22 March 2010

New Sectional!

Yay! We can finally seat more than 2 people comfortably in front of our tv! I'm quite proud of myself, particularly because this is one of only two sectionals I found anywhere that fit in this space. Seriously... anything from DWR to Ikea did not fit. Not only does this one fit perfectly, it's also a durable bi-cast leather (the Klippan was too, so we know the dogs handle it well).

It's the modular sectional from Target online (currently on sale, free shipping, and it can be returned if you don't like it!). It's simple, sleek, modern, and small-scale. Better yet- the seats even come up for storage underneath- and who doesn't need more storage? It also blocks the nest of cords under Jesse's desk from view- an added bonus!

...And sorry it took so long to unveil the contents of those boxes, but the basement has been a demolition area while we unpacked & assembled it. :) The coffee table is a recent craigslist find that's currently primed and ready to be finished- more on that later!

15 March 2010

Ceiling Fan Face Lift

If you're like me, you're not crazy about how most ceiling fans look these days.... but don't get too excited- this isn't an amazing fix-it-all solution... just a little face-lift.

This is what I wake up to every morning... it's pretty blah:

Nothing particularly horrid about it, but a few things really bother me. First, why pair off-white translucent shades with a white fan? They look FILTHY! I made a sour face every time I saw them. Second, cheesy pulls hanging down a mile long that say "Harbor Breeze" or whatnot all over them: not so stylish. And finally, it just lacks some sort of customization or little bit of fun & luxury (although that's admittedly hard to do in a fan).

So here's what I wake up to now...

Might not look like that much at first glance, but it makes such a difference IMHO. First, we ditched the dark shades for nice, bright white, simple ones. Second, switch the pulls with simple acrylic prism ones scored on clearance (and shorten them up!). Finally, a simple ceiling medallion adds a touch of customization. That medallion did something else too (although you can't really see it in the photos). Before, the fan seemed to protrude down & into the room, but now, the medallion seems to anchor and pull it up to the ceiling!

Nothing too fancy, expensive, or creative, but if you've got some functional fans that are less than gorgeous, these simple little fixes might make them just a little nicer!

10 March 2010

DIY Fridge Frame

I really can't stand the chaos that usually exudes from fridges covered in magnets, reminders, ads, etc... Of course, the information is usually practical and necessary, so any way to wrangle or organize it gets an A+ in my book. Here's a super-simple project to help organize & beautify that typically chaotic part of the kitchen:

We happen to have a stainless fridge (non-magnetic front!) with a magnetic side right by the sink and not viewable from most of the house. I love it. I can tack up any important info, but it isn't seen the second you walk into the house or kitchen. Still, just drawing a pretty outline seems to calm this chaos & while I'm sure it won't stay as spic & span as it is now, it makes me smile...

(be sure to measure out your frame to know how much you'll need)
• moulding - you can find this at any hardware store- pick your favorite!
• paint - again, pick your favorite!
• glue - tacky or hot glue will work
• paintbrush
• magnetic tape
• cutting tool (a table saw is best, but any other saw or even an exacto can work)
• Polycrylic or some other sealer (optional depending on where it's going)

Materials you're most likely to not have at home.

First, calculate how long each piece needs to be for your desired frame size. Measure twice, mark your wood, and cut away! Be sure to be safe no matter what blade/saw you're using. If you don't have a saw that allows you to easily cut 45 degree angles, you might choose to just cut @ 90 degrees and lay the pieces on top of each other making a butt joint.

If you delegate the cutting to an engineer/scientist husband, don't be surprised to see something like this in the process. Although that gnawed bottom corner is evidence that he had to ask the Boo for help at some point.

Next, lay your pieces fancy side down on a table making the frame shape. Lay a strip of glue along the back of each seam. Wait to dry. Even after the glue is dry, the frame will be very delicate! Be careful moving it around!

Turn the frame over, and paint! I'd recommend at least 2 coats- or you could do some awesome design. If you want to seal it, now is the time. I chose not to seal mine, as I used a scrubbable paint & the area doesn't get a ton of splatter.

Once the paint/sealer is dry, turn it back over & glue a strip of magnetic tape to the back of each side. Don't rely on the sticky side of the magnet- it wasn't strong enough it my experience!

Once the glue is dry, she's ready to go up! Carefully position her on the fridge, purge all unnecessary, old, or obsolete stuff inside it, sit back, and admire your work! Yay!

It isn't a fancy project, but it's a nice simple way to help organize just a bit more! I also find that with a frame around that area, I'm better about keeping it de-cluttered!

05 March 2010

The Log

A few of you asked about the log side table next to the guest bed, whether it had a story behind it, and how I sealed it. The log actually came from my parents' home in Houston & was part of an red oak tree that came down during Hurricane Ike.

They paid the kids across the street to hack up the tree & dig out the stump. Next time I visited, I found a whole set of logs (formerly trunk) in a little vignette out in the yard holding pots and plants of all sort. My mom did a great job with them, but I wanted to take it step further and bring one indoors. We carted it back to my place & it sat in the garage drying out some more for several months. After that, I sanded the cut surfaces & started to seal it. Because of the texture of the bark, I used spray on Polycrylic (like Polyurethane, but water-based). I sprayed probably at least 4 or 5 coats. For the flat surfaces, I used a brush on Polyurethane for a bit nicer look and something more durable (again, 4 or 5 coats). We've had no problems with it at all! It did split some at the top (as you can see) during the drying process. Many people would tell you to dry it for much longer and do all sorts of expensive, time consuming things, but for us, this has held up beautifully!

Only things to be wary of if you plan on doing it yourself- it's HEAVY. Plan on getting a lot of dirty looks from whoever you ask to help you move it. Also, when my generation walks by, this song often sprouts out.

03 March 2010

Guest Bed Before & After!

A great craigslist bargain, many coats of paint, and a dozen Dr. Pepper's later... this happened!

I love it! The paint job isn't perfect- that yellow gave me SO much trouble, but the bed itself isn't in perfect condition, so I let it slide. I had to replace 4 of the wood finials on the posts with the closest thing I could find, lightly sanded & primed, and then painted away. The trim is Snow Fall and the panels are Citrus Splash - both from Behr in semi-gloss.

It's so much more cheerful, and it only cost us about $70!

If you come visit us, we now have a proper place for you to stay! :D

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