Entries Tagged as 'Easy updates'

Lake House Style: Easy Peasy Envelope Back Pillow Tutorial

32

09.1.12

Good morning everyone, we had a new addition to our Lake House Bedroom this weekend. They’re bright, bold and just the right shot of color our are newly neutral bedroom needed after receiving it’s fresh coat of paint last week. These are the first of a few doses of color our bedroom will get. They couldn’t have been easier to sew and they look so good too sitting on the bed all fluffy and colorful. I have plans to make a few more in this fabric and some others to pull the whole room together but those will have to wait for another day and another post since it’s back to work time for me today.

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In the meantime while I get my sew on for all the other pillows, here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to sew envelope back pillows. I decided to go with an envelope back because it just might be the easiest way to sew a pillow ever. I made these for my Euro size pillows on my bed which are those big square ones you see all the time. I just love the way they look but never love the price tag on those size pillow covers.

Envelope Pillow Tutorial 1

First you’ll want to choose the size of your pillow. I wanted to cover my Euro size pillows which are 24 x 24 inches.

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You’ll need to cut 3 pieces of fabric. I wanted floral fabric on the front with a neutral fabric on the back. Out of the Front Fabric I cut 1 piece 24 inches square. Yes the same size as the pillow, I like mine nice and plump so the finished size will be slightly smaller than the 24 inch pillow. Then you’ll cut the 2 back pieces. My measurements were 24 x 14 inches and 24 x 20 inches allowing for a 3 inch overlap that makes the envelope and a generous 1 inch hem allowance.

Make sure you iron all your pieces flat. Even if they don’t really look wrinkled iron them anyway. It makes sewing a professional looking pillow that much easier.

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To finish the back pieces press your raw edge down 1 inch. Fold it over and press another 1 inch.

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Using a straight stitch on your machine hem the back pieces you just folded and ironed.

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To assemble your pillow lay the front piece down face up. Next lay your shorter back piece face down lining up the raw edges with your bottom piece. Make sure the right sides of the fabric are facing together. Then lay your longer back piece face down which should overlap the first piece.

Pin your pieces in a couple of places along the edge so they don’t shift around as you move them to your machine.

Using a straight stitch sew along all 4 sides of your pillow

Turn the whole piece right side out

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Your back pieces should overlap, creating a simple envelope back pillow. Easy. Peasy

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Stuff and fluff till your hearts content.

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’…

29

06.1.12

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Some people (mostly B) say I love to paint. Errr wrong, try again. I really just love a lot of change for my decorating buck and painting is where it’s at for big impact on a not so big budget. Actually, I usually find painting to be a long and tedious process but in the end the rewards usually outweigh the tedium… except for that one time I accidentally painted the Living Room a lovely shade of highlighter green and then quickly painted over it the next morning. But that’s a paint disaster story for another day.

So based on my lovely inspiration board for our Bedroom overhaul I had decided to repaint our bedroom in Martha Stewart’s Milk .

Bedroom Board 3

But once the Robert Allen Ikat curtain fabric and the Braemore Wonderland pillow fabric (number 1 & number 9 on the board) arrived I was feeling a little less sure in my choice being the exact right light shade.. Luckily that was quickly remedied with my generous paint chip collection and a couple of minutes of staring at a bunch of paint chips.

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So we broke out the paint chips held them up to our new fabric and chose a new white. Namely Martha Stewart’s Pip. It’s one of those so totally subtle color difference that you’d never be able to tell on a computer monitor but just feel better in person kind of differences. Believe me I’ve tried to photograph the difference between the two and it just isn’t happening, So you’ll have to trust me on this one.

With the the color decided again it was off to the paint store for an easy paint pick-up or so we thought. Martha Stewart paint happened to be on clearance for $12.00 a gallon. But due to the awesome price it happened to be sold out, discontinued, not coming back. Bummer.  So of course after some more pondering of shades of whites I went to my local Benjamin Moore pain dealer and had them color matched to BM’s interior paint in a  flat finish to minimize the look of bumps and nicks on the wall.

I was so excited about it brought it home, slapped a test swatch on the wall and quickly realized that in order to cover the dark green color we’d need to prime first.

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Thankfully things got Rollin’ even if it was a little later in the day than I had planned after we made our third and final trip to the store to grab some primer. Give 2 cheers to under-planners like us! I set out to start the cutting in/edging process. This has always been my job whenever we set out to paint. B just doesn’t have the patience for it. He’s more of the immediate gratification of slapping some paint on the walls with a roller kind of guy. Even though he’s had more painting experience then he’d care to remember given that he married me.

Since where the walls meet the ceiling are awfully crooked and never look quite right no matter how carefully I edge. I decided this time to tape along the ceiling about 1/4 of an inch in. I would carry the wall color onto the ceiling instead of stopping right out the edge. It’s given the walls so a pretty finished look without the crooked edges even if some of the ceiling paint peeled slightly when I removed the tape. Oh well nothing a little patching and touch up paint can’t fix.

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As for what we did with the furniture, we just pushed it into the middle of the room and squeezed around it. Doesn’t it look just lovely completely painted in primer with the glow of the flash against the room since it was pretty late by this point? We painted over a 2 day period since it ended up needing 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to completely cover the old green paint. We finished the first coat of primer around 10:00 pm and camped out in the Living Room over night.

By the next afternoon, 3 coats of paint later and the help of our resident measurer…

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We had the room completely painted and the TV newly hung on the wall instead of sitting on the dresser by the next evening.

We’ll be the first to admit that the room was already starting to look much better without changing the wall color and just by changing out a few accessories and bedding but we’re going for a whole new look here. So far the bedroom has gone from greens and oranges just thrown together haphazardly from whatever we had lying around.

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To this with a few quick tweaks, like changing out the side tables, switching the lampshades. Adding some vintage chairs and a new side table between the bookcase.

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All the way to this with a coat of paint.

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The white is really soft and pretty in person, while we were rolling it on it kept reminding me of butter cream frosting and perfectly matches the colorful fabrics we chose for the curtains and pillows. I’m glad we switched at the last minute.

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It’s a small room, so it’s feeling a lot more open with the lighter color paint. I’m fond of dark greens in a room but when we painted this one right as we moved into the house we didn’t realize that the light only really streams into the room in the morning not so much in the afternoon. The room felt more like a cave which could be good for sleeping but not so good for rising and shining.

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On the side tables I added a couple of pretty placemats to protect the furniture from glasses of water and phones charging on the bedside tables at night.

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My mom has always added a pretty little table scarf to the tops of furniture to lay things down and protect them from water rings and the daily grind.

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Over time I may change these our for something larger. Maybe a vintage item, the sweet vintage style clock is also a new addition courtesy of an awesome friend for Christmas.

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We’re also loving how big of an impact hanging the TV on the wall versus it sitting on the dresser has had on the space. It really opened up the entire area even in it’s unfinished state with Wires hanging down the wall and the not so pretty cable box sitting on the dresser. We definitely need to figure out what to do with that next.

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It also really goes well with the new side tables we purchased allowing for a more open seamless feel across the back wall.

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Overall we’re really happy with how bright and airy it’s making everything feel. So the next thing on my to-do list is to sew some pillows for the bed using the Braemore Wonderland fabric pictured above. I’m think ones with an envelope back in a neutral fabric so I can make the most of the 2 yards I have and spread it around the room. Then it’ll be onto sewing the drapes, picking out some nice colorful art to break up all the neutral walls and add pops of colors. I’m really liking the idea of using some original art pieces combined with prints. Oh and of course we still need to pick fabric for our two vintage chairs and get to reupholstering them. Fingers crossed it will be a record breaking fast sewing experience so we can add some color back into our nice neutral backdrop.

Let the Bedroom Tweakage Begin

5

03.1.12

Well hello everybody, I can’t believe it’s 2012 already! Boy time flies. We had the most wonderful week last week hanging around the house, playing with our Christmas Booty, with some lounging and movie watching thrown in. Unfortunately it’s back to work today for us all. Back to reality.

So now that Christmas has come and gone and our few glorious days of laying around on the couch came to a close I got inspired to begin implementing our plan for our Master Bedroom updates.

To us it seems like we’ve never really gotten the room to where we wanted it. When we moved in we put some green paint on the walls (that we weren’t totally in love with after the fact) and placed our bed and old nightstands in the room and called it OK for now, especially with all the other more pressing projects we had planned for the house the Bedroom got put on the back burner.

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Actually we’ve had a number of compliments on the green paint saying it’s cozy and cocoon like, but we’re not convinced and we’re ready for a change anyway. One lesson we’ve learned over the years is that we’ll always be tweaking and moving things around. What we liked yesterday we will most certainly want to change up over time even if it’s not as dramatic as changing the paint on the walls or getting a new piece of furniture. We’ll most certainly change this along the way in whatever we decide to do now. It’s just some of the fun of the process.

Anyway the first couple of tweaks we’ve got going on is the addition of our 2 new Bed Side Tables. We are stupid in love with these guys. For the last 4 years we’ve been using side tables from my parent’s old living room, which were about 6 inches too short, which was inconvenient to reach out of the bed to put something on and only had one teeny tiny drawer that didn’t fit much.

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But thanks to an awesome Pottery Barn Rewards from our couch purchase back in April that was about to expire purchased the first Pottery Barn’s Sophia Bedside table mentioned here in our Bedroom inspiration board table and an awesome Christmas gift from my parents to complete the set. We now have that extra 6 inches of height that the old Side Tables were so desperately lacking. We can finally put a glass of water down comfortably and with the added bonus of deeper more usable drawers we’re crazy excited about our new purchase. Yeah we’re secretly doing a happy dance at the new functionality the Bedside Tables add.

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Of course this is only the first step in our Master Bedroom makeover and only one of the tweaks we’ve just recently done. We also changed out the shades on the Bedside lamps to a cleaner more modern drum shade from Target for $16 each. The old ones were looking a bit to traditional with the bell shape and I love how simple changes can really update up the look of an item. Same lamps +New shade = muy updated look. B also now has a vintage Brass fish sitting on his side table that I found on Etsy and a sweet painting a local artist painted of our lake which was also a great random Etsy find.

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My great grandmother’s vintage chairs have found their way into the bedroom flanked by the two bookcases B and his Dad built for us a few years back while they wait for us to decided on a fabric and get to the big project of reupholstering them. Honestly, I think there is horse hair in them so we’ll have to take that project one step at a time when we get around to tackling it. I’m kind of apprehensive about yanking out all that horse hair, but I know that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

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We’ve also added the Ballard Designs Olivia Mirrored Side Table in Antique Brass in between the vintage chairs, topped it off with a Mercury Glass Lamp from HomeGoods and a couple of vintage brass quails that now live on the table that B bought me from Etsy for Christmas. Between the Fish on the Bedside table the Antique Brass Table nestled between the chairs and the Vintage Quails it seems there is a brass theme emerging around here and I’m kind of loving it.

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On the bed we changed out the old Orange Duvet cover for the Pottery Barn essential quilt in Ivory which is thinner than I expected from the catalog pictures but so amazingly warm and bonus for anyone who wants to buy it I think it’s on sale right now for even less than we paid for it on sale a couple weeks back. Underneath is a  Cream Coverlet from Target that matches the other cream tones in the room, because I love to sleep in a cool room with lots of layers to keep me warm. It also adds to the warm snuggly look on a bed

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All in all it’s already looking a lot more pulled together but in reality there’s still a lot to do to see our inspiration board I pulled together come to life.

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Like painting the entire room a more neutral color, sewing new drapery panels from the Robert Allen ikat fabric (number 1 on our board), sewing new colorful floral pillows for the bed (number 9 on our board). Possibly adding a colorful Vintage quilt, drooling over the amazing bed (number 2 on our board), hanging artwork and the million on project details that will go into the room before we can call it done-for-now, since we never call anything truly done around here. Oh and if you’d like to see all the source for our Inspiration Board we detail them here.

I’m loving how it’s turning out so far and can’t wait to see it evolve over the next few weeks/months as we implement our Inspiration board, change our mind 100 times on fabric, do some more DIY projects. Oh how I love a good room makeover.

Anyone else got some bedroom tweak age going on of the redecorating variety? Whether it be new lamp shades or a Coverlet change it’s amazing how little things really add up to one big whole. We’d love to hear about it.

Homey Halloween Spooktacular

2

24.10.11

So after all that Halloween Inspiration last week I got my butt in gear and started with some fun Halloween decorating of my very own. I’m not really into bloody and ghoulish Halloween but I’m all for some fun and spooky decorating.

First I grabbed some 4 sheets each of Pumpkin and Black scrapbook paper for around 80 cents a piece.  I thought it would be cool to change out some of my frames with some cool and cheap Halloween art.  I cut out a 1 each of a cat, owl, crow and bat silhouettes out of the black scrapbook paper and only ended up using 1 piece of black paper for all 4 silhouettes.

I slipped the pumpkin paper into the frames and taped the spooky silhouettes onto the pumpkin paper. And… I love them. I might just have to keep some orange accents around once Halloween is over.

On the wall I added additional cut out Bat silhouettes I had in my Halloween box that we had cutout for a party a few years ago. The table is  styled with some wheat bought from HomeGoods and black birds that my husband bought for me a few years ago.

On the jewelry box are a few little ceramic pumpkins and the yellow vase is another Home Goods find.

The large pumpkin is one of those foam craft pumpkins. I used green craft paint to paint some leaves on the top.

Outlined in dots of black puff paint.and some dotted black swirls with some more puff paint complete the foam pumpkin project.

So far I’m loving my touch of Halloween decor there’s still a few more things I’d like to put out but I think it’s shaping up to be a Spooktacular Halloween Home this year.

A Little Mulch Goes a Long Way

8

30.9.11

After we finished our new little garden we quickly realized that it wasn’t going to stay looking footloose and weed free for very long.

Within a matter of weeks it quickly went downhill from looking like this all neat and tidy with freshly raked dirt and our cute new plants.

To this hot mess full of crab grass and other unnameable things with roots reaching so deep you envision someone in China pulling on the very same weed.

 

We were losing the weed battle, definitely not the look we were going for. We knew it was about time to get our mulch on. I’ve always loved mulch since I was a kid…yeah I’m weird like that. I also loved watching This Old House with my Dad on Saturday afternoons when I was little,  go figure.

We went off to Home Depot and got a bunch of bags of black mulch, and gathered newspapers from the recycling pile. A long time ago we read somewhere that newspapers make a fantastic weed barrier instead of the usual black plastic.  We’ve used it as our go-to weed barrier in planting beds for years. It withholds light stopping the weeds from growing while allowing moisture to penetrate to the soil.

The newspaper holds up surprisingly well with mulch on top which is also a natural weed barrier giving you an added layer of protection in garden beds while being completely biodegradable and the best part is it’s absolutely free since we just save a bunch of Sunday newspapers as we go and use them when we’re about to mulch the gardens.

I basically worked my way around the garden laying out the newspaper 2 to 3 sheets thick overlapping the edges to ensure full coverage, luckily this day it wasn’t windy so there was no running around like a crazy person holding the edges of the paper down. A smarter person on a windy day may want to dampen the newspaper slightly to keep it from flying about. But that’s just if you’re smarter than I am.

Once the newspaper weed barrier was in place we began spreading the mulch in around the garden in sections about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep.

Making sure to wear gloves since the dye used in black mulch tends to rub off of the mulch but sticks to your hands permanently, so unless you’re going for the black dye covered hands look gloves are probably your best option.

After a quick couple hours the garden was in tip top shape again. We’re really happy with how this little project turned out.

We went from this

To this.

I’m really liking how neat and tidy it all looks again and how much more vibrant to colors of the flowers are against the black background of the mulch.  We’re totally please with house this turned out and it was super cheap too. The mulch was around $3.50 a bag and we used about 6 bags for this little garden. The newspaper was free since we saved it from the recycling bin. So we brought about this dramatic change and time saving weed control not too mention our plants love the added moisture for around a whopping $21.00.

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