HWYD Décor

Here's What You Do -Décor

Friday, August 9, 2013

Decorating an Outdated Kitchen with Food

Greetings, HWYD Friends!

Food as decoration - we do it all the time! And not just on the plate! If you are having a dinner gathering in a space that just doesn't have the feel you are going for, think about what you have on hand in your pantry and on your shelves around the house that you can put together the feel you want.

The room that follows is in a 1980's dated house with beige, peach, and country blue. The meal is north African. Think delicious cous-cous. That doesn't really scream peach. So we are going to transform the space with red! And we are are going to do it by centering the room around the red in Campbell's soup cans.

Shelf 1
Red books. But not too many. Overall, we were going for primary colors mixed in with the colors already in the room. This is the layer where we are working the primary palette in with the pastel one. Some books are cookbooks, but some are from around the house and are filling in for color.

Shelf 2
The centerpiece: Campell's soup cans. You can't go wrong with popart. If Warhol can do it, so can you.

The rooster plates are from a thrift store. The plates are a pattern by Maxcera. They say, "Bonjour," "Buenos Días," and "Good Morning!" around the rim. 

The small glass liqueur glasses are to add depth.

Shelf 3

The fancy $2 red salad plates are from a sale at Dillard's two years ago. The shape is really unusual and they were reduced from $15. 

The foreign phrases in the rooster plates got me thinking about travel souvenirs. Along with the popart , I added the Coca-Cola bottles in Arabic from Morocco.

And I added a little camel given to our daughter. A man we met in the street in Tethouan was so charmed with her that he came and found us again later in the day and gave it to her as a gift.

Morocco, April, 2006

On the ends, we red heart-shaped glass votives. But because they are on a high shelf, you can't tell they are hearts.

Pulling in all possible red, you see a glass candy dish and vintage bowl. For more color, I took a plate off of the children's art shelf, finishing with a kindergarten graduation picture with a red background and a set of Russian nesting dolls.

On the table, I added a Pier 1 pitcher filled with garden greenery with red placemats and napkins. The white dinner plates are my Dollar Tree specials, and the crystal is Longchamp by Durand. This crystal is very common and inexpensive. You can find a ton of it on eBay.

Transformed - all by decorating with food!

Happy Decorating!

Andrea & Steve

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Hardwood Ceiling For Goodwood

Greetings, HWYD Friends!

It's probably not a great idea to lead with one of our favorite all-time projects. We should have saved it for later, but we just couldn't help ourselves.

We are in the process of renovating our town home in Atlanta, The Goodwood House. In fact, it has been a long remodeling endeavor. Think 1980's kitchen, popcorn vaulted ceilings, carpet everywhere... 

Remember this look?


Though this kitchen in the same neighborhood has been updated and the wallpaper has been long hidden or removed, you can definitely spot the lack of granite, modern cabinetry, updated appliances, etc. This is a beautiful property, but in remodeling, (rather than just updating), for north Atlanta, we felt like the upgrading had to reach a little farther - not just in the kitchen, but throughout the home.

In envisioning the renovation, our entire house would require a major overhaul. Structurally it was sound, but aesthetically it needed a whole lot of oomph! And the AC needed replacing as well. But one of the most exciting spaces to redo was the grand living area on the main floor. This encompasses an open living space comprising the kitchen, dining, and living area with a loft on the second floor overlooking the living space. This post focuses on the closing in of the loft and replacing the vaulted ceiling with hardwood flooring!

From the loft, the room had this sort of feel to it, except the walls were white in some areas or wallpapered with plaid, too-many-pink flowers, and so on everywhere else. 
This is the loft from the same home shown above. They really used color nicely, as in their kitchen, but we went a few steps further. The loft you see above? Our loft became an enclosed office, with built-ins and a Juliet balcony with French doors. It would make a nice third bedroom, but it is a wonderful space to work in.

The wow factor is in the new vaulted ceiling. The ceiling is 15' at the sides and 20' in the middle. Steve felt like a darker color would bring down the space and make it more intimate. He said it felt like a racquetball court before the install.

An amazing new look was created with the hardwood flooring in the place of that white, popcorn ceiling.

The really amazing part of this is that it was a do-it-yourself job. If you are a little handy, it seems you might be able to manage a project like this. Steve bought and delivered the hardwood flooring himself. He rented the scaffolding. And like Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, he patiently installed the whole thing.

If you're not that adventurous, it is certainly something a contractor can do.

Happy Decorating!

Andrea & Steve

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Welcome to Here's What You Do (Décor)!

Hey There!

We're Steve and Andrea.

You may be familiar with our sister blogs, Here's What You Do (Altanta), Here's What You Do, (Travel)Here's What You Do (Learning)Here's What You Do (Gourmet)Here's What You Do (Consumer), and Tablescape Times Three.  So, you know we like the decorative arts and all things creative. What you may not know is that we practice what we preach. In fact, in the past year, we've renovated one home completely and are halfway through the renovation of another. And we've done the lion's share of that work all by ourselves.

We certainly appreciate the fine and performing arts, and we also believe that bringing artistic elements into the home makes for a much more interesting life. We are looking forward to sharing crafty tips, historical information, major projects, and anything we discover along the way.

In HWYD (Décor), we are going to tackle questions like:
  • What are the quickest and least expensive ways to change the look of an entire room?
  • Should I reupholster or buy new?
  • What major point have I missed about monogramming?
  • What is a tablescape and why should I care?
  • How did I miss the elegant uses for rope lighting?
  • What are some original and creative ways to finish a bonus space?
  • How I do I use a theme in my room but not go overboard?
  • If I am willing to splurge a little on a remodel, where will I get some powerful WOW out of it?
  • What do I need to consider if I am upgrading only to rent this home?

There's Decorating...and then There's Decorating with a Larger Purpose in Mind

If you are just looking for a site of endless and disconnected ideas that seem to promote changing every little thing in your home just for the sake of it, then this may not be the site for you. When we consider our décor and then proceed with changes, there is always a larger goal in mind. Usability and comfort are high priorities in any event. We want to really live in our home. Beautiful is nice, but decorating "just for show" is a little affected for us. We can be crafty and budget conscious, but we can also be a little exorbitant and high-maintenance. Some of our ideas are whimsical and transient, but for the big investments, we try to be forward-thinking both in terms of style and utility. We are pretty sentimental about our family and how we live together, so our choices will always reflect those values. And competing needs cause decorating conflicts! The particulars of how these conflicts are resolved also reflect the end goal of a project. For instance, will we be renting out the property? Is this change temporary until we are sure what we want, or is it the BIG long-term choice? If we add built-ins on this wall, where on EARTH will the piano go?

Whether our projects only take an afternoon or drag on for months, one baby step at a time, the key for us is this: we want to make décor choices that -

  • make a better use of the space
  • consider how the space is used by all 
  • are aesthetically pleasing
  • make sense for the goal
  • we can afford to replace if ruined by use
  • are creative and as unique as possible
  • are a good value for the investment of time and money
  • are just plain smart

Here's what you need to know about us. We are putting our money where our mouth is. We will tell you what we are doing and why as well as what we aren't doing and why not. We will include plans, schedules, instructions, budgets, the over-budget problems, anxiety of appliance searching, the small touches that make this house a home, small ideas that provide quick decorating solutions, how competing needs of various family members drive decorating decisions, how our instincts help us and hurt us in becoming landlords, our favorite places for unique finds, and so much more! 

Here's What You Do (Décor)

So, get ready for Here's What You Do (Décor).  Check out our Facebook page.  Like the page to add it to your Facebook feed.  It's gonna be fun!

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