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Color Samples

Five years is a long time right?  I mean think about all that can happen in that time.  For our family, the last 5 years have had so many life changing events that sometimes I am amazed how much has happened and where we have landed.  And so the idea of repainting and sprucing up the decor throughout the house surfaced in my mind.   I’ve had trouble with the repainting part since the paint in our house really isn’t that old.  Then again, how often should one repaint the inside of a home?  I hit the internet hoping to find a magical number, but came up empty handed.  Some people were on a 10 year schedule while others just waited until the walls began to look dingy.  Then of course, there were people that repainted and changed up the décor in their home every 2 years.   So I sat myself down and tried to come up with my own justification list.  Once complete, I would run it past my hubby for feedback as I do value his opinion.  The list went something like this:

  1. 5 years is an eternity in the decorating world!
  2. Flat paint was used throughout our house (need I say more).  I LOVE the look of flat paint, but let’s face it, it just isn’t practical with kids.
  3. Paint is 60% of the décor.
  4. I am a project person.  I enjoy the buzz and action of a great project – especially my own.
  5. I am helping a small local business – namely our painter who is fantastic.
  6. Its winter.  How does this point support repainting the house?  It really doesn’t but I threw it in anyway. The house will inevitably become a disaster with furniture being moved around so that the painter can access walls and such.   Dust will be kicked up and fumes from the paint will be evident.  We tend to be more at home in the winter (hence I can clean up easier) and the thought of opening the windows during winter to cleanse the air seems so much more appealing than mixing it with hot humid summer air.  Did I mention its winter?
  7. The paint on our walls has aged and I can no longer repaint high traffic areas without painting the entire wall.  I noticed this after about the 3rd year.

I looked at my husband and waited for a response.  Well?  “Do it”.  Wait a minute.  Did he just agree?  Woot woot!!  So it’s settled.  We hope to start this project in the next 2 weeks and anticipate that it will take about 6 months to a year to get it where we want it to be.  I don’t expect that the painting will take that long but rather the redecorating.  I also don’t plan to get rid of all the furniture – in fact I plan on keeping most of it.  Reorganizing and adding a few new pieces is what I hope to do in changing up the look in most rooms.  My heart flutters with excitement!

How often do you repaint the inside of your home?

Images:  House of Many Hues


February 2, 2013   No Comments

Sample Sale

It was Friday night and for the first time in a while, we had no plans.  None.  Hubby had no interest in leaving the house due to his cold and I wanted to do anything but stay home.  So I had a ‘date’ with my oldest daughter!  I took her to the Michigan Design Center – can you say Sample Sale?  About twice a year, the MDC has a Sample Sale open to the public where designer furniture, accessories, and even fabric samples go up for sale at reduced cost. 

I’ve posted about this Sample Sale before (search:  Michigan Design Center) and I usually find a few items (it’s tough to walk out empty handed!).  This trip included a fabric find and a heavy weight white wall paper made with beady dots.  It has such lovely sparkle to it that I’m thinking of making an inspiration board with it.

There was so much to see that we spent about 2 1/2 hours just taking everything in.   We even came across one of my favorite paintings up for sale.  I visit her every time we come to the MDC but this time it was different.  She wasn’t in her usual suite location (there are about 40 suites at the MDC), but rather part of a display in one of the designer suites.  I honestly can’t remember how much the painting costs, but it was waaay beyond my budget.  Wish I had a skirt just like hers…

Gorgeous furniture and fabrics in every corner.  But be prepared.  The pricing, while discounted, still can run in the thousands for some items.   I happen to key in on a narrow dresser that had beautiful lines and wasn’t too tall – but the cost was nearly $5k.  Don’t get me wrong -  you can definitely find affordable items, just be prepared for the occasional sticker shock.

Cost to enter the showrooms is $5.  Sign up with your email and they’ll send you $2 off the entrance.  Kids under 12 are free!

My daughter even scored this cute zebra bag (above)!

It was nearing 9pm and we were getting hungry.  The MDC has a cafe on sight, but just our luck it had closed shortly before we got there.  So we ended our ‘date’ with dinner at Noodles and Company and discussed the snow falling and all that we saw in the showrooms.  Awesome night!

Images:  House of Many Hues


January 28, 2013   No Comments

E is for Elephant

Good Morning Peeps!  The Michigan summer has been rolling along beautifully with weather that I’m certain has never been this warm – at least in my lifetime.  We even had a couple that hit 100 degrees. Yikes!  I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life and can tell you that this is not typical.  Growing up, it was a huge deal when temps would hit over 90.  Last weekend, my daughters and I went to the farmers market and then hit a few yard sales.  On our adventure, I came across a super cute framed picture of “E is for Elephant”.  The frame was made of metal and had a backing made of what old pegboards used to be made of minus all the holes (the name for this material escapes me).   Ok, this is really going to date me, but does anyone remember when there used to be floral paneling?!?  Same material except this is blank.  Between the pegboard material, the heavy white frame, and the large clips holding the picture in, I guesstimated that this was from the 70’s, maybe early 80’s at best.  The glass and frame were a bit dirty but nothing my water vinegar mixture couldn’t clean up.  I bought the piece, put it in my car, and then totally forgot about it until late last night.  I really should have gone to bed, but instead convinced myself it was the perfect time to work on it.

I grab it out of my car, began to take it apart and was a little surprised.  When I removed the backing, I saw what appeared to be blobs of paint on the back of the picture.  Thinking nothing more of this, I continued to take the picture out and clean the glass.  About 3 minutes later, it was time to reassemble everything when to my shock I realized that this was a painting!  All along, I thought that it was some old print.  Immediately I scanned for any hint of the artists name and found the initials slightly hidden in the picture.  MPV or maybe it is MPL – could be either but not much to go on.  Either way, its new home will be in my 2 year old’s bedroom.  Anyone ever seen a similar one before?  Would love to know who’s work it is!

Images:  House of Many Hues


August 17, 2012   No Comments

Taika Flats by Anthropologie

When I read about these Taika flats from Anthropologie, my heart fluttered!  I have a difficult time wearing any kind of shoe that is super flat with paper thin soles.  When wearing this type of shoe, I seem to feel the “road” beneath me and all of its detail.  So when I read that this flat has a hidden 1wedge (can you do that?) and is handpainted with saturated pigments, I was captivated.  What also adds to the charm of these shoes is the comfy relaxed look.  Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that they are Made in Italy.

Images:  Anthropologie


June 19, 2012   2 Comments

Hoarding Light Bulbs

The other day I was relaxing with one of my magazines (not sure which one) when I came across an article on Bunny Williams.  If you don’t know who Bunny is, the easiest way to explain it is that she is to interior design what Martha Stewart is to food.  Anyway, the article was discussing her habit of buying and stashing away light bulbs – like hundreds of them.  I was intrigued.  She wasn’t alone in this movement of what appeared be a mad dash at buying up what seemed to be not so unusual looking light bulbs.  Were these light bulbs being discontinued?  There were two particular bulbs that were discussed.  One was a crown bulb – these are the light bulbs you sometimes see at restaurants.  They look like a regular light bulb dipped in silver.  The second was a soft pink light bulb made by Sylvania which apparently gives off a beautiful and warm light.

I dug a little deeper and found out something some of you may be interested in – especially since lighting is important in design.  Apparently there is a newer Federal Energy standard that plans to phase out certain incandescent light bulbs (such as clear, soft and frosted ones just to name a few) over a period of a couple years. OMG.  The time period for this phase out was suppose to begin January 1, 2012 (that’s like now) through January 1, 2014.  So why not just make energy improvements to these bulbs?  Reason is that these bulbs would never be able to meet the new standards.  Gosh, I hope the movement isn’t going toward compact florescent (I hate the lighting from those bulbs!).  Anyway, these energy efficient standards are nothing new (except to me) and are sweeping across the world.  One guy from France complained that the soft pink light bulbs were no longer on the shelf and difficult to find.

The mention of a pink light bulb sounded so charming that I did a quick search and found some of the Sylvania ones on Amazon (here).  I placed my order and now wait for my magical bulbs.  Who knows, if they are as fantastic as they sound, I too may horde a few.  Hee, hee!

If you’re interested in learning more about this energy standard and how it may affect you, I found a good overview here.

Images:  Budget Wise Home


May 3, 2012   No Comments

Curtains and More Curtains

Prior to the start of the weekend, I promised myself that I would finalize the fabric for the sofa I’m about to get re-upholstered.  I finished all of my experiments and was satisfied with the results.  So I grab the credit card and placed the order!  Yay!  The fabric should be delivered in about a week since it was a special order.  The cost of the fabric was nearly $400.  But before you cringe at the price, I did order a high end commercial grade fabric.  There were MANY options available that were much cheaper, but my hope in using a commercial grade fabric is to never need to re-upholster this sofa again.  Time will tell.

Once I got the sofa fabric out of the way, I felt energized to work on my basement windows that have desperately needed some dressing up.  I know I have mentioned this a few times before and never seem to get anywhere with it.  I somehow found myself stuck with what to do with two of the four windows.   Many months ago, I bought two double rods and put them up on the windows that face south.  I was really lucky and came across some garage sale finds – linen curtains that were the right size for these rods and the right price – $1 each.   And that’s as far as I got.  Well, I’m happy to say that not only a decision was made but orders were placed.  The two east facing windows will be getting 2” faux wood blinds in white (you’ll be surprised where these are coming from), while the south facing windows will get the top rod (of the double rod) finished off with some velvety curtains.  Have I mentioned how much I heart velvet?

If you didn’t already lose all respect for me when I mentioned the Tori Spelling book I purchased, then I might be walking on a very thin line when I tell you that I bought the blinds from Wal-Mart.  After doing some research on 2” faux wood blinds, the reviews from the Wal-Mart ones rose to the top.  Over and over I read how people had purchased more expensive blinds from other sources and found these to be superior.  The blinds have a 4.7 star rating out of 5 with 200+ reviews (you can check it out here).  Pricing was also a plus at $39 each – an unbelievable price for windows that are rather large.  Then for the icing on the cake – shipping to my house for both blinds was only $2.99.  Did I win any of you back?


Sofa fabric – Decorative Fabric Direct

2” Faux Blinds – Wal-Mart

Velvety Curtains  - Curtain Works

Images:  House of Many Hues (CurtainWorks Ad)


May 1, 2012   No Comments

Massage + Magazines

Hello peeps!  I hope that your week is coming to a wonderful close.  I know mine was rather busy but I did manage to have one day where I spent time on myself.  Not often does it happen that I set time aside with no husband, no kids – just me.  Part of my me day included a massage and what a treat it was.  Danielle, my assigned masseuse, worked on all the knots in my upper back and kept a Zen like atmosphere for me throughout the session.  Her soft words reminded me that it was time to relax and enjoy.  I also managed to hit up a used book sale at my local library and load up on books (even some audio ones), magazines, and CD’s.  Some titles included were Martinis, Food & Home Entertainment Cookbook One, Moving On, some House Beautiful mags, and more.  I’m ashamed to admit that I did also buy Tori Spelling’s latest book.  Stop, I can hear your disappointment and judgments.  I’m not trying to justify the purchase but for some reason when watching her tv show, Tori &Dean, I am continuously intrigued by her candid honesty and the dysfunctional life she leads – just like the rest of us.   Let’s just file this book under ‘Entertainment’, shall we?  Nevertheless, I discovered for the first time that my ‘me’ day was spent 100% guilt free.  This has NEVER happened since having kids.

OH my, do I love the table on the cover of this House Beautiful magazine above.  I think I’ll be curling up with this one tonight – an awesome find at the library for only .25 cents.

Images:  House of Many Hues


April 26, 2012   No Comments

Adventures with Fabric

My latest project involves performing experiments on fabrics by intentionally spilling liquids on them.  Why would I do that you ask?  Well, I shall tell you.  A few years ago, I bought a down-filled sofa off of Craigslist for $300.  Before ever physically seeing the sofa, I knew I was going to be in for something special.  When we arrived, we drove up the driveway to a home (estate) that must have been worth in the millions.  I’m not joking – at one point I thought we were at the wrong house.  Why would these people post anything on Craigslist?  This gorgeous home boasted 9 bathrooms and over 8,000 sq. ft.  Ok, back on topic (I could go on about this home).  Once we got the sofa to home, I was able to trace its origins to a super high quality line.  With the information I was able to gather, my guess is was that it was originally purchased for thousands of dollars.  It’s got beautiful lines that are classic and ever so solid construction.  However, while the fabric is durable and in good shape, the color does not go well in my home (I kinda knew this buying it).  So now I am working on having it re-upholstered and selecting the right fabric is tricky.

If you’ve never researched upholstery fabrics, you may not know that the majority are non-machine washable – not so great when you have two kids under 4.   In fact, many even stated that only “non-water solvents” are to be used when cleaning.  What are non-water solvents?  Does that mean dry-cleaning?  I contacted one of the upholstery manufacturers and asked, “So what happens if you spill water or juice on your fabric?”  Silence.  I guess no one has asked her this question before.  She didn’t really have an answer (or want to say).  She did mentioned that it might leave a water ring or that the fabric could shrink.  I then asked, “What if I machine washed the entire fabric before it’s used for re-upholstery?”   Again, no real answer.  So I’ve setup a series of experiments in which I spill various liquids (that are likely to spill) on my sample fabric.  I’ve left the spills to sit overnight and so far the results are quite favorable.  But the ultimate test will be running it through the wash.

Some of the fabrics I’m exploring are from:

1.  West Elm

2. Pottery Barn

3. House of Fabric

4. Fabric Guru

5. Inside Fabric

Images:  House of Many Hues

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April 24, 2012   1 Comment