Friday, December 23, 2011

Dining Room Painted

So we just painted the dining room....
Another shade of grey! Tempered Gray, actually, which is the same shade throughout the entry, laundry room, living room, and hallway. It's one shade lighter on the paint swatch than Urban Sunrise, the color it was before.

Tempered Gray is a truly neutral grey, but Urban Sunrise had a hint of blue in it, and it made the dining room feel cold. I tried to offset it with blue to make the grey look warmer, but I still hated it. I still want to add in some warmer colors like a yellow, but I haven't found anything I like yet.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Break To Do, 2011

So I didn't do too great on my last to-do list, but I blame that on the fact that I started working in a research lab on campus, while taking full-time classes, and dealing with my totally insane but adorable foster dog Slim (who had since been adopted):
Nonstop craziness, all day...
...every day.
200+ photos to finally get a couple in focus. Not exaggerating.
Look at that face. Adorable, but no idea how to get along with other males, and constantly getting into fights with my Davinci and bullying my Goliath. And he peed on EVERYTHING, and then the boys peed on everything again, and it was a vicious cycle of constant urination (thank you, former owner who never got him neutered, that was a lot of fun). Which is why you see him wearing a belly band in the photo above. Because I'm only willing to replace my curtains once.

Anyhow, now for a new list! Hopefully more readily achievable!
  • Repaint the dining room Tempered Gray (the same gray that the rest of the house is painted)
  • Finish fixing the cat stairs
  • Refinish the fireplace
  • Sort and organize all the paperwork in the office (again)
  • Line the back of the office hutch with fabric
And maybe:
  • Replace all the quarter round on the floors
  • Start painting the trim and doors white

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fireplace, Part One, or To Create We Must First Destroy.

So, here's what the fireplace used to look like (circa Xmas 2010):
Originally the fireplace was painted the same yellow-beige as the rest of the trim. Hubby painted it with white gloss latex, along with the rest of the trim in the living room.

And now:
Well, we decided we wanted to strip the latex off and repaint all the trim in the house with oil instead, and the trim painting project got put on hold for 18+ months....

So one day a few months ago, I thought to myself, what would make a good day project? Stripping the fireplace.

Only this is what I had after six hours of stripping:
It was a total nightmare. The Citristrip kept drying out and nothing wanted to come off. I even tried using the highly toxic conventional stripper, with the same results. I draped a plastic drop cloth over it to keep the stripper from drying out, and it still wasn't working. Not to mention the stripper wouldn't come off either. HUGE FRIGGIN' MESS.

So the hubby ripped all the trim and MDF off. The plan: widen the frame by 2 inches on each side (to make the legs more proportional to the height), recover in new MDF, prime, paint, and make a new mantle. We will probably also replace the tile, either in something a little lighter or maybe matte black, probably subway tile.

As for the mantle, I'm thinking something like this one from The Lettered Cottage:
Although I really love this fireplace from Sweet Something Designs:
The clean lines are great, and I love how the fireplace acts as its own mantle, but we have no hearth and to make our fireplace that deep (and still functional) would be a huge project. Right now, after having to look at my fireplace in varying states of disaster for the last few months, I really just want to get this fixed quick and cheap.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Master Bedroom, Fall 2011.

Overall, the master bedroom hasn't changed too much. The bed has 'real' art above it, with a frame I stripped and gold leafed. FYI, gold-leaf on a frame with a lot of deep grooves is a PITA. I gave up trying to get total coverage and left some of the wood showing through. We moved the IKEA bookcase into the office, and in its place is the dresser that matches the awesome vanity.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guest Bathroom Update.

We installed a new light, new hardware, and a new mirror (well, not really new, it's the mirror from the living room). The hubby was kind enough to patch the random hole and re-texture the wall. I painted it Gobi Desert by Behr. Still beige, but a nice sandy beige rather than the sponge-painted Bandaid pink/beige nightmare that was in there before. It was the last room in the house that still had that color in there, and it feels amazing to have it finally gone.

A few things left to finish: find a towel bar that coordinates with the other satin nickel hardware, replace the faucet (also in satin nickel), paint the trim white, and possibly paint/stain the vanity a dark espresso brown.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dresser Revamp.

I finished the dresser (mostly, like 99%). It's not perfect but it looks so much better than before. And it was my first major refinishing project. I spray painted the outside white after patching the wood, but I left the faux bois laminate on the top as is. The edge got a little funny, so at some point I will go back and clean that up. I don't really want to paint the laminate, simply because I don't think it will be as durable.

The drawer fronts and legs I refinished following this tutorial. The finish had become very grey. I was thrilled at how amazing it looks now. The wood adsorbed a crazy amount of the Feed N' Wax.

I also repainted our guest bedroom, where the dresser is. My husband really can't tell the difference. It's still beige, so not a huge change, but it no longer picks up that horrid Band-Aid pink tone during certain times of the day. Normally neutrals aren't really my thing, but I'm actually kind of loving it. I'm planning to do the entire room in white, wood, and a touch of black (and maybe some metal, like a vintage fan).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

There's a Hole.

Well, after bugging him for a month or so, my husband got started on some of the updates for our guest bathroom. He scored some free satin nickel hardware from work.

He took down the builder grade mirror, only to reveal a fist-sized hole in the wall with no obvious purpose, except maybe access to the pipe? Since the new mirror is smaller and doesn't cover the hole, it has to be patched, textured and painted.

There was also apparently no junction box or stud installed in the wall for the light to attach to, but he managed to install the new light fixture we got on sale at Lowe's:

It is soooo much better than the ugly thing that was up there before, which looked like this only really dingy with the chrome worn off in places. It had been there since the house was built 15 years ago, judging by the white rectangle left behind once we removed it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kitchen Greens.

Well the shelves above the stove are now home to the majority of my houseplants. Little kitty cat figured out how to get up on the top of the fridge and massacred them, so to save the new ones I just got (and keep her from poisoning herself), I put them over here, which is just high enough she can't reach, unlike the other side. I actually am kinda loving all the greenery. If she couldn't reach the other side via the fridge, I would totally replace all the wine bottles with plants instead.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Refinishing the Dresser.

I've stripped and sanded the entire thing (except the legs, those are last), patched the missing chunks on the sides, and now I've primed the main part. I'm gonna paint it white with an oil-based paint (probably spraypaint) and leave the drawers the wood tone. They have some chips, but they were overall in much better condition than the rest of the dresser. We'll consider the wear and tear as "character". I was going to paint the legs white also, but I'm kinda digging the wood tone. The top is a plastic laminate or something, I decided it would be easiest to just leave it as is.

It looked like this before:

The photo hides a lot of the damage it has, and you can't tell that the finish was very greyed and sad-looking, especially compared to our other vintage pieces.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Office: Take Two.

Just a few small adjustments. I'm hardly ever 100% satisfied the first time a room is 'complete'. That stool was horribly uncomfortable to use, so I spraypainted my folding chair espresso brown and put an IKEA lambskin on it for some cushion. Eventually I will get a real office chair, but it is really difficult to find one that is comfortable, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing.

I exchanged the colored cups for white ones. I kind of miss the pop of color though. And I downloaded a new screensaver.

I really wasn't loving how the Expedit looked in conjunction with the desk and buffet, but I still needed the storage, so I put it in the closet and moved the filing cabinet out. It's more efficient this way also since I keep a lot of my office supplies in the top drawers - stationary, stapler, staples, pencil lead and pen refills, etc. And it coordinates pretty well with the Crate and Barrel desk even though it's from IKEA (Effektiv, in case you were wondering).

I had to replace my curtains since the kitten decided to mess with them and being a very thin cotton, they just looked trashed. I used the curtains from the dining room that had shrunk a couple inches after I washed them (yes, I washed them before hemming, but they shrunk again). I also installed a proper curtain rod and holdback hook.

You can see the closet is still pastel blue from the previous owner. Her daughter's growth chart is drawn on the wall too, in permanent marker, but you can't see it in this photo.

The buffet is still the same.

Since the bookcase is in the closet, I moved my reference textbooks to the printer table and put the sewing machine, which is rarely used, in the closet as well.

Overall I'm much happier with it now, both aesthetically and functionally. We've also been building more shelving for the laundry room, so I'll get that posted after I finish the touch up paint and get everything organized.

P.S. I was featured as a Workspace of the Week on! I was pleasantly surprised to find out, and it was amusing to read the entry as I had only added the photo of the desk and floating shelves to the Flickr group, and Erin was trying to figure out what was going on as far as a filing system (digital or analog). Then there's the comments, with almost everyone assuming EVERYTHING came from IKEA. I was really contemplating buying a cheap office chair there, but I decided against it. I love IKEA but I certainly don't want to look like I live in an IKEA showroom.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Office.

The office has actually been organized for awhile, but I was waiting to take photos until we built the printer table, which was the last thing. Well, actually, I still need a proper chair too. That stool isn't exactly comfy. I have a couple folding chairs that I've been considering painting and upholstering, like this.

The shelves are the IKEA Lack ones we originally had in the dining room for the cat shelves. We still need to replace those with stud-mounted shelving for her.

To keep the desk uncluttered I bought the bar with the hanging cups at IKEA to hold all my pens and scissors and such. It looks nice, I just wish they had other colors available. I'd like to get a plant to put in the white ceramic cup. Maybe a tillandsia.

I based the printer table off this design, but with my own dimensions. It turned out well and was basically free. My husband had some MDF boards he got for free at work, and we already had paint, wood glue and nails. The only thing we bought was some wood filler to cover the nail holes. I'm thinking of doing another smaller one as a nightstand in the guest bedroom.

We originally had the Expedit bookcase in our master bedroom, but I needed more clothing storage in there and more book storage in the office so we moved the bookcase in here and the little dresser that matches the vanity from the guest bedroom to the master. I'm not totally loving the bookcase in here, but it's functional. Maybe it will grow on me.

And of course there's the buffet that matches our dining set which I'm using as a bookcase. It's gorgeous and massive and this was the only place we could fit it. I can't imagine trying to move it again. I've thought about adding some sort of patterned wallpaper or fabric to the back of it to add some contrast.

Oh, and that's my collection of Breyer horses on top of the buffet. I had them on the top shelf of our linen closet in the master bathroom but my husband thought it was very creepy to have them all "looking at him" when he would get a towel. He still thinks they are creepy in here, and keeps suggesting I put them in the attic. I told him to suck it. The cat likes to jump from the bookcase to the top of the buffet, so I'll have to secure them with museum putty.

And here's the before when it was the previous owner's preteen daughter's room:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Neglected Office.

Normally I would refuse to show something like this. It's embarrassing. It's my office. Or at least, I want it to be my office. Right now it's more like the catch-all of everything that hasn't been organized yet. For almost two years it has remained in utter chaos.

This is an improvement actually. Well, it looks worse, but that's because things have been coming out of hiding and getting put away properly. Everything on the desk used to be INSIDE the desk, and I've gotten rid of about half the boxes that were in there previously. Yesterday we installed the IKEA Lack shelves above the desk (that the cat ripped out of the dining room wall). She loves the office, and has decided to climb on them in here now. Cats....

The IKEA Expedit bookcase used to be in the bedroom, but as my collection of paperwork has grown exponentially, I co-opted it for storage in the office and we moved the little dresser that matches the vanity out of the guest bedroom and into the master bedroom.

One of my summer goals is to get this room organized and functional. My husband is going to build a table following this design to house the printer and probably also the sewing machine.  I can't wait to get this room under control.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Hardware in the Kitchen.

They say hardware is the easiest way to update the look in a kitchen. Before we didn't have any. I'm really liking the way it looks now. It's making me itchy to paint or restain the cabinetry now too.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer 2011 To Do.

This summer, I would like to:
  • Finish painting all the trim and doors white (They are currently this ugly yellow-beige. What would you call that? Beijlow? Whatever, it's hideous)
  • Install shelves on the other half of the laundry room
  • More book storage
  • Restain the bathroom cabinetry an espresso color (And possibly the kitchen, but I'm hemming and hawing over whether I want a dark stain or white paint)
  • Replace the lighting in both bathrooms (well, we got the guest bathroom done at least)
  • Replace the fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen
  • Finish organizing all the boxes of paperwork in the office and make it a usable space
  • Get an estimate for gutters and rain barrels 
    My husband also offered to paint the exterior of the house. It's butter yellow, which is probably my least favorite color in the world.  I also think it makes the white door look really out of place.


    I'm envisioning a sage green or soft brown, or maybe a dove gray, with a creamy white for the trim (maybe black). But do I really wanna spend the money on all that paint? The existing paint isn't in bad condition, except for where the garage door rubbed against the trim and picked up some of the dark teal. And eventually, if we stay here long enough, we want to replace all the wood siding with Hardieplank cement fiberboard siding and redo the insulation, and we'd have to paint again then. But, that's a ways off, and maybe the house will need to be repainted again by that time anyways.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Cat Stairs in the Dining Room.

    Our kitten Athena turns one year old in a couple of weeks. Her favorite thing to do is to play fetch and gazing out windows (there's a very large squirrel that likes to harass her from the tree outside the kitchen window). We installed some shelves for her to climb on some empty wall space in the dining room. The shorter shelves are IKEA Lack and the longer ones were made from whitewood boards from Lowe's. We still need to install carpet or something for traction, but I think it looks pretty spiffy right now.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Summer Bedding.

    Well the weather is finally staying warm, and the overnight low is in the sixties instead of the forties now, so it was time to switch out the down comforter for something less heavy.

    I picked up a quilt set at IKEA. I like it, but obviously it's too long for our platform bed. The smaller size does not fit a queen, so it was this or nothing :)

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Living Room Updated.

    Here's a shot of the living room with the new rug in it:
    I think it looks awesome. We haven't put the dots down yet to make it "permanent", so I'll probably play with the pattern some more.

    And here's the canvas I picked up. I painted it blue but haven't done anything else with it yet. Of course IKEA had to go out and update their stuff, and I saw a ready-to-hang canvas I really liked, but I think we'll stick with this.

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Guest Bathroom.

    Our kitten has a weird obsession with shower curtains. I often find her staring at me through the shower liner. A little weird. I think she likes watching the water.

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    "Adverse Weather Conditions."

    That's what customer service said when I called to find out why only 18 of the 30 carpet tiles I ordered came in. I understand that the insane winter weather is the reason my shipment was DELAYED, but why on Earth would it cause the packages to be split up? Really? Argh. It's already in town, and our weather is actually really nice the past few days. Darn you delivery company, I think you are just being lazy!

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Finally Bit the Bullet.

    I committed to a rug. The Power Nap samples were nice, but the lagoon color is a little too teal and the blues really run more towards cobalt and indigo. I just couldn't see it working as a solid colored rug with everything else in the room. I wasn't feeling the greys either. The Working Class samples were nice colorwise, but the texture was terrible (like a plastic felt). Great for a garage but not for a living space, despite what the catalog photos would like you to believe.

    So I was playing around with the FLOR builder, and found something my husband and I both liked:
    Feelin' Groovy in Lagoon, Cobalt, Blue Jay, Tidal, Sky, and Fog. It was more expensive than I really wanted, but I had to make a decision. Did I want to spend money on something I'd be only partially happy with, or spend a little more and not have to replace it all later on with something that fit better? I chose the latter. The color selection is awesome (82!) for this line of FLOR tiles, and the different blues should look really cool. And the best part is that it should really cut down on the cacophony of 12 little paws running back and forth on the laminate. I will of course post pictures of the real thing once it comes in.

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Master Bedroom - January 2011

    We made some small updates to the master bedroom. The biggest update is the addition of a rug. It has an oversized paisley pattern.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Sneak Peek.

    My husband and I had to drive to Waco to drop off a foster dog on his way to a new foster/potential adoptive home, and we decided to check out the Antiquibles Dog Museum. It's pretty amazing. They have ~60 different vendors, so there's a lot of stuff. I was seriously tempted by a set of four amber glass moon-and-star canisters, but I wouldn't know what to do with them and thus was loathe to part with $40.

    I did however find a glass power line insulator that was unique from the ones I already have, as well as a set of mounted deer antlers and this awesome cross-stitch of an Egyptian jeweled scarab. If you look, you can see on the left edge of the picture there's a rug under my trunk now (as well as my red Toms). We've made some updates to the master bedroom, which I will get around to posting soon.

    Kitchen Paint.

    Okay so I finished this over a month ago, I just didn't want to post it because I'm unhappy with the quality of the photos. Cell phone cameras have come a long way, but they're still a poor substitute for a digital SLR. Which I can't afford right now.

    I really like how the magnetic knife racks look above the sink. We have a knife block, but it took up too much counter space, which is a limited commodity in our kitchen. IKEA changed the style somewhat, so we used the old one for the spice containers by the pantry. We also bought some new dinnerware that was on sale, since I had to borrow plates from my mother for dinner on Christmas. We only had four dinner plates for seven people. Oops.