Jan 31, 2008

Dining on the Door

What do we do with old doors? Why make them into a dining table, of course. Don't knock it (pun intended), this is a great idea brought to us by Julia Crawford via Design*Sponge. What a fantastic custom-look that would make Phoebe proud.

In St. Louis, Missouri, you can find old doors at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, where old and new building supplies can be found for next-to-nothing.

Julia offers her DIY recipe - how-to tips -- click here.

She used legs found at IKEA. I have also seen new and old porch posts or stair posts used for legs.

Please share any DIY repurposed projects with me.

Jan 30, 2008

Affordable Affluence

When you think "brocade" do you think, like me, "expensive"? Or "Marie Antoinette" --very feminine, velvety, silky or lacy? Or, perhaps a style that borders on "garish", especially if overdone?

That is what comes to my mind.

But Brocade Home makes me think again.

Their offerings are neither expensive or over-the-top. Think "minimalist boudoir" -- a cleaned-up and current version of style that reads "nobility".

Lisa Versacio is the creator of this relatively new line. She is also the creator of West Elm. I think she is brilliant in the way she takes a concept and gives it mass-market appeal -- in this case, that concept being "elegance".

Hand carved curve back chair -- citrus -- on sale now at Brocade Home for only $159

Check out the sale going on now at Brocade Home.

Jan 25, 2008

Something Old is New Again!

I get so excited when I see things transformed with paint. Design*Sponge put out a call for people to submit their DIY projects. Look at these great examples of items bought from Craig's list or yard sales.

I would love the challenge of creating a whole home using only items found by dumpster-diving or yard sales. Just imagine how that can stretch a dollar, but even more amazing is how it can personalize a space. This is something for anyone to consider whether or not they find themselves on a tight budget.

Please share with me any examples you have.

Jan 23, 2008

Take a Chance on that Sofa!

HGTV has a hilarious addicting game called "Drop and Design" that deals with interior design realities for many of us:

Limited Budget, Unlimited Style.

The game pokes fun at the fact that we can't always control our circumstances when creating the room or home of our dreams.

A woman in one of my classes asked me, "How do you know when you have found the right sofa?" She looked at me with the same deep emotion as if she were asking, "How will I know I have found my true love?"

Buying furniture and accessories, for most people, is a very emotional experience. It is risky because a lot is on the line. Will it look right in our room? Will our family love it? Did we pay too much for something we won't love a year from now?

In creating your "perfect" room you will take some risks.

I know from personal experience.

I bought a sofa eight years ago, that after a year I wish I had bought another color instead. However, in my new home and with new pillows, I am seeing it in a whole new light and loving it again.

I don't know anyone who has not regretted a design purchase or inherited items that are not their style.

We make the most of our circumstances when we look at our things with new eyes. You have opportunities to make it a good marriage. OK, sometimes you just have to divorce that ugly sofa; but in most cases, there are no mistakes, only opportunities.

I really believe that.

Take a chance. Play the game. Now is it the room of your dreams? Maybe not. What would you do to make the most of it with your limited budget and resources?

If you find you are stuck and can't move forward, it may be time to take some chances!

Jan 17, 2008

St. Louis Modern

I live in St. Louis, Missouri, in the heart of the Midwest. Modern style may not be what comes to mind when you think of this traditional heartland. In fact, most of my clientele in the St. Louis counties favor traditional style, and I enjoy serving them.

Recently, however, I have moved to the Central West End of the city, and I am enjoying the best of modern design and lifestyle the city has to offer.

The Arch -- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial -- tops my list for modern design in St. Louis. I don't have words to describe my love of the Arch. I never tire of it or stop taking photos of it.

Eero Saarinen was the architect whose vision was to create a monument that transcends the boundaries of time.

The Arch looks to the past as a symbol of a gateway with reverence for St. Louis' role in opening of the westward U.S. territories. While it looks back to the past, it also looks boldly to the modern age with its simplicity and steel construction.

Breaking the mold of typical monuments, it is not an obelisk, rectangular or dome in shape. It makes its own statement on the banks of the Mississippi. I can't think what shape or form is more appropriate.

For more on the Arch I recommend a beautiful book by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) Chief Historian, and my friend, Robert J. Moore, Jr., called The Gateway Arch: An Architectural Dream.

I could go on from the Arch to list the best of modern design in St. Louis, but 2Modern Design has already done it - why reinvent the wheel? I defer to their list. Check it out at 2Modern Design.

And see more of Eero Saarinen's work at mod*mom.

Jan 15, 2008

Mirror, Mirror Re-visited

I am now a featured blog in Delightful blogs. You are free to cast your vote for my blog.

Find it here: http://www.delightfulblogs.com/dana-s-design-studio-link-7040.html It is a 10 point rating scale with "10" being "great" and "1" being "not-so-great".

You be the judge.

Delightful Blogs is a great place to become familiar with the different blogs out there. Through this blog community I am finding blogs I will eventually list, but I do have a day job and it takes time.

So don't wait for me, go bookmark your favorites that inspire you. And feel free to share them with me. I especially want to find the budget-decorating tips out there.

Room in the Hotel de Rome in Berlin as seen in InStyle magazine

Speaking of which, I found inspiration from the Turquoise Chic blog. Well, it is probably high-end because a room in the Hotel de Rome in Berlin does not sound like a room done on a budget.

Ahhhhh, but we can find inspiration everywhere and these mirrors hung horizontally remind me of the dinning room I designed with three inexpensive wardrobe mirrors hung vertically.

I love both ways.

Take a look at wardrobe mirrors at your local big box. They come in a variety of styles that I have not seen in the past.

With design tips like this, and a little imagination, your room can mimic the appointments of a first class hotel!

Jan 13, 2008

World Market Screen Tranformed

Here is a great idea from Dose of Design. This World Market screen is budget-friendly and makes a great addition to almost any style room, but imagine how it can be transformed with paint.

Dose of Design used Photoshop to create the bright-colored versions below. These would be perfect for a contemporary or whimsical space.

What can you transform with paint?

Jan 12, 2008

Rachel Ray's Fave for the Home -- polka dot lamp

I don't often think of Rachel Ray providing home decorating advice, but each month in her magazine she highlights her favorite home decor finds.

She likes this fun brown dot lamp from Wal-Mart and I do too.

How great this would be paired with wall sticker "sprinkles" by Michelle Christina You can order colors to match the lamp!

I'm seeing dots, are you?

Jan 10, 2008

Not Your Grandma's Wallpaper, Part 4 -- Wall Stickers

from michellechristina

Introducing wall stickers, sometimes called vinyl lettering or vinyl stickers. They are a budget-friendly way to add art and design to your walls. They can be removed without hurting your walls so they are ideal for apartment dwellers. To find them, I like to search Etsy. Just type in "wall stickers".

Here are a few:

From pulcinopazzo:

From holly:
Note, above, the Russian nesting dolls are wall stickers. How clever.

from michellechristina:

What can you do with wall stickers?

Jan 5, 2008

Molding Tricks -- Linda and Matt's New Home

Linda and Matt, St. Louisans, are new homeowners and soon to be new parents. It's a fun time for them.

Their home is 65 years old and so, as you would expect, has a lot of history and character. They have added their own touches and history already, starting with their dining room.

It made sense to Linda to make the dining room their first project, because she loves to cook. She hosts her own blog -- New House, New Kitchen --sharing her favorite recipes.

As you can see, the molding was an issue. The previous homeowner installed crown molding, but because the ceiling is uneven the molding cracked.

If they replaced it, they would have the same issue. Making the ceiling even was not in their budget.

In order to achieve an attractive finish to ceiling, they installed a picture rail molding and painted above it the same color as the ceiling. This creates a crowing effect despite not having a crown molding.

Dining room before (left, above) and after( on right).

To make the picture rail pop, they painted it the same dark brown as the accessories in the room.

They painted the walls a rich terracotta color and added stunning romantic lighting. The room glows, and I think it looks delicious!

What tricks have you played using molding?

Related blog:

Julie's bedroom

Jan 1, 2008

Stylish, Versatile Chair - found it at the Big Box

You know I love a good Big Box find. I found this chair highlighted in an issue of Budget Decorating in their "Bargain Beat" department.

Here's their review:

"Sophisticated and simple, the Rose Hill Deco Chair from Wal-Mart is perfectly at home in the living room, dining room or even home office."

I agree.

And at $150 who can beat the price! At least one reviewer on the Wal-Mart website gave it 5 stars. She said, and I agree, that similar chairs would start at $250.

Need a chair? Have a seat in Wal-Mart's new beauty that comes in a choice of three neutral colors to fit most any decor.