Monday, October 31, 2011

Paint Palooza and other random things

Happy Halloween!!!  Mondays are traditionally my day to get things done.  Besides the usual chores and scheduling to-do's like bathe the dog <done>, call for paint recycling pick up <done>, reschedule dentist appointments <done>, three loads of laundry <done>, crock pot dinner <done>, bills <done>, I deemed today spray paint day.

Here are a few of the current takers for a new coat of fabulous!

I'm thinking some greys, maybe my favorite teal and an orange I have been wanting to try.  I even found a few more pieces to paint after this picture was taken.

Have I told you that spray paint is the best invention ever?  Tips to remember when spray painting = use a good spray primer before painting and let it adequately dry.  Your primer allows for better adhesion of your paint to an object and will allow you to skip the step of sanding.  Take your time and use the right distance so there are no drips or globs.  Then, do a couple of coats of quality spray paint with plenty of drying time between coats.  The key is take your time, spray evenly, use the appropriate distance from your object to prevent over spraying and drips and of course read the directions on the can.  Unfortunately, there is not a huge selection of spray paint colors but it is improving and manufacturers have created some interesting lines that have different textures and metal finishes.  I will post the finished products when they are all dry and in their proper place.

Random #1
Are you HomeGoods happy?  My favorite store on the planet...I have actually even gotten my kids hooked on taking a trip with me every once and a while.  It is definitely the type of place where you need to visit often, because inventory changes frequently.  If you see something you love, you better get it then, because it may not be there when you get back.

Here's my latest treasure!!!  A linen, tufted round ottoman.  She's a gem isn't she?  So cute and puffy!  I had been looking for an ottoman to place in front of my grandma's arm chairs in the family room so folks could prop up their feet and stay a while.  I have a lot of angles and square furniture in the family room (couch, coffee table, entertainment center) and so I was definitely looking for a round ottoman, which turned out to be harder than thought.  But I finally found one and she was only $59. 

Random #2
My sources for all the re*furbished home furnishings and decorative pieces are resale shops and antique malls.  Here is my latest stash of great finds waiting to be re*furbished.  I am still thinking of what to do with it all.  The frames will be repainted, the chair needs a little tlc but has a great cane-back, and the keys I just couldn't resist!!

Hope your day is filled with the opportunity to get things done both random and planned!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Choosing and Hanging a Chandelier

While going this process with a friend in her dining room and needing to switch out the chandelier over my own kitchen table, I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about how to make this easy change in your home.  Updating a light fixture is a cost effective way to make a big impact in a room.  Lighting creates ambiance, mood and can update your style instantly.  Ok, I admit it I still have one of those brass fixtures from the early 90's but I am doing my best to gradually switch them all out.  I even re-painted one to an antiqued black finish when I first moved in and it has lasted for a while, but I'm ready to change that one out too. 

First, here are some gorgeous chandeliers of varying styles for inspiration, each is under $400 - if you shop around you can find some gorgeous pieces to fit your budget!

My obsession right now is everything Minka from the Minka Group, check out this gorgeous chandelier!

Lamps Plus for $379

Bellora Chandelier - love the drops with a rustic feel

Pottery Barn $299

Glass Link Chandelier - great for an eclectic or contemporary space

West Elm $299

6-light chrome Chandelier - traditional and formal $227

Kathy Ireland Venezia Bronze 8-light - traditional and formal

Lamps Plus $150

Cambria Scroll Pendant - casual and would look great in a smaller eat-in area or small round dining table

Lamps Plus $299

Possini Euro Frosted White Glass - contempory or modern look

Lamps Plus $399.99

Now how do you know what size to buy and how to hang it?
Here's a few general guidelines that I have found helpful.  As with any purchase, use your judgement to evaulate what will look best in your dining space.  A good start is to see what you might not like about the current fixture regarding size and shape.

 Buying the right size fixture and hanging it correctly shouldn't be intimidating.  You need three measurements to get you started.  Determine the height of your room floor to ceiling, measure the width and length of your room and measure the length and width of the table.  

First, measure the height of your room.  In general, if the height of your room is over 7 feet tall your room is tall enough to hang a chandelier. 

Next, measure the length and width of your room in feet.  Add those measurements together.  The sum converted to a measurement in inches will equal the appropriate diameter for your chandelier.  For example, for a 14x20 ft room 14+20= 34 feet.  Change this number to inches, thus 34 inches - your chandelier should be no larger than 34 inches in diameter.  If the size seems too large based on the size of your table, take three quarters of the width of the table for your measurement.  For example, three quarters width of a 44 inch wide table, is 33.  The chandelier should be 33 inches in diameter.  

  And last, the correct height to hang the chandelier above a dining table is 30-34 inches above the tabletop.  I have found that 32 inches over a table works well - low enough to have impact but high enough to be visually comfortable when seated to dine.

Take your measurements and go shopping!  There are many styles and finishes to choose from.  Styles range from rustic to formal from a 6-arm chandelier to a pendant chandelier and everything in between.  Some popular finishes are iron, brushed steel, chrome, glass and crystal.  Look to create some consistency in how you have styled the adjoining rooms and what finishes are used in other areas of your home.  Begin with a style and/or color that is predominant in the room in which the new fixture will be hung.

These are general rules of thumb, as always eye-ball it and use your judgement as to what will look best for your room.  The examples above are for a dining room or kitchen table chandelier, but the trend for chandeliers is to use them just about a closet, bathroom, bedroom, or over a kitchen island...adding charm and interest to the most unexpected of areas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

White..nuff said!


White couch, white chairs, white walls - black and orange pops of color.


White stairs, white couch, white walls contrasted with dark wood floor.


White bedspread, lamp, art and mirror contrasted with touches of grey and natural tones.

I love the look of an all or mostly white room.  Crisp, clean, classic, comfortable, pristine, ethereal, elegant....all these words come to mind.  Pause.  Ok....I have kids, dog, hubbie...all of which would not do well in an all white room.  So if you're like me and love the look, but practicality takes over...why not infuse a pop of white to get some of the feel that these all white rooms possess? 

Here are a few of my favorite looks for bringing a little white into a room.

White slip covered furniture is always an option, easy to take off and wash when the spots and spills arise.  This chaise from Ikea is a great look (I am thinking about this one for my office)!

White walls, white couch with pops of color like orange and red and dark furniture pieces.

White wall of frames!

White lamps!

White towels, shower curtain, mirror and vanity top with dark grey on walls and dark vanity base.

Gorgeous white dresser refinished and used as a sofa table.

(All photos sourced from Pinterest)

These are some great ways to infuse the crispness of white in any room - maybe just a little less than some of us had hoped for!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I first saw it at the Wisteria Warehouse Sale and a woman was trying to strap the chair to her trunk.  It's a big chair and it was not fitting IN the trunk but she was determined and yes, she got a steal.  (On a side note, if you live in the Dallas area you MUST attend the Wisteria Warehouse Sale - once a year but well worth the wait  So I headed inside, hoping for the same treasure but sure enough they were sold out.  What???  We were only about 45 minutes past the opening time.  But indeed they were all gone.  I saw a few strays in an aisle behind the rope (intended to keep us out) and asked the sales person about them. She said they had accidentally double-sold the chairs and were required to take them off the floor - apparently others had taken a liking to my new beloved chair as well.

Well, I forgot about the chair and went on with my shopping.  Until today... I was reading the current issue of Southern Living and saw the chair again!  It was used on an outside porch with a fireplace and porch swing.  They are brown with a cream patterned cushion. There was no sourcing information and I couldn't find the picture online so you'll have to take my word for it ..they look great.

So I thought about doing a little research to find some photos of inspiration and sources to buy the chair.  Here's what I found.

This is the original chair that I fell in love with at Wisteria.  At the warehouse sale, it came without a cushion and ran about $200 - a steal.  But in the catalog it has a cushion and is called the European Spindle Chair.  I tried to source online but it may be out of stock at this time.  It is by far the best price that I have found for this chair at a measly $699.  Isn't it gorgeous??

This is actually a black painted birch wood reproduction.  There are vintage ones out there and I am sure they are even more gorgeous!  <insert historical furniture lesson here :)> The basic spool chair is a furniture design that involves a frame made entirely of turned pieces. Sometimes referred to as a Carver chair, the spool chair dates back to the 17th century, and is often considered to have its origins in the New England area of the United States. Some are also European influenced.  Simplistic in design, the typical spool chair usually has minimal decoration, making the chair both classic and easy to include in most designs.  It's timeless.

Here's are some examples of the chair featured in design.  It can be used in multiple spaces.


(Source: House Beautiful)

Family Room

(Source: Belmont Design Group)

Living Room

(Source: Jacqueline Derrey Segura)

Family Room

(Source: House Beautiful)

One of the most popular producers in the US of the Spool Chair is Hickory Chair.  Their chair runs around $1700.  This chair looks good coming and going (note the back detail).

Looking at the chairs online and doing the research makes me want one even more.  I don't even know where I would put it ...but one day I WILL have one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gallery Wall Inspiration

I love the idea of a gallery wall and have started the planning process to create one.  Through a little research on the web and some inspiration from Pinterest, I found a few things that I thought might be helpful to share so you can create a fantastic gallery wall for your home.

First up, some inspiration photos taken from Pinterest!

This collection is pulled together with matching frames arranged in a linear square configuration.  Gorgeous!

Black frames positioned in a random arrangement with pops of color.

Photo wall using ledges, accessories, candles and lighting from Pottery Barn.

Black and white photos in black frames with the addition of a typeface letter.  This arrangement takes up a good amount of space and would be great for an entry or family room where you are trying to cover vertical space.

This collection covers a lot of wall space both vertically and horizontally, has a random arrangement and uses various brightly colored frames.

Gallery walls can fit into every room in your home.  The traditional spaces are hallways, stairways and libraries.  But really they can go anywhere - in an entry hall, bathroom, over a bed (can act as a visual headboard), in a media room, dining room, where ever you are looking to fill up wall space with interesting objects. 

And the contents for gallery walls are endless!!  What about empty brightly painted vintage frames?  You can use a collection of mirrors arranged to create a beautiful reflective wall.  What about a wall gallery of your child's art, using coordinating frames in similar sizes to group the collection. What about framing vintage fabric or linens?  Have some gorgeous plates or platters that you don't see except on those special occasions - what a great way to get them out of the cabinet and on display than through a gallery wall.  You can use ledges or shelves to create additional dimension for resting your frames on.  Large typeface letters, memory boxes, framed postcards ...all have a place in a personal collection.  You can group together similar objects that contain an inspiration color, ie. creating a group that has pops of turquoise within them.  You can group your collection by matching frames like all black, white, silver or gold.  Or maybe, they don't match at all!!!  What a great way to create a conversation piece in a room.  The options are endless.

A few things to remember, when creating a gallery for a stairway, try to follow the upward slant of the stairs for creating your vision line.  When creating collections on room walls, general rule of thumb is to create a center point at eye level or 5 ft from the ground as your starting point and add your pictures from there.  A great option to help you with your layout is to trace an outline of each of the individual frames you plan to hang on brown craft paper (you can buy on rolls at your local craft store).  Cut out the outlines.  Use blue painters tape and tape the paper outlines to your wall to work through the best configuration for your wall.  You can easily move around until you find the arrangement that looks best for your room.  This approach helps to save you from putting a lot of unnecessary holes in your wall.  When you determine your arrangement, hammer in your hanging nails through the craft paper.  After the nail is secured, tear off the paper, then hang your pictures where your nails remain. 

For sourcing your frames, I suggest starting with places like Marshall's, TJ Maxx and Home Goods.  I have found reasonably priced single frames and multiple opening frames at these stores.   Hobby Lobby frequently puts their frames on sale for 50% off or you can use the 40% off coupon for when they are full price.

Here's some help for determining your gallery configuration.  As you can see, there are numerous options for how to create your gallery.

(source: Ann Beck Photography)

(source: Melissa Davis Photography)

Happy hanging! Have a great gallery wall idea you would like to share?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cool Grey - Inspiration Rooms

Doing some research for a master bedroom re-do.  I love all the grey, cream and white combinations that make for a restful and elegant bedroom.  I hope to infuse some pops of pale yellow and animal patterns for some interest.  I want to focus on creating layers, using multiple textures, sparkly finishes and a bed that you can melt into!!  Aren't these dreamy??

(Source: Candace Olsen)

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Macy's)

(Source: Pinterest)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


And for the big reveal...



Here's the finished product from my yellow Thomasville 1973 re-do (previous post).  I love the way it turned out.  This looks great in my office and will be functional storage for paint and fabric samples!

I gently sanded the whole dresser with my sander mouse and a light grit sandpaper.  Wiped the dresser clean.  I then applied a generous coat of primer with a sponge brush.  Don't worry about the brush marks at this point, just make sure there are not any drips or clumps.  I waited several hours and then did 3 coats of the paint color with a good paintbrush. Waiting until each coat is thoroughly dry in between.  I finished the top with several coats of clear coat for protection since it will get a lot of use.

I used Martha Stewart's Araucana Teal from Home Depot.  I got the color in a Satin finish with primer added in.  I love this light, bright and cheery color.   Don't you think it looks like it has smiley face now??  It's so glad to no longer be the yucky yellow!

And here is a close-up of the handles.  I used Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze paint and primer in one for these.  Not only did it change the color, it added some texture as well.

Stay tuned for the reveal of my Louis XVI chair - it has been a fun project as well.  Totally changed my mind on the fabric - it is turning out great!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Faux-bamboo Dresser

For my next project, I found a bright yellow faux bamboo 1970's Thomasville dresser.  I love the decorative details around the legs and the knobs are so vintage looking.  The top surface is a tricky one - it is white Formica, FORMICA?  Yes, doesn't seem right, but I looked past that and bought it anyway.  It will make a colorful addition to my office. 

Here's the before picture.  I will need alot of primer for this one.  The paint is yellow with what looks like a faint splatter of gold accents.  Yes, a totally 70's look.

I plan to paint it a light teal and paint the knobs an aged bronze metallic.  Stay tuned...will post pictures when it is done.  Can't wait to see how this one turns out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY hand-painted geometric rug

Ready to tackle a gorgeous DIY project?  I have been seeing a lot of the hand-painted rugs lately and especially love the design on this one.  This project involves using an inexpensive IKEA rug  - I have seen this project done on one from IKEA that has a slip-proof back which is great so you don't need to add a rug pad and it is cheap!!  With supplies, this project runs well under 100 bucks.  You pick the color that matches your interior.  What a great idea and fun project!!

Click on the link below for steps to create this rug.   

10 am

Are you at all concerned where you are daily at 10am?  No?  Maybe you don't have the problem I have......yet.  I am totally consumed with One Kings Lane.  I know it is totally irrational to worry about where I am every day at 10am - but I might miss something, and worse yet, I might miss something super cheap that I would love!! Some of you may be saying, what are you talking about?

Taken from Crunchbase - One Kings Lane is the leading flash sales site for the home market, offering members access to spectacular designer home decor, furnishings, accessories, and gifts – at prices up to 70% off retail. One Kings Lane works directly with leading home brands to bring the very best products at exceptional prices to its members – every day of the week. One Kings Lane also partners with top designers, decorators and industry insiders to deliver content that inspires, enlightens and informs.

Every day at 10am that day's sale starts.  If you see something you like, you better put it in your shopping basket, because some items sell out fast.  You have 10 minutes to finalize the purchase of anything you have in your basket (I think this is supposed to counteract any hoarding activity).  Membership is free, merchandise is not :(  I have gotten great deals on a Safavieh rug for my kitchen and two chevron pillows for my bedroom.

So now you know  Happy Shopping...see you at 10am.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

French ...Ooh, la, la

Imagine the thrill when I was doing research on a newly acquired re-sale shop chair to find that it looked very similar to a Ballard's chair.  Here is the Ballard's chair called Louis at $329.  

Louis XVI style has fluted, slim, straight legs usually topped with a square box with carving inside.  The style usually has classical motifs like colums and is never free form. 
My "new" chair is in great condition. 

When purchasing a gently-worn chair, I always check for its wiggle factor.  You know, does it wiggle and shimmy when you sit on it or push on its back? This one was strudy as an ox!  The upholstery had definitely seen better days and was in a weird shade of peach.  I would find when striping the upholstery off (a million tacks later), that the cushioning was still in tact, in great condition and had an even loft.  I plan to paint the wood a gray color with glazing on top.  I'm on the fence about the upholstery...either the Amy Butler floral or the Chevron.

Can't wait to see how it turns out - will post the after picture when the project is completed!