2012 Plans

In blog land, it appears that instead of New Year's Resolutions, people are writing about their favorite projects for the year.  I gave it a lot of thought about jumping on the bandwagon....and decided not to.  I didn't complete near as many projects as I would have liked (moving took away a lot of my summer crafting time!) and then I started a new job, which meant more commute time (love the job though, so it's worth it).

Instead, I thought I would summarize a wish list of things that I'd like to get done for 2012.  I won't call them resolutions.  Decorating and crafting, to get it right, sometimes takes time and patience.  I don't want to rush through my list just to say I did it all, and end up with something that I'm not really happy with (why yes, I HAVE done that before - lesson learned!).  Also, I have WAY more ideas than I have time.  Something to do with having a family and kids, I don't know...

So here, in no particular order, are some projects I would love to complete in 2012:
  • a whimsical feel to the backyard. This could be very easy to create, or very challenging.  I have an inspiration to go off of.  The backyard party at night from the movie Because of Winn Dixie.  This is the best photo I could find but I loved the feel of that backyard!  I'd like to make lanterns for candles from mason jars that have been tinted.  This blogger re-created the effect with modern mason jars and I think they would make great lanterns around my backyard.   
  • A patio set for my sun room.  Have you priced patio sets lately?  OMG!  Why are they so ridiculously expensive?!  And that's for the "normal" sized that seat four.  Since I have a large family, and would realistically like a table to seat 8-10 (you know, we actually like to be able to seat our guests and eat at the table ourselves!) the cost is even higher.  I have really seen some lovely sets by Martha Stewart as well as Pottery Barn, but I  am NOT spending $800+ on a table and chairs.  I'm not sure what I'm doing yet, but it's on my list!
  • Media Cabinet
  • Personalize my family room - we picked out a color scheme that we like, and I have a few miscellaneous things up...but once the Christmas decorations come down, the room will be very...blah.  I never got past picking the color scheme and I really need to personalize it. Part of the problem is we're using the mantle to hold the electronic components.  There's a lot of wall space, but not a lot of storage.  One of my projects for this room the cabinet to your right.  It's another wood working project from Ana White and I think two of them side by side would fill a big cavernous blank spot in my living room, while giving me a place to hide electronics and have decorative space.  I've been reading about a new paint (well new to me anyway) Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I think I would love to use for the paint.  And while I have the cost estimated, that's as far as I've gotten.  I need to get family photo's up and things that make the living room cozy and welcoming!  
  • Finish the master bedroom - this is a project that's driving me crazy.  I still haven't found the right art work finally found some artwork last week that will work in my room! I'd still like to get some black and white photo's of our family (which I don't have and we're due to update) to put in the room as there is a lot of blank wall space. I just need to finalize this room and be done with it!  
  • Finishing my boys bedroom - we got the third bed done and the comforters on....and we stopped.  This feels like the story of my life, all these unfinished projects.  I have the curtains, but need brackets for the curtain rod (they mysteriously disappeared in the move, as these same currents were on their window at the last house!).  However, my middle son is crazy about Moose.  And he's requested that I applique moose onto his curtains.  I can do this, and his brother doesn't have a problem with it (he wants a western theme on his half of the room - so picture moose with cowboy hats...) but it's another "to do" project.  And applique is not my favorite thing to do.  Also, the two nightstands need to be built for their rooms as well.  Artwork is another issue.
  • Revamp the powder room.  This is the only room in the house that has all the original fixtures and cabinetry.  And it's not good.  Think clam shell sink with a faux marble finish.  And it's a small narrow space.  You have to close the door once you're in the bathroom to get to the toilet.  While I can't fix that, I'm thinking a new vanity and sink plus fresh paint would be a fairly simple fix.
Of course, I could list plenty more.  I have some things I plan to work on each month to be ready for Christmas 2012 (because I realized trying to revamp 15 years worth of Christmas decor in the matter of a few weeks was impossible on both a time and budget scale!) and sewing projects for my other blog, 2 Sew or Not 2 Sew.  Plus I'll be out of town for almost two weeks over the summer at my little brother's wedding!  Definitely a busy year ahead. :-)

Weekend Plans

OK, so I know the Christmas weekend is over, but we have another long holiday weekend coming up for New Years, and I have plans to make a serious dent in finishing up those projects that make a house look put together!

You may remember when we first moved into this house back in August, I posted of picture of our bedroom after we hung the curtains.  I noted various little things in the room that needed to be finished.  Like a bed skirt.  And the right colored body pillow cover.  Lamps.  And nightstands.  

Nightstands are not a little thing I've come to discover.  Finding the right nightstands has become a quest.  I've looked at so many different options, it's enough to make my head spin!  I found a pair that would work at Ikea.  They were not my favorite as they had no storage, which I need for things like remote controls for the TV's and the magazines I like to peruse before bed.  Still, they would have held my lamp and my bottle of water that I like to have, and the small size would mean my husband I'd be less likely to have a lot of clutter on top of my table.  But what I really wanted for my nightstands is this. 

Isn't it pretty?!  I love the mirrored finish I've been seeing on furniture.  It has a certain retro look to it that really appeals to me.  But of course, this doesn't actually match my bedroom furniture.  It's a little small.  And the price...$229.99 if you don't by it on sale (currently on sale for $179.95), which is rather a lot for one nightstand.  Not to mention, I'm not a fan of the knobs.  I realize that's a simple update.  But really, if I'm going to spend that much on a nightstand, shouldn't the knobs be what I really want anyway?!  Sometimes it's really the little things that can make a girl happy!

OK, so clearly, I'm not going to buy these tables.  I can't justify $360 even on sale for two tables.  However, I was looking at some of the many blogs I enjoy reading, and someone posted the web site for this table, which I really, really like!  I like that it's wider.  This is a better fit for the space in my room. I like the option of the two baskets on the bottom.  I like that drawer isn't so narrow (something I didn't realize I liked until I saw this!).  I think the depth on this drawer is more user friendly!

Black Nickle Knob

Of course, there are some things I don't like.  My bedroom isn't rustic.  So that particular finish isn't going to work for me.  Same with the baskets.  And there is no mirrored finish on it.  So I discussed this with my hubby builder, Mike.  There were several things I'm going to do to customize and make them coordinate with my bedroom.  First, I'm going to do a black stain for the finish similar to my existing chest of drawers.  Also, I'm going to put a cabinet molding around the edge of the drawer so that Mike can fit the drawer front with a mirror. That will give some definition to the cabinet face, that I like in the Pier 1 nightstand, and add a touch of that vintage look that I love, but still blend well with my existing furniture.  I found some crystal looking knobs (they're acrylic) or these black nickle knobs (to the left) that I think will add to that vintage feel.  I think I'm going to have a mirrored table top as well.  I haven't found the right baskets to go under the table yet, but I think I'll wait until it's built so that I can try several options and get the one that will work best.  I hate to get my heart set on something now, and then find out that it won't work once it's built.  

Now the bonus to this project?  These will also work in my boys room!  They'll need the more rustic look to coordinate with the beds Mike already made them.  I already have the stain, so that's a bonus.  I have to decide if I want brushed nickel pulls or the brushed bronze.  I'm leaning towards the brushed bronze.  I had contemplated some trimmings for them as well, and then thought better of it.  My boys do not like decorative trimmings, lol....

I stopped in at Home Depot on Monday to check out the cost.  The total for two, not including the mirrors (Mike is a glazier - they break mirrors all the time and there are always scraps for projects like this!) is about $130...for TWO.  You can see how this would appeal to my frugal nature.  Custom pieces, exactly how I want, for less than the cost of one at Pier 1.  That even includes the cost of the Kreg jig, that I don't own.  So the two for my boys would have a final cost of $90.  That would be a grand total of $220 for 4 nightstands.  How can you beat that?!

The plans for this nightstand can be found at Ana White Homemaker  Enjoy her site, she had tons of neat projects for the DIY'er!

Christmas Wreath

I am ambitiously planning the last of my Christmas DIY projects for today.  This first one was super easy!!  I really wanted a wreath for my front door (since we haven't put up a single set of lights outside!) so it's cheery when you come up the walk.  I looked at an array of pre-done wreaths at both Michael's and Hobby Lobby.  There really were some pretty ones at Hobby Lobby, but they had pretty prices too.  I didn't find anything at Michael's that spoke to me.  And really, it's a lot more fun to make my own!

I found the red and white poinsettia at Michael's, and I love them.  I knew I had to have red for my front door.  If I can't have a red door, than I'm going to add red decorations!  But these pretty floral stems were originally $6 a piece.  I really have a hard time justifying a $60 wreath when I haven't finished my Christmas shopping.  Yeah, I know, it's really bad when it's a week until Christmas....anyway, they were finally on sale when I stopped by to pick up the supplies for my daughter's science project last week, so I grabbed 3 of them.  The plain velvet looking poinsettia's were 69 cents a bushel.  The ribbon was a one day 70% off sale.  So all said and done, this particular wreath was about $17 to make, including the grapevine wreath.  It could have been a little less, if I'd brought my 40% off coupon with me, but I knew I didn't want to go back, so I just bought it.

I really think it looks lovely on the front door!!

Christmas Kitchen Updates

Modern Nutcrackers
I really like how the nutcrackers turned out!!  I need to make some improvements on the topiary jars, but it's coming along nicely....
Fabric Christmas Tree

Fabric Tree 

the bay window...
I'm picking up the bistro set for the kitchen this week, which will make the bay window look less...lonely.  The fabric Christmas tree has two more that go with it, a red one and a white felt one.  The big topiary jar needs to have the gold balls switched out for silver and more filler in the smaller jar on the right.  Other than that, it's all coming together!  I still want to make the ribbon poinsettia from the last post.  But all in all, it's almost done!

The Tree

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Christmas Crafting

The only decorating I've been doing these past few weeks is for Christmas!!

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year.  I like to decorate any room I can get my hands on.  Each year, I try to add 2-3 new things to my overall look.  This updates it a little, keeps the cost low, and let's me remove things that may have become dated or no longer match the decor.

This year it's a little more challenging.  As you may recall, I changed my color scheme in the family room.  Originally, I was going to buy all new ornaments to match the new color scheme, as well as add some new pieces.  I also need to buy a new artificial tree, as mine finally died last year.  Except all new ornaments gets quite spendy.  Add the new tree, and it would have been several hundred dollars to get the look that I was really going for.  Which I don't have.  So, I took down my artwork and things that gave the room it's new color palette, and put up all my stuff from the formal living room.  The snowmen theme we used in the den last year has been moved to the powder room (we don't have a den in this house).  The nutcrackers have been dispersed between the dining room and family room, and it's really the kitchen I'm concentrating on updating.  

Yes, I said the kitchen.

Apothecary Jar Inspiration 
This room I can make the most changes to for the least amount of money.  I don't think I've posted pictures yet, but the color palette in there is black and white.  White counters and cabinets, black appliances, and white wooden blinds.  I got lucky, because this matched my existing decor really well.  I put up my black wrought iron roosters, hung up my red valances from our CA house, and even had room for my black wrought iron bakers rack my best friend gave me several years.  We have a glass and wrought iron bistro set picked out at Garden Ridge for the bay window area.  These are all things I can't really change, so I had to think about how to make it more Christmas-y.  I started with red poinsettia garland that I've had for awhile.  It was easy to drape it over the windows (I love command adhesive hooks to keep it where I want it!!).  I then trolled surfed the internet for ideas for my apothecary jars.  That was a fairy easy design concept to find. I bought some inexpensive filler at Michael's on sale to fill the smaller jars, and I have the Christmas bulbs to use on the larger jar.  I even have ribbon that I bought some time in the past to layer with if I choose.  You can see the inspiration picture above.  

Satin Ribbon Wreath
I also knew I wanted a wreath of some type.  Not a garland wreath though.  I knew that wouldn't match the modern look I was going for in this particular room.  I found this wonderful satin ribbon wreath on Bliss Bloom Blog and new it was exactly what I was looking for.  She gives excellent directions on making this, and it's on my to-do list for sometime in the next two weeks. I see myself using a lot of 40% off coupons for Hobby Lobby over the next few weeks, so that I can stretch my budget.  Did I mention that I allotted myself a total of $100 for new holiday decor for the whole house?!  So I definitely need to stretch every single dollar...

I have two more projects for the kitchen, and I think I'll call it good for this year!  The first is some small Christmas trees to put on my bakers rack.  I have MANY ideas on this one, so I'm not sure yet what's going to make the final cut.  Definitely two trees will be made from some red toille fabric and some black toille fabric.  I think I need a white tree to balance that out, and I found some great ideas.  I want everything to have that clean and modern look to go with the black and white, so I'm trying to avoid anything that has a country look to it.  Keeping in my that clean look I'm going for, I found these on modern nutcrackers on a web site this week, that I love.  Very different from my ample collection, and I really like how it would carry the look from room to room, even though the color scheme is so different.  Again, I take no credit for copying on these.  I found the link and the directions for these on Bliss Bloom Blog as well.  I'm going to mix it up a little by painting them black, and accenting them with silver.  I have three unfinished nutcrackers I picked up at Michael's (all their unfinished crafts were 50% off this week!) this week, and one in my collection that was damaged in the move, that I'm going to use for this. 

I'm very excited about these projects!!  I plan to have the nutcrackers and the tree's completed this weekend, so stay tuned for some photo updates!

A Bedroom

So here's a quick shot of my daughters room.  Savor it, as it will never be this clean again...

As you can see, we copied the loft bed idea from Pottery Barn (this is my go to place for inspiration!).  My husband still needs to build the bookcase on the other end, so I didn't bother to include it in the photo.  You can see the desk I blogged about here in person.  It really fits perfectly in this space under her bed...almost as if I had planned!!  Well I did, lol, but not this desk per say.  It was purchased after the desk was made.

The walls, if you will recall, were already lavender when we moved in.  Personally, I was sick of pink, my daughters favorite color, so this was a great excuse to update her room a little.  I purchased the aqua velour comforter from Target on sale.  The throw pillows, which I didn't have a hope of photographing since that bed is NOT meant for a 5'9" adult, coordinate well since they have the aqua and the lime in them.  You can just see a peak of the curtains in the corner.  They're not the curtains I want.  I have the curtains I want...somewhere...in a box.  Yep, story of my life.  I got these at Garden Ridge to fill the void because they were inexpensive - $6 - and they do match.  But once I find the other curtains, they'll be switched out.  

I got the desk chair at Target as well, but not the same day I bought the comforter.  Not for lack of trying mind you.  But they were out of every color except orange (which I'm not wishing I had grabbed for my youngest sons room, but oh well...).  Luckily for me, I'm a frequent Target shopper, and when I came back a few weeks later, this one was in the clearance section.    I got the two coordinating white boards (the other one is to right of the pin board) and the pin board on clearance at Kohl's.  There's also an aqua lamp clipped up top to her bed for reading, but again, you'll just have to take my word. :-)  The lamp in the photo is turned on for a better picture, but in real life, it's a nice soft lime color.  Aqua and Lime were my coordinating colors for the lavender, and all three colors are in the throw pillows as well.

Things I still need to get:
  1. Floor mat - one of those clear vinyl ones for desks.  I do not want the floors torn up by the chair, although it seems fine right now
  2. Book case - my husband is going to custom fit one for the loft bed itself, just like the inspiration bed
  3. Art work - this will be one of a kind, because my daughter is creating her own artwork.  I really loved that idea!
That's IT!!!  Clearly, the most put together room.  Once the artwork is done and the bookcase is complete, I'll do more photographing.  But I'm very pleased with how this came out.  Here are some photo's of the original inspirations for the bed and a picture of the comforter:

The Bed

the bed undecorated!

Still Inching Along...

Living Room
Today we finally got some more things done around the house.  I don't have a lot of photo's to post of what was done, because it was miscellaneous things in each room.  Again.   But there's not much I can do as we continue to clear out boxes from the garage and put stuff up as we find it.  Did I mention I may never move again after this?!

Here's a photo of my living room.  I put a lot of the fall decor today.  It was raining all day, and it was lovely to have the windows open to the cool air while putting up fall decorations.  It almost felt like fall.  Fall for Houston anyway!

So this is a floral arrangement that I did for the mantle.  It looks prettier in person, but this was the best photograph of it I could get.  I have quite a few more pumpkins to put up.
Fall Flor

We made a decision on the pillow choices!!  This is the one that was the closest to the Pier 1 pillow we found that hubby loved. It's the greens and blues that appeal to him.  Of course, it doesn't actually match my fall decor, but fall won't last forever (I'm already planning Christmas decorating!) and it feels good when you walk in the room - or so my kids say!  Usually the cornucopia goes on the dining room table, but I have another floral piece there, and I was to lazy to move things around.  So I didn't...

Another shot of the mantle.  Notice the glass vase on the left?  I got it at Kirkland's today on sale!  Even my husband noticed that the one on the right really left the mantel feeling off balanced (note to self, less HGTV for hubby...).  This one doesn't match perfectly - the other one is a hurricane lamp from Party Lite that matches the sconces by the shelf - but the shape is similar, and I think they work well together.  Mike has promised we will get some type of audio pier "soon" so that I don't have them cluttering the mantle.  There are other things I want more though, like a bistro set for the kitchen, so it may be awhile before they come down.  Again, I can live with these for awhile longer.
The final photo, with the cat sitting on the sofa.  Because no home is complete without a kitty lounging around!


Choice 1
I had posted a lovely pillow I found at Pier 1 Imports on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago.  I had picked out a nice paprika and copper color scheme for our family room and was really excited about it.  I took Mike with me to Pier 1 to look at some curtains in person (because they always look different online!) that we ultimately didn't like, when he found the pillow in question.  

Now you have to know.  My husband has made only one decorating request of me in the past 14 years.  When it came time to buy new sofas four years ago - the first new sofa's we'd ever purchased together since we'd been married - he asked me to NOT buy a brown sofa.  Any other color was fine.

Ahem.  I'm sure you're noticing the brown sofa in these photo's.  Yes, the very same one I purchased knowing that he asked for anything but brown.  Oops.  In my defense, the sofa I really coveted was aqua.  Which would have been lovely for all of a year
Choice 2
and then I would have been ridiculously tired of it.  So I really did make a much better choice.  He really does love this sofa now and how versatile it is.  So ultimately, it worked out very well.

Back to the pillows.  When he saw this other pillow and said he really liked the colors - that were completely different than what I had been envisioning - I felt that I needed to let him have some say!

Ultimately, we're not buying the Pier 1 pillows.  I need at least 3 (and I'd really like to have closer to 5) for the sofa due to the size, and at $35 a pillow, that is a steep investment for throw pillows.  So we were at Garden Ridge last week, and we found these two pillows that we both really liked.  The color schemes are similar, except for the coppery orange in the second pillow.  But it's the blues and greens that Mike is drawn to, so they both really work.  Now we need to decide which pillow will actually look best, because it will be the foundation of the color scheme for the rest of the room.

More to come...

The Dining Room

 Finally, some progress!

This, of course, is the dining room.  It is much more spacious than the one we had at the last house.  The doors you see to the right in the first photo is the sliding door to the sun room.  I'm not sure if I'm going to put up a valance at the top.  It's a big ugly sliding door.  A French door would look so much nicer.  But I'm not springing for that!!

The table runner.  I LOVE the table runner.  I found it at Garden Ridge when I was 'just looking'.  It was $10, and I would have gladly paid more because it matches that table cloth really well.  The table cloth was a splurge.  This dining room table was a set we bought used almost two years ago.  The top of it is awful and needs to be refinished (yep, another project) put I've been buying vinyl table cloths at Walmart which are more kid friendly anyway.  But they never hold up!  OK, they're cheap, I get it.  But I go through 3-4 in a year. So I was at Bed Bath & Beyond when I found this one.  

It looks like a real fabric table cloth. But it's scrubbable like a vinyl.  With four kids, really, it's just the  most practical.  By itself, its...well...ugly, lol.  But I knew I would be putting it with a table runner or maybe place mats.  And it was the color palette that really drew me because I knew it would work well with my color scheme.

OK, the missing things (because I don't actually have a single room in my house completely decorated, ugh!)
  • sconces - I'm going to use the brushed bronze set I had in my formal living room at the.  
  • Curtains - or valances?!  I'm not sure.  You can really see how ugly that slider is in this photo.
  • Art work - um...there's no wall space.  So for the most part, I'm going to skip it.  I have a really cute roost wall plaque I forgot to photograph, that's up.  But I'm thinking that may be it.  Unless I take my rooster print from the kitchen in our home in CA and put it over the desk.  Which you can't see in these photos because it's covered in clutter but I'll make sure to photograph later
  • The center piece - I didn't take a close up, because it's missing the decorator sand that goes in the vase.  It's missing because I have no clue as to which box its in.  A very common theme right now..
A parting shot.  It's definitely coming along!

Inching Along

So I'm still working on EVERY room in the house .  I went to Garden Ridge this Sunday and found a FABULOUS throw pillow for my bed.  I kid you not, you'd think it was part of my bedroom set. Which had coordinating pillows available.  At an additional cost of $30 and $45 each.  Um...no thanks.  This rectangular pillow was $15 and looks fabulous.  I'm waiting for the black body pillow cover to come in to complete the the pillow transformation, and I need to pick up the Euro pillows I never bothered with before.  Mike found the black bed skirt (yeah hubby!!) so that's in place.  End table are still desperately needed, as are new lamps for the end tables.  I might have found some good options at Garden Ridge as well.  I plan to go back tomorrow with my pillow shams to visualize a little better.

In the living room, the artwork has arrived.  It doesn't fit in a single frame I own :(  However, I realized those dark wooden frames are really...too dark for this room.  When we get our next family photo's done, I'll order a BIG one, mat and frame it, and use it in the stair well.  The stair well is my answer to a lot of odds and ends with pictures.  I'm going for an eclectic look.  Trust me, it's definitely that.  I also picked up some shears to match the other two windows, and found a great coordinating rod for $15.  Excellent.  Except I forgot that this window is much larger than the other two.  So I need to pick up two more.  $5 each, so no complaints there.

I have drapes for my daughter's room.  Really cute, really awesome, really I-got-them-for-a-steal (and bought them because of the price, knowing I didn't really have much use for them) drapes.  I saw them when we cleaned out the garage at the other house.  I commented how PERFECT they would be for my daughter's room.  Absolutely no clue where they are, even after cleaning out a huge portion of the garage.  So I got some fill in drapes.  Cute, with lavender and lime polka dots.  They'll work until I find what I know I have!  She still needs a bookcase (desperately) and a desk chair, but we're coming along nicely in there...aside from the mess of a 13 year old child...

The most complete (and surprisingly clean) room is my youngest son.  Not sharing a room suits him very well.  His first poster about the solar system arrived last week with the living room art.  I'm headed to Michael's tomorrow to get a frame (they have a great sale going on this week!!) and maybe something for the prints in the living room.

I finally found a bistro set that I like for the kitchen at a price I'm willing to pay.  Seriously, sometimes I feel SO cheap.  But I refuse to spend $$$ on things I know will could get damaged by kids.  

I've decided I want horizontal storage bins above my desk, on the wall, same height as my hutch.  Again, I'm not willing to pay for pre-made ones that won't hold up (because they're cheap) or the Pottery Barn ones that I know will look beautiful, but are ridiculously expensive (even if the kids won't be able to reach them).  I'm thinking that while Mike is making my oldest son a matching bed frame, I might start a project!!

No photo's today.  Nothing is complete, and I'm tiring of posting unfinished rooms.  But soon...!!!

Splurge vs. Reality

While decorating my new home, I definitely have to keep in mind The Budget.  In a perfect world, I wouldn't have one.  I would find my inspiration, buy it, and be done.  But that's not going to happen to me any time soon unless I win the lottery (note to self, remember to actually buy a lottery ticket!).  

The internet is a wonderful tool because it allows you to really "see" what's out there and get some great design inspiration.  Someone recently told me they never go to the pricier web sites because it's depressing.  I have to say, I don't agree at all!  I love snoop shopping on designer web sites.  I love getting beautiful catalogs.  They're great for getting the idea, and then copying it for a lot less.

For example, here are two sets dishes:

Aside from the cup an saucer in the second photo, these dishes, for all intent and purpose, are the same.  They are similar in style, and are the same size.  The first set is from World Market.  A set of four dinner plates will cost you $15.96.  The second set is from William & Sonoma.  The same four plates have a cost of $80.   Needless to say, I own the dishes from World Market.  And when my kids drop one (and then two!) I go down and buy another set of four without crying.  Much more practical and I get the same affect.

Do you remember my post Fall Updates?  I found those beautiful pumpkins at Horchow that I absolutely fell in love with.  But not the $375 price tag!  Sometimes I can copy something that I love for a much better price.  The pumpkins were $2 each and the bag of crystals was $10.  This year I plan to add several more (and more crystals to the two in the photo - that was all that Hobby Lobby had that day!)  So about $25 by the time I'm done. That's a price I can live with!

One really great way to help copy more expensive looks is Pinterest, which I shared in my last post.  I can grab photo's of beautiful, high end things or looks, and then search until I've found or duplicated what I love. I have several boards for different purposes, and I love them.

Take for example, my new desk.  I knew I had to have a smaller desk.  This new house, while larger, no longer has a dedicated office space (the first time in 12 years, HUGE change for me!!).  So I knew I needed something functional and practical, that would fit in a small space.  I looked, and pinned, a LOT of desks.  Not just desks, but office looks.  And then I narrowed it down.  The corner desk that I really liked?  Out.  No corners in my house to one in!  Another desk was lovely with lots of cubbies and storage, something I could really use, but it was BIG.  Too big for my small space.

Here was one of my inspiration looks:
And here is what I actually bought:
Is it exactly the same?  Nope.  But the first desk is $400 for the desk and $250 for the hutch.  Total cost of $650.  The desk I bought was $120 and the hutch was $70.  Actually, I got both pieces on sale for $120 with a coupon - shop smart!!  The new desk fits perfectly in my space, and my filing cabinet (on sale at Staples for $40 a few years back) has the same finish, so it looks like I purchased a matched set!

So don't avoid high end catalogs or web sites for your ready to decorate or update your space!


Yes, I'm addicted.  To see all my photo's and inspiration for creating my house, here are some links to my boards:
Tori's Room
JT's Room
The Living room - there is a lot of stuff here because I didn't have a clear design concept...until TODAY!  I'm going to leave it all up to surprise you with which direction I chose, lol...

Of course there's more...there always is!!

The Desks!

So my kids desks arrived today.  Mike got them assembled and put in their rooms in record time.  

There are no pictures.  Yet.  I know, I'm behind.  But I'm still unpacking.  And doing some minor re-decorating. And working full time.  School has started.  Scouting is back full time.  I think you get the picture.

Back to these desks.

Tori's Desk
First of all, I LOVE them.  Seriously, these are really great desks. They're compact, which is always good for a bedroom.  They're very sturdy, a MUST when you have kids.  They look very modern and clean, which is perfect for the style of my kids rooms.  The one for my daughters room is clear glass.  Her laptop will fit nicely, as does the lamp.  Because her room is lavender, with turquoise and lime green accents, I wanted something that wouldn't compete with the color.  This desk compliments everything perfectly and gives her plenty of working space. 

My son's desk is almost identical, accept the glass top is a really nice opaque blue (I almost said lovely - not a word he would want associated with his desk!).  He has a great space themed quilt that I bought on eBay, and this blue compliments this.  We're not painting at this house (I know, I think that's the biggest shocker, but I love the downstairs color, and Tori's room was already lavender, so I'm just going with what's in the kids rooms upstairs...) so I knew I needed some pops of color, without it being too bright.  Here's a preview of the quilt:
Space Quilt

You want to know what I also love about these desks?  They were only $45 EACH on sale at...WALMART.  Yes, the store I never shop at.  Except when I am looking for affordable curtains (living in rental homes, I don't spend a lot of money on windows that I may not have for long term!).  I was hesitant because...well...I don't find their furniture to be very good quality.  Great for temporary use, but really not conductive to an active family.  But the reviews were really good, so I decided to chance it.  I'm really glad I did!!

Target had some desk chairs in great coordinating colors, but they were sold out when I went today.  I'll have to check back to see if they get any more in stock.  

Once the curtains are up, and the rooms are a little more accessorized (or in Tori's case, I can take a photo without wading through all her junk on the floor) I'll post some photo's.  But I still have artwork and accessories left to purchase, so it may be a little while longer.  

Yes, you are seeing a common theme here lately...half done rooms, ugh!

The Bedroom

I want to start this post by letting you know the bedroom is NOT done.  But I had enough requests to "see" some of the updates I've done, so here's a quick peak:


Now some things that will change:  
  1. the aqua body pillow will need to be replaced (have to have one for watching TV).   ****UPDATE**** I found a black microfiber pillowcase cover for the body pillow on eBay, so check one more thing off my to do list!  8/28/2011
  2. The black bed skirt isn't on the bed yet, so you can see the mattress (which is going to be replaced in the months to come too).  When I find the box it's in, it will be on!  ***UPDATE*** found the bed skirt and it's now too!  Yeah, maybe new photo's to post soon!! 9/23/2011
  3. End tables.  There are none right now.  We found a set at Ikea that match the headboard, which I love, but I have to go back and get them and the matching table that the TV will go on.   That's another photo...
  4. Lamps - I realized after watching my favorite designer on TV that the scale of my lamps is all wrong.  I need bigger lamps, particularly now that I have higher ceilings.  ***UPDATE***  I found 2 fabulous lamps at Kirkland Home that are now in the room!!!  10/18/2011
  5. Area rug - the tile is great now that it's summer, but when the colder months come, I'm going to want something warm and cozy under my feet.  So I'm shopping for the right rug...what that is, I don't yet...
  6. Art work - I have none right now.  What I had before won't work plus the humidity got to them while they sat in the garage last year.  The frames will work, but I need new prints and probably mats.
  7. Euro pillows - I have shams for them, might as well get one or two to complete the bed!
So, updates to come!

A Diamond in the Rough

I look at these photo's, and I am SO excited at the all the POTENTIAL I see here!!  Yes, I'm down a room (or two, since I don't have a dedicated office now) but I've increased my space, and I think this floor plan and layout are much more open and family friendly.

For example, I love the high ceilings here and in the master bedroom.  Right now our family room always feels stuffy and hot.  We have a high ceiling, and a good ceiling fan, but because the room is attached to the kitchen, the walls really retain the heat.  Also, it is the room that gets full afternoon sun.  Great for winter, when you need the extra bit of sun to warm up the room.  Not so great in the summer, when you bake alive if you don't have the blinds and curtains drawn.  Because of the sun room attached to the side of the house, this room doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight.  And I am really good with that!
    Speaking of sun rooms, here it is.  I love that there is real tile flooring.  Right now this is just a screened in room.  Great for keeping bugs out for dinners on the patio.  Not so great for keeping the elements out.  I think we're going to put plexi glass up in the winter so we can still enjoy the space year round.
 Ah, the kitchen. 
 This is probably my favorite room in the house.  Yes, really.  I'm going from a cramped, galley style (actually, I like a galley style, I just don't like THIS particular kitchen) to a very well functioning L shaped kitchen!  I'm going to buy a small bistro set so I can have coffee and read my newspaper in here.  I'm going to be able to put all of my rooster stuff back in here.  The kitchen is really the heart of my home.  And the counter space!!  Enough said.
 OK, I don't gain much space in the master bedroom per say, but I still like it better.  It's downstairs, off of the family room.  It has vaulted ceilings and a ceiling fan, so hopefully I'll sleep much cooler!  I'm not sure about the tiled floors.  I think I'm going to be investing in a large area rug, but I can deal with that.  The closet is HUGE, so that's a definite plus.
 But the bathroom.  Ahh, the bathroom, that's what really works for me here in the master bedroom!  First of all, the light from the vanity will no longer be shining in my eyes in the morning since my bed will no longer face the sink.  YEAH!!!  And then there's the tub.  The jacuzzi, jetted tub.  LOVE it.  Dual vanities, also a plus. 
 There's a glass block shower to the left of the vanity.  Not so exciting for me, but I like separate tub and showers.  The toilet faces the shower.  A little odd, but while there is no door, it does have it's own small enclave, and I can't see it from the tub, so I can live with it.  It's such a spacious bathroom size wise!
 The entryway from the inside.  I love how much natural light there is.  I just had the power turned on Friday, so I haven't seen it with the lights on yet, but I'm sure the entry way light will look pretty too.  Because I'm a girl, and it's all about the pretty factor for me!
The view from the family room.  This is where you can see where my dining room and desk area will be.  The dining room does not have vaulted ceilings, but I'm good with that.  The space is open enough that even with my small hutch and the desk, it shouldn't feel cramped.  And the dining room table with have a nice separation of space for the two rooms, without closing it off.  To the right is the staircase for upstairs, a powder room, and the laundry room.  Nothing spectacular, so no photo's of that.  When the space is all decorated, THEN I might add a few photo's of those areas, lol. 

An Office Desk

So the move is scheduled for this week.  As with any move, I'm also purging 'stuff' that hasn't been used since the last move (a clear indication that I move too much!!) or won't work in the new home.  

Take for example, my computer work space.  It has evolved with each home we've lived in.  When we bought our first home, it was a beautiful, oak, L-shaped desk. It held the BIG monitor, had a cabinet for the CPU, space for the printer, and best of all WORK space.  But then we moved out of that home to a smaller home.  That big desk had no place, so we sold it, and I bought a computer cabinet to put everything in.  It worked great in our subsequent homes.  Except it's still really designed for the old style, monster monitors.  And really, it has seen better days.  It also, most definitely, does not work in my new home.

So this is what I have paired down to.  It's so cute.  It's so...LITTLE!  It will work perfect with  my flat screen monitor.  That little drawer in the front? No, that's a keyboard tray!  Since I will no longer have a dedicated office (yes, it was a give and take when it came to choosing a home this go around) I needed something that will not get cluttered - aka, something that doesn't have a lot space for everyone to dump on!  But it does have a nice space to store a note pad and pen out of site, something I always need.  And it matches the filing cabinet that I already own (and need to better organize since right now it's filled with JUNK, ugh!).  I really try to work with what I have, so it's definitely a bonus.

I'm still looking at some more storage organization options, but I'm not sure what the best choice is going to be.  Since the new home is a 2-story, we have a nice storage space under the stairs.  Most likely it will hold my Christmas stuff (yes, I'm already contemplating decorating the house for Christmas...) but I'm also thinking it will hold my sewing stuff for easier access.  We shall see!

Is on the move!

That's about the point that I'm at right now.  As you saw from the last photo's, I finally got my red door.  And I got to enjoy for a solid week.  And then my landlords informed me they are moving back to the US.  Into MY home.  And by the way, I'll be moving...again...

Not to worry though!  This simply means more decorating dust as I move our family into a new (and bigger!!) home within the next 3 weeks.  We're just waiting to hear on the final approval (should be later this week) and then it's on to the next project!  Most likely, not a red door but at least I can say I've had one now!

How about a teaser of the potential house?!

Yeah, I'm really thinking I have a lot to work with here!!