Loaded & Headed

Progress has been made in the guest/Handy Sammy’s room.  The shelves have been reconfiguredcurtains sewn, storage boxes made, storage needs assessed, and mini dresser refinished.  Taking the room from dark:Guest-Bedroom-Large-Window

To this brighter space:


Now to an almost finished room:


After clearing off the shelves, I edited the accessories, keeping only favorites and books.  Last week the shelves fully dried and I loaded everything back on.


Organizing books into genres, then arranged by color (ROYGBIV with white, gray and black at the end) makes it easy to find what we’re looking for.


Magazines organized by month in files at the bottom.


On the other side, Handy Sammy has four shelves (the vase, frame, and plant can easily be cleared) to store school books and papers, chargers, and his laptop.  A shelf at bed height also doubles as a night stand.


I’m guessing you noticed the blue headboard, too.  We thought about upholstering with a fun fabric, but the books and accessories on the shelves are already kind of busy for the small room.  And we didn’t want to lose precious space, even if it is only a few inches.  In this room, every inch counts.


Solid color seemed the best fit for the room.  I bought two yards of navy linen, brought it home and didn’t like it.  Too blue.  Then I heard our local Ace Hardware stores were giving free quarts of Clark + Kensington paint away one day only.  I chose a dark blue-green color (King’s Canyon), not knowing what I’d use it for.  Once I held the swatch up in the room, it seemed perfect for the headboard.  1/4 inch MDF is light weight and super thin, so I painted a few coats.  Ben hung it last night, covering the edges with pre-painted quarter round trim.


And he installed the second sconce we had ordered.


Making this little nook inviting and useful.


Next up, hang a light fixture.  Surprise, it’s a DIY creation I discovered yesterday.  Soon we will install crown molding, baseboard, and door trim.  Paint on the trim, ceiling, and walls (I’m STILL looking for the perfect color), we can call this room done.  Wow, this room is actually going quickly.

Replacement Rug

Our laundry room isn’t very pretty.  At all.  Orange counters, plain white walls, fluorescent lights, and oak cabinets.  And floor-less.


Literally right after closing, Ben pulled out the pet stained (and smelly) carpet that was in the laundry room, hall, and bathroom (eww).  But I don’t like the feel of walking on old carpet glue.  For a while, we used extra Flor tiles.


Then we swapped rugs and the chevron painted rug sat in storage.  Until I measured the laundry room and realized the rug was almost the perfect size to cover the floor.  Or most of it.


Ben and Handy Sammy lifted the washer and dryer while I shimmied the rug under.  It is a few inches too long for the room, so it curls against the back wall.  But hey, it covers the floor, gets the rug out of storage, and works until we get to work in here.



The natural jute color definitely isn’t doing the orange counter tops or orange-y stained cabinets any favors.


But we have storage space (and a utility sink!) and that’s what matters.


More than anything, the new rug makes me want a fun patterned floor when we get around to changing this space.  I’d really love to paint or replace the counters, too, but that’s not a priority.  Heck, the whole room isn’t a priority.  Ben doesn’t see the value in touching the laundry room because we’ll have to add insulation to the back wall (where there’s nothing but concrete).  Which means the size of the cabinets will change.  Oh well, a girl can dream, right?

Star Crossed Lovers

Sometimes Pinterest is a blessing and a curse.  Seeing perfectly styled rooms can be overwhelming.  But it also opens a world of inspiration we might not have seen otherwise.  I stumbled across this Coronata Star wallpaper and it stuck with me.  Somehow, I had to use that pattern in our house.  Ah-ha!  The guest room needs a new curtain, why not there?  So that’s what I did.  I sewed a rectangle panel to fit inside the window on a tension rod.  Then stenciled my heart out, following these same steps.


Some areas are patchy, others had some bleed through, but I’m still happy with the look.


I thought about fashioning a Roman type shade, but nixed the idea.  Instead I used ribbon and buttons I already had in my stash.  18 inches of white ribbon stitched to the back.


And a button stitched to the front for a place to loop the ribbon through.  Though I’m not thrilled with the buttons.  I don’t think the ribbon button hole will hold up to everyday use.  A snap closure might be a better option.


A thin wood dowel in the bottom lets the curtain hang straight and gives something to roll the fabric around.


The inside mounted fabric shows off the trim (that will stand out even more once we paint the walls).


And a touch of pattern that makes me smile.


Usually I lean toward floor to ceiling curtains, but in this room, I’m diggin’ the rolled panel.  What do you prefer?

Box Tops {Lidded Storage Boxes}

But not the box tops for education.  Instead, building tops for these $3 boxes from Target’s dollar spot.  These plain wood boxes are the perfect size for Handy Sammy’s bookshelf/nightstand storage.  But I wanted lids to hide everything inside.  So I looked in the garage and found a scrap of 1/4 inch MDF that was slightly larger than my box.  In a word, perfect.


I measured the outside of the box and the inside.


And cut four pieces.  One piece the same size as the outside, and another 1/4 inch smaller than the inside, for both boxes.  Plenty of wood glue to attach the two pieces and wait for it to dry.


Then I started painting.  I’m a rebel and skipped primer, but it would help.  And sand the boxes quickly.  I wanted something similar to these lacquer boxes, so I covered the edges with gold craft paint.


After the gold dried, I marked off 1/4 inch on all sides, then taped off the corners.


Mysterious blue paint and primer left over from the mini dresser covered nicely.


I still want to spray the boxes for a smoother, glossy finish, but I love how they look.


To make it easier on myself, I painted the inside of the boxes blue and the covers all gold.


As we tackle projects for the guest room, I’m getting more antsy to finish it.  Because I want to see everything together.  If you’ve got a tray you’d like to cover, this was as easy as two cuts.  What do you think?  Are you willing to give it a try?  Or have you done something similar?

Leaf it Alone

Sometimes I wish I planned ahead more and decorated for various holiday and seasons.  Nothing that would look like I bought an entire aisle at Hobby Lobby, but more than the few areas I do decorate.  Because so much is unfinished (or even started) in this house, my focus has been more on necessary projects, not decorating.  And we’ve only got a few logical places for decor at the moment.  I’ve already fall-ified the couch.  Without a mantle, I use our entertainment center as a substitute.  So, here’s our little dose of fall decor.

Well, that was round one.  Touches of yellow, white, gold, and copper.  I swapped a blue vase for the gold one on the left and replaced the paper behind our Whole Family Tree cut out.  Previously, it had a teal backing, which you can see on the top right shelf at our first house.  

While I liked the general selection, I wanted a little more.  I found pressed leaves in my craft stash so I used light fishing line to make a simple garland.

Simple.  I taped a few more leaves on fishing line then hung them from the ceiling to get the effect of falling leaves.

Other than the leaves, the left side stayed the same.

To add more metallic goodness, I spray painted the little bird to match the vase.  And a pine cone.  Because one can never have too much bling.

Other than the pillows and faux billy buttons, I think I’m done for the season.  I’ve done a little Halloween decorating that I’ll share soon.

What are your favorite ways to spruce your home for the changing seasons?  Do you go all out on decorating?  Or just a few touches here and there?  Got a favorite project?  Share it with us!