Sunday, May 31, 2009

What I Found While Hunting For Night Stands...

Two night stands are needed for the "Girl's Dream Bedroom". This feminine Tessa Night Stand from Crate & Barrel is perfect for the room. Well almost, it has the wrong price, the wrong finish...but other than those issues, perfect! I was actually tempted to refinish it when I recently saw a floor model on sale for $219, but this price still exceeds the budget I have for both night stands. This fact saved me from temptation and the work that would have followed.

With price being key I decided to visit the two HomeGoods stores in the Portland area. This required my making one very large loop around the Portland Metro area. Luckily there was virtually no traffic and I was back home to enjoy the rest of a beautiful Sunday within a couple hours. (Okay, plus a few minutes). Here are the options I found:

This white night stand with the wicker baskets certainly hit a home run with its price, but it is a bit too country for this design. It did, however, give me the idea to find baskets in some pretty color to place beneath the night stands I decide on. A great place to store books or other items when not in use.

The potbelly night stand to the right is very close to the Tessa design, so high on the list of possibilities. Its drawers are fairly deep and lined with brown fabric...cute. On the down side it has some damage on the left leg that would require some sanding and paint touch up. Time to ask for a price reduction?

Another find with the right lines is this cream night stand with deep, wide drawers. This option is a big plus in terms of storage, but the cons are its higher price and 30" width, which will use all the space available. It may end up looking out of balance paired with a smaller night stand.

This next find on the right is great. Right color, size, nice design, great price and no damage. The only con is its height. It is fractionally shorter than the other front runner. If paired together I'll have to place pads on the bottom of the legs to give it a slight boost, so the lamps placed on them will align at the same height.

This wooden top option made me stop and take a look, but it was too tall and I decided I didn't like the brown table much refinishing do I really want to do? The number of drawers and storage, however, would have been a big plus.

Finally, although these last two pieces don't really mesh with the design of the room, I had to think about them for a moment. I adore the lined interior! Unfortunately they are too high, too expensive and wouldn't really be as useful with shelves instead of drawers. All the cons take these night stands out of the running.

So...I've made my decision, the two smaller white potbelly nightstands are my picks. Let's hope no one else found them today!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vintage Lamps Find A New Home

The vintage lamps that have found a new home in Isabella's bedroom once belonged to my grandmother. I remember them from when I was a girl, visiting her house. While they are a bit funky, the pink roses and gold trim are sweet and the lamps carry many happy memories from another time and place. I believe a room is always enhanced when an item or two are brought in that have personal history.

The lamps were in working condition and the wiring may have been fine, but when it comes to old fixtures it's best to not take chances! I took them to Naomi's, a shop in Lake Oswego. In addition to selling lamps, shades and light fixtures (it's here I found the chandelier for this room), it is a great place to get old or broken fixtures brought back to life.

The ladies at Naomi's rewired the lamps in just a few minutes, and then it was off to Lamps Plus to look for new shades. (Naomi's is an outstanding source for shades, but for this room I needed a bargain!) I came up short at this first stop...found the right shape but it was too wide. I was searching for a simple design to downplay the rather old fashioned lines of the lamps. The next stop was Pottery Barn, where I found a pair of silk drum shades lined with a gorgeous metallic finish. The cream shades are simple, modern and fit the lamps perfectly. With this the shopping was finally over for the day! (Tip: take the lamp with you to try on various shade options...and save a trip to the return counter.)

When selecting shades the bottom line of the shade should just cover the socket while not obscuring the top of the lamp base. Lamp harps come in varying heights, to get a shade to fit a lamp at the right point all that is needed is a shorter or taller harp.

Next, I am on the hunt for night stands, which must have at least two drawers each and cost next to nothing!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Chandelier Was Out There Waiting

The next project for the girl's bedroom is lighting, and I hoped a shopping trip this past weekend would result in finding a unique chandelier for the space.

It did! I needed to stop by a local lamp shop, Naomi's, to find lamp shades for a client and to get a pair of lamps rewired (more about that project later). As soon as I walked in the door, a chandelier caught my eye. I immediately knew it was perfect for this long as the numbers on the tag didn't persuade me otherwise. Luckily they didn't!

It is very very sparkly which pleases the "client", Isabella, who is having a strong opinion about all the choices! It is also a somewhat unlikely choice, more predictable would have been a delicate chandelier with a white finish. The gold adds another dimension to the room and will make more sense once the antique table lamps I am having rewired are brought in, which have a small gold detail.

I couldn't wait to get the chandelier hung, and found an hour to install it before heading to a friend's house for a BBQ. Returning home as the sun was going down, we turned on the chandelier and were delighted to see its crystals cast prisms around the room, making the turquoise walls shimmer like water. I think Sherwin-Williams got it right when they named this paint color Watery!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Success With The Headboard Frame From eBay!

I wasn't so sure about the outcome of this headboard project when I saw the small, rather tattered, box it was delivered in. Upon opening the package my first impression didn't improve. The headboard was folded in half with rough planks of wood, for the legs and center brace, screwed to the back of the headboard. Did it even have all the hardware and pieces I needed to assemble it? But Isabella was excited it had arrived, so I figured I had better start acting hopeful!

Luckily, once the headboard was unfolded and put together (everything was supplied and there were no assembly issues...what a relief!) I began to see that there was potential for a successful outcome. (Want to try this project yourself? Find Foam N More Upholstery Inc. on eBay.)

The first task was to wrap the headboard with a soft lining, enabling the finished surface to be smooth. Then I needed to figure out how to place the fabric on the headboard so that it would conform to the curved shape, while keeping the fabric grain straight. This was trickier than I had anticipated. My plan had been to seam the fabric at the points where the curves met to help the fabric mold to the shape, but soon realized this was not going to work. I considered placing the fabric on its bias...but there wasn't enough fabric. Finally the solution I settled on was to create a pleat running at an angle from the low point of the curves down towards the lower corners. This approach allowed the fabric to stay on grain across the width of the frame while also conforming to the contours of the frame. This little tailoring detail ended up enhancing the overall look of the headboard...a nice bonus!

The rest was simple...the legs were covered separately and attached to the headboard, and then the entire frame was bolted onto the bed frame.

The fabric works perfectly in this room (Slubby Linen in Robins Egg from Calico Corners) with its color just a shade lighter than the walls. The second set of drapes are finished and have been hung on the window behind the bed. The drapes on these windows are double width so that they can be pulled closed and still fall with beautiful folds.

Next many projects to choose from...I think a shopping trip to find a chandelier would be a fun outing for this upcoming weekend. Hopefully something is just sitting out there waiting to be found!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vintage Modern Powder Bath

Okay, the week is coming to a close and I have no significant progress to report on the bedrooms. Next week should be a busy one for both rooms, but for now I'll share photos of a powder bath I designed two years requested by Suzanne! I love this bright and cheerful little room, and it was a delight to have it featured in the HGTV Ideas magazine, in the Spring 2008 issue. The article was titled "Powder Room Posh", and talked about how you can go big on design in little spaces! I have to agree!

The design started with painting the room Devine Blade, by Devine Color at, a wonderful pale green. On the back wall a hand painted floral pattern was applied in white, inspired by a colorful wallpaper by Neisha Crosland. This treatment makes the room, along with the vintage chandelier found at a local store here in Portland, Three Monkeys on 23rd St. The day I was shopping for light fixtures and spotted this one I was beyond thrilled, one of my all time favorite light fixture is quirky, fun and beautiful all at once. I wish I had several more of them!!

Below sits a dresser, which was in rather sad shape until I refinished it with the bright white paint and painted the hardware black...this combination brings an updated feel to the piece. The retro San Francisco print, which was found at Z Gallerie, provides a fun splash of color. More colorful artwork hangs on adjacent walls, quick sketches inspired by a whimsical fabric seen in a magazine.

On the opposite wall, above the towel bar, I hung a fun bird motif plate by Thomas Paul, and a striking mirror from Crate & Barrel graces the sink area. As I have gathered these photos together and described the room's elements, I see that many are not pieces you would traditionally consider putting in a powder bath. But then again, why not? This is a room where you can just have fun decorating to your heart's content!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Girl's Dream Bedroom - Drapery Hardware & Panels

After running into a few stores and shopping around online for drapery hardware, I finally ordered these wooden rods and finials from JCPenny. I found very few options in my search, which surprised me. I wanted simple white hardware made of extension rods! (With extension rods each time a panel is closed they catch on the spot where the rods fit together, an annoyance in my opinion!) Actually JCPenny is a great source for drapery hardware and their selections tend to be very affordable, especially if you catch a sale (who isn't running a sale these days!) and search on Google for any available coupons prior to placing the order.

The only downside was that the hardware color was a bit too white for the room. Once the rods were installed they didn't look so great against the rooms creamy trim and ceiling color. After looking at it for a bit, wondering if I could live with the stark contrast, I realized a light brushing of the ceiling paint color onto the wooden hardware would probably fix the problem. It worked, taking just enough of the starkness away, enabling the hardware to blend into the background. Also key was installing the hardware so that the rod lies just above the line where the wall and ceiling color meet, so as to not break the continuous line around the room. In addition, having the rod hung higher creates an illusion that the room is taller, with the drapes extending nearly to the ceiling.

The drapery panels are so bright! The fabric is 'Lock' in Hot Pink from Calico Corners. I have wondered if the light turquoise version of this print, which would have blended in with the walls, should have been selected. But when Isabella saw the drapes she loved them, so I am very happy with the choice. The panels themselves could not look happier, that is for certain! Wow...could you be unhappy in this room?

So far only one set of panels are complete, but the second is coming along. In the meantime, I am hoping to find quality looking roller shades to mount inside the window frame. A fun trim will be added along the bottom edge to dress them up. Does anyone have a suggestion for a great place to find such an item, on a budget? If so, please let me know!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Girl's Dream Bedroom - Headboard

I have the winning bid for a headboard on eBay! This is my first purchase, so I'm very excited. But when I stop to realize I was the only bidder...perhaps I shouldn't be?

Oh well. This bedroom design calls for an upholstered headboard, which can get pricey. I don't have the time or skill to make the frame myself, so I searched on eBay. This frame is the result and I have high hopes it will be a great product. (From Foam N More Upholstery Inc.) Looking at the picture, hum, it really doesn't look so fabulous. But, I am fairly confident an upholstery job will transform it. The padded headboard and legs will be covered with a beautiful textured linen from Calico Corners called 'Slubby Linen' in Robins Egg, a color a shade lighter than the wall color.

The room presents some challenges when it comes to its furniture plan. It is long and narrow, measuring 10'x16'. Being slightly obsessed with symmetry, the only arrangement I found satisfactory is to place the bed in its current position below the window. It is not ideal. I don't like furniture blocking windows, but when the bed is turned with the head on the left wall the room gets weighted to that side. So below the window it stays. With this in mind I selected this curved shaped headboard, which will leave most of the view exposed.

Hopefully all the materials will be here within a week or so, things will go smoothly and I'll have a wonderful result to share!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finished Sunburst Mirror - Can I Keep It?

I ADORE this sunburst mirror, now that it has undergone a bit of work! To transform the mirror from its original gold finish the surface was sanded, primed, painted an off white, followed by a thin layer of a taupe/silver glaze. I just finished the work and propped it up on my living room mantel to get a look at I am wondering how fast I can get to Home Goods to see if the second one is still there. This room must have one as well!

Alas, the mirror is going to be just beautiful in my client's master bedroom. Placed above the dark wood dresser, with its wave pattern, the mirror will look stunning and will be a wonderful compliment to the lamps selected for this room. Piece by piece, this master bedroom retreat is coming together...