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Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's Lust List

Ahhhh, Friday! Welcome back old friend! This weekend will be full of family, friends and food...WOOT! First I'd love Martha to come set up my backyard in the most festive of Memorial Day themes:

And serve me food like this:

No backyard party is complete without the proper attire. Martin & Osa has 50% off your entire purchase, now thru May 31. This would be so cool and comfy:

And since I can't be outside in the summer without getting in to water of some sort, I'll need one of J.Crew's cute bathing suits and perfect flip-flops:

Have a great long weekend friends! I'm not going to get preachy about the troops...but you can bet the American flag will be blowing in the breeze at the Sugerplum house!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 80's called, they want their brass back

Our house was built in 1986, so you know it has some sa-weet decor details! When we moved in 5 years ago, we took it from 1986 to maybe 2003...give or take a few years. But you know how it is when you buy a hemorrhage money and spend your life at Home Depot and Ikea for the first 3 months. Then you burn out, and run out of progress comes to a roaring halt. You bask in how great it looks, and make a list of the things you'll get to over time.

"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

Then next thing you know it's been years and you're still living with a dining room chandelier that practically has a mullet! So while I'd love to buy the most gorgeous light fixture that's perfect for the room, I am not Scarlett and Mr. Sugarplum is not Rhett Butler, the richest man in town. (Although, I don't have to wear clothes made from my old curtains, so I'm not complaining too much!) Here is the dining room the day we saw the house for the first time:

I told you it was bad!

For the first few years, I got crafty with a glue gun by adding ribbon to the shades and putting a bunch of berry crap in it:

chandy take 2
 A little better, but still pretty dated

Oh, and I also tried sponging it with black paint to give it a 'rustic' look

But that only made it look moldy?!

Finally I decided to strip it of all it's gaudy layers, and just paint the blasted thing! Of course I didn't take it down?!? I just covered everything in sheets, opened the doors, and went to town. Don't be fooled, it was a hot mess. That black paint mist was going everywhere except on the chandelier and sheets! I kept having to shoo the kids out of the room for fear they'd end up looking like they worked the coal mines. After two coats, this is what I ended up with:

I chose Rustoleum's Glossy Black spray paint. I was going for "elegance" since it's the unused dining room.

I was sick to death of the little lamp shades, and they contributed to the dated I pitched them. Which meant I had to do something about the ridiculously unattractive sleeve thingies that cover the electrical part on each light. (yes, that's the official name of them!) You can buy custom sleeve covers, but those things are $17 FOR TWO! I needed TWELVE! That's $102 (I went ahead and did the math for you), plus tax and shipping. I could find a new light fixture for that! So I was forced to get crafty again. A couple of sheets of scrapbook paper, some spray mount (and some scotch tape for the stubborn ones that wouldn't stick!), and I ended up with this:


I'll probably get more adventurous with the paper, and that's the beauty of it...for the cost of 2 sheets of paper I can customize my light! 

Don't look at my silver, I KNOW it needs polishing!

Would the room look better with a new fixture? Probably. But for $7 in paint and paper, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The color addict in me is screaming for me to repaint it a fun color, but I'm exercising restraint for now.


What do you think? Have we at least brought it into the 21st century?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

{Designer Crush} Erinn Valencich

Erinn Valencich is the first designer I fell in love with! Sure I've drooled over designer spaces before, but this is the first time I sought out an actual name behind the look. She creates elegant, glamorous and contemporary chic and modern....yet totally livable. She's all over HGTV and, and tons of other shows and publications (and now Hi Sugarplum! What will she aspire to next?!)

The way she mixes colors, patterns and textures makes me want to take a sledgehammer to my own house! I would quite literally let her do anything and everything she wanted to my home, with no questions asked. (Hear that Erinn?? Feel like a trip down South?) None of her rooms are fussy, or allude an air of "take your shoes off first please," but clearly are so well envisioned and put together.

The mirror! The suzani! The restraint used to keep the color palette clean and minimal!

wallpaper, drapes, chair and rug -- all different patterns -- all perfect!

are you kidding me with that chevron tray?!?

If I took my fence down, I'd be staring at an alley full of trash she had the view going for her here!

The elusive perfect shade of gray paint....the orange table

The black and white rug with yellow chairs make me crazy (in a stalker way).

But the picture that hooked me and converted me to Erinn's camp was this gorgeous, clean, modern kitchen. I almost licked the screen when I found it!

Her rooms are so inspiring, but somehow they manage to feel attainable. She doesn't use all high-end pieces, and I look at them and feel like it's something I will never come close to could achieve in my house, with my budget. She's also super nice -- I emailed her some questions about the kitchen (I was in the process of re-doing mine, more on that to come!), and she actually wrote me back! We aren't besties now or anything, but she could have ignored my email or told me to suck it. Since she did neither...I love her even more!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

{Outfit Inspiration} Plum & Gray

When you look at magazines and catalogs, or read your favorite blogs, are you just admiring the pretty pictures, or scheming dreaming of ways to duplicate them in your own life? I'm the latter of the two. I see a room and get inspired to mix patterns and colors in a similar way for an outfit. My mind immediately goes to my closet. I'm such a geek I'll even jot down ideas for when I get home!

Same goes for favorite outfits. I've discovered the color palettes I tend to wear more, are also colors that appear most often in my house.

So today I offer you the beautiful bedroom featured on la dolce vita

That inspired this outfit (excuse the lame self-timer pic taken in my office! I think I need to start recruiting help for outdoor pics!)

Gray and plum is not exactly going out on a limb, but inspired none the less. Where does your passion and inspiration for fashion and decor come from?

Monday, May 24, 2010

{Happiness in a Can!} Birdhouse

o you stand in the spray paint aisle and feel like a kid in a candy store? Something has happened to me since I started home DIY projects....I get just as excited walking into the hardware store as I used to with JCrew's new arrivals!! In fact, when I started doing messy stuff like painting, I didn't even have ratty tees to put on!!?? I had to rifle through my son's stack of sport camp shirts for something (good thing as I'm not a tidy painter!)

A recent trip to Home Depot had me gazing at the rainbow of colors in the spray paint aisle. Oh the possibilities! Since I'm trying for a more cohesive color scheme in my backyard this year, yellow and white, I grabbed the cheeriest yellow on the shelf. I wasn't even sure what I'd paint with it, but knew there'd be something I could attack.

And attack I did, so quickly in fact that I didn't take the important 'Before' shot. I dug this one up from a random backyard shot during the winter.

birdcage before

You don't even know what you're looking for, do you? The iron's practically invisible and certainly not cute or cheery. After two coats of lemon yellow by Rustoleum it looks like this:

house 055

It makes me ridiculously happy! And since there was paint left in the can...I looked around until I found another victim (no 'Before' shot at all this time, but it started out just as plain as the birdcage:

house 042

Isn't it the cutest? You didn't even notice the cute bluebonnet pot before, but now it pops too. This is the first thing you see when you walk out the back door.

house 054

They say money can't buy happiness, but I'm starting to think a $5 can of spray paint can!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday's Lust List

If I were Katie Holmes Cruise with my hubby's black Amex...this is what I'd track down this week:

This ridiculously cute loveseat from i suwannee's shop Furbish (I'll take that piece of coral and some throw pillows while I'm there!)

And while I don't care much for the girl, I'd take her sundress in a second

people mag photo

Then I'd hop a plane and spend the weekend here

ok, so this is my pic...and that's me floating in the clear blue water...but I still want to be there. St. John, USVI

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Dark Side

Two things I realized while preparing this post. 1) I'm a totally crappy photographer!  2) Photographing your work helps you see all the flaws!!

So now I see I have some touch-up to do on my interior door....especially since a color this dark is so unforgiving. Here's the unassuming interior front door painted generic white

You'll notice the boo-boo on the bottom...that's from an unfortunate event involving Mr. Sugarplum and a Christmas wreath hanger (note to self: door won't open and close properly with a hanger looped over the top). We don't hang said wreath anymore.

Anyway, painting the door was a great way to cover up this accident. I just filled the crack with wood filler, then sanded it down lightly. I actually gave the whole door a quick sand-down to roughen up the surface....but really it was good to remove the grime I had no idea was there!

Then I just went at it! I prefer to use foam rollers for jobs like this because I don't like brush marks. I used those cheapie foam brushes for all the crevices. I could definately tell the spots that hadn't been sanded well because the paint seemed to 'slip off' there...but since this paint has primer built in, it gave it something to stick to on the second and third coats. I also didn't worry about the window. Once the paint is completely dry, it scrapes off the glass easily with a flat edge razor. The doorknob was a different story, and I'll be figuring out a way to fix that mess later! Here it is after two coats, still wet:

I had a few helpers make a hot mess step in for a bit.

And here are the final 'after' shots. Well, I guess I shouldn't say final since there are some spots that need touching up. I also think I like it more high-gloss, so it might get a coat of a glossy poly.

Something needs to happen with the candlesticks now. And wouldn't the foyer be SO FAB with a zebra rug and mirror on the side wall?! (If I were clever with Photoshop, I'd totally do a mock-up of that for you!) I love how it turned out and am now eye-balling other doors in my house!

Here are the deets on what I used:
Paint: Behr Paint + Primer, interior semi-gloss latex. It's Martha's color, Francecsa, but Home Depot color matched it to their brand
Sander: 220 grit

Pretty big bang for under $20, no?! (well, except for the new rug and mirror I'll probably end up buying now.) What do you think? Likey or No Likey?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teaser Post

The first time I saw this pic in Domino Magazine (RIP...I mean really, no one did it better...before or since!!), I was obsessed with having a black interior door!

You should have seen the number of raised eyebrows I got when I told people I wanted to paint an inside door black!! But just look at this beauty from Country Living!

I finally bit the bullet and just went for it....with more raised eyebrows. My version coming up next.

My first blog entry!! Eeek, the pressure!!

Hi!! And who exactly am I saying 'hi' too?! No one knows about this blog, so no one is reading it?! I take that back, my friend Jen is probably already reading it. She helped me with my blog header...and by help I mean, "That's a pear, not a plum! Can't you change the color!?" I'd like her to try and find a cute blog header online that contains a plum! But seriously, thanks for your help, Jen. Really.

Anyway, I stalk countless blogs everyday, and am so inspired by all the home projects, cute outfits, and fun vacations that I figured I'd join in. I lost my precious grandfather suddenly in January; and in order to keep from drowning in grief, I picked up a paintbrush for a house project, and haven't put it down yet! So my blog is appropriately named because he always greeted me with a cheery "Hi Sugarplum!" I miss you Poppoo!

I've got a backlog of projects I'll be posting as soon as I figure this thing come back!!

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