Thursday, April 29, 2010

visual aid...

Let's face it, some of us just have a hard time visualizing sometimes. My sweet hubby is in this category. Sometimes when I try to explain a "vision" I have for a project or room, he has a really hard time seeing where I'm trying to take him.

We've been thinking about paint around here. Today is our 6 month house-iversary and the only room I've painted so far is my baby boy's room. The family room is on my radar right now, it's driving me nuts. Here's what's going on...

I have a handful of ideas and my hubby was having a hard time seeing it, so I made a quick example in photoshop tonight...

ah, so much better. I wish it was that easy and it was already finished.

I'm going for a warmer tone on the walls, trimmed windows, larger darker mantle, more rustic detail, white ceilings.

Here's the other idea I have swimming around in my head...
This is the living room:

also on the driving me crazy list. Don't be bothered by those fabric scraps on the couch, that's what I'm thinking about for pillows.

And don't make fun of my mad photoshop skills, this was the best I could do in a quick way and I didn't want to sacrifice the time perfection would have cost, so we get what we get...

In case you can't tell (you can't??) that's board and batten style wainscoting, it's going to go 2/3 of the way up the wall, like this:

and there is already a pretty crown molding at the top, color is subject to vary of course, but I'm thinking a soft grayish-greenish-blue. And the lamp... not committed yet, I just randomly chose it.

What do ya think??

The good news is now the Hubs can see it, and he likes it, so we're forging ahead. It was a big "ah ha" moment for us... I like it when that happens.

As though I needed an extra project. I'm in the throes of a slip covering a chair, haven't started my upholstery project yet, have the master bedroom and my big boy's room halfway put together (even though I promised myself to go room by room) I think I have decorating ADD.

so this won't be done as soon as I would like, this weekend is also the arbor day tree sale in my little town and we're headed out to buy and plant some good trees (probably all day) because we don't have a single plant or tree on this lot yet... unless clover and dandelion and crabgrass count as a plant! :)
(Did I mention we are also landscaping?) :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

fabric day!

"Hallo... It's fabric day!"
(As said by FRONK from one of my favorite movies, Father of the Bride Part 2)

I announced this to my husband  one day last week when he came home from work (yes, of course I said it in my Fronk voice). I had taken the boys out fabric shopping and I came home with loads of sample pieces.

(Note to self: fabric shopping + 1 three year old + 1 [almost] two year old= chaos.)

This is what I'm planning on doing with all of this fabric:

I picked this chair and ottoman up from a classified ad. ($30 for the set!)

I've been looking for a re-upholstery candidate  for over a month now and was delighted to find this one, it's in great shape, the cushions and frame are all good, it just has faded fabric and a tear in the ottoman. I plan on teaching myself how to upholster on this baby. I'll let you know how that goes.:)

I love it's shape, and it's a good size for my living room. The couch in that room is kind of off white:

So I'm deciding between those fabric choices (or something completely different) for the chair. I don't want a "stuffy" formal living room. I want it to be casual and inviting.

Any opinions on these fabric choices? Which ones do you like the best?

My other ongoing project right now is the master bedroom.

Here's what I've come up with for fabrics:

All of this will be against the backdrop of my white duvet cover.

Here's where I'm going with it:

I have most of it pulled together and was really hoping to get some sewing done, but my hubby has been out of town on business so it's just me holding down the fort with my little guys. (I don't know how single moms and dads do it, but those of you who do are AMAZING! I don't think I would do it very well, it's hard hard work!)

On this fabric hunting expedition, I also found all of these!

discontinued sample fabrics at JoAnn. They are already surged and the perfect size for pillow forms. All you have to do is attach two of them together or use a different fabric you already have as a backer.

And at $2, that makes for a pretty inexpensive and easy pillow form!

Now I just need to get sewing (and upholster-ing!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

give my shutters some love!

They're up!

And to refresh all of our memories, here is the outside of the house when we first saw it... no wonder it sat empty for a while!

the shutters where pretty much the same color as the stucco. The door mostly glass, a kind of spider-webby design. It didn't fit the style of the house or the neighborhood.

When I showed my hubby the MLS picture of this house he was not impressed, and he thought I was kind of nuts that I wanted to come and see it. We had some cute houses on our list.
Like this little cutie:

But the neighborhood just didn't feel right. And we had made that mistake once before. What I really wish is that I could have picked this house up and moved it to this neighborhood. I still mourn for this house. I really loved it. The craftsman style, the white trim, the fact that it was green clap board and shingle style siding (with board and batten style on the sides and back) and not stucco... Anyway, we really wanted a neighborhood with lots of kids, and that just wasn't happening there.

So let's shake that house out of our heads, shall we?? :)

We knew this was the right house for us before we even saw the inside. we drove the neighborhood and saw kids and families all over the place, an amazing park with a creek and tall trees, and lots of trails and green space... the first time we walked the neighborhood, we met so many friendly neighbors who where so welcoming. We felt like we were buying the neighborhood more than the house. We decided to make up for what the house was lacking with a lot of hard work.

A few weeks after moving in, I painted the shutters black with paint we already had from our old house. It looked better, but when we replaced the door it bugged me to have black shutters with the chestnut colored door...

Thus the shutter building project.

First off, I'm pretty proud of myself... I built them 90% all by myself. I had the hubbs cut a few of the pieces of wood once I got going to hurry things along, but I did everything else sans man-powers.

Hubby was proud. It turns him on when I use power tools.

He did do most of the work with hanging them, though. And that turned out to be a hard job.

Mostly, I'm pretty happy with the result. They make the house look a little more cottage-y and a little more rustic craftsman-y (yep, I just made those terms up.)

We took one down right after we got them up on Saturday, it needed some tweaking. The stones are uneven and it's been really hard to make it look perfect where they are mounted on the stone.

Here's my advice to anyone attempting something similar:

* note to self: it's really hard to attach anything to stone... the part where the stones where under the shutters took a really long time, and one still needed more work, so we took it down to tweak it a little. The stones are really uneven and making it hang just right has been interesting.

* choose a wood that is the same species as your door (if applicable) so they'll stain up the same.

* hope your hubby is as smart as mine when it comes to hanging things to the outside of your little stucco house. It really was a pain. He tried to do it the hard way, using all of the same holes from the old shutters and making a template for the screws in the new shutters, but the old ones where secured with plastic anchors and many of them broke off in the rock or stucco. In the end, we ended up filling the holes with special stucco filler/sealer and making new ones.

It turned out to be a most-of-the-day Saturday project, so I granted the Hubbs immunity from house projects for a week... he deserves it!

Now my sad little yard looks bare naked. We bought this house without a single tree on the property, all that had been done with landscape is grass in the front yard.

We've got a summer full of planting and yard work ahead of us!

For now, I'm just glad to have these up!

Total cost: about $83.00. I had the stain and everything else on hand, so the wood was the bulk of the cost. Not too shabby!

I'm linking up:


Thursday, April 8, 2010

spring/summer mantle

This fireplace has been my Nemesis. For real. Nothing I've put up there has seemed right. We have 9 foot ceilings, and the fireplace goes up really high, so even for us tall people (I'm 5'10", my hubby is 6'2") the mantle is an awkward height. Most people have to really look up at it to get a good view of the mantle. My other gripes with it are: I feel like the wood is too light, I'm thinking of staining it the color of my front door... and I feel like the stones are too dark, if I had chosen them I would have gone lighter... so basically it's nothing I would have picked, but oh well. It's not horrible and I finally found something that works.

I can't leave a mantle alone for long.

So this may or not make it through spring, but for now, it's working.

I shopped the house for most of this, the old books are just some I've collected over the years, the blue hand print heart card is left from our valentines we made for grandma's this year.

I had the little white B already, just spruced it up with a new coat of paint, and same with the candle stick. It was brown in it's previous life, and it just wasn't doing much for me. The vintage camera was a gift from my grandpa. I've played with putting it in various spots, but I do like it here.

I tried the big B and the smaller B together, but wasn't sure if I loved it, so in the end I split them up.

The canvas prints just lean against the wall. That way when I'm ready for a change I don't have to deal with patching a wall, and I know I'll want a change sooner or later, I really can't leave a mantle alone for very long.

The green B started out black. I found it at Kohls on sale, I can't remember the exact price, but I had a gift card so it was free to me, eh? (It was around $10 or so.) I painted it with my fav Krylon "ivy leaf" the same I used for my containers on my porch.

When I saw this vase at Target for $12 I had to snag it up, I knew it would work perfectly, and when I'm tired of it on the mantle it can go in a lot of other places in the house. Turquoise is, of course, my favorite color. I have little bits of it everywhere.

I staggered things the best I could, the mantle isn't super thick, but it's deep enough.

A few things we have on our project list include trimming these windows, which really are great, but just need more attention, and I'm replacing the blinds with roman shades that my MIL is helping me make. Then there's the painting... and that's just this room... I have a project list long enough to keep me busy for the next 5-6 years here!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He Lives!

Happy Easter, Friends!

Friday, April 2, 2010

spring-y porch

I did a quick and easy porch spring-ification today while my baby napped. My three year old and I swept up the porch, wiped down the bench and spray painted some planter boxes. We put some fresh potting soil and planted some new primroses (on sale at Smiths 2/$6.)

These pots where an insignificant beige hue before they met their spray painted destiny today. They are the composite (kind of foamy light weight) kind. Not real ceramic. I've had them for 3 or 4 years and they just needed something. Don't ya love spray paint? It's good for what ails you. For real.

It's Krylon "Ivy Leaf" I went with a gloss finish because I wanted them to look more like ceramic rather than that foamy stuff. It's a nice pop of color, and it looks especially pretty with the orange and hot pink primroses.
The porch faces north and gets lots of shade, so these will do the trick, I think. The "flowers" in the middle pot are just plastic ones I had left in the garage from decorating last fall... placeholders, if you will, until I decide what else to plant there.

I also mowed the lawn for the first time (not just first this year, but first ever in this house) today (remember, we moved in the day before Halloween, so we've never really known this place with truly green grass... and still don't). There wasn't much to mow, lets just say that, but it was nice to clean up all the dead leaves and winter smooshed dead grass.

This yard needs a whole lot of love.

I see hours and hours of time outside this summer. And I'm okay with that.

Anyway, I missed the smell of cut grass and it really boosted my mood (good thing, since more rain and snow are coming for the weekend.)

It'll have to be enough to get me by until I can finish this:

I'm dying to get these up and check it off my mental list. It drives me crazy not being able to finish something. First it was the weather, and now we're having some complications... the old shutters don't want to come of very easily, so we're going to have to figure something out.

And figure something out we will...