Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dress up your Hallway

A lot of new houses don’t have hallways.  I think that’s unfortunate.  I like hallways, but it’s hard to know what to do with them.  Long narrow spaces- it’s hard to decorate.  I say- make it a feature.  For our hallway, we painted on side orange.  It is hard to get the color right in the photos since there’s no natural light coming in but it’s a more intense orange- like at the end of the hallway. I wanted to give it a real art gallery look so we added track lighting to point at the photos.  The frames I got at Aaron Brothers on a buy 1 get one for a penny sale.  All the pictures I took myself on vacation.  I don’t have a fancy camera or any photography skills (obviously by the look of these photos) but if you take photos outdoors then crop and send them to be enlarged at shutterfly or snapfish they look good enough to frame. 

  We have stained concrete in the back of our house.  You can read more about that HERE.

  If you can get it to work, hanging pictures on the wall that have some of the same colors of the paint behind it really help the colors pop (you can’t tell but the photo and the wall are similar colors.  I took this photo from my striped bathroom- you can see that HERE.

 January 119

Here’s a close up of the track fixture we got.  Don’t you just love the popcorn ceilings.  I could do a whole post on how I  don’t understand why anyone would ever put Styrofoam balls on the ceiling but I’ll spare you of that.  We didn’t scrape them before we moved in and now the task just seems to overwhelming.  I would love to have all my ceilings painted- so imagine that it is. 

 January 121 Here’s a view from the other side of the hallway.  The non-orange wall is painted Sherwin Williams Toasted Almond- pretty much my favorite color ever.  It looks better than it does in the picture… promise. 

This end of the hallway holds my diplomas and licenses.  I work in a cubicle so I don’t have a place to hang them at the office and, well, they just don’t go in my home office so this worked out to be the best place for them.  I paid too much for them to have them shoved in a closet.   

January 127 My last “trick”.  Try hanging the artwork differently than just straight down the hall.  I took the biggest picture and lined up all the rest either with the top or bottom edge of that picture.  It’s a little unexpected but not too crazy. 

Here’s some close up’s of my photos.  I’m telling you- it’s all about the cropping and the size.  If you have been afraid to put your own photos on the wall- don’t be.  It really makes it special and gives you an instant conversation topic when you are giving a tour of your home.

January 130

January 131 

January 132

Thanks for visiting.  This week I’m linking up with:

Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Made it for Monday @ Cottage Instincts

Make Your Monday @ Twice Remembered

Making the World Cuter

Room A Month Makeover @ The Shades of Pink

Toot Your Horn Tuesday @ Silly Little Sparrow

Power of Paint @ Domestically Speaking

Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage

Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Please check out all the links.  You will find amazing designs by talented people.  I’m blown away at every one I see… and their blogs- amazing!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Real Life of a Commercial Interior Designer

I’m sitting here, watching a Lifetime movie, faced with another unproductive weekend.  Well, I made a huge batch of babyfood, changed some diapers, cleaned the kitchen only to get it messy again and went to Target.  So for another week those house improvement projects will have to wait.  Instead of posting some great crafty project I accomplished I will post a little more about what I do. 

“So, what do you do”

“I’m an interior designer”

“Oh how cool.  Do you watch HGTV?”

“Um yeah, but I don’t exactly do what they…”

“Oh my gosh, I just love that show where they painted the wall teal and then put the lines on it.  It must be so great to be a designer.  I have this room in my house with a window on one wall and a fireplace on the other and i have this sofa that’s about this long (holding up hands) and I just don’t know which wall to put it on.  What do you think?  and what color should I paint”



Okay, so every conversation doesn’t start like that but I swear- a lot of them do.  And yes, I do love HGTV and they have great and wonderful ideas but I don’t think it’s a great representation of the interior design process- commercial or residential.  First of all, most of our clients have an OPINION, and they say it, and you have to listen.  Doesn’t happen as much on TV.

What’s a typical day for me? 

Sitting in a chair, in front of the computer, all day.  Yes, I use a program called CAD where I draft everything from floor plans to elevations to sections and details.  Then, I get to make some super fun calls to cities to ask what codes they are under or if they will let me put 2 toilets in instead of 3.  Oh yeah, on an average week there’s lots of talk of toilets and urinals.  Lots of talk of code compliance and grab bars and turning radius’s, and what we can do to cut costs.  And we do all that while not really making a lot of money ourselves.

Yes, there are times of selecting finishes and furniture and all things cheap… er, uh, pretty.  There is also the occasional site survey.  An opportunity to get out of the office and be on your feet.  Site surveys can make for great stories back at the office.  There was the one at the funeral home where we were installing art and accessories around the open caskets…. that were not empty.  It’s not unusual to be measuring around dead roaches but there’s also been a dead rat I had to step around.  Many times it’s dark, and cold, or hot depending on the season.  You just never know what you are going to get.  I used to travel all over doing surveys and that was a lot of fun.

No, while it’s not always glamorous and it’s certainly not what you see on TV, I still love what I do.  While designing around codes can be annoying at times- it’s also so important that everyone can get around a space without trouble.  I love working on a variety of projects.  In my 6 years at this firm I’ve done multi-family, religious, office, residential (yes, every once in awhile we get to do residential), retail and I think there have been more but I can’t remember right now.  I knew I wanted to do commercial even when I was in school and I’m glad I went that direction but sometimes I miss the beautiful fabrics and personal style that comes with residential. 

I hope you enjoyed this look in the world of commercial design.  Hopefully I can post some projects soon!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm Published!

Ha, not exactly... but sort of.

I was the interior designer for a project that is in the book (shown left).  My name is in it- seriously!  It's in tiny print next to the other members of the team but hey, that counts. 

It's a really nice coffee table book with projects all over Texas.  Some you will recognize like the American Airlines Center and some will be new.  Buying this book does not support me in any way so unless you need a coffee table book- you can just come look at mine :-)

Here are a few project images.  I was fortunate to be able to work on the project from start to finish and it was a very special project to be a part of.  This was designed for Samaritan House in Fort Worth.  It's an apartment complex designed to provide affordable housing to people with HIV/AIDS so they have somewhere to live as they get back on their feet.  The organization is incredible and you can find out more about them HERE.

I certainly can't take credit for it myself, it was a huge team effort and I was only a tiny part.

Just wanted to share a little of what I do every day with you!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting Stripes on Textured Walls- A Tutorial

If I could have re-textured all the walls in my 1970’s home before we moved in, I would have… but that was an undertaking I was not interested in doing myself or paying someone.  So, I’m stuck with texture that looks like it was done with a mop.  Anyone else have the same problem?  Well, I love stripes and unfortunately, mop texture walls aren’t very helpful.  HGTV would tell you to tape off the stripes and paint in-between.  Well, if you have tried it, the tape won’t lay flat and you get drips behind the tape.  Take my word for it.   Look at those straight lines- pretty awesome right?  So, here’s what I did.  Get a really long level and a pen.  Measure down from the ceiling however far you want the top of the stripe.  Make a dot then move down and measure again and make another dot.  Then using the level draw a line between the dots.  The level is important because your ceiling might not always be level.  Keep going, as long as you want the stripe. 

Here’s the kicker- the part where some of you are going to click the X at the top right of your screen.  “That girl is Crazy”.  Once you draw the lines for the stripes, you have to fill them in… freehand.  You can do it.  Small brush, go slow, put enough paint on your brush. 

Here’s a trick I learned on the 3rd stripe.  Draw the lines with a sharpie in the color of paint you are using (if available).  It gives you a bit of grace trying to paint straight.  For me, a thick black line really helped.  



Because I’m a glutton for punishment I did it again in another room- more stripes.  This time we did it a little differently.  We measured for the lines then used a chalkline to get the line all the way across the wall (would have worked a lot better if the wall was straight!).  Then I painted by hand the color stripes.  The good thing is the chalkline is a very quick way of getting a line across a long distance.  The bad thing is it’s blue… and a bit messy.  When using the white paint right next to it I was getting some chalk flakes mixed with the white paint. 

January 092

And it’s a little hard to get the chalk off too.  BUT depending on your wall color and how you want the stripes- it might be the better method.

January 093

I’m very sorry I did not have some great wisdom for stripes on textured walls.  Good Luck and have fun!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guest Artist- Valentines Candles


My friend (oh yeah, and mom) Linda over at Lolli’s Pops makes great Valentines Candles.  The Christmas ones were just as beautiful but I waited too long to get those up- so Valentines it is.  These can be customized just for you- pick your ribbon color and even what you want it to say around the outside. 

They are $10 each and you can order by contacting me – 

Hope you like!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Custom Letters

You can see the first few letters I made HERE.  This time, I had paying customers! 

For the letter “V” her room is blue, green and brown.  I have some new German Glass Glitter in a beautiful green and copper colors that really made this letter pop.  Accessories, rub-ons and fibers completed the letter.  I really like how it turned out- hopefully she will take a picture of it on her shelf!

For the letter “K”, her room is olive green, mustard, red and touches of black.  Their home is “old Hollywood” style with touches of Texan.  Sounds beautiful! 
The black polka dotted paper is flocked (yummy) and I hand studded over the red paper.  I embossed the key to give it a vintage worn look and painted the olive swirly thing.  I used the copper glitter around the edges to finish it out and it’s hanging from bookbinders ribbon. 

This B was made for a craft room.  I love making the girly-frilly ones!

I love how these turned out and I hope you do to.  If you want your own letter- just let me know!

This week I’m linking up with:
Made It Monday @ The Persimmon Perch
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
Making the World Cuter
Creative Cats @ Poppies at Play
DIY Day @ A Soft Place To Land
Get Your Craft On @ Todays Creative Blog
Get Your Craft on @ Life as Lori
Strut Your Stuff @ Fireflies and Jellybeans

Be sure and check out all their creative ideas!

Easy(ish) Bathroom Makeover

I HAD to get something done… Something… anything!  So, I picked the smallest room in the house and worked until it was finished.  Is anything ever finished?

We have no money for new countertops- so those stay and my friend gave me that amazing light fixture so that was my inspiration for the makeover (not the one over the mirror- the cool one over the toilet.  oh yeah, it's flocked!).  We started by painting the tile floor black.  Use porch and floor paint and a good primer… one that will stick to anything. 
Then I painted the black stripes.  Now it’s really coming together.  A coat of black paint on the mirror frame- it started out gold- NOT going to work. 
There was carpet in the front part of the bathroom.  I would probably prefer tile but sometimes you have to take what you can get.  I replaced the carpet with a commercial carpet tile.  I’ll tell you more about carpet tile later but it’s great.  I think it really makes the room.

I got the plates from Target and the candle holders I used scrapbook rub-ons to add some flair.

Click HERE to see a tips on how I painted these stripes on these heavily textured walls.  That’s what made this makeover easy(ish) instead of just easy.  But it is possible.

So I’m done!
Not quite- I still would love to paint the cabinets black, change the hardware, and replace the countertop.  But those things will have to wait. 

This week I’m linking up here:
Before and After @ Thrifty Decor Chick
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Made it for Monday @ Cottage Instincts
Make Your Monday @ Twice Remembered
Making the World Cuter
Room A Month Makeover @ The Shades of Pink
Toot Your Horn Tuesday @ Silly Little Sparrow
Power of Paint @ Domestically Speaking
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Please check out all the links.  You will find amazing designs by talented people.  I’m blown away at every one I see!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don't Miss Penny Sale to Make Your own Art

This is a little late notice but Aaron Brothers is having a buy one get one for a penny sale on Canvases.  What does that mean?  Run, don't walk to Aaron Brothers and buy some.  Why, because you can make your own art.  Yes, you can.

It's easy.  Grab some paint while you are there and paint the canvas.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  I painted a square.  Doesn't get more basic than that.  I wish I had a better picture but it's dark, my baby is asleep, and I'm sipping tea by the computer so I won't be doing any detailed photography at this hour.  This photo will have to do. 

So, canvas, paint, brush.  Do it.  The magenta background color is straight out of the tube, painted straight on the canvas.  Then, I darkened it a little with some black and painted a square.  I didn't measure, or draw lines or tape it off.  Just drew a square.  It got much bigger than originally planned becuase I kept trying to make the lines straight.  They aren't and I got over it.  Then I added some water to the leftover paint and splattered the darker paint on the canvas.  I felt like a real professional. 

Here's my unsolicited design tip of the day:  your art doesn't have to match your decor.  it can if you want it to, but it can also stand alone as a feature.  I chose pink (magenta).  I knew I would never get away with that color in any other form as long as my husband has something to say about it but call it "art" and he has to deal :-) 
Decor Mamma

So make it special, make it yours, and best of all- make it cheap!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Acid Stained Concrete - D.I.Y

Stained concrete is a popular look right now and for good reason.  It's affordable and can give a really nice look.  Before I start the D.I.Y, let me tell you a little about your stained concrete options.  This part is kind of boring, so you can skip it if you want.

1. Concrete overlay- here, they will take some new concrete and apply it in a very thin layer over existing concrete.  This can have color in it and can be made to look solid or flagsone or a plethera of other textures and colors.
2. Color stain- This is probably the most common application.  A color is applied to the floor kind of like a paint- but a bit more transparent.  It is sealed and gives a more even color than the acid stain.
3. Diamond Polish- This is my favorite.  A machine is used to polish the concrete (real diamonds on the polisher).  It provides a super smooth, glass like finish that is incredibly durable.  It's becoming more popular commercially although if you are working in a space that is already built (as opposed to a fresh slab) it's hard to get right next to the walls and in the corners- the machine is a little big.  Color can also be applied with this.
4. Acid stain- This is a stain that when applied to the concrete forms a chemical reaction.  With this product you get a lot of color variation- it totally depends on your type of concrete as to what colors you will get (well, it will fall in a color range but it's hard to tell exactly).  You then seal the floor and it's good to go. 

This acid stain is what we attempted... one weekend... we have not yet recovered.

Step one- tear up carpet and pad.  Remove tack strips.  Very thankful I did not have to do that all by myself.

Hmmmm... This takes longer than anticipated... and it's messy.
Step 2:  Clean, clean and more clean.  Vaccuum it, sweep it, whatever it takes.  Oh, if there's paint or carpet glue on the floor do your best to remove that.  When we pulled up our carpet it looked like there had been a paint fight in the living room.  So, back to Lowes about 4 times to get strong chemicals to clean the floor.  They are very stinks, it's a miracle I was able to get pregnant after this.

Step 3:  Apply the stain.  You can get the stain at Lowes next to the paint aisle.  For our den we needed 2 containers.  Use a spray can like you would use to spray fertilizer on the yard.  Sorry I don't have more pictures of this stage but that was pre-blogging.
Step 4-50:  You have to scrub the floor with a baking soda water mix.  Then you have to let it dry.  This is BIG- let it dry!  Big fans would be nice but we didn't have big fans.  Then, you roll on the sealer- I would recomend 2 coats... maybe more.  IF you apply the sealer before the floor is really dry, your sealer with turn a milky color instead of clear... ask me how I know.

Remember I told you about all the paint on the floor.  Here's a finished shot where you can see some marks of paint cans, I think you can see footprints too.  I don't mind the funky look but it's not for everyone.
Here's a finished look of the den.  I didn't clean it up, sorry.  If I did, I would be lying to you about our house always being neat... but no, this is how we live, this is reality.  HERE is the story of painting the fireplace if you missed it last week.  How long do the baby toys stick around?

So, would I do it again?  Well, I didn't.  We decided to stain the rest of our house and we hired someone.  It was much easier- just move out for a few days and it was done.  Very nice!

Please excuse any spelling mistakes.  I'm a terrible speller and I seem to have lost the ability to spell check in blogger.  Hmmm...

This week I'm linking up with:



The DIY Show Off

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tillmans Roadhouse- A Review

I have a new favorite restaurant.  I'm in love.  Now, I believe good dining consists of two things: food and atmosphere.  If I were being really honest I would rank atmosphere above food.  I know, I'm crazy, but I would rather eat decent food at an amazingly decorated place than great food at a hole in the wall.  Luckily, this place has both- amazing food and amazing decor.

It's called Tillmans Roadhouse.  There is one in Dallas- I believe it's in the Bishop Arts District.  The one that I have been to is in Fort Worth in some of the new development going on there around 7th street. 

First of all, check out the decor.

This is the party room in dallas.  I think it looks amazing.  Someone please throw a party for me here.
Here is the party room in Fort Worth.  The designer just has an amazing way to combine the rustic with the chic.

Here is a view of the bar.  Love the stacked logs.  Love everything.  My dream is to design spaces like this.

Here's the patio.  An Eames rocker next to a stack of logs.  Perfect. 

Now let me say a word about the food.  Yummy!

It's a great blend of good wholesome down home food in an upscale way.  Make sense?  Probably not.  They have Venison Frito Pie.  I didn't try that one.  They have a french fry trio.  I did try that.  Regular potatoes with parmesean and herbs, sweet potatoes, and purple potatoes.  Homeade ketsup and another sauce.  That's really all you need.

But don't stop there.  Get their daily lemonade special- the Basil Lemonade is to die for.  Then, you could try a gourmet grilled cheese and a soup of the day.  Or one of the other amazing things.  Check out the menu HERE. 

Save room for Tableside Smores.  It's amazing (have I said that enough?).  Okay, they bring a tray with 3 flavors of homeade marshmallows, homeade graham crackers, homeade chocolate, and a little burner to roast them on.  It's fun and good.  They also have a cupcake tower which comes with 2 cupcake flavors 2 icings and 3 topings and you ice and top your own.  I dream of trying that.  I think it comes with like 12 cupcakes so in order to avoid eating all of them, I need some people to go with. 

Another view of the interior. 

And another.  I think chandilears like this are best paired with wood siding and concrete floors.  It's the only way to go. 

Now that I've shared this I will be dreaming of it all weekend.  I hope you will too.  If anyone wants to share the cupcake tower with me, I'm in!

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