Thursday, August 30, 2012

A product review- Photo-Canvas!

Last week, I received a canvas from Photo-Canvas.

Photo-Canvas is a canvas printing company specialized in personalized canvas using photos. Images are printed onto high grade canvas and then professionally stretched over pine stretcher bar frame. The image is then "gallery wrapped" round the sides of the stretcher to the reverse of the frame- ready to hang.

I was generously offered a huge 60x40cm (24"x16") photo canvas for a product review.

Printed in a thick, high quality canvas, the result looks wonderful. The colors are definitely true to the original photo. 

A close-up. 

Hardware is included with the canvas for easy hanging.

In short, I think the team at Photo-Canvas delivered a beautiful and quality product with great customer service. All my questions were answered quickly. My canvas was carefully packed and promptly shipped. I was surprised when my canvas arrived in just a couple of days considering the product was shipped all the way from UK! I can't wait to hang this canvas in my master bedroom!

*I received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.  

Besides offering regular photo canvas, a variety of cool and fun personalization options are available, too. These options are perfect for gift giving in all occasions. Let's take a look at some of the options, shall we?

Aren't these personalized options fabulous? Personally, I love the Lichtenstein style option because I am such a huge fan of Roy Lichtenstein's work. Which one is your favorite option? By the way, Photo-Canvas is running a Buy 2, Get I Free promotion for selected print options. Don't miss this fabulous opportunity to get yours now!

And the winner of the giveaway is ..........

I am glad to announce the winner of the recent Good Bones, Great Pieces giveaway.

I used to draw a winner and here it is. The lucky winner of the Good Bones, Great Pieces is 

the lovely Brooke from Inside-Out Design.

Congratulations, Brooke! I will email you shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway. There will be more wonderful giveaways coming your way, so don't forget to check back regularly! Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest post.

This article is provided by Sam Peters.

Installing Your Own Carpet is Simple With the Right Tools
Installing carpet flooring is a common do-it-yourself project that many people undertake every year. Installing your own carpet is a great way to save money while enjoying a new look to your home flooring. By following a few flooring tips you can easily install your own carpet without shelling out big bucks:

Take Accurate Measurements
When you undertake your new flooring projects, it is imperative that you take accurate floor measurements to determine the size of your floor. Carpet that is not measured correctly for your floor is the main cause of frustration when it comes to installing carpet. While having too much carpet is not a huge problem, being stuck with too little carpeting can cause major headaches. Measure the entire space that you wish to cover, adding a few inches on each side. If you are unsure how to shop for the right sized carpeting, a carpet specialist at your local home improvement store can help you find the right flooring.

Choose the Right Padding
An often overlooked part of the carpet installation process is the padding. The material that rests between the floor and your carpet is essential in protecting your flooring from damage. There are several types of padding that can be used in your carpet installation, from a thin padding for a tighter carpet weave to a thick padding that works best for heavier carpets. As with any project, it is best to consult a professional if you are unsure of what materials to use for your next carpeting project.

Select Your Carpet
Arguably the most fun part of your home improvement project will be selecting the carpet you want to install. There are many types of carpet, and which one you choose is largely a matter of personal preference. Berber carpets feature a tightly coiled weave and are often used in high traffic rooms like living rooms, dining rooms and dens. Plush carpeting is soft and fluffy and often used in areas without much foot traffic. Install plush carpeting in bedrooms, nurseries and closets for a luxurious touch.

In addition to carpets, you can add carpet rugs to rooms for a temporary change in look. Carpet rugs can instantly transform hallways, foyers and entryways. Adding carpet rugs is an inexpensive way to experiment with carpet styles.

If you are unsure of what carpet types will work well for your space, you can get carpet swatches and samples from your local home improvement store. Try out a few and see which one works best in your space. In many cases, a carpet installation expert can assist you in finding carpet that matches your paint colors as well.

Installing your own carpet flooring is an economical way to remodel your home. Carpet installation is one of the easiest do-it-yourself projects that you can undertake. There is no need to hire an entire team of carpet installers to tackle your flooring project. With the right tools, you too can enjoy brand new carpet flooring. Tackle your do it yourself flooring project today.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book review and a giveaway- Good Bones, Great Pieces!

Furniture shopping can be fun but they can also be overwhelming. Ideally, one should look for great "investment" pieces that are versatile enough that you can move from room to room and from home to home and still look relevant for decades to come. With an amazing array of furniture choices out there, how do you pick the "right" pieces? Fortunately, the mother and daughter design team, Suzanne and Lauren McGrath are making the selection much easier, thanks to their book, Good Bones, Great Pieces.

Good Bones, Great Pieces.

They believe every home should have seven essential pieces that can live in almost any room and will always be stylish. 

Suzanne and Lauren McGrath, the authors behind Good Bones, Great Pieces. 

Now, what are the 7 essential pieces, you ask? You will have to read the book to find out but I completely agree with their choices.

Take a look at some of the beautiful homes and apartments that the McGraths have designed as well as homes designed by some iconic designers.

"The good news is that if you choose wisely, the side tables you put on either side of your living room sofa can also go on either side of the bed, or one can go in between two chairs in your den or even be tucked next to your tub".

"The more you educate yourself about classic forms and historically relevant pieces, the easier it will be to pick out a great 'inspired-by' piece that fits your budget." -Suzanne

Can't get enough of these gorgeous rooms and fabulous tips? You can purchase your book listed here.

In general, this 190+ page book shows us how to incorporate the 7 essential pieces in our homes to make them stylish, inviting and livable. Informative, engaging and filled with tons of beautiful interiors and pretty illustrations along with wonderful tips, tricks, advice and resources, this book is perfect for beginners and experienced home decorators alike. This is one of those design books that you want to browse again and again for inspirations! It a great addition to my coffee table book collection, too. Love that pop of green!

I received a free copy of this book recently and one to giveaway to one of my readers. 

To enter:

You must be a resident of the United States.

1. Be a follower of Mix And Chic blog via Google Friend Connect and let me know your favorite piece of furniture in your home and why. (one basic entry)

For additional entries (an extra entry for each of the following):

2. 'Like' Mix And Chic on Facebook and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

3. 'Like' Good Bone, Great Pieces on Facebook and leave a separate comment.

4. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Twitter and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

5. 'Follow' Good Bones, Great Pieces on Twitter  and leave a separate comment. 

6.'Follow' Mix And Chic on Pinterest and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)  

7. 'Follow' Good Bones, Great Pieces on Pinterest and leave a separate comment.

8. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status (include a link back to this post) and leave a separate comment. 

9. Tweet about this giveaway (include a link back to this post) and leave a separate comment.

10. Bonus question: Let me know why you want to win this book. 

The last day for entries is August 29, 2012. The winner will be chosen by and announced on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Good luck!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

And the winner of the giveaway is ..........

I am thrilled to announce the winner of the recent giveaway brought to you by Artful Vision

I used to draw the winner and here it is. The lucky winner of the large 11x14 photographic art is

Kaitlin Boles.

Congratulations, Kaitlin. I will contact you shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway. There will be more fabulous giveaways coming your way, so don't forget to check back regularly! Have a lovely day, everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My master bedroom revealed!

If you have been following my blog, you know that I recently participated in The One Room Challenge, organized by Linda from My Crafty Home Life. If you are new to my blog and is wondering what The One Room Challenge is all about, you may check out all my previous posts here.

As promised, I will be sharing details, behind-the-scenes and resources of my master bedroom makeover. After moving to Illinois from North Carolina more than two years ago, I had a chance to redesign our master bedroom recently. It all started with this inexpensive pillow from Target.

With a design blog with literally thousands of gorgeous room inspirations, you would think I designed my master bedroom around an inspirational picture or two from my blog. Surprisingly, I drew inspiration from a simple, navy striped pillow instead.

Sometimes, I even surprised myself because blue hasn't been my favorite color but when I saw this navy pillow, it was love at first sight. I thought the color looked very fresh and has a relaxed quality about it. I knew I wanted my bedroom to feel the same way. 

Next, I started to look for bedding. I have had the same striped beige bedding for 7 years and it's time for a change. I have always wanted to have a crisp, white hotel style bedding with gray stripes stitching. 

Fortunately, I found them at Target at a fraction of the price (compared to over $200 at other big box stores). I knew this after spending a few hours doing my research online. The wall color in my master bedroom was inspired by those gray stripes. I decided to go with a very light gray so the bedroom wouldn't look so cave-like considering that I will be keeping all my dark furniture.

In keeping with our small budget, we kept most of our bedroom furniture. To freshen them up, I have added bright and modern accessories to update the look. I wanted our master bedroom to feel relaxing but still look fresh, chic and visually interesting, thus the eclectic touches.

Let's revisit some of my master bedroom pictures that I shared previously.

Evening shots of my bedroom:

I bought these chairs seven years ago for my living room. The color is not ideal for this room and has a lot of visible water stains. I am planning to get them reupholstered in a white fabric or perhaps get two new chairs, depending on what I will be finding along the way.

If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you might remember the same chair and acrylic coffee table that I used in my living room. I am planning to get a new coffee table for my living room soon. Now, I just need to find something I like that is also within my budget.

I actually had bright pink peonies or bluish purple hydrangeas on my mind for this installation but unfortunately, my local Whole Food (that's known for pretty fresh flowers) did not have any gorgeous flowers that day.

After checking out a few other stores for fresh flowers, I found these pretty flowers at Jewel Osco. These flowers were not sold in a bouquet but rather in individual packages. I bought four and thought the colors looked very beautiful together.

Did you notice the ceiling beam? This large space used to be two rooms but one of the previous owners decided to do a little renovation by combining the two rooms, adding an attached bathroom and turning it into a spacious master bedroom suite.

A close-up of the hardwood floor installation that hubby had been working so hard in the past few months. You may read more about the hardwood floor drama here.  

You might remember our wedding canvas from here. I thought the area above our nightstand was a little bare so I added a small vase and some green foliage that I picked from our yard.  

I bought this bedroom set 7 years ago because I really wanted to have a canopy bed. The color is not ideal but for the price, it was well worth it.

I intended to put two king sized pillow shams behind my standard pillows but they were missing during our move. The bed would definitely looked better with those shams, in my opinion.

Since all the furniture in my bedroom is so dark and heavy, I wanted to lighten the space up by using lots of mirrors and glass table lamps.

I do not want my bedroom to look too serious so I added a whale pillow for a little bit of fun and whimsy. I have wanted to get the pillow for a while but I decided to wait for a sale before I made the plunge. 

I bought this clock when I was in NC. It used to live in my living room. I thought it would look wonderful against the light gray wall in my bedroom. Those table lamps were bought during a silent charity auction (that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) during one of our regular Parade of Homes tour.

This miniature hutch was a gift from hubby for my birthday. I saw this adorable piece during one of our window shopping trip and hinted that it be would be a lovely birthday gift. I was so thrilled when my hubby bought it on the spot for me. :) I really like that all the little doors and drawers can be opened and closed. I think this adorable mini hutch would make a perfect display for little trinkets in the future.

Morning shots of my bedroom:

As you can see, my bedroom doesn't receive a lot of natural lighting during the day although there are four windows in the room.

I  wanted to show you my cowhide rug because I really love it. I have been wanting one for years but can't find one that's below $350 until I stumbled upon this one at Ikea. I was so thrilled with this purchase because first of all, Ikea's cowhide rug is the least expensive compared to what's on the market. On top of that, it was on sale and it looked gorgeous! 

While I was at Ikea, I definitely took my time and sorted every cowhide rugs on that rack but none looked as beautiful as this one. The best way to shop for cowhide rugs is to buy it in a store so you can check them out in person. The patterns and details on cowhide rugs are so random and different and you might not like the one that someone else picked for you when you shop online, just my two cents.

I bought those green geometric pillows earlier this year during my birthday trip. A few months later, I stumbled upon this table lamp and brought it home with me. At first, I didn't realize they looked so eerily similar in terms of color and pattern (I put all my purchases in the closet and never took them out) until installation day. 

I was running out of time for the reveal on Wednesday so there is no way I could replace the pillows or the table lamp. It's quite insane if you think about it but I guess we tend to get attracted to the same thing again and again, don't we? I am planning to change out the pillows or the table lamp in the future to avoid the matchy-matchy look. 

I love my canopy curtains. I like that they were crisp white and very well-made but I would prefer if they were a little longer. What do you think? Do you think the length is right?

I forgot to turn on the table lamp on the left but I think this is a nice picture in general. The lighting and colors represented the room well.

The door on the far right leads to our attached master bathroom. It's a tiny bathroom but it works for us.

There are a few things you didn't know about this bedroom. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of those things!

Behind-the-scenes secrets:

1. I haven't show you one wall in our master bedroom and that's the closet wall. It's not pretty because it's a wall of mirrors. I am planning to use either screens, curtains or Overlays to hide them some day.

2. Trying to spend as little as I can, I didn't get a duvet insert. I figured I could just put my old comforter inside my duvet cover and guess what, it worked!

3. My husband already hung double curtain rods in our bedroom because I was planning to get some sheers for the windows. We haven't had a chance to get the sheers so I took the rods (for the sheers) down.

4. Many of the picture frames were empty. We didn't have a chance to select pictures and have them developed. I am planning to do that soon.

5. Hubby unknowingly missed a row of wood floor installation near the closet area. I don't blame him, it wasn't obvious. He will get that done when he gets a chance.

6. I changed the lamp shade of my mint green table lamp (the one from the sitting area) from a darker linen shade to a white shade (from another table lamp).

7. I bought 2 packs of faux lemons to accessorize the area above my dresser. Unfortunately, the fruit bowl is too deep and I didn't have enough lemons. I didn't have the time to run to the store again to get more so I stuffed some bubble wrap at the bottom of the bowl so the faux lemons are still visible from afar. Necessity is definitely the mother of invention! :)

This room is not completed yet but I am "done" for now. New pieces will be added and old pieces will be replaced in the future for sure. As with all rooms in my home, our bedroom will continue to evolve according to my taste and budget. 

The resources:

Wall paint: 780E- 3 Sterling from Behr

Curtains: $19.99 each, on sale from PB Teen

Acrylic coffee table: $249 from CB2

Nesting tables: $199, (discontinued) from West Elm

Chair: $350 each, from Bombay Company (now closed)

Mint green table lamp: $20, on clearance from HomeGoods

Green geometric pillows: $20 each, on sale from CB2

Cowhide rug: $200, on sale from Ikea

White vase: $9.99 from Ikea

Fresh flowers: $4.99 each bundle from Jewel-Osco

Picture frame: $3.25, on clearance (discontinued) from Target

Faux coral: $16.99 from Homegoods

Small yellow lacquer box: $8.99 from The Container Store

Medium yellow lacquer box: $12.99 from The Container Store

Tray: Free (I used my design dollars) from West Elm

Sphere: Free (I used my design dollars), (discontinued) on clearance from West Elm 

Gold ashtray: Gifted (giveaway win), (discontinued) from H & M Home

House tealight holder: $2.39, on clearance from Meijer

Round mirrors: $29.90 each, on sale (discontinued) from Crate & Barrel

Chevron rug (8' x 10'): almost $500, on sale from West Elm

Square mirrors: $39.90 each from HomeGoods

Table glass lamps: $59.90 each, from HomeGoods

Alarm clock: (I used my design dollars), (discontinued) from West Elm

Small cream vase: $3.99 from Michael's

Canvas: Free (In exchange for a review) from Reflections On Canvas

Bedroom furniture set (King size four poster bed, dresser, mirror (not used in this room), a pair of nightstands): $2,000, (discontinued) from Rooms To Go

King size sheet set: $49.99, (discontinued) from Target

King size duvet set: $89.99, (discontinued) from Target

Blue navy pillows: $19.90 each, got another one on clearance for $5 (discontinued) from Target

Whale pillow: $22/ $24 (discontinued) from West Elm

Canopy curtains: $29.90 each from Amazon

Ikat picture frame: $3.25, on clearance from Target

Silver picture frame: Free (I used my TJX rewards) from Marshalls

Small bowl: Free (I used my design dollars), (discontinued) from West Elm

Clock: $199, from Bombay Company (now closed)

Rectangular glass table lamps: $80/ $90 each, from a silent charity auction during one of the Parade of Homes in North Carolina

Miniature hutch: Free (birthday present from hubby), from George Lowell

Medium white picture frame: $4.99, from Ikea

Large white picture frame: $6.99 each, from Ikea

Fruit bowl: Free (I used my TJX rewards), from Marshalls

Faux lemons: $12.99 each pack, from Michael's

Gold tone apple and pear set: $9, from Home Accents

I hope you enjoy my master bedroom tour. Thanks for all your wonderful comments last Wednesday! I really appreciate it.

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.