Friday, September 25, 2009

Master Bedroom In Progress

I'm participating in DIY day at Kimba's. Make sure to stop by and check out all the great projects!

I can't believe I haven't posted in two weeks! Since I last posted, we've had a slew of house guests and then got hit by the natiest stomach bug. My poor little Jellybean is on day 6 and is still quite sick! I will spare you the gory details (I know I don't have to explain to all you moms out there!) but suffice it to say, between the extra laundry and disinfecting everything in sight I haven't had much time to myself.

I'd love to blame illness for not posting sooner, but the truth is that the main reason I haven't posted is that I keep waiting for everything to be just right before posting, and that just isn't realistic. So, I finally decided to get over myself and post some things that are merely works in progress.

Without further ado, here is my master bedroom "before". I must warn you, it's rather gruesome (insert horror movie sound effect here...)

Yikes!! In my defense, this photo was taken 1 month after my second baby was born, and we moved in two weeks before that. The walls were painted this oh-so-lovely mint green when we moved in. Don't you just love the way it plays off the purple bedding?! Hee-hee. And, yes, that is our very naughty kitty laying in the bassinette. Luckily she never did that while the baby was in there, but I still freaked out and washed everything every time she did that.

The lovely mini-blinds and window scarf combination came with the house too. The house is backed by woods, so there's really no need to worry about privacy. I debated putting panels in between the windows, but they are really close together and there is sort of a bulk head on top, so I think it would have looked a little smooshed. I decided to do panels flanking the bay window instead.


I bought these brown panels for $10 for the pair when Linens 'N Things went out of business last year. Then I added the taupe band at the top mistreatment style. It's not even sewn together, just pinned, and I used drapery clip rings at the top. I planned to sew everything all proper like, but I pinned one side just to see if I liked it before sewing it and decided I liked it just fine the way it was! I still plan to add some type of blind- possibly bamboo. The little seat is two of these pushed together. I lucked out and got the pair of little framed watercolors of Williamsburg, VA (I'm a VA girl born and bred, so I was happy to find these!) on CL- $10 for the pair. Hmmm, that seems to be a theme for this room. Maybe if I play my cards right I can carry it over to a new pair of lamps for $10? We'll see...

Here's our bed:

I would have rather had more color in here, but there is burgundy tile in the adjoining master bath, so I had to either work in the burgundy (tried and tried and couldn't find a good deal burgundy bedding) or keep things fairly neutral. This is extremely neutral, like Switzerland neutral. I would have liked to have more color, but I guess this palette will force me to add in more texture.

I bought these lamps a meeellion years ago at Tarjay, but they're looking a little tired. I think something more interesting and substantial would add a lot to the room.

I made the artwork above the bed for free!

It's hard to see in this photo, but it says "Love Grows". Those are the words my hubby had inscribed in my engagement ring. It's kind of a promise between the two of us.

Here's a closeup:

I couldn't really get a good photo, but you get the idea. I used my embroidery machine to embroider the letters onto two pieces of fabric that were once pillow faces. They were a little too small for the matts, so I bridged the gap with ribbon that I had in my stash.

Here's the before:

The ribbon was actually printed on one side, but you can't tell on the other side. Here's what the matt looks like from the back:

What do you think? It could still use some lamps and accesories, but I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along.

Stay tuned for my $9 master bath makeover!!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Girls Shared Bedroom Reveal

I'm participating in DIY day at Kimba's. Make sure to stop by and check out all the great projects!

I kept waiting for the rain to let up and the sun to come out of hiding, but it rained here

So, I finally gave up and took the pictures anyway. I apologize for the quality!

Hey, by the way, don't you think a nice new camera would be a lovely Christmas gift for a certain someone who's recently gotten into blogging?! Oh, Boogie!

Yes, I call my hubby Boogie. Go ahead, finish laughing, I'll wait... hmmmm......, tapping fingers......, done yet? No?! I'm sorry, I'm going to have to go on anyway.

As promised, here are the pics of the girls' room!
Here's the before:

And the after!

It's finished! Well, sorta finished. Almost finished. Just a few little... Aw, who am I kidding- you know I'm gonna tweak this one till they're in college!

Like that little space between the top of the window frame and curtain rod- don't you think vinyl lettering that says "SISTERS make the best friends" would be sooo cute?!

The bedding is called "Spring Tulip". My dear friend, Becky helped me pick it up while it was on uber sale at the pottery barn outlet near her house last year. I lucked out and found the drapes on eBay a few months ago. I got the vanity for free on freecycle and I picked up the chair at our neighborhood yard sale and refinished it in this post.

I made the roman shades with instructions from my girl, Jenny(okay, she still doesn't know she's my girl but I think I'm getting up enough nerve to ask her to stop by) at Little Green Notebook (by the way, she just finished her little girls' room too and it is sooooooo fabulous!)

At the foot of each bed is a little modular shelf thingie from Ikea (from a zillion years ago- used to belong to a friend in college) that I'm using as a little storage bench for books. I topped each with a little cushion I made by slipcovering a 1" piece of foam. I kinda cheaped out on the foam, but I guess they get the job done. I'll beef them up when I can get a better deal on the foam.

My mom is working on crocheting the cutest blankets for the foot of the beds! I'll show you when she's done.

Oh, and the rug was $40 (I think?) at Sam's club.

I was hoping to find some Jenny Lind style headboards on CL, but so far I haven't had any luck. I found these white ledge shelves at goodwill for $3 each and figured that could take the place of a headboard until I found some that I liked.

Once they were in place I remembered this photo (I think it's from BHG?)

And got excited because I had similar looking cushions that I thought would fit the bill sitting in the top of the closet. They were the first incarnation of the bench cushions, but I forgot that they would pull in when they were stuffed and they came out too small for the benches. They happen to be the perfect size to hang under the ledges. Hooray for happy accidents!

I blogged about the artwork here and I just added the little potted tulips and framed initials. The "pots" for the tulips are little buckets I found at the dollar spot in Target. I found wooden tulip cut-outs at the craft store and covered the stems in ribbon and the flower part in scrapbook paper. I stuck them into a piece of styrofoam in the pot and covered the top with moss. Easy, peasy.

To make the framed initials, I used my embroidery machine to embroider the initials onto scrapbook paper (yes, it can embroider paper!) but could have just as easily cut the letters out of scrapbook paper and layered over another sheet.

I painted the green part of the walls and my hubby, the fine artist, humbled himself to paint the ribbon effect border. He really does not enjoy any kind of painting that is merely decorative. Thanks, Boogie! It's just what I wanted!

Wanna know something really funny?! I originally suggested to my hubby that perhaps as a substitute for headboards, he could paint a trompe l'oeil mural of a headboard onto the wall behind each bed. It took some nudging, but he eventually agreed. He went off with his sketchpad to figure out what he wanted to do. He emerged a while later, excited to show me his ideas.

I took one look and started laughing. I was sure it was a joke. You see, he had sketched out this crazy scary gothic bed with hypogryphs, dragons and griffins perched on the bed posts. It was terrifying. I'm not exaggerating, there really were dragons... and griffins! AND hypogryphs!! Oh, MY!!

In true artiste style he said something to the effect of, "If you don't like it, that's just fine!" and stormed out of the room.

I tried not to, but that made me laugh even harder. Oh, dear god. He actually thought we would paint dragons and griffins on the wall of our three-year-old daughters bedroom!! Um, hello? Nightmares?!

Ever wonder what in the world is going through your man's head?!

After he calmed down he explained that the gargoyles and griffins would protect her while she slept. Okay, that's pretty sweet, but what's the matter with guardian angels?!

Apparently, I haven't read enough fantasy novels. I told him if he wanted to paint medieval/mythical creatures in our home he'd have to wait until we have a boy.

Anyway, back to the room at hand...

Here's the opposite wall. I'm not in love with this arrangement on the wall, but it took some doing to get that shelf hung, so it's staying, at least for a little while.

I found the shelf on a recent goodwill run, and the little painting of the dresses was a Homegoods find. There are a few more of the Target pails on the pegs for hair do-dads and such.

The dresser was my husbands in his single days. It used to be brown but I spraypainted it white. I really wanted to change out the hardware, but between the serpentine shape of the drawer fronts and the non-standard widths of the existing drilled holes, I gave up the search and decided instead to use this ribbon that I already had in my stash. The mirror was another Homegoods find (I just added more ribbon) and the crosses and knick-knacks were all gifts. I know the yellow ducky lamp doesn't quite fit the color scheme in here, but my aunt made him for me in her ceramics class when I was a baby, so I'm not painting him. He did get a new shade.

By the way, in case you were wondering who was peeking down from that ledge up there, here's a better look...

What in the world is the point of this weird little space? You can't really tell in the photo, but it's really high. I risked life and limb standing up on the dresser on my tippy toes to get those guys up there. And there's an electrical outlet up there! What in the world might someone possibly plug in up there?!

ACK! No sooner did I finish that sentence than I realized I could plug in a cute chandelier up there and swag it over towards the center of the room, right?! Hmm....

Or if we ever have a Duggar sized family (breathe Boogie, I'm only kidding!) we can put a mattress up there!

I'll leave you with one more little Homegoods find...

I'm linking up to Someday Crafts for the "Man Craft" party!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fretwork Cabinet Redo

I paticipating in DIY day at A Soft Place to Land. Stop by and check out all the great projects!

I got this little pine cabinet for free on freecycle several months ago. She was sitting in my basement just waiting for a makeover...

Then I found these die-cut scrapbook pages on sale at Michaels. When I saw them they reminded me of all the gorgeous fretwork I've been seeing in decor lately in furniture and fabrics. I thought they were just begging for a home decor application. Can you guess where I'm going with this? Let me give you a hint- the glass insets on the cabinet doors are roughly 12x12...

Poof! (I gotta get my hubby to make me a little graphic for that!)

Here's the how-to:

  1. First I removed the glass and pulled out the wood in front of the glass.

  2. I used the glass as a template to cut the die-cut pages to the right size.

  3. I gave her a couple of coats of Java Brown Valspar spraypaint and also painted out the die-cut pages.

  4. I reinserted the glass panes (they are held in place with tiny brackets and even tinier screws- this part took waaaay longer than I thought it would!)

  5. I affixed the die-cut pages to the back of the glass with a little bit of plain old scotch tape!

  6. I lined the inside of the cabinet with scrapbook paper, again, just a bit of tape so I can change it out later.

And here she is in place in our upstairs hallway under our new family photo wall! I haven't decided how to accesorize her yet, but you get the idea.


I had the hardest time trying to decide which color to paint and ultimately chose brown because I had two cans leftover from spraypainting my master bathroom cabinets (reveal coming shortly). The pack of die-cut pages came with two designs- this curvy pattern and also a more modern interlocking squares pattern. I think this would look awesome with the modern interlocking squares and a high gloss white, red, canary yellow or peacock blue.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three-Sided Fireplace Dilemma

I'm linking up to the Decorating Dilemmas Party at Serenity Now. Hop on over to help a sista out!

The first time I stepped foot in our house I was totally enamoured with the idea of the three sided fireplace. After we moved in, it became the bain of my decorating existence. It presents quite a multifaceted challenge.

Here is my Top 5 list of things I hate about the three-sided fireplace!!

5. No mantel, but my dad is going to remedy that shortly.

4. It's trimmed in brass. I've heard that these trims can sometimes just pop off, but I haven't had any luck with that. Perhaps I can paint it?

3. The hearth is roughly bench height. This makes any kind of furniture arrangement in front of the hearth look redundant. I've tried a pair of chairs with a little table between and it's just odd. Perhaps I could make some big square floor cushions and lay them on top? But then would I have to move them whenever we use the fireplace? Fire hazards and all?

2. Weird upside-down "L" shape of wall to fill above and beside the fireplace. Maybe I'm just too attached to symmetry, but this really bugs me. The portrait of my daughter that currently hangs above the fireplace is probably a bit too small for the space (I'm also still not satisfied with that frame and matt after repainting it three times!), or maybe it just needs to be flanked by some sconces or something? I have tried all kinds of groupings in the L-shaped space, but it always looks weird when I try other frames on the side portion- like it's competing. This metal vine thing looks far better than anything else I've tried, but it still seems too small to me. Maybe I should scratch trying to hang stuff here at all? And do some kind of decorative wall painting treatment instead? Maybe something like what Britt did in her dining room? But then will it look out of balance if I have anything at all above the fireplace. ARGH!!! Can you sense that I'm just a teensy bit frustrated with this!!! Suggestions please!

And my number one thing I hate about the three-sided fireplace is... (insert drumroll here....)

1. Two words. PINK TILE!!! I'm sure the original owner thought "mauve" was just the most perfect color when the house was built in 1990. Seriously, mauve?!! Who does that?! Anyway, we have no budget to change out the tile and I'm scared to death to try doing it myself, especially since it's both horizontal and vertical surfaces. I suppose I could attempt to paint it? I also wonder if there are any pipes inside the hearth portion or could we knock it out altogether? But then we'd have to do something about the portion of the subfloor which would then be exposed- again- no budget. Thoughts?


Revamped Child's Chair

Today I'm participating in Trash to Treasure at Reinvented
Remember this?

I finally gave "Brady's" chair a little revamp.

I spray painted it a glossy white and used modge podge to decoupage the front and back of the top piece and the seat with scrapbook papers. I added the little tulip design to match the bedding.

A full girls' room reveal will be coming soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

M-O-M-M-Y Needs C-O-F-F-E-E!

This is the sign that hangs over my kitchen sink:

It is so true!

This one is probably also true (but I don't look nearly this pulled together as I'm drinking my morning cup cups.

Hmmm... perhaps I just need one of these?!

Oh coffee, I heart you. You're always there for me. You smell so wonderfully inviting and you feel so nice and warm in my cup. You know just how to pick me up when I'm feeling not-so perky. What would I do without you?

Here's a guy who gets it. If you're not familiar with children's musician Ralph Covert of Ralph's World, give a listen here.

Now that you know of my addiction to the loveliest of legumes, it probably doesn't surprise you that I wanted a coffee themed kitchen. I didn't want the theme to be too, well, themey, so the sign is the only obvious coffee paraphenalia in the room.

The kitchen chandelier (if you can call it that) that came with our house was one of the first things to go when we moved in. It was seriously u-g-l-y. It was this weird suspended disk shape that I think was considered to be "contemporary" in 1990, when our house was built.

I got our current kitchen chandelier on craigslist (I know! You're shocked!!) for $20 and was quite pleased when I brought it home and discovered that the exact same chandelier was still selling for $135 online. I loved the chandelier but the little shades that came with it had to go. They were actually rather pretty, but the red and gold stripes were just different enough from the striped cafe curtains and valances I made for the bay window in our kitchen to look a bit odd. I almost bought new beige shades, but they were going to cost twice what I spent on the chandelier, so I figured I'd find another way.

I wanted to tie into the coffee theme, so I found this cute coffee bean fabric (kinda kitschy without being over-the-top, no?) and had to have it. I pulled off the outer fabric from the existing shades (leaving the lining in place) and used it as a pattern to cut out the coffee bean fabric. It was just two pieces per shade. I stiched the sides together, pulled what then looked like a little lampshade-shaped sleeve over each naked shade and hot glued it to the top and bottom of the shade frame. Make sense? (Sorry about my lack of photos, I did this project before I conceived of this blog!)

At this point it was about 10:00 at night and I had 4 cute little shades, except the edges were looking a bit raw. I thought about waiting until the next day to go out and buy some brown trim but my impatience and cheapness took over (I wanted it DONE! Without spending another PENNY!) and I'm glad.

I decided to glue whole coffee beans to the top and bottom of the shades and I'm pretty happy with the result.

I could have ROCKED that design star grocery store challenge!

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but I'm beginning to suspect impatience and cheapness are the more likely culprits.

I'm participating in DIY day at A Soft Place to Land. Be sure to stop by and check out all the great projects!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pantry Makeover

I have seen a ton of pantry makeovers in bloggyland lately. Like this one and this one. Mine will certainly not take the cake, but I'm so glad I finally tackled this!
Here is my pantry as it looked a couple of days ago...

Not too terrible as far as pantries go. Not so great either. I knew where everything was, but I was sick of answering "Hon, where's the soy sauce, I can't find it!!"
"Um, second shelf up, right hand side, behind the worchestershire sauce"
"Huh? Where? Behind the what?"

Hopefully this will clear things up... POOF! (are you sick of that yet?!)

Ahhh... I can't tell you how it relaxes me to open the pantry now and see this...

Neat rows of matching labeled containers.

I searched all over the place (I mean I seriously left no stone unturned) for inexpensive, big, flat-sided, clear containers with tops wide enough to easily scoop out a cup at a time without making a mess. I would have loved big glass ones, but couldn't find any that didn't totally break the bank. Then I came across this post and I was sold. I bought a slew of these large square plastic containers from Wal-Mart. A 2-pack costs $2.13. They have a 16 cup capacity. They are exactly the right size for a 5 lb. bag of flour.

I also bought 6 of the shoebox-sized totes from target for $1.99 each. I had planned to buy something similar at the dollar store, but all of the dollar stores in my area were out of them due to back-to-school shoppers (daggonit!) so I sucked it up and spent an extra $6. It darn near killed me, but I'm very happy with the results. The Target totes are definitely sturdier than what I would have purchased at the dollar store.

I also papered the shelves with a roll of wallpaper (you can't tell in these pics but it's actually a really pretty damask design) that I got for $1 at a local wallpaper shop. Whenever a roll gets a little dirty or dinged up on the edge they sell it as a "craft roll" for a dollar- woot!

When I finished my pantry I stepped back to take a look and I was distracted by our big old ugly green trash can and recycling bin. I was not going to spend $50 on a new stainless trashcan, so instead I did this with some of the leftover paper (I still have a ton left, how much is on those rolls anyway?!)

And I am satisfied with the results...

Hmmm, the inside of this pantry could really use a coat of paint...

Oh, and I also papered my magazine boxes. See, way up there?

Yeah, right there...

I bought them a while ago in the dollar spot at Target and they function well, but they had weird little birds all over them (okay, I know there is a certain affinity for our winged friends around these parts, but just trust me, these were scary-weird). Bye-bye birdies!

Ah, a little piece of heaven...

And here's how I made my DIY chalkboard repositionable labels. I already had a can of chalkboard spraypaint, and I bought a roll of repositionable contact paper at the dollar store. It happened to be Disney Cars contact paper, but that didn't matter one bit since I was going to spraypaint over it. I simply unrolled the contact paper and gave it two coats of chalkboard spraypaint (outdoors, of course)
Once it was completely dry (the directions said 24 hours, but I was too impatient) I colored over the entire sheet with the side of a piece of chalk as the directions indicated. Then I erased the chalk, cut the sheet into the shapes I wanted (I used a refrigerator magnet as a template), peeled off the backing and stuck them on my containers and shelves.

Of course after I did all this I found out here that you can buy chalkboard contact paper for around $7! Ack! Oh well, if I had ordered it I would have had to wait for it to arrive. Again, impatient!! Perhaps someone else out there has a can of chalkboard spraypaint and some random contact paper (doesn't matter what print it is as long as it's not textured) that they'd like to use...
I love that the chalkboard labels allow me to relabel easily as my pantry supplies change and I can peel off the label when I wash the containers and stick 'em back on afterward.

And here's a little sneakpeek of tomorrow's post...

I'm participating in the Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick! Make sure to stop over and check out all the great B & A's!


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