Project Shoeshine: Update in a Long time!

Pencil Tuesday, November 22, 2011 clock at 10:57 AM

Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole month since I've last updated this blog. I have two updates today since a LOT of progress has happened since I last blogged. For starters, let me say that a project never goes by as fast as you had it pictured in your mind. I thought building my own closet would be simple and take only a few weeks with work and school in between. Turns out that a) I'm tooo lazy to work that fast and b) cutting and hammering and painting does NOT take a few hours work, it takes DAYS!

So what's have I done to my closet? I put it together! The planks of wood that it is. Two are ready to be painted and legs attached and the other needs to be put together. I've left my wood outside which was a bad idea. Several of them are little crooked from the humidity, but I've worked to hard on them to start all over again. I'm not to worried either since it's barely noticeable and I don't think it will cause much problems when putting in the drawers. Hopefully I won't blog in the near future of how wrong I was. That would suck. Well, here are the pics!

Wood all primed, sanded, and primed again! I made sure to make them super smooth.

Clamps, wood glue, and nails! :) 
Make sure those corners are squared!

Well, that's it! I haven't take a picture of the what they look like put together so you can be wowed by their big unveiling. Kidding, was too lazy to take pics and their currently being used to hold some stuff while my whole room has been turned upside down. Can't wait to see what it looks like finished!

Furniture Arrangement Ideas

Pencil Tuesday, October 18, 2011 clock at 8:40 PM know what's hard? Having a lot of hobbies and a tiny little place. Seriously. It's so hard to cram everything in one spot. Remember how I mentioned before that my room is my studio, work area, beauty sleep place, and general craft area? Well, that mans I need a lot of storage room!

My room roughly measures about 15ft x 11ft. Pretty big for a bedroom compared to small bedrooms. My room was actually part of a larger bedroom in the basement. When we moved into our current home, my parents completely renovated the basement, cutting that bedroom into two and giving one half to me and the other half to my little brother. Sadly he got the rump end, which is fine for him since he doesn't seem like he needs all that space honestly.

Well, I found this really cool website called MyDeco where you can create mood boards, 3D representations of your room, and decorate a photo just to name a few. I used their 3D room designer and came up with the five furniture layout options below that I thought would work for my room.

Floor Plan #1. This design features two separate areas: work and sleep.

Floor Plan #2. The wall on the right is entirely covered in bookshelves.

Floor Plan #3. Ignore the little blue thing.

Floor Plan #4. Probably the worst design for foot traffic.
Floor Plan #5. Bookcases still divide space, but not room.

Out of these five designs, I'm really liking the very first one and last one. Not only do I have two separate areas, but I can keep my sleeping zone peaceful and away from work. Those and #3 use bookcases to separate the room in half and create more storage areas. I like #5 better than the first one just simply because I feel the room is still divided, but more open. #3 isn't too bad either. The only thing I'm not liking is probably the space and foot traffic issues. For starters, the wall the left of the bed is all mid-height bookcases, perfect for even more storage. There's a storage ottoman between them underneath the window too, perfect for reading books. In #1 it's behind one of the bookcases and near the closet door so that I can use it to get dressed, but I have three so I figured I could just move on of them over to that side. Floor plan #2 is pretty good too. I was thinking that whenever I get tired of the first one or the third one, I could switch it to the second one to spice things up. This one is more airy and open in space and feel. The right wall is lined with bookcases and the desk is under the window. The vanity is in front of the bed which is mostly centered in the room. The only issue I have with this is that I, being inherently messy, would have to work extra hard to keep desk/work stuff from creeping into my sleeping area.

The fourth design is the one I like the least. Foot traffic is horrible since I have to around the bed to get to my stuff instead of just going straight to it like in all other designs. Plus, I don't like the bed in front of the door since I'm super paranoid about mask robbers busting in hehe.

Anyways, I wanted to share this video from the IKEA website. It's what inspired my first, third, and fifth layout designs. Check it out:

Anyways, that's all I have to share today. My floors and room is still under construction which is getting to be very stressful. Can't wait till its over and I can plop into my new bed!

Design Process of My Room

Pencil Friday, October 14, 2011 clock at 10:05 PM

The longer its taking to design my room, the more I feel as if I'm losing myself in the design process. Even though I'm an art major, it doesn't mean that I'm always great or successful in getting my ideas and dreams to come out into reality as I see them in my mind. So, I went rummaging around the internet, turning pages after pages in hopes of finding a free online course into interior design that actually taught you something. I had some luck and here's what I found: Creative Home Decorating Room by Room. The site is pretty good in what it offers: free worksheets and a step-by-step guide in how to decorate several rooms in your house from the bedroom to the kitchen. I've decided to use their guide as help to my room design process and I'll be posting it here as a sort of review.

Now, as a graphic designer and a web designer, I had to actually had to pry myself from clicking the little red x in the corner. But hey, like they've taught you in school, don't judge a book by it's cover. (Though the site design could seriously use some help!)

I'm not going to go through the whole entire process as some stuff I don't need, but I'll let you know what it was in case it is of some use to you. Anyways, on to step one!

Step 1: Room Planning!
You can get to this step by clicking on "Decorating Basics" under the headline of the same name on the sidebar.

This step is basically to get you prepped up for your whole design process. It's basically telling you what materials and tools you'll need to get started. Think of it as a room design kit from camera to journal to measuring tape. I luckily did this without being told. Now that I think about it, I was somehow designing a mood board! Hahaa.....I was going in the right direction unknowingly!

Now, just to let you know, this is not on the page itself, but I feel this would be the perfect time to also check out some of the worksheets on the the top navigation bar by clicking on "Workbook." (If not, no worries, as you go through the steps, she'll let you know know which worksheets to fill in when the time comes.) She offers here some excellent worksheets to help you plan your budget, room design, and just mostly organize your thoughts. I would click through all of them and see which ones would help you out the most. I did several worksheets and posted mines below if you're interested in checking them out:

Following that color analysis worksheet. I made a palette using ColourLovers to get me in the right direction.

Step 2: Drawing a Floor Plan
This step is to prep yourself on how to place your furniture and create easy traffic areas. At the bottom of this page, she gives you an exercise which is basically to fill out your room traffic worksheet (mine's above!) and that's about it. She also gives you links to furniture placement kits that range from free and 2D to pricey and life-sized. I used the cheap-o print outs from the furniture store link that she offered.

*Sugar*Roo TIP!*    You can create your own "life-sized" template just using sheets of paper or cardboard or just plain old painter's tape. Using tape, tape down the dimensions of furniture pieces you want on the floor. Didn't like it there? Just pick up the tape and move it somewhere else! No more back-breaking moving furniture!

Step 3: Analyze Your Home Traffic Patterns
This step is how to meet your furniture needs with your lifestyle needs. She shows you a couple of images comparing good traffic pattern to bad traffic pattern. I noticed that that a bad traffic pattern "pools" while a good one flows effortlessly throughout the room. When playing around with your furniture arrangement kit, I highly suggest you take pictures of them, print them out, and draw your traffic patterns over them with a marker. If it's not flowing, then the furniture placement is probably not a good one.

Feng-shui has a lot to do with this, so check out a book in your library and get some tips! For people like my case (with a bedroom that has to be an office/study and pretty much like a dorm), check out feng-shui and furniture arrangements for dorm rooms and studio apartments. You'll be surprised of all the useful stuff you find there for furniture placement. I don't really believe all of feng-shui (like "death position" and all that), but it does help you create a great amount of space and flow in your space.

Step 4: Furniture Placement
This is where the site pretty much fall shorts. She doesn't offer tips other than which piece should go in first. I feel that this is where most sites are pretty vague and design secrets and tips are left for students or those that purchase really expensive textbooks. So I went ahead and did my own research and present you with tips of my own for furniture placement in the bedroom. I started looking at magazines, furniture stores, interior design sites, and more and here are things I discovered a majority of the rooms had in common:

  1. The bed is usually the focal point.    This makes sense since bedding now comes in so many colorful options and textures and the bed usually takes up the most space in the room the eyes are bound to be drawn to it. Accentuate the wall behind that and add colorful accessories like pillows or some gorgeous nightstands to make things pop. Lighting can also play a big role too. You can place really great lighting above the bed, on the nightstands, or on the walls (like scones). Not only the beds and accessories play a role but the bed itself as well. Maybe you have a really great bed design that you'd like to highlight.

PB Teen

Wake Up Frankie

Design Hotel Secret de Paris

  1. Nightstands or some other flat surface near bed.   This of course is common sense. Read a book, drink a glass of milk before bed, or whatever it is you do, you need two things: light and someplace to set your things down on. That's where a nightstand comes in place. Lately there has been a trend of using non conventional nightstands such as chairs. Whatever you decide to use, just make sure you add it to your furniture arrangement plan if applicable.
These suitcases probably make great storage areas too.

Here's another great idea for a nightstand.

Great for minimalistic designs.

  1. Accent pieces.    Now I'm skipping past armoires, drawers, chests, and pretty much bedroom basics since you know you have to make room for that if you have them. I don't since I stuck everything in my closet. The accent pieces in the bedroom are basically furniture you can live without, but really enliven the place and gives that extra special touch. It can pretty much be anything from a chaise to an ottoman and whatnot. Take a look at the pictures below for some inspiration if you plan to stick several accent pieces in your bedroom:
Alta Moda. I spy a gazillion accent pieces!

This room uses very simple accessories. The pillows count as well vase of
flowers and the pink book on the table. Simple yet big impact.

The rug, flower vases, and painting on the wall gives the room personality.

Anyways, that's just a push into a the right direction. Check out the sites below for some free furniture arrangement 3D online.

Two links to help you get started on arranging your furniture below:
I'm going to skip the rest of the steps since that's wayyyyy ahead of me. I'm not even done painting my room yet! Check back for more as I walk you through my bedroom design process!

Pencil Thursday, October 6, 2011 clock at 11:00 AM

Ugh. Sleeping on the coach while stressed out with art projects and homework and work all piling up on you is a really stressful situation. In case you're wondering why I'm sleeping on the couch, well, my room is finally under construction! Ah, feels so good to say those words. After months of hoarding materials and having to stop myself from buying decor for a room that has not even been done yet, it's finally started! Here's some nasty before pictures for you to squirm over of my room.

This is my room with the old pink and green walls. I really loved this pink and
was sad to see it go, but it was a time for change, plus the pink made the
room look a little smaller. The really ugly formica floor tiles have been removed
so that's why the floor looks like molten lava/super dirty.
View from the other side. You can see my super small walk-in closet too.
Closet before. My mom had actually sawed a small desk and
stuffed it in there so I can have a place to sew and hide the
mess. Above that is a sawed bookcase and some hastily
 placed shelves.  My mom does not usually decorate like
this, but those were some desperate times.
Other side of closet.
Shelves above clothes rack.
All of my junk squeezed into the family room until my room is all ready to be stuffed again.

The color I chose for my walls was Secret Passage by Olypmic. It's a very gorgeous blue that has a bit of bluish tint underneath. I sometimes see some lavender too, but my dad sees more of the blue. I think it just really depends on the lighting. Here's the color swatch from They have it under blues too. Anyways, I picked it this color out on the first try and it looks absolutely amazing. I'm very happy with it and don't find it too dark or light.

OlympicName: Secret Passage
Collection: Blues

Number: D58 2

Pink stripe soon to disappear.

Ignore my lovely dad's bum. He was hard at work adding the self-leveling
compound when I snapped this picture. 

Well, that's currently my room under construction. I plan to do more to the walls than just leaving it in gray. The pink stripe will be painted in the same color as the walls and then glazed over in a silver glaze. From the chair rail molding and down, I plan to paint in very faint silver zebra pattern. I'm not too sure about that yet though. I was also thinking stripes wouldn't be so bad or a damask stencil or anything along those lines. I have until the floors are done to think this over. Any suggestions?!

Leave a blurb if you'd like and if any of you guys are remodeling out there, post a link, I'd love to see it!!!

Inspiration Board

Pencil Wednesday, September 28, 2011 clock at 7:51 PM

Here's the mood board for my room design. I'm going for a gray palette with pops of bright colors and accents.

Here's what's featured in my mood board:
  1. Bed: The headboard design is actually from Brocade Home, their version of Myrica's Sir Elton headboard design. Unfortunately, it's no longer available. *sad face* 
  2. Icicle Chandelier: This is perfect touch for the decor in my room. At first I wanted a good ol' traditional crystal chandelier but then wanted something unexpected and found this little guy by accident to replace it with.
  3. Candy Bar: The candy bar is just an idea of how I want to kill two birds with one stone. I love to craft and my room serves not only as a place to sleep, but my craft room and studio as well. My plan is to use apothecary jars, cute vases, etc. to fill up with all my supplies and notions (pencils, buttons, strings, yarn, etc) so that it makes a cute display but also serves as storage. 
  4. Neon Frames: Cute way to add pop of color and a bit of retro vibe all in one! :)
  5. Felt Circle Garland: Just as an example of the color palette I'm aiming for in my room.
  6. Ottoman: This is probably the only piece of furniture in my room that is not going to be white. I want this in front of my bed and wanted to add one big color statement piece and think this guy should do the trick. 
  7. Curtains: I was having a hard time finding curtains appropriate for the rest of the design and colors in the room and ran into this one in Urban Outfitters. They fit in perfectly! This I think I will buy, but need to find out where I can get them for cheap. They have them in white too. Depending on how adventurous I'm feeling, I might get those instead and dye them to match the color scheme. But for $49 each pair, I probably wont risk it.
  8. Bedding: Not really into this, but the colors work great. If I can find bedding with fabric similar to the one on the ottoman, I'd be set!
  9. Rug: I'd probably get something with more color in it and fluffier. Tons and tons fluffier. Mmmm....fluffy carpet squishing underneath your toes in the middle of winter.
Well, that's it for my mood board. Now, to actually find stuff that fits in my budget. I've been saving allllll summer long (I'm bad at saving, but I think I've done a great job) and I'm ready to buy stuff. I've made a shopping list at Ikea, but its already WAY over budget. Darn.

Speaking of mood/inspiration boards, check out WakeUpFrankie here for some really great inspirational boards! These are sure to get your design juices flowing, at least they were for me.

Inspiration & Board

Pencil Tuesday, September 27, 2011 clock at 10:24 PM

For the last few weeks, I've been floating around the web checking out as many room designs as I can to get an idea of what it takes to create the room that I'm dreaming of as well as inspiration. I've found tons of stuff that I feel should be shared since they're just to amazing to keep to myself. Some I wish I could work into my final room design, but then it'd turn into one crazy mess. Anyways, off to show and tell!

Adrianchristian - Rosette Ottoman
I really love this piece! It looks like a delicious wedding cake doesn't it?! Plus she has a wide selection of solid colors so it can fit any decor color scheme (for the wall art, but I'm sure if you send her an email she can work something out for the ottoman). She even has matching wall art too!

Matching Decorative Wall Art

Brocade Home - Laser Cut Rug
I really thought this was very cool idea. You can probably do a DIY version of it using something like a floor mat or so like a sisal rug for those of you creative souls out there.


The inspiration of my room came from a headboard I saw by the Swedish designer Myrica Bergqvist. Her website is filled with tons of cool and sleek designs that are also whimsical. I love it! The particular headboard design that inspired me was the Sir Elton headboard pictured below. 

Sir Elton Headboard in White
I knew I had to have that frame no matter what. Unfortunately, being a poor college student, not only could not afford it, but I don't think her designs are available in the US yet and buying it from online and getting it shipped was out of the question. Don't worry though, there's an upcoming tut on how to get that headboard on your hands DIY style for about $80 stay tuned in the future. Well, once I had my bed, I felt like everything else fell into place since my bed was my focal point and I want everything in my room to fit in with the design. I'll admit, I was having trouble in color schemes and such but finally decided on my wall colors to be two shades of gray with a zebra pattern on the lower half (I have chair rail moldings). I then ran into this bedroom design by WakeUpFrankie and my inspiration prayers were answered. 

This room was pretty much was I was going for in decor. I wanted a clean palate. My furniture is all white and my walls will soon be a very light neutral gray. I wanted vintage vibe that has been updated, but I also want lots and lots of bright happy colors. I love colors and can't let them go so I had to find a way to incorporate it into my room. I'm working on my mood board at the moment so expect one soon!

Interior Design Tips

Pencil Friday, September 16, 2011 clock at 1:09 PM

So, I'm in the process of redoing my room completely from top to bottom. I've been looking online for design tips and ideas for my room since I want to squeeze as much as I can, but still have tons of room. I've found some really good ideas as well as some interior design 101 info to share with you guys and also to save later on for me to see lol.

My room is about 15ft by 11ft and its pretty much a rectangular space. Since I still live at home, I can change the design of my room too much structurally or my mom, who's very particular about her design, will get mad. In other words, I have this annoying chair molding going all around my room which means I can't put bookcases or other things flush against the wall. I'm going to college too and have tons of hobbies so I need lots of storage space and desk space. I've had the same bed since I was 2 (it has a canopy and its a twin and its so unbelievably little girly like) and now that I'm 22.....its seriously time to to upgrade! I'll post my furniture shopping list up later, but let me get right down to all the cool tips and design help and ideas I've found.

Tips for Decorating Your Bedroom
  1. Create a focal point.   This is what you will want people to first see or notice when they come into the room. It should be your wow factor and what draws the eyes. For the bedroom this is usually the bed, but it can be any piece of furniture you want to highlight and show off like a cool armoire or maybe even a painting.  I do highly recommend the bed though.
  1. Balance.   I'm not going to get too much into balance, but will let you know that there are three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. Click here to learn more. 
  2. Color.   Color does a lot for your room than you'd think. Besides creating a certain mood or feel, it can also create or reduce the appearance of space. If you have a small room and want it to appear bigger, lighter colors create the since of airiness which opens up a room. If you have a large room and  want to keep the furniture minimal, I would suggest darker colors since it helps to close the room and make it appear smaller. In my case, I'm going with a lighter color on my walls to help open it up. I also don't get much natural light because of the trees in the backyard so lighter colors will help me a bunch.
  3. Organization.   Organization in a room is a big factor! If you want your room to look like a magazine page or a showroom, keep it clean at all times. What separates a good room from a bad room in my opinion is mess. No matter how beautifully designed your room is, if it's messy it loses its touch and looks anybody's ol' room. To keep your room clutter-free and organized shouldn't cost space or design. You'll be surprised of what you find out there and all the wonderful furniture these days that have hidden space. 
  4. Accessorize!   Imagine your bedroom as an outfit. You've a great pair of jeans (nightstands) and cute blouse (bed) and some gorgeous boots (dresser, armoire, etc.) with an amazing belt and designer bag to pull it all together (desk, bookcases, any other furniture). Now that you're all dressed and ready to go you take one last glance at the mirror and notice you fell very....bland. You're missing something and then, "Aha!" you realize what it is and quickly run to your stash of jewelry and make-up to polish off your look. Just as your outfit needs a great set of pearls or some really cute earings, so does your room. Accessorizing not only pulls the look together, but it's what makes the room pop!  Thinks pillows, paintings, pictures, great pair of window shades, candles, and the like. All these little details is what makes the room personal too and they're so fun to pick out too!
This is pretty much all I have so far, but check out the links below. Not only are they super helpful, but they teach you the how and why of interior design so you can design your own room. 
  • A Designer's World: This blog not only features the basics of interior design (such as rhythm, scale, emphasis, balance, etc.) but also shows you some great examples and gives you some tips. I've learned much from here and it's one of my favorite sites.
  • HGTV: Everybody should know this one already. They have tons of pictures and design ideas and tips.
  • Kristy Mastrandonas: A great interior design blog to check out for some tips and ideas.