Friday, August 31, 2012

Meet Me in Philadelphia

Not literally, of course, but today I'm guest posting for Ashley at:

Want to find out how you can triple your towel hanging space for guests without using a drill?  Click here to check it out.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Over at Emily's

Today, you can find me here: 

where I'll be participating in Emily's "Send me a Picture" series.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tutorials: DIY Brass Ring Pull & Giant Bulletin Board

 How to Avoid Snags with the DIY Brass Pulls

In the twin girls' room I just finished decorating, it made a huge difference to paint one of the dressers to match the other.  For about $12, the DIY brass ring pulls dressed them up.

If you've never installed pulls or knobs, the easiest way to make sure they all line up is to make a template of the drawer on a sheet of paper.  If you look, you can see a very faint red pencil line I drew diagonally from corner to corner to find the exact middle.

Since I wanted the brass ring to sit at the middle, I marked the drill spot slightly higher and poked a small hole with my pencil through the paper to mark the drill spot on the drawer.  Use painter's tape to secure the template in place, mark, untape, and move to the next drawer. 

That way they're all perfectly lined up.

But WARNING!  If you plan on installing these on a dresser, the ends of the cotter pin are a tad rough and can snag on clothes.  To fix that problem, bend the cotter pins back first, and then take a pair of needle-nose pliers to bend each tip back and against the inside of the dresser drawer.  This will simultaneously keep the ring pull from rotating or moving and it will tuck the the rough end under so that no clothes will be snagged.

Easy-to-Make Giant Bulletin Board -- $24 each

  I put giant floor-to-ceiling bulletin boards behind each girl's bed because 1) I wanted there to be a way to draw they eye up, and 2) the girls needed a place of their own to decorate and hang their art work without ruining the freshly painted walls with tape and stickers.

Materials for One Pin Board
  • Homasote (Home Depot calls it "sound board") cut to fit.  Ask Home Depot to do it for you.  $11 per sheet.
  • Fabric to cover the board.  I used burlap because it's durable, cheap, and easy to replace.  I bought four yards for $6.  I did not use or need batting.
  • Grosgrain ribbon for trim, if you care to use it. One roll for $3 each.
  • Fabric covered brad craft kit (the metal buttons) from Michaels to cover the staples. About $4.


 Lay the fabric on the ground with the sheet of homasote on top.  (You do not need anyone to help you with this -- the homasote is super light weight.  Pull the fabric taut to remove wrinkles and staple with a staple gun on all sides, being sure to finish off the corners.

Then turn the board over and make a criss-cross pattern with your ribbon.  Staple at the corners and in the middle where the ribbon crosses.  Use hot glue under the ribbon where the staple meets the board to keep the staples from pulling out.

My original intent was the use the fabric covered brad craft kit to make fabric covered brads.  But I liked the way the metal looked, so I pounded it with a hammer to make it look...well, like hammered metal.  Use these with some hot glue (for extra durability) to push into the board and cover the staples.

It's worth pointing out that you don't need the ribbon, necessarily.  You can use a push-pin to easily attach things to these boards, but I was worried about push-pins being so near the girls' beds (they're six), so the trim allows them to slip art behind the ribbon to secure it to the board. 

These are not secured to the wall.  They simply lean against it behind each bed. (As I said, they're very light-weight and I don't worry about them falling, even if they could.)

 If you wanted to hang one on the wall, I'd attach the fabric, cut an x in the fabric to keep it from binding when you drill a hole, and then use a washer and screw to attach it the wall.  Cover the washer and screw with the ribbon.

All told the girls got:
  • 80s wallpaper removed and a professionally painted room and ceiling (not by me)
  • two new vintage beds (painted by me)
  • new bed slats
  • all new bed linens and throw pillows
  • refreshed dressers with new hardware
  • new gigantic bulletin boards
  • new reading lights
  • new rug
  • under bed storage for toys and shoes
  • behind-the-door shoe storage for Barbies
  • full-length mirror
  • new vanity/desks 
  • new stools for vanity/desks
  • pegboard for jewelry and hair organization
  • animal silhouette art
  • old bookcase snagged from the garage for books and more storage
  • a new, lower hung rod for their closet
 All of it for less than the cost of two of these brand new beds, which were my inspiration:


Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Putting Pinterest to the Test: Yummy Summer Salad

This week, I made this salad I found on Pinterest.   It was DELICIOUS with a quick and simple white wine vinaigrette.

Am I the only one who gets stuck using the same tired ingredients in a salad?

Zucchini and yellow squash shavings?  Peas and corn?  Different and perfect. 

Thanks to Proud Italian Cook for providing the recipe.

You should give it a try this weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Client Work: Twin Girls' Room Finished

Elizabeth and Miranda are two adorable twin girls who just entered the 1st grade.  For the past month, I've been working on redoing their entire room and it's finally finished!





The Details

I picked up the vintage bed frames for $15 bucks each and painted them the same color as the ceiling.
 Above each bed is a huge bulletin board I made from homasote, burlap, ribbon, and craft store letters. The girls can decorate them to their hearts' content without putting tape on the walls.

These Ikea Malm dressers are the same ones you see in the above photos.  I removed the stickers and painted the brown one to match the white one.  Then I added these DIY brass ring pulls (which I posted about here) to dress them up and echo the polka dot patterns in the room. 

 I snagged the bookcase from the garage and after searching with no luck for two inexpensive desks/vanities small enough to fit on this wall, I made them from salvaged cabinet doors which I painted and to which I added Ikea legs.  Above each desk is a photo of the girls -- done by the talented Lori Fuller of Lori Fuller Photography.  It adds a personal touch to the space. 

 The girl's mom, Rachel, wanted a way for them to orgainze their jewelry and hair accessories. They each got a panel of pegboard (from Michaels).  It was plain white, so I painted on some navy polka dots.

The Barbies got their own place to live in this shoe organizer hung behind the closet door.

 What kid doesn't try to shove stuff under their bed when cleaning?  Why not make it easy for them and provide the storage.  These are DIY chalkboard labels.  Simply paint printer labels with chalkboard paint.

There are three containers under each bed for tons of toy storage.  And as they grow, the contents can change from babies to...whatever it is that preteens and teens need to store. (My own twins are only three, so I have no idea!)

Last, we hung a low clothes bar from the original one so that the girls can reach their clothes without a stool -- and put them away!

If you come back in a few days, I'll give a resource list for everything and show you how to make the bulletin boards, how to tweak the DIY brass ring pulls so they don't snag on clothes, and a few other things.  (Update:  Click here for those tutorials.)

Elizabeth and Miranda have an organized room that can grow with them.  After completing two other areas of the house -- their brother's room, and their entry -- I'm off to work on something new.  This time it's an adorable apartment in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco.  Melissa just moved here from D.C. and wants me to work on most of the rooms.  Should be fun!  I'll keep you posted. 

One last thing, my sweet husband recently bought me a DSLR camera.  You might know I've been paying lots of attention to photography.  I've been experimenting with settings and didn't realize the photos would be this blown-out until I uploaded them.  Looks like I've got some more learning to do!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

(Another) Real Estate vs. Mag. Photo Comparison

Some time ago, Lauren from one of my favorite blogs, The Cottage Mix, showed real estate photos of this house which was featured in the now defunct Cottage Living.  (R.I.P.)

Shall we compare a few magazine photos with the real estate photos?

Cottage Living photo

real estate photo

Cottage Living photo

real estate photo

Cottage Living Photo
real estate photo

Now before we continue, I do want to point out that I believe one is no better or worse than the other.   I certainly have a preference for the magazine photos, but if I were the potential buyer of a home, I'd probably want to see the wide angle of the real estate photo to see exactly how the kitchen was laid out, for example. 

For those of you who've been following along with my "Composing Photos of Interiors" series, I'm sure you see all of the stuff I harp on. (And which I have no business harping on because my previous post is filled with iphone photos -- one of which uses a flash!)

Anyway, care to comment on the differences?

P.S.  To see Lauren's original posts about this cute cottage go here and here.  Thanks, Lauren, for providing fodder for this post!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Putting Pinterest to the Test: DIY Brass Ring Pulls

While searching for brass ring pulls on Pinterest, I came across this tutorial:

Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

I was looking for hardware to dresser up plain Ikea Malm chests of drawers belonging to the little girls whose room I'm designing.  But at six or more dollars a pop for the store-bought variety, the cost was quickly adding up to what the dresser was worth! 

Which is why I was so glad to see this brilliant DIY version which came from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.  Of course, I had to put it to the test in my own house before bringing it into the girls' room, so I'm going to take you through each step so you can see how it's done.

Old knob:

Obviously, it had problems.  Also, please excuse my iphone pics for this post.  (My camera battery was dead.)

You can get all of these from Ace Hardware.  Ask for a brass ring, a brass cotter pin, and these:

Brass washers, which come in a bag like this. 

Step 1

Pry open the cotter pin and snap the brass ring into the rounded end.  You should try this in the store to be sure you are getting the right sized cotter pin.  

Step 2

Slide the brass washer onto the cotter pin so that the cupped part is facing the tip of the pin.

Step 3
Slide the cotter pin through the hole in the drawer and put another brass washer on on the pin inside the drawer.

Step 4
 Bend the cotter pin sides flush with the back of the drawer.

I'm hoping that the brass is unlacquered so that it ages a bit. 

I was originally worried that the brass cotter pin would be too soft to hold up to pulling a drawer over and over -- much like the bendable brads used to hold paper together.  But the brass is very strong.  It took some strength to bend it and make is flush with the drawer wall.  So, it passes the test for the little girls' room.

Which I'm finished with, by the way.  Well, mostly.  Got to add these ring pulls and do a few other minor things, and then I'll show you some pictures.

Thank you to Sarah for coming up with such a great-looking and inexpensive design!  

I mean where else can you find any pulls or knobs for less than $2 a pop?  (Just did the math, and they came out to $1.36 each!)

Hope you all have a nice weekend.  Any DIY projects planned? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Look Alikes XII: Deja Vu

When I first spied this photo from Atlanta Home Magazine, I thought,  Hey, I know that enlarged framed letter!  So I went in search of the photo on my Pinterest Styling page.

Sure enough, there it was:

The original photo is from Southern Living a number of years ago, but the letter is the same -- a Mr. George Krauth owns it. 

He's decorated his new condo in Atlanta with many of the same things from his bungalow in Chattanooga, which was the subject of the original Southern Living article.

More of the same:  Japanese fishing float above and below.

blueprint above and below

cabinet above and below

It's interesting to see how these classic elements are used in the more modern Atlanta condo.  There are a ton of other furnishings and accessories that were moved to the new place.

You can check them out by comparing photos from the two articles here:

Southern Living

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles