Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Goodies

I thought I would show you my Halloween goodie table. A Halloween tradition along with chili, queso and chips.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Chalkboard Wall

DIY Project 4 - The Chalkboard Wall

chalkboard wall

This was actually a very easy project especially if you have smooth walls. We'll talk about that later...If you can paint using a roller, you can do this.

Shown below is the chalkboard paint that I used but it also comes in green (the typical chalkboard color) and in several other colors that can be mixed in at the paint counter. I bought mine at Home Depot. It actually comes in a small box.

I did not want to do an entire wall so I had to seperate the chalkboard part of the wall with molding. To do this I just measured the length that I needed, picked out a piece of molding that I liked (This one has a small ledge to hold the chalk.) and had the nice people at Home Depot cut it for me. You can always cut it yourself with the small saw there, but I usually just have them do it if they're not busy. To hang the molding, first find your studs and mark on the wall, then measure and mark your board to drill small pilot holes that match up to your studs in the wall. Make sure the molding is level and nail in small finishing nails into the predrilled holes. Use a countersink to push the nails into the wood and float over the holes with caulk or filler. I prepainted the molding and just touched it up after hanging. If you have gaps between the molding and the wall, you might need to caulk. I did not do that here.

Now, the next step will be different depending on what type of walls you have. If your walls are smooth, you're ready to paint. However, if your walls are textured like mine you will need to make them smooth. First I TRIED to sand it down but that was taking way too long and making a complete mess!!! So, instead I used lightweight joint compound to float over the existing wall. This worked well but was still a bit messy. You will still have to sand a little bit but just on any rough edges or trowel marks.

Now you should have your molding up (if you needed it) and your walls should be smooth. Follow the instructions on the can. You will need a smooth nap roller cover to roll the chalkboard paint on the wall, try not to overlap as much as possible. I had to cut in the edges so some did overlap but you can't really tell. Once people start using the chalkboard it's a little sloppy anyway. Let it dry and follow the instructions on the box. You have to wait a couple of days to use it. You can tell ours has been used quite a bit. The kids love it!

ITEMS NEEDED Paint part only -
chalkboard paint & something to open can
smooth nap roller cover (Paint roller)
paint tray
drop cloth
spongue brushes or regular paint brush to cut in corners

If you need molding:
finishing nails
counter sink
wood filler

If you have textured walls (You will also need Patience if you have to do this step.)
lightweight joint compound
sandpaper Fine grit

Above is the countersink for the finishing nails, in case you didn't know what one looks like. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The New Sofa

It's sad to say but I get totally excited over getting new furniture. So, I was especially giddy today because I was anticipating the arrival of our new sofa from Pottery Barn. The one I have been eyeing for years. It does not disappoint with its extra deep cushions and supper comfy seats - a must for my husband. I am especially pleased to say that it is made in the good ole' USA!!! Sadly, the "in home delivery" does not include putting on the slipcovers so I put my blood, sweat, tears and a few choice words getting that thing on but I was too happy to care.
Buying it reminded me of an old Friends episode. Rachel and Phoebe were living in an apartment together and one day Rachel brought home a table from Pottery Barn. Knowing that Phoebe loved vintage and antiques and would not except a mass produced piece of furniture, she lied about where she had gotten the table. Well, long story short, Phoebe ends up finding out where it came from after passing by a Pottery Barn window. At first she was upset but after going in the store, she was hooked and wanted everything in it. Of course, she still did not want to admit that to Rachel. That episode really made me laugh because I think we all have a little Phoebe in us, questioning our values or sense of style if we buy something that a million other people might have too. Well, I'm way over all of that. I love my new sofa and I'm proud to say that,yes, it's from Pottery Barn and that's ok!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Unexpected Fabrics

Have you ever had trouble finding just the right fabric? Sometimes I feel like I have to design a line of fabric just to find what I'm looking for but there are options besides your local fabric or craft store. I have used Indian blankets to recover dining room chairs,a rug to reupholster an ottomon, cowhides to cover pillows and even painter's drop cloth to sew a slipcover! Sometimes in decorating you just have to improvise.
Old Indian blankets can have a wonderful design that you won't find on a bolt of fabric.
I reupholstered this ottomon using a kilim rug from World market. It is very durable.
The pillow and smaller ottomon were sewn out of canvas painter's drop cloth bought at Sherwin Williams.
Canvas can be painted so you can add your own design. My 8 year old son painted the bird stencil on the pillow and I painted stripes on the slipcovered ottomon to bring in some red from the rug.
Another thing that I have done before is use outdoor fabrics inside. When I just couldn't find anything for my bedroom, I came across these outdoor pillows from Restoration Hardware.
Outdoor fabrics are extremely durable and mildew resistant. They also tend to come in brighter graphic patterns if that's what you're looking for. A great choice indoors and out especially in coastal areas.
So, when working with fabric, whether you are recovering a chair, sewing a pillow or drapes or making a table runner or placemats, think outside of the box and use items that you might not have imagined before.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Teer Casa Room Tour (Hall)

Off of the entry is a small hallway leading to the master bedroom. I'm going here next because it is the second most completed room in the house. There is still one project I have even for this small area. Eventually, I would like to hang a star light instead of the recessed can. Let's face it, there aren't a lot of things you can do in a hallway to make it interesting so every little bit helps. The builder put in a small niche which gives some interest and I painted the background Sherwin Williams Mannered Gold which you'll see later in some other rooms.
I wanted sconces in the hallway but it was not wired for a light fixture so I chose a sconce that I could put a faux candle behind to give a similar effect. A small oil painting and photo finish off the walls. The last detail is a small trunk from El Paso Import co.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shelving Turned Into Bar Storage

The following is an idea I saw on pinterest where someone took an open bookcase and turned it into a bar. I did this at my brother's new house. His style is more modern than mine so when shopping for a bookcase I went for this really cool industrial looking wood and metal shelving that I found at World Market. We added glass holders from the container store and wood stacking cubbies for a wine rack also from the container store. (note: the glass holder from world market would not hold larger brimmed glassware.) Every once in a while World Market will have 25% off on furniture, so be on the lookout. The room you're looking at was actually a dining room but we turned it in to a lounge because a bachelor in his late 20's needs that more than a formal dining area.
The other furniture is also from World Market. The stools are great because the height can be adjusted. The table, which would also be great for crafting serves as a bartop. The stools can be moved to one side if you have a bartender. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bar Cabinet

cabinet from El Paso Import Co.

I think I mentioned before my severe lack of upper cabinets in my kitchen. This  forced me to think of creative ways to store glassware. We had an empty corner in our dining room so I decided to make that a space to house a small bar. I found this piece of furniture at El Paso Imports, one of my favorite places. They can do all kinds of distressed finishes and you can custom order wood pieces.

a tray organizes items

 The shelves above just add a little extra glass storage.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Entry

The Teer Casa / The Entry

My house is always evolving. It never seems to be finished because I keep adding and changing and experimenting. I guess to give you a peak into my personal style, I'll just go room by room a little over time. I really can't think of one room that is complete so I'll just start at the Entry....

The pictures shown at left are actually photos of old Mexican doors bought from a photographer here in SA  and framed by me.(frames from Hobby Lobby) The piece over the table is a reproduction of and old Indian door (from Pier 1 Imports)

 As you can see my walls are painted white. I think white gets a bad rap because we all, at some time or another, have lived in an apartment. I think the difference here is having tile floors. White walls also look great with wood floors. The carpet is the problem! White can really lighten and brighten a dark room which we had because of the covered patio off of the living room. It is also a signature style of Spanish Colonial which I also love. If I had my way, my walls would be smooth but that was way to much of an endeavor, even for me! I do always try to buy the best paint available. It really makes a difference, especially with kids. The finish here is satin which is much easier to clean than flat.

The candlesticks I found on sale at Hobby Lobby for $6 ea. They will eventually be moved to the mantle after that gets changed out. The Santos are hand carved in Guatemala but only cost about $13 ea. at El Mercado. There is also a carved wooden bowl with a  clay rosary from Forge Imports. The table is cantera stone.

Pots that the kids used to drop toys into when they were little. :(

My favorite item in the Entry. It has a beautiful soft glow. As you can see, the ceiling is painted a dark charcoal, a risky move, but it's just paint, right? I actually love how it turned out. The ceiling just disappears and in the evening the light fixture makes a beautiful design on the ceiling.

Tile floors are just screaming for rugs. This is where I bring in the color.

Now, my least favorite thing about my entry and a future project. I'm sure you noticed my love of old rustic doors and this is NOT it. Not that it's a bad door, it just doesn't fit with my style (On the to do list.) Like I said, not one room complete. Oh Well.....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mud Room Hook Wall

If you have a problem with backpacks thrown on the floor, jackets strewn over the washer and dryer and just a general lack of storage when you come in the house this could be a good option for you. It is the same concept that we talked about yesterday with the hooks, only use a board instead of a shutter.
This is a simple solution to hang backpacks, jackets, leashes and bags.

For this project you just need a board, (Measure the length you want and they will cut it for you at Home Depot.) hooks, LONG wood screws, a stud finder, a level, a drill, caulk and paint.

Step 1 -  Sand and paint board
Step 2 - Measure for hooks (notes:I started with one in the middle, put 2 at each end and centered the remaining hooks between each end and the center. Also, pre-drill pilot holes for the screws so that the wood doesn't split when you attach the hooks to the board)
Step 3 - Mark your wall where you want to hang (find at least 2 studs on each end depending on the length you're going for...the more the better)
Step 4 - Pre-drill pilot holes into the board and the wall
Step 5 - Make sure your board is level
Step 6 - You can countersink screws then fill and paint or for a more rustic look you can have the screws showing like in the first photo
Step  7- caulk edges where the board meets the wall and  touch up paint

Of course you can stain the board instead or use all different kinds of hooks to give this a unique look.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Outdoor Towel Hooks

 hooks on shutter for outdoor towel storage solution

I found this cool old shutter at one of my favorite haunts. Even though I did not know what to do with it at the time, I knew that I had to have it. It had a really cool patina that only age and weathering can give an object.

Once we moved into our new house with a pool, it became very clear that I had to have somewhere to hang towels to dry outside. Otherwise, the kids would just leave them rotting and mildewing on the pool deck. That wasn't working for me! I thought of my prior purchase and ran off to home depot to buy hangers and hooks.

The first step is to measure out where you want the hooks. I started in the middle,then put 2 on each end and then measured between the two on each side for the last 2 hooks. Before you attach the hooks, make a pilot hole with a drill bit just smaller than your screws to keep the wood from splitting. Do this when you add the hangers on the back as well. I did one hanger on each side.

measure the height so that the screw is at the top of the hook
I have stucco so I had to use a masonry drill bit to make the pilot holes for my screws

Now hang and you have the finished product. I put this outside but this would work in a bathroom, hallway, entryway or mudroom. I have another project similar to this inside for backpacks, leashes, jackets, etc. that I will share later on...

if you hang inside and not in masonary make sure you hit a stud for heavier items
 hooks on shutter for outdoor towel storage solution

shared with~

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Cross Wall

cross wall
The Cross Wall
The other day we talked about the photo wall. Today I wanted to show you the cross wall that I have in my study. I love taking things that you have collected and putting them in a grouping. It can be on a wall, in a bookcase or on a table depending on what you have. On walls, you can group pictures, mirrors, baskets, plates or really anything that can be hung. It is also nice to do a combination of all of the above on a large wall.

Groupings can be intimidating to hang but one hint that I used in the picture wall post is to start in the middle. If you look at the cross photo, you can see that I took the larger pieces and ran then vertically down the wall and then I took the smaller crosses and worked around the larger ones. It might take a little trial and error but any mistakes can be fixed by just filling a hole here and there.

Better Homes and Gardens

So, if you have some beautiful dishes hiding in a drawer, more mirrors than you could possibly need, or a collection of baskets (which we all accumulate!) just try hanging them together on a wall. Sometimes More is More !!!

mirror grouping

Friday, October 19, 2012

Window Shopping

We have been talking a lot about inspiration this past week so I would be remiss in not mentioning one place which incites my creativity like no other. Anthropologie. If you have never been to this retail store or at least never walked in to it, you are missing out. Their stunning award winning window displays are just a peak into what they have in store for you inside. The style of the store is everything from vintage antiques to modern industrial but even if you are not into that you can appreciate their mastery of display, their use of recycled products and repurposing of items. From cardboard animal trophy heads, to paperclip or yarn chandeliers, to polar bears made completely with shredded paper, no item is off limits. It makes me want to save everything. What can I do with these used tomato soup cans or these empty rolls of toilet paper? I think their "elves" could make the Taj Mahal out of those things. I have seen them take plastic water bottles and make them look like a blown glass floral vine reminiscent of Chihuly himself. 

Anthropologie stores are also very adept at creating atmosphere. They do this through their use of  many sources of light, (I love the filament bulbs), their eclectic choice in music, the scent of their always lit candles and their deliberate and effortless mix of textures and colors. They try to hit all of your senses.(except taste that is, maybe they need to start serving cookies or something?) Lord knows they can afford it especially after my shopping trip today! :)

I want some of their "anything goes" philosophy to rub off on me because I can tend to get too structured and they always have a way of throwing whimsical things into their design which is a good thing.

Their wall treatments and storage solutions are always interesting and could easily be transitioned into some ones home.

So next time don't just window shop. Take a look inside and see everything that Anthropologie has to offer. It's not just your ordinary clothing and home decor retail shop. It's a treasure trove of creative and thoughtful designs and ideas just waiting to inspire you.