Friday, December 10, 2010

Fun Friday

First of all, sorry for staying away for so mind was on our vacation here.  Then we had to come back to reality and back to work! I've been catching up on things for my "real job" but I sure have missed blogging!

So, we are down to the last 15 days before Christmas and if you're like me, there are always last minute gifts to buy.  My daughter and I always have the big idea that we are going to make all of our Christmas presents.  She usually does what she says and I always just have big ideas and never seem to get around to doing everything I want! But, I found a few cute little presents you could throw together and give as a hostess gift, teacher's gift or your neighbor for that matter!

This sweet wreath is a snap to make. Using hot glue, attach unwrapped candy canes to a foam wreath form until the form is completely covered. Glue red Christmas baubles around the wreath in a balanced arrangement. Finish the wreath with a tone-on-tone bow.

Or this cute one..

Purchase a bag of cookie cutters for a few dollars and turn them into a clever Christmas wreath. Hobby Lobby has all of them half price right now.  Form the shapes into a circle, then wire the pieces together. Attach a pretty bow with hot glue and hang the wreath from a nail!

Have a Very Fun Friday!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday's Word...

Fleur de Lis

(pronounced “fleur-duh-lees” )
I have always loved this symbol. (I even have it in my logo~!!) It is one of the most recognized symbols across the world. Representing either a lily or an iris, traditionally, it has been used to represent French Royalty, and it is said to signify perfection, light, and life. The Roman Catholic Church ascribed the lily as the special emblem of the Virgin Mary. Due to its three petals, the Fleur de lis has also been used to represent the Holy Trinity.
Representing elegance and class, this enduring emblem has been used as a decorative element on everything from clothing, jewelry, home decor and most notably as the symbol for the Saints. The New Orleans Saints have had the Fleur de lis Emblem on their uniform since 1967. The black Fleur de lis outlined in white was a symbol placed on the helmet at the inception of the franchise. Interestingly, Louisville Kentucky has also adopted the noble Iris or Lily Flower as it's own symbol.
While the Fleur de lis has appeared on countless European Coats of Arms and flags over the centuries, it is particularly associated with the French monarchy. It remains an enduring symbol there and even appears on French stamps~! According to French historians, the three leaves represent the medieval social classes: those who worked, those who fought and those who prayed. Very interesting.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Word...


(pronounced "ett-u-ghay")

Crafted from wood or metal and consisting of at least three shelves, the étagère will be at home in any room of your house, from the kitchen to the bath.

Try one in the kitchen to hold spices or cookbooks. Maybe one in the dining room with your antique china and a potted plant or two is just what you need to warm up the space? Or maybe in the corner of the living room with a few books and other treasures, your étagère will complete the space with a little French flair. Try one in the bedroom to hold sweaters or jewelry alongside your vanity. One in the bathroom for your favorite bath salts and bubbles supplies elegant storage for a small space. The uses of etageres are endless and the great thing is that no matter where you put them they'll fit right in with a polished grace.

The étagère was very popular in France and England in the late 1800's. This highly decorative piece of furniture was and is not only functional but stylish as well. An étagère offers a graceful and elegant way to show off and store books and other treasures.

I have one in our living room that is filled with everything from antique books to baby pictures, special cards that my daughters made me, and even glassware- all in one piece of furniture. This is a versatile piece of furniture that I would recommend investing in.
The one pictured above is on my list to purchase because I already have the credenza that matches it!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thrifty Thursday~!!!

I am in Love with all the "Owl Craze" and
I especially like glossy, white things...
So, I found this cute little Owl for my Fall decorations at one of my
Favorite Stores..

Price $14.99 (which isn't a bad price).

I didn't get it..
So, on the way home from Nashville, I stopped at my local
GW Store
and found this one..
for $1.25

Then, I went to Lowe's and bought a Glossy White can of Spray Paint

for 0.98 cents

and made this...

For $2.23 + tax.

Not bad for a day's work.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrifty Thursday~!! Finding a good..


Another thing I L-O-V-E

and have lots of is...

~ Mirrors ~

I guess you've figured out by now, I like lots of things...and my house

and my garage,

is full of


that I


and can't live without!

One of the popular items that can gracefully beautify a home are mirrors. These can add style to your home while being functional. They also can be used in every room in your house!

Another thing I love is finding a good bargain (and justifies getting one in every color, right?) and one place I go to regularly is Target. They have so many pretty things and I have to be totally focused on what I'm going in there for or I get lost for hours, perusing up and down every single for now we will focus on their mirrors! I especially love the Starburst Mirrors. They're showing up everywhere and are in all the magazines and catalogs.

Here's one from Crate and Barrel for $299

and one just like it at Target for $79.99!!!

That's a $219.01 savings..which one will you choose??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday's Word..

Another one of my favorite things...Damask (pronounced dam - uh sk)

The word, interestingly, derives its name from fine patterned fabrics produced in Damascus (Syria) in the Euroopean Middle Ages. Damask was originally wholly of silk but gradually the name came to be applied to a certain type of patterned fabric, regardless of fiber. Damask wallpaper was once reserved for formal dining rooms or other formal rooms in the home.

This beautiful pattern is also used on furniture, textiles, dishes, bedding, pencils, purses in all different colors.

This is one of my favorite patterns. I have it all over the place...on pens, on my planner, my calendar, my storage boxes, etc.

Here are some pretty black and white things...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tip- Displaying Your Collections

Collecting is a natural extension of individuals and the things they love and it really expresses your personality. A small group of any item can be a collection. Objects do not have to be expensive. You may not even be aware that you are a collector! I collect lots of things..vintage leather books, vintage typewriters, vintage postcards, milk glass, old silverware. I love vignettes of pretty things!! It's a shame to keep the things out of sight that make you happy when you look at them~!

Here are few tips for displaying your collections on shelves, walls, etc. I'll do a separate post soon about Holiday Displays!

For Shelves:

  • For the most part, scale objects from largest to smallest, from back to front.
  • Maintain a cohesive look by using a theme- either similar items of shape or color.
  • Windowsills can double as shelves.
  • Add a few items of interest in as well.

On Walls:

  • A fluid display can be created by combining round plates and square prints, with a similar theme, in a repeating pattern.
  • Display small items on top of pictures and door frames such as architectural elements, keys, etc.
  • Look for unused walls in your home such as the staircase or hallway to display family photos, plates or mirrors.


Other Ideas for Displaying Collectibles:

  • Use a contrasting backdrop to accentuate objects displayed.
  • Fill a large glass container with glass ornaments combined with rocks, shells, or other elements from nature.
  • Place a mirror on a flat surface. Then combine a candle garden (a group of candles of different diameters and heights).
  • A wagon or baby buggy are creative items to display collections in.
  • A very small plate, on a stand, can adore one side of a pedestal sink. Reserve the space on the opposite side for a decorative soap, or soap dish.
  • Display vintage clothing on a dressmaker’s stand, or use a hanger to suspend apparel from the stem of a wall sconce. A hat on top of the stand finishes the appearance.
  • In a kitchen: a hutch, a baker’s rack, or a desk with shelving above.
  • Fireplace mantels are always an obvious location to arrange a display.
  • In a room with limited space, place a console table against a wall, position a sofa in front of it, and display a collection on the shelf you’ve created behind.
  • Use an armoire, with the doors left open. In addition to placing items on the shelves of the armoire and a Secretary’s desk makes a fine display case in a living room, family room or study.

Here are a few pictures of pretty collections..

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Friday- Fireplaces...

We have an area in our backyard where I am dying to do something like this....

Fireplaces this size are pretty expensive, so I would settle for one of these...
Have a Great Fall Friday~!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday's Word

If you are just now joining me, I am going through the ABC's of Design Terms. Each Wednesday I will post a new design term and this week we are on the letter "C".

Last week we talked about one of my favorites, the "Barcelona Chair" and I'm very excited about this week's post as it is one of my favorites too!

So let's not wait any longer to get a good look at this beauty...

~The Chesterfield Sofa~

The Chesterfield sofa conjures images of formally attired gentlemen sequestered in a dark paneled study, sipping brandy and smoking cigars. Throughout history the Chesterfield sofa has come to represent many things to different people. The Victorian era saw the Chesterfield as the key piece in living rooms, where gentlemen relaxed while their wives sat in chairs crafting needlepoint. Throughout the years, Chesterfield sofas have graced the palaces of royalty, prominent business offices, hotels, restaurants, gentleman's clubs and luxurious private homes.

Today the Chesterfield is synonymous with elegance and class in interiors all over the world, of every architectural and decorating style. Regardless of what it represents to many, the Chesterfield steadfastly remains the sofa that embodies the perfect blend of comfort and sophistication. It's a classic and worth the investment.

Here are a few more in other pretty colors..





and this one from Restoration Hardware...I want my room to look just like this...

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's a Fall Friday...

To find out about this week's Thrifty Thursday find, click on my Interior Alternatives Facebook Page to become a fan! I'm shooting for 100 Fans!!

But for today, it's a fabulous Fall Friday and it's sooo beautiful outside!~! It's supposed to be a gorgeous weekend and mine starts now...

so I'm off to see...


So, everyone have a GREAT weekend!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday's Word..Barcelona Chair I also have a minor obsession with furniture, especially chairs!! Sometimes I hyperventilate when I see pieces I love in stores and I just have to turn around, walk out...breathe... and then walk back in. Also, it seems like everything I like is super expensive! Put me in a room full of stuff without price tags and I'll somehow pick out the most expensive things, but I think it just means I have to be more creative to get the look I want. That's what so unique about my business, Interior Alternatives. You get the look want without the high price tag. We will talk about that in another post...

One of my all time favorites is the Barcelona Chair. If you find an original, it will cost a fortune but the look is unmistakable! It was designed by Luwig Mies Van der Rohe and his long time partner and companion Lilly Reich. Luwig Mies van der Rohe worked for Peter Behrens in his architectural firm. He was one of the most influential architects to design furniture. In 1926 he produced one of the first tubular steel framed cantilever chairs. Interestingly, for the International Exposition in Barcelona, 1929, he designed the German pavilion. He moved to USA and became the Dean of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Here are some really beautiful ones I'm crazy about... maybe one day they'll share a life with me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip..Lamp shades

Today I want to talk about lamps. I am addicted to lamps!! I love them..I could eat them! I have at least 30 lamps in my house. I have 8 in my living room...and I must have this cute little thing from Target!! I know I can find a spot for it, somewhere...??

Anyway, not every lamp that you find or purchase comes with a shade and sometimes it seems that you find the perfect lamp but cannot locate the perfect shade. So, when shopping for a shade to match your lamp, there are a few tips you need to keep in mind.

Match the Base - Think size, shape, style, and color. Larger lamp bases require larger shades. Square bases may look better with a square shade but your goal is to match the “mood” of the base. Or if you want to mix up a style, purposefully put a modern round or square shade with a traditional or antique lamp base.

Compliment the Base - A shade should make the base look better without competing with it for attention. Decide what you want your lamp to be in the accessory or a main focal piece. If your base is really unique, choose a simple shade to draw attention to the special features of the lamp. Or, if your base is plain and simple, choose a patterned, painted, or leather (textured) shade to add some flare to your lamp. Target has some really cool lamps shades to choose from to accent plain lamps.

Hide the Switch - Your shade should just barely cover the switch. Try different sized harps or add a shade riser to fine-tune your shade fit.

Sizing Rules of Thumb- - Shade height should be about 3/4 the height of the base. - The bottom of the shade should be wider than the widest part of the base. - Shade width should approximately equal the height from bottom of base to socket.

Consider the Use - Reading lamps need a wider shade to provide plenty of light. Smaller, darker, or shades made of less transparent material are better for mood lighting.

Consider the Bulb - Be sure you have 3 inches of separation from bulb to shade, especially for higher wattage bulbs. Be sure the top opening is wide enough to vent the heat. Compact fluorescent bulbs are great for most lamps because they burn cooler, but you may need larger harp since CFL's are taller than standard light bulbs.

Here are some really cool lamp shades of proper size and shape for their bases:

I hope this helps you on your next buying trip for beautiful lamps!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!!

No one loves the thrill of a great deal more than me!! (just ask my friend Kim about our recent trip to Talbot's Outlet!!) so, on Thursday's I'll be posting some of my great finds, whether it's fashion, furniture or food. Also, if you have a great deal to share, please let me know in the comments section!!

One of my favorite catalogs is Ballard Designs. I get lots of great ideas and their room layouts are wonderful, but most of the things I like are a little pricey!!

I just got their late Summer catalog and saw this cute little Garden Bench that would look great on my screen porch.

The price listed for this cute little thing is...$139.00!! So, on a recent shopping trip to one of my favorite stores, Big Lots, I found this for... (drum roll please...)

$5.00!!!!!! I was so excited!! They have it categorized as "garden" so right now everything is 75% off~! Even at full price, that's over $100 less than the Ballard Design cost~!

Right now is the time to stock up on items like this that can actually be used year-round. So hurry into your local Big Lots, Trees & Trends, Hobby Lobby or even Lowe's and Home Depot to grab these great deals~!

Happy Hunting!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Word...

Interior Decorating is a wonderful and exciting career (and hobby for that matter) but there are just so many things to remember, it's like learning a new language! So, I thought I would start a weekly post defining some of those terms. Might as well start at the beginning with the letter "A"...

So, Today's Word is..Acanthus Leaf!
The official definition is a thick scalloped leaf and it has been used since classical times, the most recognisable form is on top of columns. It is also used in architectural moldings and as a decorative form on furniture, lamps, shelves, etc. I actually have a shelf with Acanthus leaves..see below.

Here is another example of the Acanthus Leaf being used on a sconce..

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Going for It...

Well, it's been ab-so-lutely too long since I've posted, so I decided to quit thinking about it, and actually do something about it. For an even added pressure, I created a Facebook page for my business, Interior Alternatives (hence the blog name!). I promise to keep both updated with pictures, ideas, tips and even discussion boards!! So, can I ask a favor and have you hop on over to FB and click on the "like" button for Interior Alternatives!! Thank you~!