Saturday, October 30, 2010

This Week's Ideabook On Houzz: Black & White Rooms

On this Halloween weekend I thought it would be fun to take a look at rooms decorated in black and white. Is there anything more chic than the bold, sophisticated and confident spaces that arise from using this color palette?

:: nicolehollis :: modern dining room
Nicole Hollis

A large mirror lining the wall adds drama by creating the illusion that there are more pendant fixtures, tables and chairs than are actually in the space.

SchappacherWhite Ltd. eclectic living room
Schappacher White Ltd.

The centerpiece of this room is a striped black and white rug. The stripe is repeated in a smaller scale not only on the pillows, but through black trim accenting white square shades placed on black lamps.

Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional kitchen
Austin Patterson Disston Architects

It is hard to complete with a classic black and white kitchen. This is a timeless look for good reason.

To see more wonderful examples of rooms designed using a black and white color palette, click here to read the entire Houzz Ideabook.

Have a happy and safe Halloween! Janell

All images from Houzz.

houzz- kitchen design, bathroom design, landscaping and more

Friday, October 29, 2010

Drapery Panels: Done! And Next? A Few Pillows...

Let me celebrate, the drapery panels are done! The sun didn't show up afterwards, however, and this is one hard room to photograph on a dark rainy day. I'll take more photos and post as soon as the sun decides to smile down on me, but this is what I have for now. (Let me tell you, this weather just really makes me want to curl up under the covers, catch up on some reading and take a nap!)

Using the steps I outlined in this (long, multi-post) tutorial, the drapes were cut, sewn and hemmed...

(checking fabric band placement, in the harsh early morning light!)

...with a band of fabric added along the bottom edge, following the steps in a tutorial here. I think I'm good for about one pair of drapes a year. Any more than that and I would be sending the fabric to the seamstress, despite the cost. (Ha, who am I kidding....)

Up next, a very easy project in comparison...stitching a few pillows using this muted green fabric and a bit of gorgeous trim.

Have a fabulously spooky Halloween weekend! Also, look for my latest Houzz Ideabook tomorrow, in which I showcase a stylish collection of rooms designed using the color palette of black and white.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Drapery Progress...

After hanging the drapes I noticed a few things. First, the clip rings were not doing these heavy drapes justice. The weight of the drapes were pulling down the panels, causing them to sag, leaving too much room between the top edge of the drape and the drapery rod. Additionally, the lower section of the drapes read too dark in an already darker room and what is up with that light switch peeking out from behind the panel? Am I the only one that is irritated by oddly placed switch covers?

To make the needed adjustments I purchased some drapery hooks, which after being attached to the panels will simply be slipped over the existing rings. Luckily there is no need to remove the clips already on the rings...they won't even show once the drapes are hung.

I also decided to extend the rod length and add another ring to each end of the rod, which I just happened to have on hand. Hopefully this will allow the panel to fall a little further over on the right side, covering at least a bit more of the switch plate. (Yes, this is one blurry photo, but I was on a ladder, taking the picture with one hand. As I tell my kids, safety first!)

Then the hooks were inserted at the top back side of the drapery panels, at even intervals. While making the drapes I had fused heavy weight interfacing along the top edge, which provided a sturdy area to secure the hooks. Adding fusing along the top edge also helps the drapes hold their folds after being hung.

Afterwards the drapes were rehung. What a big improvement!

With the hanging issue corrected, it's now time to hem the panels. Then I'll attach a band of trim along the lower edges, made from this fabric...

...similar to how bands of fabric were attached to the drapes below. (See tutorial here.)

Maybe the drapes will be done tomorrow? It's looking hopeful!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Floor Plan & More...

Yesterday I received this request from a reader:

"I love looking at the rooms in your home. They are all so well thought out and the attention to every little detail makes the 'whole' absolutely beautiful!!! Would you ever consider posting the layout of your home, so people like me (with house obsessions) could get a better idea of how each room flows into the next?"

Sure! While I'm busy working my way through this pile of fabrics, I can do that.

The drawings I have from the builder are in reverse. But regardless, here they are, complete with notes on the current state of affairs and plans/ideas for the future!

People always ask what we are going to do when the house is done. My response in our two previous homes was this: Move.

Now my answer is this: There are still a lot of spaces and projects to take on, and after that? Start over!

Also, there is progress to report on the Master Bedroom Redesign, finally! I decided to tackle the biggest sewing project first and after about six hours of cutting and sewing the drapes have been sewn and hung! These are double width lined drapes mind you, and that is a lot of weight to wrestle with. I felt as if I'd run a marathon after this sewing session, not that I know what that would really feel like. The panels still need to be hemmed and I'm contemplating the trim detail specifics. Look for photos tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Profile Picture...What Would I Do Without The Help Of My Kids?!

I have been meaning to get an updated profile picture for a long time. It has only been something like 20 haircuts and 2.5 years since my last one was taken...

After coming home from getting my hair cut, again, I asked Isabella if she would take a photo of me. She was distracted, currently in the middle of making applesauce with her Dad, trying out the new food processor. So I had her attention for five minutes, tops. First thing she did? Tell me to wipe away my lipstick! She is not a fan of my "too brown" shade. Oh well, I know for certain I will be making a similar remark to her in a very short period of time. came the lipstick, or most of it.

We found a spot and she took enough shots to get one good one.

"Thanks Isabella, I appreciate it...", I said as she ran back to the kitchen, nearly tossing the camera back to me.

She knows what is really important: Time with Dad & cooking!

Max Asks: When You Were A Kid, What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?"

While Max and I were working on the architectural letters this past weekend he asked me this...

"Mom, when you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?"

I hadn't thought about this for awhile, so when I started rattling off all the various things I had dreamed about becoming, I was surprised.

"Well, I wanted to be a photographer, a writer, a painter, an architect."

Max: "You are not an architect!"

Me: "No, but I work on houses. And look, I paint, I take pictures and I write! Aren't I lucky, my dreams have come true..."

And what did Max answer, when I posed the same question back to him?

"An inventor".

Oh, good answer!

Monday, October 25, 2010

DIY Architectural Letters For The Bedroom Art Wall

bed eclectic bedroom

I've been searching for architectural letters to place among images on an art wall as part of the Master Bedroom Redesign. This was inspired by the above image I included in a recent Ideabook written for Houzz, 'Bedroom Art Walls'. Having no luck finding any, I decided to make them myself with the goal of creating authentic looking rusty and worn metal letters.

The supplies needed for this project are letters, tinted primer, metallic and orange paint. I found these paper mache letters at Joann Fabrics, just what I was looking for. Even better they were on sale, spending under $5.00 for both, and I selected "M" for Max and "I" for Isabella.

When I laid out the supplies to get started, Max wanted to help...gotta love some free assistance! With this project, the messier you are with the painting, the better. A six year old boy certainly fits that bill.

To make these DIY "Metal" Architectural Letters, begin by covering the letters with tinted primer.

Let dry to touch.

Then brush metallic paint over the letter surfaces.

Rub in the paint and wipe away with an old cloth.

Next mix or find a deep orange paint to add some instant age with "rust".

Brush accents of "rust" paint on the letters.

Rub in the paint and wipe away with the cloth.

Finally brush on and wipe away another layer of metallic paint to cover the "rust" paint, making the effect appear more authentic.

I love these letters! This was one super easy project and won't they look great hung on the wall among art or photographs?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Week's Ideabook On Houzz: What Says "Quality" In A Home? Wooden Tread Staircases

A reader recently shared pictures of her newly completed home with me, a home which was custom built with outstanding craftsmanship. One thing that caught my eye and made the house stand out as exceptional was the attention to detail, including a beautiful wooden tread staircase. It is details such as these that say "quality" and I was inspired to see what examples of wooden tread staircases could be found on Houzz.

As you will see, there was no shortage of wonderful staircases to showcase. What I find interesting is that the attention to detail doesn't stop with the stairs. If time and money is spent getting this detail right, equal attention is given to the surrounding areas.

Sullivan Conard Architects traditional staircase
Sullivan Conard Architects

Here is traditional architecture at its best. The dark stair treads and handrail create a wonderful contrast against the millwork seen in this entry.

-- Hirsch Associate -- modern staircase
Hirsch Associates

Steel, glass and dark wood are combined in an strikingly artistic and modern way on this staircase.

modern stair contemporary staircase
Mark English Architects

Is this a staircase or a sculpture? The dark wood paired with white walls and marble floors highlights the sweeping lines of the staircase.

Logan's Hammer Building & Renovation

This home embraces the features I love most in a well made home: natural materials, excellent craftsmanship and the obvious thought given to make the most of each nook and cranny. The built-in work area and glass front cabinet are wonderful examples of details that can only be found in a quality home.

To read the entire Houzz Ideabook click here, and have a wonderful Fall weekend!


All images from Houzz

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Chalkboard Tray Project

With an old tray, leftover tinted primer and chalkboard paint sitting unused, how could I resist covering another item with this fun paint? I love the idea of a chalkboard tray, perfect for placing little bowls of treats or drinks on at a party with "labels", or writing a little message befitting the event! Here are the simple steps taken to make this tray.

Begin by sanding the finish off an old tray or find an unfinished tray to make this project even easier.

Brush the entire tray with tinted primer and let dry for two hours.

Tip: Elevate the tray to make painting the sides easier by placing it on top of a bowl or small box.

Lightly sand the surface with a fine grit sanding pad.

Then brush the entire tray with chalkboard paint and let dry for two hours.

If there are any rough spots just quickly run the sanding pad over the surface.

As I suspect this tray will get a lot of use, I decided to apply two layers of chalkboard paint. This will ensure a surface that is durable and able to handle all the writing and erasing to come. Let the final layer of chalkboard paint dry for 24 hours.

After the paint has dried cover the entire tray with chalk, using a large stick on its side.

Rub the chalk into the surface...

...and wipe away with a towel. This process helps any writing and drawing to be fully erasable. I read this tip somewhere and it truly does work.

Finally, set out some ghoulish treats! And the best part? When Halloween is over just erase and use again at another event...