Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bringing a little Ombre into my life

OK so you may or may not have heard of the Ombre trend that is sweeping the fashion and design world. Basically the word Ombre means - having colors or tones that shade into each other. You have seen this effect in hair and it can go from using natural hair colors like blond to brunette or getting crazy and adding color like red or blue to your locks. For those of you that are fans of the show The Voice (me! me!) you may have noticed Christina Aguilara with some color at the end of her locks in recent episodes.

Photo Source
But this isn't a blog about hair or fashion now is it?! So why am I talking about this? Well - this can be translated into furniture - of course!! Check out these awesome inspiration photos of make-overs using the Ombre look. What a cool idea to paint your exposed radiator in shades of your favorite colors!
via OppsRedone
via Natty by Design
via Frou Frougal
via Cool Cribs
OK so I have had this unpainted dresser for many years I snagged it at The Christmas Tree Shop (an awesome store if you are lucky to have one near by you should check it out). I have taken it to many apartments and moved it around a thousand and fifty times. Here is a rather bad picture of one spot I had it in at one time.

Recently it has resided inside my closet for storage and has been hidden away for the most part. It has remained unpainted as I could never decide what color to paint it! THEN the painting bug hit me and I scored a can of this beauifulness ....
Benjamin Moore - Gypsy Rose

AND well you can just imagine what happened next....

I loved the pink so much I used it as the base of the main dresser and then I did a little mixology for the drawers. I didn't have to prime this piece because it was in a natural wood state. But if you wanted to paint over a finished piece you would need to prime it first. I sanded this one a little bit by hand before I painted it to help the paint stick. But again if you are using a piece that has a finish on it I would recommend more sanding. I used some paint samples of very light pinks that I had on hand, I had purchased when trying to decide my wall color. You can buy these paint samples wherever they sell paint and they are usually about $3 each. I used those and a little white acrylic craft paint for mixing with the new pink paint. I kept the colors I created in small containers with enough paint to do several coats on each drawer. SO I had the darkest and the lightest colors right off the bat - the ones in the middle did get a little tricky. At one point I wondered how I could possible have another shade but some adding of white and pink here and there just seemed to make it happen! Here is the final look - what do you think?

My sidekick Jules left me on my own to paint this one but he was there to check things out in the end.

SO this is not the final resting place for this beauty in my room but simply staged here for your viewing pleasure. You will have to stay tuned for a future post to see what I have in store for this bad boy! I am going to leave you with a before and after side shot and maybe this can inspire you to look around your home and see where you can bring a little Ombre into your life!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rainbow mirror made out of Spoons!

Yes you read that title correct - this rainbow beauty is made completely from plastic spoons! I was feeling crafty one day and I had stumbled upon Addicted 2 Decorating's blog post here that had outlined detailed instructions on how to make this mirror out of plastic spoons. It seemed so easy I couldn't help but give it a try. I decided to make a more colorful version in rainbow colors as I knew this would be a perfect gift for my friend Mary Beth. I  have been helping her redecorate her room (more on that in future posts). She is not afraid of color - AND she just loves rainbows! It seemed like a perfect fit.

I followed the instructions and all seemed to be working well. I did however underestimate the amount of spoons needed. I kept running out of spoons and had to run to the store about 3 times for more spoons! Even as I was almost done I was 4 spoons short! (The Rite Aid near my apartment no longer has plastic spoons in stock.) You are looking at about 350 spoons to make this magic happen.

And of course my little helper Jules found himself in the middle of it all as always...
I spray painted a primer on once I got all the spoons glued and I did hand paint each spoon as the instructions said and it really wasn't that bad, a little time consuming as some of those lighter colors needed two to three coats of paint. And I kept getting the colors on the spoons in front or behind it any one spoon. But in the end I just went back and touched up all the colors so no one is the wiser!

There were a few hitches that I did come across, one was adhering the mirror to the back. The instructions said to use hot glue - and hot glue def. did not keep the mirror on there. So I used some liquid nail glue that I had on hand and that did the trick! But the other fumble came when we needed to hang it on the wall. I should have put hooks or something on the back before the spoons were glued on because this proved challenging once they were all on and painted it didn't exactly sit flat upside down. But Mary Beth and I used some creative approaches and got picture wire wrapped around the frame to hang it from a screw in the wall and put a few screws into the wall for the frame to sit on the bottom and now seems to be sitting pretty!

And here she is - the happy owner of a new mirror made completely from plastic spoons =)

I did buy supplies to make another one - however I will need more spoons!! What colors should I do next?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Legos - Not just for kids

OK so who didn't play with Legos as a kid? Tons of little primary colored blocks spread out all over the living room floor that when joined together created cars, castles, skyscrapers, the possibilities were endless (but confined to the 2, 4, 6, 8 peg squares that you had). Then it seemed that Lego's transformed into fantastic creations that require blueprints to create! Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman - seemed to have taken over the Lego world. Perhaps I come to this conclusion because I have a little brother who would spend hours building things like this!
But now I see that Lego has attempted to corner the girl's market and take a look at this awesome Lego set-up! A design studio! I am kinda in love with this and think that I actually need to have this on the shelf in my office area.

But aside from being a way to occupy kids for hours on end, if you think outside the box - these little building blocks can be used to build grander things! I just came across this amazing image of an entire stairwell built out of Legos! This was built using 20,000 lego blocks!

via Design Taxi
Here is another amazing Lego creation - a Lego Kitchen!! Two Paris designers designers created this masterpiece by covering a basic Ikea island in again over 20,000 Lego pieces.

And here is a board room table built for an ad agency in Dublin - this one took 22,742 Lego pieces. You can check out this cool video the design company put together showing the process of creating this - they speed it up but clearly you can see there was a LOT of time that went into this.
via abcg architecture & design
So as you can see there are some grand things that can be done with those small Lego blocks! But there are also some smaller things that can be done to re-purpose these iconic toys on a smaller yet practical scale.

                                                                    Lego Pencil Case
via BrickPlayer
Tape Dispenser
via instrucables.com
Check out this Ikea Hacker who created a light fixture out of Legos.
via Ikea Hackers
How about Lego Jello Jigglers? Wash out your legos and use them as Jello molds, a great idea for a kids party!
via Totally Kids Times

And if you have put your Lego building days behind you but still want a reminder of the good 'ole times. Here are some Lego inspired (adult?) items that are kinda cool.

Lego Backpack
via GearFuse

Lego Salt & Pepper Shaker (I love these!)
via Amazon

Lego Brick Light
via Perpetual Kid

Lego Wii Remote
via Toys R US
Lego Moleskine Notebooks
via Barnes & Noble
Lego Organizer Cubes (ok maybe these are meant to organize the actual Legos - but these couldn't these be used in an office? or a kitchen to organize other things?)
via Amazon
So have I convinced you that Lego's aren't just for kids? Will you be raiding your kid's Lego collection to create something of your own? Well happy building!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coffee Table - Re-Vamp!

Yay! Project completed! So we have been in need of a coffee table for some time now -and I just haven't been able to find the perfect one - when alas I walked by this bad boy on the street.
OK maybe it's not quite the looker I have been searching for - but I saw potential! I somehow convinced J to let me take it home with promises of a grander finale (he is often skeptical of my "projects" because, well I don't exactly tackle them in a timely manner and they may, once in a while, sit around unfinished for some time =/ ). But it must have been my lucky day - ha! and we carted it the two blocks into our complex and up the elevator into our one bedroom Queens apartment - where I immediately got down to it!

So yes this is my work space - right in the entry way, in front of the kitchen adjacent to the dining table and overlooking the kitty litter. But hey - you gotto do what you gotto do! I sanded the whole thing down using a 60 grit sand paper and an electric sander which, by the way, is an awesome invention and smart investment (only about $30 from Amazon) . Hand sanding that would have been a nightmare. I started with 100 grit sandpaper and that would have taken forever as well, 60 grit  was much better for this project. Now although the sander has a little compartment to catch the dust there was def. sawdust all over the entire apartment - another downfall of the lack of a proper work room. But I just wiped it all up when I was done and no one is the wiser!

So here we are all sanded and looking better already.
And now it was time for the paint. I decided to go with the paint from our walls (mostly because I had just purchased a quart of it to do some touch-ups on the wall (which of course I haven't done yet) and it's a nice light blue that will really freshen up the table! Benjamin Moore Light Blue

My little helper Jules was standing by for assistance. 

I did two coats of the light blue paint on the surface and the legs (going to a yoga class in between coats allowing dry time). Then I contemplated overnight what kind of design to paint on the surface. I toyed with the idea of recreating the pattern on my curtains on a larger scale and perhaps in a one color rendition. Or mimicking the design on my rug both of which seemed to offer obstacles - in the end I decided to go with a classic chevron pattern. And I used the grey paint that I used to paint the doors here. However, J had to help me with this part and lets just say that higher mathematics were def. involved in creating this, it is not as easy as it looks.
We created a 4" grid and drew it with a pencil on the surface and used the grid to set-up the painters tape at the points. It got tricky as to what side of the points to place the tape - but we eventually figured it out and got the whole table taped off.
To get crisp painted lines I used a trick I learned when I tackled this project and the tip came from this post on Centsational Girl. To use the base paint color first along the edges of the tape before you put on the new color. It worked like  a charm!

We finished it off with a coat of polyurethane and I jumped the gun and used a can that I had on hand and half way through the surface of the table I realized that it was oil based! And I have learned (the hard way) and if you read up on it, you will see that oil based polyurethane tends to yellow and really shows up on light colored surfaces! YIKES! But the damage was done and there was no turning back. So we only did one coat and I held my breath for a few days praying to the paint gods for no yellowing. And luckily all is good! BUT if you are to do this at home def. get water based polyurethane. In fact check out this helpful tutorial from Honey & Fitz on creating high gloss finish on furniture

And here it is in place in the living room! What do you think? The person who threw this out would be kicking themselves if they saw it now! ha!