Archive for the ‘Make It’ Category

I am so done with rectangular placemats on my round kitchen table.  It drives me nuts.  Just NUTS.  But a standard issue round tablecloth is a no-go either with my two jumping bean boys who would most certainly rip the thing off, dinner plates included, the first minute I put in on.

But a chalkcloth tabletop?  I could get behind that.

Spotted two weeks ago on one of my daily reads — Sweet Sweet Life — I haven’t been able to get the image out of my head.  Amy just bought some yardage from a local Etsy seller and cut it to size. 

Voila!  Table covering and kid distraction all rolled into one. 

Image credits: Amy Hanson of Sweet Sweet Life

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DIY Nouveau Wreath

Four days to go until Christmas.  Do you still need a little holiday kick to brighten up your house?  Try this easy wreath that I made in an hour, inspired by a recent post on Apartment Therapy

Get to your local craft store and pick up a styrofoam wreath form and thumbtacks. I used a 12-inch form and 800 tacks {seriously}.

Park yourself in front of A Christmas Story and get to work…

An hour later.  Easy peasy.  

Not your style?  Try this DIY lovely from one of my favorite design blogs…

Via {frolic!}

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When hosting a party, I enjoy cooking (sort of), but my favorite part is creating fun, interesting and unexpected tabletops (elegant is great too, but they’ve gone the way of the Dodo since kids…too much pressure).  If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, click over to Boston Mamas for some last-minute easy ideas to make your tabletop shine.  (Yep, it’s true…two Boston Mamas columns in two weeks!)

What easy tabletop ideas do you have?  Share them here!

Image credit: Randy Weiner, Flickr (cool pic, don’t you think?)

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Color Palette Web Tool

When choosing paint and fabric for my home, I’m often inspired by fashion — the way textures and colors play off of each other in a terrific outfit. Using an ivory cashmere cowl neck, skinny camel wool pants, chocolate suede boots and gold bangles as a starting point will result in a room very different from, say, a classic Lilly cotton shift and lime green Jack Rogers. 

The next time you start a decorating project, snap a picture of your inspiration (whether it’s a Michael Kors ad or a Vermont farm) and check out the Color Palette Generator from BigHugeLabs — a freakin’ fabulous (and free) web tool that converts photos into color palettes.

An ensemble created by Mrs. O (one of my MOST favorite blogs) at Closet Couture

Mrs. O J. Crew Styling Contest

…turns into this palette!

Mrs. O palette

Cool, huh?

So tell me, when it come to decorating, are you most inspired by nature, fashion, homes or something else completely?

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Paper Plates = Art

Is anyone else totally inspired by the interiors of Anthropologie stores?  I’ve always favored their clothes and housewares, but even just walking into their retail locations is an experience.  I love that every store is different  — each location has its own interior stylist/visual artist, going way beyond the “merchandising” at regular retail that follows a prescribed map of where and how items should be laid out.  Without fail, I gather inspiration from the walls, ceiling, music, floors, etc. each time I visit Anthro.  Just check out the latest installation at the store in my ‘hood…

Anthro clouds 2

Cloud sculpture made out of paper plates…amazing!  Reminded me instantly of the brilliant paper plate chandelier that Nathan Thomas created for the dining room in his winning townhouse on Bravo’s Top Design

Nathan Thomas, Elle Decor

Both of these are definitely going on my Flattery Board (or Inspiration for Imitation Board)…

Image credits: Paige Lewin’s Blackberry, Elle Decor

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DIY Side Table

We’ve been needing a side table next our living room couch for a ridiculously long time, but it seems that every one I find that I love, is just a little too big, a little too shmancy, or a little out of our price range.  I was getting desperate, and in a creative fury went whipping around the house to find the makings of a side table that would hold our cocktails and appys (I mean, sippy cups and goldfish) until we were ready to commit the cash to something really fabulous.  Turns out, I like my DIY version better than most I’ve seen.

Wood tray from Target and a vintage plant stand…


plus a little Liquid Nails (love that stuff!)….


equals fabulous, architecturally-inspired side table!  I thought about painting it, but I’m kind of digging the two-tone wood look.


So tell me…have you ever taken something from your home and reinvented it?

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DIY Floor Covering

I think I’ve mentioned (more than once) that our house has hardwood floors throughout.  Beautiful, yes, but the “beauty of hardwoods” that everyone talks about loses its lustre about this time every year.  Since carpets and area rugs are pretty dang expensive, we get to experience our floors in all their ice-cold glory as soon as the thermometer dips below 40.  I started to get desperate, and although this isn’t a permanent fix, it’s a stylish and cheap way to cover a small area of your floor.


After digging out a fairly large nautical chart that I had sitting around in a closet (my original plan, three years ago, was to frame it until I discovered it would be about $500 to frame my $20 chart), I brought it to a local copy shop to have it laminated.  A couple of hours and $18 later, I had a new front hall floor covering that reminded me a bit of those handpainted canvas floorclothes that I had seen in showhouses and shelter publications.  Make sure to use a little sticky-tack around the edges when you place it on the floor, and you’re good to go.

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