mood board craze.

I've been designing a lot of mood boards lately for not only myself but friends and family. 
The great thing about mood boards is that you can go into your own little imaginary world and design to your hearts desire and the cost is $0. And the way this economy (and gas) has been behaving free design is always good! I thought I'd share a few with you for fun!

{bachelorette pad}

stats: just bought her first place in the city. Great location but limited on space so storage is key. The condo has great light, neutral walls dark hardwood floors and a crisp white kitchen with stainless steel and an open floor plan.
solution:  keep the big pieces light and use pops of color throughout to add interest. A "mini" sectional with a dresser/buffet backed up to it for storage and/or a place to serve food. She needs lots of things to have more than one purpose so a trunk for the coffee table offers storage but still looks pretty. Using texture for the floor and pillows keeps things flowing.
I love the idea of mixing red & pink with a pop of metallic (in this case gold). She is putting in plantation shutters (yum!) and I suggested layering her sliding door with sheers and a silk panel for more visual interest as well as privacy.

 {mini-man cave}
stats: my nephew (besides being adorable!) is the only little man of the house as he is wedged between 3 sisters! Although he loves them he is surrounded by girly and needs a mini-man cave to escape.

solution: He is into sports (and is very good at them!) so he has a collection of memorabilia to display. His room has the basics but needed a little punch to stand out. He has the PB kids vintage camo bedding and I suggested they make a headboard out of an enlarged Wrigley Field (they live in Chicago) photo cut into smaller squares, framed and grouped together.
His curtains as you'll see above are grey grommet panels but I thought that wall could be an accent since that is what you see walking into the room. I suggested pulling the different shades of greens out of his bedding and doing a horizontal stripe.
He also needs an accent color so I suggested either red or orange. He currently has a nightstand that needs some TLC so painting it a fun pop of color is unexpected and youthful.
Now to his sports stuff...it's everywhere and I though displaying it like a gallery or sports museum would be fun. A wall of frames to show off his photos and jerseys etc and Restoration Hardware kids has cool metal wall hanging rings to display sports balls.

{mommy's escape}
stats: single mom who needs her bedroom to transform into a grown up space and be a place to kick back and relax.

solution: Okay first off her room is HUGE. She has a giant window seat and room for a couch and coffee table! I suggested a fun fabric for the drapes and to hang them on the outside of the window niche so it creates a lounge vibe. Filling it with lots of fun girly pillows and maybe a small wall shelf to hold that glass of wine!
Slipcover the existing sofa and bring in a light and airy coffee table with some storage. For the headboard, going with a neutral upholstery and nail-head trim for some sparkle. I'm on the hunt for a dresser to refinish for her; I think some light distressing to give it a relaxed feel. She also has lots of photos of her daughter she wants to display so again what better way than a photo wall. Keep it consistent with either all black & white photography or matching frames.

I was very bad in not sourcing anything however I pretty much know where I pulled everything from so if you have questions or if something is yours please let me know and I will make note.

Speaking of sourcing images. have you heard of Pinterest? 
It is my total obsession! Basically you can pull images from anywhere on the web and add them to your board and it credits the original image user for you. You can also "pin" other peoples images to your board and "follow" people and what they are pinning. Here is mine so far I just started so I have lots to add.

Some of my boards are: Crafty Ideas; Lovely Spaces; I Heart Photos and Good to Know
Pinterest is an invite only site so if anyone is interested I'll invite the first 5 people who comment that they want to join Pinterest!
Anyone else have any mood boards that they've recently put together either for fun or for something that is going to transition into a reality? if so I'd love to share so send them along and we'll show them off for you!


rainy days.

It has pretty much been non-stop rain here in New England for what feels like forever. The forecast for next week looks promising and I'm super anxious to get back to some painting! I have an awesome dresser I'm working on and can't wait to share.

Although it's been raining like crazy it's been relatively warm. And anyone with little kids knows that you can only take so much of being cooped up in the house! We all needed to get out and run around and why should the rain stop us?

So we suited up and headed out for a neighborhood stroll.

Avery loves walking with her daddy.

And she adores her doggie who she refers to as "I Eeee" aka Riley. Riley is a retriever however he is not into tennis balls he is into rocks and Avery collects rocks for him.

Picking them up and handing them to him the whole time.

I handed the camera off to Jeff to grab a shot of Avery and I as I'm usually the one behind the camera. You'll notice I have the leash in my other hand...right after the picture was taken Riley got to the end of it and I went flying!

We had a lot of fun and Avery loved splashing in the puddles! I have to say we make have to make this into a regular thing. I think they'll be fun memories for all of us! Anyone have any crazy kid memories of things you used to do?


Q + A.

You've asked so I've got the answers...well not necessarily "the" answers but my answers about what I do and what works for me. I hope this helps (or it may confuse you) but here it goes!

p.s.- If I've missed anything feel free to let me know and I'll be sure to get back to you!

The black paint used on the server/hope chest is Benjamin Moore: Onyx (I'm almost positive but just in case here is the color code: OY-11; BK-2x21; OG-7; WH-9) It isn't a true black and almost looks super dark grey in some light but it is A-mazing! Once I coated it with Poly it literally sparkled!

The grey used on Avery's "painted curtains" and her crib is: Behr from the Home Depot in "Creek Bend"

All the pieces I distress are done by hand with different grits of sand paper...I like to mix it up for different results. Distressing a piece can be tedious and time consuming depending on the size of the piece but if you like instant gratification it sure does give you that!
Now do you want to know my secret...this is very important....it's wine! Not for the furniture, for me! I usually tuck Avery into bed and head down to the basement with a glass of red wine in one hand and my ipod in the other. I listen to music and sip my wine when I need to give my hand a break from chipping away the paint.
I do not paint pieces a base color and then paint over them to distress. All distressing shows the original wood. It is important to make sure you keep taking a step back and looking at what you are doing...you can definitely get caught up in the excitement and go a little overboard. Keep it natural looking.

Every piece is a little different but here is a basic rundown:
- wipe it down with a wet cloth (vacuum out inside & drawers)
- fill any holes or gauges with wood filler and depending on the hardware I use I sometimes need to fill the holes from the original stuff (although I generally don't pick any hardware until the piece is completely done)
- sand it down with a really rough grit sand paper (I sometimes use the hand sander)
- wipe it down again to get all the sanding dust off
- spray one one coat of primer
- spray on the paint (usually around 3-4 coats)
- if I'm distressing a piece I do it at this point
- spray on the polyurethane (usually 2-3 coats)
- put on the jewelry aka the hardware!

then I haul it in the house and style it and take some pictures!

I use a gravity feed sprayer that hooks up to an air compressor. It's gives a clean, uniform finish with none of those annoying paint brush streaks!

All over! From free stuff given to me by friends and family to craigslist to the thrift stores...and the side of the road! My husband came home the other day with a dresser that one of the guys he works with found on the side of the road for me!

Pretty much all over. Like I said above I don't choose hardware until the piece is completely done. I let it speak to me. I know super dorky but seriously I tend to stare at it for a little while and imagine what would fit it best. Knobs or cup pulls and shinny or hammered...
Home Depot now carries a line of Martha Stewart hardware which is pretty sweet. Potterybarn, Restoration Hardware, Anthropology all have great stuff too. It can be pricey so I may splurge a little more if i know I only need 4 handles vs. 10.

I removed the ugly white sleeves and just wrapped them and tied them off with a small knot that is at the bottom do you can't see it when they are on the light fixture. Once they were back on the chandelier I adjusted the twine to cover properly.
I wrapped the chain once it was hung (that was a arm workout!)

I hope some of this may have helped in a small way and again if I missed something or you think of another question drop me a line!



We have an awful lot of new friends over here @ Reckless Glamour and I'm glad you found your way!

There has been lots of questions about my furniture, the process and some DIY stuff I've done so I'm working on a little Q&A to answer all that fun stuff! In the meantime feel free to email or post a comment with any other questions and I'll be sure to deliver.

p.s.- it seems I have a bunch of new blogs to discover & check out.... so I'll be making sure I come visit you too!!! I love sharing and seeing everyone's creative ideas... I get as giddy as a kid in the candy store!

and now a little eye candy to hold you over.

I would so totally do that if ours weren't brand new. Has anyone done it?!

So unique...the wood flooring is used on the walls and ceiling!

I totally need this as my dining room table!


A vanity affair.

If you remember a few short weeks ago I ran into a happy furniture mistake. I went for an antique dresser but came home with an adorable vanity instead.

Here it is before, in good shape, it has nice details....I can see it's potential. It's just screaming to be brought into the year 2011! (I think the fabric clearly says I'm from the early 90's...just sayin)

A fresh coat of crisp white paint and some light distressing to show off it's spindle legs and details and it's an instant charmer!

The details...

I recovered the seat in a simple neutral duck cloth which can easily be changed out with less than a yard of fabric and a staple gun.

A little glass plate I scored on Clearance at Marshalls holds jewelry from the day as well as some makeup brushes. (Speaking of jewelry I'm in need of some organizing suggestions...I'll be sure to take a picture of my current situation...you won't even believe it!)

The vanity is petite. Perfect for a smaller room or it could double as a night stand. I also think it would be adorable in a little girls room to house all her dress up stuff!

Check me out @ Ucreate.


Just wanted to let you know I'm featured today over at Ucreate...so go check it out!

Be back later today with a new piece of furniture to reveal so stay tuned!

and just because every post needs at least one picture! Here's Avery rockin her new raincoat on a mission to walk the dog!


sophisticated dresser.

 I was on the hunt for a dresser for Avery's party as I wanted to use a piece of real furniture outside for food and drinks. I had been hunting for awhile and wasn't finding anything that I was loving. The week of the party came and I began to panic as I was determined to find something! Thankfully I came across this guy and was in love. 
I was in to much of a rush to get it spruced up that I forgot to take before shots...but in a nut shell is was old it was dark wood and it was dated. A few coats of crisp white paint and it instantly turned into a charmer.

I decided against distressing this one as I wanted the molding detailing to be the star.
I love the inset drawers and all the frame work. You really couldn't notice it before but with the clean white paint it really pops.

I wanted the hardware to have a sophisticated feel as well so I choose polished nickel pulls and knobs. They have a small touch of detail work to them that mimics the molding work of the dresser and their sparkle really catches your eye!

Style Tip:
Make your baskets and bins look full when filling them up with accessories.

I didn't have enough moss balls to fill up my whole basket so I stuffed a towel in the bottom. You can also use crinkled up newspaper.

It was a hit at the party as it gave that touch of unexpected I was looking for. I think it would make a nice dining room server or sofa console as it is long and narrow and provides ample storage for anything from linens to toys.


you are cordially invited to avery's first birthday party ever.

Avery's first birthday party was this past Sunday and it went great! We couldn't have asked for a better day, the weather was perfect (I have a rockin sunburn to prove it!)
I wanted to share some of the highlights of the day.

Remember the party color scheme; red, pink & white with touches of galvanized metal.

First off I need to thank Sarah over @ Pewter + Sage for designing yet another awesome invitation for me!  I gave her a few of my thoughts and let her take it away...aren't they so cute! (they were mailed in a red envelope with a string tie too!)

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking...enjoy!

Avery & Grandpa waiting for her party guests to arrive!

Goody bags for the kids...simple paper bags with coordinating ribbon and a unique tag!

My water jug that I LOVE to have excuses for to use!

Of course I needed to incorporate some of my furniture into the party scene...so why not use a dresser as an outdoor buffet! I love the use of real furniture outdoors it's so unexpected!

(sneek peek at my latest piece...more on that later this week!)

My parents brought up my old mini table and chairs which Avery will now inherit. I put them in the yard for a coloring table for the kids...they loved it and my fridge has tons of great artwork they created!

Originally we were thinking of having the party in the side yard where there are some trees and shade however we switched it up last minute and had it in the front yard so some of my DIY  hanging decorations had to be re-purposed on the fly...my tulle garland turned into a table runner!

I love the table clothes...they kind of started my whole color scheme idea. I scored them @ Homegoods on sale after Valentine's day! The center pieces were cheap and simple...balloons in mini galvanized planters...topped with moss.

By far Avery's favorite present...here cozy coupe police car! Like daddy like baby!! It's in our living room right now because it is raining and she loads all her toys in it and just sits.

Of course we had to have a photo booth at her party! A few bails of hay and some white backdrop paper nailed to some trees...although that didn't last long because it was to windy (It's the thought that counts right).

A few snap shots in the photo booth before the party started.

Another shot of the outdoor buffet and Avery's photo tree...that was a big hit!

My mom made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting topped with a slice of strawberry and sprinkles...they were delicious (and went with the party color scheme of course!)

She really enjoyed her cupcake!

I think she made out quite well...a big thanks to all our friends and family!!

Riley enjoyed some of his doggie ice cream too!

We borrowed cornhole from a friend. It was a lot of fun even though we didn't really follow the rules... Avery like climbing on it.

We had a lot of the food inside for people to serve themselves and then go out to sit since it is black fly season here...so my DIY banner adorned the doorway.

We had a great day with family & friends and couldn't have asked for better weather...it was a lot of planning and I'll tell you it is tough having an outdoor party because you can't really "set up" until the day of and some things which I thought sounded good in my head didn't play out like I thought but it all turned out great in the end. I can't believe Avery is 1!!! Yikes!
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