Tag Archives: animal print

Real Readers: Christina & Jodi

7 Jun

I have featured Christina & Jodi in my recent post about Etsy activists but today I want to share more about this creative roommate duo.

Christina is an accomplished jewelry designer (now taking it to the next level and moving to New York!) and Jodi is a Psychology graduate student and homemade card designer.

Now, take a deeper look into how their innovative minds worked together to decorate their chic and comfortable Houston apartment.

Christina & Jodi

CHRISTINA’S ROOM

How she came up with the feel of her room, in her own words:

“I love white brown and turquoise. I found the duvet from Target and the Headboard from Hayneedle. I love that the headboard is an ivory color with nailheads. I found the turquoise mirror from Marshall’s and think it adds a great touch and finish to my room. All the pillows are from Target. (Yes, I looove pillows) I’m really happy how my bedroom came out from the white base color to the brown and turquoise accents. It feels fresh and like me.”

Christina

The bedside tables are from Z Gallerie — a great store to find mirrored furniture for decent prices. The crystal lamps that are from Marshall’s complete the old Hollywood glam look that Christina loves.

This piece is from a furniture store in Fort Worth, Texas. Christina’s next move is changing out the drawer handles which is a perfect way to change the look without ruining a piece of perfectly good furniture.

Take a note from Christina’s book and hand paint a few plain wooden frames! This way she can match other painted pieces in her room (see below) and get the perfect pop of color she was going for. Ever the little artista, she decided to add the hanging caged candle holders to the corner to “add dimension” to her room.

In her own words:

“I painted the drawer turquoise to add a pop of color and then added a fun knob. This is my jewelry making table as you can see the various items already made. As you can see from my room, I love flowers and since I can’t afford to switch them out every week, I went with the fake ones. The cross was stolen from my parent’s house and I love it.”

– Christina

If you ever get the opportunity to travel, you must buy art from the cities you visit. It is a great way to relive a special vacation or memory from your life and adds such interest to your home. The art hanging above Christina’s toilet is a little piece she purchased in Paris while traveling abroad. Luckily it depicts the entire city AND the colors coordinate perfectly with her scheme. The two silver jewelry boxes below the mirror were handed down in her family from her Great Aunt Dorothy. So much history!

Here is another piece of decor from Marshall’s — Christina uses the silver vase here to pull silver from her bedroom and coordinate with the vintage metallic jewelry box given to her by her cousin.

Jewelry organization — clearly an obsession of every girl on the planet — is at its peak here in Christina’s bathroom. As I mentioned, she is just starting out in her jewelry making profession and has been enamored of jewelry as long as she can remember. Using these inexpensive square corkboards (from Target, Office Max, Hobby Lobby, etc), she added pushpins at the top so that her necklaces never tangle. Genius!

JODI’S ROOM

Beautiful Bella Notte bedding! This stuff is expensive but completely worth it. The softest assortment of textured fabrics you’ve ever felt, everything is dyed to order, and the best part is that it’s all washable. We sell it at the store that both Jodi and I work for, Nest & Cot. I have the same coverlet on my bed. Love!

Jodi’s mom picked up this gem of a chair and ottoman at the Dallas Market — a place for designers and vendors to come together and see all the goods at once. If you know anybody who is a designer or has a license of any kind in interior design, chances are they get great wholesale deals. You should ask them if they’ll help you make some nice purchases for a small fee or help you find discounts — it will still be less than retail pricing.

Sidenote: Jodi admits that her big weakness in life is trying to keep everything organized and she’s still looking for a way to keep all of her school books and gadget cords neat!

Jodi’s parents picked this gorgeous Hermes scarf on a special vacation. Jodi went to a custom framing shop to get it stretched and framed. It now serves as a focal point in her mature post-college apartment and an heirloom for the future.

Here’s a great tip: Look for furniture in the “damaged goods” or outlet section of a large store. Jodi found this huge and sturdy dresser in just such a section of Crate & Barrel. A simple scratch (that you wouldn’t even notice) brought the price down by over $1000.

Jodi’s sister, Jessica, followed in suit of her parents and returned from travels with this vintage Spain poster. Vibrant colors and a great story.

Love the shower curtain…it’s from Target!

Such a simple and chic way to decorate a blank wall: Framed cards bought on Etsy!

A neutral mirror bought at Marshall’s decorates this side of Jodi’s bathroom. Anthropologie can be an expensive store to outfit your entire house from, but try simply purchasing one vase or another small item for a punch of style. Jodi’s turquoise vase and cup for make up brushes do just that.

LIVING AREA & KITCHEN

A drop leaf table is an amazing way to utilize space in a small city apartment. This particular one was purchased at a  consignment store and extends to a full dining table. The fact that is it a beautiful antique only adds to its appeal.

A nice view of the kitchen. Christina had originally intended to use the trunk on its side as a nightstand but fell in love with the mirrored ones you saw above. Now it acts as extra seating and a place for the girls to stub their toes. Ouch!

The wine rack is a surprisingly functional and beautiful find…for $60 from Sears?! Christina got it in college from Sears’ online store because she loved one that a friend already owned. A self-admitted wino, it allows her to hold everything she wants and needs 🙂

The turquoise flower picture is another product of Christina’s artistic abilities, created for her college room and now an integral part of a wall collage in her and Jodi’s apartment. According to both girls, the wall is a “work in progress.”

Who says the word “vintage” has to mean from decades ago? This special little pink phone is from Jodi’s 6th grade room — a “vintage” Pottery Barn find.


The girls combined many of their extra decorations in the kitchen to make it home-y.

Their living area is both inviting and fashion-forward. The zebra chairs actually have a significant history being passed down from generation to generation (and being recovered along the way) in Christina’s family. Other pieces in the room such as the throws were gifts from friends. The cow hide rug was won at a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo auction. No home in Texas should be without one. Except mine is…I need to get on that.

Another antique piece that finds its way into the modern girl’s home. This vintage round table was once Christina’s grandmothers.

Another special hand-me-down item is this mirror which belonged to Christina’s late grandmother. She plans to keep it prominent in every future house she owns as a testament to her grandmother’s great taste and as an inspiration to her jewelry line.

The couch is from Pier One. Gotta love the nailhead look.


Thank you Christina and Jodi for letting us pick apart your lovely home!

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Casa de Funky Bear: Day 3 – The Rest of the Apt.

27 Dec

Time to finish what I started a few weeks ago — my own apartment reveal. Enjoy!

Of course, I had to include my favorite thing in the world: Picture clustering. It all starts with a blank room…

And a blank wall…

Then with a little bit of pre-planning and luck…

You get your final product!

Excuse Blair in this picutre — she’s just doing a little half marathon training stretch. It all ended up coming together amazingly. We love our bright blue we chose — Sherwin Williams “Jay Blue” SW6797. We were worried it would be a little obnoxious in such a small space but it adds so much character. If you notice, we did change our apartment floors from carpeting to wood and it made SUCH a difference. I definitely recommend this for a small living area because it immediately made our whole apartment feel more spacious. The power of optical illusions amazes me.

One day when I was terribly bored, I decided to make some personal art work for our little casa. After a quick trip to Michael’s and a bottle of Modge Podge. This is what I came up with. Cute-ish, right? I decopauged pretty paper onto tiny canvases. Then I painted wooden letters to spell what I wanted and hot glued them to the canvases. With a wire hanger on the back of each…they were complete. Maybe not the best creation I’ve ever claimed but they fill up space in our picture cluster.

Same goes with these. Not the best but at least it’s something. I wrapped big letters for Blair’s and my initials in leftover leopard print from the chairs.

More personalized artwork…both of these posters represent where Blair and I attended college. We call this our media center. Again — pretending to live the high life.

One is a real picture a student took of Athens’ Georgia Theater — a landmark and UGA point of pride. Sadly, the Georgia Theater burned down last year and is being gutted and renovated. It has housed famous acts from all over the country and from all different generations. I saw Taylor Swift there right before she made it big. AH-MAZING! If you’re interested, please visit their website and donate to the cause to rebuild this historic monument for future students to enjoy as so many of us have. I did my part by buying this poster the student photographer created to raise money for the cause. Your turn!

And of course for all of you non-Texans, the other poster is a blown-up Sports Illustrated cover with the University of Texas’ Vince Young when they won the Rose Bowl in 2006. The best part about this poster is that it is signed by the man himself. I received this as a special gift from a friend in high school…and I love being able to use it in my apartment and all of my houses to come.

The chair and custom painted and upholstered chairs I made a few months ago look funky and chic in our breakfast nook. Gotta have animal print somewher – Rawr!

And the beautiful painting above our table? A custom canvas painting by the one and only B. There is a fabulous place in Houston called Pinot’s Palette where for $35 you can re-create a famous painting and BYOB to enjoy wine with friends. Now it graces our presence in our breakfast nook.

Next to the nook is our “bar.” Really it is nothing more than a fun little table we set up a wine rack on but we like to think we’re living the high life with a built-in bar. We keep koozies and wine openers in the drawer for our alcoholic-friendly occasions.

We invested in a few pieces of artwork that remind us of fun times in our life. We bought this one from AllPosters.com to remember our semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain. The dark colors are very handsome and tone down the bright blue wall it sits across from without losing the color palette.

Our kitchen is small and sort of hard to work with but we just decorated a few key places to give it personality. My mom used to collect roosters so that’s our placeholder until we find something better. But the red little lamp adds much-needed light and looks so cute in the corner. Every kitchen needs a lamp. Overhead light is harsh and unflattering.

There…finished! Obviously, every home is a work in progress and mine is no different. I definitely plan on adding to and updating my digs over time as my taste and style develop.

And guess what?!…there is a big surprise in store for all of my Funky Bear followers in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned for more details!

Oh, and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year’s and all that jazz 🙂

Casa de Funky Bear: Day 2 – My Room

21 Dec

As much as I wanted to wait until my room is absolute decoration perfection before revealing it to the blogosphere, I have decided that now is the time. No matter how complete or incomplete it is. I still look at my room and not all of it feels like me — the only pieces I am truly obsessed with are my bed and my necklace holder. Everything else to me is just “eh.” I know over time I will accumulate nicer, more quality pieces that speak to me but for now, hand-me-down furniture and re-sale shop mirrors suit me just fine. So without further adieu…here is my room!

This picture definitely makes my accent wall look more green than it actually is. The color is Sherwin-Williams Hazel 6471  which is more of a blue turquoise than green (Blair’s is SW Interesting Aqua 6220 if you are interested). My mom and dad introduced me to this wonderful color as it coats the walls of their laundry room! Ultimately the color scheme of my room is turquoise, white, gray, and dark brown. I am OBSESSED with these colors together 🙂

My bedding is from West Elm and I got both the duvet cover and standard shams in white ruched. Tip: If you like your bed and duvet cover extra fluffy, buy a King size down comforter to slip into the Queen size duvet cover. It will bunch up to fit in the smaller case and be super puffy, fluffy and awesome.

Above my self-upholstered headboard (see my DIY article here), I artfully placed a mirror and two canvas paintings I did.

I simply used spray and acrylic paint to re-create some type of branchy/flowery/Japanese-y drawings I feel like I have seen before. They are just supposed to be little blossoms but I used the silver backgrounds to tie in the gray in my room without making it dull.

I randomly found the brown and white zebra pillows at Marshall’s — which is quickly becoming my favorite spot to buy household items on a budget. I cannot tell you enough how great this store is. Especially Marshall’s HomeGoods stores. You can always find unique, neat little pieces for less than $15.00. What’s not to like?

Here are my gray sheets and pillow cases that I am absolutely in love with. They are a fairly dark shade of gray but surprisingly not boring or gothic at all. With the white they look crisp yet edgy. I ended up getting Calvin Klein sheets because they had the highest thread count I could find in the color I wanted. Sheets are everything people – don’t skimp on them!

One day, I decided to tile a mirror with smaller pieces of glassed mirror. I thought I could make a great mosaic-ed piece. Instead I wasted about $100 and am so bitter about how it turned out, I couldn’t even finish. I think I had the right idea but wasted so much time, energy and money on it. You can buy just as cute of one from West Elm, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Marshall’s for a lot less everything  So worth the money to save your sanity. Next time, that is the route I’m going.

Here are my amazing turquoise lamps I found at Marshall’s so long ago this Summer! I have been waiting and waiting to incorporate them into my room and now the time is finally here. I practically planned the color of my room around them. I wanted them to match the walls so they were almost camouflaged in — I thought it would make a cool effect. Turns out I was right.

Then I used an oversized crystal doorknob that my sister gave me as a book end. So cute and ties in all of my crystal and silver picture frames.

I got this old dresser from Goodwill and after cleaning it off, I added two new knobs I got from Hobby Lobby. You can get all different kinds of knobs at stores like Hobby Lobby, Anthropologie and Home Depot or Lowe’s. Or try specialty stores online. Mine are turquoise and brown — duh!

This little area of my room sits at the foot of my bed. I have an old slipper chair in pink and white that I toss this cool hand-quilted blanket over. Again…that is my dresser from Goodwill. It cleaned up nice, didn’t it?

To tie this wall in with the rest of the room, I used a third canvas painting of my branches above the TV. I have started collecting jewelry more and more in recent years and decided to display them so I can enjoy them every day, even when I’m not wearing them.

I bought an antique-looking frame from a frame store (think: Aaron Brothers if you’re from Houston) to show case all of my dangly earrings. For the time being, I am using a scrap piece of leopard print fabric from my chairs to hold it up. Finding a better ribbon or fabric is on my to-do list.

This has got to be one of my favorite things ever. I bought an inexpensive shelf with hooks attached and spray painted it Satin Nickel. After letting it dry overnight, I hung it up and put all of my long and chunky necklaces on it. This makes for easy access and an artful appearance on my wall. Hooks of any sort are always great for jewelry display.

My bathroom is a awesome as well. Huge bathtubs are a great commodity — except that I don’t even like taking baths (I think it’s nast-ay to sit in stagnant water and act like you’re getting “clean”. Ew). My turquoise and brown shower curtain (again…duh) is from Marshall’s. I bought shiny gem-looking curtain holders from there too. Love!

My absolute favorite thing in my bathroom is the antique shelving unit. It used to be my grandmother’s and my parents were ready to hawk it…I salvaged this baby. I put some of my favorite things and pictures of my favorite people on here too.

A long time ago, I saw a painting from a street vendor when I was on a family vacation in Italy of a naked woman’s back. I know it is weird — but it spoke to me. I loved the way it looked with the water colors. So I have been scouring the internet and finally found something similar on Etsy.com. Don’t you like it in my bathroom?

My room is definitely a work in progress and I haven’t totally pinned down my personal style in life. I’m working on it though and I think the best piece of advice I can give/lesson I’ve learned is that you have to surround yourself with art, furniture, and bedding that really make you happy and comfortable when you see them. My unique pieces such as my antique shelving unit and painting in the bathroom, how I display my jewelry, and my soft gray sheets make me SO happy. So find what makes you happy and surround yourself with it in your room 🙂

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Color Me Happy: Green

18 Oct

In honor of my friend Sydney’s new blog, The Green Tex, today’s post is full of all things green!

A classic green for a dining room.

Inspired by: 30 Elm

Pretty flowers on this wall create a girly yet fresh aura. Love the beautiful canopy bed too!

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

I can't get over how amazing the teal hue of this green looks in this entry way. So dramatic with the zebra skin rug!

Inspired by: The Decorista

Classic thick stripes would look great in a guest room. Try this type of headboard and drapery to take up an entire wall without overwhelming it.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

Picture clustering!! Looks so homey and warm against the green.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

All-matte green in the kitchen is so bright!

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

Seafoam green never looked so modern. This looks nothing like the grandma-ish beach house I would imagine with this color...

Inspired by: Better Homes & Gardens, June 2010

A surprisingly harmonious combination: Pale green and turquoise. Paint a piece of furniture or two a bright turquoise for a pop of color in a green room.

Inspired by: The Decorista

Here is bright orange warms up the green. White couches are my favorite and look great with everything...

Inspired by: Holly Dyment

Green, navy and dark wood come together in a brooding and mysterious boudoir...

Inspired by: The Decorista

DIY: Re-upholstering Chairs

11 Oct

After having great (personal) success with upholstering my brand new, super fab headboard, I decided to take a a few more upholstery projects under consideration. This time around my medium is chairs.

We have had these chairs in our family’s possession for a long time (maybe even the 40’s?) but they have been in major need of an update.

Bleh, look at these nast-ay seats! Time has definitely taken its toll.

It was time for a big change. Inspired by this picture of a the re-painting of a similarly structured bamboo-esque chair…

…I decided to take matters into my own hands. All it took was a couple of cans of spray paint, two yards of fabric and patience!

Here is my final product, I am so proud and obsessed!

If you like what you see, read below to find out how you can do it yourself, too!

**Please note — everything noted below is only my personal opinion about how to dive into the process of re-upholstering chairs. Please check with more websites for extra help and steps…I am just an amateur working with what I’ve got.

**Also note — I am using two different projects to illustrate the steps for re-upholstery. Don’t be alarmed by the sudden switch of fabric and scenery!

MATERIALS:

1. Old chairs — if you don’t have a spare set, try local garage sales or thrift stores for great prices.

2. Spray paint — most spray paint from Home Depot or Lowe’s works on both metal and wood. You do need to choose whether you want a matte or shiny finish (I chose shiny navy paint)j.

3. Drop cloth — this plastic film will help protect the floors or outdoors from excess paint.

4. New fabric — try Joann’s Fabric, etc.

5. Scissors — good fabric scissors are best.

6. Staple Gun — invest in electric!

7. Staples — use 1/2 inch staples or best judgement based on the thickness of fabric and chair.

8. Measuring tape — to measure your seats and help you decide upon the amount of new fabric needed.

PROCESS:

Skip to step 7 if you do not want to spray paint your chairs.

1. Remove seats. In order to spray paint your chairs, you will need to first remove the seats to keep excess paint off of them. Move them aside for the time being.

2. Place drop cloth on ground. Always spray paint outside since little flecks will fly every where. Use a drop cloth (plastic sheet that can be purchased at Home Depot etc) to protect the ground.

3. Spray paint chairs. Most spray paints are the same, but always read the instructions on the outer label before using. Hold the spray paint about 6 inches away from what you are spraying and give it one generous coat.

4. Let chairs dry. For best results, let your chairs sit to ensure they are completely dry. You can let them sit outside if the weather is less than 90 degrees (otherwise it may bubble like mine did at first!).

5. Re-spray paint. You will get the highest quality by following up the next day with another coat of spray paint. Looking at your chairs in a different light may help you see spots you missed the day before.

6. Let chairs dry (again). Once again, let your chairs dry completely. It’s almost time to re-upholster…

7. Measure your seats. Make sure you have enough fabric to cover all of your seats. Most seats can be covered in a half (1/2) square yard of fabric. For my 4 seats, I purchased 2 yards of fabric.. FYI — 1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches.

8. Pick and buy a fabric. Try Joann’s or your local fabric store for a wide selection. It is best to invest in a nicer form of fabric made for upholstery because it is thicker and more durable than simple cotton. You may want to keep in mind where and how much the chairs will be used when picking out the fabric. White or light colors can be dangerous in a kitchen area! And always get a little more than you think you will need, just in case.

9. Cut fabric. Once home, measure your fabric to fit each of your seats. You can make sure it fits by wrapping the cut fabric around the seat leaving 3-4 inches on the back of each edge.

10. Place fabric. Begin the process one chair seat at a time. Place the fabric upside down on the floor and the seat on top of it. Wrap the fabric around the seat, secure with your hands or fabric pins.

11. Staple the edges of the fabric. With the seat turned upside down towards the floor, begin folding the fabric over all of the edges, pulling tight and stapling as you go. I started with 2 parallel sides to pull the fabric tight, and then repeated on the other 2 sides. Always start in the middle and work your way out on both sides, making sure to smooth wrinkles as you go.

12. Work the corners. Corners are always tricky (even on making the bed!). I’m sure there are better tips out there, but I seriously worked the corners by making them like a bed. Fold one side over its edge, and the adjacent side on top of that. In my opinion, it looks better and more professional to try to keep the fold line on the corner. It can take a few extra tries to get right, but if you play with it enough it will look great.

13. Check your work. Check all of your work and then congratulations! You are the proud owner of new, re-furbished chairs!

P.S. Check out these chairs I helped my mom with after the successfully complete my leopard print chairs 🙂 They are FULL of IKAT  FABULOSITY.

The best part about both of these projects is that ANYONE can do them, I promise. Truly, all it takes is a little patience, amateur engineering of fabric and a staple gun. Think you’re up for it? Give it a try this week and send me your pictures! Good luck!

Real Readers: Caroline

18 Aug

Today is a special day when I allow my first guest blogger to have her say here on my blog. Nepotism is alive and well, people… and hard at work here at the Funky Bear. The guest blogger is my sister, Caroline! (Sidenote: If you’d like to be a guest blogger on the Funky Bear or feel you have something to share in this creative space, please email me at thefunkybear@gmail.com)

Name: Caroline

Age: 20

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Current Town: College Station, Texas

Fun Fact: Besides being my one and only little sister, Caroline was born with 2 stuck together toes! Yes, as in webbed, like a duck. The nurse who helped deliver her proudly proclaimed: “Oh don’t worry, good for swim!”  TMI? Perhaps…

Decorating Style: Classy. Colorful. Chic.

But Caroline is qualified to talk decorating in other ways than her blood relation to me. Out of the two of us, she is the one more inclined towards home design. In fact, when I told her I was starting the Funky Bear, I’m pretty sure she shunned me for no less than 3 days because it’s more her forte than mine. She probably couldn’t understand how or why I was dabbling in her world. Hmmf…but now she is helping me provide creative inspiration to all of my followers. She has always been interested in home decorating and design since the ripe age of 6 when she started her very own design notebook. She pulled scraps out of magazines and wrote on sticky notes things such as “Nice curtains” and “Good lamp” so she wouldn’t forget when she was all grown and had her own place.

Well, now she does at her first house at Texas A&M University and she would like to share her tips of the trade with YOU. Keep in mind, she has just moved in in the past few weeks and the walls are still very bare. But you can definitely get some great ideas looking through the decorating mecca that is her house. I’m OBSESSED and I know you will be to.

So without further ado, here is Caroline’s point of view:

Hello Funky Bear followers! I’m excited to be able to share with ya’ll my new love affair – my very first house, and it has a red door! Love at first sight. I’ve always loved design & decorating, but am in a whole new arena now that I have my own house (and all the fun stuff inside is coming out of my wallet! Yikes.)  My 3 lovely roommates and I just moved in this Summer and have been having a ball putting it together. I can tell they’re true friends because they have completely let me take the reins decorating wise.

Our little red door house is a work in progress! One thing I’ve learned so far is that decorating (the right way) takes time and patience. It doesn’t happen all at once, no matter how much you want it to, and it turns out a whole lot better that way. I’m going to share a few tid bits on what’s been going on in my house thus far…

Welcome to my room! I took this old wrought iron bed from my room at my parent’s house and threw my freshman dorm Pottery Barn bedding on it. I’m a big fan of color, and love that the red comforter incorporates lots of fun, bright ones. The white on the bed adds a clean crisp vibe to the loud colors. Then for finish, I added a few accent pillows (thanks to Marshall’s and Stein Mart — awesome throw pillows at a great price.)

The lamps beside my bed were a Target purchase! I love the lining of the shades with that fun design so that when you turn the light on, it adds a little somethin’ extra.

My mom and I found this great old pine desk at a resale shop in Austin for $70! I’d been looking for so long, and this was hands down the best deal. I leaned this old mirror (another Mom find) up against the wall. At first it was out of the laziness that came from trying to hang it all by myself, but I’m really starting to kind of like the lean, laid-back, chic look.


I set on top of the mirror this little sign (with some wise words from Cinderella) found at Marshall’s.


On top of my desk sits this classy little lamp. Believe it or not, it was a Target find! It’s got the silver candlestick look and the shade is this soft blue that I love.

The jewelry box was an Urban Outfitters find ($40) and the little bird-earring holder was $7 from Marshall’s. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a huge Marshall’s fan and bargain shopper extraordinaire.

Touches of leopard print here and there never get old. My mom found this chair for me a long time ago at a resale shop in Houston (The Guild – for any of you Houstonians). Again, the throw pillow was a recent buy at Target!

And here we have my first painting project! My mom had this funky old wood table. Since it was just a practice/starter piece, I decided to go bold and put a coat of this hummingbird turquoise on it. It was way easier to paint and distress than I thought! New hobby? Possibly.

Here are some quick instructions to Do It Yourself if you’re interested:

Step 1: Find old piece of furniture – Craigslist, around the house, resale shops…you name it!

Step 2: If it’s already got a coat of paint on it or a stain, you’ll need to sand it off so that the paint and finish will stick (which is all I did). Or you can do a combination of sanding and priming. Priming is easy as well and anyone at Home Depot can help you find the right primer depending on the piece. Make sure to wipe the piece down to get off all the dust particles etc. off before you start applying paint!

Step 3: Now you get to paint! Turn on some music, lay out a old sheet or tarp, and go to work. You don’t need fancy paint brushes, but cheapy ones will just make your piece look cheap. Quality is better, even if it’s a few bucks more. Worth it. Ask someone at your local hardware store and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Step 4: Re-apply another coat to make the color rich and non-streaky! Let it dry overnight.

Step 5: To give it an antique, distressed look – you’ll need some sandpaper! Go over all the edges where a piece of furniture is prone to wear over time. Corners, lines, etc. – you can distress it however much or little you’d like.

Step 6: Once you’re done with this, you’ll want to wipe down with a damp cloth to get off all the dust and anything left over on it. Now you’ll put a clear, glossy sealer over it to help it resist stains and give it a nice finished look! It’s like putting on clear nail polish, you can’t really mess it up, but if you do it right, it makes a big difference. And voila! You’re done.

An old vase from a flower delivery a while back and some one dollar colorful daisies from Michael’s serve as our “centerpiece” for our kitchen table.

This one gets props from Funky Bear herself and my momma, the one who taught me everything I know! My mom painted and distressed this fun piece and my sister gets credit for the artwork. She was going to throw that away! Someone’s trash is another’s treasure…

Our cozy living room! All pieces from our old house mixed and matched together.

A little home-made artwork around the house! Me and my friends had a girls night one evening consisting of canvases, an array of acrylic paints, Alanis Morrisette setting the mood, and a little bit of wine. Artistic inspiration in a nutshell.

Here are some little touches around my room. Everyone knows it’s the little touches that make a house a home…

Found this little silver tray at a resale shop for $4! Put a candle on it and it sits right on one of my bed side tables.

I like filling shelves with all my books – the bindings bring in color and a homey feel.

I love trays of perfume, gives it a feminine feel, even if most of the bottles are basically empty.  I found the white oval plate the perfumes are sitting on at Marshall’s.

More homemade stuff. Here is a fun card I found at a boutique in Austin! I found some scrapbooking paper and matted it on that and stuck it in a 8 x 10 black frame.

This is in my roommate (Kristin’s) room and I’ve always wanted to do this! She found an old window pane at an antique store for $12. She cleaned up the glass a little and stuck some pictures in! She recently bought another one for our house that I’m sure we’ll do something fun with.

As you can tell, our house is still kind of empty feeling – but we’re trying to pace ourselves! That only means we get to prolong the fun of getting to decorate and add to the house. But for now, I’d say it’s a pretty good start. When it starts coming together even more, maybe Claire will let me update you guys on how it’s looking. Thanks, hope you enjoyed!

Real Readers: Ariel

3 Aug

Thank you everyone who made getting past 3,000 views a breeze! I’m up to 3,101 — I really appreciate all of the support. I hope yall are loving the Funky Bear as much as I love writing it.

Today we are re-visiting an old friend I introduced you to in a past post, Ariel.

Obviously Ariel is artistically talented and creatively-driven. That much can be observed from her skill in wire cross making. But her life adventures and trips around the world traveling have given her a very distinct point of view when it comes to decorating. Today I’m going to take you behind the scenes of her bedroom, which I am obsessed with.

Name: Ariel Hall

Age: 22

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun Fact: Besides moving to Argentina in a month, like I told you in the last post, Ariel has her private pilot’s license! She’s logged in countless hours studying and flying courses so if you ever need a lift, she’s your girl.

Here are pictures of her room in her house in Houston, where she calls home. Be awed, be amazed, but most of all, be INSPIRED.

Ariel describes her style as eclectic, rustic and bohemian. She says that all of her inspiration for the color of the room, the way she displays her photos, the fabrics and lamps she chose, etc came from traveling. Ariel was lucky enough to get to go on an amazing trip to Africa and when she came back, she decided it was time to ditch the lime green, scattered pictures on the wall room of her past and move into a more “grown up” room.

Ariel decided to take matters into her own hands and paint the room herself. Hey — if she had survived the African Serengeti, there was nothing she couldn’t do. Ariel chose blue because it reminded her of the beautiful and peaceful water of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, Africa.

A large standing mirror in the room helps make the room appear bigger (a little trick you can use in any small room, and that many hotels do!) and break up the color block of one of the walls.

Her bed is something I am definitely going to try to emulate in my next place. I love how clean and crisp it looks with the white against the blue walls, and also how cozy and inviting it feels with the warm accents of the printed pillows and throw blanket. The elephant pillow on the bed is from Pottery Barn. Ariel was instantly drawn to it because it was her favorite animal on her trip. From another continent, Ariel got the throw at the foot of her bed as a gift from a trip her parents took to Vietnam. A mix of African and Asian influences can be seen throughout the rest of Ariel’s bedroom as well.

Above her bed, Ariel used a ton of pictures of places she has traveled to with her family to make an organized collage that serves as a daily reminder of good memories. See the elephant!? What a cutie.

She used a plain glass and wrought iron table to hold all of her things to one side. But what makes it interesting is how she layered the table with picture albums and books on the bottom, and a pretty flowery chandelier next to more traditional things like candles and picture frames on the top. Anyone can re-create this look by finding personal knick-knacks and casually yet artfully placing them on shelves, tables, and desks. (See my post on Table Tops for more visual inspiration!)

Even her bedside tables look like they have a story! To get a unique piece of your own, check out local garage sales, consignment stores and antique shops. I know “going antiquing” sounds like something your grandmother would do, but antiques and previously-owned pieces can really add a lot to any home.

In her bathroom is prominently displayed a piece of art her mother painted for her. I told you she (and her family) are artistic! It’s nice to have a personal touch in a place you spend so much time in. Hang up something in your bathroom that gives you happy thoughts or someone has made for you.

Ariel’s vanity in her bathroom serves as another place to remind her of her adventures around the world. Personal pictures of accomplishments (yay for graduating!) as well as street drawings she has bought in places like New York City where she lived for a summer are strewn about her vanity where she can see them while she gets ready for the day. And I think it goes without saying the I am OBSESSED with her little leopard chair. Rawr!

Ariel used a cork board to with beautiful little push-pins to organize and display her necklaces. Easy and effective!

Last but not least…even her shower is finely decorated! The neutral pattern of the shower curtain looks sophisticated next to the chaos of the little desk next to it stacked with candles. And you’ve gotta love a college girl at heart…check out all of her shot glasses stacked on the window sill!

I hope you loved Ariel’s room as much as I do!

Remember, to re-create Ariel’s look, try the following suggestions:

1) Paint your room a bold yet inviting color (think this type of royal blue, an eggplant purple, or a golden burnt orange).

2) Add a plain fluffy white comforter or duvet cover to make for the coziest looking bed ever. Spruce it up with bright colors of pillows and blankets.

3) Try Asian or African influences for an exotic and luxurious look.

4) Bring interesting pieces back from your travel or create some that represent your life. I believe that the more personal the space in your room is, the better.

5) And not matter how well-traveled you are or aren’t, don’t forget to add a splash of your own personality like this on Ariel’s door:

And on that note, I think I’ll end my post.

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