“I know you’ve seen them at Pottery Barn, those adorable book shelves that look like ladders, but they are $299 a unit!When I saw this ladder at the Habitat ReStore for $15 I knew it had the potential to fulfill my ladder shelf dreams.
I hauled the old ladder home and transformed it into shelves perfect for my home!
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’:
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.
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!
Memo boards are just one of life’s necessities, at least for me. I have a giant custom memo board that I built earlier this year for the mud room, that one is for all the *stuff* I need to remind myself when I take the kids off to school or head out the door. Mail, Netflix movies, birthday party invitations, coupons, etc.
In my office, I needed something different, something just for me! A spot to post calendars, mementos, postcards, kid art, fabric swatches, photographs, all my little treasures. A place for those nostalgic keepsakes that I want to keep on display, not just to remind me of moments and memories, but also to inspire.
I’ve wanted a gigantic board for awhile now, and preferred the look of fabric over a cork board. I considered building another one with plywood, but didn’t like the idea of how heavy it would be, and I’d have to drive big ol’ nails into my grasscloth wallpaper, no no no thank you! Then I spied a giant 48" x 48" artist canvas for half price at Michaels and decided to use that instead ~ it was lightweight and the perfect size. Unfortunately, an artist canvas doesn’t hold thumbtacks very well on its own, so I decided to reinforce it with some cork roll along the back.
It’s kinda like wallpapering . . . you apply plenty of glue then smooth out the cork roll along the back of the canvas.
Work in sections, moving from top to bottom. To hold the cork down on your glue, grab a bunch of cans of paint and let them sit for about 30 minutes per section.
When your glue is dry, wrap your canvas in your fabric of choice. I like linen, so I went with that, plus in was on the summer sale rack. I also glued on a ribbon border for a little extra detail. As a final step, I hot glued the cork to the wood around the perimeter to secure it to the edges.
Over time, I’ll be adding all sorts of favorite things, both new and old. For now, I’m loving the size and potential. Call it organized chaos, or contained clutter, but personally, I see it as a place to keep everything that’s special to me.
Have you ever made a memo or inspiration board for yourself? Where do you keep all your little reminders of favorite things in life?
|Hi, I'm Kate from Northern California. I'm a bargain hunter, design lover, and incurable DIYer. I'm on a quest for diamond style on a dime, and I'm out to make my world fabulous, for less, one do-it-yourself project at a time. Learn more.|