Craft Room Re-do Re-Do

I loved the stripes in my old craft room.  But I needed more sewing space, especially with my new machine.  And the carpet was a minefield of hidden dropped pins. Also very difficult to keep clean of thread and craft crap.  At least that is what my excuse was. And since there was so much going on in the space, I was wanting some clean and bright walls while we were at it. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

So here is my new craft/sewing space.  Quite possibly my favorite room in the house. Because I love to be in there.  Because it super functional for my sewing/crafting wishes.  And because it is pretty to look at.

It is this clean and organized all of the time.  Insert sarcasm font.

Here is what we originally started with when we moved in.  Pink and wallpaper.

the before

And then here was the stripes and small table of the original craft room makeover.

craft room

So let’s start with the big stuff.  The walls are painted with the leftovers from the basement- Sherwin William's Eider White.  And the floors are a bamboo hardwood. 

I had a minor freakout the night before the were installed that they were going to be too orange.  As in Honey Oak orange. I may have been seen laying out a whole section of the wood out of the box on top of the ugly honey oak ones in the kitchen. At midnight. To judge if the oranges were different.  But after they went in I love them and they are so much nicer than carpet in the space.  Just a quick sweep and they are clean.  At least the floor part.

Derek made the amazing massive sewing table modifying this plan from Ana White as well as the smaller table that pulls out to give me an L shaped workspace and so that I don’t have to constantly move up and down.  Life-changing.  Both the space on the table and the ability to swing my chair to the side for a quick cut or press.  He knows the way to my heart is building furniture and he does it so well.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

I painted the bottom of the table solid black and glazed the top with a gray paint using my tried and true method with gray acrylic paint.  It is difficult to get a good picture of the finish next to the window, but most people who come into the space think that it is stone before they run their hands over it to see it is wood.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

That was not my intention with the glaze, but I love that it turned out that way. 

I love that my machine is directly in front of the window so that during the day I can look out into the backyard.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Let’s also pretend that I just snapped that photo and the midwest is looking that green this time of year.

Now let’s take a spin around the rest of the room.

The cutting table is the same, just spun around.  It still gives me a lot of floor space (and enough room for an air mattress when we need an additional guest bed).  I got rid of the ironing board, but added a an ironing space modifying this tutorial, making it instead with just a piece of plywood rather than an entire table. The cover is removable like a fitted sheet for washing purposes.  And when I need a really big cutting surface, I just take off the ironing board.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My fabric scraps and works in progress are housed in the cubbies underneath.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My bulletin board is simple…a cork board with fabric stapled around it.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My grandmother’s sewing accessories are in shadow boxes on the wall and I recovered her sewing chair for an extra space when friends come to sew.  It is tucked into the corner.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My design wall remained the same.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And the Kona color card moved next to my bookshelves.

Derek made some simple forward facing bookshelves like these to hold a sampling of my craft/sewing books.  I have found seeing the covers instead of just having them stacked on a shelf reminds me to use them more-either for specific projects or just for the general inspiration of pretty pictures.  Not all of them fit, but I rotate them around with ones stored the typical way to keep things fresh.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

The roman shade is also DIY with selvedge fabric from Spoonflower.  I loosely used this tutorial and backed it with blackout lining so it can be dark in there for people to sleep if the space is needed for another guest space.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And that print is just perfect for a sewing room.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Also above my sewing table is my friend Lauren’s print.  I love the colors and the sentiment. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Notice the seam ripper is well accessible next to my machine

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And some more organization pics if you are into that.  I keep my fabric organized using the mini bolts method as explained here.  It has helped so much with finding what I need.  The top shelf is fabrics other than cotton.  Then my prints organized by color, with some subsections (i.e. Christmas).  And then my solids organized by color.  Don’t worry, my stash has increased a lot since I snapped these pictures.  Especially the solids.  My serger is below that.  My sewing table is so big, I also can keep it out if I am going to be using it frequently.  My precuts and patterns are on the bottom shelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Non-sewing craft supplies and batting are on the opposite bookshelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And rulers, ironing supplies and large amounts of fabric are on the shelves over the chair.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Whew! Sorry for the picture overload, but I always love looking at where people create and how they organize.  I have learned a lot about how I want a space to work for me when I am sewing and crafting and I think this space fits the bill perfectly.   I think I named most of my sources, but let me know if you are curious about something I missed. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I am linking up with-

TDC Before and After

A Navy Gallery Wall

So we bought a gallon of paint and did a little mini-redo on the upstairs gallery wall.  I was a little bit worried that navy would make the space look a little too dark.  And that if we hated it we could not paint it back to the original color because we did not have it.

But I loved it from when the first coat went on.

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And now looking at the before pictures I love it even more.

The boring Before (reminding just how much I want to paint the entire entryway.  And get a new light fixture.)-

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And the After (a navy wall distraction from those thoughts)-

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

Painting a hallway wall was an easy and quick project that achieved in a couple naptimes.  We added some more pictures and frames as well-using the old paper on the wall method.

At night as you can see by the crappy phone pic.

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And I love all the new pictures that now got updated and added to the walls.  You can never have too many black frames with white mats.  And a cute kid and dogs help too.  Although one could make an argument a maximum number of those per house could exist.

(Paint color is Rainstorm by Sherwin-Williams).

Anyone else wanting to paint something navy?

Glazing-Not Just for Cabinets

I love how some brown glaze can redo honey oak.  Like in the guest bath.


But why should cabinets get all the love? What about other types of wood or furniture?  Like dressers?

nursery progress

Well I was going to find out.  These dressers were hand me downs from my family and they were solid wood and not oak.  Which were two huge bonuses in my book.  But considered that the cousin whose nursery they were in is now in college, the color needed some updating.  Not to mention that the bow and flower decals did not fit in our boy decor.

(For the full glazing how-to, please go to this post)

Of course we started with the worst part of the glazing process…the sanding.  Luckily for me in my delicate state, Derek took over this arduous task.  Two hours later it was sanded and Derek was very dusty (and will think again before volunteering for the next sanding project).

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

Then the glazing started.  We wanted the dresser to match the crib as much as possible, so we started with Behr’s Spiceberry mixed with the glaze like I described in original full how-to post.

dresser glazing

After it the first coat was dry, it looked too red and too light in relation to the crib. Hmmmmm….

dresser glazing

So to darken it up, I mixed a second glaze with Sherwin William’s Black Bean and put this on as the second coat.

dresser glazing

Much better.  And I loved that the two different color glazes gave the finish even more depth.  My color misjudgment turned out to be an awesome find.

I added 5 coats of water based polycrylic to get this finish.

dresser glazing

Perfect.  You can still see the grain and the finish is really close to matching the crib as planned (don’t worry that is not the mirror’s permanent home…..the floor is not exactly a child proof spot)

dresser glazing

The drawers were painted with my favorite paint….Ace cabinet and trim in high hiding white.  And then polyed for durability.

So happy how it turned out…..

dresser glazing

The lamp is not permanent….just a stand-in stolen from the guest room to figure out spacing until I find the perfect one.  Homegoods has been letting me down lately.

Anyway ignore the accessories and just enjoy the dresser….

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

What should I glaze next?

It all Started With Poker Night and a Little Wine

And ended up with another in progress project.

dining room ceiling fun

Let me back up.  You see the dining room ceiling has been bugging me for awhile. 

We started with this and I am sure that you can understand why it was the one of the first things to be painted.


I am not sure why I filled in the paint colors exactly how the previous owners did on the decorative aspect of the ceiling.  Obviously they were not expert interior designers.  At least not in this decade.  Early 90’s maybe.

But that is what I did, using one shade deeper on the color strip on the ceiling.


After living with it for awhile, I did not like how the crown molding was not prominent and there was too much white up there.  However, there were other projects to do and Mr. “We need to finish everything we are doing before we start something new” did not think it was a priority to change.

That is where poker night came in.

I has spent the entire day sewing drapery panels for the kitchen.  And they were not finished so I was feeling like starting something new and Derek was gone for a couple of hours.  See where this is going?

So with my trusty side kick of red wine, I emptied the dining room, taped the molding, halfway tarped the carpet (it already has major battle scars so I am impressed I tarped at all), and broke out the wall color to apply to the ceiling.

I told myself it would only take an hour and I am happy to report that I was correct.  I would just move all the furniture back in and he would not even notice.

Except I don’t know if I like it.  Ehhhh…

During the day it is OK….

dining room ceiling fun

dining room ceiling fun

But at night the darker ceiling looks really blue and the lighter color looks more gray/green.  And does not look like it matches at all.

dining room ceiling fun

dining room ceiling fun

You can tell he is really loving that I am iffy on my new project.  Especially since all the dining room furniture  is blocking the stairs and front door currently.  So much for being stealthy.

And I could leave it because it is OK.  But it was just OK the last time and it has brought us me back to repainting.  I see myself trying to eat my turkey at Thanksgiving but not enjoying myself because I can’t get over that the ceiling colors don’t match.

So my other options-

a) change the globes on the light fixture because I think it is their yellowness that is causing the issue.

b) change the color of the inset….like a metallic pearl or silver

c) Derek’s idea, paint the vertical part of the inset white so that the two colors are not next to each other and therefore do not look so different at night

d) ????

I am open for other ideas because I am officially stumped. 

And annoyed because I while I was painting I was already writing this post in my head.  Except it had a better ending.  Like- I love it! It did not cost a cent!  Derek was so surprised that I totally completed a project in a couple of hours.  Go forth and paint your ceilings because it is so much fun!

Oh well.

How-To: Outdoor Rolling Cart

In re-designing our outdoor space, I realized we were lacking some storage.  Sure there were tables, chairs and a sectional, but no place to just set stuff. And while the garage was just a few steps away through the interior of the house, I learned quickly that it was just too far in the summer and therefore I just plopped things on the ground.

So we needed a flat surface to set stuff.  And it as luck would have it, we had a perfect awkward space for this storage to fit into.


It had to be pretty and look like furniture.  I was envisioning a simple slatted console-table like thingy.  That I could set stuff on. In a fun color. 

That was the very thorough description I gave to Derek.

He took it a couple of steps further and designed and made this-


A double decker rolling cart.

Backing up……

After I explained my master vision we headed off to the hardware store for some lumber and outdoor stain.  After much debate and price comparison we decided to go with cedar because it was not that much more expensive than pressure treated wood and I could treat it with color right away.  And it smelled nice.

And by much debate, I mean we put wood on the cart and then exchanged it for a different kind three times.  The Home Depot guys would have thought we were crazy if they did not know us so well from our frequent visits.

Anyway, we spent about $60 on wood.

Now for the Jenny version of the how-to (with pictures of course):

We made the frames for the shelves-IMG_0926

Added the slats-IMG_0927

Screwed on the legs-IMG_0928

Assembled the layers and added the wheels-IMG_0929

Simple right?

Well for the more technically inclined here is the Derek version with fancy schmancy measurements-

The cart is three main pieces.

The upper shelf is made completely of 1 x 4 boards.  The slats are 1x4 of 16 ¾ in length.  There are 9 of them spaced approximately ½ inch apart.  The long sides are two 1x4 boards hooked together.  The outer board is 7 inches shorter than the inner board (29”).  The inner board is 36” long.  This allows 3 ½ inches on each end for the vertical 2x4.  The short sides are connected with a 1x4 that is 11 ¾ inches long.  When looking at it from the short side you would see the 1 ½ inch side of the 2x4, then the ¾ inch side of the inner 1x4, the 11 ¾ inch 1x4 and then a mirror of the other side.  This totals out to 16 ¾ (1 ½ + ¾ + 11 ¾ + ¾ +1 ½)

The lower shelf is made the same way except the two outer slats are cut shorter to fit within the vertical 2x4’s. 

The vertical 2x4’s are however tall you want to make them.  Our cart is 37” from the bottom of the vertical 2x4’s to the top of the upper shelf (not counting the wheels).

OK enough of that…back to the pictures.

After the cart was assembled, it was my turn to take over with filling the nail/screw holes and sanding-IMG_0933

But happily we were going for a rustic outdoor look so not that much sanding was required.

Which is good because sanding is not rated as one my favorite DIY tasks.

I then finished it in an opaque stain in Shipmate Blue.IMG_0935

Ultimately I would have loved to do a semi-transparent stain in blue, but I could not buy it in a quart.  And I did not feel so strongly about it to justify the extra cash.

After two coats of stain we got this-IMG_0947

Or should I say this-IMG_0949

On a typical day I plan on housing most of my gardening supplies here so they are not just scattered around the deck. 

But it also can be used for this purpose-



Or for sangria...or a bucket of beer…..or lemonade.  Or setting the mint plant on there and whip up some mojitos.   Or a serving table for food.

Or a fiesta…


Confession- I was tempted to set up all of these those little vignettes and take pictures to illustrate the many uses of the outdoor cart.  But a) it would have been obvious that I had a little too much free time and b) my neighbors were in their backyard….they probably would not look at me the same after seeing me rearrange beverages on the cart six times and then snap pictures.  Especially at 8 on a weeknight when it was just the two of us outside. 

But I did capture the cart in all of it’s wheeling glory without causing neighborly concern.  It makes a perfect BBQing accessory-IMG_0954

It was super easy to construct (or so I am told) and cost less than $70 for all the materials.  And I love the pop of blue. 

It looks perfect in the completed outdoor space and I love the functionality.

Outdoor space 8/10

Outdoor space 8/10


Painting Addiction

For the last couple of days I have gotten this brilliant crazy idea in my head that just maybe we should repaint the entrance foyer.

Since I have missed painting so much.

And even though that poses many challenges.

First of all…the current color is OK.  It is actually the single room in this house that has not been repainted from the previous owners.  And really the color is fine.  When we first looked at the house with our realtor, I actually commented that it was good thing they picked an OK color and no wallpaper for that room because it would be awful to paint.


Issue #2 is that this room is 2 stories.  And I am really not a big fan of heights. So it will involve a lot of paint and a lot of time on a very tall ladder.  Yikes.

(Ignore the Christmas garland….it was the best “two story” pic I have)DSC01647

Issue #3 is this monstrosity.  Yuck.IMG_0654

I refuse to clean it or change any of the light bulbs in it because it is so ugly.  And even with a very tall ladder we cannot replace it because it is in the middle of the ceiling requiring scaffolding.

When the furniture delivery guys were bringing in our new mattress they whacked it pretty hard and I really hoped it would come crashing down so that the replacement would be on their dime.  Unfortunately it did not fall and shatter.

So even if I go through the pain of painting I will not be any more satisfied with this room until that thing is gone.

Why am I even thinking about doing this since I have all these good reasons not to?  Other than than the fact that I am strangely addicted to an activity that I largely cannot stand to actually do?

Well, first of all the front of the house faces north and does not get a lot of light so  lighter color would really help open it up I think.  I am thinking of an elegant light gray.  Like this….



Then there is this little detail-


Classy. I guess they got tired of painting?

And then finally.


The last.oak.window.

If I get enough courage to be that high on the ladder (it on the second story over the door), I will also have to be brave enough to climb there and de-oakify.

So I guess the questions are…how much do I love gray? …..and… afraid am I of heights?


Before/After- The Guest Bath

Ready to see the After pics of our guest bath? Just to make sure you remember where we came from (like we posted here) behold what we started with-

When we moved in we fondly named it the "Wizard of Oz" bathroom. You know- Dorothy gingham paired with the yellow brick road. Mix that with the fact that we live in Kansas and it becomes such an "awesome" theme.

Add more honey oak, a huge builders mirror, brass, and blue peel and stick tile and this bathroom landed with every other room in the house on our makeover list. To complicate matters the floor also sloped...a lot. Not the kind of sloping that you need a level to see, but the type of slope that makes you say "holy crap is the house falling down" when you walk on it. The home inspector reassured us that nothing structural was wrong with the house, but we still needed to fix it as we remodeled this room.

Oh yeah I almost forgot that it glowed-


We started by taking out the vanity, the glued on mirror, the vinyl floor and the toilet-

We fixed the subfloor and then laid a vapor barrier and metal bracing for the cement to level the floor-
Then to level the floor we poured cement. The low side was about 2 inches below the other side....hence the slope-
Then the beadboard went up-
We fixed all the walls, painted and then put down the tile on our newly leveled floor-
I glazed the vanity in other room during this process as detailed here-

And now drumroll......The After.....

So what do you think? This bathroom will eventually will be our future kids so we wanted it to be easily converted to a kids bathroom. But at the same time be elegant and functional for our current guests. So we decided on a light blue (the paint color is Sherwin William's Sleepy Blue). Of course we used my favorite paint (detailed here) on all the new beadboard.

The shower curtain was one of the most difficult design decisions. We started with solid white and it blended too much with the wainscoting. But I did not want solid brown because it would match the cabinet. But all the patterns with blue did not match the blue on the walls at all. After going to numerous stores (it is actually is embarrassing how much time we spent on this decision) we found this one which I like because it is a little more modern.

Anyway let's get to the nitty gritty of the budget. Our goal was to spend less than $700.

Things that were free:
Shower hooks/liner- from previous house
Toilet Paper Holder and Hand Towel Ring-free with faucet
Faucet-Bought for old house and not used
Vanity hardware-left over from kitchen remodel
Vanity Glaze-supplies left over from kitchen remodel
Towels-used at old house
Accessories on shelf and toilet-from previous house
Sticks in vase-harvested from yard
White Paint-left over from other trim

Things that were not-so-free:

Light Fixture-$69.99 (Home Depot)
Mirror- $49.99 (Homegoods)
Paint- $35 (Sherwin Williams)
Beadboard/Cement/Thinset/Grout/other hardware- $200
Tile - $200 (closeout at tile and stone warehouse)
Silver Tray- $19.99 (Homegoods)
Silver Tray Accessories- $8 (Homegoods)
Shower Curtain- $26.99 (Target)
Towel Bar- $7.99 (Homegoods)
Brown Shelf-$6.99 (Homegoods)
Vase- $14.99 (Homegoods)
Orchid- $14.99 (Home Depot-yes it's real which is possible because of the skylight)

Grand Total: $654.92 Not bad for a complete bathroom overhaul including a sloping floor if I do say so myself. I hope our guests love it as much as we do!

Craft Room Reveal

I love craft rooms. They can be painted in fun colors and contain DIY projects on the more "funky" side and can get away with it because it is a "creative" room. They also have to be heavy on organization if they are not going to be a mess. Not to mention that they are a room that you can start projects in and then leave them out without worrying about stuff being all over the house. I am so lucky that we have space so that I can have an entire room to myself right now. Once we have two kids I will have to fight them for it.

This craft room reveal has been a long time coming. And honestly there are some things that I can see changing in the future.  But before we see what it looks like now, let's take a stroll down memory lane and see where we came from.

All my favorite design features in one room-wallpaper, honey oak and a poorly anchored brass ceiling fan.

When we moved in I thought a good solution would be just ripping down the wallpaper and enjoying the pink paint until I got around to painting. Unfortunately after ripping down the wallpaper I learned that the previous owners had not painted all the way to the ceiling. So I lived with this for about a year.

It was nice to have a room dedicated to creativity, but I was majorly lacking organization and did not have enough workspace.

That brings us to what it looks like today-

The cutting table/craft desk was DIY and you can make one too following the tutorial here.  I knew that this was the one space I could get away with some fun stripes and while it took awhile for all the taping, I loved how it turned out (tutorial here).

And I love my sewing corner….

craft room

Across the back wall I had Derek install a curtain rod for me to hang “in progress” projects.  I love how it works, except for the fact that a lot times projects don’t move from “in progress” to “complete”.  Oh well.


Above the rod are pictures I cut from an old Anne Taintor calendar.  Would they look better in frames…yes.  But this is a low budget craft room redo.

craft room
Above the cutting table is my inspiration board/bulletin board to hang random stuff.  To make it look non-bulletin board like, I wrapped it in fabric and stapled it to the back.  Super quick and easy.

In the other corner we have more storage space.

craft room
Oh and the chandelier.  I really wanted something cool (and expensive) of course.  But the ole budget brought us back to DIY as I detailed here.

I still have one blank wall which my ironing board sits below.  My plans for this area include adding a quilt design wall so that the floor can be retired for this purpose.  Oh and getting a new matching (and unstained) ironing board cover.

craft room

At one point I wrote a post about how I was organizing everything (here).  Well that has all changed as my fabric stash has grown and I am making different things.  And it will most likely change again.  But for now here is the newly organized closet.
craft room
Yes that is what I call organized….you should have seen it a couple of days before this.
I am also utilizing the storage on the cutting table for in progress projects.  each cubby is a different project.
craft room
Like I mentioned before, this room was done a low budget. Here is the breakdown in case you are curious:

Craft Desk: $125 (how-to here)
Sewing Desk: $100 (JCPenney outlet store)
Paint: $70 (painting stripes how-to here)
I used one gallon of Tupelo Tree and one gallon of Sassy Green from Sherwin Williams in this room. We had all the other painting supplies.
Chandelier: $40 (how-to here)
Drapery: $20
For the curtains I used some of the fabric I had originally bought for the kitchen (you know the ones that turned out to be two different colors like I mentioned here). Well, I recycled two panels of that fabric and I had lining fabric left over from the family room panels. So all I needed to buy was the rod and the rings.
Shelving: $125 (from Home depot)
I decided to go with adjustable shelving because at that time I was not sure how I was going to organize everything and it would give me flexibility in the future if I ever changed my mind. Not that that ever happens....
Miscellaneous Organization supplies- $75
Most of the organizational things I had previously and either repainted or recovered them. But I did buy some things to organize all the drawers as well as other things for the shelves.
Sewing Chair- Free
I swiped this chair from Derek's poker table in the basement. Eventually I would like something cuter....but this one matched as was the right price so it got moved to my room.

Grand Total: $555

Not bad for an entire room make-over.  But of course that does not include my fabric stash.

Decisions Decisions

The laundry room is almost ready for me to post some pics. Choosing a color in this space was one of the most difficult rooms of the house which surprised me since it is a room that not a lot of people see. But I think that is what made it so hard.....I could go a little more crazy. I talked about the ideas here. I wanted a bright and bold color and here is what I found as inspiration.

found here

and (because I have the best husband ever who gave me free reign to paint the laundry room pink)....

But it is also a small room so I did not want to make it too dark like a cave. I brought out my trusty paint deck and tried to find colors that were similar. Then I went to Sherwin Williams and bought two paint samples-Lagoon and Berry Bush. I was convinced that I would love one (or both) of them.I put them both on the wall and then stood back. Problem was neither one of them were really that great. So I thought I just needed to let them dry. Next day we stared at them some more and Derek admitted he really wasn't feeling either one of them. I think the issue was that we did not like them in combination with each other. Nothing says 1990 like turquoise and mauve. But even when I tried to look at the separately I still could not decide. I did pick up another paint chip at Sherwin Williams that was in special collection so it was not in my paint deck- Blackberry.

I loved how rich it was but was concerned it was way too dark for the small room even with the white appliances.

So we went with a relatively safe choice- Foggy Day. This is the same paint we used on the dining room ceiling and so far the first "color repeat" in the house.
I was then thinking of doing horizontal stripe to spice it up, but luckily Derek talked me out of it because it would be too busy in small room. At least that it what he said his reason was....I think it was more along the lines of he did not want to paint stripes.

Stay tuned for progress pics with Foggy Day!

Before/After- Powder Room

I have been a slacking in the posting department lately because of projects at work and the laundry room (posts coming soon I promise). But in the meantime I have another before/after to add to the list-The Powder Room.

Don't you love the wallpaper? Fake green wood paneling and angels and birdhouses to top it off? Of all the wallpaper in the house, this was the worst to remove. No matter what you did it came off in pieces about the size of a half a penny. When my parents came in to help us with the reno the weekend after we closed, my mom spent hours and hours in that room and only managed to get a part of one wall off. Good thing it was not a large room (and that my mom has a lot of patience).

Of course there is also honey oak, brass, a shell sink and a ugly light fixture (which missed the picture) to add to the charm. Ignore the sexy picture of me in my home reno outfit......

THE AFTER (Disclaimer- this room is very small with no natural light and so is very difficult to photograph)

Probably the best representation of how the paint color really looks

This picture is now hanging on the big empty wall. Click here to see how I got rid of the brass frame for less than $5.

This project still needs some finishing touches but overall we are happy how it came out. But this room took a lot longer than we imagined it would.

Our original plan involved pulling the honey oak vanity and putting in a pedestal sink or another more modern vanity. But the hardwood floor did not run under the oak vanity and the builder ran the water lines from the floor and not the wall. So those options were removed and we decided that painting it was the best idea. Then my bright idea was to paint the cabinet creme to lighten up the space. After painting the entire thing I decided I hated it because the color was too white. So I got a "creamier" color. Still hated it. So I switched to dark brown and was finally happy.

Then the crown molding saga....

We thought that since we had successfully done crown molding in the office that we could handle the little powder room and do it in a hour or two. Yeah we were really overestimating our abilities. Slight problem....the corners are really not square and even with multiple cuts, a lot of cursing and many trips back to Home Depot over multiple days, we were still not lining up. Our little project suddenly turned into a nightmare. So we cheated and bought the corners (you know the ones that we made fun of on previous visits). They were pricey but worth it (and we learned not to be so confident with our skills in the crown department).

The details-

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Latte
Counter top: Stock granite with undermount sink from Home Depot or Lowes
Faucet- Home Depot
Mirror- Homegoods- $50
Light Fixture- clearance at Lowes-$30 (originally $80)
Vanity- Painted with Ace Cabinet and Trim color matched to SW Black Bean
Accessories- Bed Bath and Beyond

I Swear It Looked Different on the Paint Chip

Picking paint colors is an art form which I used to think was easy. I mean just walk up to the display, find a pretty color and buy it. A funny post over on All Things G&D made me think about how many awful paint decisions I have made in the 5 short years we have been picking paint colors. I have been convinced that a certain color was the perfect color but on the wall......well you will see the ugliness. I am embarrassed to show these pictures but I have learned so much from these bad paint choices....and honestly they are funny now. You know now that I am no longer repainting these rooms on a yearly basis.

OK I will start with the room that we only repainted once- the guest room at our old house.

Disclaimer: When Derek and I moved in we were very poor grad students and home decor was a luxury so we did what we could with hand me downs. This was our first place after dorm rooms/college apartments so our furniture was not the best.

Back to the room, when we moved in the walls were pasted with hockey cards. Sadly I did not think ahead enough to snap a picture of this. After scraping them off the walls we picked a color. My aunt kindly gave us my cousin's old bedroom furniture which was very girly so we had to work with that in this room. Derek did not want a girly color though, so we decided on a light green. You know something light, bright and neutral.

Enter what we termed "Mint-Chocolate Chip"
It was actually a lot minty-ier than this picture shows. Not a bad color for a nursery, but considering our most frequent guest was Derek's college aged brother, not a good choice.

So the repaint-
This time it actually was neutral.

The master bedroom was repainted three three years. We lived with each of the bad colors a year before I hated it enough to clear the room and repaint. Or should I say convince Derek enough so that he would help me. Our first inspiration was to go for a beachy feel....something bright and summery. Derek will admit that this was his choice-

These pictures were taken at night and during the day it glowed. It was very bright.

So we decided to do something more neutral/cooler. My parents bought us new furniture for graduation so we though it was a good time to repaint. Sadly, I even misinterpreted an inspiration Pottery Barn catalog picture to arrive at this color. It needed to be a lot more gray in order to resemble the inspiration. I realized this when we were finished of course. I don't think Pottery Barn would claim this color.With repaint #2 it looked like a little boys room. The room was small and had low ceilings to begin with so this made it worse. But could I really ask my loving husband to repaint again? Well a year later and an exact replica of an inspiration pic, we went back to yellow....this time less neon.

So far no rooms in our current house have needed to be repainted (not that I am making any promises about the future......I already have my eye on the dining room ceiling). Here is what I have learned from painting redos.

-Buy paint samples and put them on the wall. Yes, they cost a little extra but I really think they are the main reason I am still happy overall with our current paint choices. Make sure you put samples in areas that get different amounts of light.....i.e. by windows, next to furniture, etc. Then sleep on it. If you don't love any of the colors you put up, go buy some more.

-Find inspiration pictures. These can be from magazines, websites, other houses etc.

-After you finish painting and you hate it (after it is dry of course) or even if you don't love it.....repaint it then. The worst part of painting is moving furniture, putting up drop clothes etc. So since that is already done, save yourself a day and repaint it now. It will cost more money but you will be actually be saving yourself time and money in the long run.

-If you are choosing paint colors for a lot of rooms, invest a couple of bucks in a paint deck. Like I discussed Here.

-Even if you don't buy paint samples for the wall, sleep on it. Making quick decisions at the paint store has repaint written all over it.

But this is just what I learned what works the best for me.....I am sure there are people that the paint chip works for. I obviously need a little more help!

I Dare You....

Lately I have thinking a lot about paint. Specifically if I have the guts to something dramatic in our master black. I found this picture a long time ago and I think it looks so glamorous and dramatic. (Of course I have no idea where i saved it from so if you happen to know please drop me a line so I can add credit) I broached the possibility to Derek a couple of days ago and his while his first reaction was that I was crazy....after seeing some inspiration pictures he was a little more in the "let's think about it" camp. Here are some more inspiration pics:

Then it was like Apartment Therapy was reading my mind since they put up a post about it here with some more pics.

Also the Sherwin Williams article they linked had a lot of ideas of how to be successful with black (this was forwarded as an email to Derek...hint hint....I am not giving up on this).

Going black takes guts and I am not sure I can do it. But I think I made a baby step in our kitchen. I still remember my conversation with the ACE hardware paint guy (PG) when I bought the paint for our kitchen cabinets. I was there at noon on a Tuesday, but no matter what time I came in to buy paint, they had the same person in the department. So we became friends even though he thought I was out of my mind..

J: Could I get 3 gallons of the Cabinet and Trim Paint in Cannonball please?
PG: What color?
J: Cannonball
PG: You know that is black right?
J: Yes
PG: What in the heck are you painting?
J: Cabinets
PG: In the kitchen?
J: Yep
PG: Black?
J: Yes
PG: Have you painted before?
J: Yes this will be my seventh gallon on this type of paint...but the others were white...we are changing it up
PG: Well OK......not even sure how to mix it....hold on
A couple of minutes later
PG: Bring a picture in of how it turns out when you are finished....I am curious....never heard of such a thing

We loved how the cabinets turned out in black but I did chicken out when it came to painting the window trim black also in the kitchen. We went with boring old white which I now regret but I am going to have to really really regret it if I am going to repaint seven windows.

I am thinking that black could work in the master bathroom because of the incredible amount of light we have in there between the window and the skylight. (I would show pics but considering you saw my awful craft room yesterday I don't want to scare you with more ugly rooms.) When we remodel it, the shower is going to expand to a two person walk in with white subway tile so there will not be really much wall space to be black..... so hopefully it won't be overpowering. Also I love the idea of going with a glossy finish to make it more interesting. However, that means I better start working on my drywalling skills now if we are even considering a glossy finish. But I think black paint is something that is going to take a lot of thought and some paint samples on the wall. I can only imagine the reaction when I try to get two gallons in high gloss from Sherwin Williams......

Do you think you could do it? Do you even want to? Am I crazy to be even comtemplating this?

Craft Room Dilemma

My craft room needs an intervention.......

I am almost embarrassed to post pictures of it in it's current state but one thing I have learned about having a blog is that it is motivation to complete projects so I actually have something to post about. So I probably should have named this post "Jenny's Motivation to Get Off Her Butt."

Here is the craft room in the current state. It used to be a little girl's bedroom obviously. It did have wallpaper on the top half of the room and I wrongfully assumed that if I took it down I would just have normal pink walls. However, they did not paint all the way to the top so now it looks even worse. Since it looked crappy I got lazy and did not take the rest of the wallpaper off behind furniture. The furniture is my now-teenaged cousin's old furniture that I am hoping to refinish this summer for our future nursery. But we will see since Derek doesn't like to talk about anything involving the "B" word. Also, it is currently home to some of my seedlings until I can get them planted outside. Obviously my current organization system needs some help. This is the room that when we moved if we did not know where to put it, it went into the "pink room."

So the first dilemma is paint color. This is the only room in the house that I have free reign over the decision without needing to get input from Derek. Also this is not a public room so I can do something a little different. But on the other hand this room is visible from the front door.

Idea 1: Until 2 days ago this was the only idea. I am thinking doing a neutral paint palette in horizontal stripes somewhat like the master bedroom at our old house.

or like this
This is an image I saved forever ago and have no idea where it came from even after tons of searching....let me know if you do so I can give them credit

Or maybe this:Image from Apartment Therapy

or switching it away from stripes:

Image from This Old House

I like this because it is a little something different without being overpowering. But at the same time- this is the room where I can get away with something bold and I am still doing neutrals? What has happened to me? How can I be creative in a space that isn't even me?

Those cons started to take over after I received this (like I explained here)

So Idea 2-

I have a new favorite color:
Jack Horner's Plum- Pratt and Lambert

Here it is in a dining room.
Image from House Beautiful

It is bold and girly but still muted so that it is not neon pink. Also painting a room a solid color is so much easier than doing stripes. Or do I do stripes and this color? Or do stripes with this being an accent color? Or do another bold color? Or......

So many decisions and I haven't even gotten to the furniture/organization part yet. I guess I will need a another post....maybe then I will have the paint color figured out at least....

Mailbox Surprise

Neighborhoods in our area do not have mailboxes at each house. Each street has a big box and you have key for your box. It brings back memories of apartment living. There are also two big boxes that the mailman puts your packages in if you happen to have them and then puts that key in your mailbox. So when I opened the mailbox today and saw the key I was excited. I was even more excited when I opened that box and inside there was not just one, but two packages with my name on it.

Package 1 had some books I had ordered from Amazon.

Since I am trying to advance my sewing skills past curtains and pillows to skirts and dresses I decided I needed some help and these babies got great reviews on Amazon. I can't wait to really spend time with them and make some new summer clothes. I started to work on a pattern last night......still have a ways to go.

I went back and forth about admitting I am trying a pattern since my first attempt will probably suck. But this way at least I can provide you with some laughs.

OK back to package #2-

This baby I actually won. That's right, my first contest I have ever won (besides the Safe Driving Rodeo in high school....but that is another story). One of my favorite blogs, Decorno, had a contest to send in your biggest decorating dilemma. I sent in our master bathroom which is missing from the before and afters pics on this blog because it is still hideous. When I first got the email that I won at first I was honored. But then I thought, "Should I really be proud that our bathroom won for the biggest decorating dilemma....especially considering how many submissions she must have received....I mean it's ugly but geez I did not think it was that bad." Anyway this book was my prize for having the ugliest bath. I would post some pics for you to rate it's ugliness, but I will save them when they get featured on her blog and see what everyone suggests.

In the meantime I am loving this book. And not just because I won it, it is really giving me the itch to try some more daring colors.....and shhhhhh maybe even repaint rooms that have already been painted.

This bright color itch started at a young age when I grew up in a house of white. My mom will readily admit she is afraid of color and I was constantly begging to paint color on the walls. When Derek and I got our first house and I had free reign over color choice, I went all out. Red in the living room, burgundy in the kitchen, citron in the bathroom, mint in the guest room, and bright yellow in the master. All the colors of the rainbow.... I then evolved in my color choices and slowly repainted some rooms. I also learned that maybe neutrals had their place as well. So when it came time to pick paint colors for our new house, I grabbed my trusty paint deck but tried to keep my love for bold and deep colors under control. I think I did a pretty good job and really thought I had matured and moved past that phase until I started to flip through pages of this book this afternoon. I regressed.....

When I opened it I was expecting a lot of neutral colors...which there were but there were also a lot of bold ones. There are tons of paint swatches and pictures of painted rooms. At the end of the book, the colors are also divided by room and by color family. I would scan and post some of the awesome pictures but the copyright police might not like that.

I have a new inspiration manual for paint color....all thanks to our ugly bathroom (which now thanks to this book I am thinking black walls to compliment white tile...hmmmm).

A Girl's Best Friend

Is it sad that this has been in my purse for the past year?

This was probably one of the best (and least expensive) purchases of the entire house. I have had more sticky tabs on there (color coded per room of course) than I have on files at work. Also it is not just handy for choosing paint. Ordered a couch that won't be in the living room for a couple of weeks but need to pick other colors in the room? Just whip out your handy paint deck, find the closest color, stick on a post-it and you are set. See a really cute vase at the store but not sure if the color with match a particular room? Good thing you have your paint colors with you.

Some people might make fun of the paint deck (ummm like my sister who will be getting one in her Christmas stocking this year) but if you are in the middle of remodeling/renovations it is an invaluable and inexpensive resource.

Master Bedroom Mini-Reveal

I have posted bits and pieces about our latest project (here and here) and now I think we are ready to actually post some pics. It is not officially an "after" as we still need accessories and some other key things like doorknobs but at least it is somewhat put together. Also this is phase 1 of the renovation. Phase 2 involves a new (canopy) bed and dressers in black. Eventually (phase 3) we want to put in hardwood floors, scrape the popcorn and possibly add wood beams to the ceiling but those things cost money and our goal right now is to make it presentable on the cheap.

As you can see there was no need to decorate for Christmas

Red, green

The green itself was not a bad color but their painting job left something to be desired

Our dog barrier while we were painting

I am so sick of painting windows....15 down 6 to go

Almost done with phase 1:
How does anyone get their duvets to look unwrinkled in pictures....I had just ironed so I obviously have not figured it out. Also the frame on the blue picture is the same silver as the mirrors so I am not sure why it photographs differently.

The TV's current home until we can get a new flat screen

The wall for the flat screen

Our new couch...still need to finish another throw pillow

I have no idea what to do with that upper space....I would leave it blank but the way the lighting is it needs something

Still need to add more accessories on the nightstands and dresser

So excited about these drapes....lined and interlined faux silk...$21 at Wal-Mart....score!

new fan (obviously)

Right now I am loving grays and this is painted Dovetail by Sherwin Williams. I am so happy how the color turned out and I think it will look even better when we finish getting things on the walls and accessorizing. The bed and dressers are left over from old house and I think the canopy will look awesome when we get it. I think it will help to fill up the vertical space and bring down the ceiling.

The couch, nightstands and coffee table were the only new pieces of furniture we bought. The "nightstands" are actually end tables but we wanted something that did not scream nightstand and would also match the new bed when we get it.

Budget Breakdown:
Lamps-$100 (49.99 each at Homegoods)
Mirrors- $40 (19.99 each at Walmart)
Art above bed- $72 Homegoods
Curtains-$84 ($21 each at Walmart)
Curtain Rods- $40 (19.99 each at Target)
Ceiling Fan- $150 Home Depot
Paint- $65 Sherwin Williams
Bedding- already had
Black rug-already had

Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas for that ledge!