Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Series: Stylish Living with Kids and Pets with The Industrial Cottage

Please join me in welcoming Molly, from The Industrial Cottage for the second guest post in the series:

Stylish ways to protect your kids and pets in your home (and your home from your kids and pets!).
Camille, thank you so much for having me today. 

 In my house we have a saying, "people are more important than stuff!" Most of the time, it comes down to kids are more important than stuff! If I have something that, if ruined, would cause me to be so upset or so mad that it caused harm to a relationship (whether me and my child or me and a friend), it really does not belong in my house. Things can be replaced: people can't. While I do have rules about walking on the back of the couch, or using the chair as your own personal jungle gym, we really LIVE in our home! So how do I balance style, budget, use, family, and friends? 

Lots of washable fabrics!! 

I really don't bring any fabric into my home that cannot go into the washing machine. 

This room is a great example of beautiful style in a home with 4 kids. This house is also in the country! The amount of mud, dirt, and food that come through this house are amazing. White denim! Is she crazy! No..It washes...A great investment with a beautiful look worthy of any magazine. 

Slipcovers are also a great way to change the style or look of a chair or sofa. Add little pleats, ruffle or box pleats to get a designer look.

I also feel that all pillows should have a zipper, or an envelope/flap back so you can clean them. 

Beautiful bleached canvas double ruffle pillow with a zipper for easy washing.


These are my slipcovered couches and pillows. I wash all of them on a regular basis. These couches are a very loud red underneath, but they are Ethan Allen so I decided that they were well worth the slipcover. I spent about $250.00 on fabric and I did the labor myself. If you have to pay for labor, it will probably come in around $350.00 for a sofa and $275  for love seat and chairs. If you have a good quality sofa, it is well worth it.

So when dirty hands, food, or coffee (usually spilled by me) end up on my furniture, I just shrug and head for the laundry soap.  

 Molly, thank you for reminding us that people are more important than stuff.  Of course, we all know that, but when we shell out the big bucks, or take the time and effort to redo an item for our homes, it's easy to forget that.  I like your philosophy!  And boy, would I love to have a few stylish and washable slipcovers made by you!
Molly is a fabulous seamstress -- she makes all manner of slipcovers, pillows, and even has her own line of baby slings.  She sells a lot of these items (including many that you've seen here) on her Etsy sight.  And if you haven't read about it before, see Molly's toothpaste trick for hanging pictures.  
Thanks again, Molly, for taking the time to write this guest post!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Series: Stylish Kid and Pet Proofing with Green Street

 Today is the kick-off of a new month long series:

 Stylish ways to protect your kids and pets in your home (and your home from your kids and pets!).

I am thrilled to have Fran, from Green Street, kick-off this series which includes quite a number of other fabulous bloggers.  Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for the next month, check-in with me to get great ideas from people who know how to 
live stylishly with kids and pets.

Thank you Camille for having me kick start your guest series!  I'm excited to be here and flattered you asked me!  So, I've decided to share one way to protect your home from kids!  Now, to all you design aficianados out there, this idea is nothing new, but you would be surprised at how many people come into our home and comment on my expedit bookcase that I use for toy storage.

They think it is the greatest thing known to man kind.  And, I agree, the expedit bookcase is simple and so functional.

When you have kids, it is so easy to let the clutter (i.e.: toys) take over your home and a simple solution like the expedit bookcase can help protect your home.  Wouldn't you agree?  If you're on the fence, here are some of my favorite expedit inspiration pictures to sway you over...Enjoy!!

Thank you Fran for showing us some beautiful examples of kid friendly storage, including the Expedit in your own house!  I love how you have the lighthouse and the vintage-y looking cars displayed on top of it.  

My favorite thing about this idea is not only the vertical storage, but the baskets which can hide a multitude of tiny and ugly plastic parts.  This post has me yearning for an Expedit for my girls' room so I can return our breakfast room to its original function.

Before you I leave you, I also want to mention my favorite decorating project or idea from each blogger in the series.  Recently, Fran turned an inexpensive Ikea rug into one resembling a Madeline Weinrib using some paint and a stencilYou are not going to believe it when you see it! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adding Detail to the Cabinet Door Turned Mirror

Before -- this is a temporary mirror that I fashioned out of one of the cabinet doors I removed for an open shelf feel in the kitchen.  I hung it opposite the window above the sink to add more light to the room.

When I hung cabinet-made-mirror, I decided it needed more contrast.  Because we rent, and I'll have to remove the mirror and replace the cabinet door when we leave, I took the time to paint it.  Anyway, I knew I needed another temporary solution to add contrast to the frame.

 A tried ribbon for contrast, attaching to the cabinet door using these:

But I ran out of ribbon and before I could go buy more, the ribbon began to peel off:
I guess the Zots are really meant to be used with paper, not fabric.

So when I found this low-tack Japanese masking tape at one of my favorite stores, I knew I had found the solution.

I used the black and white stripe to add this detail to the mirror.

It came out looking grey, but that's ok.  It kind of blends in the with the grey lower cabinets.  

I hope that the low-tack is low enough to be easily peeled off when we leave and high-tack enough to stay put until we do!

Back to painting...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fixing Scratches on the Counter

The counters in our rental kitchen came with these unfortunate scratches in the laminate. 

Steve, of An Urban Cottage, suggested that I fill in the scratches with paint and wipe off the rest.  Which is exactly, what I did.


Thanks, Steve.

Here's another quick sneak peak of the painted kitchen showing that section of the counter.

I had to crop the heck out of this picture to make it 
sneak enough for a peek.  

Yup, still painting...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

$4 Kitchen Light Update

Before -- I'm pretty sure that the globe was not original.   
Megan, thoughts?  I'm keeping it, just in case.  

I'd love scrape away all the layers of paint on the ceiling mount because you can tell there is something pretty under there, but we already discovered the hard way that we can't touch the wiring in this place.  The insulation on it CRUMBLES when touched!  And then we have to hire an electrician to fix it.

After -- I found this schoolhouse replacement glass shade for around $4 at Home Depot. I simply unscrewed the glass globe and replaced it with this for a more vintage look.
My original plan, and one I'd like to follow through on, was to find a clear glass globe like this and add an Edison bulb for an industrial vibe.  I can still always do that, but for now, the $4 schoolhouse shade does the trick.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vignettes: Part 3

My friend Heather, from My Many Moments, has a real knack for vignettes.

She was kind enough to share a few with me from around her home. 

Heather has a very defined sense of style and you can see it in her collections of items.

Her vignettes have an abundant feel which are layered with some modern elements, but are still classic.

Love that moss ball in the Revere bowl!

I love how she mixes wood, crystal or glass, and metal together.

 And don't you love how she sprinkles a bit of her blue and white ceramic in each?

Also, is it just me or do you get a Ralph Lauren feel when you look at some of these?

Creating a pretty vignette is not an easy task.  Heather seems to pull it off every time.  
If you haven't had a chance to visit her blog, you are in for a treat.  She has an amazing eye for great design.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kitchen Sneak Peek

In progress.
Well, it's been a long week!  My sweet, sweet, wonderful aunt flew to California specifically to help me finish painting the kitchen (and see us too!).  We made a lot of progress, despite everyone getting sick, and I am indebted to her.

She reminded me that I can pay her back by not minding when she's ninety-one and senile and repeats the same question six times in a row.

Here's what's left to be done.

1.  The cabinet above the refrigerator.

2.  The upper cabinets above the stove.  (My aunt, who is not only kind but wise, suggested we knock out the lower cabinets while I had her help to lessen the 2-year-old impact on pulling all items out of them while the doors are off.) 

3.  Installing hardware.  This is what I've picked for the drawers, which I was happy to see was featured in the latest issue of House Beautiful.  


 and for the cabinets...


 4.  Paint the undersides of the cabinets.

5.  Install matchstick blinds on the window above the sink.  

I put this World Market sale blind up, but they're not wide enough to cover the molding, so it looks weird. 

 Thanks to Casey at Loft and Cottage, Sherry at Design Indulgence, and anonymous commenter, who all said to check Overstock where I found this.

 They don't have the exact picture, but it comes 71 inches wide for $27, including shipping.  That's wide enough to hang it high and wide like this:

See how it's hung higher than the window to draw the eye up to the ceiling?  

Since I've painted over all of the wood in the room, I'd still love to have the warmth of wood, which can be introduced through accessories like these blinds.

5.   Find a rug to draw attention away from the ugly vinyl.  

6.  Accessorize!  

I have a few more updates that are finished and ready to show.  That'll be another post!

To read more about my kitchen painting project, click below:

Part 3

On another note, Happy Birthday, Auntie.  I hope it is a good one.  I cannot thank you enough for your help! 

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  I've been missing my blog reading and plan to catch up with some of you wonderful, creative people soon!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Similar Kitchen Layouts

 Just came across this picture of a kitchen with the same layout -- large window above the sink.  

I love the glass panels on these cabinets.  If we weren't renting, I'd probably take the doors to a cabinetry place and have them replace the wood panel with glass.

my kitchen (before shot)
My kitchen (before shot) and with a view of the left side of the window above the sink.

Megan, from Restoring the Roost, has a very keen eye and pointed out to me in a previous post that my kitchen has the exact same layout as Trina at A Country Farmhouse.

A Country Farmhouse
 Goodness, I'd love to have open shelves like that. They are SO beautiful, but I'm afraid it's just not possible.  But I'm not hearbroken about it, though -- that's a lot of storage space to lose for ugly items!

Last, this kitchen also has that big window above the sink and the same open space on either side as mine.  I like how it's accessorized.  (It also has me wishing I could paint the lowers a strong dark color, but I realize that not everyone likes that much contrast so we'll stick with the light grey.)

My aunt arrived in town yesterday for a visit and to help me paint my kitchen cabinets.  So far we've got one more upper box and doors washed, sanded, primed and ready for the next coat.  

I'm glad she's here because I need someone to crack the whip!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nuestra Tierra Black Clay Cookware

I think these vessels are beyond beautiful.  So earthy and organic.  And black, which I love.

They are made in Colombia.  They can be put in the oven, and even on the stove top!

It all can be found here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sweet Vintiques

 I bought this little vintage scooter at the fabulous, fabulous once monthly Alameda Point Antiques Faire for my twins' first birthday.  They like it better than the modern-day Radio Flyer equivalent, which we also have, and which is made entirely of plastic.

This wee-sized rocking chair belonged to my grandmother.  She used it as a bouncy chair of sorts for my mother who was a little over a year, when my aunt was born.  My grandmother would place my mom in the rocking chair in front of her and rock it with her foot while she fed my aunt.  My sisters and I all sat in it when we were children, and now my girls take turns rocking in this chair.

 One of my two picked out this sweet vintage book at the library recently.  The author also wrote the classic Goodnight Moon.  You might recognized the picture style from The Little House on the Prairie series.

I have to show you some of the pages...

( Look at the door handle.)

Almost makes me cry.  I think I'll have to find a copy on ebay.

My two are not vintiques, but while we're on the subject of kids, I thought I'd gratuitously throw in a few pictures of them.
One of my favorite pictures of them -- taken around 7 months.  Twin A is on the left Twin B on the right.  (It's how the doctors refer to them in utero and also in which order they arrive.)

And at age 2...
Twin B

Twin A

They look exactly like each other, and not a thing like me. 

Aren't they lucky to have each other?  

I feel pretty darn fortunate to have them.