Big Girl Room: Bedside Lighting

By now, you have probably seen my first lighting project for the Big Girl Room...and how well it turned out! Unfortunately, it's not the only light in the room so I've had to move on.

I'm searching for a table lamp for between the beds. This is an important piece as it will be seen just as much as the beds, bedding, etc.

Some of the lamps I considered for this space are below.

Too adult?

The candlestick - too predictable?

cute - could be filled with something, like shells?

Owl lamp - fun, but wrong color.

Can you guess which direction I went?

That's right - the owl lamp.

After a simple coat of white spray paint we are in business. I love this lamp and I love the sense of fun it brings to the room.

Also, notice the new headboards purchased from Target. I am still trying to think of something I can do to help them become more 'special', but for now, they are just fine.

Still on the to-do list: bed skirts, accessories for the dresser including yet another lamp, and a cork board. Stay tuned...

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Where do you Blog?

The invitation has been extended (via Centsational Girl ) to share the space that I blog from.

I am sure you all are dying to know the super inspirational space where I let all my most creative juices flow...

So here's where it all happens - from my very masculine, dark and disorganized husband's home office.

This picture is not very true to life - I cleaned up a lot of papers to actually make room to sit at the desk!

Filled with found object from our travels.

Cozy, in that library in the middle of winter kind of way.

This space works for me, but it does mean when he actually works from home, I am banished to the old laptop that sits on the kitchen table. Not very comfortable, private or conducive to work - but it gets the job done.

I have aspirations to incorporate a home office into my guest room space.

There's definitely enough space, but it lacks storage and a truly functional computer, which of course, is a key component. Plus, it's on the 3rd floor - cold in the winter, warm in the summer and slightly removed (which in theory could be a good thing). Funnily enough, I always act like I don't understand when my guests say the same thing. Guess I do understand, a little.

Any ideas for making this more into an office space, please feel free to share.
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Three Boys

It's no secret that I enjoy reading other blogs. It's were I first got inspired to start my own and where I get a lot of ideas for around my own home. But rarely, have I ever enjoyed another posting so much that I would actually re-post into my own blog.

That all changed after reading my friend's post at Three Boys, called Finding your Swagger (to read it in it's entirety click the link).

Below is an excerpt that really spoke to me. She says,

"I had an interesting exchange on Facebook this morning with several other moms. The original post was a mom who needed to get her "groove back." I instantly new what she was talking about and so did several others. If you are not familiar with this phenomenon I will try to explain. From about the time you get pregnant to I'd say AT-LEAST 6 months after the baby is born you are in a kind of baby fog (for lack of a better term.) I am sure hormones have something to do with this but during this time you kind of loose interest in yourself as a person and are solely committed to growing, feeding, caring for this little creature with little thought of yourself. Before I had kids I thought "that will never be me, I am a modern woman and can take wonderful care of my children without sacrificing myself in the process!" I would be sure to look my best before leaving the house, could engage in interesting adult banter over cocktails, and was, at-least I think, pretty good company."

One of the first questions I get from my readers is usually regarding the reasoning behind my blog; the above posting says it all. After my daughter was born, I became a shell of my former self. My interests and passions were set on the back burner while I focused all my energies on her and becoming the best mother I possibly could be - there is a lot to learn after all. And I am enjoying it, but there has to be room in this life for me as well.

So, one day, not to long ago, I came up with the idea of starting this blog. It was my hope that it would rekindle some of my former interests and help me become more me, if that makes sense. And so far, it really has.

In other words, thanks to everyone for reading and commenting and thanks to Sarah from Three Boys for putting into words what I had not been able to.
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Houzz - an addiction

As some of you may have noticed, I added a new link to my site a couple of days ago; Houzz - left hand column, near the bottom of the page.

I think it is safe to say that I am totally addicted. It has taken over my all free time (not that I had much to begin with). Seriously, I may have a real problem.

If you don't already know, Houzz is an excellent design resource. You can search thousands of design images - filtering as you like. It's like every design magazine you love rolled into one - for free! Endless ideas for every room in your house - kitchen, bath, porch, wine cellar, hallway, etc.

If you are looking for ideas for your home there really is no better resource. You can even catalog your pictures into Ideabooks for later reference. If you are up for it, you can post your own images to inspire others.

Currently, I am searching for inspiration for my 3rd floor guest room. I've collected a couple of images to get me started, which you can see by searching for Designing Domesticity (or try this link). I am sure I'll have additional follow up posts regarding this topic in the future.

Check it out, but I warn you, it is highly addictive!
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Flowers - the perfect accessory

The other day, a friend brought over some flowers. I took one look at them and instantly knew where to put them. It's like they spoke to me. Does this ever happen to you? You see an accessory (flowers, plants, or whatever) and you just know?

Flowers are definitely some of my favorite accessories. I love to have them everywhere in the house, but truth be told, they can get expensive - so I try to limit myself! Or stick to the longer lasting varieties at least. And of course, plants are a nice, longer lasting alternative.

Beautiful sunflowers courtesy of my friend, Sara.

Don't they just fit perfectly in this room? The color, the feel, the breath of fresh air they bring to the room - I just love them. And so cheery too. What a way to start the day - if this doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will!

They really do make the room. At least for the next week or so!

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Something Stinky?

This is something a bit different for me to post, but when I came across this product I just had to share it!

Almost everyone I know with a little one has the same problem - a sometimes stinky nursery from the diaper pail! I mean, seriously, what are you supposed to do, empty the pail twice a day? Not realistic, if you ask me.

So while wondering through my old friend Target the other day I saw these hanging next to the diaper pails and I figured I'd give them a try.

Arm and Hammer Nursery Fresheners by Munchkin.

Basically, they are little discs filled with baking powder and scented with lavender. They come in a pack of 5 and each disc lasts about 90 days. I started with just one in the diaper pail and have since added them to garbage cans all over the house! In particular, I am loving the lavender scent in the kitchen and bath.

Some might even say, I am a little addicted.

As you may know, I have been out of the country for the last 5 years so this is a brand new product for me - an innovation! If it's not to you, please ignore my over the top enthusiasm.
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Pole Lamp Transformation: Complete

Finally, the much awaited and anticipated Pole Lamp Transformation Reveal!

Here is the lamp before - just your standard brass lamp with empire shade.

And after - with a new white coat of paint on the base and cute yellow trim on the shade.

I have to say, that I am really enjoying the newly revamped lamp. It has a whole new life - and a lot more character!

Here she is in the Big Girl Room - in all her newly found glory. I love it!

And I hope you do too!
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Pole Lamp Transformation: The Base

I knew I wanted to spray paint the Pole Lamp white, but I have to admit that I was nervous. I've never really used spray paint with good results before. That being said, every design show and blog that I have read or seen seems to sing the praises of spray paint. So, given this was a free lamp - I figured I would give it a try.

First things first, when it comes to painting (spray or otherwise) you have to prep! I cleaned the lamp with a damp towel and gave it a good drying. Then I taped off the electrical elements with painters tape. And of course, I used a drop cloth as well.

Once I had the prep done there was really nothing else to hold me back. I geared up for the first spray!

Here we go.

No going back now. Smooth even strokes, never holding the spray in one place - the first coat was done quicker that I would have imagined.

And it dried in less than an hour! The second coat filled any minor imperfections that were missed previously.

This stuff is great. And because this pictures does not give the finish justice - one more close up of the base detail.

I will never again doubt the wonders of spray paint. I have a feeling this is going to open up a whole new world of accessories for me. Very exciting!

I can't wait to put the lamp back together and into it's rightful spot in the Big Girl Room. Only one small problem:  I lost the shade finial in the yard! Humph.

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Pole Lamp Transformation: The Shade

Once I started working on this project, I realized that it was going to warrant a bit more than two posts. Today, I will cover the shade. Tomorrow, the lamp base and Monday will be the big reveal and glamour shot. So get excited!

Here is the lamp shade before. I debated getting a new shade that might be a bit easier to work with, like a drum shade, but in the end this one was free so I decided to give it a go!

I started with the ribs, applying the fabric glue as suggested on the bottle. Some suggest using a brush to apply the glue for better coverage but I didn't have one so I just smudged it about a bit with the tip of the bottle.

Turning the edges of the ribbon over for a finished look, I applied the ribbon to the ribs.

Then the top.

Then the bottom.

As you can tell, my ribbon really wasn't wide enough to cover the existing edges, so I had to use a double layer. Fortunately, I like the look of the doubled ribbon - so it worked for me.

I think the ribbon gives the shade a much more expensive and custom look all for about $5. It will look great in the Big Girl Room, but could also work in other rooms depending on the trim selected.

What do you think?
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Pole Lamp Transformation

You may remember my hand-me-down pole lamp ( post here ) intended for the Big Girl Room.

Well, the time has come for it's transformation.

I am thinking a little of this on the base

And a little of this (yellow ribbon) on the shade

Check back later in the week for progress and the big reveal!
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Powder Room Blind Revealed

It's my first homemade reveal - and I am excited!

Over the weekend I finished off the Roman Blind that I started last week (check out the posts here). In the end, it was a fairly low maintenance and quick project. I probably could have finished it in a day if I really set my mind to it. But alas, procrastination is my middle name, so 5 days later and I am finished!

Here's the window before

And after

And another glam shot

Like I said before, I am really liking this look. It's casual, but elegant at the same time. I think the combination of the cotton fabric and the satin ribbon really works. And I hope you do too!

I am feeling so inspired by this ribbon trim that I already have loads more projects in mind! Stay tuned to see where I will head next with my newly acquired skill!
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Hand Embellished Blind - Progress

As you may have read yesterday (here), I am attempting to hand embellish a store bought Roman Blind with ribbon to coordinate with my powder room. I am not usually a fiddly person, so this isn't really right up my alley, but I figured why not give it a try - this is my year of newly acquired skills after all.

Essential to this project...

I first discovered the no-sew fusing tape (aka Stitch Witchery, this is the Target version) a couple of years back when I witnessed an old friend transform a pair of jean cutoffs into a cute denim skirt just minutes before wearing it out the door (her creativity was always such an inspiration)! Needless to say, for a non-sewer, I was immediately in love with this product. Through the years, I have used it on a lot of things - from hems on clothes to curtains. I have no complaints.

So, let's get started. First, I ironed the blind - no one wants to adhere ribbon over wrinkles that won't come out later!

Then I folded the ribbon to a 45 degree angle in order to achieve a mitered corner look. The outermost edge was placed an inch away from the top of the blind and an inch away from the side (fortunately there was a seam to follow along the side).

Then the ribbon was placed over the fusing tape and ironed in place.

Matching up the corners to form a perfect mitered look proved to be the trickiest part. But if you check after each pressing and the ribbon happened to shift, you can pull them apart without too much trouble. I had to do this a couple of times - hey, it was my first time too!

All in all, I am really liking the look of this blind. And it was pretty quick.

I think the possibilities for this are endless...I could see it in a kid's bedroom as well as an adult room, it would really just come down to the ribbon that you choose.

Check back on Monday for the big reveal!
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Hand Embellished Blind

When we first moved into this house our powder room looked like this:

Think bisque-colored sink and toilet and yellow metallic wallpaper on all walls and the ceiling! It was obvious that they were trying to make the most out of a very small dark space, but I really wasn't feeling the yellow metallic paper. So, it had to come off. And then the bisque fixtures had to be switched out. And then we added bead board and it all started to feel a bit more like home.

My long term goal is to find a bold wallpaper. Nothing livens up a small dark space more than a statement paper.   But for now, we settled with a bronze paint color- something a little different, but not too out there.

I have continued to struggle with the window treatments. While I am aware that the plantation shutters are a nice traditional feature, I just don't like how dark they make the room feel. So where to go from here? I am thinking some sort of Roman Blind.

Inspiration struck when I saw this photo, but the color options were all wrong.

So I am bound and determined to make something similar using this ribbon.

Wish me luck as I am sure I will need it. I'll be posting the results soon.
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No Cost Re-do

As promised, the details from last Friday's fun.

Here is the living room before:

As you can see, it's a big room with a fair amount of light coming from the large picture window. The color on the walls is light and bright and the carpet is very neutral. The furniture is currently lining the perimeter of the room, which definitely shows off the size of the room.

The client expressed an interest in having a casual living room with plenty of room for her kids to play. The living room also provides access to the front door, TV room, master bedroom, stairway and dining room therefore the traffic flow had to be a top priority. The artwork on the far wall is her favorite piece in the room and she is looking to get rid of the over sized chair and ottoman.

So, taking all this into consideration we worked on a new layout using her existing furniture and accessories. We talked about pieces that could eventually move into this space as well as inexpensive ideas to modernize what she has.


First, I moved the couch out from under the picture window to perpendicular to the fireplace. Next, we temporarily placed the oversize chair opposite the couch, with plans to reupholster an existing loveseat to go in that space in the future. The new arrangement focuses on the two focal points of the room, the fireplace and the picture window; it allows for easy access to all the other rooms; offers a casual spot for conversation as well as plenty of space for the kids to play. Taking cues from her favorite artwork and an existing area rug, the color scheme has started to come together - steely blue greys with hints of coral. And finally, the more modern photo over the fireplace was switched out for a mirror to reflect even more light into the space (unfortunately, we didn't get around to hanging it before I left).

Easy updates that won't cost a lot of money: throw pillows incorporating the new color scheme, new lamp shades, bigger area rug and of course, accessories for the mantel and tables.

I think the new arrangement works well for this space and meets all the clients' needs. Not bad for a no cost re-do!

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