Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Displaying Children's Art

Displaying your children's artwork is a wonderful way to add color and design to a child's space. Not to mention a great way to boost their self esteem!
If your kids are like mine then you probably have a plethora of original art to choose from.

Painted gold frames adds a classic twist to juvenile art.

I had this idea to do over my eldest bed: A random collage of art.

This fabulous idea for collage poster sized art comes from Eleni Interiors.

pictures via here

Wanting to add my children's art to their playroom, but wanting to utilize things I already had, I headed to my storage closet (also known as my husband's closet!). I found these collage frames and painted them white.

Several years ago I started scanning my children's art as a solution to the large pile of art that was accumulating. Going through my files of saved art I chose 18 favorites and had them developed. For a few dollars I had something fun and personal for their space. They love it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Playroom Progress

We were finally able to make some progress on the playroom last week. Just in time for my baby's first birthday party. My husband installed rain gutter bookshelves and mounted my mirror turned chalkboard. I started my Alphabet wall, even though I don't have all the letters yet. Hopefully I'll have that completed soon.

I got the idea for rain gutter bookshelves here. But my husband and I didn't like how visible the brackets were. So he had the idea to screw the gutters directly onto the wall. We were able to find four studs to screw into and then added two more just in the drywall for extra support. Not only does it look better, but it's cheaper too!

The great thing about these gutters is that they look cute anywhere. They would look great in a child's room holding books and stuffed animals. Mount it right by the bed for easy night time reading and snuggling.

I love the long one close to the ground. But with a baby I thought the books would spend more time on the floor than in the bookshelf.

Isn't this the greatest idea for a chair rail?!

Perfect for a bunkbed.

Happy reading!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Upholstered Headboards

I have fallen in love with the upholstered headboard. And of course anything with nail head trim makes my heart flutter a little bit.

I'm not sure what it is about them...the elegant curves, the softness...

The ability to add color and pattern...

Suddenly I am picturing them in every bedroom I have.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Paint or Not to Paint

I am in need of a kitchen table. Not that I don't have a table, I do, but it's in the dining room. And anyone with kids knows you DO NOT want your kids eating in the dining room. Not necessarily because it's too nice. At least that's not my problem, the only thing I currently have in there is the table. But because it's usually visible from the door, and the last thing you want a surprise visitor to see is a space where kids were eating. Rabid chipmunks anyone? So what I need is a table in my kitchen. Because of my saturation of dark wood in my house I would really love something like this:

Not only would it bring in some glass and metal elements, which I desperately need, but I love the idea of using something unexpected, like an outdoor patio table, inside.
Unfortunately, craigslist is failing to provide me anything close to what I want. So I've been considering using something that I already have.

I picked up this table for $5 at a local thrift store. The second I saw it I knew I had to have it. I had no idea what I was going to use it for. But I figured for $5 I'd think of something.

I absolutely love the base and the octagonal table shape would be a break from the norm. If I had a large foyer it would be a perfect entry table. But I am thinking it might be a temporary solution to my table problem.

But what exactly do I do with it? Go save and versatile and paint it white? Do a creamy white or shiny lacquer? Go bold and paint it red? Do I forget paint all together and stain it? Maybe in a green color to match my pillows and the flecks of green in my granite counter tops?

What would you do?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Elements of Design

Most of us are familiar with the four Elements of Nature: earth, air, wind, and fire. Ancient belief was that these four elements were the building blocks of the universe. Likewise, there are elements that are the building blocks of great design. I like to break them down this way:

& metal

When designing a space it is important to keep these elements in mind. You don't necessarily have to use all of them, but you want to make sure that the ones you do have are balanced. If a space isn't working for you, chances are you either are lacking in one element or too heavy in another.

{WOOD: stained and painted}

For example, my family room is definitely heavy in wood. It's not so much that I have too much wood, but I have too much dark wood and no other variations. It's made worse by the fact that our new home came with dark wood cabinetry and the kitchen and family room are conjoining. We are drowning in dark wood over here.

What my room needs is a new coffee table - either something in glass and metal or stone and metal to add variation to the room. A large leather or upholstered ottoman would work as well.
Another possible idea is to paint the console table. It could be a pop of color or an antiqued silver finish. Which brings me to my next element: Metal.

{Metal: metal, or metallic finishes on wood or glass}

What makes this room so beautiful? The gold finishes on the mirrors and frames. Not to mention the back rests on those amazing chairs. But the metal is also balanced out by the wood spindle on the fireplace, the glass vase, and the rich fabric curtains.

{Fabric: color, texture, and pattern}

{Stone: granite, marble, ceramic, pottery}

This room is such a perfect example of design balance: glass and metal coffee table, fabric in furniture and curtains, marble and wood fireplace, wood book shelf, and stone and metallic accents. Love it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Painted Interior Doors

Have you seen these? I am absolutely in love with this idea! What a great way to add punch to what would otherwise fade into the background.
This vivid blue makes a statment in this office, and is the exact color I want to paint the inside of my front door.

Here's that blue again on a bathroon door. Guests will only have to ask once to find this location.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The DIY Chalkboard

With the introduction of chalkboard paint, DIY chalkboards are popping up all over the place. If it's paintable, it's chalkable. (Yeah, I just made that word up. ) You can turn just about any surface into a chalkboard.



I love this idea in Good House Keeping - Silhouettes.

With chalkboard vinyls sheets (found at wallies.com), you can cut out any shape you want and put it anywhere you want.

Even more fun - Hudson has come out with a line of {colored chalkboard paint}.

Dreaming of a fire engine red dresser for your boy's room AND a surface he can safely scribble on? No problem!

Going the economical route, I searched my house for something I could convert into a chalkboard for my kid's playroom.

I came across a mirror my husband had picked up for me at a thrift store a couple of years ago. It had been taking up space in our closet for awhile and I decided this was a good time to put it to use. I considered painting right over the mirror, but at the suggestion of my MIL (who removed the mirror for me while I was at the hardware store), I decided to take the mirror out.

{Dark wood frame painted turquoise}

Lucky for me the backing was wood, so I sanded that down and used that for my chalkboard.

After a couple coats of paint my chalkboard was ready for assembly.

In a few simple steps, a cute and inexpensive chalkboard for my girls! Now if only I can get my husband to mount it on the wall...

{Stay tuned for another chalkboard project I have planned!}

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Answers about rugs

I noticed over at Centsational Girl that there were some questions about the rug tutorial. I bought the rug from Target, and it is made of synthetic materials. RIT dye specifies that it can be used on cotton, rayon, ramie, and linen blends. It doesn't recommend it for polyester or acrylic, but as you can see from my rug I did have any problem with the dying process.
If you're looking for plain rug remnants and want a higher quality rug I suggest calling local rug dealers about any remnants they have and what they're willing to sell them for. These are large pieces of rugs that are left over from custom projects that wont be easy for them to sell, so there might be some bargaining room. Most of these places will also bind the remnant for you, charging per every two feet. If you're nervous about how the rug will take to the dye I suggest getting a small sample from a dealer and trying it out on that first.
Surprisingly, the dye didn't leak under the tape. Either the rug absorbed it too fast for it to leak, or because I blotted as soon as I sprayed. There were only a couple of places where some over spray got on the white part of the rug. I "erased" these with some very diluted bleach. After that I was more careful to cover all the surrounding areas with rags. I hope this answers any questions. Happy dying!


Ever dream of designing your own fabric? Now you can! At spoonflower.com you can upload any jpeg image to be created into fabric. Fabric choices range from basic cotton to upholstery weight. Can you imagine the possibilities?

I've been featured!

What a thrill! I shared my dyed rug with Kate over at Centsational Girl (one of my favorite design reads) on a whim, and she asked to feature me! What an honor - thanks Kate! Check it out here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Custom Sofa Design

In an earlier post I mentioned that the large bulky couches in my family room weren't really to my taste. Comfortable, yes. Practical, yes. Hides spilled milk, definitely. But not exactly pretty to look at.

Couches that I love are a little more streamed lined. Classic, contemporary and retro all in one package. They're the kind of couches you'll find at Crate and Barrel, Z Gallerie, and Ballards. But those aren't exactly in my price range. So what a find to stumble on this website! Custom Sofa Design offers hundreds of options in custom fabrics and sizes. With prices starting as low as $499, there's a little something for everyone. Here's a few of my favorites:

The Ariana

The Aubrey
The Bianca

The Catalina

The Deastiny

(notice the nail head trim?)

The Desmond

The Elena

The Emma

The Gemma

The Glamour

The Lola

The Metropole

(button tufting anyone? Yum)

The Reese

The Solana

The Una