Make Your Own Decorative Christmas Trees

Don’t get me wrong, I pretty much love craft projects just for the joy of making something with my own hands. But, to be honest, there are DIY projects that look just like you DIY’ed them, those that turn out as well as something you would buy, and then there are those that turn out to be truly beautiful, unique pieces of art. When I saw these handmade Christmas trees by Shauna Mailloux, I knew they fell into the last category, and I couldn’t wait to try them myself.

There are a hundred ways you could customize these trees. I used a few of Shauna’s ideas and came up with some of my own, browsing the craft store and my own odds and ends. I encourage you to try making your own unique holiday creations!

Make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees. Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!

Like Shauna, I made my own tree bases by rolling cardboard boxes into cones of varying sizes.

Make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Here are the first few trees I made. (With some luck,) I’ll add more later. I call these the “instant gratification” trees, because they were quick and easy. The “blood, sweat, and tears” trees will take a little longer…

Feather boa tree
This is my absolutely favorite of Shauna’s trees. It has a great funky elegance. When i was looking for supplies, I wasn’t sure about the quantities of materials needed, so I’ll list what I used to help you with your sourcing.

For this tree, I used 4ft of feather boa for a 14″ tall tree. It was simple to tuck one end of the boa in the top of the cone and wind it around, securing it with some hot glue once in a while. You can leave quite a bit of space between the rows, since the boa is so fluffy. I used a white cardboard cone, in case any cardboard showed in between the rows.

Make your own decorative Christmas tree from a feather boa.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

White feather boa Christmas tree.

Eyelash yarn tree
I loved the look of the white boa, but all the other boas at the craft store came in rather non-Christmasy colors. Luckily, this glitter eyelash yarn gives a very similar look!

Use glitter eyelash yarn to make your own decorative Christmas tree.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

One ball (0.88oz ; 39 yards) of glitter eyelash yarn covered a 12″ tree. I used two strands (pulled the yarn from both ends) twisted together, as it’s actually very fine yarn.  The technique is the same – tuck the end in the top and wind the yarn around, but since the yarn is so fine, I used the toothpick end of my tree topper to help push it inside the cone.

I absolutely love this one, too!  The tinsel strands reflect light and make it sparkle.  I’ll show how to make the little beaded tree topper below.

Use glitter eyelash yarn to make your own decorative Christmas tree.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

Glitter eyelash yarn Christmas tree with a beaded topper.

And then, there were two!

Use eyelash yarn or a feather boa to make your own decorative Christmas trees.  Easy, inexpensive, and unique holiday decor!  From Jewels at Home.

The fluffy ones! Feather boa tree and glitter eyelash tree.

Cording and braid trees

Not just for Marie Antoinette’s curtains, the trim section of our local craft store had some more great finds.  I found some cord in red and also these green and gold braids. Because of the lacy edges of the green and gold braid, I spray-painted the cardboard cones to match first. The rest is the same as the others, sticking the end in the top of the cone and winding around, with hot glue applied along the way.

In terms of supplies,

  • the red cord tree used 2.5 yards for a 9.5″ tall cone
  • 3 yards of the green covered a 9.5″ high cone, with a few inches to spare
  • the gold is a bit narrower, and I used 4 yards to cover a 12″ tree, with some space between the rows, as shown

 

DIY Christmas trees made with braided trims.  Easy and elegant Christmas decor.  From Jewels at Home.

DIY Christmas trees made with braided trims.

Beaded tree-topper

I also got this idea from Shauna’s trees, though she didn’t explain exactly how she made it, so here’s what I did.

  • Glue a large bead onto the end of a toothpick (top left picture below)
  • Spread tacky glue over the surface of your large bead (top right picture below)
  • Dip your glue-y tree topper into a bowl of small beads (bottom left picture below)
  • Insert the toothpick into the top of your tree.  Ta-da! (bottom right picture below)

Beaded topper for a small Christmas tree.  From Jewels at Home.

I have some ideas for more tree toppers, though I think that many of the trees look great on their own, too.

 

DIY Christmas trees.  Easy and elegant Christmas decor.  From Jewels at Home.

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

“Jewels”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retro Travel Art and Accessories for Kids’ Rooms

Every time I walk into Lavish in Hayes Valley, I find a great piece of wrapping paper to use for a new project. At just $4 a sheet, these provide a lot of creative bang for the buck. First, there was the graphic red print I used to line J’s nursery bookcase. Next, I found a sweet hydrangea paper for my craft studio. Most recently, I was inspired by this retro air travel print from Cavallini & Co..

Retro air travel paper from Cavallini a& Co.

Retro air travel paper from Cavallini a& Co.

I didn’t originally plan a themed bedroom for our older boys, and I still want to keep it pretty neutral. The travel theme evolved first from these beautiful retro-style city posters by Karen Young of Loose Petals.

Retro-style city art prints by Karen Young of Loose Petals.

Retro-style city art prints by Karen Young of Loose Petals.

When I saw the wrapping paper, I knew it would tie in perfectly. I framed a section of paper as art – easy! – and then used more for DIY pencil tins and magnets for our DIY racing stripe magnet boards.

Upcycled DIY pencil tins with cool retro air travel paper.  From Jewels at Home.

Upcycled DIY pencil tins with cool retro air travel paper.

Upcycle advertising magnets with some fun paper.  Jewels at Home.

Upcycle advertising magnets with some fun paper. Jewels at Home.

Here are those new items pictured in the boys’ room.

DIY upcycled pencil tins with a cool retro air travel paper.  Jewels at Home.

DIY upcycled magents with a cool retro air travel paper.  Jewels at Home.

DIY upcycled magents with a cool retro air travel paper.  Jewels at Home.

 

Kids' gallery wall with retro travel art, DIY wall initials and DIY frames with clips to change art.  Click for details and tutorials.  {Jewels at Home}

Kids' gallery wall with retro travel art, DIY wall initials and DIY frames with clips to change art.  Click for details and tutorials.  {Jewels at Home}

And here’s a summary of the fun projects I did with this new paper: pencil tins, magnets, and framed art:

Ideas for fun wrapping paper projects: DIY pencil tins, magnets, and framed art.  Jewels at Home.

There’s still plenty of paper leftover. I’m thinking it would be perfect for luggage tags!

Yay! I’m excited to see the boys’ room slowly coming together!

“Jewels”

Fabric-covered Decorative Boxes

It’s a bit silly that I avidly study “styled” displays of decorative items, because I have three boys who consider it their role to re-style any arrangement I make. Nonetheless, I keep my eye out for great objects and projects to bring beauty into our home. And for now, these are all placed well above the reach of little hands.

Some staples of a beautifully accessorized room are framed art, vases, books, trays, and boxes… I love the look of a stack of beautiful boxes!

I was pondering how to make a set of boxes when inspiration came from the most unexpected source! Remember those three little boys I was talking about? At the start of summer, I ordered three pairs of sandals for them. After they arrived and were unpacked, I found myself with a set of three perfectly matched boxes in small, medium, and large!

With the addition of some gorgeous fabric I found for just $2.99 a yard, those plain shoe boxes became a beautiful display!

Tutorial for DIY Fabric-covered decorative boxes from Jewels at Home.

DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • box(es)
  • fabric – I used only 2/3 yard for all three boxes. That’s a $2 project!
  • scissors
  • glue stick – I used this on the outside, for a smooth finish
  • tacky glue or white glue – I used this to glue the inside flaps, for extra security

Here’s the step-by-step:

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes.  From Jewels at Home.

Above left: Fill in any holes in the box design with scrap cardboard.

Above right: Cut out fabric to fit wrap around box, including the sides and allowing about an inch extra to wrap to the inside.

Tutorial for DIY Fabric-covered decorative boxes.  From Jewels at Home.

Above top: Use the glue stick to lightly attach the bottom of the box to the fabric. At each front corner, cut diagonally to the bottom corner and trim, as shown. Apply glue stick lightly and fold up the fabric onto the front of the box. Fold flaps from the front towards the side of the box and glue them down securely with the glue stick.

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes from Jewels at Home.

When cutting the flaps at the back of the box, make sure to leave some fabric to wrap the edge of the lid.

Above bottom: Apply glue stick lightly and fold fabric over the back of the box. At each back corner, cut diagonally to the bottom corner and trim, as shown. Again, fold a flap towards the side of the box and glue it down securely with the glue stick.

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes. From Jewels at Home.

Above top: For the side flaps, fold in the excess, so that a finished edge lines up with the edge of the box.

Above bottom: Apply glue stick liberally, and fold up the side flaps.

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes. From Jewels at Home.

Above top: Apply glue stick lightly and attach fabric to top of box.

Above bottom: At the top corners of the lid, cut the fabric diagonally to the corners and trim. Left: Apply glue lightly to the front of the lid and then glue a flap securely towards each side. Right: fold the side flaps, so a finished edge lines up with the edge of the lid. Glue securely with glue stick.

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes. From Jewels at Home.

Above left: Trim excess fabric.

Above right: Use tacky glue to secure the loose fabric to the inside of the box and lid.

And you’re done!

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes. From Jewels at Home.

Tutorial for DIY fabric-covered decorative boxes from Jewels at Home.

I’m so happy that these boxes are going to add a wonderful touch of color and style to our living room. So, while my newly-crafted accessories have to stay high out of reach for a few more years, I’m tickled to know that those rambunctious boys who usually mow down all my decorating projects can be credited with inspiring this one!

What ordinary objects will you turn into the extraordinary?

Love,
“Jewels”

Fabric Banding on Bath Towels

Do you have some plain towels calling out for a bit of interest?  Adding some ribbon or a beautiful fabric – or both – to some towels is an easy way to transform them. The finished products make great accents for your home and would be great housewarming gifts! The sewing is all straight lines, so a forgiving and doable project. These plush towels were lovely already, but I felt like dressing them up a bit. I used a band of fabric and some bias tape.

Before you start this project, prewash the towels and fabric, so they won’t pucker later, if they shrink unevenly.

I started by cutting strips of each fabric to the width I wanted and joined pieces end to end to make a long strip.

Make long strips of the fabrics you want for the towels

Make long strips of the fabrics you want for the towels

Then, I joined the strips of different fabric to each other and ironed down a seam allowance on the top and bottom.

Sew together the different fabric strips

Sew together the different fabric strips

Finally, I cut sections a bit wider than each towel and pinned it onto the towels, folding a seam allowance on the ends before sewing the fabric to the towel.

Adding fabric border to towels by Jewels at Home

Pin the fabric in place, turning under the raw edges.

This was really an easy project, and I think it makes a big impact! I used a little bit of the green and white fabric to decorate a basket in the vanity, to tie the room together.

DIY fabric border towels by Jewels at Home

Finished towels with new fabric border in our master bathroom.

DIY fabric border towels by Jewels at Home

New fabric border on master bath towels.

A funny story along the way: ever wonder what the kids think of all these craft projects? Our six year-old saw the fabric pinned to the towels in my sewing room and asked, “But won’t the pins hurt?” It reminds me that all my great ideas might seem a little crazy to others.

Now that I’ve decorated these towels for our master bathroom, I’d love to try some more. I’ve seen some very pretty versions of this idea on tea towels or burp cloths, all of which would make great and special handmade gifts.

And with these towels, our master bathroom is pretty much done, do that room tour will be coming up soon!

“Jewels”

Inspirations from Daily Life – June 2012

I’ll keep updating this post through June and plan to start a new post each month with some of the photos I’ve taken of inspiring projects and scenes I’ve encountered in daily life.

Coffee can napkin holder

This would be great for a picnic buffet. The Cafe du Monde can is especially cool, but you could print vintage labels for a similar feel. Could also cover cans in coordinating labels for utensils, and your casual summer party is complete!
20120603-064656.jpg

Low water landscape
We only have a small patio at home, but here’s how to add a ton of beauty and charm with little maintenance. It’s a dry creek with grasses and a pergola above.

20120603-064710.jpg

More ideas to come!

“Jewels”<

Ribbon Border Window Panels ~ Master Bath

When I bought the roman shades for our master bedroom, I almost ordered one for our bath, too. I’m very glad that I decided to go with something lighter. I ended up making a sheer panel for the bottom half and a matching valance at the top. This gives privacy while still letting in light and our view.

Since I do a lot of my projects after the kids are in bed, I got to see the nighttime view first, and I am so excited that I wanted to post it right away, so here is how our master bath window looks with the new window panels:

Tutorial for adding ribbon to window shades by Jewels at Home

Finished window panels with ribbon detail in master bath.

tutorial for adding ribbon to window shades by Jewels at Home

Finished window panels with ribbon detail in master bath.

Daytime view is pretty foggy outside, but I’ll keep trying!

tutorial for ribbon border sheer panels by Jewels at Home

20120603-222555.jpg
Ribbon border shade tutorial:

You will need:

  • plain shade or panel: you could use a ready-made shade or sew a simple panel.
  • ribbon: I used bias tape/ ribbon, because I had it around the house. Grosgrain ribbon would look beautiful, too.
  • Heat’n Bond Liteiron-on adhesive. You can buy it in strips, but I cut my own strips from a sheet I already had

Lay out your pattern:

  • Here’s the pattern I used. My bias tape was 1/2″ wide. There are lots of variations, some of which I’ll show below, so go ahead and get creative!
  • Once you know what pattern you want to use, measure out a length of ribbon, including a little extra just in case.
Ribbon layout for shade by Jewels at Home

Ribbon layout for shade

Apply the ribbon:
  • Apply the Heat’n Bond Liteto the back of the ribbon according to the instructions on the package.
  • Peel off the backing in short sections and iron onto your fabric, following your pattern.
  • Mitre the corners by laying the ribbon up to your corner, then folding it back on an angle.
  • I cut tiny triangles of Heat ‘n Bond and slipped them under the mitered edges to help the corners lie flat. You can see in the second picture the difference between adding the extra triangle (left) and not (right)
Heat 'n Bond applied to back of ribbon - shade tutorial by Jewels at Home
Mitered corners on ribbon shade

Mitered corners. On the left, you can see that adding a small triangle of Heat ‘n Bond helped the corners lie neat and flat.

More inspirations!

Here are some other great examples of ribbon borders on window panels and shades. There are so many possible patterns and techniques.

pottery barn ribbon border roman shade

These ribbon border roman shades were sold by Pottery Barn a couple of years ago. I like the use of the wide ribbon and simple pattern. This will be the inspiration for our boys’ shades.

valance with ribbon border

Another simple and elegant ribbon border by Wendy at The Shabby Nest. I would love to do something like this in our kitchen, too!

Go to The Shabby Nest

bathroom with ribbon border shade

I fell in love with this beautiful picture on Pinterest, but I cannot find the original source. If you find it, please let me know, so I can give proper credit. I love the detail on the ribbon border. It was too ornate for our bathroom, but I am looking for a place to use it!

roller shade with border by What the Vita

Pretty shade with border by Elisa at What the Vita. I love the orange ribbon and the way the shade looks layered with the drapes. She used glue to attach grosgrain ribbon to a plain roller shade! I’m going to look at her tips when I do my boys’ shades, since I won’t be able to iron directly onto them.

Go to What the Vita

Some other ideas would be to

  • add a ribbon border along the bottom or
  • add two rows of ribbon around the border, in different colors or widths.

Let me know what you come up with for your windows!

“Jewels”

I shared this post at:

Home Stories A2Z

DIY Wall Initials – This time, for the Girls

Remember these wall initials I made for my kids? I put one up in the nursery already, using 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips.  Besides hanging them on a wall, you could make these letters part of an artful arrangement on a shelf or stick them to the door.  I made mine as big as a 12×12 inch sheet of scrapbook paper would allow, but I would love to make a really large one some time with wrapping paper or fabric.

DIY paper-wrapped wall initials by Jewels at Home0120531-181246.jpg

DIY paper-wrapped wall initials by Jewels at Home

These oversize letters were also the May Giveaway, and Jenny won them for her two girls. While I was working on Jenny’s letters, I made two more for my twin nieces, who are turning one next month! It’s often easier to do several of any project at once, while you have the motivation and all the supplies out. You definitely learn a lot as you repeat projects, too. Don’t you wish you could always start with the second one, after all the mistakes have been made?

I already posted the instructions for making these letters, so I’ll jump straight to the final result!

DIY paper-wrapped wall initial decor by Jewels at Home

DIY paper-wrapped wall initials

Fun with DIY initials by Jewels at Home

With this combination of letters, I just couldn’t resist!!

DIY cardboard wall initial decor by Jewels at Home

Close-up of this pretty paper on the “C”

DIY cardboard wall initial decor by Jewels at Home

Close-up of some more beautiful paper on the “m.”

As you can see, I used lower case letters this time and a different font: American Typewriter Bold.

american typewriter font

And I’ll add one tip if you have to wrap around a small opening. I cut the tabs in a zig-zag pattern, so that they don’t get too short.

Cutting tabs to wrap letters in paper by Jewels at Home

Cutting tabs to wrap letters in paper

Beside the fact that I nearly glued all my fingers to each other in the process, it was so fun for me to make something for little girls, since we have a house full of (wonderful!) boys. I’m also really glad to give Jenny’s girls a piece of home that they can take as they move overseas and just as thrilled to have something unique to celebrate the big one year birthday with my nieces!

Looking forward to another fun giveaway starting next month!

“Jewels”

Perfectly-Mixed Traditional Dining Rooms

I recently put together a contemporary mixed dining space for my dad’s house, but there are many examples of beautifully eclectic traditional spaces as well.  As I mentioned in the previous post, the key is to balance contrast and connection between the diverse elements in a room.

Here are two examples from two of my favorite designers: Sarah Richardson and Candice Olson, as well as some pictures of our dining room at home.

Sarah’s House

This beautiful dining space has a modern take on many traditional elements, such as the wallpaper and Queen Anne chairs (remember when I repainted my Queen Anne chairs?).

Contrast:

  • The plush dining bench sits opposite – literally – to the wooden Queen Anne chairs
  • The trestle table has a simple, rustic style and dark color that give a strong foundation and sense of comfort to this light, glittery room.

Connection:

  • The grey color of the chairs reflects the overall light neutral palette of the room.
  • Both the bench and the chairs have an ornate, traditional feel, as does the chandelier.
Sarah's House Dining Room by Sarah Richardson

Sarah’s House Dining Room by Sarah Richardson

Go to Sarah Richardson Design

Divine Design:

Candice Olson has a great eye for beautiful things.  Her rooms always feel lush and complete to me.  This dining room design looks fairly simple, but there is so much beauty in the details.

Contrast:

  • The white and black palette provides instant contrast.
  • Candice used two different chairs at the table, with more substantial arm chairs at the head of the table.

Connection:

  • The black and white color scheme is carried through every part of this room, including the chairs, rug and curtains.
  • Even though the head and side chairs are different, they have a similar scale and shape to them, so they work together.
Candice Olson dining room featured in Elle Decor

Candice Olson dining room featured in Elle Decor

Go to Candice Olson’s website

Jewels’ house:

I also have a mixed dining set at our house, where I painted and reupholstered our Ikea chairs to work with a dining table from craigslist that I had fallen in love with.  I started out looking for cherry wood Arts and Crafts chairs, and I am so glad that I ended up painting our chairs black.

Contrast:

  • Black and cherry wood look beautiful together, without disappearing into each other or feeling heavy and overwhelming, as a more traditional wooden set can.
  • I have two traditional Chinese chairs at the head of the table, which is a perfect place to introduce something different.

Connection:

  • The chairs all tie together, because of their dark color and similar lines of the chair backs.
  • The Ikea chairs have a geometric cutout design detail on the back that is similar to the cutout design on the base of the cherry Arts and Crafts table.
Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining Room with new chairs. The head chairs are Chinese antiques, while the side chairs are transformed Ikea chairs. They all work together, because they share color and/or other design elements.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining room from the other side.

When you are looking for home decorating ideas, you can easily work with what you have by switching pieces of a dining set, slipcovering your chairs, or painting them for a fresh look.  Once again, I hope you feel inspired to create your own unique combination of elements in your dining space.  It can feel intimidating, but creating connections with shape, material, and color will help bring all the things you love together.

“Jewels”

Perfectly-Mixed (not Matched!) Contemporary Dining Spaces

A matched dining set is just fine. But sometimes, your chairs wear out, you come across the perfect table at a thrift store, you move house and your old things don’t fit… or you just want to create a fresh and creative look in your dining area. If you’re feeling inspired, look at these examples of mixed chairs and tables to see how you can create a space that is unique and beautiful!

You can make a big statement by using a furniture piece of a completely different style from the rest of the room, but usually, it works best to balance contrast and connection. That is, the contrast of different materials, colors, and forms creates visual interest, but connections, or common elements between pieces in the room will pull the look together.

Here are some examples that blend modern style with a comfortable, homey look. I look at more traditional spaces in a companion post.

Hanna’s Room

This is a fresh and airy dining area from Hanna’s Room.

Contrast:

  • The natural wood of the table stands out in a space that is otherwise all white.
  • Its simple straight lines form a backdrop for the curvy chairs.
  • The bare bulb pendants and modern white chairs feel crisp against the other soft, worn surfaces in the room.

Connection:

  • White is the obvious theme in this room, found in the walls, floor, curtains, chairs, and other accessories.
  • The wood table is simple enough that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the room, and the material ties into the wooden floor planks.
rustic table with modern chairs

This wooden table works perfectly in a clean white space by providing a contrasting material and color. Its clean lines fit with the modern design, and the wood relates back the painted wood floor. From Hanna’s Room blog.

Go to Hanna’s Room

Quiest-Brooke

Here’s another example of a mixed dining set using mid-century modern elements. The photo is from Quiest-Brooke

Contrast:

  • The warm red of the chairs contrasts against the distinctive white tulip table.
  • Both the red and white provide interest against the wooden floor and wooden sideboard.

Connection:

  • All the furnishings in this room have a mid-century style.
  • The round back and mid-century style of the chairs works perfectly with the tulip table and warms it up considerably from the cool space-age look of a complete tulip dining set.
  • The red color is echoed in the pot and vase, and the white blends with the white walls and ceiling.
tulip table with red chairs

This distinctive white tulip table was paired with red wooden chairs. The circular back of the chairs and the mid-century aesthetic tie them together. The chairs are a beautiful accent in this room. From Quiest-Brooke.

Go to Quiest-Brooke

Dad’s beach house:

The two rooms above were part of my inspiration in creating the dining space in my dad’s beach house. This home is built with modern straight lines, but with an emphasis on natural materials, like the mahogany trim. As a coastal vacation home, it should be warm and inviting, too. There are many wonderful sources for rustic wooden tables – flea markets, Craigslist, thrift stores, or furniture manufacturers that make tables from reclaimed wood. I ended up buying a new table that still has that aged look. It’s the Antique Honey Verona table from Cost Plus World Market. I like the trestle style for its looks and for easy of seating (no bumping up against the legs of the table!). You can see in the picture below that Cost Plus paired chairs with a bench, which is another great way to add interest to your dining set. It’s still a lot of wood in the same color, though, and the look is too heavy and rustic for our space.

Cost Plus World Market Verona dining set

Cost Plus World Market Verona dining set

I chose to pair this rustic table with Jake chairs from Room and Board. These are very similar to the ones in picture from Hanna’s Room. I’ve seen the same style for literally ten times as much money from other sources, but I couldn’t tell you why. I was inspired to add some color after seeing the red chairs in the picture from Quiest-Brooke, so I got the Jake chairs in coastal-inspired white and blue, with two orange chairs for a fun accent at the head of the table. I still haven’t decided of three different chai colors is too much, so I took some pictures with and without the blue chairs. I could spray those white. What do you think?

Jake Chair from Room and Board

Jake Chair from Room and Board

Here is the dining space in my dad’s beach house. I feel like it succeeded in blending modern features with a comfortable, coastal style. The chandelier is from West Elm. I don’t think the room needs anything more, though I might find or make a piece of art for the wall.

Contrast:

  • The antiqued wooden table adds a rustic touch to the new and modern space.
  • the orange chairs at the head of the table add interest next to the white chairs.
  • The modern lacquered chairs contrast with natural materials in the table, chandelier, and window trim.

Connection:

  • The wood table echoes the wood in the trim.
  • The chairs are all the same style, although they have different colors, and those colors are found in other parts of the room as well.
  • The chairs, table, and chandelier all refer to the ocean in the material, color, or form.

Eclectic coastal dining room by Jewels at Home

Eclectic coastal dining room by Jewels at Home

20120529-152145.jpgEclectic coastal dining room by Jewels at Home

Jewels’ house:

Although the style is completely different, I also have a mixed dining set at our house, where I painted and reupholstered our Ikea chairs. I talk about examples from that room and other more traditional spaces in the companion post: Perfectly-Mixed Traditional Dining Rooms.

I hope you feel inspired and emboldened to create your own unique and exciting mixed dining set. As long as some elements – shape, material, color – tie into your space, you’ll end up with a look that’s striking and cohesive.

“Jewels”

Easy Coastal Transformations for Ikea Dressers

My dad has a love of the ocean. He grew up spending summers at the beach, and it’s one of those memories that still stirs him. He’s downsizing his main home to a condo and invested in a getaway house near the ocean. A big part of his vision is to have our boys play on the beach the way he did, so I know we’ll be at the house a lot, too.

I’ve been charged with putting his house together, which at times has been a curse (construction project from &$@%!) but is, of course, also very exciting. I can’t deny I love a good decorating project and am fortunate to have this opportunity from my dad. And of course, since we’re by the ocean, I’d love to incorporate elements of a beach house into the design.

One of the many beautiful things the ocean gives us is the beautiful bleached grey patina of weathered driftwood. This dresser from West Elm caught my eye, because of the organic feel of the wood tiles and the fresh look of white against wood.

20120527-114310.jpg

West Elm prices are reasonable, but I had a whole house to finish, so I was hoping for a lower-priced option. What do you think when you think of inexpensive furniture? Ikea, of course! Ikea is a real mix of flimsy stuff that is barely worth the low prices and some really fantastic finds. For furniture, I try to stick with their solid wood pieces, which are sturdier and will last a lot longer than paperboard and foil. These Hemnes dressers definitely feel like they’re sturdy and a good value.
20120527-095211.jpg
One of the current finishes at Ikea is this gray-brown, which I think has the look of driftwood. The super-easy trick I used was to buy two Hemnes dressers in white and two in grey – all for the price of one dresser from West Elm. I then swapped the drawers between the two sets, and tada! Instant coastal charm with a clean look that will endure!

A simple swap was all I needed for the master bedroom dressers, and the white matches the West Elm Window Headboard perfectly.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

White dresser with gray-brown drawers in the master bedroom.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

For the kids’ bunk room, I wanted to use a surfing theme, so I painted surfboards on the drawers. The designs were taken from some of the bedding in the room. This is a fun coastal look that is great for young kids and still works for teens.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers in the boys’ bunk room.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

How to:
To paint the drawers, I sanded the drawer fronts lightly and sprayed them with white primer. I painted the surfboards with acrylic craft paints then sprayed a clear finish on top.

By the way, I realize not everyone needs multiple dressers, but you could swap with a friend or just paint the drawer fronts for the same effect. It was easy to work with the panels before I assembled the drawers.

Hope you’re getting the calm feeling of the beach from these easy and inexpensive dresser makeovers!

“Jewels”

I shared this post at: