Framed Maps Add Vintage Touch

Vintage maps The way I rave about Fine Art America, you'd think I owned stock in the company.  It's an online database of THOUSANDS of prints... of you guessed it... fine art!  What's cool is that you can find anything from John James Audubon's famous sketches to up and coming modern oil paintings and have them printed any way you'd like.  They offer canvas prints, art prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, greeting cards, even matting and framing.

I purchased the safari-inspired prints for Beau's nursery from their website and recently ordered two prints of antique New Orleans maps to add to our guest bedroom.

To cut down on costs, I bought a pre-made frame, then got the glass and mat cut at the frame shop and had them assemble everything.  The overall size is 24"X30" and with the cost of the framing and prints, each piece came out to only $100 ($200 for the pair).  I love the finished product more than I ever predicted and saved a ton of money doing them this way!  Our British Colonial-inspired guest room is now almost complete.  We just need to change out the light fixture and finish the burlap curtains.  I can't wait to show you the finished result!!

A Place for Beau


Baby Beauregard finally has a place to call home.  This December, when I went into labor 7 weeks early, we were knee deep in nursery renovations.  The floors were unfinished.  The wainscoting was incomplete.  The furniture was in boxes.

Between trips to the NICU, late night feedings and diapers changes, we've managed to finally finish Beau's safari-inspired escape.  And I hope he loves it as much as we do!

Inspiration came from a Restoration Hardware photo I found online.  We purchased the basic furniture from RH, then mixed in an antique chair and luggage, whimsical lighting, a soft cotton rug, handmade wreath (my neighbor Whitney is a genius), plenty of cozy stuffed animals, along with custom draperies and linens (thanks, mom!).

I know that Joe, Beau and I will make countless special memories as we curl up in the leather chair, read books and sing songs for many happy years to come.

She's a Sewing Machine! (no pun intended)

Handmade Nursery Curtains My mom and dad left this week to return home, after 2 glorious weeks here in New Orleans.  If you read my blog, you've probably realized by now I enlist the help of just about anyone who enters our house.  My folks are no exception!  Along with helping to care for Baby Beau, my parents lent a serious helping hand around the homestead.

While my dad and Joe finished up last minute trim work and other details in the nursery, my mom powered through three impressive sewing projects: the curtains, crib skirt and bumper pad.  She's finishing the bumper pad on her better sewing machine at home, so you'll have to wait to see that and the skirt, but the curtains are finished... hung... and AMAZING!  The fabric is a simple tone on tone stripe that blends with the wall color, but still adds dimension.  The rods were an inexpensive buy from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  The design is a top pleat with rings.

I couldn't be happier with how they turned out and I couldn't be luckier to have such incredible folks.  The nursery is ALMOST done... I'm just waiting on a few decorative details to arrive in the mail.  I promise to post pictures soon!

Wainscoting Installation: Easier Than Expected

I have a tendency to pick the most complicated and expensive thing I see in a magazine... and then try to do it myself... on a budget.  Usually, it'll get done, but ends up taking 10 times longer than expected and costing twice as much.  I'm pleased to say, this was NOT one of those projects!  Wainscoting adds depth and dimension to absolutely any room.  It's got plenty of impact and never goes out of style.

Joe and I both wanted wainscoting in Beau's nursery, so we ripped off the baseboards and pulled up the carpet.  That was a mistake.  Apparently, you're supposed to leave the baseboards in place.  WHOOPS.  Aside from that bump in the road, the rest of the installation was easier than expected.  We finished the bulk of the project in 3 weekends.  Then, I went into labor 7 weeks early!!  Thanks to some help on the finishing touches from family members, it's finally complete!

The process starts by hanging a horizontal 1x4 around the room.  That step is tougher than it looks, because you cannot measure up from the floors (especially if they're as uneven as ours)!  In order for the top to be perfectly level, the distance from the floor ranged from 40" to 43".  However, once that initial piece of wood was in place, the rest was simple.  We added vertical 1x4 "styles" around the entire room, capped off the bottom with a horizontal 1x6 and installed decorative moulding inside the squares and around the top.  The entire project was finished off with the (new) baseboard, shoe moulding, wood filler and two coats of paint.

Up next, we'll fill up the nursery with all of baby Beau's furniture and decorative goodies.  Onward, ho!

Antique Floors Furiously Refinished

Finished antique pine floors As you know, our bundle of joy, Beau decided to make a very early appearance, throwing a bit of a kink into our upstairs renovation plans!

A couple of months ago we found incredible antique heart pine hidden under the nasty, old carpet from the previous homeowner.  Since we didn't want the wood floors to get damaged or scratched, we were hoping to get all of our other renovations done before refinishing them.  Thankfully, my hubby and father in law put in some serious work on the guest bedroom and nursery while I was in the hospital.  The renovations aren't quite finished, but at least they were at a point where we could bring in the floor guy and he could get to work!

It only took Juan 5 days to do the job.  He replaced damaged planks, filled the gaps, sanded the entire area and applied three coats of polyurethane, sanding between each one.  We're thrilled with the result!  He said the wood is probably 200 years old and was likely installed roughly 100 years ago.  He believes they once had linoleum in the center and it was painted on the outside.  It sounds very strange, but that was the trend of the day.  He also said they've NEVER been finished!  We couldn't be happier with the end result.  They're sturdy, shiny and have so much character that you would never, ever find in new wood.  Like fine wine, Juan says quality wood only gets better with time!

Now, we can't wait to finish our last few projects and start filling up the rooms with all of our decorative goodies!