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Posts from the ‘decorating’ Category

the sleeping porch

Before I started this room transformation, I could picture it in my mind’s eye…

Dreamy and ethereal, with a bit of cottage comfort thrown in for good measure.

My goal was to limit the number of “new” items in the room, drawing upon flea market, craigslist, garage sale, consignment store and thrift store finds to fill the space. Virtually nothing was purchased specifically for this room. I simply used items that I had on hand and in many cases, repurposed. The sleeping porch transformation (before, before, before) was truly done on a shoestring budget!

Here’s the run down…

Thrift store finds: french bed (Salvation Army! before), oil painting, books (turned into book bundles), Canadian Crown mason jars (turned into hanging votive lights), bed skirt

Flea Market finds: clock, silver tray, trophies, nesting baskets, blue bottle, chenille blanket

Craigslist finds: armoire (before), french chair (before)

The side table was a $7 find from a vintage furniture shop that was going out of business (before), the vintage typewriter was a garage sale find, the clock faces were found on etsy, the nesting baskets were purchased from Urban Farmgirl via Tattered Tiques, the other baskets were purchased at a consignment shop The Pink Geranium, the library table, “Langston” sign, and blue battery jar were found at Steeplechase Antiques, the mercury glass lamp was borrowed from another room but refreshed by creating a rosette shade (tutorial coming soon), the bed linens are a hodge podge straight from the linen closet.

I only purchased “new” items if the perfect vintage ones weren’t easily available. The Swedish Stripe cotton rug is from Dash & Albert and “grounds” the space perfectly. The simple cotton window panels were found at World Market. The bedside table lamp is the Whitney task lamp from Pottery Barn.

So there you have it…a sleeping porch transformation done on a little budget, with a lot of elbow grease.

A labor of love.

Linking up to these wonderful parties:


office space switcheroo

Until last week, my “office” was here…in the back area of our family room.

I like to be “in the mix” so the family room seemed like the logical place for my “command central.”

But then it occurred to me. We have this beautiful light and bright office/library that was unused.

Sure, it had stuff in it, but served no real purpose other than to house the IKEA sofa that didn’t work out and an overflow of other miscellaneous crappola.

Time for a little switcheroo.

For the color palette, I knew I wanted my favorite color…pale blue. You know, I can still remember being in my third grade classroom and coloring with a friend. We had the big box of 64 Crayola crayons (there was nothing like a new box of crayons back then…no better smell in the world) and were discussing out of all 64 colors which one was our most favorite. The equivalent of world peace discussion for 9 year olds. 🙂 I declared mine to be “sky blue” and to this day, it’s still my favorite.


{image via flickr}

I wanted pops of green and yellow to round out my “sunny” palette.

To frame the windows, I chose panels from Pottery Barn. The pattern is “Vanessa.”

After much searching, I found this “Morocco I” rug from Home Decorators in gold. The price was great and I’m super pleased with the quality.

There are two blank areas on the walls across from the desk which flank the french doors. I wanted functional pieces that could accommodate lamps and settled on the “Preston 5 drawer table” from World Market. (It’s in stores, but not on the website).

And I used a several of my favorite IKEA baskets for storage.

So those were the “purchases” for the room. The rest I pulled from “stock.” 😉

So here’s my new office space.

The oil paintings above my desk make me happy. The top one was a find from the Arboretum sale back in the fall and the bottom one came from my most favorite consignment shop ever, The Pink Geranium.

Maybe mixing silver and gold is considered a decorating faux pas…but it doesn’t bother me one bit.

I always collect souvenirs from nature when we travel. It’s a beautiful way to bring back memories of fun times. The sea glass is from Barbados.

The rocks are from the beach in Washington State collected on our “Twilight” Trip.

Yellow tulips make me smile.

Although I did not want a vintage vibe for this space, I still gave a subtle nod to my love of vintage with a few pieces here and there.

So there you have it. My office space switcheroo. I’m really happy with it and kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

Have a marvy Monday!

Linking up here:

nobody puts baby in the corner

I’m switching things up in our family room just a little bit. There was a dull little corner at the end of our mac daddy leather sectional.

Now, I love this sofa more than my luggage (Steel Magnolias) but it does make arranging/styling this room a little challenging. Because of the sea of dark leather and the dark hardwood floors, I’m trying to mix in some lighter pieces to balance it out.

For the past month or so, each time I’d go into Tattered Tiques I would stare at this little table. I love it. The size, the shape, the drawers, the casters, the pulls…ok so basically everything about it.

Yesterday I finally brought baby home and put her in the corner. Sorry, Johnny Castle.

I added a bronze PB lamp, a little hardware drawer (from TT, as well) and a pretty little topiary that I picked up at our nursery yesterday.

I recently gave our Mora clock a little makeover with some fresh Annie Sloan in Coco and Old White and put that in the corner as well.

Baby looks good in the corner and is having the time of her life.

Sorry, I’m bringin corny back. 😉

Ethel and Eunice gone wild!

This is a before, after and another after kind of post. Beware, it’ll get worse before it gets better.

I just styled the family room bookcases a few months ago. At the time I kind of liked them.

Now? I’m having one of those “what was I thinking” moments. Do you ever have those?

It wasn’t horrible. I did it back during my silhouette obsession of 2011.

I’m over it now.

pssttt…. Just in case you are in the midst of silhouette obsession 2012, this collection will be available next Wednesday! 🙂

On to the facelift. I found this beautiful black and white toile wallpaper that is very pricey at an exclusive boutique.

You know I’m just messin with ya, right? It’s contact paper from The Dollar Tree.

Whatchu talkin bout Willis? Yep. One dollar a roll. Under $5 bucks to do the whole thing. That’s how I roll. Get it, roll? Moving on…

Once it was finished, I freaked. Not in a good way.

Suh-weet Potato Fries…that is HIDEOUS! Looks like Ethel and Eunice got into the cooking sherry and had themselves a little Grannies Gone Wild party.

Time to assess what it is that is “off.”

The crisp, clean “wallpaper” makes all the silhouettes and old books look dirty.  Get outta town, brown!

So I took everything down and started again. This time with photos (of people I actually know and love!) and some of my favorite things… clocks, books, numbers, silver and baskets.

This is my all-time favorite photo of my children back when they were munchkins. It was our Christmas card photo about 8 years ago. Sniff.

And here’s the after…Eunice and Ethel were kind of ticked that I messed up their handiwork. 😉

And because I love side by side comparisons…

I’m still plugging away on the sleeping porch project. It’s slow going because the dang, crazy weather here is not cooperating with my plans. We are supposed to get 4-9 inches of snow later today. That room is cold and I’m a wimp, so not much progress will be made.

I hope you local gals will visit Tattered Tiques this week. They are stuffed to the gills with amazing vintage goodness.

Are you working on any fun projects? How’s your weather? Do you have any spring break plans?

Talk to me…

Linking up at these rockin parties!

{Primp}The Shabby Nest

design boards, math tricks & dad

Design board, deshmign board. They are a very popular tool in the design world. For organized people. They are beautiful to look at and probably very helpful. For organized people. But I am not an organized people. 🙂

Now I know you are saying to yourself, wasn’t this chick just in Woman’s Day for her pantry organization project?

That, my friends, is irony at its finest. Under my photo in the mag, it should have said “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.”  

So you wanna know my fly by the seat of my pants decorating process? Here goes…I find one inspiration piece and build on it. And pull things together until it looks good. That’s it.

We are going to visit my mom and dad in Alabama during March break. Last time we went there for March break, I re-did the living room. So it’s kind of our tradition. My mom is the world’s easiest client. Meaning, she lets me do whatever I want. 🙂

So the day after my mom arrived here in the Windy City burbs, we headed to Ikea and HomeGoods for some sho nuff INSPA-RA-SHON.

The one thing I knew going in, was the color palette. Yellows and greys. And before we knew it, our cart was full of incredible goodies many of which were CLEARANCE items. The only thing I love better than pretty accessories are CHEAP pretty accessories! Everything you see here totalled less than $200!!!

Hmmm….<less than<  Sidenote…wanna hear one of my favorite teaching techniques from back in the day for teaching little kids greater than and less than? The alligator’s mouth always opens up to the bigger number. The symbol looks like an alligator’s mouth. 2<4…see? The fact that I taught math? Another “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire” irony moment. Have no fear. It was only first and second grade math. It doesn’t start getting hard until like, 5th grade. 😉

Once we got home, I added in a few items from our purge session and voila…my “design board” consisted of a big heap of our scores from the day.

That kitchen’s not gonna know what hit it when I come rollin into town.

The only possible snag in the process? <Insert record needle scratching sound>  My dad.

See, he suffers from an affliction known as fear-a-change-a-phobia. 😉

It’s either gonna be a most excellent makeover, or the world’s shortest visit!

P.S. I’ve been so busy this week, that I won’t be posting any Wednesday’s Wares. I’ll have some goodies next week, though.

Happy Hump Day, people! 🙂

farmhouse chic meets vintage industrial

I believe that decorating your home is an evolutionary process. It’s never really done. Seasons change, styles change, tastes change, etc.

In the little over nine months of living in this home, our kitchen has been in a constant state of flux. Furniture has come and gone, accessories have been brought in and moved out. The look that I’ve been trying to accomplish is farmhouse chic meets vintage industrial.

Other than painting the walls, I think it’s finally done.

Here’s a little tour…

Linking up here at Jennifer Rizzo’s “Refresh Your Room” party.

groceries sign

Ever since I saw the large “groceries” sign hanging in the kitchen of  Sarah Richardson’s cottage, I’ve wanted one for our kitchen.

Sarah Richardson is my absolute, hands-down, most favorite designer in the whole entire world. Her fresh, classic designs are always perfection. And her side-kick Tommy Smythe is the bomb diggity. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of her, check out her website and prepared to be ahhmazed.

Alrighty, Sarah fan club meeting is officially adjourned. 🙂

Now about my sign. I wanted it to go on top of our new china hutch, so I bought a piece of lumber that looked to be the right height. My eyeball-it method of measuring has always served me well so I did it once again. But it came back to bite me in the butt. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Here’s a sign-making tutorial in 5 easy steps.

I free-handed my lettering because my printer was spazzing out. Normally, I would print, cut and trace.

This is the time-consuming part. Invest in a decent angled brush for lettering so you aren’t wasting time picking bristles off of your freshly painted letters. Use regular ol’ Acrylic paint.

Once the letters are nice and dry…

This is where I went to prop my sign on top of the china hutch and realized that it was too tall.

Dang that eye-balling method!

So I did the next-best thing, which was to put it on the top shelf.

I like it.

For now. 😉

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Wednesday’s Wares.

It’s gonna be good.

Linking up here:

Home Stories A2Z

cloche love

When reading through my favorite blogs the other day, I came across this brill idea from my friend Debbie at Refresh Restyle.

Out thrifting a couple days later, this little wire basket caught my eye.

Before Debbie’s idea, I would have never given it a second look.

I brought it home and had a little ribbon cutting ceremony 😉 then dug through my collection of knobs and voila!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…EVERYTHING is cuter under a cloche.

This spurred me on to create tons of them. It’s quite addicting. I had a little assembly line going.

The most fun part? Styling them.

You can put them on top of plates, platters, bowls, cake stands, scales, books…there are endless possibilities.

And all the stuff you can put UNDER them??? fuggedaboutit. 🙂

I will have lots of these cuties for sale at Tattered Tiques this week.

Come on in and getcha some!

gym lockers

Those two words conjure up images of squeaky sneakers of sweaty socks, I know.

But when I saw these at my friend’s shop last week I had another vision in mind…

In this vision, the vintage beauties were not housing gym uniforms, but ironstone and crisp white linens.

With beautiful silver and fresh flowers perched on top.

Far, far from the land of sweat socks.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Linking up here:

Furniture Feature Fridays{Primp}


out with the new, in with the old…

I’d had my eye on this gorgeous pine china cabinet and farmhouse table at Pink Geranium for several weeks.

They spoke to me, they beckoned to me, they haunted my dreams. Okay, maybe that’s a teensy exaggeration. But I really did love them.

Last week they came to live with us. An early 20th anniversary present from my main squeeze. 😉

The china cabinet is humongo…82 inches wide. It was so much fun to style with my ever-growing ironstone collection.

Thanks for letting me share.

Linking up here:

Home Stories A2Z


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