redecorate

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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The Perfect Spa Blue

First let me give a little context to this post by saying that when you buy a home one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to update the rooms and instantly personalize it is by adding a fresh coat of paint. It's just so much easier to do it when you don't have all your furniture in the way! So when we bought our first home that's the very first thing we did. Not only did we want to freshen the place, but we really didn't like the existing colors at all, they were just so muddy and brown. Anyway, there was ONE color that we absolutely LOVED and it was in our bathroom. It's the perfect spa blue, and we get lots of compliments.  

(Not such a bad picture, except those less than perky tissues, lol)

The problem? A couple months ago we needed to make a small patch repair near the tub which meant spackling and painting. We needed to know what paint was on the wall! So being a decorator that offers color consulting I grabbed both my Sherwin & Benjamin Moore paint swatches and went to work. 

The solution? I found the PERFECT color match, and I'll show you pictures to prove it! The perfect color is Benjamin Moore's Wedgewood Gray HC-146. I wouldn't normally recommend painting only part of your wall but lucky for us it was on a small corner so we were able to just touch up that part. Not that it mattered because it really was a perfect match! 

Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray HC-146

I'm so excited now that I know what color it is! It's the perfect spa blue because it has a soft gray base and it reads mostly blue. Every now and then you can see a hint of green undertone that comes through in certain lighting. You can see where if falls between blue and green compared to the other swatches next to it.  

It's just such a soothing color and looks really sharp with crisp whites. We also have gray towels that work perfectly in there. And I've seen some examples where it works really well with warm sandy beige too, which have have as flooring. 

(our gray towels and white curtain & molding) 

Here are a few other examples I found online of bathrooms that use Wedgewood Gray.

Trim and Wall Blend Into One

I've seen more and more of these painted rooms lately, where the trim is painted the same as the wall color. You can always make a case for highlighting custom molding in a home by keeping it classic white or differentiating it from the rest of the room. But I really love what this can do for a room too! Especially when it's a darker velvety color that envelopes the room. 

(source PorterHouseDesigns)

(source Southern Living)

DESIGN TIP: It's true that you can paint dark colors in a dark room! When you paint a "light" color in a room that doesn't receive much natural light it actually falls flat instead of brightening it. 

(source via Casa de aria)

When you paint the wall and trim the same color it creates a seamless look with subtle texture from the outline of the molding. It adds just enough visual interest while reducing the amount of visual lines and therefore a "broken" or "choppy" look. This type of paint treatment can help in rooms that lead into others, or don't have much wall space.

 

 

And as much as I love the dark colors, it works equally as well in other colors too. When the walls and trim are the same color it really creates a strong background for artwork, accessories and furniture to pop!

 

Tufted Rug Construction

I love it when my worlds collide, with a background in product design and having my own decorating business I am fascinated to learn how the products we buy and love are made. Last week I attended a seminar presented by Delos Rugs at J&S Designer Flooring and was so excited to learn more about their rug construction. With different construction methods, materials, and styles the options are seemingly endless, so in this post I will focus on how tufted rugs are made. I think it's hard to visual the process so I've included lots of video to demonstrate how it works! Have fun looking around!


Design Phase 1: image source Delos Rugs

Color Selection Phase 2: image source Delos Rugs

To Begin

There are many steps involved before you can actually begin creating the rug, such as design, color selection, pattern transfer, and many more. Once you get to the tufting stage you create the rug by pushing the yarn through a fabric backing with a tufting gun, like this image shown below. Here are the key steps in the tufting process from CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute)

  • Yarn comes from cones on creel racks (or from big spools called beams) into the machine.
  • The primary backing feeds into the machine.
  • Yarn and primary backing come together in the machine (full shot of machine)
  • Yarn is fed through needles on a needlebar of a tufting machine. Needles repeatedly penetrate or tuft into the primary backing.
  • The tufted carpet is mended and inspected.
  • Carpet is rolled onto large rolls for the next step (whether it’s to be dyed or to be backed.)

(image source)

Types of Tufting

There are also several ways a tufted rug can be made:

- Hand tufting with handheld gun

- Hand tufting with automatic gun

- Machine tufting

 

Finishing

There are many steps involved in finishing a rug, and most depend on the style and design. In order to keep the yarn in place, all tufted rugs have a layer of latex that is painted or sprayed on the back which serves as glue. Then a piece of fabric is laid on top which covers the latex and the generally messy looking back from the tufting process. That's actually one way you can tell if a rug has been tufted is if it's covered on the back. 

(image source)

It sheds from shearing...

The face pile of a tufted rug needs to go through some finishing steps, which include shearing to create a flush uniform surface. Depending on the design the yarn fibers are color sorted by hand to keep the pattern clean and defined. Sometimes the edges are even carved for a more dimensional look. The first video is a bit dated but it shows all the steps concisely: latex, shear, carving. 

This second video shows an alternative carving tool. 

 

The End...

Well actually that's only a small fraction of one type of rug construction but I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as I have! It's great to learn and gain a better understanding of what goes into a tufted rug so you can see the value of what you are buying and be an informed consumer!

Cheers, 

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Inspired by the things we Love

Valentines' day is almost upon us and love (and lots more snow) are in the air. Love drives us in many ways in both our personal and professional lives. For me design has always been something I've enjoyed, and it seems the more I learn about it the more I find to love. Materials and products are always changing with trends and technology so it keeps the industry fresh with lots to learn - it seems almost infinite! (just search the term "ICFF" in my blog sidebar!)

As a member of the Interior Redecorators Network I strive to learn and grow each year so I can provide my clients with the best service I can. Within the IRN there are different levels of membership based on credits you can earn from things like participation, education, and community involvement. And I am proud to say that I recently earned a Gold Member status! You can see my new shiny pin above :)

 

I am also getting a head start on maintaining my Gold Membership by attending more classes. I was at a CEU yesterday called "Area Rug Construction & Terminology" held at J&S Designer Flooring. First of all their showroom is amazing, has a wide selection of products, and the associates are so lovely and helpful. Then the presentation by Delos was so extremely informative and helpful, they explained how rugs are made and passed around beautiful samples to demonstrate. Rugs are something we all live with and might even take for granted, but once you start learning about them it's easy to see how it's a world in its own right! I am so excited to share some of what I learned so I hope to do a post about it next week.

Inspired by the things (or pets) we love....

Then there is the "occupational hazard" aspect of going to a fantastic showroom.... of course I always look for client projects but this was the first sample I brought home as a stair runner contender for our house! I am noticing a certain "colorway" that I'm drawn too... it has to do with one certain fuzzy animal that I love. Isn't it funny how I'm drawn to the subtle color variations of tans, cremes, with golden bronze hightlights? Let's take a look closer here... 

Just look at that edging along his ear... 

And that fuzzy butt, the tip of tail has that same coloring. 

He's a happy pup - isn't he so fuzzy?! And so white with bronze accents? We love him to pieces, and apparently I am taking color cues for my home from him ;) 

Now take a look around your home - what has been inspiring you lately? Any particular product, pet, or person? Anything that you pass in your daily journey you've been thinking about? I would love to know - we are all victims of love whether we realize it or not ;) 

Happy Valentines Day
with love, 

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Warm up by the Fire

Brr.... it's so sold here! We keep getting more and more snow, 2 snow days and a delay so far this week. I am feeling so ready for spring. In the meantime I just keep thinking warm thoughts and admiring some beautiful fireplace designs. If you have a fireplace and are looking for some inspiration to update yours, here are some ideas! These will focus mostly on different fireplace surrounds and in the next few weeks I'll talk about how to style the mantle ;) 

Classic Brick:

Brick is a timeless, versatile, and modest fireplace material. It can be whitewashed to soften the look and still show texture, or just painted an opaque color for a solid modern look. 

(source) 

(source)

(source)

Tile:

Tile is another popular choice that is just as versatile plus it's extremely customizable. It can be used to add subtle patterns such as the herringbone or diamond, or it can add a splash of color that ties into the rest of the room. 

 

 

 

(source)

Super Bowl Rooms for Rent

So the Super Bowl is almost here and the preparations are well underway! Ever since the announcement that the game would be played at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ there has been much talk about the weather and if we'll have snow. I just checked the temperature and it's currently 1* Fahrenheit at my house, and Sunday looks like we might have a heat spell into the 40's! 

(source) 

We've gotten a lot of snow here lately and they've been hard at work clearing the stadium and getting ready. Snow is nothing new around here and I can attest to how well the airports have run during the storms this year. I always love to see behind the scene shots like these below from nj.com 

nj.com

nj.com

nj.com

Another interesting conversation I have been following is people renting out their homes, condos, or apartments for the game! I used to live in Rutherford NJ and work in Teterboro where I would see the stadium on my way in and out of town everyday. You can actually see the stadium when you are in the town, it is so close! I would have totally wanted to rent out my place for the game too, but since I don't live there anymore I checked out the other homes available. I found lots of options on flipkey and super-bowl-rentalz. 

Here is my favorite that is still available :) Now to be fair there was a designer involved so it's really quite lovely, but to see other people's actual homes click around and take a look! 

This is the front entry for a guest room for rent is in Edgewater NJ. They call it the Harlem Hideaway. Although the name is a bit misleading in terms of location the interior is very well done! 

Nice wood details everywhere add a warmth & depth to the space. 

I love the details of this room, especially that Guest List wall you can write on. Very cute idea for a

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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A Project Update

I'm excited to say that our first personal home project of the new year was to refinish the hardwood floors! It all started innocently enough, just peeling back the corners of our carpeting to see what was underneath. Then we couldn't help ourselves and just ripped it all out. 

Ever since we moved into our home we have been discussing the pros and cons of hardwood vs wall to wall carpet. I love hardwood for that timeless classy look, the design flexibility that area rugs provide, as well as easier cleaning when living with a very furry pet.

It's been a busy few weeks moving furniture, ripping out old carpet, and pulling a trillion staples. Things got much easier once we switched the tools we were using and started pulling staples with the vice grip shown on the stair below. That worked wonderfully and if you have a similar job in your future I'd highly recommend getting one!

Considering that our house is older we knew there was a chance for some bad stains and potential repairs, especially since previous homeowners had laid ceramic tiles directly onto the hardwood as shown above. There was a rough moment while they were working when they couldn't get the diamond pattern out. The tiles had trapped in moisture and darkened the wood underneath. They were afraid it went too deep into the wood and they suggested we begin discussing plan B. But luckily (so so lucky) for us they ran the sander a few more times and it came out! HORRAY!!

And as you can see they were able to work miracles with our 55 year old floors! The grout sanded up fine and it looks fantastic! The stairs are not done in this photo yet, they were finished today. I plan on showing more finished pictures soon, and you might guess that I will be posting information and resources for area rugs and runners in the future ;)

Thanks for reading! More to come later... 

Cheers, 

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And now on instagram!

That's a Wrap!

Well, the holidays have come and gone and today is the eve of a New Year! I am excited to ring in the new year with friends later tonight and am looking forward to see what 2014 brings!

In an effort to wrap up some of my design finds from last year I wanted to share my last round up from the ICFF, and this one is all about paper! Maybe you've seen some beautifully wrapped gifts this past holiday, but this post will focus on your walls! 

Some of you may still be removing wallpaper that you inherited from decades ago but the truth is that wallpaper is back in a big way! And why not when there are so many beautiful options that can add pattern, metallics, depth, or texture to your walls. It creates instant ambiance and impact. This isn't your grandmother's wallpaper.... :)

Calico Wallpaper

Beautiful marbled technique applied in a metallic paint, beautiful and organic. They have a process section on their website that shows a few photos of how they marble their papers.

Lunaris

Vahallan Papers

These are made in panels that are replaceable and repairable. Very interesting concept for wallpapers. It comes in many textures and patterns, and also offers a 'torn edge' style that creates a seam-free look.

Industry

Lobo Loup

Cute illustrations that would work great in any children's room. Playful designs are printed on sustainable paper with water based inks.

Wiener Dogs

Petta Thompson

How fun are these 3D wallpapers with pom poms and flowers

Scatta with pom pom accessories

 

Carl Robinson

And here is a line of classy wallpaper. I received a folder with