Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yes, I'm Alive...No, I Have Not Done Anything Creative Lately....

Give me a break!  I have been traveling for my job....you know, keeping me in funds to do creative projects around my house as well as Christies.  I spent a week in Washington DC and the surrounding areas...a city that I love with people and clients that I genuinely like but boy was I ready to come home! 

I have to say that I love the Old Town Alexandria area though for the great architecture, brick streets, and general neighborhoodlyness.  I say this as someone who lives 10 miles at least from the nearest grocery store and moderately appropriate coffee shop.  The neighbors of my neighbors walk on four legs and eye me dis- trustingly when I head out in my leather shoes.  Good news....little traffic most days (unless someone loses a load of those giant hay bales)...bad news...no neighborhood vibe. 

So one of the projects I plan on tackling in between travel in the next two months is the creation of a front porch bench.  Hopefully this will allow me to get to know the phantom people behind their doors on my street.  Here is the front of my little abode:
The "glamour"shots before I bought my house.  These come in handy for the Before pics!
 See, now it is hard to tell but that column on the right of the opening to my front door is exactly 4 feet from the brick wall next to the front door.  Keep up with me now....I am going to build and install a great 4 foot bench in this area.  The design I am thinking of will have the back outfitted with 2x2 wood slats from the top of the back of the bench to the bottom effectively becoming a "wall" for Snickers.  That way she cannot escape into the yard. Then, when I want to hang out on the front porch, I can just move her "Snickers" baby gate to the main opening to my front porch area. 

She and I can sit out there and just chill hopefully getting to meet the surrounding neighbors.  If not, well until I get the back patio built with appropriate shade/rain coverage, this might just be our go-to area when the weather is not so nice.  Well, as long as the weather does not look like this:
Yep, that is Texas in March 2010 right after I moved in...
Have a great holiday couple of weeks and if I get industrious, I promise to post some kick-butt projects that have been languishing around my house.  That or drink and eat myself silly...not sure yet!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just Because

So this week, I needed to create a video to express my Hamptonality (don't ask) and the only thing I could think of using as my subject is Snickers.  I mean, how can you not use the plethora of video of this cuteness:
Doesn't she look like a stuffed animal here?
I mean seriously!  Snickers keeps me sane when I am hip deep in some zany project either at my house or at Christie's.  She knows when to crawl up in my lap because I have stressed myself out over something or when to go hide in her travel crate (home base in her world) because I am busting out the big tools.

Snickers...she may not be certified but she definitely is a therapy dog in my life:
Who, Me?
I'll be back to regular DIY and decorator posts soon but for now, enjoy!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chair Project Planning

So, those of you who know me (hi friends from work!) know that I am always on the hunt for something I can turn into something fab...either for my house or for Christie's 1930's cutie.  While I am not the best at Craigslist - that award totally goes to Christie and remind me sometime to take a picture and post it of her amazing Duncan Pfyfe style table she found recently and snapped up! - I am totally good at digging through a consignment or antique store and coming up with amazingness!

Recently, I put these digging skills to the test down in the Design District when the stores had a street sale.  I had read about the store Again and Again (check it here) that had recently opened their second store so I wanted to check it out.  Really, I was on the hunt for an affordable settee for Christie but in the wandering, I came across these:
Hello my beauties!
Not only were they fabulous but they were also marked down to $400 for the pair. SCORE!


Now the material on the chairs is dingy, 80's, and scratchy to the touch but the shape is amazing and the chairs are in great shape otherwise.  So, what are the plans?  Well, for the wood frames, I am going to sand them down and most likely stain in a dark look.  They need to be refinished due to some scratching on the legs that cannot be touched up and a dark stain will bring the chairs more in line with the rest of the furniture. 

So far so easy.

then I need to tackle the cushions on each chair.  Once I pull out the button plugs hiding the screws attaching the cushions, I can just rip off the old fabric and go to town once again with the staple gun.  After rocking the Settee last weekend, this should not be much of a challenge.  I will need to do a bit of sewing with these chairs though to finish the corners off but that is also not too much of a challenge.

What was a challenge?  Finding fabric I love enough to tackle this project.  So, while down near the office, I popped into my favorite fabric store (seriously, it is like Fabric Disneyland!) and began the search.  And what did I find?  Only this amazingness:

Love it!  Fab material....craptastic photo
This fab material has several amazing colors and fun patterns that will make these chairs the showpieces of my living room.  I am so excited to get started on this project and share with you the fruits of my labor.  But, real world and work are getting in the way so stay tuned....


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chandelier's and Settee - The Project Overload Weekend!

Y'all, the past two days have been tiring but so worth it!  Christie and I tackled some major projects around her house in anticipation of the upcoming holidays and people wanting to come over to her house.  We tackled spray painting the vent-a-hood in the kitchen since it was cream and the rest of the kitchen is white, recovering the vintage dining room chair cushions for the fab Duncan Phyfe dining table she picked up locally, and tackled the biggest project...recovering the cute settee for the kitchen (more on that in a minute.) 

Before I roll into a crazy long how to on the settee though, I have to show you some pics that will shock and amaze you at the fab stills Christie has with those heinous brass chandeliers you see all over (can you tell I hate brass?)  On a previous shopping trip we took to the Habitat ReStore, she picked up several of these brass chandeliers for like $20 each with an idea to make them pretty for the kitchen and dining room.  So, here is what they both looked like before:

HELLO 1980's!
So, girl whipped out her mad spray-painting skills and went to town on two of these.  With a bit of fun crystals found at the local hobby store and some bead garland, she turned two blah chandeliers into some crazy amazingness! 

For the Dining Room:
Hello fabulous!  Shades added for a bit more of that formal look in the dining room
And in the Kitchen:
This is before the beads have been added but even in this state, 1000% better!
Spray paint....a DIY'ers best friend!

Now, onto the big project for this weekend.  I am going to preface this by saying that neither of us had ever tackled a reupholster project. Basically, the only experience that I had was watching a bunch of YouTube videos of the whole process we needed to follow to get the best results. 

I was positive.  I was confident.  I was scared that I might have bitten off more than I could handle but was not going to tell Christie that.  I did not want to ruin the settee but the heinous look of it meant that anything would be better.  So, what did it look like before?

Out came the flat head screwdrivers and the needle nose pliers and all that stored up anger we had and we went to town stripping this puppy of her flowers:

Yep, that's me getting my DIY on!
So very close to a naked settee!
Hundreds of staples, sore hands, and around 3 hours later, she was naked and Christie had whipped out the broom to sweep up the trash.  Goodbye floral material.  We will not miss you.

Now, while the destruction took a long time and was difficult, it frankly was the easiest part for someone who does not know what they are doing.  After all, you are just ripping the fabric off the settee so anyone can do this.  Putting the new material on is a different story.  It is important to know the basics of the order you cover the different parts of the chair so you can hide as many seams as possible.  Here is how I did it:

1.  Tackle the seat first
2.  Go after the arms
3.  Complete the inside back
4.  Close her out with covering the back of the Settee

Now, depending upon the type of furniture you are covering, it may be different but this is the general order for most items.  We used a natural canvas drop cloth as our material and it is always best to pre-wash your this type of thing as it becomes a bit more flexible and easy to maneuver.  Christie bought one drop cloth at the local hardware store.

Tools?  What will you generally need to make this happen?  A staple gun.  DO NOT USE A MANUAL ONE!!!  You will be crying before you get the seat covered.  I used a compressor staple gun but you can use an electric one as well.  What else do you need?  Scissors - sharp ones, a glue gun, and a whole lot of patience!

So, step 1:  Covering the seat
Cut a piece of material large enough to cover the entire seat and hang over so that you can pull the material through the back and sides as well as pull under the front of the settee:

Here I have pulled the fabric through the back of the Settee and am tacking in place.
Tack the back and the front in place with one staple each pulling the material tight.  This is really important.  Then pull the sides through the frame and tack each side with one staple pulling the material tight. 
There was seriously so much batting on this settee in the weirdest places making it difficult to maneuver!
Then, once you have all sides tacked in place, carefully smooth out the seat, working your way around tugging the material to make a nice smooth area.  Then go to town with the staple gun!  I started in the back stapling all the way across, then worked on the front, and finally finished with each side.  I left the areas around the front legs loose as I was not sure yet how I was going to finish them off:

Check out that nice smooth seat!
Next, I tackled the arms.  Since this piece has a rolled arm, I started on the inside of the arm pushing the material through the frame between the arm and seat then draping it over the actual arm.  The arms frankly were the most complicated and I was so concentrated on getting the arms to look right that I did not take any pictures.  Boo on me.  Seriously!  Local friends, if you want to tackle a project like this yourself, let me know and I will come and show you how it is done.  Anywhoo, I covered the top part of the arm and then covered the bottom part of the outside of the arm....following me here?
There I am smoothing out the arm of the Settee!
Once I had the arm fully covered, I needed to figure out how I was going to make the front part of the arm pretty....hmmm.  Well, I basically took a scrap of the canvas and just went to town stapling:
Staples as stitches!
Voila!  Stapled and covered.  A bit wrinkly but this was my first time so give me a break!
We were digging the staples and thought about just leaving them but then Christie went to digging in her stockpile of trim and found some great black zigzag trim and her glue gun:
Again, girl has some mad skills.  She was way more patient working this trim around the weird shape of the arm than I would have been.
How rocking is that?  So seriously cool people.  But, then we figured out we did not have enough of the canvas to cover the back of the chair....off to the hardware store we went....and they did not have the same color. Crap.  What were we going to do?  Head to the hobby store next door of course and find an amazing material that could and would be the feature of the chair!  Seriously people....I cannot wait to show you this!  What was initially a total party-pooper...running out of material and not finding more....became what made the chair totally fabulous! 

We only bought 1 yard as it was a bit expensive and then you basically do the same old thing...drape the material on the back and then tuck and pull the material through the frame on the bottom and sides and staple like hell!  And the finished back? Check it people:
Is that amazingness or what!
Now the very back of the settee we have left open for now.  We might want to rock a couple of button tufts in the seat back and we need the back open to do that eventually.  We are also on the lookout for more of the correct canvas drop cloths to use.  But, based upon where this baby is going to sit, the back does not need to be covered right away (we will do that eventually).  I also added a band of black canvas around the bottom to finish it off and....drum roll....here is Settee 2.0!!!!:
Bask people!  Bask in all her glory!
Doesn't she look awesome on the great painted wall that Christie did in the Kitchen?  Here is a better shot:
She totally fits right in with the painted wall and the great shabby metal back door!
Whew, that was a long blog post but peeps, it took like 12 total hours to rock this settee between two days.  Lessons learned?  Buy more than you think you will need of whatever material that you want to cover your furniture in. Have patience and realize you are not a professional at this and there will be flaws but that is part of the charm of the piece!  Oh, and have a cocktail or two while you are doing this...and make sure you have a good friend around to share the experience with.  Makes the time spent way more fun. 

Total cost for this project?  Well, Christie scored this settee for $125 on craigslist and the material (all of them) for this cost around $60-65.  So for less than $200, you have a fab piece that is unique to you.  Christie is rocking some pillows for it in the leftover materials and some fun trim.  I am at home looking at my two chairs that are next on the upholstery list!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pretty Kitchen Pantry!

So I know I have not posted in, like, forever...but my job and my volunteer job (what's up Region 7!) have gotten in the way lately of any house projects at my abode or over at the McKinney Money Pit that Christie calls home (just kidding Christie!  You know I only think of it as a Money Pothole!)

Anyway, while staring at a sink full of dishes and not wanting to mess with any of them (not even to put them in the dishwasher...I need a dish fairy if anyone wants to buy me something for Christmas by the way), I took a gander at my kitchen pantry and thought, project time!  Now, not that I have time to throw in another project amongst the great chair rehab and bedside table surgery that I have planned currently or the fact that my parents are coming over for Thanksgiving and my messy house needs to be family presentable.  But I just could not resist the siren call of a brainstorm project.  I mean, you gotta jump on those projects immediately while the brainstorm is happening!

Anywhoo, I headed down to IKEA (it is way too close to my house for comfort and financial stability) for some storage ideas.  Perusing the great storage options, I thought about maybe hitting up some clear storage so I could see inside but I really did not like the look of a bunch of plastic boxes sitting on the shelves in my pantry.  I wanted something cute.  I am a girl so deal with it.  I stumbled upon these boxes:

IKEA Prant Box with Lid
This beauty is made out of plywood with metal corners so is a good option to stand up to heavy use in a kitchen.  But I could not just roll with plain plywood boxes in my pantry...oh, no.  That is when the thought struck me, "what if I could label them over and over on the contents but not have to sand or scribble or print out and cover with new labels?"  Blackboard paint.  Brilliant!

Now, I know blackboard paint is everywhere from walls to appliances but it was a really good solution to being able to change the labels over and over.  So, out came the cheap foam brushes and a quart of blackboard paint and you get these:

Three coats peeps and they were ready to go.  All 8 of them.  But remember to have a great blackboard surface, you must wait 24 hours between coats.  So essentially my living room was covered in newspaper and boxes for the most of last week letting the paint cure appropriately.  But they turned out great!

But, after painting the boxes, I started to look at the pantry and see just how sad it looked in it's builder white paint.  And then I decided to put a splash of paint on the walls while leaving the shelves white for contrast!  Color selection was easy as I love all kinds of blues and have been wanting to use the Peacock blue color forever but am not brave enough to paint a full wall with it.  But in a closet o pantry, it is just enough color for fun but not constantly in your face.  Sad pantry...you are so going to be pretty soon:

Check out that Container Store door organization!  So helpful in a small pantry.

So, off to Sherwin Williams I went!  Problem?  I did not have any foam rollers which is what I wanted to use for speed of coverage and lack of brush strokes.....so I brushed the first coat on...leaving crazy brush marks:

Man, these were serious brush strokes and for such a small space, it took 2 HOURS to paint with a brush.  I was spent and wanted to let the first coat dry 24 hours before adding more paint (and getting to Lowes for some foam rollers!)  After a second coat, we were looking better:

Less brush strokes, more fab peacock blue color!  I added one more coat and then started the staging process:

I started off thinking I would use the lids on the boxes but decided I preferred the ease of access without the lids on.  I can use the lids for another project I have up my sleeve later :)  The only problem was I did not have any chalk.  So off to the store to stock up on thanksgiving food goodness and chalk!  And the final product:

Hopefully I will get better with writing with chalk and I also want to add crown moulding to the ceiling in the pantry but for now, she is done!  The best part?  I can cram a ton more stuff in the pantry than I could before and I discovered I had 3 jars of peanut butter!  So, what did this cost me besides time I really do not have?

8 boxes x $9.99 = $86.51 (sales tax included)
1 quart Valspar chalkboard paint x $14.26 = $15.44 (sales tax included)
1 gallon Sherwin Williams HGTV paint in Peacock Blue = around $27 (I never buy just one thing at SW!)
Finally, around $5.00 for foam brushes and roller
Total?  Right around $134.00 and totally worth every penny! 

Now I am off to Christie's for post-Thanksgiving reno work...coming up, we tackle reupholstering a settee and some amazingness that Christie worked on a couple of cheap brass chandeliers picked up at the thrift store....stay tuned!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Mmmkay...I am about sick and tired of this blasted summer heat - and don't go telling me to suck it up since I live in Texas.  It is hot y'all and not just normal hot but nuclear hotdog hot and that is futzing with all my building/renovating/decorating plans.

See, I had good intentions this weekend but even after a blessed rain storm (which woke me up at 4:45 AM Saturday morning), it was still stupid hot and that just made me lazy.  How lazy?  Like couch surfing watching bad disaster movies on SyFy lazy (yay for craptastic disaster "movies").  I finally got my act together to get some semblance of minor order in my home office - which is good since I work from home - but pretty much nothing else. Dude. Not. Cool. At all....

I am really good at coming up with ideas for things to make or purchase for my house when it is hot outside.  The Internet is so my friend when it is hot and so I was on blogger yesterday catching up on another blog favorite and saw this thing of beauty:

Thank you Copy Cat Chic

I have been pondering what in the goobers I was going to do about my bar area in my dining room.  See, I bought this ginormous table but it was pretty and me wanty so I did it.  I had the table in my dining room for a year before I broke down and bought chairs for it (they are temporary until I can afford the Louis Ghost Chairs for every one's tushy).  Then I tackled that accent wall in blue. Now I needed something more snazzy than the re purposed bookshelf I have been using for years as my "bar".  I also needed something that would not take up a lot of depth and so when I saw this, I thought Bingo! 

The price was right - $89.95 for the whole thing before shipping costs - but the color was wrong.  Hey, for that price, I have no issues with getting it and then having to put a little love into it with paint.  I am going high-gloss white which will match the trim in the room and the eventual drapes that will make it on the windows. My credit card was burning up the Internet for this one last night.  Now I have to sit and wait for it to arrive...damn, that is the part I hate.

Now, anyone have a crystal chandelier they want to sell me uber-cheap so I don't feel bad about painting the crystals? Anyone? Please?


Monday, August 8, 2011

Well, I survived the weekend…barely.  It was a tough war fought bravely by two warriors.  I won some battles and the walls won some battles but in the end, I won the war of the blue! 
What am I talking about?  Well, if you have been following my blog (please follow my blog!), you know that I am embarked on a painting odyssey.  This past weekend it was the battle of the Dutch Tile Blue! 
In this corner, an overly ambitious blonde with a keen eye for color and possibilities (boy does she need a reality check!).  In the other corner, two blank walls screaming out for accent color to start the whole personalization process.  The walls brought friends though that I had to take care of before I could tackle them (cheaters!) 
I had to do some major touch up painting from when I had the drywall peeps out to repair some seams that were coming apart.  So, here is the patch process…thankfully the homebuilders left me some of the existing paint (which I then color matched for even more.)

La, la, la…boring…still the same Santa Fe color that the house was painted with….
After that and a VERY large cup of coffee, I decided to move the furniture in my dining room so I could tackle the wall.  My extremely heavy dining table and 40 bottle wine frig (which sadly only has 3 bottles...hint hint…send me wine!).  You know something is heavy when you have to get down on the floor, wedge yourself in behind it and push with your legs at the bottom to get them moving.  So here is the room cleared out (don’t hate the messy, hate the mess people…I do but no one will come clean it up for me)
Hello test patch and table chaos...
Then I commenced with the taping process since I did not want paint EVERYWHERE.  I typically use the standard blue painters tape but decided to give the green Frogstape a try as I had been hearing good things about it.  On the positive note, it is nice and wide, sticks well to the wall without pulling of paint (or much…about that in a moment).  The bad, I seriously cannot lay down a straight line to save my life and tape bleed happens when you have textured walls (more on a solution to that in a moment).  And a painting we will go!  I started with cutting in around the tape with a 2 inch angled brush:
Please ignore the terrible builder light fixture that seems to pop up like a weed in all the pictures.  That is SO getting replaced!
And then used a ¾ inch wool roller which seemed to fill in quite nicely…at first.  Dude, textured walls totally suck to paint!  I had to go back over once all the paint dried and hit the patches where you could see the original color.  But in the end, I only needed to do one coat of paint! Total score on that!  I am digging the Sherwin Williams paint for this very reason
Mmm..suedey -  The paint is still in the drying stage.  After dry, it is a nice flat
So, Saturday was dedicated to the dining room wall.  After a nap, some well earned food, and a good night’s sleep, I was ready to tackle the BIG WALL.  The wall in the living room is 16 ft long by 9 ft high…that is 144 square feet ya’ll…big project for me but I had backup coming over after lunchtime. 
This time, after taping all the seams, I used some of the leftover wall paint to seal the edges of the tape so that I would not have bleed…I had seen instances of this but the thought of having to cut in the wall twice was not something I wanted to do in the dining room. So I shortcutted that room and am paying for it with an artist brush and wall paint. Dude.  Anyway, here is the wall taped and cut in with the tan color.
Using my brain this time!
For the outside edge on this wall, I was confounded as I had heard they were extremely difficult for an amateur to handle.  So I taped the wall but left the tape hanging over the edge:
Totally makes more sense with the pic doesn't it!
Then I cut in this section carefully just like I did with the rest of the wall.  Once leaving it to dry for an hour, I then started cutting in with the blue.  About this time, I had been taping and painting for close to three hours (including touch up paint here and there) so I was ready to pass out with hunger.  This is when Christie (thanks Christie even though you were not feeling well!) came over to help me out.  So the combined powers of the Two Chicks made blue paint magic and all it took was the sacrifice of one paint roller!  So that was the good part.  The bad part is when I pulled off the tape from the outside edge, it also pulled off some of the paint off the other wall...man!  Good news is that line is most excellent…bad news is more work for that artist brush.
Voila!  Wall painted!
But now I am second guessing my estimate of painting the entire master bedroom and bathroom next weekend.  That includes ceiling space and up to three colors total.  That is a lot and I know I am amazing and all but just thinking about it makes me want to hide under the couch…and that space is only like three inches tall….anyone want to help?
Lessons learned:
1.       Don’t do major workouts each morning you are going to spend the day painting.  I was physically exhausted when done.  I barely had the energy to change the channel on the remote control peeps so that is tired.
2.      I know I am wonder woman and all but even I have my limits.
3.      Painting is always more fun with wine. Always.
So here is the deal...neither room is complete so I do not have any of the pretty "after" photos.  That will have to wait until I get all the artwork matted and framed as well as the side table for the dining room found, purchased, and fancified. But that is a blog post to come at a later time.  At this point, the painting is complete in these two rooms and looks fab if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paint Wars 2...Return of the Grays

Okay, so even though it is approximately the temperature of the sun outside currently (which makes sense as the Sun has thoroughly taken over my state), I still managed to go to Sherwin Williams for paint samples and try them out.
Good news?  The Dutch Tile Blue is FABULOUS!  It is moody and watery and will make a great addition to the living room and dining room space.  Even though you can only get the paint samples from Sherwin Williams in satin, this blue is going to be great as a wall accent in my space, no matter that they say blue is bad for appetite (or maybe that is a really good thing!)
Also good?  Black Magic is just the right amount of black with a hint of charcoal so that the wall does not scream at you when you walk in.  It is a bit hard to tell since this is also in satin and I will be painting the walls flat but I am going to go out on a limb here and say it is a winner.
What is not a winner?  Modern Gray.  Ewww…this color is reminiscent of the color of internal organs on all those autopsy shows on the television…so NOT what I was going after.  I mean, it is really offensive to look at.  It is a gray on the white spectrum so really light but also has a hint of yellow to it.  Seriously.  I thought at first that the current tan color of the walls was turning Modern Gray this color but no. This color has got to go…it is voted off my island.  I am now inviting Pewter Tankard (this name is way too long so I am now referring to it as PT) to the party!  PT will be the wall colors with a new gray, Agreeable Gray, for the ceilings...that way the transition between will not be so jarring.
So why am I sharing all of this?  Well, this weekend and next are now dedicated to painting.  Yep, even though it is as hot as the surface of the sun right now and it might magically cool down to, like, 103 this weekend, I am still going to get out the rollers and paint brushes and tackle the walls.  What I am not looking forward to is painting the ceilings in the Master bed and bath but having a tan ceiling and the rest of the space in either gray or black…well, that would just be silly!  Maybe I will leave those rooms for next weekend…Pics will follow once I get started...watch out for the mayhem!
Now if I could only find a unique shaped nightstand for serious cheapy dollars that I can spray bright white…then I would be set!
P.S.  I am also TOOL SHOPPING this weekend and I cannot wait to post pics of all my new babies!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paint Wars!

Dude, travel can suck the energy right out of you!  Anywhoo, So I was in Reno, NV this past weekend for a work event (though I did have fun!) and had the chance to see some of the fancy schmancy hotels and suites while I was there.  I will not go into all the details of the "Elvis" bathroom (especially since I do not currently have pictures) but it got me to thinking about all the painting projects I have around my house. 

Painting is not one of my favorite things to do but it has to get done.  When I moved in, the builders painted a nice tan color...everywhere. Ceilings? Check. Walls? Check. Every nook and cranny? Check.  The carpet is in the same shade of this tan color and it is like living inside a manila folder.  The color is not atrocious but the amount of it can be overwhelming. 

So, I have been thinking about the colors and when I am going to paint.  The colors are easy!  I have been dreaming about taking the color out of one of my throw pillows on the couch and translating it into an accent wall in my living room and dining room.  I love the Sherwin Williams App for my iphone where I can take pictures of stuff and match the color (and according to Color Snap, my skin is Swanky Gray so I gotta get some sun!)  For the wall behind my couch and the coordinating opposite wall in the dining room, I have chosen Dutch Tile Blue:
I LOVE this color!  It goes well with my existing furniture and my dream of having incredibly crisp, white drapes on the wall of windows (and french doors) in my living room as well as the windows in my dining room.  It also translates well with the kitchen cabinets  in my kitchen and the existing tan color in my house. Two good coats in a flat paint and I am golden!

Next on the paint project is my master bedroom.  I have been dreaming about doing something that will match the statement of my headboard.  Those that know me and have been to my house know I took a headboard that I made previously and converted it to a padded and wrapped headboard.  The material I chose was a medium gray.  I am still waiting to use the silver nail head trim I want to use but thus far love the headboard.  I want to build the rest of the bed surround and wrap it as well as I think it will give a more finished look.  BUT there is not much of a statement with the head board on the tan wall so I am going dark...really dark:

Black Magic...love that name!  I think my headboard will scream fabulous against this dark color.  Also, that means I am going to take my nightstands (well, when I find the appropriate shape and size) and go high-gloss white with sparkly glass knobs.  Girly...yes, but I am a girl. 

My master also has three other walls and painting the entire room in Black Magic would make it look like I live in a cave and cave-chic is not what I am going for so I needed to pick another color for the rest of the walls and ceiling (since that is...wait for it...tan.) The ceiling I am pretty sure I am going to rock in white but for the rest of the walls, shazam:

Modern Gray!  It will go perfect with Black Magic and the gray of my headboard which is a bit darker tone.  It will also go with the fabric I have already bought for my window dressing so now I just have to find the perfect window seat fabric. Yes my master is going to look like a black and white photo but that is what I want people...leave me alone!

The final paint choice for this go-around is for my master bathroom.  All of the bath fixtures are white with chrome hardware.  The cabinets in the bathroom are in the same mocha color as the kitchen cabinets.  Also, the master bath opens up into the master bedroom...funny how that happens... so must "talk" to the bedroom colors.  So, what did I choose? Voila:

It is another gray but has more of a blue undertone to it and is darker than what I plan for the bedroom.  I have a really large frosted window in my master bath and the size of the space can carry the darker color.  Who knows though...I might just carry modern gray into the bathroom rather than this Unusual Gray.....

Now, Project House?  Well, I have shown you all photos of it before but here it is again:
Go, Speed Racer, Go!

I am pretty sure the red is settling in with Christie but I have to confess, the red - especially around the Faccia - looks like a giant red racing stripe to me...I don't know if it is the radical differences between the two colors or what but I am so itching to change something up here.  I would either paint out the red everywhere to a more complimentary color to the gray house paint or change up the gray to a color that works better with the red.  Besides, this is a 30's house so I am thinking more color combinations that they would have painted in the 30's.  What do you think readers?  Any suggestions for "Project House" paint colors?

As soon as some of these paint projects are completed, I will post up pics....no making fun of my painting abilities! (well, you can but I know where you live...I am that powerful)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Closets!

So Friday Fantasies was a washout this last week...but I have a job people and it kept me busy so look for friday fantasies this next week (hopefully since I will be in Reno for work)

So, one of the first things I wanted to tackle around my Suburbia-Standard house was my master closet.  I am a girl.  I like shoes. A lot. And purses. And clothes.  A lot.  What I don't like is having any of these things in my bedroom.  I mean, what are closets for if not all your clothes, shoes, and purses?  When I looked for my house, I really looked for a master closet that was large enough to store all my crap in.  No dressers for me...nosiree! 

So I lived with the builder-basic closet for last year but come the new year, I wanted to get the closet up and running.  I took my christmas cash (thanks mom and dad!), and headed off to the organization store of all organization stores...The Container Store.  See, me and Elfa are good friends.  Elfa and I have converted several closets and pantrys (my current pantry is sill in builder basic but on the project list) so I am very familiar on how to use this product.  You know you are more familiar with the product when you can sketch out your design in Excel (sorry, I don't have a CAD program on my laptop) and take it to the store with your cut list and they are impressed and showing it to each other...but I digress.  I got the hammer out and knocked the hell out of those crap shelves and went to town on installation...and now I have this!

Yes, those are lovely shelves for my shoes...and bags...and sweaters...and look at the magnificence! (Ignore the walls that need a coat of paint...a sister does what she has to in order to have a closet in a day!)

Right there on the left...
I even have space for my laundry cart!  And a stepladder because those shelves go ALL the way up and I am short.

And now just some fun shots...

Oooh, la, la!  Glamor shot...had to get some jewelry in this post!
Snickers, bored,
hiding in the closet wondering why mommy is taking pictures in here...

Next up for the closet is some better lighting.

So how is this story about two closets?  Well, when Christie moved into her house...it has a bonus space in the back.  Walking through the house (sorry about all the comments, Christie!  I know it is your house but I have ideas...aaaaammaaaazing ideas!), she mentioned that she would love to turn this unused space into a "Walk-In Closet".  And like Jeannie to Major Nelson, BAM!  Done! 

Hello photo from a camera phone...
What?  You say it is just one shelf and a really long hanging pole?  Hey!  We are working on a serious budget here.  One thing at a time! 

Besides, the Great A/C Debacle of 2011 happened so money was diverted (Yes, one of these days Christie is going to tell the WORLD about the GACD2011 as I am now referring to it).  Seriously, we live in Texas and you have to have AC around here in the Summer.

Anywhoo, while our closets vary greatly, at the end of the day they fit us both.  My closet is complicated and seemingly organized to the max( TRUTH: my room typically looks like my closet went on a bender and vomited clothes and shoes everywhere) while Christie's is simple with personality and an organization I envy...just like the two of us!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A quick comment from the tragically messy...

Hi, my name is Shelley and I am a messaholic.  It has been a couple of hours since I was forced to rapi-clean* my house for strangers....

As if life is not chaotic enough right now, this week I have been visited by the AT&T service tech (stupid non-working modem...I hate you technology!) as well as the new bug vendor who arrived this morning to vanquish the spider and wasp population that had taken up residence in my house.  Those that know me well or have worked with me or stayed with me while on business trips (Hi Dena if you are reading this!) or just know me, know that I am tragically messy. 

It all started when I was a kid...I think it was because I hated the pumpkin orange of my carpet (um, who wouldn't?) and thus found a way to spread my clothes and belongings all over the floor.  This affliction began to take over all viable surfaces in my childhood bedroom as well.  Then, as my chore growing up was doing the dishes (and by doing I mean loading and unloading the dishwasher), I grew further and further away from wanting to do anything to keep my space clean. 

So now to this week where I have had a stranger in my house every other day...well, I could not have them thinking I was a hoarder so I did the mad dash around my house each morning hiding, ferreting, or throwing away everything in site (which is hard when the bug guys want to spray around all the plumbing pipes!)  And now I cannot find my checkbook, or stamps, or anything remotely essential.  THIS is why I don't clean up!  My mess has a system and I can find things so much easier when they are all out on the floors or surfaces in plain sight.

So now things are relatively straight around here and once again I make a promise to myself that I am going to keep things straight this time.  But like any messaholic, I will once again most likely fall back into bad habits next weekend when I return from a business trip and just drop my suitcase in the closest spot....that is how it always starts....


*Rapi-clean:  The act of running furiously around your space and shoving all mess and clutter into convenient hiding places 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pinky and the Brawn

Well, there she is...no not Snickers though she has decided to take over the renovation responsibilities here but my new Pink Tool Belt of "Two Chicks" fame!
I'm thinking lots of soft fluffy surfaces with minions to wait on me!
So the quick story about the toolbelt is while installing shelves in Christie's kitchen pantry (or what we are turning into the pantry...more on that later when we get more than a few shelves up), I mentioned that I was going to have to get me a toolbelt for just such occasions.  Now mind you this is while I am rolling around on the floor of the pantry space (a walk-in pantry with a window no less!  I am so jealous!) mounting shelf brackets so the yummy, yummy goodness would not crash to the floor while Christie slept.  Anyway, I pretty much forgot about the conversation until I was installing the shelf and hanging rod in Christie's "Walk-in Closet" (again, more on that later with a story about my closet) when it would have come in SUPER handy as I kept misplacing the stud finder and drill bits.  Again, I did not think much about it...

Lo and behold, I headed over to the "Red Renovation" which is my current favorite name for Christie's place on the 4th of July weekend just to hang out and maybe grab a drink on the town square and this thing of beauty :

Hello Beautiful!
Was in a festive gift bag!  A gift from a true friend who lets me come up with zany projects for her house...wild ideas that neither of us know how to do - YET - and cost oodles of cash.  I was so excited as what a great birthday present...when she asked me when my birthday was (evil smile). So if it was not for my birthday, then that means I get some thing else in a couple weeks!  YES!  I love presents! 

Now I just need to find tools that color coordinate with my snazzy new tool belt....