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.

Recycling Halloween into Thanksgiving, Part 2…Outdoor Decor Redo for Zero Dollars

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Fall, Part Deux! As I said in the last Thanksgiving post, because I go a bit over the top for Halloween and Xmas, I like to chill things out a bit in between and go for a simpler look. It took me about an hour to “recycle” Halloween into Thanksgiving out front. Here’s what I did:

BEFORE: (Halloween in full force)

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I removed everything distinctly Halloween: all the black and orange, along with the crows, lights, spooky eyes, and carved pumpkins. What was left was the faux Fall foliage and “whole” (un-carved) faux pumpkins. I added some silk sunflowers I snagged from the Goodwill a couple years ago, as well as a large dried grapevine wreath separated into 4 pieces.

AFTER:

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The pots out in front were the easiest. The faux Fall leaves (originally from the thrift store) stayed in the pots. I just removed the crows and added a few silk sunflowers. (It’s too cold here already for live outdoor plants, (low of 25 tonight!) so faking it is the best we can do.)

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The two pots on the stoop were much the same, a bit of faux fall leaves wrapped around the top, a faux pumpkin (all the pumpkins are also from the thrift store for a couple bucks apiece) plopped in the middle, (no real pumpkins possible here, the ravenous squirrel army would be munching on them within minutes) and a section of dried grapevine wreath added on top. I purchased the grapevine wreath from the floral wholesaler for about $35, and have been reusing it for many years now. You will be able to find these at most hobby shops as well. With a little care they will last for many many years. (I store mine in the garden shed when not in use.)

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Next to the door, the column gets the same leaf-&-pumpkin treatment.

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The table on the other side of the door (patiently awaiting a new paint job) is just a pile of dried gourds, also left over from Halloween.

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The far end of the porch got a nice dried flower arrangement. Dried flowers are a great choice for a covered outdoor area, just make sure they don’t get wet. During the year I dry all my old flowers from indoor arrangements so I can do a few of these outside in the Fall. These dried flowers are just stuck right in the dirt in one of the pots from the garden. The old magnolia wreath laying under the pot has seen better days (I’ve had it for about 5 years) and is no longer suitable to hang on the door, but it works great here on the table. Drying your older fresh flowers is easy. Just put a few together, use a rubber band or twist tie around the bottoms of the stems, and hang them upside down in a dry, out of the way spot. Most flowers will dry well, especially those with woody stems like roses and hydrangea. Flowers like carnations and mums, not so much.

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And that’s it! A sweet and simple Fall decor design for the front yard that cost zippedy-do-dah dollars. Now I get to relax for a couple weeks, before getting all loco again for Xmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s…

 

Recycling Halloween into Thanksgiving…A Mantle Decor Redo for Zero Dollars

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Halloween is over, sniff sniff. I always wax a touch melancholy packing up the skulls and bats, simultaneously mourning the end of the Season of the Witch while savoring the tiny bit of caramel wedged between my molars from the final mini Milky Way bar. Yesterday I bid a fond frightful farewell to my favorite holiday, and made room for the next one: Thanksgiving. Because I go a little nutsy coo-coo for both Halloween and Christmas, I like to go a bit simpler in between the two for Thanksgiving. (Though admittedly my “going simple” is still over-the-top for most people. I’m like the Liberace of Holiday Decorating 😉 I’m also saving for holiday gifts, so spending cash on decor is a big fat no-no. It’s time to recycle!

Thankfully Halloween and Thanksgiving have a lot of crossover decor: Pumpkins, gourds, fall leaves and the like, so it’s easy to do double-duty with the decorations. I simply saved the whole pumpkins and gourds, reused my silk fall leaves and did a little presto-chango on the mantle.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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I thought an asymmetrical arrangement might be fun this year, well that, and I had only one large pumpkin left that was still solid.* I placed the big guy on the far left, then added one spray of my old faux fall leaves next to it on the right. Next I added some sticks and small branches with dried real fall leaves that I salvaged from my Halloween floral arrangements and from the yard. (That’s a great trick for using “faux” flowers and leaves: work in some real ones for a more authentic look). Then I worked in all the smaller leftover pumpkins and gourds. Nothing special here, I just set them in place on the mantle. As a final touch I tucked in some pheasant feathers (I reuse these for Thanksgiving and Xmas every year. You can find them cheap on Ebay), a few dried seed heads (I’ve been reusing these for about 3 years now) and some Spanish moss (I always have a bag of moss around for plants and flower arrangements. It gives the arrangement a grounded and finished look.). Done! I love that I didn’t spend a dime this year, and it still looks great.

* FYI: I don’t know if this is just a fluke, but I bought three pumpkins the first week of October. One from Whole Foods and two from King Soopers. Both Sooper’s pumpkins had started rotting and had to be tossed. The Whole Foods pumpkin is still solid and looks great.

Next time I’ll show you the rest of the Thanksgiving decor. FOLLOW this blog and you won’t miss a thing!

What decor items do you recycle during the holiday season? Tell me in the Leave a Reply/Comment section.

How-To DIY Found Dresser Make-Over for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom

 

The Dresser is DONE! Hallelujah. 

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We found this big vintage boy last year in the alley just a block away. It’s big and heavy and solid as hell. It even has wheels! There was some minor damage that was easily fixed. (see pics below) It’s been sitting in the garage about a year. (You should have seen us rolling this thing down the alley and across a busy street. It was hysterical!) I couldn’t work on it over the Winter as it was too cold to paint out there, and I was searching for the right pulls and knobs (“right” = cheap or free 😉 and the Spring/early Summer was all about other projects around the house, so in the garage it sat. I started in on this a couple weeks ago after finding great pulls and knobs at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. All 9 knobs cost a whopping $12!

First I removed all the hardware, then came the patching and the sanding. Lots and lots of sanding. I still probably should have done more. Note to self: Always sand more than you think you need to! In my search for knobs I was unable to find any that matched the current holes in the drawers, so I filled the holes with wood filler. (I’ll show you later how I drilled holes for my new pulls & knobs)

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Next came the paint. I used primer and paint-in-one (in Hot Pink). This was some very thirsty wood, it drank up 5 coats. I applied the paint with a quality 4″ brush. I tried the additive “Flotrol” for the first time, which is supposed to eliminate brush and roller marks. I would say it lessened them at best.

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After the first 2 coats…

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When the 5 coats were thoroughly dry, it was time to get creative with the finish. My man said it was “way to freaking pink” so I decided to tone it down a bit. I did a fast sort-of antiquing finish with watered-down black paint (about 50/50). It’s simple, looks good, and frankly, visually covers a multitude of paint and surface sins. You just brush on the watery black paint, being sure to get it well into the cracks, then immediately wipe it down with a rag. You have to move quickly before the paint starts to dry.

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When the finish was dry, I coated the whole deal with gloss clear coat. I love high gloss. It makes almost anything look good. Silly me bought only one can of clear coat (Rustolium Lacquer in gloss), which was enough to do all the drawers and the fronts, but not the top. Fortunately I had a pint of gloss polyurethane in the art studio so I painted 3 coats on the top and sides (yes, I was too lazy to go to the hardware store and buy another can of spray Lacquer. So sue me.)

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I let everything dry outside for 3 days before bringing it in to reduce paint fumes as much as possible. Then it was knob-time!

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I started by creating a template for drilling the hole as there were 6 to be drilled. This made it super-easy. I cut a piece of cardboard to fit very snugly inside the face, then measured for the exact center, then for placement of the pull holes around the center point. I had to do it twice. I triple-checked the measurement before I began. Last thing I wanted to do was have to re-patch, re-paint and re-drill holes!

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I put a piece of masking tape where I would be drilling (painter’s tape would have been even better). This makes for a cleaner drill hole. Then it was time to drill! I used a bit slightly larger than my screws, and just drilled carefully straight down.

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Here’s a tip: Once I had the first one drilled, I tried to pull out my template, and couldn’t get it out! The fit was a little too snug. I folded over a piece of packing tape to make a tab on the end of the cardboard template for easy removal. Worked great.

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Success! First pull attached. Now for the other 5. And, done!

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The hardest part of all this was getting the dresser up the stairs. Let me tell you, that thing is long and HEAVY! Even without the drawers it had to be about 100 pounds. I’m still amazed the man and I were able to do it. It suffered a couple dings here and there, but it made it. Now the fun part. Merchandising! Of course the pugs have to get in on the act.

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The next morning I realized I had forgotten a lamp I had set aside for the dresser, so I rearranged a bit…(see the cow skull project HERE)

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And I will probably be tweaking it again, but for now, I’m satisfied. Dresser. DONE! Total cost for paint and knobs about $35. Only one project left to go in the Rock Star Glam Bedroom, coming soon!

 

Notes about Stuff:

Dresser: Found in alley (free) knobs and paint, about $35

Lucite lamp: Base found in alley, shade $5 at Goodwill.

Books: All 3 were treasured gifts.

White frame: $4 at Goodwill.

Crystals, glass art, and bases: Yard sales and auctions.

Clear Lucite stand under TV: Found in alley (this one right behind the house!)

Stereo: Another fabulous alley find. Works great!

Hanging fish bowls: $5 each at Goodwill. New in box! Betas from Petsmart. (Named Red Fish & Blue Fish)

Large Mirror: Yard sale, $15 (was gold, now painted gloss black).

Disco Ball: $25, Ebay.

 

Anatomy of a Bookshelf – A Simple Redo that Makes a Big Difference

It’s one of the oft-neglected spots in a home: the Bookshelf. I’ve been “neglecting” this one for ages and finally got fed up. Time to rearrange!

 
This Bookshelf is on the landing at the top of the stairs. It is passed many times a day on the way to the bedroom, my art studio, the music room and the bathroom. Jiva’s music students often sit in that chair waiting for their lesson. Everyone who visits the house sees it, and it is a bit embarrassing. So messy!

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The first step was to remove everything (ok, except the little fountain, it’s a pain in the butt to move) and clean. It’s kind of astounding how much dirt and dust pile up behind books. Nasty.

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I like the arrangement on top of the shelf so I left that as is, along with the fountain. It doesn’t fit on any other shelf, and honestly, we love it. It has authentic rainforest sounds and is rather relaxing. Sort of a nice white-noise thing.

Next I went through everything that was on the shelves, tossed what I could, and put a few superfluous items into storage. Then I cleaned up the books & tchotchkes, ordered them (well sort-of) and started arranging everything back on the shelves. All of the man’s music books are now in one place and easy to find, and it all looks neat, tidy and more interesting. I did bring in two items from other rooms, the amethyst geode piece and a candle.

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Now I won’t be mortified when someone sits in the chair…FYI, the pretty leaves in the bud vase on the top shelf came from the backyard. All the wall art and the art on top of the shelf came from the thrift store, as did the disco ball (I’m obsessed with disco balls, I have three of them up in the house right now). At least half the books were thrift store finds and half the tchotchkeys as well. A few things were gifts. The chair was an alley find I did up all Mackenzie-childs style (see the rest here). The fun pear pillow is from a company that unfortunately went out of business years ago.

Next, I need to move that top picture lower on the wall, and that ugly Oxblood Red trim is getting painted gold. The man painted that years ago, and I’ll forgive him his questionable color choices 😉 Some part of this Victorian house has to be traditional…

 

What projects did you tackle this Holiday Weekend? I’d love to hear about them in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.