Monday, July 30, 2012

Small Spaces with lots of heart

There are upsides and down sides to renting. Upsides include non existent landscaping responsibility (big in my book!), instant gratification replacements (water heater-fridge-oven out...fix it or I'll hold rent) and above all else flexibility to move with simply 30 days notice.

Lovely freedom.....
but wait
there's more...

The downsides include little to no permission to make changes, rules and regulations on how to live in your apartment (understandable but for some-still a downside), and unless you are a multi millionaire or the newest cast member of some "look at me fake like I'm rich" reality show- small quarters.

Yeah...something like that....(click for photo credit)

Luckily it doesn't have to be that bad. There are so many places on-line you can use to find inspiration. Would you like for me to share some of the tips I have found? Of course you do! Why the heck else would you still be reading...duhhhhh!

1. Declutter

No, it is not a coincidence that this is #1. Decluttering is the single best thing you can do for your apartment (and yourself). Carleen Eve Fischer Hoffman of The Clutter Doctor, Inc. says  "A moderately disorganized person loses about two hours every day due to disorder.  Multiply that by 260 business days and you get 520 hours of wasted time each year! How about multiplying that by a hypothetical rate of pay of $50 per hour? You’re losing $26,000 each year!" Sheesh, If that doesn't get your cleaning then just think of how much better everything could look if it had a place- and how much you can do without.

2. Light up the place!

Let the sunshine in everyone! Not only can it make you feel better to see a little light but it can make your room look bigger. Letting in light gives a room more depth and highlights dark spaces which would give the illusion of a room being cut short.

3. Use Mirrors to trick the eye

resist the urge to get lost  in the beauty of your reflection and embrace using mirrors for your room. I have seen time and time again where this has been done in a non-cheesy way. My favorite to today is the pictures above. Take a small kitchen an give the illusion of a grand kitchen.

4. Take it higher!
This tip is two fold. First, raise your curtains higher. This effect has the ability to stretch your room. The eye will tend to "believe" that the room is taller than it is. Secondly, Raise your furniture. I'm not saying to go get anything new, but if you have the chance go for pieces with long legs and no skirt. Being able to see more floor gives the illusion that there is more floor...get it?

5. Make it work!

I love Tim Gunn...
Last tip is to use pieces that provide multiple functions. Don't just get a coffee table get one that stows seating, Use stow and go types of furniture.

 Enjoy all and take this

to this!

Okay maybe not really...but we can all dream!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Distracted by these handmade goodies

So, Today I have been searching for information on uniforms for my little one who starts Kindergarten in September (so excited!). I ran accross this page and I don't know what brought me here -this HAS to be the internet version of walking into a room for something and forgeting what you came for- but I will not be leaving it without sharing! has an article on 25 Handmade gifts under $5, and really they are BEYOND cute! Take a look at some of my favorites:

Paper Clip Earrings

 Printed Candles

Tile Coaster
Bow Belt

Mason Jar Sewing Kit

DIY: Mason Jar Sewing Kit

Bird Nest Necklaces

Tea Cup Lights

Pinned Image

Lovely Wax Lumieres

Reversible Cup Sleeves


Beautiful Bookmarks

Pinned Image

There many more projects that I have not listed...mostly because after the last one I couldn't move without sharing! Beautiful!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby girl's first dentist appointment

It's been too long- but there's no time like the present!

Update: I smiled the entire time. My baby is becoming a big girl! She was so brave...and silly. She LOVED the dentist and can't wait to go back. Side note: I was refered to Dr. Renee' Pollis' office in Newtown Square, PA by They gave a glowing review of the hygenist, Gretchen. I honestly thought they were leading me on- they were spot on! Gretchen was fantastic. So great that I plan on taking her here for now on and possibly going myself! Great place. If you live in the area, do yourself  favor and check in with them:
3534 Rhoads Ave
Newtown Square, PA 19073

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Operation redecorate 2

Things are coming along swimmingly....haha, I am soooooo kidding! Saturday was delivery day and it. Was. Bananas (b.a.n.a.n.a.s!).
One moving couple, two neighbors and a craigslist responder later, this is were we are. It's shaping up.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Turning Pages

Don't judge the book by it's cover. Judge the owner by it's condition. just

If one were to walk into my home last week you would be greeted by this atrocity...

easy color coordinated bookcase by raeosunxine

which would garner this response from you...

...tragic. lol

To stop this reaction from friends and family- as well as make a better home for my family and myself- I have set out to redecorate my living room with a focus on the book case.

I have never been one to like the living room's focus to be the television. I feel it is wormhole of time. You sit on a Saturday to watch one measly HGTV show, next thing you know your entire day is gone. What  I do like is bookcases as the focus of the room. I have seen a few places online that have color coordinated their bookcases and I think it looks fantastic.

These styles look great, but when I was doing research into how this was accomplished I only found two answers. Actually organize the books by spine color or cover them. I don't know about you, but I haven't covered a book since Jr. High and even then it was an ordeal! That got me thinking. If only the spine is showing, why cover the entire book?

Well...I had a stroke of DIY genius this weekend. To coordinate my bookcase I decided to cover the spines of each book. How?

Duct Tape.

No, Seriously! This isn't your grandfather's old roll that he used (sometimes unnecessarily) to do quick (and cheap) repairs around the house!

None of this! Funny ones here

I found a wide range of colors and patters by Duck Brand and Scotch.

I settled on 3 rolls and 3 pens: 
Solid Black (Ace Hardware)
Solid Gold (Duck Brand Duck Tape)
Lace Pattern (Scotch Duct Tape)

1 Black Sharpie
1 Silver Sharpie
1 Krylon Shortcuts Gold Paint Pen

You will also need scissors.

I love the lace pattern.

I also started with 2 new bookcases. I choose to double up because I feel it gives the project a better look.

I simply held the book, spine up, between my knees. I was sure to cover all of the spine to keep this project from looking sloppy and used my scissors to cut the end. DO NOT try to tear this tape. It was created to be flexible but secure. It WILL look bad. When I finished my first book, this is what I got...

After a while it came to this...

Then eventually this...

Who knew a little duct tape could go so far! I am very happy with the result and  love the fact that it only took an hour and  half to complete. None of my books are damaged an everything flows! I accessorised my book case with an old rotary phone from my grandmother, 2 large chess piece candle holders from Target ($2.50 each), an anniversary clock I had lying around and a recently repainted giraffe sculpture.

I am very excited to see what my new space will look like when my gold accessories are hung and the new furniture arrives (read about that here).

Stay tuned for updates!
À bientôt!

Redecorating-DIY style

For a long time I have been living a lie. I love decor. I receive Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, House Beautiful and other publications just because I love having a comfortable home. My home, however, is what I would call "stupid ugly". You asked what stupid ugly is? Glad you asked.

Stupid Ugly: [stoo-pid, styoo]+ [uhg-lee] adj.
1. very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance and dully tediously dull, especially due to lack of sense; inane; pointless.
2. Useless and horrid at the same time.

-used uncommonly to describe rooms that have useless knickknacks and offend the visual senses. Rooms that make you feel like you have become dumber by walking into them. Room that make you question if "sight" is a blessing curse.

Orgin: [C16: from French stupide, from Latin stupidus silly, from stupēre to be amazed]  combined with 1200–50; Middle English ugly, uglike < Old Norse uggligr fearful, dreadful, equivalent to ugg ( r ) fear + -ligr -ly. is THAT bad...Don't believe me, huh? Okay, but remember that you have brought this on yourself....Here are pictures.

Extremely unorganized bookcase

The last tube TV alive

Hubby on the sofa playing games

The hub's granny's table- which he protects more than myself and the child.

Uggg. I can't take any more..I may get sick!

Okay maybe it's not that bad but as an adult woman who works VERY  hard and has not made ANY large purchases (other than the cars we need to get to work) I think I deserve a remodel.

Now, the next thing you need to know about me is that I am frugal. My mom knows it, as does my husband, sister, daughter, get my drift.Its so bad that when I brought up the idea of new furniture my mom and sister talked me the whole way to the store, my boss called my cell to make sure I wouldn't get sticker shock and chicken out and my 5 year old sat in the back saying "cheeeeep, cheep, cheep cheep!..I got the hint guys!

Before diving into my project, to make myself feel better I had to justify the spend. So I found places in my annual budget that I could cut back like the $84/month I pay into a storage unit that I only visit once a year and I also found ways to offset my costs by selling things I was getting rid of (still working on).

Next, I researched my preferred style. It changed probably 5 times before I settled on this look for my inspiration....

 aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! So posh, so clean....(note to self).
I started by de-cluttering my home (still working on...too...much...junk...)
Next I went shopping for my new furniture. I found lots of styles that I loved and also discovered that I have Champagne taste and beer pockets! Dang it!

I loved this but it was more than I wanted to pay for an APARTMENT with a small day my love, we will be together. 

I settled on this look instead.

(minus the red accents)

the new look will include on sofa and two arm chairs...similar to that sofa I wanted in black micro suede. Livable and classic.

Okay so get to DIY...I hear ya!
So once I get the furniture in (10 days or so) I need to have everything else ready to match the inspiration. The two things that stand out the most to me are the gold accessories and the color coordinated book case. I started with the accessories. I could have gone out and bought some gold items, I realize that. But, I am more of a project woman so I went to Michael's Arts and Craft store to pick up some gold metallic acrylic paint and a sponge brush. Then I dug through my closets. There were SO many things I found that I could just paint to make it work. I also went to Bed Bath and Beyond for shelves as well as a local junk antique shop for items.

Metallic paint and sponge brush came to a bit under $4.00

Shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond on sale for $19.99  $9.99! Score!
Also found cast iron hooks hooks for the wall at $4.00 each and various frames in the closet for free.

So here is what my collection looked like after painting!

I am really looking forward to seeing the geometric shelves hung on the wall!

I also noticed the gold lamp shades in the inspiration photo. I have two tall floor lamps with white shades...lets paint those too. The one thing that I did and suggest is remembering that since these
  are lamp shades they will look transparent when on- meaning an uneven painting job or product will leave it looking streaky.

To fix this I used Krylon's Black and Silver for plastic spray paint on the inside.

The black stops the light from showing so much on the outside and after it dried I sprayed a layer of silver to help heighten that light source that we are cutting a bit. This is what the INSIDE of the lampshade looks like. BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A LAMP THAT HAS ENOUGH SPACE TO NOT CAUSE A FIRE FROM HOT BULBS! I was confident in this process for me because on the lamp I use the shade and bulb never come in contact. the shade attaches to the base of the lamp head, followed by a large plastic washer to keep it down and I use Energy efficient bulbs that do not get as hot as traditional bulbs. Team that with the fact that we rarely used the lamps in the first place and it made sense. BE CAREFUL!

This is the outside painted

And powered on.

Tada! see what I mean about the silver inside?
Lastly I tackled the bookcase but that will be in another post. I had a moment of DIY genius! Click the post "Turning Pages" to see how I took this...

And created this!

Things are shaping up!