When I first noticed the trend of painted rugs I had my doubts. But I've become converted. Today I want to show you some of my favorite tutorials for DIY painted rugs, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be a believer to. This trend really lends itself to the DIYer, inexpensive and readily available rugs + inexpensive and powerful paint = a big hit! Click on the pictures and you'll be taken to the tutorials.
I love this idea for a rug that's been stained - a little paint and that stain is a mere memory. And what about those foam puzzle mats that your children no longer play with - that could be a great bath mat! I also love this idea for a rug under a kitchen table - if you sealed your rug with some polyurethane I bet that would add a significant level of stain repellent power. Another great thing about this trend is that it comes with such a small price tag so you could make seasonal changes, wouldn't a painted kitchen mat make a great neighbor gift for the holidays? I'm certain my kids could make a great mat for their grandmas. There are loads of possibilities!
Julie lives in a Victorian style house with a great front parlor. Just the term parlor makes it seem awesome, right? Leading into the circular section of the room (first picture below) is another room that we'll refer to as the library/music room (second picture below).
Julie says these rooms don't get used as much as she'd like, so I'd like to share what I think will help draw people into the space.
First, I think the space layout needs to change. With all the furniture pushed back against the walls, the space seems uninviting, more like a gallery of pretty furniture than a conversation area. To change that I would move the settee up on the rug and to the left, this will place it close to the radiator as well as positioning it under the window. I would move the red leather chair out of the room, and move the two matching Shaker style chairs to the right side, keeping them together. I would keep the family heirloom pedestal table and rocker on the left, but move them closer to the center of the room. Here is our post about smart rug usage. I think the symmetry as well as the chairs being closer together will help this room be a great conversation area.
The colors I chose for this room were selected based on the colors of the rug: deep red, black, and white. Because there is already wood tones (furniture) and gold (on the settee) I decided to use those colors around the room to help keep it consistent. Painting the radiator the same color as the wall would help conceal it and keep focus away from it. Furniture in the Victorian era encompasses many other styles (Rococo, Gothic and Neoclassical to name a few), and since Julie already has some great pieces, I decided to tone down the rest of the furniture I'm picking for the rooms so it wont seem too stuffy. I wanted things to feel rich, a little luxurious, and inviting.
Here are some other things I picked for the room -
1. Silk drape panels - to flank every window, and add height to the room. Because the room is circular, you probably can't use the typical curtain rods that go across the top of the window, so just use individual short rods for each panel.
2. Landscape art - to go on the wall in place of the temple painting. The visual weight of this will help balance out the radiator on the other side of the settee. I did it in three panels so it would be easier to hang on the curved wall.
3. Table lamp - to replace the lamp currently on the radiator. Another option is to just replace the shade on the current lamp base to a black shade. It would be great to repeat the black on the area rug in another spot in the room, and not have a white shade with the white radiator.
4. Gold and red vase - to go on the radiator as an added decorative element. I wanted to use gold in a few places around the room so it would tie in with the settee.
5. Upholstered ottoman - I thought it would be good to go with a upholstered rectangle shape to add some soft, straight lines to the room. Also, since its upholstered it adds more comfort, and it can also be moved out from the middle of the furniture grouping and be used as extra seating if needed.
6. Gold lacquered tray - to sit on top of the ottoman. It can hold books, or other decorative elements, and will help tie in the ottoman with the gold on the settee.
7. Wing back chair - to go in the library section of the room to replace the existing chair. A great, classic reading chair that is comfortable and inviting is needed in this space. I love that this chair has the classic cabriole legs and claw and ball feet, but seems modern as well because of the straight arm rest. Also, it has a smaller scale so would fit well in the room.
8. Pedestal side table - to go next to the wing back chair to set books or a drink. I think its nice when every seat has a place to put something down.
While I was in Paris last week, my sister (who lives in Paris), my mom, and I were able to take a 3 day side trip to Portugal. I definitely noticed a theme in the exterior of the buildings there, and thought I'd share a couple of my photo's with you so you can get a look as well.
Portugal is known for their tile. You see it everywhere. I really love it on the outside of these buildings, don't you? I feel like it adds so much dimension and character. If an exterior wall isn't covered in tile, it seems to typically be painted white, pink, yellow, or blue (i'm sure it can be any color, but those were the most popular I noticed).
We also booked our two nights through a site called Airbnb, which means we stayed in apartments that locals listed, not hotels. I loved this because I got a glimps into how Portugese people live, not to mention we got some killer deals. The first night we had a two bedroom apartment to ourselves, but had the unfortunate situation with the upstairs neighbors dog that didn't want to stop barking through the night, or the rooster that woke us up in the morning way too early. A rooster? Yeah, I don't remember the last time a rooster was the reason I woke up. But it was fun staying in a residential area and eating dinner right down the street with some locals. Our second night we actually stayed in a spare room of a cute couple's apartment, which we didn't realize at the time we booked it, but it ended up being awesome. They were amazing. Their English was great, they showed a lot of pride in their country, and were really insightful. This couple got out a spare map, and totally planned out our whole next day with what to see. I love getting a local's perspective!
Just in case you are curious, here are the city's we went to: Belem (and visited each thing that is on that link... make sure you get a Pasties at the cake shop and put powdered sugar and cinnamon on top!), Lisbon, Sintra (visited Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle), and ended in Porto.
Do you decorate for Halloween? I haven't in the past. We mostly celebrate by reading spooky Halloween books and attending lots of great parties. But I am tempted to try this DIY for lacey tight vases, this is the sort of Halloween decoration that I can get behind. I even already have all the items. It just so happens that yesterday I discovered I had a hole in some of my tights, and I have a few vases from my wedding, so I think that pretty much seals the deal. Lacey Tight Vases it is. If you'd like to join me, the whole tutorial can be found here.
We're going to try something new and fantastic for today's 2nd Opinion. I'm hoping to open up the awesomeness that is 2nd Opinion to more readers. Some of you have told me that you don't have an entire problem room, but maybe just a problem wall, or a difficult product choice. Well 2nd Opinion can help you too! Today I'm submitting my own bedding dilemma and I'd like to hear what y'all think.
For my recent birthday (!) my Mom bought me new bedding. I can not tell you how happy I am to climb into bed every night. I've always loved my bed, but these flannel sheets have won my heart! I chose the Paintbrush Flannel Sheets in Pale Gold at Garnet Hill, and the ticking stripe duvet cover in gray, also in flannel, to compliment the yellow. I happened to have 2 existing gray euro shams that are quilted, and these go well with all the new pieces.
As you may be able to tell, this is a big bed and this leaves a lot of white in the ticking stripe. Probably too much. I think we need an additional blanket at the end of the bed, as well as a sham for the middle euro pillow. Here are the options I've come up with and I'd like to know what you think, I'm looking for a 2nd Opinion :)
All of these fabrics are from Lewis and Sheron Textiles. I like the idea of these prints or dots contrasting with the solid and stripes. I also like the idea of a little femininity added in a pillow and throw. And although I really love the mustard I need something to go with it and according to our color theory post, purple is an obvious choice!
Growing up my parents had a long standing joke to torment us kids; "We're going rug shopping!". Truth be told, my Mom and Dad have a thing for rugs. They were always on the hunt for the perfect rug for very specific spots. Over the years they've collected some beauties, my current favorite is their broadloom in their basement; it's a fantastic plaid that really warms up their space and draws your eye all around the room. Rugs can do that. They can make spaces feel expansive and inviting; or they can make that same space seem awkward and misshaped. I'm going to give you a few tips to make your next rug purchase a great one.
1. Bigger is usually better. If you've dealing with a small space, then a rug that fills nearly all the available space will make the area feel larger.
2. At least the front two legs of any pieces of a grouping of furniture need to be on the rug, this helps anchor the space and will encourage conversation and use.
3. A rug should lie about 1/3 the way under your furniture.
4. I do not have a rug under my dining room table, you don't have to either. I'm not sure I ever will have a rug under my table, but now is definitely not the time as it would be the worlds most effective dirt and food catcher. We haven't had a meal without a major spill in about 6 years, I'm not counting on that changing anytime soon.
5. If you do have a rug under your table I would make sure it is a rug with a very tight weave as to make crumbs sit on top of the rug instead of becoming embedded.
6. It is my personal opinion that ideally a rug under a dining table should be large enough that when a dining chair is pulled out to sit on it is resting all the way on the rug, as to not teeter-totter between the rug and the floor.
Some of my favorite online sources for rugs are:
Some of these websites are more expensive than others, but there is a good range of price points within this list. The rug below is from IKEA and is only $350 for an 8x11. I've seen this rug used in really expensive rooms and really inexpensive rooms. The reason people love it so is because it adds a sense of motion and drama in a room. The stripes could help balance out a room that is too long and narrow, or it could draw you into an open concept living room. Maybe it could work in your home!
Greetings from Paris! I arrived yesterday sans husband and kids, to come visit my sister and her husband that currently live here. My husband and I were fortunate enough to come out here the end of April (great time of year to come!) and did a lot of the touristy things for 10 days. So since I came back again so soon, (because really, you just have to take full advantage of family who live in amazing places) I wanted this trip to be more low-key.
Today my sister and I probably walked about 10 miles, and two of our stops were at stores called BHV, and Merci. BHV is a big department store, with fun things on each level, from your typical home goods, to clothing and make up, and hardware. It's mid-range price point offers so many fun things to buy... or look at in my case :). I was also surprised by how much color I saw in here. Parisians typically wear dark and neutral colors, so I expected that to be the same for style inside their home.
I wasn't supposed to take pictures inside, but was able to sneak a couple so you guys could get a peek.
Top row: 1- cute display with drum lamp shades. 2- amazing paper boxes of every shape and size. they even had animal ones and letters behind this that could be decoupaged or painted. 3- wrapping station with beautiful ribbon. 4- fun knobs.
Bottom row: 1- colorful, playful utensils. 2- more colorful utensils with cute mugs. 3- i love me mugs with funky handles. 4- cute dish sets.
Later we went to Merci, which is a really popular store here in Paris. It definitely has a higher price point than BHV, but has a wonderful style mix of industrial, modern, antique, organic, with a little glam thrown in. Its pretty amazing.
Top row- 1- a cafe attached to the store with a long row of books. 2- a show room with tables, and my favorite table display. 3- cool display of lights. 4- amazing organic dish set.
Middle row- My favorite table display of fake upside down light bulbs. they were seriously so cool. 2- earthy table. 3- part of the chair option display. 4- industrial cool display.
Bottom row- rolls of pull apart napkins, which is something that they are known for. 2- glass shaped like an opened paper milk carton. so cute. 3- paper station with great industrial lights. 4- another shot of a table in the show room. I love how they always mix styles, like here its an antique traditional table, with modern industrial chairs.
Oh I love Paris. I hope you enjoyed getting a look at these popular Parisian stores! Would you shop here if you could?
Sorry for the late post today y'all. I have three sick kids and two house guests and I think that says it all doesn't it? But I'm so excited to show you today's space because it is a room a lot of us have. I think Kelly has wisely chosen to have this room serve double duty, it's an office by day, and a guest room by night, on occasion. Kelly asked me to incorporate a sleeper sofa, her husband's love of clean modern lines, and Kelly's love of vintage/retro. I do need to throw out there that my dear friend Kelly is a bibliophile, and I'd love to highlight this gem about her.
First thing I would swap the two sets of bookshelves on the opposite wall for the desk on the right. Luckily the doorway doesn't open right into the side of the bookshelves, so you dodged a bullet there! I think this set up will allow for more usable space in the room. I know some people don't care for their back to the door as they work, if this is the case in your house I would suggest putting a mirror above the desk so the person at the desk can see what is happening behind them. If this is not the case I would use some of your sister's great photography and blow up the picture below. I like this piece because I just can't get enough of the blue and red combination as well as the fact that it is a round shape in a very rectangular room. I would consider having the piece framed so that the blue in the sky is broken up from the blue on the wall by a mat and a frame, the bigger and brighter the mat the more eye-catching the photo.
For the rest of the room I'm envisioning putting a bench underneath the window on the left. This bench will offer more seating, but also pulls out into a twin sleeper! If one sleeper bench is not enough there would actually be room for two, and they're inexpensive, so two would not break the bank. I like this option a lot because the bench doesn't take up much visual room as it is very low and neutral colored. This addition also allows for the rocker below to be added next to the bookshelves. I much prefer furniture to not all be pushed up against the walls. If you can find a way to pull a piece of furniture off a wall: anchor it with, say, a bold rug; then the entire room will feel bigger and more inviting.
1. Carpenter Carbon Lamp - perched off of one of the bookshelves it would give light to the rocker
2. Yellow Lacquer Office Storage - helps to tie in the color of the chair
3. Sleeper Bench/Ottoman - I love this particular option because it fits completely underneath the window and allows for a better reading and walking area
4. Faux Bead Cotton Canvas Window Panel - hung as close to the ceiling as possible and wide enough so that the panels can be pulled clear of the window, will help frame up the window
5. DIY Anthropologie Tea Pot Lamp - add some whimsy to the very masculine metal desk, another source of lighting
6. Vintage typewriter - great color and whismy, might also distract your child for a moment while you check facebook
7. Mid Century Rocker - clean lines for Husband, vintage feel for Kelly
8. Garden Print Rug - will help designate a reading area, needs to be placed horizontally to help balance a long vertical room, would look best beneath the bench and the rocker. Would help balance the fantastic blue wall with the neutral carpet
Little Green Notebook
I have to draw your attention to this fantastic tutorial on how to add an arch detail to the Billy Bookshelves from IKEA. I think this would be a great application for your room. I also really like the extension piece that she added to her shelves, the taller the shelves the more books you can buy!
Thanks for sharing your office with me! Happy Weekend everybody! -Andrea
Halloween and I have an interesting relationship. On one hand, I think its a purely fun "holiday" and its always nice to have a reason to pull out some fun decorations and have an excuse for a party. On the other hand, I think its silly, in a pointless kind of way, and definitely need help getting motivated to get ready for it (I'm sure my boys costumes will get done at the very last minute). So to help myself, and probably some of you out there, get even more excited for Halloween, here are some fun party tables that are pretty awesome (click on 'source' to get linked back to its original website and to see more detailed images!) -
Aren't these tables so fun? I love looking at a good spread of not only pretty, but yummy things too. If you are throwing a party and want to create a look similar to these (even if its not for Halloween), here are some things to consider-
1- Backdrop. You'll need something to go behind the display table for added interest and drama. A simple banner, cute sign, or pretty sheet/table cloth pinned on the wall are all great.
2- Cute trays or dishes. These don't need to be expensive! I typically see food displayed on white dishes, so if you want to invest in some, look at your local Ross, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods... they always have cute inexpensive options.
3- Add height. Taller things go in the back, shorter things in the front. To add height you can use cake stands (you can even make your own out of an old candle stick and a plates!), tall glass canisters (also look for these at Ross/TJ Maxx/Home Goods... they are way cheaper there!), or a box or tray to set things on. If you don't have any cute boxes you can always find a cardboard box in the size you need, and cover it with wrapping paper or fabric.
4- Make it look balanced. The table doesn't have to be perfectly symmetrical, but it should look balanced, with the focal point in the back middle of the table. To do this, pair things with similar visual weight and height on opposite sides of the table.
5- You can use more than just food for your display. Incorporate fun decorations that go with the theme of the party into the table for added interest.
6- Printables. This one is optional, but you'd be surprised how big of a difference having coordinating labels makes in tying your whole display together. There are a lot of free options for this around the web, and some of the sources above also have free printables listed!
What is your favorite part about Halloween? I think mine is taking my boys to a pumpkin patch and letting them pick out one pumpkin to bring home... that always makes for an enjoyable festive outing!
Happy Columbus Day! We have the day off here in Boston and my mind has wandered to sailing the seas this morning. I have dreamed of different ways to incorporate nautical flags into my home design for years. I love them for many reasons. I love the high color contrast, I love their billowy potential, I love the sound they make as they blow in the wind, and LOVE what they represent. Whenever I see a nautical flag I think of a fantastic day out on the water. If you'd like a mini-tutorial on what the flags themselves mean, almost a nautical alphabet, click here. For those of you more interested in just how cool they look, here are a few inspirational pictures. What I like best about this collection of pictures is how nautical pennants can be used in a variety of spaces to add color and interest. Enjoy!
Can you believe the nautical flags painted onto the floor? I love it. I might make it a life goal of mine to implement that paint job. If you're looking for a DIY nautical pennant option, click on the photo below, it's a solid tutorial. Enjoy!