Sometimes, my cats are jerks.

Here’s the thing, I love my cats. All 3 of them. I promise. But MAN can they be destructive…. I’ve already sacrificed a life filled with beautifully woven rugs for them, and I am not about to sacrifice cute cushioned chairs too.

About a year ago I bought 2 slipper chairs, one originally lived in the sunroom but was later moved to the bedroom, and the other lives in Matt’s office. The one in our bedroom has been perfectly untouched, but for some reason the other has been ravaged to bits:

WTF cats. You have 3 scratching posts in 3 different rooms, including this one.

WTF cats. You have 3 scratching posts in 3 different rooms, including this one.

I love the pattern of this chair so I wasn’t about to completely reupholster it with something new, and a very very long time ago Pepper Design Blog was debating curtains for her dining room and this pattern was one of the options she was considering. I snuck through her archives to find the curtain post  but because it was so long ago the site she linked to no longer had the product- it did have the product name though, so I popped it into Amazon and ordered a yard of it (Thomas Paul Dahlia Aegean fabric). I also ordered a pack of cat scratch guards, which seriously I should have had all along.

Once it all arrived, here’s how it went down:

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When I say “measure the fabric,” what I really mean is “hold the fabric up against the chair and eyeball a piece a little bigger then you think.” I talked about how to use no-sew hem tape here, and that’s exactly what I did the tops and sides of this fabric (the bottom would be stapled underneath so it didn’t matter).

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I hand stitched the fabric up through the binding so you can’t see it at all, then I spent a heck of a lot of time very tightly wrapping the fabric underneath the chair and stapling it down- the legs do not come off so I didn’t have the option of removing them. I will say that this is the 5th piece of furniture I’ve done some sort of reupholstery to and the first piece where I did the corners halfway decent. It’s a skill learned through much swearing and screaming.

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And voila! No more damage!  So my friends, if your animals destroy a piece of furniture, all hope is not lost!

What have you sacrificed for your furry kiddos?

The Office

I don’t post about the office too often because it’s Matt’s space, and I try really hard to respect that and not decorate in there. It’s difficult. Super difficult. None the less he has let me do a few things:

  • Pick the paint color (he’s color blind, so that’s always a given)
  • Add a bulletin board and some wall storage
  • Rearrange the furniture (at least 3 times…)

I have a really hard time getting this room to look good in photographs, even in the after pictures it still looks super cluttered. But in perspective, this room was actually the master bedroom for the previous owners because it is the largest. Also, I don’t show the whole room in the pictures because the back wall is where the litter boxes are so you know, you don’t really need to see that.

Anywho, after I went a bit hog wild on chair hoarding I reorganized this room to accomodate the slipper chair that was originally meant for the sunroom.

Here’s how it was before:

Super cluttered everywhere.

 

& lopsided.

 

I got rid of that black bookcase because it was old and cheap and falling apart anyway. Then I moved the wooden bookcase (on the right side of the first picture) to the other side of the room, which made room for the slipper chair. Then this past weekend I picked up an end table at the Habitat Restore for $12 (which I may or may not redo, we’re feeling it out first). And voila…. it’s not my dream room, but Matt sure likes it:

The desk is still far too unorganized for my liking- but it’s not my liking that matters here. I think this new set up gives the room a little more space to breathe.

 

This new little corner gives me somewhere to sit with my laptop while Matt’s on his desktop, and it softens the room up a bit as well. Those shelves on the wall are from a consignment shop, maybe $14 total, and spray painted with leftover spray I had in the basement. Unfortunately the cat post needs to be there or that chair will be destroyed, so I at least got a sisal one instead of a carpet wrapped one. 

So basically, this room has taught me a few things:

  • Not every room in my house can look picturesque, because not every room in this house is mine.
  • I love all 4 of our pets and I need to stop trying to hide their furniture- we have 3 scratching posts, 3 litter boxes, 4 bowls of water, and bones up the wazoo. And that’s just what’s happening.
  • Matt won’t let me style his shelves no matter how much I beg.

 

So there you go- what do you think of the end table? Would you redo it? Does this room look at least a little better now?

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And don’t forget, you’ve got all week to link up with the DIY Action Squad! Whether your project is from the Young House Love book or just inspired by the blog, link away! :) We can’t wait to see what you’ve done!

 

 

ONE YEAR LATER: Master Bedroom & Office

All this week I’m going to be posting before and after photos of the house, so keep tuning in to see what a completely different place we live in now!

Let me start by saying that the “before” pictures for these two rooms are particularly awful- at this point in touring the home I had already fallen in love with it and had stopped caring what the pictures looked like. Yes, I fell in love with the home in it’s before state.

Let’s start with the Master Bedroom before and now’s:

This was the view from the doorway of the room, which was originally shared by two preteen girls. It was actually pretty cute for them- crowded, but you could tell they had free reign.

 

The new view from the doorway makes it look like a completely different room. I think because our bed is on the opposite wall it really throws you off when you see it.

 

From another corner of the room you can really the bright, bright lime green of the walls. That was easy enough to fix with primer, but I had to sand all along that navy border to make sure the lines of it didn’t show through our new paint color.

 

I’m not crazy about our bookshelf, but it’ll do for now. I’m also getting used to the empty space on the right of the dresser, I don’t think I’m going to fill it in with anything.

 

THIS disastrous closet is still haunting me, getting new doors is definitely a year two project!

 

Don’t mind the “no trespassing” sign- we used that gate to cage in an inflatable T-Rex during a Jurassic Park theme party :) Because we’re grown ups.

 

The room right next to the bedroom was originally the master, and we are now using it for Matt’s office. When we first moved in I thought we’d be able to get away with not painting it, but once it was empty we could see all sorts of dust stains and divets in the walls so it got the paint and primer treatment too:

This picture was taken from right in front of the closet (which you’ll see in the two “now” photos). We chose to use the other room as the master instead of this one because it seemed a little bit larger and the layout was easier to work with.

 

There’s still something that’s just …off… about this room- it’s too crowded in some spots and too empty in others. It’ll stay as is for a while because there’s more important things to deal with, but it’s definitely on my radar. So is that cat haired covered rug.

I don’t understand why these people don’t have closet doors, but I plan to start keeping an eye out at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to hopefully get some soon.

 

 

What we’ve done:

 

Still to do:

  • Find and install closet doors for both rooms
  • Finish up wall art for master bedroom
  • Better organize and set up office
  • New curtains for master bedroom

 

 

And so that wraps up the week long ONE YEAR LATER series! I’ve left out the bathroom, basement, and yard for now but we’ll get back to them soon.

What’s your favorite room? Mine is definitely the kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Up!

Matt’s office has been painted and set up for a few weeks now, but we’ve been really dragging our feet hanging up the art. However, it’s finally done!

This room and the movie room are really the only spaces in which Matt has a say what gets hung on the walls (sorry,  Matt)- not because he has bad taste but because he has SO MANY POSTERS that I know they’d creep into other spots if I didn’t hold firm. There were talks of hanging a Nightmare On Elm Street print in the half bath at one point and seriously, I just couldn’t pee under those conditions. But anyway, I digress.

The only thing left to do in this room, besides vacuum the rug, is to hang window toppers. Unfortunately, the past two times I went to Walmart to grab black window toppers they had none. Maybe third time’s the charm!

Here's the view of the room from the back left corner. Matt's got two posters up, a bulletin board, and some wall storage. It's crowded, but I think it looks really nice. And yes that's our trash can on the desk- Dutch loves to run in there at 5am, pull everything out of it, and bring it to us while we're sleeping so it had to be elevated.

 

 

Our friends got us the Frank Turner poster at a concert we had tickets to but were unable to make, I picked up the Anberlin poster at Bamboozle Left last year, the bulletin board is about 15 years old and we got it from my brother's old bedroom, and the metal storage pockets are from TJ Maxx.

 

I framed the two posters myself with frames from Michael’s, they each took two nails so I used my trusty tissue paper method. I tape tissue paper the length of the frame to the back of it and poke holes where the nail hooks are. Then I tape the tissue paper to the wall, use a level to get it right, and hammer away!  I’m sure there’s a more efficient method out there, but that’s what works for me so I’m staying true.

On the opposite wall hang two of Matt's most prized possessions.... right on top of the cat restroom station. At least it's hidden behind the door, so you don't see it until you walk all the way into the room and turn around.

 

Up close and personal: Matt's two signed Cinematic Titanic posters along with 2 signed tickets from their shows. Once again, I framed these myself.

 

So there you go, another room that’s just about complete! We are moving along here people!

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?!

Pictures Sooner then Expected

I couldn’t take having the blurriness of the previous post be the only showcase of my awesome handiwork. So here’s two far better pictures… that show the un-styled but still magnificently completed desk:

Don't mind the rug, I'm mulling over rug possibilities and this is what we have hanging around. Do you know how expensive those plastic floor pads are? IT'S INSANE. So maybe this will work better to protect the floor from a rolly chair.

 

I'm thinking I may attach sheets of black poster board to the legs of the desk- it needs some sort of wire-hider.

 

And let me just say that honestly, life is good. Amongst the crazy amount of work we’ve been doing around here, and will continue to do for years to come, at the end of the day I couldn’t be happier…..

I think I'll just squeeze in somewhere between the cat plops, curl up, and get a good night's sleep.

Superhero Power Discovered: FURNITURE ASSEMBLY

I am all that is woman! I have created A DESK! It took 5 hours, and a 35-step booklet, but it exists and it is fantastic! I insisted on putting together the desk myself, I get an awesome amount of satisfaction when I’ve completed things like that successfully and I really wanted to prove to me (and whoever else needed proving) that I could do it.

There were just a handful or so of screws and fasteners...

 

I'd really like to have a word with whoever decided that ALL OF THIS was equivalent to just one step. There were 35 total steps, and every page looked like this. Goodness gracious.

This is what I was hoping was the halfway point, but I was so very wrong. Installing the rollers for the two draws was awful and I had to do it twice to get it right. Without the draws a good 2 hours would have been cut off the time it took.

And here she is completed! Isn't she a beaut? The picture is a bit blurry, but it was almost 11:00 and I was tired and had been cussing for a very long time and just needed to take a shower.

 

Overall, we’re really pleased with the whole desk. We ordered it from Staples with some of the money my grandparents donated as our housewarming present, we picked it up with a truck borrowed from a friend (the box was huge), and then I put it together with just a screwdriver and a hammer.

 

Matt will use it for homework and paper grading, and I’ll use it to store the hundreds of pieces of paper that come with owning a home. The bottom draw holds file folders (extra organization! oh boy!), the top draw is for pens and pencils and envelopes, the two nooks above it hold Matt’s electronic accessories, and then the little perch up top is for the printer.

Tomorrow I plan to buy a chair, and then I’ll post some more pictures of the finished look. Matt has already told me I’m not allowed to “style” his work desk… but I’m going to try and sneak it in anyway.

Getting Down to Business

Let’s take a look around the office today- of course I only have terrible blurry pictures of it from when I first toured the home, but they get the general idea accross. What we will be using as an office served as the master bedroom for the previous owners, since their 2 girls shared the largest room. This, like the guest room, is on the lower end of the priority list.  Originally I was hoping this would be the one room that wouldn’t need paint, but when I saw it empty last week I was quickly proven wrong. For the first few months this room will be repainted with 2+1 white paint and primer. Eventually it will go back to steel blue it is in these pictures.

 

Since we’re putting all the white furniture leftovers in the guest room, I plan to put all the black furniture leftovers in this room. We’ve got a laptop desk, a bookshelf, a papisan, and a bean bag chair. This room will also be home to our turtle (cleverly named Turtle). Turtle is huge and lives in a 100 gallon tank on top of a heavy duty work bench (to hold the weight of it all), so he needs a good sized space- and the sound of the filter drives me crazy so he can’t stay in the master bedroom. Between the bookself and the work bench shelf we should be able to put all our textbooks in here. There’s also a double closet not shown in the pictures where I might put some sort of file cabinet organization. I lot more thought and styling needs to go into this room as we move forward, but for now just having a general outline will do.