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Tuesday
Jan112011

DIY: envelope pillow cases

Have you ever wandered through a fabric store, admiring all the beautiful prints, patterns and textures when one in particular stops you in your tracks?  You wrack your brain, trying to figure out what you could recover in your house just so you can purchase a few yards, only to remember you aren't so handy with a sewing machine and don't really have the cash to sub it out to a pro?  Well, fret no more!  Envelope pillow cases are "sew" much easier than you think, and look just as fabulous as if you'd paid someone else to make them for you! 

I'm currently finishing up a living room for a client who just bought her first home and in our quest for art and accessories for those final finishing touches, we realized we had an over abundance of throw pillows and not enough fabric to cover them.  I found this navy and cream Morroccan tile print for $4.99 a yard at a discount fabric store and quickly got to work covering the last two. 

Now, I'm certainly no expert with the sewing machine, and I'm sure there is a much more precise way of doing this, but here is how I made mine:

Lay fabric face-up and place pillow in the middle.  Make sure that the fabric overlaps and covers the pillow entirely. 

Pin a 1 1/2 inch hem on each side, fabric facing up.  (You're going to turn the pillow case inside-out once you're done sewing).  Then, sew a straight stitch.

 

Next, place the pillow back between the fabric and wrap each side over top, then pin the bottom edge of the fabric as close to the pillow as possible, without pinning the pillow itself.

 

Then, slide the pillow back between the fabric and feel along the top part of the fabric where the pillow is.  With one pin, pin the fabric together at the end and pull the pillow insert back out.  Continue pinning along the same line as the first pin and then sew together.

Once done, flip fabric inside-out and place pillow insert inside.  It should look like this at the back (I know it's kind of hard to see the flaps because the pattern is so busy)...

 

And here is the finished product, sitting pretty on my couch, waiting to be taken to its new home!

 

Monday
Jan102011

rustic elegance

On my last trip up north to visit my family, my aunt took me to a house her mother-in-law was in the process of renovating.  The home was where my uncle had lived from birth until he was ten, when his family outgrew the property and needed more space for their growing brood.  Forty years later, when the house went on the market, my uncle's mother snatched it up quicker than you could say, "SOLD!" and promptly began restoring it back to its original character. 

The bedrooms on the third floor (of which I unfortunately don't have pictures) still have the original four-poster twin beds my uncle and his brothers slept in, as well as etchings in the closet doors.  How amazing, not only to buy your home forty years after you sold it, but to still find some of the original furniture and details that made it your own, all those years ago!

The foyer boasts gorgeous wood beams, stone walls and hardwood floors, all orginal to the home.

The credenza is stunning and the gilt mirror and vintage sconces above are the perfect compliment.

  

The traditional kitchen's cherry cabinetry and antique chandelier get a modern update with a glass subway tile backsplash and stainless steel countertops.

 

Wood beams continue into the living room...

...where the antique hutch is actually built in to the wall...

 

The master bedroom is a calming space with soft fabrics in pale celery and cream, more vintage sconces and distressed end tables.  That tufted bench and linen upholstered bed makes me weak in the knees!

   

Onto the grounds...flagstone patios, wrought iron gates and plenty of lush greenery...

 

Can you imagine growing up here and having all this room to run around?  I can only picture weddings and grand parties taking place here, lit up with thousands of white lights.  Beautiful!

 

Monday
Jan102011

serena & lily

I was thrilled to find the latest catalogue from Serena & Lily in my mailbox this weekend!  Known for their fabulous, high-end crib and children's bedding, the dynamic duo now also offers custom upholstered sofas, chairs and ottomans, end tables, headboards, rugs, lighting and accessories that fit a more "grown up" aesthetic. 

I'm OBSESSED with anything tufted these days.  The Piccadilly chair and lucille ottoman had me at hello...

Love this lacquered accent table...

...as well as the bird's nest hanging lamp...

...and the Parker X Bench...

 

Check out their latest goodies here.

 

 

Sunday
Jan092011

vintage maps

There's something about nautical maps and charts that get my heart racing.  They are a great way to bring a little personality to your decor without going overboard with the beach theme.  As the wife of a Recon Marine, I've been fortunate enough to accumulate quite a few of these; whenever my husband would dive, he'd bring home some of the maps he used.  Some I've framed whole, and others I've cut into portions and framed each piece separately.  For me, it's so much more meaningful to hang them in our house, since they are something that my husband used.  Here are some of the creative ways others have used nautical charts in their decor:

This entryway, by Thomas O'Brien, is stunning thanks to the oversized charts and lustworthy glossy black double doors.

Steven Gambrel used them to wallpaper a boy's bedroom in this Long Island home that was featured in House Beautiful here

Steven Gambrel created a jaw-dropping accent wall in the living room of his South Beach hideaway by framing multiple charts in a grid pattern on one wall.

Interior Designer Ruthie Sommers used pale blue walls as the perfect backdrop for one lone framed map in this beach house.

Designer Kerry Joyce made a big impact in this child's room with walls papered in many nautical maps.

This hallway, featured in Garden & Gun, boasts an unexpected surprise:  it is actually covered in wrapping paper, that was cut and glued to the walls!  You can get the same look with maps from Kate's Paperie, which I wrote about here

Saturday
Jan082011

#6

The moment I met you, I knew an adventure was about to begin... 

Six years ago today, I married an amazing man, who happened to also be my best friend, biggest supporter and the only person who makes me laugh 'til I cry.  Thank you for being so wonderful, through the good and bad, the ups and downs.  I'm the luckiest girl in the world!