Monday, June 18, 2012


So I was over at House Beautiful the other day and saw this:

So I thought-awesome!  I think I'll check it out.  So I did.  Was quite dissappointed.  Let me explain why..
Now it may be that I am in a completely different snack bracket than who they are catering too.  Perhaps?  Or maybe that to me some of the ideas were completely ridiculous.  Just my opinion is all.  First of all let me say I do enjoy looking at all of the lovely homes that House Beautiful has to offer.  And I do occasionally buy said magazine.  It takes a lot for me to do so these days.  Gone are the days of many shelter mags-insert sad face here.  So when I go to buy one, it better be pretty darn spectacular for me to buy it. 
I wanted to share a few of their "Quick" decorating ideas with you all.that really did NOT sit well with me:


In this 1st pic I love how light filled this space is.  Who wouldn't love to have this room in their house? The gorgeous windows, Hardwood floors, light filled etc.....  It is shot beautifully.  This is what the caption said, "Display a great collection on a Dining Room Table".  Really?  First of all, we actually use our dining room table  to EAT ON!!  Second of all,  I don' know about you but I don't have enough space in my house to just have such a large display-granted it is a gorgeous blue and white collection.  But for the 99% of us, this is just not going to happen.  And for those who can afford it, their designer would be doing this for them.  Doesn't really apply in my REAL life.  Next!


Gorgeous Bed!  Gorgeous John Robshaw bedding!  Lovely, Lovely!  However, the caption read, " Mix and Match your Bedding".  Really!  I don't know about you but I think that's what we do already.  For those of us that can't go out and buy new products all the time-well we mix it up, move stuff from one room to the other.  By moving things around a bit, that room will feel a "little" newer.  So telling me to mix it up- been there and done that!  Plus if I had John Robshaw Textiles for my bed it would be so kickin' it!  And those hanging lanterns!  Well.....  not my thing either.  Looks great for the pic-but that's about all I can say about those. Next!


Ok-this one really made me noodles!  I and I know I am not alone here do not have a bathroom that could POSSIBLY support placing an extraneous piece of furniture in a bathroom.  The caption read, "Put an Antique in the bathroom"!!  Never mind that that piece of ANTIQUE furniture would be in an environment where the humidity would always be changing-not so great for the antique table my friend.  I know that they say in the caption that it is for a guest bath, but someone else may take this CRAZY idea and actually do it without thinking about the ramifications of the humidity and the affects on the antique.  Plus again, how many of us have enough room to do so?  I wish!  Plus, even if I did have the room I would NOT be putting an Antique piece in there like that!  If I was going to use an Antique dresser as a vanity for instance you could be very sure that that thing would be varnished within an inch of its life!

The Caption for this pic read, "Move the furniture away from the walls".  Great advise yes.  However, in this particular case they could have showcased a better example of this.  In case you hadn't noticed the only way to place furniture in this particular space is IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM!  THERE ARE NO WALLS TO PUSH FURNITURE UP AGAINST.  I understand they are trying to give food for thought but this is so not the example to use.  Plus - move my furniture away from the walls- Really?  That's your quick decorating tip??  This room would be gorgeous regardless of how it was decorated (within reason of course!).  Next!!


Ok-so this one only gets a SEMI fail.  The caption read, "Reupholster Furniture with old curtains".  That is a great idea.  I love the idea of reusing fabric (if possible), re purposing things -it speaks to a newer generation of designers/decorators that may be trying to be a little more green or budget sensitive. I have in the past used my fabric in many ways.  The problem here is that many times fabric that is OK for Drapes/Curtains is NOT OK for upholstery- It is a weight issue,  whether the fabric will hold up to the harsher use it will get on a piece of furniture.  The other problem is that the fabric that was used for curtains may be UV damage and or weakened thus not making it a great candidate for upholstery - just some food for thought!  The other issue I have and maybe it is just snarky on my part but, the person stated , ""The easy chair is covered in my old dining room curtains, a Designers Guild fabric they no longer make."  I wish I had some Designers Guild Fabric lying around so I too could have an awesome chair!!  You see, most people DO NOT have the luxury of having fabulous fabric lying around or used elsewhere to re purpose.  I have seen what most people have for drapes and it isn't Designers Guild!  I really do love this idea in principal, I just don't know how many will actually be able to do it!

Maybe it's because I am in a completely different snack bracket that I find what House Beautiful  had to offer fell very flat for me.  I don't know.  I found some little ideas over at Country Living to more of my liking!

Here are some quick updates that can work in the REAL World!


 In this Living the Room, the owner updated their windows with Romans from Ikea- great idea and not expensive at all!  Granted they have to fit but at least it is an inexpensive option.


I don't care what snack bracket you are from but framing maps is a great way to make a wall personal, fun and colourful.  You can tell a story here.  And it would look great in many settings.  Also it won't break the bank either.  Go to second hand stores to get the frames or go to Ikea.  Either buy maps, photo copy maps or troll antique shops.  You do NOT have to break the bank to achieve this look.


In this instance I think that the collectibles displayed is far more practical than on a large dining table.  The items can be used without interfering with everyday life.  They can serve as a decorative purpose or as a functional one- that is always key for me.  Especially when someone lives in a smaller home.  As a side note the retro toaster cost $5.00!  How lucky is that?? It was bought at a yard sale.  Gotta find me one of those kinds of yard sales!!


How great is that hanging rack??  I love it.  I think I will have to troll the yard sales/stores to find one of these puppies.  Again, this type of item would look right at home in many kitchens.  And it is very functional too.  Why jam all those dishtowels into a drawer when they can be out and ready to go in such a lovey way.  Awesome Idea!!

Now this is how you hang a pendant near a bed everyone,  close to but NOT touching the bed or the people in it. In the one for House Beautiful all I could think of was.....  If you move  around in that bed won't the light sort of sway and bang the frame since it is attached to the frame??  Here it is hung perfectly!  And I bet at $10.00 it cost way less then the other ones!!  Way too cute!

Now- I have a couple of my own ideas that are instant updates and won't break the bank-
One is a bit of a re-run- the chest I loaded in my last posting- my Ombre dresser;

Paint cost less than $20.00.  All it took was some not so fancy mixing in mini pie dishes (dollar store) and some patience!  Ombre is very in at the moment.  So....  here is an update that I think will hold it's appeal for some time to come.  Even though it is for my bedroom, both my boys thought it , "looked pretty cool".  In fact they were pretty impressed.  Not sure why they were so impressed- I'm doing stuff all the time.  I guess they just connected with this particular piece.

One other little project that is fun, fast and easy  and I know we all like easy sometimes;

Not sure what that mark is in the middle right-isn't on the glass!!

The square frame is from Ikea-Ribba I think!  Now..... the background in the matting is just wallpaper cut out and taped to the back of the matting.  It was a Ralph Lauren for $5.00 I bought some time ago in a bargain bin.  You could just as easily use scrapbook paper, Musical sheets, fabric, maps, wrapping paper....... you name it, the possibilities are endless.  I then mounted a small pic that I cut out of the back of a calender.  You could just as easily mount a shell, a teaspoon or any other object that you love-remember this is YOUR home-let it be about you.

Well that's about it for now.  It's not that I am trying to rain on House Beautiful's parade- I'm not.  It's just what they had to offer really fell flat for me.  Whereas, the same kind of ideas from Country Living seemed better-at least for me.
Have a great day everyone!


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