Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet Betty and Allen

Right when we moved in B's mom was about to garage sell two reddish wingback recliner chairs. Well I had high hopes of being able to reupholster them and love them so we had B's parents bring them down and they've lived with us since April. Well they were super comfy but a little too tall for our space but just for fun I took some pictures and got a quote for having them reupholstered. Hello, sticker shock, meet cheap-o. It was going to be somewhere between $500-$700 smacks. Each. I could buy new chairs for less than that! So we moved on from that idea and I started looking around at some chairs that I could convince B to like and then stalk them until they went on sale sale. And then something magical happened. 

My aunt stopped by and said hey, we have are trying to clear out our living room and I have these two chairs that we need to store for awhile, would I be interested? They didn't want to get a storage unit and her kids' homes are already full of furniture so she thought of us. I said what chairs? Those two tan leather chairs with the beautiful fabric back? Yes, those chairs. 

I don't think I could've said yes faster. They ended up being able to bring them by that weekend and boy did they fit right in. I know, I know, I am just babysitting, but it could be a while so don't think I didn't name them the second I plopped down. This is Betty. She makes a nice little reading chair next to our bookcase with our reading lamp and pouf. 

And this is Allen. He is turned towards the tv for extra seating. I also brought in a trunk we got from my other aunt as a side table. And yes, this is the trunk we were using as a coffee table talked about here. 

How about them succulents? We found this woman who grows and sells succulents for super cheap at the flea market here in town that's held every Saturday. Have I been there every Saturday for the past 4 weekends to pick up 'just one more'? Now, that would be silly. 

So we hope Betty and Allen get to stay for a while. I did warn my aunt that they may bolt themselves to the floor. Who knows. But either way it gives us a nice (free!) upgrade and we get to see if the style/color/placement is something we like so it will help us in our search for our forever chairs. While they were over my uncle talked about how when they were first married her and her sister (the aunt with the trunk) would basically trade their entire living rooms once a month. The guys would load everything up and swap furniture so they could get a fresh look for their spaces. I tried to trade our couch for one of my aunt' didn't work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Made From Scratch

I'm not sure if I've ever gone into detail about one of the special wedding gifts we got from when we got married back in September. Of course we got a lot of wonderful gifts but this one is extra special because my dad made it for us. Is 'from scratch' the appropriate term here? By hand? Handmade? I think of cupcakes when I say from scratch but that's what I'm trying to say. Anyways, my dad knew we needed a 'real' coffee table since we were using an old trunk and he had looked over some from Pottery Barn that he knew I liked, but the almost thousand dolla price tag made us both cringe. So I guess one day he just decided he could make one. And it's great. 

The planks of the shelf came from salvaged wood from an old church. They were used to kneel on during prayer in the pew. The metal top came from my uncle who works in metal. It's super heavy and just rests over the wood base. 

I am in love with the metal top because as we've used it (even in just the last few months) it's showed how it's going to age in some spots. There's some parts that are scratchy and some parts that are smooth.

And it's huge. And heavy. Like I can stand on it. Not that I stand on tables. But if I wanted to I could.

 The shelf underneath is great for a small basket that holds controllers and our laptops.

I just wanted to share this with you guys because I love it and I love that my dad made it. We were actually talking about our 'big' furniture pieces the other day and realized that we only have one piece (our console table from Target) that is store bought and new. Others have either been around since we were real young or since my mom was real young or previously owned or handmade by either my dad, my pops, or B and his dad. I think that's pretty cool.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Feeling Moody

Sometimes it's hard to wrap your head around everything you want to accomplish in a room. You have all these ideas floating around but you can't seem to bring them together. Well this is where steps in. This website has thousands of home decor items, furniture, accessories, and flooring all categorized by room that you just simply drag and drop to make a mood board. A mood board can be done room by room or as a whole house mood board meant to give you guidance as you build you space. What's nice with these mood boards (that you can make for free!) is that if you truly love that dresser you pulled for your bedroom mood board you can just click the link and purchase it!

So today I played around for a little bit and whipped up a mood board for our master bedroom and our living room. I tried to find items as close to some that we already have that I know I want to keep as well as some items that we hope to bring into the space. I found their search bar to be really helpful so I didn't have to scroll through ten pages of their bedroom category to find a particular item. 

Below is the mood board for our bedroom. I worked with what we already have such as the geometric headboard (ours is grey not white), the old map, the dark framed wall mirror, the diamond duvet, and the small black frames. I added some small accessories that are easy to bring in such as the antlers, the chevron blanket and the arm lamp. We are currently saving for an end of the bench storage system (haven't decided to build or buy yet) as well as a built in dresser/storage system. And the walnut wood flooring is a dream. We currently have carpet and it makes me sick. 

Here is the mood board for our living room. I brought in the wood flooring (thankfully we already have) to add some tone. The coffee table I found (which is from CB2) is almost identical to the coffee table that we actually have that was built by my dad for our wedding gift. The buffet is similar in tone to the one we own the holds our TV and consoles and the pouf and chair are also similar to items we already have. The blue lamp shade is actually the shade we have for the two lamps in our bedroom (which also have a teal base, both from Target). I hope to move these into the living room to pull the teals we have on the other ends of the room. We do already have a rug for this room (a blue and green ikat) but I do think it's too small. Especially since we hope to add a large sectional I think the rug needs to be as wide as the couch so you can slip it a little bit under and see it from both ends. With a rug the size we have it kind of dwarfs the space. But no worries I think the ikat rug would look great in the office, but I can't move it until we have a replacement because our little fur dog needs some traction to hop up on the couch. 

Overall I whipped up both boards in about and hour and it's really helped get me grounded on ideas I had for both spaces. I've made the mistake before of just grabbing things when I'm out and about that I like but that don't overall go together in a space. This helps me keep on track of the pieces that will help 'make' a room instead of overwhelming it.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One Shade of Gray

So like 85 things have happend since our last post before Christmas. We celebrated one graduation, three Christmases, missed one Christmas, traveled to Kansas City twice in 2 weeks, celebrated NYE in OKC and now we are finally back home! Oh and we painted the living room. This is what the post is actually about. Warning, loooonnnggg post.

After spending weeks and weeks talking about and researching what color to paint the living room we were finally able to get it done after receiving a Lowe's giftcard and paint accessories from my mom for Christmas (with the promise of her help of course). Our LR is tricky because as you can see with the three pictures below that all of our rooms except our kitchen all share one wall with no divider. So we had to pick a color we really liked since it would travel to multiple rooms. 

See how the LR is really only the middle wall with the big picture window and the wall directly across it? But in the pic above it shares the entryway wall because of that funky half wall? Well we do have plans for separating that so we can paint the entry and dining another color. But that will be later. And see how toward the fireplace there are two columns on either side as well as one on the ceiling that kind of separate this space? Well we use that area as part of the LR so we wanted to keep them together. Now see the bookcase towards the right? 

It leads to this room which we use as a mudroom/bar/eating area but it's so close to the LR that we wanted to wrap the color around to that area as well. These shots also show you the color that we had when we moved in, I'm not sure what the actual color name is but I like to call it slab-o-butter yellow. Seriously I feel like I could walk up and dip a piece of bread in it. It also didn't help pop our crisp white trim and doors that we have and kind of just overall dulled the space down.

So after reading blog after blog (and later getting reassured by Nate Berkus) we decided to go with Moonshine by Benjamin Moore in satin. Yes, we've heard that flat paint is best for LR because it's easy to wipe down. However, not only does this color go into an eating area and we didn't want to mix finishes but I absolutely hate flat paint. It's easier to wipe down, yes, but that's because it shows dirt ten million times more! It feels like chalkboard paint and kind of dusty. So no we did not go flat. 

We chose Olympic Premium no VOC interior latex and I got this neat rim lip pourer thingy. It kept things super clean and helped me save a lot of paint from pooling in the rim, which was good because we barley got all three areas covered with one gallon. 

There were also many tricks and prepping that had to go on with these spaces. First of all the two actual LR walls are textured so they needed a nappy texture roller to get into all the grooves. Second of all the fireplace area and nook area have flat bead board walls so they needed a smooth foam roller and caulking. And boy did I caulk. Caulk is my new best friend. Seriously as I was caulking the bead board and gapped trim I took this shot to remind myself that it would all be worth it. Our bead board had these deep grooves and our trim wasn't flush in most places so I wanted to caulk the space so the paint job would look more professional, clean and we would use less paint since it wouldn't have to fill deep crevices. Here is a shot of the bead board above the nook where the lines on the right are caulked and the ones on the left are not. 

 And a close up shot of what I mean. Hello clean lines good bye dark holes.

And yet another shot. I think I'm doing this more to prove to myself that a week of cramped hands was worth it. But it was!

Before Caulk
 After Caulk

And here was my weapon of choice. A 1.49 tube of Alex white paintable caulk. And I was able to use the caulking gun that was left behind, yay!

Oh and here's another shot at some areas that need caulked. To caulk the space it was pretty simple but messy....but worth it. I'll keep saying it to block out those bad memories. Anyways, to get started I just trimmed a small hole off the tip and squeezed that caulking into either bead board crevices, trim gaps or brick meets wall inconsistencies. Once I would squeeze out a strip I would take my finger and run it down to get off any access and to kind of press it down into where it needed to go. I did this for every. strip. of. bead. board. That's well over 40 strips. Then the two sides of the fireplace. Then the base boards. Then the frames around the windows and bookcase. Then the hardest part, the place where the bead board meets the crown molding. ugh. 

But, bad memories aside, here is a final shot! A moonshine and caulked bead board wall. Lovely!

And a moonshine coated textured wall! FYI this is probably the truest shot of how the color actually looks, well I guess depending on your monitor. Just believe me when I say that it's the best gray ever. Not too purple or white or anything. Just gray. I mean, or you can believe Nate Berkus when he calls it the "perfect gray".

I love how our white frames pop against the gray, the wood tones look warmer, and the entire space just feels softer.

Alas, we still have work to do. Remember above I said we would be taking care of the divider to the entryway? Well this is that area. We have this weird little half wall that used to have spindles (cute!) but those have been taken down but we still have the weird jut out of a wall. Ideally I would love to see if we had wood flooring underneath the wall and just take it out. But until then we are just going to build a column out from the wall just like the other two we have leading into the fireplace area.

Here is the shot from underneath the nook. I like how we are kind of bringing down the total number of colors we have around the space. I like doing pops of color but against a neutral background. So like before we had butter yellow, gray, walnut, white and then our pops of teal and greens. But now it's just gray, walnut and white (all neutrals) and then our pops of colors.

See what I mean? Before these colors all kind of competed with the butter yellow background, now they stand out.

Oh and we also hung a sheer and some hooks for my everyday goodies for easier access. Hey, it's a mudroom/bar/nook we can do whatever we want. 

And finally (not really) here is the moonshine paired against our crisp white brick fireplace. I am in love. This is my absolute favorite space in the house right now. Our distressed rustic mantle + avocado mirror + white brick + moonshine = love.

Here are some shots of those lovely mantle toppers. My lovely ceramic horse head that my bestie got for me for Christmas, a teal sand hourglass from Ross, a white antler from Vintage Trade Days sits on top of a cool patterned box I got for .99 from Ross.