Play Date: Pantone MyColor Paint Party….

Some folks would qualify me as a “DIY blogger” but the dirty truth is that I am far from handy. I am clumsy, forgetful and at times slightly dangerous with an industrial stapler (I once stapled my sleeve to a cabinet….) so when the peeps at Pantone asked if I wanted to participate in their MyColor Paint Party, I got scared, then excited and finally scared again. What was I going to tackle for my paint project? Fortunately, my garage is a banquet (graveyard) of future projects and a quick survey found me staring at this beauty…..

Dresser Before

Sexy right? Our neighbors had kindly placed this on the curb for some helpless DIY-obsessed person to pick up and cart home. Needless to say they didn’t quite expect said person to be me, but nonetheless this small beside table was the perfect candidate for my Pantone make over. I ended up using Trekking Green (a deep green hue), Skylight (a bright airy blue that leans towards white in bright light) and Medieval Blue (a dark blue not as deep as navy). Armed with my trio of colors, I set off for my process of transformation and discovery.

But first, I had to do this……

Paint Stripper 2

Yeah – this puppy had more layers on it than an Olsen Twin during a NYC winter. I counted no less than SIX layers of paint! At one point I swore that this thing was made entirely of paint, but eventually I got down to the wood……

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A scrub down with some steel wool to remove any residue as well as a few quick patches and I was finally ready to paint. Truth be told, the total elapsed time for this portion of the project was about 1 full day since I used a “non-toxic” paint stripper rather than the stuff that the mafia uses to dissolve bodies. If you opted to go with the more harsh strippers, you could have stripped this in about a third of the time I think.

Now it’s time for painting! I chose to paint the insides of the drawers with the Skylight…..

Inside Skylight

I am a “more is more” type person, so I went with three coats for the inside. I am pretty sure if I had opted to prime the piece, I could have went with only two, but I am lazy and really wanted to test the paint’s claim to block stains (it does FYI…).

As the inside of the drawers were drying, I started on the outside of the piece with the Trekking Green. Three coats later, the piece was finished and left to dry/cure for a day. Once it had fully cured, I swapped out the glass knobs for some brass rings……

IMG_8300Doesn’t the brass and the green look pretty damn awesome?

And now here is the dresser in all its new glory……

Dresser Done

It’s nestled in the corner of the house and now serves as my “command center” for housing all my fabric swatches and cuttings. It’s so nice having a place for what was being housed in plastic bins and one very over burdened basket……

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But wait — there is more! There is a little surprise at the bottom of each of the drawers…..

Stencil Stamp

I took a touch of the Medieval Blue and mixed it with the Trekking Green to do a stencil at the bottom of each drawer. It is a little touch but it makes me smile when it peeks out from beneath the fabric cuttings.

So now my panic and fear have been replaced with pride and useable storage — a fair trade-off I think! And now here is your chance to join in on the fun with MyColor Inspired by Pantone. You could win a sample of MyColor Inspired by Pantone by commenting here about how you’d use MyColor paint in your next DIY project. For a second chance to win, tweet your project ideas to@MYCOLORPAINTS using hashtag #PassItOn. And, if you “like” the MYCOLOR INSPIRED BY PANTONE FACEBOOK page, you can share your project ideas there for one more chance to win. MyColor is also on Instagram @mycolorpaints. What are you waiting for? Keep cracking and make those comments “colorful”! (couldn’t resist a pun…sorry. it’s a sickness…).

Be sure to visit out the other awesome bloggers participating in the Paint Party:

Thursday: Joi from NUESTRA VIDA DULCE

Friday: Claire from HIGH GLOSS BLUE

And don’t forget to check out the projects from Nicole of Sketch42 and Angela of The Painted House from earlier in the week.

[photography & styling: courtney lake]

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DIY Lampshade Challenge from Lamps.com

Y’all know I love a good lighting fixture, so when the folks at Lamps.com sent me a message asking if I would participate in their DIY Blogger Lampshade Challenge I jumped at the chance to flex my under utilized DIY muscle.  The challenge was simple, take a basic white shade and work my DIY mojo…..

LightsUp Shade

We were given full reign on how and what we could do with the shade.  I  literally sat and stared at the shade for about an hour realizing that I needed to give myself some parameters, otherwise I would drive myself bonkers.  So I gave myself these rules: (1) the whole project couldn’t be more than $20, (2) the DIY had to take less than a hour and (3) it final look had to incorporate pattern in some way.

With the guidelines set, I then went about looking through the house deciding which room needed a mini-overhaul and I decided that while I ADORE my “music room” I haven’t done much with it in a while, so it was the perfect spot to shake things up.  Deciding on the room gave me a pretty clear direction on where I wanted to go with the shade.  So armed with $20 and one hour, I got to work and created this…..

CourtneyOutLoud_LampShadeCloseUp

I wanted to go for a more organic and batik-like feel for the shade but was having a hard time with the concept until I stumbled upon a purple lace at my local fabric store.   The fabric itself was horrible but what it did have go for it was a great overscale pattern that would make the perfect stencil.  It wasn’t overtly flowery or intricate and at $6.99 a yard, it was a definite winner.

I seriously thought about doing an in-depth DIY tutorial, but honestly, it may be insulting to some of you since all I did was take some spray adhesive, lightly coat the shade and then lined up the material ensuring it was straight.  Since I wasn’t going for a crisp line on my pattern as batik typically has a softer feel I wasn’t too worried about bleeding.  Once the step-up was done, I sprayed the whole thing with two cans of glossy Navy Rust-Oleum spray paint.  FYI, If I was spraying on anything but fabric, I would have bought matte spray paint.

One hour later and a little help from a hair dryer (because I am impatient), I was done and the shade was up in the room basking in the warm afternoon light…..

CourtneyOutLoud_LampShadeVignette

I even had $3 left over so I treated myself to a latte.  Not bad for a day’s work right?  But Lamps.com is offering more than a latte if you visit their site and vote on your favorite DIY shade.  Once you vote, you are entered to win a $100 gift card from them!  Some great bloggers contributed to the challenge, so swing by and take a look….and I promise I won’t be offended if you vote for someone else!

Photography Credit: Photo by Adza

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Lamps and light fixtures at Lamps.com

Disclaimer:  I was compensated for my participation, but all opinions are 100% my own.

So I Have Something to Say To Susan…..

Dear Susan –

Everyone knows you are lazy.  It  is a well known fact around the house.  You hide yourself in the dark recesses of my cabinets and occasionally do your job.  You don’t hold the things you say you do, nor do you spin with the glee you once did in your youth.  You repeatedly drop things and become stuck.  I think for the greater good of my household and my mental well-being, we need to part ways.  I am breaking up with you.

Sincerely,

Courtney

I am sure you are asking, where the heck did that come from?  It’s my breakup letter with my cabinet lazy susan.  I have a strong dislike/hate relationship with my lazy susan.  Things always fall behind it making it impossible to spin.  I find myself spending more time on my back in the kitchen fishing out Tupperware lids than I care to mention.  With all my being, I wish I could rip that sucker out and replace it with this…..

I am in love with the idea of tiered drawers rather than shelves in a corner cabinet.  For those of you who are DIY wizards and have access to power tools, Alloc Init provides a step-by-step tutorial on how he did it.  As for myself, I am going to show this to my carpenter and see if this design would fit with my style of cabinets.

In the mean time, I think I may need to  have another conversation with Susan.  While she may be lazy, she is awfully clingy.  So tell me, is there an aspect of your kitchen that you are looking to change?  Shoot me a comment and tell me……

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Project Updates + Bookshelf Inspiration…..

A few of you have asked about some loose threads that have been hanging on the blog, so I will attempt to do a quick “answer round-up”……

1) Scruffy:  He is still “all man” at the moment.  The vet at the SPCA heard a slight heart murmur, so the surgery was postponed.  We are going to our private vet this afternoon for a thorough check-up which may include an EKG.  Fingers crossed that everything turns out well.

2) Patio:  The stonework on the patio is done as of last week.  Unfortunately, due to rains, I wasn’t able to get a clear shot and it still looks like a slightly muddy mess.  I am hoping that a few days of dry weather will help dramatically.  Once everything dries out a bit on the patio, I promise to get some after shots.  At the moment I am still looking for an additional seating area, fire bowl, plants & planters and lighting.  There still is a ways to go, but I will be sharing with you each step as I go.

3) Project Pictures:  Many of you have emailed me about seeing pictures from the nursery I completed a few months ago.  That project along with the executive rental, yoga studio and master bedroom all need to be shot still by a professional photographer.  I am waiting on nailing down a few shoot dates with the homeowners and the photographer to get these styled and shot.  Fingers crossed that it will all be done by end of Summer.

4) Design Services:  I am taking clients on in a limited basis for living room, dining room and bedroom remodel.  If you live out-of-state, I am happy to discuss about e-consulting or rates for face-to-face design services.

Thank you for all your emails and please keep them coming!  I love hearing from you and answer each email I receive.

Okay, a 180 degree turn but I was looking through the posts of UK blogger Bright. Bazaar and was deeply inspired by this DIY bookshelf he found by design team Livet Hemma which appears to be the in-house styling group for Ikea (sorry the site is in Swedish and even with translation, it’s a bit like putting together a piece of Ikea furniture – confusing and frustrating).

Ikea via Bright.Bazaar

I love how the design team used the various sizes of the Ikea Prant boxes along with simply butterfly clips to create this modular unit.  An application of paint to some of the boxes, turns ordinary items into something special.  While I was inspired, my pragmatic side kicked in and I did a quick tally of materials.  If my estimates are correct, it would take about $250 to recreate the set-up shown assuming you have the paint and clips already.

I am on the fence about this project; at over $200 it isn’t “cheap” and much sturdier pieces of furniture can be purchased and refurbished for less that do the same job.  However, there is something cool about this project that speaks to me.

Would you attempt this on your own home?

Lamp Shade Quick Fix…..

I am in “crunch time” for the apartment renovation regarding all the little projects that need to get done before installation this Thursday.  One of those projects was figuring out what to do with the shade for one the lamps that will be residing in the guest bedroom.

I found two of these brass lamps on sale at Home Goods for $15 each.  I think it would be a safe bet to say that the shades may have had something to do with their discounted price.  While I am not against the idea of having a zebra striped lamp shade, I can’t say that my client would be enamoured with the concept.

So I had to find a solution that allowed me to use the existing shade since (1) I did not have the time to order a new shade online and have it delivered and (2) the budget is tighter than a cheerleader’s sweater.  Fortunately for me, this thing called the “internet” came to the rescue in the form of fellow blogger Janell of Isabella & Max Room.  Her lampshade tutorial  was the inspiration for a quick DIY project to transform the shade  into this……

I am quite pleased with how it turned out, while not perfect, it is a heap better than the original shade.  I slightly changed the tutorial since I didn’t love the inside of the shade as it was white, so I spray painted it with Rust-Oleum Metallic in Bronze.

Painting the inside of the shade made a huge difference in the quality of light – the lamp now gives off a wonderful warm light that is perfect for a bedside table (and makes everyone look that much sexier…and honestly, who doesn’t want to look sexy in bed, unless you are tired, then you just want to look asleep).

The one thing I did struggle with was deciding what fabric to use.  It had to be opaque as not to allow the zebra print to show through when the lamp was on.  However, it had to be thin enough to easily glue and fold over the existing lamp shade frame.  Finally, it had to be something that could be cleaned because really, who wants a dusty lampshade?

I am unpredictable in many aspects of my life, but when I need inexpensive designer fabric, there really is only one place I turned to in my area, Discount Fabrics.   They have a fantastic remanent section that I am normally able to score top brand fabrics for $4.95 a yard (no joke!).  Sadly, Lady Luck was not on my side this afternoon regarding their remanent section, but I did find a great fabric that fit all my criteria in their upholstery section.

Priced at $18.50/yard, I am able to do both lamps with a half yard of fabric, so total cost for two lamp shades was $9.50.  Score!  I love that quatrefoil pattern on the fabric and that it is reversible, changing to a gold and brown colorway on the reverse.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the project and happy to have dipped my toe back into the DIY waters.  It had been a while since I had done anything and I was nervous about jumping back in on a client’s project, but I am glad I did!

Tomorrow is trimming out the curtains and some DIY art for the dining room.  I am going to milk this budget for all its worth!

Weekend DIY: Yarn Sign

Victoria is an event stylist, freelance designer and online DIY editor who is the voice behind the blog, A Subtle Revelry….

She creates cool stuff and makes me want to be a better person.  Her yarn sign is a simple idea that has multiple applications, ranging from decorations for a kids’ room to the perfect directional signage at a laid back wedding….

For myself, I would create a sign for the holidays and rather than string yarn, use twinkle lights….sorta like a twist on a vintage neon light.  But I am curious…how would you use this sign?  Think about over the weekend and get back to me.

And don’t forget, the April Give Away officially closes on Monday at midnight!

Weekend DIY: Wall Mirrors Galore…

I got a two-fer for you this weekend all about mirrors.  Being a vain person, I enjoy walking by mirrors and seeing my reflection.  Wait a second, I just caught my reflection in my TV screen……..

Okay, I’m back now.  Mirrors are coming in a variety of shapes but none as hot as the sunburst/starburst.  The classy lass, AprilDense over at Unique Illusions has a cute tutorial on a starburst mirror she made for her Mother as a Christmas present……

Stop by her blog and see how she transformed this Ikea mirror into the perfect holiday present for the design conscious Mom:

For those of you who are savvy at counting, you are probably thinking to yourself….”He said two-fer and I am only seeing a one-fer.”  Well congrats on being able to count and creating a whole new word never seen before (i.e. one-fer).  Because you are so attentive, I will post the other awesome mirror project that AprilDenise did.  She created another gift-worthy mirror but using mosaics….

The tutorial is QUICK and SIMPLE – if I can contemplate this, then you can too!

Now go forth and build my fellow bloggers!  I will be right behind you…there is this really hot guy staring at me.  I need to find out more about him….OH WAIT, it’s me in the mirror.  Okay, never mind……

Do you want your project profiled in Weekend DIY?  Shoot me a link to your project at lifeoutloudmail@gmail.com.  Just remember that your project should only take a weekend (or less) to start and complete for less than $100.