Mar 30, 2011

A new home for old furniture

My grandmother recently emailed the fam (yes, my grandmother is super hip and has a Gmail account) and asking if anyone wanted to give this vintage coffee table a new home. It belonged to her parents, my great-grandparents, but she didn't have room for it anymore. With a new house to fill and a soft spot for old family things, I gladly took it off her hands.

How old school is that blue top?!

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. It's in decent shape. There are some nicks in the wood...

...and the mirrored stuff on the glass top is starting to flake off. Plus, it's very blue.

But I love its curvy lines and diminutive stature. I have no idea what it's made out of, but this puppy is light! I can carry it with the glass top on it without even coming close to breaking a sweat. 

I mean, look at that shape!

Don't let that reflection trick you -- the sky was blue but not really that blue. Plus, it was like 38 degrees. Scroll to the top and check out all the snow in the first pic!

I don't think it's an antique, but it did have this marking on the bottom. 

My grandmother thinks it's from the 1940s and has only sentimental value. I was thinking I could refinish it, and maybe find a glass cutter who could make a clear top for it. But when I mentioned that to my dad, he seemed not-quite-so-thrilled that I'd mess with his grandparents' table. Hmm. I guess I'll just hang onto it as is for a while.

But I thought it might be cute in our room we're calling the lounge, for lack of a better name. It's the first room you walk into and it's attached to the kitchen. We're not sure what we're going to do with it, but I'm picturing a sitting room with a couple comfy chairs and a coffee table -- maybe this coffee table? -- in between. 

What do you think I should do with it? Keep it as is? Refinish it and get rid of the blue top? I'd love to hear your ideas!

In other news, I picked up another gray paint sample for the office, called Silver Sateen. It's a little lighter than Natural Gray, but I think it's too green.

 Silver Sateen on the left, Natural Gray on the right

Silver Sateen on the bottom

Gah this terrible light! I swear it's got a greenish hue. Or maybe it just looks green compared to Natural Gray, which is a tad beige.

We've got a dilemma now. The hubs likes Silver Sateen, and I like Natural Gray. Although I'm pretty sure if I just picked a color and painted it, he'd be happy as long as it wasn't pink.

What's your two cents? Do you think we should rock the sateen or go au natural?? I want to hear it!

Mar 28, 2011

Decorating for spring

Hey all! Hope you had a good weekend. Even though the calendar says it's spring, it was like 30 degrees here all weekend. (At least it was sunny!). Where is this spring they speak of?

It might not feel like spring outside, but at least it looks like spring inside. Maybe this will encourage some warmer weather around here. I can dream, right?

Here's our dining room looking all springy. I made some paper dogwood blossoms using Martha's directions, except I made mine using 3-, 2.5- and 2-inch squares. I just used regular ol' printer paper, and made some leaves out of green cardstock. Then I hotglued them to a branch I found in the yard.

Here's a close-up of the flower (please excuse the reject decorations in the corner). They're like the easier paper flowers to make in the world.

I put the branch in a big mason jar and held it in place with river rocks and wine corks.

In front of the jar is a $1 silver tray from Target, with some jute and two white pillar candles nestled in. So cheap and easy! I added two bud vases I already had, which really brought out the green in the leaves and added a little symmetry.

Note: I'm not dumb enough to leave these candles lit! All that jute is surely a fire hazard. But they look purdy all lit for the picture.

I made another dogwood blossom branch for the living room, this time with pink flowers. I love how the branch's curvyness complements the shape of the vase.

For more spring color, I filled a few votive holders with green, blue and white sea glass.

I also did a little rearranging with stuff I already had on there, like this adorable flower-shaped bowl from Goodwill. I love the color and the petal shapes.

Above the console table, I put a little spring on the floating shelves. Another branch from outside got prettied up with two paper flowers (also from Martha) I made for our wedding. And everyone teased me for keeping them -- ha! They really do come in handy (like for this paper topiary I made for Valentine's Day). And isn't that turquoise vase to die for?

I printed off this cute Be Happy print from blog Sprik Space and mounted it on some cheerful scrapbook paper. Note: I got a virus after downloading this print, so please, download at your own risk. But I think it's so cute, it's worth it. The hubs might disagree. 

I like how the color complements the vase. Behind that, the weathered frame I bought at a flea market.

On the shelf below, I moved a photo I took a few years ago on a camping trip from the gallery wall in the kitchen, and added a simple white candle and a cutie little bird that usually lives in the upstairs bathroom.

All together now:

I'm already thinking that frame would look fab with a cute little DIY wreath hanging from the center.

And here's it all with the table:

And it isn't spring without gerbera daisies. Nothing makes me happier than these happy, bright flowers. I bought a bunch at the grocery store and used them with some recent Michaels finds to bring some spring to the room next to the kitchen. A branch adds some height and interest.

Gah, look at that sweet little guy! (I love birds.)

I put the rest of the flowers in a mason jar with some seashells in the bottom. They add some happiness to the phone table in the living room.

How can you feel glum while looking at these cheerful fellows? They will surely help us beat the winter, er, early spring blues. Now if only the rest of the snow would melt...

I'm linking up to Centsational Girl's Fair Weather Forum: Spring Decorating and Cleaning. Stop by and see all the warm weather decor! 

Speaking of cleaning, this is what the rest of the living room looked like while I was decorating and taking photos:

The hubs got inspired to go through all his books and get rid of not enough some. I'm sure they'll be lots more spring cleaning and organizing in our future.

Have you decorated for spring yet? 

I'm also linking to the DIY Showoff Project Parade!

Mar 25, 2011

Shades of gray

Remember a couple weeks ago when I talked about our office overhaul? Well, I've finally gotten around to slapping that gray paint sample on the wall!

But first, I put a bunch of samples up and picked my favorites. All colors by Behr.

I liked Natural Gray the best (third from the top), so I got a sample of it. This room doesn't get great natural light, at least not in the winter, so I apologize for the poor lighting -- it really was sunny out!

What do you think? I'm a little worried it's too dark (so is the hubs). It's darker than anything we've picked for the house so far, so maybe we're just a little nervous about going outside our comfort zone.

Here are a couple other colors we're considering. The left swatch is Natural Gray. We're thinking the little one on the right is a little too blue, while the one on the bottom is a little too beige. 

Sooo...not sure if we've picked anything yet. I think we'll give the Natural Gray a couple days and see if we warm up to it. I feel like I've pulled every gray swatch Behr has, which makes me really want to like this color. Why can't they all come as easy as the kitchen color? As soon as we saw it, we knew it was "the one." Sadly, it's not always that easy...

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I'll be working still on this entryway revamp. We're getting close...I'm getting excited! I bet you're just dying with anticipation. Am I right?? :)

Mar 23, 2011

Wedding in a box

Happy hump day, all! I can't believe it's Wednesday already. With Monday off, I feel like this week is going by fast. Of course, by Friday the day will probably drag...why is that when you have a short work week, it always ends up feeling longer than a regular week? Weird...

Anyways, I used Monday to catch up on some things (laundry), run errands and tackle a couple projects, one of which gave me some trouble, so I'll have to hold off sharing that with you. I also had grand plans that included spray paint, but nature did not cooperate. It was snowing on Monday, and the spray paint can says to use in at least 50-degree weather. Hmm...I think I may be able to tackle that project in like, oh, May. *IdoloveMaine IdoloveMaine.* Spend only one winter here, and you'll soon realize it's necessary to chant this every once in a while in order to make it to spring. :)

I did get something done I'd been wanting to do for a while, and that was putting together a little tribute to our wedding day. Yeah, we've been married for like nine months, but I'm just getting around to this! (Still have a wedding scrapbook to work on too....someday.)

I bought this shadowbox from Joann's. I can't remember how much I paid, but I believe it was $14 regular price, and it was on sale -- plus I had a coupon, so I think it was around $10? I tried to find my receipt, but couldn't -- sorry! 

Next became the arduous process of picking what wedding mementos to include in the box. It was tough (gah, so many choices!), but I finally ended up with this.

Details in the photos might look a little weird since I edited out our last names

I included a copy of our wedding invitation and a photo of the mountain where we got married. The photo was actually used for the table card at our sweetheart table; the name of the mountain was very fitting...

...A copy of our save-the-date postcard...

...The label we (with the help of my father-in-law) made for the strawberry wine we made as gifts for our parents and bridal party...

...And the roses from my hubs' boutonniere and my bouquet. I wrapped them in the satin ribbon from my bouquet and added the pins from the bout and the bouquet. It kind of looks like a little men's shirt sleeve cuff -- isn't it cute?

The shadowbox found a home on our Target folding bookshelf that we moved from the living room to the bedroom. Voila!

(Sorry for the bad light. I took too long arranging these shelves and lost daylight! Blast...)

To coordinate with the colors in the shadowbox, I used other items in black, white and green. The shelf also features a couple other wedding-related items, like these cake topper birds and a sampler my mother-in-law made for my bridal shower. She recreated the motif from our invitation! I can't imagine how long it took her. Isn't she talented? That piece of birch is also a leftover from the table-name holders we my husband made for the wedding.

On the shelf below are the templates from our letterpress invitations. (I know these probably have a more professional printing name, but I cannot for the life of me think of it! I hope my father-in-law isn't reading...). My father-in-law runs his own printing business and made all our wedding stationery, then gave us the templates as souvenirs. The text is backwards, so the words are imprinted the right way. Aren't they cool?

(Please ignore that dirty white tray. I put something on it and it will. not. come. clean. Grr.)

The ceramic white vases are the I HEART U vases I bought for Valentine's Day from the Target dollar spot, just turned around! Although their message would go well with the romance theme I've got goin' on. They need a little somethin-somethin' in them, don't you think? Maybe when something outside actually blooms, I can snag a few stems and pop those in. So, like, June. :)

(The owl doesn't really scream love and romance, except that I love owls. A lot.)

The bookshelf is right across from our bed, so it's one of the first things we see when we wake up. It's a nice way to keep souvenirs from our day close and reflect on the happy times. I'm planning to make one for our honeymoon too, so we can dream about white sand beaches and a tropical vacation. And for maybe $10 or so, it's a cheap way to make some personal art.

What do you think? Are the dried roses a little too dead-looking and morbid to include? The hubs said no, but I think generally he just says whatever it will take for me to stop second-guessing a project and shut up about it. :)

How do you like to preserve and display important mementos?

P.S. See Sherry at Young House Love's wedding shadowbox here!

P.P.S. Want to see someone who mastered shelf arranging better than me? Visit Erin at Domestic Adventure and her fantastic floating shelves here!