Monday, March 29, 2010
Call me crazy but I do not remember Better Homes and Gardens being so absolutely cool. It seems that with every trip to the grocery store or local d-i-y retailer I bring home another glossy. What I started to notice was along with my Elle Decor & House Beautiful a growing collection were printed by Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications:
Ideas for Your Home Remodel, 100 decorating ideas, do it Yourself, Beautiful Homes.
The great things about these reads is they are not intimidating like many other home decor magazines can be. Yes, their room makeovers look gorgeous and perfectly styled but they look like any of us could live there (kids included). And their do it yourself tips and tricks projects are actually really tangible. How great is that! So if you are like me and do not hesitate to push up your sleeves, definitely check out what all of our mothers are probably already reading!
*photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens online downloads
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I am becoming obsessed with the exterior of our house. My plan is to repaint this spring and my mind is overwhelmed with color. My desire is to transform the outside of the house to reflect (or at least reference) what we are creating on the inside of the house. I see pink flowering plants, white shutters and a rich, modern color.
At first I wanted a deep, indigo blue with a wood or white door- I thought it would be a bold, yet darling, statement for the neighborhood. Another option then became charcoal gray with a soft blue door- still bold yet subtler and more romantic. My latest vision is a cross between both colors with a black door. Needless to say the process and possibilities seem endless. Not to mention I will still have to decide on what knobs or levers to use once a color is selected or if I should add a pedant light over the front door for welcoming guests. I have combed countless magazines and paint swatches and have come to realize that although I work with interior spaces an exterior solution is something entirely different.
What I have successfully figured out is there are a multitude of options out there to assist home owners with this decision. Better Homes and Gardens has a remodeling website that offers tips and ideas for exterior renovations including before and after shots for visual aids and most paint companies now offer online color selection software or downloads to help in your decision making process. I would also encourage you to consult a professional painter who is well versed in exteriors (different colors ware better over time or work better with the existing nature surrounding your home) and think about what you want your house to say about you. As for me, I will get back to you this spring.
* photo credit by David Foster
I have to admit that this has been a tough Iowa winter for all of us. I have found myself dreaming of a long overdue vacation to Hawaii. But now spring is starting to peek her head out from behind the frost. Ever so slowly the days are getting longer and the sunshine seems brighter than a month ago. I am feeling the desire to refresh my kitchen cupboards, sweep out the garage and paint my work bench pink. I also love the idea of spring flowers blooming where cold, white snow once laid. It makes me think of vases filled with lilacs and fresh white duvet covers (check out Anthropologie for yummy options or Restoration Hardware if you tend to like things crisper).
Since nothing truly embraces spring for a New Yorker like strolling through the bountiful nature of the New York Botanical Gardens I thought I would share some pictures of their wonderful Crab Apple Trees I found on a recent exploration of their site. If you can't make the trip, check out your local botanical gardens or even visit a local nursery for fresh Spring inspiration... she has almost sprung!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I love to refinish furniture. It is so exciting to bring new life to a piece that has already lived and maybe seen brighter days. My latest project was to turn an ordinary, pine cabinet into something that would provide an exciting pop of color to a wonderfully warm dining room. The opportunities were endless but I decided to go with a rich turquoise blue (inspired from the artwork that hangs directly above it) & oiled bronze hardware. By adding a few additional blue accents and a strong wrought iron chandelier the room became a vibrant spot for entertaining.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Hardware, hardware, hardware! I can't say it enough times how a simple piece of hardware can literally be a quick and easy face-lift for a piece of furniture, door, or cabinet. In today's market it is fairly easy to find interesting hardware at many local, big box, d-i-y stores, flea markets or salvage yards. Knobs, drawer pulls, hooks and hinges are all possible options for a quick swap.
A tip to keep in mind when shopping is to know what style you want to convey with your hardware change. Pick a specific color story or theme to guide your choices and most of all, be open to all of your options. Take paint samples, wood samples or a picture of your piece along with you- lay them out together and see what looks most cohesive when pieced together.
I recently checked out Anthropologie.com and pulled a sampling for you of my favorite things. As I have a long history with Anthropologie, they continue to be my favorite place to shop for gorgeous hardware. Their styles are imaginative, bold, often quirky, timelessly romantic and usually pretty perfect.