Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the boys' room post

I have been meaning to post about wrapping up the boys' room project but two things keep hindering me whenever I find the time to prepare:
1) The weather is cloudy, making for dark photos
2) The room is a mess and tidying it up would consume all of my post-writing time

So, here is what the boys' room looks like when it's neat on a cloudy day.

For those of you just tuning in, my two young boys share a room. After months of going back and forth on what color or theme, we decided to split the space in half by their favorite colors.

I wasn't able to locate any before photos from my archives but when we bought our home, this dresser had been placed in the wall as a built-in. (Hmm?) When my husband removed it I thought the piece had potting bench possibilities but it collapsed during the tinkering process!

In place of the phony built-in my husband built and installed a bookcase.

The furniture, seen covered in small stickers, was still white with yellow knobs from the nursery days. It was time for a change.

The drawer fronts are painted the colors of the walls with their knobs and exteriors two shades darker from the same paint chip.

Most everything is from either Ikea or Target.

I had posted previously on creating this no-sew valance.

L-shaped shelves from Ikea were hung together to form cubes -- perfect for holding books and displaying fuzzy blue Pokemon.

This Star Wars poster was a freebie included with a boxed set of Valentine cards. We bordered the poster to fit the frame using construction paper.

It wasn't easy at times but it was worth it. Although my youngest just told me that his favorite color has changed!

If you are interested in reading more about the process of re-doing this room along with some decorating ideas, I just had an article posted at the online parents' guide Kidoinfo, titled: You Really Can Do-it-Yourself: Making One Space Work for Two.



No more dumpster!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the bedroom post

For me, every room make-over begins with a spark of inspiration, usually from a magazine. During the entire decorating process I almost need to look at an ultimate inspiration photo daily over breakfast. I feel like a toddler who wants their favorite board book read to them over and over.

Page 36 of Cottage Style (Country Collectibles #56) became that daily picture for me. The "a bit of british" section written by Christina Strutt features photos from her latest book, At Home with Country. I even splurged on purchasing a pillow case and laundry bag from Christina's shop, Cabbages & Roses. {Thank you to my online customers for making that possible with your purchases!}

Here is how my bedroom looked before. I knew I wanted to brighten the space and paint the unfinished armoire.

And something had to be done about the clunky upstairs computer area.

In an earlier bedroom post I mentioned my original plan of using Benjamin Moore's Navajo White but a Home Depot ad about paint and primer in one intrigued me so I went with their close-match of Artist Canvas by Behr.

Tinkered Tip: I found Behr Premium Plus Ultra (paint+primer) to be easy enough to use. However, it goes on very thin. I used nearly 3 gallons to complete the room and that surprised me because I generally have a very light hand when applying paint.

Boy, was this ever an awkward room to paint. Grooves, low walls, slopes, and I had the big idea to fit-in painting the armoire while the room was tarped.

I gave the armoire a sloppy coat of Cherries Jubilee by Glidden. Looked a bit scary but I trusted my plan.


Days before I had GASPED over a pretty valance at the home of Whimsy by Victoria featured at Restyled Home. I went bonkers over the fabric and asked my amazingly talented friend Shellie if she could please sew a valance for me. I then contacted Victoria who sweetly and quickly provided me with info about the fabric, which I ordered from Quilt Home. So while I was painting, my Shellie was sewing. Excellent customer service from Quilt Home, by the way.

In between coats of interior paint, I was outside at the picnic table spray-painting hardware. This was a very Decorating Cents type of low-budget makeover: the best kind!

Two days later the room was painted and dry, Shellie had delivered my valance, even my order from Cabbages & Roses had arrived. Time to rethink the furniture arrangement, which included moving the big desk to the dumpster (!), moving the bed across the room, and bringing the Girlie Office desk upstairs.

My new bedroom!
The boys think it feels like they're at a hotel. (Me, too!)

I rubbed the corners of the armoire with a candle while it was red, then painted over it using the Artist Canvas of the walls, sanding here and there for a distressed look. The wax kept the new coat from totally adhering, making it easy to sand away and reveal the red underneath.

I spray-painted the pulls white but then decided the piece needed a pop of red. My bistro chair from Target's garden section.

White spray paint has almost magical powers.

We moved the armoire and painted the back of it to serve as a short wall, which now creates a little nook for the desk.

I still haven't found just the right quilt so I reversed the one already on the bed to it's white backing.

Thank you for hanging on through this long post.

As you can see I still haven't finished painting the door. Just one more coat to go. And yep, there's the boys' room, which I plan to post about next.

Happy weekend!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

mes grandes nouvelles

This week, painting the bedroom, cheering at freezing cold Little League games and trying to make sense of our home minus basement storage has kept me mostly offline. But I am carving out time right now because I have mes grandes nouvelles to share which according to iGoogle means my big news in French (hope it's correct!).

As you may already know, my blog is featured in the May issue of Romantic Homes magazine. I was beyond thrilled when Editorial Director Jacqueline deMontravel let me know cottage would be included in their we love / site seeing section. As a thank you for her gracious message, I sent a custom package of my les petits tiroirs to both Jacqueline, and Jickie Torres, senior editor (whom I had been in touch with when my essay was published last June). Upon receiving the gifts, Jacqueline asked if I would like to write a how-to about my tinkered matchboxes for June. GASP! I am so grateful to both Jacqueline and Jickie for their support.

Extra photo taken for how-to

Perhaps because I'm on the East Coast, my copy hasn't arrived yet. But a big, warm thank you to my sweet blogging friend Joyce of Scrap for Joy for taking the time to snap some pics and send them to me. {Thank you again!}

Photo credit: Scrap for Joy

I am a big magazine enthusiast with all kinds of publishing dreams so this is a gigantic deal to me. {I'm sort of pinching myself while in a little trance. TMI?}

Last Monday afternoon

I will save details of the bedroom re-do for another post. Oh, and the boys' room, too! Until then I plan to catch up on blog visits and hope my June issue gets here soon!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

the oilcloth is in -- and on

Just about a month ago, I posted seeking opinions about oilcloth. I received so many helpful and appreciated comments and as you can see, went with red polka dots on white.

I ordered the oilcloth from fellow Etsy seller Oilcloth Addict, and was so pleased with the customer service.

Hardware source: Anthropologie

Because I am prone to being a bit fickle when it comes to decor, I chose to adhere the oilcloth to the underside of the table with easily removable blue painter's tape as opposed to duct tape or even staples.

I seem to be dotting each room with a bit of red these days.

Someday new chair pad cushions will be on the list. I did attempt to sew some and came pretty close. A story for another time ...

Thankful for the sunny spring weather today.


Monday, April 5, 2010


Last night I returned to my neglected embroidery (the 39 squares project). I never quite mastered "fancy" stitches but found that I really enjoy making roses. I have been stitching along in a checkerboard pattern, leaving alternate spaces empty, wondering just how I would fill them up.

The clearance section at Michaels came to my rescue with small packages of metal rose charms meant for jewelry making, called Petals a Plenty. {Cute name!} I had a notion the charms would come in handy.

The word "notions" when used to describe sewing items has always made me chuckle for some reason but seems like a fitting title for this post.

I started filling squares with the charms and also dug out my small collection of beads, using them for leaves and rosebuds.

{Ever spill a container of beads? I did and keep finding them stuck to the soles of my feet!}

Even though the notion squares are not embroidered, I think they count. I still have many more squares to do.

While in the middle of my sunny photo shoot at the dining room table, I knew I had to include this lovely and unavoidable view to my left ...

The dumpster parked in my driveway! I must admit my upbeat demeanor about the basement flood descended into being quite overwhelmed. Thank goodness for my hubby whose own let's take care of business attitude kicked into high gear.

Just keep stitching, stitching, stitching ...