Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fabulous Fabric

I've had some gorgeous fabric hiding away for about 5 months now. Over the past week or so I've had a chance to whip up some more custom pillow covers. Thank goodness for blogging- I had the tutorial I orininally wrote right here to remind me how to make them.

My serious love for geometric patterns shines through here, I know. But I toned them down with this bold floral print that I also love. Please excuse the horrible quality of these photos.. the lighting in a basement apartment is rather yucky.. and until our house is built, that's what I've got to work with.

I also found some zebra print pillow cases that I turned into large 20"x 20" throw pillows. Gotta love the zebra print!

Ah, I get such highs from fabric. Anyone else a lover of geometric prints? Anyone head over heals for florals? Obsessed with animal prints? Do tell!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Craft Rooms

A former teacher of mine (7th grade, to be exact!) messaged me on facebook with the following question:

I'm looking for some free decorating direction. This spring/summer we're going
to be gutting and remodeling our spare room/my hobby room (yuck and yippee!),
and I'm wanting to do the color scheme with chocolate browns, tans, and light
blues. I'm wondering if you have any good sites that you recommend for ideas and
such? The room is fairly small, so I'm looking for ways to keep it bright, cozy,
cheery, and inviting. I love looking at good pictures to inspire me, so if
you've got any faves, I'd love to know!

Before we get down to the specifics, here are a whole bunch of inspiration photos I've collected, for both craft rooms, and for bonus/spare rooms.

Pottery Barn

But now, to get down to my favorites:

This next series is a gorgeous attic room that acts as a very neutral, relaxing office/hobby room/sitting room. There are several shots of different parts of the room.

I like the look of real exposed brick.. but this faux look isn't totally working for me. If it's just a small area, putting the real thing in wouldn't be too pricey.

The coordinating storage containers just seal the deal for me..

This little bench is a fantastic use of space. Storage and comfort all in one!

This last room is not particularly my color taste, but the concept is pretty close to what I think my former teacher was thinking. Dual function is the key here- the desk area coupled with the couch makes for numberous uses. And, if that couch were a pull-out, you could even sleep extra guests in here.

There you go, Lisa! ;) Hope some of these photos help you out! For those of you who have asked what my go-to places for inspiration are, hang in there. I'm working on a big post chock full of inspiration sources! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drama Done Right

LOVVING this living room right now (courtesy of BHG).. it's the perfect dose of drama. Dark, edgy colors, but the room is still fresh and bright.
Stay tuned for a fun post tomorrow on those hard-to-balance craft rooms/offices/spare rooms.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Larger Than Life

This Soho factory loft has 20 foot ceilings and oversized furniture that would make me feel itty bitty all.the.time..

..But I'm pretty sure I could deal w/ being itty bitty if I had this in my bottom floor..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

..Of All The Places!

I picked up these gorgeous mother of pearl orbs yesterday...

... from Walmart. Yeah, I know. I couldn't believe it either. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Little Dose of Pretty

It's crazy around here lately. I've been working a TON.. like the weekend too. Ugh. There have also been a few really devastating things happen.. one of my best friends lost her dad on Saturday night. He was only in his 50s.. and it was totally unexpected. Also, while Z was snowboarding on Sunday, a 4 year old two chairs in front of him on the lift fell 20+ feet to the ground. She was rushed to the hospital and last I knew was suffering from internal bleeding. She's a sweetheart I've seen multiple times at my sisters' basketball games. Your prayers for both families would be much appreciated.

So, since I'm a little low on time to write big long beautiful posts, I'll just share a few pretty spaces. A little dose of sunshine during a rather dark time.

{Megan McClure}

{Bill Ingram}

Nina Gotlieb

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Hey guys.. sorry I've been MIA this week. I've the week from you-know-where at work, and I had a late night/early morning bout with a stomach bug (or just because I had to double up on birth control pills because I missed one..). Either way, I'm beat. I'm so glad it's friday! I'm really hoping to have some time to relax this weekend, and catch up on reading your blogs as well as updating this one. We're doing some exciting renovations at my parents' house, and I can't wait to share! Until then, I'll leave you with this pretty picture I found this morning, courtesy of Bryn. :) (this is also my attempt to convince my mom that natural weave shades like bamboo are gorgeous!)

Photo from Megan McClure Interiors

Sunday, January 17, 2010

DIY Wood Wall Art

Large wall art pieces can often be expensive. But, if you're willing to do a little DIY work, they don't have to be. I love the look of 3-panel hangings over a sofa. So, I decided to make my own with a cherry blossom branch motif. Step one was planning my design out on graph paper.

Then I stopped by Lowe's and picked up a 2' x 4' piece of pine for ~$12. Once home, I used the table saw to cut it into my desired sizes.

Once cut, I used a sand paper block in a medium grade to soften up the rough edges.

Then I stained everthing a pretty dark walnut finish. Beautiful!

I searched for multiple pictures of cherry blossom branches and from there came up with my own design that I penciled onto the wood (no picture here- the pencil didn't show up). Then, I painted the design on with an interior latex paint. I did the branches first.

Then, I added the blossoms.

To finish it off, I painted on a clear protective glaze. I still need to attach hooks to the back to hang it on the wall, but that's it. I bought my paint and glaze in the mistint section, so I finished this entire project for less than $15. I can't wait to get it up on the wall!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Thank you all so much for your support on my "thoughts" post. It's so reassuring to hear your encouragement, and know that many of you feel/have felt the same way. Gosh, I love you guys! :)
My two favorite items from Z Gallerie's latest line have to be the rose pillow:

And the Yumiko Vase:

Such neat concepts.. I'm currently contemplating if I could manage to DIY the pillow. Common sense is telling me no.. but my inner optimist is saying "YES!". We'll see which one wins out.. ;)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Can You Believe This??

This coffe table was DIY project. Can you believe that???

{Photo via "Jill's" home on}
Hats off to you, Jill! I LOVE it!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I usually keep everything pretty light and cheery over here at Project Pretty.. and not suuperr personal. That's why I have a personal blog as well. But right now something's on my mind, and I feel like it might be more applicable to share it here.

Have you ever gone totally against the grain, and done something that the "majority" doesn't approve of? Ever let your passions and dreams override logic and the "safe" option?

No, I'm not talking about rebelious teenage stunts or taking the parents' car for a spin before you had your license. I'm talking about life decisions. I'm going to attempt not to lose you with all of this, but in case I do, just come back tomorrow. There'll be plenty of the normal "pretty stuff". ;)

Let me give you a little background.. I was always a big planner and had my life mapped out since I was 13. I went to college to pursue a degree in marketing. And I hated it from the get-go. No offense to any of my marketing buddies out there- it just wasn't for me. I didn't know exactly what my future was going to be at that point but I knew it wasn't going to be in marketing. So, I left. And I moved 1200 miles away from home to be with the man I knew I was going to marry.

Whew.. to anyone who knew me it was a shocker. And I can't blame them. However, there were people who strongly 'disapproved' of my decision.. some of them family. Not gonna lie- that part kind of hurt. I went on to work in office management and now, finance. That was the day job, anyway.

About the time Zane and I got married, I fell in love with design. Another "illogical" decision to some. Why is it so many people think the arts are a "lesser" career unless you're like a superstar? Anyway, now that I started pursuing higher education in the interior design field, I thought it would quiet the "she quit school, moved far away, got married, and is ruining her potential" thoughts. And it has somewhat, but not totally.

We've also made the decision that as long as we're financially able, I'm going to be a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom- Raise my kids and run a decorating business (note: still years away on the kids part). Raising kids full time is a highly under-rated job as well. Mucho kudos to you SAHM's.

I'm going to be real with you- money used to motivate me a lot. But that's changed now. I'd rather know that I've followed God's leading in my life than the opinions of what some thought I should do. I've realized that I'd rather be doing what I love, and be surrounded by the people I love than have loads of cash, or the approval of CEOs or even my own family. I'd rather have a happy husband and raise happy, God-fearing kids than make other people happy. I'd rather have a more modest (but very pretty) home I can enjoy than a huge one I don't have the time to fall in love with. I'd rather have my own time and freedom to care for my parents when they get older than piles of money to pay for other people to take care of them.

Leaving college wasn't 'safe'. Moving across the country and then back wasn't 'safe'. Falling in love with a free-spirited entreprenuer wasn't 'safe'. Choosing design as a career wasn't 'safe'. But you know what? I'm starting not to care. As much as it hurts to have people I care about look down on my choices, I can't get stuck on that. I'll take my unpredictable life over a 'safe' one any day. Design isn't always stable and it's not always easy, but I'm okay with that.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Divine Design

First of all, thank you all for your wonderful input on my applicance post! You guys are the best! I'm definitely thinking we're going to go with the stainless-look appliances. I'll let you know when we finally get to that stage of the building process.

On another note, I was watching Divine Design last night, and I spotted the sexy little crate and barrel pillow I blogged about on Tuesday. Great thinking Candace, great thinking!

See it over in the chair in the corner? Love it! And speaking of love, isn't this room beautiful?? Definitely a Candace space. I love the sconces mounted on the mirrors- reminds me of an upscale hotel, yet the other natural elements in the room make it feel so cozy and relaxed. She made the most of a very small room. VERY, very well executed space.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pillow Lust

Isn't this pillow gorgeous??? From Crate and Barrel, $69.95.

Look at it in this room, with the matching chair:


Monday, January 4, 2010

Appliances: Weigh In

Appliances are something I won't even be buying any time soon (I'm thinking pouring the foundation should come first maybe??). But, that doesn't mean I haven't been looking! I've already decided on one thing- the layout. It needs to look like this:

I just love the 2-door fridge w/ freezer on bottom functionality. Genius. Then, there's the question of finish.



Stainless Steel?

Orrr.... stainless - look??

Personally, I LOVE the look of stainless steel. The only thing that was really holding me up though was how bad they show finger prints. And then I found it. The perfect, beautiful finish was staring me in the face at Lowe's. Stainless Look, people! Looks like it, but you don't see fingerprints nearly as much! *Swoon!*

So.. before I go ga-ga over stainless-look appliances.. do any of you own them? How have they worked out for you? Anyone reaaalllly love their black or white appliances and want to try and sway me?? Go ahead, tempt me! I'd love to hear all of your feedback on your appliances!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making the Best of It

One of the most frustrating things has gotta be receiving a long awaited package in the mail, only to find its contents broken. That's what happened with my recent shipment from kohl's. I ordered these beautiful candlesticks, only to find this:

Of course, I got a refund and am going to be ordering more. However, I wasn't quite ready to give up yet. So I took some pliers and broke off all the jagged glass, and hot glued it together again. To cover up the hot glue, I brushed a thin layer of silver paint over the joints. About 10 minutes later, it looked like this:

You can barely notice that it's been fixed up. Next time you get a broken shipment, or your toddler knocks over you favorite candlestick, don't just chuck it. It might be salvagable.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


So, technically I'm writing this on the second day of the new year, but I still think it's a good time for reflection. 2009 was a crazy year for us. Let me recap:

  • It was our first full year of marriage. Fell in love all over again.
  • My nesting instincts kicked in. And then instead of just stopping there, they exploded. I fell in love with design. By the end of 2009, I'd enrolled in interior design courses and had a clear vision for my future in the field.
  • In just 9 months, I spruced up our little suburban apartment with plenty of projects.

  • We house hunted long and hard. We had 4 (or 5.. I can't remember) full price offers in on homes.. only to hear that someone beat us to it every time. Then Z surprised me by telling me we could consider moving back to my home state- Maine. Sure enough, a month or two later, we packed everything we owned in a 26 foot moving van and moved 1200 miles away.
  • We got new jobs within a week of the move, and started settling into life in New England. We did a little house hunting, only to decide we wanted to build. We purchased 54 acres of land, but made our "home" in my parents' basement in order to save up for our house.

Whew! It is only by the grace of God that we've adjusted well to everything. This year was full of struggles and victories, hopes and dreams. We experienced some of the most extreme life changes: new marriage, a long-distance move, new career paths and jobs, and purchasing land (our first mortgage). Let's just say.. I've become pretty good at handling stress. :)

2010 is going to be pretty action-packed as well. Z and I will hopefully both be starting our own businesses this year. An ATV dealership for him, and an interiors business for me. This blog has sufferred a wee bit over the past few months due to all our changes, but I have big plans for it in 2010. There will be a few slight changes. You'll probably see a little more design chatter as I go through all my education, a few less home projects because we don't technically have our "home" yet, and a bit more house-building related content. Thank you all for reading Project Pretty in 2009- I hope you'll join us in 2010! Happy New Year!!

{photo credit:}