Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Personalized Subway Art

I really like the look of the popular subway art signs, but they are not exactly my style when it comes to decorating my house. Since I really wanted to make one but didn't have a particular use for it, I decided to make one as a gift. Quite a few of my projects that I have posted about have been for my friend Jennifer, who got married the beginning of March. This project fell into that category as well. I decided to personalize the canvas, focusing on numbers and words that related to her wedding. I created the letters using stencils that I had on hand, as well as making some by printing the words and cutting them out with an exacto knife. I painted their names, "Jenn" and "Brad", the largest. Then I filled in with smaller words including "beach" and "Destin", because that was their wedding location. I used a large "3" and "5" to symbolize their wedding date, March 5th. I also added a set of small vertical numbers "8", "9", and "10" because they got engaged on August 9th, 2010. We used it to decorate at Jennifer's shower and she also chose to use it on the table with the groom's cake at her reception. 
After making the first subway art sign, I decided that the boyfriend needed one as well. Since Auburn won the national championship this year and he goes to school there, I sucked it up and got out the orange and blue paint. I have to say it would have looked even better in crimson and white with a "Roll Tide" and maybe a "Rammer Jammer" (University of Alabama lingo). Anyways, I painted words associated with Auburn football including the name of their stadium, their mascot, colors, and saying, and last year's star quarterback. I have painted several other Auburn themed paintings for his apartment so this one fit right in and helped to brighten his living room a bit. 
"Eye of the Tiger" painting for Josh 
"Aubie" painting for Josh

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kitchen dish towel

Lately I have been making sets of wedding dish towels that you can see HERE and HERE. I enjoy making them and coming up with different color and trim combinations, but I was looking to do something a little different. It was my boyfriend's mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago (by the way, she is AMAZING), so I decided that it was the perfect occasion to try my hand at a new kitchen dish towel. I found the silverware image at The Graphics Fairy and printed it on to a section of a flour sac dish towel. Next I sewed (ok, my mom sewed) that piece to a full flour sack dish towel. I finished it off with a strip of burlap topped with a burlap bow. I really liked how it turned out. It was clean and simple with a country vintage appeal.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Luggage meant to stay at home

I really like the look of stacked vintage luggage and trunks and have been working on a way to incorporate the style into my decor. Although some of my inspiration came from the luggage stacks that reach from floor to ceiling, I settled for a cute little trio. I found each of the three pieces at the thrift store at different times. It has taken a couple of months to find what I wanted but now I am so glad that I didn't settle.  
House Beautiful
Country Living
Pottery Barn
The first piece that I found is a camel-colored leather suitcase. I sat my bird cages on top of it it for a while in front of my window. I never really liked it there. I guess I knew it was going to serve a greater purpose.
The next piece to come home with me was a wicker suitcase. I call it a suitcase because of the shape and leather handle but it is probably some type of picnic basket. Whatever it is, a coat of ivory spray paint gave me exactly what I wanted and I think it looks a lot like the piece in the Pottery Barn image above. 

The final thing that I had been searching for was a trunk. I had seen a few, but they were all either priced too high or the wrong size. Last week I finally found this one and it was only $14.
I taped off all of the metal parts and spray painted the trunk ivory. I added a thin brown glaze so that the trunk would be a slightly different color from the wicker piece. 
Now that each piece looked the way that I wanted it too, I moved them to my bedroom to find the perfect spot to stack them. That spot was finally determined to be at the end of my bed. Not only did they add an interesting focal point to my bedroom, they also double for extra storage space. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fun Finds of the Day

I realize that all of my posts seem to showcase bits and pieces of each room in the house. I haven't posted a single "before" and "after" picture of an entire space. Well, there are a few reasons for this. One, since I have moved back home from college I have decided that the entire house needs to be redecorated. Not just one room. Two, my parents are paying for all of these updates so I have to present a valid argument for the new pieces that I buy. This means I am working with a fairly tight budget and adding to each room as I come across the perfect items at the perfect prices. Three, my taste is constantly changing. I like so many different styles of interior decor that it is hard to stick with a certain theme. I feel that I need a few more houses in order to capture each element that I adore. Maybe a chic country cottage, a posh Manhattan loft, a rustic mountain lodge,  and a breezy beach villa. I do plan to show all of the rooms once I am completely satisfied with their finished looks right now, my bedroom is the only one that is closed to being to that point.

Anyways, the point of this post was to show off a few items that I bought today. First, I found this horse head statue at Home Goods for $16.99. I am really loving the addition of Equestrian decor and had been looking for something like this for a while. It reminded me of cast horse bust from Restoration Hardware that sells for $199. Oh, I'm sorry, it is on sale for $159 (like that makes it reasonable). My horse statue has already found his new home on the mantle and I think that is where he is staying.
Home Goods $16.99
Restoration Hardware $159

My next interesting find came from Home Goods as well. I just love that store. I have taken the living room in the direction of neutral shades including variations of brown, gray, and ivory. I decided that I needed to add silver and gold via accessories and when I spotted these I had to have them. I am not exactly sure what they are but I am guessing that they are some type of bell because they have a "ringer" and they rang all the way home. But function isn't important because it was the look that I was after and they were perfect against the white fireplace. The smaller one was $9.99 and the larger one was $14.99.

My other find came from TJ Maxx. It was a coral piece that I had been wanting for a while. I think these are so beautiful but a lot of the ones I had previously seen were a bit large for what I wanted. This one was the perfect size and only $12.99. It is now sitting on my vanity in my bathroom. 
I am planning to go to the thrift store tomorrow so hopefully I will have some thrifty finds to share with you. Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another set of wedding dish towels

A couple of weeks ago I posted about these Anthropologie inspired wedding dish towels that I made for a friend's bridal shower. I decided to list a set on Etsy and offer the choice to customize the trim colors. I liked the random assortment that I chose but I thought someone might like to coordinate the towels with the bride's wedding colors or kitchen colors. Plus, it is more fun to change things up a bit the second time. 

I was so excited when I discovered that someone had placed an order and had their own color scheme in mind. She requested a funky and fun combination of mango, light blue, dark brown, and citrine. I bought every roll of cute trim that I found in these colors and played with the different combinations until they were exactly what I had in mind. 

I may like these even more than the original towels. I just shipped them on Saturday so I hope the buyer is just as happy with the results as I was. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Burlap Tissue Box Holder

My most recent mini-project came about when I spotted a metal tissue box holder at the Thrift Store. It was $0.59 and I knew immediately what I would use it for. It seems that I am always needing a tissue for something, yet I refuse to leave the tissue box setting out because it just isn't attractive at all. 
I took this little tissue box holder and covered it with burlap for a much cleaner look that matches my bedroom. It was very easy and took about 15 minutes total. I started by cutting a square of material to fit the top of the box. I glued that piece on the top and then glued the edges down to the sides. Next I used a box cuter to create an "X" in the material over the opening. The "X" made four flaps that I glued down to the inside of the top of the box. 
Then I cut a piece of burlap that would wrap all the way around the sides of the tissue box holder. This piece was a few inches longer than the height of the box. I started on one side, glueing the material at the top edge of the box and working my way around. The last step involved glueing the remaining material at the bottom of the box to the inside. Finally I slid a box of tissue paper in the holder and was quite impressed with such a cheap, easy project. If I make another one, I think I will get the material monogrammed ahead of time. Now I am prepared for the abundance of pollen that so miserably greets me every year at this time.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Newly-painted Nightstand

All of the furniture in my bedroom is a dark cherry colored wood. While I would prefer a lighter, more rustic bedroom suite, I have to work with what I have for now. At the moment I don't plan to paint every piece of furniture but I change my mind a lot so it could happen. For now, I decided to just paint my nightstand. The nightstand I have had by my bed is just a simple shape with two drawers and with its original color it was a bit boring. I gathered my supplies and headed to the back yard with a Pottery Barn inspiration in mind. 
Pottery Barn 
I lightly sanded my nightstand, applied a coat of primer, and then two coats of ivory spray paint. After it dried overnight, it was time to chip it up. I used the sanding block around all of the edges on the base and the drawers. Then I used a box opener to distress it some more around the edges and to create intentional scratching.
I really liked the re-painted version of my nightstand and thought that it looked pretty similar to the Pottery Barn version that sells for $199. Since I already had the nightstand, my only cost was the spray paint which was $3.99. Not too bad. It really added character to my room by throwing in the one piece of mismatching furniture. There is a chance that another piece may be chosen to get this same look in the future.
In bedroom

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kitchen Make-over: Buffet and Hutch

A couple of years ago the kitchen got some major updates such as new stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. We also traded the horrible white vinyl flooring for large, neutral-colored ceramic tiles. All of these improvements changed the look of the room drastically, but they didn't help the decorating. The kitchen decor consisted of wrought iron wall art, beaded fruit, and other other knick-knacks in outdated colors. I completely cleared out every detail of decoration so that I could start from scratch. 
We already had an antique espresso colored hutch, but above it was a huge empty wall. I decided that the buffet needed some sort of hutch. I finally found what I was looking for a furniture consignment store. It was of a white/gray shabby chic variety and really didn't match the buffet. I planned to paint the hutch and the buffet so that they would match, and I probably will do that eventually. But when we got the hutch home and set it on top of the buffet, I actually liked the contrast and decided it could stay like it is for a while until I figure out the right color. 
I filled the shelves with white china and other white dishes/items to create a clean, chic look. Right now the walls are a mustard color, but they are about to be painted a color I call "paprika". Since the walls are going to be a bold color, I wanted to keep everything else colorless and I just love the look of a white dish assortment. I added a few other pieces of decor including a chalkboard that I made, a basket of green apples, and some gray stone pots. The flowers and bunnies set out to capture the essence of Spring. Lastly, I added storage baskets under the buffet via Pottery Barn inspiration. These currently house tons and tons of dog toys. Overall, I really like the look of this wall, but I'm sure I will make some more changes as time goes on.