Monday, October 29, 2012

creative ideas to keep kids busy in a storm

As my kids just said, "Go away hurricane Sandy, we want candy!" We are bracing for this storm to come in as so many people are up and down the east coast. Schools are closed and will be for a couple days at least, and of course my kids are worried about Halloween being cancelled. I guess as a kid I would be really worried about that as well! But as parents now we have to worry about all the bad stuff. I'm sure across much of the area where we will most likely loose power, those of us with kids know how dependent they can be on all our gadgets, (did I just say kids?) So we already have the tent set up in the living room, loaded with stuffed animals and sleeping bags, flash lights ready to go for hide and seek. 
But here are a few other creative ideas to do with your kids when there is a storm. I found a bunch of great ideas at, Busy Bees kids crafts, here's one that is really cute, paper pumpkins, but there are a lot of cute, pretty simple crafts on that website to keep them busy.

Busy Bees

Another cute idea that will keep them busy for hours, find a box they can decorate, then cut out a hole in the front.  You can help them make some cute puppets with paper and whatever else you can dig up in your craft supplies, they can make up stories with their puppets that can entertain them for hours.

Martha Stewart
So, what would be more appropriate right now then leaf art. Maybe in my area I wouldn't send your kids outside to collect the leaves, you could gather some and let them dry off. This is something that I will definitely be doing with my kids this afternoon- how fun and beautiful is this creative idea with colorful autumn leaves.

Kids these days
Wild singapore happenings
I love this beautiful mask. If you go to the website it will tell you how to make it, I think they glue the leaves on a card stock mask, there are a lot of other great ideas for fall crafts on the site too.

But whatever you and your kids make, have fun. It may help to get through this storm a little bit better, without hearing them say, I'm sooo bored! Would love to hear what creative things you do with your kids, post comments if you can, I'm sure we can all use some more ideas and it would be fun to hear how you all get through storms! 
 Hope you all make it through the storm without too much trouble, stay safe!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Upcycled Home Decor Series: Part One {clocks}

I am so excited to be hosting a new series. A very talented friend of mine will be a guest blogger and doing a post every other week or so. Her name is, Liz Ohsiek and she will be writing a featured series all about upcycling. She has a great website, blog and an Etsy shop, make sure to check out all the great things that she is doing. So, here is a kick-off of the first series, I hope you enjoy it and make sure to follow along for more of her upcoming posts on upcycling!

Upcycled Home Decor Series: Part One {clocks}

Guest Blogger: Liz Ohsiek from Liz Ohsiek Designs

Hello readers of Rebecca Lukens Designs! I am thrilled to be guest posting a series about upcycled home decor.
First on my list is clocks. Did you know that you can make a clock out of just about anything? Craft stores sell the hands & battery box mechanism. They probably intend for them to be used on a wooden disc or in a cuckoo clock. I say, "Bo-ring!" Why not use a game board, vinyl record or hubcap for your clock's face? Create an instant conversation piece for your home… Here are a few gorgeous examples I found via (THE place to buy handmade items).
Recycled Bike Wheel Clock by pixelthis 

Colorado License Tag Clock by StarlingInk

Yellow Tupperware Clock - Upcycled Lid by RecyclingTime

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall nesting, staying in the season

I think I about had a melt down the other day in Kmart when I was suppose to be looking for Halloween candy only to find the Russell Stover Christmas chocolates instead and Santa's work shop set up! I know that it seems that the decorations are pulled out earlier every year, but could they at least wait until after Halloween! So I think that I am stuck on seasonal colors at the moment. Here are some ideas to keep you in the fall season.
Below are some great ways to inspire you to decorate with orange - ideas that will last all year long. Some are subtle but others are very bold, bringing that pop of orange into a room can add that unexpected bit of fun.



I love the mix of the browns in this room with the beautiful blue walls and accents of orange.


Even with the bold orange sofa above, the room still seems well balanced and earthy with it's neutral brown tones.
Canadian House and Home

This definitely makes a statement for an entry way with the orange runner
Martha Stewart

With the orange painted inside the shelf, it acts as a great back drop for your Halloween accents.

Martha Stewart

 Love this bold orange in the foyer, the botanical prints stand out beautifully against the bold color of the walls.
Martha Stewart

I love this room above the choices of colors together are beautiful and seem so soothing.
Martha Stewart

Love this chair!


These chairs are very bold and vibrant. I love how they stand out against the white walls and draws you into the painting.

The fabric on the chairs are so bold but still look very traditional at the same time.
Traditional Home

Love the simplicity of the kitchen with the pop of orange on the window treatments.
Traditional Home

This room transitions so nicely from the kitchen above with the touches of orange they choose to bring in.

Love the soft orange tone on the walls.

Hope that inspires you to stay in the season a little longer!

Check out the other Fall Nesters over at The Inspired Room

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Design Challenge winner

First of all I want to thank all of you who participated in the design challenge and left your comments, and also signed up on my blog, I hope you will continue to follow my posts and check back to see the results of the transformation of the winning challenge. 

Now, onto the winner! I read through each one of the comments many times and it was a hard decision. I decided to pick one that I believed would have that most dramatic transformation for the amount of time invested. The winner is...the challenge of Liz Moffet's living room! It sounds like a great challenge to take on and I am very excited to see the room!  I liked the fact that the room has some issues with paint, a problem with the entry into the room, but also issues with furniture arrangement. So by redesigning the floor plan with what is already in the space, it will make a big difference. Here is what she had to say about her living room;

"Our living room is a problem design wise for us for 2 major reasons. First, one entire wall is wood- built in shelves, real wood paneling, and a wood fireplace and mantel. I can't for the life of me figure out how to break that space up or what color to paint the room because of that whole wall being wood. The second issue is that we use a door from the outside into the living room as the main entrance of our home, so we need entry way living, along with a clear path to enter the rest of the house. Can't figure out how to set up the furniture in the room to do that. The room drives me nuts considering it's the first thing I see every time I walk in the house."

I will post the pictures of her space as soon as I get them and will do follow up's of the progress, hope you follow along! And thanks again to all of you for your time! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Design challenge.. time is running out

Design Challenge

Only a few hours left to go in the design challenge (click on the link to look at the post) It's not too late to leave a comment with your design problem, you have until midnight tonight. I've gotten some great comments so far, it's going to be a tough decision! But I would still love some more. Check back tomorrow to see which design challenge was picked.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

fall mantels

Fall mantels can be so colorful and fun to decorate, we are given so much to work with that makes it easier on us. Here are a couple pictures of my mantel.
 I love ornamental kale and how organic it is. I mixed in some kale with some mini pumpkins and Osage oranges. The colors of the greens and oranges give such a great contrast.

Here are some other fall mantels that I love. The one below, is so simple with the white and greens used, which is a nice contrast with the wood tones.


How fun are these framed silhouettes? It looks great as a background with this fall mantel, it's very simple but makes a huge statement.

The orange just pops out against the white fireplace and light blue walls in both the image above and below.

You really can't go wrong with what you put on your mantel, keep it simple and have fun.

Make sure to check out my design challenge
Also check out the other Fall Nesters over at  The Inspired Room

Monday, October 15, 2012

design challenge

Fall always comes with so many great things, the weather is beautiful and crisp, the leaves start to change, pops of colorful pumpkins, but then there is school, soccer, fall fairs, events, the impending holidays approaching etc., etc. So I am going to help one person who has been wanting to start a project or is having a hard time trying to resolve an issue with a project and just hasn't had the time.  So, to alleviate your design issue and help with your challenge, in such a busy time, I am going to offer free design service to the person with the most interesting painting or design challenge. (please be kind, this is to be one issue, one room, not a whole house or multiple projects, remember I will be doing this free of charge!) All you need to do is comment about something you are having a hard time with or a project that you have been wanting to start or just don't know how to get started. But the rules are- you have to become a follower on my blog and like me on facebook. By doing that you will be entered into the challenge. I will keep it open until Saturday, October 20th. At the end of this time I will pick one winner, from there I will post the challenge. I will then work with that person via email, through pictures, and details of the issue, etc. After we have worked through the details and have resolved the design project I will post a follow up to the challenge.
So whether you are struggling with what shade of green to choose or you just want to update the look of a room but aren't sure where to start, I will help solve your design issue. Let the comments begin!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Decorating with Osage oranges

I love Osage oranges, those crazy big green things that fall from Osage Orange trees, at least in my neck of the woods, here in Pennsylvania. My kids think that they look like big green brains and they are kinda right. They are also known as hedge apples and in the mid-west, where you can also find them, they are sold in grocery stores. I'm not quite sure why though, because you can't eat them. But, I do love them this time of year and I am always looking on the side of the road for them. If you are lucky, you may even be able to stumble across some of them laying on the ground. Now, I don't recommend stealing them off of someones yard but if you happen to find them on the side of the road, out in the middle of nowhere, then I say pick them up! What a hazard they may cause to someone driving- right? So that is how I got mine and they are so fun to decorate with this time of year. Here are a few ways I have them around my house, and best of all, like I said, if you are lucky enough, they are free! 

They make great centerpieces

I had these out like this for a party, they are so fun and colorful.

I threw some out front too mixed in with my mums

Hope you are able to find some in your area. They are perfect for this time of year and would be really fun to decorate with for a Halloween party too. It is great to have such amazing things in nature to enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

bathroom renovation for two lucky girls

I am finally getting around to posting the pictures of my clients bathrooms- they were finished a few months ago. She is so great to work with. There were three bathroom projects in her house, which was a lot of fun, especially her girls bathroom, which was my favorite one of the three. If you want to check out the powder room and the master bath updates click here.

Unfortunately I don't know what I did with the before pictures, but the bathroom had all original vanity, floor, lighting, tub, etc. so it needed a fresher, more updated look. My client has two young girls so we wanted to do something that they could grow with, young, but also a touch of a sophisticated style that will last for years. 

This was one of my favorite things we found, this bright, ruffled flower shower curtain from, Anthropology. It is a great pop of color in the room that matches perfectly with the striped fabric, on the window treatments that we had made from Smith and Noble. 

The tiles we picked are a  marble subway tile and these great glass accents that compliment the marble and pick up the green and gray tones in the marble floor tile as well.

These were also so fun, these dot towels from Anthropology, again they match so well with the shower curtain and window treatments, and they are so cute!

The vanity was picked out with the thought in mind, that the underneath would be so accessible to the girls and a great way for them to store their things in these baskets, from Pottery Barn.

I love this quartz counter top that was used, it has green flecks in it that matches so well with all of the tile and will be so durable for a bathroom with young kids. All of the hardware and lights are a polished chrome that is a nice compliment to the quartz because they both have just a hint of shimmer to them, what girl doesn't love that!

The light green paint on the walls again, make everything light and bright, bringing together the softness of the bathroom without overwhelming it.

The bathroom itself seems bigger, brighter and lighter and I think that the results came out great and definitely a space that will grow with the girls and can be very versatile because of the choices made in the finishes. It was such a fun project!

make sure to check out my design challenge and
also check out some of the other feathered nest Friday ideas at French Country Cottage

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Painting kitchen cabinets with ASCP

I got a bit behind on my kitchen painting. This fall has been so busy- especially when you over schedule your Saturday by doing something as crazy as- having your son's birthday party with 14 kids and then later on hosting a neighborhood party, with over 60 people in your house, all in one day- (click here to check out the creative way I displayed the menu) I don't think I can really physically move today! But I have managed to muster up some energy to post the pictures of my kitchen before and after. My long, very time consuming process of painting my cabinets has finally ended and now on to the final touches. Here are the before and after pictures of my kitchen and the pendant lights that will be hung up and some tile choices.

 I started this process with deciding what color I wanted to paint the cabinets, I knew I wanted to use Annie Sloan chalk paint. After I got the color I liked, I highlighted small areas in one of the paint colors,old white, so when I went to go distress them just a little, the color would show through. So I started each cabinet like this below, adding another step in this long process!

These are the colors I mixed together to get the one that I was happy with on the top (click here to see what paint colors I used to get the color.)

I ended up painting 2 coats of paint, then I very lightly distressed the cabinets, allowing some of the wood tone of the cherry to come through  here and there as well as the old white. Finally I waxed them with Annie Sloan clear wax and lightly buffed them.

Here are the final pictures, I am so happy with how they came out. It actually makes our kitchen look brighter and a little bigger. If you want to see how the island was done you can look here and here.

I added a pop of salmon on the bead board in the built- in, which is the same color I have in the dining room walls, off of the kitchen, Wild Flower, which is a Benjamin Moore paint.

One small spot I still have to finish is the side of the cabinet where the fridge is- because magnets won't stick to stainless steel, I painted the side of the cabinet with a magnetic primer and I plan to paint it with the same color as the cabinets, but I won't put the wax on it so it will double as a chalk board and we can put magnets on it.

We had to replace this door to the basement, the previous one had a big cat door in it- this was an extra one in the basement that wasn't in the best shape. So I painted this one and used chalk paint in the panels- the kids love it.

I posted these before,here, these are the pendants that I will have hung up above the island.

I still haven't completely decided on which tile we are going to go with- but I think that we may do the marble one on the right as an accent and perhaps one similar to the one in the middle. I may just go with the same I did at my last house in the kitchen you can check it out here.

I will make sure to get the tile pictures up and the light when we get those done, but I can't promise those will be done any time soon! But I am defiantly glad I went through all the effort to paint the cabinets, it is a great way to update and change the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank!

Make sure to check out my design challenge and also check out the other furniture ideas over at Miss Mustard Seed's  Furniture Friday