My Kitchen Table Makeover – Easily Recover Chairs

Moving into my first house, I realized how little furniture we really had and how expensive it can be to furnish. Right now I’m trying to focus on buying things we don’t already own, and refreshing the hand-me-downs we do have. On my agenda today, our kitchen table!

Our total kitchen can only be described as BEIGE. As in beige walls, countertops, floors, and even appliances (until we eventually upgrade). I’m trying to bring in some color and life through prints, fabrics, and plants until I can add a little depth with the permanent surfaces.

We have a kitchen table which is in pretty good condition. It’s a hand-me-down, but the fabric on the chairs has definitely seen better days. I’m sure it could be cleaned to look better, but the dinginess and color (yep, beige), was a makeover project I was willing to take on.

It’s actually quite easy to give an old chair, bench, or ottoman a completely new look by simply recovering them with new fabric…and this method doesn’t require sewing because it’s just the seat! I admit this was my first attempt at recovering a chair using a staple gun, but seriously it was super easy. Even if you don’t have a DIY bone in your body, I’m sure you could pull this off. Here’s how….

First, figure out how much yardage you need and where you want the pattern to fall on the seat. I think I accounted for 1 yard per seat (taking the pattern into account), but I also found this handy pattern yardage calculator you could use.

Next, the tools to do the job. You can find a staple gun at any home improvement store, and the fabric I picked out was an HGTV Home fabric called Turtle Shell found at Joann Fabric. It’s on sale too! I know it’s a little loud, but I knew it would definitely liven up the space.

Style Trials Kitchen Chair Makeover Tools HGTV fabricHere’s the table before:

Style Trials Kitchen Table Before

First, unscrew the seats from the base. I ended up using a power drill to unscrew because the screwdriver wasn’t strong enough.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 1

Next, place the seat upside down on top of the fabric, taking into account where you want the pattern to be centered on the seat. You can leave the existing fabric on the seat and work around it. Leave at least a 4″ border around the seat and cut out your square.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 2

Pull the fabric tight around the edges, leaving the corners lose. I found it was easiest to start at the top (stapling multiple times across the length of the seat), then pull from the opposite side (bottom). The repeat the other sides until it looks like this….

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 4

Next is the trickest part. The corners. You want to make sure you pull these really tight to get a finished look. Start by pulling the fabric in closer from the edges towards the corner, and stapling in place. Then take the remaining fabric and fold like the picture below, and pull extremely tight. Then staple in place as well.

*Note, you may need to cut off some excess fabric to make this easier. If you have too much fabric, it will be bulky, harder to pull tight, and harder to staple.*

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 5

The finished back should look like this…

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 6

And the front like this!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 7Next, screw the seats back on, and voilà! Checkout the before and afters!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 8 before and after

Style Trials Recovering Chairs finished with hgtv fabric

What do you think of the finished results? Have you ever recovered anything using a staple gun?


Patriotic Nailart

With the 4th of July coming up, I wanted to show you a fun, patriotic nail art tutorial! Showoff your American pride this year and try this. 🙂

Style Trials 4th of july Patriotic Nail Art Tutorial
Patriotic Nail Art Tutorial
Apply a base coat, then paint your nails a solid red (this color is more red than it appears in these pictures).

Apply a base coat, then paint your nails a solid red (this color is more red than it appears in these pictures).

Use a sparkly silver to lightly paint over each ring finger (the red should still show through).

Use a sparkly silver to lightly paint over each ring finger (the red should still show through).

With the sparkly blue color, lightly start at the base of the nail and paint halfway up into the silver.

With the sparkly blue color, lightly start at the base of the nail and paint halfway up into the silver.

Remove excess polish from silver brush, so it's pretty dry. From the top of the nail, use this brush to blend the silver back down into the blue, blurring the line for an ombre effect.

Remove excess polish from silver brush, so it’s pretty dry. From the top of the nail, use this brush to blend the silver back down into the blue, blurring the line for an ombre effect.

Use a white nail art pen to draw two white lines that follow the shape of your nail.

Use a white nail art pen to draw two white lines that follow the shape of your nail.

I applied the first at the very top (like a french manicure), left a space of red in-between the top and bottom stripe.

I applied the first at the very top (like a french manicure), left a space of red in-between the top and bottom stripe.

Use the white nail art pen to create a big circle in the center of your thumb....

Use the white nail art pen to create a big circle in the center of your thumb….

...then pull from the center of the dot out to create a star.

…then pull from the center of the dot out to create a star. Mine’s a little sloppy because I was rushing, but from a distance you can’t even tell! So it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Last step! Use a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover to clean up your edges, then apply a shiny top coat.

Last step! Use a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover to clean up your edges, then apply a shiny top coat.

You're all done! Now enjoy your beautiful nails, and have a great holiday! :)

You’re all done! Now enjoy your beautiful nails, and have a great holiday! 🙂

Also, if you’re looking for outfit inspiration for the 4th, make sure to checkout this vintage American look I put together last year. I recommend picking one patriotic thing, and working neutrals around that so as not to go overboard. 🙂

Review and Freebie: Coastal.com and Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses!

This post brought to you by Coastal.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

Eyeglasses used to be the bane of fashion, but now it’s become a trendy accessory. So much so that you see celebrities sporting glasses even if they don’t need them, or people buying multiple pairs to wear different styles with different outfits. If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you read about my quest for the perfect pair of nerdy chic, hipster eyeglasses. Then I recently got LASIK, and didn’t necessarily need those glasses anymore. I was sad because I still thought they were cute and wanted to wear them on occasion, but adding non-prescription lenses to those Raybans would be more than $100….crazy! That’s why I was so excited to have this opportunity to pick a different pair of glasses for free from Coastal.com. I have to tell you about this awesome experience, and how YOU too can get a free pair of Designer Eyeglasses!

Style Trials Derek Cardigan 7019 eyeglasses Coastal.com

Listen up people! 🙂

I’ve never tried purchasing eyeglass or sunglasses online before (it kind of intimidated me), but this was a really easy buying experience. Coastal.com has become the largest online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses in North America, and I could definitely see why! They have all of the big designer brands/products offered in stores, but for half the price. They also deliver directly to your home, and offer prescription glasses, non-prescription glasses, and even sunglasses. I specifically LOVE their line of Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses for men and women, which are classically vintage inspired, yet trendy. They have a ton of different styles and color options, like this!

Derek Cardigan 7010 Brown Tortoiseshell | Derek Cardigan Glasses - Coastal.com® Derek Cardigan 7006 Brown Tortoiseshell | 0 Glasses - Coastal.com® Derek Cardigan 7015 Shadow | Derek Cardigan Glasses - Coastal.com®

Since I already had a pair of eyeglasses with a square frame, I wanted something completely different. I was thinking maybe a color like fuschia, or just a different shape. I was really gravitating towards the cateye glasses, and they had a few different Derek Cardigan cateye options. I uploaded a photo of myself and used their virtual tool online to “try on” a few pairs.

Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses | Buy Glasses Online and Save.

I decided this cateye style 7019 in Dark Timber was the winner. Just cateye enough, but not too over-the-top so I could still wear them to work.

Derek Cardigan 7019 Black | Derek Cardigan Glasses - Coastal.com®-1When ordering, you fill out your prescription per eye, and pick the type of lense you want (sunglass, regular, bifocal, extra thin, etc). All lenses come with anti-scratch and anti-glare. I ended up having a quick question since I was ordering non-prescription glasses, and I simply used their live chat. Super easy!

Live Assistance

My glasses arrived in the mail about 2 weeks later. They came in a nice case with a cleaner and eyeglass tool kit.

DSCN2709

DSCN2713

I love how Derek Cardigan puts different math symbols on his frames. This style has a colon and a semi-colon…I’m so easily amused! Now prepare for a selfie photo shoot.

DSCN2729 Style Trials Coastal.com Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses 7019 Style Trials Coastal.com Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses 7019 dark timber

I’m going to leave you with some fun facts:
Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses were featured in Flo Rida’s “I Cry” music video and Alicia Key’s “Brand New Me” music video.
-For every pair of glasses purchased, Coastal donates another pair to someone in need! Look good, while doing good!

GET YOUR OWN FREE PAIR

Now how do you get your own free pair of eyeglasses from Coastal.com you ask? If you’re a new customer, simply go here and use promo code: FIRSTPAIRFREE. Then choose from over 300 specifed frames (other restrictions may apply). It’s literally that easy!

What do you think of the Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses from Coastal.com? Have you ever purchased glasses online?

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Transform your Wardrobe with No nonsense Tights and Leggings

This post brought to you by No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

I’ve had lots of people say to me, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wear the same outfit twice!” Well, I definitely do, but I have little tricks to help. One of the ways you can make your wardrobe appear endless is by styling things differently. For example, you can completely change the look of an outfit by adding tights and leggings, especially if they are a cool color/texture. It’s literally style made easy!

So you can imagine my excitement when I received a pair of No nonsense tights and leggings to try out. They surprised me with a pair of jean leggings (a.k.a jeggings) and opaque citron colored tights.

One of my favorite things is that No nonsense tights and leggings can be found in places like food and drug stores, so you can quickly pick something up without having to do a big shopping trip (although they are also sold in major retail stores). I put together a casual outfit and a dressier outfit for each item to show how you can completely change a look. Check it out….

No nonsense Denim Leggings

My thoughts on the jean leggings were that they are super soft and comfy. Although the size I received was a little big (I like my leggings really fitted), these definitely still worked and I was happy to see they were long enough to fit my 5’7″ frame. The length was actually perfect because as you can see, I could wear them with heels or boots. The denim color was also great and had a nice sheen that could be dressed up or down. They had a mid-rise sitting right below my belly button, and I liked how they didn’t cut me off at the waist like some other leggings (nobody wants the dreaded “muffin top!”).

One last thing is that I typically only wear leggings with long shirts, but I wanted to go “jean on jean” with my casual outfit, which happened to be a shorter shirt. I think it works because these leggings are actually pretty thick, so they kinda look like jeans without pockets. They’ don’t go “see through” when you bend down and such, so in my opinion they’re more flattering than thin leggings which can cheapen a look.

 No nonsense Tights

Ahh, what can I say…I love me a good pair of opaque tights! This color was so unique and something I probably wouldn’t have picked out myself, but I ended up really liking it because it’s so bold! I loved that the tights were really opaque and again, SUPER soft and warm. Like, “you’ve gotta feel ’em” soft.

I also loved that I could take my Summer clothes like shorts, and make them Wintery by adding these punchy tights. There’s also a bit of a control top which is nice, and the Medium was perfect for my height.

For additional style points, try keeping the rest of the outfit neutral and adding one other colorful accessory to compliment the colorful tights. Like a bright lip, bracelet, purse, or heels!

 

Did you know that fashion expert Jill Martin is a style Ambassador for No nonsense? Checkout this fun video for more information and additional tight/legging colors!

I keep in touch with No nonsense on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to follow along. I love that No nonsense can really add affordable, modern style to your wardrobe!

Which of my looks above do you like best? Have you or will you try No nonsense tights or leggings? Leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂

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Our New House!

So you may have heard by now that Hubby and I have some BIG NEWS. We bought our first house!

Now that we’ve been married for a year, our little 1 bedroom condo was more than outgrown. Milo, our long-haired chihuahua, would agree.

We had been scouring potential homes even months before our wedding, and landed on one that we both liked. I am the pickiest person ever, especially since one of my degrees is in interior design, yet I have a DIY personality! Here was our wishlist:

HOUSE WISHLIST

  1. 1 Story preferred (although I’d be fine if the perfect house were 2 stories depending on layout)
  2. High Ceilings
  3. Lots of natural light
  4. Open floorplan (especially kitchen area so we don’t feel disconnected)
  5. At least 2 full baths and 3 bedrooms minimum
  6. Move in ready so Hubby wouldn’t be overwhelmed – I’d be fine with gutting and tearing down walls, but maybe I just watch too much HGTV 🙂
  7. Not TOO move in ready for me. I still wanted small projects to make it our own, and didn’t want to pay for other people’s upgrades that may not be our style.
  8. Back yard for entertaining, but not too large because we wanted to maintain it ourselves
  9. Location – specific county for schools and resale value, plus we wanted to stay close to family
  10. Gated neighborhood with a good HOA (effective but not crazy expensive). We wanted a sense of community, a place to feel safe, and in a neighborhood where the neighbors don’t have a billion yard ornaments in front of their crazy bright purple house.
  11. A great bargain – I preferred it to be on the lower end of our budget range, because I thought it would be easier to transition from our condo in terms of bills. I also love a great deal, and in this housing market knew they were out there. We also didn’t want to be “house poor,” because we love going out and doing fun things, vacationing, and of course I love my shopping!
  12. Optional but preferred – a fireplace (I LOVE fireplaces), and perhaps a pool. We were actually kinda torn about a pool because it would be nice living in FL, but it’s also an added expense and responsibility we never had.
  13. Laundry room must be inside

The only problem with the house we found was that it was a short sale. That meant we were waiting for who-knew-how long, and wouldn’t be guaranteed to get it. We took a gamble, and after 7+ months, closed!

Isn’t she a beaut?

Front view of our new home! I love the little bay window and cool angles that make it unique.

Side view. We have a corner lot and cute palm trees. 🙂

Side/Back view. There’s a cute little screened porch that will be perfect for entertaining!

While it doesn’t have everything on the wishlist, it definitely covers most. You have to be realistic that no house will have everything on your list unless you’re building it from scratch, so it’s a matter of setting priorities. We’re really happy, and think this will be a great starter home where we plan to eventually have some kiddos. 🙂

I have to say a BIG thanks to my mom who was our realtor and made it happen. She’s so cute, for my birthday a few weeks later she got me a Pandora bracelet with a house charm to commemorate the event. Thanks Mom!

Hubby and I are really excited and still settling in. I have a long list of fun DIY projects, along with decorating and buying new furniture that I’ll be blogging about. After all, our house will have to have style!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Style Trials so you don’t miss it! Just enter your email address and you’ll be sent a verification link. Once you click that link in your email, you’ll be subscribed!


Outfit of the Day 1 – Girly meets Motorcycle Boots

Hi everyone! I’m starting a new series on Style Trials called “Outfit of the Day,” a.k.a. OOTD. Why? Because having a cool outfit is greatly due to how you style it…not necessarily the clothes themselves. It’s all about putting an entire look together. My goal is to give you ideas where you can take what I share and opt for the same stuff, or find something similar in your own closet and go for it! You’ll find I get creative with new, old, and some really old stuff (I tend to keep everything!), so I hope you enjoy this series!

To kick things off, I’m starting with a fun little Fall outfit where everything is under $50! That’s right, from top to bottom, including shoes (I scored them on clearance)! Check it out….

ST Outfit of the Day: 1

I could have easily paired this dress with simple ballet flats, but I thought “nah, let’s kick it up a notch.” The trick is mixing nice-girl stuff with bad-chick stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily think go together. Plus, short combat and motorcycle boots are really hot right now, and you can wear them with so much more than just this outfit. They’d be a great investment for Fall/Winter! Here’s a few options if you’re looking:

With this OOTD, I especially love how the dress has a vintage feel to it. I tend to gravitate towards retro inspired clothes. The style and floral print reminds me of something from the 60’s, and I paired it with a silver bird double-ring (both from Forever 21).

For my hair, I did a simple part down the middle (a la “Marsha Brady”), and kept the makeup simple, girly pink, and toned down. Although I did want to play up the 60’s vibe by winging my eyeliner out with a liquid liner.

I hope this OOTD gives some inspiration!

Let me know if you like this look and “Outfit of the Day” series. I’ll make sure to do more!


What to Wear to a Concert #iHeartRadio

In case you didn’t see my excitement on Twitter and Facebook, I have some BIG news! I won a trip to the #iHeartRadio Music Festival, in LAS VEGAS!!! OMG, right?

It happened last month  when I was listening to Johnny’s House on the radio (the morning show) on XL 106.7. It was a nationwide contest, and I texted the keyword to be randomly selected as the winner!

The text that won me a trip to the #iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas! Everyone who texted in received this response that I won!

It was like winning the lottery! The Hubby and I love Vegas to begin with, and this was going to be such a huge, iconic concert already sold out to the public. I couldn’t believe it! You can actually hear my voice in this promo sound clip created by #iheartradio! I’m in there twice. Did you hear it? Kinda a fun game. On top of that, Johnny’s House interviewed me on the radio about winning, which was an awesome experience!

 The concert was last weekend (Sept. 21st and 22nd), and was held at the MGM Grand hotel. My prize included a trip for two (yay, Hubby got to go) with airfare, transportation to the hotel, 2 nights at the MGM Grand, and 2 tickets to the festival for each night.

When we got to Vegas, there was a person holding a sign for the winners to get to their bus. The bus took us to our hotel VIP style! 🙂

Is it obvious that’s normally not “how I roll”? I started a frenzy of photos with other winners after this. Poor guy holding the sign!

They specially wrapped the bus for us! So cool!

The MGM Grand is an awesome hotel on the Vegas strip, and it was exceptionally great because I could just get ready, then head downstairs and not worry about taxis. Here’s a pic of the room…

After a 5 hour 6 am flight, I celebrated by doing a running belly flop onto the giant bed in our room. It had to be done.

So now I was tasked with what the heck to wear to this concert! I learned that we had actual seats, so to me that translated into being able to wear heels because I wouldn’t have to stand the whole time. Otherwise, I would have planned my entire outfit around wearing flat shoes.  That’s definitely something for you to consider when going to a concert, because the worst thing is being uncomfortable and not being able to enjoy the show!

First night my inspiration was “Glam meet Rock.”

NIGHT 1: Glam Meets Rock

I tried to take a creative shot with the city in the background!

Glam meets Rock!

To achieve this look, simply mix really delicate, feminine motifs (i.e. lace, ribbons, sheer, sparkle, shine) with harsher, masculine motifs (i.e. boots, studs, spikes, denim).

My second look was more girly. I was going for “Jenny from Forrest Gump in the 70’s” in a modern way. LOL, I know. In this case I found the shirt as initial inspiration, which led me to that vision.

Night 2: Modern 70’s Disco Queen

Modern 70’s Disco Look

I love how the sequins on this top are really small and not chunky.

To do this, I found my one key piece that screamed modern 70’s, the sequined gold top, then worked around that. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but I got a lot of compliments and felt pretty in this outfit. Also, my brown smokey eye went perfect with both looks!

And of course I couldn’t leave you without some awesome pics of the concert! My highlights of the concert were the No Doubt/Pink duet of “Just a Girl,” Pink flying over the crowd while flipping and singing, Greenday freaking out and smashing their guitars, the surprise visit from Prince, Taylor Swift being adorable with her banjo, Aerosmith singing “Cryin’,” and surprise presenters Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and Ryan Seacrest. And that’s just some of the highlights! Honestly, it just kept getting better and better as there were a TON of surprises.

The iheartradio 2012 Lineup!

ALL of Vegas was decked out in iHeartRadio promotions, especially the MGM Grand!

Getting ready to head into the concert the first night!

Counting down to the start of the show!

Gwen Stefani and Pink’s duet to “Just a Girl.”

Everyone got glow bracelets. They automatically lit up to the music beats!

Enrique Iglesias performance at the iHeartRadio music festival.

The arena looked AWESOME for DeadMau5!

Taylor Swift being adorbs.

Pink literally flew over the audience and did flips. You’ve gotta see this!

Bon Jovi “It’s My Life” performance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

Before Billie Joe Armstrong’s rant at the iHeartRadio music festival.

Shortly after this pic, we snuck into the lower level! Shhh! 🙂

You can see more and professional iHeartRadio Music Festival 2012 pictures here. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime, and I’m so thankful I got that opportunity!

Sad you missed it? Don’t worry! You can catch the premier of the concert airing on TV (CW network) Monday, October 1st from  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

So I’ll leave you with this….

What do you like to wear to concerts? Which of my looks do you like the best?


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