Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dream Shopping Spree ~ ABC Home

ABC home is one of my favorite places to browse on-line, although a lot of their stock is out of my price range, I love to dream about what I would buy if money were no object. Today we are finally having seasonal weather in Calgary, which got me thinking about relaxing on the patio drinking lemon aid under the sun and wine under the stars. I love the idea of a patio filled with lush flowers, vintage furniture, swings, and lots of hanging candles and white lights to creates a eclectic, inviting setting for the summer ahead.

 1.Vintage Metal Garden Chair 2. Turkish tea light holder 3. The Coran Shop barrel swing 4. Vintage Suzani pillow 5. Vintage blue hardware cabinet 6. Stoneware planter

*Not a sponsored post*

Monday, May 2, 2011

DIY Silver Leaf Stump Table

About a year ago, a friend of mine brought me back a large tree stump from a ranch she volunteers at, knowing how much I love the look of natural stump tables. That tree stump sat for nearly 7 months in our basement when I tried to decide how I wanted to finish it. I wondered if it should be stained dark? maybe light? bark on? bark off?  I went back and fourth until one day it struck me that our living room needed a little lightness and some bling, and I  decided it would be silver. My next step was to decide if I wanted to keep the bark on or peel it off. Since it was going to be metallic, I decided that leaving the bark on would  help keep the rustic look that drew me to the project in the first place. I chose to cover it in silver leaf instead of spray painting it silver because I wanted to be sure that you would still get glimpses of the wood in the cracks, and with spray paint it would be too uniform.

This is how the stump looked when I got it

After some elbow grease and some silver leaf...

Tools needed
Tree Stump
Spare rags
Wood hardener
Spray Adhesive
Spray on Gloss Acrylic
Silver or Aluminum leaf
Soft bristled brush
Wipe on Poly

The step by step

  1. Use a scraper to remove any bark that can easily fall off, and any debris or sap left on.
  2. Using an electric sander  even off the top and bottom of the stump. I sanded just until the top and bottom were smooth, since i didn't mind if it wasn't perfectly level.
  3. If any areas of your stump are still soft, scrape off anything that comes off easily, and apply a wood hardener ( I used Elmer's wood hardener) and let dry for 24 hours.
  4. Because I was keeping the bark intact, I gave the entire stump a coating of spray adhesive and let it dry 24 hours.
  5. To give a smoother surface to apply the silver leaf, coat the entire stump with Krylon clear gloss and let dry for a few hours.
  6. Starting with small sections, apply your sizing and wait 15 minutes for it to cure.
  7. Using a soft bristle brush pick up a leaf of silver, lie it on over the sizing and gently brush it until it there are not little flakes of silver coming off.
  8. When applying the next leaf, be sure to slightly overlap the previous leaf, and brush until there are no more small flakes of silver coming off. I find it can help to move in a circular motion over the seams to help blend them.
  9. Repeat steps 6 to 8 until the entire stump is finished.
  10. Apply two coats of wipe on poly, and let cure for 24 hours.
  11. Enjoy!

If you prefer the au natural look, there is a great tutorial on Design*Sponge by Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff. A great tutorial on silver leafing can be found on Little Green Notebook.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Peak Inside ~ Mandy's Living Room

My best friend Mandy has always been an inspiration for me fashion wise, so it was no surprise that when she and her husband Bryan purchased their first home, I was very inspired by her design sense. An Interior Architect by trade, Mandy has always had a keen eye for detail, and pairing unexpected elements. I love how she incorporates mid century pieces that play off the architectural details in the home, while still keeping everything fresh and modern.

Monday, March 28, 2011

DIY Trays Part Two ~ Monogrammed Tray

Yesterday we covered DIY marbled clay trays, and today we move on to a customized monogrammed tray. Monograms are something I've been crushing on for a while now, and I wanted to incorporate one into our decor in an inexpensive way.

All that you need for this project is Gloss Enamel paint,a paint brush, a white plate ( I got mine at a dollar store for $2) some cotton swabs, and an oven. (Hint, dollar store cotton swabs work best because they seem to be more compact than the name brand options)

First, clean the plate with rubbing alcohol to remove any grime that may be left on it and prevent the paint from sticking. I found it quite difficult to apply the paint in an even layer ( I used Americana Gloss Enamels in Razzle Berry), so I decided to go with it and used short strokes to create a textured surface. When the paint is still wet, take the cotton swab and trace out the monogram. After the top dried, I flipped it over and painted the bottom gold, using short strokes to create texture.

After letting the paint dry for 48 hours, it was time to put it in the oven for 30 minutes.

The finished product

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DIY Trays Part One ~ Marbled Clay Tray

So this weekend I ended up going a little tray crazy on the DIY front. The first technique I'm going to feature is using oven bake clay.

I came up with this idea after wandering the isles at Michael's and seeing these three beautiful shades of purple clay, and gold enamel.

As soon as i saw these colors, I was instantly reminded of Kelly Wearstlers pink office that I featured in my monochromatic room post. I immediately got to work ,mixing up the colors to create a marbled effect. I found the best way to get a marbled look without mushing everything together into one color, was to start with long rolls of each color, and then rubbing them together in my hand, folding it over, and continuing until the colors had dispersed to my liking.

After flattening out and shaping the trays, I used gold gloss enamel paint to rim the edges. After letting the paint cure for 48 hours, they were ready for the oven.

After 15 minutes (Check your clay for specific cooking times) they were ready for a coat of clear gloss coating. I used Krylon Low Odor Clear Gloss spray, which you can get here.

The finished products

Come back tomorrow to see our DIY monogramed tray!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Brighten up your kitchen

It's finally starting to feel like spring here, which is inspiring me to brighten up my kitchen. Sunny yellows, bright greens and shades of honeysuckle will brighten even the darkest kitchen.  Adding a few pops of color , in the form of everyday accessories, is an easy way to change the feel of your kitchen and welcome a new season.

 1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer 2. Anthropologie 3. Anthropologie 4. Michelle Smith 5 to 8. Anthropologie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Little Luxuries...Voluspa Candles

Words cannot express how much I love Voluspa Candles. If you told me a year ago that I would be waxing poetic about a candle (pun intended) I would have told you that you were crazy.

I was first drawn to how beautifully packaged they were, they are accessories in their own right. Then comes the smell...oh the smell. I have never used a candle that dispersed scent so well throughout the house, all without ever seeming overpowering. All their scents are complex ,sophisticated, and inviting.

My current favorite is the 2 wick metallo in Lichen & Vetiver. Its beautiful on my coffee table and ,when lit, the scent from just one candle wafts from my main floor all the way up my staircase to the second floor.  I have yet to have a visitor that has not commented, more than once, on how amazing it smells. I actually have to stop myself from opening it up and smelling it every time I walk by.

With scents such as  Apricot & Aiprilla, Laguna, Pomegranate Patchouli, French cade & Lavender, and Santiago Huckleberry, its very hard to choose just one favorite.

1. White Currant Quince porcelin2.  Makassar Ebony & Peach 3 wick in decorative tin 3. Gardenia Colonia two wick Metallo 4. Warm Perique Tabac Classic Maison Candle 5. Japonica travel set

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My DIY Console Table

There are many design blogs that I love to check out everyday. One I particularly like is Johns Journal. Maria's console table DIY on Design*Sponge inspired me to follow suit when I couldn't find a table for our entry way that was just right.

All it took was some hardwood from Home Depot, some faux leather Contac Paper, and some nail heads.

Voila! All for under $30

My Version

House of Movi

Maria's Version

Johns Journal

Check out Maria's blog here and tutorial here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

DIY Curtains For An Oversized Window

As I have stated before in this post, I love the 11 ft ceilings in our dining area, but they do pose a few design related challenges. When we moved in, one of the main challenges we faced was finding drapery for the oversized windows. It seemed simple enough, all I wanted  was two toned curtains that I could hang near the ceiling to play up the rooms height. I quickly discovered that it is next to impossible to find 132" ready made curtains, and custom quotes came in at around $1000. Although I could have bought fabric, it still would have been pricey, and I'm barely what you would call a whiz with a sewing machine.

Our DIY solution ended up costing a whopping $140 including the curtain rod! Best of all it's no sew, all you need is an iron and a pair of scissors. It's so easy I feel bad even calling it a DIY.

1. I bought two sets of Ikea Ritva curtains, one in white, one in grey.

2. Decide which color curtain you want to be dominant and lay it face down on a flat clean surface.

3. Subtract the length of the curtain from the height of your wall/window to figure out how much you need   to cut from your secondary pair of curtains.

4. When cutting the secondary curtains, be sure to cut above the bottom hem to keep it intact(remember to add a few inches to allow for shrinkage and to let it pool a little on the floor)

5. Flip up the hem of the dominant curtain and iron a crease in it so it lays down flat.

6. Lay the enclosed iron on hemming strip on the hem, and place the cut side of the secondary curtain on top, and slowly iron, fusing the two together. Work in small sections, making sure enough heat is being applied to fuse it properly. (Before you start, be sure to check that the secondary curtain is facing down.)

7. Once you are finished, flip the curtain over, and iron to create a crease on the secondary curtain so it lies flat against the primary curtain.

8. Repeat, hang and enjoy!

A great affordable long curtain rod is the Crystal ball curtain rod from Martha Stewart Living that you can pick up at Home Depot. It's longest length is 144" and only costs $59.99

The finished product

House of Movi

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shopping for Pillows

Pillows are the perfect finishing touch in a room. They pull everything together, and can add a needed pop of color or texture.

The most important thing to look for when selecting pillows is variety. A couch with four identical pillows can easily look boring. I find a good rule of thumb is to keep the numbers odd, and make sure you vary the material, pattern or hue. For example, a bed with five identical hot pink pillows could look flat and staged. A bed with two velvet hot pink pillows, one pink and white Ikat pillow, one rose striped pillow, and one blush colored cotton pillow would look a lot fresher, and have more visual interest.

All of these have stolen my heart and put a smile on my face.

1. Not your average Giraffe Print Chintz and Co 2. Teal Velvet Crate and Barrel 3. Fun Geometric Modern Chic Home 4. Metallic Snake skin ABC Home 5. Touch of Aubergine Crate and Barrel 6. Elegant Trellis Decorative Instincts 7. Lovely chevron ikat fabricadabra 8. Neutral but not plain ABC Home

Friday, March 4, 2011

How-to transform a paper lantern into a permanant fixture

Although I love my dining area, it's 11 foot high ceilings pose a bit of a challenge when it comes to lighting. I knew we would need a large, high impact fixture, especially since our house is open concept. But, for some reason, I felt that anything sparkly would be too much.

I decided that an oversized paper lantern was just what we needed.
The only problem? After searching every blog and website I could think of , I could not, for the life of me, find a paper lantern that was not hung with a cord socket that had to be plugged into an outlet. I was careful to make sure the lantern looked intentional, not like a temporary replacement for a chandelier. The last thing I wanted was a cord running across my ceiling and down the wall.

A few weeks later I found that what I was looking for was called a canopy kit. A canopy kit lets you attach any pendant to the ceiling permanently. Unfortunately all the canopy kits I could find still had a plain cord hanging down, and I was looking for something a little bit more polished.

Enter this pendant from Home Depot for only $29.99. It was the perfect compliment to the lantern, and had three different lengths in a brushed nickel finish.

Home Depot

When installing the fixture I added all three links to allow for the greatest length , and left out the shade. I found my 36" paper lantern at the aptly named Paper Lantern Store. Attaching the paper shade without ripping it was a bit tricky, but after using pliers to close the rounded top of the lantern, it stayed in place perfectly. Be sure to keep the light bulb in the middle of the lantern to avoid a fire hazard.

The finished product...

House of Movi

We still have a bit of decorating to do in the dining room, but I'm really liking  the direction it's headed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Before and After: Thrift dining chair

I love how someones junk can become somebody else's treasure.  I especially love it when that treasure is mine.

Last year I bought this sad old dining chair at a thrift shop, despite the fact that I had no clue what I wanted to do with it. After months of deliberating between painting the chair white or keeping the wood finish, I decided on an antique white finish, paired with this modern wide horizontal striped fabric from Ikea.

This is how it looked when I picked it up for $12 at the local Value Village


Then I got to work with some primer, soy based paint remover, sandpaper, and a staple gun.

House of Movi ~ After

House of Movi ~ After

The step by step:
(Am I the only one who wants to belt out NKOTB when they hear that?)

1. Remove the cushions and store the screws in a labeled zip lock bag (you will thank me for this later, I promise).

2. Gently sand down the frame with 220 grit sandpaper, and wipe with a damp cloth.

3. Apply two coats of a white interior primer with a small brush. I used Essentials primer from CIL that you can find here.

4. Apply a thick coat of soy based latex paint remover, and let process for the recommended time. I used Smart Strip aerosol paint remover, and it worked perfectly.

5.  After the remover has set, scrape off enough paint to get your desired look. Once it dries, sand again with 220 grit sandpaper to dull any too perfect spots, and help the primer "meld" with the wood.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 if needed, and wipe with a damp cloth when fully dry.

7. Tear old fabric and foam off cushion

8. Secure new foam to board with spray adhesive, and trim any excess foam from around the edges. ( Most craft stores will sell easy to use, chair sized pads of foam just for this purpose)

9. Lay out your (freshly ironed) fabric, print side down and place your seat, foam side down on top of it. Starting with the front edge of the seat, pull the fabric taut and staple in the middle.  Turn  it around, and repeat on the other side. Once you have secured all four sides, continue to move around the chair, keeping the fabric taut, and secure every inch or so. When you get to the corners, take care to gather the fabric, folding gently, and stapling to avoid creases. A great video on how to re-upholster a dining seat can be found here.

10. Cut away any excess fabric, and re-attach seat to the base using the wood screws you set aside earlier.
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