Tag Archives: Fridays at Home

Fridays at Home: Clutter Control

27th July 2012

I’m going through a phase. This phase makes me want to throw out everything in my house and start all over. I love my stuff, I do. But right now, I just feel cluttered…in mind and body. Ever since I got back from New York I’ve been in a funk. Partly it’s not having another trip to look forward to. Partly it’s because I really loved being in the city. Partly it’s because it’s super hot and steamy outside. Regardless of the cause, all I want to do is clear out stuff.

When I came across this post on Brooklyn Limestone, I decided I’d start small. I go to the gym almost every day of the week. This results in lots of jewelry and hair changes throughout the week. I was finding bobby pins and earrings all over the place! The side of the tub, on the corner of my small pedestal sink, on my bedside table. The blogger from Freckles Chick made a really cute two-tiered jewelry stand. Like her, I have go-to jewelry. My grandmother gave me a beautiful jewelry armoire for Christmas several years ago, and it houses all of my jewelry, but it isn’t ideal for every day. So instead of insisting I would get better at putting my jewelry away each day (at 31, let’s just say that’s wishful thinking), I decided to make something to fit my life.

As is often the case when I’m looking for something, I went to Marshall’s. I knew whatever I got, I wanted to paint gold like the blogger did because I love that matte gold and knew it would match my room perfectly.

I found this great little bowl and loved that the base was much smaller. Space is a priority on my vanity, so I didn’t want anything too large.

Plus it was on clearance for $2! Can’t beat that.

I laid down the tissue the bowl was wrapped in and got a can of Veg-All to balance the bowl but still allow me to get at the edges. I’ve painted enough to know that if you just set it on something, the edges will stick.

I used the gold Bright Coat Rust-Oleum. I looooove it. It also dried really quickly.

This picture shows the sheen from the gold spray paint. I kind of want to paint everything this color.

And here’s another shot of it next to my antique perfume bottles and lotion.

So far, I love it. It’s made it much easier to just take off my earrings and toss them here when I change for the gym or get ready to head into the shower. Plus, I don’t have to hunt every available surface to figure out where I left my ring or earrings. It saves time! So for a project that cost roughly $7 (and I have plenty of spray paint left), I’m pretty darn happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you made any small changes that had big impact? I’m all ears. And what do you do when you feel cluttered?

P.S. Plus, now I have a place to put my super cool necklace from the best pen pal ever, Julz. I don’t want to take it off. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fridays at Home: Let’s Play Pretend II

18th May 2012

Last week for Fridays at Home: Let’s Play Pretend I told you guys a friend had hired me to help him pick out paint colors and carpet for his condo as well as paint it. It was quite the undertaking, even for someone as paint crazy as me. As for being a house painter for the weekend…it was some rough physical labor, and for about two days after, my entire body hurt. BUT – I painted for 9 or so hours each day, and that’s a lot, especially when you’re up and down a ladder and scooting across a hard wood floor. Normally, I’d paint one room at my house in a day or two, so to do three rooms (and one of them is a combo dining/living space) in two days was pretty quick.

The condo was laid out about like this:

Via Autodesk Homestyler

The biggest problem is that the only windows are on one wall in the living room. The living room/dining room and kitchen have an open floor plan, so they have a lot of light, but the bedroom and bathroom have no natural light. Plus, the bedroom has a ceiling mount light fixture, which only adds to the darkness. I’ve recommended he change this out as soon as possible. The living/dining area was plain ivory, which was fine but really boring. Nothing stood out, and the space has some great architectural details. The bedroom was purple (forgot to take a pic), and the bathroom was a truly horrific mauve pink.

The other problem was that all the walls were not at right angles. Instead, they were curved. This is very popular in construction at the moment, but the problem is, it can be difficult to determine where to end color. If there are a lot of architectural features in the space (such as this condo), you have to really be careful you know exactly where to start and stop the color. For example, a column that separated the living/dining area from the kitchen actually curved and continued into the kitchen ceiling. I certainly didn’t want to paint the lower ceiling and certainly not a dark color.

Here are some pics, but keep in mind they are with my cell phone, so they aren’t the best:

Very blah. Built-in shelves don't stand out at all.

Rounded corners on ever surface. Problematic.

80s/90s mauve pink bathroom. Ugh.

The plan was to a. update the space, b. bring in color, and c. still keep it masculine. Here are the color choices (we did try samples first). Carpet is only installed in the bedroom.

Living Room Color: Relaxed Navy

Bathroom Color: Valspar Rugged Suede

Bedroom Color: Valspar Cathedral Stone

Mohawk Santa Cantarina Foggy Mist

And here are a few snaps of the progress and the completed spaces:


Cutting in around the curved windows...I'm a pro ๐Ÿ™‚

Example of the curvature

Defining the built-in cabinets

Architectural detail separating living/dining area

Bedroom pre-carpet

Bedroom post-carpet

Slightly truer color through the French doors into the bedroom

I love this color in the bathroom against the tile - notice the purply/pink still on the column to the right.

And against the shower tile (though color not completely dry)

All in all, it took me about 18 hours to paint these three spaces by myself, and I kind of feel like a hoss. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course, I still want to get back in there to help him pick out light fixtures, area rugs, a coffee table, and some new bedding, but it was super fun to get to make decisions about someone else’s space and have them foot the bill for it. Of course, designing for a single man was probably a good first job because he wasn’t very picky. Or at least he said he wasn’t. Any time the color swatches veered toward green, he was very vocal, but that’s excellent. In the end, he was pleased, and I was proud.

So. Got any painting questions? I’m thinking about doing a video on cutting in (painting where walls meet or where walls meet the ceiling) without tape. If you’re interested, let me know. I can honestly say that tape (which I haven’t used in years) is a huge waste of time. But that’s a whole other post…and I might even show you my painting clothes (yes, an outfit dedicated to painting).

Hit me up. What do you want to know?

Fridays at Home

4th May 2012

Well hello there, Fridays at Home. Where have you been? I’ll be honest. I just have had zero juice in the home area lately. Plus, I’m saving all my extra (haha!) money for New York and have been working on the side to do so. So the house? Yeah, it’s languished. I really just need to clean. I did spend four hours on the yard this weekend, though, mowing, cutting down junk trees, trimming huge limbs from the fig tree, and generally complaining with the brightest of bright red faces you ever did see. It wasn’t even hot, but cutting down trees – even small ones – and dragging them to the street? Not. Fun.

But! A few weeks ago, I went with my fantastic aunt and her partner to Houston. It was a perfect day. Great weather, sunshine, museums. Then we veered off the beaten path and went to a couple of cool shops and an old favorite – Adkins Architectural Antiques and Art. I wanted ALL THE THINGS. I did not buy, however. I was good. Thought I’d share some of my favorites:

Not even sure what these are, but they looked really cool and had great colors.

These are claws from claw-foot bathtubs. They look so fantastic all together, though.

PS. Those bathtubs look a lot nicer than they are. I grew up with one. I missed showers.

These fishing nets were easily 20 feet tall. I have no idea what you’d do with them, but they were great.

This color blue reminds me of Italy. Ahh.

Isn’t this fantastic? I want it in my backyard.

The curve on this handle is absolutely gorgeous. Greek style and rusted, but I’d take it home in a heartbeat.

Is there anything more soothing than the sound of water? This fountain made me want to have a beautiful garden. Alas, the way I am about yardwork, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you enjoyed coming along with me! Do you have any favorite haunts in your area? Or have you bought any treasures lately?


Fridays at Home: Well-Done Mantels

30th March 2012

Last Friday, my friend Jacob called me to go vintage shopping with him. The different shops around here know us by name, and we kind of love it. ๐Ÿ™‚ His boyfriend’s sister and her two girls were coming to stay with them all this week, so they had to spiffy up the house. They bought their house about 7 months ago, but they’ve been busy, so we needed to kick it in gear and put some finishing touches on the living room. One of the key spots: the mantel.

Putting together a mantel is no walk in the park. Next week, I’ll detail what we did to come up with the end product, but in the meantime, I just wanted to show you some pretty stuff because well, it’s pretty outside, and I wanna, that’s why!

I usually see 3 types of mantels: overdone, underdone, and holiday style. Seriously. There are tons of pictures of holiday mantels on Pinterest and the web. But really interesting mantels that make you want to look at each individual piece and wonder where it came from? Not so much. So soak up the inspiration and get ready for next week when we’ll talk about how to put together a great mantel.

Click on any of the pictures to visit the original link.

This first example via Real Simple is just about as perfect as can be. The painting is fantastic as are the two small frames and sea artifacts. But the hoop off to the left of center makes this arrangement for me. It acts almost like a magnifying glass, and I’m in love.

This image is via the blog Sweet Something Design, and I really like it as well, though the large circular mirror is wearing me out. I see it all the time, and unless it’s an antique, I prefer something with a bit more character. However, I really love the small painting and the symmetry of the candlesticks and the branches. It’s not too similar, so the interest is still there.

First of all, can we just take a minute and drool over this mantel from Real Simple? My Domino book has a similar one, and each time I see it, I want to swoon a bit. The arrangement itself is not my favorite, but I really love an obsessive collection. This is certainly a case where 3 is good but 30 are better. ๐Ÿ™‚

This little piece of heaven is from Country Living, and to me, it is just beautiful. Of course, the fresh flower thing only works if you have an English garden out back or some dough from some rich British relative (I don’t know why British, this just looks British to me).

See – this mirror has character. Of course it does. It’s from Lonny magazine. The mirror is old fashioned and has the nautical look to it with the concave mirror. The candle holders frame the mantel, and the oddities on top are interesting – tincture bottles, a small dressmaker form, a statue. It’s really quite beautiful.

This mantel is so fresh and lovely. The greenery in the vase on the right adds color but also height and a bit of messiness to the very organized, well-arranged items. Groups of three work nicely, as in the candles on the left, and that gear is just fantastic. I want one.

PS – Did you spot the lovely globe beside the chair?

This last one is from a Crate & Barrel catalogue, and I almost didn’t include it because of that. But it’s so well styled, and again, the hoops are really unexpected and beautiful. The small frames and photos tucked here and there are fantastic as well. Layering is key, as we’ll talk about next week, and this mantel does that so well.

Happy Friday, loves. What are you doing to relax this weekend? Whatever you do, keep calm and pretty up your house!


Fridays at Home: Painted floors

23rd March 2012


Painted floors.

Here are some things you should know:

1. The floor will never be clean enough.

[Turn off your inner clean freak, and deal.]

2. Even if you’re just painting the floor a solid color, it’s time consuming. Your back will hurt. So will your knees.

3. A wet washcloth for mistakes is a must.

4. If you are painting any sort of design, invest in Frog Tape. Only a couple dollars more, and you will pay yourself several times over in time.

5. An alcoholic beverage would not go amiss. ๐Ÿ™‚


Beyond that, it’s been 3 years since I painted my floors, so these instructions from Effortless Style blog (one I follow) are great. Sherwin Williams also has some great tips. Essentially, prep is the most important and frustrating step.

Why did I choose to paint my floors?

My sunporch is as long as my living room but very narrow. The floor from the living room to the sunporch is separate, and the sunporch is several inches lower than the living room floor. The wood was also totally different because it looks like the sunporch was walled in sometime in the 1920s. The floors weren’t rotten, but they certainly weren’t pretty either. Plus, I wanted to make that area flow with the overall space. Without something to tie that space in, I think it would look very strange. So I painted black and cream stripes on the floor, drawing the space visually toward the living room. These aren’t the best pictures, but you get the idea (though of course the rug in the second pic sort of defeats the purpose. It has since been removed):

Here are some much more professional and much more artistically-daring floors. I love them.

Image source unknown

Via Rebecca June’s blog – taken at a Kate Spade floor in Florida

Image via Design*Sponge

Designer Nora Fleming’s kitchen

Via Effortless Style blog

Painted floors. They’re certainly nothing new, but they have gained a lot of popularity in the design world recently. It can be a really useful way to cover up less-than-perfect floors, or it can be a dramatic focal point.

What do you think?

Happy Friday!

P.S. Sara: Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚