Thursday, March 31, 2011

Best Neutral Paint Colors

Choosing a paint color can be an interesting experience.  You first and foremost have to worry about your space, what kind of lighting it gets, and what your goal is in the space.  Then, you are expected to pick out the perfect color out of all of the thousands of paint swatches lining Home Depot's walls.  Once you get it home, you will expect it to look the same as it did on the swatch... and of course that never happens.

Knowing how difficult picking a simple paint color can be, I'm sure we could all use a simple go-to guide when it comes to neutrals!  So let's go for it... here are some fail-safe neutral paints that are sure to work in your space.  Here we have some neutral greys, tans, greens, and blues.  It's not a huge list, but at least enough to get you started.  I'm planning on creating a color suggestion guide including my favorite reds, greens, blues, greys, etc.  For starters though, here are some of my favorite neutral paint colors.  Enjoy!

If you have any wonderful go-to colors, let me know!  I'll be keeping all of your suggestions in mind while creating my color guide!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inspired by Ikat

Often the influence for current fads comes from history.  This can be seen through the comeback of ikat.  Ikat is one of the oldest forms of textile decoration and is best known for being produced in several pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures... and yet, we can't get enough of it lately!

So let's all get inspired and find a way to introduce some ikat into our lives!  You could do something as simple as change out your throw pillows, or really go for it and introduce a new chair into your living space.

The Indigo Slipper Chair from Urban Outfitters is absolutely stunning.  The indigo and white print is eye catching and would truly make a statement in any room.

Now let's take a look at some interiors that have incorporated ikat into their design...

Take a look at the image below.  I recently wrote a post on stencils and here is a beautiful example of a stenciled room done in ikat.  I absolutely love this room!  This room shows how ikat, done in grey and cream here, doesn't always have to look tribal and graphic.  It can serve very well as a calming, beautiful print, even in this shabby chic setting.

I hope you have been inspired by ikat.  I would love to see how you have incorporated ikat into your home!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Luxurious Master Bathroom

I'm in the process of designing a master bathroom.  We have a couple of existing pieces that need to be included in the design, namely a beautiful cream leaf shaped rug and a piece of artwork from Pier 1.  Other than that, we have a completely clean slate.  The emphasis in this master bathroom is on luxury and functionality.  Some may believe that luxury and functionality don't go hand in hand, but this master bathroom will show otherwise!

The existing master bathroom design consists of marble countertops, tub, and shower, walnut cabinetry, and warm toned porcelain tile flooring.  All of these existing items are to stay as-is.  Considering the warm coloring of the cabinetry and the flooring, it's best that we go with rich, warm tones to create a luxurious spa like feel.

Inspiration Board

The feeling of luxury often comes through fabrics, patterns, and colors.  To incorporate a sense of luxury in this space, we've brought in beautiful dupioni silk roman shades to dress the two windows in the space.  We have also switched out the walk in closet door with a beautiful set of silk drapes that compliment the roman shades on the opposite window.  The curtains dressing the walk in closet are a very important aspect of the space, as they create the luxurious feel of a dressing room... and what girl doesn't want a dressing room?!  Another aspect of the space that adds to the luxurious feel is of course, the beautiful crystal chandelier hanging above the tub.  This gorgeous chandelier sits in front of a stunning stenciled wall done in bronze metallics.  The damask pattern stencil adds to the classic, luxurious feel of this bathroom, while the use of metallic paint keeps things fresh and contemporary.

Replacing the typical frameless builders mirror are two raised oval mirrors with oil rubbed bronze accents.  Replacing builders mirrors is a quick and fairly inexpensive update that can help make a space have a much more custom feel.  A small mirror will also be placed on the wall space between the watercloset and master closet.  Focusing on introducing mirrors and dressing the windows with colors similar to the wall color will create the illusion of additional space.  It truly is the little things that count!

Creamy linens, crystal, warm bronze and gold, antiqued mirror surfaces, and silk... now that's luxury!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vintage Keys

Today I was considering various types of wall art other than the typical artwork found around the house.  I came up with several items such as clocks, decorative plates, various types of sculpture, amongst other things.  Although these are all interesting, I'm really looking for something to bring in a sense of eclecticism and interest to the area.  I finally came across exactly what I was looking for... vintage keys!  Vintage keys come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are plain and simple, while others are immaculately ornate.  Displaying vintage keys would not only convey a sense of eclecticism, but also bring in a vintage or historical feel.  I find that adding vintage items into a space can automatically warm it up, making it feel more inviting and familiar.  

As it turns out, there are many resources for these beautiful keys.  For starters, your local thrift store!  This would most likely be the least expensive source for vintage keys, and it also gives you a story to go along with your cool new keys... because you know people are going to ask!  SteampunkSupply has a store on Etsy with some gorgeous vintage keys.  These being my favorite:

These would be eye-catching placed in a shadow-box frame!  I love the brass and I love the ornate quality of these.  Beautiful!

This key is gorgeous and understated.  Something like this would be great if you were going to frame three separate keys, as Liz Marie Blog shows in her post.

I also love the idea of mixing vintage keys in with a photo wall display.  Pottery Barn does an amazing job of this.  They also sell a set of vintage looking keys... 7 keys for $19.  Not bad!

Although the Pottery Barn keys are beautiful and do serve their purpose, I personally would rather find a set of true vintage keys.  The fact that they've been used by someone else and that they carry their own stories is simply another addition to the space.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stencils... All Grown Up

Stencils are no longer limited to the nursery!  Stencils are all grown up now and have graduated to bathrooms, living rooms, and even master bedrooms.  Although the word "stencil" may make your mind drift to images of bunnies or sweet nursery motifs, things have changed.  

Here are a few inspirational images to get your mind going:

Places like offer a variety of stencils that can be used to create a wallpaper-like effect, without the price or commitment.  Stencilease's Moroccan Wall and Floor Stencil is one of my favorites.  I love the contemporary and mature look of the stencil.  This could work really well as an accent wall in a bedroom.

Another thing I like about this particular stencil company is that they offer a variety of stencil sizes.  You can order anything from 1 whole stencil all the way up to 10 full repeats on one sheet.  This is a great option for someone who would like to worry less about making sure everything is properly lined up.  Single stencils cost around $19.99.  This is a steal if you're comparing it to the cost of wallpaper!  Not to mention the fact there are no installation costs.  

I'm also really loving Cutting Edge Stencils found on Etsy.  She has some seriously beautiful designs.  I'm totally inspired!  

Check these beauties out... I guarantee you'll want to start stenciling tonight.

All I have to say is... wow!  These are stunning and certainly inspirational.  I can't wait to get stenciling! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DIY Upholstered Headboard

This is one of my favorite DIY projects that I've completed so far.  It's easy, it's inexpensive, it doesn't take too much time to make, and it makes a big difference in the bedroom!  Yes, I realize that my son is front and center in this photo... but I couldn't pass this one up.  It's too darn cute and it shows off the headboard at the same time.

There aren't many supplies needed for this simple project.  Here is a list of the things you need for a california king size headboard:

- 1/4"- 1/2" thick particle board (78"w x 42"h)
- 3 yards of the fabric of your choice
- 9 yards of batting
- nailhead detail strips
- staple gun

If you are needing a headboard for a different sized bed, simply figure out the width and length of the board you will need and get the appropriate amount of fabric and batting for that.  Keep in mind when measuring that you will want your headboard to go an inch or so beyond the bed frame on either side.  

Unfortunately, I wasn't in blogger mode when I did this project, so I didn't document my steps... but I do have pictures of the end result.  

First things first, gather your supplies.  I got my particle board at Home Depot because they will cut it there for you for free.  That eliminates the issue of having to deal with cutting anything to size.  I also made a trip to Hancock Fabrics and snagged a beautiful printed linen for $5.00 a yard and some batting for about $3.00 a yard.  I then ordered my nailhead detail strips on amazon because unfortunately, my local hardware stores and fabric stores did not carry them.  Using the nailhead detail strips as opposed to hammering in each upholstery tack individually was simply a matter of time, patience, and the need to have things perfect.  I knew there was no way I would get that strip straight if I had to nail each tack in individually, therefore I went for the nailhead strip and am so thankful that I did! 

Iron that fabric!  After I collected my supplies, I began by making sure the fabric was ironed out and free of wrinkles.  We all know linen is prone to wrinkling and who wants a wrinkly upholstered headboard?!  

Wrap and Staple.  After ironing and making sure everything is wrinkle-free, I laid out the batting on the ground and then plopped the particle board on top.  Beginning at one corner and traveling around the outside of the board, I pulled the batting tightly around the particle board and stapled it onto the back of the board.  I then repeated the same thing with the fabric, stapeling about every 4 inches.  You now have a fully covered headboard!  

And now for the finishing touches...

Get detailed.  In order to get the nailhead detail perfectly straight, I measured 2 1/2" down from the edges of the newly upholstered headboard, creating a light pencil mark every so often.  I then applied a strip of masking tape all around the headboard along the light pencil marks to create a guideline for the nailhead strip.  I then applied the nailhead strips according to the taped guide and it turned out perfectly!  After the strip was completely nailed down, I simply removed the masking tape and Wahla!  A beautiful upholstered headboard!  

To hang the headboard, I went to my local hardware store and purchased 2 picture hangers that were capable of holding the weight of the headboard.  I then hammered these onto the back of the particle board and simple hung the headboard, just like a picture frame, above the bed.  Simple, inexpensive, and beautiful!


It's a Keeper

Weekend Bloggy Reading


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Botanical Prints

I've always loved the character that vintage botanical prints can bring to a room.  The only problem is that they can either be hard to come by, or expensive.  I've heard of people coming across old books in thrift stores and finding beautiful botanical prints in them.  Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people... therefore, I've had to continue my search for cheap botanical prints elsewhere.

These beautiful wild flower botanical prints go for around $7.00 to $8.00.  I love the fact that they're authentic and come from an actual book.  Since they are authentic prints, they will have the patina that comes with aging paper, which is one thing I love about true botanical prints.  I've seen some sources that allow you to print them from online, but I feel like they lose some authenticity and the look of actual book pages that have been torn and worn over the years.

Another source for inexpensive botanical prints is  They offer quite a few prints.  The downside is that they are a bit more pricey and aren't the torn and worn authentic beauties offerend in the example above.  Nontheless, they offer some beautiful prints that would be a lovely addition to any home.  This print goes for about $35.00.

Bills Fine Prints also carries authentic botanical prints, along with various other types of prints such as bird egg prints, butterfly prints, fern prints, etc.  These prints all go for around $35.00 and are authentic prints from books.

I personally love botanical prints best when done in groupings.  They are so simple on their own and can stand to be put in a large grouping in order to really create a focal point.  This living room below displays exactly that.  I love the simplicity of the prints because they can stand to have 15, yes 15 total prints placed above their fireplace and have them look perfectly balanced with the simplicity of the rest of the room.  Simply beautiful!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Best of Ikea

I love a good deal.  Ikea is like a mecca for all of those who watch their dollars and cents when designing a space.  They have so many wonderfully designed products and great prices.  One issue I always used to have with Ikea was that their furniture was simply too small to look good in an average sized space.  I'm very happy to say that I've noticed that Ikea has been increasing the scale of their furniture, making it more usable to those with the average sized room.

I have a few Ikea favorites that I would love to share with you.  These are some great budget finds that you can add to your space without breaking the bank.

Let's start with the ever familiar Hemnes dresser.  This is a highly recognized Ikea piece, and for good reason... it's perfect!  It's a whopping $299, which is unheard of for a nice dresser, is sized properly to fit in the average size bedroom, and is well made.  Yes, you will spend hours going through a 5 pound bag of screws and 50 pieces of wood to put it together... but in the end, you'll have a great result.  Although I do like the colors offered for the Hemnes dresser, I have seen a fair amount of people take the time to spruce it up even more and really personalize it.

My favorite DIY Hemnes dresser:

Another one of my fave Ikea pieces is the Tanja Brodyr duvet and shams.  It's beautifully classic and it's only $49.99!  Add some fun throw pillows and you will have a truly beautiful bed.  I actually have this exact bedding in my own bedroom in ivory.  It's beautiful, classic, and cozy... what more could you ask for?!

The Leirvik Bedframe is so darling!  I can see this bedframe being great for a young girl all the way up to an adult's master bedroom.  This bedframe is versatile in style and is a piece that will last through years of growth. 

This featured product is a fairly new addition to Ikea.  The Ikea PS Maskros is a beautifully designed pendant lamp that in my opinion, truly looks like a designer piece.  The best part about this pendant is the fact that it's only $89.99.  It's a definite statement piece, as shown in the picture below.

Ikea's Dagny Curtain looks like quite the pricey item... although they come at the lovely price of $59.99. They look like a beautiful pair of silk drapery and at $59.99 for a pair of panels, I'm not sure who could pass them up!

The Henriksdal chair is one of my absolutel favorite Ikea dining chairs.  It's a classic, average scale, Parsons chair.  The best part, for those of us parents, is that the seat covers velcro underneath the chairs, which means that they can come straight off when the little ones spill!  Velcro on slip covers that look like actual attached upholstery... what's better than that?!  Totally classic and completely functional, the Henriksdal chair is definitely a top contendor in my Best of Ikea list.  I love these so much that I just went out and bought 4 for my kitchen nook table.  Love them!

I could honestly go on and on with many of my Ikea loves, but I'll stop here at just a few of my favorites.  I plan to do a post soon using only Ikea pieces to help you all create the room of your dreams on a budget.  I'll go through several rooms in the house including bedroom, dining room, living room, entry, etc. showing some inexpensive ways to get a true designer look using only Ikea items.