Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Trip to IKEA!!!

Everyone loves Ikea!  I don't know anyone who doesn't.  Any trip to this enormous Marketplace is quite the event!  It is an all day adventure.  But a great, fun adventure.


My mom lives half way in between from where I live, Indianapolis, to my closest Ikea in Cincinnati, Ohio.  So an Ikea "trip" for me is a double bonus of hanging out with my mom and checking out all the new and most popular items in Ikea.  I have made the trek to Ikea a few times now, but it never gets old for me.  There are always new things they are introducing, there are SO many things to look at that most of the time I find something new I didn't even know they had.  The best thing about Ikea is the endless creativity you can have with their products.  From the unfinished dressers, to using a spice rack as a book ledge.  You can use their items in so many different ways!  And for the price, you don't feel bad to spray paint something that just doesn't come in the color you were looking for.


Somehow I always come home with food containers at Ikea.  I don't know how this exactly happens, but that low price just can't be beat, so I seem to always "stock-up" on my food containers while I am there.  I actually already have a set of these green and clear containers, but after 2 years some lids have shrunk in the dishwasher, some are stained with spaghetti sauce, and of course some missing lids.  So, for less than $5, I picked up another set.  I also have a set of the REDA Food Containers which are a set of 5 round containers that I use for everything!

I've talked about these artificial potted plants on my blog in the past probably a little more than I should but.....I LOVE THESE!  I can't help myself!  Probably the #1 thing to buy at Ikea.  Honestly, I have one of these potted plants in every single room of my house, that is how much I love them!  Why?  They look real!  They are the perfect size for decorating small areas, in bookcases, set on top a stack of books, or on a coffee table.  And for that price, you really can't find anything else like it out there.  I've looked!

They have lots of different pots to fit these artificial plants that range everywhere from $7 to $0.49.  My favorite is the galvanized metal pot.  For less than a $1 each, all of my plants have a pretty pot to sit in.  
I feel like Ikea is KNOWN for their simple white picture frames.  I have used them in my gallery wall in my home which you can see here in my HOME TOUR.  And I have seen them ALL OVER the blog world in other homes.  They come in multiple sizes at different price levels, but after shopping around, there is no one else out there that has a simple white modern frame like this.  They come with white mats for smaller images or just pop out the mat and you can frame larger images.  These frames now come in a great charcoal gray color too.  I picked up a couple of those too!

I seem to always pick up 1 or 2 of these 20x20 pillow inserts while I am there too.  Just to have a couple of back-ups in case of emergencies!!  It is often a challenge to find a pillow insert for less than $5 so these are good to have on hand.  As you know, I love pillows!  So I use these a lot when I purchase pillow covers on Etsy for myself or my clients.  Most of the pillows sold on Etsy are just the covers and don't come with any kind of insert.  So, these are a great pick up when you go to Ikea.  They come rolled up in a plastic cover, so I would just advise to unroll the pillow and store flat so it has time to fluff before you are ready to cover with your favorite pillow cover!

Yes, I actually did buy all of those items on my Ikea trip yesterday, plus some other great things for my clients.


 KITCHEN DECOR:  Garden posters.  All three for less than $10.  I think they are going to be so cute framed and hung in the kitchen design I am working on right now for a client.  Wall clock.  And a simple vase for decorating above the kitchen cabinets. 

TRILLING poster set of 3

PUGG wall clock

LIVING ROOM DECOR:  These black and white pillows come with the pillow insert already and are a little larger in size.  At only $12.99 for one, this might just be my favorite pillow Ikea offers.  And, of course, some storage.  These are going to set in the bottom shelves of a bookcase for my client's children's toys.  It is a great way to hide small storage in a living room and it still looks really pretty!
BLADIS black basket


I don't know where I would hang this in my house, but for $12, I wish I would have bought this.  Just to have.  Just in case I find a place for it.  I think it is SO cool!

BILD poster

This rug would work in pretty much any room of my house.

As would this one....

I've been eyeing these chairs for a while comes in this really awesome orange, red color!!

After being a Kitchen + Bath Designer, I have mixed feelings on Ikea's quality of cabinets.  But after seeing all of the gray cabinets they have now, I am a little more impressed.  And if they are good enough for Sarah Richardson, they are good enough for me!

Another SUCCESSFUL trip to IKEA!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Navy + Gray Kitchen/Living Room Client Design Update

Whew!  That's one long title.....but I need to keep all my project titles straight...for you and for me!

I have made some progress on fabric choices for this client design!!  Fabric is my FAVORITE part of any design!!!  Usually I will start any design for a space with a textile.  It can be a great start for a color palette, paint colors, or an overall style and feel for the space. 

These are some of the fabric choices shown with the paint swatches.  We haven't decided on anything specific, I just know these are the ones I like.

These are also some choices for custom curtain panels we plan on getting made.  These are all from and I would definitely recommend ordering a sample of the fabric before ordering a large amount of fabric.  The samples are just $1.75 and sometimes they have coupons or free shipping over $35.  But it is worth the money to look at the weight of the fabric and to be sure the colors are true to what they look like on their website.

If you remember, from this post, the Kitchen + Living Room Color Palette is Gray and Navy Blue with hints of Black, White, Green, Yellow, and Turquoise.

I found the perfect fabric for custom curtains in the living room and the kitchen sliding glass doors.  The plan was to get two sets made for each of these windows.  I felt like the project was moving along great, fabric was getting ordered, and we were making progress!  Until the project was DERAILED! 

This fabric I chose for the curtain panel, that both my client and I fell in love with, had been DISCONTINUED!  The Dear Stella Ikebana Traditional Ikat in Green originally found on was the perfect blend of green, white, navy blue, and gray.  I couldn't find this fabric anywhere now, just as we were to order it!  I looked online, I looked at local stores, I looked for similar fabrics....NOTHING!  So, I guess it just wasn't meant to be!  Back to looking at fabrics. 

Then, I came across this Kalah fabric in Blue at Calico Corners.  And I thought, hmmmm, I really like this, maybe even better than original.

So, when I did a little research on this fabric, I found it to be quite popular across the blog world and on Pinterest.  I had even pinned it a few times without remembering. 

via Honey & Fitz from Better Homes and Garden

via 6th Street Design School

via Better Homes and Garden

YES!  Now I really love these curtains.  The plan was to order the fabric from Calico Corners and still proceed to getting the custom curtain panels made.  Well, that was until I came across these on

The same exact fabric as Calico fabric and the exact same size as the custom curtains we were planning on getting made, for much cheaper!!!  When designing a space on a budget, it is worth the time to shop around, shop the internet, and search for coupons.   I know it is very time consuming, but it can save a lot of money.  Hiring an Interior Designer can actually help you save money.  I know all of the hot spots to look for materials, and possibly some you may not know.  But most of all, I am the one doing all of the time consuming research, running around, finding the materials that people just don't have time to do these days!

I ordered the pre-made curtains and they look amazing!  Anytime you order something online, it is a bit of a gamble.  You can only hope the quality is going to be of your expectations.  But check their return policy and most items can be returned.  They were perfect!!  Great quality, well made, and great bold colors!  I can't wait to see them hung in my client's home. 

On another note, here is the original plan for bookcases on either side of the television.  I also plan to do a gallery wall above the television. 

And these are the bookcases ordered and fingers-crossed, should be arriving today! 

Again, budget friendly.  The Oxford Bookcase from Home Decorators Collection will be great for some added storage and displaying some decorative items, as well as hiding some cords from the tv.

There have been BIG changes in the Kitchen too.  If you missed that, you can see the progress of the Kitchen here! 

Tomorrow I am heading to IKEA to do some shopping for this client!!  Ikea trip!!  Woohoo!  I need to start a list! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Client Design Progress + Design Tips on Remodeling

The Kitchen + Living Room Design I am working on for a client is smoothly and quickly moving along.  At the beginning stages of design, it can seem like things are never going to happen and things move slowly.  But once that first coat of paint gets up, its like a quick non-stop process of shopping, making decisions, picking out fabrics, managing the entire project from start to finish!  It's a quick, fast-paced design world that I love!!

So here is an overview of how this project is coming along!

If you remember from this post, I chose navy and grays for this client as a basis for the overall design.  The navy and gray will be accented with punches of black and white, yellow, green, and turquoise!  It's going to be a vibrant, fun space for this young family!  

This whole design overhaul came about because of this kitchen...



Some MAJOR design features this kitchen was missing...

1.  The cabinet height -- tall ceilings but short 30" cabinets.  They have no crown or architectural detail at the top of the cabinets to give them height or interest.  

2.  The cabinet color - a basic builder grade cabinet in a natural oak.  I see these cabinets all the time and people just don't know what to do with them or how to decorate around them.

3.  Laminate Countertops - I want to give them a more durable natural stone countertop.

 4.  No Hardware on the Cabinets -- just some simple knobs or handles on a cabinet door adds instant style and interest to a kitchen.

5.  Wall Paint Color - Again a builder grade paint color that runs throughout the house.  The owners inherited this yellowish, tan wall color when they bought the house, but have never re-painted because they struggled with what color to choose. 

...and how I am going to fix it!

1.  Same cabinets - New look!  I am tricking the eye into thinking the cabinets are visually taller by adding architectural detail.

It is a little hard to see in this picture, but we added a 2x4 to the top of the cabinets for added height with a large crown.  Now the cabinets are almost 8" taller!  I love this trick for cabinets or even if you want to give it a larger crown height look.  It is a cheap and easy design trick you can do with existing cabinets or new cabinets. 

2.  Yes, we painted the cabinets white!  What a difference this makes!!

Look at the difference with that crown on the top and with the new cabinet color!  Wow!  It looks like a completely new kitchen!  The island was painted black for interest and to match the existing black appliances.  Now the appliances don't stick out like a sore thumb as much!

3.  The laminate was switched out with granite.  Venetian Gold granite.  There are future plans for a backsplash but we haven't gotten that far yet!

4.  The cabinets finally have some hardware on them to open the doors and drawers a little easier.  We chose brushed nickel to match the faucet and keep with the modern design style.  Knobs on doors and handles on the drawers.  Don't be afraid to use both together on your cabinets. 

5.  The ugly yellow, tan is finally gone!  Hello, GRAY!  I chose Sherwin Williams Passive 7064 for all of the walls -- that includes the living room, kitchen, dining room, entry way, up the stairs to the loft and hallways.  Some people think they have to do each room a different color, but I actually think picking just a couple of paint colors for the entire house is much more sophisticated.  Bring the color in with the accents and fabrics.

Always, ALWAYS put paint samples on the wall in your home before painting.  Especially if your chosen paint color is going in this many rooms.  Paint can look so different than the little swatch at the paint store and up on the wall in your home, in your lighting.  Especially gray.  Gray is such a hard color to choose because it can look too blue or even too brown depending on the undertones.  We were going for just a good solid gray!  I have used this gray before with past clients so I knew it would be perfect for them.  

SW Passive 7064

I am adding a little accent color with wall paint.  I chose Sherwin Williams Cityscape 7067 for an accent stripe in the living room which you will see a little later.  

But here is what the kitchen now looks like with the walls FINALLY painted gray!

 I am loving this soft gray color.  You can tell the walls are definitely "gray" but it is still light and bright.  There is a lot to do yet and it is still a work in progress as you can see.  But we are moving along quickly!  So that is where I am with this client design! I'll keep you updated with more info as we move along! I think it already looks 100% better!

Here are some fabrics I am throwing around....for curtains in the living room, valance in the kitchen, and maybe some throw pillows on the couches!

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