Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead {Book Review}

Hey all,

Now that the summer is winding down, I’m trying to quickly tackle all of my design books before I return to the daily grind of teaching. This week’s read was Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead. He’s written several holiday decor themed books, but Flea Market Finds presents more as a bookazine than an actual decor book. It contains work completed by Matthew himself, but also his designer friends. Though there are not many fleshed out DIY projects within the pages, there is plenty of eye candy to fawn over.

 

The cover even pulls you in. Look at that milk glass and the greens/blues. Aren't you already in love?

The cover even pulls you in. Look at that milk glass and the greens/blues. Aren’t you already in love?

Each tip is given as a vignette, explaining different ideas and color schemes that work well in rooms. Each section has a main theme (like Mid-Century Matthew) and includes some description of what you’re looking at in the pictures. He also includes tips for how to place different pieces and collections to showcase their true beauty. Here are some of my favorites from the book:

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Okay, so brass and gold are slowly returning to my repertoire. I’ve always been leery of using it in different rooms, but this spread explains how to use gold leaf.

 

Shock of the century? I picked the page that is all green and blue. Plus, who can really say no to a vintage globe. That set of drawers was a thrifting find that was painted and updated!

Shock of the century? I picked the page that is all green and blue. Plus, who can really say no to a vintage globe. That set of drawers was a thrifting find that was painted and updated!

 

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Is that coral? WHY YES IT IS. See? It doesn’t have to be overtly beachy but can still have a relaxing vibe. I love the monochromatic tans and browns. But really, keeping that room clean seems nearly impossible. I do adore all the seaside finds though…

 

So, this book was great for a quick look through, a wetting of the palette you could say. It only gives you basic ideas for your own DIY. I would consider this more of an inspiration board type of book, rather than a how-to guide. I loved the ideas and the colors, but it wasn’t completely what I expected. However, if you need some inspiration or just want to oogle some lovely interior pictures, pick this sucker up!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

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Going Yard With Fabrics {Deck Pillows}

I may have gone a bit overboard with my pattern selections for the pillows on our deck. I wanted to match and enhance the color of the chairs, tables, and flowers on our deck. But my main jumping off point was our deck umbrella. Its stripes have blue, green, yellow, red, and even orange. They’re bright and perky, perfect for an outdoor living space. I feel as though you can take more risks and be a bit bolder outdoors. Plus, if you really don’t like it, or get sick of it after a season, it’s easy to change! No walls to paint!

Here are all the finished pillows. I'm starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here...

Here are all the finished pillows. I’m starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here…

Anyway, so here’s how I made those lovely pillows.

I purchased six pillow forms (with plenty of fabric and coupons to boot) from JoAnns. Make sure, when making outdoor fabric pieces, that you actually choose outdoor fabric. These fabrics are typically more durable, machine washable, and are less likely to fade in the sun as quickly as a typical cotton fabric. I originally picked two coordinating fabrics to use, but ran out of the stripe and needed extra. So I went back and purchased the floral print, which I also adore (though I think the red is probably my favorite, I’m a sucker for a geometric print).

I wanted to make sure that these pillows weren’t like the ones that I had made in the past. I actually wanted to tackle a pillow slip cover, so that if I decided to change it out, it wouldn’t be removing stuffing and starting all over again. I looked online and landed on a simple, straight forward tutorial over at vixenMade. She gives tips and suggestions for making an envelope style pillow cover which is almost exactly like what I wanted.

So here it goes, how to make a simple slip cover, with a few differences from the vixenMade tutorial.

First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I'm not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren't straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.

First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I’m not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren’t straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.

 

Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back "envelope" part of your slip cover.

Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back “envelope” part of your slip cover.

 

Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.

Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.

 

Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn't put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!

Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn’t put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!

 

And let’s not pretend that bad things didn’t happen. Because, whenever I complete a sewing project, something is BOUND to go wrong.

Hmm...that's not what it's supposed to look like...

Hmm…that’s not what it’s supposed to look like. I miss measured and just went for it, of course. That was a mistake. Not to mention I forgot what color thread I’ve already set in the machine, so it definitely didn’t blend with the fabric.

 

But after all the mistakes, sewing machine headaches, and having to get some extra fabric, I’m happy to say that this project is done!

 

Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don't mind all the color!

Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don’t mind all the color!

Aren't my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between...

Aren’t my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between…

 

Now, I know it’s a lot of color and pattern, but I think because the color family plays so well together, it doesn’t seem quite as busy. But even if it is busy, that’s all part of the fun!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

PS- This project was a bit more expensive than my typical projects. I spent around $50 for all the fabric and the pillow forms. Because I had so many coupons, plus a gift card, I was able to get better pillow forms and fabric that wasn’t necessarily on sale. I will say, however, that all the gloriously done pillows I found at places at HomeGoods were at least $40 for a set of four, and I needed six. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to pick all different fabrics!

Bringing the Shore Back Home {Updating the Office}

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the delay but…

I did it, I finally did it! Now that we’ve gone on our summer trip for the year, which of course included a beach and water (and of course, shelling), I finally had the time to get to work on my home office.

My final color choice was the lighter of the two, Beach Glass by Pantone. It had a calming tone but was still very beachy. It definitely reminded me of a happy shore house. The color, because it was Pantone, had to be the highest end paint by Valspar, which included primer as well (this ran about $31 a gallon). This was great for getting the paint on smoothly and for covering the awful color and stains from the previous owners.  I didn’t need multiple coats because the color was so vibrant and it was so easy to apply. It also was low-VOC, which is great for painting a small room in the summer heat.

 

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See? What a lovely swatch. The perfect, shade of NOT seafoam. 

 

I taped, like you ALWAYS should, and ended up only needing one full day to get the paint on the walls and dried. I really didn’t need a full gallon, because I only needed one GREAT coat. I also only needed one roll of tape to get the window, doors, and ceiling/moldings. So this is was a minimal supplies needed project. Just for your information, you should always make sure when painting that you have the following (because it makes your life WAY easier):

Paint Roller

Angled Paint Brush (for corners and cutting-in)

Paint

Paint Tray with Removable Liner (makes clean up easy)

Tarp/Plastic Covering

Tape

The brush, roller, tray, and liner all came in a great kit that I picked up at Lowes. Saved me a ton of time and money, and now I have these supplies for future projects! So little stress, low cost, few supplies but a definite re-do! Whether or not I’m totally satisfied with the color is yet to be determined. It required a lot of trust on my part. When I got two of the walls painted, I quickly realized just how bright the color was. It’s shockingly aqua, a lot less beachy than I expected.

 

See the difference? Holy moly! It almost pales the original green because it's so bright.

See the difference? Holy moly! It almost pales the original green because it’s so bright.

 

Once I finally got through all the walls, it took all my patience to not start hanging my shadow boxes and framed prints right away. I was hoping that with things on the wall, furniture in the room, and drapes on the window, the color will be a bit less abrasive. This proved to be MOSTLY true and I’m just going to live with the color for awhile and decide my next steps. But here, for your enjoyment, my nicely staged home office with the new colors, hung pictures and shadowboxes, and furniture in place. Thoughts?

 

See how small this room is and how intense the color can be? This is an ALMOST 360 of the room. I've got space for my sewing cart (next to my desk), my high back chair, and all my shells on the floor...ignore those.

See how small this room is and how intense the color can be? This is an ALMOST 360 of the room. I’ve got space for my sewing cart (next to my desk), my high back chair, and all my shells on the floor…ignore those.

 

I made those matching canvas pin boards with just canvas and beige/metallic polka dotted fabric. We've had them since our first place and because they're a neutral, they can always find a home somewhere. I also took my old, white spray painted cork board and covered it in burlap for a more beachy cork board.

I made those matching canvas pin boards with just canvas and beige/metallic polka dotted fabric. We’ve had them since our first place and because they’re a neutral, they can always find a home somewhere. I also took my old, white spray painted cork board and covered it in burlap for a more beachy cork board. I’m using my flea market find to file my design magazines (see left of desk) and my colored mason jars for supplies that need to be right at arms length. 

 

This is one of my favorite spots in the room. That piece of furniture is NOT a chest of drawers. It IS however, a mini-murphy bed. My office will always have to do double-duty and include some form of guest accommodations.

This is one of my favorite spots in the room. That piece of furniture is NOT a chest of drawers. It IS however, a mini-murphy bed. My office will always have to do double-duty and include some form of guest accommodations. The mirror was a clearance find at Homegoods, and with its capiz shell pattern is perfect for the space. It even matches our little frame and lamp. Oh, and of course, my apothecary jars filled to the brim with shells.

 

My reading corner...sans books. I finally did my last purge of college textbooks and now have plenty of space for my design books!

My reading corner…sans books. I finally did my last purge of college textbooks and now have plenty of space for my design books! The bear has made it ten years, and hopefully if I can keep it away from Truman, it will make it ten more! It’s sitting on the chair that I received from my grandmother earlier this year. The wall is now full with a collage of my shadow boxes and personal photography. Plus, I hung my shell covered “F” in the perfect place. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk into the room. That little box next to the chair is an unfinished project, but I promise to update you on its new life very soon!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

All Tied Up {Curtain Tie Backs}

Why hello there!

If you remember, many many weeks ago, I added our bedroom curtains to our living room. There they hung, a bit forgotten and incomplete. I realized during this project that I only ever had four panels, not the six I expected. So, assuming I would quickly head back to IKEA for another set, I left them alone until today. As I was cleaning and rearranging my office, I stumbled upon the pretty tie backs that the curtain packages included. We’ve never used them because the curtains have been closed for most of their time with us. I decided that using tie backs would make them a bit more polished and at least remind me to get my behind moving in buying the other pair.

Before: Just hanging around.

Before: Just hanging around.

After: Ahhhh, it's almost like the windows frame our gorgeous greenery outside. Definitely a perk of the neighborhood.

After: Ahhhh, it’s almost like the windows frame our gorgeous greenery outside. Definitely a perk of the neighborhood.

So this project cost about $8 for the hooks and mounting materials (found them all at Bed Bath and Beyond). Now I just need to get moving and pick up that last pair of curtains! I’ll let you know when this little, never ending project, is finally complete!

XOXO,

Ashley