Monday, April 29, 2013

Use it or lose it: the Formal Dining Room

Urban Grace Interiors
Wowza!!!! When I was a newlywed, THIS was the stuff dreams were made of...what with the 3 full sets of china I got for wedding gifts (and I eloped for Pete's sake!) Now our house is the meetup for most family gatherings and we STILL don't EVER use the dining room. NEVER. I guess the upside of that is that it stays pretty tidy...good news for the first room you see when you walk in the front door! The bad news is that it SHOULD look good and I've dropped some dough on making it that way but we don't really use it.

So I've come to a decision...drumroll please... I will not be having a dining room going forward. For our family, it is truly a wasted space. And since we're moving, now is the time to make the change. Seriously, as we speak my dining room furniture is on my beloved craigslist. (Yep, that was a shameless sales pitch.)  I'm not exactly sure what I'll do since most dwellings have a dedicated dining room. Buckle up and join me for the journey.  Here are a few ideas from some of my peeps:

Like myself, Jacki had the full blown table for ten, complete with china cabinet and buffet, in her last house.
Jacki's former, formal dining room.

After using that room twice in ten years, her hubby made a pilgrimage to Florida (from NC) to get this Brunswick Gold Crown pool table. It's from the 1930's, and has started to grow on her. Like a good wife, she decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and made the best dang pool room her 'hood has ever seen. The paint color is SW Mannered Gold in case you are wondering.
Jacki's Billiards room, otherwise know as the formal dining room.
In case you need to set up a buffet line, all you need is some plywood and a couple of oversized tablecloths to turn this pool table into a wonderful server.

We all know Jacki's a trendsetter... Check out what her friend Kelly did with her formerly unused formal space.

Before: Kelly's Dining Room

billiards room
After: Kelly's Billiards Room

Jacki's sister-in-law followed suit and turned her dining room into a place where her kids can do homework and they can enjoy displaying books and other family treasures.

alternative to formal dining room
Formal Dining Room

Um, yeah. This is where the "AFTER" pic should be but it wasn't available at press time (read: Jenny call your sis-in-law back ASAP please!)

I love the idea of turning the formal dining room into a home office. You can still use it for dining on those special occasions.

Check out what Emily Clark did with her dining room:

I love all these ideas! Stay tuned to see what I end up doing at my next home...

Tell us, what's going on in YOUR dining room? Are you USING it or LOSING it?

Linking up with The Dedicated House:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Solution for short curtains; DIY room darkening drapes

When we were building our house five years ago, I had a very limited decorating budget and big dreams. I absolutely swoon for custom window treatments. Seriously, I want every room in my house to have decorator-perfect, tailored drapes on expensive rods. Like these........
Pinterest: Dreamy blue silk drapes.
Bam! That was reality hitting me in the face. While shopping at Marshall's one day I came across two packages of ready-made window treatments that I liked. Of course, they were 84" long and those of us with 9 ft or even 10 ft ceilings know that those would hang like high waters.

Solution! I bought both panels and took them to a seamstress and had her add a band of one to the other. Here's an example from World Market, because I didn't take "before" pictures.

Let's say I want the blue curtains, but they aren't long enough. I took the stripe of the second set of panels and banded the bottom to create more length. To hide the seam, I used some decorative trim that I hot glued on. Yep, hot glue.

With the remaining fabric, I made some pillows for the room.

Excuse the mess of computer parts, but here's how they turned out:

To line the drapes and make them a little more custom, I bought black-out liner. This way when we are watching movies on the projector, the room gets nice and dark.

Back tab panels slide nicely on a rod. They DO have a little bit of a sheen to them, which screams, POLYESTER, but remember the budget.

 Trim hot glued to cover the seam.

If you are looking for a nice, soft blue that doesn't read "nursery", my paint color is called "Quiet Moments" by Benjamin Moore. There aren't many quiet moments in this playroom, but the paint is nice!

 The polka dot pillows were also from Marshall's and finished off the room nicely.

I personally never go in this room, unless it's movie night, so I was completely grossed out by the empty Dorito's bags, candy wrappers, and soda cans strewn around. I had a complete hissy fit and made my boys come clean it up. Now to get my husband to do something with that old computer......

Today we're making the rounds of the blogosphere, linking up with:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating     Liz Marie Blog
Memories By The Mile

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nature Trend: Answering the call of the wild

If you're anything like me, you love cute, cuddly animals...when they're cast in cement. I have to admit I love nature...from the comfort of my living room mainly. Seriously though, the great outdoors is definitely a miraculous wonder to behold. And many of you may ACTUALLY be answering the call of the wild. As for me, I unleash my inner beast in more subtle ways: my inner animal and my new bestie.

Apparently, I'm right on trend. Check out what we've seen out and about lately:

Raccoon: Homegoods



White deer mount: Antropologie

Antropologie: Bling Squirrel vases-LOVE!!

Ravensburg Vintage Metal Canisters: Ebay--'Shrooms anyone?

Owl Wallpaper-Who's there?: Antropologie

Old school owl Macrame! OK, maybe not!

Yes Please!!
Concrete bunny bench: Wayfair

Mercury glass acorn
How are you infusing a little nature in your adorable decor?

Join us as we hook up with House of Hepworths today!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2013 Color Of The Year: Emerald Green

It's everywhere, in fashion, in home decor, in major furniture pieces. How can you add the 2013 Color of the Year to your decor?

I've outlined three ways to bring in the bling. 
Emerald green bling that is!

Small Investment:

All of these items are vintage, retro or from a thrift store. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get an updated look. Set the table in some green depression glass that's been in your attic for 20 years. Everything old, is new again!

Medium Investment:

A few throw pillows, a statement vase, or some chevron curtains are a good way to bring in the emerald without a major investment.
Source: Signet Rings and Preppy Things

Large Investment:
Source: Show Home
Okay, so this is a BOLD option. Can you imagine what Patrick would say if I said I wanted to paint his farm table Emerald Green?
Check out the table they used on the sun deck at the HGTV Smart Home 2013. It's not green, but I love the bold look of such a large piece.
To stand up to Florida's harsh and changeable weather conditions, a pine trestle-style table is treated with two layers of primer, three layers of car paint and finally two layers of clear coat. Vintage steel chairs cozy up and offer seating for eight.

About two years ago, I found these awesome shop lights at the Charlotte Metrolina Antiques Market. I took a picture and sent it to Patrick who was NOT thrilled with the rough, worn, GREEN lights coming into our home. I've been looking for something to go over my spaceship kitchen island, and now I'm kicking myself for not getting them. I'm sure the ones in the photo above the green farm table are new, but I'd rather have the ones with history. Bummer.

Normally I don't recommend upholstering your large, investment pieces in a trendy color or pattern, but WOW, this emerald green velvet sofa rocks.

For me, I'm crushing on this cute recycled glass table lamp from Shades of Light.

How will you add Emerald Green to your decorating scheme?

We're also linking up today with Lolly Jane! Head on over and find some brilliant ideas to spruce up YOUR space!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Stella & Dot: Baubles We Adore- Plow and Hearth Giveaway Winner Announced!

Good Morning! I hope you enjoyed your weekend. The temps around here have been kinda chilly for late April but the blooms have remained beautiful!

I'm a bit off topic today since we usually focus on making your home more adorable. However, I couldn't resist letting you all know about a lovely lady I met a few weeks ago! Her name is Leslie and she is an independent Stella & Dot stylist. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to make herself a little more adorable too??

I was invited to her launch party and bought a few things and absolutely fell in love with their unique jewelry. I always see other women's jewelry and think how great it looks. I sometimes even wish I had a different piece to adorn the day's outfit but I NEVER seem to think of it when in the position to acquire jewelry.  Leslie offers great ideas for outfit/jewelry pairing and Stella and Dot has tons of classically styled, yet trendy pieces to add the finishing touch to any ensemble! Check out her site, for all the goodies! You can shop now and/or create wish lists for later (super handy for hubbies for Mother's Day and birthdays).

I am actually hosting a virtual party that ends today. You can go to, order today and have your baubles by the end of the week! They have really fast shipping. You will also be entered to win a pouf like this one if you place your order today:

Check out some of the pairings Leslie suggests:

I already have a navy tank like this one and white jeans! I'm totally adding some of these jewels to complete the look!

I hope you find something beautiful for yourself or someone else from Stella & Dot!

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest for a $50 Plow & Hearth gift card. Our winner is Angie! I'll be getting in touch with you later today to get your gift card to you.

We are also linking up with Keeping it Simple and of course our friend Kathryn at The Dedicated House. Head on over to both of these blogs for endless ideas on home decor and more!

                      Keeping It Simple             
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