personal projects

Showing posts with label personal projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal projects. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Dude’s Room Update: Painting Before and After


Major progress to report on the teenytiny Dude Room! 

Namely, we painted. 

To tackle the project, I teamed up with Colorhouse – a new paint available at select Home Depot stores. Not only are they NO-VOCS, no reproductive toxins, no toxic fumes/HAPs-free, and no chemical solvents, but the color palette is amazing. They’ve curated a beautiful collection of shades, you can’t really go wrong no matter what you choose.

See in-store display at Home Depot in Naperville! (Colorhouse will actually be available in the city Home Depots this Saturday!) Lovely, yes?


I knew we wanted a gray, so I narrowed it down to Metal .03 (center swatch) and Wool .02 (far right swatch). The dark swatch on the top is Nourish .06 which I plan on using on the door. That part of the project hasn’t happened yet.

A requisite before to trigger your memory.





And here’s an in progress shot to show you the drastic difference! The Colorhouse gray paint makes the walls look so much cleaner, brighter!


Furniture going back in…



THE AFTER (kind of)









So here is the room before and as it is now. I am hesitant to use the word after since it is not done… (new bedding is coming, and shelves are being hung in the corner).

We ended up getting a nightstand on clearance from World Market – I think it cost around $70 with the discount. The striped navy rug was an old one of mine I had loaned my mom a while back that barely got used. The black and brass CB2 corner hanging bar was hung above the nightstand for additional storage. The bedside lamp is West Elm which has actually been switched out because  1. even though I love the design, it barely gives off any light, and 2. we hung this wall sconce to clear up all the precious surface area on the nightstand for even more storage (see first photo at the top of the post).



The mini gallery wall is still a work in progress. I love love love the mirror, also a World Market find, and the wall clock and mini gray frame are cheapos from Ikea. The framed Chicago print was one of my first post-college purchases from good ole’ Art.com. The buffalo check throw is from Schoolhouse and the Union Jack pillow was one I picked up in New Orleans a couple of years ago.


Crazy what a fresh coat of paint and some accessories can do, no!? Never underestimate the power of styling.

The dude and his roommate love the makeover so much, they now want to repaint the entire apartment. True story. So this “Dude Room” project just got a whole lot bigger! For what it’s worth, I definitely plan on using Colorhouse Paint for the other rooms (they have a great selection of whites, which in my opinion is one of the trickiest colors to find)! There was also hardly any paint smell, which is worth its weight in gold, in my opinion. And it only required one coat, which a lot of paint companies promise and rarely deliver on.

I’ll let you know as soon as I have more updates!

This post is sponsored by Colorhouse Paint but all of the opinions are my own.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Decorating A Dude Room

i have a new project. 

and it’s not decorating my own home and it’s not everygirl-related. this is VERY exciting people. i don’t even know the last time i took on a styling or decorating job just for fun. and the best part is it’s a GUY’S room! i’ve written a few columns on men’s style (part 1, 2, 3 and 4) and have dogeared dozens of pages in magazines (virtual and real) that feature men’s homes. i always hoped one day some guy would want my help in making his space look good, and finally that day has come.

it’s a bit of a challenge because it’s a SUPER teeny, tiny, shouldn’t-have-been-advertised-as-a-bedroom bedroom. 7′ x 8′ and no closet. so really it fits a queen bed, a nightstand, and not much else.

i probably wouldn’t have been inspired had i not found this terrific item from cb2 only days before…
here it is. the cornerstone of the room. pun intended.
a brass and black corner hanging rod with enough space for a week’s worth of clean, pressed shirts. and it’s only $40!

i saw the bedroom and thought i know JUST the thing this room needs! so we went online and ordered it. and picked up another goodie as well…



there’s about a foot of “room” or dare i call it “walking space” at the foot of the bed with just enough space to throw one of these bad boys in it. the perfect storage for folded sweaters and shoes. vintage locker room meets kindergarten cubbies with the right amount of industrial edge.

now that those two items have made it past the checkout page, i am feeling good about this project. i mean really, there’s not a whole lot more we can fit into the teeny room. it definitely needs new bedding, a new nightstand, lighting (perhaps a wall sconce to save precious surface area), and wall decor. and we’ll be painting the walls gray, of course.

wait, what’s that? you want to see said tiny room? 

fine. here it is. in all it’s glory.

the ikea malm bed was the roommate’s and has since been removed. the jersey, other frames, and “curtain” will be coming down, as well.

it’ll be a clean slate. a small slate, at that. but clean, small slate.

the cubby will go at the foot of the bed against the wall. a bed frame or headboard isn’t really an option since it just takes up precious space. so what we need now is a new nightstand. 

my first stop for nightstand shopping is always west elm. i fell in love with these four styles, particularly the first. west elm has been killing it lately, bringing in one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces made from reclaimed wood, all still for very reasonable price points: $250-400 range.

stria nightstand | lund nightstand | alexa reclaimed wood | mid-century



i researched some budget-friendlier options, as well, sourced from ikea and target.


malm | malm gray | mid-century | dark gray oak



i know he doesn’t want to spend $400 on the favorite pick so we’ll see… might have to dig out my dusty headlamp and delve deep into the digital caverns of craigslist for a suitable option.



then there’s bedding.


while i toyed with the idea of plaid or hunter green, it looked a bit too collegiate when i put together my photoshop mock-up. i love the look but this guy’s 28 and looking for something a bit more grown-up. the two styles above from crane and canopy are great – charcoal and black and white.


also like these urban outfitters options – gray arrow motif and double stripe. but maybe too young.



i’m a little worried the gray options will be too much gray with the light gray walls.


and this crane and canopy style is also available in a steel blue. so we’ll add it to the list.



so here’s what we’re working with in terms of the room layout.

gray gray gray

steeeel blue. 

i like it.



as you can see from the before photos, the carpet has seen better days, so i think we’ll cover it up. love this triangle patterned rug from my go-to resource, rugsusa.



in summation…

cubby | bedding | rug | nightstand | light | clock | pennant | floating shelves | hanging bar



but we shall see! all in good time. this will be fun watching it come along… i’ll be updating on instagram also so follow there @alainakaz. and stay tuned for updates!







Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Silver or Gold?

More and more frequently I find myself tiring of the polished brass/shiny gold hardware and accents trend. 

Ok ok bold statement. Strike that from the record. Not tiring, per se, but let’s just say that a year ago, any time I walked into a store (virtually or in person), I was all…


Now I find myself considering the polished nickel and sterling silver color swatches of an online or in-store purchase. I know. I don’t even know myself anymore. 

For example. I was in want of a new desk lamp

Full story goes… we moved my Ikea task lamp upstairs because it wasn’t providing enough light in our very dark first floor living area (lots of exposed brick, few light-colored surfaces to bounce the light around, you get the gist). As fate would have it, I received an email from the kind folks over at Lamps.com asking if I wanted to review a product. Um.. yes please! But let me tell you, the site has a vast, almost overwhelming selection. So many lovely options to choose from. To narrow it down, I filtered through to a brand I knew I liked, Hudson Valley Lighting, and there it was: the Thayer 1 Light Table Lamp.

I loved it. It was the size, color, and shape I wanted with a lovely white silk shade perfect for enhancing whatever wattage I put in it.

But there I found myself struggling with a decision I hadn’t debated over in a while…



I loved both! I mean – that polished nickel is looking pretty shnazzy, is it not? And I found myself wondering if the brass was going to look out of style in a year or two. Which to get? Silver or gold? After a few days of pining, I made my choice. Old dog, I am. Anticlimatic end to this story, huh?



Well, it arrived. And I love it. And to my delight, it has a dimmer! It’s like the gift that keeps on giving! (I’m a BIG believer in the importance of lighting options.)

But all of that being said, I want ya’ll to weigh in. Which would you have chosen? Are you over the brass/gold trend? Or do you believe it’s here to stay another decade?



SHOP MY DESK

lamp | mug | desk | notepad | pinboard | A letter object | magnifying glass

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


LCY Yard Sale: Pottery Barn English roll arm sofa – only $600!

Hey gang! I am selling my Pottery Barn English roll arm sofa. I bought it almost 2 years ago for $1800 plus shipping and am selling for $600 or best offer, cash and carry! It will be available in mid-late September. The only reason I am selling is because I have a new sofa (that The Everygirl designed with Chicago-based Interior Define) arriving next month! See more product details here and on PB’s site here.



Email me at alaina.lcy@gmail.com if interested with subject line ENGLISH ROLL ARM!

Monday, July 14, 2014


#DAcoachhouse: a plan for the bedroom

I absolutely loved how my bedroom turned out in the last apartment. The custom patterned headboard, the pink lamps, the Eiffel Tower “Alaina” bedding. It was girly to the umpteenth degree and just what I needed in that home. I would have kept everything the same if my job wasn’t what it is; but of course, Danielle and I plan on featuring our new place somewhere (fingers crossed a favorite home decor mag, but we’ll see), which means I have to mix it up. Magazines and decor sites don’t want to publish something that’s already made the Pinterest rounds. “Old news” so to speak.

Before showing ya’ll the plan, I like to recap how I got to where I currently am so maybe you’ll better understand where I hope to go… (so profound)

my bedroom on move-in day


Once I was bit more settled – clearly needed a rug and curtains. Problem is the ceilings on our second floor are crazy low, hanging curtains would look a bit goofy. And all of the curtains I own are hella long from the high ceilings in my last apartments. So curtains and brass rods are sitting in a closet. Sad.

Then I rearranged… I really didn’t like how the dresser covered one of the windows. AND I ordered my dream mirror from Wisteria that I’ve been wanting for forever, and I didn’t think leaning it in front of the window would work. I kept the room like this for a couple of weeks and I quickly learned I preferred having access on and off the bed from both sides, and walking in and seeing a big blank wall was just not cutting it. 

I developed a plan to put a gallery wall there and went to Minted.com to curate a black and white look. Did you know Minted sold art? Neither did I! I saw an ad in Domino Magazine. Hmm turns out advertising does work!

It’s pretty brilliant actually. You can favorite whatever items you like and then create a mock-up of what your gallery wall will look like. Pretty fun. I knew I wanted a mixture of photography and paintings/drawings. See below:
The prints I ended up choosing were (clockwise from top left):
Landing by Neeta Sawhney
Almond Milk by Carolyn Maclaren (because almond milk is my favorite)
Desert Diptych by Annie Clark
Construction by Becky Nimoy
Embrace by R Studio

You can also add custom framing, which was relatively inexpensive compared to most custom frames.

I also found this brilliant work of art and new it was meant for the bedroom. I love things that are a little cheeky.

Moving right along… I knew the bed would have to go back against the wall it was originally on, so I moved it back a couple of days ago. Sometimes I just wake up motivated and make things happen. In an effort to keep the ball rolling in the room redesign, I went to West Elm and picked up their Jute Boucle rug in their lightest color, Ivory, to see how it would look. (It’s been a favorite for years; it looks great with any style and you can’t beat the price point.)
I came home, laid it out, and it turns out, I love it in the room. The rug looks perfect, actually. (This photo doesn’t do it justice.) It brightens the whole space and makes it much cozier.

 So here’s the new plan (which I didn’t mention, I put together back before I even rearranged the room to begin with). I am embracing this neutral-only apartment (my roommate/business partner is adverse to color). And because I didn’t really ge to appreciate the bar area in my last apartment (I put it together three days before having to pack it up and move out – solely for the purpose of a photo shoot!), I wanted to recreate something similar. Blacks, whites, gold, a smidge of gray, big gallery wall. Sleek, contemporary,  sophisticated, lived-in, and cozy at the same time. Or at least that’s the goal.
SHOP THIS LOOK:
Mirror: Wisteria
Lamp: LampsPlus
Dresser: Kathy Kuo Home
Rug: West Elm
Roman shade: Pottery Barn
Nightstand: West Elm
Wall Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric
Antlers: Kathy Kuo Home
Art: (see above)
Headboard: Kathy Kuo Home
Throw pillows: Eskayel (these are sold out but I am OBSESSED and want something similar)

I love so many different styles… contemporary, graphic, cozy, rustic, frilly and feminine, French country, glam, relaxed beachy country… It’s really kinda crazy actually. So I’m attempting to kind of throw it all together in this space and just embrace it. Hence the plaid throw and antlers, paired w/ a gold gilt mirror refined dresser, and sleek wall sconces with graphic photography.

Most of the gallery wall is up. I’m still waiting on the headboard and wall sconces. But so far I love it! Here are a few sneak peeks.

After I started to hang the gallery wall, I quickly ran out of black and white art. So I flipped through an old issue of Vogue, last year’s issue w/ Tina Fey, and ripped out a favorite snapshot of one of my favorite role models. I think she works well on the wall!


And then there’s this grouping, which I lovelovelove.
All Adventurous Women Do needlepoint art from Furbish
Antler trio very reasonably priced compared to others I’ve seen from Kathy Kuo Home

So that’s that! I unfortunately won’t be able to show photos of the finished product until it’s photographed and “published,” which likely won’t be for a long while (hoping next winter).  But I’m always posting sneak peeks on my instagram, @alainakaz! Just follow the hashtag #DAcoachhouse to see snapshots of the whole place.


Thoughts?!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


LCY Yard Sale: Custom Headboard, Lamps, Rug, and English Roll Arm Sofa!

It’s true. I am selling my custom headboard. I love love love it, but for many reasons, I am redoing my bedroom (again). Before ya’ll think I’m crazy, the answer is no, I don’t find it stressful, I love the process! I would absolutely keep it if I had anywhere to store it. Alas, I do not… I really need a temperature controlled storage unit.



Anywho. Prices listed below. Highest bidder gets it!



Email me at alaina dot lcy at gmail dot com if interested! Cash and carry in Chicago area. No shipping.


HEADBOARD AND LAMPS

custom queen headboard in Scalamandre fabric – $600

(would retail for upwards of $2000)



two pink Robert Abbey lamps – $100 each

(originally $260 each)


5×8′ rug – $100
(originally $466)

Pottery Barn English Roll Arm Carlisle Grande Sofa 90.5″ in Metal Gray Twill

see full product description here

(comes with two back cushions not shown here that have never been used)



Asking $1000 OBO, cash and carry.

(Purchased 1.5 years ago for $1800)

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