Posts filed under ‘Decorating Ideas’
Yesterday, a friend and I hit up a few yard sales in the suburbs and I was lucky enough to score a gorgeous 9×14 Persian rug from a doctor and his wife that are down-sizing from their suburban mansion to a Center City condo. It was one of those classic moments at a yard sale, when you look at the price tag and think “Are they serious?!” I wondered that because the price tag read $100, and that is seriously CHEAP for a real wool Persian rug! (Meanwhile, I still bargained them to $90 for it. I know…I feel a little bad, but I’m a firm believer in always bargaining in these situations even when the price is ridiculous. Take this as a lesson for the next time you’re at a flea market, yard sale or thrift store.)
At any rate, I bought it for our master bedroom because I wanted something in the burgandy-red color family to warm it up. (Our current rug is a solid pale grey. No fuss. No excitement.) However, it didn’t work out because it turned out to be too large. Gah!! (I really should remember to ALWAYS keep a tape measure in my purse.) So, the fact that the rug didn’t fit in our master bedroom started a domino effect of rug switcheroo throughout the house. We put the new rug in the guest room, the old guest room rug in the living room, and the living room rug in the dining room.
Here’s how it all ended up:
This is the new rug that we got. It’s going all the way to the wall here because we ended up having to push it as far away from the door as possible so that it would open without having to shave the bottom of the door down. I just couldn’t bear to start another project this evening, so forgive my laziness.
The living room looks SO much better with this rug in it that I can barely stand it. I love this rug so much that it only felt right to have it downstairs where I could enjoy it all the time. Wheeeee!
And now the dining room has the old living room rug. (This last photo is terrible. I was rushing there at the end…So sorry!!) At any rate, getting three new looks for the price of [less-than] one was so much FUN!! As Layla at The Lettered Cottage says, “Always shop your house first!” In this case, it didn’t exactly come first, but it did come. And that’s what counts!
Today I spent some time at work discussing the art and process of dressing the bed. Personally, I’m a big fan of mixing and matching sheets, quilts, bedkirts, shams, etc. My own bed [currently] is wearing a wide variety of pieces from various retailers. None of which were part of the same set. In my opinion, making the bed can be just as interesting a process as putting together an outfit for your body. There is no rule that it must be part of a “set” or a matchy-matchy color combination.
That being said, I put together five bedding outfits for my day job that went up on online this week. Each look utilizes the same basic bedding program…but mixed up in 5 different variations with varying sheet, rug & pillow combinations. The goal was to create 5 distinct looks. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, especially because I’m a big fan of mixing and matching colors & patterns myself. So I thought I’d re-post the images at House Obsession. (You can see the bedding interactive live and purchase all the items here.)
How many of you like to mix it up when it comes to your bed linens? Or do you prefer to have everything match exactly? (Personally, I’m slightly obsessed with patterned sheets in particular.)
This is not my personal style necessarily, but I do love a great example of pattern and color mixing done well. This example is so tasteful and relaxing that I felt compelled to post it.
At least once a month someone asks me to come up with a new way to show wallpaper. You’d think that it’s main purpose (ie. on a wall) would be the ideal scenario, but I find that “new and exciting” is what I’m often asked to come up with. So it was with great pleasure that I came across the book Wallpaper Projects by Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith.
Their book features so many creative ways to use wallpaper that I got tingly all over! (And the best part is the majority of their projects aren’t inventive for the sake of being filler to get to a certain page count for their book. No! In fact, many of these you might actually consider doing in your home!) Here are a couple of my favorites:
Wallpapering the stair treads? I love it! Just a single roll would give you maximum impact!
I don’t think you know how much I love this. I can never seem to commit to a bed frame that I love for for my master bedroom and therefore haven’t had one for years. (It’s like the cobbler whose children have no shoes, right?) Anyways…I think this could be an interesting solution for me.
These look simple to make and the effect is undeniably great.
I know, I know…we’ve seen silhouettes a dozen times already. Everyone is doing them now. But this one is particularly cute, so I had to post. It’s a great use for those wallpaper scraps & samples that you never seem to know what to do with. (At least, I never know what to do with. I must have four random rolls of wallpaper sitting in my closet right now that I love, but didn’t have enough to do a big project with.)
Anyways…there are a ton of other great ideas as well as all the instructions on how-to in this book, so I definitely recommend it.
On my way to California last Friday, I was looking for new magazines [I hadn't already read] in the airport lounge and saw that they had copies of the new home magazine put out by Reader’s Digest. I was very excited, considering 3 of my favorite home magazines have just been cancelled. So of course, I bought the premiere issue of Fresh Home and trotted off to the plane eager to sit down and have a little moment of inspiration.
Unfortunately, the magazine didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Rather than have lots of great room porn, it ended up being filled with mediocre DIY craft projects and an overdose of random smiley people. In fact, there were so many random smiley people that I thought it was useful to show you just what I mean.
So maybe I’m being overly picky, but I’d much rather look at great interiors than a bunch of models paid to look like they’re high on happiness.
Yes, there was one or two pics that were okay…but overall it was geared towards the person first dipping their toe into home design. With features like “how to choose the right light bulb”, “choosing the right paint brush”, “comparing different countertop options”, “how to load your paint brush”, “how to put together Ready to Assemble furniture” etc…this definitely told me it was NOT going to be replacing Domino. There was nothing here about style. It was more about simple, low-budget DIY. And if I wanted that, I could easily find it on the internet. I certainly don’t need to pay $5.00 an issue for it.
Needless to say, I’m bummed. I miss Domino, Country Home, and Cottage Living…and as much as I love design blogs, they don’t take the place of a GREAT hard copy magazine. May three of my favorite magazines rest in design peace.
Yesterday while trying to get through the growing stack of design magazines on my desk, this article from the Oct issue of Real Simple caught my eye. The topic is very timely for those of us in an economic crunch — No-Money Home Makeover Ideas! I love it!! After all, most of us are trying to be as thrifty as possible with our tightly-stretched dough right now.
One of the ideas that they brought up was displaying an old quilt on the back of the bed. This idea hit home for me because not only do I have several of my great-grandmother’s quilts, but I also have an old iron bed [for my guest room] that is very similar to the one in this photo! I’d kind of struggled on what I should do with the quilts to keep them aired out, but without letting them get damaged…seeing as how the dogs like to sleep at the foot of that bed. Now I have a solution! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.
Most of the other ideas in the article really aren’t miraculous by any stretch of the imagination, but it got me to thinking about real things that people could do to makeover a room with very little to no money spent. So, with that being said, here’s my own list:
- Rearrange the furniture! Something as simple as re-positioning the sofa & chairs in your living room can give you the feeling that you’ve spent a lot of money on a re-design. Just recently I moved my bed to a different wall in the bedroom and raised up the mattresses so that they were higher, and it made the bedroom feel completely different.
- Pull out your collections from the junk drawer and display them! I’ll bet you probably own a bunch of random stuff that is sitting all around the house collecting dust. Try pulling it all together on a table or shelf and make it an impactful statement. Things look so much better when shown in a grouping. It makes people notice the collection and it will become an instant conversation starter.
- Clean the house! I realize this sounds kind of dumb, but seriously…it really makes you feel like you’ve done something great when the furniture has been polished, the floors are vacuumed, the coffee table isn’t piled high with newspapers. Nothing stresses me out more than feeling like the junk is taking over my space!
- Change the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. Okay…it might not be free, but it doesn’t cost a lot, and it makes a BIG impact. Plus, you can probably go to salvage places like ReStore and get vintage hardware for way cheaper than new versions.
- Pull out your old stuff. I’m sure that you’re like me and you have bed linens shoved in a drawer someplace. Or perhaps you have a great rug in the attic that you’ve not used in several years. Maybe you have wall decor in the basement that you still love, but didn’t have room for. There’s no reason why you can’t pull out that stuff and give your other posessions a rest for a moment.
- Head to the discount fabric store. If you live in Philly, try Jomar fabrics in Snyder Plaza. They have some great fabrics for $1/yd. Why not sew some new curtains yourself? Or make a duvet cover? Trust me, they’re NOT hard to make. If I can do it, anyone can.
That’s my own makeover ideas for people on a budget! Do you have any that you would like to share? We’re all trying to budget these days….so speak up!!