Tag Archive - kids

My Baby is One

Today is my baby’s birthday.  My youngest and last baby is one this very day.

One year ago, this was me in the morning.

And this was me by late that evening.

The newest addition had to meet her best friends as soon as possible.   When we had #4, they were 3 years, 2 years, and one year old!

She was (and is!) so beautiful.  Due to her being a month early, she was our smallest baby.  Still can’t believe she could fit on that tiny chair!

Image by Kat Phillips

Image by Kat Phillips

She was our toughest newborn and has been our best-y-best-best baby.  God knew not to give her to me first – phew, it would have been a shocker to have these boys AFTER her!  Easygoing, content, happy as can be, and chubby in all the right places – that’s our bright blue-eyed baby girl.

She was quickly adored.

How is she one already?

I am frequently told I would be unrecognizable without her attached to me.  Got to keep those hands free for the other ones!

I have caught glimpses of why sisters are so special.  (I only have brothers!)

I have realized there is no such thing as the perfect picture with four children four years and under.

I have nearly mastered the art of estate sale-ing, grocery shopping, zoo-ing, museum-ing, and flea marketing with four children.

I have never felt more capable, more grateful, more aware of our huge responsibility, more fulfilled, and more humbled by all the areas in which I need to improve.

It’s been quite the party.

Image by Kat Phillips

I love design.  I love beautiful things.  I love transformations.

Most of all, I love my family.

See you back here next week for some to-die-for before and afters plus some Thanksgiving table ideas.  Have a happy weekend!

Gebhardt Casual Living Room: From Design Board to Transformation

Don’t you love seeing transformations?  Me too.

Sabrina contacted me about doing some design boards for her, and I knew from our first conversation, this project was going to be fun.  She had just moved into a 1920’s home, and needed two living rooms to get situated before her son’s birthday party: a casual living room and a formal living room.  The great thing about her home is its ample amount of windows/light and tons of old house character. So much potential here…

Looking from the back wall out to the formal living room

Left wall when you walk into the room

Back Wall

Right wall when you walk into the room

She wanted this room to be casual, but still pretty.  Relaxing, inviting, and FUNCTIONAL for her family.  It needed to house some toys, be conducive to play for her two little ones, and be a room you wanted to be in.  Sabrina also had another major request:  “I don’t want the television to be the first thing you notice about the room!”  Something I loved about her:  she wanted color!  Since the walls were gray, she wanted color in the fabrics and accessories, with navy being a main accent color for the room.  With all this in mind, I put together this design board.

Sabrina had already purchased a pair of fluffy comfy couches off of Craigslist for the room so that was taken care of.  She also bought the chic bamboo chest to use as a media console, and a pair of upholstered benches from Kristen and I via Gypsy Soul.  To disguise the television, I proposed to install a large panel on the long windowless wall, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy and trimmed with made-to-match custom molding.  Since windows frame every other wall of this room, I wanted the long wall to also have visual interest.  White and black frames would surround the television, drawing the eye from the big black box to the photos.  I felt the white bamboo chest would really pop against the navy, and I liked the idea of the television being off-center.  For more “teleguise” ideas, you might like this post.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know what the benches looked like before, and their transformation story.  When I created the inspiration board, I had the wrong impression about the amount of toy storage their family would need, so in the end, we went with a smaller antique chest they already had with two rattan baskets underneath.  She was not crazy about the curtain fabric on the board, so I went on the hunt and found an awesome ikat-y fabric for $3.00 A YARD at my favorite secret fabric store, Home Fabrics & Rugs.  There are not many of them, and only one in Texas (where I live), so if you don’t have one near you, I am very sorry.  It is crazy what you can find in there.  Once I found a bolt of the same fabric Pottery Barn was selling for $58 a yard for $12.99 a yard!

Without further adieu, welcome to the Gebhardt’s beautiful, comfortable, inviting, and happy casual living room.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The pillows on the sofa and loveseat are mostly from Home Goods.  White lamp from Home Goods also.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Still loving how the benches turned out!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Furniture like this is so handy when you need more seating, and it is comfy to put your feet on while watching football games.  Also, I liked that the benches didn’t take up very much floor space to allow some room for the kids to play.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The pillows you see there in the corner (you can see the mock-up/idea on the design board also) are floor pillows for Sabrina’s two little ones, a boy and a girl.  I loved the idea of them having their own space in the room, something they could snuggle with, and lounge on.  I had the covers custom made with a zipper (yes, they are washable!), and they are stuffed with two 30×30 faux down pillows from Cutting Corners.  The covers are 52″ x 27″ for those of you who like to know details like that, or you want to replicate the idea.  Red ticking stripe fabric is called “Timeless” in crimson from Cutting Corners, and the floral fabric is called “Tanda” also found at Cutting Corners.  (We had extra floral fabric left over – it has this wonderful linen-y feel, and the colors are sooooo pretty – so we made extra pillows for the couch out of it.)

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

While we originally pondered getting the West Elm Andalusia rug, we decided to stick with what Sabrina already had, this diamond jute 8×10 rug.  I think it looks terrific in there!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Just a reminder – this fabric was THREE DOLLARS A YARD!!  I loved the watercolor-y feel to it and the varied shades of blue.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Can you believe how awesome this wall looks??!!  I think Sabrina and her hubby were a bit nervous about the idea at first, but they went with it, and they love how it turned out!  It makes me so happy to look at it.  It is like a storybook of their life on the wall.

P.S.  If you live in the DFW area and need a wonderful newborn/child/family photographer, check out Sabrina’s work here.  Lovely!!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

This is probably my favorite picture.  I love making my little clients happy, too!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

What do you think?

Come back tomorrow for the formal living room reveal!

P.S.  If you have any questions about the space I didn’t answer, feel free to ask them in the comments!  Also, if you are interested in a design board(s) and/or other interior design services or consultations, please use the contact page or email me at submissions @AStoriedStyle .com.

DIY Tutorial: How to Paint “Dipped” Furniture

If you are feeling super inspired by yesterday’s post, you are sure to feel empowered to grab that boring table or stool or chair after today’s DIY Tutorial!  Dipping furniture is not difficult – if you are a novice, you need not fear.  Please note I am doing a reverse dip here, so if you want to actually “dip” chair legs or spoon handles, etc., check out the tutorials here and here and here.

As much as I would love to tell you these were for me, I cannot.  (wink, wink)  These benches were purchased from Gypsy Soul by our client, Sabrina.

Quick Side Note/Shameless Plughave you checked our new items lately or visited Scout Design Studio at 155 Howell Street in Dallas, open daily from ten to six to see Gypsy Soul’s items in person?

Sabrina was so fun to work with because she has an artistic eye and could look past honey wood and dated floral fabric to the gem just waiting to be revealed.

After asking me to put together design boards for her casual living room and formal living room, we got to work readying the rooms in preparation for her son’s birthday party.  We pulled these rooms together in two weeks, and they looked incredible!  Stay tuned for the design boards and big reveals…

First things first, I sent the bench seats to my trusty upholsterer.  Yes, it was just two bench seats, but time was limited so I opted to spend the money on upholstering them and decided to paint the benches myself.  Not too long ago, I snagged a couple of yards of this beautiful Apple Green Sunbrella velvet for $15 on HouseFabric.com.

Sabrina and her hubby have two little ones and a dog so I loved the Sunbrella option since I knew it would be luxurious AND super durable.  (Side Note: Sunbrella velvet is usually fairly expensive so grab it when you can find a good price on it.  There are a few good options here!)  I found the navy linen for the welt on the seat at Joanns, and decided to tuft the benches to add a little more elegance to them.

Then came the painting!  Since Sabrina wanted navy to be a focal color for both rooms, I picked up a quart of Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy in the Advance line in High Gloss.  I really like the Advance line and have used it for several projects now.  One thing I really appreciate about it is it has many of the positive points of using oil-based paint on furniture (wears well, retains its shine, etc.), but it is actually water-based.  It does take a few days to truly cure though so keep that in mind.

Pulling out my handy blue painters tape, I had to decide how far I wanted the wood to be exposed on the legs.  Four inches ended up being my magic number.

After marking each leg with a pencil, I went back and carefully taped every leg, making sure I had them fully covered.  (You don’t want any spray paint dust slipping in the cracks!)  For the top of the legs, where it was most important for the line to be crisp, I took extra care to press the tape down firmly.  When I placed  a strip of tape on each face of the leg, I wrapped a small amount of tape to the other side and applied the rest of the tape  in small sections to ensure even straight lines.

A light sanding allowed the paint to better adhere to the wood.

I used Valspar Spray Primer for a quick prep coat.

I decided to use a foam brush for this project.  For one thing, it forces me to apply even, thin coats, and I wasn’t worried about the finish not being glossy enough since the Advance High Gloss line from Benjamin Moore is super shiny. (sometimes I feel foam brushes dull the finish of the paint I’m using)

As you can see, the party moved inside by this point.  It was getting late!  I believe I used five thin coats of paint which was probably overkill, but I wanted to make sure it was well-coated.  I  made a concerted effort to allow the paint to dry between coats which was fairly easy since the foam brush only permits thin coats.

Finally, it was time to take the tape off!

I did have a few little places where the paint had bled onto the wood, and the line was not perfectly straight.  A couple of Q-tips and some nail polish remover fixed that problem!  I also applied some wood polish on the wood to ensure it looked its best.

After I put the newly upholstered seats back on the top of the benches, I was so pleased with the end result!  Take a look!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

What do you think?  Is there something in your home waiting for you to “dip”?

Come back tomorrow for this room’s design board and full makeover!

Form and Function

A month or so ago, I walked into the living room after changing the diapers and clothes of my two girls, to see my two boys with markers in hand writing on the chairs.  I was completely horrified, and baffled, since they have never drawn on any furniture.  After my control-yourself-and-be-calm inquiry, my oldest, looking completely bewildered, replies, “But Mommy, these are our cars, and we needed to draw a radio and some steering wheels and some turn-y knobs!”

Meet the steering wheels

And the turn-y knobs

And the radio

I, of course, immediately fetched my trusty Folex (GREAT stuff!) and a rag and went to work.  I scrubbed and scrubbed to no avail.  Finally, I called in the big guns – the professionals.

They took one swipe of their cleaning device, which removed quite a bit of color from the fabric , and asked to see the marker.

“Oh, a dry erase marker?  On cotton fabric?  Yeah, this is never coming out, this is permanent.”

As permanent, permanent, permanent, permanent, permanent was resounding in my brain, I looked at my oldest, who understood the situation.  Knowing his mother well, he cheerfully pipes, “Come on, Mommy, now we can go get some fabric.  Neeeeewwwww fabric.  Mommy, you llllooooooovvvvveeeee fabric!”

Smart boy.

It took me this past month to resign myself to recovering chairs that were recovered only two years ago. (Sweetheart, if you are reading this, I am sorry, – probably difficult to see the hard facts in print, especially if you are reading this at work, sigh)

However, I do LOVE fabric, so now I am mulling over samples.

Say hello to the options.

I like the fabric on the chairs currently, but I think I want to put a more classic pattern on them this time.  I can update with throw pillows if so inclined.  Gray and white/cream will remain the color choice.

I am torn because I love linen, and I would love these to be a linen fabric.  But I need something that is pretty indestructible and can be cleaned of little hands pretty easily.  Also, I know these chairs are not going to stop being cars anytime soon.

Here’s Option #1, 100% Linen, a classic ticking stripe.

Option #2, an indoor/outdoor Sunbrella fabric.

Option #3, 100% Linen Wide Stripe.

I love Option #3, it looks so fresh to me.  My husband says it makes the chairs look like an outdoor piece of furniture so that means it is probably out.  Option #1 I like, but I just feel “eh” about it.  The main problem with #1 and #3 is they may be difficult to clean, and may not wear as well over time and after multiple cleanings.  Option #2 is the perfect choice in regards to ease of cleaning because I could literally bleach it without any color coming out.  The pinstripe is definitely classic, and that is my husband’s preference. However, I’m still not sure.

What do you think?  What would you choose?


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