Friday, January 28, 2011

Obligatory snow photos

Yeah, I am so over the snow. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to dig out yesterday. John did most of the heavy work. The snow was extremely saturated and wet, not the light fluffy stuff!

The piles on either side of the driveway are above our shoulders as it is an accumulation of snow from Christmas through now. It is impossible to park in front of our house or put out the garbage. There is just no more room!

In areas, the snow was thigh or even waist-high. I had to wade through our backyard to get dirt out of the shed to create traction for our tires, which were spinning out of control the first time we tried to move it.

By the way, more snow this weekend and next Wednesday!

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

That's what I'm talkin' about...

Since I am stuck at home we all win today! Without further ado, the great unveiling of the fireplace-built-in-book-shelf-glass-cabinet-wall:

And now, a step-by-step of how we got there...

This is what we were working with the day we moved in:
Notice the original floors, which were very worn down. We replaced with a new layer of red oak, stained and polished a dark espresso brown, and never looked back.

Then we painted the trim, walls and brick. And we stopped. It looked like this for about a year:
Yeah. I know.

So last weekend it was time.

First I assessed the hardware:

Everything was brassy and shiny.

I removed each piece and taped them to a piece of cardboard. I placed everything in such a way that I would remember where each screw came from. The purpose was to put every screw, hinge, lock back in place in the same hole. I'm not sure this was necessary, but figured it wouldn't hurt:

Next I went to Lowe's to find a metallic spray paint that would tone down the brassy finish. In a perfect world, I would have replaced all the hardware with chrome, but I wanted a quick fix with minimum work and money involved. I decided to get some metallic Rust-oleum spray paint in the dark "Rubbed Bronze" finish. I went with a darker look because I thought it would be more realistic to give the hardware a dark bronzed appearance, than try to find a chrome finish spray paint. I am also planning to use dark bronzed hardware for the adjoining dining room draperies, so keeping the same finish ruled out chrome.

So I sprayed a few very thin, quick coats on the hardware and let it dry:

Next I taped the glass cabinets and laid them on a drop cloth:

The next few steps involved a lot of priming, a LOT of caulking (caulking is KEY!!!), and a couple of coats of Semi-Gloss Ben in Decorator's White. It was all very boring, but surprisingly left me very sore for days.

Then we put everything back:

And one more time:


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bookshelf Styling

Ok, I can't believe it is Wednesday and I am still working on this bookshelf thing! I am almost done, but I still need to paint the insides of the doors, and all the glass has 85 year-old stain around the edges that needs to be scraped off (I know, great, great fun to be had by all).

But the good news is I might be able to finish the unglamorous part tonight, with a little elbow grease and a little help from John.

In the meantime I will show you the most perfectly-styled bookcases. I have ever seen. In my life.

All the black and white things! And the piles of books! And the subtle colors! Love love love!!!

And this shelf is actually a LACK from IKEA. I own one and it looks cute, but not nearly as inspiring as this bad boy. I think this photo is from our dearly departed Domino. More piles of books! Art prints! Perfection!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Long long weekend...

Another reference image for my annoying project.
I likey - minus the tchotckes. And granny chair. And painting.

I did it; painstakingly took apart our built-ins, and tackled them with a paintbrush all weekend. See here for before pictures. It still needs another coat of paint. I am going for a clean look like the all-white corner pictured above.

And our dining room and living room are both in a state of flux. And I keep hitting my head on the underside of our chandelier (isn't that always the case?).

But it was definitely the right decision! Photos to follow soon...

Friday, January 21, 2011

a WHITER SHADE of pale

How awful are these shades? Almost the most embarrassing, disgusting mess in our house:
Finally, FINALLY, I ordered new shades from JCPenney. They sell the cheapest and nicest shades to exact measurements. Don't judge. I had to buy 7 of them:
They are actually really nice. Especially for $20 each. You seriously could not get something like this for less. And they are supposed to be thermal, and cut down on our energy bill or some other such nonsense.

Sure it took me an hour of wrangling with the power drill just to hang one but after I figured out what I was doing, the rest came very easy.

But wait! And this is the most annoying thing...
The three side windows (one on the left and two on the right and hidden from view) are a few inches wider than the front windows. And JCPenney has that particular size on back-order until April.


The one thing I hate is when I finally work up the energy to place an order for something (I know, reaching into that wallet to grab my credit card and type in the numbers on the screen is an agonizingly horrifying task) it ends up being back-ordered, and now my office is half done and I'm starting to downwardly spiral into hell*.

Also, if you notice the sad face on the radiator it's because he's next up on the to-dos. I hired a contractor to build something like this for that spot:
Can you imagine how awesome that will look? When I have a nice cover for the radiator and 7 matching shades?

* checking every freaking day and stalking the catalog people

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our built-in shelves are in DIRE need...

I am so ready to paint these bookshelves.

John, are you reading this??

Anyway - this is what I mean:
Totally lame right now, I know.

And this is what I want it to look like:
Solid white, baby.
Another one:
So, yeah. Trying to work up the energy to start tackling this.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Duvet and Pillows

We received the new duvet and shams for the guest room. I think it is much more crisp and clean than the previous granny bedspread:

It is much more cozy with the comforter insert too! I'm wondering if I should leave the headboard white or spray paint it something quirky - like bright blue or lavender or yellow. Or a more tame grey?

I'm realizing we will need some pillows to accessorize - I think a mix-and-match grouping of solids and bold prints would keep it fresh:






...and here

I'll be looking out for that perfect mix.

My go-to internet resources for pillows are Anthropologie and Crate and Barrel. In real-life I am all about Marshall's, TJMaxx, Home Goods. Any one have a favorite resource I'm missing?

Monday, January 10, 2011

More painted wood...

Everyone knows I like to paint over wood.

I have a large dresser that is worn and needs a little makeover - aren't these
so the way to go?

Love the cream with gold hardware

A more ornate version of the dresser we have. Also cream with gold hardware.

Soft color with bronzed hardware

I wouldn't do this but gorgeous nonetheless.

This is perfection to me! Cream with black hardware.

Oh, and this is the dresser (towards the left) and room I'm thinking of...
The most pitiful room in our house right now...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I love lamp

Last weekend I scored two of these sea urchin-y looking things for our bedroom. Shade and all - it came to a whopping $29.99 each at TJMaxx. Not too bad for a nice little Saturday...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dining Room - Overall Hypothesis

I've already done a preliminary hypothesis for the dining room, as well as a discussion on tables and curtains and other things. Of course nothing has been done in, let's say, a while. The floor and paint is still going strong. That's about all we have going for us right now.

(and John is like - "umm, are we getting curtains?" And I'm all like, "yeah, that's next on the list." And he's all like "but, didn't you just order a bedspread?" and I'm like "yeah, but this is next!" and he's all like "but, didn't we just meet with the contractor to discuss other stuff?" and I'm all like "ummm, isn't there a new episode of How I Met Your Mother on the DVR?")

So, I put together this storyboard of my dream dining room. For the moment. Minus the $6900 chandelier I was drooling over. Anyway, here's the breakdown...

The breakdown:
1. Walls - Balboa Mist matte finish Aura paint by Benjamin Moore.
2. Curtains are a must in this room and I would really love something that just touches the floor. A simple grey print like these would look amazing. (Source for the photo is from West Elm, although I changed the color to grey)
3. I would love a chandelier that incorporates opaque turquoise glass. But I'm not really loving those I'm finding online. (There is always this one available for an exorbitant amount of money - thanks, but no thanks). The one pictured would be a pretty alternative idea from Z Gallerie.
4. Our Halo dishes from C&B.
5. How about this sunburst mirror above our side console? (also from C&B).
6. The Madeleine chair from Restoration Hardware in a natural antiqued finish
7. Some random turquoise vases (pictures from Jayson Home - but I think one could find similar things at TJMaxx and Marshalls, etc)
8. Our Gourmet flatware from C&B.
9. A simple sisal rug underfoot would tie in the natural color of the chair.
10. This zinc-top table is the star of the room. I clearly do not respect wood.
11. A whimsical footed bowl from Anthropologie would finish off this room.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Just ordered this duvet and matching shams for our guest room from here. Stay tuned for pics...