Happy Friday everyone! Today I want to share something near and dear to my heart. . . my condo, or what is referred to here in the Pearl (the name of a downtown Portland neighborhood) as a loft. I am feeling extra sentimental because I will be moving from my beloved loft in just a few weeks. I will be moving to a space where I can both work and live, with an abundance of windows for natural light photography and a large workspace for me to create new posts and videos for this blog. I am just a tad nervous since I have not found this new home yet but have faith the the perfect home is waiting for me.
I have been a frugalista all of my life, first out of necessity but now for the pure joy of upcycling furniture, finding treasures and hand making the things in my home. My newest treasure is my linen slipcover sofa that I instantly crushed on when I found it in furniture shop just down the street. Not able to justify the dollars needed to purchase this custom made piece, I kept looking for a good second choice with no luck. One Sunday morning I opened my Craigslist app on my iPad and found the EXACT sofa listed for a tenth (yes, that is correct) of the original price! I about jumped out of my skin! The sellers were moving to London and though they had just purchased the sofa, needed to sell it quickly. Happy me! My two large chairs were also Craigslist finds that I made new slipcovers to replace their questionable covering. The over sized ikat ottoman was a floor sample from West Elm. I am always on the lookout for pieces with both comfort and a nice shape and have an old tufted chair that I will be reupholstering and sharing here on the blog in the next few months.
Making my own curtains and pillows was one of the first things I learned when I began styling my home. I find using current and even trendy fabrics an easy way to keep the room looking fresh for very little cost and time. Being from an artist family, I have always had a nice collection of original art at my finger tips. I laugh when I realize that the only time I paint since I was in art school is when I have a wall that needs to be filled. The four large pieces in the living room I created specifically for this space, though you will see they have been moved a few times in different photos. My interiors are always in process.
I am in love with the large stump I picked up off the curb (of course I asked first). I peeled off the bark and after it completely dried, polished it with a soft wax. I plan to sand the top flat someday and use it for a side table. My Ikea “étagère” is filled with both vintage books that I collect from flea markets and design books from some of my favorite bloggers. The other books that may not match are covered with a colored paper. Voila! Instant styling.
Two of my favorite pieces. . . the desk a flea market find that I painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint (see tutorial here). The horse was something I picked up a Home Goods. He had been dropped on his head so both ears were missing and one hoof was broken from the base. This chunky piece is made from a thin resin and painted to look like wood so not a high end piece, but I do have a thing for horses so I could not just leave him there to be tossed in the trash. Once I repaired the broken parts I painted the piece with an old white chalk paint and gave him a soft wax finish. Love!
I try not to buy too much Ikea furniture, but this bookcase looks great after I covered that back panel with a sunny yellow fabric. (You will see the matching pillow placed on the sofa.) I filled the shelves with little dishes I pick up for food photography. You will see flea market finds, pieces from Anthropologie and West Elm and pottery made by my parents. . . all treasures to me.
The loft did not come with an island which was so needed for both storage and work surface. I put this mega island together using two baker racks, two Ikea desk tops screwed together then tiling the top with black granite tile. I love setting tile! The pendent is another Ikea find. I had plans to make it into a paper sculpture. Maybe in the next home. The open shelves are filled with more of my mother’s pottery, my glass bottle finds and white pitcher collection.
Moving to my French inspired bedroom. . . the headboard is another of my treasured possessions. The headboard was custom made by a furniture company in exchange for designing a new logo for their shop. The three decorative pillows are handmade and the rest of the bedding I found at one of my favorite stores for gorgeous and affordable bedding, West Elm. The chandelier which hangs over the bed was one of those amazing finds on Craigslist where the homeowner replaced it with something new. . . to my delight!
Mixing modern with vintage is one of my favorite design styles so the nightstands add that old world charm. They are 70-80’s pecan wood, very solid and well built. I refinished them with Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white and after this photo was taken, replaced the metal handles with new glass pulls. The glass ball lamps were another Craigslist find.
You may recognize the jewelry frame from the tutorial I did for ellinee.com. The leftover linen from this project became one of the bed pillows. The Wolf dress form was found on Craigslist. I purchased it to use in my sewing room, a bit disappointed at first with the stains and the missing base and finial. New Wolf dress forms are over $1000 now, so even though it was distressed it was a good find. After my fashion design dreams fell by the wayside, I saw the form as a great decorative piece placing it in this wrought iron plant stand and topping it with stacked banister finials. Now the water stains and yellowed muslin just add to the character. This lowboy dresser was another 80’s junk store find that found new life with the chalk paint and new crystal nobs.
I am including a photo of the bathroom to show how elegant changing out the simple bulb cover with a capiz pendant can look. The second bedroom became a guest room after my daughter moved and I decorated it with her artwork, vintage French bistro chairs and hand made bedding mixed with a bright pink West Elm duvet. The art above the bed is another example of attaching interior fabric over a canvas stretcher frame to create an easy and eye catching piece.
Here are a few photos of where I began my loft design process. Fabric, art and paint. I loved mixing the industrial style loft with what I call my “creative comfort” style. I hope you enjoyed my tour. Stay tuned for the next phase of my life as you will be coming along with me when I junk shop, decorate, upcycle, paint and sew. Now if I can just find that PERFECT house!! ~ Lia