Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Post: My Dining Room

Today I'm guest posting over at A Stroll Thru Life. I was so flattered when the super-sweet Marty asked me to be part of her "Pulling It All Together Series". I'm sharing all the details on the very first room I made over in our current home - our dining room. It was one of the biggest changes in our house (do you remember the before?!?) and I still love the space. I would love for you to stop over to A Stroll Thru Life and check it out!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No-Sew Pottery Barn Inspired Ribbon Drapes

It's hard to believe, but the next quarter of our Look-For-Less Design Challenge is here! You may remember my DIY "Wood" Bead Chandelier and DIY Designer Inspired Art and Frame from the prior installments. My project this time around was much less time intensive, but is much more necessary in terms of functionality in our home than the last two. Introducing my No-Sew Pottery Barn Inspired Ribbon Drapes.

I've been working on our king guest bedroom since last summer. And by "working on" I mean I would randomly tackle a project one weekend, abandon it for a few months, and then decide I wanted to work on it again. On Monday, I "revealed" the room - basically showing where the room was at this point, although I can't say I feel like it's 100% done.

I've had the design for the drapes in my mind for some time and have had them mocked-up in the room for several months with stick pins. #Classy. This design challenge prompted me to get my butt in gear and tackle this project once and for all!

My inspiration: The Pottery Barn Morgan Drape - ringing in at $129 per panel for the length I needed.
{via Pottery Barn}
Last Thanksgiving when I was in Utah, I picked up some IKEA Ritva panels. Super cheap but solidly made - exactly what I needed to begin this knock-off. {For an excellent post on the right way to hang these panels, check out this post from Autumn at Design*Dump - the pictures do wonders in terms of explanation}. I picked up the grosgrain ribbon from Ribbon Retreat - they pretty much have every color and width of grosgrain ribbon you can imagine at a great price.

With the striped walls in the room, I felt like the look was cleaner if I simplified the ribbon on the panels I made, in lieu of the PB version. I decided to do one strip of ribbon on the inner edges. To visualize if I liked it, I simply pinned the ribbon in place - one panel with the ribbon on the edge, and another with the ribbon inset a few images {similar to the PB version}. I opted for the edge.

If you saw my no-sew shower curtain, this process is even easier since I was only affixing ribbon to the top of the drape - not wrapping it on both sides of the panel. However, the main element is the same - Stitch Witchery to the rescue! Here are the simple supplies need: curtain panel, ribbon, Stitch Witchery, scissors, and iron and an ironing board. Easy!

I started at the top of each panel. I laid out some of the Stitch Witchery {just short of the width of the ribbon at the top and about two-foot lengths on each side where the ribbon would lay on the sides}. I found it was easier to work in two-foot lengths and then cut more once I finished each sections {keep in mind the ribbon should be left at full-length though}. It's hard to pick up the Stitch Witchery in photos so the arrows in the photo below should help them be more visible:

I then carefully laid the ribbon over it, leaving about a two-inch overhand on the top. Once everything is lined up and you ensure none of the Stitch Witchery is hanging out from behind the ribbon, you steam press it with your iron {follow the directions on the package}. Super easy.

I then flipped over that top corner, applied some stitch witchery for the two-inch overhang, wrapped the ribbon over the top, and then repeated with the iron.

Next I gradually worked down the front of the drape, continuing in two-foot sections, adding Stitch Witchery behind the ribbon on each of its sides.

As I got to the end of each two-foot section, I would peel the ribbon up slightly and tuck under the SW to start the next section. Worked like a charm!

Each panel took just under 30 minutes to complete. And 25 minutes of that was spent ironing each panel because I had never done so after I took them out of the package in November. This is an EASY project that even the most beginner DIYer can tackle. Give it a try! I haven't actually hemmed the bottom of the drapes yet, but if/when I do, you can be sure it will be with the Stitch Witchery in lieu of using my sewing machine!

These drapes help complete the room. Such an easy update to some plain white drapes!

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Remember, the fun doesn't stop here! Stop by these other six blogs for more amazing look for less projects!

Absolutely Arkansas - Anthropologie Inspired Mirror Tray

Home Coming - DIY Towel Rail

Life.Love.Larson - DIY Succulent & Cactus Terrarium

Linking up to: The Blissful Bee,

Monday, April 14, 2014

King Guest Bedroom Reveal

I have never done an official "reveal" for this room for whatever reason. Probably because I don't feel like I've ever finished it. So, I think the time has come to show you the progress so far. As long as nobody points out that there is a still a Christmas carol on the chalkboard. I'll get around to filling it in with an Easter hymn - hopefully by summer. ;)

But first a trip down memory lane. Here is the room shortly after we moved it. It didn't start changing much until last July.

You may recall my first design board here, and my latest {below} after I felt like the room was just off with the original plans. I then shared a few updates once I had the stripes painted and again around Christmas time when I added a few festive touches and then in January when I added the art.

Here are a few more shots of the space. I still need to make the other two Euro shams {they've been cut-out for months} and decide what to cover the bolster pillows in. I also haven't decided if I should hem the bottom of the drapes or allow them to pool. You can see I opted to use a mirror I had on hand in lieu of the Z Gallerie one I wanted in the inspiration photo. I also opted out of the green accents {other than the boxwoods} but they may still be part of the picture down the road. I'm still undecided. I will also need to paint all the doors, window trim and door trim {I completed the baseboards} in the Behr Swiss Coffee like the rest of the house. I'll honestly say that this room no longer feels 100% my style, but I do really like how it came together.

Source List for the room:
Bedspread: Target
Nightstands: Home Decorators {a few years old}
Mercury Glass Lamps: Hancock Fabric {old}
Bed: Z Gallerie {old}
Chandelier: Costco {old}
Mirrored Frame: Threshold for Target
Good Thoughts Art: Oh My Deer Etsy shop
Gold Sun Mirror: Garden Ridge {old}
Paint colors: Behr Swiss Coffee and Behr Dolphin Fin - stripe post
Ribbon-trimmed Drapes: DIY - full tutorial coming Wednesday
Pillow - DIY with Schumacher Chenonceau in Charcoal - I have several yards of this for my next fabric sale!

Check in on Wednesday when I share how I made the Pottery Barn inspired ribbon drapes as part of the latest Look For Less challenge. So easy and such an affordable alternative to the originals!

Linking up to: The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Home Coming, Domestically Speaking, Three Mango Seeds, By Stephanie Lynn, Nifty Thrifty Things, Uncommon Designs, The Casual Craftlete, Just a Girl and Her Blog

Friday, April 11, 2014

Packing Light

As I alluded to here, in a few short weeks, we will embark on a two week tour of Europe. The first week is a business trip/vacation {for my husband's job} and the second half will be pure vacation with my brother and sister-in-law {my husband and brother work for the same company}. I've tried not to think about the trip too much {or the passing days seem to go that much more slowly} but we are down to the last few weeks and it's time I get prepared. Issue #1: what to pack.

I am known to be an excessive packer {hey, I'd rather be prepared}! If it fits, I'll usually take it. But given that the second half of our trip will be more road-trip style, we are limited to one suitcase a piece. For two weeks of travel. Which will prove to be a very difficult task for me.

Places we'll visit:
Killarney, Ireland
London, England
Paris, France
Munich, Germany
Salzburg, Austria
Heiligenblut, Austria
Venice, Italy

We get that this is entirely too many places to visit in a one week period. But we want to squeeze as much as we can into the trip while we're over there! The cities are all so diverse, again complicating the packing situation.

Some good advice I've read so far. Keep everything to basic neutrals and then add in color with accessories. This way pieces can be mixed and matched. I tend to dress in bold colors so I'm rounding up a few basics in neutral colors to make packing a little easier. I like the examples below I've found in my Pinterest searches {one of my Instagram followers also recommended I check out How To Pack Like a Ninja video - great tips!}:

Another great neutral round-up:
A great way to infuse some color into the outfits {could be any color you choose}. I'm also thinking this can easily be accomplished with lightweight knit scarves:
Some more helpful tips:
One of the issues becomes shoes. Especially since I have to pack for everything from golf to a cocktail reception to comfortable touring shoes, etc. Really the whole spectrum of shoe types. It's also a tricky time of year because it could be anywhere from cold and rainy to sunny and warm. I'm trying to think of the best way to add neutral layers to accommodate to varying weather.

What advice do you have for packing light? Any advice on what not to miss in the cities we are visiting? I'm looking for the highlight reels since we are only in some of the cities for one day. And, rest assured, I have an amazing line-up of guest bloggers on the docket while we're out of town and I also plan to have an amazing feed on my Instagram those two weeks!

Needless to say, we have an exciting month ahead of us. Travel is one of our true passions in life and brings us so much joy. I'm excited to check out some new countries and cultures and to share our journey with you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Guest Bathroom: Lighting and Framing a Builder-Grade Mirror Details

Today I am sharing the last two quick tutorials from our recent guest bathroom.

The first involves the lighting. Not really a tutorial, but a more a "see how this light came to be". The light fixture before was a four-light typical vanity light. Just as blah as the rest of the room. There is also a can light over the shower area {controlled with the same light switch}. Although the room is not overly large, the four-light fixture is definitely a necessity for adequate light.

The problem is that scouring the interwebs for an affordable {and cute!} four-light fixture is quite challenging and expensive!

One day while I was at Lowe's, I saw this shade that I loved. But, it required me going back in time and buying a super old-school Hollywood-style light fixture {$14.98 for the four-light version}. The shade itself was on clearance for $34.99, bringing the total light cost to just under $50. Not bad at all!

Specifically, I purchased the Project Source 4-Light Chrome Bathroom Vanity Light and the Catalina 7-in x 26-in White Linen Fabric Bathroom Vanity Light Refresh Kit with Decorative Nickel Finial.

{via Lowe's}
So, this is the first light I officially installed by myself {while my husband supervised - but I'm proud to say I knew how to do it all after watching him install my 347 lighting requests over the past year}. This style of light is much easier than a chandelier - but hey, I did it!

After the light was installed, you can see above we mounted the cleat for the shade I purchased. You'll notice ours is off center, but that is because we wanted to ensure we hit a stud {so we didn't have to use the pesky wall plugs}. The great thing about this shade is that the whole backside has a cleat that mounts to the wall cleat, so you can slide it around until it's centered! I love the look - and it's so easy {and affordable} to achieve! The whole process would be even easier if you already had one of the light bars above installed in your home.

I won't rehash the full process on building out the frame for the mirror {there are tons of other great, in-depth tutorials online}. But I'll summarize the steps we look.

I started out by visiting the trim aisle at Lowe's {I actually think it was the same day I bought the light fixtures}. I had dropped my husband off to get a haircut, so I had 15 minutes to get in and get out of Lowe's - I didn't have a lot of time to really analyze what trim I wanted.

I selected a piece of crown molding that I liked. Although it doesn't look all that substantial on this huge mirror, it is one of the thicker pieces Lowe's sold. I loved that it was pre-primed, saving me several steps overall.

Once home, I had my husband measure and cut the pieces, using a simple 45 degree cut. We then set up a large work table in the garage to lay the frame on and piece it together. He pre-drilled holes in all the corners to attach the ends with a nail. After pre-drilled, I covered the raw edges with wood glue prior to us nailing the pieces together. We simply pressed them together, and then he nailed in the pre-drilled hole. I immediately wiped off any excess glue that seeped out.

We let it dry overnight. Next we carefully brought the frame into the house and propped in up near the mirror. We used a white-drying Gorilla glue to attach it directly to the mirror surface. I was careful not to get the glue too close to the mirror edges, as you can sometimes see the reflection in the mirror behind the wood if you over-apply. We found some props to ensure the mirror didn't move or fall over night. You can see we used the shower curtain tension rod for one of the stabilizers {with a piece of scrap wood in between, so as not to mess up or ding the mirror frame}.

A few days later I used some wood putty to fill in the corner seams better. Once dried, I lightly sanded the entire piece. I then applied two coast of semi-gloss Behr Swiss Coffee paint {I taped off the interior sides and then just used a razor blade on any paint that seeped through}. This frame helped transformed not only the mirror, but the entire room!

I love how this space ultimately came together! If you missed the posts on the reveal, the no-sew shower curtain or the Country Chic Paint painted vanity, be sure to check them all out!

Now I'm ready to get the walls in this space painted!