A Giveaway Reminder

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for ATGStores.   One lucky follower will win a $75 credit and there are many ways to win.

Here are a few more goodies I found.  To enter or to learn more, go hereI can't get enough of navy, white and black with pops of orange.

Falling Up - Linky Party

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

 There is nothing like having company over to get me motivated to do a little sprucing up.  Add a few cool days into the mix and it is beginning to feel like fall.  I love those days when the air is cool and the stew simmers all day.  Oh and the smell of pumpkin bread or cookies baking - now we're talking.
 For me, fall decorating is about bringing in natural elements, usually free ones, and adding them in unexpected places.  I love to use pine cones, moss, and twigs.
 The last time we were in the mountains, my family gathered a bucket of buckeyes because I thought they would make a nice seasonal display.  Mom tells me that you can't eat them, but why not decorate with them.  You can just imagine the game of buckeye baseball that took place when we pulled the shovel out to knock the nuts down from the tree.
 Throws are a must.  When we pile into the living room to watch movies, I do not want to go far for warmth.  Lazy, I know, but this season is about being comfortable and warm.  By the way, this throw was a gift from dear friends of ours who moved across the country.  Every fall when I pull out this blanket it makes me smile.
 Yes, every sofa needs a throw.  Warmth.  Comfort.  Lazy. 
Now it's your turn to share your fall decor.  I can't  wait to see what you have been up to.  I will leave the link open until next Wednesday to make it easy.  To join in, just add the link to your fall post (it can be an old post) so that we can all see your fall decorating ideas.

Quatrefoil Tray

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With limited counter space in our bathroom and with a water efficient toilet, grrr, which has a small sloping surface, I needed a tray.  After looking and not finding the right size for the area, I decided to make one myself. 

For less than $6, I picked up more than enough wood to make my tray.

I cut pieces to fit the surface of the bowl then primed and painted the wood.

I used the template from Tatertots and Jello found here.  To get the size you need:

1.  copy the image and place it in a word document
2.  right click on the image to change the size
3.  print the image

Next I placed the template in the center of the bottom of the tray.  By the way, I didn't assemble the tray until after all painting was complete.  I took a pencil and traced around the design.
 pressing firmly.

This is what it looks like after this step.  I took a small paint brush and painted the quatrefoil with glossy white paint.  Next I hot glued the pieces into place.

Now we have a tray that is the perfect size for the back of the toilet.


Just a reminder that the fall linky party begins tomorrow. 

Guest Blogging at Loft & Cottage and a Linky Announcement

Monday, September 27, 2010

My friend Casey, poor thing, had to go to Italy this week so she invited me over to guest blog.  Loft and Cottage is one of my daily reads and I just love Casey's style.  She and I agree that we share a similar style, only hers is better.  Today I will be sharing some before and after projects from my little cottage.  To join us go here.


Fall is upon us and I have yet to bring fall into our home.  The 90 degree days and drought have felt more like August than late September.  Hoping to get into the fall spirit, I am hosting a "falling up" linky party that will begin this Wednesday.  I invite you to link any of your fall inspired decor here.  Maybe you can inspire me to get my fall on.

The Ottoman-Finally

Friday, September 24, 2010

A while back I asked for your advice about recovering the ottoman.  Thank you for all of your input!  I finally found the fabric and recovered it yesterday.  Because the sofa is white, I wanted a fabric that would contrast with the white slipcover and stand up to big feet and snacks.  My 11 year, otherwise known as my go-to guy for design advice, suggested that I paint the legs black.  The product description said the legs were ebonized, but when it arrived they looked more red than anything.

I still need to work on the pillows, but I am so happy to complete this project.  Stay tuned for a post showing how I refurnished this room without spending a dime.  Gotta love that.

Have a great weekend!

If you haven't entered the ATGStores giveaway there is still time.  For more details go here.

Inspiration Board - The Long Shelf

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I recently donated a design consultation with proceeds going toward the walk.  This project was great fun to work on because it was for a family with young kids and the room just happened to be the family room.  This is a room full of windows, comfortable furniture, and lots of organic textures.  One of the challenges for the room is a single shelf mounted 10 or so inches down from the ceiling and it runs the length of the room.

The couple wants the shelf to be full without being cluttered looking.  This would be a great place to display a collection and creating a collection would be a cinch.  My recommendation was to paint the shelf white to match the rest of the trim in the room.  I felt the best way to give the shelf a "full" look while avoiding the "hodge-podge" look would be to go with a monochromatic color theme.  Placing items on the shelf in tonal whites and then sprinkling in natural textures will give the cohesive feeling of a collection.  Also, this could be a place to have fun with seasonal items ie; pumpkins in the fall, pine cones and branches in the winter, seashells and driftwood in the summer, etc.

Guest Blogger: Erica LeBlanc

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am thrilled to have Erica from the blog Decorica join us today.  Erica is an experienced interior decorator and she is going to share her design "process" with us. 


As an interior decorator and lover of all things interior design related, I truly believe that there is no such thing as a "small job."  Recently, a new client asked me to help her with her family room, in which she needed help making the room look finished, while using items she currently owns and purchasing some accessories.  A small job to some, but to me this is a big opportunity to help someone fulfill a desire to improve their home.  That's what I love about my job.

Rene has asked me to write a guest post about decorating, so I thought I'd share my own personal process that I go through as an interior decorator.

Below is an image of my client "L"s room.  She has struggled for years with how to improve the look of the stone wall surrounding her fireplace.  And as a mother of an adorable little boy, she has also used a lot of dark colors in the room to prevent wear & tear from showing.

On the opposite wall (below) I see a lot of opportunity to add accessories, color, and storage.  Currently, there is a lot of open space...

While I'm in the home, I take measurements and lots of photographs.  Then I study the photographs and create a floor plan.  With the photos and floor plan, I am able to create a plan of how the furniture should be arranged to best suite the room, as well as placement of accessories.

Next, I shop online and local stores for accessories.  Once I find items that I love for the space, I create renderings of the room.  These drawings illustrate how the room will look finished.  These are a great way to show clients what's in my head and are sometimes easier than verbal descriptions.  They are quite time consuming, but I feel they are priceless.

(Below) For "L" I have decided to paint the space above the stone wall a medium gray.  This will give the illusion that the stone wall is complete and the color will continue up through the cathedral ceiling.  I've suggested some "floating" shelves in 3 different sizes, cascading above the stone wall.  This will serve as a mantel, but also proved space for accessories.  The items will be high, so the items will be purely decorative.  The wood shelves will also add some warmth and dimension to the large open wall.

The remaining 3 walls in the room will be painted a warm neutral with a little green tinge to it.  I will give "L" 3 colors to choose from, all of which will look great with the gray wall.  I always recommend Benjamin Moore, they have such a rich pigment and thick coating.  I provide super large paint samples of the colors for my clients to hang on their walls and live with for a few days.

Next, I have gathered some accessories for "L"s space:  a mirror, a large piece of floral art, some small ceramic vases, and the floating shelves.

Then, I gathered some swatches of fabrics to update "L"s current pieces with, adding some color and texture. 

  • For the large ottoman that her family uses as a coffee table and the bench seat cushion, I suggest a brown faux leather that is textured and speckled with dark and medium brown tones.
  • For the toss pillows on the sofa, I found a cranberry, green, and taupe striped chenille.
  • The toss pillows on the bench will be recovered in a soft, nubby green chenille.

Finally, I gather all of this information into a convenient custom design kit for my clients.  That way, they may refer to all of the information I go over with them on their own, as well as take it with them when they go shopping for the suggested items or to find similar ones.   Thanks for reading, I love sharing all things decor, and thanks Rene! 
 xoxo Erica LeBlanc


Thanks so much for joining us today Erica and thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

We Have Two Winners!!

 Thanks to My Design Guide for sponsoring this generous giveaway!  We have two lucky winners.



Giveaway Reminder

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Just a little reminder about the giveaway that ends tomorrow.  If you would like to enter, go here.

The Nate Show

Today is a big day for several design bloggers who were invited to be guests on The Nate Berkus Show.  I am so excited for them all, but especially my friends Janell, Lakeitha, and Emily.  The seed was planted last summer when June 14 was declared to be Nate day when many design bloggers posted about the lessons they learned from Nate.  Fast forward to now and many of those same bloggers are going to the show thanks to a twitter campaign that got them there.  The excitement of being on the show is one thing, but being able to meet other bloggers in person would be such a thrill.  I am so looking forward to their return and can't wait to read posts and see pictures.

If you would like to see a photo guide of those attending go here.  You might see several familiar faces. If you want to follow their tweets use hash #nateshow921 on twitter.

All of this was made possible through social media which is truly amazing.

Black It Is

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thanks to everyone who counseled me last Friday.  Whew.  At one point in the day, the score was tied, 8-8.  Yes I was keeping score the way Mr. watches his fantasy football updates.  Then suddenly black made a surge and pulled out ahead of gray.  Thankfully just as I was about to leap into oncoming traffic, my published friend Kat spoke up like Kazoo, Fred Flinstone's conscience and said:

Here's my 2 cents, for months now you've been showing us drool worthy photos of bathrooms with black walls. It is the look you have in your head and I think that if you don't at least "try" the black walls...(you can always repaint them gray if you don't like the look)...you will always wonder if you should have gone with black!

Sure it will be a little dark, but it will be dramatic too and I "think" that is what you love about the whole black bathroom concept. And you just need to find the right black that will work....

Many of you agreed with Kat.  Thanks ya'll!  And to those who disagreed, sorry to disappoint, but thank you just the same for sharing your opinion.  I love blogging for this reason, among many. 

Here is the update.  I have glossy BM black, the truest black there is.  Erica recommended that I go glossy to continue the flow of the black tile and I agree.  Today I will sand and paint.  These glossy walls must be smooth or every flaw will show.  The blue and white shower curtain was not working so I returned it.  For now we will use our white curtain.  By the way, has anyone tried the 84" shower curtain from Target?  It has received mixed reviews and has shrinkage issues so I'm a little leery. 

 Oh and did anyone notice the red and white striped rug in the first image?  I posted a while back about red striped rugs and they really do add a little "bam", no?  It does look nice with the clean black and white.

Enjoy your day.  I'm off to sand...


Friday, September 17, 2010

If you follow C & V on facebook, you may have seen last weekend that I had begun painting the bathroom black.   I purchased a sample of Behr Premium Plus Ultra in the only black option, Broadway.  In this photo, it looks like a true black, but in person, it looks green.  By the way, I love being able to purchase a sample for less than $3 to see if I like it before making a huge commitment.

So all week, it has looked like this.

And this.
The problem is, I'm torn.  I pictured the room with black walls and white framed colorful art or black and white photos - thinking that this would keep the room from being too dark.  There is only one window and it is in the shower.  The room is on the north end of the house, so there is never bright light. 

Now I am thinking about grays and wondering if I should try to match a gray to the gray in the tile.  By the way, this floor is 70 years old - there ain't no way to get it to look clean.  Just as a side note, wouldn't marble tile look good?  OK, I'll tell Mr. you said so.

As a complete diversion from all of this, I made a little tray for the back of the toilet for less than $6.  I will try to post the tutorial next week.

If you have any thoughts about my bathroom, please send them my way.

What's going on this weekend?  We might watch a high school football game.  These cooler nights make me want to be outside.  Also, this weekend is the Greek Festival - one of my favorite fall events.

Happy weekend!

Giveaway With My Design Guide

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

 A few weeks back I posted about the quiz  on My Design Guide.   Many of you scurried off to take the quiz and even came back to share your findings.  Fun wasn't it?   

My Design Guide offers professional interior design services at budget friendly prices. 

Services include complete 3-D room design, art and accessory service, paint color selection and more. All of the products recommended are from some of your favorite stores like Target, Pottery Barn, and Pier One.

My Design Guide has generously offered a offered a $50 gift certificate to 2 of my readers.

To enter the giveaway:

You must be a follower of Cottage and Vine through goggle friend connect and ***like My Design Guide on facebook.  Leave a comment here to enter.

 ***Just as a side note, anyone who registers on facebook in September receives a discount for 50% off a paint service selection.

Winners will be announced next Wednesday.  Good luck!

I'm linking this with Attic Mag.

Who Would've Thought...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

     ...that Walmart would have this?
    I wasn't planning a post today, but once I unpacked my new duvet cover and gave it a test run, I decided to share.  It hasn't been ironed yet because I wanted to be sure that I liked it before the ironing board came out of the closet.  And yes, likey.  Can't you just picture a monogram bolster plopped down in front of those shams?  Maybe in a lime green to go with the night stands.  Well, that will eventually come, but if you do decide to go over to Walmart and make a little purchase now, I wouldn't blame you one bit.

    Pillow Inspiration

    Monday, September 13, 2010

      Pillows, by far, are one of the most economical ways to add splashes of color and texture to a room.  I especially love using pillows made of solid fabrics and adding a decorative trim.  It is nice to throw a couple of these into the mix of patterned pillows. They are super easy to make using ribbon trim applied with iron on heat and bond.

      Here are a few inspiration photos.

       BHG (love the look of silk for fall/winter)

      Charm Home (The Greek Key trim adds a nice touch)
      Canadian House and Home

      Mrs. Howard

      Mrs. Howard

      Decor Pad

      Decor Pad
       Decor Pad
       House Beautiful
      Decor Pad (fabric pattern would be nice inspiration for ribbon)
      Decor Pad
      Max & Co.

      House Beautiful
       House Beautiful