Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Dining Room Wall Color

I know I kept you in suspense after my last post.  I went back and forth on what color to repaint the dining room.  The sesame was just too bright and "in your face" for relaxed digestion.

It was cheery in our old office, but it was time for a change.  I considered Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue (what we have in our living room), Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy on an accent wall or a half painted wall like this, or Valspar's Polar Star (what's in our entryway/hallway).

I decided to go with the Polar Star.  

(Sorry about the blown out windows.  One day I'll read this tutorial and fix those for you.)

Here is what it looks like from the new office.

I think the Polar Star was the right decision to help achieve the light and airy look that I'm going for.

So the dining room walls were coats #7 and 8 of our eight coats in eight days painting extravaganza.  

I'm going to work on an updated whole house color scheme post for you.  And I need to introduce you to our office rug and my new desk!

Have a great Labor Day holiday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paint, Paint, and More Paint

Eight coats of paint in eight days.  In only two rooms.  I don't ever want to relive it.

When we decided to flip flop the office and dining room to better suit our needs, I knew that I also wanted to change the wall colors in these two rooms (much to Seth's dismay).  You may remember that I was leaning towards white walls a few weeks ago.  Well, I decided that I also wanted a light blue ceiling.  

So, Seth and I took a bunch of our light blue paint samples and dumped them into a paint can with some leftover white paint.  I felt so resourceful.  We made the icy, light, grayish blue that you see in the roller tray above.

But then we started rolling it onto the ceiling and it looked completely different.

What the heck?  Painting this room baffles me.  Then we thought, 'Maybe the blue walls are reflecting off the ceiling and causing it to appear more saturated than it really is.'  So we used a piece of white poster board to cover part of the wall.  But it was really hard to tell if it made a difference.  So, we decided to stop painting the ceiling and tackle the walls first.

Now, I really loved the Wedgewood Gray.  But the white walls really brighten the room (I think that's two coats in above).  It was kinda shocking to me how much brighter it got.  We used Valspar's Ultra White (formerly Anthem White) which is the same color as our bedroom.  
It took one coat of high hiding primer and THREE coats of Ultra White.  I had hoped that the "high hiding primer" would help us cut down on the number of coats needed but I guess not. Lesson learned: white paint does not cover well.  That's probably obvious to most of you, but it wasn't to me.

Now back to the ceiling.  Amazingly, I picked up some paint swatches from Lowe's and immediately loved Valspar's Stillness.  

It ties into the artwork in the entryway and the print that I ordered for above my desk.  And it is such a soft, soothing color.

The ceiling took the normal two coats.  For those keeping track, we're up to six coats.  The other two were for the dining room walls.  I'm going to leave you hanging and reveal the new color in my next post.

The positive news - I'm now a pro at cutting in.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kitchen Plans and a New Wall Oven

I just realized that it has been a year since we've made any progress in the kitchen.  A year, people.  Time flies by and there are so many projects to tackle that the kitchen just hasn't progressed.  But that's all about to change.  We are dedicating all of our spare time during the entire month of October to the kitchen.  It's about to get real.

Remember this mood board?

Our Kitchen

I am still going for something along these lines.  And I am still having a difficult time deciding on a cabinet color.  I will say that some, if not all, of the cabinets will be white.  That is all I know for sure.  The feather imprint knob from Anthropologie (#4 above) is no longer an option for two reasons.  First, it is no longer available.  More importantly, it's too large.  Also, the amazing wood table from CB2 has been gone from their website for awhile.  Sad.  I'm trying to convince Seth that we should just build our own.  I like this one.  And I think it's a doable DIY.

What we have done in the last few months is purchase a new wall oven.

When you have a tiny space for your wall oven and can only fit a 24-incher, you have few options.  When you are on a budget but really want stainless steel to match your other appliances, you have even fewer options.  

So, needless to say, this wall oven was my first choice for our specific situation.  It is not my dream oven.  If we had an endless supply of money, I would have chosen this for our space. But saving around $800 was more important to us.  And, as I've mentioned before, we don't see this as our forever home so we are trying to make wise choices.

On to the positives.  It plays nicely with our other stainless steel appliances.  It bakes evenly!  It is slightly roomier inside (our old wall oven had thicker walls that ate into the inside square footage).  It has a working clock.  And timer.  And OVEN LIGHT!  I feel so spoiled.

Yes.  It's already dirty.

I will give you one fair warning if you're oven shopping.  This model has a fan (that I believe mostly helps it cool down, but that another reviewer mentioned helps circulate hot air for even cooking) that makes a fair amount of noise while running.  It isn't "loud" per se, but it isn't quiet. It doesn't really bother me but there are enough people who mention it in their reviews that I thought I'd disclose that info here as well.

Just squint your eyes and imagine clean, white cabinets with brushed nickel pulls, a subway tile backsplash, and a gray tiled floor.  And maybe a pop of color on our carport door.  Soon.  Very soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Organized Nightstands and Artwork

We're popping back into the master bedroom today so that I can show your our new artwork. You may remember that way back in April, I shared a mood board detailing the new direction for our bedroom.  It included four prints that I planned to hang above our nightstands.  Well, four months later, they are finally gracing our walls.

For my side, I chose an out of focus photography print from Minted.  It's called autumn obscured.  

I love its abstract feel.  And the colors are perfect.  I ordered it with the modern white frame.

The other print is a cute ampersand from Jones Design Company.  I popped it into a square silver frame from Target that I had on hand.  

I also added a mother in law tongue that I picked up at Wal-Mart and planted in a mercury glass vase.  My glasses sit in a small wooden tray that I found at Marshall's and I purchased my iPhone dock from CB2.  

The small floral frame contains a picture of me and my grandmother that I inherited after she passed away and I haven't changed the frame since she chose it to put our picture in.

Over to Seth's moodier, more masculine side.

He approved the antelope squirrel print (which we lovingly refer to as the squirrel-a-lope)...

 and Clare Elsaesser's November print for his side.  The white frame is from Wal-Mart and the other one is another square silver frame from Target.

I forced him to get a new alarm clock.  (I just searched to find you a picture of his old one but I apparently edited it out of my photos.  For good reason.  It was similar to this.)  

I also built him the wooden storage caddy for his kindle and iPad to sit in.  His nightstand is definitely looking more streamlined now.  But he is pining for his old alarm clock.

It's nice to finally have some art hung to liven up the white walls.  

And the addition of a live plant makes me happy every time.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bamboo Booth Projects

I'm back today with a few more makeovers that I did for the antique booth.  I am not sure what has happened to me, but I've been somewhat obsessed with bamboo and rattan furniture lately.  Am I going through a Golden Girls phase?  Yikes.  I hope not.  Seriously though, you've probably noticed it popping up in all kinds of spaces lately.  I think it is a great material that can be personalized to fit any space.  Check it out in this traditional space, this transitional space, and this more modern room.  So versatile, right?

First up is this amazing bamboo footstool that I snatched up at a yard sale.

As you can see, the caning on the top of the footstool had a small hole in it.  

I researched repairing cane and it looked pretty extensive.  There were a ton of steps and it seemed like a job suited for a pro.  So instead of trying to tackle repair, I opted to remove the cane and install an upholstered top.

I think it turned out pretty cute.  And I guess someone else agreed, because it has sold!

My second bamboo makeover was this table that I picked up at a local thrift store.  (It also came with a super thick, super heavy smoked glass top that had many small scratches on it.)  

It has gorgeous lines and I loved the color of the raw bamboo but there were many areas where the shiny, protective coat had worn off and the bamboo was badly weathered.

So I turned to spray paint.  (If anyone knows how to fix bamboo like this without paint, I'm all ears.)

I chose this fun, bright blue and ran with it.  (In hindsight, I wish I had gone with a slightly lighter, less in-your-face blue.)  Although I don't have pics, I primed the table first and then sprayed it with the blue.  It took FOREVER.  I guess I should have anticipated that considering its size.

The glass top was a nightmare.  The cost of a new, clear top was a lot more than I anticipated so replacing it was not an option.  Lesson learned.  Next, I called all the glass fabrication and glass repair shops in the area (including the automotive glass repair places) and was told that nobody had the equipment to polish out the scratches.  So, I started googling.  Some sites suggested using cerium oxide and a felt buffing pad.  I ordered a bag of cerium oxide from Amazon and paid extra for two day shipping because this was the weekend before the booth opening.  It arrived on Saturday and we got to work.

I'm not sure if the scratches were too deep, if we didn't have the proper equipment or what, but it was a bust.  The cerium oxide just built up in the scratches and made them more noticeable.  

So onto plan C.  Clear nail polish.  We painted it into the scratches and let it dry fully before using nail polish remover to wipe away the excess.  It wasn't a miracle solution, but it did make the scratches less noticeable and filled them in a bit.

I guess I didn't take any real "after" photos of the table by itself since we didn't place the glass on top until she was in my booth.  

Thus far, she is still available.  I think she would be an amazing piece for someone's sunroom or patio - a fun pop of color for an indoor/outdoor space.

So far, I've sold three items.  In three weeks.  If this keeps up, I probably won't be extending my contract after the initial three months are up.  Time will tell.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Ole Switcheroo

I'm not sure that I've really shared much about it on the blog, but I recently started a new job.  I needed a change and so I sought out something new.  It's going to involve some stepping outside of my comfort zone, but it's also going to help alleviate my overall stress level (I hope). One really nice thing about this new job, is that I get to do a lot of the work from home.  I love being here to let the dog out and not having to commute to an office.  However, since I started working from home, the shortcomings of our office have become very apparent.

Granted, it certainly isn't a "finished" room, but there are some changes that need to be made as it approaches a more finished state.

First off, my desk chair is not very comfortable for long periods of time.  Secondly, I need more storage space.  I would like to be able to tuck away my mess at the end of each day.  The three drawers across the front of my desk are pretty shallow and don't hold enough for me.  Thirdly, I would like some sort of family calendar/to do list up on the wall for me to keep track of my work projects and for us to keep track of our house projects.  Lastly, I've been mulling over the idea of a craft/project room with a large table and a place for my sewing machine for awhile now.  

In order to meet all of these items on our wish list, we decided to turn our current dining room into a large craft/project/office space and convert our current office into a dining room (that's what the room is actually intended to be).  

We have already switched most of the furniture around and I have been combing Pinterest for inspiration.  Here is a mood board that I started for the new office/project room.  My vision is bright, colorful, and modern.

Our major builds will include a project table and built-ins along the back wall.  I have already ordered the saddle office chair from West Elm and it arrived Wednesday.  I just assembled it today because we've been out of town.  It seems like it will be a comfortable place to sit while I work.  The desk in the mood board above is also from West Elm.  It was discounted until last Wednesday - the day that I arrived at the store in Nashville to possibly purchase it.  No good. So I'm scouring Craigslist again.  I think I've found a great option and I will decide on it this week.  The rug is from Pottery Barn and it should be here on Wednesday.  It was definitely a splurge, but I wanted something durable and a natural fiber rug fit the bill.  After reading on Emily A. Clark's blog that it is quite comfortable and soft despite being a mostly jute weave, I was sold.  

I'm considering painting the walls white (I will be the fourth time we've painted the dining room if it happens) to help brighten it up in there and to allow the accessories to add pops of color.  The curtains may remain white, I may add something to them (like some fun pom pom trim), or I may dye them.  Time will tell.  I haven't made final decisions on the artwork but I'm liking the four prints above.  Apparently, the top left one by Britt Bass Turner is no longer available.  Boo.  The other three can be found here (multiple sizes available as other listings), here, and here.  

I'll keep you posted on our progress!