Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Victories...

Yesterday I was g-chatting with my pal Linds and she shared with an amazing find!

This sweet little Elephant phone was for sale at Shop Goodwill

I was so excited to pick him up for my office, but the bidding on it didn't end till today. I always wait to the very last minute to bid on things in order to hopefully get a good deal and have my bid be the last one before it ends so no one can out bid. It's a dangerous game and you win some and lose some.

Well today the bidding on the phone went quite high ($45) pretty high considering the bidding started at $5.99. I was just heading in from the supermarket, got a phone call, got distracted and ran down to check the bidding. Sadly it was over.

Not one to give up so easily I started searching on ebay and I found the very same phone for a buy it now price of $39. Sold!

I can't wait to use it in my office. I think he will go great with my logo!

Design Sponge Love!

Just went onto Design Sponge and saw my ugly kitchen floors staring back at me!

Don't worry my new pretty painted floors were pictured right after, because it's before & after day at Design Sponge!

Here is what the floors looked like as of yesterday. So far so good. I have a little bit of scratches on it because I have two crazy dogs that run around, but not bad.

Check out the write up on Design Sponge.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vicente Wolf speaks and we all listen...

One of my favorite parts of attending this years What's In, What's Next event was getting to catch Vicente Wolf. I had always admired his work, but getting to hear him talk just took my admiration to another level.

He loves to tell it like is and doesn't sugar coat anything. There were many bloggers and/or designers in the room that night listening to him speak and everyone was raising their hands voicing concerns about the design field and how it is constantly changing. He was short and sweet about it and just kept saying that we need to remember that time is money and that both the designer and client need to remember that for smooth sailing.

My favorite line of the night was Vicente stating, " I'm a designer not a whore." I told you he tells it like it is!

I always love a bit of snarkiness in a persons personality so I feel even more in love with Vicente after that talk.

I wasn't alone at the talk and luckily Marianne has that sweet southern drawl that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to say no so we were able to get a picture with him!

{Marianne, Viccente, Me, and Nicole.}

I must also share that Marianne bumped into Vicente at the Rue launch party two days before and didn't realize who it was, but saw that the gentleman next to her had crumbs on his jacket and proceeded to wipe it off of him. So, not sure if Vicente is actually smiling or is terrified that we are crazy stalkers.

Vicente's book Lifting the Curtain on Design comes out Oct 19th!

That's two days before Jon's birthday. Hmm think I can buy the book and wrap it up and then it to Jon for his birthday so that it can very quickly be passed on to me. :)

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Vintage Gym Locker Baskets

Every time I post a picture of my kitchen the comments and emails start flooding in with people asking me where or where did I purchased those wire baskets.

The wire baskets are actually vintage baskets that use to be used in gym lockers. I purchased mine on ebay and at the moment there are a bunch to pick from.

Check out what's on ebay here. I managed to get 4 baskets for $25 a while back, but I've seen then on ebay for as high as $25 per basket. It's all about luck on ebay.

In doing some research I found some good brand new, but vintage looking baskets available at Anytime Products:

You can also pick up reproductions at your local Pottery Barn for $24:

Restoration Hardware for $39-$59!!!

Land of Nod offers a version for $34-$39:

They are pretty, but way too high in price for my mind. Especially if you want to do a display like this:

{Image via Country Living.}

I would stick with trying to find a vintage option and checking on ebay, craigslist, etsy and your local antique markets. They are everywhere you just have to look for them.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Decorator Grasscloth source

I've gotten many comments/emails about the grasscloth in my home. I've used the same company twice now and loved it both times.

Designer grasscloth can really get up there in price and while my clients may have it in their budget it so wasn't in mine. I didn't give up and just searched high and low for a budget friendly option.

I found my solution while going through all of the wallpaper books at LOWES. I always check the Internet before buying anything in the store to see if I can find it for less and like always I did!

So from this book:

I found this site:

With the help of Steve's I found the options I wanted at LOWES for less!

I've used # 488240 in my dining room:

I also used #488302 for my kitchen ceiling.

I love both of them and the price was great. Plus every time I need to decide on a colorway and/or amount of texture I just head to LOWES and look through the book so there is no need to order a sample and have to wait for that to arrive. I just get to go home and order it online.


DIY: Custom looking Window Treatments

Window Treatments can take a big chunk of your room budget if you decide to go custom. I have some pretty great seamstresses that I work with whose rates are very budget friendly, but add to that loads of yardage that I would have needed for my bay window and I knew I had to go the DIY route.

One of my favorite go to places for budget friendly window treatments that look luxe is JC PENNEY. The best part is that they normally have some sort of promo code going on. So when I purchased my window panels they were on sale and then an extra 20% off!

Now I wanted to add something a bit more custom to the window and give a bigger impact so I knew a padded cornice would be a good solution.

After a quick trip to Home Depot we had our supplies:


Now it will be different for everyone, but I cut down my main piece to size and then decided that I wanted my side pieces to be 4".

The side pieces need to be at least 3 and 1/2 inches, because of how far my curtain rod stuck off the wall. I purchased an inexpensive rod set by Umbra at Century 21 for $10!

Side profile of my curtain rod:

Once you pick your size for your side pieces you need to cut them with your table saw:

Cut pieces:

You will then use your liquid nails to hold the two pieces of wood together and start to nail it in place:

Then you can add your L brackets for support:

Now for the fun part adding the fabric! I picked a neutral for my window panels so I knew I wanted to keep it neutral on the cornice. Since I knew it would be hard to find a fabric that totally matched in shade and texture I ordered one additional panel in the 108" length and used that as my fabric to wrap around my cornice. It was the perfect solution!

Before you add fabric you need to add a cushioning so with some quilting batting and spray glue you can get to work:

We did this outside so that spray glue wouldn't get all over the place. You never think it's going to get everywhere, but based on numerous past experience it totally does so if you can spray outdoors I would do so.

Then wrap your wood cornice:

Almost finished now! Now make sure you've ironed your fabric and cut it to size and you can start stapling it on:

Once you staple it into place you are all finished!

Here is a little design tip that I used for my window situation. You all know I hate short window panels. Well of course in my excitement of ordering my window panels on a crazy sale I ordered the 84" length when I really needed 86"!!! Whoops! Turns out 86" version didn't exist anyway and the next size up would have been 93" and therefore require some hemming. I didn't want to hem so I stuck with the 84" and due to my cornice and some clip rings I made it work!!!

Clip rings totally saved they day! I bought a bunch of inexpensive ones at Ikea and went to town! Now my curtains just kiss the floor:

Here is my before:

And the after:

Another tip into helping your curtains look like they were custom made is the fullness of the panels.The number of panels used to cover a window should be enough fabric to cover two times the width of your window. I ordered 4 curtain panels to get the amount of fullness for my bay window.

How to hang on wall:

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Sneak Peek #2: New Blog Look

Well I've already shared with you all a little sneak peek of the new look of the blog and the transition to switching over to Effortless Style.

Today I have another little sneak peek you see the new blog is going to have a lot more resources for my lovely readers aka all of you. One of the new additions is a resource guide. It's my little black book of vendor favorites. You'll be able to access to my list of go-to's for wallpaper, paint, artwork, fabric, lighting, furniture, accessories, window treatments and floor coverings. I hope the guide will be helpful to all of you who love decor, but can't hire a decorator.

So I did a little photo shoot to add the perfect eye candy element to that page!

Look #1:

Look #2:

Look #3:

What's your favorite jewelry combo? I can't pick just one!


Weekend Recap: Party & Progress

Hi Loves,

I hope you all had an amazing weekend. We had an action packed weekend here in NY. One day of fun and one day of work!

On Saturday we had a fuzzin wedding to attend. Of course I had minor freak out over what I was going to wear. I had plans to run out early Saturday morning and search for a new dress at Nordstrom Rack, but apparently my body had other plans. I didn't wake up till 10:30 am and then after cleaning up the house a bit I knew it was way too late to get ready and make it out to find something new.

So I became an outfit repeater (Anyone know what movie that term comes from? Totally ashamed I've seen this movie. :) ) and wore the same dress I wore to Mom and Dad's vow renewal.

I changed it up a bit and added some vintage earrings that added a punch of color and sparkle, but also pain. They were clip on's and they hurt!

A group shot of all of the ladies at the table:

One of the only shots I got of the bride and groom. They looked great. I can't wait to see their professional shots, because mine didn't come out so hot.

We danced the night away and then headed back home to get some rest, because I had big plans for Sunday.

Sunday we added new pillows to the living room:

Plus a vintage bamboo mirror was giving a coat of orangey/red spray paint and hung up for all to enjoy. The larger mirror makes a huge difference. It really opened up the space!

Window Treatments went up in the dining room:

Hung stunning artwork that I will treasure forever! It is by the amazingly talented Tina Steele Lindsey a wonderful artist based out of Atlanta.

It's all coming together!!! I can't wait for portfolio shoot. Only a couple more little missing items and we will be finished...for now... :)

What were you up to this weekend? Any fun projects you took on?


Friday, September 24, 2010


Cheers to a wonderful week full of friends, fun and fetes!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

* I just had to share some fun shots from the The Nest event. I love Trent's work and I'm not just saying that because I happen to be in these two shots. :) Excuse the poor picture quality the pictures haven't officially been released yet and I just got a screenshot of them.


When to NOT DIY

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you know that I'm no stranger to a good DIY. Most of my weekends are spent trying to sweet talk Jon into a project that needs to get done on our own, because it will save $$$.

I've never really out sourced anything other than sewing projects in designing my own home.

However a couple of weeks ago after I painted my floors:

I started feeling like the ceiling (the always forgotten 5th wall) was looking too BORING! So, I think decided that I wanted to put grass cloth on the ceiling and no one was going to talk me out of it.

Jon agreed that it would look great, but the idea of putting it up was exhausting to me. Grasscloth wallpaper does not come pre-pasted and it is heavy and overall just hard to work with. We used it in our dining room and I swear I think both of us threatened divorce at one point. It was not fun. It's hard to line it up, the glue is never sticky enough so it tends to move, and end of story we just weren't up to it.

At this point of the story I did something I've never done before I told Jon we needed outside help. I got a quote from my normal wallpaper hangers and they wanted between $450-$600 to paper one ceiling!!!

That is madness. If you are in a situation like this make sure you call lots of people and get different estimates. After calling my go-to guys I just started calling people from the yellow pages. The magic number seemed to be $450. When I discussed this with Jon we both decided that $450 was too high and that to save that $$$ we would suck it up and do it ourselves.

Now here is my little secret to getting it done for the price I wanted. When I originally started to look for someone to hang the paper I called people from the yellow pages, but also called people that offered their services on CraigsList. CL people were still giving me quotes in the $450-$600 range. I had all but given up, but decided to try one more thing.

Under CL's gig section I placed an ad saying I was looking for someone to hang grass cloth wallpaper on a ceiling in a room that was approximately 9' x 12' and that I needed it done that week and wanted to pay $250 for it.

It was like magic. I received about 20 emails within the hour. I got a whole range of people. Some where handy men that simply told me they could figure it out, but had never done it before, others were wallpaper removers and simply hadn't fully read my post and a bunch of them were actual professionals in the field. I had one man email me and provide me with references and a website and told me right away that normally he would way more for hanging paper, but that he would accept my $250 payment!!!

Woo hoo!!! For $250 we knew it would be worth it. The man arrived on time and bought all of his own supplies, got to work right away, and finished in 4 hours!

It would have taken us much longer and while he was doing that I was working in my office and Jon took care of lawn work. It was a win/win. I will totally use him again and he even got a me a meeting with a potential new client!

Of course it's a bit overcast today so the pictures aren't perfect, but behold my new ceiling:

I took a bunch more with flash this time since it is so dark in their this morning:

Close up:

We are so happy with the results. We knew that we wouldn't have finished the job in four hours and since we used craigslist to negotiate our price we didn't have to worry about an estimate coming in at more than we could pay.

Plus now Jon realizes that the we need crown molding in the kitchen something that I've been wanting for the longest time.

Win, win.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sneak Peek: New Blog Look

Well my loves this lady has almost officially gotten her high-heel foot in the door to the design world. Classes were taken, client projects have gotten started and finished and become a constant source of work and my professional site is live, but still needs a couple of tweaks so it's only natural that this little blog of mine get a re-vamp as well.

We are hoping to launch the new look in October and with the new look comes a new name. Since this high-heeled foot of mine will officially be in the door we are switching everything over to Effortless Style!

Yes, I'm sad to see HHFITD go. It did me well, but after many talks with people that work in branding I was told I need to be consistent so Effortless Style it is.

Don't worry it's still going to have the same fun projects, advice, inspiration, etc that you are use to here, but I have some secrets up my sleeves that will step it up a notch as well.

Wanna a sneak peek of the new look?

It was designed by the amazingly talented, Carolynn of Two Brunettes. She is super sweet, a great cheerleader, totally understanding, and will hold your hand during the entire project.

Now I hope you all like the sneak peek, because it's too late to change anything now. So if it's not your cup of tea just smile and nod and pretend so I don't burst into tears. Totally kidding....umm not really. I think the tears have flowed quite a bit during this process.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NYDC: The New Curators

Today I am part of a big event at the NYDC. It's called What's New/What's Next and my part of the event is being called The New Curators.

Cool, right? Sounds so fancy. I may have to put that on my business cards. :) The NYDC knows how important the blog world is to the design community so they gathered a bunch of bloggers and paired us up with showrooms on the 4th floor.

I'm at the Calger Lighting showroom and I'm loving every second of it. I was able to bring some props from home and design my own little blogging station while I am here.

I love a good lighting piece. I think often times we forget about lighting in our homes and it takes years for us to switch out the pieces that were left from the previous home owner. I'm totally guilty of that. I still have a brass chandelier hanging in my dining room, because I have yet to find the perfect piece to go there. I have lost out on 4 chandeliers on ebay! Craziness I tell ya.

Take a peek at some of the beautiful eye candy I'm looking at today:

Oh this is the latest addition to the showroom! It made in Spain!

Maybe I will finally find something to bring home with and replace the brass in the dining room.

Fingers crossed.

If you are at NYDC please stop by and say hello! I would love to meet you.

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