Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY: Vintage Suitcase turned into a Foot of the Bed Table

Vintage suitcases, hat boxes, picnic suitcase, and the like are so tempting to buy because they are usually made from cool materials, bright colors, and with little accoutrements you don’t find on things made today.  We’re going to turn this hip item into something useful for the bedroom.  We will add furniture legs to make it a table, but it will additionally serve as storage space for books, an extra blanket, records – the sky’s the limit.


You will need a few basic materials and tools.

  • An old suitcase or something similar (like this vintage picnic suitcase)

  • 4 furniture legs (a large variety can be found at hardware and home improvement stores)
Note: If the material of the suitcase you’re working with is particularly thick, you may need to pull the double sided screw on the furniture legs out a little bit to get some extra room.  Ask at the hardware store about this.
  • Nuts and bolts that fit on the end of the furniture leg

  • Power drill and drill bits
  • Permanent marker
  • Tape measure

How To: 

  1. Turn the suitcase so that the bottom is facing up.  Use your tape measure to determine 4 equidistant (to the outside edge of the suitcase) points.  Mark this with a permanent marker.
  2.  Determine what size drill bit you need to use to drill a hole so the furniture leg hardware will fit through the suitcase.  The bit needs to be just a little bigger than the piece of hardware.
  3. Insert the drill bit and make sure your suitcase is placed somewhere sturdy where it won’t move while being worked on – a work bench or table is preferred. Hold the suitcase steady, or have someone help you, while you insert the drill perfectly perpendicular to the suitcase. Determine the drill bit speed by what material you are drilling into. We are working with bamboo here, so I used a slow speed. If you’re drilling through plastic start with a medium speed, and work your way up if you’re not getting through to the other side with the drill. Repeat for the other 3 marked spots.
  4. Insert the legs from the bottom of the suitcase, so the hardware part sticks up into the inside of the suitcase. Place a washer on either side, and the nut on the inside of the suitcase to secure the leg. Repeat for all 4 legs.
  5. Optional: You may want to sew in a piece of fabric or place something over this if you’re going to be putting clothes or scarves in the suitcase for storage as it may get caught on the hardware.
  6. Optional: Paint the legs of your furniture legs to match the décor of your room, or maybe your suitcase has a cool accent color you want to match.

Boring Before 

Fun After! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inspired Interiors

Simply painting or papering the walls and filling a house with furniture does not turn it into a home. At the risk of sounding slightly soppy what does create a home is that indefinable something: love. Caring about the home and the way the furniture and fixtures work together means that you will take those few extra moments to make it work by adding small touches that round off a room and complete a theme. Below are some of the areas where a small adjustment can make an enormous difference to both the comfort and the appearance of a room.

Light up Your Life:
The lighting in any room is paramount. It has been said before that one bright bulb hanging in the center of a room can create a very harsh pool of light and cast dark shadows into the corners – a very surreal stage-set look, which is not conducive to gracious living! Spread light sources throughout a room, using table lamps and standing floor lamps, concealed up- or down-lighters and soft overhead bulbs. Visit Lights World to see a wide range of lamps. Not only does this spread a diffuse light throughout the home, but you can 'layer' your lights, having them all on for a party or get-together, but only one or two on when watching TV or having a movie night.

Set the Scene:
Create small groupings of items, or little displays of items that work well together. These small clusters of eye-pleasing objects are called vignettes and they can go a long way to giving a room an air of polish. An example of a vignette would be to have an occasional table against the wall, a beautiful picture hanging near it, and a small grouping of ornaments, objects trouve and perhaps a framed photo, all capturing the essence of the theme, be it seaside (marine painting, a scattering of polished shells and a photo of the children playing on the beach) or summertime (a summertime print or postcard, leaning against a straw-covered wine bottle.) Be sure to introduce elements of the main theme of the décor into the vignettes to make sure that all the small clusters add up into an overall unit.

Colour Ways:
Often we choose plain or neutral tones for large items of furniture and carpets, and this is absolutely acceptable and even sensible. However, it can mean that a room can look a bit like porridge – dull and greyish brown! Lift the mood of the room by adding in some small but lavish splashes of colour. Crimson silk and navy brocade cushions can transform an oatmeal or beige sofa into something splendid and elegant. Metallic flashes also add greatly to the texture and depth of a room and can take the form of a practical clock, extravagant curtains or cushions or frivolous and whimsical ornaments.

Bring in a Bit of Nature:
Well-tended pot plants look wonderful, especially set in a corner or forming part of a vignette. Choose large plants with only a few broad leaves to avoid a cluttered appearance and for ease of maintenance – those broad leaves just need a quick wipe every now and then to return them to polished glory. Fussier plants with a multitude of small leaves can also look great, but will require more work as the leaves fall off and twigs and branches grow unevenly, while ferns always look great and last very well.

See the Big Picture First:
Plan your décor before you start. Draw scale diagrams of the room and plan out colour themes, vignettes, all the furniture you will need and decide between paint and wallpaper. If the latter, spend some time looking at the various ranges of offer as wallpaper can come in an amazing variety these days! Look online at furniture sites to get ideas of what is available and how well it will fit in with your rough diagram, choosing all the furniture items before you buy. Shop4furniture has an excellent range, sure to have furniture to please everyone's tastes. Once you know the effect you want to achieve you are more likely to buy only what you need and you will be very happy with the effect it all creates when put together.

These hints and ideas will help you to put your home together in a way that is sure to satisfy the whole family. It will make all the hard work, and investment of time and money, seem worthwhile when your family and friends express their admiration for your decorating skills!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Charmingly Crowded Home

Some people like empty-looking, minimalistic home décor. And why not? Such homes are certainly easier to clean, organize plus they can look beautifully refreshing.

On the other hand, homes full of furniture and decorations charmingly filling almost every corner of each room can give their owners a feeling of warmth and safety.

There are yay’s and nay’s for both types of approaches to home decoration. Whichever style you choose, you’ll be equally at risk of making wrong decisions and ending up with a not such a pleasant place to hang out.

Charmingly crowded homes: Problem No 1

As mentioned earlier, cleaning can be a great problem in a home with many dust-catching objects. Remember the word “cleaning” when you unleash yourself on yard sale objects. All those shelves, lamps, chairs, tables, unidentified objects formerly known as sofas, etc. will not magically stay shiny and clean all by themselves. Think about how many chairs you actually need in a home and don’t overdo it.

Obsession with certain objects can potentially work sometimes, but not often

If you have an idol or a hobby you love, like Spiderman (if you’re five years old) or boats (if you are an ex-captain), you might get away with crowding your room with objects connected to your fascination. There could be some charm to something like this:

Though filled with boats and drawings of boats, this room emanates devotion and true joy at spending quality time with dear objects and ideas. But try pulling that trick with flowers or hearts (if you’re a fan of romance) and you might end up with a very dull and/or annoying room.

Colours aren’t always our friends:

Another way to go wrong when trying to create a warm, cosy place is to become too enthusiastic about mixing wall paint colours in a way that hurts the eyes. Though colour blocking is very IN these days, even this type of colour-matching adventure has rules that you should follow. So, definitely nay to extremely bold wall paint colours.

Choose every piece of your home lovingly

The key to a safe, happy place that feels like a bear hug is to choose and place objects in your home with care and attention.

Don’t shy away from “crowding” your home with plants, photos, DIY vintage photo frames, candles, books, oriental rugs, flowers, paintings and even five lamps in one room (if that makes you happy), but do it with style, some common sense and an instinct for the aesthetic. Most importantly, do it with love. Without the love ingredient, you might struggle to create the effect you are hoping for.
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