Saturday, June 15, 2013

15-minute Mini Spruce Up

My hallway is currently cluttered with miscellaneous odds and ends that have been shuffled from room to room while these projects are going on, waiting for a home.  In an attempt to get SOMETHING off the floor today, I did a quick tidying up of the cabinet under my bathroom sink using things I had around the house.  So not only did this take all of 15 minutes, but this project was free and sanity-saving.

Since it's not a big ,/Ta-dah,/,/, let's start with the before shots:

In case it's hard to tell, all that really happened in this cabinet was odds and ends were thrown in with complete disrespect to organization. It was complete chaos. Middle earth went to war on these grounds.  And somehow, a bottle of aged mouthwash spilled all over the cabinet floor, so the contact paper lining the base of the cabinet was grungy.  (I am pretty sure mouthwash does not age well, like wine.)

So I peeled off the grunge and then I grabbed the last roll of my neighborhood friend, the faux Grass-cloth shelf paper and laid it down.

Then I grabbed two of the plastic drawers there were littering my hallway and crammed them in. Literally, I had to cram them in. The cabinet is too narrow for any self-respecting sized storage, so I actually had to angle the drawers in order to be able to slide them out without restrictions. Which, actually, angled things drive me nuts so we shall see if this is truly sanity-saving. I have to resist the urge to straighten them.

So in went toilet paper rolls, cotton-balls and q-tips. Oh my. On the top I threw my travel cosmetics bag. Then on the other side, I didn't really have anything that worked for smart storage, so I kept the basket there that holds Boo's brush and spray and some cleaner products. I took some measurements and next time I head to the store I'll try to pick up a shelf so I can pack in some more organization. But for now, this is where I am at.

Not bad for a free 15 minute session, eh? Anyone else have super-small cabinets that are laughable when trying to fit in organizational tools?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Organizational Nirvana

So I've been in Minneapolis the last couple of days on a trip for work. Had two days worth of meetings and manager bonding time and I literally walked right by The Container Store on our way to dinner and bowling at Pinstripes next door. I was oh-so-tempted to abandon work and go nuts with organization nirvana. 

Speaking of organizational nirvana, it's time to loop you into a project I worked on for the last couple of weekends when I wasn't busy staring at the gray splotches on my wall and listening to them talk to me... "pick me," "no, pick me!"  

But I digress. I left you behind on the train that was headed towards organizational nirvana (I figure if I say it enough, you will believe it's an actual honest-to-goodness-state-of-being).  I'll be nice and start with the "after." 


So now for the story. For those of you who dislike long-winded chatterboxes (guilty), feel free to scroll down to some yummy before & afters.  So for the 6, 7 years I've been living in this house, Peyton and I have been trekking up and down the stairs every morning to get towels for our morning showers. Why, you ask? Because we're crazy. (Actually, I'm pretty sure she would point the finger at me, since Momma had to get out the paint brush for this one...) 

Basically, when we moved in this house, the closet was dingy and dirty and just needed a total paint job to make it habitable for nice fluffy towels that actually touched our skin. So, I just shoved stuff into it and years went by. Fast-forward seven years and this is where we were--trekking downstairs to get towels every morning and this: 

Finally, I decided that it was time to tackle the closet and get it cleaned up. I emptied it out and hauled out all the shelves and pulled out what I had left of the white paint I used on my doors and trim.  The shelves were fairly easy-- when I pulled them out, I labelled the back of one edge so I would know which shelf they needed to go back to (each "shelf" had two sections that slid together to make one shelf, so I needed to make sure they would match up when I returned them to the closet.)

Then I hauled them downstairs, laid them all down and put a coat of primer and 3 coats of white paint on them. I should note, two coats would have been fine. But that tan couch you see to the side of the picture? Yeah, that had to move out right after I started this project. I've been trying to get rid of it for years and my parents found someone willing to adopt the couch on the one weekend I was working on this project. So, I had to move all the shelves over and they got scratched up since they weren't yet fully dry. So, that led to 3 coats of paint needed.  

The most exciting part was when I started painting the inside of the closet. So you can get a true idea of how grungy it was when I started (and why I didn't want clean, body-touchable towels resting in this place...): 

See? Grungy. Ew!  So after I primed and painted and let it dry for a week (maybe two...) I put the shelves back in and turned back to my trusty buddy, the faux grass-cloth shelf paper.  That led me to this: 

Then I gave some serious thought (that lasted all of five minutes) to what I wanted this linen closet to do for me. I decided: 
  1. Store the fluffy soft towels right next to the bathroom so when Peyton and I shower we don't have to trek downstairs every. morning. (Most important.)
  2. Provide a central location for the hamper for our dirty clothes so Peyton can stop trekking (we sound like hikers, don't we?) in and out of my bedroom and dumping clothes half in the hamper and half on my floor (I am perfectly skilled at making my room messy without her lovely assistance...)
  3. Store cleaning supplies and miscellaneous light bulbs, batteries and whatnot (yes, whatnot is an actual thing).
  4. Store First-Aid kit so the seventy boxes of band-aids scattered throughout my house are consolidated into the blob, err--one central location. 
  5. Store additional sets of sheets (purchase required). Over the years we seem to have retained the odd miscellaneous mismatched sheets for random sized beds. Most perplexing. 
So with that decided, I first hauled out the basket we have been using for our hamper and was able to fit it in at the bottom of the closet with the removal of one shelf. I then found random baskets around the house and dumped their contents out in order to make this linen closet look pretty (whereas other locations in the house are now not pretty-but the road to organizational nirvana is definitely messy. True Story.). So, I stocked it up and here is where we are today: 

Just for good measure, let me throw in a Before & After: 

So even though I made do with what is currently available in my house, I have been online browsing the Container Store for some fun organizational containers. Such as this: 

Oskar Box

 And this...
Rugby Stripe Bin

But that's for another day. For today, that's one day I don't have to go downstairs just to take a shower upstairs. What a novel idea. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Color Match is not an Exact Science

I am really stumped on going gray. I cannot for the life of me decide which gray works the best in my living room!!! It's driving me daft, honestly. So I shared the tale of my madness in running out and buying 6 sample pots of gray only to ultimately decide I needed to wait for my new curtains. So, I waited. And then, they arrived! Oh, happy day!!!

So I, of course, immediately hung the curtains. The first thing I realized is that I am going to need to buy a silver curtain rod and hang it higher to the ceiling so the fabric doesn't puddle as much on the ground (it's been on my to-do list for 3 years...). The second thing I realized is--the two panels will DO it. I don't have to buy additional panels to cover the entire window--these rock it out. Bonus points? The fabric has some linen in it so it adds texture to the room and the lining does a fabulous job of blocking light but still allows for some light. Here are a couple close encounters so you can see what I am talking about.

So now that I have my curtains, I thought for sure I would immediately latch onto the perfect color. But the opposite happened. I didn't like any of the shades I tested. In the picture just above, you can see the first color I actually bought the gallon of paint of Behr paint color-matched to Benjamin Moore's Gray Husky.  Against the curtains, it looked even more green. But what really got me was every time I held the paint deck up against the curtains, it looked ahmazing. It looked gray. But on the wall, it looked green.  

So I thought I might as well take the chance and go to the master and get a sample of the real thing.  I got a couple of test pots from Benjamin Moore in Gray Husky and Gray Owl. (In hindsight, I should have also bought a test pot of Silver Chain, since that is one shade lighter than Gray Husky. Dang.)  I put the Benjamin Moore paint test colors on the wall right next to the Behr color-matched swatches, and lo and behold, this is what you see: 

The color on the top is the Benjamin Moore Gray Husky. The color right below it is the Behr Color Match to Gray Husky. W.O.W. Quite the difference, hmm?  It is more gray if you go with the real thing.  To the left of the Behr Color Match is Gray Owl. As you can see in the picture below, there is a slight green tint to it as well. 

In fact, Gray Owl reads to me as a darker shade of the color I already have on my walls, Benjamin Moore's Titanium. Since I am ready for a change, I do not think it will be Gray Owl. But neither am I completely sold on Gray Husky. Do I like it? Heck yes, now that it's the actual color! Does it go with the curtains? Definitely. Am I ready to commit? Heck, no!   

People, I need help (mental help?!). I am now on my seventh test pot and no closer to Neverland. 

I was talking to my friend Alma the past week about my dilemma and she said something along the lines of how it's because they don't look like me. I like the dark, dark colors. I am mostly drawn to charcoal gray and black and the inky depths of the Bermuda seas. This could be why I am struggling with going gray. I love gray, and I love gray rooms, but they aren't quite getting me there. 

I don't feel like my upstairs can handle going all dark. Being a split-level, where the rooms are all open to each other, the colors have to have flow. So now, I am stuck. Do I bite the bullet and go with Gray Husky and give it a chance? Do I go white like my favorite inspiration shots in Room and Board? (All white strikes me as pretty boring, though....) Do I do one accent wall in a dark color? 

Slap a Star on the Wall

One of the things I worked on over my little "staycation"  is a starburst mirror as inspired by Ashley from 7th House on the Left. Let's start with the end result of my copycat mirror: 

Ashley's tutorial was fabulous and I was easily able to pick up the steps. I pretty much followed her steps verbatim so check out her blog to see how to Gorilla-glue this sucker together. The only deviation I did was I spray-painted this puppy gold instead of staining.

Here are some progress shots. 

Now, something I did not anticipate was the amount of supplies needed for this project. It needs so. much. glue.  I ran out of glue. Which required waiting overnight before I could go back to the store and buy more Gorilla Glue. Then, I ran out of tape. I had two small rolls of duct tape and about 1/4 roll left of the green Frog tape.  I used them all up in taping the individual sunburst shapes.  When I started gluing the smaller sunburst shapes together into larger rays... then I had to go buy more tape.

Then, I started spray-painting the wood with Rustoleum's Metallic Gold. Even with the primer + paint formula, this puppy sucked up the paint like crazy. So then I had to go buy more spray paint.  By the time this "little" project was done, I swear I must have made five trips to the stores to restock supplies. So learn from me. Always purchase more than you think you'll need. Once I was done spray-painting, I wasn't sure if I was really done.

The color isn't consistently gold--you can still see some of the wood texture through the paint, and some spots are shinier than others, due to the different textures in the shims. I didn't want to go solid gold, but I wasn't sure if the uneven, distressed finish was where I wanted it to be at. I had my mom give it a look and at first she wasn't sold either. Then she kind of said she liked the finish--it looked "weathered" and she thought it was good. Since I didn't want to go buy more spray paint, I let it go.

Then I glued the mirror on and this is the part I wish I'd spent a little more time being careful with. The "rays" of my mirror are all different lengths (ok, so I didn't do it exactly like Ashley did.... I got lazy). So when my dad and I "centered" the mirror, it wasn't perfectly centered in both directions. But in any case, I glued the mirror down and let it dry.  Ta-dah!

After we drilled the hardware in, we hung it up on the wall and here she lies.

Oh, yes. The table is another quickie project of mine. It went from this:

To this:

(Ignore the mess--there are a few other ongoing projects at this point in time that is contributing to random dumping grounds of miscellaneous items.)

So there you have it. One project of twenty-- starburst mirror:  finished. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Color Shot: Emerald

I read it somewhere (multiple somewheres) that Pantone had announced the Color of the Year to be Emerald. While I've always liked the color, it's never been a crush of mine--I love green, but typically I see emerald green as too traditional for my tastes. But the more I see the color, the more I dig it. Here are some ways you can bring the color into your own home!

Color Shot: Emerald

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In Progress

I've been working on a few projects this past week that aren't quite post-ready yet, but lest you think all I did on my PTO was sit on the couch, read magazines and eat bon-bons (you'd be half right..), here are some teaser shots of what I've been up to:

And, so you don't think I spent the entire time working on projects and ignoring my girl, here is what else we got up to over the past week.

Peyton went swimming almost every day. Even in 70-degree weather and sprinkles. Thank goodness my parent's pool is heated or I'd have heard her whining the whole week about wanting to swim. She got in lots of pool time which makes her one happy fish--err, girl.   

We both got haircuts. I think we both lost about 5 or 6 inches each. And in Peyton's picture, you can see the mess in the background--when she wasn't swimming the girl was a tornado through the house. With her short hair, my little girl seems so much more lady-like and less bohemian. She is, as you can see, tickled pink with her new do. 

She also got in lots of playing time with the neighborhood girls who live across the street from us. While she was doing that, I was alternating between catching up on my magazines, working on my projects and cuddling with the Boo.

Overall, it was a really nice break from work, and I'll be a little sad to go back to work on Monday. Anyone else out there think this puppy is the cutest thing ever and you could just squish him up?! But. don't. Squish him that is. That wouldn't be good at all.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

On My Radar: June

On My Radar: June

Profile 8x10 Frame with Mat / 18x18 Kelly Green Cotton Velvet Pillow Cover - Decorative Accent Throw... / CB2 Array Silver Bookcase / Canon Direct Store- EOS Rebel T3i Body / Love Always Wins 8x10 by BROWNandBARKLEY on Etsy

  1. I need massive book storage. These Array Bookcases from CB2 are fabulous--modern, storage, space-saving = sweet spot. The only thing is--does anyone use these for heavy design books? They are quite large these books I have, so I wonder if the larger books would only work for the lower shelves and then I'm outta luck. 
  2. Still loving these pillows from Nora Quinonez's Etsy shop--they come in several jewel toned colors that I want. In. Every. Single. Color. I'm really drawn to the emerald green color right now. Crush-worthy. 
  3. My favorite wood is Walnut. These picture frame from Room and Board are pricey, but gorgeous. I might need to hunt for Knock Offs. 
  4. I love this print--you can find it at Brown and Barkley's Etsy shop. 
  5. I desperately need a new camera. I am looking at the DSLR cameras but I can't justify the splurge. Maybe when I have actual readers on this blog, I can justify it? No? I'm destined to spend the next year talking to myself? That is ok. I am pretty sure there are aliens in outer space reading my every word.  I have quite the following out there you know. 
So there you have it--five things I am crushing on this month. What's on your Radar? 

Gray Sunshine

Since I am looking to paint my upstairs in gray, I am looking at inspiration. Here is my favorite shot from Room and Board:

Image from Room and Board found here
Now, granted, the inspiration shot has white walls and very little yellow, and I am actually thinking it will be perfect for my Media Room downstairs. But until I am there, there is no harm in decorating the upstairs with some of the elements I am loving at the moment. They can just shuffle on downstairs when the Media Room is wrapped up (will it ever be?!). I'm so fickle that by the time that rolls around I'll have posted twenty or so different mood boards, anyway. 

Live for the Moment, because tomorrow may never come. 

In any case-I put together a mood board below of amazing, but ridiculously pricey items that I love. Many are from the original source of inspiration-Room and Board. I swear, it is such bad luck (good luck?!) that I found this site...

Gray Sunshine

As with any inspiration, (chock-full of unaffordable things for a lowly peon like myself...) I will use the mood board as a springboard to bring the look home at reduced prices.  I already found the ottoman and a pillow at cheaper prices than the originals at Room and Board. Stay tuned for June's Knock Me Off post! 

June Knock Offs

I'm back with another installment of  Knock Me Off--things I spied at high and low prices across the web. Naturally, I want every single one of them. Check it out!

Knock Me Off Third Edition