Friday, January 28, 2011

Before And After (After): Living Room 2.0

I already posted the renovation before and afters of the living room, but thought I'd show you the work in progress of furniture placement.  This is the latest set up, but it changes monthly.

The ottoman looks gigantic in that picture.  It kind of is, actually, but I suppose the room is kind of small, too. Do you ever wish you could take your thumb and index finger and enlarge your room like you enlarge a website or photo on your smart phone?  Ugh, technology plays too much into our brains  these days.  Sometimes, after a particular lengthy go at Mario Cart, my husband will see an odd looking car on the road and think he is still in a race.  True story.

The fireplace is proving to be a problem.  We didn't make it functional because it was very expensive.  But now we are left with a gaping hole that collects lots of debris and crumbling brick.  Not so sure what we'll do once Quinn starts crawling.
Those ikat chairs were supposed to be the office chairs in the study.  That's a whole other project to stress about before our first guests of 2011 arrive in a month.

This side board is a new addition to the room.  We love it, but it really doesn't have a purpose in this house.  We thought about selling it, but Craigslist is not great for selling expensive things here and I like it too much to let it go for cheap.  I guess you can never have too much storage, right?  The wood is too nice to paint or I'd have it in a pretty rubbed gray color. (Notice the freshly painted chairs ready to go to the upholsterer this weekend?)

This is where the burlap drapes (or the new striped fabric?) are supposed to go.  The navy panels were left over from the nursery and are just too dark for the space.

Which do you like better?  

picture this steamed and hemmed

Or this?

Lucky for me, the fabric is on sale this weekend for only $14 a yard!  I'll definitely be picking up a few yards for something.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Before And After: Master Bathroom

I finally feel pretty confident to show you the master bathroom "after".  You'll recall that I mentioned buying a new bath mat and window shade to complete the project.  It really only took those 2 things to make it pretty.  I'm not sure why it took so long to get those things.  Maybe I'm blind when I go in there in the wee hours of the morning and don't think about decorating.

This is what it looked like before the renovation:


We decided to switch the bathroom and the walk in closet because the closet had nice hardwood floors.  Husband was against wood floors in a bathroom at first, but then I pointed out to him that we wouldn't have to spend any money on materials for the floor.  He was sold after that :)

This enormous pink bra makes me laugh every time I look at it.  Ah, to be a 19 year old college student again.


Living in the city, we haven't had a window in our bathroom in years.  I always feel especially claustrophobic in bathrooms without windows.  Disgustingly stuffy.

This is what it looked like pre bath mat and window shade.  You may not be able to tell that the window hanging is comprised of an old sheer white panel and a blue sarong I bought in Costa Rica in 2000.  It really brought us back to our college days.  The prints leaning against the wall are a great representation of the procrastinators who still live here :)


If anyone is interested in NOT spending upwards of $100 on an over-sized bath mat (60"), Walmart is your friend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Warrior 2.0

Remember when I was contemplating getting this fabric?  Well, I got it.  And this weekend the husband and I built (he) and upholstered (me) the table project I had in mind for it.  I love navy blue, but really wanted something more muted for this table.  Luckily, I saw my vision on the underside of the fabric.  I just turned it inside out!

Here I am wrapping the leg

And the top (I hate corners!)

And the finished product:

The area needs a mirror and a little rearranging of the accessories, but I think she is a pretty little scale of the original inspiration.  Now I just have to find a metal basket.  I know I saw them on the cover of one of the home catalogs this month.  Any one remember?

Coastal Living

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Missing Link!

I have found the "missing link" to the living room decor.  I adventured to the fabric store for inspiration yesterday and found this for only $16.99 a yard. Granted, I went in there with hopes of finding something under $9 a yard, but I digress.

Look at how well it complements the dining chairs

I love chevron prints waaayy too much.  I'll start off with couch pillows and it may find its way to the drapes.

I guess I have to dust off the sewing machine again.  Yikes.  Any one sew anything good lately?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deal of the Week

Living Social is Groupon's biggest competitor and this is why.  They are offering a $20 Amazon gift card for only $10!  I buy something from almost weekly.  Whether it is a book, a toaster, or shoes, you can't beat the free and fast shipping through their Prime account.
Buy it through this link:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steal vs Splurge

I usually like to leave the copy cat steal to Reichel over at Copy Cat Chic, but I've had my eye on these 2 items and wanted to get some feedback from you guys.  While the "splurges" aren't necessarily breaking the bank, it is hard to pass up a better bargain.  What do you think?

I've always loved the simple lines of West Elm's parsons desk:

Parsons Desk with Drawers

and was elated when I saw this in Home Decorators Collection for half the price.

Parsons Desk

I'd love 2 of them for the office/guest room, but we always end up doing our work at the dining room table.  Would the addition of this to the room make us more likely to use it?

I stumbled upon this lamp when I first went to the Jonathon Adler store on Newbury St. in Boston.  It was love at first sight.....and then I saw the price tag ($425)

Could I settle for something slightly different for $139?

Click here to view larger image

How often do you compromise for price?  What do you refuse to skimp on?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cut It Out!

Anyone envisioning Dave Coulier from Full House doing his "cut. it. out" hand gesture?  No?  Just me?  Typical.

This feature artist is a cut above the rest ;)  If you haven't heard of her yet, take note.  Molly Bosley is on the road to making it big.  She just illustrated a cover for young adult book published by Random House. Her latest work is amazeballs (yes, I said it). The tree house series will be up on her website at the end of February and featured in an exhibit in March.  I pulled some strings and got us a little preview.

The paper cuts are layered to give a 3D effect.  I think they would look awesome hanging in a nursery or a living room.  The whimsy and color combination appeals to all ages. The biggest ones are 12X12 and the smallest ones are 8X8 and will be priced at about $200-$300 framed.

We are so honored to have one of her pieces in Quinn's nursery.

Molly also does portrait silhouettes for about $40 unframed.  She has an uncanny ability to capture the subject's whole persona in a simple image.  Take a look:

My sister bought inexpensive burlap to put behind the profiles.  Again with the burlap...such an easy, inexpensive way to decorate.

Portrait silhouettes are popping up everywhere.  Seen here, in the kitchen of Pamplemousse Design owner Delphine Krakoff

image courtesy of Bijou and Boheme

And here on top of a wedding cake (love!):

image courtesy of Brown Button

Contact Molly directly if you are interested in her work.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


HomeGoods was abound with treasures this trip.

This would make a great bar hutch.  Terrible as is, but slap some paint on that baby and you get something very Dorothy Draper-esque.

Love this for a bookend.  Of course, I'd probably spraypaint it white or gold.

The ever popular metal barstool finally appears at HomeGoods! $79 is not a great price.  You can still find better on overstock.

Need  Want  Need this, but not for $39.

What have you found on your shopping trips?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Deal of the Week

Ballards, Burlap, Bargain....B-A-N-A-N-A-S

I did a cost benefit analysis on this and it is better to purchase these than for me to make them.
$20 in fabric + sewing + lining (more money) + headaches = not worth saving $20.

Fringed Burlap Panel

Need a simple, classic, affordable way to spruce up your windows?  Ballards is having a great sale on their burlap panels.  108" for $39!!  I don't like the fringe so ordered a longer length so I can just cut them off.  This is a great way to switch things up without making a huge color and financial commitment.  I'd love to be bold and go with a colorful pattern, but don't want to drop the cash on something I'm not sure I'll love. 

Someday, I'd like to do a makeover like the "Den Do-Over" featured in Southern Living last month.


The online article doesn't show the "before" photo of the living room like the magazine does.  It was dark and boring.  I love how the drapes and throw pillows really livened things up.  For now, I'm sticking with neutrals to maintain that beachy, classic look.  Install with photos to come.......

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Little Things Make a Difference

I feel like I'm always saving money for that big item that will make all the difference in my life.  But when I really think about it, it is all the little things that really keep me happy.  That skinny latte from Starbucks, an $8 t-shirt from target, or a new Red Currant Votivo candle for the house.  So instead of waiting to buy that chair/splurge on a hair cut/go out to that fancy dinner, I decided to spruce up all the little things around the house that I've been meaning to change.

Thanks to a few gift cards and forgotten funds in my paypal account, I bought a new bath mat for the master bathroom (it is hard to find affordable 60" mats!), a roman shade for the bathroom window (the sarong currently nailed up isn't cutting it for 2011), storage bins for my craft/linen closet (why are they so expensive even at TJ Maxx?), new drapes and throw pillows for the living room.  And I finally ordered fabric for some chairs I've neglected to finish.  Tomorrow I am going to frame some prints that have been accumulating.

You know what that means?  I'll have some "After" pictures for you very soon :)

For now, here is a little teaser:

Fringed Burlap Panel

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deal of the Week

Don't gag.  I'm posting about a diaper deal.  Some of you must be moms and I have to help a girl out when I can. Think of all the home improvement projects you can afford with these savings!

I always go in to Target with intension of heading straight to the baby section and to the checkout, but end up spending more money on the cute tshirt/candle/workout pant.  My best girlfriend recently turned me on to the Amazon subscription discount and I'm sold.  They were delivered to my door in a day!  $0.14 per diaper people!

Save an extra 30% with Subscribe & Save and Amazon Mom:Get the standard 15% discount when you sign up for Subscribe & Save delivery. Combine that with an additional 15% savings exclusively for Amazon Mom members on select diapers and wipes, and this item's current price drops to $28.00 ($0.14 / count) . Subscribe & Save shipping is always free. No fees, no risks, no obligations. See details

It's A New Dawn, It's New Day....


I love starting a new year. I always feel like I am given a clean slate.  While I do not have any set resolutions for the year, I hope to continue to take advantage of every day.  If the photo montage of the past 6 months I put together for my families for Christmas is any indication, life goes by fast.

Here are my mantras for the year:

Did you make any resolutions?  I'd love to hear them.