Monday, December 30, 2013

Nursery Walls: This or That

Decisions, decisions... 

Do you like it better with dark walls?

Or a dark ceiling?

The dark walls contrast nicely with the floors and give a good grounded feeling to the room but... the dark ceiling would look fantastic with the brass chandelier and gold stars I was originally envisioning.

Think this room with a dark ceiling instead.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stair Upgrade

One of my goals before the baby comes was to get my stairs painted and carpeted. Happy to say, I did it!

And I even managed it before Christmas came.

It was a bit of a bear of a project, requiring quite a bit more carpet that I expected. In total I used four 2x8 foot runners to go the whole length of the stairs.

It was the turn at the bottom that really did me in. Lots of cutting and piecing together to make it work. So worth it in the end though. The stairs stay cleaner (though I have to vacuum them now instead of sweep) and the carpet muffles our steps which will be great once the baby is here. No errant steps waking the sleeping beast!

I used the classic, staple as you go method, which is holding up quite well. The key is using as many staples as you can to hold everything nice and tight.

One project down!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nursery Inspiration

Nursery planning. Probably the things I've been looking forward to most since learning that I was finally pregnant (besides, you know, the actual baby part). These are my favorites.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

DIY Advent Calendar

Christmas is upon us! This year things are a little tight but I managed to get our Advent Calendar up and ready before the first.

I went with a simple, colorful design this year.

Each Advent is a scrap of 3" scrapbooking paper that I had, with a blank back for writing our sentimental sentiments on them. I decided against our usual advent to make things a little easier on us. Just a simple note each day. These are they types of advents I cherish the most.

Aren't the little clothespins the best?

The name of the game this Christmas is easy and fun and I think this meets those requirements. I'm still coming down from a delicious Thanksgiving with family but I'm looking forward to getting more Christmas up and out this week.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Sherwin Williams- Color Visualizer

Paint and I have not been friends this year. It isn't that the colors look bad, they just never seem to be exactly what I wanted. However, I will not be deterred! I have things to paint dammit! Lots of things. The stairs are my next victim.

Now that we have beautiful floors downstairs my stairs were really looking bad. And I mean BAD. 

When I painted them white I foolishly thought "but we don't wear shoes inside, they will stay clean." Obviously that was a lie. While we don't usually wear shoes inside, we do a lot of construction- which clearly leaves a lot of dirt. The scrubbing was getting old.

We finally found a runner that I liked (this one from Urban Outfitters) so the paint was all that was holding me back. Do I try to match the floor color? Do I go bold? Black? Gah! Technology to the rescue! 

If you've never used Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer tool it's a pretty simple thing. You upload a picture of the space and use the capture tools to select the bits you want colored. I started with this picture of the stairs with the runner placed on them.

Then, I used the tools to try out two colors: Caviar and Fiery Brown. I'll let you guess which was which. 

Obviously it is not something I'd hang on the wall, but it does give me a good idea on which paint color I like better. Fiery Brown reads more rustic and old world to me and Caviar is more modern. Caviar is my top choice but my mind isn't made up. 

Have you used the color visualizer? Or something like it? I feel like it would be great for big blank spaces but it would be a bit choppy around furniture and what not. I still plan on getting paint samples before biting the bullet. I just don't trust my computer screen that much.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Floored: Part 2

We finished! And just in time for our Thanksgiving guests.

Here's the original before:

And the after:

The guest room before (sans carpet):

Now, with the new flooring:

We still need to add baseboards and moulding, paint, and style but things are looking much better down there!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Floored: Part 1

Yesterday we hit the half way point with our floor installation and it is looking darn good! After about 12 hours (including moving the furniture out and pulling out the old molding) we are done with the guest bed and half the hall.

Install is super easy due to the click and lock style of flooring we ended up with. Just like the cork in our kitchen you just snap everything together and it floats over your existing flooring.

We went with a felt underlayment for added warmth and sound cushioning. So far the most difficult thing has been cutting boards to go around (and under) the door jambs. I swear it takes twice as long as the rest of it.

I'll keep you updated on wear and tear but so far I love the stuff! Now it is just making me want to finish all of the other projects that need to happen down here… One thing at a time!

Anyone else install their own floors? I am super happy we decided to save the $1,000 or so and do it our selves.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby Blanket Round-Up

Baby needs a blanket! Here are some of my favorites:

1. Love the colors and pattern in this hex-quilt from Blueberry Park. Her stitching on the solid pieces is beautiful.

2. Super simple and very baby blanket from Needles. Maybe with brighter more modern colors?

3. This one was from Etsy by Mulberry Patch Quilts.  So far it is my favorite. It is no longer available for sale (boo!) but I think it could be replicated. It would be a great stash buster quilt.

4. You & Mie's Sunburst quilt is adorable.  She lays out the tutorial pretty clearly, but it still seems harder than the rest.

5. Mod is all the rage right now and this is a great design. Another cute Etsy find from Peace Love and Quilts.

It's been a long time since I quilted but I'd love to make something for the little one. I'm definitely leaning towards #3. It looks like a good beginner quilt.

Any quilting tips from all you quilters out there? I'm not hopeless but I'm not great either.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's A….

Boy oh boy! We had a great ultrasound early Thursday morning and am happy to report out little BOY is doing great! Now the name debate begins…

Thank you for all of your well wishes and congratulations. This is a very exciting ride to be on!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

It All Started with a Trip to Costco…

A few weeks back we went shopping to price out hardwoods for the downstairs. We had no plans to buy and hit up the usual places: Lumber Liquidators, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. A last minute decision that I needed Costco pizza and we stumbled on the best flooring deal I have ever seen!

This beautiful strand woven solid bamboo flooring was $2.03 sq/ft! Can you believe it? We snapped up 11 cases of it and have been letting it acclimate to our downstairs for the last week. Instalation begins this weekend. I'm stoked. This was one of my big "want to get done before the baby comes" items and it looks like we are well ahead of schedule. For once! 

Sometimes it pays to wander through Costco, just for the heck of it.


Monday, November 11, 2013

And That's Why I've Been So Moody…

That's right. I've switched to no-voc paint. Wine and cheese night has turned in to cheese night. I have a secret baby board on Pinterest.  Long, hot, baths have turned in to short, warm, showers.  We've combined the guest bed with the office. In other words, we are having a baby!

Obviously this has knocked me out a bit (as evidenced by the complete radio silence for the last 2.5 months), but now that I can keep regular food down and have some more energy I'm excited to start doing things again! We've already started some long awaited projects that get us closer to real nursery progress. Yay!

I'm due March 28th so that makes me about 20 weeks along, which means, we get to do our Anatomy Ultrasound this week! As long as the little one shows us the goods, we will find out if I've been growing a girl or boy (or dinosaur).

Can you tell we are thrilled? Thrilled! This was a long time coming for us, and I am so happy that even if I've been having a tough time everything else has been looking good.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Back!

After a much needed rest I'm finally back to writing. Also making a come back- my cookbook shelves.

Hopefully they last better than the last set. I love them! I can see everything and I actually use my cookbooks (shocker right?).

Hope everyone had a great summer! Mine was definitely full. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beginnings of a Fireplace Makeover

I didn't mean to take the summer off, but between visiting family, my 29th birthday and the beautiful Seattle weather not much has been getting done. I have however managed to get a few more projects a little further along. This one is shaping up to be one of my favorites.

Here's the fireplace right after we moved in

and here's how it is looking today

 We are still working on matching the trim on the mantel but that should be getting fixed shortly (famous last words right?).

The rug is from Urban Outfitters. I love it.

We have plans to add some tile around the fireplace, replace the screen, and replace the hearth so I'm starting to get plans together. I'm thinking something art deco but in neutral colors.

This little sitting area is my favorite place in the house. It is the first thing you see when you enter so I love that it is fun and silly. It sets the tone for the rest of the place.
I'd love to recover the chair and eventually get the poster framed but i'm not in a rush.

So there you have it. A start of something great I'd say.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DIY Sparkly Shoes: Take 2

Two years ago (almost to the day) I made these sparkly shoes. What I didn't tell you is that they ended up being a complete and utter fail.

After one wear the paint and glitter started peeling off. No good. But my love for sparkly things persists so when this tutorial came around I gave it another go.

I started off with a pair of Tom like shoes from Lands End. I loved the idea of them, but the light color just wasn't practical.

I grabbed some gold fabric paint, gold glitter, and fabric Mod Podge and went at it. In the end I sprinkled even more glitter over the glittery paint just for the fun of it and then sealed it all in with MP. I let the whole thing cure in the sun and gave them a walk about.

Good as gold.

What was different this time? I think the fabric paint adhered to the fabric shoes better than the acrylic to the faux leather. Only time will tell but I've worn them on two long-ish city walks and no peeling or chipping. I'm calling it a success!

Glittered anything lately? Nothing is safe I tell you.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Have A Seat

Since we moved the dinning room in to the living room area, the old dinning room has been in flux. I'm still struggling with a few aspects but here is the in-between state.

The chairs are from Fred Meyer a while back and the table is from Cost Plus. The rug is way too small. I bought one from Urban Outfitters but it was too big so I'm back to square one.

The sunshine has been making picture taking difficult but here is the view looking in from the front of the house back towards the kitchen.

We still need to move the chandelier. We have been ducking around it but now that we are sure we are happy with the new set up I can move it back over the dining room table.
My ikea desk has replaced the buffet that was here. It is a bit too small but it is a good place holder until something better comes along.

A few little changes but I am starting to see what I want this room to look like. I just wish I had a warehouse full of every type and size of furniture known to man so that I could try a bunch of options. Like a staging company but for regular people.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Building Built-Ins

The fireplace built-in project is finally catching speed. We've gone from this two months ago

To this

Sanding and paint is finished. I still need to calk the shelves and re-install the seats.

Look at all that storage! Out biggest hurdle at this point though is finding trim to match the fireplace mantel. So far I can't find it anywhere, so I'm pretty sure I'll have to end up tearing the original moulding out and replacing it all but I have yet to cross that bridge. A few more days of cure time and I can start loading those puppies up with books. Oh joy!

Who loves built in storage?? This girl!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Lock and Key

Completing this project was great in two ways. First, it was nice to check off not one but two TBC items from my list and second, we finally have a door in this house that locks. Praise the lord!

With the change in the kitchen layout our master bedroom door is now right off of the back door. Which doesn't bother me a bit but when company is over it is nice to be able to actually close it. (We actually went about six months without a door at all but I knew that couldn't last.)

Since it was our master bedroom I splurged a bit on a doorknob and went with this brass beauty from Signature Hardware.

It's best feature?

A working lock and key! (My dream goal would be to replace all of our doors with new doors, but for now I've just been patching them up).

It's oh so fancy and a bit extravagant but I think it is the neatest.

So there you have it. Two more items off my list and some well deserved privacy.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

DIY Sliding Door

All week long I've been working off of this.

I add things as I see them, and check off the rest as I go. One of the projects I finally got around to completing was the sliding door in my bedroom.

I used this tutorial from Vintage Revivals, but I've seen them all over Pinterest. I followed the directions to the letter and it was about as easy as described. Unfortunately it is a two person project so enlist friends!

I hung the quilt I made behind it and moved the heart art to a different wall. Most of the time the door is open which obscures things a bit but I like the peak-a-boo aspect (and it was the only wall big enough. Ha!).

I did have to take down the original header (which was a bummer) but if your doors have simple trim you should be fine.

As to how I feel about it? Price wise it was perfect- under a 100$. Functionality wise? Well, it is heavy and hard to move and the sound of metal rubbing on metal is really loud. I waxed the pole which helped but even if you get the eye hooks perfectly centered the door wobbles enough to touch them. Also, I don't think the casters it sits on would work over carpet. At some point I will probably try a different tutorial for a sliding door (I want to do a matching one in the library) but since we are the only people who live here, the door is hardly ever closed anyway.

Anyone else attempted the sliding door with pipe? I like the look of it but the sound is just awful. If you've made it work I'd love to hear!


Linking up to:
  Weekend Bloggy Reading

Furniture Feature Friday

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dining Alfresco

One of my TBC's that I really wanted to finish was my little bistro area in the back yard.  The original footprint was just a little too small.

September 2011

You could only get two chairs out there and they were always being shoved on to the grass. This year I took the opportunity to move out all of the rocks and put down weed blocker. It took forever but finally we have a useable patio. We've had the chair set forever. I think Costco still carries them though.

My mint went crazy this year!

I love sitting out under the lights and enjoying the evening.

You have to enjoy Seattle summers while they last.