Fabulous Finds -Holiday Miracle Edition

It was an amazing day of shopping at our favorite thrift store! I swear, if there is something I want and I am patient, it will eventually show up at the thrift store…I’ve been wanting one of these Sapiens bookshelves for a couple years now. They retail for $225 (plus $36 shipping) on Amazon. Today at the thrift store there it was, for $12. I was so excited I’m sure they all thought I was nuts 😉 We also scored a lovely hand-made 100% wool rug for the hall, something else we’ve been looking for, $10. In the ladies section I was thrilled to snap up 2 pairs of ‘7 for all Mankind’ jeans, a pair of Rock and Republic jeans (all $6 each), a Haute Hippe $300 silk blouse for $4.99, a pretty pink merino wool sweater from Bloomingdales ($3.99) and a big lovely silk Brooks Brothers scarf for $1.99. Woo hoo! What a great day. Holiday miracle shopping! I am one happy camper.

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What fabulous finds have you scored recently? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

A Fabulous Red Shelf For the Bedroom…Free!

Another fabulous Alley Find…someone threw out this great red Ikea shelf unit just a block from the house, and it works great in the bedroom. The bottom shelf was broken off, but easily repaired with glue. Gotta love free! My neighbors toss out the best stuff 😉

(all the stuff on the shelves we already had. Matchbook art by artist friend Paul Moschell. The black hand is a recent thrift store find for $3. See more of the bedroom projects on the Decorating link.)

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Quickie Cute Stool Redo: A Faux Fur DIY Make-over for $3

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I did a super-quick little make-over on this stool today. It took less than 30 minutes! We’ve had this vintage stool in the dressing room for years (it was my boyfriends before I can along so who knows how long he had it) and I’ve been wanting to give it a redo. I found this heavy-duty piece of sheepskin-esque faux fur at the thrift store for $2.99 last year and it worked great for this. Faux fur is very forgiving for this sort of thing. I also had a piece of thick foam leftover from another project that was perfect. I grabbed my supplies (pen, knife, scissors and staple gun) and went at it.

Here’s what it looked like before:

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I started measuring the foam by turning the seat upside-down on top of the foam and traced it with a sharpie pen. I started the cut with a utility knife as it gave me more control, then finished it with a sharp knife, slicing with a steady up and down motion.

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Then it was time to get stapling. I placed the foam on the stool, then turned it upside-down in the center of the fur. Start by stapling opposite sides, pulling firmly but not tight. Once each of the 4 sides are tacked down, go to the middle of each tack and staple, again going to opposite sides.

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Because of the way the legs sit on this stool, I had to cut in and staple around them. I found the center point, cut a semi-circle where the leg would go and stapled on either side of the leg, again pulling firmly but not tight. Be sure and stop periodically to check that the fabric is fairly evenly pulled all the way around so it’s not lop-sided when you’re done.

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Then finish it off, going around the outside and tacking down the remaining open bits. Done!

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Now we have a fun and comfortable stool in the dressing room, and all it cost was $2.99 for the fabric from the thrift store 🙂

4 Cast-off Wood Chairs DIY’d Into Black & White Awesomeness, a Before & After Make-Over Story…

I’m such a sucker for black and white. I knew that’s exactly what I was going to do to these the minute I saw them hanging out next to a dumpster in the alley. They were solid and in decent shape, good enough for a quick make-over to grace my dining room table. I’ll admit, they are not my dream dining room chairs (those would be the fabulous Louis & Victoria Ghost chairs by Philip Starke & Kartell), but until the beautiful day when I own those ghostly wonders, these will do just fine, thank you very much.

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This is how they looked when I found them. Dirty and forlorn, with no less than 5 layers of upholstery on the seats. It was like a decade-by-decade fabric trip back to the 1950’s…

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After I removed the seats and all those crazy fabrics, I sanded the chairs with a fine sandpaper to get them ready to paint. I then coated them with a gray primer, which I ran out of in the middle of the job. I got lazy and stopped there (I’d coated most of the chairs anyway ;-). They turned out just fine.

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I did the center parts in a white gloss first, 3 coats. After that dried overnight, I covered the white bits with newspaper and painters tape to protect them from the black paint.

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I ran into some weird issues with the black paint (you can see the all the strangeness on the backs of the chairs) so I had to let it dry and sand some more, then re-coat the chairs. I wound up doing 4 coats of the black gloss spray paint.

I covered the seats in an awesome white reptile-pattern vinyl I picked up at last January’s 30% off sale at Denver Fabrics. I love it! Here they are in the dining room. Now I can actually have a proper dinner party. The best part is that all it cost me was about $45 in spray paint and fabric.

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PS: Want to more about those other chairs at the ends of the table? They were found chairs, too! Mackenzie-Childs Style Chair Makeover.

I found and made over these cool Vintage Folding Chairs too.

A New Orleans House Tour Too Good Not To Share…

I ran across this delightful, eclectic DIY abode on Apartment Therapy and loved it so much I had to share it with you. It’s chock-full of some great DIY ideas. (See the full Article HERE)

The charming New Orleans home of Valorie Hart is full of personality and great ideas. I know it inspired me…

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Great Ideas in the living room: Simple wide black stripes painted on the left wall; Floor-to-ceiling luscious satin drapes (easy to make); and that old 70’s console, brought up to date with a coat of fresh white paint. The bright pops of color in the artwork finish the room perfectly.

 

 

 

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More fun art in this room, against that marvelous “ombre” wall (I AM going to steal that idea.) And of course, a static disco ball. (I have 2 of these in my house!)

 

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I love the fabric draping here, an elegant way to dress up a plain wall. (Attention renters!) The fabric cord cover on the lamps is the perfect finishing touch.

 

 

 

 

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I’m a huge fan of Fornasetti, but it’s way out of my price range. This is a fabulous idea! Print and decoupage your own wallpaper!

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A great example of making a color work by repeating it around the connecting rooms (Here, orange/red, but this can work with any color.)  And you’ve got to love the Union Jack-painted wardrobe!

 

 

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The outside patio is charming.Using the dark slate grey as a base and adding the pops of chartreuse green (and a little hot pink) works fantastically. I love the light-up ampersand with the plates on the wall.

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Yea, I could live here 😉

Stealing From Other People’s Homes (Decorating Ideas that is): Killer Glam Chicago Loft Full of DIY Goodness

I confess, I’m doing it again: Stealing. Stealing great decorating ideas from other people’s homes. This awesome Chicago loft was another one just too good not to share. Below I’m showing you a few pictures with Ideas to Steal from this glam space. You can see the whole article and many more pictures here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shaun-matts-glam-loft-house-tour-198170# (Apartment Therapy is one of my favorite decorating blogs, I highly recommend subscribing if you’re into decor www.apartmenttherapy.com)

Here are my favorite ideas from this amazing abode (and everyone of them would be cheap to do):

(all images from apartmenttherapy.com)

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The collection of art is a pure delight! If it were just a couple pieces it wouldn’t work, but en mass like this it’s an ode to kitsch. Great Idea: Strings of pearls draped on the portrait of Jaclyn Smith. It just works.

That chandelier made out of cheap gold earrings is genius! How many times have I seen those big grab bags of jewelry at the thrift store and not known what to do with them. Now I do!

A sequin wall? Oh Hells yes! Total Hollywood glam. This would be great on a door, on a headboard, a small bathroom wall, there are so many places this could be fun to try. It’s especially good against the black gloss fireplace.

Every home needs a mannequin. Mine is named “Talullah”. She’ll be getting a new paint job this year. That gold looks pretty good…

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This one is so simple and looks terrific! Funky lamp shades hung at varying heights from the ceiling. So easy! A fun assortment of shades from the thrift store, light kits from Home Depot, and your done! Love it.

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Note the doors, covered in a lovely brocade. Another great idea. Could be fabric or wallpaper or stenciled.

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Old door as decor. Makes a great backdrop. Plain wood or painted a great color, doors are great wall space fillers. Would also make for a unique headboard, connect 3 or more with hinges as a room divider, you get the idea. I would add a light behind this hanging door, would look amazing at night.

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There you have it, my personal picks from this great home. Again, see it all here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shaun-matts-glam-loft-house-tour-198170#_

Until next time, Happy DIY!

An Extraordinary Artist’s Home Just too Good not to Share (and Chock Full of Unique DIY Ideas)

Looking from entrance hall through to kitchen.  Horse’s head from Strange Trader.  Railway light hanging overhead.  Timber and bronze sculptures to the right by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
(Yes, you can paint your walls BLACK! Especially great with the white ceiling and trim. That hand-painted graphic piece on the left looks amazing and is totally doable with some painter’s tape and a steady hand…)

Artwork, magazines, collected ephemera in the entry hall.  A mix of artwork by David Bromley and Heidi Yardley, timber carving by David Bromley, Gypsy girl painting by an unknown artist in the USA.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(I LOVE the art collections all through this home. Notice most of the paintings are not framed? A collection of fun thrift store paintings could look equally good, especially against the dark walls.)

Master Bedroom 1! (There are two!).  Quilt and wall mural by David Bromley.  Painting above bed – old Russian propaganda painting – find similar Russian paintings at Bromley and Yuge’s shop in Byron, In This Street.  Bottom right – Bernard Buffet lithographs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The hand-painted wall mural is killer. I love that art is EVERYWHERE in this home, even down near the floor.)

Dining and living / TV room.  Incredible hand painted wall mural by David Bromley.  Printed Bonnie and Neil cushions from Ahoy Trader.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(Man, that half-wall mural is marvelous. Sharp and graphic and at the same time soft because of the simple color scheme. I love it against the dark walls. I may have to steal this one (not the actual mural of course, but something similar…) There is a whole lot going on in this home, but it’s not overwhelming because of the simple, consistent underlying color scheme)

Ok.  I promised you something special today and by GOLLY am I going to deliver on that!  This home is so freaking amazing.  It rendered Toby and me pretty much speechless in person… which always makes for a daunting shoot, in which you’re desperately hoping your shots will capture some of that magic, and that the camera lens will accurately convey the visual feast before your eyes.  I do hope we’ve succeeded in that mission today, and that this story feels like a true and honest documentation of one of the most amazing homes I have ever set foot in!

Clearly, this magical property is the Byron Bay home of artist David Bromley, his wife Yuge, and their gorgeous little baby, Wen.  David and Yuge have lived here just about two years, after relocating from Melbourne.  David was always drawn to the relaxed lifestyle here, and had often travelled here before setting up a more permanent home in Byron with Yuge in 2011.

Ironically though, there doesn’t appear to have been much ‘relaxing’ going on since David and Yuge moved here!  No sooner had they relocated, and David was up to his usual tricks – the property, which Bromley previously held as a weekender, was significantly re-worked, turning it into both a functional living and working space. David soon also acquired the property next door – pulling down the fence to create a dedicated studio and office space, and headquarters for Yuge’s fashion label.  The pair have also created an incredible sculpture garden shared by the two properties, filled with David’s own work and an ever-growing collection of artwork, vehicles and vintage collectables.

Whilst they have worked tirelessly to create a special home here, both David and Yuge have been careful to retain the original charm of this property, with its rambling gardens and out houses.  One of these outdoor pavillions has now been turned into an incredible summer bedroom adjoining the main house (so amazing!), whilst another serves as a painting studio.  Though they’ve made impressive progress in just two years, David and Yuge’s home has evolved very much organically, and changes made have been cosmetic rather than structural.

‘We are big believers in working with the original construct of buildings’ explains Yuge. ‘Renovating, wall removal and subtle reconfiguring is awesome fun and amazing, but building for us is daunting and disruptive. We’re not opposed to painting the walls though – painting a room a new colour is like having a holiday!’.  Indeed, soon after relocating here, Yuge recalls she and David would often end their work days to go and spend early evenings paintings the rooms in their house together.  I can so imagine that.  I hope it involved a glass of wine in one hand, and a paintbrush in the other!

Though it’s clearly a seriously impressive and kind of mind-bloggling space, the charm of this home really rests on its sense of light-heartedness and sponteneity.  It’s clear that this house has come together very intuitively, rather than adhering to a grand master plan. This is evident everywhere you look – in the wide stripes painted freehand on the kitchen walls, and the ad hoc placement of artwork from floor to ceiling, wherever it will fit, underneath windows and above doorways.  Yuge and David see furniture and objects as very much part of the architecture of a home – ‘placing bits and pieces we love around the house is how we build a space’ says Yuge.  Despite it’s devilish good looks, there’s nothing precious about this home – like so many of David’s creative endeavours, the space is ever-changing.

I feel so very lucky to have had the opportunity to document this truly special Australian Home.  MASSIVE thanks to David and Yuge for being so open and generous, and for trusting us to share their private world with you all!

ALSO, a reminder – we have an amazing giveaway running all week, thanks to David and Yuge, and their retail store In This Street!  One lucky reader will win a choice of any piece from Yuge’s beautiful womenswear range, and a stunning linen quilt by David Bromley, valued at $1,100.  Please visit Monday’s post and leave a comment over there before 10.00pm this Friday to be in the running.

 

Amazing TV room!  Incredible hand painted wall mural by David Bromley.   ’Moon rock’ felted cushions from Japan.  Printed Bonnie and Neil cushions from Ahoy Trader.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Loungeroom details – a mix of mid century and African artefacts. Wall mural by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen with amazing monochromatic stripes, painted freehand by David – around the artwork in some areas! Two portraits at top by David Bromley, below – a Russian painting by an unknown artist.  Rug from Loom Rugs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(Hand-painted free-hand strips! This took guts and a steady hand, but it looks great. Give it a go! If you mess up you can always paint over it. It’s just paint. The island on wheels clad in old signs. Great idea! And of course, art, art and more art! I admit I’m in love with that wacky cat’s head.)

Kitchen detail.  A painting found in China. Printed pottery on shelf to left by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking from dining to kitchen.  Early painting by David Bromley on the kitchen walls, created as studies on the Bloomsbury Group.  Michael Pugh ceramic pot in foreground.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Joe Furlonger painting in dining room. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking in to kitchen from the garden.  ’We love the inside being linked to the outside, and the outside linked to the inside’ says Yuge.  Paths throughout the yard are made from garden stakes.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. (I would love to open up our kitchen to the back yard, though that may be too much of a DIY for me.)

A long timber shed adjoining the main house has been converted into a summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub and private courtyard.  Quilts and painting above bed by David Bromley.  One bed is for David and Yuge – the adjacent bed is for little Wen.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(How charming! A “Summer Bedroom”, with it’s own bathtub. Great guest room. Who wouldn’t want to stay there? We’ve been seeing lots of hand-painted quilts in these pictures. This is an idea I WILL be stealing. It could be just simple geometric patterns if you don’t want to get all artsy with it. I love that the edges are unfinished, makes life simpler.)

 

 

Summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub.  Quilts by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A long timber shed adjoining the main house has been converted into a summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub.  Quilts by David Bromley.  One bed is for David and Yuge – the adjacent bed is for little Wen.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Outside bath on back porch, from Reece.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Side door and entrance hall.  Timber carved sculpture by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Amazing gardens.  ’The gardens here grow so well, and with some adventurous planting you can be living in a forest in no time’ says Yuge. ‘Bamboo grows in front of your eyes, and the weather here makes you look like a good gardener, whereas truthfully it just nature doing its thing!’  Enormous painted mesh Giraffe sculpture by Melbourne artist Tom Ripon (Tom has no website but is stocked in Melbourne by The Cool Roomin Balaclava).  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. (I want that giraffe! Makes me want to try my hand at outdoor sculpture.)

Exterior of David’s favourite backyard studio.  Paths made from garden stakes.  Pizza oven bought from a cooking school. French antique glass vase.  Lights made from Japanese fishing floats.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The simple garden paths are marvelous, and could easily be duplicated with treated scrap wood from old deaks or palettes.)

Of course they have an airstream caravan too…!   Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(An Airstream? OK, now I am SERIOUSLY jealous…)

Bromley’s favourite backyard studio. Butterflies painting on easel by David Bromley.  Rug from Loom Rugs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Detail from David’s backyard studio. ‘Sulky Boy’ painting by David Bromley. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painted schoolbus by David Bromley.  Elephant sculpture by Melbourne artist Tom Ripon (Tom has no website but is stocked in Melbourne by The Cool Roomin Balaclava).  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The Painted Bus! I love it! If only I had a bigger backyard…)

Old Studebaker found in Daylesford, perched in the garden!  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.