Mar 27, 2014

affordable find: scalloped flush mount

well now. THIS is a good one!
i have admired the more expensive light in this pairing for a while now, and always thought that it would be an easy diy knock off. looks like someone beat me to it!

scalloped flush mount light

scalloped white metal flush mount

happy shopping!

Mar 26, 2014

living room refresh: phase 1 complete

well, it has been a couple of weeks, and phase 1 of my living room refresh is complete!

here is where i started:

and here it is now:

(took all the pictures with my phone because i was feeling lazy.)

my goals for phase 1:
*hang something on the walls
*get some new pillows
*bring some additional accessories and books up from my basement. 
*get a new side table for the couch.


the gallery wall was hung. eventually, there will be a fireplace and built-ins on this wall, but for now, this gallery wall adds some scale and drama.

 i dug some accessories out of the basement. these stones are from a beach outside of Seattle that my husband and i visited on an anniversary trip. i love meaningful little mementos like this...
the wood tray is from home goods.

 i added several new pillows. the betwixt pillow is from one of my favorite etsy shops, spark modern. they have the BEST selection of high-end designer fabric pillows. they are my go-to whenever i am looking for a schumacher or quadrille pillow.
the velvet studded pillow is from west elm.

this silver urn was purchased at z gallerie several years ago, and i have had the pedestal for at least 15 years! there are several items in my house that i know i will always have, and this pedestal is one of them.

 i added some accessories and books to the console.
this console is a piece that everyone asks about when they come into my house. it totally looks like an antique, but it was actually purchased at amercian signature home about 10 years ago. i love the curved front and wood inlay on it, and love how versatile it is! i have used it as a tv stand, an entry piece, a buffet and now it anchors this wall in my living room.

 the planter got a little makeover with some spray paint and gold leaf.

 i am still considering a coffee table...but think i will wait until the fireplace and bookcases are done. i love the ottomans....they are used every single day. they were purchased at jc penny a few years ago.

 i love my new side table from west elm! the proportions are perfect next to a sofa. it is a decent sized piece, but because it is made from glass, mirror and brass, it is visually "light".

 the schumacher chencenaou pillow is from sparkmodern and the striped silk pillow is from ikea. (purchased about 3 years ago, and no longer available.)

 the large grey embroidered pillow is from etsy, the blue velvet sudden pillow is from west elm, and the mustard embroider pillow is from anthropology. (no longer available)

what is left to do (phase 2)
*add drapes (getting some made by village workroom, and i am super excited!)
*refinish large side table
*recover ottomans. i'm thinking zebra...
*get some blinds!
*add art to other walls?
*new chairs--this was originally part of phase 3, but i might try to get some sooner. those black leather recliners NEED to go. i have a budget, of course, but i think i have narrowed it down to 2 different chairs. i posted this picture on instagram earlier today.

if you aren't on instagram, and want to vote, please do!
which one would you choose?

*both chairs can be customized, so the fabric will be changed...just look at the lines and scale of the chairs! 

Mar 24, 2014

design plan: pool table loft

this is the plan that i worked on for a repeat e-design client. (in fact, this is the 6th space we have worked on together!)
this small upstairs loft was getting repurposed as a pool table room/hangout spot, and my client needed a plan to make it feel sophisticated and masculine and fun! 

the only thing the homeowner wanted to stay were the custom roman shades in an olive green and ivory fabric. we needed those roman shades to feel like they were plant of the "master plan", and so a few olive pillows placed on some new benches were just the ticket. i proposed that we take the walls a deep charcoal, add some architectural drama with an "x" detail on the ceiling, and pull in some camel, black and ivory! 

i will be sharing some before and after pictures of this space soon! if you follow me on instagram, you already saw a peek at the preliminary "after" pictures! there is just one small project left to wrap up and then this room is done!

interested in working together to create a more beautiful and functional space? i would love to work with you! *i am taking limited clients for may, june, july and august, so email me soon to reserve a spot!
email me at: and lets get going! 

Mar 20, 2014

affordable find: prism chandelier

the last affordable find i posted was almost half the price of it's expensive twin. the price difference between these two isn't as dramatic, but HEY--$45 is $45, right? i can think of a lot of things at target that i could get for $45! i am sure you can too...

oldham chandelier

large prism chandelier

happy shopping!

Mar 19, 2014

diy gold leafed + strie' planter

as part of my living room refresh, i knew i wanted to eventually do something with my large planter.
i have had it for a while now, and it is definitely showing signs that it has been moved 5 times. i love the shape and the subtle strie pattern on it, but i needed to camouflage the scratches and wanted it to be a bit darker.

because this planter is so deep, i have been using another pot (turned upside down) to elevate my fiddle fig tree, but it is a little too high, and i need to find a smaller one so that the top of the plastic pot can't be seen. hiding the pot and the gap in between the pot and the planter with some spanish moss will help make this whole thing look dressier! ugh! isn't it awful looking right now?
a makeover was definitely needed!

here is what i did:

the get the strie' look on the planter:
i bought an inexpensive squeegee and cut small triangles out of the edge so that it looked like this:

for the base coat of paint on the pot, i used an expresso spray paint, and for the top coat, i used semi gloss black. if you want a more matte look, use flat or satin paint.

i gave the entire pot a coat of the expresso spray paint.

then, after the bottom coat dried, i spray painted the black on top--working in small vertical strips.
as soon as i painted, i dragged the cut squeegee through the paint, working from top to bottom. spray paint dries fast, and so you have to move quickly!

this is the finished look!

when the planter was dry, i bought it inside. i found a smaller pot to elevate the tree....this is a look at how everything will look inside the pot: smaller planter turned upside down, a plastic dish to catch any excess water, and then the tree in its original pot.

to gold leaf the top,  i used:
painters tape
a marker
a ruler
gold leaf adhesive
gold leaf
foam brush

first, i marked where i wanted my line to go for the gold leaf....

and then taped it off.

 the gold leaf adhesive was applied above the tape, and allowed to dry for about an hour.
it became clear and sticky as it dried.

then, i pressed the gold leaf onto the sticky area...

any areas that were missed were filled in, and i gently buffed the gold leaf with a dry cloth.

the tape was removed to reveal a crisp line between the gold and the black/brown pot.

here is the finished pot!

the spanish moss really helps to soften the look of the top of the much better than staring at dirt and plastic!

i even love all of the imperfections, scratches and lines of the strie pattern that show through the gold!

ahh! so much better than before, don't you think?
i like that the darker color and the strip of gold at the top help to update the pot and draw attention to it's simple modern shape. the living room refresh is nearly done! i still have some pillows to buy, but even without curtains it is looking great! 

Mar 17, 2014

my secret for hanging straight gallery walls

i LOVE gallery walls, don't you?
(in fact, i have over 300 images of gallery wall idea on my pinterest board here, if you need some inspiration!)

i love gallery walls structured and simple.

i love them loose and eclectic.

i love them balanced.

i love them asymmetrical.

the only thing i DONT like about gallery walls is when the pictures get all wonky.

you know....when the pictures tilt and get out of alignment, and you want to rip them off the wall and throw them out the nearest window?? ugh. i really hate that.
thank goodness i haven't had that issue in a LONG time, thanks to my little secret weapon:

cobra frame tacks.  
(i also blogged about them here.)

available here, the only place i have been able to find them online. i actually called the manufacturer in canada i was so desperate to find them once!
this is what they look like in the package:
(this package comes with different sizes)

they are available in small, medium and large, and one pair per frames is needed.  they simply screw into the back of the frame.

i have found that certain frames (like ikea ribba frames) don't have enough wood for these to attach to, so i just use two nails and hang the frame on the nails.

and the the magic? 
when you want to hang your gallery wall, you just measure and press them into the wall.
they do NOT shift, ever!
(my husband is meticulous when it comes to hanging pictures, so i am lucky! i just show him what i want, and he does all of the work.)  i have had several people ask me if they actually stay on the wall. uh...of course they do! why would i love them if they didn't WORK? ha! ha! i have personally never had any picture i have hung with the cobra frame tacks fall off the wall.

we recently hung a gallery wall in my living room, as part of my living room refresh. i have used the venetian watercolor set together before, and i was really happy with the ordered look, but i wanted to mix in some different pieces this time.

here are a few of the layouts i was considering:

as soon as i put the antlers in the mix, i knew i had found the answer!

the wall in progress:

a quick before:


do you have any secret weapons for hanging gallery walls?