6
Oct

No more boring ceilings

   Posted by: Lilianne   in Interior Projects

Since designing and building our current house, decorated ceilings have been one of my passions and past-times. With this project I learned so much. It was the first time I did crown molding, my first attempt with stains to make it look like inlayed wood, my first decorated ceiling. As you will see, sometimes I take a really large first bite. Luckily it has all worked out for me this far.

Here is what I started with:

I chose the stars theme – constellations, as I was working with the ceiling. Here is one of the panel designs:

Each  square is made of 4′X4′ piece of thin plywood. First I traced the design on the plywood and then used dark wood stain to draw in the design like this:

After the design was completely dry, I stained the panel with the lighter, background, stain.  The design showed nicely through:

Once all 18 panels were done, the truly fun part started – installation. I do not know about you, but it was pretty scary to be up 16 feet from the ground, up on the ladder. You do get used to it eventually, especially if you have 18 squares to finish.

Initially we tried to clue the first panel to the ceiling:

This ideas did not work out too well. No-one was willing to be high, holding the panel until the clue tried enough to keep it up. It would have taken too long to do all 18 squares like that anyway. So we came up with idea of using wooden blocks. These same blocks came handy for installing the crown molding as well:

Over all I did as many steps as possible on the ground, to make this project a little bit easier to complete. For example, I stained the crown before installations:

Here is the first square all done:

Here I am finishing up another one. Looks like almost half are done:

Through this whole ordeal, I had our faithful dog, Tigger, guarding me. Not sure what he could have done, had I fallen from the ladder?

and finally, here it is… all done:

22
Sep

Rose Garden Table

   Posted by: Lilianne   in Exterior Projects, Small Projects

Sometimes small touches make large impact. We had hard time finding a concrete table that we liked and would fit to my DH Rose Garden, so we ended up making our own. We found the base at the same stone yard we got the balustrades.

For the top, my DH made a plywood mold to make the concrete tabletop. Once the top was in place, I used the garbage can lid to draw the pattern before I stained it with concrete acid stains.

Thanks to using the same stains I used the for circle in the rose garden, the finished project blended right in.

12
Sep

Custom niches on budget :)

   Posted by: Lilianne   in Interior Projects, Small Projects

These three little niches were a headache for me for some time.  When the house was built, this was one of the little details that were not completely drawn out on paper for the builder. No wonder then once they were built, they were truly custom size. Finding something to put there off the self was impossible. The shape and size of the niches called for custom artwork and I was just not ready to part with $$$ to fill the void… until I ran across King Architectural Metals catalog. From there I got an idea to try to assemble my own ornaments out of forged steel baluster components.

It was not that difficult to find pieces that would fit to my niches. I ordered them and once I had them, used one set to try out different combinations, to see what looked the best.

First I mocked up one version:

Then I used photo editing software to copy and paste to fill in the other two niches to see how the whole thing would look. The forged steel is heavy, so it was easier to play on computer than to mock up all three in real life.

and 2nd version in real life mock-up:

and in computer mock-up:

I shared those two versions with my friends and fellow decorating enthusiast on Garden Web Home Decorating Forum and the overwhelming vote went to version “2″. I also got a good suggestion to paint these niches a little darker to get more depth into them, which I followed as well.

And here is the result:

I must say that I am still very happy with the final resutl. With little work and less than $ 100.00 for materials, the result is well worht it.