Friday, August 31, 2012

August Head Over Heels Friday #5: "DIY-Ikea" Creations

Well we've made it to our final "DIY-Ikea" Creation for August's Friday theme! I thought I'd keep this one short and simple since I imagine most of you are out enjoying the holiday weekend (I know we are!). So this one is an oldie but a goodie!

We redid our Mini-Bathroom almost two years ago now and the main decor piece in that tiny space was perhaps our very first DIY-Ikea Creation. I took this Ung Drill photo frame from Ikea, removed the backing, glass and painted it gold...

Alex and I both thought it'd be the perfect accent in our goofy chalkboard wall bathroom- it looked old, ornate, and our friends could write anything strange that they wanted to inside the frame. Still totally fun right?!!

I believe Ikea now sells just the Ung Drill frame, no backing or glass since most people seem to use it without an actual photo inside the frame.

Although I still love that frame in our goofy mini chalkboard bathroom, I am kind of dying to change things up and make something like this with it....

It's pretty cool right? Since we are approaching fall and winter now I am really loving the idea, what do you think? What should we put in the mini chalkboard bathroom if we remove the frame?

Also, let me know if you have fun suggestions for next month's Head Over Heels Friday theme! I have a few but I'd love to know what you think :)

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!

- Posted by Carla using BlogPress from my iPad!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Classic Update for a Vintage Stool

I totally wasn't planning on doing this, but after updating our wall hooks in our back entryway space I just had to give my vintage stool the same classic treatment!
I'm loving the updated look!  The stool no longer disappears into the beadboard Alex installed earlier this summer with the new black and white contrast.  It also makes a perfect accent for our Pottery Barn inspired DIY Coat/ Hat Rack across from it in our back entryway space.
It looks so much more special in black and white doesn't it? 
I kind of wondered why I didn't think of this before, or even when I originally refurbished the stool when it looked like this...
Wowza!  Crazy that is the same little stool, just like the one my grandma had :) 
Like I said, loving the classic black and white touches so far.  I know finishing up the back entryway update has been a slow-go for me but I hope to have the 'afters' posted soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012


ABC Home & Carpet... the best home store... ever (in my opinion of course).
It was a stop I had to make during my trip to NYC last week and as expected, it didn't disappoint. Upon entering the store, I was filled with giddy excitement as I laid eyes on the brilliant home decor.  It's been more than a year since my last visit to the store and I have to say the overall look was distinctly different from then and now which made the experience all the more dramatic & fun!

Here's a look at some of the fun sights....

Ready for those looks at home?  I'm thinking Alex will have to get ready to embrace some hot pink :)

One last thought I have to share....
I can't help but think of the movie Big every time I am in ABC Home.  The 2nd and 3rd floor looks & feels just like the place Tom Hanks got in the movie.  If only it had a trampoline right?!?
I know I am a weirdo, but it totally looks the same right?!?! Haha!

What did you think of the home decor?
Did you have any favorites in the images?

Friday, August 24, 2012

August Head Over Heels Friday #4: "DIY-Ikea" Creations

This week's DIY-Ikea Creation is something I made for our back entryway update!  Check out the 'before' and 'after' action on our plain old Ikea wall hooks...
After reading through suggestions and thinking about the decor plan, I realized the whole space looked really washed out and bland. Breaking up the space using black as a bold contrast sounded like the perfect idea! You can't go wrong with classic black and white, right?!?!

I did a little google search for a black coat rack/ hat rack and found these train racks from Pottery Barn.  Aren't they amazing?!?  I was so in love with the idea, but of course the $199.99 price wasn't within our budget.
It didn't take me long to come up with a plan for making our own DIY version from the existing Ikea wall hooks. We simply added two black wall brackets from Menard's above on each end, added a painted wood shelf cut to fit (free from our basement scrap pile), and painted the white wall hook board black to match.
The wall hooks transformed into a coat and hat rack by spending under $10!  It also helped fill up the bland looking space on that wall. 
*I still want to figure out how to add a small mirror onto it like the Pottery Barn version!*

Now I just need to update the wall mirror in that space and get a new doormat/rug.  Then the entryway will be looking fabulous!  I'm already geeked about how this black and white contrast is turning out!  So, what do you think of this DIY-Ikea Creation?!?!  Head Over Heels too???

Phew we are almost done with our August theme, only one more to go!  Makes me realize I need to get on choosing next month's theme...

Do you have a good idea/suggestions for September's Head Over Heels Friday Theme?!?!  Let me know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Three Years of Adventure in Marriage

Today marks our third wedding anniversary. 
It made me think about something my Uncle Sal wrote on our wedding guest book photo matte- "You are embarking on a lifetime adventure."  I remember thinking when I read it that day "An adventure? I don't feel adventurous in this big poofy gown, hmmm?"

I guess I thought it was something interesting and totally different than what most of our guests wrote.  Maybe that is why I still remember it and think about it when I glance at it since it is hanging on our wall.  But I feel like now I understand it a little more...not entirely though of course (hey, I know we are only on anniversary #3)... and of course I looked up this definition...

Exciting, unusual, bold, risky, uncertain outcome... Well that all sounds kind of weird, scary and fantastic at the same time right?  Simply put, I feel that it is very true to what a marriage is.  It is an adventure filled with all sorts of ups and downs and I don't think any couple can predict the outcome of their journey together but, I certainly enjoy taking this journey with Mr. H&HH. 

As Alex and I celebrate the third year of our 'adventure' today,  I'm hoping it is more exciting, unusual, and bold but, not all that risky... LOL!  Thank you Uncle Sal for the wise words. 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Standard Views

Hello from NYC! I've been here doing some work over the weekend and thought I'd share a little bit of the 'scene' around here. I have only stayed in Midtown on past trips but this time we are in the Meatpacking district at the Standard Hotel. I have to say it is a nice change and I love getting to know this beautiful & vibrant little area.

There's plenty to see around the hotel, but the High Line running underneath the building is definitely a highlight.
The High Line is a public park built on a historic rail line elevated above the city streets on Manhattan's West Side.

You can see some of the original rail tracks throughout the gardens.

I loved all the sights as I walked along the park.

The view of the Empire State building was breathtaking.

Speaking of views, I have to share some looks at the fun rooftop bar on the 18th floor of the hotel called Le Bain.

It has an outdoor French park feel with colorful chairs, a faux lawn & beautiful city views!

I'm actually enjoying this view as we speak! My heels are propped up and I am blogging away on my iPad! You might notice the alignment & photo size is a little off, but I'm kind of experimenting with my new gadget so bear with me :)

I will be heading back to Minneapolis tomorrow, so I'm going to hang out and enjoy the view now. See you again soon!

- Posted by Carla using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 17, 2012

August Head Over Heels Friday #3: "DIY-ikea Creations"

It's week 3 already for DIY-Ikea themed month! This creation is a real simple one that solved a problem I was having with my ever growing collection of necklaces. I had been keeping my necklaces in a jewelry box, on a pocket hanger/organizer thing, and over on my antique dress form. This caused a number of little annoying problems for me each morning including them getting tangled together, not knowing where to find a certain necklace, or even totally forgetting that I own some of those necklaces (out of sight out of mind).

I started to google search the best way to store my necklaces to solve these problems. It didn't take much searching to find TONs of DIY jewelry storage boards. All I needed were some frames and some cork to make the board out of, so simple! Thankfully, I knew I had some old "Funny Swedish Name" frames from Ikea laying around I the basement from my single days (you guessed it, pink & red).

Nyttja Frame: Ikea $3.99; Cork Contact Paper Roll: Home Depot $8.99

All I had to do was cut the cork contact paper to size for the frame and attach it to the frame back - cork side up. The cheap frames didn't even have real glass in them so I really didn't mind totally ditching the plastic stuff that would have covered a photo. Now all that was left for me to do was hang it up and add push pins to hang my necklaces from...
I might refine the look some more eventually, but this simple little board totally solved my messy necklace problem and took less than 5 minutes to create.  Boy do I love looking at this display to make my accessory decisions in the morning instead of digging through wadded up chains in a pocket or box!

Right now it is hanging in my Dressing Room, which I'm still working on. It has been totally ripped apart since the last time I talked about it here on the blog. The whole space is now the Carla Cave :) more to come on that eventually. My girls color scheme will make more sense then.

Hope you are Head Over Heels for this problem solving DIY-Ikea creation too!

I will be in NYC this weekend on some more work travels.  If we're lucky maybe we will hear from Mr. H&HH? He does have a busted elbow right now but, I know I am curious about what he'll be up to!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The 'Old House Tale' & 'Skeleton Key Mystery' Continues...

Remember the "Estate Sale With An Old House Tale" or "An Intriguing Discovery From My Estate Sale Chair" posts from a couple months ago ?  I certainly hope you remember otherwise click those links above to get up to speed because I have some follow-ups to BOTH stories!!!  I kind of have the blog to thank for that too, don't you love the power of blogging?!?! 

After writing the first post, I got an email from someone that was in the process of purchasing the home the home.  This person was very passionate about the home and wanted to make sure it was properly restored to it's original historic glory. That email made me feel kind of relieved just knowing someone that felt the way I did about that house was actually putting on offer on it! I kept my fingers crossed that it would all work out.

 A few weeks later, I got another email sharing news that their offer was accepted!  Turns out, this person is a fellow Northside resident and award winning architect!  They had their eye on the home for a while, especially after the tornado last summer.  They knew after some TLC  would be a perfect fit for their family and a place they would take a lot of pride in. 

Another bonus in addition to the whole architect + family thing... They were interested in my Skeleton Key Mystery too!  Who wouldn't be curious to see if it fits somewhere in that big house?!?!
We're still trying to coordinate a time when I can stop over with the key, so that is where we are at for now.  As you can imagine, the new owners are pretty busy now!  They also shared with me that they have the original blue prints and specifications manual for the home.  Can you believe it?!?!  I will likely get a chance to see those too as well as a peak up those beautiful grand stairs....
 I will be sure to share what happens once I bring the skeleton key to their house.  I'm so excited to be getting new neighbors and being more involved with this House Tale & Key Mystery than I had even hoped for from the beginning! 

To Be Continued....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Own Little Outdoor Hangout

I got each and every little bit of my deck-decor put together... at last!  All together we spent about $65.00 on all the decor and flowers.  Thankfully we were able to keep our costs low by repainting our patio set, vertical planter panel, and small side table.  I also sewed four decorative outdoor pillows from an outdoor table cloth I found on clearance! 

Here's a look at how it all came together.  It's nothing fancy-pants or anything, but each little touch finally made this outdoor space feel like our own little hangout. 
 This is what it used to look like after Alex rebuilt the top level.  Again, not bad or anything but it just didn't feel comfortable or cozy.
 The white pillows below are the ones I made from the clearance outdoor table cloth, such a smart score!  I sewed a 1" flange around each side so they wouldn't look like a plain white pillow insert. 
You can see where we placed those Solar Deck Lights from Target in the photo above. I LOVE those lights!  They have a nice more natural lit color at night, not the blue looking LED kind.  I have to give my brother-in law some oh so magical Hammers and High Fives too, he found a couple sets for us!  I was so excited since I can't find them at any Target nearby.
 For the planters, I removed the spruce trees added two coleus plants.  I found them at the farmers market and thought they were different and pretty.  Alex told me "they looked like a swamp creature" but I still think they are a fun alternative to flowers... and more practical than blue spruce pine trees, LOL! Had to throw that zing in there :)
 Our patio table and chairs turned out so nice after giving them a fresh crisp coat of paint!  I wish I would have painted them a long time ago, they looked beat up for so long and this was such an easy little update.
 I also got over to Home Depot to grab a couple colorful little flower pots for $1.98 each to add to our DIY vertical planter panel.
We still need to stain the deck of course, but that's a wrap on the decor for now!

Once I finished up, I took a look back at what I planned for and I think I stayed pretty close to my original inspiration. Although I still really want those pillows from Target... 
 Maybe next summer I can add some floor cushions?  I think those would be nice to have near the sitting bench or for star gazing at night :)

 Lastly, I just had to show you what was going on behind the scenes as I took pictures of the deck....
Oh you betcha Rocco and Sadie wanted to be out in all the action :) Lots of pawing and whining. 
The look on Rocco's little face totally cracks me up, he looks so determined in that photo.  I imagine he was thinking something like "I must, I must push this door open with my face!"

So what do you think of the deck-orating?
Do you think the coleus looks like a "swamp thing"?
What color should we use to stain the deck? I'd love recommendations!
Do your pets do silly things behind the scenes when you work on something too?!?