July 26, 2012

Recent Takes and Mini Photo Shoots

Had a mini-shoot with beautiful baby Chiara on a lazy Summer Day in the Hamptons...

Baby Chiara had a little competition for the camera in the form of a furry friend...:)

And then, at a wedding shower for a Princess and her Prince:

Interested in setting up your own Photo Shoot? Please click here for more details on my services and pricing.

Also stay tuned, as always for upcoming Client Projects, Photo Shoots and much, much more...

July 5, 2012

Picasso and Pillow Cases...

(Being stuck at home the past-week with a sprained ankle has really allowed for me to catch up on the ol' Blog. This post has been a long time coming...)

Thought this title appropriate since this post has to do with both subjects, although quite contrary in nature, both Picasso and Pillow Cases inspired the following two DIY Decor Projects.


I'll let the pictures tell the story. These will also serve as a tutorial of sorts for anyone else who is looking for no-cost, creative projects that will spruce up your place and/or can serve as a lovely present.

Let's begin with Picasso, or rather my painting artwork project that I created with supplies I already had handy, a little imagination and a lot of pretty color. This is another zero cost decor project, my favorite kind.  I'd also like to clarify that I in no way possible fancy myself a real life "Picasso", but this will be as close as I get to incredible Cubist painter :)

Supplies: Blank Canvas or any blank surface. An inexpensive stencil or two of any pretty pattern that you can cut up to any shape you desire, acrylic paints, paint-brushes. That is all. 

I had a rose pattern stencil on hand that I cut up and began forming a pattern on paper with. I then began layering with different colors and angles to create this final product that I'm quite happy with. I framed it and it found a happy place on my gallery wall in my living room:

(Excuse bad picture quality, all taken with my Blackberry.)

I was then inspired to create one for my little sister who's anniversary was coming up. As part of her gift I wanted to create something personal and unique and made sure to use colors that tied into her decor, here is the final result:

She loved it, and I was so pleased she did!

Now for the Pillow Cases. This is my no-sew tutorial for new throw pillows. But first a little background. I recently made some refreshing changes to the decor in my living room. I replaced the dramatic rich accent colors I had for Fall and Winter with light, fresh, vintage-esque pale blue and greens. I was in dire need of new throw pillows but not only could I not find what I was looking for on-line or in the stores, everything I did like -  cost an arm and a leg. I refused to pay a penny for this new decor scheme, so I made it a personal goal to only use things I already owned. Fortunately, while searching through my linen trunk, I found a brand-new unopened bed sheet and pillow cases set that my beloved grandmother had gifted me some time ago. The pale blue color was exactly what I was looking for in terms of throw pillows, but the plain looking cases were not going to cut it, they were in dire need of a pattern with contrasting colors.  So I thought to myself , "self, why not create your own pattern with paint, after all you've never been shy about painting everything from lamps to vases to furniture pieces, why not paint the pillow cases?" And so paint I did! Here is the tutorial in pictures:

Supplies: Solid Pillow Cases, (new or used), acrylic paints, stencil, paint-brushes, iron and pillow forms.

1) First step, cover work-space with newspaper and card boards. Select paint-colors. If you don't have the exact color your looking for, make it yourself. I mixed the colors I had to come up with a salmon retro-esque shade of orange/pink that contrasted beautifully with the blue pillow cases and would coordinate with the rest of my decor: 
2) Once you've created/selected your color(s) analyze what type of pattern you want to create. Let your imagination dictate your pattern. This is what I came up with:

3) Once you've let the painted pillows dry. The next step is to iron them to give them a crisp clean look. 

4) Fourth and last step, which also happens to be the most important step and why they are called "no-sew" pillows. Once you've selected your pillow forms, stuff them into the pillow cases making sure to display the side you've painted the pattern on. Then with the remaining pillow case fold it into itself neatly on each side until you have somewhat of a bottom seam that can be sewn with a hand-stich ( if you so desired) but I'd rather leave it open so I can switch these up in the future with other pillow forms, etc. It allows for more versatility and nobody is the wiser. Not sewing them also allows for easy cleaning, just remove them and throw them into the wash. 

I also promise to add more details on the changes I have made to Chateau C'est La Vie, and how I have made them. As I've said before, I have to work with what I have (even if it is not my dream furniture), and as I've also said before, "as a decorator, I can never leave well enough alone..":)

Hope you've enjoyed the tutorials and are inspired to try one or both of them yourselves!

Stay tuned for much more interesting content, including the introduction of  How-To-Vlogs, coming to a Blog near you...:)

July 2, 2012

A Kitchen Re-Model

Design Plan for: Kitchen
Clients:  Nick and Gio

(click to enlarge)

My most recent Design plan is for a dynamic, young-at-heart couple who have become empty nesters. They  are looking to soon sell their beautiful antique home and move into something smaller, more modern and that requires less maintenance than the vintage home they currently own.

To increase their appraisal value and potential re-sell costs, they realized their slightly out dated kitchen had seen better days. They commissioned me to design a contemporary, functional kitchen that would tie into the classic age of the house while keeping to their strict budget.  I set out to do just that and came up with something neutral, fresh and appealing to many potential buyers.

I built the design plan around three fundamentals:

1) A warm an inviting neutral white, that would read crisp, but not sterile. Benjamin Moore's Linen White was the perfect fit.

2) Classic designed wood cabinetry that contrasted with the warm linen colored walls and dark wood floor will read clean, crisp and contemporary.

3) Dark Wood Laminate floors treated with a special stain-and-traffic resistance finish that will be perfect for this new kitchen.

The rest of the items I selected will take this kitchen from super to spectacular!!!!

When I revealed the Design Plan to Nick and Gio, their enthusiasm could not be contained,they cannot wait to begin the Demo and implement the Re-Model!!!  I was so excited to have met their expectations and cannot wait to see the Big Reveal.

In need of transforming your own space on a budget? Please fill out my Design and Style Evaluation here or email me @ cestlavie.events@gmail.com.