Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Young at Heart!

Got any good reasons I can pass along to hubby for why the dining chandelier needs to be "twigged" out? I've got a Doubting Thomas on my hands. He's not so convinced that would be a good idea. I think I'm gonna have to stay natural in color as it will blend with the current chandelier paint color fine. That way, if he's just not pleased, I can just take the twigs off and call it a day. 

In the meantime, I'm excited to say I'm finally moving on to the next big project. I can't wait! It's ridiculous how long it can take to get something done around here during the summer. One thing I'm learning is that summer break means I might as well slow down too, 'cause I'm not going to be able to get much done with three kiddo's and friends around all day anyway. Might as well have fun and not stress over it. I love having them around and don't want to rush through the summer not taking in every minute I have with them:) Watching them play without a care in the world is what keeps one young. They are such a blessing and we're making memories to last a lifetime!

Here's a little inspiration for you to wrap up today:

B.E. Interiors Photography

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Version of a "Budget" Backsplash

adj. Appropriate for a restricted budget; inexpensive: a budget car; budget meals.
noun. Appalachian Mountains A wallet or small pouch 
         (never heard this in my life...and that's where I grew up!)
      definiations via

I have to laugh ever time I read an article on "Budget" decorating. My version of a budget is apparently quite different from the rest of the world's! When I think "Budget" I think less than $50...preferably free! When an item is listed as a budget price of $100 I automatically go into "I could get it for less" mode. The trick is patience...not that I was blessed with an abundance of that gift. Over time, though, I've gotten better. Kids have a way of doing that to you! Either you learn patience or you die an early death:)

 Exibit A - Glass Subway Tile Backsplash (a favorite of mine):

via House of Turquoise
Erin is just the best! Go check her blog out if you've not discovered it already!

From my idea where it came from!

via Candice Olson
Again..from my files.

My Version of "Glass Tile"!

No matter how many times I wipe that stainless microwave down, I still see streaks with a flash!

I did a little research to find out what this would cost on average JUST for materials - labor not included!

Tile was sourced from three different places:

Anchor Bay Tile - Solana Glass Subway Tile 3x6 inches = $15 p/sf

Subway Tile Outlet - Khaki Glass Subway Tile = $14.99

ebay - Shimmer Gloss Beach Glass Subway Tile Interceramic 3x6 = $59.99 for 4 sq/f = $14.99 p/sf

For someone with my thinking or a basically non-existant budget, you have two options when you see these prices. You can either forget it OR you can get creative and find a way to do it CHEAPER! I love the look of glass subway tile, but it is a little trendy and I didn't want to invest that kind of money into a trend. So, I took the creative route when I decided to do my backsplash.

My kitchen has been in the making for...oh, 'round 'bout three years now! I just do a little as I have time and money. It wasn't bad to begin with. I was actually thrilled to get one like this and I knew it could be fantastic with just a little love. It was just a little too generic for me as it was. I wanted to put my stamp on it. I'll show you what I started with, but you'll have to wait on the final product as I still have to paint cabinets, finish changing out hardware, and putting in the decorative touches. This isn't meant to be a "before and after" kitchen post..just one on a cheaper option for a backsplash. If you read my blog, you know I'm currently on a mission with the dining room and laundry "room" (that's another story you can read here!).

Kitchen "Before" with it's creamy white appliances, flourescent light, and worn finishes.
It has nice custom built maple cabinets, but the finish is starting to yellow some due to sun exposure. The previous owners had a couple of doors refinished so they aren't all exactly the same color, although it probably wouldn't stand out to anyone unless they were looking.

The lower cabinets under the sink, around the pull out trash, and dishwasher have taken a beating over the last 11 years and are showing some serious wear.

I tried my best to find a way to build in a microwave into that island where the wine racks are, but it just wasn't quite deep enough, so the wine racks stayed.

The chandelier over the breakfast area is a keeper. I actually like it because it's two toned and has more of that old candelabra look. Too bad the dining room didn't have one similar!

There was something missing...a backsplash! I really wanted glass tile, but wasn't willing to fork over that kind of dough. So, the mind started spinning:)

I came up with a couple of options to get a similar look:
  1. Get tempered glass cut into tiles or sheets, and paint the backside with a shimmery glass paint - was still going to cost more than I wanted to pay (Go ahead. Say it...I was being CHEAP!). We'd just sunk a fortune into new solid wood floors and carpet so I was needing to pinch the pennies where I could. Plus, I wanted the shadow effect of the glass tiles which you wouldn't get with a sheet of glass.
  2. Use painters tape and joint compound to create "faux" tiles - wanted the glass effect, so I didn't go with this option, although it would probably have been easier and just as cheap!
  3. Make resin tiles out of liquid resin in molds and install - too much involved for the time (was pregnant) and not as cheap as I wanted to go.
  4. Use artist tape, sample pot of paint and some serious glossy sealant . Yep, you guessed it. That was the winner.

Total Cost for about 25 sq/ft? Approximately $25! Versus around $400 for tile alone, not including grout, spacers, and labor! Oh, yea!
Honestly, I was pretty happy with the final result, although I'd still like it heavier on the gloss. My goal is to eventually just put in a sheet of glass over this now that I've built up the layers to give some shadow effect. So, the upcoming tutorial will be about how to create this look for yourself. It's a little time consuming, but definately the cheapest route. If you're looking to get a pretty good faux tile look that is durable and cheap, this is for you. There's no groute to clean, either! I did learn a few things and if I was to do it again, those few things might change. That's all stuff I'll cover in the tutorial. Until then, start looking for a place to put some "glass tile":)

Update as of 7/10/11: There is now a tuturial for this version on my tutorials page. Check it out!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm Obessessed!

I'm just on a roll. Like I said before, I get an idea in my head and I fixate on it. Too bad it can't be the second set of draperies I'm working on right now! Instead it's my dining room I can't quit thinking about.

My kitchen was supposed to be the target for a makeover this summer. I want to paint the cabinets in there so bad I can't stand it. But, for some reason, I have gotten fixed on making my dining room more "workable" for me. Maybe it's because I've spent so much time in there lately sewing. Guess it's a good time of year for that as it's only... +/- 100 degrees outside!

I digress. Remember me saying I was going to neutralize the walls? Now that I've decided on the fixture redo, I'm working on the walls. I just am not getting to excited about ANY color I've looked at to repaint. I want to lighten and neutralize, but no color seems to be getting me in a tizzy. So, I had another idea. I love wallpaper, but darn it all...could I pick a harder room to do? What about going with a good textural element like a tone-on-tone or grasscloth? If money were no object, I'd be placing an order right now for a creamy metallic neutral grasscloth from Phillip Jefferies.

via Phillip Jefferies
Ooh la la!

Phillip Jefferies Large Damask 5128
Me likey!
I'm thinking a damask in a similar pattern to what's on the existing curtains like above. What a great juxtaposition it would be with the modern vibe of my boys' artwork that I still plan to keep front and center. It just seems like that huge expanse of space over the wainscoting needs more than just paint, but something subtle. I want to be able to change out the colors and decor scheme if I get sick of one and I am constantly surrounded by color on projects, so thus the need for neutral. I'm guessing that unless one of you kind suppliers [who might] be reading this feel like donating a stencil or wallpaper for me to "sell" to my readers (fingers crossed!), I'm probably going to end up doing a linen like paint treatment or a pearlscent stencil treatment (that I create) over a cream to achieve the same effect. And, I really need to pull this transformation off fairly quick as I also have furniture to redo and sell and veggies to freeze/can at the same time. Figures:)

I also want to paint the ceiling a super pale, barely there aqua blue. I want to create the feeling of wide open sky where the imagination can take flight since this is where I want to have family dinners on an old rustic farm table and work on projects when we're not eating. Nothing makes my imagination go into overdrive than feeling like I'm on top of the world.

This beautiful color I love and I've used before, but I'd probably cut it in half when mixing to go even lighter (it's actually lighter than it looks on screen):

Glidden Premium 8 oz. Almost Aqua Interior Paint Tester GLG14 D8, GLG14 D8
Glidden's Almost Aqua
Then, I'd put a fresh coat of white trim paint on the ceiling medallion. I pulled together a composite in Photoshop of this room redone to the best of my ability. Want to see? Yea, me too. I nearly had a breakdown last night when my lovely computer decided to corrupt the file I'd spent forever on to show you! It should have been a quick computer "makeover", but my Mac kept crashing on me so it took about two days off and on to make. Then it just decided to wipe it out the last time it crashed. UGH!!!!! So, I'm going manual with this one. I'm going to pull together an old fashion mock up of sorts...on paper. Then I'll scan it to share with you. I've got this image coming together in my head of where I'm going with this, like always, except this time I'm going to actually put it on paper so everyone else can see what I'm thinking (SCARY!).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Goodness

Summer Bounty 2009
 I love spring and summer! It's not because it's a time of accomplishing a ton in the redo department. It's because I no longer fight that stuck in a cave feeling I have all winter. In spring, everything seems bursting with life and in the summer the gardens in full swing and the food is out of this world
(not because I cooked it!).

My garden is swamping me now with yellow squash and zucchini. I've got a mountain piling up on the kitchen island that I have got to find time to slice up and freeze. I usually put up just enough to make it through to next summer.

Summer Bounty 2010
Giant zucchini and crooked-neck yellow squash!
Summer 2010 

My garden isn't big. It's a circle about 25 ft. in diameter, but MAN....can it pump out some veggies! The tomatoes are my favorite part and there are a ton of big green ones out there right now. I can't wait for them to start coming in.

My little helper getting the garden ready to plant this past spring.

This is what it looks like now! Overflowing!

Ignore the uncut grass. Hubby has tried to get it cut for three days and all it does is rain right after he starts:(

Almost ready! Good for some fried green tomatoes. YUM!

My little surprise. These apparently grew from the compost I put in that had last year's ornamental pumpkins remains!:)
It's really rather funny that I love gardening. Growing up, it was nothing short of pure torture when my mom would send me to the garden. Guess she planted more than just seeds by making me spend summers shucking corn, hulling peas, snapping green beans and pulling weeds:)

My herb garden this year.
 I also planted an herb garden this year. I always grow basil, but this year I added rosemary, dill, two types of lavender, Stella de Oro lilies, moss rose, and citronella plants for those pesky little mosquitoes. I have yet to figure out why God chose to bless this earth with their presence!

Sweet Basil - my favorite!
My family loves when the basil and tomatoes come in because I fix these fantastic little brushetta flat breads. I'm not a great cook, but this is one of my best recipes. I'll share it as soon as the tomatoes come in and I can post the pictures to go with it.

One of the other things that we love every summer is our little hummingbirds that come back year after year and all the other little critters we get to watch from the breakfast table.

Our little hummingbird friend.

Summertime is just the best, especially if you're a kid. Here's to lazy days off from school, sleeping late, playing in sprinklers, swimming, flip-flops, no layers of clothing, fresh food, beautiful gardens, and all God's prescious creatures!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gettin' Twiggy With it!

Corny, I know. Just couldn't help myself! I have fun with my post titles:)

You guys are just the best! I am so excited to be getting feedback from you all! Looks like we are narrowing it down. I think it's gonna be either B or D on the chandelier. I love both, but I'm leaning toward the twiggy one.

coral/twig chandelier
Add some spray painted branches?

Want to know why? Here's my reasoning:

B or "Twiggy" is out of the ordinary. I can't stand to have a house that is cookie cutter. I like to mix it up. Getting creative and using things in unexpected ways is what makes design stand out [to me]. I like designing a house where it's classy and elegant, but not stuffy. The way to pull that off (in my opinion) is to mix it up some. When you pull in organic textures with traditional it softens the feel. Or, if you pull in the unexpected it makes it exciting and sometimes whimsical. That's what gets people's attention and makes them stop and really take in their surroundings versus just blowing through and not thinking much about it. Now at the same time, I don't to create a space that screams "I'm trying really hard...look at me!". The goal is to create the space that really grabs people, but at the same time they aren't really sure why...they just like it and want to stay there. It's gotta be subtle - not in your face. There needs to be elements that stand out, but not too much. Nice fine line, isn't it!? When an interior (or exterior) really works for me, it is usually not really obvious why at first. It's one I need to study. The difference is I want to stay there and take the time to figure out why.

Let's consider the room that I'm working with here.

What it looked like before we moved in, painted, replaced flooring, hung draperies, and put bead board inserts into wainscoting panels (betcha hadn't noticed that from the pictures - don't think you can really see it in these shots).

Current state (when I'm not dismantling a chandelier and sewing on the table) with that hideous color
I spontaneously slapped on the walls!

It seemed to stay a lot neater prior to the love seat getting stuck in there! Guess that's because it wasn't used much:)

So, although option A is very nice and elegant, it's a little ordinary and kind-of boring. C was just for fun to see what you all would say. I don't think I could actually bring myself to put that up unless it was an original and given to me! In that case, you betcha! Can't you imagine all the conversation that would come out of it round dinner?

D is gorgeous and very elegant. The only reason I'm leaning away from it is I want something that is unexpected. This is a rather traditional dining room and you'd expect to find a chandelier like this in it...and it would be beautiful! I think it'll be my backup plan if the twiggy doesn't work out...
which is always a very real possibility.


via Ballard Designs

With the options narrowing down, I got on line and started hunting for all the twiggy chandelier images I could find (that I liked). The more I have to reference, the more likely I'll be able to pull this off. Here's some of the best I could find:

via Suzanne Kesler



twig chandelier
Why would you post a pic crooked like this?! Good image, though.

Suzie:  Frank Roop. Here are the chairs again! ;)    Wood dining table, white faux bamboo ...
only $3,722.00!

via Deanna Wish Designs

So, as of now, I'm getting twiggy with it:) Boy, am I gonna get some looks from the hubby! But, he thought it was crazy to glue sticks to a mirror at first...until he saw it:) That's for another post, that I promise to put up one day soon.

p.s. While hunting for images, I stumbled across Neiman Marcus's Lighting page...who knew anyone went there for anything other than fashion?! Probably everyone but me, but about some gorgeous lighting options and ideas! Check it out for yourself at:
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