Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thanks to KTLA!!

Sending a great big thank you to Allie Mac Kay and the folks at KTLA Los Angeles!  Wow! It was an early morning but a fun one (I've been up since 3:30! Yikes!) !  For those of you stopping by for the first time and wanting more info on the Yo Gabba Gabba / Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles kids room I created you can go here for final room reveal photos!

For full directions on the sticker decoupage you saw me demo go here and check out the T-shirt pillow DIY instructions here!

And if you want links to ALL of the DIY projects (because there were lots!) in the room along with directions you can get them here!

If you don't live in Southern California and have access to KTLA and want to check it out you can go here to watch me demo the sticker decoupage with Allie.  And here to see me demo the t-shirt pillows.

Last but not least, thank you to the fab folks at Wildbrain and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles for asking me to be a part of such a fun project!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and you can read about the start of my journey as an interior design intern here and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Monday, July 30, 2012

lighting is everything! 5 tips for great results at home!

If you've been reading along for a while you may remember a post or two earlier this year involving lots of gushing about loving my lighting design class.  I don't know about you but I was always sort of afraid of lighting.  New lighting that is.  I have always lived in homes where there is really no fancy newfangled recessed lighting and whatever lights are in the room are plugged into my wall or sometimes I would be lucky enough to have one ceiling light for an entire room.

I LOVE nothing more than a simple Edison bulb (like above) and groovy decorative lighting as evidenced by the brass pendant light I designed that I shared with Nate Berkus
 and the wood veneer Danish Modern inspired lights
 and let's not forget the fab bubble pendant light of earlier this year...

But when it came to the newfangled lights of 2012, you know, recessed, LED, CFL blah blah blah my head would spin thinking about them! And frankly, I was a little nervous about working with spaces that do have them.  That is, until I took my lighting design class and really learned all sorts of amazing tips and tricks!

One of the great things about going back to school at the ripe old age of 40 is that somehow you can relate a little better to your professors and let me say, my lighting instructor rocks (and it's not just because I got an A on the bubble pendant light project, I swear!)!  Her name is Kathy Pryzgoda and she is a very talented working lighting designer (her day job) and has a fabulous upbeat personality which helped me stay awake for a semester of night classes.  Oh, and she used to do the lighting for Depeche Mode back in the day and currently does the lighting for a lot of shows at the Hollywood Bowl which only increases her cool factor.

We all know how lighting can make or break a space, so here are some quick tricks you can try out at home, compliments of Kathy... Enjoy!

Kathy Pryzgoda's 5 Tips for Great Home Lighting

1. Put a shade on those CFLs!
 We're all trying to be more energy conscious these days and using Compact Fluorescent is a great way to achieve that. A problem that comes with CFL's is that they can be very bright and for that reason we never want to see a naked bulb. So if you've got some table lamps with incandescent bulbs (just your regular ol' bulb) try switching it out with a Feit Electric 23W Mini Twist Dimmable and put a light colored shade over it. You can also play with shade colors to get different color temperatures, for example go with a pinkish or amber color to warm it up! 

  Fun Fact: The lamp life for a CFL is 3-4x the life of an incandescent and they are 3 xs brighter per watt!
2. Need more drama? Replace the Incandescent A-Bulb with Halogen

If you want more drama in your living room replace those standard 60 watt A-bulbs with Halogen Spot lights. A typical frosted bulb in a recessed will evenly light your environment, especially for spaces like laundry rooms and kitchens.  However, if you want a more dramatic effect, replace those frosted bulbs with clear halogen spots.   This will give more contrast which makes a space more interesting and sexy!
Fun Fact: Halogen bulbs are more efficient than Incandescent A-bulbs.
3. Dimmers on Everything

For anything incandescent, use a dimmer! If you can't afford permanent installations (like Lutron) then hit up your nearest Ikea for the DIMMA
4. Your garden is the best place for LEDs!

I have to say, the best place to use this new LED technology is outside! As LED technology constantly changes indoor use is still hit and miss.  However, outdoor LEDs have been successfully burning in landscapes for many years!  These little power-savers can handle fluctuations in voltage which is great for when you want to add some fixtures even after you've completed your landscaping!  I recommend the Kichler Light Pro LED.  Long life, low maintenance, perfect for your garden.
5. Play with Color Temperature

Well first of all, what is color temperature? It's the warmth or coolness of white light! Daylight is actually cool and incandescent is warm. Depending on who you are (and where you are from) you may be a warm person or a cool person.  For example if you've grown up in a part of the world that doesn't get a lot of full sunlight you might be a "warm" person because you've lived artificial light most of your life. And vice-versa, if you've grown up surrounded by a lot of natural daylight you might be a "cool" person.   The best way to find out is to get yourself a standard incandescent bulb and a 53W Reveal Halogen Bulb and compare! The reveal bulb has a cooler color temperature. 
FYI: Cooler color temperatures are perceived as brighter so if you need more light (and can't increase wattage) you might want to go with the Reveal bulb!

Great big thank you to Kathy for being so cool about writing these tips for me to share!  If you want to learn more about lighting for your own home and have any questions you should check out her blog!  And if you aren't a do-it-your-selfer and just want to hire someone to create an amazingly lit space, be sure to check out her professional site.

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Thursday, July 26, 2012

inspiring friends again.... DIY painted curtains!

Ever heard of a dink?  Yeah, me neither.  That is until a recent first date with a guy who informed me that he wants to be a dink.  When I inquired as to what the heck he was talking about he said, sounding a little exasperated, "Double Income No Kids. DINK."  This was of course after my telling him about my crazy career transition and starting over at the bottom.  Dating is bizarre these days because part of my identity seems a little in flux.  I work really hard at lots of random jobs and I have an income.  Nope, it is not nearly as steady as what it once was but that's the trade off in the pursuit of happiness.  Bummer that he didn't get it and jumped to an assumption that someone in my position might be looking for financial help from a dude.  I'm not.   (Cue Destiny's Child Independent Woman). And he seemed so cute and cool before that.  Don't think I will be seeing him again.  He sounded as if he would rather be with a version of the old me (miserable in her job yet getting a good salary and benefits).  Weird, right? Anyhow, on to bigger and better things today!!

I have to say I am pretty proud to share this little DIY.   A while back you may remember that my friend Angela was inspired by my pink geometric painted rug DIY and created a fab peacock teal runner version for her own place.  I was really flattered that she liked what I did so much she decided to give it a try.  So, after seeing all of my painted rug posts, my little sister decided to paint some groovy curtains for her house.  When she learned that you can paint almost any fabric with latex or acrylic paint by mixing in some fabric medium she was dying to try it out and paint some fab curtains for her living room.

My sister is a busy working mom of two of the cutest kids I know and I love that she mustered enough time and energy to make it happen and the results are great!  I think her cheap Ikea curtains have totally gone Anthropologie and really make a huge difference to her living room! Love them!

When she told me she was working on this project, the bossy older sister in me (yeah, some things never change) informed her that she absolutely had to document her work and send me the notes and photos on the how to and she did.  I've stenciled walls before but never curtains.  See Anna's directions below.

Supplies needed:
  • Lenda curtains from Ikea (I cut the tab tops off)- $29.99 for a pair of the really long ones
  • Fabric medium from Martha Stewart
  • Paint- Sample size container of Olympic brand color matched to Benjamin Moore Salzburg Blue (Olympic samples are cheaper!)
  • Foam roller- I ended up trying 3 different types of applicators throughout the 7 panels.  They were all pretty difficult to use on fabric, but I liked the high density foam roller from Lowes much better than the Martha Stewart one that is pictured. I totally don't recommend a 'pouncer' for this type of stencil- it actually ripped the stencil. 
  • The stencil is also Martha Stewart from Michael's (I had a lot of 40% off coupons, ha!)
How to:
  1. Very important!  I cut apart some cardboard boxes and taped them together so there would be something firm under the curtains.  The paint does bleed through the curtains, so I highly recommend this!
  2. I used painters tape and taped lines to the curtains so I would have straight lines for the stencil.  Then I photocopied the stencil so I could figure out my pattern by moving the sheets around (yes, pretty OCD)
  3. Using the stencil.  I taped the top portion of the stencil so I didn't have to worry about it moving around.
  4. Carefully foam roll the paint on the stencil A finished panel!!

Per my sis - Originally I was going to sew curtains from some material I found at a fabric shop- but it was $25/yard for the fabric I wanted which would have been way to pricey ($85 per panel plus the time to sew)- so I decided to stencil curtains after seeing how cheap you were able to stencil stuff.  Sure, it is time consuming- but I will go for the cheap every time! :) 
she made the pillows too!
the before! what a difference the curtains make!
I am totally gonna have to paint my own curtains soon.  Maybe in a cool pattern inspired by that groovy black and white graffiti art I am obsessed with...

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Monday, July 23, 2012

motel mondays: part 27

Welcome to Paradise this motel Monday! I happened upon today's vintage motel sign when driving home from downtown LA on Sunset Blvd Saturday.  This beauty, the Paradise Motel, is located in Echo Park.  I love orange and love this simple and groovy sign!  While I was attempting to shoot the sign above the lobby the guy working the reception desk ran out and exclaimed that I was not allowed to take photos there.  He was very agitated. This is the first time this has happened to me.  Sure, the place looked a little seedy like most of the vintage motels I shoot but in the past nobody working at any of them ever cared that I was taking photos of their signs.  Now I really wonder what shenanigans are going on there and needless to say my inner Nancy Drew is intrigued...

I was working on a fun project this weekend for an office I was hired to do.  The company contracts a lot with the entertainment industry so I thought it would be fun to line the walls with photos of vintage theater signs.  I headed downtown to shoot a bunch of the theaters on Broadway.  There are some amazing old ones there with great signs and most of them are nothing to look at anymore on the inside as they have been rundown or turned into electronics or jewelry stores on the inside (such a bummer!).  But it is fun to dream about what it must have been like in its heyday!

I had such a fun few hours shooting photos and chatting with some of the local color.  These are just a few instagram shots taken with my iphone but I have a zillion to sift through to pick the perfect ones to use.  If you live in LA and love old architecture I highly recommend you go check these out.  You can go on your own walking tour  or sign up for a guided one with the LA Conservancy.

While downtown I also popped by a street festival that was going on in the arts district.  Lots of cool bands were playing amidst some amazing street art.  Here is one of my favorites of the day by Kim West. 

And I loved this one too. The mix of hot pink and black and white graphics are so fab!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Thursday, July 19, 2012

d.i.why not? palm husk centerpiece

I am excited to share today's DIY with you!  It is compliments of my friend Jimmy.  This is not the same Jimmy that provided the fab PVC pipe wine rack DIY of last year.  This Jimmy is just as awesome!  I met him years ago at  one of my favorite local flea markets (Melrose Trading Post, for those of you in LA).  He has a booth there most Sundays selling really groovy vintage finds at great prices.  He also has an etsy store selling some of his wares (including vintage window frames turned chalkboards).

So, Jimmy had one of these centerpieces on display in his booth and I loved the sculptural look of it.  It's a bowl, or a platter or an object d'art.  And when he explained what it was made from - palm tree husks!- I loved it even more!  And the groovy clean lines reminiscent of Mid Century Danish modern furniture and accessories are great!  Ahhh nature...

I know this DIY is sort of limited to only those of you in parts of the world where palm trees live but I still had to share it.  I love that even though I have yet to have my own yard or even square foot of land, let alone a tree, I can still create one of these.  Because every time there is a windstorm in town the streets of LA are littered with these palm tree husks!  So, now I just need to pull over and pick one up and get to work!

Here's all you need:
  • palm tree husk
  • sharp knife
  • rough sponge
  • sandpaper
  • wood stain and brush
How to:
  1.  Find a palm tree husk with the right shape - they are more abundant after gusty winds - for your needs.  A bowl shape is great for fruit or flatter shape for candles.
  2.  Clean cut the ends
  3.  Scrub/clean 
  4.  Sand any rough edges
  5.  Finish with stain or varnish of choice
  6.  Let dry a couple of days, fill with fruit or candles or whatever and enjoy!
Obviously if you are using for fruit you want to stick to the kind that you peel rather than ingest the stain.  And if you are using for candles, don't leave those flames unattended.

Oh and Jimmy shared this photo of a new table he created for his backyard using a beautiful vintage French door for the top. Lovely! And of course now I have backyard envy.  This photo was taken before adding his tempered glass top to it. 

Big thank you to Jimmy for sharing this with me!  Go here to visit Jimmy's etsy store.  And if you don't want to make your own or can't find that perfect palm tree husk, you can buy one here.

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Monday, July 16, 2012

motel mondays: part 26

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted a vintage motel sign in a few weeks.  Well, I simply ran out of motels and during my trips around town I hadn't seen any new ones for a while.  Luckily I spotted this one, the Olive Motel, while running design errands last week in Silverlake.  It is located on Sunset Blvd and it takes rustic to a whole new level.   I still love it!  The lines of the building and the letters on the sign are pretty groovy.
So, I am happy to report that I was way more productive with my time this past weekend than last weekend.  Somehow last Friday I got sucked into reading the entire 50 Shades of Grey trilogy on loan from the library.   Yep, I can now say I read those books known as mommy porn (I am blushing a little as I admit this).  I love pop culture and I had to see what all the fuss is about - all of my gym friends have been gushing about them for months and my fave gal Hoda Kotb read them too and loved them.  Well, I am not a mom and don't normally read this genre but somehow I fell into the trap beginning last Friday and continuing until I finished on Sunday (not kidding about the fact that those 2000 plus pages completely wiped out my weekend).  Oh and I was out with my GBF Scott last Monday and was describing them and all I sad were the words "red and yellow" and a gal was walking by overheard me and exclaimed "I so know what you are talking about... those books are amazing!"  Hilarious!  Still can't decide if I actually liked the books or not.  Weird, right?  And Christian Grey is a bit bossy and controlling for my taste.  I will say that after finishing the last book I do feel that much more glaringly single.  Hmmm....

Wanted to share this groovy piece of street art with you.  I was with my friend Cindee and she spotted it first.  I love it.  A boy lying down in a bumblebee striped shirt.  So sweet and so fab! How amazing would this piece be framed on a wall?  And how on earth did this artist paint something so cool on a surface that is so large? 
Signed "bumblebee loves you" and dated September  2011.  Thank goodness it is still up so that I can enjoy its beauty almost a year later!
One of my favorite finds at the Long Beach flea market this past Sunday were these really groovy hot pink and orange woven blankets and pillow covers!  How amazing are these!?!  I want to design something specifically to highlight them.  And how cool would they look with my fuchsia vintage chair and black and white extreme stripes painted rug??? LOVE!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Friday, July 13, 2012

summer lovin'

I have been offline for a little while recovering from the excitement of the big Yo Gabba Gabba kids room project.  I kept meaning to write sooner but honestly I have been a little overwhelmed with working on other projects and having a little holiday fun so that leads me to now, Friday the 13th...
I don't know about you all but I am really loving this summer so far.  So many of my favorite flowers, fruits and Los Angeles summer events have arrived and I am just giddy about it.  I never got to acknowledge the quick arrival and departure of peony season.  One of my favorite p's of summer.  So I just want to take a moment to celebrate them.  I was at my local Trader Joe's every single week for the last month buying these beauties to fill my apartment.  I am so sad the season is now over but happy to have these photos to remember them by until they arrive again next year.
love them in front of my hand painted wall!

Now I am on to my other favorite p of summer.  Pluots.  They are plums crossed with apricots and in my opinion this is the best fruit ever.  I only discovered them a few years ago and have been hooked ever since.  They have a super short season in LA as well and I stock up every Sunday at the farmer's market.  These beauties come in a few different varieties but my favorites have a dark pink and green speckled skin and a bright fuchsia colored inside and the taste is the best ever!

Since I don't have an outdoor space to call my own and am still on my quest to get a plot at Wattles Farm, I have been spending a lot of my free time enjoying my favorite summer outdoor activities.  Currently in the midst of Hollywood Bowl season and had the pleasure of spending my July 4th holiday singing and dancing along to my man Barry Manilow.
Yep, I am not afraid to admit that I am a total Fanilow and have been for ages... even during my late teens, early 20's, when I was wearing all black with pale skin and constantly listening to the mellow sounds of The Smiths and The Cure.  Barry's music makes me smile and everytime I see him live I have to don my 1978 vintage Manilow t-shirt (I want to preserve its beauty so I only bring it out for special occasions).  And frankly, what is more all American than Barry Manilow and fireworks?  Sadly, I know the chances of finding a cute straight boyfriend that is also a Fanilow are slim...
Last night I went to a gallery opening and saw some really cool work from a Dutch street artist that goes by the name Ego Leonard.  He paints these groovy Lego characters on vintage maps and I have to say I am in love! How groovy is the cool traveling couple at the top of this post?


I'm still spending my Sundays at the flea markets around town shopping for groovy items for my clients (and of course myself).  I am loving this fab vintage reclining setee I spotted at last week's Rose Bowl market.  Amazing.  Moments like this really make me wish I had a massive storage space to house this because sadly I had to pass...
I have a couple of fun DIY projects to share with you next week from some friends of mine so stay tuned...

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern