Posts in DESIGN
Floating Shelves

Here’s how we created the floating shelves in our living room for $100. We kind of winged it as we went along to make them fit right so I apologize that these instructions are not very specific. Hopefully you can get enough info to figure out how to make your own.

Like most of our projects, we used plywood (3 sheets of 4x8) and had it cut at Home Depot into 12” strips. Because the sheets of wood only come in 8’ lengths and our wall is 10’ long we had to use 1 strip and a bit to make each shelf.

IMG_7755.JPG

We used 2x4 stud (5 pieces I think) to make the base and structural part of the shelves.

First thing was to find the stud in the wall and mark it out so we would know where to screw the base into the wall. We also marked out a straight line of where each shelf would be on the wall.

IMG_7753.JPG

We determined that structurally each shelf would need support at about every 10” so we cut another piece of stud into smaller pieces 10” long and attached them to the long piece of stud that would run across the wall and screwed them in from the back side at 10” increments. That whole piece was then screwed into the wall making sure to hit the stud in the wall so it would be very secure and hold a lot of weight.

Some of the smaller pieces are further apart to adjust for the stud in the wall.

Some of the smaller pieces are further apart to adjust for the stud in the wall.

Next the tops and bottoms were attached and then finally the front and side pieces. We used a nail gun and tiny nails that hardly show.

IMG_7757.JPG

We hit a few snags along the way and had to make some adjustments to make it level and all flush.

The stud was not flush with the top piece which meant the front wouldn’t meet up nicely so I filled in the gap with some double sided sticky tape. The front was then nailed into the stud.

The stud was not flush with the top piece which meant the front wouldn’t meet up nicely so I filled in the gap with some double sided sticky tape. The front was then nailed into the stud.

Because not everything lined up perfectly I used wood filler to close the seams and make it look like one long piece.

After a layer of the plastic wood is applied and dry sand it down with a fine grit paper to create a smooth finish.

After a layer of the plastic wood is applied and dry sand it down with a fine grit paper to create a smooth finish.

Final result, clean modern shelving.

Final result, clean modern shelving.

Vacant home tour

I took these photos the day we signed for the house and it became officially ours. Even in that moment I already had ideas swarming around in my head for each room. I thought it would be fun to show you the vacant spaces with my mood boards and descriptions of my vision so you could see where it all started…

So, here we go!

To start off with, our home is in New Orleans located in the Central City neighborhood. This area has been going through a lot of changes over the years and we have been renting only 4 blocks from our new house for the last two years. We love this area so much, it’s close to everything, we feel safe and there’s so much character. We are a few minutes walk to St Charles Ave and from there straight into the Garden District which is one of my favorite areas to walk around and take photos.

During our house hunt we looked at so many homes ranging in degrees of work needed. This was the 5th house we put an offer on and it needed the least amount of work. Originally we thought we wanted a fixer upper but now realize that a renovated home really suites our lifestyle at this time with everything else we have going on.

The house itself is over 120 years old. It was renovated right before we bought it by an amazing guy who put so much love and detail into this house. It was apparent when he walked us through the space that he felt a lot of pride in the work he did here. He created a beautiful updated modern space but still retained all the important history and charm that every New Orleans home should have. The house originally was a double (a very common style home in NOLA split down the middle to created two identical sides) but was converted into a single. It has 12’ ceilings which is very common here and I’m afraid I’ll never be able to go back to standard ceiling height after this!

Because the home used to be a double we have two front doors. We chose to make the door that opens into the kitchen our primary entrance.

We are so glad the builder chose to keep the fireplace in here. It’s not functional but it adds so much character to the space. There used to be 8 of these in the home but to make the most functional layout he removed all but this one.

The kitchen is gorgeous but I really want to warm it up with natural tiles, a colorful light fixture, either wood or black cabinet pulls and eventually a rug and kitchen island.

The kitchen is gorgeous but I really want to warm it up with natural tiles, a colorful light fixture, either wood or black cabinet pulls and eventually a rug and kitchen island.

IMG_7750.JPG

Next to the kitchen is the dining room. This whole area is so bright with all the natural light it feels like a greenhouse in the morning, my favorite place to be.

I’m choosing bold yellow curtains and a pop of orange in the dining chairs. Going for a simple and clean look in here.

I’m choosing bold yellow curtains and a pop of orange in the dining chairs. Going for a simple and clean look in here.

IMG_7749.JPG

The dining room looks into the living room through the original pocket doors. There are no windows in this room which I actually appreciate. We will have our TV in here and I don’t mind a dark moody space for watching movies.

IMG_7732.JPG
IMG_7735.JPG
This room will be all about color. Pink walls, orange sofa, teal and green coffee tables. Plus huge floating shelves along the TV wall.

This room will be all about color. Pink walls, orange sofa, teal and green coffee tables. Plus huge floating shelves along the TV wall.

IMG_7751.JPG

Next to the living room is the office.

I didn’t put together a mood board for this room but I see soft grey walls and pops of contrasting bold color.

I didn’t put together a mood board for this room but I see soft grey walls and pops of contrasting bold color.

The guest bathroom is next to that. Yes, this is the GUEST bathroom. Are you shocked? Me too. I still walk in here everyday in awe. I feel like we’re in a luxury hotel and I don’t mind one bit!!

IMG_7739.JPG
I would love to change out the mirror for a wooden one to help warm up the space. An updated light fixture and faucet will be in the future as well.

I would love to change out the mirror for a wooden one to help warm up the space. An updated light fixture and faucet will be in the future as well.

IMG_7748.JPG

Across the hall from the bathroom is the laundry room. It has my favorite doors in the whole house.

IMG_7738.JPG

The next room down the hall is the master bedroom and master bath. Yep, another crazy good bathroom. Feeling really spoiled right about now.

IMG_7742.JPG
No mood boards for the master yet. I always seem to focus on decorating the bedrooms last….

No mood boards for the master yet. I always seem to focus on decorating the bedrooms last….

I do know in the bathroom I want to warm it up with some paint. Maybe a deep teal or shade of green with a jungle wallpaper on the large wall across from the vanity. A wood slat accent wall that wraps onto the ceiling would look really great behind the toilet as well with some open shelving.

I do know in the bathroom I want to warm it up with some paint. Maybe a deep teal or shade of green with a jungle wallpaper on the large wall across from the vanity. A wood slat accent wall that wraps onto the ceiling would look really great behind the toilet as well with some open shelving.

At the end of the house is the third bedroom. This room will eventually become an Airbnb. It has it’s own entrance, bathroom and huge closet which will double as a “kitchen” (fridge, microwave, coffee). We have ordered some amazing acoustic panels for this room as well to help keep it more private and quiet. I’m really looking forward to sharing. Stay tuned this summer.

IMG_7746.JPG
I plan to paint the tub a fun color and add wallpaper to the walls. We also need to add a shower head and curtain.

I plan to paint the tub a fun color and add wallpaper to the walls. We also need to add a shower head and curtain.

Large closet will have a built in counter and open shelving, fun wallpaper and lighting!

Large closet will have a built in counter and open shelving, fun wallpaper and lighting!

That’s the whole interior of the house! I’ll share the outside of the home and the yard soon.

Room transformation + DIY frame

I’ve been so excited about helping our neighbors refresh their living room. Sometimes decorating a space can be daunting, you don’t know where to begin and there’s a fear of spending a lot of money to make it happen.

For this project, to make it easy, we reused some of the items they already had, thrifted about 80% and found a few perfect pieces from small businesses. Plus we came up with a great affordable way to frame large art that cost a total of $80 to make TWO frames. Details at the end of the post.

Let’s talk thrifted items. Some people love thrifting, some people hate it, some people just aren’t sure. Our neighbors were the last category and I can confidently say they are now addicted! We found the couch, huge rattan shelf, mirror, two camel colored chairs, one green chair and table lamp combo all from either craigslist, facebook marketplace or thrift stores ALL for under $700. That’s basically the cost of on cheap sofa.

Enormous rattan bookcase found on facebook marketplace. Rug from Swoon Rugs, pillow from Holistic Habitat.

Enormous rattan bookcase found on facebook marketplace. Rug from Swoon Rugs, pillow from Holistic Habitat.

Now, as much as I love thrifting I do love mixing old with new and see value in investing in good pieces that you love and intend on keeping. We found some great items from some small companies that blend so good with all of our thrift scores.

We chose two rugs from Swoon Rugs, one vintage under the chairs and one new under the coffee table. She has a rotating collection of unique and gorgeous pieces.

Rug from Swoon Rugs. Chairs and glass table lamp combo thrifted.

Rug from Swoon Rugs. Chairs and glass table lamp combo thrifted.

This terra-cotta plant stand with the pots was so unique and fit perfectly in this spot, it was a must have from Holistic Habitat. We found our pillows there too. A good quality pillow goes a long way!

Artwork from Christina Flowers.

Artwork from Christina Flowers.

Face pillow from Holistic Habitat. Green chair found on Craigslist.

Face pillow from Holistic Habitat. Green chair found on Craigslist.

The sconce above the TV is truly AMAZING. What a statement piece! Locally made here in New Orleans by Sazerac Stiches.

IMG_7709.JPG

Lastly these two piece of art created by Christina Flowers. I love the abstract shapes and perfect color combo.

IMG_7705.JPG

So now let’s get into how we created these custom and affordable frames.

Supplies:

1/4” 4ft. X 8ft. sanded plywood

Any moulding, length depending the size of the art

Gorilla glue heavy duty construction adhesive

Blue tape

Ruler

Saw

D ring picture hanging kit

Screwdriver

Instructions:

Plywood can be cut at Home Depot. Our artwork measured 32” x 40” and I wanted a 6” boarder around the art so I had the plywood cut to 42” x 56”.

I always have wood cut here before trying to fit it in my car. Saves time and effort.

I always have wood cut here before trying to fit it in my car. Saves time and effort.

The moulding was cut to fit around the perimeter of the art. We did this at home and cut them at a 45 degree angle.

IMG_7716.JPG

Measure the board to find out where the art will sit centered on the board and tape it in place. Measure so the moulding will cover half of the art and the other half on the board. Place tape in the corners so you can quickly set the moulding in the correct spot once it has glue on it.

IMG_7725.JPG

Use gorilla glue construction adhesive to attach the moulding around the artwork making sure that only the edge of the moulding that touches the board has glue on it so if you ever decide to remove the art it won’t be damaged.

IMG_7723.JPG

The glue needs to be held down for at least one minute, we used books and let it sit overnight to be sure it was secure.

IMG_7726.JPG
IMG_7718.JPG

24 hrs later attach the D rings and wire to the back of the artwork. All done and ready to hang!

IMG_7722.JPG
IMG_7730.JPG
IMG_7731.JPG
Upholstery

This post is thanks to a gifted collaboration with The Whole 9 Yards.

I recently decided to reupholster our couch cushions. The first time I paid someone to do it for me because it felt overwhelming, this time I decided to attempt it myself and it wasn’t so hard. I found the fabric at one of my favorite stores I discovered in Portland Oregon called The Whole 9 Yards. They are a small business with a great selection of fabrics. The black and white upholstery fabric on the couch was from them and unfortunately it’s out of stock but I found a great pattern called Campfire that would be a similar alternative. We had this fabric on the couch for three years with two wild dogs and it still looks like new!

IMG_7625.JPG

We also used a gorgeous palm fabric called St Kitt for our RV dining benches and it was excellent.

IMG_7632.JPG

I’ve documented each step of the process below so if you are considering a project yourself this may be a good reference of how to start.

The first thing I did was remove the old cover so I could get an idea of how she sewed it. I was surprised to find out she used one large piece of fabric and simply folded the corners to create the rectangular shape.

IMG_7665.JPG

So, I took measurements and cut the fabric to the correct size, then folded it in half, right sides together, and sewed along the two edges. The fabric I chose is called Vivo Spicy Spice and it’s velvet.

IMG_7669.JPG
IMG_7677.JPG

After that I pressed the corner into a triangular shape with the seam running down the middle and measured in 2.5” from the tip. I drew a line across and sewed it. When the fabric is turned right side out you can see it created the corner for the cushion which measures 5” thick. I repeated that step for the other three corners.

IMG_7674.JPG
IMG_7672.JPG

Next I removed the zipper from the old cushion and pinned it along the edge of the new fabric which I folded back a half inch. The area circled in red is very important. A little piece of fabric should be sewn on to each end of the zipper to prevent the pull from fully sliding off the teeth of the zipper.

IMG_7679.JPG
IMG_7675.JPG

The whole process took me about a day to figure it out and sew.

IMG_7673.JPG

I love the new bold orange cushions, it feels like a whole new couch.

IMG_7680.JPG

I’ve chosen some of my favorite upholstery fabrics they currently have in stock listed below. I actually had to stop selecting fabrics because there were too many and my list could go on forever…

If you are interested in any of these fabrics or anything else currently in stock on their website (Whole9yards) you can call or email them to order and mention you found them through my blog or instagram to receive a discount! Valid through August 31 2019.

Pattern Mixing

Mixing patterns can feel daunting so, here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to create that perfect mix in your home or in your wardrobe.

Opposites really do attract:

Try mixing a floral/curved pattern with a geometric/straight line pattern. Or a really large print with a very small print. Find colors that can tie the whole look together.

Mixing both large and small patterns plus geometric and organic shapes in our stairwell.

Mixing both large and small patterns plus geometric and organic shapes in our stairwell.

My pants are a very small curvy pattern and my top has straight lines. The pants are black and white but the insides of the flowers have a soft blushy pink orange color which I pulled into my top.

My pants are a very small curvy pattern and my top has straight lines. The pants are black and white but the insides of the flowers have a soft blushy pink orange color which I pulled into my top.

Neutral stripes paired with an organic shaped blue kimono.

Neutral stripes paired with an organic shaped blue kimono.

Florals and checkers, match made in heaven.

Florals and checkers, match made in heaven.

Two large patterns, one neutral and one colorful.

Two large patterns, one neutral and one colorful.

Choose one color:

If you’re intimidated by mixing color and pattern just stick to one color and find a variety of patterns to mix.

Erin Williamson from  @sterinwilliamson  has created a perfect blend of patterns using only blue.

Erin Williamson from @sterinwilliamson has created a perfect blend of patterns using only blue.

Choosing the same color palette or neutrals almost guarantees what you pair together will work.

IMG_7627.JPG

Large and small neutral prints.

Two large patterns, both neutral.

Two large patterns, both neutral.

Our RV in particular is a huge blend of patterns. For the most part I consider each of these neutrals and because they are all different sized patterns it works. A small intricate pattern for the wall, a large organic pattern for the bench fabric and ceiling plus a pop of blue fabric in a medium sized print.

IMG_7632.JPG

Try these tips and see if it helps you create that wild look you’ve been dreaming of. Over time mixing and matching gets easier, just have fun!

The power of paint

I’ve been using paint to transform spaces for many years now. It’s an affordable option when it comes to design and can be the most impactful part of any room.

Below are some examples of what can be done with a few sample paints.

Painting around the exterior of the door created an interesting focal point and made the entrance feel larger.

Painting around the exterior of the door created an interesting focal point and made the entrance feel larger.

By painting the trim around the door it made it feel wider and taller. The color blocking added some extra visual interest.

By painting the trim around the door it made it feel wider and taller. The color blocking added some extra visual interest.

A fun and colorful mural with the addition of plywood shapes and palm leaves made of yarn wrapped around nails.

A fun and colorful mural with the addition of plywood shapes and palm leaves made of yarn wrapped around nails.

Before the pink shapes and yarn leaves this wall was a jungle mural. That’s another perk of paint. Change your mind? Paint over it!

Before the pink shapes and yarn leaves this wall was a jungle mural. That’s another perk of paint. Change your mind? Paint over it!

The stripes on this wall were drawn with a paint pen. Just a few simple lines of different widths.

The stripes on this wall were drawn with a paint pen. Just a few simple lines of different widths.

Another design done with a paint marker, all you need is patience.

Another design done with a paint marker, all you need is patience.

To get perfect circles hammer a nail into the wall where you want the center of the circle to be. Next take a string and tie it around the nail and cut it to the length of how big you would like to circle to be. Pull the string taut from the nail and trace the circle with a pencil at the end of the string.

To get perfect circles hammer a nail into the wall where you want the center of the circle to be. Next take a string and tie it around the nail and cut it to the length of how big you would like to circle to be. Pull the string taut from the nail and trace the circle with a pencil at the end of the string.

More circles and shapes.

More circles and shapes.

Simple color blocking with a strip of paint across the mirror. Little details that can make a space unique.

Simple color blocking with a strip of paint across the mirror. Little details that can make a space unique.

More color blocking.

More color blocking.

It doesn’t get easier than this, these simple triangles really added a lot to this space.

It doesn’t get easier than this, these simple triangles really added a lot to this space.

One of my favorites, the flamingo wall. Outlined with a gold paint pen and filled in with several shades of pink sample paint.

One of my favorites, the flamingo wall. Outlined with a gold paint pen and filled in with several shades of pink sample paint.

I painted some miniature flamingos in the RV but they only lasted a day before they were painted over.

I painted some miniature flamingos in the RV but they only lasted a day before they were painted over.

This wall painting was inspired by the art hanging to the right and extended on to the wall.

This wall painting was inspired by the art hanging to the right and extended on to the wall.

Big palm leaves, big impact, little cost.

Big palm leaves, big impact, little cost.

Lastly, a floor mural. This room is very low traffic so I used regular wall sample paint but if it were a high traffic area I would seal with clear coat or use floor paint.

Lastly, a floor mural. This room is very low traffic so I used regular wall sample paint but if it were a high traffic area I would seal with clear coat or use floor paint.

Laundry room before and after

Here’s a quick transformation of my parents laundry room. Total cost less than $60.

Before

Before

Before

Before

The one requirement my mom had was that she wanted the room to be light and bright… So the first thing I did was paint a dark blue wall, I love to make her nervous and also to show how dark walls don’t always mean a room will feel small and dark!

20190128_123927.jpg

Next, I hand painted the palm leaf ‘wallpaper’ with regular wall paint we had on hand and switched out the curtain for macrame.

2019-01-29 03.09.51 1 copy.jpg

Behind the washer and dryer I hung up cedar planks and switched out the cupboard hardware.

2019-01-29 03.04.12 1 copy.jpg

A few affordable changes that made a huge impact.

PhotoGrid_1548803611667.jpg


Flamingo Dining Room

I often reminisce about the homes we used to live in and realized that one of the best transformations we’ve worked on was never documented on here!

So here it is:

Our old home in Portland, Oregon had a small room in the back of the house that was meant to be a laundry room. It was dark, dingy and a complete waste of space. We decided to turn it into a combo laundry and dining nook. Tim and I (with the help of a few friends) did all the work ourselves.

DSC03765.JPG
DSC03767.JPG

The first thing we did was replace the solid door with glass french doors to let in more light.

0206161330.jpg
0301161844.jpg

We moved the washer/dryer to one side of the room, stacked it, and installed sound muffling doors. Lastly, we laid down new bamboo flooring.

0326161720a.jpg

I painted the whole room dark green, hand painted the flamingo wall and voila, a whole new room.

1215161519.jpg
Screenshot_20190122-150800_Instagram.jpg
20170209030517_IMG_0614.JPG
before after.jpg