Brightening Up a Fall Home with Dried/Preserved Flowers

Brightening Up a Fall Home with Dried/Preserved Flowers

Well, I just gave away the punchline in the title, didn’t I? The jig is up – my big secret is dried flowers.

(Let me first acknowledge that I haven’t posted since the winter…and now it’s cold again. Ok that’s all I have to say.)

I’m not one for fussy interiors, and I really don’t like my decor dying on me, which is why I tend to avoid flowers altogether. But who doesn’t like a nice vase bursting with colorful brightness? Even I, mega flower grinch, have succumbed to the image of perfectly-place peonies to help convince myself that I live in an Elle Decor spread.

But once I discovered how lovely dried (preserved) flowers can be, I was like see ya later, peonies! They’re inexpensive, you don’t have to do a dang thing to them, and they last for about a year (some more, but the petal-y ones can start to shed).

See what I mean? Even ED likes them after all!

elle flowers

elleflowers 2

Wondering where to get em? This is my favorite source – check out some of the selection below:

dried_lavender_long_stem straw_flower_yellow caspia_orange salal_burgundy

 

Names: Lavendar, straw flowers, caspia, and salal

Animal Print Rugs, Furniture & Accessories: Keepin’ it Classy

Animal Print Rugs, Furniture & Accessories: Keepin’ it Classy

Last night I went to a school event wearing a black and white leopard print dress. Turns out, three of my friends had the same idea. One was wearing a zebra dress, another animal print shoes, and the third a top. So obviously we took lots of pictures to capture our coincidence, and the whole time it didn’t occur to me once that people might think the event in question was a hoochie convention. The reason, you see, is that we kept it classy. My silk dress had long sleeves, my friend wore a blazer over hers, and the girls with the top & shoes were otherwise dressed fairly classic-ly (real word? eh, never mind, I’m still kinda tipsy from last night).

The same principle goes for a home. I think animal print can be a totally fun and luxurious way to liven up your decor, but you don’t want to risk it looking like a bachelorette party. Thankfully, there’s a way to be a kitty in the street and a tiger in the sheets/kitchen/living room/bathroom without going overboard. Here are my rules of thumb:

1) Limit it to one area. So, no, the rug can’t match the curtains.

2) Try to keep a neutral palette otherwise. Even a set of small leopard pillows on a sofa will look kinda rawr if the sofa is red.

3) Be especially careful in the bedroom. You don’t want guests walking in and being like, oh heyyyyy girl.

4) Animal print is best left to textiles and accessories, but if you’re gonna do an entire piece of furniture, it’s usually best to keep it small – like a bench or a stool.

5) Pay attention to fabric — quality counts! Inexpensive shiny leopard sends a message you probably don’t want your home saying.

And now, some examples!

 

leopard sheets duvet leopard carpet stairs tiger rug leopard pillows on sofa leopard throw leopard bedroom leopard bench 2 leopard bench console table x bench window leopard rug leopard pillow

 

 

 

 

Cubicle Decor: Office Design Inspiration

Cubicle Decor: Office Design Inspiration

If you ask me, home decor shouldn’t just be limited to the house. After all, most people have a different home from at least 9-5, and it deserves some love too. It’s sort of depressing to go from a vibrant, pretty house to a drab gray cubicle every day. So how about brightening that baby up?

Here are some of my fave office cube looks:

cubicle decor1

 

Check out Taylor Tomasi Hill’s cubicle at Marie Claire:

cubicle decor3cubicle decor2

 

And love this cubicle makeover from Empirella:

cubicle decor_makeover1

cubicle decor_makeover2cubicle decor_makeover4cubicle decor_makeover3

cubicle decor_makeover5

Images: 1, 2 & 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8

 

Want to give your workday a home a makeover? These easy accessories are a good place to start:

cubicle decor

 

1. Tape dispenser, $12

2. Gold paper clips, $1.49

3. Sticky note dispenser, $18

4. Mug, $8

5. Stapler, $24

6. Rug, $49

 

That Time I Tried…to Gold Leaf a Picture Frame (DIY)

That Time I Tried…to Gold Leaf a Picture Frame (DIY)

A couple years ago I bought this gigonzo framed print at Housing Works, the NYC thrift store I want to have babies with. Unfortunately, the gold enamel frame was chipped all over (still – $100? Hell yeah!). So being the silly DIY novice that I was, I figured I’d fix that puppy right up with a gold paint pen that seemed like it would be a decent match. Oh how wrong I was. Now instead of a weathered-looking frame, I had a weird gold blotchy one. It looked like Lindsay Lohan after a bad spray tan. But I let it hang on the wall that way because 1) the light didn’t hit it directly, so it was kiiiinda hard to see, and 2) I had no idea how to fix it.

See what I mean? 2013-02-14 11.35.18 2013-02-14 11.35.27 2013-02-14 11.35.07

 

But then I decided to try gold-leafing. I’d never done it before, and it seemed complicated, but all of a sudden that frame was really bothering me and I had a major urge to fix it (but not a major urge to pay for a new frame).

So here’s what I used – I think all of this cost me under $15 total:

2013-02-14 11.38.46

Then came the complicated part…which it turns out isn’t really that complicated. First of all, cover the surface you’re working on, because gold leaf gets everywhere. Then you just cover all the areas you don’t want turning gold, paint on a layer of the adhesive (I would get a starter pack that comes with adhesive, sealant, and the gold leaf). Let that sit for 15 minutes and then press on the leaf. It will stick to the adhesive and the rest of it will sort of dissolve. Use a gentle cloth or your finger to go over the stuck-on leaf and make sure it’s nice and smooth.

2013-02-14 12.09.39

 

I didn’t feel like adding the sealant after (I read somewhere that it’s not really necessary), so I just went straight to hanging my new frame back on the wall. Check it out – not bad for a first go, huh?

2013-02-14 12.35.33