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...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fab & Frugal End Tables

This is such a great idea! I have been searching Craigslist/ebay/garage sales, etc. for end tables for my Outdoor Space renovation without any luck. Pictured below is my dream piece, but there is NO WAY that I am paying that much for an outdoor table. So I headed out to my decor mecca...HomeGoods! Say what you will about HomeGoods, but as a professional decorator that specializes in saving my clients money where I can, HomeGoods is IT for accessories. Not only did I get the idea for these Fab & Frugal end tables, but I found a couple great pieces for next to nothing that will be the inspiration for the fabric and texture in the space.

So let me explain how I did close attention, it's so tricky you might miss something:) KIDDING! It's so easy it's ridiculous!

Turn over a rectangle woven basket like this...

Purchase a serving tray that matches the woven material and size of the basket that you are using. Then put the tray on the basket...

Then I purchased a clear tempered glass cutting board and placed it inside the serving tray. It's great because it provides a smooth surface for drinks and snacks and gives it a more finished look.

Hey, not bad for a $10 investment!

Or why couldn't you use this same idea to make an ottoman. You could easily make a cushion to place on the inverted basket. Endless possibilities:)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's All Coming Together...

For those of you that have been following my Outdoor Space renovation, we have made great strides. Not to say that it has been a straight shot...sometimes you just have to change direction. Have you ever found that perfect piece for such an amazing price that it was just too good to pass up? That is where I'm at. I found this piece for my Outdoor Space renovation on Craigslist for a STEAL! I'm still riding the "bargain shoppers high" and may be for some time:) The problem is that it really doesn't fit with any of my inspiration rooms. When I was plannig my space renovation, I was thinking budget. budget. budget. Never did I think that I would find a piece like this within my budget. But I did...happy dance!!! So back to the drawing board we go. What does this piece say to you? To me, it says cool breezes, seaside living and the taste of salt on my lips. It evokes images of cedar shake homes with the gray patina of age. So... Coastal Living, here I come.
I perused the pages of a Coastal Living that I had from a few years back and saw a lot of crisp, clean blues and whites complimented beautifully with woven seagrass and abaca pieces like this. Very nautical...not at all what I was planning, but I like it. I like it a lot. And what's even better is that it is totally different from anything that I have in my home. But there's nothing that I hate more than the obvious when it comes to design. Great design is 50% aesthetic and 50% feeling. In other words, you don't achieve a coastal design by hanging a Captain's wheel on the wall and putting out a bowl of seashells. Do you know what I'm saying? Have you ever walked into a room like that? It's as if the home owner is telling you what you should think and feel about the space. Good design is unspoken. You walk in the room and you feel it. No one thing jumps out and defines the space. The space is defined as a whole. Everything working together cohesively to give you "that" feeling when you step into the space. No words, no captain's wheel, just cool breezes and salty lips...THAT is my challenge.

Not to say that those things don't have their place, just not in this case.

Loving my new rooms that inspire...

Stripes are quintessential for Coastal design. I also love the shutters, but not sure that is feasible in our space.

I love the hand painted patina on these wood pieces...

Ahhhh...makes me want to kick off my flip flops and put up my sandy feet! Can't you just taste the salt?:)

I have already found a few pieces to go in the room and I have a fab and frugal idea for coffee tables! Can't wait to share it with you:)
See you tomorrow,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Roman Shade Re-make in 30 Minutes

What is the first thing that you buy after you move into a new house??? Blinds! Well, that's if they didn't come with your house...and in my case, they didn't. So while the ink was still drying on our closing docs, I measured my windows and went out and purchased the cheapest blinds that I could find. My intention, of course, was to make window treatments for every room in my house within the first month of being there. forward almost 6 years...I still have those cheap woven Roman blinds on a few windows!

These days I have more of an eye toward re-purposing items rather than the "throw the baby out with the bath water" attitude that I used to have. So I've been thinking...why can't I just re-cover this blind with some great fabric and call it a day? And that's what I looks so great and I can't wait to re-cover the other blinds that I fun! Best of all, no sewing needed! As you know, I'm all about easy and cheap projects these days. I used left over fabric that I had from an old project so this literally cost me a big whopping $0.00...gotta love it!

This is the before...

1. Iron the fabric that you plan on using for your blind.

2. Cut to size leaving an extra 2 inches of width on all

3. Attach the fabric to the roman with hem tape.
Neatly fold over the sides and cut a piece of hem tape to the length that you need. Apply heat with an iron until the tape fuses the fabric to the shade.
You could also sew this by hand using a blind stitch, or even use a glue gun if you are really looking for speed and an easy project!

4. Wrap the fabric around the header as if you are wrapping a present. Secure with hot glue.
5. Fold the bottom hem up neatly and fuse with more hem tape.Done!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Sweet Ideas For Your Valentine

I have been pondering Valentine ideas for days! Something original, beautiful, personal and sentimental. I was in a quandary until I started thinking about my Valentine projects that I did as a little girl. And then it hit me. Remember those Valentines shoe boxes that we made to hold all our Valentines at school? Well, this is a remodeled version of that red and pink construction paper shoe box! I decided to make little valentine boxes for my wee ones. My goal is to bring these boxes out every year on V-day and surprise my wee ones when they wake with a Valentine and gift in their box. Cute, right?! Yay--a new tradition just like that! And I'm all about tradition.



It will also serve as a storage for all the Valentines that they receive throughout the years from mommy and daddy. Love it!

Every Christmas, I have a nifty way of displaying my Christmas cards. I tape a long piece of wired decorative ribbon to my kitchen cabinets and then I attach all of my Christmas cards. So why not Valentine hearts???

I outlined heart shapes using a heart shaped cookie cutter onto designer scrapbook paper. I cut them out and then attached candy hearts with a glue gun. Instead of wired ribbon, I used burlap twine. The result...sweeter than sweet:)

Treasure your Valentine this weekend! See you tomorrow...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Outdoor Spaces

I don't know about you but I am totally ready for Spring! Every year at this time, I start to think about the bane of my outdoor existence...the gypsy moths. If you live in the Northeast, you know what I'm talking about. If you do not know what I'm talking about, let me enlighten you. They are caterpillars (that eventually turn into moths) that eat the trees and poop...yes poop... all over the place. It is beyond gross and it makes enjoying your outdoor space nearly impossible. This year we have taken care of the problem. We took down 4 giant Oak trees that were the bulk of our poopy problem and now we are looking forward to a poop-free summer:)

So this has my creative juices flowing! I really want to create outdoor spaces that I can enjoy all summer long. The space needs to meet a few criteria: it must be a space that I can relax and watch the sun set with my husband after the kids go to bed; it must be great for entertaining; it must be kid friendly; and it must have a space where I can stretch out with a good book and maybe even get some sun!

Our outdoor space has good bones, as "they" say, so all it needs is a little TLC and an inviting decorative touch. We will be working with a screened porch, deck and patio. Most of my focus will be dedicated to the screened porch. And thanks to a woodpecker that got trapped in there last summer, we need all new screens! My husband and I think we can tackle that project on our own and save some bucks there. Oh and did I mention that I'm on a very strict budget??? So Craigslist and garage sales will be my shopping resource. Also, I will be sewing all the pillows and making all the cushions myself. Of course, I will take you on that journey with me! This is the screened porch...

And these are my inspiration rooms...

I love the white painted ceiling in this room and I'm toying with the idea of a daybed...

Love the painted coffee table in this one...

Again, love the white ceiling and the natural fiber rug...

I really like this furniture layout. This is my inspiration sofa! I definitely want a full three seater sofa and hopefully I can find some thick cushions like these...fingers crossed:)

Part of me really likes traditional white wicker porch furniture. Makes me want to sit with a pitcher of sweet tea! Not sure that I will go this route, but I do like the idea of a wicker chaise...

And then there is the Shabby Chic...I love the gauzy drapes and the fresh, feminine style. hmmmmm....

Because we use the porch to house food and drink tables when we have parties, I want the porch to have light and comfortable furniture that can easily be moved out for parties. I like the look of white wicker, but I'm open to Seagrass and Banana Leaf too. I want the room to feel cool and inviting, but be very comfortable i.e. lots of pillows and soft cotton fabrics. To sum it up, i don't want it to be too fussy and comfort is of the utmost importance.

I am leaning toward a Shabby Chic look for this porch. But like I've said before, I like to marry all different styles so I expect this to be very interesting and fun! Stay tuned to watch this project unfold...
See you tomorrow!