Jan
01
2016
The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

Happy 2016 my friends! I am always surprised how quickly the end of the year sneaks up on me, but after 30 some odd years of being surprised, you would think I would have a better handle on things...

Now that the Holidays are officially over and a new year has begun, I am on a mission to cleanse and organize in the aftermath of all the chaos. I think after two weeks of sickness, and three months of holiday, work, and birthday crazy with hardly a step outside these doors except for said celebratory events... the chaos is getting to me even more than it normally does. Luckily this month's Michael's Makers challenge was to tackle a bit of DIY Organizing and it was just the kick in the pants I needed. Well that and the fact that I was completely out of my element this year in choosing not to bring the typical holiday mayhem out of storage and into the house. I was hoping it would keep a bit of the crazy at bay and instead it made it worse if that is even possible! I swear I am still trying to track down about seven of rolls of tape and several pairs of scissors. Scissors and tape are like socks in this house, and I can never find them when I need them, even when I just had them five minutes earlier. Don't even get me started on pens and markers... I think Mike hordes them.

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

Michaels just launched a new line of storage and organization product called Cre8ted Spaces and it's quite lovely. Tons of fabulous colorways and clever containers to help you contain your own crazy. While I need to give every single room in this house a complete overhaul, my gift wrap and other crafty supplies have been getting the better of me for the last couple of months so this is where I started. I tend to use gift wrap, tape, scissors and ribbon several times a month so it makes sense for me to keep these things close at hand but in a stored and controlled kind of way. I have a ton of organization for my crafty supplies already, but I'm finding that my need to have things out of sight also seems to put them out of mind. This makes for a lot of duplicate purchasing and wasted time and this year that irritation was allocated to gift tags and ribbon along with the usual tape and scissors ordeal. A sturdy box or two to keep my tags and other dangling bits is such a welcome thing. I gave my gift tag box a little make-under and changed the top part of the box from the stunning chartreuse color it was to the glossy white that it is, with just a few flicks of the paint brush. It just happens to be perfectly divided for my tags and that makes this little mama super duper happy.

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

A rolling cart for projects in progress and regularly used items has been on my list for days... Alas I have never gotten around to it since most of my time is spent creating the projects and not so much on the storage of the supplies for them. Naturally my work would be so much easier if everything I needed was beautifully organized and in its place. I think its that chicken and egg thing. I gave my mobile beauty a glimmering new outfit with a couple of coats of gold spray paint and I think that will make it easier for my mind to handle as it moves around the house as I work. The minty color it came in would have worked well in my office, but gold is a neutral and this baby will get around so she needs to blend in.

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

I have a large bin that holds my bulk supply of ribbon, and I am fairly certain I have more ribbon than any normal human should so I shall be remedying that asap. In the meantime, having a more mobile option to keep the rolls and spools under control while I am using them and that looks good too is absolutely dreamy. I gave a peachy wooden box a beautiful matte black finish using chalk paint and I love it so much I want to paint all the things in this gorgeous matte black color. I think you can guess what my future holds - painting, refinishing and general sprucing is certainly part of the plan. Why does the new year always kick my need for calm into high gear - and why does my version of calm require an insane amount of effort and organization?

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

Do you feel the need to minimize and downsize after the intense Holiday season and the addition of more of everything in your life and your home? I sure do. It is most peculiar how the gift of giving and the act of receiving makes me feel the need to shed most if not all of the things I no longer cherish and many of the things I still do. If you are feeling a bit like this too, check out the other 49 Maker's organizing projects over on The Glue String... it will surely inspire you to go and do and whip into shape! 

This crafty little organizing project was brought to you in partnership with Michaels and is part of an ongoing series of fun projects I will be creating as a Michaels Maker! Thank you for supporting the awesome peeps who help make this little corner of the blog-iverse fun and interesting! Heart you guys!

Dec
15
2015
The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

This post is brought to you by Pier 1 Imports.

A party just isn’t a party without gorgeous décor and special treats for your guests to delight in. This wintry holiday season, I am partnering with Pier 1 to help spread some holiday cheer with inspiration for your next holiday shindig. With just a bit of prep and some stylish accessories, you can transform your party from bleak to chic and perhaps even leave yourself free to enjoy the party right alongside your guests.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Lay the foundation!

I like to use my existing home décor as the starting point for holiday décor. This gives me a direction for color and style and lets me build on that to create a beautiful and chic look that feels intentional and complete. I will scatter chic wintry details like faux snow and frosted pine branches throughout my home and then turn my focus toward creating those special entertaining moments that will excite my guests and delight their senses. The chic matte gold bar ware and tool set are absolutely perfect for a self-serve drink station and with their beautiful, subtle finish and amazing quality, these pieces absolutely top my list as a holiday party must-have! Truly. The faux fur table runner sets a stylish wintery scene and secretly catches drips for your rotating mixologists. Daring decorative touches like the metallic party crackers dangling from the glittery ornament tree, create a dual function focal point for your fabulous party station, and help your guests find their way to the fun – which is of course, both in the party crackers themselves and the surrounding setup. A perfect ice breaker, the party crackers help get the party started and set the tone with a wine charm, a joke, and party hat for each to don.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Put it all out there and leave no stone unturned!

I try to have everything set out and at arm’s length so I don’t need to play bartender or server throughout the evening. Single-serve and easy-serve food and drink options make it easy to grab, nibble and go. This leaves everyone more time to mingle with new friends and old. The gorgeous striped plates and adorable coasters are so chic you won’t want to toss them out, but naturally they help make the cleanup painless, which is always fabulous. I love to scatter about a set of stylish bowls and plates, filled to the brim with chic edibles. With the visual excitement already happening on the table, I chose to keep these neutral with gorgeous bowls and plates in the most perfect shade of gray. Adding a neutral to my color scheme is a fabulous way to ground the high contrast white, gold and black that are so prominent otherwise and should help entice my party goers to throw caution to the wind for one night of indulgence. These stylish paper products have celebration written all over them and together with the gorgeous bowls and plates in grey are simply the perfect party pairing for enjoying the sweets and nostalgic treats that only come around during the holidays.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Mix it up but keep it straight!

A glamorous mix of patterns on your drink ware is not only chic, it will help everyone keep tabs on their drinks throughout the evening. The Luna Double Old-Fashioned glasses, with their glamorous gold starbursts and gorgeous plaid stripes, are so fabulous you will want to work them into your entertaining regime forevermore. While you keep your champagne on ice, a monogrammed stopper is nice! The champagne flutes, each with a different worldly salutation, have an understated elegance that is sure to make your bubbly even more special with a fun reminder to toast to good health and a night well enjoyed. Cin Cin, Cheers and Salud!

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Put it on ice, a signature cocktail is nice!

Along with champagne and chic treats to eat, no party is complete without a special cocktail creation. I try to choose a concoction I can prep easily beforehand and isn’t too difficult for my guests to recreate later. This is a great way to show off your skills as an entertaining genius and is such a fun addition to the standard beverage selection. Presentation is key, and with stylish and inspired glassware and bar ware, crafting a libation that is clever becomes fun (like my Naughty and Nice Holiday Mules - coming later this week!) and will add to the ambiance and get the conversation flowing like nothing else!

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

When seconds and thirds are in great demand, if you have everything your guests need to craft their own drinks at the ready, they will be mixing and mingling the jingle bell way in no time. The matte gold bar tools and accessories lay the foundation for your self-serve cocktail station and provide both a good looking and sophisticated way to measure, pour, and pop some bottles with glee. Fabulous small square bowls are a chic way to display a cocktail garnish or a mid-evening treat and look amazing surrounded by a sprinkling of snow and a smattering of frosted pine and eucalyptus branches.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Chic décor, stylish self-servebar ware, and party crackers galore –does indeed a fabulous party make. Add your favorite people and mix, for a wonderful evening, enjoyed by all – but especially by you, since you won’t be stuck behind the bar watching your guests have all the fun! Pier 1 is seriously knocking it out of the park this holiday season with fabulous and festive accessories that will elevate your party, no matter the occasion.

Jul
28
2015

How would you #spinthatstyle? Last month the fine folks from Porch + hayneedle.com asked me to put my personal spin on a living room space using the room below as inspiration and products from hayneedle.com. The inspiration space reads as Mid Century meets Neo-Traditional and has gorgeous architectural details, texture and fabulous modern touches throughout. It leans toward a relatively neutral color scheme with warm wood tones, shades of cream and gray, with black and white abstract art pieces, and an occasional pop of pink and gold in a few of the accessories.

By keeping the color scheme relatively neutral with minimal accent colors, the design for this space focuses on the materials and finishes of the pieces themselves and the furnishings remain simple with clean lines and solid colors.

My space lacks architectural detail of this nature, but there is no reason why a similar feel can't be achieved, regardless. Through the use of a color scheme that is slightly more bold and furnishings that provide a level of interest where the space itself would otherwise be lacking, I was able to put my personal spin on the inspiration style in a way that is decidedly more eclectic but entirely fitting to my personality.

To see where we started with this space, check out the living room portion in this article. It has essentially stayed exactly like that since I updated the art back in December of last year.

And now... It is decidedly more bold and absolutely more modern and I managed to keep many of my vintage pieces in this space since they are from a similar era as many of the details in the inspiration room. Yahoo for that, not to mention it's the only room where my boys don't maul everything on a daily basis, so it's a great place to put the pieces that I want to see, but that probably shouldn't be jumped on and crashed into.

All of the items in this space were things I already had, except for the items that I chose from Hayneedle to help bring a bit of the inspiration room into my room.

While my space is much less neutral and a lot more bold, I stayed true to the textural layers and basic colors along with a similar time period for my pieces in comparison to what is found in many of the inspiration room details. Using only a few new items, I transformed this room entirely and basically shopped my own home for the rest! This is certainly a testament to the fact that you don't need to spend like crazy and buy custom pieces to make changes that you love.

Naturally I had to up the ante where pattern is concerned since I wasn't working with that fabulous fireplace and wood paneling. All in all, I adore how this space turned out and I will be leaving it as is until the next time I need to rearrange things - if I'm lucky this won't be till the holidays... then again you just never know!

To see how this space was interpreted by my fabulous gal pals from the DIY Playbook and the Blissful Bee - check out the article One Room 3 Ways over on Porch! I love how different each space is and that each of us had an entirely different take on the inspiration space along with different pieces to work with as a jumping off point. These two things alone result in amazingly different outcomes and that is pretty fabulous!

This project was created in partnership with Porch and hayneedle.com. Thank you for supporting those folks who help bring fresh new content like this to The Design Confidential. I heart you guys!

Jul
07
2015
The Design Confidential Blank Wall Overhaul // Stick It Click It Swap It Out

This project is brought to you in partnership with Command™ Brand, and is a wonderful addition to my TDC World Headquarters makeover... 

Organization is high on my list of priorities as I overhaul my office - naturally. Attempting to keep the chaos at bay requires structure, a crazy amount of functionality, and daily action. But let's face it, those things a person may need to control the clutter and keep it easy to access but hidden from sight are typically not the cutest and if they are... they often cost a small fortune. I have found that I work best in a space that inspires me and where the functional pieces are also pretty so while my collection of handsome notebooks is officially out of control it seems that staying on task often means I need to see more of a visual than can be found on a small written paper. I'm sure you can see where this is heading...

The Design Confidential Blank Wall Overhaul // Stick It Click It Swap It Out

Mood boards, editorial calendars, projects in progress and anything that inspires me at the moment... these things all greatly help me in my day to day productivity and if these can look good while doing their jobs, then all the better. When I saw the collection of Command Decór Damage-Free Wall Tiles, I knew they would be perfect for this area of my office. Since I have the attention span of a squirrel, and tend to be slightly overworked on occasion, when I feel the need I can simply swap out my functional Chalkboard Tiles for pretty Picture Frames or some good looking art. I love the freedom! The best part of these, aside from their benefit and beauty is quite literally how simple they are to put on the wall - without adding another hole that will later have to be filled.

The Design Confidential Blank Wall Overhaul // Stick It Click It Swap It Out

Each tile comes with two Command Brand strips and a Riser. You will simply click one of your two strips in place and once it is firmly locked down you will remove the backing and stick it to your wall.

The riser has a built-in level and between the stick in place capability combined with the level, I don't which feature is better, but I'm glad it has both! In this business, I must hang and rehang so many things, all the time. It's daunting actually, but this was just easy and fast and now I am fairly certain that everything should be made with a built-in level and a sticky strip. Oh how my life would be so much easier!

The Design Confidential Blank Wall Overhaul // Stick It Click It Swap It Out

Securing two tiles took a mere minute - no joke. Projects around here are never this easy so it's lovely to have a virtual day off and just sit back and let the riser do the work for me. Ridiculously I felt spoiled...

The Design Confidential Blank Wall Overhaul // Stick It Click It Swap It Out

I primed my surface with standard chalk and then decided to make things pretty instead of focusing on work like I probably should be, eek!

The Design Confidential Blank Wall Overhaul // Stick It Click It Swap It Out

Layer them, scatter them, arrange and rearrange them - you have the freedom to swap out your art whenever it strikes your fancy. With over 30 designs and sold exclusively at Amazon, they are easy to source and even easier to put on the wall - if that is even possible. Go forth, my friends and give that blank wall an overhaul! Banish the boring for good...

I am proud to be a Command™ Brand sponsored blogger, and as such, I have the opportunity to check out and evaluate 3M products. Naturally, all crazy talk and opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to create fresh new content and fabulous projects for The Design Confidential.
Jul
01
2015
TDC Headquarters // Office Update + New Over Sized Art with Minted

Things are moving and shaking in the TDC World Headquarters... other wise known as my home office slash the shipping and receiving department slash the craft workshop. This poor space has gone through a lot over the years and for longer than I care to admit has been a bit neglected. This is the year of minimizing and reducing in any and every area of my life and with this site and my work being such a huge part of my everyday, it only seems fitting that the place I call my office gets a bit of a refresh - which is actually more of a major overhaul.

So let's take a walk down memory lane... shall we? The last time this space had any semblance of organization and decency was way back in 2013 when I installed Crown Molding. Take a gander, because the next image you see will terrify you.. though not as much as the before shots of my closet, am I right? Eek!

TDC Headquarters // Office Update + New Over Sized Art with Minted

Ok, I guess it isn't quite as scary as I made it sound, but it's definitely devoid of anything good and was slowly becoming the dumping ground for all of the millions of shipments that roll through these doors. And don't get me started on the craft supplies, parts, and pieces that all inevitably need to be kept for future projects. To say it is overwhelming is the understatement of the year. This image above is of course the 'good side' of this space but I will share the rest of the crazy with you as I work it over, a little at a time! It's becoming desperate...

TDC Headquarters // Office Update + New Over Sized Art with Minted

A bit of an improvement, no? That gorgeous over sized art print from Minted is the crown jewel of this space and with the new extra large size they offer, you can get your faves in a 54"x40" format and rock out your space in a big, bold way. This beauty, by artist Max Harris, has set the tone for transforming this space into something that inspires me, rather than bringing me down. Let's hope that translates to more productivity and amazing, inspired projects! If there is one thing I have learned about myself it is that I tend to be happier when my surroundings are beautiful and reflect my style. I am glad to bring that stylistic touch to this area and can't wait to finish out the entire space.

TDC Headquarters // Office Update + New Over Sized Art with Minted

Everything aside from the art in this space is either a DIY project, something I already owned, or a recent and wonderful addition to my life and I am excited to share all the projects and details with you - especially as it relates to staying organized in all the crazy that comes along with being a DIY + Design Blogger! Stay tuned... and in the meantime, feel free to gaze with loving adoration at my newly transformed office space and get excited because there is so much more to come.

I am considering moving in, or perhaps setting up a lovely spot for taking a nap in between all of my creative pursuits... hard work makes mama tired and so do those boys of mine.

// The gorgeous print was provided by Minted but naturally all ramblings and thoughts are 100% my own! 

Jun
24
2015
The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

If you haven’t already begun to amass your collection of artisanal Patrón bottles for the Art of Patrón contest, not to worry there is still plenty of time. But certainly don’t delay because come July 17th, the contest will close and the judging will begin with a total of $19,000 in prizes at stake - one grand prize winner will walk away with an enormous $10,000 grand prize and each of 9 runners up will win a $1000 prize! So put your maker hats on and create something special using those gorgeous handmade Patrón bottles because you just might find yourself a bit richer from the experience… literally. Details for entry and all pertinent contest info can be found on the Art of Patrón contest page.

To give you a bit of a creative kick in the pants and spark your imagination, I will share with you all of the steps and helpful tidbits I discovered while making what I consider to be one of my favorite projects to date. Perhaps I feel this way about every project, but this one is indeed particularly special because even the Mister loves it, it is exceptionally functional, it’s absolutely gorgeous and best of all… completely customizable. All of my favorite things…

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Before I let you loose at the hardware store to round up your supplies, here is a little recap on two of the tastiest tequila based cocktails this side of the Mississippi! You know… so you have an excuse to empty those bottles without wasting the deliciousness inside. I think a summer soiree and crafter-hours get together is in order to help you collect some of the most important pieces for recreating this project - or for your very own masterpiece to enter into the Art of Patrón contest!

Coconut Mint Margarita Recipe

Tropical Tequila Sunrise Poptail Recipe

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Alright, let’s get to it…

MATERIALS //

Supplies are for 1 sconce – Double all supplies except: ¾” Copper Pipe, Candelabra Base, Pipe Cutter, and Copper Pipe Straps to make 2 sconces.

½” Copper Pipe – 2 Feet

¾” Copper Pipe – 2 Feet

1 – ½” 90 Degree Copper Elbow

1 – ¾” x ½” x ½” Reducer Tee

1 – Candelabra Base (2 Pack)

1 – Candelabra Socket with Switched Cord and Plug

1 – Pipe Cutter

2 – ½” Copper Pipe Straps

1 – LED Exit Sign Light or Night Light with Candelabra Base

1 – Patrón Bottle

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Before we can begin to assemble your sconce, we need to do some prep work which means a bit of cutting and some deconstructing.

Copper Cut List //

Feel free to get creative with your arrangement here, but there are a few pieces at the top of this list that need to remain short in order to accommodate the switched cord. You will see what I mean in just a minute.

1 – ½” Copper Pipe at 2”

1 – ½” Copper Pipe at 1 ½”

1 – ½” Copper Pipe at 16” (this is subjective and can be cut to desired length)

1 – ¾” Copper Pipe at 2”

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Now this (in my opinion) is where the magic happens… aside from the actual magic that happens when you plug this puppy in and she warms your heart and soul with a job well done.

So you are going to cut your switched cord, right up underneath the black socket and clip. Ok, now you want to cut this as close as possible since you need all the extra cord between your switch and the ends of the wires as you can possibly get. This might seem counter-intuitive since technically the switched cord would work as it is, just fine. But you guys, it’s not cute, so keep on keeping on and you get to play electrician (kind of) for a hot minute, which is soooo fun.

Once you cut off the socket portion, you are going to pull the two sections of cord apart at the top, for about 2 inches. Once they are separated and look a bit like a snake tongue, you can strip the top ¼” or so of the rubberized coating from each section of your cord.

// Now set all these pieces aside for a second since you will actually rewire this after you thread everything through the pipes. Yep, found this out the hard way, maybe it’s true what they say about blondes after all? Duh… that they have more fun? Because doing the same thing over and over again is so fun? Yes, truly.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

These two beauties up above are the Reducer Tee and your 2” piece of ¾” pipe and they will fit together to form what we are going to use to make our own amazing looking socket cover. Now isn’t this so much better looking than the base and clip from your cord a few minutes ago? Yes, I totally agree.

Now we get to thread our cord through as we attach our ½” copper pipe pieces. Each piece is labeled below so you can see where everything connects and I will outline the threading order just in case it’s difficult to see or read! You can do this portion laying everything out flat on a surface, it was simply easier for me to strap it to the wall to show you, without trying to juggle the camera and all of the pieces.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Start by threading your cord through your 2 inch section and then up through your elbow piece. Fit each pipe fitting together tight and pull your cord through carefully, but firmly so there is no slack in the line. You will truly need every last inch of this thing. Next, thread your cord through the 1 ½” section and then into and up through your reducer tee. Your reducer tee should have the largest opening at the top. You can attach the lower 16 inch section now if you like, or wait till the end, it really doesn’t make much of a difference just yet. Once your cord is sticking up and out the top of your reducer tee, you will tie the two split sections of it in an underwriters knot. This image below via, is a great diagram of what this will look like and what it’s for!

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Once you are all tied up you can attach your ¾” piece of pipe to the reducer tee and get ready to wire your socket.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Thread the cords up through the metal portion of your socket and then the cord with the ribbed edge will be attached to the silver screw and the smooth cord will attach to the gold screw. The easiest way to do this is to twist all of the teeny tiny wires together for each of your cords into something of a point so they are easier to wrap around their respective screws. Then simply use a leftover piece of your ½” pipe if you need a bit of help taming any of the flyaways and gently place it over your screw to let it help you wrap those stray pieces down and back under your screw as you gently tighten in place. The instructions on your package will reiterate which wire to connect where so don’t worry if you forget or feel nervous.

It will look a little something like this:

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Now slide your cardboard socket cover over the top as indicated on your package, and you would be ready to give your wiring a little test run with your bulb!

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

If everything works as expected, unplug and secure in your desired location using two straps and appropriate wall anchor screws for your particular type of wall. If you can secure to a stud, all the better. Once it is all secured tightly in place, add your gorgeous bottle shade and watch the stars come out at night… it’s quite a special show that I will let you experience for yourself. This gorgeous little secret makes this project worth doing all on its own.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

This project brought to you in partnership with Patrón Tequila in honor of the Art of Patrón, a contest for makers and a celebration of the handmade. I hope you take a chance and see where your imagination takes you. The prize alone makes it worthwhile, but the satisfaction of making something special using very special materials is priceless.

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