Currently Browsing: Dare to Decorate
Apr 28, 2013
So, if you’ve followed our baby story, you know that we didn’t know which flavor baby we were having. And that meant the redecorating effort went to Eamon’s room. I couldn’t even begin to think about a gender neutral redecoration of the guest bedroom cum baby’s room.
It was already very purple.
The quilt square was made for Fiona by my friend Jean
So when we had a girl I was relieved. The purple room was OK. But then again.
It would also seem I had already started shopping for new inspiration despite myself.I found these curtains a while back at the Goodwill. The colors are sort of Kate Spade and the floral is unique and old. Rachel Ashwell would covet them.
I acquired the paper lantern during my Christmas shop at Bella Luna. There’s that blue and the pink again from the curtains. Plus gold and green. Hmmm.
These bay windows and I stuck one of three valances I also found at Goodwill that I didn’t use for Eamon’s room. I love my pink chair and my faux rose from Allstate which look a heck of a lot like my favorite real roses, celebration roses. Then there’s this wooden dresser. I really like the raw wood and want to do some wood and white combo that I’m inspired by some others I’ve seen. Check out my baby Pinterest page if you want to see the inspiration piece. Otherwise, soon enough.
We have more than a few wooden dressers. This one’s drawers were a little rough to pull out and push in. So we went to the Lowes and asked a guy if there were drawer gliders we could buy. He laughed at us and said that we should buy teflon spray. Say what? He said he’d used it on every drawer in his house. Well let me tell you, Dude was right on! I have begun to drag every drawer outside and douse them with DuPont Teflon Lubricant. It was only $4.
And then there’s the lilies of the valley handkerchief. Boy how I love the girlishness of this. I’d frame it or make a pillow out of it. So excited to have an excuse to use it somehow. Isn’t she pretty in pink?
Yet to decide the wall color but I’m thinking something sunny and linen like.
Apr 21, 2013
I am a secret style stalker. For years I watch shows, look at magazines, and fiddle with my own interiors, dreaming of my own spaces to play in. Although a friend and I agreed, blogs are for saying, “Look what I did !” , I was gathering the confidence to show you. Because, when you see all these beautiful design blogs, it’s a little intimidating.
Last summer I found out I was having my miraculous Fiona but we didn’t know she was a she. And unable to redecorate the baby’s room, I decided it must be a revamp of the little boys room from baby’s to big boy’s room. So having postponed long enough, the time has come to show you the results.
Eamon’s room redo was started last summer to turn his baby room into a big boys room. It was a long and painful process. Fraught with Chevron challenges, some of which I teased/summarized here in this preview post entitled Chevron Pregnancy.To recap. Pregnant ladies like to paint, especially wacky things like chevrons.
I got a notion for a design scheme from Pinterest. I researched how to do it. After I’d taped the room out the first time, I begged the help of a friend because my chevron’s scale was too small and at the wrong height on the wall.
We had a heck of a time marking out a level line since the room tilts. After that, I mistaped half of the room a little higher. Then I retaped. Then I had to do multiple layers of tape and paint to get crisp lines that didn’t bleed.
The color Eamon chose for the ceiling was Forgotten Secret from our Ace Hardware store in town. The wall color is Wishbone. And it was that super thick stuff which smells like hell but covers well.
After painting the stripe, I knew it needed an accent color stripe. So I enlisted another friend for some extra paint to mix my color and received her professional painting hand to paint that final freaking stripe.
Thank You Amanda Lewis for your support and professionalism. The paint dribbles on the floor were due to my sloppy laziness. You would never have let that happen.
And so here it is, the new and improved Eamon’s Big Boy room.
Mark built the desk/bench for Eamon last summer. It’s an exact replica of his work bench. And you could tap dance up there and it would hold you. I made the tree from a piece of masonite and was designed to go into a window display and has another piece that slips on to make it stand.
The sleigh bed we acquired from our neighbors and used to belong to a maiden auntie. It’s a 3/4′s and will hopefully contain his length for a while.
The comforter cover came from Goodwill, otherwise known as Mommy’s playground, and has pictures of cassette tapes and reel to reel players. The blanket was a recent gift of a big boy blanket from a far away aunt.
Chalkboard paint on the door is awesome.
And this mirror has sat in my closet for a really long time. My awesome neighbor is a carpenter and my ever-growing bellied self wheedled him and my husband into building the frame. After which I mixed my own stain with paint and glaze so that you could still see the frame’s grain.
I’m extraordinarily pleased with how the room turned out. The wrapping of the color up onto the ceiling ended hiding the crookedness of the house so incredibly well. I would highly recommend this technique to hide your crooked house lines. No chevron necessary. But I do like the chevron as it reminds me of Charlie Brown’s sweater. It’s dear and kinda quirky.
And now you’ve seen the room. And it won’t become a forgotten secret like it’s paint’s namesake.
Apr 12, 2013
Her hands begin to flutter and circle about her head like tiny butterflies,
She is as a geisha doing a sensuous finger fan dance
She is sign rapping a song of love
She is the conductor of an orchestra, holding the note high
and the musicians in silent rapture.
Eyes half closed in ecstasy
As her mouth suckles in celebration of this her only meal.
She caresses her ears and her face,
Grasping, sighing, searching to settle and grabbing again,
Her tiny bowed lips taking deep deep drinks.
She makes quietly divine cooing noises and shudders with relief.
Her celebration unfolds, once again the telling of
the unity with my breast and her being, happy to coexist here and now.
Fed and full and Fiona.
Mar 22, 2013
Just like last time I was pregnant, I got this crazy notion to get jiggy with painting the kid’s room. Eight years ago, not knowing the gender of our first-born, I painted a green background with cream vertical stripes and hand painted ribbons cascading down in fuchsia, purple, orange, and aqua.
Eamon with all his “friends” circa kindergarten
My husband said, if the child doesn’t have ADD, he surely would after living in that room.
Flash forward and again, not knowing the gender of belly baby, I decided to refocus my efforts on updating my son’s room to a big boy room. And then I’ll never have to do this again. I based my design on this nursery I found on Pinterest. He and I worked together to pick out paint colors and pillow fabrics.
I had already gotten it in my head that instead of a straight line or molding, I was going to paint a chevron around the room’s top half of the walls. That and the wrap of color from the ceiling will help camouflage the catiwampus rhombus shape of his room in this old nasty house we live in.
As I started to research how to do this, I found many tutorials on blogs on Pinterest. Like How to chevron your nursery walls here. A particularly well photographed step by step here. Or here which came out like this.
Tres cool. But I really just wanted one zigzag stripe chevron.
Interestingly enough, when I was surfing, seems the chevron paint bug is a pregnancy problem. I found numerous pictures of really pregnant women smiling for cameras in the middle of chevron craziness. Because that is what it is, craziness. Owen’s Oliva tutorial is here. And here’s the crazy pregnant lady doing the deed.
But no matter how crazed I was, I was not making, wearing, or posing for anything like this chevron maxi skirt. The end.
Stay tuned for the reveal. And the painful story of the process which will hopefully deter you from trying this in your home.
I can tell you it turned out fabulously. And I will never try it again.
Mar 5, 2013
When we first moved to or house in the boonies, I discovered the Home and Garden Network on my new cable box/best friend. We were renovating the house on a “budget”, as in cheaply as possible without making any real progress that money would require. Channel 43 became my bestest friend outside of General Hospital which I maintained a relationship with far longer than is admittable here.
So HGTV housed all the tips, inspiration, and TV personalities I could handle. My favorite shows were ones where a room would be redone in half hour and included Design on a Dime andDecorating Cents. But my very favorite was the unforgettable Trading Spaces from TLC. Even before I was a was a Design Star fan, and it’s more upscale brother Bravo’s Top Design, I was devoted to Trading Spaces. It premiered 3 months after we moved. And had an impressive seven year run.
This was a reality show produced with the premise that two neighboring families would switch houses for 24 hours and completely redecorate one room in each others houses with the “help“ of a designer. It was crazy and fun. I recently found myself thinking about the show as I contemplated a gallon of Venetian plaster I have yet to use.
Venetian plaster was a favorite medium of designer Doug’s. Those poor homeowners up all night polishing, sanding, and waxing those Venetian plaster walls into the perfect sheen that Doug impressed himself with in his design. He was always right. Until that time he painted everything in the couples’ room white.
Doug and Hildy were known for designing for looks and not for comfort. Many a person walked into their “new” rooms and wondered how they’d be comfortable watching their TVs. Where was their TV anyway?
But the designers who cared about comfort, Vern and Genevieve specifically, ended up with their own shows. I loved Genevieve’s style. From papering the walls with pattern tissue pieces to drawing her own charcoal bull for artwork (did I mention the budgetary factor?), she always valued the artistic and the aesthetic and the comfort for the homeowners.
Design should be both visually pleasing and inhabitable. The most talented designers figure this out within the parameters of the homeowners tastes. And surpass their expectations. And I do so miss the drama that was Trading Spaces. I can not even watch HGTV anymore with all the house selling and buying shows.
Apartment Therapy did a pretty comprehensive retrospective and homage to the show back in 2011 that you can find at this location.