Thursday, January 31, 2013

Livable Style

As much as I love flipping through the pages of Elle Decor, I almost love seeing real livable spaces more. Er, I mean its all livable - but more like, we have kids and want to be comfortable, but also care about living in a beautiful space.

I got so excited when my friend who is currently looking for a house sent me a link to this one. Its in a suburban area of Dallas, probably upper middle class families - nothing fancy and definitely not expecting the inside to look like it does when I saw the picture of the outside of the house (which is nice but doesn't really mirror up to the inside).

Their living room is open, full of great texture, and just enough color. LOVE: deep seat sofa, layered rugs, fiddle leaf fig tree, sunburst mirror, the sofa is not pushed right up against the wall, and fun paint on the inside of their built-ins.

The master is large, and no surprise that I love all of the shades of blue! and LOVE the open spacious, clean and well lit bathroom.

Again with the blue - I LOVE. and can you even tell if this nursery is for a boy or girl? even better. 

So refreshing to see homes like this in the middle of the 'burbs where you may not expect it. It almost makes accomplishing some of these looks in your own home seem more doable!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What to do with White Walls

For those of you who are renting, leasing, or are otherwise too LAZY to paint....

Here are some fun ideas to bring color to your walls without paint, and without dropping a small fortune a large piece of art.

DIY diamond accent wall with duct tape. This is awesome - no paint and depending on the size of your wall, you could easily spend less than $30! Check out the full post and details on The Nesting Place.

They used white tape on a wall that had already been painted. If your wall is white, no worries - thanks to all those kiddos who decided it was cool to make their wallets and prom dresses out of duct tape, there are a billion different colors and patterns to choose from.

Use plates, platters and trays to create a collage of sorts. I really like these three shots that show a good variety of ways to select colors and shapes. The second image has an interesting hombre effect that I love!

Create the look of one large piece of art by using paper (scrapbook, wrapping, wall, etc.) and frames. You could use 16 of these record frames from Target, $10 each, and cover a little over 4' x 4' of wall space with a custom look. I also love the idea of using something like this mirrored frame to make it a bit more dramatic!

Last but not least, a great idea to not only add color, but also add texture with fabric.
Here’s the general idea: Use particleboard covered in fabric to lean against your wall. That way, you don’t have to worry about nailing and hanging anything. Easy.


You will need:
Staple Gun

Step 1) Assume the fabric you find will be 52” wide and you need 2” on each side for securing the fabric, the max width will be 48”. Keeping that max width in mind, determine how tall you want your “wall art” to be. If you don’t have a truck, bug a friend who does and get yourself to hardware store. Let some one know what you’re working on and ask them to help you find a piece of particleboard or plywood and cut it to your desired dimensions.

Step 2) Pick out fabric and have it cut to the length of your board, plus 4” to be used in securing it to the board. I would select a fabric that has a colorful floor or background. This will help it to really contrast against the white wall – like the yellow in the picture.

Step 3) Iron your fabric if necessary. Lay the fabric face down on a hard flat surface. Place the board on top of the fabric, leaving at least 2” on each side of the fabric showing. I would begin at the top edge in the middle, carefully folding the fabric back over the board. If you feel comfortable with a staple gun, go ahead and begin securing the fabric down. If you’re not such a pro, or have selected a fabric with a geometric pattern or something that requires it to be super straight and lined up, I would fold the fabric back and use so masking or painters tape to hold it in place while you staple. 

Once you’ve worked your way around the board, lift it up to see your work. If you need to make adjustments, just carefully pull the staples out with pliers and give it another go.

Optional - If you want to jazz it up a bit and like the framed out look, you can easily accomplish this with a few additional steps. If you have some one like Mr. Husband who is pretty handy, they should be able to frame this out for you with no problems. If you don’t and you’re on your own – here’s a fast and easy shake down to get the job done. 

You will need: 
4 pieces of pre-primed trim (like this, 3 pieces total, $10.68 each at Lowe’s)
DAP household silicone sealant (white if you’re going to paint the trim white – or clear)
White paint (like Valspar semi-gloss/eggshell)

Take the length and width measurements of your board to the hardware store. Ask some one to help you pick out pre-primed trim pieces and cut them to your measurements (they should even be able to cut the corner angles if you don’t have a skill saw at home).  Go ahead and paint your trim pieces prior to attaching them. You may have to do some touch ups, but it will be easier than waiting.

If you have a nail gun, I would recommend using it. If you don’t, there’s a plethora of permanent craft glues that will get the job done. Lay the pieces on top of the board to see how they look and fit, and then secure them down. If using glue, make sure you use enough and give it plenty of time to dry.

At this point you can still see the fabric on the sides of your board (unless you have a Mr. Husband handy who properly framed it out for you). Use the DAP to fill in any space in between the board and the new frame you’ve made. Let that dry, and then paint over the DAP and the fabric on the sides of your board. You may have to let the paint dry, and do several more coats until you are able to completely cover the fabric and get the desired coverage.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday Morning Treasures

This past weekend, I was able to do some thrifting with my Mom. She's the only person I can do this with, because she actually spends more time digging through everything than I do. If you're patient, and can commit to using your imagination (and lots of hand sanitizer), then you will be able to walk away with some awesome thrifty finds.

Here are a few of the items we found this weekend. I have a few additional pieces that I'm going to post about later... a little DIY thrift store makeover treasures!

This mirror we found at Goodwill for $45. It was large (approx 3.5' x 3.5') and solid wood with beveled glass. It was kind of shabby chic and wouldn't need any refinishing if you're into that, but I was thinking it would look awesome in a fun color like yellow or coral!

I really L.O.V.E. this barcart. This was in a suburban antique mall for $99! If it had been in a Dallas antique mall we would be looking at at least double that. If any of you out there live in the area and want the details, let me know!

Clothes. Some people are kind of freaked out by finding clothing in thrift stores - and sometimes I am too. For some reason if they are a nice label it makes me think that they couldn't have come from that bad of a place, right? Either way, I wasn't really even looking, but these four tops kind of found me.

1) Ann Taylor Loft sweater, 2) Equipment mint green silk button down, 3) Theory pink linen button down, 4) Ann Taylor leopard print cardigan.... total? um $22.28! plus the dry cleaning, bill of course.

And don't forget about Craigslist...

Table and Chairs for $120. I'm thinking these chairs would look pretty awesome with some white lacquer paint and new fabric on those cushions!

Hutch, $350. Not bad as it is, but would be really fun to add a little bit of trim to it, paint it, paint or wallpaper the back wall of the shelves with a good pattern. I would probably find some new handles and straighten up those cabinet doors!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lust List... Tom Ford

Tom Ford's Large Jennifer Flap-Top Bag. In ivory, to be specific.

Tom Ford is one of those fabulous people who literally created his own mystique (Austin, Texas born to realtor parents and now fashion icon), and continues to build it by openly discussing quirky habits like taking 5 baths a day, and creating his own list of gentlemanly commandments.

Neiman Marcus was the first retailer to sell his Handbags and Shoes online; making it much easier to frequently view/drool over them. (Enjoy)

This bag has to be my all time favorite bag. Its perfect. Not too small. Not too big - aside from the price tag in relation to my budget.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thanks Sadie + Stella

I'm so pumped about two things: 1) Ordering my ridiculously affordable watercolor of Mitzi from Lamanda Designs, and 2) Ordering this awesome bracelet from The Way We Are!

Two finds brought to us by Sadie + Stella in her post yesterday.

I have been wanting to get a portrait of Mitz-Mitz, but most that have been recommended are a little more than I can justify spending. Lamanda Designs is so affordable ($30 for an 8" x 10" watercolor). They also offer acryllic and oil paintings as well for just a little bit more. Seriously, how much fun?!

(obviously I think Mitzi will be even more cute than this, and I will likely obnoxiously flaunt it to you and everyone else when I receive it)

As for the bracelet... I can't say no to an awesome statement piece that I know I will wear all the time. Its really reasonably priced as well, which makes me want to buy more than one. Check them out - lots of fun colors and variations!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Living Room Update

Don't worry Mr. Husband - this is just for fun.

I wanted to play around with the core pieces of my living room, well, for fun! Here are some quick thrifty ideas I came up with using a lot of the same pieces. This is a good way to show you how to quickly change a look without completely tossing everything you own. A throw pillow or lamp shad can make a big impact.

Dusk Tufted Sofa,
Large Leather Chair & Ottoman (similar to the one shown but with square legs)
Green Chair (similar to the one shown but slightly lighter in color)
Aiden Coffee Table,
and my walls are "Light Silver Sage" from Restoration Hardware
 Everything I don't own is listed below

These are all looks that I could easily pull off with my current pieces. If I don't want to buy a new floor lamp, I could just take the one I own outside with a spray can of white Rustoleum. It wouldn't be too difficult to get a bright geometric shade by painting one I have at home either - kind of like this! If you don't have any plants in your home, you should really reconsider. There are so many that are easy to care for, and they add a natural element that you can't get otherwise. Large areas rugs are an investment, but if you buy a few for different rooms, that will allow you some flexibility to switch them from room to room if you need a change. Its also nice to keep one from getting too much wear in high traffic areas.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Morning Treasures

I'm currently on the hunt for some good, affordable wall art and a mirror for a friend of mine. I found a few accent pieces along the way too. In the spirit of friendship, here are some awesome deals I've found. Hope you enjoy!

"Chevron" Giclee, $345 (wait for a sitewide sale and get 30% off, $241.50)
40"w x 50"h

"Ivory Hues," $149.99, reg. $189
36"w x 36"h

Set of Three Gingko Artwork, $199
32" x 48"h

Checkered Panel Mirror, $339.15
31.5"w x 42"h

23"w x 20"h - love it in multiples

Faux Shagreen and Horn Tray, $44.99 (addtl 50% off with code, $22.50)
11"w x 18"l

Monday, January 21, 2013

Remember that Christmas List?

Okay, so I didn't get it for Christmas.... but I did get it for my birthday two days later!
I was completely shocked, because a few days after I sent Mr. Husband the link to the painting, it sold.

I knew there was no way that he had acted so quickly (this is a man who has been known to wait until day of to buy my birthday present), and that some other lucky lady was going to have Flowers for Lady in her house. Its a good thing that I found that out while we were in Hawaii, because I didn't have a lot of time to feel sorry for myself while basking in the sun of paradise.

Mr. Husband knew I was upset, and that he was going to be in SERIOUS trouble come Christmas if he didn't have something from Laurel Dawn (Abode Love). So, being the amazing husband he is, we contacted her to see if she could paint another similar to Flowers for Lady... one that I'm now proud to call Flowers for Gina!

Here she is! I can't wait to get her displayed on the wall. Mr. Husband and I are planning to tackle that project next weekend.... I'll keep you posted!

PS - It turns out that Miss Laurel Dawn had just found out she was preggers and really sick when she painted this for me... which makes me appreciate the fact that she did it even more. Can't wait to see her nursery!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY Roman Shade

Finally... I actually dressed the naked window in my kitchen. I knew that I needed something, but not knowing if when we would be adding a backsplash and what color/texture that may be, I kind of put the window project on hold.

Then it just hit me like a big slap in the face. We were having friends over for a Christmas dinner and that dumb window was like a big naked lady standing in the middle of my kitchen laughing (she had already been there for over two years but maybe it was just the recent addition of her laughing that sent me over the edge).

There are SO many posts out there in the blogosphere about DIY roman shades and "roman shades" (roman'esque shades as I say) and no-sew shades... so I'm not claiming to have reinvented the wheel. I did see a shade in my fave fabric store that I snagged some pics of, and used as my guide of how a simple shade is made/works. Maybe they'll help you...

This is a simple and cheap way to make a roman shade with as little sewing as possible... but event that was too much work and functionality for what I had in mind. My shade didn't really need to be adjustable. I just wanted it to cover a small amount of my window and I never have a need to adjust the height.

That being said, I came up with this very simple shade... It was really simple, and you could do it with fabric glue and a few hand stitches if you don't have a sewing machine! 

*keep in mind - this is an inside mount shade. If you want to mount yours to your wall or window frame, your measurements will be a little different and you can refer to the YHL link at the bottom for help!

The fabric I used is similar to linen in texture, and so I decided I would like a liner so the print will still be visible when the sun is really shining through. Here are the basic steps. If you're going to try this and want a little bit more help, feel free to contact me!

I measured the width of my window and added 2" to each side (for the seam and so I would have a little room on each side for the fabric to fold back into the window. For the length, I measured the full length of the window because thats what I would use if I were to make an actual functioning shade - and I wanted some big full folds - then add 2" for the top where you will attach it to the board.

Cut your fabric to your measurements, along with the liner fabric in the same size. Place your print fabric face down on your liner fabric and pin it along the edges. Sew three edges of your fabric (length, width, length) and flip it right side out when you're done. You don't have to sew the fourth edge because it won't be seen. *this is where you could use fabric glue if you don't have a machine

Now for the folds... I determined how long I wanted my finished shade to be. Then I laid the fabric down on the floor and moved the bottom of the shade (sewn edge opposite the open edge) up to meet that measurement from the top plus 2" (for where you will attach it to the board). Next, I literally moved the folds up and down until I got them positioned in a way that I liked. Pin them down.

So, now you need to make sure that your folds are even on each side, so measure along one side from the bottom of the shade to the top of each fold. Go to the opposite side and do the same thing. If the second side measurements are different from the first, you will need to adjust to make them equal.

You're all pinned down, measured and straight, and ready to tack the folds down. I used good old fashioned needle and thread to tack each fold down with a simple stitch in four locations across the width of the shade on each fold. So easy!

To get that sucker up in your window... Cut a piece of 1"x2" board to the width of your window minus 1/8" for a little wiggle room (they will cut it for your at the hardware store if you don't have means to do so at home - or if you too have a Mr. Husband that won't allow you to operate a saw without him). No need to paint it, because now you're going to take the un-sewn side of your shade and staple it to the board. staple guns=awesome and a must have for any household.

Now, you should have a little fabric extending beyond the length of the board on either side. I used my flat iron (yes, for my hair - but you can obviously use a regular iron as well) to iron a fold along the length of each side to make the curtain fit into the width of my window. I just did that so I wouldn't have to be stressed about making sure my seems were in a particular perfect place to make my shade the perfect width. This was a fast a furious project, remember?

You will probably have to add staples on each end of your board now to tuck that extra fabric back as well (this is why it was important to cut the board a little short of the actual window width).

The only thing left to do at this point is hang the shade. Now, by some miraculous feat I stuck my board up in the top of my window and it fit so perfectly snug that I didn't have to use any hardware to make it stay. BUT, if it had not... I would have used an "L" bracket on each side (screw into the board and into the wall) to secure it.

Ta-da! That's all folks! The whole thing took my 2 hours, maybe?
Sorry I don't have pictures and exciting diagrams. If you need more visuals, here are a few good posts that are helpful:

Centsational Girl
Young House Love  <----- Check it! same fabric! maybe there's a reason why I like YHL so much?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Morning Treasures

This Tuesday morning in Dallas we woke up to a winter wonderland (ie. sleet/snow causing 100 wrecks during the morning commute - literally). All I wanted to do was stay home and cuddle with my sweet Mitz-Mitz and Mr. Husband, but instead we had to go brave the roads with the thousands of Texans who don't know how to drive in weather.

Don't worry, we made it... and here are some fun treasures I found this week. Hopefully they inspire you to start a new project, or maybe go out and look for that last furniture piece you need to complete a room!

"White and Duck Egg Herringbone Dresser," $275

All of the following pieces are from Nadeau  in Dallas (locations in Austin, Birminghams, Buckhead, Charlseton, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbia, Houston, Huntsville, Los Angeles, Marietta, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Savannah, and DC). Its an amazing little gem - if you haven't been, you need to go. You can see pics of the Dallas inventory - with prices - here.

Cane Bench, $147

Metal Glass Door Cabinet, $434

Bone Inlay Tray, $121

Wheeled Console Table, $432

Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Globes - My Winner

Its all any one will be talking about today, so I won't publicly gush over all of the amazingly beautiful gowns that made me so happy last night. I will speak to one.

My favorite, straight from the Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012 collection, worn by Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence. I don't care what movie she was in, and I probably won't see it; she will always be Katniss Everdeen in my eyes. The girl must have gone on that "don't eat anything, and when you feel like you're about to pass out, eat a cube of cheese" diet, because her waist looked perfectly tiny.

This dress does everything a dress should do. It compliments hips, flatters a waist, and shows just enough skin to make it more classy than sexy. Even the fact that Mr. Husband told me it made her up-tops look like cones, made me even more happy with the dress (most straight men don't fully understand artful fashion). It was like time machine travel back to a more glam-glam Hollywood. L.O.V.E. So happy!

photo courtesy of stylefrizz

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Things I'm lovin' right now....

Flower Vases from Anthropologie 
Happy Birthday to me! I was in line behind a cute TCU sorority girl who was buying a few of these and at the time I didn't really think I had a spot for them. Then, about a week later I received my Anthro 15% off birthday card and it was a done deal - spot or no spot!

I had to re-arrange a few things, but they look great above above my new stainless refrigerator.
(chrysanthemum, anemone, pansy, bouquet)

Bali Offering Basket
I found this at Tuesday Morning and knew it would be perfect for my coffee table. I had been looking for something to store things that I would rather keep tucked away when guests are over. The price was amazing, and even more amazing when the lady helping me at checkout told me that I was missing the top half.... "Say what??!!"

Yes, this is an offering basket made in Bali. It is essentially a box. So, not only did I get the bottom piece that I use under my coffee table, I also got the top half that I'm keeping stored away until I can figure out a way to make it work and show off the pretty design on the top. L.O.V.E it!

Vintage Map Coasters
Also a new addition to our coffee table are these great coasters my esq. sister gave me for Christmas. You can have them made from maps of any city/state you want, and they also have vintage postcards and ads - nothing is reproduced. I realize that several people make these and I could probably make them myself, but the fact that my sister found them in Cape Cod and they're unique makes me love them even more!

Here's a fun article about them with more pics!

My Rescue Fiddle Leaf Fig
Mr. Husband and I rescued this poor little guy from the nursery not too long ago. It was missing eaves, and several of the remaining leaves were damaged and turning brown around the edges. I'm a sucker for any plant (especially ones that get marked to clearance which to me is like the little runt puppy that no one wants), so we loaded it up and took it home.

For a while, leaves continued to brown and fall off. I couldn't find a spot in my house that it liked, so I called my mom who has had one thriving in her home for the last 9 years (its now reaching the top of their 12' dining room ceiling). Finally, we found the right spot for sunlight, and she helped me replant it to make sure the soil completely drains after every watering. LOOK!! New growth! I'm beyond happy! Fiddle Leaf Figs are slow growing, so I'll have to be patient, but its going to be a really beautiful plant in the long run.

This plant is super popular right now in the design/blog world (abode love here and here, Honey We're Home, Emily Henderson, Elle Decor, I could go on and on) and should be relatively easy to care for if you're looking for a good house plant. If you're going to pick one up or if you're having trouble with one you already have, email me and I can give you some pointers!

PS - did you know they're remaking The Sound of Music and Carey Underwood is going to play Maria???? Its true! Not sure how I feel about Carey Underwood as a would-be nun??

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Missing Maui

Its raining and cold in Dallas. I'm 100% ready to pack my bags and head back to Maui right now - especially after reading Megan's post recapping her trip there in December.

If you're cold and needing some sunshine... head over to her blog and relive her trip, or enjoy some of my pics! I'll have to do a full post with our favorite activities and food later - there's so much!

Haleakala Sunrise

 Paddleboarding (more trying to be cute than actual paddling)

 Wailea beach

Grand Wailea grounds (this pic doesn't do it justice)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Morning Treasures

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to Tuesday Morning stores, BUT today in honor of Tuesday Morning Treasures I felt the need to check out their website... What?... For real?... You can now shop their site and its had a serious facelift!

Here’s some serious fabulousness with amazing price tags. Hope you enjoy… and I really hope some one gets to buy some of this stuff!

Almah Kilim Dyed Cube, $149.99 


(okay so this one is a little more pricey, but it is FOUR HANDS… L.O.V.E. )