Well That’s Pinteresting… {Monogram Madness Edition}

Everything looks better with a monogram on it. So fancy. It just feels right. If I could, I’d put my initials on everything. I love typography and have a few wreaths with R’s on them, the Ampersand below displayed on our built ins, a fabric covered R from Antropologie in our guest room, and plenty of accessories on the bar cart with an R monogrammed on it. It’s a sickness. Lucky for me, Pinterest said “Been there, done that” and is full of monogrammy goodness.

Ampersand

Here are five nontraditional monogrammed items that are killin it.

1. This wreath. The wreath is made out of boxwood. I have four boxwood plants in my front garden that are seriously overgrown. They are out. of. countrol. I could fix up my garden and make a wreath? Now that’s a win.

Boxwood Monogram

2. These napkins. I’m totally feeling these napkins for our annual holiday party. I’m thinking I will stencil the initial of each guest on the napkins and use them as the place settings. So crafty. Want to know what color I’m picturing for the monogram? I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with mold. Which I still have in my basement… Stop judging me!

Napkin Monogram

3. These prints. Please ignore the girl randomly draped across the couch. I don’t know her. Whoever she is, I like the monogram action she’s got going on in her house. I love this take on a monogram because it’s…modern. I like the simple lines of the letters and it looks so clean and crisp paired with the simple frames. Nice work, couch girl.

Monogram Print

4. These door knockers. The brassy looking door knockers are such a quirky take on a traditional piece. I wonder if people would actually realize what they are? But really, who needs things to be functional when they could be cute instead? #amiright?

Door knockers

5. This door decoration. I love this fresh take on a wreath. The project looks pretty simple and would be perfect for fall. The fact that I think it would be simple means I can assume it will be mostly impossible. I probably shouldn’t even bother…

Door decoration

What about you? Have you jumped on the Monogram bandwagon? Which wreath do you like better? I really want to try the boxwood monogram but I have this feeling it will end up looking like a first grader’s art project…

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$200 Kitchen Makeover {Guest Post}

Hey! I’m Allie, wifey, mom, cheapo, and blogger over at www.cutekiduglyhouse.blogspot.com, where I share the hilarious side of marriage, parenting and DIY home improvements. Feel free to check it out!

Much like Chelsea mentioned in this post, my hubs and I always expect things to go smoothly and drastically underestimate how long a home project will take.

Maybe that’s why we usually finish each major project hating our stupid old house even more, and feeling something other than love in our hearts for each other. What I’m saying is that if the lives of some of these decorating/DIY bloggers are as sweet in reality as they are in virtual reality, then mad props to them.

When Greg and I decide to start a DIY project, like updating our kitchen for $200, which we did a few months ago, we usually begin bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Picture a married couple marching the aisles of Lowes, pointing to every single thing and breathlessly spouting bits of home design mumbo jumbo like,

Hey, wouldn’t this be such a unique yet neutral color for the hallway?”

or

This is like my ideal faucet. We should totally incorporate it into our ‘phase two’ kitchen project.”

or

Wait, wait! We could use these for coat hooks! Wouldn’t that read so unexpected yet approachable?”

We were basically holding hands and skipping on the way back to the car.

On the drive home, Greg actually asserted he would start on another project later that night after we FINISHED the kitchen.

We seem to forget two important things in these moments: First, we have a one year old child, and secondly, we have a stupid, 60-year-old house.

Three hours later, it was finally time to start the Project, and we were already grumpy.

Here’s what we started with
Allie's Kitchen Before
Allie's Stove Before

My job was to paint the inside of the cabinets. Did I mention I’ve never painted before in my life? You should have seen my husband’s face when he saw me trying to push the roller into the corners and asking him how I was “supposed to get these stupid corners?”

I only completed three cupboards in two hours.

Things went more quickly once I started painting the right way and Greg came in to help me.

But it still took us four hours.

We were covered in paint, and the kitchen being the only room in our stupid old house with no air vents, there was no A/C.

At first, I thought, ‘Me and my hubs working on our house … sure, maybe we’re tired and overwhelmed, but this is fun! We should talk and have fun,’ and I tried to pull stuff out of my behind to talk about.

So, did you hear about the royal baby?” I asked. “Apparently he gave a little ‘royal wave’ to reporters when they left the hospital. How cute is that?! Hahaha!”

Pretty soon I gave up.

It was 3:30 in the morning when we finished, and we were so annoyed at each other, but also so exhausted that all we could muster up to express it were annoyed glances.

The whole thing ended up taking about four days. I painted the back splash the next day, all by myself, and finished it during Darby’s nap! I was so stinkin’ proud of myself and couldn’t wait to show Greg when he came home.

He loved it.

But then he went into our bedroom and saw that I had used one of his favorite T-shirts as a painting shirt. I thought it was an old, crappy one, and told him that he has a ton of T-shirts; how was I supposed to know?

Later, he brought one completed doors inside very ceremoniously, and attempted to attach it to a cupboard.

From the living room, I heard him talking to himself in a frustrated tone and rolled my eyes.

Then he came in the living room and told me that because we have a stupid, old house, our cabinet doors need a special kind of hinge or they won’t even shut.

So, after a trip to the store for new hinges, coming home, realizing they’d overcharged, and heading back to the store for a refund, we finally managed to replace the cabinet doors.

After a few more changes, here’s what we ended up with:

Allie's Fridge After

Allie's stove after

Allie's Light After

This is a classic “phase one” update because we aren’t in a position to do a major overhaul right now. However, I couldn’t look at that faux tin back splash for one more second. None of the changes are major, and the whole thing took a few days, and cost us a total of $200 in paint, spray paint, hinges and pulls, a sconce and a new window treatment.

What we did:

-Painted the inside and outside of the cabinets white (they were a creamy eggshell color)

-Changed the dated brass pulls and hinges for a simple, modern and sleek look

-Left off the two cabinet doors on either side of the sink (and sanded and filled the hinge holes.) This gives an instantly updated look to a kitchen because open shelving is popular right now (yet classic enough to not make it a waste of time) Then I made sure to style those shelves attractively. There are some bright colors in my kitchen already; the walls and some accessories and artwork, so I tried to stick to glass, including some amber glass which is a neutral color, for the open shelves.

-Painted the faux tin back splash light gray. (This gives the impression of a stony gray back splash, which is our actual ideal for a real back splash one day.)

-Spray painted the country looking pendant lamp over the sink to a dark aqua (Spray painting is our go-to way of changing something cheaply, and Greg does it way better than me, as you’d expect. He gets really sick of me bringing him new things to spray paint all the time.)

-Replaced the curtain with an inexpensive faux jute roman blind. I like to mix modern/industrial (aqua pendant lamp) with natural fibers and objects, even it is faux-natural…. errr….

-Replaced the dated sconce with a cheap one from the hardware store. (This is not my ideal sconce, but there is no connection to a light switch from this sconce, so it needed to be the kind with a switch or pull on the sconce itself. Read me?)

-We did nothing with the countertops or appliances because those will have to wait for the bigger update one day. The counters are just old laminate, but they look like stone because the previous owner was a smarty and purchased one of those “paint your laminate counters to look like granite” kits that Chelsea mentioned being too expensive in a recent post. I guess our previous owner decided it was worth it in order to sell the house, and guess what? She was right because it worked. I literally had no idea the counters were fake until moving in.

But I’m ridiculous like that.

Allie did an incredible job totally changing the look of her kitchen on a budget. It’s crazy that she only spent $200 and was able to create such a difference.  I’m loving the jute roman shades up against the modern pendant lamp and I’m obsessed with the open shelving. Awesome job, Allie! What’s your favorite part? Share in the comments below! If you’re visiting from Cute Kid, Ugly House, I’d love for you to check out some of my favorite posts: Laminate Countetop Makeover and $5 DIY Vases.  If you’d like to get regular updates from my blog, follow Pinterior Designer on Facebook and Bloglovin (links are in the sidebar). Thanks! -Chelsea 

You’ve Got Mail

I hate checking the mail. I’m always waiting for some surprise bill to arrive that I didn’t know about. I almost expect to open a letter one day to see that something like: “Surprise! Your mortgage has magically doubled. Good luck with that!” I don’t know about you, but this home owner thing is expensive. Bills come out of the woodwork man! If I have to check the mail and get letters that say I have to pay you money for picking up my trash and all the other stuff that is zero fun to pay for, then I might as well have a cute mailbox. Know what I’m sayin’?

Here’s what I started with:

Mailbox before

I began by wiping down the mailbox and lamp-post with a wet rag. I removed the old house numbers because they were peeling off. They were pretty stuck on there so I need a flathead screw driver to pry them off. The numbers left a sticky residue so I scrubbed it off with water.  I lightly sanded the lamp-post, but only a little. I have no patience when it comes to sanding and usually do a really crappy job on it. Hey, we all have our faults… Then, I removed the actual mailbox. All I had to do was remove the four screws attaching the box to the post and it came right off. Next, I used black Valspar indoor/outdoor spray paint on the mailbox post and the lamp-post. To keep the glass clean on the lamp, I used Scotch Blue tape to cover each pane. Yes, I love brass, but this looked too outdated so it had to go.

To spray paint the mailbox, I taped the flag using painters tape. I then covered the mailbox with three coats of gold Rust-Oleum spray paint. It’s what I had in my collection so that’s what I used.

The flag needed some lovin too. To protect my new shiny gold mailbox, I slid a trash bag over the entire thing. I then cut a small hole in the bag near the flag and pulled the flag through. I taped the hole shut around the base of the flag. From there, I sprayed the flag with two coats of red spray paint. *I tried blue first, but it was too much. I only needed a bit of paint so I bought a Krylon Short Cuts Red Pepper spray paint from Michael’s.

Malbox after blue

I wanted to accessorize my mailbox because like I said in this post, I’m a fancy girl and apparently, a gold mailbox just isn’t enough so I bought stencils from Michael’s. I taped the R stencil (similar) on to the mailbox and used black craft smart paint, also from Michael’s to paint the R monogram.  I wish I would have outlined the letter in sharpie and then filled in the rest of the letter with my paint brush. Relying on the stencil for clean lines didn’t work out too hot.

Mailbox monogramBonus Point: Can you spot Nate?

To finish this baby off, I bought some gold house numbers (shocker) from Lowe’s. The number’s came with the screws and it took Nate only a few minutes with the drill to attach them. For the record, I am perfectly capable of using all of our power tools. I am not perfectly capable of measuring and all the things involving spacial awareness, which is why Nate often gets called in for jobs like making sure numbers are hung correctly. Hey, know your strengths.

mailbox with numbers

I know this is not a normal mailbox, you don’t have to tell me that. Even I laugh a little when I tell people we’re the house with the gold mailbox. The bottom line is, that shiny guy makes me smile every time I see it so that’s what matters. Have you ever made any design choices that make other people do a double take but it makes you smile whenever you think about it? Confession: most of my guilty pleasure design choices involve sparkles. I’ve loved glitter since the sixth grade and there’s no turning back now. What about you?

Help a girl out and pin this post to Pinterest using the pin it button below! To get regular updates on my posts, like Pinterior Designer on Facebook or subscribe using Bloglovin. All the cool kids are doing it!

I’m linking up this post at…
Practically Functional
Remodelaholic
House of Rose

Project Therapy

I have this problem. It’s called I have to do something crafty every week. Somehow my car ends up at Homegood’s/Michael’s/Goodwill/yardsales/thesideoftheroadlookingforjunk trying to find something to do. I get antsy when I’m not being creative. I have a somewhat stressful job- shoutout to my friends from southwest Philly! and I’ve found that having a hobby just for me has been really helpful in not letting myself get lost in the sauce that is urban education. Sometimes my friends say I’m crazy for the amount of projects I take on, but imagine how crazy I’d be if I didn’t do these project? Think about that for a second.

Everyone and their mother’s seems to pin pictures of Prego and pickle jars turned stylish. Naturally, I had to do it. I googled a tutorial for how to reuse my Bath & Body Works candle (love those guys). I boiled about an inch of water in a pan and then held the candle in the pan of water for 30 seconds tops. Seriously, don’t do it longer than that or it gets all melty. Use a butter knife to slice all the way across the warmed candle. Pop that bad boy outta there. From there, use Goo Gone to remove any leftover wax. I finished this project off with two coats of gold spray paint and called it a day.

Candle Tip Jar

Tip Jar

Total cost of this project: FREE! I already had the spray paint and old candle jar. From start to finish, including drying time, this project took about an hour.

Another cheap project was upgrading an Ikea Byholma basket that I picked up for $7.99. I already had a few bottles of craft smart paint from Michael’s. I parked myself in front of the TV and mindlessly painted a few rows on the basket. Sometimes that’s the best kind of project. I didn’t tape anything off because I figured I wouldn’t be able to get perfect lines anyways. Go with the flow.

Ikea Byholma

For less than an hour of work, I ended up with a customized basket that coordinates with the guest bathroom colors. I store extra towels for guests in this bathroom. Whenever we run out of clean towels, Nate always steals this one. I try to explain that this isn’t an actual towel for using, it’s a decorative towel. Either he doesn’t understand our towel situation or he is 100% not interested in my crazy.

Painted basket

Bathroom crafts

Anyone else working on some small crafts or projects just to make yourself happy? Or maybe you do other things like eat Froyo. Don’t worry, I won’t judge because maybe I do that too. What’s your stress reliever? Share in the comments below!

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Make it Werk

When we first moved in, there were so many projects I had to get done immediately. Not because I was excited, but because I was embarrassed. It seems stupid to be embarrassed by someone else’s design choice, but I was. I thought if I didn’t get rid of it right away, people would think I liked it and would judge my style by it. One of those ugly moments was the “pantry” in the kitchen.

Apparently the kitchen didn’t have a pantry so the previous owners went rogue and DIY’d one. I’m all about the DIY life, but only if you are willing to put in the time and effort into making it look professional. The old homeowners didn’t seem to do either. They added in a pantry that was about four inches deep, threw in sliding closet doors, slapped up some molding on the top only, and allowed their dog to go crazy scratching up the walls. This closet was lit.er.al.ly one soup can deep. Why? WHY?! I wanted to permanently close that stupid pantry and forget it ever existed.

Eating AreaDumbest. pantry. ever.

The first week we removed the closet doors and put them in the garage until we could figure out a plan. My mom patched up the scratch marks with spackle and painted the shelves white. Instead of storing a few food items on the shelf, I decided to embrace the ugly and just make it work. Or werk, as Brittany Spears would say.

Turns out, I actually LOVE the seemingly odd pantry now. I think it provides the kitchen with character and seems like a built-in. You know I’m a sucker for an architectural feature.  It’s going to be perfect for adding a seasonal touch to the kitchen this fall and winter. I don’t really use it for anything useful other than looking good. I styled it simply by repeating items and colors. It’s  no surprise that I’m continuing on the black and white theme with pops of gold into the kitchen. It’s kind of my thing.

Open shelving sideGold spray painted mason jars from Michael’s.

Open shelving with curtains
Triangle stamped curtains inspired by Vintage Revivals. I used a magic eraser in the same Valspar paint as I used on the wall. I didn’t measure the triangles, but just eyed up the spacing for each row. I stamped each row varying the heights for a more laid back look.

Open Shelving

Shelves + curtains
I took these pictures pre- banquette.

Have you ever thought you hated something about your house but it turned out just fine? And you worried what other people would think when in reality, it only matters what you think? Share in the comments!

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All Things With Purpose

Well That’s Pinteresting {Fancy Bedding Edition}

There’s a special guy in my life. His name’s Sam. He’s the cutest, sweetest, most loving dog and I feel so lucky to have him.

Sam Collage

I don’t, however, feel lucky to have him ruin my bedspread. Sam’s so cute and cuddly at night, he sleeps with us. All 80 pounds of his two-year-old golden retriever self. Can’t say no to that face. I love him. I don’t love that he sometimes gets so excited that he jumps up on the bed and runs around, tearing up our comforter in the process.

Let’s look on the bright side here. That does mean that I need to do a little bedspread shopping so you know what? I’m just going to accept it.

Here’s my Friday Five coming at you from West Elm. I went to their site to find an idea or two, and ended up finding EVERYTHING that I wanted. Thanks, West Elm. You da man.

1. This comforter is decent (that’s what my students say for anything cool). I love it because it’s black and white and geometric. I like that it’s a funkier take on stripes. And also, modern. Modern for the win.

2. This throw pillow. It’s gold. It’s black. It’s silky. Get. On. My. Bed.

3. This throw pillow. It’s so fancy. I’m fancy. It’s a perfect fit. (Can anyone else not say the word “fancy” without saying “Oh you fancy, huh? in their head? Just me? Oh ok…)

4. This throw. Is it tacky? Maybe. Do I care? Absolutely…not. I’m also really feeling that chair. The legs make it feel mid-century modern which is all over the design world.

5. This pillow. I love it. I want it. But mostly I’m just laughing at the $69 price tag. Who pays that much for a pillow?!  And West Elm, Mongolian Lamb? You’re being a little too uppity with your swanky lamb. Most of us don’t have monies for fancy lamb, I’d prefer regular lamb thankyouverymuch.

I don’t actually think I’m going to buy any of these items because even though I love to look at West Elm’s catalogs and their prices are more affordable than Pottery Barn, I just won’t sign that check. I can’t spend over $400 on bedding because I could do so many other projects with that. I can keep this inspiration in mind while I’m shopping at HomeGoods or Marshall’s and find tons of great stuff at way more affordable prices.

Pin any Mongolian Lamb recently? No? Just me? How about some regular lamb? Share in the comments. Have a great weekend!