July 31, 2014

simple, affordable way to customize window treatments

I've used this little trick several times, and am in the process of recommending it yet again to a new client. If you're looking to cut costs on window coverings but still have a custom look, this is such a great way to personalize off-the-shelf curtains or shades in an budget-friendly way. 

These blue curtains in our dining room are from Ikea several years ago. My favorite sources for trim are two local fabric outlets where you can find some amazing deals -- I often see high-quality, fun/beautiful designs at $1.99 or $2.99 at 50% off. Depending on the curtains/windows you're covering, you may need quite a few yards, but I've always been able to find enough yardage for my projects. And even with several yards, it's a much better bargain than fancier or custom window coverings.

This border (below) on our bedroom windows was such an amazing find. The pattern is slightly imperfect - definitely done by hand - which makes it perfect to me! I love it!!

(Sorry about the poor photo quality here -- hard angle to capture but I wanted to give you a sense of the room/windows.) 

And in this room for teenage sisters, we used a thin velvet in a fuchsia color. Just enough to give the curtains some definition against the white walls. In this small room, the white walls and curtains really help make it feel more spacious, but the trim brings some extra style and oomph.

On all of these projects, I used fabric glue - so simple!

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me for more info at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

July 17, 2014

more styling tips: perfectly imperfect

I find that having things a little "imperfect" usually feels just right to me. Relaxed, casual, a little "off"…these, to me, are more appealing than perfect. 

This could be as simple as a beautiful scarf or bag (or both!) casually hanging from a doorknob. (Both shown above are thrift store finds, maybe $2 each.)

Beads! It's hard to go wrong with beads. Sometimes, thrift stores sell a bunch of broken strands in a bag. As long as they're not completely falling apart, snatch them up! Broken strands can be strewn about and look so effortlessly chic. Case in point: several of these strands - above and below - were tangled together and not labelled with a price. I asked and the cashier acted like I was crazy and gave me the whole knotted mess for .99. I LOVE the beach-y vibe of this strand of shells, above, and the larger string below. The silver tray above shows signs of age and wear. I like this. I could polish it to shiny 'perfection,' but I like the patina, the character, the soul.

The effortlessly casual thing applies to more than just beads. Tassels are definitely having a moment, and rightfully so. Big or small, they're just cool.

Scarves and beads can travel around the house - mix them up when you get tired of them in a certain spot. Note the use of trays, big or small, in these collections. One day I'll do a post on trays... in the meantime, just take my word for it that they're so versatile and useful! If you see a decent-looking tray for a great price, grab it and let me know - I'll give you many suggested uses for it!

A scarf or throw hanging over the edge of a basket also gives off the lived-in, cozy vibe that I love! Gives it some soul. Lets me know that it's okay to grab a blanket, put up my feet and stay awhile.

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me for more info at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

July 16, 2014

plans for a classic, eclectic family room

Plans are underway with a local client to refresh their living room (and master bedroom - more on that soon!). I'm extremely grateful, blessed and thrilled to be working with this client on another project -- we've previously worked together on her son's nursery as well as a multi-purpose bedroom/office basement room (we have one or two loose ends to tie up, so no photos yet). 

Their living room is currently a mix of pieces she and her husband each brought to the house. She leans more eclectic (and has some moroccan pieces I LOVE), while he appreciates a more classic approach. I'm happy to find a very happy medium which they both can love! These two images are her top inspiration spaces and since they inspire me like crazy as well, this is going to be fun. 

Here's my high-level brainstorm of what jumped out at me in both images. I love that they have so many similar elements and themes...

The room is fairly large, and long with a beautiful fireplace in one corner. Between the fireplace, two large doorways and a wall of windows, the floor plan makes furniture placement a bit tricky. I love the challenge, and am excited to see how the room develops! We're still in the preliminary planning stages, but one idea is to keep their current rug, which is the design you see below. We may go in a different direction, but I wanted to give them an option with the existing rug, showing that it can definitely work with a more classic design. On its own, it might be considered more ethnic or even boho, but when mixed with some calming colors and patterns, the overall look is decidedly more traditional and relaxed. 

We also haven't finalized the furniture layout just yet, but I'm pulling for a cozy 'reading nook' area on one end of the room. I see this as a corner which draws you in to pull up your feet, turn on a cozy light to read... or just take a nap. :) For the nook, I'm proposing a gallery wall which will include family photos as well as collected art. I also see this as the perfect place for a bold pattern or two to balance the heaviness of the gallery wall. And…hoping my client's moroccan mirror can be incorporated into the mix!! 

Excited to see this room design evolve and come to life!

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!

a very cool room for two teen sisters

Are you guys excited? You should get excited, because this is a fun one. You might remember me showing some in-progress shots of this room awhile back, but after recently adding some final touches, we finally had proper photos taken. Let's take a little tour of this happenin' little spot...

The room is not big, so we had to get creative with the space. These two sisters previously had a trundle bed which they've really grown out of. They requested a cool place where they could relax, do homework and and also hang out with friends. We decided on two twin beds in an "L"-formation in the corner. The pillows are cozy and versatile for lounging here or on the floor. (They're hard to see here, but I love these long "lumbar" pillows along the back - the orange stripes on the right and light green on the left. I have several in our house as well, with different covers. They're actually "body pillows" from Target, and these cases are in their dorm decor section and the pillows as well as the covers are so reasonably priced, it's crazy. The ones in my house move from room to room - I seriously love them! Just today's little tip from me to you :))

The pillows are quite a mix. Let's see what we have represented here. In addition to Target mentioned above, sources are: Urban Outfitters, HomeGoods, a few my clients had already and one sewn by yours truly. Rug was from Urban Outfitters as well (last year). You probably recognized the Ikea Maskros light fixture, which was a perfect fit to mix with the poms requested specifically by the room's occupants. :)

I love this whole desk arrangement we have going on here. Desk is vintage, found via Craigslist. Bench also vintage, sourced from flea market, reupholstered and painted. Sconce is Ikea. Curtains are Ikea with velvet ribbon trim added by me. Basket in corner and pouf are both from Target. Most styling items are from HomeGoods or my house :)

Let's take a moment to talk about the green washi tape wall. I love it dearly. I might be partial because of the labor involved. It might look simple, but let me tell you…unless you're an engineering genius, it is not. Prior to installation day, I measured and calculated and sketched and planned, but my meticulous planning somehow fell short. My carefully measured pencil marks on the wall did not result in evenly-spaced lines or diamonds. SO, I went with what I know and trust...my eye! It's a very good thing that washi tape doesn't lose its adhesive powers by applying, peeling off, and re-applying. I just lightly placed one line after another until I was happy with the spacing, and when I finally had it, pressed all the lines firmly into place. It was beyond worth it…I love it so much and still think about doing some version of it in my house. The added layer of simple, crisp color is so gorgeous behind a gallery wall of any sort, in my opinion. I also love how we limited it to this one section of the wall, as it kind of defines the little desk station.

This room was such a fun project, and most importantly, my clients (parents and daughters :)) are happy! I love my amazing clients.

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!

July 15, 2014

behind-the-scenes photo shoot styling: spilling some secrets

As I've mentioned here before, the process leading up to having our home photographed was a little stressful for me. I tend to be a perfectionist (working on countering this, daily) and all I could see were the outstanding projects I wanted to tackle first. It got to a point where I had to let go of some things. I realized that if I kept waiting until things were "perfect," I was never going to have photos to share, and this didn't make any sense. So, I scheduled the shoot and set to work on the things in my control. 

One of the things that had been driving me crazy was a faded gray cover on the daybed. The daybed used to live on the opposite side of the room, in front of our south-facing windows which let in amazing, lovely, warm, beautiful light. It also fades fabric. :) So, my dark gray mattress cover was rather faded and spotty. I also wanted to brighten things up (surprise, surprise). Linen was my ideal choice of fabric, as I was going for a relaxed, wrinkled feel. I looked into having a cover made, and quite honestly ran out of time. So, what we have here is a piece of linen wrapped and tucked around the mattress as tightly as I could. There might be a safety pin or two involved as well. ;) And, what do you know - it works! Of course, it's not the ideal permanent solution, but I'm relieved that it was an affordable solution that looks beautiful. 

Moving on to Exhibit B. Our brown, flat-cushioned, hand-me-down sofa. Now, don't get me wrong. I was ecstatic about adopting this sofa when some friends were getting rid of it. It's much nicer than what we had before, and it has served us well! But after years of use by them and us, the cushions really have seen better days. It's also not my first choice of color. However, a new sofa was definitely not in the budget, so what to do? I definitely searched Craiglist and thrift stores and hoped and prayed for the perfect replacement, but I'm not going to get a new sofa just to get one. It has to be the right one, and it wasn't happening. 

A throw can work wonders, wouldn't you agree? I did, in fact, find this at a thrift store (and washed it a few times before using it) and we love it. I wanted something with fringe, and was definitely open to color/pattern, but it turns out this is great. It takes the focus away from the less-perfect features and also breaks up the mega-length. It's also VERY soft and cozy and can often be found with me curled up underneath it. :)

I hope these little tips were helpful! And...I have more behind-the-scenes secrets planned this week, so I hope you'll be back!

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me for more info at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

July 14, 2014

a simple little calendar solution

What type of calendar do you use? Something on your computer or phone? I've tried these options, and I always go back to wanting paper and pen! I'm the same with lists. There's just something so satisfying about writing, crossing off, scribbling, etc. I've talked to many friends about this, and know that many of you can relate.

Recently I've been feeling a little limited by my standard paper-sized calendar, and decided to do something about it. It's a really, really simple thing but it's working for me so far, and I wanted to share.

I know that many of you, like me, wear different hats in life. Work, family, church, personal, etc. I usually try to keep separate lists for each category, but even this can get overwhelming. Like, some days I just can't face looking at one list or another. Can anyone relate? To address this in way that helps me see visually how things are being balanced, I've used a different colored post-it for each category. I'm such a visual person that this really puts reality front and center for me. If one color is dominant and one is neglected, which areas of my life are lacking? Can't argue with the colors. :) (It's hard to tell in these photos, but many of the notes are on white post-its…they're not written on the calendar directly!)

I also find that plans change! (news flash) Without the post-its, unless I'm using pencil, this can get messy. Also, this might sound silly, but I really have a tendency to schedule too much into most of my days. What I like about the particular sizes here is that it doesn't allow this! Only 2-3 post-its max will fit in each square. Sorry, day: I'm booked. Now, of course this doesn't mean I'm not doing anything else on these days. This literally just includes appointments, meetings, commitments…not my "to do" list. The one exception is for time-sensitive reminders (the pink post-it you see peeking out on tomorrow's date, reminding me to research vacation flights!).

I'm sure this will be a work in progress, but for now I'm liking it for lots of reasons. What's your system for keeping tasks and plans organized? I would love to hear!

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me for more info at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

July 11, 2014

inspiration to reality: the story of a custom (copper!) light fixture

Meet our dining room light! This piece is pretty special to me... not just because it's beautiful, but I designed and commissioned it from scratch! What a fun and rewarding process.

I looked and looked for the right piece for this room. I knew I wanted something really unique and a little edgy. All the inspiration pieces I found were out of my price range. 

Then, I met a skilled artist who build a light fixture for a client, and one conversation led to another. I showed him my dream inspiration images, and it turned out he was up for the challenge (AND had access to scrap copper)! I was sooooo excited! Basically I gave him these images…

…with just a few guidelines: the dimensions and asymmetrical, please.

What's also fun is that it's versatile. It's just a copper frame that's held onto the light cord kit with a thin piece of copper wire, so I can switch it around anytime.

It's definitely given me the itch to commission more pieces (lighting, furniture, etc.) down the road. There's nothing quite like it!

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, please contact me for more info at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!