Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Making Your Own DIY Silver Leaf Furniture

Silver leaf is a way to add a feminine touch to your room.  It's a little bit of glitz and a sprinkle of glam.  Translucent furniture and mirrored dressers are my other favorites because they're flashy and attention grabbing. Silver leaf adds the same pop but in a new way.

Make sure you set aside a good chunk of your day for a project like this as it's likely going to take you 3-5 hours + an extra hour to spend washing all the silver flakes out of your hair.

What exactly is silver leaf?

Silver leaf is a very thin sheet of silver.  It is used to decorate walls, furniture, lighting fixtures, picture frames, mirrors, and anything else you can think of.  When done correctly, it can give a off a beautiful shine and custom look.

Materials Checklist:

  • Metal Leaf Adhesive
  • 50-75 Sheets of Silver Leaf depending on how big your dresser is
  • Paintbrush
  • Water-Based Polycrylic Sealer
  • Sponge
  • Silver Spray Paint
  • A Tarp, Painters Plastic, or Blanket to cover the floor
Before you attempt this project, be forewarened that you may end up with flakes of silver leaf in your hair.  I've done it before and let's just say I told everyone I put glitter in my hair.

How to Make Your Own Silver Leaf Cabinets

Step 1: Dismantling the Cabinet
The first thing you want to do is pull out all of the drawers.  Some dressers may require you to lift up on the end of the drawer to get it out of the tract.  We need to remove the drawers so that we can silver leaf all of the edges.

Step 2: Applying the Adhesive
The next thing you want to do is apply the silver leaf adhesive.  It's a special adhesive and not just a generic/all-purpose adhesive.  Make sure you wipe the entire surface down with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or dust.

Tip: The silver leaf adhesive will only stay sticky for up to 15 minutes max so make sure you do this in small enough sections so you can work through the entire project without having to rush.

Step 3: Silver Leafing Your Dresser
This is the most important part.  We'll be applying the silver leaf sheets to the dresser/cabinet individually.  Go slow with this and try to get out any lines or imperfections in the sheets. Silver leaf sheets are very delicate so they are going to tear.  Don't fret if this happens to you.  All you have to do is tear out a smaller piece to fill.  You can overlap a little bit to make sure that the entire surface is covered.  It won't be very noticeable when you're finished.

Step 4: Sealing the Silver Leaf
Now we have to seal the silver leaf to protect it.  I'd advise using a water-based polycrylic.  Just use your paint brush to apply a moderate layer of sealant to the entire dresser.  Make sure that you get all the ends, corners, and cracks so your silver leaf doesn't start pealing in areas that the sealant wasn't added.  I'd do it in small portions to make sure that you get every square inch.  Allow recommended time to dry.

Step 5: Adding the Finishing Touches
Don't stop there!  Make your dresser awesome!  Add some new hardware to seal the deal and make it look like a completely new drawer.  The old drawer pulls probably drag the appearance of the rest of your silver leaf finish and they probably don't match.  You can find many different types of drawer pulls at your local hardware store.
And that my friends is how you silver leaf furniture!  If you have any other questions, you can send me a tweet @SuperInteriors or you can leave a comment below.

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Make Your own Cloud out of Balloons

So I was browsing the internet, or more specifically pinterest (yes, you caught me) when I came across a fun DIY project that I had an idea about.  After clicking through, I landed on Serena's page from The Farm Chicks.  In just a few simple steps, you can learn how to make your own cloud.

Instantly I knew this was a creative project to try out!  What's more, you could use it in a variety of ways; it's not just some craft that you make with no intention of using.  I could easily see a fluffy white cloud floating in a girls bedroom!  You could even dye the cotton balls pink or you can buy them at School Depot if you like.

How to Make a Cloud

What You'll Need:

  1. Balloons (color doesn't matter)
  2. Cotton balls or polyester pillow stuffing
  3. Tape
  4. A bucket of water and flour.
  5. Newspaper
  6. Spray on Adhesive
  7. Plastic Tarp to protect your floor.  It's going to get messy!

Step 1:
Before we even think about getting started, let's cover up the entire work area with a tarp or painters plastic.  We don't want any of our paste getting on the carpet.

Step 2:
Next, blow up the balloons to the size that you'd like.  When you're all out of air, you can begin taping all of the balloons together.  You can make a giant cloud or make a cute and small one.  I'd make a variety of size so that the cloud looks more natural when finished. 

Step 3:
Now we'll begin mixing up our paper mache paste out of water and flour.  If you've done this before, you know it's really simple.  If not, there are some paper mache recipes over here that you can look at.  Once you mix up the paper mache, you just dip in large strips of newspaper into the paste and the "glue" them to the balloons.  This will give the balloons surface area where you will attach the cotton balls in the next step.  Make sure you get a thick layer on so that your cloud will hold together when your balloons eventually pop or deflate.  

Step 4: 
Sit around for 24 hours to let it dry.  You can think of your next DIY project by visiting my pinterest board.

Step 5: 
Now we're ready to add the finishing touches.  Apply a light layer of spray on adhesive one section at a time.  Then add the stuffing to the area.  Do this bit by bit until the entire surface of the fixture should be covered.  By this time, your project should be starting to look like a cloud. :)

Learn How to Hang Them from the Ceiling!

The first thing I thought of was hanging them directly from the ceiling.  Now I'm sure there's more than one way to do this but my first impression would be to fashion a hook/harness out of paper mache on the cloud.  Several of them would work better if you plan on making a larger cloud.  Paper mache can be a bit weighty even when it dries so make sure you use a good amount of paste and newspaper so that the cloud will be hable to hang from the fixtures.

Then you can use a thing translucent string to suspend the cloud from the ceiling.  This will make the cutest addition and it won't cost you more than a few balloons and some extra time!  

If you liked this Cloud DIY project, make sure to share it with your friends!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

20 of the Coolest Pieces of Furniture You've Never Seen

                I've been amazed by some of the unique furnishings that pop into my social media feeds.  I'm constantly amazed by the creativity and the sheer wit behind some of these designs.  I've decided to put together a list of some of my favorites.  If you have any that everybody needs to see, go ahead and leave a comment about it at the bottom.  Sit back and be amazed!

20 Mind Blowing Furniture Designs

 1. The Capstan Expandable Star Table

The Fletcher Capstan Table is remarkable to watch unfold.  It has a star shaped cuts that help it come together.  While is is indeed one of the World's Coolest Tables, you might have to start saving up your pennies because this expandable table costs between $50k-$70k.

2. The Walking Table by Wouter Scheublin

3. Animal Chairs by Maximoriera

4. The Evolution Door/Folding Kinetic Door

5. The Inisio TV by Loewe

6. Canvas Furniture

7. The Coffee Bench

8. The Sofa Bunkbed

9. Flux Folding Chair by Douwe Jacobs

10. The Floating Table by RPR

11. Lost in Sofa

The Lost in Sofa makes it impossible to ever loose your phone in between couch cushions OR it will make even more small spaces to vanish into the oblivion. 

12. 3D Bar Table and Stools by Martin Gallagher

3D is a contemporary coffee table with nested stools.  The cylindrical form is a feat of modern architecture and modular design.

13. The Wave Desk by Robert Brou

The wave desk uses a "slice" of creative imagination to create this desk that is based on two columns, giving it a distinguishing "wave" pattern.  Made of poplar and stained with Van Dyke Brown.

14. The Mood Rocking Bed by Joe Manus

The Mood Rocking Bed can be used indoors and outdoors.   The cool thing is that it can rock or be stopped in motion using rubber stops. Designed by Joe Manus for Shriner International

15. Swinging Conference Table

With today's emphasis on creating a better workplace environment, companies like Google, Foursquare, and Genetech might want to consider one of these Swinging Conference tables to help foster a closer relationship with peers.  And it's just plain fun.  Adult's swinging on swing, live life twice. 

16. "Linger a Little Longer" Thermochromatic Table by Jay Watson

Australian designer Jay Watson designed this head turning table.  It has a thermochromatic finish that responds to the heat of your body and heat released by other objects that it comes into contact with like say a plate or a coffee mug.  It leaves a lasting impression, that only fades when the surface returns back to room temperature. 

17. Feel System Seating by Animi Causa

18. Orchid Chair

Even though it was named as one of the "Most Ugly Chairs," it's a shame that people can't see the artistic value of the Orchid Chair.  This would be a conversation piece in a nice ranch house or a down to Earth country home.

19. Paint or Die but Love Me

Jonnou Anesing makes his message clear; Paint Me or Die...but Love Me.

20. The Ghost Chair by Design Drift

Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn presented the Ghost Chair that uses laser technology that creates the illusion of a ghost-like manifestation that is visible through a plexiglass material.  Who said bespoke furniture doesn't have a soul. 

So what do you think?  Which one is your favorite?  Which one would you never want to see in your house?

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Look Back at Ally Coulter's 2012 Holiday House

I was browsing through the Quintessence Lifestyle blog when I came across a project that I wanted to share with you.  This is Ally Coulter's Holiday House from back in 2012 but it's still marvelous by most recent standards.

Ally states that she designed this project for a "James Bond-type character and looking at these pictures, she hit it on the head.  It's luxurious, provocative, masculine, and bold.  What really set this one apart is this.

Above the mantel is a super-sized working model of an M1 Garand Rifle made between 1951 and 1953 by the United States Naval Department.  It was originally made to teach troops how to use the weapons.  Nowadays it sits atop this decorative mantel piece.  Here's a few more shots.

It's a whopping 7 feet long.  Ally enrolled the help of Nicholas Brawer to help source this one-of-a-kind piece.  We see a rich use of dark colors and of course, leather.  Tha glass coffee table lends a taste of modernism to this men's lair.

An excerpt from Quintessence:

"In furnishing this classic paneled library Ally was inspired by the old gentlemen’s clubs of London, tempered with a current fresh take on tradition. I asked her to elaborate a bit on her thoughts for the space.  
'Collaborating with Ralph Lauren Home and their beautiful Brook Street Collection, I added high polished rosewood & macassar pieces with nickel and silver for a little sparkle to bring life to the dark space.  I then layered in the textures of black leather for masculinity, camel hair fabric and cream sheer to soften the edge. The Holland & Sherry fur throw added an extra luxe layer and a complementary contrast with the other textures.'"

I fancy the rich vintage and antique appeal with a touch of modern.  This is something that I'm going to be covering a bit more in the next few weeks.  Last week we talked about Vintage Modern.  It's something that has the potential of becoming more and more popular even thought it's presence is evident.  

To see more, you can visit the original post here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blending Victorian and Modern into the Best of Both Worlds


                Victorian Modern homes capture the decorative creativity and architectural fascination that flourished during the mid 1800's.  All we've done is spruced it up a bit and added a little modern pizzazz.  Elegant yet flashy, it grabs your attention.  It's artful, filling, and rambunctious, but only enough to get you to pay attention.  To make you curious, almost a conversation piece of sorts.  Every Victorian characteristic has a story behind it.

The Lazarus Effect
                Antiquated styles often reappear, something I like to call the Lazarus Effect.  When it does, it's not always pretty.  Some things are meant to be forgotten, and stay forgotten!  This isn't the case with Victorian.  It's so beautiful that it deserves an eternity of its own.  The problem is that it becomes overly saturated.  Too many people have their homes fashioned in this way so that it becomes too common. 

                Fast forward to the new-millennium of hipster fashion and retro design and Victorian Modern is a rediscovery of the past.  Old Victorian homes elicit character and prowess, something that modern cannot do on its own (feel free to disagree).  It affords itself to more personalization and customization, something that has "Me" written all over it.

Tips to Nail a Victorian Modern Home
                One of the best ways to blend Modern and Victorian Design is through furniture.  The furniture was a staple in these eras.  Elaborately decorated and handcrafted, there once was a time when furniture was handcrafted.  Human emotions carved out the details in these pieces; no one item was the same.  The one thing that wasn't available during this time was fabrics.  There a millions of fabric options out there nowadays. 

Not only that, the materials are much more durable (tear resistant nylons), stain-resistant, and easy to maintain.  This is where the perks of modern design begin to glimmer in the spotlight.  You get eclectic styles mixed with simple modern lines that dampen the design but not in a bad way. 

Artwork, decorative frames, and accessory hardware can all be a way to add some Victorian taste to your home.  One thing that I see happening alot is traditional Victorian furnishings decked out in bright colors.  It's evident that the piece is not from this time period but the colors let you know that it's for a reason.  It's new, it's hip, it's all that.

One Word of Caution
                Don't let this get you all swept up in arms; it is possible to mix Modern and Victorian and get it wrong.  Some of the things that I see are too much of either or pieces that fall too strongly toward one side of the design.  This can make it look forced or out of place.  Finding the right balance, the right dosage can be the difference between a Victorian Modern boom or bust. 

                I love Victorian Modern for so many reasons.  I'm going to expand on this in later posts so stick around for that.  If you've done any recent projects then I'd love to see! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AMAZING: Man Renovating His House Discovers A Complete Ancient Underground City (PHOTOS) -...

This is pretty amazing. What would you do if you discovered this beneath your house? Notify the authorities or keep it to yourself? :-P

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

25 Victorian Home Interiors that Will Never Go Out of Style

Victorian style homes, somewhat distant in the past but not too far from a time when we were young. The one thing we do know, history is sure to repeat itself. We see remnants of Victorian Style homes poppin up in discrete manners but they’re there. We’re talking about an ode to the era of Queen Victoria whom we’ve named the entire period from 1837-1901 so aptly after her. We saw eclectic architecture like never before. It’s been romanticized and fantasized, a classic theme with beauty that is incomparable. The design, the detail, the cultural influences, all so delicately intertwined into a style that is bound to last a lifetime. Some eye candy..