Clean Slate

In comparison to other rooms of our house, the office wasn’t in terrible condition. It was a normal color (a  medium shade of blue) and was just slightly filthy (again, in comparison to other rooms)- black outlines on the walls where pictures used to be, cobwebs in the corners, paint dobs caked on the floor.

Here’s a few before shots:

We didn't really set up the office when we moved in, it was a bonus room so it just became sort of a dumping ground for things we didn't know where to put yet. Hence, your view walking up the stairs and into the room was of two litter boxes on top of a work bench. Class-y. It seems Henry liked it though... meow.

Again, just a hodgepodge of stuff. Books, boxes, trunks, and miscellaneous crap.

 Once we got the room emptied, we realized just how much spackling was needed. A LOT. I can’t imagine what you would hang so low on a wall, and how some of the dents and bumps got there. But at least that’s something we knew how to do!

We also debated for about a week on what shade of blue we wanted to paint the room, dark slate blue or cloudy grayish blue. Finally Saturday I made the split second decision to go dark- and I am so so glad I did! So far this is the only color in the entire how that came out exactly as I pictured it.

 

 

 

 

 

The room, while not finished yet, is really shaping up:

 

The new view from the doorway- adios litterboxes!

 

This picture doesn’t really capture the blue as nicely as it really looks- it’s very dark and rustic. It actually makes our molding look nice, which means it is doing work because our molding is awful.

We plan to get black topper curtains for the two windows in the room, and Matt has some posters I’m going to frame and put up on the wall.

 

 

 

As an extension to the desk, we put the small black bookshelf we already had. This holds "everyday" books, since Matt's in his last semester of college. Then the tall wooden shelf was free to hold some of our favorites and collections. Still in this pictures, the blue looks super light. It isn't though, it's musky and manly!

 

On the bookshelf is part of my camera collection, Matt's Mystery Science Theater movies with a signed picture and 2 signed tickets from live shows, and some awesome movie and horror books.

 

 

Perhaps the best part of the room though is the light switch I got Matt for Christmas. He absolutely loves Mystery Science Theater so I bought a lightswitch with the screen cap along the bottom, and then he got it signed when he went to see Cinematic Titanic’s live show (which has several of the cast members).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do you think?!

3rd time’s the charm

Well I’m back today with yet another comforter, but I’m 98% sure that this one is the keeper!

The old blue & brown comforter came from our last apartment and I just thought it was too dark and hum-drum for our bright, sunny new house. The teal/lime comforter I recently posted was tobright and sunny for our bright, sunny new house. This third paisley dreamboat is just right.

It's nothing mind-blowing, but it's comfy and the pattern is really nice. I also plan to spruce up the room with cream or ivory curtains and to paint the bureau slate blue- the same slate blue I'm actually putting on the walls of the office today (pictures of that in a day or two). I think with a quieter comforter, I can add some splash to the room with decorations and accents.

Plus, this one really seems like a real crowd pleaser….

 If you look on the bureau, you’ll spot our new blinds! Woot woo! So long shades, I never learned how to operate you and I never will! The blinds will be up and rockin’ tomorrow, and I can’t wait.

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes

Today my new bedspread arrived! I bought it online from Kohl’s and have been waiting anxiously for a week to see it. I will admit, as a stand alone new item in the room I’m not super crazy about it- but envisioning it with all the changes I plan to make I think it’ll be pretty awesome. I think.

Here’s two “before” shots that show the old bedspread (be forewarned: my recently neutered dog will be modeling the room for us today):

Sure it's all very grown up and appropriate looking- but where's the fun in that? There's no spark! There's no style! There's nothing strange about it besides the sad cone on my poor dog's neck!

A closer up view of the bedspread- again, not terrible. Just not ME.

And now the after:

Yes, I know it looks a little beachy-teenagery. But just wait until you read about the rest of my plans before you decide to hate it! Also, pardon my dog's cute little butt- it was dinnertime.

I did not realize until captioning this picture that I bought a bedspread with the exact same pattern in different colors. I must really like damask.

So, still to come to this room:

  • Replacing the shades with white blinds
  • Replacing the brown curtains with sheer navy curtains
  • Paint the bureau navy blue! (I am very excited about this)
  • Replacing the lampshades with… white shades maybe?
  • Adding a chair to the empty corner

In conclusion, this is definitely not everyone’s style. But it’s mine- colorful and bold with plenty of other places to darken things up. I just don’t if it’s mine for a master bedroom, or mine for a 14 year old girls room.

I think I'll have to sleep on it to make sure it's definitely the look I want.

Tacky & Fabulous

In addition to the 900 other projects I’ve started, slow but steady progress is being made on my living room gallery wall:

Some pictures are in frames, some pictures are awaiting frames, and some tissue paper is acting as a placeholder. But as a whole, things are really starting to shape up and come together.

I plan to keep all the frames either black or white, and all the pictures black and white as well.

I also recently  purchased, for $4 each, these two small mirrors that I am going to brighten up with fresh white paint and add to the wall to shake things up a bit:

 

What do you think?

Basement Transformation

This post is very picture heavy, as it should be, because it shows the slow but steady transformation of our basement. The first half of these pictures were taken with my old digital camera (boooo Panasonic!) and the second half were taken with my new one (yay Canon!). I think the difference is quite clear.

Let’s dive in:

Here's a view of the old set up from the stairs straight to the wall- because I had a kitty corner tv stand the whole room was set up at an angle. It actually wasn't terrible, but we knew we could do better if things were lined up straight.

 

And here's a "before" shot taken from in front of the stairs faced out into the room- hi Dutch!- no, that orange blanket is never folded.

 

I cashed in my credit card reward points and we bought a dark wood tv stand from Best Buy. The wood matches the dark edge of the sectional and the casing of the surround sound speakers. Here's Matt setting it up.

 

Things are looks much better now- albeit a little shuffled behind the "viewing area." We've centered the tv and lined the sectional up with it. We distanced the sectional based on the size of our tv (42 inches) and the spacing of the surround sound. And by "we," I mean Matt- this is totally his thing.

 

Here is the view from the corner of the room behind the couch: On the lefthand wall we set up DVD shelving to display collections, collectables, and autographed movies. Those big wicker baskets you see will eventually be tucked into the movie shelving shown in the picture below and we plan to get an occasional table for behind the couch.

 

Finally, here's the view from the left side of the tv looking forward to the room entrance. Yes, we have over 4,000 movies.

 

Overall, because I was able to cash in credit card points all this was done for nothing. The only new piece of furniture was the tv stand.

Still to do for this room:

  • Paint the walls “medieval forest” green
  • Paint the movie built in’s the same light green as our sunroom
  • Install surround speakers into the wall
  • Install wall to wall carpeting (not for another year or so)

 

So it’s not looking great yet, but it’s much more functional and comfortable for sure. Also, with all the movies in their home we were able to get rid of about 15 boxes that had been hanging in the guest room.

Mission: Incomplete

Operation Upgrade the Built In came out about 50/50… I’m hoping to make things better (note: not perfect) this weekend.

Let me share with you how things have gone:

From afar, things only look slightly awry- the white is nice, the handles are a great color, and it's got kind of this 70s vibe to it that I really dig.

Unfortunately, when you zoom in on the doors you can see they are slightly uneven. And honestly, this is probably not going to get fixed- it is widely known that I am incapable of making things level and this is just close enough.

The bigger problem lies here: I completely missed the mark on the lefthand side handle and need to wood glue the hole and try again. I also learned the hard way (via the right hand handle) that you should drill THEN paint. Apparently drilling splits and peels paint...oof.

Overall, I'm really liking the look and hopefully by Monday it'll all be up to par.

 

ps- what do you think about the peek into my dark, dank bathroom? Yeah, that’s got to change. I’ve decided to paint it the same orange-y beige as my bedroom some day soon in hopes of brightening up. Seriously, who decided to paint the bathroom the same color as the business you do in there?

Getting out of the haze

As you could probably see in my last few posts, the quality of my camera has gone downnnnnn down hill. I promise it’s not just my terrible photography skills. Things are just getting more and more blurry and I just don’t know what the problem is. Luckily (sort of?), the camera is less then a year old and today I am going to exchange it for something bigger and better.

Fingers crossed for blur-free pictures of our vamped up movie room tonight!

Fat Heaven

Tonight I baked this delicious masterpiece that I found on Pinterest.com and modified to fit our slobbery needs.

BAKED ALFREDO... the only thing you ever need to eat. again. ever.

 

Here is the recipe I used for it, but if you check my Pinterest account (linked above) you’ll find the original one on my board.

 

  • 1 (16-ounce) package penne or elbow macaroni
  • 2 (10-ounce) containers refrigerated Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.  Stir together all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.  Spread mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes  covered and then an addition 5-10 uncovered, until bubbly or browning.

FEAST!

Livening up the hallway

Now you know I couldn’t go leaving the hallway plain off white with just one thing hanging on the wall- my style is a little more cluttered then that. I’m trying to keep the hallway simple and clean looking, but it still needed a little jazzing up.

I hung another cluster of pictures at the top of the stairs on the wall that faces the bathroom. It was really very difficult to get a full wall picture because there’s light coming in from so many directions and my camera is awful, so here’s a blurry one that shows you the area we’re about to zoom in on:

I took about 20 shots and this is the best one- damn you Panasonic camera!

 

I decided not to put any pictures of people because the wall stares right into the bathroom, and it would have really creeped me out to have faces looking at me while I’m brushing my teeth. So instead, I’ve got a map of Italy with a heart on the area my family is from, a print from Etsy.com of a hot air balloon, and a housewarming card that I need to buy another frame for:

These particular prints are all in this spot "on purpose." The yellow of Italy draws from the yellow in the living room downstairs, the blue draws from the bedroom and office, and the silver frames match up with the frame set on the wall directly in front of the stairs. I also think the subtle more pastel tones don't overpower the small space--- do you like my fancy HGTV explanation?

 

The built in directly outside the bathroom is waiting an update as well.

This sad little guy needs some love.

 

The wood is busted up, the handles are outdated, and it’s a bit of an eyesore. So $1 per handle at the ReStore store, some primer, and some white truffle paint will give this area the facelift it needs.

I plan to replace the old coppery handles with these new gunmetal tone ones. I'm going to be painting just the 2 doors and the 2 draws, because the wood molding matches the wood molding on all the door frames that are in that hallway.

 

I’m hoping on Saturday this project will be done, I just need to run to Home Depot to get some wood filler since the handles are different sizes.

 

So there you go- a brand new hallway! What do you think of the changes?

Dutch is exhausted by all the interior design…

It’s tough to match up pastels when you’re color blind.