Last Minute DIY 4th Of July Recipes

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You’re officially panicking. 4th of July weekend is here and you are not prepared to host the epic bash you’ve been telling your friends about all month. Have No Fear! Lifestylenerd is here!! Check out these awesome, patriotic and easy … Continue reading 

Kitchen Remodel Inspiration

I’m in the research phase of looking for a contractor right now. If you know someone good in NJ, please let me know!

 

Anyway, Our new house has the tiniest, sadest, most outdated kitchen I’ve ever seen. It would really discourage me from cooking if we left it as is.

It currently has two doorways in, one from the formal dining and one from the hallway. My hope is to knock down all the walls and add a breakfast bar, and possibly expand it out to fill part of the formal dining space. We will also have to redo the floor and cabinet and all that jazz… but anyway, to the inspiration!

 

kitchen Renovation

 

I’m really into farm sinks. I mean, maybe its just a trendy thing and in 5 years it will be so passe I’ll wish I never thought about it, but not only does it seem functional, it’s so rustic!

I love this kitchen because of the giant window, the pretty backsplash and island. Not a fan of marble countertops though.

 

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This design would actually fit our space quite well. It looks about the same size as our kitchen. we would have to flip it so the breakfast bar is in the front and the countertop is to the side… but still, could work.

I like the tall cabinets. I could do without the wood on wood on wood, though.

 

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I know it’s absurd how much I like white.

But just take a moment and enjoy the cabinets and refrigerator door. :)

 

kitchen renovation

 

And finally, probably the most practical of them all. If we don’t want to totally gut the plumbing and such… this would be a good alternative look. I like the 2 counter heights. It’s clean and simple. Also a nice subtle backsplash.

 

Living Room Inspiration

So, big news… my husband and I have bought a house!
Our very first starter home. But, while beautiful, it will need quite a bit of work. So I am thinking about living room inspiration today.

The walls are white, it has one elaborate sconce and there are giant bay windows in the front.

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A look like this would be great for us. Accent color of magenta, some splashes of pattern, with lots of neutrals.

 

First, I’m intending to repaint the framing and landing of the bay window.

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I dont think I would want curtains that large. but I like the brown contrast on the window frames.

 

I would like to eventually make the landing of the bay windows some sort of seating area:

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This is a GREAT inspiration photo, because having extra storage space would be a dream and a corner bay window seat would be oh so adorable.

I don’t knwo why I gravitate towards everything being white… bc I mean, hello stains. But I really do.

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although I think those urns or vases on the sides are terribly tacky.

 

Anyway, stay tuned as I begin the long voyage of home renovation/design. and wish me luck!

 

DIY: Put a Cork in it

Much like most 20-something females, I have far too many photos and doo-dads that I want to hold on to. Letting them sit in a shoebox is fine, but I feel that they do not see their full potential. It’s like putting Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the Jersey Shore house for a season, or making Tim Tebow play waterpolo, or making Thomas Keller cook at McDonalds. Also, much like most 20-something females, I drink a lot of wine. (Confession: I’m a bit of a hoarder so I find it hard to throw away my wine corks.) So, I decided to remedy the photo/doo-dad problem by way of my drinking/hoarding problem.

Shockingly enough, I did not have enough corks to make my 1st board any bigger. This year I will drink more wine, hoard more corks, and make a board about quadruple the size so that it’s actually useful, which means I can finally clear out the shoeboxes and give my photos the attention they deserve.

Directions:
1. Gather many, many corks.
2. Cut out a large piece of posterboard, cardboard, or anything that is pretty solid.
3. Arrange corks in criss-cross fashion as seen in photo.
4. Make sure they fit so you cannot see the base. If you can see the base, cut it down.
5. Use a hot glue gun to attach your corks to the base.
6. Let dry.
7. Poke two holes around 6-8 inches apart. Run ribbon through and knot behind both holes. (This is what your corkboard will hang from)
8. Hang on wall and add all your doo-dads!

Jointed Jewels – Gorgeous and Perfect for Spring

So spending my time schlepping to show after show this past fashion week, there was one running theme – REALLY bright colors —
I am loving Alissia Melka-Teichroew’s newest jewelry line –

so geometric and fun and perfect for when winter is gone (can’t come soon enough!)

Also will be using this as inspiration to paint a geometric rug – DIY to come.

and I cant wait to rock this for my rocker black-imbued winter (also big plus w fun accessories – $12! or get the silver one for $220)

Curtains on a Dime

Window coverings are a tricky subject. From curtains to valances to shades to blinds, velvet to tulle, discount to luxury, finding the right thing to block out the sun or frame your window is, frankly, kind of a drag.

What’s even more of a drag is when the already installed curtains in your room look like they were made from a bad ’80s prom dress. We are not talking the cute kind that Maria from Sound of Music could sew into a fashion line of playclothes for the von Trapp children.

So, then I started researching curtains and, apparently, tacky looking curtains wasn’t a unique ailment. I was hoping to find something elegant and pretty without looking like Barbie threw up on my windows.

I love do-it-yourself home decor projects, but curtains always seemed a bit out of reach, because I am not amazing with a sewing machine, nor do I really like glue guns. Luckily, I was having a fancy cocktail with my celebrity interior designer friend Keith Lichtman of KL Interiors when I brought this conundrum to his attention. He showed me his $2500 luxury custom-trim curtains and said “I bet you could do this with some canvas and grosgrain ribbon.”

Keith’s curtains were made of high quality silk and were custom trimmed on the sides and bottom.

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Photo courtesy of Keith Lichtman, KL Interiors

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Photo courtesy of Keith Lichtman, KL Interiors

I decided to recreate this look with a heavy canvas at the lowest cost. I spent just about $25 total on the cloth by using, drumroll, paint drop cloths that were already cut into 4’x12′ panels. Then I found some chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon in NYC’s garment district for around $2/yard.

Other than that, measuring tape, scissors and industrial strength double-sided tape made this project possible. I like the red double-sided tape, because then you can see where it is on the ribbon.

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Photo by Michelle Won

So with some help and encouragement from Keith, we made some beautiful custom-trimmed curtains that look like they are made of heavy linen.

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Photo by Michelle Won

Here is the process:

1. Find a nice canvas paint drop cloth with a little bit of brown or off-white in it. If you use pure white, it can end up looking like a sheet.

2. Find a high-quality ribbon fabric and color of your choice to complement your room.

3. Measure the width and height of your window. Double the width to calculate the width of your curtains (i.e. 2 feet across your windows means 4 feet of fabric). Height, you can let your curtains break on the floor a bit, or you can cut to length. Go with your personal preference. Add a couple of inches to allow you to have room to flap the fabric over the curtain rod.

4. Grab a pair of scissors and cut the length straight across. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because the other 3 edges of your canvas are hemmed, so that means that you can use the cut side as the top of the curtain, which will be flipped over the rod, anyway.

5. Line up your ribbon to about an inch from the edge that you want the trim on. Start attaching double-sided tape and sticking your ribbon to the canvas. Leave about an inch extra at the top and the bottom of the fabric so you can flap it over. (As you can see in the video, it helps if you have an extra pair of hands. If you have controllable octopus arms, that works even better.)

6. Take down your curtain rod and flip the top of the fabric over the rod, allowing for about 2 inches of slack to be safe. Attach as you scrunch up the curtain along the rod with your double stick tape.

7. Hang your curtain rod. Voila!

A couple of tips:
– If you have 1 large window, the curtain on the left should have the trim on the right and vice versa.

– If you have 2 windows with space in the middle, same idea.

– If you only have 1 window, depending on what side of the room it is on, trim the opposite side (so the side without the trim is closer to the wall).

– If you dont want to do what is called a “curtain pocket” where you flip the fabric over the rod, you can get hooks with clips on them from any home store. You just add the clips to the top and then hook the curtain onto your rod.

Here is a companion video, because, as you can imagine, it’s easier to understand how to do this by watching.

‘Til the next time, decorate on a dime, because it’s fun and awesome and then you don’t have to feel like your room took the ugly train to the ’80s for inspiration.