Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How To Decorate a Room On a Budget And My Miracle Child

Hello!!  Today I'm sharing some of Hunter's room and how I decorated it without breaking the bank.  Also, I'm sharing a bit about Hunter and how he's our miracle child.  

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to be a Mom.  I'm adopted and my Mom got pregnant when I was 14.  It was after my brother, Bryan was born that I knew I wanted to have children of my own.  That feeling of being needed and the overwhelming love was something I wanted in my life.  

However, when I got married and tried to have children, I became aware that this might not be as easy as I thought.   I had a very difficult time getting pregnant.   I had some issues that made it near impossible to get pregnant.  I tried many types of fertility methods and medications, but with no success.  
Finally, when I turned 34 I found out I was pregnant!  It couldn't have come at a better time.  My Mom had been battling cancer for years and was beginning to lose her battle.  She was so happy when I told her I was pregnant.  However, my joy quickly turned to grief when I found out the pregnancy was ectopic and would need to be surgically removed.  My family was devastated and I felt so much overwhelming sadness, loss and guilt.  I must have done something wrong to have this happen...or so I thought.  After my procedure,  my doctor told me I wouldn't have children.  My age, other infertility issues and now a damaged filopian tube made having a baby an impossibility.  She spouted off a bunch of statistics and facts about my situation.  I grieved at the loss of my dream and the loss of my baby.

About 6 months later, my Mom lost her long battle with cancer.  It was a very sad time, but it was good to know she was no longer in pain or suffering.  I was sad because I knew how much my Mom had wanted a grandchild and now she would never have that chance.  Although, in my heart I knew she was in a better place and I felt the baby we had lost would be there with her.  

My hubby and I lived our lives and resigned ourselves to the fact we wouldn't be able to have a child.  I was finally OK with the idea and actually started to embrace my child-free lifestyle.  During an extremely stressful time in our lives, one of the hardest times ever, we found out I was pregnant.  I rushed to get an ultrasound, fearing the worst...another ectopic pregnancy, but it was a miracle!!  The baby was right where it needed to be and everything was great.  After my appointment, as I walked backed to my office, I realized things were about to change in a big way.  I was overwhelmed with emotions, I was scared, thankful and full of excitement.  It was then that it struck me how only 8 shorts months ago my Mom had passed away and somehow I knew and felt in my heart she must have had something to do with this miracle.  I was going to be a Mother even when the doctors said it wasn't possible.  

8 months later Hunter was born.  It was the best day of my life seeing his head full of blond hair and blue eyes for the first time.  Immediately, he gave me something I never thought I would have....an actual blood relative!  I was adopted at 3 days old and I had lived my life never knowing anyone that looked like me or was actually related to me by blood.  Hunter looked just like me and even had my dimple chin.  That day forever changed my life and gave me a purpose and direction I'd never had before.  Now Hunter is 9 years old, going on 25, and way too smart for his own good.  He makes me laugh every day.  He's encouraging, surprising, full of information and facts and fills my heart with such a deep love every times I look into his eyes, it's overwhelming and takes my breath away.  I've never knew such happiness or unconditional love until he came into my life.  

Yes, yes, I know this is a DIY, home decor blog and I'm getting to that part I promise.  I just felt I needed to write about why decorating and designing rooms and furniture for him makes me so happy.  I really never thought I would get the chance to do this!  Now every time I have the opportunity to make a room special for him, it means the world to me.

When we moved into our new house at the end of April, I had a plan for Hunter's room.  I'm still not completely done, but I'm slowly making progress.  My goal for his room is to make it a room that will grow with him, show his personality and not cost a fortune.  I wanted to share some pictures of what I've done so far in his room and how you can decorate a room for your child without breaking the bank!

Hunter is the typical boy, he loves sports, cars, motorcycles and planes.  He also loves to travel.  Over the years, I've been incorporating all of his 'loves' in his room.  

The first place I started in this new room was shelving.  Hunter's room is big and has a very nice tray ceiling (something else I have plans for!).  He needed a place to nicely display his 'things'.  After building my DIY pipe shelving for my kitchen, I thought it would be a great idea to do something similar, but instead of a free standing unit, attach the shelving to the wall.  I had seen this done on Pinterest so I knew it wasn't hard.  

I used the same wood shelves I bought from IKEA  for my DIY pipe shelving.  Then I purchased all my pipes from Home Depot.  I didn't need any of the pipes cut this time.   I used plumbing pipes and they came in exactly the size I needed. 

Here's what I used to make each shelf:

2 floor flanges ($10 for both)
2 steel plumbing pipes, threaded on each end.  I used 12 inch pipes ($14 for both)
2 pipe elbows ($3 for both)
2 pipe caps ($5 for both)
1 solid wood shelf from IKEA ($7)
Wipe On Poly

The shelves are very easy to assemble.  First thing I did was attach the floor flanges to the wall.    I figured out where I wanted the shelves on the wall and how far apart the flanges needed to be.  I screwed the pipe to the floor flange, then attached the elbow to the other end of the pipe.   Lastly I screwed on the pipe cap on the end of the elbow.  The wood shelf fits perfectly on the pipes and the pipe cap keeps the shelf on tightly.  

I stained the wood in my favorite dark walnut stain and then finished it off with a couple coats of wipe on poly. They were that easy to make!

Here are the finished shelves  in Hunter's room.

We made sure we found studs in the walls, then screwed the flanges into the studs.  They're very sturdy and can be used for years to come.  

A few comments about the things on his shelves.  The Hunter license plate sign I purchased at the Country Living Fair last summer.  This would be an easy and inexpensive DIY project.  Tin snips and some license plates,  then attach the plates with nails to a simple painted board and there you have it!!  

The picture frames with maps are from a previous post I wrote about his room I decorated in CT.  You can see more details here.  These are SUPER inexpensive to make.  I got the frames at a local thrift store and some vintage gas station maps and attached the maps to the frames using a staple gun.   I spent about a $1 for each one. 

The license plates I've been collecting over the last few years for his room.  The most I've ever spent was $7 for a license plate.  Some I've bought for as little as $1.  I purchased most of them at yard sales, flea markets and estate sales.

The hub caps, Hunter picked out at an estate sale last fall.  They were $5 each.  

The most expensive item on the shelves is the hand painted Wrigley Field sign.  I bought that at a local flea market for $25.  

The globes are part of my collection.  My favorite globe is on his desk.  He has 2 light up globes in his room that he uses at night.  I love them!!

Hunter likes to add things to the shelves from time to time...Last week, he added this little helicopter he built out of Lego.

The little Hershey Chocolate truck tin is from Goodwill and it was $.50!

One of my favorite things on the shelves is that large vintage light bulb.  I bought that for $3 at an estate sale awhile back.  I like how unexpected it is.  

The newest addition to his room, is the number 9. It's a big plastic number that was used in a store display.  The hubby and I bought it for him at an antique while we were in Nashville.

For curtains in Hunter's room I used IKEA curtains.  Normally I'm not a fan of grommets on curtains, but these were fun and the perfect color for a kids room.  I sewed on some red and cream trim to the inside edge of the curtains to give them a custom look.  

The window in Hunter's room is long and the curtain rods I had from his previous room were too small.  I needed a long rod and didn't want to pay a lot so, I used electrical conduit piping, two pipe elbows and 2 flanges.  The whole rod cost $25 to make....much cheaper than a long curtain rod from a store.  I added a curtain rod bracket in the middle for support, then I sprayed all the pieces a brushed nickel.  

I hung more license plates and an ALL WAY sign above his window to tie everything together.  

The day bed, I found free on the side of the road a couple summers ago.  I had stripped it down and upholstered it for my office a few houses ago, but thought it would fit perfectly in front of Hunter's window.  I reupholstered it in denim fabric and now it's a great place to sit and read a book.  There's a nice view of the pond and all the birds that live there.  

Decorating a room for yourself or your child is easy.  All it takes are pieces that have meaning.  Nothing in these pictures was expensive.  The desk was free, given to me by a friend...I just painted it and gave it new life with some maps (you can read more about that here.)  The solid wood library chair was an estate sale purchase for $10.  The art on the desk was $5 at an estate sale, the clocks were $5 from Goodwill.  

You don't have to spend a fortune to make a room special.  Overall, I wanted this room to feel collected.  I think it looks collected because I didn't go to one store and buy everything at one time.  It's possible to go out and buy everything you need for a room at one store, but it's a lot harder to get a unique look that's all your own.  This room reflects Hunter's personality and interests and that's what makes this room special....also the kiddo who sleeps in this room! 

Figure out what you love and see what you have around the house.  Maybe you have a collection that you have spread out in several rooms.  Bring that collection together and display it in a room you spend a lot of time in.  There are no hard and fast rules for decorating...there might be some out there who don't agree.  I feel like a room needs to be a reflection of who lives in and uses the room.  If that is achieved, then it's a success.

I hope this post has helped inspire you to decorate your child's room or even one of your own. 

I let Hunter read the top portion of this post before I was finished writing.  I wanted to see what he thought.  It was wonderful to watch his facial expressions as he read what I wrote about him and our joy when he became part of the family.  He smiled from ear to ear.  Who doesn't want to read about how special and loved they are?!  

 In the end....this is all just stuff.  The stuff will come and go.  The stuff isn't important, it's the people and the memories made that something.  

Thanks so much for reading!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

DIY Ottomans: A Curated Board For Hometalk

I love Hometalk!  If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you've read this comment a few times before.  If you haven't been following along and have no idea what Hometalk is, well let me give you a quick explanation.  Hometalk is a home and garden site that brings everything together into one place.  You can find advice from professionals on a number of subjects, as well as projects from people from all walks of life.  It's a great place to find inspiration and answers to your home and garden questions.  Hometalk is one of the few sites where you can post a question and other members will help by giving you answers or advice on where to find answers.  

Hometalk is a great resource for bloggers as well.  The Hometalk team is always helping promote our work on their site and in social media.  I was lucky enough to meet Miriam of Hometalk awhile back and she's been a huge help growing my blog.  When I was contacted by Hometalk about curating  board for them about DIY ottomans, I jumped at the chance!!   It was a lot of fun and I'm inspired to make some more ottomans for my home!

It was hard to narrow down the list of great DIY ottoman projects to just 17!  There are so many talented, creative people with incredible ideas on Hometalk.  I love a good ottoman and actually prefer a large ottoman to a coffee table for the comfort factor.   I thought I would take a few minutes to share three of my favorites from my curated board.

This ottoman by Shannon of AKA Designs made me swoon!  Shannon built this round ottoman out of some scrap wood she had from another project.  It gets better.....she found the lyrics from one of her and her hubby's favorite songs and translated them into french.  She traced all the french lyrics onto her fabric using a paint pen, then sewed it all together to make this gorgeous ottoman.   I love it Shannon!!! 

This next ottoman is adorable....even if Brenda used a Coke crate!  (I kid, I kid...my hubby works for Pepsi, so I had to write that!)  I see these crates all the time at flea markets and have several tin my own home.  I don't own a single Coke crate, just Pepsi (wink, wink).   Brenda from Cottage4C created this fun ottoman from a vintage beverage crate using foam, fabric and 4 wood legs.  This is a fun piece that adds personality to this space AND is easy to do (bonus!!!).  I might have to give this one a try myself.  Great work Brenda!!

Last, but certainly not least is this absolutely adorable slip cover made by Lisa at Concord Cottage. She created this slip cover for an old ottoman she purchased for $2 at a yard sale.   How many times have you walked by an old, tired piece of upholstered furniture because it was beyond help?  I've done it countless times!  However, Lisa saw the possibilities and made this one of a kind Union Jack inspired slip cover for her ottoman.  After reading her post and tutorial on Hometalk, I will definitely stop in my tracks the next time I see an old upholstered ottoman!  Thanks for the inspiration Lisa!!  

I could go on and on sharing all 17 of these creative DIY ottoman ideas!  Make sure to stop by Hometalk and have a look at the board.  I promise you will be inspired to make your own DIY ottoman!!

Thank you Hometalk for this fun opportunity!!

Thanks for reading!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blog Land Tour

WOW!  I'm not sure if you're feeling the same way I do, but this has been a very busy and eventful summer!  I can't believe school is starting soon and summer is winding down.  I've kept busy with a few projects and a whole lot of traveling, so my posts have been few and far between.  Fear not....I'm back home and ready to start sharing some projects with you!

A few weeks ago, my very sweet blog friend Shanna from Restoration Redoux, asked me to join in on a blog land tour.  You're probably asking yourself, "What's a blog land tour?!"  What the tour is all about is getting to know me and a few other blog friends.  We are each asked four questions to answer and share with our readers.  

Before I get to all the fun questions and answers....I know you can't wait, right?  I want to take a few moments to talk about Shanna.  She's one of those people who seems to endless amounts of talent.  She's a beautiful person, inside and out as well.  I was lucky enough to meet Shanna last year at the Haven Conference.  Since I met her, she's been a huge help when I have questions.  She also inspires me with her gorgeous furniture redos!  

Shanna and I both enjoy re purposing and giving furniture a new lease on life.  Here's a perfect example of how well she does this.

I still can't get over how cute this project is!!!  Shanna took an old tube TV she was given and turned it into a dog house!  And not just any dog house....this is one adorable dog house and one lucky dog!!

Here comes the question and answer part of this post!  I know you've been on pins and needles waiting for this!

About Me

I'm a stay at home Mom to my adorable 9 year old son and wife to the most amazing husband in existence.  He puts up with my creative personality and supports my crazy ideas....well, most of them!  

We move around a lot for the hubby's job, so my blog was born out of my desire to keep in touch with friends and family.  Also, a friend of mine dared me to start a blog, in her words, 'like Design Sponge".  I took that challenge and started My Passion For Decor a little over 2 1/2 years ago.  The blog has slowly morphed into me sharing my love for design, anything vintage and giving old furniture new life.  

What am I working on right now?

OK, this is a loaded question and I'm convinced my husband asked Shanna to ask this question!  In all seriousness, I'm working on so many projects right now it's hard to think straight.  We moved into our home at the end of April and I'm slowly getting the house in order.  This "getting our house in order" has taken me a lot longer than I anticipated however!  

I'm right in the middle of my guest bedroom project now.  I'm designing and decorating the space to get ready for company, so every other room has been put on hold.  The only hint I will give about the room is I'm using some reclaimed wood I purchased from a salvage company.  I'm happy with how the room is fitting the vision I had in my mind...I love when that happens!  

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

These are really hard questions, Shanna!!  I try very hard to just be myself in my posts and share the story and process behind what I do.  I don't want to share something and just show a before and after picture...I want you to have the information and steps to be able to do the project too.  

When I walk into a thrift store, yard sale, flea market, etc and I see a piece of neglected furniture, it speaks to me.  No, I don't hear furniture (or dead people), but I get a feeling like I can't let the piece stay there.  I need to rescue it and give it a new home.  

I feel like I run a furniture rescue, kind of like a dog rescue, but with furniture!  The overall difference between me and some others in this genre, is my NEED to rescue these pieces.  There are times when I hear from people who think I've ruined a piece of furniture by painting it, however, what they're not seeing in the pictures is how the piece was falling apart.  I don't buy priceless antiques and paint them, I paint pieces that need an update and some major TLC.  I feel it's my mission to extend the life of some of these incredibly beautiful and well-made furniture pieces.

Oh and I post TONS of pictures in my posts...good or bad, I love to share the pictures so you can feel like you're here with me looking at this beautiful furniture!

These are two examples of pieces I've rescued over the years and given new homes.  

This navy blue dresser really needed some help to bring out it's beauty.  It's one of my most popular posts as well as one of my all-time favorite dresser projects.  You can see the before pictures and the entire story here.  

This piece I purchased on Cragislist. I found this one in the basement at an estate sale.  It was peeling, dirty and smelly and screaming for a rescue.  You can read all about this piece here.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I've already touched on this subject a bit in the answer to the last question.  I do this because I love saving old and neglected furniture pieces.  Also, I do what I do for me.  I have to create and use the creativity I was born with.  If I don't, I feel like I'm not being true to myself or doing what comes naturally.  

Ever since I was a child, I've enjoyed changing, creating and rearranging.  When you're little, it's not like you can ask your parents to buy you a dresser to refinish, but I used my creativity in other ways.  I was always rearranging and designing my bedroom.  I wasn't one of those kids who left their room the same way for weeks on end.  I had this overwhelming desire to change and improve my space in creative ways.  Now I use my creativity by painting furniture, decorating and designing the rooms in my home.  

Basically, if I didn't write a blog I would still be creating something, but there wouldn't be the outlet to share what I do.  I write/create what I do to inspire others.  I DON'T write this blog to brag about what I did to give a tired old dresser new life.  Anyone can do what I do.  I write my blog to inspire people and to give them the courage to try to do these things in their own homes.    I get email after email from people saying, "I can't do this, I'm not creative, I have no vision." I'm here to tell them to give it a try!  If you don't try, you'll never know what you're capable of. 

I saw this quote recently and I think it explains what I'm trying to convey.

How does my writing/creative process work?

HAHAHAHA, this one makes me laugh.  Not because it's a bad question (it's a great question), but because I'm not sure how to answer this one.  

Everything starts when I find a piece of furniture, have a room that needs a makeover or I have a need for something (storage, etc).   There are a lot of amazing bloggers out there who plan out their posts months in advance.  Sadly, I'm not one of those bloggers.  I'm not the most organized person around.  My entire writing/creative process feeds off my life.  If we've moved, I take before pictures of our home and then figure out what needs to be done.  Then when I'm doing the work, I take pictures and ultimately write a post.  More times than not though, I do all these steps, but don't have time to write a post or I finish another project and decide to share it instead. 

While I'm working on a project, I'm writing the post in my head while I'm working.  It keeps my head in the game so to speak and helps me figure out what I want to say.  

Having a 9 year old in the house, I have to figure out how and when I'm going to get these projects done, photographed, edited, written and posted.  I work best when no one is around and I can focus on what needs to be done.  I have a tendency to get way too distracted by everything around me.  This means I generally work on projects while the kiddo is at school or camp in the summer.  If he's home with me, like he is now, it's a lot harder to get things done.

My industrial pipe shelving is a perfect example of a project being born out of necessity.  I needed a place to display some of my clutter...I mean collection, so I built this shelf.  You can find all the details for this post here.

Well, there you have it...you probably know more about me than you thought you ever would :-)  I hope you found this interesting.  If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email at melody@mypassionfordecor.com  I do return my emails and enjoy answering your questions.  

NOW, I want to introduce you to someone who has lots of creativity and wonderful ideas.   Jill from Weathered Pieces.  Jill writes her blog, raises a family, sells at a several booths in stores, but also sells  one of my favorite brands of paint, American Paint Company.  

I met Jill last year at Haven as well.  She's been a great inspiration to me and a huge help when I have paint questions.  

Here's a peak at a piece she recently finished with paint from American Paint Company.  Isn't it gorgeous?!

Thank you so much to Shanna for asking me to participate.  AND thank YOU for reading!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Look Back At One Of My Favorite Projects

HELLO!!  I'm pumped up right now because I'm getting ready for the Haven Conference in Atlanta.  I wrote about the experience after my first time attending the conference last year.  You can read that post here.  I'm looking forward to meeting new people and learning a lot!  

Last week I shared a post about my most popular project.  Today I'm sharing one of my favorite and most popular posts from last year....My Pottery Barn inspired desk.

Who doesn't love when they get that Pottery Barn catalog in the mail?  Well, I sure do and I love pouring over the pages figuring out what I want to try and make.  SO when I found some old wood filing cabinets at Goodwill, I knew what to do with them.  

Here's my inspiration picture from Pottery Barn (I'm still trying to figure out how to make that abacus!)

This is what I started with....two of these lovely wood filing cabinets with brass hardware  This picture was taken after I removed the hardware.

With the magic of some Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan in Old White, some spray paint in oil rubbed bronze from Rustoleum these cabinets were given new life!

Add in a solid wood panel from the home improvement store, some stain and a number and I had a new desk top.

And BAM! A new desk made by me and inspired by Pottery Barn.

I have to admit at one point last year I had the desk for sale.  Then I changed my mind.  I love this desk and I needed to keep it.  I'm so glad I changed my mind!!

This picture was taken a few houses ago.  Now the desk is sitting in the Hubby's new office waiting for me to get it organized, painted and decorated.  I'll be sharing pictures of it's new home once I'm done.  

 I hope you're enjoying these blasts from the past as much as I am!  It makes me realize how much has happened and changed in the 2 1/2 years I've been blogging.  It seems like only yesterday I started this blog on a dare!  Now I'm attending my second blog conference and going on my third year blogging.  I'm hoping to learn a lot at Haven this year that I can implement here.  Stay tuned to see what I learned.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How To Paint Upholstery... (AKA Not Sewing Piping)

I'm happy to have Charlotte from Ciburbanity here today!!  I love Charlotte's style and her ability to juggle four children, a successful blog and all that life throws her with such grace.  I know you'll love her post today.  I'm already looking around for some upholstery to paint!  If you're looking for inspiration, make sure to stop by and show her some love on her Facebook page here or on her blog here. Let's give Charlotte a warm welcome and show her some MPFD love!  Thanks for being for sharing Charlotte!

I’m SO excited to be back at My Passion For Decor (even more excited that I get to hang out with my girl, Melody, in just three short days!!!). I'm Charlotte from Ciburbanity and I'm so excited to share my latest chair project. You know how they say a coat of paint can be transformative? Well, they weren't kidding! I've had this chair in my basement for a few months with the intent of reupholstery, but I don't know that I can handle piping for another 12 months. Soooo... I reached for my paint brush! BeforeAfter Chair There are plenty of tutorials out there on the web, and I read a few of them to confirm that most people recommend the same process. I mixed 1/3 regular ol' latex paint, 1/3 fabric medium (mine is Martha Stewart's from Michael's) and 1/3 water. Before painting, tape off any areas of your piece touching the upholstery. The paint should be watery in order to penetrate the fabric, so it will be hard to control and might, ahem, get everywhere.
For the first coat, give your fabric a pretty good once over with a spray bottle. This will help the paint soak in...I started with a plain and simple 2" brush and applied the paint being careful that my last stroke was going with the grain of the fabric. For little nooks and crannies around the tufting or folds or cracks around the piping, use a smaller firm brush to really get your paint in there good. Ultimately, I used my fingers to rub in the paint and make sure that the whole chair had a uniform coat of the paint mixture. spray-bottle nooks-crannies-chair fingers-rubbing-paint
Let your paint dry for a while (I left mine overnight) and go over it with a fine grain sandpaper block. This step is important as it helps to soften the fabric and remove any areas where the paint might have set a little too heavy. This chair took 3 coats, but it's also a fairly dark color... I could see a lighter color on a lighter upholstery might not require as many coats! 3 coats of painted upholstery Can you believe how this thing used to look? And I'm sure you're wondering about the texture... guys, it's NOT ROUGH.. Pinky swear. If you were blindfolded, you wouldn't be able to tell what material is on the seat. The back around the tufting is a little rougher because it's tricky to get the sanding block in there, but it's more stiff than scratchy. close-upholstered-chair corner-painted-upholstery
This new chair is amazing. Like amazing aMAZing. I'm SO pleased with the color and it was much easier than reupholstering. And piping... I loathe piping. painted-upholstery blue-painted-upholstery elephant-upholstered-chair-paint painted upholstery label Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.29.34 PM