Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Enough Design...Lets Go For A Run (There's a gift at the end!)

I know I'm taking a few liberties here, this is a design blog after all, but between the mild weather in CNY and the hustle and bustle of the season- this has just been an A-MAZ-ING December! I want to show you where I do so much designing. The type of designing I call "thinkatecture".

I do feel so totally blessed to have this small lake and nature preserve within running distance from my home. Often, I am greeted by deer, roaming around, many times with fawns at their side. A sight that stops me dead in my tracks- their beauty is just overwhelming.

Believe it or not, even this foot bridge is special to me. My son built it for his Eagle Scout project over an area that typically floods in the spring, rendering the path unusable . Of course I can't run over it without thinking of him.

While running, I was thinking about my blog. I'm approaching my one year anniversary and I was thinking of what I've done, what I'd like to change and how I can improve.  

The last few months I've been inconsistent and I'm looking forward to getting back on track, adding some regular features and I'm also considering changing up the blogs look a bit.

I've been asked to write a post for My Life As A Blog a feature of Blogstar. It will be featured January 15. Writing that post will help me to really put this past year in perspective! I'm looking forward to sharing it with you, so much of it will be about you- all of the readers of Ispirato Design blog. 

I'm also looking forward to building more relationships this upcoming year, interacting more with readers and other bloggers. Now that the logistics of starting a blog are finished, that is definitely going to be my focus!

I'm excited to give a gift! 
Back in July, I offered a Pet Portrait Give Away to be given away when I reached 200 followers. Even though I'm not there yet, I want to play Santa and give one away today! 
I'll start another pet portrait give away in the new year.  

Now, I'll go to and generate a random number to see who the winner is- hold on, I'll be right back :)

Okay, I'm back... and the winner is: 

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Good Mood In Pictures

Greige Design
Hello friends- Happy Monday!
I have to tell you, I'm having one of those days that I'm feeling such an abundance of blessings. 
I think that I'm officially feeling the Christmas spirit :)

...let me share my mood in pictures.

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blue christmas candle Blue Christmas Decoration Ideas

Hope you are enjoying your day! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Makeovers: French and Brassy!

 "Things are changing so much around here!"  exclaimed my son.

I know I'm making the kids feel uneasy. I'm balancing trying to get things done quickly, like before the holidays (oops too late) but without completely turning too much upside down at once. When I moved the office out of our bedroom, it started a ball rolling. I repainted the room last week and decided to do a little furniture makeover.

I have these two bedside tables- they are in great condition (they've been sanded down here). The brown one is part of our bedroom set and the green one was in another room.
I wanted them to match and I decided to go french.

I sanded and primed the piece with gray flat primer. Then I started the process of painting on white and wiping it off with an old sock

There is no science to it- just paint and wipe off until it has the look you like. This works great on pieces with some detail.

After I got the white looking good, I sanded the edges and the detailed areas.

I thought it still needed a little something so I rubbed gold Rub-n-Buff onto some of the edges and details.

When I got it just right, I finished it off with a paste wax finish. 
One done, one more to go.

Earlier I was visiting Hazardous Design blog where Carrie was featuring a mini-makeover of her chandelier. She added black shades to a brass chandelier -such a simple change but what a difference it made. It prompted me to think of a little makeover that I did last week. I took before pics but they didn't come out very well so I wasn't going to post it, but after seeing Carrie's makeover I changed my mind. (Sorry about the dark pics!) You can check out Carries makeover HERE.

Do you have a brass lamp from the seventies that is just too brassy? 

True, brass is back, but personally, I'm not quite there yet! 
Problem: I needed a lamp and the only one that I had, that would work in the space that I needed it, 
was this one:

Back when we moved into our first house we had no light- there were no ceiling fixtures on the first level except for in the entrance area. My mother-in-law bought us this much needed lamp and it still makes me smile to think how my husband and I would carry it around from room to room. 

It's a classic ginger jar shape and it has a little bulb inside that casts a pretty, sparkly light in the evening but the brassy finish is what made me pack it up and sequester it to the basement storage area. With all of the changes we've been making around here it's back- I need it, I want to make it work!
Here's what I did:

I rubbed good ole Gold Rub-n-Buff onto the shiny brass part. It makes it look more honed, less shiny. 

I spray painted the inside of the shade gold.

...and painted the the outside of the shade with black latex paint.
Much better- a much more updated look!

What do you think about the resurgence of brass? 
What's your preferred finish- Shiny or honed?