Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 5 (Part 2) of the One Room Challenge

More ORC posts this week.  Check out the grasscloth post from earlier this week here.

The husband is now getting in the ORC spirit.  Remember our hamper drawer from our IKEA Pax hack?  Well the plan was always to cover it with a fake door front. We get a lot of requests for a 'how to' on building the doors so I'll use the build of this door to show the general concept.  You would need to adjust the plans depending on your size/design needs.  It takes a LOT of patience and precise measuring. I don't have either of those skills so this was a project for the engineer husband.

You could probably just use a flat sheet of wood and glue/nail the wood stiles right on top of it but if you're building a large door it would be prone to warping.  Our doors are tongue and groove so that all the pieces fit together like a puzzle.  This allows for expansion and contractions across the seasons which minimizes warping.  Here was our plan:

We used 1x4" birch boards and 1/4" sheets of finished plywood to build our doors.  The wood sat inside for a week or so to acclimate to the house.  Using a 1/4" router bit Sean put the grooves in the wood.  This is what the wood sheets will slide into.

That became this:

Once all the pieces were cut he dry fit it against the hamper drawer to see that it completely covered the drawer and while ensuring the doors on either side still opened.  You can see how the pieces slide together here.

We used the very scientific approach of using a level and a Dinosaur Dig book to determine spacing off the floor to line up against the already installed doors.

There were many helping hands.

Before you glue, as you're assembling, stick a small square of window insulation at each corner of the plywood sheets.  The insulation will give the wood freedom to expand and contract without the wood rattling around as it is moved.  Next up, glue.  Run a bead of wood glue on the rails and stiles only.  Important - do NOT glue the plywood.  That should remain floating to allow the wood to expand and contract with the seasons.  Wipe up any glue drips quickly.  Clamp tight and then let dry for 24 hours on a flat surface.

Next up - sanding, prime & paint! Lightly sand for smooth finish.  1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint.  We used Benjamin Moore Decorators White.

Head over to Calling It Home to see the progress of the other participants!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 5 (Part 1) of the One Room Challenge

Week 5 - one week left!  Check out prior weeks here.  I was humming along nicely until week 5 when we decided to start 3 new projects on the room.  Awesomesauce.  I'll break this week into a couple posts.  First up, grasscloth wallpaper.

I've always had a thing for grasscloth wallpaper.  I love the natural colors, the texture...heck I even love the seams.  With designs like these who wouldn't?


Caccoma Interiors

Markham Roberts
Before I decided to paint the room I had considered grasscloth wallpaper.  I ultimately decided against it because I have been dodging the wallpaper gods for 30 years now.  You see when I was little my design guru mother spent an exhausting day wallpapering my room.  Not 24 hours later my brother and I decided it would be a good idea to rip all of said wall paper off the walls.  If she didn't give us up for adoption that day I knew she never would.  So you see the wallpaper gods have been waiting to exact their revenge on me ever since.  

That is how I ended up with painted walls.  My mom, forgiving me for my wallpaper destruction, found a roll of grasscloth wallpaper in an odds and ends bin at the wallpaper store and picked it up for me.  Perfect for a small project like adding some interest to the backs of our bedroom bookshelves.

I have a very short attention span so a year from now odds are good that I will want a new look for my shelves so I decided the apply the wallpaper to wood panels that I could change them out.  We had some leftover wood in the garage so the husband cut them down to size.  I had considered priming them and using wallpaper adhesive like it should be installed but decided to take a short cut and just used Modge Podge.  It worked out fine.  Ta-da...and then I ran out of wood so I'll finish the rest up by week 6.

Hmmmm, what could be that wood thing just below the shelf you ask?  That's the husband's latest project that I'll get into in another post :)

Head on over to Calling It Home to see the progress of the other participants! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 4 of the One Room Challenge

Week 4 of the 6 Week challenge (check out prior weeks here).

Now it starts getting fun.  Construction is behind us.  This week - drapes and rugs!

I bought the original drapes for this room not long after we laid the hardwood floors a couple years back.  Allesandro panels from Pottery Barn. 

Pottery Barn
I mentioned that I never finalized a paint color because I’d been trying to coordinate with these drapes.  I like them, I really do, but finding a coordinating paint color was damn near impossible.  Then in the middle of the night (literally, I’m crazy like that) the solution came to me.  Remember those silk drapes from my living room that I replaced because at 84” they were too wimpy for the room?  

Well 84” drapes in an 89” ceiling room with 3.5" crown moldings are perfect and the color was way easier to coordinate! They're a similar green but reads much differently in the absence of the yellow.  You can’t beat free!

Now onto the floors...
Life with 2, 3 and 5 year old boys means waking up in the morning is like drinking from a fire hose.  It is zero to sixty in 3 seconds.  I don’t know how they do it but kids wake up bursting with energy and noise.  So for the floors I wanted something cushy on my feet when I get out of bed to make my mornings just a little more pleasant.  The Pottery Barn Hudson shag rug fit the bill. It looks more yellow in this picture than it actually is.  It is off-white in real life.

Pottery Barn
Because the room is large I decided on two 5x8 rugs as opposed to one large rug that would be mostly covered by the bed.  I hemmed and hawed on the price but ended up going for it because I’ve always had really good luck with Pottery Barn rugs.  I traded in my credit card points for gift cards, sold my broken, unused iPhone and linked the purchase to my kids' Upromise account so Pottery Barn deposited 5% of my purchase into their 529 college savings accounts.  You’re welcome kids.  See how I just did that?  Rationalized it down to me thinking it was basically free…when I reality it was not J

Doesn't it look like a mat of mini-marshmallows?  Seriously it feels that way too.

Current review – I’m a big fan (as is the dog).  It is so plush I have been known to face plant on it at the end of the day.  My boys use it as football turf (each rug being a different end zone).  It sheds like a mother but that should stop eventually.

Check out the progress of the other participants here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week 3 of the One Room Challenge

Half way through the ORC!  Head over here to see the progress from prior weeks and here to see the progress of the other participants.

I gave my husband 3 sons.  He gave me crown molding.  Installation of crown molding is way more painful than childbirth.

When we built our Pax hack last winter we the husband installed crown molding to give it a custom, built-in look.  Fun fact - there is actually crown molding behind the crown molding you see in this picture.  We put it up and the realized the scale wasn't right.  Rather than remove it we left it as a nailer for the piece you see below.  I begged and the husband agreed to take that crown molding around the rest of the room.




We have one long run (24') and since crown comes in 16' sections we were going to have a seam no matter what we did.  We didn't want to end up with this like we have in our family room (I have no idea why our ceiling looks like the moon...I blame the camera).  Ironically that crown molding install was one of the few things we paid the pros to do.  If you want something done right...

Visible seams happen when crown molding isn't properly secured to a stud (the nails pull away from the drywall).  To ensure we wouldn't have a visable seam here he secured a triangular piece of wood to the studs behind the molding where the seams would meet and then secured the molding to that.  Beauty and brains that guy.

He installed on Saturday and I caulked, putty'ed and painted on Sunday.  What a difference!

I still have some touch up wall and ceiling painting to do.

We also finally added the trim to the floor.  Our entire house is out of square and the floors are all over the place (hence the reason crown molding is so miserable to install).  We had stopped noticing this:

While we had the nail gun out the husband stalled a piece of trim along the bottom of the cabinetry to fill most of the gap.

And because I promised I'd put this in writing: I promise to never make my husband install crown molding ever again.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Decorating

I break from my master bedroom redesign to do a little fall decorating.  I love fall colors and decor but because the summer-like weather lasts until October (it was 85 last week!) and then I blink and it is Christmas so I don't do a ton of fall decorating.  What you see in this picture is basically it and is good until Thanksgiving.

I bought a bag of mini-pumpkins and gourds and let the boys each pick out a pumpkin (including one for the dog).  We use our fireplace frequently in the winter but it is still too warm so far now I decorate the inside of the fireplace.  Not only do I like the way it looks but it discourages little boys from playing the "throw the pumpkin at your brother" game.

I added some fall garland on the mantle...

...and wrapped the sconce candles with a wire strand of berries.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week 2 of the One Room Challenge.

You can start from the beginning here.

The week of a million paint swatches.  Or six actually.

Hello old friend...

I was trying to find a paint color that:

1.       Was light enough in color that it didn’t scream, "Look at me I'm an 80” ceiling!"
2.       Coordinated with the drapes
3.       A cool color to coordinate with our master bath.


Ruh roh raggy.  After 6 swatches I realized I had a problem on my hands.  The drapes had a warm yellow tone to it so there was no way I was going to find a way to accomplish #2 and #3.  The only swatches that worked with the drapes I didn’t love (turns out I don’t like yellow tones) and clashed with the temperature of the master bath.  Hence the reason this room has gone unpainted for 2 years.  

Scrap the drapes. Round hole, square peg.  I like them but I can't make them work with the tones of the space.  They'll find a better home in another room.  Now that I'm not trying to force the drapes I have a blank slate.  My husband thinks I'm crazy.

Off to Benjamin Moore.  Oh Benji you never disappoint.  I picked up their brochure of neutrals, organized from warmest to coolest, and chose the one right in the middle.  Revere Pewter.  I even gambled and bought a gallon rather than the swatch.  What can I say? I live on the edge.

It is a great color because it can look warn or cool, tan (above), green (below) and gray (bottom) all in the same room depending on the lighting and time of day.  


Coordinates much better with the master bath.

Mission accomplished.  When my husband first saw it in the paint can he didn’t like it.  After I put 2 coats up I heard the rare words, “you were right.”  After I cleared my ears to ensure I was hearing him correctly I decided Revere Pewter is my now my favorite color of all time for mostly that reason.  
To do:
Sweet talk the husband into crown molding
Paint trim
Finish shelves
Art & Finishing touches

Head on over to Calling It Home today to check out the progress of the other ORC participants!