Archive for July, 2011

World Market’s New Eastern Indigo Collection

Loving some of their new items.

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Rock Paper Scissors Version 2

I created a new Rock Paper Scissors (free) printable that doesn’t have the word “screw” in it, but says “forget” instead.  So, forget scissors instead of screw scissors.  The other was exactly like the original artist’s version, but this has been altered so that it is more family friendly.  :)

It is in the 16 x 20 size, which is best printed at a place like Kinkos, Walgreens, Office Max (they take tiffs I hear) or Wal-Mart.  You can find the zip file here.

Enjoy your week!


Great Laundry/ Mud Rooms

My next project is my laundry room!  I am open to your input as I haven’t solidified a plan just yet.  So, ready for some inspiration? 

None of these are precise inspiration for my laundry room (which also acts as a mud room), but they are all rooms that I like for various reason – lighting, benches, coat hooks, storage, color, and so on.  They can all be found on my Pinterest boards.   They link back to sources there.

First, straight up laundry rooms.  Click on any image to see a larger version.

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And, for mud rooms.

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Feel free to offer suggestions on my laundry room in the post below.  It’s my next project!


Let’s Talk About My Laundry Room – I Want To Involve You!

First, I will say that I am LOVING the sunburst in the bedroom.  It ties the silver finishes from across the room (chandeliers) to the sitting area.  The pillows are perfect on the sofa.  It seems so much more coordinated in there.  Yay for playing around with the art and pillows.  Sometimes a few simple tweaks can really help.

The mirror is a keeper.  I do, however, need to take that price tag off of the mirror.  I did update the new “Tour” page with these photos.

Now, I want to introduce you to our laundry room.  It’s one of my favorite spaces in the house due to its size and the sink and storage!

I want to involve you all in this design!  Here is how the laundry room looked before we moved in (previous owners).  Pretty white.

laundry before

When we moved in, we painted the walls apple green and added a few accessories.  We went with top loading washer and dryer by Fisher and Paykal.  Easy on the back.


On one wall are photos from when we lived in Utah – mainly from hikes we went on there.  That wall is about 20 ft long.

Here is another shot.

laundry after

I got tired of the blue stripe, the and the too square bench and mirror.  So, I sold the bench and mirror.

The room now looks a little torn apart and crazy like this.


And, like this.


I will definitely paint over the blue stripes.  I am considering using the symbol art work that is resting on the floor.  Perhaps coat hooks on each side of the art and a floor length mirror on each end.  Then, two DIY benches under the artwork.  Stripes?  Stencil?  It’s all really just thoughts right now.  I haven’t pinned anything down.

What are your ideas for the room?  Leave it green?  Stripes, stencil?  How would you arrange the artwork?  Would you include coat hooks and mirrors?  My only constraints are that I cannot do a backsplash, replace countertops, or paint cabinets.  Nothing major.  Just decor.

Note, I do have a docking station for phone chargers, mail, receipts and so on near the door which is where the photo is taken from.  And, I have the calendar on the right wall.  Another good thing to note is that there is not space for a full wall length bench or shelf due to doors on each end.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!   Tomorrow I will post some laundry room inspiration photos, but they are not specific to this room…  just general fun laundry rooms.


Update 8/11/11:  I made some 3d sketches of design ideas.

Update on E-Design Winner

I gave away a free e-design at the end of April.  Shelley from the wonderful blog Crazy Wonderful won it.  If you aren’t a regular to her blog you should be – she’s funny, down to earth and an amazing diy-er.

Here is the plan we came up with.   The design plan involved a ton of diy projects, conceptual ideas and firm ideas, along with a layout of where it all will go.


She’s working away on transforming the room. The plan involved a sunburst and topiaries on the fireplace mantle.  She found a fabulous sunburst tutorial that is a similar size to the one on the story board, but way better than the one I suggested.  Being so sweet, she told me about it and asked if I thought it would work.  Absolutely!   So, she made it!

Then, she made her own topiaries to flank it.

She sent me photos of the fireplace area so far and I was so excited that I asked if I could share!


Can you believe this is all diy?  I love the life that the green brings in.  And, isn’t that mirror awesome!   What a simple yet grand statement.


And, here it was before.  She had a fabulous room to start with, but I LOVE seeing transformations, especially those that I got to play a small role in!


Thank you Shelley for keeping me updated and allowing my readers to see your awesome creations!  For more information, be sure to visit her blog!


Glad I Didn’t Dust!

I was thinking I should dust yesterday, but since I was at home sick, I opted not to and to only do what I must do in hopes of resting.  Well, glad I didn’t dust because we got another big dust storm yesterday afternoon.  Here are photos from my backyard taken as it rolled in.

It left dust on everything. Now the city needs another bath.

Yeah, I live in Phoenix.


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There is a good video of our July 5th’s dust stormm, which is technically termed haboob, on CNN’s website.  I’m not sure that there are any similar ones out just yet of this one.  However, there are some good youtube videos if you search it.  The CNN video is worth watching!   It made the worldwide news.

Here are some photos that were taken throughout the city.

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You know, I’ll take haboobs over snow, tornadoes and hurricanes any day! Crazy little weather phenomenon, though!  However, having said that, it does raise the incidence of Valley Fever (caught by breathing in a fungus found in the soil) and my asthma is horrible.

Maybe I’ll dust tomorrow…


Painting Tips from Cassie at Primitive and Proper

When I think of painting furniture, I think of Cassie at Primitive and Proper.  She has so much painted furniture eye candy it’s nuts.  She even sells it.  I asked her to share some of her expertise with us today!

Hello, Hyphen Interiors readers! I am so excited to be here today sharing my secrets painting tips! I am Cassie from Primitive & Proper. I blog about my home and my business, which is furniture painting, and you will find other random crafts and design related posts there as well. Kristy was kind enough to send me a list of questions to use as a guideline, but I thought I would go through and answer all of them to the best of my ability.


- What is the best way to remove finishes (paint, clear coats, etc)?
Answer: If I will be painting a piece, I just sand it with my orbital sander. An electric sander will save you tons of time and energy. I typically use around 120-160 grit if I am going to be painting the piece.

If I will be refinishing the piece, I use Citristrip, which is a safe to use, eco-friendly furniture stripper. It is not as strong as other strippers, but with the environment and my children’s health in mind, it is the best product out there. I have used it to strip finishes as well as paints and it works beautifully. Please bear in mind that any time you strip paint, you are going to be doing a lot of work. It does not simply come off…. you have to use special tools, scrapers, steel wool, and odorless mineral spirits to get every last bit.

- Is it always necessary to sand?  To prime?
Answer: If you are using a latex paint, it is definitely necessary to both sand and prime first, using a tinted primer as necessary. If you are using an oil-based paint or milk paint, most of the time you can sand the piece and skip the priming step. And of course there are paints that are the exception to this rule, such as Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, which can be applied without sanding. However, the finish of this paint is very particular in style (in my opinion) and doesn’t work well for “modern” looks. Here is a piece I painted with chalk paint…

- What is the most important step when painting furniture?
Answer: I firmly believe that priming properly is the most important step…. Primer will help with durability. And sanding in between coats of primer will affect the smoothness of the piece. Also, some pieces have a tendency to “bleed” and choosing a good stain blocking primer on those pieces will affect the final outcome.

- What do you prefer to use to avoid stroke lines – roller, foam brush, regular brush, etc?
Answer: If I want the smoothest finish I can achieve by hand, I use a foam brush. However, I firmly believe that hand painted pieces are hand painted and have character, and frankly a little brush stroke is not a big deal. I do use high quality brushes which certainly will minimize the stroke lines.

- Any tips on getting paint off of your hands?
Answer: As long as it is latex paint, warm soapy water should do the trick! If it is oil based, I use a scrubby sponge with warm soapy water and that works well.


- Any tips on cleaning brushes?
Answer: With latex paints, I use warm soapy water. I take the bristles of the brush between my hands and roll them vigorously to get all the paint out. Then I hang them to dry them. With my oil based primer, I wrap the brush in plastic and put it in the freezer until the next use. Then when it finally gets too cruddy to use I toss it and use another, but it generally will last me about 4-6 months.

- Oil or water based? How do you choose?
Answer: Oil based paint is much more durable. However, I prefer water based for its eco-friendliness (I try to always use low VOC paints) as well as its ease of use. It has much easier cleanup and the dry time is much faster.

- Tips on painting with glossy finishes?
Answer: If you are using a bold or bright color such as red, yellow, orange, bright blue, I would strongly encourage you to use a tinted primer and use 2-3 coats of that. Glossy paint tends to be more translucent and goes on thinner. If you skip the proper priming, you will be applying several coats of paint and probably not be happy. I used a white primer on this yellow piece, and ended up having to use 6 coats of paint.

- When aiming for a glossy finish, do you choose glossy paint or a glossy clear coat?
Answer: You can do either. You can use a glossy enamel paint, or you can finish the entire piece with a glossy polycrylic or polyurathane to add the gloss and protect. I generally prefer to use the enamel paint because it is highly durable and does not require the top coat.

- What wood filler do you use when patching hardware holes?
Answer:  I use Minwax or Elmer’s wood filler. I am not too picky! I do two coats of filler. I fill it once, sand it down, and then fill it again and sand it down (when it is dry). That is ow to achieve a smooth finish. Wood filler shrinks as it dries, so if you only fill the hole once, it will most likely still be slightly noticeable.

This is a piece where the holes were filled twice…

And here is the after, which shows the smoothness….

- What kind of primer is best?
Answer: I prefer to use Kilz Clean Start because it is zero VOC, safe, and environmentally responsible. I typically use 2 coats as it is a little thinner than standard primer. However, in some situations, a stronger primer is needed to better adhere and block stains. In those cases, I prefer Zinnser stain blocking oil based primer, or Kilz oil based primer. Both work beautifully, but both stink equally.

- Is it important to add a protectant layer when finished?
Answer: It is definitely important to add a protective layer (however, if you are using an enamel paint, you can probably skip this step). I prefer paste waxes on satin or eggshell finishes because it is low lustre and will not shine or yellow. I use polycrylic when I want a hard glossy finish, but it does tend to yellow, so I do not use it on white or light colors.

- How do you know when to spray and when to brush?
Answer: I never spray because I do not own a sprayer, and I don’t believe in using spray paint on a piece that can be easily painted by hand. I reserve spray paint for the pieces that have hard to reach areas that require spray paint. My reasoning for this again is the environmental concerns as well as the finish. I feel like you can tell when a larger piece has been spray painted from a can.

- How do you get a smooth finish?
Answer:  Sand between coats of primer for sure! And use a high quality brush such as Purdy. And don’t put too much paint on your brush…. a little goes a long way!

Thank you so much Kristy for having me here today to share some tips. I hope you have found it helpful! I will leave you with one of my all time favorite pieces I have finished…

Thank you, Cassie!  I learned so much.  I will probably keep this as a reference for the next time I paint furniture!  Be sure to visit her blog for more inspiration!


Update on Last Post – Master Sitting Area

I took your advice from the previous post.  I put the sunburst up and the rug back in. I also changed out the pillows one more time.

The chevron pillow is navy and white like the trellis pillow in the chair and the ones on the bed. Better?

I am still tossing around the idea of putting a stenciled canvas or piece of wood behind it to layer it.   Thanks!