Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Decor Love: Lizzie Carney

Have you seen this home in Country Living? I am in love. If I were decorating for me alone, I would hire Lizzie to decorate my home. Absolutely stunning.

This is her basement turned wine cellar/ dining room. I am loving the mix and match chairs and the ornate mirror.

She appears to have a chandelier in every room in the house. Why not? I adore her turquoise fridge!
And display a peacock on top? Again, why the hell not?

 Yum-O! The pink drapes are sooooo sumptuous... I think pink may be my new drapery decision for our living room. And I love, love her Anthro bedspread... *sniffle* Really makes me wish it were less expensive or that the Beast was less disgusting.
(My paternal grandmother has always said "Wish in one hand, shit in the other... See which one fills up first." Fitting here, no?)

Lizzie only has one spare bedroom in her 1,000 square foot home and she turned it into a closet! Self-indulgent? Maybe... Awesome? Abso-freakin-lutely! Delish.

What do you think? If you had only yourself to decorate for (no boys/kids/animals) what would be your ideal decor scheme?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Home is Unique: The Cistern

Most people spend years trying to differentiate their house from everyone else's on the street, the block, the city, etc. Our house is different all on it's own. I thought I would post some examples of what makes our house unique without having to change a thing.

We've had quite a bit of rain the last few weeks here in St. Louis. One evening last week I was sitting at the dining room table, keeping an eye on dinner when Gidget and I started hearing a strange noise. A gurgling, almost a moan... It was really weird. We decided to investigate and once we left the dining room you couldn't hear it anymore. Mister was in his shower (which is in the basement) and I could hear the water running, but that still didn't account for the odd "rushing" sound. Then I realized it was coming from our "vestibule" entrance. We technically have two front doors.

The one to the left, on the porch, is the one we use and the one people knock at when they come over. The one on the right leads into a little "room".

Looks pretty scary, doesn't it? This was meant to be the "before" shot for the paint job.  

Terrible pic looking from inside the house from when we closed. I immediately took down the curtain.
Detail shot of the tile work in there. No idea why they chose red, it goes with nothing in the house.
Door into the house and dining room; needs to be sanded apparently.
In this little room there is a raised area to the left when standing in the room looking into the house. If you pull back the cover, there is a cistern.

There is a second one under the front porch.

Mister pulled back the cover and I shot a little video of the water under our house. Care to see?

A little creepy, right? My voice sounds really funny, too. So why haven't I been hearing this for the last year (the cistern gurgle, not my goofy voice)? Misters theory is the painters used this cistern spigot for the power washing they did to prepare. Plus, I used it about three weeks ago to water all the plants around the house and the lawn (we don't usually water the lawn). We had never heard it before because it had never been that low.  I think his theory has been proven, because Saturday night we had a major thunderstorm and it dumped rain for at 6 hours. The rain and the winds were so strong they washed out part of our driveway and knocked over two of the windows the painters had propped up under the carport. Luckily nothing broke. But we didn't hear any water rushing into the cistern.

What makes your house unique?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall-ish Decorations

I am not a vignette person. I tend to lean towards using things where it seems practical, useful, and functional. Like books in a bookcase, for instance, organized in a way you can actually tell what you've got...

My abilities to put together a cohesive themed display are zilch, nada, zippo, BIG FAT GOOSE EGG! But I am trying. Here are some recent attempts at fall decorating.

Our mantle is huge, so decorating it without making it look cluttered or sparse is a little difficult.

Mr. bought me the skull from Z Gallerie for my birthday a few years ago. It's a clock!

It doesn't keep time, but I think it's awesome.

The Mister made this little rosebush. I've got a few more of them sprinkled around the house.

This is just one of my beloved Bath & Body candles that I wrapped in twine. And some free acorns from the back patio.

I found these little guys at Marshalls. I went in there looking for something completely different, but I saw these and got so excited I bought them and practically skipped out the door. I didn't remember I had been there for something else for two days! I am a sucker for anything "glam" that's skull themed. The skull clock actually sits on out mantle year round. After we moved in, I put it up and Mister said "Now it feels like home". LMAO.

The acorn candle is from Bath & Body too. Isn't it precious? I haven't actually lit it yet, it seems too perfect to actually use. lol (oh, speaking of "lol": The Mr. is obsessed with the vehicle classifieds on Craigslist. He looks at the classic cars and trucks every night before bed and then again in the morning while he drinks his coffee. He saw a particular ad for some little 1970's sedan and the guy had written "It's just not my style, lol". He turns to me and says "What's lol mean? Little old lady?" um. yeah. sure. whatever you say dude.) My mom bought me the squirrel years ago when I was living in an apartment that had a tree outside the balcony. The squirrels would come sit by my door. Then one day I came home and they were cutting down my tree! I was crushed.

The hall table. Two vine pumpkins, another candle, a vase my parents brought back from Ireland, and the first purchased flowers I've had in the house since this ill fated day. (Looking back at that post makes me realize just how far our house has come.)

The skull and the key were just laying around in the basement, so I threw them up there too.

I finally got the pictures up in the dining room last weekend. I ended up drilling holes and hanging them. The velcro hanging strips just make me nervous. (Funny insert here: I was just about to type "even though they are holding well in our bedroom after I fixed the last problem", then I happened to glance over at them and now the bottom one is missing! Good thing I left the laundry basket there.)

I bought a bag of these skulls at T.J. Maxx for like ten bucks. Mister asked "When did Halloween go from scary to Michal Jackson?" Whatevs. I think they're fun.
Do you have a phobia? Spiders? Snakes? Babies? Mine is zombies. I have a plan for what to do when zombies attack. Not a full blown "I'm stocking food and distilled water in case hell overflows and the dead walk the earth" kind of plan, but a plan nonetheless. I have nightmares about zombies. Even though I haven't watched a zombie movie in over four years (Mister HATES horror flicks). I did make him watch Legion, though. Have you seen the movie Legion? Um, zombies by any other name... Nothing is freakier than mixing God with zombies. Anywho, my mom bought this book for me a couple of Christmases ago. I thought this was perfect time to bring it out.

The rest of the skulls, three little pumpkins I found at the grocery store (which totally complement the rug, BTW), and a welcome plaque with gargoyles on it (which used to hang on my apartment door. Why, oh why, didn't my neighbor talk to me?)

Have you decorated for Fall/Halloween yet? 

I've linked to the "Fantel" Party at Nesting Place... Come join us!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick Fix: Jewelry Storage

I love jewelry... Necklaces, rings, earrings... Love, love 'em! But where to store it all?

Here's how my necklace "tree" used to look.

Messy, hard to distinguish one necklace from the next, all around frustrating. Plus, it's not tall enough to accommodate the longer pieces and they were forever getting tangled.

Enter Ikea (AGAIN!). I purchased a set of their round trivets back in July, thinking I would do something like this. I decided they would work just as well to spread out my jewelry on this wall in my cedar closet:

My original plan was to hot glue a magnet to the back of each trivet, then hot glue the magnet to the wall, thereby potentially "ruining" less surface area should things not release smoothly.

So that's what I did. And it actually held on two of them. About an hour after I put them up, one came crashing down. So I just smeared a bunch of glue on the back and stuck it to the wall. Hopefully it won't mess up the cedar too badly when they need to come back down.

I just used sewing pins as hooks, although it would look neat to use something "specialer" like these or these.

It worked out great for a free solution. I can see my necklaces in the morning when I get my clothes and now I'm a lot more likely to actually wear one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

From "Blah" to "Ta-Da!": Dining Chair Nummer Eins



This project was a bit intimidating (the tufting), but it ended up moving along (fairly) smoothly.

There was only one screw left holding the seat on, so no complications there.

Without the seat. It looks really dirty and gross, doesn't  it? It really wasn't. But it was ivory with a browny glaze over it that just screamed '90's!

The fabric was held on with about a hundred nails. 

It took me about 40 minutes to pry them all loose. 

The tufting doesn't go all the way through the base. There was (and still is) a piece of cardboard sandwiched inside to hold the tufting.

If the velvet hadn't been superduper faded, I would have loved to have kept the hot pink!

There was/ is horsehair under all those layers! Apparently this chair is much older than I initially thought it was.

I took the chair outside and gave it a can of Cover Stain and a can of Rustoleum Gloss White

Then back inside (and away from the mosquitos!) to make my buttons! I bought the button tufting kit from Hobby Lobby, which comes with everything you need (except the fabric, duh!). 

I used some scraps left over from the DR tie-ups, since this chair will eventually be a dining chair.

The packaging even comes with a pattern for your fabric!

All cut out and ready to become buttons.

Mister actually said "You made those?!" That's high praise from him. I was fairly impressed myself. Although it was slightly more effort than the directions made it seem. 

This is where I got discouraged and quit the first night. I followed the pattern layed out on the cardboard, but the tufts weren't even and I was cranky about it. Plus, I had spend a good 30 min. sawing my 2 inch foam into 1.5 inch foam, because it was too thick. However, Gidget decided it was perfect for lounging as is. 

Dozer thought so too, apparently.

I used Sew Perfect "Make It Green" 2 inch cushion foam, 100% wool batting, and a blue/aqua material I found in the remnant bin. It was Labor Day weekend at Hancock Fabric so everything was at least 40% off. Score.

For some reason, I neglected to take any photos of the rest of the process, but there are about a zillion tutorials out there on tufting and reupholstering. Here's a good one.

I finally (obviously) got it all together. One piece of advice though? Don't buy the two inch foam if you already have another layer on your chair. Okay, just one more tip: Tuft through the base, don't try to tuft to a middle layer and then piece it all together; frustrating project, slightly crooked results. Boo.

I'm linking up to Pure and Lovely's Weekly Revampalooza, Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis MondayThe Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday, It's a Blog Party's Show Me How, Fingerprint's on the Fridge's Creative Chick Parade, The Girl Creative's Just Something I Whipped Up, Chic on a Shoestring's Flaunt It Friday, and Making the World Cuter Monday. Whew.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am a spaz.

Do you see what I am seeing or am I completely neurotic? This is only the first real day of painting they've gotten in and I am already unhappy. I understand that brush marks and wandering paint are inevitable (obviously, I am not completely insane), but these seem excessive. Especially since I am sure they are not going to lightly sand before the next coat.

Plus, the Mr. is P.O.'d because he didn't want to hire the job out to begin with. He thought he could do it all himself. Grrr.

My advice on hiring a house painter?
1.) Drive around in your town's fancy, upscale neighborhoods.
2.) Pick a few freshly painted houses with signs in the yard and call those companies.
3.) Get multiple bids.
4.) Don't listen to your real estate agent.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome Fall!

I hate Summer. I hate mosquitoes and heat and humidity and the sun. Ew. Especially mosquitoes and the sun. We don't get along. I'm allergic to both. Blech.

It's a lovely 70 degrees out side. AND I CAN'T OPEN MY WINDOWS! It rained today, so the only think the painter accomplished was removing the screens and numbering them.

Whoopsy! Missed one.

See how dirty and weird that screen looks? I spent the entire weekend spray painting window screens.

The screen on the left is unpainted (gross right?) and the screen on the right has been coated in a layer of Rustoleum 2x Cover Metallic Aluminum. A.Maz.Ing difference, IMO. We have 19 windows (I think) on out house and it took me 7 cans of spray paint! Yikes.

But it was necessary. After 60-70 years of abuse, some of the screens needed mending. So Mister mended.

He took about 8 screens apart, re-screened them, cut new wood to fit, and nailed them back together. How did I get so lucky? I swear, there is nothing sexier than a man who can fix shit. But then the old screen, which had been pained white along the way, didn't match the new screens, which where aluminum screening from Home Depot.  I went to Home Depot twice over the long weekend for screening and spray paint. Which wouldn't be so bad except the closest store is 15 miles away! Ick.

But I also hit the mall while I was "running errands" and cleaned out Bath & Body Works. I love their candles!

They were having a BOGO sale on their large candles! AAHHHHH!

This guy wasn't on sale, but how could I resist his charm?

I thought I'd show you some of the colors we looked at for the house too.

The green on the left is Benjamin Moore Mohegan Sage. It looks divine on FC's house, but with the stone it made out house look like an army bunker. Not cool.

We also tried Sherwin Williams Thunder Gray.

In the store and online it looks like a lovely stormy, deep gray. IRL it doesn't look much different from the Mohegan Sage. I am beginning to understand why some lines label their paints with numbers instead of color names. Mohegan Sage is not "sage". At all. Not remotely.

The color we settled on is Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray. A beautiful deep, dark teal-ly gray blue. Yum-O!

I can't decide on a front door color, though. Any ideas? Mister thought a pale milky yellow (when we were talking Mohegan Sage), but I reallyreallyreally want a turquoise/aquamarine/teal. What say you, lovely decor advisors? Any color advice? Our porch ceiling is blue also, BTW.

I don't want the door and the ceiling the SAME color, but a slight variation on the same tone might be nice.

What color is your front door? Does anybody else have a blue ceiling in their porch?

Edited to add: Mister hates red front doors. FYI. I have no idea why. And black is out because I want a lion head knocker with the ring in his jaws and he is ORB. He needs to POP! He is adorable, BTW. And takes 12 weeks to order. Blah.