1.30.2012

a picture's worth a thousand words.


1.27.2012

design journal :: master bedroom.


Today starts week one of my design journal project that I am challenging myself and anyone else who cares to join in on the fun to do! If you missed the initial rundown check it out here.

**After thinking about this design challenge a bit I realized some tasks cannot be done in only a week so I figured depending on each point of interest there will be more time given.
(listen to me who do I think I am Vern Yip on Design Star?!)

**Also if anyone else wants to follow along you don't necessarily have to be working on the same room I am you can tweak it to fit the needs of the space you are creating!

And away we go!

week 1: before photos and a jumping off point.

Here are the before shots of my room as it currently stands. I didn't really clean up for you...although the chair is usually piled high with clothes.

 Looking in from the hallway.
(Avery is watching Sesame Street songs)

 I love the windows we gets so much natural light. Before the space was finished there was only one window but we decided to take it out and put in a double window instead...so glad we did!

We finished the upstairs ourselves with the help of a builder friend. We were able to raise the ceilings about 6-8" and we also pushed the knee walls (the shorter walls) back about a half a foot on either side of the room. It's amazing what a few inches will do! The shorter walls are still higher than a standard cape. I can almost stand up at the shortest part. And I know that isn't saying much only being 5'2" but it's nice to wake up and not feel like you are going to smash your head off the ceiling.


 To the left is our closet...or as I like to refer to it... my mini walk-in. It does have a sloped ceiling but there is a lot of storage and floor space in there. Avery likes to go in and have me shut the door behind her then I can hear her talking to my clothes...haha

She is waving "Hi" to me, she is a camera hog! The dresser situation I am totally embarrassed of... it's a hot mess. Do you know I keep my earrings in a old egg carton...hanging my head in shame.
 The dresser itself is one of the first pieces I ever did so it was more of a practice piece for me and I plan or redoing it or getting something new. And the TV just hanging out by itself...don't you wish they made white TV's!

The details:

 Our bedding, I really like it however it doesn't go with the wall color which is Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Grey.


The rug I LOVE! It is the Potterybarn Plaited Wool Rug. I Watched it on Craigslist for months and finally snatched it up for $150! (not bad for an 8x10) It's great for a space that isn't high traffic and it is so soft on your feet! Since we don't wear shoes upstairs a quick vacuum does the trick!
 So that's the rundown on my before shots...not bad but not really anything at all. A mix of random things thrown in one room and very empty walls that echo. I have good bones to start with but just need to step it up majorly in the style & design department.

Here is my inspiration photo:


Of course I found it on Pinterest.
It is totally the grown up version of me. What I feel like you should get from an inspiration photo is a feeling and a color story. By no means do I plan on copying this room piece by piece but I'm going to use it as my cheat sheet to keep me on track.

If you want to share a link to your before shots and an inspiration photo just send me an email with the link and I'll add it to this post.
Now that I have my inspiration photo, my homework for this week is finding my inspiration piece. You always should have that one item that is your jumping off point. It's what sets the tone for the rest of the space. It could be a rug, or a blanket or curtains or a decorative item.
Next Friday I'll be showing off my jumping off point item and we'll figure out where to go from there! I best get shopping!

1.26.2012

what's in your bag?

Do you ever see those celeb magazine interviews where they show what's in their purse? 
I love those. 
 Like driving around at night to look in other peoples houses to see how they decorate. Not in a creepy stalker way, in a totally normal I like to see how other people live kind of way. 
Am I the only one?! 

Anyways back to the bag, it's always fun to see what kinds of crazy thing people carry around with them so I figured I'd show ya what I got.


I'm back to rockin a regular purse no more diaper bag but it still has plenty of room for all the essential toddler items.
I got it at a really fun boutique and it's a cool neutral grey color. I love that it has the option of the longer strap for when I'm trying to juggle a wiggly toddler and snacks and grocery shopping and car keys.

The contents on any given day:



So of course I have the basics, a wallet and I keep a separate change purse for Avery. She loves taking my coins for her piggy bank. A "vintage phone" as I dubbed it...you know one of those things that only makes phone calls... and I'm totally fine with it.

I also always have my day planner (which I always forget to write things in and always forget to check) but at least I carry it around. A notebook where I keep anything from shopping lists to design ideas to measurements so if I'm out and see something I'll know right away of it will work....I always never leave home without my tape measure!

Diapers. A must.

Chapstick for me & Avery...she is obsessed and loves to smear it all over her face. I also can not leave home without a pair of her sunglasses she rocks them all the time. If we're driving and the sun gets her in the eyes she say "mama, bright, glasses"...

Hand sanitizer, some toys and a go to snack....or leftovers of a previous snack are usually lingering at the bottom of my bag.

So there you have it, that's whats in my bag on any given day. Anyone carry around anything unusual or fun?!

1.24.2012

the design journal.

So, like I mentioned earlier I need to give myself a decorating butt kicking. I work well with a deadline, something to focus on. I decided to start a weekly series for myself but would love if anyone wants to participate and we can share each others progress.



Here is a rundown on how this whole thing will work:
I plan on working around the space piece by piece slowly building to a completed room! You can either do it along with me or build a Mood Board instead. Every Friday I'll show my progress (and any others if I have anyone interested).

First room up is the Master Bedroom. In most cases usually the last space in the house to be completed. I just turned 30 a few months ago and can honestly say I've never had a real finished space and I'm so over it!

week 1: find your inspiration
{a fabric, an inspiration photo, a paint color...anything to give you that jumping off point. It may even be something you already have in the room}

I'll see you this Friday with my inspiration and my before photos!


feels like spring.


It feels like spring in New England today and I'm loving it! My paper-whites are starting to bloom too!

I spent the weekend in my pajamas as I caught Avery's cold which I knew I was bound to get sooner or later since she loves to sneeze on me. But it gave me an excuse to sit down and organize some closets and random baskets full of junk that have been on my to do list forever! So far I have 3 bags of stuff to donate.

In the process of cleaning things out I decided I wanted to start a weekly series. I think it will give me more motivation to gets things done at my own house that I've been wanting to do. It will give me that push to get my behind in gear and if anyone wants to participate, I'd love to have you! You know how you are more apt to go to the gym if you have a friend doing it too...same kind of thing except I don't go to the gym...

So stay tuned for more details. I'll be back tonight with the scoop and the first room challenge!

1.18.2012

french linen dressers.

 I work well with a deadline. I like to think I'm the get it done right away type but I'm more of the burn the midnight oil kind of girl. 

So this furniture rehab was perfect for me because I had a deadline. You see my client contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I could refinish some dressers for him & his wife as they just bought a new home and are in the let's work with what we got stage (I'm still there 4 years later!). So of course I said sure thing. 
Then he threw in the kicker his wife was going to be traveling to London for work and he planned on meeting her a few days later and he wanted them back to surprise her when they got home. So that left me with 6 days to get this thing done. Enter my deadline.


Here are the dresser before. Nice lines, solid quality pieces. Just in need of some TLC. (The C stands for Courtney! Yes I'm a dork!)



You'll notice in the above photo I had only taken 3 knobs off before I remembered I needed a before shot!

My helper & her baby just passing through!


So back to my story. He told me that she wanted grey and she like old things. Okay, the grey part...check! I used Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in "French Linen". How fitting since they are in London right now! Instead of a poly clear coat I tried out the clear wax. It gives it more of a matte finish rather than a shine but I like it and I'm excited to use it on some other pieces. I then asked if she would like distressing...typical guy had no idea what I meant. So after a quick rundown we settled on grey dressers, light distressing and vintage hardware.

Here is her dresser.


Lightly distressed to show the natural wood on the edges and a mix of glass knobs and antique metal pulls with scroll work.




Next up the small dresser.


 Same techniques, same hardware. The top drawer is slightly smaller in size to the bottom two so I decided to use the glass pulls there as well to mimic the tall chest.



We delivered them back today and they get home tomorrow night! It was fun being in on such a fun surprise. I can't wait to hear what she thinks. I'll be sure to report back.

Hope you enjoy Amy!

1.17.2012

oops I did it again.


I just couldn't help myself, I'm officially addicted. 

At least I had half an excuse in buying one of the colors for a client. I'll be revealing tomorrow!

1.14.2012

barn doors.


I've been talking for awhile about a plan I had to mask those ugly sliding closet doors in our new dining room. We didn't want to get rid of a closet for a few reasons. For one it helps in resale and for two we already took over the office closet for the desk space.

So I decided to embrace them and turn them into barn doors.


And yes, I had to lay upside down on the floor to take this picture. But it's all about getting that cool angle right?


So basically what we did was remove the sliding doors and attach cedar click together paneling to them with liquid nails. I debated on going horizontal or vertical but vertical won out. Less cuts, less gluing, adds height to the room and not as busy.


They sell the cedar at both Home Depot and Lowe's different brand names but same stuff. We needed 3 packages total. Each package had 14 square feet and cost about $20. Since the doors are hollow core we couldn't use nails as they would have nothing to hang on to and I didn't want all those little holes.


So we measured and measured again and cut and clicked them together then put the glue on the door and transferred the new top onto the door and clamped it down so we were sure it stuck on there really well!

Here is a close up of the cedar. Not only does it smell good it has a great natural texture to it as well. I thought I was going to put a clear coat over it but I decided I wanted to keep it all natural. I won't mind if it gets beat up and worn over time. I was trying to emulate barn doors after all.


Now onto the hardware. I wanted industrial, outdoorsy looking stuff so I picked up these handles. They are much easier to grab and pull as opposed to those silly circle handles these doors usually have.


The only adjustment we had to make was moving the sliding track back about a half an inch. We had to allow for the thickness of the cedar so the door would continue to open & close smoothly. Here is my picture diagram showing you want I mean for all you visual people out there like me!


The end result.


And because everyone likes a good before & after comparison:



1.08.2012

emperor dresser.


I scored this amazing antique dresser before the holidays around the same time I picked up my first can of Annie Sloan's chalk paint! I decided I was going to go bold or go home so I pried the white out of my own hand and went for the "Emperor's Silk".


And I'm so glad I did. I'm sure the piece would look really nice in any color but I love the mix of an antique piece with a pop of unexpected color. The red in person isn't as red as the photos show it is more subtle and not so in your face but still absolutely beautiful...that Annie Sloan sure knows what she is doing!


Just a touch of light distressing to soften the edges and highlight the original hardware and metal footing.


A wire basket is a great option to group together a few items so the top remains clean and clutter free.


I think the red gave this tired worn antique a burst of new life. You could use it in many spaces and many types of decor. Mix it with some modern elements and clean lines or pair it with some warm country accessories...either way it would fit right in!

1.03.2012

what's on the table?

Happy 2012 All!
I hope everyone had a great New Years, I had a fun night with friends up north; baby free! I'm looking forward to a fresh start to 2012 and what is yet to come! I'm not a resolution kind of girl...more of a let's make a list and conquer type. How about you?!


Now onto what's been going on...


I have a tough time coming up with different centerpiece ideas when it isn't a specific holiday...you know those in between stages. Kind of like where I am right now...Christmas is all packed away leaving a void on my kitchen table. 


So I went out on a search to see what I could dig up for some fresh ideas. Let me tell you it was a tougher task than what I was expecting. Don't get me wrong I love flowers and candles but I also like something pretty to look at that doesn't need tending too.

First up; low wooden bowls with moss. Simple. I could probably find something similar around the house.


Next I found a cool vintage box with plants that don't need a lot of attention. You could even put napkins and salt & pepper in there for everyday use!


Feathers in a pitcher! Simple yet unexpected.


Finally another vintage wooden box with a variety of items paired with the candles. This would be fun to switch up every few weeks with random little trinkets. Or you could also store your silverware in old mason jars for easy access.


So, what's on your table? Anything? I'd love to get some more ideas!

I'll be back soon with a new red hot piece of furniture (hint hint). And do you remember these closet doors I said I have something in mind for...


...well we completed the project and as soon as I snap a few pictures I'll be back with all that fun!
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