Jan 24, 2012

A colorful corkboard {DIY}

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a great week so far!

Over the weekend I finaaaally wrapped up a project I started a couple months ago. Remember in October I showed you this corkboard/bulletin board I bought at the ReStore?

It definitely needed a rehab. So, I sanded, primed and painted the frame in a satin white I had on hand -- it was actually exterior paint I bought to paint our windowboxes for our shed. It took a few coats to cover the black.

There was no way to get the frame off the corkboard, so I actually put painters tape around the board to minimize the amount of paint I got on the corkboard, even though I knew I'd be covering it (I just didn't want the paint to leave the corkboard all stiff).

I found this adorable fabric at Joann a while back that I absolutely loved, but I wasn't sure what I'd do with it. Perfect for my board! To cover the corkboard, I thought maybe I could tuck the fabric under the edges of the frame, but that was a no-go -- there just wasn't enough space. I knew trying to cut the fabric to fit exactly wouldn't look 100% and the ends would likely fray, so instead I cut it a little smaller than the corkboard and adhered it using some spray adhesive.

My high-tech method for keeping the frame from getting all sticky from the adhesive? A piece of cardboard :)

But what to do about those ugly edges?

Ribbon to the rescue! I used hot glue to stick the ribbon along the edges of the fabric.

Isn't it so cute and happy? I just love this little sucker!

It's holding a few of my Christmas cards, since they were still out and handy (I know, I know, it's been like a month!).

I ran two ribbons down the middle as a place to clip messages and other things instead of pinning them.

I had these little clothespins hanging around from a wedding project I never got around to. I may paint them when the weather is conducive to spraypainting.

I haven't hung it in the office yet, but I think it'll go above the desk for easy access. Here's what it looks like against the gray walls in the office. It really picks up the gray in the fabric -- eeee, I love it and can't wait to hang it!

I'm sure there are lots of fun bulletin boards out there, but my project was inspired by Thrifty Decor Chick's DIY memo board.

The board was $10, the fabric about $5 with a coupon, and the two spools of ribbon were on sale for $3 total -- the rest I had on hand. I love that it only takes a few bucks and some elbow grease to turn a ho-hum office supply into something that's colorful and customized AND useful.

I'm linking up!


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Somewhat Simple

The DIY Show Off

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Jan 23, 2012

A spraypainted lamp for the office {DIY}

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was especially great because...the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl! Woohoo!

Today's post features a project I finished a while ago, but I'm just getting around to sharing it with you. Hopefully you'll still find it thrilling :)

I searched high and low for a desk lamp for our office that was just the right size, shape and color. I wanted something curvy to offset the big, boxy desk. Oh, and I also had to get the hubs' approval (he's pickier about lamps than I am, apparently!).

I first brought home something like this:

But he said no way Jose.

Then I bought something like this:

And he liked it, but I thought it was a little bland. The office so far is all gray and black, so I was thinking some color would be fun. But I couldn't find just the right color. I really wanted something like this:

But not with a $250 price tag. I just can't stomach spending a ton of money on a lamp, unless it's like a genie lamp and I get three wishes. :)

Then I spotted this lamp at Target, with a mere $20 price tag. I liked the shape, but not the color (I mean, I like red and all, it just wasn't what I was going for).

So, of course, spray paint to the rescue! I picked a color called lagoon, a fun, bright peacock blue.

Here's what my red lamp looked like pre-paint.

Yep, this was a looong time ago, because now our lawn is covered in a foot of snow!

I taped off the socket and the cord, sanded the lamp a little, gave it a couple coats of primer and a few coats of paint. Then, I finished it off with a couple clear coats.

And here's my little lamp now!

This color is so hard to photograph -- it looks straight blue here, but it's really more of a blue-green color, I swear.

It's hard to shoot in the office because that room doesn't get great light, but here it is in its new home.

I especially love the glow effect it has when the light is on!

I wish it were a little shinier -- I don't know why those clear coats didn't make it look glossier. But all in all, I'm very happy with it -- and that it cost me about $35, including the shade and the spray paint.

What have you spray painted lately? I can't wait for warmer weather so I can start spray painting things again!

Jan 18, 2012

New couch -- finally!

First, a very big and heartfelt THANK YOU! to the sweet and supportive comments I received about my return to blogging. Seriously, I teared up. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive you out in blogland can be -- I appreciate it so much and I'm so happy to be back!

Okay, now to the couch. We've wanted to replace our two hand-me-down couches pretty much from the minute we moved into our house in October 2010. As I've mentioned before, they were in pretty rough shape -- both were sagging, one was held up by a piece of wood underneath the frame, the other padded with blankets and an egg crate to make it even remotely comfortable. The egg crate one was also slipcovered, and I HATED having to readjust that darn slipcover all the freakin' time for it to look presentable.

Sure, they don't look so bad here...they're tricking you

So, we wanted new furniture, but the problem? We had no idea what we wanted! Two couches, a couch and a loveseat, a couch and two armchairs, a couch and a (groan) recliner?? We went to a few furniture stores and came out discouraged. Finally, the weekend after Thanksgiving, we decided to hop in the car and drive to Jordan's Furniture in Reading, Mass., about two hours away.

Have any of you ever been to a Jordan's furniture? This place was insane! Not only were there like three floors of furniture, but there was also: an Imax theater, a TV store, a giant water fountain, a hamburger joint, an ice cream shop in the shape of a giant sundae, a trapeze school, and replicas of downtown Boston and the Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster, made out of 25 million jelly beans. I kid you not.

There were signs everywhere telling people not to eat the jellybeans off the replicas, because they had been treated. Yuck.

You'd think that the furniture would be equally cheesy, but they had a surprisingly diverse collection. And after mocking up layout after layout of our living room, we realized the best thing to fit our space: a sectional. No, not one of those overstuffed, recliner-and-cupholder sectional (but if that's your thing, more power to ya!). We wanted something sleeker, more sophisticated, but still just as cozy. And after three hours of shopping (and a burger break, of course), we finally picked one by California company Jonathan Louis. This is our biggest house purchase to date, so we were excited but also nervous to pull the trigger.

Our couch came a few weeks later. Check it out!

Whoa, it's huge!

The fabric is light, yes, but linen-like and sturdy (we were told). And it has a little variation, which should hopefully hide dirt. We paid a little more for extra-plush cushions.

So why did we pick a sectional? Well, we wanted more than one couch, because our living room is our only entertaining space, so we needed lots of seating for guests -- and since we practically live (ha!) in there, we always wanted lots of lounging space ('cause we're lazy like that). But squeezing two couches in that room meant they'd nearly overlap, and it also left a dead space in the corner that was hard to use (see the photo of our old couches above).

I tried to float the one couch-and-a-couple-chairs look, but the hubs wasn't feeling it. And he was really jonesing for a recliner, which made me less than thrilled -- I just have never seen a recliner I liked, and trying to position it with the space to fully extend meant putting it at a weird angle and practically in the way of the stairs, which just wasn't practical.

The sectional solves all our problems -- it wraps into the corner, so no dead space; it equals the lounging space of two couches without a weird overlap thing; and the chaise is just as good as a recliner, or so says my hubby. (When he conceded on the a chaise, I nearly fainted in happiness!) I just looove curling up on that chaise at night.

Don't you just love the free pillows that come with couches? *sarcasm*

We'll be upgrading our lamps and side tables too, and we definitely need a smaller (maybe a round?) coffee table -- or maybe none at all. We're contemplating an ottoman instead. I'll post about our plans for those later when we actually know what we want. :)

We are definitely loving the new couch. Our only problem? A beige overload.

Even with our curtains and other furniture back (we took them out so we could shampoo the carpet before the couch came), it still feels too blah to me.

I know some people really dig the neutral look, and I definitely love me some neutrals, but with the carpet, walls and big ol' sectional all nearly the same shade of beige, it's not really doing it for me.

We're contemplating painting (okay, I'm ready to grab a roller tomorrow!), but not sure what color. What do you all think? We want something light and bright, since we spend so much time in this room, but not too boring either. I'm picturing a light blueish color, but then I start remembering our bright-baby-blue kitchen when we moved in, and I get the heeby jeebies.

Nooo, not the baby blue!

But a color like one of these would be nice...

Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray
Source: Amanda Carol at Home via Involving Color

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Source: Unskinny Boppy via Involving Color

I was pretty sold on the blue until I saw this picture in the most recent Better Homes & Gardens

Total beige-on-beige action, and I like it! The hardwood and white carpet help break up the beige, though.If only we could put in hardwood! But that's for another day year.

What do you think -- to paint or not to paint?