Monday, April 16, 2012

chimney art

Unfortunately, there is a chimney in the middle of one of the rooms in our home.  When we first moved in, the room was unfinished and didn't get much use other than storage.  To make this room functional, we added carpet, chair rail, baseboards, fresh paint, and furniture.  The only thing we couldn't do was get rid of the chimney, which is load bearing and does serve a purpose (though not in that room).


 

   

On one side, I hung four framed decoupaged prints that I created in frames found in the clearance section at Michaels. (This specific color is apparently no longer being mass produced.)  So although it does not conceal the chimney, for $25 it at least appears to have a purpose other than sticking out and being a nuisance to my design.  

                                                                                                                 On the other side, these silver birds (found at a thrift store) fit the width of the chimney perfectly.  They also add a little more visual interest to the otherwise imposing structure in the center of the room.
Does anyone else have a chimney stuck in the middle of their room?

Friday, April 13, 2012

nursery birds

I'm not organized enough at this point to share all the nursery photos at one time, so here is the next of little projects I've completed.







And since one of my favorite books when I was a little girl was Where's Goldie?, I did include our own Goldie for our little one to find in her very own room. :)

After painting all the trees and branches, I knew I wanted to add birds and houses but I wasn't about to paint 30 birds.  Luckily, Michaels has their spring collections out and I found the perfect solution:


All I had to do was paint the 30+ birds with the same color I painted the trees, and then carefully nailed them in place.  The bird houses came as a wall hanging of three houses, so I used wire cutters to separate them.  I then painted the houses in monochromatic colors and screwed them into the walls.

The flowers are 3-D as they came from daisy bunches I purchased on sale.  I simply screwed the middle of the daisy to the wall and then painted a stem.  The wall has become almost like one of those touch & feel books...
but in real life!


Over Easter break, I had everyone in my family paint their own bird houses to hang on the "family tree."  Finished pictures of those to follow...
  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

before and after: part IV

Our laundry room used to scare the living daylights out of me...

BEFORE:



AFTER:


Although it is still not my favorite room of the house (look at those floors!), it is now much more functional and a lot less scary.  We put a shelf in front of the doorway to separate the spaces and to allow for more storage.  The curtain now hides all the unsightly pipes and newly installed clothing racks are perfect for hanging work shirts.


We painted the walls a gold color and the ceiling a chocolate brown, which matches the formerly dirty cream-colored shelving unit (in the first before picture).  By painting all the "furniture" that was left behind the same dark color, it looks more put together.  We also scored a "free" laundry folding table; we recycled that from the kitchen when we replaced it with a new, darker countertop.

Not the dream laundry room, but by using items left behind or that we already had and having only spent money on the shelf and paint...it fits the budget!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

nursery room art

Back to the nursery....after spending some more time on Pinterest looking for ideas, I decided to create my own wall art.  I loved this saying:
  
Wcan't all be princesses... someone has tclap when I walk by 


And after finding out we're going to have a little princess(!), I knew my wall art would consist of this phrase.  So without further adieu:


 

I found all the supplies at Michaels- the gold scrapbooking paper, the wooden crown and stars, pink letters & the diamond bling.  All the writing is my own!  Believe it or not, I didn't make a single mistake.  Good thing too; that paper was expensive!

For the other side, I needed "matching" art.  So using an identical frame with the same gold paper, I came up with this:


The branches match the rest of the tree murals painted on the walls, and the birds also fit the "theme" of the room.  The saying is something my husband has said to me since we first said, "I love you" 9 years ago.  I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate since that's how much we already love our little girl...and then some!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

it's a....

Though this blog was at first mostly dedicated to designing, organizing, and entertaining, I added the extra "etc." part to include other fun information as well.  So after our first big (not related to design) revelation, our next big news is....

It's a girl!!


Let's see if I can remember to change the number every day on my 
chalkboard fridge....

Friday, March 30, 2012

before and after: part III

The day we signed on our house, my handy dad had already "broken in" to start work.  (shhh don't tell.)  So once we got back from the signing, he had already taken down several unwanted doors, removed the kitchen counter, and started hauling junk outside.  Needless to say, my "before" pictures were more like "during" pictures. 

And since we were trying to get as much done as possible with our families in town helping out, we had to do demolition and move-in on the same day since our apartment lease was up that weekend.  Talk about a stressful move.

I wish I could go back in time and take more "befores" but with all the chaos and confusion, I guess I'm lucky to even have the few pictures I do!

Living room/Dining room 
BEFORE:


Everything just blended in- the walls, the trim, the windows, the bookcases... It was all painted white!  In this "during" photo, I had actually already painted one coat of the base on the walls so you don't get the full white effect here.  There was just no character or separation in the room.

AFTER:


In the living room section, I painted the bookcases a chocolate brown so they would stand out against the country yellow accent wall.  The curtains were installed as high as possible to give the room a feeling of height.  I added some interest to the cabinet (on the left) by painting a plaid design on the front doors.  And the L-shaped couch backed by an old dresser, painted in the same color as the shelves, provides a partition between the "two" rooms.


Here, the windows and trim are painted the chocolate brown again for visual interest.  The mini "drink fridge" is disguised as a corner table for the lamp (there just are not enough outlets in these older homes...and that's how a fridge ends up in the dining room...).  I like the larger art work so that more of the wall is covered.  And the hanging lantern, though not necessarily used, adds some character to the space.

Quite the difference!






Thursday, March 29, 2012

before & after: part II

In continuing with the photos of the renovation of my old house, here are the before and afters of the kitchen.


BEFORE:
         

(view looking into the living room)                  (view looking into the front room)

If you can overlook all the extra stuff that didn't have a home when we first moved in...you can notice the ugly, standard, white knobs on the cabinet doors.  There were layers upon layers of wallpaper- some of which refused to come off.  The overhead light fixture had only one bulb and again, was a standard model.  And the wainscotting blended in with the baseboard... The only positives were the parquet floor and wood on the cabinets 
(though they did not match each other).

After months of hard work and cutting costs wherever possible:

AFTER:

After replacing the kitchen knobs and cleaning the grease off the cabinets, they actually looked brand new.  Someday we'd like to have matching hard wood floors throughout the downstairs....someday.  For now, after cleaning the existing parquet floor, it seems to add some character.  We simply could not remove all the layers of old wallpaper, so I decided to try my hand at texture paint.  After removing as much of the wallpaper as we could, cleaning the wall, and spending 15+ hours to apply the paint, the result was stunning.  It looks very Tuscan.


I installed a new light fixture, painted the wainscotting a barn red, and added some molding that we painted in the same color as the existing baseboards for some consistency.



 After rearranging the furniture and adding all the finishing touches- art work, a buffet, shelf, lamps, etc., it now looks very cozy and inviting.