Articles on this Page
- 04/18/14--03:53: _Dining Room or Offi...
- 04/22/14--10:17: _Beautiful Spring-bl...
- 07/13/14--13:20: _Flippin' out over b...
- 07/15/14--07:40: _Step up your Stairc...
- 09/10/14--07:21: _Adding Custom Cabin...
- 09/26/14--05:11: _Pumpkin Topiary Tut...
- 10/03/14--06:56: _Dramatic Before & A...
- 11/28/14--19:11: _Dream Kitchen Remod...
- 12/05/14--07:37: _Ikea Bletviva Life ...
- 12/09/14--07:18: _Faux River Birch Br...
- 12/17/14--09:38: _Holiday Gift Guide
- 01/29/15--09:19: _The Family Room...A...
- 02/03/15--09:22: _Why You Want a Vent...
- 05/19/15--10:23: _Beach House Bath Re...
- 01/21/14--10:29: _Mission: A mountain...
- 08/30/16--18:33: _Article 0
- 01/21/17--12:38: _Is Your Design Styl...
- 02/10/17--02:15: _Creating Texture in...
- 04/18/14--03:53: Dining Room or Office? Office or Dining Room?
- 04/22/14--10:17: Beautiful Spring-blooming Arbor
- 07/13/14--13:20: Flippin' out over beach house shutters
- 07/15/14--07:40: Step up your Staircase!
- 09/10/14--07:21: Adding Custom Cabinetry With an Existing Fireplace Surround
- 09/26/14--05:11: Pumpkin Topiary Tutorial: Don't worry, it's easy!
- 10/03/14--06:56: Dramatic Before & After-Powder Bath Remodel
- 11/28/14--19:11: Dream Kitchen Remodel with all the bells and whistles
- 12/05/14--07:37: Ikea Bletviva Life Hack: How to train your curtains
- 12/09/14--07:18: Faux River Birch Branches- EASY Tutorial
- 12/17/14--09:38: Holiday Gift Guide
- 01/29/15--09:19: The Family Room...A Tale of Two Curtains.
- 02/03/15--09:22: Why You Want a Vent-Free Fireplace
- 05/19/15--10:23: Beach House Bath Remodel- Stunning Before & After
- 01/21/14--10:29: Mission: A mountain house chef's kitchen
- 08/30/16--18:33: Article 0
- 01/21/17--12:38: Is Your Design Style Modern Eclectic?
- 02/10/17--02:15: Creating Texture in Interiors
...that we hardly ever used.
In fact, we wrote an entire blog post about the Dining Room Dilemma.
I spent gobs of time & money on furnishing and accenting the room because it was the first thing you saw when you walked in our home.
When we moved this summer, I was determined not to have a room that wasn't used. Since we downsized some, that wasn't really an option anyway.
Here's the layout for our first floor:
As you can see, the "dining room" is again the first thing you see.
I was so inspired by this picture from Duo Ventures.
How perfecto is this space??? The paint, the credenza, THE SHELF STYLING!!!!
I love it all.I don't have a ton of black furniture so I wasn't thinking about using gray as my neutral. I've always loved NAVY so I decided to go for it. At the front door no less!
Here's the blank canvas:
Here's what Jacki whipped up as a guide:
I love the emerald accents but I'll tell you, for the Pantone of the Year 2013, it sure was difficult to find any in home decor.
It all starts with a little paint, Sherwin Williams for Pottery Barn, Naval.
Here's how it turned out:
Still working on the shelf styling but I love these Ikea Vittsjo Shelves that I painted silver:
For the "foyer" side of the room, I found this buffet on Craigslist. It is perfectly accented by lamps & a mirror I already had.
The plant on the other side of the arbor isn't doing quite as well.
If you'd like the plans to build one of these yourself, I'll have to climb in the brain of my creative husband and draw something up for you. It's a combination of about six different photos I showed him. (And it was ten years ago.)
The climbing Hydrangea vine, which can tolerate some sun, isn't climbing as high as I had hoped. I know it needs some sun to flower, and it has enough shade to keep the foliage happy, so what is up?
It's been in the ground for six years and has ONE bloom. Can any of you green thumbs tell me what I'm doing wrong?
|One lonely bloom on the climbing hydrangea vine.|
I'll share a little tidbit about my husband and I: we are CRAZY for copper. Copper lanterns, copper bathtubs, copper roofs, copper gutters; basically anything copper.
He custom designed the arbor to have curving copper pieces that will weather to a pretty, green patina.
Even the post caps are copper. I thin he would copper-plate his car if he could. I'm going inside now, as the pollen hasn't quite made it's way North just yet. Hope you all enjoyed my Spring photos!
Alas...as many weekends as possible and a stolen week or two it is...for now!
Over the winter I decided we needed to amp up our curb appeal by swapping out the plain jane shutters for something to flip for!
True to form, Patrick turned my stroke of genius into reality by building flip flop shutters...
Then we painted them to match the current color scheme of the beach house.
Georgia carefully supervised the Flip Flop Ops!
|Good job Mom & Dad!|
Are you looking for an inexpensive update for your 90's home?
If you have the typical, builder-basic oak banister and painted white spindles, why not replace them with iron?
Remember this room from our Use it or Lose it, formal dining room post? Kelly replaced her spindles with beautiful wrought iron balusters.
You can visit a home improvement store with photos of your existing stairs and a count of how many spindles you need.
Wrought iron spindles come in different colors and designs to compliment most any home style.
|View Along the Way|
If you're up to it, Interior Design Info has a list of steps (all puns intended) on how to replace the spindles yourself!
|Denver Finish Carpenters|
Once you have picked your new wrought iron spindles, you need to remove the existing spindles. Cut each spindle only 3/4 through around the middle to prevent the stair spindle from falling out. Once a section is cut, grab at the cut point and pull it towards you.
Remove all of the unnecessary nails using pliers and discard the broken stair spindles.
|Oval iron. Houzz.com|
Measure the space between the hand rail and the floor for each new spindle individually, then add 1" to 1-1/4" to each measurement. Cut the bottom of each spindle to the correct length.
Put the new wrought iron spindle in the hole of the old spindle by putting the top of the spindle in the hole first, then add a shoe to the bottom.
Glue the top and bottom of the new wrought iron spindles and shoes using epoxy.
Budget can't handle 60 new wrought iron spindles? Try paint!
The use of black paint in a traditional setting is particularly stunning. Here, they painted the banister, the newel posts and the spindles in black.
Side note: The whitewashed floors are fantastic too! Having a blond dog makes me question my decision to go with dark floors!
Many homes built in the last couple of decades have the pre-fab stair kits where the spindles are not installed into the stair treads. By painting the top banister and the bottom "rail", it gives the staircase a more updated and custom look.
If you are feeling bold, why not do both? This version features black, painted newel posts and banisters and an installation of iron spindles.
If you don't care for scuff marks on your stair risers, paint them black too!
When used sparingly, black in your interior provides drama and sophistication in design.
Painting your banisters black is a quick, easy and budget-friendly update you can do in a weekend!
We get this question a lot, so I thought I'd do a quick post to show that you can have custom built ins even if your builder didn't put your fireplace in exactly the right spot!
Typically, custom cabinetry surrounding the fireplace is possible when the fireplace juts out into the room.
But that doesn't mean you can't create a similar look if your fireplace is flush with your walls. Here are some great examples from Houzz and Pintrest:
This is a clean, simple, and most of all, timeless look.
This one caught my eye because of the way they tied in the hearth with the built in cabinetry and used the furniture base molding to finish off the entire facade.
For a classic, traditional look, panel above the fireplace. It's the perfect balance of book/accessory space and display space.
This example shows how the homeowner left the flush hearth and added the built in cabinetry without disturbing the flow of the fire box and hearth.
Enjoy and be inspired to tackle some custom built ins for your own home!
This urn was lying around the backyard, so I tossed out the dirt and the dead plants to up-cycle it for its new purpose; my base.
These are the three pumpkins I chose, mostly because that's all that was left at A.C. Moore. Geez, do I have to start my fall decorating in July? The fall section was almost wiped out already.
Some natural burlap-y ribbon for my bow on top.
My garland was on sale for about $4 a strand. I used two.
Ok, I'm back. Hmmm, I still have some holes where you can see the dark abyss of the bottom of the concrete pot.
Solution: Stuff the holes with random fall picks, twigs and berries.
|Do you recognize this wagon? So multi-purpose!|
Well, now that the hot glue gun is out of commission, I had to get creative and come up with a way to affix the pumpkins so they'd withstand some fall breezes and rowdy trick-or-treat'rs.
Continue adding pumpkins until you are happy with the height of your topiary.
Now, you repeat Steps 2-4 until you have the desired number of layers. If you go higher than three I would suggest adding a dowel to the center for support.
Hers is a little more "embellished" than mine. I promised last week I would show you how I made my pumpkin topiaries, so here they are.......
This is what my front porch pots look like most of the year. I add spring flowers and Christmas lights, so these planters are very versatile.
I kept mine fairly simple since there are two planters and they are four pumpkins tall.
I used a dowel rod on my topiaries for support.
This year I added some grapevine to my pumpkins to give them a little more texture.
Here's how I replaced the faded flower buckets! For $25 I couldn't pass them up!
To sum it up, this year, I added a fresh coat of spray paint, a new fall garland and some grapevine. I have some Halloween bat lights that I'll bring out in October along with whatever kind of crazy jack-o-lanterns the kids carve.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. We'd love to see what you create with artificial pumpkins!
For more fall decorating ideas check out
As you may know, we moved recently. While the house is great, it needs my finishing touches. One of the projects on my looong honey-do list was a powder bath update.
You may remember my last powder bath:
I told you all about how to fill a blank wall on a shoestring in this post.
Today, we're on a little more than a shoestring but not much...
*Spoiler alert* Here's what we ended up with:
I'll let you take a moment to bask in the glory of the finished space.
Here's the before:
perfectly functional, but a tad dark don't you think....
This dark cabinet behemoth is not really my taste. Good thing it was somebody's taste because I sold that bad boy on Craigslist! And, that's how you pad your budget friends!
Then it got ugly...
That Williamsburg blue color is depressing me. 1980 called and they want their interior back.
Painting is our least favorite task, but it has to be done. A gallon of the trim paint was $50. Ouch, and before you ask--no, it didn't have gold flecks in it.
After about three days of no progress, and polling all my friends I decided to go for it. What put me over the edge was something that my husband said to me. "That's what people love about your style; that you combine modern and rustic in a unique way." Thanks for that boost of confidence sweetie! I <3 him! And, he's crafty too! How do you think I got that $0 labor?
It only took one and 1/10th rolls, so the second roll is now reserved for another future project coming soon.
Soooo happy with the choice. Isn't that light fixture fancy??
Patrick wanted to rip out the floor, but I didn't hate it, so it stayed. It's a porcelain tile that mimics slate. I'd rather actually have slate, but I'm trying to stay on budget here.
The faucet was an easy choice. I wanted something with a high arc and an 8" spread. Moen Banbury Faucet in Chrome finish.
Isn't it marvelous? Don't you just want to come over and use the facilities? Sometimes I go in there just to find my happy place. It's in there.
Bonus: ANY color towel and accessories will work because the whole room was kept neutral. Are you seeing aqua at Easter and a rich green at Christmas? Why do I doubt myself?
Since we've all spent a fair amount of time either cooking or eating in the past few days, I am inspired to share a kitchen renovation completed by Poovey Construction nearly a decade ago.
The lesson is that design trends may come and go but you simply cannot go wrong with classic, cherry cabinetry.
The client wanted a timeless design without being trendy.
If you use timeless materials and your kitchen will never look dated.
I love the depth the contrasting island granite brings to the room without making the space seem dark!
Appliance garage with retractable doors-convenience without the clutter of devices "on" the countertop.
Although cost wasn't an issue in this case, a smaller version of a large copper sink is one way to have "budget luxe".
What is your preference? Trendy or Timeless?
Alas, one thing missing--the windows need dressing. Nothing cozies up a room like some curtains, right? Hang 'em HIGH ladies; it'll make your ceilings seem taller.
While our clients hire us for our expertise, there are always new products coming on the market and this fun job allows us to shop constantly (and our husbands don't even mind!). Several of our clients have purchased the these curtains and we never cease to be amazed at how AWESOME they look. These are the Ikea Blekviva Curtains in Gray Stripe and only cost $50 FOR A PAIR! I think they look way more expensive. They even have blackout lining to darken the room for sleeping! Seriously?!
Having worked with a seriously high end decorator years ago, Jacki DEFINITELY has champagne tastes and a beer budget. These are great straight out of their package but to get the "designer look" they needed a tweak. This is the look she was going for:
I give you the cereal box life hack:
Check back with us in a couple of weeks or so, after they've had time to behave themselves and fall into perfect pleats. Jacki will "release" them just before her guests arrive for Christmas.
She started out with simple dowel rods from the home improvement store. Amazon has them too if you like the convenience of delivery to your doorstep.
Simply paint your dowel rods and then loosely apply some newspaper shreds using a tacky glue like Aleene's.
Leave some of the edges curled up for a great birch effect.
After your stick is covered and painted, just stipple on some brown craft paint to simulate the birch knots in the wood.
|$11.52 from Amazon|
|Jacki's dog-loving eldest son's room|
Here are a few ideas, all under $30.
You can give a mirrored frame. $43 for a set of two.
Everyone appreciates a pretty frame especially when you include a meaningful photo.
Faux croc tray. $19
They come in various colors and everyone needs to corral their junk. See Tray Chic.
Latitude Longitude Bracelet $23.
Jacki wants one of these with the coordinates of her charming beach house on Oak Island. Does your loved one have a special spot? This is just the token to remember it!
Great "guys" gift too.
Luminara Candle $28
LED candles with built in timers are the most brilliant design of this century. No more leaving candles lit and scraping wax off your Grandmother's antique end table. What makes the Luminara candle extra special is the faux-flickering-flame! It dances around like a real candle.
And, last but not least. Let's not forget Rover. That guy (or gal) that sticks by you until you wrap the very last present on Christmas Eve.
|Georgia waiting patiently to go for a walk.|
|Catherine's beloved, Buster|
The Gulpy! $8.65
Jacki uses her gulpy every day! It's perfect for keeping (wo)man's best friend hydrated on the go.
P.S. We celebrate Christmas but you can apply these gifts to whatever you're celebrating. Hannukah, Festivus, Kwanzaa or Tuesday.
And from our keyboard to your screen,
I am a window treater. That's it. I like to have something beyond the blinds on my windows.
Here's a tale of two curtains. It was painful. But stay tuned, it's going to be awesome.
It started when I saw some chairs I loved in Pier 1 a few years ago:
But, I thought the pattern would be limiting for the rest of my living room decor. Time passed but I didn't forget that pattern.
Enter the captain's chairs at my breakfast table:
It was a way to ease into the pattern. It's a transitional room so the chairs in the "eating area" kind of tie into the living room.
I really loved the chairs and if a little is good, more is better, right?
So, I got busy and found the matching curtains.
Being a Certified Master Returner, I called Home Decorators to get my return authorization. Guess what? No dice. Apparently if you order one of the "additional colors available" that is considered custom and therefore non-returnable. Rut-ro.
Enter Craig and his fab list.
Hmmm...this is not good.
So, now I have 2 108" super floral-y curtains that I hate on the windows. Of course I got them on sale but that is no consolation since I hate them (on the windows). A sale item that you can't use, might as well be, dare I say, full price (hoarders, take note).
At the very same time that my floral curtains were taking up space in a drawer, the holidays were quickly approaching. And, I had two empty curtain rods in my living room. The absolute horror.
I went back to my old friend Pottery Barn and ordered two, plain white panels. Yes, I do see the ironic 180 that just happened here.
OK, problem solved for the moment.
Then the holidays pass and I need the drawer space for holiday decor. The curtains need to go. I love the pattern. I'm confused.
Epiphany strikes! I have been looking for the perfect fabric for a table topper for the skirted round next to the couch. This could be it.
|Don't judge me for all the beige and tan. Rome wasn't built in a day people.|
|Curtain, folded in half for a visual trial run.|
|Sorry about the glare and the two dog butts. They ignored repeated pleas for them to move.|
Fireplaces have always been among THE amenities for prospective new homeowners. Just behind patios, decks and porches, fireplaces are at the top of home-buyers' wish lists.
|Family room fireplace before transformation: gas insert in a wood burning fire box.|
|The old fireplace (gas insert removed) turned around to the exterior of the house. More on the screened in porch to come!|
My wall color is SW Worldly Gray in case you were wondering.
I found this split-face quartz stacked stone at Lowe's. It took about 60 square feet to finish the fireplace. I love how Patrick cut the edges. It looks seamless.
It's called Dessert Quartz Natural Ledgestone and costs $4 per piece.
Now, for a mantle. I was inspired by Thrifty Decor Chick's amazing fireplace transformation. LOVE the gray color. I like the dark charcoal gray in her room, but for mine, I wanted something a little lighter.
I'm considering SW Anonymous which has a slight green undertone.
When remodeling our tiny little beach house bathroom, I wanted some kind of WOW factor. When I was looking online for tile, there wasn't much out there in a bright, fun, beachy color. Then I found this aqua tile at Lowe's. How's this for wow?
I wanted a large tile that was relatively quick to put up and didn't have a lot of grout to keep clean.
The tile is Interceramic Aquarelle Sky Blue. I ordered it online, which is risky, but I absolutely love the color and size of it.
But before I get into the details, I have to show you the yucky "before" pictures of this dark, tiny bathroom.
One of the biggest problems with the bathroom aside from the finishes, was the layout.
The toilet and sink were crowded together, and there was this weird step up when you entered the room.
We quickly learned when doing the demo that that step was hiding an atrocious amount of plumbing bits and pieces.
You can see in this picture that the vanity was only about 21" wide. and the toilet was one of those round, short bowls. Not good. Time for an upgrade!
The cement board and new shower pan went in. Ready for tile!
After grouting the shower tiles, we installed new wood paneling. The beach house was built in 1960, so there isn't any wallboard in the entire house. The paneling really fits with the era of the house.
A couple coats of paint on the paneling and the toilet and sink can go back in.
We picked up the sink, faucet and vanity stand at our local Habitat Restore, but they sell them at Lowe's. Here's the link for the stand and the sink basin.
If you want to see more of our adorable beach escape, go here for the tour!
Loving the color too! Benjamin Moore Seattle Gray.
It's fun making selections for a beach house. I tend to still lean toward keeping it simple, without getting too theme-y. I think it turned out great!
Before the renovation the kitchen was charming, quaint and pretty close to perfect (except for the lack of a dishwasher). We all told her she was crazy to take on such a huge renovation when we all loved the cottage as it was.
But guess what? We aren't the ones living here full time. It's easy for us to say that it's perfect when we are only visiting for a few days. When your nearest store is a half hour down the mountain and you're stuck inside when the weather is bad, you start to dream about what could be.....
Mary decided that the only option to get the chef's kitchen she dreamed about was to blow out the back wall and create a massive addition. This photo shows the new room framed; just look at that view!
Mary doesn't have any trouble making decisions, and had a vision of how the space should look and function. Professional appliances and Mission-style cabinetry were tops on her list of must-haves. She jokes with me (at least I think she's joking), that if you have to open a can, it's not really cooking. Well, that rules out everything I make.
This large bay window is just spectacular. The copper farm sink is anti-bacterial and is a beautiful addition to this mission style kitchen.
Natural Hickory wood floors are a perfect fit in this mountain abode. The variation of light and dark compliment the darker stain of the craftsman cabinetry.
The glass backsplash provides just the right amount of subtle color to the room and picks up on the wonderful colors of nature.
The cladding on the backside of the bar peninsula is framed out in a mission or craftsman style to match the feeling of the rest of the kitchen. This adds a certain element of interest when viewed from the family room.
Mary is always so kind to allow us to bring our children as well as our four-legged friends when we visit. Her dogs, Beau and Lucky are certainly lucky to have this stainless steel custom made feeding station built right in to the cabinetry. No mess on the floor; I love that!
This image shows the Thermador refrigerator before the custom panels were installed.
My son, Nathan, baking an apple pie with Mary. (He rarely wears a shirt.) Isn't that island a great work surface?
Mary has been fighting an illness recently...... I sure hope she is back to her spunky self soon.
If you could have your dream kitchen renovation, what would it look like?
What Is My Design Style?
You prefer to mix and match different styles rather than be totally traditional or modern, but you like to use the clean looks of more modern pieces. You love figuring out how to combine different designs into one cohesive whole. You are:
Explore the difference between Modern and Contemporary Design
There’s something dynamite about a space that resists the urge to meticulously match items in one design style.
Many of today’s new furnishings are inspired by vintage pieces, so it’s easy to go eclectic by combining them with other statement items.
Explore the do's and don'ts of Eclectic Style HERE
It’s important to remember that texture adds interest to your room. The contrast that comes with texture will make important elements stand out. So go ahead and play off of your home’s architecture and create a canvas of textural wow’s.