Thursday, February 24, 2011

DIY mirror bowls

Project Month at Apartment Therapy has motivated me to get around to organizing pictures of many of my DIY home projects, and although I've been posting quite a few on AT, I have a back log on projects that I would love to share here.

You may have noticed a trend already, most of my home projects are done impulsively (usually while my girls are napping...or pretending to be :), and because of that most are done with old items that I have around the house. Needless to say, some are better than others and I have a very very patient husband.

There is almost always a back story to the projects. This one happens to be about salad bowls and the fact that when we registered for wedding presents we had no idea what we really needed. It's funny to see what ended up on our list...12 salad bowls, about a hundred wine glasses, and no everyday dishes!

Well, as much as we liked the salad bowls, they didn't like us. After one use, the finish began to peel off due to the vinegar based dressing. So, they gathered dust for many months before finding a new mirrors!

You can check out my full step by step instructions (complete with product sources) at Apartment Therapy, but here's a little run through....

I mapped out the layout and used painters tape to preview the arrangement on the wall:

and then hammered in a nail in the crest of the x, and then spread adhesive around the edge of each craft mirror that I found at Michaels:

then pushed the mirror snugly into the bowl and let it cure overnight. Then I screwed an eye hook at a slight angle into the back of each bowl just above the base of the bowl so that I would lay flat on the wall when hung:
and that's pretty much it.

if you'd like to see more instructions, you can check out my Apartment Therapy instructions here

This has been an incredible month, and I have so much that I hope to be sharing more of on the client end as soon as the projects are complete and I can make time to photograph, so stay tuned. I feel like I'm racing the clock before this baby is born!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Block print bathrooms and busy-ness!

So many exciting things to share, and very very little time to get them into words, so until a good time comes I'll leave you with my most recent put-on-hold home-project.

It's been at least 2 years since I've been searching for a spot to bring in a block print pattern to our home. And I've also been dying to try to make my own blocks (after buying some antique ones that are beautiful to look at but not so functional to use).

So drawing on a few of my favorite patterns, I labored over whipped up ;)  this:

Then attempted to translate it into stamp form-- total experiment! but a lot of fun, carving into lino blocks is very satisfying, like scraping off old paint (or is that just me?)...

and then immediately ran to try it out on my walls:

and then that very same afternoon, opening up the Pottery Barn catalog to discover this (does that happen to you? Remember that saying that there are no new ideas?):

kind of like mine... oh wait, minus the gaping holes and off centered sink :)

Here's to hoping that the coming weeks will bring some progress.

Elsewhere, in my life, there is nothing but progress! Here's a glimpse of a current client project where I've been spending a fair amount of time...

Watching and directing, not sawing or building, of course....even so, this new baby might just be born wearing a hard hat and carrying a tape measure :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My DIY Block Print Rug

A few weeks ago I promised to tell more about the DIY rug that I made for our den, so here it is!
 Coming up with a plausible flooring solution was one of the biggest challenges. As I've mentioned, we'd love to redo our weird addition at some point. It's totally inefficient from an energy standpoint (the floor and parts of the ceiling weren't even insulated before we moved in dry wall/sub flooring and air...), and the layout is pretty awkward. So we've been holding off on doing anything major to the ugly stained wall to wall carpet until we come up with and can afford a good long term solution.

All that to say, we're stuck with ugly flooring for the time being, and it made me sad to look at. I knew an area rug in the sofa area would lessen the pain, so I came up with a little scheme. I love texture and block print, and something that didn't look too polished (since that room is anything but polished):

 Alas, Madeline Weinrib was not in the budget. Free was.

Well, one day a few weeks ago I got my free rug! Rich thought I had gone insane, but I don't know if I've ever been so excited about a project. It hit me late one night as I stepped outside and looked down and saw my answer--our old rubber filigree welcome mat!  I basically used it like a giant stamp:
flipping it over to the flat side, I rolled on some paint (left over wall paint that I had diluted with water)

flipped it over onto the old stained wool ikea rug that my mom had given me a year ago (not that easy for a pregnant lady like me in her last trimester since the mat is a little heavy and unwieldy), got down on my hands and knees and pressed the mat into the rug (I pressed harder in some spots than in others to achieve a more weathered, antiqued look which I thought would tie in with the pillows we already had in the room), and repeated until I had a fully printed rug.:
As you can see, I didn't line up the mat perfectly, which made for a little more wonky of a look than I intended, but overall I really like it. It does the trick of adding a little life to the room, covering some badly stained spots on the carpet underneath, as well as masking muddy dog paw prints (bane!!!)

Since adding it, the room has become a favorite spot for all of our little and not so little beasts!
If you'd like more details, you can check out my detailed list of instructions on Apartment Therapy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A quick little before and after

I've mentioned before that we don't have many before pictures of our house b/c they died along with my old laptop a couple of years ago....but this one escaped death:
 a seriously terrible color combination! It especially saddens me to think that the lovely exposed brick was painted over in order to make it this color--this horrible horrible color!

But...that did give me an excuse to paint it white (which I love but probably wouldn't have convinced Rich to do to unpainted exposed brick) We drowned everythign in white and a little black, a touch of very light blue, and some aqua....

The room is already very narrow and the four shades of brown and beige made it seem even more depressing. And the knotty pine kitchen! I know some people seriously cringe at the thought of painting wood, but it had to happen friends. I could see liking the pine if it was raw or weathered instead of smothered under 10 layers of yellow stain and lacquer, but such was the reality and when we moved in it was a hot yellow/brown/beige/orange mess, all perfectly highlighted by glaring fluorescent overhead lighting.

Painting the cabinets white, the walls a very light blue (Ben M's Patriotic White), changing the floor with discount discontinued tile, and replacing the flourescent monster with very reasonably priced pendants on a dimmer made a world of difference. I still love the fresh feel.

The after has changed a bit since this picture, but an up to date after will have to wait. Currently our kitchen is a dirty mess, and there is a layer of brown paper packaging, bubble wrap, and a big box, er fort, covering the craft room (thanks to Pam from Red Ticking and Ally from FTRB whose light just arrived--yay!!!!!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

sweet 16

One of my current projects has me especially delighted to be working with two teenage girls on their room and study. I'm sooo excited for the rest of the house too of course, but there's a special kind of thrill getting to help them bring their energetic and slightly daring sense of style to life.

So Helen, my dear, this post's for you!

As you can see, red will be playing a role, as will black and white.....
(so sorry but can't remember where I found this, please refresh my memory if you know)




 via Apartment Therapy

elle decor

elle decor


Met Home

The Nate Show

Some parts will be edgy and sophisticated and feminine....

Graham Moss
and there will definitely be a few bold playful elements... 
 atlanta homes & lifestyles via Sukio
Lizzy Carney in Country living
Nuevo Estilo (the feeling, not the colors :)
And perhaps some sort of clean drama and high contrast too....
We are planning on keeping the palette pretty limited with black, white, red, golds and a few grays, but the overall feeling will be glamorous and rather high impact, but not to the point of feeling cluttered or distracting. 

Come early March, I should have some exciting pictures to share! Admittedly I have been terrible about posting projects. I have a back log of past design projects to photograph, and it seems that the task always gets pushed to the bottom of my list as new projects present themselves and my schedule fills up. However, Lauren's post on portfolios definitely inspired me to get my act together and take some pics, so be on the look out y'all!

Peek into Progress part II, our slowly evolving natural living room

Yesterday I unveiled my latest living room updates for the world of Apartment Therapy:
When we first moved in, it screamed old lady:
 but it took us a really long time to decide exactly what we wanted for the room. We knew that we wanted it a little rustic and natural with a lot of greens and whites and woods, but we didn't want to fill it with cheap pieces until we found exactly what we wanted. 

Rich was insistent that he wanted the room to feel masculine enough, and I agreed. Our bedroom and girls' room are places where I felt comfortable going a little more feminine, but I wanted the living room to be a place that we both felt relaxed and happy coming home to.

So it sat in kind of a sad, spare state for many months. There were so many times when I was embarrassed about people's reactions because working in the design industry, means you should have a perfect or at least put together home, right? Well, that wasn't the case. Progress was slooooow.....
 And.....after (I think I can finally say that although something still seems to change every week or so):

And more........



This corner evolved even more slowly.....

 After (taken around Christmas time):
Rich insisted on a leather chair, and after we found one that worked, the rest of the room seemed to fall into place. Having a heavy piece of furniture like that in a light room requires you to seek out balance through accessories.


Now that we're on the other side, I can say that it has been worth the wait to save up and settle on things that we know we really like, but there were many times that I wish I had treated myself as a client, laying out an exact road map with a detailed purchase list and time schedule and giving just a little wiggle room to treasure hunt.

To read more about what went into the room you can check out my article for Apartment Therapy.

And on a completely random note, while I was checking out some bedding options for a project I'm working on I came across Margaret Russell's Style & Substance on sale for $11 at Macy's. I've only glanced through it at the library, but it's wonderful and totally worth the tiny price tag. Here's the link
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