I thought you might like a little tour of one of my favorite spaces in my home – the master bedroom. I know sleep experts say you should only use the bedroom for sleep and sex, but I treat my bedroom as a living space. I enjoy spending time in my room sipping coffee, reading, watching television, studying, writing, and creating just like I do in other rooms in my home.
I recently enlisted the help of Sarah Calk with SadlsDesigns to make new pillow coverings to freshen up my space – since we are apparently going to be spending A LOT of time at home. I spied a beautiful antelope fabric on her Instagram feed and reached out to see if she could make some Euro shams and a long bolster pillow with leftover fabric from a reupholstery project. I am so happy with how it turned out. Sarah does great work – she learned all her sewing skills from her mother. Please contact Sarah at [email protected] for inquiries.
I love how the navy and light blue play together. It’s fun to mix patterns and colors. And yes, I have a lot of pillows (eight decorative pillows and four-bed pillows for sleeping; yes that equals twelve) on my bed – much to Mr. Bee’s dismay. Men will never understand the importance of pillows!
And, of course, I adore monograms. I got that from Mother. I had these linen Euro shams monogrammed in an oversized script font by Red Dog studios.
The nightstands belonged to Mother. After Daddy passed away she asked for my help in redecorating her bedroom. The French Provincial dressers were dark brown and lovely, but I asked her if I could paint them with Annie Sloan chalk paint to give them a feminine, shabby chic look. I love how they turned out. Every once in a while I think about painting them in cream, but I just love the blue.
On my last trip to visit my sister, I found the mid-century gold ball wall decor in an antique shop and thought it would be perfect above the bed between two small mirrors. I love the mix of the gold wall art and silver bedside lamps. It’s totally okay to mix your metals. Not everything has to be matchy-matchy.
I pulled together most of my blue and white collection and styled a lovely cream bookshelf. I gathered up all the books in the house in varying shades of blue – even cookbooks – and put them on the shelves among my collectibles. The effect is cohesive and inviting.
Here is a photo of Mother and Daddy from my niece’s wedding. Such a sweet photo of the two of them.
The stack of books belongs to Mr. Bee. They are a nod to his love of his English heritage. Nestled on top of the books are three vintage glass paperweights. Pro tip: A good rule of thumb in decorating is to cluster things together in odd numbers like three and five of something.
Every home needs a built-in. One of the projects I helped Mother with was to design a built-in desk and glass-front cabinets for all her treasures. We installed bubble glass in the doors and lighting so the inside illuminates to showcase the contents. Lots of storage and drawers for files and linens.
The desk is a perfect spot for writing notes, or writing on my laptop.
And lastly, every room needs a good chair for reading and watching television. I found this chair and ottoman at Pier-One several years ago. I love the tufting and feminine lines.
I have a thing for rescuing and restoring chairs. And, I love to use bold fabrics when I reupholster. It’s the perfect way to showcase your personality. Here are a few of my co-stars…
This navy velvet stunner belonged to Mother’s best friend Miss Margaret. Her precious daughter Pegie gave it to me as a token of their friendship and I love having it. It was covered in a beautiful green silk, but I put the twist with a bold navy fabric.
This cutie is in my office at home. It belonged to Mother and was dark burgandy, then I recovered it in a brown and white Ikat pattern. When I moved it to its final place in my office (it’s the perfect reading chair), I wanted something bold. Mother loved birds and she also made the peacock curtains hanging in my office. I added a turquoise ottoman and it’s the perfect pop of sunshine.
I shared this little gal on Instagram recently. She was a castaway I found on the side of the road with cigarette burns. I freshened her up with a chinoiserie fabric in colors of pink, red, green, soft blue and navy. It’s the perfect chair in Miss Bee’s room. I made sure my upholstery guy replecated the ruching on the arms and tufted back just like the original version.
I bought this chair on Craig’s List. It was a nice navy and white fabric, but I had animal print in mind. I mixed an orange animal print with a geometric fabric in the same shade. I love how we did the arms and backside of the chair in geometric and animal print on the seat and front of the chair. Don’t be afraid to mix your patterns. This chair resides in my ladies lounge where I keep all my cookbooks and dishware on open shelves. The pop of color from the pillow is another addition of mixing patterns.
In my opinion you always need at least one pair of neutral chairs that you can mix with any color if your tastes change. I bought a set of these chairs at World Market a few years ago. They are light weight so I can easily move them all over the house. They have cute covered buttons in the tufts. I can change the look with a throw or pillows.
I purchase my fabric on Etsy and Hobby Lobby. If you are in Fort Worth and you are looking for an upholstery guy, I highly recommend Alfonso who is the owner of Teocal’s Upholstery, 5260 Trail Lake Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76133, (817) 423-0355. He is very reasonable, meticulous about how he matches the fabric and has a super fast turnaround. I can stop by with a photo of something I want recovered and he tells me the price and how much fabric I need to order. He does not deliver or pick up so you will need to make arrangements to drop your furniture off.
Have fun with fabric. Life it too short to be neutral. Go bold! Your furniture will thank you for the new life you are giving it.
Ace Hardware is my blog sponsor and they gave me a chance to try a new product by Amy Howard at Home– Vintage Wood Pallet Wall in a Box. I knew right away that I wanted to create a shiplap feature wall right outside the entry to my powder room. Here’s the space before. Just a blank wall painted Sea Salt from Sherwin-Williams. I had a full length leaning mirror here. It’s about an 8′ x 4′ space with no cuts for outlets, so for a beginner like me, it seemed like it would be a doable project.
Before I got started, I set up eight foot tables covered with old sheets and towels in my garage. And, I watched this how-to video .
The Pallet Wall in a Box comes with unfinished solid red oak planks enough to cover about 20 feet. Here was my first glitch…I didn’t order enough wood. Thankfully, I have a super sweet relationship with Jabo’s Ace Hardware and they were able to help a girl out by expediting another box to me within a few days.
I laid all the wood out on the tables and set up my supplies.
After I was finished, I let the planks completely dry for a few hours while I worked on laundry. The planks will darken as they dry. You could stop here if you wanted to, but I wanted a white wash look to the planks, so I moved to the next step the Venetian Plaster application. It’s a plaster made of lime and powdered marble and gives a beautiful textural aesthetic to the wood.
I poured the powder into a plastic bowl and added water until I got the consistency of a milk shake, stirring until smooth. Using my paint brush I painted the stained wood with a generous coating of the plaster. Note: I worked with one plank at a time, first applying plaster, then troweling it off.
Then with a plastering trowel, I skimmed off the coating of the plaster leaving a deposit of the plaster in the wood grain.
It’s amazing how the plaster seemed to know exactly where to stay to show the beautiful detail of the wood. I let the plaster sit overnight. Tip: I watched the weather to make sure there were no freezing temperatures to affect the wood while it cured in the garage. Be sure to plan accordingly if you attempt this project during cold weather by moving your wood inside.
The next step was to apply the Cerusing Wax which is a soft wax that gives a satin patina of protection on the wood. I first applied it with a lint free cloth, but I switched to a brush because it seemed to go on easier with a brush. After I applied the wax, I let the wood dry for about an hour, then I went back and buffed it with a soft cloth. You could feel the softness of the surface and it did give the wood a very light satin finish.
Then came woodworking school. Because I have zero experience using power tools, I asked my two guy friends from church, who are skilled at a chop saw and nail gun, to help me. They got the project started for me and once they were half way finished, they walked me through how to install the wood planks myself. You can see in the photo below how they marked the studs in the wall with a pencil. Those marks showed me where to nail the boards up first. They showed me how the wood is installed with no specific pattern. Look at this photo how each plank is different, some whiter than others, some more distressed. The ends don’t match either. Some rows have two planks, some have three planks. They were great teachers to show me how to determine what plank we should pick for the next row.
Then, came learning how to use a chop saw. It’s amazing how empowering you can feel the first time you use a power tool…as demonstrated on my face here!
We went back and forth with cutting, nailing, cutting and nailing. The install took about three hours.
The last bit that needed to be done to finish was the strip right above the baseboard. It wasn’t quite wide enough for the plank to fit, so the church guys took it back to their shop to use the table saw. Once that cut was made and installed, it was finished. I couldn’t believe how it transformed this small space and made it so fresh and clean looking.
The total for the wood and supplies was about $272. That was because I needed two boxes of wood. If you are just needing one box you’d spend around $171. In terms of time, I broke down the project over several weekends because that was what worked for my schedule. I think you could easily stain and plaster the wood one day, wax and install day two.
I would totally encourage you to try this project on your own. It is really fun when you can look at something and know you made it. As Amy says, “Enjoy the bragging rights!”
To purchase the products listed in this post click here. Amy Howard products are available through Amy Howard at Home and through Jabo’s Ace Hardware.
I had so much fun attending the Ballard Designs Fort Worth store preview last evening. Located in the Shops at Clearfork, this new store is a stunning. Beautiful lighting, creative displays and very attentive staff will make this newest jewel to Clearfork sparkle.
I have been a longtime customer of their catalog, but have never had the chance to actually shop in a store. It was a treat to meet the management team, including Ryan McKelvey, President of Ballard Designs. We chatted about his excitement over this new store to the company’s over 30-year history. I also got to meet the darling Lindsey Pfeiffer from Ohio, who has the fun job of traveling to open new stores. I smell a new job for me someday!
I wandered the store and snapped inspiration ideas. One of my favorite things to do is nest at home on the weekends moving furniture and accessories around the house. So, to be able to spend time studying how their design team styled the accessories was a real treat. The store features a huge design center central in the store layout, so you can sit and study features and fabrics to customize your choices.
I loved this pillow. I think it would be a perfect house warming or wedding gift.
And this bag, well it just says, “welcome to summer, darling.” It’s lined with the cutest black and white striped ticking. It’s quite roomy so it will fit your beach reads, laptop, towel and flipflops.
I tried to find ideas to share with you on how to style what you already have. Good style doesn’t have to be expensive. Focus on being creative and thinking outside the box on how you display your treasures. Case in point, look at this wooden bowl filled with spools of twine!
Or these glass jars in your laundry room filled with soap, clothespins, and twine.
Blue and white. I chatted with the store manager Joyce Tarter and asked her what her favorite color was and she said, “blue, because everyone looks good in blue!” Mother always told me that blue is nature’s color and it will go with everything, and she was right. I loved their vast selection of blue and white ginger jars.
Look how they used one of the ginger jars to hold paint brushes! I love this inspiration.
Pops of color were everywhere — hot pink and orange. But, there were also subtle touches of blush pink and coral.
Coffee table books were everywhere! Stacks of books are the perfect accessory on a table. Add a candle and some fresh flowers and call it day.
Almost 10 years ago, we were searching for a home where we could live as two families — me, Mr. and Miss Bee and my parents. We weren’t quite sure how we could make this home work for us, but we did. Our home had the typical set up with formal and separate dining and living areas but we knew these spaces would not be used in the traditional sense. I put a twist on the dining room and turned it into my “ladies lounge” – a place for a small group of my friends to meet and gather while the men are in the family room.
I needed it to also be functional space for my serving pieces and cookbooks so I added two Emerson bookshelves from World Market. I took inspiration from open shelving where you can go right to the shelf to get what you need to set the table. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest. Just type in “Open Kitchen” in the search field and photos like this from Oak House Design Company will pop up.
I love stacked glassware, utensils standing up in tumblers, a variety of cake stands, and assorted plates and bowls.
If you are considering shelving, I highly recommend the Emerson bookshelves. You do have to assemble them, but they are very sturdy and high quality. Look at the fun hardware on the front and a kick bar on the bottoms.
I had my friend Megan from Cleggraphy Designs letter the fronts of these chalkboard boxes from Magnolia Market. I use the boxes to hold a variety of my cookbooks into categories like French cooking, baking and cookbooks good for weeknight dinner recipes.
Remember to take the covers off your cookbooks to expose the beautiful colors publishers use for the spines and covers of the books (you can tuck the covers away in a storage box or file if you don’t want to throw them away).
The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Quietude. It’s the perfect blue for this space. I had the sofa recovered into a fun animal print. The Erin Cute-as-a-Button chairs are from World Market. The tufted chairs have colorful buttons that add a touch of whimsy.
The chairs are neutral enough that I can move them around the house to different rooms depending on my mood. That gorgeous Chiang Mai pillow on the sofa was made by Stuck on Hue. Hollie does beautiful work.
Yes, there are three different types of animal print going on in this room and I love it! I had the orange animal print bolster pillows made from left over fabric from this chair in my family room. The blue animal print pillows I purchased at Target, but I don’t think they are available anymore. The beautiful antique library table is made of tigerwood. It’s been in our family for years. The plant stand has a marble insert and belonged to Mother. The cream ottoman is from HomeGoods and is perfect hidden storage to hide out-of-season decor.
I like to refer to my home office as the “Honeycomb Hideout.” Reminiscent of the 70’s television commercial with the Honeycomb cereal, the kids hung out in their tree house talking about grown-ups and ate cereal. Unfortunately, if you look it up on Urban Dictionary they define Honeycomb Hideout as a “place to smoke weed and hide until the cops come.” Clearly, I use my space for something totally different.
My office walls are painted “Dragon Fly” by Behr. The color and the wall quote are a carry over from when Miss Bee used this as her bedroom before she migrated to another bedroom in the house. I wanted the inspirational quote to be the last thing she saw each night before she drifted off to sleep. The wall color plays well with orange, yellow, lime green and teal.
These little glass boxes were popular back in the 70’s and I am enjoying seeing them on trend right now. It’s the perfect place to tuck my calling cards.
I used Mother’s collection of milk glass to display Sharpies and other office supplies.
Surround yourself with things that tell a story and give inspiration. The shells came from Gulf Shores, the place I found refuge the first Christmas I lost Mother. The sea glass was found on Orcas Island in Washington during a trip with my girlfriends. My niece gave me the succulent and it loves sitting under my desk lamp. The “hope” rock was given to me by a member of the grief support group I lead at church.
I have a stack of Nancy Drew books from childhood. The vintage windup clock I found in an antique store. It is very worn on the back from winding it up. I like to imagine it was used by Doris Day.
Which leads me to Doris’s phone… See the blue one in the mirror, too…
The yellow paperweight and turquoise perfume bottle were Mother’s. The other paperweight is vintage. All sit atop a mirrored tray. I love the peacefulness of the meditating Buddha statue.
The last touch I want to share is a little plaque Mother found for me. It hung on the door to my childhood room on 4617 Meadowbrook Drive. She saved it when we moved from that house when I was a senior in high school. I found it in her things after she passed away.
All of these touches — some new, some familiar, evoke the energy and calm I want in my blogging retreat. I’ve got some other fun finds in this room I will share another day. I hope you enjoyed the tour!
Here’s an easy project I did a few years ago to re-purpose a wall calendar from Rifle Paper Company, one of my favorite paper sources. I didn’t want to stop enjoying the lovely, floral botanical images so I made them into artwork.
I already had frames of a similar type with large mats, a style I prefer, and for the frames that didn’t have a mat I took them to Michael’s and they cut the mats for me to my specifications. I went through the calendar and decided to use pages that meant the most to me — months representing the birthdays of my parents and siblings and our wedding anniversary — February, April, May, June and August.
I am really not a DIY gal so I tend to do things in a less scientific way. When it came time to figure out the correct size for each frame, I just laid the glass or mat from the frame on the image I wanted to highlight, traced around the edge of the glass/mat with a pencil, then cut the image with scissors and put the page into each of the frames.
Some frames weren’t big enough for the calendar portion of the page, so I just focused on the month or the flowers. Something I didn’t do, but would be fun, is to circle the important dates on the calendar.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The gallery of art is soothing, beautiful and meaningful to me. Plus this DIY project cost less than $30 for a few pieces of mat board and I recycled a perfectly good calendar. As we near the end of 2016, now would be good time to find clearance calendars to do this project for yourself or as a wedding, baby or housewarming gift.
My friends at Invaluable asked me to share my favorite ways to shop for home decor and furniture. Anytime anyone gives me a challenge to shop, I gladly accept! There are so many great ideas out there, but here are my “Top Six” that work for me when shopping at antique malls and consignment stores:
Make a list of what you need or want for your space. This specific shopping trip was to find some pieces for our outdoor entertainment space that “tell a story” and create conversation. Walking into an antique store with tons of booths is fun, but can be overwhelming without a vision of what you’re searching for. You’ll get distracted anyway with the epic space of nostalgia staring back at you, but at least you can reign in the focus with your list.
On my shopping list: 1) Something long and narrow for our dining table that I could multipurpose for the seasons; 2) A tall cart on wheels for pool towels and beverages; 3) A drop-leaf, small dining table for extra seating on the patio near the bar; and 4) A schoolhouse chalkboard.
Go with a friend. I enlisted the help of my friend Amy. She has a great eye for home decor and I thought it would be a fun way to get to know each other better rummaging through stuff. Friends can help you stay focused, be your second set of eyes because she spotted things I didn’t see…and she was my photographer! In fact, most of the things I purchased on our excursion were inspired by Amy.
Think outside the box. One item on my list was an over sized, schoolhouse type chalkboard. Amazingly, we found one pretty quick in a booth at the Montgomery Street Antique Mall. The proprietor of the booth, Patsy, told us it used to be on the wall at her church. It was pretty retro with a green background, but the shape and size were not going to work in the space I had in mind. It was fun to hear from Patsy the chalkboard had a history — that for sure would have been a fun conversation piece. However, we did find a 1920’s glass cabinet door in another booth and we thought it could serve the same purpose for writing a menu or message. And, the size was spot-on (see why tip five is important?).
Study Your Space Before You Go. One day I stopped in Buy Consignment to see what they had. I spotted a dresser, but my first thought was that it was too large. I took measurements and a photo. The covered patio has vaulted ceilings, a stone fireplace, brick and dark cedar ship lap walls — so it’s a space with a lot of presence. This meant the piece I selected needed to be on a bigger scale to balance the strong structural features. I sat back away from the porch and really studied the spot the furniture would be placed. Another good trick is to tape off the area where the furniture will go to see if it works. I realized it was the perfect size and the scale was proportionate to the space. Something smaller would have been lost and looked out of place. And, I get the bonus of the nine drawers to store entertaining essentials like napkins, plates, cookware, decor. One project I am going to add is a metal cap for the top using an Amy Howard aged, zinc patina product. Stay tuned for that.
Measure your space and take a tape measure with you. This sounds obvious, but the only way I knew if the chalkboard and dresser I was interested in were going to fit was to take measurements before I left the house. I also measured my dining table so I knew I could get a large bowl for the top. Luckily, I always have my hot pink tape measure in my bag that I received in my swag from Haven!
Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller. I found the rolling cart in Patsy’s booth, the same lady who I chatted with about the chalkboard. She knew I was sincere with my purchase because we had built a rapport. Vendors love for you to ask questions about their pieces, because it shows you have genuine interest. I told her what I was going to use the cart for and she shared that it was made from reclaimed wood using an old utility cart for the base. I love the layers of paint colors. When it came time to make a decision, I looked at the tag and asked her, “what’s your best price?” This puts it out there, but in a way that respects her and the value of what she felt was important. We agreed on about 10% off the price. And, if you buy more than one thing from a vendor, by all means it’s appropriate to say, “since I am buying several things, what can we work out on the price?”
In the end, I ended up with everything on my list. I didn’t find the drop leaf table I was looking for, but something better. On the way home from the antique store, we stopped into that same furniture consignment store where I found the dresser. I have purchased, and sold, several things there. If you find a store like this, make a point to walk through once a week. You never know what you will find. I walked in looking for a table, sat down at this looking around while Amy and I chatted…
It’s a game table with a removable top. Checkers on one side and plain on the reverse. It even came with a wooden checker set and four bar stools that nestle into the table, a perfect space saver. This meant I didn’t have to purchase more stools because these can scoot up to the bar. Remember tip #3, to think outside the box? It dawned on me that this served all the purposes I was looking for. While the finish is a little formal for my outdoor space, I think I will ponder a paint finish for it to make it more casual or I may change the covering on the stool tops (think animal print!). I styled it with my copper serving pieces, playing cards and a bowl of popcorn. I can’t wait for our first game night.
Here’s where tip #6 came in. The top had a few scratches. It was already marked down to the lowest price, but I pointed out the imperfections, that I was a frequent shopper and could take it right then. The owner gave me an additional 10% off.
I did find the wooden bowl and candle holder. Amy suggested I get both so I could change them out, or bring one inside the house for another look. They were perfect for the spaces I had in mind and can be multi-purposed for the seasons.
Here’s an example of things I didn’t notice when I was there that day. Look at that green grocery cart, the coke bottle holder and in the bottom corner the wooden rolling pins. I may have to go back. This was the booth I got the wooden bowl.
So, there are my six tips. Be sure to stop over at Invaluable to check out their on-line sales of art, collectibles and antiques. I’ve got more to share from my shopping trip, but I’ll save that another day. Remember, I said I got the chalkboard…
Note: I was not compensated for this post. Just sharing what I’ve learned along the way…
Last fall when I went to visit Sister Bee, all I wanted to do was be cozy in her mountain home and read books. She had this book Style & Simplicity by Ted Kennedy Watson on her coffee table. I immediately fell in love with his book and ordered by own copy right then and there.
This book is an “A to Z Guide to Living a More Beautiful Life.” Every letter of the alphabet is represented in a how-to guide to decorate your home and entertain your friends. Years ago, Sister taught me to copy what you see in magazines and books. She was the original Pinterest.
Something struck a cord with me when I saw this photo in the book. It was listed under Hydrangea…
A bowl of billiard balls. How clever. I tucked the idea away in my head. A few days later, Sister and Miss Bee and I went antiquing in Capitan — home of Smoky Bear. We were rummaging around and I saw a milk crate full of vintage billiard balls. Heavy, nice ones with soft colors and not plastic. I lugged the crate to the owner and asked her real kind how much. “Oh, how about $20 for the crate.” Sold! Of course, it cost about $40 to ship them home with the other treasures we found that day, but it was worth it. I have been doing a little research and I think the balls might be Bakelite!
We’ve been adding covered entertaining space on our patio and I wanted to fill the space with fun, vintage, quirky finds and these billiard balls are perfect conversation starters. All they needed was a good wipe down with a damp cloth. I found a carved wooden, long bowl at Hobby Lobby and filled it with my treasure. It was like it was meant to be because there were just enough to fill the bowl!
I’m still searching for things and will be showing you more unexpected finds soon. So, next time you look through a magazine or coffee table book, slow down and really take in the possibilities for your own home.
By definition, a powder room is a small bath for guests with a sink and toilet, but not a tub or shower. My powder room has gone through the most makeovers in the house. A tiny bath for just one person is hard to keep light and airy. I’ve painted the walls, the ceiling, tried different art work, mirrors and finally I decided the only solution for this room was wallpaper. And, not demure paper, but the type of wallpaper Blanche Devereaux would have (you know, the gal on Golden Girls?).
Growing up, my mother loved wallpaper. At 4617 Meadowbrook Drive, my childhood home, we had a distinctive bamboo green and white paper in our entry way. So it was probably imprinted on my brain since birth to have bold wallpaper in my own home.
It’s a light aqua blue, with a grass cloth texture and shimmery gold, bronze palm fronds. I knew the minute I received the sample in the mail it was what a I wanted.
I added Mr. Bee’s collection of water color prints, each painted by his father of his childhood home in the Cotswalds of England – one large print above the toilet and four more prints on the entry wall. I framed them in matching gold frames with a light blue mat. It’s lovely to walk into the room and see my father-in-law’s signature on his art.
We installed a sink and cabinet from Home Depot. A brass towel ring and toilet paper holder from Pottery Barn, a candlestick lamp, and fringe hand towels. The mirror was Mother’s and is probably 50 years old. I love the gold, ornate features.
But, something fun as an unexpected treat for your guests…
I placed a blue and white ginger jar on the counter and had my friend Megan Clegg calligraphy “Take One” on a tag sale sign..and when you open the lid…
A bowl of sour cherries! One of my favorite things. I thought it would be a nice gift for my guests – kind of like after dinner mints. And another conversation piece…A bathroom guest book from Knock Knock — please sign in while sitting down. My friend Terry has this book and I couldn’t wait until I got one for my powder room, too.
It’s the funniest book…guests can rate your amenities, leave comments and doodles. After a party I love to see what messages people left.
So, that’s the powder room. Hope you enjoyed the tour!