Sunday, August 22, 2010

Recycling Home Decor

When it comes to decorating Chateau 809, it takes me a while to figure out what would looks best in each room.  I am finding that I like to try to reuse decor items that we already have rather than buy brand new things.  Don't get me wrong, I could spend hours at Home Goods (and quite frequently do) but it makes me feel better that I'm saving money and not letting things go to waste by trying to reuse things we already have.

Case in point- the kitchen mirror.  We've had this mirror for a while but I couldn't figure out  a good place in the house to hang it.  Meanwhile, I've been trying to decide what to hang on the walls in our kitchen to dress it up a bit.  A light bulb went off when I finally put two and two together and figured out that the mirror would look great in the kitchen if I gave it a fresh coat of white paint.

 Here's how the mirror originally looked:

After taping some blue painters tape and wrapping paper over it, it was time for painting.

After a fresh coat of white paint, here's how it looks hanging in the kitchen:

Not the best pictures but you can get a pretty good idea.  I love the contrast of the white with the gray paint and white cabinets.  Do you like to recycle any of your home decor items?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Front Porch Part 2- My DIY Doormat

In trying to make my front porch look pretty, I needed to find a new door mat.  I have been leaning towards a monogrammed door mat for a while but the only ones I could find cost a ton and are way more than I'm willing to spend on something that is going to need to be replaced in less than a year.  So after some shopping around for a decent priced door mat and coming up empty handed, I got the idea to DIY one after seeing AnNicole's amazing tutorial on Our Suburban Cottage (see her post here).

I bought a plain door mat from Ikea and got out some left over black spray paint.  I then printed our initial and cut it out with a pair of scissors (this part was a serious pain in the neck). 

After taping the initial template to the mat, I measured the space where I wanted a border and taped off the remaining area around it.  (In case anyone's interested, I chose to make the border two and a half inches.) I used clear masking tape which doesn't come up that clearly in the photos but it worked pretty well.

I then brought everything outside and painted away.  I then peeled off the template and let the paint dry before moving it to the front porch.  Here's the finished product:

Overall I think I could have done a better job taping the template down and painting but I'm pretty happy with it and that it cost less than $10 to do this project.  Next step for the front porch makeover- find a door wreath!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prettying Up the Front Porch

Seeing as how summer is almost over, I must admit that I'm a bit behind schedule on my plan to fix up the front porch.  To be honest, there's not a whole lot of space to work with but I've watched enough HGTV to know that curb appeal counts for something so I figured it's better late than never.

For Home Decor items, I've been shopping more recently at Ross.  I never thought to go there in the past but when I have trouble finding what I'm looking for at Home Goods, I'll stop by Ross which is usually a hit or miss but you definitely can't beat their prices.  So after searching high and low for a plant urn I liked at the two Home Goods stores in my area,  I spotted this lovely at Ross:

I'm not too sure if it's a planter but figured it I could make it work.  I took it home and drilled some holes in the bottom and gave it a fresh coat of black paint.  Now came time for the actual planting part.  I love the plant urns I see in the city with ivy overflowing the rims but I also love the look of boxwood shrubs.  I decided to go for the boxwood since I think it will be much easier to maintain and will hopefully last longer.  I swung by Home Depot where I picked one up for  $6.99.  After finally filling the planter, here's how it looks:

And now here's how the front porch looks so far. 

As you can see, I have limited space to work with but I feel there are a few other things I could do to make it look nicer- starting next with getting a new door mat.  Any other suggestions?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Updating an 80s Banister

One of the most visible eyesores in our house was our dated banister which was screaming for a makeover.  We have been  planning on getting a carpenter to change out the banister at some point in the future but for some reason, we never thought to paint it until recently.  I finally went for it and have to say, I'm loving the results.

To get an idea of how the banister looked before, here it is:

And after:

We like it so much now that we're thinking we don't need to replace it.  It's so funny it took me this long to realize how great it would look painted- especially because I paint everything! Do you have any banister-painting stories?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Working on the Living Room

My living room/dining room is one of the last rooms in the house that is yet to be finished and it's in desperate need of some help.

I've been struggling with what to do with this room.  As you can see, I took down the gallery wall above the living room and put up one large black and white photograph instead.  I think next on my to do list is to add some greenery for some color.  I love fresh cut flowers but hate how they die so quickly and the cost can add up- I'm hoping that a plant will last longer.  I also need to add some side tables and lamps and some more decor on the coffee table.  Any other suggestions??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Old Made New Again

Sorry to anyone out there who may still be reading this blog.... I've been away for a while (can't believe summer is half way over) but I'm back and resolute to start posting more. 

With that being said, here's a chair-reupholstering project I've been working on for a while.  Over the winter, we were visiting some family abroad and I stumbled upon what has become one of my most favorite stores ever, Sia Home Fashion.  I'm soo sad that none of these stores exist in the U.S and that there's no on-line shopping.   In any event, a chair that was at the store caught my eye.

(This photo was taken this summer when we had the opportunity to go back to the same place- the price had been cut but still too much to consider taking home).

I loved this chair but alas there was no possible way of getting it home.  When I was back home though, I was browsing around on-line and stumbled across its near identical twin at a consignment store.  I wasted no time and picked it up.  Here's what it looked like when I just brought it home:

Sorry for the grainy quality of the pic- it was taken with my cell phone.  That's how it stayed for seven months until I figured out where to put the chair in the house and what to do with it.  I finally decided to use it in the guest bedroom and reupholster it with black and white striped fabric which I bought from Ikea.  After giving it a fresh coat of black spray paint and my first reupholstering project, here it is:

I think the fabric works in the guest bedroom which I'll be debuting shortly.   Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Table

When we finally bought a new mattress and moved our new bed into the master bedroom, our nightstands (which are actually Ikea side tables) were suddenly too big and needed to be replaced with something much smaller.  I have been admiring mirrored furniture for a while and thought that some mirrored tables would fit perfectly with our blue/gray/black/white color scheme.

I ended up going with Target's mirrored side table since it's (a) inexpensive and (b) small enough to fit on the end of the bed without blocking off access to the bathroom.  Here it is when I got it home and out of the box.

As you can see, there isn't too much table surface space so the lamp and alarm clock barely fit.  (Please ignore the chords and the fact that the alarm clock isn't plugged in.)  I'm hoping to eventually get swing arm wall lamps which will free up some more space.  I only bought one table so I can see how it looks in the room but after getting everything set up, I'm definitely going to buy a second one.