Master Bath Makeover!

I’m not really sure what got me started on this project. I wasn’t actually unhappy with our master bath. I think I was just spending too much time on Pinterest and got the seven year itch…

The main change I made to our bathroom was painting the vanity. The color is Nocturne by Behr from Home Depot.

The smaller changes I made were a new bathmat and rearranging the accessories. My inspiration was a stunning master bath by Amber Interiors. If you are as in love as I am with her style, check out my post on finding the ingredients for her beautiful spaces.
Some of the elements I wanted to use included:

  • Wooden and metal trays
  • Ceramic containers in white and neutrals
  • Greenery
  • Ladder towel rack
  • Dark vanity with marble top
  • Geometric flooring

With just a few changes, I am excited to see the transformation in our master bathroom!


I wonder which room is next to be the beneficiary (victim) of my makeover fever!

“Jewels”

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From Curb to Chic: Side Table Makeover

You may know that doing the Avon 39 Walk for Breast Cancer is an annual tradition for me. The two-day walk gives lots of time for long talks with my friends. Last year, an old friend asked our group to think about what our “dream job” would be. I already have my dream job, but I took the opportunity to reflect on what an alternate or next career could be… something I love doing, but which is not so practical… the easy answer was that I’d love to refinish old furniture with fresh looks.

It makes me so happy when I can take a piece of furniture with great classic style but a little (or a lot of) wear and turn it into something beautiful and full of personality. I’ll list some of my favorite past projects at the bottom of this post.


Now on to today’s post… It has been a while since I picked this little end table up off the side of the road. My oldest was with me and remarked, “There’s mom being mom” in the affectionate way you talk about a lovable, quirky relative.

While I loved the Chinese/ Chinoiserie style of this little table, I was a bit intimidated by its poor condition. You can’t really appreciate in the picture how water-damaged, chipped, and uneven the wood was. Still, it was sturdy enough, and with my newfound love of gardening and greenery, I thought it would make a great plant stand.

I sanded the table aggressively, used wood glue on one of the legs that was cracked, and then painted it with three coats of white latex enamel (leftover from the interior trim of our house). I didn’t even try to fully even out and fix the surface, letting a lot of the dents and scratches show and add character.

The white paint did a good job brightening up the table and made it look more finished, but it was kind of plain… time for a touch of gold spray paint to cap the legs, and I love the finished product!

Here is my new old table in our living room. I think I’ll probably move it up to my bedroom later, but I’m still experimenting with how to use this handsome accent piece!

If you like this project, check out some of past “fabulous furniture makeovers”:

Wow, that was a longer list than I expected. I guess I have a good start on that next career, when I’m ready!

Happy furniture hunting and painting!

“Jewels”

Book Review: The Design Cookbook

I love books. Not just the stories in them, but the feel of hefty printed pages in your hands. I especially love looking at used books stores and book sales. There’s something about the combination of a good deal on a newer book mixed in with the curiosities of vintage books that makes for such an enjoyable browsing.

I was recently in Chicago, where I met up with some friends from high school to do the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer. On our last day, having walked 39 miles through the beautiful city and shopped our hearts out at the fashion outlets, a friend and I hunted down a big used bookstore: after-words in River North.

I found some fun books for souvenirs for the boys, and my personal pick was The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards. Even in this day of Pinterest, I find there is something special about browsing glossy images in a book or magazine.

Kelly Edwards really captures my style goals in this book – the rooms all have an eclectic combination of classic, modern, and whimsical elements. This can be a hard look to pull off, because the room is much more than a sum of the parts, so the “cook book” format is especially helpful. Kelly shows a series of rooms and then breaks them down into a list of features, like a painted lamp and dark walls. I like how this step-by-step approach to decorating can help you with recreating any room you see. The book also includes a handful of DIY projects.

Here are a few of my favorite vignettes from the book.

I am definitely feeling inspired, and I hope you are too!  For the “recipes” for these rooms and more, check out The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards.

“Jewels”

Chinoiserie Chic Living Room

Our living room has evolved over the years. Here’s a look at some of our latest additions, including the color block drapes and these pretty turquoise chairs from Article (formerly Bryght). I have to admit I was pretty nervous when the intense color showed up in my living room, but I am so glad I took a risk!

Over on the other side of the room, I have a little bar set up next to the dining area:

I recently moved this painted Chinese screen over the bar area when I was rearranging our art. I really like how it brings the eye up and emphasizes the tall ceilings.

And here are two paintings by my mom that I recently added to the living room. These remind me of De Gournay wallpapers and add an authentic bit of Chinoiserie to our home.

Hope you enjoyed the details in our living room!

“Jewels”

Tip for Quick DIY Greeting Cards!

So, by now it is no secret that I love beautiful papers and prints. While I am busy discarding and tidying my house a la Marie Kondo’s book,The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have held on to almost all my paper, as it does truly spark joy! That being said, all this beautiful paper doesn’t belong stored in a craft room, so I am always looking for ways to use and share it. I made this paper art to decorate my craft studio, and I have a big project cooking up for the holidays.

I also love making cards. While these can get elaborate, with multiple papers and shapes, rubber stamps and ribbons, today I want to share a quick way to make unique cards. All you need for this project is two sheets of coordinating paper, and you will end up with four beautiful one-of-a-kind cards.

Tip for Quick DIY Greeting Cards! It's quick and easy to turn two sheets of scrapbook paper into four unique greeting cards | Jewels at Home

Here’s how:

  • Start with two sheets of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper in coordinating colors and patterns
  • Cut 2″ off both sheets of paper, to create 10’x 12″ sheets
  • Cut the sheets in half in the perpendicular direction, to create four 6″x10″ sheets
  • Fold the sheets in half to make cards that are 5″x6″, which fit easily in envelopes for 5″x7″cards (for some reason, I have a ton of these collected over the years!)
  • Finally, cut the 2″ strips in half lengthwise and glue them on the cards of the opposite paper, to create a simple and pretty design.
  • If you are making more sets of cards, you can switch the 2″ strips around multiple ways, to create even more different patterns!

Tip for Quick DIY Greeting Cards! It's quick and easy to turn two sheets of scrapbook paper into four unique greeting cards | Jewels at Home

One of the things I love about this project is that there are no scraps leftover – just a set of cards ready to brighten a friend’s day!

“Jewels”

Artsy Decoupaged Mirror Frame

As you know, since I read Marie Kondo’s book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (my review here), I have been busy clearing out and cleaning up our home. Ironically, once I removed a lot of the random piles of kids’ artwork and sports equipment from our foyer, it looks rather bare.

This space definitely needs a brighter and more colorful feel, and I decided to start by adding some pretty paper to our foyer mirror.

Artsy Decoupaged Mirror Frame | Jewels at HomeI originally had a plain mirror there, one that actually came with a bathroom vanity I ordered for our guest room. It was very simple and the perfect blank slate for something decorative. I had bought this pretty blue paper from Paper Source a while ago, and it has been waiting for a project! I used to use Mod Podge for decoupage, but I recently bought a tub of Yes All-Purpose Stik Flat Glue to try, and it has been working well, without the odor of Mod Podge.
Artsy Decoupaged Mirror Frame | Jewels at HomeHere’s how this splash of color and pattern looks in our foyer. It reminds me of the the pretty patterns from Serena and Lily. I think the next addition will be some more accessories and a rug. Hope to show those to you soon!Artsy Decoupaged Mirror Frame | Jewels at Home
Artsy Decoupaged Mirror | Jewels at Home

“Jewels”

Planning a Room – From Inspiration to Finishing Touches

Did you just move into a new place? Or perhaps you are settled in your home but ready for a change of style. It can be challenging to plan a space from scratch, but it’s also a great opportunity.

For better or worse, Steve and I have moved a lot over the years, and on the “better” side, I’ve gotten a lot of experience designing spaces. Though I could have transferred our furniture and look directly from home to home, I used each move as an opportunity to refine our collection and re-consider our style. Of course, each home had its unique features of architecture, layout, and lighting, and adapting to each of these became an opportunity to try something new.

Here are some tips for creating your own dream room:

  1. Define the look you want
  • I like to look at magazines and online – Pinterest is perfect for this – and collect images of rooms I like. I start by collecting everything that catches my eye, and then I will edit the collection and look for common themes.
  • Once I have a collection of images that I like, I try to summarize the look in words, defining the color scheme and style. Having the style summarized helps keep me focused when I start decorating.
  1. Go slowly
  • I like to add elements bit-by-bit, to help me see how everything will fit together. I’ll often revise my plans as I go.
  • Don’t rush, or you may end up buying a lot of cheaper items to stay within your budget instead of focusing on slowly acquiring quality pieces.
  • Use what you have! I’ve had a lot of success re-using furniture in new ways. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the purpose of a piece of furniture. For example, we used this bedroom dresser as a dining room sideboard for a while, and more recently, I switched to using a former TV stand as our side board.
  • Other times, you can repaint or reupholster an item to give it a new look. For example, I spent quite some time looking for black dining chairs with architectural lines, only to realize that I could repaint our existing dining chairs, and by adding a whimsical chinoiserie fabric to the seats, they fit in perfect with our new look.

3. Make it personal

  • While most rooms work best with an overall vision and cohesive style, the unique and unexpected touches are what make a room feel complete. This could be an accent of an bright color or modern art displayed in a traditional room.
  • To make your room feel personal and warm, It’s also important to make sure that you use a mix of new and old items in a room, so your home doesn’t feel like they came straight out of a catalog. I like to find vintage furniture on craigslist like this wooden chest or our marble top coffee table. I’ve also found a lot of great vintage picture frames and ceramics at local thrift stores.

~~~~~

A fun room to demonstrate this process is our living-dining room.

The style I honed in on for this room was based on a Hollywood Regency mid-century look. The main colors are silver/grey and blue. One of my favorite inspiration rooms is this one, by designer Elizabeth Gordon. I love the clean-lined feminine upholstered pieces, with touches of metallic glamor.

Source: Houzz.com

While I am well on the way to creating our dream living room, my rooms are never really done. I’m always tweaking things and looking for ways to change things around. One piece I have an eye on is this Chinese cabinet from the online auction site invaluable.com. They have a variety of fine art for sale, including paintings and sculptures that would make a great jumping off point for your inspired space! The folks over at invaluable inspired me to write this post, and I have big ideas for a cabinet like this.

chinese armoire

I would like to turn this into a bar cabinet, by adding mirrors to the inside and displaying glasses and bottles. The doors would keep clutter hidden, but the screens would allow glimpses of the glass and bottles on the inside. I think it would be a spectacular addition.

I’ve already been scouting out the accessories I would need:

I hope I will be able to do this project soon and show it to you!

“Jewels”

A Few of My Favorite Chairs – Whimsical Chippendale Makeover

I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have a bit of a thing for chairs. I picked up a set of Chippendale chairs off of craigslist a while ago. I’ll admit that I didn’t even know exactly where they would go, but I could not pass up these beauties.

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

There were three armchairs, and you may remember I painted these black and reupholstered the seats with a complementary lattice print. They make beautiful side chairs in our living-dining room.

20140329-171806.jpg

Next up were the four side chairs. I originally thought I would use them for an eat-in area in our kitchen, but when we renovated, we ended up with seating at the island, instead of a separate table.

Not to worry, though, the side chairs have found a home in our family room. This room is decorated with lots of white, as you can see in our “built-in” fireplace wall, and blue, as you can see in the new graphic pillows, so I found a print for the seats of the chairs that would connect to these colors. I love how the modern print makes these traditional chairs feel more contemporary, and the circles complement the angles of the lattice.
A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

Here’s how the new chairs fit in to the kids’ study space in our family room: A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

And a final look to see how all these chairs were transformed from stuffy to stunning!

20140329-171754.jpg

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

So fun! So fun! Funny story. Some of you know that Steve is an avid runner, and I honestly believe I get the same endorphin rush from completing a fun makeover project like this one. Isn’t that crazy?

“Jewels”