Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Cool

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Nothing like the cool shades of dark purple and turquoise to turn off the heat of this glorious summer! Except... being awarded the "COOL BLOG" by the grace of my lovely friend Jutta from Organized Living Solutions! It's a great compliment, coming from the talented creator of forest creatures, stylish versatile clothing and owner of a beautiful house. Thank you, Jutta!

I am passing the award onto five new friends. Each of their blogs has got that little something special, that goes straight to my heart, making my heart smile:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beachy Living Room

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I see the beach mood is strong in this one :))
One week before my trip to the seaside, my beach inspired living room is finally complete. I can't believe it, because I usually plan how to decorate a room, but I never finish it at the right time. This time, the stars aligned and I was able to make all the preparations and to put everything in its place, the way I dreamed about it. Don't expect to see starfish and shells everywhere, because "Obvious decor" is not my style. The room looks casual and urban, with a shabby chic vibe and the beach can be found in more subtle aspects: the glowing light in the room or the colors of a white shore in Greece.

Let me show you how far I've come in the before and after pic of the living room. This is what it used to look like a few months ago: a thick fluffy carpet for warm feet, random pics on the wall and strong punches of color. I basically kept the main furniture (the leather love seat, the mod chair and the Lucite coffee table) and worked my way around it. I am always on a tight budget, so I changed the art, the rug and the accessories using items already in the house. The only money I spent was 5 bucks for a can of aqua paint!

I'd like to make this post a tutorial on how to pull together a beachy living room. If you're going for that refreshing coastal vibe, don't start painting the walls and shopping for furniture. There are a few things you should consider first. 
LIGHT! Think about the sea? Think sun bathing, bikinis and SPF 50 sun-screen protection! The beach is a shrine to sunshine, and your room should be one, too. In order to expand light, choose light colored walls (mine are simply white) and light colored furniture (I used a cream leather love seat and a white leather mod chair). A great tip: use clear furniture so that the eye will travel further on the walls and the room will seem lighter and brighter. I just stripped the "before" coffee table of its pink film and I suddenly had a wonderful clear Lucite little table which didn't crowd the room (it's the reverse of what I did on a previous post).

COLOR! Think about the beach? Think swirls of turquoise and light blue waves. Think white and golden shades of sparkling sand running through your toes. Think little broken shells polished with soft pinks and purples. My color scheme is a white base accented with powdery pink, aqua and a little bit of fiery red. Look at the way I've distributed the accent colors evenly to different locations in the room, instead of just cluttering them in one spot. You've got pink on the chair on the left and in the roses on the right. Then there's punches of aqua in the background (the painted Ikea floor lamp and small cabinet) and in the foreground (the painted wooden stool, the book, the glass, the cuddly toy). Yes, this is where my 5 buck paint can went: I painted a cabinet, a lamp and a stool! The little bits of red can be found in the lighthouse poster and the rug. Another tip is to blend all the colors in one big item. In my case, it is the rug that ties the room together. I've got it from grandma (not mine, but she is still a grandma and I thank her dearly).

SPACE! Think about the third dimension: the walls. Go vertical and add height to the room with a gallery wall. You can display anything and everything, as long as all the art has a common theme. In my beachy living room, all the art is sweet and naive. 

I've got two more tips for you concerning the gallery wall. First, layer! Add interest by overlapping stuff, like I did with my floor lamps, photo frames and pillows. Secondly, expect the unexpected! (and the Spanish Inquisition, ha! ha!) I put a little straw hat and a ceramic mask on the wall, in order to add texture into the sea of glass frames.

PLAY! A room should not be serious. It should be fun! Think of happy little things that suit your color scheme: flowers, little vases, tea cups, books, ornaments, baskets, boxes, pillows, photos - you name it! 

My tip here is to choose a plant that reminds you of the ocean coast, like I did with the sago palm.

That's it, folks! Happy beachy decorating!

 Country Momma Cooks It's overflowing   
five days five ways | because every day is different  Photobucket  Lovely Crafty Home 
    My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia    
  Fridays Unfolded  loving this crazy life  Candace Creations

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lime And Turquoise

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(... and a little bit of candy pink!)
I really lost all my patience and I wanna go to the seaside NOW! Why do I have to suffer for two more hot weeks, why? Why do I keep seeing relaxing pics from the Mediterranean everywhere I look, especially on the blogs of my new virtual friends from Spain, Greece and Italy? Haven't they got a heart?! Don't they know that an innocent Romanian girl tries to relax browsing through their marine pics, but instead she just chokes in agony? I will get to the sea and I will swim for three days. Until my legs get cramps and my hands can't move anymore against the deep blue water. At night, lying in bed, I will close my eyes and feel the circular motion of  the waves rocking my body over and over.

In order to calm myself down, I felt inspired to play with sea colors: lime and turquoise. My starting point was this ancient polka-dot box, where I keep my warranty papers from all the house appliances (gotta keep things organised around the house!). My star, as always, is the lovely blue pitcher with its plump belly. The tall turquoise container lives in my kitchen, as tortellini storage. The "tea" mug comes from a previous work place, and the lime one .... let's just say that I borrowed it.

What about that pink azalea topiary? Hmm.... she just happened to be in the right room, at the right time. She spreads her beauty like a satin queen, gracing the light with a touch of her soft pink petals. Azaleas are not supposed to last this long, they usually fade away during the last months of Spring. Anyway, I feel calmer now. Two more weeks. I can make it :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Home

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A happy summer home starts with a loooong glance from my kitty Anais...

.... rejoices in the glowing light which invades the living room each morning...

.... takes a look at my simply wonderful purple bluebells...

... smiles like the crazy glittering golden hat in the yellow entryway....

.... relaxes exactly as shown above in this poster I bought in Prague...

.... and ends with the big nose of my thief orange cat, Junior!

Linking up to Mellow Yellow Monday

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Guest Posting for Romance On A Dime

Dear readers, you can find me today guest posting at Romance On A Dime. First of all, thank you, Betsy, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to meet your readers and followers and to show them my interests in clever functional decor for small homes! It's pretty exciting, because this is my first guest post ever. It's been lots of fun putting together this post and I can't wait to do it again, sometime soon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Until Next Spring

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This year, Spring came by and went away like a breeze. Three beautiful months just popped out of my system before I could even close my eyes. I think that blogging does that to you :)) Anyway, I am happy that there's a nice stash of blooming trees in my files. And I'm grateful for that.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beachy Photo Frames

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I can't wait to smell the salty sea and to loose myself into the blue! My summer gets hotter and hotter and my ache for an Ocean shack grows bigger and bigger. Only three weeks left until my trip to the seaside! I wouldn't miss it for the world. A summer without  a week of sunbathing, swimming and listening to the soothing waves is lost time.

Until I do get to the sunny shores, I whipped up a little something to remind me of the beach. I chose to upgrade three simple wooden IKEA frames, which were the perfect canvas for my summer mood. The beachy photo frames smile at me with a color trio of cooling white, pale blue and blonde wood. The sand and sea color scheme was enough to daydream, but I thought a little pattern never hurt anyone. Instead of adding a plethora of seashells, anchors, boats and sea horses, I went with dots and stripes - a very subtle reminder of seashells and sailors :)
They sit together happily, embracing my mushroom retro lamp. What more can I wish for?

The tutorial is so basic, that I will only mention the steps:
1. Prepare the surfaces you want to paint - the wooden frames should be clean and smooth;
2. For the striped picture frame, make a grid using painter's tape, then fill in the lines with a single thick coat;
3. For the aqua frame, paint the whole thing in the background color and let it dry properly;
4. Use a thin brush to paint the outline of every circle, then fill in with color and there you have your dots.

Update: The beachy frames have been featured at One Artsy Mama, A Little Knick Knack, Lovely Crafty Home, Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust, It's So Very Cheri, Katie's Nesting Spot , Mercy INK and Marvelously Messy. Thank you so much, lovely ladies, you make me happier than I can say!
  A Little Knick Knack  Lovely Crafty Home    A Marvelous Mess 
A Crafty Soiree  


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