Love these sweater covered vases & candles!

In my blog travels tonight I came upon these gorgeous recycled sweater vases at “Under the Table and Dreaming“.  Aren’t they amazing?  I don’t feel like it’s quite cool enough to have these out here in Phoenix since it’s still regularly over 100 degrees, but maybe by Christmas I can get some made for the holidays.  I’m thinking shades of white would be lovely.

What colors do you think would look best?

Easy Seasonal Bathroom Makeover

One of the easiest rooms in the house to redecorate is the bathroom!  Bathrooms are generally a very manageable size where small changes can make big impact.  If you’re reading this post, I”m going to assume that you are like me and you don’t decorate a room and leave it that way for years.  I barely leave my room the same for months, let alone years.

So here are a few great tips that will help you keep your rooms fresh and flexible for future decorating.

#1 This is probably one of the most important rules for working on a room for the first time. When choosing a paint color for the walls, ALWAYS choose a somewhat neutral color that will coordinate with a good variety of other colors.  Now you don’t need to settle for just white or boring beige.  There are other rich colors that can still work well in many color schemes.  The cool thing about a neutral color is that the decor around it can change with the seasons or your creative whim.

When we moved into this house several years ago, I chose a buttery yellow for the bathroom with white paint on the cabinet which made it bright and airy.  It’s also a great neutral for any season as you’ll see from this redecorating project.

#2 When decorating a bath, remember that changing the shower curtain can be like painting a wall.  The shower curtain takes up a good amount of space in the room, so it acts like a focal wall.   The good thing is that there are no fumes or messy cleanup, just hang up one curtain as you take down the other one.

This week I moved from Summer to Fall decor and here’s the before and after of the shower curtains.

#3 The awesome part about seasonal decorating is that you can find amazing bargains at the end of the season that can be used in coming years.  I try to buy at least one new small piece at the end of each season.  Usually these can be found for 50-75% off or more!  Plus, you can always combine your seasonal decor with other versatile items that you have around the house.  Cool, huh?

This candle arrangement (below) was made from a gorgeous elongated platter that my friend, Linda gave me for my birthday in July, candles I had bought for Christmas, ribbon I had around the house and berry garland that I bought on clearance last Fall at the end of the season.

For the transformation from Summer to Autumn I just made a few simple changes:

Changed the towels from blue and celery green to sage green, wine and tan.

Changed the magazine in the basket from a summer to a fall theme.

Changed the knick knacks on the shelf.

On the small wall next to the mirror I changed out a trio of summer photos in a pastel painted weathered wood frame to a trio of Autumn photos in a black frame.

I also hung an Autumn wreath from the light fixture over the mirror.  Check out your fixture to see if you can drape a ribbon over the top to hang a wreath too.  The reflection off the mirror makes it look twice as deep.

After these simple changes, here’s the before and after. (be sure to click to enlarge)

And here’s a little bit more of a close-up.  What’s your favorite tip for seasonal decorating?

And just for fun, I’m linking to:

METAMORPHOSIS MONDAY

Slipcover Transformation

Don’t you just love slipcovers?  I love them nearly as much as I love the change of the seasons, because you see, they can usher in a new “season” any time of year, at a moment’s notice.

That’s what happened in my living room last week.  It was prompted by an upcoming Labor Day weekend get-together, as well as some awesome sale items that I found by chance just days before the event.

Let me start from the beginning.  All 5 pieces of upholstered furniture in my living room have slipcovers.  The sofa is from Pottery Barn and I got it in nearly new condition a few years ago at a yard sale for about 1/3 of it original price.  The 2 chairs and ottomans are from Ikea, same style, much lower priced and probably not quite as well made, but comfortable nonetheless.

The original sofa is red and I recently bought a white slipcover for it.  I love white for summer!  I have various slipcovers for the Ikea chairs and ottomans, but in most cases only have one of each color because my original intent was to have them in different rooms.  I do have these 2 white ones which were dirt cheap because they’re white.  But in case you didn’t realize it, white is actually a better option than many other colors because if it gets a spot or a spill, all you have to do is wash it with bleach and it’s back to new looking.  You don’t have to worry about any fading like other colors.

Living Room – blank slate

So this is where our story begins – the blank white canvas in the living room (I removed all the throw pillows to make it truly a blank slate).

Then last Friday the coolest thing happened…I was at Ikea with my sisters helping them shop for what else?  Furniture!  And I discovered that one of the chair slipcovers that matched a color that I had at home was on clearance.   It was a cozy navy denim cover with a slightly lighter color welting on the seams.    Instead of the chair cover being $129, it was $19.99!  And instead of the ottoman cover being $49 , it was only ONE DOLLAR!  How could I turn that away?  I couldn’t even buy that much fabric for that price and I was saving nearly $160 for something that would transform my home!!

So I came home and worked some magic with slipcovers and a bit of rearranging of the pieces.  Here’s the final product.  Not bad for a patriotic Labor Day theme, huh?  Now for the really fun part. Scroll down and play the slideshow to see the step-by-step transformation from all white to red and blue.  I think you’ll enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Living Room after the Transformation

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And if you’re interested in my branch, you can find out more about it’s history from some of my previous posts here.  This summer I am hanging vintage reproduction postcards from some of the National Parks that we’ve visited.  I usually change it with the seasons as well.

Postcards on Branch

So, what do you think?  Isn’t it like having a whole new set of furniture?

If you want to see dozens more great transformations, visit Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch blog.

Free Classes at Pottery Barn!

Did you know that Pottery Barn offers free decorating classes?

That’s right!  You can search for the store nearest you and sign up for classes anytime.  And remember, just because they’re demonstrating with Pottery Barn items, doesn’t mean that you have to buy from the store (although that’s what they’re hoping for).   You can find many similar styles and pieces at other stores (like Target or Ikea) or even nice used items if you’re patient and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

A few that they’re offering in the coming month that sound really interesting are:

Now here’s a class that could be really fun and inspiring!  Since we live in Phoenix and we don’t see much in the way of seasonal change, I make sure to do what I can to make it feel like fall around the house.   And again, you don’t have to buy all your decorations from PB, although they always have some great accent items for the seasons.

Can you dream?  Of course!  Imagine all the great tips you could get from a class like this.  Wow!  I hope I get a chance to stop by one or both of these.