March 20, 2011

Pillow Problem?

An unexpected virus plagued a majority of my weekend, but it didn't keep me from my destiny with throw pillows.  What do you think?  Do I have a problem?

master bedroom throw pillows


Unless you look close, you probably can't tell there are still pins in a few of them.  (Give me a break, I'm sick!)  The top ones now give my master bedroom some much-needed pops of color.  The fabric is  Heather Bailey fat quarters I had leftover from a present I made my sis-in-law two years ago.  You can't see the backs that are blue velvet just like the curtain panels in that room.  In fact, I once owned three of them, so the third one is now a bunch of pillows!  I like that I can flip them over for a simpler look.... and all I paid for were pillow inserts. (And they were ON SALE!)  The pillow in front I bought several months ago at Dillard's on clearance.  It asked for buddies, which is what got me into this mess!! 

In the guest room, I purchased the navy pillow a while back at Target.  The pink geometric print I used for the second pillow I found in my fabric stash.  I saved it from a clearance bin several years ago and it had yet to find a good home.  I'm so excited!!  The other is two-toned Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler.  It's blue on one side and pink on the other, allowing me to change the level of girly-ness in the room, as appropriate.  The best part here is I once again didn't dish out any money for fabrics.  I used my growing collection of cool fabrics already on-hand.  The pillow inserts were once again ON SALE! 

Pillows just make me happy.  I've probably now hit my quota for pillows in 800 square feet... what do you think?  They were already overflowing in the living room. 

2011-02-02 at 07-17-25

March 16, 2011

Little Improvements Here and There

I haven't been able to dive into a large project (or finish my guest room), but I have done a few small things in the past week that I wanted to share.

1.) With a roll of wrapping paper from Target, I updated my heirloom secretary again! The sticky wrapping paper from Hallmark adhered so much better, but the color just didn't work anymore. I'm on the look-out for a better option. Until then, I give you Target wedding wrapping paper!

2011-03-14 at 07-14-04

2011-03-14 at 07-13-42

2.) I also am loving all the organization of my new bookshelves. I used scrapbook paper to label and pretty up my storage boxes and recipe binders.

2011-03-13 at 11-25-24

Binder 
Rehab

3.)  Finally, by giving my DVD's a more proper home in the second bedroom I now have  room to show off my vintage crates.  They said goodbye to the closet and are being welcomed in their new home in my entryway. I'm not sure they'll stay here as they don't really serve a purpose, but I love 'em so they need to live somewhere!

2011-03-14 at 07-14-24

2011-03-14 at 07-15-07

March 8, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

I may be new to home ownership, but I'm not new to DIY.  I realized this weekend I do have a few crafty tricks up my sleeve when it comes to flying solo on the home front.  Allow me to illustrate for you how a single lady gets DIY done:

Secret Weapon: Heels

1.  Heels in Home Depot.  Yep, do you know when you get the very best possible service in a big box home improvement store?  Sunday mornings, right before church.  You're dressed up (ok, as dressed up as a get: jeans and heels), looking good and on a mission.  The menfolk come running with "Can I help you ma'am."

Secret Weapon: Petite Squares

2.  These little "Petite Squares" from Pampered Chef are killer.  Not only are they perfect for soy sauce when eating sushi, they are great for keeping little pieces of hardware - like shelf pegs - organized and accessible. 

Secret Weapon: Rug

3.  Never underestimate the amount of weight you can scoot with a plush rug without a no-slip backing.  How could I assemble bookcases in one room and get them to the other without killing myself?  This ugly old green rug from IKEA and the grace of God no doubt.

Well, those are three of my nifty little secrets.  What are yours?

March 6, 2011

Guest Room Version 2.1

Last weekend I painted.  This weekend, I IKEA'd.

First, my friend Lindsey kindly donated her time and her SUV to go out to the big, blue suburban looney bin.  We got run over by several shopping carts and got lost a few times, but it was so much more fun than going alone!  And, quite frankly, the boxes for the BILLY bookcases wouldn't have been manageable all by my lonesome.  They barely fit in her SUV... and the two of us were barely able to carry the big ones after our respective morning work-outs.  I had to sit in the backseat behind her on the trip back to fit everything in - check it out!!  A big thanks to Lindsey (who also blogs at "Life As a Z" and "The Block.")

BILLY in Transit

I let the huge 6' plus boxes block the doorway to my bedroom as long as I could, and then I set to work... all by myself on Sunday afternoon.  Yes, my independent streak is much stronger than my patience, and wait for help I couldn't.  To my surprise, the assembly was simple and only took about two hours for all four bookcases.  It took about as long to decide where to put each of the shelves and load them up once they were in place!

IKEA BILLY in Progress
In place... amidst a mess!


IKEA BILLY shelves
The shelves - ready to roll!

I'm calling this version 2.1, as quite a few things on the shelf need to be reworked - I want to recover my recipe binders, paint my thread spool holder, and I'm sure I'll move things around quite a bit.  I also have a plan for curtains and the TV wall.  Budget-permitting, I'd also like to add those FLOR tiles and IKAT pillows to the look.  I'll be on the look-out for a sale!

What do you think thus far??

Guest Room Version 2.1

Guest Room Version 2.1

Guest Room Version 2.1
 Please ignore what looks like dirty towels under the sofa. Those are actually "carefully" wrapped frames that will eventually go back on the wall.

March 3, 2011

Guest Room Game Plan

This is the plan, Stan. I miss me some bright colors.  I have the urge to infuse the condo with some bold, vibrant colors and patterns.  I don't want to go overboard, but I'm thinking with the white walls and neutral sofa, I can go at least a teensy weensy bit crazy, don't you?

Is it too much to add a small striped area rug with pops of ikat fabrics, like a vertical strip of green and white ikat to the side of inexpensive white curtains and a pop of pink ikat in pillow form, with my crazy quilt?

Here's my inspiration! 

1.  FLOR tiles (Side by Side in Colbalt/White), www.FLOR.com; 2.  Ikat cotton/silk blend fabric by the yard, etsy.com; 3.  White curtains from IKEA, www.ikea.com/us  4.  Ikat cotton/silk blend fabric by the yard, etsy.com;  5.  BILLY bookshelves from IKEA, www.ikea.com/us; 6.  Encore sofa from Room & Board, www.roomandboard.com; 7.  Old trunk I have in storage from Pier 1 (my photo)  8. Quilt by me (photo by me) 

March 1, 2011

Guest Room Reno Update!

It’s white. Snow White, in fact, but you'll have to take my word for it until Nikon Baby returns to Chicago tomorrow.  (She got left at her Grandma's on accident.)

After consulting paint decks, magazines, Twitter, blogs, Flickr and more, I found myself in my neighborhood paint store surrounded in Benjamin Moore swatches. I was overwhelmed and indecisive, but with the calm, knowledgable, bilingual shop owner’s words of encouragement, I said "let's go with this one" and set off to do the unthinkable: paint an entire room by myself.  Never underestimate the power of a swift "Vamanos!" kick in the yoga pants.

I came home, persuaded the upstairs neighbor to promptly dial 9-1-1 if she heard a loud crash, and started my balancing act around the top of my ladder (on the step marked DANGER - DO NOT STAND!) to tape off the ceilings of my 12' walls.  Once that was crossed off my list, the store owner had said it would “take me a few hours.” Um, how about a few days!?!?! I taped. I “cut in.” I rolled. I repeated.  I painted some more.  I missed an engagement party, ruined a few pairs of socks and had to pick white paint out of my hair to make myself presentable for church, but by Sunday night, there were no more signs of beige.

My imagination is now running NON-STOP on what I can do next. My only limitations are the budget and my need for wall-to-wall bookshelves behind the sofa to fulfill my storage needs.  I'm loving these rooms I found on Flickr.

Family room.
WOWSA to the brown contrast with the white... like my floors and the walls!

grey couch
If that's not my couch, it's his cousin.  How cool is that vintage typewriter?

orange nook
All white with pops of bright color - now we're talking!  

Style at Home spread
I'm still obsessed with that rocker.  Blame all the babies and pregnant ladies in my life.

dining corner inspiration
Great example of the bookshelves as a backdrop for the room.  (And I'm always a sucker for a tulip table and clear acrylic furniture!)

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