Thrifty Monday~

Today I'm joining Rhoda's Thrifty Monday Linky Party.

I wanted to share another of the little treasures I got from my Mom's house while we were out visiting. Check out this great little cheese dome.

Of course, I didn't really care for the base in it's "before" condition (can you say 1970's vintage - and not in a good way?), so I decided to give it a nice little coat of paint.

And here she is in all her freshly-painted glory. Pretty cute, huh? Of course, I didn't seal the paint, so I won't be using her for food, but the starfish look pretty cute.

Or here she is sporting another thrifty free find from my mom's...some vintage tin measuring spoons. I think she'd look pretty cute in my kitchen with these babies. Just sayin'

Hop on over to Rhoda's and check out the other great thrifty finds...
and have a great Monday~


Frugal Friday~

Some of you may remember the pixies I started making last Halloween. For those of you who are new to the Shabby Nest, let me introduce you to my little Halloween friends. These are rare Halloween Pixies...not easy to capture, but very friendly. They are one of my favorite Frugal OCD (Obsessively Consumed with Decorating) projects. They don't cost much - if anything- to make and they are very versatile!

These little pixies have seen many reincarnations since last Halloween. Christmas Pixies, New Year's Fairies...

Because of the overwhelming response, I even offered a tutorial on how to make this little lovelies here.

One of my very favorite things about these little pixies is having my sweet readers send me photos of the pixies they've made after being inspired with a little pixie love here at the Shabby Nest. A few weeks back one of my cute readers emailed me this photo of a pixie centerpiece she made for her in-law's 40th Anniversary. The pixies are their sons and granchildren. So sweet! Thanks Anne for sharing your creative twist on this project with us!!

This photo courtesy of Anne Ferguson

If you've made pixies of your own, or if you're feeling inspired to make some after seeing these, please be sure to email me and let me see your finished project!!

Have a creative weekend~


A Few of My Favorite Design Projects~

Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite design projects.

First up, my laundry room/half bath.

I don't have a true before photo of this space because the Hubby had torn it all out before we even moved into the house, but here is a "during" photo - complete with a basket full of dirty laundry (sigh). Before, the room was a basic laundry/half bath circa 1991. It had ugly white linoleum with blue flowers. The walls were painted a gray-green which was the only thing we liked and actually used as inspiration for the color now on the upper half of the walls and in the kitchen (which I'll show you in a minute). The vanity was plain old oak. In one word...blah.

Here she is today! We added beadboard wainscotting to a 4' height, and topped it with a display rail. On the wall behind the washer/dryer we used beadboard all the way to the ceiling and added a wonderful shelf for storage of laundry and bath essentials. We replaced the old vanity with a new smaller version in a dark wood and a little farmhouse-style sink. We topped that with a mirror made out of vintage tin tiles. The floor is tiled with 18" ceramic tiles for ease of clean-up. All in all, a great cottage/farmhouse style bath that is cozy and inviting. Not a bad place to do the laundry!

The next project I'd like to share is our kitchen. This is how it looked before. More boring oak cabinets. And no pizzazz. In this photo we had already tiled the floor with the same tiles used in the laundry/half-bath, and painted the walls the same gray-green as we used in the bath (Cathedral Gray by Ralph Lauren). But we hadn't done much else. (except, apparently, leaving a mess on the counter...ahem.)

Here she is today! We painted out all of the cabinets in Ralph Lauren's Nantucket White. We replaced the outdated brass hardware with new black hardware. We also replaced the range hood with a new black version. (We had purchased the oven and refrigerator for our previous home and brought them with us.)

I coerced the Hubby into removing the ugly "floating" cabinet to the left of the window and replacing it with fabulous open shelves in the same style as we used in the laundry. So. much. better.

We carried the use of beadboard into the kitchen as well to create a more custom feel...using it on the face of the breakfast bar, and also on the refrigerator surround. We painted it out in black to add sophistication. It wasn't in our budget to replace the countertops, but with the rest of the changes, they became less noticeable, and I don't mind them as much. This room has really become my happy place!

Our house is fairly open in concept and the dining area is just off the kitchen. This was the dining area the way I did it when we first moved in. I liked it, but the color scheme was just a little too bright. It lent itself better to the warmth of the old oak-colored cabinets, so I neutralized it to make it flow and feel similar to the new calm kitchen palette.

Here she is today. I dressed her in the same calming neutrals and the black that I used in the kitchen. And those great drapes? They are painter's dropcloths. I simply hemmed them to the right length and hung them with curtain rings. Very budget-friendly at only $9.99 per panel, and they drape beautifully. I made all of the pillows on the windowseat (and sell most of them in my Etsy store.) They add just the right amount of softness to the room.

The next project I'd like to share is my boys' room. I had so much fun with this room! All three boys share the room, and my biggest challenge was giving it a cohesive feel that fit as well for a 7-year-old (Mr. One's age when I decorated this room) as it did for his baby brother. I am so proud of the upholstered headboards! I had been struggling with what type of beds I wanted to use when I saw a linen slipcovered headboard in a magazine. I knew that was the look I wanted. So I bought some plywood and upholstered it myself using $3.99 linen from JoAnn's. Then to personalize the headboards I created the monograms from felt and adhered them using Fabritac. Both headboards only took about an hour but they look custom, and that's what I was hoping for.

This towel corner was so much fun and very simple to create using address numbers I purchased at a big box home improvement store. Each boy has his own number so they won't use each other's towels!

I also love this little chair in the boys' room. It's a curbside find that I rescued by slipcovering it with another painter's dropcloth!

And finally, my mini-mudroom. It was one of my first projects in this house, and still one of my favorites! We had an extra closet near the back door that really wasn't being used, and I thought it would make a great "mud area". So we removed the door, reframed the opening and added a little bench with a cubby underneath for shoes. We lined the interior with more beadboard and added the hooks for coats. It has been one of the best things we've done. It's so handy and really functional! Better Homes and Gardens liked this project so much that they actually featured this little beauty in both Creative Home and 100 Decorating Ideas for under $100.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of some of my favorite projects!

Treasure Hunting~

I have mentioned before that my mother is a collector. And I mean A COLLECTOR. If there is anything I want or need, she usually has it. Now that I am an adult, I appreciate all of the wonderful treasures that my mom has unearthed over the years. And lucky for me, she likes to share her treasures. So while I was home, I went on a bit of a treasure hunt.

Just thought I'd share a few of the fun things I dug up at my mom's house (and got to bring home with me).

A girl can never have too many white buttons. I brought home a bunch of these lovely vintage beauties (and some black ones, and some metal ones as well, but the white ones are my favorite.)

These little sweeties are actually attached to the original cards.

Loved these cameos. Especially the blue one. Not sure what I want to do with them yet, but they're just so pretty, I couldn't pass them up!

These sock monkeys are actually my favorite thing that I brought home with me from my mom's house. I have had the little guy on the end (with the pink tuft on his hat) since my very first Christmas, but my mom donated the other five to me when I told her about a little boy's room I had seen in a magazine that used sock monkeys and how I thought it would be perfect for Mr. Two and Mr. Three's room (if we get a bigger house before they're too old for sock monkeys). Aren't they sweet? I *heart* them!

This vintage spool still has its original silk thread. The color is simply fabulous.
I'll actually be listing this photo (as well as relisting Backstage Dreams and Summer Lovin' in my Etsy store later today!)
Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday~


Terrific Homes Tuesday~

It's been a while since I've done a home tour for you all, and I'm so excited to share with you today's fabulous home! When I knew I was headed out west, I couldn't wait to get photos of my sister-in-law's amazing house to share with my readers. The hubby's sister Jennifer has an amazing eye for design. And between her designs, and her talented husband's know how, the two of them have created an incredible retreat! Something of a mix between Tuscan villa and urban farmhouse, Jen's style is captivating, warm and vibrant. I hope you all enjoy.

Let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start...(okay, I'll stop with the show tunes). But really, look at Jen's fabulous landscaping. All self done. No landscape architects here. Nope. (Maybe she can come give me some pointers.)

Her window baskets were absolutely breathtaking!

I have long loved this little birdbath! So sweet!

This is her front entrance. I adore the black french doors. And the metal bench is a great touch...as is the cute little welcome sign above.

I love this vinyl lettering that she has just inside her front door. I would have cropped it in closer, but I wanted to show you all what is beneath it. A bunch of doorbells, you ask? No, those are light switches. Love them!!

I wish this picture were less blurry. The light was a little low, and I don't have a tripod. I love the impact of the oversized art above the stately console. I also love the sweet little dancing statuette. (Jen owned a dance studio for years...my kind of gal!)

I just loved this old typewriter and typesetting blocks on a shelf in the library!

This antique secretary is huge....and so lovely. What a great place to pen a thank you note!

I adore Jen's library. Her husband built all of the bookshelves himself, and they are amazing!

This cozy nook is found at the entrance to Jen's amazing kitchen. I love the beadboard on the walls. (She is a woman after my own heart...her house is just filled with beadboard accents.)

The powder room - across the hall from the nook above - also features beadboard walls. I love this old dresser and ornate mirror. (I tried to get out of the mirror's reflection, but it still caught my elbow. ha!)

This lovely console in the family room off the kitchen offers additional storage for kitchen necessities.

Inviting benches flank the family room fireplace and offer cozy seating for guests.

The kitchen is truly the heart of Jen's home! She and her hubby designed it themselves. It is quite a showpiece, and very functional. I adore the paneled ceiling, and the open shelving! The huge center island is a great touch as well. I wish I had taken a picture of the gigantic farmhouse table on the right side of the room (you can see a corner of it). Jen's hubby made it himself!
A closeup of the cooktop. I love the shelf above, and the open shelves to lower left. As well as the basket drawers on the lower right.

Just past the kitchen out a pair of french doors is an inviting deck with a netted canopy. Perfect for relaxing outdoors in any weather!

Jen's living room houses a lovely grand piano and one of my father-in-law's amazing oversized paintings.

Another pretty vignette in Jen's finished basement.

Love this built-in desk made from a closet in the bedroom her two youngest daughters share.

These electified lanterns are used as sconces on either side of her daughters' bed. (And more beadboard here as well!)

Thanks to Jen and her darling family for opening up their home to this little tour! I hope you all enjoyed it!
Have a great day~


Bloggy Friends~

Another highlight of my vacation was getting to meet me sweet bloggy friend Kasey!!

Photo by the Hubby

From the minute we pulled up to her house, it's like we were old friends, hugging and chatting away! And let me tell you all, she is just as charming in person as she is on her blog. And her house....Oh, her house! That girl has sttyyyyyllllle! She warned me that her house was in "less than pristine" condition because it's summer and the kids were home...hmm...I think I know a thing or two about that. Four kids....home all day...my house isn't exactly pristine. I can overlook a little kid clutter. But, pristine or not, (and it really wasn't bad, Kasey, seriously) her house was gorgeous!

She is a gracious hostess...and so funny! She even fed us. And my poor kiddos who were so sick of driving that they couldn't see straight, got to spend a great couple of hours playing with her cute kiddos...they were all fast friends!

A few weeks back, I won a drawing on her blog, and since she knew we'd be stopping by, she saved my goodies for me. What a treat! Fun stuff from her shop!

Here's just a peek of some of the fun things I got from her! THANKS KASEY!

If you've never been by Kasey's blog, pay her a visit. You can thank me later!


Wendy @ The Shabby Nest