Three Easy Steps: The Guest Blog Edition

Howdy :)

Since Holley already introduced me as your guest blogger, I’ll just jump right into telling you a little about myself and then it’s on to our topic for the day!
My name is Chaney, and I am a marketing major with a journalism studies minor. I occasionally dabble in blogging on my wordpress site For the Sake of a Future, which talks about my day-to-day life at Texas A&M University, being in a sorority, my friends, the adventures of me and Michael (the boyfriend), cooking, baking, weddings (see Wedded Wednesday), and some DIY-ing that I’ve been trying out for my new apartment that I move into this coming fall.  I am inspired by my friends that blog (Shelby Taylor and Melody Taylor Rich especially), along with this little gem I stumbled upon sometime ago: Lovely Undergrad.

Picture courtesy of Shelby Taylor Photography

Holley and I met in middle school and have been close friends ever since.  I was her maid of honor in her wedding, and she’s been my voice of reason countless times when my seemingly dramatic life has gotten the best of me.  She asked me to guest blog for her last Friday, and I’ve been picking my brain all weekend for things that were “TOAFS” worthy to write about.  Here’s my jab at telling you something you want to hear.  All photo credits will be posted at the end of this blog.  Enjoy!

Since the day I signed the lease on my new apartment, I’ve been mentally decorating.  As I walked through the model home I saw it as an empty shell, and in my head I was placing furniture, hanging pictures, and painting walls.  Pinterest  has been there for me every step of the way, feeding me inspiration and those pesky little color swatches that are so easy to fall in love with (you know the ones…).  When summer started, I knew it was time to actually get serious about how I was going to decorate my room rather than just fantasize about it constantly.
That’s when it happened– I was completely overwhelmed with ideas.  I could decorate room after room with all of my “themes” that I had in my head.  The problem? I just had a bedroom and a bathroom that wasn’t shared space.  I needed to settle on one idea, and “nautical-coral-simplistic-edgy-bohemian” did not sound like a good plan…
Today I’m going to tell you how I did that–  narrowing down the ridiculous Pinterest projects to finding the right textures to tie it all together.   Let’s go :)

STEP ONE: Finding a Theme by way of PAINT Color:
When I found out I could paint my apartment, I nearly flipped– For two years I have lived somewhere that had strict rules on painting and hanging pictures.  In both my dorm room and my sorority house, my walls were adorned with command strips and double-sided tape rather than nails or screws (which wasn’t half bad, actually).  My walls stayed the same neutral “all-matching” color… You could say I was temporarily color-insane.  I feel in love with the paint swatches that are pictured above when I saw them on Pinterest and pinned them right away.  By looking at my favorites above, you can see several similarities that each have…
Having so much to choose from led me to finding my inspiration in a little night table that was made of distressed wood (the picture above is very similar to what it looks like).  It had so many colors worked into it that I would never see going together in my head.  Who knew that shades of red and green could go together and not look like Christmas?!  I finally made my own color swatch (above), combining a little bit of each of my inspirations together.  Greens would predominately make up the color of my furniture.  Yellows and and dark maroon colors would serve as accent pieces.  Bright blues work their way into my bedding and the beautiful purple is seen here and there in my bed sheets and some bathroom fixtures.  With this nightstand serving as my main inspiration and my homemade color swatch, I deemed my room “Country Cozy” and kept on trucking down my decor path.

STEP TWO: Sticking with theme by using TEXTURE:
Now that I had my paint colors, I had to sit back and think to myself “what says country cozy?”  Is it ruffles and lace?  Simplistic straight lines that your grandmother sewed?  Lots of warm throw blankets in every corner?  I picked all of the favorite things that I like– it is my room after all.  Nothing says cozy to me like a big white fluffy comforter that looks like it belongs on the bed of a hotel.  Burlington Coat Factory has become my favorite place in the world, and that’s where I found my Pottery Barn-like comforter for a heck of a good price.
I had high hopes of sewing my own quilt this summer, but it just became entirely too complicated.  I didn’t know how much material to pick out or where to even begin once I did have the material.  My mom has made quilts in the past and she’s planning on teaching me soon, but I finally settled on a store-bought quilt to put at the foot of my bed (Once again, a Burlington find…).  It has the blues, yellows, and greens that I needed to match up with my furniture and accents as a bonus.  It also took something off of my “DIY” list.
I’m obsessed with lace– lace wedding dresses are my favorite thing in the whole entire world.  Everyone needs a little lace to make their room classy– so I opted for a lace bed skirt.  My all-white modern-looking bedspread looks so much more warm and cozy with the lace bed skirt peeking out the bottom.  To carry the lace over to other parts of the room, I’m planning on making some lace curtains, too.  It makes me feel so girly and elegant all at the same time…
As for the burlap, it’s a bit of an experiment for me.  I’ve never really used burlap to decorate before, but I saw an idea for a burlap lamp shade here, and I was all ears (or eyes, maybe?)  Nothin’ says country girl like a little bit of ruffled burlap!  I needed a bedside lampshade makeover anyway.
See how easy it is to make modern, country, and classy all come together as one?!

STEP THREE: Actually FINISHING that Pinterest project:
For whatever reason, reading a blog about how someone turned their trash into treasure gets you pumped.  You suddenly start looking at everything around you and finding ways to revamp it into something new & different.  There’s only one problem– You have to have SOMETHING to start with.  I had tons of DIY projects lined up before I was even home for the summer.  A desk refinish, a new dresser, making my own canopy bed… and the list goes on and on.  The only problem was that these are pretty big projects, and I would be starting a square one with everything.  Just like the paint and the texture that I previously talked about, you need a bit of inspiration, and sometimes you just have to be patient.  Above are pictures taken straight from my Pinterest of the projects that I wanted to do, and how I’ve gone about changing plans since I first pinned them on that faithful day…
My mom did all of my thrift shopping for me, I can’t take credit at all.  She’s found me two perfect pieces that I’ve been pouring all of my craft-soul into since I’ve gotten them.  I write a lot on my blog about how I’ve been making these pieces over.  The important thing is just getting started on one thing at a time.  I wanted the distressed wood look (top right picture) and I used green paint rather than blue.  I’ve never been so proud of myself after a project.  Do your research and take it one step at a time– it’s so easy to do it yourself and get exactly what you want rather than paying for something over-priced and the wrong color at a furniture store.
To help my budget out a bit, I turned to spray paint.  Everything in my sorority house and my dorm room was hot pink and zebra, and even though I absolutely loved it in the past, I wanted to do something different.  Hot pink pole lamps, old shelves, and even some candle holders got fresh coats of pretty mocha colors, and a storage unit and desk lamp are just waiting to be spray painted pale yellow.  It’s so much easier to take the time to buy a $5.00 can of spray paint rather than tracking down a new lamp… and like I said before, I’m still planning on using burlap to make-over my lamp shades.
As for my headboard, I was turned on to these light up (get it?!) headboards made with canvas and Christmas lights.  It seems simple and easy enough, and hopefully not any kind of fire hazard…  It’s at the end of my DIY list as of now because of all of my painting projects, but it’s my goal that I’m striving for.  Because of my wonderful distressed nightstand find, I never did get to do that vintage suitcase table… maybe next time!

Keep a lookout on my blog for pictures of my finished Country-Cozy room once I move in around the beginning of August.
I hope if any of you ever get caught up in my over-inspired dilemma you are able to make one of two decisions:
one: have more than one room to decorate, and use a different theme in each one <<I wish!
two: divide it up– paint, textures, and furnishings. Out of these three, get inspired by one thing– a color, a project, or a comforter… it’s easy from there!

I hope I didn’t bore you to death with my post today, and I hope this advice comes in handy for someone out there.  Thanks again to Holley for letting me guest-post!

always,
Chaney

Picture Credits in Order of Appearance:
“lease” photo- http://www.hepogreektrade.com/page/2
“Pinterest Paint Swatches”- http://blog.seed-designs.com/
“distressed wood inspiration”- http://www.flickriver.com/photos/chirgy/104941664/
All paint colors in my “homemade swatch” are Olympic Paint found at-  http://www.lowes.com/
“Texture” quilt and white comforter found at-  http://www.potterybarn.com/
“Texture” Burlap found at- http://www.onlinefabricstore.net/burlap/60-inch-natural-burlap-.htm
“Texture” Lace found at- http://www.etsy.com/listing/64772751/japanese-cotton-lace-beautiful-high-end?ref=sr_gallery_18&ga_search_query=lace+material&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all
“Get Inspired” lamp found at- http://www.craftytexasgirls.com/2011/05/crafty-how-to-ruffled-lamp-shade.html
“Get Inspired” antique furniture- http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/2010/09/aging-is-so-distressing-techniques-for.html
“Get Inspired” suitcase table- http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/updated-guest-room/
“Get Inspired” headboard- http://www.bhg.com/decorating/do-it-yourself/

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