Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Antiques and Supply Run

I needed a few supplies for a couple of projects I'm starting so I headed off to the antique mall and Home Goods today. Sometimes it's harder going to these places when you're looking for something specific. Why is that? Sure enough, I couldn't find one of the items I was looking for at the antique mall. So aggravating when I just saw what I needed at French flea market a month ago. Arg.

 I did find two early 1900's December issues of Ladies Home Journal, though. Random, right? Of course I had to grab them or they won't be there when I'm looking for them. Anyway.. Even the advertisements are pretty, because everything was hand drawn back then.  I don't mind reproduction vintage papers, but the real deal is so cool and actually less expensive. Old paper is a crafters best friend. Some sort of Christmas project awaits them. The wheels are turning... Sorry I can't show a picture - Copyright and all that. You'll have to take my word for it.

 I did find the second item on my list and that was this Food Dome (I don't know what the technical name for it is). I looked all over the antique mall but couldn't find the right sort of basket for my project. I knew I could find something vintage looking at Home Goods. And I did. I'm really excited about this project. I just need to order a couple more things. Eeeeee! I can't wait to show you. Stay tuned.
 

I also made a small purchase getting muslin and foam at Hobby Lobby.

 On a side note, it keeps raining every time I attempt to sand my desk top. Yesterday, it was sunny all day, but as soon as I set a table up outside and got the sander, it started raining! I'm actually happy about the moisture, but the timing is impeccable. Tonight we even had a tornado warning.  It won't take much time at all to finish it up so I promise pictures soon.

~Amber

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When Dreams Start Coming True

For the most part, my master bedroom is complete. Everything that's in the guest bedroom once used to be in here so I definitely have my dream space now. We purchased new furniture four years ago and we still love it. It is a set, which I know is like some designer faux pas, but some of us have to compromise. Besides, the dressers are huge and have these neat hidden drawers that are lined with felt and perfect for storing long necklaces.



The photos above the bed are from Home Goods. They're taken from a small ferry in Prague. How do I know this, you ask? I have been on that very ferry tour when I took a trip to the Czech Republic for a college class. Isn't that amazing? I took an old point and shoot instead of my digital camera (what was I thinking?!).

I made the toile pillows and bench cover. They were one of my first adult sewing projects - the first time I made a slipcover and the first time I made a pillowcase with a zipper in it.  I keep thinking about embellishing the pillows some more or adding a cushion to the bench cover now that I'm a little more confident with my sewing skills.

The coverlet is a matelass√© from JC Penney. It's over sized, which is ideal when one has a pillow top king size mattress. The one I originally had from Pottery Barn shrunk so the guest room has the fortunate accident of inheriting that gem. I like white bed linens because they're neutral, bright, and you can always bleach them if dirt or body oils discolor them.

 I also used to have white dupioni silk drapes in here, but as I mentioned in the Family Room post, the light coming through that enormous window was waking us up every morning prematurely.  The guest room might be getting my white silk drapes too. Ooh-la-la. What lucky guests I have.

At some point, we'll have to replace the carpet upstairs, but it's still livable and this bedroom is my sanctuary regardless (especially during the remodel downstairs!).

~Amber

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sweet Dreams For Guests

The guest room is not on my priority list. It's not a bad room. It's pretty much done actually. The drywall needs a repair behind one of the nightstands. I could patch it up myself if we didn't have textured walls. Here's what happened: there's a little roof behind this room that we thought about tapping into to create another closet until we realized that there's no floor joists in that area. Bummer.

 I like the porcelain blue paint color and the queen bed and duvet, which were originally bought for the master bedroom (until I realized I cannot sleep that close to another human being). I also had to pass down my Pottery Barn coverlet because it shrunk and no longer fits my king mattress. I've been looking for pillows and material for  but haven't found anything yet.


It's not a very big room so there's not much to say about it. The nightstands are Ethan Allen children's dressers that the hubs has had for many years. They're in great shape except they both need new tops. The bigger one is veneer with rounded corners and the smaller one has a big gouge in the top. Some of the hardware was missing so I replaced the knobs probably five years ago.  I plan on painting them as soon as the tops get repaired, probably in distressed white.

There's a white bookcase in the corner, not pictured, that holds all my best childhood stuffed animals (Boyd's Bears), paper dollhouse, as well as books. I love them too much to hide them away in a box. What can I say, I'm still a kid at heart.

~Amber

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Still Dreaming...in the Kitchen

The most expensive dream space in the whole house is, no surprise, the kitchen. My dream kitchen is and always has been WHITE. I'm not complaining or anything. This kitchen is a good size and the cabinets are in pretty good shape. That's one of the reasons why I haven't already painted them - I have a hard time painting something that ain't broke. The doors and the toe kick are starting to show wear, but luckily that doesn't show up in a photo. I wish I had a pre-construction pic. At least the front door is painted and in place. So embarrassing!



But as long as we're dreaming....anything goes, right?  Painting the cabinets is a tedious project I'm not even close to being ready for, but it would really transform the space for little money.  Once again, I found this inspiration on Google images. LOVE the two tone look. It looks so bright and happy.


Of course, solid surface counters would be nice too:-) I like Venetian Gold and Santa Celia granite with a classic white subway tile back splash. Pretty sure a yard sale won't raise the funds for that. Darn it! Maybe some day.  Anyone else have plans/dreams for their kitchen?

P.S. I'm getting supplies for a really cool DIY light fixture for the kitchen as we speak! I'm super excited about it!!!!!


~Amber

Saturday, July 27, 2013

You've Got Dreams

Okay...so while my home is turned upside down I can work on a few furniture pieces, but mainly I'm in limbo. I don't want to leave my blog hanging so maybe I'll take this opportunity to share my decorator dreams. Whenever Justin and I tell his mother about any construction/landscaping plans she always says something like, "You sure do have big dreams." Cracks me up.

They're not the kind of dreams that breed discontent or materialism, however. Sometimes things really do need repairs or we're adding something functional, but most of all, I just like to create. I'm an artist and my home is my canvas. I enjoy the planning, the process, the creativity, and the end product. It's fun and you don't have to spend a lot of money to create a home. Some people do one room at a time; I do a little bit in each room at a time. So here we go...

The hardwoods are currently delayed by the fireplace and built-ins we're installing in the Family room. As you can see, it's a pretty bare wall. This room is also right off the garage so it can get rather chilly as well. A fireplace is going to be beautiful and functional. I'm grateful we're getting hardwoods in here too. The carpet was wearing down a lot between the family room and kitchen next door to the point that my foot was catching the tack strip. Ow! Carpet is no good in a high traffic area like this.


This is what we're going for with the built-ins. I grabbed this photo on google images so I'm sorry I don't have the link! It won't be this exactly, but very similar. I'm thinking classic black slate tile around the fireplace.


Justin scored a gas insert on Craigslist about 2 years ago from another contractor who was doing a remodel. It's a lightly used unit, but at $300 I'm totally okay with that. New units are upwards of  $1,000! We're going to order base cabinets from our supplier and spray them white. Justin is going to build the bookcases. He's built the wall to go around the fireplace, which includes a pocket for our flat screen TV, and ran the electrical for the fireplace and lights. The fireplace still needs to be hooked up and more wires run for surround sound (not my idea). Oh, did I mention we have to upgrade to a bigger system to carry the load of the extra BTU's? Yeah, so many things go into remodeling that cause DELAYS. It's never as simple as you think it's going to be, even when your spouse is a contractor.

As far as design goes, I wouldn't be surprised if that gigantic leather sectional makes an appearance at a yard sale or Craiglist. Any takers in the Denver metro area? If Justin won't part with it, I'm considering breaking it up (one couch with two armless chairs) and slipcovering each piece myself.

I'm also considering taking out all the red. I've already relocated the taffeta drapes to our master bedroom to block out the morning light that awakens us at 5am EVERY day, but the white sheers are here to stay. I'm still contemplating the drapes. Sultana burlap maybe? These are from Ballard Designs, but I'm sure I could make my own on the cheap.



Like a said, a yard sale is definitely in order. I won't even have a place for that TV console once we finish the fireplace wall. Sounds like a smart way to fund my design dreams, don't you think? One thing is certain, this room is not going to look the same.

~Amber

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let There Be White

In the beginning...there were THREE blonde farmhouse tables (the furniture store was having a sale). The natural finish wasn't going to work with my decor but meant it would be easy to re-stain and paint. One was refinished for the eat-in kitchen. My husband stained the top and sprayed the base with semi gloss Krylon. This was years before I knew about chalk/milk paint and wanted that "dipped" finish.

And then there were two. The original plan was to modify the tables for 1) a computer desk and 2) a craft/sewing table. The tables are solid wood (no veneer!) and my husband thought modifying would be cheaper than buying the material. Well...the tables sat in the basement for years. Six to be exact. Other projects around the house have been taking precedant, and that's okay. Time gave me the opportunity for figuring out what I really wanted to do. I realized four years ago that I needed more of an executive desk with STORAGE under my computer rather than just a table, so I went ahead and purchased one along with a couple of bookcases. I then spent the last four years trying to figure out a) what type of paint to finish my craft table in and b) a coordinating paint color that would go with the off-white desk and bookcases. Oh my!

It's finally time to paint the craft table. I'm currently using a plastic folding table and not only is it unattractive, my anywhere hole punch doesn't work on it. I have enjoyed working with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint immensely so I found the product. Now the color? I really really really wanted an all white office. ASCP options: Old White or Pure White. I already had a quart of Old White and was really hoping it would work. After repainting the main floor in a darker cream, however, the Old White looked dingy and it was darker than my office furniture.  Total Bummer! The Pure White, on the other hand, was as white as my trim, but brighter than my office furniture. I probably should have attempted some paint mixing, but I didn't. I don't need an exact match per se; I just don't want it to clash.  The wax makes it darker so maybe I'll be alright?

Hmmm.... clear wax was not enough. I quickly realized my Minwax furniture wax was tinted slightly and yes, it did make the white darker. <SIGH>  The finished product is still a little lighter but I'm staining the top so I think it will be just fine. Anyone else get obsessive like this? It's a craft table for goodness sakes.



And there's still one leftover! I guess I'll have to paint that one to sell outright. I don't think I need or really want THREE of the exact same table in my house. Kinda takes away from the vintage look. Oh, the endless possibilities.

~Amber


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's the Hold Up?!

"The only advantage in not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

There's nothing worse than starting a new venture and getting stalled virtually right from the beginning. I think in my excitement, I may have jumped the gun. I'm working on projects and finishing them; I just don't have anywhere to stage them! The main floor is completely under construction with our hardwood install. It's been months, but my husband just hasn't had the time and he remodels for a living, so he's not as motivated as me. To make matters more complicated for him, we decided to build built-ins in the Family room.  All my furniture is smooshed in the front two formal rooms or piled in the guest room. Honestly, my home is a disaster area, which is not condusive to staging all my crafts and furniture refinishing. The most unfortunate part is that we can't entertain and have anyone over. We are up to our eyeballs in projects! It's taking a long time, because we're doing it by ourselves, but we're saving a ton of money and I honestly don't know where we'd put all our stuff if we had a crew do it all at once.


It's a unique installation. We're alternating three and five inch wide prefinished oak planks.




Dusty and dirty but it will be worth it in the end.  I just stenciled that entry wall before I repainted a darker cream. I don't want to paint over it, but I think it clashes now. Any thoughts?




On a positive note, an unfinished kitchen floor means I can paint there without worrying about making a mess;-) I started painting my craft table this week and I'm experimenting with some resin accessories.



Check out the "My Home" page to see these rooms before we ripped them up. I'm thinking a yard sale may be in order before bringing everything back in. Like a certain black leather couch...

~Amber