Category Archives: Home Decor

DIY Tutorial: How to Add Grommets to Curtains

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Now that we are using our family room regularly, window treatments were on the priority list for a few reasons:

1. Did I mention we have 9 windows in this room?
2. Daytime television watching is impossible due to glare
3. With constant sunlight streaming in, the fabric on our couch fading is a concern long term

After hunting around for a while, a regrettable impulse buy at IKEA that left us $60 in the hole, and even searching Joann Fabrics with plans to make our own, we ended up choosing with these punchy geometric Farrah Fretwork drapes in blue from Target.

(The happy ending is that the regrettable curtains are now hanging in our bedroom and look much better there.)

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I like the clean look of curtains with grommets, and also think they are easier to open and close. Of course, it’s much harder to find curtains with grommets, so I decided to add them myself! It was EASY.

I purchased 4 packs of Dritz Brushed Silver Grommets from Amazon. They are silver colored plastic, very easy to install and look great!

 How to Add Grommets to Curtains

1. First I hemmed the curtains 6 inches shorter. I did this, first, because the grommet instruction requires a 4 inch header. Second, I needed to make them shorter because we didn’t want the curtains touching the baseboard heating system – fire hazard! They look a little silly right now, but one side is hidden by the couch, and the other will be behind our future entertainment console.

2. Next, I measured the width of my curtain. Don’t trust the measurement on the package if you are using store-bought curtains! It’s not always accurate  My curtain was roughly 62″ wide. To know how to space your grommets, divide this number by 16 (because you are adding 8 grommets), which, for me, comes out to 3.9″. (Doubled to 7.8″ between grommets.)

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grommots83. I spent $10 on a measuring square and it made this task very easy. (Even for a typical just-wing-it-and-guess girl like myself.)  Using the tracing circle guide that came with the grommets, I marked out in pencil where the center of each circle should be – 2″ from the top of the curtain, and 3.8″ away from the center of the circle on either side of it. This sounds complicated (and was intimidating at the first go), but worked quite well. ALWAYS measure twice (or three times!) before you cut.

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4. Next, cut out the circles. I started by snipping into the middle of the circle, and then cutting around the outline.

5. Next, open the grommets. Each grommet comes in two pieces – one has teeth and one does not.

grommots5grommots66. Place the one with teeth on the ground, teeth facing up. Next, place the fabric over the grommet, with center the hole you just cut out with the grommet.

7. Next, place the toothless grommet over the top. You are sandwiching a bit of the fabric between the two pieces. To get the grommets to click together, firmly press down with the palm of your hand until it clicks into place.

grommots48. Repeat – again and again and again! I was able to do all four panels in an afternoon.

 

This is not a curtain installation tutorial. There are about 9,405,937,058 of those on the internet, and they will all tell you to “hang them high and wide” to make your window appear bigger. Unlike most people, we did NOT need to make our windows feel any bigger. We just left a little space between the finial and the wall and tried to replicate it on each side.  We chose chunky Allen & Roth curtain hardware from Lowes.

grommots2 And I’ve officially started dreaming up our TV console we plan to build. This is a Photoshopped version of what I’m thinking of. (You can see our current tiny one we are currently using here).

Have you added grommets to curtains before? Where do you like to shop for curtains? They are tough to find!

Nautical Map Canvas Artwork for Less

nauticalmap2For a number of years I have been earmarking nautical maps as home decor. The day has finally come where I finally have one hanging on my wall – and I want to share how I did it for a fraction of the cost. (Are you surprised?)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) navigational charts are free for the public to use. Charts can be found for all coastal area of the U.S.A., and even the great lakes, which is perfect because you can choose an area that is meaningful to you.

The North Shore Harbormasters have conveniently added links to locals maps at this link for other local Bostonians.

(Charts are not to be used for commercial purposes)

nauticalmap1I chose Cape Ann, North of Boston – an area we lived in and loved for seven years, which makes it something I am happy to stare at.

Once you have your chart of choice on the NOAA website, just right-click and save the large-scale PDF to your personal computer.

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I wanted to have mine printed on canvas. I ended up trying Easy Canvas Print because they had the best sale that day. Cheapest isn’t always the best, but I wanted to give it a shot.

I purchased my 30″x34″ custom size canvas for $65 ($159 without the promo code). Similarly sized nautical canvas pieces I have seen in stores have been priced around $300.

My review of Easy Canvas Print:

Their online file-uploader does not take very large files – so I had to scale down my file quite a bit to get it to upload. In turn this made me worried about the end-result of the print quality, but I am happy to say that it looks crisp and clear.

Also, I am not sure how, but they cropped my image wrong so parts of the map were cut off. However, I called the customer service and they were very friendly, and sent me a new one straight away with no extra cost to me. It took time with shipping, and to get the new canvas, but I love the end result!

Even better, they are one of those website with constant promo codes. If you sign-up for their email newsletter, you can get 40% off. However, I struck gold when one day they were randomly offering 65% for first-time orders. Keep an eye on the website and I’m sure it will come around again.

This is not a sponsored post. Just passing on a good find!

Once I got my new canvas, I put it right up on the nail where an old painting was hanging. Not the right height, spacing, or anything – I just wanted to see it on the wall.nauticalmap4I plan to DIY a frame to help it stand out from the walls – the tones are too similar now. I’d like to replace the DIY Cabinet Door Numbers Artwork with something more colorful. But first I’ll need to learn how to use some new tools and cross something off my bucket list!

nauticalmap5You may notice we have a bit of work to do in the living room – we never re-centered the artwork over the couch after we moved it over for the newly widened doorway…. which is still missing the trim boards…. and the sloppy paint lines where the crown molding is supposed to go… 🙂

Such is a renovation life. And (spoiler alert) we’ve got a few other projects keeping us busy!

Do you think a white or stained frame would help the artwork to pop better?

Seeking Steamer Trunk Restoration Tips

All right, I am posting this bad boy for some project accountability.

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This fantastic steamer trunk belonged to my Granna. There is even a shipping label on the side in her handwriting when she sent her things to college! I love it and I can’t wait to refinish it.

The only thing is… I got it about six months ago and it’s been waiting in my basement for some attention ever since.

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Like many steamer trunks, it’s looking a little worse for the wear.

Dirty, scuff marks, broken handles, chewed up edges, and scratches.

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And the inside, oh heavens, the inside smells like moth balls are invading your brain. I can’t leave it open for more than a minute or you can smell it from across the room.

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Because of the odor the inside will definitely need to be stripped as well.

But I am looking forward to starting this labor of love! I am posting these “before” shots so I will feel pressured to finally make a crack at beginning it.

The only question is how. I’ll begin scouring the internet for tips, and if any of you have experience in this area please share your wisdom!

Have you restored a steamer trunk? Any tips? Suggestions?

Having Ourselves a Very (Decorated) Merry Christmas

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Hello there! I’m taking a break from my salted-caramel-eating, ugly-christmas-sweater-making, carol-singing, old-school-christmas-movie-watching, gift-wrapping week to stop in and share our Christmas decorations! The late-Thanksgiving threw me a bit this year, and I am behind on my gift shopping. 😐 Normally I have everything in-order a few weeks in advance, but not this year.

This is always a joyous,  but slightly harried time of year, and there’s nothing I love more than ending a long day in front of the glowing tree lights with a cup of tea.

We cut down our own tree again this year. Meaning my husband chopped, and I gathered branches for the mantle and cheered “timber!”. designlivelychristmasdecor2The bunting is just burlap triangles I drew on with sharpie and loop-stitched together.

This year we hung exterior wreaths on all the windows. I love it! It’s nice to have decorations outside during the day (when the lights can’t glow) and the wreaths also double as inside decor.

I love seeing them from every room.

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Hanging from the chandelier we have my favorite set of ornaments – the 12 days of Christmas. They were given to us by my aunt as an engagement gift. They get lost on the Christmas tree, and I love being able to see them all when we eat. designlivelychristmasdecor3 Again with the (free!) evergreen boughs – which adorn the mantle, the sideboard, and the front porch.  When I was pulling out the decorations this year, I realized I have very little actual Christmas decorations – plenty of ornaments – no decor! So I picked up these  wooden trees and moose from Crate & Barrel.  And, like always, my nearly no-sew bunting is hanging.designlivelychristmasdecor5

Yep… still have only hung the one cabinet door. Hopefully this winter we will actually set some time aside to finish installing the cabinet doors, drawer facings and add the hardwear.

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We keep our little fake tree in the dining room. It’s holds all my glittery ornaments. It’s the “bling tree”. You can also see it from the kitchen – which makes me happy!

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I save the Christmas cards we get every year and band them together by year. They all sit in this box on an end table so I can look through them as the years go by.

I made the box from an old cigar box (that happened to say “forget-me-not”) and wired ribbon.   designlivelychristmasdecor8

I made these fun swirly snowflakes this year instead of the usual cut-out ones. I’ll be back later this week with a how-to! They are super easy! (And no tiny paper clippings to pick up!)

christmascardwreathOur Christmas Card Wreath is hanging in the hallway this year  – see how you can make one for yourself here.

Last but not least – the porch!designlivelychristmasdecor11The porch is pretty simple – a crock full of evergreen, red berries and some cool snowy looking branches from Michael’s! (yea Christmas sale!)

I’m sure the Amazon Prime delivery guy really appreciates the festive greeting. Because he sure has had to stop at our house quite a bit recently. : )

And of course our wreath. I’ve been debating re-painting the door after we re-sided the house. But I do still love this green color!

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As for me, I’ve been busy baking. And Moose has been busy shoveling – we’ve gotten over 18″ of snow this week!

This morning was one of those breathtakingly beautiful mornings – the kind that make me want to stay in bed all morning.

But Christmas waits for no one. : ) Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? We will be watching Home Alone 1 and 2 this weekend!