Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sometimes you luck out.

I bought this chair, and immediately had buyers remorse.  Because I paid $5.  And thought I should have paid $2.  That's how crazy good and cheap the Watertown Mission Thrift shop was.  The prices and selection over the last year and a half have ruined me for all other thrift/antique shops.  Their prices have recently undergone a HUGE inflation for them, so all of us that were used to the 'good old days' have to try to re-adjust :)

The chair had clearly received a poor quality spray paint job.  

I kept the chair around for a while, and then chastised myself for another random chair purchase, and it was during Lent, and I was purging, so I talked myself into listing it on CL.  The moment I listed it, I had a sinking feeling that I needed to check the chair to ensure that it was not a 'real-deal' Eames chair.  I could see some sort of sticker on the bottom that had been sprayed over, so with a very fine sand paper, I knocked the orange paint off.  I quickly got up to speed on what I should be looking for and I lucked out...real deal.  Next stop - remove from craigslist and apologize to interested party for changing my mind!

I wasn't sure of the best way to restore the chair to its former glory, so i decided to try some Citristrip.  I tested a small portion...and thankfully, it did the job.

It took a lot of Citistrip...

What a change from the matte paint job!

I love the filament running through the 'elephant hide grey' design...

And to think, I was mad that I paid $5 instead of $2.

Chelsea's Living Room

An uber stylish, beautiful and intelligent friend had asked me to help decorate her living room.  She flatters me, as I feel that she really doesn't need help.  She is a dream client on all accounts.  Despite their family no longer being in the Army, they seem to move just as much as we I have had the good fortune of also helping her with a dining room in her latest home. 

The living room was a room with great bones, light and size.

Here is the before...

I found a couple pieces for her at West Bottoms while we were living in Kansas...they were those pieces that were so fun to buy for a client, but oh-so-hard to part with.  Chelsea - if you ever tire of that lamp, let me know :)  You can never go wrong with a lampshade lined in gold.

I did some sketches, and Chelsea was surrounded by some great antique/thrift stores, so she went scouting and was very successful.

She was the perfect stopping point on one of our long drives from Fort Drum to Chicago when I was driving solo with the boys, so it was a treat to see her place in person after our long distance designing...

The walls are BM Gray Owl.  We kept her existing couch, and she had some of the pillows recovered in a kelly green velvet to go along with the other fun pattern play pillows.  It was a top priority of Chelsea's to have interesting fabrics/colors incorporated into the room...

The tray was also a West Bottoms find at Good JuJu - I may or may not have bought one exactly like it.  The amazing lucite table is from an eBay seller.  Similar to the CB2 Peekaboo, however, Chelsea's is thicker, and that extra width really kicks it up a notch.

Chelsea is a Montana girl, and she had this stunning cowhide rug.  The rug is a PB sisal.  
I adore the layered look.

We dreamed of big fiddle leafs for the side of a parsons table.  Score, and score.  Chelsea found a vintage parsons table in very good condition, and the trees!  They may be everywhere these days, but they still aren't getting old to me.  The Target threshold ombre drapes are such a nice soft finish all around the room.  I may or may not also have those in my house :)
The side tables are from her grandparents and were freshened up with paint.  She scored the two pairs of side chairs during her hunting, and had the barrel chairs recovered in green velvet.  I love her choice of leaving the original fabric on the modern chairs as the colors add a dose of whimsy and play nicely with the accessories.  

The colors  on that lamp are so luscious, saturated and perfectly mottled.

These are beautiful and meaningful for this talented pediatrician...

I am humbled to have been able to work on this project with Chelsea - such an honor!

Trash to Treasure!

Years ago, Sean expressed an interest in having a luggage rack.  My diligent parents have been keeping an eye out for one for him ever since.  My dad snagged one out of the trash one day.  It just needed a little love...

Some ivory paint freshened up the base first.  We had talked about having a fun new fabric/trim for the straps.  I was on an animal hide kick, so I found some cow hide straps on clearance (intended to make belts).  Then I picked up some brass tacks at the local hardware store.  They were out of the tack hammers, but one of the employees from the store lent me one that the store had in the back.  Gotta love small town kindness!

Once I finished it, I didn't want to fold it up and stick it in a closet to only be used when we have guests.  So...side table?  I debated between getting a thick slab of plexiglass cut vs. buy a lucite tray.  After searching high and low, I settled on the biggest tray I could find for a reasonable price (Mark & Graham).  Score.  

For now, we have a side table, and if this doesn't work in next house, we have a fun tray for serving and an updated luggage rack for our guests.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Birch Fix

Sarah has provided lots of creative inspiration for which I am so thankful.  Unfortunately, I have not been great at execution over these last several months.  Thus, lots of coffee straws, incomplete arrows, cans of spray paint, etc. are laying around the house patiently waiting for attention.

We had talked about some projects using birch slices.  My dad was kind enough to beautifully slice and sand multitudes of birch for me.  I just loved the feel of the slices, and I wanted to figure out a way to share them with others for Christmas.

I decided to make ornaments that depicted states with a heart where the recipient lives.  Being fixated on ombre, I busted out the pastels and made an attempt.  I probably should have sealed these with a clear laquer, but let's be real.  Living in the frozen tundra, spray paint season is exceptionally short.  Big frown.

I drilled small holes and used baker's twine as the hanger...Sarah - we have a few left...what can we do with the leftovers?

Little Green Notebook Feature!

One of the best days of my life was the arrival of our third son.  For a lady who is terrified of labor, I had the ultimate gift of my husband arriving home safely from Afghanistan three days before Declan's birth.  We had planned for and did not expect Sean to be home, but his kind boss threw him on an earlier than planned flight.  We certainly felt very spoiled that he made it in time.

All that being said, the cherry on top of Declan's birthday was our family room being featured on Jenny Komenda's Little Green Notebook! What an honor, for sure. I was already on Cloud 9, but this just added to it!  Thank you, Jenny!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sheffield School of Interior Design

It was a goal of mine to finish the Sheffield School of Interior design program while we were stationed in Kansas.  Thankfully, I met my deadline, even if just by the skin of my teeth.

Here are a couple of the rooms that I submitted for my final will see that this living room is reminiscent of our current Fort Drum living room: 

This was supposed to be a formal dining room for a 'pretend' client that was given to us...

Thanks to the My CAA program for putting me through this program to promote portable careers for military spouses!

Fireworks Family Room

When we were moving to Fort Drum, I couldn't shake my obsession with Albert Hadley's Fireworks wallpaper.  How could I do something similar for a lot less money? 

How exciting to find Fireworks in one of my favorite stores for constant inspiration, Kate Spade!

I figured I would attempt a custom stencil.  I bought the biggest plastic quilting template I could find, which was only 18x24".  I then got to work tracing and cutting with an Exacto knife.  Let's just say I have never been good with those in the first place and I DEFINITELY hope I don't have the need to use one anytime in the near or far future. 

I spent lots of hours and glasses of wine cutting/carving/messing up.  But, I finished.

I somewhat avoided starting when we moved in.  Let's just say, slowest process ever.  After using entire stencil for the first column of the room, I quickly realized that I would only be using about 60% of the stencil on the rest of the columns due to the way the pattern fell.  Sweet. 

I also have never stenciled before which is very clear when you let you eye start where I started and follow around to the end.  I didn't clean off the stencil between paint sessions - rookie mistake.  The pattern is much darker/bolder at the beginning than it is at the end.

In the process...

I was certainly ready to celebrate when I finally finished!

A DIY sunburst that I learned about from Jenny...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fort Drum Interior Decorating Contest - 1st Place!

When a sweet friend recommended that I enter the Fort Drum Interior Decorating contest, I decided I would go for it.  It was good motivation to get a few things done that I was wanting to do anyway.  Then, another friend with super photography skills so generously agreed to help me get some snaps of the house.

I was in Syracuse running errands and got a call from our Community Center telling me I could pick up my gift card.  Hmmmm....I asked, 'Is this for the Interior Decorating Contest?  Did I place?'  She said, 'Oh, I am so sorry...I thought you already knew - you got first place ($500 to Pier 1)!'

The news totally made my day.

We were only allowed to submit five pictures.  Sarah took some amazing shots, lots of incredible detailed ones.  I am such a detail junkie, it was hard for me to not use all those shots, but given the few pics we could send in, I felt that they had to be of the whole room.

Here are the pictures that I submitted...

The Family Room...
Boys' Bedroom...

Dining Room...

Eat In Kitchen...

Living Room...

Small victories, friends.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Twin's nursery

I have had the privilege of helping some friends design some rooms lately.  April and I spent lots of time creating a space that she loves for their sweet new additions, Addyson and Kynley.


I started this entry close to two years ago.  What an awesomely consistent blogger I am.  Ha!  Back to the nursery for the twins.  Brandon is an amazingly helpful and detail oriented husband.  He also loves NEUTRALS.  He is all over anything khaki, khaki, or more khaki.  So, when we broached the subject of pink walls, he was pretty hesitant, and not sure he was ever going to speak to me again.  While painting, he was sure there were holes burning through his retinas. 

this pink definitely has more spunk than Brandon's preferred khaki...
April and I concurred that a favorite part was the fabric for the curtains.  Home run.  I had the privilege of seeing them somewhat recently in DC, and we still agree.  Three cheers for the curtains!  Rocker is from April's childhood.  Twin owl pillow looks on :)

sweet hats from Etsy...I gave the girls these antlers after giving them a good coat of white paint...

 more paint chip art...

I made them birth art and designed art for a quote that April wanted to make sure to incorporate into the nursery.  The owls are copies of precious onesies for the girls.
Gotta love Brandon - he was so super exact when hanging the gallery wall.  I need to hire him to fix all my wonky gallery walls.
Love the whimsical NY art...and the curtains.  We took off closet door and added a curtain.  Much more practical with space constraints.

April and Brandon's utensils from their childhoods.  Love the history.

 April just LOVES me for trying to make her have living plants in their house.  Many plants have rested in peace, but we will forge ahead. 

This was such a fun adventure, all done out of love. 

The fun part is they have baby #4 on the way - and a BOY!  Time to start talking new nursery :)