Saturday, February 25, 2012

Silverware and Curtains

I've been searching high and low lately for the perfect rug to compliment our new kitchen (which is still taking shape - bear with me).  We had a solid red one before, but it showed every speck of dirt and lint and just plain junk that graces the kitchen floor.  Not to mention the fact that I sucked up a corner of it in the vacuum worries, it found another home.  But, after several stores and several rugs strewn about the aisles, I still came up with nothing.  So, in true Jessica fashion, I decided to alter one to work for me.

I found a heavy duty, red-trimmed, straw grass rug at Target for $24.99.  While, yes, this is more expensive than I would have hoped considering I still had to work some magic on it to get it how I wanted it, but it was good quality for the space right in front of the sink.  So I splurged. 

So the design?  Well let's backtrack a minute or two to another project I knocked out on my day off this week.

The new curtain for over the sink.  Once I took the original "beer mug" curtains down, I really liked the light that came through the window.  It opened up the space, so much so that I actually considered not putting anything back up at all.  But, the decorator/DIYer inside me couldn't resist.  So while I was in Target searching for the perfect rug, I came across the clearance aisle where several dishtowels were on sale for less than 2 bucks each.  Score!

When I purchased them, I had no idea what I was going to use them for.  They weren't exactly great quality - the kind of dishtowel that never really dries anything off, dishes or the like.  So I wasn't completely surprised that they made it to the clearance section, but I vowed to find a use for them at some point.  And the rest is history. 

The silverware outline wasn't long enough to stretch across the whole window, but I bought the abstract black lines one too.  That was added to each side to extend the material.
So fast forward to the rug project...inspired by the silverware motif.
First, I drew and cut out silverware shapes from scrap cardboard.  Then, using them as a stencil, I traced them with a Sharpie onto the rug.

I used black fabric paint I had on hand and began painting and filling in the shapes. 
And Tada!  It lays on the floor directly below the new curtain, so the repeated motif makes sense.  Plus, it won't show every single fleck like the previous one did (which now lays on the landing inside the back door).
All's well that ends well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Before & After Living Room UPDATE

Oh boy, do I have a treat for you!  After the post earlier today about the living room, I started digging through old photo files and came across some doosies!

Here are some shots of the living room the first time around - brown walls and kinda boring.  I'm not super proud of this room because there's nothing in it that says "ME" (keep in mind I wasn't living here yet, so it makes sense that there is no me).

Just looking at these blank walls brings a tear to my eye - well, not really, but it was still a work in progress at this point.

So, let's recap the changes, shall we?

Fireplace went from this:
To this:

To, finally, this:

And the window treatments went from this:
To this:

Wanna know a secret?  I actually used the brown suede curtains from the first living room as lining for the new curtains.  The light blue sheers remained, and I just recovered the custom cornice boards.

Ok, I think that's it....for now :)

The Ultimate Before & After - Bathroom Edition

Part 2 of the Ultimate Before & After consists of an update on the bathroom we did a year ago this April.

If you remember from the original post, we did a complete overhaul: floors, vanity, fixtures, etc.

Before:  We've all seen it, we've all gagged, moving on...

FINALLY put up the crown moulding which makes a huge difference.  Added a new towel bar since the last update, too.  Paris themed...

Not much more to say on that subject considering we've already covered this room with the exception of the added details.

Bonjour and Au Revoir :)

The Ultimate Before & After - Living Room Edition

I've spent hours upon hours perusing through decor and design magazines over the years.  I would cut out pictures (and still do) of things that inspire me, excite me, and cause me to stay up at night imagining it in my own house.  There are tons of folders of these clippings to reference back to when I'm looking for ideas in our house.  However, no matter how many magazines I get inspiration from, my house is still my house.  And although it doesn't grace the cover of any decor magazine, when you walk in the front door, you know who lives here.  It's full of life, and art, and things that mean something to us.  Our living room is the prime example of that.

This shot was snapped during Dan's walk-through, only a few weeks after we met!  The fireplace was completely covered up with chairs and was an ugly baby poop green.
The couch was turned at an odd angle that cut off the space to the left of this picture.  In such a small room, space is of the essence.

If you look closely at the top and center of the picture, you might be able to make out a little bit of crown moulding.  It was painted the same color as the walls!!  You didn't even really notice it.

So those are the before's....

Now, the living room was first painted right before Dan moved in in November 2009.  I made window treatments shortly after that and got started on a blue and brown theme.  It stayed that way (without pictures) until I moved in in March 2011. 

It must be said that I may be an interior designer, but that doesn't mean I always trust my judgement when it comes to my own house.  On the contrary, I usually think and rethink over and over again before deciding on something, only to ultimately change my mind again.  Which brings us to the current phase of our living room.....

Looks a little different, huh?  Well trust me, it will be different again soon, I'm sure.  In order to keep up with my ever-changing ideas, I mix it up a bit to keep from getting bored.  But this room, this house in general, is a true testament to things that make me happy.  Aside from the sofa that was recently purchased new, the furniture was all made by me.  The polka dot chair, the silver rocker, the pink chair, the footstool, the end table, the coffee table.  I made the new window treatments and recovered the cornice boards that I made for the first living room makeover.  The new carpet was a free spiff from my job that we had installed a few months ago.

The fireplace and mantel is now a focal point.  Even though it doesn't work (anybody got an extra $1000 lying around??), it showcases the holidays, and serves as a platform for our collection of art.

The good thing about having so much artwork is that I never get bored and swith it out constantly.

The level shelves were from my apartment and hold pictures of us, our family, and our friends.

This shelf is another constantly changing space for artwork, including paintings from our honeymoon to Paris and London, and my favorite, Starry Night.

I love color, I love art, I love furniture.  Is our living room cluttered?  Some may say so.  But does everything have a story and a meaning?  Absolutely.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Well, it isn't really a wonderland outside this winter.

But for us snow-loving creatures, we had to get our white stuff somewhere.  So I incorporated it into our living room so I could see "snow" every day.

Keeping up with my mantel decor, I kept right on with it after taking down the Christmas stuff the first week of January.  I wasn't quite ready to give up on Old Man Winter yet, so I left all of my snowmen and winter themed decorations out of boxes. 

Lovin' those giant snowflakes on the wall??  They're popsicle sticks!  Thank you, Pinterest :)

Lot's of different things going on here.  A hodge podge of anything white or clear that I could find lying around.  The clear glass tree vases, the silver crackled bulbs from Restoration Hardware, the empty liquor decanters, and the upside down wine glasses all help add a little sparkle to an otherwise dreary winter.

In addition to the LED snowflake lights hanging under the mantel, I put two of my white Ikea nightlights up there as well.  My collection of doilies lined the mantel, playing their part as the fake "snow".

Aren't they cute?? They're jingle bells that I painted a few years back - thought they fit right in placed among the snow.

This is one element I wanted to point out because of how original it is.  I found it during our last trip to New York about a month ago.  There's this great salvage store that specializes in old fixtures from homes.  They had about a zillion of these for sale with all different designs on them.  You might be asking yourself "but what is it??"  Fear not...I didn't know at first either.  But they I did some research.....
It used to look like this.  Hanging over a bathroom mirror.  Very pretty.  We actually bought one similar that hangs straight down to install as our new front porch light.

Note to self: add "fix front porch light" to the list of things to do.

Well, that's it.  Just a little reminder to all of you that it is (according to Punxsutawny Phil) actually winter time for at least another 6 weeks.  Maybe Old Man Winter will come around here soon and dump a wonderful pile of fluff!!