Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Put Your Ideas In Front of You

Before I do a room re-do I cut out items that I think would look good in the room and tack them to a cork board. Having a picture in my head can sometimes be very different then what it actually is when I see it with my own two eyes laid out in front of me! Once I have everything clipped out I wait a few days and then look over it again, and its usually then where I edit by taking away or adding something to the room.

Don't forget to measure your room and the furniture going in the room. I usually just lay the room out on graph paper and takes barely anytime at all.

Stay tune for tomorrow where I post how the room turned out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Look Again at Sloan's Tween Room

This is my 11 year old daughter's bedroom I did about a year ago. This was a budget makeover, as much of my projects usually are. Her room was originally painted pink and I didn't really have the time nor did I really want to re-paint all four walls so I decided just to do an accent wall in chocolate brown.

The comforter was one of those inexpensive bed in a bag that was on clearance at Target. I actually did the painting on the wall myself with the left over paint from the room. I spray painted her chandelier hot pink and added some beading. The Audrey Hepburn poster wasn't even framed, I just tacked it on the wall with some decorative thumb tacks.

I posted her room on HGTV's Rate My Space awhile back and was so surprised to get such nice comments and since I've posted it, its gotten over 100,000 hits and is still one of the most viewed girls rooms on the site, which is proof that a couple hundred bucks can make a room look great!

Monday, September 28, 2009

1 minute change up

You don't need alot of time or alot of money to create change, there's always simple cheap easy things. In the summer I fill my hurricane in my living room with either glass stones, sand or shells and in the fall I fill the same hurricane with either pine cones, leaves or like I did this year fragrant spiced pumpkins.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Be Brave

Wallpaper has been making a coming back for a few years and its not the same wallpaper our parents were using. Say good-bye to small flowers and ivy or god forbid borders. The patterns are much more bold and the graphics are pretty colorful and fun. Everyone I tell that wallpaper is making a comeback immediately says to me, I will never wallpaper a room again!

The great thing about wallpaper this time around though is that you don't have to do an entire room you can do an accent wall or a bookshelf or the top of a table. I ran across this cool product called Grippiks that is already designed to fit your Ikea furniture you said you were only going to keep for a year or two (its been 5) before you bought grown up furniture. What's a better place to throw on some color and pattern but a cheap piece of furniture you planned on getting rid of anyways?

Of course you don't need to buy this product you can easily use wallpaper, wrapping paper or scrap book paper. I don't think it matters what you use it just matters you start putting some pop into your room and banish the beige!

(All photos are from Grippiks)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The new hot color in decorating for about a season has been gray. I actually painted our newly remodeled bathroom gray and I love it. Its really a great neutral color and works great with cobalt blue or yellow.

But what about the rest of you...what do you think about using gray as a paint color for one of your rooms?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Love

I read alot of design blogs and gather photos along the way that inspire me and give me ideas for my own house. Unfortunately I don't remember what site I got this photo from but I have always loved it. I have a set of wood stairs in my house that I have always found quite boring.

If I were brave and motivated I would do this to my stairs. I imagine it looking quite lovely with candles up every other stair during a party at night!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Know What Works

I have a color scheme in my house, I use browns, light yellows, muted creams, greens and black, this way most everything I buy for my house can be used in various rooms. Most everything in my house has been used in one room and then another. Its also good to know your style. I have owned this screen for over 10 years and its been used in my bedroom, dining room and currently my living room. When you know your style, have a neutral backdrop and use what you love I guarantee it will work for you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mix High and Low Pieces

Yes I know the bathroom before was pretty awesome, well awesome if it was 1989! We knew we had to do something but as always didn't have a ton of money to spend. My secret, its about mixing it up. I always splurge on hardware, fixtures and countertops.

I saved money by using materials that did not have to be specially ordered, painting existing cabinets and decorating from budget friendly stores like Target and the clearance section at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. My rule is usually, don't buy it unless its on sale!

Another tip to make it seem like you spent alot of money on your bathroom is to buy expensive soaps from speciality stores and put them in your budget friendly silver tray you picked up at the antique store!

In the end a room is the same as getting dressed, you don't have to spend alot of money on your black t-shirt but throw in some great accessories and your outfit will look like a million bucks. With clothes and with your home I think its all about the bling!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Everything Has A Home

In my house I've learned the best way to keep things organized is to have a place for everything. I'd like to think my kitchen is pretty organized and the two items I use the most to make sure everything has a place is a porcelain bird for my wedding ring and the silver tray where we all keep our keys.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pull It Together With Some Color

I think a fun way to showcase some of your items is to group them according by color. Your objects don't even have to be similar or a particular type of collection but if they are all the same color it will come together for you.

The photos are of an antique store called Da Barn (sorry they don't have a website) in New Buffalo, Michigan. This is one of my favorite stores and whenever I go there I want to buy everything and I'm assuming its because they display everything so cool!

So the next time you want to arrange a bookshelf try covering all your books in orange paper or how about spray painting some unused knick knacks that have been in a box in your basement pink and displaying them on a shelf.

The whole point of color is to have fun with it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Black Thumb

I love flowers and plants but truth be told I always kill my plants no matter how much I tend to them. So, instead of just leaving the pots empty in my kitchen above my sink I decided to put pumpkins on top to get ready for fall. The pot in the middle has a tealight in it that lights up the area at night.

Wish me luck that I don't kill the pumpkins!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wish List

I think I have own more pillows then most people in their lifetime. To me it is the easiest way to update a room and to express yourself without spending a ton of money. I'm in the middle of finishing my basement and I have had my eyes on these pillows from Jonathan Adler for over a year.

The pillows are more then I usually spend but I try and justify it with the fact its cheaper then buying a new couch every year and sometimes buying what you really, really love makes the design come together that much more! The great thing is you can go for something completely trendy and not feel bad when it goes out of style, plus its an instant update for a tired looking room!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lighting Hints for the Kitchen

If your kitchen has fluorescent lighting try painting the ceiling a pale pastel color, it will soften the room. Another trick is if your cabinets don't reach all the way to the ceiling try putting up white small Christmas lights on the top it'll make the room glow!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Use A Piece of Furniture In A New Way

I have owned this secretary since I was 24 years old, in fact it was what I considered to be the first piece of antique furniture I bought all by myself for a whopping $135.00! In the '90's I used the piece in my very overly decorated living room and now I use it in my dining room to hold important things like our wine! I think the piece would look great in a bathroom too holding towels and pretty soaps.

Group Same Objects Together

I collect birds and I didn't even know I did. I believe it started with the small blue glass bird you see in the cabinet my mom bought me when I was in high school. I think one day I just noticed I had alot of little birds around the house so I decided to put them in my kitchen cupboard together. The beauty of it is now the birds look like a collection and makes more of a statement grouped together. Its like I totally planned it!

So look around your house you might be surprised you may be like me and have a collection and not even realize it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Use Objects That Mean Something To You

I try to use things throughout my house that has sentimental value and that rings true for what is on my coffee table. I love using books in my design and I have alot of my design books all through my house. It seems like whenever we have company someone always ends up picking up one of the books and looking at the cool photos. The other things on my coffee table is a container of marbles that Sloan was obsessed with when she was three years old, a container of dice that I played with at my grandma's house when I was little, a tin that my grandma used to store her buttons in and the candle holder and stones in the holder was probably one of the first purchases I ever made for my apartment back in the day.

I think when you use pieces you love that have meaning behind them, it makes your house a home and whether it matches your decor or not it just always seems to fit!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Paint Your Front Door

When we first moved into our house everything was brown and as you can see the screen door is very dated.

We painted the door green and put in a new screen door and I already think it makes a big difference. The next steps will be painting the trim and doing some landscaping.

Keep in mind you don't have to do everything all at once, just a few small things can make a big difference!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Frame Cool Stationary

I have been using stationary as artwork on my walls for years, especially back in the day when I couldn't afford real art. The great thing about it is you don't feel bad for getting rid of it when you've grown tired of looking at it. I currently am a little fixated on mid-century design and I got just a bit excited when I ran across this Charley Harper stationary (on clearance) at Anthropologie.

Another idea is when I visit art museums I always go to the gift shop and check out their postcards. Once I get bored with my Charley Harper prints I plan to exchange them for some cool Barnett Newmann postcards I picked up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No Budget For Flowers?

Go outside and I'm sure there is lots of greenery right outside your front door. I have a few small vases that I like to put leaves and flowers in. I think simple is key, one leaf or one flower. Some other things I like to do is collect branches for large vases and fall leaves and pinecones for the bowl on my dining room table.

I've always been a big believer that you don't need a bankroll of cash to have a beautiful house, perhaps just an eye for the small little touches that make a home special.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What You'll Find In My Purse

I always carry a small notebook and measuring tape in my purse. I use the notebook for lots of different things, I keep the dimensions of my rooms in it, items I'm on the look out for and I will use it to sketch a space or a pattern I run across. I don't know how many times the notebook has saved me when I'm at Ikea and I can't remember what size a wall is! The notebook is great to have around whenever an inspiring moment may strike, which is usually when I'm waiting for my daughter after school!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Put Flowers Into Your Grocery Budget

Flowers are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to spruce up a room. I buy flowers almost weekly for my living room and display them in a hand made vase I made with my daughter. Flowers bring life into a room and make it extra personal by placing them in something that means something to our family.