Raleigh baby room surprise

I remotely planned a baby room design for my friend Meghan in Raleigh. You can see some of my planning here. Last night, while Meghan was sleeping, I made it happen in 4 hours. The best part about this room? All of the major ingredients to make it fabulous were less than $600.
As a reminder, this is what the room looked like before. It was basic – nothing particularly special about this room, but it is a room everyone can relate to. It is a basic bedroom!

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A very basic baby room – the “before” shot

Meghan had recently carpeted and painted the room so there was a nice base to work with, but decorating wasn’t a first priority with the baby only 4-weeks away. The baby gender is unknown and Meghan wanted this room to “last”, so the design is intended to be gender neutral and sophisticated so it will be age appropriate for many years.
When working on a budget, the best way to make a big impact for less dollars is to hang a mural wallpaper. Lulu and Georgia has beautiful choices. I needed 2 rolls for this project. I began at 9PM and started with wallpaper.

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It was my second time installing wallpaper and I did it alone, so I trust anyone could do this. The paper is pre-pasted so all you need to do is use a sponge to spread water on the back of the panel, hang, and push out the air bubbles. The pre-pasted glue is a bit “slimy” in texture once it is activated, so you have some time to maneuver the panel and slide it into place so it matches up. I trimmed the base, top and around the outlets with a sharp x-acto knife and a straight edge (the same tool I used to smooth out the wallpaper).

After the wallpaper was done I worked on the curtains.

DIY Pom-Pom Curtains: The curtains are Threshold from Target. I bought pom-pom trim from Amazon and 1 roll of HeatnBond hem tape. This is all you need, plus an iron. These curtains were less than $50, TOTAL, for BOTH panels! All you need to do is iron the pom pom trim to the inside edge of the curtain with the HeatnBond hemming tape. I had to set my iron to a much higher steaming setting than the directions recommended, but that worked fine. This took ~20 minutes.

Iron on pom-poms, make fabulous curtains for <$50 total
The finished panel from the front. So beautiful and so easy and so inexpensive!

After I finished the curtains, I arranged the furniture around the edges of the room, accessorized with a $36 Lulu and Georgia Zeba pillow, a $48 trio of West Elm frames filled with my own animal watercolors and laid down a $163 Lulu and Georgia Nasra 5×7 rug.

West Elm gallery frames with watercolors by me
Lulu and Georgia Nasra rug, 5×7, brightens up the room and adds a nice extra layer

While I initially planned to make a DIY mobile, I found this Blabla mobile on eBay for $40, so I went with that given retail is $170+. Whenever I’m looking for something special, I always check Ebay first and I always bid under list. Even if the item is an auction item (and doesn’t have a buy it now option), I will message the seller and ask if they will take a lower price. Why? Because negotiating is fun! 😉 This one was listed for $60 and I got it for $40, muahaha.

My Ebay Blabla mobile is FAB and entirely handmade! Fits jungle theme perfectly.

I finished at 1AM. Surprising Meghan was the best, she loved it. 🙂

A 4-hour makeover, complete!
Jellycat doll, Pehr bag, Target Lamp, Wayfair chair, Lulu and Georgia pillow and mural and rug

 

 

Potter Barn crib, BlaBlah (Ebay) mobile, Target side table, DIY pom-pom Target curtain
Paintings by me!

The drawer pulls we planned to update are delayed from China, but they are en route and will be mint green porcelain.

Love you Meghan and baby S to-be!

It was such a fun project and I’m so lucky that Meghan let me express all my ideas freely and completely trusted me with this room after a half bottle of wine. Love you Meghan, and baby S!

DIY: Rope Credenza

It’s labor day weekend and we’re making a credenza!

Once upon a time I set my eyes upon a rope credenza at a property that we visit annually on the East Coast. The second I saw it I thought, “I could make that”. And alas, the time has come. Our den walls are plaster so we cannot hide our TV wires within the walls. We will hang a Samsung Frame TV and hide the wires in a credenza. Since I was not originally planning on needing this piece of furniture, I wanted something simple and inexpensive while still appearing high end. I covered the entire IKEA Henmes sideboard in rope. (Naturally!)

Supply List:
1) IKEA Henmes sideboard, light brown, 2) 1,200 feet of 5/16″ Manila Rope, 3) Glue gun and glue sticks, 4) A paintbrush like this, 5) New knobs (optional) and longer screws to fit (rope requires screws to be slightly longer)

Pro Tip: This project took me 14 hours start to finish, so you need a weekend. I’d also recommend a very sharp knife and scissors for cutting the rope.

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IKEA Henmes sideboard: $329

Mecox has some interesting rope covered furniture that serves as a nice inspiration for this project. While I won’t be exactly mimicking this piece, I liked it very much.

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Mecox Pawley Abaca Rope Dresser: $1,875

The rope I am working with is from Knot & Rope supply.

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1,200 feet of 5/18″ rope from Knot & Rope Supply

Beginning with the drawer fronts, work from the outside in to cover them in rope. Do the same with the top of the sideboard. For the drawers, I worked from the center out because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t covering the holes for the drawer pulls, but in retrospect I think this was a harder path. It was harder because I had to measure in from the outer edge to make sure I was starting in the right place.

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Process if you begin in the center, and work out. I found it was easier to work outside in

For the cabinet doors and sides I wrapped the center section first, similar to the top and the drawers, but cut separate strips for the outer border.

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Beginning at the outer edge, wrap to center, then cut strips for sides

I cut the rope with a Global knife that I will be taking to get sharped on Tuesday. Not to say it’s dull now, I’m just expecting that is possible…

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Cut separate strips to cover the border edges
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All the pieces coming together in the living room for assembly

After the credenza was assembled, I glued down the trim pieces.

Ikea Henmes hack, covered in rope

I appreciate that I am did not go into too much detail here, but I am expecting the likelihood of some fellow-crafter following in my footsteps to DIY this piece is somewhere around 0% (rounding). So, please reach out to me if you do want to do this, and I can help guide you through.

Ikea hens hack, covered in rope with Samsung frame tv (waiting on frame)

I will have a piece of glass cut to top this off and help protect from dust. The knobs were replaced with cast iron knobs that I found online for $20. The Samsung frame tv will have a maple frame that is still on it’s way to us.

DIY: Bistro Table

Making use of the scrap pile…

Bistro tables are expensive and it is not hard to DIY. I made a bistro table for our kitchen and am very pleased with the results. This table cost ~50% less than big box retail alternatives, is custom, better quality and has beautiful marble that is superior to the box store choices. It also took less than 1 hour to assemble and required very little time to procure (all online, no in-person).

Supply list: 1) Marble / stone: I purchased mine at Stone City in Chicago by simply emailing, reviewing pictures and selecting for custom cut, 2) Silicon adhesive, 3) Piece of wood, 4) Bistro table base: mine is available here

Pro Tip: Marble from scrap is generally less expensive, as are straight cuts (vs. circle) to produce. This marble was from scrap and was cut to size in a 30″ hexagon.

First, I ordered my base (link above) and emailed the stone yard to get pictures of available scrap pieces.

This is the image that the stone yard (Stone City, Chicago) sent me of my chosen (by email) slab

The specs of this piece of marble is a hexagon, 30″ across the widest point. When the marble was delivered, I glued the wood to the base with silicon glue and let this dry overnight. The stone yard did apply mesh to the base of my cut slab so the glue would better stick.

Glue wood to marble, screw base to wood! (Do not screw base directly to marble)

Flipping the table upright is a 2-man job (eek, I did it alone) given the table weighs close to 125 lbs.

Protective plastic covers the surface

The last step is to simply peel back the protective covering and treat the marble for stain resistance. I love this little corner for weekend coffees in the AM!

Complete DIY bistro table with Frontgate chairs and Schoolhouse Electric lights

The table is very sturdy and does not wobble whatsoever.

Stephanie Hier artwork

For the dining room and the den

We came across Stephanie’s work for the first time at an exhibition in Chicago called Note G at Chicago Manual Style. The first piece I saw was in a ceramic frame.

Stephanie Hier, It’s time to pay the fiddler (2018), Oil on canvas with glazed stoneware frame, 15 x 10.5 inches. Chicago Manual Style, Note G Exhibit.

I love this painting and I especially love how technically detailed it is. I thought about the work after the show and almost immediately went down a rabbit hole to find more works by this artist, and learn more about her, and maybe find a piece I could buy. And, I found two! The first is an edition that is really beautiful with unique, hand-applied, temporary tattoos. I got first pick and chose the strawberry and cherry because I just love them! I bought this edition from David Dale Gallery in London.

Stephanie Hier, With a belly full of the classics (2018), Digital print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, hand finished with temporary tattoo, 69 x 53 cm. Variable edition of 12. Private collection, from David Dale Gallery.

I separately found a stunning piece from Downs & Ross in New York. A perfect fit in the dining room. The second I saw it I knew it was the one. It couldn’t be more perfect for the green room in subject and color and size and depth – I couldn’t love this more.

Stephanie Hier, Step into the light (2017), Oil on linen, 60 x 49 inches. Private collection, from Downs & Ross.

Both pieces have been hung – one in the den and one in the dining room. Both making me happy! 🙂

A baby room, in Raleigh

Remote planning!

One of my closest friends is pregnant with her second and I was so excited when she asked me to help decorate her baby room! We don’t know if the baby is a boy or a girl so we are keeping this design gender neutral. I’m working remotely on this project until I fly to Raleigh in two weeks, so I have relied on photographs until then to plan and buy.
Here is the room today:

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The room is messy today so it will be easy to make this room look stunning!
This room is freshly painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, has new carpet and all of the necessary furniture is already in place from her last baby, so we are in a good place on furniture. However, we will add some accessories to refresh some of these pieces like new ceramic drawer pulls and a fun throw pillow for the chair!
I mocked up each wall of the room in photoshop using the exact Benjamin Moore color on the walls and got to “decorating”, virtually.

meghan 1 complete copy
New drawer pulls from Anthropologie freshen up dresser: $6.40 each (on sale)

The mirror we already had, so wanted to work that into the design. The drawer pulls here are from Anthropologie, but we ended up ordering our pulls from Etsy where they cost less than $2 each and were only $17.65 total for 7, including shipping.

Meghan 4 final
West Elm frames with art by me: $48 + Zebra Pillow from Lulu and Georgia: $36

These frames are a steal and with DIY art you can fill a wall for <$50.

Meghan 3 final copy
These curtains are from Pottery Barn, but we will do ours DIY

We already have a set of white curtains, so will DIY iron-on pom-pom fringe to jazz them up.

Meghan 2 final copy
My favorite – a wallpaper mural from Lulu and Georgia: $175 / panel (we need 2 to cover 12′)

This DIY mobile is from Etsy and is made with felt. We will make our own. The mural is from Lulu and Georgia and can be found here.

Meghan Baby FINAL
Mood board for the space including the Nasra Rug from Lulu and Georgia, $163

This rug from Lulu and Georgia is a really great price for 5×7 and will add a nice cushy layer to the room and brighten it up. So excited for this to all come together in Raleigh!

Living Room Layout 2.0

Restoration Hardware Nea rugs and furniture layout

We’ve made progress on the living room layout since I last posted about it here. It is a particularly challenging floorplan because this room is effectively 1.5x size with 1.5 seating areas and a fireplace. Initially I had arranged the furniture with a chaise couch in the center, but ultimately the back of the couch was too high and it was awkwardly splitting the room. This was made most apparent when the rugs were delivered.

Before the rug was delivered, our layout looked something like this

The rugs are from Restoration Hardware Teen, called “Nea”. Strangely, while they are on sale, they are also back-ordered for months, which makes me wonder if they are the made-for-sale type rugs that are never intended to be full price and are perpetually always on “sale”. In any case, they are priced better than all the other RH rugs I saw, so I bought them and they look good. I bought two, 9×12 rugs for this room. The intention was to provide for two seating areas and to save money by not buying a custom rug to fill the whole room.

First RH Nea rug in place is already poorly framing my intended layout

I was committed to make this green couch work because it is ❤ years old and was intended to be a flexible piece of furniture that could fit “anywhere” because it is a chaise, and a smaller profile, etc. I first bought this couch from Room & Board in 2016 for a rental loft. I wanted something that would transition into any home and not be “too big”. However, this room was probably one of the more challenging spots to fit this couch and I found myself thinking more than once we’d have to get a new one.

Initially intended that this couch would divide the room, but the room is slightly too small

Thankfully, the new layout finally clicked into place and it works great. In hindsight, the layout is obvious, but it wasn’t initially so.

This layout is more open and proportionate

There were many false starts on layouts that looked terrible. I stepped away, looked at a few decorating books and magazines, and it finally clicked into place. We made one last transition and it worked.

The throw makes a world of difference!

A throw from Barney’s, purchased with a wedding gift card (thanks Cayla, Brad and Jeff!) softened up the room and tied in the Bowood chairs that are currently placed out of frame ( on the second rug).

Barney’s throw pulls in the Bowood chairs (out of frame)

 

Fake flower faux paus?

To embrace or reject fake flowers in design (embrace!)

I’ve noticed that many of the most beautiful homes in magazines share one thing in common – beautiful flowers – no big surprise. This got me thinking – are these flowers all REAL? I did some extensive researching on how designers are using fake flowers and found a spectrum of “never” to “love them”, but my favorite was a use-case in between that blends the real with the fake. Buy a few fake stems and tuck them into greenery. I like this idea.

NDI Flowers – love them, every day!

Now the question is – do they look fake? Take a look for yourself. These flowers were purchased from NDI. NDI is a family business and have been selling beautiful silk florals for 50 years. The flowers are made to order and I think they look great. I have a number of individual stems to rotate through and greenery for the holidays. These arrangements were made by NDI and even the water is faux.

The dining room is coming together with beautiful tulips from NDI
Smaller NDI arrangement on the mantle