Tag Archives: Home

Flatscreen Fix

So, I admit it.  I have a television displayed prominently in my bedroom.  {collective GASP!}  I am not ashamed to say that I love retiring to the bedroom, getting under my fluffy duvet and watching some television before going to sleep.  Or having little girl come join us in bed for cartoons on the weekend.  For a while now, I have been admiring images of how to “style” a flatscreen television.

Many months ago, I fell in love with this image over at Sarah’s Fab Day (original source: Style at Home)….

And the oh-so-talented Emily A. Clark recently created a gallery wall behind her family room flatscreen….

So, since doing my “custom” DIY rollerblinds (and admiring their awesomeness!), I have been looking directly at this blank wall:

I wanted to create some visual interest on the cheap.  I didn’t really want to purchase any new frames or wall art.  So, I decided to go into the storage closet and pull out all of my old picture frames that I really didn’t love anymore (love the pictures, hate the frames!).

Because there was no uniformity among the frames, I thought to pull out the pictures and the backing and spray paint the frames black to create uniformity.

But, once I saw the frames laid out though, I liked the visual interest that the different colors and textures provided, so I decided not to spray paint the frames.  The uniformity would be created by the wall color behind each frame.  I centered the dresser on the wall, got some little nails and started hanging.  And voila!

I really like the way it turned out, and I love that it was FREE and ZERO COMMITMENT!  I can easily take down the frames and do something else if I get tired of it.

What do you think?  Do you have the same problem?  Any other creative fixes out there?

P.S. Thank you for being patient with my CRAPTASTIC camera and iPhone pictures.  Hopefully Santa will get the hint and bring me a real camera at the end of December!

The Big Reveal: DIY “Custom” Rollerblinds

Tah Dah!  Our “custom” rollerblinds are finally finished.  Whew!  It took me a little longer than I had anticipated.  Pictured above and below is the first dormer:

Here is the other dormer:

I LOVE IT!  I am so glad that we undertook this project.  So, I had been thinking about this for a while, and saw a similar project posted on Emily A. Clark’s blog, and I decided to take the plunge.

We inherited hideous metal mini-blinds in our master bedroom and were looking for a (cheap) more aesthetically pleasing and room-darkening option.  We went to Lowes and bought two Levolor black-out roller shades (~$10 each).  The kind peeps at Lowes cut the shades to our measurements right there.

Then I made a trip over to Williams & Sherrill and purchased 4.75 yards of fabric (~$80).  I liked the ikat-y feel of this green damask.  Then I ironed the fabric and my sweet and patient husband, Matt, glued the fabric onto the roller blinds.  He only glued enough fabric to cover the blind when it was all the way down.

Naturally, I wanted to cover the hardware at the top of the rollerblind.  I planned on re-creating Jenny’s pelmet box idea made of foam core board (see here for one that I made in our hallway).  However, I needed a width of 32 5/8 and I couldn’t find any foam core board with a width greater than 30 inches.

So, we were off to Lowes again and bought a piece of birch wood (~$8 and the least heavy wood board we could find).  Matt measured and cut the “cornices,” and epoxied on L brackets.

Then we wrapped each cornice in batting (~$5 from Michaels) and staple gunned it into place.

Then we wrapped the cornices in fabric (which was a little challenging because we had to line up the pattern on the rollerblind with the pattern on the cornice), staple gunned the fabric into place and cut around the L brackets.

Then Matt screwed the cornices into place, and voila!

I priced out similar rollerblinds at Smith & Noble and even with a lower quality fabric, it was over $850 plus shipping for 2 similar rollerblinds!  This whole project cost me about $125 and I got to pick my own fabric.  The bulk of that expense was the cost of the fabric, so you could do it much cheaper if you chose a less expensive fabric.

Another thing to note, I chose a thicker gauge fabric and the rollerblind only retracts up by about 2/3 (which is ok with me), but I bet you could get around this if you used a thinner gauge fabric.

What do you think?  Would you try it?

The One Room Challenge, Part II

Last week, I posted the one room that summed up my style in response to Ally’s “What’s Your Style in One Room?” challenge.

As I mentioned, it was SO HARD to choose one room and as promised, here are my many runner-ups:

{I love the white bedding, pops of orange and lots of natural light.}

{Again, more white, pops of color (this time turquoise) and lots of light!}

{Gorgeous white washed floors and lots of different textures.}

{Hmm, I am sensing a pattern, white bedding, pop of color and lots of light!}

{Am I that predictable?}

{Apparently so.}

{Oh jeez, this is getting embarrassing.}

{Like, really embarrassing.}

But seriously, these rooms are my drug of choice.  Perfection!

And here are a few of my faves from the other participants in the challenge:

{Ally’s fave from the challenge in summer 2009}

{Image chosen by  Decor Happy, credit: Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles}

{Image Chosen by Lillies of the Field, credit: Jon Jensen Photography via Black*Eiffel}

{Image Chosen by My Dream Canvas, credit: Traditional Home}

Wasn’t this fun?  Thanks again to Ally at From the Right Bank for this challenge!

Image credits: 1. House Beautiful, 2. My Home Ideas, 3. Ohdeedoh, 4. Live Like You, 5. With Two Cats via A Few of My Favorite Things, 6. Southern Living, 7. House Beautiful, 8. Southern Living, 9. Can’t find source!}

Design Crush: Paul Corrie

If you do not already know him, please allow me to introduce Paul Corrie, interior designer extraordinaire and my friend.

Paul is the founder of Paul Corrie Interiors and has received numerous accolades for his fabulous design.  He has been profiled by Home & Design magazine and was named one of Metropolitan Home’s favorite young designers.   His work also has been featured in the DC Design House, Washington Spaces magazine and HGTV’s “Small Space Big Style”.  Most recently, Paul was named asone of Traditional Home‘s top 20 young designers to watch! 

I am so lucky to know Paul personally!  He and I were good friends in high school.  (I was going to scan some old photos of us (circa 1993) but I will spare us all.)  Paul has always had a great eye for design and fashion — he was always dressed to the nines in high school!

I love the way Paul combines textures and design genres.  His aesthetic reflects his attention to scale and detail.  Paul always achieves a timeless yet fresh look.   

To help us get to know him better, I asked Paul to participate in a fun and quick Question & Answer.  I also blogged about Paul’s favorite things last year.  Isn’t he a good sport?!

1. Describe your style in five words or less.  Traditional with a modern twist.
2. What is your favorite paint color? Benjamin Moore’s French Canvas.
3. If you could design for anyone in the world, past or present, who would it be?  Great question…and difficult to answer! My Grandmother…She has always loved and taken pride in her home…Had I been able to do what I do now 20 years ago, I could’ve given her the dream interior of a lifetime.
4. What is one current trend that you think will be timeless?  Neutral palettes…You can always add to them to alter your surroundings.
5. What is your favorite piece of furniture?  I’m in love with these new dining chairs that I recently purchased…They’re Italian, circa 1930s, and they have the most gorgeous patina and finish…The paint has chipped off in some areas, which only makes them look even more fabulous!
6. What is your next travel desintation?  I would love to return to Greece…It’s one of my favorite destinations ever!
7. What color is your kitchen?  White, of course!
8. What is your drink of choice at Starbucks?  Grande Soy No Whipped Mocha.
9. Who are your interior design icons?  Albert Hadley, Jed Johnson, Miles Redd…those are just a few…I like to keep some just to myself…
10. What is your least favorite color?  Red.

See, now you have a new design crush too!  Pretty please go vote for Paul HERE in Traditional Home’s Readers Choice and you will be entered to receive a personalized room design from one of the 20 designers, plus Duralee fabric (up to a $5,000 retail value).  You can vote once a day through March 23rd. 

Be sure to add Paul’s blog to your reader and go peruse Paul’s gorgeous work!

{All images courtesy of Paul Corrie Interiors.}

Flash: HomeGoods Opens in Richmond Today


If you are in or around Richmond, the long-awaited grand opening of HomeGoods is TODAY from 8am – 8pm!  It’s out on West Broad by Whole Foods.  I cannot wait to check it out!

Haunt the Halls

Less than two weeks until the trick-or-treaters will be knocking at the door.  This is one of the few holidays where kitschy is cool!  Check out these fun and inspirational ideas.

I love painted pumpkins — no muss no fuss.


How fabulous are these silver pumpkins?  I may do all silver & gold pumpkins on my porch for Halloween this year.  What do you think? (Get instructions on the silver pumpkin how-to HERE)


These sparkly pumpkins almost look good enough to eat!  (Get the how-to HERE).  And look at that cute the li’l polka dottie pun’kin below.


The pumpkin below was adorned with black push pins — isn’t it amazing?


If you are going to carve a pumpkin, you may as well make it count.  It’s easy to forget that the lanterns below are actually pumpkins!


Get the how-to instructions on the pumpkin sconces above HERE.


These pumpkin topiaries would look great on either side of the front door.


This little sweet pumpkin votive looks like it belongs in Kate Spade’s living room.


How cool are these pumpkin candle holders?  You could use these through Thanksgiving too.  I love this idea!


Can you believe that the wreath below is made with hard candies?  Isn’t it terrific?  You can find instructions on how to make it HERE.


Candy as decoration seems entirely appropriate at Halloween.  This display looks like an old-timey penny candy counter.


And, my favorite, the Happy Halloween Beach Cruiser!


[Images 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10 & 11 Courtesy of Martha Stewart, Images 3, 4, 6, 7 & 12 Courtesy of Better Homes and Garden]


While perusing my West Elm catalog on the elliptical the other day, I came across these bed linens:



And I was wondering YOUR opinion.

Random Things That I am Liking Right Now

Below are a hodge podge of items that I am loving at the moment with no regard to order (or price tag in some cases):


I.DIE.  Bananas.  OTT.  {Insert favorite Rachel Zoe saying here.This coat ($298) from Anthropologie is perfection.


I love these greek key accent tables ($179) from Acacia.  I think they would also look great with a coat or two of white or navy blue paint.


I can’t stop looking at this family room featured in Cookie Magazine this month.  I absolutely love the symmetry and the dual living spaces created in the same room.  Somehow, the “wood cabin look” works without being to country or campy.  The contemporary drawings above the hearth are beautiful and understated.  Love.


I would love to gentley place one of these beauties on my desk and stare all day.  At $625 a pop, I guess gazing at the Maine Cottage website will have to suffice.


The best affordable jean of the season — Gap’s Long and Lean ($59.50).  I love the higher-waisted, trouser feel of these jeans, and the long inseam options.  They are so comfy too.


Aren’t these tables from Unica Home ($263) museum-worthy?  I would love to use two or three of these jaw-droppers in front of a couch or love seat as a cocktail table.  Simply divine.


I think this table lamp ($69) would look great in a home office or study.  I would love a pair sitting on either end of a console in a hallway too.  Who knew that it was from Pottery Barn Kids?  Kids prices for fab lighting, nice!

So, what’s striking your fancy lately?

happy weekend


It’s cold and rainy here on the East Coast.  I hope you are curling up with a cozy blanket, a good book and a roaring fire.  Happy weekend!

[Image from here]

Giveaway to Celebrate Spark!’s 100th Post

Welcome to spark!’s 100th post and thank you for reading!  When I began spark! four months ago, I could never have imagined the incredible response and outpouring of support that I received from all of you.  At the time, I had no idea how much this blog journey would truly enrich my life. 

It’s been such a pleasure to hear stories of how spark! has impacted its readers.  I love hearing about how my posts encourage and inspire you.  And, thank you all for being a constant source for fresh ideas!

I have also gotten to know so many fabulous fellow bloggers who amaze me daily with their creativity, ingenuity and wit. 

So, as a huge THANK YOU to all of my fabulous readers, the very generous, Richmond-based Shades of Light is giving away this gorgeous black Bamboo Table Lamp!



The Shades of Light website is replete with beautiful lighting options, rugs, mirrors, furniture, you name it!  You may remember me singing the praises of Shades of Light when I purchased two awesome ceiling fans from them earlier this year (one for baby spark!’s nursery pictured below):


To enter the giveaway, click HERE to head on over to the Shades of Light blog and leave a comment to tell us what you love about Shades of Light and spark!  Also, if you are not already subscribed to follow spark! please click in the upper right corner and become a follower!  A winner will be chosen on Friday, October 16th.  Spread the word and GOOD LUCK!

Thanks again to all of you and here’s to many more blog-iversaries!

xxoo, Ada-Marie