Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Luxurious Furniture

Today I have way too many deadlines looming, so I just need a quick fix of eye candy!


via DesignManifesto

A huge mirror and chandelier in a bathroom? I think that screams luxury!


via BHG


via HookerFurniture
Occasionally I do get caught up in designer furniture trends, just make sure you will love it 5 years from now.




Drooling over this dresser!
Adore Home


via High Gloss Magazine


I hope you enjoyed your eye candy today!

This post was in partnership with Luxdeco.com

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Using bold, bright furniture

Usually there's that one piece that stand out in a room. A lot of us, myself included, use bright pops of color only on accessories - lamps, pillows, etc. If you're feeling brave though, a bold piece of furniture can really make a room - here are a few examples I wish I was brave enough to try!

Love this pink patio set!!
via Houzz


via Country Living
How gorgeous is that turquoise china cabinet (check out the ceiling too)!



via BHG
A craft or kids room is a great place to try furnishings in bold, bright colors.
There are many brands lately that are making great show stopping furniture pieces but if you have trouble finding the right piece you can always find a great DIY tutorial to change it up to your exact style.

If you have doubts or are nervous, try a colorful piece in a smaller room, hall, or entryway.
via Remodelaholic


via Houzz

Have you ever or do you have a bold and colorful piece of furniture in your home?

This post is in partnership with cultfurniture.com


Friday, July 26, 2013

Mixing and matching chairs

Mix and matching chairs is a great way to create a space with more personality. Your reasons for mixing and matching could be to save money (you can only afford one or two of a certain chair you love), availability (the chair is an antique and you only found 1), or visual interest (you think matching chairs are a snorefest). What ever your reasons, a few guidelines can keep your space looking chic.


Color Consistency: Paint your chairs the same color, or use the same fabric on the upholstery.  This will create a cohesive thread throughout your chair set.
via Houzz via SF Girl By Bay

Make your intentions clear:
Make it obvious you intended the mixed look.  Choosing chairs from different eras, like the traditional chairs with the ghost chairs, it a great way to mix with intent.
via Houzz

Two examples 


Finding the right combination can sometimes be tough if you can't see the big picture. A great way to start is to decide on a color palette, prints, and foundation pieces you love. For example if you are going to do a living room and office combined, you can use neutrals with an accent color (in this case, lavender), and use it in your living room as and accent and then your office chairs!
via The Lennox

work, office, desk, chair, roller chair, office chair, desk chair, lilac, lavender, purple

Going with a different shape for the office chair but in the accent color- this swivel chair can make a statement without feeling like it doesn't fit in with the rest of the space.  Color is the connecting thread here.
via Pinterest


bright yellow chairs


If you are going with a fun statement chairs, finding complimentary pieces might seem harder to pick out, but using the rest of this room's decor, an aqua desk chair might be the perfect mix match.




via Wisteria


via Houzz

You can look at Homebase's chair range for ideas to mix and match your own furniture!

Have you ever tried mixing and matching chairs?

This post is sponsored by homebase.co.uk, but all words and opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Give your furniture a makeover, easily and cheaply! And signed "Furniture Makeover" book giveaway!

I love DIY books - especially when they're filled with advice and projects that I would actually do AND will save me big bucks.  That's why I was so excited to receive "Furniture Makeovers" by Barb Blair.


Here's a description:

Furniture Makeovers: Simple Techniques for Transforming Furniture with Paint, Stains, Paper, Stencils, and More shows how to transform tired furniture into stunning showpieces. You'll never look at a hand-me-down dresser the same way again! The book offers 26 easy-to-follow techniques that can be applied to all different types of pieces, from bookshelves to desks: painting, applying gold leaf, wallpapering, distressing, dip dyeing, and more. In addition to the core techniques, author and Knack Studios founder Barb Blair shares 30 beautiful before-and-after makeovers from her studio and outlines how to achieve each look. With helpful step-by-step photographs, a visual glossary explaining all the tools and materials needed, and a lovely contemporary aesthetic, Furniture Makeovers is a treasure trove of ideas and instruction for the home decorator.

What I loved about this book is how accessible it was.  Blair never expects you to have access to a welder, industrial belt sander, or 50" table saw.  She shows you how to complete each project in an easy to understand fashion with materials anyone can get their hands on and use - with pretty pictures to boot!

Since I would never steer you wrong, I decided to try out a project on my own using only Furniture Makeovers as a teacher.  See my results below.

Since I was a newbie, I wanted to start on something relatively small and uncomplicated, so I chose this nightstand boyfriend has had since his bachelor days.  In fact, it has lived in a few bachelor pads over the years, so it was in need of a thorough cleaning to say the least!

My subject.  Nothing fancy, but solid wood construction.

After!

I wanted to create a finish similar to Blair's "Emmaline" piece, a gorgeous chest of drawers that she painted and then stained to create an authentic worn look.  I didn't want my project to come out looking too distressed or shabby,  just like a piece that's been around for a few decades.

Here's is the project that inspired me.

"Emmaline"  before - a lady with great bones!

"Emmaline"  after -now with the surface beauty to match!

Here's how I transformed our bachelor pad nightstand into a sophisticated looker..

I carefully reviewed Blair's instructions on painting a piece of furniture - from prep to completion...

Gathered my essential supplies.  All supplies are thoroughly covered in the beginning of the book, and then each project lists the supplies needed.

Did the necessary sanding and cleaning (I like to use old vinyl shower curtains as my drop cloths).

Then I started painting.  I'm in love with navy recently, so I went with a navy color.  When painting, remember that loading your brush or roller properly is imperative to getting a smooth, even finish.  Make sure you use a paint tray to get the paint evenly applied to your roller before putting it on your project!

Cut in smaller nooks and corners with a paint brush.  Blair shares her favorite brands and materials in the beginning of the book.


Now I reviewed the instructions on staining over a painted piece.


Next came the really fun part! After applying two coats of paint, allowing to dry, sanding, and cleaning again, I moved on to staining!  Working in small sections, I applied paint to the nightstand.  After about 2-3 minutes, I wiped it off (in the direction of the grain).  Start off with a light hand - you can always take off more if you want a lighter look.

The stain stays workable for a long time, so remove it thoughtfully, leaving more stain in areas where patina would naturally occur - in corners, edges, etc.



Voila!  I wanted my aged look to be subtle.  Keep in mind that stain takes a few days to be totally dry.  Mine was still sticky two days later.



The new nightstand.  Quite a transformation, wouldn't you say! (My mother grows the most beautiful zinnias, doesn't she?)


 Adding a new knob was also one of the most fun parts...it is the little details that count, after all!

Don't forget the insides of drawers or cabinets.  I treated mine the same way I did the exterior, but you can also line them with pretty paper.



Here are a few more projects from Furniture Makeovers that I loved:






Are you inspired yet to makeover some of your furniture?!?  If you must have Furniture Makeovers now, it is available at these locations - AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBound, or Chronicle Books

Or, you can enter to win a copy signed by Blair AND a Knack tote (Blair's studio).  To enter, just leave a comment below telling me if you have a piece of furniture you'd like to make over and what it is. The winner will be announced Friday, August 2nd.  Good luck!

PS - To comment on this post (scroll to the bottom of this post and right above "Labels" you will see a number followed by the word "comments." Click on the word "Comments." Or, you will see a link, "Post a Comment," which you click on to comment. If you receive posts in your email feel free to respond to the email noting that you'd like to be entered in the drawing. 




Check out all of the fabulous Furniture Makeovers by these bloggers

Monday, July 15 – A Beautiful Mess
Tuesday, July 16 – The City Sage and Cranny + Me
Wednesday, July 17 – Urban Comfort
Thursday, July 18 – Indie Craft Parade
Friday, July 19 – Simply Grove
Monday, July 22 – Poppytalk
Tuesday, July 23 – The Curated House and Ambrosia Creative
Wednesday, July 24 - The Bedlam of Beefy
Thursday, July 25 – Decorology
Friday, July 25r – Bloesem


Good luck!

I received "Furniture Makeovers" as a sample

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ideas for lighting your home

Lighting in a room can really make or break a space! Unfortunately, the lighting fixtures in my new home are as far from my style as you can get, so I have my eye out for some inspiring solutions to light my dining room, kitchen, halls, and master bath...

I've been scouring ebay and craigslist for a mod brass chandelier like this one to hang above my dining room table.
via House Beautiful

I've been crushing on sleek chrome or silver lighting in the kitchen like the fixture hanging over the island in this GORGEOUS kitchen
via BHG


via High Gloss Magazine

Lacking in natural light?  Join the club. There are a variety of light choices for any space you have in your home. What do you think of the multiple sconces used in this space?


I love how this homeowner jazzed up an affordable light fixture by winding rope around the cord.
via Rue Mag



via Houzz

I'm not generally a fan of recessed lighting, but done unusually I think it can add to a space.  Just make sure it's on a dimmer!!!

Vintage Pendant Lighting
via Apartment Therapy

Basements can be the hardest to light because there isn't much natural light there. I like the idea they have here of using the long drapes to create the feel of a large window and using larger lights to warm up the space.  If you live in a basement apartment or spend a lot of time in your basement this is such a cool idea!

this post in partnership with mailorderlighting.co.uk

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cotswold Cushion Giveaway!

Today we have a wonderful giveaway thanks to The Cotswold Company! Here's a little bit about their company if you aren't familiar with them:


The Cotswold Company team have spent the past 16 years supplying the nation with country inspired furniture made from Mother Nature's finest materials. When it comes to wooden furniture we know our stuff and we take immense pride in our products and the service we provide.

Here's a few items from Cotswold I'd love to have in my own home:

 










Today the giveaway prize is a pair of Florence Vintage Blue Cushions:
With a vintage appeal we love, our Florence cushions have a soft blue floral print on a linen-coloured background. 100% cotton with feather pad. Zipped cover removes for dry-cleaning. Matching table lamps also available.

The contest will be open until July 30th at 12 AM EST, you have until then to comment. Good luck! To comment on this post (scroll to the bottom of this post and right above "Labels" you will see a number followed by the word "comments." Click on the word "Comments." Or, you will see a link, "Post a Comment," which you click on to comment. Then, click "+1" and "I commented" on the widget below.