Friday, March 29, 2013

My House Tour: Madeline's Nursery Details

Now that you've seen Madeline's nursery (click here if you missed it yesterday), let's get to all the details of this design.
#1 - Inspiration
Let me just say this isn't your typical nursery.  The starting point for this room was the Chinese Art Deco rug we inherited from my husband's grandmother.  This rug had been in storage for several years and the only place I could really use it was in the nursery.

#2 - Wall Color
I liked the pastel wall color in this Tyler Dawson room, so I chose Benjamin Moore's Rose Silk for the nursery walls.  It's a light pink that's in the same color family as the red in the rug.
#3 - Drapes
On a trip to World Market, I stumbled upon these green velvet drapes that pick up the green accents in the rug.  I customized them by adding some braided trim (since I don't know how to sew I just hot glued it on). 

The drapery rods were left over from another project.  I painted them gold with Rustoleum's Metallic Brass spray paint.
#4 - Furniture
The crib, bedding, and rocker (which was my great-great-grandfather's) were originally in Savannah's nursery and my design allowed me to re-use them in this room.  

The side table is from High Street Market.
I found the chest on Craigslist and it's perfect to use as a changing table.

For storage, I purchased Ikea Vittsjo shelves and gave them a makeover inspired by this post from Ana Antunes.
#5 - Lighting
You may remember when the Etsy gods smiled upon me and I found the most beautiful chandelier here.  It's from Etsy shop Sarah's Smiles and I couldn't be happier with the purchase and with the excellent customer service she gave me. (She even ordered me extra prismatic bulbs when I broke one and didn't know where to purchase them!) 
The original lamp I purchased for this room didn't work out, so I went back to Ebay and found this mint green vintage ceramic one that is just perfect.
#6 - Art and Accessories
The gallery wall above the crib is a mixture of high and low pieces.  The large artwork in the middle is a fine art print by Kerry Steele.  Clockwise from bottom left:  marker art by Madeline's big sis Savannah, vase of flowers art print by Catherine Nolin, pink flower photo taken by my husband when he visited Moldova, dots watercolor by me, small floral oil painting found on Etsy, pink polka dot elephant from Studio Jarrah, and green abstract photo from a National Geographic magazine.

Elephant figures, a blue and white vase, and floral pillows by Etsy shop Aurelia were selected to reinforce the chinoiserie motif of the rug.
Shelves hold books and storage bins for toys.
A tassle dresses up the vintage lamp on the chest.
I'm so glad that the nursery is finally complete!  I just hope Madeline loves it as much as I do!
Want to see more of my house?  Take the tour here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My House Tour: Madeline's Nursery

Finally, I can share Madeline's nursery with you!  I feel like I labored just as long with it as I did with her!  But it was a labor of love and I'm so happy with the results.
The "before"...
And now...
Stop by tomorrow for all of the details!
Want to see more of my house?  Take the tour here.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To the Walls

Today I'm excited to share a project of my own, the gallery wall I hung in my daughter Madeline's nursery.
There are several reasons why I'm a big fan of the gallery wall:
- If you can't afford or don't want to commit to a large piece of artwork, a gallery wall of smaller pieces is a good solution
- You can incorporate lots of different things into a gallery wall: photographs, paintings, objects, silhouettes, postcards, really anything that you can hang on the wall
-The frames don't have to be expensive, the same size or match, which means you can buy them as you go and you don't have to spend lots of money up front
-You can easily update the wall and change the feeling of the room by adding or swapping out the art
- You can add to the wall over time, allowing you to collect things you love
- Since most of the pieces are relatively small, they can be easily moved to another spot if you decide to change up your gallery wall
But gallery walls can be intimidating, so I'm gonna share some tips to help you create your own gallery wall. 
Selecting Art and Frames
Variety and unity are the two keys here. 
The art on my gallery wall features a variety of subjects, mediums, and sizes.  Subjects include abstracts, florals, and an elephant.  Mediums are photography, watercolor painting, oil painting, fine art prints and magic marker.  Sizes range from 5x7 to 24x27.  Notice the pieces are framed with and without mats. 
Unity is achieved through the repetition of colors.  The art is composed of a pink and green color palette that visually links all the pieces together.  I started with the largest piece of art from Kerry Steele and chose the rest to coordinate with it.  Although the frames are all different, the repetition of gold frames and white frames creates a cohesive grouping. 
Arranging the Art
There aren't really any rules to arranging the art, just play with it until you come up with an arrangement that pleases you.  I laid all the art on the floor and took photos of the different arrangements to help me decide on the best one.  The photo is also a good reference for placement when you begin to hang the art on the wall. 
Hanging the Art
The best way to get the art hung on the wall is to make templates from paper.  These templates will allow you to play with the arrangement on the wall before you drive in any nails.  You can use any type of paper to make a template.  I used the paper that the store wrapped around my frames (only problem here was that it was a little crumpled). 
Trace your frame size onto the paper and cut it out.
Next, you want to mark the location of the picture hangers on your template.  Flip the frame over and line up the paper with the frame.

Use a sharpie to mark the location of the hanger so you will know where to place your nail.

Label each of your templates so that they won't get mixed up if you decide to move them around on the wall.
Now you are ready to transfer the templates to the wall.  Refer back to your photograph of your arrangement to help you.  Tape each template to the wall and adjust to get the correct placement.
When you are happy with the arrangement, you're ready to hang.  Using the mark denoting the location of the picture hanger, drive in your nail through the template.
Hang your art on top of the template.  This way if you decide that a piece should be moved after all of them are hung, you can easily take it down and move the template to help you re-hang the piece.  Once you decide all the pieces are in the correct locations, you can then tear the template out from under the art without removing the art from the wall.
And here's the result!
I'll share the full nursery reveal tomorrow and all the details on Friday!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Easter

The Easter bunny stopped by.
This is what he left me.

Happy Easter!



Friday, March 22, 2013

My House Tour: Kitchen Details

Remember the "before" kitchen you saw here yesterday?  Let's review:
When I first looked at this house, I saw the potential in this kitchen.  For a house built in 1969, the kitchen was large and had a good layout with lots of storage and counter space.  I also loved the built in double ovens and the large double windows over the sink.  The things I didn't love: the dark cabinetry, awful wallpaper backsplash and border, and the track lighting.
So let's talk about my design decisions.
#1 - Design Direction
You gotta work with what you've got.  The detailing on the cabinet doors had a country feel to me, so I embraced this and designed around it.  I also had the farm table from our previous home and it was the perfect size to use as an island.  The deal was sealed when I saw these inspiration kitchens
#2 - Painted Cabinets
The kitchen was just too dark, so one way to lighten it up and change the whole feel of the space was to paint the cabinets.  White was my first choice to help brighten the space, but I felt that painting all of the cabinets white might be a bit boring.  I also had to deal with the mismatched appliances (notice that the refrigerator is white, while the dishwasher and ovens are black).  If I painted the bottom cabinets white, the black appliances would have stuck out like a sore thumb.  That's when I decided to paint the upper cabinets white (Benjamin Moore's Vanilla Milkshake) and the lower cabinets a dark blue/gray (Benjamin Moore's Ocean Floor).  This way the upper cabinets would reflect the light and the lower cabinets would camouflage the black appliances.  Also, since I didn't have the money to replace the existing white Formica countertops, the white cabinets help tie them into the color scheme.

#3 - New Hardware
Updating cabinet hardware is one of the easiest ways to make your cabinetry look like new.  I chose pewter colored hardware because I liked how it blended with the dark blue/gray cabinets.
#4 - Glass Panel Cabinet Doors
The expanse of upper cabinets made the kitchen seem closed in, so I replaced the wooden door panels of the cabinets flanking the sink with seeded glass.  This helps open up the space a bit and allows me to show off pretty dishes.  I lined the backs of these cabinets with beadboard painted to match the lower cabinets.

#5 - Crown Molding
The molding at the top of the cabinets was a little wimpy, so we added some thicker molding to give the soffit a little more interest.
#6 - New Faucet
The porcelain sink was large and white, so all it needed was a new faucet to spruce it up.
#7 - New Lighting
I couldn't live with the track lighting, so I ripped it down and replaced it with a pretty chandelier.  Although the room has two large windows, they look out onto the screened in porch making the kitchen pretty dark.  So I added some recessed lights with halogen bulbs.  The trick was to place them close to the upper cabinets so that the light would bounce off the white cabinets and fill up the room.  I can see everything now!
#8 - Patterned Tile Backsplash
This is the design element that really defines the kitchen.  I wanted reclaimed tile from Chateau Domingue, but since that wasn't in my budget, I sourced some terra cotta tiles that had an old world feel.  They are handpainted, so no two are alike and each one is a little different in size.  They also have a crackle glaze on top which gives them an aged look.  You can find more info on them here.
#9 - Art and Accessories
Art and accessories are always the finishing touches that bring a space to life.  Since I didn't have any wallspace, I hung my art in an unconventional place, the middle of my windows.  Earthenware bowls, wooden utensils, cutting boards, an antique coffee grinder and an industrial stool add personality to the room.
I think this makeover shows that you don't need a major renovation to acheive some great results in your kitchen!