Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mother's Day Poses

Mother's Day Poses

So here we have a blog post completely off topic from building and design.... My annual mothers day pictures! I've been doing this tradition since my daughter was born and continue it no matter the condition of Mothers Day. Some of these my son has strep and my daughter and I have the stomach flu. I am about to pop pregnant in one. Sometimes there are no smiles....but we get my picture done nonetheless. I am not a photographer....I am just a mom.

This year my daughter really wanted to model so we looked on Pinterest for mother/ daughter poses and we got our hands (read: backs) dirty and came up with some cute ones. No complaining this year because these were all simple poses they could do. 
There are also some in here of last year and see my video of us since 2007. 

Here they are. 


Saturday, September 23, 2017

How to Decorate Bookshelves

How to Decorate Bookshelves and Display Items

Hello L&S fans and readers. It's been forever since I have done a tutorial on my blog. I have been chronically ill for over a year which puts me on very light duty. The good news is that I am on the mend and on bedrest for a while so I have time to blog. Here is my latest tutorial, how to decorate bookshelves.

 This is a problem for most people, how to "merchandise" meaning - display items to look pleasing to the eye. Many have tried to do this but get stuck. Pinterest is a good place to find pictures of book displays and designed book cases. But still some of us get lost on what to really do. I was once there and it took a few years until I finally knew what I was doing. I have a few bookshelves arranged in my home but for this tutorial I am only going to focus on how I stacked my new gold bookcase for my new Hollywood Regency home office.

I had many cute things to display as well as practical books I needed to display but... how?? 
Here is a step by step of what I did. 

Acme Furniture Milavera Goldtone Metal and Glass Bookshelf 

2. Select a few pieces of pretties that you love and want to display. 

These can include: flowers, books, pictures, photos, chochkis, frames, glass pieces, vases, baskets, candles, whimsical items, memorabilia. Put them randomly on your shelf. Note: these do not have to stay in this position. It is only to choose pieces you want to "highlight". What I have chosen (for the time being is a few wedding photos in gold frames, a feminine wooden clock, my sparkly initial, my "Etiquette" book, my Lucille Ball Book,  My Jimmy Choo shoes box that is sentimental to me and my Venus et fleur Roses that I received on my birthday, they are real and last a year!

3. Once those are in place, take a look at your books and start arranging. 

Book placement is not hard, it just takes time. I really wanted to fill the book case so I packed it pretty tight. There are many ways to stack books on a shelf they don't just have to be in a line. Think: This book was placed here intentionally. 

I found this tutorial online which is wonderful for beginners to explore all of the ways that books can be stacked to be showcased and pleasing to the eye. It's titled How to stack 7 Books 7 different ways. I used a bunch of the methods mentioned. Some books are half up half down, some are classically stacked, some are showcased diagonally. I also paid attention to color and content of the books, I grouped some books by color and some books by interest. This takes quite a while....

 4. When in doubt remember the rules of design, and merchandising this makes objects "pleasing to the eye". Make the bookshelf so people will want to take a look. A messy bookshelf just looks like clutter. An intentionally stacked shelf is... comfortable. 
Here are some rules and guidelines you can loosely or strictly follow to make your shelf look designed:

A) Even amateur designers know to group things in 3's - that is true but really for me it's making good visual triangles, hence a triangle is 3 angles= things in threes. 

B) Balance- where does your eye land? All sides of the case should be in balance. If you have a dark background white or light colored things is where your eye will land. If you have a light background your eyes will land on the darker pieces. What do you want to stand out? Display them upright.What books can you use as just "filler" that will fade into the background?

C) Height of items. Nothing close together or on the same shelf should be the same exact height. If you have to add a book under it to make it taller, or if you have to take a book away in order to create different heights, then make it work.

D) Stick with one or two "finishes only" in my bookcase the majority of my "finish color" for frames and items are only either white or gold. If I added black, or oil rubbed bronze or brass or silver nickel or chrome to the shelf it may be too busy. 

E)  Use varying textures to make it interesting and add dimension..., glass, paper or books, metal, wood, live flowers or fruit, weaved baskets, wax, clay, porcelain, feathers, furry or fuzzy texture.

Let' get a brief education on these rules and see them in play out in real life. I will use examples from some shelves in my home. Let's learn how and why these vignettes look designed with purpose. 

First: Look at the set up of this console table I made a few years ago. Pretty picture right? Let's see why. 

Here we have a triangle of glassware.

Here we have a triangle of red highlights.

Here we have only used 2 finishes. 
Set of 3 books, set of 3 contained objects. 
Next, let's look at the shelving in my living room and why it is pleasing to the eye as well, using our above guidelines:
Wood texture in 3 places. 
Triangle of white items.

Every shelf has varying heights of items.
Lots of textures.

Now back to the original bookshelf in my office it is COMPLETE! 
This bookshelf display is a work in progress and I tend to change or add something a few times a week but for the most part it is finished. Still hanging other pictures and mirrors in my new office. Can't wait for the outcome.

And...some close-ups:

 ....And Nacho Man and Buh- Beans enjoying the office. 

Thanks for checking out my tutorial. Like me on FB and follow me on Instagram, 
xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ikea Pax System Tutorial

Ikea Pax System Tutorial

Your complete post for how to make your own built in closet from ikea storage system! 

Hello readers! Here goes with the large built-in closet systems I built for our large walk in closet both the ladies side and men's side. 

Before you get started you need to look at the ikea closet planner on their website. You can find that here Pax Online Planner

Do all of your measurements and do an "inventory" of your clothes, shoes, bags, and other items you need to organize. 

Here is what we were working with, from our new home blueprints: 

My vision included having the left side as the ladies side and the right side as the men's side. Once the house was built, I was able to re measure (after the baseboards were in) and confirm the dimensions. Please note we have 9 foot ceilings hence we were able to purchase the taller built in versions. 

After messing with the ikea planner for weeks (literally) I decided I could not be bothered with doing the closet in one design, so I had to split them up into two designs, men's side and ladies side. 


For my inventory I needed space for: 

Lots of long dresses and skirts, short sleeve tops, sleeveless tops, long sleeve tops, coats, vests, jammie tops, belts and scarves, bags, shoes and higher boots. Also, I wanted to eliminate the need for dressers (for underwear, bras, bathing suits, jammie pants, yoga pants) in the master so, a number of drawers needed to be factored in. 

I also wanted doors that were mirrored, and some drawers with glass fronts and shelves with glass tops for pretty stuff like pictures, jewelry and perfumes. 

Here is after using the planner on ikea my rough built ins looked in a cad like drawing. 

You enter your dimensions and get a picture like this, note the blue wall is going to become my vanity, so I am not putting closet there and I had to split the right wall so I know I only have 6' 5" to work with there for closet, because the rest of it is open area. 

If you would like you can virtually paint the walls and choose your carpet color to make the virtual closet more realistic but for this I am keeping it black. 

With the Pax system there are only a certain number of sizes, depths and widths for each section. Lets start with the left corner. Here on the whole left side I am able to install the deeper cabinets, they are all going to be 22 7/8 deep. Some will have doors some will not. I am adding my first cabinet, this will be for my jammie tops and bags. 

These are your choices in white, but they also have darker and wooden colors:

If you want hinged doors and to be able to hang clothing by hangers on a pole:
higher--9 foot ceilings
19 5/8 x 92 7/8 x 22 7/8
39 5/8 x 92 7/8 x 22 7/8
shorter--8 foot ceilings
19 5/8 x 79 1/4 x 22 7/8
39 5/8 x 79 1/4 x 22 7/8

If you want hinged doors and NOT be able to hang clothing by hangers on a pole:
higher--9 foot ceilings
19 5/8 x 92 7/8 x 13 3/4
39 5/8 x 92 7/8 x 13 3/4
shorter--8 foot ceilings
19 5/8 x 79 1/4 x 13 3/4
39 5/8 x 79 1/4 x 13 3/4

If you want to be able to hang clothing but not have doors add this size:
tall and short sizes--
29 5/8 x 92 7/8 x 22 7/8
29 5/8 x 79 1/4 x 22 7/8
29 5/8 x 92 7/8 x 13 3/4
29 5/8 x 79 1/4 x 13 3/4

You can see how you can choose the height, depth and width. The 19 inch cabinets can have doors and the 39 inch cabinets can have doors, but not the 29 inch cabinets. 

So here I added a 19 inch cabinet that can have a door.  

So now lets add accessories. Here I added two shelves and a clothing rod. 

And then add a door- This is a Vikedal mirrored door, there are lots to choose from. 

Lets keep going and add more. Now for a larger cabinet with room for laundry baskets. This will be my dress cabinet, then my non door cabinet for drawers, then more hanging cabinet. Now we have this. 

Here is the view with the doors: 

Now for the other side of the closet where shoes and pants (the slide out pants hangers are awesome! and that funny looking hook thing off to the right side is awesome too its for hanging hangers and towels) will go along with some drawers. Because the left side of the closet contains the deep shelves, in order to have walking room we will install the shallower units 13 inches deep, and these will have no doors. 

So, with this... you will get a shopping list and price so you will know exactly how much it costs before walking into the store. Know that they won't pull it for you, and you will be shopping in chaos. It will be heavy and you will be overwhelmed, then you will have to get it home and unload it and all of this stuff is very very heavy. My kids could not go to the kids club cause it was full, but I was on a mission. So I brought them with and took my list and went to the store.

Here is a screenshot of the bottom of the list. And price- Look- now everything is on sale cool! 

My Assembly print out:

Just shoot me! Yes, This is all my stuff for my closet, both carts:

WARNING- EMBARRASSING STORY--I will skip the details of the story of loading the pieces and the Ikea loading helper dropping my glass piece and shattering it, and having both kids, my minivan, and a manager continuously fussing at me to move my parked car out of the loading zone, even though I had to go back in and exchange the piece the worker dropped and... was NOT moving my car. Turns out I made such a fuss that the manager and undercover security came to "help me"- read, "make me angrier" and moved me out of the way of the public because I was so angry and causing a scene. In the end, I was personally escorted out of Ikea by a man who looked like a Redskins Linebacker. And on with the project......

Here was my empty closet space before the cabinetry was installed. 

I brought it all home and started to put things together. The paperwork tells you how to do everything- even which numbered hole to install shelves etc. Here are some action shots: 

You have to lay everything on its side to build the frames, make sure you have a lot of room . 

Deep cabinets.
Shoe Shelf- shallower cabinets.
Joining Cabinets together you will need clamps. 
And when filled it looks pretty good! 
Shoe and Pants storage. 

Please note,  that since the early stages of my closet I have changed things around and added a lighted vanity, still have to spray paint the mirror, but my FIL (a Naval electrical engineer), taught me how to turn a fixture into a plugged in fixture since we did not have the light hardwired into the wall. The Malm vanity is also from Ikea. I love it! That's the beauty of the Pax system, you can change things around as you like. 

Sorry, bad pic,,,,,My vanity area, and YES, I am spray painting the mirror silver.

 And here are more updated pics of my closet:

Perfumes and jewelry.

Love the hanging space. 

Shoes 3 or 4 pair per shelf.

Jammies/ Bags Closet 

Hope you all like my Ikea Pax tutorial, you really can do it yourself! 

Email me- Facebook me - whatever you want! 

Peace, Kristen