Tuesday, June 28, 2011 0 comments

Inspiration Space.......

There are so many beautiful homes out there but every once in a while, I come across a place that just feels right.   The home of Marie-Olsson Nylander is one of those homes. Taking a home from the 70's and filling it with unique pieces, she creates a home for her an her family that is warm and full of style.  With the white floors and light walls, every piece stands out and can be appreciated for what it is.  Who wouldn't love to live here? 








Monday, June 20, 2011 0 comments

Office Space.......

Over the years I've come to realize the importance of a proper work space. When I say "work space" I basically mean a designated space where I can concentrate comfortably on craigslist, ebay, blog reading, blog writing and my actual job.  If you've read my previous posts here , you know that we cut a hole in the wall to go through the office to make the flow of the downstairs better.  Although it brought in more natural light from the windows in the living room, the office still remains a pretty dark room.  I have a credenza desk and hutch combo in there now and even though there are lights in the hutch, I still feel that the room is too dark.  With that being said, the process started to re-desgin this office to make it more "workable".  While looking through craigslist, I came across a vintage (70's I'm sure) dresser that I thought would make a great credenza for the office.  It has great style and it would give me the ability to put lamps on it for additional lighting.  I decided to buy it and my wonderful HH drove the 2 hours to pick it up.  Step one complete.  Now for the desk.  Still searching for that piece, but I have my eye on one.  Subsequently I've listed my old set on craigslist and ebay (local p/u only) because I know someone will love it and get a screaming deal.  I will be adding curtains in here over the shutters, possibly changing the rug, getting a new desk chair, upholstering another chair and adding some unique accessories.  Here's what's leaving the office:

The details on this are really pretty.  I hope the new owner loves it as much as I did.

And, here's what's coming into the office:

The handles on this are really cool and this piece is in excellent condition.  The detail on this is fabulous and there is plenty of room for lamps on each end.  I'm thinking of leaving this as is because the color is not bad in the room. That will be decided later after the room gets pulled together a little more.
Here are a few more pictures of inspiration that I'm using to re-desgin this office.  I'll keep you posted on progress.

Maybe this idea for a desk chair? It could be a possibility. This is the Brighton Bamboo Chair from Williams Sonoma Home

I like the natural color of linen and think that this color would compliment the other colors that I want to use in here.  These are from Restoration Hardware
I think this is a good start.  What do you think?  If you could change one thing about your work space what would it be?
On another note, I am happy to report that my daughters bookcase/desk combo is finally ready for paint!  Guess what I'll be doing every night this week?  I'm so excited for her and I can't wait to show you the finished room. 

Friday, June 10, 2011 1 comments

A Chic Runner on the Cheap.......

Wherever I go, I'm always on the lookout for flooring options.  I have parquet wood (the cheap stuff) floor upstairs that I desperately want to replace.  Actually, I'm thinking of painting the floor but until I'm able to do that, I keep looking for other options.  While shopping at the Dollar Tree with my girls the other day, I came across these black and white striped rag rugs. What I like about these rugs is that they are washable, reversible and have that classic black and white stripe that goes with just about anything.  I thought this would make a perfect runner.  I could sew a bunch of them together and make a runner for the hallway upstairs that would not only cover the floor I don't like, but also add a punch of pattern to the upstairs.  So, I purchased 11 rugs and went home to make my runner.  It took all of 40 minutes to make this and a whopping $11.00 to make a 25' runner. I did go back however to buy some non-slip liner for this rug which cost me an additional $5 (I used the sticky shelf liner).   Here's what I did in case you want to make one for your space.......

Here's what the rugs looks like. This is reversible and looks the same on the other side.

I basically laid out the pieces in a row and then started sewing. I would line up two rugs and then flip the bottom rug over the top piece and sew along the black edges. Then, flip the top piece back over and your done.

 Here's the progress.   Almost done!

Fast Forward 10 minutes........
And here's what it looks like when it's finished........

This was before I put down the stay put liner so it looks a little wavy.  I like the punch of pattern it puts in this space and of course that fact that it covers the floor. What do you think?  If you decide to try this, I would love to see pictures of your rug.  
Enjoy your weekend!
Friday, June 3, 2011 2 comments

The Breakfast Nook (A Before and After Story)

Hi there and happy Friday!  I don't know about you but I'm ready for another weekend already.  Things have been busy around here and summer is in full swing.  Thanks for all of the postive feedback from my Living Room  Before and After.  I thought since you got to see the picture of the area that we now call the Breakfast Nook in the Before Picture, it's only fair to show it to you after.  When we first looked at this house 6 years ago, it was empty so I don't know what this space was used for originally.  A neighbor of mine said that at one time they used it as an office.  To me, it was screaming for a built in booth and table.  This is just off the Living Room and Kitchen so it's the perfect place for the kids to do homework and for all of us to talk when I'm in the kitchen.  This is a rather large space so it was going to be something we had to build.  We decided that if we were going to build seating all around, we should include storage underneath.  We don't store anything in there really but we did decide that we could put all of our TV equipment in there and wire it up to the TV.   The end result is a large space for casual eating and a storage solution for the entertainment center.  Ready to see it?  Let me show you the before first...

Deja Vu right?   I am happy to report that the dog bed has been relocated to a more appropriate place.  Now, let's see the after ......

Here it is. This seating area accomodates up to 12 people (if you pull up some chairs ) and we think it's the best seat in the house. The windows overlook the backyard. This shot was taken in the morning and some below were taken in the late afternoon. There is always pretty light in this space. Here's some more pictures.

The brick is actually the fireplace.  It's just to the left.  I like the rustic element of the brick so I elected to not put anything on the wall.  The table base we bought at Sears of all places. We were able to purchase it without the top (the people at Sears thought we were crazy). The table top and all of the benches were built by my HH (Handy Husband).  The chandelier is vintage from Buenos Aires. I bought it at the Urban Market in Houston.
 I don't know if you can see it clearly but there are vintage metal heater grates on the front of the benches. These are framed in to make little doors that pull open. The cable box, DVD player and receiver are all hooked up in there.   
The centerpiece on this table is an old grocery scale with some of my favorite candle holders on it.  The scale is perfectly distressed and really heavy and I like it displayed this way. 

This is a different angle if you're sitting at the table looking into the kitchen ( I'll show more on that later....).  This has been one of the best things that we've added to this house and it's our "central hub".  What do you think?  Where do you and your family gather the most in your house?
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 2 comments

Back when......(A Before and After Story)

We've been in our house for 6 years now and although it is still a "work in progress" we've come far in making this house our home.  I thought I would share a couple pictures of the before and afters on our house so you can see the work that has been completed so far. It's funny to look back at these pictures because it seems like a long time ago.  Then I remember the sheetrock, the dust, the texturing, the painting, more painting and all of the other inconveniences that go along with remodeling and it seems like yesterday. Wait a minute, that was yesterday....... Anyway, it's all worth it in the end and there's great satisfaction in knowing that you did it all yourself.  The drawback?  When you keep moving forward and forget to stop and look back at how far you've come and enjoy the progress.  Here's the first stop.......The Living Room.....

Let me just say that if you are into that "Tuscan" look, you would've loved this room.  For me, not so much.  I will give credit to the previous owner who actually did a great job at making those bricks look real. They even felt rough like bricks.  I have total respect for the effort that went into achieving this look, it's just not the look I want. After attempting to sand this finish off to no avail, we decided to re-sheetrock the entire room and adjacent hallway.  Major mess and a lot of work but it was the only way.  Do you see that space in the upper corner with the window and the dog bed?  Well, that is our breakfast area now (picture to come) and just past that is the kitchen.  Here's another angle of the same room..

This angle shows you a different side of the room.  In the upper left corner, there's the staircase that goes upstairs and then the door that goes to the Master Bedroom and Bathroom.  The large windows look out over the backyard and when you come in the front door, you can see right through those windows to the backyard.  I've been thinking of putting in french doors there but there are several doors that already go to the backyard so I don't know if it would be overkill or if I'd even go outside from there.  So basically, I'm still thinking about it. Now, let's take a look at the stairs.

Isn't she cute?  This is my daughter Gabriella. How time flies, she's 11 now!  Ahhh! Anyway, back to the stairs.  Nothing special here except that there's carpet on them which has to go.  The wall color and the light are going and we did a little something with the wall (see after picture).  If you look past the stairs, you will see the entryway and front door (which is also fauxed) and then the formal living room with windows that look out to the front yard.  I know it's hard to picture the front room, but basically it's the same finish everywhere with two large windows.  There's also an opening that goes into the Dining Room from there that we made some changes to as well (see after picture).    I think you get the idea of what we were dealing with here.  Ready to see it now?

A different angle than the before pictures but I wanted to show you the formal living room which is now the library.  Where there was once just wall, my HH (Handy Husband) built wonderful bookcases that frame the front windows.  This also anchors the room and gives it a purpose instead of it just being a space with furnishings.  The French Doors we installed (before there was just a really big opening to the Dining Room).  The French Doors came out of an old house that was being demolished so they were free.  Although this did require a lot of work to get the doors prepped for paint, it is so worth it to me.  It adds that touch of character that I love.  We also put in recessed lights.  Let's see more.........

This picture is in a previous post of mine but it shows this side of the room well.  The entry way is the same as before with the exception of the new sheetrock and front door being painted.  There is crown molding and baseboards with corner blocks along every wall in this room as well.  The color on the walls is "Hot Spring Stones" by Benjamin Moore. Not pictured is the fireplace.  Obviously we kept it but we got rid of the brass screen and my husband built a mantle surround.  I'll picture that in a later post.  Now for the stairs.......

Well, no carpet.  Yeah!  The good thing is that these are wood stairs.  Problem comes in when you have kids and dogs that run up and down them all day.  This means that your pretty white stairs wind up always looking dirty and scratched.  Not the end of the world because hey it's still better than carpet.  I'm considering a runner for the stairs but to be honest, I'll probably just re-paint them until I decide. Another thing to point out.  We cut a hole in the wall and created the doorway that you see going into the office.  Before, the office seemed like it was a dark cave that was shut off from the rest of the living room. You could only get to it by going to the hallway at the front of the house, past the guest room and guest bathroom.  Now, there's a good flow to this side of the house and the office gets more natural light from the windows.  The French Door is from the same house that the Dining Room doors came from.

I will say that white floors do require maintenance, but in it's defense this is high traffic so in reality these have stood up better than the berber carpet that was there.  Plus, they're easy to clean. The color on this wall is "Pismo Dunes" by Benjamin Moore.

Just in case you missed it, I love old frames and it's clear that I am way behind on my photo taking.  Actually, I like to look at the frames whether or not anything is them and I think this is a great space to display them.  My goal is to actually fill the frames with photos so I guess I need to get snapping. 

Well, that's the Living Room before and after.  Hope you enjoyed the tour. I have some more before and afters of other rooms that I'll put together soon. What about you? What's been your biggest project?