Monday, March 31, 2014

My Upcycled Birchbox

Have you ever subscribed to Birchbox?

Steve got me a subscription for Christmas this year and I've really been enjoying it. Each month a little box of beauty, skin, and lifestyle products arrives at my door.

And each month I empty my products out of the box and always think what a durable little box it is. Well this upcycle challenge really has my wheels turning.

Here is a photo of the Birchbox - I figured I could spruce it up a bit.

And here is the finished product that I'll be using in my room at the Habitat Upcycle Challenge:

I picked up a few pieces of this fun snakeskin-like scrapbook paper at Michael's and wrapped the box up in it. 

It's as easy as that and such a fun new look, don't you think? (HomeGoods each your heart out ;)

Next time you have a small ordinary box on your hands, take a few minutes to make it into something that you'll use and enjoy. I've seen some really fun wrapping paper at HomeGoods recently. Their paper and stationery section is a secret weakness of mine.

PS - This is not a sponsored post. I've enjoyed getting Birchbox each month and just knew I could do something fun with one of the empty boxes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Color Palette for the Upcycle Challenge

I thought I'd give you a preview of where I'm headed with my room in the Upcycle Challenge. Typically I like to start a project by pulling my inspiration color palette first - whether it's a rug, fabric, a favorite piece of art, a photo - anything at all.

And for this project it all started with my first trip to ReStore. I came across this large painting.

It was meant to be. It was bold. It was feminine and I loved how this could set the tone for my room.

After I had found this painting, I was browsing some of my recent magazines and came across this living room designed by Miles Redd featured in House Beautiful February 2014.

Miles, you are the master of the mix. This room really got me - really got me. And thus my vision for my room began to evolve...

A dark moody blue for the walls. Raspberry, emerald, a touch of blush, natural textures, accents of brass and a few fun fabrics later...and here is my color palette for my Moody Vintage Chic office/reading room! 

And here is a close up of some of the elements: colors, fabric, wicker, brass. Love!

And if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you may have seen my sneak peek of the paint going up over the weekend. After testing two different colors, I went with Sherwin Williams 6230 Rainstorm.

Even though we still have touch-ups to do, I was really psyched to see how good it looked. As you can see, the space gets a lot of light in the afternoon which is what I needed to pull off this color in the room.

I went bold and I'm digging it.

Stay tuned to see how the rest of the room takes shape and I hope to share some small craft projects too. The countdown is on until install day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Best Finds at Consignment Stores

I've been craftier in the past few weeks than I have been in a long time. I'm coming up with ways to use simple items in creative ways for my Upcycle Challenge room and it's really been fun. It's a nice change for me. But you know what I realized? I realized that when I go to a thrift store or consignment shop I'm looking for items that don't need to be altered at all. I've got my eye peeled for those items that can carry out my vision for a space.

What I want people to realize is that you can certainly find items while thrifting that are perfect just the way they are and they don't need to be glued, spray painted, or transformed. That's something that I really want to showcase in my room. (That's not to say I won't be spray painting or glueing ;)

I took another drive over to ReStore the other day and I came across this beautifully framed botanical print that will work really well in my room.

I don't need to change a thing - it's beautiful! And it was only $2.00 if you can believe that.

I also turned it over to the other side to see if there were any markings, and I found this stamp. This was custom-framed, and those of you who have had something framed know it ain't cheap at all.

Just these little touches that make thrifting so much fun - you never know what you're going to find.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Upcycle Challenge - Site Visit and Lighting

Hi Everyone!
I got to visit the Habitat Montco house this past Saturday and took some photos of the room I'll be designing. It was hard getting photos of the wall with the windows so you won't see a photo of that (otherwise it would have been just a big bright spot on the screen).

This is the wall to the right as you enter the room. It has the only closet in the room.

Another view of the closet wall...

This is the wall that is immediately to your right when you enter the room which is opposite the windows. The great thing about this house being freshly built is that there are plenty of outlets. Hooray for outlets!

Oh and that string that you see hanging down is to the attic/crawl space. Mmmm...I'll have to get creative with that or just tape it up there somehow. 

And then this is the wall to your immediate left when entering the room which is nice and long.

So you can get the idea - nothing crazy to work with. The room isn't huge but it isn't tiny either which is nice so it gives me some wiggle room.

One thing I do not have a photo of (yet) is the builder grade flush mount light fixture. You know what it looks like (BORING). So as I was out and about today, I scored big time.

I'm really excited about this and did I mention that it was $5.00. Yes, $5.00. Such a great deal, and since it wasn't purchased at Restore, then it will count toward my $500.00 budget but I'm not worried ;)

Other elements are starting to come together and my vision is taking shape. I hope to share more with you soon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Habitat For Humanity Restore Montco Upcycle Challenge

Wow!! I have some really fun news to share with you. I've been selected as one of five participants to take part in our local Habitat for Humanity Restore Montco Upcycle Challenge!

Do you have a Restore near you? Restore sells new and used building materials, supplies, furniture, accessories, you name it! All proceeds from the sale of these items go toward the construction of Habitat for Humanity homes in Montgomery County (where we reside). I've been to our local store a few times and I've always been really impressed by the selection on hand.

So where do I fit into all of this?

Well…a few weeks ago I completed an application and submitted a few photos and today I got word that I had been selected!

The challenge?

After a random drawing, I will be designing Bedroom #3 of a new construction home that is being built locally. I don't need to necessarily design a bedroom. I can create any type of room that I would like for the space. I'll be heading over on Saturday to tour the home and see the room I'll be working on.

The main criteria for the challenge?

- All furniture will be selected by me and borrowed from Restore along with any other items or accessories that I choose from the store.
- Each designer is to keep to a $500.00 budget - yikes! Definitely a challenge but the goal here is to upcycle and use as much as possible from Restore.

For all of my local friends, there will be two home tours open to the public on April 19th and April 26th.  You will be able to vote on your favorite room and all proceeds from the home tours will benefit HFHMC programs in Montgomery County. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 29th. I'd love for you to come visit!


I'm excited - really excited. And I'm even more excited to be able to give back to the community through design. What an honor.

I'm going to be scheming and getting inspired the next few days.

I plan on trying to post updates here on the blog as well, but also be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for even more updates.

Ok I'm off now to brainstorm…:)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our Family Room and Sunroom

Since our home is a constant work in progress, I figured I'd show you our lower level living area since it has gotten bumped up on the project list. Let me explain a little bit...

We live in a split level home, so what we consider to be the family room is the lower level living area. This living area is also adjacent to a sun room that you can see below here. (The sunroom faces the back of the house)

We've talked about a list of things we would eventually change in the sunroom including changing the floors (what you mean you don't like the AstroTurf?), light fixture, layout/function, and window treatments. 

Last summer we put the art table out in the sunroom so that the kids could color and draw and paint and we really didn't care what happened to the floors.

We did end up replacing all of the windows. The photo that you see below is the original windows which we literally couldn't open, which is why we decided to replace them so that it would help with air flow and ventilation. 

A few weeks ago Steve just happened to peek out into the sunroom and noticed about 2-3" of water on the ground which was coming in from underneath the door, which is situated to the left of all of these photos. The snow was melting and the water was draining and just sitting on the patio area that is to the left of the sunroom thus flooding into our sunroom. Awesome.

We moved everything out or up and Steve ripped up the AstroTurf. It actually looks so much better and reminds me how each change really does have such an impact either big or small. Now we won't be leaving the floors like this, but it gets me thinking about what we really do want for this area.

This sunroom is off of the year round family room area.

And this is the pellet stove/wall of brick in our family room. To the left of the stove is an entry area which we use often and to the right of the stove is a small desk area that we have and also where we have a lot of the toys stored.

Projects here include painting the brick, changing the floors, painting the walls, and configuring the layout differently with the purchase of a new sofa, chairs, and coffee table/storage ottoman.

To the far right of the stove is the sliding door to the sunroom, so the ultimate goal is to unite the space and make it feel like one large room. 

This photo below is diagonal from the pellet stove/desk area. This area faces the front of the house and you can see has some better natural light than the other side of the room. The wall that you see below is where our TV resides and needs some major help. 

We want to patch up that awkward open area (can you tell the walls are paneled and not drywall?). It's not horrible but something we've talked about updating. We would like to get a new media console and take advantage of the empty space here for storage.

That's our family room and sunroom in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the tour! We are anxious to get started eventually on this lower level project. I'll try to post updates as things evolve.