BRINGING IN THE GREEN

As we get closer and closer to warmer weather, I’ve really been feeling the urge to start bringing in the green when it comes to our house. There’s something about opening up the windows and letting the fresh air in that makes me want some real, live plants around me. To others, that may seem simple but for me, it’s easier said than done. It’s no secret that I’ve never had much of a green thumb, in fact, I’ve been prone to plant murder. I’m not proud of it but it’s the truth.

One of my goals this year has been to change my plant killing tendencies and make a real effort to not only keep a few things alive but to really bring some beautiful plants into my home. In an effort to motivate myself and really get the ball rolling on what we’ll call “Project Green” I’ve been looking around for some great vessels (if that’s even correct plant-talk…) to use and motivate myself to get planting!

Here are some of my favorites when it comes to house plant inspiration and what I hope to fill with lush and thriving green (fingers crossed) in the very near future:

1. Simple Geometric Planter

bringing in the greenI really love this simple slip cast porcelain geometric planter. The sleek white porcelain and the simplicity of its angled design make it a perfectly understated vessel that would work in any design style. I’d love to get my hands on this baby and give my planting skills a real go. Another plus? Even a dead plan would look pretty in this one. Ha! This is just one of a bunch of really beautifully handmade ceramics over at the Bean & Bailey Etsy Shop. From little vessels like this to hanging planters and even cups and bowls, you have to check out the gems over at this one of my new favorite Etsy spots.

2. Melon Air Plant Pot

bringing in the green I’m loving this little round planter dipped in a such a fun color. Each Bird & Feather Co. planter is hand dipped in their California studio and is made from 100% natural plant pods, making each pod totally unique and super cute to boot! Bonus? It even comes with an adorable air plant already in it which is perfect for this beginner planter. Who wouldn’t love this little pop of melon hangin’ out at their house?! Head on over to Bird & Feather Co. to check out all of the different colors and style of planters (including the plants) they have goin’ on. I’m loving them all!

3. Glass Dewdrop Terrarium

bringing in the green I’m in love with this glass dewdrop terrarium over at The Zen Succulent. It couldn’t be more beautiful. Geometric terrariums have been everywhere lately and I love this other option too. There’s something so gentle about the dewdrop shape and I can see a few of them hanging in our back yard, like tomorrow. The succulents seem like a great starting point for this beginning gardener too. Go check out all of the other beautiful terrariums over at The Zen Succulent Etsy Shop.

4. Dipped Concrete Planter

bringing in the green I love the organic feeling of the concrete along with the crisp white band around the bottom of this sustainable planter. Check out all of the concrete planter options over at Anson Design on Etsy. The imperfections are what makes it so beautiful and it makes me think of Jenny’s concrete planters over at the Little Green Notebook. This gets my wheels turning about a little DIY planter/planting project that should probably happen in the future. Multitasking!

Although the thought of keeping plants alive in my own home seems a little bit scary (pathetic?) I’m excited to get started and think about all of the pretty things I can plant them in! Ha! It’s motivation, people!

Do you have a green thumb or are you challenged in the planting department like I am? If you have any tips and tricks for me on how not to kill all things green, lay ’em on me!

PAINTING YOUR KITCHENAID MIXER

First of all… HAPPY WEEKEND! What gorgeous weather we have today. To those of you who celebrate, Happy Easter! We’ve been a little quiet on the blog this last week but that’s because there has been a lot going on. We’ve been thinking about making a bit of a change lately (and I’m not talking about the little prank I pulled earlier this month… Sorry about that. I just couldn’t resist) but we’ve been busy evaluating things around the house and in our lives a bit while working on some little projects and making plans for what’s to come. I’m excited to show you one of those little projects I’ve been working on and give you some ideas for an inexpensive appliance update of your own.

Last year, Joe found the steal of the century and snagged me up a used KitchenAid mixer for next to nothing. By next to nothing, I actually mean almost nothing, like almost no money at all. Crazy right!? I feel like these mixers are little kitchen gems that if you don’t have one, you want one and if you do have one, it’s always sitting out lookin’ all pretty on your counters like kitchen jewelry. Luckily, my very smart husband knew I certainly would not have objected to calling one mine. inexpensive appliance update

They’re timeless, solid and overall just really pretty, as far as kitchen appliances go, and I don’t think many of us gals would pass up the chance to have one of our own. Here’s the thing though, they’re NOT cheap. Not by a long shot. And while I could totally find a way to justify that hefty price tag if I was a master baker, I’m FAR from that. I like to think I’m pretty good in the kitchen and while I usually come out on top when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner…baking and I don’t get along…at all.

Let’s just say, if I was a contestant on Chopped, I would probably bow out of the dessert round, shocking Ted Allen, and saying goodbye to the chance at $10,000. Welp.

inexpensive appliance update

So, for that reason, I never really thought buying one would  be in the cards. Spending the money on something I would rarely use (and would probably result in a sad, sad attempt at dessert) just wouldn’t have made sense, which is why when Joe walked in the door holding it and the clouds opened up and the angels sang down from the heavens I was really excited.

After she sat out on my kitchen counter for a few days and the excitement of new KitchenAid mixer ownership died down a bit, I realized that had I had the choice of colors, I definitely wouldn’t have chosen this bright cobalt-ish blue. Not that I was complaining, I swear I wasn’t, but in a perfect would I probably would have picked a different one. In that perfect world, I also would have had to pay $300+…wait, perfect worlds don’t exist?!

In the pictures, the blue is coming off a lot more navy than what it really is (and making me look super picky in the process) but it’s actually a really bright purpley-blue. I took some pictures outside to try to convey the true color to you (yep, I’m just that crazy neighbor lady photographing her mixer in the back yard) and you can see it a little better but the real color still doesn’t come across. Apparently this blue is very photogenic. I tried finding the color on the KitchenAid website but it doesn’t look like it’s even available anymore but, whatever, you get the picture. It’s a blue I don’t love. inexpensive appliance updateI didn’t really do anything about it in the meantime. I wasn’t crazy about the color but it wasn’t that urgent. I didn’t really think there was anything I could do anyway so it didn’t seem like a big deal. I wasn’t trying to ruin it or anything so there it sat, still looking pretty but slightly purpley-blue in my kitchen for a year. I used it a few times, I swear.

So, I asked myself “Self, have you considered painting your KitchenAid mixer???”

And then I saw this at The Home Depot…

inexpensive appliance updateI figured a fresh coat of Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy would do the trick. You can get it in Black, White, Stainless, Almond or Biscuit finishes (although if you’re looking to update appliances, I think I would stay away from those last two options) and I decided to go with white. I really wanted a bright and fresh looking new finish and that seemed like the way to go for me. (There’s also a high-heat version, in case you’re looking to update any indoor/outdoor heat appliances like grills, stoves, etc.)

So, here’s how it all went down…

kitchenaid mixer back screws

I started by removing as much of the metal portions as possible. You could always tape over everything but, honestly, I think that would take way longer and you wouldn’t get that perfect factory finish I was looking for. Just make sure to keep track of all the screws and pieces while you paint to avoid the headache when you’re putting it back together. The unscrewing process is pretty self explanatory but you can also YouTube it up for some handy instructional videos.

kitchenaid mixer top screw

kitchenaid mixer cap removed

inexpensive appliance update

inexpensive appliance update

Once she was totally naked (in my defense, I never said this blog was going to be G-Rated) I was able to give the whole thing, including all of the removed metal parts, a really good scrub with soap and water which is really important in getting a nice smooth finish with the paint.

inexpensive appliance update

I used painters tape and an x-acto knife to cover any parts I couldn’t remove, like the metal studs and levers, that I didn’t want to be painted.

inexpensive appliance update

I covered the motor in plastic wrap and just tucked it into the edges and taped the chord in a plastic bag to avoid over-spraying.

inexpensive appliance update

I wanted to do a bunch of thin coats in order to avoid any bubbling or dripping. After one coat, it was looking a little scary and not as shiny as I had hoped and I was starting to question my decision, but as the coats dried and I added more, it was looking really great.

inexpensive appliance update

Don’t forget to tilt the head back to make sure you get all areas. You don’t want to put it all back together just to notice you missed a spot.

inexpensive appliance update

Once I was happy with the coverage, I let it try for a couple days. I wanted to make sure it was completely dry and not tacky at all before re-assembling.

kitchenaid mixer white front

Bada bing, bada boom. MUCH better.

I may not be a master baker, I may never make it past the entrée round on Chopped, but with just 1 can of spray paint, my KitchenAid mixer looks even prettier than it did before. Ahh, the little things.

mixer before and after

For more than just my KitchenAid Mixer color change project, this appliance epoxy is a great way to get an inexpensive appliance update in your house if you’re not happy with the finish/color of your old appliances. Stuck with an old almond colored fridge and not in the position to buy a new one? Instantly freshen it up with a coat of this to match your other appliances. Is the paint or finish chipping on your go-to kitchen appliance? Switch things up with a fresh new coat of paint. It’s such a great way to restore, reinvent and update your kitchen appliances quickly and on the cheap.

Do you have any appliances in need of an update in your house?

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!