A piece of my heart

Normally I like to talk about my latest projects or design ideas that I’m copying enjoying.  Today, I want to talk about how amazing the internet is for two different reasons.  The first one; a wealth of knowledge literally at your fingertips (if you have a smart phone that is—psssh to my friends that are still stuck in the 90’s).  I cannot count how many times daily I wonder about something (like, how far off my dining room table should this light fixture be hung) or my step-son asks me something (why does this bird/bug/animal/fish/any mythical creature do this or that) and all I have to do is click my phone to get a slew of answers.  That is amazing.  I imagine the generation before me got a lot of “I don’t know” or made up answers.  Or maybe they had to consult the encyclopedias which we all know were outdated before they even hit the shelves.

Secondly, I see people talking about how this wireless age has made people less social because they never have to speak to people, they just pop on Facebook or shoot a text to someone.  On one hand I agree, but on the other hand NOT AT ALL.  I have connections with so many people on a daily basis that I might not EVER speak to otherwise.  I may be too busy to have a long conversation with someone, but I will always make time to send a quick text, and like their pictures or statuses. I follow blogs of strangers and my heart prays for them and my eyes cry for them and I rejoice with them.  I am inspired by these people that might not ever know my name. So when you think about all of the negatives that go with the internet, think about everything positive that comes with it!

Tutorial: Making an old, outdated lamp relevant again

This is going to be a super quick and sloppy post–and ignore the unfinished trim in the background.  I snagged this lamp at an estate sale today.  I saw it yesterday and it was $5, today 1/2 off for $2.50.  It works perfectly and just needed a new shade and a good clean.  Luckily, I have many many thrift store and garage sale lamps and parts and shades laying around, so the total cost of this tutorial for me was only $2.50.  If you don’t have a spare shade you can steal one off another lamp or you can pick one up for $10-$15 at target or wal-mart.

BEFORE

1)  First things first; determine what type of shade you have-I don’t know the technical terms for the internal structures so in my head I call them the “halo style” and the “screws-in-under-the-light-bulb-style”.  This new lamp had a halo and my other shades were the screw-in type.

After the shade is removed, revealing the halo.

2) Remove the lamp shade by twisting the finial off the top.  I also put the finial back on so I have all the pieces together in case I need it again for another lamp project.  To remove the halo, simply pinch the two sides together and slide it up and off.

3) Try out your shades.  I ended up going with the black one for now.

4) (optional) tape off the cord and the light element and spray paint any color of the rainbow.  In this case, I wanted the brass color for now.  It will go perfect with the black walls of our master bedroom.  Stay tuned for before and after pictures for our bedroom.

Option one

Option two

Braemore Maneka fabric will be such a fun print that will grow with her.

Not So Nursery Anymore Part I

I started working on Baby K’s room this week.  It’s never been very “nursery” or “girly”, but with the addition of the two twin beds and getting rid of her crib, I want to add a few special pieces to her already eclectic palette to finish the space.

I found this amazing fabric by Braemore from fabric.com and got a killer deal on it (20% and free shipping).

Braemore Maneka fabric will be such a fun print that will grow with her.

I also have my eye on this adorable duvet from West Elm:

Duvet set from West Elm (minus the pillows)

I bought a ridiculous amount of this off-white duck cloth and I plan to upholster the box-springs and headboards along with the leftover nail head trim I have.

Headboard inspiration

Well, that’s my sneak peak for her room.  Check back for Part II next week!

Kitchen Inspiration

I mentioned before that we are rehabbing what used to be our rental house.  We are still unpacking and organizing everything, but once that’s done, our first project is the kitchen.  Its a small kitchen that’s awkwardly separated from the rest of the house.  It also has this terrible gigantic, poorly planned laundry room that creates this weird shape in the room.  The kitchen is also very very long.  As soon as I’m done painting it, I’ll post the before and kind-of-sort-of after pictures.  I’m too embarrassed to show it in the current state (boxes piled everywhere/halfway primed walls/semi finished hardwood floors—-we were 140 sqft short).  I want to maximize the space and minimize the budget.  We have some simple demolition to do in order to create an open floor plan which will involve removing the walls to the laundry room making the laundry room a part of our kitchen (eek).

The inspiration for the entire kitchenImage

Kitchen laundry room ideas:

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The room is long, so a built-in eating banquette or a workspace will be perfect to maximize the functionality of the kitchen.

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I have found a couple of options for our cabinets, one is an online source, the other is the trendy and budget friendly IKEA.  Both are a simple and classic shaker style cabinet.

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I love this Hick’s pendant and it would go absolutely perfect in our kitchen , but I will have to settle for a knockoff version or make my own:

ImageThe hardware I’m eying (but in black): 

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Plans for the large pantry at the end of the kitchen:ImageImageClever use of bead board and gorgeous soapstone or honed black granite:

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We also have a window above the sink and I’d like to do something with high impact, but something that will stand the test of time and surpass the trends:

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ImageHopefully the elements in these kitchens inspire you as much as they did me!  Now back to unpacking.

Shared Bedroom Loves

We recently moved into our previous rental home.  The tenants moved out and we began renovating the place room-by-room.  It’s a small bungalow, so we have to be smart with our “stuff”.  One of the bedrooms is significantly larger than the other. My step-son loves having sleepovers with “sissy” and so far its been great since her room is currently housing all of our unpacked boxes.  His room is tiny and I’m kicking around the idea of making her room into a shared bedroom and his room into our guest room/office/playroom.  I have a lot of nature inspired pieces and artwork throughout my house, so I want to use that as a jumping off point for their room.  In addition, my plan will also use several neutral prints and some eclectic pieces to “carlyize” it.  Those who know me, know that I love a classically eclectic look.

I drew inspiration from some of these shared bedrooms and spaces (all found on either my pinterest page:  http://pinterest.com/upstyled/ or by searching twin or shared bedroom in pinterest):

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All mixed up

Tuesday was supposed to be “Tutorial Tuesday”, I did the project and took the pictures, but I haven’t written the tutorial yet.  So this week “Tutorial Tuesday” will really be on Thursday.
Since my week is mixed up, lets talk about some other ways to mix up your life.  Mix up a cocktail–or three– here’s a couple that I have been dying to try out with my girlfriends:

Tangerine Gimlet

Orange Pushup Smoothie (add a little orange or vanilla vodka)

Riesling Smoothie–the perfect brunch cocktail

 

Another way to mix up your life; mixing patterns.  Pattern on pattern may be intimidating to all you “matchy-matchy” folk.  As a reformed head-to-toe match freak, I can assure you that layers of texture and pattern can add life to your home and your wadrobe…and even your man’s wardrobe!  Here’s a few highlights of ways you can add a little interest to both your house and your style. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be so bold.  Simply adding a few pieces of varying pattern or texture with the same hue can make a huge impact.  If you’re going for bold, stick with the same color tones to make it cohesive, if you throw ten different patterns with ten different textures and colors, the impact will be lost in the chaos.

 

A nice example of bold pattern on pattern without it looking overdone.

 

Stripes & Florals

A simple scarf with high impact.

I need this bike.

 

Boy style.

Neutral toned pattern-on-pattern.

 

Get out there and mix it up!

 

 

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Striped Sunday

This post is going to be long because let’s face it….everyone loves stripes!  They’re everywhere, in our clothes, shoes, accessories, on our walls, our floors and even our ceilings.  Stripes can be classic, traditional, bold, modern, skinny, thick, horizontal, vertical—okay, I’m sure you get the point so I’ll spare you my Dr. Seuss description.

All of these images are from my Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/upstyled or Houzz.com).

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Shady Saturday

It’s cloudy and it stormed all last night!  We needed it so badly, but now I am longing for my favorite season; Fall.  In honor of this cloudy day, I have picked some of my favorite “shady” rooms and styles.  Remember, going dark does not have to mean gloomy. In a room, a dark wall can make a room appear larger and on your body, it can be slimming—who wouldn’t love that?

 

 

Frosty Friday

I have been seriously loving all things white and airy and crisp lately! Maybe its because we are rehabbing our former rental house for ourselves and the teeny tiny rooms need to be open and bright or maybe it’s because it’s 4,000,000 degrees out and I’m longing for some chilly weather  Either way, I’m dubbing this Friday, “Frosty Friday”.

A few of my “frosty” favorites:

Refinishing Furniture 101

I have been refinishing furniture and other various home decor since I was in elementary school. So when a good friend asked me recently the steps that it takes to get a good finish, I thought it might be a good idea to do a really short and to-the-point blog tutorial on it.

No matter what piece you are refinishing, follow these simple steps.  (A little side note if you’re refinishing a piece with drawers like I did in this case: prime with knobs off and drawers in, after the primer dries, remove the drawers to complete the final steps)

1) Get a good spray primer (white for light colors, gray for dark). One can for smaller pieces with little detail, two or more for larger, more intricate items. If you want to save money, shop your local hardware stores for any “oops” paints in eggshell.  I like eggshell because it gives a nice creamy finish and the matte finish tends to hide imperfections you’re surely to find. I don’t like flat because it tends to “chalk”.

2) Go outside. With the item of course.

3) Lay down an old sheet or tarp in the driveway or yard.

4) Remove any hardware.  Lightly scuff up finishes with a sanding block (I skip this step on really old pieces with little-to-no finish left).

5) Wipe entire piece down with a damp cloth to make sure it’s free of debris and let dry fully.

6) Shake the cans of primer (don’t skip this step if you want a nice and smooth finish–with my instant gratification personality, I learned this the hard way.

7) Spray entire surface. It does not need a thick coat, just make sure no original finish shows through. It dries super fast, so if you need to flip it and do the underside just give it ten minutes or so and flip it.

8) Let the primer dry to the touch (no tackiness) and begin panting a light base coat. To make it look professional, the key is several light coats (this is the part that is SO hard for me). If you’re wondering what brush to use, I ALWAYS use a foam brush on refinishing projects because I like that they leave no brush strokes. You can pick them up for $1 at Lowes and Home Depot…if you go the cheap route, pick up a few, they don’t last more than one or two coats.  I personally spend a couple extra dollars and get the Wooster brand because they last through a few projects.

Tips and tricks:

I prefer to use latex based paint because I’m a messy painter and I don’t have the patience to wait on oil to dry. If you are painting something that will be heavily used, try an oil based paint.

Dressers and other items with drawers will need extra time to dry so don’t put the drawers in for several hours.