Kitschdesigns

DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

October 1, 2012 07:01 by ehouston

As many of you know we have a 3 year-old little boy and just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  So now you know where I have been lately.  Our Little Guy has made the transition to a “Big Boy” room and at the same time he reluctantly gave up his nursery to his new little sis.  What that meant for me was a chance to girlie-up the décor of the nursery before her arrival.  For those of you that don’t remember, the room had been painted and decorated in blue, white and brown.  These colors were actually what I had used in my office at our old Nashville, TN home, so I could see them being used for a girl, but decided I wanted some softer touches and a new look. 

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(The Little Guy’s space before softer shades took over.)

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(The wall colors played well with his vintage globes and teddy bears.)

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(As you can see most of the furniture is very simple and modern in design.)

Plus, after nearly three years of looking at all those circles I was ready to stare at something different for a while.

This project began like most of mine, lots of ideas and no budget.  Literally I was tasked with making something from nothing.  I decided the easiest way to neutralize the blue would be to tape off the center blue band along the walls and paint it out, which would also eliminate the circles and dots, but spare me the need to redo the entire room.  In our paint stash I had a can of Oops paint from Home Depot that appeared to be a really pale misty blue-green, which although it may sound masculine, had a softness to it that seemed feminine and perfect to me. 

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(The furniture arrangement stayed the same- it’s the best layout for the space.)

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Unfortunately after taking the time to add the first coat it became abundantly clear that the color was more sage green in the room’s lighting and against the dark brown of the lower band.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Not only because the color looked so drastically different on the walls, but that this was the second or third time I had made this mistake recently and I no longer had the time to start playing the “find the perfect color” game.  Originally I had intended to paint or stamp a pattern along the middle band, so in my mind I figured that might tone down the color, but no luck.  So, in the end I sucked it up and realized I could not waste any more time worrying about the color and I just needed to move forward and learn to love it.

It was a only a couple of days later, while rummaging through my fabric stash that I realized I had some pretty cute fabrics tucked away that could play well with the shade that ended up on the walls.  So, I set to making curtains, covering pillows and creating some unique artwork.  You can find more details about how I created the fabric pieces over at my sewing and craft site, Chic Tweaks

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It was fun digging through my supplies to find vintage pieces to bring out and finally use and enjoy.

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(Vintage fabric filled embroidery hoop art.)IMG_3110(Vintage Flower Pin Art.)

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(Vintage Reproduction Fabric Quilt and Pillow Covers.)

Although, I am not a fan of making nurseries super gender specific I did have some favorite fabrics in a nice shade of pink that I thought I could make work with the otherwise neutral space.  Even though the furniture is all quite modern I feel like the reproduction fabric prints (from the 1920’s- 1940’s) fit in just fine without being too over the top and cutesy.

Just like in my son’s nursery, I personalized a wall mounted plaque with hooks by adding the new baby’s initials.

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(Initial wall plaque from my son’s nursery.)

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(The new version for our little girl, made with a patchwork of vintage fabrics.)

As you can see from the shots above, we kept the placement of the shelf above the dresser/changing table, along with all the teddy bears.  The bears were gifts from relatives to me and my brother when we were young.  Now they have been sitting watch over my little ones.  This time around I brought out a couple of the more girlie bears that didn’t seem right for my son’s nursery, but that I think our little girl will enjoy as she gets older.  My aunt also sent us my mother’s Madame Alexander doll, which she had been keeping for all these years (at the very end of the teddy bear shelf above).

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The doll has been tucked in with the loyal teddies and I think goes well with a couple other vintage pieces in the space; namely the tan bear above which wears the dress my mom wore home from the hospital and the big brown bear who is wearing my mom’s Brownie Uniform from when she was just a girl.  It’s fun to see all these sweet vintage mementos coming out from the attic to be enjoyed all over again.  The little white rocker was a gift to my son from his Great Grandma and has since been confiscated back to his room.  Jealous?  Well, maybe just a bit.  ;o)  The sweet corduroy lion was my son’s gift to his baby sister.  He likes to make sure she has it where ever she goes.  So, I guess it’s not all hate around here.

I will admit to having trouble bringing all my ideas together in this space. I finally decided to add everything I had in mind and just go from there. That is how the space ended up with a mix of vintage and modern, both in furniture and fabrics.  Taking this attitude helped me find a better home for my sweet mounted butterfly picture from the ‘60’s, along with some metal flower hooks I have lugging around for years.

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And, for a couple more fun elements I hung a framed alphabet picture that ties in with the flowery garden theme and I strung up several paper lanterns left over from my son’s “big boy” room to act as a mobile above the crib.  The lanterns were meant to be used for a shower (baby or bridal) and came with a bunch of paper butterflies to tape into place.  I used all 24 of the butterflies to add interest to just three of the circles and I think they work pretty well for a mobile*.  

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(Garden Themed Alphabet Picture.)IMG_3111

When I originally set out to write this post we were still playing the waiting game and I was sure she would be late.  The pink frames are still awaiting shots of baby and grandparents and the hand-me-down toys and books are on high alert for their second chance at life outside the toy box.  However, we have already worked our way through several boxes of the stocked up diapers, the dresser that was stuffed to the brim with pink, ruffles and lace has already undergone a weeding out of the too-small newborn items.  After nearly two months of use I have to say that the look is growing on me just as fast as the closet is filling up with pretty little dresses all in a row.

Now, if I could just get some sleep…..

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*For those of you wondering, no, the paper lanterns are not meant to be used as a mobile over a baby’s crib.  In order to avoid a possible choking hazard if the butterflies were to somehow fall off, I hung them at the bottom end of the crib.  This way, if something should come down it will land below my daughter’s feet, and she still has a great view as they twirl around.

PS – Here is the cost breakdown for you DIY nerds out there.

Many items were reused from the original nursery and/or my vintage stash. Here is the list of those items.

All furniture – bed, dresser, rocker, shelving, bookshelf, side table/stool and hamper

Bedding – quilt, bed skirt and bumper (not pictured) These items are pale blue on one side and white on the other.  I choose to feature the white side for both the quilt and bumper, when it was in place.  The bed skirt is neutral in brown and white.

Accessories – Lamp, Weather and Temperature Center Clock, Books and Toys, Teddy Bears, Wall Plaque with Hooks, Curtain Rod and Finials

Purchases, Creations and Additions:

Two Fitted Sheets- From Target                       $15.00/two with special purchase

     One is pink and green polka-dots and the other is a geometric pattern in pink.

Pink Frames – From Target                             $8.99/three

Paper Lantern Mobiles – From Party City          Free/leftover from Son’s room makeover

Flower Pin Art – Supplies from Hobby Lobby & Joann’s          $7.33 for the fabric and two pins

     The vintage pins were from my stash, along with the mini canvas boards and ribbon.

Embroidery Hoop Art – From Joann’s               $16.00 for the hoops

      All fabric was from my vintage stash.

ABC Art – Frame w/Matt from Target               $16.99

      Art was printed at home on cardstock I already owned.

Curtains, Pillow Covers and Quilt – From my stash             Free- Already owned all the fabric

Metal Flower Hooks – From my vintage stash                    Free

Initial Art on Wall Plaque – Fabric from my stash               Free

Wall Color – Oops Paint from Home Depot         $7.00/ gallon

Grand Total:                                                   $72.30

Not bad for a quick reworking of the original space and I think there is a lot of change in there for such a small amount of spending.  Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear from you guys.


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Decorating : The Formal Living Room Update

October 5, 2011 00:59 by ehouston

I know it seems like all the posts recently are about decorating, and well, they are!  I have been working to change the things I can change in each room and/or finish smaller projects that have been lingering for what seems like an eternity.  In the case of our formal living room, we are simply neglecting the space.  It’s a pretty basic room at 11 feet by 14 feet, with two large windows looking onto the front yard and nice wide crown molding.  There are a couple of issues with this space, though, the main one being the two large passageways on either end.  They make for a great flow right into the formal areas when guests arrive, but they leave the formal living room with only two walls for furniture placement.  I guess that’s really no big deal since we don’t spend a ton of time in there, but it has made decorating this room feel awkward.  Below are some before shots of how we had things laid out.

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In the shot above, you can see a typical formal living room set up with the couch along the main wall, flanked by side tables and matching lamps.  Yawn.

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Opposite the couch is a pair of wood framed chairs with coordinating blue cushions and a side table that matches the tables on either side of the couch.  For filler, and lack of a better place to locate them, I added our vintage black metal display shelves on the little wall in between the front windows and the chairs.  As seen in the far right corner of the photo above is the angled bookshelf, also a vintage metal piece, acting as another display shelf/table.  You can also see the other problem with this space- lack of good light.

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Here is another shot of the chair side from the dining room.  You can see I also added a couple of vintage black metal magazine racks, a vintage wood and metal floor lamp and our vintage Seth Thomas wood panel clock. 

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This view of the couch side, from the dining room, shows another angle of yet another vintage black metal shelf.  This mini shelf holds our funky metal flying pig made of old oil drums.  In the center of the room is a wood slat coffee table that extends at each end to give as much or as little tabletop space as needed.  You can also see the old, smaller rug in these shots.  This was the set up we lived with up until the beginning of September 2011.  All pieces in this room are vintage, modern and out of synch with the rest of our 1992 Colonial style home in the burbs.  However, I actually don’t mind having furniture that does not seem to go with the rest of the home.  I always feel that if you like a piece you can make it work.  It may take time, but eventually things will start to mesh and mingle well with each other.

There are many changes we look forward to making in this room.  First, will be to change the paint from purpley-brown to something in the grey/blue-grey family and to paint the dingy cream trim to bright white.  We have already switched out the rug for a pale, steely blue little number that now fits the scale of the room.  Next on the list is to buy or create some chunky side tables to flank the couch since this space is all legs right now.  I would also like to sell the vintage ceramic lamps from the 1950’s and possibly add something in clear or seeded glass instead.  I will know those when I see them, I think.  I am also strongly considering a tone-on-tone mural for the main wall and hope to pull something decent together soon.  In the mean time I wanted to share the recent updates that have happened in there.

After taking the room to this…

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….for the Little Guy’s 2nd birthday bash, I decided to hold off on putting all the furniture back in their original spots for a few days.  For a while now I have been hoping to find two skinny display cabinets, with glass doors, to put on either side of the opening from the formal living room to the formal dining room.  Unfortunately, most glass display cases are not very tall, are to wide and usually not my design taste, so no luck with those finds yet.  For now, I thought that I could make better use of the vintage black metal shelves that we already “use” in that space.  I say “use” because they were mainly in there just to take up space and so they would not be getting dusty in the attic.  I never intended for those pieces to stay in that room for this long, but that’s what happens sometimes when your design tastes don’t match your design budget.  ;o)

This time around the two vintage metal shelves went back into the room in the little bit of wall space on either side of the passage to the dining room. 

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Even though each shelf is different in width and height, visually they seem a little closer in size when balanced with the framed photos and other pieces from our travels.  I also tried to move the display items on the top shelves to roughly the same height as each other.  The black and white photos spent their early years hanging above the couch in the family room prior to being nixed in favor of the Little Guy’s 1 year portraits.  They are shots from vacations that I had blown up to 8 X 10 size and then placed in metal frames from Target that already had white mats.  Below the photos I reworked some of our display items into the collections on the shelves and pulled some more things out of storage. 

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I was also able to use the smallest of the vintage metal shelves as a plant stand in one of the opposite corners of the room, which looks much more proportioned than it did before as a flying pig stand.  I eased the chairs together a bit to balance that wall, as well and placed the floor lamp in between for reading.  It’s hard to tell from the shot above, but that green glass blob is a really cool elephant sculpture that I found at the Sal. Army a few weeks ago for only $3.99.  Not sure if it’s old or new, just thought it was neat looking and a nice color.

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There are still a bunch of changes on the horizon, but for now we are really enjoying the new view of our collections and more balance and cohesion in the formal living room.  It’s amazing what moving your things around can do for a space.  Now we will just have to figure out where we are going to put the Christmas tree this time around!

Kitsch Krafts


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Etsy Treasury–Pretty Polly: Lines and Texture

June 10, 2011 05:16 by ehouston

Another cool vintage mod Etsy Treasury featuring one of my vintage fabric art pieces.  This one was curated by Rebecca Montgomery Rich of Afternoon Owl Designs.

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Check out the Treasury and Rebecca’s shop.  It’s full of neat-o knit shawls and collars.

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