Bedding part 2


I am a self-admitted blanket hog.  I love to take the blankets, tuck them under me, and roll up into a burrito…thus leaving no blankets on the rest of the bed.  When I got married, I registered for a new down comforter, and I thought it would be a great idea to get the oversize queen for our queen sized bed.  That way there would be more than enough blanket to go around, and we wouldn’t have that weird thing where the comforter doesn’t hang off the sides at all.  Perfect!

And then I tried to buy a duvet cover so as not to filthy up my white comforter.  FAIL!  There are not a lot of oddly dimensioned oversized queen duvet covers in the world!  (In hindsight, I should have just gotten a king.  It’s not that much bigger that it would look silly, and then it would be a standard size.)  Some people would just buy a new comforter, but I am a tightwad and I tend to work with what I’ve got.  So on a 90 degree day, I thought that playing with many yards of feathers and fabric would be the FUNNEST thing to do.  🙂

This thing is huge.  I thought hard about the most open floor space-d area in my home, and it STILL wasn’t quite big enough to lay out the whole thing!  (I decided to go the route of tracing my existing comforter on the duvet because I don’t trust myself to measure and draw straight enough lines.)

I solved this problem by doubling it up.  (And I had to do this twice, because the heat fried my brain and I forgot to turn it inside out first.)

I then laid out the comforter on top, also doubled up.

Precision was not key, since I didn’t want the cover to fit toooo snugly.

I placed pins just outside the edge of the comforter, again, outside to avoid too tight of a fit.

Here again with not trusting myself to sew in straight lines, I ironed a crease to follow along the pin lines I’d created.

It’s a little difficult to see, but I sewed two seams.  The first was just a straight line along my ironed crease.  Then I ran out of white thread for my backup zig zaggy seam – for the likely event that I somehow break that straight seam – so I used gray since it will A, never be seen, and B, I was in no mood to run out to the store.  This duvet came with corner ties, which I once read is how Martha Stewart keeps her comforters secured inside her covers.  I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, so I detached them from their corners, cut them in half, and attached them to the new corner location as well as on the comforter itself.  Then it’s muuuch easier to recover if you’re going it alone, as you tie the corners together and just shake the rest of it into place. 

Then I got really nervous to just cut away the excess – measure twice, cut once!  So I laid the whole thing out one more time to make SURE I’d sewn in the right place, and then I trimmed off the excess. 

Voila!  It fits!  And I don’t have that sad empty 3-6″ pocket of space along all the edges of my comforter.  Which is awesome, because you absolutely need a down comforter in August.  🙂


DIY Artwork


Being a person of a limited budget, I am a huge fan of DIY art. There are just so many options, so if you can’t afford the artwork at your local Starving Artist’s Fair, read on.

You’ve already seen me make some of my own artwork in the form of fabric panels.  Another great (and simple) idea is to stop by your local paper store or even your local target and pick out a pretty, graphic gift wrap or scrapbooking paper. Mount this on some foam core or other substrate or frame in a frame of your choice and voilà! Art!

This morning I came across an article on Better Homes & Gardens’ website on this very subject. They had about 15 or 16 different ideas, but here are the ones I liked the best.

#1: Place Mat Wall Art: Simply find a placemat you really like, drill holes in the corners and connect the mats with wire, twine, string or a chain.

#2: Canned Art: Save those old diced tomato cans and repurpose them as vases on your walls!

#3: Silhouettes: Trace whatever you want–yourself, your family, your cat, birds!, and then cut the shape out of black paper. Mount on a colored or patterned background and then frame.

#4: Six of a Kind/Repitition: Find a number of small items, post cards or greeting cards work well, similar but not identical. Frame them and hang in an orderly fashion.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can find it here. Let us know if you plan on trying any of these ideas out or if you have your own idea for DIY art.


Getting Back to Business


Summer has certainly been sucking up all of my free time this year and so I have a few issues of House Beautiful lying at home, unopened and neglected. Which is disappointing, because I have found it to be a great source of inspiration over the past year. Thankfully though, the day job is slowing down just a tad for today so I’m taking some time to peruse their website. And just as I suspected…inspiration!

It’s no secret that as of late, I’m awfully enamored with the farmhouse or cottage lifestyle. Clean, white rooms full of beautiful old pieces of furniture suggesting a more casual, yet hardworking lifestyle. But let’s face it, I’m an Interior Designer, and it’s known that we can often have split personalities when it comes to styles. We see so much stuff that it’s hard not to fall in love with many differing things!

So here’s something a bit more modern for you. Still with a nice clean, white backdrop but with a beautiful pop of my favorite color—green!

 I just love that painted lily pad floor! Here is is up close:


This beach house is located in Oyster Bay, New York and was designed by Christina Murphy. Head on over to House Beautiful’s website and check out their interview with her. Now hopefully I can find some time soon to page through my stack of magazines at home…


The least impressive before/after of all time


So last week I mentioned that I made a purchase from Land’s End.  I had a really great experience with them – in fact I placed my order on Sunday, and had it in hand on Wednesday with standard shipping!  Considering I recently ordered a book from an Amazon seller that took 2.5 WEEKS to get to me (what were they using, the pony express?), I was impressed.  🙂

Less impressive, however, is my room transformation.  Because, well…there’s miles to go.  I’ve said before that I’ve paid no attention at all to my bedroom, and now that I’ve taken photos of it….it’s painfully, embarrasingly true.  (Also embarrasing…the picture quality)  :\

This is a somewhat accurate picture of the “before.”  Somewhat accurate because I really made the whole bed up when I realized I hadn’t taken a before picture, so I threw the old stuff on top of the new.  Bad blogger.   Anyway, we weren’t allowed to paint anything in our old apartment, so when we picked out our bedding, I was all about intense colors – hence brown and red.  We also had red curtains and some other accessories, so the whole thing looked much more cohesive than it does now.  The bedside tables were free (his the wood one with a horrible tiny drawer that holds nothing larger than a chapstick, and mine, the decorator table with a cloth that matched something once upon a time in my parents’ house and matches not one single thing in mine) and served the purpose of a home for the alarm clock, so we never bothered to get anything that didn’t look TERRIBLE.  I’ve mentioned before how I hate our lamps – very cheap and lightweight.  A gentle breeze sends them tumbling…not to mentioned a confused, tired hand going for the snooze button.  Plus now you can see the off-center, really far from the back wall situation I talked about, which makes wall mounted lights a probable impossibility.  We also have no window treatments because the white blinds came with the house!

Ugh.  So anyway.

I DO think that the new bedding is a step in the right direction.  I see so much white bedding in the decor mags and blogs, and it truly does create a brighter, crisper feeling to our room.  It’s like a hotel where I’m NOT afraid of the little germies from the previous tenants.  I chose shams in a matelasse pattern that feel really rich and substantial.  Bonus – they have a wide lap in the back so you don’t have that gapping thing that happens with other shams.  My white duvet cover was a bit of an adventure – more on that later this week.  But my oh my, has this brought to light the fact that I really SHOULD pay some attention to this room.  Thanks to living in the real world with budget constraints, it will be a slow, slow makeover.  But currently on the list:

– Bedside tables.  I’m trolling Craigslist daily for a diamond or two in the rough that I can make over.

– Lighting.  I’m leaning toward pendants with bold shades…but I think what I want lives only in my mind.  Perhaps an ambitious DIY?  Must get husband on board.

– A light throw on the foot of the bed would be a nice addition to my now clean white palatte.  Perhaps a throw pillow or two would be nice as well, but I’m really not one for unused pillows living on the bed that I NEVER make.  🙂

– Window treatments.  I’m not sure if I want to do long panels or roman shades.  I may lean toward panels, as we have the upper half of our windows open from about April through October.  I love sleeping with a breeze.

– Ceiling fan.  Speaking of a breeze…we have a gawdawful ceiling fan that I hate but can’t part with thanks to that breeze.  I’m on the lookout for something modern that mounts as flush to the low ceiling as possible.  In fact I need two as our guest room boasts a hole and exposed wires where a light should be.

– Pet bed that matches the decor.

– Countless accessories, and something to put on the wall.

Gulp.  I’m overwhelmed already.



In my years as a designer, I’ve seen tons of samples…upholstery and drapery fabric, paint, wood, stain, brick blends, sealant colors, even a tiny whiteboard mockup complete with a marker tray that I tried to take home.  (I lost to someone with kids….darn kid card.)  Maybe I haven’t been looking very hard, but I’ve never before seen anyone that did bedding samples!  I have a tough time buying things online, especially when I can’t get my hands on a little piece of it first.  So color me happy when I was shopping for sheets last week, and saw that Land’s End will send you samples of their sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases – absolutely free!! (I LOVE free.)  I quickly ordered my samples on August 11, and I had them in hand by August 14.

Fast!  So far, my experience with Land’s End for the home gets a big thumbs up, and they’re a local (to me) company to boot!  I immediately placed my order on Sunday, and I’m hoping to have something to show you next week…here’s a hint – I’m finally paying attention to a room that I’ve mentioned my neglect of in the past.


Radio Silence


Whoa.  Sorry about the tumbleweeds blowing through our blog lately!  I had a big deadline at the day job yesterday.  I don’t think I’ve seen my home at all other than my bed (which I wish looked like that one!) since Friday, so that’s left little time for bloggin.  But, everything is finished, the project went out on time, and it’s a set I’m actually pretty proud of, so I call it a win!  Hopefully back to blogging tomorrow.  🙂

The Beauty of a Vase


 I’m a sucker for vases. I especially love when vases of different shapes and sizes are grouped together. I find I’m often lamenting the fact that I have very few surfaces in my house on which to put said groups of vases. Which means, more often than not, I can be found in a store gently setting a vase back down on the shelf, reminding myself that I have no place for it. Sure, sure, I could just buy it and put it in “rotation”. But I’ve found that as soon as I put an item away in a box or a closet, for use “later”, I’ll just forget about it. So instead, I just look at all the vases and vessels and containers that I want to buy and hope someday I have a house with places to put them all!

What got me musing about vases today? Well, this image is what started it:

It’s pretty much exactly what I want in my own house someday. An old, weathered hutch in the dining room where I can put all of my white vases and dishes to show off. Once I found this image, I of course had to do some online window shopping to see what was out there. And I found that West Elm has some really beautiful vase collections right now! First, there’s my favorite, the white:

But if you’re not into the white, they have so many more collections…and I want them all!

Which collection is your favorite?