Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DIY Pillow Covers

I recently took a trip to Ikea and picked up 4 Hendriksdal chairs, which you may have come across in my Best of Ikea post.  The Hendriksdal chair is a beautiful parsons chair with an easy to clean slip cover.  Although the chairs are beautiful on their own, I felt like they needed a pop of color... so I decided to get on sewing my own pillow covers to take my kitchen nook to the next level!  This is a great project for beginners, as it consists of only a few simple straight stitches.  Easy and darling!

Cute right?!  I fell in love with this fabric at Hancock Fabrics.  I had been looking for a fabric to freshen up this room, and this was the perfect fit.  It combines the sage green in my nearby living room and brings in some spa blue and yellow to brighten things up... it is exactly what I had been looking for!  Along with the look, it was only $16 per yard.  Since I only needed 1 1/2 yards of fabric to complete 2 pillows, this was quite a steal for the perfect fabric.

Some things you will need to complete this project:

1 1/2 yards of fabric
2, 12" x 16" pillow inserts
fabric pins
sewing machine

Begin by measuring out your fabric.  The first piece you will need is for the front of the pillow.  I keep a 1/2" seam allowance on either side, adding 1 inch to the width and length of the pillow measurements.  To simplify that... just cut a 13" x 17" piece of fabric for the front of the pillow.

Next, you will want to cut the 2 pieces for the back.  These 2 pieces will create an envelope for the pillow to be inserted into.

The first piece will need to measure 13" x 9".  This piece will be the front of the envelope and will fall in the center of the pillow.  The other piece will need to measure 13" x 11".  This will give enough room for overlap to create the envelope and not allow the pillow to show through the opening.

Once you have your pieces cut, pin your seams and sew the edges of the envelope, as shown in the picture above.  Once those edges are hemmed, pin the rest of the cover's edges together.  When you do this step, make sure to pin everything inside out, so that your stitches will be on the inside of the fabric.

Next, just sew your edges, stuff in the pillow, and voilah!  You have your own beautiful pillow cover!  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Choose the Right Area Rug for Your Home

Bringing in a rug can completely change a room.  Rugs can be used to ground a space, to add color and pattern, to define a room in an open plan, to reduce noise, amongst other things.  Choosing the right area rug can be overwhelming, as there are so many options to take into consideration, such as: What size rug is best for the space?  What material should it be made of?  What style best fits the room?  Etc.

Size Matters. Choose carefully when it comes to the size of your rug.  First things first, a rug is meant to accent a space, not cover it... so make sure not to buy a rug that will go wall to wall in a room.  Generally speaking, there should be about 18" of space from the rug edge to any wall.  This is a great guideline when you're considering rugs for main areas such as living and dining rooms.  Keep in mind that there are always situations where this guideline doesn't quite fit, such as in an entryway or small mudroom.  I would have no problem bringing a rug closer to the walls in either of these circumstances, but always remember to keep some kind of visual space between the rug edge and the wall to keep a sense of visual space and flow in the room.

Massucco Warner Miller

Material Wise. Choosing the right material is key if you want your rug to stand the test of time.  When it comes to rug materials, there are many to choose from.  Some of the most common are: wool, cotton, sisal, seagrass, and jute.

Wool.  Wool rugs are known for their durability.  They are resistant to staining, naturally color retaining, and for those of you with allergies, resistant to dust mites!  Wool area rugs are best used in high traffic areas.

Cotton. Cotton area rugs are soft and comfortable.  Cotton and wool are often used together to create a rug.  A cotton, or cotton wool blend, rug is a great option if price is an issue.  Using cotton will bring down the cost of a rug significantly.  Although cotton is a great rug material, it does ware down over time more-so than wool.  With that said, it is a very good candidate for someone who is looking for a less expensive, still high quality rug.

Sisal and Seagrass. Sisal and seagrass are both great products!  Sisal rugs are very durable, flame resistant, and great for sound absorption.  Sisal is also a completely sustainable material.  Both sisal and seagrass rugs are great for high traffic areas and are a beautiful addition to any room that's in need of a touch of nature.

Jute.  Jute is a bit more coarse than sisal and is a bit more prone to staining.  Often, jute it combined with a synthetic material to make it more durable for daily use.  Jute rugs also add a beautiful natural element to a room.

Style. Consider the color scheme of your room and compliment those colors with the area rug you choose.  If you're not one to be tied into one color scheme, go for a neutral colored rug that will be able to support your design changes.

Coco Kelley

If you are one for contrast, go for a rug with a beautiful geometric print in a bold color.

Jan Showers

Optical Illusions. Have a room that's long and narrow?  Use a nice stripe or chevron pattern (stripes going horizontally along the shortest wall) to visually widen the room.

Don't be afraid to double up.  I know that throwing one rug on top of another is taboo, but if it works in your room, go for it!  Doubling up on rugs can add warmth and texture to a room that's lacking.

David Bromstad HGTV

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Birds of a Feather

I've been loving the new bird trend in decorating, especially during the summer season.  There are so many ways bird decor can be incorporated into your own personal home.  Depending on how much you're into birds, you could go with something that is incredibly easy to remove, such as Pottery Barn's darling glass bird canisters.  This kind of addition is totally my speed... not too much of a commitment, but still brings in the trend in a fun way.

Now, if your love of birds goes beyond just a fad, you could go all the way and slap up some wallpaper like the one shown in the picture below.

For another simple trendy addition, how about adding a beautiful rug?!  I love Anthropologie's Conure Round Rug.  The colors are gorgeous and I love how it gives off a vintage vibe.  This rug would make a great statement piece in a room!

Another darling addition to bring the bird trend into your own home would be to add a simple bird printed shower curtain, such as this $19.99 steal I found from Target!

When it comes to ways of introducing a fun, trendy print... the list could go on and on.  You could check out some beautiful bird prints and frame them on your wall, or perhaps a throw pillow or even full upholstered chair.  Have fun and get creative with ways you can introduce a trendy new print into your life!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tufting Frenzy

I've always loved the look of tufting.  It has a way of adding a touch elegance and glamour to a space.  This vanity space is a perfect example of how an added tufting detail can complete a space.  This vanity wouldn't have been the same without it!

As you probably noticed in this image and the image above, tufting looks fabulous with other elegant decor details... think mirrored furniture, crystal details, crisp whites, and wainscoting.

I love the living space pictured below.  Not only does the sofa have beautiful tufting detail, but it also includes some very classic elements such as antique french chairs, a classic ottoman, and a beautiful traditional rug.

Now this is some unique tufting!  I love the idea of doing a tufted wall in this type of setting.  Although the space is modern and clean-lined, the tufting creates a kind of warmth and coziness that completes the room.

Hmm... it looks like I'll need to be on the search to find my own tufting project.  What to do, what to do... maybe a set of tufted pillows for the sofa?  I'll be on the search for further inspiration for a new project!  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Entry Mirror Upgrade

You may recall my last post about a lovely thrift store find I was in the process of refurbishing.  I picked up a lovely entry mirror for $15 at the local thrift store... what a steal!  I had been looking for one for quite a while, but didn't want to spend the money to buy it new.  For $15, I couldn't really pass it up.

Just to refresh your memory, here is the before:

Not too shabby right?  It did need some fixing up though.  One of the brackets holding up the shelf was broken and it had clearly been used and had it's fair share of nicks and dings to show for it.  Now that you've seen the before, let's fast forward to the after:

I decided to paint it with Rustoleum's Heirloom White, and then rough up the edges a bit to give it a more antiqued feel.  I just love the combination of the white paint and oil rubbed bronze hooks.  Be sure to note the strategically placed keys... no more running around frantically in search for those puppies anymore!  

Here's a quick step by step on how I completed this darling little entry mirror:

Find a Deal.  Take a stop by your local thrift store and find something great that needs a little fixing!

Fix it Up.  Nicks and scratches?  Broken shelf?  No problem!  Get out that gorilla glue and sandpaper and go to town.  For this entry mirror, I first removed the mirrors to make sure that I wouldn't do any damage to them.  I then simply sanded it down with a fine grit sandpaper and then adhered the broken shelf bracket to the backplate with some Gorilla Glue.

Prime.  Next, prime your piece.  I used Ace Hardware's white primer for this one.  Depending on what color you would like to paint your piece, you can decide on white or grey primer.

Paint.  Paint away!  I used Rustoleum's Heirloom White.  I had about 1/2 a can left over from a previous project and figured I would go ahead and use what I already had.

Sand it Down.  Grab some fine grit sand paper and sand the edges of the piece to give it that nice, warn-in look.

Most of all, have fun!  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thrift Store Find

It's true, I love a good thrift store find.  I frequent the local thrift store and to be honest, I rarely walk out with something I can't leave without.  Fortunately for me, last week I stopped in and walked out with an awesome find... an awesome $15 find!

I've been on the search for an entry mirror with hooks for a while now... mostly to curb my routine of habitually losing my keys.  Lucky for me, someone dropped this beauty by the thrift store:

I'm assuming this is why it was brought there:

Little did they know, Gorilla Glue can do anything!  I glued that little broken ledge right back on and it looks good as new.

This little beauty is now in the middle of a makeover, and I can't wait to show you what I've done with her!  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

West Elm Owl Lamp Knock-Off

Oh how I love the West Elm Owl Table Lamp... but you know what I like even better?  A $39 knock-off of the West Elm Owl Table Lamp!  For such a trendy piece, I would much rather dull out the $39 for the Owl Lamp found at Target than the $99 for the one from West Elm.

Target came out with the Owl Lamp in two color choices: brown with a cream shade and white with a black shade.  I love them both!  I can see the brown one in a more natural setting, whereas the black and white lamp would look fabulous in a more modern space.

Enjoy- and go grab yourself a darling owl lamp!