One Project A Weekend

Painted House Number

Painted House Number

This quick and easy project wasn’t on my “to-do” list, but I decided it needed to be done after a client mentioned that she had problems finding my house number when we scheduled to meet at my home for her wedding invitations.  I hadn’t really noticed, but it turns out that the lighted house number on the front of our house had been blocked by the unexpectedly rapid growth of tropical foliage in our front yard.  Landscaping, gardening, yard work is NOT my thing, and rather than cutting back the beautiful fronds of the palm tree that was blocking the house number, I decided to put the house number somewhere else for the time being. I was inspired by an idea from the September issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine…“skip the obvious offerings at the hardware store in favor of custom-painted numbers on a planter”… Idea from the September issue of MSL Since I’m all about custom-painting and wanted to keep it subtle, yet noticeable…this was a perfect solution!  I could choose my own font and colors in keeping with the style of my home.  And since the planter has a distressed clay finish, if I got tired of the painted numbers, I could easily faux paint over it to return the planter to it’s original condition or turn the planter around and paint a new version on the other side. Here’s the planter before… So I painted the numbers onto the planter using a bronze metallic paint called English Brown (that happens to be lightfast/UV protected and water resistant for outdoor use) and then highlighted with a natural white paint.   The paint doesn’t look metallic in the day time, but at night when a car’s headlights flash onto the planter, the bronze has a slightly reflective quality because of the metallic flecks in the paint. Numbers painted on… For a touch of whimsy, I painted the Roman numerals for “1664” underneath.  I was going to do something cutesy like “Est. 2001”, but I opted for Roman numerals instead…thought it would be fun…if you know me, you know I love incorporating little details....

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Kids’ Bathroom Cabinets

Kids’ Bathroom Cabinets

The cabinets (and walls) in what is now our kids’ bathroom, have been the standard white painted by the builder (we first moved into our house in 2001)…up until earlier this year when I FINALLY had a spare moment to paint the walls chartreuse and the cabinets dark gray.  A few weeks ago on a whim, I painted a “woodland” themed mural on the main wall of the bathroom….so I blogged about it for my “One Project A Weekend” series.  We’ve done little things here and there to this bathroom (added some hardware, changed the light fixture, got new towels, etc.), but it’s far from complete (there’s still the whole shower/commode area to deal with).  Today’s post is just about the cabinets…. The boring white bathroom walls and cabinets BEFORE (with that annoying light fixture)! The cabinets AFTER! I used a gray tinted primer and basecoated the cabinets, then loosely brushed over it with a dark (almost black) antiquing glaze to achieve the darker tone of gray I was going for….and that’s it!  I didn’t want it to look like solid paint, more like an old piece of furniture…but still have a clean, retro-modern feel, which is why I chose the darker shade of gray.  I think it looks clean, but still antiqued.  Once it had a few days to dry, it was sprayed with a protective polyurethane clear coat.  My husband installed some new drawer pulls, changed out the light fixture and added some small hooks for hand towels…what a huge difference those little “fixes” made! My boys have great taste! They chose these drawer knobs from Anthropologie….which then became the color inspiration for the mural (black/white). I loved the style of these pulls (from Lowe’s), but felt they would be too shiny with the cabinets….   …So I had my husband spray them with a satin black paint by RustOleum and then I rubbed white paint into the grooves to go with the look of the knobs.  It almost looks like stitchery. The knobs and pulls installed.   Now I’m on the hunt for some cool “woodland” decor items.  I think I have to get the owl, squirrel and bird hooks for towels and robes!  These are from Anthropologie. Until we are able to get the shower enclosure redone with tile and glass door, I may need to get this owl tieback from Urban Outfitters for the shower curtain. I LOVE these whimsical illustrations of very well-dressed animals by Ryan Berkeley.  Urban Outfitters sells them oval-framed.  How cute would these be in the boys’ bathroom?! Berkeley Illustration Berkeley Illustration Berkeley Illustration Berkeley Illustration Berkeley Illustration Berkeley Illustration Berkeley Illustration Cutest little owl coin bank, from Urban Outfitters. What’s left on the list for this bathroom?  Well, here’s the “wishlist”: 1) Finish painting the boys’ stepstools. 2) Rip out fiberglass shower/tub enclosure and have a custom glass tile shower installed (no tub), with frameless glass door. 3) New shower hardware, towel bars, etc. 4) Take out the carpet and linoleum and install coordinating tile (I’m leaning toward a hexagonal or herringbone pattern), take the tile up the wall part-way in the shower/commode area.  Finish with a stone or tile “chair rail.” 5) New toilet. 6) Wallpaper top half of the shower/commode area with black/gray woodgrained wall-covering (see sample below…this paper may look familiar because I’ve used it for wedding invitations….I LOVE IT). 7) Case small window in shower/commode area, window treatment. 8) Make rustic wood frame (painted to look like old, weathered gray driftwood) for the big mirror in bathroom….or take down the mirror altogether and put up two oval framed mirrors. 9) Install small shelves...

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Some Favorite Finds

Some Favorite Finds

This isn’t really a post about a project that I completed, but I did pick up these cool knick-knacks with the intention of adding a little fun to some of my decor.  I’m not sure where most of these things will fit it or how it will work with my home…I’m a painter, not an interior decorator, I just know what I like.  I fell in love with each of these items and just had to have them.  Funny how just the simplest little trinkets can become favorite treasures.   Thanks to my sis, Julie, and my sis-in-law, Kristine, for your help with my Anthro and Urban Outfitters stuff)! Bohemian butter dish from Anthropologie.  I don’t think this will stay in the kitchen, I’ll probably use it for clips or office supplies in the loft…it matches the stuff up there better.  I just love the colors and the pattern. Drawer pulls from Cost Plus….These will become hooks in the loft for some of my ribbon or invitation supplies…looks so great with the butter dish! How cool is this!  It’s a hook-rack fashioned out of faux “antique” looking, bent silverware.  LOVE things that are clever, pretty and functional!  From Anthropologie. I’ve always loved old keys…I used them on my New Year’s card last year and have framed key artwork (that I found back in the day at the Pier One clearance store for $2) hanging on my hallway wall since we first moved into this house in 2001!  Now they’re everywhere!  This looks like an antique key, but it’s a beer bottle opener.  Smart!  The kids have been handing it to me and saying, “This is the key to my heart.”  My niece, PJ, started that….love that girl!  🙂  From Urban Outfitters. Vintage silverware?  Nope!  Actual measuring spoons!  From Anthropologie. Cabinet for keys or jewelry….goes perfectly with a lot of the Indian and Indonesian antique reproduction furniture pieces we have.  From Urban Outfitters. Cute little hooks for the boys’ bathroom.  I cut little holes in their washcloths so they could be hung for easy access.  From Urban Outfitters, comes in several bright, fun colors. Perfect ‘hand mirror” frames to display the beautiful photos from my boudoir shoot with Desiree Hayes.   Aren’t these fun!  I simply adore them!  I put them by my closet doors….hopefully it will remind me to put my best “face” forward when I’m getting dressed each day.  From Urban...

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Kids’ Bathroom Walls

Kids’ Bathroom Walls

I was going to wait until all the projects for this bathroom were complete before blogging about it for my “One Project A Weekend” series.  I probably should have gotten everything completely done first, then decorated and staged everything for that “perfect” shot and asked my photog sister to come in and take professional pictures before sharing the bathroom “redo”….  But who knows when this bathroom will really be completely done.  It took nine years just to get some color on the walls!  Up until last April, this bathroom was the only room in the house still left with the original white walls! The project list we have planned for this tiny space is pretty big…which I’ll discuss in another blog for this bathroom.  So far, we’ve completed three out of the eight projects to consider this room “done.”  Painting the walls was just one.  And this series is about “one” project in “a weekend”, after all…    The bathroom “before” with the shockingly chartreuse primer basecoat.  Sorry, this is a bad pic…the color is off , it actually looks better in person. This is the bathroom between Mason and Isaac’s bedrooms, so it’s considered the “kids’ bathroom”.  The chosen color scheme is dark gray, chartreuse, with accents of black and ivory.  The original plan was to paint a mural of jungle foliage inspired by the ones at the tram stop leading into the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.  The work by Las Vegas muralist, Todd Talarico, is amazing!  So I had painted a primer of bright chartreuse green as a background months ago with the intention of getting to the mural one day.   Mural at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas by muralist, Todd Talarico. Then I came down with a bad cold this weekend, and on a whim Saturday night (not feeling up to doing any “work-work”, kinda bored and having mistakingly taken “non-drowsy” cold medicine), decided to “just paint something” over those green walls.   Step-stool and canvas I had painted for a fundraiser auction. Owl-themed room I painted last month, based on Dwell bedding. Inspired by a step-stool I had painted for a charity auction a few months ago and a recent nursery with an owl motif, I came up with my take on a woodland theme.   I used only two colors.  “Dipped in Sugar” which is a soft white/ivory paint I had on a shelf in the garage…and black.   I started by freehand painting two simple trees with sparse leaf groupings.   On Sunday, still feeling cruddy, but knowing I would be cooped up inside all day “resting”….I figured I should finish (wasn’t sure when I’d have time to get back to it otherwise).  My boys loved the trees and were really excited when I asked them to help me decide what else to paint….and to help me paint!  I love getting kids involved in decorating their spaces.  They’re only kids for so long, I think a kid’s room or bathroom should be fun, colorful, unique.  When I paint children’s rooms for clients, I always ask for the child’s input and I really enjoy bringing their ideas to life.  As far as the walls go, it’s only paint, and can easily be painted over later when they outgrow the theme.  So have fun with it! My boys asked for a baby owl, a rabbit, a tree frog, a squirrel, birds, a butterfly and a dragonfly.  I sketched everything out, and let them help me paint the ivory on the rabbit.  Then I outlined everything with black paint.   Mason is already...

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Shadow-Boxing

Shadow-Boxing

I’ve been shadow-boxing a lot lately.  No, not in the literal sense of throwing punches and imaginary sparring…(although my arms do need a little toning), but I have taken a “jab” at getting something up on a few of my blank walls by using shadow box frames.  Shadow boxes are a great way to display cherished mementos, souvenirs and personal treasures as an object of art.   I can’t really call myself a “scrapbooker”…as much as I love journals, handmade books and scrapbooks…I have yet to complete a single scrapbook of anything. Believe me, I have lots of $$$ worth of scrapbooking materials, kits, and embellishments. I have boxes and boxes of photos and all the little mementos and keepsakes that I would like to preserve in a scrapbook.  What I don’t have is the time to actually sit down and work on the pages.  That’s why I love shadow boxes.  It’s like a three dimensional scrapbook page that I can see every day.  I don’t have to find an album or open a box or take something off a bookshelf in order to enjoy a glimpse of a happy memory, a trip, or a collection of objects.  And they’re relatively quick and easy to do.   My wedding shadow box created by my friend, Allison Miller. It all started with my first introduction to a shadow box….a wedding gift from our dear friend, Allison.  I’ve known Allison since high school and she was always really creative and crafty.  When I saw her gift, it brought tears to my eyes.  She had framed our wedding invitation in a shadow box using the same handmade papers and embellishments from our invitation ensemble and the tropical/Asian theme of our wedding.  I’m always making things for others….this was the first time someone had made something for me.  It was so thoughtful and beautifully done.  Instead of just putting my invitation in an album, I have it on display and look at it every day. Allison’s gift inspired me to create some shadow boxes of my own…so I’ve dabbled here and there with a few to decorate our walls.  I love how much of my family’s personalities, interests/activities and events can be expressed in such a such a simple way…it’s like a memory at a glance. An arrowhead replica that Aaron picked up as a souvenir back in high school. This was a keepsake kit from my mother-in-law.  I didn’t get around to actually doing the hand/foot imprints until Mason was 9 months, hence the number “9”. Keepsake kit from Allison.  To remain consistent with Mason’s (since they’re displayed in the same hallway), I waited until Isaac was 9 months old to do his foot imprint. Shadow box in Mason’s “vintage transportation” themed room. These vintage, hand-painted glass slides from the early 1900s…depicting tall ships and locomotives…were a gift from my friend, Tiffany Heon, who is an interior designer and antiques collector.  The slides were projected as images for educational purposes, similar to the Magic Lantern projectors (used in schools and nurseries) of the 18th century. The other shadow box in Mason’s room, using the same type of shadow box frame, contains his ID band and knit cap from the hospital, one of his tiniest onesies, and both versions of his birth announcement. Shadow boxes in Isaac’s “vintage circus” themed room. My sister, Julie, bought these vintage circus animal figurines for Isaac’s room on ebay.  I found a bunch of really old circus poster images online and printed mini versions to display with the circus animals. They’re growing so fast, but they’ll always be my...

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