Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lacquered up!

I love a little lacquer in a room.

Doesn't the chest below just pop on the room? Even with the black walls the gloss on the black chest helps it stand out:

While many of my to the vendors specialize in hi-gloss/lacquer pieces they are normally high in cost too.

Enter a budget friendly chest:

It's only $399.99!


The hardest client...

When you do design work for a living the hardest client you will ever get is....yourself!

Give me a stranger and after a chat and a look at the space I can start formulating a game plan. I find them inspiration shots, draw up furniture layouts and scour my sources for the perfect fabric, chair, artwork, etc.

Give me a family member and it's even easier. They normally give me complete design control so I can just do what I'm obsessing about at the moment.

Then you have yourself.

-You like everything so it's hard to pick out one particular thing.
-You become obsessed that you didn't check out every single one of your vendors and what if they have the perfect thing and you just don't know it yet.
-You can not pull the trigger on anything, because you're likes/dislikes change daily.
-You have no where near as high of a budget as your clients, but you have champagnes tastes.

Not a fun combo. Add to that the fact that the new blog look and professional site are almost like 99% finish and about to be wrapped up and you finally need to shoot your house.

To shoot your house said house needs to actually be finished.

I've finally bite the bullet and started to make decisions and finish up spaces or start fresh after I was almost finished :) to get the perfect space. So just like my website/new blog are 99% finished this house of mine is 99% finished.

One of the projects that I'm about to tackle is my staircase.

Over a year ago I decided to add a little wow factor to the stairs that led upstairs:


How to instructions here.

I even used them for a little photo shoot the other day:

I love them.

I'm now deciding what I'm going to do on the wall going up the staircase.

Should we just have one or two pieces of art and/or mirrors on it:

Or should we fill it up with a variety of colorful and black/white pieces and frames:

Or in the middle where we do the same style color/frames with either all black/white or color pictures :

I'm sort of leaning towards a combo of options 2/3. So a mix of colorful artwork, some black/white pictures, some colors, but in the same color frames to keep some consistency.

Now I just need some hand holding to tell me it's the right or wrong decision. That's where you come in.... :)

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Wedding Color Palette

Now I'm not the one getting married. Already been there, done that, but this coming Sunday my parents are renewing their vows.

Actually saying their vows for the first time in an actual church ceremony. They went the courthouse route the first time around.

So while Mom was doing her best not to be a bridezilla me and my two sisters have been busy helping her plan their special day.

Yesterday we spent a big chunk of the day getting supplies to make menu's. When we got home and spread everything out on the table I realized the color combo is totally the same one from my guest bedroom!

I can't believe I hadn't noticed it before.

Here are the menu's:

Still toying with the idea of doing a border on them or not. I got that cool tool from the Martha Event so I gave it a try, but I might do with out it. We shall see....

*Sorry for the quality of the picture. It was with my iphone. :)

Here is my guest bedroom:

We went with a navy blue, teal blue, yellow combo! I might throw another color in their for good measure.Perhaps something in the orange family!

I'm also in charge of the centerpieces so we'll see how that goes!

Do you have any good centerpiece ideas?

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Weekend Recap: The DIY project that never happened.

Hi All,

I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful weekend. In NY after days and days of grey skies we finally had some sunshine to celebrate the almost end of the summer!

I kept toying back and forth on whether or not I would fill the weekend with house projects or relaxation. Since I'm still waiting on the arrival of some items I had to make my weekend a mixed bag of both.

Saturday morning was spent in bed watching this:

and this:

I totally felt guilty staying in and watching cheesy TV for the morning, but it was fun and helped me unwind from a crazy week. Don't worry about Jon I didn't make him watch all that TV with me. He was off sky diving so when he returned we ate a late late breakfast and got to work.

Our excitement for the rest of the day was weeding the back and front yard and heading to home depot to get supplies to re-seed the yard.

On Sunday I had a bunch of little projects that needed to get done. Throughout the year I always pick up frames that I find on clearance or at thrift store. Well now I have a place to use them, but they are all the wrong color. So Sunday was spent prepping many, many, many frames and getting them spray painted.

We also tried doing a little DIY project to have something to show for our weekend, but it didn't go so well.

Last week I bought this lamp at a thrift store:

I kept going back and forth over whether I loved it or hated it, but finally decided it was love and snatched it up while 3 ladies who had been browsing came to the register and pleaded their sadness that they hadn't seen it and wanted it. Ah victory! I finally didn't second think things for too long and got the deal.

It came with this lampshade:

I was going to trash it right away, but Jon figured it would be easy to just remove the accordion fan type cover and cover it in fabric. Nice, easy DIY project and something probably lots of people had in their house and would want to re-do.

So we started to simply pull it apart:

Here it is off of the lampshade:

Ha ha I swear I didn't tell Jon to do that. He did it on his own. Perhaps I've driven the man crazy with all of my projects. :)

Now if we hadn't had a snag we would have used some spray glue to apply some new fabric on the lampshade and then finish off the top and bottom with some ribbon trim and hot glue gun, but this happened:

Again he totally did this on his own! Apparently when Jon was pulling the accordion piece of of the lamp shade some of the glue was really stuck and bam we started to get holes on the shade.

Oh well you can't win them all!

What were you up to this weekend or more importantly what are you doing this coming weekend to celebrate the end of summer?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Virtual Window Shopping

During a search today I stumbled upon Hickorees Hard Goods

I had a blast browsing through all of their items:

It was full of lots of manly yet chic finds that I think Jon would love to receive. I of course was itching to go into an actual retail shop, but alas they are only an online store.

I did find out from Por Homme that will be selling some of their goods at the new Men's J.Crew store!

Check out the display:

I must go and check it in person. I think that is one shop girl feature that Jon won't mind tagging along for.

Image 1. via Hickorees Hard Goods, 2. via Por Homme


IN HER SHOES: BluLabel Bungalow

Erika from BluLabel Bungalow is one of my go-to favorite designers for inspiration. We both believe that your fashion choices have a huge impact on the style of your home.

One of her favorite features that I love is when she breaks apart a room and turns into an outfit or vice versa or a little bit of both!

Here is one her latest ones:

The room inspiration picture:

Her picks to recreate the look in both home decor & fashion:

Just lovely! Erika is a busy mom of 3, wife, interior designer and blogger! I thought it would be fun to see what a typical day was like for her with her 3 little design assistants. :)


5:30AM - My husband Chris heads out to work. Before he leaves he
kisses me on the lips even with my morning breath...brave man. I
usually arise at 6:00AM, but I'm still tired from a late night
catching up on mind-numbing reality shows (Flipping Out, Rachel Zoe,
TO Show).

Roll over until 7:30AM. My feet hit the floor and then I kneel down
for some "Beside Baptist" (prayers) to remind myself that "For Nothing
Is Impossible With God!"


8:15 AM - I don't have a post scheduled for the day so I tell my
readers about this upcoming guest post. I also respond to a few emails
and review my to-list for the day.

8:40 AM - Evan and Dallas are awake and come down to say good morning.
I send Evan back upstairs to wake Ava.

8:45 - 10:00 AM - I feed, clean, and dress the kids for the day and we
finally head out the door.

10:10 AM - I get an email on my Blackberry from Sherwin
Williams asking permission to add my link to swstir.com. Hmm, let me
think...heck yeah!

10:50AM - Arrive early for our Audiology appointment (very rare) and
my fellow Mocha and friend
Miko arrives to help with the kids (God bless her!). I sit with each
child while they receive their hearing test. Miko entertains the
others. The twins are so cooperative and do so well that we finish the
appointment in half the time!

12:15 PM - Head back to the truck. As soon as everyone is buckled in,
someone in the back reminds me that it's time to eat again. They
request chicken nuggets. Everyone is in such a great mood. I see this
as a great "shopportunity."

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM - We hit 5 stores, take a total of 2 potty breaks,
and have 1 diaper change. The kids are mostly well behaved in the
stores with the exception of Dallas.  He's usually running in the
opposite direction or somewhere pooping his pamper between the area
rugs. He's also known to do a little (coffee) table dancing. *sigh*

3:15 PM - Truck is packed to the gills with today's finds (8 x 11 area
rug, coffee table, vases, pillar candles, a sculpture, floor lamp, and
accent pillows) and the kids haven't had a nap. I pop in a movie to
silence the whining.

3:45 PM - We arrive home and no one is tired anymore. Apparently my
trio took a power nap in the truck and are rearing to go. *sigh,
again* Evan reminds me we haven't done our lesson today (or had a
snack) and runs to the get our workbooks. I've been working with the
twins in developing their speech and have learned more about pivot
phrases and sound development than I thought I ever would. Words
cannot express how rewarding it is to see their progress. Dallas
benefits, too. At 1 year old, he recognizes the alphabets and the
sound each letter makes.

I've developed a "curriculum" using the Hooked On Phonics program,
crafts, and computer games. I also use playgroups and educational
outings to keep their little minds and bodies active. Our activities
vary during the week. Even while shopping today we discussed colors
and the numbers on the price tags.

6:00 PM - I pop a pizza in the oven and the kids watch a little Nick
Jr. I head to my office to enter today's receipts and confirm
contractors and deliveries for my install on Friday. On install days
or when I have appointments, one of my best friends (Mimi) sits with the
kids while I work. She's a lifesaver.

7:00 PM - Chris walks in the door and I start to hear angels sing. I
try to give him a few minutes to unwind. The kids, on the other hand,
dig into him instantly. They follow him as he changes clothes and then
convinces him to take them for a walk.

7:30 PM - They return and eat dinner, I guess. I sort of "disappear"
behind closed doors. It's my first bit of silence all day. For some
reason I'm still wearing my shoes. When I take them off I am reminded
that I'm badly in need of a pedicure.

My husband's cousin bought these shoes for me when she found out I did
not own a pair of flats. Nowadays, you hardly ever see me in heels. At
5'7", I'm still taller than most with heels on, HA!

8:30 PM - I sit down to write this post. 45 minutes
later, my Great-Aunt in South Carolina calls to say she's coming to
stay with us next Thursday through the weekend. *The angels sing
again* Looks like I have a confirmed (and free) babysitter for Chris'
football game next week! Yes!!

9:00 PM - The kids have a bath and are in bed.

10:00 PM - I make my to-do list for tomorrow and pull out my workout
clothes. I've got to start working out consistently again. I swear I
used to be a Haute Mama, now I'm just Mama...but I digress...

11:30 PM - I put the finishing touches on this post and contemplate
writing a blog post for my blog. Not happening, but maybe in the
morning. I'm beat and realize that I never ate dinner. I'm too tired
to prepare anything for myself. Hopefully, I will eat something tasty
in my dreams. Goodnight.


Talk about a super mom! Erika got so much accomplished in her day! Makes me feel like I need to step things up a notch in my office.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Come a knock on my door...

I've had this image in my inspiration files for quite some time! It's been stored away as a great DIY project that I want to tackle, but haven't had the chance to yet.

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn came up with this great project. He took a standard hollow door that is probably in many homes and apts and gave it come character by adding pieces of wood to the door in a lattice pattern.

If you don't have access to a table saw you should make a template of the design you want so you know what cuts need to be made and have them cut at your local home improvement store.

I'm in love!

P.S. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn is also the author of Decor Demon.

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Blog Hopping

Today I'm hanging out at Journey Chictoday! Head on over and see what my simple and chic plans are to fix our naked house:

Check out my design plan here.




Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have never met a ruffle I didn't like. Scratch that I've never met a ruffle I didn't love!

I constantly wear ruffles, but I don't have a lot of it in my own home's design. It tends to lean on the girly side of things and my manly husband doesn't always love it.

Here is a great DIY project for just a touch of ruffle that I think we could all get away in our homes:

Instructions here.

Now if me and my sewing machine were on speaking terms I would totally try it out. But we are currently on the outs so it's up to you to make one and report back. :)

Image via House & Home

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Tommy's House

Remember that about 5 mins ago I was starting to feel totally over black walls well I'm eating my words now, because we are back to being in love!

Did you know that Tommy (aka Sarah's fab design sidekick) has a facebook page?

Well he does and he recently posted pictures of a home where he use to live that he renovated from top to bottom.

Check out the black walls:

How stunning is that chevron quilt plus I'm loving all the wood tones through out the space!

It reminds me a bit of something Mr. Eddie Ross would do.

He also showcased this drool worthy kitchen that is currently in the latest issue of House & Home Kitchen and Bath special issue.

Instead of black on the walls we get hit with black from the floor to the windows!

Look at that those tiles. What a great idea to place them in a herringbone pattern. That would make any plain jane budget tiles from Home Depot turn into a show stopper. Such an easy project that you could do on a floor tiles or a backsplash.

Images photographed by Michael Graydonand via Tommy's facebook album.

* A big thanks to all of you for telling me to leave the black paint as is. So happy I didn't paint it. :)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DIY: Colette Upholstered Bed!

I know not many wives are begging their husbands to have another lady in their bedroom, but for the past couple of months I had been lusting after Colette.

Now before you click away from my blog let me clarify. For the past year or so my bed had been driving me nutty. There was actually nothing wrong it. It was in perfect shape and around 5 years old, but I couldn't leave well enough alone.

The Colette bed from Crate & Barrel has been on my wish list for quite some time, but the $1,599 wasn't really something I was lusting after.

So after a little begging and pleading Jon decided that making it was a great option! :)

It took two weekends to finish. One weekend to purchase wood, cut pieces and then assemble. Then life got in the way and we lived without the bed upholstered for two weekends and then this past Saturday we finished it.

For this project you will need the following supplies from Home Depot:
*This is for a Queen sized bed.

Qty 4:
1" x 10" fir boards. 2 of those boards will need to be 80" long and the other 2 boards will need to be 61 1/2". (These will be your sides and your head and foot boards)

Qty 4:
5/4" x 4" (aka five quarter board) fir boards that are 80" long (These will be your side supports & center support)

Qty 1:
2" x 4" stud cut to 80"(This is part of your center support)

Qty 14:
1" x 3" fir cut to 60" (These will be cross rails that your mattress will lay on)

Qty 1:
4' x 8' x 3 /4" MDF sheet cut to 61 1/2" wide (This will be your headboard)

Qty 2:
1" x 4" cut to 60" (These will be used as lower supports)

Qty 2:
1" x 3" cut to 60" (These will be used as lower supports)

The headboard is made out of MDF and with the help of a grid you can get the perfect curve. Jon made 6" x 6" grid boxes in order to check our curve. The grid is also helpful if you want to tuft your headboard.

First we used paper to create one half of the curve. This is done free hand so you can make it as extreme as you like.

Once you are happy with your curve cut it out with a razor blade. You have just created your template:

Then you lay it out:

Next trace curve with help of template on one half:

Then flip your template over to the other side and trace your template.

Make sure that the distance from the bottom of the template to the top of the mdf is equal on both sides.

*If your measurements are off then start again with the template, you want your curve to be equal on both sides.

To double check the curve with the help of the grid you can measure the points where the curve crosses the grid. This measurement should be equal on both sides.

Now the fun part. Take out your jigsaw:

And slowly cut along the curve:

You may get some rough edges so take out your belt sander and smooth them away.

Now that all of your pieces are cut it's time to put it all together.

Take one 5/4" x 4" x 80" board and nail it to one of your 1"x 10" x 80" boards. We nailed it 3/4" above the bottom of our 1" x 10" so that our mattress would sit inside our bed frame. You will need to do this a total of 2 times. (These are your side supports)

Add liquid nails to the edges of the pieces you just created:

Now get your 1"x 10" x 61 1/2" boards (These are your head and foot boards) and nail them to your side pieces.

*Mount your 80" side boards inside the 61 1/2" head and foot boards.
**Your inside dimensions should now be 60" x 80" that is the size of Queen mattress.

To make sure that your frame is square measure from one corner to the opposite corner and then do the same of the remaining two corners. You will be making an X. If your measurements are identical you are good to go.

Flip your frame upside down and nail one of your 1"x 4"x 60"into the frame to support the head of the bed and then take your additional 1"x 4" x 60" board and nail into the foot.

Additionally take your 1"x3"x60" boards and nail those evenly in the middle of the bed for added support.
Flip the bed back over and grab your remaining 5/4" x 4" x 80" boards and your 2" x 4" x 80" stud. Lay your 2" x 4" x 80" stud flat and butt a 5/4" x 4" x 80" board to side standing up and nail together. You should have a long U shaped support piece. Flip it over and lay it down the center of your bed. The center of your U shape support should be at 30". Pictured below in the center:

In order to support your weight you must screw U shaped piece from the head and the foot of the bed. Now you must flip it on it's side and screw your center support into your lowersupports:

In the lumber section at Home Depot you need to pick up 4 heavy duty top plates. (Pictured below) Along with 4 legs of your choice. Screw the heavy duty top plates into the corners of the bed and screw your legs into them.

We re-used the cross-rails from our original bed, but if needed here is where you would use your 14- 1"x3"x60" boards. Lay them evenly across the entire length of the bed and secure them with nails.

Voila bed frame and headboard are finished. This took us one weekend, but not the entire two days. While there are a lot of steps it was a pretty easy project.

Now to make it upholstered. We used a queen sized mattress pad (Around $19 at Walmart):

Go around and wrap and staple:

For the base of the bed we purchased two twin sized mattress pads ($9 a pad) and cut them in half length wise. They don't go completely around so there will be some seams, but under fabric it is not noticeable at all.

With your pieces cut you can just wrap and staple away:

Now you need to do the same with the fabric. We purchased 6 yards of neutral linen. We got it at a steal for $4 a yard!

* Because we didn't want a seam the very bottom of the headboard is not covered with the linen. It's up to you. Once it is screwed into the base you can not tell.

For the base you simply wrap and staple as well You do need to pay a little bit of attention to the corners. We wrapped completely down the side board and around 6" past the foot board on both sides.

For the foot of the bed we simply folded over the edges of the fabric to give us a clean edge and stapled it down.

*If you purchase more yardage you could wrap the entire base with one continuous piece of fabric. Avoiding seams. We didn't think of that till after we were finished. Oops!

**We didn't cover the head of the base, because we were mounting the headboard directly on it.

To mount the headboard to the base we used books/magazines to prop it up to the height we wanted and measured to make sure it was equal on both sides.

Use the tape measure to also make sure when you are screwing into place you are going into the base and not your mattress! :)

For main support we used a 3" nut and bolt to secure the headboard on the corners of the frame:

We put our bolts 8" up from the bottom and 2" in from the side:

This is what the bolt looks like inside the bed frame:

This is how it will look from the back of the headboard:

Once your sides are bolted into place you can use 1 5/8" dry wall screws in the center of of the headboard for additional security. Again place all screws below 8" so that you do not hit your mattress.

Now you are officially finished! If you know how to do upholstery then you can give your back of the headboard a finished look with fabric, but we left as is, because it is up against the wall.

You can now put everything back into place, make your bed, put on your jammies and go night, night.

Covering the bed in foam and fabric took between 4-5 hours.

We are so happy with it!

Now who is going to follow suit and DIY?

Estimated Cost:
$200 for wood, hardware and legs
$45 for foam
$25 for fabric

Total: $270 vs $1,599.99

Estimate Labor:
12-15 hrs. We split it up into 2 weekends, but it could be finished in one weekend.

***Writing this blog post took longer. It's now almost 2 am and we are finally able to enjoy our bed and get some rest.

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