Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's the opposite of Going Green?

No, we haven't stopped recycling (although we really need to step it up).

But I spent a lovely afternoon covering up the first paint job we did in the house.

We agonized over this decision. We actually liked the green, but it was just a lot. A whole lot of very green, right in your face. And it just didn't fit in with the rest of the colors we've chosen. We didn't want to be walking around our house of light, soothing shades of blue and gray, and then BAM. Acid green!

And when I saw this post over at Good Food, Good Friends, Good Life, I fell in love with the color. I knew we wanted something a bit lighter for our guest room, but I thought the color (Valspar Jekyll Grand Dining Sea Mist) would be perfect for our bathroom.

And the verdict?

Pretty sweet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Office

No, I'm not talking about the TV show. I'm talking about the third bedroom.

It's not the prettiest room in the world.

The office has become a graveyard for hand me downs and old stuff. It has the cheap white bookshelves that resided in my childhood room. It has the TV stand from my itty bitty college apartment. And it has the horrifying lamp/magazine rack/table combo that Brett refuses to part with.

Seriously, when we moved, I told my dad I wouldn't be upset if this thing fell out of the truck, but he would have no part in it. Proof that he loves Brett more than he loves me.

It also has one really awesome piece. The mid century stunner of a desk we picked up for $40 at a garage sale.

I can't wait for garage sale season to heat up again. I need more MCM in my life.

Now, I'll be honest here. Not much working goes on in our office. There's a lot of video gaming and internet browsing, a little DVD watching (no satellite in here), and almost constant music. Most working from home happens either on the couch with my laptop (me) or on the phone writing furiously (him).

But still, this is a room that needs to function for us much better than it is. I'm tired of laying or sitting on the carpet when I get home from work. I'm tired of rooting through boxes of books in the thankfully ginormous closet. And I am so, so tired of the lamp/table/magazine rack.

The first step will happen soon. We'll cover up that garish jade in favor of what else, gray.

There's a hint of blue there. Enough to delineate from the eventual hall color, but not so much that it will scream BLUE. We hope.

Unfortunately, after that there will be a standstill in office upgrades. The kitchen backsplash is our next priority and I won't be spending any major home related funds until that's all sewed up.

But I have plans. Oh boy, do I. And considering this is really Brett's room, I may just have my clean, modern dreams crushed.

First, notice the absence of a lamp/table/magazine rack. It will be gone, Brett. Mark my words.

Instead, the monstrosity will be replaced by an arc lamp, like this one from CB@.

It will serve as both a task light for the desk, and reading light for people who are lounging on our next addition: seating.

We really need a sleeper sofa in here. With our current guest bedroom switching over to a nursery in a couple of years, we'll need the space. Unfortunately, I'm having little to no luck finding a sleeper I'm happy with, that doesn't cost a million dollars.

Yo, Goodwin sleeper! You are totally adorable.

So why do you have to be $1300? It would be one thing if you were destined to grace our living room, but I just can't spend over a grand on an office sofa.

A much cheaper option is this new 2x2 Daybed, but I'd really love more than a twin.

Anyway, seating is yet to be determined. If anyone comes across a lovely, modern, full size sleeper sofa for $5, let me know.

I'd also like to hang some light, airy curtains to the floor, behind whatever seating piece we go with. I'll hang them wider than the narrow window, but I'll leave enough room for Brett's vintage concert posters.

For book storage, we're building it. We'll probably end up with straight, simple cases stained to match the desk as closely as possible. I'd love to try to build the puzzle bookcases from Knock Off Wood, but we'll have to make it work for our slanted ceilings. We envision and entire wall filled with books. Which won't be hard to do, considering the amount we have.

The only thing left is TV storage. I am clueless here. It needs to hold 387 video game consoles and a 19" CRT TV. And be cheap and gorgeous. Any ideas? Maybe we'll end up building this as well, and matching the book shelves.

Monday, January 25, 2010


We had a friend visit for the weekend, and spent three glorious, home decor free days doing this

eating this

and turning this

into this


It was a wonderful break, just what we needed to prepare for another weekend of painting. I'm hoping to do both the bathroom and the office. We all know that's nt going to happen. But a girl can dream can't I?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Post Happy

Just because I love the guest room so much (maybe even more than my room), here are some pictures with sunlight. AKA, pictures not taken at 10 o'clock when I really, really should be in bed.

Throw Down!

One of my favorite ways to brighten up a couch, bed, or chair is with throw pillows. They add a great pop of color or pattern, and really break up a big expanse of fabric.

But oh, how they can add up. At $20-40 (or more!) a pop, I can't fill my house with throw pillows the way I'd like.

Or so I thought!

Thanks to Apartment Therapy, I found these simple instructions. It seemed easy enough, so I headed out to a fabric store. I found a couple of great prints for 50% off. Score! I also picked up some coordinating solids for an art project. When I got home, I set to work.

First, you need to figure out your dimensions. I got two 18" square pillow forms for $4 at target, but you could recover an old pillow, just measure it first.

For the vertical, the fabric will be exactly the same width as the pillow. You don't want to leave a seam allowance, or the pillow will be floppy instead of full.

For the horizontal, multiple your dimension by two and add 4". So for an 18" square pillow, I ended up with 18x40 pieces of fabric.

If you're using a geometric pattern, like the blue square chain here, it is very important to keep everything straight and parallel. Luckily, you can use the pattern itself as a guide.

The next step is to create a rolled hem at each end. These hems will create the envelope opening on the back of the pillow.

First, fold the fabric over 1/4". Then fold over another 1/4" and pin.

Then, use a simple stitch to hem it down. This seam will be visible on the back of the pillow, so I tried to be as neat as possible.

Now you will have a long piece of fabric with a hem on each side. Fold each side in, keeping the wrong side of the fabric out. You want each side to overlap a bit, about 3 1/2". Measure your square, and make sure it's about a half inch less than your pillow's dimension.

Then pin the top and bottom, and sew the top and bottom edge using a simple stitch. Take special care near the envelope opening, making sure you "catch" all the layers of fabric.

Turn it inside out, and you've got a pillow cover!

These took under two hours start to finish. If I had a machine, it would have been easily under an hour. And it was so easy. And you know what?

It was so worth it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guest Room Reveal

Our guest room has never been our first priority. But I decided to use my Christmas gift card to Sherwin Williams to put the wheels in motion.

It was a dark, green room with hand me down furniture and dark linens.

And we did the dreaded "choose a paint based only on the swatch" thing that failed us in the bathroom again. But this time it worked oh so well.

We wanted a color that could go from guest room to eventual nursery. So our requirements were gender neutral, light, and versatile. I think we hit it right on the mark with Sparkling Sage.

It makes our antique furniture look so much richer and nicer!

We used some old bedding we already had to tie in the new brighter look.

See those two throw pillows in the front? I made those! It was my first time making pillows and it was super, duper easy. I have a tutorial coming soon.

And I used the same fabric, plus some others, to cover canvases and make some cheap and easy art (50% off on the canvas and the fabric = super score!)

I'm so happy with the way it turned out. We finally have an adult guest room, just in time for our house guest this weekend!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


We decided to paint the guest room yesterday, and took a big step. We didn't bring the tape.

Brett was skeptical, but I figured the worst that could happen was that we would have to touch up. Which we have to do with tape anyway.

AND IT WORKED! Getting a straight line was so easy, as long as I went slow.

There were some roller accidents, but overall, we were really happy with it. Of course, there are still some jobs that require tape. We plan to use it when we do the trim later, but we're very satisfied.

As for the color, like every single time I paint, I doubted it the entire time we were painting. And when I went to bed last night, I had convinced myself it was Tiffany blue. Which is a fine color, but not my favorite.

This morning while I was still bleary eyed, I ran upstairs to check out the color, and I'm in love. It's called Sparkling Sage (Valspar color, but we had it mixed by Sherwin Williams), but it's really kind of a muted spearmint. There's a lot of blue and gray in it.

We also painted the ceiling Valspar's Luna (one shade lighter) and it shows white in pictures. In person, it's a very, very soft gray with a hint of green. Gorgeous!

I can't wait to put the room together!

Accent color ideas, anyone?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So close

Brett and I constantly have a list of things to do on the weekends. We keep some of it (the ones more important, or more likely to be forgotten) on a list on the fridge. And some of it is just in our noggins. But after this weekend, we've reached a new record!

One item on our to do list. Paint the porch doors (and there's no way I was doing that in freezing weather)

Of course, there are many more in our unwritten list. But the fridge list, that has the tasks we've been meaning to do forever, is almost done. And hopefully it will be done next weekend. Hopefully.

But I got almost everything I meant to do done this weekend. The only thing we missed was the plate collage. And that was a conscious decision to wait until we've finalized the plans for the storage unit we're building for the kitchen.

Friday, we puttered around, played a great card game we got for Christmas (Dominion. We are totally addicted thanks to my awesome brother and sister in law!), and went out for dinner with friends. So no checks that day. But Saturday we braved the cold to check out a few tile stores.

We looked at all of our options and decided on our tile! We're going with a white 2x4 glazed ceramic subway tile. When it came down to it, we liked the 2x4 little better than the 1x2 and the 3x6. Not to mention cost won out. At less than $5 per square foot, it's a lot less than our previous choice at $17. For an almost identical look!

For impact, we're planning on an accent row of glass tiles in a dark gray shade. This will tie in our lovely counter tops and add a modern flair. At almost $30 a square foot, this tile isn't something we can do a lot of. But a little can go a long way. We're really excited and hopeful that this project will get under way soon.

We also hung most of the doors (there was a problem with the alignment of one, so we puttied up the holes and waited for it to dry. Then this morning with Brett at work, I painted the crown molding, did the FINAL touching up (I think), and put the fan blades and vents back up. So now, the kitchen is DONE except for the backsplash.

I also made a trip to Sherwin Williams to spend my Christmas gift card. I got paint for the guest bedroom and office. We're hoping to get started on those rooms next week!

And we also came to a decision. We're painting the guest bathroom. It's nice, it's bright, and it's very, very , very green. All things we wanted when we bought the place. But over the past nine month, we've chosen progressively lighter colors, until we reached a point where it just doesn't go.

With this decision, and after choosing the colors for the office and guest room, we're DONE choosing paint colors. We're locked in. The only two rooms we have left are going to be shades of colors we've already chosen. So we have no more wiggle room. It's honestly a huge relief.

And again, when I think about how much our color palette has changed since we first thought it through, it's amazing.

We've gone from this:

to this:

Colors, left to right are:

Top Row: Benjamin Moore Going to the Chapel (Kitchen), Benjamin Moore Early Morning Mist (Living/Dining), Sherwin Williams Misty (Office)
Middle Row: Benjamin Moore Stingray and Senora Gray (Powder Room), Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay (Master Bedroom), Valspar Sparkling Sage (Guest Bedroom)
Bottom Row: Sherwin Williams Lucent Yellow (Screened Porch), Sherwin Williams Sea Salt (Master Bath), Valspar Jekyll Grand Dining Sea Mist (Guest Bathroom)
Border: Benjamin Moore Simply White (Trim, doors, cabinets)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Lookie what came in the mail today!

I'm so in love. And happy to have a weekend project (HA! As if I didn't have enough already).

The two black pans were already ours. The rest is new, and so lovely.

From Fishs Eddy, no apostrophe.


Now that the end is in sight on our kitchen's facelift, I'm starting to dream about our next project.

Well, not our actual next project. Our actual next project is the boring old painting of the outside trim, and the boring old yard. Not that this isn't terribly needed. And I'm sure when we actually do it, I'll be ecstatic and love it.

Don't get me wrong. I love having a yard. I actually enjoy cutting the grass. I know, I'm crazy. But painting white trim white and, gulp, gardening is not my cup of tea. I kill any plant I touch, so this project is better left in Brett's hands. I'll just provide some manual labor and color consultation.

Speaking of plants, I'm getting awfully worried about the weather this weekend. It should get down to 17, and I'm not sure our lovely hibiscus can take it. Maybe it will finally take out the ugly old banana tree, though!

Anyway, back to my daydreams.

I can't freaking wait until we do the living room and dining room.

Can. Not. Wait.

Now that I've fallen head over heels in love with the kitchen color, I am so freaking excited to get rid of the "warm tan" semi-gloss that makes me want to barf. I just can't wait to get a clean, neutral, cool slate to work with. So I can fill it with clean lines, wood tones, and loveliness.

Here's what I'm lusting after now. Hopefully my husband will agree.

First, I want to use our fancy new miter saw to create faux paneling under the chair rail in the dining room. Here's a post on it from one of my favorite blogs, All Bower Power.

Then we'll fill it with cheapish, beautiful modern stuff from my favorite browsy place. West Elm. And speaking of, a place from which I own very little. Get on it, husband of mine!

I'm currently lusting after this table.

But I'm assured that it would be insanity to buy that if there are ever going to be any little Clueless babies running around. Oh, the fingerprints, the face prints, the foot prints, the butt prints. So maybe this one would be a better alternative.

I love the warm tone and very square, stout look.

I've also been in love with this table from CB2 for ages. Ages! But do I love it $300 more than the farm table? Probably not.

As for chairs, I waver. Much like tables. I'm in love with these


and these.

And for the living room?

More clean. More gray. More wood.

Yes please. From Room&Board

And how about this fella?

And this lovely side table. I'm in love.

Add a natural shag rug and a globe cluster light fixture and we're in business.

Honey, can we start today?