diy

Refresh Your home with this easy decorating tip that is cheaper than painting, and here's how

Are you ready for the answer? What decorating DIY could possibly be cheaper than painting?? 

Rearrange your furniture.
Yes - it's that simple! 

It's been a long winter (it always is) and it's easy to get stir crazy and want to make some major changes in your home. Especially if you've been living in your home for awhile you may be ready for a drastic change. All you need to get started is a few ideas and some furniture sliders, then viola! Instant makeover. 

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During the process you may find that you don't need some furniture anymore, or may want to borrow other pieces from another room. Try things you've never done before - have you tried your sofa on a different wall? Layered in front of the picture window? Across from the window? Perpendicular? You get the idea! 

 

Local Room Makeovers

 

Even if you're not ready to rearrange, it's important to keep this in mind when you are purchasing new furniture because you want the most versatile pieces that allow for several room configurations. The best combination for this is a sofa and 2 upholstered chairs. The configurations are so versatile in any space with this combination. 

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The best part about this rearranging makeover? You can try it out and if you don't like it put it back the way it was! No harm done ;) 

So what do you think? Are you going to rearrange your room today? 

Cheers!

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Useful or Beautiful - Part 3

Now that you've read how to purge & declutter, and how to smartly reduce what you bring home, I would like to share a few design tips on creating a beautiful space using what you already have.

1- Create a plan!

This is the most important step, and the first I do when I meet with a new client. Brainstorming all our ideas and coming up with an organized master plan for the room will keep your goals on track. It's important to understand how you currently use the room, and how you want to use it going forward.This information will guide any decisions you make going forward.

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2- Inspire Yourself

Sometimes it's hard to see new potential for the same old pieces in the same old room. That's one of the biggest benefits a decorator can bring to your job is a fresh new perspective! To start getting some ideas you can look on Pinterest or Houzz for other rooms that inspire you. Then look for a common theme in them, are you drawn to neutral colored rooms? Bold colored accents? Mid century style?

 

3- Try something new

After the purge, some inspiration, and a plan you will start to see your things in an all new way. Try new things with your existing pieces. It could be as simple as rearranging the furniture to create a better seating area. Or maybe you found an easy DIY idea that will help you repurpose that old side table, chair, or accessory.

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4- Fill in the gaps

Once you're set up the foundation for the room using what you already had, you'll have a better sense of what you need. Check back with your plan to see what your other goals were. How many were accomplished with what you already had? And how many need to be filled in with new purchases? If you head out shopping bring your design plan with you to keep you on track.

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5- Rotate accessories

If you have a lot of accessories you want to keep but they aren't working together, I would recommend rotating them seasonally. Keep out lightweight linens and fresh bright colors for the spring, and store your heavy blankets, curtains, pillows, carpet, and darker colored accessories for the winter.

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6- Enjoy!

Show yourself and your new space some gratitude. It may not be magazine perfect, but nothing really is. Enjoy the change you've made in your home, the new freedom from clutter, and the well planned decor you have in your home. Maybe you can even celebrate by hosting a party to show it off!

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I hope this mini series has helped inspire you to redecorate a room in you home.

Cheers,

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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.

 

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 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. 

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.