Monday, February 27, 2012

Catching up

No post in three weeks. UGH!

Week 1 - just normal family activity.  While there was a lot I wanted to get accomplished, I don't intend to kill myself in the process, thank you very much.

Week 2 - I had high hopes for this weekend! My husband and two oldest boys were off at camp, so I planned to get a lot done in their absence.  But then my baby was sick with a fever and a bad cold, and he just wanted me to lay with him.  And since it was a weekend, there was no way I was going to not spend time with him! :)

Week 3 - what's that saying about the best laid plans...?  So I had a fantastic "to-do" list for this past weekend.  I was going to knock out 2-3 projects, price a 3rd, and finish up some miscellaneous stuff.  But Saturday my hubby The Builder got called away to work (you know, something that pays the bills and for my projects!).  And then he ended up tweaking a muscle in his back.  Nothing serious, but painful enough to keep him on the sofa all day Sunday.  So no projects completed.  And all my "to-do's" needed some brute strength for assistance, lol.

Soooo, here's what's in the works:

First, I need to finish the ceiling in my laundry room.  We had a leak upstairs in the bathroom and it ruined the ceiling my laundry room.  Not fun, but relatively easy to re-do and I got to update the horrible florescent light box that was the light (rental house, so normally I don't get any options to update light fixtures, although this was the only ugly one in the house, so still not a huge complaint).  

Now the laundry room itself is a problem for me.  It's a very small box.  No windows for natural light.  It barely fits my HE machines with their pedestals.  While I really like the pedestals because they save me from bending over a billion times while doing laundry, I don't actually find them to be practical.  What on earth do you put in them?!

Heidi's Laundry Room.
So I was reading one of my many favorite blogs, Home By Heidi when I came across her post about her laundry room.  She had similar space issues (I think I actually have a slightly smaller space by about a foot) but look at what she did with her machines:

WOW!  I know logically that my machines stack.  I do.  But I guess I never contemplated what it would do for the space!  Now her final space has beautiful built in cabinets, which will not be an option for me in a rental home.  But what I do plan to add is a counter to fold laundry, as well as the space under the counter to store the baskets that the kids bring down and I use for sorting while I'm doing laundry.  To that extent, I'm contemplating another design by Ana White for her Laundry Basket Dresser.  Here's a quick peak at what it looks like:
I won't be using this exact design, my hubby The Builder will need to make some modifications because I have hampers that I use to sort laundry (there are 6 of us, we have a LOT of laundry!).  But then again this may work better for folding and sorting, with each family member having a spot for their clean things when they're folded.  I'll have to give that some more thought.


The Ceiling 
Of course, this now falls in line behind all the other projects that have been put on the back burner.  And really, I can't do anything until I get the ceiling finished.  But as you can see here, I'm in desperate need of space!  Both the washer and dryer doors hit another door, and then there's the cat box in between - NOT a good spot if laundry falls.  Plus the shelf that's there now doesn't have a space to hang up clothes on a hanger.  As you can see in these sad photo's of my laundry room.  Poor Holly Golightly, I'm sure she would not approve of being stuck in this room!  I'm thinking a fresh coat of paint may be in order too.  I really wish I could change the color to add some oomph, but that's one of the drawbacks of a rental property.  I'd love to do some bead board!!  But I'll leave that be.

Yes, cat litter is stored on top of the machine
I lock the dead bolt when I'm doing
laundry so no one accidently opens the
door while I'm doing laundry!
In case you forgot, I still need a media center for my living room, a floating shelf for each boy, picture frames painted, a curtain rod made for my bay window, and subway art for my master bath.  And I'm thinking about recovering my dining room chair seats. Because I'm crazy it seems....

That's it, the whole space from side to side...

But now that I know there's hope, and I have room to store my pedestals elsewhere, I'm thinking that some serious changes are in the works!  Maybe not this coming weekend, since my hubby The Builder still needs to take it easy until his back is all better, but this is definitely my spring project and should be done by the end of the month!  It is the saddest room in the house, although followed closely by the room directly in front of it, the powder room.  But that's another post for another time.  One major project at a time!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Breakfast Nook, take 2

OK, so here is my my breakfast nook you may remember from this post.  It's nice.  It's functional.  It is totally lacking in character!  I've finally located the other curtain valance for the window over the sink - yep, the one no one has seen because I'm embaressed to admit I've had one sill panel on the rod for almost as long as we've lived here - and I'm ready to get The Builder started on an easy project that won't tax his back, which is feeling much better, and I'd like it to stay that way so he can tackle that laundry room this month

So I found this tutorial over at Under The Table and Dreaming and I knew it was exactly what I needed for my bay window.  If you've ever priced curtain rods for a bay window, they're insanely expensive.  But thankfully there are clever people out there who figure these things out, and I'm an avid blog reader who is always looking for new ideas, so it was a perfect fit!

Finial from Lowes
I'm not sure if I'm going to buy pre-made finials for the ends of the rods like I found here at Lowe's, or if I want to make a set life she did in her blog.  But I still have time to think about that.  So my project list includes electrical conduit, matte finish spray paint, and curtain rod holders.  My total budget estimate is:
  • $1.69 - 1/2" x 10 Ft. Electrical Metallic Tube EMT Conduit (what it would cost if I had to buy it - but The Builder can get a few pieces from the electricians on his job for free AND have them crimp it based on the template - how much do I love The Builder?!)
  • $4.97 - Metal Curtain Rod Bracket (x 3)
  • $5 - Krylon paint (which I already own, so no cost to me)
  • $10 pair finial's from Lowes
So for $15 I could have my window ready for curtains!!  Are you wondering how much bay window curtains actually run?  Amazon has a nice set for $54...I think I'll pas, even with my Prime membership... :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another Weekend Project

I know, it's Tuesday, but here I am contemplating a weekend project.  That's because it's a craft project, and a Valentine's Day one at that.  You may have realized already that Valentine's Day is a week from today but that hasn't stopped me from wanting a few more things to decorate my house with for the holiday.  And I have to confess:  I've never really decorated for any holiday other than Christmas.  Oh, I have a few token decorations for my dining room, because I like table runners.  And just one decoration in a room for a holiday looks silly to me.  But aside from a few miscellaneous things?  Nope, no real holiday decoration.

For some reason, this year is different.  Don't ask me why.  Maybe it's all the incredibly talented bloggers that I avidly follow, that have inspired me.  All I know is, I have to make this project before the weekend is up!!

Didn't she do an amazing job?!  I'm always SO impressed with the creativity of other, and even more important, how willing bloggers are to share their amazing ideas!  So make sure to check out My Sister's Suitcase for her tutorial on this awesome project.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Crafting

These apothecary jars sit in the corner of my kitchen.  You may remember seeing them at Christmas time with my black nutcrackers.  They're a fun way to update my kitchen for whatever holiday it is, without having to re-vamp the entire look of the kitchen for the holiday.  I found the pink, red, and white candy corn a couple of years ago, and so I just reuse it each year (and my kids are very aware that it is no longer edible candy!).  I don't remember what I had in the large apothecary jar when we still lived in CA, the last year I decorated my kitchen - the last house we lived in, the kitchen was way to small to have my jars out, so I'm enjoying having them out again!  I was at Michael's this week, and they had some red and pink hearts that I think were meant to go on a valentine's tree.  I really don't have a place to put a tree but I thought they would make great fillers for my apothecary jar.  Now I just need to find the lid to that jar.  It's still in a packing box somewhere - which is not terribly surprising when you consider I still haven't opened all the boxes from when we moved from CA.  And not because I don't really "need" my things.  It's been an issue of space, since we downsized from 2800 sq ft. to 1800 sq ft...but it's all good!

This is the wreath I made for my front door.  I'm sure you've seen this many times on other blogs.  I followed the tutorial on Remodelaholic and I really like how it turned out!  My husband wasn't sure about the bright colors ("It's for Valentine's Day - shouldn't it be, oh I don't know, pink and red?!") but I wanted something a little outside the box.  Which is actually surprising because red is usually one of my favorite colors to decorate with.  I don't know, this color combo just called my name, and so I went with it!  And it could work for Easter, but I won't do that.  I'm enjoying changing things out for each holiday.

I have one more item I worked on this weekend, but it needs a coat of lacquer so I'm going to hold off until later this week when it's actually done!

The Breakfast Nook

A couple of weeks ago, we finally made it down to Garden Ridge to get the bistro set I've been wanting since we moved in.  My kitchen is goo sized, and it has this nice bay window looking into the front yard (another project, since it was nothing but weeds for a lawn when we moved in) and I could see myself sitting there with my coffee and iPad in the morning (I love getting my paper on my iPad, much better than newspaper spread all over - but I digress..).  Now that I have the bistro set, I'm ready to finish up the kitchen.  So here is the starting point:

So, really, not  a bad starting point.  You can see my black wrought iron roosters that frame each side of the bay window.  And the light fixture works for me (which is good since it's a rental house and changing the fixtures isn't very cost effective!).  I just added the pitcher of flowers on the table.  I definitely need to get more stems, as they look fairly anorexic right now, but I love the pop of red from the poppies, and it's a color I intend to continue on as the accent in the kitchen.

If you are sitting at the bistro table looking away from the bay window, you've got a ring side seat for my L shaped kitchen.  Of which there is absolutely nothing to see right now.  Bland counter tops, black and stainless appliances (actually, I like that a lot!), white cabinets, and a nice window in front of the sink that has potential, but is currently...bland. And please ignore the weird halo in the center of the photo's.  I cleaned my lens before I took and I clearly missed a spot or something!  And the walls don't have this much yellow in them.  Think about the color of foam on top of a mocha at Starbucks.  That's about the color of my kitchen. But it doesn't photograph well, so it looks more beige-ish.  

OK, things I plan to change.  First, curtain panels in the bay window.  While the white wooden blinds are nice, they lend to the overall bland feel of the kitchen.  Maybe if they were plantation shutters, I'd feel differently.  Maybe.  Probably not!  And I don't want a heavy drapery. That's actually a small space with the bistro set there and I don't want it to make that side of the room off balanced.  So just some simple panels.  I'm thinking one on each end and one in between the each window.  

Habitat Cherry
Piastrelle Vapor
I'd also like to re-upholster the seats.  Microfiber is practical, but the tan color doesn't work for me.  I'm still contemplating fabric choices.  I'm going with a French Country feel for the kitchen, to keep it from looking to modern (essentially the kitchen is black and white with some stainless steel accents - and modern is not the feel I want for my kitchen).  I sort of like this print, Habitat Cherry.  While the colors might work, I'm afraid it doesn't have quite the French Country feel I'm looking for.  Although at $7.69 a yard, it's certainly cost effective!  I think the second one, Piastrelle Vapor, might work too, although I'm worried about the white background.  It's $11.19 a yard for this one, and I only need one yard for each chair, so still affordable in my book.  And I really, really love So Silhouette Tuxedo.  I'm just afraid it would be straying back to the modern look I'm trying to avoid.  Still, I have to say that it's my favorite of the three choices.  There are a couple of other options I might consider, but I think I'm going to start with swatches so I can see what it's actually going to look like in my room.  Technically, none of them have the actual French Country look, so I'm still looking for other options (that won't cost $30-$40  a yard!)

And a rug?  Maybe?  I'm not sure I want to have to worry about vacuuming a rug in the kitchen.

As always, more to come!


So Silhouette