Sunday, June 24, 2012

Transforming a 1940's Cottage

A few weekends ago I got a delightful call from my Aunt Mary & Uncle Pat. They have literally traveled all around the world and are some of the coolest people you will ever meet. Over the past few years, they have lived in the heat of the desert in Arizona, and also in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. For years I have admired their beautiful homes and impeccable taste. I can seriously remember back when I was still in high school {before my interior design obsession began} drooling over their magnificent homes. That's why I was SO shocked when they called me to help with their next big project. They have recently made the decision to move back to Texas to be closer to family and just bought a home not too far from the hubby and I. 

I recently visited their new purchase the other weekend and they already have some AMAZING ideas to transform the space. The home is a 1940's cottage with some predominately traditional architecture. It has great bones and is already very updated. But as we all do, they would really like to make it their own and update the space even more. By all of us putting our brains together, we have come up with some great ideas. 

This is the space we would be working in
for the Breakfast Room:

Some of our ideas are to bring in a glass circular table into the middle of the space and add a buffet along the back wall. By dropping down a light fixture between the two sky lights, and pulling in circular a rug to ground the space, this room will much more become balanced. The glass table really keeps the room open and also keeps that beautiful view available as well. 

Another thought of mine was to tear down the entire wall/french doors that opens up to the back porch. I know what your thinking... TEAR DOWN FRENCH DOORS?? What kind of person would do that!!?? Well, bear with me folks! If you look down at my inspiration board, you will see a different {and more updated} approach to a classic design element. French doors are SO beautiful and SO classic. BUT you have to remember how cool my aunt and uncle are. I thought, who needs french doors when you can have something as cool as this??? A wall of open windows like this would actually act as a set of doors as well. And if they wanted, they could maneuver it to completely open up the entire wall, so in those cool fall nights here in Texas, they could enjoy a nice glass of wine with their entire back wall completely open. They are also wanting to use some french doors to enter into their master bedroom, so they could recycle the doors from the breakfast room, and use them in their bedroom.

 This is the space we would be working
in for the Kitchen:

Pretty great huh?? Although this kitchen looks PERFECT as is, there are a few minor adjustments we are looking to make. All of the cabinetry and counter tops will stay {because, DUH - they are super cool looking)! The back splash will be updated, a pantry will be added as a built in, and a few other minor adjustments will be made as well. Below are some of our ideas for the space:

 This is the space we would be working in for the Entryway & Dining Room:

 You might notice the traditional staircase this home offers right when you enter the home. I actually really like the traditional bannister that is already here, BUT thought it might be fun to replace it with a glass bannister instead. If you look at the inspiration photo below, you will notice by mixing a traditional dark stained wood with the modern glass element, it really updates the space and gives you a WOW "first impression." You might think a glass bannister would make the space far too modern for a traditional home, but as you can see, by incorporating a classic shape into a modern idea, it all really comes together rather nicely. 

I've always thought {if done correctly} that by mixing traditional elements with modern touches, you can really create an interesting space. By sticking with just one style, things might get boring - and who wants boring??

These are my inspirations for
the Laundry Room:

This is just the start to their journey into transforming this home, so I can't wait to see what all they end up choosing! I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

I have gathered these inspirations via Pinterest and designed my boards with Polyvore. If you would like to check out my Pinterest board for their home inspirations, check it out {HERE}.

Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Painted Chevron Curtains

Guess what time is it?? It's chevron curtain time!!! Yupp - It's taken me a while to get this post together, but it's finally here! Now before we get started, I will warn you that these curtains did take a bit of time. They were relatively easy to make, but definitely involved some major patience! But don't you fret my friends - once they are all done you will be so happy with the outcome;) Now lets get started!!

What you will need:

White curtain panels
I got mine from Target for only $9.99!

Blue painters tape
Don't get the green painters tape - this was a bit TOO sticky for me and would always try to snag the fabric of the curtains. Blue tape will work just fine because it's not as intense

Paint & Plastic Drop Cloth
A lot people ask if I used some kind of special fabric paint, but I didn't! I simply went to Lowes and picked the color I liked and there was nothing special about it. I think I got the satin finish, but you might also explore using a matte finish if you would like. I needed one gallon since I had to make 4 curtain panels. Since the chevron stripes were quite large, I used a little more than half of the gallon.

Paint Brush
I believe I used a 3in. brush, but if your doing skinnier stripes, you for sure want to use a smaller brush.

Ruler or Guide
I also made myself a little triangle shaped template that I made out of cardboard. The combination of a ruler and template will work perfectly.

As you can see, I don't have many process photos from this project. I created these curtains close to a year ago and really had no clue that I would ever start a blog. So, sorry guys. No step by step photos for this one. But that doesn't mean I can't give you a verbal step by step!

1. Find curtain panels of your choice with the height of your choice. I found my white panel's at Target for $9.99/ea. Iron the panels BEFORE you begin taping.

2. Decide how thick you want your chevron stripes to be.  A lot of my inspiration fabrics had much skinnier stripes. I knew I wanted a much bolder statement, so I blew up the pattern. Divide up the panel to make sure none of the stripes will be cut off at the bottom or top. You might notice none of my stripes are extending off the top or bottom. This was planned out prior to painting because I wanted it to all fit without "running out of room" at the bottom of the panel. Does that kinda make sense?? Kinda...?

3. Once you are happy with your measurements, begin taping everything out. I created a guide out of cardboard in the shape of a "V". This helped a bit, but I did not rely on this 100%. I used a combination of my predetermined measurements, a ruler, and a guide. I started taping at the top and made my way down. In order to get crisp corners, I had to get creative with my tape. I would cross the two pieces of tape like an "X" and then flap one piece of tape back, and then the second flap back on top of that. This technique gave me a perfect, crisp corner.

4. Once everything is taped off, begin painting! Make sure to be careful during this process, because it can get pretty boring and time consuming. I actually got so used to just sitting there and painting that I completely stopped paying attention to what I was doing. Silly me started painting the wrong section!! I was SO SO SO mad at myself at this point. I literally had been doing this for HOURS and screwed it all up. Well, thankfully since the paint was still wet, I was able to saturate it in water and carpet stain remover. The water/stain remover combo actually worked really well for touch ups that I needed down the road, so keep that in mind! If you ever accidentally mess up and get paint in the wrong place, soak it in water and blot blot blot!! Do the same with the carpet stain remover - just follow the instructions on the bottle and it should work rather well.

5. Wait for it all to dry to make sure the paint dried evenly. Then if everything looks even, remove the tape.

WARNING - make sure to tape down some good plastic drop cloths for this project before starting. The fabric will soak up the paint and completely bleed through the other side. I wouldn't trust a fabric drop cloth because of this. Go with a plastic one for sure!

And that's it!! If your stripes end up not looking PERFECTLY even, it's ok! Mine aren't necessarily perfect, but once they are hung, you can't tell at all. This project took a good amount of time, but I was really happy with the outcome. I've had them up for almost a year, and still love them just as much as I did the day I finished them.

Well I sure hope this little how-to was a helpful one! I'm sorry I didn't have more process pictures to contribute. Who knew I would have started a blog?? Anyways, hope everyone had a great start to their week! Happy Monday:)

Also, these curtains were featured on Yahoo Homes {HERE}! Make sure to check it out!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh, the Inspirations - Round 2!

Hey guys! So earlier this week I posted about some inspirations for my indoor spaces. There was such a handful in that post that I decided to divide them into two separate posts. This version will be focused on our outdoor space, so lets roll!

There are too many projects the hubs and I want to tackle - especially outside!! We completely want to re-landscape the front yard, paint the house, update our front door, update our flowerbeds, replace our pool furniture, and I could go on and on. Like I said, SO many projects!! We clearly cannot do all of these things at once, so we will have to choose. Yikes. How to I choose?? 

I have photoshoped a "painted" version of our house below. We would love to paint it a greyish tone with a hint of green. We would keep our black shutters and ideally paint or buy a new door. We first plan on re-landscaping the entire front yard, so who knows, maybe once that is done we might not want to paint the house. But in our opinion as of now, it's just all too bland - there needs to be some sort of change! Below is a before and after along with some more inspiration photos.

...Man, just realizing how much our yard needs help. Please ignore the terrrible landscaping... pretty pretty please;)

The photoshopped version is a bit darker than what we would like, but it's gives you an idea of what it might look like. A red door would be preferable, but a new {craftsman style } dark stained door would also be lovely! If we did decide to paint the house, we would add some brighter bushes along the house to add some contrast. And if we didn't paint the house, I would still love a new door. I actually might really love the white house with a new door... hum just thinking out loud here...

Here are a few examples of the front doors we've been eyeing over the past few months. They are from Home Depot and range from about $600-$800. (not including installation or shipping. boo.)

Over the past few weeks I have also been primping our back yard as well. Below is my inspiration board for the backyard:
A lot if the look and feel of this design board has already been put into place. We have the Navy, Red and White color scheme and the brown wicker furniture set as well. The main thing that I would love to add are some new layout chairs for the pool. We have some generic white ones that the previous owner left for us, but I would love to replace those with some wicker or teak chaise's. I've been looking around at Home Goods and different places like that, but I can't ever find any matching sets. I found some wicker layout chairs at Garden Ridge for about $150 each, but when I went into the store the other day, they no longer had them... So sad! Does anyone know of any good deals on some teak or wicker layout chairs??

So what do you all think? I'm a bit overwhelmed with all of my ideas at the moment. Hopefully I can get them all contained! I have a feeling our first step will be the needed items such as lanscaping the front yard. We also need to get our trees trimmed, so that will take a huge chunk out of our budget as well. Ugh - dang trees! Taking away money from the fun stuff!!

Also, make sure to check out a post that will be coming up soon - it's a {how-to} on my yellow painted chevron curtains! More to come!!!

Happy Tuesday:)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oh, The Inspirations!

Howdy folks! Hope everyone had a fabulous week and weekend! 

The hubs and I have been a pair of busy bees over here with a few different things going on. One of them being our new little kitten Bailey. We've only had her for about a week and a half, but we are already in LOVE. I will spare you the pictures {because I seriously have like a billion} but she has really been such a little blessing in our lives. Even my hubby loves her and he's not even a "cat person", so you know she's got to be great! I'll just say this... I've been playing fetch with her all weekend... yes, like a dog. Too funny. Anyhoo! I'll move on to my {real} post and stop blabbing on about Bailey;) 

So a few weeks ago I posted about what the hubs and I would like to do to our house. One of them was our factory cart coffee table, and that turned out to be a success! A few other things I had in mind was a DIY ladder and also revamping our living room fire place mantel. Well... of course, I got distracted and were only able to check off one of those projects from the to-do list. Since then, I've had TONS of other ideas for our home. One of them being a {new to me} guest bathroom. I'm totally crushing on the color Navy right now, so naturally I decided to apply that crush on our guest bath. I started {and finished} painting the bathroom this weekend - YAY! I'm still not done accessorizing, so the reveal post is still to come. Look out for it soon though! It will be a navy, white, and coral inspired space. Here is a sneak peek!!

A few other things have been lingering in our brains as well. For the hubs, it's mainly been sprucing up the front and back yard. For me, I've still been fixated on sprucing up our fireplace and living room. It's not that I'm unhappy with the way everything is now, it's just that things can always improve;) Here are a few of my inspiration gatherings for our living room. 

The above design board is what I would call my {DREAM} living room. The couch is from Pottery Barn, and the set of wicker chairs are from Pier One. I have been drooling over these pieces for a while now. I initially wanted the Sea Grass sectional from Pottery Barn, but thankfully was given a very helpful warning from my bloggy friend at {Puttin' on the G.R.I.T.S}. She did not have a good experience with the sectional and gave me a nice fair warning. Not sure if I ever would have been able to afford the sectional anyways, but always nice to know I wasn't missing out on anything!!

Here is a picture of that particular sectional:

It's beautiful, but it seems it's a bit impractical. Which means, no thank you! Here is a close up of the comfortable and stylish Pottery Barn Couch over at {Puttin' on the G.R.I.T.S}. So pretty AND comfy looking!! There are a few imitation sofas at Scroll down for more pictures.

Below are a few of the versions. They range from $1,000 - $1,500 which means they are about the same price as Pottery Barn (or depending on the PB fabric grade you choose) a few hundred dollars cheaper. I've never ordered from, so I'm not sure on the quality of their furniture. Have any of you ordered from them? If there ever comes a day when I actually do buy a new couch, I would love to know if their furniture is good quality.

I would love to one day continue to push the Navy, Coral and Seafoam color scheme in our living room (hence the Polyvore design board), but that all might be for another day. For now, my biggest and most desired dream starts with our fireplace. As much as I like the simple painted brick we have currently, it can seriously be SO MUCH BETTER. This is what I would realllyyyyy love for it to look like:

It's just perfect. Literally no other words than pure {perfection}. I'm thinking the stone work of something like this would most likely be in the $1,500 price range. Hopefully the hubs and I would be able to do the wood work ourselves, but who knows. It's just a dream as of now, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Has anyone done a DIY project like this before?? I'm desperate to know if it's possible to do it yourself for cheaper. I wouldn't need the mini barn doors above the mantel because that is where our flat screen would be, so mainly just the stone work. Any comments would be a great help!!

Here is what our fireplace and mantel look like now. Not terrible at all, but wouldn't that stone look so so pretty???

Wow I really didn't realize how much I had on my mind until I typed it all out! I was going to talk about our outdoor inspirations today too, but I think I will save that for later this week;)

So have you been busy with any summer projects?? I don't know how it happens, but somehow I just continue to get more and more ideas and don't know what to do with them all. So much so that I push back other projects! It looks like I need to get my projects in order! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! 

Who I'm linking up with this week:

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pottery Barn Copycat!

Can YOU tell the difference?

For YEARS I have loved the Pottery Barn "look" but never been able to afford it. I always hoped one day I could, but lets be honest - I will probably never be able to spend that kind of money. Even if I somehow win the lottery one day, I think I will still find bargain shopping way more fun than just walking in and buying out the entire store. ***I'm sorry Pottery Barn for saying that... you know I love you.***

But yes, I try to not even walk into the store, because all I really do is get my heart broken. Mainly because I know none of it will go home with me. *tear* It's depressing really. But enough of the pity party because I've got some good news my friends! There are seriously SO many other stores out there that offer the same kind of "look" that Pottery Barn is selling. If you're working on a budget like me, you better keep reading! I am about to let you in on a little secret of mine! Well ok, it's not that much of a secret because I talk about them all the time. Their names are Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods. Ahh just saying their name makes me happy. You want to know why? It's because they have got some great products to really make your house a home. Now don't get me wrong, you might have to dig for a little while to find just what you're looking for. But when you take a look at the price tag, you won't be disappointed. Ok now on to the good stuff! Below are some of my Pottery Barn comparisons.

Alrighty peeps, it's on! Who will win!???
Their { pricey products } vs. { my bargain finds}  

Here we go!

1.) Decorative Lanterns, Candle Holders, Candles, Glass Containers, Accessories, Etc.

The Pottery Barn versions range anywhere from $39.00-$69.00. I can find similar items for a fraction of the price at the bargain stores.

Here are a few of the pottery barn examples:

Here are a few of my finds:
Not exactly the same, but it does give off the same look and feel.

This wired glass container was found at Ross for $7.00. Pretty darn good, huh? The contents inside were also found at Ross for about $6.00. 

That wire basket was found at antique mall near my house for about $10. You also might be able to see the driftwood sitting inside the basket. That was also found at an antique mall for $5. Ain't too shabby if you ask me!

These beachy accessories were found at Garden ridge. I think the smallest was like $3.99 and the largest maybe around $6.99? They sell similar "found" objects at Pottery Barn that you can easily find at places like Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge, Ross and Marshalls for much cheaper. You just gotta look!

2.) Wicker baskets or any type of storage basket

Some of the Pottery Barn examples range anywhere from $15.00 to $200. I mean... that is just RIDICULOUS. For example, the large rounded basket below is $199. I mean really?? There is just no reason for that large of a price tag. Who knows... Maybe they're like hand crafted or something, but I still can't fathom paying that much for ONE basket. Yikes!

Here are some of my bargain finds. The price range for these are about $3.99-$16.99. Much more reasonable! My largest basket here was $16.99 at Ross. It's just a bit smaller than the Pottery Barn version, but they did have a larger one in the store for about $24.00. I wanted to buy it so bad, but I just simply didn't have a space for it. But still, $24.00 compared to $200??? Amazing!!!

The baskets above were found at Ross for I think $5.99 and $7.99?  The pillow inside was from Marshalls. I think it was $16 maybe.

These storage baskets were from Target at $50 a pop. I wouldn't normally spend that much on one object, but they were one of my wedding gifts from my mom a few years ago. Yay! Thanks mom!! That wire basket sitting on top of them is vintage and I think was like $14ish.

3.) Natural Fiber Rugs or Jute Rugs

Most of the Pottery Barn versions range from $100 to $500... but sometimes upwards of $1,000. They actually have BEAUTIFUL selections and I would die to have one, but that whole budget thing still gets in the way. Here are some of their examples:

Aren't they so pretty?!! Thankfully I have been able to find many natural fiber rugs (similar to these) for much cheaper - mainly at Ross. We have 2 different Ross's near my house and over the past few years I have found a hand full of bargain finds. Here are some of my favorites:

This is kind of an older picture, and not a great photo of the rug, but you get the gist of it, right? This rug is a natural fiber 9x12 rug with a black fabric border. Please guess the price. Please! Ok ok ok I'll tell you! It... was... $30!!! YES. You heard me! $30 for a 9x12 rug that looks exactly like the Pottery Barn option!! Except the PB rug was $972 for this EXACT SAME LOOK! Holy cow. I'm still amazed when I think about that. I've had this rug for about a year now and it's held up perfectly. Thank you Ross for your great deals!!

The above rug was only $19!! It is perfect for my entry way and exactly what I was wanting. I found this one at Ross.

This above rug was also from Ross and ONLY $7.00!!!! I freaked out when I found it because I knew it would fit perfectly in our guest bathroom. It will look especially great once I get the walls painted Navy! That project will get started this week {hopefully}!! The paint and supplies have already been bought!

4.) Pillows & Pillow Covers: 

Ok, before I start, I have a confession to make. I own 3 Pottery Barn pillows... I know, I'm kind of ashamed. I typically just don't spend that kind of money on something I could find a similar {good enough to me} option at a bargain store. But I have to say, the 3 PB pillows that I own, I LOVE. I actually just recently bought a pair a few weeks ago, and minus the $80 price tag for just two covers, I was very happy with my purchase. They are exactly what I had been looking for and are great quality! But most of my pillows around the house are not Pottery Barn. If they were, I think I would be bankrupt by now! For those of you who don't know me... I have this strange addiction to pillows... lamps... ya know, the norm. I think I will take a head count one of these days, but that's for another post! Here are some Pottery Barn pillows that you might be able to find similar styles to at the bargain stores.

Pottery Barn pillow covers are typically pretty expensive by them selves, but then on top of that, you have to buy the pillow insert as well. So that jacks up the price even more. My advice would be to frequent your closest Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods stores. They typically have the best copycat options out there if your looking for a good pillow. They have VERY similar looks, and they come as a whole pillow - not just the pillow cover! Here are a few pillows I have found at bargain stores over the years:

Most of these pillows are from Marshalls. I actually think all of them are! I have many many more around the house, but I'll spare you the photos!

5.) Lamps & Lamp Shades

These lamps are all beautiful, and I LOVE them. But they range from $60.00 to $200. Ahh! Ok, not affordable in my books! Here are some of my copycat lamps that give off the same look as the Pottery Barn versions:

Shockingly I found these glass lamps at Wal-Mart of all places. They were SO cheap at right around 11ish dollars and I couldn't pass them up. The shades were separate, but still only like $10 extra per shade. I've had these lamps for about 2 years and they are still my favorite set of lamps in our entire house. Thanks Wal-Mart!

This lamp sits in our office and was purchased at Marshalls. I believe it was about $36? Right around there I think. Still much better than the Pottery Barn comparison!

These lamps were from Target and I think they were $39 per lamp base. I then bought the shades separately for about $14. Pretty amazing huh? I bought these a few years ago, but I think they still have this style or something similar at least. They aren't real glass, but who cares???

So what do y'all think??? 
Great bargains, huh!

Ok, Ok, Ok... Now it's time to give Pottery Barn some much needed props. As much trouble as I've been giving them for their high prices, c'mon, we ALL know how much we love that dang store. Why do you think I spent all this time writing up an entire copycat post on them?? It's because we all adore their fabulous style. They are SO classic in their design yet they're always up with the latest trends. Imitation is the best form of flattery, right??

Yes, I love them, but I just can't quite afford them yet. Who knows, maybe one day, but I think as we have all learned from this post, we can all find similar items that actually fit our budget. All it takes is a bit of dedication! I hope you all enjoyed this little comparison today. Good luck finding your favorite bargains!