Thursday, January 31, 2013

Changing Things Up In The Bedroom

Home office, kitchen, bathroom - let's add another room to the mix and keep things interesting. I've been working on our guest bedroom for months now. Months people. It's looking better, but it's not done. Having finally finished the home office, I'm motivated to get 'er done.

My original plan for the room was this (you can read details here):

Basically, I was keeping our existing black Ikea Hemnes dressers and nightstands, buying a new headboard and bedding, chair, mirror, curtains and painting.

But as work in the room has progressed, I'm changing my mind and wanting to lighten and brighten things up a bit.  Now, I'm thinking about doing something more like this:



  1. You might remember my struggle to find the perfect paint color, and that I finally settled on Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage color-matched to BM paint.  I love the color.  It's a little green, a little gray, basically it's right up my alley. 
  2. I just purchased this beautiful fabric from Loom Decor.  Love it.  I'm going to try and make curtains.  I've never made curtains before.  Should be interesting.
  3. I found this mirror at Target for like $30 bucks or something.  So much cheaper than the one I was originally looking at. 
  4. I love coral!  This pillow adds the perfect splash of color and picks up the coral in the fabric nicely.  
  5. Paint people.  I'm going to paint the dresser.  I'm leaning towards a taupe color, but I might go off-white.  I haven't decided.
  6. Bamboo shades.  I already bought these and installed them and I'm in love.  I love the natural look and the texture. 
  7. I'm going to DIY some art for the walls.
  8. Painted nightstand.  Again, haven't decided on the color. 
With any luck, I'll have another room checked off the list in just a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Now offering decorating services!

As some of you know, I've been working towards starting my own decorating business for the past year.  Today, I'm excited to announce the launch of JLP Interiors!

With a focus on functionality, affordability, and beauty my goal is to help clients create a space that not only looks great, but that they can really “live in.”  

My services include online design consultations (e-design) as well as in-home consultations for clients located within 2 hours of the North Andover, MA area.  Please visit my website www.jlpinteriors.com for more information on my services.  

Thank you to each of you who read this blog and have given me such great encouragement to follow my dreams!

And of course, if you're looking for affordable, quality design advice, I'd love to work with you! Contact me at jessica@jlpinteriors.com to get started!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Demo Done

So the demo is done and we have a half wall. The dogs are totally digging the new space.


Mama's digging all the natural light.  See how dark the front of the house is in the morning:


Once the door is replaced with a new french door, it will be even brighter.  Now we just need to add some windows flanking the fireplace.  My mind is always churning up expensive great ideas!

Here's the view from the other side of the kitchen.


And from my soon-to-be-purchased breakfast table.  We can watch TV from here.  Yay!


And for those of you who were horrified by the bird situation in the half bathroom, progress has been made in there too. New drywall around laundry area:


 And a reminder of what we'll be missing:


We're heading into week 3 of this project.  Surviving without a full kitchen hasn't been too bad, but I do miss my washer and dryer! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!

I'm off to transport 4 puppies from a shelter to foster care (wish me luck!) but I wanted to pop in real quick to say hello.

First off, the wonderful Helen of Seaside Interiors is featuring my home office makeover today on her blog.  Hop on over and check it out!  While your there, ooh and ahh at some of Helen's latest work, including 2 beautiful living room installations!



Secondly, I'm now a contributor for paperblog, a new media sharing platform for bloggers.  My blog posts will appear in their Home and Interior Design magazines!   You can find me under username homewithbaxter.  If you're interested in sharing your posts on paperblog, you can submit your  blog here.

Lastly, my hubby has been traveling in Asia for almost two weeks and he comes home tonight.  I am so excited! I can't wait to see what he thinks of all the renovations!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bathroom Renovation - Picking Finishes

If you haven't noticed, we kind of have a lot going on over here.  From my home office makeover, to our kitchen renovation, to our half bathroom/laundry gut job, things have been moving along. This is my year to get things done!

I've mentioned the kitchen renovation a few times now, but I haven't talked as much about our half bath/laundry room.  Last August I showed you the shocking pictures and shared my vision for the space.  You can read the full post here, but here are a few pictures to refresh your memory. It ain't pretty.





As you can see, it's a pretty small space and based on how it's currently looking, almost anything will be an improvement.  

To make the space feel larger, we had the frame around the laundry closet removed.  Now the space will just be one big room.  It might seem strange to some people to have a washer and dryer in your bathroom with no separation of space, but don't fret, we're making the washer and dryer area very pretty.  :)  

I've finally picked out most of the finishes.  



As you can see, I'm sticking to a pretty neutral palette of grays and whites.  We're installing white shaker style cabinets above the laundry.  I failed to include a picture of them.  The Formica Smoke Quarstone countertop will go above our washer and dryer to create a nice laundry folding space.  I think my favorite feature has to be the floors.  I was set on going with a small geometric marbled tile, but then I started looking at prices and they were ridiculous.  I almost gave up until I found out that The Builder Depot was having a 70% off sale.  They still are if you're looking for marble.

Now I just have to pick a paint color for the walls.  Any suggestions!?


Monday, January 21, 2013

Home Office Reveal!

I spent a good portion of the weekend putting the finishing touches on my home office makeover. I even got the room cleaned up enough so that I could photograph it. I'm giving myself a little pat on the back over here.

So let's travel back in time, all the way back to September, when I talked about the decorating tornado in my head and showed you the space for the first time.




I mentioned how I wanted to make the space lighter and brighter with some more "girly" touches and that I wanted a white writer's desk.

Later that month,  I created a mood board and shared my ideas with you. The inspiration for the room started with the royal blue velvet curtains from West Elm that I originally purchased for our dining room, but decided not to use.  Add a white writer's desk and some pops of coral and that's the direction I was headed in.


Almost 4(!) months later, I'm finally done.  Big celebration over here because this is the first room in our house that I'm actually calling finished!


The desk chair is the Jake Chair from Room&Board, the lamp is the Ikea Barometer lamp, and the rug is  the Pottery Barn Round Jute Rug.  I made the memo board using a store bought cork board, fabric, and a staple gun (See the tutorial here).   I ended up buying the Crate&Barrel Spotlight White 48" desk.  I'm in love with it!  I put a clear acrylic sheet on the top to protect it and I slipped a large calendar underneath.  The best part about this desk is the amazing built in storage.


I found this cute coral colored jug in the kitchen section at Target and the pencil holder is from The Container Store.  Notice the business cards?!  Those are new. :)  I'll be launching my decorating business very soon!

The folders are from the Martha Stewart line at Staples and make great in/out boxes.  The plant, pot and picture frame are all from Ikea, the candle is from Target, and the note pad is from The Container Store.


The desk and two high gloss white Ikea Expedits fit this wall perfectly!  The baskets are from Ikea, the boxes and magazine holders are from The Container Store.





I DIYed two pieces of artwork for above the Expedits.  The first piece was inspired by the "I Love You Blogs and Coffee" piece by the MadeByGirl Etsy shop.  I printed the text on an 81/2 x 11 sheet of paper and framed it.


The second piece of art that I created was based on a sign I had picked up at Home Goods.  The sign no longer worked in this space, but I love the message, so I typed it up, printed it, and framed it.


Remember this chair?  I bought it from Target and was going to use it in the guest bedroom, but I decided it worked better in the office.  I gave it new legs with a can of white lacquer spray paint (see project here).  The reading lamp is from Pottery Barn, the throw is Target, and the mirror and stool are are HomeGoods finds.  The stool was originally brown (and in our den), but I gave it a coat of silver spray paint. 




I repurposed our Ikea sideboard with a few coats of navy paint, switched out the hardware, and added some drawer labels.  It now serves as a perfect storage solution for the office.  I hung 3 Ikea Ribba pictures ledges and filled them with framed mood boards I've created.  I like to call it the "great wall of inspiration."


The lamp base is from Target and I DIYed the lampshade using a plain white shade, some leftover fabric, and fabric adhesive.



My DIY magnetic chalkboard found a great home on a small wall.  


I'm pretty pleased with how the space turned out and I didn't break the bank creating it.  I "splurged" on the lamp and rug from Pottery Barn and the desk from Crate&Barrel, but everything else were finds from Ikea, Target, or Home Goods.  I was also able to repurpose a few pieces of furniture that I already had, and I did a few DIY projects too.  I love how the DIY projects make the space unique. 


Next up is finishing the guest bedroom!  Oh, and the kitchen, and the bathroom, and the hallway. :) Demo is wrapped up and I'll be back later this week to share some picture of the half wall.  I love it!

Linking to:
Home Stories A2Z


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Knocking Down Walls (Halfway)

I get so much inspiration reading other blogs.  The beautiful pictures and tutorials are great, but snooping in other people's homes has to be my favorite.  An updated "Our Home" page has me in complete stalker mode.  Hmm, maybe that's why I've been so lazy slow updating my own "Our Home" page.

One of the blogs that I've been stalking reading is Lisa's Shine Your Light.  Lisa is a fellow Masstonian (I just made that a word) and she lives in a colonial style home that has pretty much the exact same floor plan as our home.  One look at this photo and I was inspired!

{Image from Shine Your Light}
Our den has the exact same configuration as Lisa's family room.  I call it a den, she calls it a family room.  Tomato/tomato (or is it tomatoe/tomato?) Nevermind.

You might remember (if you were actually reading my blog last March, ha!) that we remodeled our den and took it from this:

Befores




To this:

Afters




Serious improvement.  We've been loving our new space, but one of the things that still gets me is the lack of light in this room.  The only windows are the two windows facing the front of our house, and we don't get sun at the front of our house until late afternoon. For much of the day, this room is pretty dark.  Another thing that I don't love is how closed off this room is from the kitchen and other parts of our house.  Sometimes, it's really cozy, but other times I wish the space was more open.

Here's a quick floor plan of our downstairs to help you get a better idea of how things are situated (Oh and nothing's drawn to scale. Oh, and I accidentally put the / between half and bath and not half bath and laundry, but I'm too lazy to fix it).

We have a lot of walls.  A lot of unremovable walls.  This type of layout is pretty typical of a 1970s - 1990s colonial and it's a far cry from the open layouts that are so desired these days.  Once I saw Lisa's photo, I had hopes that we could add a a little more openness to our space.    See that wall in yellow in my floor plan, that's the wall that is a half wall in Lisa's family room.

{Image from Shine Your Light}
And that is soon to be a half wall in our den!


Like Lisa's house, we'll have to keep a support column, but I think it will really open up the space to the eating area in our kitchen (we might even be able to see the tv from there, whoop!) and it will allow more light to flow in (light from the sliders, bathroom window, and exterior door).  We're replacing the current exterior door with a new french door.


So I'm pretty excited for the wall to come down.  If you're wondering why we're not taking the whole wall down there are a few reasons:

  1. We just put it up.  No, but seriously, we did. In March.  We had all new drywall and crown installed in the den.  Womp womp womp.  This is a prime example of why it's a good idea to live in your house a while and feel things out before you go spending money changing things up.  But, we're not not tearing the whole thing down because we just put it back up - we're keeping the lower half because there's quite a bit of electrical down there that we don't want to mess with (pay to have moved).
  2. The half wall will serve as a divider between our tile floors and our hardwood floors.
  3. We need to keep a structural post there anyways.
  4. I think walking out of the half/bath right into our den might feel a little weird.  I like a little separation of space, thought it will be nice not to have to walk around the corner to see if the loo's free. :)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Kitchen Renovation (Day 1 of Demo)

We arrived home from a few days of skiing in Vermont to the start of our kitchen renovation!  Today was day 1 of many demo days.  You can get caught up on our full plans here.


Our island and island lighting got the boot so the guys could make some progress tearing up the old tile.


We said goodbye to our corner cabinet to left of the window and noticed a really bad soot problem. The cause still remains a mystery, but we're thinking either heat from the lighting above the cabinet (scary!) or there was a problem with the furnace before we moved in and they failed to clean everything up.  Who knows? We also said goodbyes to our stove and dishwasher and the old backsplash was removed.



They also removed the corbels from under the range hood and were able to pry the decorative flowers  off of the front.  They will patch everything up before the hood gets a fresh coat of white paint.


In the meantime, the rest of our house is a disaster again.  I have to say, I don't really mind because I was told not to bother with any housework for the next few weeks. :)



Tomorrow's plan is to finish demoing the tile in the kitchen and hallways.


While they're working on that, I'm working on the fun stuff - picking a white paint color for the cabinets!
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