Taste{Full}: July 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Whooo Wants the Look for Less?

I know I do! That's why I was psyched to find an adorable Owl lamp for less!  The original one I spotted was at west elm for a whopping $99.  If I had the cash, I'd easily spend $99 on something that I loved.  But there's something especially satisfying about finding that same love for less.  Find below the eclectic, modern yet whimsical owl lamp from west elm in both white and gun metal.

It's beautiful right?!  And then check out the Target number in white and brown for only $39.99 and free shipping.  It's clearly not the exact same but the same concept and perhaps even more appealing if you're using it in a child's room or nursery.  (owls are still a very hot trend in the world of kids' decor and in fact this find/post has inspired me to write another post on the hottest nursery trends so stay tuned for that post)!

Love these guys.  I already have a lamp for new baby's nursery (nothing fancy, just a Christmas Tree shop $8.99 find), but I am very tempted to buy this brown version for our desk at home.  So cute!  Let me know what you think--is this look for less even close?  Is the west elm version so worth the extra $60?  Do tell!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nursery Progress: Look for Less Lighting

Random thought: I find it funny that my posts used to center around clothes and shopping and now they tend toward children and babies.  I guess it's just a natural progression.  I'm also guessing most of you don't care about the latest in maternity wear anyway. ;) Hopefully regardless of where you are in life (single [free], married no kids [fun], or a full brood [um, fulfilling?]) you can find something interesting or fun or useful for now or the future.  And if all else fails maybe you can laugh at me for how ridiculously obsessive I get over whatever phase I am in-- clothes, kids, shopping, decorating...  Regardless of one's lot in life, I'm all about living it as taste{full}y as possible...Now, on to lighting...

I am making huge progress on new baby's nursery.  I still have not painted the room yet [sigh], but I did get her dresser painted this weekend.  As far as purchases, all I really need are a rug and a light fixture.  I really wanted this one (left).  However, it's a whopping $79 + shipping and a shipping surcharge! While I am not scrimping as much as I did on Genevieve's nursery, I'm also not in the position to splurge so much on a light fixture so I sadly decided to forgo the fun gypsy chandy. 

Then I came across this one...which just about wiped my sorrows away!  Only $60 and free shipping.  Now, that I can get on board with!  It's' the same color (or close enough) as the nursery walls and I can't help but love its sparkle.  However when it arrived it was a bit bigger than I imagined.  Our ceilings aren't very high (and husband and I are both six feet tall) so I'm concerned that I may have to hang it in the corner or somewhere other than the middle of the room.  No matter how cool it is, do I really want to bang my head against it at 2 am just before feeding new baby?  Um, no thank you.  But I was (am) determined to have a pretty light fixture in her room (clearly I'm still getting over the fact that Genevieve has a boring 'ol ceiling fan). 

And then guess what happened?!  Last night, while browsing cheap and chic nursery, I came across a design board that featured my long lost friend!  Only this time, it was on diapers.com for a mere $59 with free shipping.  As far as I can tell it's exactly the same as the $104 number!  Score!  It's smaller than the blue one, and just as cheap.  I'm still a bit torn as I'm going with a lot of color in her room and I don't want to be over the top...not to mention I was planning on going with the simple swag option of the aqua chandy above to save my husband the grief of installation and I'm not sure that's an option with the gypsy light.  So I'm not 100% sure which direction I'll go in but I love that I found it for cheaper--never thought that was possible!!  I'll keep you posted on what I choose and continue posting about my nursery progress along the way! Meanwhile, let me know-- which light do you like?  Or are there any other cheap ($75 or less) options I should know about?!  Do tell...

♥ Tiffany

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Toddler Room Progress-- I Rock

Can you guess what my next project was?  (Hint: cheesy pun in title).  You guessed it smartie: a rocking chair.  The rocking chair in Genevieve’s nursery was given to me (i.e. FREE) which is always good….and since I was unemployed, even better.  However it was never super comfortable so I knew I wasn’t going to use it for new baby’s room.  And for Genevieve’s toddler room, I wanted something a little smaller since now I have to actually configure space for toys and play things.  Well of course I wanted something modern (i.e. expensive) like this Eames knock off to the right. And that's the knock off price!  The original Eames is well over $300.  However being the frugalista that I am I thought perhaps I could find a cheaper alternative…at least for now. 

I came across this cute little wooden number at one of my favorite thrift stores—Family Outfitters.  You may remember it’s where I got this adorable dresser from.  They have great stuff, great prices, and a great cause which you can read about here.  They were having a furniture clearance sale and this little chair was only $2!  Now I'm not blind--I know it looks nothing like the modern chair I originally wanted so this is no 'look for less' find.  But I love its shape and it totally goes with her bed.  Plus the size is right and I like that it rocks (I haven’t given up rocking her just yet—especially when she’s sick or needs a little extra love at bed time).   I figured with a bit of paint and some bright pillows, it would do the trick.  Not to mention that for only $2, I can always justify getting rid of it and upgrading later when I have extra cash lying around because that happens so often.  So without further ado, before and after:

Just like here, I didn't prime or sand.  I did however take my time.  I tried to get every nook and cranny and look at it from different angles and in different lighting.  I even got down on my pregnant belly to look at the bottom and make sure anything I could easily see while on the floor, was covered. Why? Because when I painted the chair for Genevieve's nursery, there were a few spots I missed that bug me every single time I see them over the 20 months that have followed. That's a whole lotta buggin!  I also did a topcoat since that was another thing I failed to do last time which resulted in lots of scratches on the arms.  Since I went over some spray painting tips in this post, I'll spare you the same paragraph here.  But here is a cost break down for you:

Chair: $2
Paint: I used a few cans but already had the top coat and one can of paint so for the 2 I had to purchase: $8
Green cushion: on clearance at Christmas Tree Shop for $3.99
Blue cushion: Also from Christmas Tree Shop for $6.99.
Grand Total: $21.00
Not bad for a 'new' chair!  And a lot less than $124.99 + $25 shipping for the Eames knock off.  I may change the cushions out eventually--I made the mistake of leaving a perfect one that was onlly $5 at Christmas Tree Shop only to find it gone when I returned a couple of weeks later and that blue one is a bit small for the seat.  But it'll do for now!
So now my To Do list looks like this:
Paint samples in Genevieve's room (I'm trying to decide on the perfect shade of gray for her big girl room).
Paint rocking chair for Genevieve's room
Make lantern mobile
Sew changing pad cover
Paint changing table
Paint magazine rack
Finish painting lamps
Do laundry
Clean [insert every room in the house here]
Paint frame for baby's initial
Paint side tables for living room
I love comments--let me know what you think or what suggestions you have for spray painting!
♥ Tiffany

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nursery Progress- I Heart Spray Paint

Many of you are my facebook friends so if you pay any attention whatsoever to my status updates, you basically have a sneak preview into what I may be blogging about. Perhaps I'm being presumptuous and you don't read my status updates (Do you mean to tell me that reading about Genevieve's milestones isn't riveting?!) If not, the fact that I had all of last week off and primarily worked my butt (I want to say a$$ but my husband (and my Lord and Savior?) may frown upon it) off painting and cleaning with some Genevieve love and CHASING thrown in for good measure is news to you.
Well I promised to post some photos of the few projects I accomplished. My to-do list looked something like this:
To Do:
Paint samples in Genevieve's room (I'm trying to decide on the perfect shade of gray for her big girl room--more on that later).
Paint rocking chair for Genevieve's room
Make lantern mobile
Paint changing table
Paint magazine rack
Finish painting lamps
Do laundry
Clean [insert every room in the house here]
Paint frame for baby's initial
Paint side tables for living room
To Buy:
Dresser for new baby's room
Dresser for Genevieve's room
Paint for changing table
Paint for both girls' (wow, freaky to say girlS) room
Paint for dresser(s)

As if I could get all of this done in one week--and really 4 days because the 4th of July and the weekends on either end of the holiday were shot. On those days, I can't get rid of drop Genevieve off at daycare for a few hours to work and the idea of trying to paint with her around is pretty much ludicrous.

So I didn't get the entire list checked off but I did make considerable progress. One of the first things I did was to finish painting the magazine rack. I got this magazine rack off of the side of the road (yes I am one of those people). So that means it was FREE! I love FREE. It's totally worth the effort to spruce it up when there was no initial outlay of cash in the beginning! And to make me feel even better about my dumpster dive (ok it wasn't actually IN a dumpster), I saw a very similar one at a consignment shop for $25 a few short days later.

The other great thing about this project was that I have been very, very tempted to get a used Jenny Lind crib and paint it a bright fun color (as discussed here).  Painting this Jenny Lind style magazine rack would give me a tiny taste of what a crib painting project would entail.  The end result: hell no.  Sorry for the potty mouth today but seriously I need to get across how adamant I am that I just couldn't handle that project in 90 degree temps at 33 weeks preggers.  No matter how stinkin cute painted Jenny Linds are!!  So anyway, here is another before shot:

And a few cans of spray paint later:

A few more pictures for the full effect:

What a difference a bit of color makes huh?!  This project was fairly easy--if it wasn't for all the spindles (especially those little annoying ones in the middle!) I'd label it super easy.  I didn't sand it or prime it or anything.  I figured since I wasn't painting it white, priming wouldn't really afford me the convenience of using fewer coats anyway, and although priming is always a good idea, I think in this case it was totally worth skipping.  I did take the time to do an acrylic top coat.  I've learned from spray painting other things that scratches occur pretty easily if you don't do enough coats and/or use a top coat.  I've also learned to follow the recommendations for repeating coats.  I used both Krylon and Valspar for this job (not surprising, the Valspar was a bit better) and both had guidelines as far as waiting 10 minutes between coats but not longer than an hour.  If you wait longer than an hour, you have to wait 24 hours...I think this is because of the wrinkling that can occur when you're doing multiple coats.  (I've learned this the hard way also).  The main thing to remember about spray paint is the thinner the coats the better (even if that means you have to do a lot of coats) and to take your time.  One thing I've learned as I've gotten more into crafting, upcycling, etc, is that I don't take my time on anything.  Ever.  It's a really bad habit and rushing through something (especially at the tail end of a project) is really, well dumb! You can ruin hours of work, which I almost did by rushing to get it complete.  So there's my two cents on spray painting.  And here's a cost breakdown:

Magazine rack: free
Spray paint: approximately $12 (2 cans of valspar, 1 can of krylon, 1 can of krylon top coat)
Total: $12

Stay tuned for my post about painting Genevieve's rocking chair...and the biggest project I accomplished, refinishing the changing table.

If you have any spray painting or refinishing tips, success, or horror stories, please share them!
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