Transforming Mini Blinds into Chic Roman Shades…Weekend DIY

 

The Happiness of Living

The Happiness of Living

Window treatments can totally update the look and feel of a room but they can be so expensive!  Thanks to The Little Green Notebook that’s not a problem anymore.  Take your old, unflattering white blinds and use the bones of the slats and pull string to create custom roman shades – with no sewing at all!!!

via The Little Green Notebook

Supplies–
Tape measure
Scissors
Fabritac (or comparable fabric glue – NOT HOT GLUE!)
Mini blinds (like the $3 Target mini blinds)
Fabric (yardage depends on the size of your window)
Trim (optional)

1. Measure you windows carefully. Then do some math and figure out how many folds you want in your shade. I like the look of a fold every 9 inches, which meant I only needed 6 slats for my small windows.

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

2. Let out the blinds all the way, making them the longest they can be. Carefully cut away all of the thin tilting/ladder-like strings, being very careful not to cut the thicker lift cord. I simply ran my scissors along the top of the slats, cutting away the tilt strings and avoiding the lift string altogether.
3. Take out the plastic plugs from the bottom of the miniblinds and remove and put aside the thick bottom slat piece (you’ll need this later). Then simply pull off most of the slats, while leaving the few you’ll need for the folds of the shade. Like I mentioned before, I only needed six slats for my shade.

Little Green Notebook

4. Make sure the blinds are still let out all the way. Measure carefully and reinstall the thick bottom slat so that the length of your window and the full length of the shade are roughly the same. I decided to make my shade about 1″ longer than my window measurement. Just to make sure it would be long enough.

Trim the extra cord away off the bottom.

Now cut out your fabric, using the shade skeleton as your pattern and leaving a 2.5 inch (or so) border on all sides.

5. Congrats! You’re done with the hard part! You should have something that looks like this:

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

It’s time to start gluing.

6. Start with the top of the shade. Fold over and glue the fabric together to make a clean edge and glue that to the front of the big top rail mount. **NOTE: Do not glue the folded hem to the very ends of the rail mount. You need to be able to slip the rail into the wall-mounted brackets, so the fabric needs to stay unglued on the very ends.

7. Measure 9″ (or your preferred fold length) from the top of the rail. Adjust and glue a slat into place. Continue all the way down, gluing the slats to the fabric. I glued the rounded, convex side of the slat to the fabric so there was more slat-to-fabric contact. Make sure not to glue the lift cord to the slats or the fabric.

8. Glue, turn in and glue again the three other sides of the shade to finish off all the edges. Let it all dry.

9. (Optional) Glue on some trim to the bottom slat. I picked up some super, super tiny ball trim at JoAnn’s for less than $1 a yard. (only needed one yard)

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

10. Hang up the shades just like hanging up mini blinds. The cord still functions the same way and, as long as you didn’t glue the lift cord to your slats or fabric, the shade should lift and fold beautifully.

 

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Affordable Updates for a Classic Kitchen…

SF Girl By Bay

SF Girl By Bay

I love the look of shiny granite counter tops and big stainless steel appliances but that’s not the only way to showcase a lovely kitchen.  If you’re in a position where remodeling doesn’t fall within your budget, consider some bright paint colors and imaginative storage and display options to revamp a retro, classic kitchen…it can be just as quaint for a fraction of the cost.

Fluxi ion Tour

Fluxi ion Tour

Look for modern signature pieces – a bold lampshade or pendant light, a contemporary piece  of art, bright dishes in interesting hues or clever decals like the LOVE emblem above.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

This is clearly an older kitchen, but the bright tea cups and bold color choice in shelving make that an afterthought.  Despite the outdated cabinetry this looks very cute and welcoming.

Feita De Detalhes

Feita De Detalhes

Love the bursts of colors here against white board paneling.  Using light blues throughout pull in the dated tile and make it feel purposeful and unique.

Daily Dream Decor

Daily Dream Decor

An apartment kitchen can be small and boring but this one is so colorful and visually interesting that the plain white cabinets fade completely into the background.  Notice the bursts of yellow that keep things light and help pull everything together.

Here are a few more beautifully classic kitchens updated with charm…

Follow Pics

Follow Pics

We Heart It

We Heart It

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

Easy Bathroom Makeovers…Before and After Pictures

Decorology

Decorology

Happy Sunday!  Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed and into the bathroom, looked around and decided it was time to do some sprucing up.  In my search for inspiration, I came across an article from Better Homes and Gardens that I had to share in case you were in your bathroom this weekend thinking the same thing!  I love these ideas because they’re cheap, practical and can be knocked out in just a couple of days.  You won’t believe the transformations…

BEFORE

BHG

BHG

I lived in Philadelphia for a few years and this reminds me of every row home bathroom I was ever in.  Crowded and with one tiny window;  the clutter and outdated tile seem a bit insurmountable.

AFTER

BHG

BHG

Amazing!  A few easy updates like paint and well-chosen accessories is all it took to turn this bathroom around.  The sandy color of the tile inspired a beach theme, brought to life by  the soft blues and greens of a new shower curtain and linens.  The clutter was moved out and replaced by a wooden coat rack (great idea!) – trendy and perfect for storing shower accessories, robes and towels.

BEFORE

BHG

BHG

The strip light fixtures and tile vanity really date this bathroom – strip lighting above the mirror is pretty standard in most homes today and can give off a really cookie cutter look.

AFTER

BHG

BHG

Paint!  It changes everything…the vanity was painted a bright white to appear more like a dresser than a standard piece of bathroom furniture.  The sink fixtures and counter top were changed out but the floor tiles were left as is.  Wall sconces and a new medicine cabinet finish off the look.

BEFORE

BHG

BHG

The monochromatic tiles running from the floors to the walls make this small bathroom feel cramped and dated – and the sink is too large for the 7 x 7.5 foot space.

AFTER

101309959.jpg.rendition.largest

BHG

It’s hard to believe this is the same bathroom!  A pedestal sink opens up floor space and solid-surfacing panels made to look like bead board wainscoting give the walls a fresh farmhouse look.  Yellow accents and a new medicine cabinet pull it all together.  The use of shelving to add more storage space is genius.

Have you done any bathroom updating lately?  Any tips for getting a great look on a budget?

Sea Glass Inspired Decor…Bringing the Beach Indoors

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

Close your eyes and picture the ocean – the roar of the waves, the warm sand on your feet – the call of the sea gulls and the sun on your skin.  When I saw this collection in Better Homes and Gardens that scene is the first thing that came to mind.  The colors are so soft and distinctively nautical; I can almost smell the salt water.  Honestly, it makes me want to redecorate my whole home into a beach bungalow.  If you feel the same way, here are some more sea glass inspired decor ideas to help you bring the beach to life in your home this season.

Pop Sugar

Pop Sugar

I love the drift wood and sea glass wall hanging.  If you’re one of those people who like to scour the sand for shells and glass this would be a great project to display what you find this Summer.

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

Delight By Design

Delight By Design

Weathered white or gray is a perfect backdrop for a sea glass or nautical theme because it mimics the sun bleached, salt water worn wood found along the ocean front.  Also, whites and pale grays will let the cool blue and greens of the sea glass take center stage.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Esty

Esty

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

Houzz

Houzz

The paint color on these walls is Sea Salt by Benjamin Moore.  The blue/green is so subtle and beautifully beachy; if you’re considering doing a  beach themed room this would be an excellent place to start.  Continue with colors that reflect the overall picture of an ocean scene in your mind – white couch for the white clouds, soft khaki’s and browns for the sand – if possible, find a rug that helps pull it all together.

BrightNest

BrightNest

Sea Shell; Supply / Esty

Sea Shell; Supply / Esty

Cottage Home

Cottage Home

Esty

To break up the monotony of the pale blues and greens of an ocean theme try adding in touches of coral, peaches and pinks.  In small doses they’re a lovely compliment to the cool pastels of the Summer season.

The Art of Picture Placement…

Decor Pad

Decor Pad

My idea of picture placement is holding a frame or frames up to the wall, guesstimating where they should go and then hammering in a series of nails (it should really be only one or two nails per picture but I have yet to convince myself that closing one eye and squinting is not a replacement for a level and a template).  I’m trying to work on this.  I created a post a few months ago full of photo gallery wall templates and in an attempt to hone my skills I gave one a shot on the wall above my bed.  Here is the before and after…

Reclaiming Your Castle

Reclaiming Your Castle

Reclaiming Your Castle

Reclaiming Your Castle

I love the results but the series of templates I came across today are the best yet – they give you the placement and the frame sizes you need to create a beautiful gallery wall.  I’m almost inspired to start on another picture project!  Check them out and see if they can help you master the art of picture placement.

Adorable Decor

Adorable Decor

8 Steps to the Perfect Table Setting…Elle Decor and Nate Berkus

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

There are plenty of posts out there on how to set a table for a get together or dinner party but I love this one by Nate Berkus for Elle Decor because it’s so simple.  The table is worn and the centerpiece is made up of things you have lying around the house.  After all, it’s not about what you have, right…it’s how you put it together! 

If you’re hosting a Mother’s Day brunch or dinner over the weekend this might come in handy.

STEP #1.  START WITH A BLANK SLATE

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

You should be inspired already; chances are you’re starting out with a table that looks better than this ; )

STEP #2.  GET YOURSELF A TABLECLOTH

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

I tend to gravitate towards bright colorful tablecloths, especially this time of year.  If you start with a simple pattern like stripes though, or one with a neutral base, it’s easier to build on.  Berkus suggests customizing your linen – find a fabric you like and hem the edges or have someone like your local dry cleaner do it for you.

STEP #3.  ADD A BIT OF CONTRAST WITH A TABLE RUNNER

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

This is where a good eye comes in handy.  Find something that matches but doesn’t?  I think that’s the idea.  Look for hints of color that will continue throughout the rest of the setting in dishware and in the main centerpiece.

STEP #4.  GET THAT CENTERPIECE GOING

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Grab things from around your house – pretty serving trays, vases and glassware with varying heights.  Nate’s rule: keep it low.  Too much height and people have to stand up to talk to each other across the table; not good. 

STEP #5.  PUT TOGETHER THE FIRST PLACE SETTING

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

When creating the place settings, Berkus suggests that you use one classic piece paired with an unexpected one…interesting.  Here he used a classic plate with gold flatware for a touch of glamour. 

STEP #6.  MIX THINGS UP

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Let lose a little; your plates don’t have to match as long as they stay within the same color palette.  If you’re a thrifter like I am this is a great excuse to sort through some of those donated dishes and come up with a really eclectic mix of styles and sizes.  Add a pretty napkin to introduce a new pop of color.

STEP #7.  FLOWER POWER

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Here Nate suggests keeping it simple.  Instead of a mixed bouquet of flowers, try staying monochromatic and sticking with a single flower species.  Use three to five vases to create height and movement.

STEP #8.  ADD LAYERS OF GLASSWARE

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Use wine and water glasses in metallic or clear glass – those beautiful little gold ones are by Jayson Home and I love them.  What a pretty detail to add to the table, right?

So, are you inspired to start setting your table?!?

Design Inspiration…Robyn Glaser and Emily Henderson

Robyn Glaser

Robyn Glaser

Design Milk asked Emily Henderson, HGTV designer and host of Secrets from a Stylist, to share 5 of her favorite things.  She’s on of my favorite designers and it turns out that one of her favorites is prop stylist, Robyn Glaser.

Robyn Glaser

Robyn Glaser

Have you ever found yourself flipping through a magazine and being drawn in by the set design and add concept as much as the merchandise being featured?  Well, that’s Robyn and her clients include Anthropologie, Target, Tiffany’s, Harper’s Baazar, New York Magazine, Neiman Marcus and Urban Outfitters to name a few.  On top of that she also does cook books and food editorials including Bon Appetit and Food Network Magazine.

Robyn Glaser

Robyn Glaser

Robyn Glaser

Robyn Glaser

Looking at her portfolio reminds me that there’s an art in putting things together – but what strikes me the most in her set design is the casual way that life is represented.  A crowded dining table, a messy couch, an ordinary dining room with extraordinary color.  It’s life – the beauty is in how you look at it.

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Robyn Glaser

Which brings me back to Emily Henderson and why she’s always been one of my favorites.  Whether it’s a $5,000 couch or a thrift store save, Emily brings it all together in a beautifully livable way.  Style should be relatable and comfortable and both of these women do a really good job representing it that way.

One Kings Lane / Emily Henderson

One Kings Lane / Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson

So, where do you get your inspiration from?  Do you have a favorite designer or magazine that inspires the look of your home?