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Posts Tagged ‘Decorating’

Sometimes days end differently than you expect them to, and I had one of those days on Sunday. I went to sleep in a totally different place than where I woke up; it was crazy. And obviously, this means I rearranged our bedroom.

Here are a couple of pictures of our bedroom from March 2011:

It hadn’t changed much at all since then, except we swapped out the floor lamp for a different one.

Hadn’t changed much… until Sunday, that is. We hadn’t been thinking about rearranging things in there at all, but I was standing in our bedroom, trying for the 17th time to come up with a solution for our one minuscule closet so that my clothes could move back in with Andrew’s. While we were in Boston last weekend, Bailey mentioned that one of her friends had used some Ikea wardrobes, which ended up looking really nice. So I was thinking about where in the bedroom we could put a wardrobe, and every placement seemed oh-so-wrong.

This floorplanner.com layout may help you visualize it:

I wouldn’t want to put a wardrobe in front of either window, of course, and I felt that swapping one in for the dressers would make it seem like there was a hulking nightclub bouncer crowding us as soon as we walked through the bedroom door. Didn’t seem that relaxing. Looking at this image, I guess it seems like we could put a wardrobe where our bench was and put the bench at the foot of the bed, but for some reason this floorplan LOOKS a lot more spacious than it FEELS, even though I double-checked my measurements. That is to say, the bench at the foot of the bed made that thoroughfare way too cramped. I know because I tried it once.

At this point, I was still standing in the bedroom, getting more frustrated about this whole clothing-storage dilemma, when I realized that we hadn’t ever really entertained the idea of the bed on a different wall. We had dismissed that idea on move-in day and never looked back.

Et voila.

The new floorplan:

I was even inspired to hang this mirror that I’ve had for at least a year:

Another angle:

When Andrew came in from doing leaves, he said it seemed like “it should have always been this way,” which of course, delighted me, but I think Widget is the biggest fan of the new furniture arrangement, because now he can hop on and off the bed at will, using the bench as a step-stool.

So the wardrobe, if and when we have one, would take the place of the Malm dresser that has the capiz mirror above it. I’m liking this idea; gotta cram more storage into this room somehow. Speaking of storage, did I mention that the bench is a STORAGE bench? It’s our teeny-tiny linen closet, where I keep the extra set of sheets for our bed. It’s from JCPenney. Oh, what the heck, here’s a whole source list to round out the post:

  • duvet cover and pillow shams: Restoration Hardware
  • duvet: Overstock.com
  • sheets and pillowcases: Macy’s (Lauren Ralph Lauren)
  • euro pillows: Macy’s (Martha Stewart)
  • bedskirt: Ralph Lauren outlet
  • bench: JCPenney
  • rug, dressers, nightstands, curtains, set of three flower pictures, black frame: Ikea
  • curtain hardware: Bed Bath & Beyond (I think!)
  • bedside lamps: Macy’s
  • capiz mirror: Homegoods
  • piggy bank: Target
  • ampersand: Restoration Hardware
  • silver flower pot and peace lily: gifts from neighbors
  • small silver jar with lid, floor lamp: gifts from my mom (found secondhand)
  • capiz frame: Marshall’s
  • decorative silver bowl: Macy’s (Michael Aram)
  • oil-rubbed bronze door hardware: Lowe’s

ONE more thing. I can’t resist sharing a vintage shot of this bedroom, from when we first moved in (aw).

Oh, Malm dressers. You’ve been with us through so much.

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May I just go on the record and say that I love the selection of home accessories currently at Target? Lots of gray and white, and lots of brass accents. The gray and the white completely fit in with pretty much every room in our house; the brass… not so much. At some point, with no real discussion, Andrew and I reached the consensus that we preferred silver-toned finishes over gold-toned. I was cool with it. I haven’t touched base with Andrew on this recently, but I’m pretty sure he’s cool with it (-slash doesn’t give it a second thought). We’re pale people, and silver is a better complement to our skin tone. But sometimes I see some brass accessories that are seriously the bomb (entryway light fixture not being one of them). Brass reminds me of Emily Henderson. Love her!

Oh, brass horse. You complete me.

So, yeah. Time to loosen the no-brass-allowed rule. But how? HOW? Some people are really good at mixing metals, but that’s way too advanced for me. Life is so difficult! (#firstworldproblems)

Here’s the compromise I came up with: instead of completely scrapping all the chrome-y/silver-y/brushed-nickel-y accents in our house, and instead of swearing off all brass no matter how bangin’, I’ve designated the office/guest room as our brass-and-gold-toned-metallics mecca. That room is pretty much a clean slate, decor-wise, so it can go any direction. The solution is so simple, but when I came up with it, I felt liberated.

Back to Target. I was there on Monday, and I stumbled across this mirror:

You know I loved it if I was inspired enough to take a picture with my phone. I didn’t buy it though. I’m practicing restraint, which is a gamble with Target goods – I still get wistful over these plastic tumblers I saw there in June. When I went back to buy them, they were gone. Sniffle. Moment of silence for what could have been…

Anyway. Restraint. I wanted Andrew’s opinion on the mirror, and I wanted to make room in our budget (we’re talking $40-plus-tax, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but we’re watching our funds closely around here… it’s called “operation: pay off the car early”). Andrew was all “of course you can buy that,” which I knew he would be, and Tuesday was our wedding anniversary, so after a celebratory dinner out, we stopped by Target to grab my mirror (it was still there – phew!).  Oh, we grabbed a few other things while we were there. I’ll have to share those soon, too.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to hang the mirror in the office/guest room. If you can’t make it out in the photo, the finish is more of an “antiqued” brass, not shiny-shiny. This mirror might even jump-start the office/guest room makeover, which has been a looooong time coming. Also, looking at that brass horse, I feel like I could DIY something really similar. Did anyone else have Breyer horses? I have about a million of them at my parents’ house – add some gold paint and attach a base, and boom! Instant Emily-Henderson-inspired style.

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Second Move-in-iversary

It’s unbelievable how quickly this came up, but yesterday marked two years of us living in this house. I feel like we should celebrate the special occasion somehow, but until we figure that out, here’s a picture of our new outdoor string lights:

You guys don’t even know. I’ve wanted string lights forEVER. Or at least two years.

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Here’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed the past two springs. Right around March or April (depending on the weather, I guess), I start to see these signs pop up everywhere:

image from here

Some of you may know that my mom and her sisters LOVE yard sales. Growing up, I tried to participate as little as possible.

Then, our neighbors had a moving sale, and I offered them $20 for this granite-topped kitchen cart:

The granite and the wood-tone don’t go with anything else in our house, but hey, the kitchen’s a complete disaster anyway, and the cart adds a lot of function: a drawer and two shelves for extra storage, a bit of extra countertop work space, and a place to hang dish towels.

So I guess I’m kind of a convert, but nothing crazy. On Saturday, Emily and I drove around to some yard sales (we started with ones that were posted on craigslist, but really, from my limited experience, it seems like the best ones are always the ones we stumble across from following those handwritten signs). Emily is my bargain-hunting buddy; she was with me when I found my Goodwill table too. She never buys anything though. Weird.

Aside from some books, here’s what I got:

$5 cast iron Christmas tree stand. They were asking $6, but I don’t know if you know this about me – I drive a hard bargain. For the past two Christmases, I’ve told Andrew that once the holidays are over, we’re going to buy a deeply-discounted tree stand so we can get a live tree the next year. And two Christmases in a row, I have done exactly not that. But 2012 – the year of the live Christmas tree!

The only other thing worth noting were these glass ornaments that I got for 25 cents. They were asking 50 cents. Again: hard. bargain.

They are the type that allow you to jazz them up, either by popping off the top and shoving something inside or by decorating the outside. I might try to do this snazzy glitter trick I saw on pinterest:

image from here

Stayed tuned for that happening. Most likely around June 2014.

Does anyone else out there buy used stuff? There were a few things I passed on, like a $3 set of little Pampered Chef nesting glass bowls with lids and a $10 three-tiered shelf with baskets. I couldn’t think of an immediate use for either, so I think that’s a good rule of thumb. Andrew and I are a little bit stuff-averse, so the less useless junk we have around, the better.

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I know we’re keeping you guys in suspense with the bathroom reveal, but we’re still putting the finishing touches in the room. Soon!

In the meantime, our birthdays bookended the big bath project. Mine was the Wednesday before we demo’d, and Andrew’s was Sunday – the day after we were able to shower in our own house again (that’s a good birthday present, right?).

Even though the bathroom has been commanding 98% of our attention (and funds), we both managed to gift the other with something decor-related.

First up, Andrew gave me this decorative ampersand, which I’ve been coveting since at least the fall:

Ampersands are so hot right now (right, Nora?). This one’s from Restoration Hardware – otherwise known as Mecca – but there are a lot of options on Etsy, too (like these and this). I put it on top of our little china hutch for now; it’ll probably move around the house from time to time. It can also be mounted on the wall.

Meanwhile, Andrew’s been complaining about our TV stand in the living room for some time. You can see it here:

It doesn’t look so bad, but the middle was starting to sag under the weight of the TV, and the back was open, which did nothing to hide the tangle of wires back there. Also, we’re starting to move away from the blond-colored finish toward darker finishes, like the frame for our wedding photo above the mantel and the Goodwill side table by our chair-and-a-half.

The old TV stand was starting to get under Andrew’s skin. Hence, this secret little project:

Yup, I bought it, hid it, and assembled it on the down-low and swapped it in for the blond one when Andrew wasn’t looking.

So the blond TV stand now lives in the basement, along with all our other semi-homeless home goods. We are plotting to find one big ottoman to replace both the beige microfiber ottoman and the blond Ikea Lack table, a pair of stools to go under the big window (which can serve as foot stools or extra seating in a pinch), and an area rug. Down the line, we’re thinking we want a smaller armchair in place of the chair-and-a-half too. And once we’ve misplaced all this living room furniture, we’ll be well on our way to furnishing our basement and turning it into a second, bigger, casual living/TV space. After we eradicate the snakes, of course. Yikes. Snakes.

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With most of the bathroom decisions behind us – the tile, the tub, the vanity, the finishes (we need to update you on all of these!) – we have just one big decision left. Paint!

On Saturday, we picked up a shower curtain at Bed Bath & Beyond (yes, after going to Home Depot, and yes, we felt like Will Ferrell in Old School), so now we’re trying to find a paint color to tie everything together. Andrew has said he likes the idea of green, and I kinda like blue, so I went to Ace Hardware today and grabbed a stack of paint chips.

Oh paint. So many options. Trying to narrow it down, I hung the new shower curtain on our towel rack and taped some chips to the wall above it.

I was feeling saucy, so I included the dark blues. Andrew wants to do something very pale – “almost white, with just a hint of green.” By the way, this is the opposite of the norm around here. I’m usually neutral-happy, and Andrew looks around every so often and says, “we GOTTA get some color in here.”

After about an hour, I was less saucy, so I took the dark blues away.

We’re still torn – Andrew on team green, me on team blue – but I think either of us could be swayed once we get some samples and paint some sizable squares. Of course, first we have to narrow it down to WHICH paint samples to spend our dwindling cash on!

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People have been asking me about the bathroom – sadly, there’s not much to report, but there is a tiny bit of progress, so I will need to write a post about that (soon, promise).

Instead, I’ll share the little projects we did this weekend. Gotta keep the state of this shack moving forward in some way. That reminds me of my mantra, which I don’t think I’ve shared: “petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nit.” “Little by little, the bird feathers its nest.” Sometimes I repeat it over and over to myself, and it makes me feel better that our house isn’t 100% perfectly put together 18 months later.

So, we now have a few visitors scheduled in the upcoming weekends – one of my cousins plus her friend, Andrew’s parents, and Andrew’s brother. Nothing like visitors to motivate some nest-feathering. Andrew painted some more trim work (that job seems to never end), this time around the door to the third bedroom and some other small pieces in the “hallway” that never got done for whatever reason. Hmm, I don’t seem to have a picture to illustrate why I used quotation marks around “hallway,” but it’s really just a small area that includes the doors to all three bedrooms, the bathroom, and the linen closet. Here’s a picture of Widget to make up for it:

I decided to finally hang some stuff that’s been gathering dust for a few weeks/months. First up, a mirror I got from Goodwill for $25. It’s pretty heavy, so I was nervous about hanging it, but I successfully located at least one stud. It’s been about nine hours, and it hasn’t fallen off the wall… yet… I’m still nervous.

I’d like to paint the frame, but I haven’t landed on a color yet, and I really wanted it on the wall already.

While I was at it, I decided to put up a picture I’ve been meaning to hang in the dining room also. It took me about 10 seconds to hang it. I don’t know why I didn’t until this point.

It’s a picture of cheese and honey that I took out of an issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. If you know me, you know I love cheese, and I hung it over our “bar,” where we keep our wine rack. Get it? Wine and cheese.

Anyone else have trouble keeping wine in the house? We had a good stock going, but now all that’s left is that bottle of ice wine.

Since I had such good momentum going, I decided to hang one last thing over the fireplace. Yes! We now have something over the fireplace (18 months later)! And to be a total letdown, I didn’t take a picture! But I have a picture of the next best thing, which is the picture sitting on the mantel. It’s basically the same thing, the picture’s just three inches higher now.

It’s a photo of us from our wedding. A late Christmas surprise from my parents. Close up:

Andrew said, “Does it make us vain to have a big picture of ourselves in the living room?” And I said, “It’s our house, we can do whatever we want.” Plus, I look so happy in it (because I was).

The black frame brings a new direction to our living room: now we need to incorporate black. Easy. Our living room had no direction anyway! Maybe I’ll paint the mirror frame black to tie it in.

Back to the dining room for a minute. I found an old pic for a little before and after. Here’s the before:

Please note the hand-me-down table & chairs, the window valances and light fixture left behind by the previous owner, and my sad attempt to spruce things up with some sunflowers. Also, look! Our wine rack has some wine in it!

Here’s the now (not really an “after” since I wouldn’t consider any room of our house to be an “after” yet):

So that’s our weekend update. Back to you, Seth Myers.

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