Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunny Sunday

My daughter and I took a trip to Flower World today. I let her pick a few flowers for the front porch. When we got home we took the sleds off of the front porch and replaced them with a few things to bring Springtime Joy! There is such a sweetness to planting the first flowerpot of the spring with your little girl.

We cut a few daffodils from the back yard. Ahhh... the sunshine! I can't beleive it's the end of February and we can play outside with out a coat, pick daffodils, and enjoy the cherry blossom trees.

We rounded off the day with my mom's recipe for homemade bread. It is the ultimate comfort food. It always reminds me Wednesdays. Growing up, Wednesday was my mom's day off. More often than not, when we arrived home from school, there was a loaf of bread cooling on the counter. Good memories!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pulling the Room Together

Yesterday I wrote about the chair that started my OCD in decorating. The ladies at Calico Corners, brilliantly helped me choose fabrics that coordinate. I love the look of several different patterns of fabrics in one room, but just don't know how to pull it together so it looks cohesive. Thank goodness for the experts.

Then we moved onto toss pillows and drapes. I didn't need the drapes to be functional. Candice Olson suggests dummy panels, so that's what I did. I saw the idea for a print on top and linen on the bottom on the Thrifty Decor Chick blog as well as the Calico Corners catalog. The panels were from Lowes. I really love the way they turned out. They don't block any of the light but they add the texture and warmth that I really wanted. I had never painted a room a light color. But I think the linen color walls and the dark accent wall work well in the room.

More pillows... made with scraps of fabric, left over from other living room projects and buttons from Grandma's collection. I also reused old pillows, so I wouldn't have to buy new pillow forms.

Finally, this is not my finished focal point of the room. But, it will do for now. I bought the window frame at a garage sale for $5.00. I saw the idea for backing it with fabric and hanging a wreath on the Happy Homebody blog. It was just what I was looking for. This area is lacking color, but it's a work in progress. The bird cage was a Ross find that I spray painted.

Grandma's old rocking chair got a facelift too.

So, here's the run down on the living room makeover:

*Design consultation from the experts at Calico Corner - free!

*Purchased three new fabrics; large plaid, black floral, small black and cream check.

*Used the fabric to recover chair rescued from friend's garage, recover grandma's rocker, recover lots and lots of pillows.

*Painted one dark accent wall and chair the same color dark mossy green.

*Painted the rest of the room linen.

*Made custom drapes out of Lowes panels.

*Spray painted old picture frames black, so they would all be cohesive.

*Painted all mix-match hand-me-down furniture with black semi-gloss.

*Sold all of the fancy, "NO YOU CAN'T PLAY IN THAT ROOM!" stuff on Craigslist and used the money to buy lamps and a cheap ottoman at Target.

*The result... a cozy room, that looks purposeful and cohesive, in which my children are allowed to play, that cost next to nothing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Chair That Started My "Problem"

My name is Becca, and I'm a home-improvement-aholic.

That was my Facebook confession a few weeks ago. I recognize that I have a problem. I'm just not ready to deal with it yet. Maybe I'm ADHD, but I sure can get a lot done in a day.

This chair was the springboard to all of my problems. My friend, Crystal (an antique dealer) was cleaning out her garage and offered some chairs to me. She told me they were in pretty bad shape and she just wasn't excited about all the work that would need to go into them. So, I stopped by her house and loaded my car... with every chair I could fit. Two chairs for school, one for the dining room, and the ugly golden 70's mistake that everyone laughed at when I showed them. I wish I was better at taking before pictures, because this would have been a great before and after.

I let the horrid chair sit in my living room for a while so I could just think about it. By this time I had been introduced to the blogging world and I LOVED the way Layla (Lettered Cottage)painted her kitchen cabinets black and then had white walls. I'm a colored wall kind of girl, so the thought of painting a room cream or white is frightening. My first thought was to paint chair black and the walls white, but then I came across the fabric and the brilliant ladies at Calico Corners. I took pictures of my living room and the new/old chair down to the shop. They walked me through how to choose fabrics: a large scale floral, a small check, and a large plaid, making sure the colors all blend together.

So, the floral chair was born. I have never used floral IN MY LIFE, but this is a dark, beautiful, warm, and cozy floral. I'm in love with it. The ladies at Calico Corners conviced me that painting the chair black would make the fabric look almost navy blue. It's a faded and antiqued fabric, so they were right. I ended up painting the chair the same color as the couch, which is also the same color I painted the accent wall, which led to pillows, wall art, reframing current art, rearranging the furniture, painting all of the accent furniture black, a new ottoman, selling all of the brown items on Craigslist, buying new lamps with my birthday money, fixing up the old black lamps from the garage, recovering grandma's rocker, and the list goes on. and on. and on. Just think of all the blogging I have to do on just one room!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Although I'm not a trained designer, I know what I like. Certain magazines or blog photos catch my eye. At first glance, I'm not sure what it is that I like about the room I'm looking at. Sometimes it's the colors that I love. Other times it's the beautiful furniture, that is usually way over my budget. One thing that always draws me back to certain photos is texture. Whether it's warm and cozy, with fuzzy blankets draped over the couch, or a simple burlap window treatment that lets the light in, it always comes back to texture.

Candice Olson, from Divine Design, always uses bamboo shades. When I was finally in the market to buy some shades for the family room, I asked myself, "What would Candice do?" Candice and I added a little texture to the family room with dark wood toned bamboo shades. They look perfect.

I'm thinking that for a summertime look I'd like to flank the bamboo shades with linen drapery panels and then accent with a few burlap pillows. Pottery barn sells pillows with terrific texture. I'll make them myself and save some money. That's what I do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Potting Bench Nook

My potting bench area was not very pretty. I had been storing bags of potting soil where the plant now is. I also had a large pile of brick edgers stacked up. On this beautiful winter day, I cleared the area, and finally planted my Costco Hydrangea that I purchased last summer. I'm still resisting the urge to buy flowers and pretty it up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Craigslist Find

I had every intention of finding a great piece of furniture, painting it, adding new hardware, and then selling it. (Life In the Fun Lane is a new blog I found and she has the greatest painted furniture for sale.) Then I found this great little dresser. It has great lines, good size, and is perfect for a new project. It's just too perfect! I can't see painting a beautiful antique. Now it's living in my family room. So much for fixing things up and selling them! Here's the best part, though, it was only $3.00!

Friday, February 19, 2010

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Why Blog?

I love all things Home and Family. I even majored in Home and Family Life Education in college. (It's now called Family and Consumer Science). I love decorating, sewing, moving furniture, and cooking and baking with my kids. I always have a new home improvement project on the TO DO list. I lose sleep at night, with visions of paint samples and fabric swatches dancing in my head. Now that I have been introduced to the blogging world I see that there are other people out there who are just as obsessed as me! It's nice to know I'm not alone.

I also have a new found love of photography. Browsing through the amazing home decor blog photos really inspired me. So, I started taking pictures of stuff around my house but didn't have a purpose for taking the photos. I'm not going to make a photo book of my "stuff". What do I do with them? Blogging will give me the opportunity to take pictures of my home and surroundings and actually do something with them. I'm hoping to learn to be a better photographer as I go along and eventually take a photography class or two.

Finally, as a teacher, I tell kids to live like writers. I encourage them to look at the small things in life and see how that could turn into a wonderful piece of writing. I nudge them to write about things they love, and write every day. I want to be a model for my students. So, this is me in all of my untrained glory, trying to decorate like the ladies at Calico Corners, take beautiful photos, and live like a writer. Here goes...

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