Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Decor Ideas (Hold the Pastels Please!)

I have to admit I have a couple problems with Spring decor...
 For starters, there are NO signs of Spring here in Minnesota, ZERO! It is nearly April and the temperature was 15 degrees this morning with snow still covering the ground.  Maybe that is my problem? Decorating for Spring just feels like a mean joke to play on ourselves when it is still freezing outside.

My other problem...the overload of pastels! Don't get me wrong, I love pink, but not for home decor.  As I researched ideas, I kept coming across pinks, purples, yellow and bright blue.  Is it possible to decorate for Spring while avoiding these colors?   Can you decorate for Spring with black and white (ha)?!?!?  I just can't imagine Spring pastels in our red-ish dining room and kitchen, that would seriously hurt my eyes!

Luckily, I have found some inspiration that features neutrals with small pops of color (which might be the way to go with our limit on color).
Let's take a look at some more muted versions of Spring decor...

I love this white washed out mantel with pops of dingy blues and greens. Perhaps this could work with just the green accent?  I think I could work with one pop of color!
A Soft Place to Land
This clockface mantel is a fun take on the whole 'spring forward' in Spring. It also fits my black and white idea with just a hint of green! I'm hoping I can find some vintage clocks or clockfaces at my favorite antique shops!
Country Living

Naturally, I fell in love with Layla's Spring Mantel over at TLC.  Just black, white, green and a little bit of brown and a touch of fresh greenery creates perfection!
The Lettered Cottage
 And of course there's always Pottery Barn to the decor rescue!  Love, love, love the oil rubbed bronze birdcages with little hints of green at the table.
Pottery Barn via Source 4 Interiors
Speaking of Pottery Barn, aren't you in LOVE with these cute little black and white 'Happy Easter' eggs?  I know I am... I feel a DIY 'Egg-cellent' adventure coming up!  Who wants to join me?!?

And I'm thinking I might need some cute little numbered pots like these!
The Pursuit of Style
 So it looks like I have some shopping and antiquing trips coming up!  I can't wait to get my creative juices warmed up and start decorating!  Maybe the weather will warm up too (pretty please)!
I will be heading to Chicago in a couple days for work, then extending my trip into Michigan to visit family and friends!  I can't wait!  So bear with me if I am MIA from my blog for a few days.
I think my blog buddy will really be missing me!
 Nope, not Alex, that would be my big ol' Shorthair Sadie perched on my shoulder.  Haha! Even now as I am typing she is still sitting behind me!  Girly just loves to snuggle any way she can! 

I promise to catch up with a fun post on my travel and then pull together my Spring decor!
If you have any black and white Spring decor ideas be sure to comment and let me know! I love getting new ideas from my fellow bloggers :)

The Windy City and Pure Michigan awaits!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Year Home Sweet Home Anniversary!

Two years ago today marks the first day we walked through the door of our little Dutch Colonial as home owners.  I wrote a post about the experience when I started the blog (it was kind of a weird day).

Although our home just turned 87 years old, I still think our 2 years here have been very special!  I am very proud of the updates we have made on our house and how 'homey' it now feels. 

But more importantly, I am realizing how special and significant this home is in our lives.  Before living here, I had lived in 10 places in a span of about 6 years.  When I left the 'nest' and went off to college I moved around quite a bit, dorms and apartment leases.  Then Alex and I moved to Minneapolis and lived in an apartment then the fancy condo.  So, it is finally nice to have a place to feel settled in, a REAL home.

I'm pretty sure Alex, Rocco, Sadie and I won't be here forever.  But it is nice to know we finally have a place in the world with that is truly special to us.  Anyway, I guess it is a fun little anniversary to remember each year.  Does anyone else out there remember/ recognize their 'home' anniversary? 

This post brought to you by the Number Two

Saturday, March 26, 2011

DIY Tiered Grain Sack Window Shade Tutorial

Ready for the DIY Grain Sack window shade tutorial mentioned in our last post?  Let's get to it!

Now here are the supplies you need to get started:
1. Grain sacks or fabric
2. Wood trim to hold the shade (I used scrap wood in our!)
3. Staple gun
4. Scissors
5. Sewing thread
6. Sewing needle
7. Seam ripper
9. Measuring tape

It is likely you might already have most of these things in your house, so this is a cheap and easy project!  The only thing I bought were the two $6 vintage grain sacks from the antique store!
First, I measured and cut the piece of scrap wood trim to fit each window frame.
Alex did a quick cut on our saw for me.
Next, (and this is the LONGEST step if you are using real grain sacks) grab your seam ripper and open up the grain sack so it is no longer a functional sack but a flat piece of fabric. I couldn't believe how long this took, they really use industrial strength thread on those things!
Once I got done seam ripping, this is what our grain sack looked like laid out.  Aren't the stripes gorgeous!?!
I then had to do a little ironing to make sure the edges were flat and crisp.
Next, you will grab that staple gun and staple the fabric to your wood trim piece.  In this case Alex did it for me, I did one staple and got nervous I was going to mess up the fabric.
Here is what it looks like with the staples, fabric and wood.
I used a thinner piece of wood trim, so the staples did shoot through to the other side.  We used pliers and bent them down flat to the wood so they were no longer sticking out. 

Once you bend the staples down (sorry I don't have a picture of that, drat!) you will turn the wood trim downward so the fabric covers the staples... ready....
...and turn! 
Now is the fun part!  Creating the tiers!  Depending on the size of your fabric, you can do as many tiers as you want.  Our grain sack measured 36" so I only did 2 tiers.  Here is what it looked like from the back.
To be honest, I didn't use a mathematical formula for the placement of the tiers.  I just folded the fabric evenly 2 times. Sorry, I hate measuring!

To give you an idea of the size of the tiers on my 36" piece of fabric, I did 2 tiers that measured 4" when folded.  The top of the bottom tier should fold right up to the bottom fold of the top tier (see above photo on this description, I know that was confusing!).
Once you know the placement of your tiers, iron them to make crisp, clean folds.  This will also help them to lay nicely once they are hung.
Now the secret weapon!  Hook and Eyes!  This was my super simple idea for this DIY project.  I thought hmm... I already have a bunch of these in my sewing kit and they will hold nicely and be functional as well if I ever want to open the shade.  If I went out to the store to get them, I probably would have purchased larger ones just because they might be easier to use with the shade in the long run. So if you go out to get them, I would get ones that are a bit larger!
I did 3 across each tier, so if you do the same you will need 9 hook and eyes for each shade.  I did a simple tack down with my sewing needle.  Nothing too complicated so if you aren't a super savvy sewer this will still be easy.
Here is a look at one complete hook and eye on the bottom tier.
Then here are both tiers with hook and eyes sewn in place.
To illustrate the functionality here is a look when the hook and eye is unclasped.
The last step is adding these L brackets to the back of the wood trim piece and hanging to your window frame. 
 Yes!  We are done!  Again, here is a look at the completed product!  So simple and gorgeous!
Here is how it looks now with the Vintage Grain Sack Window Shades!  It added sooooo much personality!  I can't believe how great they turned out!
Our Guest Room definitely got a nice upgrade with these little $6 vintage grain sacks!  I can't wait for the next time we have company staying over, this room is just too sweet!  I can't wait to redo our Master Bedroom, I'm totally ready for that challenge!

*** We just added this to the Lettered Cottage's How-To's Day , the DIY Showoff Project Parade and Coastal Charm!  Link Up!***

DIY Club

Friday, March 25, 2011

Head Over Heels: ABC Home...Vintage, Industrial, Antique, Linen, and More!

Are you ready for a visual buffet of all things vintage, industrial, antique, linen and lovely?!?! 
Then let's take a peak inside my Head Over Heels pick this week... ABC Home in New York City!
ABC Home is a higher-end home store that sits in the Flat Iron District.  It is HUGE! Six floors of delicious home goodies to oogle at (or purchase if you've got a lot of extra dough to throw around).  I absolutely love looking at every little thing in this store! 

Let's start our oogling with some furniture...
I adore the way they mix french antique style furniture and industrial elements.
I about DIED when I saw that linen striped armchair....Swoon!
 Oh, and again when I saw this linen bench with Gothic text!
 The armoires and tufted sofas were so elegant.
 This tufted ottoman was amazing as well!  It was huge!
 Loved these metal chairs!  I have seen them at Pottery Barn too.  I have been looking for them at antique stores, but have yet to find any. I am wondering if any actual antiques of this style chair exist?
  This was a nice little surprise too! Vintage windows to divide up space... hmmm, that looks familiar :)
Lots more industrial elements for home
 In case anyone out there is looking for other random things to do with vintage luggage, guess you can display them on a shelf.  (Sarcasm Font) Ha! But it did look cool in the store.

Now let's take a look at all the rich linen-y fabrics...
Love how they incorporated the dressform!
 These cute little hearts had lavender inside.
I just fell in love with all of the soft linen bedding.  It just looked so relaxed and soft.

 Lastly, lets look at a couple awesome light fixtures...
This light fixture was cover with burlap fabric.  Thought it would make for a neat DIY project!
 Then this elegant chandelier enclosed in an industrial fixture.  So unique!

So, are you Head Over Heels for ABC Home just like I am?  Hope you enjoyed all the photos, it was fun to revisit and share! 

Hope to see you again tomorrow, we will be sharing a very special post!