Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Little Bit of Fourth of July Decor

If you know me, you know I am perhaps not the most punctual person on the planet. In fact, I'm far from it. I haven't been on time for anything in YEARS! I was even late for my first date with Prince Charming.

So if you know me, it should be no surprise I still have Easter decor out in late June. I keep meaning to take it down, but time gets away from me.

This weekend, I finally made a "summer" wreath for my front door.  I wanted it to layer on top of my burlap wreath, be cheap, and be pretty.

I took the embroidery hoop from my tissue paper wreath, and took all the tissue paper off. Let sit for a week or so while you try to catch up on everything else in your life.

I used two bandannas from the dollar section at Target- my favorite store!

I used my rotary cutter to cut one bandanna  into bias strips 2" wide. 
Then, I sewed along one edge with a loose straight stitch (as big as your machine will go) for several strips.

Then, tie the upper and bobbin thread together on one end of the strip (so your gathers don't unravel. I learned that the hard way.) Then, pull the bobbin thread on the other end so your fabric gathers up a bit. You don't want it all tight and scrunch, just a little ruffly.

When you're done, you'll have a pile like this:
 Sidenote: Don't you just love the concrete floors? Yet another project I've been meaning to do for months.

Now, plug in your glue gun and dust off the embroidery hoop.

Lay a line of glue on the outside edge of the hoop, and stick the thread-gathered end of your ruffle on.

Repeat all the way around the outside, then the inside of the hoop.

I was supposed to be done there. But I didn't like how my ruffles showed the embroidery hoop. It also looked a little skimpy.

So I used the second bandanna worth to cut more bias strips. I did another layer on the outside of the embroidery hoop, gathering the ruffle only a little bit.

Then, since the hoop was STILL showing, I cut a few more bias strips and stitched down the center of them.

Gather those only a little bit, and glue on TOP of the embroidery hoop.

Now it was finally looking "full" as Mom always said. 

 I cut a long bias strip from some red fabric, made a bow, and hot glued it on since I couldn't find any red ribbon.

I wired this on top of my burlap wreath and hung it on my front door!

I love all the ruffly goodness, and how this project only cost me $2!

I hope you all have a safe and Wonderful Fourth!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Washday Cobbler

Growing up, the go-to cookbook was Bell's Best. Mom's copy was in two pieces, the cover half torn off, and pages marked with numerous stains from frequent use.

Filled with family recipes of the Telephone Pioneers of America (Mississippi Chapter), it features Southern cooking at its very best.

As Sissy and I have both established our own households, we've been gifted our very own copy of this beloved cookbook. Many a phone call that starts "how do you make..." is followed by "did you check Bell's?" This recipe is a favorite one in our family- one of the many dog-eared pages of my copy of Bell's.

Summer in Georgia means three things to me: peaches, watermelon, and blackberries.  And the best way to eat two of them is in Washday Cobbler. Watermelon is best enjoyed fresh and cold.

Five ingredients, simple measuring, it comes together in just a few minutes.

You need:
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
Fresh fruit ( I ended up using canned as my fresh peaches had mysteriously been eaten)

Preheat oven to 425 degree. Melt your butter in an 8x8 casserole or equivalent.
In another bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and milk.
Pour batter into casserole. Pour fruit in on top. Do not stir.

Bake uncovered at 425 degrees 25-30 minutes or until browned.

Best enjoyed warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I hope you enjoy this particular part of Bell's Best as much as we do.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

5 Ways to bring Las Vegas luxury to your bedroom

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Vegas for work (my first time!).
Being a designer, I of course dissected every inch of the room and took a gazillion pictures.
My second morning there, I was sitting watching the sun rise and thought " there's a post here."

So many of us (myself included) look at articles about how to be a better hostess, how to create a great guest room, etc., yet never focus on the room we stay in every day. My guest room is probably the best night's sleep in my entire house, has great towels, lots of toiletries, etc.. My room, well, it's a dumping ground for laundry, halfway finished projects, and part storage shed.

As part of my inspiration to make my master bedroom a more luxurious suite instead of a room with a bed
Here are five things I found that make this room a luxury and not just a place to sleep and take a shower.

1. Use layers of lighting.
You need more than just an overhead. Put a chandelier on a dimmer switch, use multiple lamps, and add recessed cans if possible for a variety of lighting configurations for various tasks.
The room I was in had nightstand lamps, small cans over the bed, and larger cans around the room for general illumination.

2. Be deliberate with your design choices.
Make every piece functional, and be ruthless when enforcing your concept. If grandma's dresser doesn't fit your contemporary spa idea, make it over so it does, or find another spot for it. Every item in the room should serve a purpose. Even accessories should serve a function- adding color, texture, or shine, adding storage, etc.

3.Make yourself a minibar.
It doesn't have to be elaborate- some bottles of water and/ or glasses on a pretty tray, up to a coffee service for that first cup in the morning. If you have the room, a cube refrigerator to keep water cold is always nice. These are often on sale during back to school, and can be found cheaply on Craigslist or at Goodwill right after school gets out for summer.

Studio one thirteen  made a coffee bar for her hubby out of pieces she found around the house.

4.Add glitter.
Add a special touch that adds a sparkle, like a mirror to reflect candlelight or an item with special texture and shine. In the Palazzo, that was the glowing onyx top to the dresser. In my bedroom at home, it's my capiz shell lamp.

5.Make the bed a focal point
Most importantly, make your bed the focal point of the room. A dramatic headboard, framing it with curtain panels, or a contrasting accent wall all draw attention to the biggest piece of furniture in the room. Dress it in layers of the best linens your budget can afford. White is always a popular choice since it can easily be cleaned, but dramatic prints like those from Dwell Studio for Target are also popular.

Elements of Style has a whole post on the subject:

Hopefully THESE give you some ideas on how to transform your bedroom in to a suite worthy of Las Vegas luxury.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Emilee's E-Design

I've mentioned I'm giving away a free E-design to all three entries in my giveaway.

Today, I'm here to feature the first design, Emilee's Master Bedroom. Be sure to go check out her blog Sweetly Made (just for you)- she has some great ideas and projects!

Emilee decided to get a design for her Master Bedroom. She and Hubby have a young son, so they need a romantic retreat!

Their space has some great architectural features, but a lack of personality. They've fallen into the trap most young marrieds do- they get so focused on the public areas of the house and then the kids rooms, they forget to focus on their bedroom- the escape from the hustle and bustle of life.

Here's a few before pics:

Look at the awesome vaulted ceiling- and the builder's grade light fixture. This room is just calling out for some romantic style!

Emily responded in her questionnaire that they liked contemporary lines, dark woods, and their new blue sheets. She and her husband are also looking for some romance in this space. Looking at their pictures, the room also functions as a home office, and one of them is a big reader. They'd like to keep this re-design around $5,000 total.  They love the style of Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. Emilee hates clutter, so integrated storage is a plus.

Here's their E-design board:

The big feature item in this room is a new bed. I recommended they splurge and invest in a bed they both love- like the one shown above from Pottery Barn. The rest of the room is budget-friendly, and as they can, they can upgrade to more investment pieces. 

Both Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware feature beds with lots of layers, so I recommended adding in a coverlet and a throw blanket on top of a white duvet cover with some detail- like the one from Target. Matching the coverlet to their existing sheets will really make the blue pop.

Other features of the room are a reading nook in the window alcove, and a steamer trunk to hold linens and serve as a place to put laundry.  The computer stays in the same location, but hides away in a computer armoire. A white Ikea chair adds a pop of freshness to the room.  I also recommended they start a gallery wall by enlarging photos that have meaning to them. 

The design finishes out with soft blue paint for the walls, a large rug for the floor, and a chandelier on a dimmer for mood lighting. I always recommend putting ceiling lights on dimmers- it makes so much difference to be able to adjust lighting to fit the activity taking place in the room. 

At $3,800, there is still plenty of room in the budget for Emilee to hire painters, seamstresses, and electricians if she so desires. 

So there's Emilee's Master Bedroom. I can't wait to see how they take the design plan and run with it! 

If you're interested in your own E-design, click on the "Interiors" tab at the top! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Bedroom Makeover!

Memorial Day weekend, before I started in on Kristen's bathroom re-do,  I tackled my guest bedroom.

I'd taken up the carpet way back when I did my bedroom, so I just needed to finish this thing!

I started by scraping the ceiling and painting it. Like I did  in my master bedroom.

Then, I painted the walls a silvery gray color to match the black, white, and red color scheme. The trim got a fresh coat of bright white paint- my favorite!

The drapes I bought several years ago at Target were way too short, so I used fusible hem tape and some red cotton broadcloth to add a banding at the bottom.

Then I painted the floors the same chocolate brown. This time, I took the lazy girl route. I didn't wash, I didn't prime, I didn't even cut in. I just started rolling that paint on.

Alex, my best helper, refuses to let me trim his nails, so he's made some gouges in the polyurethane on my bedroom floor. I wanted the guestroom to have a fix-able finish, so I decided to try floor wax. Like in Karate Kid, " wax on, wax off".

And here's the finished product!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Designing away!

I've been a busy Designing Woman the past week!

I just emailed off an E-design for Emilee, one of the entries from my giveaway. Since I only had three entries, I decided to offer everyone a free E-design as a thank you!

I can't wait to see what she thinks of it and share it with you! I think it's going to be great! Here's the inspiration image I found:

Pottery Barn

Next up is a space plan for a friend of Prince Charming's who just moved into a new loft. We did the consultation tonight and wow, what a view! His place is on the 37th floor overlooking downtown Atlanta. AMAZING!

Then, giveaway E-design #2, a fabulous and functional laundry room! I'm thinking pink on this one.

SW6840 Exuberant Pink
Beyond all that, a long-time work client is looking at converting an old 1800's warehouse into a boutique hotel.  When I was in town last week for a site visit, he took me by to get my thoughts. I just had to share some of the amazing potential this place has.

LOVE all the old brick. I really hope the deal goes through, because I'd die to work on a restoration and adaptive reuse like this!

I can't wait to share it all with you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tasty Tuesday- Sissy's Edition

My sister, wonderful as she is, wrote an entire Tasty Tuesday post for me!  I guess you can consider this my first guest post!
Take it away Sis!

I am a big fan of summer salads. I probably have about a million bookmarked, printed out, and starred in my feed reader (okay that's an exaggeration, but it is a lot). They are a quick one dish meal that, in my busy world, are a life saver. Susie Homemaker will also be the first to tell you that I don't eat enough vegetables. It's not that I don't like vegetables, I do. I just like bread and cheese more. So I typically make salads like this one on the weekend when I have time, and then save them for lunch during the week, when I need energy for work. I pulled this one out to make use of my bumper crop of herbs and a few fresh tomatoes from the plant in my yard. It would also be a good way to take advantage of some great farmer's market produce. 
You can find Josie's recipe here.

I made a few changes from Josie's recipe for simplicity and to suit what I had. I used garden tomatoes, diced, chopped my herbs in my food processor (I also didn't measure, just eyeballed- don't tell Susie!), and mixed my vinaigrette in a jelly jar right before adding it to the salad. This made a great lunch, dinner, and filling for the last tortilla from taco night.  It made a healthy 6 main dish servings, so it would also be great for any summer parties. I am sure it would probably keep well for about a week in the fridge, but mine only lasted a few days- it was so good! I will be making this one again, maybe with some crumbled goat cheese and basalmic added to the vinaigrette. 

Thank you Sissy! What a great Summer salad idea! I can't wait to try it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kristen's bathroom- REVEALED!

I know you have all been anxiously awaiting the reveal of Kristen's bathroom. Since we did the reno while she was on vacation, I had to wait until she was home before I could reveal it!

I'm about to burst I'm so excited to share this with you!

Here's the before:

Talk about SMALL! If you remember when I first blogged about it here, this is the only bathroom, so it needs to be high on function AND style.

I shared a peek at the design board and the storage wall here.

And now, here's the finished product!

I need to extend a huge thank you to my awesome Mom, who came down and supervised the installation while I was at work. Another huge thank you to Kristen and Kris, for the opportunity and for letting me feature them here.

Soon, I will have the e-design for the winner of my Giveaway to feature!

Remember, if you are interested in your own E-design, you can contact me at! Click on the "Interiors" tab at the top for more info!

Linking up to:

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