One Project A Weekend

Big Boy Beds

Big Boy Beds

How RAD is this bunk bed? Short of actually being seaworthy…I think this bed might be as close as it gets to sleeping aboard a boat. It is AMAZING, one of a kind, completely handcrafted, the workmanship and engineering…in a word, impeccable. And it’s “docked” in my son’s room, thanks to my wonderful friend, Tiffany, and her family. I’m not sure if this really qualifies as a “One Project A Weekend” post.  But it did take about a weekend to dismantle the old bed and move it into my younger son’s room, reassemble, get everything cleaned/set up and ready for delivery of the boat beds. In any case, I just want to show how awesome they are. First, a little background…the boys have been sharing this room ever since Isaac could climb out of his crib. Mason has had the Hemnes Day Bed with trundle from IKEA (above) since he was two and the crib went to Baby Isaac’s nursery. Once Isaac figured out how to get out of the crib and go into Mason’s room, we kept the trundle pulled out and the boys shared the room that way for almost two years. Isaac’s fourth birthday was fast approaching (wow, time really does fly and they grow so fast)…we realized that we should probably get Isaac his own big boy bed. My husband had just sold the crib on Craig’s List and now Isaac’s “vintage circus” themed bedroom was looking a little empty. We contemplated just turning Isaac’s room into a playroom, but thought we should at least get a bed in there just in case Isaac wanted to sleep in his own room again…and it could serve as a guest room if needed. We figured we’d just get another Hemnes Day Bed because Mason’s had held up so well and was really practical/functional with the trundle and storage drawers.  My niece, PJ, also has the same bed and it’s perfect for a kids’ room…and very reasonably priced.   Add caption Then Tiffany called (literally the day before we were getting ready to go to IKEA and pick up the new bed)…her son, now 13, had outgrown the bed and she wanted it to go to a friend that would appreciate it and put it to good use, rather than sell it to a stranger on Craig’s List. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I eagerly said “Yes!” My husband measured the room and we figured it should work…or we’d find a way to make it work! I’ve always loved that unique and beautifully made bed and knew my kids would be SO excited. Mason had been begging for a bunk bed for months! The style of the bed would be perfect for Mason’s “vintage transportation” themed room. The bed was completely custom made (I need to find out the name of the artisan who built it so I can give him proper credit). Every time I would visit Tiffany’s home over the years, I would marvel at this bed, a dream come true for any kids’ bedroom! Tiffany has the most gorgeous, beautiful home. If anyone should have a blog about decorating, interior design, remodeling…it is Tiffany. She and her husband, Bill, completely renovated and decorated their historic home themselves. Both of them are incredibly talented and the ongoing journey of their home is enough to inspire content for countless blogs and TV shows. There are some of Tiffany’s touches in my home…from window treatments to antique accent pieces, bedding and wall art. I’ve been so lucky to have a friend who is so generous with her talent...

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The Loft Benches

The Loft Benches

My DREAM Indo-Moroccan-themed room inspiration.  This is a room in fashion designer Sue Wong’s 1920s L.A. home (from In Style Home, Spring 2006). We knew from day one of moving into our house…probably even before that (while we were looking at the models, when we paid our deposit, before we closed escrow)….that we wanted a Moroccan-themed sitting room somewhere. You know, a place where we could lounge around, drink tea (or coffee, wine, whatever), chat with friends, read a book. We’re not traditional, “formal” living room people…so we didn’t really see the need for a sitting room to receive guests. We found that most of the time, when we had or attended parties, everyone seemed to gather in the kitchen or family room. It seemed a formal living room and dining room ended up just being places where the fancy furniture was kept and no one really used on a daily basis. But I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have a room somewhere, that still looked really “fancy” and could be used for a sitting room, if needed.  So what room in the house could we transform into our Moroccan-themed room? My inspiration pages from the “Look Book” I started before we moved into our home in 2001.  The paint chip is Ralph Lauren Venetian Red, which is the paint color of the loft. Another page from the “Look Book”…love all the pillows and red walls. While looking through the models (this was in 2000, we moved into the house in March 2001), I remember my husband, Aaron, and I both remarking that the loft in our favorite model would be a perfect place for an exotic Indo-Moroccan sitting room filled with comfy cushions, colorful walls, a variety of patterned pillows, a gorgeous hand-painted ceiling and fabulous lighting.   The photos below were all taken from a lovely coffee table book I’ve had for well over eight years, for inspiration:  “Moroccan Interiors” by Lisa Lovatt-Smith. Terrific lamp… A little too geometric for my taste, but I love the bombardment of color and pattern. A popular trend in decorating: having a bold, patterned wall covering where all the upholstery fabrics and pillows use the exact same pattern in the same scale.  It’s rich and dramatic, and yet a somewhat timeless approach that can also feel quite contemporary.  I’m seeing it a lot in very retro-modern decor using bold combinations of brocade and damask patterns. Fabulous mirror, gorgeous mirrored table and ornately tiled walls.  The white cushions and pillows provide a nice contrast. I love arched doorways… A year or so after we moved in, Aaron planned out and built the benches in the loft. Besides being a U-shaped sitting area to provide plenty of seating, he designed the benches with top-opening, hinged doors so that they could be used for storage. He also made them wide enough that a few guests could sleep there comfortably (if we ever needed to accommodate more guests than our guest room, Aero beds and sleeping bags would allow). This was done before we had our children, so we each had one of the spare bedrooms as our offices, which only left one room for a guest room.  The benches are not as wide as a twin bed, but they are just a tad wider than a sleeping berth in a sailboat (Aaron grew up living aboard a sailboat, so he knows a little something about that). He did a great job designing, building and installing these very functional loft benches. He even painted the brown primer coat in preparation for the distressed/antiqued crackle finish I...

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Top 10 of 2010 – Paper and Paint

Top 10 of 2010 – Paper and Paint

2010 was a great year for EITAK Design! There were so many wonderful projects; so many fabulous collaborations with my network of industry professionals: event planners, photographers, printers, interior designers, and contractors; so many enjoyable experiences working with such beautiful couples, loving families, exceptional businesses and gorgeous homes.  I’m a lucky, lucky girl!!!  Thank you ALL for your support this past year, whether you’ve hired me for Paper or Paint projects, or if you’ve referred someone to EITAK, or if you’ve read and made comments on this blog or EITAK’s Facebook page…it means the world to me, so thank you!    It was so hard to narrow down my Top 10.  I truly loved everything I designed, created and painted this past year…and I was so grateful for the amazing opportunities each project brought me.  I started drafting this post just hours before heading out to ring in the New Year…so to make it easier to choose, I simply had to choose quickly… So here they are for PAPER… (keep in mind that all these photos were shot with either my iphone or Canon ELPH Powershot….no fancy photography, equipment or editing here) ONE: My 2010 Chinese New Year’s cards.  I put so much of my heart and soul into these cards each year, and with the amazing photos by my sis of Lot116 Photography, how could MY fabulous cards not make it to the Top 10? This particular card has to be my favorite of our family New Year’s cards to date!  Oh, but just wait til you see what I have planned for 2011! TWO: The cards created for this tableaux shoot were done in late 2009, but was featured in a 2010 issue of Exquisite Weddings, so that counts right?  I was just so thrilled to see my name in print! THREE: “Out of the Box” designs for party invites: ice skating and bowling. FOUR: Custom “die-cut” party invites: my niece’s 50’s sock hop and another ice skating party (which I cut by hand). FIVE: A beautiful collaboration with my bro-in-law, Jay and his creative wife Kristine….they are both super talented, so I was honored that they asked me to help create their wedding ensemble.  My favorite find was this gorgeous embossed faux woodgrain paper that we used to hand-cover all the Envelopments Pocketfolds. SIX: COLORFUL, fun and unique….I love working with clients that are not afraid of bold color schemes and trying something different that will not only set them apart from the norm, but also capture their personalities and this particular moment in their lives. SEVEN: Beautiful wedding ensembles using purple…the hottest color of the year… Purple, black and dark silver… Purple and silver… Purple, green and gold… EIGHT: Adorable birth announcements for EITAK and Lot116’s blog contest winners, all photos by Lot116. NINE: Fabulous, Sexy, Sweet…..this is the way to do a 40th Birthday Invite!  In my favorite color scheme of course…. TEN: My kids have the coolest parties, and so it’s only appropriate that they should have the most amazing, over-the-top invites.  I couldn’t choose between Mason’s Indiana Jones party…. …Or Isaac’s Pirate Party…so I picked both! Okay, that seems like more than 10, but some are categorized together….so let’s just let it slide…okidokee?  I did have ONE more amazing project that I’m dying to post about, but I have to keep it under wraps for a little bit longer before I can reveal any information and photos.  The work was done late 2010, but it won’t be seen until late January….so I guess it will have to be part of my favorite 11 of 2011. Now...

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Kids’ Bathroom Mirror

Kids’ Bathroom Mirror

This will be a really quick post….we finished another small detail for our boys’ bathroom, so I wanted to share the results.  We’ve been working on little projects here and there for this bathroom, and although there’s still quite a bit on the “to-do” and “wish” lists, it’s coming together!  Here are links to the other posts related to this bathroom: cabinets and walls. Here’s the bathroom before we started: BORING white walls and cabinets…and I can’t stand the light fixture. My husband changed out the light fixture and framed the mirror with hardwood planks.  Originally, we wanted to take down the huge mirror and put up two framed mirrors (I was thinking of making the frames out of distressed gray driftwood).  But taking down the mirror would have been a chore in itself…and I wanted a quick fix.  So, in keeping with the black, white, dark gray and chartreuse color scheme….I thought a black frame would look cool.  I envisioned a modern-rustic black frame with a ceruse finish.  A ceruse wood finish is rather time-consuming and uses many steps to achieve. There are different methods similar to pickling and white-washing, but the traditional technique requires wire brushing the wood to open the grain, staining the wood (usually a dark color), and then applying a white wax to highlight the grain.  Grainy woods like oak most often have the best results for cerusing, Ceruse oak sample from Bausman & Company I didn’t really have the time to perform all the steps of a traditional ceruse finish, and the planks we used for the frame were chosen because they were cheap and the right width/thickness (not for the type of wood), so I decided to “faux” a ceruse.  I applied a couple of coats of Minwax oil-based wood stain in Ebony, then after it cured completely, my husband used Liquid Nails to glue the wood pieces onto the mirror.  After the glue dried, I simply used the flat side of a white wood filler touch-up crayon and “shaded” it over the wood where the raised areas of grain would pick up the white wax.   My “faux” ceruse finish took just a few minutes. The grain is more subtle than the Bausman & Co. sample, but I think it still looks really cool. The finished mirror and new light fixture…and yes, the boys’ toads (Jelly & Belly) have a pretty woodland scene background that I found online and printed for the terrarium. The frame goes perfectly with the resin frames I picked up from the 99 Cents Only store.  Those little frames have a rustic-looking, distressed charcoal gray finish. They don’t match the woodland theme of the rest of the decor, but Mason’s robot drawings look adorable in these white matted frames from Dollar Tree. I couldn’t resist bringing home this wise old owl from HomeGoods!  This bathroom is so much fun!  The boys love it, and working on it has been a...

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Valance Box Découpage

Valance Box Découpage

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I “découpaged”…the last time was probably 10 years ago when I made a gift for my mother-in-law using family photos collaged onto a small, wooden box.  In college, I used a lot of Mod Podge for collage and mixed-media art projects.  I had forgotten how fun and easy it is…and there are so many things you can do with a little bit of paper and glue! The art of découpage has been a popular decorative technique since the 17th century, and according to the National Guild of Decoupeurs, “as far back as the 12th century, Chinese peasants were creating paper cutouts in vivid colors to decorate windows, lanterns, gift boxes and other objects. This Chinese practice and expertise with scissors is thought to have come from Eastern Siberia, where cutout felt figures and designs were decorating objects in the tombs of Siberian nomads. The tombs date back to before Christ.”  Interesting!   You would not believe some of the amazing artwork that has been created with découpage!   In the world of crafting and decorating, découpage has always been popular for making over old furniture or transforming everyday objects into something unique and custom.  Not only is it versatile, but it’s very user-friendly for crafters of all ages!  I’ve seen everything from ornaments, vases and frames to huge dressers, chairs and armoires transformed using découpage!  The découpage can then be enhanced with a variety of decorative painting techniques…antiquing, distressing, gold-leaf, faux painting, etc. A few months ago, when I saw these new Rossi Manuscript Prints (www.papermojo.com), I knew I HAD to have them for my paper “collection”….so I ordered ALL of them (if you didn’t already know, I have an addiction to paper)!  I have always loved the look of old-world manuscripts, books, sheet music, calligraphy and script, and these papers made by Rossi A. Cartotecnica in Florence, Italy not only fit the bill…but they’re from one of my favorite cities in the whole world!  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them at the time, but I knew they needed to be in my arsenal of decorative papers…I would find a project for them!   As soon as I saw the Mediterranean map paper…right away, I envisioned a place for it in my son’s room.  Mason’s room has a vintage transportation theme, and over six years ago when I decorated his nursery, I chose maps and globes to complement the antique-looking automobiles, locomotives, airplanes, ships and motorcycles.  My friend, Tiffany, who is an amazing interior designer and knows my style exactly, custom-made his crib bedding using a beautiful combination of fabrics, including this old-world map pattern.    At the last minute, she also made this valance box and curtains….which she installed just in time for Mason’s baby shower.  My original plan was to paint a silhouette of a tall ship and his monogram onto the center of the valance box and then do an antiquing glaze over the off-white color…but never got around to it once Mason was born (he’s 6 years old now). So, armed with a small jar of Mod Podge, an Exacto knife, 2 sheets of the Rossi map paper, and a wallpapering brush, I découpaged his valance box instead!  Mod Podge, is THE go-to product for découpage and collage projects…it’s been around for over 40 years and is so easy to use, fast-drying and durable.   First I brushed on an even coat of Mod Podge onto the valance box, then laid the paper over it, using the wallpapering brush to smooth out air bubbles.  I tore the edges of the paper for the areas where...

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