Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Madness Recap.

March was a busy one for sure. With so many fun reveals, the month flew by. I'd love to take a second to look back at a few of my favorite projects and remember all the fun of March Madness.

Thank you readers, new and old, for stopping by everyday! You make this blog what it is! Fun, stylish, and a little escape each and everyday. See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Bluems.

I'm so very excited to introduce a brand new segment ATLS will feature on Mondays called Monday Bluems. What better way to cure the monday blahs than with beautiful blossoming flowers! Fresh flowers are the quickest way to add a pop of color, life, and pretty to a space.

In Monday Bluems (get it... blues+blooms=bluems, I kill myself with clever sometimes), I'll share my tips and tricks I've discovered through the years on how to arrange flowers, display them, and extend their life all at a very affordable price point. These days you can find them for $5 a bunch, so there's no reason why you can't have these beauties too!

Today I'm remembering some of my favorite examples of flowers I've used in a space.

I love...




FLOWERS! See, I told you.**

**The above photo was taken after a few too many birthday cocktails. Don't worry-although I love flowers, I don't love flowers.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Before and After(ish): Dressing Room.

Here is a before and after I've been working on as of late. Although it's not completely done, it's come so very far and is already enjoyed on a daily basis by my client. So I thought I'd share.

Pretty good, right? I kind of wish it was mine!

Happy weekend readers! Anything fun planned?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Home Tour: Office.

Step into my office. Sorry, I just couldn't resist because today I'm blogging about my "home office". Sadly it's more like a wall in my dining room carved out for all things blogging and design. This is where the magic happens though. Coffee in hand and Pandora on play, this is where I blog most mornings.

It's definitely a catch-all area in my current apartment. I can't wait to have an entire room dedicated to my office in the future (hopefully later this summer!) but for now it works.

Some of my favorite elements are those blue Anthropologie knobs that add a pop of color even when I don't have fresh flowers on my desk, patterned fabrics pinned to the inspiration board, and an orange nailhead trim chair.

Okay, back to work for me. Thanks for stopping by! And thanks to Danika over at Gorgeous Shiny Things for her very sweet words today! If you don't know her already, stop by and give her some love. The things that lady can do with paint leave me speechless. Check out her faux Carerra marble, zebra rug or orange trellis painted walls if you don't believe me. Amazing, right?!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chic Leaves Wall Mural Tutorial.

Hi Lovelies! How was the weekend? I think spring has finally arrived in Cleveland. Sunny, warm(ish) weather meant lots of walks, a drive through the most beautiful river valley, and a general excitement about life again!

Anyway, today I want to share a tutorial with you for a pretty yet simple mural wall I recently completed.

Start with a clean, painted wall. Then, draw the basic structure for your branches. To create realistic branches, start with one branch and break it off into two, creating a "V". For this first step, don't worry about the details. Just draw the large, main branches to create the structure for your mural. You can do this with pencil, but I went straight in with white paint. The beauty of this design is that it's not perfect, and the less perfect the design looks, the more realistic it seems.

Once you have the main branches in, continue "V-ing" the branches all the way to the end of the branches. Once your branches are sketched in, thicken the branches to the desired width. Mine are thin, but you can go as thin or thick as you like.

Now you can begin adding your leaves. This part is much easier than it may seem. You can even create a stencil for the leaves if you are concerned about free-handing them. Because my branches were thin, I choose long narrow leaves for my trees. A general guideline is to add 5-7 leaves at the end of each branch. Make sure you space them out irregularly and have some overlap, etc. to make it look more realistic.
(Be sure to continue your branches around architectural details such as windows and doors.)

(The leaf groupings aren't too regular. Some overlap, they point different directions.)

Once your base color is done, go in with your accent color. I used gray paint and added 1 part water to 1 part paint. This created a softer effect and created a more blended look between my white and gray paint. It also ended up creating a watercolor effect which wasn't planned but looks really beautiful.
(Add your accent color to one side of the branch, and one side of your leaves. This adds a shadow and creates depth.)
As you go, add more branches depending on the thickness you want. I added quite a bit through out the precess to make the mural look more full and add more interest. Add branches that overlap existing branches to give it more interest and seem more realistic. Also, adding more branches with leaves off the main branches thickens up the design.

Use a darker shade for the background and you'll create instant drama. Also, add more contrasting colors to the branch design to create a more graphic look. I can't wait to create another similar wall with more color, but the effect of this color palate is very beautiful and sophisticated. This mural would look really great in a powder room if you can't afford wallpaper (confession: this was loosely inspired by DeGournay) or don't want to deal with the "permanence" of paper in an entry way.

Hope this helps! Feel free to leave a comment with any questions and I can further help you create your own wall. And encourage you to do it because I couldn't not be more excited with how this wall turned out!

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan With Love.

To donate, visit here. Any donation will help those in Japan, even if it's just a few dollars. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bathroom Before and After.

Remember when I said I had a surprise regarding this bathroom?

Well I wasn't lying. My stepbrother had been living with that miserable bathroom for almost two months when I surprised him with this make-over for around $100!

The walls got a coat of rich chocolaty brown and all the trim was painted with fresh white. That alone was a huge improvement!

Something about the natural fiber of the hats works well in the bathroom. The top belongs to moi and the bottom one was found for a buck at an antique shop. A simple way to add character and layers to a bathroom (sometimes a tricky feat).

The plant adds a pop of life (something every space should have) to the basement bathroom. The banana leaf basket holds all his toiletries since there isn't any storage by the pedestal sink.

The shower curtain is from Walmart but was originally plain white. I cut the curtain in half, added the stripe of orange with fabric from JoAnn's (around $10) and Stitch Witchery. It was so simple and inexpensive but adds the needed visual interest and looks much more custom. Another trick: hang your shower curtain as high as possible to make your room seem taller. This was huge since the bathroom is in the basement which has low ceilings to begin with.

Perfect proof that you don't need big bucks to make a big difference in your space! For help in your space, email me at and let me work my budget magic on you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet Surprise: Kerry Cassill.

Monday was such a sweet day. We headed into Laguna to oogle at too-expensive houses, soak up the sun, and experience the charm of the artistic and quaint town. It was perfect just the way it was, but it got even better when we passed a little shop that caught my eye. I saw the trademark saying "One Part Clouds, Two Parts Sunshine, Wish You Were Here" posted on the window and instantly knew that Kerry Cassill fabric lived there. I could barely contain my excitement.

After rooftop Mojitos, we headed over to Lala A Kerry Cassill Boutique, where I was even more blown away than I expected to be. The shop itself was gorgeous, boasting endless amounts of California sun. It was dripping with the most beautiful Indian print blocked fabrics and other Cassill products. The fabric is so soft and inviting, the kind you want to wrap up in. Stylized florals in the prettiest colorways. Eclectic-meets-modern prints. It's one of those lines where choosing a favorite is impossible! The patterns work together in the most magical way.

I only got a few photos but just had to share them with all of you. If you find yourself in the area (or are lucky enough to live there), it's a must-see!

(Padded headboard bed with bohemian bedding galore.)

(Regardless of color or pattern, they all work together perfectly.)

(Pre-made pillowcases and duvets for those who don't love to sew.)

(The clothes were amazing too!
Robes and PJ's guaranteed to make you smile even when it's gloomy outside.)

(Loving that mustard yellow zebra print.)

Seriously, I not only want to buy each and every item in that store, I kind of just want to move in. Don't you agree?!
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