Friday, August 31, 2012

Kids Drop Zone....Almost

So, I hate promising and not delivering but as I went to install the final pieces in our pantry turned kid drop zone last night, I discovered a big "oops!".   I'll share my brain-fart moment with you shortly, but first let me show you how this room started out.

There are some spaces in our home that I'm still trying to figure out.....what's the best setup?  Can we use this space differently to better suite our needs?  How on earth do we make this work?  And with others, the inspiration lightning bolt strikes immediately.  When we looked at this home in our house hunt, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this wasted space.

When I first saw all of the cupboards, I thought, "What great storage!".  But they are deceiving.  The center cupboards in this U-shaped pantry are quite deep and offer great storage but the cupboards on the side are extremely shallow - about 4 inches deep.  Just enough for a can of beans.  Our kitchen isn't huge, but coupled with that center pantry storage, it has enough cupboard space to hold most of our food and dishes.

I'm not enough of a can hoarder to need all that cupboard space for cans.  But what we desperately needed was a place for all of the gear associated with getting 3 young kids in and out the door each day.  This area is right off the kitchen (that doorway to the right) and you enter here from the garage where the kids and I go in/out (I'm standing in that doorway to take the pic below). So this pantry space would now share the duty of our kids' mud room/drop zone!

Here's a lovely shot of it as we were moving in...

I put the hubs to work removing all the side doors and inside shelves.

 This frame came off too until we were left with totally open alcoves.

Originally, I thought we would leave the upper cabinets on the right side but those doors came down as well.

We painted the alcoves with chalkboard paint and the walls got a fun green shade that played off the fabric I used to make the bench cushion.  And this is where we are today.    

I have these organizing goodies on standby just waiting to create a space for incoming/outgoing paperwork, coats, backpacks and hats.  

I had finally decided on a configuration that would work and excitedly went to mount them last night when I discovered my lazy mistake.  Can you spot it?
Aside from that paint drip mark on the extremely uneven walls, there are now a couple of screws poking though!  Last week we were putting the finishing touches on our new breakfast nook....hanging pictures and screwing in knobs for art smocks.  I wondered why two of the screws went in so much easier than the first!  It didn't even dawn on me to look at the other side of the wall.

So instead of sharing our kids' drop zone reveal today, you're getting an almost done sneak peak while I figure out what to do about the annoying screws.  There are actually two nails poking through from a picture too.  Hopefully we'll figure that out over the weekend and have something finished to share with you all next week.

Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend with those you love!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pillow Talk

First of all, what an amazing day for the blog yesterday!  Thanks again to Jen for such a wonderful feature and to so many of you for hopping over here from her incredible blog!

There were a few questions/comments about the pillows in our breakfast nook, so I thought I would give you a quick breakdown.  The most asked about fabric is that awesome scallop striped number.

It's Sorbet Spa Scallop Stripe Coral by Michael Miller and I snagged it online at for only $8.98/yd.  I was a little worried the colors might be too loud but I took a gamble.  And they have an awesome return policy, so I could always sent it back :)  Well, there was no need for that because as soon as I saw it in person I was like a teenager with her first crush.  Kind of ridiculous actually.  The colors were much softer in person and since it happened to work fantastically with the tile we had already grabbed for the backsplash, I ended up using this fabric as the color inspiration for the rest of the kitchen!

In the picture below, the grey and white ikat print on the end is a Premiere Prints fabric, Chipper Storm, and the pink lady next to him is a fabric I found in the home dec section at Joann's.   

This white pillow with the taupe damask type print is actually a placemat I found on clearance at Target for $1.98. 

I wasn't sure what I would do with it but it ended up measuring 18x18"....perfect for a pillow cover.  I opened one end and just stuck an 18" pillow form inside.  Fit like a glove!  I loved that it was double sided, both side equally yummy.

The last pillow is this icy blue one.  The fabric is actually from a pillowcase set that I grabbed from Target.  The color was perfect and I love the small scale graphic.  I used this tutorial from Mini Manor Blog to do all the envelope pillow covers.  Super fast and easy.  It will be my go-to method from now on!  And here's a shot from the back.  I don't mind the clean line on the back at all and it makes cleaning a snap....or even possible for that matter since I can completely remove the cover to wash!

So that's the pillow rundown for our nook!  If I stand at the end of the bench I'm sort of tempted to dive right into them.

The kids are pretty stoked about them too.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing one of the drop zones in our house!  We're a couple weeks into the school routine now and have a better idea of what kind of paperwork will be coming in and going out.  But is anyone else still feeling confused?  My mind says it's still summer but reality says the school bell rang long ago....come on fall weather!  Get me out of this rut!
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Heart....IHeart Organizing!

I'm going to try to control my fingers that are doing a happy dance on the keyboard right now as I type something utterly fantastic!  Forgive any typos ;)

Later today, Fresh Coat of Paint will be featured over at...

IHeart Organizing

Say Whaaaat?!?!  That was my reaction too when Jen contacted me about a feature in her Reader Space Edition.  A few months back she had asked for blog contributors over the summer months.  She received a ton of interest (of course she would!), but I submitted a what-do-I-have-to-lose email anyway.

She picked some amazing bloggers to add to her contributing team, some of which I was already following!  I still consider myself a newbie to the blogging world, so afterwards I felt a little silly for submitting my work for consideration.

BUT...a couple of weeks later I got an email from her asking if I would still be interested in partnering up for the Reader Space Edition.  I about fell out of my chair.  And I may or may not have drooled on my computer keyboard in my stunned stupor.

Jen's blog is one of the first blogs I ever started reading and was one of the main inspirations for me to document our own adventures in turning this house in much need of a facelift, into our home sweet home.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing Fresh Coat of Paint with your wonderful readers today, Jen!  I am beyond grateful and so excited!  I'm pretty sure I'll be on cloud nine all let's hope I don't leave the water running or forget to pick a child up from school in my giddy state!

If it is at all possible that you've never seen Jen's blog, hop on over to IHeart Organizing right now for oodles of inspiring home organization, delicious design eye candy, and a truly lovely blog-spot that is always a highlight in my day!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Place For Reading, Prayer...and Quiet!

Well, I'm not sure how realistic the quiet part will is, but a girl can dream.

When we first moved into our house, I knew that I wanted this corner to be a quiet spot to begin the day with prayer, reflection and a little soul food.  But I haven't been using it like I envisioned.   This is mostly due to the fact that I have to wake up at the crack of dawn, before my three little alarm clocks, to get this time in.  Despite the fact that mornings and I have never been friends, I'm making a commitment to go to bed earlier, so that I can wake up for some morning quiet time.  It's absolutely the best start for my day.

There was a peak of this corner in the post on our Pottery Barn knock-off drapes.  In it's former life it looked like this:
 The jolly green giant was definitely comfy but getting past his prime.  He played along with those red drapes like a merry Christmas carol. 

After a new set of DIY curtains and swap with a chair from our master bedroom, we landed here:

Since then, we've added just a few more things to make this my quiet little spot in the midst of a pretty loud house. 

I used a birthday gift card to Pier One Imports on this accent table.  It's actually a magazine rack and I'm in love with her lines.  Such a unique piece.

It had just enough space on top for a small lamp and my morning coffee.  The magazine section was the perfect fit for my books/devotionals.

And the bottom shelf holds all the things I use for my daily quiet time.....Bible, journal, and two books for reflection and study.

 The cross wall came about from the crosses we have picked up or been given over the years.

We also keep a small basket of books next to the much as this is my personal little haven, it's also a favorite spot to snuggle up for story time.

It took just a few meaningful things to make this one of my favorite spots in the house - a place for a few quiet moments to myself before the day begins.

Of course, there is nowhere near this amount of light in this room when I actually use this space at the crack of dawn.  It's more like a faint glow from the stars still shining before the sun wakes up.  But that's what the lamp's for right?

*How about you?  Do you have a spot in your home that's just for you?  Does it double as something else by day?  How do you grab a few quiet moments amidst the daily chaos?

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Monday, August 27, 2012

A New Nook!

Let's take a little trip together.  A trip to the dark and dreary land of our breakfast nook.  After scrapping wallpaper and removing the old dark chair rail, we were left with this.  

A feast for the eyes, eh?

The first change to this space (besides removing that old fruit wallpaper) was to address the lighting.   Installing recessed lights throughout the kitchen made a world of difference!

It stayed just like this for quite awhile but with school fast approaching it was time to tackle the rest of this eat in kitchen area. The kids ate breakfast and lunch here regularly but we really needed this to be a multifunctional space for eating, painting/crafts, homework, learning activites and congregating as a family.

We began by priming and painting those aweful walls.  I'm not one to jump on a trend but I couldn't resist the pull of the ombre!  I had planned to use stripes to help the space feel larger, so a subtle ombre striped wall was the perfect backdrop.  You can read about how we tackled that bad boy here.
grey ombre paint stripes

Seating was a big issue in this space - the table and chairs could seat four, so someone in our family of five was always out of luck.  To expand seating we took advantage of the corner space by adding an L-shaped bench (scored off craigslist), which expanded our seating to seven.  We said goodbye to the honey colored finish and gave her a fresh coat of white paint.

They were pretty basic, but the feature that sold me was the additional storage in the bench seats.  Show em', Vanna...

I lined the inside with a graphic shelf liner from TJMaxx and filled them with art/craft supplies.  This one holds all of our painting supplies (in one box so that when it's time to paint, I only have to pull out one thing) as well as pencils, crayons and tape.  I keep glue and scissors in a nearby bookcase where little fingers can not reach.

The other bench holds paper, dry erase handwriting boards (Target dollar bins), a box of dry erase markers and plenty of activity books. 
 It is so nice to have all of our arts and craft supplies in one location, right where we'll be doing the creating!  We also made a kids art gallery in the dining room, so new masterpieces can go straight up for display. 

To ensure the benches would be a comfy spot to sit, we made a cushion using 2" foam, cut it to size with a sharp serrated knife and covered it with some grey fabric (actually a sheet).  I will probably replace it with a fun outdoor fabric at some point.  Outdoor fabrics are a great option for well-used areas like this - they hold up well to little ruffians and clean up well too.  Another option is to treat your regular fabrics with Scotch Guard to give them an added durability and protection against spills and stains.

I busted out all of the pillows in about an hour using this super easy envelope pillow cover tutorial by Maillardville Manor.  I don't think I'll ever make pillows another way!  (You can use Scotch Guard to prevent messy stains on these puppies too).  The envelope cover makes it super easy to pull off and toss right in the wash.

We stuck with the same table and chairs giving them a fresh coat of paint and making a minor adjustment to the height of the chairs.  I had the hubs take off the top rung which was a much better proportion to the benches and gave them a smaller footprint in the tiny space. 

A quick sanding and they were ready to go!

I wanted to have some fun with color here, so I covered the natural seat fibers with painters tape and Press n Seal, then went to work.  Hhhmmmm.  Salmon anyone?

A lovely color but not the bold coral I was going for.  This color was Valspar's Passion Pink.  It was very close to the color chip but far less dark and saturated as the color sample on the lid.

Our second attempt (sample on the right) was the perfect shade, Valspar's Autumn Fire.  It gave the chairs just the right pop of color!

ombre striped breakfast nook

The prints on the wall are another DIY project.  I took one of our favorite Dr. Seuss quotes ("The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go") and broke it up into four sections.  I used a digital scrap-booking kit, "First Comes Love" by Shawna Clingerman, to create a print for each section and then framed them in these white lovelies I grabbed on sale from Target.

 They mark this is as a place to explore, learn and create!

We mounted 3 knobs from Hobby Lobby right next to the benches.  With 3 kids so close in age everything tends to get identified with an initial or color coded to keep everyone's belongings with the right little person.  Here we went with pink/purple (Mia), green (Jack), and blue (Sully) knobs for each of the kidlet's art smocks.  Easily accessible and easy to put away when art time is over.

painted coral chairs

Mr. Owl holds our twistable Crayola colored pencils that we use most often.  His spot in the corner keeps them handy but also out of the way.
That colorful scallop striped fabric by Michael Miller inspired the whole color palette for this cozy space.  The entire area feels so much brighter and much more inviting. 

We are over-the-moon thrilled with this fresh new area of our home!

One last before and after?  Here we go....



Now to get the rest of the kitchen and floors up to speed!  But first maybe a little break :)

*I'm linked up at...A Bowl Full Of Lemons, The 36th AvenueTatertots & JelloOne Artsy Mama, Watch Out, Martha!, The Dedicated House & I Heart Naptime 
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