Apr 17

Pillow Fight!!

Posted In Decorating, Move-in's, Old to New, Redesign, Shopping, Styling, Uncategorized

Are you a pillow lover, or a pillow fighter?  It seems like every household has someone who makes a stand against throw pillows on the furniture… someone who proclaims to not like them, not want them, and will not even consider the potential beauty they provide.  Reasons abound, but pillow fighters mostly think these soft poofs serve no purpose whatsoever and are always in the way, making it impossible to sit or lie down easily.

Really?! I guess it can be time-consuming to swipe pillows onto the floor before retiring to bed at night (approx 15 seconds) and especially to place them back on said bed the next morning. (close to 30 seconds) Worse yet, is the necessary adjusting, fluffing, moving or tossing of pillows when lounging on the sofa, (takes 10-20 seconds) and then putting them back when the movie is over. (40 seconds, start to finish)

Hmmm… too much work??  Absolutely not!  Worth it?  YES!  Adding pillows is, by far, the easiest and cheapest way to brighten up and accessorize a space.  Just imagine what all of these rooms would look like without their pillows.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes…  BLAAAAH would be the word to describe these spaces if pillow-less.

Always opt to finish off your rooms with a few throw pillows.  It’s easy.  BOOM… toss them in and you’ve got instant personality, color and fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 27

Hot Desert Colors

Posted In Decorating, Redesign, Styling, Travel, Uncategorized

I’m back to “partly cloudy,” after almost a week in the warmth and sunshine of beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. This gorgeous spot always gets to me… especially this time of the year when the city fills up with baseball loving, sun seeking foodies.  It feels like the best place on earth.  Yeah, we did work a little, but we ate more, watched some fun games (go Cubs!), and even fit in a few workouts, notably a climb up Camelback Mountain.

Have you seen Camelback… rising from the desert floor, looking much like it’s namesake?

It’s not an easy hike, even though it starts off looking harmless…

But it quickly becomes a straight up scramble, so steep that several sections have been outfitted with railings to help you pull yourself up the rocks.

We finished in a little over 1 1/2 hours… the 360 degree view is spectacular… and were busy congratulating ourselves when 2 studly looking men ran past. One, aged 72, was heading up the mountain a 2nd time and the other, 75, was starting his 3rd trip.  Oh. Wow. OK… I’m a wimp.

Well, we still deserved a celebration of sorts… a big breakfast treat… so decided to check out the restaurant at the new Saguaro Hotel… another MUST for Scottsdale visitors.

The Saguaro, a Joie de Vivre Hotel: Front Entrance signage, can not miss it

Recently purchased by Joie de Vivre Hotels and completely remodeled, this BRIGHT spot opened in January of this year.  No muted terracottas or earth tones here! Most surfaces are painted the colors of Arizona wildflowers… hot pinks, oranges, yellows, reds, lime greens, purples… and lots more.  You can’t help but feel happy and ready for a good time when you walk in!

Image of The Saguaro, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel, Scottsdale

LOVE these lights!  Did you know you can make them?  Here are directions from ruffledblog.com.

Only the bar is somewhat muted, paneled in weathered barnwood, while still sporting a few brightly painted niches.

The orange tips on the barstools really got me. Such a simple feature makes a BIG impact.

 

Nice display idea.

Check out the purple carpet in the rooms and hallways.

The Saguaro, a Joie de Vivre Hotel: The Saguaro - Guestroom

HAPPY happy colors!  Hmm…. am now rethinking the desert house.  I’ve always loved warm earth tones, and lots of wood, rock, metal and other materials found in nature.  But maybe these bright hot colors would be even better for a weekend place….  You can’t help but smile and relax when surrounded by this.  What do you think??

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Jan 10

Furniture Redo

Posted In Budget, Decorating, flea market, Old to New, Styling, Uncategorized

My friend Lisa is fearless.  She’s also artistic, creative and SO SO brave with power tools, paintbrushes, electricity and pipes, not to mention sewing machines and knitting needles. You name it, she does it. Imagine… she once tore her bathroom apart… completely… plumbing, electrical and all AND then redid it when her husband was away on a business trip.

Compared to that epic redo her latest project is extremely simple, but I am still impressed at the BIG difference fresh paint made on her decades old hutch. Here’s an email she sent me this last week about a simple paint project she took on… again, hubby was away, so Lisa played….

“I had nothing to do last week so I painted the hutch in my foyer. I’ve been wanting to add some turquoise to my color scheme and decided to be bold and paint this hutch. It was painted flat black….”
“So, I painted it with a flat paint too… a super bright shade of turquoise.  This selection was brighter than I would normally choose because I knew I’d be sealing it with a combination of clear and brown wax for a European finish.   This picture (below) shows you the process.  The item on the left was only painted with the very intense turquoise color…  it looks and feels like flat paint.  The  bottom part on the right is in the process of being antiqued, where I’m applying and rubbing off alternate coats of clear and dark wax until I get the dirty look in the place I want it.  Then I buffed the heck out of it. 
“Here is the final product.  It looks like it came out of a kitchen in a french farmhouse and has years of dirt on it…I didn’t want a fussy or a perfect look.  I LOVE how it looks with the milkglass, but now the chairs I kept on either side need to be recovered. (another project!) Yeah..you should see it in person..much more beautiful..took 3 days of hard work to get that finish just right.”

Beautiful!!
Meanwhile, now I’m super motivated, so I’ve decided to paint some some rusty white garden furniture that my neighbor just gave to me.  Here’s what it looks like after a little bit of sanding and priming.
I’m gonna spray paint them with standard black Rustoleum paint.  Glossy.  Will keep you posted, but give me a while because I’ll be reupholstering the chairs too!
I admit that I’m not as skilled or brave as Lisa when it comes to refinishing furniture… she really could be a pro. But, I’m not afraid to try a few simple projects.  Do you have any tips on how I should be doing this? Please share….!
BY THE WAY…. Lisa is the talent that designed the artwork and graphics for this website and my newest, latest, greatest business cards.  Is there anything that this woman can’t do, and do extraordinarily well???

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