Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Client Preview: Adding Abstract Art in the Living Room

While everyone is talking holiday guides and Thanksgiving preparations, I thought I'd switch it up and talk about abstract art!  Think of it as a pretty distraction!

I'm working with a client who wants to hang a large abstract piece over her antique chest of drawers in her living room.  I love when this is done because it is a great example of mixing traditional with current elements.

Do you notice how the art is larger than the dresser?  This works because the drapery panels on either side of the piece of art frame the space.

My client will have her abstract art commissioned.  We are simultaneously working on a fabric scheme for the same room which will influence the colors of her artwork.  Below is the initial stages of a potential fabric scheme.

I think this is a great way to make sure that everything is coordinated and seamless.  Many artists will work with you if you have a specific color palette in mind.

Do you notice how the art is positioned to the left more?  This is done so the lamp doesn't interfere with the art too much.  

I spy one of my favorite ceramic bowls!  This is on my holiday wish list this year. 

A Cy Twombly inspired piece of art by Kayce Hughes - Sarah Bartholomew

Here is a smaller piece of art over an antique chest and it works because the lamp help frames it.  Can you imagine how lost that piece of art would be without the lamp?

Of course, when it comes to your living room, you can always place a large piece of abstract art over your sofa.  

This is gorgeous and can I tell you lately I'm having such a thing for pastels in the home.  It's serious and has me re-thinking my current color scheme.  

If your sofa sits in front of a window, consider hanging smaller pieces of abstract next to the window (like above) to frame it.

Here are just a few of my favorite sources for abstract art: Lucy Williams, Katherine JuryRene Bouchon, Kose Bose, Karen SmidthTyler Colgan, Jean Jack, Mary Rountree Moore, Lisa Di Stefano, Kayce Hughes

Thursday, November 19, 2015

DIY Upholstered Scalloped Headboard with Nailhead

I have received a bunch of questions about the DIY headboard I made for the ORC (One Room Challenge) and so, I am going to attempt to give a high level overview of how we (the husband and I) went about to create my inspiration.

For the bed, I used a full size mattress that fit perfectly in the room. I wanted the headboard to be the focal point, so I wanted the headboard to be tall as possible to maximize the space and make a presence.  

The overall dimensions of the headboard ended up being 56.5" wide and 68" tall from the ground to the tallest point on headboard.  We made the headboard from plywood and MDF.  

We went to Lowe's and bought a 4' by 8' sheet (1/2" thick) of plywood and a similarly sized piece of MDF.  We used MDF because it would be easier to nail the nailhead into MDF than plywood.  In the above picture, the MDF is the darker brown material and the plywood is the pine colored material.

We cut down plywood sheet down to 56"x 26".  The MDF was used for the two legs (39"x 5"), the right and left cutouts on the headboard which had an overall dimension of 14.5"x 13.5" with a radius of 10.5" and the center piece which was 27"x 27" with a scalloped top and radius of 13.5".  Does that make sense?  I hope so because my husband calculated those measurements.  Thank goodness for his math background!  

Above, you can see how I positioned the MDF pieces (5 total) onto the plywood, squaring it up with an L-square.  

My husband screwed the 5 MDF components (two legs, two side cutouts and one middle scalloped piece) into the plywood.  He wasn't fooling around, I think there are 30 screws in that headboard - see below.

Above you can also see how I hot glued a basic foam sheet (bought this at JoAnn's) onto the plywood so that this part was soft and cushy when guests lean on it.  Moreover, now the plywood part with the foam was level with the MDF.    

Next, we wrapped batting (also from JoAnn's) around the headboard.  We wrapped two layers so that it was extra thick and used a staple gun to secure it to the headboard.  I bought the thickest batting they had and we decided to secure the batting first before adding the fabric.  

The hardest part of this whole headboard (besides the nailhead) was making sure both the batting and fabric were taut around the curved portions.  I suggest using a very durable fabric, like the one I used from here, because you do a TON of pulling to make sure the curves are smooth.  I ended up buying 2 yards of fabric.  

Don't chintz out on the fabric because it really makes a difference with how easy it is to work with.  I'm actually surprised the fabric didn't rip at points where I pulled it so hard.  You definitely need two people to do this part.  One to pull the batting/fabric very tightly and one to staple the batting/fabric with a staple gun.  

Above is the headboard without nailhead.  You can't see it but the legs are also wrapped in batting and fabric.  I should've gotten a picture of the whole thing - I forgot.  

I bought a nailhead spacer (above) from amazon or ebay (I can't remember) and brass nailhead (pictured below from JoAnns) to use on this project.  Be prepared to buy a lot of these nailheads.  For every one nailhead I got right, I screwed up maybe three or four.  No joke.  

Since I wanted my nailhead to be spaced and not sit right next to each other, I inserted a nailhead into every other indent on the spacer.  So, at any given time (using the spacer) I was inserting three nailheads at one time instead of five.  

I placed the nailheads about  2.5" from the headboard edge.  As you can see from above, I used push pins in as placeholders for the railheads.  I actually put the push pins in my nailhead spacer and inserted these before my nailhead.  Don't worry - the fabric I used was VERY forgiving and you didn't see any hole marks, etc.  Thank goodness!!

Doing above was a lifesaver!  It helped because it provided a visual of how the nailhead would look before I started hammering in the nailhead (so I could readjust certain push pins if need be).  And, it just made the whole inserting the nailhead go faster.

I literally would take out a push pin, insert a nailhead and hammer it in with a rubber mallet.  My husband did create some templates out of poster board that helped me create even lines, but I wouldn't say that they were the most helpful.  And, be prepared to take out the nailhead and do it over.  At one point, I did the whole entire scalloped top again and it took me forever.

So, there you have it!  At the end of the day, I spent $55 on plywood/MDF, $55 on batting, foam, nailheads, mallet and spacer and $90 on fabric.  Grand total $200!!  Price doesn't include the $$$ spent on Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc which was definitely needed to complete this DIY!!!

Feel free to email me with any specific questions that you may have!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thank you and A Beautiful (Renovated) Cottage

I just want to say 'THANK YOU' for stopping by to see my One Room Challenge and leaving such incredible comments!! I felt the love you guys - thank you so much!!  It truly was icing on the cake after having worked so hard on it and not knowing how it would be received.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I had a nervous stomach for most of the day!

Today, I thought I'd leave you with some pretty pictures found on StyleBlueprint of this beautifully renovated cottage designed by Julie Couch.

This home is a great testimony on how to maximize the most of your natural light when you have a small home!  I'll let the pictures by Alyssa Rosenheck Photography speak for themselves.

To see more of this beautiful home designed by Julie Couch, go here.  Have a good week!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

ORC: Week Six - Final Reveal

I can officially say that I have completed Linda's One Room Challenge and survived to tell about it!!!  I might've neglected my family, our pet fish and the house for the past week, but I am very, very happy with the outcome!!  AND I can also officially say (and my husband will agree) that our guest room is soooo much nicer than our master bedroom - and there is something completely not right with that!

I am happy to share it with you.  Here is my guest room reveal….

Those beautiful brass nailheads caused a couple of gray hairs and took so painstakingly long.  For every one I got right, I ruined about twenty.  No joke.  But, it worth the hundreds I saved from buying a new headboard.  

If you remember, below is a picture of our guest room BEFORE:

And, this is our guest room (and which also pulls double duty as my office) AFTER:

Below is a snapshot of my huge homasote DIY bulletin board that also serves as my catch all inspiration and design planing board. 

And, my little desk below surrounded by all the many things I love and treasure.  

For those of you who have followed along, thank you so much for sticking with me!  This was a great challenge for me personally and professionally!  If there is enough interest, I'd be happy to put a blog post together about my DIY headboard.  I think I spent approximately $180 in materials and supplies at the end of the day. 

If you are just tuning in, I've just spent the past six weeks participating in Linda's One Room Challenge and you are welcome to read more about my guest room's transformation during the previous weeks here.   Thank you Linda for hosting my first ever ORC.  Hop over here to see the other participants and their crazy transformations. 

Also, I'd like to thank Nicole Pullen who helped me with the photography! She is based in Louisville.

Sources are listed below.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

One Room Challenge - Week 5

One more week left for the One Room Challenge (ORC) and still lots to wrap up!  With a chest cold and 20% of my voice left, I got sidelined this past week but slowly getting back in the saddle. (I hope)!

I finally hung up my Serena and Lily mirror  above (that I've had for a while) and some art (that I have also had) above the desk that sits on the opposite wall of the bed!  Since the mirror is small, I need to balance the size of my desk with some artwork around the mirror.  I want to keep it simple and not have a cluttered look.

My desk is a black french inspired desk from Ballard Designs that I got long ago that I will pair with a white slipcovered parsons chair from Ikea.  Desk style similar to below minus the gold detailing.

I finally hung up my  DIY bulletin board (a huge piece of homasote that I reupholstered with ticking fabric) and this will sit above the bench. 

Hanging this was a lot trickier than I originally thought and planned!  Below you can see the bulletin board hung on the wall above the bench with the bed's euro sham and bolster!

So, where am I now?  Oh yes, the headboard.  The headboard has been the most interesting component of this challenge.  I have a new found respect for all the DIY-ers who have made one of these before.  Here is the headboard upholstered with the raffia fabric (bad picture). 

I'm 70% completed with the nailhead and I'll be honest I am not sure I love the headboard with the nailhead.  I know - the horror!!  

I can't put my finger on it as to why, just yet, but I'm hesitating whether to move forward with completing the nailhead or not.  It breaks my heart because I want to love it and after five hours of your life that you won't get back, that is a hard pill to swallow. 

But, that is where I am and I guess both you and I will have to wait for the reveal to see if I decide to keep the nailhead or not.  

But, I know one thing, I'm ready to get this room done!!!  Looking forward to next week - see you then!!  Go here to check out what my other fellow ORC-ers are doing!!  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Room Challenge - Week Four

Hello Friends!  The weeks for this One Room Challenge seem to be going faster and faster.  Crunch time is on!!  The push this past week was upholstering my headboard, but more on that later.

Let's talk about the fabrics in this picture, shall we?

The John Robshaw euro shams (turmeric in light indigo) came back from my seamstress and look fabulous.  

This alan campbell petite zig zag fabric will be the bolster that sits in front of the shams!  I wanted a pop of color and this fabric packs a lot of punch!  It has yet to arrive, but hopefully by Friday.
I originally wanted to do a blue and white gingham/check bed skirt.  Finding the perfect check size in the perfect color is a lot harder than you think.  Trust me I tried.

I did find one (pictured above - centered swatch) from the UK, but it was very expensive - that in addition to the labor of making a custom bed skirt was just a wee bit out of my price range.  

As I did more research, I found another bed skirt (not custom and not a check patter) but with a very similar look and feel for at least a third of the cost.  So, I went with that.   I have yet to receive it so we will see how it all works out.  If it doesn't work,  I might be scrambling at the 11th hour!

I plan on having light blue embroidered scalloped sheets to tie in the light indigo blue from the Robshaw shams.  

The rest of the bedding will be white which will offer a nice contrast to the raffia fabric on the headboard.  

I will have throw pillows on the bench which is why you see Serena and Lily's chambray diamond fabric in the first photo.  I didn't want the room to be all blue and red so I'll be throwing a little green in the mix.  In the photo below, I love how the green mixes so well with the blue and red. 

As you can see it is slowly coming together.   Still, so much to do and I pray that we have sunny days leading up to the reveal day so I can take some decent photos!

The headboard will be the MAIN focus this upcoming week.  I could write several posts on this DIY.  

Let me just say that upholstering a rounded headboard is not an easy task, my friends.  To say I'm nervous with how this will come out is a little bit of an understatement.  But, I'm clenching my teeth and moving forward!! 

Until next week my friends!  Here are weeks 1, 2 and 3!!  Wishing all my ORC friends out there the best of luck!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Helping a Client Select Fabrics

I recently helped a client decide which fabrics to use where in her soon to be baby's nursery.  She already had the fabrics selected, but needed help putting it all together.  We discussed what fabrics would look good as window panels, crib bedding, pillows and on upholstered furniture. She was particularly on the fence with whether to do solid fabric with trim or a fun print as the window panels.  I suggested the fun print as I think it can really make a fun statement!

If your budget is flexible, I think picking a fun print as window panels can make all the difference.

Above is NOT the design of my client, but rather an example I created using a fun print as panels.  I have always wanted to use Katie Leede's 'Thebes' fabric!

If you need help designing a room, please feel free to contact 'me'!