Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1st Blogiversary!

One year ago today I wrote my very first blog post.  I had no idea where it would take me or if I'd still be doing it a year later.  The reason I started blogging was to give myself some motivation to get some projects done.  As my blog title alludes, I'm a master procrastinator.  I can find something, anything to do to put off what I'm supposed to do.  As I've mentioned before, I have lists and lists of things to do, but I have a hard time getting myself to do them because there's always something else I can find to do instead.


I was hoping that you, my cohorts out in the interwebs, would give me a reason to get something accomplished.  I imagined that you'd be out there waiting for what I said or did next.  And I couldn't bear to disappoint you!


Now that may have been a bit dramatic, as there are plenty of other blogs where you can get lost for hours, days, weeks, even months discovering all kinds of awesome things.  And then Pinterest came along, and don't even get me started.  Talk about a time suck! 


I'm humbled that you take the time to come here and read my ramblings and check out my projects.  Most of you seem to be lurkers rather than commenters.  There are only a few people I hear from on a regular basis.  But that's okay ... I'm glad you lurkers are here too, and hopefully if a particular post resonates with you, you'll drop me a line at that time to share your thoughts.


When I went back to work five and a half months ago, I knew my blog would suffer.  Certainly I'm not able to do as many projects or spend as much time writing.  Unfortunately what has taken the bigger hit is the time I used to spend following other favorite blogs and discovering new ones.  My list of unread posts in Google Reader is in the thousands.  I'm know many of you are in the same boat, because as much as we want to get lost in the world of blogs, most of us have other priorities that have to take precedence.  Like working, or kids, or cooking, or cleaning ... or Pinterest.  :)


Although I'm not as active as I used to be, I'm still very passionate about continuing this little blog of mine, and I hope you'll stick around with me to see what happens in the next year!


If you want to know more about what I've been up to in the past year, check out my Projects page and the other pages you can access just under my blog header.

Hollie

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

House tour: Master bedroom

Many moons ago I promised you fine folks a tour of my master bedroom.  But it wasn’t quite ready.  Some people would be okay with an interim tour, but as a perfectionist, that just wouldn’t do for me.  Just when I thought I was ready again, there was another (and another … ) project I decided to take on, which kept pushing back my bedroom “completion” date.

Of course, I’ll never feel like my bedroom is complete and perfect.  Who does??  But it’s as done as it’s going to be for now, which calls for an official tour.  Now don’t get too excited.  If you’ve been around a while or explored my blog, you’ve probably seen all the parts – just not together at the same time.  But you can get a little excited.  If nothing else, you can be excited for me that I get to mark something off my to-blog list!

So … at long last … come on in!

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Rarely can you find our bed without at least one of our four kitties on it.  Domino was not phased that there was a photo shoot going on during her nap time.

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Our bedroom color palette is so soft and sweet that I decided to throw in a pop of color with the red pillow.

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Above is the wood stained nightstand my mom gave me, which I painted turquoise for The Mr.’s side of the bed.  I love the details as well as the glass knobs and pulls I added.  Below are the console table I turned into a writing desk, as well as the faux bamboo chair I recovered.  Both, obviously, I also painted turquoise.  Although the furniture pieces on either side of the bed are very different, the color and the glass hardware ties them together.

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The bedding I changed last summer and never shared with you.  It was one of those posts I started to write but never got back to it, and totally forgot about until too much time had passed.

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This is my sweet kitty Gypsy.  Doesn’t she look precious?  You’d never know she poops under our upstairs windows at least every other day.  TMI?
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Since the walls are so dark (Benjamin Moore’s Branchport Brown), and since we don’t get much light in this room on our wooded lot, I wanted the furniture to be light and bright.  The mirrors above the bed also help bounce light around.

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The linen-upholstered, nailhead-trimmed bed is a copycat of Crate & Barrel’s Colette Bed, which is a favorite of many.  This one is much better priced, and the quality is all there!  I have been so happy with it.  And I love that the whole bed frame is upholstered, rather than just the headboard.
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The mirrors above the bed are the Dubois Mirrors from Crate and Barrel.  They’re a #&%$@ to hang (and I notice now that one of them is slightly askew), but I love the look.

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Did you spy Sir Octopus above?  This is the room where he landed for good, after much debate.  I have a small dresser/chest that I've been considering sitting below Sir Octopus, but is that too much furniture for one room?

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Our back deck is outside those windows in the photo above.  Did you notice we don’t have any window treatments, by the way?  The Mr. and I disagree on that choice, just so you know.  We love our simple Shaker/Craftsman-style window trim, and he can’t bring himself to cover it.  Luckily we live on a wooded lot and nobody can see in our house unless they’re really trying.  As much as I love seeing right out to the trees when I wake up, especially on a snowy morning, I’d rather add window treatments to “finish out” the room.  We don’t have any window treatments in our house, if you can believe it!

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You may notice that while the nightstand, console table and bamboo chair, dresser, and side table are all painted, I chose to leave the chest of drawers as stained wood.  I think it’s important to balance the painted with the wood finish.  One thing that’s the same for all our bedroom furniture is that it’s up on legs.  I love furniture with legs!  My kitties like to hide under it, too.

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My glossy lipstick red side table is the second shot of red to jazz up the room.  And I love my pinwheel pillow on the blue chair.  The blue chair, however, I could do without.  Someday I’d like to have a big wingback chair I could sink down into.  Z Gallerie has an amazing turquoise leather-esque chair with nailheads that I drool over.
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I’m still so pleased with my ceiling medallions.  They really filled up the wall above, which used to be completely blank and boring.  I could even add more down the wall if I wanted to, but I like that there’s a bit of empty space.  Originally I planned on painting them various shades of soft blue/turquoise, but I like the way the current white color goes with the dresser, the door and the trim.  I think if they were blue, it may be too much blue in the room.

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My wish list item for this room is hardwood floors.  When we built the house, we put in hex tiles in our laundry room and master bath, carpet in our bedroom and closet, and hardwood everywhere else.  We thought carpet would be much more comfortable to walk on in our bedroom, especially on cold mornings.  However, as plush as the carpet looked when it first went in four years ago, it has not held up well.  It would be such a pain to clear out all the furniture from the room (where in the world would we put it?).  And I don’t think The Teen would appreciate getting booted from his bedroom so we could sleep in his queen bed and stick him with the twin bed in the guest room for a few days.  The inconveniences scare me more than the cost, to be honest!

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If you want to learn more about specific projects in my room, here are some links with how-to’s, paint colors, and other info:

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Hollie

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Set your DVR for "Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis"

Last April, I posted that Bravo had announced a new show called "Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis."  Finally -- almost a year later -- it's here!  I don't know about you, but I've missed these three!


Jeff, Jenny and Zoila will be moving in with clients for a week to makeover their homes.  On "Flipping Out," we get to watch Jeff renovate homes, but we don't always see them fully furnished.  Now we get to see the the room design process from before to after, and all the craziness in between.

I still can't believe Jeff agreed to live in clients' homes for a week.  How will he contain his OCD enough that he doesn't tick off the homeowners?  I guess that's what Jenny's for, as usual -- to smooth over his often harsh critiques.  Although what we all like about Jeff (since we're not the ones in the line of fire) is his honesty!

The show starts tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9/8c.  Here's a link to the show's page on Bravo for more details.

Hollie

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crushing on: Element Clay Studio

How excited am I that Fab.com exists?  I know I brag about it here all the time, but I can't get over the quirky, unique finds I see on there.  Some of the other flash sale sites can get repetitive, which is a good thing if you miss something one day and want it to come up again.  But when it comes to fresh products you likely haven't seen somewhere else, Fab is your place.

I caught Fab's Monday night sale and am so glad I happened to be at my computer when it launched, or I might have missed out on this gorgeous geode serving bowl with a cerulean glaze by Element Clay Studio.


Oh yeah, it's mine.  Back off.  I also really wanted this tray for my coffee table, but I passed it up this time for the bowl.


Artist Heather Knight creates each of these pieces by hand in her Asheville, NC, shop called Element Clay Studio.  I'm a sucker for anything ocean-like, and although these are made of porcelain, they look so organic, like a blend of rock and coral.

I looked her up on Etsy, and am completely blown away by her awesomeness.  Every product has me written all over it.  I mean, look how well they go with my blog colors?  I'm sure I will be visiting her again ... maybe for my next birthday or holiday gift list!

How about all these tiles?


She makes them as wall art, but wouldn't it be super-cool to have actual 3-D wall tiles like this in your bathroom?  What a textural haven it would be!!

Try to catch Element Clay Studio on Fab.com for a great deal if you can, or try Heather at her Etsy, shop.

Hollie

P.S.  Nope, I'm not affilicated with Heather's shop in any way.  I just came across it tonight and am amazed!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ceiling medallions make a big statement as wall art

If there's one thing I've learned from other bloggers, it's that things don't always have to be used as originally intended.  Some people, like Gil at My Repurposed Life and Donna at Funky Junk Interiors based their blogs around the idea of turning one thing into something else entirely.

But I've admitted before that I'm no creative genius like them.  I was not the one who originally came up with the idea to take something intended to highlight a light fixture on a ceiling and turn it into art for a wall.  Better Homes and Gardens -- several years ago before Pinterest was a twinkle in anyone's eye -- was the first place I saw it done.  I'm sure I still have the page cut out of the magazine glued into an inspiration binder somewhere.

And I'm so happy that the inspiration from years ago finally turned into reality to solve a decor dilemma in my own house.  At long last, here's the big reveal:



Super-cool, huh?  I am so happy to have found just the right thing to fill up that big expanse of wall.  Here's what it looked like before:


Boring, no?  Not anymore!  And I'm happy to be ahead of the trend (if it becomes a trend, that is) and not the last to try something.  Once something has been done so many times, I just can't see doing it myself.  Can anyone say "yellow rosette DwellStudio pillow from Target"?  Admit it ... you know you have one!

My husband and I both like to do things a little differently than most.  We never wanted a Ford Taurus or a Toyota Camry when everyone had one.  We shunned tradition and built a 1920s-style Craftsman bungalow instead of moving into a typical McMansion.  We research local haunts when we travel instead of sticking with chains we've heard of before.

Now we have a pretty unique bedroom installation, and I'm excited to finally show it off!  If you're intrigued by this project, these links will help answer some questions about how I got here:

I'm sure some of you will wonder how I hung them. I just used Command Strips.  They didn't always stick well to the back because the medallions have a powdery finish on them.  They come primed, so there's a fine dust on the back that's hard to remove.  When sticking was a problem, I used super glue to stick the strip to the back of the medallion.  Easy enough.  Just took a little longer than planned to get them hung.

Oh, and be careful what medallions you choose.  Some (like the ones I found locally at Lowe's) are plastic, whereas the ones I purchased (from Crown-Molding.com and ArchitecturalDepot.com) are "rigid polyurethane millwork," manufactured to resemble the old plaster medallions.

At long last, my master bedroom is finally complete, and I can add a new room to my House Tour.  I guess I'll have to wait for next weekend to catch the right light for photos, though.  Oh, the frustrations of working during the day and waiting for the weekends to get decent photographs!  (Ha, ha.  I know, there are much worse things.)

Speaking of photos, I have certainly learned a lot about the manual settings on my camera in the past several months, and my goal for 2012 is to learn more about capturing great shots.  I hope to buy a new lens soon, as I feel like mine are limiting me.  My photos just don't seem sharp and crisp, although I use a tripod for indoor shots.  Now if I could just sit myself down long enough without a computer in my lap to read the photography books I got for Xmas, I might be able to get somewhere.

One thing I have learned is that interior lights can be your enemy.  My bedroom is so dark, with the chocolate brown walls and since our house is very shaded.  I used to turn on the lights to get brighter photos.  This time, I left the lights off and just scheduled my photo shoot for the time of day when a soft, natural light filters in through my back windows.  If you didn't notice the lighting difference in the photos above, look again.  Interesting, huh?

Maybe I better get to reading those photography books before I schedule my bedroom house tour photo shoot.  If only I weren't addicted to ye ole internet!  I do have a lot of blog reading to catch up on.  Luckily The Mr. has a gig tonight and The Teen has some new gaming toys, and I'll be left all alone to reintroduce myself to my lonely Google Reader list.  I'll be seeing some of you there later!

Hollie


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