DIY

A Map Chair DIY

So I finally had a chance (and the motivation) to work on this little side project I had in mind for awhile. I inherited these imitation Arne Jacobson Ant Chairs awhile back and wanted to do something fun with them. They were a little scratched up so I thought of painting patterns, doing a collage, or something else altogether. Then I thought it would be really fun to apply an antique map across the entire surface!

So I started shopping around and saw this nice old world map in blue on AllPosters.com. It was something a little different looking and I loved the colors together. It almost looks like a wood texture underneath the print which was a nice effect.

My motivation was to complete this chair in time for the Habitat Green Event held last month. I thought it would be a fun addition to my booth as a little before & after project and I only had 3 days to work on it!

So when the poster arrived I laid it out on the table to relax the curl from shipping.

Then I gathered my first round of supplies including: a brayer, Mod Podge, and brush

Now to be honest, I'd never used Mod Podge before, but it seemed like a simple yet strong adhesive to use. I watched a few YouTube videos on how to use it, then I felt ready to give it a try. First I began to gob it all over the surface of the chair and spread it around with a paint brush. Then I very carefully laid the map across the surface and rolled the brayer across the surface to get out any air bubbles.

As it turns out, while I was in the middle of this time sensitive part a very large UPS delivery came to our house and due to the sheer size and weight of it, the UPS delivery man came to the side door, knocked, and offered to bring it in. I was very appreciate of his kindness, and my guard-dog Lab absolutely loves the UPS man so he was going nuts, got a few treats, and wanted to go for a ride.

So... by the time I got back to the chair the Mod Podge was starting to adhere and I couldn't really adjust the map or roll out any other bubbles. In general I'm very happy with how it came out, but there is one section in the back where there is a complex curve and it didn't adhere perfectly.

So now that the map has been applied to the chair it was time to very carefully cut the map to the shape of the chair. I just used a simple xacto knife with a fresh blade and followed along the edge.

 

Tips for Earth Day and Always

While Earth Day was officially Tuesday the 22nd of this week, it's always a good time to share some tips to reduce the footprint in our daily lives.These tips are essential information to share on a decorating website where decisions are being made on what to keep, donate, reuse, or recycle. I wrote this article last year focusing on product ideas: Decorating Tips Mother Earth Would Love, and another on America Recycles Day in November.

Here are 4 NEW tips & resources to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle. I hope you find some of these helpful in making the right decisions for your home. 

1- Retint your old paint

WOW! I was watching HGTV /DIY Network's Rehab Addict where Nicole Curtis brought gallons of unused paint to a paint store to have them retinted!! Not only was the cost savings significant, but think of all that paint saved just because it was leftover or not perfect for a previous job. Her only tip was to keep the base color in mind, if you have a light base you can work with lighter colors or darken it, if you are starting with a dark base then you'll have to stay with a darker color. I can't wait to try this myself.

(via Instagram: Mintygreendream)

2- Retrofit High hat Lights

This is a great tip from C&C Electric, I learned they can replace your existing high hat lights with these retrofit LED bulbs! Not only will they save you electricity, but will outlast a regular incandescent by many years (which are not being produced anymore anyway). 

(source via C&C facebook)

3- Recycling Resources

I am so glad LED's are on the rise and compact florescents are being replaced. As I'm sure you know they contain mercury which is not only hazardous when broken, but makes them hard to dispose of because a limited number of places take them to recycle. I did find a great local resource for pretty much any type of recycling though so if you are looking to unload some of your old bulbs you can bring them to the recycling center in Roxbury (more info in this link).

(image source)

4- Prevent E-waste

New flatscreen TV's have become so affordable that it has become hard to give away those old TV's that are more than 2"deep. Same with computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, etc. The problem is these are also terrible for the landfill since they have different parts and components that should be dissected and properly recycled. There is a local resource called GreenVision that accepts anything with a plug and dissects the parts for recycle. Not only are they 99.8% landfill free, they also provide meaningful jobs for developmentally disabled students and adults. Bring your old electronics there! Greenvision Inc.

(via GreenSource website)

 

I hope these tips give you some ideas to be resourceful and recycle. Have a great weekend!!

Cheers, 

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DIY Paint Projects

HGTV is continually a source of inspiration for anyone looking for creative solutions for their home. I came across this article and wanted to show a few of my favorite before & afters that demonstrate how a little bit of paint can go a long way! 

These bird sculptures are such a great example of how metallic paint can change the entire look of an object. Everyone has (or has seen) a bazillion of these little collectables, and I've seen this idea before but now in a matching bookend! By painting the object all one color it becomes more interesting to look at the sculptural details rather than the painted ones. 

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! Especially since the days of "matchy-matchy" sets are over, why not go to your local Habitat Restore, or local thrift store and buy a bunch of different wooden chairs! These seats are so easy to DIY reupholster as well. Now they all coordinate but aren't identical so they add some interest to the room and let your eyes wander!

Another great way to add a pop of color to a room, especially when wooden bedroom furniture can be so dark and dreary. This pop of pink certainly adds some interest, or why not try a simple white, cream, or black for a neutral option. 

Well the weekend starts in 3, 2, 1.... go! Hope you all have a wonderful one!

Cheers, 

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Habitat Q&A Recap

Last month I hosted a "Design Dilemma" Q&A session at the Habitat Restore and was happy to help people with those burning design questions on their minds. I helped with several furniture floorplan questions, which I LOVE doing because it creates a world of difference in a home and how you use the space. I also fielded a few DIY questions related to updating furniture & kitchen cabinets. Below are a few other questions with pictures to demonstrate a solution. 

Q- What type of curtains can I put in a two-story bay window? 

A- I love the look of straight curtain panels hung on either side of the window and on the inside of each corner. Floor to ceiling this look pulls the room together and adds softness while not competing with the view or being overly complicated. I pulled up an image I had saved to my Pinterest board and she loved it!

For the link click here and check out some of my other window treatment ideas on my pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/innovatemyplace/window-treatments/

Q: The brick fireplace in my home is too orange and doesn't match my style. Can I paint it?

A: Yes, try a whitewash! While painting is a good option for some homes I have been recommending a whitewash look instead. This takes out the orange/red undertones in the brick and neutralizes them while still showing variations in each brick. This works particularly well with the gray trend that's been going on the past few years. This DIY project is as simple as watering down latex paint and "washing' it on and letting it soak in. Blot off drippy areas, and you can customize how much you want covered.

(pinterest link)

Q: My dining room has a built-in cabinet in one corner, and the room is feeling off balance. Can I paint the inside the same as the wall color?

A: This was a great question because balance is so important in a room. My first suggestion would be to add another tall object in the opposite corner, another built-in with more storage that matched the other would be best. If that won't fit then try adding a corner shelf of even a tall plant. The second part of this answer is to try "painting out" the entire built-in. This is a great trick to use in small spaces to make everything seamless and blend in while adding subtle details and of course storage. 

  

(pinterest link)

What questions & design dilemmas are on your mind? 

Cheers, 

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Happy Friday (sort of)

Well another week has come and gone very quickly, and we are ending the week on a dark, dreary, drizzly day. Ugh spring, where are you! I know I am not alone, so here are some pretty spring pictures to keep those of us in the northeast going.... 

(Thanks Martha via Pinterest)

Pretty lilacs via HenhurtInteriorsBlog - I can almost smell them!

This photo makes rainy days look very classy. (source)

Someday we can enjoy the sunny outdoors again! (source) 

 

Rainy days are always good for browsing Pinterest... and for a laugh you should check out "Pinterest Nailed It" for classic Pinterest fails.

 

Starting with this lovely DIY artwork idea. (source)

Or if you're trying a Pinterest food item like this Minion here... (source)

More here and here, and look in Pinterest itself. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, no matter the weather :)

Cheers, 

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Habitat Event & DIY Ideas

Hi! I am partnering with the Morris County Habitat ReStore in Randolph and doing a night of free design advice! If you're in the area feel free to stop by between 5-8pm and bring photos of your room or ask any design questions you might have while shopping at the Restore!

Speaking of the ReStore, I thought it would be fun to photograph my latest finds and post them to instagram. So if you're curious to see some of the cool & interesting things that are donated make sure to follow along here: http://instagram.com/andreavalledesigns

Adorable old school desk!  

The Habitat ReStore is also a great resource for creative DIYers. There is so much potential in these donations. I'll try and round up some good before and afters of these projects that people submit. In the meantime here are some other fun DIY projects I've seen recently. 

via HGTV: 
If you like the idea of adding pattern to your walls but are afraid of wallpaper, try this idea! Painting a pattern on the wall is a simple way to add detail without the full commitment.  It will also have a softer hand painted look, which will read like artwork.  For more information you can click this link.

via Pottery Barn:
Love this cute star mobile! It would be so easy to make yourself too, and everything from your local craft store: stars (either bought or cut yourself), string, and varying diameter tubes (or stitching frames!). Viola! (If you want to shortcut and buy it, here's the link)

via Martha Stewart:
I was really drawn to the colors of this arrangement. Who says monochromatic flowers are boring? The dark background with dark containers adds romantic drama and really lets the flowers pop! Keeping the flowers in the same color family creates a strong, cohesive look. You could recreate this look for your mantle with containers found in your home painted to be the same color. More pictures from Martha can be found here

ps - I love google images... I took this photo from a magazine while traveling somewhere and couldn't remember where it came from. I drag it into google images and bam. Answer found. 

Well I hope these pictures helped spark some creative solutions for a design project in your life :) If you're still stuck call me, I'd love to help. 

Cheers,

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Quick & Easy Ideas for Paper Decorations!

Where oh where does the time go!?! Christmas is almost here and I hope everyone is getting ready to enjoy some time off for some R&R. As I was catching up on some reading the other day I saw HGTV's exclusive tour of the White House. Everyone always does such a lovely job decorating but I think the East Room mantle stole the show this year! Check out this huge paper flower!

HGTV

It's just gorgeous, and I love the muted colors they used: antique golds, silver blues, and a deep burgundy. And the XL scale of the flowers and ribbon is both playful and dramatic. 

NY Daily News

They incorporated some of the same flowers into the tree as well.

HGTV 

NY Daily News

It's no wonder that I am drawn to this tree since there are over 120 handmade ornaments from volunteers. With a holiday theme of "Gather Around" this room celebrates the act of sharing stories through art. 

America Recycles Day

This Friday November 15th, is America Recycles Day so I thought it is a good time to talk about recycling and home decor!

(source EcoHomeResource) 

Recycling can mean a few things when we talk about home decor. For one it could mean taking the item and physically breaking down the parts and reusing the raw materials to create a totally different object. One example of this is recycling plastic PET bottles into new carpeting! This fascinating video from HGTV shows how they actually break down the material and spin into carpet fibers. 

Recycling home decor most definitely also means repurposing old items in new and fresh ways.  This is a sustainable and affordable option for home decor that reduces the amount of furniture that goes into the landfill. As a redecorator I was trained on the basis of "Use What You Have" and specialize in coming up with ways to repurpose your furniture!

If you have some old furniture laying around and aren't sure what to do with it, look no further than Pinterest!  

 
Painted cane back chairs are a great makeover idea. Very simple to do and makes a HUGE impact.  


And I've seen lots of variations on this idea below

Disappearing Doors

Well I am so excited because this post is inspired by my very own DIY project that struck me like lightning last night. I've been wanting to get a quote for custom cabinetry in our home for awhile but things have been so busy I haven't gotten around to it. It's a HUGE item on my teuxdeux list as we need storage in that room badly. I was at the Habitat ReStore last night for my weekly volunteering and I stumbled up on the perfect storage solution! I've walked past it for months but all of a sudden it clicked. But more on that later - this post isn't even about the cabinetry! In order to achieve the clean architectural look I'm going for I would like to change the existing doors from bi-fold into pocket doors. YES! That's exciting! And with my new DIY idea I might even be able to use a wall mounted pocket door, aka barn style door. AND I am planning to reuse existing doors so what better way to "Use what I have" AND use what was donated?

Below are some drool-worthy pocket doors.

   
 

Curtains Part 2: To The Floor

I think many homeowners are becoming savvy about curtains and know that hanging panels high and wide makes their windows look bigger and lets in more light.  I've shown several options how to do this and how to layer with blinds in this previous post here.

But what if you can't find curtains the right length in a color or pattern you like? Or what if you already bought a pair you like but now realize they're too short? This post will address a few creative ways to lengthen the curtains you already have or find affordable fabric alternatives.

These first few ideas show adding fabric somewhere on the panel and if you are handy at all you could do this yourself. The best way is with a sewing machine but sometimes you can use no sew tape instead.

Extending Fabric On the Bottom

Using a matching color from the pattern for a color block that goes to the floor below.
Posted by Shelterness

This adorable panel for a little girl's room mixes polka dots and stripes with pom pom trim between.
Posted by Nanny Goat

Here they added white fabric to the bottom of these shower curtains. Then continued the same fabric pattern for the very bottom. The DIY instructions are in the link below.
Posted by Migonis Home

This one plays with proportion and adds a large color block in the middle of each panel with narrow contrast trim between fabrics. This really adds interest to these tall windows.

Extending Fabric On Top

Depending on the room and what you want to emphasize is where you can add detail. Here the bottom is covered so they brought a Waverly fabric in matching charcoal gray towards the top. DIY is in the link below.

Jumbo Yard Games and Pizza on the Grill

Happy 4th of July Everyone!!

I hope you are all able to carve out some time to enjoy the holiday! If you are staying home or entertaining this weekend here are some fun yard games to play - the bigger the better!

Jumbo Jenga(source)

This is my favorite idea so far. and I first heard about this from someone I used to work with (Mike R, if you ever stumble upon this I am giving you 100% credit right here!) At first it might sound dangerous to have large chunks of wood tumbling down all over making loud noises... But isn't that part of the fun? :)

(source)

Apparently it even makes a good wedding game! I saw several wedding reception photos including Jumbo Jenga. No danger here!

Holiday Decorating

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far. Time is starting to fly and it's becoming crunch time! We've been busy decorating the house, and I'm revving up for my annual baking extravaganza. I usually bake a dozen or so cookie recipes each year to give out to our neighbors and friends. Each year I like to try a few new recipes and I think this one makes the cut! chocolate rum truffles

This is also the time when we start getting a lot of holiday cards. I wanted a way to display them so we could enjoy all the pictures but didn't want to tape them all over a door frame, and it's hard to stand those photo cards on a table. So after searching online for some inspiration I came up with this easy DIY solution. You can get the supplies at Michaels or Joann Fabrics. (The faces have been blurred to protect the early card senders!)