Archive | July, 2011

Olive’s Bedroom Progress

28 Jul

My five-year-old baby is far from being an actual baby (or toddler for that matter) anymore.  She is a full-blown preschooler.  I realized this very early on this year when I literally could not pick her up anymore, and… oh yeah… she started liking Justin Beiber… oh yeah.

Upon her undeniable show of growth and change, I also realized that she’ll soon be another 2 or 3 years older and ready to move on to a “big girl” room (sniffle) before I know it.  So my numero uno house related priority for this summer was to get  her “little girl” room in as satisfactory standing for Olive to get maximum use out of it (and for me to hang on to her youth for as long as I possibly can).

It all started back in April, when I did a complete closet overhaul in there and renewed an old dresser for her.  Then in May, I shuffled around some IKEA tables and storage to get a better sense of organization going on.  Most recently, in June and July, I moved her tall bookshelf and mounted shelves to create some overall balance and to make things much more visually pleasing.   After all this shuffling and moving things about, the proverbial dust has settled and her room is now officially ready to view.   So let’s take a little visual trip to bring us up-to-date with how much things have changed in my baby’s little lady’s room.

Here’s where we left off back in May:

The little “zones” created by placing her play kitchen and doll house back-to-back actually addressed the organizational issues in her room quite fantastically, but aside from the room having great function, the form, namely balance, in the room was still terribly off to say the least.  

So we brought in the rest of the IKEA Stuva collection from the blue room to further organize Olive’s toys and her tv area:

And we also centered her tall bookcase on the wall with the two windows in additional to moving the play kitchen to get things looking like this:

A huge improvement I must say.  But it wasn’t until this point that I finally began to get a better understanding of how balance in design can give a room that “done” feeling that is sometimes so very difficult for me to achieve.  I had an “aha moment” so to speak, and came up with the vision and idea to add shelves on either side of the large picture window (more on that here): 

I really love the shelves in there!  A huge improvement further still, but something was still quite amiss.  What, you ask?  Why the huge, messy corner to the left of the tall bookcase that I have intentionally left out of all the above photos:

(Side Note: Can you tell that I color coordinated all the books on the top and bottom shelves of the bookcase?  Well I did, thank you very much.)

So after looking at the two spaces on either side of the bookcase for a few hours, (not continuously of course) it finally dawned on me… switch the play kitchen with the doll stuff and then everything will fit! :

And it did! Famously so!

Now things are starting to really shape up in there!  I also added a picture ledge above the dresser that I plan on using to house stuffed animals and dolls:

So, like I said, things are really starting to shape up in her room.  And I have to admit, I’m sort of proud of all the work I’ve gotten done in there too. 

I’d say this room is about 85% done.  I still need to dec up the walls, along with tackling a few other details in there.  Next on the agenda is to address the crazy art wall next to the bed that is in some major need of attention as well as the quite un-outfitted wall above her dresser (pictured just above) :

 But so far so good.  I’ll now leave you with a few of my favorite little detail shots:

Click here to see the progression of developments that have taken place in her bedroom over the years.

Thanks for looking!

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Olive’s Bedroom Progress – Shelfy Business

27 Jul

Upon taking the tall bookcase from the corner of Olive’s room to being centered between two windows (more on that here), I became so much more aware of how simply adding balance to a space can bring everything together in a room in a very visually pleasing way.   So in an attempt to further balance things in my Little Bittle’s room, I decided to flank the large picture window that is centered on the southern facing wall (the wall on the right hand side in the first picture below) with shelves that I snatched up from the entry

This is how things were looking in there before adding the shelves:

Just in case you’re wondering what in the heck that green thing is that’s draped over Olive’s bed, that is an interim make-shift canopy that I whipped up real quick after removing the hula hoop canopy that I made for her last year.  (New canopy idea is in the works!)

And this is how it looks with the lovely shelves hanging on either side of the window:

Ahh, balance.

I’m glad I was able to streamline things in there with the use of items that we already had lying around the house yet again  (see how three different rooms in the house got mini-makeovers just by moving around tables that we already owned right here and how I made use of two shelves from different rooms in the house to spiffen up the laundry room right here). 

So after taking the below shelves out of the entryway:

And painting them with two coats of peachy-pink self-mixed paint with assistance from my little-helper of course: 

We ended up with this:

And this:

I love them.

The shelves closest to the side window (pictured just above) are styled up pretty much perfectly to mine and Olive’s liking.  The shelves on the other side (the one’s above her bed) still need some attention in the decorating department – I just threw some things on them for picture taking’s sake.  But all in all, I really feel like they add not only balance but also length to the room surprisingly enough. 

Let’s take another gander from a wide view angle once again (so you don’t have to scroll back up):

I’m definitely pleased with the results of adding these shelves, and also with how her room is coming together in general.  And more importantly, Olive likes it too, so that makes me very happy 🙂

Stay tuned for even more Olive’s Room Progress to come!

Thanks for looking!

Paint Mixing Experimentation

26 Jul

An ongoing theme for me this year seems to be “using what I’ve already got.”  This wasn’t written down as an actual resolution or anything, but I have been making a conscious effort to use up materials and supplies from previous projects for current ones.  And since I am no stranger to mixing paints (mostly acrylics when I painted a whole lot in high school and college) I thought why not try mixing some latex paints that are just hanging around the house taking up space and see if I can come up with the perfect (or close-enough) shade of peachy-pink to paint some shelves that will be going into Olive’s room?  And so I did…

I took some red, a little bit of yellow-green, some pink, and some white paint to come up with four different shades of peachy-pink, ranging from orangey-coral to pale pinkish peach:

I just poured varying amounts of each paint color into their existing paint containers until I kind of liked what I saw, and then painted a little onto a piece of cardstock to make my own homemade paint swatch.  And then, so nothing gets mixed up, I went on ahead and numbered each shade on the swatch along with its corresponding paint container. 

I have a real liking for peach and coral right now, as seen in my choice of paint color for the entryway credenza.  So having four containers of varying shades of those hues might just come in handy for more projects than just shelves in Olive’s room 🙂

Thanks for looking!

Laundry Room Get’s a Facelift

25 Jul

Since I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on Olive’s room this summer, I was beginning to feel the need to move my focus over to something different this weekend, something small and quick that would give me a sense of accomplishment without committing to a huge and costly undertaking.  So after being inspired by two bloggers that chose to take on their laundry rooms last week, a lightbulb went off in my head, and I decided that spiffening up our laundry room would both fulfill my desire to have a change of venue along with getting something quick and easy DONE, all the while meeting my requirement of spending little to no cash.  

Here and here are the inspiring posts from the blog Young House Love and here is another from I Heart Organizing , which includes lots of great laundry room eye-candy if you want to click over and get hit by the insperado-bug yourself!

This is what the laundry room looked like before:

Not too shabby, but also not too spiffy either.  I didn’t do much in there, just slapped some paint on the walls, added a shelf under the existing cabinets, and placed a Billy bookcase (that wasn’t getting much use in the blue-room of the house) into the corner for some good ol’ stream-lining action.  The first move was to get everything, with the exception of the washer and dryer, out of there:

The next move was to wipe down and paint the walls.  I already mentioned how I wanted to keep this project cheap, so I opted to use paint that I already had lying around instead of buying new paint.  I used leftover paint from my bedroom – Martha Stewart’s Araucana Sage:

Then I mounted a shelf that I took out of Olive’s room (more on that here), brought in a bookcase, and accessorized a little in there by bringing in some framed photos of Olive and a painting that I did early last year:

Yeah, my washer and dryer don’t match, and I’m totally ok with that.

 

Although the change is subtle, the space is definitely cleaner and has much more organizational potential than it did before.  Not to mention giving me the sense of accomplishment that I was looking for and for free to boot!  I plan on storing extra curtains and table linens that rarely get used on the bookcase in there, and keeping unsightly wires and things that Rob keeps around for who-knows-what reason in the clear and black storage cubbies next to the dryer.

Still on the list in here:

  • Paint the cabinets as a means of practicing my cabinet painting method before taking on the huge cabinet painting project in the kitchen
  • Adding some sort of light cover over that exposed bulb
  • And installing a clothing rod on the far left wall by the dryer.

But after getting this little project done, I feel like I can meander back into Olive’s room and scratch a couple more things off the to-do list in there 🙂

This post is linked up to Addicted2Decorating, click the button below to see what greatthings other bloggers out there have been crafting and making-over themselves!

Thanks for looking!

Pressed Flowers Part 1

13 Jul

Now that summer has definitely taken full effect, such things as holidays, vacations, and just plain old summertime hootinanny have taken precedence over the ol’ homestead to-do list, which means things in the DIY and home improvement arenas have been placed on the back burner.  Not to complain so much though, I enjoy having fun in the sun as much as the kids.  And as the weeks have flown by, I am still slowly but surely making headway in both Olive’s room and the entry, but haven’t quite been able to squeeze in enough time between all to summertime hoopla to get things “done.” 

With that said, I have managed to get a few smaller projects underway… one being the preserving of the most beautiful flowers I have ever received in my life (this is not an exaggeration)… my Mother’s Day flowers… yes, I said Mother’s Day.  Which again, yes, I know was over two months ago, but better late than never, right! 

So here is what the gorgeous lovelies looked like in full bloom on the day I received them from Rob:

Just lovely!

I think what I loved so much about them was the plant variation (I think the large pink ones are peonies) and also the bold and pale color-combination in the bouquet.  It also helps that I have a great affinity for wildflowers, so the inclusion of some of those definitely contributed to their eminent fondness.  But after a couple of weeks (they actually stayed looking real purty for longer than I expected) the wilting began and they started to look more like this:

Wop Wop.

But rather than just toss them away, I decided that I would take a stab at preserving the lovely memory of them by pressing them, and then hopefully (if it works) placing them between two pieces of glass, and subsequently framing them.  I say “hopefully” because I can vaguely remember attempting to press flowers as a child and them turning out moldy and unusable.  But I do fondly remember finding flowers that my mother had pressed in some of her books and thinking that I wanted to do that with my very own flowers one day… but enough with all the sentimental stuff…

My flower pressing process was pretty straight forward.  I just cut off the slimy ends of each stem before placing them in between pages of a phonebook (I knew I would one day find a use for all those phone books that somehow end up on my front porch!) :

And after carefully pressing them, being sure to space them far enough apart to hopefully allow the phonebook pages to fully absorb their moisture, I placed them out-of-the-way atop the hutch in the kitchen that houses my plate collection (a project for another day), which so-appropriately supplied me with heavy enough objects to place on top of the phonebook in order to keep everything nice and flat:

So there you have part one of the-pressing-of-the-flowers.  It has probably been six weeks or so since they’ve been up there drying and flattening out, but I more than likely won’t get around to checking them out and beginning on part two of the whole process until well after July has come and gone.  But rest assured, I will be back to share how it all turns out 🙂

And for one last gratuitous, artsy/filtered version of the precious lovelies:

THANK YOU FOR LOOKING!

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