Thursday, June 28, 2012

William Morris: the garage, part 502

As a part of our All Decorating All The Time weekend, the Mister and I tackled the garage.  Again.  For the four thousandth time.  You'd think we could just do the darn thing and be done with it, but no, like a bad penny, it keeps turning up again.

Here is what we started with.  My goal is to be able to park one car in the garage eventually.

You'll notice large piles of crap all in the middle of the garage.

Here's what it looked like when we were done.

You'll notice large piles of crap in the middle of the garage.  Lisa, you are thinking, that looks exactly the same.  BUT NO--there are DRAMATIC differences!

Note that this Expedit was originally on the far wall of the garage.

We started by emptying it--and pretty much everything else in the middle of the garage--and dragging it out to the driveway.

On the top of the Expedit we had stored a bunch of unused lamps, and I was worried where we were going to store them after we got rid of the Expedit, but figured it would work itself out.

Yep, it worked itself out. Two more things I don't have to store.  

To keep this snoozefest post from getting even more boring, essentially what I did was drag everything out onto the driveway, and everything that I wanted to keep I put back on the far wall.  Everything I wanted to get rid of, I dragged back in and put in a large pile of crap in the middle.

Thus, all that stuff in the middle of the garage?  Needs to be disposed of via craigslist, ebay or donation.

I did go through all the cardboard moving boxes.  Remember on my William Morris list, I told myself to cull five decor boxes into three?  Turns out we had six decor boxes.  I did cull them down to four.

I had two full bins of curtains.  I purged down to one (extremely full, very heavy) bins of curtains.

I also pulled all the empty Rubbermaid bins.  I don't need or want all of these bins, so I pulled out the kind I like, and will be selling the rest.

The pile of stuff front and center will be donated to Goodwill.

The pile of stuff to the left is more papers that need to be gone through.

So!  While yes, it does pretty much look the same in that there is still a large pile of junk in my garage, NOW the pile of junk consists of stuff I know I want to get rid of, whereas before, things were stacked willy-nilly all over the place.

Hopefully it won't take me another year to dispose of the stuff in the middle.  Anyone a big seller on ebay?  I have some things I want to sell but the prospect seems daunting (calculating shipping! Not good at math! Shipping things in a timely manner!)

I'm linking up to Pancakes and French Fries William Morris Project.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Room Challenge, Week 1: The living room

I am excited to be doing the One Room Challenge again!  This time around I will be decorating my living room (and actually finishing it, unlike my dining room).  Since we moved a few months ago, this room was a blank slate.  Although I am decorating an entire room, the budget is small and I am reusing a number of items from our previous house.  In fact, I am using mostly fabric and paint to redo the room, as nearly all of the furniture in the room is already owned.  Also, we are renting, so I am limited in some of the changes I can make.  

We started off with this:

As you can see in the above picture, we have an unfortunate medium brown wall to wall high-pile shag carpet.  A 12 x 12 rug is not in the budget, so aside from vacuuming it twice a day, I am pretending this neutral-but-ugly carpeting doesn't exist.  We have a fake cement fireplace that I can't paint or improve.  We also have twelve foot high windows.  If you'll notice to the far left of the above picture, what looks like the last window is actually a pass-through into the dining room, and the window up top is actually in the dining room.  Like this:

When we first moved in, this room stood empty for a bit, because we put our (barely one year old) stained, beat-up sofa in the playroom and thus didn't have a place to sit in here. We bought the Petrie sofa in charcoal from Crate and Barrel.  It was not a great buying experience, and took a very long time, but we kept the sofa anyway.  

This moodboard is...hmm, well, I don't have a ton of OH MY GOD THAT CHANDY/RUG/$4000 KNICK-KNACK IS AWESOME moments in this room. This is the room that you see when you walk in the front door, and we spend a lot of time in this room. Its a cozy, warm, comfy, lived-in room. Or it will be when I'm done. 

I am hunting for an ottoman (six weeks to find a piece of furniture the Mister and I have "discussed" for three years, no pressure!). I would really like a round, tufted leather ottoman, but my guess is that with my budget I am going to have to either thrift or make something or do without.  Otherwise, all of the furniture we already own.

The new curtains will be made out of the Ikea Gullan Blom fabric.  In a later post I'll tell you how I am not mathematically inclined and accidentally bought seventeen extra yards of fabric.

I am using navy fabric (and some greek key trim!) in a number of places around the room, including a slipcover for the Expedit that our TV sits on.

The budget does not cover a $500+ massive piece of art for over the fireplace, so I will be making one of my own.

Those are the major highlights of the room.  Can't wait to show you the projects I've been working on!

UpdatedSee Week 1 (moodboard)Week 2 (curtains)Week Three Part 1 (art options), andWeek 3, Part 2 (splatter painting), and Week Four (bookshelves).  

You can follow along with a whole bunch of other One Room Challenges as well.

Lauren - The Cottage Mix
Lindsay - Everything LEB
Barbara - Hodge:Podge
Tiffany - Living Savvy
Jessie - Mix & Chic
Danylle - Nana Moon
Jennifer - The Pink Pagoda
Emily - Rue de Emily
Lindsay - Sadie + Stella

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

art switcheroo

While moving everything around this weekend, I also moved the art.  The Klimt in the hallway went in our bedroom, and the the chiang mai dragon formerly of my bedroom went in the hallway.

The honeycomb mirror from the foyer went in our bedroom.  I love this mirror so much. I think it looks fantastic everywhere.  It looks great in my bedroom.

The budget currently demands that decorating be cheap or free, so I hunted around in the garage for some art.  I love our Botero painting, so I hung it in the foyer.

I love this painting, and all of Botero's work. I have four postcard sized prints of his other work in our hallway.  But I will admit that this painting seems to engender strong reactions from people.  Some people come to your house and say "oh!  There is a.....woman....and she is....naked? With a large posterior?  In your foyer? How....(crickets chirping)....different."

Haters gonna hate, I guess.

However, while I normally enjoy a good contrast in styles and finishes, here the modern frame against the traditional lionhead hardware is not doing it for me.  I loved how the honeycomb mirror looked over this dresser, and thus the honeycomb mirror is going back in the foyer where it started.

Next plan....the Botero will take a sojourn in my bedroom, which is an entirely appropriate place for naked women.  

How do you feel about having two different mirrors in your foyer?  Perhaps mirrors that are hung directly across from each other?

I am in love with the Ung Drill mirror from Ikea, which I want to spray paint yellow and hang over the shoe cubby.

This would mean that the Ung mirror would hang directly opposite the honeycomb mirror.  Is that...weird? Breaking a feng shui rule?  Looks terrible? Or is it totally awesome and you all have dueling mirrors in your foyer too?

Monday, June 25, 2012

bedroom switcheroo: Pottery Barn duvet curtains that I won't be using

This weekend we had a big design switcheroo in the bedroom.  In fact, this weekend was ALL DESIGN ALL THE TIME.  There was not a room that didn't get touched.  The Mister loves these weekends where I make him work from dawn till dusk, moving furniture around.

Right.  We'll start with the master bedroom.  I sat down with the Pottery Barn Paradise Tropical duvet, and spent two and a half hours ripping out the seams.  Its a good thing I wasn't born in 1820, because daintily ripping out seams for hours gave me a headache. Remember when I ripped open the seams of the West Elm duvet to make the striped curtains and I ripped an eight inch gash four feet long into the fabric?  I was trying to avoid that this time.

I didn't bother hemming the unfinished sides; I just folded each panel in half and hung them with curtain rings.

I moved the honeycomb mirror from the foyer upstairs and hung it over my dresser.

I also moved the Klimt from the hallway into the bedroom. The colors match really well with the duvet/curtains, and the frame matches the finish on the mirror.  Which is funny, since I bought the Klimt ten years ago.  I guess you like what you like and you keep buying that stuff over and over, eh?

However, the Mister said "I don't love it."  Then he said "its fuddy-duddy.  And dark."

The Mister does not often complain, so when he does, I listen.  If he doesn't like it, then we'll just have to do something else.

I suggested perhaps we take the other Pottery Barn Woodland Organic duvet and turn that into curtains--its bright, cheery and colorful.  The Mister inquired how many duvets had to die before I will be satisfied.  Then I made him move some more extra-heavy furniture. The End.

That's not really the end, but there's so much more I'll put the other stuff in separate posts.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

fancy movie theaters

For the second time in seven years, the Mister and I saw a move in the theater (the other time was a Harry Potter movie). Movie theaters have changed in the seven years we haven't been going.  This movie theater was awesome.  It had recliners, and waiter service.  I had delicious mini-hamburgers sitting my recliner, and chocolate cake.

Here I am with my feet propped up, eating cake, watching Rock of Ages:

The inside of the theater looked like this:

There's a little button on the side where you can call for waiter service to bring you another cocktail, and another button to make the seat recline all the way back.  They have an enormous menu, too.

Rock of Ages was pretty good too--it was certainly a soundtrack of my teenage years.  My one complaint: the heroine was named Sherri, the movie featured pretty much every Journey song ever recorded, but NOT the song Sherry.  ???

I'm going to take the kid to see Brave this week, but we will be going to the cheap regular movie theater.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

William Morris: office supplies

Our office supplies have been packed in a box in the garage since we moved in.  I hadn't figured out a  home for them here yet, so in the box they stayed.

Last week, however, I had the brilliant idea of getting new bookshelves to cover up the pass-through in the living room.  That means that the books that are currently behind closed doors in my living room bookshelves will relocate to the new bookshelves, leaving space for office supplies behind the doors.  (The books in the garage cabinet will also relocate to the new bookshelves, leaving room for fabric and craft storage.  Its like decorating dominoes!  One bookshelf remakes two rooms!)

Nearly all of our office supplies had been packed as-is from our house, in cardboard storage boxes from Ikea.  I unpacked them from the moving box, laid them all out on the floor, and sorted everything.

There were plenty of things that I'm not sure what to do with but haven't gotten rid of. Like these disks of stuff from college and law school.  Some of them have writing samples on them that I would like to use in teaching, so I have held onto them.  But....I don't have a computer that will read these disks.

I stored them in a box with some of our travel magnets that we have collected from world travels.

It occurred to me after an hour that putting a bunch of magnets on top of a bunch of computer disks was a brilliant move, and I can probably throw those disks away now.

I pulled out a bin full of three years worth of pens and junk, and sorted it into pencils, pens, markers, and other stuff.

The "other stuff" included screwdrivers, paintbrushes, nailclippers, keyrings, paperclips, lint, lip balm, screws, binder clips, napkin rings, spackle knife, and measuring tapes.  I returned these assorted sundries back to their various homes around the house (ie. I dumped it all in the kitchen junk drawer).

I also tested every single writing implement, threw out the crappy ones, and put each group in separate bins.

Here is the end result. Sorry for the flash photgraphy, but its dark in here.

The bottom shelf contains blank notebooks and coloring books.  I might note that is not even half of the amount of blank notebooks and coloring books that we own.  I feel safe that we are prepared for a coloring apocalypse, should one happen.

I plan on grouping all the kids' art supplies in our other closed-door bookshelf, so those notebooks and coloring books will be moving to another location in a few days.

I have not actually bought the new bookshelves, so...while I have solved one William Morris problem, I have created another.

I am linking up to Pancakes and French Fries' William Morris Project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

changing the color of cloth bins

In our playroom, we have sixteen green cloth bins, and four brown bins that hold our toys.  They are essentially cheap cloth wrapped around cardboard.  I would not describe them as sturdy, but they have held up ok, I guess.  (A ringing endorsement, this is not.)

When I bought the Janette curtains for the dining room, I was thrilled that the iinexpensive curtains had the navy blue and green colors I needed to work with in the playroom and dining room.

Except....I jumped the gun a little, because the green of the curtains is a very yellow-chartreuse-y type green, which clashes horribly with the springy-apple green of the bins.  

Before I replace sixteen bins at $8 apiece, I'm wondering how I can change the color of the bins I already have. Since the bins are cardboard, they won't take well to being submerged in liquid dye.

I could spraypaint them navy, but since they are cloth bins that my kids handle roughly on a daily basis, I'm not thrilled with this option.

Has anyone used spray fabric paint? Or made your own spray fabric paint?  Can I spray paint sixteen bins for under $20?  Tell me your experiences with painting fabric, if you please.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

painting my dining chairs

One of the projects on my to-do list is to redo my dining chairs.

When I first bought them off craigslist, they were the sickly color of nicotine.

 I painted them white and recovered the seats with wipeable vinyl.  First with red, which had too much of a pizzeria vibe, and then with beige, which was nicely neutral, but showed every grease stain.  

I love these chairs, they have such a retro Palm Beach vibe.  Unfortunately, my children destroy everything I own, and these chairs have not been spared.  Every single one of my chairs now looks like this:

If you come to my house, don't sit too far forward. 

If I had a million dollars and someplace to store my dining chairs until my children were older, I would buy a set of Tolix chairs--metal, wipeable, won't show stains, presumably.  Although my kids can destroy anything.

However, I have nowhere to store the other chairs, nor do I have a million dollars, so I'll just repaint the chairs I have and hope my children don't turn them into toothpicks anytime soon.

I will probably just sand them down, prime and paint them white again.  I could also recover the seats in navy blue vinyl for a fresher look.

Or I could go wayyyy crazy and paint the chairs a chartreuse or a cobalt blue.

Note that both the green and blue chairs have a white cushion.  Hahahahahaha.  No way, Jose.

I love the colors, but I think I have enough color going on in the room.  I am leaning towards simply freshening up the white, and trying to find an inexpensive blue vinyl.

Now I just have to find the time when no one will sit on these chairs for three days so I can paint them.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

PB Paradise Tropical Duvet, thumbs down.

My new Pottery Barn Paradise Tropical duvet arrived over the weekend.  Since I had never actually seen the duvet in person, I was hoping that I would still like it as much as I liked it online.

I was slightly surprised to see that it was much more mustardy-yellow than it appeared online.  Other than that, however, its really beautiful.

There is one other significant problem.  I bought it on ebay, where it was listed as a King duvet, 106 inches by 90 inches, and as having been washed once.

It may have only been washed once, but it was probably run through the dryer, because it is now 100 inches by 83 inches. A too-short blanket will cause much marital distress.  We cannot use this duvet as a blanket without killing each other.

So.....ever had something from ebay show up not as advertised?  I don't know what to do.  This pattern is discontinued, and I've been looking for it for over a year, so its not like you can just order up another one the right size.  I can't return it, but I'm annoyed that I paid nearly as much as you would for a brand new one, only for it to be unusable as advertised.

I will probably keep it, and turn it into curtains eventually.  Not sure if I will make them for curtains for my bedroom, or some other future room down the line.  The pattern doesn't play with the chiang mai (not surprising, they are both large scale florals), and its a much muddier color palate than the clear, bright colors I am currently working with.

Back to the drawing board.

Updated: As suggested in the comments, I contacted the seller and explained the issue, and she offered me the option of returning it or a 30% discount.  I took the discount, since I do love the pattern and will find a use for the fabric elsewhere.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ants in my dining room

When we were house-hunting earlier this spring, the house we are in now was not our first choice.  Although it was a good size and and had a nice yard, it also had wall-to-wall carpeting.  Nearly every square foot in this house, aside from the kitchen and baths, is carpeted in brown high-pile shag.  (Apparently before we moved in, the entire house, INCLUDING THE BATHROOMS, was carpeted.  SO GROSS.  They replaced the carpet and tiled the bathrooms right before we viewed the house.)

Its not a terrible carpet.  Its not what I would have picked, but its inoffensive, fairly neutral, and is brand new.  However, carpeting is bad for Peter's allergies.  A lack of good housing options meant we picked this place anyway.

Also, I have three children under the age of six, and they are not particularly tidy eaters, and I spend ALL MY TIME vacuuming, sometimes multiple times a day.  Who puts wall to wall carpeting in dining room, for pete's sake??

In an effort to contain the food mess, I have a strict rule of "we eat at the table." I say "we eat at the table" one million times a day. (Other things I say one million times a day: the floor is not your garbage can, please stop sitting on your brother's head, if I smell your hands will they smell like soap?) The "we eat at the table" rule means that the majority of the food mess ends up on the floor under the table, and thus I vacuum at least once a day, usually more in the dining room.

Every evening I pull out all the chairs on one side of the table, put them on top of the table, pick up all the curtains, and vacuum on that side.

Put the chairs back down, put the chairs on the other side up, repeat.  Move the sofa table out and vacuum behind.. Move the sofa. Vacuum the playroom.  Move into the living room, put up all the ottomans, move the wing chairs, keep going, vacuum the foyer, vacuum the hallway, vacuum the lower stairs.  (The upstairs gets vacuumed about every three days.) Every square foot of the first floor where my children might have sprinkled cracker crumbs gets vacuumed every single day.

I'm really sick of vacuuming.

And now? Despite my daily vacuuming marathons?

We have ants.

Not in our kitchen.  In our dining room.  In all that carpet.  Every day I kill 10+ ants on my dining table, in my carpet, climbing up the table legs, climbing up MY LEGS, on my dress ICK ICK ICK. (Did I mention that I generally sit at the dining room table to read blogs and write my own blog posts?)

I don't know where they are coming in, or why they find the dining room carpet more appetizing than my kitchen.  (I'm sure that area is next.)  Prior to having kids I would have Raided the hell out of the dining room and all the sliding doors, but now that I have small children who run around barefoot both indoors and out, I am reluctant to chemical bomb their play area.  Instead I kill the ants one at a time with my thumb.

Ideas on safely/no chemical killing the ants and/or stopping them from entering in the first place?  I clear the table and wipe down the table after every meal, and I vacuum AT LEAST once a day, if not more.  I do my best not to make the place attractive to ants, and yet they show up every single day. I tried a "green"/nontoxic ant spray made of peppermint oil that was eye-searingly pepperminty, but it did not make a difference.  Halp, plz.