Summer Eclectic Home Tour 2017

Hey, peeps, I have a fun post for you today: a mini photo tour of my 900 sq ft home.

This week, Jess from Domicile 37 is hosting a hop tour where different bloggers show images of their homes every day. Today is my turn.

I won’t write long because I don’t have a lot of time before this post goes live, but images speak more than 1,000 words, don’t you think? The thing is that George has been gone all week and I haven’t found the time to write, but take pictures I did!

Take a look:

This is the piano in my living room. The most important piece here are the peonies! Summer = cheap peonies at Trader Joe’s!!!! I take full advantage of this opportunity when it comes around. Peonies in the bathroom. Hanging plants because that is what I like. Here is the porch. The entrance to our home.
More and more plants.
The living room again! I really like this corner of this room because it has so much color and is fun. Here is the tutorial on how to do that painting on the left.This photo looks like a painting but it is not. Tulips are another love of mine so I took this photo in front of our mural.new light fixtureThe other side of our living room. I bought this lamp a month ago in IKEA.lighting living roombougainvilleahow to do a hanging textile A textile I created last month. Our dining room. garland diyA garland in our kids’ room.Our garden.

Hope you like this mini-tour. Now, go and visit the rest of the bloggers participating! The links are below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Summer 2017 Eclectic Home Tour | Eclectic Interiors | Eclectic Homes | Boho decor | Vintage Eclectic decor | Bold Geometric decor | Maximalist style| Vibrant decor

Monday

Domicile 37 | Whimsical Blue Living | The Striped House | Bright Green Door

Tuesday

Cassie Bustamante | Jest Cafe | The Rath Project | Emmerson & Fifteen

Wednesday

Natasha Outside and In | Up To Date Interiors | Designing Vibes | PMQ for Two

Thursday

Jessica Brigham | This is Our Bliss | CAD Interiors | French & French Interiors | Maker of Home

 

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new light fixture

A New Light Fixture For Our Living Room

new light fixture

I have a confession to make! The light fixture we have had in our living room since we got the house five years ago is HORRIBLE. I am not exaggerating. Want to see?

ugly light fixture

You might be wondering, how is it that you have never seen this affront to humanity before in my posts about the One Room Challenge, Mural, garland, or bookshelves? Well, that goes to show that perspective and photography is everything in the world of blogging. I intelligently hid this crappy lamp so it wouldn’t cause you a heart attack. Thank you very much.

Why did it take me so long to update the light fixture? Because I wanted a bronze chandelier that costs more than $1,000 and I was never able to justify expending that kind of $$$. I had my heart set on it, but, as time went by, my conscience couldn’t pull the plug on such a splurge. I decided to find a cheaper route.

Such was the state of affairs in the interior design world of my home when my friend Stephanie from Casa Watkins Living posted a photo to her IG account with the latest summer collection at IKEA. Take a look:

It had a lot of cute boho pieces and those beautiful Jassa lamp shades! No exaggeration, I was in IKEA within 2 days of seeing this post ready to change my light fixture. The only problem was that I didn’t want such a neutral color, but because this lamp shade had a natural finish, it was easy to spray over and give it a completely different look, I went for bright yellow. Why not? Remember, this is my year of color! I am embracing it, I am living it and I want it everywhere in my life.jassa ikea light fixture

Here is the lamp shade before spraying it.

I love when I can take a cheap piece and do minimal work to give it a completely new look. IKEA pieces are perfect for this because they are so cheap that it doesn’t matter if you fail because the investment is minimal. In this case, the cord and shade cost $40. A big difference from $1,000!!!! I am going to be able to do so much cool stuff with that extra money in my budget. He.

Here are some photos of the final product:

jassa lamp lighting living roomchoosing a new lamp shadeyellow lamp shadelamp shade lamp makeover lighting yellow lamplamp shadeIkea light fixture boho lamp
So, what do you think? Isn’t better?

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A Chair Makeover and Our Dining Room

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links, I may receive a small percentage of that sale.  Thank you for making Jest Cafe possible.

I was driving back home a couple of weeks ago when I found this beauty on my neighbor’s front yard:

She was standing alone  and sad so I snatched her. I have been looking for new chairs for my dining room for a while so I thought, why not?

These kind of chairs are not expensive. You can find them on Amazon for $85 a pair, free shipping with Prime.  In any case, I am always trying to find cheap/free stuff with beauty potential so I grabbed it and fixed it up.

Painting a wooden chair is relatively easy, but there are some important tips you can follow if you want it to look “fancy.”

The first tip is to keep kids under 6 away from this project. Kids are no good when it comes to paint and furniture. No matter what they promise, no matter what you say, they will ruin your work as soon as you turn your back on them (or is it only my kids?). Also, spray paint is pretty toxic, which gives you another great excuse to keep them far, far away from this task.

The second tip for painting a chair (and any DIY project) is to have PATIENCE! Don’t hurry up. Wait until you complete each task throughly. No shortcuts! Take your time, please.

Here is what you need to do for a wooden chair makeover:

How to Paint a Wooden Chair

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hours + 2 days to dry  Cost: $10

Materials:

  • Chair
  • Sand paper – Medium grit
  • Small wood block to wrap sand paper around (I used a 2″ x 4″). I also had a sand paper block but you don’t need it
  • 1 can of glossy spray paint in whatever color you want – I used Malachite color from the Montana gold brand. If you can’t find the color you want in glossy finish, buy a glossy clear spray paint to apply afterwards
  • Big rug or plastic – to put under the chair when painting
  • Dust mask – Optional. It will keep you from inhaling a lot of the toxic paint fumes

Instructions

1) Sand the chair. Sandpaper comes in different grits based on the number of sand granules per square inch of paper. A high grit means a finer sandpaper, while a low grit means a coarser sandpaper. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches without damaging the wood. I used a medium grit sandpaper for this project.

Wrap the sand paper around the wood block and use it for sanding flat surfaces. This helps to sand only the imperfections that are above the surface.  Use the sandpaper alone (or sandpaper block)  when sanding curved surfaces. Sanding your chair is important because all the details that you don’t easily see before sanding (like holes or bumps) will clearly show up after you paint your chair. Be patient! Pay attention to detail! Don’t rush through this or you will have to come back again to sand back the imperfections that show up after a fresh and smooth coat of paint had been applied.

Rub surfaces to feel for smoothness!

This is how my chair looked after I finished sanding it:

2) Wash the chair with soap and water. Wait until it is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
3) Start spraying. Make sure the spray can is around 8″ -10″ away from the surface you are trying to paint. Don’t start spraying directly into the chair, this could create drips if you apply too much paint (see below). Start spraying by aiming away from the chair and then go into applying smooth strokes to the chair. Again, take your time with this step. You don’t want to create drips with your paint like these ones: Because then you will have to sand down the imperfections all over again! Whatever imperfections show up, you will need to sand them down the day after you spray paint, otherwise the dust will settle on the damp paint.

When painting, you need to get to all the “difficult” places. Turn the chair upside down and make sure no space is left without paint.

4) If you spray painted your chair with a flat finish like I did, you will need to add a coat of glossy transparent spray paint to give it a glossy finish. A glossy finish is VERY important for kitchen furniture, especially. It is easier to wipe down when dirty with filthy children’s food.

Here is the after photo of that (previously) ugly chair:
Here are photos of  the chair in our dining room. By the way, I am taking this opportunity to introduce our little dining room to all of you! I have not shared photos of it before. You might already know that our house is small, so this little breakfast nook works as the dining room, project table, homework space, and many other things. I like how happy and vibrant it is.The Saltillo tile that George installed is pretty charming. It gives the kitchen a rustic look.
The seats work as drawers for storage, too. The shelf has vintage finds and a beautiful plant. Just how I like it.

Some old baby shoes just hanging in there because they look cute. No sentimental reason.

I just ordered 2 more wooden chairs from Amazon so I can paint them and add them to the dining room. The chair I just painted looks cute but lonely. It needs some company, so I will be making some friends for her this weekend.

Have a wonderful day!

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Outdoor Painting – The Reveal

First of all, I want to say I am sorry. I promised I was going to do an outdoor painting months ago and I never delivered. What is worst is that I have a lot of views on that false promise post and I am sure some of you are wondering why I am such a flake!

Well, I was supposed to finish this outdoor painting months ago but then the weather decided it was time to put an end to the draught in CA and ruined ALL MY PLANS! Buah!!!!

Yes, my friends, it has rained in LA every week since the beginning of January so I was only able to finish this project last week. I have been trying to find ways to improve my garden and outdoor room and I came up with this idea some time ago.

Here is the post that details my plans and inspiration. I wrote it back in January and promised I would have it ready in two weeks. HA! Well, I FAILED! I am a failure and a liar, but like most people who fail, I say: better late than never. Ha. I am SO funny today.

The truth is that, even without the rain, the project would have taken much longer than anticipated. Although it doesn’t require a lot of technicality, it does need patience and time to create straight lines and perfect triangles. You need to make sure everything is perfectly dry before moving on to a different section of the painting, so yes, I failed in my timing but not in the final execution because it got done and it looks quite good.

The garage wall went from blah to Baboom!!!!! Which was the only intention behind this project. Also, I wanted to have it done in time for our Easter Hunt, so that worked out. Pat on the back. Pat on the back.

Here is what you will need for this project:

Outdoor Painting

Difficulty (1-5): 4  Time: 1 week Cost: $70

Materials:

  • Lots of latex paint colors for walls. I used 13 sample sizes of flat color, mostly from Behr.
  • 8ft x 3ft sheet of plywood
  • Pencil
  • Blue tape
  • Small and big brushes
  • Measuring Tape

To hang the painting:

  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Level
  • 2 1/2″ screws (to hang the painting outside)

Instructions:

1) Cut your Plywood to whatever size you want. Mine is a square shape of 6ft x 6ft.


2) Mark your middle point – the place where all triangles meet.

3) Draw the straight lines from the middle point to wherever you want the sides of your triangles to go.

4) Align a strip of blue tape to the lines of the first triangle you want to paint. Make sure you press it down5) Paint the triangle and wait until paint is dry. Touch the paint to make sure is not tacky.

6) Do the same for the triangle that is not right next to the one you just painted. So, for the first pass, paint every other triangle of your painting.

7) Now it is time to paint the triangles that were left without paint and getting a straight line is vital! To do this, place the blue tapes on both sides of the triangle you want to paint. Make sure the paint is completely dry.

8) Paint on each side of the blue tape with whatever paint is below the tape, meaning the color of the triangle right next to the one you are trying to paint.

9) Wait until it dries and paint the whole triangle with the final color. Now wait until the painting is completely dry. Sometimes this will take hours.

10) Strip out the blue tape

11) Drill through the painting into the wall to hang it. Find the studs to do this.

12) Fix details with your small brush, for example, fix lines that are not straight, paint over screws, paint over any imperfections.

So, what do you think? I like it. It has the soul of Spring!

In case you want to make a painting for the inside of your home, here is a tutorial about how to make a mural.

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The Advantages Of Living In A Small Home


Before I dive into the specifics of this post, I wanted to say hi to all newcomers. There are a lot of new readers coming to this blog every day so I wanted to say thank you for stopping by and deciding to stay.

This blog has a lot of Design and DIY projects, but it also has posts about life and thoughts on women’s issues. My about page explains why I write about all these things, but, in a nutshell, I am interested in two many topics to keep this blog contained to only one of them. The good news is that this corner of the cyber world was born to express creativity and crafty projects, so Design and DIY are part of the weekly scheduled posts. OK, now I am starting to go down to Boring lane, so let’s skip the formalities and talk about my wonderful and cozy 900 sq ft home.

I have two children (3 and 5 years old) and a sexy husband (not a lot of brains, though… and, yes, in case you are new here and wondering about my sense of humor, that was a joke).

We live in a small house in LA. Good news is that our yard is BIG! And when I shout BIG, I mean big for LA standards… our lot is 7,500 sq ft. Kids are outside a lot, which makes the house feel bigger, but we still live in a tiny, comfy, charming, 2 bedroom, 900 sq ft little house.

It has 2 bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen and a living room – no open plan. When we bought the house 5 years ago, it was in disarray. We have been building it up slowly to our family standards.

Lately,  many of our friends have been asking about our plans to expand the house. Our kids are getting bigger and we are outgrowing our space. Us, on the other hand, are not that worried. On the contrary, I really, really, really LOVE the size of our home because of the amazing intimacy it creates, something I never anticipated before having children.


There is a lot of family charm happening in a 900 sq ft house. I always know what my kids are up to, which helps me in keeping a safe environment (and nope, I am not an helicopter mom… am I?), but it also encourages constant social interaction. Just sharing the bathroom in the morning requires plenty of communication and compromise. (BTW, do any of your young children asks for privacy when going to the bathroom? “I nid pivacy, momma,” Max says, making me LOL because, seriously Max, you are only 3 years old and still need me to wipe your butt.)

There are other obvious practical advantages to a small home like faster cleaning, less energy usage, or less furniture expenses, but none of them matter to me as much as the unexpected closeness that this small space has brought to our little family. At night, I hear my kids having bad dreams and I can rescue them; in the daytime, I know if they are painting our new sofa or drowning my iPhone in the toilet (yes, that has happened- silence is the best predictor of these behaviors.) Also, because the space is  limited, we live a decluttered life. Limited amount of clothes and toys, for example.  And our piano has taken a predominant role in our lives. Kids are always playing music because the piano is very present, readily available, and constantly in our path. You are always “encountering” the piano… am I making any sense in here?

I guess what I want to say is that when you live in a small space, all pieces of furniture and décor have an important role in your daily life. They can’t be ignored.

As you can see, expanding our home is not a top priority, although it would be nice to do it in a couple of years, when kids are a little bit older and demand their geographical independence, but, for now, we are staying as is. What do you think? Do you have a big or small house? and, if you do live in a small house, what do you like or don’t like about it?

Here is the Winter tour of our home, in case you care to see, and thanks for stopping by!

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