Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest Bedroom: A Start on Accessories

Lately I've been obsessed with the clearance section(s) at Target. On a recent trip, I spotted a cobalt blue lamp base I'd been eyeing for a while. It was only about $13, down from about $30. I wished they still had some of the shades that coordinated perfectly, but they didn't. It just gives me an opportunity for another DIY project. Check out that sweet lamp shade I snagged at a local Salvation Army for 4 bucks. 4 dollars for pink and green peace signs? Yep.

Notice the weird progression of colors in planning this room's potential: Coral? Red? Orange? Blue? Just go with it. It looks good, I swear.

How 'bout that rug? Isn't she lovely? Isn't she won-der-ful? I wasn't sure about it when perusing at Target, but Rich (a.k.a. Decorating Diva) talked me into it. After bringing it home, I was sure I liked it. It offers so much texture*.

These pillows were one of my first purchases when the color scheme began to come together. Actually, I originally purchased a few others when I wasn't sure, then not-so-promptly exchanged them. As with so many things, its difficult to see in the picture the texture the chevron ones bring to the room, but they're fab.

The baskets were a recent purchase from TJ Maxx. Where else can you get such awesome baskets at such a good price? I actually spotted theses several weeks ago before major decisions were made. I'm glad they were still around on my last visit. They're reminiscent of the dipped trend. Except that one (from West Elm) is $70! I got the baby girl for $15 and her big brother for $17. Can't beat it.

On to that weird chair in the corner of the room. It's orange. It's kind of ugly. Fugly, if you will. Where did it come from, you ask? Oh, I bought it. Remember those sweet green chairs over in the office? This one came from the same estate sale. I got the three chairs and the side table I refinished for $150.

Anyone have an opinion one way or another on the chair? I like the idea of it, but I don't like the shape of it. I don't like how deep it is. I definitely don't like the large poofy headrest. By the looks of it, there's more I don't like about it than do; but there's something about it that I want to like. When I originally brought it home, I had big plans for my first reupholstery project. Fast-forward about a year, and I'm scared. Plus, it's orange. Was it a happy coincidence that I grabbed an orange chair a year ago and now have the opportunity to incorporate the color into my room redo? Or is it just too fugly to consider?

I'm so happy things evolved the way they did. I'm loving the way it's turning out. I'm excited to recover the psychedelic lamp shade.  Plus, I recently worked on some sweet (and nearly free) art work that I'll be featuring soon.

I guess everything I've been reading about "the middle" is true. Sometimes things don't make sense right away, but if you keep moving, it might work out better than you ever planned.

*We got a dog. Her name is Carly, and she's the bomb diggity. To know me is to know I'm NOT an animal person. But Rich prodded until I gave in, and I just love her. What does this have to do with the texture of our new rug? Well, Carly likes it too. She likes it so much, in fact, that 15 minutes after laying that sucker in the ground, she started chewing on it. I almost lost my mind when I found her. Luckily, I discovered her before any permanent damage was done. Since its woven/braided, I was able to pull the strands back through. It looks as good as new! Oh yeah, it should. It is new. Damn dog. :)

Good ol' Carly. Isn't she cute?

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Bedroom: Curtains and Bedding

We're in the middle stages of decorating our guest bedroom. I painted the walls Greystone and the trim Moutain Peak White (both by Benjamin Moore) and upcycled a dated ceiling fan. After that, I stewed for a while about what I wanted to do.

Way back in October, I began making a duvet cover . I bought fabric (a lot of fabric for a lot of money) in yellows and grays to start a quilt and quickly got frustrated with the too-difficult-for-an-almost-novice pattern. Instead, I sewed the hundreds of pieces I had already cut back together to make a strip quilt. When I finally finished it about 2 months later and slipped it on the duvet, I lied to myself for a couple hours before admitting that I hated it. I didn't think much of it. Since I still liked all the individual fabrics, I figured I could just use them on a different project down the road. I also realized that I'd rather stay away from the trendiness of grey and yellow. I ran to Target to see if they were carrying any inexpensive duvet covers that might work. As luck would have it, I ran into this beauty on clearance for about $30!

After purchasing the duvet, everything fell into place. Finally coming to the conclusion that I wanted to use coral tones as the main accent color, I ordered this fabric for the curtain panels I was planning.

While shopping, I noticed some of it was a tad redder than I had originally wanted to go with; but because I had been shopping frustrated for quite a while, I decided take the leap. When it came, It still felt a bit too red. What I didn't originally notice was the orange. Alas, I was stuck with it. That's definitely a risk you take when shopping for fabric online. As the days grew longer, so did my affection for the fabric. I love the gradient effect and I really do love the colors. For some reason, it reminds me of the friendship bracelets I used to make out of embroidery floss. Remember, Mom? Using the same method as last time, I whipped up some curtain panels. Check 'em out.

When making the purchase, I worried the fabric would be too narrow. I planned on cutting the fabric in half to make 4 panels. At 44 inches, it was a skinny mini, but I couldn't bring myself to buy double the yardage. Having to hem almost an inch on both sides, each panel ended up being just over 20 inches. After hanging them, I'm okay with the narrowness. After all, they're just there for looks. We're rocking purpose-serving cellular shades behind 'em.

I hung them using a method I found on Pinterest. Basically, I took a scrap piece of 12 x 12 card stock from my collection. From the bottom right hand corner, I cut a 3 x 3 square. From the top left corner of the small square, I measured 8 inches up (the distance I wanted the curtain rod to hang from the top of the window). From that point, I measured 9 inches to the left (the distance I wanted the curtains to hang from the left side of the window). I pierced a hole through the cardboard, held the 3 inch cut square up to the top left corner of the window, and marked a dot. For the right side of the window, I just flipped the cardstock around and repeated the process. The dots are your drill marks! It's fool-proof!

If you look closely, you can see the marks I made at 8" up and 8 and 9" over.
We bought the curtain rods at (yep, you guessed it) Target. I looked at quite a few places. I really wanted the same ones I bought for the office because they have the same mercury glass detail I replicated on the ceiling fan, but Lowes no longer carries them. I settled for these ones, still featuring the mercury glass detailing I was looking for, just in a different shape. I like them just as well.

So far so good, don't ya think?

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Serious Upcycle: Ceiling Fan Update & DIY Mercury Glass

Bada bing, bada boom. That cliched expression pretty much sums up how I feel about what I accomplished with $14.04 and 2 hours of my life. Here we go.

The dreaded ceiling fan. So practical. So windy. So aesthetically displeasing. Especially this one, circa 1992 (or so). I didn't really want to remove the fan altogether and replace it with something else. For one thing, it would most likely have been pricey. For another, I might not have liked it too much in the end. So, for the last few days, I've been pondering ways to transform this monster into something prettier. Should I paint it? I thought about painting stripes or cheverons on the blades. Nope. Too crazy/trendy. I thought about spraying the hardware silver and the blades white. Maybe. Then it hit me: mercury glass!

I've pinned a ton of DIY mercury glass tutorials (my favorite being this one), and I've been meaning to try my hand at the magic. This was the perfect opportunity. Having read on several tutorials that the only place to find Krylon Looking Glass spray paint is Hobby Lobby, I headed straight there. On the way, I continued to ponder about how I would deal with the gold hardware and the blades. While in the spray paint aisle, I decided I'd use Krylon's Brushed Nickel for the hardware and leave the blades as-is for now. I wanted to think about it a bit longer before doing any irreversible damage. I'm known for making rash, impatient decisions. Just ask my mom my husband my sister my cousins my co-workers anyone I've ever met.

There she blows before I began spraying but after I prepped the ceiling. Yikes. I think Rich might have murdered me if he knew I was spray painting inside the house in a room that I just spent three days painting. Spoiler alert: I'm not dead. What Rich doesn't know (until he comes home or reads this) won't kill me. No worries. Carrie @ Dittle Dattle showed me it was okay to use the following method. Yes, if Carrie @ Dittle Dattle told me to jump off a bridge, I would.

Before painting the hardware, I had to remove the blades. Here's where it gets good. After taking the first blade off, I discovered that they were reversible! Super! Who chose to use the lighter side? The dark side is so much better. Check it out!

Once the blades were all down, I donned this mask. Safety first, people. I am Luke's father. That's the second Star Wars reference in 5 sentences, and I've never seen even one of those movies.

After a couple coats of brushed nickel, the motor and hardware came out looking more like this:

Below are the original glass shades. What is the technical term for those things?  As you can see, they are bumpy. Anyone who knows me knows I detest bumps. Let's not talk about it.

To achieve the desired effect, I sprayed the inside of the shades with a couple thin coats of the looking glass spray. Some of the tutorials I read suggested several coats (up to 5 or 6), but I went with 2 because since it's a light fixture, I wanted to maintain the opacity.

After applying 2 thin coats, I sprayed the painted surface with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. I let that sit for about a minute then  dabbed with a paper towel moistened with the same vinegar/water mixture.

While wiping, my fingerprints created this masterpiece. He looks happy
about the result, no?
Here's a shot of what it should look like after you've dabbed and wiped. As always, the photo doesn't do it justice. You'll have to try it out and see for yourself!

I could hardly wait to see the final results after replacing the blades on the reverse side. I ripped the newspaper off the ceiling, jumped off the ladder, and scoped out my upcycled ceiling fan. Behold:

It's so much easier this way:


So what do you think? Are you as thrilled about this upgrade as I am? At the very least, I dusted the fan blades. At the very best, I got a new fan for $14.04.

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!

I'm linked up with:
The Shabby Nest
Jennifer Rizzo
Simple Home Life
The Trendy Treehouse
Tidy Mom
My Romantic Home
Chic on a Shoestring
Beyond the Picket Fence
Fireflies and Jellybeans


Greystone for LIFE!

After a long haitus, I'm back and better than ever just as busy. It's just that I'm on Spring recess from work and I've had some uninterrupted time to spend with my house. Let me just confirm: It's been glorious.

It's becomming a tradition to begin a decorating project whilst on Spring break. I'm in the middle of two masters programs and nearing the end of a hectic school year, so needless to say, I've had very little time for any decorating --  let alone blogging. Beginning a new project was just the break I needed. At any rate, I prepped for my week-long break from school by getting my behind to Campbell's Paint and Wallpaper in Dearborn to pick out my paint.

This is what I started with: 3 walls of light to medium blue with 1 wall of medium to dark blue thrown in for good measure, stained trim to match the harwood floors, and a sweet ceiling fan.

Oh yeah, and almost-floor-to-ceiling mirrored closet doors. I can't get away from mirrors in this house. They're the reasons we bought this house. 4 reasons to be exact. What can I say? We're vain people.

I'm still on the grey train. I think it's partly because I've attempted two shades of the color (here and here) and both times, it came out looking very blue. I realize that's a risk you take when painting with as crazy a color as grey, but sheesh. I was bound and determined to perfect the paint-picking process. So I did. Yep, that's right. This color is perfect. Lots of self-love goin' on in this post.

The color I chose is called Greystone by none other than Mr. Benjamin Moore himself. I like. 

The picture above is a bit dark, but you can see how it downplays the orangeyness of the floors.

Oh, and I painted the trim Mountain Peak White (also by BM and the same color as the trim in the two other rooms I've tackled). Doesn't the white trim make the color even yummier? I think so. Except I wouldn't want to eat paint as it probably wouldn't be good for my health.

I will, of course, be adding window treatments, but check out how much better the windows look with the white trim. Mmm hmm.

I love that the color has the quality of taupe. It reminds me of the clay I used back in high school to make the vase that my mom "accidentally broke" the day after I brought it home. Okay, that never happened, but you get the point. I love me some Greystone. 

Thus begins another adventure in decorating. Stay tuned for the reveal of my big plans for that sweet fan. And of course, stay tuned for the styling ordeal. I'm anticipating at least a few weeks worth of work. At least.

In keeping with tradition, color me happy. :)

P.S. Check out Campbell's Paint and Wallpaper in Dearborn, MI for all your paint, wallpaper and framing needs. They offer the best color advice and customer service in Metro-Detroit. They have a full line of stains and tools including Benjamin Moore and Pratt & Lambertt paints. They guarantee their paint and stain color matching, offer in-home color consultations, and service custom picture framing using expert design & workmanship (their every day prices beat Michael's 50% off price). They also offer a large wallcovering library.

P.P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo-a-Day Project 2013 Update

As 2013 began, I joined a challenge that asks its participants to take one snapshot per day. The rules are there ain't no rules. (Think Danny Zuko vs. Leo on Thunder Road.) Because of this, I have taken the liberty to take a few days off (oops) and have snapped some really crappy photos. Thus far, I'm a long way away from achieving my goal of thinking outside the box a bit when it comes to photography and getting better at taking pictures in general.

While I'm not proud of the results, here's what's gone down since last we met:

I took one last look at the magic that is Christmas,

bought and consumed many, many, many clementines,
read and enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn,
did some last minute laundry on the final day of Christmas vacation (and whined about it),
caught my husband leaving clutter around in a just-cleaned house,
celebrated a National Championship victory for the University of Alabama (Roll Tide),

worked my buns off grading papers for the final push before final exams,
bought a couple new books with a gift card,
and played "Name the FANBOYS" with Rich.

So far, it's  been quite a poor showing from yours truly. I got a new camera for Christmas last year, so I really need to use my resources more wisely.

Is anyone else participating in a similar Photo-a-Day challenge?

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right. If you like it, pin it!

P.P.S. My mom is now hosting her own blog! She's documenting her first ever kitchen makeover at Kitchen Nightmares to Kitchen Daydreams. Check it out! As a bonus, she is also the proud owner of a new smart phone. What the? A blog and a smart phone all in one year? That's just crazy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Photo-a-Day Project 2013

Just in the nick of time, Jane Lopez, my Creative Memories consultant invited me to join a photo-a-day challenge for 2013. The challenge is simple: take at least one photo a day for the next 365 days. The reason? Many of us get lost in a sea of photos taken at special occasions like Christmas and birthdays, but have few photos to document the memories we're making on a daily basis.

For me, the Photo-a-Day Project is a challenge to become just a slightly better photographer. I doubt I'll ever find myself taking as wonderful photos as Carrie or Marilena, but practice makes...potentially better. Admittedly, this project is also a little about scrapbooking. Way back when, I promised myself I would take more photos at "regular" events and on average days so I could chronicle our life in genuine way. Yeah, that didn't happen. In fact, I've only scrapbooked once in the last several months. Granted, it has more to do with my busy work schedule than with a lack of motivation, but still. After scrapbooking the other day, I came away with 12 glorious pages of...Christmas. Old habits die hard.

So when I got the email inviting me to participate in the Photo-a-Day Project, I jumped on board. I'm allowing myself a little leeway. (If I forget or miss a day, the world will end even less than it ended on December 21, 2012.) I'm hoping, though, that when December 31, 2013 rolls around, I'll have a wealth of memories to share and a big fat scrapbook album to finish.

Without further ado, here's my first photo of 2013:

On January 1, 2013, a couple friends joined Rich & I for a rousing game
of Trivial Pursuit - Master Edition. The girls, of course, came away victorious.
Will you join me in the Photo-a-Day project this year? If you do, consider posting your photos to my Facebook wall and leaving a comment with your link on the blog. I'm thinking I'll be back about once per week with a photo round-up.
P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!