So I was thinking...

My husband HATES to hear these words come out of my mouth.  From past experience they usually mean that I have a project cooked up which equals lots of work for him.  So, when I told him the other day that I was thinking that I wanted to take down the chair rail and beadboard in our living room, I was not surprised to see rolling eyes and that oh so common "oh s***" look I have become all too familiar with.

Don't get me wrong, I like chair rail, I just don't like it in my living room.  Chair rail is suppose to protect your walls from chairs and other furniture from getting too close.  My problem is that all of my furniture sits below it and coupled with 8 foot ceilings means that my room is visually shortened.  The rail stops your eye so it accentuates my short ceiling.  If I could remove it then the eye could continue to the ceiling uninterrupted so making the room feel taller.

I also have cheap beadboard below the chair rail which would have to be removed to create my clean wall.  Chris was very pessimistic about it.  He thought the beadboard would have been glued on in addition to being nailed.  Meaning that if it came down we would also have to replace all of the sheet rock.

Well, I got a little froggy and decided to do a little test.  I wanted to see how easy it would be to take it all down so I picked a section of wall and got to work.  Good news - the beadboard was not glued to the wall.  Bad news - the people who owned the house before us installed solid wood floors and decided to run the wood up to the baseboards without removing and reinstalling them above the new floor.  What this means is that I can't get the beadboard off the wall because it is stuck behind the baseboard which is stuck behind the flooring.

With this little development I am forced to go to plan B.  I am going to paint the rail the same color and finish as the wall.  It won't make the chair rail disappear but hopefully it will make it less noticeable.  I plan on painting the whole room Benjamin Moore's Monterey White, which is the same color as in the kitchen.  But first I have to Chris has to fix my wall.

~ Andrea


They're Back!!

The pieces are back from the upholsterer!

Oh Happy Day!
(insert happy dance here)

Let me refresh your memory as to what they looked like before

Now they look like this

The color is a little washed out because I had to use the flash due to the horrible light yesterday and today.  Overall a vast improvement from before.  They are in desperate need of some pillows so that will be my next project.

I hope everyone enjoys their last few hours at work.  As for me I'm off to Etsy to look for some fabric for pillows.

~ Andrea

Is your home in need of some design happiness?  I can help! 
Email me so we can get started.


Upholstered Headboard DIY

I will start by saying that I'm not so great at documenting the steps of the projects that I do.  Usually it is just me so until I can teach Claire how to take decent pictures or I grow extra arms my tutorials shall be mostly description.

Claire's Headboard

I started by measuring and deciding how big I wanted the headboard to be.  Mine wound up being 4 feet tall with the upholstered part starting at 2 ft (which is just below the top of the mattress) and 38 inches wide.  I had to build it with legs because Claire's room has chair rail so I couldn't attach it directly to the wall.  With final measurements Chris had a project to work on and in about an hour he had made this.

Constructed from 2 2x4's and a piece of partical board I had left over from another project.  He even drilled holes in the legs to attach it to the bed frame.  Super sturdy!

Next, I had to wrap it in batting.  I used quilt batting for a queen size quilt because I wanted to make it really soft.  Laying everything on the floor and using my handy dandy staple gun (a Valentine's present) I attached the batting to the frame making sure it was pulled tight all the way around.

Then I did the same thing with the fabric.  I used 4 yards of a white cotton twill which was plenty.  The legs were a little tricky and I should have taken a picture of how I did them but I forgot.  I was too focused on how to wrap them.  I wound up taking extra pices of the fabric and wrapping the legs individually and then hiding the seam under the part where the main headboard fabric meets the legs.  It took a little finagaling but I finally figured it out.

I added a purple ribbon to give it a little more dimension and to complement her dust ruffle, which I had made a while ago.  I took the easy way out and attached it with hem tape so all I had to do was iron it on after it was upholstered.

This was a fairly easy project and coming in at under $30 I think it looks fantastic!  A custom look for super cheap.  That's what I'm all about.  While Claire's room is still a work in progress, this is one big checkmark on my to-do list.  I'll do another post to show you how I am incorporating her nursery decor into her current bedroom.

~ Andrea

Want to make your home the envy of the neighborhood?  I can help! 
Email me so we can get started.

psst...did you notice the toy shrek hiding under the bed?  If you did, 10 points.


Boring Beige to Preppy Fun

Every space in my house is beige.  Great for when you are trying to sell your house not so great for a colorful person (like myself) to live in.  I have been slowly painting and livening up every room in the house and I finally got around to the master bedroom this weekend.

The reason it took me so long was that I was having a really hard time deciding on a color.  Everything I looked at was nice and would work but never got me excited.  Well, I stumbled on two colors and an idea that got me so excited I couldn't wait to start painting.

Here is my sad and depressing beige bedroom before...

A gallon of paint and one sample pot later...

So fresh, so clean and the stripes add so much fun to my otherwise traditional furnishings.  The main wall color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt and the stripes are Quietude.  I only did the stripes between the windows to really create a focal point for the bed.

I started by painting the entire room Sea Salt.  After it was good and dry I planned out how big I wanted my stripes.  I knew that I only wanted them between the windows so I measured down from the ceiling to the top of the window to get the starting point for my first stripe.  I then used that length as the width of the stripe.  It wound up being 11 1/2 inches and as luck would have it three stripes fit perfectly from the top of the window to the bottom.  It's like the design gods were just waiting for me to figure this out.

I used Frog tape to tape off my lines.  I had heard great things about it so I thought I would give it a try.  I've used the blue painters tape before and that stuff is for the birds.  This is what it looked like all taped up.

I was pleasantly surprised how well the tape worked.  The lines came out perfect which made the perfectionist in me jump for joy.

crazy close-up to show you the awesomely perfect lines

So after two coats I had these...

It is hard to tell in the picture but the new wall colors really make my headboard look more blue than black.  It is painted Farrow & Ball Black Blue and with these soft green/blue/greys it looks like a really rich navy which I love!

I can't wait to add some more color and pattern to the bed with pillows and a duvet cover.  Right now I'm going to enjoy my lovely preppy bedroom who I'm pretty sure is quietly thanking me for giving it some Prozac a new fun look.


I'm taking it back to my workshop my dear...

Remember these?

Well, yesterday they got picked up by the upholsterer to be covered in this,


So he will fix them up there and bring them back here (hopefully next week).
And they will be fabulous!



simple chairs + super glossy colors = love

and in my favorite colors too!

images via remodelista


And the Winners Are...

Congrats Ladies!
I will be getting in touch with each of you to discuss your rooms.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who left a comment!  I really appreciate it and hopfully you will win next time.  If you would still like help with your space in need, contact me at andreagmartin@yahoo.com and we can discuss.

I used random.org to pick the winners in order to make it as fair as possible to everyone.


Dining Options?

It rained here all day yesterday so I'm pretty sure it won't rain again for at least 2 months.  In light of this good news I've decided to tackle refinishing my dining room table.  I have been toying with a few different ideas for a while and still haven't decided on anything so I thought I would ask for your help.

The Patient:

I bought it a few years ago at an "antique" barn.  It was super cheap, really big and had pretty legs so I was sold.  The problem is that the finish on the top is not in the best shape and I'm really not a shabby chic kind of girl.  My first response is to paint it white and call it a day but that is just too much white for me.  I need color, it makes me happy.

I have thought about painting it a pale blue or staining it the same color as the chairs.  The chairs and the table did not come as a set.  I actually bought the chairs online from and unfinished furniture store and assembled and stained them myself.  By the way, sanding, staining and sealing 8 chairs is a lot of work.

The other idea I have been thinking about is doing a weathered finish to it so it has more of a grey undertone.  It is something that I want to do to my pendant also but I just haven't built up the nerve to do it yet.

So what do you think?  Paint, stain, weathered?  Or maybe you have another fabulous idea that I haven't thought of.  Please share!

ps...don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a free room design!


Resolutions - Part 1

Usually I don't make resolutions.  It is just a set up for failure and I don't like to fail.  Normally I give myself a year long to-do list with only a few items on it so that it is simple to check everything off and I feel good about myself for completing everything.

In 2009 I had two goals: buy a larger home and pass the NCIDQ.  I did both and  I felt like the year was a success.

In 2010 I had a few more: start my own home organization/design business, get pregnant, write a will, start a savings account for Claire.  I only completed the last one and this makes me feel like 2010 was a complete failure.

In all fairness last year was a rough year for me.  It involved a lot of changes that I wasn't prepared for (quiting my job, becoming a stay at home mom, learning how to live on one income, etc.).  I'm a control freak and I hate not knowing what is going to happen in the future so I have had to do a lot of adjusting these past few months.

I recently finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I really enjoyed it and decided that I would try something similar to see if I can bring more happiness into my life.  The concept of happiness is something that I have often struggled with because it seems selfish and I have issues with doing things for myself.  Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty good life but sometimes I forget to appreciate what I have and I would like to change that.

My goal for January is to work on my energy.  I need more sleep than the average person, at least 9 hours, so I will be trying to go to bed earlier.  Also, I hate exercising but it always makes me feel better and puts me in a better mood.  A better mood would definitely make me and everyone else around me happier and I'm hoping that it will also help with my patience.  Finally, I have hit that age where that 10 lbs doesn't come off quite as easy so I'm hoping that the exercise thing will help with that too.  I'm pretty confident that I can do this since my hubby is an exercise feign and will guilt me into doing it even if I don't want to.  I've also made a chart so that I can give myself gold stars (yes, I bought star stickers you can laugh if you want).  I need the visual, so shoot me.

I have a different goal set for each month and they will all be geared toward finding more happiness.

So tell me, have you set and goals or resolutions for the new year?  What are they?  How do you plan to make sure you succeed?  Or are you one of those who says forget it, I've got better things to do?



I heart inspiration/design/mood boards.  They take all of the chaos out of design and give you a concrete picture of what to look for when working on your space.  In my opinion, they are worth every penny that you pay a designer to create them.  Especially if you want to search for everything on your own but just need a little help finding a direction.

This is what I spent my New Year's doing...

Creating my fictional living room and bedroom.  Fun for me and eye candy for you.  Happy New Year!

This is a service I would like to start offering my fabulous readers and adoring public.  So, for my very first giveaway ever I am offering 2 lucky readers a free mood board for the room of their choice.  This will include inspiration pictures, space plan and action list so that you can create your space all on your own.

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment on this post telling me which room you want a new look for.  Be sure to include an email so that I can contact you if you win.
  • Get an extra entry for becoming a follower or liking me on facebook.  Just leave another comment telling me that you have done so.  If you do both you get 2 extra entries.
  • Contest ends Friday, January 7th and the winners will be chosen at random and announced on the 8th.

Please don't keep this opportunity a secret and share it with your friends, family, co-workers or anyone else who is in need of some design intervention.  Spread it like wildfire because it is totally rufus!

Good luck to everyone!
~ Andrea

Curious to see how fabulous your home could be? 
Contact me at andreagmartin@yahoo.com to find out!