design challenge

Dollar Store DIY: Gold Dipped Glass Holders

Hello beautiful friends! I am a little delayed on the my usual blog schedule because my first attempt failed.  I sprayed my glass holders and then added a clear acrylic coating to protect the paint from chipping. I guess my paint wasn't completely dry and the clear coat actually removed all of the metallic paint. So I had to recreate my project and fell short from my posting deadline. Sorry, folks!

If you haven't noticed, I love to DIY and I love gold. I actually love metallic paint so much that I purchased all the metallic paint from the hardware store. They know me by name. They also love all my crazy ideas - like my spray painted heels but that's another DIY project ;)

Ok, so on to my dollar store find! I purchased these babies at my local dollar store. You can apply this technique to wine glasses, candle holders, even tin cans. Let's get crafting!

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MATERIALS:

Metallic Gold Spray Paint

Glass Holders (in whatever shape or size you wish)

Blue Painter's tape

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Clean the glass containors and remove any price tags from the bottom. To get the tags off, soak in very hot soapy water. It usually comes off easily but for those stickers that won't budge, use Gooby-Gone to take off the excess.

Step 2 - Tape the top half of your glass holder and fold over the top edges. Make sure tape is sealed tight so the paint does not seap underneath.

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Step 3 - Spray paint ! Don't forget to spread out newspaper.

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Step 4 - Let your holders dry

Step 5 - Remove the tape

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Ta- daaaaaa!!! You are finished. Great job! ;) Be sure to tag @byamadesigns on twitter or instagram so I could see your recreations. I would love to see your work. All my favorites will be reposted! :)

Yours truly,

Amanda M. Amato

AMA DESIGNS

Lots of Living for a Small Space

  Living in a tiny space poses an issue. How can you store all of your stuff, make it functional, comfortable, and stylish all at the same time?  Keep in mind these 5 tips when decorating your space.

1. DON'T OVERFILL YOUR SPACE

Just like the saying, "less is more" the same concept can be applied to your home. Leaving more open space makes the room feel larger. Try not to fill up your space and leave a little wiggle room.

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2. BIG PIECES THAT MAKE A BIG IMPACT

It may seem counterintuitive, but surprising larger items can help a space feel bigger. For example, hanging an oversized painting above a sofa can visually enlarge a space.

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3. EMBRACE TRANSPARENCY

Lucite or glass furniture gives the illusion of more space. Try using a lucite desk for a barely-there look that is both functional and stylish.

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4. HIDE WORK PROJECTS

Carve out a place to work and a special place to tuck away reminders of projects so the rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy living. Instead of creating piles around the house (I'm guilty of this), leave a storage box handy to safely store your work items.

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5. VERSATILE FURNITURE

What is better than a piece of furniture that has more than one purpose? Multi-functional pieces work in your favorite when it comes to small interiors. Storage ottomans, nesting tables that can be separated and used around the room, and even a coffee table that can be converted into a dining table.

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High-end Interiors without the High Price

I lust for luxurious fabrics, sparkling accessories, and jaw-dropping designs that are showcased in Hotels or high-end interiors. I admire streamlined and serene design or high-contrast color interiors. So how do you achieve a luxe look without the high-end budget? I will tell you how!

How to Get the Look:

Faux Custom Curtains - I am a big believer in window treatments. Custom designed curtains are like the scarf that ties your entire outfit together. By adding a decorative trim or tape to store-bought curtains, it will take your curtains from standard to extraordinary! It will also create a more high-end and custom designed look.

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(Photo from Style at Home)

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(Photo from chinoiseriechic.blogspot.com)

High Contrast Doors - If your wall color permits, painting your doors a semi-gloss black will take your bedroom or hallway up a notch. There is something oh so sexy about high-contrast interiors. Black and white hues scream "chic". I have also seen really dark walls, depending on where the application is, it can really look drop-dead gorgeous, if you dare!

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(Photo from Apartment Therapy)

Flowers - Something about fresh flowers can make a home feel so welcoming. Maybe because we often use fresh flowers for special occasions? I am all about the flowers, but not about the maintenance. Girl, nobody's got time for that! Polyvore, Michael's Craft Store, and Nearly Natural, have some great faux alternatives. You can even thrift vases and spray them white or gold. My personal favorite right now is mercury glass vases - so glam.

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Fluffy Pillows - You might be thinking, "What is this girl talking about?" The softer, the plumper, the better. Add pillow inserts that are larger than the actual pillow size for a more volumized look. I love the down inserts. If you have allergies, there are some great hyperallergenic alternatives that are available in the market.

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(Photo from emilyaclark.blogspot.com)

Hotel Style Bedding - Crisp, clean, white linens just ooze luxurary. I love the Restoration Hardware bedding or the Matouk Bedding from Bloomingdales.

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Chunky Crown Moulding - Thick crown moulding adds architectural detail to your space and also draws your eyes upward to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. I must admit, the beautiful and thick molding can add up in price. I did find on pinterest an amazing trick if you need a more budget-friendly option. Check out how to cheat when it comes to creating thick moulding (the tutorial is for base moulding but the same concept can be applied to the crown).

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(Photo from sheknows.com)

Details, Details, Details - Accessories are the jewelry of your room. I'm all about the details. I love touches of gold or polished silver. If your room has more warm tones, choose gold or bronze accents. If your room has cooler tones, pick silver, nickel, or even lucite accessories. Add stylish coffee table books and a tray to your cocktail table, or even a few bone-framed picture frames. Add the details where necessary, but don't over do it! Too many accessories will make your room feel cluttered. Check out this coffee table vignette from The Glitter Guide.

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(Photo from the Glitter Guide)

black and white vignette

 

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(Photo from Lauren Conrad)

Random Thought: Did you know that H&M came out with a home decor line? Say what?!! I am the last person to find out? I'm not sure when this happened but I am happy. The items are super cute and affordable! I'm loving the vases with the polka-dot relief detail. I saw clear vases too but I thought this ombre color glass was different! What do you think?

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Not your #Basic Nighstand

Welcome to the No Basic Zone! Say Goodbye to the ordinary nightstand and Hello to unique! Here are 10 unconventional nightstands that add a little extra character and charm to your bedroom. 1. LADDER

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2. NESTING TABLES

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3. SHELF

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4. STEP STOOL

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5. SWINGswing

6. TRUNK

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7. CONSOLE TABLEnightstand

8. RECLAIMED WOOD

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9. CHEST OF DRAWERS

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10. CINDER BLOCK (Why not?)cinder block

Stray away from standard. Are you willing to be daring with your next nighstand? Which nightstand style was your favorite? Share your comment below, I would love to know! My favorite is the vintage trunk. Love the extra storage that it can pack - great for seasonal items.

Here's the Story behind AMA Designs

I have always had the dream of helping people growing up. Instead of being a nurse or a therapist, I chose the creative route which came natural to me. As a child, my perspective was very different than the rest of the kids in my class. During playdates, I would walk into my friends rooms, open up their toy closet and say, "Oh no, this should go here. This should go there....." Until I began to fully reorganize their entire closet. My mother would receive phone calls after playdates, "Amanda can come over anytime! She completely redid my living room and it looks great."

It wasn't until that moment that I realized what I was doing was actually changing how people felt and functioned on a day-to-day. It clicked - I really was helping people!

I always knew I wanted to be an Interior Designer at a very young age. It's weird to think that my decision has not changed since I was six years old. My friends were dreaming of becoming a Princess and I was too busy designing Barbie's Dream House. I never really cared for dolls. I loved playing with blocks and making forts with all the blankets and chairs we owned in the house.

Today, I continue to help people with their interiors both aesthetically and functionally. Sometimes I feel like the creative-version of a therapist. There has been plenty of times where I would walk into a bedroom and it just feels lifeless. Although, the owner was so *energetic* and *bold*. I believe your home should be a reflection of yourself. Bring your personality into your space and let it shine! My job is to help people define their space by bringing out reflections of their personality and also making their house feel like a home <3. You are unique and your home should have as much character as you do!

If you want to see some of my work, feel free to check out my portfolio. I am also very active on social media. Visit the Follow page for direct links to all my pages. Let's be friends :)

Let's Be friends

This post was inspired by Alex Beadon's Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #2.

5 Ways to Create the Perfect Gallery

IMG_8571 1) Choose your Color Palette - Stick to one color or a few. Establishing a color scheme will give a more cohesive look. You can still experiment with different styles of art if the colors relate with each other. Another way to create a more unified gallery wall is to use the same color frame or matte your art the same. After you identify your color scheme and frame style, it's time to start planning how you want your pictures to hang. Lay out your frames on the floor and start planning.

2) RULE OF THIRDS - Choose three of your favorite pieces. One large, one medium, and one large frame. Place the small and medium photos on one side and the large photo on the other side to create balance. the Matte your photo to add more dimension and unity.

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 3) ALIGNED - There are two different ways to go about this look. For pieces that are all of the same size, hang items all in a row. If your pictures are different sizes, align either the tops of all the pictures or the bases.

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4) GRID-LIKE - Create a grid using your favorite photos by evenly spacing photos.

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5) GET CREATIVE - Go wild! Mix and match photos and frame sizes. Display items in a whichever way that pleases you!

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You can even choose one of these styles too! Have fun creating your perfect gallery. Tag your pictures with #amadesigns so I could see what style you chose!

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5 Ways to Create the BEST Dorm

It's back to school season and it's time to move into your dorm. Enhance your space this year with 5 easy tips: 1) A Few Accessories Go a Long Way! Add color and style to your space by adding artsy pillows, faux potted plants, and add a pouf ottoman for color and additional seating.

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2) A Little Piece of Home. Frame pictures of your friends and family and create a gallery wall. Purchase vintage frames from a thrift store and spray paint them in bright colors to add more color to your space. Hang your frames randomly or in a grid for visual interest.

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3) Boost up Your Bed! Add bed risers to allow for more storage under your bed. Check out these bed risers from Bed Bath and Beyond that have power outlets in them! Perfect for plugging in your laptop during late nights of crunching deadlines.

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4) Cheer Up your Desk Space. Display inspirational quotes, your favorite pictures, and even your dream travel destination near your desk to brighten up your mood when hard at work. Purchase desk accessories such as folders, notebooks, and pencil holders in your favorite color to boost creativity.

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5) Perk Up Boring Walls! If you have white walls and cannot paint, don't feel limited. You can perk up your boring walls with removable wallpaper sheets that can be found at Target or Urban Outfitters. If you are feeling crafty, you can create your own back drop using an old white sheet, a stencil, and your favorite color paint! Place the stencil on the sheet and apply paint using a roller. You can even use tape to create a custom design. Once the paint dries, hang your backdrop to create an accent wall!

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After a days worth of class, your dorm should feel relaxing and inviting - After all, you deserve it!

If you LOVE this post, share it with your friends ! :) For more decorating tips, follow AMA Designs on Facebook and Instagram! (click the direct link)

Design Tip: The DO's of Home Shopping

When shopping for your home, items can add up quickly! I believe that you shouldn't cut corners in the wrong places. So where should you invest and where should you save? The do's of purchasing for your home.

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DO Invest in Better Furniture: Use your best judgement - invest in the rooms that you use everyday this way you can enjoy them for years to come! That means purchasing a well constructed sofa that you won't have to replace after a year. The cushion contraction and the frame are important. Check the construction of drawers when looking for your bedroom or office. Dovetail drawers are the best - it is the interlocking grooves that hold the sides of the drawer together (rather than glue). 

SAVE: In areas of your home that aren't used as frequently or on items that are solely for decorative purposes like accent tables or console tables. Anything with drawers that you will opening and closing frequently should be of better quality.

DO Purchase Quality Carpet: For high traffic areas, I believe purchasing a higher quality carpet is pertinent. Investing in stair runners will be worth the investment for years to come.

SAVE: In certain situations, an inexpensive area rug will do the job.  For example, rugs in kids rooms are most likely to be replaced so an inexpensive rug is more ideal. 

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DO Invest in Custom Window Treatments: Using the word "custom" may scare you, but don't be afraid. It really depends on the material you use and the style you are trying to achieve. More intricate designs that include, trim, swags, pleats, valances, etc. will cost more. I like to high my curtain rod higher to the ceiling to elongate the height of the space so typically, stock curtains run a little short. If you are savvy with a sewing machine you can add a pretty base fabric or buy super long curtains and hem the bottom. I am not that savvy.... but I encourage anyone who is to try! :)

I have a very large kitchen window and standard size blinds would not fit. I opted to invest in faux wood blinds from JcPenny (which has an awesome window treatment department). If you open up a credit card, you can save more money plus they generally have sales and coupons. 

I love these top down bottom up shades in this Tribeca penthouse. It adds privacy but doesn't hide the beautiful view of the city.

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DO shopping at Yard sales, Estate sales, Thrift Stores, Consignment Shops, and Discount Stores: I can't tell you how many garage sales I have visited or thrift stores I have stopped at. I visited the nearest Goodwill and found a coffee table for $5 that was solid hardwood ----- $5!!!! It needed to be sanded and stained but it had great lines and it was solid furniture. I love finding items and adding my own personal style to it.

Need help with other areas of your home? Please comment what you need help with. I am always willing to help and most of the time your questions turn into blog topics! So don't be shy!!

and remember.... if you like this post, SHARE it :)

 

Yours truly,

AMA DESIGNS