A Little Workhorse - An Ottoman Roundup

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  This piece of furniture is a major work horse, can be affordably added to any space, and makes a huge difference in the overall look and feel of a space.  I'm talking about the humble ottoman (aka stool or even pouf).

Ottomans are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can invest in for your home.  They can of course be used for over flow seating, or to kick your feet up to relax.  But they can also act as a coffee table, or even paired with a console table for some much needed softening of a space.

I love to think of them as an opportunity to inject a fun trendy style (like you think of pillows).

Most importantly, they are one of the least expensive ways to get some major WOW without breaking the bank or feeling wed to the piece for a lifetime!

Here are just a few of my favorites. 

          Ottoman: Threshold Ottoman - Gray

Orange Linen Stool with Brass Nailheads

When your space feels like it's not quite finished, it may be in need of a pair of ottomans! Enjoy your day. M.

Birmingham Locals:  Not sure if you're having trouble getting back into the swing of things now that school is back in session, but I wanted to share a service with you.  In an effort to make the transition back to school a little easier and to give back to our community, my church is hosting a Meals for Missions fundraiser.  The service is provided on Wednesday evenings.    The proceeds from this fundraiser are used to support our missions work.  The way it works - you can place an order any time before 5:00pm on Tuesday of each week.  Then, you simply run by Covenant Presbyterian Church (they are located across the street from Samford University) and pick up your dinner between 1:00 - 6:00pm on Wednesday.  Just think, it's for a great cause, you get a night off from cooking, and you have a yummy meal for your family!  
To see the upcoming menu and/or order your meal click here.   


What a Ride!

Wow.  I really can't believe how quickly our Summer ended.  It was such a special summer for me.  With my Mom's full recovery from breast cancer and my kids getting older (my son will be driving in February!), we started our summer in a completely different place this year.  It was really one of those sweet moments when you realize how thankful you need to be for your life.  We laughed a lot, ate some yummy summer bounty (learned a few new recipes), hosted a few parties, traveled to some special places, celebrated birthdays, read some very entertaining summer books (i.e., What Alice Forgot), toured a few neat places, rode roller coasters every chance we got, visited with lots of family and friends, stayed up late and slept in until Noon on several days.  Simply put, we had a blast!  Here's a tiny glimpse of our summer (if you're an Instagram follower, you've seen a lot of these!)  

In addition to all this, I took some much needed time to get organized for work.  Over the past couple of years, my interior design work has almost tripled.  I can't begin to tell you how blessed I feel about this!  The design work brings me more joy than I can express -  I'm truly grateful for all the referrals and inquiries.   With all the additional design work, however, it leaves less time for blogging.  So, my goal is to share more meaningful posts with you and use Instagram  and Pinterest for day to day images on projects and inspiration.  If you've not jumped into these other social platforms, I would encourage you to try them out.  There is a world of FREE interior design inspiration out there just waiting to be accessed by you!  Come join me!

With that said, you may find my posts are more sporadic than in the past.  Rather than visiting my blog and not finding any new content, you may want to subscribe to my blog by clicking on the "subscribe" button at the top of my page and entering your email address.  This will allow you to receive an email notifying you any time I've published a new post on the blog.  Here's an easy way to do this. . .

   It's going to be a great year!  I hope you will continue to join my on the adventure!  M.

Signing Off for Summer

I'm taking some time off to recharge, reboot, relax (you fill in the blank).  Time to stop and smell the roses for a bit.  If you would like to check in on my summer and any interior design finds, I will be on Instagram.    
I'll catch you on the other side of summer!  M.

Spring Series - Freshen Up Friday

The Reveal
Today is the final reveal of my daughter's tween room makeover!  I finally took the time to take a few pictures to show you the room in it's entirety.  I also wanted to share a few tips on pulling the room together.  Hopefully these will be helpful when tackling a room in your home.   First, here's the finished room.

The bed in it's new spot with fresh bed linens.  Notice the framed paper on the right to balance the oddly placed window on the left.

Now for the wall opposite the bed.  The dressing table is a family piece, and we really wanted to keep it in the space.  So, to make if feel more fun and unexpected, I paired it with a ghost chair.   The lacquered shelves are from IKEA and they give a modern feel that relates to the ghost chair.  They also bring in more of the teal color my daughter had been craving in the space.

Another trick I really like to use in children's bedrooms is to place any "clutter collectors" on the last wall you see when you enter the room. So, desks, bookshelves, vanity tables, etc. go on the door wall.  Then the bed and the fabrics can be the star of the room.

Here's a closer look of the reading nook we created by the window in the corner.

Lastly, the closet door wall. I have to show you a before to really appreciate the change.  Here's the before.

Now for the "after."  We painted the doors with a teal chalkboard paint. 

She's had a great time with writing only in certain sections of the door.  Also, notice the full length mirror from IKEA.  Hands down, this is the nicest piece I've ever purchased from IKEA.  It is super looking in person - beveled mirror and a silver leaf finish and very heavy - only $99.99.  My plan was to paint it gold, but when I saw it in person I decided to keep the finish.  We also liked how the mirror repeated the silver of the pouf ottoman paired with her upholstered chair. 

So, back to the doors.  It took three coats of paint and was super easy to do.   Thinking we need to work on our spelling a bit!  

This is the view as you enter her room.  The plates were in that same spot in her previous room.  They're the only thing that did not change following the makeover.

The Details
Since we started this project with a few items we needed to keep, fabric selection was tricky.  The drapery panels are a silk stria, fully lined and were expensive.  Also, I wanted to keep the upholstered chair which was very similar in color to the panels.   My daughter did not mind the pink tones but really wanted teal in the space.

So, here's the first trick/tip - Fabric can take you where you want to go!  Anytime you are starting with a few pieces that are dictating some of the color in the space, you need to find one really great new fabric that pulls in lots of other colors (i.e., aqua) while blending with the colors you want to keep in the room.  In our case, it was this very colorful back pillow for the bed. . .  I probably spent more time sourcing this fabric and any other item in the room.  I ordered lots and lots of swatches and we finally settled on this one.

Believer it or not, pinks can be very difficult to match in a room.  Some have cool undertones (a purple/ice pink) while others have warm undertones (think ballerina/peachy pink).  Our pink was a warm toned, so the oranges and yellows really tricked your eye into feeling like everything was selected together. 

Once we found the "tie it all together" fabric, this allowed me to pull in more of the teals/aquas and making these the star color and the pink the secondary color.  Here's another great fabric I found on Spoonflower with lots of colors in my palette.    My daughter did not like this fabric as much as the main fabric, so I used it as a lumbar pillow to break up the pink of the chair in the reading area. 

The bed skirt also gave me a challenge - I really wanted a velvet teal to give us one more color and to repeat the velvet of the chair.  Also, my daughter's bed has a trundle underneath it, so I was dealing with a non-standard height.  So, a ready made bedskirt was not an option.  Well, as luck would have it, I ran into these while on our first trip to IKEA - a pair of teal velvet drapery panels.  They were $69.99 for a pair.  

I took one panel and split it down the middle, finished off the cut side and used bed pins to create a custom length bed skirt.  The velvet was so thick I did not even need to line it. 

These bed pins screw into the top of the box spring and are sandwiched between the box and the mattress to hold them in place.  The other great thing is you can adjust the length of the skirt with these pins. 

I then used the second velvet drapery panel to make the smaller front bed pillow which I added some leftover tape from the drapery panels. 

Speaking of the drapery panels.  Here is the before panels with the traditional tassel trim. 

Now for the after on the drapery panels.  It's amazing how the tape completely transformed them into something more hip and chic. 

Last, but not least, I wanted to mention the duvet cover we added to the end of the bed.  I ran across it just before Christmas on Deny Designs and was totally smitten!  It is a hand dyed duvet cover which was made by an artist.    Around the same time, they had a sale and I jumped online and grabbed it.  I think the watercolor feel of the design adds more of the blending of colors the space needed.  

So, that's how it all came together.  She is thrilled with the transformation and I'm just glad it's finished! Happy weekend. M.

Arc Realty Contributor

I'm very excited about contributing to Arc Realty's new blog series.  I'll be featured on Mondays as "Monday's Musings" and will be sharing lots of tips on staging, and interior design related tips for making your house a home!  Very fun. Click here for more Info.  

Arc is an amazing real estate company here in Birmingham, and they've just launched a brand new website and blog.  So, lots of interesting reads are sure to come from their new blog!  Also, if you are looking for a home in the Birmingham area, their new website is super easy to navigate when doing house searches!  Check it out

Happy Hump Day! M.