Friday, March 29, 2013

Faux Tortoiseshell

You guys, it must be spring or something because I'm actually getting sh*t done around here!  Of course, everything is taking about 10 times longer to complete than originally planned, and I'm taking next to zero pictures because I'm the best blogger ever, but I'm still super excited that I'm crossing some things off the list!

#1 - I planted the first stage of our front yard garden this last weekend - two new flower beds and cleaning up a huge amount of weeds/lava rock.  Of course, stupid Austin decided to almost freeze the next couple of nights and some of my annuals are not looking so great, but hopefully they'll recover.  This weekend, I'll get around to mulching the new beds and putting in a few stepping stones.

#2 - My neighbor and I built rolling pantries for our kitchens (she lives on the other side of the duplex so our kitchens are mirrored).  They're based on this idea by Classy Clutter.  I will not be doing a tutorial, but maybe a "lessons learned" post.  It'll be functional, but not my best DIY moment, that's for sure.  They need to be painted and the back installed.

#3 - The boyfriend has been refinishing a pool table for the past couple of weeks and he's almost finished with all of the woodwork.  I will do a post on this later, because he's done such a wonderful job. I know he did all of the hard work, but I'm going to give myself a producer's credit since I gave such great advice. ;)

#4 - The dining room is 80% done.  Maybe even 85%.  It's actually been looking good for a while now, I just lost the cord that charges my camera, so I guess I'm going to either buy a new one or take crappy phone pics.  Tomorrow, I'm hopefully going to be picking up this bad boy from Craigslist for $20.

It's the last piece of furniture I need for the dining room - a coffee station/bar cart (sans wheels).   I'd love to get some mirrors cut to fit in the sunken oval sections and, unless I really dig the finish when I see it in person, I'm leaning towards experimenting with tortoiseshell.

I'm not the biggest fan of faux finishes, but I think tortoiseshell can look super pretty on rounded wood.  See what I mean?

SadieandStella via Pinterest

There are a couple of good tutorials online.  Some blog link I lost along the way led me to this wonderfully detailed tutorial.

Extreme Restoration

I also read through the comments on this Little Green Notebook post and followed Laura's link to The Paint Effects Bible on Amazon.

I guess a trip to Michael's just got added to my list as well.  Isn't that always the case - finish one project (or in my case - step 1 of a project) and add a couple of new ones? 

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Goodwill Rug

I finally managed to go thrift store shopping this weekend.  It has literally been months, and I was getting symptoms of withdrawal.  I didn't find any furniture, but I did score this:

It's a gigantic (10x13) Chinoiserie rug - 100% New Zealand wool, made in Egypt.  $30 - no lie.  It didn't even have pet hairs or stains - and it came with a wonderfully thick rug pad.

I wasn't in the market for a rug so I bought it for resale, but when I rolled it out to clean it, I decided it was too nice not to keep.  I replaced our free West Elm rug in the living room (and got a good workout to boot - now I know why people roll up dead bodies in rugs, you can hardly tell the difference).  I like the print in there, I had a few too many solid colors in the space.

I looked up the company, and it looks like similar rugs of this size generally sell for $1500-$1700.  So it was basically 98% off and in near-perfect condition.  Yay for Goodwill!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Library Dining Rooms

I love the look of a library dining room.  It works extremely well because of the combination of two spaces you might not use that much (formal dining room and a library) into a layered and interesting use of square footage.  I tend to like the ones with built ins and a darker, cozier design.

My favorite at the moment:

Peter Dunham designed, from Domino via designing "the life"
Habitually Chic

Simply Beautiful
Your Day Simplified
Beautiful Libraries
Apartment Therapy
Pics above and below via Victoria Dreste Designs

The one below isn't my style at all, but I love how it translates the idea of a library dining room into the space of a small breakfast nook, but the use of a mirror makes it look a lot bigger.  Fantastic space plan.

Traditions Journal

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Free Garden Plans

This is the year we tackle the front yard.  We did a vegetable garden last year with mixed results (lots of growth, but not enough food to make me feel all the work was worthwhile), so I feel a little more confident about my gardening abilities.  I didn't want to try a front yard garden before I conquered my black thumb, because, after all, it will be on full display for everyone to judge and potentially mock.

Right now we're in the budgeting/planning phase.  A great site I found for information is - they even have free garden plans which give you all the details from what flowers to buy, to how to properly plant and take care of them.

I like this one for the area near the sidewalk, which has a slight slope.  Plus, we could use a nice path from the sidewalk to the front door since we currently cut across our neighbor's yard, which is probably a big faux pas.

My top 3 goals are to find plants hardy enough (and low-maintenance enough) that they won't die from the extreme Texas heat or my general lack of gardening mojo, that are cheap (you know it), and are mostly perennials so I don't have to replant the entire garden every year.