...because home doesn't happen overnight.
10.16.12 / Free-for-All: Flor


Congrats to Bethany Winkler! Enjoy your new Flor!

In my last post, you got a sneak peek of the new rug in the boys’ bedroom. Previously, I bought an inexpensive cotton flat weave from IKEA to give the kids a soft place to play. I knew when I bought it that it wasn’t the rug. {But that’s okay. I was thinking ahead and planned to use it elsewhere once I found the right rug for the boys’ room.}

It was too light to survive in a boys’ bedroom {hello, dirt} and the size was all wrong. It was roughly 6’x8′ but I needed it about 3′ longer on the longest side to optimize play space. That meant I was looking for a 6’x11′ rug. Basically, a fat runner. If you’ve ever done any rug shopping, you know that 6’x11′ is not anywhere close to a standard rug size. I would find rugs long enough but they were too wide. {Eventually, two desks are going in on the right wall shown above so I didn’t want a rug that would extend into the desk area.} When I found rugs narrow enough, they were too short to run the length of the room. That’s when I realized I was wasting my time searching for the perfectly sized rug. The only way I was going to get a ~6’x11′ rug was to have one custom made or make one myself.

I went as far as to special order a custom cut rug via Home Depot. But when it arrived {six weeks later!} it was damaged and hadn’t even been cut to the size I specified. I had such a horrible experience that I swore off the whole custom cut rug idea. {In Home Depot’s defense, they hire out for the custom cutting of rugs and I did get a full refund because the product I received wasn’t what had been ordered – wrong size & damaged. Still, it was not a pleasant experience.}

That’s when I looked to Flor. Well, now. Here was a huge selection of rug tiles that I could position any way I wanted to nearly any size my house-lovin’ heart desired. Bingo. After I did the math, I discovered that if I made a rug 4 tiles wide and 7 tiles long it would produce a ~6’6″x11’6″ rug. Faaaantastic.

I chose 30 tiles of the sweater weather in grey. It has a cable knit texture I love in a color that will hide just about anything my boys can throw, drop, squish, mark or smear on it. For particularly awful messes, I can remove the affected tiles, wash them off in the sink or outside then put them back. Like nothing ever happened. Shhhhhhh. If one the tiles is ever beyond washing or repairing, I have two replacement tiles to use.

I was leery of the ‘heavy traffic’ description, afraid that the tiles would feel like the abrasive indoor-outdoor carpeting from the 70’s. But they don’t feel that way at all. They feel more like yarn than carpet or wool.

{Nevermind the sliver of sunlight blowing out the middle of the rug.}

The other great thing is that the rug has a super low profile. I can easily pull out the trundle bed of the bunk onto the rug without having to move anything first. The tile backs are slip-resistant so the rug doesn’t shift or wrinkle when the trundle rolls onto them. No need for a rug pad.

Putting the rug together was a cinch.

I laid out my 28 tiles in the rectangular shape I wanted, using the quarter-turn installation. Then we lived with them like that – floating freely – for a week or so to make sure it was the rug. It was! The only thing left to do was adhere the tiles to each other.

The tiles came with a slew of stickers.

At the intersection of four tiles, I placed one sticker – sticky side up – underneath and lined up the seams of the tiles with the guide lines on the sticker. {Picture the sticker above laying under the tiles.}

At the intersection of two end tiles, I placed one sticker – sticky side up – underneath the seam and lined up the seam with the guide lines on the sticker. {Picture the sticker above laying under the top tile as well.} I just went row by row, sticking the tiles together until they were all one big rug. It took me a total of 20 minutes.

This is the view from the top bunk. You can better see the size of the rug in relation to the room. It’s perfect.

I’m Flor’s newest fan. For several reasons:

*The tiles can be made into rugs of hard-to-come-by shapes and sizes.

*The low profile makes it ideal near moving doors, desk chairs and trundle beds.

*The slip-resistant backing makes a rug pad unnecessary.

*Tiles can be removed and replaced easily for cleaning.

*Tile facing is made from 100% recycled fibers.

I would highly recommend Flor for your floor-covering needs. To help you out, Flor is graciously sponsoring this week’s giveaway! See entry details below.

PRIZE: 20 Flor tiles of your choice!! {This will make a ~5’x8′ rug. You may purchase additional tiles for a larger rug.}

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. shipping address {no P.O. boxes please} to enter. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: ‘Like’ Flor on facebook then come back here and leave a comment on this post proclaiming “FLOR ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before noon on Friday, October 19th. One random winner will be announced that same day.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Since we’re talking custom-sized rugs…what’s your favorite custom item in your home? Maybe you have custom built kitchen cabinets or commissioned artwork that was created just for you. I’ll go first. We had an engineered ridge beam custom built for the great room. It allowed us to vault the once 8′ ceilings to >12′. It’s definitely a custom touch that goes a long way in making our kitchen and family room feel bigger and brighter. We’d do it over again in a heartbeat.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Ever wonder what happened to the IKEA rug I took out of the boys’ room? Check back tomorrow to see where it ended up.

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking


Congrats to Andrea who is overdue for a bathroom update!

‘Fess up. Which of you went out and bought the new iPhone 5 last week? My sister did. I didn’t.

Seeing as how HH had to drag me to the store when I finally caved for my iPhone over year ago, I’m not one to jump on the latest technology bandwagons. I still haven’t tapped into all that my phone can do, so I’ll be using it for a while. In fact, the phone I had just before my current iPhone was a very outdated Motorola Razr. It was in bad shape. The wire connecting the keypad portion to the flip-top was fully exposed and I had to hold the phone with two hands to use it. That upgrade was similar to when my country-lovin’, Harley riding, hillbilly dad bought a Lexus sedan last month. Whaaaaat??? He also wears cargo shorts now. Up until a year ago, I couldn’t even tell you what his legs looked like. I’d seen them maybe a total of two times in my 30+ years. He always wore jeans. My bonus mom is opening my dad’s eyes to all the things me and my siblings have been trying to turn him on to for three decades. And she’s done it in two years! Without nagging or changing my dad’s personality. She’s pretty amazing.

Anyhow, for those of us who still like our older iPhone models, there’s a brand spanking new etsy shop that’s got us covered. Literally.

Scribbles & Stripes offers a variety of modern printed cases compatible with the iPhone 4 or 4S. From polka dots to chevron to ombre, there’s a pattern for everyone. You can update your iPhone without paying for the expensive upgrade. Want something a little more personal than a pattern? Well, check out the custom instagram and photo options as well. These would make lovely gifts, don’t you think?

Could your iPhone 4 or 4S use a little love? Great. See details below and win a case of your own!

PRIZE: one iPhone 4/4S case of your choice from Scribbles & Stripes

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. shipping address. No P.O. boxes please. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “UPDATE ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before Thursday, September 27th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One random winner will be chosen and announced Friday, September 28th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Since we’re talking updates and upgrades… what’s a future update or upgrade you’re looking forward to? A new hairstyle? A reliable car? Replacing something in your wardrobe? Or maybe you’re updating something in your house? I’ll go first. We’ve done a lot of work around the Underdog but there’s still one full bathroom sitting completely gutted. All five of us have been sharing our master bathroom and while it hasn’t been impossible, I’m really looking forward to finishing the other bathroom for kids and guests. It’s on the calendar for winter.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Can’t wait to win or are you doing your Christmas shopping early? Scribbles & Stripes is offering an exclusive discount to House*Tweaking readers. For the next two days four days, use the coupon code “HOUSE25” to score 25% off your purchase! After that, use the coupon code “HOUSETWEAKING” to score 10% off any purchase through October 24th 2012. AND…if you’re interested in a case for an iPhone 5, you can pre-order them now through Scribbles & Stripes!

Don’t forget to like Scribbles & Stripes on facebook and follow them on instagram!

Do you have an etsy shop or small business you’d like to introduce House*Tweaking readers to by way of a giveaway? Please contact me at danarmiller {at} hotmail {dot} com for more info.

images: Scribbles & Stripes collage by Dana Miller

By now you should have a draft mood board of items. To polish it up and make it presentable for a blog post or client, you can add embellishments such as titles, text, arrows and decoration. This step can be likened to taking a loose photo and making it into a scrapbook page. It’s all about dressing it up and being creative.

Log into polyvore, click ‘create’, click the ‘my sets’ tab, click ‘drafts.’ Select the draft board you want to embellish and click ‘edit this draft.’

This should bring up the draft board that you saved previously. To add text to your board, click the ‘all items’ tab. Under the ’embellishments’ category, select ‘text.’

This will bring up a text box. Select a font and type in your desired text. Click ‘update’ to see it appear on your board. You can enlarge, shrink and pivot your text box the same way you would an item. Change the font or color of your text by using the drop-down menus in the text bar.

I widen my text box by dragging the right line of the box to get my title all in one line. I shrink my text and use a teal color to go along with my mood board’s color palette. I center the title above the board. Then I save my draft.

Sometimes it’s useful to number items in your mood board. This is helpful when you’ll be discussing each item in depth within a blog post or with a client. You can simply add lone numbers like you did with the title and then position them next to each item OR polyvore gives you the option of using ready made numbers that have a more professional appearance. To access the ready made numbers, click the ‘all items’ link in blue to the right of your board. Select ‘123♥→.’

This will bring up pages of arrows, numbers and other decorative labeling aides. Select the label you want and ‘add to set.’ You can change the color via the drop-down menu in the box. You can also lighten or darken the color using the fade feature. I use the round number stickers in orange and fade them so that they mimic the coral in my mood board.

When numbering, I like to layer the numbers slightly over the items so there’s no question which number goes with which item. I also try to stagger the placement of the numbers so your eye moves around the board in a flowing manner. With my mood board titled and numbered, I give it a once-over and save my draft.

For fun and to show you a little more of what you can do, I play around with my title’s color and give it some flair. {“I don’t really like talking about my flair.” Name that movie.}

To highlight the title, I add double arrowheads to each end of the title. I decide the teal font and coral arrows work best. I save my draft.

If you’re wondering, I use the ‘text’, ‘123♥→’, ‘effects & textures’ and ‘patterns & overlays’ embellishments most frequently. My best advice here is to practice playing around with the embellishments. Try layering text over patterns and using different extras to amp up the wow factor on your boards. It’s just like cropping…you’ll get better with practice. That being said, if I’m making a mood board for personal use, I usually don’t add embellishments. I just want a feel for how certain items will look all together in one space.

Rihana's bedroom

Ta-dah! Wait…how’d I get my board onto my blog you ask?

Once you complete a mood board you have two options: 1) save it as a draft to view personally OR 2) publish it to share with others.

If you want to post your mood board to a blog or email it to a client, you will need to publish it. Click ‘publish’ in the upper left hand corner of your  board.

Populate the fields as directed. I don’t spend a whole lot of time or thought on this part since I don’t target my boards toward the polyvore audience. Click ‘publish.’

You are able to quick share via different social media sites but I click ‘done’ here. My boards are usually going into a blog post that I haven’t written yet or to a client via email.

Congrats! You just published a mood board! Feels good, doesn’t it?

A great feature about a completed mood board is that you can hover over any of the items and it will bring up links to the items. Super convenient. There are share buttons for twitter, tumblr, email, pinterest and facebook. I use the email button to email mood boards to clients. The email includes links to all the items in the mood board which is another convenient feature. I also send a separate email to clients from my personal email account giving more details about the board – this is where those numbers come in handy. I specify furniture arrangements, each item’s placement, my thoughts on why I chose each item and other pertinent info. It’s easier for me to discuss one item at a time and I’m sure it’s easier for the client to see the mood board broken down into smaller bits.

To post my mood board to House*Tweaking I click ‘post to blog.’ This brings up a box giving me appearance options. I always choose the last option in the first row which basically means I don’t want a list of all the items included with the mood board…I just want the mood board itself to appear on my blog. I set the image size to 600 pixels wide because that’s how wide my post column is on H*T. I skip the ‘choose your blog’ option and instead opt to copy the HTML code for my board. I paste the HTML code within the blog post I write pertaining to the mood board.

Rihana's bedroom

With the board in my blog post, I’m able to refer to each item via its labeled number. Voilà!

I’ll bet you would have never guessed all that went on behind the scenes when you’re reading a mood board post on H*T. No one is ever going to ask how I create anything tech-y again! Ha!

Sorry if this week was a total wash and you have no interest in mood boards. I’m happy if I inspire just one person to create their own. Playing around with mood boards is my idea of fun. I wish a step-by-step tutorial for polyvore had been around years ago when I started using it, so this is my way of paying it forward. Another reason I wanted to share this tutorial now is that NEXT WEEK I will begin offering mood board services for a fee. I know not everyone will be able/want to shell out the moolah for a custom mood board, so I thought sharing my process would give those readers the chance to DIY their own.

Happy embellishing! And I apologize in advance to the husbands, boyfriends, wives?, girlfriends?, children and pets of any polyvore monsters I created this week. SORRY. I would love for readers to link to their polyvore mood boards in the comments section below so I can see what lovely sets you’ve created.

Please feel free to ask any questions about polyvore and mood boards in the comments section below. Refer to Parts I, II and III of this tutorial if you’re just tuning in.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking