Next Project – Outdoor Furniture

I hit the jackpot on this one…a bit Golden Girl-ish, but my hunt for outdoor furniture for our patio has spanned over the past two years.  Of course I wouldn’t settle for going to a normal store and buying something not beat up and needing a complete overhaul.  Instead, while outside we would literally sit on the ground on the patio.  Lets be honest, with two little ones sitting and relaxing isn’t what we do outside anyway.  But we still needed something and I wanted a find.  A project (sorry honey).  And I wanted something unique.

Drum roll please…

Here they are:

Outdoor - Before

Bare with me – I think, correction, I know they can be absolutely fabulous.

And best yet – we got the sofa and chair for $80.  Yep.  A steal!

Now to figure out color scheme.   Do I paint the base a bright color like so:

Or to paint them neutral and add fun cushions and pillows?

Outdoor Pillow Collage

Or splurge on these Trina Turk Pillows since I saved major on the actual furniture.  They are actually a fraction of the cost if you bought them at a retailer since these are found on Etsy.

Trina Turk Pillows - Gorgeous

Trina Turk Pillows – Gorgeous

Decisions, decisions.  Since the inside of our home is pretty neutral I want to infuse color.

What is your pick??

Stay tuned for an update next week – is it the weekend already?

Bedroom Blues

So, you have seen the bed and my quick tutorial about linens.  Now for a cruise around the rest of our master bedroom .  As my “almost 4 year old” would say, “blue is my favorite color” after every time he spots or talks about anything blue.  I too LOVE blue as it is my “favorite color” but  I took this to another level by adding many colors within the blue spectrum into our master bedroom.

Campaign inspired furniture along with turquoise accessories and colorful abstract art

Campaign inspired furniture along with turquoise accessories and colorful abstract art

This blue hue spectrum scale was easy to achieve with dynamic abstract paintings on opposite walls that incorporated many of these tones.  I have this trio of three on one wall.  The three pieces of art in a row work together nicely and the accessories anchor the colors used in the painting.

Turquoise abstract art along with campaign inspired furniture

Turquoise abstract art along with campaign inspired furniture

And you may have seen the post on the other art piece in the room.

Spring Art in Master Bedroom above Vintage Settee

Spring Art in Master Bedroom above Vintage Settee

I scored the main furniture pieces in our Master Bedroom off Craigslist of course – which are Bassett (score!) and my magical husband took these pieces to like-new shape.  Oh how I wish I had the before and after pics of these puppies but kudos to the mister for making these spectacular.  I scored all four pieces for $125 total!  I know, crazy right?!  But again, you should have seen them before…the couple we bought these from had used the pieces since they were married but since Bassett does make quality items they were in great condition.  I had high hopes into making these true campaign pieces but decided to keep with the simple brass hardware pulls.

Greek Key Lamps - Side Table Simplicity

Greek Key Lamps – Side Table Simplicity

I have always been a sucker for greek key and I scored these two lamps at Pier One on clearance.

Lamp Shade Greek Key Detail

Lamp Shade Greek Key Detail

The lighting in the room had to go – again, I won the battle of getting rid of the ceiling fan (yippie!)  So I found this pretty lady (yes, I have a love affair for great lighting so I can call it a lady).  She came from Wilson Lighting here in KC – and waited it out until it went on clearance.  That was torture waiting but it was well worth the wait to get nearly $200 off listed price.

Beautiful simple light fixture - adds warmth and elegance

Beautiful simple light fixture – adds warmth and elegance

I will prove my obsession with light fixtures at a later date.  Next, with funky-hard-to-figure-out windows that cause havoc in the corner I decided to go with a simple ivory roman shade.  These create a great filter for light to come through and I found these at JCPenny Home.  If you want simple and basic, JCPenny has some great options for window treatments. I originally searched for a great detail trim to add to the top flap of these to look more custom but I haven’t yet spotted exactly what I am looking for – the hunt continues.

Ivory roman shades - simple and provides great filtered light

Ivory roman shades – simple and provides great filtered light

And more accessories spotted around the room – which are definitely heirloom type items – Missoni throw pillow and Cross blessed by the Pope from the Vatican.  Both items made in Italy – perhaps the latter has much more meaning but I do love me some Missoni.  Each member of my immediate family has the same exact cross in their house – it was their Christmas gift years back after my tour around Italy.

Missoni decorative pillow

Missoni decorative pillow

Cross from the Vatican while visiting and touring Italy.

Cross from the Vatican while visiting and touring Italy.

Side Table accessories - help bring in blue hues in three shades

Side Table accessories – help bring in blue hues in three shades

Bedroom - turquoise, cobalt blue and emerald green accessories

Bedroom – turquoise, cobalt blue and emerald green accessories

There you have it – you won’t find a television anytime soon in our bedroom – the mister and I don’t believe in it and I won’t fool you, the bedside books rarely see my eyes but that allows for the master bedroom to be a place for sleep and comfort.  In our instance, a major case of the blues…but in a good way.

Need Your Vote: Campaign-Style Dining Buffet Refinish

Last weekend I sold my antique hutch that we used in our dining room. I loved it, and it was one of the first pieces we bought as a couple right after getting married. However, I was ready to transition from the tall oak hutch to more of a buffet piece that felt a bit more sleek.

Antique Hutch

Antique Hutch

When searching for inspiration, I kept coming back to an image I saw on Little Green Notebook (told you I LOVE her). There was this fabulous side table with gold/brass brackets and hardware. I adored the straight lines and almost industrial look of the piece. Then I saw another re-do she had done at her old house of a kitchen island and was hooked.

Side Table - Little Green Notebook

Side Table – Little Green Notebook

 

Campaign Style Kitchen Island - Little Green Notebook

Campaign Style Kitchen Island – Little Green Notebook

So I Googled “campaign style furniture” and found that the original pieces were actually built for military purposes and were made to break down easily so they would travel well. The brackets were added to the edges to help keep the furniture from getting beaten up during long hauls.

Clearly that is not the purpose today, nor do manufacturers really make true campaign-style furniture anymore – at least not that I’ve seen. However, DIY-ers have revived this style and transformed everyday furniture into campaign-looking pieces. All you need is some furniture with straight lines, paint, and hardware.

Kelly Green Campaign Dresser - Lonny Magazine

Kelly Green Campaign Dresser – Lonny Magazine

My mission last weekend at the West Bottoms Flea Market was to find a dresser that I could also transform. My hubby loves the task of helping me find exactly what I’m looking for, and we ended up with exactly the kind of piece we wanted. Straight lines, blank slate, and six drawers – and just $75!

Campaign-Style Buffet Before Photo - www.middleredefined.com Campaign-Style Buffet Before Photo – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Here’s where I need your help!! I am torn on what color to paint it. My options are:

1. Paint the buffet charcoal, like my original inspiration. However, I would probably paint my walls white if I go that route.

2. Paint the buffet a bright color, like mint or yellow but keep the walls the dark grey-blue they are now. If I do that, I will probably paint my chairs cream.

Either way, I’m removing the framed coffee sacks hanging on the wall and will do a large piece of art directly above the buffet. What that will look like will depend on the color of the buffet. I want it to be a statement piece because my dining room is the first thing you see when you walk in my house. Please comment, text, or send me a message on Facebook to give me your opinion. Thanks for your thoughts!

 

Master Bedroom Inspiration

I’m super excited that the time has finally come to redo our master bedroom! I mean, we have been living with carpet in our bathroom (why do builders do that???) for almost two years!! We had several other things on our list to get done before tackling the master, but we’re ready! So I’ve scoured Pinterest for ideas and want to share the direction I’m going to get your feedback.

First, I’m planning to redo my DIY upholstered headboard. I currently have black and white stripes, but I’m thinking of going with a grey suede. I’m totally going to add nail heads to it like the one below. The room was designed by Kerrisdale Design. I’m loving the bright creamy walls, white side tables, and white bedding with pops of color. That’s what I’m going for.

Kerrisdaledesign.com

Kerrisdaledesign.com

 

This room, featured by Belle Maison, looks so luxurious with the charcoal grey, satin-y headboard, and gold accessories. I adore the simple circle artwork on both sides of the bed, and I’ve pinned this photo because I’m going to do my own version. Who can’t make circles on some paper and frame it? So simple, but I think it’s so fun!

 

Belle Maison

Belle Maison

What I’m trying to figure out is what accent color(s) to do. I’ve thought about corral, pale blue, rose, emerald green…as you can see I really haven’t nailed that down. This adorable room was featured on House of Turquoise, which is one of my favorite blogs to visit. What accent color do you think I should do?

House of Turquoise

House of Turquoise

I’ll have ”before” and “progress” pictures to show you in the next couple of weeks! Happy Friday everyone!

From Traditional to Glam

Recently, my friend Mia wanted to update her kitchen light. She didn’t just want to replace it, she wanted to create a statement piece. Her dining room had just gone through a remodel, so she had this traditional-looking chandelier laying around waiting for a new home. Many suburban homes built in the past 10-15 years have these exact chandeliers hanging in them – must have been an awesome deal for builders.

Traditional Chandelier

Traditional Chandelier

So Mia asked for my help in reinventing the sad chandelier with no home. Mia’s kitchen has a lot of earth tones along with deep reds. And with all the beautiful curves on the fixture, I suggested we paint it a sexy red and remove the bulb covers to give it new life. Removing bulb covers is one of the easiest ways to give a fresh new look to an old fixture.

And here’s the final product.

Glammed Out Chandelier - Middle Redefined

Glammed Out Chandelier – Middle Redefined

 

Isn’t it stunning? Mia absolutely adores her new glammed-out fixture, and she definitely got the statement piece she wanted. One thing that proved a bit more difficult were the light bulbs. We wanted decorative bulbs, – the ones that look like flames – but we wanted them to have a more vintage glow. Not so easy to find that kind of bulb in a vintage style. However, Mia ended up finding exactly what she wanted at Watts Up in Merriam, KS. They’re the perfect touch. I love the finished product!

What do you think?

New Life for Pendant Lights

When we moved into our current house, unlike most traditional newer suburban homes, we inherited really modern light fixtures on our main floor. Nothing wrong with these modern blue pendant fixtures if it fits within your style aesthetic. However, they just really didn’t work for us.

Blue Modern Pendants

Blue Modern Pendants

 

I researched and researched to find affordable pendant light fixtures and just didn’t happen upon anything in the price I wanted to pay. So, I turned to Craigslist and happened upon these little gems. I could see the hidden beauty right away – can’t you?

Craigslist Pendant Lights

Craigslist Pendant Lights

 

With a little high gloss black paint and vintage bulbs, such as these, the refreshed pendants turned out to be the perfect addition to our kitchen. I paid $25 for the pair, $5 for the paint, and $9 for each bulb at Lowe’s. I’m obsessed with vintage light bulbs right now, so you’ll hear me talk about them more in future posts.

 

New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs - Middle Redefined

New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs – Middle Redefined

 

All-in all, I spent $48 on my new pendants. And the best part is, I sold the modern blue ones right back on Craigslist for $40!

Check back next week for more on giving new life to light fixtures. Have a wonderful Friday!

 

DIY Goodness: Make Your Own Roman Shades

I can honestly say I’m never really “done” decorating any of the rooms in my house. Every once in a while, I won’t even notice that I’m lost in thought staring at a room, or a wall, or a shelf, and my husband will say, “What are you thinking about changing now?”

And obviously since we live on a budget, we DIY projects where we can. Not only is it easier on our bank account, it’s so satisfying to say, “I made them,” when a friend compliments my new roman shades (don’t forget there’s a comment box at the end of this post).

Speaking of roman shades, I MADE these! Well, my mom did all of the sewing, but I supervised it all. To figure out how to create the shades, I turned to Jenny Komenda’s blog, Little Green Notebook. She is a genius DIY-er, so we followed her step-by-step tutorial to get these babies put together. We had a few tweaks to make the project work for us, so I’ll share our adjustments and my learnings along the way.

Step 1: Buy inexpensive vinyl blinds or use ones you already have. In my case, I already had blinds up, so I just used that existing hardware. I even kept them hanging throughout the process. My first task was to cut all the slats out. However, make sure you DO NOT cut the cords that pull the blinds up and down. Just cut the ones that move them back and forth.

Making Roman Shades - Step 1

Making Roman Shades – Step 1

Step 2: Cut the front and back fabric - measure the size of your window plus the size of the hem. We wanted a 2 inch hem on either side, so we added an extra four inches to the width and the length. I chose a gray chevron fabric for the front and a creamy fabric for the back. After using a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby for both, I ended up paying about $5.99 per yard for each! I’ve been so impressed with Hobby Lobby’s fabric choices lately, and the coupons just make everything such a deal.

Fabric for Roman Shade Project

Fabric for Roman Shade Project

 

Here’s Kingston trying to help grandma cut the fabric.

Measuring Fabric for Roman Shade Project

Measuring Fabric for Roman Shade Project

 

Step 3: Pin the edges and sew them (yes, these are my fingers…my mother didn’t do everything). To attach the cords to the back of the fabric, we sewed plastic rings about 10 inches apart all the way down to match up with the three cords – this was because I thought I’d want the folds about 10 inches apart. That didn’t end up being what I wanted, but I’ll explain that later. We then used the old blind slats to help us figure out exactly how far apart the rings should be sewn.

IMG_3781

 

Step 4: Attach a small piece of wood (about an inch wide) to the back of the shades 8-10 inches from the bottom. I got mine from Michaels for $2 a piece. This photo is from Jenny’s blog showing what it looks like. You can attach the wood with fabric glue. Then screw tiny eyelet screws into the wood to which you can tie the cords.

Jenny Komenda Making Roman Shades

Jenny Komenda Making Roman Shades

 

Step 5: Jenny recommends to attach the final product to the top of the hardware with fabric glue, but I was afraid it wouldn’t end up holding because the whole thing felt kind of heavy, so I used industrial velcro. So far it has worked really well. Then run your cords through the plastic rings and tie the bottoms to the eyelet screws. The nerve-wracking part is when you raise it and see if it all actually worked!!!

Here’s my final product!

DIY Roman Shades - Middle Redefined

DIY Roman Shades – Middle Redefined

 

I love, love, love the way they help tie my room together. So thankful to my mom for taking so much time to help me out with this.

When planning out the design of this room, I chose to go the Roman shade route instead of curtains because I really didn’t want to screw hardware into my woodwork for curtains. Also, I have limited space on either side of my massive windows for artwork, so I decided I wanted something a bit more tailored and contained within the window frames. The old plain white blinds behind our cream couch (I shared the before photo here) just didn’t do anything for me, so we needed the change.

This entire project cost me $125. When I priced out custom Roman shades for the size of my three windows, they were going to be at least $250 a piece just for one because of their odd size. I was just not willing to splurge when I had a perfectly-good DIY solution.

A couple final notes: 1) While we did sew the plastic rings 10 inches apart, in the end, I needed a bit more space between my folds, so I ran my cords through every other one – that ended up being about 20 inches apart; and 2) When you raise them, don’t just expect them to fold perfectly. You have to work with them a bit to make sure the flaps are folding under nicely. Otherwise, it tends to bunch on the sides.

What do you think?

 

Bar Carts Revived

I love bar carts. They make me feel very Mad Men-ish. When bar carts were first born, they were created for people who wanted to have “bars” at their house or office that were easily moveable or stored away when they didn’t need them. However, over the years, built-in bars and loads of cabinet space in today’s homes caused people to cast the bar cart aside.

Today, there’s a new bar cart revival.

DustJacket Attic Blog

DustJacket Attic Blog

Every major home retail store now has carts of varying styles – modern, glam, and vintage. The prices vary too for the new models, ranging everywhere from $50-$200+. The beautiful one featured at the beginning of this post is $515. NOT in my price range, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have one – you agree? Because of their new-found popularity, they are popping up in flea markets and second-hand stores all over. Last month, Jill and I bought one for less than $50 at a flea market that we’re glamming up with a fresh coat of black paint on the aluminum shelves and gold on the legs. More to come on that in a future post.

Here are some popular modern uses for bar carts that will have you dusting yours off or finding one to personalize for your style:

1. Mini bar revitalized. Instead of hiding all your bar glassware behind closed doors, bring it out and put it on display. Set out some bar accessories, fill a glass jar with wine corks, and line up your favorite wine or liquor bottles for added fun. Here’s the one I have in my house.

Bar Cart - MiddleRedefined.com

Bar Cart – MiddleRedefined.com

2. Industrial bathroom storage. Colorful or crisp white towels are an inexpensive way to brighten a bathroom. Store them on a bar cart next to your bathtub along with candles and glass containers filled with toiletries. This one is from Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware Bar Cart

Restoration Hardware Bar Cart

3. Mobile kitchen shelving. There’s something about having open shelving in your kitchen that just feels welcoming. Load a vintage bar cart up with large bowls and kitchen accessories for a moveable storage option that’s also stylish. LOVE the one below from the Decor8 blog.

 

Decor8 Blog Bar Cart Kitchen Storage

Decor8 Blog Bar Cart Kitchen Storage

 

Even if you’re not Don Draper and don’t need a cocktail at your fingertips for a 10 a.m. meeting, the bar carts of today have been re-invented and are a fun and practical addition to any room of your home.

Do you have a bar cart in your home?

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