Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little oversharing

Hey everyone! So, no real new project this week. I'm actually a little blocked on which project I want to tackle next. So instead, I wanted to reflect back to the rooms in house and talk about what we've done and what is still left to do. So, without further ado... 

Living Room

What we've done: 
- Painted the bay window
- Painted the front door
- Refinished the coffee table
- Replace curtains
- Bought TV console and furniture

What's next: 
- Paint walls. We really dislike the beige color downstairs. 
- Paint the trim
- Add a rug
- Make furniture for the entryway

Dining Room

What we've done: 
- Bought furniture from a family friend
- Created custom artwork
- Made a shelf for the plates 
- Re-upholstered the dining room chairs 

What's next: 
- Paint the walls (like the family room) 
- I'd love to do board and batten in here. Maybe? 
- Paint the ceiling
- Paint trim
- New light fixture? I think our current one is too yellow-y for my taste
- New Rug


What we've done: 
- Installed recessed lighting and replaced the previous lighting fixture
- Painted the walls
- Painted the trim
- Replaced the pantry door
- Bought a kitchen island 
- Decorated the walls

What's next: 
- Well, in my dreams I would love to replace the cabinets, appliances, countertops, and flooring. So basically everything except the lighting. Like I said, in my dreams. Moving on...

Half Bath 

What we've done: 
- Hired a contractor 
- Replaced the toilet, vanity, countertop, and bath accessories
- New sink
- Painted
- Added decorations to the wall

What's next?: 
- More decorations. Otherwise, we're done. :) 

Master Bedroom

What we've done: 
- Painted the walls
- Painted the trim 
- Added artwork (not shown in this photo) 
- Made a cornice
- Bought a desk
- Replaced the carpet (applies to all of upstairs)

What's next?: 
- Replace ceiling fan
- Install crown molding?
- Make an ottoman 

Master Bathroom

What we've done: 
- Hired a contractor to re-tile the floor and shower and install a frameless shower door
- Painted the bathroom cabinets
- Painted the walls and ceiling
- Painted the trim and doors
- Installed toilet paper holder
- Replaced the toilet flusher 
- Installed a curtain door for my closet

What's next?: 
- Replace the vanities (maybe with something pretty inexpensive)

Guest bathroom 

What we've done: 
- Re-painted
- Built a shelf
- Made artwork
- Tile wall-art
- Installed shower rack and toilet roll holder

What's next?: 
- Replace vanity 
- Paint trim to while
- Paint ceiling to a bright white (It's a little off-white)

Guest bedroom

What we've done: 
- Painted the ceiling and walls
- Painted trim and doors
- Installed new curtains
- Re-upholstered the rocking chair
- Artwork

What's next?: 
- Nah, this room's cool


What we've done: 
- Pretty much nothing. This room is reserved for future baby Z (NOT planned for a while, NOT pregnant in case anyone was assuming anything). Just planning ahead a little and this room will definitely be converted to a nursery so for now, we're leaving it alone. 

What's next?: 
- See above. Moving on... 


What we've done: 
- Painted the walls
- Built the mantle
- Bought a pool table
- New curtains

What's next?: 
- Re-do the mini-bar area including new cabinets, fridge, countertop, floors, etc.
- Paint the fireplace
- More artwork
- Build or buy barstools 

Basement bedroom

What we've done: 
- Bought new furniture (sleeper sofa)
- Bought an elliptical
- Put stuff on the walls. 

What's next?: 
- Like the office, we're not sure what will happen long term, so this room is mostly reserved for future planning. We may spruce it up a little, but it's good for now. 

Basement bathroom 

What we've done: 
- Nothing

What's next?: 
- Hmmm... I'll have to get back to you on that one. Not sure if sprucing this room up is really worth it. 

So, there you have it. The projects we've done and yet to do. I kind of excluded the outside. Sorry. We've given this house lots of love and I am excited to see where we end up. Hope you all enjoyed my little over-sharing post. :) 

Oh - and have a great labor day weekend! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A cornice-y joke...

Q: What did the baby corn say to the mama corn?
A: Where's pop corn?

Okay, I'm done. Hi friends! It's been a while. I apologize for my absence, which was primarily due to 2 things. My latest  project took longer than expected. And I ended up getting sick this past week, which has killed my energy. Nevertheless, I have a new project to share with you all. I started this one last Sunday. Last Saturday, J and I went tubing with friends, which was so much fun. So, my only home improvement time was Sunday. However, all I managed to do was buy the supplies I needed. What did I make? A cornice for my office / our master bath. I was inspired by this blog post I found on pinterest.

1. Fabric ( purchase)

2. 1"x10"x8' board from Home Depot. I cut 6.5 feet for the width of the window. And 2 smaller 6.5 inch sections for the sides.

3. Batting from Jo Ann Fabrics. They had batting in a queen size for people sewing quilts, but that ended up being perfect for this project because it was long enough to cover the whole board.

The fabric was not wide enough to cover the whole board, so I had to piece together 2 sections to cover the whole board. Again, I attached the batting and fabric to the board using my new stapler. I was also very careful to line up the pattern across the board.

I did the same process for the smaller boards.



I attached the side pieces to the back of the main piece using L-brackets (they can be found in the window and door hardware section in most home improvement stores). I drilled through the fabric and batting, which took some effort, but worked out okay.

Once all three pieces were secured, J and I attached the whole thing to around the window. This was honestly the hardest part of the whole thing. We basically had to have J hold the cornice level while I marked where to drill the screw anchors. We also had to have J hold the cornice while I screwed the screws into the wall anchors. But we eventually got it.

Yesterday, I managed to get over to Target and buy some window sheers for under the cornice. We still had the window hardware from the previous owners and didn't have to buy anything extra. Of course, by the time I had everything assembled, I was running a low-grade fever, so I didn't get to blogging until today. In general, yesterday was a pretty bad day for me. I organized a service project for my church, which involved painting a low-income DC school to get it ready for the new school year. Paint fumes + caffeine headache + sinus problems = a bad time. Anyway, back to the curtains.

Here's the final result.

I love the way it goes with the much more expensive Pottery Barn curtains we have in the room already. And it feels great to finally have window treatments in the sitting room.

If I had to do this over again, I think my only change would be to attach the L-brackets to the bare wood and then cover the whole thing at once. But, that is really so that attaching the L-brackets would be easier. I still love the way it looks.

As a side-note, who else is looking forward to fall? I cannot wait for some cooler weather and for some fall decorating around here! For now, I am finally taking it easy and trying to get over my cold.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I hope everyone has been having a great week! Since the Olympics are no longer taking up all of my time in the evenings, I was able to get a new project done this weekend. What is this project, you may ask? Well, the idea came when I saw this post on Centsational Girl (a blog I follow). But it wasn't the pillow covers I was interested in. It was most definitely the fabric. So, I pinned the fabric onto my pinterest board, and ordered it from a few weeks later (Waverly Sun N Shade Quilted Meridian Medallion Pool). 

And in person.

See, I had been thinking I would recover my dining room chairs. As you may remember, we bought them from a friend of the family last year right before Thanksgiving. It worked out perfectly for our Thanksgiving dinner. But the covers were white and green, which doesn't really go with our blue theme on the main floor. Also, some of the covers were stained, so it probably needed to be done anyway. Here is a before shot.

And here is the cushion after I unscrewed it from the rest of the chair. I used a flathead screwdriver to get the staples out and remove the prior upholstery job. The original upholstery job was underneath and was a cream/white, which I also decided to leave on as a backing fabric.

Originally, I had borrowed J's dad's staple gun, but it wasn't getting through the wood all that well and the staples kept bending. So, I decided to get a more heavy duty gun from Home Depot. I used 3/8" staples. The real trick is to keep your hand steady and press into the material as you staple. That seemed to give me the best results. It is loud, but you get used to it after a little. Also, it's important to be careful when working with a staple gun. Those things are no joke. 

Basically, I just pulled the fabric tight to the cushion and stapled. I also did some bending at the corners to get a nice edge all the way around. 

And here are many "after" pictures of the new upholstery.

Getting creative with my photography...

The whole room. Notice how well the fabric goes with the blue decor in the dining room?

And with the bue tablecloth. It isn't quite time for the autumn tablecloth yet.

That's all for today. This was my first upholstery project on my own, and I think it went really well. I am super happy with how the chairs look. J even told me he really liked them. I even have some fabric left over if we ever find some chairs that will go with the ones we have. I ordered 2.5 yards, but 2 yards would have been fine for 4 chairs. I wanted extra in case I needed it later. And I really love how easy it is to order from I always have major indecision problems when I go to a fabric store, but it was somehow a little easier online. Looking back on these pictures, I am realizing how much we need some rugs in this house. All in good time...