Sunday, August 21, 2016

DIY Paint Adventures

I would never profess to be a painter, but I am not afraid to open a paint can and dab away at a boring room or an old piece of furniture. The lack of fear doesn't necessarily make me do a good job, it just means that I am not afraid to try, and if I mess up, it is my own home, and I'll try my best to fix it.

From small picture frames to bedrooms and countertops, I have learned that painting is an unpredictable process (and there is a lot of "p's" in this sentence). Just when I think I have it all figured out, the color will not be as expected, a paint can will rust without warning, or I will accidentally spray sunshine yellow all over my new, black shoes.

Some things are best left to the professionals, but before you make the call there are a few DIY paint repairs and ideas that you really (really) can do yourself.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Quick Bathroom Update

Whether we like it or not, the bathroom is the place that we have to visit at least several times a day, yet we often neglect it; which is silly really, because it is one of the smallest spaces we have, and can be updated with very little time and money. Okay, so not HGTV updated, but freshened up enough that you might even like it, and you definitely won't cringe the next time you need to spend a little extra time in there.
By the way, this isn't about replacing taps and tile, or pouring your own concrete counter-top, it's about the things that you can plan while sipping a cup of coffee, and do with barely any skill or thought .....

I know it's obvious, so why don't we do it? The preparation might even take you longer than the painting, but if it's small, and you are careful, you should be fine without too much prep. If your walls are a bright color, go cream or white, and if it is already fairly plain, try brightening it up with a color. (If your wall space is really small, check out your local hardware store for a can of "Oops" paint).

Replace your Shower curtain with something Simple and Luxurious
White is often the best to brighten up a bathroom, but if you want a color, buy something soft and quiet, with a texture to it (like a waffle weave, or an unusual, cozy fabric). Ditch the themed curtains for a while.

Bring in Furniture
If you have the space, add instant personality (and extra storage) with an old dresser, nightstand or shelf that isn't normally used in a bathroom. 

Change your Shower-head
Most just twist off, and there are so many fun and interesting options now. If you have children, or a large family, consider installing a hand-held shower-head to make it easier for hard to reach places, washing long hair, and rinsing off dogs and children. 

Organize your Storage (decoratively)
Use a vintage crate or metal basket to store toilet paper and towels, and an over-the-tub organizer for shampoos and cleansers. If you want to have make-up and toiletries on display, keep an eye out for small, interesting boxes and clear acrylic containers (durable and decorative). 

Consider your View
Do you really need privacy, or can you let the light in and get rid of the old curtains and blinds? 

Eliminate Daily Mess
Hanging hooks on the back of your door for towels and nightgowns makes it easier for everyone to clean up. It might seem a bit wrong to make a hole in your door, but it keeps stuff off the floor and clutter off the wall. (You could even try those adhesive hooks, but I haven't had much luck with them). 

Hang Art on the Wall
This is where I recommend you go cheap. Vintage art and signs are great, because they have already been well-loved, and I always think copies of pictures and photographs are much safer than using originals in a damp environment. Inexpensive frames can be bought with "acrylic" glass, which still protects what you have but makes them less precious should they fall. 

Change out Decorative Hardware, and/or Paint your Vanity (white, black?)
Not everything needs to be replaced, but some pieces show their age very quickly. To avoid being stuck in a time warp, buy simple, classic knobs, and paint out the ugly. 

Check your Light-bulbs
See if you would like more or less light, and if the style and size of the bulbs is right for your room. Install a dimmer switch if you are feeling ambitious.

Add a Plant
I think every room should have a plant to make it feel alive and cared for - even if it is a small piece of ivy in a glass of water.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Visits with a Chair

I never took it flowers, or dressed up in my fanciest of clothes, but every week I would go to the old antique shop, say hello to the lady behind the counter, and walk upstairs to visit the chair. She said I was allowed to sit on it for as long as I wanted, but I never stayed more than fifteen or twenty minutes.

It was called a chair and a half; crowded inbetween the plastic flowers and the used books, the chair was covered in a riot of faded flowers and had seen better days. It was squishy in all the right places, fit me perfectly, and just seemed to teeter over the wrong edge of my budget.

She said that no-one would buy it because it wasn't new, and it wasn't as trendy as it used to be, but I still loved it.

Why wouldn't everyone want to put their feet up on a giant chair, and feel completely enveloped in comfort? Perhaps it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, being a bit disproportionate for the average person, but delightfully dreamy for the rest of us.

One day, I went to visit, and the shop was closed.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Your Home, Your Story

There are some people we meet, and we instantly become great friends. While I have never met Stephen Thompson in person, what began as an introduction of designer parallels quickly become a friendship across the miles. Living in Tupelo, Mississippi, Stephen is the owner of Designer Connection, and a writer for the North East Mississippi Daily Journal; his article this week was so beautifully done, that I asked him if I could share it with you.
STEPHEN THOMPSON: Use the power of story to change your décor
Much like a voice constantly whispering in your ear, your décor’s story can either make or break you. You may not be listening to it but, day and night, your décor is talking to you, and it’s influencing the quality of your life.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Unmentionables and Moments of Frippery

When we reach a certain age, our lingerie drawer suddenly becomes an unrecognizable mess of fun and function; we lift, we tuck, we squeeze, and we spend a ridiculous amount of time rearranging ourselves into all sorts of things to make us feel pretty, and, dare I say it, youthful.
It's just not as easy as it used to be, and whereas some days make us imagine we could be Dita Von Teese (or is that just me?) others find us reaching for the vast sea of elastic beige that Bridget Jones regretted wearing on her first date with Daniel.