Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coloring in the lines

Do you ever get the urge to return to your youth and whip out a coloring books and one of those massive crayon boxes?

Here at HHFITD that urge happens quite a bit. Enough so that we not only have a couple of standard coloring books, but a massive 2’ x 4’ one as well in our den.

So, of course I was completely jealous when I spied the work of London based artist  Charlotte Mann . She does a variety of custom work and everything is hand drawn by her with a black marker!


Here is a peek into some of her work. I’m certain that if I was ever let loose in any of those rooms I would go to town coloring it all in.









Do you think you would be able to deal with it?

I'm not sure if I could use it in a main room in my house, but perhaps a small bathroom or dressing room or if I ever own a home store I would love to use it there!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DIY: Hardware Store Window Treatments!

When I decided to embark  on fixing up the Florida room to become my office we were on a very small budget!

We ran out one Saturday morning to our local LOWES and decided to not only pick up some Oops paint for our stripes, but all of the supplies for window treatments.

The room is full of windows that are UGLY and need to be replaced, but since we are on a budget I thought it best to just HIDE them!

Here is a little reminder of the BEFORE:

florida room 001 

Here is the after shot with window treatments up:


Here is how we did it:

At LOWES we picked up the following supplies:

Finish Factor 6' x 9' canvas drop cloths

Eye Hooks

Wire Rope Cable Clamps

1/8” steel cable {not plastic coated}

Cable tensioner

STEP 1: Put eye hooks at opposite ends of walls.

STEP 2: Thread cable through eye hook and secure with wire clamp. Make sure you tighten clamp.

DSC02723 DSC02724

It will look like this on wall:


STEP 3: Cut the cable that has been threaded through the eye hook 2 ft shy of the ending wall.

i.e.: If the space between the eye hooks is 10 ft long then make a cut at 8ft long.

You will now have two pieces of cable. An 8 ft section already attached to an eye hook and a remaining 2 ft section by it’s self.

STEP 4: At the end of the cable that is already attached to an eye hook (i.e.: 8ft section) thread cable through one of the loops of the tensioner. (Loops on tensioner should be almost fully extended) Secure cable with a wire clamp.

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Here is what it looks like on the wall:

DSC02716 * Note we place a bit of electrical tape on the exposed wire, because we didn’t want it to snag the fabric.

STEP 5: Starting at opposite wall eye hook thread 2ft section through and secure with wire clamp. This is exactly like STEP 2  you are now doing it on opposite wall.

STEP 6: Take other end of 2ft cable and thread through the empty end of the tensioner. Pull with all your might and then secure final loop with wire clamp. This is exactly like STEP 4.

Here is how it will look with both loops on the tensioner threaded:

DSC02715Cable should now be installed and taut. 

STEP 7: To place curtain panels on tension rod simply unscrew one loop of the tensioner and thread panel. We left a 1” and 1/4 opening on panel so that the cable and hardware could pass smoothly.


STEP 8: Have some one assist you in supporting weight of curtains to prevent the cable from drooping you are now ready to reconnect the loop to the tensioner.

STEP 9: Spin center portion of tensioner to tighten cable. If you have a very large window and want additional support you can add an additional eye hook in the center of wall to support weight.

STEP 10: Sit back and relax and enjoy your new chic and cheap curtains! Give your husband a big smooch for doing all the hard work!

We continued and made one more tension rod for the other wall of windows. When placing these eye hooks you will have to place it a tiny bit higher than the existing eye hook from the previous rod so that they don’t interfere.


This was a super easy and inexpensive solution to my window dilemma. Depending on your local hardware store the cable should run around .20 cents a foot, the wire clamps around .50 cents, tensioner from $1-$2 a piece, eye hooks from $3-$4 for a bag and canvas drop cloths around $10 for 6’ x 9’ section.

For one wall you will need:

4 clamps

1 Tensioner

2 Eye Hooks

Drop Cloths for curtain panel. Depending on wall size you will know if you need 1 or 2, etc to cover the wall.

The drop cloths I purchased had finished edges so I only needed to sew the section for the curtain rod to pass through. I do recommend that you give them a wash before you use them. They had a bit of smell to them from being in the package.

I liked the look of them so I left them as is, but you could dye them whatever color you like, add  ribbon trim to the edges, fabric paint, nail head trim to make a border, iron on transfer for monogram the possibilities are endless.

It just goes to show that even if you have a next to nothing budget you can still improve on what you have! I love nothing better than a budget re-design.

If you need any help in decorating rooms in your home on a budget I would love to help! I have reasonable rates, no mark-ups on to the trade items and can work with any budget!


You can contact my office at 516-661-6993 or send me an email at I’m in the NY tri-state area, but also take on e-decorating clients as well.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Recap: Busy Bee

Hi Loves,

Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was action packed and I was sad to see it end.

Bright and early Saturday morning (5:30am to be exact) I woke up and got ready to cheer my sister and her darling friends on while they ran a half marathon.

Of course the marathon was in the Hamptons and started at 8 am hence the 5:30 am wake up call.

Truthfully I thought I would be bored just sitting around in a cheering section waiting for them to run by, but it was a lot of fun. You get really into it and try and yell many words of encouragement to all the runners.

Here they are at the end of the race. I felt like a proud momma! They did so great.


The night before I ran out and got t-shirts and fabric marker pens to make T-shirts for us to wear. My dad mentioned the other day that his picture is never on the blog. So, here you go Dad! I totally didn’t take size into account when buying the shirts and poor Dad was in a snug t-shirt the entire day cheering on Bridget!


Afterwards we got to go have lunch at one of my favorite places on earth. No, not some fancy restaurant, but my sissy’s friend summer home. The place is looking amazing. A new pool was built , more accessories have arrived and my guest room* is looking just lovely. *Ah a girl can dream.

After lunch we walked on the beach and then headed home. As we were going down Main St in East Hampton who do I spot? None other than Bethenny from Real Housewives of NY walking down the street. I was totally too slow to snap a pic, but it was fun seeing her.

Sunday was very rainy and gray on Long Island, which meant lots of fun home projects could be finished around the house.

Project 1 was finishing the curtains in the office.

Voila! It was finished rather quickly and you even get a sneak peek of the actual desk. We are almost there. End tables have been ordered, lighting needs to go up and a storage center for all of my supplies! *Details on the curtain/rod tomorrow. Need Jons help with the technical jargon.


Project 2 was hanging the Living Room curtains that the fabulous Kristen a fab reader and amazing owner of custom fabric treatment workroom! What beautiful, amazing , fast work. I highly recommend her! We don’t even live close to each other so this was done via emails and the post office!

Here are the new curtains:

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The room is almost finished! Can’t wait to show you all the big picture!

Project 3 was a big one that I had never done before. A while back I painted an accent wall in my bedroom green. I lived with it for a couple of months while I decided whether or not I wanted to paint the rest of the walls green or use wallpaper as accent wall instead.

I finally settled on wallpaper for the accent wall and was all set to use Ms. Wearstler Imperial Trellis, but the $700 price tag had me questioning my decision. A trip to a designer outlet sale and a smart mom that told me to snag some rolls of a green paper I was eyeing and we were in business at only $30 instead.


So happy I picked up the rolls. They originally retailed in the low hundreds per roll so it was a great buy!

Many things still need to get done, but I wanted to share pics of the paper right away!

The lamps are getting moved to a different room, the headboard is getting a re-vamp, new bedding and of course the beer bottle will be disappearing as well. What can I say it was a rough night making sure everything stayed straight!

Last, but not least was one of my favorite finds of the weekend.

I’m working on a Living Room design for a NYC apartment and we are on a small budget. Since free is always nice when I spotted these ready for trash night I snagged them up.

DSC02710Ok, so Jon totally had to help me because they were so heavy, but I spotted them!

With some new paint and fabric these are going to look great in the teeny tiny breakfast nook!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Share! What fun things did you do? 



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Friday, September 25, 2009

IN HER SHOES: Beach Bungalow 8

One of the most exciting parts of my week is when the ladies of  The Skirted Roundtable put up a new podcast. I love listening in on that week’s topic and find myself  nodding my head in agreement with the many things they say. How fun it would be to chat with those ladies! Perhaps one day I’ll get the courage and honor to be a guest on their show! Until then I get to sit at my table (which is not skirted) and play along.

During one of my listening sessions I realized what fun it would be to see what these ladies are up on any given day. So I emailed them and asked if they would like to participate in my IN HER SHOES series. They all said yes!

At first I was going to combine all 3 ladies into one massive post, but in trying it out it just looked way too confusing so I decided to feature one lady a week!

I’m going from West Coast to East and will be starting out with Megan of Beach Bungalow 8. What’s not to love about Megan. She is effortlessly stylish and chic, has that amazing red hair, an amazing family and killer design style.

California has always been a dream destination for me. Perhaps it was too many episodes of 90210, but I always wanted to move out. So sit back relax and enjoy catching up on a day with Megan!




6:00 a.m.~ My day begins. Ugh... I am NOT a morning person {I do my best work late night} but need to get kids up and off to school.


Crossword puzzle and Chai tea. { I quit drinking coffee about a month ago. For no really good reason except to see if I could }

My choice of  shoes for the morning {as this post IS called 'in her shoes'!}


Off to schlep the kids to school.....

After kids are dropped off, I hop on my bike and head off down the strand to  meet my Blog Out Loud business partner, Rebecca for a meeting.


we do have good scenery around here.

Note: I actually do have a cute beach cruiser, however, this rusted mountain bike, weighs nothing and I can get up and down hills much faster. It's not pretty, but it gets me where I'm going.

scenery from my ride to work.

{Note from HHFITD: Megan just emailed me this new pick and let me know it is actually Donna and Kelly's beach from 90210 the college years. It was just up the block from her! I'm amazed! Side note to that: Her hubby was actually on the show for 2 years! Ah what seasons? I must know!}


always loved this signage.


I'm not sure what most adults do around here. An awful lot seem to be playing.

beach cruiser

I stopped to check out the cute beach cruisers for sale at Helen's bikes. Aren't they yummy? I'm in the market for a new one maybe that green one would work?



Rebecca and I spending the morning at Coffee Bean, hashing out the latest project and upcoming events!


oh crap, it's almost 2:00 have to go get kids. Back on the road again....

{this is where my rusty old bike that weighs nothing comes in handy, I have one big hill I have to crank it up in a hurry }



I'm sorry you have to look up my giant nostrils, but this picture was too funny to leave out.

first stop. Child number one. "Hi, how was your day, blah blah blah"


run back home for a bit.....


grab the mail with the help of George.


do NOT feel sorry for Fred in the background. He's chained up for a reason and gets lots of love {even though he enjoys running away from home whenever he's off the chain}


figure out what to do for dinner....


Borsch? Maybe? No. No way. No one would eat it. next.....


Much better, a bit of seared Ahi Tuna with Mango to pick up child number 2...


off to Trader Joe's {which if I didn't have, would not be able to make a proper meal}


Oh look, I've changed shoes...

pretty flowers:



thanks Joe!


dinner made { food looks terrible if you aren't a good food photographer. This was actually delish }

Dinner, homework and kids to bed....on to The Skirted Round Table.


Joni, Linda and I chat with Brooke Giannetti {velvet and linen blogger} via skype.


And then I'm done! off to bed...or maybe to work on some blog posts : )


A huge thank you to Megan! If you already love Megan like I do then you should also check out her work at Balustrade and Bitters and Blog Out Loud.

Next friday I will be featuring Ms. Joni Webb of Cote de Texas.