Archive for category How to…
I nearly spit out my chocolate cream pie last week in Idaho City when I overheard a young couple talking about the camo themed wedding they had just attended. “The bride had a camo sash and all the guests wore camo accents” she gushed.
I imagine the spectacular sight looked a little something like this. The social event of the season, no doubt.
Then suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere (perhaps because it blended in so well? Gaffaw, Gaffaw) camo appeared everywhere in fall fashion.
I immediately found myself wondering whether or not this print would translate well to interior trends. There are whispers of imagery sprinkled throughout the web suggesting that I am onto something. And love it or hate it, I see big, square, fluffy down-filled camo accent pillows in Suite Potato Store’s future…
Camo wall accent. A definite statement but the grey scale keeps it surprisingly subtle. Home Designing.
Modern meets manly.Nylon Guy.
Canary yellow! This conjures up all sort of possible combinations. The yellow accents could just as easily be a shade of florescent pink to be used in a girls room. Houzz
I’m swooning over these Lima-bean-green chairs. I am very on board with camo as a detailed accent (displayed in lampshade.) It’s not the first thing you notice when you see the room but it makes second and third glances more interesting and dynamic. Suite 106 Blog
How would you incorporate camo print pillows into your setting, you ask? I was thinking a little something like this:
I think that’s the second time I’ve used a Rolling Stone song for an interior design pun. Ol’ Mr. Jagger is probably rolling in his grave right about now.
What? Still alive?
I kid you, Mick. I kid.
But seriously. Let’s talk about painted furniture. And I really mean painted furniture.
I first researched this option this past summer when I bought these fellas and was trying to think of a time and cost saving alternative to re-upholstery.
And then last week I spotted this before and after gem on Design Sponge.
Stella of Mon Petit Studio commandeered this fabulous sofa for $25 and after reading about the fabric painting situation online, she gave it a whirl.
(First she taped off the woodwork.)
Using a combination of black flat latex paint and Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium (an additive keeps acrylic/latex paint flexible enough to use to paint a couch, without all of it just flaking off) she got to work with a paintbrush!
And voila! Is that incredible or is that incredible?
Apparently, it feels pretty damn good too.
Stella, girl. You got style. I’m going to copycat you. And you’re going to like it. Or your going to hate it. Or you’ll feel ambivalent about it.
Read the detailed how-to guide here.
Over and out.
DIY Twine Pull Knobs from Design Sponge. Genius!
I’m on it.
…Aaaaand it was priming day in the Suite Potato quarters. After priming the dresser (yes , yes, it looks quite nice). While I waited for it to dry I shifted my attention to this delicious little pair of chairs I picked up last weekend.
Another solid wood find. They’ve got some serious potential. But the intricate plethora of nooks and crannies proved somewhat challenging on the priming front.
Admit it. They look cooler already.
I finished the day by sketching out my plan of attack for both projects and purchasing my color choices.
What have I decided, you ask? Shhh. It’s a secret.
I took my my hot new little friend, Mr. Random Orbital Sander, for a spin today with a fabulously ornate little dresser generously given to me by a friend.
Hibernating quietly in Shari’s storage, this little number was in some serious need of TLC.
The top and side inserts were covered in some sort of contact paper which had peeled off in parts on top and was interestingly layered and bubbled on the sides.
With many deep breaths, tedious picking and exacto-knife using, I got all those pesky little suckers off and was ready to sand my little heart out.
And sand, I did. All the live long day.
I was pleased to discover that almost the entire dresser was made of solid wood. This will be a killer resale piece.
And now, what to do, what to do…
Photo inspiration? You read my mind, friend.
I dig the idea of a cool flat red – and chalk paint effect? Winner. HGTV Blog.
Classic enough but still very “now”. Food and Home.
Antiqued green. Uh huh. Design Sponge.
Silhouettes. Clever and easy enough, no? Apartment Therapy.
Extreme awesomeness. The tree reveals exposed wood grain. Diving Meet.
Modern moody profile. Design Sponge.
An accent piece with an accent. I slay myself. Honey and Fitz.
Purple?! Get outta town! I’m constantly drawn to unexpected blasts of color in a room like this. Super Chyc.
One of my favorite color combos of as of late – charcoal/white/yellow. Apartment Therapy.
Is there a clear winner? Is it too soon to tell? Are these rhetorical questions?
Stay tuned to find out.
I was commissioned for a design project in a lovely North End home late last fall and was delighted to put my upholstery skills to good use with a fabulous chair challenge.
BEFORE: The owner (the lovely Taya) stumbled upon this incredible mid century gem at a garage sale. The wood was in perfect condition but the cushions were beyond dated so she had two pieces of foam cut in hopes of recovering it some day.
AFTER: Taya wanted a fun and relevant geometric print to use in her bedroom while staying in line with her color scheme (turquoise, browns, creams and blues). This cotton canvas fabric (found at Home Fabrics for $5.99 per yard – a STEAL-) was fun, durable and new without being over-the-top trendy.
She wasn’t thrilled with the resulting thickness of the foam so I took it to my favorite upholstery friends on Chinden and had both pieces trimmed.
I finished the chair with some funky pillows from the ever reliable TJ Maxx and the piece settled perfectly next to the window in Taya’s uber chic bedroom.
DONE AND DONE.
“It makes us seem really…vapid” says Special Man Friend as he stares – completely perplexed – at the gallery of mirrors above our sofa .
My reasons behind my affinity for this look are two fold: 1. It looks awesome as hell. 2. I don’t quite trust myself yet to choose art that is strong enough to display in my own home.
Living room [before] we moved in.
Or, rather, during. I’m still searching for the perfect coffee table and I don’t dare show you the opposite wall of this room, which yearns to be covered by a grand bookcase but now currently houses a record player and set of speakers precariously straddling two dining room chairs. A real modern day tragedy, if you ask me.
And now it’s time to view a few delightful examples of well displayed mirror galleries. Partly to inspire the viewers, but mostly to prove to Special Man Friend that I am not the vapid…est of them all.
We’ve known each other a while now so I feel comfortable enough to share with you a little snapshot of something I’ve been obsessing over the past six months.
Big mountains of shipping pallets.
Shipping pallet turned dining table. DDekor.
…turned wine rack. The Green Children.
…turned lounger. Shelterness.
…turned rustic floating shelves. In All The Wrong Places.
…turned ENTIRE LIVING ROOM. Home Design Find.
..turned awesome minimal chic bed (with under lighting). Improvised Life.
…turned crazy wonderful wall unit. small child
not included. Racks Pallet.
…turned bookcase and bike rack. Tree Hugger.
…turned lawn chairs! Inhabitat.
And my latest fixation – turned coffee table. Currently working on one now while vibing these…
Don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
As any good trend does, The Danish Modern – Mid Century – Eames – Herman Miller – George Nelson – Saarinen Knoll – Modern Retro – Vintage Atomic…(I’m out of breath) mooovement has crept up out of thin air and taken over our lives and our living rooms.
Working in the world of fashion, I quickly became familiar with the seasonal trends and color stories which cleverly rotated on a threeish month axis and permeated our psyche through runway shows, fashion magazine spreads, celebrity endorsements, high end retail stores and very very quickly trickled down into our favorite cheap-o high street shop windows. The joke, it seamed, was on the consumer who eagerly presented their credit cards, life savings and first born children to be the next one on the block to be wearing that thing that actress and that magazine dangled in front of our greedy little eyes. Then a few months pass and the thing is stashed away to a far away corner of the closet and replaced with another. And so the story goes.
Is this a jaded and pessimistic perception of consumerist society? Yes. You can probably thank Special Man Friend’s minimalist propaganda for slowly chipping away at my love for things. Lots and lots of things. But the big picture reality, as I see it, is this: our society relies on the infallible bottomless pit of the people’s need to consume and we must therefore perpetuate this need as best we can by creating new ways to showcase or re-introduce the things that trigger the desire to keep consuming and stimulate our economy.
Okay. I know. This is not a brilliant or novel realization to business people, economists or most…living, breathing, blinking humanoids. But it’s novel for me because
I appear uber enlightened when discussing society over micro-brews in my skinny jeans it allows me to let go of my existential burden brought on by the idea of being a sucker to the man and motivates me to freely contribute to society by communicating my vision and my art while hopefully helping people learn to embrace the new without abandoning the old or deemed ‘passe’.
Are you still with me? Is it time for pictures? Almost.
to-the-point round-about ramble brings me to the topic of Danish Modern decor. Out of nowhere it came [back] and presently it’s everywhere and now I can’t distinguish whether it’s cool because I like it or whether I like it because it’s cool.
Is it here to stay? I am perplexed by this because I now realize that interior design trends are typically as fickle and temporary as fashion trends. Only once you commit to the Danish Modern motif, you must really commit to it.
Or do you?
Is it possible to integrate this trend into your existing decor without transforming your entire aesthetic?
Let’s have a little looksie.
Full commitment. But love the rustic wide plank wood floors and full-wall bookcase. Eclectic Interior Design.
Full commitment. All the way down to avocado walls. Houzz.
Minimal chic. I’m on board. But I’m always on board when there’s a spectacular bookcase situation. Style Hive.
Eames lounge replica? check. Geometric rug? check. Vintage Castiglioni Arco lamp? Check. Commitment level? Full. Interior Hunter.
Full commitment. It seems as though one frequently compromises comfort and practicality for Mid Centuriness, so I like a space like this for its practical L shape sofa and warm, eclectic living room set up. Access Decorati.
If it weren’t for the massive plasma screen, I would ask what time the Ed Sullivan show was on. Tide Pool.The Science Factory
I think this space has taken a lot of the great elements of the trend while maintaining a balance of light and chicness. The Lucite side table, for instance, is relevant without being overbearing or pretentious. Take Sunset.
And the winner goes to this converted ranch house designed by my new favorite design guru, Jessica Helgerson.
She totally gets it. Praised for her flexible style, Jessica uses playful, modern influences while maintaining respect for historical architecture and individual client preferences.
This interior remodeling project is a once run-down split-level ranch pad transformed into a mid century modern power-house with bright and airy great rooms. Helgerson removed the existing kitchen and the master bath and then relocated to the back of house where it now opens onto a quaint garden.
The color palette is extremely restrained throughout with dark ebonized floors, white walls, and splashes of various shades of green. I love seeing elegant plant life integrated into this aesthetic. All the furnishings, including the fabulous rocking chaise, are vintage finds that she reupholstered and refinished, with the exception of the coffee table which was made by Jessica’s husband, architect Yianni Doulis, (um, power couple much?) from a slab of locally salvaged eastern hardrock maple. Hard core.
See more of Jessica’s work here.
That wraps it up for today, folks.
Relax, digest, comment. Then come on back for more.
Yes, I know. Fancy seeing me here. Your sarcasm is palpable. Okay so my posts have been infrequent. But I’ve been a busy spud writing for the Fancy Pants blog, helping redesign and manage the website, all the while creating Suite Potato masterpieces. Consequentially the SP blog has suffered slightly. But I assure you, my posts will be worth your while once you see what I’ve been up to.
Perhaps you recall seeing these sad little saps which sulked for far too long in the corner of my cloffice.
While two of them were rescued at an earlier stage and transformed into these….
As the striped versions sold immediately after posting, I was tempted to replicate them with the remaining two. (When you find something that works, keep on doin’ it - ammi right?)
BUT, at this crucial stage in the Suite Potato endeavor, it is also important to vary my works in order to improve my skill and stay current with design trends. Ammi right?
Of course I’m right.
So one fateful evening when I failed to achieve sleepiness, I began my conquest to acknowledge that black and white are a win-win color scheme, but add a little bit of unexpected pizazz to the mix this time.
Unfortunately for my carpet, I am about as graceful and calculated as a newborn Labrador and upon breaking temporarily for a sip of water, I kicked over the paint bucket onto my bedroom floor.
Did I mention I had chosen to paint the chairs black again?
The solid wood chairs needed to be sanded prior to painting, as the gloss varnish would prevent the Painter’s Touch water-based paint from adhering properly.
While the black paint dried, I removed the hideous pastel floral brocade fabric that haunted the cushions.
With a pair of “cherry pickers”, I removed the upholstery staples that were used to fix the piping to the material. This is necessary, as leaving them on below the new fabric would ruin the clean lines.
The material itself was in good enough condition (no abrasions or cuts) so I left it when covering with my new fabric.
Because of the large repeat pattern, it is VERY IMPORTANT to be precise when matching one cushion to the other. If they’re not properly covered and the circles don’t mirror one another, it will simply look haphazard and everyone will hate you for ever and ever.
Now lets return to the paint job.
Since I had learned my lesson about painting in a space not conducive to easy cleanup, I endured the wintery chill of my patio and measured six inches and taped off the base of each leg. Just a little bit of frost bite. Nothing serious. Trial and error (and Special Man Friend) taught me that the adhesiveness of the tape can be stronger than the paint, so it is best to wear it down slightly by first running the tape along a strip of fabric or carpet. The tape will still stick nicely to the wood, but will prevent 100% contact with the new paint.
I enlisted the help of Special Man Friend to ensure yellow-tipped precision. I wish there was sound with this image so you could hear
the incessent whining that followed my unwelcome documentation all the wonderful compliments and praise he paid me. Such a sweet boy.
We primed the tips with a pure white base before proceeding with Krylon Acrylic Latex Enamel ‘Gloss Canary’.
Once the yellow dried, we removed the tape and re-aligned it under the yellow (using same adhesion trick as before) to finish off with a clean black line.
And now for the big picture…
It’s good, right? Okay good. It’s good.
Well they’ve just been posted for sale! Get ‘em before they’re gone!
…Meanwhile, I’ll be on my hands and knees scrubbing away at a miserably relentless black blob of paint that mimics my soul. Just kidding. Everything’s fine over here. Smiley winky face.