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First Weekend of Fall

8 Oct

This weekend, it finally felt like fall!

The air was crisp enough to pull out an extra quilt for the bed, break out a scarf and swing by Starbucks for an oh-so-delicious hot apple cider.

I also had a few lazy mornings of magazine reading over breakfast.

catalogs

The first of the holiday catalogs arrived!

apple cinnamon oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal – yummy and makes the house smell amazing!

Friday night after a great dinner with a dear friend, I returned home to a power outage. A freak storm had brought crazy winds and rain to the area, and it took our power along with it. The result? Candle burning, blankets and reading by flashlight…I can’t say I was so disappointed…

blackout

I did get out and about Saturday though, and cherished the opportunity to wear some of my fall clothes (I had to restrain myself from piling on too many layers in excitement).

I hit up one of my favorite antique stores, South Front Antiques, and almost squealed (ok, so I kind of did) when I found myself all alone in a room – a whole room! – of antique shutters.

I didn’t take a picture of this wonderful room because of the previously mentioned squealing, but here’s a picture of the almost-as-cool elevator shaft from the third floor. This building is itself an antique and so fun to explore.

elevator

Just one of the cool things at South Front Antiques

Back to the shutters…after a while of perusing, and talking to the owner about the origins of several, I settled upon two very different styles that caught my eye when I first entered the room.

shutter

Here’s one…it’s from the 1890s, probably from a house on either Pontiac or Vance in downtown Memphis. The old wood has aged beautifully.

I’ll share this week how I’m going to incorporate both shutters in at home. And yes, staring at them smiling is part of how they will be incorporated.

How was your weekend? What did you do that felt like fall?

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Going for the Gold: Part 2

4 Sep

How was your Labor Day weekend?

I hope it was as relaxing as mine, which consisted of baking, shopping, Downton Abbey marathons, the last stretch of birthday celebrations and getting some art on this place’s naked walls.

Sponge Painting

I’ve been wanting to fill the large wall in my bedroom for some time, but the sheer size of it had me at a loss for what to do. A few weeks ago, I remembered the large fabric-covered canvas I had hung above the couch in my old place. It was pre-blog, so no pictures, but it looked good at the time.

The fabric doesn’t really go with the new place, but the large canvas does! After tearing off the fabric and covering the entire canvas in white primer – the canvas used to be a really, um, let’s say interesting, splatter painting – I was ready to start anew.

You may recall my love of gold right now, so I decided to carry a bit of that into the bedroom. There are already touches of it in my mirror and in the curtain fabric, so I knew it would work. I wanted some texture, so I decided to sponge on some gold acrylic paint.

Sponge PaintingI know what you’re thinking. Sponge painting? You mean the horror from childhood bedrooms in the early 1990s? Sponge painting has a bad reputation, and a lot of it warranted. But, if you use the technique sparingly (i.e. on a canvas instead of on a whole room) it can be pretty modern.

Sponge PaintingAfter dipping the natural sea sponge in water and ringing it out completely, I dipped the sponge in the paint and started dabbing it around the canvas. I worked outward in a circular motion, but really had no further intention for how things would turn out.

This was the third life of this old canvas, so I kind of just wanted to see what would happen.

Sponge PaintingHere’s the finished product. It has a marbled feel to it, almost as if I crumbled up a piece of gold paper and then flattened it out again.

I love the waves created throughout, and even how the texture from the previous splatter painting comes through just a bit.

The best part? When I grow tired of it, I can just slap on some primer and start again. I have a feeling this canvas may live many a life by the time I’m through with it.

Do ever paint over old canvases? What’s your favorite piece of art in your home?

Pinterest Challenge: Put a Ring on It

10 Jul

I’m back, baby.

Well, sort of. Posting will still be light this week, but I couldn’t stay away today.

Why? Today is the Pinterest Challenge!

beatles

Yes. Celebration is in order.

As you’ll recall from this post, the Pinterest Challenge was dreamed up by Sherry from Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power to get us all to actually make some of this fun stuff we pin.

Brilliant, huh?

This challenge comes at the perfect time for me.

Pinterest, meet my naked walls. Naked walls, meet Pinterest.

I have recently been pinning art on Pinterest that looked DIY-able (word?).

Notice a theme?

Yeah, I’ve been feeling the circles.

So, I grabbed a canvas I had purchased awhile back, picked up some Martha Stewart acrylic paint in gold and a plastic stadium cup, and got to work.

I used the stadium cup as a stamp, and stamped gold rings all over the canvas. I didn’t try to match it up too much or make it perfect – I wanted it to be a little wonky, as my English friend Abby would say.

DIY circle painting

diy circle painting

diy circle painting

To finish it off, I painted each side of the canvas with the gold paint.

I love it! It took about an hour and a half and it reminds of some way high-end pieces I’ve seen online and in decor blogs.

The wall needs a lot more, but consider it semi-clothed now. Bikini-clad, perhaps?

Are you joining in the Pinterest Challenge fun? Share your links below – I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Be sure to check out the blogs of our challenge hosts, Sherry, Katie, Kate from Censational Girl and Michelle from Ten June.

Happy Pinterest Challenge Day to all!

Pretty Quick: Burlap Pillow Doodle

29 Jun

Happy Friday!

Is it just me or has this week been a million years long? Maybe it’s because this was the week I returned to reality after Haven.

Sigh.

Anyway, today’s post is going to be short and sweet, with a fun little project that was, well, short and sweet.

DIY pillow

One thing you must know about me: I hate decor that says things.

You know, a wall hanging that says “Dream” or a tablescape that says “Family.” It’s just not my cup of tea. (I also hate songs with instructions, but that’s another topic for another day.)

But I had the idea a while back that a DIY doormat that greets guests with a cheeky little “hi” could be cute. While the doormat never happened (it still might), I got the idea out of my head and onto a pillow the other night.

And I kind of love it.

DIY pillow

Woodblock letters found at Michaels for $1

No tutorial, because there wasn’t really a process. I used some scrap burlap to cover a pillow form, traced the letters onto the pillow and then colored them in with a black Sharpie marker.

If I wasn’t distracted by Breaking Bad (currently catching up on Season 4!) I may have taken some more time with it, or if I knew how to embroider, maybe I would have done that.

But for a quick little doodle, it makes me smile.

What fun projects have you worked on lately?

Have a happy weekend!

10 Tips for Stretching Small Spaces

20 Jun

Hi there! This week I’m having fun and learning like crazy at the Haven Conference. While I’m there, check out the Every Day Pretty Facebook page and Instagram for real-time updates. I’ll be back next week to share all the Haven fun!

Remember Andrea, my friend with the cute new loft? Last week, we explored tips for maximizing space in her kitchen.

Today, we’ll take a look at overall tricks for making a small space (in this case, a 450-square-foot studio apartment) look and feel bigger.

maximize space

via Creative Space Organizing.com

living room curtains4

  • Hang ’em high: Nothing changes the feel of a room like curtains. To make a room feel open and airy, always hang the curtain rods at least a few inches higher than the window. Stretch out the rod a few inches beyond the width of the window too, to let the maximum amount of light in.
  • Mirror, Mirror: You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s so true. Hanging a mirror, especially a large one, can help trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it is.
gold coffee table

You may recognize this as my dream coffee table. Still on the hunt!

3. Light and Airy: Think of a breeze flowing through your room. With a small room, you want that breeze to be able to flow under and around furniture. Choose seating with exposed legs and tables that feel light. Heavy furniture will stop the eye; light furniture will present a continuous flow, making the room feel larger.

light rug

4. Light Underfoot: If your home has hardwood floors, choose a rug that isn’t too much of a contrast with the color of your floor. A sharp contrast will catch the eye and reiterate the size of the room.

multi-functional room

See how these chairs are almost the same color as the floor? Your eye flows right through them, making the room feel larger.

5. Clear the Clutter: In small spaces, it’s even more important than usual to keep the clutter at bay. An eye will land on clutter and the room will feel smaller if there’s too much hanging around. Ottomans with built in storage space are great choices, as are open shelves with drawers like those in the image above.

6. Think Light: For the most part, lighter colors make a room feel bigger, while darker colors make a room feel smaller. Apartment walls are usually white. Consider emphasizing the hue with sheer white drapes and lighter furniture.

7. Pops of Color: Lighter colors make a room feel bigger, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love color! The eye needs a place to rest, so pops of color in the form of pillows, art or even a piece of painted furniture provide resting places and show off  your personality.

Wall Art

The art is awesome, yes, but do you see those chairs? Obsessed.

8. Less is More: When it comes to decorating the walls, consider one statement piece rather than several smaller pieces. Yes, gallery walls are all the rage right now, but they tend to make a place look smaller, not bigger. A large piece of art with plenty of wall space around it can make a room feel open.

Tip: Wait until large canvases are on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, wrap it in some pretty fabric and hang it on the wall for instant art.

Open and Airy Room

9. Use What Ya Got: Andrea’s studio was built in the 1920s so it has some of that great architectural charm you just don’t find in newer homes. Flaunt it! Using your home’s natural attributes will make your furniture look more at home, keeping the room balanced.

10. Decorate the Whole Enchilada: Often times, we think about decorating in terms of rooms. I say think about the entire home at once. Colors should flow throughout the home, to give each piece and color a sense of belonging. This is especially important in a studio apartment.

Consider this rule of thumb: If I put all of the colors and patterns in my home together on one board, would they go? (Go, not match!) If so, you’re on the right track.

So there you have it: ten tips for making any space feel a little bigger. Andrea, I hope some of these tips are helpful as you continue to make your new place into a lovely home!

Do you have tips to share with Andrea? What are your favorite maximizing space tricks?

DIY No-Sew Bedskirt Tutorial

13 Jun

Isn’t it funny how such a tiny thing can make such a difference?

bedskirt DIY

This weekend, I made a bedskirt for my bed, using one of the two fabrics I happily received last week

I’m so happy with the difference it makes in the room.

And, in a funny little twist, the fabric’s name is Chipper. And I am. And it is. And, sigh. I’m a little too in love with this fabric.

Anyway…

You really don’t need a tutorial at all to make a bedskirt of your own. It’s simple, it’s fast and it comes together far away from a sewing machine.

That’s my kind of DIY.

Here’s what you’ll need:

bedskirt supplies

  • Iron/Ironing board
  • Hem tape (I like the Heat n’ Bond brand, sold at Michael’s)
  • T-pins
  • Scissors
  • Fabric

You’ll need three strips of fabric  for your boxspring(one for each side and one for the front). For my queen bed, I needed about 8 feet for each side and five feet for the front.

Measure from your floor to the top of the boxspring for the height. Mine was about 18 inches. Be sure to add about an inch for the hem.

Tip: to make your strips even, cut about an inch into the fabric and then tear the rest of the way through. It’ll be perfectly even! I always see them do this on Project Runway and it actually works!

Once you have your strips, crank up the iron to medium get ready to get hemmin’.

DIY bedskirt

Psst…this is the fabric I used for my curtains. Sneak peek!

Follow the instructions on the hem tape.

I did about an inch hem on three sides of each strip (the top will hide under your mattress, so no need to hem).

Once you’re done with the hemming, move on to the mattress.

diy bedskirt

Position each strip so it’s even (I had to play with it a little) and then use the t-pins every few inches to secure the fabric to the top of the boxspring.

It’ll start to look like this.

DIY bedskirt

Once all three sides are attached securely, flip the mattress back on top of the boxspring (so much easier said than done…those suckers are heavy!).

And…hello.

DIY bedskirt

Ignore the fan, the laundry basket and the general lack of decorating in this photo. It’s early in the pretty-making process!

I’ll be back with more posts as the room comes together!