Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Higgeldy Piggeldy Stripe

Remember when I teased about my bathroom oh, like a year ago? Now I'm finally showing it to you, and making a promise that in the future, if I tease something, I'll follow through a little bit quicker!

In our house, we have a super tiny bathroom under the stairs. When we bought the house, the bathroom was eggplant purple, and I knew that was going to have to change. I love the idea of bathrooms with a lot of color and/or pattern, and when I saw Anna Spiro's wallpaper collection, I knew that was exactly what I wanted. Thanks to the sleuth work of Jessie from The Long and Short of It, I found out you can order it in the US by calling Porter's Paints in California. I'll be honest, the wallpaper was a bit of a splurge, especially since we had to add shipping from Australia, but we knew it was a really small space. 

It was the best decision, because we both really love the way the bathroom looks now. When we were discussing colors, I knew that skewing towards a blue and orange bathroom in honor of my husband's alma mater was the way to get what I wanted, and I am so happy with the bright orange. We added some art that I had purchased a couple of year's ago, and I also added a picture to give you an idea of how teeny tiny the bathroom is based on the faucet. Seriously, the soap is bigger! 

Now, if anyone wants to go in on some of Anna Spiro's wallpaper in one of the blue colorways and wants to send a roll my way (I'll share the shipping cost!), I know exactly where I would put it.

Sources: Wallpaper: Porter's Paints | Sconce: Shades of Light | 
Mirror: Target (not available) | Artwork: Helena Wurzel 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Real E-Stalking

Even though we have a house that I love, I cannot stop looking at Houston real estate listings. I love having a peek at other people's houses and getting ideas from the way Craftsman homes have been updated or decorated. This house is one of the best examples I've seen lately of an updated Craftsman. The owners went with a Spanish bungalow style, which although it's pretty common in other parts of the US, isn't something you see much here.

My mom commented last time she was here that I have an obsession in my house with marble, subway tile, and hexagonal tiles. Since our home isn't that large and fits in a certain period, I really gravitate towards consistently across rooms, and that's what really appeals to me about this house. I love the attention to detail with the tiles and the muted but consistent color palate and fixtures. And those exposed beams, ya'll. It's such a good background to add in fun furniture and color. Plus, who wouldn't want that shower? Looks pretty luxurious for a house this size!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chinoiserie Wallpaer

image via House Beautiful

image via Ruthie Sommers

First of all, being a true child of the 80s and 90s, I love wallpaper. I know a lot of people in the design world go mad for de Gournay, but I'll admit it isn't really my thing. I think the price tag always pushed me away and the idea that it seemed like it belonged in a octogenarian's formal parlor in Paris or New York. However, I keep seeing images (like the ones above) that are slowly changing my mind. I think the mix of textures makes them a little more my style and doesn't seem as overpowering. 

Then, I saw the house Sara Gilbane designed in this month's House Beautiful, and I became obsessed with the idea of painted wallpaper. Or, in the case of Gilbane's design, a mural painted over grasscloth. 

image via House Beautiful

This weekend, I came across Domesticate's new wallpapers on Spoonflower. She started with the idea of de Gournay wallpaper and created some really beautiful wallpapers. She created really feminine and beautiful colorways, and they look so much more luxe than the price point. Can you image how pretty they would look in a dining room or powder room? Even framing them as panels would be amazing.

I keep imagining Jenny peony on mist in our master bedroom, but Kyle vetoed the option. Until I can convince him, maybe I can convince one of you, because I will just have to stick to an iphone case from her Society6 shop.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ikea Rast Hack

I am no DIY queen by any stretch of the imagination, but the one thing I can do is paint furniture. I was terrified of painting furniture, but after a bad experience with a professional restorer, I decided to try it myself. Kyle and I have painted a handful of things around the house, and developed a method that seems to work pretty well for us. Basically, if I can paint furniture then you definitely can paint furniture.

Step 1: Sand the piece of furniture. Kyle and I bought a sander on sale at Home Depot, and we do a light sanding over everything (even if we buy it from Ikea). I don't worry about getting the paint off of something, just making sure that I have a smooth surface. 

Step 2: Prime the surfaces that you want to paint with one coat of primer. We use Zinsser Bull's Eye Primer from Home Depot and always, always, always use 4" mini foam rollers for priming and painting. Our technique isn't the most environmentally friendly, but we throw away the roller after each coat of paint/primer. We only do one coat of primer, because this stuff covers really well.

Step 3: Paint the surface with matte paint. We used Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray for our Rast dressers. Every single time I go to the paint store and ask for this, they tell me I'm crazy and make another suggestion. Here's my reasoning: when I put the polycrylic on during the last step, using matte paint helps me to see the parts that I've missed. If they tell you you're crazy, just smile and nod politely. I paint with the foam rollers again for this step. I have read where some people sand the furniture down after priming and again after painting. Kyle and I felt that this was a little too time consuming for the results we saw. We sand down any parts that are uneven or drips between coats of primer and paint. In all honesty, as we've gotten better at painting, we are usually able to cut out the sanding altogether.

Step 4: Paint the surface with a second coat of paint. Again, feel free to sand down (by hand) any places that are uneven or have drips. I let the paint and primer dry between 4 and 6 hours between coats.

Step 5: After the paint has dried for 4-6 hours, I get a regular paintbrush and put on Minwax water-based polycrylic. It's super important when you buy this that it is water-based and clear satin. Oil based will leave a yellow colored finish, but the water-based polycrylic will dry clear and just make your furniture shiny looking. The polycrylic helps to protect the paint so you won't have scratches and marks on it. In my experience, if I see something on the furniture, a damp towel washes it off. It also gives it a more lacquered look, which I really like. You want to make sure you have a new or really clean paintbrush (preferably small to medium size) for this step. I like to put the polycrylic on thickly and then go over the area with even, linear brushstrokes. Kyle gets less paint on his brush and always uses even, linear brushstrokes. His method probably looks a little better in the long run, but mine is faster. Ideally, you want to do two coats of this (letting it dry 4-6 hours in between) to make sure the furniture is evenly covered. If it is a piece I know won't be used often or in direct sunlight, I have sometimes just done one coat.

Step 6: For the rast hack, we didn't put on the knobs provided with the dresser. We bought these Martha Stewart knobs from Home Depot (6 for each dresser). Then, Kyle measured the distance between the screws, and used the holes for the provided knobs to measure an inch and half on each side from the center of the holes. He drilled holes that matched the size of the screws provided from Home Depot, and we put the pulls on. We didn't fill the original holes, because you really can't see them once the knobs are on and the dressers are in place.

Et voila! Our new guestroom bedside tables... 

Total Cost: About $70-75 per dresser for including paint, brushes, and pulls.
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