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Around Here

27 Jan

Remember a few months ago when I talked about renovating our linen closet? Really, how silly is it that we renovated a linen closet? But we did. We enclosed a weird vent, covered the existing washer/dryer hookups with a removable cover, and finally added shelves.








There’s a bit of trim that needs to be added, which you can see in the bottom left in the photo above. We’ll get that added eventually, but for now it’s done. And more importantly, it’s functional!

I also got around to adding some curtains to the guest room.


They are Ikea Ritva curtains. I purchased 2 panels, cut them in half, added a seam to the cut edge, and hemmed them. A lot of work, but I wasn’t interested in paying $100 for 4 full panels. They do close completely and cover the window should guests want to close them.

A while ago, I shared a picture of this cute little black table we received from family.


It was in really rough shape. I used wood filler on the top to smooth out the gouges. After a good sanding, I primed and painted, and here it is now.


Pretty cute, right? I used Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I was going for more charcoal/black (which is what the swatch appears to be in the store and in my google image research), but I’m pleased with the green tone. Given the rest of my house, this isn’t a big surprise! It will live in this corner of the new office. Perfect fit!

Speaking of the office, my updates on the bookshelf progress stopped mostly because the actual progress did too. We got them to a decent place in time for Christmas and then life  got in the way. Here is how they stand now.



Since my last update, we added the trim and backing to the shelves. We planned on leaving the backs open to the wall, but because the walls aren’t plum, there were huge gaps between the back of the shelves and the wall. Adding the backing helps disguise the issue. Obviously, it would have been far better to add these from the get go. Adding them so late in the game resulted in a lot of extra work and a lot of extra curse words.

Steve has started working on constructing the doors for the bottom of the bookcases, I’d guess he’s about halfway done with them. Between his work schedule and other commitments though, it will probably be months before they are completely finished.

This weekend I got started on recovering the chair for the office. I purchased it for $20 from Goodwill 3 years ago.



And now:





I got an itch to get this started, so I started stripping the fabric on Saturday. Doing this in the guest bedroom was probably not the best decision, but the chair won’t fit down the basement stairs (they are only 30 inches wide), and hauling it outside to the rear basement entry didn’t sound like any fun at all.  I still haven’t picked a new fabric, so I need to get on that!

Happy Monday, and thanks for checking in!

Around Here

12 May

We’ve been making small updates around the house over the last couple of months, so I thought I’d share some of the changes.

We made a headboard for the master bedroom and finally started decorating the space. Here’s what the room looked like the last time I shared it.



And now (though still much to do):




I liked the prints of the vintage eggs I had over the dresser, but since you can see the maps we hung in the hallway from the bedroom door, it started to look too busy.


I found these John Derian plates 40% off and couldn’t pass them up.


The light fixture came from the Ballard Designs outlet for $50.


I decided to move the rug that I purchased for the bedroom to the family room and start over in here. The neutral rug was too plain. Ideally I would find a fabulous vintage persian rug for here but finding one in the size I wanted would be waaaay out of budget. I ordered a sample of Pottery Barn’s Isaac Rug, and I think it will add the pattern the room needs.




While substantially less expensive then a traditional persian rug, it still isn’t cheap so I’m slowly saving up for it. Also left to do is add a chair in the empty corner by the window:


And replace the existing nightstands that match the bedroom set in the guest room. I’m also considering repainting because I have to repaint a room at least twice to call it done.

Here’s the old bedroom rug in the family room now:


The herringbone seagrass rug I had it here has been moved to the empty formal living room. Rug musical chairs!

The guest room has also seen a few tweaks:


I came across these smurf lamps at Target on clearance for $13.48 apiece a few weeks ago.


I spray painted them cream and replaced the small Ikea lamps I previously had in here.


A couple of months ago I came across one yard of quadrille contessa fabric on etsy for a steal. I was initially planning on using it in the master bedroom but changed my mind and used it to cover the existing pillow in here.


I also finally filled the empty frames over the secretary and found a lampshade for the old alabaster lamp I purchased last year.


Lastly, I’ve been working in the yard every chance I get in an effort to clean up our overgrown (understatement) back yard. And even though we had to push off converting our screened in porch to a sunroom this year, we decided to re-screen it now so we can enjoy it over the next year. It’s only costing us $100 in materials (why didn’t we do this sooner?) and will probably take another 2 or 3 days of work to complete. Here’ some progress shots:



I think we’re all caught up now! Until next time!

2012 House Projects

6 Jan

Now that the 2013 goals are out-of-the-way, I want to take a look back at what was accomplished in 2012.

I started the year by making curtains for the family room and called this room done.

fr curtains


Later in January we had recessed lights and pendant lights added to the kitchen and family room.


Next up, I over-hauled our coat closet.



About six months later, I gave the pantry a similar re-do.


In March we purchased a new dishwasher which we thought was the last kitchen project.



But a few weeks ago, I recolored the grout in here with Grout Renew, just like I did in the hall bathroom. Now it’s done! Here’s a shot in-process:


We kind of accidentally re-did the dining room. Here are some pictures of the room completely done with the new dining table and upholstered chair seats.








My favorite project of the year was landscaping our yard. It’s been about 7 months, but the plants are already much larger.

photo (6)

My second favorite project was the hallway and entry where we added crown molding and replaced the chair rail with traditional wainscoting.



We started re-doing the master bedroom by purchasing a king sized bed, new dressers, a rug and painting the walls. Still a LOT to do in here.


We moved the old bedroom furniture and rug into the guest room and mostly finished that space too.


And that’s our 2012 in review!

A Guest Room Fit For Guests

18 Sep

A couple of months ago my sister asked me if we could put her, my brother-in-law, and nephew up for a night on their way from New York to Alabama for a beach trip. A rare chance to see some of my favorite people? Yes, please! But our guest room was no place for guests, so over the last couple of weeks we’ve made the room over as an acceptable place for friends and family to settle into for a visit.

I don’t have a good before picture of the space because it’s been used for nothing but storage over the last few (eek, yes, few) years. I recently repainted the room though, and here’s a picture of that in process:

Fortunately after using largely what we already owned, the room is looking a little homier now.

When we purchased a king sized bed and new dressers for our master bedroom, our old bedroom set and rug were moved in here. Once we find new nightstands for the master, the ones that match this set will be moved in here too. For now, the old Ikea side tables from our first apartment will do!

On the right wall, we moved in a secretary from Ikea that we purchased several years ago. A leftover dining chair found its home here too.

I’ll recover the chair seat when I get around to recovering the rest of the dining chairs. I have all of the supplies for this project but am lacking the motivation to take it on. I’ll also fill the frames soon too.

I filled the space above the bed with a collage of items already owned.

On the left are a couple of post cards that I thought were pretty enough to frame. Above them is a framed (paper) butterfly. The mirror is from Ballard Designs that I picked up from the outlet a couple of years ago. The pressed flowers were an etsy find, and the frame below them holds our wedding invitation.

If I were to do it again, I would space these out just a little bit more. Maybe I’ll change it one day, but it bothers me less than the work required to patch the nail holes, touch up the paint, and rehang 🙂

Across from the bed is the dresser with a mirror I found at Home Goods. The mirror frame is grass cloth and really lovely.

The overhead light fixture is from Ikea. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for the space, but I knew that the original fixture in the room was due for an upgrade.

I think the new fixture is $30 well spent.

The duvet cover is also from Ikea. I made the pillow from our old dining room curtains (Pottery Barn’s Simone print).

The pillow cases are vintage. One says “His” and the other says “Hers” which I think is really sweet. I picked them up at Scott’s Antique Market last Winter, and I used these instructions from The Laundress (and their supplies!) to brighten them up and make them look brand new.

Between the closets, I added a few small hanging vases from CB2 that I purchased months and months ago.

You may have noticed the bolt of fabric leaning against the secretary.

I purchased this striped fabric to make a simple slipcover for the headboard. I liked the idea of breaking up all the wood (remember, there will be wood night stands too), but Steve told me the room was looking too “Granny” so I decided to leave it as is. Thankfully, I purchased just enough to make curtain panels for one window. I still need to purchase more to do the other window, but I’m glad that I can still use the fabric. And Steve’s assessment probably wasn’t too far off. I’m happy to compromise.

The fabric, from Lewis and Sheron, can we found here.

So that’s the guest room! I’m happy to report that our very first guests got a good nights rest in the space. But to be fair, they were coming off a 16 (!!) hour car ride with a toddler, so I think most any space would have been suitable for them.

Hopefully before our next guests arrive I’ll have the blank frames filled and the curtains up! Hope you’ve enjoyed the tour!

Around Here

8 May

I’ve been working on a hodge podge of projects lately. Lots of things started. Not a single one finished. How about a run down?

The landscapers came today to finish cleaning up the yard. Unfortunately I can’t start planting yet because we’ll have to wait 2 weeks for the round up they used to wash off. They’ll be back then to take up the grass and weeds they sprayed. In the meantime, there are a few areas I can get started on. Maybe this weekend!

Three or 4 weeks ago, I did go ahead and plant a bed around our mailbox. This little corner of the yard is looking much better these days.

I thought redoing our entry and hallway would be next on our interior to do list, but it’s been bumped in favor of the bedrooms. Our bedroom is currently my least favorite space in the house. The room gets very little natural sunlight and isn’t very inviting. We’ll purchase all new furniture and upgrade to a king sized bed and move the current queen set into the guest room.

In preparation, I painted the guest room this weekend in Ben Moore’s Camouflage. This room has historically been the spot for everything that didn’t have a home or that we didn’t feel like taking into the basement. I’m really ready to not be faced with this mess every time I walk down the hallway.


My plan was to empty out the room before I painted, but I quickly realized I could just push everything to the center of the room. Lazy wins every time. Clearing it out is on my list for this weekend. Promise.

I’ve also started some projects in the dining room. The dining table Steve is refinishing is probably 80% sanded. I’m trying to sell our current dining chairs on craigslist to make room for the new ones. As part of the dining room update, I’m making new curtains and swapping out the prints currently on the wall for silver platters I’ve been collecting.

One curtain panel is currently in process. Here it is with a swatch of the fabric I’m going to use for some pillows in there:

I was kind of sad taking the prints off the the dining room wall because I like them so much, so I decided to use them in the kitchen. Here’s where they started:

And in their new home:

The prints are free from Vintage Printable. If anyone is interested in them, you can find them here along with many others.

I also picked up these plates at an estate sale a few weeks ago:

I’m going to hang them on either side of the window in the dining room with the milk glass plates above them in the photo.

So I’m a little bit of everywhere these days. I’m hoping to get started on our bedroom soon (because why not start something new when I have 5 other things going?) – updates on that coming soon.