Saturday, October 30, 2010

OMG talk about a makeover!

Sooooo being the blog stalker that I am, I came across a blog called betterafter.blogspot.com. It's loaded with awesome DIY makeovers that can transform a space for CHEAP! I'm a total copycat, but the girl who writes the blog posted this, and I just have to pass it on....

Ever wonder how celebrities stay so amazing-looking? Well they don't....
Madonna, always getting attention for being in her 50's and looking that hot, but uhhhh... lighting sure helps does it not?!
 Mariah, we all knew that wasn't your real bod, it's okay
Kim K's got it going on, but you can definitely seem some cinching and erasing of cellulite. At least she owns it!
My oh my, well I definitely feel a little better about myself. I mean honestly, wouldn't we all look that good with the right crew?!

Anyhow, on to furniture!!
I have told many of my friends... SHOP AT THRIFT STORES! Don't look for cute things, cuz there are none. Look for things that have potential. It's safe to say we all grew up with a gold lamp like this in our house, or have seen it outside a trash bin. But look at the transformation!


And this bad boy... brassy chandelier uggh. Wasn't the biggest fan of purple, but hello beautiful light fixture!


My sister's got a brown piano, and brown's cool and everything, but have you ever pictured it white??



PAINT, my friends. It's a wonderful thing

Coveting

So I'm in love with a few things lately.. but I'm also shopping around to find the look for less!
This sequined pillow is beautiful (I love the black and white contrast) and retails at $88 but is on sale at bellacor for about $64
Similar pattern made from silk by a woman in India ( found on Etsy) is sold for $28.95! I actually think this is more realistic, not worrying about sequins falling off. This etsy seller, by the way, is Home Centric and I'm in love with all of her pillows! She has such reasonable prices for the detail and nice materials.

This is called a ghost chair by Kartell and it's $422.30. As much as I love it, I would never pay that!



I've found it as little as $133, just doing a google shopping search
 I love this ikat print.. I've noticed this pattern show up all over the place, including sets for tv shows (I'm ridiculous that I notice that)!
This one is from Urban Outfitters for $325
This one is from csnstores.com and is $235. I realize it's more yellow but I kinda wonder if it's really that different from the UO one. UO tends to jack up the prices on a lot of things that you can find elsewhere. Still love em though!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ruche

I'm not sure how I stumbled upon this website- It may have been from one of those facebook ads on the side, but this shop is SO CUTE. I haven't yet made a purchase to validate the quality, but from the looks of things, I'm not too far from splurging just a little. It's not as cheap as Forever 21, but not expensive like anthropologie. If anyone has bought anything (or does in the future) let me know how you like this site!!
Here's the link: shopruche.com
And here are some of my favorite finds!






Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why your house is worth it.

"A chic home isn't one that's filled with uncomfortable furniture and art that you don't understand. It's a home filled with things that you love and that make you happy. Coming home should be an antidote to the troubles and traumas of everyday life. It should be like hearing your favorite song on the car radio, a first kiss, running into your ex-boyfriend and he's fat, being the 100th caller. It shouldn't feel like Sunday night, doing your taxes, eating fiber, or getting your teeth cleaned. I'm here to tell you that good home decorating can be the equivalent of years of therapy."
-Jonathan Adler

No matter what you're living in, be it a small apartment, your first house, your parent's basement or your dream house, it is worth it to personalize it and decorate according to your preferences. You don't have to until you have that "one-day house" to buy (or make!) things that can make you happy now. You can always take them with you when you move. No one wants to come home to a place that is cold, or that doesn't reflect them, or that is void of functional furniture. 
I don't know about you, but making things "prettier" or "better" is just in my nature. I love style, but not necessarily trends. And the home is a great way to explore that creativity!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finding your decorating style


So I've encountered some questions about knowing what your actual decorating "style" is. If you don't know what you like, it's hard to start looking, right? For the life of me, I couldn't point out just what my style was until I started looking around at pictures. I naturally was drawn to luxury, sparkle. I'm also in love with green. I discovered that my favorite "look" was the old Hollywood glamour- you get the wow factor with some vintage. Here's just a fun quiz I found that can point you in the right direction.

Take quiz here
These were my results... go figure!

Also, as you can see I do like some other things, and I think it's important to have a mix. If you like modern, but EVERYTHING in your house is modern, it looks too cold. Likewise, if I put too many crystal chandeliers and sparkly things in a room, it can look cheesy, or like a little girl's princess room. Every space should be just a little eclectic.. Get what you LIKE not necessarily what you think will go just right. If you love something, there's a way to make it work at least somewhere in your house.
Another way to figure out just what you like is to see what sort of stores grab your attention. Maybe you're drawn to the exotic, colorful feel of Pier 1. Maybe you get a thrill from flea markets and antique shops. Perhaps you love the glam of Z Gallerie or the crisp lines at Ikea. Just knowing what you're drawn to (and even what you've already bought in your home) helps to know what you'll want to commit to.
I feel like this picture is a great example of mixing styles. I L.O.V.E this room by Mary McDonald. Horizontal stripes on the wall make it modern, as do the lamps and crisp white side tables. The tufted green seats add a little bit of glamour and luxury. There's that Asian inspired coffee table with curved legs (so unique!) and notice in the middle of the sofa, that floral pillow looks very vintage.

April's bedroom

So my friend April enlisted me to help her plan out her master bedroom. She had bought cute black and white damask bedding and wanted to add a mossy green with a vintage-glam vibe. That style pretty much defines my taste, so I was so excited to put it together!!
The metal E's will actually be their initials (not just random E's!) The brown fuzzy square will be a furry rug. And hopefully the rest is self explanatory!

Love it.. I'm so excited to see it all done in her room!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cheap Chic

So I realize that most of the problems about decorating your house stem from a lack of funds. With a website called styleathome.com and some of my own ideas, I've put together some basics that shouldn't be neglected when looking to re-do. The bottom line is you don't have to spend a lot, but you will have to spend some to get your home looking super chic!

1. Color
Paint is a fast and economical way to transform a room (assuming you own or have permission from your landlord). Even if just one room needs an update, you don't necessarily have to remove all your furniture and attack a huge project, but can cover big furniture pieces and paint only one accent wall. It has a big impact. Paint is very inexpensive, but you don't want to skimp on the brand or purpose of the paint. (Glossier paints are ideal for kitchens and bathroom since they are easy to clean, and more durable against mold).

2. Lighting
Light can completely invoke a different feel to a space, and it can be a matter of just moving a floor lamp across the room. Table lamps or even overhead light fixtures can be found at second hand stores and repainted and fixed up. Or an easy update on an older lamp is to just buy a new shade.

3. Mirrors
Well, I have a mirror obsession- and I promise I'm not vain! I love because mirrors not only because they can be so ornate and beautiful but can trick the eye and enlarge a space. Mirrors placed opposite a window, a long hallway, or even across a unique object can provide depth and brightness. Mirrors can range from $20 to $2000 but also can be repainted. You just have to look for a unique shape, and for me, the bigger the better!

4. Stay clear of mass-produced art
Use your creativity and things that have some meaning to you and your family. Or use prints you love from scraps of wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, maps, etc.

5. Use bigger accessories
Yes, this means they will cost more, but too many little trinkets looks cheap and cluttered. Get an oversized floor vase and big pillar candles instead of those little tea lights. Also, things displayed in odd numbers (3 or 5) look better together. Also, even if you have a small room, using large pieces of furniture will make the room seem grander.
6. Use texture
I'm all about mixing things, and not having "sets" of furniture. Your room will look so unique and "collected over time" rather than bought at once because of a discount. Use shiny metallics, leathers, wood and other natural textures, glass. Sparkle will definitely add some glamour- and I love me some glamour!

7. Rugs
They are a must (although I have yet to find one that I really can commit to yet). However you don't want to scrimp on its size. Anything smaller than 5x7 feet  in a living room or bedroom is probably going to look scarce. Most of your furniture should be on it (or partly on it).

8. Spend some money
Obviously the point of these tips is to save money, but hey, nothing's free. You will have to save and budget out a little to spend every month, and work your way to completing a room. A good rule is that in every room, there should be one or 2 items that are expensive, that were a splurge, and everything else can be deals from thrift shops or repurposed furniture (that way your entire room won't look cheap). So always be on the lookout for good deals! Garage sales and flea markets, consignment shops, antique shops are PACKED with treasures for reasonable prices that are unique!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making the best of what you have

Asking some friends recently about what is the most difficult thing about decorating your house, money is always the issue, for pretty much everyone I know. No one really thinks to set aside a budget for "decorating." (I try, but my husband doesn't get it!) When we got married, I was lucky that my husband already had plenty of furniture and we had to buy very little. However over the past couple years, my taste has changed, as it does with style.
Oprah once said that you should update your house as often as you update your hairstyle. And uhh well, if you've had the same hairstyle for over 20 years and still have 80's decor, you just need a major makeover all around!
Anyhow, I'd love to just buy new, expensive furniture just the way I want it, but that's not realistic. So I've given the things we have just little updates that satisfy.

Piece in question: this dresser. 
This was my husband's dresser growing up and it was originally painted bright blue. Me, not knowing what to do with it and how I wanted my front room to look, painted it olive green. Not horrible, but looking back I'm thinking this looks like a total man cave, with all the browns and neutrals. I hated the wood trim and wood handles on the dresser, but couldn't find pulls big enough.
If I had my way, I'd mount our tv on the wall, get something cuter for storage and get rid of the dresser. But alas, once I figured out a little more of what I wanted, our front room evolved into this...

I still don't love the wood trim on the dresser (one day I'll stain it or paint it) but the white brightens up the room a lot. We made the mistake of painting our whole house too dark, and since we've thought about moving, we're not really up and ready to repaint. Lowe's was the ticket to finding different pulls that actually fit and looked more modern. And lamps will make a room so much brighter and warmer, so I am so glad I splurged a little and bought these big green ones.

Next- is our couch. Also an olive green, and it's getting a little worn, just losing its shape. I would love a new sofa, a cream one or light gray...but that's not in the plans til we get a bigger place. But I am a huge fan of throw pillows. They provide a way of injecting your personality into a room, bringing in colors and interest. A good place to start decorating a room is finding a pillow you love, then basing everything else around its color scheme.

While I still don't love my couch, the fun colors in the accessories make me actually like it! (It helps that I also partially cover it up with throw blankets) Oh and don't mind the junk in the background!
So basically I did spend a little money. Less than $100 in the pillows and blanket. But it sure beats $1000's of dollars in a new couch!
However, you can even go cheaper than this. Etsy sells pillow covers for so cheap.. and you could just cover an existing pillow that you've lost interest in. Or sew your own... places like Ikea or craft stores have killer deals on fabric by the yard. Shop TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross, or Burlington Coat Factory for pillows or throws. It'll make a huge difference!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shabby chic teen room

Sometimes I get the itch to just put a room together.. still waiting for a chance to do it for reals! I stumbled across this rug and thought it could really be cute in a teen room, with a vintage but modern feel. The rug was the inspiration, and here's what I came up with:


PINK!!

In honor of my friend Jenna whose birthday it is today, I wanted to post my favorite photos of PINK, her fav color. =)
Sorry that these are smaller pics, but this is Betsey Johnson's house, totally decked out in pink!




And some other fun ones.. I don't think I've ever liked pink so much!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun flatware

I subscribe to a little magazine called House Beautiful. I look forward to its arrival every month, which is usually the only exciting thing the mailman brings for me!
They had an advertisement for this:



Cute or what?! I wish I needed some new silverware because these would be so fun! They are acrylic and dishwasher safe, from this website. Wouldn't it be a cute and unique wedding gift?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh how I love Target

I know Target has gotten a little expensive, but compared to other home decor stores, they're pretty low. And they have come out with some of the cutest lines!  John Derian is their latest, and it can also be found on amazon.
These are melanine plates









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