Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Vacation and Another Sunburst Mirror

First off, I should mention that being away from the blogosphere for 2 weeks has been rough.  I've literally been having withdrawals!  Aside from that, we had a wonderful vacation visiting our family.  Not only did we have a fun-filled Easter, we also completed a fabulous DIY project during our stay!

Ever since I posted my DIY Sunburst Mirror, my little sister has been dying to make one for her room.  Of course, she wanted to wait until I got there so that we could do it together.  First, we had to decide how to make it unique.  Her room is lime green, black, and white, with bursts of pink, therefore we decided to go with the pink.  Not just any pink though... pink with glitter!  Of course, a glittery pink sunburst mirror is any 13 year old's dream... so we went out started with our supplies.  We followed exactly what I had done with my sunburst mirror, but instead of purchasing the metallic paints, we grabbed Rustoleum's Berry Pink Gloss spray paint.  Along with this, we picked up some pink glitter from Martha Stewart. 

Instead of painting the bamboo sticks first, we decided to assemble the whole thing, except for the mirror, and then spray paint the bamboo.  While she spray painted, I went along and glittered each stick.  Once we completed this step, we decided to change up the framing on the mirror.  We cut out a circular template that was slightly smaller in size compared to the mirror, and used double sided tape to fasten it to the mirror.  We then rubbed Martha Stewart craft glue on the exposed edge and dusted with glitter so that the edge was solid glitter.  Once the glitter was on we immediately peeled off the template to keep the template from being glued to the mirror for good.  To complete the mirror frame, we used a wet cotton swab to fix any places where the glue had seeped under the template, waited for the glue to completely dry, and then adhered the mirror to the backing.  

The end result... a fabulously flashy sunburst mirror fit for a teenage queen! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Creative Workspaces

It can be tough to incorporate a workspace into your home without dedicating an entire room to it.  Here are some creative ideas for your home which will give you the desk space you need, without creating an entire office.

Closet Office.  Consider using a spare closet as a workspace.  This first image shows how you can use a bedroom closet as an office by simply adding some shelving, curtains, and a chair.  Easy as pie and absolutely adorable!

When you consider closet space as an option for a home office, don't get caught up in only considering bedroom closets... any closet will do!

Work and Live.  Combine your working space and living space.  This is a similar setup to what we have and I love it!  When you don't have very much space to work with, and you like to have easy access to the computer, bringing your workspace into the living room can be very convenient.  Although I personally don't mind the exposed office in the living room area, you could always close it off with some sliding panels or even a curtain rod.

Eat. Pray. Work.  Bring your office into the kitchen!  The kitchen is the perfect social area to include a small workspace in.  I also love including a desk in the kitchen area because it's the perfect drop off place for mail, keys, etc.

I would love to hear about any other creative workspaces you have come up with!  I always love to hear about new ideas!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artful Whimsy

I'm completely enthralled with artist Janet Hill's beautiful oil paintings!  Full of whimsy and imagination, these paintings are a true delight and would be a lovely addition to any room.

I'm in love with Claude and Claire.  What a darling couple! This would make such a darling addition to a child's room, amongst other places.

Now to add some whimsy to your closet.  I think my walk-in just might need this colorful shoe painting!

This painting in particular caught my eye immediately.  I can't help but think how stunning it would be in my son's room!  Not to mention, this painting brings out a particular desire to hop right into the picture and begin enjoying some tea and cookies.

This painting is absolutely stunning.  I love the distant gaze in Lily's eyes.  It makes you wonder what she's looking at... crashing ocean waves, a beautiful sunset, hot air balloons floating up through the sky? Your guess is as good as mine!  

Now for one of my favorite interior paintings.  "The Butterfly Chair" is bright and fresh, bringing in notes of spring to wherever it may hang.  

Enjoy these beautiful paintings and find a way to add some whimsy to your world!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DIY Sunburst Mirror

There are so many beautiful DIY Sunburst Mirrors out there right now.  Since I've been admiring them all, I decided that it's about time to make one of my own.

So let's just cut to the chase, and we'll get to the details later.  Here she is, hanging beautifully in our guest bathroom.

There are a number of DIY Sunburst Mirrors out there that were particularly inspiring to me.  Here are just a few for starters:

I was inspired by the metallics used for Kate's mirror.

I was drawn in by the use of natural materials for Isabella and Max's mirror.

I was interested in the prominent framing used on Third Floor Design Studio's mirror.

This is just a small sampling of the gorgeous DIY Sunburst Mirrors drifting through the blogosphere.  There are many more beauties out there, so make sure to do your research before you start creating your own.  

For starters, the supply list:

- A bundle of bamboo sticks
I found a bundle of 4' bamboo sticks at Michaels for $11

- Wood Backing
Came across a wooden frame which could serve as a backing for $1

- Paint
Picked up some Folk Art Metallic Taupe paint for less than $2 and had Sophisticated Finishes Blonde Bronze at home.  I would suggest picking up two paints if you're going with a metallic finish on the mirror.  The variation in tone is a really nice addition.

- 10" mirror
Grabbed a $6 10" mirror.

- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Already had my hot glue gun and plenty of extra glue sticks ready to go!

-Picture Hanger
Luckily we have plenty to spare when it comes to picture hangers!

The grand total for my sunburst mirror came to $20.  Lucky for me, I still have plenty of bamboo left over for another project too!  

Get to Cutting.  I began my project by gathering about half of the bamboo sticks and cutting them in varying lengths of 12", 13", and 14".  Since I was using a natural material and knew there would be variance in every piece of bamboo, I decided to go with that and not be concerned with getting the edges perfectly lined up.  I wanted that natural feel to flow throughout the piece.  

Painting Sticks.  Time to start painting!  I used 3 different color mixes on my mirror.  A third of the bamboo sticks were painted pure Metallic Taupe.  A third were a mix of blonde bronze and metallic taupe, about a 1/4 bronze, 3/4 taupe mix.  The last third were a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of bronze and taupe.

Get Ready to Hang.  While the bamboo is drying, attach a picture hanger to the back of the wood backing.  It's definitely best to get this done before we start attaching anything to the backing.  

Paint That Backing.  Now that your picture hanger is attached, go ahead and paint the backing.  I painted mine in a mixture of the blond bronze and taupe metallic to ensure that if any of it peaked through, it would be camouflaged.   

Mark and Measure.  Once your backing is dry, lay the mirror or some other circular shape flat down on its surface.  Trace around the mirror and make notches at the top, bottom, and sides.  It's very important to make sure that your sticks radiate around the mirror.  Without these notations, things could get messy!

Get to Glueing.  Heat up that hot glue gun and get to glueing!  I began by glueing a stick at each notch in the backing.  This created a good starting point to ensure that my mirror had a true radiating effect.  

Frame it Out.  Now for the mirror frame.  I painted a couple more bamboo sticks and then broke them up into small pieces, again, not worrying too much about keeping anything even and really going with the natural appeal of the bamboo.  I then glued them around the outside of the mirror, creating a frame.  There are many ways you can create a frame for the mirror though, so go for it!  Get creative!  

Put it All Together.  Now that all of your pieces are assembled, simply pull out that hot glue gun again and glue the mirror onto the backing.  Tada!  You now have your own beautiful sunburst mirror!  

Enjoy, and I would love to see any of your renditions of the sunburst mirror!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Design Resource

Need help creating a floor plan?  Here is a template that will help you do just that.  Included is 1/4 inch grid paper, along with furniture templates for your living room, dining room, bedroom, office, and outdoor space.

Begin by measuring your room and then drawing the shape of your room on the paper, using the grid as your guide.  Keep in mind that while using the grid, 1/4 inch (1 box) is equal to 1 foot.  Once you have the walls down, draw in your windows, and then any other fixed objects such as built-ins.  Now for the fun part... add in your furniture!  Browse through the templates provided and add in the furniture you would like to use in the space.  I find it helpful to cut out the pieces I'm going to use, and then play around with them to figure out the best configuration.

Have fun!

This resource will now be accessible from our Design Resources page.  


Pottery Barn Look-a-like Chandelier

I love a good deal, and I love a good look-a-like.  There's nothing better than getting that designer look for a fraction of the price!  Pottery Barn's Barton Chandelier is a beautiful chandelier with classic appeal.

This chandelier is currently on sale at Pottery Barn for $219.99, and that's without the shades.  JC Penny carries the 6 Light Landon Chandelier that looks very similar to the Barton Chandelier, although it costs a mere $99.99.

I particularly like this type of chandelier used in a kitchen nook or dining area.

Enjoy the look-a-like... I will be on the search for more!  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Living Room Design

I recently joined Olioboard, which is a service that helps you create a kind of inspiration board for a room design.  They supply different backdrops, along with furniture and accessories.  You can also import your own items to add into your board.  Olioboard also allows you to import items and add them to Olioboard's library, which then gives other members access to that particular item as well.  I like the idea of a community helping each other out in this way.  Not to mention, it's a great way to create an inspiration board if you dont' have access to Photoshop, Illustrator, or another image editing program.

Just for kicks, I entered Olioboard's current contest.  The goal of the project is to create a living space for Prince William and Kate.  After looking through some of the entries, I decided that I should join in the fun!  I posted my inspiration board for William and Kate's living space here.  If you like my inspiration board, make sure to cast your vote!

My inspiration for William and Kate's living space was William's heritage, and Kate's modern elegance.  William's heritage brought me to the more traditional aspects of the space, such as the two vintage chairs, tufted sofa, the traditional printed rug, along with various other traditional elements.  The infusions of blue in the space were inspired by Kate's wedding ring.  The true blue of the sapphire color is reflected in the two vintage chairs and then repeated in various elements throughout the space.  Kate's modern elegance was brought into the space with the use of reflective surfaces, modern wall decor, and geometric patterns which were brought in through various items within the space.  

I hope you enjoy taking a peek through the different entries and I would love to hear your feedback on my post!  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vintage Chair Revival

On the search for a chair, I came across a beauty on craigslist for a whopping $25.  Although the finish and upholstery were terrible, I fell in love with the shape and decided that it would be my first major restoration and reupholstery project.  Through trials and tribulations, a few coats of primer and paint, and a lot of patience... I now have a finished product!

I hate to ruin the surprise, but I just have to show off the "after" photo.  Drum roll please...

Here is my beautiful chair!  It reminds me of something from the Roman Empire with it's bronze metallic fabric and accents, curved creamy arms, and detailed legs.  Now that I've shown you the "after," I'll give you the before...

Not fond of the green crackled finish and faded floral upholstery?  Me either.  Transformation was necessary, and this chair was just waiting to be rediscovered.

Now for the how to:

Remove those Staples.  For starters, I removed all of the upholstery.  This was one of the most tedious things I've ever done.  I had no idea how many hundreds of stables laid beneath the upholstery.  With some patience, and the right tools, it was done.  For staple removal, a flat head screw driver became my new bff.  Small pliers also helped.  First, I would use the flat head screwdriver to get the staple out.  Occasionally, the staple wouldn't completely come out, and that's when the pliers became necessary.  

Sand Away.  After removing all of the staples and upholstery, I began sanding down the frame.  Some would have used a paint stripper to remove the crackle finish, but I wanted this detail, therefore I skipped that step altogether.  

Prime Baby Prime.  Once I had sanded down the entire frame, I sprayed it down with 2 coats of white spray primer.

White it Out.  Once the primer had dried, I sprayed on 3 coats of Rust-Oleum Heirloom White.  During this step, I found that you should always spray on one more coat than you think you need.  Full coverage is very important and when you spend this much time on refinishing a piece of furniture, you don't want to have to deal with repainting small areas once it's completed.  Lesson learned for me... always do one extra coat!

Beautify With Bronze.  When looking at the all white chair, I realized that it needed something more.  It needed something to make it "pop."  That pop was Sophisticated Finishes Golden Bronze, found at Michaels.  These bronze details add interest and depth.  This is what really set the chair off for me. 

Add Some Poly.  After finishing all of my painting, I made sure to apply a couple coats of polyurethane to protect the new paint job.  

Now time for the hard part... reupholstering.  Here's where I had to start asking myself why I decided to purchase a fully upholstered chair for my first upholstering project.  Overambitious much?!  Regardless of the intense intimidation I was feeling, I had come across a clearanced out drapery panel that was going to serve as the perfect fabric for my chair.  Bronze faux silk at $5... yes please!  

A word of caution with silk... it shows "pull" lines very easily.  This is evident on the sides and top of the chair where the upholstery is stapled to the wooden frame.

Stretch That Fabric.  I started my upholstery job with the simplest part... the seat.  I simply flipped the seat over top of the fabric and stapled it to the back of the seat.  Now for the tough part, the back.  To get started, I began with the left side of the chair.  I draped the fabric over the chair and cut out the shape of the opening, adding an additional few inches to each side to account for the foam that would be placed in between the two sheets of fabric.  I then started at the top of the frame, stapling every inch or so to insure that the fabric was completely secure.  Once the fabric was stapled to the top of the frame, I inserted the foam and then stapled the rest of the fabric to the frame, moving in a clockwise motion.  After that, I cut off the excess fabric near the frame using fabric scissors.  I then repeated this on the remaining two panels.  

Glue it On.  Once the fabric was secure and in place, I heated up my hot glue gun and secured a matching trim all around the framing over the exposed staples.  This was the final step to create a fully completed chair.  My revamp is complete, and I'm fully satisfied!  Although it's not perfect, it was my very first upholstery project... and that makes it pretty darn great.

As for now, I'm on the search for a desk chair and can't wait to get started on my next project.  Practice makes perfect!


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