Archive of ‘Home Improvement’ category

Painting the Exterior of Our Home and a GIVEAWAY!

Paint the exterior of your house yourself!

I’ve been busy, busy making and styling and photographing for an exciting project that will be revealed soon! It’s been pretty labor intensive and amongst all the design fun, I needed to get the exterior foundation of our home painted. Painting the exterior of our home has been on the to-do list for quite some time and life has just gotten in the way.

Painting the exterior of your home

Not having a lot of extra time to spare, it was HomeRight to the rescue! I used the HomeRight Power-Flo 2800 Airless Paint Sprayer to get the job done. I had 2 areas of wall to coat where our basement walks out to our wrap around patio.

Power-Flo_Pro_2800_wHose 2 (1)

 

The HomeRight Power-Flo 2800 is the go-to paint sprayer for painting the exterior of your house. It makes taking on that huge job a lot easier and you are saving money by not hiring out.

Normally, I would have Dave handle this for me while I work on my project, but he has been out-of-town a lot on business and on this particular day he was traveling. To my relief, the sprayer was extremely easy to figure out and put together.

The only hiccup I had was that I didn’t tighten one of the ends of the hose tight enough the first application I tried to do… so, I had a little paint mess to clean up. Just a lesson learned–MAKE SURE YOU TIGHTEN THE HOSE PROPERLY.

Other than that, it was easy! There isn’t much prep except attaching the hose and the spray gun. The directions are really clear on how to prime it before you use it. You will want to keep a bucket on hand for priming the sprayer and clean up.

How to paint the exterior of your home

The best part is it only took me under 10 minutes to spray a little over a gallon of paint! The paint went on smooth and I only had to do one coat. I did use a good quality exterior paint which I think also makes a difference.

painting the exterior of your home

Enter to win a HomeRight Power-Flo 2800 below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post and giveaway for HomeRight. As a HomeRight Ambassador, I love to share the HomeRight products with my readers that have made my projects easier. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.

Delta Faucet Event Recap

Today, I am sharing my trip to Indianapolis, Indiana to attend the Delta Faucet Blogger Event. Who knew learning about faucets could be so fun!?!  Delta Faucet Company invites DIY and design bloggers to their headquarters to share about their products and company. It was an amazing 3 days and I think we all left wishing we could work for them!

After our flights came in, we all met up at the hotel and were welcomed with a lovely reception hosted by Delta Faucet. It was such a fun night hanging with some lovely bloggers who I am so happy I got to meet in person. We all enjoyed the wonderful food and drinks.

Delta-Blogger-Event-2 I finally got to meet Julia from Cuckoo 4 Design!! I just adore her and here we are enjoying some wine in the hotel bar before the reception began.

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At the reception, I spent a lot of time with these lovely ladies from L to R: Carrie from Dream Green DIY, Julia from Cuckoo 4 Design, Jennifer from The Chronicles of Home, and Gabbi from Retro Ranch Reno  and I’m the giant on the end!

Our day started early the next morning at the Delta Faucet headquarters which is a beautiful campus by the way. They have an amazing work culture there. When we all walked in we were greeted by this:

delta blogger event

I can now mark standing ovation from a room full of people as I enter it off the list!! What an amazing welcome Delta gave us!!

Here’s the blogger group all together:

Blogger Group

Carrie – Dream Green DIY

Gabbi – Retro Ranch Reno

Kristin – Bliss at Home

Jennifer – The Chronicles of Home

Diane - In My Own Style

Stephanie – Somewhat Simple

Amy – The Idea Room

Jennifer – Tatertots and Jello

Kim – Todays Creative Blog

Courtney – French Country Cottage

Linda – It All Started With Paint

Reichel – Copy Cat Chic

Monika – The Doctor’s Closet

Erica – Moth Design

Lynne Knowlton

Lindsay – Little House Blog

Julia – Cuckoo4Design

What a great group, right?! It was so fun to hang with these ladies!!

After the standing ovation and the introductions, we headed into the Brizo room to learn about this wonderful line. If you don’t already know, Brizo is Delta Faucet’s high-end line of faucets and lavatory fixtures.The collection is beautifully designed and it has all the wonderful technologies that Delta has engineered like Touch2O® Technology. Since 2006, Brizo has partnered with fashion designer Jason Wu for collaborations.

I was instantly drawn to this Brizo beauty:

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Brizo Solna Faucet in Brillance® Brushed Bronze

Here’s a glimpse at all the eye candy in the Brizo room:

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After learning about Brizo, Delta had a beautiful lunch waiting for us outdoors.  We were definitely spoiled by their hospitality!

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Here we from front left to front right: Julia, Me, Carrie, Jennifer, Lindsay, Reichel, Linda, and Gabbi.

After getting refueled, I was eager and ready to learn about the Delta line.

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One thing that amazed me most with Delta Faucet Company is how much research goes into their work. They really are a company dedicated to making the way we live more efficient and easier. They definitely have the market on the touch faucet. Their Touch2O® Technology can distinguish between a touch to turn on and off and a grab to move the faucet. It works just like the touch screen technology on your smartphone! Good-bye infrared sensors!  Really genius!

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The more I learned about Delta technology, the more I became convinced that they are leaders in innovation in their field. They have perfected the faucet with their Diamond™ Seal Technology.

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We also, learned about H20kinetic Shower technology that makes the water from your shower more powerful.

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Here’s Jennifer playing with the Delta showers! Ha! Love this girl!

It was time to try our hands at installing a faucet and a toilet. Gabbi and I paired up to give it a go. I have installed one faucet before, but this was way easier!

Delta-Blogger-Event-10 The toilet believe it or not, was even easier than the faucet! We had those bad boys installed in no time! We crushed it!!

I have made a deal with Dave that if he removes the toilet, I will install a new one!

The next day we got to learn more about the design and engineering process. It was so great to hear the designers talk about their inspiration. The faucets really are works of art.

I could go on forever about how great this event was and how I will be a devoted Delta patron from now on. As consumers, it is important to know the products we are buying. Not all touch faucets are created equal; I definitely understand this now. No other brand can compete with Delta’s Touch2O® Faucet. Delta also has the #1 pull-down faucet on the market.

It was such a wonderful time and I thank Delta for the invite!! I am excited to share more about Delta Faucet Company with you over the next months.

Delta Faucet Company provided an all-expense paid trip for this event. As always, I only share things I love and all opinions are 100% mine.

DIY Painted Patio Chairs | Abstract Art Inspired


We have been getting situated in our summer rental this last week. I got one big thing accomplished this weekend!!  I finished up our little outdoor patio. We have a little balcony patio off of our living room and it is the perfect little spot to have our morning coffee.

Today, I am going to show you how I took some inexpensive sling back patio chairs and made them unique– all with just a little paint!

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As you can see I went with my fail-safe combo of black and white. I love this classic duo for outdoor spaces. I picked up one quart each of Glidden® paint’s Black Onyx and Glidden® paint Dove White.

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I opted to use Glidden® Paint Duo which is a paint and primer in one. I also didn’t hesitate to use interior paint, because our patio is completely covered and doesn’t get direct sunlight.

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Since we are only going to be here until September, we didn’t want to spend a lot on patio furniture. We picked up a couple of very inexpensive sling back chairs to use. I am always amazed at what a little paint can do.

Here’s where we started with the chairs:

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They are just your basic sling back patio chair. The metal is brown and the fabric is tan.

The chairs after the magic of paint:

glidden-paint-chairs-after

 

This pattern is inspired by the art I love. I combined two of my favorites:  Mondrian art and brush stroke art to come up with this design. All you need is paint, two paint brushes (I used 1-inch and 1/2-inch), and painter’s tape.

glidden-painting-chair

Instructions for these DIY Painted Patio Chairs:

Make sure you place a drop cloth or another form of protection under your chairs before you start.

First, I painted the metal frame black. As that dried, I taped off my chairs with painter’s tape. I painted them black and then immediately peeled the tape off. The lines are your template to free-hand your white lines. I opted to free-hand them for more “brush stroked” look. You may have a few drips because the fabric is breathable and that’s okay. It’s best to apply the paint thinly and build more layers.

glidden-painted-lines

I let these dry for a good 24 hours and then applied a clear top coat spray to protect them.

I just love the finished result. It’s an easy way to add some style to some plain patio chairs and it won’t break the bank.

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glidden-paint-chairs-and-flowers

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I have been enjoying my mornings out here. The perfect spot to wake up and have my cup of coffee.

DIY Painted Patio Chairs

This post was sponsored by Glidden® paint through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Glidden®, all opinions are my own.

Summer Style Soiree | The Icons

I have an exciting announcement today! It’s Summer Style Soiree time!!

It’s time to kickoff the 2nd Annual Summer Style Soiree!! Did you follow along last year? It is such a fun series. Each month, I am joining some fab design bloggers and we will be sharing a project inspired by a style icon. I am so happy to be hosting this year and hope you all will join us!

Summer Style Soiree 2014 Invite

It is the same concept as last year. Each month, we will share our projects inspired by that month’s style icon and you will have the opportunity to link up your own!

So, each month (May-Aug) we will have the Summer Style Soiree link party where you can feature your creations based off of the monthly style icon. I can’t wait to see what you create!! It can be anything– as long as it is based on the style icon. Fashion, decor, table settings, party ideas, recipes, drinks, crafts–really anything you can dream up!

Summer Style Soiree Image

This year we are pulling inspiration from these vintage style icons. I am so excited to get creative. Audrey is one of my all-time faves!

Here is the line up:

We will get the soiree started on May 15th with Audrey Hepburn, and then continue on the 3rd Thursday of each month this summer.

May 15th : Audrey Hepburn

June 19th : Jackie “O” Kennedy

July 17th : Princess Diana

August 21st: James Dean

What fun, right? So, mark your calendars for Thursday, May 15th and get read to share an Audrey-inspired project! Last year the projects were pretty darn amazing, so I am so anxious to see what you cook up this year!

I also want to introduce you to these talented gals who I am hosting with! I’m sure you are familiar with them, but you never know…you just may find your new favorite blog here!

Carmel @ Our Fifth House

Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

Kristin @ Bliss at Home

Amy @ Blissful Bee

Angela @ Life in Velvet

Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

Amanda @ Dixie Delights

Heather @ Southern State of Mind

See you May 15th!!!!

CWTS Knockoff Tutorial || Worlds Away Anna Bar Cabinet

Today, I am sharing my tutorial for my Creating with the Stars Knockoff of the Worlds Away Anna Bar Cabinet. Are you ready for this MONSTER tutorial!?! I kid you not, this is a Tolstoy novel, but I didn’t want to leave out any details. This was a lot to squeeze into such a short time frame, and for real– I pulled 2 all-nighters to get it all done!! A lot of planning went into creating this. Originally, I wanted to find a premade cabinet and just build the base, but it was actually more cost-effective to build it from scratch and I could not find a suitable cabinet on such short notice in my area.

Bliss at Home - CWTS - Knockoff Overall

I just want to preface this by saying I am not a carpenter and I tried to keep it as simple as I could. I also kept in mind that a lot of DIYers may not have access to certain wood-working tools. You will have to have some basic knowledge of how to use a drill, a nail gun, a  miter saw, and a jig saw. I would not consider this a beginner’s project. I pushed myself for Creating with the Stars and I’m glad I did it.

I also built this in two pieces–the cabinet and the base. This way it is easier to move, since it is quite heavy and a larger furniture item.

bar step 1

Make your cabinet cuts…actually… let the home improvement store do it.

The first thing I did was build the cabinet. I went to my local home improvement store and selected 2 pieces of 3/4″ 4×8 Birch Hardwood Plywood. This has a really smooth finish which is great for painting. This design is based on the 3/4″width of this plywood, so all measurements had to take that into account.

I designed some templates to get the best cuts from each piece of plywood so I would not have to buy extra or waste too much. I had the home improvement store use their large saw and make all my cuts for me. I LOVE THAT SAW!! The first two cuts are free and then they charge 29 cents per cut after that. This is a great alternative if you don’t have access to the proper saw at home.

The first piece of wood will make the cuts for your top, back, and 2 side pieces of the cabinet. You will want to save the extra wood because you will be using it later.

CWTS Knockoff via Bliss at Home

Your second piece of wood will be the cuts for your 2 doors, bottom, and transition piece between the cabinet and the base. Again, you are going to want to save your leftover pieces for later.

Keep in mind, that your 2 doors are cut to have a tiny space between them when hung so they do not touch.

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bar steps 2

 Build your cabinet.

To build your cabinet you will need the following:

 cabinet cuts from your plywood, wood for the frame: (2) 1″x1″x8′ (actually 1-3/8″x 1-5/8″) lumber, a nail gun and 1-3/4 in. x 15 gauge nails, a level, a drill and 1-1/2 in. wood screws, wood fill, a sander or sandpaper

**an extra set of hands to help position and hold pieces in place

bar cabinet building You will cut your lumber into 8 pieces to use as the inner frame that you will attach your cabinet plywood pieces to. It is really great to have a buddy near by to help hold things in place as you use your nail gun. I kept a level handy too to make sure everything was aligned properly.

To start, I drew lines a 3/4 inch inside from the outer edges of the bottom piece. This was my guide as I attached my frame. Since the plywood cuts are 3/4 inch wide, this makes everything line up perfectly.

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It is really important to make sure that top piece hangs over the front of the cabinet by 3/4″. You want your doors to be flush with the top.

frame of cabinet

I placed a nail using my nail gun about every 4 inches. I used my drill and 6 wood screws on the top, sides, and back to ensure solid construction.

Once constructed, I filled in nail holes with wood fill, sanded them down, and cleaned the surface.

bar step 3

Build the base. You will need:

(4) 1″ x 1″ x 8′ lumber (remember it is actually 1-3/8″ x 1-5/8″ x 8′) 

1/2″ oak pressed board cut to 36″x 20-3/4″

3/4″ birch hardwood plywood cut to 15″x 21″ (from leftover wood from cabinet)

(12) 2″ 2-hole 90 degree corner brace

(8) 2″ 2-hole L-strap

(8) 3″ mending plates

(8) brass furniture glides

drill and wood screws

bar cabinet base 2

After you make your cuts for the base pieces, take your top piece and lay it on the ground. Basically, build it upside down. I found that working from the top down was best. I used corner braces on all interior corners. I hid the L-brackets on the back sides of joints that can not be seen from the front of the cabinet. I did this to keep things plumb and extra secure. I just used the wood screws that came with the packages and my cordless drill. The mending plates I placed under the joints on the bottom of the base for extra stability.

The brass furniture glides were an extra touch and I placed them under every vertical leg of the base.

bar cabinet hardware

bar step 4 Paint cabinet & add in fabric pop out panel to the back

prime & paint

I loved the emerald green of the original Anna Bar Cabinet, so I went with Benjamin Moore Very Green (2040-30) in Semi-Gloss. I purchased 1 quart of Benjamin Moore Fresh Start High-Hiding All Purpose Primer in Deep Base. My friendly Benjamin Moore paint expert also tinted the primer for me with Very Green. I did one coat of primer using a foam roller. Once dry, I applied two coats of Benjamin Moore Very Green. 1 quart is enough to cover everything twice and still have enough leftover for the doors and base piece. I used a foam roller application for the paint and had a paint brush handy for hard to reach areas. This is excellent paint, and my paint expert advised me to use Benjamin Moore Advance Paint for furniture. Hands down the best quality paint I have worked with.

fabric -pop- panel

While my paint was drying, I worked on the fabric panel for the inside of the cabinet. This was really simple and I customized it so it could come out easily and be changed. I had my home improvement store use that handy saw of theirs once again to cut a piece of smooth board (it’s brown and located with the baseboard and paneling) the size of the back of my cabinet 33″x 35″. When I got it home, I notched the corners with my jig saw so it would fit tightly against the back of the cabinet.

I found this animal print fabric at Hancock Fabrics. That is also where the awesome white hand came from that you all loved so much! It is an outdoor fabric and easy to clean. Using spray adhesive, I attached the fabric to the board and smoothed it out as I worked with a wallpaper smoothing tool. Worked like a charm! The excess I just taped on the back.

This is not permanent and if I ever wish to change it out it will be an easy fix. The shelving I added in holds it flush against the back, so there is no need to permanently attach it to.

So, cabinet meet your base…

bar-cabinet meets base

Now onto doors…

bar-bamboo-detail

The bamboo detail– I spared no expense…LOL. I had some old tiki torches in my garage that we weren’t going to use ever again,  so I grabbed my hand saw and got to work cutting them.

First, I marked on my doors in pencil where I wanted the bamboo to be placed. Then, I made my cuts. I cut the corners at 45 degrees. I attached the bamboo with liquid nail. Once it was dry, I primed and painted the fronts of the doors.

bar step 5

Attach doors and finish painting. Attach hardware. Gold leaf the base.

You must have the proper hinge for this type of door. The hinge has to be attached to the inside and not noticeable on the outside. I think they are called hidden collapsible hinges.

bar-hinges

Hanging doors…not easy! Let me repeat…hanging doors… NOT EASY! It helps to have another set of hands for this too. The directions that came with the hinges did help a lot though.

Once hung, I painted them and the shelf for the base.

The hardware is handmade, actually…Dave made…I loved the help with that!! I made a template out of grid paper that mimicked the shape and size of the hardware on the Worlds Away version. Dave took leftover birch from the cabinet cuts and used the jig saw and cut those by hand!! I was just going to cut pieces and glue them together, but he wanted to see if he could cut some out for me to save me the extra time…since I was playing beat the clock at this point! Once they were cut out,  I spray painted them gold.

The base got the gold leaf treatment. I filled in screw holes with wood fill and sanded them down before hand.  It took a couple of hours to gold leaf the entire base. I was really tired of gold leaf at this point. In retrospect, I could have just spray painted the base, but I wanted that gold leaf look.

Shelving is subjective, so I didn’t feel the need to do a tutorial for this. You can customize it to your own needs. I used the left over birch from the cabinet build and made my own.

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So, that’s my high-end knockoff. The Worlds Away Anna Bar Cabinet is in a league of its own. It is extremely well made with gorgeous finishes and details. My homemade version, recreates the look of this upscale piece using materials you can get at your nearest home improvement store.

My costs include all the lumber, all the hardware, fabric, and paint.

Bliss at Home - CWTS - Knockoff Overall

Bliss at Home - CWTS - Knockoff Collage Shelves

I still can’t believe I got it done in time. I basically had 4 days to have it finished, styled, photographed and submitted to CWTS. You can see the amount of work and time I poured into every detail. I had to fit in time to source items to style it with since I couldn’t use anything identifiable to my home. I also painted those black and white abstracts quickly to add some art to the wall…oh and I painted the walls white too. It’s an insane amount of work to cram into such a short period of time! I am so glad I pushed myself and got it done. Now I have a lovely cabinet in my office.

DIY Bar Cabinet Tutorial via Bliss at Home

A special thanks to my CWTS Blog Star Kristin from The Hunted Interior & CWTS hosts Monica and Jess from East Coast Creative.

*linked here

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If you would like to see more projects to get inspired, check out my PROJECT GALLERY.

Chic Office Updates

Comments are working again!! Hooray! Sorry they were down the past couple days! We got it fixed so comment away :)

Today, I am giving you a little peek at my office, now a chic office.  I have been working on this when I get a spare moment from everything else and I love the way it is taking shape.

Chic Office || B @ H

Creating with the Stars gave me the head start on this space with the addition of my green cabinet I made. It is supplying me with some much-needed storage and I will be sharing how I am staying organized with it very soon.

My workspace is now pretty complete with my new desk and chair. I wanted to keep it fresh and clean so I went white.

Chic Office Space || B @ H

Above my desk, I wanted to litter the wall with inspiration. I also wanted it to be easily changed over time, so I opted for a giant inspiration board. I just used corkboard tiles and covered the entire board in the same fabric that I used on the inside of my green cabinet. I love the little pops of animal print that show through.

On top of my desk, I couldn’t resist getting some more gold accessories. The stapler, scissors, and paper clips are the new additions.

Chic Office Space || B @ H

It feels so good to have a space that completely reflects my personal style to work in. The inspiration board is just filled with things I love and projects I am working on.

Chic Office Space || B @ H

I also adore the gold stud push pins. Those were a happy find!

Chic Office Space || B @ H board-3 Chic Office Space || B @ H Under foot I wanted something soft, so I placed a sheepskin beneath my desk.

Chic Office Space || B @ H

I would still like to find a fun lamp to use here. This side of my office is pretty much finished at the moment. The other side of the space I am still working on. It has to function as a place to dine and a place to work on projects.

Chic Office Space || B @ H

 

OFFICE SOURCE LIST

World Market Josephine Desk

Zyder Hi-Back Office Chair

Safavieh Sheepskin Rug from Bold Rugs

Gold Paper Clips from Staples

Corkboard Self-Adhesive Squares 4-pack from Michael’s 

Sunbrella Cheetah Natural Outdoor Fabric from Hancock Fabrics

Dream Big & Anything Could Happen Print by Charm & Gumption

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien Print by Luciana

Foil Monogram Desk Calendar by Jenny Bevlin

Nate Berkus Gold Swingline Stapler, Nate Berkus Gold Scissors, Nate Berkus Gold Stud Push Pins at Target (in-store only)

Office Reveal  B @ H

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B @ H Monthly || March

First, I would just like to apologize to everyone who tried to leave a comment yesterday and couldn’t. I am working with my website host to get it remedied. Sorry about that!

March was quite the interesting month around here to say the least! We finally had some temps that are closer to spring weather…50 degrees feels like summer when we just made it through the longest winter EVER!! At the end of every month, I like to recap and highlight our projects, decor, plans, and happenings.  Thanks for joining me on my DIY and design adventures!

B@H Monthly Recap || March 2014

 

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As I said, this month was full of surprises! All the DIY tutorials I had planned to show you from our spring bedroom reveal got put on hold due to all the Creating with the Stars busy time! I am hoping I can squeeze them into April for you!

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My oldest’s bedroom is starting to take shape and we got his room painted and scored an awesome midcentury desk for him!

Spring Bedroom Reveal || B @ H

 

I shared our spring bedroom reveal complete with bright pops of coral. I will be sharing a tutorial (hopefully soon!!) on the pillows, art, and wallpaper panels.

Living Room Spring Trends || B @ H

 

My master plan to add in some pink touches totally happened without any groaning from the boys in my life! Just call me Pink Ninja!!

You can see all the spring touches I added to our living room and maybe get inspired to take the pink plunge yourself!

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Spring Givaway and Spring Trends 2014

 

You can see if you are the winner of the $150 e-gift card to West Elm or Target. I will be sending an email out to the lucky winner later on today too!

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Creating with the Stars Contestant

 

I am so glad I got to take part in East Coast Creative’s Creating with the Stars 2014. You can read all about my personal experience. It was one of my favorite things of the year thus far and I have a new piece of furniture in my home that I absolutely adore…

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

 

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

 

Another exciting thing that happened in March is got my first shout out in a magazine!!!!

2014HOME370

 

You can check me out in USA Today Home magazine on newstands now across the country. I am in two articles on page 39 and page 55. Super cool!

I’d also like to take time out to thank these wonderful blogs and websites that featured my work in the month of March:

Centsational Girl

Clever Girls

Cuckoo 4 Design

Dimples & Tangles

Freckles Chic

The Hunted Interior

Rugs USA blog

Yahoo Shine

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Well, we just started to prep the walls and floor in our bathroom for tile!! I cannot wait!!! We have been living with one of the ugliest bathrooms in America folks and it is going to transform into “bathroom fancy pants”. That’s the big one this month and it will probably take all month to get it done.

Bathroom Fancy Pants Priority #1

More work on the Boys’ Rooms

My Office

My CWTS Tutorial 

Here’s a peek at what’s in store for our ugly bathroom…

bath-preview

April we should probably just call “marble month”...because it’s going to be everywhere!!! Oh, yea-aaaaah!

Today, be sure to pop on over to 11 Magnolia Lane for their tour of Spring Homes!

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Join the Spring Open House!

Hi Friends!

I am just popping in on this lovely Sunday to let you know about the Spring Open House on 11 Magnolia Lane that starts today!

 

spring open house button

 

The lovely ladies of 11 Magnolia Lane have asked me to kick off their Spring Open House with my spring home tour. I have to admit, I am addicted to crashing other people’s homes. I just never tire of a good home tour! Be sure to visit them and see my home all decked out for spring!

Every Sunday a new blogger spring home will be featured. You can also follow along on the Spring Open House Pinterest Board.

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Many Thanks || My Creating with the Stars Experience

WOW.

All I got to say is WOW.

YOU GUYS!!!

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You guys rocked my world with your outpouring of support for my knockoff I made for Creating with the Stars!!! I am working to respond to every single one of your emails, blog comments, Facebook messages, and social media shout outs. Until I can get caught up, I just wanted to take today to give you all a public thank you and share a bit of my experience this past week for CWTS.

Just be forewarned, that this post is more wordy than my norm, but I wanted to share my experience with you all.

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As most of you know by now, I was in the bottom 3 and did not advance to week 2. When I saw the results, honest moment here…I was disappointed and didn’t quite get it. After the disappointment subsided, I started to think about the whole experience. I had a real sense of gratitude come over me. There was nothing to feel bad about. All I could feel was a welling up of pride for what I had made then quickly followed by gratitude.

When I saw the entries for week 1, I was completely blown away by the talent! Plus, so many different design aesthetics. You think about it, the twelve of us were chosen from 299 entries. That is a big deal in itself. It is an honor just to be selected. Just to be a contestant, you are competing against some mighty talented bloggers. Also, some of these blogger teams are made up of two people. You go into this thing not knowing what the voter make-up will be. You also go into it with the feeling of go big or go home.

The Hunted Interior || B @ H

I had the amazing opportunity to have Kristin from The Hunted Interior as my blog star. It was really a happy moment, because she is a designer and blogger that I admire and her style resonates with me. I kid you not, that it was so much fun to brainstorm ideas with her and she totally got my personal tastes and style. Even though, I only got to spend a week working with her, I feel like I gained some great takeaways and I valued her direction and opinion. It really did not feel like work to be teamed up with her and I am grateful for the time she took out of her own busy schedule to mentor me. She is a class act. Working with her is one of my favorite things about being part of CWTS.

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

Project selection for me ‘wasn’t about what will the masses love’. I guess that is not a very good strategy for winning. And not to say there is anything wrong with that. Obviously, what is popular amongst the majority will be a hit. I got chosen based off my own personal style and skills. I wanted this project to showcase what I love in design and not be the norm of a knockoff. So, as you saw, I went bold in color, with a high-end knockoff. I wanted a modern element thrown in and I loved it. I wanted to create something special for my home and even though it was a knockoff, I wanted it to have a unique quality. I love chinoiserie pieces, gold, pattern, and beautiful color. The bar cabinet possessed all those qualities plus that unique flair I was looking for. Knowing that I could customize the inside however I pleased was a bonus. I knew it would be a way to show off my styling abilities.

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

Building it from scratch was a personal choice because on such a short time frame, I could not find a pre-made cabinet in stock that would work. It ended up saving me money too which was a win-win. It took a lot of planning and I had to be smart about the base design to equally distribute the weight of the cabinet. A lot of thought and planning went into the design and the materials chosen to execute a project with integrity that could be recreated by readers on a budget. I also took into account the fact that a lot of people may not have access to wood-working tools, so I even had the home improvement store make all my large wood cuts for me based off my design plans. My goal in it all was to create something true to my style and give people the tutorial and template to make one themselves at an affordable price.

In order to have it ready to photograph for Friday, I did pull a couple of all-nighters. You do go into this competition knowing that this is probably going to happen. I have to tell you though, when you are in the creative process, the lack of sleep doesn’t bother you because you are on a high. The excitement of seeing my plans come to fruition kept the midnight oil burning. I did sleep like a rock when the work was done though!

cwts-KO-STYLING

One of my late night mock ups for styling ideas

Kristin was such an asset to have in my corner. I would text her progress shots. I sent her my styling ideas. She sent me sketches of styling ideas, she tweaked a couple of my original mock ups. It was her idea to have the bar cabinet slightly overlap the art on the wall. Many of you commented that you loved the art, and that made me so happy since it was something I came up with to add in a modern element. Kristin also helped with photo selection and it was so great to have another set of eyes to help make those choices.

The Hunted Interior- styling tips One of Kristin’s styling sketches

Through the week I just kept thinking, man! if I could collaborate like this all the time for my career that would be amazing!  Sharing the creative process with others is so great! I really loved it!

TY-success

The result of our efforts is something that I will always cherish. What is a true measure of success? Is it in the votes tallied or in the overall feeling that you are left with upon completion of an idea? Even though the votes weren’t there to advance us to week 2, I really feel like this whole thing was a success. I stayed true to who I am as a designer and creative. I shared something I really love– which is the core of why I blog in the first place. I got to be in the company of the best of the best. I pushed myself. It really just motivates me to keep on keeping on! It was a gift.

I get to do what I love for my job and when opportunities come along like CWTS, it is always a joy to be a part of– no matter what the overall result may be. You guys have touched my heart with all your support of what I made. The fact that so many of you have taken a moment to send your thoughts and love this way just makes me feel so humbled! It is unbelievable and I thank you!

TY-no-regrets

I thought to myself, knowing the outcome now– would I change what I did? A resounding NO. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing. No regrets at all. I have thought long and hard about this. You need to be you. As my friend, Lindsay, just coined in her blog post yesterday you need to fly your style freak flag. Her little phrase got me thinking…what is my style freak flag? How do you celebrate your individuality?  I could give you a list of design styles that I love,  but to me it is a feeling that a project or space evokes.

So, I decided to label my ‘style freak flag’ with that exact thought in mind. When I design a space, or a piece of furniture, or make some art what am I saying about me? I think I found the words that define my style, that celebrate my individuality, and deliver what I am trying to achieve.

TY-daring

Those four words carry the weight of what I set out to achieve through design. I feel that it is the essence of why I create. Don’t be like the rest of them–Be daring.  Set the tone for your life--To be lovely. To some people, dwelling on the objects in our homes may seem like a waste of time. To each his own. To me, it is a part of the whole. Create a space that wraps you in the emotion you want to feel. Our homes are our havens. To create a home that delights and encourages your talents and dreams is a good thing. To surround your family in love and comfort through design is a gift.

So, follow your dreams, keep on creating, and design the framework for the life you want to live. I promise to keep flying my style freak flag high.  In all that I do, I am making a promise to myself to be daring but lovely.

bah-sign-off

Isn’t She Lovely…

Well, as you may have read by now…I did not make it to week 2 on Creating with the Stars. My knockoff was in the bottom 3…so away we go! A big congratulations to all that are continuing on!!! All of us should be proud we were selected in the first place. No sad faces allowed.

So here she is.  Cue the music…sing it Stevie…

Isn’t she lovely!

Isn’t she wonderful!

Isn’t she precious!

Less than one minute old

I never thought through love we’d be
Making one as lovely as she

But isn’t she lovely made from love

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff Bliss at Home - CWTS - Knockoff Open I am completely proud of her even if the votes didn’t reflect her awesomeness. She was made from scratch and as Stevie sang– made from love. A love of all things fabulous!

You better believe I will be sharing a tutorial on how I made her when I am allowed to release it!

It’s a little bittersweet not going on in the competition. My mind was already on the next project. Maybe it’s for the best, since I do have an entire bathroom to remodel and tile, let alone a kitchen to finish.

I am keeping her in my office and she is going to be used for storing my work stuff. So, you guys will get to see my office pretty soon! The art on the wall that I DIY’ed will also be staying. I really like the arrangement.

I also want to give a BIG THANK YOU to Kristin from The Hunted Interior for all her advice and expertise! She was a dream to work with and it really didn’t feel like ‘work’ collaborating with her. She’s one busy blogger and she took the time to give me ideas on everything from projects to styling. It was pure fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Also, if you haven’t yet…check out my post on spring trends and enter to win that $150 to shop West Elm or Target! 

Spring Decor || B @ H

ENTER HERE

Now I am going to go whisper sweet nothings to my pretty little green cabinet…

bah-sign-off

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