Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tips & Tricks: Perky Pillows

One of our largest pet peeves is when your pillow does not fully fill out the pillow sham, particularly if it's a euro sham. You see them looking so perfect in the catalog and then they arrive and they literally flop instead of standing up straight. To cure this problem we have a simple trick that we use on all our beds. Make sure that your euro pillow is actually a few inches larger than the pillow. A standard euro sham is 26x26. We use a maximum of a 29x29 pillow insert. For us this is the perfect size, but you could also use a 28x28 pillow insert. Any smaller and you could run the risk of flopping. Also, ensure that you are not using a down pillow. The pillows tends to sag and lose their shape. We purchase all of our pillows off of Ebay from this seller

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bargain Bin: Contemporary Photo Gallery

There is no better way to personalize your home than with photos of family, friends and places that you love. One of the most popular ways of showcasing photos these days is through well laid out photo galleries. There are several approaches to this. You can get Pottery Barn shelves and line up frames or purchase a premade gallery from The Perfect Picture Wall Company. Or if you're on more of a budget you can take the more eclectic approach and collect various frames in a collection.

Another approach to the budget friendly Photo Gallery that we love is use acrylic frames and then layering them to create a contemporary, dimensional collection. These frames can be purchased for a few dollars each at your local Walgreens or Target

We found this idea at the Lakeside Collection. You can either buy the smaller scale collage or reproduce this look on a larger scale for a bigger space.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feed This To That: Scarves to Throws

To kick off our spring cleaning we have decided that the closets will be our starting point. We will be the first to admit that we have a minor shopping problem. As a result there are multiples of several items. We found this great idea on Martha Stewart. We're going to be purging our scarf collection to create a colorful throw to use as a gift.

Tips & Tricks: Bring In Spring

With the weather getting warmer who doesn't want to surround themselves bright spring colors to lighten the winter blues. Here are our tips for simple ways to infuse color into your home for spring.

Starting with a neutral base is the easiest way to start. Neutral bones can be accentuated with any color palette. Share your tips and tricks in our comment section.

1. Change your towels - Change white for a pale blue or green
2. Switch out your pillows - If your room has a dark color palette use a neutral to lighten the mood a little
3. Flowers - hit your local farmers market, garden or grocery store and pick up some blooms for the kitchen table or nightstand
4. Spruce up your outdoor space - See spring from every window with bright pillows, lanterns, and lights
5. Change out your pictures - Surround yourself with photos of summer and spring memories to get ready for the season
5. Lighten up the bedding - Change a comforter, a throw, or the entire set to bring in the sunshine
6. Make your entryway say spring is here - Change the doormat and add some flowers to let guests know spring has arrived at your home
7. Clean up the flow - Fluff, sanitize and organize. They call it spring cleaning for a reason bring in the clean
8. Say it with accessories - Put the heavy silver away and bring out the glass. Glass vases, candlesticks and picture frames will bring an airy feel to any table or bookcase
9. Take in the view - Rearrange the furniture to focus on the outdoors rather than the cozy fireplace

Monday, April 27, 2009

Trend Feed: Faux Bois

Faux Bois isn't anything new, but it is something we love. So we wanted to show you the numerous ways this can be incorporated into your desing scheme. If you're bold we love to use this to cover furniture or as a rug that is a focal point of the room. If you love it, but don't want to commit you can easily insert this trend through towels or other natural wood pieces.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feed This to That: Tin Ceilings

We love the classic look of a tin ceiling in a kitchen or laundry room. But the use of these does not have to be limited to a ceiling. We love how Candice Olson uses these classic tiles as a backsplash. To achieve this look she simply painted the tiles to match her color pallete. It brings texture and style into the heart of the home.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tips & Tricks: The Perfect Bedskirt

Ever dream of the perfect bed skirt length like you see in every catalog? With a few simple tricks you can achieve that look without the custom made price. We've recently been having the problem that we find the perfect bed skirt, but it isn't the right length. The idea of spending the time and money to have it altered just seem absurd. We recently had this problem in our master bedroom. We have a little less than a 14 inch drop on our king bed. We found a beautiful DKNY bed skirt on Ebay that was a fraction of the $300 skirt we were eyeing from Ethan Allen. Unfortunately, this skirt had a 17 inch drop on it. To make our bargain skirt fit our bed we simply used straight pins to gather the fabric under the mattress and shorten the length.

This technique can be applied to bed skirts of all lengths. We shortened our king bed skirt by 3 inches and also our guest bedroom by an inch.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bargain Bin: Perfect Picture Wall Coupon

Because who doesn't like to save 20%? Use mommies20. We can't guarantee how long it will work, but it worked for us this morning.

Design Feed: Picture Gallery for the OCD

We will be the first to admit that we are a little OCD when it comes to symmetry and spacing. As a result we have long shied away from bringing the family picture gallery into my home. We simply weren't up for the challenge. Low and behold, while watching Divine Design we found the answer. The Perfect Picture Wall had come to save us from our OCD.

We love the Perfect Picture Wall because the possibilities are truly endless. You can mix colors and sets to make an arrangement that is custom to your home. You can mix color photos with black and white to make a statement on any wall. You can also arrange the frames for the perfect spot in your home such as the stairs. Sure there are less expensive ways to achieve the same look, but if you don't have the time, patience, or talent this might be the solution for you too.

The Perfect Picture Wall comes in a variety of colors to match any decor. It can all be yours for $350. Initially, we had sticker shock when looking at this. But when we looked at other frame options, such as Pottery Barn we found this be reasonable for the number of frames you receive. Yes, there are less expensive framing options, but we're willing to pay a premium for simplicity.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Trend Feed: Bringing the Outdoors In

With all the talk of going green, preserving our planet, and being one with nature we think the best place to start if in your home. Going green is a lifestyle change. What better way to beging your lifestyle change then living it. We love these nature inspired beds that we found on Trend Hunter

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feed This to That: Spring Sweaters

Spring is here! We've all lost weight and we're all shedding our winter sweaters. Instead of putting them in the closet and making them susceptible to moths, holes and stench why not reinvent them in your home. We love the idea that Martha Stewart showcased on her websites. Taking the seats and turning them into stylish seats covers. These would make a hard accent chair look cozy and inviting. Or use them in a nursery so a baby has a snuggly place to learn how to walk.

We've also noticed the trend of turning seaters into pillows. Sweater pillows were top selling items on both Pottery Barn and West Elm last winter. These can be easily made with a sweater, scissors, thread and some buttons for accents. We love them for a cabin or mountain house where comfort and style are the number one priority.

Feed This to That: Unwated Trees Become Artful Furniture

We all know that going green has morphed from a trend to a lifestyle. Furniture has been born out of wood since furniture was invented. Yet, how the would us used and shaped has continually evolved. With the birth of green and the evolution of wooden furniture reclaimed lumber furniture pieces are in demand.

we love the organic look these pieces bring to your home. They are stylish, functional, and practical. Each piece is as unique as the tree it is created from turning your furniture into pieces of art, rather than just a place to throw your keys.

There are a few ways you can go about bringing these beautiful pieces into your home. 1) Find a boutique that specializes in this niche area, such as Urban Hardwoods. 2) Have a piece custom created by a local specialty show such as City Trees Furniture. 3) Find local reclaimed lumber and put your husband to work.

Our favorite reclaimed lumber pieces are coffee tables, dining tables and fireplace mantles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trend Feed: Beach is in the Air

Set the perfect beach inspired table.

Summer is almost here and beachy decor and inspirations are everywhere. We were perusing our local Pottery Barn and were amazed and the classic and cute beach inspired items they had. We can't wait to incorporate them into the redesigned beach shack.

With barbeques, lobster feeds, and fish fries on the entertainment horizon for the summer months we re going to be sure to stock up on some sea inspired table decor.

We love the look of layering light glass pieces, with bright corals and natural textured linens.

Display your appetizers and trimmings with this shell inspired display.

Bring the salt of the sea to your table with these delicate salt and pepper shakers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Project Feed: Beach Shack to Beach Chic

Over the next few months we are going to be working on revitalizing a 1950's beach shack. This was once a family retreat where memories were born and laughs were shared. It has since slipped into disrepair and the family spends more time at the new beach house. Our mission is to bring this shack into the 21st century. Our challenge is to make this a place that new generations want to visit, old generations still love, ad new generations can create new memories in.

We have several projects lined up to bring this home from drab to fab. Our first step is to create a design plan that the entire family will buy off on so we can begin. This weekend we traveled to the beach to measure the kitchen space. We then worked with the fabulous people at Lowes to create a new and functional kitchen.

This is no small task. The original kitchen has cabinets from the 1950's and the counter top is plywood with contact paper on top. They are not a standard depth, so we had to rework the entire kitchen. There is only a wood burning stove so we have to rewire the entire kitchen and put in modern day appliances.

Here is a pic of our starting point.

This is where we're hoping to end up.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Trend Feed: Clocks Don't Just Tell Time

Clocks aren't just for telling time anymore. Clocks are meant to say something about you. They should say who you, what you're like, or even what you think about time. One of the greatest selections of unique and noteworthy clocks that we've seen in a long time is at Uncommon Goods. If you're looking to make a statement on your wall, desk, or shelf this is a great place to start looking.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Project Feed: Vintage Guest Room

I've decided it's time to redecorate our guest bedroom and make it a place guests look forward to staying. The idea of the room is to create a vintage inspired textural space. To accomplish this I'm layering fabrics rich in pattern and texture, distressed furniture, and a chandelier to set the mood. I'll also be frequenting my local antique stores for the perfect accessories.

DIY Feed: Wine Dogs

Two of my favorite things in life are fine wines and my dogs. In an effort to bring more style to my dogs during feeding and bed time I'm creating wine inspired bowls and beds. For the bowls I simply got a wine box from one of my favorite wineries and cut 2 holes in the top. I also laquered the box to protect it. Add in 2 inexpensive bowls from a Target and you have a stylish set of bowls.

Wine and style doesn't have to end their when your pets are concerned. For bed time I found barrels from my local hardware store. I made the appropriate cuts, sanded stained and for $25 I had 2 trendy, wine inspired dog beds.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bargain Bin: Double the Rod, Quarter of the Cost

Double curtain rods not only layers and texture to a window, they also add functionality. By using sheers or opaque curtains underneath the heavier silk or velvet curtain, you have the option to allow light flood the room while still maintaining your privacy.Depending on your budget double curtain rods can be a budget buster. These rods cost upwards of $200 from Pottery Barn. You can find a comparable rod at Walmart for under $50.

Feed This To That: Shower Curtains to Art & Pillows

I have a soft place for anything french or anything written in a foreign language. It could "You smell like rotten eggs." But if it looks pretty and sounds pretty I am attracted to it. Overstock has these great shower curtains that marry dictionary style with new languages. They are perfect for adding a personality to any bathroom.

You could also use these shower curtains to make great floor pillows for any loungey room. A great way to bring something unexpected to colored space. They are only $17.99 a piece. A great value.

Or cut it up and decoupage a bar top or side table with your favorite saying to make a conversation piece for any room.

Our favorite application is making custom wall art. You could frame these into an eye catching collage. Or collage them all together in one large piece to create a large piece of artwork for pennies on the dollar.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Design Feed: Don't just listen to the vinyl!

Vinyl has left the turn table and now belongs on the wall. Using vinyl on the walls is a simple way to make a large impact in a room, no artistic talent needed. My favorite use of vinyl is to personalize a space is in the laundry room and a hallway.

Vinyl brings the fun back to laundry. I once daunting task is lightened with clever sayings and image.

Spice up your paint and let everyone know that your home is all about family.

You can find personalized vinyl wall decals on Jazz it up!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Design Feed: For the Love of Letters

Letterpress is an art that has been around for decades. That art is now evolving from paper to sculpture. Our newest love is using antique, or reproduction antique letterpress blocks as sculpture.

Letterpress blocks can really fit with any decor. For a modern spin create a wall feature with hidden messages such as you family names, business, or an inside joke. Similar to what did.

For a more shabby chic look use the blocks to create a welcome message to your guests in a guest room or spell your child's name in a nursery.

To make your sculpture functional use the blocks to create a a table top, dresser top, a mirror border, or dress up the back of a dining room chair. The possibilities are truly endless. Comparable tables are sold at for hundreds.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Design Feed: Wallpaper Is Back

Wallpaper is back and I love it. We're using some textured wallpaper in our master bedroom for a feature wall. I love all the new and retro patterns out there, but I'm not willing to commit them in one of my rooms. Real Simple just did an article on uses for left over wallpaper. I thought this is perfect for me. I get to use all the wallpaper I love and not have to commit an entire room design around it.

My favorite application is using is it to line drawers. I plan on doing this in my guest room as an unexpected surprise for my guests.

I also love the idea of creating book covers. It's a great project for sending your kids off to school or using them to unify your book shelves.

Other recommendations from Real Simple:
- Make framed artwork
- Hang a scroll
- Decorate empty cans

Click below for step by step instructions.

Bargain Bin: Pottery Barn Mendocino Bed $100

I was born and raised to be a bargain hunter. I remember sifting through the racks of TJMaxx, Ross, and Nordstrom Rack from a very early age. Always on the hunt for the highest quality at the lowest price. I have to extend thanks to Mr. Craig for developing a list that took my bargain hunting skills from in store to online. I have furnished and refurnished countless apartments with Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, you name it I have purchased it off Craiglist and for fraction of the price. Also, who doesn't love not paying tax or shipping? Now that I have set roots I still use C-list for those hard to find items at a great price.

I have been drooling over the Pottery Barn Mendocino bed for years now. It didn't work in our master bedroom, so I was determined to add it to a guest room. I had seen on C-list in San Francisco, but not in Portland yet. Everyday I would search for Pottery barn or iron bed, and one day I hit the jackpot. There was my beautiful bed for $100!!

Welcome to the blogosphere

Even as a digital media professional, I have long avoided starting a blog. I've always thought I never had the time or energy that it takes to maintain one. But I've decided to make the leap and see what it's all about.

My blog is about my design and other ideas to help inspire others. There are so many awesome and cool design ideas out there that I can't possibly use them all.