June 28, 2013

Life happening; Our week in pictures

Young ones helping younger ones. Love.

 Quintessential summer meal: Corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake!
*Healthy tip: Rather than adding sugar to my crushed strawberry topping, I add a handful of raspberries! All the sweetness I need, right there.

 Every rainbow is a promise, and this one showed up just in time after a particularly long day

Morning snuggles.
(along with morning face, morning hair, morning breath...yikes!)

Painting chevron stripes in my bathing suit. Hello, Summer!

I refinished our kitchen pantry, kicking off our kitchen makeover

~All pieces available for sale can be found here~

Enjoy your weekend!


June 27, 2013

The room you never see...our basement!

Before we moved in almost 3yrs ago:

-I really, really, wanted to paint the wood. All of it. My husband was 100% against it! He wanted to keep the wood but paint the brick. It was a good challenge - it made me think outside of the box and figure out some other ways to bring some of the lighter colors from other areas of the home down to the basement. I'm not sold on the white brick...still scratching my head. The color might change, but I thought I'd share our progress.
And now:

Zooming in...

*Pillows by Festive Home Decor on Etsy

*Ottoman a recovered thrift store find using a window curtain by Target Threshold

*Childrens' step stool a painted thrift store find using Annie Sloan's Duck Egg

And around the corner...

Our old guest nook:
(sorry so blurry!?)


*That unflattering overhead light has seen the end of its days - I found a fun replacement at a yard sale which I will attempt to install myself. {yikes!} If I make it through I'll definitely post pictures! 
*The fabric hung by a tension rod in the bookshelf is the remains of the curtain from Target that I used to recover the ottoman. It's a good spot to keep extra office stuff that ain't so purdy, (i.e. cords, manuals, files, camcorder, etc)
*Window above futon needs to be hung, but you get the idea (this section is still coming along)

*Finally, an organised spot for my little ones to sit and be creative! By moving the file cabinet under the desk and adding two chairs on the ends, (thrift store finds painted Duck Egg by ASCP), now at least two kids at a time can sit and craft together.

*I painted a piece of scrap board in flat black and wrote CREATE in chalk, (plain old flat black paint works exactly the same as chalkboard paint, (and is cheaper). Tin canisters found at a yard sale hold crayons. And a big empty frame that I've had for a while is the perfect size to keep only the most recent creations displayed.

Still a couple of ends to tie up but the progress down here is pure satisfaction!

Thank you for reading!


June 26, 2013

A match made in...the garage!

Fresh out of the garage today is a mismatched pair of dressers refinished in the same look to create a pair. It doesn't happen often, but every now and then I get a request to take various unlike pieces and make them look like a cohesive set or pair. It's always an exciting challenge to make these lone pieces look like they were made for each other!

For this particular job my client had two large dressers she wanted refinished the same way, bonded together by one mega fun print; chevron. What do you get with two strikingly different, (and large), dressers matched to one another by some large zig-zags?

Check it out!

Dresser 1

Dresser 2

Made for each other!

The low-down:
-Pieces painted in Country Grey by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
-I painted Old White by ASCP over the surfaces where I wanted the pattern stenciled 
-After the Old White dried I used a large stencil, (ordered from Modello Design), to dab on Paris Grey by ASCP using a sponge brush.
The process looked like this:

-After the stencil dried I distressed the pattern with a medium grit sanding sponge.

Tomorrow will be a first peek of some progress with our basement - the key word being progress. Just a couple things to finish up before I would stamp the room DONE, (including a tutorial on changing out ceiling light fixtures). Getting so close, though, and it's looking a zillion times better!


June 25, 2013

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint meets Mad Men

You can take the piece out of the era but you can't take the era out of the piece!

I acquired this lovely thing when a client dropped off it's 'big sister' to be refinished as part of a custom order, (pictures to come). This dresser was no longer needed so I asked if I could have it; I don't think I've ever been so excited about a transformation! (I say that, but it's truly how I get about most pieces I'm about to refinish)

I knew I wanted to keep the body and drawers of the piece neutral and distressed and let those stunning old brass pulls take the stage, but the apron and legs underneath - so mod, right?! - I was really stumped about what color to use. I almost went with Greek Blue by ASCP; it would have been a beautiful contrast and fun snap of color. But, in the end I really wanted to keep the piece classic and elegant and chose a soft grey - there's plenty of fun in the shape as it is!

{This piece is available for sale. $300 Email if interested!}

The low down:
-Piece painted in Old White by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (two coats)
-Lower apron and legs painted in Paris Grey by ASCP
-Distressed using medium grit sanding sponge, (my favorite distressing tool)
-Sealed on clear soft wax by ASCP
-Original drawer pulls kept in tact

~ Gettin' groovy Chelsea

June 24, 2013

Early Stages of Decorating: Part 4 - Shopping smart

Well, the bad news is that today is the end of the road for our Early Stages of Decorating series, (following loosely with the Getting Started section of Domino: The Book of Decorating - I highly recommend this book!) The good news is that this is my favorite stage - shopping! If you're new or need a refresher, here are the previous posts: Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This series is primarily for those who are at the very beginning of decorating their home, or interested in refreshing their space.

Last week was about assessing the realistic function of your space and ended with a rather mundane, (but necessary), job - list everything you have in your space and place each item into one of four groups: keep, give away, change, or sell. It is good to comb through your things and rid yourself of what simply won't work for either the functionality of the space or with your style. I would also recommend taking down all art and those smaller decorative objects and just stash them away, (temporarily), so that you can look at your space as a blank canvas. Now you have some decisions to make.

What is your space missing that is holding you back from enjoying it and using it to it's fullest extent? Here are some critical question ideas to get the ball rolling: Are you short on seating in a room where you tend to pile in for movies? Is there limited surface space for placing drinks? Is that area rug too small for the arrangement of the seating? Is the lighting failing to set the proper mood? Does your eye wander aimlessly around the space because there's no focal point? Be critical of your space so you can prioritize your needs.

Budget: This next step is really important: Set a budget! I'll tell you why, (in my opinion): I think setting a budget is just as important to prevent you from over spending as it is for pointless under spending. I completely understand if you think I am crazy right now, but hear me out. If you don't know what you actually have to spend and you just settle on finding things as cheap as possible, you may end up with a redecorated space that is no better than it was before. I am all about being thrifty and doing things myself when it comes to our home, but there also needs to be a style standard. Point in case: When we moved into our home and I got it all decorated, I prided myself on how little I spent. So much of it was DIY projects I had done and odds and ends found on the sides of the road or dusty corners of thrift stores. Any little idea that popped into my head I executed without much thought or direction because most of the time, these projects cost nothing or close to it. The whole house started to look like one big craft project and I was missing an element of elegance and sophistication. I was more focused on not spending money than trying to achieve a home that would truly meet our functional needs and style point of view. In that sense, I wasted money. $10 here, $15 there, on used pieces that were just okay, is a waste of money. Know what you have to spend, know what your biggest needs are, then divide your budget accordingly.

Research: It's difficult to divide your budget if you don't know what's out there. If your list of needs includes window treatments, floor coverings, new furniture, reupholstering, lighting, etc - you can't just divide your budget equally among each need. Research your ideal window treatment, your favorite floor coverings, the most functional pieces of furniture, optimal lighting - then break down your budget accordingly. If your favorite light fixture zaps 50% of your budget, then perhaps you need to dig a bit further and find a similar style that won't cost you such a chunk of your budget.
For example...

Your ideal light fixture:
$269 - $319 @ Restoration Hardware 

Your comparable runner-up:
$45 @ Lowes

It pays to research. 

You don't have to set your style on the back burner if what you really want is unaffordable for you right now. It just takes patience and diligence. 

Also, do not be afraid to buy used. One of the most frequent questions that I get emailed each week is where did we get our living room sofa and chairs. It's one of my favorite stories: We researched our ideal living room seating and agreed on the IKEA Ektorp sofa and Jennylund chairs. Since we were not in a position to buy new, I got on Craigslist ever day, every few hours it seemed, to search "Ikea Ektorp". Within a month we accumulated exactly what we wanted, from different sellers, for a fraction of what the pieces would have cost new. Then we drove to Ikea and bought brand new slipcovers for our 'new' used pieces. By buying used we saved $400, not including what we saved in tax. What a thrill!

So bottom line as we wrap this thing up: Know your budget. Spend wisely.

With that, best of luck to those of you who are decorating a new space or redecorating a tired one! And speaking of tired spaces, we have begun some pretty major revamps for a couple spaces that you've rarely seen on this blog - our kitchen and our basement. After almost 3 years in our home, it's about time that we put forth some effort into those rooms. Can't wait for some fun before and afters to share!


June 21, 2013

Life happening: Our week in pictures

Before I share some highlights from our week I am so excited to report that the buffet I refinished last week with the funky drawer fronts, (that looked like shipping crates), won a weekly refinishing contest I entered this week! Here is the post I wrote on the piece,
and here is the blog I posted it on! Thanks, Christen!

And here's what went down this week:

Flower accessories from all the blooms Shire picked.

If you are local you need to meet my friends at the Great Harvest Bread Co. Locations in Vienna, Herndon, and Ashburn. We go for a free slice almost every week...and of course come home with a loaf, (or two if I am on my 13th loaf and get a freebie!). Fun stop for after the gym...

My kids cannot walk past a bike rack without doing this...

I could not do what Mason is doing, (blue shorts), if you paid me. Oh, to be young. 
Anyone else lose major flexibility after pregnancy? 

Scrap fabric hair wraps.

HAPPY first day of SUMMER!