Monday, April 30, 2012

Octopus Dictionary Page Artwork

I made the artwork hanging in the downstairs bathroom.  Here's how! 

The frames are from Walmart, the Mat's are from Hobby Lobby.  The artwork was free from my printer!
I followed this great tutorial I found at

Since I already own an old dictionary I didn't scan the pages but ripped them right out of my book then taped them to a piece of  8x10 paper (since the dictionary pages were only 5x7).  Then sent them through my printer.  I found both of these octopus images on the graphics fairy website (click here and here for those images).  I adjusted the size just slightly, made sure they were centered, then played around with the color to make them look dark blue instead of black.  To adjust the color on a Mac (using iWork pages) after the image is selected go to the top of your computer and select "View" then click on "show adjust image" then you can slide the temperature and tint scales to change the images color.  This would work if you wanted to make the image green or red as well.

Take a look around the graphics fairy website - there are a ton of cute options that you could use for this type of artwork!  Don't have a dictionary?  just do what Becca from gardenberger did and check one out from the library then scan the page.  Or I recently saw some scrapbook paper that looked like a page out of a book that you could print your image on as well.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Downstairs Bathroom Transformation

In a post earlier I shared with you some of the finishing touches that would be going in the downstairs Bathroom (click here to see that post about the countertops, tile, and sconces).  Here is the completed product!

The Cabinet hardware and mirrors are from Hobby Lobby.  The shower curtain is from West Elm and the grey bath mat is from Target.  The paint color is (once again) Ozark Shadows lightened 50%.  We added some mdf boards just stacked horizontally one on top of another on the wall above the vanity and left that area painted the same white as the rest of the trim work in our house (Kwal "apple peel").

I love how the vanity turned out.  I HIGHLY recommend my cabinet guy (McKean Woodworking), he also did the fireplace and built-ins in my Living Room (see here).  

The numbered hooks on the wall are from a local store called "real deals"

 I think the Faux Marble countertops turned out great!  I paid a little extra to get an ogee edge but unfortunately they still did a regular block edge on the ends of the countertop - Darn!  If I had known I would of had them just leave that off and let the countertop run right into the walls.  To read more about these laminate "faux marble" countertops click here.

Because the countertop is laminate you can see a dark seem along the edges of the "block" backsplash piece so I painted that little edge with some white paint to hide that.  Got that tip from this blog.

I also love how the penny tiles look on the floor, these pictures really don't do them justice!  Click here for more info on the tile.

The hooks below and the "MEN" letters are from Hobby Lobby, I spray painted the letters Navy blue to coordinate with the blue vanity.

If you remember this was my inspiration photo from pinterest - I love having a picture to help me when designing a room!

The last area of our basement finish that I still need to show you is the Kitchenette, it still needs a little painting then I will post that final area!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Downstairs Reveal

The construction is finished downstairs!  We now have 3 more bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a weight room.  There is still a lot of work to be done on my end with the decorating but I will give you these pictures now and show you the changes I make along the way as I decorate them.

(the door at the back of the family room is now an open hallway)

(obviously there have been changes to the Family Room walls as well which I will show you in some upcoming post).

We have two large openings on the left side of the hallway that we had trimmed out to look like columns, the first opening has doors to the weight room and storage room, the second opening goes to the guest bedroom.  The sconces on the wall can be found at wayfair.  The right side of the hallway has one bathroom and two bedrooms at the back. The hallway paint color is the same one I used upstairs - Benjamin Moore's Ozark Shadows but once again I had it lightened 50%.

The Weight Room

We had a window installed on the wall that connects with the guest bedroom just so we could get some natural light in here since there was no way to get any "real" windows in this room.

Boys Bedrooms (I got the small letters on their door from hobby lobby)

 Jackson's Room

Alex and Andrew's Room
I got these great beds at a local store "Down East Home" for $250 each and they were still brand new in the box!  The grey quilts on top of the beds are from target.

The Guest Bedroom

 As you can see there is still A LOT of blank white walls waiting for me to decorate!  But I guess that is the good news for you - there is still  plenty of "Casablanca Transformation" posts coming your way!  In my next post I'll show you the downstairs bathroom.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Entryway and Hallway Changes

I just got a couple of these chandeliers from Ballard Designs for my Foyer.  Sadly I looked for them on their site to provide you all with the link and I couldn't find them anywhere!  I guess they are no longer selling them (maybe they will be bringing them back later)?  Anyway - now I'm really glad I got them because I've had my eye on them for a while and would have been sad if I just missed out on getting them!  

You may also notice we added a 3 piece crown at the top of the ceiling.  It doesn't stand out too much right now since everything is white but that will eventually change.
It's far from being called a transformation (because I plan on doing more to the walls - next year maybe) but it is a definite improvement!

 Lighting Before (Yikes!).  Although builder grade fixtures are cheap and ugly, if you are buying or building a home through a big builder I still recommend getting these ugly basics installed instead of upgrading through your builder for a more expensive "lighting package."  Even the expensive lighting packages lack a custom look.  I prefer being able to pick out different lights for each space and buy them from wherever I want.  After all they are such an easy thing to replace!  It's details like these that make your home look less like a "tract" home and a little more like "you".

We also added crown molding down the hallways.  I really put the trim guys to work all over my house since they were here anyway!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Easy DIY Abstract Art

So I needed to find a nice piece of abstract art to go on the mantel above the new fireplace.  I knew it was a treasure hunt that might take me a long time since it needed to be the right size, the right colors, and the right price.  A very tough combo!  This week I found a painting at Home decorators that was the right size and the right price (on clearance for $35) but the only colors in the painting were white, black, and grey.  Because of the great price I decided to bring it home anyway and see if just maybe it would be ok.


Once I put it up on the mantel my husband and I agreed it didn't work because it needed a bit more color.  Well I took a risk and thought maybe I would try adding color to it myself with some paint!  I was a little nervous since I have never attempted anything like this before (and I'm not an artist) but I quickly saw that this was actually very easy.  Some great things I had going for me -  I wasn't starting from scratch with a blank canvas (intimidating!).  It already was a nice piece of art that I only had to add very little to.  The other great thing was that this painting was not canvas - the painting was on wood and had a high gloss shiny protective coating so any paint I added could easily be wiped back off with a wet paper towel if I didn't like it.  Any paint I did like stuck just fine on this surface and stayed in place - my kids can't reach this high so there is no danger of the paint I added coming off.  The last thing going for me - it doesn't have to look like anything since it is abstract!  I basically just played around with some different paint, wiping on and off again, using different directions and brushes and really doing whatever I wanted until I felt like I was done.


I was so happy to find that you don't have to be an artist to create a unique and custom piece of abstract art.  BELIEVE ME - if I can do this ANYONE can.  I love that this way I could make it have the exact colors I wanted - and it was very cheap since I already had those paint colors in leftover paint cans!

I have a couple other spots in my house that need some big artwork and I am definitely willing to try this technique again if I need to!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Living Room Transformation!

When we moved into the home we had the builders put in a gas line so that the large wall in the living room could one day have a fireplace and built-ins.  Since we were under construction with the downstairs anyway we decided to have this completed at the same time.  I am thrilled with how it turned out and loving that I don't have a large blank wall to stare at anymore!

The sconces on either side of the picture are from Wayfair, click Here for more info on that artwork.  The book shelves are a little bare and still need some work but that will come together over time!

Remember how the room looked when we moved in.  The paint color in the picture below is Restoration Hardware's "Slate"  which I loved, but it just wasn't working for me in this space so the color now is Benjamin Moore's "ozark shadows" (lightened 50%).

First they pulled back the carpet and framed in the opening for the fireplace, once the fireplace box was in they covered the framing in drywall.  Then my cabinet guy covered all that up with cabinetry and trim!

We also added crown molding all the way around the room and framed out the windows with trim.
For more info on the ruffle curtains click Here!

Remember my New Years Home Resolutions?  This picture was my inspiration and I would say it came off beautifully!  By now you all should know-  that is my secret to decorating.  I just find the look I like in a picture and then copy it!