Thursday, September 29, 2011

All white and fluffy...

I don't think I mentioned a little purchase I made this past weekend.  Let's just say I bought our cold hardwood floors a Snuggy of sorts.

When the new curtains went up in the living room, to be honest, they kind of scared me.  They were sort of wild and crazy, and mixed with the West Elm rug, they just felt downright freak-show-like to me.  So, my mom suggested I remove the West Elm rug from the room to calm things down a bit.  We ended up with this...

Pretty cold and bare, but it helped me to feel like my crazy curtains could actually be tamed after all.  So what to do about a rug?

I had had my eye on a simple off-white shag rug for a while now.  And when I realized that I needed to go very neutral in the space (to balance crazy curtains and pillows), I thought it might be just the ticket.  And it went on sale.  Done and done.

Cue "BoboShaggy" the rug.  No, really.  That's what it was called.

Prepare yourself for entirely too many pictures of the living room with the new rug...

You were warned about the quantity of images...

An attempt to show the fluffiness of the rug...didn't work, did it?

Now to keep the boys off of the new rug in an effort to keep it white...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lighting Projects Complete...

Per the title of this post, yes, we managed to get both lighting projects accomplished around here.  I think the new kitchen light fixture might just be changing my life, I'm loving it that much.  We'll start with that project...

Remember we started with this guy...

And now we have this guy instead!

You can see the texture of the shade a bit better with it lit up.

It immediately made this space feel less like an eat-in kitchen spot.  For the record, I have to say a HUGE "thank you" to my dad for getting this puppy up and running.  Andy was in Tuscaloosa, my parents were up for the day, and one thing led to another to get the fixture installed.  I'm so glad to finally be using it--Andy was also grateful to not have to deal with it.  Thanks again, Dad!

After the lighting change, Andy moved my dainty little desk in from the garage to create a "bill pay center" for us.  Although the desk may be a bit small for the wall, I LOVE getting the bills and junk off of the counter.  Anyone else struggle with counter clutter?  We are the worst about piling papers.

For those that may recognize the chair, yes, it is originally from our dining room collection.  I like it so much better than the chair that came with the desk--much sturdier.  I may eventually recover the cushion to make it appear more custom, but we'll see.  The desk is also on the list to be repainted--it didn't fare so well in the move.  I eventually need to invest in an electric hand-sander to get all of the existing finish off, and then I'm thinking the desk may go a rich red.  But, things are always subject to change around here.

So here is the newly defined kitchen space in all its glory.  Who knew a light change-out could help so much in changing this space's function?  Yes, I realize the rug is all wrong.  I am slowly but surely adding to our rug collection, but in the meantime, we need a feet-wiping spot by the back door.  This one shall stay for now!

On to the next project...

I aimed to make this lamp fit with my current color scheme in my office.  My choices were green and orange, as determined by the bird fabric.

First, I stripped the lamp down.

Then I taped the heck out of the lamp's cord, base, top, etc.

I started by lightly sanding the lamp, followed by a solid coat of primer.

Then I decided the lamp should "go green."  Isn't that the craze today?

I thought this picture might give you a better idea of how the lamp fits in with one of the greens in the fabric, but now I realize you can't really see that at all.  Just trust me.

Speaking of green, I visited the good ole' Flea Market this weekend and picked up a platter and serving bowl to add to our Fiestaware collection.  This is one of the newest colors and I LOVE it.  Very chartreuse-y green.  Had to get them--only 9 bucks each!

I also upgraded Duncan's bowls thanks to the Flea Market.  He's been rocking a couple of plastic bowls since I adopted him several years ago--I thought these were just too perfect to pass up.  For 7 buckaroos, Duncan has stainless steel bowls that match his new food bin. 

He loves them, for those who may be wondering.  He says his food tastes better.  He says they make him feel classy.  He says he likes being able to check his hair while grabbing a swig of water.  Oh the things he tells me. :)

That's about it for now.  Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lighting Changes...

For several weeks now, we have had it in the plans to change out our first light fixture in the house.  With it being a new home, we have really tried to make due with the fixtures we have for no other reason other than they are brand new.  However, there was just one light fixture that I told Andy from the VERY beginning had to go...the one in the kitchen.

There are many things that bothered me about this little guy, but to name just a few:  The finish (every other fixture downstairs other than bathrooms are a rubbed bronze),  the size (slightly wimpy), it screamed "BUILDER GRADE!!!", and everyone who visited us ducked under it (including me--I am 5 ft. 3 in., yet I felt the need to duck--so annoying).

Imagine you don't see my paint supply box, the new light fixture in its box, and a random chair.

But its worst offense was that it made this small area feel very void of a table.  However, Andy and I decided long ago that the space was not right for a table.  We are constantly in and out of the sliding doors with Duncan going outside, and it is also a high-traffic area getting to and from the pantry, laundry room, etc.  It would feel way too cramped with a table (and we don't need another table due to our dining room table).  So, this mini-chandelier HAD to go because it was sending the wrong message for the room.

Here is the new fixture still in the box.  Let's just say Andy and I always find something better to do on weekends than learn to be electricians.  I am hoping that maybe we can knock this out tomorrow, since my other half is halfway to Tuscaloosa at the moment (insert a pint-sized "Roll Tide" here for him).

We ordered this light fixture from Lowes for the space.  It's a semi-flush mount, so it shouldn't give off the vibe that a table should be floating beneath it.  I think the size of the drum shade (19 inches) should be about right to not look wimpy in the space.  Hopefully it will do the job! 
For those concerned about the previous fixture, we are listing it on Craigslist very soon.  Hopefully we can make a few bucks off of it!

On to other lighting changes...

I love the size, shape, and color of this lamp.  However, I have NO turquoise in my house whatsoever.  So, this lamp landed in my oh-so-random office.  However, now that we have added the roman shade (see below), the color is no longer working in here either.

So, what's a girl to do?  Bust out the spray paint, of course!  When looking at the bird fabric, I am beginning to think I may go with a fun lime color for the base, or I may get plum crazy and pull out the orange color.  Andy would HATE it, but it's my office and he gets his Bama room, so we'll see.

I'll be using this tutorial from Isabella and Max Rooms to complete the project.  More spray-painting, but it allows me to better utilize a lamp that I love.

I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Built-In Beauties...

In case you haven't heard, we have an awkward "hole" in our living room. 

See it there to the left?

Yep, there it is again.

It's attempting to hide in this picture, but obviously still there.

So, the plan has always been to build in that space to make it feel less like a hole and more like a part of the room.  In comes my granddad and his amazing wood-working skills.  So far, he's made a bed, dining room table, media armoire, candle stands, and bowls that have all found a spot in our home.  It's so neat to use pieces that he's made in decor--it's like having a little piece of family in every room.  All of this to say, he is currently working on making us a built-in bookcase for the living room!  I could not be more excited to have him help us with this project, and it's been fun batting ideas back and forth with him on it.  I have no doubts that it will be absolutely perfect when it's finished!

Granddad brought the "face frame" by earlier this week to see how close the measurements were to what he had made, and it fit like a glove!  Although, the plan has changed slightly from the original design.  As you can see here, we had originally planned on two drawers sitting above the cabinets, but to maximize the shelf space, we have since taken them out of the design.  We are planning to keep the TV in the built-in, so we need all of the shelf space we can get.  I know this is a very controversial thing--to mount the TV or not to mount the TV.  In the end, the questions it raised (what lies behind the fireplace wall? where will all of the wires go? will using our fireplace often in the colder months affect the TV? do we want a larger TV mounted in full view on the first floor of our home? etc.) worried us too much to go through with it.  I think I also came to the conclusion that I enjoy having artwork above the mantel.  It's not for everyone, but it is prime decor real estate in our house, and I love a good painting to pop some color on the wall and create a solid focal point.  Long story short, the TV will sit in the built-in.

When we first began talking about possible designs, I sent my granddad some internet pictures I had found that best showcased features I wanted.  Here were a couple I sent him:

I loved the simplicity of the cabinets in this built-in.  I think it will help tie in the kitchen cabinets (flat panel) since the kitchen/living room areas are seamless.

I sent him this one because they had incorporated a TV in the design.  It helped to give us an idea of how much more space we might need above the TV for shelves to make it feel more balanced.

For the record, there are hundreds of gorgeous built-ins out there, but these were a couple that seemed to make sense for our space.  I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It all started with the addition of the new curtains...and ended with a complete rearrangment of the living room.  The trouble we get in to when my mom visits...

The new curtains!  Pretty wild, huh?  But I love them.  If you stare at them too long, you might get dizzy, so watch yourself in the next few pictures.

Basically, with the addition of the curtains, the West Elm rug started feeling too busy, so we moved that to the dining room (love it there too).  I already have an idea in mind for a replacement rug for the room.

Then my mom suggested we just keep moving things the couch placement, coffee table, etc.

So that the couch now almost mirrors the angle you get from the bar.  There's Andy waving as he washes the dishes.  Yes, friends, I cook/he washes.  Great deal if you ask me.

I also purchased this Target chair this weekend to add to the living room mix.  We needed something random, and Andy and I were both really wanting to bring a deep leather in.  And it was on sale.  Thanks to my brother (who has never read this blog, and likely won't ever) for helping me bring it on home in his truck.  Although I love him for more reasons than his pick-up, it sure is nice to have around. :)

Another picture of the new layout...

And another...

And another.

Close-up of the curtains...

Andy and I spray-painted the rods, finials, and rings yellow, but it looks a bit like baby spit-up on the beige walls, so I am eventually going to repaint all of the hardware red.  EVENTUALLY.

Here's a quick shot of the West Elm rug in its new home.  It helps to tie in the curtains a bit better in here, though honestly, this may not be its forever home.

I moved one of the Target slipper chairs in our bedroom since the color worked better in here anyway.  This was in the living room previously.

And the rattan ottoman that was in its place was moved to the other side of the room to help "anchor" the IKEA mirror.

More to come!