How to Decorate for a Dude

It always makes me sad to walk into a couple’s bedroom that is wall to wall pink or florals. Some poor husband has to relax in what he would consider his worst nightmare. My apologies if that is the bedroom youre sitting in right now.. but come on ladies… at least try to decorate for two people! And i know, i know… he has his man cave, so this room is for you. Nope! Most of time time you spend in your house is in your bedroom. Its for you BOTH! Let your man come home and relax instead of want to gouge his eyes out.

One thing that I’ve learned in our (almost) 1 year of marriage… dudes (at least my dude) have no clue how they want to decorate. Well, Kenny usually knows what he DOESNT want. So sometimes they just need a little help. And as women its hard to read their minds and know what it is they actually do like. And even when you do figure out what they like, it might be the opposite of what you like. For example, my man loves rustic. It makes sense since his dad is a carpenter and built his parents (very rustic) house himself. Is that impressive or what? So it makes sense that Kenny would love a rustic look – but thats pretty much the opposite of what I like. Lets just say I’m a city girl and the lets-hang-dead-animal-heads-on-the-wall-and-live-in-a-cabin kinda look is just not my cup o tea. But its all about balance. Balancing my weird antique/modern style with his rustic is always a challenge but it can work! I’ve found using raw woods in minimalist pieces work for both of us – it has the warmth and rustic-ness that he likes with the simple lines that I like.

So to decorate for a guy – don’t think that you have to put up neon lights and beer posters. Guys like design more than you think they do.

I love this space because it works for men or women. Its sleek, elegant, not to feminine, not too masculine.

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Need help figuring out how to decorate for a man? Heres a few hints that (most) men love.

Styles

Minimalist, rustic, natural,  industrial, modern. Once you figure out his style, it’s easier to decorate for both of you.

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Colors

Neutrals, blues, greys, greens. Pretty much every color except pink or purple.

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Patterns

Geometric, Greek Key, stripes, solids, texture, chevron. You definitely want to avoid florals. One piece here or there is OK – but only a splash, please!

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Materials

Metals, linens, wood, stonework, brick. Have a masculine brick wall in your bedroom? Add a chandelier for a feminine touch. It’s all about balance, people!

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Decor

Books, glass decanters, b/w photography, metal sculptures, candles (men love fire), succulents, maps/globes and minimalist paintings.

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Furniture

Comfortable couches and chairs, mid century buffets, trunks, industrial storage pieces. And you know he has that one piece that he absolutely loves that you can’t stand? Just let him have it! I’m sure for every one piece of his you hate, theres 12 of yours that he cant stand.

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It’s really easy to get selfish when you’re designing, but keep in mind you’re not the only one who lives there. Lets give our husbands a break from florals and have a house hes actually excited to come home to.

*All images were chosen or approved by Mr. Kenny himself.

Design Star

I have multiple blogs that i follow almost daily. I tend to panic if i dont get some Young House Love or MadebyGirl into my daily schedule. Amy at  Lovely Nest is at the top of the list… read all about her beautiful design and fabulous blog design over here. She recently she posted about Design Star… now, we don’t have cable so I miss out on all the good HGTV shows out there but OF COURSE, Amy decided to blog about a FABULOUS kitchen that was on Design Star this week. So… i jumped on my computer and watched 3 episodes in a row. Who knew there were full episodes online?! Anyway, i am completely in love with this beautifully designed kitchen!

How cute is this!? I love the yellow and turquoise color palate with the modern vintage feel. i ADORE the bakers rack – i love having metal and wood together and it just adds so much character. I also have a new found love for round breakfast tables. It just looks like a place where i can just have some girls over and chat over coffee. or wine.

And seriously – just look at this buffet. How can you buy matching room sets or crappy ikea furniture when you could have something with so much character and texture?! Don’t get me wrong – i love me some ikea (obviously if you read my post on friday) but for furniture, id much rather put down some extra time into fixing up an old piece than buying particle board that will just break in 6 months.

I’m only a few episodes in but I’m definitely looking forward to watching this episode!

All images by HGTV

Thanks Amy for sharing this beautiful space… I definitely know what color theme to go with in my kitchen now…

-Rachel

Feather Your Nest

There are SO many amazing shops in Austin that i never go to but need to. Like Feather your nest.  Its right off of 35th and Jefferson in a busy shopping center. I’ve drivin by this shop maybe 100 times but never went in. So this time i did.

Right when you walk in you get a hit-you-in-the-face amazing whiff of soaps, candles and other yummy scents.

They had about 15 different unique, funky chandeliers made out of awesomeness.

Adored this mirrored antique tray.. but at over 300 bones, its a bit out of my broke ass budget. Yup, i said it.

I definitely had to resist the urge to jump on the oh so cozy beds, but all the 50 signs telling me not to made me think twice. They had so many soft, patterned linens and pillows, i was in heaven.

These suckers were maybe my favorite things in the store. They just remind me of the ocean… like something you’d find in a vibrant reef. Just me? I guess they could also look like a medieval torture device. I’d prefer to think of the ocean though. Especially if they were hanging next to my bed.

It was very hard not to take a few of these babies home. Check it… handmade vibrant frames from India.

I LOVE this front orange and blue one… i need it.

They also had some of the best smelling bath goodies ever. Every bar of soap was amazing.

And heres my final thoughts on Feather Your Nest:

Great quality goods priced a bit high. If you’ve got the budget for it, go crazy. If not, you can definitely pick up some yummy scents or fun accessories!

-Rach

Dream Art Studio

So I’m goin crazy crammed in my little office corner. I am blessed to have as much space as i have… but I’ve been dreaming of a larger space… not just an office but enough room for an actual studio.

Heres some studios I’ve been drooling over…

Incredible studio for printmaking. Link found here

This colorful art studio just seems to draw out creativity… love the space for multiple different projects. Might throw me into ADD mode. See more pictures here.

LOVE this antique cubby. Great for storage.. theres antique boxes and shelves all over the room that add beautiful texture and peeling paint – just love it. See more of the studio here.

This is such a bright room! Check out more shots here.

I adore this bright, clean art studio. All the storage space and table space… oh the things i would create in there! Check out dozens of pictures on Donnas blog.

This studio to the artist Marina Dorignac is inspirational.

And of course last but not least, Mae Chevrette.

I’ve posted about her beautiful art over here but just wanted to show off her incredible, funky studio.

I know, right? I love it. The texture, the greenery, the color… love it. Also check out her work…  youll love that even more 🙂 Till next time!

-Rach

*For original source of each image – click image!

Furniture Stripping!

Thats right, i spent my sunday strippin my Stereo Cabinet. Track my progress so far and what i have left to do here.

Here she is in her craigslist add… doesnt look too bad from far away, but up close she was a wreck. Read about tearing out her insides here. It’s pretty amazing how much of a difference a little stripper and sanding will do to bring a piece back to life! Meet the helpers:

Sidenote: No, that is not sorbet. That orangyish goop is the Strypeeze (not striptease like i thought it said) Other side note: Don’t you love my cute new chucks?!

Ok, before we move on… beware! if you have an unusually pansy-ish stomach, you may not want to read on. Stripping was actually pretty yucky. The varnish came up in a bunch of gunk. Anyway, step one: just start paintin!

I threw on two fairly thick layers because it was unusually tough varnish. I actually attempted to use the refinisher first and epic fail. But lo and behold, the varnish had nothin on this orange goop. 15 minutes later and you’ve got this:

Those beautiful little bubbles and wrinkles are from the varnish getting whooped by the sorbet stripper. booya. Next step, get your scrapper and just go crazy. It should come off pretty easily, if not, either wait an extra 10 minutes or go back over the splotchy areas a second time. Usually if it doesnt come up right away, it’s just because you were too excited to wait the entire 15 minutes (might have happened to me a few times!)

Oh i know, that stuff looks like Dino snot. Still, very exciting how effective this stuff is. Here is the lid to show you a good before and after:

Now I know what you’re thinking… “wow, the before looks so much better!” Well of course it does! We are stripping, not finishing! This is a bit of a process but keep in mind, you are stripping down to the bare wood to then refinish and restain to make her look brand stinkin new. Just wait till this next part… After i stripped all the wood, i went back over it with the furniture finisher and steel wool. It helped take more of the stain off as well.

That part was pretty rough because i was really scrubbin the crud out of it. My sweet boyfriend even helped:

And check out the oh so pretty results:

Who knew there was actually wood under all that crap?!  i went on to sand it to get out some of the deeper scratches. I sanded pretty lightly since it was veneer but enough to smooth it out more. Most likely there will still be some scratches (she was pretty beat up!) But really that just adds a little vintage character, but i also plan on a slightly darker stain which will make the scratches less noticeable. Don’t forget to always, always, always, always, ALWAYS sand with the grain! No circles, no angles… just straight with the grain. Just trust me on this one. Well there ya have it!

Next week: rebuilding the inside and front panels! Super excited and I plan on doing it all for free with scraps! What what!

Before & After: Stereo Cabinet Inspiration

If you’ve kept up with my blog you know I’ve dreamed of refurbishing a vintage stereo cabinet with updated gadgets including new receiver, speakers, ipod dock and a working record player. Eventually maybe finally purchase a tv (its true kids, i dont own a television! duh duh du naaaa!) maybe a flat screen to put above it attached to the wall. Well i found a great buy on craigslist that needs a lot of love… the pictures are rather misleading – looks like a quality piece but the front panels are actually plastic and all the electronics are about as useful as an ejector seat in a helicopter.

Anyway, here is the first stage of Gregory’s project. It actually looks very similar to my cabinet at step one (there is hope!)

Here he guts the cabinet (the stage where I’m at currently)

and then he sanded it…

Sadly I’m having to take a much longer route and use a chemical stripper to remove the varnish. The issue is mine is veneer so sanding is always a bit of a gamble incase you completely sand off the veneer!

And here is the final piece!

I love the mix of vintage with modern. Sadly he just turned this into storage and never put the electronics back in (which is really that part I’m struggling to figure out!) I’ll post pictures soon! I plan to work on her more this weekend.

Heres links to Gregorys whole progress on the piece:

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3

Part #4

Part #5

Part #6

Part #7

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Heres some photos of fun booths and unique art!

One of my fav booths – nothing but antique letter press boxes and letters.

These were fun – they were all different characters made out of antiques and trash!

And this guy…. err… girl… thing. Awesome. And completely worth $400 asking price. Oh Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, how i love you. Till next year!

Ok, ok, i admit it…

You know how this weekend i snagged some records for only 5 bucks? Funny thing is… i don’t have a record player yet. But for the record (haha, get it?) I’ve been on the lookout for a record player for the last few months. What I’m looking for is something like this:

Rad, huh?! I would love to find an old, ugly broken one and fix ‘er up… what i would REALLY love is a console like this:

Maybe throw in some brand new speakers… an ipod hook up and then youve got a beautiful multi use console table! And then i can play my fancy new Frank & Ella records 🙂 Now just waiting for a good priced one on craigslist! (*fingers crossed*)