Friday, April 29, 2011

From Simple Frame to a Chalkboard with Style!

I'm very excited because the Powder Room for one of my clients in Santa Barbara is almost complete! Once it is completely finished I'll be adding some pictures here and to my website & talk a little more about the room itself. In the meantime, one of the finishing touches for the Powder Room is this frame turned to chalkboard. Turning a frame into a chalkboard is a very cost-effective way to add a little something extra to a space. You could do this with any frame that you have. The style of this frame works really well with the rest of their Powder Room.
To start - Ikea UNG Drill frame...

Next - a trip to your local hardware store to collect the necessary supplies. I had read on the Ikea Hacker blog a quick tutorial. However, after talking to Sam at Fredericksen's Hardware I changed my approach to the glass surface. I purchased the chalkboard paint that you roll out, as opposed to spray out. It's more durable and has a nicer finish. (Thank goodness for Sam & John at Fredericksen's Paint Store!! They are amazing.)

Rust-oleum: Chalkboard paint, white gloss spray paint, & of utmost importance: primer.

A tray to pour the paint into, a roller with a thin, microfiber foam applicator (yellow cylinder in the picture), gloves to protect your hands from getting the 'spray paint finger', tarp, paint can opener to protect your screw drivers, and a stir stick, just in case you don't get to the project within a week or so.

Remove the glass from the frame - be very careful when doing this and make a note of which direction is facing out of the frame. The frame is cut to fit only one way so you don't want to paint the wrong side of the glass. The glass is very thin and fragile...and well, I'm not always that 'careful' when I do things so I had to make an extra trip to the local glass store, Star Glass (they were awesome) to have a new, thicker, piece cut. Make sure you're in a well ventilated area and begin the priming process. For the frame's glass, just lightly dust the surface but make sure it is entirely covered. Also, try to stay out of the was really windy when I was doing this so the tarp had to be weighted down on all 4 corners. You also end up wasting a lot of spray paint because the wind picks it up and it misses it's target. Follow the directions on the spray paint can & chalkboard paint can too...sounds obvious but I think it's pretty easy to think 'you know how to do this, how hard can it be' and do it wrong. Yes, that's speaking from experience...but not on this project.

After the primer on the glass has dried, roll the roller in the paint a few times until there is a light, even, covering of paint on the roller. Lightly apply it to the glass, painting with vertical strokes until it is covered. Let it dry completely (about 4 hours) until you apply the next coat.

Two coats of the white gloss spray paint were applied to this frame, post priming.

To be entirely on the safe side, I let the chalkboard painted glass and spray painted frame dry for a few days before putting them together. Here is the finished product.

Ava and I walking down the fully dried and beautiful chalkboard, to ship it to Santa Barbara. We walked because it's just easier, albeit cumbersome/awkward looking but easier overall. We made a stop by Fredericksen's to show Sam how it turned out. He was thrilled to see the results and said it looked awesome. Which of course made me very happy! John was there at that time, he really liked it too.

I talked to the two of them about the slight bubbling of the paint on the glass. They said it was normal and wasn't really what they would call bubbling - more of just normal performance with glass. Glass is very porous so the chemistry behind how the paint adheres to it, versus wood, is much different. The slightest imperfections can show. John suggested that one option could be after the priming of the glass and before the paint is rolled out, to use crocus paper - which is similar to a 1500 wet dry sand paper. This could also be used at the end, it just takes any potential dust off and should be done very light.

For another wall in the Powder Room I'm working on a custom painting...if it turns out and they like it that will get added as well! Very exciting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trad Home...from LonNy

This magazine was a nice surprise to stumble upon when I was visiting LonNY...Trad Home

Has anyone else read this mag yet? Thoughts?

Pour a glass of wine, a toast to Cougar Town's set design

The set design of Cougar Town is by far and away one of my favorite things about the show. Luckily for me, I'm not the only blogger out there that loves it. Nearly every piece that I've been ogling but haven't had a chance to look-up is posted here (why recreate the wheel?)
The design is happy, fun & inviting and as I recently learned, decorated by Archie D'Amico.
Every time I watch the show, I want this painting:

(I took a pic of the paused TV)
As an aside, Tony & I find it funny how they are constantly drinking wine throughout the show. We like to toast with them so we try to keep some red wine on-hand while we watch the show.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fun-filled Spring Schenaningans

A recent visit to Coup D'Etat, I love this source, they always have creative displays and unique pieces...I think these mushrooms would be a fun, Gaudi-inspired addition to a backyard.

Someday I will have a swing in my house or some sort of suspended chair:

These over-sized chandeliers make such a statement:

On a personal note, Tony & I were out running errands and came across a gnome with an orb. Our good friend has this 'thing' with gnomes. They seem to follow her, literally everywhere she goes. She doesn't particularly care for them, nonetheless, we decided she needed this gnome, Lucky. We didn't have a key to her gate so we used the leash from our BOB stroller to hoist it over the gate...

Here's Lucky, happily awaiting his new master...

Needless to say - when she found Lucky and I won't share the text we received but I think deep down she thought it was funny. BUT we were laughing to ourselves about it for a while. Once you're given a gnome, it has to stay with you for life (at least that's what I've heard is the rule). Her daughter is quite fascinated with him:

Do you have any practical jokes/pranks you've recently played on a friend? Would love to hear your story!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Boring bookkeeping with a quick, fun, design break.

Thank God for (as they say on Wheel Of Fortune) "my wonderful husband", Tony! This morning we have been going through the past few months of transactions and getting me caught-up in Quickbooks. It's an easy enough system but when you haven't recorded anything for a few months/you need to create all of your vendors, customers,'s a definite time investment. I need a quick break from quick(laborious right now)books. I shouldn't even complain though, I just have to get things organized and my amazing husband said he'll input it for me tonight - see, he is wonderful!!!! Thanks sweetie!

When I was in Portland my best friend from college called asking for a little help picking a paint color for her bedroom. She explained that she only gets a little light from one window and she was thinking greens, greys, purples, but wanted something that was soothing. I immediately responded with: Benjamin Moore's Pebble Beach. PB has a way of expanding the space, even in a dark area. She had been looking at a few Miller paints and they had good hues but the colors she had picked were too dark. She looked at BM's extremely helpful website and found that they suggested Annapolis Green to pair with it.

Here is her painted room:

I like how she chose to do the stripes horizontal. It makes me think of how people always tell you not to wear horizontal stripes on your lower half because it makes you look wider. The stripes seem to make the walls look wider as well. I love vertical stripes too because it seems to make the room look taller.

She chose a matte finish for the Pebble Beach and a semi-gloss finish for the Annapolis Green. The light bounces off that color and adds more texture to the room. I always find it interesting how the light in the room effects the color of the walls. The grey almost appears to have a pink cast BUT she assures me that it doesn't when you're in the space. She is still working on finishing the rest of the room. I'm so excited to see it when it's done. In her words "soothing & relaxing" are the perfect words to describe it - exactly what you want with a bedroom. I'm happy that she's so happy with it!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Future Designer?

Ava was having fun in-between our recent trips, re-arranging her piano - particularly the bench. Everything has been put back to where it is supposed to be...but it is really cute watching her move stuff around.

The past three weeks have been a delightful whirl-wind. A project in Portland, OR and another in Orange County, CA. (Ava was an excellent design assistant!) Between these two jobs - an audition for the Wheel of Fortune!

Thankfully Tony was able to accompany me to & from the audition...special thanks to Pat & Jeff for watching Miss Ava! I've never done anything like that and it was a lot of fun! Some friends; Shazia, Ivana & Tracy for prepping me on what to expect. I made it to the final round (from 100+ to 22 of us) and no one will know if they made it on until they receive a letter from the show. Just before Tony & I left for Culver City - Miss Ava & I...

Also exciting - Tony & I celebrated our 2nd Anniversary at the Ritz, in Laguna Niguel, on Friday. (Thank you Pat & Jerry!) However, our actual anniversary is tomorrow. I was really impressed by the design of the Ritz (& the service we experienced) so I look forward to posting more about that too!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New tools!

I finally made the decision to get 2 new tools that I think will really increase efficiency for JL Interior Design. 1) Quickbooks. I LOVE it! It is so easy to use. 2) A hand-held, Leica DISTO D2 Laser Distance Measurer. Two recent jobs I've been working on required measurements and it is very cumbersome and time consuming to use a tape measure. I would love - love - love to get the Disto D8 but after reading the reviews it sounds like there are still some kinks that need to be worked out. I specifically like the sound of the D8 because it allows you to send measurements to AutoCAD using bluetooth. This capability got me to thinking about my iPad. It would be great if a portion of my AutoCAD software, just the basic model space where you draw out the dimensions for a new layout, could exist on my iPad. I could use a stylus and draw out the basic floor plan and then use my laser distance measurer to firm-up those dimensions and then send that file to my computer, where I could then upload my floor plan and/or elevations into my AutoCAD file. That would be ridiculously easy & efficient! I quickly checked Apple to see if they possible have an app for this...I didn't see anything but would love to be wrong. IF anyone knows of this capability, please let me know!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Today I'm working on a project for a client that calls for COL - Customer's Own Leather...and it brought to mind the different ways that items can be customized, which then lead me to searching the net for definitions because my Textiles book from school is on-loan (isn't that just the way it goes? we always need something when it's on-loan to someone else)...anyway, I found the following definitions very useful for 3 of the most commonly used customizable options for furniture and thought I'd share. This was originally posted at: I love the Eyvind bed by Ironies that they posted in the 1/10/11 entry. I used that bed in my Residential Thesis Master bedroom - gorgeous!

Anyway, onto the definitions...
COM – Customer’s Own Material – The yardage specified by a manufacturer is generally given as plain goods (no repeat), 54″ wide. If the fabric is narrower or has a repeat, additional yardage is required. Repeats are generally figured on whichever is greater, vertical or horizontal. For example, if the fabric is 48″ wide with a 36″ repeat, an additional 40% more fabric would need to be ordered. Care should be given when choosing fabric; the location of the dominant motif, repeat size and scale in relation to the frame, and the pattern weave direction, all can affect the final product.

COL – Customer’s Own Leather – The amount specified by a manufacturer is given in total square feet required. As leather is a natural product, there is not a “standard” hide size, but generally hides run between 40-55 square feet of usable goods. Usable goods is the amount of leather that can be used for the upholstery process, and does not include the waste or scrap. The leather supplier will supply enough hides to fill the order, and depending upon the supplier, will or won’t charge for any overage. There is generally a 10-20% upcharge for upholstering with leather.

COT – Customer’s Own Trim – A somewhat lesser known term, but still part of the upholstery process. Custom welt cord or fringe trim for a throw pillow, is just as important as the perfect fabric. Always given in yards required, some manufacturers will charge an additional fee for applying the custom trim.