Thursday, January 29, 2015

Black, White and Red all over...

I was asked by a client to turn a part of their garage into a rec room. It housed a pool table and some exercise equipment but didn't feel like a cozy space where their three kids would want to hang, much less invite friends to hang. So, I started with a killer art piece found at the Habitat ReStore. It was left over from the design challenge and I loved the graphic nature of it. 
 They wanted easy to move furniture (in case of a bad storm or flooding)... a typical worry for coastal homes. This rattan sofa lacquered in a Chinese red was the perfect punch. The cushions were recovered in an indoor/outdoor fabric for function. 
 The chairs swivel for watching TV or billiards and were found at an auction and reupholstered in ultra-suede (another cleanable fabric). 
 The outdoor rug in a bold black and white stripe warms up the concrete floors. 
 I swiped an old chair from their attic and used a pair of HomeGoods lamps (Jonathan Adler, no less) for additional light. 
The room is fun, playful and functional and currently being used by lots of kids. Mission accomplished! 
bye bye birdie...

photos via: House of Rad; Patrick Shovlin

Friday, January 23, 2015

Graham's Surprise Christmas Gift!

My daughter, Graham, loves art, music and anything creative. Plus, she is eleven, so she also wants "cool" ways to express her self.In an effort to keep that expression appropriate, I wanted to create a space for her to be creative and thrive. 
She loves to paint, draw, sing, write music... create. In an effort to keep the painting, drawing and all things messy out of her room (and noise), we moved her art supplies into the little attic off of her bedroom. She loved having her own space and I loved keeping the paint away from the carpet/walls. We just had one tiny problem. The insulation, plywood floors and cold attic were cramping her style and "stifling her creativity". So... what's a mom to do? (No way am I letting the paints back into the bedroom with wall-to-wall carpeting). I put a lock on the door to the attic, called my handy man, rug guy and husband (in that order). I told Graham, we had a rat problem - why else would we lock the attic? Gross. She wasn't about to mess with that.  

The week before Christmas, drywall went in, was puttied, painted and an indoor/outdoor carpet was cut to cover the plywood floors. Her new art room and Christmas gift was taking shape! I scooped up paints, canvasses, oil pastels, markers, drawing books, colored pencils, regular pencils, charcoal pencils and art supplies galore. I gift wrapped a pack of pencils, some construction paper and a pack of water colors and carefully placed them under the tree. She marveled at them... what were they? Was it an iPad? Could it be the music speakers she asked for? What on earth could be so beautifully wrapped and carefully planned? She was giddy. Until she unwrapped them. Pencils. Wow. "Thank you mom! These are even sharpened!". I have to say, I was grateful for her reaction and a little sad that she thought that was the big gift. 

Still, she was appreciative and so was I. After a whirlwind of paper, gifts and boys running around with their new toys, I let her open her stocking. At the very bottom was a tiny beautiful lacquered box tied with a red satin bow. "Hmmm", I said in my best Santa voice. "Wonder what that is?" She opened it and found a key. Her eyes were so big and she immediately ran upstairs to her "rat infested locked attic". She flung open the door to find this.....

I painted the walls white so her bright art would pop in contrast. I bought a $10 hollow core door at Habitat for Humanity and added metal brackets for support for the perfect work surface. I chose to leave it unfinished in case she wants to paint it herself.
 I scoured HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Michaels for art supplies on sale.
 I filled the place with everything from colored pencils to Modge Podge. 

 A moving cart from HomeGoods works for extra storage and since it's on wheels, it can maneuver around for different projects. 
 With two eye hooks and some silver (spray painted) clothespins, I created a drying spot for her masterpieces. 

  I found a real artists easel on CraigsList that came with professional paints and brushes. Thanks to a seller's hobby that never took off, I racked up! 
She loves her new art studio (and as a bonus, it doubles as a spot for homework and guitar practice). We added a portable heater for the cold months and with her new speakers, she fires up her tunes and goes to work! You can do a lot with a tiny attic!
bye bye birdie...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10 Design Tips under $10

We all want to make simple changes in our home, but are often intimated by the cost. With the new year upon us, we are MAKING CHANGES. What if you could DRASTICALLY change LITTLE things and make a BIG impact? You can freshen up your space in minutes without breaking the bank. Please DO try these at home...

1. Change out kitchen cabinet knobs. For under $3.50 each, these Martha Stewart (for Home Depot) polished nickel knobs are my "go to". They are incredibly inexpensive and have a beautiful finish. Take your bathroom or kitchen cabinets from blah to wow!
2. Switch out dated chandelier bulbs for cool round bulbs found at any hardware store and at .80 cents a piece, well, you still have money to spare!
3. Cover an existing lamp shade with fabric and a little spray adhesive. You won't need much fabric and it will brighten up a drab lamp!
4. Spray paint a piece of furniture. My favorite line of spray paint is Rust-oleum 2X. It has a built in primer which saves a step but gives you a lacquer finish. Do not, I repeat: Do not, spend $25 on the "lacquer" fancy spray paints. They don't work, don't look like lacquer and chip. Plus they are a a waste of money. This little can is $3.85 and can be found at Home Depot.
5. Back a bookcase with a roll of wallpaper or heavy duty wrapping paper for impact. 
6. Speaking of bookcases...Add a detail to the leading edge. This can be done with a hot glue gun. You can choose to add a ribbon or fabric trim that is the same width of the edge/surface. You can also choose an architectural detail from your local hardware store and apply with heavy duty wood glue. These come in strips so one to two pieces should do the trick. Paint the edge the same color of the bookcase and you have another detail that won't go unnoticed. 
7. Need a drapery rod, but don't want to spend the cash? Use a rope from the hardware store and secure at each end with a metal eye hook. It adds a coastal vibe and a touch of rustic to this little boys' room.
 8. Because readers are still talking about this one...Ditch your fan globe light cover and replace with a drum shade. You can retrofit any old shade to add interest to a dull fan!

9. In our "redneck" homes, antlers are a plenty. I'd like to say some of them are faux, but a lot of them have been passed down from family hunters. Gilt them! Dip them! Sit them on a bookcase (above) or on a stack of books on your newly styled coffee table. 

10. More on this delightful little space later...

This art room was in need of a desk. I was tight on money and space, so I scored a door from the Habitat Restore. It's a flat panel, hollow core door with a standard size of 36"X80". I added 3 metal brackets from Lowes for support and created the perfect work space in this art room for yes... UNDER $10. Yep, 10 Design tips for under $10. Now rush home and get started. Your wallet will thank you!
bye bye birdie...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

HOT off the press!

I am so excited for you to pick up a copy of this month's Wilmington Magazine! They featured a home I just finished in Masonboro Harbor. You remember the install... See the process here or watch the video version on my YouTube channel.
I love how it turned out thanks to writer Andrea Barilla, editor Jennifer Glatt and fab photographer Frank Hart. 

Thank you crew for a great spread! Please rush mosey on down to your local market, favorite shop or basically any retailer in Wilmington and pick up this wonderful publication. Oh, and don't forget to check out page 50-57.... Here is a sneak peek!

bye bye birdie...

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year, New Room?

It's a New Year. What are you doing in your home? Are you updating? Doing a little cleaning? Organizing? I have cleaned out kids closets, donated toys and organized the common spaces. Now, it seems to be all right back to normal. Bins are unorganized, toys seem to have multiplied and our home is being taken over by legos. Does it ever end? Could one child put one toy back where he got it? Imagine what would happen if a husband child put their dirty clothes in the bin instead of beside it. Or if the legos ended up back in the lego box instead of on the floor. My life would change. The world could be a little better. Perhaps our families need some New Year's Resolutions. Or maybe we can strongly offer them some help?
These Target Cubes are on sale for $16.99 and they stack. Somehow, things seem more orderly in sections. I love these for a playroom, mudroom or office. For $16.99 -- you can get a few!
We love these wire baskets from West Elm. They are $31 and you may be able to get free shipping! They fill bookcases or hang on a wall or hook. 
We have gorgeous storage boxes at The Coop -- lucite (of course) and lacquer. Does it get better than that? $90 and stunning in an entry or as a catch all for jewelry or pretty things. 
I scored a couple of these raw wood bins from HomeGoods for a steal! I added a nailhead monogram for each twin and fill the bins with bath supplies. 
Check out the entire bathroom makeover here on Pinterest
Let's get organized and stay that way in 2015!
If you need our help transforming a space, let us know!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

We Heart Minted

Many of you probably ordered your Christmas cards from Minted this year. I love their stuff and creative designs for cards, invites and even their new Save the Date line. But.... did you know that they also have KILLER art? Their Limited Edition art is a creative array of prints of original art and photography. They extremely well priced and come in a variety of that fits in a picture frame all the way up to large statement pieces. These would be an excellent addition to your space or gallery wall!

And you can make your own photo art with tons of options - perfect for gifts, a gallery wall or a nursery. 
Be sure to check out why we heart Minted.
bye bye birdie...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New You?

Happy 2015! It's a new year and time to make a fresh start. I usually last about a 5 days before the old me starts creeping back in and my healthy smoothies start to include cookies. 
 Each year, I choose a word. Our pastor at Port City Church, Mike Ashcraft and writer Rachel Olsen, wrote a wonderful book that I would HIGHLY recommend. 

My One Word ditches the idea of a New Year's Resolution and encourages you to choose one word to provide clarity about the person you want to strive to be, with God's help. Last year, my one word was "Intentional".  I haven't settled on a word for 2015 but am toying with "CALM". I'll keep you posted.

Ann doesn't pick a New Year's Resolution. That's her resolution. 
Our friend, Kim Shovlin does a visual resolution. She visualizes what she hopes the year will look like for her and creates a board with pictures, clippings and inspiration. She puts it in a focal point in her home as a reminder of how her year should be taking shape. I love this idea! Check out one of her annual boards.... 
What about you? Are you picking a a word? Are you changing something about yourself? Eating healthier? Starting an exercise routine? Let us know, you continue to inspire us!
Happy New Year!!!
Here's to 2015!
bye bye birdie...

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