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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Perfecting the Lived in Look

Recent trends for a majority of design blogs is a look of perfection. Posts feature rooms in which not a chair, rug or even a small cup out of place. Even though, this is not real life. Perhaps that is why I find myself gravitating more and more to lovely homes that appear….lived in.

I am sure many of you are familiar with the website One Kings Lane. Did you also know that they have a Style Blog? A post on designer Jeffrey Bilhuber’s home recently captured my fancy.

Sections of his home, located on Long Island in Locust Valley, dates back to 1668. Which would make it 346 years old. Yet it still feels fresh and happy. 

He happily pairs family heirlooms with antiques, playful patterns and pretty florals.

Because the home was built in stages you will find various design elements to include Colonial Revival and Dutch Colonialism.

The cozy kitchen features cabinets painted Pratt and Lambert “Pacificand the floors are “Courtyard Green” by Benjamin Moore.

I adore how he has named each of the eight bedrooms after Generals from the Revolutionary War.

I find myself wanting to try my hand at wallpaper more and more. Isn’t this trellised sweet pea design lovely?

Of course I would find his bathroom charming. He has a picture of the Queen!

The playroom with its wonderful checked slipcovered chairs truly brings out the child in me.

You can see more of this well loved and lived in home HERE.


Monday, May 25, 2015

A Slipcover for a Headboard

Happy Memorial Day! Do you have any special plans?

Sweet Guy is participating in a cemetery ceremony with the Boy Scouts which promises to be very wet and we are having an indoor picnic since it is raining. :(

Thank you so very much for all your kind comments on the Anthro Inspired Applique Curtains created for the guest bedroom.

When decorating any room a repetition of an element is always a good idea. As you may recall I had cut off a good portion of the curtains so that they would fit the window and also had a good amount of the cut up tablecloth leftover which was used for the applique. I generally keep all fabric scraps and try to use them in interesting ways. This time I made a simple headboard cover.

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We had purchased the Ikea Hemnes white bed frame for the guest room.  It is a sturdy bed with a very simple design. I always had it in my mind to “jazz it up”.


I originally thought I would create some type of padded headboard. However, that seemed a bit heavy for the spring and summer. So then I decided just to make a simple slipcover. The slipcover is basically like a tablecloth folded over the headboard. It has ties on the sides to keep it in place. 

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To create the slipcover I measured the size of the headboard. A length of fabric was used from the excess bottom portion of the white curtains I had cut off. Three of the sides were hemmed. This would create the back portion of the slipcover. I repeated the steps with some of the leftover floral fabric. Then I joined the two pieces together with a French center seam. (French seams are what they use for pillowcases so that you can’t see an unfinished edge of a seam. There are several great tutorials on YouTube.) I then pinned the slipcover in place on the headboard so I could see where the ties should be sewed on.

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This quick and easy project took less than an hour to complete. I love that there is now another floral element in the room to tie in with the curtains.

As it has been raining non stop here in Texas I haven’t been able to get a good picture of the room with the bed all dressed. I promise I will share the space as soon as a sunny day arrives.

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My in laws have been here for the past week and we have accomplished so many projects. They are here for another week and we hope to cross a few more things off the never ending list.

Enjoy your holiday!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Bits of Bliss

My friend Pam recently came to visit my home and brought me a Voluspa “Crane Flower” candle as a gift. Apparently it is a favorite in blogland and with good reason. The scent is lovely and light. While some candles need to be put away in the spring and summer this one can stay out year around. You can find a nearby store that sells this long burning candle HERE.


Mr. Décor had installed true wood bead board in the laundry room about two months ago. The day before my in-laws arrived I decided to paint it. The good news is that the decorating of the space is almost complete.

I have no idea how this position is even comfortable but I wish I could sleep as deeply as this dog.

I’m taking the weekend off to enjoy a bit more time with Grammy Jane and Pop Gunn.

Enjoy your holiday weekend! I’ll be back Monday.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Anthropologie Inspired Applique Curtains

I’ve had a love affair going with applique curtains for awhile now.

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I first saw them of course at Anthropologie. This is just one of the many styles they have had in past seasons. They of course wanted 1 million dollars for the curtains so I had to pass.

Then I saw the café curtains that Vicky from the Linen Garden made.

the linen garden - cafe curtains, handmade

Of course the Nester gave her own no sew version that was cute too.

no sew drapes

I knew the guest room needed a bit of jazzing up so I decided I would try my hand at creating some applique curtains for this space.

I used the white Lenda curtains from Ikea. They are a mid weight cotton that I felt would work well and at just $34 for the pair it would be ok if they didn’t.

As they were too long and I didn’t want tab tops I just cut that portion off and hemmed them to fit the window. (But just you wait and see what I did with the scraps!)

In terms of the applique I found a long tablecloth on clearance at HomeGoods in the color palette I was seeking. I made a quick cutout of the design I wanted and applied it to “Wonder Under” which you can find at most hobby and fabric stores. (Use a coupon!)

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After I had ironed on the “wonder under” to the back side of the fabric I then took my sewing scissors and cut out the design a bit more closely and intricately.

Disclaimer: For all of the pieces that I needed this process took me approximately 3 hours. I did watch a movie while I did it.

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Then I peeled the back of the paper off of the wonder under, positioned it on the curtain and ironed it on. Now you absolutely could stop here. I however wanted more of an applique look and also the ability to wash my drapes so I opted to sew on the applique.

I used a zig zag setting and more patience than Job.

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You know how Martha will describe a project of hers as EASY? So you start said project and before you are even finished you want to toss out the project and possibly kill her?

I’m not gonna lie. The curtains took about four hours to sew on all the pieces. It wasn’t hard, but I wanted to give up 8 million times.

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But man, are they so CUTE! The pictures don’t even do them justice!

I mean look at this pretty detail on the bottom of the hem.

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They are so cute that Mr. Décor came home, asked me about my day and I said “I only did ONE thing” and pointed to the curtains.

He was like “You MADE these??? You are awesome! You are so clever and talented!”

I was all like “I’m glad you think so because I didn’t have any time to make dinner and you’re getting a cheese sandwich.”

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Lucky for me he responded, “Wait! Can I close them?”

To which I replied “Of course.”

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Then he responded with “Did you plan on alternating the pattern on each side so it would look great even when they were closed?”

To which I gave him “The Look” which said “Of course I did.”

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So…. applique curtains. Skill level EASY.

Insanity Level: HIGH.

Now where is that straight jacket?

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Remodelaholic, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeCommon Ground, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, The Blissful Bee, Posed Perfection,My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House

Monday, May 18, 2015

Giving Antique Chairs a Makeover

The antique chairs I found at Round Top are now back from the upholsters.

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Are you surprised at the color? I know most of you have heard me say a time or two hundred “Neutral furniture is best.”

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Let’s start at the beginning.

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1 million tacks were removed to take off the 100 year old needlepoint.

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I made the decision to keep the 100 year old burlap and horsehair as the support system verses ripping it out and replacing it with foam.

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The wood was painted with a chalk cottage white and highlighted with gold wax.

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In keeping with the antique factor I dug through my stash of heavy antique French sheeting to use as upholstery. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to leave it in its creamy natural state or dye it. I know some of the purists are absolutely having a heart attack at the thought of painting the wood or dyeing antique French linen. But I had a quest and it was to detract the focus away from the hulking brick fireplace hearth in the living room.

So I went ahead and mixed equal amounts of liquid Rit teal and aquamarine dye color in my washing machine. It turned out EXACTLY the color I wanted.

(Disclaimer: I have been dyeing fabric for many years and am well versed in color mixing.)

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Then came the hard part. I had to give up control. I can do simple upholstery but I wanted single welting and knew these two chairs would be best in the hands of a professional. Having just moved here I am still collecting my arsenal of contractors that I feel comfortable working with and sharing with clients.

Westwood Restorations was one of the few upholsterers who agreed with my decision to use the original support system which was FAR better than foam. They also specialize in antique restoration which made me feel even better.

(I would like to clarify that I was NOT give any discounts or incentives, they just did good work.)  

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So the big questions is “How do they look in the space?”

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Even though the chairs are antique I feel as if they feel fresh and fun.

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The bottom line is that accompanied with the green hutch…

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…and happy, colorful chairs, you really don’t notice the hulking hearth as much. I just can’t wait for the cabinets in the hearth to be built to finish the space.

I’ll close with a real life secret. I killed the fern that I had sitting in the hearth basket in less than 2 weeks.

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I guess I need to go faux. :)


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Remodelaholic, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeCommon Ground, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, The Blissful Bee, Posed Perfection,My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House, Miss Mustard Seed