Kathi's Perfect Greige Dining Room

Today's featured design project is one of two rooms we designed for Kathi through our affordable online design service (psst...we are now open for new projects, click here for more info).  We had the privilege of working in Kathi's Dining Room and Living Room. Today, I'd like to share the plan we created for the Dining Room. 

Our goal in this project was to give her a custom design that was high in style, but most importantly we wanted to create a design that would make the most of the gorgeous architectural details featured throughout her home. 

Above is the true to scale floor plan illustration we provided to show Kathi where all the elements in the space should be placed. We started her design by selecting a new area rug. This luxurious tone-on-tone rug features shades of gray and greige. The variation in color within this rugs makes it a great choice for a dining room as it will mask any possible spills or stains. 

Kathy's dining room has been freshly painted in a beautiful neutral color that compliments this design plan well. Therefore, we recommended that she leave the current paint color. For a little interest and depth, we suggested that she paint just the back wall (that happens to feature beautiful custom built in shelves) a medium greige like "Perfect Greige" by Sherwin Williams. 

For a touch of bling, we added these amazing, large-scale, metal art pieces to the long wall adjacent to the dining table. By stacking these two pieces, it will draw the eye up and fill the large wall nicely. The antiqued gold leaf finish featured on these pieces is absolutely beautiful and adds a touch of formality to the space. 

On the opposite wall, we chose to feature another luxurious element, a gallery of stunning gray linen and silver picture frames. Inside the frames, Kathi's favorite family photos or art prints can be displayed to personalize the space and make this room unique to Kathi and her family. 

I mentioned earlier that this room features gorgeous, custom, built-in shelves. Our recommendation for styling was to fill them with beautiful ivory porcelain and antique silver serving pieces. The darker "Perfect Greige" accent paint that we added to this feature wall will really highlight a collection like this. Not to mention, these pieces will come in handy for entertaining. 

In addition to looking great in the shelves, light colored porcelain and silver serving pieces will look amazing on Kathi's existing dark brown dining table. The rich finish of her dining table provides contrast to the soft colors used throughout this design and grounds the room perfectly.  To highlight the table, we suggested that she update her existing dining chairs by having them reupholstered in this gorgeous ikat fabric...

The design elements shared in this post are just part of the complete design plan we delivered to help Kathi create a beautiful dining room. Product sources for the items featured in this post are provided below. Stay tuned, later this week I'll be sharing the custom design plan we created for Kathi's Living Room. 

I'm now open for new projects through my affordable online design service. If you have a room in your home that needs a little love, please click here to learn more about this affordable design service and how it can help you create the space you've been longing for. 

Product Source List

Jane's "Updated-Cottage" Style Family Room

We have been very busy in the design studio and I can't wait to share all the projects we've been working on. Today's featured design is an online design plan we recently created for Jane's Living Room. Our goal in this project was to give her an updated family room that is high in style yet comfortable. This design has an updated-cottage flavor that is both casual and streamlined creating a comfortable, clean, timeless space Jane and her guests will enjoy. 

Here is the true to scale floor plan illustration we provided to show Jane where to place each item in her design plan...

 This large painted bookcase was selected to ground the large wall in the back of the space. We recommended that she style this piece by mixing everyday items with decorative accessories in an organized fashion.  Books, frames, greens and decorative objects were chosen to fill the shelves and provide an eye-catching focal point in the space. We also suggested adding baskets to provide storage for not so attractive items. 

We selected neutral upholstery. By keeping the fabrics neutral, she can add pops of color, changing it up with the seasons. The rounded arms and sleek base of the sofa we chose have an "updated-cottage" flavor, which is perfect for Jane's home. The striped upholstery fabric we chose for the accent chairs provides pattern and interest.

The tables we selected for the space are amazing. Both the cocktail table and end table are from Ballard Designs.  
The combination of wood and iron give them a chic rustic feel and adds to the cottage charm of the room.

We added fun pops of green and blue with beautiful pillows and accessories. 

The artwork we selected also brings color to the space as well as a touch of nature. This bright and cheerful collage of four framed prints is perfect for the area over the chair in the reading corner. Another art selection we made was this large scale, sculptural tree art. Wood planking on the back of this piece provides gorgeous texture and interest. 


The items shown in this post are just some of the elements we selected for Jane's custom design plan. 
In addition to these suggestions, we also provided her with recommendations for paint color, window treatments, lighting, additional furnishings and accessories. 

I'll be back later this week with a peek at some of the other design projects we've been busy working on. Until then, happy decorating! 

DIY Paver Planter

Recently I announced my partnership with The Home Depot for the 2015 Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops Program. Today, I'm sharing the first DIH project I will be demonstrating live at 6:30pm this Thursday at The Home Depot in Orion Township Michigan Click Here To Register.  During this free workshop Home Depot professionals will show you the steps required to make a Planter Box out of simple materials using easy to operate power tools. I will be there to co-host, share ideas on how to put your own twist on the project and show off my version of the Paver Planter. (If you are not local, no worries. You can attend your local Home Depot workshop instead).

Here is a sneak peek of my customized version of the DIH Paver Planter…

To make my planter I followed The Home Depot's Paver Planter instructions, but I made a few tweaks to customize the look.

Before I show you how I made my version, let me introduce you to The Home Depot's version and show you how to make it…

Tools you will need:
A circular saw
A power drill and bits
A caulking gun
Utility knife
Sand paper block
A paintbrush 
Two 48"Bungee cords
Tape measure
Safety goggles

Materials you will need:
Four 12x12 pavers, any color
Two 8ft 2x2s
A bag of moisture control soil
A small roll of landscape fabric
A box of 3" exterior screws
Stain and polyurethane
Construction adhesive

Start by putting on your safety goggles and cutting the 2x2s into four pieces of 16" and eight pieces of 12". Using a sheet of fine grit sand paper sand each piece until it is nice and smooth. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove sanding dust. Apply your stain and polyurethane finish according to the instructions on the product and allow it to dry.

Next, pre-drill and countersink the 2x2 pieces together with the 16" pieces forming the legs and the 12" pieces forming the support between the legs. Apply construction adhesive and then screw in the 12" support pieces in so that they sit at 12" down the legs. This will allow for the top of the pavers and the top of the legs to sit flush around the entire top. Then, grab your remaining four 12" 2x2"s, pre-drill, apply some  glue, space them evenly across the bottom and screw them into the frame. Place a thick bead of adhesive along the inside edges of the frame. Gently place each paver into place from the front to direct any adhesive seepage to the inside of the planter.

 Once the pavers are all in place, wrap your bungee cords tightly around the planter. Allow at least 12 hours for the glue to set and form a strong bond before removing your bungee cords. Now your ready for some planting! Line the planter with landscape fabric, add planting soil and arrange plants or flowers however your heart desires. 

Now that you know how to make The Home Depot  DIH Paver Planter, I'd like to show you what I did to put my own twist on the project…

1. Instead of staining the 2x2 strips of wood before assembling my planter, I painted them black along with all sides of each paver using Rustoleum Satin Enamel. I gave the wood and the pavers two coats of paint, allowing 12 hours of dry time in between coats. 

2. Once my black paver planter was fully assembled and cured, I personalized it with our family Monogram. To create the monogram, I applied DecorArt Metallic Lustre Wax in gold to a wooden "M" purchased from the craft store. I attached the gold monogram to the front of my paver planter using Liquid Nails Adhesive. 

3. The last step I took to customize my paver planter was to embellish it with decorative finials. I purchased two sets of Martha Stewart Curtain Rod Finials and painted them black to match the planter. Then I attached one to each corner by pre-drilling a hole in the top of each post and screwing the finial into place. 

I'm so happy with the way my planter turned out. I'm in love with how it looks on our porch with a live Arborvitae planted inside. As a matter of fact, I love it so much that I am making another one to create a pair flanking our front entry. One tip I'd like to offer if you are going to be making this project, is to prepare all of your supplies in your work area, but move everything to the final location before assembling your planter. I recommend doing this because once it's fully assembled and filled with dirt, it is very heavy. My friend Kelly at LiveLaughRowe gave me this advice and I greatly appreciated it.

For more tips please visit your local Home Depot this Thursday, April 16th from 6:30-8:30 for a live demonstration on how to make this project. These free, hands-on workshops are held the third Thursday of every month at all Home Depot locations. Each month will feature a different project.

Local folks, I would love for you to come out this Thursday and join me for the live DIH Paver Planter Workshop in Orion Township! Please be sure to pre-register here. 

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. 

**The Home Depot partners with bloggers such as me for DIH Workshop program. As part of the program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot's policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. 

Join Me For Free Live DIY Workshops At The Home Depot!

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. 

It's finally spring! As of today, the last of the Michigan snow has melted.  I can't wait to haul out the patio furniture and start creating our 2015 backyard patio oasis. Part of the reason I'm especially inspired to get started now is due to something I am making in collaboration with my brand new partnership with The Home Depot and their Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops. 

In case you aren't already familiar with The Home Depot DIH Workshops, they are FREE, live, in-store workshops held throughout the country for Do-it-Herselfers of ALL ages and skill levels. These workshops offer step-by-step instructions on how to make simple home improvement projects with easy to operate power tools. Whether you are an experienced DIY-er or have never touched a power tool in your life, these interactive, demonstration-style workshops are a great opportunity to pick up tips and advice from the pros! These workshops are held on the third Thursday of each month at all Home Depot locations. Throughout the year I will be co-hosting live DIH workshops at various Home Depot stores. 

The April workshop will feature a demonstration on how to make a gorgeous planter from simple materials (wood and concrete pavers). 
Check it out...

(To see the other workshop projects planned throughout the year, please click here)

Isn't it cool, I can't wait to finish mine!
In addition to demonstrating how to make this project, I will also be sharing my very own customized version of the Paver Planter.  I'm still working on my top secret plan for this customized version, but once it's ready I'll be posting about it here on the blog as well as featuring it live at my local Home Depot.  The first DIH Workshop featuring this project will be held April 16th from 6:30-8:30 at your local The Home Depot Store. For more information on upcoming workshops and and to pre-register for the first "Paver Planter" workshop please click HERE

If you are local to the Detroit area, you will be able to find me at the Orion Township, Michigan store located at 2600 S. Lapeer Road Lake Orion, Mi 48360 on Thursday, April 16th! Hope to see you there!

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

DIY Dollhouse From A Bookcase

I'm always excited to share a good DIY project here on the blog. Today's DIY project is extra special. Not only because it turned out so cute or because it was so much fun and also very simple to put together, but because it's going somewhere very special. A few weeks ago, I jumped at the opportunity to partner with Porch.com and Wayfair to create a DIY Dollhouse to be donated to our local children's hospital. 

Instead of starting from scratch or using a pre-fabricated doll house kit to create the structure, I ordered this simple white Bookcase From Wayfair (Wayfair generously provided a gift card for the purchase of this bookcase)...

To make the bookcase look more like a house, I hit up the craft store. To give the structure character and architectural detail I picked up a bag of miniature moldings, a package of mini-windows and a doll-house fireplace.

I grabbed an assortment of scrapbook papers to use as wallpaper and Modge Podge to use as my wallpaper paste. 

I also picked up some craft fur to use as carpeting and a battery operated locker chandelier (that really light up). 

After the craft store, I headed to the toy store for furniture and figurines. I selected a line of dollhouse accessories that are completely plastic, therefore they could be cleaned and sanitized as needed. The bright colors of this collection were the perfect complement to the neutral decor I had planned for the inside of the house itself. 

Once I had all my supplies and a game plan, it was time to get to work. 
The first thing to go into the bookcase was the scrapbook-wallpaper. Each room got a different pattern. Once the Modge Podge wallpaper paste was dry, I began installing the architectural details. The mini-moldings, windows and fireplace received a coat of white spray paint. Then, I attached them to the structure using a hot glue gun. 

I mounted the chandelier using Command Strip Velcro Fasteners. This will allow it to be easily removed and put back into place when it comes time to change the batteries. I cut the craft fur into four sections to fit each room. It made the most perfect shag carpeting.  

The plastic dollhouse accessory kits I purchased to go along with the house include a family of four (Mom, Dad, Sister and Baby), a kitchen set, dining room collection, nursery outfit and a new mini-van for the garage (bottom right compartment). I left the furniture kits and accessories in the packaging so that the new recipients could have the fun of opening them and arranging the furniture inside the house. As a child, I would have loved to be able to do the arranging myself. 

I'm excited to deliver the dollhouse to Detroit Childrens Hospital (DMC) next week. Please visit my facebook page, twitter and Instagram for updates and behind the scenes pics of the delivery. 

My friends at Funky Junk Interiors, Makely Home, A Bubbly Life and Lia Griffith also participated in this partnership Porch and Wayfair. You have to stop over and see their versions of the DIY Dollhouse Project...each one is so unique and totally amazing!!!

Thank you for giving me this opportunity Porch and Wayfair.
Thanks for stopping by!

My Living Room Re-Fresh~A New Look For Spring

Hi there! It's so nice to be back behind the keyboard. I've been away from the blog for a little while working on some very exciting projects. I have lots of new online designs to share and also a few dramatic room makeover reveals!  Now that these projects are complete, I can get back to blogging about them! Starting today...I recently completed a "Re-Fresh" of the main level of my own home.  What is the difference between and room makeover and a re-fresh? As opposed to a full blown room makeover, a re-fresh is a way to give a space a new look with just a few tweaks. 

I was able to give my home a fresh, new, style for spring with only five simple changes.
Take a look...

After a long, cold, Michigan winter, my living room requested some bright, cheerful color. I obliged by bringing in a new area rug. This singular change instantly livened up our space. Adding this rug felt like a breath of fresh, spring air.

I fell in love with this rug so much that I added it to my shop. I'll warn you thought, there is a limited quantity available so it's at a high sell out risk...

To allow as much of the beautiful new rug to show as possible, I switched out our large, black, heavy, wooden coffee table for a lighter, smaller scale, glass top table. This coffee table has been in our storage area since we were first married. It belonged to my husbands Great-Grandmother. It's nice to have this piece of his family history in our family room, not to mention I am in love with the way it looks. 

To complement the new rug, I added a few apple green toss pillows to the sofa's and chair. These beautiful, linen pillows are simple in design, yet they add so much to the space. The injection of color is just what our white, slip-covered sofa's needed. The solid green linen pillows provided a nice break from the patterns found in the zebra print chair and striped toss pillows. 

These pillows are the PERFECT companion to the new rug! If you would like to purchase a set, they are available in my shop along with the rug for a limited time...

Speaking of taking a break in pattern...the next element that I changed up was the drapery. Over the last few years, I've enjoyed my DIY Bold Striped Drapes in this space. When I started this re-fresh, I decided it was time for a change. Something a little simpler in design would allow my new rug to be the star of the show.  A tutorial on my new black and white DIY No-Sew Color Block Drapes will be coming soon. You won't believe how easy and how budget friendly these were to make!

The fifth and final change I made in this Re-Fresh was a new paint color, Sherwin Williams "Anonymous". It's a dramatic, deep, moody gray. I love how it provides contrast to all of the white in the space. This is a great example of how a dark wall color doesn't always make a space feel darker. It can actually have the opposite effect by highlighting the lighter elements in the room. 

Since we have an open concept floor plan, I carried the same "Anonymous" wall color throughout most of the main level. In the kitchen, this color really showcases our painted cabinetry. I added a smaller version of the rug in the living room to the kitchen as well. This helps to tie the two spaces together. 

This little area rug had a big impact on our small kitchen. The bright, apple green color and large scale pattern brought a ton of personality and energy to the space. At the tail end of a long Michigan winter, I'll take a little energy anywhere I can get it. 

This rug is a great choice for a kitchen for a few reasons. The first reason is that it is 100% wool. Wool is naturally stain resistant. The second reason this rug is great for a busy family kitchen, is that it's reversible! It looks exactly the same on both sides. 

This rug is available in many sizes, I found the 3'6" x 5'6" rectangle to fit the best in my space. To see the other size options available, please click here...

With just five changes; fresh paint, new rugs, new "old" coffee table, new toss pillows and new DIY drapes, our main level has a fresh new look for spring...

If you would like to bring this look home, here are some of the product sources:
Zebra Print Upholstery Fabric~Hobby Lobby
Garden Stools~Sams Club
Sofa Slipcovers~Sure Fit
Entertainment/TV Cabinet~Ethan Allen
Hall Tree~Ballard Designs
Monogram and Silhouettes~DIY Projects
Gold Orbs~West Elm
Wall Color~Sherwin Williams Anonymous
Coffee Table~Family Heirloom

*I'm now available for new online design projects. Please click here for more info. 

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