Monday, February 22, 2010

Guest Room Update

So, I’ve been focusing a lot of attention on our guest room lately.  Trying to give it some thought, so it won’t look like I just threw it together with things I had left over from old dorm rooms (which is what I did, of course). 

Here is what it looked like after my first attempt at decorating:

IMG_8677 IMG_8678

For the first six months after we moved in, this room had a rocking chair and boxes in it.  Very special. 

Anyway, this past weekend, I put away all the toys and clutter and rearranged the furniture to open up the space a bit.  Then today the new bedding arrived, so here is a preview of it in the newly arranged room:




So, the new bedding still looks like it came out of a box.  But, we can see the transformation starting to take shape.  The mirror needs to get moved over to center, the plants need to go back outside to the garden (hooray Spring!) and we need to freshen up the accessories.  I’m also planning an upholstered cushion for the cedar chest “bench”.  But the biggest upcoming project to tie this room together is a white curved upholstered headboard, like these:

betterhomesandgardensupholsteredheadboard_thumb  (Better Homes and Gardens)

b404c06880d9  (Jonathan Adler via DecorPad)

And of course, we’ll need some paint to cover the cartoon drawings.  I’m thinking a pale yellow creamy color.  New sheets, a pleated bedskirt, new pillows, art and accessories will complete the look.  Can’t wait to get started on the next phase!

But until then, what do you think about the new bedding?  Isn’t it cheerful?  Do you think I should iron it? hehe 


Stay tuned as we continue to makeover the guest room!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Phase Five: A Chair for the Den

The day has finally come!  My den couch finally has a friend!  And we are recalling all those phases of den redecoration. ;)
Here it is!  A chair for the den:
The little chair and his matching brother came to us from the alley behind the local thrift store.  Even the thrift store people didn’t think they were worth saving and essentially gave them to my mother for $2.50 a piece!  Whoo hoo! 
Being the resourceful lady that she is, Mama brought them to her new carport and tucked them safely away as a future project.  When the matching Queen Anne couch arrived and our den was still lacking proper furniture, I decided to steal both the chairs and the couch for my house!  :)  So, out they came from under the piles of junk “fabulous finds” in the carport  into the light of day!
Here is the sad state of affairs before:

 Poor little thrift store reject. :(
Don’t worry…
 Guthries to the rescue!!

And so, Michael and I stripped it down to the wood and paper.  Then Mama refinished the legs to match the couch with Bombay Mahogany spray stain.
Next, we started re-cushioning the arms with poly batting and recovering the chair with cream fabric.  The fabric is called “City Blocks” and is made from recycled plastic bottles!  It is virtually stain resistant—at least I couldn’t stain it when I tried! :)  (However, I recently learned it is not resistant to cat claws, and evil cats leave little holes in the fabric everywhere they touch!)
Here’s a photo reel of the “rescue” process:

IMG_1056  IMG_1058

IMG_1295   IMG_1347
Voila!  Finished product:  




Now, if we can just get the other one finished, we’ll be set.  Plus coffee table, floors, lighting, shades, paint etc, etc….. :)


But, I do think it’s looking more and more like my photo-shopped “inspiration photo”:
den refurb
How do you like the new chair?  Think you need to hit up the local thrift store for rejects to rescue?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To paint or not to paint…

So, lately, I have been contemplating painting or staining our bathroom vanity cabinets.  They are sad.  And the grungy looking “antique” brass knobs are sadder.  My idea is to paint them an off white color with brushed nickel knobs or to stain them dark mahogany (like the rest of our furniture) with either oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel knobs. 

In order to visualize what this might look like, I photoshopped a photo of my guest bath vanity.  Here is the before:


Yes, I’m standing in the bathtub!  Yes, it’s a small bathroom!  And yes, that gold mirror definitely has to go!

Here is the stained version with bronze knobs and matching mirror:

cabinets stained

Please forgive my lack of photoshop skillz. :) But I think you get the idea.

Here is the stained version with (very shiny) nickel knobs:

cabinets stained nickel knobs

And lastly here is the off-white painted version with matching mirror:

cabinets painted

Okay, it’s voting time!  Which one is your favorite? 

The cabinets in the master bath are the same color and style, so this decision can apply to either bathroom.  Perhaps the painted ones would be better in the smaller bathroom to make it look bigger?  And the stained ones in the master?  Or does it need the contrast and impact of the dark stain in the small space? What do you think?

I’m also working on our guest bedroom lately.  I ordered new linens… and I’m trying to go with a yellow and white (with touches of light aqua?) color scheme in there.  Hopefully, when the bedding arrives on Friday, it will be perfect!  Then I can choose a paint color and get to painting over the cartoons on the walls.  I’ll keep you posted! ;)


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Birthday Blocks and Bunting!

Last weekend was my niece’s 2nd birthday party!  Yay!

So, we finally had an excuse to decorate over the top for a party.  Here’s a look:





Okay, so maybe that wasn’t completely over the top…. I mean, have you seen my house at Halloween? ;)  But for this party, we stuck with the birthday standards.  I do love me some balloons... Abby does, too, apparently!  I also threw in some birthday banners, bunting and crepe paper for good measure.

Anyway, I made the pastel flag bunting from scrap cottons with girly prints and just stitched them onto lime green bias binding.  Pretty fun way to jazz up the ceiling.  Now I just need another piece for the other side of the chandelier. :) 

But, the piece de resistance was definitely the cake, as always.  The little yellow blocks on top spell out her name A-B-B-Y.  Some people thought it said ‘baby’ but clearly, no.  :)  The blocks were made in mini loaf pans and then cut 1” high and stacked two together like a mini layer cake.  I arranged them on the big cake and stabilized  with a dowel rod cut to length and pushed through the balancing block on top all the way through the bottom cake layers.  Then I iced the blocks with an open star tip.  Each side had a different design and I used three different colors for the sides.  I think next time I will outline the block faces so they look more defined like real blocks.  And I’ll also put them on the cake with the sides that face one another already decorated… what a pain to get in those tiny spots and pipe stars!  What was I thinking?  Luckily, Abby didn’t care that it was a mess! :)



We all had a great time watching her open presents, ride her new tricycle and eat her little birthday block cake! :)


What a cutie…



Happy 2nd Birthday Abby!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Furniture Swap

So this weekend, while we were snowed in, I decided to set up our “new” printer/scanner/fax/copy machine that I stole from my parent’s house (they weren’t really using it).  ;)

Well, this office has major problems, most of them involving our desks!  So, until we can find a new desk or desks that will fit the space, I just stuck the printer in the corner next to the closet… for now.

It’s hanging out on a little dresser that I snatched from the laundry room.


This dresser was a nightstand that we got secondhand.  I painted it semi-gloss black and bought new brushed nickel pulls for it.  It looks great with the sleek printer!  And it balances out the art on the wall above.


That “art” would be our college diplomas!  After five years, we finally got them framed as a Christmas gift from my parents, who built the frames for us.  They really look great in here.

Since I had to steal the little dresser from the laundry, there was an empty spot in there which had to be remedied.  So I swiped this antique sewing machine stand from the den.  This piece was another gift from my mom for our new house.  Don’t worry, the den won’t miss this one.  :)


While we are in here, let me show you the pink rose wreath I made for the wall.


The roses came from my wedding decor and the wreath form was leftover from my brother’s wedding, so this one cost me zero dollars!  And if I change my mind later, I can disassemble it and use it again. :)  Sorta looks a little Valentine-y in here, no?

So, I’m just watching it rain onto the snow, today.  Wishing that groundhog hadn’t seen his shadow in PA!  Happy Groundhog Day!