blogging [and my final post on amykristinteriors]

Behind every piece of art is a human being pouring their soul into it.  Behind every blog is a dedicated human being sharing a special part of themselves with the world.  It’s like being naked for people, complete strangers, to judge, critique and analyze you.  Just after I click that “Publish” button after finishing a post I feel completely naked, exposed and vulnerable to criticism.  But, I keep posting and sharing my ideas- some pretty cool, some just plain weird.  Why do I do it?  Why do any of us do it?  For me, blogging is a tremendous creative outlet and one that I crave.  Until I discovered blogging I always thought I was weird because I re arrange the furniture in my house constantly, change styles constantly, paint constantly…you get the picture.  Blogging is a community where I feel I belong and can relate to other creative people.  It might have taken me 40 years to get here [and many career changes – I’ve been everything from an administrative assistant in a paper factory, house painter, to Realtor and owner of my own tiny graphic design business] but I found my true passion…design [and blogging].

This is my final post on amykristinteriors.com.  If you didn’t catch my post the other day then you may not know I now have a new blog site:  www.amykrist.org.  It may sound like a small change, but it’s a pretty big deal to me.  I did have a lot of help initially setting up my new blog and moving all of my files over, but what you now see is my design, a header I created myself, self portrait, etc. It’s my art, my creativity and it’s all hanging out there for the whole world to see and critique.

hugs

my first vintage finds

So after my rambling the other day, I mentioned that I made a trip to a local+funky vintage shop.  Since I am just venturing into the whole mid-century modern thing I decided I should probably take baby steps so I was very thankful that this shop is tiny and not jam-packed.

amy_krist_interiors: "Heaven."

[via my instagram feed]

I found this place after spotting a few amazing mid-century modern pieces on craigslist that I absolutely loved (and the prices of his vintage treasures were jaw-dropping).  Here are some pics I snapped of his amazing stuff

vintage desk

vintage credenza

vintage green beautyCrazy right?

vintage toys

vintage typewriter

You know you’re old when you used a typewriter and now see them for sale in vintage+antique shops!

vintage chairsdrool.

vintage hair dryerthe funniest hair dryer I’ve ever seen

Here is what I came home with

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The lamp bases are not technically MCM, but they are such a gorgeous color (almost a bronze) and metal.  I paid $40.  I love vintage hard back books (who doesn’t?) and bought 3 for $2 each.   I love love love armillaries and when I spotted this vintage one I snatched it up.  The little ornate box is something I never thought I’d buy, but I kept picking it up, putting it down, picking it up, etc.  When I do that I figure there’s a reason so I grabbed it and paid $10.  For under $80 I came home with some unique things.

The hard part was finding just the right spot for each.   After much trial and error here is where their new homes are

vintage_lamp end table

vintage lamp_detail

vintage_lamp behind couch

vintage_blue couch

vintage_sedgewick2our buddy “Sedgewick”

vintage_box styled with books

vintage_box

vintage_armillary styled

vintage_armillary side view

The owner of this shop is not only super cool, but very knowledgeable about MCM.  He also said something that struck a cord with a me, “Mid-century modern is one of those design styles that people don’t realize they love.  Once you purchase a piece of MCM furniture you instantly become hooked.  MCM evokes an emotion and just makes you feel good.”

‘Nuff said.

hugs

unique updates to the kids’ bathroom

I can’t believe I can honestly say that I FINISHED a project!!  Oh happy day!!  Usually I have the attention span of one of my children whenever I start any elaborate project.  This means I have a stockpile few projects either laying around our garage, or staring me in the face inside the house.  BUT…I must have found something captivating about the board and batten in the kids’ bathroom, as I finished it within days and not months.  I took these pictures at night which explains the funky colors.

kids bathroom_board_batten

kids bathroom_hooks

All done, right?  Yeah right.  How come when I finish a project there is usually a trail of little projects right behind?  Notice the blue wall?  I will probably finish painting the rest of the bathroom…umm…

So anyway…I always found it strange that there are no towel holders right at the sink.  I can’t stand the idea of washing your hands then dripping at least a cup of water all over the floor in order to dry them.  Not to mention, I am that paranoid mom who worries about the kids slipping on the tile floor and smacking their heads.

I used something a little unconventional to solve this problem.  Hold backs and a curtain clip.

kids bathroom_hold back2

kids bathroom_hold back

I purchased these hold backs from Lowe’s and the curtain clips were a Big Lots purchase.

kids bathroom_towel

Why the curtain clip you ask?  Well it keeps the towel nice and neat, easy to access, off the counter top therefore keeping the clutter to a minimum, and it’s just different.

On my list of things that I would love to do to the house is create frames for each of the mirrors in our 4 bathrooms.  I am not the biggest fan of the builder grade mirrors as I think they’re an after thought.  I decided to take the cheap and easy route and do something a little different and hang a picture in front of the mirror in the kids’ bathroom.

kids bathroom mirror

Notice what is “holding” up the picture?  I unscrewed one of the crystal finials from the hold back and screwed it into the wall.

kids bathroom_crystal finial

It is secure enough and won’t be coming down without some tugging, but it cannot hold the weight of this picture.  So I hammered a nail into the wall, hung the picture from that and screwed the crystal just underneath the nail in order to camouflage it.

kids bathroom_nail

I stapled some jute rope to the back of this canvas in order to suspend it right over the mirror.

kids bathroom_art hanger

Then this always happens mid-way through a photo shoot…one of them always finds me…

kids bathroom_ninja turtle

I do like the way the picture looks and it also serves a secret purpose.  It acts like a dividing line for the kids to stay on their own side of the bathroom, especially during teeth brushing.  Don’t ask me why, but brushing teeth brings out the “best” in them.  I have to say since I’ve had this picture up, it’s been a little calmer in there.

I don’t however like the picture itself (it was a cheap Home Goods purchase), plus it’s not very fun for a kids’ bathroom.  So I have plans (oh surprise, yet another project in the making!) to wrap the canvas in a funky print and wrap the jute rope in gold duck tape.

kids bathroom_new look

hugs

My New BLOG!!

red_coral_turqcropped[click here to see my new blog]

I can’t believe I am finally writing this post!  If you have ever created your own blog (hats off to you!) then you know how time consuming and frustrating it can be.  I made the decision to not only change the name of my blog, but take it to the next level!  Here is a brief explanation why.

First off, my old blog was created in WordPress.com.  It has been such an eye-opening and learning experience. WordPress.com however is very limited.  In other words, I NEED PLUGINS!!!  Even though I have only been blogging for less than a year I felt like I had taken my old blog as far as I could.  I plan on sticking around for a while, as I have so much more to share, so I took the plunge and went to WordPress.org.  I know it sounds like a small change, but oooohh trust me, it has been a labor of love for the past 3 months and that’s putting it nice!!

I want to address something that has been bugging me since I started blogging.  If you have written me a comment in the past and I have never responded, first let me say a huge, “SORRY!”  I have been screaming at my computer because there was no way to respond to a lot of you.  It’s a long, boring story, but the gist of it is there were two ways to leave me a comment and one of those ways did NOT let me respond.  So, please know that if you leave me a comment on my new blog, I promise to respond to each and every one of you!

I will be phasing out my old blog over the next couple weeks so be sure to sign up over www.amykrist.org if you still want to receive my posts.

I’ll end by saying that I am looking forward to growing this little blog of mine and am excited about the future. I certainly hope you’ll stick around for the journey.

I look at myself [and my blog] as a work in progress and try to adapt to change as best I can.  I’m taking that next step forward and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.  Care to join me?

hugs

venturing into mid-century modern

Do you ever try out a new decorating style only to detest the very sight of it shortly thereafter?  I have tried so many different trends/styles hoping I would have that “Aahh Haa” moment and guess what…NOPE!  (Bear with me, I just need to ramble as usual for a bit).

Shortly after move in day at our new house I got busy trying to make this house a home that reflects who we are.  Sounds simple.  But if you’re someone like me who second-guesses every design choice and gets bored easily, not so much.

SHABBY CHIC:

My first design love affair was shabby chic.   Great style if you don’t over do it.

Console-table2[via]

I thought this was the direction I wanted to go with our house so I purchased an old oak claw foot dining table from a sweet lady who had one for sale on craigslist.  I purchased some AS Chalk Paint in French Linen and got to town.

Here was my first attempt at shabby chic:

table2

I really do love the way this turned out, especially knowing how it looked (and smelled) when I bought it.  While I still have this table in the exact same spot I’m having serious doubts about it now.  Something is just “off” when I look at it paired with our cobalt blue sofas.  Once I start to second guess something you bet your sweet booty that it just wasn’t meant to be.  Always listen to your gut.

TRADITIONAL / ANTIQUE

Boy, this trip to traditional was the shortest lived.  My husband grew a few gray hairs when I started bringing antique relics home.  [He’s a modernist all the way].  I don’t even remember what inspired me to venture here, other than testing it out to see if it stuck.

Back to craigslist again!  I found these beautiful antique (huge) end tables for sale and dragged my kids along to purchase them.  I should have known to trust my gut and not purchase these.  I think my daughter even knew these things weren’t really my taste because she said, “You’re gonna buy THESE, Mama??!”

IMG_6139[1]

couch2

I was also never in love with them because 5 minutes into our drive home my kids and I started complaining that they stunk of cigarette smoke!  The seller never disclosed this and I never bothered to give it the smell test while I was at her house.  Lesson learned.  I went through box after box of baking soda to try and rid these poor guys of their odor.  Cigarette smoke is a nasty, clingy, unforgiving odor, but I eventually was victorious.  I had the same feeling about these end tables as I do with the clawfoot table…something is just off.  So I sold these to a sweet friend!

I scoured and trolled craigslist, eBay, garage sales, you name it to find the perfect end tables.  Nada.  During one of many late night Pinterest binges I stumbled on these beauties and had that “Aahh Haa” moment.

endtable_styled-copy[via]

Hmmm….something just felt right when I made two of these end tables all by myself.

IMG_6103[1]

IMG_6123[1]

Things were starting to click at this point, but it wasn’t feeling 100% like me (I mean, us) yet.

CONTEMPORARY

The turning point for me venturing into this design style was those end tables.  They can go with modern, rustic, shabby chic, eclectic, you name it.  I liked the simplicity of the design and loved the clean lines.  Hmmm…this feels right!  I decided to embrace contemporary design wholeheartedly and pushed myself to tackle an entire room makeover.  Holy crap!!  What safer place to experiment than my youngest child’s room!  Mean Mama.

By this point I had a nice collection {hoarder’s paradise} of contemporary fabrics on hand and incorporated some into his room.

IMG_5728[1]

 That “chipper” ikat fabric is still one of my favs.  Things were starting to feel comfortable and I liked the way his room turned out.  The only thing nagging me was that I felt like I had seen this style and look on countless blogs.  I have always had a rebellious streak in me and the last thing I want to do is be like everybody else.  This brings me to my last design stop….

MID-CENTURY MODERN:

I have never been drawn to mid-century modern, much less know just exactly what the hell it is.  While in a design slump/block, I decided to scour the blogosphere for some pick-me-up.  Don’t ask me how, but when I landed on this blog I finally had my “Aaah Haa” moment!!!

It was this image that stopped me in my tracks

gallery-wall-in-living-room[via]

YES! YES! YES!  I still refer to this room as one of my all-time favorites, mainly because there is a cobalt blue sofa staring you in the face.  I have never known how to decorate with our blue sofas until I found this picture.  I mostly love the mid-century modern chairs paired with a modern b+w rug and oh-so-done-right gallery wall.

Here is a recent picture of the family room after finding my inspiration

fam_room4

The eclectic mix of this room is perfect and I am now venturing into the mid-century modern world.  It’s a very foreign and intimidating style for me as I think it can look too theme-y if over done.

So, I made my first trip to a cool vintage store about 30 mins from our house this week and purchased a few things that I had my “Aahh Haa” moments over.  I will be posting about them very soon.

I guess my point to all this rambling is it’s perfectly normal (and quite healthy I think) to test many different styles.  Who knows how long my love affair with mid-century modern will last, but it’s fun trying out new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  It’s what keeps life interesting!

hugs

our living room

So I thought it might be time for an actual room post.  Today I’m sharing with you our formal living room.  I feel funny even calling it “formal” because there is a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. nothing formal about this room at all (I guess that’s what we call rooms nowadays that get little use).  It’s the first room you see when you enter our house. The first three pictures are older ones and the way our living room looked a couple months ago.

red_couchThis red faux suede sectional was purchased pre-kiddos and has held up pretty well despite all the vomit and other DNA embedded cooties.  I’m hoping it’s gone-zo sooner than later though.

picturesThe jute rug was a craigslist purchase and has been moved to the guest room.  I also re located the IKEA arc lamp to the family room.

curtainsI also swapped out a few pillows for brighter, more funky ones.  The pillow swapping is a disease!

So here is the way our living room looks like (as of this afternoon).  If you’re anything like me, this room will be different by tomorrow.

living rm_couch2

living rm loveI love my new “LOVE” pillow from One Kings Lane.  This was on sale and it looks like someone painted it with watercolors.  I love the funky vibe it adds to the room.  I’ve also admired the look and feel of throwing a flokati rug on a chair or couch and thought I’d give it a try.  The jury’s still out though.

living rm rug drapes

living rm rug

living  rm_topiaries

This room is my first experiment with ceiling mounted drapes.  The ceilings in this room aren’t super tall so I wanted to hang my OLD IKEA panels as high as I could to give the illusion of high ceilings.  I got a little goofy one day and tied my self-made topiary balls from the drapery rods because…well…just because.  The jury’s still out on that one as well.

living rm top ball

living rm_couch

The starburst mirror (doesn’t everyone have at least 2 of these in their home?) was a DIY I made from balloon sticks, wood circle disc and IKEA mirror.  This sucker is huge but I needed something large to eat up the bare wall space.

living rm mirror

living rm entrance

View from the front door

I hung an antique mirror on the wall right when you open the door.  This mirror has been in my family forever and I always love getting the door, checking my make-up and wondering how many ancestors did the same exact thing.

living rm plantstand

This stool was a recent Home Goods purchase and I couldn’t believe it was only $40!  This thing is so versatile, but I like it best now as a plant stand.

living rm coffee tbl2

“The White Beast”

I say that not because it’s an eye-sore, but because it weighs as much as our car!  This was yet another IKEA purchase about 8 years ago.  I love this coffee table and would love to have it in our family room, but my son has two chipped teeth from this thing already!  I will be mentally ready to re introduce it to the family room probably in another year (or five!).

living rm coffee tbl

living rm orb

The decorative orb was a Z-Gallerie purchase ($25) and the tray was a Joss & Main purchase ($15).

living rm chair

This chair was a craigslist purchase and I dragged my poor kids in our little VW along for the joy ride.  I felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies bringing this chair home because I drove 35 mph the entire 23 miles home with this thing sticking out the back window.  Ooooh the stories my kids will tell about their crazy Mom someday.

living  rm pillow

This pillow is similar to my “LOVE” one and was purchased from the same sale on One Kings Lane.

living rm chair lamp

This end table and lamp were Home Goods finds.

Well there it is (for now!)  I do have some plans for the room as it is definitely missing something.  I would love to do something like this on the wall where the starburst mirror currently is…

IMG_9048[via]

I’ve asked Santa for a power nail gun for Christmas so I could bang this out in a few days.  A girl can hope.

hugs

Making over IKEA pots

ikea vase_overlaygold embellished IKEA pot

Hey guys!  Sorry for the lack-o-posts lately, but I have something pretty major (aka- time consuming like having another child) in the works and I promise it’s worth the wait!  At least I hope so.

So in my quest to make over this brand new builder blah house I’ve come to the realization that NOTHING is off-limits.  If you don’t know this about me by now, the fam and I recently moved to one of the most expensive places to live in this glorious country of ours…California!!

Sorry for sounding like a broken record if you’ve hung around a while.  But, it’s worth one last mention because it’s so true.  Everything is pricey in California…(oh dear, here she goes again!!)…gas. groceries. taxes (have I ever told you that when you buy ANY piece of lumber from a certain huge home improvement chain you will be charged a tax to each said piece of lumber.  Even though each said piece of lumber has already been cut and processed you are still charged at the check out stand a tax of $.04 per piece.  I know…wah, wah, wah, but boy you start to think twice about conservation once you’ve lived here a while!

So my point to that rant was that I don’t just say these words in black on my blog to try and impress you…I live it everyday!  So I have to get creative with my DIY or I will go insane!

Here we go….for my latest little DIY I grabbed one of my IKEA pots (doesn’t everyone in the world have at least one of these things?) and a favorite product of mine-my gold Painty pen-and went at it!

ikea vase_painty pen

I am not endorsed one penny for this post; I just love these little guys and want to share.  These oil-based paint markers come in every color and they dry super fast. You can use these on glass, wood, plastic, you name it!

ikea vase_paintingCheap Therapy.

After 10 minutes of coloring in the lines (literally) I was done!

ikea vase_holding tightGauging by the jagged edges of my lines I’d say this was a two cup of coffee morning.

ikea vase_succulent

I stuck a succulent from the backyard in this glamed-up pot and called it a productive DIY day!

IKEA vase_gold stripes

closeup

My happy little pot now sits on my bathroom counter top alongside my recent DIY artwork.   I think I’m living out a childhood rebellious period because I’m drawing on things I probably shouldn’t.  Click here to find out what I mean.

ikea vase_overlay

hugs