Tag Archives: DIY

Adventures in Wallpapering…again.

After my experience wallpapering the inside of our living room bookshelves (here), I concluded that I would probably hire a professional to do my future wallpapering projects.  But when Husband and I decided to wallpaper a wall in our home office , we decided to save money and do it ourselves.  After all, it was only one wall.  Plus, we blew our budget on the wallpaper.  So yeah, we could do it!

Husband and I were excited to get the wallpaper hung and embarked on this adventure with optimism…or so I thought.  Unfortunately, my husband’s friend Brian told him that wallpapering projects cause couples to get divorced.  So, instead of approaching the first run enthusiastically, Husband was a quaking ball of stress who could barely function for fear of messing up.  Thanks Brian.  We finally got all the paper hung (with the help of a bottle of wine) and are pretty proud of our work…and we still love each other!

Here goes:

Whew, OK, we can do this.
Our little helper.
The Don and Sonny approve.
Next step: ceiling paint.  I wanted it dark, Husband wanted it light…
We met in the middle with a Benjamin Moore color called Iron Mountain.
Cassius approves.
Stay tuned for the next step in our home office transformation!
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What the Duck?

My absolutely favorite things in our home are those that we’ve inherited from family.  I love that they tell a story and are a continual reminder of loved ones.

My Grandpa George was an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, duck hunter, gardener, cactus enthusiast, craftsman and collector.  One of his treasured collections consisted of antique duck decoys.  I know, not something most people think of when they think of collecting, but when you grow up in my family duck decoys are an everyday object.  And I’ve come to learn some very interesting history about duck decoys (but I’ll skip the history lesson here.)  The point is I finally realized, after noodling over it for about a year, that the shelves in our dining room would be a perfect display space for some of Grandpa George’s decoys!  So, Dad pulled the collection out of the garage and let me choose (and dust off!) some beauties for our place.

In our dining room we have built-in cabinets and shelves on either side of the fireplace that have been in need of some attention.  When we moved in the built-ins matched our very orange kitchen cabinets (that I can’t wait to paint!)  To get an idea of what painting the kitchen cabinets would actually entail, I did a test drive on the built-ins.  I sanded, primed and painted…and nine or ten weekends later, we had lovely white cabinetry.  Yep, hiring someone to do the kitchen.

Here is my sand, prime, paint, decoy project:

Original color of cabinets (ugh).

Finally, white!  Ah.

Those owls aren’t scared.  Bring on the ducks!

Operation: Decoy Rescue

Right at home.

It means so much to me to have the decoys at home with us.  They conjure wonderful memories of my Grandparent’s house, and I think Grandpa George would be pleased.

Tune is next time for a little bit of party planning…woohoo!

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Decorating for Christmas (Day 2 + a glue gun)

The year my older sister was born my mom and grandma started a special Christmas tradition.  They decided they would give my sister a bell-shaped ornament every Christmas until she was ready to decorate a tree of her own.  One day she would have a large collection of ornaments to fill her tree; all gifts from Mom and Grandma.  My first Christmas brought me an angel-shaped ornament (for their little angel, ha!)  Now I have 30+ angel ornaments, and love pulling them out and taking the trip down memory lane every year.  Since Husband and I have decided not to get a Christmas tree this year, I used my angel ornaments to decorate a different kind of “tree”.

P.S. If you decide to start a similar tradition, be sure to write the year on each ornament!

In addition to our Christmas “tree”, I put a few more decorations together…

Here is the wreath we bought from our nephew’s scout troop (it was naked when I started).  I used my trusty hot glue gun to attach the bow I made and every one of those gold glitter snowflakes (and I have the burns on my fingers to prove it!)

In addition to my angel ornaments, my mom makes sure I have plenty of other angels for my collection.

Our Christmas table.

I decided to get my DIY on…Christmas flags!

And I finished wrapping all those frames!

Whew, decorating complete…now I should probably start shopping for Christmas gifts.

Tune in next time for Wishful Thinking!

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Decorating for Christmas (Day 1)

‘Tis the season…already?! But it’s 80 degrees outside! Not that I’m complaining.

Last year I made a very feeble attempt at decorating for Christmas. When I say feeble, I mean pathetic. I’m not sure I even wrapped a present. But this year, well, this year is different. Weekend Decorator must decorate for Christmas!

Husband and I have an ongoing disagreement about Christmas trees. I like them freshly cut (purely nostalgic), he likes them artificial (purely economical). Well, so, no Christmas tree this year. Probably for the best since white trees are all the rage (not nostalgic nor economical). But I still decided to decorate for Christmas anyway…tree or no tree.

Shortly after Halloween I started brainstorming about all sorts of wild decorations for our front porch. At one point I’d convinced myself that I wanted to build a wall of white poinsettias parallel to the front door. Fortunately I reeled it in and conceded that a wreath from my nephews hanging on the door would do just fine. Inside the house, however, I’ve embarked on a project that might just take me until Christmas to finish. Upon inspecting my progress, Husband remarked to Cassius, “Mommy is crazy.” Yes, maybe, but I kind of like what’s happening so far.

Remember this?

Now it’s a wall of presents!

How about that faux bois paper?! And who wouldn’t love that gold glitter paper?! All from Paper Source.

More holiday decor to come…once I finish wrapping the rest of those frames!

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Thanksgiving at Home

Husband and I traveled north to my parents’ house to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend. I think I’m still sideways from the 500 mile drive…and all those calories. Cassius is still recovering, too. He’s about to embark on his 24th hour of continuous sleep.

One of the best parts about spending a holiday at my parents’ house is I get to see my mom’s, always amazing, decorations. I’m convinced that my love of decorating is a genetic code written directly into my DNA by my mom. Forever I will wish that I had photos of all my mom’s holiday decorations…and trust me, no holiday was ever decorated the same way.

Sadly, now that her kids are out of the house and living hundreds of miles away, decorating for the holidays just isn’t the same for my mom. But no matter what, Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without a proper dining table. So here is just a little something she threw together for our Turkey Day dinner this year. Check it out!

Voila!

Hand made by my mom…ribbon, maple leaves, a dried pomegranate and a glue gun.

My dad made that antler candelabra for my mom. He found and gathered all those naturally shed deer antlers.

The chandelier above the table was designed and decorated by my mom, and built and installed by my dad. What a team!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, and felt fortunate to spend the weekend with family and friends. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well.

Tune in next time…I’ve got some fun stuff lined up!

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Project Bedroom, Part II

Throughout this whole home decorating adventure, I’ve learned that Husband has opinions about our decor.  This of course means we don’t always agree on my ideas for the house.  But I’m learning to look at our disagreements as challenges; decorating puzzles to solve…especially when I lose the battle.  I can see now that concessions are OK; they make our home feel like ours not mine.  Often he just looks at me like, “Are you serious?  You want to do what?”, so it’s probably good that he keeps me on track.  Otherwise, we would probably own a black and white paisley chaise lounge (it would have been awesome!)

One of the first concessions I made when we moved into our place was whether or not to have a TV in our bedroom.  I was really against the idea…and what an eyesore it is!  So, here is my attempt to work the television into our bedroom decor.

Laying in bed…this is what we’ve been looking at.

Husband suggested we hang a collection of artwork like I did in the stairwell, but I saw the image below in my Domino book and immediately knew I wanted to hang a collection of our photos.  We have a computer full of snapshots from our travels that rarely see the light of day, yet make us so happy when we occasionally flip through them.  I’m really not into displaying personal photos around the house (I’d rather display artwork), but I thought if I hung the photos in an art-installation-kind-of-way then it might feel more like art than just a bunch of photos.

My initial inspiration, but a bit too casual for what I ultimately wanted.

Once I had decided to embark on this photo project, I started finding all sorts of other photo projects online that people were doing.  One of my favorites actually comes from a friend I went to college with and his girlfriend.  They’re photographers living in Portland, OR and posted this ridiculously cute video of their photo project on their blog.  Check it out!

I love how Whitney and Dave organized their photos by color, but I had envisioned using all black and white photos in my project.  Alas, another concession…Husband wanted color.  FINE!  Here’s my photo project, in color:

I employed the good ol’ wrapping paper trick again.  I decided to hang the photos horizontally at the same width as the TV to make the wall appear longer.

Lots and lots of IKEA frames.

This is about the time Husband’s words were resonating in my brain…”Are you serious?  You want to do what?”

O-M-G…I will never get these 2 billion frames to hang level.

After my power drill this is my favorite tool!

Measurements were off…Why didn’t I just buy some multi-opening frames from Pottery Barn??

This is it?  This is all I got done in one weekend?  And each one is crooked…nice.

I’ll call this the end of phase 1.  More photos will be hung, and mounting tape will be attached to the back of each frame to keep them straight.

It was an ambitious project, but I’m liking it…and so does Husband!  Unlike Dave and Whitney who did a little dance when they finished their project, I poured myself a stiff cocktail.

Tune in next time for my friend’s Bachelorette Pad…

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Filed under Home Decor, Home Improvement Projects, Weekend Decorator

It’s French, Right?

Last weekend we attended the wedding of our friends, Kevin and Kim.  They were married at the Long Branch Saloon & Farms located just south of Half Moon Bay, CA.  The western themed venue was a wonderfully charming and unique setting for a wedding!

I always see weddings as a decorator’s version of a flash mob.  Place, time, decorate, dismantle.  From that standpoint, my favorite weddings are those with a theme woven into every detail.  It’s like decorating a home.  Start with a theme, tackle it as a cohesive unit, and pull all the details together.

Kev and Kim’s wedding location dictated the theme, and they went for it!  It was fantastic.  According to Kev, Kim applied her style and he did the spreadsheets.  It was straight out of the pages of Style Me Pretty, and then some.

Check it out!

THE INVITATION:

This was our introduction to the wild-west extravaganza!

THE SETTING:

A wild-west town in the middle of the 21st century, complete with a chapel, saloon and western style card room.

THE ENTERTAINMENT:

This was not just a wedding, it was pure entertainment.  In addition to drinking and dancing, the post ceremony activities included gambling for prizes, “calf” roping, Ring the Bell, sling shot, archery, mini golf, and a photo booth with props.

THE SPECIAL TOUCHES:

This is the part I love most…all the little details.  Kim’s dress falls into this category, too.  It was perfection; western enough, yet totally modern.

My husband and I, of course, forgot to bring our camera to the wedding.  But fortunately, Kev and Kim set up a photo-sharing site so their guests could upload personal photos of the event.  I wish I could take credit for these great photos, but they’re courtesy of Kev and Kim’s friends and family…whew!

Congratulations to The Ser-vay-ohs!

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