Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Guest Bedroom


Guest Room Furnished with Sale, Vintage and "Dumpster" Items!

Living with three males, the guest room has really been the only space to which I have been given "carte blanche" in terms of designing.  I like the way this room has turned out, especially since I did it for so little money.  Interestingly, the men of the house actually seem drawn to this room because it has a clean, fresh feel and gets lots of sunlight.  This room also doubles as an office for me. 

Here is my little tour:

The bed was purchased on sale many, many years ago.  I have always loved it.  Everything you see was bought for a seriously tiny amount of money.  The little white end tables were being thrown away by a relative many years ago and are likely from around the 1940-50s.  They were formerly part of a little girl's dressing room set and had been painted a bad shade of chartreuse green.  I loved their cute shape and immediately saved them from the dumpster and painted them a fresh white.  Much better!  :)

The bedding is a combo of various things I have picked up on sale over the last few years.  The black damask pillow was from Marshall's and the white one behind it was from IKEA.  The matching black and white lamps are from Target.  Years ago, I purchased the shams and comforter on sale at JCP.  The white duvet cover was a hand-me-down.

The mirror above the bed was actually a damaged clearance item from Home Goods.  And the bird print is actually a sample swatch of fabric I received for free from the Baker design showroom when I was on a field trip there.  :)  I simply stuck it in an old frame.  The sailboat print is actually a photograph done on canvas and was in the gross clearance pile of junk at Marshall's.  My husband loves to sail so of course I scooped it up!  I think it looks great in this room.

One nice architectural feature of the room, besides the chair rail, are two built-in bookcases, each flanking the large window.  This one holds most of my hubby's economic books, as well as a few of my things, including two childhood teddy bears that I cannot seem to part with.  Vintage bears!

This chair is an antique and was $25 at a flea market in Texas when we lived there YEARS ago.  It's been recovered many times and since repainted.  It is next to my little built in desk area where I sometimes sit and work.

Above is a file cabinet that stores many of my psych files.  It was a throw away also found in Texas...old and failing apart, an ugly chipped up maple.  I sanded it down and painted it black and like it much better now!

Above is the only dresser in the room, an old white wicker chest that I used in the nursery for each baby.  It is another of those items that has such sentimental value that I doubt I will ever part with it.  The drawers now store art supplies, printer paper etc. 

This is not a great shot, but you can get an idea of the room's nice window with the bookcases on either side.  The window treatment is a simple white wood blind. 

I have recently added another piece of art to the room, a bargain find from Home Goods:

I love the crisp black and white painted design...and it fits with the femme nature of the space...

I also recently added a black bed skirt and swapped the white duvet for an old, comfy matelasse bedspread, which provides a bit more texture. 

The room is painted in Antique White by Behr, with Pure White trim by Valspar.

Overall, the room is a restful, pretty space.  It feels tranquil and fresh....like a room in a cottage by the sea, even though it is actually found within cookie-cutter suburbia!  :)

I hope you enjoyed this mini room tour!

Blessings, Steph.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Romantic Prairie Style and The Simple Life

Yay!  I received my copy of Romantic Prairie Style today and it is so simple, peaceful, and beautiful to look at the breathtaking photographs.  But I think that more than the photos I  might LOVE this quote from Fifi O'Neill, the author of this beaut:

"Maybe it's a sign of the times, maybe it's the cyclical nature of life, but more than ever the world is longing to return to a simpler way of life."

Like she reached in and read my heart, this is seriously much of what I think about now:  how to live more simply, more peacefully, more naturally.  The truth is, I am tired of the rat race, I am tired of negativity, I am tired of women who could feed a small country with the cost of what they wear (not to mention I am tired of being judgemental of them).  I am tired of heartache and disagreements and natural disasters and foods laden with chemicals or modifications they were never meant to have.  I am tired of pollution, excess, waste, countries fighting, health issues, and a lack of hard work.  I am tired of people that lack manners (self included), because they are too busy, too stessed out, or too demanding to simply be kind.  I am tired of anything in God's creation, human or not, being mistreated.

Interesting, I thought I was utterly lacking passion in my life.

I guess not.        

This book is a wonderful feast for the eyes of what excess is not.  I'm in love with the concept. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simple Saturday and Spring Cleaning

There is something so wonderful about a seriously clean environment.  Spring comes to SoCal early and I am motivated to do more deep cleaning.  I am blessed to have cleaning help once during the week, but if I wasn't a working mom with a demanding schedule, I would seriously do it all myself.  That's how much I love it!  Maybe I am crazy, but today I am working on it. 

I recently discovered the amazing Mrs. Meyers.  Her products are natural, cruelty-free, work well and small incredible.  I don't think I have looked at laundry, especially, quite the same since I've met her.

The lavender fragrance is absolutely wonderful for laundry.  I also use her amazing dryer sheets.

Your laundry ends up like this:

Serious aromatherapy.  And you just want to dive into your freshly laundered sheets:

Did you know you could just rub a stain with a simple organic bar of soap instead of using harsh chemicals?  Green is better, I am telling you.  That goes for well, everything.

And don't you think that when everything is spic and span, life is a little more peaceful?

Kind of like this:

Happy Simple Saturday!

Blessings, Steph.

(all images via google except for the last one which I lifted from a friend's tumblr)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reupholstered Antique Wingback Chairs

Hi Friends:

My husband received some antiques early in our marriage from his grandparents.  Included were 2 wingback chairs.  They were in horrific shape.  Not knowing what to do with them, I had them reupholstered on the cheap with a sort of dark-royal blue that looked sturdy.  After 16 years, they just did not match our decor very well.  I did not like them at all (OK, I admit that at times, I hated them!).  LOL.  I tried different accent pillows, throws, and shopped endlessly for potential fabric to recover them with to no avail.  For a while I wanted to change them out for bergere chairs in a funky graphic print for a while, but then I got this wild and crazy new area rug that got my brain ticking.  Anyway, the chairs were seriously looking saggy and I was so sick of them!  You can see them here when I was testing out different fabric swatches about 3 years ago (before I temporarily gave up!):

YUCK, right?

I searched for new area rugs for inspiration, got some advice here and there, but nothing really did it for me.  Also,as I have mentioned before I have a hubby who is a bit averse to change and feels that if something is functional, well then that is just fine enough (he does not really "get" my design addiction thing).  Thus, the chairs were meant to stay.  Once I decided on my rug, I decided that a dark gray/charcoal would be nice, because not only would they work with the rug, but that someday they would also be happy with a white slip covered sofa at my dream beach cottage (right?).  

I enlisted to help of an upholsterer who has done some previous work for me.  I designed the chairs so that the arms were a little different and I specified for black welting and nailhead trim for this go-round.  I think the upholsterer did beautiful work.  He even refinished the legs and completed strengthened and restuffed the insides of them.  :) 

Here is a close-up of the trim detail...I just love it!

And here is a shot of the living room with the dining room in the background...click on the picture to enlarge if you'd like...

And from our dining room looking at the living room (it is one long space instead of two separate rooms):

Overall, I am happy with how they turned out.  So sad that I used to shudder at them!  Now they are more comfortable, stylish, and open to more decorating possibilities since they are neutral.  :)

Thanks for reading.  :D

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Wreath

I used to be a crafty type.  Not so much anymore....especially living with three males!  But last week I took an old St. Patrick's Day wreath that was rather "tacky" and embellished with all sorts of countrified (is that a word?) buttons and ribbons and I tried to both simplify and glam it up.  It is now hanging from our light fixture outside the front door.

After I removed the rather "tacky" embellishments (no other way to describe them), I painted it's kelly green-ness a lighter green followed by a blast of silver.  Not wanting to spend a dime, I already had the piant in the garage from one of artsy's son's many projects.

Once dry, I searched the house for a silver bow.  This was the best I could come up with without going off to a store for one:  the handles from a silver gift bag:

Just a *little* festive.  :)

Happy upcoming St. Patrick's Day!  Please share your special plans for the day.  And thanks to those of you who have been reading this blog.  I realize it does not have much of a "theme," but that pretty much sums me up right now...adult onset ADD, which only happened after having children (all good, of course).

Smiles, love, peace and blessings, 
Steph.  :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simple, Easy and Pretty Gifts

I guess anyone who reads my blog with any consistency knows I am crazy about flowers.  Today I needed a quick gift for a wonderful Christian woman who tutored my nearly-dyslexic child to read very well (spelling is still an issue for him and I think always will be, but to see this kid read for pleasure all the time is so very wonderful, knowing from which point he started!).

I worked all week and had to get the cherub to a morning orthodontist appointment today, so I only had a few minutes to come up with a simple housewarming gift for my dear friend (who has recently moved).  So, while he was in the orthodontist's chair, I quickly ran out and purchased these amazing white mums.

They were unique and happy as well as inexpensive.  For a little added specialness, I be-ribboned them with a pretty green and silver bow from my collection of inexpensive Costco ribbon.  It's actually a rather Christmas-y ribbon, but it matched perfectly and gave a hint of glam.  :)

This lovely gift took very little money and time to assemble and was very well received, and that....

made me happy.  :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The World as Art

I have been tweaking my living room.  New area rug.  New plantation shutters.  My wingback chairs should be reupholstered by the end of next week (although I am thinking of trading them out for a chair from the family room).  But then I found this amazing, HUGE map.  I decided to purchase it and will frame it as art.  It may actually be too big to go over my piano, but I'd like to try it there.  I know it's a bit atypical for a formal living room.  :)   If you're not sure, it is of southern California.  Found here if interested.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Flowers

It's amazing to me that I can spend $2 on a little potted plant and it will add so much cheer to the house and peace to my soul.  Almost as good as this:

Of course I love my children,husband, family and friends near and dear to me, but there is just something about flowers....and a dog (older son often reminds me that "dog" is GOD spelled backwards...unconditional love and all, you know).

Happiness on a Thursday,

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