Friday, March 30, 2012

We're Back...and With A Weekend Docket To Boot!

Our family has been down with various colds and allergies for almost a month!  We are finally up and running again - just in time for some beautiful spring weather too.  You can catch up on all that here at our family blog!

One plus to being stuck inside is plenty of time to spend working indoors and lots of time to dream up new ideas for our space.  I managed to convince the hubs to build us a key component for our master bedroom redo.  I am so excited about it and can't wait to share the plans and details with you very soon!

I also ordered several fabrics that will be going into the master bedroom, office and living room.  I am beyond excited for them to arrive and hope the UPS man isn't too alarmed when I fly out my front door to snatch that box from him!  This is the first time I have ordered fabric online without first seeing or feeling the fabric in person.  Fingers crossed for a happy ending! 

I know that most people recommend tackling one room or project at a time...but reality for us with three kids 4 yrs old and younger is that time for working on projects comes in spurts.  Sometimes we need to focus on smaller projects in other areas of the house while we wait for the time to tackle bigger projects necessary to finish a space. 

That said, I am really going to make a push to finish our living room!  This is what it looked like the night we moved in (I apologize for the poor lighting)

What's not to love about that heavy wall-to-wall drapery?  Only the beautiful window it was hiding!  This is actually my favorite room in our house. I love the wood floors, huge window to the backyard with a view of the mountains, all the natural light and the delightful blank canvas.

Unfortunately my current day pics are saved to our computer that's being fixed as we speak, so I'll share those in a later post.

I found inspiration for the space from one of my favorites: Pottery Barn.  I have a large green couch that I needed to work around and I fell in love with this drapery..

It had all the colors I wanted to work into the space and it still felt neutral.  HOWEVER, one panel in the size I needed was $139.00...and I needed two.  Simply, not an option. 

I found a great alternative by Robert Allen that I snagged on sale from Joann's.  It was a 50% off all Home Dec fabric sale, plus an extra 20% off veterans discount.  Score!!

This fabric is my jumping off point for the room...and I'm so excited to finally pull it all together!  This room has plenty of small projects that will help give the room a comfortable and cohesive feel.  Here's a few:

-Update piano bench
-New curtains (a sewing project using that great fabric!)
-Replace/update end tables
-Create a prayer/reading corner
-Have fun with accessories

I would love to say that I'm going to finish it all in a week but I'm going to be realistic and make this room my focus for the month of April.  We have plenty of other random projects around the house that we'll keep working on too! 

So here's what's on our docket this weekend:
-Recover the piano bench
-Install new window treatments for the kids' rooms.
-Finish the boys' closet
-Continue yard prep for spring

It's quite the list but James has a 3-day weekend and we're motivated to knock these out.  See you all on Monday....hopefully with some great progress to share!  Enjoy your weekend!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Down for the count

This has been a rough winter for us....we're on yet another round of cold/virus going through our house.  The boys are coughing and running low fevers and Mia is battling allergies. 

On top of that we are having trouble with both of our computers, so I'm sneaking in a quick post before this computer shuts down again. 

We'll be working to get our family well this week but I have lots to share once our computers are back up and nurse mom isn't in such high demand! 
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tutorial: A Fresh Coat of Paint for a Wood Bed

As promised, here is a step-by-step of the painting project we just completed as our son moved on up to a "big boy bed"!   This was my first attempt at painting furniture, so I read several online articles and blog posts about the topic.  I finally just went for it following 4 basic steps.  It was an easy and completely worthwhile venture - Sully loves his new bed and so do I!

So let's get to it!  We started with these great, solid wood bed frames from my husband's childhood:

They had a great shape and I knew they would be perfect for our boy's shared room.  However, they did have a good deal of wear and scratching from the years, so a new finish was definitely in order.   We opted for paint instead of a stain and followed 4 basic steps that can be applied to any similar project (whether it's a bed frame, cabinets, table or wood trim):


In most cases, you'll want to use a medium grit sandpaper (80-120) or fine (150-180) depending on the damage to the piece and the type of finish that was used on it.  I intended to use 150 but 220 is what we had on hand, so I made that work.  Since I really should have used something a little more coarse, it took a bit more elbow grease.
The inside of the foot board was probably the most damaged area, so I took extra time carefully sanding until it felt mostly smooth to the touch.
My goal was not to completely remove the varnish but to smooth out the imperfections and create a good surface for the primer to adhere. 

After sanding down each piece and wiping off the dust, it was time to paint. I debated between using a standard paint with brush or using a spray paint. Since these pieces have several grooves, notches, etc. I settled on a spray paint...and am so glad I did!

I used Valspar's Indigo Blue in a satin finish and their interior white primer.  I could have gone with a darker primer since I was using a dark paint but I planned to use any leftover primer on another project involving white paint. 

When using spray paint, the key to getting a beautiful smooth finish without drips is thin coats. So I began with two thin coats of primer, allowing ample drying time in between (about 1 hour).

Next it was time for the color!  I was so excited to see it go on the boards that I began to lose some of that patience required for multiple thin coats.  My first coat was probably a bit too thick.  I didn't think I had any drips until I realized they had dripped down to the underside of the piece.  They were still minimal and I simply sanded the drips smooth once they were dry.  Then I reigned in my excitement to slowly finish the job. 

Now, if you were using a paintbrush or roller that can lend itself to more streaks and paint lines, then you might want to do a light sanding between coats.  The spray paint gave me a smooth, even finish so the only in-between sanding required was for the few drips.

I did 2 coats of the Indigo but 3 thinner coats probably would have been better.  Despite my rush, we are completely happy with the result!  It looks fresh and new and works perfectly in their room!

The big man sure was excited to try it out!

Now I did mention a 4th step: sealing your piece. For the most scratch-resistant finish, you'll want to finish with a clear coat of protective polyurethane.  These come in many forms and finishes (including a spray) and whatever finish you choose for this step (matte, eggshell, satin, glossy, etc), is truly how your piece will be finished, regardless of the finish you chose for your paint. This step is really important, especially for a piece that will get a lot of surface wear....and I did not do it. 

I forgot to pick up that key supply at the store and was just so excited to get the painted bed in the room that I opted to skip it.  The bed will not get the same kind of wear that a buffet or table would so I'm hoping it won't be too much of an issue down the road.  Only time will tell if skipping that step will be a huge regret later!  I'll keep you posted ;)

So if you been tossing around the idea of painting an old piece of furniture or giving something a face lift to fit your current style, don't be afraid!  Get out there and paint something!  It's totally worth it!  Any little mistakes along the way, and I had plenty, are all just lessons learned for the next project! 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Office/Guest Room Plan and Inspiration!

I would like to introduce you to our guest room!  It's a decent size but as many of you can relate, it needs to serve multiple functions: office/craft room/guest space.  We have not laid a design finger to the space yet, so it is truly a blank slate.

The queen size bed takes up a LOT of room, but with some recent furniture shifting which I explained here, it's movin on out!   

The giant bed was defining the primary function of this space as a guest room....with a desk smooshed against the wall and a closet about to burst with profession resources, home office, and craft/sewing supplies to serve our daily needs of work and home management.

But we're going to change that!  The goal for this room is to serve as a functional and inspirational workspace for both me and the hubs.   It will still need to accommodate overnight guests but since they are the exception and work is the norm, it's time for a space that really "works" for us!  And with the giant bed gone, we'll have much more room to make that happen!

Speaking of giant bed gone, here's the space without it...

I realized I was using the under-the-bed space as an additional "closet" to store my wrapping paper, a couple of floating shelves, a box with future project supplies, and a couple of large frames.  Yikes!

And I now have a giant pile of stripped bedding to contend with as well...

So it's time to get this engine started! 

All of the queen size bedding will move to the linen closet.  The kid's bedding (currently in the linen closet) will move to their respective rooms.  

Then, the first step to giving this room an instant lift (besides removing those dark wooden plate covers) is a fresh coat of paint!  I have an extra can of paint in a medium grey with blue undertones (Valspar's Notre Dame) that should set a nice backdrop for all the colors we'll be bringing in through fabric, accessories, and supplies. 

I had originally planned on a soothing color scheme of white/grey/yellow for guests in here, but since we are switching from 'soothing' to 'energizing', all the fabric and accessories that I've acquired in that scheme will go to the master bedroom (which we are also reclaiming!).  There will be a much more vibrant, fresh color palate at play in here!

These are two of my favorites:

And this aqua color will have to be somewhere in the mix because it just makes my heart happy..

I would say the top priority for this space is absolutely STORAGE!  The closet needs better organization but we also need some of our most frequently used things more accessible.  I've had my storage eye on these babies for quite awhile:

Here's a run down of what else we have planned for the space:

-Individual and personalized work stations
-Improved filing system
-Space for sewing
-Gift wrapping station
-Bookshelves for James' work and football/coaching resources
-Comfortable place to sit with a cup of coffee and read
-Craft/fabric organization
-Photo/album organization
-Inspiration Board
-Whiteboards for calendar and notes (I live by lists!)
-Window treatments

I have not decided if I want to create some concealed storage for toys so the kids can play while we work, but something tells me it might be a good idea. 

All this is a tall order for one room and it needs to come in on a low budget.  So we'll be shopping our house, scouring for bargains and making good use of some raw materials in our garage.  I'm sure this list will grow and change as we jump in...and we can't wait!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Big Bed for a Big Boy

There's no turning back - our Sully is out of a crib and into a big boy bed!  We just tucked him in about 30 min ago, so I'll let you know if he wanders in while I write this ;)

Until now we've made small but steady progress on the boys' shared room.  We swapped out the old changing table/dresser combo for a larger dresser with much more room for two growing boys.

We also made progress in bringing order to the closet, but it's still in need of additional storage and some finishing touches...

 And we swapped out the heavy closet doors for a more functional (and eye-pleasing!) curtain panel

It seemed the most pressing area to address next was Sully's bed.  He just turned 2 1/2 and recently came to the realization that he can throw his leg up over the side of the crib with ease...but hasn't yet climbed out.  Only a matter of time, so we said goodbye to the crib today.

Along with two twin mattresses for the boys, we have two twin bed frames from James' childhood.  They are fantastic, solid wood but were pretty scratched and scuffed from years of wear and tear and our many moves.

We decided to go with color instead of a stain.  I knew it would be difficult to match the other stained pieces in the room, particularly the night stand that sits between the two beds.  I also didn't want the room to feel too heavy or overwhelmed with so many dark pieces. 

We also decided that spray paint would be a good choice because of all the grooves, notches, etc. in the frames.  So, we opted for an Indigo blue (close to a light navy) in a satin finish.  Check out the step-by-step tutorial!

It took most of Saturday between layers and drying time but we were able to move in the new bed Sunday afternoon!  This particular shade of blue worked perfectly with all the other elements in the room.

Next step was the bed rail.  Our little guy will be up on a high bed, so while it's not the most lovely of design first!

Now, time for the fun!  My bedding budget came from the items we sold on craigslist and my first stop for bedding was my ole' standby: Target.  You have never steered me wrong, Friend! 

I found a couple of great options there but for peace of mind, I made a few other stops.  I ran into a limited selection at Marshalls and either high prices or low quality at my other stops.  So back to Target I went!

James probably thought I was crazy but I actually came home with 3 choices:  a solid reversible quilt in blue, a striped comforter with all the room colors, and a plaid patched quilt in blue/red/browns. They all had blue but I wanted to see them against the color of the bed.  The solid one clashed with the blue paint on the bed and the stripes on the bed were competing with the stripes on the wall.  So, the winner....plaid!

I'm so happy with the colors!  It's just the right amount of pattern and a great weight for year round weather.  It's also fun enough for two young boys but neutral enough to grow with them. 

Last step was showing the big man his new bed!  I tried to get a shot of him on it but he was so excited he would not sit still.  He was a happy blur...

 Here's a brief pause in the action...this shot was pure luck

I guess that wasn't quite the last step.....he still needed to bring his "friends" up to their new home.  This is probably a much more realistic shot of what the bed will look like on most days. 

Let's check out the Before and After....


And After:

We still need to address the box long as the safetly rail is in place, I can't bring the quilt down to cover it, so we'll come up with another solution in the near future.  For now, it's one new big-boy bed, one happy boy and one happy Mom! 

I'm linked up at Bowl Full of Lemons

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Docket: Bed Swap!

*I wrote this on Friday but for some reason it didn't post.  Update coming tomorrow!*

It's time to finally make the switch!  Our Sully is moving to a big boy bed!  Goodbye crib - you will be on craigslist tonight...

Along with the two twin mattresses for the boys, we have the two beds/headboards that belonged to James and his brother as kids. 

They have endured a little 'wear and tear' over the years and from our many moves, so they will get some sprucing up this weekend. 

The additional storage bins for the boys' closet also arrived, so we'll attempt to get that closet project wrapped up and called done!

It's a tall order so we'll see how far we get.....and see how Sully does with no crib walls to contain him!  Wish us luck!
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Master Bedroom: Plan and Inspiration

I'm so incredibly excited to get started on this room!  I described our change of plans that involve the master bedroom and guest room/office space here.  I had a color scheme selected for each room but with the functional change in the guest room going from 'serene space for guests' to 'inspirational workspace', I felt another swap was in order. 

I'm not one to jump on a trend.  I tend to go for a neutral foundation with pops of color that can easily change from year to year.  BUT  I have been eyeing this grey/white/yellow combo for quite awhile now.  I loved it the first time I saw it and it still makes me as happy today! 



I had planned it for the guest room but now I think it is a color palate that will be much better suited for our master bedroom.  Serene.  Happy.  Fresh.  Ahhhhh.

I was a little concerned that we might grow tired of it, so I plan to keep the walls, furniture and bedding in grey and white and then we'll add pops of yellow through pillows and accessories. 

I've also thought about throwing in another color for added depth...and one that James might respond to more than yellow.  I came across this lovely combo on pinterest with grey, yellow and blues:


We have several plans for the room (and by "we" I mean "me dragging James along for the ride").  Joking aside, he's been amazingly supportive and is letting me run with these two rooms! 

Here's a quick rundown of our plan:

-DIY upholstered headboard
-Tall bookshelves that will flank the bed and double as nightstands (using re-purposed materials)
-Window treatments
-Some sort of privacy solution for the entrance to the attached master bathroom
-Photo/art for the walls

And a few other treats to make this room just for us as we reclaim it for our own adult space!  Stay tuned!

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