9/30/10

My Next Project... a New Coffee Table for Moi!

My husband and I picked this beauty up off the side of the road one Sunday. It was probably a garage sale casualty...it had a "Free" sign on it.

We stopped to look at it and I decided it was worth taking home. We have had coffee table issues since we moved into our home 8 years ago. They would either be on loan from someone or they broke, got fixed, then broke again. Just recently the dog jumped off the sofa and Boom...it was broken yet one more time.



I like the shape and style of the table and especially the drawer which really does pull out. (It also seems to be very durable...something I look for in a coffee table.) Although it appears to be solid wood for the most part, I am suspicious that top is a veneer...it looks as if it is bubbling up a little.  I'll know better once I get it into the garage and start working on it. But no matter...the price was right so I have absolutely nothing to loose!!!

9/29/10

More on Garage Sales


Just as an FYI on garage sales...the wicker rocker in my "porch" photo was actually a great find at only $5.00.
(OK...so I forked over 20 bucks to Lowe's for the seat cushion...but still a great buy overall!)

It's the Fall and Garage Sales are in the Air



My sister Kim is the complete Guru of garage sales. She has one very important motto with regards to finding great pieces. It is "Old neighborhood, old junk...new neighborhood, new junk." So depending on what you are looking for...a great old piece of furniture or newer items like artwork or accessories...choose wisely what neighborhoods you plan to shop.

The main rule Kim has as far as what to pay for any given item is that you should never pay more than 10% of  it's original cost. Case in point...I was out with Kim one Saturday and we came across a rope hammock. It looked like it was in fairly good shape, although you could tell it was used, and the owner said she wanted $30 for it. I looked at Kim and she shook her head...no I did not buy it, instead I went on to the next house and I ended up purchasing a beautiful wood dresser with mirror for $60. My sister actually negotiated it down from $75.

Don't be afraid to barder with the owners...especially when it is getting into the noon hours. Their stuff will just have to be hauled back into the house or to a dumpster, this will provide you with more room to haggle on the prices.

Also...when looking at items, keep in mind the possibility of refurbishing them or repurposing them. You can really make a killing and have a lot of fun with only $20 in your pocket when heading out on a Saturday morning to garage sales!

9/28/10

The Results

                           Before...                 




                                                                                    ...And After
                                                

Final Touches...


By adding touches of natural elements such as metal and stone to accessorize this space, I have completed the project achieving the Zen inspired powder room I desired.  

The finish on both the wood and metal pieces are done in what is called an oil-rubbed brass finish.

This wall piece was just the adornment needed for the long wall in this space. I really wanted something in a free flowing form and the metal and mother-of-pearl like leaves add shimmer plus lots of interest to the room. I did pay full price for this piece at Pier One Imports...it was simply too perfect to pass up!!!

By placing river rock in the sink basin, a wonderful water feature has been created in my powder room.

River rock can be purchased at any craft store for just a few dollars.

9/27/10

Zen...

Zen is becoming more and more popular... it is both sleak and sheak and is being infused into many aspects of today's room design elements.


Basics

The 2 basic concepts in Zen design are simplicity and balance.

Simplicity...keeping surfaces unclutterd and clean is the number one rule if you are incopreating Zen into any of your design spaces. 

Balance...select a few contrasting natural materials like wood, stone, and bamboo to to create a harmonious enviornment,
Color      

Choose a neutral and warm color scheme. The softer colors of nature are very Zen. An earth inspired palette is typical of Zen design...colors you see in nature are:
                         browns
                         blues
                         greens
                         creams
                         black

These soothing colors create a calm atmosphere.

Light

Natural light...window coverings should be as simple and unadorned as possible to allow the flow of natural light into a space. Plain white or natural sheers with no ornamentation are a perfect choice. If more privacy is desired, bamboo blinds will harmonize with other natural elements in the room.

Artificial light such as recessed lights, keep the clean and simple component in your room design. If task lighting is required for your space...choose lamps with shades made of natural materials with plain lines.

9/26/10

My Solution...

This is how I decided to handle my light fixture dilemma...

The fixture I purchased did not come with it's own globes, you had to by them individually therefore allowing you to give your fixture somewhat of a custom look. I originally purchased these beautiful cocoa colored globes in a traditional bell shape. Since the light fixture was coming so close to the mirror, the bell shape wouldn't fit...it was too wide and too large in scale. So I returned them and purchased new globes which are more sleek and contemporay in style. They are also much smaller so they were able to clear the mirror frame.

In retorspect...style-wise they are also a better choice . Although I loved the look and the color of the bell shaped globes, the new globes fit much better with the overall feel of the room. The white color also complements the white trim and white base cabinet very well.
So I am happy with how it turned out!!!!

9/25/10

Another Slight Problem...

What I thought was a matter of simply coordinating my accessories has now become another stumbling block. I picked up this mirror at TJ Maxx for $30.00. A great find considering a mirror of this type at Lowe's would typically go for the somewhere in the ballpark of $80.00. And it matches the other items I purchased perfectly. I got it up on the wall and then I realized that the electrical box for the wall mount light fixture was very close to the mirror...I tried placing the mirror side ways but it will be too low for most people to use. And unfortunately, when I removed the original mirror I found that there is a rectangular cutout in the wall...most likely for a medicine cabinet.

The light fixture I bought is meant to be positioned with the lights facing down...now I am contemplating on flipping the fixture so the lighting is an upward direction. Just not sure if it will be too close to the ceiling. One option will be to repair the wall and see if I can create enough clearance between the mirror frame and the light fixture. But as you can see, I don't have a whole lot of room to work with on the bottom. Another option is to see if I can find another light fixture or globe, that I like, which will work better...mmmm...stay tuned to see how I figure this one out!!!

9/24/10

Window Treatment...

Well I probably broke every rule in the book as far as the installation of my window treatment. I bought this beautiful bamboo Roman shade for the powder room. I love the color and the fact that it is made of a natural occuring material...perfect for my new Zen-like room.
But...installing it the way it is suppose to be done was not going to work on my window. The window frame is not deep enough to accomodate the width of the bracket nor the width of the top of the bamboo shade. So I pulled out the cords and simply nailed the shade right to the window frame using 2 1/2 inch wood nails!

It's up, it's centered, no cords to pull so no undo stress on the nails...it is secure for the pupose it is intended.

And I think the shade looks really cool plus it provides plenty of privacy for my first floor powder room!!

Cost of the shade...$22.00 + tax

9/22/10

Painting...

Ok..the green is up however I do need another coat to even out the color. Trim also needs to be done along with painting the ceiling since I plan to replace the light fixture with one which has a much smaller base.

Note on Green...Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colors, therefore it is the easiest color for your eye to see. Green is also the color of nature, we are very use to seeing it so it provides the perfect backdrop in interior decorating.

Green is percieved as tranquil and refreshing.

Green is also my favorite color!!!

9/21/10

Super Product Find!!!


Well this border must have been put on with some sort of professional super-acting  adhesive because I am having one heck of a time getting it off.
So I found this great product which works almost like magic at my local Wal-Mart!
It's called Krud Kutter and costs about $5.50 for a 32 oz. bottle. You just spray it on and wait about 3 minutes...then I used a putty knife to scrape off the residual glue with absolutely no damage to the wall.


You can also use it to remove gum from clothing, mildew stains, blood stains, cosmetics and more...well worth the money!!!

9/13/10

Let's Get Started...Updating a Tired Space


Ahh the fall is upon us and school is back in session. With the cooler days just ahead and possibly a little more time on your hands, you might want to start thinking about tackeling some of those painting projects that were placed on hold during the hot summer months.

My first painting project for the fall is going to be my powder room which lies adjacent to my laundry room and the kitchen. Both the rooms have a green pallet, so I am going to take the green straight into the powder room with a dramatic olive color on the walls. This will contrast nicely with the white base cabinet already in the room.

Also you can see that I have a wall boarder to remove...that's easy...just score the paper with a scorer bought from your local hardware store...then dowse it with "Dif" wallpaper remover or a mixture of vinegar and water of equal parts. Wait a few minutes then pull off!

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