In case you haven’t noticed, my day job has been eating up my blogging time for the last year and a half. So, I thought I’d share a little of my day job with you. Recently, I took a business trip to Salt Lake City, and I stayed in a lovely hotel, Hotel Monaco. Always on the lookout for great DIY and decorating ideas, I snapped a few pictures of the trendy decor with my mobile phone.
This white leather cocoon loveseat was one of my favorite pieces—and it makes a statement right inside the front door of the hotel.
This reminds me of decorating walls with empty picture frames and and ceiling medallions, but on a grander scale. Notice that the starburst mirrors are actually all one piece. And I’m always a sucker for decorative moldings and big white fireplaces.
More photos after the jump. Read more »
My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Dressing up a boring bookshelf, Part 1-3, originally published August 2007.
This small unfinished pine bookshelf was shuffled from room to room. I planned to paint it, but never did. I was on the verge of kicking it to the curb. Then, after unsuccessfully searching for a china cabinet for my tiny dining room, I decided to dress this bookshelf up as a china cabinet.
I started with a sketch (see below). I wanted to lift the shelves off the ground, hence the legs. I also added crown molding and trim boards on each shelf. After a friend cut and routered all the salvaged wood I had piled in my car, I was ready to start building.
I bought the molding and other pieces of wood (for trim and reinforcement) at a nearby salvage yard. I love salvage yards (two others that I frequent are Urban Ore and Omega Salvage). But beware: Most salvage yards are for-profit businesses, and they often aren’t cheaper than buying brand new, so compare prices first.
Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »
I tend to hoard craft supplies. Glue, duct tape, wood, carpet samples, lamp parts—you name it. I keep all of it neatly stored in labeled boxes and bins so I can access everything easily and often.
I’m also kind of anti plastic bins. Partly because they look cheap. Partly because they’re see-through, which makes visual clutter. Partly because plastic storage boxes tend to not be square. They have ridges or are angled on the sides to make them stronger but that diminish the effective storage space.
Instead I use wooden crates, galvanized metal bins, fancy cardboard boxes, etc. But accessing my supplies regularly means wear and tear. Some pretty boxes don’t hold weight or last long. So, when Rubbermaid asked me to review their Bento™ Boxes and Toppers, I agreed because they looked handsome and strong. I tested them in the living room, office, and guest room and found handy uses for every size box.
Watch the video and read the review after the jump! Read more »
My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Making the perfect ottoman, Part 1-5, originally published May-June 2007.
Lately I’ve been coveting a coffee-table ottoman. You know: one of those oversized ottomans that you can kick your feet on from nearly any seat in the room and use as a coffee table. I loved Pottery Barn’s Alexandria Ottoman, but $700 was more than I wanted to pay.
Then I found this ottoman on Craigslist, and bought it for $60. The only thing it had going for it is its size and sturdy frame, so I gave it a makeover. I had never attempted reupholstering anything before, so with a little trepidation, I forged ahead.
After several weeks and copious amounts of stray threads strewn about my apartment, the ottoman was finished. People asked me if it was worth all the work. The answer is yes. The total cost (including the price of the original ottoman) was only $137.
And now, five years later, I concede that white fabric is impractical—even for a single gal with no kids. So this footstool needs to be recovered again. Someday. Next time, I’m thinking slipcover.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
American Express asked me to make over a social space using merchandise available through Membership Rewards points. I chose to make over my dining room. Deciding what to buy with 150,000 Membership Rewards points and dozens of fabulous merchants to choose from was a challenge. But I persevered!
Ok, so what are Membership Rewards? You earn points through everyday AmEx card purchases like gas, groceries, and phone bills and redeem them for things you need or want — it’s a world of possibilities, and the choice is yours.
AmEx has a Facebook page, where Cardmembers can share stories about what they bought with their Membership Rewards points. While you’re there, enter the Million Points a Day Giveaway (through the end of June)!
Now that I’m back from girls camp and all my dishes have arrived, my dining room is ready for the reveal. Because this is a social space makeover, I chose what I most needed for entertaining: tableware, table linens, and somewhere to store it all.
With my AmEx Membership Rewards points I bought: Oneida “Shaker” flatware, white Fiesta dishes, rattan placemats, yellow napkins, whitewashed wooden stands, drawer pulls, and Martha Stewart taupe curtains.
More photos after the jump! Read more »
UPDATE: Click here to see the “after” photos.
Wow. I should ask for reader input more often. You gals shared some great ideas! I didn’t think it was possible, but you changed my mind about some of my original ideas for this dining room makeover sponsored by American Express. After careful consideration, I chose products to buy with my Membership Rewards points, and I made a sketch of my plans—many of them inspired by you.
It’s amazing what you can buy with American Express Membership Rewards points. It was a difficult choice with so many great options. In the end, I chose items that I most needed for entertaining: tableware, table linens, and somewhere to store it all. After all, Membership Rewards points are intended as a social currency that helps bring people together. Read more »
My SYLVANIA craft room makeover taught me a few things that I wanted to share with you. Here are my top five decorating and lighting tips:
Most homes—especially older rentals like mine—don’t have enough built-in lighting. And one lamp will not do the job, even in small rooms. To brighten up your space without much effort, combine up lights (table or floor lamps) with down lights (pendants) and spotlights (under/inside cabinets and closets or hung over a piece of art).
FOR EXAMPLE: My small office/craft/guest room now has eight light sources: three up lights, two down lights, two spot lights, and one night light/flashlight. All of them use SYLVANIA LED bulbs, which are so energy efficient I can afford to have all of them on at once. With multiple light sources, I have more control over the level of light in the room. And SYLVANIA’S ULTRA Aline LED light bulb is dimmable, so my main light is now on a dimmer switch, giving me even more control. Read more »