Happy 2013! As promised, I spent my New Year’s at home with a glass of (Martinelli’s) champagne and in uber comfy style (unlike my imagined idea), no major stories to tell but a relaxing welcome to the new year.
Man oh man I can’t believe it’s already 2013. This past year has come and gone in the blink of an eye and while there were so many adventures and projects and stories to share, it feels like it all happened quite quickly really. With that in mind, I thought now might be a fun time to take a walk around the house to see what Kevin and I crossed off the house renovation project list from last year, and what we might be tackling in the coming months/year now that it is officially brand new. Here’s a similar walk-through from 2011 (wow, that seems like yesterday!).
Just for fun, let’s take it waaaay back and sneak a peek at what each of these rooms looked like before moving in as a more grand comparison.
The Dining Room
First up, the dining room. No major construction changes here (except that that left door below now leads to a hallway to the new kitchen and the right door below no longer exists – see bathroom update next) but plenty of design changes. Mmm I still love the soffits in the ceiling and the rounded walls that make this a 1930s home.
In 2012 we played with rug ideas, new lighting, adding curtains (transformed from a favorite pattern found in a duvet cover) and finding neutral art to balance out the dining room space. Plus this awesome greenery (which does not like its current location – Fiddle Leaf Fig owners with a green thumb, please email!). We still have plans to come up with comfier seating options and more light (that pendant, as beautiful as she is, does not give off a whole lot of bright).
More about all of the the dining room updates here.
New Guest Bathroom
Next is our build-from-scratch bath that used to function as three small closets (two for the hallway, one for Liv’s room). The before (photo taken from the back of the house, the same hallway from the other direction is in that top before shot of the dining room):
Here’s a quick glance at the sketches we initially created to help guide the space, not too much changed over the course of the couple of months of building in terms of layout and design:
And the crazy construction behind it:
All of which brought us to here!
Once the bathroom was finished it was time to tackle a big chunk of empty wall on the opposite side of that tub up above in the hallway. This particular hallway is a roomy space that connects bedrooms to the kitchen and the rest of the house, so it’s a natural play space for Liv and her push toys/doll strollers while we’re cooking or eating in the kitchen. It made the most sense to keep it as kid-friendly as can be.
So, I painted the lower half of the wall to encourage massive chalkboard murals and the top half with my own version of a wallpaper design using painter’s tape (after much searching and not being able to track down ‘the one’).
We have since removed my ‘shoe-putting-on-station’ because the bench really was not so great at corralling loose jackets, shoes, handbags and what not as I had hoped, and eventually became more of a tripping hazard. Ah well. On the plus side, Liv has more access to the full chalkboard and loves to cover it with her shapes and squiggles!
We plan to revamp this entire hallway space once we settle on a master bedroom/bath redesign, so this next update will likely not last through the end of this upcoming summer. But this side of the hallway needed a little storage love as well so a Craigslist corner unit received a paint update and a few favorite knick knacks. The below two shelves now house blankets and what not.
Most of this space was built and finished in 2011 (the original kitchen used to live here). But we did make a few updates such as a new fabric headboard for the guest bed, new wall collage (including this handmade favorite), new Craigslist vintage storage and chair, and rug for on top of our rug (that perty white has nothing against a dog and toddler).
Follow along with office projects here. And believe it or not this space used to actually look like this!
Our living room received a few cozier updates with a few more in store for 2013.
New envelope pillows, embroidered artwork, DIY butterfly art and a faux canvas painting made my list of top changes, though we also invested in a super shaggy/soft rug for playing with blocks and a few new pieces of bookshelf tchotchkis (this being my favorite).
So much to be said about all of the outdoor work happening around these parts in the fall of 2012! We painted the house (more to come on that, we actually still have windows and a few little areas to complete) and we’re loving the new soft tan color!
We’ve chosen white as the window trim and those front two windows have since been restored (also something we’re teaming up with professionals for) and painted. Kevin stained the front porch bench and grouted the saltillo tile under foot as well.
The jungle of a sideyard was also tackled!
A little clearing, wall building, deck laying and table building (from very cool reclaimed wood) later…
And you have one of our very favorite updates. This is an awesomely useful outdoor space now for dining, cooking marshmallows and BBQing alike. The above dining table is just off of our new kitchen so when it’s time to par-tay we push the wide doors open and join the two big spaces.
These two photos below are pre staining, but you can see how the new flagstone ties in with the rest of the backyard!
And there it is, the big stuff from 2012.
Still on this list? Much. A master bedroom/bath remodel, guesthouse makeover (we have a little back unit near the garage), finishing up the kitchen nook and hallway, Liv’s big girl room + new nursery, the garage and a few more curb appeal updates. Plus the usual day to day crafts, style boards, parties and ramblings of this blog. AND a new baby. Woohoo!
Thank you for joining us on our adventure. I feel so incredibly lucky to have an online group of friends that offer awesome suggestions, that extra encouragment just when we need it and who check in on us on a regular basis. Thank you. And very much looking forward to spending the rest of this new year with you!
Tags: Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Living Room, Office, Year in Review
Posted in Curb Appeal, DIY, Home, Our Dining Room, Our Guest Bathroom, Our Guestroom/Office, Our Hallway, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
While we were away we celebrated Kevin’s birthday! I actually haven’t gotten around to finishing his present, but I do have his Father’s Day present to share (four months later…). I originally hadn’t planned on posting about this project (part of my effort to show Kevin that I hadn’t made the piece for the blog – but for him! But I think it’s kind of cool and four months of not posting about it is enough time for me.)
It’s an embroidered bicycle that I then framed and had on display on our mantel for a while. Kevin and his family are big bikers, and I was hoping to hand make something that was special to him personally. He and Olivia LOVE to bike (she is thrilled every time she sees one go by, and constantly asks to go for a ride in her iBert) and I thought that something with bicycles might be fitting for Father’s Day. (I also traced her little hand on a card – something that I think will be neat to do every year just to watch how she grows!)
Kevin is really terrible to buy gifts for. I mean, really terrible. He doesn’t need anything, doesn’t really get excited about anything and in general is hard to impress. I worked on this project during the evenings when he was in class for a few weeks in the spring, when he opened it he thought it was cool and thoughtful and that was enough for me.
Now the embroidered bike sits at the top of the wall collage in the office/guestroom. This is a nice spot for it, perhaps a permanent one.
Sadly, I don’t have photos documenting the progress (goes along with the whole I-made-this-just-for-you part of the gift), but this is an excellent tutorial on how to embroider just about anything. I actually found a generic picture of a bicycle online and printed it out to the proper size, lined it up with an off white fabric scrap I had on hand and reminded myself on how to make a basic embroidery stitch. I didn’t use an embroidery hoop but I will next time. Lesson learned.
It’s a little folksy, a little artsy, and by no means perfect. But that’s what I kind of what I like about it!
Maybe a quick ironing pre-framing would have helped with a few of those wrinkles…
More office/guestroom posts found here.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Embroidery, Father's Day, Home, Office, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 2 Comments »
Sometimes it’s the little projects that take the longest to complete… our hallway light dilemma or the dining room curtains, for example (the former still in progress, the latter finally crossed off after much deliberation). You’re ready to tackle your new project with much gusto, thinking it will be an easy fix or decision – but then you run into all of the little hurdles that keep it from completion and the project sits. For a long while. Patiently waiting its turn. This particular wall collage project is one just like these and one that has been nudging me for months!
There’s a narrow wall to the right of the guestroom door at the far end of our office (if you were lying in bed you’d be looking at it) where I attempted a little art gallery a while back.
If we step forward through the office to the little guestroom nook of this room you’ll see my newly transformed wall collage there on the left. Art framed, frames hung!
I’d still like to add another photo under the sunburst mirror on the right to help balance the wall out. Love those little starburst mirrors I picked up at Ballard Designs a while back.
The previous collage was not working, too many random frames, mats, colors… the entire wall needed grounding in the form of some sort of consistency throughout. Something that would tie the entire collage together…
When Anna mentioned matching mats I thought it was a great idea! I had always planned on switching out the off white mats to white all around, but the mention of that idea again started to get the wheels turning.
This image is what inspired me most next:
I had decided that birch frames were the way to go (had tried silver and brown and white – not working as well with the dark brown walls) but couldn’t find great birch frames! Searched everywhere. Then the homeowner for the above (gotta love Houzz for their great forum) answered my reply that the frames were from Ikea. You might remember these Ribba guys from this project too, I actually bought the wall collage versions first but they hung with no art for a long while.
The only bummer about Ribba frames is that they are so deep – there’s really no mixing in other art or the levels of the frames become a little disproportionate. No big deal for this space though, I was looking for all birch.
The birch frames bring cohesiveness to the space – exactly what the previous collage was missing. And the color is perfect against the chocolate brown walls!
And just like finding the right frames for the space, the artwork has taken me quite some time to piece together, too. I would still like to replace the very bottom Tuscany fields painting (that we found on vacation) with something that fits the overall color scheme better at some point.
This dancer is one of my favorite finds. I needed a large, bright piece that wouldn’t compete with the rest of the wall but would be interesting enough to feature in a pretty large frame. I thought a basic black charcoal on white would be ideal – an opportunity for the eye to rest and enough white space to brighten up the corner. I found this dancer on Etsy from the BalletArt shop.
The floral prints just past my dancer bring coral and navy into the room – two colors that work really well with the existing sage, brown and tans.
The first is from one of my favorite calendars (I snipped the front page right off) by Rifle Paper Co and the oil painting is a $10 antique store find that I cut right off of the canvas board with an exacto knife and framed (don’t worry, it was a reproduction ).
Love the colors! I’m thinking of switching Liv’s picture (on the right there) for a sepia rather than b&w because of the warmer tones in this collage.
The very top piece of art is an embroidered bicycle that I made Kevin for Father’s Day. Kev loves biking and it’s one of his favorite activities to do with Liv. Originally this little box sat in the living room but I think it looks great here.
Much improvement over the first trial run:
And here she is again today:
Now to find new ways to bring coral and navy into the room. I brought in a little coral/pink art canvas for the side table and perhaps a throw for the bed and pillows for the new bamboo white accent chair will help.
The office is that much closer to being complete! So happy with how it’s coming along these days, the dreaded design block (writer’s block for design?) for this room feels like it’s finally over.
For more Office Makeover posts, check out: a new rug, chair & bookcases, a new tufted headboard for the guest bed, our floor plan, color inspiration, a new trellis print rug, stuck in a rut, designing and sewing the curtains, diy fabric bulletin board panels, handmade capiz pendant light, organizing the bookshelves, wall collage part 1, part 2, fabric bulletin board inspiration, (new) inspiration board, new lamps, wallpapering open shelves, finding the perfect credenza, new trim, dining table-to-desk, a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nook, finding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress, inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300,inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.
Tags: Accessories, Decorating, Home, Office
Posted in Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »