Saturday, August 15, 2009

Instead of decorating....

I usually like to get one thing for around the house or garden each paycheck. But sometimes you just see something you HAVE to have. We've been planning on building Rosemary a sandbox in the shape of a sailboat for months. We figured once fall came around and it wasn't so sweltering we'd get started on it. But a couple days ago we were at BJs and saw this on clearance for half price and knew we wouldn't be able to make it for cheaper (after the cost of lumber, tools, and all the little things that go into it). So now we have a Big Top Sandbox hiding out in our garage until December for Rosemary's birthday present this year. We bought a swing a few months ago that we're going to build a frame for, and make her a whole backyard play area! Can't wait!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Slipcovered Chair

I couldn't find a before picture that showed the entire chair, but this at least gives you an idea of what it looked like before slipcovered. And I can't get over how tiny little Rosemary is in this picture! She must have been about 3 months old! (I'm not sure what happened to the picture that was here. It think it was eaten by the blogspot monster.)And here is the after! I hate that the print doesn't show up well in pictures. It's such a beautiful fabric!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bedroom Redo

When we moved into the house, we didn't have a lot of time to get our master bedroom set up. We pretty much just threw the bed in, stuffed the closet full of clothes and shoes, and used the rest of the room as storage space for furniture and "stuff" that had no other place. I finally decided it was time to make it a more relaxing space where we could escape the chaos of the rest of the house which has been pretty much taken over by baby toys. When I asked Joe what he wanted when it came to redecorating the house he said "zen." I'm trying to accomplish this in the bedroom by adding as much feng shui as possible. We started by clearing out any clutter that didn't belong. I gave an old two-seater to my mother-in-law and was able to find homes for other miscellaneous "stuff" either under the bed or in the guest room (which I will have to tackle eventually because it's becoming the new storage space). Then we replaced the bright blue walls from the previous owners a relaxing gray. We got new bedding and nightstands from IKEA (thanks to my in-laws!). We were looking at beds and after much deliberation I decided to make a headboard instead of buying one. I love the upholstered headboards but didn't love the price. I also love anything that gives me a project or a way of personalizing my space and I thought making an upholstered headboard would be a lot of fun. Then I moved a bookshelf from our guest room into the bedroom and repainted it the same gray as the walls to give it a built-in look so it didn't distract from the rest of the room. My mom and I also created a sitting corner by slipcovering an old recliner using the same fabric as the headboard.

Here are some pics of the results thus far:

After. This was a special project for my mom and me. We used a $5.99 piece of plywood from Lowe's. Layered it with foam (2 yards of 1/2 inch foam for $19.98 at Joann, but we had a coupon so it was about $12), batting (about $3 on sale at Joann), and after searching for hours at Joann for fabric I liked, I eventually found a sheet at Ross that spoke to me for $7.99! So the entire cost of the headboard (including the screws and hooks to hang it, which were about $10 total) was about $40! Our goal was $25, but I think we still did pretty good!

We slipcovered the chair in the same fabric (we searched at several Ross's before giving up and finally found the same sheets so we had enough to slipcover the chair!). I don't have pics of it, but hopefully I'll get some soon.

Here's a view of the back wall. The screen came from Hobby Lobby. My mom found it for about $50, which is a steal! It's hiding Rock Band instruments that have no other place to go. I think it adds a perfect zen, feng shui'd element to the room! The bookshelf on the other side of the wall is the one we painted. I'm thinking of getting a vase with some orange flowers for the top. The red curtain went with our former bedding set. I'm searching for black and white curtains to replace it with, but haven't seen any I like, so we're just going to live with it for a while. It's a blackout curtain, so at least it keeps the room dark! I wish I had a picture of my sitting corner!

Some things we still need to do in the bedroom:
-new curtain rods and curtains
-wall art

Kitchen Window Seat

I was super lucky this week to have my parents in town to help me with some of my ideas for projects around the house. We accomplished a few huge things in the kitchen and bedroom!

My number one biggest complaint about our house is the lack of storage. I have utilized every inch of space- from under my bed to the attic- and still have trouble finding places to store my kitchen gadgets, platters, and miscellaneous "stuff." Every couple months I got through my kitchen cabinets and drawers and reorganize so that I can access the things I use most often- like the platters I've used when entertaining this summer- and put other things that don't get used as often- such as my Christmas serving trays- out of the way. About a week ago I decided that a storage bench under the windows in my kitchen would really help out. All I had to do was mention it and within minutes my dad had the measuring tape out and rough plans drawn up and the bench was started! Here is my kitchen before, with basically wasted space under the windows:

Here are some work in progress shots. I think Rosemary really likes it!

The first picture above shows my dad in the assembly phase. Don't worry, I didn't just stand there and take pictures. I helped. I got to apply the glue and even used the drill to add the lid and hinges! We put it under the windows before painting it to take some last measurements before adding the trims. Rosemary immediately lifted her arms and said "baby sit?" We put her up here and opened the blinds and she had a whole new view of the world! I think this is going to be her favorite spot!

Here is the masterpiece after a few coats of paint and trim added. The details aren't very clear in the picture, but it looks so good. There is a decorative trim added to the lid and the moulding around the bottom matches the baseboards in the kitchen. We also took this opportunity to strip and repaint most of the baseboard in the kitchen before making the bench a permanent built-in structure. I wish I took better before and after pictures (thanks to my dad who let me borrow his camera!) because this window bench makes the whole kitchen feel so much bigger! I was afraid it would have the opposite effect, but I absolutely love it! It's already full of things that were taking up space in other places and I was even able to clear a spot off the shelves in my bedroom closet that had been holding platters and gravy bowls!

Some work we have left to do in the kitchen:
-make cushions for the top of the box
-raise the curtains
-eventually repaint and redo the theme of the kitchen, but for now I'm enjoying my yellow whimsical rooster theme!