Monday, September 28, 2009

We interrupt this blog...

To bring you my trade show.

Ok, so it isn't MY trade show. It is the trade show for the association that I work for. And it is just about a week away, which means I have NO time.

I leave in 4 days, and will be gone for 8.

Hopefully to return fresh, energized and ready to tackle the my new kitchen table, the kitchen benches, the bathroom mirror, the bathroom floor, the bathroom cabinets and all kinds of other things.

I do have a few photos of some projects that I've done recently, an adorable sign for our bedroom and some Halloween projects. We'll see if I can get to those before I leave.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our Bedroom Improvements

So I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how unhappy I've been with our master bedroom. I realized through that post how completely insane it was that we were living with a bedroom that we didn't like. I don't even want to hint at how much we've got investing in this room. We spent way too much on the furniture.

And to have spent all that money and not love the room???

Crazy I tell ya, crazy.

You can see by the general condition of the room, how we felt about it. We weren't taking care of it. Piles of stuff on the dresser, end table... the cardboard still on the mirror 3 years after we bought it. (Embarrassing...) Here are 3 before and afters:

Before, entering the room:
After, entering the room:

Before, coming out of the bathroom:

After, coming out of the bathroom:

Before, from the closet corner:

After, from the closet corner:

The most amazing part to me, this transformation cost less than $100. Everything was bought at TJ Maxx:
- Green Quilt - $29
- Cream Blanket - $19
- Red Panel - $16 (I bought 1 and cut it down the middle)
- Red Pillows - $19

There it is... $83 to turn a room we hate, into a room we love.

WHY on earth did we live with hating it for 4 years???

We've still got more to do, but we're going to take it slow. Rushing is what got us into the miss, and we're going to be patient coming out of it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another marathon project

From the minute we looked at this house, 4 and half years ago, I planned on painting our back door. It has never been painted. 4 other families had lived in this house without painting this awful door.

I finally got around to it...

Ahhhhh... that feels better. And as a bonus, it cost nothing. We bought black paint to repaint our front door last year and I just used that. Why we didn't do it last year, I have no idea. We're weird.

(my son changed the setting on my camera and I didn't realize it, sorry for the grainy pictures... I was too lazy to retake them)

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm dreaming of a mud room.

Yes, mudroom.

I'm dreaming of a mudroom.

We bought our current home at the peak of the real estate market here in Northern Virginia, it wasn't our dream home, but it was as close as we expected to find. Since moving in, the market crashed, our equity is gone and we are stuck here.

On the bright side, we love the house. It might not have been our dream home when we moved it, but we've done a damn good job of turning it into our dream home and we don't want to be anywhere else.

One of the things the house is missing that I'd love is a mudroom. I figured there was no way to make that happen with the way our house is on the lot and the way our garage is attached to the house. Over the weekend a friend helped me see that there just might be a way to build a mudroom to the side of our garage. It would also allow us to move the doorway that connects our house to the garage and make our kitchen much more 2 person friendly.

I want a mudroom with a storage space for each member of the family.

I want a mudroom with a pantry.

I want a mudroom with an extra door to the side yard.

I want a mudroom with a place to kick off your shoes - and then a place to put those shoes, and a place to sit back down and put them on if that is what you want to do.


I want a mudroom.

Looking at our finances, I'd say this one is going to remain a day dream for quite a while... but I'm going to keep dreaming.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Reason I love Sherwin-Williams

When researching paints 4 and half years ago to paint our new (to us) home we settled on Sherwin-Williams. They offered everything we wanted, great color palette, color that was true to the palette, great coverage, durability and the people in the store were truly helpful and took the time to work with us. They even gave me one of their fan decks so I could carry all their color options with me where ever I went.

Now - there is more to love about Sherwin-Williams. Their Color-to-Go Sample Paints.

For $5, you get pretty much as close as you can possibly get to the color you're trying out. And the amount of paint is beyond generous. You can take it home, try it out, live with it, and save the sample for easy future touch ups if that is what you decide to go with. Rather than lug out a gallon of paint that might have 1/8th of the original amount in it - just keep the sample pot and you're covered.

I wasn't really planning on repainting any rooms, but these sample pots make me want to go ahead and do it anyway. I bought a couple of them today, thinking about doing some sort of accent wall in my bedroom. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My new/old "real" workspace

I've posted about my other workspace, where I go to get my "craft on."

But that is just a portion of my creativity - 40 hours a week, plus an additional 20 or so a month, I get paid to be a creative professional. I have a bachelors of fine arts in graphic design that over the years I've applied in a variety of ways. Right now I manage the publications/marketing department for a trade association. I also freelance as a designer for another trade association creating their monthly 4 color newsletter from home.

Up until this week, while I worked at home I worked in this pathetic corner of our bedroom:

Depressing on many levels. Lets ignore the condition of my bedroom, that's another post with a happy ending as well. The desk didn't match our bedroom, or compliment it anyway. The desk was too wide so that neither our bedroom door or our closet door could open fully. And that chair... what bedroom looks like a bedroom with an office chair like that?

While revisiting options for our master bedroom, I remember this desk we had in the basement. It is from Ikea, their Alve collection I believe. We bought it when I freelanced full time about 5 years ago.

Why didn't I think of this sooner? I love the fact that the computer portion of the work station out of sight when not in use - I wouldn't have to see my work when I'm not working. I don't know why I dismissed this as an option when we moved to this house...

Either way, I'm thrilled with what I did to transform it for my bedroom workspace:

Can you see my smile from where you are???

Though I'm sure the photos tell the tale, here is what I did:
  1. Removed the back panel
  2. Sanded down the piece lightly - probably too lightly, the paint had issues adhering in some places.
  3. Painted everything with 2 coats of black paint
  4. Rather than painting the back panel, I decided to cover it with fabric, a sage green microfiber type fabric that I love the texture of. The fabric was supposed to be curtains years ago but didn't end up that way. Again... I don't know why. (Something is wrong with me)
  5. Next up, 2 coats of varnish - something I wouldn't have previously done but it was turning out so well I wanted to take the steps to protect it.
  6. Back panel goes back on and...
  7. I have a wonderful new workspace.
As for the chair... I now have a folding chair that I store in the closet, it is quite comfy.

(Please ignore the accessories, I am on a quest for the perfect accessories but for now I just threw a few homeless items from around the house together to fill it up.)
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