Thursday, February 20, 2014

bringing it down a notch.

Over the past few months, I have been trying valiantly to bring the exuberance of our den down a notch.
{You better be thanking me that the lighting in this pic is so moody. Your retinas would have detached if they saw this room in full-on daylight.}

Between the 800 different geometric prints, the vintage travel posters, and the statement curtains, one could CLEARLY see I didn't so much take a sip, as do a full-on keg stand of the kool-aid when it came to the whole resurgence of geometric, neon prints. As soon as we moved into our house, I felt like I couldn't get enough teal ikat or chartreuse honeycomb. Don't get me wrong, I still love me a good ikat, but when you have as much of it as I did, our den was quickly becoming less of a retreat and more of the next Plunko board on the Price is Right.

Luckily, the bones of the den were neutral enough that we didn't have to completely scrap everything - neutral couches, neutral tables and lamp bases, etc.. Truly, it was just a matter of replacing pillow covers, toning down the artwork, and reeling in every trendy whim in me to take this room back from Bob Barker.

The Billy Built-Ins were a huge step in the right direction. By decorating these with backwards books, milk glass, and gold or wood accents, the TV wall immediately became less overwhelming.

The next super quick and cheap-o fix were the pillow covers. I made new envelope pillow covers {following this sinfully simple tutorial} for all of the pillows in the room replacing the rainbow of ikat and chipper with various patterns of white and grey. On my larger solid grey pillows, I added a simple Greek key pattern, loosely following Sarah M. Dorsey's tutorial, to give them a little oomph without having to reapply for the nuthouse.

The art also got a face lift with a little DIY love from yours truly {tutorial on that forthwith - #downtonabbeyownsme} which helped tone down the room a bit more.

All in all, this room now only has a few "pops" - the curtains and the rainbow of books in the buffet - rather than the 1,239 pops it had when auditioning for the Price is Right. This more neutral, subtle color scheme makes for a more relaxing, cozy space in my humble opinion...aka - no more assaults on the retinas. Hallelujah.

Off to watch my girl Grace kill it in the figure skating championship! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

a happier hutch.

During our move to our casita, you might remember me finding this spectacular hutch at a garage sale on my way to a wedding shower for a mere sixty bones and restoring it so that it could take up residence in our dining room.

While I have been head-over-heels in love with this piece, over the past couple of months, the brass was becoming rather tarnished and discolored.

Sick out. Maybe I didn't polish it well enough with Brass-O when I first refurbished the piece or maybe the brass hardware was simply showing its age, but either way, it was an eyesore and it certainly wasn't making the name of "campaign" proud.

Since the Brass-O polishing approach failed miserably after the first attempt, I decided to apply a bit of Rub 'n Buff to each of the brass pieces so that they'd really pop against the smoky gray body of the hutch. Campaign Restorers Anonymous may tar and feather me for not polishing, but #sorrynotsorry.

For the hardware that was nailed into the hutch, I simply applied the Rub 'n Buff with the hardware still affixed so I didn't have to wrestle with those minuscule nails again. As for the pulls, those were easy enough to remove from the drawers and since they were more layered, I figured I would need to work on those in a more detailed manner. So I removed all of the pulls from the drawers...

...and after a single application of Rub 'n Buff, we were looking so much better!

With the pulls sufficiently buffed and the affixed hardware glistening like new, the hutch is looking so much more campaign-worthy!

Oh, Rub 'n Buff, how did I ever do anything without you?!