Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fluffing the Nest, Part 1

I have spent the past few weeks fluffing our nest...the room we spend the most time in...our living/family room. I'm still not completely finished, but I am so much closer than I've ever been in the 7 years we have lived here. You saw the drapes I added just the other day. This weekend I added artwork, new pillows, and a new fireplace screen.

I love, love, love our Pottery Barn Outlet, and I scored my two best deals ever  there this weekend!

First up, their Bird Canvas Wall Art.
I saw this in their spring catalog and sighed over it's unique beauty, but at $279 I moved on to the next page. But as I made my initial walk through the outlet I came across some miscellaneous items gathered in the back. I strolled over and lo and behold there were 2 of these canvases thrown on top of some furniture. I was surprised because it is unusual to find something a the outlet that is brand new to the stores. The first one was tagged $199.99. Still more than I wanted to pay. Then I glanced at the second one. $99.00. WHAT?!?!? I didn't let go of it till I loaded it into the car.

Then my hubby asked me if I'd be interested in a new fireplace screen. Not something on my radar, but I was curious and told him to lead the way. He had stumbled upon some newly marked down...are you ready for this?...$9.99! The original tag on the box said $250. We quickly ushered it to the front claiming it as ours and got in line.

Next on my list: pillows. I took all the comments on my bird pillows to heart, and agreed with everyone. 3 was just too many. In fact, with the large bird canvas now going over the couch I also felt that 2 bird pillows was even too many. I had hoped to score some others at the PB Outlet but didn't have any luck. As you all know, I hate to pay full price for anything, but I had exhausted all efforts at all of my regular haunts searching for pillows. So I headed to PB and exchanged 2 of the bird pillows for 2 of their new crocheted pillows and a new floral lumbar pillow. At least I already had most of the inserts I needed and didn't have to buy those!

So here is my new wall art, pillows and fireplace screen! I am in LURVE.
(Please excuse the ugly laptop cord in these pics that I failed to move, and the poor lighting.)


I love that the screen is so much bigger than the one we had (you can see it here). Unfortunately, the middle orchid is now obscured. I'm trying to decide whether to only use 2 there, or just remove them all. And my newly painted vintage sign is just propped above the fireplace. I am considering moving the circular tea light holder up and putting the sign under it. What do you guys think?

I have a few more things to share that I've done in this room lately that have made a big difference for me. I'll share those over the next few days, so be sure to check back with me!

In the meantime, tell me...what have been your biggest and best scores for your home?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vintage Sign

I love so many of the wooden vintage-inspired signs I've seen on blogs and in stores lately. Susie Harris is an incredibly talented artist and I have fell in love with her creations over and over:

And so as we settled in for yet another night of snow here in PA, I decided to give my own vintage-inspired sign a try. 


Left over white paint from painting trim in the house.
Brown and black acrylic craft paint.

We received this sign a few years ago. It was perfect in a little bar area in the basement, but now that the bar is defunct I decided to repurpose it. I flipped it over and had an unpainted, rough surface.

I sanded and sanded, and then painted 2-3 layers of white paint. Then I mixed the brown acrylic paint with some water and using a foam brush "stained" the sign a bit so that it wasn't such a bright white. I let it dry for about an hour and then began the lettering process.

I printed the lettering in a font I liked and printed it out. Then I traced the letters on the front and back of blank printer paper. Then I traced the letters onto the wood. The lead from the tracings on the back transferred the letters onto the wood.

Then I began painting the letters using a fine point brush and the black acrylic paint. I did 2 layers. Then I went over the letters with the brown acrylic paint. I did one layer of brown to soften the black.

Then once dry I began to age the sign. I wish I could give details on how I did that, but I sort of just made it up as I went. I think my old scrapbooking skills came out. I was very into distressing paper crafts back in the day. I just used the brown paint and a napkin to distress the edges and some of the surface. I even scratched off some of the paint and let the wood show through in some places.

And here is what I ended up with!

I chose "La Vita e Bella" (Life is Beautiful in Italian) because it was the first movie date my hubby and I had so many years ago. And because my husband's family is Italian. It's just a special phrase for us. A nice reminder that life is precious and indeed quite beautiful.

Now I just have to figure out where to put my vintage sign! I keep moving it around the house trying to find it's spot.

What would you want on a sign in your home? Your last name? A special phrase?

This post is part of the Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick, Make Your Monday at Twice Remembered and Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Draping the Window Seat

We have an odd window seat in our living room. I say odd because it isn't as wide as most window seats. I've had a hard time "dealing" with this space. It took me FOREVAH to find a curtain rod that worked on the window because one side of the window goes all the way up against the fireplace leaving no room at all for a finial, while on the other side there is plenty of room for a large finial. I finally found the perfect rod over the summer and brought home some cheap drapes. And my husband hung the rod too high. So the drapes were "high waters", as my Gramps would say. They have driven me crazy for months. And lately I've been bothered by the green as well. I love dashes of green in the living room in plants, moss, etc., but I haven't been loving it on the windows. So today on a whim while in Tarjay I grabbed some linen-like, textured natural drapes that I could use clips to hang to extend the length.

So without further ado, here is the transformation.





The Breakdown
Drapes: Solid Natural Linen from Target's Home line, $19.99 each panel

Drapery Rings/Clips: Target's RE style line in mocha, $4.99 for 7

I am much happier! I had wanted to do the whole drop-cloths-as-drapes craze on the window seat, but hadn't had the time nor the confidence to do so. These drapes were cheap and very close to the coloring of drop cloths, so I am very happy with the results and with no work on my end other than hanging them and steaming them.They are still a tad shorter than I'd really like. I would prefer they puddle on the floor. But we have two vents right under so it just wouldn't work well there.

Tomorrow our blinds guy will be installing a new set of blinds. The ones there now were warped in shipping, and therefore can only be opened in the direction you see in the pics. And with new drapes and new blinds, and I nearly ready for the next step...a cushioned seat!

What do you think? Like the linen better than the green? Or would you have kept green on there?

This post is part of Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Make-Do Cloche

I have been yearning for a cloche since I began seeing them all over the decor blog world a few months ago. I guess I am easily influenced!

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So far, I haven't come across a bargain cloche. I am still looking. I'd love to find a tall one that could house a plant. But for now, here is my "make-do-using-what-you-have" cloche. I had the glass cheese dome on hand (I had actually forgotten all about it til I stumbled upon it in a cabinet the other day!). I also had the green grass and snatched the bird from my hutch. This is now in my living room. It makes me happy til I can find exactly what I want!

Do you have any cloches? Where did you find them, and what do you have in/under them?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Birds of a Feather?

So, guess what I brought home this weekend?

Actually, I brought home 3!
I fell in love with these bird pillows when I saw them in the Feb. Pottery Barn catalog. There are 3 different birds:

Originally I planned to buy one of each. However, I'm not so great about ordering home decor stuff online...I tend to want to see the item(s) in person. My closest PB didn't have the pillows, and the one I went to that did have them only had 3 of the same bird. I grabbed them and figured I'd decide if I liked having all the same ones once home and return them if I didn't.

So, what do you think?

Should I:
A) Keep the pillows.
B) Keep the 2 on the couch and exchange the one on the oversized chair for a different bird.
C) Keep the 2 on the couch and exchange the one on the oversized chair for something differnt.

If you chose A, which bird? Red or blue?

If you chose C, I am considering the following. Which do you think would go best?

And yes, the floral prints are still over the couch. I still think I prefer some fern prints that have more green in them, maybe in a set of 6. But then when I threw the bird pillows on the couch I kind began to question whether or not maybe I like these prints after all. Any thoughts?

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Progress

 Lots of projects in progress around here. I seem to find little chunks of time to work on things just a little, but never enough time to actually finish anything.

1. Prints for living room.
We have shopped and shopped (both in store and online) for prints to go over our sofa. I brought home these options, but have decided they just aren't "us". They will be returned. I am now in search of a set of 6 fern-like prints. Let me know if you know where to get them!

2. Greenery for the entertainment center.
I actually finished this project, but can't put them in place yet as we realized that the movers put our entertainment center back wrong when we got new carpet and now need to correct that problem.

I had these that I had found at Ross last summer for about $8 each, but wasn't in love with the greenery in there anymore.

So I ripped out the greenery (I kept it just in case I ever want it for a future project) and tore out the styrofoam.

Then I just stuck this greenery inside the copper tins. Found them at Christmas Tree Shop for $8 each!

3. Master Bath Redo
We started redoing our bathroom back before Christmas. Yep, still trying to finish. We still need to paint around the light fixture and do touchups. But, after searching everywhere for some art to go in there, I inherited a print from my inlaws that I think fits perfectly. I finally got a frame for the print and got it on the wall, so here's a sneak peek at our new master bath.

4. Prints and shelves in the staircase.
This the staircase leading from the main floor to the basement. I have been meaning to do this project forever and finally just went for it. I had been waiting to have all the photos we need to fill the walls, but I'd never start if I waited for that. So I figure I'll just add to it as I go. I'm still not loving the decor on the shelves, but I'll figure it out as I go. Most of the pics are old black and whites of our family with a few current ones thrown in.

 What projects do you have going on? Are you a "do-it-as-I-have-time" kinda person, or a "do-it-all-at-once" kinda person?

This post is part of "Make Your Monday" at Twice Remembered and "Make it for Monday" at Cottage Instincts.