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Weird Spaces and A Plan

My front hallway has been in a state of disrepair and flux for many many years now. I had done some funky “looks like leather but it’s made out of paper bags” treatment in the area below the chair rail (known as the dado) but I’d ripped that off. And an idea to put up bas relief type joint compound diamonds around the top of the room has now left me wishing I hadn’t. Because those are going to have to be sanded off. Lots of dust. I have been planning a remodel and these pictures sprinkled throughout are my inspirational pics. Yet I wondered what was the deeper meaning of my inability to decide what to do next.

After reading the following article from Kathleen Shannon at Braid Creative, I realized this state of my entry way representative of how I was feeling about me.

“No weird spaces.” by Kathleen Shannon

This has become my mantra as I settle into our new-to-us 1950s mid-century modern ranch my family and I just moved into. You see, we lived in our last house for six years and there was always that one room that was never quite right – it felt awkward, lifeless, and unfinished. In our new house I want every room to feel comfortable, full of life, and conducive for creativity – whether it’s cooking, writing, or playing.

darker floors on Shalavee.com

Darker Floors

When I went through coaching training with Martha Beck she taught us the most interesting concept about the spaces we create. We all know our surroundings impact our attitude, but Martha Beck taught us that the spaces we live in are actually metaphors for our life. This showed up true for me when that one room that always felt funny to me finally found its purpose when I had a baby and it became his nursery (I got goosebumps when I finally made this realization). And every creative I know who is having a difficult time finding focus, clarity, and even clients has weird office space. For example, one of the creatives I’m coaching right now is officing out of her laundry room – yet the rest of her home could grace the pages of Dwell magazine, easily! I wonder how that alone is impacting her creative business.

looks a lot like my hallway but not on Shalavee.com

Try this: take a mental tour of your home and office (whether or not you office out of your home.) Identify your favorite space – what do you love about it and why? Now identify your least favorite space (it doesn’t have to be a room – it can even be a closet or a drawer). What about that space isn’t working for you? How does it feel? How are these spaces metaphors for your life?

Now do this: give some love to your spaces this week. Do a few things to make the weird spaces not so weird. Put on some music, light a candle, and start decluttering and decorating. another kilim rug on Shalavee.com

She asked if this struck a chord with anyone and of course I replied with this.

Kathleen,   
    The weird spaces piece got me thinking. I really believe this is absolutely true. My entryway/hallway is wounded. I began to reinvent it but have not finished the vision. And the same is exactly true for me.  After taking the Braid Branding course, I am still working to see myself as a new entity, artist, entrepreneur, and creative and writer with a “career”. It’s becoming clearer as I work hard to raise my esteem and create projects I like and make connections.
    So my feeling is I need to do something with the entryway even if it’s wrong. Add color and sparkle until a clearer vision comes. Because it’ll never be exact, it’ll always be a work in progress.
    Thanks Kathleen for this thought parallel.
Love it.
Shalagh

painted floor idea on Shalavee.com

Kathleen’s gracious reply was this:

So glad this email struck a chord. 

I love your site – “Practicing the art and mystery of housewifery” is so intriguing! I can see a parallel in “inviting people in” and your entryway when it comes to the work you capture, shape, and share. 
Have a great week, Shalagh. 
Kathleen

 painted front door on Shalavee.comI was originally really inspired by the idea of painting the inside of the front door a happy color. I love love the painted ombre steps idea and I feel like the right rug will make the most cheerful impact. another ombre stairs shot on Shalavee.com

I’m hoping that by posting this post I’ll further my process along. And you’ll get to see the before pictures of the hallway when …wait for it… I do my next video walk through. Soon people. Soon. Just a few styling tweaks in the living room.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here. Yesterday’s post, go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Romance Is Still Popular

I am fascinated when I’m shown which pictures or posts or pins have been the most popular throughout the year on my social media.

I stumbled on my most popular repinned pictures from Pinterest and when I looked at the pictures, I see a theme.

green wash paneling on Shalavee.com
There’s romance in our hearts. Details and scrolls and guild. Destinations and foreign cultures and worlds to discover.

Feather tassle on Shalavee.com

Petticoats and ruffles and feathers and sumptuous walls that ooze with depth of multi-color washes and time.

dark background with elegant spring branch in vase on Shalavee.com

Seems the world wants its “new” tempered with some good old-fashioned depth. And that ‘s just the way I will always want it too.

gem shapes on verdi gris wash background on Shalavee.com

Because that is more interesting to me than white walls.

I can sit and linger in your depth, marvel at your details, and languish in your history.

We could enjoy each others’ company over a glass of absinthe in stemmed carnival glass glasses.

And reminisce about how great and deep we and the world used to be.

Fiona’s Room Reveal

And in the nick of time, I’ve finished decorating Fiona’s room. Finished as much as it will be this week. And of course, the moment the big girl bed goes in, the room shifts about again. 

Her birthday party is on Sunday and the surest way to finish an unfinished house project is to throw a party. That and commit to the room reveal online to your readers. Accountability people, it works every time. I was finishing styling the room and taking pictures while we had us a code red snowstorm today.

Into Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

The closet nook Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

There’s a closet turned desk nook on the left as you enter. The worst for first. 

I really haven’t rethought this cubby space out yet.  I’m making do with it for now.

Welcome to Fiona's redecorated room on Shalavee.com

Beyond the chair, the changing table/dresser is to the left as you enter.

One of the two other projects in the room that I’m most proud of are the parent silhouettes I created.

The idea was based on these online beauties,

My inspiration for the Mom and Dad Silouettes on Shalavee.com

Lily Bun Interiors via Decor Pad

Although children love to gaze at themselves, they also love their Mommy and Daddy. I thought the different colors were wonderful but I felt I just needed the gold and black and white for the traditional feeling.

Mommy and Daddy Silouettes on Shalavee.comI chose two old gilded frames from my collection and we took mug shots of ourselves, I blew them up on printer paper, and then cut them out while attached to the black card stock. There is no glass in the frames, just some muslin wrapped around the backing board and I carpet taped the silhouettes to that. Voila.

Dresser and silhouettes on Shalavee.com
Aren’t they cool? Mark hates his but the mug shot was much worse. Yeah, and don’t look at the special unstoppable crack up that wall behind Daddy’s silhouette. There’s a chimney buried inside the house to the left and this is a forever problem of the shifting house and the stationary chimney.

To the right when you enter, behind the door, is the crib and the bookshelf and that’s where my mad styling skills were put to the test. My other “took forever” project was getting the bird lamp shade wired Thanks to Mark) and then hanging it with all the little vintage Chinese lanterns I had used in my own outdoor wedding decorations. And if you look closely, that pink duct tape makes another appearance covering the cords to the lamp and the clock.

bookshelf and lanterns and crib in Fiona's bedroom on Shalavee.com

silk roses in Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

Fiona's room styled on Shalavee.com

The other project I was inspired to make were the embroidery hoops and the enormous faux embroidery hoop over the crib.

Hoola hoop with frog fabric on Shalavee.com I had this fabulous fabric with the flirty frogs. And it needed a large space to show off its killer cuteness. So I had a eureka moment and thought…hula hoop! Yesterday, I stitched it in place with thin satin ribbon. If she pulls it off the wall onto her head, no harm done.Letters on a fabric backed frame on Shalavee.com

And those hot pink F and P letters I’d thrifted forever ago for her eventual room design ? I hot glued them onto an opened up jeans leg wrapped around the backer board again. I got the bird lantern before Fiona’s birth at Bella Luna’s in Rehoboth, Delaware.

lamp and shelf in Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

And those are silk flowers from a floral company called Allstate. They remind me of one of my favorite roses entitled ‘Lipstick’.


view from the door of crib and bookshelf in Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

So many items were so personal from family and friends and that is exactly the way I think we should decorate. With items that were gifted and made by the people we love and stuff we made because we loved making them, or we had something to prove. How do you think I did? Do I have what it takes?

If you missed the other projects, you can find the Picture Display Chandelier here, the painted dresser is here, and the curtains here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Picture “Chandelier” : Fiona’s Room

For me, one of the most exciting parts of redecorating a room is seeing how the little decorations projects turn out. Any excuse to create a one of a kind piece of decorative art. In Fiona’s room, the number one project I couldn’t let go of was an embroidery hoop picture chandelier. I was “pinspired” at some point by this little beauty.photo display chandelier from Natalme on Shalavee.comI’d gathered up some embroidery hoops at the thrift store. I stared at them for a while. Then I finally found my stash of clothespins, although not tiny ones like the inspiration piece, and I figured I’d wing the stringing it together part. When gluing the clothes pins on, it was a little tricky trying to balance all the weight of the clothespins and keep each level even.Chandelier in progress in the craft room on Shalavee.com

I also loved the excuse to go through my photos and see how some of them look in black and white.

Brother bear on Shalavee.com

Caitlin, Eamon, and Fiona 2104on Shalavee.com

 And this is what I came up with. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Picture display chandelier on Shalavee.com

Fiona immediately recognized the people in the pictures.

And that’s sorta the point.

Plus easy, inexpensive, and really charming.

Picture display chandelier on Shalavee.com

Next up are the last couple projects and

  the Total Room Reveal. 

Because you’ve been patient and it’ll be Friday and enough is enough.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


 

Pink Curtain Rods For a Prettier Window

The curtains were a two-part project. The question you should ask yourself when designing and choosing window treatments is what do you want the “curtains” to do? Are they to block light or give you privacy or make the window prettier?

bay windows in Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

I needed one and three to happen in Fiona’s room with this design.

In the first part of the design, the mock Roman shades were my light blockers. But the bay windows still felt like they need some softening while also not covering up the bull’s eye woodwork detail around them. Sounds like a steep decorating hill to climb and it was until I stumbled on this photo from SF Bay Girl’s blog. And I knew what I had to do.

pink curtain rods above windows from SF Bay Girl blog via Shalavee.com

I just couldn’t get over how perfect an idea this was and I began to obsess over the details. How many rings, what rods, didn’t I have this fabric, and how to get the rods hot pink? There used to be a show on HGTV that should have been called Rip Off My Room and they’d take a designer room for a bazillion dollars and recreate it for a mere 15 thousand dollars. So I said I can recreate this curtain design for under $10 and I did.curtain hardware from Shalavee.com

Thankfully, I already had the vintage brass hardware for this project. The sheer fabric I used was from our wedding. I had draped it between the columns on the porch and put twinkle lights inside. But those curtain rods? They had to be just the right width and thickness and hot pink. Then it hit me. Hot pink duct tape. No mess and easy to cover wooden dowels with.hot pink tape on wooden dowels as curtain rods on Shalavee.comThere are a few more fun things one can do with hot pink duct tape but I’ll save those for another post. So I got my husband to cut dowels or I cut them, can’t remember, on the chop saw. Then came the installation which isn’t so easy because Old House doesn’t really like any screw you use. This crappy picture below was hastily taken to document “real progress”.Putting up the curtain rods on Shalavee.com

Long long dry wall screws work well to go past the horse hair plaster into the lathing unless you hit a rock hard stud. There are studs in that bay window. Once I figured out how to level the dowels out, and then make sure they visually accommodated the slope of that left window and the ceiling decline toward the river, they looked great.The pink curtain rods and roman shades in Fiona's room on Shalavee.comI just clipped the fabric up, again after panicking that I didn’t have enough fabric and deliberating on having to cut it lengthwise. That was nerve wrecking considering our littlest cat Chessie really wanted to be playing with the fabric every time I touched it. On the floor, while I was on the ladder, anytime. Chessie helping with the sheers

I get points for the moving furry obstacle course with claws. Fiona's room windows completed on Shalavee.com

And there you have it, the completely winded story of those curtains. I can not tell you enough how beautiful they are. I love them and am very impressed with myself for pulling them off. Next up is the painting of the wooden dresser.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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