Friday, April 26, 2013

House Tour - Week 2

Happy Friday! It's a beautiful day here in the Boston area and I can *almost* feel summer coming. I'm back with another room on my "house tour." (If you missed week 1,  the den reveal, you can find it here.) Just to recap, I've been a real big slacker when it comes to sharing photos of my home. I've been waiting for the day when I could share perfectly decorated, styled rooms with you but I'm realizing that it may be a while for that day to get here. Instead, I'm giving you a "this is real life" house tour, sucking up my decorator pride, and letting it all hang out. So please be kind and don't judge (yet!) because my house is still very much a work in progress.

So without further excuse making, here is a tour of one of the guest bedrooms.  The "before" photos were taken not long after we moved in.

The walls were a sweet baby blue, there was a piece of wood drilled into the ceiling, old honeycomb shades and curtain hardware were still on the windows and the hardwood floors were stained (not in a good way - in a "the dog peed there years ago and no one cleaned it up" way. We pretty much ignored all of that, moved our old bedroom set in, piled up our dirty laundry and called it "good for now."

Though the room still isn't done, I've managed to make quite a few changes.  Here are some shots of my progress.

If you're more of a words than pictures person, here's a rundown of the changes I've made:

1. We had the floors refinished and stained darker.
2.  I painted the walls Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage.
3.  I removed the old shades and replaced them with woven wood shades from Select Blinds.
4.  I sewed two curtain panels using fabric from Loom Decor (still have to make 2 more!)
5.  I bought the Notched Headboard with Nailhead Trim from Home Decorators.
6.  I bought new bedding from Home Goods and Ikea, greek key pillows from StudioPillow on Etsy, lamps and Starbust Mirror from Target, and two of the Cozy Textured Rug from West Elm.
7. I painted the two Ikea Hemnes nightstands white.

I'm at the last stage now where all the room needs is those finishing touches that will pull it all together. I've been working on different furniture arrangements and have decided that one of the Ikea Hemnes dressers has got to go.  The other one will get a coat of white paint.  I'm thinking that I will move the larger one to the other guest bedroom (it will make a great dresser/changing table some day) and keep the smaller one where it is.

Keep this dresser in the room and paint it white. Add art or a mirror on the wall above. Please ignore the dusty floors -  our housekeeper sucks.  She shall remain nameless.

Move this dresser to the other guest bedroom.

If I move the larger dresser to the other guest bedroom, that'll free up space at the foot of the bed for this bench.

It will also leave one big blank wall that I'll have to get creative with.  I'm thinking maybe 3 large canvases and a DIY project of some sort.

This wall will be very boring unless I come up with something cool.

We have two of the Leyland Armless Slipper Chairs from Ballard Designs in our living room.  I'm thinking about using one of them in this room instead.

{Leyland Armless Slipper Chair}

I'm also thinking about spray painting the lamp bases.  They're clashing with the bronze finish on the Starbust mirror, nailhead trim on the headboard, and the knob on the nightstand.  I know mixing metals is cool, but it looks a little off to me here.  I'm not sure what color I'll end up going with.  

I'm also thinking about adding a small framed piece of art above the lamps on either side of the bed or adding two smaller round mirrors on either side of the stardust mirror.  We'll see.

I think that just about sums up my progress and plans, but surely I'm forgetting something.  If I think of it, I'll let you know.  

Enjoy your weekend!  I'm hoping to get outdoors and plant some flowers.

Catch up on my other house tour posts here!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Decorating Ideas I'm Digging

I'm always on the lookout for new and unique ideas to decorate, even though it takes me a while to implement them in my own home :).  Here are a few ideas I'm loving.

Fill a blank wall with picture ledges and a collection. 
{Source: Lonny}
Think vertical.  Group and hang photos from floor to ceiling.  (The striped art is pretty cool too).
{Source: Lonny}

Hang a large photo of each child above their bed.
{Source: Lonny}

No window?  Fill a blank wall with large mirrors to make the space feel bigger.  Use a geometric overlay to make it a piece of art.
{Source: Lonny}
Hang a simple piece of art behind a nightstand.  
{Source: Lonny}
Make a small kitchen feel larger by using glass insets on cabinets doors.
{Source: House Beautiful}
Hang a curtain to section off spaces.  
{Source: House Beautiful}

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Navy, Pink, and Orange

It's no secret that I love navy and coral.  Apparently it runs in the family.  My sister has enlisted my help redecorating her living room and she's keen on using pops of navy, orange, and pink.  She shared this photo with me as inspiration.

{Source: via Jessica on Pinterest}

Love! The pattern, the texture, it's all amazing.  We've started looking for navy, pink, and orange accessories and have found some great items.  You know what my favorite thing to do is when I find stuff I love - share it with you!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Replacing Bathroom Cabinet Hardware

I got around to replacing the pulls on the bathroom cabinets this weekend.  There wasn't anything wrong with the old ones, but I wasn't in love with them.


The new ones are chrome and match the other fixtures better.  I also like their more modern shape.


I had a small problem installing them.  Although the old and new pulls both measured 3 3/4 center-to-center, the new handles did not align perfectly with the previously drilled holes.  To fix this, we took our power drill and a small drill bit and gently moved the drill bit around the top of the hole to make it a little larger.  This allowed us to push the screw a little higher and line it up with the pull.  If you run into a problem like this, just make sure that your new pull will still cover the hole if you need to make bigger.

Just a few more projects left in here!

Friday, April 19, 2013

House Tour - Week 1

I mentioned that I was making it my goal to share more photos of our (unfinished) home and I promised that each week I would share a new room with you and talk about my decorating plans. This week I picked the den.

Now I'm cheating a little because our den is probably the room that I've shared most on the blog. This is mostly because before we started our kitchen and bathroom remodel, it was the room that we did the most work on.  We started our den renovation back in March of 2012 (just a few short months after I started this blog) so I know a lot of you weren't following along then.  To get you up to speed here's a photo recap of what the room looked like when we moved in. 

Dated red brick fireplace

Textured plaster walls (and ceiling!) and interesting wainscoting

Dated brass wall sconces

Less than a year living in the house and we knew that we had to do something about this room...and that it required outside help.  We called in the contractors and began demo.

And we were ecstatic with the finished results.

And we lived with this room for almost a year before I conjured up new plans. A wall had to go.

So while the contractors were here working on our kitchen, bath and hallway, we had them take down this wall. And here's where we're at today:

Striper photo bombed almost every photo.  Pretend it's a game, "where's Striper?".  It's actually pretty hard since she blends in with the leather sofas.  

I'll be honest, even after the renovations, this room has never felt quite right to me.  I've rearranged the furniture countless times (both for aesthetics and comfort - it's placed in the "comfort" position now - best tv viewing angle) but things always feel a little "off."  We bought the leather sofas before I even knew I wanted to be a decorator.  That was back in my financial planning days, before I ever thought about doing an actual floor plan.  The other day I told you about Jake's "whatever you want, honey" attitude when it comes to decorating our house.  Well, there is one thing that he did have an opinion on and it was a very strong opinion.  He wanted dark leather sofas for the den.  I caved.  We went to Ethan Allen and spent a good portion of his bonus on these two bad boys so I'm afraid they'll be lifers.  They're not my favorite by any means, but they are a great piece of furniture.  I'm trying to figure out ways to decorate around them because slipcovered PB sofas would be my ideal in here.  Although, the leather definitely works better with a black dog that sheds 1000 hairs per minute.  But I'm on a tangent. The point I'm trying to make is that if I could do it again, I probably wouldn't pick the same furniture, but it's what we got.  

There are a few things that I definitely want/need to do that I think will help make this room feel a little more cohesive.

1. Paint this corner cabinet white. I bought it for its dimensions and ability to hide the tangle of tv and cable cords behind it.  The color wasn't right when I bought it and I knew it.  It came in off-white so now I'm kicking myself I didn't just buy that color instead.  #liveandlearn.

2.  DIY a large world map for this space above the couch.  This project has been on my to-do list for quite some time so I just need to do it.  Jake and I travel a lot so I thought it'd be fun to pin on a map the places we've been and want to go.  I like the idea of having it in the den (a place where our friends and family congregate) because it's a cool conversation piece.
PS: that side table was totally serving as a nightstand in the guest bedroom just before I took this photo.  I told you I can't get this room right!

3. Flank the fireplace with something whether it be bookshelves, pictures, or mirrors.  Originally  I wanted to do built-ins, but nixed the idea after I realized we'd have to move the baseboard heater to the right.  Also, the fireplace isn't centered on that wall which is an added challenge.  We also have to contend with all of the outlets for our entertainment center that are along the left side.  I've bought and returned pictures and mirrors that I thought would look nice, but everything just looks a little odd.  My next dream is to add windows on either side.  I think they would balance the fireplace beautifully and I wouldn't complain about more natural light.  The only (big) issue is cost.  Installing new windows would be expensive.  Jake might also have an opinion about that.

4.  Replace these little boxwoods flanking the TV with something a little larger/taller.  They look so small up there. :)

5.  Work on a vignette for this table.  I threw one together in about 10 minutes so I could take pictures, but it's not cutting the cake.

6.  Replace or rehab this Target pleather ottoman.  It's seen better days and I'm overdosing on leather.

7. Swap out this persian style PB rug for something a little more modern.  I'd love to go with a large scale graphic print.  I don't think this will be happening anytime soon because (as you know), wool rugs from PB are expensive and this one was no exception.  Again, I bought it in my financial planning days when I was just happy that I could finally afford something from PB.  I didn't give much thought to the overall design of the room at the time.   I do love the colors in this rug though and it hides stains beautifully.  With 2 dogs, this has been tested.  I also love it a little more now that it finally stopped shedding.

So there you have it - week 1 of my house tour.  If you have any suggestions for this room, I'd love to hear them!  I find it so much easier helping people decorate their homes than I do decorating my own.  There's something about being in the same space every day that makes me never satisfied with how things look.  Do you guys suffer from that same problem?  Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Catch up on my other house tour posts here!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bathroom Art (and other updates)

One of my favorite bloggers, Emily A. Clark (, did a post on new artwork she purchased from Lisa Golightly.  I loved the piece so much that I decided to check out Lisa's Etsy store, Kiki and Polly. It's there that I found the perfect piece of art for our half bath/laundry room.

The piece is aptly named "Girl in the Yellow Suit."  I love it's simplicity and it reminds me of summer days. The bright pop of yellow is just what I was looking for to brighten the otherwise neutral palette in this room.

Here are a few other updates to show you.  We replaced the single lonely bulb above the washer and dryer with this great flush mount light fixture by bellacor.

I bought (and finally hung) the beadboard drying rack from Ballard Designs.  I love it!

I also purchased a mirror for above the pedestal sink.  In my Mirror Mirror On the Wall post I talked about how I didn't want a "traditional" bathroom mirror.  Turns out that finding a not-so-traditional mirror to fit this space was harder than I thought it'd be.  I ended up with the Pottery Barn Kensington Pivot Mirror.  The dimensions are perfect and because it tilts it fits easily over the beadboard and trim without any fancy hanging techniques.

The light fixture above the mirror is the Shades of Light Pullman fixture.  Here's a mood board I created  that shows most of the finishes we used.

I have just a few things left to do before I can call this room done!  I'm looking for shelving to install between the two cabinets.  I also ordered new pulls for the cabinets and a roman shade for the bathroom window.  

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