Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Brady's Desk

So no big post here b/c I didn't build anything or really do anything more than punch in my credit card number and open a box :)

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I was searching for a desk for Brady's birthday.  I ended up going with the trestle desk.  It had a lower profile and for the small room, it made sense.

We placed it in his room while he slept the night before his birthday.  I added some random office supplies to it.  Early the next morning the first words we hear are, "I got a STAPLER"?!


Apparently the desk is just a really expensive gift bag for the stapler :)
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

DIY Photo Block


Some of my favorite photos are from my phone.  Camera phones have come a long way from the low resolution, blurry photos to the high-def pics with options to crop, correct and filter all with a few swipes of your thumb.  I don't always carry my bulky camera with me but I almost always have my phone.  Without it I never would have captured my son's first bike ride without training wheels, their first jumps off the diving board or their first t-ball at bats.  I was going through my pictures the other day and realized that while I love the shots, they're sort of just stuck in my phone.

I searched around a little for display options and man are there ever options out there.  You can subscribe to a service that automatically prints, binds and mails you a book of your photos each month.  You can have them made into almost anything from calendars to greeting cards.  I also found blocks of wood that held photos but was shocked at the $15 price tag.  A quick and easy DIY project it became.

We had some scrap wood left over from the reclaimed wood console table we built a few years back.  I'm told the wood originally served as the beams from a paper mill in the early 1900's.


No need to go in depth on how to make the wood blocks.  Basically cut to whatever size you want (we chose to go slightly smaller than 4" so that the edges would hang off on either end), route a groove for the picture to sit in (we used a 10 degree angle), sand, stain and poly to preference.  I used the same stain and poly I used on the table so the entire project ended up being free for me.



The grooves hold a few pictures so I can easily rotate them for a change of scenery.  I like the influx of color and the subject matter of my men always makes me smile :)








So from beams in a paper mill circa early 1900's to my kitchen displaying cell phone pictures this wood has certainly had a very full life!
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Birthday Boy Take 2

This time last year I was in a mad dash trying to finish up my then soon to be 4 year old's big boy room when we did this to his room:


Then I told you to ignore the fact that he still had a changing table for a dresser because I had big plans.


Then I kept you in the dark and did nothing with it.  For a year.  Because just like that my 4 year old is now about to be a 5 year old.  I can't believe it.  I digress.  So while I can't make him slow down I can update the area.

Brady has been asking for a desk for a few months.  He's entering kindergarten where I'm sure he'll be burning the midnight oil at that desk studying his ABC's, memorizing his sight words and learning to tie his shoes.  Anyway odd request for a not-yet 5 year old but his birthday is coming up and is something we'd need to figure out anyway.

It is a narrow room so I've been struggling a bit on how to fit a desk and a dresser into the space.  I considered using Ikea's new kitchen cabinetry, sans legs to build a desk that could also double as a dresser but while I still think it would be awesome, it became complicated and I'm running out of time/energy.  I think this gray cabinetry would have looked pretty cool with a wood top...

Ikea
Anyhoo moving on.  I've narrowed the options down to this (which I would stain):

Ikea
Love the price, like the style, unsure on the scale (it is 30" deep).

Or this (where I could be super lazy and just drop it in the room):
PB Teen
Love the style, love the scale, don't love the price.

So basically I've decided to spend more money and I STILL haven't addressed the 'changing table in a 5 year old's room' problem.  Buy new or hack what I've got?


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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Powder Room Reveal



Let's take a quick look at what we started with.  The room was very yellow when we bought the house.  It had a massive formal vanity, window trim for baseboards, brightly colored slate tile and (you can't see it in this picture) a very ugly pendant light.  A hot mess.  Since then it has been a few different colors.


I chose a dark teal printed grasscloth wallpaper from Spoonflower.  They custom cut it to the 4' lengths I needed above the bead board, labeled each roll and provided a legend showing which numbered roll corresponded to which measurement.


I've never hung wallpaper before so my parents were really generous and papered it for me while I was at work.  They said it was a 2 hour job.  They're such peaches.


Then we hung this gorgeous Parsons bone-inlay herringbone mirror from West Elm.


The sink, lighting, fixtures and bead board were all put in the day I went into labor with my now 6 year old so this was strictly a cosmetic upgrade.  Those are my favorite kind.




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Friday, January 2, 2015

Green With Envy

The wallpaper is ordered!  So while I wait for it to arrive I'll search for some eye candy of green grasscloth and hope that my room will look a fraction as good as these do.


Source via Traditional Home
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Powder Room

So as long as I'm resealing the tile I may as well redecorate the entire room right?  This room has only been four different colors in six years so it is screaming for a refresh.

I'm finally getting my grasscloth wallpaper.  Kind of.  Faux.  The room couldn't be any smaller than it currently is and half the wall is covered in bead board so it will not require much paper.  I've chosen this dark teal grasscloth from spoonflower.  A bit of a gamble ordering paper online that I've never seen in person but life's short right?

The bead board, sink, lights and fixtures are already in the room so it is really a wall paper and accessories refresh.  Here we go again!

powder room

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Tile Refresh

We installed the floor tile in our powder room while we were renovating the kitchen.  Because we had knocked a wall down it meant that we had to patch the hardwood where the wall used to be...and as long as we were patching the floors we may as well extend the hardwood out into the hall...and as long as we were extending the hardwood into the hall we may has well do the powder room too.  Because that's how we do.

I don't think either of us like the tile we chose.  We were overtired and stressed and got into an argument on the way to Home Depot.  We rarely fight so this one was a doozy.  I can't even remember what it was about now but I blame the fact that we were DIY renovating most of our first floor, in the dead of winter with no heat, a very colicky 16 week old and two full time jobs.  Oh and the IRS was throwing me some audit fun as well.  We were the very definition of stretched too thin.  If all we were hit with after all that was mediocre tile and no divorce papers I'd say it was a success.  Anyhoo the moral of this story is to never choose tile angry.

Fast forward 6 years and our light colored tile and grout powder room has seen a lot of foot traffic and 3 potty trained boys still perfecting on their aim.  I've scrubbed this floor repeatedly and it never looks any better than this.  You can see what the original grout looked like in the back, center seam and what it looks like today in the front center seam that sees all the traffic.  The ring around the toilet is disgusting.


The tile and grout is clean (believe it or not) but badly stained.  To attempt a remedy that didn't include ripping out the tile and starting over I decided to give this $13 bottle from Home Depot a shot.  It is an all-in-one colorant and sealer that promises the grout will look like new.  I figured it sounded too good to be true but it couldn't look worse.  I chose a darker gray color than we currently had so that it would hopefully hide dirt/other things better the next time around.


The directions say to use a toothbrush to apply and then quickly wipe off excess before it dries.  We have pretty small grout lines so I used a fine craft brush.  In this picture below you can see where I started applying around the base of the toilet (on the right) and the old, grimy joints that I started with.  Such a huge difference.


Look how much better it looks!  


 A quick before and after.  The pictures don't really do it justice but in person it is a HUGE improvement!  I give it 3 days before it is trashed again but it will be an awesome 3 days.

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