Monday, April 30, 2012

A Budget Bedroom Make-over

Thought I'd kick off this Monday morning with some progress shots of my Sister's revamped boudoir. We spent the day hanging, sewing and fluffing and by the end of day Saturday, had a much different situation going on in the bedroom than when we started out.

But before I share the amazing transformation with you, I thought I'd show you where the inspiration came from and how the plan originally came together.

Domino Mini Guide: June/July 2008; photo by Justin Bernhaut

You've seen it. You've probably loved it as much as I have. This Domino guest room provided our color palette and inspiration for the bedding.

From the Domino image inspiration, I pulled together this mock up, using her existing nightstands and the leather storage/seating cubes she already had at the end of her bed.  This was always intended to be an update on an a budget. By simply swapping out some of the textiles and art, the goal was to bring color and texture to the room and give her and my brother-in-law a more polished, kid-free zone that they could escape to at the end of the day.

To help us manage costs, I did a little "shopping" amongst my own closets and we were thankfully able to implement some recycled bedding and window panels from my own stash.

Here's where we started out. She had only recently moved in and knowing we were going to be revving up the decor, had purposely left the room spare.

Budget restraints weren't the only challenge we were working against. Because of their rental terms, there were a couple of things that we knew would be off limits- such as painting the walls and changing out the existing ceiling fan. But the overall plan would include new bedside lighting, a headboard and some artwork to balance out all of the white space around the bed. Brighter window panels would also allow some more of the natural light to pour in through the windows.

I'm so excited to share the final look and all of the various elements that played into this update. Be sure and meet me back here tomorrow for the big reveal!

'Til then... hope you are off to a great new week!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Lots of These In My Immediate Future

Hi friends! I can't believe we've moved on through another week. I have absolutely no idea where it went. I'm reading your blogs too and I'm thinking these are just some busy times! Many of you are feeling the exact same way.

I've been spending my evenings prepping for the first install over at my sister's place. Remember I told you we were planning some updates? We're starting with the Master Bedroom first, because let's face it- if Mom's happy, everyone is happy right?  My sister works so hard and my hope is that this little update will give her a relaxing respite at the end of her hectic day.

So I'll be piling up some of the goodies I've been collecting into the ol' Coop and will head on over to her place bright and early Saturday morning. The plan is to fire up the sewing machine and maybe brew some of these tall cold ones, so we can really get down to business.

Curious to see some of the ideas we're kicking around? I've been pinning some of them onto my Project B Pinterest board. I may even share some WIP shots this weekend via Twitter (@HoltwoodHipster). Are you following?

How 'bout you? Are you planning any projects this weekend or will it be no work and all play?

*Image via


Thursday, April 26, 2012



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Werking It

All the work around here forced me into a mini blog hiatus over the past couple of days. I apologize for the lack of posts, but sometimes squeezing in little bits and pieces here and there is just not enough to tackle the major stuff on the to-do list. 

Want to see what I've been up to?

I've been out there behind Holtwood House, sheparding my little flock right on through Spring. How 'bout those colors? The Kangaroo Paw is growing wild now and the Japanese Maple finally delivered those auburn leaves I've been waiting for all winter. There's a little pattern play happening amongst all of the succulents that have also started to double in size with all the recent rain and sun.

After several ill-fated attempts to distract and disguise, our eyesore of a back fence finally got the colorful treatment it deserved. It's a narrow space between the flagstone patio and the old, dried out fence that gets full sun all day long. So it's been a bit of a challenge to come up with a modern, vertical planting scheme that will thrive. We think we found the right combination this time.

I'm also excited to report that the raised beds on the side yard were built and installed over the past weekend. We used untreated redwood and after preparing the ground, moved them into their new space. That cloth you see there will eventually extend well past the lemon tree in the foreground and the entire space will be finished in pea gravel. The beds will also be screened in a redwood/hardware cloth "tee-pee" of sorts to help keep all the neighborhood critters from eating our bounty.

Of course, the fun doesn't end here. I've got some other ideas up my sleeve to deliver up my vegetable garden of dreams. Wanna see?
// 1. A sink with a simple french drain will be the ideal place to wash dirt and soil off veggies before we bring them into the house. // 2. This easy to build bench came right out my good ol' trusty yard manual popularly known as Sunset Magazine. We'll probably build two- one for the veggie garden and the other for the front entry. // 3. It won't solely be an edible garden. I know just the place to finally install the vertical succulent garden I've had bookmarked for some time. // 4. A version of this modern welded wire fence will provide an attractive barrier between garden and the pool deck. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Controlling My Glassware Fetish

I have an excessive commitment to glassware. Really I do. It's clearly veered into collection mode at this point too, a worthy homage to rival even the shelves of our nearest Crate and Barrel. Have I told you that we purchased all of the glassware that was used for our wedding? Yep. Excessive. As someone who likes to entertain- and who entertains often- I feel the glass my guests are holding is as essential to the experience of their cocktail as the ingredients itself. But we have an open cupboard, pour-your-own policy in our home and I wanted to make access to all that pretty glassware easy for anyone who wants to imbibe.

It'd be a shame to keep those highballs and stems hidden from view, where eventually they would succumb to out of sight, out of mind mentality. Luckily, we came up with a more transparent solution for our barware display.

01. // 02. // 03. // 04. // 05. // 06.

It was budget friendly too. Initially I went down the road of an old hutch we could convert, scouring Craigslist and the like for the perfect little china cabinet we could strip of is 1980's lacquer and paint. But alas, it was not to be. I could not find anything within our budget range. So was born the idea to customize an Ikea Liatorp and give it the patina of a painted and layered piece of vintage furniture.

We painted it to match our kitchen cabinets and though it is free-standing in the adjacent dining area and set apart from our kitchen counters, it almost plays the role of a built in, making the room feel bigger than it really is. We even tied in some of the same hardware used in other areas of the kitchen.  The result may actually have been better than I intended and happily, it's help put this growing collection to frequent use in our house.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Color Blocked Office Art

A couple of weeks ago, I worked up this color explosion for my home office. It finally made it's way onto the wall over the weekend.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Priorities {+ An Exterior Renovation Update}

Back in February, The Mister had gifted me a little birthday dream getaway- Florence + The Machine at the Santa Barbara Bowl. If you haven't already caught on from my lunatic tweeting over the weekend, I'm a freak for Florence. Girl is not from this world. So the promise of a leisurely couple of days in one of my favorite cities to see my favorite band (with my favorite fella of course), has sort of kept me floating through the weeks since.

That is... until I made the "mature" decision last week to skip the expense of that fantastical weekend in lieu of some fantastical illumination outside the house. Priorities. Rarely are they any fun. You can insert all the neurotic inner dialogue that ensued about how "I feel old and I'm not cool anymore." Yeah, it totally happened.

Well, that is until I flipped the switch the evening after the first round of lighting had been installed.

What a thrill, because when you plan and plot for something like this for over a year and then finally see it come to fruition, sometimes it just doesn't get any cooler than that. Another round will tie in some recessed lighting up the sidewalk in the entryway. 

While our Electrician wired up this vintage beast, a whirlwind of other updates also took place last weekend as well.

Like the installation of a new sidelight. The window guy actually looked at me funny and then laughed when he came to change it out. I agree it was paper thin and old as hell, but it was like "hey dude, remember it was here long before I ever was... "

I can't tell you how much it has brightened up our front entry. That grimy yellow glow it cast just inside our door is now gone. What a mood lifter.  The Mister crowned this one the best update thus far.



While the concrete guy worked on our front stucco, he also threw in a handy dandy mow strip. We're official now. We have ourselves a front planter and not just some random dirt plot thrown across the front lawn.

Last, but not least... we started on this project. Can you guess what it is?

If you look closely, you'll note the requisite power tool project beer sitting up on the patio table.  That is some thirsty work.

* All images via Holtwood Hipster

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pin Up Girl

I'm working on some updates to my own Home Office and one of the areas I am focusing on is the little corner where all my fabric, paint and wallpaper samples, torn magazine images and precious photos get pinned up for visual inspiration. I've learned over the years that my mood tends to take it's cue from my surroundings and while things like Pinterest and my daily blogroll are great digital inspiration destinations, the stuff that makes the wall in my own home is essentially a hand-picked, tangible and very personal collection of what is moving and shaking me on any given day. I change it out frequently, but to me, it's the best of that day's best and I'm looking for some more inventive and attractive ways to showcase it.

Here are some of the creative ideas I'm mulling over.

Colorful Washi Tape / Via
It's colorful and the tape and composition lend themselves to quick interchangeability. 
A full wall collage / Via
If I knew that my collection would be somewhat permanent, this monochromatic, carefully curated display would be ideal.
Clothes-pined to a decorative screen / Via
Tacked up on raw wood / Via
A real possibility. Renovation projects have left us with a pile of scrap pieces that could be put to use.
All framed up /  Via
Probably the closest example of what I have going on there now, except that this display is far more organized. What I like most about it is that it goes beyond images and incorporates precious artifacts. 

A neat and orderly wall of cork / Via
This would undoubtedly help me feel more organized, but I might not be able to commit to cork wallpaper.
A multi-dimensional display / Via


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lighting Love @ Holtwood House {Part 2}

Today I thought I'd follow up to yesterday's post and give you a peek at some of the other lighting details here at the house.

We knew long before we ever laid eyes on our home that a Sputnik of some sort would someday hang in our dining room. This was the very first purchase we made while we were still in Escrow and we couldn't wait to hang it. There are some incredible one of a kind versions out there - pricey, gilded and vintage. We would have been happy to have any one of them. But the one we chose fit our vision and budget and there it hangs, patiently awaiting the dining table we are finally having made.

Just last week we added a dimmer switch so we could control the lighting on this sucker. With more than 20 bulbs, I can't tell you how much more we love it's more subtle glow now.

The guest bath was a bit of a challenge. It has no natural light so we needed to compensate with some well lit fixtures. We added a small recessed lamp over the shower and I can't tell you what a difference just that made. We ripped out the old fluorescent lighting that once hung above the vanity and then chose some retro-inspired globe lights to play up the retro community "plunge" theme slowly taking shape in there (we're pretty excited about that swimming pool out back). The lighting will one day reflect off some wallpaper behind the mirrors and blue-green glass subway tile in the shower area.

Prior to going into Escrow on Holtwood House, we had waited patiently for our bid on another house to go through (short sale- 100 agonizing days of waiting only to learn the house went to another). While we waited on that previous house, I did what everyone tells you not to do and virtually decorated the entire thing. I know... big no, no. Way to set myself up, huh? These pendants came out of that pointless exercise. The house-that-never-was had already been updated and with newly laid rustic flooring and stonework, it felt like some industrial elements might have worked nicely in that space. I fell in love with these lighting fixtures just in time for our bid to fall through and so they came to live with us in the house that finally came to be.  We might have gone in another direction for this particular space had we waited and perhaps someday we will switch them out. But for now, we're very content to have these polished pretties lighting up our dinner table each night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lighting Love @ Holtwood House: {Part 1}

With all the exterior action taking place this week, I thought I'd highlight some of the projects we've accomplished within the walls of Holtwood House as well.

One of the things people always comment on when they visit, is the lighting throughout the house.  There is lots to share with you on this topic so I think I'll tackle this one in two parts.

But first, a bit of context. I'm a big believer in thoughtfully planned lighting. It's as essential to entertaining as the music and the bubbly. Around the house, it can liven up a plain, so-so room and even make a large scale space suddenly feel warm and cozy. I also believe in well placed dimmers and incandescent light whenever possible. Honestly, I've yet to meet an LED or fluorescent I'm attracted to. But lately, even I'm finding that my eco-sensibility is having to argue more frequently with my design-desires. As a good global citizen, I'm one foot in, but I'm having a tough time boarding that ship.

Let's face it. Lighting can be expensive- especially when you are looking to outfit an entire house. We've been fortunate enough to have recessed lighting installed throughout our space. It was our first big update after we moved in and really brought the house current. I mean, I squealed with glee as I flipped each light switch on and off, astounded at the effect it had on our then bare bones rooms.  With furniture in, it gave us a great backstory, eventually allowing us to play with dimmers to create mood. But it's the fixtures themselves that ultimately lend our living quarters much of the personality people notice when they walk in the front door.

I crush often and I crush hard on out of reach designer lighting fixtures. Favorites include just about anything Robert Abbey produces, but especially his Anemone Flush Mount (spotted it while dining at Mr. Parker's and vowed that someday it will be mine) and there's also Jonathan Adler's Meurice chandelier.  I also love me a funky vintage Sputnik and I'd give almost anything for that Tom Dixon  copper pendant. Sometimes a dusty and crusty Craiglist find will do it for me as well. But I have to say that I also fall fast and hard for some of the creative lighting solutions I've run across on my favorite blogs and at least one or two of these budget-friendly, DIYs have come to the rescue and satisfied my lighting fixation.

Like this Branch Chandelier.

Jenny had stumbled upon the project elsewhere herself and then spotlighted it on Little Green Notebook. When I saw it, I just knew I needed to have that pretty little thing hanging overhead while I worked the day away in my office. It was a fast and easily tackled project and at 7 watts a bulb,  I still have some big ideas to expand on it.  I'll probably eventually finish it off with a simple ceiling medallion.

Then there was this one.

This DIY Sputnik was also featured on LGN, but this time it was Jenny's own hack that gave me inspiration. It was more time consuming than the first, but in the end, not as complicated as it looks. It currently hangs in our guest bedroom, commanding an audience from any passerby in the hallway and anointing those who sleep in the bed beneath with VIP status. It's one of my favorite things in the house.

Meet me back here tomorrow and I'll sneak you a peek at some of the other fixtures lighting up our life here at Holtwood House.

* Image Credits: Holtwood Hipster

Monday, April 9, 2012

Exterior Renovation Update {04.09.12}

The last couple of days have brought lots of activity to Holtwood House. I love waking up when projects are in full effect, the sounds of hammer, drill and saw in the background playing like a productive little symphony as I gulp down my morning cup.  It means progress and that by sundown, things will look a whole lot different around here.

I learned that we are quite the talk of the neighborhood and met several new neighbors out on their morning walks, all interested in knowing what we were finally going to do with this place. Until now, we've greeted each other only with friendly hellos while I've watered and they've speed walked down the sidewalk tethered to their dogs. But the renovation has given us new occasion to talk and that's been one more happy little side effect to the commotion.

While the work continued on the house, Saturday's balmy weather delivered one of the best days in the garden I've had in some time. I finally worked up the courage to clean up the lemon tree that has sort of taken over the side yard. Two very scratched up arms later and I had myself a little house arrangement created from the discards, just in time for the Easter holiday.

Wishing you all a productive and happy week!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Dress

* Cecil Beaton photograph via  /  Gwyneth Paltrow table design, photographed by Simon Bevan for Remodelista

It's funny how things change. When I was a young girl, I thought a lot about the pretty, delicate Easter dress I'd get to wear to our family meal. Today, with nary a thought to what I'll be wearing, I tend to spend more time planning how I'll dress my dinner table.

However you spend it, here's hoping the weekend leaves a little something sweet in your basket.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hardware Aisle Grazing

With renovations kicking back into high gear around here, The Mister and I have spent a lot of time in the hardware aisle lately and are frequent flyers at both our local big box retailers and specialty lumberyards. I must admit that I get a little tingle of excitement each time we roll up to the lot with the trip's list. Because every time I step foot inside the door, I'm reminded of other projects I want to tackle around the house and find that inspiration lies around every corner.

One day soon, all the doorknobs in the house will be replaced- including the front door hardware. I fell hard for these modern levers and am searching for a similar profile with a more affordable price tag.

Speaking of affordable, The Home Depot offers these Neutra knock-offs at a steal. I've sort of been pining for the Neutra Numbers for like-ever, but tackling facelifts on every front of a 1960's Rancher does damage to the savings. Sometimes, we have to pick our battles. I'm happy to say that these made it into the cart on the last trip.  

Likewise, this modern steel mailbox is a suitable alternative to pricier versions out there, no?

I mentioned in a previous post that I'll be working on some projects over at my Sister's place. I priced out lots of supplies on a recent visit.  

Is it possible to have a crush on wood? I say it is. I snapped these pics of some particularly handsome lumber we were considering for two separate projects, while at our local specialty lumberyard. One of them will make an appearance at Holtwood House. The pocketbook is betting on the Mahogany. 

The Home Depot is great for project grade lumber like we'll use elsewhere, including our vegetable beds. I have to say that I pass these sawhorses every time I visit and keep envisioning custom dining tables for a future poolside party. 

We're likely to add a wire fence and gate to the entrance of our future vegetable garden. I recently scoped out supplies for that venture as well. With the side yard at last cleared of the remaining shrubbery, this project is finally feeling like sooner, rather than later.

*All photos snapped at The Home Depot, Lowes and Ganahl Lumber
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