Baby Festival Success

I posted some inspiration I used in planning my first Baby Shower, and with a huge turnout it was a fabulous time.  Little Baby C arrived a couple of weeks before the party (yay!) so the best party was getting to meet the teeny, tiny guest of honor.  I told you I was a wee bit concerned about having to transport most of the decoration in my suitcase, and there were only 2 casualties for the entire bag. My lovely co-host brought all the games and there were some quite hilarious ones.  My favorite involved predicting what features Baby C would gather from each parent, and each team started with two portraits of mom and pop, sliced up in pieces.  A flip of a coin determined who the feature (forehead, eyes, nose, mouth and chin) would be inherited from.  The end results were a bit horrific, but ultimately pretty hilarious. The entry table featured a memory photo mat for all the guests to sign, and also baby’s first book to inscribe as well.

Guest Table

If you’ll notice the Eiffel Tower in the corner, I think that was one of my favorite finds! I found quite a few wrought iron towers, but was afraid it would take up so much room, be really heavy and possibly get bent in the flight.  Back in the kids craft section at Michael’s was a collection of 3-D wood puzzles, and they had the Tower! It came in 3 sheets of wood, and all you had to do was pop the pieces out, assemble and paint!  It traveled so easily because it was flat, a little bit of glue here and there and some black, matte spray paint and it looked just like the wrought irons ones.  Best part was that they were only $2.40 each with my coupon!

Side Buffet

Tower #2 helped accent the buffet holding all the plates, napkins and dishware for the brunch.  Most of the animal figures I picked out at Ross for between $5-$8 each.  The large pictures frames were from Michael’s, and showcased the great printable cards from Hostess with the Mostess.

Brunch Table and Buffet

The blue and white stripe table runner was from Hancock fabric, in their clearance upholstery fabric.  I didn’t even hem it, just ironed a crisp edge that was folded under to hide the cuts. Notice the collection of butterflies along the wall? I happened upon them at IKEA, and they stick to the walls without leaving marks! There were 3 sheets in the package for only $4.99, so I stared on one side of the window, and went up and over the doorway to the kitchen.

Buffet Table

They were too adorable!

Butterfly Wall

The drink station hosted soda, water, juice and champagne.  I think I really lucked out to find a sparkling drink that feature a baby foot print on its label.  I’ll take 6 please! Again, I used signs from HWTM and found coordinating frames ($3.99 for 2) and paintable easels ($0.99 each) from IKEA.

Drink Station

Other Accessories

In the kitchen were two tables, each with an animal figure, bebe-frames print and yellow-vase ($7.99 each) filled with bright, purple feathers. Hanging above those were yellow and purple, tissue butterflies from Hobby Lobby, in 3 different sizes.  The biggest was 18″ across with wings, and one pack of 3 was $4.20 with you guesses it a coupon! As for the feathers, you can find many sites on-line that sell Ostrich feathers, but I happen to have a Hobby Lobby that always stocks the 13″-15″ in many colors.  I waited until they were running a 50% off floral week to get them at $1.50 each.  The counter island in the kitchen had 3 small red vases ($2.99 each), holding 3 brilliant, blue feathers, like the one you see on the favor table and the drink station.

Favor Table

The favor boxes were actually from the wedding section at Michael’s, and again using my coupons, I got 2 packages of 20 for $2.60 each. The boxes were about 2.5″ square, and I printed a small picture of Baby C to add to each as a surprise in the back.  The treat included Jelly Beans and Tropical Tootsie-Rolls. I stuck the picture facing out, in the back, filled it with treats, and tied each one with bright ribbons and a favor tag.

I tried to include as many of the links to the products and ideas as possible, but feel free to ask about anything else I might have missed.   Hope you had fun checking out the party, because I sure had fun pulling it together…more please!


Dreams Really Do Come True

This post isn’t really going to give you any tips, instead it’s about inspiration. And that patience is a virtue…and not just for Job I swear it has been at least 2 years since I spotted my first Buster chair in the Restoration Hardware catalog.  I’m pretty sure I ripped the page out immediately, and have it stashed in my nightstand table with all of the others items I have coveted, but couldn’t afford.  I’m a sucker for anything tufted, and this beautiful wing-back leather chair with nail-head trim is totally dream worthy.  But, alas, spending $3,500 on a chair isn’t even an option for me…I couldn’t begin to justify it.  I have watched it lovingly through the catalogs, throughout the seasons….and then gasp I could no longer find it on their website.  Eeeek! Not that I would have been convinced to buy it on-line, but I still wanted to look at the pictures. A quick web search later and I learned that RH had replaced my lovelies with their new Churchill Chair.


RH Leather Churchill Chair


It’s okay, I guess…just not the same.  I guess the universe knew it too, because over the weekend we happened to take a quick trip to the outlet malls, in particular RH and Pottery Barn.  You’ll never guess what they had! I still can hardly believe it myself…2, yes TWO, nutmeg leather buster chairs at 40% below clearance price.  Be still my beating heart.


RH Leather Buster Chair


Mind you, this was still not an easy purchase for me to pull the trigger on.  I had to think about it a lot while wandering around PB.  In the end, I just couldn’t picture my life with out it…I mean, them. And still, no buyer’s remorse!


My Buster Chairs


You’ll be happy to know that these are ‘real people’ size chairs too.  Meaning that I, being 6′ tall, can relax comfortably and the cushion actually reaches the back of my knees.  Not an easy feat! Now we need to get rid of some of our CL furniture to make room, and get the right configuration with the Haverty’s sectional I have been keeping my eye on. Fingers crossed for a sale!


Chastain Sectional


One last look, just for kicks and giggles.


Soon to be my Home

~Welcome home Buster~


So Much More to Master

I don’t know if the master bedroom could possibly house any more dressers, but they will only be staying for a little while.  Thank goodness such a wonderful thing as CL was discovered, so that I can afford to furnish a house until my REAL plans are finished.  Real plans that include a lot of custom construction, perhaps some shopping, and many, MANY detailed and dimensioned drawings. I don’t doubt that there are many gifted craftsman who can build with only a vision and their skills…I prefer to limit the margin of error by mapping everything out.  With careful measurements.  And detailed drawings. So there is no misunderstanding of the outcome.

On to the master bedroom, of which I have plans to replace the dressers with a wall of built-in dressers, storage and shelves. But for now, the bed is situated between two windows and facing the armoire.


MB Dresser and Armoire
Bed and Nightstand

After all the re-arranging I was even more inspired than ever for my built-in plan, so I quickly sketched out what I had in mind.  Mind you it was not to scale that will be done later but at least I was able to communication my vision clearly to the lucky man who will be building it.


Grand Future Plans

Because the space is so large I’ll have to get a space plan posted one of these days I really think that it could accommodate a full wall of cabinetry, and it would not dwarf the entire bedroom.  White mill-work is my first choice, as I think it would be bright and not enforce a cave-like atmosphere.  I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned to find out if it can be done…

And don’t forget about my little bench down there…still needs trim. sigh

Nearly Finished Bench

Much More to Dress Up

It was not my intention to gather such a collection of dressers, but I think my slight addiction to CL has given me more than I probably need.  Two dressers and an armoire for the master bedroom may be a bit over the top though it pales in comparison to my master built-in plans and yet, I have only managed to get one of them painted.  And of course, now that I am actually getting around to posting pictures, I can’t find the before photos.  So we’ll just have to settle on the after, and maybe another small master update. As you know I am completely in love with the SW paint I used on my bench, and planned to use it on the rest of the furniture to unify the mismatched collection of pieces.  This was a $40 dresser from CL where else and it involved two coats of paint, and some Minwax stain to highlight small details.   I used the tried and true wax-on, wax-off with the stain and here are the results.


Painted Dresser

Master Dresser

In its former life it was a standard shade of honey oak, and boasted plenty of glossy shine in its finish.  I fell in love with its curvy shape, carved legs and glorious Frenchy style.  The drawer pulls were a famously glorious shiny brass, which were quickly transformed with an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.



Lovely Curves

Fancy Feet


In an attempt to make up for my lack of before pictures, here a quick transformation switcheroo of the light fixtures above the sitting area of our mater bedroom.


Before - Light Fixture

Please ignore the completely unsafe manner in which this fixture is hanging from the ceiling, as it wasn’t this way for long.  We repainted the ceiling and never reattached it, because we knew it would be headed for the curb.  Always remember to shut off the power before attempting electrical work kids!



After – Chandelier

This 6-light chandelier came from my second favorite place Costco for about $70, and is oil-rubbed bronze finish with mosaic, frosted glass lamp covers.  It’s pretty large, and was such a good deal that six were purchased for the house.  Yes six.  The rest are residing in storage, but I managed to sneak this one out so it could be put to good use.



Organizing the Office

I have found myself not motivated creatively lately.  The new year gave me a little surge, but overall just not feelin’ it. That must mean it’s time to change things up, and what better place to start than my office.  Ideally, this is the room that I would work on my blog, study design and work on sketching in layouts for the rest of our renovation plans.  My thought was, if I rearrange the furniture, the room can take on a new vibe and perhaps that will get the juices flowing.  Do you ever feel like a space is just ‘ugg’ ?  You’re not comfortable there, you can’t think creatively, or it just isn’t working for you?  Then play the rearrange game! I was one of ‘those kids’ who would shut my bedroom door and move my furniture around, every couple of months or so…just because I needed a change.

If you have quite a bit of furniture, I would suggest sketching out your idea first.  Maybe even go so far as to take measurements, and map out your layout to ensure everything will fit where you want it to.


Room Dimensions

And if you REALLY want to dedicate yourself, you will create a scale drawing of the room and furniture and cut the pieces out so you can move them around without really moving furniture.  I only had 3 pieces of furniture, but I’m a bit detail oriented and felt compelled to spend a lot of time on this project.  I won’t mention that I already knew where I was moving everything, but felt the need to exercise my layout skills. So I scaled my room using graph paper (2 squares =  1 ft) and cut out my figures.

Layout Planning

Now I made a much cleaner version using MS Word, and got some before and after comparisons for you.  Who doesn’t love a good B&A!

Space Planner

Office Layout - Buffet

Office Layout - Desk

Still learning my settings on the ‘point-and-shoot’ camera…how hard could it be to focus, right?

Cozy Corner

There is one poster missing from my collection of vintage maps, and it will be matter vertically, to hang in the empty space on the right.  I also want to get a floor lamp and ottoman to complete my casual seating area.  For the floor lamp I want to match the finish on the other table lamps to create unity, since the shades will be different. Something like this floor lamp from Pottery Barn:

Adair Floor Lamp, Bronze finish

I like the details at the base and the small details of the arm, and at the connection. However at $179.00 this will simply be a source of inspiration.  To complete the seating area I want to find a round, tufted ottoman, but the type of fabric is still up in the air.  I want a piece of round furniture to balance the boxy desk and hutch.  The tufted element will unify the ottoman and chair, if that is not done in the fabric.  My dilemma in deciding between fabric and leather is based on texture and availability of a match in the leather.  I want fabric to bring in another textural element, and perhaps pattern, and it will be difficult to find an exact match on the leather.  I want leather to create a more simple palate, not introduce any other patterns, and create a ‘set’ of furniture.  Which would you choose? Ignore the prices if you want, knowing I won’t pay that much.

Ottoman Choices

I do feel slightly more energized to finish my work space and it was really refreshing to clear everything out and get back to the basics.  But then…it is just me, or does anyone else feel you HAVE to make a mess to get something clean?  Case in point:

Closet Explosion

Once the office was clean, I need to turn my attention to the closet…which meant I had to clean out the boxes…which meant I needed to empty the boxes…and my clean office was no longer so. Back to work!

Let’s Change the Vibe

When I started this blog my intention was to make it solely about interiors and design.  I know there are so many great lifestyle blogs out there talking about family, food and design…but I don’t want to go that route.  So you may be wondering why would I post party and decoration ideas?  First reason would probably be I love to host parties. And attend them And the second, more related reason, is that it’s all about changing a space.  According to Merriam-Webster, “Interior Design” is defined as:

the art or practice of planning and supervising the design and execution of architectural interiors and their furnishings

So by changing the design of an interior, say for a baby shower, I believe you would be doing exactly that.  Scoff if you will, at some one who compares Candice Olson to David Tutera…but they both create magical spaces that leave me in awe.


David Tutera & Candice Olson

So now you know the method to my madness when you find some of my posts jump from furniture re-hab to birthday parties.  My new favorite gal is the Hostess with the Mostess and her amazing party inspirations. Fabulous photos and details, even free downloads for specific events!  I found the perfect decor inspiration for the baby shower of my bestest pal… Festival du Bebe. The shower will be co-ed, so the bright colors and fun accessories will be perfect for a Las Vegas baby.

I started making my shopping list right away, and came up with a plan so that whenever I am out and about, if something catches my eye I can quickly snatch it up.

  • Vases for Centerpieces
  • Ostrich Feathers
  • Small Planters for Flowers
  • Animal Figures (elephant, monkey, zebra, giraffe)
  • Table Cloth or Runner
  • Butterfly Accessories
  • Paper Lanterns (or make DIY tissue pouf)
  • Jewels for table confetti
  • Signs and tags (courtesy of my new favorite hostess!)

My biggest obstacle is that I will be traveling to the shower, so everything must fit in one suitcase…now that’s a fun challenge!