Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blog Award: Honest Scrap

Thank you to Kristin @ Discover:Interior Design for honoring me with the Honest Scrap award.  I had a hard time coming up with ten things, but it was fun to go through the process!

Here are the rules I must follow, upon receiving this award:
  1. Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award. 
  2. Share “10 Honest Things” about myself.
  3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
  4. Tell those 7 people they’ve been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving.
10 Super-Honest Things About Me
  1. I have been called a perfectionist, not because I  do things perfectly, but because I want to do things the best I can.  Often times the realization that I can't do things perfectly paralyzes me into doing nothing at all.
  2. I have big dreams and ideas, but tend not to follow through.  See # 1.
  3. My hands and feet are always cold.  Even in the summer.
  4. I really don't like ironing, doing the dishes and putting away laundry.  Or cooking, cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming.  Haha, I'm no Suzy Homemaker.  But I love and need a clean house to feel sane.
  5. I often wonder how I'm going to make it through another Minnesota winter.
  6. I LOVE to read.  Since childhood, I have read almost anything I can get my hands on.  These days it is mostly blogs and magazines.  But novels are the best and a great way to escape.
  7. Yoga is the best thing I have ever done for myself.
  8. I feel the most productive when I am stressed.  I need a deadline.
  9. I love the feeling of accomplishment after I complete a DIY project.  I secretly wish I was a handyman like my dad who knows how to fix everything!
  10. I appreciate that my parents took the time to teach me how to do things for myself instead of just doing things for me all the time.  Because of that, I can cook, do basic maintenance on my car, fix minor things around the house and have a sense of competence trying a new DIY task that I've never done before.
Here are seven amazing bloggers I've chosen to participate, whose blogs I enjoy reading everyday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Small Budget? No problem!

At my casa, small budget is the name of the game.  Since we're still newlyweds (kind of-we've hit the 2 year mark) and I've been in school most of our marriage, we have not yet had the luxury of 2 full-time incomes.  But because I am a designer I have a constant itch to have the house fully designed, like, RIGHT NOW!  Obviously that is not going to happen anytime soon, so we've slowly been buying pieces here and there and I have been stalking places like Home Goods and Goodwill for inexpensive accessories and furniture that I can revamp like my chairs that I recently shared with you. 

I do really like how our humble abode is coming together though and it has been fun to try to figure out how to turn pieces of furniture that I don't really love into something that I do.

  So last weekend I decided to take control of our dining room table.  This table has actually become a funny story for us.   When my husband and I first started dating we went to IKEA together because he wanted some help picking out an inexpensive table for his house which he shared with 3 other guys.  So of course we picked out the most basic table that sat 4 and could be banged up by a bunch of single guys.  Indeed it did get banged up a little, but we decided to keep the table when we moved into our home together because we wanted to spend our money on a sofa and other accessories instead of a table.  Little did I know that the table I picked out for him years ago would get stuck in our home a few years later!  If only I would have known....  ;)

Anyways, I wanted to make a change that would be big impact with low cost.  I chose a mahogany stain that I had left over from a previous project and went to work!  So here is the table that I started out with: 

The table had been lightly stained with a few coats of poly so I began by sanding the table down to rough it up so the stain would adhere.

Next, I applied the stain, making sure to do long strokes across the entire length of the table going with the grain of the wood.  The stain I used had poly already mixed in which allowed me to skip the final step of a separate poly and was a great time saver.

As you can see the table definitely needed a second coat.  I let the table dry overnight, then lightly sanded any drips or rough spots again and made sure to completely wipe off using a tack cloth.  I then applied a second coat of stain and let dry.   I think it turned out great and it is amazing what a difference it makes in our dining space.


I really like how my white dishes stand out against the mahogany tabletop now.  It feels much more contemporary and gives this piece a whole new look for cheap, cheap, cheap! 

If you feel yourself getting tired of the furniture in your home, but are not ready to replace it, staining or painting is such a quick and easy fix to instantly update your home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Design Crush: Kishani Perera

I've recently seen some of Kishani Perera's work floating around the internet and I have fallen in love with her designs.  I love the colors that she uses and the way her rooms are a bold statement with pops of color drawing your eye around the entire space, but do not feel overdone in any way.  Here are some of my favorite images of hers:

I love how this gallery grouping of mirrors in black frames adds some drama to the floral wallpaper background.


This wood stack next to the fireplace is gorgeous and I love the mix of different wood tones in this room,


The pops of color in this space are great against the bluish gray walls and draw the eye around the room.


I absolutely love how serene this room feels with the muted pink walls and flowy, white drapes.  The mix of the dark table with the white chairs is gorgeous and the rug adds fun, textural interest.


What can I say?  This room is stunning.  The pops of bright pink against the gray makes me happy and the lucite table on top of the zebra rug is amazing!  I love how everything else in the space is a neutral backdrop.

I love purple, but it can sometimes look childish in a room.  This purple is done perfectly and adds a touch of glamour to this bedroom mixed with white.



More dark gray and purple.  Love that combination and the oversized chandelier is a beautiful focal point and I love the round back of the chairs.


The mix of colors in this space are lovely.  The shadow cast off the pair of sconces adds great interest to the walls in this small, cozy room.

To see more of Kishani's beautiful work check out her website and her blog.  All images are from Kishani's website.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barclay Butera

Today I attended an event at the local design center here in MN, International Market Square.  One of the main speakers was Barclay Butera.  He was a really a lot of fun to listen to after hearing all the buzz about him on the internet through design blogs and articles written about him.

Image found here.

His presentation was called Decorating in a New Economy.  He brought up some good points about how good customer service really needs to be the cornerstone of your business.  He spoke about things that he learned from his mother, also an interior designer, who had a very successful career.  It was interesting to hear that when he presents his design proposal to a client, he line items everything out so that there are no surprises for the client.  He says this works especially well when a client has a specific budget, but lets say they love the fabric used in the master bedroom and want to also use it in the living room.  Barclay can then point to that line item and say okay we can do that, but here's how much you will be going over budget.  He says that it is a great way to get the client to agree to go over budget when they can see every line item in front of them and make informed decisions without having to guess that they must have been overcharged for something.  He also shared many pictures of spaces that he has designed over the years and ones that have made covers of magazines, etc.  I didn't get a chance to take any pictures myself because I didn't want to be that girl, but I found some of them to share with you.

 This was a show house he did one year and said that it was the greatest compliment when the homeowner decided to buy the full suite of furniture that he designed for this house and he didn't have to return any of it after the show.

 This is the living room of one of Barclay's homes.  Barclay said that he incorporates some kind of animal print in almost all of the rooms he designs.

 Barclay loves blue and white and you'll see that combo in many of his rooms.



I love this one.   Barclay likes to add unexpected design elements like the antlers above the fireplace.  "Have fun with your designs, he says, there are no rules in design."

I believe this one was on the cover of House Beautiful.

 Many of his projects have gorgeous views.  He mentioned that if there is a great view he will not use window treatments.

 Blue and white again.  I love the freshness of this one with the white and pops of blue with the dark wood contrast.

Can you imagine this view!!

 This is Barclay's home that he bought from Lucille Ball's son, Desi.  He wrote Desi a letter asking him to let him buy the house (there was competition) and that he would keep the integrity of the house and design in the time of his parents.  The lights above the bed are the lights that Lucille bought her husband and are original to the house.  The pictures above the bed are photographs transferred on to lucite and Barclay said they took a day to hang!

 This was a 900 square foot space that Barclay designed so that you could appreciate the view throughout the whole space.

There was also a Barclay Butera book signing in Kravet today, but unfortunately I did not make it in there in time to see his new fabric line, but I hear it is gorgeous!  Barclay also has a furniture line so many of the pieces in the homes he designed above are his own.

Images from Barclay Butera's website.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2010 Color Forecast

Sherwin Williams 2010 Color Forecast has come out with the new colors they've predicted for next year.  Here are the descriptions from their website, categorized into 4 groups-Rooted, Treasured, Simplified and Refreshed (you can click on them to see them larger and read the descriptions):



I'm really loving Rooted and Simplified and am already picturing rooms designed in these color palettes!  Which ones are your favorites?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Thoughts for the End of the Summer

Alright. So, I might have a problem.  Lets see I've been blogging for about 4 months and this is officially my fourth blog header design.


It looks like I'm averaging about one per month, although I definitely did not plan it that way.  Apparently I like to play around with graphic design.  I see these headers as a pretty good representation of myself and my design style.  Ever changing, constantly evolving and (hopefully) improving day by day.

I can honestly say that at this point, I have a much greater appreciation of different design styles than I did while I was in school.  When I was in school, I didn't have much time to go out and explore all that is available in the design world for inspiration.  I had to rely on what I knew and liked at the time, and then all my time was spent working on my projects with my limited school resources of outdated design magazines and discontinued fabrics.

After graduating, I've been exposed to many more design styles, other than my own, through blogs, the internet, and design magazines now that I actually have time to read and pay attention to these things.  So, although this summer has been slow as far as work goes, it's also been a great learning experience for me to explore design and figure out more about my aesthetic, how I want to design, and how I want to work and run my business.  So although my husband jokes that I must stay at home all day and eat bon bons, I assure you that I do not.  :)  I've been researching, cataloging ideas, working on DIY projects, learning to sew, designing, writing on this blog and reading about things that I hope will be of use to me in the future as I start my own design business.

Now, to say that all this researching isn't fun, would be a lie.  How lucky am I to be in a industry where your required reading is design magazines, and blogs?  How cool is it to be able to research new product lines that add function and style to a space?  How amazing is it to go to furniture and fabric showrooms and be surrounded by gorgeous things?  I think it's pretty great and sometimes I need to remind myself  of that when things are slow and not much money is coming in, because I know that someday this economy will get better and someday I'll have clients coming out of my ears!  And then, hopefully I'll look back on this time and think, wow, I was really lucky to have that time to learn more about myself and the interior design industry so that I can do this business the right way, the first time!

p.s. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on my headers!  Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sweet Deal

If any of you out there love these lamps from Restoration Hardware, then you are going to LOVE the deal that I found!

Restoration Hardware-Rowan Pharmacy Task Table Lamp $269
Restoration Hardware-Franklin Pharmacy Task Table Lamp $159
Ok, so you like those, but they're a little pricey, right?  Well, how about this beauty?
I was lucky enough to stumble upon this Restoration Hardware look-alike lamp at TJ Maxx for only $19.99!!!!!
So, hurry, run! to your nearest TJ Maxx to snag one of these babies up for yourself!  When I was there yesterday, this was the only one!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Unique Floor Design

Just had to mention quickly how much I LOVE these floors in Tori Spelling and Dean McDermot's kitchen!  What a unique design and gorgeous wood!

Image found here while browsing Hooked on Houses.

Thrift Store Revamp

My recent project was painting and reupholstering two chairs that I found at the Goodwill for $4 a piece.  What I liked about these chairs was the backs.  I immediately pictured them painted in a creamy white color to really make the criss-cross design of the backs pop.

So, I took them home and began the revamping process by unscrewing the bottoms of the chairs and pulling out the old staples.  It turns out these chairs had been reupholstered three times!

Underneath all that fabric was a nasty pile of dust and foam so I scrapped it all and layed down a new layer of foam and batting.

The easiest thing to do is place the plywood seat on top of the foam and trim around the edges with a scissors.  I ended up having to use two pieces of foam because of the shape of the chair.  I used a glue gun to glue down the foam pieces to the chair so they won't slip around when sat upon.  I then wrapped a layer of batting around the foam and stapled that down.  Finally I took my fabric and cut it to the size of the seat by laying the seat on top of the fabric and trimming  around the edges leaving about 2 inches of extra fabric. Then I stapled that down on top of the batting.  The key to getting a smooth fit is to pull the fabric tight as you staple your way around the perimeter of the seat.  When it comes to the corners, wrap them as you would a present and staple the overlapping fabric.  You can go back later and trim the excess fabric off if you wish.
Once I had the seats upholstered I prepped the chairs for painting by sanding them down to create a rough surface for the paint to adhere to.  I then used a spray paint primer, let that dry and did three coats of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint.
Because this chair had a lot of detail, I went back with a very small brush, sprayed some spray paint into a small container and used that to go through the tight grooves of the chair.
The last step is to attach the seat back to the frame by screwing it back on tightly with a screwdriver.  
Here are the final results!
{fabric close up}


Hope you enjoyed reading this as part of Metamorphosis Monday!
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