Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the master plan.

It’s time for an update on the master bedroom! I use the term “master” loosely because our bedroom is actually the smaller of the two rooms. That’s right, Chloe got the big room! We chose the smaller room because it has twice the closet space, plus the bigger room works better for storing all of Chloe’s toys. Not to mention the fact that she called dibs on the big room the first time we saw the place!

After we moved in, our bedroom was a bit sad looking. Please ignore the unmade bed and the grittiness of these photos!! I took them on my Blackberry for the sole purpose of showing some friends, and I didn’t plan to share them here. But then I realized I didn’t have any “before” photos on my digital camera, so here you go:

As you can see, not a lot going on. Over the past two weeks we picked up some gray sheets from Target, and some curtains and a sheepskin throw from Ikea. It makes me feel a little icky that we bought real sheepskin instead of faux, but Tony really loved it and it was a good price, so I caved. It does look pretty good, I have to admit!

We also hung a mirror (a Craigslist find that we painted black!) and two shelves above the dresser. Hey look, I even make a cameo appearance in this one!

I’m starting to love the way the room is turning out. But it still needs a pop of color, which is where etsy comes in. The general color scheme will be gray and yellow. We’re going to choose four of these prints to hang above the bed, but we’re still debating which four to get. I love the “Love Lives Cozy Here” picture because I think it’s so fitting for a bedroom, but Tony doesn’t like pictures with words on them.

From Top, Left to Right: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 (similar) / 6

We’re also going to order two of these super fun throw pillows for the bed, also from Etsy. I love these because they incorporate gray and yellow, but also throw in a splash of blue and green.

I’m super excited to see how the room comes together once we add the wall art and throw pillows. Yay, color!


oh, deer.

Tony and I had plans for awhile now to create some of our own wall art. We were also pretty certain we wanted to do a deer silhouette. I really like “deer art” and have for some time, even though it’s become a little too trendy lately. But that didn’t stop us, because it’s something we both like, regardless of the fact that I see deer silhouettes popping up all over the place now! So much for originality…

I’ve had this tulip picture from Ikea for about 5 years now, and was getting pretty tired of it. So instead of donating it to Goodwill, we decided to just paint over it and create a blank slate for our new painting, rather than spending money on a large canvas.

For the background of the painting, we bought a sample size container of a charcoal-colored paint (or so we thought). It almost felt wrong to be painting over such a pretty picture! But I knew it was time for a change. Once we started rolling the paint on, we noticed it was a little more green than we thought. Whoops…

But we decided to just go with it. After two coats it was starting to look a little more gray and a little less green. Plus, our living room has no overhead lighting so we knew once it was hung on the wall, it would be hard to tell the exact shade anyways.

Our original plan was to find a silhouette we liked online and then just freehand it. How hard could it be, right? Wrong. Much to my surprise, neither of us are artists. We were afraid it would turn out looking like a high school art project gone wrong. Tony saved the day on this one by suggesting we use an overhead projector to cast the image onto the canvas, and then trace the outline with paint. Genius! We looked on Craigslist and actually found quite a few projectors ranging from $10 to $50. Tony picked one up after work the following day.

I printed out a few options for silhouttes that I found online, and we decided on one that we thought would fit the shape of our canvas the best.

We started by using a Sharpie to trace the outline of the deer onto a clear piece of plastic that Tony cut off the front of an old binder since we didn’t feel like making a trip to Kinko’s to make copies on a transparency. We’re lazy crafty like that.

Then we put the plastic piece onto the projector and set the canvas against the wall to line it up.

Once we decided on the size and placement we liked, we started painting the outline using a off-white acrylic paint. We slid the canvas over a bit because we wanted to extend the grass a few inches further, which is why in this picture the shadow is not lined up with the outline anymore.

Once we finished with the outline, we laid the canvas flat on the ground and filled it in. Pretty simple! We let it dry for a few hours, then introduced it to it’s new home above our couch.

We both loved the way it turned out, and are so happy we decided to buy the projector. It may also come in handy in the future for other artsy projects. I can’t even imagine what the final product would have looked like if we went the freehand route. Maybe, if we were lucky, something like this??

Luckily, we'll never know!

Friday, September 9, 2011

honey, I shrunk the table.

One thing we noticed after moving into our new place is our lack of a coffee table. We both like square coffee tables, so I figured we’d eventually pick one up from Ikea. Then, as I was laying in bed one night, an idea hit me. I already had a small Norden Ikea dining room table that had just been sitting in my garage for the last year.

We thought about just giving it away before we moved since we wouldn't need it, until I realized the top of it is the exact shape and size of the coffee table we were envisioning. Eureka!! (Can you guess where I'm going with this?) These were some of my favorite Ikea versions:

Ikea Hemnes

Ikea Klubbo
Tony liked my idea of saying "adios!" to the dining table, and "hola!" to a coffee table. As I walked out into the garage one morning, I found him sawing the table legs down to 16” a piece. Luckily, I caught him in the act so I was able to snap a few pictures of the process.

After the legs were cut, he used his sander to smooth the edges down on the bottom. You can really tell the difference between the leg that’s been sanded and the other legs in the second picture.

Once he was done sanding down all four legs, he re-attached them to the table. VoilĂ , a coffee table is born!

Next he got to work staining the table black. We got a stain that contained polyurethane, so it would give the table a nice glossy finish for easy cleaning, since we do a lot of our eating in the living room.

After two coats of stain, we let it dry overnight and then moved it into the living room. It ended up being a little darker than we thought it would. It looks more like a solid black paint than a stain, but it works because it matches the kitchen table. Overall, it was a great way to re-purpose something we already owned instead of buying something new.

All it needs now is a centerpiece. I've had my eye on this decorative Ikea Stockholm bowl for a few years now. Maybe it's time I take the plunge and buy it?? Last time I went to Ikea I noticed it finally went down from $29.99 to $19.99, so I should probably "strike while the irons hot". It'd be great to stash remotes and other random coffee-table things in.
I wonder what we can take the saw to next…

Thursday, September 8, 2011

stay tuned...

I've been bad. I've been very bad.

I've been so busy settling into our new place that I haven't had a chance to update everyone on our progress! But that doesn't mean you haven't been on my mind. I've taken tons of pictures along the way, and have at least three topics to update y'all about. The problem is, I write mosts of my posts on my lunch break at work, but all of my pictures are on the laptop at home. Combine that with my general laziness and overall tendency to procrastinate, and you can see how this can be a problem. But don't give up on me just yet! Within the next week...or two (hey, just bein' real) you can expect detailed posts about:

*Chloe's room - finally!

*How we made our own coffee table.

*A giant painting we created for the living room.

*Lots of pictures of the new place. (Keep in mind a lot of the rooms are not finished, so no judging the bare walls and lack of accent pillows!!)

I solemnly swear to start working on these posts tonight!! I won't disappoint!