It was about this time last year when my husband and I started planning our backyard renovation. Our backyard used to be a dirt wasteland (you can check out all the before photos here) and desperately needed some love.
We completed all of the hardscape and turf, just a day before our deadline. We were throwing a big one-year birthday party/house warming and it was probably the first time our extended family had seen our house. The deadline was self-imposed, but it totally helped with decision making, and just getting things accomplished that we had been talking about for months.
While the hardscape was finished in the nick of time, we ran out of energy (and budget) to finish landscaping the perimeter and adding the fun al fresco stuff like a dining table and chairs. Now that winter’s over, I’m ready to put the finishing touches on our back yard. Here’s what I’m thinking:
I’ve had this project on my mind for months! I’m happy it’s complete. It turned out even better than I imagined.
Here are the materials you need:
- 2 x Macrame cotton cord (3mm 50 yds)
- 3 x Household twine
- 30 x 1/4″ brass tubing
- clear braiding bands
- 3/4″ x 36″ wood dowel (walnut or source at your local craft store)
Step 1 – Start prepping an assembly line. First, wrap 30 bunches of twine consisting of at least 30-35 individual strands each by about 16″ in length. Next, cut 30 strands of macrame cord each 3′ in length.
Step 2 – Make the tassels. Take one bunch of twine and trim the edges off with your scissors. Tuck one strand of the macrame cord in the center of the bunch, then wrap an elastic band around the ends. I chose to wrap two bands on each tassel, but one is probably enough. Then, trim the opposite end of the bunch of twine, and flip it up side down.
Step 3 – Thread the brass tubing on each strand of macrame cord then tie around the wooden dowel.
Step 4 – Tape the design you’re going for on the wall, then re-position each strand so that the top of the brass tubing hits the tape.
Step 5 – Turn the entire wall hanging around so you see the backside of the knots. Glue the knots against the dowel, then trim the excess cord and flip the wall hanging back around.
Untangle the tassels and trim the ends as needed.
Like many folk, I have a fiddle leaf fig. Actually, I had two, but one died a slow, sad death during our kitchen reno. This little guy here? I found him at Ikea about 2 years ago, and it pretty much took me that entire time to find THE perfect pot.
I’ve been looking for the perfect modern & simple ‘statement’ pot for my fiddle. I also needed something with height so the plant would still get adequate light from the window it lives under. I was initially drawn to the Case Study cylinder pot after seeing it around a few blogs and Pinterest, but wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. Then, Modernica released the Case Study Hex planter, and I knew immediately I had to have it. I love it’s taller profile, the Brazilian walnut base, and the tapered design.
I actually have a secret to tell you. Modernica, known best for manufacturing Eames Fiberglass chairs and current leader in high-end modern furnishings, is hosting it’s semi-annual sale in just 3 days! If you’ve been admiring their case study selection, planters, or even their iconic fiberglass chairs, now is the time to grab one!
Happy Tuesday folks! 🙂
Remember these chairs? Woof.
It’s really difficult to visualize the potential of a piece of furniture when they look like this.
After over a year of hoarding them, I finally saved up my pennies to get them professionally reupholstered. I’ve upholstered things myself, always thinking, ‘man, I do a pretty good job!’ It wasn’t until I paid for professional upholstery that I now think my work is laughable… about downright embarrassing. I don’t have the patience, the finesse, the nimble fingers, or the tools to do as good of a job as a professional. I mean, just look at them now –
You just did a double-take, didn’t you? Oh boy, do I love them! I’ve wanted a pair of the Schoolhouse Electric Jack chairs for a while, but they’re SO much money. I bought 14 yards of fabric and paid for two chairs professionally upholstered for less money than one of the Jack chairs.
I learned a couple things along the way, seeing as this was my first professional upholstery experience – I must share with you how it went.
First, I scoured the internets for upholstery weight buffalo check fabric. It took a lot of searching, I wanted something as close to the Jack chair as possible. There are a LOT of versions of the buffalo check, but I wanted something that looked authentic, wool-like, and most original, and not a hundred dollars a yard. I found the P Kaufmann Checkmate from Decorative Fabrics Direct, ordered a few samples, then ordered the recommended yardage from my upholsterer.
I emailed photos of the Jack chair to my upholsterer so he would have an electronic copy to reference when he got to my chairs. I also printed out two copies and brought them with me when I took the chairs to the upholstery shop. I know the guy is a professional, and he can probably spot the best way to do things when upholstering an chair, but I made sure to point out some of the elements of the Jack chair that I wanted replicated on my chairs. For starters, I wanted the black check to be positioned on the top of the arms.
The second thing I pointed out were the buttons. I did not like the original buttons, count and placement. I asked that he put six buttons, three on top and three on bottom. The backs of my chairs are higher than the Jack chair, six buttons just suits the chair better. What I didn’t mention is, I would have liked all the buttons to be alternating in color to the checks they sit in. They don’t look bad, but I think the black buttons get lost in the black check.
The last thing I mentioned, was, along with the tops of the arms, I liked the look how the black check helps frame out the front of the chair. The Jack chair has a much darker check, so it’s a little more prominent than my chairs, but you can certainly see how the black helps frame out the top of the cushion and the bottom of the chair. I like it.
I’m naturally a pretty direct person when it comes to how I like things, so I wasn’t afraid to point out some of these elements that I wanted in the finished product. It beats having a discussion later over something you might not have liked, and end up leaving with a negative experience or settling for something that you’re not happy with. I’m the sort to think, If I’m paying this much money for something, I better get what I want! In order to do that, however, you gotta communicate some things, even if the professional already knows it should be that way.
Overall, I am thrilled with how they turned out! Money well spent! As much as it hurt to swipe payment, it honestly was completely worth every penny, and I will absolutely do it again.
If you’re in the area, I went to Discount Upholstery in Concord. Bruce is the man!
This nursery was such a great project. Some of my favorite elements in the room I had in mind from the beginning, yet had trouble sourcing. They suddenly fell into place on the day of install – like that adorable floating shelf! It must have been the pressure of deadlines.
The floating wood shelf was a life-saving find. At first we were looking for something white, but the wood finish on this shelf complements the side table perfectly. I had to do some convincing to keep it, as an all white furniture room would just be too stark and flat. A few pieces of wood add instant warmth. The mobile is a DIY (more on that below), the ballet slippers are the client’s, as she grew up a dancer. The giraffe print is from my favorite nursery art source ever. We wanted to hang the large scale bunnies, but $$$$$. We also used a pair of copper bookends to corral a couple books, and a wanderlust globe Zano let us borrow for the shoot. So bummed these aren’t available anymore! But some creative folk sell similar ones on Etsy.
One of the DIYs I’m most proud of is this wood & mirror mobile. I picked up a few packages of wood pieces of various sizes and shapes, and a couple packages of small round mirrors, at the craft store. Using a hot glue gun, some clear jewelry elastic string, and thin wood dowels (also found at the craft store), I made this adorable mobile. It took a minute (more like 3 hours) to figure out the best way to balance everything out. My recommendation is, start from the bottom. I didn’t realize this trick until I was two hours in. Ha! The things we do for DIY…
Book storage is key in any nursery. I anticipate their storage needs will grow. That’s the thing with having a kid, the need for storage seems to multiply exponentially, but for now these copper wire wall baskets meets the need for storage, and cuteness of course. The copper garland was on clearance at Target a few months ago. I put two strands together, and in hindsight should have bought more. The garland was a lot shorter than I thought.
Another fun DIY is this wall hanging! I didn’t get a full photo with the wall hanging (bad blogger!), we hung it on the wall right beside the door. As I was finishing it, my husband said it looks like a prom dress. Hilarious. And now it’s all I can see. But anyway, I dig it, and am a total fan of weird woven wall hangings. I used a bit of metallic ribbon in the upper fuchsia section, which didn’t quite translate to photos. Anyway, take my word, it’s quite fancy in person.
The curtains are Ikea. Who doesn’t have a pair of Ikea curtains? These are great, they’re grey with a bit of texture, and are blackout thick – perfect for a nursery! I did have to hem them myself. I just plopped my sewing machine on top of that wood table and sewed the curtains while hung. The white pom trim was a game time decision. I thought the curtains needed a little something extra. I had an extra spool of these white poms, and hot glued them on the spot. And finally, the coveted copper curtain rod! It comes in every finish imaginable, and is extremely affordable.
Well there you have it! If I missed anything, leave a comment below 🙂
Copper lamp (now available in silver!) // Moroccan pouf (The Vintage Rug Shop, coming soon!) // side table (2-drawer version also available!) // blush planter // curtains // cantaloupe velvet pillow // navy rocker // abstract art
It’s here!!!! The reveal of a nursery project I’ve been working on for the last few months is here! This nursery is for a much deserving baby doctor (OBGYN if we’re getting technical), who’s having her first baby in just a couple weeks. For someone who spends literally 24 hour days at a time helping new moms enter parenthood for the first time (and so much more, as OBGYNs do) I felt compelled to give her a nursery she’d love. Doctors dedicate their lives to helping others, often times it barely leaves them with time and energy to spend on – what might be seen as superfluous – a well decorated nursery. It feels great helping someone who sacrifices so much to help others. I’m no doctor, but man, I doctored the crap out of this room!
OK, enough blabbering, I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking (oh, and in case you missed the before, read this post).
I mentioned last post, it all started out with a rug! The Painted Desert rug from Lulu & Georgia is pretty much the PERFECT rug for a girl’s nursery. Everything else fell into place perfectly, if I do say so myself.
Stick around later this week and I’ll share more on the DIYs and other sources that went into completing this room. There are so many, it’s hard to pick a favorite! That mobile though…
My dining table is usually covered in blog and shop materials – fabric, pillows, rugs, packaging tape, receipts. It’s rarely clean enough to eat from (and we always eat at our island anyway). It’s not until the holidays roll around when I get the sudden urge to dress it up (see last year’s table here). Something about a set table reminds me most of Christmas time.
I fell pretty hard for all the copper decor this season. I usually lean towards brass as my metallic of choice, but this year I’m all about incorporating different tones of copper to bridge the warmth of my walnut dining table to go alongside my go-to golds.
I bought a few of these paper hanging stars for a baby shower I’m hosting this weekend, but then decided they looked perfect atop my IKEA bar cabinet. I guess I’ll have to go get a few more for the shower 😉
The bottle brush trees alone were looking a little bare and lonely, so I clipped some branches from our Christmas tree – we got a flocked one this year! I had a few tubes of mini ornaments in copper and gold tones, left over from the Christmas challenge I did two years ago, that I sprinkled throughout the clippings and trees.
For the place mats, I spray painted some cheap mats from Ikea with Design Master 24 carat gold spray paint (it’s the perfect rose-gold!)
The geometric plates I found at Marshall’s almost 3 years ago. They’re DVF and I can’t find them online, although I’ve seen some olive colored ones on ebay… The black plates are from Ikea, they’re perfect, and cheap!
In case you’re interested, I put together a “get the look”! I love seeing these at the end of people’s blog posts.
OH, ps, if you’re wondering where my rug went, I sold it on the shop! I’m on the hunt for another…
Anything else not listed is either vintage or discontinued (like those DVF plates, sadface!)
It’s done! I filled my West Elm planter over the holiday, woot! Recall my planter dilemma? I’ve had this planter since the beginning of summer, just sitting empty in my house. I loved reading everyone’s votes on what to plant, and I’m happy to report the majority of folks voted for the same thing I wanted (yay!), two tall euphorbia ghost cacti similar to Amber’s. Now, my cacti aren’t nearly has tall as hers, but they will grow! I found these two in Berkeley, at the coolest dry nursery. I’m hoping that little arm (on the left cactus) will sprout come next summer.
I couldn’t decide on what rug to put in this space, as you can see I tested out two very different rugs. I’m loving the kilim!
Which one is your fave?
Don’t tell my husband, but I’ve been thinking A LOT about finishing our living room. He thinks our house is done. Done? Done as in “we’re done, no more spending money on the house!” But, uh… what about the built-ins flanking the fireplace, or our (socially acceptable) desert of a lawn, or the planter beds that are empty, or our laundry “room” situation, or our roof, or repainting our house? Clearly I have a list a mile long of things left to do in the house. Sadly for me, he threw his list out once we finished our last project.
Well, I’ve started taking a few matters into my own hands, like buttoning up our living room. I’ve had two of these chairs in my possession for a year and a half, just sitting in my garage waiting for their moment. One of my besties gave me these chairs, for free. Yes, FREE. They’re a hot mess now, but you just wait until I’m finished with them! I’ve been saving my pennies to get them professionally reupholstered. I usually upholster things myself, but these are behemoth chairs and besides, I literally have no time to spare so I’ll be paying someone to upholster them for me. Heck, getting these two chairs reupholstered professionally costs less than buying two brand new chairs of similar style. At the end of the day I’m saving us money! (Which is totally not an accountant thing to say, ha!)
Here are 4 upholstery styles I’m considering for these chairs.
Which one do you like best?
West Elm released a bunch of mid century style planters at the beginning of this summer. My immediate favorite was the chevron planter, I basically ran to West Elm the day it hit shelves, and sadly, it’s been sitting empty in my house ever since! #shame
Here’s my dilemma – there are gazillion plants out there that would showcase beautifully in this planter, but I only have ONE planter. The odds are against me that I will choose the wrong plant, which will end up on the internet somehow and be super sad for the rest of my days!
Whenever I share my dilemmas with my husband, his initial tenancy is to solve the problem for me – “just plant this shrub! (points to a baby succulent)”. After I explain how that won’t work (scale, size, won’t photograph well, lame-ness etc) he helps me break down the look I’m going for, in logical pieces. So, let me do just that a-la my husband’s technique: I want something large scale, sculptural, unique, drought tolerant, and most importantly, non-poisonous. I would like the planter to be inside our house, but we keep our shades closed all day while we’re at work, which really only leaves our sunroom as the option for this plant to get any light source.
Anyway, while I mull over my options, I wanted to share 9 variations of what folks planted in this exact planter:
*many of these images were picked up on West Elm’s #mywestelm tag
I’ve been leaning towards planting two tall euphorbia ghost cacti, similar to what Amber planted for her fab client. I also love how the cloud juniper looks, but I’ve had the hardest time sourcing one of those.
Do you guys face the same planter commitment issues as me? If this was your planter, what would you do???