Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Watch As I Jump Around The House From Room To Room

This summer's list of projects will have me jumping around the house, from room to room! I typically focus on one space at a time, but because of the long and varied list of projects I'll be working on for (writing articles for each) the schedule will be more random. While I hope to continue to make progress on the Master Bedroom Redesign, as other corners of the house are visited...we will have to see.

The next two projects will be in the kitchen. First up, painting the kitchen island! I am so excited. I have been wanting to paint the island for awhile now, to bring in a more customized, lighter look. Also, ever since completing the Kitchen Redesign, these original pendants have been crying out to be changed. They are far from interesting, in my opinion.

Here are some of the paint colors I've been considering for the island. Yes, a lot! The idea of painting the island green was very appealing. However, finding just the right shade of green to work with the cabinets painted SW Softer Tan, the tones of the venetian gold granite, as well as the flooring and wall color has not exactly been a walk in the park.

Using a cabinet door sample I had on hand, the testing of the paint colors began. The first colors sampled were brighter greens and unfortunately they brought out the orange tones in the granite. This was not the result I wanted. In fact, when reworking the kitchen originally, one of the goals was to take emphasis away from the dull orange tones in the granite and bring out its gray and taupe colors. I had to remind myself of this and rethink the paint color for the island. I have often gotten color inspiration by looking closely at the stone or tile in a space, pulling out colors from these surfaces. Looking closely at the granite once again, I saw some of the grays had a green undertone, which provided a clearer direction for the color search.

See all the colors on the sample door? Don't hesitate to test as many colors as needed to find the right option. This has become much easier as paint companies have begun to sell test size samples. While testing various colors, if they don't look right, try to pinpoint the exact reason why and use that as a guide when selecting the next color to test. Also, view the colors being considered in various lighting, both day and night.

The second project has already begun. The island pendants have been replaced with these pendant hardware kits, on which any shade can be hung. These great little kits were found at Shades of Light.

You probably could have predicted that I wouldn't be able to pass up an opportunity to customize the shades to be hung on the pendants. They will be covered in Robert Allen's Cats Cradle geometric print in Amber (brown shown left below). The Papaya colorway was my first choice, but when the fabric was held up to the lit shade the color didn't look right with pink undertones coming through. The more neutral Amber was the second choice. Covered in this fabric the shades will still be really fun, while also providing good lighting.

A screw on the hardware allows any standard lampshade with a washer ring to be hung on this it!

And back to the paint color, I finally selected SW7052 Gray Area, a neutral gray with green undertones. (The color shown on the right side of the cabinet door.) In some light it looks green, in others gray. Most importantly it coordinates well with all the other elements in the kitchen and adjoining family room. Work starts later today...and I am getting help. It is summer after all, and while I enjoy my work, I also want to spend a lot of quality time playing outside with the kids while the sun is shining!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seating Ideas For The Master Bedroom Redesign

While catching up on some of the many blogs I follow, this image caught my eye at Alice Lane Home.

Seeing this settee caused me to rethink the furniture plan for the below corner of the master bedroom. In this original design there was no room for a seating area, which I've missed having in my bedroom. With the goal of creating room for one, the armoire was sold. It was only housing an old TV anyway.

Look at the nice space that has opened up in its absence! Here I had planned on placing the (soon to be) reupholstered bergere chair, with a TV mounted on the wall and a narrow console below. The sight of the gorgeous settee opened my eyes to the possibility for more ample seating, something that can actually be lounged in! (For all those moments I lounge...)

To get a sense of what something larger would feel like here, I brought in the two slipper chairs I had reupholstered last year. They provide a good visual for how a larger piece would look in the room, and I like it. A TV would still be placed above, but the wiring could be run to the other side of the room, with the equipment placed in the open shelf on one of the nightstands. I believe there are remotes that don't need to be pointing directly at the media equipment to work. This would eliminate the need to house anything below the TV, and thus freeing up the area to create a true seating area. In a small room such as this it's important to get strategic with the layout!

Here are some ideas for alternative seating. Very feminine. These styles would introduce an interesting mix paired with the strong clean lines of the headboard. I wonder what my husband will think of them...

I've ordered some swatches and will give it all some thought...but I'm kind of excited!

And as for televisions in a bedroom, people can be very divided on this topic. Obviously I've expressed my thoughts on this matter. I really do enjoy catching up on my favorite shows in the dark hours of winter, while sitting all comfy in bed! What about you, do you have a TV in your bedroom?

Settee options from Ballard Design

Monday, June 28, 2010

Imitation Is The Highest Form Of Flattery...

...and today I am copying a great little idea over at Home To Three Duncan Boys!

New bedding is in order for the master bedroom, and truly, I find the prices of linens just shocking. Perhaps I've never had the pleasure of sleeping on high thread count sheets, and so simply don't understand their value. If you are one of those fortunate people who have, try to have tolerance for my ignorance as I tell you where I shopped for new sheets and a bedskirt. I've been quite happy with the bedding purchased at Ikea for Max's Bedroom, and the prices...well, you know they are good! So I returned there for our bedroom.

I had some vague idea to dress up the bedskirt, but hadn't given it much thought. Then I read this post at Home To Three Duncan Boys...ding, ding, ding!! This is it, I thought, I am so completely copying Lakeitha. I had forgotten about Stitch Witchery, what a great product. By using it, this project got done in under an hour.

With the headboard fabric as inspiration, I picked up a wide grosgrain ribbon in brown to run along the lower edge of the bedskirt. Nice and simple, but just enough interest to elevate this piece of bedding.

This could not be easier to do. Simply lay out the trim with the stitch witchery placed between the trim and bedskirt. Then iron on.

I worked my way around the entire edge of the bedskirt, tucking the ribbon around to the backside of the bedskirt at each end.

To simplify things even more, the stitching of the bedskirt hem was used as a guideline for the the placement of the trim. This left a thin line of fabric below the ribbon, creating a look that ties back to the Bocce fabric.

Afterwards the pleats were pressed down and the bedskirt placed on the bed. Thanks for your inspiration, Lakeitha!

Then look what caught my eye! More on this tomorrow.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Week's Ideabook on Houzz: Dressing Rooms & Walk-In Closets

closets contemporary closet

What is it about a dressing room or large walk in closet, all beautifully arranged, that just screams glamour and luxury? It says there is enough space to go around and some of the square footage can be spent on housing the owner's beautiful collection of clothing and accessories.

custom closet traditional closet
Murphy Moon and Carol Abbott
Above Images From Houzz

I love much so that I ended up studying fashion design and worked in that industry for many years. During that time, a friend of mine lived in a very large apartment with a Jack & Jill bath off her bedroom leading into another bedroom. But was it used as a bedroom? No! Instead the walls were lined with custom floor to ceiling cabinets and an island placed in the middle of the large room, with endless drawers for accessories and jewelry. And I think what really set this room apart were the two large windows with a window bench placed between them for seating. Add in a couple of full length mirrors placed on the back of the doors to the bath and hall, and this was a slice of paradise. Apparently that space has had a lasting impression on me!

To view some equally outstanding closets and dressing rooms, both classic and creative, read my Houzz Ideabook here. And then, take a look at the closet I share with my husband! This image could not be included in the Ideabook for obvious reasons.

However, I am so inspired by all the photos I selected from Houzz for this piece that I'm beginning to think something can be done with ours. First I need to clear out all the extra lampshades. I must have taken the quote, "bring your own lampshade somewhere there's a party" a bit too literally!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Totaling Up The Costs: The Headboard Wall

So what did it cost to make the headboard wall? A few of you have asked and I'm not above talking money...why is it such a prickly subject?! You'll see that the savings, compared to what a similar headboard would cost at retail, may inspire you to consider taking on such a project yourself. And even better, these costs are for a headboard reaching up to a total height of 95 inches! A normal headboard could be half this height, with nearly half the cost. All costs are rounded up for my convenience, I don't want to go dig out the receipts. But trust me, I have a good memory for numbers.

Fabric: Bocce, from Calico Corners, $210 for 6 yards
Batting: $30 for 6 yards, 90" wide (purchased with 50% off JoAnn coupon)
Two Inch High Density Foam: Four 2'x7' pieces, $130 (also purchased with 50% off JoAnn coupons)
800 Pieces of Nail Head Trim: $35
Plywood, Four 1x4's, Construction Glue & Staples: $60

Grand Total: $465~

Nearly half the cost went to fabric, and here I didn't skimp. If you were to create an average size headboard using one sheet of plywood, and find a deal on fabric, this cost could go down significantly!

Have a wonderful weekend...and as hard as it might be for you to believe, I will not be working on any DIY projects. Instead we will be celebrating my birthday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The 'Headboard Meets An Upholstered Wall' Project Has Been Put To Bed!

A day later than promised, but here are photos of the headboard...all complete and installed on the wall. Can I share how relieved I am that this project went smoothly?!

This is where I was standing when I got the idea to create a full height headboard, at the bathroom sink looking into the mirror and the reflection of the bedroom behind me. I wanted to see something inspiring and beautiful reflected in the mirror, filling the doorway into the bedroom.

Taking this approach the fabric on the headboard would become a design element in the bathroom, being reflected in the mirror, and it was important the new fabric compliment the Thomas Paul Aviary print seen on the chairs. After considering several options I selected the Bocce geometric print in Cocoa, found at Calico Corners. I thought it would look striking made up on the headboard while also enhancing the bathroom design. I just love this view...the fabric looks like wallpaper!

The frame lays flush against the wall, giving the headboard a custom look. The chinoiserie fabric used on the lampshade looks great adjacent to the geometric print. The two work together well because of the difference in scale and while the fabrics share the same colors, the lampshade fabric has a dark background while the headboard has a light background.

The profile of the headboard has just enough depth to have substance, with the shadows highlighting the nail head trim.

The lamps cast a interesting pattern of light which break up the expanse of the fabric.

The height of the frame tucks up neatly to the ceiling.

And how lucky am I the original wall treatment, hand painted to resemble a textured fabric, works with the new design. It took hours to paint this wall and I would have painted over it if necessary, but I'm happy to see it stay!

One aspect I love is how the print runs around the edge of the frame in an even line, with the print ending at the same point on both the left and right sides of the headboard. It was a bit of work to get the placement right, but it was definitely worth the effort.

The scale of the tall lamps with their larger shades look right sitting next to the full height headboard.

The hardest aspect of the project was using a fabric with such pronounced lines. Using a solid or a print with a more random pattern would have certainly made the job much easier, just an FYI if you decide to try a similar project!! However, after the fact I always forget the challenges and enjoy the result...this will certainly be the case here!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little "Jewelry" For Your Shades

Sorry!...despite the promise to post photos of the completed headboard today, I didn't get any pictures taken. It was finally a decent day in Oregon and we took full advantage of this rare summer moment and spent nearly the entire day outside! It has been the wettest June on recorded history in Portland, with the days feeling and looking more like cool wet fall days than the first days of summer. We were beginning to feel cheated, but not today. And as for the photos...let's try again tomorrow!

In the meantime, look at these gorgeous decorative shades pulls from Zwick Window Shade Co. in Chicago.

While designing Isabella's bedroom last summer I had intended to install roller shades that I would customize with trim. The shades were to be layered behind the drapery panels made for the room. But isn't there nearly always a point in a project where either the budget or energy runs dry, with a few final projects being put aside for a later day?!

This was just such a project. But with the arrival of the longer summer days, I am realizing a darker room in the morning might help Isabella sleep past the crack of dawn. So, finally shades are going to be hung on her windows. I'll be using simple roller shades but will dress them up. One design element I definitely wanted to add were beautiful decorative shade pulls and look the lovelies I found during my search!

Jewelry for shades, most definitely!!

I've ordered a style, but I'm not telling you which one just yet!

More on this project in the next couple of weeks...