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  Despite the outdated cabinetry this looks very cute and welcoming.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

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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  Crowded and with one tiny window;  the clutter and outdated tile seem a bit insurmountable.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?

Liven Up Your Memorial Day Table…Painted Glass Tutorial

Repiny

Repiny

If you’re anything like me you have a dozen or so old flower vases and various glass bottles scattered around the house (mine are crammed under the kitchen sink).  Why not put them to good use and throw together a bright, fun centerpiece to liven up your Memorial Day Table?  Try using red, white and blue paint for a patriotic touch!

Anthropologie…Imitation Is the Best Form of Flattery (And It’s Cheaper)

Anthropologie

Anthropologie

While browsing through the online pages of Anthropologie this past weekend, as usual, I wanted to buy one of everything.  Their Summer Entertaining section is filled with pieces that I would love to have in my own home this season – and for a fraction of the cost I can! If you’re up for a little DIY’ing, so can you.

One of my favorites ~ the Confetti Fete Glasses; $12 a piece.

Anthropologie

Anthropologie

Or, buy a whole set of tumblers for $12 and do this instead!

Savvy Sugar

Savvy Sugar

Savvy Sugar

Savvy Sugar

What You’ll Need:

  • Red, yellow, blue, and white enamel acrylic paint
  • Glass tumblers
  • Paper towel
  • Cotton swabs
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper

Do one color at a time and allow the paint to dry between dot applications.  When the glasses are dry, flip them over on the parchment paper and put them in a cool oven.  Set the temp to 350 and bake for 30 minutes to set the paint.  Let cool one hour before handling.

Block Print Star Napkin Set; $48.

Anthropologie

Anthropologie

Hand-Stamped Napkins via babycenter

Baby Center

Baby Center

You will need:
100 percent cotton napkins (as many as you like)
Iron
Cardboard
Rubber stamp
VersaCraft fabric ink pad
Test fabric

Wash, dry, and iron the napkins, then lay each on a hard surface. Put a piece of cardboard under the napkin to absorb any ink that passes through the fabric.

Lightly tap the stamp on the ink pad and gently press on a piece of fabric to test the impression. Once you’re satisfied with the results, press the inked stamp on the napkin. You may want to create a border or pattern. Re-ink the stamp between every impression.

When all the napkins are stamped, place a piece of fabric between the stamped side of the napkin and the iron, and press both sides of the napkin with a hot iron. Do not use steam or water. The heat will set the ink and prevent fading.

Mason Jar Sippers; $48 set of 12.

Anthropologie

Anthropologie

Daisy Cut Mason Jar Lids;  11 for $0.49 a piece + shipping!!! (follow the link to order)

Candle Soylutions

Candle Soylutions

Grab a cheap pack of mason jars and some fun straws and voila!

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

DIY Decoupage Table

Cool idea for refinishing a table top…easy weekend DIY?

Style & Influence

Re-decorating your flat shouldn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. I hate to spend a lot of money on anything and I don’t think it’s too difficult to spruce things up at home without breaking the bank.

So I have a cheap and cheerful DIY plan to update my little flat over the next year(s). My first project was to decoupage my kitchen table top…

Equipment:

  • Coarse sand paper
  • A selection of imagesPVA glue
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush
  • Tea towel /cloth
  • Scalpel
  • Clear varnish (Matte or Shine)

1. Start by getting your images ready. You can stick with a theme or go completely random. I chose a Japanese print theme.EquipmentTop Tip: If like me you are impatient and you don’t want to spend 6 months collecting enough images to cover your table top. Why not use an out of date calendar? If you don’t have one…

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How to Create an Indoor Flowering Cactus Garden…

 

Obaz

Obaz

Living in an apartment we’re always looking for new ways to bring the outdoors in.  Flowers are great but expensive…enter the indoor desert oasis of the mini cactus garden.  It’s adorable, right?  The textures and colors make this perfect for adding visual interest to the flat lines of your kitchen or bathroom and it’s easy to do.

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

via HGTV

When to Start: Spring

At Its Best: Early Summer

Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • shallow planting bowl
  • pebbles
  • cacti soil
  • sand
  • newspaper
  • spoon
  • heavy-duty gloves
  • watering can
  • miniature cacti; this selection includes: silver torch cactus, Mammillaria, elephant-ear pricklypear and Rebutia

Before You Start

Cacti famously survive on little water, but if you want them to grow and flower they should actually be watered regularly during the growing season. Giving them a thorough watering before planting will help the roots make good contact with the new soil, and they should grow very well.

HGTV

HGTV

Aid Drainage

All cacti hate to sit in water, so make sure it will run freely through the growing medium, and out of the bottom of the pot. The container should have lots of drainage holes, covered by a layer of pebbles, to prevent the soil from clogging up the holes.

HGTV

HGTV

Set Out the Plants

Put on your protective gloves and start arranging your plants. If you have chosen the position for each of your cacti before you start, planting will be easier and you are more likely to end up with a good overall effect. It makes sense to put smaller ones at the front and larger ones at the back, but also consider planting those with different habits, textures and flower color next to each other.

HGTV

HGTV

Planting Tips

Wrap a folded strip of newspaper around the top of the plant. This will help you slide it out of its pot and maneuver it into the larger planter without getting spines or fine hairs in your fingers. It also protects the plant.

HGTV

HGTV

Fill in the Gaps

Once the plants are in position, use a spoon to carefully fill the gaps between them with a cacti soil. Add small amounts of soil at a time and keep firming it down with the back of a spoon to ensure that there are no air holes left around the plant roots.

HGTV

HGTV

Brush Off Soil

No matter how careful you are, some soil will inevitably get caught in the cactus spines and hairs. Use a soft brush to remove it and to keep the plants looking clean and neat.

HGTV

HGTV

Water the Plants

Water all the plants in well. In summer, they can be watered whenever the surface of the soil dries out. In winter, they should be left dry; start watering again sparingly when you see signs of growth in spring.

HGTV

HGTV

Apply a Sand Mulch

Use the spoon to spread fine sand around the surface of the planter. This helps water quickly drain away from the surface, preventing rot, and gives the planter an authentic desertlike appearance. Set your arrangement in a bright, sunny position.

HGTV

HGTV

Top Tip: Watering Crowded Pots

Cacti are often sold when the plants are almost overflowing the sides of their pots, making it tricky to water them properly before planting. Sit these in a container of water until the root ball is damp.

HGTV

HGTV