DIY

A Perfect Gray Blue

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Do you have a signature color?  The one hue you turn to time and again that brings you happiness, soothes your soul, and brings you constant comfort?   There is such a color in my world, and it is the perfect gray blue.  The color that brings to mind a hazy afternoon in Provence, or a cloudy day on the Côte d’Azur.  (I’m guessing, I’ve never been, but a girl can dream!)  I swear, every time I see a well executed combo of white and dark wood with a beautiful gray blue, I completely melt like buttah!

Whenever I hear designers talk about their perfect ‘gray’ or ‘blue’ I’m all ears, but my personal quest for the perfect gray+blue continues.  It can’t be too blue, or it looks like a baby boy’s pastel nursery.  It can’t be too gray because it will feel lifeless and devoid of color.  Capturing the perfect shade of gray blue is a tricky thing I tell you.  It has to be just right!

Enter this little dresser I found at the local thrift.  Definitely in need of some love, and with such lovely curved drawers, I couldn’t pass it up!  It became the perfect specimen to test yet another shade of gray blue.

Here’s the sweet little dresser ‘Before':

honey dresser before

 

And After:

cg dresser gray blue

 

Here’s the quick play by play on this charming dresser.  It was pretty sad when I found it and had taken some abuse, but at $40, I still couldn’t pass it up.  Perfect shape!  It could have been restained if I had sanded it down, but I decided to paint instead.

 

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Learning to Sew

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I grew up watching my mom and my aunts sew clothing, pillows, and curtains for their homes.  There were no blogs to showcase their work, just their fellow community where they shared their tips and advice.  It was the late seventies, times were tough, money was tight, and the economy was in the you know what.  Ladies all across the nation were trading patterns and ideas, and sewing up a frenzy of home decor on a budget.  Sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?

The very best way to soften a space, to add texture, pattern and personality, is with the use of great fabrics, so I believe one of the best tools for an avid DIYer is a basic sewing machine. You’ll find plenty of tutorials online for ‘no sew’ decor, and they are fantastic, in fact I’ve done several myself.  There are lots of times when fusible web, fabric glue, or safety pins have come to my rescue with a simple hem or a window treatment.  Yay for those solutions!  Yet one thing I’ve learned is that having the ability to work a sewing machine opens up an entirely new world.

Do you ever see a swatch of fabric, be it in the form of a dress, an apron, a napkin, a silk scarf, and you think to yourself, "This would make a great pillow!" or you find a great fabric and think "I want to make curtains out of this."  It happens to me all the time!  You can design an entire space around a single swatch of fabric that inspires, be it a damask, geometric, Ikat or simple stripe pattern, whatever speaks to you.  I am constantly inspired by patterns I find beyond the racks in fabric stores, and I’m a big believer in reinventing them into new things.

For example, take these inexpensive napkins I found in a local kitchen store.  Beautiful robins egg blue background with an apple green botanical pattern.  Love!  In fact, I loved them so much, I turned them into a pillow!

 

napkin turned pillow  

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