Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wants, Wishes and Whatever....

While I'm out and about I have been keeping my eyes peeled for several things- with no luck so far.
Maybe because I'm on the picky end of the spectrum in that I WANT something I can re-do.
I am not looking to purchase a piece that is perfect already- I want to put my own custom spin to it.
Does that make me weird? Maybe.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Wooden bench with upholstered seat. (a storage bench would be AMAZING, but not a requirement)

Wooden dining style chair with upholstered seat (two of these actually for two different projects)

Metal chair with cloth seat OR small bench with upholstered seat.

I wish I knew the area well enough to know where the good garage sales are. Garage sale season is coming....I can feel it! The kids go back to school in less than a month, and shortly after that the weather will turn cooler, and they will be popping up all over....I can't wait!

Until then however, I browse Craigslist every day just looking and waiting to come across one or all of these items that I have decided I just can't live without.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another peek at my home- this time I'll be revealing the master bedroom!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A girly work in progress...

So this is my girls room. Its pretty much a blank canvas right now. This is the desk that my grandparents tried to sell for years, and I finally took it off their hands. In our old house it sat in my kitchen because of the vintage green, it held cookbooks and my microwave. Now its in the girls room. It will be re-done, which is going to be a job. Everything is solid wood- EXCEPT the top which is particle board that is falling apart. So I'm not sure how I'm going to fix that. But I'm sure I'll figure something out, and it will look great when I'm done. The lamp is from IKEA- $5 total, everything was on sale. I plan on adding ribbon, or painting an Eiffel tower on the shade.
Small bookcase was another freebie. My friend Jennifer found it by the dumpster at her apartments, she put it back together, and we plan on adding some paint to tie it into the room's eventual Paris theme.
Remember yesterday's no shame post? This is the headboard!
It really is perfect- its the perfect shade of white, has a great girly flair- I might add some finials, and I may not. But there you have it, the bones of what will end up being a perfect room for two growing girls. Girly enough for the 5 year old, and grown up enough for the 9 year old.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I have no shame....

This was a birthday party weekend. In my house birthday parties mean one thing mostly- lots of TRASH! So instead of wait for trash day, we loaded up the van and took the garbage to the community dumpster. When we pulled up I saw a bunch of stuff just sitting there.
I got excited as I got closer- there was an iron full size headboard very pretty and feminine, just what I wanted for the girls. This doesn't really need any work- if anything I'll just add finials to the ends to add some color.
There was also a tv, we wanted one for the guest/playroom. Not sure if it worked, but figured hey, if not we'll just bring it back to the dumpster- we brought it home, plugged it in, and guess what- it works!
Last but not least- there was a tall mirror- looks like it used to be attached to a dresser. Its not very pretty right now, but I have some big plans for it. My friend Jennifer is the one who spotted it and talked me into loading it up too- and now the more I think about it, the more excited I get about it. We have already decided where it will go in my room. :)
My kids were slightly bothered that their mother and friend where unloading trash, and putting someone elses right back into the van, but hey, they say- one man's trash is another mans treasure. I certainly found some treasure tonight!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Presto Change-O!

Remember these?
They now look like this! Much brighter- much prettier!!
Ten minutes and leftover white spray paint from another project. Presto- Change-O!

Total Time: 30 minutes (including dry time)
Total Cost: $0

Sunday, July 26, 2009

End Table/Dvd Cabinet

There once was this cabinet. This cabinet had been a bedside table, living room end table, and dvd cabinet. (its current job is multi-tasking as an endtable and dvd cabinet) This cabinet was very out dated. Just didn't fit in anymore- time for a face lift.
Look at the pretty new hardware! Sorry for the crooked picture. User malfunction!

It looks much nicer in person, the camera did not do a great job capturing how fresh and homey this cabinet is now. It fits in once again with the younger crowd. :)

Total Time: 4 hours
Total Cost: $10 (paint and hardware)

PS: This cabinet was given to us by my husband's parents. They visited this weekend for our oldest daughters' birthday and my mother in law saw the cabinet, and quickly decided that she might want it back. ;) I guess thats a sign of a job well done! She loved what I had done to it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Unusual Accents...

Meet Pappi-Wall-E! When we moved into our new place our pets had to go to other homes, one we had to give to a new forever family, one is with a foster family. However, it was tough on the kids, so we asked if we could have a fish. I wanted something low maintenence, but still pretty.
A friend recommended a Beta. So once we were all settled, we went shopping. The kids named him, obviously- but I picked him out for his eye catching red color. And then we added the cobalt blue stones in the bottom of his container to match my living room decor.
Just an example of some unusual accents you will find in my home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seeing Red

So this was a ho-hum desk. It was given to me several years ago when I started college. It is a very sturdy desk, foundationally sound, just drab. I sat around several nights while watching tv contemplating how I was going to do this desk. Did I want it white like everything else? Its home is in the living room, but I just didn't think white was in this desk's future.
It came to me one night during an episode of Ace of Cakes! The desk was going to be red. I would replace the hardware, I could see it in my head and just couldn't wait to get started.
So one day Jennifer and I set out to change this desk from drab to fab.....
Here's the new hardware. Hello! You are so snazzy! I love you!
And there is the finished project! A happy desk- a desk that says come to me, sit here, you know you want to. The color I picked was Glidden Candy Apple. I'll have to be sure to take a pic of the desk in its location when that corner is put back together. Right now I'm giving the desk plenty of time to dry and bask in its glory before putting stuff back on it. ;)

Total Time: About 8 hours
Total Cost: $20 for supplies. (Paint, Poly, and hardware)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Silhouettes on a Budget

I started with simple profile shots of the kids. I had them printed as 5x7 prints because I knew I wanted to use 8x10 frames.
The next step was to use a sharpie marker to color in the parts I wanted to cut out. Then I used fine pointed, very sharp scissors to cut out the darkened area.
I flipped the image over onto black cardstock, and cut it out. I was planning on just tracing around the image and cutting it, but my friend Jennifer felt more comfortable gluing the image in place and cutting around it. It also added more thickness to the silhouette .
Once we had all those done, I cut white cardstock to size- to fit in the 8x10 frames. Glued the cut out image to the center of the cardstock, placed it in the frame and......
TA-DA! Oh, I also wrote each child's full name and current age on the back of the white cardstock. Just in case ;)
So here's a breakdown of the cost:
Frames-$2 each ($8 total)
Cardstock- $1.25
Grand Total: $14.25

Total time: 1 hour.

As a reminder- I cannot take credit for this idea! I got the idea on how to do this from my friend LD's sister.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wide Open Spaces....

So I had the staircase wall. Long, blank, and just asking for something special.
My family portraits are over our couch, and I knew I wanted something other than portraits. I set my heart on silhouettes of each of the kids. I just knew it would look amazing.
Imagine my dismay when I started shopping around and found that they would cost me $30-$40 EACH. I have four children! There was no way I could justify spending that much money. So I decided to see if I could make them my own, asked around and my friend LD told me how her sister made some one Christmas, so I decided to give it a try.
Here is the end result. I LOVE it!!!!
Stay tuned tomorrow for how I made the transformation in less than $20! Yes, that's right- all four of them, less than $20!

The table that keeps me up at night...

Ok so not really, but it made for a good post. But the truth is I have gone back and forth on what to do with this table so many times its insane. The back story on this table is this: Several years ago we helped a neighbor move out of her house, she was going to leave this table on the curb for the trash men, and I rescued it. Its been the envy of many people who have entered my home. I honestly do love the table, its solid wood, and just beautiful.
But with its dark color, its outgrowing the decor of my home. Its current location is in a corner of my living room, and I have thought about it, but I really don't have another room in the house to put it in. I have thought about painting it white, and changing the hardware, but I don't know if that would take away from the integrity of the table. I have thought about selling it, or giving it to one of the many people who have admired it over the years, but I don't know that I can stand to part with it. So it sits, as the rest of the room changes around it, to lighter and brighter- it will remain the same....for now. Until I can finally come up with a solution that I can live with.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Display Case- Take 2

So after two coats of Glidden Crisp Linen White, the case has made its way back into my house. Its home by the window will be changing soon as another project gets on its way to being completed, and we can start rearranging things more to my liking. I love how the white brightens it up so much, its much easier to see what I'm displaying. ;) (yes I'm one of THOSE people)
The only bad thing about its new location is it will make the difference between my freshly painted white furniture and the HUGE undertaking the main living room project is going to be. But its going to be exciting and amazing no matter how time consuming its going to be ;)
How's that for a teaser?

Oops I forgot!:
Total Time: 3 hours
Total Cost: $0

Monday, July 20, 2009

Small Display Case- Take 1

This little shelf was a freecycle grab. Its been a DVD case, a bookcase, and now its a little accent display shelf in the living room. It used to have sliding doors on it, but those are long gone. With all the redecorating, it was time to transform it.
The first step was to take sandpaper to it, smooth out some of the knicks and rough it up a bit.
Second step was to add primer. This was time consuming as there is much more surface area than the table I worked on last weekend. I also had to do two coats of primer in some areas to make sure I got good coverage.

Here it is all primed and drying, waiting for paint. I will be using the Glidden Crisp Linen White again. Stay tuned tomorrow for the finished project!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can't Paint? Revisit your childhood...

We live in a rental, so can't paint our walls. Thankfully the color is not a stark white, so that does add some warmth. Wall decor for little boys, at least in my opinion is a little trickier than for girls. (side note: the desk in the above and very bottom picture is on my upcoming projects list. I have some awesome plans for it!)
When my oldest son decided he wanted a sports themed room, I figured it would be easy enough. I found the perfect wall decor cleaning out my cedar chest one day. The several pennants my hubby had saved from his childhood.
They add a great splash of color to the boys' walls, and also play up my love of all things vintage.
One of the pennants is of Nolan Ryan!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bathroom Beautification

I am wanting to re-do the upstairs bathroom. Our bathroom. I won't be getting rid of the current decor, instead I will add it to the circulation for the downstairs bath. I plan on changing the decor in there to go with the seasons. I think this decor will be perfect for fall. (side note: remember the post about using items for a different purpose- see my wine rack turned towel holder?)
I digress, I tend to have very expensive taste (hence the name of the blog) and when decorating a bathroom, usually the shower curtain is the most expensive item. I am up in the air at the moment, do I carry over the color scheme from our bedroom (black/White/Grey) or since the kids bedrooms are up there too, allow the bathroom a scheme all its own?

I have fallen in love with this line from Target.
I really, really, really love this curtain from Bed, Bath and Beyond, but I really feel its to bold for our small bathroom.
So the hunt begins. I'm going shopping today for Sadie's birthday, and I plan on keeping my eyes peeled for inspiration. I would like to have the transformation complete before fall so I can switch things around.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Expect the unexpected

When looking for accents for a room, I've found that its best to keep an open mind. There are many more uses for items than what they are marketed as. Take this lovely piece for example. (above) This was being sold at Target on clearance for $2. It was being sold as a charger, it would make a stunning charger I'm sure, but I turned it into wall art. A similar iron piece that is being marketed for the wall will run upwards of $20. I hung it in my dining room loving that the round shape mirrors the beginnings of my plate wall around the corner.
Which brings me to my plate wall. I have long since admired plate collections being hung on walls. I just never had a proper place to do my own, until now. When we moved in here, I saw the very wide blank wall spanning the kitchen/dining area and knew it was time. I began searching for pretty vintage plates, and was disappointed to find that there weren't that many out there, and the ones I found were very pricey. I wasn't ready to give up on my dream yet, so I set the idea wheels in motion. I was once again, inspired by a trip to Target. I found the green leaf plate on clearance for $1.24. Best of all its not glass! It has the vintage flair I was looking for, and didn't even make a dent in the bank. Re-inspired I set the plate aside when I got home and checked around other stores, didn't find much at all until I came across the blue charmer again, at Target for $2.50. I also found an awesome plate at Cracker Barrel for $3, but it was to thick for the plate hanger, so it has become a charger under my vase of bright yellow tulips on my table. Not wanting the plate hanger I bought to go to waste, I headed out to the garage and dug into my box of china. I never use it because it holds great sentimental value and if something was to happen to it I would be devastated. Now I can admire it, and its still perfectly safe. Its also the only glass plate on my wall at this point.
Last but not least, I placed cobalt blue glass spheres on these sconces in the living room in place of candles. I purchased the spheres during my recent IKEA trip for 99 cents each. The sconces are on my to do list, to be freshened up with a new coat of paint, but for now, I think they look amazing!

So there you have it. Keep your eyes and mind open, you'll be amazed at how many uses you can find for something!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Repurposing the left over piece.

Remember this table from yesterday?
The one that turned into this? Well I didn't want to just throw out the top tier that I removed, so I got the creative juices flowing and....
Primed and painted, tore open an old pillow to take the batting out,
Covered that with an old T shirt
And then added some fabric I had laying around the house. This fabric was actuallly valances that I made years ago. I never had another window they fit, but I couldn't stand to part with them because I loved the fabric so much! I'm so glad I held onto them! Now I have a lovely footstool.

Total Time: 1 hour
Total Cost: $0

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Taking a tiered table from drab to fab!

So this is the before. Totally blah. Functional, but drab. I picked this table up at a garage sale a few years ago, and it served very well as a bedside table. I got some free paint in the Glidden sample give away, borrowed brushes and primer from a friend, and dug in to remake this into something fab.

First step was to take the entire thing apart. Simple to do, just used the handy dandy power drill, carefully as to not strip the screws.
Next I primed all the pieces. And used putty to fill in the holes where the top tier set.
Brushed on the pretty Glidden paint in Crisp Linen White. Put the legs back on (again carefully as to not scratch the new paint job with the drill. And tada! A very nice, clean side table for the living room. Stay tuned to see what I did with the top tier!

Total Time: 2 hours (give or take depending on how fast your paint dries- its triple digits here, so I might as well have been painting in a kiln!)
Total Cost: $0

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Basic Tips and Tricks for Decorating or Re-Decorating on the Cheap

  • Look around.
You would be surprised how much you already have that can be given a new life to fit into your new decorating scheme. Curtains give you yards of fabric for other projects, a little bit of paint works wonders, etc. So take a look around your current home with fresh eyes.

  • Connect with friends and family.
Do you have a friend who loves to redecorate often? A family member who buys things that they never use? Connect with these people, share your ideas with them. They may have something they are willing to give you or sell to you at an extreme discount.
Family and friends are also great to borrow items from, such as paint brushes, and other supplies. This is especially helpful if you are just working on a small project.

  • Thrift stores and Garage sales are nice, but Craigslist and Freecycle are better!
Yes you heard me right. Unless you are just going out garage sale hunting, or thrift store shopping for the fun of it, on those occasions you are just looking for one or two specific items, save your gas, make a post on your local freecycle and hit up your local craigslist for a search.
Saves on gas and sanity (if you have children) And you will get just as great of a deal (sometimes better if its free!)

  • Set a budget and stick to it!
This is hard to do sometimes, but it is well worth it. On a recent IKEA trip I had a strict budget of $20. It made me stop and think before I added anything to the cart. I was forced to ask myself, do I really want/need/love this? If the answer wasn't yes to all three I didn't buy it. I left the store under budget and only with things I really loved!

and finally

  • Look for accessories in less likely places.
I ran across some gems at our local dollar store. Now granted, not the highest of quality of items, but for small accessories, wall decor etc, you can usually get it for just a couple of bucks. And sometimes you'll be shocked at a find, like the lamp I found for my boys room for $6 that is perfect!

So there you have it, a few tips and tricks to get you started. Keep those creative juices flowing!