Sunday, August 5, 2012

Paint Colors!

The paint has finally gone up on the walls. This does not mean we are done but I am definitely seeing the light. The rooms are still a disaster so I will just show you some paint swatches for now with real life pics to come.

For the kitchen, dining, sunroom and hallway, we went with a light grey color, Behr Sterling, to keep it clean and fresh looking.

For the living room, we went with a light aqua, Behr Balmy Seas, and had the color lightened 50%.

In the master bedroom, we went with a light greyish purple, Behr Tranquil Retreat.....yes, hubby was all on board. It was this or beige and he did not want beige.

In Audrey's room (which will later become an office) we went with a light grey again, Behr Subtle Touch. When I chose this, I thought it would be darker but it turned out to be very light. At first I was disappointed but have come to like the color now. It leaves a clean slate for me to add many colorful accessories.

As I mentioned before, we are not changing the bathrooms for now so I'm looking for easy and inexpensive ways to make it look updated. A nice paint color is a good start. Again, I went with the is such a great color for the home and makes everything look updated. I chose a bit of darker grey since the wall has white tile going up halfway, Behr Natural Gray.

I am very glad to finally have all the colors up. It was not an easy decision. I am almost done picking paint colors. I just have two more to pick out in the upstairs room but it feels good to have the majority done.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working with what you have

Sometimes you need to work with what you have. Example- I've run into a slight snag in house design this week. You see, we had rented out our townhouse as an executive rental. This meant that we left all the furniture along with dishes and linens. This worked out well because we were able to move fairly painlessly. We figured when the lease was up we would take back the furniture if we couldn't rent it as an exec again. Then the renter said he would likely renew the lease and that meant we would buy all new things. Woohoo! Although it sounded a bit overwhelming at first, I had embraced the challenge fully and was already shopping for new furniture pieces. For instance, the grey couch in my Living Room board. Now it seems the renter no longer wants our furniture...sigh. So I need to find a way to work our existing couches into the living room. The problem, they are a baby blue color. Ok, it's not terrible. I may be able to work with them but I was really looking forward to the new couch. God likes to teach me lessons when I don't want to learn them. And I do realize that I am very blessed to be able to buy a house, let alone renovate. So as I try and learn this very important lesson I will brainstorm some ways to use what furniture we have in the existing design.

Some ideas-

Now I will have to hold a swatch of the paint color next to the couch but the blue color might work. Since the walls will be an aqua and there will likely be more than one shade in the room, it may even look intentional. I will just have to use more grey in the pillows and other accessories to tie that color in a bit more.

Another idea is to use a grey slipcover to continue with the original idea of a grey couch. The tricky thing with that is finding one that will fit well and not look sloppy.

The other snag is that we have a sofa and loveseat. I had originally planned to only have one couch on one wall and a pair of chairs opposite in front of the window. I think I could just use one of the couches and put the loveseat in the basement. I'd rather not put a couch in front of the window because it would block too much light. I'll have to play with the layout a bit.

We also have a dining room table I will need to work with. It's not terrible but we refinished it a few years back and stained it a dark cherry color. The look I am going for now is more along the lines of a rustic wood table with mismatched chairs. Something along these lines:

One idea would be to sand the table again and refinish it to look more rustic or.......just buy a new one, lol. The thing with this table is that we received it for free from the previous owner so it's not like we paid for it. Also, if I find a really cheap one at a garage sale or online, the hubby may be on board with this one. The other issue is that I was looking for a rectangle table and this one is round and can be made longer into an oval shape.

So I have some ideas, even though they may not be ideal. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have. It is unrealistic to think that we can get new furniture every time we want a change. This will be good practice to rethink things and refurbish to get a completely new look. Stay tuned for some re-purposing!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kitchen....Decisions, Decisions

Lately the only thing on my mind has been the kitchen. We have made many decisions and I have been meaning to tell you about them all. Two things have prevented me. One: Just as I finished my rather long post  my computer went crazy and erased everything. I got frustrated and gave up for the next couple days after. Having reno on the brain 24/7 will do that to you. Two: I got deathly sick and couldn't move from my cocooned state on the couch. I am better today, though still not 100%. I was very blessed that my husband was home recovering from being sick and was able to help with Audrey in the morning and take her to his mom's in the afternoon. Doc said it is just a virus and should just run it's course. He suggested raw garlic in some warm water. I'm confident it has helped me but you can imagine how lovely I smell =). Anywho, enough about grossness and back to lovely kitchen.

The biggest question was cabinets. I had been thinking long and hard about this and decided to go with white, shaker style. My gracious husband relented his hopes of natural wood cabinets.....what is it with guys and natural wood? I have to say I have not met one man who preferred painted wood. Not to say that I don't like some natural wood here and there to warm a room up but I usually prefer a painted wood overall. Anywho again.....I keep veering off topic. I guess my brain is still clouded in virus land. Here's an example of the kitchen cabinets.


I love how clean and simple they are. The next decision was the countertop which we decided to do in a grey stone. We will likely have an island that will have a butcherblock top. We had thought about a butcherblock counter throughout but realized they can be just as expensive as stone so stone won due to it's durability. The backsplash will be a white subway tile with grey grout. I must interject here and tell you how my father has been rather worried about my color choices. He has been trying to find nice ways of bringing this to my attention by asking me multiple times to think really hard about my decisions and to try and picture how it will look and not make any haste decisions. Oh Dad, if only you knew how long I have thought about this kitchen =). Since there is quite a bit of white, I will be bringing in some color through accessories. Here are some ideas.

This kitchen is a great example of what I'm thinking. I plan to bring in yellow as an accent color. I have a yellow stand mixer so that will be a great start. Doesn't it just look so bright and happy? I think kitchens should be one of the happiest rooms in the house...that and the laundry room.

There is a window above the sink so something like these curtains would be a great place to bring in some pattern.

I love this pendant! I really want something like this above the sink. It would add so much character.

We have pretty much finalized the layout and have ordered the cabinets. Tomorrow we will likely start shopping for a farmhouse sink and hood for the range. We decide to forgo the standard microwave/hood above the stove since I am trying to get away from using the microwave too often. Plus, I love how a nice stainless steel hood looks. So most of the kitchen decisions have been made but it's always the little things that can take forever to decide hardware. Hmmmmm.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Living Room Board

The meeting with the designer went well. I was able to walk with her through the entire house and get some great ideas....although they probably won't all happen right away. I've also been working on an inspiration board for the Living room. As you can see, I am still having trouble deciding on side and coffee tables. I love the look of a rustic wood coffee table with the sleek couch but I think ottomans might be easier with a toddler. Then, if I do ottomans, maybe I should bring in the rustic wood with a side table....although I also like the look of a brightly colored one and a sleek metal one. So the final decisions have not yet been made. But I really like how the colors and patterns look together so I am getting excited about how the room will end up looking.

Living Room

Here's the other challenge- I have a budget of $2000 to decorate the Living and Dining rooms. The sofa will end up costing about $800 dollars with tax so that is a big chunk. I have been scouring garage sales and Craigslist to try and find some super cheap side tables. No luck so far, though I did find a great chair that, according to the seller, is about 100 years old. For $11, I'd say that was a good find. That will be for the dining room. I also found this great idea on Pinterest for a side table:

It's a trash can! Isn't that genius? It looks so much like the black metal side table on my inspiration board. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for a great trash can. I will need plenty of creative ideas like this if I hope to create a beautiful Living room on such a small budget. If you have any, please send them my way. =)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Living Room Fabrics

Last time I wrote I talked about some ideas for the Living room and planned on doing a whole post for the Dining room. I must say I don't need a whole post just for that as the colors will be very similar to the Living room so I'm just going to expand on what I wrote last time. 

Much has changed since I last wrote. We finally closed on the house and have been there nearly everyday this week measuring and discussing and putting holes in walls. We have plans to take down a wall and perhaps do more in the kitchen than we thought possible- but more on that later. Back to the Living and Dining room. I've decided to keep the wall color the same in both rooms and therefore will keep the color scheme the same for the most part. I am very excited to have a designer come in on Tuesday to help me work through some of these decisions so some of them may change after then, but for now I have a few fabrics picked out and have decided on the color scheme. I haven't finalized the wall color yet but I have a couple samples to put on the wall, so I'm getting close.



This is the fabric I was thinking for the curtains on the Living room. I think it would great against aqua walls.


In the Dining room, I still have to pick out a light fixture and buy a table. I'm going to start collecting random chairs and paint them all the same color to unite them. On the other side of the table will be a bench. My dad is pretty handy and said he would be able to build it for me.

So that's the update for now. I'll let you know what the update is after the design consultation.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Living Room Colors

We have one more month until closing and I've been searching Pinterest for ideas on how to decorate. Ideally, I would like to have all the paint colors picked by our closing date so we can start the mini reno right away. First on the list- the living room. This color may also be used on the dining room since they are connected.

My first idea was a light aqua color for the walls. I really want a nice new grey couch and I think some neutral chairs would also look nice. I thought to add some other pops of color through throw pillows and accessories.

This is an inspiration board I thought would be nice. I like the colors in the upper right corner with the aqua for the walls.

Now to find the perfect shade of aqua =).

I also really like the idea of a picture wall.

Something not very perfect but a little more collected. I want to paint a little something and maybe have Audrey make a picture for the wall too. I like the idea that each piece would be meaningful and special.

That's all I have for now. I'll discuss the dining room next since it connects to the living room and will likely have the same color on a least one wall.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our Home!

We bought a house! Well, we don't officially own it yet as we are still waiting on all the final details to go through so we can close, but I am very excited. Doesn't it just look adorable? I love how much character the outside has. Although we will make a few adjustments. First we will remove the awnings, then paint the siding on the upstairs windows a different color and maybe add some shutters, we haven't decided yet.

We also have many plans for the inside. Technically we can just move in and do nothing but it is rather dated so we are planning some minor remodeling work. We will have to wait for anything major as our budget will not allow for big projects just yet. So I have some plans of how to make it look updated and pretty for very little money. I will definitely be sharing those with you. Until then, I have been scouring Pinterest for some ideas.

Stay tuned......

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pink and Red Re-Cap

Hello! I know Valentine's day is long gone but I could not leave you without a few pics of all the fun. Though you may not be thinking of next year quite yet, I hope you will get some happy inspiration from all the lovely colors.

First, the centerpiece: we decided to go with the classic message candy hearts as a filler for the vase. It's actually two vases with the outer holding the candy. Then the tulips give it the perfect delicate touch.

This was the tablescape all set up. We went with simple and elegant. The napkin rings are just red ribbon with a paper heart attached with tape. It was very easy. Then we used some leftover paper hearts as coasters.

Here is a closeup of the napkin ring.

This is were the coasters came from. It was also a very simple project. We just printed a heart template from the internet and used it to cut out hearts from various pink and red printed sheets. Then we taped fishing line between two hearts and there you have a garland. You could also make one long garland and drape over an entryway. That would be adorable.

Here's a closeup of the hearts.

This project probably took the most time but it also had the most impact so it was worth it. It was a great way to draw attention to the dessert table. We just made simple paper pom poms in various sizes. Then we made a heart-shaped template on the wall and started taping.

Cupcakes just look so much cuter with a topper.

We also made little tags for all the desserts. They were delicious. The recipe for these can be found here.

For favors, we decided to do a candy bar. I bought as much pink, red and white candy I could find and used silver ribbon on square vases to tie them all together. Overall everything turned out great. We had fun enjoying dinner and playing some "Newlywed Game". Unfortunately, my husband and I did not win, but fortunately we did not let that ruin our evening. I still love you Honey, even if you don't know my ring size =)

For Audrey's Valentine's party, I decided to go with Goldfish as the valentine treat. I think they turned out great.

I also brought a veggie tray and decided to have some fun with it.

So that was all the Valentine's fun from this year. I must say it is a lot more fun to plan a party with another friend. It can get so stressful when everything rests on your own shoulders. I highly recommend it. Of course, sometimes you just can't and on those occasions, I have some ideas to make things come in a future post.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Fun!

This year Audrey will be attending her very first Valentine's party....just like her momma. I am taking a break from the world of adult valentine's and thinking of some cute ideas for kids. I have found some adorable ideas on pinterest and thought I would share some of them with you.

I really like the packaging used above though I will probably not use sugar cookies for toddlers. The really pretty paper makes a great backdrop. I actually just bought a big pad of Valentine's paper that would be well used in this situation.

This would be a much more appropriate valentine for toddlers and I it's just so adorable. The picture below is another idea along the same path though I'm pretty set on using the above idea. I like the tag on the picture below better so I may do some mixing of ideas.

The other idea that I really debated doing was to make heart-shaped crayons. This idea would be adorable as well but since I am feeling strapped for time, I thought I would pick something that wouldn't take as long.

It seems rather funny to me to that I always discounted Valentine's Day as a greeting card conspiracy and now I find myself in the center of its pink explosion. Slowly, I may just find myself on the other side.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Panda Birthday Party...On a budget

I would say my sister's panda birthday party went well this past Saturday. Although I ended up doing most....actually all the decorating, I still think it looked good considering I had a toddler after me the entire time. We also managed to keep things on a pretty low budget. It was hard to calculate everything as some of the supplies I bought for the party were used for other things but I'd say we were around $100 for everything, including food.

The first thing on the agenda were the invitations. These were made strictly from things I had in my craft supplies. I had some empty envelopes and poster board that I cut to fit into the envelopes. Then I used some green felt as the backdrop and cut circles out of white felt to make the panda face. I didn't have black felt so I just painted some of the white circles with black paint. Then we printed out the details and glued them to the back of the invite as you can see above. I think they turned out pretty cute....especially considering we spent no money making them.

Then there's the panda cake. It doesn't look exactly like the picture from my last post but I think it looks pretty good considering this was my first attempt. I just used two box mixes. The first I made in a round cake pan to make the head and the second I made in a 9x13 baking dish. I cut out the ears and nose circles from the cake made in the pan and put it together. I couldn't find black food coloring so I used vanilla frosting for most of it them used chocolate sprinkles to make the black portions and a tube of black decorating icing to make the mouth and outline the eyes.

I also used the vanilla frosting and black icing to decorate some sugar cookies.

Below are pictures of some of the decorations. We went with a black and white theme and a pop of lime green that came about from the invitations.

I also made panda ear headbands for all the girls to wear. I didn't make the ears permanent so each girl was able to take off the ears and use the headband on its own. I just cut out strips of white felt that I had and some ear shapes out of black poster board that I bought to decorate with. I attached the ears to the felt with a glue gun and the felt to the headband using double-sided tape.

And of course Audrey also had a pair =)
Favors can get very expensive at birthday parties so I decided to combine the favor and an activity in one. I bought these plain canvas bags at my crafts store ( under $2 each) and bought some decorations as well as used things I had around and added some paint and paint brushes. The girls really enjoyed this. They also received a small bag of candy to place in their newly decorated totes.

My sister was very happy with the outcome of the day so my job was complete. I guess I need to start getting used to planning parties on a budget as Audrey is getting older and I am getting no richer =)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So many ideas, so little time...

I have been busy thinking up some creative fun the past few days. A little thing called Pinterest has really taken my attention and given me some great ideas. First there's a Valentine's party that I'm helping with and I have been looking at some great crafts for decorations and food. I am rather excited actually as this is the first year I will be participating in a Valentine's party. My husband and I don't do much for Valentine's as we feel it's mostly just a card company ploy to get us to spend money on cards and gifts another day out of the year. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a day that celebrates love and I usually try and do something special for the hubby like write a love note or bake cookies but I have already told him not to get me flowers or chocolates on that day since they are so overpriced. Instead, he can wait until the day after and get two boxes of chocolates =).......but I digress. Valentine's crafts look like lots of fun!

Then I will be helping out at church with sending out anniversary cards to those in my Bible study class. I immediately took on the responsibility as it would give me another chance to do what I love. So I have been thinking up ideas for all the cards.

And finally there's my sister's birthday party this Saturday. Since I am living with my parents now I have the great honor of helping to plan this fun pre-teen party. She will be turning 12 and has requested a panda-themed birthday.

The one caveat is that it must be on a budget...and by budget I mean as cheap as humanly possible. I took this as a challenge to see what I can come up with. We have already made the invitations and passed them out. They turned out pretty cute actually but I am having some trouble with uploading pictures so I will have to show you all that as soon as the hubby can help me. I am thinking to make the cake from a box addition to cheap, I am also trying to make things as easy as possible. I am thinking to try the cake above or just the head part and make it really big.

I hope to be able to show you some great pics soon of all the creativeness that is going on around here.