Monday, November 18, 2013

Store My Stuff

 OK, I was as guilty as everyone else. I have studied Feng Shui, Room Organization, Interior Decorating and I still have had storage issues. It didn't help that I live in a 1955 starter Ranch home (read tiny) but on the plus side I do have a basement and double car garage with a full attic above.  Even with those advantages I have still struggled with the storage challenge.

So one day I chucked the stuff! What was too valuable or too sentimental, I found ways to put them away. I found furniture with dual purpose and stick to the 1 thing in-1 thing out rule. So what is dual purposed furniture you ask? Well, simply put, it's a piece that has more than 1 purpose.  Websites are full of store bought solutions but check this out:

Suitcase end table

Hello, I have had end tables I could've cut the top off and plunked a suitcase on the frame! So cute painted in pink with a rope or fabric welt around the bottom. 

Here's another:

Bureau child's closet

Well this is just genius! Use a tall bureau to make a child-height closet and then use the regular closet for storage. I'm liking this idea a lot, it frees up space and allows a small person to learn to hang up their own stuff. 

Here's a brilliant one: 

Suitcase vanity table

This is a variation of the end table example above. A frame with tall legs, suitcase with a mirror glued inside, voila! Teen vanity/make up center with storage! I think this would be cute with a skirt around it too. 

Here's one most of us could use:

Bureau computer storage

This would take a bit more expertise in the DIY department, but totally do-able. I would love to use this idea in a client's small home without a designated office. I have seen pictures of a blanket chest outfitted as a file cabinet. Use both of the ideas and have a home office that can be hidden away, ingenious! 

Speaking of hidden away:

Armoire sewing center

This is a great idea as well. I can see this not only as a sewing center, but a home-office-in-a-cabinet or a study center in a living room area or bedroom.

Have extra luggage and want to utilize them neatly? Here is a cool vintage look:

Luggage drawers

Can't say I have ever come across anyone with so many extra pieces of luggage but this could work with new pieces too. Pop off the tops and slide them into simply made bookcases for a fresh look on storage drawers. 

Next is a really practical use for those '70's side boards/buffets. I'm loving this more than some of the TV stands currently on the market:

Credenza turned TV table

Take out the drawers, put in wood shelves to hold the electronics and it is a great way to recycle a piece that would end up in the garage or landfill. 

Have a primitive piece you would love to re-purpose? Look at this lovely example:

Armoire ovens

 Here in New England, just about every house with age has an armoire or large cabinet somewhere in the barn, basement or mudroom that can be used in a kitchen remodel. Looks great and preserves a nice piece for future generations. 

Here's another suitcase table:

Suitcase coffee table

This is a lovely shabby chic look. I think I would put rolling casters on the bottom and it could be that game table with storage you are looking for in the living room. 

Another piece  you may want to add back to the living room: 

End table face lift
I can't tell you how many of these I have seen at the landfill, in garages and generally kicked around. Some of them were actually expensive pieces of furniture in their day, but who wants that retro '70's look when you're not going for it? But re-painted in a trendy color, it looks oh-so current and fresh. 

Need extra seating and storage? Well check this out…..

Bureau window seat

That looks as if it is a bureau or a side board with the legs cut off and a custom pad made for the top. Extra window seating and storage in the process, re-purposing to the highest level! 

But next is the ultimate:

Armoire craft center

I can't tell you how many clients are trying to dump, pawn off, get rid of those TV armoires. This is a genius idea! Turned into a craft/gift wrapping/scrapbooking center. I wish I had one of these in the past!

Let's not forget the 4 legged family members. Their stuff is all over the place. Below are the best of what I've seen to rein in the accessories:

Console TV dog bed

Monitor cat bed

End table dog bed

And finally, my absolute favorite, I already have the bureau picked out for this baby:

Ultimate litter box center

Litter box hidden away and storage in the top drawer…. swoon! I'll let you know how it turns out.

All these pictures were on Pinterest and there are tons more. I culled it down to the few here, but you could spend hours looking at them. Let me know about you're special project, or drop a comment if you need help!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well Done Bohemian

I follow about 300 design and design oriented blogs. To be honest, I scan a lot of the content until the accompanying pix jump out at me. Then I read the blog. This is what happened with the post from Design Manifest. From the first pic, I noticed this is not an ordinary room touted as a bachelor pad for a father and 2 sons.

Lovely designed pad via Design Manifest

This is a really well done Bohemian room of wonderful design, very do-able and livable for the first time or more low key Boho enthusiast. The starkness of the white walls in this picture is what first captured my attention. As you know in most Bohemian design color is everywhere, fans of the gendre tend to use it with abandon.

Another view of the lovely room

In these shots of the room design you can see how the rug is the color punch followed up by the throw cushions on the neutral furniture. I love how the designer used a large sisal area rug and added a beautiful Turkish carpet that would have looked lost without the support. The artwork on the walls is all vintage looking and adds a touch of metallic with the antique gold frames.

Yet another view of loveliness 

A simple shade on the window allow the rug, textiles and artwork in the room to make the statement without adding additional bulk and pattern. I approve of how all the furniture is raised on legs to let the whole arrangement breathe. Further breathing room is created using a clear glass lamp with a beautifully patterned shade.

Good use of natural elements

The use of driftwood as a side table is a wonderful way to add the natural element to a Boho room without resorting to the ubiquitous sheep skin thrown on the furniture or floor. The accessories are all understated on the tables. This is a good plan for anyone renting a home or apartment and loves Bohemian design. The only color is the easily changed out rug, artwork and cushions. Or so you would think…...

Amazing black wall

Pow! Black wall on the other side of the room. Amazing how the black is acting as a neutral and is easily blended into the rest of the design. The dark wall makes the Eames chair recede into the corner and the artwork above the fireplace literally jumps out at you. Did you even notice the television? Don't be scared by the use of a full wall of black. This room would certainly still work with neutral walls.

Please visit the link to the blog to see even more pictures of this re-do, it was for a for an online design challenge. This is one room I really enjoyed looking at and will recommend some of the elements to my Boho shy clients that think the decor is too un-livable in real life!

Please leave a comment if you like the blog and let me know if you'd like to see anything in particular in future posts!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bohemian Bath Re-do

Cute sign source

I was thumbing through design books in my library, as you do, when I hit upon a book I loved and had forgotten. It's titled The Paris Apartment by Claudia Strasser. She has a blog by the same name as well.

My new old favorite book

So anyway, I re-acquainted myself with the photos inside and voila, re-discovered the most unusual Bohemian bathroom I think I have ever seen in my life:

Awesome bath design via The Paris Apartment

You'll have to excuse the picture of a picture, I can't believe that no one had uploaded it as of yet. It is page 52 in her book and I am still speechless looking at it! Here is a close up of the tub from page 57:

Be-jeweled bathtub via The Paris Apartment

OK, maybe it's not the most practical of designs for maintenance, y
ou'd have to be really careful to get between the stones when cleaning but they were installed with waterproof epoxy so they're sturdy enough to use a toothbrush. It is wonderfully dramatic, I would do it in a heartbeat!  

I love the wall stencils around the ceiling and bordering the walls. That alone is enough to evoke an under-the-sea feeling in this frothy bathroom. So how to get that look? First, I would use a soft watery color for wall paint. 

Sea tones source

If you have the time to let it dry properly, use an oil based paint, but I find today's self-priming water-based, easy-to-clean eggshells work very well in the bathroom. Never use flat in the bathroom, it is hard to clean and will stain with all the moisture. Next, stencil an Aegean sea motif border. Stenciling is really hot right now with loads of online choices. I like this pattern:   

Aegean wave patterned stencil source

The original design was executed in black, but I would be open to using navy, dark teal or a dark gray. You could just as easily cut a simple wave patterned stencil from poster board. 

A canopy was installed over the tub in canvas, painted in large black stripes to mimic a beach cabana. I would probably recommend using a ceiling mounted valance around the tub, less moisture issues. They used a 1940's perfume bottle patterned shower curtain, tied back with a satin sash. Loads of new sea inspired curtains are out there. Check out this beauty to use with the color choice:

Shower curtain source

BTW, this company sourced above has a black and white wide striped shower curtain, just saying' you don't need to re-invent the wheel….... 
Using velcro, the skirt was mounted to the sink and tied up in the center with a turquoise bow. A flea market decoupaged trash can under the sink and metal 1960's shelves were hung on the walls for towels. Soaps, candles and accessories sprinkled around adds to the underwater girly-glam feel. Fairy lights around the mirror, silver vessels for wash cloths around the tub and this is one sweet bathroom. Now what about that tub????

Glass gem source

I found an online source for glass gems used in mosaics, click on the link to see the color selection. I would like choices of several different sizes, but if all you could find was one size, the color mix up would be the most important thing here. I also would try floral suppliers, the flat backed gems are used as vase fillers.

Wow, I need this bathroom re-do is all I can say! Are you going to do it? Let me know if you do, sent some pix as well!