Monday, January 31, 2011

Help Me Monday! Linky Party

I am going to try to host a linky party for getting help/advice - let's see how it goes! Link up your questions about design problems and hopefully we can all help each other out!

Help Me Monday!

Here is my cry for help:

I have turned a blind eye for the last 6 months to the poor, neglected red headed step child of a Living Room/Dining Room. Those are the rooms we use the least, and they have been easy to ignore. But in a whim yesterday I thought we should try some different furniture arrangements.

First I should introduce the star of the show, the belle of the ball - the elephant in the room, literally - Big Bertha the Grand Piano.

Not a baby grand piano, Ryan couldn't have that - we must have a GRAND piano that he plays less than ten times a year that we have lugged from house to house and bought each house around this huge piano that doesn't fit nicely anywhere. OK - I think I got all that out..moving on...

She sits here in the front of the room, blocking all natural furniture placement.

After I saw this blog post by Judy on finding the perfect furniture arrangement:

I thought - oh my! My living room is set up just like this, I can do this very arrangement! Only to be told be the occasional piano player that no way could we even move the elephant, I mean Bertha to that spot by ourselves without breaking her legs - but she is a GRAND piano, therefore much longer than the piano in the above room, and would take up much more of the room this way.

So, with much effort, we inched Bertha to a less angled spot, and more towards the window wall so we could move the sofa down a bit. Here is what we came up with:

It looks like all of the furniture has been shoved to the right side of the room.

We brought in this cabinet that has been hanging out in the guest room until I can get it on craigslist, just to see if it was any better with something on that wall.

The previous arrangement had the slipper chairs over on the wall where the black cabinet is now - but that wasn't great either.

Any helpful words of advice here? Other than ditch the piano on craigslist along with the black cabinet? And that hideous fake tree too!

Here it is from one more angle:

Oh how I miss you my San Antonio Rose!

Please post your link for Help Me Monday! and grab a button for your blog.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Major Score in the Bedroom...

My heart went pitter-patter when I found this beauty in HomeGoods yesterday (a gift card was burnin' a hole in my pocket). I was actually there to get a citrus yellow ceramic thingamagig to go in the guest room that I found a week before, and of course it was gone - major let down. As I wandered through every other inch of the store ( it would be criminal not too - right?), I found the starburst mirror I have been hunting for months! Just hanging on the hooks, begging to come home with me!

Without further adieu:


Not so impressive in this picture, but I LOVE it! The wall color looks way wonky in this picture, but it is like a platinum neutral that I think I might leave as is - especially after all the trim gets painted. Painting the trim white, so changes the color on the walls!

Next in the room - decide if I can use the Living and Dining Room draperies in the bedroom, or should I continue to use them in the LR/DR? Hmmmm...I have yet to come up with a plan for those rooms. But I am thinking of using Emily Hewett to do a design board for me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oops! and My IKEA Find

I personally thought this was just hilarious, but the hub - not so much.

As I am looking at this sad 1991 ceramic towel bar in the hall bath, I think to myself, "Self - there might be a crack in the calk there attaching the towel bar to the wall, I wonder if I can get a knife and just cut it off the wall. Hmmm, maybe I will try a swift little tug and see what happens..." and the whole thing is suddenly in my hands! (And there are two gaping holes in the wall, all the way through to the studs!)

Towel bar on the wall:

Towel bar off the wall:

Problem of the ugly towel bar on the wall - solved.

New Problem: two gaping holes in the wall.

Me: We can do the drywall repair, no problem!

Hub: What do you mean by we?

Anyone have any dry wall repair tips?

As hard as I tugged, I could not rip remove the toilet paper holder of same design off the wall - so we still have two of those. One ugly ceramic one that you need to be a gymnast to reach while on the potty, and another pretty oil rubbed bronze one in a nice normal spot, easy to reach while seated.

On a positive note, we took a trip to IKEA yesterday with everyone else in the suburbs of Chicago, looking for a bookcase for Claire. I was hoping to find a desk and bookcase option that we could modify to look like built-ins in her room, and add a nice little window seat to boot. But no such luck. But I did come across these niffy little storage boxes that are perfect for holding all of her school papers year by year:

They were only $7.99 for a box of two. I thought I can grab a couple every once in a while until I have enough for every year of school,  PreK-12. No messy file folders like I have now, nice and organized.....ahhhh......

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oh Woe Is My Shower Curtain...

Here is my downstairs guest bath - I like the way the previous owners updated the counter with a nice granite (I think they replaced all the baths with granite remnants, none are the same, but all are pretty) and painted the cabinets.

Here it is while we were looking at the house:

(They were potty seat up people - we are potty seat down people, do you have a preference?)

Here is is after we moved in with the shower curtain from our previous house:

Now - I saw this inspirational picture of an extra-long shower curtain that Young House Love used to hide that unsightly gap between the top of the shower curtain and the shower ceiling:

 I bought that shower curtain:

and after a "Target shipped to my old address, was it really my fault, but the new owners of my old home now have some new towels and an extra long shower curtain" debaucle - it finally arrived here! It's extremely wrinkled, but it's here. And if I'm just trying it out, do I really need to iron it to get the full effect? Maybe...cause I'm NOT lovin' it!

And how hideous is that towel bar that I have trained my brain to ignore? Should we replace it with a pretty one, or totally take it out? I was planning on some monogrammed towels there, but it would only be decorative. The functional towel bar is on the back of the door.

The walls now are Gourmet Mushroom, a discontinued SW color that is a nice beigey gray that I will leave, but modify.  Here is what I have planned for the walls:

Here is shower curtain option #2. I was thinking I might add a nice strip of patterned scrolly black and white fabric to the bottom to make it that extra long length:

Too frou frou foofy?

Any suggestions here, please!?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wash That Gray Right Onto The Wall!

One of the reasons we chose this house was because of the downstairs bedroom and full bath. We both have grandmothers that can't navigate the stairs - so this is a great choice! It was a bit thrown together for a visit, and has been neglected since then.
I've had some trouble deciding on a color scheme, but I have finally decided!

Here are some of my inspiration pics:

Designer Samantha Pynn Photo Virginia Macdonald

I LOVE this pom pom fringe! I think I might have to make it work somehow in this room.

I am working on putting it together and need to pick a wall paint! Any gray suggestions?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kitchen: Step One

Over the holidays, we were finally able to finish painting the kitchen! I couldn't talk the hub into starting on the kitchen cabinets, but we did get the walls done! One thing at a time, right?

The color is Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams. We used their Cashmere paint, and it went on like pudding and only took two coats, even to cover the hideous green that was in the window bay of the dining area.

Here is my magnetic chalkboard wall (more specifics on this later):

Here is a pic of that green and the lovely wood trim before (and check out those curtains that my MIL sold in the yard sale for about $13):

My latest project is researching a new kitchen versus painting the existing cabinets. How much is a new kitchen? I have heard that I am naive to think that I can do it for $20,000. I am going this week for my second consultation with a Lowe's kitchen lady to see what a ballpark number would be. So, what is more functional, finishing the basement like hubby would love to do, or getting my dream kitchen that I have always wanted? Hmmm.... What do you think?

Linking to:

The DIY Show Off  Photobucket