Archive for January 2010

busy week

with work and with this:
it's going to be a very busy week - i will have to catch up with all of you next week.

but i will leave you with some images from our productive weekend...



*all pictures taken at night*

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paint samples

paint samples are on the wall...


top left: valspar - wet pavement
top right: restoration hardware - slate
bottom left: lowes color matched to benjamin moore - coventry gray
bottom right: lowes color matched to benjamin moore - ozark shadows



the plan part 2

also know as: the post full of random things i like.

have you all seen the movie 500 days of summer? after seeing the chalkboard wall in that movie, i went back to wanting a chalkboard something in my house. i know that it seems to be kind of trendy or whatever, and i'm not normally one to follow trends. but for a studio space i think it would be great to have a large area to draw and sketch and a place that i can use for inspiration and the way, how fun was the headboard that was just drawn on the chalkboard? cheapest headboard ever!

moving on - here is a sketch of the floorplan that i'm working with. as you can see, the large window faces the south so we get a lot of natural light in this room. good for working, not for watching tv or sitting by the window (it gets really hot in the summer). we're hoping to get blinds to help with that problem though. the wall with the big window is also the exposed brick wall.
i've been trying to sketch possible furniture layouts (see part 1) using the chair/ottoman, desk, table, and tv stand. i'm not coming up with much. i might just need to start moving the furniture around in the room once we are done painting to see what feels best.i'm really leaning towards painting the desk if i end up using it in this room, the yellow pine just doesn't go with anything else. i could re-stain it, but that seems like a lot more work. if i painted it, i'm thinking maybe a glossy gray that is lighter than the wall color? i'm not a huge fan of painted white furniture normally, i'm not into that whole "shabby chic" look. but would gray (or some other color) help it look more modern and less shabby chic? i know i really need a better picture of the desk, i am sorry about that.

and back to the chalkboard idea - i'm not sure that i'd want to do a whole wall.... both for cost reasons and just the fact that i don't see myself using the whole wall. what do you all think of just doing a wide stripe of chalkboard paint on one wall? possibly the wall across from the brick wall (the one that the closet is on). i think i'll have to decide furniture layout first, and then pick the chalkboard wall. i was thinking maybe a 3' or 4' stripe of chalkboard paint, with possibly some kind of corkboard stripe across the top and/or bottom so that i can also pin up photos, plans, etc... see my horrible photocopy sketch below.
or maybe not? i keep going back and forth on the chalkboard, i think that my biggest reason why not is just because i keep seeing it everywhere... but that seems like a strange reason not to do something. i really do like the idea of some kind of corkboard though.

while i'm on the random path, i've also thought about attempting to make my own version of this fabulous shelving wall unit by the brick house (if you don't read this blog, you should, she has a great house and i'm jealous of almost all of her furniture and light fixtures)

it's made of plumbing parts and a couple of pieces of wood. it's not attached to the floor so we wouldn't have to worry about damaging the wood floors. something like this could be customized to help with some of the storage that i need, and possibly even hold some of my books, maybe a new flat tv (dreaming), architectural models and studio supplies... i probably wouldn't be able to make this now, but maybe in a few months? what do you think, should i work it into the plan? it would help me eliminate the need for a lot of the other random furniture i'm considering. thanks morgan for letting me share your shelving unit... and possibly copying your idea... :-)

so there you have it. and you can see why i need help. i'll leave you with one last image of some of the materials i'm considering:


the plan part 1... i need help.

i am stuck with what to put in this room. as i've mentioned before, the end goal of this room will be some kind of den/studio space - i would like to be able to sit and read and/or watch tv, i need storage space (badly!) and i would like some large surface area that i can do work on. i tend to do a lot of art and some sewing projects that take up a lot of space. i normally use the dining table but it would be nice to have an area where i can leave stuff out if i want. i also have a drafting board that i'd like to be able to set up if i wanted to do some hand drafting (yes, i'm a huge dork and i enjoy hand drafting).

to make it even more complicated, i don't really want to have to buy new furniture for this room. at least not at this point. we have a random assortment of furniture that we're not using right now so i'm hoping that i can use some of it to make a functioning (but still pretty!) space.

here is the furniture we have to work with (sorry for the old apartment photos, but that's when we used this furniture)... and wow our design style has changed since we lived in that apartment - i think i was going through a blah brown phase.
big green chair and ottoman (this was mike's furniture which is why it is big and green, not my style but super comfy)
bad picture, but the pine desk and/or desk chair to the left of the fireplace. i'm also open to painting this desk, it's from my bedroom when i was a kid so i've just been moving it around with me even though it doesn't really work for a computer... oh, and reese and eze. they will probably hang out in this room too :-)
this table. it's extends to be about twice as long. i don't think i can paint it because of how it extends. but it would be a good large(ish) work surface. i also have those black chairs still and could use one of them for a desk chair or at this table. i'd prefer not to paint the black chairs though because we use them in our dining room when we have more than 6 over for dinner.
this small tv stand and tv. it's an ikea/target stand so not all that great but i'm willing to paint it too. i don't really have anything else that the tv can sit on.

what do you think? even worth trying to make work? do i need both a desk and that table? the desk does have storage (it also has a shelf under it). this room has a big closet that i'm planning on putting some wire shelves in for additional storage. i know that i could probably find some different furniture on craigslist for not very much (you know how i love craigslist!) but i promised the husband that i'd stop buying craigslist furniture for a little while. plus we don't have a very big budget for this room.

stay tuned for part 2, i didn't want to make this post too long.


wallpaper down

over the weekend we removed the wallpaper in the den/studio/yet to be named room and started patching the walls.

(the chair is hiding under that blue blanket to protect it from drywall dust)

DSC_0011 for the most part, the wallpaper came off easily. it must have been expensive wallpaper - it was very heavy. now we only have one last little area of wallpaper above the stairs. someday we'll be wallpaper free...

and yeah... there was some mold under the wallpaper on one wall. super gross. i decided not to post that picture! we found something similar in our bedroom and were able to kill it with some high strength mold remover stuff. we're hoping that the same thing works in this room. it appears to be just on the surface, the first pass with the mold remover seemed to get most of it. but still, super gross.

now we just need to finish up patching the walls, sand, and prime! then the fun stuff starts, like picking a paint color. i still like the color that i posted about here, but i also want to try a couple of samples of a cooler gray tone. we're hoping to paint this weekend. i also am having a hard time with the furniture layout in this room, look for a post about that later in the week, i need help!


dear ebay...

please stop all bids on this because i would like to have it but i know it will quickly be out of my price range.

ok, thanks.


office update

when i last posted a picture of the office, it looked like this:

lately, it's actually been more like this:

rug covered in cat/dog hair while the vacuum cleaner is in the room so there are no excuses as to why it's not more fur free? check.

overflow books stacked in the window that you can clearly see from the outside, making us look oh so classy? check.

not one, but two unplugged lamps, one of which is broken? check.

bookshelf sitting 1' off of the wall because there are no baseboards along that wall and we don't want to put the bookshelf in place in fear that we'll cover the bookshelf with stuff and therefore never finish the baseboards? check. (trust me on this one, it's on the wall you can't see. and yes, it's been that way since last april).

towel covering part of the window to help block the light/cold air? normally check, but i was doing some laundry and decided to wash the towel. but it was dark blue, imagine it shoved behind those lovely books.

you might remember that last spring we installed crown molding in this room, and replaced portions of the baseboard and shoe molding. we were having trouble matching stain/finishes between the old and new woodwork and we got frustrated and gave up... for 9 months. a few weeks ago we decided that maybe the stain was not as far off as we first thought. we decided to go ahead and install everything and live with it and see how much it bothers us. i have a feeling that it will bother us a lot less attached to the wall than it did sitting in the basement :-)


after finishing up with the baseboards on saturday, we were motivated to keep working on this room. so we hung up the ikea curtains that had been in our dining room and removed the old broken roller blinds.


we even hung up a picture:

and unpacked a few more boxes!

organizing the shelf is a work in progress, i have a lot of oversized architecture books that will eventually be on this shelf. we also have some other things we want to hang on the wall, and we still need to get a new overhead light and roller blinds for the windows. but this room actually feels done now, and that is a great feeling.

by the way, we tried to rearrange this room before putting it all back together and couldn't come up with anything better. it's a decent sized room, but both the desk and the shelf are 5' long and with the 3 doors (exterior, room, and closet), radiator, and window... this seems to be the best solution. when we first bought the house we thought that this room would be our guest room, but i couldn't even imagine trying to figure out how to fit a bed in here!


thanks santa!

notice anything different?


i finally got a stendig calendar! i've wanted one for years but always seem to miss them (they seem to sell out quick). plus mike thought my need for this giant calendar was weird.

but this year... this year i tricked him. cause i asked santa for the calendar.



now that we have the calendar, i really need to edit what is on those open shelves. there is a lot going on on this wall. i think i'm going to take off at least 1/2 of those cookbooks, and find a different place to store the wine. besides, now the wine is blocking the wall toaster. and you all know how i feel about our wall toaster...

oh, and how does mike feel about the calendar now? well, his biggest issue was that we couldn't really write on it and he wanted a functional calendar (every other month has a black background with white letters) so i compromised.


and how did santa wrap such a giant calendar? like a candy cane!


thanks santa :-)


gray curtains

the curtains i ordered from west elm arrived earlier this week - that was fast shipping! i couldn't wait to hang them up and mike wanted to try out his new cordless drill (christmas present from his parents) so last night we got to work.

remember the old curtains?


the biggest reasons why i wanted to replace these curtains was the size and the weight. even though they aren't technically sheer curtains, they are very thin and didn't do much when closed. the dining room window faces the street so i'll take any extra privacy that i can get. they are also just too short for this window. we had to install the curtain rod along the top of the window frame in order to have the curtains go to the floor and it's always bugged me.

the new gray curtains are 10" longer and it makes a big difference. they are made of a heavy linen so they have a nice texture and weight to them and, when closed, do a better job of blocking the light/view. the grommets make them much easier to open and close. i'm tempted to go ahead and take down the pink mini-blinds now! (i still want to get a white roller blind from ikea so that we can leave the curtains open for more light, but still have some privacy from the street).




i know, it's hard to see with the pink mini blinds... maybe i should just take them down now and use only the curtains for awhile. also, i don't know what's up with the picture quality, i took these quickly this morning and they look really fuzzy. i'll try to take a few better pictures over the weekend.

anyone going to ikea anytime soon and want to pick up a roller blind for me? i'd like the one below please:

it also comes in dark gray, but i think i'm going to go with the white this time :-)


google it.

a few keyword searches that have led someone to the blog:

"make it look like christmas outside my apartment" - my advice - have you heard of christmas lights?

"fun fabric ceiling lights" - i get fun fabric, i get ceiling lights... but fun fabric ceiling lights? what does that even mean?

"how to put wood panneling in an apartment" - you don't. you just don't.

and my favorite... "trevi dining room set what to paint walls" - awww, someone named a dining set after our cat! i say paint the walls gray and white. it's a good color combo for a trevi.




my fabric samples from tonic living came in the mail yesterday...
i still love the print above and it looks great with the wall color that i'm leaning towards, and with the brick wall in the den. you'll just have to trust me though cause i didn't have time to take a photo. now i just need to figure out how much i actually need to order, and then see if i can talk my mom into helping me make some curtains...

i also got a sample of the fabric below - it's upholstery weight and i'm desperately trying to think of a project that needs this fabric. it is so nice.... i'm also considering it as an alternative for the den curtains. what do you think? another idea would be to make a few pillows and maybe use it to make a cushion for the bench seat in the entryway.

i actually got a lot of samples - i like the one below too and am thinking of making a pillow or two for the guest room.

good thing they sent me a coupon for my next purchase with my sample order - looks like i'm going to need it!


new curtains

i just ordered these curtains for the dining room:wow, gray. what a surprise katie.... but i think they will look nice with my gray dining chairs and the rug that is in the connecting living room.

(as a side note, i had different gray curtains all picked out from west elm and was in the process of ordering them when the website informed me they were backordered until june! why even put them on your website if it's going to take 6 months!)

we have large windows with tall ceilings and i have the hardest time finding curtains that are long enough. or blinds that fit the non-standard sized windows. we currently have the curtains below from ikea in the dining room:
i still like them, i think they just might work better upstairs since the ceilings aren't as tall. plus i feel like with those curtains i'm committing myself to green as an accent color, and i'd like to be able to change that up sometimes. hopefully the west elm curtains work out, i was excited to see that they sell their curtains in various lengths!

oh, and i'd like to get white roller blinds from ikea to replace those horrible pink metal blinds. i just need to get to ikea... i have a long list.


twenty ten

or is it two thousand and ten?

seems like everyone is postings their goals for the new year. i have been trying to keep the "to do" list at the bottom of the blog up to date and i hope that we are able to check many of the items off that list by the end of the year. i do have a couple of larger house goals though that i thought i would highlight.

1. we have to get the new hardwood floors ordered and installed downstairs. i know that i keep talking about it, and keep saying next month... and then it's the next month... but our old floors were already in bad shape and are just getting worse the more we walk on them and live with them. the other day the heel of my shoe actually went through one of the bad spots - not good.

2. start/finish the painting of the den, the stairs, and the basement. these are the last areas of the house that we haven't really touched and i would like to finally, 100% be able to live in our house. so many boxes to unpack still...

3. speaking of stairs - besides painting we also need to repair and replace the bottom half of the stairs. it may be ambitious, but i also hope to have this done this year.

4. while i'm being ambitious, i might as well throw this one in there too - the front door. we are probably going to need to bring an in professional to help us recreate the old door trim, missing transoms, and actually install everything. this project really depends on the cost and how much we are able to save up, which is why it's at the bottom of my house list for 2010. but i did buy some supplies to start refinishing the door last week.

hopefully we are able to complete at least the first 3 goals, as well as some of the smaller things from the list at the bottom of the page. 2009 was a busy year but we got a lot done - might as well keep up the pace!


while i'm at it, might as well throw my personal goals for 2010 out there. especially since the first one is...

1. try to update the blog more often, including more posts about just me, or me and mike, or whatever. this started as a house blog but i realize that a lot of my friends and family use this as a way to keep up with the rest of our lives too. i also enjoy reading some of the more personal posts on other blogs i read so i thought i'd start to include some of my own.

2. learn how to use my camera! i love my camera and i love photography - i need to make more time for this hobby.

3. take and pass all sections of the ARE (architectural registration exam). yikes.

4. and finally, continue with the workout schedule that mike and i have been following recently. we joined the rec center a few months ago and have been good about going 4-5 times a week.




i realized i never posted the finished photos of the blanket that i was working on. i wasn't sure what i was going to do with it, but once i had it complete i realized that it kind of needed to live in the guest room.


maybe i can use it as my inspiration/motivation to finish decorating the rest of the room :-)




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