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DIY Decorating Horror Stories


Photo via

Halloween is fast approaching and everyone loves a good horror story. But this year we’re not talking ghost tales or Freddy Krueger. Instead, we’re focusing on DIY design horror stories! Here are a few from readers that will make your hair stand on end:

Stepbrothers bunk bed fail

Via Gif Bin.


The bedroom in my first off-campus apartment in college was tiny. To save space, I decided to purchase a loft bed so that I could place my desk underneath. My sole task was to measure the room. I don’t remember if I actually measured the room, or perhaps I didn’t do it correctly. I guess I thought all ceilings were pretty much the same height. After a trip to Ikea, my mom and I returned to my apartment to set up the furniture. We put together the bed, which was no easy feat, only to find that the mattress was approximately an inch from the ceiling. There was no way I could fit up there.

Ikea didn’t allow returns for this particular piece and we were stuck. My mom is extremely handy so we sawed a few inches off of the legs. The final product was wobbly and I have an irrational fear of heights. It wasn’t a good combination. I tried to sleep up there but eventually gave in, bought a futon, and squeezed it into the space. I slept on the futon for my remaining two years of college.


My mother created a drop ceiling using plain white tiles. She wanted the tiles to have texture so she removed them and painted them using a thick texture paint. When she put the tiles back in place, she discovered the paint had added too much weight and part of the ceiling came crashing down.


A few years ago I moved into an older house. The baseboards and trim in the bedroom looked a little dingy. I didn’t have much experience with painting at the time and didn’t use a primer as I was simply painting white over white. When I was finished, the room looked refreshed and I was happy. However, I was unaware that the previous owners had used oil paint. My latex paint apparently didn’t adhere properly and the paint started peeling. My hard work went right down the drain. Eventually I called in a professional.

For even more DIY horror stories check out the hilarious blog Pinstrosity, which chronicles failed attempts at recreating DIY projects found on Pinterest. Here’s an excellent example from one of their posts:

The Original Pin:

DIY decorations

Photo and tutorial via Hostess with the Mostess Blog.

The Finished Project:

DIY disaster

Photo via Pinstrosity.

Have you experienced any DIY disasters?

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to remedy any mistakes or avoid decorating disasters altogether!

Iris Interiors


Germany: Inspiring Exteriors

Your front door is one of the first things that people see when they approach your house. It tells guests a little bit about your personality, your home, and can make a stunning first impression. On my recent trip to Germany, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible doors, flower boxes, and windows, ranging from ornate to rustic. Enjoy my photos:

Beautiful Front Door

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Gorgeous blue door. Love the texture and pattern.

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A close-up of a decorated door.

Wernigerode Germany

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Hand-carved front entrance along a shopping street in Wernigerode, Germany.

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A green exterior door with window details in Wernigerode, Germany.

German Design

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Ornate hinges.

Entrance flowers

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Flower boxes and a unique door create a welcoming entrance.

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Blue and white door with pops of primary colors and painted design.

House Number

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

An inscription above a door in Bad Sachsa listing the owners/residents as well as the year the house was built (1750)

German Design

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Brown front door with more hand-painted patterns.

Traditional German House

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A traditional house with a decorated window.

Yellow Mailbox

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

An old-fashioned mailbox in the traditional yellow color (postal vehicles are also yellow).

German window boxes.

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A rainbow of flowers make this home in the Harz Mountains stand out.

Which one is your favorite? How do you add interest to the entrance of your home?


Style Files: French Eclectic

Even if you’ve never set foot in France, it’s hard not to be drawn to the stunning, classic style. While we often think of French country or more opulent designs, French Eclectic melds formal and casual, dramatic and inviting, and past and present. If you’re drawn to antiques, the feminine curves of 18th century French furniture, classical Renaissance architecture, and rustic elements, yet still like to infuse your space with a chic modern sensibility and unexpected accessories, the French Eclectic style may resonate with you. Here’s a primer:

Louis XV furniture

Photo from flickr via Elle Decor.

This style often uses a light airy backdrop to allow certain pieces, such as this 1940’s chandelier, to act as a focal point. Louis XV-style chairs and a stool are updated with animal print. The faded, antique rug pulls the neutral color scheme together, while the ottoman (circa 1850) is a nod to the past. The curved shapes of the classic furniture are balanced nicely with the clean lines of the couch. As in any eclectic design, various eras and aesthetics are combined, such as the addition of a gallery wall comprised of American pressed botanicals.

This is the epitome of an eclectic space. The Louis Ghost chair is a modern classic and plays off of the aesthetic of the classic Louis XV armchair. When it comes to space planning with this style, conversation areas are a must, as illustrated above. The floor, distressed woods, and pops of white French country-inspired furniture are rustic touches. Antiques and flea-market finds are an important element and this room definitely gives the impression that its evolved over time. The chandelier is elegant, creating contrast with the more relaxed atmosphere.

This master bathroom falls more under Parisian chic than French countryside. Gold accents are another element of French Eclectic style. The refined mirror, a 19th century antique, and the beautiful chandelier both hail from France. To the left (not pictured) is a decidedly modern glassed enclosed shower. The two distinct styles are harmonized through the use of marble. which blends perfectly with the six-foot white tub.

French antiques

Photo via Creative Outpour.

Antique gold mirrors, classic furniture, and a sparkling chandelier are reminiscent of French royalty. As with most spaces decorated in the French Eclectic style, the walls are neutral, think white, grey, and creams. While a sedate color scheme is often accented with warm reds and golds, this space puts a twist on the theme with pale blues and greens.

French Eclectic interior design

Photo via

For those who don’t like the gilded look, wood-framed furniture in this style is often left untouched and natural or painted white. The vintage French sofa, rustic floors, modern floor lamp, and industrial style side table are a true cohesive mix of styles and texture. For a bohemian look, combine high and low accents. The easel gives it an inviting and artistic feel. Don’t be afraid to bring materials like wrought-iron in to the space to bring more over-the-top pieces down to earth.

Eclectic interior design

Photo via Anatomical Heart.

Classic French antique armchairs are paired with an antique rug, a modern table, and eclectic artwork. The funky chandelier is a surprising feature. The space also uses warm accent colors typically seen in the French countryside, such as yellow, orange, and red.

Vintage modern interior

Photo via Skonahem.

If you’re going to go eclectic, there’s nothing wrong with going bold. The hot pink chaise and combination of floral and pink fabrics makes this French Eclectic interior fun and unique. Modern elements are paired with French antiques, a stunning chandelier, and gold accents, making it quirky luxe.

Do you identify with this style? Which are your favorite spaces?


Renew Old Furniture with Color

Today we have a guest post from Jennifer Lutz of the Christmas Tree Market. Enjoy!

A pop of color is a great way to give old furniture a fresh, new look. There are many reasons, sentimental or practical, why I hold on to old furniture. It could be a hand-me-down from a loved one, a keepsake from an important time of our lives, or simply a sturdy piece that still works well. While old furniture may appear a bit shabby or outdated, sometimes you only need to scratch beyond the surface to discover a real gem underneath. Painting old fixtures with bright, bold colors is easy and the results can be stunning. Making full use of a reliable piece of furniture not only saves you money, but also gives you a fascinating makeover tale to share with friends.


Refurbished dresser tutorial

Photo via Natty by Design.

Breathe new life to a well-used dresser with a fresh coat of paint to give it some character and style. A painted dresser catches the eye and gives a room a friendly, welcoming ambiance. Natty by Design recently transformed a humdrum brown dresser into a dramatic piece.

Start off by wiping the dresser with a dry rag, then cleaning it with mild soap and water. Lay down some used paper or a drop cloth underneath it. Use fine sandpaper to smooth out rough spots. Lightly sanding the surface or applying a coat of primer allows new paint to stick better. Remove or cover any hardware or parts you don’t want painted. When the primer has dried, use a paint or foam brush to apply the first coat of paint. Apply the second coating after a couple hours or when the first coat is already dry. Feel free to replace old knobs with ones that you like.


diy refurbished chair

Photo via

A chair that has lost its original luster can be revamped with a simple coat of paint. Debra Wittrup of BHG shows how a spray of bright paint gives an old chair a bright, cheery look. If you want something more in line with spring, you can pair the chair with a colorful patterned cushion.

Helpful Tip! Glossy paint tends to highlight imperfections in furniture much more than matte. For a smoother finish, try dipping 400-grit sandpaper in water and sanding between coats.

Chest of Drawers:

Furniture from the 50’s and 60’s have gorgeous clean lines that give them a timeless appeal. Transport mid-century fixtures into the future by painting them in various shades of a single color. A chest of drawers with a color gradient is an irresistibly cute piece that’s perfect for your little one’s room.

Helpful Tip! Painting the top of a piece of furniture requires extra care. What I do is work my way up from the legs first. I also use a roller for a smooth, even finish. To prevent sticking or unsightly marks, give your newly painted table top sufficient time to dry before placing objects on it.

Changing Table:

changing table makeover

Photo via Lemon Drop Life.

Most of the time, we have pieces of furniture that are still in great shape but not really much to look at. Dacia of Lemon Drop Life transformed a drab changing table into a bright ray of sunshine in the nursery by sanding it down and painting it a happy yellow shade.

Helpful Tip! To keep a painted surface pretty, I coat it with a water-based lacquer finish to protect against stains, marring, and fingerprints.

Buffet Table:

Painted buffet table

Photo via Funcycled.

Spare that poor forgotten buffet table a trip to the landfill. With a little elbow grease, Sarah from Funcycled turned a simple little hutch into a bright, beautiful addition to the dining room.

Incorporate her idea into your favorite buffet table that has seen better days by painting it a bold color that lets it stand out. Subtle distressed edges liven up the look even more.

Helpful Tip! Achieve the distressed look on paint quickly and easily by lightly sanding the edges and corners of your furniture with fine sandpaper.

Using bright colors to renew furniture can be fun and the results can be so rewarding. Show off your creativity while saving some cash with these inspiring DIY projects.

Jennifer Lutz blogs about home decorating at the Christmas Tree Market blog. The blog is part of Christmas Tree Market where you can choose an artificial Christmas Tree to suit your home décor.


Give Your Powder Room Personality

The often overlooked powder room is actually an excellent place to break a few of your design rules. It’s like a bonus space, perfect for making guests feel welcome. People spend a few minutes in the room and there’s no need to consider issues such as a shower or bathtub. Take the opportunity to make a statement, as it’s a room that can stand-alone. Turn your powder room into a place to reflect your boldest decorating whims in a fun, artistic way. When decorating the space consider the following:

Color Scheme:

wallpapered powder room

Designed by Iris Interiors LLC.

Because the powder room is typically a smaller space, many people shy away from dark or bright colors. However, it’s a hidden gem where an aesthetic that may not work in a living room, for example, can come to life. When designing this powder room, the lack of humidity and limited size made wallpaper an affordable and realistic alternative to painting. The bold, damask wallpaper adds an air of luxury.

purple powder room

Photo via Tumblr user: The Bohemian Girl.

Paint a vivid color. The dark purple gives this Moroccan-style powder room a romantic ambiance. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even try your hand at stencils to create an elaborate pattern.

Bring color in through the details, such as a tile backsplash or this incredible ikat glass mosaic.

Toilet, Sink, Fixtures, and Furniture:

pedestal sink

Photo via Decor Pad.

Choose a toilet, sink, fixtures, and hardware that complement your color scheme. For a small powder room, a pedestal sink can save space. Not sure about the lack of storage? Consider adding a fabric skirt to the sink or filling a basket with rolled towels.

elegant white powder room

Designed by Jamie Herzlinger.

Extra room? A vanity provides storage space. Add a piece of furniture for a luxe look.


Antique mirror

Photo via House Beautiful.

Plush hand towels, rugs, and pretty amenities tie a design together. The mirror is also a major focus. Try something ornate, unusual, over-sized, or even a grouping of small mirrors. The mirror above is truly unique, as it is covered in an antique Italian window grill.

You can even surprise guests with a gallery wall showcasing your favorite artwork.


You want to have enough natural and artificial light so that guests can touch up their makeup and do other quick bathroom tasks. Incorporate an unexpected chandelier (photo above), flank a mirror with wall sconces, or hang pendant lights. A dimmer switch will allow you to adjust the brightness to your needs.

What ideas do you have for your powder room?


Best of Houzz 2013

I have some exciting news! Iris Interiors LLC was selected by the Houzz community as a winner of their 2013 “Best of Houzz” awards for the second year in a row! This year we won in the “Customer Satisfaction” category. This award is based on a variety of factors including ratings and reviews by Houzz’s 11 million monthly users. Thank you for all of the support!

To check out our Houzz profile page please click on the link below.:

Houzz: Iris Interiors LLC


My Top 10 Decorating Tips

We all have our favorite go-to decorating principles. Here are some of our favorites:

1). Use as much color as you want.  Be brave; it’s not permanent and it’s inexpensive to change!
2). Layer fabrics and textures to create sophistication and warmth.
Layered Bedding

Photo via Heatherly Design.

3). Don’t forget there are five walls.

4). Think of accessories as the perfect pair of shoes to go with your favorite outfit.

Bookcase accessories

Photo from Lonny Mag via Haus and Home.

5). Bigger IS better when it comes to accessories.
6). Your first instinct is usually right.
7). The best designs come from taking a risk.

8). Mix old and new.

Modern Vintage

Photo via Emily Chalmers.

9). Don’t be afraid to combine styles.

Eclectic Dining Room

Photo via Houzz.

10) Be unique, but skip the “themes” unless you are working for the Rainforest Cafe!

eclectic bedroom

Photo via Houzz via Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick.

What are your top decorating tips that you are willing to share?