Friday, December 3, 2010

A DIY Christmas

Decorating for Christmas can sometimes be stressful, but it shouldn't be! For me it is a fun time to unwrap all of my fun ornaments and to come up with easy ways to fill in the gaps in my holiday decor. I wanted to share with you a few easy things that you can do yourself that would cost much more if you bought similar items in the store!
I do need to start with a disclaimer: I know that I have the worst camera/lighting on the planet, so please forgive the not-so-perfect pictures. One day I will decide to invest in a new camera!
This is my "traditional" tree in my formal living room. I call it traditional because my house is a little bi-polar when it comes to Christmas decor. About half of my house is the normal red and green, but I also have lots of blue and silver, which you will see in a bit.
Just one of my favorite ornaments on this tree :)
Now, on to the DIY part...I wanted a wreath to coordinate with my tree that could sit over my mantel in the fireplace room, but I didn't want to pay a fortune. So, I went to...Wal-Mart (which will probably be my only trip there this year), and bought a bare wreath for $10! I then bought an 8 pack of ornaments for $5 and some little sparklies for $1 a piece. I got the tulle at Merry Marketplace which I mentioned in my previous post, for only $5 a roll!
Here is a close up of my wreath! It probably totalled around $20 when all was said and done. Not bad! I wired the ornaments to the wreath and I threaded the tulle through gaps and then used wire to secure them to the metal back of the wreath.
I used some of the same tulle/ornaments for a quick spruce-up of the mantle. I just used wire hooks to attach the ornaments to the tulle. Very easy and cheap!
All of this DIY decor is really helping my dated fireplace/mantel. I love how easy it all was! I was finished in about 30 minutes!! The stockings were an after Christmas clearance buy at Dillards a few years back...I think I got both for a total of $5. That's hard to beat!
Now, on to my other color scheme. I have a white tree with teal/silver ornaments in our Great room, and believe it or not, my house doesn't feel quite as disconnected as you might think...
This is my tree (with my newly made drapes, which will be another post!). Last year, I needed a wreath to go along with this color scheme, and it is nearly impossible to find one. So that is where the idea to make one came from. I did the same thing for this wreath that I did for the one on the mantel.
I decided to bunch up several of my ornaments and then used a couple of different wire ribbons. I already had the ornaments, and the ribbon was super-inexpensive, so I think the total for this one was around $15!
Here is my wreath hanging where I have yet to hang a mirror that I have yet to find :) It definitely fits there perfectly for now!
Now, on to my built-ins. They are new, so this was their first year to be decorated! I just used some white/silver tulle and added a few ornaments I already had to spruce up this top shelf. I found the ornament trees at Target for 75% off a few years ago, and the mirror was a $5 thrift store find.
I took out an additional shelf on each side and used these hurricane vases that I have had for years. I borrowed some more ornaments from the tree and filled it up. Last, and this was so easy, I took branches that had fallen in my yard, and used some silver spray paint to turn them into Christmas decor! They look like little art displays!
This is one side of my built-ins. I didn't want to go overboard and do Christmas on every shelf, so I kept it simple. And yes, I have 2 sets of stocking...these were from Pottery Barn a couple of years ago and I actually bought them at full price, but they were specially priced at $19.99 and I couldn't pass it up! I knew I would use them for years.
Here is the entire built-in, all ready for Christmas! The lights at the top really help to showcase all of the shimmery, sparkly Christmas things! I hope this will inspire you to take on some simple DIY projects that are easy and won't cost you a fortune!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My house...built-in project.

Last Spring, I posted about a built-in project that we had been working on for a few months. Over the Summer, it was pretty much completed, but we have just now put the finishing touches on it. My husband built the entire thing from scratch! And no, this is not what he does for a living. He's an accountant. In case you missed it, you can see the post with before and during pictures HERE.
Below is a picture of the finished product!!
I am still trying to fill my shelves. There are alot! Some people tell me I have a problem with having to have everything symmetrical, but I don't see it...

He also installed lights in the shelving to showcase whatever we are displaying. We have actually been using these lights more to light the room than anything else.

Here is a view of one of the lights that he installed. I helped paint the shelves, and we used several coats of primer followed by several coats of oil-based white in the same color as our trim. We used oil-based for easy clean-up.
I am starting to aquire things for the shelves. This is a little guy that I picked up for $10 after my Junior League shift at Merry Marketplace, a Christmas/Gift show here in Memphis. I love him!
I love the color of this vase on the left. I got it at a thrift shop for $2! I am going with mostly golds, muted blues, and oranges in the room.
I have also started working on the rest of the space. This is a VERY awkward room with an annoying brick wall that has an opening to the kitchen...a sectional was really the only way to go in here, and I found one at the Pottery Barn outlet. I made a HUGE mistake buying any variation of white, and keep fur removers can see one of the fur culprits in the window.
The pillows I made myself from fabric I have been collecting and the funky yellow lamp was a $4 thrift store find! The shade is from West Elm but I found it still in the box at a yard sale for $1. The art I did myself, and my husband made the frame for me out of peices of wood that I painted to look like a gold-finished frame. The total for the art was about $28...not bad.
I am still working on side tables, as well as the other half of the room!
We have come a long way...this is what the room looked like when we bought the house.
And this is it so far...I am so excited about how useable this room is now. I will post more on it once I have new drapes and other things that I am working on...
This is just a close-up of my pillows. The far left was a discontinued print from Laurie Smith. She is one of my favorites and I had to hunt for a remnant on ebay! I only had enough to do the fronts of those pillows so the backs are just cream.
I look forward to sharing more improvements to the room as we make them!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sneak Peek...the den

Last week, I shared some pictures/ideas from a project that I am working on. I thought I would also share our progress in the den so far. And I even have a mid-way point picture so you can see how far we've come! This is an awesome den with a wood-burning fireplace and ridiculously high ceilings. The problem lies in the fact that it currently isn't being used. And with winter coming soon, the homeowners really want to enjoy the fireplace. So, we came to the conclusion that a TV was pretty much a necessity if anyone was actually going to hang out in there. This helped to figure furniture position and function.
The idea for this room: to create continuity between the grays in the fireplace stone and the gold on the wall while opening up the room and keeping it casual. Here are a couple of pics of the room when we started.
Here is the plan: Grays, golds, and browns in some really fun prints. The damask will be window treatments with the other two fabrics as pillows. And the daimond pattern will be an awesome new rug! We will be reusing the leather couch from the living room. We also will need a media table for the TV and the plan is to also have two smaller sitting chairs to stay in front of the table for extra seating when entertaining.
And here is a work in progress picture of what is going on so far. We are still missing the draperies as well as some pillows, but the room is already looking great! Once it is complete I will post the updated pics!
We decided to mount the TV on the wall and hide all of the cables/wires in the other room, which is just a mud room. So no messy accessories! The coffee table is a piece that is special to the family that was also taken from the living room. We will give it some fun accessories to help update its look a little!
Look for more updates soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back From Summer...err...Fall Break!

So, I know you probably gave up on me ever blogging again, but I'm back! The truth is, I've been extremely busy with lots of good stuff, and I decided to take the Summer off from blogging...which turned into part of Fall as well!
For this post, I wanted to share a little about what I have been working on. Last Spring, I had the privilege of staging a home here in Memphis for a great couple who welcomed me into their life like we were old friends! I was pretty new to town and I really appreciated their friendship. We have stayed great friends since then, and after their house sold, they purchased a BEAUTIFUL new home! It is fairly new construction with some rustic/natural touches, which is totally them.
The problem was, it was decorated with a mixture of the old homeowner's over-the-top formal decor and their own furniture that was a mix of things from before the two were married.
They were ready for a total makeover to fit them and their home, and I was flattered that they asked me to help!
It is a big house with big rooms, but we are trying to tackle a room at a time and so far we are finding some great things!
First up is their living room:
This room has an entire wall of french doors (which was quite the challenge) and has some great custom touches. You can see though that the curtains are a bit much for the laid-back feel of the house, and the furniture could use some sprucing-up. Don't worry though, we are re-using this couch in another space!
Here is another view of the windows. These are stationary panels that don't actually function, just for show. Our plan was to create new panels that would sit in the same place, but could pull across the doors for privacy.
This is a view of the living room looking at the fireplace. This couch will be replaced by a chocolate sectional that sits on the far right wall and turns to face the fireplace. This will give them functional seating and make the most of this long room! We will also get a new, leather recliner to sit in front of the window wall. A new rug and a couple of small chairs to flank the fireplace will give this room almost 2 times the current seating! And it still will feel bigger than it does now!
This is one of my inspiration fabrics to be used for throw pillows. It was a bit of a splurge but is so soft and the colors are absolutely beautiful!
The top fabric will be the new drapes (I got it for a steal...and actually bought all that was left, possibly in the whole world...I couldn't find it anywhere else!). The bottom fabric will be more throw pillows.

This is the inspiration board that I put together for the homeowners. They loved it! And so do I! I think it is perfectly sophisticated/casual, which is exactly what they are!
There will be more to come soon and I will also post some pics of our progress! I have also been working on some projects around my own house that I will post soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Southern Living Glass-Etching Project Follow-up

I know, you're shocked. It didn't take me two months to follow up with a Southern Living Project of the Month. I'm a little shocked myself, but I had a deadline for this one. As I mentioned in the original post, my plan was to make etched glasses for friends that just bought a new house. And that's just what I did. Of course, I bought the most intricate stencil possible and the most oddly shaped glasses, so it was a little more challenging than it should have been. But I had a certain look in mind and once I get something going in my head, there is no turning back!
These are the tea glasses that I made for our friends, the Henrys! My etchings had a few little mistakes, but I am just going to say that it adds to the handmade charm :) I didn't take pictures of the process, because it was literally exactly like how Southern Living mapped it out. You can see their steps HERE. I will say, don't go cheap on your etching cream. I did this at first and had to go back and buy the kind that they recommended after my bargain brand didn't work!
You could really do this with any glass/letter/number, etc... It was totally do-able and fun!
Here are the Henrys in their cute new house with their new glasses! They have worked so hard painting and getting their house ready this week. And they are the first ever humans to make it on the blog! So congrats!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

I'm sure you are wondering what Cinco De Mayo has to do with staging, decorating, or DIY. Well, you are right to wonder, because in most cases, the answer is absolutely nothing. But in our house this was not the case. If you remember my Southern Living project of the month from a few months ago (you can read about it here), you will also remember that I have a lot of fresh herbs growing in my back yard, one of these being cilantro. And what better dish to use fresh cilantro in, than homemade quacamole? And what better day to make quacamole than Cinco De Mayo? I know, its like the whole 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon thing. But now you know why this post makes sense!

I decided to take pictures of the guacamole making process so that you can do this in your own home! It is SO EASY. I made this recipe up myself, but it is pretty basic, and anything can be added or taken away.
These are the ingredients that I used. Cilantro from my yard, red onion, avocado, roma tomatoes (they have fewer seeds than regular tomatoes), lime, and salt to taste. Don't you just love my Mississippi cutting board? It was a great Christmas present from my mom a couple of years ago. We love having pieces of our home state around the house.
This is everything cut up. I show this mostly because the colors are so pretty, but also so that you can see the size of the pieces once cut. You can just scoop the avocado out with a spoon and then smash it in the bowl.
I like mine pretty chunky but if you want yours really smooth you might want to thrown the avocado in the food processor before adding the other ingredients. At the end squeeze fresh lime over the dip. This brings out all of the flavors and keeps the dip green for longer! If you are having trouble getting the juice out of the lime, put it in the microwave for a few seconds (my husband did this and I thought he was crazy but it really works!)
And what Cinco De Mayo would be complete without a quesadilla or two and some yummy margaritas! (These might actually be daquiris since I used strawberry vodka instead of rum or tequila. This is still up for debate but regardless, they were really yummy. Notice someone couldn't wait to start drinking his before I could take the picture.)
Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Southern Living Project-of-the-month: Glass stencils!

You might have noticed that last month I did not post a Southern Living project. I tried really hard to find something in April's issue worth trying, but I was a little disappointed that I couldn't. So I figured I would just wait until May. And May's issue certainly didn't disapoint! It was like they knew that I was looking for a great DIY project and so they delivered! This is something that looks pretty easy and also easy on the budget!
How great are these glasses? My plan is to do this for a housewarming gift for some friends but instead of numbers, use their last initial. What do you think?

Southern living even provided step-by-step instructions and pictures for anyone wanting to try this!

I also want to try this on a mirror. I think it looks really custom and is a great alternative to a frame.
I love this mirror and I think I will use the stencil I already have from THIS lamp makeover project.
Stay tuned for a follow up for this project and March's project(I know, a little late!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coffee Table Makeover

Last Fall, I bought an Antique (50's era) coffee table and two end tables from Craigslist. I loved the way they looked and that they were in really good condition after all these years. The end tables are being used in different rooms in the house, and the coffee table has been off-and-on in my den. This is the table in its original state.
I never was happy with the color and I knew I wanted to do something with it, I just wasn't sure what. So I saw this post on YoungHouseLove. Now, the furniture piece, use, etc... were completely different from mine, but I liked their idea of a white top surface and a dark base. So I got to work sanding down all of the shiny surfaces and went through my collection of left over paint to see what I had!

For the top, I used left over oil based trim paint that we had used to paint ALL of the trim/crown molding in our house. How we had any left over, I'm not sure. For the legs, I used the coffee bean colored paint that we used on cabinets, the beams in our great room, a shelf, and who knows what else.
Here is my coffee table now! My new, bigger rug is also darker than the previous one, so the white really helps the pattern pop and brightens up the room at the same time! And you may recognize these vases from a previous post. This is their final resting spot!
I am also really excited about the rose bush that is blooming on the side of my house! Since the azaleas that I used for these little white vases have died, the roses make a great replacement!
So far I am really happy with my decision to paint the table. It was a $20 Craigslist find that I have made my own! And if it turned out scary, I was only out 20 bucks, right? So don't be scared to paint furniture pieces that are tired or no longer work in your space! It can really bring new life to a piece that you thought had run its course!

Stay tuned for a new Southern Living Project of the Month coming soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vases and Blooms on a Budget

I apologize for the lack of posting last week...I have been really busy with work and also working on a few DIY projects that you will soon see on the blog!
Today's is about bringing a little of the outside in and spending as little as possible without sacrificing style! I have been eyeing some "Found" vintage wine jugs on for a few weeks. I love them, not the price tag. With prices ranging from $99-$279, these were NEVER going to be in the budget. So I started my wheels turning to figure out how to get the look without the price. If you've read my blog before, you know that I love a good thrift shop find. So this is where I started. But first, my inspiration:

These are the Pottery Barn wine jugs that will cost you a pretty penny. But I love the color and the simple, natural look of them.

I also love the shape and size of these vases, also from Pottery Barn.

These are some more "Found" bottles from Pottery for $36 each. A little steep if you ask me. So I set out for the thrift store. After spending a grand total of $4, I was pretty proud of myself. I also made a 50 cent find at a neighborhood garage sale. I rounded out my shopping trip with a stop in TJ Maxx and shelled out $16 for a large vase (more than I usually spend, but after comparing to $279, I couldn't pass it up!)

Here is my complete new vase/bottle collection! Total price was 20 bucks! The flowers were free. They were from a bush outside of my house (ok on a bush that could possibly be my neighbors', but they won't know the difference).

A closer look at my thrift store finds! I love the blue tint and how each bottle and vase is different and unique.

I really think they add a lot to my little dining room corner and the white flowers look great with all of my white accents in the room!
While thrift shopping, I also found some great white vases for another grouping. My inspiration was from the blog YoungHouseLove. If you have never read this blog, you should! This couple are who I strive to one day be. They have redone their entire, old house on an amazing budget and it looks like it came straight from a magazine!
These are some vases they have in their house, from IKEA, and I love the look of them grouped together!

So with 3 more 99c thrift store finds, I made my own grouping! And I again used azaleas from my yard (these actually are from my yard!). My mantle is just a temporary home for these. They will hopefully end up on my newly refurbished coffee table that I will be posting about soon!
What have you found at a thrift store that you are proud of? I love to see how people make one person's trash their own treasure!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...