Category Archives: Room Makeover

Kitchen Makeover 1.4 – Island Molding

For the final post in my Kitchen Makeover series, I’m sharing with you the kitchen island molding project. This is another example of how something so simple and inexpensive can create a big difference in your space!

Kitchen Makeover  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

Kitchen Makeover  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

The molding creates a custom look at a low price by creating faux wainscoting on the island base. Painting this area the same white color as the cabinets makes the entire kitchen look that much bigger!

Kitchen Makeover  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

This is not expensive wainscot paneling! I purchased decorative molding from the hardware store for only $.90 per linear foot. You can use a miter saw or a hand box saw to cut your 45 degree angles. Use wood glue to set each piece into place and secure with a nail gun. You could get away with using just a hammer if you have the tool pictured below that will set your nail into the molding without damaging the molding with your hammer.

Nail Setter Set

Next, fill your nail holes with a wood filler and make sure to use caulking on every visible seam! It will look like a cheap job if you don’t fill in all your cracks. Now you’re ready to paint the wall!

This process worked so well, I’ve started to add molding to the rest of the house as well. I have plans for the staircase area as well as the dining room! I love the custom, high-end look this process creates, and I especially love the fact that it can be done at such a low price-point.

Check out all the posts in the Kitchen Makeover series!

kitchenseries1 kitchenseries2 kitchenseries5 kitchenseries3

Lots of love,
Mary

Top 5 most common design mistakes

I get these types of questions all the time! The plan was to post my top 10, but 5 proved to be packed with lots of information that’s sure to get your wheels spinning! So let’s dive right in, shall we?
top5designmistakes

#1. Mounting draperies too low. I’ll start out by saying that “it’s not your fault.” This is a design industry problem. Most stores only stock a standard 84″ drapery length. This is slowly changing, but still a big issue! Take a look at the below sketch. The #1 tip I tell people is to mount your drapes from floor to ceiling! This one tip will make such a huge difference in your home and will make your space look 10 times larger! Most high-end companies stock these lengths, but for a less expensive option IKEA is my go-to. They stock many options up to 120″ in length, and for a low price.

source: http://thedecorologist.com/the-one-thing-you-must-change-in-your-home

source: http://thedecorologist.com/the-one-thing-you-must-change-in-your-home

#2. Tchotchkes — too much stuff on your bookshelf or table! A space filled with 10+ small objects can look cluttered and disorganized. If you would like to display small items, try pairing one or two things with a large statement piece. It will better showcase what you’re trying to display. Notice the variation of height in the below photo. This helps to add interest and is pleasing to the eye. Don’t be afraid of LARGE decorative items. They provide for a cleaner, more high-end look!

source: http://www.lillianaugust.com/project/home-staging

source: http://www.lillianaugust.com/project/home-staging

#3. Small picture on a large wall. Unless you’re going for the ultra-modern art gallery look, stay away from this common mistake. Don’t be afraid of the large mirror or artwork. I usually choose the largest option when faced with an artwork size dilemma. A great way to use your smaller photos is to group them together to create a gallery wall look. Like this example:

source: http://gardenberger.blogspot.com/p/home-tour.html

source: http://gardenberger.blogspot.com/p/home-tour.html

#4. Fear of color. You should never be afraid of anything when designing a space! Choose what you love! I’m not saying that you have to use bright colors. I, for one, prefer a neutral, grey-toned pallet with color accents that can easily be switched out — such as pillows or flowers. But if you love the look of a red wall…go for it! It’s your space, and it’s just paint! :)

source: http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/dramatic-red-rooms-63094#slide-1

source: http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/dramatic-red-rooms-63094#slide-1

#5. Poor lighting. Proper lighting can transform a space from drab to fab! To adequately light a space, you need to think about lighting all levels of your room. Most rooms have a center ceiling fixture, which just isn’t enough. Think about adding canned lighting and/or track lighting to accent artwork on a feature wall. In addition, you’ll want to choose lamps or task lights for more specific directional light. A proper combination of all of the above will help you achieve that model-home look as seen in magazines.

source: http://www10.aeccafe.com/blogs/arch-showcase/files/2012/03/Bjerg-y.72.jpg

source: http://www10.aeccafe.com/blogs/arch-showcase/files/2012/03/Bjerg-y.72.jpg

Lots of love,
Mary

Kitchen Makeover 1.3 – Backsplash

My friends, I owe you a long-overdue tutorial on the backsplash install as a part of my kitchen makeover. This project was my very first attempt at DIY tiling and I was a bit nervous to experiment in the kitchen, of all places. Tile isn’t exactly something that’s easy to fix if you make a mistake.

I chose a small subway-patterned glass tile in a sea blue color. I love a good deal, so I was ecstatic when I saw this beautiful tile on clearance at my local Home Depot a couple years ago (yes, it’s been sitting in my garage this whole time).

kitchenreveal3

I am IN LOVE with glass tile! The way the light bounces off the backsplash now brings me so much joy! It’s like jewelry for your kitchen — a little bling!

So the question is… How did I do it? Well, as I said, I was a bit nervous to experiment and do my first tiling job in the kitchen so I took the easy way out and used a fab product called SimpleMat Tile Setting Mat.

It’s basically a “sticker” of sorts that you use in place of mixing thin set. Super easy and no mess! It is quite a bit more expensive than thin set, but still way cheaper than hiring a pro! The instructions on the back are easy to follow and dummy-proof. Trust me! *wink*

backsplash2013.1

After setting the tile in place, I used a grout that came pre-mixed in a tub. You’ll push the grout into the tile spaces with a tool called a float, wipe off the excess, and wait until the next day for the grout to dry before polishing the surface. Step-by-step directions are included with both the tile setting mat as well as the pre-mixed grout, which makes this project way easy for an eager DIY enthusiast!

backsplash2013.2

My biggest tip for this project: make sure you wipe all your edges clean before letting the grout dry. There are a couple spots where I wish I would have been more of a perfectionist. Other than that, I love love love the results and would totally do it again in a heartbeat!

kitchenreveal4

Check out all the posts in the Kitchen Makeover series!

kitchenseries1 kitchenseries2 kitchenseries5 kitchenseries3

Lots of love,
Mary

Kitchen Makeover 1.2 – Painting the Cabinets

Well Hello there! Let me say a belated Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year! I’m feeling so much better now and almost out of the woods. Still ridiculously tired… but that comes with the pregnancy territory.

Continuing with my Kitchen Makeover series, I have a few more tips and lessons learned to share with you regarding the cabinet painting process. To view the first two posts of this series click, 1. Kitchen Reveal, and, 2. Kitchen Makeover 1.1.
kitchenreveal3

Using a Paint Sprayer:
Click here for a link to the spray gun that I purchased by recommendation of the employees at my local hardware store. They said it was the best one they had on the lower end scale and considering that I’m not a professional house painter and only need the gun for my home DIY projects, I was told that I didn’t need anything more heavy duty than this. You’ll need to practice on cardboard or scrap wood before going for your cabinets. It takes a little bit to get used to the gun and make the right adjustments. The only downside that I found to this sprayer was that it needed to be cleaned out very frequently or the paint starts to clump a little bit. Not sure if this is a common problem with other sprayers, but it’s an issue that I ran into. Other than that, it did a fine job.

Caulking:
One of the most important tips that I will give you for this project is to CAULK YOUR SEAMS/CRACKS! It seems like such a little thing to mention, but I’m telling you it makes such a huge difference. Caulking properly will give your cabinets the finished and more high-end look opposed to a cheep job. After you paint that first coat, you will notice every seem and crack will start to show. I would recommend that you get a paintable, kitchen/bath caulk and fill every seem, including where the cabinet meets the wall.

Hardware:
Sometimes just adding hardware alone can update your kitchen to a more polished complete look. And you don’t have to spend a lot to get the WOW factor! I found my hardware at Ikea (link here) for a fraction of the cost that I would have spend at my local hardware store. Even if price wasn’t an option, I think the look of the Ikea hardware was the best choice. Since I was working with existing cabinetry that didn’t reflect the modern styling that I prefer, I chose a very contemporary long and squared-off hardware handle. This added a modern effect and enabled me to almost camouflage the traditional shape of the cabinets. The stainless steel on the hardware complemented the existing appliances and the contemporary backsplash.kitchenreveal4

In my last post of this series, you may remember my little rant about the irritating “paint dust” that comes with the use of a spray gun. Since that post, a more experienced friend of mine told me a tip to solve that problem. It sounds like common sense to me now, but sometimes we need be told the answers! Basically, tape your clear plastic drop cloth to the ceiling and drape down to create a “wall” border around your work area… thus no paint dust escaping to the rest of your home. Why didn’t I think of that? Genius I tell you!

Now that my cabinets are painted, I absolutely love them and I’m so so happy that I did it… despite all the hard work! Your wondering now if you should tackle this project yourself or hire a professional? I guess it depends on who you are. I am not a perfectionist, so this was a “good enough” result for me. The finish is smooth and it looks good both from a distance and close-up. But if you start to really look and inspect the paint job, you will find imperfections (which is okay for me). If your a type-A personality, you may want to hire a professional. I seriously got to the point where I just wanted it done and didn’t want to spend another dime on paint. Next up in this series, I’ll be sharing the details of backsplash installation!

Check out all the posts in the Kitchen Makeover series!

kitchenseries1 kitchenseries2 kitchenseries5 kitchenseries3

Lots of love,
Mary

Interior Design – Are you stuck?

Since I started this blog, a little over a year ago, I’ve gotten numerous inquiries and requests regarding interior design services. I’ve had to turn folks down because I just haven’t had the time to offer a complete service through execution. After some thought, I’ve decided that what I can do is offer a consultation service.

HCTAL303_Neutral-Living-Room_s4x3_lg
source: http://www.hgtv.com/designers-portfolio/room/transitional/living-rooms/2337/index.html#/id-7832/room-living-rooms/designer-4294964450

Would you like your home to look like the photos you see in a magazine? Where the lighting is perfect, the colors flow, and the furniture placement just seems to work? But you don’t know where to start, right?

Or maybe you’d like to work with what you have, on a minimal budget, but you need a little help with furniture placement, color selection, etc.

I have two package options available:

Design Consultation Package A – $100
A one hour consultation in your home answering questions, helping with color selection, etc. This package is available to customize to your needs. This could be design advice for one room or tips through your entire home. We can move furniture and work with what you already have in your home, or I can assist and answer questions regarding a complete design plan including color selection, furniture, lighting, drapery, etc.

Design Consultation Package B – $175
A one hour consultation in your home with complete design plan portfolio for one room. During this service we will sit down and first identify your ideal design style, wants, and needs for the specific room that you choose. We will talk about a complete plan from floor to ceiling including everything from paint selection, fabric options, window coverings, furniture choice and placement, rugs, lighting, etc. Within one week of your consultation, I will provide you with a portfolio complete with floorplan, paint color samples and photos so that you have everything you need to execute your design.

If you’re interested in one of these consultation packages, send me an email (link on sidebar), and I will be happy to schedule an appointment time or answer any questions you may have. I’m located in the East Valley of the Metro Phoenix area, and  am unable to travel outside of this general location. Services are available in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek. Please inquire if you have any questions at all!

Lots of love,
Mary

Kitchen Makeover 1.1 – Painting the Cabinets

This is kind of a funny story… you see I had thought that this was going to be a Saturday project. Bahahahahahahhahaha! Yeah, a few weeks ago I wasn’t laughing so much, more like crying! Just being honest with ya’ll! But am I glad that I did it? YES! If your thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets, just know that it is a big job. There are so many different tutorials out there and so many different ways to do it, how do you know where to start? Well, I’m going to share my experience with you complete with all the mistakes and successes. Feel free to comment or email me if you have any specific questions that haven’t been covered.

Last week I revealed my before and after photos of the complete kitchen makeover. To read the entire article and view additional photos, click here.

Before:
kitchenreveal2

After:
kitchenreveal1

After viewing and considering many online tutorials, I decided to use one that I found on Pinterest detailing instructions from a professional cabinet maker. This tutorial was posted by allthingsthrifty.com. Click on the below photo for the Pinterest link which links back to the specific cabinet tutorial.

Source: allthingsthrifty.com via Mary – on Pinterest

This tutorial is very detailed and extremely helpful! Things you should know that I didn’t expect:

1. The paint that is suggested (pre-catalyzed lacquer) was not easy to find. At least in my area, none of the local hardware stored carried this product. I had to drive 30+min to one of the larger Dunn-Edwards Paint Supply stores to find it. And be prepared because it is expensive – about $75 per gallon for the tinted lacquer and about $50 per gallon for the clear lacquer!

2. Prep-work takes longer than the actual painting process! I kind of knew this going in, but wasn’t expecting how much longer the prep-work would actually take. Remember, I thought this was going to be done in just one Saturday? Well, two days into the project, I was finally done with all the prep-work and ready to paint.

3. I totally underestimated the size of my kitchen. In addition to what’s pictured in my before/after photos, there is also a desk nook space and double sided butlers nook in the kitchen hallway area. Also, I decided to paint under the island the same white color in addition to all the interiors of the cabinets. Lets just say I went through way way too many gallons of paint. That was unexpected in both the budget and time spent category.

4. When using a paint sprayer, be prepared for the “paint dust” that gets EVERYWHERE! I was not ready for this. The kitchen area was well taped off and drop cloths covered every exposed area of the floor. Sounds good right? Nope! When painting, even with all the windows open, dust covered every exposed inch of the downstairs level of our home. This meant that I had to deep clean everything after the project was complete. And since this project took way longer than expected, it was a bit of an inconvenience during that period, to say the least. Not to worry, this “dust” doesn’t stick like paint — it’s just a little irritating.

kitchenreveal4

So why did I choose this process over all the other tutorials out there? Well, I wanted to do it right! There probably are quicker ways to paint your cabinets, but I was going for the professional look. I’ve seen painted cabinets where you can tell that someone picked up a brush and painted them themselves, but I didn’t want my cabinets to look cheap or hand-done. Also, since I was going for a modern clean styling, it made the process a bit more difficult because it had to look “perfect”. Normally, when I paint vintage furniture pieces, I work with the imperfections and bring out the beauty of each piece with distressing techniques, etc. This was totally different in that the style I was going for did not allow for distressing so the imperfections had to be hidden and not revealed. Does that make sense? If you want more of the shabby or antiqued look on your kitchen cabinets, the process should be a lot easier than whats detailed here and you may be able to get away with a different/less-expensive paint to achieve the look you desire.

This post is getting to be a bit long and I don’t want to overwhelm you. I’ll share more tips with you on another day. I understand that I’ve been sharing a lot of the “negatives” with you thus far and I absolutely don’t want to discourage you from this process, but rather inform you so that you know what your getting into and can be more prepared than I was. I will leave you with this: I LOVE MY KITCHEN! And yes, I would do it again!

Check out all the posts in the Kitchen Makeover series!

kitchenseries1 kitchenseries2 kitchenseries5 kitchenseries3

Lots of love,
Mary

Baby Boy’s Room – Planning & Inspiration

Better late than never! :)  Now that the girls’ room is almost complete, I can turn my attention to my precious baby boy’s room. I’ve been gathering inspiration and I’m super excited to share my plans with you!

I knew as soon as I saw him, the sock monkey! His cozy fabric and textures mixed with the handsome color pallet, this was going to be my handsome boy’s room theme. I’m not really a “theme” room type of person. To me, themes can easily go way overboard and you find yourself surrounded by toy trains, or bears, or mickey mouse. It’s a fine line to carry a theme and keep the design flowing properly. Rule #1, just because its a sock monkey, doesn’t mean it gets automatic clearance into the room.

Sock Monkey Theme Baby's Room Design  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com
The good news is I already have all the furniture pieces needed. When we purchased Gabby’s crib set, we thankfully chose a gender-neutral design. Other than that, it’s a blank slate. This is going to be fun! Check out the before pics — this is how the room looks today:
Yes, I still need to take down Gabby’s drapery panel. :)  I’m thinking about keeping the brown wall colors and adding a wide stripe design using a red color. I found this stripped wall on Pinterest and just love the scale.
Baby's Room Inspiration  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

 

I’ve just got three questions: #1. Horizontal or vertical?  #2. Do I bring in white to brighten up the space?  #3. What about stripes on the ceiling instead?

Turning my attention to the walls, I saw this graphic and originally wanted to use the idea for the girls’ room. But thinking about it more, wouldn’t this look spectacular as a pop out graphic above the crib? I would be painting either wooden or cardboard letters.

Baby's Room Inspiration  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com
Also loving this print found on Etsy! Could I pull it off myself? Or maybe just purchase this one? It’s fab!
Sock Monkey Themed Room  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com
Source: etsy.com via Mary – on Pinterest

 

 

Adding a rustic element would be nice. I’d like to create a version of this on three scrap plywood boards…but maybe more modern/pop art styling.

Sock Monkey Themed Baby's Room  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com
Source: etsy.com via Mary – on Pinterest
I don’t think I would ever take the time to try and make my own sock monkey — not my forte. But I still love the tutorial graphic as wall art!
sock-monkey-pattern

 

 

Now onto fabric and textures. I want to pickup the warm coziness aspect of the sock monkey. This fabric is a must!

sock-monkey-texture
And how do you NOT love this blanket?!
Sock Monkey Blanket
I really like the balance of this room. Very well done! The draperies are amazing and oh to get my hands on one of those little red bicycles!
sock-monkey-crib-bedding_medium

 

And last but not least, the red shag rug is a must! :)

Pasta-Red-Shag-Rug
Source: google.com via Amber on Pinterest
I’m really excited to see how this is all going to come together! Stay tuned! :)
Lots of love,
Mary