Posts from the ‘After Photos’ Category

Like magic…

Until tonight I kept my cookbooks above the kitchen cabinets. While they looked OK from a decorative aspect, they were impossible to reach without hoisting myself up on the counter. They were practically useless because the location discouraged me from cooking. And I swear, I really do enjoy cooking.

 That all changed tonight when I stopped into Hipster Home to pick up a few concealed wall shelves.

I’ve been wanting these for a while and when I saw them in HH’s Christmas display window, I knew I could hesistate no more. For only $15 a piece, it is such a cool way to display books.

I love the way the books appear to be floating. My cookbooks are now easily accessible while still decoratively displayed. They really add interest to the wall. I’m all for a cool painting but this kind of wall art is what really gains attention.

Anyone can have a plain bookshelf in their home, but this alternative turns your books into art.

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Can’t wait for wine by the fire!

We mounted our TV months ago, but it took us forever to find a solution for all the wires. My dad installed an outlet behind where the TV would go so the TV and cable box can be plugged in out of sight. But there is a wire connecting the box to the TV that must be hidden. After much research and the decision to not risk cutting into the wall or hire a professional, we decided on a small shelf directly beneath the TV. Unfortunately our cable box was ginormous and we couldn’t find a shelf to accommodate it. So we went to Comcast and put our names on a waiting list for a smaller box. After weeks and weeks we FINALLY got called and traded our box in for something slightly smaller.

So this past weekend, we hung the IKEA shelf right on top of the TV, with only the cable wire still showing…solution for that TBD.We haven’t bothered tucking the above wires in yet because of the nagging white cable wire…but all will be hidden in due time. The Ikea Lack table that is now my vanity used to sit beneath the TV. It clashed with our coffee table and also wasn’t the right shape or height for the space. So now we had to find something to fill in this blank wall. Brainstorm: a small table for our music player, a backless sofa, a storage ottoman, a large chest. I thought of everything! Seats were out because who would want to sit under a TV. It would be nice to pull up to the coffee table while entertaining, but impractical overall. A table or storage trunk seemed like the way to go but they had to be the right height. So while browsing Home Goods with my tape measure and camera out, I stumbled across this…An electric fireplace! I know some people have strong opinions about this because the flame never looks real, but that’s not my main concern. I wanted something that served as a shelf and that was nice to look at. I left the store empty-handed and had to weigh my options. The store only had 1 and I’d never seen 1 so cheap before, $200. I almost turned the car right around to go back, but I thought it better to go back to work and let it settle for the rest of the afternoon. I emailed the man and asked him what he thought. His first reaction: “Is it dangerous?” So I googled and sent him all kinds of links reassuring him that it’s basically a space heater and everyone has one. We returned to Home Goods together after work. I showed him all the other options I had seen before bringing him to the fireplace. He stood in front of it for a half hour while I walked around browsing other ideas.

Finally, I brought a salesman over, showed him the tiny scratch on the bottom left hand corner and asked him what we could do about it. He knocked it down to $150. When we hesitated, he reminded us of the 30 day return policy. Sold.

He wheeled it up to the front for us and at least 3 people stopped on the way out to ask if it was sold. We also left the store with this neat little camera next to the fireplace. We’re planning on a tall vase to the left and maybe a vintage book collection or a candle and a plant on the mantle.If you haven’t figured it out already, we threw the tags and receipt out and won’t be making use of their 30 day policy.

 

Window treatments are such a treat!

I finally finally found affordable drapes!! And what a difference they make in a room. Boscov’s seemingly ongoing curtain sale finally came through for me and my condo. I remember months ago stopping into Boscov’s after seeing a commercial for their amazing kitchen sale. While I drooled over knives and coffee makers, my friend was busy looking at drapes. It was before we moved and I didn’t have measurements nor have I ever had to purchase drapes for previous apartments, so I didn’t give it a second thought. It only took me 5 months to remember how good their prices were. It’s not custom made and you do have to dig through their “self-serve” section to find anything longer than 63″ but it’s oh so worth it. Drapery rods and other accessories are best bought at TJ Maxx for $7-$14, but for the actual curtains…Boscov’s is the place to go.

I started out with Ikea tulle in our bedroom..2 packs for $5 each. But it added no texture, no dimension, no color…it was just boring. Instead of wasting the $10, I added Liquid Gold brand drapes ($10 each) in gold to either side.

My bedroom now feels like a 4-star hotel room (it will get to 5 once we dress the walls up a bit), which is exactly the look I was going for. No dressers or armoires taking up space. All clothes are kept neatly in the closet or in the footboard drawers.These drapes have not yet been steamed 😮

I had no idea my windows were even this large! The living room drapes give off the illusion of a beautiful picture window. I’m still shopping for pillows and also a throw blanket to break up the bland color of our most comfortable couch. The 5 panels above were all $9.99 each. The blue ones are reversible and come in a variety of colors. The ones above are light blue and teal blue, but they also had more contrasting pairs such as cream and amethyst. (Again, these haven’t been steamed).

What a difference!The only undressed windows that remain are in the office, and the color choice for that is proving to be a difficult one.

 

On an unrelated note, my corbels came in the mail Monday for the dining room! I hope to have them painted and hung by this Monday…I’ll remember to take step by step photos.

VIP spot

While writing the last post, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted the dining room with all its updates yet. My corbels haven’t arrived yet and I’m still sifting through old photos for the right and left walls. As such, the walls are still bare, but look at what a difference table dressings and accent pillows make!

I experimented with drapes over the entrance, both in my head and dining room. I got funny looks when I told people my idea, and therefore second, third, even fourth-guessed myself. But I stuck with my gut and headed over to Boscov’s (the only affordable drapery!). My 9 foot ceilings require 9 foot drapes that will be seen from both sides. Luckily, I came across 18 foot scarves ($20) that I considered hanging as you would a scarf over a window. But my attempts to get it stay wrapped failed and the scarf pretty much fell over the rod like this, with 9 feet on each side.

This look is 2 different scarves, 1 in bronze-ish red, and 1 in gold. I planned on leaving it only to 1 side like this as to not overwhelm the room. But I love it so much I am going to repeat the look on the other side. I will also install metal drawbacks instead of the current tasseled string so that it doesn’t taper quite as much toward the bottom.

I’ve complained about the price of pillows before, so I usually buy anything that are priced reasonably and fall into the right color scheme (which is hard to come by). The floral one is actually a seat cushion that I cut the tie strings off of. They were $1 at Walmart! I wish I had use for more of them! The rosy textured pillows came in a pair for $12 from Home Goods. The taupe pillow that doesn’t photograph well is from Ikea and was sold as just the pillow case, $7. The pillow form was sold seperately for $2. I’m always shopping for more pillows but I’m happy with the progress so far.

The red place mats are also from Walmart, $4 for the set. I went a little fancy on the napkins after receiving a promotional email from Pier 1. I’m a big believer in individuality. I use wine markers even if there are only 2 of us and 1 of us is drinking from a margarita glass. So of course I’m going to let everyone get their own special napkin ring!

The room is undoubtably premature for dinner parties. The table is deserving of a pretty centerpiece other than this top of the line martini shaker.

But for now, it’s nice to look at on my way out the door.

Vanity Showcase

I’ve showed my vanity briefly before, but this post will be dedicated solely to that. My neighbor Amy of Amy Bird Tweets recently suggested I send pictures of my DIY to Jackie at Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Noodle for her “Vanity Week.” I hesitated because of the beautiful vanities she already had pictured on her site. So I was inspired to turn the empty wallpapered table in my bedroom with a mirror perched on it into a beautiful vanity where I glamourize myself.

I hung up the mirror, gathered all my beauty products that were scattered in front of the closet mirrors, in the bathroom, and even in the office, and finished the trim that I’ve been thinking about for weeks.

The result: Something practical, and beautiful. Since we have yet to find any great artwork for the bedroom, my jewelry on display will do for now.

But wait! With only a quick flick of the wrist…

 

It becomes a bar in my living room! I will show a better example of the bar/buffet during our housewarming party in a few weeks. It only took 5 months, but this blog has helped me get the to-do list down from 100 items to about 40…so we finally planned our housewarming and now I have 3 weeks to finish the remaining items.

I really love the finished look Joann’s hem tape gave. Thanks to Amy and Jackie for pushing me to finish this!

DIY: Headboard

 

 

What you will need:

 

  • Plywood
  • Fabric
  • Foam
  • Batting
  • Drill
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Tape measure
  •  

 

Your local hardware store has the plywood you need and will cut it to size for you. Both of the above headboards are cut to 5 feet wide for a queen size bed. They are also both 4 feet high (you’ll need to account for what hangs below the top of the mattress. These both start at the top of the boxspring, therefore appearing 3 feet high above the mattress). You can have it cut wider (or buy additional pieces) to extend past the mattress above both nightstands for a more prominent look. I bought an 8′ by 4′ piece of plywood from Home Depot for $16.

You can buy both the foam and batting, cut to size, at a fabric or craft store. I buy mine at Joann Fabric. With the never-ending coupons they offer, you can get the foam for around $2/yard (depending on how thick you want it..I used 1 inch). The batting is $3 a yard. The foam should be the exact size of the plywood (you’ll probably need 2 separate pieces because of the widths available). For a 5ft x 4ft headboard, I bought 10 feet of 2ft wide foam and cut it into 2 5ft halves. (You’ll see what I mean below). The batting will be wide enough so you’ll only need 1 piece. Make sure to buy 1 foot more than you need to enable it to wrap around and be stapled onto the back of the plywood. The fabric of your choice should be the same size as the batting.

If you want a tufted headboard, decide how many rows of tufts you’ll need, and how spaced apart they will be. You’ll need a pencil for this. I used 7 tufts in the top row of both my own headboard and my mom’s. For my mom’s I used 7 in the second also. For mine, I put 8 in the middle row and 7 in the bottom. There’s some math involved here but I’ll try to explain it as simply as possible.

For a 4 foot high headboard, the mattress is 1 ft thick. I measured 1 foot from the bottom and drew a line from side to side. This part will hang below the mattress. and therefore is not visually a part of the headboard. I divided the remaining 3 feet into even rows. My own headboard has 3 rows, starting 10 inches from the top, with 8 inches between rows. My mom’s has 2 rows, starting 10 inches from the top, with 1 foot between the 2 rows.

Measure down 10 inches (or whatever you decided) from the top and draw a line from side to side, making sure it’s even. Do the same for your second row (and third and fourth if you choose).

For a 5 foot headboard, I wanted a foot on each side with no tufts. That leaves 3 ft to be tufted 7 times. 36 inches divided by 7 tufts (6 spaces between the 7 tufts) leaves 6 inches between tufts. Phew! I promise this is the hardest part!

Measure along the line in the increments that you chose (In this case, start 1 foot from the end and every 6 inches from there, until you have 7 marks). Repeat for remaining rows. 

Drill a hole into each marking.

Once you have evenly spaced holes where your tufts will go, you’re ready for the fun part.

Lay the batting down on the ground, making sure it’s smooth. Place the foam on top of it, leaving excess batting on each side.

Carefully lay the plywood on top..it helps to have a second set of hands here but it’s not necessary.

Now..staple away!

Once the majority is stapled along all 4 sides, stand the board up and make sure it’s smooth. Don’t fret if it’s not, just pull taut and staple some more.

Next, drape the fabric over and continue stapling.

Hospital corners:

Voila!

The tufting is a little hard on the fingers, but it’s easy enough. If you’re using beads with a large enough hole, you can use twine. I was using pearls from the Potomac Bead Company, and I had to use sewing string because of the small hole. It is easier to hide from the front, but doesn’t create as dramatic of a tuft due to fear of breakage.

Thread the string through a thin needle and go from back to front through the holes you pre-drilled in the plywood. At the front, thread the bead on and then go back through the same hole.

At the back, staple the string close to the hole, staple it again an inch further and make a knot. Then staple it a third time closer to the hole to create a triangle. If you’re using large enough beads, you can put a staple in the front right under the hole to create a deep tuft, but only if the bead will hide the staple and your staple gun is strong enough to hold the foam to the plywood.

The result of all your hard work:

A beautiful couture headboard!
 
With all different fabric materials, colors, and beads, this simple formula can create a wide variety of headboards.
Feel free to ask questions if any clarification is needed.

Master Suite Makeover Part 2

I completed most of the groundwork for my mom’s bedroom this past weekend. Headboard, check. Rearrange furniture, check. Acquire seating at a bargain price, check. Paint, che…let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But the colors are picked out and purchased.

The border came down with no problem at all (not photographed yet). The right wall behind the bed will be the taupe color shown in the photos above and below. The rest of the room will be a darker shade of purple.

The colors look a little skewed here, but the headboard and new wall color on the left are almost identical shades of purple. To dress the bed up a little, I plan on replacing the current matching bed skirt with a purple tailored skirt. Some bigger, more prominent pillows in coordinating colors will also be added. In place of the purple afghan will be a darker, plusher throw blanket to add contrast. (The left nightstand is spaced unevenly from the bed because of a vent, but I’ve got a plan for that).

These photos were taken prematurely. The room is still very much “in progress,” but after only a few hours spent over 1 weekend, the heavy labor is done. Only one wall remains to be painted, artwork to be found, lamps be purchased, and new window treatments to be hung. “Final touches,” as I call them.

 

While I originally planned on 2 accent chairs near the window, this chaise jumped out at me at Home Goods. Originally priced at $300 (which is already 20%-60% lower than department and specialty stores), it was marked down to $200. The color will look beautiful in the bedroom and along with a storage chest at the foot of the bed, will provide a perfect seating area for my mom and her sisters.

I’m still thinking about this armoire. The only thing I know is that it is not staying there. With the addition of the chaise that will go under either window, the armoire will be returned to caddy corner or placed against the right wall. Ideally though, I would love for the chaise to go under the right window. If only I could find a new place for that cumbersome armoire.

Stay tuned for a Headboard How-to as well as the “After” photos of the Master Bedroom Makeover.

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