3 Window Treatments That AREN’T Mini Blinds

On Tuesday I posted about some things I wish I knew my first month of home ownership, and it led to some pretty solid conversations but in the comments and in messages. By far the biggest one was that so many of you also did not know about non-mini blind options for your windows. I’m so glad I wasn’t alone on this.

I thought I’d do a quick roundup today of some easy alternatives:

1. Bamboo Blinds. This is by far my most favoritest option. I love them. And yes, you can have bamboo blinds and also (high and wide!!) curtains… in fact I encourage you to do so because it looks freaking great:

bamboo blinds

one || two

These can get a little pricey, but they’re sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as a bunch of sites online. You can get them in a zillion different color shades and a bunch of styles (I like the matchstick style- lots of small strips of wood instead of thick longer ones). Plus they can be paired with light linen curtains or fun patterned curtains, or no curtains at all because you’re broke from spending more then $10 on window coverings.

 

2. (DIY) Roman Curtains. If you’re like me and you’re stuck with rooms full of mini blinds have no fear! You can turn them into Roman curtains and be instantly more sheek and fascinating.

Roman Curtains

one (no sew!)  || two (no sew!) || three (a little sewing)

I like the heavier fabric look of the curtain in number three, by Homemade Ginger, but I think it all depends on the space and where you put them. So grab a 50% off Jo-Ann fabric coupon, get some amazing fabric, and turn your awful white mini blinds into a work of art!

3. Pelmuts! I literally just learned what this word meant like a month ago, and if you say it out loud more then a few times it just sounds like gibberish, but basically it’s a big old fabric box you can put on top of your window. SO if you have mini blinds already, throw a pelmut up to hide them without loosing the option of having something to pull down for privacy if you want it.

DIY pelmut

one (and more info here) || two || three

I know what you’re thinking: holy crap, my grandma’s house is full of pelmuts! Are you sure about this, Stephanie?  Yes! I am so very sure that this is a viable option and with the right fabric it can be super stylish. Maybe just steer clear the 1950s floral your grandma knows and loves.

So there you go friends, 3 options to help you hide and/or replace your white mini blinds. If you’ve done any of the above, or have some other options, feel free to leave a link in the comments!!

 

 

 

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3 Things I Wish I Knew…

3 things I wish I knew my first month of homeownership

Matt & I have officially been in our little green house for 2 whole years now- wow!  When I was researching and touring homes I read so much about how to buy a house, what all the words mean, what to look for, that I did zero research on decorating. I had never read a DIY blog before (gasp!). So besides all the business ends of things, I thought I’d write about the decor end of things I wish I had known about.. maybe it’ll help one of you instead…

1. White plastic drawstring blinds are not the only types of blinds out there. How did I  have no idea about this? When we moved into our house one of the first things my mom did was take me to Home Depot to buy blinds for every window (for safety and privacy). We bought a crapton of standard, white blinds for maybe around $100. Then MONTHS LATER I discovered there are, at minimum, one zillion better options. I’m not going to go back and replace all of them, but if I did… swoon…

breakfast_nook

via

2. I had lived in 3 apartments prior to moving into the house, and when we moved I was so overjoyed with not having white or beige walls anymore that I painted every room a different color. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT A COLOR PALETTE WAS. My friends, I encourage you to think of your house as a whole and not a bunch of individual rooms. Stand in each room and note what other rooms you can view from it, because they all must work together.  And you know what?  These days I am  loving all white walls, a la Dans Le Townhouse. Darn it! If I had only known how to make it work…

white walls

via

3. It’s your house and you can decorate it however the heck you want. I like art that’s a little different and I like things BIG. I don’t really like a lot of color. You are free to be as weird as you like in your own home. So now I have a mercury glass skull in my living room, and I’m thinking about adding a very large piece of dinosaur art to my entrance way. Suck it, world. If I don’t want what’s on trend I don’t have to have it. HOW LIBERATING!

summer fun 198

via

….what do you wish someone had told you about??

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Paint Color House Tour

I am SUCH a bad blogger for not having a real house tour up on this site, but I always feel like nothing is ever finished enough, clean enough, organized enough… enough enough.

I promise I will have one by the end of the year. That gives me 4 months… in addition to the 2 years I’ve had since this blog got started…

In the mean time, please, join me in walking through the (incredibly not close to scale) house …divided by the colors we’ve got going on:

paint color layout

We’ve got a split level ranch home with a partially finished basement. The sunroom, kitchen, and living room make up the bottom level; the full bath, office, master bedroom, and guest room make up the second level; the den and half bath make up the basement (and there’s a small unfinished storage and laundry area down there too).

SOON the full bath color will be changing, since we’re redoing the space. Eventually, the guest room color will be changing because I’ve got lots and lots of ideas for that space.

  • Sunroom: Behr White Truffle, Better Homes & Garden Partridge Gray
  • Kitchen: Behr Manilla Tint
  • Living Room: Behr Wheat Bread
  • Entrance & Steps: Behr White Truffle
  • Full Bath: Behr Sand Dollar White
  • Office: Behr Smokey Blue
  • Master Bedroom: Behr Sand Dollar White
  • Guest Room: Behr Cantelope
  • Den: Clark + Kensington City Nights
  • Bathroom: Behr Waterscape

Some of these look so much different in person. Wheat Bread is a solid, steadfast gray. Manilla Tint is super yellow. Cantelope is screaming orange (and one day, will turn to White Truffle!!).

Do you have any colors that look completely different in your home then they did in the sample? Has anyone besides me every painted the same room 2 different colors in less then 24 hours beause of this? haha

When Good Projects Go Bad

You guys. I haven’t done a real project in so long that it seems now everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

At the end of this month my nephew turns one and I’ve decided to follow suit with a million other bloggers and build him a bitchin play kitchen (also, apparently I’ve decided to start rhyming). I’ve been working on the darn fridge for like a week and it’s still only halfway done… it should have taken no more then 2 days.

Because he’s just turning one it isn’t a completely age appropriate gift yet, but I figure he’ll have it there when he’s ready. My goal is to give give him the fridge by his birthday, then the cabinet and sink by Halloween (mainly because he’s getting one of my faucets when we redo the bathrooms).

Here’s what we started off with:

IMG_2614

 

I picked up cabinets at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for about $40  (that includes this piece above and the not-shown sink area). First things first, I removed all the hardware and took off the door. Next, I spackled and sanded the areas that looked rough, sharp, or cracked. Once that was done, I brought out the Krylon Magnetic Spray Paint. Then things went horribly wrong.

diy play kitchen

 

I put three light coats of paint on the door. Nothing. Then I put another light coat…still nothing. Then I put an extremely thick fifth coat. NADA. Then I emptied the whole damn bottle on the door and let it cure up overnight…. it did not do a darn thing. But it was a lovely shade of ashy gray? I tweeted Krylon asking for tips and advice and they just responded to call with the batch number because I must have gotten a defective can. However, if you read the reviews it appears no one has ever gotten it to work at all. I felt like my best friend was talking about me behind my back… Krylon is a legitimate name with a good reputation. Whyyyyyyyyyy!!!

I panicked and messaged my blog friends because if this darn thing isn’t magnetic I’m basically a failure at aunt-dom. Emma directed me to Rustoleum magnetic paint because her mom had used it with great results, and Kenz backed it up saying Young House Love used it too (duh! how did I not remember that!).

magnetic paint review

 

The Rustoleum paint is THICK. You need to stir it for about 15 minutes, then give it a good occasional stir as you’re painting. I used a foam brush to coat it on, 3 coats about an hour apart each. I gave the frame an extra fourth coat too because the back is  exposed wood and it really seemed to soak the paint up.

I recommend you do this outside if you can. It smelled PUNGENT. I didn’t realize this until I had already set up shop in the kitchen so I just opened all the windows and turned the fan on.

Once it was dry I called Matt in for backup- he’s much better with hardware then I am.

IMG_2617

 

I got a 5in. handle off Amazon (this one) then we measured, drilled a pilot holes, and checked that it was all lined up (spoiler alert: it wasn’t. the door is now curing up some wood filler and we’ll try again tonight).

After failure #2 I moved outside to prime and paint the inside. And you know what kind of primer I got? Krylon. Which did nothing but sputter and spit everywhere. WTF. My best friend betraying me again? I was so hurt. I sanded down the drips and just went ahead with a light coat of leftover Rustoleum aqua paint from my DIY sunburst mirror. Here’s where I’m at now:

IMG_2619

 

So here’s what I’ve accomplished successfully so far:

  • spackled, sanded, and primed with magnetic paint
  • sprayed the inside and shelves with one coat of leftover aqua paint

And here’s what I’ve got left:

  • 1-2 more coats of aqua spray paint on the inside
  • redrill the holes for the handle
  • spray paint the outside
  • add a touch light and door shelf
  • build up confidence to create the rest of the kitchen

 

You guys, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? This project is a real no brainer and I am an absolute disaster Please, share your project horror stories below.

Who doesn’t love a good infographic: design by color

Just popping in today to share a little infographic that my friend Azure shared with me…

The Interior Design Guide to Colouring Your Home Infographic

 

So what do you think- agree or disagree?

Personally, I freaking hate purple. My bathroom will never, ever be purple. However, if you’ve been around here long enough you know I love me a good solid gray, and I’m pretty fond of very deep blues as well.

Also, I have a firm belief that kitchens are best yellow and white. Unfortunately I’m trapped with terrible laminate honey colored cabinets, but I do relish in my lovely yellow walls. They’re so freakinghappy!

What are your favorite decorating colors?

Bathroom Redo on a Budget: Plans & Inspiration

This weekend was tax free weekend here in Massachusetts, so we took full advantage of it. Or, should I say my parents took full advantage of it- their wedding gift to us was new bathroom fixtures. Woo hoo!

Here’s what we purchased:

fixtures

That’s right friends, we’ll be doing TWO  budget bathroom makeovers over the next few months. Today let’s talk about the full bath upstairs, which is the main one we use. I want things to be white, white, white but also dramatic. So in addition to the new vanity and sink, I’ve got some other things in mind too.

Here’s a reminder of what it looks like now:

Also, note that blowing out the light source has made the tile look lovely. I promise it isn't- it's discolored, chipped, and poorly laid.

Also, note that blowing out the light source has made the tile look lovely. I promise it isn’t- it’s discolored, chipped, and poorly laid. And the floor grout was definitely white at one point, but now is permanently brown. I couldn’t even bear to show it to you yet. Ew.

So here’s some things you can look forward to:

Oh, and that aqua outline is a subtle hint too ;)

Oh, and that aqua outline is a subtle hint too 😉

Have you ever painted tile? Or grout? Are you in love with geometric shapes but afraid it might be “too much” in real life?  I’M GOING TO TRY IT ALL. Get ready to rock.

How to Throw an Awesome Party in 3 Easy Steps

I am a hostess at heart- basically, I never ever want to leave my house but am happy to have it full of people all the time. I’m a social  hermit, if you will. 🙂 At least a few times a year we have a huge bash centered around a birthday or holiday, and recently we’ve had a few gatherings in regards to our wedding as well, so I thought I’d pop in with super easy tips everyone can get in on to make your party flow a little smoother and a lot more awesomely.

3 tricks to throwing a killer party

1. Label your food

This is the simplest, most helpful thing ever. Did you know that you can write on tile with a dry erase marker? That might be one of the best things Pinterest ever taught me in my whole life. I bought a dozen tiles for 10 cents each at a Habitat for Humanity Restore, hot glued some felt at the bottom so they wouldn’t be scratchy, and use them at every single party I have.

dry erase food labels

having booze filled cupcakes helps too 😉

2. Test out a theme of any kind

Maybe it’s just a color, or a look, or maybe it’s an entire Jurassic Park themed party with a map of the park drawn right on your wall and inflatable dinosaurs in the living room. But themes just say HEY! WE WANT TO HAVE A GREAT TIME! Take that tie off and grab a crazy straw! 

jurassic park theme partyDon’t just throw a surprise party- throw a themed one so you can throw in surprises all night. When hosted a surprise Jurassic Park 30th birthday party for our friend Dawson people dressed up as main characters, we bought inflatable dinosaurs and used dog gates to create exhibits, I turned my chalkboard wall into a map of the park, etc.

3. Set up an activity

Adults love activities too, you know. Especially when you’re mixing groups of friends- it gives everyone common ground and something to talk about right off the bat. Each year for Matt’s birthday we schedule the day to start in the afternoon for anyone who wants to come over for pumpkin picking and carving, then use the jack-o-lanterns to decorate the house for the party that night. For our backyard wedding reception one of our amazingly talented friends created a Nightwing/Batgirl face-in-the-hole for us all to take pictures in, and another friend brought a Polaroid camera so people could have a copy right away. Forget about how old you think you are and just do something ridiculous.

batgirl and nightwing

the couple that fights crime together, stays together.

 

What do you do to make your house guests feel welcome and excited to be there?