Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Reinvent It’ Category

Vases

Over on Boston Mamas, my Use-What-You-Own Hanukkah Table Setting is featured. Fun! Central to the design are these pretty dipped vases. They’re super easy to make, customizable for any holiday or event, and usable long after the celebration is over.

Ready to go? Here’s what you need:

  • Protective table covering
  • Plain glass vases (the kind that end up in closets from florist arrangements or in the 50-cent-bin at your local thrift shop)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking sheet or tray
  • Tinfoil
  • Gallon of white latex paint (Please note that you will have nearly all the white paint left, so choose a shade that will work in your house or for some other project later! I used a gallon left over from a bookshelf we painted.)
  • Gallon freezer bag
  • Pint or more of additional colored latex paint (Check the OOPS! rack at your local hardware store for discounted colors that were returned by customers.)

DIYDippedVasesAnimation

  1. Clean your vases thoroughly with soap and water. Dry, then wipe down with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Place a protective covering on your work surface.
  3. Cover a baking sheet or tray with tinfoil.
  4. Dip the vases, bottom-first, into the white paint. Hold each vase in the paint for about 10 seconds, then pull out and let the paint drip off. Set down on tinfoil-covered baking sheet or tray; bottom-down for a clean top edge (as I have done in this example) or top-down for a dripped edge.
  5. Let dry for one hour.
  6. Create a “bucket” with your gallon freezer bag by folding the bottom corners of the bag onto themselves. Secure with tape.
  7. Fill your “bucket” with your second paint.
  8. Dip the vases into the second paint. Swoosh the paint around so you get edges that have some movement, then pull out and let the paint drip off. Set down on a newly-tinfoil-covered baking sheet or tray; again, bottom-down for a clean top edge or top-down for a dripped edge.
  9. Let dry for one hour. Wipe down bottoms if there is a thick layer of wet paint.
  10. Fill with flowers and enjoy!

Please note that the paint WILL COME OFF if these vases are put in a dishwasher or washed by hand with too much vigor. Rinse and dry carefully to make them last!

Read Full Post »

Earlier this month, Dave and I got away for a night to celebrate his birthday. We had fewer than 24 hours kid-free, so we did what any good suburban couple would do and headed into the big city for the night.

Aw, yeah…we drove the whole 25 minutes into Boston.

Because we stayed down on the waterfront, it really felt like we got away, especially as we hung on the deck looking at this pretty view.

Boston500

Before dinner, we took a nice long harbor walk, and found these fun little houseboats along the way.

Houseboats500

I don’t know about you, but ever since watching that Seattle RomCom classic from the ’90s, I’ve always fantasized about living on a houseboat. From what I’ve read, owning a houseboat is not all that it’s cracked up to be — dead fish caught under the boat, bird poop on your deck, etc. — but still, there’s something totally cool about it. Or maybe it’s just that Tom Hanks was there.

Seattle Houseboat

As I looked closer at this lineup of houseboats, I figured they must have been some sort of floating hotel or something since they all had the same signs on them. Upon a little Googling, I discovered that they are part of the Sleep Afloat fleet — houseboats for nightly (or longer) rentals in cities up and down the Eastern seaboard, as well as Los Angeles. Started by a houseboat owner who traveled for work and was disappointed by the “cookie cutter” hotel options, Sleep Afloat became the answer to his own conundrum: enjoying the live-afloat life while needing a short-term place to stay.

Docked in Miami Beach, “Living the Dream” which sleeps eight, has two bathrooms, and looks pretty well appointed, seems like a bargain to me at $200 per night.

MiamiOutside 2

Vessels from Sleep Afloat’s fleet are docked in 11 cities, including a few that we’re going to hit on an upcoming family road trip.

I think my houseboat fantasy might just come true, if even for a night (minus Tom).

Houseboats2500

So — have any of you ever slept on a houseboat?

Image credits: Boston images by Paige Lewin, “Sleepless in Seattle” houseboat from Seattle PI“Living the Dream” from Sleep Afloat

Read Full Post »

Looking for pretty, inexpensive, brass drawer pulls?

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 8.06.41 AM

Aren’t they fabulous?

IMG_3075

Find them here.

Furniture image by Paige Lewin. Furniture design by Paige Lewin in collaboration with Bill Jones of Fresh Air Millworks.

Read Full Post »

On the way to a friend’s house this morning, I received an urgent text from her.

“I have a mantel that needs editing. HELP!”

She was right.

SudMantelBefore

I understand why my friend had a challenging time styling the mantel since it’s very shallow and quite long.

The fishing pole, particularly special to her angler husband, wasn’t going anywhere.

It’s hard to see, but the round vase is a total showstopper. It has these beautiful abstract horses all over it, perfect for my friend who spends a few evenings each week riding, so I knew that needed to stay. Front and center.

HorsesClose

I cleared everything off and we went hunting around her house using the vase as a launching point. When we came back and assessed the options, I found that there was nice collection of pottery and wooden objects.

AnimalsClose

Using the vase as the focal point, I created groupings that followed the line of the pole. I weighted the center, and left the right side of the asymmetrical mantel empty, letting it sort of recede visually.

SudMantelAfter

Not bad for 10 minutes and zero dollars.

SudMantelBeforeandAfter

Do you have a 10-minute, use-what-you’ve-got styling that you want to share? Send images to mudroomboston@gmail.com and you might be featured in an upcoming 10-Minute Styling post!

Read Full Post »

Who doesn’t love blue? Not me, that’s for sure. I think I’ve had at least one blue room in every house in which I’ve lived and loved every single one. Contrary to conventional color theory, not all blues are soothing, as is the case with one of my favorite paint colors — Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Blue. I used it in a dining room, and it hardly put my dinner guests to sleep. See?

BlueDiningRoom

Right? No sleeping allowed in those funny paper hats.

You can’t go wrong with blue walls, but you can choose the wrong blue paint. The six blues below — my Ain’t-Got-No-Blues Blues — seem to work for me every time.

Ain'tGotNoBluesBlues

Do you love blue, and if so, what’s your favorite shade?

All images by Paige Lewin. Dinner guests include isabelka and A Philosopher Who Practices ArchitectureAll paint colors by Ben Moore, natch.

Read Full Post »

Here in Boston, it seems we’re still trying to decide if it’s winter or spring. It was 30 yesterday morning and 50 by afternoon, and although we missed the Nor’easter that was supposed to hit us, nobody feels safe enough to store away the winter boots quite yet.

LeopardandRed

I’ve never been that adept at transition dressing — y’know, that winter-to-spring and fall-to-winter wardrobe conundrum — but I think I’ve finally landed on a formula.

NecklaceandNavy

Bright cotton skimmers + leather patterned flats + cozy merino sweater + fabulous statement necklace = warm enough for winter and colorful enough for spring. (The pants? Ridiculously flattering and cheap, but consider sizing up.)

TransitiontoSpring

Perfection.

TransitiontoSpringFull

All images by Paige Lewin.  

Read Full Post »

Last week, I spent a few days with my mom at her home in North Carolina. Although I didn’t grow up there, it seemed that every time I opened a closet or cabinet, some object behind the door reminded me of my childhood. These great hobnail goblets — my grandmother’s originally — were such objects.

hobnailgoblets

I have loved these goblets for as long as I can remember, sparkly and fancy, filled with memories of my mom’s unsweetened iced tea with two lemons. In fact, if you were to say the word “goblet” to me (does anyone even say goblet anymore?), these glasses are what would spring to mind. When I became old enough to use such fancy glassware — twelve, maybe — I drank my milk out them each night at dinner. And even when I came home for breaks during college, they were the first glasses I reached for when I wanted to throw back an iced Coke with a bag of chips while watching a 90210 marathon (ah, youth).

hobnail

Lucky for me, my mom decided that she’d had enough years enjoying the glasses and sent them home with me this time. Now I’m hoping my boys love them as much as I do.

So, dear readers, is there tableware from your childhood that conjures up memories for you? And have you gotten to hold on to some pieces for your generation or the next?

All images by Paige Lewin. For similar hobnail lovelies, visit Etsy or ebay.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »