Wednesday, August 28, 2013


My latest creation for the Apartment Therapy Style Cure guest room makeover is a chevron frame.  I picked up a large square frame with a huge plain mat (on sale for $5 at Michaels).  It's usually used for people to sign at weddings.

I love a good chevron, it came a very close second in the coffee table pattern stakes, so it was a easy choice when I was contemplating how to decorate the mat.  Plus, I thought if it looked really bad I could always cover it with a fun fabric.

It looked a bit dodgy halfway through, but I reasoned that I was going for a hand drawn look and not perfectly symmetrical lines. 

Here's a closer look at my not-so-straight straight lines!

I went back and filled in some of the thinner chevrons, and added vertical lines to the wider chevrons to help break up the pattern.

Left on the to do list is to:

Paint the headboard
Change the hideous ceiling fan
Hang the curtains
Hang a couple of shelves
Add accessories
Finish and reupholster the chair

So, as you can tell, progress is slow.  The aim was to have the room finished by the end of this week - but I'm thinking it's looking more like the end of next week.  Mainly because I need some serious adult supervision before monkeying around with the ceiling fan!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Style Cure

Apartment Therapy has been running the Style Cure in August, and I'm all over it.

They send out daily emails throughout this month with tips and motivation to make over one room in your house (spoiler alert - I chose the guest room).  Up until now there has been a lot of listing and planning, but this weekend I began implementing my grand plans.  I'm still not entirely sure how everything will come together, but I'm keeping the faith.

Here's a look at the guest room from the MLS listing.

And here it is after we moved in.  All we really did was get a few key pieces of furniture and called it a day.  You'll notice the bed looks suspiciously low.  Well, that's because we don't actually have a mattress for that room (yet!).  It's not terrible, but it's hardly a show stopper either.

Sadly it didn't stay quite so tidy for long.  All of our unwanted furniture seemed to end up in there.  And the clothes for donating.  And the ironing board.  And the random artwork.  And it quickly became a hodgepodge mess.  Now you can see why it was an easy choice for the Style Cure.

This weekend it was time to paint.  I knew I wanted something light and fresh and decided on Pearl Ash by Olympic from Lowes.

Unfortunately, whoever last painted the room did a really shoddy job and the existing beige paint was all over the baseboards and ceiling.  I decided to go over the baseboards with white first, then I could cut in with the Pearl Ash and get a nice crisp line.  It took a little extra time, but was totally worth it.

I did 2 coats and it turned out great.

I'm just starting to collect some accessories.  So far I have 2 of these amazing lamps from JCPenney.  They were marked down to half price, and I had a $50 giftcard, so they only cost me about $20 for the pair.  Bargain!

Stay tuned to see how it all comes together!


Friday, August 16, 2013

2 for joy

During my trip home I inherited some fantastic retro/vintage family goodies.  Most of it was too big or heavy to bring back this trip, but I did manage to squish my favorite thing in my case (carefully rolled inside a cardboard tube).

My mum did this pen and ink drawing of 2 magpies in 1984.  She is one talented cookie.  Any shred of creativity I have has definitely been inherited from her. 

Its now hanging in our living room, above the little shoe cabinet that used to be in the kitchen. Along with my latest knick knack - a $5 sale vase from TJ Maxx.  I thought it was kind of Jonathan Adler-ish.  Maybe?


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bargain Alert!

If you're anything like me and you love amazing home décor at a bargain price (and lets face it, who doesn't!) then keep reading 'cos you're in for a treat. 

Last year I shared these fantastic pillow covers I ordered online from H&M UK.  I had to order them on the UK site then have my mum post them on to the US.  As you can imagine the whole ordeal was a royal pain in the arse (especially for my poor mum).  But in "better late than never" news, the H&M US site FINALLY has online ordering.

Everyone knows H&M for their fashions, but check out the pics below for the fantastic home décor offerings. 

They currently have some amazing opening offers for online orders - $4 cushion covers anyone?

You can never really have too many intense staring owl faced trays, right?

And who doesn't love a good metallic.

Plus their styling is impeccable.

There are a boat load of bathroom options.

See, I told you.  Pretty, pretty, pretty!  Now you better order quick before I buy everything.  If you sign up for their newsletter you also get free shipping.

Please note - this post is 100% NOT sponsored by H&M (in fact, I think it's safe to say they have absolutely no clue who I am).  I just really love a bargain.

Monday, August 12, 2013

When chair stain goes bad!

On Friday I promised you a look at the Danish chairs I picked up at a local thrift shop.  They have possibly the worst DIY stain job I have ever seen.  It looks like a lot of hate went into the staining and upholstering of these chairs. 

Here they are together.  I'll admit they don't look too bad from far away.  A little lumpy maybe, but not ready for the scrap heap yet.

But take a closer look and you can really see the shoddy job that someone did on these poor chairs.

I can't stress how terrible they look.  The stain is right over the brass sabots (yes, I totally had to Google to find out what the little brass feet on mid century furniture is called!).

I felt so sorry for them.  The upholstery job is almost as heinous as the stain.

And I don't even want to know what this is.  Bleugh!  Now do you see why they were only $12 each :-)

It was easy enough to separate the seat from the wooden frame.  I Googled around and decided to use Citristrip (from Home Depot) to try and bubble up the horrific stain job so I could scrape it off easily.  

I did a small text spot on the back of one of the chairs before layered it on the rest of the frame with an old paint brush.  I waited about 30 minutes and it seemed to work really well - cue lots and lots and lots of scraping.

And that's pretty much as far as I got this weekend.  Fingers crossed it's a case of getting a LOT worse before it gets better.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

Ok, so this time I'm really back.  I promise!  Just in time for the weekend :-)

But before all things DIY, a quick recap of this week because we were in ............. Vegas!!! 

Check out the crazy round field things I spied on the flight over.  Is that a thing in the US?  Round fields?  I spotted them as we were flying over Texas (thank you flight tracker) and they just amazed me - every single one was a perfect circle.

The flight was painless.  A few complimentary nuts and a Sprite later and we were there.  Can you tell what this huge sculpture was made of?  Boats!  Hundreds of boats.  Strange but impressive.

I'm not a big gambler, but I love seeing all the hotels and crazy lights.  We stayed at the Vdara (part of the new city centre development) and this was the view from our room.  Not to shabby.

Of course no trip to Vegas would be complete without a visit to one of the mega buffets. We stopped by the Bacchus buffet at Caesars.  There was a bit of a wait to get in, and that's where I spied these unusual light fixtures.  They were made of upturned glasses with fairy lights running behind them.  Seemed like a pretty easy DIY if you have a pillar the size of a double decker bus that needs jazzing up.  Who doesn't?!

In thrifty business news, before we jetted out to Vegas I picked up a pair of Danish chairs at a local thrift shop.  They are looking soooo sad so I'm hoping to transform them this weekend - weather permitting!  Check back on Monday to see whether they look amazing or even worse - yikes!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homeward Bound

I'm back!  Sorry about the humongo break in posts, but a few things came up including an unexpected trip back to the UK.  Sad circumstances but good to see fahhhhhhmly - said in my best Peggy "Get outta my pub" Mitchell voice (if you don't know Eastenders, its a long running British soap that irritatingly got cancelled in the US just as I moved here.  Why BBC America, whhhhhhhhyyyyy??).

I took a couple of quick snaps while I was home - mainly to prove to my doubting Thomas of a husband that the sun does come out in the UK.  Most times we go back home it's cold and wet, so here is exhibit A.  Beach, sun, people.  See, I told you so, ha!

This was taken on a random Wednesday.  I'm not entirely sure why these people weren't at work - I get the feeling there were a lot of sickies pulled that day!

Things around to the house are moving along.  I've been on a window treatment kick with new faux wood blinds in the kitchen and new curtains in the dining room.  Pics to follow once I take them down and iron them (the curtains, not the blinds, clearly ironing faux wood would be madness!).  I was hoping the rumples would drop out once they had been hanging for a while, but no such luck.

I've also put my name on a couple of waiting lists for booth space in flea markets around Birmingham.  I am beyond excited about getting my own little shop.  Ok, maybe shop is a bit of an exaggeration, but that's what I'm calling it.  And I plan on packing it with amazingness.  I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything.

Phew, feels good to be back!