Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What do I do with this space?

Remember the great kitchen remodel I shared with you last year? Well, that same wonderful family reached out to me again to help with their kiddos rooms recently. I love designing kid spaces!

When I went over for the initial design meeting, I got the big, "What do I do with this space?" question.  Their spunky 9 y.o. daughter is lucky enough to have a great little alcove (actually, it's a pretty decent size) set off of her bedroom.

We brainstormed a bit and decided to create a reading niche that doubles as the "I wish I had that in my room" space. Did I mention this precious little lady is spunky?! Her design goal is to have her friends speak these words when they walk into her room. No pressure, right?!

So, here's the plan...


Mom and Dad want a place that reflects her personality but will grow with her, i.e. nothing that's too hard to undue as she turns into a teenager. Hence, why we decided to paint the space white and use black vinyl dot decals. Daughter gets something young and trendy while parents get to peel those suckers right off the wall when daughter decides polka dots are too juvenile. Win/win!

Let's talk atmosphere. Can't you just see this little alcove's ceiling lined with those great party globe light strings? And, don't forget the sparkle that every 9 y.o. needs, a.k.a. crystal chandy.

Gymnastics is a huge part of her life so why not bring it into the space? Mom and dad came up with the great idea of blowing up a picture of their little gymnast doing the splits on the beam. I've sent them on their way to Staples to print a black and white engineering print then we'll bust out the mod podge and a canvas and bring their vision right to life!

What do you think? Did we accomplish our goal? Will her friends wish for a similar space? ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Acrylic Display Case

Hello, friends! I'm recovering from a 2 day garage sale this weekend. I am still amazed at the amount of junk treasures I can pull out of closets when it's garage sale time! I sold lots and even tried to unload my house while I was at it (literally). Someone stopped and asked if I knew of any homes for sale in the area and I said "YES!...mine." We're not officially listed yet but they asked if they could take a peek and I agreed. Now, if only my kids' rooms hadn't of been disasterous. And gosh, it would've been nice if I had cleaned up the breakfast dishes. Oh well, that's what you get in the spur of the moment around here!

Moving on...
 Last week I showed you a similar project and this week I've adapted it to be a display case.

Like those mitered edges and the swirly paint job? Makes the perfect shelf for whatever your heart's desire, if I do say so myself.

An overview shot to help you appreciate the openness of the case.

Miniature jars made the perfect "knick knack" for this display. Just grabbed a few sprigs from the bushes and wolla, it's done.

Easy paint effect...make straight lines of each paint color then make circles with your brush to blend them all together. I even painted the screws. The gold ones were expensive so why not spruce up my cheap silver ones with a little glam? Same look, less dinero.

I like the 'glass' on glass look here.

Another fun way to use this display: cookies, kids and frogs (something we have a plethora of around here).


Ready for the "How To"? 

It's super simple. Here's what you'll need...
Supplies:
One of these will do the trick. Decide how long you'd like your shelf and cut to size. We mitered the ends then glued two pieces together for added dimension and thickness.

Two sheets. You can purchase many different sizes or even have the handy dandy men at Home Depot cut them to size for you. The previous post used 8x10 sheets and this one used 5x7. The thicker the sheet, the better the end result.
Only tip here is to make sure your screws are long enough to provide the needed space for the wood pieces 'floating' inside the two pieces of plexiglass.

Other supplies: paint, saw, drill, wood glue.

Helpful hint: Plexiglass can be tricky to drill holes in without splitting the plastic so take your time and use a sharp drill bit. We watched several instructional YouTube videos on the process before tackling our own project. 

The basics: Drill holes, the size of the screws, in each corner of the plexiglass. Push screws through each hole and lay flat. Arrange wood pieces on one piece of plexiglass then slide the second piece of plexiglass down over the screws bringing it down to lay on top of the wood. Use bolts to tighten. Make sure to tighten bolts strong so your wood pieces don't slip out when brought to upright position. 

Obvious steps I left out: Paint your wood pieces desired colors and let dry prior to 'squeezing' between  the sheets of plexiglass. Paint the screws and let dry before adding bolts. Wouldn't want to strip off your paint by bolting too soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DIY Acrylic Floating Art

I've always been a fan of acrylic frames and optical illusions. Anything that makes something look like it's floating is fun in my book.

Recently, I've had a few clients itching for something unique. One's looking for a different way to display items and the other needs a creative hanging solution.

I've been brainstorming and here's my prototype...

Is it an "A"? Is it a triangle? How's it attached? That's the beauty of all things abstract. It's left up for you own interpretation.

A view from top to get the full effect.

The sides are painted different colors so this piece can be appreciated from all angles.

White, gold and black.

This is such an easy project! John and I are still working out the details to make it a bit more sturdy though. Like I said, this is just the prototype.


Later in the week, I'll share the "display" option, then give you all the details so you can make you own!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You won't believe what we promised the kids...

On my most recent house hunting trip to Dallas, I found a lot (as in land, not tons) that had potential. It had a creek view and I'm drawn to that since we have a boy who'd go c.r.a.z.y exploring and being one with nature.

Then, I found this design by Austin architects, Furman + Kiel, and instantly decided that lot had lots of potential (pun intended).

Here are several shots I snapped while snooping a peek into the neighbor's backyard making sure a house and pool could fit on the lot. Did I mention John and I made the biggest mistake ever?! Out of pure guilt and as a means to stop the flow of tears when we shattered our kids' hearts told the kids we were moving, we promised them a pool! Now who's c.r.a.z.y? Go ahead, point the fingers, we deserve it.

Bryn and Reed have shared their visions for our new place and Bryn has added "a tree house" to the ever so long list of requirements. So, I'm thinking that'd be a great DIY daddy/daughter project, right? 
 We'll see how bad she wants that tree house once she realizes there's manual labor involved!

Aren't Texas trees gorgeous? NOT. But, keep in mind it is technically still winter so things are a bit bare. And, it beats the heck out of looking into your neighbor's bedroom window!

Friday, February 15, 2013

If we build...

I shared with you on Tuesday that we're moving this summer and haven't decided whether to buy or build. {You can read the story here.} I've started a pinterest board to collect amazing ideas in case we decide on the latter. Want to follow along? Click here.

Let's take a peek at what's got me dreaming these days...
I'm all about bringing the outside in. I love the unexpected element displayed in this design. Who thinks to place mirrors in front of a window? I'm also a fan of how geometric this looks.

My kids are begging for a two-story house but I'm not so sure they've sold me on the idea. How about this as a compromise...split levels! The ceilings, the divider, the library...yep, pretty much a fan of everything in this picture.

I've filed this idea away in case we end up with small bedrooms. A picture turned table. Brilliant, right? This seems like a great idea for the kid's. It'd also be fun to make the 'picture part' a cork board or dry erase board instead.

Pretty much loving this towel ring from Urban Outfitters for a mere $14. I should really go ahead and order it now since it probably won't be around when we finally make up our minds. And, besides, it fits in with either decision, buying or building!


I ran across this tutorial for acrylic curtain rods and thought is was a great knock-off of those pricey ones. As I read her list of supplies, I figured this DIY was meant to be as soon as I learned her supplier was in DALLAS. That's one good thing about moving...Dallas definitely has better shopping.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Be kind and hug on those you love!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness...Valentine's Edition

Happy Valentine's day, friends! I love this cheesy holiday. I know many dismiss this 'so-called holiday' and say it's a holiday created by Hallmark, but you know what?...I disagree! It's the perfect day to evaluate your relationships and express a little love.

I say, spread the love! The more the better in my opinion. It doesn't have to be mushy gushy, simply be kind today. Kindness = Love.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with being kind, but I think it's beautiful and too good not to share on Valentine's day!

Back on topic...
Be kind by leaving a little note for someone special or a even a complete stranger. Get your origami on and impress others with your skillz. (John, that statement was just for you.)

Show your kindness by inviting someone to share a cup of coffee with you. Face to face time is so valuable. Nothing says I love you more than slowing down to listen to a friend.

Put a little sparkle into someone's day today. Your smile is enough to do the trick. Try smiling at everyone you see today. They'll think you're crazy but that's okay, I bet there's someone who needs that smile.

And, lastly friends, this Valentine is for you! It's mice to know you and I cherish the time you spend 'hanging out with me' here in blogland.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God has a funny sense of humor...we're moving

Never say never!

Fourteen years ago, John and I made Austin our home. I quickly fell in love with this city and boldly proclaimed, "You couldn't pay me enough to move back to Dallas. I love it here!"

Fast forward to last October when John came home one day and said, "Well, they're serious this time. They want me in Dallas." 'They' being the amazing company he works for. We've known this request would come sooner or later, but we always thought we'd turn it down.

Through LOTS of prayer, I'm eating my words and come June, Dallas will be our new home.


As the title of this post suggests, I really think God is chuckling right now. He's saying, "Really, Dana? You think you've got it all figured out, don't you?!"

I've talked to God a lot throughout this decision and it's become very clear that our move is actually His way of answering my prayers. I prayed for God to heal my relationship with my brother. Well, guess who lives in Dallas?...my brother. I've prayed that God would validate John in his work and that they'll value him for the amazing commitment and efforts he displays on a daily basis. Well, they "need" him in Dallas because he's received a promotion. How's that for validation?!

I'll be honest, I've "tested" God through this decision. My weak faith has had the audacity of asking God to "do things" if our move was meant to be. I was just telling the kids about this this morning.

Reed's been asking to join a skeet shooting team. John began to look into it for him and reached out to the Texas coordinator via email. In the meantime, I prayed that God would 'provide me proof' by letting the answer reveal that the teams were in Dallas and not in Austin. Well, weeks passed without response. Then one day, an email appeared saying, "Unfortunately, we don't have any teams in Austin, but there are tons in Dallas." I read this and started crying! Crying, out of awe that He answered me so boldly and crying that I knew at this point there was no turning back...if we're going to live in His will, then we need to follow His lead.

John and I have realized that we've become very comfortable in our lives. It's often the times of discomfort that cause spiritual growth so we're embracing this season of life and trusting that we'll come out on the other side of things as better human beings. 

You've probably noticed things have been lacking a bit here on my blog. Well, now you know why! Trying to find a house in a different city kinda sucks a little energy out of ya. And, it's a bit pointless to do great projects around the house when you know it's not going to be yours much longer. 

So, friends, I ask you to hang on for the ride during this time of transition. I'll continue posting but it certainly won't be on a regular basis like usual. 

Our house will be on the market in a few weeks and we're facing big decisions about whether to build or buy. Right now, we can't even make up our minds about what part of town to live in. Dallas has a million suburbs and most have horrible commutes. Decisions, decisions.

I'll leave you with this though...I was very frustrated one night after spending hours searching for homes on-line. I prayed as I was going to bed and asked God to give me a glimpse into the house we'd be living in. I wanted a sense of familiarity so when I walked into it, I'd know. I didn't dream of a specific house that night...I dreamt of floor plans. Hummm...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Talking accessories

Happy Friday, friends! I picked up a new accessory for our house last week on a whim. I found a photograph of a graffitied wall here in Austin. It's actually the side of a coffee shop, a favorite spot for couples to take their engagement photos in front of. Anyway, right now my photo is propped up on a shelf in our closet and it's the first thing John and I see when we walk in to get dressed. It's such a fun little reminder.


My new photo started me thinking about other ways to share the love around the house...
{available here}
Cute, right?

Wouldn't this make you giggle at bath time?

Buy something similar here.

It's always great for your house to show your values. I like to think people can walk into our house and know what we stand for simply by what's on the walls. 

Here a few more examples of how easy this is to achieve...


What are your accessories saying? Do you have a fun way to display what you're all about?
Do tell...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mid-Century Modern Living Room Design

Do you have 'happy colors?' You know, the ones that make you happy no matter if they're trending or not. The ones that make up 98.9% of the clothes in your closet? Well, these are my happy colors...


I could throw 'what's in style' to the wind, decorate my house in these colors and be perfectly content with my surroundings for years to come. Okay, who am I kidding, I'd be happy for 5 years instead of my typical 3 year decorating attention span. But, you get my point, right?

And, do you have a dream design plan? The one where you sell every last piece of your existing furniture and decor and start over from scratch. Here's my dream design plan...


I've done traditional. I've done rustic. I've done transitional. (I told you my tastes change every 3 years, right?) Now...it's time to do Mid-Century Modern. Ahhh, a girl can dream.

Now, perfect client who shares my vision, will you please hire me so I can design your home and live vicariously?!

Do share...what are your happy colors?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Austin Modern Home Tour, Part 2

Ready for part 2? By yesterday's response, it seems like many of you air more on the "fluffy" side of styles rather than embracing minimalism. Today's pictures may suit you more since a handful of them are more contemporary then modern.

That being said, these first ones still embrace modern aesthetics...huge windows, great views, bringing the outside in and no clutter.

Can you imagine waking up to this every morning? Here's my question...it's often well over 100 degrees here in Texas, does this begin to feel like you're living in an oven during summer?

 Okay, read this close! This high-end, more then likely million dollar house, used Ikea cabinets in their kitchen. Yep, these white drawers are from Ikea. How about that? Perfect example of mixing high-end and low-end to create a killer look. Granted, he used 4 sets of the cabinets and the opposite side has an amazing custom wood shelving unit that ties it all together perfectly, but hey, Ikea's still involved.  ha! And, you're probably wondering why I don't have a picture of the custom wood shelving unit. Yeah, I'm wondering that too.

Beautiful mixture of acacia wood and cement.

Now, for the more contemporary feel...
 Super cool lamp and great abstract art.

This is only one of the amazing outdoor spaces this house had to enjoy. Are you loving the steel framed windows as much as I am?

 If memory serves me right, this family had 5 boys! Here's their playroom and below is one of their bathrooms. Each boys' room/bathroom was exactly the same but different color schemes.

Clean and crisp.

 If I could have pulled this off the wall and snuck it out in my purse I would've!

Great chandelier and more beautiful windows.

Loving all the mixture of patterns going on in this picture.

Beautiful styling.

The next 2 pictures turned out really blurry, but this sink was too cool not to share.
It's difficult to see, but if you look close you'll notice the wall mount hardware.

Think this is a master bedroom? Nope, it's the guest suite. It was detached from the rest of the house, connected by a covered walkway and had a view of the gorgeous pool. I'd be a guest in this house any day!

Back to modern...
 I pretty much love this shelving unit that acts as a room divider. The brown doors are push open doors to add a bit more storage.

 Crazy cool wall. Lots of cement in these houses.

And, sadly, this is the only exterior shot I took. The above two pictures belong to this one.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour. Even if it's not your style, it's always great to appreciate the workmanship of others.

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