Tag Archives: Decorating Tips

Post #100 and it’s all about you!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to anyone and everyone who has ever read my blog! This has been an amazing journey thus far and I am excited about what lies ahead.

For my 100th post, I want to remind you about my TWO GIVEAWAYS that end TOMORROW, FRIDAY OCTOBER 29TH. The details are below:

Win a 1-hour decorating consultation

Email me a picture of a space you would like some professional help with.The Artist’s Eye has been generous enough to offer ONE lucky reader with a one-hour design consultation. Here is what you need to know to enter for your chance to win.

  1. For this giveaway, you need to live in the D.C. metro area (no worries, I will have other giveaways for readers outside of the D.C. area).
  2. Email me a picture of the space you want The Artist’s Eye to help you with and a brief description of why you need the consultation by  Friday, October 29th.
  3. I will select a winner based on the emails and photos I receive.

Win  an arrangement of coffee filter flowers

You get to pick all of the details for the arrangement. There are three ways to enter:

  1. Comment on any post
  2. Join the Fabulous in Four-Hundred Square Feet Facebook page (if you already follow my Facebook page, Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
  3. Follow me on Twitter (if you already follow my Facebook page,Contact Meand let me know and I will count an entry for you)

You can do one or all three for a better chance to win. Deadline is Friday, October 29th.

So there you have it! Many thanks again.

Bonnie

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Freebies and Friday!

Happy Friday!

First – Home Cure 20/20 Day 4 – Remove One Item and Set Up Outbox. I think it is so very important to clean out your home every now and again. You’d be surprised what you have accumulated. Until recently, this was definitely the hardest part of organizing for me. I have always attached some emotion or experience to items. Look at the item for its use. Do you use it? If not, why do you still have it?

I really enjoy the Home Cure’s idea of an outbox and have definitely utilized it in my own home. In particular, when going through my closet between seasons, I will put items I am unsure of in a bag in the back of my closet. If the end of the season comes and I didn’t wear them I give them away. Give it a try. Here are a few more of my thoughts on ‘purging’ items you don’t use:

Second – don’t forget to enter to win my giveaways!:

  • If you’re in the D.C. metro area, email me a picture of the space you want The Artist’s Eye to help you with and a brief description of why you need the consultation by  Friday, October 29th. I will select a winner based on the emails and photos I receive.
  • This giveaway is open to anyone in the U.S. (as I will be paying for shipping). You can win an arrangement of coffee filter flowers of your choosing (color, flower type, etc.). There are three opportunities to enter (you can do 1 or all 3). You must submit all entries by Friday, October 29th.
    1. Comment on this post
    2. Join the Fabulous in Four-Hundred Square Feet Facebook page (if you already follow my Facebook page, Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
    3. Follow me on Twitter (if you already follow my Facebook page,Contact Meand let me know and I will count an entry for you)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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!

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 3

Step 3 to redecorating my living room was to find design inspiration. Looking for inspiration to redecorate my living room was fun and extremely helpful.

As I mentioned earlier, sproost.com has a wonderful style engine to help in identifying your style. After completing sproost’s style engine, I identified my own style as a combination of “French Eclectic”, “Cottage Chic” and “Hollywood Couture” or what I have called French-Cottage-Couture.

Here are some examples of each design style:

An example of French Eclectic style from sproost.com

An example of Cottage Chic from sproost.com

An example of Hollywood Couture from sproost.com

Keeping this in mind, I was able to focus my search for other photos of spaces with elements that I like. Here are a few spaces that I wanted to pull from in my own living room redecoration:

From: David Jimenez

From: decor*pad

What did you find for your redecorating inspiration?

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 1

I hope that you all have enjoyed redecorating your space as I did! I’m just about done with my living room – The final step needs a little bit of help from my boyfriend. I love how my space has been transformed.

As I have with previous projects, I’, going to share with you how I made it to my wonderful final space!

My living room has been a constant work-in-progress. If you remember on of my earlier posts, I at first struggled with my small efficiency/studio looking like one big dorm room. Being that my futon is mobile so to speak, I first tackled that problem by making a slip-cover. While this definitely helped the situation, I still feel that this space has much more potential. Here are some photo of my living room space to remind you just what it looks like.

Step 1 of redecorating just about any space is “Inventory and Survey”.

First, I needed to take stock of what I was working with. Being on a budget, I need to work with most of what I have. Not so easy seeing as in my mind I want this space to look completely different when its done.

So there you have it – this is the inventory of my living room situation pre-redecoration. As you can see it doesn’t look like the prettiest, most stylish or cohesive little space.

Here is my apartment’s floor plan:

As you can see, I’m working with a pretty limited amount of space. Additionally, being that my apartment is an efficiency I will need to focus on defining my living room space.

To start, I identified specific problems with my living room that I would like to fix:

  1. How can I make my living space seem more like a living room? This is a problem I think most studio/efficiency dwellers face. While I embrace that it is all one big room, I still want to make various spaces seem separated and defined.
  2. I want to be just a little more grown up. I took care of the mobile appearance of my futon/couch, but still feel like this space has a just out of college feel. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want to have a more sophisticated and pulled together look for this space in particular.
  3. How do I give it some sense of its own style? This is another problem that faces many studio dwellers and even those living in very small apartments. It can be challenging to give a particular room or space a defined style while trying to get the styles of other spaces and rooms to blend.

So many problems, such a small budget….

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

So…..how did it go? Did you enjoy your 5 Step room redecoration? What does your space look like now?

Any plans to redecorate another space?

Any obstacles you still need to overcome?

Please e-mail me photos of your spaces. I’d love to see what everyone has done and I always enjoy sharing ideas!

To be fair, here is a sneak peek at what I have done with my living room redecoration

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

So…..how did it go? Did you enjoy your 5 Step room redecoration? What does your space look like now?

Any plans to redecorate another space?

Any obstacles you still need to overcome?

Please e-mail me photos of your spaces. I’d love to see what everyone has done and I always enjoy sharing ideas!

To be fair, here is a sneak peek at what I have done with my living room redecoration

Monday Mall

With my new-found love of Craigslist, I thought I would share some of my finds with you all. Each Monday I will post some great home items from Washington, D.C. area Craigslist. All finds will be under $50.

Here is the first edition of “Monday Mall”:

Today’s theme – brown

Pair of Rattan Chairs – $25

Great Ottoman – $35

Great deal on a brown area rug – $20

Crate and Barrel desk – $25

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.

Redecorating a Living Room (or any space) – Step 5: Implement!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! With my down time from surgery, I have had plenty of time to work on my living room redecoration and I’m loving the progress!

Step 5 is the most rewarding, and final, step of your redecoration! Now that you have put in all of the hard work it is time to let it shine.

One change that can make a huge difference for $0 is rearranging furniture. I find that it is best to work with a copy or drawing of your floor plan when deciding how to rearrange your space. I recommend cutting out pieces of plain or graph paper for each piece of furniture in the space. You can then place these  cut-outs on the floor plan to see how to best place your furniture.

Now that you have decided where to place things, it is important to keep in mind the design principles I discussed in my earlier posts: balance and symmetry, scale and proportion, rhythm and repetition, focal point and emphasis,  and color, pattern and texture.

Most importantly, have fun and make sure you let yourself and your style shine in the space!

Design Principles: Focal Point and Emphasis

While I often like to be the focal point for most everything, I must admit that establishing a focal point is essential to successful space design. As Lee Brown, of interiordezine.com, says

[A focal point is] something attractive that immediately draws the eye into the room and makes you want to be there.

I think that this is an area of design where you can really let your personality and person style shine and have a good deal of fun. When I chose a focal point in my own spaces I like to consider:

  • what is my favorite element of this space? why?
  • is there something in this space that holds particular meaning?
  • what is the feeling I want people to get when the enter this space?

Taking the answers to the above questions into consideration helps to identify (a) what the focal point should be and (b) some ideas for how best to highlight it.

Lee Brown offers some additional advice on focal points:

Some people are lucky and have an ever changing view from a window that does this naturally, but most of us have to work at it. The most common ways to achieve a focal point is with the use of a piece of artwork be it sculptural or a painting. Other ways include a large decorative mirror, a fireplace, using a change in wall color with a feature wall, using a change in texture with a wallpaper or fabric to draw your eye. Sometimes a piece of furniture or a rug can be a focal point, but they aren’t usually as obvious because you eye has to look down to see these, the best place for a focal point is at eye level. Don’t forget to highlight the focal point with lighting.

As always, have fun!

Design Principles: Rhythm and Repetition

When thinking of these next design principles, all that comes to mind are my days of being a band geek. Contrary to my musical associations, rhythm and repetition are very important elements in design, as well as music.

Design Our Sign provides a very comprehensive explanation:

How objects relate to one another develops rhythm. This works the same way in a home as it does in a piece of music. Rhythm creates interest. It can make an area come alive. Repetition and contrast are key elements to use. A modern example of this would be a room that is mostly one color (monochromatic) and feels very harmonious and comfortable. This is achieved by using different textures and materials of this one color. The mix of textures (contrast) combined with the repetition of color provides rhythm.

Here are some examples of rhythm and repetition:

Design Principles: Scale and Proportion

First I have to say how absolutely excited I am to have a professional such as Catherine Schager comment on my blog post yesterday.

Ms. Schager was also so wise as to bring up the next two design principles – scale and proportion. According to Homestore.com, scale is

The proportion or size of a piece of furniture as it relates to a room.

Seems simple enough – right? Essentially, it is generally unwise to place a huge over-sized sofa and chair in a small apartment, such as mine. However, these same two pieces would fit lovely in the spacious great room of my dream home. Also, take into consideration the scale of the objects you are using in a space relative to one another. It is best to keep pieces of similar scale together. Don’t forget these rules when decorating with accessories. Get it? Got it? Good!

Here are some examples:

Please keep your comments, ideas and experiences coming!

Design Principles: Balance and Symmetry

Balance and symmetry help to give spaces a feeling of harmony.

Correctly implementing balance and symmetry in your own space will give it a balanced appearance. When placing items or choosing colors and textures, it is important to consider their “visual weight” in the space (Goulet). I’ve been reading FabJob Guide to Becoming an Interior Decorator lately, which I absolutely love. In the guide, the authors recommend asking yourself the following questions when deciding where to place an item or whether or not to use an item:

  • What is the visual weight of the item?
  • Where will the item look best?
  • What will need to be placed to balance the item?

Using these three questions as a guide, it will be hard to go wrong in creating a space with equilibrium and harmony.

To get just a bit nerdier, there are two type of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance is kind of like playing with shapes in grade school. The shape on the left exactly matches the shape on the right – Tada! Pretty straightforward.

Asymmetrical balance can help to add a younger and more fun look to your space. According to my new, handy-dandy guide:

Asymmetrical balance occurs when you have varied pieces of different sizes and shapes placed to create equilibrium.

Here are some examples of both symmetrical and asymmetrical balance: