Posh Pumpkins

As long as I can remember, I have LOVED the tradition of decorating for the holidays… running around in my fleece-footie-jammies, pulling out the beat-up ol’ boxes from the attic, and probably overwhelming my mother with all my audacious opinions on where everything should go! 🙂 After Hubby and I got married, I discovered he was every bit the “festive fanatic” as I (possibly even more so), and something we like to do around this time every year is go hunting at TargetPier One and/or Z Gallerie to find ONE new addition for our Thanksgiving-Christmas collection! #NERDalert

But – is it just me or is it HARD to find holiday decor that doesn’t look like it belongs in an arts n’ crafts bazaar??? Most seasonal items tend to be chintzy-little-knick-knacks made of styrofoam and glitter, and lately it’s been tough pickin’s even at some of our favorited stores… Either that or I’m becoming pickier… to which I’d say, GOD HELP US ALL! Too many of these so-called “knick-knacks” can make a festive vignette just seem corny n’ cluttered, so once again I find myself taking the less-is-more approach; Whether you’re accessorizing yourself or your home, AVOID OVERKILL!

Or as Coco would put it:

It is always better
to be slightly underdressed.

– Coco Chanel

Of course, when you DO find those not-so-corny, more purchase-worthy items to dress up your nook, they usually come with a “HOLY-HEFTY” price tag and then one must ask themselves, “Do I REALLY wanna spend this much cash on an item kept out-of-sight for most of the year?!?” I’ve always liked these (decently priced) black/white craft pumpkins, but at $12-$20 each, it would cost a chunk-o-change to create an arrangement of assorted sizes for both my porch and tabletop. Plus, where would I keep all of them in the off-season?

Sold seasonally at Target

3 reasons I prefer using REAL vs. FAUX pumpkins:

A. It allows you to decorate on-trend without having to splurge on the latest looks
B. It’s more festive & celebratory to use harvested organics
C. You don’t have to (find a place to) store them for 10 months at a time! 

 

Picking Pumpkins

Riding the train at Lakeview Farms

Before having kids, Jared and I would just walk over to Whole Foods and grab a few fun-shaped pumpkins/gourds rather than going to the pumpkin patch. But now that we have a son (and another one on the way), we love to take him to Lakeview Farms and pick out one unique pumpkin per person. Last year we went home with 3 pumpkins, this year 4… next year… let’s just hope it’s still 4, haha!

One BIG n’ TALL sized pumpkin for Jared…

One MED-sized Cinderella pumpkin for Moi… the girl of the family!

One SMALL-sized pumpkin for Ezekiel…

…and one perfectly-puny pumpkin for baby Cruz
(who should be joining us the week before Thanksgiving!)

What a cute little family 😉


Painting Pumpkins:

For various reasons, I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween – which is partially why I don’t prefer to carve my pumpkins. I know that once the October 31st festivities have transpired, a rotting Jack-O-Lantern won’t exactly represent the spirit of Thanksgiving… and what’s Thanksgiving without pumpkins!? (Besides the obvious coma-inducing turkey dinners!) My pumpkins HAVE to last till Dec 1, all the while looking intentionally decorated for both Holidays!

Inspirations for this year’s painted pumpkins:

Nate Berkus Gold-Dipped Decorative Bowl (from TARGET)
image from Olive Lane Interiors

Splatter Paint is SUPER “in” this year and I LOVE it!

Studs have taken over the world!
Fashion…food… & decor!

TIME TO GET MY DIY ON!

All I needed to pull this off: 2 packs of gold grommets and some paint I already had from other projects!

Ezekiel having fun “toloring” before Mama takes over…
He was actually pretty excited about me painting his “puckin”!

“Z Art”
Too cute not to document!

 

I painted all the boys’ pumpkins black, and my “pregnant” Cinderella pumpkin white!
A girl’s gotta stand out 😉

Jared and Cruz’s pumpkins got the “gold-dipped” effect

PROCESS:
Cover the areas you don’t want gold-dipped with a plastic bag, then tape it off and spray 
TIP: If I had to do this project over again, I would still use tape for spraying the black, but I would probably freehand-brush the gold because the tape peeled off too much black, even after letting it dry overnight. Oil-based paint is best, or use latex then finish by spraying with clear coat so the paint will survive the weather!

Ezekiel got the “STUD” pumpkin… only I used 1/2 inch grommets instead of spikes/studs for a little originality! (Click and scroll through pics for step-by-step HOW-TO)

Ezekiel: “Oh wow, that’s Zeko’s back puckin!”
He even helped with the grommets 🙂

Believe it or not, the grommet process was way easier and less time-consuming than the gold-dipped pumpkins!

I saved the SPLATTER effect for MY pumpkin because I LOVE splatter painting! (In fact… I’m having a hard time keeping myself from splattering everything in my house!)


I love baby Cruz’s little curly-Q-stem!


Placing Pumpkins:

At first I had them all grouped together on the left side, but I thought it was a lot more welcoming to have them framing the b/w door! Since I was working with an even number of objects (a design faux pas), I decided to offset things a bit by staggering one side and stacking the other… plus, it’s only fitting that Cruz be nestled atop my pregnant-princess-pumpkin!!!  I think the houndstooth rain boots add a nice touch as well! 🙂

 


Porkin’ Pumpkins:

Don’t forget, a Holiday project isn’t complete without a “tis-the-season-snack“! Try this quick-and-easy DELICIOUS pumpkin bread from TJ’s (topped with their creamy pumpkin butter and perfect pumpkin chai!!! (TRADER JOES knows where it’s at)

More posh pumpkins I LOVE:

 

 

Happy Halloween Everyone!

-B


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Closet Junkie

It’s true, I’ll admit it, I have a thing for closets! What can I say??? All that extra (overlooked) square footage, usually tucked away by conventional-closing-doors, is what I view as hidden DESIGN OPPORTUNITY!

You could have 2 rooms the exact same size: one with an exposed, well-thought-out closet, and the other with a concealed, cluttered closet. The brain would automatically calculate the open-closeted room as being larger because there’s more for the eye to see/take-in/process. Even with a closet as small as Ezekiel’s (2’x5′), that’s still 10SQFT just there to be taken advantage of!

I’m not saying every closet should be paraded for all to see… NO, no … sometimes you NEED those “panic-rooms” to ditch the daily mess and dirty laundry when that unexpected guest arrives! Am I right!? But for your non-storage spaces, do you necessarily NEED ordinary doors? Why welcome a barrier that creates the illusion of less space if you don’t HAVE to? If you’ve got it, flaunt it, baby! After all, square-footage doesn’t come cheap, so EVERY INCH COUNTS!

Here’s what I mean by taking advantage of a hidden design opportunity:

Sorry for the old iPhone 3 quality photo

Here you see a standard closet; basic shelving and bi-fold doors. We could have left it this way and been relatively fine, but we chose to maximize the space instead. (If we plan to live here till we’re old n’ gray, we best do it and do it right!)

First, we (Jared) removed the existing doors & shelves:

Then, we (Jared) remudded the walls to cover all the “scars”:

Luckily we have smooth walls, so there was no need for texturing!

Can’t forget the primer!

Next step, PAINT! Instead of painting the closet white, I continued the black from the rest of his room to avoid making it seem like a separate space. This way it feels like an extension of his room…

Paint & PSLs 

To make it fun, I also painted orange stripes on his ceiling to tie-in with all the details around his room…

As you can see, it needed a bit of TLC!

After a little light sanding and a coat of white paint to cover the lovely leftover lavender, I applied 4″ Frog Tape…

4″ wide Frog Tape, spaced 4″ apart

I sealed the corners with the edge of a stir stick to avoid bleeding onto the freshly painted walls

Next, I tried a trick I learned from the Property Brothers that was SUPPOSE to keep the orange from bleeding underneath the Frog Tape… but from now on I’m gonna stick with my own method because I found myself doing WAY too much touch-up afterwards!

Property Brother’s method:
Paint a coat of white PRIOR to painting your color,
this way you seal the tape edges & prevent any bleeding.

The other downfall to this method was having to wait for the white to dry before I could apply the orange. It added another hour or so to the process… which led to working with fans and shoplights in 0% daylight!!

…late into the night

After 2 coats of orange, time to remove the tape!

Tip: When working with reds/pinks/oranges, it can take 3-5 coats to arrive at its true color unless you buy a primer. I use (and highly recommend) the all-in-one Paint & Primer products when using these colors… the couple extra dollars will save you HOURS when painting an entire room. (However, don’t let them talk you into the all-in-one’s for colors you’d normally never prime for!)

After some touch-up…

^ Color: Behr’s Volcano ^

MY method for creating perfect lines that won’t bleed: squeeze a pea-sized portion of paintable caulk onto your index finger. Run your finger down the seam of the tape, repeating process till each seam has a THIN layer of caulk. (So thin you shouldn’t be able to see it). Rub it in as smooth as possible! The idea is that the caulk will seep into any air pockets, filling the gaps that the paint otherwise would have. If you remove the tape after your project is finished and can visibly see caulk dried onto the wall/ceiling, it will easily wipe off with a damp cloth AFTER you’ve given your paint a full 12 hours to set/cure. I was given this advice from a professional painter (Judah Schmoll) when we moved into our condo 7 years ago, and it’s never failed me since!  (This works beautifully on corners too!)


Finally, WE installed a new shelving system:

As usual, the Ikea BUILD-IT-YOURSELF system came
complete with instruction manual and involuntary profanity”

Why did I choose the Ikea Stolmen system?

a. It’s sleek, modern, with a retro 60’s vibe… one that I felt could be showcased. No need for doors!

b. It’s VERSATILE! As he grows older, the length/size of his clothing will change, so I was attracted to the adjustable brackets that can slide up/down the pole to accommodate him as he grows! I can change anything and everything from bar heights to drawer positions, add or remove shelves… you name it.

c. It’s removable. It’s not a built-in, so if for some reason we wanted/needed to take everything out or move this system to another closet, it won’t leave ANY wall damage. Besides the 3 brackets that are screwed into the ceiling, the rest of this suspended system floats! (A perfect example of why we’d need to remove this system: refinishing the hardwood floors. An overwhelming project made easy as 1,2,3!)

“Whoa, we’re halfway there!”
(IKEA has me singing BON JOVI ???) #livingonaprayer

Ready? Set?
PIMP MY CLOSET!!!

Clothes.JPG

Ezekiels_Closet.JPG

Whites | Colors

Whites | Colors

I just love this little hamper I found for Ezekiel! Not only does it match his room perfectly, but it also has removable laundry bags and teaches him how to sort his whites from his colors! I designed the layout of his closet to accommodate this little hamper, then later when he finds it too juvenile I can simply remove it and readjust the shelves accordingly.

These hooks are perfect for hanging his hats!

These hooks are perfect for hanging his hats!

Z loves shoes! ( and running around pants-less)

Z loves shoes! (and running around pants-less)

Ezekiels_Room.JPG

His room feels so much BIGGER now!

His room feels so much BIGGER now!

Everybody’s lifestyle is different, so if the idea of having exposed closets still scares you after reading this post, I completely understand! I also like the feel of hanging curtains instead of doors too. They provide the option to quickly n’ conveniently hide your closet-contents, but in a more decorative, unconventional way. I did this in the studio closet at the condo and loved the way it looked. (Especially if the closet and window curtains are matching!) I’ve been thinking about doing this for Ezekiel’s closet in the future, just in case he’s not as clean and organized as his crazy OCD parents!

I’m sure most of you think I’m overboard, but it’s things like this that…
wait for it… wait for it… MAKE a house a HOME“!

Sorry, I got overly excited to use my tagline;)

Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for my next post: theposhpumpkin 

-B