Guest Style Spotter

BHG Guest Blogger

DIY Home Renovations

 

Hey there!  My name is Amanda, it’s a pleasure to meet you.  I’m the author of Our Humble Abode where I chronicle the projects my husband Ben and I tackle in our 1970′s fixer upper.  We always have something home related in the works. Most recently, we completely gutted and remodeled our master bathroom.  You may have seen the it featured in the October ‘I Did It’.  Starting with sleek stainless countertops and shower pan, charcoal gray slate floor tiles, and nickel sconces gave us a good base.

 

 

 

To warm up the room, we built a completely custom American Walnut vanity and painted the walls nearly black.

Both elements added drama, in the best way possible.  Certainly a far cry from our dated, dingy yellow and red starting point.

That wasn’t our first bathroom remodel rodeo.  In fact, it was the second in this house.  We overhauled our main bathroom, replacing everything but drywall.  A few months ago, I got an urge for change and updated the room with a can of paint and a few accessories.

A green vanity is a fun surprise, but not overwhelming.  Open storage allows our young children (and guests) to find anything they may be looking for.  As a bonus, we can use pretty containers and display a few accessories.

Cross the hall and you’ll see the guest bedroom.  Previously set up with wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling dark bookshelves, we needed to make this small room feel larger.  Creating a recessed nook for the bed by cutting out the center of the shelves feels cozy.  Painting the shelves bright white and the walls buttery yellow perks up the room.

One of our main living spaces, the family room, has a few of my favorite updates.  Before, the family room was overhelmed by a messy 70′s moss rock fireplace. 

For a sleeker look, we built a frame over the existing fireplace and tiled over with dark slate.  A quicker update statement piece is the coffee table made from a gigantic free stump.

Ever so slowly, room by room, we’re crossing items off our to do list.  It’s a big task, but we’ve made a lot of progress in our two and a half years here.  You’re always invited to stop by and chat about all things home and renovation.

 

More from BHG.com:

Before and After Furniture Makeovers

Budget-Friendly DIY Projects

Cheap and Chic DIY Headboards


BHG Guest Blogger

Mariam Naficy: Favorite Finds from Minted

Hi, I’m Mariam Naficy, founder of the art and design marketplace site Minted. It was so exciting to share my go-to entertaining tips with you in the September issue, and today I’m writing about a few of my favorite finds from Minted this fall.

1. This is the dayplanner I carry – I chose the very slim monthly planner version of this to plan and keep track of my monthly goals and I keep it with me at the office:

2. Here at Minted we’re already thinking about the holidays! Of the 4,103 number of holiday cards submitted in Minted’s sixth annual holiday card challenge, ‘Painted Triangles’ by Waldo Press was a personal favorite.  I love how the subtleness of the watercolor contrasts with the angles of the triangles.

3. I love how this Woodland Wreath ornament card by Kristie Kern for Minted doubles as a gift tag – write a note to your recipient on the back, and you have a holiday card and gift tag in one! It comes with ribbon included.

4. For the first time this holiday season, we’re offering styled recipient address printing and it’s free! The recipient’s name on this design almost looks like calligraphy and the pine branch is a nice, whimsical touch.

5. Minted recently launched foil-pressed stationery (my favorite product on the entire site) and these are the two designs (Arrow Head by Fig and Cotton Paperie and Wanderlust by Grace Cobb) by I’ve personally been sending out.

6. My daughter loves fairies and asked for a fairy-themed seventh birthday. We used these lovely Very Fairy invitations by Olivia Kanaley.

 


BHG Guest Blogger

When to Buy Vintage, When to Buy New

Gen Sohr is a featured Stylemaker in the September 2014 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Here, Gen shares tips for choosing and using vintage pieces. 

 

Hi! I’m Gen Sohr, and I love all things vintage, from Bertoia chairs to Bakelite bracelets. I’m the co-founder (with my darling husband Benjamin) and creative principal for Pencil & Paper Development Co., in Nashville. We renovate old houses, build new ones, and even remake retail stores—anything in need of some creative reimagining.

Photo by Leslee Mitchell

Here are my favorite rules for when you should go vintage—and when it’s best to buy new. I don’t ever want my spaces to feel like a museum, or as if I am trying to recreate a particular era. It’s about the mix: Old and new together is what I find most interesting.

 

Truly, I am addicted to the hunt! Nothing compares to spending the day scouring a good flea market and then coming home and cleaning up your treasures. But the thing about vintage is … it finds you. It’s not usually the piece you were hunting for to complete a particular room. But often, it IS the piece that makes the room!

 

You have to buy what you love when you find it. I never pass up something that speaks to me simply because I don’t need it. I am a believer in buying things as they find me.

 

Since I have a retail background, where I was in charge of customer experience in stores like Old Navy and Victoria’s Secret, I start by “merchandising” my vintage pieces. I put them in the best, most visible spots in a room. Then I fill in with new pieces where function dictates (and to keep my spaces from feeling like an actual thrift store).

 

 

In our master bedroom, I started with a pair of vintage Asian-inspired Lane bedside tables (in my favorite tomato-red). They are the heroes! I love the mix of these vintage finds with the modern Tolomeo desk lamp for bedside reading. For the bed, I wanted something upholstered for comfort, and I didn’t want to break the bank. We opted to keep it simple with this new neutral linen headboard from West Elm.

 

 

I think every room needs something that just speaks to you. This is my master closet. I wanted the space to be super clean, white, and functional with great natural sunlight. The simple architecture and well-organized cabinetry is the canvas for this space, but it’s the amazing vintage side table and pair of cut-glass mirrors that make it sing! I rarely buy tables or mirrors that are not vintage treasures because I can get a one-of-a-kind look with them. But for window treatments, I choose something simple, unfussy, and new. This Roman shade allows the vintage pieces to stand out. I often use graphic pattern fabrics in fun colors because they keep my vintage finds feeling fresh and young.

 

Usually, I recommend purchasing new sofas—both for comfort and sanitary reasons. But sometimes a very special vintage sofa just calls your name, and you have to break the rules. This chrome-framed beauty is such an occasion. I had it recovered in a neutral geometric pattern and had the cushions re-wrapped. Now it’s better than new!

 

Photo by Leslee Mitchell

 

When it comes to vintage clothing, I usually keep mine reserved for special occasions. And, like my vintage furniture, I am not scared to tweak the design of the pieces to feel more current (and figure-flattering). The great thing about buying vintage is that it allows you to become part designer, too. When I wear a vintage dress, I always pair it with a modern clean shoe silhouette (new of course) and some great chunky modern jewelry. Again, it’s always about the mix of new and old together.

 

 

And sometimes it is just plain OK to fall more on the vintage side of things. In my children’s desk nook, the desks, chairs, and lamps are all flea-market scores, which could be retro overload! But somehow with the introduction of bright modern art pieces and graphic window treatments, it all just works.

 

That’s the fun of using vintage pieces in your home and wardrobe: There really are NO Rules! Simply follow your heart and have fun!

 

xo,

Gen

 

For more decorating and design inspiration, follow me on Instagram and the blog.


BHG Guest Blogger

DIY Drawing Table for Kids

 

Hi, Everyone. My name is Danielle Driscoll and I blog over at Finding Silver Pennies. I live in a coastal New England town with my English husband, two little boys and our rescue dog. The blog is dedicated to our life by the sea, redoing our historic home, treasure hunting at the beach & yard sales and fun family ideas. When I’m not running after my little guys then you can be sure I’m down in the basement painting furniture. It was a dream come true to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens. All the more special that my sons, John & Conor, could take part in the fun.

From a very early age I got hooked on Yard Sale-ing and antiquing. Since before I could walk my mom had me by her side looking for treasures. Most weekends you can find us out sale-ing before we hit the beach.

 

We discovered the drawing table I created for my boys at a friend’s yard sale. The table is quite big and super sturdy. I absolutely love the turned legs, and oak paints so nicely because of the grain of the wood. BUT I almost passed on it thinking it was just too big!

 

How could I resist the bargain of a $5 table?!?

 

My sons LOVE to draw and I thought what better way to repurpose an old and unwanted table for years (and I mean years) of enjoyment?!? We completed this table back in September 2012 and it is still going strong and has provided many, many hours of fun for our whole family.

 

I shared the tutorial on my blog here. My oldest son had just started kindergarten and both Conor and I missed him so much. We decided to paint the table together to pass the time.  Here is the before:

I first sanded down the surface because there were scratches, and then I painted the top in Valspar chalkboard paint I had left from another project. I applied three coats with a Purdy XL Glide brush. You can also use a paint roller. The vibrant green is Antibes Green Chalk Paint®, decorative paint by Annie Sloan. I applied two coats of the green and did two coats of clear wax to seal it (no wax on the chalkboard top).

 

As you can see, Conor started young with Chalk Paint®. Here he is painting at the age of 3!

He was so proud of himself, carefully brushing the paint on. He kept saying, “Mommy, John is going to be so proud of me. He’s going to be really surprised.” I guess it goes to show that you’re never too young or too old to breath new life into an old piece.

 

The boys haven’t tired of this table or the other ones I’ve painted for them in Chalk Paint® including a subway sign chest, a decoupaged sailor dresser, a grain sack dresser and a union flag bureau.

I hope you can pop by my blog to say hello and see some of the other painted pieces.

 

I’ve also shared a behind the scenes post of BHG visiting my home. This photo was taken while the crew was setting up and the kids were drawing:

The crew came through a blizzard! The snow was falling and the kids were drawing but you’d never know from the image in the magazine that the weather was so bad. Thank you to BHG for including our fun project in the magazine and on this blog!

 


BHG Guest Blogger

American Dream Builders: Small Homes, Big Style

 

 

This season on #DreamBuilders we’ve seen our competitors reach for their highest creative limits, and the headline of that is that the best is yet to come, and YOU arrived to the party just in time to catch it!  We’ve watched them brave the elements, and then each other, all while pulling off the BIGGEST home transformations I’ve ever seen on Prime Time TV…and you know what, I’m loving every minute of it — not because I’m the host, but because it’s design at its inspired best returned to TV!

 

 


This week our contestants face what most of you contend with everyday…SPACE or lack thereof. Divided into four teams of two, they were each issued a modular home and given one direction: get as much style into this small space as you can. And guess what? They delivered BIG time. Along the way they found real small space innovations and inspired ideas that we can all takeaway at home. One being that real-sized furniture works best even in a small space. Small scale makes the room even smaller.

On top of that, for this episode we up’ed the ante by welcoming the BH&G editors on set to give their input and pick a space to feature in the pages of the magazine. Make no mistake, four editors staring you down made the stress even more palpable. To say the least, our contestants were definitely feeling the pressure!

 

So, you’ll have to tune on Sunday night at 8/7c and tell me what you think! Make sure to include me (@nateberkus) and @BHG in your tweet so we can talk all about it!


BHG Guest Blogger

Gilded Seashell Candle Holders

 

With spring and summer months ahead of us I am looking forward to the longer daylight hours and the opportunity to entertain outdoors again! Setting a simple but colorful spring table is easy with a few mismatched linens, bright flowers, and these Gilded Seashell Candle Holders. A couple coats of paint will transform average seashells into custom tea light dishes painted to match your tablescape. I painted these tea lights with a teal outside and metallic gold inside to reflect the flicker of candlelight. At dusk your gilded shells will light up the table and give a whimsical glow to surrounding place settings. – Leah Bergman, Freutcake

Supplies:
Large sea shells- available at most craft stores
Krylon ColorMaster Spray Paint (indoor-outdoor)- white & sea glass
Martha Stewart Metallic Gold Craft Paint
Sponge Paint Brush
Tea lights

Directions:

1. Scrub inside and outside of seashells with soap and water to remove any sand or residue. Allow to dry completely before moving on.
2. Arrange shells face down on a piece of newspaper outside. Spray paint the outside of shells with two coats of sea glass teal spray paint allowing shells to dry between each coat.
3. Turn over dried shells and spray paint insides with one coat of white paint. This will give a good base for the gold paint in step 4. Allow to dry completely.
4. With a sponge or paintbrush paint inside of shells with two coats of metallic gold craft paint allowing to dry between coats.
5. Arrange dried shells along the center of your table and fill each with a tea light candle. Light and enjoy!

photos & tutorial by Leah Bergman / Freutcake

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