Somehow I’ve spent my entire life in the Northeast and never went apple picking before this weekend. I think I picked the perfect weekend for my first time, it was absolutely gorgeous out in Boston. Plus I got to play around with my new camera, what do you think?

I’m just finally downloading pictures from my girls weekend in Miami a few weeks ago and thought I’d share a few of my faves:

 

Is anyone else having a hard time adjusting like me from the long weekend and back to reality today?

I had a lovely weekend spent enjoying the last days of summer with good food and good friends, and getting a few little projects in progress. I stripped and started to reupholster a chair for my living room, and thought I’d share the fabulous fabric I found after taking off the first layer of upholstery. It’s too bad it spent years hiding underneath boring navy fabric!

I kept my promise and reworked the old toolbox I bought at Brimfield  into a glamorous jewelry armoire last week. I can’t wait to share the “after” pictures, but first, let’s revisit the “before” picture of the rusty old tool box (this picture doesn’t do it justice, it was pretty banged up and dirty):

After hours of sanding down rust with steel wool (lots of help from a loving boyfriend) and several coats of spray paint later, I have to say, I’m a bit obsessed with how it turned out:

I’m mostly excited because I can’t believe how organized all of my accessories are now! There’s a little surprise on the inside, hot pink felt lining to keep my necklaces from rattling around in the metal drawers:

And to corral all of the teeny-tiny bits of baubles I spray painted an egg crate to match the metal.

It was quite the facelift — from holding to wrenches to cocktail rings!

A few weeks back I got an email from a reader, Nikki, who needed some help pulling together a look for her law school studio dorm room. It came with the challenges of many dorm rooms — block wood furniture, inability to paint, and of course, limited budget! Here is what I pulled together for Nikki, a black, white, and dusty lilac palette:

(click on image to enlarge)

The pieces in the “dining” nook include fabric from Ikea, a few yards to use as table cloth, some Ikea sheepskin throws to drape over the dorm chairs, and a poster above the table in a thin black frame. I think the MOST important thing you can do to de-dormify a dorm is to get a big rug to put down. Dorm tiles are so cold, and a big rug will really soften the space. I picked a black and white one from Ikea, one of my favorites!

The bedroom area needs a focal point. The challenge: can’t paint, and probably don’t want to lug a heavy bed into the space — so I a headboard wall decal, coupled with the girly touch of a ruffled duvet from Urban Outfitters is perfect. Black and white Ikea pillows give a graphic pop to the girly bed.

Finally, the accessories! Matching black lamps add symmetry on either side of the bed, and give off some much-needed lighting to study with. The ottomans I’ve included add a layer of richness to the room – and can double as nightstands or moveable extra-seating; and the curtains will add another dose of softness and color to the room.

Hope you enjoy your room Nikki!

Have a design dilemma you need help with? Send me an email at [email protected]

This weekend I have big plans to re-work the old toolbox I bought at brimfield into a glamorous jewelry armoire. Posting about it here will hopefully make me accountable so I actually get to the project, instead of getting distracted by my comfy couch and bountiful DVR.

In my last apartment, I had several stacks of jewelry boxes and drawers in my nightstand for my everyday pieces. As you can see here (just my everyday jewels), this is a much needed piece of storage furniture for me:

I’ve been pulling inspiration images for the project now for a few weeks. While my piece is going to probably look a bit more industrial (it is a tool box after all), this image from Domino has my all-time favorite jewelry armoire:

Of course, the Lonny magic has been tapped onto a few gorgeous vignettes with jewelry armoires as well:

Seeing these pictures together is giving me some motivation — and a few new ideas. Hopefully I’ll have a before and after to share at the end of the weekend!

PS: Make sure to stop by next week, I have a great series featuring amazing guest bloggers starting!

Finally getting around to sharing the first of my Brimfield refurbishment projects! The story of my nightstands is a long and excruciating one. To start, I searched for nightstands to fit in the small nooks next to my bed for weeks on craigslist to no avail. At Brimfield though, I magically happened upon two matching nightstands, that fit my measurement requirements, and were only $20 each! Here’s what they looked like before:

They needed some love and some new paint and hardware. I found the perfect color, Glidden’s French Grey, and scored an amazing deal on some knobs at anthropologie. I fell for the intricate carvings and worn ivory texture of the knobs. They were perfect! (Or so I thought).

After painting the nightstands, and adding on the hardware — I was, to put it lightly, devastated with the outcome. From far away (as in — at the end of the bed), the knobs looked like unfinished wood and made the grey paint look much more like a blue. They had a shabby-chic-country look and that wasn’t my intention at all.

After some deliberation (and whining and moaning) I settled on changing out the hardware to see if I could “save” the look. I’ve admired ring pulls before and decided to bite the bullet and order them:

The result? A total save — I’m so happy with the new hardware. The grey looks more grey, and the nightstands no longer look like $20 outcasts!

I’m counting down the days to my Miami girls weekend this fall — and in the meantime, I’m keeping myself occupied with daydreams about places to visit when I get there.

My friend just tipped me off on The Raleigh in Miami and I am definitely adding a drink at their bar on my vacation to-do list — as well as taking in their gorgeous decor:

How cute is their logo?

Any other tips for visiting Miami? I’m all ears!

Images via The Raleigh

Today I’m going to be sharing the fourth and final of my CREATE COUTURE: The DIY Blogger Challenge tutorials, the Studded Fringe Clutch.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to vote!

To make Studded Fringe Clutch  you will need to first gather your materials. You will need: a hot glue gun, scissors, a pencil case (I found one in a perfect brown to match my fringe since it’s back-to-school season, and there is a large selection available right now), suedette fringe (the amount you need will depend on the pencil case you get, plan for a little over three-times the length of the pencil case), and about 20 XL pyramid studs (again, depending how big your pencil case is you may need more or less).

After you have all of your materials, take your  fringe and measure it against the width of the pencil case. Use your scissors and cut a piece of the fringe to exactly the length of the pencil case. Then repeat this two more times so that you have three pieces of fringe trim that are the same length.

Next, line up the first piece of trim so that the bottom of the fringe is even with the bottom of the pencil case. Using your hot glue gun, lightly glue the top of the trim down to the pencil case. Wait a few seconds for the glue to set and then line up your second piece of trim so that the top of it sits halfway between the top of the first piece of trim and the top of the pencil case.

Finally, add the third piece of trim so it sits right under the top edge of the pencil case — make sure not to get hot glue too close to the zipper!

Now you’re ready to add the studs. Push the first stud through the material of your pencil case, making sure the stud lines up with the top edge. Make sure all prongs make it through the case and top layer of fringe, and then push the prongs of the stud back to lock them into place. They are soft enough to push by hand, though you can also use a pair of needle nose pliers too.

Continue to repeat the studding process, keeping the studs close to one another and aligned with the top of the pencil case, until you get all the way to the other edge.

Then enjoy your new rocker-chic studded fringe clutch! Fill it up with your purse essentials, or if you’re feeling particularly studious, perhaps some number 2 pencils!

Remember: Head over to NewYorkDesignShop to check out all of the bloggers’ designs and VOTE!

Other than my eternal gratitude, there’s something in it for you too: by voting for the DIY projects you like the best, you could win one of the winning bloggers’ creations, so head over and cast your vote!

(PS: Thanks to my BFF for taking pictures of my completed projects!)

I had an awesome weekend vacationing in Maine, it was perfect weather and gorgeous scenery. Check out some of the views I captured:

And sure, taking in the views and seeing a gorgeous sunrise were lovely, but the best part of the whole weekend? Getting a monogrammed tote at the LLBean flagship store in Freeport! A preppy dream come true:

Pssst: Don’t forget to head over to NewYorkDesignShop to check out all of the DIY Blogger Challenge  designs and VOTE for me!