SPRING ON THE TABLE & CREATING WITH THE STARS

After a little bit of rain this morning, it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day! While Spring definitely isn’t my favorite season, this warmer, sunny weather sure does make me happy which got me thinking about bringing some Spring into my house and on the table. spring is on the tableBy no means am I a professional flower arranger (I guess that’s call a florist, huh?) in fact I’m probably below average at it, but there’s just something about bringing in a little color and putting some Spring on the table.

spring on the tableEven just grabbing a few consumer packs of flowers at the grocery store (or even better, picking some from around your neighborhood if you’re lucky) and hastily stuffing arranging them in a vase adds that bit of Spring color to your house in a way that only fresh flowers can.

spring on the tableNot to mention our new dining room table was begging for a little lovin’! In case you’re wondering, so far the table is doing great! We haven’t had any bad spills or trouble setting the table. I think I’ve finally found a sealer that will work for what I want so hopefully I’ll get a coat of that on there soon.

Not gonna like, I stare at this baby a lot. She’s kinda pretty… So pretty in fact that I decided to enter her in the Upcycling Link-Up Competition over at East Coast Creative for this year’s Creating with the Stars #CWTS2014. Go check it out along with a whole bunch of other amazing uses for old stuff!

Are you bringing Spring onto your table on this sunny day?!

STICK TO YOUR DESIGN GUNS: FINDING YOUR DESIGN STYLE TIP #2

Happy Friday! Friday’s make me seriously happy. In fact, without fail, every Friday morning, the first thing that I think (and subsequently say out loud) is “It’s Friday!” in a way that is half pinching myself and making sure it’s not one of those awful mornings when when I think its a lazy Sunday but it’s really Monday and time to wake up (tell me I’m not the only one who does that…WORST.FEELING.EVER) and half pure bliss and excitement because, let’s face it Friday’s are my jam and who doesn’t love the day leading up to the weekend?!

Now that I think about it, based on that previous random, rambling thought I decided to publish for the world to see, maybe Fridays make me a giddy idiot (gidiot?!)…

sticking to your design guns

Whatever. IT’S FRIDAY and I’m happy and I hope you are too!

So, lately we have been talking about finding your own design style and today I want to add to our list of tips and talk about why I think sticking to your design guns is important while your style evolves and changes.

It’s no surprise that my evolving design style has begun during a time when I find myself completely immersed in all aspects of design. From being in class to implementing skills and ideas in my own home, from following so many amazing bloggers and obsessing over Pinterest boards and watching great new design shows, I live and breathe design these days. While it’s no shock that all of these incredible design resources influence my style and expose me to all different design aesthetics, one thing that I don’t want to do is try to be someone else.

It’s great to get great new ideas from other designers, decorators and bloggers but I think it’s important to let your true style shine through no matter what. Don’t feel the need to conform to any style of design just because someone else does it that way. I think the most successful designs are the ones that have been created out of the love and passion that only comes from staying true to your own personal style while also letting bits and pieces of those outside influences in. It’s great to let those influences in, and the more designs and styles we see, the more interesting our own designs can become, but don’t be try to mold your style to fit someone else’s designs. (Unless, of course, you want to take this fun quiz to decide which which celebrity designer gets you and read Emily Henderson’s hilarious post on her results.)

Finding Your Design Style Tips:

1. Say “NO” to Furniture Hostility: Basically, don’t hate on your house or pieces of furniture. If you don’t like it, change it. The best way to discover your true style is to start with a clean slate so if you don’t love it, toss it (or donate it, Craigslist it, etc.) Be the boss of your style and surround yourself with only the things that you really dig.

2. Stick to Your Design Guns: Let other design styles in but don’t try to be someone else. Getting inspiration from other places totally rocks but don’t be a poser when it comes to your own spaces. Stick to your guns when it comes to things you love and don’t feel pressured to do things just because it’s what all the “cool kids” are doing. And always be an idiot on Fridays. (Okay, the last part isn’t a design tip but you should totally listen do that.)

So, which celebrity designer gets you?? I’m dying to know! Have an awesome weekend!

MAKING CHANGES: BIG MOVE, TINY HOUSE

Over the last couple of days I have been talking about my evolving design aesthetic and sharing with you some of the changes I have been making along with some tips for finding your own design style. I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately and Joe and I have decided to take this idea to an entirely new level and make a major lifestyle change that will completely alter the way that we live.

I’ve definitely been drawn to a much simpler design style lately with sleek and clean lines, neutral colors, and an overall simplicity that brings a sense of calm to the house. The more I thought about things the more I realized that what I was really seeking was a simpler life.

making changes: big move, tiny houseThat’s why we have decided to move out of our current home and start living a much simpler life by purchasing this beautiful 117 sq. ft. home from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.

Unfortunately we will have to sell the beautiful door table we just finished building and downsize quite a bit but I am so looking forward to the calm simplicity that this new lifestyle will bring. I can’t wait to discover my true design style during this new and exciting adventure!

 

 

Oh ya, one more thing…

 

 

 

 

APRIL FOOLS! :)

 

While I think this lifestyle is a great option for some, I don’t think it’s for us. Since April Fools has always been a pretty big deal in my family, I couldn’t resist the chance to pull one over on you guys! So in case you forgot what today is, here’s your chance to come up with a big old joke to pull on your friends!

It’s all fun and games until someone moves into a tiny house.

OLD DOOR, NEW TABLE & FINDING YOUR DESIGN STYLE TIP #1

Happy Monday!! How gorgeous is this weather today?! I should really get outside and soak it all in because we all know days like this have been rare lately! But before I get outside to enjoy the sun before the rain/snow/sleet/whatever this crazy weather might have in store for us next, I have to tell you about the old door, new table situation we have going on in our house. I’m crazy excited about this latest project and I’ve been counting down the days until I get to share it with you. So…today’s the day! Yesterday I was sharing some of my thoughts on my ever evolving design style and also included a little sneak peak to the latest project we’ve been working on with this photo: old door, new tableEeek!

So aside from these killer Carlisle Dining Chairs I picked up at Target (btw they were on sale in our local stores over the weekend so get your butts down there to grab a few before time runs out!) I’m going crazy over the new table Joe and I built over the weekend.

old door, new tableGuys…the pictures don’t even do her justice. She’s really pretty.

Like I told you yesterday, I’ve been sensing some changes in my design style and over the last few weeks I’ve been really becoming hostile towards our old generic box store dining table. Sideways glances, nasty comments under my breath, even eye rolling! I mean…it really had to stop.

Once I made up my mind that it just had to go, I was so excited to take it apart and get it out of our dining room that I forgot to take before picture. Oops. But it’s basically a huge, square, dark wood bar height table with matching chairs (BORING!) and while there’s nothing wrong with it at all (in fact I have dreams of a big project/crafting/gift wrapping room in the future that it will be perfect for) I was over it and, much like my dining table hostility, it needed to go.

gettin' thriftyIf you remember our thrifting trip a few weeks ago, you remember this old door that I told you I had plans for. We had been talking about doing this old door, new table project for a while but were having trouble finding just the right door. I really didn’t want to put a sheet of glass on top of the table so finding one that was the style I was looking for but also could accommodate dishes, plates, glasses, etc. (you know…the stuff that makes dining happen. We can’t go totally form over function on this one!) Finally we saw this one. It seemed big enough for what we needed and also had really pretty molding but still had enough flat space for all the dining necessities.

old door, new tableOne side of the door was painted white while the other had some sort of faux-wood coating on it that was looking really rough. At first I figured I would go with the white painted side and just rough it up with the sander a bit to get it how I wanted it. I figured I’d try sanding that other side too, just in case (it needed a good cleaning regardless) and thank goodness I did because this is what I started to see… old door, new tableThis really grainy, beautiful light wood starting peaking out underneath and I could see the light! It reminded be of Sherry & John’s gorgeous kitchen table over at Young House Love and that made me very, very happy. Even though I knew this meant there would be hours and hours of sanding in my near future, I knew this was the way we needed to go.

old door, new tableOther than a few more spots I still needed to sand, the end result was beautiful! We brought it upstairs and set the door on some saw horses to get an idea of how it was going to look in the space and figure out how we wanted to build the legs. I found this to be a really important step in understanding how the table would work for us and making it as functional as possible. We were able to sit at the table and discuss what would work best and build the piece just right.

old door, new tableI also made sure to set out some dishes and understand different placement to get a feel of where people would  be sitting and where we did or did not want table legs to interfere with human legs. No one wants to get stuck straddling the table leg, right?!

old door, new tableWe decided that a T-shaped leg would be the best way to in order to avoid any human leg interference and Joe drew up some plans. I didn’t take many pictures of the leg building process because I was busy sanding and prepping the door but you can get the basic idea from Joe’s sketch.

Meanwhile, I decided to spray paint the edges of the door because they were looking a little rough. Although I’m a big fan of imperfections, I feel like a table where people are eating should be cleaner and crisper than I would probably prefer for other projects.

old door, new tableI took the door outside and taped off the edges, just covering the top with a drop cloth and sprayed it with Designer Master 24KT Pure Gold spray paint. You can see the long side has been painted in the picture above and has a nicer, cleaner look than the rough edge.

old door, new tableThe gold is really subtle and almost blends in with the color of the door, which is exactly what I wanted. The top of the door is the star here and I wanted to keep it that way, but now the edges shimmer a bit in the sunlight which I love.

old door, new tableFinally we painted the legs white (including any exposed hardware) and attached them to the door. The white looks really nice and the leg shape is perfect for avoiding any knee bumping and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.

Did I mention that the pictures don’t do it justice?! old door, new tableLike I said, I really would like to avoid putting a piece of glass over it so at this point we’re keeping it bare unless it proves to be a problem. Fingers crossed that careful diners (ourselves included) won’t struggle with the uneven surfaces. It hasn’t been a problem so far, in fact, table settings seem to settle in really nicely. old door, new table

I’m still researching a good finish to apply to the top to help ward off stains and spills. I really want to keep the top looking the same color-wise and keep the matte finish. If any of you have suggestion, please share!!

So, after our dining room table overhaul and the success of our old door, new table project (we even entered into the Upcycling link-up competition over at East Coast Creative’s Creating with the Stars Competition #CWTS2014…so check us out along with some other amazing upcycling ideas!) I’ve come up with my first “rule” or tip to remember when you’re on the journey of finding your design style.

Finding Your Design Style Tips:

1. Say “NO” to Furniture Hostility: Basically, don’t hate on your house or pieces of furniture. If you don’t like it, change it. The best way to discover your true style is to start with a clean slate so if you don’t love it, toss it (or donate it, Craigslist it, etc.) Be the boss of your style and surround yourself with only the things that you really dig.

Now go get outside on this gorgeous day! We never know how long it will last.