Arte Party

It’s hard to post a party in this Pinterest age…especially when one is living with all belongings in storage and every minute needs to be spent on house decisions and not party planning.  But this is my girl we’re talking about.  It’s her summer for a party (my kids who all have summer birthdays rotate who gets the party every year–to save some Mommy sanity).  So we made some compromises and did our best…we’re talking Capri Suns and chips served from the bag.


She wanted an art party–but I certainly couldn’t throw a painting party in our rental.  So we used a community building…and we spun this fiesta de arte Mexican style.  My daughter helped me fill the buckets and made the name tags herself.  And candy dipping pretzels was the job only an 8 and 5-year-old could do.

Thankfully I had some fabric at the rental that I reserved for my daughter’s sewing class.  I used some remnant to cover some folding chairs I borrowed…stapled on, frayed edges and all.  And, I threw some on the wall for our shrine to Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter.

Each party guest had a bucket-o-supplies and canvas pre-drawn with their portraits.  With a brief explanation of Frida’s self-portraiture (homeschool moms die hard), I turned the girls loose to created their own

I printed their portraits onto paper and transferred their images by rubbing the back of the paper with pencil and then tracing their portraits onto canvas.  Graphite paper works, too, but mine is in…storage!  I didn’t draw in their hair so they could do it as they wished.

Absolutely, we totally paint red lips first!

We had fruit, quesadillas, grocery store cupcakes on the obligatory artist palette.

Their portraits turned out adorable!  This friend made herself an angel–love it!

None of the girls wanted to paint in their noses.  I get it, noses are intimidating.

We pulled it off with help from the world’s best sitter and borrowing a few kitchen items from the rental house.  And, I didn’t end up embarrassing my daughter with my Frida-inspired party dress.  It’s probably a good idea I didn’t draw on the unibrow and ‘tache.

Did any of you Atlantans catch the Frida & Diego show here in the spring?  I find it is a little more challenging to drum up excitement in the children for art exhibits the older they get.  But I prattle on anyway, talking about the Museo de Dolores Olmedo with the peacocks and the xoloitzcuintli and Casa Azul and Frida and Diego’s side-by-side houses connected with a sky bridge.  Throw in a little Rockefeller and communism–wait!  And I wonder why I can’t drum up excitement?


But then I walk by and hear the two older kids talk about the bridge connecting their two houses on Minecraft, “just like Frida and Diego’s,” and then I know, oops, I did it again!

In my next life I will be a xoloitzcuintle.  Because being Angelina Bearded Lady from Ukraine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Room Service 2013 | The Afters!

It’s done!  Lori, Rhoda, and I finished our girl’s apartment at the United Methodist Children’s Home last week for the spring 2013 Room Service Atlanta project.  After teaming up last October on three spaces in the boys’ cottage at UMCH, we decide to combine our powers for the three-room girl’s apartment as well.  You can’t have an after…


…without the before.  Remember this is where we started:IMG_3352

Our inspiration was the art we found in the UMCH thrift store.  From there we found FREE fabric from Award Fabrics–navy stripe for the euros, navy solid for the bedskirt and drapery, and ivory solid for the drapery.  We added bright pink and orange with fabrics from Lewis & Sheron.  All the bedding and drapery fabrication was generously donated by Angela Thee–thank you!

We painted things we had around the house or found at the UMCH thrift store.  Lori donated the daybed from her own girl’s room–she and Rhoda painted it gold.


The bedside table is thrifted, ceiling lighting is from Home Goods, and the starburst mirror is from Target–spray painted orange.  Lori donated the bamboo nesting tables.  The rug is from RugsUSA.


Oh, paint, you work miracles!  Glidden donated four gallons of paint–Polished Limestone on the walls and White on White on the trim and bathroom/kitchen walls.  Gainesville Paint donated four gallons of Benjamin Moore paint–white ceiling paint and Bold Blue for the doors and kitchen cabinets.  Thank you for all the free paint!  Generosity makes these projects happen, and it is a beautiful thing to see!

Aren’t those bamboo shades lovely?  Rhoda’s sponsor Payless Decor donated those to the room–thank you!  I impressed myself by installing them–so easy and they work great!  The pink side table is from Home Goods, lamp is thrifted, and the bookcase and upholstered chair are from my hoarding stash.

The before of the table wall:


The after:

The table is from IKEA and the wicker chair is also from my house.  And while we planned to do a gallery wall here above the table, this 2007 painting of mine decided to make itself at home.  Cute remnant fabric lines a sweet brass thrifted tray.  And, y’all, my daughter sewed that pink pillow for the room!  (Proud mama.)

The kitchen before:


The after kitchen is scrubbed and painted afresh!  We removed the scalloped window trim, installed a new vent hood, and painted the cabinets Benjamin Moore Bold Blue.  Angela Thee made the sweet cafe curtain, and Rhoda donated the blue plates and wall shelf.  Most all the other items were thrifted.  Rhoda’s sponsor Moen donated the new faucet and her other sponsorKarran donated the new countertops with integrated sink–thank you, what a difference this combo made!

The rug is from Home Goods, and the little thrifted stool (along with the white plate) got the paint-dipped treatment.

The bathroom before:


Sherwin Williams donated the pink paint for our stripe in the bathroom.  A thrifted shelf painted the same pink offers more toiletry real estate.  We painted the existing medicine cabinet/mirror pink, too, to blend in.  Lori’s other bamboo tables help offset the lack of countertop space.

The shower curtain is from Jonathan Adler’s new line at JCPenney’s (I know, right!?  The line is fabulous!)  And, we found the brass shelf at the UMCH thrift store.

Working on these Room Service projects is one of my favorite things to do!  Making happy spaces for people in need–what can be better?  Thank you to my partners, Lori and Rhoda, for all their hard work, ideas, and talent.  Thank you to Chris for installing all our lighting, the vent hood, the shelves, and saving the day by solving a little countertop issue.  No install is without a snag or two, right?  Thank you to all the generous donations, and thank you to YOU who shopped my Joss & Main sale back in February to fund the space!  I hope the young lady who moves in will find the apartment comfy and homey.  We left plenty of space for her to make her own unique stamp on the place, too.

Yes, sir, it is one of my favorite (and most exhausting) things to do because the bonus to the giving-back part is being inspired by what all the other designers are doing in their rooms.  Please visit these AMAZING spaces by the other designers…you won’t be sorry!  (And I’ll try to add links as they come available.)

Kristin at The Hunted Interior

Ally at From the Right Bank

The Room Service Afters!


Our cars didn’t pull out of the United Methodist Children’s Home campus until 8:30 pm Friday night–after a full, fun week of transforming three rooms of the young men’s dormitory.  I’m pretty sure my partners, Lori and Rhoda, have spent this last weekend exhausted just like I did.  But it is so much fun and wonderful to be around all those other creative types.

So, on with the photos–albeit horrible because it was twilight when I took them.

The entry:

Remember the before?

New black and white VCT was donated for the entry and main hallway.  Checkered floors are such a classic, right?  My bird painting hangs above the chest from Habitat for Humanity that Chris painted for us.  A coat of white spray paint refurbished Lori’s old lamps.

“We need more things for the wall,” I said.

“A shield mirror framed in brass would look great,” said Lori.

“Yeah, you go find that.”

And what does she find?  A shield…with black velvet and mini swords!  On a serendipitous stop at an antique store next to where she picked up our drapes, she found this shield and promptly texted it to me and Rhoda.  A coat of white paint makes it pop against the paneling.  It is one of those ludicrous objects that is just perfect for the room.  It makes me chuckle.  Black velvet!

We also had a bedroom and its adjoining lounge to do.  Here is the before:

A coat of primer and two coats of paint freshened the rooms up.  Thank you to Zinsser, Dutch Boy, Purdy, and Sherwin Williams for donating paint supplies.

[photo: Dayka Robinson]

The bedroom after:

Kirkland’s, one of Rhoda’s sponsors, donated the yellow lamps.  The bedside chests were existing–we painted.  Lowe’s donated the vinyl floors we installed–don’t they look awesome?  So easy to install.  The two paintings above the bed are two I did last week.  Room & Board donated the aqua blue metal bed.

The lounge after:

The little blue table from my kids’ playroom saved the day when the table from IKEA that we planned on buying was ‘temporarily oversold.’

There is a snack/desk area opposite the sofa.

I finished the third large-scale painting on the last day of install–whew!

I also did the two mini paintings last week.  The bitsy collage one on the easel kills me!

Many thanks to Rhoda and Lori’s contribution to the space–painting, sponsorships, donations, cleaning, shopping, idea hatching, furniture assembly, ribbon glueing, handle installation, etc…we did it!  It was great working with such talented ladies.  And, thank you to Heather, Kim, and Mari for volunteering their time to help us paint and install the floor.  Thank you to the donors who gave cash for the shopping, and thank you to Chris for helping us prep the rooms.  I’m so excited for these boys to get settled into their new home!

I will post links to the other rooms as they pop up–all the other spaces are fabulous.  All the designers went all out.

You are invited to the wrap party this Thursday at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in Buckhead.  Thank you, Dayka and Erika of Room Service, for organizing this transformation!

Coastal Living Showhouse 2012

It was such a nice surprise that the Coastal Living Showhouse coincided with our trip to Florida.  Natalie and I left the kids with the men, hopped on our bikes, and pedaled our way to Rosemary Beach for some we-time.

Benecki Homes built the L-shaped house, and Urban Grace Interiors designed the interiors.  One enters the house at the corner of the L, with doorways leading to the two wings.

So far so good, right?  But, wait!  See those stairs?  Ugh, we forgot to go upstairs, missing like 2000 square feet of extra house.  Blame it on mommy beach brain and the fact that we were anxious to make our massage appointments.  Even as we were leaving the house, we said to each other, “The house felt smaller than 5000 square feet…I could have sworn there was an upstairs.”

There was a little side prep kitchen off the main kitchen, with shelves similar to our new ones.  I have to say, I don’t think I like the idea of a side kitchen.

I’m with you, Urban Grace–I love long bolster pillows on the bed.

The kitchen, laundry, and bathroom cabinetry all displayed continuity while offering a variety of styles and hardware or lack of hardware.

As pretty as the house is, I would be just fine and dandy to spend my time in the backyard, watching the pool boy–I mean, watching the pool…boy, am I hot!
Here I am exiting the house and I just want to say, “Go back inside and see the upstairs!  Get your $15 worth!”  Oh well.

Lovely, isn’t it?  How can I get my hands on one such beach house?

Update:  I like to say great minds think alike…Julia of Hooked on Houses also posted about the showhouse, and she has photos of the upstairs, hooray!  So if you want the rest of the tour, check out her post.