Tuesday, June 28, 2011

By the Numbers

As I admitted in yesterday's post, I get obsessed with the most random of design details/ideas.  Where yesterday's post was all about lettering (specifically Subway Sign lettering), today is all about numbers.  Don't worry, we're not talking about any sort of budgeting or math (both four letter words in my mind!) kind of number discussion...I like to only deal with numbers when it comes to decorating with them :).  Like the Subway Sign art, this obsession also roots back to my love affair with Typography.  

Pretty much anywhere you can think of is appropriate to put a number.  I think it's best when it dosn't serve any other purpose other than just for decor, as opposed to your house number where this is fundamentally displayed.  But even with the practical use of numbers in and around your home, you can make those visually interesting as well.  Here are a few of my fave variations of this:

To help you get to work on numbering stuff in your home, I have a great tutorial coming up on how to construct your own large numbers to make them look like metal (or any other finish you prefer)!  This same tutorial will also work with letters.  Stay tubed for that one, you won't want to miss it!...I know, it's kinda mean to give you great ideas and then a DIY teaser of a project you probably want to get started on today ;) 


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Writing is on the Wall!

At any given time there are at least 3,895,624 design ideas swirling around in my brain (which definitely more of a left brain than a right)!  A couple of these ideas get stalled around in the forefront and I can't take my mind off of them until I put it to use in some way.  One of these ideas that's been hanging out for over a year now is the Subway Sign.  I saw an actual salvaged sign-turned-wall art online in a high end home photographed more than a year ago...before the idea got widely exploited and all sorts of 'crafty' versions..ahem..'family rule' types, etc...hit the blogosphere.  I mean I would hate to be accused of jumping on some sort of bandwagon or something!! :)  Here are a couple pics I've found during the last year which have furthered my obsession with this wall art (unfortunately, I've searched high and low and cannot relocate the original 'love at first sight' photo).  

 Anyway, I love this idea most because I'm mildly obsessed with vintage/salvaged finds and 'type art' (aka. Typography).  So right after moving into our new Colorado home, I spotted this very tall and skinny wall begging for something interesting and eye-catching on it.  This wall is the one that typically is forgotten due to it's narrow-ness and height, but for me it's the first one I can't wait to decorate.  And right when I saw it the idea hit me like an actual subway train..this is the PERFECT subway sign wall!!!  With that idea quickly and easily decided on, I didn't spare a 'New York minute' getting to work on this thing.  With my always "More is more" mentality, I thought that I would do without the canvas, frame, and all else that would make this an official wall art piece, instead I decided that the wall itself would be my sign.

With a little paint, tape, ruler, pencil, and A LOT of time working on it (this wall is 12feet tall..ugh), I'm pretty happy with the turnout:

Since I can't leave well enough alone, so I vintaged the thing up with a little glazing and sand distressing, giving it that time-worn look that I'm also equally obsessed with.  Oh yeah, I went about this wearing process a little unconventional also because that's pretty much how I roll with everything in life.  I used very dark brewed coffee as my glaze stain.  It's pretty much what to do when you're totally 'over' going to the store for last minute stuff you forgot to get the first 10 times you were there earlier, AND you need a little caffeine pick-me-up because you've been up all night free-handing tons of letters on a WAY too tall wall!  From a aesthetic perspective, coffee gives some things a more authentic color of aging (this really is the truth and can be your cover for when you tell people that's what you did and why;) ).

This isn't the only project in my new very white house that's been in the works.  I like to randomly start several things kind of at once, so that it keeps me from getting to tired of doing one thing...AND because they will all simultaneously finish up at about the same time.  It feels sooooo much more productive and makes finishing something that much more rewarding!  I don't recommend this for everyone, it has the potential to drive someone crazy, but if you are already crazy like I am, definitely give this method a try!  My husband is just a spectator to this makeover madness and it totally drives him nuts!  So, with all that being said... stay tuned for a lot more redesign reveals to come!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Fete! Farmhouse Credenza !NEW! and On Sale Now :)

La Dolce Villa is throwing a Fete today celebrating our new addition to out Farmhouse furniture line!  We are so excited about this new credenza for it's authentic style, color, and characteristics, but also because it's so functional.  This piece can be used AT LEAST 3 different ways, making it extremely versatile throughout your home and to be enjoyed over and over again over the years.

Extra large (and heavy) 'Farmhouse' style credenza/dresser/buffet/etc, has 10 spacious drawers for ample storage. Solid and built to last a lifetime, this piece has been constructed of top quality wood and a high end finish, using all real/authentic materials. We understand that furniture has the potential to take some wear in just about any environment, so you can trust that a LaDolceVilla product has been extensively protected agianst the elements (such as toddlers and teens ;) ). The finish of this piece and others we offer, will not compromised over the years, so it will look as gorgeous decades from now as it does the day you bring it home.

{Product Details}

-The Farmhouse Credenza features a hand carved and stained top piece and outer right and left sides.
-The body is dark red with a custom blended stain.
-Distressing looks natural, not faux or fabricated, which was accomplished in a 4 step process by a professionally trained artisan.
-All 10 Drawers are on metal glider rails and each come equipped with smooth rolling wheels.
-Vintage metal pulls

***This piece is extremely versatile! It could work in any room in your home or would be great for the office. Photos below demonstrate a few of the possibilities you can use in your home and change up throught the years of ownership***


We offer furniture pieces and commissioned work at designer direct prices. Our clients get the same wholesale rate that industry professionals do!

*We welcome custom furniture orders and also specialize in home improvements such as cabinetry refinshes, decortive wall painting, murals, furniture finding and refinshing. All services at unbeatable rates and always a FREE design consultation! +10% off EVERYTIME for Facebook 'friends' and blog followers!


Facebook: LaDolceVilla

Friday, June 10, 2011

DIY! Coffee Filter Roses

I love making something beautiful out of 'garbage' or something unexpected and/or mundane.  This is how I live green... which in my mind makes me equal to all the 'green' celebrities out there that are driving Prius'.  If you are wanting to make this project even more eco-friendly, you can use those tan colored recycled coffee filters.  I wish I could say this was my reason for using them in this project along with the white ones, but it was more about the visual effect and less about my carbon footprint...I do drive a big SUV after all, so there is no sense in trying to fool anyone out there!  Back to the flowers now... these are so incredibly versatile and look like those overpriced ones you see in stationary, home decor, and other types of cute little boutiques.  I think these would look fab organized in a tightly snug group and framed in a restored vintage frame! 
If you're anything like me, you'll start this project, get overly excited about the turnout of your first one because it looks so darn cute and professional.. then have some coffee (sparring one of the filters of course), which leads to you staying up all night making so many of these little babies and thinking up the million and a half ways you can use them and the millions of dollars you are going to make selling them!  Don't worry if this happens to you, you'll tire of the flowers within a few days after you have made soo many you could vomit..then it will be on to the next fun thing! 

I got this amazing tutorial from an adorable Polish blog (http://kuchnia-pelna-cudow.blogspot.com), which is written in all Polish of course.  I don't speak Polish and it's a fair guess to say that the majority of you don't either,  so i've done all the translating here for you on how I made these, and have pics to go along with it (I am totally a visual learner, I hope you are too)! 

Coffee Filter Roses:

*You can use both the bleached or natural filters for this project, the bleached ones are best for soft pastel roses, the natural work well for a more aged (antiqued) looking flower.

1. Cut the seam off the filters so that it opens up wide, exposing both the front and the back of the original filter at one time horizontally.  You can cut one spiral out of this or 2 depending on the size of the flower.

2.  Cut one or 2 (one for average flower size, 2 for smaller) spirals out of the filter.  The lines on the spiral should be 1-1.5" wide.
3.  Spray the filter with water (this will allow the color you are about to apply next to penetrate the filter and 'bleed" for a natural dye effect).

4.  You can use a variety of inking, paingting, etc. methods for this step.  If you have an ink pad on hand, take a small spounge with ink from the pad on it and apply it to the spiraled filter in a random pattern, completely covering the entire thing with the ink.  With paint, you can apply it with a small folded paper towell, paint or spounge brush, or whatever you see fit.  Just as long as you use a dabbing method with any paint or ink and tool to which you choose to apply it with.

I suggest adding a darker shade of the main color you use, in some areas in the spiral.  This gives it more depth and realistic appearance.

5.  Allow the filter spiral to dry completely.  This can be done in nature's timing by not tampering with it at all, or you can speed the process along with a hair dryer or fan.

6.  Now you will begin to wrap and form the rose.  I like to use pliers to hold the center of it secure, this can also be done with tweezers I suppose.
7.  Do not spiral this too tight as you go around, be sure to do it fairly loosly.  You will begin the spiral (which will eventually be the center of the rose) in a much tighter twist, than you will end it. be sure that as you spiral your make it looser and looser with ever 2-3 twists.  Ater every coulple turns (full spirals), pause to arrange the "petals" of the flower to look as they should.  This is where you will form it as best you can. You can adjust it in the end to your liking, but it's best (easiest) when done along the way.

8.  Now that you have fully formed the rose, you need to secure that baby so that all your hard work dosn't come unraveled.  Of course my first go-to adhesive and crafty cure-call is hot glue, which is agian what works best on this project as well.  Add a little dot of glue to the very end of the spiral which will attack it the flower, then put a big glob (not my fave word...) on the bottom of the flower where you can see the actual coil and raw edges of it. This should seal the deal into place.

IMPORTANT:  Do Not despair if your first attempt at this flower was a frustrating flop!  You will for sure get better with the next one, and all others after that.  It may seem a little annoying doing the wrapping around and forming part of this, but it will for sure feel more natural and simple after your initial attempt (which we applaud you for, new thigs are always fun and worth trying as long as they are healthy and legal).  I really doubt that the first time Martha Stewart made an apple pie it turned out as masterful as we see it today online, on TV, or in mags.... for real.

Enjoy the process and the outcome!

*Photos and basic tutorial idea provided by http://kuchnia-pelna-cudow.blogspot.com.  La Dolce Villa used a translated version of the instructions to describe the process in their own words.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Double Duty Decorating: "Decantorating"

I am not to proud to admit that I have never really been the type of girl that has to have everything in it's place, constantly clean, or even really clean some of the time.  I do make up for lost time now and again and clean like a crazy person (or crazier person I guess), when I have guests coming over, mother in law in town, or need to get some frustration out (cleaning tends to be cathartic).   I've also come up with sneaky creative ways to make my decor work with the family messes so it can look nice while it's not so neat :)

But my favorite and most motivating reasons for cleaning are when I am about to re-decorate an area (or just finished it and want to see it in action), or if I have a fun new organizational decor-ish idea I want to start using ASAP!  This is exactly what spawned a pristine pantry, spice closet, laundry shelf, part of the refigerator, and a craft closet that was almost more beautiful than Mariah Carey's shoe closet..almost (I mean we're talking about a closet JUST FOR SHOES...lots and lots of them!).  

Once you start you won't stop, so the list of decantering items is almost endless!  Nobody really cares which brand of anything you buy and even the super value store brand of an item will look tres chic expensive in a decanter, and is so much prettier than the manufacturer's packaging.  I really like doing this since it turns the mundane/everyday items into something  marvelous.  You find yourself almost looking forward to using it...I guess I should now decanter Windex and toilet cleaner and I would have a white glove worthy home! 

 As with everything, look for the unexpected, non-tradional items to use for your decanters.  If you have any regular liquor decanters on hand which you want to replace with something more interesting, the old ones don't need to go to waste, decanter your mouthwash into one, or better yet do one of these 'Bright' ideas...
Love (chalkboard painted wine bottles).