to add in the hand knitted hat and the binky that he received in the hospital. And as you can see in the above photo...he is a binky addict!!! So I couldn't leave that out:)
gathering my supplies...

I cut designer scrapbook paper to size and used it as a background for the frame.

I added nifty little brown satin picture corners. And they are self that!

I then arranged everything in the shadow box frame...

I secured everything with pearl tipped push pins.


I also did a very simplified version that I LOVE too. Sometimes the simpler the design, the stronger the message...

For the sake of equity, I must say that I will be doing this for Brooke too, but they only had one frame left at the store. Plus, I figured that I better do Bobby's before I lose these mementos in his closet which is rapidly becoming the "great abyss"! I still have Brooke's mementos tucked away safely:) Can you tell that I have Mommy guilt over this?? :)

Here is a preview of some amazing projects that are coming up...

Cruddy Cabinet Re-do

Moulding Magic

Venetian Plaster

Mural Painting 101

And, of course, the big Outdoor Space Reveal ***hint--you saw a little glimpse of it in an above pic!

And...The much requested Counter Top Painting!!! All to come soon:)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fab & Frugal Floor to Ceiling Drapes

This is one of my favorite Fab & Frugal tricks. Most of you probably know how costly drapery panels can be. I have sewn floor to ceiling draperies for clients more times than I can count. They are usually one of the more expensive treatments because of the amount of fabric, lining and interlining that is needed. A good lining and interlining is key because you want the drape to look full bodied, not flimsy. Nothing worse than a flimsy, see-through drapery panel in my book! And, you know me, I want the look of expensive without the I came up with this in my own house...And I have to say it is pretty brilliant!

Would you believe that these are 2 King size quilts?

Yes, that's right, a quilt that you would put on your this...

but on the window. Crazy, right? Crazy beautiful!!!! Add a little pizazz in the form of a silk fabric border and tassels and we're in business!

As I mentioned before, I hate a flimsy drape so what makes these so fab is that you get the full bodied look without the work and expense of lining and interlining. Also, on a design note, I love that they are off white in the midst of dark walls and furnishings. It gives the eye a rest.

The play by play...

1. Wash and tumble dry the quilt/bedspread.
2. Lay out the quilt on a flat surface. I used the living room floor.
3. cut 8" strips of a fabric of your choice. I used this beautiful silk mini check because I knew it would be easy to match the pattern up.
4. Fold over a 1/2 inch of the fabric so that the rough edge is not showing. Iron it flat.

5. Hot glue the fabric border to the edge of the quilt. Fold it over the edge of the quilt and hot glue the other side as well. This way you have a clean finished look on both sides of the drape.



6. Cut tassel fringe to the length of the drape and attach the fringe to the fabric border with hot glue.
7. Attach to clip rings and hang from a drapery rod.

I pulled it back with tassel tie backs...


Now for the best part...the savings!

2 King size quilts = $40 x 2= $80
10 Yards Tassel Fringe = $10 (got a major bargain here!)
2 Yards silk border fabric = $30
Total $120

Now if these were custom draperies...

20 Yards Decorator Quality Fabric = $400
20 Yards Lining = $160
20 Yards Interlining = $160

Okay you get the idea...$720 just for the fabric and linings!!! Not to mention the trim! It would be approaching $900 for the same look that I achieved for $120...Makes me happy:) I would love to see your pictures if you try this in your own home!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Painted Staircase

I found this on The Inspired Room and it goes perfectly with my plan for my own staircase renovation! Enjoy...

Step Black!

by Remodeling Guy
Written by: Tim Layton (aka Remodeling Guy)
Tim’s love of creativity and design mix with a perspective built on a career as a remodeling contractor.He can also can be found at his blog,

Step Black!? Oh man… sometimes I really make myself wonder with my goofy titles.

Maybe a picture will help!

Black painted stair treads!

I was looking though some pictures on House Beautiful, and I started to realize that I was seeing the same idea over and over. I must have been living under a rock, because I didn’t realize much of this was going on. Maybe it is.

Have you ever considered painting your stairs black? I’m talking solid black, as in “pitch”.

How about a few more pictures:

I like it! I really think this is a great alternative to stained wood steps. If you’re remodeling and your old steps are pretty worn out, this is an option that can look wonderful without breaking the bank.

This is also something that can be done by a less experienced DIY’er if you’re so inclined. The real key is to make sure the paint dries well between coats and then that it is allowed to really cure for a good week or more before allowing traffic on it. This allows the paint surface to harden up before it has to withstand foot traffic.

So, what do you think?

Are you going to step-up to the plate and give black steps a try?
Or maybe you want to take it down a notch and go with a lighter color?

Tomorrow, Melissa will be showing you her dramatic red staircase before & after makeover, her thoughts on the upkeep of wood and painted steps versus carpet, and her plans for making over for her new staircase (and the plans involve BLACK!) Stay tuned…

photos: House Beautiful

This gives me great inspiration...I'm definitely tackling this in my own house. The trick will be how to do this and keep a 2 year old off the steps for a whole week....hmmmm:) More to come about this!

This is my own inspired photo...