Friday, January 28, 2011

Accessory tray makeover!

I know it sounds like all I ever do is shop at thrift stores, but I really only spend about one hour every couple of weeks stopping by to see what's new.  I just don't always do all of my projects at once, so I post them as I get around to each one!
This is an adorable little tray that I found recently for a couple of dollars that I thought had lots of potential!
It has really great details but was a little rusted and needed some TLC.  It is metal that I believe had been painted black.  I decided to go white with this one.  One day I might get brave and paint it a color, but for what I was planning to use it for right now, white will work perfectly!
Here it is all spiffed up on my new night stand that I painted HERE.  I am really excited about it because now I will have a place for my phone (which I use as an alarm clock), carmex, and whatever else usually clutters up a nightstand!  I REALLY don't like clutter.  Really.
This is a better view of the cut-out detail.  It's a perfect size and I can't wait to use it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Inspiration for my master bedroom

We are in the process of making some major changes in our master bedroom.  Eventually our room will become smaller (I know, most people don't make rooms smaller).  But our master is huge and has some major wasted space. 
I frequently check the site Decorpad and I love their Look for Less section.  That's where I found THIS duvet cover. 
Here are some of the rooms that I have book marked so far:

This is a little dramatic for me but it's nice to see how the yellow and grey work together.

I really like this room and I like that orange is used since I already have quite a bit of orange in the room.  I also LOVE the bright blue that they used in the chair and art.
This is a completely different direction but this green is so beautiful and the headboard is amazing.  I want to steal this room and put it in my house!
I will keep updating as I make more selections for the room!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My future dining room table...and some tips for selecting your own

My current dining room table is what I like to call something that I have completely gotten my money's worth out of. I bought it in 2003 for my apartment in grad school, and it has moved all around the Southeast with me only to settle in my moderately sized dining room in Memphis. I paid a whopping $150 for it and have recovered the seats about 4 times. It only seats 4 and is not convenient when we try to feed more than 4 people. My dining room is never going to be large, and eventually one wall will open up into the kitchen and include a bar, but until that glorious day, I need a grown up table that doesn't scream "I'm in college!"
Here she is in my dining room about a year ago. Alot has changed in this room...the lion print is now on the far right back wall, my plate rack on the right. I have a rug under the table as well. But you get the idea. So I need something round again but with a leaf, and more sturdy/solid looking than this. I love THIS table from Pottery Barn, but I don't love the price. So when garage sale shopping with my mom this summer, she spotted a table with LOTS of potential and we immediately ran to claim it. Better yet, it was only $10!! Yes, you read that right. $10. I couldn't believe it. The finish wasn't what I was looking for, but that can be fixed. So we took it home and it has been patiently waiting in my garage.
I didn't get an original "before" pic, but this is after sanding. You can kind of see the original finish still on the side of the middle leaf. It will sit in the dining room without the leaf, but this shows it at its full size.
Check out those amazing feet!!! This piece is pretty old and the wood is solid. I still can't believe the price!! We are going to stain it in a deep, rich brown and then I am going to find some chairs once I see the final color. I can't wait! As soon as it is complete, I will share the pics with you.
In the mean time, I thought I would share a few quick tips to remember when you are selecting a dining table for your space.

First, MEASURE. It is so important to know the size of your room and the size of any other pieces (buffets, side boards) that might cut into the size of the room.

Next, use those measurements to figure your table size. You need to give each guest 3 feet of space in between the table and wall or another piece of furniture. This means 3 feet of clear space all the way around the table.
Example: If your room is 14 feet long, your table does not need to be any longer than 8 feet long.
Next, decide how many people you would like to seat. Each guest should have approx. 24 in. of space. If you need more than the standard 72", think about getting a table with a leaf.

Finally, if your chairs don't come with the table, be sure that there is 12 feet of leg room between the bottom of the table top and the top of the chair seat. A typical chair seat height is 18 in from the floor. This would make the table top 30 in. from the floor.
These should help you find the perfect fit for a table in your space! It will assure that you won't have a table too large or too small for your room, and for your guests!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hallelujah! I have a night stand!!

During the Spring/Summer, I am a devoted yard sale shopper. I get up every Saturday and map my way from one to another. I never spend much money, but occasionally I find a really great piece. That is how I came across a perfect night stand candidate. Since we purchased our ginormous bed in 2006, I have been using the teeniest table in the world that was about 2 feet too short and was beyond ugly. I have been propping my lamp up on so many books that it was probably a fire hazard. When I saw $10 on the top of this table, I snatched it up!
This is the table how I found it. Half original finish, half red spray paint. Obviously this was the middle of summer based on the badly-needing-a-good-mow lawn.
And suprise, when we tried to pick it up and it was super heavy, we found a sewing machine inside! Isn't that cute? And the front opens up and has a tray to hold sewing accessories I guess. We removed the really old sewing machine, since I didn't have a need for it, and decided to paint it.

It is a pretty old piece. The stamp underneath says Sept 1, 1967.
We used my Sherwin Williams color wheel and picked a color a little out of our comfort zone. After numerous color mistakes made in our first home which called for numerous hours re-painting, we were a little gun-shy about painting an actual color (as opposed to my go-to colors of black, brown, gold, and white). But I wanted to bring in a color from other places in the house, and yellow is something that I am starting to put everywhere. So my husband picked the color, and we bought a quart. It is called "Quilt Gold" and we used oil based to get a more finished look.

Two coats later it is hanging out next to my bed finally happy to be out of the cold garage! It is the PERFECT height and after paint was about $15 start to finish! That's hard to find.

There is major construction going on in our master bedroom right now (closing up doors, opening new doors, creating hallways, expanding bathrooms, etc...) so when that is all done we will have new bedding, a new wall color, and new window treatments. But for now i am making it work.
You can see me already bringing in my left over drapery fabric to maybe create some throw pillows for the bed. I will have to wait though until I know what the rest of the changes in the room will be. I can't wait to go to bed tonight and read from a lamp that isn't sitting on five books and a mini night stand!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Every room can use a touch of Tudor

So... this post really has nothing to do with staging, but I have been catching up on the final season of "The Tudors", and first I must say if you have not watched the series, may I provide you with the number one reason why you should:

Mr. Henry Cavill, who plays Charles, The Duke of Suffolk. Ok, maybe not the only reason, but a very good reason.

Now, compose yourself and lets get back to things that actually relate to this blog in some fashion. Every episode has the most amazing and detailed backdrops. The ornate fabrics, the huge wooden furniture pieces, the candle light. It is all so beautiful (I just try not to imagine how bad it probably smelled seeing as how there wasn't alot of showering/laundry services going on). Those are things you don't have to worry about when watching it on TV.

I think it would be so fun to be a set designer and get to play with all of the amazing textiles and natural elements. I think there are definitely elements from that period that could be worked into a more contemporary home. Here is a mood board that I found on Apartment Therapy that shows some pieces that reflect the "Tudor" look.

Showtime also got together with Metropolitan Home to create some rooms inspired by the series!

I absolutely love this couch and the stencilled walls.

This is a 17th century chair that has been brought back to life and looks beautiful up against the light walls.

Here is the full view of the room. It just makes you feel like you are a part of that period (minus the beheadings and diseases). You can read about the designer and see more pictures HERE. I love pulling ideas from period decor. Just one unique piece can be a total standout in a home!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mirror Re-vamp

I like to check out the HUGE local Goodwill every couple of weeks to see if there are any pieces with potential. I usually find at least one thing and for the past few weeks I had been eyeing a large mirror that was the perfect size/shape that I had been looking for to go over the linen press in my great room. I mentioned looking for one HERE. I finally decided to break down and spend the $29.99 that it was going to cost. At first glance it is definitely not pretty, but had potential to be awesome.
Here it is after sitting in my garage for a few weeks. I think it originally sat long-ways above a dresser. I am using it vertically.
My plan was to re-paint it the same way that I painted the picture frame above my couch that I showed you HERE. I stuck paper in all of the edges to protect the mirror, and then I sprayed a layer of black paint. When that was dry, I came back and lightly sprayed gold paint over the black section by section, using a small brush to spread the gold as I went along.
Here is the mirror all spruced up and at home above the linen press! I still need a couple of accessories to go in between the lamps, but I will figure those out later. I am so happy with the size and shape! For a more casual look I could have kept it black or painted it a clean white, but I wanted it to look a little more formal and sophisticated in this space.
I also love how it reflects our built-ins and adds some color and light to that wall. For a total of $30 (because I already had the spray paint), I got a huge mirror that would have cost hundreds had I bought it from a retailer. I think that's a steal!
Stay tuned for some more of my DIY projects. The weather is finally above freezing so I am starting to trudge through my "to do" pile in the garage!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Before and After picture magic

When staging a home, I always tell the homeowner that one of the most important parts of having your house on the market is how it looks online. It can be staged to perfection, but with bad lighting/angles, it can look terrible as an online listing. I wanted to share a few examples of how important these are.
Here is a before picture of a living room I recently staged. The angle is OK but without a wide angle lense, it is really hard to see the true size of the room. Also, the rug and other items in the room are pretty dated and the buyers in this area are young couples looking for their first home.
Here is an after shot with a wide angle lense by a professional photographer. It is from the other corner of the room, but you get the idea. We added some easy updates (new rug and side chair from, coffee table from Target, and art from Garden Ridge) and it's like a new room! We also opened the curtains to bring in the natural light, as well as removed the door to the den off of the dining room. This helps give the house a more open floor plan and better flow, which is what buyers are looking for these days. The house was listed using the first picture and was on the market for quite some time without selling. After staging and new pics, it sold in a couple of months in a terrible market!
These next sets of pics are from an empty house that I recently staged. They show how important furniture is when selling a home. It gives buyers ideas and helps them picture their own things in the space.
This is a before shot with a regular camera of a den area. It is really hard to tell how much furniture can really fit in the room. You would easily pass it up when browsing listings online.

Here is the after with the professional wide angle. We didn't over-do the furniture, but gave it enough to show how much room there really is. We also covered up the ugly wires from a previous TV setup with a mirror from the bedroom dresser! It was the perfect size.
This is a before of the master. Boring. And hard to tell how large it really is.
Here is the after. With just a king sized bed, side table, and dresser it is a whole new room!
Here is the main living room. It is a huge space and we just wanted to showcase its potential with a few key pieces.
Here is the after with furniture. Doesn't it feel so much cozier and inviting than before!
This is a before of that room from another angle.
And here is the view when you walk in the home now. We didn't over-saturate the room with furniture and accessories, but filled it with enough to make it feel like a home.
If you are selling a home and you have already moved, investing a little in renting some furniture pieces can make all the difference in the world. If you are still in the house, investing in a few pieces to update the space is well worth it. These before and afters really show how important staging along with quality pictures help a home stand out among all of the listings online!
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