Play Date: Home Depot Patio Style Challenge….

A few weeks ago, The Home Depot approached me as well as several other bloggers to see if we would be willing to work with them to rethink the outdoor spaces of our respective homes. Y’all know I love me some HD, so it was a pretty easy decision to say yes and be on my merry way to refreshing our patio……

HomeDepotChallenge-38Check out the post on The Home Depot blog, The Apron to see the patio refresh as well as the quick and easy DIY projects I incorporated into the design. Thank you again to Home Depot for including me in this awesome bunch of bloggers and DIY forward-thinkers!

On a side note, High Point is going really well and I am tired to the bone. Looking forward to a quiet weekend filled with sleep and no fried foods…..I would be willing to give up sleep for a week to avoid fried pickles again (look at Instagram and you will understand)….

Talk soon love bugs!

[photography: photo by adza]

Play Date: Home Depot Patio Challenge….

“There comes a time when you hear a certain call and the world must come together as one….”

(yes, I am not above quoting 80s music to get my point across…)

I heard that call and it was from my patio saying, “Time for an update!”.  Don’t get me wrong, the bones of our patio are great.  We invested a chunk about two years ago, adding in drip irrigation, mature trees, pavers and leveling out a section of it for extra room.  We ended up with a compact space that can serve for entertaining and lounging….

Patio - Overview Shot

Patio Firepit Seating

However, after spending two years with the initial design, we have found that our needs have shifted for our outdoor space. I wanted desperately to tweak the space to fit our lifestyle and fortunately for me, my call was answered by the fine folks at Home Depot who asked me to participate in their Patio Challenge with several other noteworthy bloggers and designers.  It is a design and DIY lovefest up in here!  I am stoked to be part of this fantastic group of creative folks.

It also means I need to bring my A-game to the table because these peeps don’t half-step when it comes to their projects.  As for myself, my punch list includes:

– Create a dining area where the existing sitting area resides:  We are eating more and more outdoors and it would be great to have a dedicated spot for al fresco dining…..

– Create dedicate fire pit lounge:  I love our fire pit and use it often.  We have some great butterfly chairs that I have been using but I think swapping out the seating for a more permanent option makes the most sense….

– Add greenery:  Plants, plants & plants!  I envision some great topiaries or fruit trees in large pots, more cacti and a few pots of flowering beauties.  You can NEVER go wrong with plants….it is the outdoors!

– Finishing details:  I have a few easy, practical and fun projects slanted to a more modern angle to finish off the space.  Simple projects that will solve some issues I think we all experience with our patio but have big impact!

Can’t wait to start and thankful to Home Depot for giving me the opportunity to play in my backyard!

[disclaimer: I was provided with free merchandise by Home Depot as part of their Patio Challenge.  All thoughts and statements are my own.]

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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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“Design” Circle of Life…..

You toil for days on a design project, put it on the blog and send your baby into the world.  You hope it inspires others to try their hand at the task, but all you get is the sound of cyber crickets?  Sometimes the life of a blogger is solidarity but other times you are bathed in the soft warm glow of comments, emails, Pinterest pins and Twitter retweets.

For myself, the stenciled wall I did in 2010 is the proverbial post that keeps giving.  I have received countless emails from  readers and fellow bloggers about the post gave them the push to try a paint treatment in their home.  I like to think that my blog post is part of the “design circle of life” (cue Lion King music).  Seriously, I firmly believe that by putting my effort, time and sweat (and at times blood) into crafting these projects, it helps demystify the process and inspires others to try.  In turn, those people inspire others and before you know it, a DIY revolution has transpired…..

Just call me the Ghandi of DIY (no offense intended)…..

But seriously, I was tickled when I received two different emails on the same day from Janice and Samantha telling me that they had taken the bull by the horns and attempted a Moorish tile paint stencil.  I am happy they did because the results on both turned out AWESOME.

Janice decided to use the stencil as an accent wall in her bedroom.  I love how her metallic paint plays up the sheen in her duvet and the sequins on her pillows…

Samantha of So Many Moments opted to use the Moorish stencil in her newly opened photography studio.  The stencil, while glam, provides a great boho quality to Samantha’s office that makes perfectly with the rest of the decor….

Kudos to both ladies for tackling the stencil project.  I love seeing how the same stencil completely changes the feel of a room.  With a little time and elbow grease, each got the room they wanted at a fraction of the cost of wallpaper.

Okay peeps, keep it coming!  If you have done any projects that were inspired by the blog, I want…I need… I must see them!  Shoot me a picture at lifeoutloudmail@gmail.com and you just may end up on the blog!

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Weekend DIY: Coaster Shadowboxes

So yes, I am doing a “weekend” DIY on a Wednesday but I figure many of you all are on vacation now, so this Wednesday is LIKE a Saturday.  That is my justification and it makes perfect sense (in my head)……

In any case, many of you asked about the coaster shadow boxes that were highlighted as part of my House Proud segment on the Nate Berkus Show.

They are SUPER easy to create and require the barest of supplies:

1) Shadow Box

2) Picture Mat

3) Craft Paper

4) Coasters

5) Hot Glue Gun

6) Spray Adhesive

That be it folks….6 materials to create your own shadow box.  For the three boxes I made, I picked up the shadow boxes at Michael’s using the ever-present 40% off coupon.  I then rummaged through my stash of picture mats and selected three that I picked up during a clearance sale for pennies (literally).  As for the craft paper, I bought 2 sheets with a slight metallic sheen for $1.

The major investment was in the form of the coasters.  They are sliced agate slate.

I was fortunate enough to have been gifted a set of coasters from a family friend.  However, you can find the coasters at a variety of stores.  A quick internet search for “geode coasters” found these amethyst star coasters, this agate slate option as well as this crushed glass option.

Once you have all your materials gathered, the project goes by quickly:

1) Cut your craft paper down to size to fit the back of  your shadow box.  Once cut, spray with mounting adhesive and adhere to back of shadow box.

2) As your craft paper dries, take your picture mat and dry fit to the front of the shadow box.  You will be attaching the picture mat directly to the  inside of the glass to give the illusion that the mat is floating.  Place a small dot of hot glue in each corner of the mat and adhere to glass.  Set aside to dry.

3) Pick up the back of the shadow box that you covered in craft paper.  Find the center and place your coaster.  Take the front of the shadow box and lay on top to confirm coaster placement.  Once you have confirmed that the coaster is centered and aligned properly, attach coaster with hot glue to craft paper.

4) Allow all pieces to dry 10-15 minutes before assembling and hanging.    I waited overnight to be on the safe side.

I knocked out all three of the shadow boxes in about an hour.  I love this project not only because anyone can do it, but because it’s a great way to give importance to any object you want.  For example, if you travel internationally, you know that the currency exchange kiosks never take back coins.  So rather than  chuck them in a drawer, use this  method to create a fantastic shadow box of your travel adventures.

The possibilities are only limited to your imagination and the size of the items.  Have fun and go wild!  Speaking of going wild, I have one more shadow box DIY to share with you all on Friday that is part of my Christmas tablescape!

So what are you doing with your holiday time off?  Tackling craft projects?  Home repair?  Or taking it easy?

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Guest Vignette: Ten June

I have a treat for y’all today.  My friend and fellow Centsational Girl contributor, Michelle of Ten June is here today to participate in my ongoing “Guest Vignette” series where I ask fellow bloggers to photograph and describe a meaningful vignette in their home.  Michelle’s home is warm and cozy – the culmination of her approachable design style and keen eye for easy but high-impact DIY projects.  Today she shares with us a vignette in her Atlanta living room……

Hello hello! The name’s Michelle and I’m the author of the DIY design blog, Ten June. As all of you know, my friend Courtney here is the king of all things “detail”… his vignettes and tablescapes are so inspiring! With that said, I’m excited that he asked me to stop by and share the little details of my favorite vignette from my house.

I’m sharing a space from my living room. Seated next to a wall filled with bright white plantation shutters (that I just repainted!) are two slipper chairs from Target. I love the khaki colored basketweave fabric- it’s the perfect neutral color for the space. In between the chairs is a set of painted nesting tables that I thrifted from Craigslist. These guys were a score for $20! I painted the tables a glossy navy blue, which brings in the bold color that I used to paint my adjacent dining room walls. The nesting tables are topped with my grandmother’s vintage milk glass lamp and some of my favorite design books.

I love this bright space next to the windows- it’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book or to relax and watch some television. I love changing around the books and pillows to switch the look of the area up every once in a while. It’s definitely one of my favorite spots in my home!

I love that Michelle was able to incorporate her Grandmother’s milk glass lamp into her vignette.  It is the perfect foil to modern and linear details in the vignette plus it adds that bit of nostalgia that I believe every house needs to make them a home.  Thank you so much for sharing Michelle!

So do you have a special accessory or furniture in your home that you inherited?  Leave a comment and tell me about it!

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1 Minute Orb Lamp….DIY Tutorial (sorta)

Yes you read the title of this post correctly.  It took me exactly 1 minute to create this cool globe lamp:

Honestly.

No Joke.

I Swear To the Baby Jesus.

This honestly is the simplest DIY project EVER and you have to thank Karen over at The Art of Doing Stuff for the inspiration.  It will actually take me longer to explain how I did the light then it will be for you to do it.

Thus far, the light has proven to be invaluable in my frequent late night trips to the bathroom.  Since adopting Scruffy, those trips have turned into numerous opportunities for me to step on the poor pup.  But alas, thanks to this miracle of miracles, Scruffy will suffer squashed paws no longer.

To complete this project, you will need a glass light fixture, which I picked up at my local junk shop for $3:

You will also need a string of twinkle lights (Christmas lights)…

I used a string of LED white lights I had from my Christmas decorations which ran me $1.99 a string.  I strongly recommend that you do not use a string of regular (non-LED) lights.  I found that the lamp became quite warm by the end of the night when I used the non-LED lights, which could pose a fire hazard down the road.  Better safe then sorry right?

Now to assemble this masterpiece, take your lights and jam them into the glass orb leaving about 6 inches to a foot exposed so you can plug it in. 

And there you have it……

I actually ended up using a very long string of lights because I loved how it looked with the individual lights pushed against the glass.  It reminded me of fireflies in a glass jar.  You can use less lights and have more of an overall soft glow, but I tend to like to go big or go home.

So for $5 and 1 minute of your time, you can create a light sculpture, lamp, glowing glass orb, nightlight….call it what you want but I am going to stick with cool.