Monday, December 15, 2014

Making A House A Home


I remember as a young child dreaming about my own home. While all the other girls were dreaming about their weddings and having children I was dreaming about a house I could be creative in, paint murals, and make it my own little humble abode. I would rearrange my bedroom constantly and by my senior year of high school I had painted mermaids and a sunset beach on my bedroom walls.

Fast forward 14 years and here I am now in my own home, painting murals on walls, decorating, rearranging furniture, and creating that humble abode I had always wanted. In those 14 years I have rented several homes and a few apartments and with that comes pro's and con's. You can't paint, some places you can't even put holes in the wall to hang pictures, you can't change much about anything so you are forced to work around what is available. All of these put a damper on my "wannabe" designer self! However, I always managed to work with what I had and it was a fun challenge.

Renting...
This was always a challenge. We would get online and search all the property management sites in our area to see what has been listed. I would stock those sites daily because when living in a city where renting is high in demand they go quick. We preferred renting through a real estate/ property management company because they always seemed to be less trouble than renting from an owner. They had maintenance men on call, always took care of the problems that needed to be addressed, and you didn't have to deal with nosey owners coming to check the place out whenever they wanted. : )

 Here is how I had designed around our last rental before buying our own home. I used a lot of color and texture because the walls were a drab white.






When the time came to purchase a home I was so excited! I new that I would finally be able to find the home I had always dreamt of. However, house hunting is not as easy as it sounds. In our case we had a time limit to find a home. The real estate market was at the top of it's game and houses were being bought as soon as they were put on the market. Our price range of course was the most popular so when we found our dream home and put an offer in we were to late. They had already accepted the first offer they got. That feeling of not getting the house you fell in love with kind of makes you lose hope. We searched online, and called our realtor we saw about a dozen homes and they all were  under contract or already sold. It was a tough market. We finally found one that had been on the market for awhile. The sellers were picky and wanted nothing under the asking price. It wasn't our "dream home" but it was a good "starter home" and I think that when going in buying a house the biggest misconceptions first time home buyers have is that they will indeed find that "dream home." What I have learned is that you could find a home that has a beautiful exterior and the inside needs updating, or you can find the perfect interior but the bathrooms are small, there's no master bath, or the kitchen doesn't have those "granite countertops" everyone lusts after. I've learned that with buying a house compromise is your new best friend and the realization that there is no "perfect house" unless you have a million dollars and can afford to build that one of a kind home will make it a little less stressful. Even the first house we fell in love with had it's flaws that I would have wanted to change.
 
Since moving in a year ago we have made quite a bit of changes and still are. We painted walls, added our own style and are currently remodeling the basement. Are we stopping there? No, the kitchen needs updating as well as the bathrooms and staircase. I've learned through all my renting over the years that once you put your touch on it, whether it be photographs or some of your favorite collections displayed it makes the entire house feel like a home
 
 
Here are a few photos of our home before and after some of the updates...
 
This is the entryway. As you can see the trim and staircase still needs to be done but as everything is when buying a home that needs updating... it's a work in progress.

 
This is what the living room looked like when we first moved in. When you have rented for so many years and have a mismatch of different items to fit each home you kind of just throw it all together. It has much evolved and still continues to  since this photo was taken a year ago.
 
Before... 

Here's what it looked like a few months ago. I have since bought new furniture and can't wait to share the new updated version.
 
After...

                                                                        Before...
 
After... 
    
                                                                          

                                                                  Dining room before...

                                                                            After...


           The basement is our big project right now. We have added beams downstairs and a wall. Right now it's just waiting on a paint color, carpet and some pretty décor. ; ) I have a pretty good idea of what I want so I will be thrilled to share with you when it gets put together.

Buying your first home, apartment, or town house can be one of the most stressful yet exciting steps of life. I can guarantee if I had a place like Urban Compass to go to as a source for buying a home or apartment we would have been very happy home owners. This site is amazing if you are looking to shop for real estate in New York.  Whether it's in down to earth Brooklyn Heights, the trendy Fashion District or the Bohemian life of SoHo Urban Compass gives you the personality of each neighborhood along with what to expect and not expect, and beautiful photographs! What a fantastic way to sell real estate!!! If you are in the market to buy in New York you must check out the agents of Urban Compass.
                                                                            
                                                                            Peace and Love,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Modern Chic Living Room Inspired by Art

Do you ever come across a beautiful painting that's of abstract nature and love everything about it but have no clue how you would decorate around it? Well, there is a site called http://www.invaluable.com/ the worlds premier auctions where there are a variety of beautiful paintings to choose from. Whether you want abstract, scenic, oil or mixed media they have it all. I was able to design a room around one of their exclusive paintings. Let me just tell you that as an artist myself and loving textures and colors  and anything original it was hard for me to choose. I would have loved to have created a room around them all but for some reason the vibrant colors of yellows, oranges and greens in this Rita Amaya oil painting  jumped out at me and I new right away how I wanted to go about creating a room around this beauty.






Everything in this photo can be found Here.

I put together this modern chic living room. I pulled my inspiration from the television show Mad Men. The clean lines and modern touches I new would work perfectly with this painting. I wanted the painting to speak for itself because the colors are so vibrant and beautiful. I new I wanted a green sofa with a modern feel to it because I felt that it would really showcase the painting.  I  brought in some browns from the painting by adding these 2 replicas of the classic Cherner chair. I brought in some metal like material using a brass round coffee table with a glass top and two modern like brass side tables. For warmth I added a cowhide rug in a neutral color because again I wanted the painting to speak for itself. I brought in a few abstract print throw pillows to add texture and pattern to the room, along with 2 glass table lamps in burnt orange which I felt complimented both the green sofa and artwork beautifully.

 This painting would look beautiful in any home. It was very exciting to create a room inspired by a painting of my choosing. If you love original art work, paintings, prints, drawings and mixed media you must head over to invaluable.com and check out the wonderful selection of artists and collections. You will most definitely find something you can't live without. 

                                                                  Peace and Love Always,
                                                                               

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Ever Evolving Living and Dining Room

I updated my living room yet again! I know, I know. It's one of those rooms that just keeps evolving. I've been working on it for a few months now. I found some beautiful pieces of furniture at the flea market and Goodwill that fit the scale of the room better than all the pieces I had accumulated over the years.  I really wanted a cohesive look throughout since my entryway, living room, and dining room are all open to one another and my entryway is very bright with colorful artwork the kids did. I just felt what I had before was not flowing well with the gallery wall, so I got together with my girls created some diy marble prints, added some organic elements, and white curtains to give a more open and airy feel. I think I'm almost there...; )

The dining room is constantly evolving as well because it's open to the living room and like I said I like it all to flow well. I found this old window frame awhile back. It fits perfectly above the dining room table without being to much.

I have wanted Geode prints for a long time and after seeing this  DIY marble print using nail polish all over Pinterest I thought it would it would be fun to try. originally I had botanical prints which I love but my gallery wall as you walk in the front door is full of bright colorful abstract art prints my kids made as well as I and I felt like it needed to flow into the rest of the home so my girls and I made all these fun prints using water and nail polish. I just switched out my botanicals for these homemade marble prints.

Love the way this one came out! It's such a fun project to do with kids, every print comes out differently.




My vintage glass collection is growing but I'm keeping with the greens and blues thought I do have a pink swan in there but she was to pretty to pass up.

I got these benches at an auction. I just painted them white and added some pretty pillows.

Here's the updated living room. I finally broke down and bough a large area rug which helps the room so much more.

The side table on the far right I found at the flea market and the wood is to gorgeous to paint over plus it's an antique. It fits perfect!


My previous coffee table is similar to this one only it was too boxy for my living room and taking up to much space. I found this gorgeous coffee table at the Goodwill. It had beautiful lines, The bottom half was pretty scruffed up so I decided to paint it white and left the top as is with a stain over it.





                           I'm seriously thinking about painting this wall the lighter color that I painted the rest of the upstairs in. What do you think?
 This wall has been a pain in my butt. lol. I just can't seem to get it right until my youngest daughter started throwing her homework and backpack in her closet and losing it all the time I decided it was time for a little "command center" where they can keep their backpacks and jackets and where I can go through them easily. I found this shelf at Hobby Lobby. We added some of our marble paintings and a little chalkboard for inspirational quotes and Voila...we have a little command center.

        I wanted to add a piece that wasn't a painting or a print. I saw this metal piece and fell in love. I then traded out my botanical prints for some homemade marble art like the rest.







 Here's my entrway wall. It continues all the way down the stairs and I LOVE it to much to change. It's a variety of my girls and I's artwork with pictures of the family and kids I took thrown in. It's so bright and colorful and the reason why I wanted to bring the abstract of the prints and colors throughout the rest of the home.
  I am going to paint the trim and staircase a white and stain when we finish our basement renovations.


One day I will stop buying throws for my ugly sofa chairs and actually break down and purchase two new chairs but until then I have finally found the perfect mix.


I needed something in the Hallway but I didn't want to go overboard with pictures. I found this adorable bird print at Hobby Lobby that had all the colors of my home in it and it had a little family of 4 perched on a rope. It suits the rest of the house.




                                                                          Peace And Love....
                                                                                   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Eclectic Cottage Bedroom Makeover...

The master bedroom for me has always been just a modge podge of things, not really decorated, and just thrown together. Every home we've lived in and yes we've lived in a lot of homes over the years, the master bedrooms were always small. This house was our first purchased home, it has 5 bedrooms and the master has a 1/2 bath so instead of using that as our main bedroom I decided to use the smaller one upstairs for our master and the "actual master" as my office/closet because I actually enjoy having a total separate room to do all that in rather than my bedroom. Though the room is quite small it suits us for now because all we do is sleep and watch some bedtime television. Back in the spring I "sorta" redid my room but the more I laid in it the more I realized it was not my style. I tried to go neutral with touches of reds but I couldn't get on board with it. I love color and pretty things to look at. My parents had a garage sale so as I was going through all my hoarding tendencies I just couldn't give away all of my vintage scenic prints that I have collected over the years. I decided it was time for new bedding and an entire new look for our master using thrifted and flea market finds as well as shopping my own home, which for me can be fun, like I said I have decorating hoarding tendencies. lol. I love an eclectic cottage feel and I love vintage prints. My living room is done in vintage birds and flower prints, my office is full of vintage Japanese prints and now my bedroom has my collection of scenic and cityscape prints. I love laying in my bedroom, it almost feels like I'm somewhere on the east coast in a cottage enjoying a vacation! Check out all my nooks and crannies in our updated bedroom.


Here is when we first moved in...


Here was my first makeover...It was a rustic chic look but I love greens, yellows, and blues to much to enjoy this red and brown room.
 
 
Now this....I'm loving this so much better and it's more my style. All the photos were previously bought and collected over the years from flea markets and thrift stores, the plates as well. I made the initial art awhile back. This now flows well with the rest of my home. I'm not a minimalist by no means. ; )

 I just changed out the lamp shades I bought on the clearance shelf at Target. The side tables are laminate and were pretty beat up. I filled in the damaged parts the best I could with wood filler and then painted them the with the paint I had laying around the house we used for our living room. Sea Sprite by Olympic paints. Throw pillows a few I got on clearance at Target and the others are pillow covers I purchased at Hobby Lobby for literally a few bucks. They were half off!! Such an affordable way to change your pillows. Bedding was on clearance at Kohls.


I picked up this telephone desk at the Goodwill a few years ago. It was an awful pea green. I painted it a bright yellow and painted the desk part with chalkboard paint.




I LOVE me some gallery walls and if you follow me you know I go big or I go home. Lol. You can check out my entryway gallery wall that's my pride and joy because of the time it took to create it and the sentimental pieces I have hanging Here

I needed a vase to complete my room and I found these cute little rustic one's at Hobby Lobby for 6 bucks.


Excuse the massive Television, I have to leave some sort of wiggle room for my husband when decorating. If it were up to me I wouldn't have a television in my bedroom but I compromised. The dresser I picked up at a local thrift shop, it was pretty beat up so I just painted it and stained the front drawers with a green stain and then went over it with a brown stain. Half the knobs went missing so I had to double them up.






 
Well I hope you enjoyed this tour. I think I'm satisfied with our little master bedroom. I feel like it's an actual put together bedroom instead a modge podge of things.
 
Peace and Love...
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