30 April 2012

My New Obsession: Fabric

 I mentioned last week how I'm planning a coffee table revamp where I turn it into an upholstered ottoman. I'm also planning to upholster the bench at my dining room table, and {hopefully} a couple of chairs that I'm planning on picking up from my parents this summer in Florida.

So all these upcoming fabric projects have me seriously OBSESSING over fabric. I've been spending literally hours at night pinning fabrics from sites like Spoonflower and Beautiful Fabric.

Here are a few of my favorites:

27 April 2012

Yesterday's Shopping Trip

 In my post yesterday I mentioned how I was going to be starting a search for a small item to throw off the perfect symmetry of my mantel.

The whole set up right now looks really natural (flowers, wood, soft colors) so I wanted to find something totally opposite of that to stick on one side to shake things up a little bit. I wanted something metallic, maybe something that looked utilitarian....an oddball object to add a little interest. 

So you know what happens when you go looking for something super specific...you can't find it anywhere. I was in a shopping mood and I still had some money left on a Target gift card that's for me to do what I want with, which meant I could go shopping anywhere that I wanted to for something of that amount and then just use the Target card for groceries if I wasn't able to find my mantel object at Target.  Then technically I haven't used up any money from our budget on house stuff.  (Like my logic?? My husband sighed and rolled his eyes when I told him that before I left but he couldn't argue because it totally makes sense! haha) 

So anyway yesterday my twins and I hit up 4 different stores in my quest to find the perfect mantel object: Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Target and Pier 1. None of them had what I was looking for. I did see some cool things though while I was out. 

Crate & Barrel has this grey and white striped rug that would be perfect layered over my living room rug:

They also have it in black and white:

And at West Elm I was loving these two displays-

One with all their colorful dish cloths tied to a piece of drift wood that was suspended from the ceiling with ropes:

And the other with all their big white animal heads hung together on a wall.

I especially loved that some of the heads were layered on top of colorful rugs so that the white really popped. 

This little ball of sea shells (also in West Elm) seemed like it wouldn't be too hard of a DIY project:

Something to keep in mind next time I'm in Florida and can collect shells. 

West Elm also had pillows made of this sheepskin. It looks exactly like a fabric I was eyeing at Joann Fabrics a few months ago.

I didn't find anything note-worthy at Target or Pier 1 yesterday. And I also didn't find the object that I was looking for.

But, that doesn't mean I came home empty handed....

I just couldn't leave West Elm without this little guy, who grabbed my attention pretty much the second I walked in the door:

I put it up on the mantel and it looks perfect- so totally not the look I was out searching for because it's something natural looking like everything else, so I still have to find something metallic for up there...but I do love this little vase. 

26 April 2012

A Mantel Update

 I've decided that my next big project (which I'm hoping to tackle this summer) is going to be turning my coffee table into an upholstered ottoman. You may remember a while back when I gave it a make over with paint and a stencil and I loved it...



It was so pretty for a while but then really got beat up during our move from Florida to Minnesota. So it's not looking so hot anymore. 

This is kind of a long intro just to show a quick mantel update but I had to give the background because my coffee table plan is what sparked the addition to the mantel. Yesterday while I was contemplating my upcoming project, I started wondering what I would do with the two glass bottles of lilies on my coffee table once it was no longer a table. 

The bowl will be fine on an ottoman but there's no way those little glass bottles will be able to balance. So I started looking around for a new place to put them. The mantel was the first {and last} place I tried, and it was perfect. 

I love how the flowers on either end soften up the look of the edges of the mantel since it's display no longer ends in hard lines on both sides (the lamps). And having the flowers there makes the mantel look bigger because they extend your view out farther on either side. I really can't believe what a difference such a small change made. After I stuck the flowers up there I stepped back and shrieked "THE WHOLE FIREPLACE LOOKS BIGGER!!" 

This area has come a long way from when we first moved in:

Ack. I'm so happy to be rid of those awful sconces

Now I can say that I'm almost totally satisfied with our mantel. And I say almost because it just needs one small thing on one side to throw off the perfect symmetry just a little bit. 

I'm all about balance and I love things to be symmetrical, but when things are so matchy that you could fold the fireplace down the center and have it look exactly the same on either side, then that's a little boring. So I need to find something small to mix things up a little. 

The look of the mantel is really natural right now with all the flowers, and the wood and the soft colors, so I want to find something totally opposite of that so that it looks unexpected and stands out.

So now that's my fun quest....I'm going to start my search after lunch today!

25 April 2012

Decorating With Mirrors- Guest Post From Dulles Glass And Mirror

Who doesn't love a day off? Today I'm getting a break from blogging with a guest post from a writer at Dulles Glass and Mirror

photo via alvhemmakleri.se

 When it comes to decorating with mirrors, there are several tricks of the trade. One of the biggest tricks is placing the mirror directly across from a window. Nothing brightens oneís home like sunlight reflecting off the mirror and spilling into a room. Itís like having an additional window, while adding depth to the room.

photo via potterybarn.com

 Consider some atypical mirror applications. Aside from generic unframed wall mirrors, there is now designer mirrored furniture, such as the one pictured above (from Pottery Barn). Mirrored furniture works well in a bedroom to make the space feel larger and reflect both natural and artificial light.

photo via ballarddesigns.com

 photo via hgtv.com

 If you have an interesting flower arrangement on your mantel, consider having a fireplace mirror behind it. Such mirrors double as decorative art, and are the perfect focal point for your fireplace mantle.

photo via westermanfam.blogspot.com - diy

 oly studio fiona mirror - photo via laylagrayce.com

 Do It Yourself verses Buy it Like Everyone Else. Hereís an example of similar sunburst mirrors. Can you guess which one cost $26 to make, and the other is a several hundred dollar designer mirror? Theyíre both trendy and will add uniqueness to your room. And the good thing about doing it yourself aside from saving money, is that youíre the designer. Make it your own. Speaking of art, consider using mirrors opposite of art work. This makes it look like you have an art picture gallery in your home. Mirrors can also be used to double the size of a room. A wall-length mirror placed at the end of room will double its space and extend reality. This may require a custom mirrored wall installation, but the results will make your space look roomy. Lastly, think outside the box. Glass and mirror companies can now do custom-cut mirrors. This means in any geometric shape you can think of. Mirrors can be cut to any template, so this means you can truly have a one of a kind mirror piece.

  About the Author Shahab Shokouhi is a Writer at Dulles Glass and Mirror -- a manufacturer of commercial and residential glass products including tempered glass, glass table tops, and vanity mirrors.  

24 April 2012

Gravity-Defying Stairs

 I love the look of traditional-style staircases, but the ones that look like they are practically floating off the ground are blowing me away.

In last month's HGTV magazine there were photos of Genevieve Gorder's home and she has floating stairs: 

btw, I could not find the photos on HGTV magazine's site, so had to settle for this crappy one from Google images. :(

Since Genevieve has a young daughter I would have loved it if the article on her home had included something about how she keeps her daughter from leaping off the side of the stairs. 

These don't seem all that practical for young children but I love them anyway. I'd feel like I was walking up a set of shelves. 

23 April 2012

Wall Skin

Well, we have a winner to last week's giveaway! Thanks so much to everyone who participated; it was such a fun week! Thanks again to Nat & Holly from My Sister's Suitcase for letting me have a part in their awesome week & giveaway! I had a blast!

Today I'm showing off my friend Jana's super stylish dining room.
This girl is so trendy and stylish so it makes total sense that her house is too. 

You know I love black and white so I love this room already for the table & chairs (which btw, if you're thinking she's missing some chairs, she just moved them for the picture....so that she could show off her room's fabulous new addition....)

Seriously. I'm dying.
How. Awesome. Is This?

It's called a wall skin and it's made by a company called Accent Wall Customs
Their wall skins are made of removable and reusable fabric adhesive based material,
so they're not shiny and plastic-looking like vinyl (which, let's face it, looks kinda cheap.) 
The company can customize colors and designs so that you get wall art that's perfect for your house and decor. And it's great for people like me who are renting, because when you move, you just peel your art off the wall and put it back up in the next house. 

And it looks so dang cool. 

I love that Jana chose a huge, gutsy one that takes up almost a whole wall. 
It is so dramatic and has tons of impact.

I have added this to my "must have" list. 

I am so in love with the whole look of Jana's home; she's decorating it in such a cool, modern style and that wall art goes perfectly! I'll be posting more pictures of her home as she continues it's revamp. I'm loving it so far!!

21 April 2012

Giveaway Reminder!!

 Just a reminder about the huge giveaway going on at My Sister's Suitcase

One lucky winner is going to get all this awesome stuff:

{And btw...#5 was made by me!!}

This giveaway is part of Nat & Holly's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" week
while they have been away at SNAP.

And what is more fun than winning a mother-load of free stuff??

In order to be eligible to enter you must be a follower of all the blogs who participated in this giveaway:

The giveaway closes at midnight tomorrow night (Sunday April 22nd) so you've got till then to get over to Nat & Holly's and enter using Rafflecopter.

Good Luck!!