Because Kevin and my’s families are each a decent drive (or flight) away, I try my best to keep grandparents and great grandparents alike up-to-date with recent pictures of Olivia and our little family. It’s actually pretty simple and easy, and not at all a bother when it comes time to write a little note, print out a few photos and toss an entire batch of cards into the mailbox for the postman.
What helps to make the process so simple is a small, quarter-of-a-drawer letter writing station just for this purpose. After a year or so of pulling my big ol’ stationary box off of the top shelf, hunting for stamps, addresses, and finally envelopes large enough for photos, I finally set aside a small space within easy access of my desk just for this job.
What prompted me to share this today is that I actually just transferred this space to my new office drawers as I’m getting ready to send a batch of cards out to the great grandparents. (There’s so much more storage space in my new white dressers!)
Within reach are envelopes that easily fit 4×6 Costco photos (a box of colorful pastel 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 found at Staples or online at Amazon), a stack of blank colorful note cards (Target) and little stickers or embellishments from my scrapbooking days (I have another giant box of these elsewhere, but I pull out a few every couple of months to replenish this supply). I’m totally serious about those butterflies too – sometimes it’s the sweet little details that make receiving a letter extra special!
When we make a Costco run, I send a head a batch of favorite photos to pick up (five of each, for each of our grandparents and great grandparents). A hand scrolled note is added to the envelope (perhaps a scribble by Liv), a stamp from my pre made, self-inking address label (wonderful investment from Etsy) and into the mail it goes. Done and done.
Maybe one day I’ll even pre address them as well.
I know that Liv’s great grandparents in Denver, Des Moines, Phoenix and Santa Cruz especially appreciate this little gesture, and when we visit sure enough their favorites of the photos are covering the fridge or in frames. I hope that Liv does this for me one day . That is, if I haven’t already purchased the house across the street from my future grandkids.
I still keep that stationary box full of birthday cards and thank you notes on the bookshelf for special occasions:
But this little letter writing station has its own purpose.
Of course this blog’s purpose is, in a way, here to do the same thing. If only four of the six great grandparents that we send snail mail to knew what a blog was…
Tags: Home, Office
Posted in Family & Friends, Home, Olivia, Organizing, Tips & Ideas | 2 Comments »
I went to bed last night thinking that the morning would bring a brand new Friday. But alas, that’s how long this week has felt (poor Liv had a 103 degree fever all through the night and day Tuesday and work has lately been getting the best of me). Instead though, it is a beautiful Thursday and one that I’m more than happy to embrace. Especially considering that tomorrow is Friday!
Before I share my latest room update, a BIG thank you to Kate for featuring me in her Best of the Blogosphere round-up at Centsational Girl! Her every-other-Friday posts are among my favorites because they share some serious talent and new bloggers to explore and follow. I near fell out of my chair when she linked a recent project of mine up, check it out here.
I have a little room progress to update you all on today! This room has admittedly become the hardest and most challenging room to get right in our house. And being that it’s my woman-cave, I’ve been working extra hard to make sure that it feels right, that it feels like a space that I would happily spend most of my day in (my company is up in Northern California, so I really do spend most of my day at that desk and on those computers).
The office was on a serious roll back in 2011 when we knocked down the old kitchen (rebuilt it on the other side of the house) and turned that space into my work zone. But then half way through the new office design process, my ideas and inspiration fell apart and the room came to a halt. For quite a long time. (I’ve never been a fan of finishing a space just to get it done, I figure that new inspiration will eventually come and I’ll be all the happier with a result that is right on.)
But I have made a few changes along the way! And I’m really happy again with how everything is coming together.
Among the new changes, a new bedding set from Target in a neutral, cozy tan, an awesome bamboo Craigslist chair find, amazing bookshelves (same Craigslist sale) with the most wonderful, original campaign-style handles ($100 for two huge bookcases!), moving my favorite Ballard Design gold medallions to either side of the window (plus one on the bookshelf in the above pic), and finally stealing a rug from the dining room and swapping out the below trellis version in the office (an all jute rug is the way to go in there – and doesn’t the organic shape in the above photo look much better than the rectangular one below?).
Often shopping is not necessary. A space can easily be refreshed with a bit of shopping the house! Amazing how moving one bright vase to a new room or exchanging accent chairs with another bedroom will give those accessories a new life.
The new white dressers are making a huge difference in the room as well. Previously, I had found a neat mid-century modern wood credenza that fit in the space, but I quickly out grew it storage-wise and have been on the lookout for something fun in a bright color. When these dressers popped up on Craigslist I went to check them out and knew they were immediately right.
That crisp white look makes all of the difference! And the original handles and pristine shape these vintage guys are in is perfect for this home.
All of that storage! It’s wonderful.
My desk (which is actually an old dining room table) is usually covered in notebooks and computer screens and glasses of water… but occasionally I put away all of the clutter and find this:
I’m still on the search for the perfect velvet to recover my chair in – perhaps a navy blue? and the rest of the wood could use a new coat of stain (in a non-cherry color). It’s worth noting that I love to be organized but am not a sparse person – I really, truly enjoy staring up at those tall bulletin boards (made back here) and finding dozens of pictures of Olivia, our family, my favorite tear sheets, work docs and a few quotes and prayers that help to focus me. Even if it means that above my desk might feel a bit crowded. A well-organized file bin is helpful, a stack of unsorted papers on top of that is usually the regular.
The room is slowly embracing my initial color palette as well, now it’s time to add a few pops of coral and pink (I’m thinking in the form of a bit of DIY art, a new lamp? and a few new pillows):
(Just for comparison’s sake, here’s what I first identified as these particular color plans in the room back in February):
Pretty close, right? I would have bet that my ideas would have changed quite a bit in the last six months, and while they did – they didn’t travel too far from the original.
Next up, art for these walls, a bright coral or pink pillow for that chair (might recover the cushion? Did I mention I scored it for $25?), a new fabric roman shade for the big window over the dressers and a reupholstered office chair. Maybe more? Time will tell.
For more Office Makeover posts, check out: 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: Bedroom, Decorating, Green, Home, Office, Teal, Turquoise
Posted in Featured DIY Project, Featured In, Guest Post, Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »
I’ve finally finished the upholstered headboard for the new office/guestroom! I knocked out the project over a couple of hours spread across two nights just this week, and I love how it turned out.
The fabric headboard that I first made a couple of years ago was originally intended for the master bedroom and was covered in a silvery grey fabric that I loved. When we finished the guestroom space in 2011, it sufficed as a stand in while I decided the color palette and feel for that room.
Ultimately new curtains won out and the headboard needed to be recovered to make it all work.
I considered building a new headboard from scratch but since I knew I wouldn’t want to put my current fabric headboard back into the garage (oh precious storage space!), I decided to give it a go in reinventing it by covering the backside in a different fabric.
This way I could always pull my current linen off of the headboard, flip it over and you’d find the original fabric waiting its turn to shine. Minus a few staple holes (which were inevitable to keep the linen side of the board taut) I thought the plan would work out pretty swimmingly.
Don’t pay attention to the bedding in these photos – that’s on the to-do list.
If you’re creating a headboard from scratch, start here with the original post that turned this guy (with the help of foam padding, quilt batting and a staple gun) into a fabric headboard.
Those wooden slats worked out quite nicely as the base for my tufting and staple gun.
But back to covering the back side of my fabric headboard… The first step was to flip the headboard over and to carefully measure out my new tufting points. I used a solid color on the back of the headboard to avoid wasting $ on that beautiful Luxor fabric on the front side, hence the lighter fabric you’re seeing below (that’s the back of the headboard, not the new linen).
After I had made black marker dots for the new tufts, I pulled the new linen over the back side of the headboard and as I covered up the dots, I stapled on top of the linen to create the tuft.
And repeated until the entire headboard was covered. As mentioned above, the staples are going right into the evenly spaced slats of the original headboard frame, but if you were covering a piece of plywood to create a fabric headboard you’d want to double triple check your measurements as you’re stapling to ensure the tufts are in a straight line.
If you take a closer look at those tufts you’ll notice that I’m stapling twice in a cross pattern to really hold the fabric in place.
Another tip worth pointing out is to pull the fabric as taut as possible between staples to really get a creased, tufted look. The natural lines in the linen helped me to stay on track so that tufts were in a row, and following the same point on a patterned piece of fabric would serve the same purpose.
Sorry again about the night time photos! I rarely ever have time to get projects completed when it’s light out these days .
I used a simple 5/8″ button kit to make round fabric buttons out of scrap linen. 20 buttons later and I officially had no use of either thumb.
This next step was the easiest part! Inspired by the upholstered headboard created by Cre8tive Designs, I went ahead and just glued those buttons right over the staples. The next morning these guys were as secure as can be, and you really can’t tell that they’re not sewn on unless you pry your nail under one of them.
The last step was to secure the edges of the fabric to the entire headboard. To get rid of any slack I first pulled the fabric as taut as possible for smooth, rounded edges – and then stapled a few times along the opposite side (or where my pretty fabric is currently facing out). Again I found the wooden slats of the original frame to drive my staples into.
The fabric around the legs was simply trimmed, folded under and stapled. A bit of slack will allow me to pull fabric down over the existing staple so that it disappears.
I wedged my new linen headboard between the platform bed and the wall and I was finished!
The back of the headboard is my fabric that I’m trying not to destroy, so I didn’t staple the edges as tautly and numerously as I could have to really achieve that smooth, rounded look. But that’s always an option if you’re not trying to be staple shy .
By the way, I did a little round up of platform beds here before purchasing our West Elm frame below:
Platform beds are so versatile in that they’re pretty, relatively inexpensive and you can switch out the headboard any time you’d like!
For more Office Makeover posts, check out: 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, Bedroom, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Office, Tan, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 9 Comments »