A Look Back At My Apartment Through The Years

If you haven’t heard the news already, I’m leaving my apartment of over 6 years and moving back to Palm Springs!

As I pack up each room for the move I’m reminded of how many faces each one has had over the years, and how we started out here with literally only an air mattress and a laptop. I worked hard to make this apartment feel like our own home and did every thing I could to personalize it within the limits allowed. In the beginning I worked with what I had and could afford, which wasn’t much, and slowly improved each room over the years and brought in new and better things to make it what it is today. I had fun doing it and I’m really proud of what I’ve done and been able to share with you all since the blog started.

I thought it would be fun to take a little look back through the years. Each rooms has looked even more different than what you’ll see below, but this is what I could find on my Instagram and photo archives.

The living room and dining room have always been the main focus. It’s where we spend the most time and really the only room people see when they come over. It started out with ugly paint and carpet (the floors were eventually changed by management) and eventually turned into a bright and spacious feeling room. It was even featured in Better Homes and Gardens!

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As you can see I flipped the entire layout last year.

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The dining room has had a few different lives too. 45778_431244939058_252962_nHere are a couple of my favorites.891011

Even the front door got a makeover a couple of times!

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And lastly, the bedroom. I went from garden grandma chic vibes to tropical resort vibes.

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I’ve had a lot of fun living here and sprucing this place up, but I’m excited for something new!

Stay tuned for projects in the new place soon!

 

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! 2016

Ok, real talk, I honestly feel like this month has gone by really quickly. TOO quickly. The holidays are almost over and it makes me sad! I want more time!

Anyway, if you know me at all you know I take my Christmas trees very seriously. Every year we get natural tree and usually have it flocked in white, but for some reason this year was particularly difficult. It took visiting five different tree lots to find the perfect one, but we finally found *the one* and I love it. When you know you just know. You know?

Without further ado, here is this year’s tree!

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It’s chockablock full of candy colored ornaments, gold garland, tons of tinsel, and my trusty DIY tree skirt.

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It’s the perfect tree to display my vintage ornament collection. I especially love vintage Shiny Brites and threaded bulbs. Speaking of, The Christopher Radko Company has resurrected the Shiny Brite brand and has been producing ornaments based on classic Shiny Brite designs. I got some this year to fill out the tree and they’re gorgeous!

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I also got a finial from them to top it all off.

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I want to keep it up all year round!

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I’ll try to post a Christmas home tour, but until then you can see what’s going on over on Instagram.

Easy DIY Felt Pom Pom Pillows

Accent pillows are one of the easiest things you can use to change the look of a sofa or chair in your home, and they’re also one of the easiest DIY projects to do. I wanted to bring a little color and fun to a bench I have in my living room so turned to my fabric scrap collection for something to make pillows with. I had some felt and pom poms and thought they would be perfect pillows for the holiday season. To be honest they might stay well after that.

To make a basic pillow you just need to cut a piece of fabric to the size and shape of the pillow you want to cover. Leave about an inch on each side for seam allowance. Sometimes I cut the fabric on a fold so I end up with one longer piece rather than two pieces. Either way works fine.

DIY Felt PomPom Pillows.jpgSew the pieces together at the sides, leaving one side open.

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Turn your pillow case inside out so the seams are inside. By the way you can do these steps with fabric glue like liquid stitch if you don’t have a sewing machine.

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Insert your pillow stuffing and then use a slip stitch or fabric glue to close the open end.

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Next figure out where you want to apply your pom pom trim and use fabric glue to adhere it! Easy!

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I also cut some of the pom poms off and glued them on in a random pattern.

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There you have it. Easy pom pom pillows!

DIY Fabric Wall Treatment//How To Use Fabric As Temporary Wallpaper

Do you like the look of wallpaper but can’t commit to installing any? Same here. A lot of the projects I do in my apartment have to be temporary because I rent, so I’m always trying to find inexpensive and temporary solutions to my design problems.

When I redecorated my living room earlier this year I knew I wanted to do an accent wall behind my sofa, and I knew I wanted it to be a pattern. I’d heard of people using fabric as temporary wallpaper before and decided I wanted to give it a whirl. I fell in love with a fabric that I ended up scoring for $6, and the other materials are really inexpensive, so it was no big loss if it didn’t work out.

For this project you need fabric (I used a light weight cotton), liquid starch, push tacks, an exacto knife, and a paint roller. For everything I paid less than $20 total!

Side note: I did this project on the rainiest day of the year, so please excuse the lighting in some of the images!

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First, I used push tacks to hang the fabric up on the wall. I tacked at the ceiling line and sides.

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Then I used a paint roller to apply the liquid starch to the fabric.

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I started at the top, smoothing out air bubbles and wrinkles as I worked my way down. Make sure you saturate the fabric thoroughly so it sticks to the wall very well. I repeated the process for each piece, matching up the edges on the sides. This fabric had a label on one of the selvage edges, so I cut that off before applying it to the wall.

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Let it dry thoroughly for several hours. I let mine dry over night.

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Next, I used an exacto-knife to cut around the edges of the wall and around any details like air vents and electrical sockets. For any left over air bubbles, I just sliced them and re-saturated, then pushed any air out. DIY Fabric Wall Treatment (9).jpg

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That it! I was actually shocked at how much easier it was to do than I imagined. It took me a few hours but wasn’t as labor intensive as I anticipated. Here’s how it turned out!

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I love it! 

To remove it all you have to do is set a corner with warm water and peel it straight off the one in one piece. I actually removed a piece and put it back up on the wall because I didn’t like the placement. The best part is this fabric can be laundered and reused whenever I choose to remove it! 

Clean up is also a breeze. Just regular soap and water will do! 

Have fun! 

DIY Dyed Corn Husk Wreath

I’m totally one of those people who likes to hang a wreath to celebrate every season. For Thanksgiving this year I wanted a to bring in some natural elements while keeping a pop of color. Since it happens to be the time of year when I buy corn husks for tamales, I figured I would try to use some of the corn husks to make an autumn wreath! I wasn’t sure if it would work out the way I envisioned but it totally did! 

This wreath is extremely cheap and easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

Foam or Straw Wreath Form
Corn Husks (I used an 8oz pacakge)
Colored Dye (I used Rit. Food coloring and easter egg dye also works.)
Hot Glue Gun

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First you’re going to mix up the dye color of your choice and then soak the corn husks until the level of color you desire is achieved. I chose to only dye the tips of my husks for an ombre effect.

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Let the husks dry completely before assembling your wreath.

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Next, using a hot glue gun, start gluing the husks to the wreath form in one direction, layering the husks all the way around until the wreath form is covered. Split up the husks into thinner pieces for more depth and keep adding in more husks until you reach your desired volume.

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And that’s it! Easy peasy.

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I love the way it looks like feathers! I’m in love with the way it turned out and will probably keep it up throughout winter too.

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DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton

I’m finally getting into the Halloween spirit and wanted to share a quick DIY project with you guys. You probably already know that I love the retro kitschy vibe of plastic lawn flamingos, so I figured why not turn them into skeletons for Halloween?  Cute idea right? Well, I have to admit that this is one of those times where I thought I was being really original and creative, and then saw that you can actually buy them like this. Well, a scarier demon version anyway. Fail. I already had the materials laying around so I did it anyway! Here’s how I did it in case you want to make some yourself.

First I started with a plastic pink flamingo.

DIY Plastic Flamingo Skeleton

Then I sprayed it with satin black spray paint. Which looked pretty cool on its own, but I went with the skeleton idea anyway.

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeletons

Then I used a white Sharpie paint marker to make the skeleton.DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton I’m not an expert on bird anatomy so you’ll have to forgive my crude interpretation of a flamingo skeleton. Listen, I did my best!

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton

 

Easy Chair Makeover with Chalk Paint® and Faux Fur

Confession: I’m a little bit of a chair hoarder. If I see a vintage chair at a flea market and it’s under $20 I usually end up coming home with it. The reason is because accent chairs are SO easy to salvage with minimal cost and effort, and also a good way to change up a corner in a room without going to too much trouble. Besides, who couldn’t use more stylish seating right?

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover with Chalk Paint®I got this bergere chair for $15 at my local flea market and thought it would be the perfect vessel for the magic of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. There are a few reasons I like using Chalk Paint®. Firstly, it goes on beautifully and dries quickly with minimal brush strokes. Secondly, you can easily change the finish and look with Chalk Paint® Waxes. And finally, cleanup is a breeze! Soapy water is all you need for any spills and to clean brushes. For all of these reasons I highly recommend trying this method if you’re new to furniture painting.

For this project I wanted something whimsical with gentle color so went with the color Antoinette, which is a soft pink-lilac.

 

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover with Chalk Paint®

I gave the chair a good wipe down with soapy water and then just used a regular, old paint brush to cover the chair with two coats of paint.

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

See how lovely and even it dries?

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

Next I applied a coat of Chalk Paint® Wax to seal and add a nice finish the paint. I wanted to bring out the carvings and details in this piece so I used White Chalk Paint® Wax.

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

I used a Wax Brush to apply a coat of wax to the entire painted surface.img_4630Make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies to bring out the details.Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

Then use a soft cloth to remove any excess wax and buff out the finish.

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®Did you know you can paint fabric with Chalk Paint® as well? I thought about painting the seat with Pure White, but changed my mind and went with a luxe faux fur instead. Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®Quick tip: If you want to easily or temporarily change the upholstery on a chair like this, just use a throw and tuck it into the sides for a quick cover. Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

Voila! An easy painted makeover! If you want to try Chalk Paint® for yourself (and you most definitely should) you can find Annie Sloan Stockists here.

Vintage Bergere Chair Makeover Using Chalk Paint®

I’m in love!

 

This project was sponsored by UNFOLDED but all opinions and ideas are my own. Promise.

 

IKEA HACK: KARLSTAD Pink Mid-Century Inspired Sofa Makeover

Ohhhh man, you guys. I’m reallllly excited about this project. Bear with me because there’s a lot to cover (no pun intended).

A while back I posted about how I was on the hunt for a new sofa and narrowed down a few of my favorite contenders. One of the contenders was the KARLSTAD from IKEA because I knew I could save a lot of money by attempting a hack, and thanks to a pretty hefty tax audit (kill me) that’s what I ended up having to do. As luck would have it I found a perfect KARLSTAD at IKEA for $250 in the clearance section. A lot of you already know that I’m no stranger to IKEA Hacking, but it has been a while since I did one so I was feeling up to the challenge. Luckily it didn’t take long before I knew exactly what I wanted to do in order to make it come close to the couch of my dreams.

 

KARLSTAD IKEA HACK

The KARLSTAD is pretty much an IKEA staple and I’m sure you’ve seen it in many homes. It has clean, modern lines and comes with an easily removable slip cover. Perfect for my hacking plan. The one I bought had a grey cover and my IKEA was sold out of the white slip cover, but luckily my best friend in Florida found one at her store and was able to send it to me. Since KARLSTADs have completely removable slip covers I knew I could dye it to be whatever color I wanted.

Rit Petal Pink

I picked up a few boxes of Rit dye in Petal Pink. I filled my bathtub with boiling water and dye and soaked the slip cover until it was saturated.Dye Sofa Slip Covers in Bath Tub Then I promptly had a minor freak out because it didn’t turn out the rosey/peachy/blush pink color that I wanted and that appeared on the box. Dye Karlstad Sofa Slip Cover

I took a deep breath, refusing to be defeated, and rushed to the fabric store to grab some Rit Color Remover, a magical powder that  gently removes all of your regrets and gives you a clean start. If only I could bathe myself in it. Just kidding…!

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How to remove Rit dye

After a quick soak the slip cover was back to white. I knew at this point I was going to have to custom mix my own shade of pink so I threw the covers in the wash and went back to the fabric store for the 5th time to pick up more dye.

I can’t tell you the exact ratios of these colors that I used for my shade because I was constantly adjusting and testing the color. I want to say it was something like 4 parts pink, 1/2 part yellow, 1/8 part tan, but I’m not 100% sure so don’t come back yelling at me if yours turns out gross. I also diluted it a lot more than the first time so the color would be more pastel.

My husband and I worked nervously and quickly, scalding our hands and sweating over the boiling dye bath in our typical Melo-dramatic style, but it was worth it. It worked out perfectly!img_4426-3

 

Dying the slip cover was only the first step. I wanted new legs and pretty tufting, and dammit that’s what I would get. These steps were actually much easier and less annoying than the dye part.

I changed the legs on my last KARLSTAD Love Seat in the past, so I knew that wouldn’t be a big deal. I used mid-century style furniture legs that I got from Lowe’s for like $2 and spray painted them gold and white.

DIY Furniture legs for $2

Then I installed a top plate and attached the legs to the corners of the sofa.

Change the legs on your sofa for under $20I wanted to have legs in the center of the sofa, too. Partly for more support, but mostly because I like the look of it.

For this I just drilled a hole and inserted the leg directly into the wood.

Change the legs on your sofa for under $20

That would have looked great on it’s own but I wanted tufting. I had spare fabric from an extra piece of slip cover that I found in the clearance bin at IKEA. I used this for my color test strips and then dyed a piece with the plan of covering buttons for tufting.

I used 7/8″  button cover kit and thread to make my tufting buttons, much like I did in this past IKEA hack.DIY Upholstery Button Covers

Then I attached the buttons to upholstery string and used a long upholstery needle to feed the string through the cushion. I pulled the string tight and used these decorative buttons to anchor the string on the back of cushion. I didn’t want to go through the back of the cushion cover, and a knot would have just pulled back through the cushion insert, so I used the decorative buttons to hold my tufting in place. Am I making any sense at this point? Hopefully these visuals help.DIY Couch Cushion TuftingDIY Couch Cushion Tufting

And voila!

KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink Sofa

The decorative pillows are also from IKEA.KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink SofaI love the way the warm pink looks with the white and gold legs.KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink SofaI’m so excited to finally have a dreamy pink couch! And for less than $300!KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink Sofa

Update: Here it is in the finished room!

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DIY White VCT Tile Bedroom Flooring

Up until about a month ago I had carpet in my bedroom and I HATED IT. Between allergies, constant city dust, and senior dogs, having carpet just wasn’t right for our lifestyle. I rent and didn’t think changing the floors would ever be an option, but when it was time to renew our lease and our manager offered to replace or clean our carpet, I seized the opportunity to ask if we could replace the floors at our own expense instead. They surprisingly agreed to my request and gave me the freedom to pick the flooring option of my choice.

I knew whatever option I chose wouldn’t match the rest of the apartment anyway, so I decided to give in to my desire for white floors. I did some research and the easiest and most cost effective of our options seemed to be VCT (vinyl composite tile).  Plus, I’m always down for a mid-century vibe and you can’t get anymore mid-century than vinyl tiles.


I ordered a bunch of samples and ended up choosing Armstrong’s Carnival White , an off-white color with multicolored specks priced at $0.91 per square foot. It’s really cute and has the vintage speckled look I was going for, but was the most cost effective for me as well. Since I rent I didn’t want to invest too much, if you get what I mean. 

This was my first time installing VCT tiles so I’m no expert, but I can tell you that there are some very good and thorough tutorials on YouTube that can explain the techniques you need better than I can through pictures. If you’re planning on doing this project I highly recommend watching several of them.

Luckily my room is pretty much a square so there wasn’t many complicated cuts and I was able to finish the room within a day, by myself, spending less than $300 total.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)Here’s a terrible picture of what I started with. As you can see the dark beige carpet and old pink paint absorbed most of the light in the room. The first thing I had to do was remove the old carpet. That was a lot easier than expected and I was able to do it all in one piece. After that I pried up the tack strips and used pliers to remove any stray staples in the floor.

 

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Then we took the opportunity to paint the walls a nice high reflective white .

After the walls were done I got started on the floor. I used a chalk reel to mark the center points of the room where I would begin laying tiles.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Next I dry laid some tiles to make sure they would be even and to decide on which way I wanted the speckled pattern to run. A lot of of the time the tile is installed with an alternating pattern but I decided to run mine all in one direction for a seamless look.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Then I had to use a small notch tile trowel to apply adhesive to the floor. I want to note that this took longer than expected to dry, and didn’t dry clear like the container said it would. I let it dry for SEVERAL hours until it was tacky and a dark amber color. If you start laying the tiles too soon they’ll slide around and make you regret everything. Also, wearing knee pads will save your life.Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

At this point my dog decided to get around my barricade and lay directly in the glue, promptly getting stuck and full of the stickiest glue that no dog shampoo on earth could remove. After throwing him in a bath to soak and cutting his hair, I was able to continue onto actually laying the tile.

I didn’t get pics of that process because I had to move fast, but I started from the middle line and worked my way out. Once I got to the edges I used a utility knife to cut the edge tiles to size. YouTube will explain all that to you in better visual detail.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

As you can see there were some small gaps between the tile and the wall. You can put a piece of trim around there to finish it off or you can use caulking to fill it in like I did.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

For the threshold I simply used a piece of flat molding and wedged it in the door frame. Simple and sleek. Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)I let the tile set for about a day and then mopped it and applied four coats of floor polish with a microfiber mop. Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

What a difference! My room feels so much cooler, fresher, and brighter! I only wish I had done this sooner. Here’s how it looks furnished. Much better than before!

Vintage California Style Bedroom Decor

DIY Yellow Fringe Blackout Curtains

You guys, let me start by saying I’m bummed because I lost all of the how-to pics from this project when my old computer died, BUT I still wanted to share how easy it is to make your own curtains.

I couldn’t find any light blocking curtains that I liked for my bedroom so I took on the task of making my own. Curtains are the easiest thing to make if you can sew a straight line. All you need is enough fabric to make a panel long enough to fit your window and hem all four sides, leaving a big enough loop at the top to fit a curtain rod through. I found a really nice and inexpensive fabric in the perfect shade of buttercup yellow, but the problem was that it was too thin and let a lot of light through. We’re not morning people so this was a no-no. To remedy the problem all I did was lined my fabric with an old black out curtain from IKEA. Easy enough!

 

IMG_4254.jpgDoing that completely blocked any light from coming into my bedroom and also added some much needed weight and heft to the panel.

IMG_4264.jpgFor some extra flair I added a strip of vintage looking rope fringe to the top.IMG_4270.jpg

 

 

IMG_4252.jpgTada! Stay tuned for more bedroom decor updates and be sure to follow along on Instagram.