It’s A Colorful Life

IMG_6967-0.JPG Bright colors can make you happy…or they can drive you crazy if you are trying to make them work and flow from room to room! That’s what happened to the owner of these three rooms until she took all the art and accessories and put them in an extra bedroom and let me come in and have some fun! The only purchases were a few cans of paint. Like for this armoire in the living room:

IMG_6968-0.JPG The dominant colors are red, turquoise, orange, and apple green and they flow from room to room.

IMG_6966-0.JPG She already had great things so it was easy to “shop” and place them around.

IMG_6964-0.JPG The dining room alcove was never what she envisioned it to be.

IMG_6924.JPG Now it pops wrapped in turquoise with a hand painted stencil in a random pattern.

IMG_6965-0.JPG And of course I have to put a touch or two of black everywhere!

IMG_6963-0.JPG The breakfast room/family room got a new coat of paint to update the brick wall.

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IMG_6962-1.JPG Red & turquoise make this space a happy hangout.

IMG_6961-1.JPG Lesson learned. You don’t have to have new things to have a new look. Go shopping closer to home for a change!

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Posted in Dining Room, Family Room, Faux Finishing, Furniture, Interior Design, Kitchens, Living Room, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Heart Sleeps By The Sea

IMG_6912.JPG…or at least by a sea shell. Ahem.

Guest rooms are often neglected and finished last, if at all. But a guest room can be a great place to highlight some of your favorite things or places to be.

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Navy & turquoise are definitely a given when choosing beach colors. Adding classics like black and white help keep the room from feeling too “themey” (yes, I made that word up).

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The room is full of collected items. The table is an antique. The curtains are from a department store. The shell was a gift.

And of course, nothing says oceanside like whitewashed wood.

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A few seashells & sand from a favorite beach look great in a simple glass canister.

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Anything can fit your color scheme if you have a can of spray paint! Turquoise shelves are just the thing to hold favorite pictures and help finish the room.

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Posted in Beach, Bedrooms, DYI, Extra Bedroom, Furniture, Interior Design, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amy’s Back in Awesome..;)

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My friend Amy had a dining room that needed a little love. It already had a great rock fireplace, hardwood floors, and a good shade of red on the walls. But the room is huge and needed to be warmed up. And for someone who, I swear, yells “burgas for da boys” in a Boston accent daily…a great place to eat is a must! (I could try to explain why here, but I honestly don’t have a clue. I think she wishes she was a Bostonian.)

First things first, we needed a sideboard and Amy found a sad little old dresser at a flea market for $25.00. Some paint and stain and new knobs later and it’s priceless for a grand total of $57.00.

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I didn’t want the room to have the traditional red, white, and black vibe because sometimes it can look cold, so the rustic look of the sideboard and the fireplace rock led the way for chocolate brown curtains with a burlap detail.

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And a funky leopard print painted burlap runner for the two-tone table.

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This little cutie is one of three furry reasons I didn’t include a rug in this room…(not cause they’d mess it up of course…but cause they just don’t like rugs)

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Just a tip, if you can’t find the exact color of pottery/accessories that you want, don’t be afraid to use spray paint. Not only were these vases inexpensive, they look awesome bronze.

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The room is a mix of things already loved – like these lamps and mirror above the sideboard…

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…and the totally new – like these awesome wood and metal pieces found on clearance (woohoo!).

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All in all…it’s warm, updated, and pretty awesome! I’m sure Amy is planning a big ‘ol dinner as we speak…and I fully expect to be asked (in a Boston accent of course!)

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Posted in Dining Room, DYI, Interior Design, Kitchens, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Petal Pusher

Once upon a time, Rae Russell Designs was primarily floral arrangements. Since it’s spring and the real flowers are fixing to bloom and since I found some old pictures today, here are a few of my favorites from way back when:

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I made hundreds of arrangements back in the day but I still love to do it. First loves stick with you that way 🙂

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I Love Home Work

It just makes good sense to me to have an office at home…it helps me get my OCD in check with a little organization. But there’s one little catch: it has to be a place you want to be. I had the bright idea last year to paint my home office walls purple and pretty much haven’t set foot in it since, other than to throw Christmas wrapping paper in the chair or to run in and get a book or two. I have found out I am not a purple person and I’m ok with that.

A quick repaint in a color I mixed myself using old paints I had in the garage and I’m in love. Today I caught myself just sitting at the desk staring out the window. Not sure how conducive it’ll be to work, but its a room I’m now at home in and the dogs love to sleep under the window so I’m declaring it a winner.

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The desk once belonged to my grandfather. I have refinished all of it except the work surface. I love the idea that he is here with me as I write on the same surface he last did almost 30 years ago.

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Inspired by a the wall I created at my BFF’s house, I gathered all my “happies” together of my favorite things and made my own.

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I cannot throw home decor magazines away for some reason so a huge basket keeps them wrangled until I need to flip through them again.

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I’m always keeping things that mean something to me, like a card or a swatch of fabric I want to use sometime so I made my own bulletin board for all those treasures using a ready-made frame, cork and some funky zebra glitter wrapping paper.

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There’s something to be said about being surrounded by history, favorite things, creativity, and comfort. Bring on the work!

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Ordinarily Pretty with a Purpose

In everyone’s home there are those rooms. You know the ones…those that have a purpose that just doesn’t naturally lend itself to anything traditionally pretty. Instead they are filled with equipment or plumbing or nothing at all.

The trick is not to treat them as something out of the ordinary. Treat them as you would any other room and the equipment, etc. is worked in to the design.

Gray is such a great neutral paint color. This hallway sports a lighter shade and a few choice pieces of whimsical art.

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The Guest Bath follows the color scheme and adds pattern with a shower curtain. Just a tip: shower curtains don’t have to always be pre-made or even labeled “shower curtain”. You can always use window curtains, table cloths or, an in this case, fabric that is hemmed on each end and hung on a tension rod with regular curtain rings that clip to the top. Just put a liner behind it and the possibilities are endless.

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It causes me great pain to talk about the next room…literally. It’s a small room with a biggest loser purpose: the workout room. You’ll notice that the Pilates (and other equipment not pictured) are incorporated into the cosiness of the room. The gray deepened into a charcoal for this room and the chair is there for the inevitable collapse.

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Pretty with a purpose never was so sweet. Even if your purpose is looking at cars go by…

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Not So Shabby Chic

There goes the neighborhood!

When your very best friend and her fam buy their first home it’s time to get down to business. After a bunch of shopping, getting the whole house repainted (believe it or not the old owners had painted on the walls with acrylic paints), SEVERAL trips to the hardware store (turns out when the spray paint can says it’ll cover 25 square feet they are just joking), a bunch of hard work (we both found out the hard way that picture instructions are hard to follow), and several injuries (I managed to give myself a black eye), we turned out the cutest “shabby chic-ish” house that’s not so shabby at all.

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As soon as you walk into the house you know what this family is about: love and baseball (and maybe a little pink). The entry wall is a collection of what makes them unique and is something they can add to or take away from as time goes on and new memories are made.

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The kitchen is bright, cheery, and ready for someone to bake me some cupcakes (hint hint)!

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20130329-225723.jpgBright turquoise, pink, and green make even the most practical things art.

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The guest room is a little more muted and will be a peaceful place for hobbies like sewing or just for everyone that will want to come and visit them…Especially after they see the house!

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For my talented BFF, a sewing area was a must. This one is made sentimental by repurposing a desk that was her late father-in-laws and adding original art and cute accessories.
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For the youngest member of the family, there’s no question, it’s baseball all the way…right down to his chair!

20130329-230623.jpg Dad is an umpire so baseball is more than a sport…it’s seriously fun!

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The master bedroom is also more muted but the perfect marriage of blue and pink. True shabby chic colors used in a new way.

20130329-231332.jpgYes you do spy a pink TV. No judging!

20130329-233749.jpgThe quilt square throw pillow on the bed was a lucky find at a flea market and brings the whole color scheme together.

20130329-233841.jpgSpecial memories and special people (I have to say that because I’m in one of the pictures!) are on display.

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In the living room, “construction” is ongoing. But already it’s the place everyone wants to be.

20130329-234032.jpgOr maybe that’s just because of the big comfy couch!

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Laughter, paint fumes, cries of “On Moving Day?!?!”, cookie cake, and priceless memories…lots of work and lots of fun to welcome this beautiful family home!

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Earning My Stripes

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To stripe or not to stripe…that was my question for a good 3 months before I finally gave up and reasoned that I’d never know unless I tried. I think it is important to note before I go forward that I was not blessed with the most patience. In truth, I virtually have none. So in the next few paragraphs, you will notice I don’t take time to get into the details of how I measured each step etc. Because I didn’t. When I say “measure a few points and then mark your stripe”. That’s what I did. I can’t even bring myself to take time to find a stud in the wall before I hang a picture.

I started with a roll of painter’s tape, a pencil, a tape measure, and determination (read: stubborness). First I measured the height of my wall and divided by the number of stripes I wanted (this gave me the height of each stripe). Then, measure and mark up from the baseboard at various points across the wall to make sure your lines don’t get all willy nilly. Two important points: 1. Keep the tape on the inside of the stripe that will be the original wall color and the outside of the stripe you will be painting. If you are like me, this will confuse the mess out of you and will spend most of your time repeating this and staring at the wall thinking too much.

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2. Hopefully you have extra paint the same color as your original wall color. This will save you MAJOR headaches when you remove the tape BUT it can cause more confusion: Paint the existing wall color over the edge of the tape on the inside of the stripes you will be painting the new/contrasting color. This will seal off the tape and prevent the new color from bleeding through so that your stripes are clean.

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Who knew painting could be such a brain teaser? (Note: paint fumes and thinking don’t mix! Open a window!)

I absolutely LOVE the results for this breakfast room though! The furniture is a mix of pieces found and bought; recovered and well-loved. It all comes together and feels comfortable and cozy. A great place to sit and read mail or eat a meal. Or just to rest my head after all this stripe madness!

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A Little New Year Sprucin’

Show of hands, who feels like giving it all up after the holidays?

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Seriously, you’ve cleaned, cooked, eaten, cleaned, cooked, eaten… Until finally you throw your hands up…or maybe you just lay down and play dead like my furry kid here. Either way, after the dust settles, the tree is put away, and you find yourself exhausted and sitting on the couch, most of us usually can’t help but think to ourselves…was this room always so bare?

It all started with cute new curtains.

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Then I spotted a look-a-like piece that could easily be in one of my favorite catalogs…and as fate would have it, it was 60% off.

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Then, my Pinterest itch, which I managed to keep in check during the holidays what with all the tree decorating and cooking mentioned earlier, flared up again. Durn that thing!

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And THEN, as if it were a sign from above, my tax refund check came in. Can you hear the Angels singing?!?!

The result is a warmer, cozier, not-so-bare living room. And I only bought a couple of things!

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Maybe Christmas…

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So this is Christmas…

I love this time of year. It is always such a fun time to get out old ornaments and decorations and mix them with new finds. The overall theme here is black, gold, silver, and copper mixed with colorful mercury glass ornaments, each one a reminder of a happy memory.
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And that’s really what Christmas is all about…Remembering and making new memories. To quote one of my favorite Christmas movies: “Maybe Christmas…doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Merry Christmas!!

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Posted in Holidays, Interior Design | Leave a comment