Sep 16, 2013

A lighter, brighter bedroom

Hi everyone! Can you believe it's September already? Is it just me or did the summer go by way too fast? (I always say that!) Here in Maine the summer feels so short, so it's always a little sad when it's over -- although I think fall may be my favorite season!

So I have been a little MIA recently but it's only because I've been busy busy busy working on some things around this house of mine. For a little while it felt like I didn't even come up for air! But now things are finished (ish) and I can show you what I've been working on.

In my last post I gave you a sneak peek of my bedroom painting project. As I said then, we painted our bedroom right when we moved in, but the color was too dark and we just didn't like it. But we have a big bedroom, and we didn't really want to repaint it. But we got the opportunity, strangely enough, when our poor pup Colby had to have knee surgery. Because he couldn't do stairs -- and because he's spoiled that he sleeps in our bedroom with us -- we moved our bed to the office on the first floor while he was recovering.

While we were camping out on the first floor, I convinced the hubby that it was the perfect time to take a paint brush to our bedroom yet again We knew we wanted something neutral and light, so I grabbed a bazillion paint swatches and stuck them up on the wall. Um, there are a million light neutrals out there!

The color we finally chose was Gull by Martha Stewart. It's a creamy, off-white neutral with a hint of warmth. Since so much of our house is painted in cooler tones (which I love!), I wanted something a bit warmer for our bedroom.

It took me a little while to get this whole room painted, because I also had to paint the ceiling (we found some leftover paint in the basement from the old owners for the ceiling, but when I used it to patch a couple spots it was definitely not the same color, so I had to take care of that situation).

I felt a tiny bit silly painting a room we had painted less than three years ago, but I am SO happy with out it turned out! It is soooo much lighter and brighter in this room now!

It doesn't feel like a cave anymore, and that makes me really, really happy. I need a light and bright space to cheer me up when I'm doing things like putting the laundry away. :)

I've seen some bloggers describe this color as a light gray, but it definitely skews a bit yellow in our room. I don't mind it, though -- again, it's warm and cozy, which I think is just right for a bedroom.

This is all the bedding, curtains, etc. we already had, but I'd love to get something different. I'm over the green curtains and sheets! I'll keep you posted on what I end up with.

While we were improving this room, we also decided to install a ceiling fan in here. We have one in our office, where we'd been sleeping for the last few months, and we really liked how it helped keep us cool. We also had a desire to update the lighting in our bedroom since the existing ceiling light in there was definitely inadequate for lighting that big space. Here's a look at the light that was in there (with the old paint color):

We ended up buying this Harbor Breeze fan from Lowe's, mostly because of its low profile. Our ceilings are 7.5 feet tall, and the hubs is over 6 feet tall, so we needed something with a profile of less than 16 inches, or else the hubs would be bonking his head! This fan did the trick with a profile of about 14.5 inches, and it was quite affordable as well.

It was no picnic installing this fan. The hubs had to spend some time in the attic installing the proper ceiling supports. But now that it's up there, we're quite happy with it. It's not as quiet as the Hunter fan we have in our office, but it's just as cute (and that's what matters, right?)

We also installed this cool switch that allows us to control the light and the fan speed, and it also came with a remote, which is super sweet because we can turn the light off or change the fan speed from bed.

And as we've done in the other rooms we've painted, we switched out all the beige outlets for crisp white ones. The hubs even put in these fancy USB outlets on each side of the bed, so we can charge our phones with ease.

It's always incredible what some paint can do to change a room (oh, and some white bedding never hurts either!). The before:

And the airy after!

So do you think I'm ridiculous for painting my bedroom again, not even three years later? Or would you have done the same thing?

Wall color: Martha Stewart Gull, matched to Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint
Quilt, bedskirt, white pillowcases and throw: Target
Green sheets and pillowcases: Bed Bath and Beyond
Green pillow: DIY with fabric from Joann
Lamps, green frames and green curtains: Target:
Bamboo blinds: Home Depot
Ceiling fan: Harbor Breeze Crosswinds from Lowe's

Aug 12, 2013

Summer is flying by

Hi, everyone! Sorry for the radio silence over the last couple of weeks. I don't know what happened to the rest of July...all the sudden it's practically two weeks into August! Crazy how that happens.

So I'm here today just to give you a quick update on what I've been up to the last couple of weeks. In no particular order...

We drove up to the top of Mt. Washington...

We enjoyed some Maine summer favorites -- beach, lobster and camping...

We visited some friends and got up close and personal with some sea life in Boston...

We bought a new dishwasher. Our old dishwasher broke for the third time in less than three years, so instead of fixing it, we decided to replace it. We bought this Whirlpool Gold on sale at Lowe's. We're pretty happy with it so far! It cleans well, is relatively quiet and holds lots of dishes.

I did a little thrifting...

And I started painting our bedroom. Our bedroom was pistachio green when we bought our house, so we immediately painted it a Behr color called Mushroom Bisque. But it didn't take long for us to dislike the color. We rushed picking a color so we could paint before we moved in our furniture, and we didn't examine it in all lights. Our bedroom doesn't get a lot of light, and the color was just too dark. We were craving something light and bright...and we're on our way to getting it! I'll post more about it soon when I'm finished.

So that's what I've been up to! What about you?

Jul 16, 2013

Anniversary date photo frame {DIY}

Hiya everyone! I hope you're doing well! Thanks for all your feedback on my two rugs both here on the blog and on my Facebook page. I just can't part with either one, so they're both sticking around for now, although I'm still not 100% sure how they'll be used. Stay tuned as I play musical rug around my house. :)

I'm here today to show you some DIY art I made to celebrate my three-year anniversary to the hubs, which was back in June. As I wrote about before, I like finding ways to display wedding mementos and photos without being too mushy. And I'm a true believer that what you put in your home should be meaningful above all else.

This is our anniversary date! I didn't come up with this idea -- you'll see it around Pinterest and the web, and there are places where you can buy the numbers you need. But I wanted to find a cheap way to make this art, and I also enjoyed taking the photos myself.

I actually started on this way back on our first anniversary trip to Quebec. I love taking photos of interesting doors and when I came home I saw I had two of the three numbers I'd need for our anniversary date. So I explored my hometown's downtown and had a lot of fun snapping photos of numbers on buildings and businesses, including the last number I needed.

I did just a little editing in Picasa to crop them and make them black-and-white.

Then I printed them through I bought the frame for 40% off at Michaels.

I'm not sure where this will live permanently, but for now it's hanging out on the console table in our dining room. I think it looks really cool! I love the variation of the types of numbers. Plus it means we have no excuse for ever forgetting our anniversary :)

I also thought it was a great gift idea for a good friend of mine who recently got married, using a frame I found at Kohl's. I hope it finds a nice place in her new home with her new hubby!

Linking up!

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


The Shabby Nest

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Jun 27, 2013

A tale of two rugs

Hi all! Hope your summers are going well so far! Mine has been crazy busy. Seriously, every weekend we've been booked...the summer is flying by!

Anyways, I'm popping in to ask for your advice on a rug. While I was shopping around for a rug for the entryway (more on that another day!), I decided I wanted a new rug to go in front of our door that leads to the deck. Don't you love how one project or purchase always leads to another? :)

This door gets a lot of use, because we use it to get to the backyard to take the dog out. So we're always tracking in grass and dirt, and we have at least a couple pairs of shoes there too.

Last year I bought this mat from Target, and it worked pretty good. It was easy to clean and stayed in place with a rug pad. But it was nothing thrilling to look at, and it was just too small. There wasn't enough room to keep shoes, so we were always tripping over them, and when the shoes got pushed off the mat they'd leave dirt and puddles on the floor.

So I was on the search for something bigger and something that was also durable and would hold up to dirt and lots of use.

While at HomeGoods, I stumbled upon this cute little printed jute rug for just $17. I was drawn to the Moroccan pattern and the natural fibers.

But...I wasn't sold on it. This front room is pretty lacking in color, with the wood floors, dark leather chairs and black-and-white art. This rug left me craving a pop of color, but I kept it anyways until I made up my mind.

Then, I happened to walk by this rug on sale on Target. It was a bit more money at $27, but is more substantial with a thicker weave.

It's an indoor/outdoor rug that you can rinse clean, according to the label. It's marked "neon yellow," but it's actually more of a yellow-green, and still just the pop of color I was looking for. And another geometric pattern -- yes! (They sell larger versions of this rug online, but for some reason don't have this size on their website.)

But...I'm not sure about it either. I'm not convinced the color works with the seafoam green of the walls, and the color feels very summery, so it leaves me questioning whether I'll like it in the middle of winter.

So, what do you think? Do you have a favorite? I'm leaning towards the Target rug because of the color and because it seems like it'll last longer, but I'm pondering keeping the other rug and using it in the winter months. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

No matter which rug I go with, it'll definitely be an improvement over what's there now. Although Colby seems satisfied with it. He's so easy to please!

May 28, 2013

Entryway update

Hi all! I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend! It finally stopped raining here and the sun came out yesterday, which was really nice. We got to see the parade and spend time outside with my family eating burgers and drinking margaritas...that's my kind of Monday!

I've been a little quiet lately, so I apologize. I've been spending my time working on the entryway. We kind of lost our motivation for a couple months, so I'm trying to get this project back on track -- and get it done so we can move onto other things!

So, the last time you saw this space, it looked like this:

What we had to do next was trim out the gaps between the cabinets and paint the face frames.

The hubs cut and installed the trim, which made such a big difference in giving the cabinets a finished look. He also filled the cracks between the cabinets.

Then I was up for painting. I used a foam brush to apply two coats of Zinser BIN primer, and sanded between the coats. Then I used my Purdy angled cub brush to apply several coats of Behr semi-gloss enamel paint in Ultra Pure White. I used some Floetrol to help extend the drying time to reduce brush strokes. Try as I might, I cannot get a completely smooth surface, so you can still see some brush strokes, but I think it looks pretty good, so I'm satisfied.

We also had to reinstall some of the trim from around the doors, which the hubs nailed into place. He filled the nail holes with wood filler, and then I painted all the trim (so it would all match) with high-gloss Behr interior/exterior enamel, also in Ultra Pure White.

The hubs cut new baseboard, which I painted the same as the other trim, then he installed it and filled the nail holes.

I gave the baseboards one coat of paint to cover the nail holes, but I'll need to do another coat to hide all of the wood filler. I'm hoping to get that done tomorrow, and then we can put the coat rack back up.

It doesn't look like this was a lot of work, but it sure did take a lot of time -- mostly the time to wait while paint dried. Isn't that fun?

It's starting to look like a real room now! Trim makes such a big difference. And now that the cabinets are all painted we can start using them. I'm really itching to start organizing these cabinets, and am super excited for all the new storage space.

But we're not done yet. We still need to make doors for the cabinets (I'm going to use them even without doors, so we'll be rocking the open-storage thing), and the hubs has plans to make a couple drawers too. And I'm working on a coat hook thing to go over the bench, as well as some other things to help keep us organized. And we need to install a shoe rack. Then it's just accessories -- wall decor and some new cute rugs. My favorite part!

I'm hoping we don't lose steam on this again...although I'm guessing it'll be a long time before the cabinet doors are done. But I'm okay if those take some time to get done, since we've never made them before, so it's a big learning curve. I don't mind taking the time to get them done right.

May 16, 2013

Turning cloth napkins into pillows {DIY}

Hi all! Sorry it's been a little while since I've posted...y'know how life can get sometimes. :)

Today I'm sharing my latest pillows. I'm seriously obsessed with making pillows. I just made these ones out of a curtain. It's probably because it's one of the few things I can manage to sew (kind of)!

My newest pillows are made from cloth napkins I found on sale at Target (where else?). I just loved the floral pattern and the blues, greens and yellows of this pattern. I had eyed these napkins for a while but since I didn't really need them, I made myself walk away...until I saw the orange clearance sticker. The sticker said $6.98, but the receipt said $2.98! What a deal! I bought them with the intention of using them as napkins.

Then at Jo-Ann I saw this turquoise remnant fabric that was half off the marked price, and I snatched that up too, again not sure what I'd do with it but loving the color and thinking it reminded me of the colors already in my living room.

Then it hit me -- make some more pillows!

I simply cut the turquoise fabric for the back and didn't even do anything to the napkin -- I just sewed the pieces together. I sewed as close to the napkin seam as I could. The napkins aren't quite square, so I tried to compensate for that, which I dd only somewhat effectively. So if you look close you can tell my pillows aren't square either, or even the same size. But they're good enough for me!

I already had the pillow forms, so these two pillows cost me about $7 total. The pillows like this that Target sells? 24 bucks. What a deal!

As you can see by my pillow collection, I'm slowly becoming more comfortable mixing patterns in my living room.

I'm sticking to blues, greens, yellows and neutrals to keep things cohesive, but I'm mixing geometric patterns and floral patterns with solids, and I've got an embroidered pillow and a couple linen ones that lend some texture. My new floral ones feel like a breath of fresh spring air.

But my favorite couch accessory? This guy.

What a face!

I'm happy to report Colby is healing well from his knee surgery seven weeks ago. After six weeks of restricted activity, his bones have healed and the vet has cleared him to resume some activity. Yay! He's very happy to be taking walks and joining us on the couch again. He should be able to resume his normal puppy activity in about four weeks, just in time to enjoy the summer.

But back to the pillows. I still have two napkins left in my four-pack. What do you think I should do with them? I think I'm maxed out on pillows for now. Maybe I'll actually use them for their intended purpose...what an idea. :)

Linking up!


The Shabby Nest

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating