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July 29, 2011

no curtains necessary

 I love window treatments, but sometimes they are totally uneccesary.

 windows, interior decorating blog, decor blog, interior design, interior designer, interior design ideas, interior design blog, online interior design

July 28, 2011

a little fuchsia

Pops of fuchsia inspired by these great trousers (which belong in my closet stat) from J. Crew's fall line. 

1. Cafe Capri | J. Crew
3. Jungle Road Wallpaper | Jonathan Adler
5. Fuchsia Grecian Peony Pillow | Antonio Aguilar
fuschia home decor, interior design ideas, interior designer, decorate, decorator, decor, decorating blog, interior design blog

July 26, 2011

my draper chest ikea hack

Hello, pretty nighstand.

I have been looking for nightstands for months. I couldn't find anything I liked within my price range (of course there were amazing things way out of the budget!), so I decided to make them myself. My original plan was to refinish a pair of IKEA Rast dressers to look like campaign chests. I found great hardware, but it was expensive and I also couldn't figure out how to accomplish the inset pulls. Then Nancy at Marcus Design posted her amazing DIY Dorothy Draper España Bunching Chests and I was SOLD.

It looks pretty simple, right? Paint the dresser glossy black, stencil some simple gold designs, add new hardware. That is the gist of it, but this project took forever! It possibly cured me of my desire to ever DIY anything again, but don't quote me on that.

Here's what I did:

1. Assemble the bases, but not the drawers. 
2. Apply two thick coats of primer, lightly sanding in between. Let dry overnight.
3.  Spray paint the base and drawer fronts. I stacked the fronts to get to the edges more easily, then laid them out to spray the fronts. Let this dry for 48 hours.
3b.  I decided the wood grain was showing through too much, so I sanded the black and applied another THICK layer of primer. I should have just done thicker layers (applied with a brush rather than a roller) the first time. Let dry for 48 hours. 
3c. Re-spray the drawer fronts. Let dry for 48 hours.

4. Stencil and tape. I blew up a big picture of the design and cut little stencils out of cardboard to match the curves of the outer and inner edges. I taped off the straight bits, then used a white manicure pencil to lightly trace the curves.

5. Paint the gold patterns. The paint dried really quickly, so I took the tape off immediately without any bleed-through. Let dry for 24 hours.
6. Touch-up the gold to make the lines crisp and the paint coverage uniform. Let dry for 24 hours.
7. Seal. I used a spray gloss polyurethane. This step isn't totally necessary, since the glossy paint acts like a sealer, but I wanted to protect the gold parts. Let dry for 4-6 hours.
8. Assemble the drawers and put them in the base.

There was a point during the taping phase where I wasn't sure all the time I had put into this project would be worth it. I had to wait a long time between paint layers because of heat, humidity, and rain. The taping took an eternity. The wood grain showed through way more than I thought it would. I put my hand in the gold paint and smooshed it on part of the black. Black spray paint went everywhere. I ordered pulls in the wrong finish.

But as soon as I pulled up the tape after the first layers of gold paint, I was thrilled! The painting is imperfect, the pattern is off in places, and the wood grain still shows through. But no one will ever notice those little things because the finished product is amazing. Just what I wanted!

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IKEA Rast 3 Drawer Chest -- 2 (and they deliver!)
Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 Water-based Primer -- 1 Quart, used half
Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel Spray Paint in Black -- used < four 15 oz. cans
Cabot Gloss Polyurethane Spray -- used < one 11.5 oz. can
Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic in Iridescent Antique Gold -- 2 oz., used < half
Lee Valley Tools Plain Ring Pulls in Burnished Bronze -- 12, 51mm x 43mm

Also used 200 grit sandpaper, 3/8" or 1/2" paintbrush, old 2" paintbrush for priming, white pencil, painter's tape, cardboard for stencil, scissors, tape measure, screwdrivers, drop cloth.

IKEA hack, DIY Dorothy Draper Chest, DIY Draper Dresser, DIY black dresser, DIY gold dresser, paint dresser, paint chest, paint nightstand, decorating, decor
Linking to: Making the World Cuter - Skip to My Lou - Sarahndipities - Sumo's Sweet Stuff - The House in Roses - Not Just a Housewife

July 22, 2011

one day:

A grand country home
with perfect shutters, 
a long cobblestone and gravel drive, 
and ivy.

July 21, 2011

fred shand for anthropologie

As usual, I like what's going on at Anthropologie, especially these quilts from the textile line Fred Shand. I'm a little surprised at myself for liking these--I'm usually a big fan of symmetry, tailoring, and cleanness, but I think these are pretty cool.

These quilts are one-of-a-kind art pieces, so they're priced accordingly. If you like the look for less, try a pillow. Beautiful!

July 20, 2011

playroom e-design: two ways

 Julie asked me to put together this fun eDesign for her combo office and playroom. She wanted a little space to get her work done, but mostly a fun place for her adorable and active toddler! This is the first take-- a simple, little bit mid-century modern design with a great pop of orange in the rug.

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After just a few tweaks, this is the second take on the room-- a more subdued, all-blue palette. I swapped the cars for these adorable Fantasy Forest Critter fabric wall decals that I knew Julie would be crazy for.

This was such a fun project--I love designing cool spaces for families!

P.S. If you have a project you'd like some help on, shoot me an email!

July 18, 2011

orange eye candy

Maybe it’s leftover high school pride, but I LOVE the color orange. I was feeling kind of orange-y this weekend, so I started looking for some inspiration... and kind of went crazy.

I've had this picture in my files for years and think of it a lot. LOVE the orange/navy/nickel/gold combo!






I love little pops of orange, but it is also one of the few colors I can handle being all over the place. I know, weird. Most people like red.




Maybe it's time to add some orange to my house somewhere!

July 15, 2011

a date with paints

I am in the middle of the world's most time-consuming furniture painting project--I'll be spending this weekend with a brush in my hand. There are worse things :)

July 13, 2011

design rebel: joi from nuestra vida dulce

Today I am happy to share the first installment of a new series, Design Rebels! There are so many rules, guides, and how-tos in design, and the best of the best know exactly how and when to break them. In this series, some of my favorite design bloggers will spill the beans on design "rules" they love to break!

The first blogger in this feature is Joi Svezia of Nuestra Vida Dulce. If you need a little smile in your day, just read Joi's blog. She is the very definition of bright and cheerful and has so many design ideas that are perfectly adaptable to any space.

In addition to being a teacher and a master's student, Joi has appeared on the Nate Show and Great Day St. Louis, and she writes for St. Louis Magazine's Secretary of the Interior Blog. Renaissance woman! She and her husband have put a lot of love into designing their cheery house in the Midwest, and her style has evolved beautifully, as you will see!

Hi guys! My name's Joi and I blog over at Nuestra Vida Dulce!

I am so happy Marissa invited me over to her blog to talk about my rebellious side. I laugh at that title because I am anything but a rebel in real life. I have always been the cautious and follow-the-rules type of gal. However, when it comes to decorating, I seem to follow my own rules! Who would've thought? I didn't always break the "rules". When we first bought our home I thought everything needed to match and I bought everything in a distinctive color scheme and my furniture had to be purchased in sets.

Exhibit A {our living room}:

Not a pretty sight, right? I believed that if I had one piece of dark-wood furniture then the rest of the room had to match. I also insisted that brown and teal were the only colors I could use. Wow. I chuckle looking back at these photos because I thought I really had it together. Funny stuff. As my tastes quickly evolved I started replacing my furniture sets with vintage thrifted finds and Craigslist pieces. I also threw my color scheme ideas out the window and brought in colors that made me happy and complemented one another.
No color schemes for me anymore and no matching metals. In fact, I think you can spot brushed nickel, brass, oil-rubbed bronze, and chrome in this shot alone. How daring, you say? : )


I know how to live on the wild side! Ok, maybe that's going a bit too far! I hope you enjoyed my living room transformation.
Thanks for having me, Marissa!


I am blown away by these before-and-after shots! So bright and coordinated (and masculine enough, too!)--definitely a far cry from her the aqua and brown days. You can see more of Joi's house on her wonderful blog.

July 12, 2011

what to do with a boring console?

I got a little antsy this weekend and moved some furniture around. I had a little IKEA console shelf in my dining room that I moved to an empty wall in my living room. As you can see below, it hasn't been painted yet.

Here is what I already have going on in the living room--kind of a navy, grey, and chartreuse theme with a little bit of yellow in the floral pillow--along with the colors I'm considering for the console.
I will be the first to admit that my living room (whole house actually!) is not the glamorous sanctuary I wish it were. We're doing the grad school thing over here so MAKE DO is the current mantra. But my little vignette is so boring, it's killing me! It needs COLOR.

Do I...
Go traditional and match my trellis pillow with navy?
Choose chartreuse to tie in the pillows and bird prints?
Or do something totally bright and different with coral?
Maybe grey? Dark aqua? GOLD?

Hello I could totally gold-leaf this thing...

What do you think?
design dilemma, paint ikea furniture, ikea console, ikea shelf,