Design

31
Mar

Let’s see what we have accomplished

  • Clear out all of our junk from the baby’s room – this is no small task.  I’m not sure how, but somehow we have managed to fill our entire house with stuff in 2 years.  We have 3 bedrooms upstairs in our house.  The plan is to make one a nursery and one a play room for now.  That means cleaning out 2 rooms!  Yikes!

So far we have the baby’s room cleared out and about half of the play room.

Tan Room

  • Tear out old closet system.  The old shelving in the closet was pretty dirty from the previous owners (we’re talking melted jolly rancher candy dirty), so it has to go.
  • Patch and paint the closet.
  • Put in new closet system (to hang all the super-cute baby clothes).

My husband worked very hard tearing out the existing closet shelves, sanding down the walls and painting them before we had the new closet system installed.  Here is the closet with the shelves torn out before sanding and painting:

Baby Closet Torn Down

And here is the new and drastically improved closet:

Finished Closet

The double hanging bars, drawers, and shelving have made the closet so much more efficient than before.  Plenty or space now for all the cute baby clothes.

  • Patch and Paint the ceiling and walls

Going Blue

Done.

  • Remove old ceiling fan and put up new ceiling fan.  Not all of the lights work on the old fan, plus it is pretty ugly – so out with the old and in with the new!  We decided to go with another ceiling fan because air circulation is supposed to help with SIDS when the baby is sleeping.

Out with the old…

Old Ceiling Fan

In with the new…

New Ceiling Fan

  • Get a dresser/changing table and crib.

Done.  We got a dresser/changing table used on craigslist and put a fresh coat of paint on them and bought the crib on overstock.com.

  • Build the crib.

Done.

  • Get an area rug.

Done.  Got a cotton rug on overstock.com.  I wanted to stick with natural materials for rugs to try to avoid off-gassing of chemicals.

  • Decorate walls with decals and artwork.

I wanted to add a personal touch to the room with some homemade art for the wall.  I went to Michael’s and picked out paper with different patterns and textures that would go with my color scheme, and I picked out a shadow box frame (super cheap thanks to those reliable weekly 40% off coupons).  Then I went to work with my scissors…

Owl Art Parts

Next I put the pieces together.

Daddy Owl

Sticking with the owl theme.  I wanted a family of owls to represent our new family so I added 2 more owls and branch.

Owl Family

And here it is in the baby’s room framed in the shadow box…

Owl Family in Shadow Box

Little did I know at the time that my brother-in-law was crafting a similar idea.  He used torn paper to create an amazing owl for the baby’s room.

Eric's Owl

I also knew I wanted to do some sort of wall decal for the room.  I found the perfect decal here: Trendy Peas

The decal came in several pieces and was super easy to put up:

First I cut the paper up into smaller pieces to make it more manageable to peal each piece off.

Wall Decal Step 1

Next I put up the tree:

Wall Decal Step 2Wall Decal Step 3

Then came the owls:

Wall Decal Step 4

And finally the leaves:

Wall Decal Step 5

  • Put up curtains.

The curtains are how the whole owl theme got started.  I fell in love with this super cute fabric and the owl theme was born.  I sewed the owl fabric with a panel of green at the bottom and green pompoms going between the two panels to make the curtains.

Curtain pompoms

And with that the room is complete.  So here it is again…Before

Tan Room

After

finished room

You may be wondering about the rose colored chair in the corner that does not fit in with the theme at all.  This was my grandmother’s chair that I got when she passed away, so for sentimental reasons I wanted to put it in the baby’s room.  I have thought about making a new cover for it, but the task intimidates me and there are other things that are higher on the priority list.  So it is staying the way it is for now.

Some details for your viewing pleasure…

Changing Table

Owl Knobs

Owls and Birds

Bookcase

I really wanted to get a bookcase for the room where the books face forward because it not only looks nice, but it allows children to really see the books and pick out what they want to read (or pull them all off the shelf one by one as has been done by several one-year-olds who have visited).  I got this one on kids.woot.com.

Category : Baby | Design | House Fixing | Blog
14
Mar

Making Progress

With only 1 month to go until our little baby arrives, we are feeling the pressure to get everything ready.

We have finished painting the room, and it so bright and cheerful now compared to what it was (dark tan).

Tan Room

Going Blue

We also had the new ceiling fan installed – nice improvement.

Old Ceiling Fan

Old

New Ceiling Fan

New

You can also see the green color we painted on the ceiling in this picture.

While my husband has been busy painting, I have been refinishing the dresser knobs that came with the used dresser and bed stand that we bought.  Going with the owl theme, I found this stamp at Paper Source that I just couldn’t resist.  By the way, the problem with going with a popular theme is that there are a lot of things you can’t resist and your theme gets out of control very quickly.  Anyways, here is the stamp:

owl stamp

First I painted the knobs white (it took several coats to cover the original design). Then I stamped them with a permanent black ink and colored them in with stamp markers.  Finally, my husband sprayed them with a shiny clear lacquer.

Owl vs Original

Owl Stamp Knob

Finished Owl Knobs

Category : Baby | Design | House Fixing | Blog
2
Feb

Big Changes Coming!

Little Owl

Now that the holidays are over and things are settling down, it is time to turn my focus to what this year will bring…a new baby!  My husband and I are having a baby in April – our first baby.  Having made it through the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, I have reached the “feeling good” part of pregnancy and feel the urgency of getting lots done before the “feeling really big and uncomfortable” phase of pregnancy kicks in.  Of course designing a nursery is every domestic diva’s dream.  It gives you permission to get a little bit crazier, try different colors, wall decals, etc.  And everything is so cute!  So that brings me to my inspiration and jumping off point…

Owl Inspiration

I found this fabric at fabric.com and immediately bought a ton of it since it was not going to be in stock again.  The owls are so cute, especially the one with argyle, and I like the colors too.  So this became the jumping off point for the nursery. The colors will be light turquoise, light green, and white – nice and gender neutral.  I decided that it would be fun to paint the ceiling a color instead of just plain white, so the ceiling will be light green, and the walls will be light turquoise.  The furnishings are all going to be white. So as a person who is obsessed with making lists, here is the to do list for the baby’s room:

  • Clear out all of our junk from the baby’s room – this is no small task.  I’m not sure how, but somehow we have managed to fill our entire house with stuff in 2 years.  We have 3 bedrooms upstairs in our house.  The plan is to make one a nursery and one a play room for now.  That means cleaning out 2 rooms!  Yikes!
  • Tear out old closet system.  The old shelving in the closet was pretty dirty from the previous owners (we’re talking melted jolly rancher candy dirty), so it has to go.
  • patch and paint the closet.
  • Put in new closet system (to hang all the super-cute baby clothes).
  • Patch and Paint the ceiling and walls
  • Remove old ceiling fan and put up new ceiling fan.  Not all of the lights work on the old fan, plus it is pretty ugly – so out with the old and in with the new!  We decided to go with another ceiling fan because air circulation is supposed to help with SIDS when the baby is sleeping.
  • Get a dresser/changing table and crib.
  • Build the crib.
  • Get an area rug.
  • Decorate walls with decals and artwork.
  • Put up curtains.

Stay tuned to see the progress on each of the items.  Oh the anticipation!

Category : Baby | Design | Miscellaneous | Blog
13
Dec

You will be missed!

You were there for us for so many years.  When we needed someone to lean on, we could always count on you for your support. You were so generous with our friends and guests, giving them a place to relax and sleep.

Okay…I am talking about the first couch my husband and I ever bought together.  Actually, I think it was the first major purchase we ever made together.  It was a great couch – very comfy and it doubled as a guest bed for our guests when we were living in our one bedroom apartment.  I remember the day we got it.  We had been contemplating and rationalizing and convincing ourselves we needed it.  The daybed that we tried to make look like a couch just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  This was our big “We are adults now” purchase.  No more hand-me-downs. So it was decided!  We were getting the couch!  We rushed out the door to get to the store before it closed and the sale ended.  That’s when we realized, neither of us had grabbed our keys.  Great! Our couch is waiting for us on the last day of the sale a few minutes before closing and we have no way of getting to the store or back into our apartment. Hmmm. We called the weekend Help! line for our apartment complex.  Finally someone showed up, but it was going to be $150 to let us in since it was the weekend…or maybe some of the cookies I just baked could sweeten the deal.  Yes!  He took the bait (I think it helped that he had been at a party and has been drinking before coming over).  Whatever the reason, the cookies were payment enough!  Phew! OK, now to get the couch. We made it to the store just in time, splurged for the sleeper sofa and picked a wonderful sage green microfiber.

Today that couch left to go live with another family.  Our new house arrangement just didn’t leave room for it.  I was so excited to move on and open up space in our house, but after the couch was gone, I have to admit I had a more emotional reaction than I had anticipated.  Our first couch…first major purchase as a couple…gone. It is a bittersweet moment even though it is just a couch.  Times change, things change, people change. It was a wonderful couch, but we have grown and changed and it time for the next chapter (or couch).

Living Room

Category : Design | Miscellaneous | Blog
15
Feb

Furniture

ikea instructions

We didn’t have a huge budget for furnishing our guest room, so it was off to Ikea.  We got really lucky with sales and scored a queen sized Malm bed for $100 (instead of $200).

Malm Bed

The existing closet in the guest room took up about a third of the entire room, and the doors were made from 2 sheets of very heavy plywood hung on a track.  It was almost impossible to slide the doors open and shut and the room was already very small, so the closet had to go.  But our guests would still need somewhere to hang their clothes.  Thus our second trip to a great Ikea sale.  This time we were able to get a wardrobe for $50 instead of $100.

Ikea Wardrobe

We didn’t like the original gray, plastic handles that came with the wardrobe, so we went to the hardware section of Ikea and picked out new brushed silver, metal handles to upgrade the overall look of the piece.

Ikea Wardrobe Pieces

Wardrobe Handles

We wanted to get to bedside tables, but found most options to be really expensive.  We wanted something unique and didn’t want the whole room to look like an Ikea show room.  That was when we returned to one of our favorite websites for unique, old pieces of furniture – Loft3f. He is based in Lynchburg, Virginia and occasionally makes deliveries up to DC.  We were in luck!  He had 2 chairs that would make great bedside tables:

Bedside Table Chairs

So now the guest room is furnished…

Guest Bed and Tables

Next comes the decorating!

Category : Design | House Fixing | Blog
11
Sep

My mini B&B

For me (and any domestic diva) it is very important to have a clean, comfortable place for guests to stay when they visit.  When I first started looking for a house to buy, one of my wish list items (that I didn’t think I would be able to get) was to have an extra room to devote to guests who came to stay with us.  After 5 years in a one bedroom apartment with guests sleeping in the living room, this was very important to me.  Luckily, the stars aligned and I got a house with a room and a bathroom I could designate for guests.  Unfortunately, they were far from guest ready when we moved in.

The first thing we did was remove the closet, which was taking up about 25% of the room and consisted of 2 huge piece of plywood on a sliding track.  The plywood was so heavy it was almost impossible to open and close the closet doors, and this is a small room, so reclaiming that space was very important. Sidenote: removing screws from a concrete floor should not be taken lightly. 2 screwdrivers, a pair of plyers, and one hacksaw later we were able to remove the closet track from the floor.  Here is the room before we started to work on it (after closet was removed):

Guest Room Before

Given the paint marks and holes left in the floor from removing the closet, the first thing we decided to do (after a fresh coat of paint) was to install a new floor.

We decided to go with a floating laminate floor.  First we had to put down a moisture barrier over the old floor since it was installed directly on the concrete.

Moisture Barrier

Then the floor went in.  It took about an hour to lay the first couple rows, but once we got the hang of it it went in much faster.

Floor Goes In

Coming soon…designing and setting up the room.

Category : Design | House Fixing | Blog
21
Dec

An Element of Design

Time has become a major factor in my life with school and work deadlines, our lease running out at the end of the month, and trying to get a real closing date on our house.  I remember growing up and hearing people say they wished there were more hours in the day, but I never understood.  Days were so long, and a year was forever!  Now, as I find myself more and more behind in everything, I understand why my mom received a clock with 13 hours on it one year for Christmas.  Lately, I have also been looking for a clock to hang in our new house.  There are so many creative designs available.  Here are some of the more interesting ones I’ve found:

Clocks

1. Crate and Barrel Raised Number Wall Clock 2. The Conran Shop 50S Electric Clock 3. The Conran Shop Cone Base Clock

4. Retro Flipdown Clock 5. Whatever Clock 6. George Nelson Wooden Ball Wall Clock

Category : Design | Blog
17
Dec

I Heart

Hajime Namiki Woodblock Prints

namiki23

namiki25

namiki27

Category : Design | I Heart... | Miscellaneous | Blog
28
Sep

Conran’s Shop in Manhattan: A Great Place for Design Inspiration

Conran Outside

I love walking through Conran’s when I visit New York City.  It is full of really interesting designs and it is a great place to get inspired!  Take a look…

Conran inside

Children

Conran Children

The chairs on the left and right above are so fun and cute and they come in a variety of colors!  The table in the center has a bucket for chalk and is covered in chalkboard so children can draw right on the table.

Other Designs

Conran Design

The apple on the left is a lunchbox.  The spice rack in the middle is several clear top containers with magnets on the bottoms on a magnetic board.  This can also be found at the Container Store.

Category : Design | Blog
21
Sep

A Classic Look with Blue Walls and White Accents

img71

This Pottery Barn picture gave me an idea for designing my new office in my new house.  One idea is to have 2 white walls and 2 blue walls.  On one of the blue walls I will have my desk and white shelves, and on the other will be my husband’s desk.  I just love the way the white pops against this blue.  Hopefully I will have updates on this idea once I get around to designing the new office.

Category : Design | Blog