Tuesday, April 27, 2010

State Of The Sunroom & A Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my first giveaway. I really enjoyed all the comments. And, I am really excited about all the new blogs I've found through this process.

The winner was selected through the highly scientific and certainly random process of calling my sister and asking her to pick a number. And the winner is..........My Interior Life. Kathy, e-mail me and we can start collaborating on the perfect new accessory custom made for you (or you can choose one you've seen. Congratulations.

This week I'm posting about my Sunroom again, which continues to be a work in progress

When we moved into this house three years ago, one of the most attractive features was the "porch" with the walls of windows looking out into a sizable (for this area) back yard that backed up to woods.

From this room I watch the flowers grow and the wildlife as I sip my morning coffee. It's the perfect place to start and end the day.

Exterior shot of sunroom Before

View to woods from inside. Taken this morning- can you find the bunny in the tall grass?

When I say it was one of the most attractive features, I mean it had potential.

Originally our sunroom was a porch. The previous owners put up the windows and a wood floor to make it into a three-season room. The windows are actually sliding glass doors that slide open. It was a cool porch, but I was determined to turn it into a family room.

Before with previous owner's furniture

On moving day I put the living room furniture from the old house in the sunroom because I had high hopes that a space heater would get us through the winter. Unfortunately a space heater wasn't big enough and it reached freezing temperatures indoors.

I never wanted to spend a lot of money on this room since it wasn't a room we used year round. I made burlap curtains that were purely utilitarian. I picked up a rug that I didn't love, but thought it would wear well and not show the dirt.

Previous arrangement

In December we put in a heating/cooling unit making the room year round room. It works like a charm!

So now I've been reworking the room to make it prettier, lighter, and more functional.

The chair is still not finished, but now I think I want to find matching chairs that are smaller and lighter for this side.

I rearranged the furniture so now the focus is on the pond and garden rather than the TV.

Before with previous owner's furniture

I got this coffee table over the weekend at an estate sale. It has the bamboo detail with cane in the center and a glass top. It's a little too orange, so I'm going to paint it white.
New furniture arrangement

Dining area before with previous owner's furniture.

The only lighting this room had was the original exterior sconce style lanterns. I took them down. I hung this temporary Ikea light just so we can see what we're eating. The chairs are also from Ikea.

I'm thinking I might rework the chandelier I currently have in my dining room (that's a post coming soon).

Current dinning area arrangement.

This room makes me very happy. It's where we eat, craft, watch TV, entertain, and do everything else a family does.

What do you think? Do I need curtains or window treatments at all and if so, what style.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dripping in Gems --My First Giveaway!

Sterling Silver chain with amazonite, pearl and topaz pendant (blue opal charm on clasp)

Freshwater pearls in various shades of green on sterling silver

Perfect for summer! Leather with sterling silver starfish, or gemstone/pearl pendants.

My signature bracelets -
Freshwater pearls with any gemstone you like & sterling silver clasp.
Perfect bridesmaid or hostess gift.

14Kt gold-filled chain with blue opal pendant.
What a beautiful color combination. Too bad you can't tell in this picture.

It's the season for t-shirts, sundresses, weddings, and all kinds of parties and events.

How do you make last years dress look fresh? How do you take something as simple as a t-shirt and make it look like you've pulled together an outfit?...

A knockout necklace of course.

I'm talking absolutely dripping in gemstones or fun colored genuine freshwater pearls.

A quality piece with sterling silver or 14Kt gold-filled clasp.

Add a vintage rhinestone brooch that can be worn with or without your necklace and you have something that works everyday AND on very special occasions. That's one-of-a-kind fabulous and functional jewelry.

How do you get one of these around your neck you ask?...

Well, I make these beautiful necklaces. And for my first giveaway I'm giving away any item from my line of jewelry, currently available at The Artful Gift Shop. This includes semiprecious gemstone necklaces, earrings, and bracelets like you see in this post.

If you're not local I'll work with you to create a design just for you with a retail value up to $200.

To enter this giveaway
1. Leave me a comment. I would love to hear what you think of my blog, the type of posts you enjoy most, or what you think I could do to improve my blog.

2. To be entered a second time, sign up to follow my blog and leave a comment letting me know.

3. If you're a blogger, you can be entered a third time by mentioning my giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment to let me know.

I will select the winner by random drawing on April 27th.

Good Luck!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

B&B Season Opening!

It's springtime, which means the many friends and family we have from up north will start to visit us. We love having company and I like to host them like this is a bed and breakfast.

Tonight our first guests of the season will arrive, and I've just finished getting our "guest quarters" ready. I thought this would be the perfect time to show you a before and after of our guest room.

Here is the before. The bathroom used to be a jack and jill. This shot is from the bedroom through the bathroom.

This is a better view of the interior of the bathroom. It is very small.
This is what the bedroom looked like with the previous owners furniture. Notice the mirrored wall and striped wallpaper. Nothing like feeling like your behind bars in a windowless underground box!

Here is the after. We closed off the one side so that we would have more room for a vanity and sink.
This is the same view as the before so you can see what it looks like from the bedroom. (The door is not crooked--it's just me.)

The guest room is in our basement, and is a windowless room. It had a window before the sunroom/porch addition was put on. The window is still in place but it looks out to dirt. I put a mirror over it and hung up these panels, so if anyone peaks under they'll get a little surprise.

I always like to put a living plant and some fresh flowers in the room to make it feel a little more alive and welcoming. I put a stack of magazines too.

The furniture is all from my old bedroom. The linens and pictures are from HomeGoods. The lamps are a recent addition that just came down from the sunroom. They work perfectly with the black and white and beige color scheme (that happens to be in every room).

Everyone that has stayed with us says they feel like they are on vacation. It's a quiet, cool and private place to sleep.

Matt is a very energetic tour guide and I like to feed them well. So after a long day of running around and eating they usually do need a good night sleep!

I hope you enjoyed your visit :)


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where Do I Draw The Line? Or stripe in this case.

It's no secret that I love black and white and I love zebra stripes.

My purse

My kitchen

In an earlier post I talked about how I was trying to incorporate the zebra hide look. But I know you can take it too far and at some point the fun and funky becomes trendy or more like a jungle look. Yikes!! Not where I want to go.

I bought two of these sheep-zebra "hides" at Ikea about a month ago. I wanted to make pillows, but that didn't really pan out. Then I just sort of draped one on our coffee table (trunk) hoping it would give the feel of a hide rug. This just confused guests and my husband. People didn't know what it was there for, and didn't know where to put their drinks.

So my next thought was to do some version of the zebra bench that is popping up just about everywhere.

I did a Google search on zebra bench and here are just a few I found at all different price points.

Neiman Marcus $679

Bellacor $379

Kinefine $129

I have a bench that I got at Upscale Resale in the clearance room for $20. I recovered in brown during my brown phase.

So I pulled out my professional grade upholstery staple gun and attached the hide to the stool. I think it's cute. But I think the design in the wood makes it feel a little "tribal" when paired with the zebra.

As is often the case with my furniture redo projects. I'm not sure I love it. And, I don't think it's going to work in the sunroom. Good thing the total project only took about 15 minutes and cost only $30. I think I'll be sending this one off to the consignment store to recoup my investment.

What do you think? Is it time for me to draw the line and just say no to zebra stripes?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Feed My Addiction While Accessorizing Your Home

Pottery Barn $30

Arhaus $59

I've been thinking about my post yesterday. I suggested that you shop estate sales and thrift stores instead of the retail chains. But I know as well as anyone that most people don't have the time or interest in "treasure hunting". It can be overwhelming and most people have full time jobs and families. I'm very lucky because I have a hard-working husband who enables me the luxury to shop often.

I got this idea from another blogger who will search Craigslist in anyone's city looking for an item (so they don't have to). She charges $25.

Tuesday Morning $7.99 and $10.99

I'm offering to do the same thing, only I'll be going to thrift stores, flea markets, and estate sales, discount stores, I'll even pick up something curbside. I'll be your personal shopper for unique affordable home goods in the Washington DC metropolitan area. I can alert your to where I see what you might be looking for and even send you a photo. If you need me to make the purchase make any changes or fix-ups or ship something then I'll have to charge a fee.

I'm ready for a treasure hunt, what are you looking for?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

That's NOT What That Was Made For

I'm a big fan of recycling and repurposing, and I love picking up old things for next to nothing at thrift stores and estate sales. I think having random and sometimes odd things in your collection is what makes a house interesting. Anyone can buy a stainless steel utensil holder at Crate and Barrel or Home Goods, or Bed Bath and Beyond or anywhere for that matter.

But how many people have one of these in their kitchen?

I love the lion heads! It's pewter and I got it at an estate sale.

I put it and the other things on a silver plated tray I also found for a couple dollars at an estate sale. It wasn't in perfect condition, so I don't have to worry about salt ruining it.

Can you tell where this china display cabinet is?....

Yep! That's our powder room, which happens to be directly across from my front door.

I wanted to take the focus away from the toilet and add some storage. This piece works really well. (I'm sure putting a bust in a bathroom is not what the designer intended either, but I think it makes it less pretentious and adds a little humor.) She came from a yard sale and I couldn't afford not to buy her!

A few months ago I got this marble lazy suzanne at a thrift store for $2. I thought it would work well as a revolving tray for my utensils, olive oil and salt and pepper. But as it turned out it was a little wobbly and didn't work in that function.

So I glued it to a candle holder I had but rarely used.

Now I have a cool cake stand.

This slab of marble was once was a table top. It has a beautiful ogee edge.

Now it breaks up the black granite of my island and serves as a tray for vases of flowers or whatever I have as a focal point on my kitchen island that week. For special occasions it's a fantastic cheese tray or antipasto platter.

This crook was left here by our previous owners. I think it's original purpose is to hold plants or maybe even bird feeders. I think it works great as a candelier holder.

The fountain in my pond is a planter. It's sitting on a plastic container that one of my trees came in.

The clasp for this beautiful pearl necklace is a vintage pin. The pin makes it one-of-a-kind!

The artwork for my sunroom gallery wall came from a book I got at Borders on clearance for $8 something. It's great photography!

This is a dresser that now serves as our entertainment center. The drawers are the perfect size to hold the dvd and cable box. And, and provides a little extra storage.

I love the treasure hunt. I love to have interesting and inexpensive things in my house so that nothing is too precious for us to live with. I think there is really only one table that would require the use of a coaster--We are pretty rough and tumble.

Reusing things in a new and interesting way keeps things out of landfills, helps you decorate on a budget and makes your home one-of-a-kind.

So, before you throw it out, think how you might be able to use it in a way other than what it was made for. Or, check out a thrift store or flea market instead of a retail chain when you need something functional for you home. You'll feel more connected to the item but less invested.