Monday, December 28, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

If you live in Dallas and you wished for a White got it this year! It was just beautiful. Here are some pictures of our snowy holiday.

Hope you had a Magical Day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Redecorating Nikolas' Room

So I have a problem with buying pieces of furniture before I realize that they don't necessarily work in the space they will live in. Case in 3 year old son's room.

I was so excited that we were ready for a "big boy bed" that I ran out and found him a huge Cargo style bunk bed system and refinished it in navy blue. It looked amazing....just not in his room. With the bulky style of this system we couldn't even open one of his closet doors and it blocked the light from one of his windows.

So the bunk beds went on Craigslist and I decided to take my time to really PLAN OUT what I envisioned his room to be. I wanted something that he could transition from a toddler to a teen even though he LOVES trains right now, I don't want it to get too themey (is that a word?). I also have to redo the room on a MAJOR budget.

So, I'll be posting pics as I continually add to the room. This is a process :-)

A little Background...

We originally decided that this particular room was going to be the nursery even long before we decided to have a baby. The great lofted ceiling and the cute little window seats screamed "NURSERY!"

Here's a picture of the room, before baby. I decided to paint the walls as soon as I found out we were having a boy...big shock, blue. Luckily I chose a soft blue that actually goes well with what I plan to do with his room now.

Here's one of Tres painting the ceiling, while I in my "delicate condition" document it. (sexy shorts, Mr!)

And me, seven months preggo excited to finally have the crib assembled :-)

And finally, putting the finishing touches on...

and...he finally arrives!

But enough trippin' down memory lane for now...I have a 3 year old's room to transform now!

Step 1: Bargain Hunting for the Right Pieces
I was searching for months for the perfect twin bed. I hit the jackpot with JCPenney's Black Friday Sale where I got it for $199 with free shipping. I was really surprised at the quality and it is a dead ringer for the PBK bed I'd been eyeing but couldn't justify the price tag.
I also got a killer deal on the perfect nightstand as well.....I think I'll paint it dark red to pull out some of the colors in the train bedding we chose.

Step 2: It's All in the Details

Ever notice the little details that give a room character? For me, I'm drawn to wainscotting and trim in bright white glossy paint. Unfortunately our house lacks these features...we have large expanses of sheetrock walls. I've always wanted to do wainscotting or beadboard paneling in Nikolas' room, but the cost and the fact that I'd have to rip out the existing baseboards before putting up the paneling, made me reconsider.

I had seen BEADBOARD WALLPAPER on other design blogs, and I thought well, for $15, why not give it a shot.

It ROCKS! Let me tell you, it was so easy! I just measured the length I wanted and cut the strips. Then I filled the bathtub with water and submerged each strip in water for a few minutes before sticking it to the wall. Just make sure to smooth it out really well to get the air bubbles out and make sure your lines are even.

Here is a picture of the first wall I did. You can see my uneven lines at the top but they were quickly covered by a chair rail moulding.


Super just get it wet and lay it on the wall smoothing out the bubbles.

Here's a picture of the wall with the chair rail moulding put up (it's still wet here but today it was totally dry and it really looked like the real thing).

I haven't decided if I need to paint it glossy white or not yet, but I will go back and caulk the corners and edges. I am now a Beadboard Wallpaper Believer! I have big plans for how to use it in the rest of the house.

Stay tuned for pictures on the final room transformation :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Decorating for the Holidays on a Shoestring Budget

Some of the best design ideas come from using your imagination and not your wallet. I love these ideas so much that I know I'll be incorporating them into my home this season.

1. Bringing in Elements from Nature.
I love the idea of using a TREE LIMB that may have been knocked down on a windy day. You can create this look by suspending a branch above the dining table with fishing line and thumb tacks. A few ornaments really add finishing touches. This also eliminates the need for a centerpiece since the limb makes a big statement of it's own. Total Cost: $0....gotta love free!

Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
2. Front Door Charm.
Another great place to decorate using the outdoors this year is on your front porch. Just by collecting twigs, greenery, and a few pinecones, you can give your front door a Christmas makeover without spending a dime. Make it fun! My son and I go on a "NATURE WALK" pulling along his wagon to collect our finds in.

Photo Courtesy of Country Living
3. A Repurposed Theme.
Look around your home at what you already have that could be incorporated into your holiday theme. Some of the best design ideas for holiday decorating come from using everyday items. Fill glass apothecary jars with ornaments or pine cones. I always love taking glass hurricanes and filling them with fake snow and adding a chunky pillar candle.

4. Incorporating Sentimental Objects.
You may have your grandmother's favorite books from when she was a child, or your dad's old flexible flyer sled stored up in the attic. Use these sentimental pieces in your holiday decor. I love old sleds, vintage Santa's grouped together and even antique ornaments strung up like garland.

Most of all just have fun with it! If you mix old and new and repurpose items, it makes your decor interesting and unique to you and your family.

Happy Holidays! :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Living Room vs. Playroom...Big Dilemma for Families with Youngsters!

Okay, so I've been dealing a lot lately with function vs. pretty. Function definately wins the battle when you have a toddler. Most of the time, the functional necessities are not by any means pretty to look at! (i.e. our recent bathroom step stool makeover)

Since most of our family time is spent in the great room (family room and kitchen area), it is inconceivable to think we could keep this area free from "kid clutter". We want our house to be beautiful, but first and foremost a comfortable place.

I had been wanting to get rid of our coffee table for quite some time. It was modern, sleek and exposed every scrape and scratch that little matchbox cars could make in a veneer overlay table top :-)

While out thrifting one day this summer, I found just the piece to replace our old table. It was an old, beat up chest made of wood with one side that flipped open (acting as a toy box) and the other side lined with little drawers (perfect for little character figurnes and Thomas Trains). It had obviously been through several bad paint jobs and now sported an interesting shade I'll call Cheeto Orange. The best part was that it was only $39.....I felt like I hit the jackpot!

My husbands reaction was a little different. "You actually PAID money for that?" That's okay, he just couldn't see my vision yet :-)

After a good degreasing to get the hornet nests, spider eggs and whatever else had called my new table HOME for the last decade, it was ready to be sanded, stained and painted. I love the look of a walnut- stained tabletop and a cream base. The contrast is beautiful together.

So with a little elbow grease and a new paint job....VOILA! Our French Country coffee table....

Then I decided to do the little wooden table that my son uses to play/eat at next to the sofa. It was just a natural blond wood stain. It really didn't match our decor in the room. I wanted to keep it child-like but also make sure it blended with our living room furniture.

I decided to paint the top cream and then give it an antique glaze to coordinate with the coffee table. Then I painted the legs an espresso dark brown and stenciled some numbers around the table's edge.

It's great to watch him walk around the table pointing and counting the numbers. He told me it was the best table ever because Mommy made it for him. (he has his moments).

Happy Saturday! :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's All In the Details

Architectural Details, that is. If I've learned anything in the last few years about design, it would be how the subtle details in a room, make the biggest differences. Trim, wainscotting and window casings can all add so much warmth to a home, giving it character.

Take note of the details in these inspiring photos below.
In this first photo, take a look at how something as simple as wainscotting can really break up a wall and keep the dark paint from overwhelming the room.

Happy Thursday :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspiration for A Gorgeous Home Office

The home office....usually "pretty" doesn't come to mind.

I started toying with the idea of turning my front sitting room into "my niche" in the house. This room gets used at Christmas....literally, and that's about it.

It's the first room you walk into from the front door and it faces the dining room. When we moved in, we really didn't want to close it off and add a big expanse of sheet rock and doors to what was a such an open floor plan. So we did what we were supposed to do with the "sitting room." We added two leather chairs for...well, "sitting."

Oh, and we also added a big black wooden bar because I guess in our minds we were supposed to use the room as a cocktail lounge across from the dining room. Yes, this is such the lifestyle we lead...lavish soirees every weekend, sitting and sipping on cocktails with our guests till the wee hours of the morning.

I have to laugh.....What were we Thinking???

This is MY house and should be lived in be ME, right? With that said, it doesn't mean I'm going to sacrifice style along the way. :-)

Here's some inspiration for a "pretty" but practical home office.

I love how feminine this office is. Notice how they blended modern, sleek furniture
 such as the desk and shelf above with a beautiful Louis style upholstered chair.

Pottery Barn always does it right :-) I love this secretary-style desk with a glass door hutch above. A great style for small spaces.

Loving the mix of textures and patterns in this room. Interesting placement of furniture. Look at that transom window above the door...sigh. :-)

I just got an antique cane-detailed chair like this one and I've been trying to decide where to put it and how to reupholster it. I painted the wood frame cream and I'm loving the neutral fabric like this one. Looks like it's going to be my new reading chair in my new office. :-)

I'm getting pretty excited to start my home office makeover. Hope you got some inspiration of your own! Happy Rainy Monday!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Style for the Little Guy Too....

Everyday for the past few months I've been walking past our powder bath and groaning at the sight of the neon green and blue step stool from Walmart looking back at me. It doesn't really fit the motif I had in mind for the bathroom when we had it painted deep shades of mocha and cream.

The harsh reality is that we are Potty Training so in keeping with good hygeine around here....we have to allow the little one to reach the sink on his own and scrub those mitts.

I had to take action and it was time to break out the big guns....

1. Wooden Step Stool (we had a firetruck step stool upstairs....this one was by KidKraft and I'm pretty sure it wasn't "real" wood)
2. Primer
3. Cream Latex Paint and Finish Spray of your choice4. Stencil5. Acrylic Craft Paint in a deep mocha brown

After some priming, a few coats of paint, and a little stencil action with some mocha craft paint.....VOILA!

Our Perfectly Pretty and Functional Step Stool

Now Mommy doesn't wanna gouge her eyeballs out everytime she walks past the powder room... and Nikolas can still reach the sink. It's a win-win situation for all!!! Happy Sunday!

Kristen :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Farmhouse Style...

It's finally feeling like FALL here in Texas! The boys and I took a drive out to Celina last Saturday to the Giant Orange Pumpkin Farm.

Here's one of Nikolas picking out the perfect pumpkin.

There's something so relaxing about getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city and seeing miles of wide open farm land. Although, I will say I couldn't see myself driving 30 minutes into town just to get some ice cream or diapers, for that matter!

When we arrived, I couldn't help but notice the property owners' new house.

I was immediately drawn to how comforting and welcoming it seemed. It looked like a house they'd use to photograph the fall edition of a Pottery Barn catalog. You know the one...with pictures of toddlers dressed in $60 Halloween costumes, bobbing for apples on a porch a mile long strewn with lanterns and harvest decor? The kind of house that makes you wanna peek in all the windows for a better look! I became mesmerized and bounded off from our "family moment" to get a closer look and take pictures.
My Lightbulb Moment (as Oprah would say)
I realized in that moment, while tromping through the mud field, that I had finally defined my personal style. I love the "look" of vintage, but I'm a girl who likes modern conveniences in my newly built, energy efficient house.
I also realized that I've come a long way from the contemporary, urban look of Tres and I's first apartment, decked out in all it's "particle board, ready-to-assemble furniture" glory!
Now that I'm a mother, I feel a sense of wanting more out of my house than just "a look." I want substance. I want to create memories in this cozy, warm HOME with my boys.
It's not just a "house" but a place that conjures up feelings.....our soft place to land after a long day at work and school.
Sigh...I was abruptly pulled out of my sweet day dream and smacked back into reality as my 3 year old handed me his cold, half-eaten hot dog and pulled me towards the bounce house.
Our Saturday at the Pumpkin Farm.
On the can train with his best buddies...

My boys feeding a hungry goat.

Drumroll, Please.....
My favorite pic of the day....Nikolas pouting because I was taking his picture too much.

Hope you do something to celebrate fall this month!
Kristen :-)
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