Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweeter than Ice Cream

What is sweeter than ice cream parlor chairs?

Whether placed alone or in a pair around a bistro set, chairs like these remind us of what it could have been like to sip 5 cent Cokes at the soda fountain. A while back I found an ice cream parlor chair with a fabric covered seat that I use for my dressing table. The fabric on the seat was so worn though I will be replacing it; look for the remake as a DIY soon.

If you’re not ready to commit to using this style of chair as an actual chair, consider these ideas: Propped in the entryway corner as a place to store your purse; as a plant holder – remove the seat and place a potted plant inside; or as a night stand with a medium sized lamp sitting on top.

Since authentic ice cream parlor chairs likely date back to mid-century or before, they can be a bit pricey. This also means they can be worth a lot. While they’re easy to find in a variety of styles on EBay, consider anything under $75.00 dollars a steal. For example, while browsing I came across two darling chairs with a table for $60.00...then realized they were dollhouse size. Yikes!

Above image Via

Monday, January 30, 2012

Escape into Sleep

Four poster canopy beds are very popular right now. However, there are positives and not-so-positives about having a bed like this. On one hand it is a relaxing escape into sleep, but this kind of bed also takes up a lot of visual space not to mention actual space in the bedroom.

Think about this kind of bed frame if you have a large bedroom and want to do something dramatic. If you have a small bedroom but want to create this look think about adding a canopy just over the head of the bed.

All images Via

What are your thoughts about a four poster canopy bed?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dog Pop Art

A charming way to incorporate your dog into your home is with a customized Pop Art print. It’s a creative way to display your dog’s personality without looking like you spend your weekends watching Best in Show.

These Pop Art prints designed by Manda Wolfe bring a sense of humor to the traditional pet portrait. The setting is reminiscent of a mug shot from a 1930’s bank robbery. A placard of what could be your dog’s mobster name makes you feel like they almost did commit a crime.

If you’re looking for something more traditional, Manda has those too. These simple prints are timeless and keep your pup the center of focus. Select colors that work well with the rest of your home. The hard part is deciding which picture to use.

Visit Manda Wolfe's Art Studio here.

Think about setting up a one stop station where you can keep all your dog’s necessities. A place to hang leashes, stash vitamins and store dog food will help keep you organized and keep the rest of your home from being cluttered with dog junk. Set up a corkboard were you can tack up reminder vet visits and other important papers. A large picture of your dog hanging above the station will help to identify the area and keep it from looking like a random catchall.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mixing Masculine and Feminine

Mixing masculine and feminine styles is all about blending hard with soft. For every masculine core item in a space be sure to incorporate a feminine element, and vice versa. This well help compliment and create a more well rounded, interesting environment.

For example: if you have a strong, bold couch tone down the look by adding either a curved or glass coffee table. Stack three leather bound books on the coffee table with a decorative candle resting on the books. Place a square vases with flowers near the books.

Another way to mix these design styles is to buy traditionally masculine items in a feminine finish or shape – again, vice versa. For example: a round, three legged side table made out of unpolished metal; an intricately shaped mirror in a rusted finish; a leather chair designed with curved legs and an arched frame.


Mix the below elements to create a home that juxtaposes both masculine and feminine.


Unfinished, stripped, sturdy furniture
Plaid, tweed, wool, leather textures
Flat or matte finishes
Straight lines
Old maps
Leather bound books
Vintage model cars
Woven metal baskets
Bronze/iron knickknacks


Delicate, shapely furniture
Velvet, flowered, embroidered textures
Metallic or satin finishes
Curved lines
Crystal vases
Light, airy drapes
Tealight votives
Ceramic bowls
Chenille throw blankets

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shopping on Craigslist

Shopping on Craigslist is an amazing place to find furniture and other home items. Here are some helpful tips:

Search CL every day: You never know when the item you’re looking for will be posted and if it’s something really great you’ll want to find it before someone else does.

Type in multiple phrases for the item you’re looking for: For example if you’re looking for a TV stand search under all these phrases: TV stand, media Console, TV shelf, Armoire, entertainment center, entertainment stand, media stand, TV cabinet, entertainment cabinet, TV console.

Purposely spell things wrong:
Not everyone is an excellent speller so that perfect Armoire could be lurking under a post titled “Armoir.” You may be able to find what you’re looking for on these seldom viewed posts. Also, because the people who posted are likely getting less hits, you may be able to offer them less money.

Search by brands: search CL by your favorite store and see if there is anything you love for less than you’d originally pay.

Search by theme: If you’re looking for random items try looking for them under a design theme. Simply enter shabby chic, Scandinavian, modern, vintage, antique, etc..then have fun looking at what’s out there.

Want it for less?: Say something is listed as $50 on CL, tell the seller you only have 3 twenties. Since most people don’t carry cash on them, chances are they’ll let you have it for $40. Also, always try to bargain down, it doesn’t hurt to ask. People often list their items for more than they think they’re worth anyway in case someone does offer them less money.

And please, be careful: There have been several times I have put myself in less than safe situations when picking up furniture. I won’t share them here but I sincerely regret some of the decisions I have made. Please always take a guy with you when you’re meeting someone you don’t know. Try to meet with people during daylight hours. Also, remember to tell someone where you are going and who you are meeting with. Listen to your intuition. A lovely walnut colored buffet at a great price is not worth your life.

Happy Hunting!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Colors of Soap

(above image by Neil Conway, licensed by Creative Commons)

Think about banning the hand pump from your bathroom. We use liquid soap everywhere else – why not bring back some luxury into our lives. Instead, switch to a delicate, fragrant bar of soap. Look for a timeless soap dish that can accommodate many sizes. Or shop for a dish that will stand out and make a statement. The fun part is all the different shapes and colors of soap you can buy. You can even swap out soap for the holidays.

(above image by geishaboy500, licensed by Creative Commons)

(above image by shinycatcreations, licensed by Creative Commons)

(above image by Chris P., licensed by Creative Commons)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In love with Mercury Glass

Mercury glass was first created in the mid 1800’s in Europe. It is the formation of blown double walled glass with a silver solution sprayed in between.

Mercury Glass has been a huge item over the last few years and could be found reproduced everywhere from Pottery Barn to Target. However, I believe this trend is on its way out so prepare to find these items on sale. For authentic pieces of mercury glass, look for the double paned glass.

I’ve been in love with mercury glass before I even realized it. I have too much already but couldn’t resist these mercury glass candle holders that were on sale at Cost Plus. If you’re going to buy reproduced mercury glass make sure that it is a good quality piece that could pass for the real stuff. Also, be careful not to buy anything with lead in it. I’ve been collecting mercury glass for a few years now and don’t think I’ll ever stop. It has sort of become my signature style and finding each new piece is like falling in love all over again.

Candlesticks are timeless. Sometimes I put tall off-white candles inside but often I leave them standing alone. Set them up in pairs, use them as a dinner centerpiece, or arrange them in a holiday display.

Start thinking about what your signature style is!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Art for Less

Paintings and posters make a home really come to life. However, if you’re on a budget it can be hard to find art in your price range. An easy solution to this is to buy decorative paper and frame it.

I found the below “posters” of Paris at a local boutique. It is actually a piece of wrapping paper and get this…each one was only $3.95!!

Find art for less at shops that sell decorative paper. Scrapbooking stores usually have a large selection. You’ll be surprised what you can find. The paper doesn’t necessarily need to have an image on it either. You can pick out decorative paper that has a glittery design or pretty floral pattern and use that for your art. Simply break up the pattern by cutting equal size squares of the paper, place in matching frames, and hang on the wall in a row. You can find inexpensive framing kits at places like Aaron Brothers. The best thing about this kind of art is that when you get tired of looking at it you can change it easily and for a low cost.

Pictures like these are charming and you would never guess its wrapping paper.

(each poster is approximately 28" x 20")

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Say Goodbye to Rug Burn

Swiss Miss recently asked me, “Where can I find inexpensive rugs?” I told her it was a trick question – there is no place to find an inexpensive rug.

Rugs are not only one of the hardest home items to shop for but one of the most costly. What’s worse is that most affordable rugs come in undesirable colors, are oddly patterned with geometric shapes, and look and smell cheap.

But it can be fun to take your time to find the right rug especially since it isn’t something you need right away. I spent months looking for a rug for my living room. Here are some places I found that have good quality rugs with interesting designs.

Z Gallerie has expensive but elegant rugs

Cost Plus has a large selection to choose from

Pier 1 has beautiful rugs in many sizes and shapes

For every major grouping of furniture there should be a run underneath it anchoring the setting.

Under the couch: the rug should be wider than the couch. Center the couch with whichever focal point it is facing – the fireplace, a window, additional seating, or the TV. Then you can start to align the rug; slide it under the couch about 6 inches. There should be the same amount of rug showing on either side of the couch. Now you can place your coffee table down by centering it on the rug.

Under the dining room table: the rug should be large enough that all chairs still rest on it even when pulled out.

Under the bed: the rug should be larger that then bed and extend at least 18" for a King or Queen. It should extend 12" for a full or twin sized bed.

Say goodbye to rugburn and go find a beautiful rug for your home.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Do it Yourself: A Mirror Makeover

An easy weekend project is to remake a mirror you already have by antiquing it with spray paint. I remade this mirror in less than an hour.

The items you'll need: a mirror of any size, paint of choice, small paintbrush, spray bottle filled with water, and Mirror Paint by Krylon - although this is near impossible to find. I settled for Metallic spray paint by Krylon which I picked up at Michaels.

First, paint the frame of the mirror and let it dry. Once completely dry either cover the frame with newspaper or blue painter's tape to protect it from getting spray painted.

Then, fill a clean spray bottle with water and lightly spray the mirror from about 1 and 1/2 feet above the mirror until you feel it is sufficiently spotted with water. Try to spray some areas with a heavier concentration of water to make it look more haphazard. Spraying the water beforehand will give the mirror more texture and keep the finish from looking flat.

Finally, begin spray painting the mirror from about the same height of 1 and 1/2 feet so that the color doesn't end up too concentrated in any one place. The goal is to mist the mirror with spray paint until it is completely covered so that it looks like it has been sitting in someone's attic for a while. It is a good idea to practice spray painting on some newspaper first so you can get a feel for it. Once your finished, let the mirror dry lying down so it doesn't drip.

I don't have a before picture but imagine an ugly, brown, unfinished wood frame. You can find frames at thrift stores or garage sales for nearly nothing. The other items I believed were less than $10.00 total. I love the way this simple mirror now matches my personal style and new home.

Have fun!


I want to see your Mirror Makeovers! Send your photos to HurryHomeHoney@gmail.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

With a Kiss

Start the New Year with a kiss. Kissing balls are a whimsical way to add fun to a room. It is not often that we get to hang something from our ceilings, and doing so brings height to a room and lets the eye wander upwards. Kissing balls are hot right now and come in many different mediums. It seems like everywhere I have been lately I have seen these charming decorations suspended in shop front windows. I even saw them in the aisle ways at Trader Joe’s!

Hang them above your bed or in a well lit corner of the living room. Be sure to hang them at varying heights and relatively close together. The rule of thumb is to hang them no farther apart from each other than the smallest ball’s circumference. Also, if hanging more than one, each kissing ball should be of different sizes.

If you don’t want to buy a store made version then make your own. Any craft store should have Styrofoam balls and any other supplies you may need. Cover yours with your favorite flowers, fake or fresh, depending upon how long you’d like it to last. Some other ideas are overlapping feathers, layered tissue paper, or cinched fabric.

Traditionally, kissing balls were hung in doorways to bring good luck to those who passed beneath them. They’re common at Christmas and weddings but are making their way into our homes. Start your own tradition by bringing some old world romance into your daily life.