Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reader DIY Project.

Today's project is courtesy of my closest friend. Rachel and her husband are much more brave than I when it comes to DIY projects around their new home. Having never sewn before, she whipped up these two beautiful pillows for her living room. Of course I asked her if we could share her work on Very Fine House, and she agreed. Here's the finished product:And of course the details:

Ever since B and I were little we have loved to shop together. It's kinda what we do. B loves a good deal, and over the years has taught me the art of sale shopping - most recently the sale section of Anthropologie. I have been very successful in my last few stops in and B has invited me to share my latest find/DIY project from the Anthro sale section.
I found these cute Anthro napkins on sale for $3.49 each (tea towels or placemats would work as well). I really loved the design and colors of these napkins, and thought they would make perfect pillows for my living room. I bought four napkins and then stopped by Ikea on my way home to buy two 20" x 20" FJÄDRAR insert pillows, each for $6.99. Ikea has cheaper pillow inserts for $2.99 but I prefer the FJÄDRAR insert due to the waterfowl feathers they use inside. The Anthro napkins were exactly 20" x 20". Perfect. No cutting involved. I simply sewed two napkins together, stuffed the insert inside and ta dah!....Cheap Anthro Pillows.

For those of you doing the math, the total for each pillow came to $13.97 before tax. That's some impressive savings, considering pillows at Anthropologie will run you $78+. Here's one last photo to take us out:
By the way, the custom bookshelves the pillows are sitting on in this photo were designed by Rachel and her husband, then built by a man they found on Craigslist. For a TOTAL of $300. That's parts and labor people. A-ma-zing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Take Five Friday.

Stefanie, of Brooklyn Limestone
Stefanie is a fabulously creative blogger who, in partnership with her husband "Mr. Limestone", has renovated their 100+ year old Brooklyn home from top to bottom. She also is an extremely talented graphic designer and photographer.

What advice can you give readers on getting started when decorating a new home?

The biggest piece of advice I can give (and I still struggle with it myself because its a tough one) is always remember scale! It doesn't matter how gorgeous or comfortable a couch is if its too big for your room. Or how lovely that photograph is if its too small for where you are hanging it. Measure, measure, measure. If you have trouble imagining it in the room, then go ahead and make a template out of newspaper so you can be sure its a great fit before you invest in it.
(living room)
My second piece of advice is sort of related: If you make a mistake and buy the wrong thing - give yourself permission to fix it. You might not be able to do it then and there but when the opportunity presents itself, do it. You'll be happy you did.

Which design rules were made to be broken?
All of them! For every decorating "rule", I'm sure you can find an example where its broken and it looks amazing. The tips and rules out there are really meant as guidelines to help us make a decision when we are struggling. Don't take it too seriously - its not brain surgery.

How do you draw inspiration for the rooms you design?

I love old things so I like to have a few old pieces in every room that sort of command the decisions about what else is going in there. But mostly its trial and error - I have a fairly good ability to imagine what something will look like in my mind but its no where near 100%. So I slowly add pieces and layers until I'm happy rather than doing it all at once.
(master bedroom)

Favorite brick and mortar stores (local or national)?
When it comes to accessories and linens, etc I'm a complete Target groupie. They just have fabulous things at reasonable prices. You don't have to break the bank to bring home something a little more on trend. For old items, I'm in heaven in an used furniture store (notice, I didn't say antiques - that's a whole different game).

If there were no time or budget constraints, what dream project would you do on your own home?
I'd love to have a really fabulous library unit complete with sliding latter, lighting, ornate details and antique mirror backs built to replace the bookshelves I have now. I have no clue what that would cost but I'm afraid to even get a quote.
(parlor bath)

What has been your most successful DIY project?
I do a lot of smaller projects I'm proud of that I share on my blog. From a standpoint of popularity, my suitcase turned cat bed seems to be a big winner. If you ask me one I enjoy the most - it would be the collage artwork I did for my bedroom.

Thank you Stefanie!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catalog inspiration.

Tomorrow we welcome in December and another holiday to decorate for! Here are a few of the clippings I've gathered to make my home feel festive this year.
These homemade mantle decorations are such a great idea and easy to copy.
I love the idea of putting red berries in bud vases.
This bubble chandelier was made with clear glass ornaments, and there is a tutorial available at CB2.
Adding anything furry or metallic instantly updates your decor for the holiday season.
I love it when people use natural elements in holiday decor. It looks so much more cohesive and timeless in your home. Plus, it's easy to re-create!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A week of updates: a place to sit.

We picked up a chair for the "desk" in our kitchen last week. It is an authentic Herman Miller molded fiberglass chair.
The seat is the same shape as our dining chairs, making it easy to throw at the end of the table for extra guests.
Here is the dining area of our kitchen. Do you spot another one of this week's updates in the photo?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A week of updates: the sunburst mirror.

We hung our sunburst mirror on the brick wall that connects our kitchen and living room. We purchased the silver metal mirror at Pier 1 two years ago, and then spray painted it gold. It has hung in several of our other homes, but I love it in its current place. We installed two eye screws in the wood beam at the top of the wall, then attached a wire to the back of the mirror frame.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A week of updates: a fuzzy bench.

Let's try again, shall we? After writing my first post last week I came down with a bad case of the flu, and spent the rest of the week in bed. So, this week I'll be sharing one small project we've done around our Very Fine House each day.
Today's project is courtesy of the hubby. Using this tutorial, the hubby and his best friend spent one Saturday morning re-upholstering tiny benches with faux sheepskin rugs. In their defense, the project did involve power tools, and that's kind of manly. It makes for some handy extra seating in our living room, and I like how it looks like a tiny baby lamb (minus the head).

Monday, November 8, 2010

A week of updates: the guest bath.

This week I'll be sharing one small project we've done around our Very Fine House each day.
Remember all of those pretty potties I shared images of in this post? One of my take-aways from that day was the purchase of a black toilet seat and lid for our guest bath. I love the way it ties in with the butterfly artwork (you can see here), and it gives the room a little more pop. Now I just need to tackle that ugly faux-wood vanity with a can of black paint...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thursday's Things to Love:

vintage science charts
...or even just pages out of an old anatomy or biology textbook
(all images via etsy)

This roundup ranges in price from $8-$125. And just in case you're unsure that these would like nice on your walls, here are some images to make you a believer.

(all images via apartment therapy)

As for me, I've been searching for a great pull-down style chart with diagrams of the human spine. The hubby works in spine surgeries, and I think it would be a cool addition to our home office.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A completed nursery.

Remember my girlfriend's nursery I discussed in this post? Well "the boy" is due this week, and here is his completed nursery, just in time!
The quilt was a gift from a relative, sewn in colors coordinating with the other nursery decor. The crib skirt is DwellStudio for Target.
Here are the darling canvases her daughters painted for their baby brother. And I love the bright orange curtains.
She made this cute pennant to hang over the crib. She'll personalize it with his name once he arrives! She also has a great dark wood Jenny Lind style changing table across the room from the crib. I love how she mixed furniture she already owned with some great DIY projects to make a whole new nursery.

*P.S. Have a DIY project that you're proud of? E-mail it my way ( and I'll share it on Very Fine House.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Take Five Friday.

Emily began her business, Jones Design Company, when she realized the stationary she was designing for friends was in high demand. Her blog also shares her passion for interior design and creating projects for her home. Her goal is to make her home an inviting and enjoyable space.

What advice can you give readers on getting started when decorating a new home?
Start with a neutral pieces and build on to that {i.e. a neutral sofa that you can then accessorize with patterned or colorful throws or pillows}. Invest in a few good pieces rather than buying a ton of furniture that you'll want to get rid of after a year. And shop garage sales and thrift stores for pieces you can alter with paint or fabric to update and make it your own.
(emily's entry and dining room)

How do you draw inspiration for the rooms you design?
An inspiration board is a great place to start. Gather colors, textures, fabrics, items that you think could work in a room and then figure out ways to incorporate these elements into your design. I did this with the nursery - first gathering things I had around the house that fit with the color scheme, then deciding how to put them into the room.
(emily's baby girl's room)

If there were no time or budget constraints, what dream project would you do on your own home?
We would build a new home! We dream of a large warehouse/barn type of building with tall ceilings, concrete floors, industrial lighting, a huge fireplace and no Sheetrock. I would love to take a masculine space like that and add charm and coziness with furnishings and accessories. It would be a perfect marriage of my husband's urban style and my country/cottage style.
(emily's "favorite spot")

What has been your most successful DIY project?
We really love how our kitchen turned out. Our home is just a basic new-construction house and we wanted to add our style. By tearing out the upper cabinets, reworking the island, extending the counters, painting the existing cabinets white, installing granite and open shelves, we are very happy with the results.
(emily's kitchen)

Least successful?
We are notorious for starting a project and then not finishing. Like the gaping hole in our living room where the built-in cabinet used to be. We have all of the materials to build a new bookshelf in its place, but just haven't taken the time. (It's been this way for over a year!)

I think Emily's home is truly beautiful. Be sure to check out Jones Design Company and I'm certain you'll be inspired. Thanks for taking five to stop by today Emily!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To market, to market.

The Bijou Market is doing a holiday show November 19-20 at the Historic Southworth Hall in Provo. I attended their show this summer, and got to meet some of my favorite etsy vendors. This time around I'll be helping my sister-in-law run her booth of incredible knitted hats and booties for adults and babies alike. They featured her on their site this week, so if any of you are looking for thoughtful holiday gifts, stop by the Mutze table and visit us! If you can't make the show, you can still view and purchase products on her blog. Check out the Bijou Market site for a list of the other vendors and more information on the date, time, and location.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catalog inspiration.

I have been seeing so many inspiring autumn tablescapes and beautiful fall decor in catalogs this month!
This image has three easy ideas to copy.

1. Fill hurricane vases with fruit and items you find outdoors this time of year. I've done flowers, acorns, pumpkins, and pine cones in the past.

2. For a dinner with family or friends, fill a hurricane with a candle and photographs against the sides.

3. Wrap large candles with leaves and tie thin rope or twine around and around. Then tie a big knot or bow.

The bottles in varying shades of green really set the decor for this dinner. I love the plaid napkin peaking out as well. Also, did you spot the tiny metallic mushrooms scattered throughout the table?

Here's another example of those hurricane vases filled and wrapped in twine. The wreath is made with different colors of maize. It could just as easily be done with feathers.

*All right readers, now it's your turn. What is your favorite way to spruce up your home for the fall season? Will you be borrowing any ideas you've seen in catalogs, stores, or online?

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