Works in Progress

Tailored Touches to the Master

Monday, February 24th, 2014

One of the biggest luxuries for Matt and me is sleeping past 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. Monday through Saturday it’s go-go-go but Sundays we delight in those extra minutes of repose. In the baby years the idea of both of us sleeping in was completely unheard of, it was always a crying baby or eager toddler or bouncing adolescent demanding what they needed immediately at that moment no time to wait or “waaaaaah”, and so like most parents we had to take turns. Now we don’t have to anymore and we love it. Parents of youngsters know this, it will happen someday for you too.

Our kids, now 8 and 10, totally get that Mom and Dad do NOT want to be disturbed until the clock ticks past 8 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Which means fetch your own bowl of cereal. And which means we’re always late getting to church (yes, we are that family) but it’s a luxury we won’t deny ourselves even with the daylight is streaming through the windows reminding us that life’s obligations await.

lamp and flowers on nightstand

Last Friday I took a trip to HomeGoods in search of a new set of plain white sheets, nothing fancy, I found a set by Ralph Lauren, brought them home washed them and made the bed with them. Perfect.

I also visited HG at the chance I might find a patterned quilt or a pair of lamps to upgrade what we have in our master bedroom. As we all know, HomeGoods is a dangerous place for a decorating obsessed but on a budget place for a gal to be. I left with a few lamps to try out.

home goods lamps

The first crystal lamp was too traditional and I didn’t care for the shape and it weighed 4,567,895 pounds. I knew if a bouncing kid or a clumsy me knocked it over someone might die, or be knocked out cold. The blingy mercury glass jug on the right was nice but too shimmery next to the other accessories and took up too much space and I didn’t like the cord coming out of the top or the cork peeping out (which could of course be painted) but they were both not quite right so they were both returned.

Then I passed by my daughter’s room like I do every day and saw her pale jade Target lamp and said to myself, “what if…”  and so I tried out her Target lamp on my nightstand and of course, of course her lamp was exactly what I was looking for. 

bedside lamp

 

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Vinyl vs. Laminate Plank Flooring

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

My friends, I am up to my ears in plank flooring samples and could use some insight. We want to replace the stained Berber carpet in our studio above the garage and we’re finally ready to tackle replacing the flooring.

Originally, I thought we’d go with hardwood or engineered wood but the more we thought about it, we decided to go with a laminate or vinyl plank flooring. It’s a small studio, not used for anything other than extra storage and styling right now, but it will be occupied by a tenant in the future so we need durable good looking flooring in the bedroom/living area that flows into the kitchen (seen here), and potentially the bathroom (seen here) and a product that won’t break the bank.

I’m drawn to the weathered plank look in grayer tones, and the ones that look and feel more like wood are favored.

vinyl and laminate options

I’m really so surprised how far laminate and vinyl products have come in the past few years! So many of these really do look and feel like wood but bonus for those of us on a budget, they lack that higher price tag. Prices range from $1.50 for more basic products to $4.50 a square foot for more luxury products. We prefer to keep the price as low as possible, don’t we all :)

Thankfully these samples are all the easy click/lock together styles so the replacement doesn’t require professional installation and is simple enough for us (or any DIYer) to tackle. We will have to remove existing baseboards but it’s all very doable with an underlayment and the right supplies.

I like the feel of the laminate options, the samples I have are textured and feel more authentic given they’re a faux wood plank product. The boards are longer, the install is simple, but the price point is a little higher.

laminate flooring options

Then there are vinyl plank products, waterproof instead of water resistant so great for kitchens and bathrooms, but some of the cheaper ones are thin, lack warmth, and feel more like plastic to the touch. Will these vinyl options hold up better than the laminate?

vinyl flooring options

I’d love commentary from those of you who have installed and lived with either laminate or vinyl plank wood lookalike flooring.

How durable are yours? Are you satisfied with the look after living with the floors for a period of time? If they are laminate, how are they handling water in wet areas such as the bathroom or kitchen? Did you order from a local merchant or from an online source? Is there a brand of laminate or vinyl plank flooring or company you recommend? .

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Duvet to Window Panels

Monday, July 29th, 2013

A week ago, I spent some time working on my friend’s in progress dining room, the same one where we installed the tongue & groove wall treatment a month ago. It started with a shopping trip to World Market last week where I discovered the Sonoma Floral Ikat Duvet and thought, oh hello gorgeous fabric, you’d be perfect as curtains in the space!

I’ve always believed a fantastic fabric can be a jumping off point for an entire room’s design, so this duvet has been reinvented into window panels to do just that.

duvet to window panels

World Market has a similar window panel but the background is brown. I loved the smoky gray background on this duvet with its touches of plum, cranberry, and mustard yellow – perfect for this dining room we’re filling with mixed wood finishes, warm metallics, and more plum accents.

A duvet is 88 inches wide so you get extra fullness compared to most conventional fabrics by the yard. To line the backs of the new panels I used two flat cotton sheets from Walmart for $11 each – less expensive than two lengths of liner per panel and the exact same width as the duvet.

sheets as liners

With this project, your only limitation is height. This duvet was 92” long, but I did add 2 ½ inches to the top and bottom with a plum linen border fabric so the panels ended up at 97” in height. Here’s the step-by-step for turning a duvet into window panels!

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