Monday, March 28, 2011

Pi Beta Phi Luncheon

Growing up in a mixed household (Daddy is a Gator, Mom is a Seminole), it was a difficult decision to pick a college. One weekend my senior year of high school, we visited both schools so that I could "pick one". No pressure, right? Being the good daughter that I am, I made the playing field fair for all parties... I chose Daddy's school (Go Gators!), and my mother's sorority (Pi Beta Phi).

Years after college, I am still involved through the local Alumni club, along with my mother, grandmother, and aunt who are all Pi Phis too! This year, I became a little more active in our club's activities, even hosting the Pink Party.

Coming up in April is our sorority's Founders Day, and I am helping plan and decorate a luncheon to celebrate with other two other local Pi Phi Alumni clubs. Our theme is Celebrating the Magic of Sisterhood, so we are using the MAGIC theme for our decor. Here are the invitations I created:

For decor, we are going to use glittery top hats filled with flowers similar to this:

But we are going to add magic wands with star garland coming out of the flowers for a little more pizazz! Check back soon for more details about this project!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Doors

In the dining room, my brother has some small and very old sliding glass doors. While these let in a lot of light, they are really not pretty and not as functional to open up to his nice back patio.

 After much deliberation, we decided to spend the money and change out these doors to a single lite french door, similar to these:

In pricing out this project, we found that big box improvement stores only install new doors, but do not actually remove the old ones, or do any of the trim work for the new doors. If you want them to do all of this for you, you have contract through different departments for this additional work, or do it yourselves. Since we are not experts with this, we decided to look elsewhere. In our search, we found a local door company to remove the old ones, dispose of them, and install the new ones, with trim out work, all for less than it would cost through a big box improvement store.

It always is a bonus too when your kitchen estimator comes to the house at the same time as the door estimator, and one has used the latter for his own doors at home! Check back for photos of the finished doors when they are installed tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Shower Inspiration

As you may remember from this last post, the Baby Shower for my friend Kim is coming up. Since it is being held at a Spanish restaurant, and she is not a fan of pastels, I went with a Spanish/Moroccan theme, as far as colors go. I had in my photo archives the following pics of inspiration if you know the source, let me know!):

I Have also ordered this Titan & Birch colored Suzani fabric to dress up the tables:

What's great about using fabric for tablecloths is that you can always wash it  and use it for another project. Maybe future pillows for my brother's house?

Also from my inspiration files was this photo of a vintage vase with bright flowers. Using the Suzani fabric as a base, we have turquoise and red vases that will have bright yellow and pink flowers in them that will be placed around the space. 

And since we are not opening gifts, there will be a little activity for all the guests to participate in. More details to come!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green With Envy

Just wanted to wish you a HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY with some of the GREEN things I am currently coveting:

Who doesn't love SJP and her new Halston Heritage line, seen here in Elle Magazine?! I am in love with all things Halston, new or vintage, and this dress is a great combination of green and timeless elegance!

There is something about the green leather chairs, nail head trim, and white and green mirror frames that has my heart beating faster.

I am also a collector of Vintage Lanvin, and these green pumps so excited about what their line is creating in today's fashion. 

 For those of you who have not checked out Furbish Studio, they have FABULOUS items for your home at really great prices. I also love her blog, i suwannee. This pouf is perfect for so many different rooms and styles.

I love that Burberry has timeless clothing with some unexpected accessories and details. This lime green cross body bag would look fabulous with a brown military dress and classic trench for spring. 

 I am also obsessed with Elements of Style blog by Erin Gates, and she featured this vintage green trellis wallpaper in her Etsy Shop. Wouldn't this look fabulous lining the back of a mid-century shelf unit?!

I also love these Agate Quartz bookends from another favorite blogger, High Street Market. Her Etsy shop has fantastic vintage goods for your home. 

I am GREEN with envy! Hope you have a wonderful St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

5 Weeks and Counting....

The kitchen cabinets for my brother's house have finally been ordered! The custom cabinets take 5 weeks until install, and there is a lot more to be done before they arrive. However, I am loving this progress, and the look of the new kitchen, desk, and eat-in bar area that we have designed. 

First, we chose white cabinets in a Thermofoil finish.  Thermofoil is a type of manufacturing where they wrap vinyl material over an MDF-type board. It lasts longer than regular laminate, and doesn't show seams like wood cabinets do over time, and the price point is also great. They have a long warranty, and are perfect for someone who needs low maintenance and easy cleaning options. You can read more pros and cons about Thermofoil cabinets here.

After pricing out Thermofoil cabinets at Home Depot, Lowes, and some local cabinet shops, we chose to go with a local cabinet shop who provided us the same kitchen at a lower price. What is nice about using them is that we will know the three guys who order, measure, and install the cabinets from start to finish, unlike the big chains, who have different departments for all aspects of the project. Also, if we have a problem in the future and under warranty, we can simply call them up and get them out to the house in the same day or week. It made the overwhelming experience just a little bit easier knowing that everything would be taken care of without the hassle.

In our designs, we chose a white cabinet, similar in pattern to the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot below:

This gives kind of a beachy feel, and will completely modernize the space. We have not yet chosen the counter tops yet, as those will be templated once the cabinets are installed, but are leaning towards a sandy granite top. 

 And without further ado, here is the new kitchen:

This is the kitchen if your back is to the fridge and stove. The window above the sink is existing, and we are keeping most of the cabinetry the same. A few minor changes: 

-My brother really wanted a farmhouse sink, and I had the same thought! The white, clean lines would really make the space more interesting, since it is so small. We found a porcelain white sink at Ikea for $299! Usually, farmhouse or apron sinks are between $700-1200 at Home Depot and Lowes, so even the kitchen designers were impressed about a great looking sink at an even better price!

-We are adding a full sized dishwasher, which had to go in place of some cabinets to the right of the sink. The old one was a mini dishwasher, which sat to the left of the sink. We have replaced it with a drawer for the trash can, which also solves the issue of the dog getting into the garbage! Also, because we took out the half wall to the right of the sink, we had the ability to add a third upper cabinet for the storage lost with the larger dishwasher.  

This is the same side if you turn 45 degrees to the right. We have taken the area to the right of the kitchen and made it into a more permanent desk and pantry area. Since my brother used to have a desk in front of this window anyway, I decided to carry the cabinets over to integrate it into the rest of the kitchen. The widow does sit lower, so we will simply drop the countertop down to desk height. I added a tall pantry and one set of upper cabinets in the corner, to maximize storage along this wall that was not being utilized before. Also, if you notice, the small bottom cabinets to the right of the desktop will be for files, and his computer can fit nicely into the corner nook or directly in front of the window.

If you turn around, the other side of the kitchen is the exact same as the before, since we had a fridge and large oven/stove to accommodate. The only difference is that I took out the wall to the left of the cabinets in order to extend the countertop to create a bar/eat-in kitchen. It also provides a view of some of the kitchen from the living room, which makes the entire space more inviting. We haven't figured the exact shape of the countertop extension yet, as I am not completely loving the roundedness of this mock-up. However, we don't have to worry about that until we template for the counters. It will accommodate 2-4 small bar stools, and will allow more people to be in the kitchen at the same time, which is ALWAYS where people congregate to during a party. It also provides additional counter space for food prep and small appliances. 

And here is a view of the entire kitchen coming in from the garage:
It really is amazing what small changes can have a BIG  impact in a tight space. Just a few more weeks and I can show you the real cabinets!

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Living Room

I m helping my brother-in-law redesign his condo. After a few weekends of searching for the perfect couch, we found the following at Hudson's Furniture:
It has a great twill fabric and we chose some custom fabric for the pillows. I then used the pillow fabric as inspiration for the room, and built a board around it:

Since he is single, we are trying to keep the elements soft but a little masculine, since this is a bachelor pad. I love the oversized, industrial look of the coffee table, and its lower drawers provide some storage in addition to the open shelf. He wants a brown leather streamlined recliner to compliment the couch and loveseat. We are also working in some green plants (most likely good fakes) to bring a little more color and warmth to the beige space, and some large abstract artwork, rug, and cool lighting for decoration. Also, rattan storage ottomans can not only hide the PlayStation controllers and games, but provide extra seating for game nights as well.

I am still working on elements for the dining room/entertainment area. We have a vintage bar cabinet that I may repaint, as well as updating the current seats on the dining room chairs. More on this area as it progresses, but I am so excited about where the room is headed!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sip & See Shower & Inspiration

I am planning a "Sip and See" shower for a good friend of mine with a twist. Most "Sip and See" showers are planned for after the baby arrives, so that Mommy can drink, and everyone can "See"  the newborn. However, in this case, the mom-to-be has two other more formal showers, so she wanted something fun, but she is pregnant with twins, so there will be no time after the birth to put together a viewing party.  So here's what we are calling it:

Sip and See The Mother To Be

Really original, I know. So this is more of an anti-shower, cocktail party, completely void of any games, opening presents, and measuring mommy's tummy. Seriously. How am I getting away with not opening presents? Well, included in the invites is this poem:

As Kim is soon to be blessed with twins,
She doesn't really need clothes or bibs with stripes.
She’d prefer to stock up on everyday things,
Like diaper cream, shampoo, Pampers, and wipes.
If to give a different gift is your intention,
In modesty we would like to mention
A donation that will be life
-saving for the twins one day
 Even a little will go a long way!

Kim has decided to register for donations toward preserving her babies umbilical cord blood, in the event that they may need it after their birth, so her registry web site will be at the bottom of the poem for guests. A really practical gift that can have so much impact later. For more information, please check out this website.

Since the event is going to be held at the Columbia Restaurant, so I wanted kind of a Spanish/Moroccan color theme. Here is the invitation I created:
I will be updating with more information about the food, specialty drinks, activities, and centerpieces soon!