Friday, October 14, 2011

Decorated Items-I Take Charity

If you live in the local Portland area and have some used children's decorating items please send me a message. If you are changing out your child's room, have things in boxes stored in your garage..for years...I would like to come and possibly take them off your hands. Perhaps for a small price. 
I am working on a project and gathering up, cute, good condition items.  Things such as lamps. pictures, linens, pillows, area rugs, even some toys, furniture pieces, and anything and everything to decorate a child's room.
If you are able to take pictures of the items you may have or want to email me about what you may have, even better.  Please email at:

Also if you are interested in following ( in which I have set up dedicated specifically to the design of children's rooms as well as ask to be my friend on Facebook at skip to my room.

Thanks so much,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Choosing Hues of Blue for a Sweeping View

"Choosing hues of blue for a sweeping view in an open floor plan. I have chosen three complimentary hues of blue. Lighter in the entry which spills to the upper staircase and hallways, darker in the kitchen, back to the lighter in the dining area, and that 3rd hue of blue to bring the family room in. Wide open floor plans can easily be broken up with the same colors, different hues, without being to choppy. She wants a "sweeping" look in her home."
I just cut and pasted an update on my facebook (skiptomyroom), right into my blog. Is that weird?  Words worth repeating even if they are my words.  I have been reading and hearing request for choosing paint colors. I received an email loaded with pictures of this stunning home. I could see the stunning elements in this home. Perhaps a designer's eye?  Beautiful open floor plan, exposed beams, and the entire home trimmed in this beautiful wood.  I tried to be extra gentle and nice when I commented and gave my thoughts to this gal and sadly used words like "drab" "cluttered" and "do you really want to hang onto that rug?"  This homeowner is on teacher's budget.  She admitted that she did not like her furniture and really thought she needed to just start over with painting and new furniture. Only making for a depressing "not going to happen" feeling due to all that was going on, or not going on.  As I looked over the pictures, I saw that she had lovely old furniture pieces.  Turns out family hand-me-downs.  A clutter of precious things which could easily be contained and stored and displayed rather than just placed in available spots.
Being extra sensitive to her budget I hit the pavement.  Spent an afternoon choosing paint colors that will accent and enhance the wood tones, bringing a boring and drab look to an updated soothing and cozy look. Sweeping views with hues of Blue. Open up her spaces and yet still defining each room, wide open to the next.  Looking at her beautiful styled sofa and rendering a look that would cost very little in accessories.  Choosing fabrics that she could choose to make panels in the living spaces to bring it all together and build in the colors of the wood tones and the blues we chose.
Here are some of the samples chosen:
 These blues are not turquoise although they appear that way in this light. You can choose a print for your windows that ties all your elements together. She has both light wood tones and darker tones, which this fabric connects both.
 Hello inexpensive Target pillow which works with all the print options.
 This fabric has hues from the "tired" sofa, which is really very nice, mixed tones of browns and brings in the blue that will go on the walls. I think that Target pillow would be great with this window panel.
 Stripes give height to a room. With this open floor plan, a stripe gives more depth and height to a room if placed in the right space above the window frame.  Again the blues are picked up and the wood tones brought in.
Hello beautiful fabric. The colors are a much softer then the bolder ones above. This would be my first choice, but it's up to this lovely lady to fall in love with her own choice.
Now hear, here, hear is the secret to this room. Using all these fabrics can really pull a room together. You can get coupons for 40% off fabrics. Buy all you need for your windows in one cut of the fabric.  Sew/Hem the edges and you have instant inexpensive window panels.  Make up a few pillows.  Using two prints. No fancy sewing. The fabric is your design source.  Cost effective, beautiful and easy.  All you have to know how to do is sew straight lines. Just like driving a car. 
More exciting on this teacher's budget is that I don't cost as much when emailing and conversing through email.  She has actually saved a lot of money in designer fees.  Knowing what questions to ask, seeing the pictures of every square inch of her home, making her feel comfortable to send the pictures. and she is well on her way to a new look in her home. (Meaning,  she did not have to tidy up or feel self conscience about her home).  Getting to work to find the elements in a cost effective way and hopefully I can talk her into before and after pictures. 
Happy Designing,
Elizabeth Traub
p.s. if you are not following me on facebook, you can just click on the icon to the right and start watching and seeing how design unfold daily in my world.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Teacups to Tables STEP FOUR FINAL

STEP FOUR FINAL is having me try to find the best pictures.  Layering is a miracle way of painting.  Remember I said do not look at the pattern as a whole, but layer the pattern  with the lightest colors first.  OH JOY!!!  Get excited with me. I am so pleased how this turned out. 
 My teacup and my table now completed.  I am very happy with how this turned out. I took a close up to show how very imperfect this is. Go ahead look very very close at this.  Layering of each color transfers the pattern without even really trying.  I took each color and moved it around the table in about the approximate place it should be.
 Table top, lower shelf, tea cup and paint. Yes I spread my paints out on a white plate.  Makes it easier for me to tone down, mix the right colors and keep my pallet close.
 This is that lower shelf. I am so glad I trimmed in blue and decided to take the time to paint the lower shelf.  It did not take any extra time in that the layering of color was just dabbling.
 Right back where I started.  From a teacup to a table.  I love this!
 Looking down at the table notice my almost perfect blue trim around the table. Really?  Who paints perfection like that? Not me. When my table was complete and I was happy with my pattern, I took a fine white paintbrush.  I then went over the oopsies on the table itself. You know like getting your hand in the way and then getting paint where you did not see it.  I painted  white over all those little imperfections.

What is your next project?  This table took me about three hours to complete from start to finish.  I did not not complete it one sitting. I let the white paint drive over night. Even though the bottle said it would take only 30 minutes to try, there is the risk of a tacky feel, and then every little thumb print is recorded.  Sunday I took the earlier afternoon and stuck to the painting of the pattern.

Next time I am going to do a step by step covering of mirror with some really colorful and fun fabric.  Happy Teacup and Table
Very Much a happy Designer,
Elizabeth Traub

Teacups to Tables STEP THREE

STEP THREE is what I call layering. I think any beginner would think this to be a difficult project.  Do not look at the project as a whole. Look at this project in layers. Starting with the lightest color I find the pattern on the cup of just yellow.
 The little shelf on the bottom of this table will be modeled like the inside of the cup.  It narrows down the pattern for me to easily see the yellow colors first.
 For some, this may be a tedious job of spacing and measuring. I eyeball the distance and do not hold myself to perfection.  I use to be a perfectionist and a project like this would have taken weeks, I would loose my enthusiasm, and the project  would be junked in my garage.  Believe me this is way more fun and becomes your own.
 I also made sure to transfer my first layer of color on the lower shelf too.  Starting with the lightest colors always help "fix" mistakes along the way.  Also keep your "inspiration" piece safe.  I know that if that ironing board gets knocked over I can clean up paints but would be sad to break this teacup. So I kept it on the floor close to the project, or a shelf very close by. 
I layered next with orange. It was kind of a sherbet orange which certainly punches out the yellow.  Once the yellow and orange were layered on I started to add the blue.  Are you ready to see all the colors applied and the finished table?

Teacups to Tables STEP TWO

STEP TWO involved first sanding the table. I have to admit I should have worn a mask, although I was outdoors and did not deliberately breath the stain that was most likely over 50 years old.  It smelled  of my grandma's attic. Then I water cleaned, wiped down and dried off the table.  I then spray painted the table white. I was glad I had my roller handy as it really helped with the areas that wanted to drip.  Once the paint was dry I added blue trim.  Now the teacup had a purple accent, so faint that if you blurred your eyes it looked blue. I wanted to highlight the blue so I trimmed it out with a dark and lighter blue.  Make no mistake, there are few clean lines. I know when I am done I will get out my fine paint brush and touch up all the areas that I over painted in white.  Here is the table now painted and trimmed.  Ready for the next step?
Painted white and trimmed in blue.  I like to paint on my ironing board.  It is a good height and there is lots of hang over for this table, so I can walk around the project, reach under and over without having to move the table.  I even have the teacup under that stand to remind me of what first got me thinking of this table.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Teacups to Tables STEP ONE

It seems pretty easy to get started on such a simple project.  The reality is you have to take inventory of what you will need from start to finish.  Nothing kills the joy of an afternoon project than missing key pieces  to get the project moving.  Taking inventory here of what I need:

In the upper left you will see some sandpaper.  Brushing off the extra bumps, dirt, and loose parts of the finish. I am not a "play by rules" kind of furniture painter.  This you must know up front.  I am a do it as fast, as easy  and if no one is playing with the piece, licking it, or moving it around then a general soft sanding is fine with me.  I have my rollers ready too. These are removable and washable.  Acrylic color samples that will be the colors  for the flowers on the table. One can of white spray paint. (The rollers help smooth out the parts I overspray)  And the inspiration piece is the Teacup. Total cost for spray paint, rollers, and sand paper $14.50.  Misc paint colors on hand and now I am ready to paint this:

This lovely table I picked up a a garage sale for about $8.00. All the screws are tight making this a very stable table to hold a lovely lamp for later.  Now that I have every thing all ready to go. STEP TWO will be well under way in the next hour.  My husband is watching football, the boys are all playing so this is going to be a project I can start and finish in one day.  The only delays will be paint drying. 

In case you did not notice the placement in which I have laid out my supplies and the area rug are pieces from my breakfast area.  Over and over people ask where I got those lovely place-mats? I bought $16.00 of them at Dollar Tree about a year ago. One of my better finds since a local design shop had close to the same bamboo placements for $12.00 each. I was going to buy the more expensive ones because I knew I would get the mileage, use and function out of them. Turns out that bamboo that cost a dollar works just as fine too.  The area rug is by our back door which ties in with the place-mats. Another inexpensive clearance item from Target.  I love when I can find things in random places that work together.

Happy Saturday,