Monday, December 8, 2014

Share a Five For Fifty

Today I am joining Reichel over on Copy Cat Chic with  #FIVEFORFIFTY.

I always feel a few small home accessories added to a room are the finishing touch that just makes a space. Here are five items that cost under $50, that I am eyeing, to add to a few rooms in my home. I know they will be just the thing!



 
 

What would you add to this list?

And be sure to head on over  to Copy Cat Chic to see what other bloggers picked for their Five for Fifty. Might be a great source for gift ideas...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

One Room Challenge: Fall 2014 - Week Six

One Room Challenge Linking Event....Get Ready!
 
The Reveal....
 
 
Week Six is finally here! The library (aka living room) in our house is finished. It's been a long journey to get to a space where everything is in its place. If you would like to look back on the past six weeks, check out the links below:
 
Week One - Where I share my room inspiration
 
Week Two - Where my husband does all the work installing hardwood floors
 
Week Three - Where I rant about painting window trim
 
Week Four - Where I share my tutorial for covering a bench with fabric
 
Week Five - Where I give my tips for styling a bookcase
 
 I think Linda is on to something with the One Room Challenge. Six weeks is just the right amount of time to complete a room...long enough to get things done...but short enough to light a fire under you to work hard to finish. Thanks Linda for doing the ORC. I am so glad I was able to participate in the link up.
 
Here is my newly completed library....
 








 






 
 
We moved into this house a few months ago, and I can officially say that this is the first room that is completely finished. It is satisfying to look at a room that doesn't have any moving boxes in it!
 
I will be moving on to the other spaces, so be sure to check back if you want to see how I finish the other rooms in our house. (The sidebar has ways you can sign up to continue to follow.) Next week will be a tutorial on making rolled fabric curtains for our bathroom windows.
 
Also, I have enjoyed so much getting to discover new blogs and the people behind them through the ORC. I will be starting a new weekly series in January, where I feature small improvements that other bloggers have made such as adding flowers to an office desk, to getting a calendar organized, to redoing a whole room like here. So if you are a fellow blogger and would like to share and be featured on Improvement List, send me an email - improvementlist at gmail dot com. (You can find out more information by clicking the Get Featured link at the top of the screen).
 
Now I am going on over to Calling It Home to check out the finished rooms of my other fellow linking participants. So excited...I have waited six weeks to see the newly created spaces. I am always just so blown away from all the talent!
 
 
My other One Room Challenge Rooms: Laundry Room and Mud Room
 
 
Linking up with:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

One Room Challenge: Fall 2014 - Week 5

 One Room Challenge Linking Event....Get Ready!
 
It is week five.... 
  
 So now the panic has set in. I am going to be spending a lot of all nighters to get this library pulled together by next week.
 
The feature in the room, of course, is the bookshelves, so I spent time this week working on getting the books looking just right on the shelves. These bookcases have been with me through all of my houses, and I have learned a lot over the years about how to style them.
 
First is always to edit down to what I really want to be displayed. I jokingly call it "book shelf worthy".
 
I try to avoid just lining the books up in a row, and instead place some vertical and others horizontal.
 
 
 
Accessories are also added onto the different levels of stacked books to add some interest.
 
 
 
For my favorite books or the ones with pretty covers, I turn them facing front.
 
 
 
To keep the bookshelves from looking too cluttered, I always leave some space mostly empty with just one or two items placed on a shelf.
 
 
Finally I group similar books together to help me easily find them later.
 
 
 
I still need to do a few more tweaking, but it seems to all be coming together.
 
How do you like to display your books on bookcases?
 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Room Challenge: Fall 2014 - Week 4


One Room Challenge Linking Event....Get Ready!
And now it is…..Week Four.

Time is flying. I can’t believe the One Room Challenge is now in the home stretch.
The library is starting to shape up. I have the furniture positioned where I want it, and just need to add in the accessories now.
The big thing I accomplished was finding something to place behind my couch. The back of the couch is actually the first thing you see when you walk in the room. I hated just looking at that big white expanse, but I wanted to do something a little different than the standard console table.
I kept thinking of this picture that I saw a few years ago.
Rachel Bilson - A bone-color brick veneer fireplace set behind a blue velvet sofa and printed ottoman
 
 

It was the perfect look I was going for.

I found a bench at Marshall's that was the right size and shape, but very plain.


 
A quick trip to the fabric store solved that problem. I made sure to get indoor/outdoor fabric so it would be a little more durable and stain resistant (always a consideration in my house).


I simply lined up the fabric with the bench....



...and started stapling. Once I was done, I trimmed away the excess fabric. No need for making any kind of pattern or taking any measurements….my kind of DIY project!



The only hard part was the corners. I tried a few different ways...




...and finally decided just to fold the fabric like you would wrap a present. It worked very well, and left a smooth looking corner.


 

This is going to look great in the library! So excited!
 




As for the other areas of the room...

I also am making progress on finding a table to set my new card catalog on (at least thinking progress which counts…right?) I was trying to decide on either adding hairpin legs like this or making a stand like this. But then I realized the Lack table at Ikea was just the right size and a lot less effort. I will still do a little to dress it up of course. (I mean what Ikea item doesn’t need a good hack?)
I am also thinking about curtains. Of course, after spending all that time painting the window trim, I do not want to completely cover them up! More on that later.

This week I am going to spend organizing the bookshelves. (Stay tune for my tips on styling bookcases in the next ORC post). Can you believe that that will be the last one before the big room revel?!

Now I am off to check out the other One Room Challenge linkingparticipants at Calling it Home. Care to join me?

Also, linking this post up to the Pink Pagoda's Blue and White Bash

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Room Challenge: Fall 2014 - Week 3

One Room Challenge Linking Event....Get Ready!

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the feedback on my dilemma I talked about last week. It was hard to decide if I should put a dark stain on the window trim to match the rest of the house or paint it white instead. I did decide to go white with the trim around the window in the library.

So painting window trim is what I did this week. For hours....

I did discover one thing as I painted....I hate painting trim!!!!

I have painted walls and I have painted furniture, but nothing was as tedious and time consuming as painting window trim.

Finally, after a very long time which was starting to feel a little torturous, I finished.

Imagine me as Braveheart making my final stroke of paint on the trim, and yelling "Freedom...from painting window trim!"

In the end though, I was glad I did it. It really did update the house, and pull it out of the 80's. Now that I have seen these results, my goal is to work through each room in the house and get the rest of the doors and trim painted white. It might take me until the end of time, but I am going to do it.

Imagine me as Scarlett O'Hara shaking my fist at the sky (while holding a paint brush.)
"As God is my witness, I shall never have dark trim again."

Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic ;) But did I mention how long it took?

I did want to share a few tips I discovered to get me through it.

Putting up painter's tape always takes a lot of time. So I bought a very stiff brush. It didn't splay out like other brushes I used, so I was able to keep the paint just where I wanted it to go, and avoid the need to tape everything.


 
 
Also, I put petroleum jelly on the windows. (I just used a jar I happened to have on hand, but I was told that lip balm also works.) If I got some paint on the glass, it easily wiped off like a knife through butter.





Next, week I am going to do something a little more fun. It will be a unique console table for the space behind my couch. Be sure to stop back for that!


Now I am off to see what my other fellow linking participants are up to at Calling It Home.






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Find a Rug for the Dining Room with Charish

 
Have you all checked out Charish?  It's a great site to find those unique items that are still at a reasonable price. And if you find the perfect thing for your room, and need to make space for it, you can use Charish to sell your no longer needed d├ęcor items.When they contacted me to ask if I would like to create a styleboard around one of their rugs, I jumped at the chance. I have been on the hunt for just the right rug for our dining room for some time now. Since our dining room furniture, which came from the house I grew up in, is on the traditional side, I wanted something with a little more modern look to act as a contrast.

Here are a few that that I found on Charish that I considered.

Image of Issac Mizrahi Safavieh Geometric Rug
 
 
Image of Purple Medallion Turkish Rug
 
 
Image of Madeline Weinrib Westley Thunder Cotton Rug
 
Image of Paul Smith Swirl Rug



Such great eye candy, right?! I was so impress with the selection.



But my favorite was this one.

Tulip Green Medallion Turkish Rug
 

I thought it was just the right look I was going for in the dining room. Traditional pattern with a bold modern color. Here is how I see the rug used in the room with the traditional furniture I have and a few blue and white accessories added in.







Now if I can just convince my husband that it is the one, I will be all set. Have you ever checked out Charish? Found anything good?

If you want to check out others just click on the link to see more rugs at Charish.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One Room Challenge: Fall 2014 - Week 2

One Room Challenge Linking Event....Get Ready!
It's week 2 of the One Room Challenge.
 
Since, I talked about my library project last week,  some progress has been made. So far, to be honest, my husband has done the most work on this room. After working for five evenings, the white carpet is gone and the hardwood floor is in. I cannot tell you what an improvement this has made to the room.
 
 
 
After stalking craigslist all week I did find a card catalog for the room! I am so excited by this! (I know I am a total nerd.)
 
 
 
Apparently, it came from a nearby middle school, and after it was decommissioned, the seller's brother, who worked at the school, took it home and used it to store various things including tapes. I think it will be a great addition to the room, once I find a table to put it on. More on that later.
 
Next up for the room is painting the trim on the window that was installed a few weeks ago. (The old one had rotten wood.)
 
 
 
All of the wood trim in this house is dark wood.
 
 
Now if this was an old Victorian, I would stain this window to match and be done with it. But it was built in the 80's and I worry that the dark trim is dating the house. I am leaning towards painting the trim around the window white. But that would mean I would probably need to paint all the rest of the trim in the house white also...a big project. Any opinions from anyone if that is worth it? Has anyone else painted dark wood trim in their house, and been happy with it?
 
Be sure to stop back next week for another update on the library.
 

And hop on over to Calling It Home to check out all of the other linking participants.