Thursday, January 26

Stenciling! {The built-in's}

I have really fallen in love with the look of geometric & Moraccan stencils!  I think its a fun way to give any room or wall a little personality - you can stencil on floors, furniture, fabric, lampshades, curtains anything really :) It's a nice alternative to wallpaper and if you like DIY its an easy DIY project to get into....tedious? a little, but not all that hard...IMO. 

About 2 weekends ago, I was looking through and found this inspiration picture


and I loved it immediatley and thought "I shoud stencil MY built-ins!"......... I really love the geometric pattern in these bookcases and also loved that the color scheme is similar to my color scheme - grays...I love grays of all shades.  Anyway, I had to find out where to get my hands on a good quality stencil.

I decided on Cutting Edge Stencils and picked this geometric stencil pattern.  It arrived about 8 days later and I got to work.  I decided to leave my background paint color cream since the majority of my stenciling would be filled in with gray.  I like the contrast of the white and gray - I think it pops more.

Here are the built ins before I started.

Without the shelves

When stenciling, it is recommended that you purchase a stencil roller - the foam on the stencil rollers are different than regular paint rollers as they are a bit more dense.  I picked mine up from Michael's Arts and Crafts.

and I went with Sherwin Williams paint in "Summit Gray"

and then I did a practice run to get comfortable with the stenciling process.

After getting the hang of it I went ahead and started on the wall.  Here is what the stencil looks like after a first coat - you want to do several coats, using little paint as to not have dripping or seepage behind the stencil cut out.  The stencil itself is pretty big as you can see.

Almost done....

Here is a closer look and with the shelves back in place.  Up close there are some minor imperfections but its not that noticeable....can you see anything?

Looking at it from a distance...

and here is built-in #1 all finished and decorated.

Once more side by side:


and here is the completed project!

This was an early morning shot - please excuse all the sun shadows.

You may notice that around the edges there is some white space.  I may go back in and use the single stencil that came with the large stencil to fill that space in, not sure yet.  I also have to find something for the top shelf for the bookcase on the right, something substantial to match the size of the seahorse on the left.  We have since replaced this TV with a bigger one, and moved this one downstairs since it looked so small in this room.

So what do you think?  Does it look just as good as my inspiration pic?  Feedback is always welcome!

Wednesday, January 18

Dining room progress

Havent paid much attention to the dining room since it's not really used all that much.  When you come in through the front door, its on your right and directly across from my office, the main reason why I finally decided to do something in here.  I literally sit and stare into the dining room all too often when I am on long conference calls.  Since we moved in, all we did was paint it a medium gray color by Martha Stewart called 'Cement Gray'.  We also DIY our own drum pendant that I will post about later but for now here is one small update.

I am still not sure if I will leave the decor on there or replace with 2 table lamps.  I guess if I find two lamps that I have to have I will probably change it up, but for now I think this works. (Forgot to cut / peel the tags off the glass water bottles)

What I especially love about this buffet is the storage cabinet...perfect spot for wine and liquor.

or napkins, napkins rings, coasters and other dining room items.

I also like the open shelf on the bottom.  I am thinking I may put a decorative bowl or white platters down here or keep it minimal and maybe add small plants in pretty pots?  Not sure, still playing around with ideas.

Here is an alternate view showing the drum pendant that was DIY project (it's looking a bit crooked in this picture huh?) I will post the DIY instructions in another post soon.

Thursday, January 12

Entryway update!

I went out today at lunch to try and find decorative shelf paper to line the back of our built - in's in the family room and ended up coming home with something totally different...and for a whole different space...the entryway.

I ended up at the home decor store Home Decorator's Collections and found a piece of art that I had to have! It was the perfect length, style, price - everything about it worked.

Here is what this wall has looked like over the past couple months:

Plain - This is how it looked a few days after moving in...nothing hung yet

I love B&W pics (we have a lot of B&W art in the house but this look wasn't really doing it for me

And this is what I found today - I am partial to Subway art....I did my own DIY version last month...and being from Connecticut, I am partial to NYC so this piece was perfect in more than one way.   

Here it is a little closer

And there you have it.  It comes on a scroll that opens up and has a thin tweed rope for hanging.   There were two styles, this one (places in NYC) and another one of places in Paris.

Wednesday, January 11

Decorating the entry way table (minor update)

I love decorating around the house in honor of Christmas, but it was time for a  change to our entry table.

So we have gone from this low key holiday set up - white Christmas lights in a trifle bowl and a Yankee candle Christmas tree tart burner):

To this winter-y arrangement (tall vase filled with wicker branches and pussy willows) and a short table lamp:

I prefer the winter-y look myself, I like the height the vase and branches give, plus it just looks cleaner.  Come spring I will probably add fresh flowers in a tall glass vase.  It's so easy to change up the entry with just a few minor changes.

Thursday, January 5

The room with 15 windows!

The upstairs living room is next on the list of rooms to finish.  You can see into the room from the front entrance & garage entrance. You can also see up to the 2nd floor walkway.  The living room is right through the foyer in the back of the house....

This is a pic from the first week moved in, the foyer now has pics and a console table and plant!

The back of the living room is a wall of windows. Literally, from floor to ceiling there are 15 windows in this room, this picture only shows 12, my camera cut off the other 3.  Nice, but when watching TV on a sunny day, it can be a pain.  The room gets such nice light and since its the back of the house its private so thankfully no one can see in with all these windows.   You can also see down into the living room from the 2nd floor walkway, which is where is took this picture.

Horrible right!

And here is the living room is its current state. We still need to decorate and accessorize the built in's, order the new dark gray living room set, hang pictures on the dark gray wall you see to the right and find a huge area rug, oh and get a bigger TV to mount over the FP.  So stay tuned, we already picked out the couch, should be here in a couple weeks!
01 09 10