Today is a special day when I allow my first guest blogger to have her say here on my blog. Nepotism is alive and well, people… and hard at work here at the Funky Bear. The guest blogger is my sister, Caroline! (Sidenote: If you’d like to be a guest blogger on the Funky Bear or feel you have something to share in this creative space, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current Town: College Station, Texas
Fun Fact: Besides being my one and only little sister, Caroline was born with 2 stuck together toes! Yes, as in webbed, like a duck. The nurse who helped deliver her proudly proclaimed: “Oh don’t worry, good for swim!” TMI? Perhaps…
Decorating Style: Classy. Colorful. Chic.
But Caroline is qualified to talk decorating in other ways than her blood relation to me. Out of the two of us, she is the one more inclined towards home design. In fact, when I told her I was starting the Funky Bear, I’m pretty sure she shunned me for no less than 3 days because it’s more her forte than mine. She probably couldn’t understand how or why I was dabbling in her world. Hmmf…but now she is helping me provide creative inspiration to all of my followers. She has always been interested in home decorating and design since the ripe age of 6 when she started her very own design notebook. She pulled scraps out of magazines and wrote on sticky notes things such as “Nice curtains” and “Good lamp” so she wouldn’t forget when she was all grown and had her own place.
Well, now she does at her first house at Texas A&M University and she would like to share her tips of the trade with YOU. Keep in mind, she has just moved in in the past few weeks and the walls are still very bare. But you can definitely get some great ideas looking through the decorating mecca that is her house. I’m OBSESSED and I know you will be to.
So without further ado, here is Caroline’s point of view:
Hello Funky Bear followers! I’m excited to be able to share with ya’ll my new love affair – my very first house, and it has a red door! Love at first sight. I’ve always loved design & decorating, but am in a whole new arena now that I have my own house (and all the fun stuff inside is coming out of my wallet! Yikes.) My 3 lovely roommates and I just moved in this Summer and have been having a ball putting it together. I can tell they’re true friends because they have completely let me take the reins decorating wise.
Our little red door house is a work in progress! One thing I’ve learned so far is that decorating (the right way) takes time and patience. It doesn’t happen all at once, no matter how much you want it to, and it turns out a whole lot better that way. I’m going to share a few tid bits on what’s been going on in my house thus far…
Welcome to my room! I took this old wrought iron bed from my room at my parent’s house and threw my freshman dorm Pottery Barn bedding on it. I’m a big fan of color, and love that the red comforter incorporates lots of fun, bright ones. The white on the bed adds a clean crisp vibe to the loud colors. Then for finish, I added a few accent pillows (thanks to Marshall’s and Stein Mart — awesome throw pillows at a great price.)
The lamps beside my bed were a Target purchase! I love the lining of the shades with that fun design so that when you turn the light on, it adds a little somethin’ extra.
My mom and I found this great old pine desk at a resale shop in Austin for $70! I’d been looking for so long, and this was hands down the best deal. I leaned this old mirror (another Mom find) up against the wall. At first it was out of the laziness that came from trying to hang it all by myself, but I’m really starting to kind of like the lean, laid-back, chic look.
I set on top of the mirror this little sign (with some wise words from Cinderella) found at Marshall’s.
On top of my desk sits this classy little lamp. Believe it or not, it was a Target find! It’s got the silver candlestick look and the shade is this soft blue that I love.
The jewelry box was an Urban Outfitters find ($40) and the little bird-earring holder was $7 from Marshall’s. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a huge Marshall’s fan and bargain shopper extraordinaire.
Touches of leopard print here and there never get old. My mom found this chair for me a long time ago at a resale shop in Houston (The Guild – for any of you Houstonians). Again, the throw pillow was a recent buy at Target!
And here we have my first painting project! My mom had this funky old wood table. Since it was just a practice/starter piece, I decided to go bold and put a coat of this hummingbird turquoise on it. It was way easier to paint and distress than I thought! New hobby? Possibly.
Here are some quick instructions to Do It Yourself if you’re interested:
Step 1: Find old piece of furniture – Craigslist, around the house, resale shops…you name it!
Step 2: If it’s already got a coat of paint on it or a stain, you’ll need to sand it off so that the paint and finish will stick (which is all I did). Or you can do a combination of sanding and priming. Priming is easy as well and anyone at Home Depot can help you find the right primer depending on the piece. Make sure to wipe the piece down to get off all the dust particles etc. off before you start applying paint!
Step 3: Now you get to paint! Turn on some music, lay out a old sheet or tarp, and go to work. You don’t need fancy paint brushes, but cheapy ones will just make your piece look cheap. Quality is better, even if it’s a few bucks more. Worth it. Ask someone at your local hardware store and they’ll point you in the right direction.
Step 4: Re-apply another coat to make the color rich and non-streaky! Let it dry overnight.
Step 5: To give it an antique, distressed look – you’ll need some sandpaper! Go over all the edges where a piece of furniture is prone to wear over time. Corners, lines, etc. – you can distress it however much or little you’d like.
Step 6: Once you’re done with this, you’ll want to wipe down with a damp cloth to get off all the dust and anything left over on it. Now you’ll put a clear, glossy sealer over it to help it resist stains and give it a nice finished look! It’s like putting on clear nail polish, you can’t really mess it up, but if you do it right, it makes a big difference. And voila! You’re done.
An old vase from a flower delivery a while back and some one dollar colorful daisies from Michael’s serve as our “centerpiece” for our kitchen table.
This one gets props from Funky Bear herself and my momma, the one who taught me everything I know! My mom painted and distressed this fun piece and my sister gets credit for the artwork. She was going to throw that away! Someone’s trash is another’s treasure…
Our cozy living room! All pieces from our old house mixed and matched together.
A little home-made artwork around the house! Me and my friends had a girls night one evening consisting of canvases, an array of acrylic paints, Alanis Morrisette setting the mood, and a little bit of wine. Artistic inspiration in a nutshell.
Here are some little touches around my room. Everyone knows it’s the little touches that make a house a home…
Found this little silver tray at a resale shop for $4! Put a candle on it and it sits right on one of my bed side tables.
I like filling shelves with all my books – the bindings bring in color and a homey feel.
I love trays of perfume, gives it a feminine feel, even if most of the bottles are basically empty. I found the white oval plate the perfumes are sitting on at Marshall’s.
More homemade stuff. Here is a fun card I found at a boutique in Austin! I found some scrapbooking paper and matted it on that and stuck it in a 8 x 10 black frame.
This is in my roommate (Kristin’s) room and I’ve always wanted to do this! She found an old window pane at an antique store for $12. She cleaned up the glass a little and stuck some pictures in! She recently bought another one for our house that I’m sure we’ll do something fun with.
As you can tell, our house is still kind of empty feeling – but we’re trying to pace ourselves! That only means we get to prolong the fun of getting to decorate and add to the house. But for now, I’d say it’s a pretty good start. When it starts coming together even more, maybe Claire will let me update you guys on how it’s looking. Thanks, hope you enjoyed!