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!
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