Best Artificial and Affordable Flowers

In August, one of my favorite blogs – Design*Sponge – posted one of my favorite DIY projects.

These resourceful coffee filter flowers are the idea of Aunt Peaches. Recently I tried a relatively simple version of her coffee filter flowers to add some color and fun to my dining area.

Lola was in a very friendly mood so it was nearly impossible to get a photo without her being in it.

You can find a link to the Design*Sponge instructions via my Projects page.

To take this great idea a little further, I decided to make some flowers to use at my Halloween party. I’m pleased with how they turned out.

I would really encourage you to visit Aunt Peaches website for more amazing ways to make beautiful flowers from coffee filters.

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Fashionable, Frugal and Fabulous!

While reading my many favorite design blogs, I ran across this amazing decorating ideas at loving.living.small.

Using the dust bags that come with you favorite designer bags, this creative blogger made affordable and fashionable decor.

By simply framing some handbag dustbags, you can create unique and budget-friendly art.

I’m always looking for ways to create affordable and unique art – what have you done?

[Photos and ideas from loving.living.small]

Monday Mall

Today’s holiday Monday Mall theme is – living room furniture.

White Arm Chair – $20

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1999447012.html

Cool Cabinet – $25

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/fuo/1999442786.html

White Ottoman with Storage – $40

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1999436370.html

Map-Themed Cabinet – $20

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1999338018.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Have a great Columbus Day!

Dynamic Design

While I had prepared myself for the transition of job culture from my last job to this new one, or so I thought, it has been a surprisingly frazzling first two weeks. My schedule is all thrown off, I don’t have much work to do, I’m still getting used to wearing “grown-up clothes” ….. the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still extremely excited for what the future may hold, and grateful for all that I have, but I’m drained. Hence, the short post today. I promise I will be much more on the ball next week.

I came across this quote the other day. I think it will help me to justify my current mental state and the physical state of my closet.

One person’s mess is merely another person’s filing system.

– Margo Kaurman

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Wishful Wednesday

I wish…

…I was in Germany this fall and had enjoyed Oktoberfest!

While I can’t be traveling the globe right now, Apartment Therapy offers some great ideas for decorating with maps. I really enjoy decorating with found objects from travels. While studying in Brussels, Belgium, I saved maps from the various cities I visited. Using some empty cans (from almonds, coffee, etc.), I made functional art with my own maps.

For a while, I also had some of these maps as a framed collage.

Lastly, I’m sure I have already shown you all my wall of art that I have collected on my travels. Each piece is unique and from a local artisan (not a gallery).

How do you incorporate your travels, domestic or international, into your own decor?

Craigslist must be cool if Nate likes it

If you don’t yet watch The Nate Berkus Show, you should. While Martha Stewart remains my icon, Nate is certainly a close second. After watching yesterday’s show about shopping your own home to “Reinvent Your Living Space!”, I was browsing Nate’s website – which is amazing – and came across Nate’s tips to “Be A Craigslist-Savvy Furniture Shopper“.

As a follow-up to my Monday Mall post, I thought it would be great to share interior design expert Christina Salway‘s tips for shopping on Craigslist.com.

1. Stay on the Lookout

Scour Craigslist ads regularly! I try to shop every other evening, but if you don’t have time to scroll through the listings that frequently, try and look at least every Saturday morning when there are lots of new postings and people are available to sell items over the weekend. You can always do this in front of a movie or your favorite show each evening!

2. Shop Specifically

Know what you’re looking for and “shop specifically.” If you are looking to furnish your dining room and know you love modern furniture, literally search for a “Modern Dining Table” on Craigslist. This will help to eliminate a lot of the postings that aren’t right for you. Better yet, if you know a particular brand that you love, or a piece of furniture made by a specific company, you can look using those details to help hone your search on Craigslist.

3. Consider the Space

Make sure you consider all of the measurements when you’re buying on Craigslist. Unlike big-box stores, people don’t usually accept returns on Craigslist, so be absolutely positive that your new piece will fit through your front door, and that it will fit nicely into the space where you envision it. It can be helpful to use blue-painter’s tape to map out exactly how and where a piece will fit to ensure that it is the right match for your needs.

4. Ask Away!

Ask lots of questions before you go to see the piece: Does it come from a home with pets? A smoke-free home? Why are you getting rid of the piece?

5. No Pressure

Don’t feel strong-armed into buying anything you don’t want. If you ask about a piece and then decide you don’t want it, you are under no obligation to buy it. If you visit a piece and it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you don’t have to buy it. Don’t let anyone guilt you into anything you don’t want.

6. Don’t Go It Alone

Never go to anyone’s home alone – always bring a friend. They can help you judge the piece, help you carry the piece, and they’ll keep you safe!

7. Be A Smart Shopper

Look for good details to ensure that you’re getting a well made piece of furniture. Authentic, older pieces tend to hold up better than brand new big-box discount furniture. Just because it is cheap, doesn’t make it a bargain!

From: http://www.thenateshow.com/tipsandtools/detail/tips-for-buying-second-hand-through-craigslist

Happy Shopping!

Monday Mall

Today’s theme – fun finds.

‘Upcycled’ Rocking Chair – $45

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1987109792.html

Leather Chair – $30

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1987091195.html

Pottery Barn Bench and Pillows (5) – $10 per pillow; $25 bench

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1987086846.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo

Happy Monday!

Fall into the weekend

I’ve been seeing and reading so many articles about getting ready for fall, making your home feel like fall, fall decor etc. I’ve never really changed up much around my home for the seasons in the past but am considering taking a look at it this year. Here are some of my favorite ideas for fall:

  • Of course Martha Stewart changes up her decor for fall. Here she share some crafty ideas for fall and Halloween.
  • Family Circle has some great, and super simple, ways to add a touch of fall to your home.
  • Better Homes & Gardens does a before and after autumn-inspired living room.
  • Nesting Place blog had a Fall Mantel Party with some beautiful fall inspired decorating ideas.
  • Thrifty Decor Chick has some great ideas for giving your home a warm fall glow with candles.
  • I absolutely love the turquoise and red color palette used by Room Remix’s.
  • A great idea to approaching fall inspired decor is to break it down into various elements. belle maison looks at some affordable fall elements you can add to your space.

What are your plans for fall? Do you typically decorate for the seasons? Will you be incorporating fall into your home this season and if so, how?

Most importantly, have a wonderful weekend!

Reuse, Recycle…Capital Home Show Recap

As you already know, I went to the Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo this past Saturday. This was my first experience at any sort of home show so I didn’t have any real expectations.

We got to the home show around noon and spent maybe a total of an hour and a half or two hours browsing the two buildings. It was quite the hodge podge of exhibitors – everything from flooring, to remodeling, to microdermabrasion to purses and jewelry – definitely unexpected. The exhibitors seemed to be geared towards home remodeling and big ticket items which was a bit disappointing for me as I was hoping for more interior decorating and low-budget solutions, but again I had no idea what to expect. Another minor disappointment was that most of the decorators that were there were from the Virginia area – I don’t think I met any from D.C. or Maryland.

My favorite part of the home show was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore display.

Habitat’s ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials to the public
While every ReStore is a little different, most focus on home improvement goods like furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances.

ReStores accept donated goods which are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities. (From: http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx)

The displays kept in theme with ReStore’s of reusing and recycling materials. Here are some pictures from my favorite display – Urban Chic.

The designer said that this space was designed with the young woman living in Ballston, VA in mind. Approximately 90% of the items in the display are from ReStore. The chairs are adorable! They are from ReStore but have been reupholstered using only a glue gun and a staple gun.

These great shelves are meant from the fronts of cabinets.

This side table was my favorite part of the display. Believe it or not it is made from one of those gaudy old brass chandeliers. While I think I am pretty creative, I don’t know if I would’ve ever thought of this. I love it!

So there you have it – my first home show experience. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Monday Mall

As promised, here is today’s late edition of “Monday Mall”. Today’s theme, like my life, is hodge podge.

Clothing Wardrobe – $50

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/fuo/1976824446.html

Tray End Table – $45

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1976826270.html

Wall Art – $10

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1976721500.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Not your typical Monday

Today is my first day at the FBI. I’m beyond excited!

With everything on my plate, today’s post will be delayed, but be on the look out for a recap of this weekend’s Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo Center and a late edition of Monday Mall.

Have a great start to the week!

Fall 2010 Capital Home Show

Happy Friday! I am reaching the end of my “Two Weeks of Freedom”, but there is still more fun ahead.

This weekend is the Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo Center. The show begins today and ends Sunday the 26th. This is my first time attending any sort of interior decorating or home show and I’m very very excited! I promise to take lots of pictures and come back with my stories and finds. If you are interested in attending this year’s show as well, you can save $3 by purchasing your tickets on-line. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wishful Wednesday

I am currently working on a redecorating project for my first client! I’m very excited.

For the living space, I have decided to give it somewhat of a safari feel. Here are some amazing rooms from ELLE Decor of “The Allure of Animal Print”.

All images courtesy of www.elledecor.com.

Dynamic Design

I have been struggling, since Friday, with the management of my apartment building. While I was enjoying my week off last week, I also began to have some upper respiratory issues. I eventually figured out that I only had problems when the HVAC (air conditioning) unit was turned on. After mentioning my concerns about potential mold to management on Friday (9/17/2010) and being brushed-off, my boyfriend and I were able to open the unit partially to find this:

While I’m not a scientist or an expert, this looked a lot like mold to me. Long-story made short, I have not been sleeping my in apartment since Thursday night. I’ve been in a bit of a battle with my building’s management to get them to resolve this issue.

I’m a fan of quotes, and came across this one in my blog-reading and researching today

From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road.

– Yiddish Proverb

Happy Tuesday everyone, and don’t forget to let me know what topics you would like to discuss.

It’s your turn to speak..

While I do love talking about my own projects, I’d really love to hear from all of you out in the web-world.

What would you like to discuss?

Do you have a project or idea you want to share?

Just “Comment” on this post or send me your ideas via the “Contact Me” page.

I look forward to hearing from you all.

Monday Mall

Today’s ‘Monday Mall’ theme is – Office Furniture.

Computer Desk – $50

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1963085544.html

Corner Computer Desk – $35

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1963042076.html

Plastic File Cabinets – $15

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1963089771.html

This next item breaks my rule of only sharing items under $50, but I think it is great and still a reasonable price:

Mahogany Desk – $73

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1963123723.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

My craft for the week

It has been a beautiful week in D.C.!

Today’s post will be a bit short, as I’m going shopping for suits and whatnot for the new job. I thought I would share with you my craft project for the week. It’s a recipe book. I compiled all of the cookie recipes my mom has always made for Christmas.

Do you want one of these with your own recipes but don’t have time to make one? Fill out the contact form and let me know what you are looking for.

Have a great weekend!

Wishful Wednesday

My first new decorating and organizing project during my time off is my desk. If I’m going to take decorating seriously, I need a very workable and accessible space. Mine is still in progress, but here are some workspaces I love.

I'm not sure I would be able to have anything like this in my real life (I don't like lots of 'stuff') but I just think this is an inspiring workspace. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

I love how this workspace blends in with the living space. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

In a perfect world, this would be my workspace (but just for 1). Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

See why it's so great!!! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Elegantly hidden! LOVE! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Happy Hump Day! I know I sound like a broken record, but for free decorating advice, or if you want to share your great projects and ideas, e-mail me!

Two weeks of freedom!

I had my last day as a “Research Analyst” on Friday, September 10th. My first day working as a “Fed” (Federal Government Employee) isn’t until September 27th. This means I have two full weeks of NO WORK!

I can’t remember a time, since I’ve been able to work at 15 years-old, when I had two weeks with absolutely no work and no obligations. It’s beyond amazing. I’m a few days in and still loving it. I’ve decided to use this time for a few different things:

  • Fitness. In the last year, with my health finally in check, my workout schedule has been sporadic. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy yoga. I hope to use the next two weeks to get into more of a routine with my physical fitness.
  • Crafts. I have lots of half-started projects that I would either like to finish or get much further on.
  • Decorating. I’d like to finish-up my office area decorating and organization and then move on to my closet.
  • Learning to build a Web Site. I would like to take this blog to another level, but don’t have the technical know-how. With the help of the library, a tech savvy friend, online tutorials and a lot of patience, I hope to learn a bit more about web design.
  • Getting ready for my job. I need suits. My previous job had no dress code – literally. I’m used to wearing jeans and a t-shirt to work. This will go along with cleaning out, organizing and styling my closet as I will need to go through my clothes to determine what work clothes I need to purchase.
  • Dotting my “i”s and crossing my “t”s. I haven’t been eating the best lately. This is entirely due to laziness. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is cook a meal. This needs to stop. I need to figure out what steps to take in order to make cooking more enjoyable and easier. I also want to make sure I at least start this new portion of my life with as much organization as possible.

I could ramble on and on about how amazing these two weeks will be and how much I have grown and changed in the past year, but I won’t.

The weather is gorgeous in D.C. and I hope it is where ever you are as well. Have a great Tuesday and don’t forget to e-mail me your space redecoration pictures!

My cat, Lola, enjoying the sun and fresh air on my newly recovered chair.

Drum roll please…

Tada! My finished living room – post redecoration. As I am sure I have said before, I am completely in love with the new space. On Friday, I showed you the design board I pulled together while deciding how to redecorate my space. Now, you will finally get to see what my new space looks like!

What do you think?

In regards to budget, you can find the shopping list of everything in this space here. While this total seems high, most of these items were purchased before the redecoration. My redecoration purchases were most of the items under “Living Room Redecoration”; I was able to redecorate it for about $250. My most expensive purchase was the area rug and was well worth it. I got the rug for an amazing price; it is also very durable and really makes the space.

Now it is time for you to share your space redecorations! E-mail me photos of your space. They can be before and after or just the final space. If you are in the process of redecorating and want some tips, e-mail me those too!