Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mid Century Comfort

My mid century dining room/office is coming close to completion with just a few more elements needed to complete my mid century design look. I designed it around a few cabinets that were left behind from a family member. Coincidentally, my recent discovery of the new hit show {Magic City} just set my obsession for mid century style on full blast. No sneak peeks of even the abandoned cabinets, but I do want to share a few of my favorite mid century finds..
Mid century design comes in various styles, shapes and textures. I've come across several styles that give me the cold, unpleasant, and uncomfortable feeling. 
I personally love the designs in warm tones and textures, specifically twill and cotton woven fabrics and solid walnut stained wood furniture.. 
Mid century furniture can cost you a pretty penny but there is a way to get around that huge price tag. Scope out local garage sales or even craigslist, or ask family members and friends. A few of mine had a few passed down as heirlooms or like my cabinets, were forgotten in the corner of a room. Luckily, I saw past all the dust and dirt and realized what a score it was! If you recall seeing a mid century piece sitting somewhere in grandmas house, take a second look and SNAG IT! Rekindle its beauty with a fresh yard of fabric and a few coats of wood stain and you're golden! Plus you've added on more years to pass down to the next generation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wrapping Paper as DIY Framed Art: Lobella Stationary Store

Happy First Day of Summer! Today, a random decision to visit a local stationary store was the perfect start to my summer giving me loads of easy DIY art decor ideas!

It all started with my wallpaper fiasco. The wallpaper is part of my design plan for my dining room/office makeover. So to make a long story short, I go to Lowe's and place my order. Mind you I waited "patiently"  (30-45 minutes) for the sales rep to take my order. I guess I gave him the look of death so hard he quickly offered me a huge discount on the Allen Roth wall paper design I chose. So my order was placed..BUT I get a missed call the next day from the same sales rep who was apparently still affected by my look of death that he marked the message URGENT, stated he remembered me specifically and deeply apologized for the unfortunate news. Good thing my selective hearing wasn't on full blast otherwise I'd think there was a family emergency. But it was disappointing to know my wallpaper would take longer than the 14 days it typically takes.

So my search for alternatives begin. I stumbled into Lobella, a stationary store that apparently has been open for five years. This baffles me because I am at this particular shopping center at least twice a week and never noticed. As soon as I walk in I feel like a little kid in a candy mouth hanging out in utter disbelief at the abundance of colorful goodies! Lobella carries stationary from all parts of the world including Italy, Japan, Korea, Nepal, and even from a local South San Francisco manufacturer, Cavallini & Co. I'm immediately drawn to the wall of decorative wrapping paper

silk screen paper

The first thing that came to mind when I saw all the beautiful paper was affordable framed art! The standard price for one sheet of decorative paper is $3.50-$5.50. A simple frame in black or white and you've got yourself a focal point. These are just a few of my favorites that I know I will be coming back for use in future projects
 Cute hearts.
The very nice owner of Lobella was kind enough to give me details about the paper making. These two floral designs were made in Italy pointing out the beautiful artistically weaved gold that he mentioned only the Italians can master. 

Paper design from Japan
Paper design from Korea

I loved almost every single decorative paper design, but I was mostly impressed with the hand made papers.
This particular design comes from Nepal.

I was in such awe of all the beautiful patterns that I don't quite remember where this was made. I think he mentioned this red and gold paper was made in Korea. Don't worry I will be making plenty of trips back to this store and will validate this.
I love love love this peacock feather design! This would be great in a gold frame.

This beautiful marbled hand made paper is the most impressive to me. How did they do it?!
Beautiful! This can be framed in a slightly more detailed metallic frame perfect for a Asian or Mediterranean themed design.

A few more goodies at Lobella
 Simple, yet lovely thank you card.
The perfect Just Because gift for a fashionista.
 Ribbons Ribbons!
 Geometric patterned gift bags

It was a miracle I only came out of there with two sheets of plain hand made paper for an upcoming DIY bedroom art project. {It's in the works so stay tuned} I was ready to trade in my wedding ring for stacks of paper which would be the silliest thing to explain to my hubby..or anyone.
Walking into Lobella and discovering the beautifully designed decorative wrapping paper is the only good thing that came out of  my wallpaper issues. I didn't find an alternative but I sure did find a great resource for  affordable art ideas. With such gorgeous patterns you can't buy decorative wrap for its purpose, which to me ends in horror. If you're looking for that missing link in your space visit Lobella, or take advantage of your local stationary store to find your next framed art piece.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pantry Makeover

So I failed to meet my weekly updates featuring some of my very talented friends who are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent {in honor of May's Asian/Pac Islander Month} but I will be featuring them in future posts so stay tuned.

It's been a crazy month and most of the reason why I haven't been able to keep up with my posts is because I created a storm in my house. A few living arrangement changes have been going on in the Groft household; my cousin moving out, and my bro and his daughter moving in. So naturally I thought about utilizing every usable space in the home while of course still maintaining aesthetics to a comfortable level. My first target was the dining room removing things off the shelves and placing them in random areas..then leaving them to die..on the floor. Then we started going through our boxed up things stored in the garage and before I knew it our home became a big cluster F$%! Excuse the language but I hate clutter! Now if you recall my Billy Book Case post, I mention my dining room being filled with alcoholic paraphernalia...  
This is just one side of the room full of European beer jugs, wine glasses, and whatever container you can store an alcoholic beverage, but I show this particular shelving unit because it leads me to the highlight of my post. This built in shelf goes into my pantry. The one foot depth of shelves were enough to be a hindrance on the other side. It may have looked nice in this room but it didn't leave much space to store groceries and with the addition of two more heads in the house, I knew I had to do something about it.
I was anxious to make more room in the pantry that I didn't think to snap a few Before photos to show you how we used to store things.
The plan of attack was to simply paint the outdated, beaten, {UGLY} floor; a one day project. Refinishing was not an option because I'm just not good at that stuff. So paint it was. Then my hubby had the brilliant idea of reversing the use of shelves; closing it off in the dining room and exposing the shelves in the pantry. Now I always thought to remove them completely (demo and all) and buy salvaged wood to install floating shelves..but this was much more practical and a big DUH on my end!

peek-a-boo I see a messy dining room 
(a Before pic..After to come very soon)

So our SIMPLE pantry makeover wasn't so..simple..Turned out the plywood on the other side was too we had to buy sheet rock to properly cover the wall on the dining room side. My thought when we discovered this snafu; take measurements and skip to Home Depot to get a piece cut fit to size, then simply insert in place and caulk. That is NOT what happened. Measurement of the needed sheet rock was off by a centimeter on one side making all the difference in the whole project. The sheet rock crumbled in the corners because we forced it to fit. Followed by a spackled mess..oh and  it wasn't spackled to that smooth surface it's "supposed" to have either. NO it was a chunky mess all around. Needless to say this was not a one day project. But with a lot of whining, pouting and a few toddler tantrums..we managed to get the pantry up and running.

Bye-bye ugly floor. Two coats of Behr's Porch and Patio paint in Light Tan was used to cover up these old wood floors. 
Yes I'm crazy! Last minute I decided to paint the pantry the same Harmonic Tan as our dining room. I had 2 gallons left so I figured..why not..and while I'm at it..why not create a theme wall of stripes! So overall this 
3' 5" x 5' 9" space took triple the time we anticipated..but it was well worth it..

Oh..and the other side of the wall...

Now I can properly store the never ending stock of pasta we have! 

Even though this project took a little longer, we all more than pleased with the outcome and overall organization. We spend less than a minute each time we walk in the pantry but it still feels good to walk into this warm, comforting space. The best part is we spent $55 on this makeover. So just because it's a small space doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Every space counts especially if it means comfort.