Monday, April 26, 2010

Trunk Redo

My mother found this trunk for me right after I got married.  Over the years it's served as a nightstand, a toy box, sat at the foot of the bed and lately just held up boxes in the basement.  We're starting to finish our basement and it needed to find another place while it's being finished.  I decided I need to update the red to fit into my decor better.

The red just wasn't going to work for me and since it wasn't original to the trunk, I didn't feel guilty painting over it.  I taped off the red and set to painting them black.

And here it is in it's new look.  I painted two coats and then roughed it up a bit.  I decided to turn it into a faux family heirloom and paint the old spelling of our family name and the town in Italy they came from on it's front.

Right now it's just holding our throw blankets and pillows for watching TV.  I may add catch slides to it so it could be a toy box.

So a quick project, but I love how it turned out.  I found some more inspiring trunks on the web to give you some other ideas of using trunks in your home.

(a beach cottage)
I am in serious love with this sea trunk from Australia.  If I ever found one of these...

(coastal living)
Not a fancy trunk, but look at how gorgeous it looks painted.

(country living)
Another gorgeous painted trunk.  I like the metal left exposed.

(Elle decor)
Used as a coffee table.

(hotel pand)
Used at the foot of the bed.  Great way to store seasonal bedding.

Awesome low steamer trunk and only $1400! choke, choke...

(pottery barn)
Another trunk used as a coffee table.

(Restoration Hardware)
R.H. is carrying a lot of trunks right now.  A fun look, but pricey.

(southern accents)
I LOVE the painted green and the stripes on this trunk! Find a plain blanket chest or old Lane cedar chest and give it this treatment.

I think this is Restoration Hardware's mirrored trunk.  What a fun glammed up vintage look.

I don't usually like the patriotic paint jobs, but the patina of these red, white and blue trunks are really fun.  It'd be so cute in a child's room.

While these chests are asian, I love the colors they're painted, as well as the stacked look.

Hope you were inspired to grab that old trunk at a garage sale or refab the one sitting in your basement.  Have fun.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Musical Living Room

     When deciding how to decorate a room, sometimes all you need to do is look to what you love. Our formal living room needed to be a quiet place where the kids could practice their instruments away from the noise of our more "active" family room.  Our home's floorplan originally called for this room to be the dining room and what we're now using as the dining room, was the "formal" sitting room.  The problem was, it was right next to the family room and the t.v.  Not a very quiet room.  So we swapped the two light fixtures and voila, our problem solved.

Our Old Formal Living room turned Dining room:
(yes, that's an older picture from around Christmas time. Sorry!)

(opposite side view)

The old Dining room turned Formal living room:

My Husband and two daughters play the violin, the twins play clarinet and I play piano.  Our obvious decor choice was to use some old instruments we've found on the focal wall. Working with a rug I already had, I painted the wall behind the neutral couch a deep purple. I like using just one wall of color because it's so easy to change the look when you're tired of it (which I'm just about there. I'm on the lookout for rug to inspire a new color scheme.)

I found some old windows in my hometown in the Adirondacks of NY. Using a free mirror from Habitat ReStore, I had it cut and mounted it with mirror clips to the back of each window frame. I'm still not happy with something about the arrangement, so I'll keep tweaking it (maybe new frame color or spaced apart?)

I bought an inexpensive mini-chandelier to echo the dining room's chandelier and to also make it easy to envision this room back as the dining room should be need to sell.  I fell in love with this purple fabric but it was incredibly expensive. I sprung for just 2 yards to use as the top sections of the drapes and two throw pillows. I found this delicious, crinkly fabric for the bottom section of the drapes and lined them for privacy and the sun.

I've been lucky to go to Paris twice and each time I found an old, cheap violin to bring home as a souvenir instead of a boring, little Eiffel Tower.  It fits in with my decor, has that vintage feel and reminds us of our trips.  A friend saw our lonely two violins and gave me the other three that his closed-out store was getting rid of! Yippeee!

Another friend gave us an old Clarinet. 

When moving from Colorado to here in Chicagoland, I had a garage sale to get rid of all the odds and ends and furniture that had seen better days.  I made just enough to get two of these beauties from Pier1.  They're just the right size for any room, comfortable, easy to slipcover, and add just the right amount of texture to the room.  I think I've had these chairs in every room of the house before they found a home here! 

I've found that when you use things that are part of your family's history, it make the house a home.  It illustrates your story and makes YOUR home unique to YOU! What do you like to do?  Where do you like to go (or would if you could)?  What color do you love? Now find objects, materials, colors, fabric and art to show that.  You don't have to go all "theme-y", just touches around the home to put YOUR stamp on the home.

I just made another set of vintage train signs from some garage sale frames.  I stuck them up on either side of the mirror above the piano. What look do you like better, with or without the signs?


Jen suggested this way maybe:

Leave me a comment to let me know what you think.  Thanks!!! Next post I'll show you what I did to an old trunk I had in the basement and how I personalized it...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two vintage Window Chore Charts

I promised to show you another project using my 'ole buddy, tin.  This project came about a number of years ago when I was trying to come up with a cute chore chart for my children.  Everything I saw online was too funtional and not "pretty" enough if I was going to have it hanging around every day.  I found an old window and replaced 3 of the panes of glass with tin.  I have two versions that I've done.  My first was this one:

I blew up a farm print on my printer to fit the top pane.  I found some cute folk-art pigs to laminate and put magnets on the back.  I then wrote the chores on the pigs and assigned chores to my kids.  I loved to say that our house "looks like a pig sty!  Time to do chores!" I also took some fun photos of the kids in overalls and cut out and laminated those as well.

I really loved this one, but after having this one for over 8 years (not to mention we had 2 more children and needed to add them) I was ready for a change.  I found this beauty and did a similar thing:

I fell in love with the style of this window and knew I had to make it work.  I knocked out all the glass, painted a couple coats of black paint and then used Glazier points to hold in the tin.  I ordered some vinyl lettering to say "Chores" and to decorate the side panes. 

I found these cute frames for the kids' pictures in the scrapbooking section at Michael's.  I glued magnets to the back of the pictures.  I typed up the chores and then used mod podge to stick them to clear floral marbles.  When dry, I glued on magnets (see a theme here?!)

This method of chores still works best for our family.  I can go lighter on them when they have a lot of homework to do or load it up for Saturday House-cleaning day. The kid's like to tease each other and I often find it looking like this (poor 3 year-old!):

I'm waiting for the day that the little stinkers hide all the chore marbles!

I find old windows at garage sales and once found a guy on Craigslist who had a barn full of old windows!  I bought around 30 and my gal-friends and I had fun making tons of things out of them.  Here are some we did:

And some internet inspiration for using old windows and frames:

I need your help!

I found these windows up in the Adirondacks and had to have them.  I got a free piece of mirror from Habitat ReStore and for $10 a glass shop cut it for me.  I used mirror clips to attach the mirror to the backs.  I still need to play with the arrangement since everyone that sees it thinks its a wagon wheel! Sigh... I don't want it to be country.  What do you think I should do to tweak it so it doesn't come across country-themed?  I'd love your ideas.

Should I paint them?  Would they look better spaced apart?  It's missing something but I can't figure it out yet!

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