T-Shirt, Jeans, & Bows

I’m not a big jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, but there are definitely those days when the appeal of an outfit that is totally simple and completely comfortable trumps all other fashion fancies. As one who works from home, this idea is becoming more and more common. Despite the no-fuss point of a t-shirt and jeans ensemble, though, I still like to dress things up just a tad. On this particular day, I thought my vintage “gold” and “silver” beaded necklaces would be perfect against my heather-ed gray t-shirt. Not able to wear a completely neutral outfit, I added a little color to the mix by grabbing a few ribbons from my craft drawer and tying them onto the necklace strands making what felt like a brand new necklace!

To finish the look, I slipped on a pair of my “China” shoes (also know as my ninja shoes because I am nearly silent when wearing them!). They have recently become my favorite flats to scuff around the house in. Although their cloth body isn’t long lasting, I absolutely love the way they feel and will probably always have at least one pair in my wardrobe. Typically, I’ve purchased solid colored pairs in the past but this botanically inspired print really caught my fancy.

T-Shirt – Walmart (yes, Walmart), Jeans – Gap, Necklaces – Thrifted, Ribbons – Craft Drawer

How do you like to accessorize your t-shirt and jeans?

On a side note, for those of you familiar with Design*Sponge‘s recent site makeover, you may notice the similarity between today’s outfit and the new Design*Sponge look. This was totally by accident but I couldn’t help chuckling about it after the fact. Maybe’s it’s the pink and red hued ribbons…

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Upholstered Art

Ok, it’s time for a little DIY action. A few comments on Monday’s post about Josef Frank’s stunning fabrics reminded me that I had yet to publish photos of a home project I worked on earlier in the month. (silly me… I usually jump at those opportunities to share)

Since my days of interior design school, I have slowly relinquished a large collection of fabric samples intended for class projects. Much of my original collection was very nice but a few of the pieces were exquisite and so I chose to hold onto a those for some unknown future. Now, my assemblage of prized textiles rests quietly organized in storage. All my best intentions are for their eventual use but up until today’s project, that hadn’t happened. So, I finally decided to give one lucky fabric it’s worthy presentation by framing it in an odd frame I had sitting around the house. Here are the super simple steps I took:

1)     I measured and cut a piece of cardboard to loosely fit the inside of the frame. (If the fit is too tight, there won’t be room for the fabric once the cardboard is wrapped)

2)     After fitting the card board to the inside of the frame, I selected my fabric. (Had I done this in the first step, I may have chosen a fabric that was too small for the cardboard).

I chose a beautiful golden hued flame-stitch.

3)     Next, I cut my fabric to fit the cardboard with about an inch and a half clearance around the edge to allow for wrapping. With my newly cut fabric, I placed the cardboard in the center and stapled the fabric edges to the back side of the cardboard.

4)     Once my fabric was securely “upholstered” to the cardboard, I place it in the open frame.

Et voila!! As simple as un, deux, trios, my textile art is complete!

Quick and simple projects are wonderful things. They give you an immediate sense of success and accomplishment! If you have a box of fabric scraps around the house or perhaps a favorite textile in mind (one that might be too expensive to upholster the sofa in), try using them as art instead. As a fellow pattern enthusiasts, I’d love to know what you choose!

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Gallery Opening!

Several hours of work and much deliberation later, my paper templates are filed away and my gallery wall of personal photos and artwork is complete!! (or, at least until I decide to make the next batch of changes… things are always evolving around here!)

Take a look at the beginning of this project HERE.

My inspiration started here:

This room, designed by Kristen Buckingham, is full of such beautiful and unique layers. When I first saw it, I was immediately attracted to the bold wall of artwork, the folksy and old-world sofa, the small Art Deco lamp on the right, and the bright green glass lamp on the left offsetting it all. In my opinion, the perfect balance of sophistication, artistry, playfulness, and comfort…. all goals of mine in creating the environment of our home.

Now, this is my version.

The wall above was already painted when we moved into our house and naturally acts as a focal point when guests enter our home. It’s open to our living and dining areas, acts as our library, and is the passageway to our bedroom in the back of the house. A gallery of artwork and personal photos that are significant to David and I seemed like an appropriate use of the space.

Urged on by commenters in THIS post, I decided that a little neon punch would help up the edge factor in our fairly traditional home. So, I included a bright, apple green vase in my design found totally by happenstance at a local thrift store. (those are the best discoveries)

Our main living area has one less bare wall now. I am filled with a great sense of accomplishment every time I walk by it and reminded of the many things I love. It’s far from perfect but that’s part of what I like about it. There’s room to grow and change!

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Work in Progress… Art Gallery

What does one do when the budget is tight? FINISH those projects you once started and left undone!! I am finally taking things to the next step with my collection of framed photos and artwork that I intended to create a wall collage with far too long ago.

Now that I’ve set my mind to it, I’ll be done in no time. I’ve collected my tools, assembled my materials, and finalized the design… all that’s left is to finish it. Gallery opening coming soon!!

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Wedding season for the lady-folk means lots of dresses. Sun-dresses for showers and luncheons, party dresses for rehearsal dinners and bachelorette events. And then of course, there is the dress for the actual event…the wedding! Well, this past weekend gave me the opportunity to doll up my dress ensembles for a special occasion. I love the common phrase ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ because I find it to be frequently true in my life. For example, a pair of my favorite vintage shoes have been sitting idle in my closet for the past several months due to the fact that their strap doesn’t feel sufficiently sturdy. I have had my eyes on them for the longest time…wishing they were stronger and searching for a solution that would finally allow me to wear them. In preparation for my brother’s rehearsal dinner this past weekend, all it took was a little inspiration to discover the solution. And voila!

…they are fixed! I found a couple paisley printed silk scarves (long and narrow) with complementing color schemes and used them to tie under the sole of my shoe and around my ankle, making a strong yet adjustable strap as well as adding pretty bow embellishment to a classic pair of white pumps.

I now have a lovely pair of heels that feel totally new and unique! (not to mention perfectly girly and wedding appropriate!)

All Photos Credit to David Walker

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Thinking Outside the Table

Another household item that can often be found floating around my house without a place to rest in are my books. David and I have an ever growing collection (which I love!) but I think we’re running out of places to put them! For those with the same predicament, here is a wonderful solution.

Photo Credit: Justin Officer, via Design Sponge Online

In fact, I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t mention that the image above inspired a similar arrangement in my own living room. (By the way, this photo is from an equally cool home featured on Design Sponge…bright, playful, and perfect for Spring!) I’m curious to know if you would you try this set-up in your home? Tell me what you think!

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Bright Idea

Have I ever told you the story about this unusual art accessory?

Well, if not…here goes. When David and I moved into our first apartment in Fort Worth, we decided to change out all of our light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent lights. Less energy, less heat, and lower electricity bills! But what to do with the now out-of-date incandescent bulbs? I was ready to toss them to the curb (which would not have been very eco-friendly) when David suggested something radical…why not save them as a modernist art piece…maybe even a bit Dada-esque. Is a pile of light bulbs  art? Or perhaps a social statement about the progress of technology?

Well, they also just look cool! To add to the fun, we turned over an unused lamp shade to hold our collection of bulbs. In one swoop we managed to save a handful of perfectly usable items from the dump. And my favorite part about this installation, besides the inside story that David and I (and now you) share?…the milky white glass bulbs against the polished brass shade lining. It is such an attractive contrast!

Now for the good part…a few nights ago, David informed me that he had something special to bring home for me. (Oooo! A surprise!) When he arrived home, the surprise was even better than I expected…an awesome addition to our bulb collection! He managed to pick up a discarded stage light from school. I was in love! It is so huge!!! And more like a piece of sculpture than simply a means of light.

I have a feeling this guy is going to be with me for a while. 🙂

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No Time to Waste

Yes…I have finally returned from my relocation vacation (well, “vacation” may not be exactly the right word). Although I missed sharing my daily snippet of style and design inspiration, I have to be honest…the time away gave me a wonderful opportunity to consider and reflect on my work here…past, present, and future. If I took the time to go through all my ponderings, you would absolutely be utterly bored, so I will skip a few steps ahead to say that I now have a renewed vision for my work here at Hilary Inspired! You may notice a few alterations over the next several weeks (and some cosmetic improvements as well…that to come a little further down the road). No need to worry, though. I’ll still be sharing those lovely and exciting things that catch and hold my eye and inspire me along the way. In the spirit of today’s title, which expresses the sentiments I have felt for the past few weeks, I want to start with a glimpse into our new home via my favorite type of post…the DIY! No Time to Waste!

This mini-project began when I happened upon a couple of diamonds in the rough at my favorite local thrift store, Berry Good Buys:

I had been eyeing these lamps for a couple of weeks and, to my surprise, no one snatched them up. So when I returned a few days ago, I grabbed them for myself (along with another beauty that I am so excited about!).

My goal was to use the vintage shape of the second-hand lamps and update them with a couple crisp, modern shades. One trip to Target later…mission accomplished!

I found exactly what I was looking for…clean, modern shape, graphic pattern, and two shades of the same size (but a different color) to boot! Here’s how it all came together:

Ahh, the joys of a small victory!

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