Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Bedroom Has Begun

I described for you the progress we've made so far in our living room, but since we're not ready to finish that project yet, I got a jump start on another room I'm extremely excited about....our master bedroom. I made a mood board a while back but it's taken us a while to get started. This room will probably be a slow moving process but we're going to blog about our updates as we go. Call it the first real-time blog reno from the Wright's. Aren't you excited?

Here's the "before" photo so you know what we're working with here.
I started prepping the room by taking down the window cornices and sanding the areas where they were because they left marks on the wall and window trim.
There were indents in the walls from the cornices so I spackled them of course.
(I have a spackle obsession)
After the spackle dried, I sanded, primed, and then sanded again in those spots until they were nice and smooth. I also sanded the window trim to prep for my paint. Then I frog-taped the room and got my paint on.
This is what we were looking at....you can see the color of the door versus the fresh coat of white paint on the trim. The door color is what all the trim looked like....bleghh. What an amazing difference. Now I just need a painting date with that door.
While the trim paint dried in the bedroom, David had helped me remove the radiator cover and bring it into the basement to get a coat of paint as well, since it looked about as bad as that door. Don't you love my array of stuff to paint on? A dropcloth, 2 cardboard boxes, newspapers and flyers. Classy.
I also painted the part that was attached to the wall.
I just used the same paint as the trim, in case you're wondering. I know there are special "high heat" and special radiator paints, but I didn't bother with it for a few reasons. 1) The previous owners just used trim paint on these covers and didn't have a problem, 2) I used trim paint on the ones in the living room and they've been fine for a year now, 3) they aren't really "high heat" (like a grill would be) and I've read several places that regular paint is fine for the radiator covers.

So the trim is done! Next up....walls and doors.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Look Into My Eye

This is me...all the time. If you substitute the children for a dog. Although picture Oats in a shopping cart - I'd never be allowed in the store again.
If you've ever stepped foot in Target you understand.

Yesterday I went in just to buy shaving cream. Literally...just shaving cream. It's that time of year, ya know? With a coupon, the shaving cream cost me 99 cents, but is that all I spent? Of course not. I love Target....probably too much. So here's some of my sweet recent finds from the best store ever.

End tables: $44 each on clearance. I'm still working on ideas for painting them, but I love the style and they are the perfect size for our small room.
Lamp shades/bases - bought a couple styles to see which I like best....but that decision took 5 seconds. Look how well that shade on the right matches our walls = easiest.decision.ever. Just need to either change out or spray paint the base. Hmmm too many ideas :)
Adorbs shaker which I'm going to use for cinnamon-sugar. Galvanized + chalkboard = ME. And the best $4 I've spent in a while.
This cute cheese dome and little honey jar....obsessed.
And an outdoor candle holder for our new patio table. Looks like Pottery Barn....cost under $20. Sold.
That's all I can remember right now, but aren't those great?!? Anyone else have any cute finds from Target lately? If not, head over to your nearest one and see what goodies you can find on the cheap. Hope you're as lucky as me :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This Blog Needs a Room Reno

I mean, that was the whole point of starting this blog, really. We want to show our family and friends our little house and how much fun we're having (most of the time!) making it a home, and document it all for our own memories.

We've been working on our living room renovation for over a year now. I know. that's.too.long. I can't say we're not making progress, but it's been sloooooow. Here's what we started with. Super blah. Those cornices and curtains were from the previous owners. I hate them. And can we talk about that electrical wiring? Eeek.
And here's where we are now. Big improvement, but far from done.
Here's what we've done so far, sans photos because I suck and forgot to take them in the process. This stuff was done pre-blog so I wasn't thinking of photographing all the steps :(

·         Rewired all the electrical outlets (that was allll David and his dad so don’t ask me anything about it)
·         Patched up the ugly holes left from random outlets in the middle of the walls
·         Painted the walls and trim (with my dad’s help since this was my first ever room painting experience)
·         Painted the radiator covers
·         Installed crown molding
·         Installed new baseboard and shoe molding (quarter round)
·         Replaced the old doorbell box with a more subtle one
·         Replaced the window cornices with homemade curtains
·         Built, painted and installed the built-ins
·         Added a rug
·         Added a TV stand

The built-ins were our major project, although they still need a lot of touching up as well as some cabinet doors on the left side (those are missing in case you didn't notice). This winter we did a couple additional projects for this room that I'll be posting about soon. We do love how the room's slowly coming together, but I don't think we'll have an "after" photo to post any time soon. The main reason for that....the sofas. We have a great, old but good quality sofa set from David's parents. And we love them. They fit perfectly in our space and are so comfortable. But they're not the most appealing to the eye, and they're a little to matchy-matchy to the wall color. The wall color, by the way, is Valspar's Skinny Latte, and these photos don't do it justice. I love it. It was my first time ever choosing a paint color for a room. Nailed it.
Buying a new sofa set is out of the question financially right now, and we've looked into getting these slipcovered but it's almost as expensive as buying new ones. Maybe I'll try my amateur sewing skills at it...maybe....but not right now. Here is what I dream of:
Source: Pottery Barn
Ahhhh someday.....

So you won't be seeing our "after" living room photos quite yet. We'll try to keep up with some "progress" ones in the meantime.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Serve It Up

This was a relatively easy project that we put together recently to spruce up our bedroom a little while we prepare to fully renovate it. Everything takes a thousand years in our house.
I bought these small pieces of wood in the "craft wood bin" at Home Depot and they are so cheap it's ridiculous. Evidently this bin is only around during the holidays, but the rest of the year they still have a scrap bin that's 50 cents per piece. I used some of the narrower boards pictured below. They are made from poplar and they are 1/2" by 1-1/2" and come in 2' lengths, which was perfect for this project.
While I was at Home Depot I picked up 4 pieces of hardware...two girly and two manly as I'm calling them.
I measured my nightstands to see how big I wanted the trays and settled on an even foot long for each, with a width of 3 planks. I'm real scientific. It worked out perfectly that I chose 12" because the craft boards are  2' long, so I just measured the halfway point and used the miter saw to cut my three boards.
Those six pieces became the bottom pieces for my two trays. When I went to do the sides, the width of the board was a tad too high for what I was going for....
So we ripped them lengthwise in half with the table saw....
Then cut two of those boards in half at the 12" mark to make the longer sides, and then cut two at just under 6.5" for the ends (since I made two trays I needed four of each size).
Once all my pieces were cut I sanded them down a lot and roughed up the edges...so they don't look so manufactured. It's nice doing projects where the purpose is not to make things perfect. Much different than sewing.
 Then I stained all the pieces before putting them together. Stain can get drippy so I thought this would work easier and I'm glad I did it.
Then we used clamps to hold them in place and a brad nailer to piece together the frame first and then the bottom pieces.
Then I painted them with the same paint I used for the nightstands....Valspar's Antique White in Matte Finish.
You can see the stain coming through and the rough wood look.
I did two coats of paint to completely cover the stain. I don't know why, I just thought it would look better once I sanded it.
Then I took the electric sander to every surface of them until I liked the amount of stain that was coming through.
Then David helped me attach the hardware...different on each tray to make them really "his and hers." Can you tell which one's which? haha.
And there's the tale of our little rustic bedside trays. They help hold some of the items we had on our nightstands but now gives it a neater look.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pray for Boston

I had another post planned for today but discussing anything but Boston just seems frivolous to me right now. It's also important not to forgot the town of West, Texas, where more horrible events are taking place. In the midst of all this news, I cannot bring myself to think about anything else. I went to college in Massachusetts and David in New Hampshire, so we have many friends living in the areas in and around Boston. Understandably my mind is on them and everyone else who is on lockdown and terrified, the victims of the bombings on Monday, the families and friends of those that were killed, the emergency responders and heroes working tirelessly to help victims and to catch this terrorist, and now the family of the MIT officer who lost his life last night, but probably saved many others with his actions.

Since you can see all the latest news on television, I just wanted to take a minute to reflect on a few of the videos and images from this week that have moved me or made me laugh, and those that remind us that there is far more good in this world than bad.
Source: Twitter
Source: Facebook

Source: The Huffington Post
More images from New York's Illuminator can be found here.

I'm proud of New York and the Yankees for all their wonderful tributes to their arch rival Red Sox, like the playing of "Sweet Caroline" at Tuesday's game. They show that in times like this, rivalries do not matter, and as a nation we must all stand behind and support each other.
Watch the video at the New York Yankees website

And the singing of the national anthem by the crowd at the Bruins game was just downright amazing. If you haven't watched it yet, you need to see this video.

This picture was posted by Mystic Aquarium as a shout out to their friends in Boston.
Source: Facebook
This makes us laugh, but is so true. Thank you Colbert.

And finally, I loved this article from Thought Catalog and this article about one of many good Samaritans from Monday.

My thoughts and prayers are with Boston and West, Texas tonight. Please keep them in yours too, and please remember there is still so much good in the world.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Classy Puppy Dining

This wasn't intentional, but my last two posts were dog-related so I thought, why not make it an even trifecta and do another one.

Earlier this week I talked about including dogs into home design by giving them their own spaces. Oats has many of her own spaces in our house, but I wouldn't exactly say they're pretty....her crate, her beds, her toys scattered everywhere....so we made her something pretty. David calls it a "throw it together project"....I call it awesome and I'm excited to show you how our little bear is now dining in style.
A few months ago David got some scrap pieces of Azek beadboard from a jobsite. These pieces were going to be thrown out because they were so small you realistically couldn't use them for anything. Unless you're us...hee hee hee. I ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them and suggested using them on the stairs, but there just wasn't enough. So we just figured we'd save them for when we could think of something.

Then one night randomly I heard the saw going in the basement. We'd been wanting something nice for Oatsy's food bowl, so I'd been brainstorming ideas but hadn't settled on one that I loved. We also desperately needed something because Oats is at the too-tall-to-be-eating-with-the-bowl-on-the-ground stage and we were getting sick of using an ugly stool to raise it to her height.

So basically, what I gathered from shooting a few photos as he worked and missing the beginning, is this:

He built a frame out of wood scraps with some wood glue and a finish (nail) gun.
Attached the corner pieces to a square to create a top, again with glue and nails...
Leaving a space around the base just wide enough to fit the beadboard...
Then attached the beadboard with the finish gun.
Then I had to find a bowl...which surprisingly only took me one night. I pretty much knew what I wanted and easily found it on Etsy. I ordered a personalized ceramic bowl from Symmetrical Pottery and then we waited...and Oats used the stand like this for a few weeks. Attractive.
I was ecstatic when the bowl came in....it was perfect. Thanks Scott and Angi :)
So David just traced the circle around the bowl onto the top of the stand and cut out a hole with his jigsaw. These are the awesome quality iPhone pics he took for me while doing it. I gotta teach that boy how to center a photo and move his old broken down beer boxes from the workspace. Sheesh.
Then I filled the holes with white, paintable wood filler, sanded it down and covered it in spackle, cause that's how I roll.

When I painted it, I started by brushing paint into the grooves and then using the mini roller over the rest, including the top (which I did prime first because that was bare wood).
And now, Oats finally has her own pretty spot for eating...cause she really cares. We love it though...and it fits perfectly in the little spot in our kitchen where she eats.
Just in time for us to finish this food stand we also started Oats on Blue Buffalo food. Yes...our boojee dog seems to have some food sensitivities, so we figured if we were going to go with better, more expensive food, why not just get the best. Go big or go home, right? So now she's eating Blue Buffalo out of a beadboard food stand with a personalized bowl with her name on it. That's the epitome of boojee. And that's Oats...finagling her way into the best of everything, cause we just love her too much.
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