Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blog Cabin 2013 Mega Den: What's your favorite?

My youngest son has been begging for bunk beds. My search for a solution for his room with awkward angled walls led me to the nifty murphy bunks DIY Network used in the 2013 Blog Cabin. 

Is this the most brilliant set of beds you've ever seen? If you think it's cute open, take a look at it closed:

The 2013 DIY Network Blog cabin is in New Bern, NC. This area has some of the prettiest scenery you can imagine. 

Originally built in 1892, this cedar shake cottage has been completely transformed. My favorite room in the house is the Mega-Den. 

The entry greets you with a reclaimed barn wood sliding door you can close to keep the sound from traveling down the stairs. A comfortable sectional and an old trunk found in the original home create a great space for curling up for movie night.

Check out this upcycled antique wardrobe joined at the hip with a low dresser. The brilliant minds at DIY added a wine chiller in the closet section and turned the top of the dresser into drink server. It makes me want to mix a cocktail! Cheers!

This fabulous upcycle reminds me of the multi-purpose wardrobe I found in Ocean Isle for our beach cottage

This neat little wardrobe ended up costing about $3,000. Why you ask? Because Patrick wrecked his truck getting it for me. I have so many stories of near death experiences, and bat-doo crazy people from Craigslist, this one is no exception. (More on that later.) 

I digress...back to the megacabin...the den serves so many purposes and utilizes found pieces with character (something we try to infuse into every space we design). A room without pieces that tell a story is just a room that you can order out of a catalog. 

It really is a cool space. If you get a chance, visit DIY Network's home page and tell us which Blog Cabin room is your favorite!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Family Room Botox

One of our client's had been decorating with jewel tones in her family room for many years and was ready for a budget friendly update. 

She loved her beautiful built-ins flanking the fireplace (who wouldn't?) and needed to keep her fairly new sectional. 

Don't mind the hubby's shoes and lack of pillow styling. We're all about REAL life here!

She promptly sold her Pottery Barn rug on Craigslist and found a brand new rug on eBay (that's my kinda gal). That purchase dictated the color palette for the room and off we went!

To inspire this color infusion, Jacki and I promptly went accessory shopping at TJ Maxx.  Unfortunately, we missed this orange throw and had to wait for another one. But, you know what they say...good things come to those who wait. And we found this gem at Tuesday morning!

Our client was also looking for a new club chair for additional seating in her family room and we snapped a pic of this beauty. 

I love the pillow!

It wasn't the right one so we kept looking!

This fine fella sure was inspirational! Well placed accessories can make all the difference.

Jacki whipped up this mood board in hopes of convincing the client to sell the sectional and get a different one but was turned down flat...wah, wah, wah...So, we'll just work with what we have!!

Our client wanted a guide and planned to then implement the changes herself. Here's her progress so far! 

Accessories are a great way to get started on a small budget makeover. And, I've been known to say...there is no such thing as too many pillows.

I love her DIY teal table and the teal tray on her Ikea cocktail table. 

Her daughter is an artist so she "commissioned a piece" for over the couch and used her accent pieces to fill in and provide a color infusion in the new palette.

How perfectly perfect is this rug?

She bought this chair on craigslist and plans to get it recovered for her current family room.

We suggested the possibility of painting the back of the built-ins with one of the accent colors for bolder color saturation but the accessories get the party started!

We're still working on the perfect gray/tan paint color. As it happens, the Benjamin Moore revere pewter was too dark since her family room has a ton of shade!

What do you think of this transformation? Orange you glad you stopped by today? I am! Have a great weekend!

We're linking with:

Blissful and Domestic

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Porch Love!

As you know, we just moved two weeks ago (hence the M-I-A blog life). Read: Instead of telling you how to make your home adorable, I've been nesting in mine. But, can you really blame me? We lived out of suitcases for two months. 

While the rest of the house looks like a box bomb exploded, the porch sure is serene. It's a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and listen to nature do its thing while safely screened in from "actual nature". 

A screened porch is as southern as sweet ice tea and grits and you're one lucky gal if you have one at your house. Since our house came with one and there were no boxes to be unpacked on the porch, I got busy setting up shop!

I found this coffee table and ottoman on Amazon (love free prime member shipping!) and it coordinated perfectly with my existing wicker chair from my last (covered) porch. I just need to find a new cushion and now is a great time to do it! I only need one and it's outdoor furniture clearance time! It shouldn't be too hard to find!

Scored these sweet pillows at Lowe's, on clearance last week!

The dog refused to move and I couldn't wait any longer. His name is Buster and he's my first baby. 

You may recall this rug from my last kitchen. It is indoor outdoor so it will work perfectly!

If you're wondering where I've been, now you know (between opening boxes that is!).

Today we're linking up with:


Friday, August 16, 2013

Shabby Chic Settee: How far would you go for that Craigslist score?

Ah, Craigslist.... it's like a flea market, garage sale, antique shop, and 1980's party all wrapped up in a convenient, don't-have-to-get- off-the-couch, online package. Hopefully you read all my handy tips and advice on buying and selling with Craig. But today is just for fun, and funny... that is, it's funny now. Be warned that the following is a confirmation of why I will NEVER win mother of the year AND why I need a 12-step program to help me detox safely from Craigslist trolling. 

When we were building our house, I was like a caged animal that had just been released. I was bound and determined to move into my new house in the morning and be rolling out rugs and hanging draperies in the afternoon. By evening on move-in day, the new place would look like a spread in Traditional Home magazine. To achieve this miracle, it would take a lot of obsessing careful planning. As usual I was trying to stretch my beer budget to accommodate my champagne tastes. Enter Craig and his list.

Here's my recollection of what is now being referred to as  


Two of the boys were at preschool and my youngest son was with me. We piled in the mini-van for a cross country trip to downtown Raleigh. (Not really cross country; but I don't often leave my three-mile radius bubble, so a 20 mile trip involves packing a lunch and cooler--I'm not kidding!)

I had exactly 46 minutes to get there and back.

Usually I can accurately gauge the situation at hand and I rarely get the heebie jeebies or feel scared in an alley, etc.  I grew up never having a locked door, so I'm not at all paranoid about being napped by the boogie man. And, most of my friends would agree, one DIY home improvement project with me and my captors would be paying Patrick to take me back. 

SO, I was completely unprepared for the chill that ran down my spine when I turned the corner past the Governor's mansion into the straight up HOOD (urban dictionary defined as:  a place where plenty of $*!# goes down like gangbangin', drug dealin', killin', a place where you wouldn't want to be.)

This is pretty close to an accurate portrayal of my surroundings. Only thing missing is your neighborhood drug dealer and maybe a prostitute or two. I apologize but there really wasn't time to snap pics that day.
It would have been appropriate to let you know that we weren't in Cary anymore. However, the 2 year old in the backseat couldn't care less.

As my minivan refused to cooperate with my fifty-seven point turn to get into the parallel parking spot (on the street), I gazed up at the turn of the century marvel in front of me. I wish I had a picture, but that was a long time ago before blogging, so try to imagine it with me.  Catherine tried to convinced me that it would be unprofessional not to include a pic and therefore we should try to find the place again and do a drive-by (photo) shooting, but I think I've blocked the exact location from memory.

So, you'll just have to use your imagination.

The house dripped in gingerbread trim. RED gingerbread trim. And not a good red either, a barfy rust-burgundy atop gray peeling siding that hadn't been painted since 1956. The wrought iron railing up the stairs was painted a different barf-red, as were the concrete steps leading to the rickety porch. 

I took two steps at a time up the concrete crumbling stairs and stopped. A feeling of impending doom swept over me like a ton of bricks. I thought, hmmm, what if this guy is a psycho, axe murderer who is going to torture me and sell my child on the black market? I slowly backed up to my van and cased it for a weapon. 

Daaaannnng! Nothing. 

Why couldn't the kids have left a smelly cleated shoe or a bat or something? Oh yeah because they suck at sports and I refused to sign them up for anything else, therefore, NO sporting equipment to be found.

I reached under the seat and felt a plastic fork with some BBQ residue on it. That'll have to do. 

Armed with my plastic fork (it might have even been a spork), my son and I rang the doorbell which was barely hanging on by it's wire. 

Almost instantly a hippie-looking dude in a Bob Marley shirt appeared in the doorway. Shakily, I said, "I'm Jacki. I'm here for the settee."

His response set off more alarm bells in my head. In a low, creepy serial killer kind of way, he says, "It's upstairs....in my bedroom...., come on up".  While there were alarms in my head, my heart was like, "Do it girl, you know you want to". 


I did not move.

My son raced up the stairs like he was being chased by the rats who no doubt occupied many areas of this guy's house. 

Still frozen.

Sensible me thought, I have to save my child from certain death, and scaredy-cat me said, forget the kid, you can make more. 

My third son is a real charmer, and in that instant I knew I'd miss him if he were chopped to bits, so I gripped the fork in my pocket and climbed the stairs after him (and my settee). 

Some kind of fear-induced adrenaline set in and my super-human strength and speed were realized. As quickly as humanly possible, I shoved $60 in the guys hand and threw that thing over my shoulder and ran back down the narrow staircase. He would have to catch me before he could chop me up!

I flew out the door and practically threw the settee down the steps just missing the back bumper of the minivan. Marley dude tossed the cushion over the railing to me and shut the door with such force, the dingleberry doorbell shook. 

I took stock of myself and my child. We were alive and well, breathing not bleeding. Then it dawned on me that I had to put down all the seats to get the dang thing IN the van. Um, what to do with the kid? I glanced back at the door still reeling from it's abusive swing and thought, I need to just get out of here. 

Another super power presented itself at that moment. The super-power to throw every single piece of junk in my van up to the front seat. I got all the seats down and the bench loaded in record time. At this point I am sweating profusely and cursing loudly as my son sits in his little booster seat on the sidewalk...in the hood.

He looked a lot like this!

I said, "Honey, we ran out of seats, do you think you could hide from the Po-Po and keep low?" You would have thought I had given him a bag of Jolly Ranchers. He squealed in delight at the prospect of riding in the car with no car seat. He jumped in as I was tossing the seat on top of the pile of clutter now residing in my front seat. I ran around to the driver's side jumped in and locked the doors. Whew. I took a breath and looked in the rear view mirror at my kid climbing all over the "new" bench in the back. 

Just then, there was a Rap, Rap, Rap at my window. I jumped so hard I hit my head on the sunroof. It was a homeless guy asking me for money. I tried to crack the window, but the darn thing has the auto down feature, so of course it went all the way down where he could grab me. I frantically tried to raise the window while I pretended to look for some money. I didn't have any money because I just gave it all to Bob Marley. 

In a squeaky voice, I said to the guy, "I don't have any money, but I have some Scooby Snacks." (Seriously, I told you I packed for a long trip.) We ate our bananas on the way, but the Keebler Graham snacks in the shape of dog bones remained in the bottom of the Transformers lunch box. (We travel in style.) 

That answer seemed satisfactory so I rolled up the window and high-tailed it back to suburbia as fast as my mini-van would take me. 

You may be wondering what treasure could've possibly warranted this adventure...

This fine creature:
Of course it was blah-brown and the upholstery was Grandma's floral, but I saw it's inner swan!

It sits in my bedroom in all of its fabulosity. Why you ask? Not because we're entertaining in there. Mainly for looks of course.

This is how it looks most of the time:

But, I think it fits perfectly in this little nook, don't you? 

Six years later, (read: far removed from that crazy day downtown) I'm really happy I have it. 

Disclaimer: Never try this for your home! Always apply common sense to any Craigslist transaction and trust your gut (unless yours also says "do it girl, you know you want to").

If this doesn't get your weekend started off right, I just can't help you!

We're linking up with Blissfully Domestic.

Blissful and Domestic

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