Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

Easy Update: Picture Ledges

by Cait

On a recent trip to Ikea we picked up three of these, because while we loved (the beginnings of) our asymmetrical arrangement in the library, we wanted to be able to change it up more easily.

Wall of Pictures

The process of hanging the ledges was fairly self explanatory, we just used a level and then marked where to drill through the screw holes.  The main trick was to make sure the top ledge was directly above the bottom ledge.  Enter Robert’s homemade plumb bob (Robert…bob… oh the irony)

Yes, that is twine and an Anthro rosette. No that is not its final use.

This time he simply repeated the process with the level while hanging the plumb off the edge of the ledge this time and moving them until the twine hung straight down and touched the bottom shelf.

And like I said, we bought three ledges.

And to anyone who misses out asymmetrical arrangement, don’t worry, we still have to finish the other one mentioned here, and we have another one up our sleeves.

Total Cost: $45, and since it keeps us from having to patch nail holes when we want to move things around, it’s totally worth it.

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August 30, 2010

To Paint, or Not to Paint?

by Cait

We all know that painted wood is a trend right now, but there are certain pieces of furniture in our house that I would never think of taking a paint brush to.

Like my grandmother’s dresser,

my great-grandmother’s cedar chest,

and my grandparents’ tv console.

There are also other pieces that I can’t help but consider painting.

Our liquor cabinet.

While mismatched wood doesn’t usually bother me,  I’ve been thinking that our liquor cabinet would look nice in grey.  Maybe the same grey as the hutch. What are your thoughts? Should I leave it as-in or paint it?

Edit: Ok, the verdict is that parts of the liquor cabinet are real wood, and parts are particle board. Does that change anyone’s opinion?

August 28, 2010

Easy Update: Art Room Organization

by Cait

Our Art Room is office space for both Robert and me, and although we aren’t currently lucky enough to work from home, the space still needs to be functional as a place to blog, create, and in Robert’s case do homework.  With those three functions taking place in one room, it can often get a little cluttered, so on our recent Ikea trip we picked up some things to rectify this situation.

Art RoomThose of you reading since Day 1 probably recognize this photo.

We decided to get some (ironically named) Ekby Robert brackets, Ekby shelves, a Grundtal rail and s-hooks, and a couple of Asker containers.

Robert was excited to get started.

We started by putting the Grundatl rail together, sticking our magnetic level to it, and marking inside the screw holes once it was level on the wall.  We hung it will screws and wall anchors, because we like to be excessive.

Then we marked where we wanted the brackets to go on the shelf so that we could put the shelf together, level the whole thing on the wall, and mark where to attach the bracket.  It might seem like sort of a bass-ackwards way to go about it since we have to take the shelf back off to hang the brackets, but we decided that would work best for us.

After we had the bottom shelf hung, we simply used the tallest object we were planning to put on the shelf as a gauge as to where the top shelf should go, and repeated the process.

The whole process took about twenty minutes.

Cost Breakdown:
Ekby Robert Brackets: 7.50 each
Ekby Östen shelves: 4.99 each
Grundtal Rail: 8.99
Asker Container: 5.99 each
S-hooks: 2.99
Screws & Wall anchors: already owned

Total: 63.97

August 27, 2010

Easy Update: Apron Holder

by Cait

Robert and I love to cook, especially now that our kitchen has new appliances.  The only problem is that I am bound to end up with something down my shirt while doing so because I always forgot to dig my apron out of the pantry.  Enter this five minute fix with two knobs from Hobby Lobby, purchased on 50% off sale.

First we picked the location to put the knobs.

Door frame between kitchen & living room, there is a half wall with a bar opposite this.

Robert used our Ryobi drill to make two small holes.

Screwed the knobs in place.  (His bracelet says “Confused”, not Livestrong, by the way.)

And that was all it took to hopefully keep me from having to use so much stain stick.

The total cost of this project was $3.99 and it only took Robert away from his new remote control rock climber for five minutes.  Sweet!

Have you done any easy updates recently?  Are there any simple additions to your house or kitchen you couldn’t live without?  We’d love to hear about them!

August 27, 2010

Guest Room Glam

by Cait

Our guest room is in need of some love.  We loved the yellow that we carried over from the other main living spaces, but otherwise our guest room is missing a certain something.  Spurred on by a mishmash of inspiration from this post from Manhattan Nest, Kara Paslay’s bedroom & guest room, and some West Elm images burned into my brain, we decided it was time for a little mini make over.


From West Elm


From Kara Paslay Designs, first seen on Young House Love

guest roomComparatively speaking, very blah.

The room definitely needed different window treatments, and we wanted to add in more tan, some grey, and texture, so we decided to trek to Ikea and came back with a pretty good haul and an idea for a mood board.

If the top-center looks empty that’s because I cleverly purposefully left out blur and blur (flagrant Mythbusters reference) until we follow up this project, so check back for that and the during and after pictures of the guestroom later!

So what do you think?  Were we right in thinking the room needed more character?  Have you done any mini makeovers of your own lately?

August 26, 2010

TÅRNBY vs VEJEN

by Cait

Dear Internet (otherwise known as, anyone who finds this blog by accident and happens to read the first entry),

Has Ikea discountinued the TÅRNBY rug in favor of the VEJEN Rug, or is it just currently out of stock at the Ikea near us?  I think I prefer the TÅRNBY, but that is purely based on the pictures I’ve seen in the catalog and online, because we didn’t have time to hit up the rug section last time we were at Ikea.

Tarnby on left, Vejen on right

Does anyone have one of these?  Which one do you prefer? Please hit me up with any knowledge, advice, suggestions of other similarly priced jute rugs and opinions!

Love and kisses,
Zaphod Cait
(Please excuse the blatant Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference, I’m not quite sure what came over me.)

August 26, 2010

Budget Kitchen Redo

by Cait

A quick rundown of the “make it work” redo for our kitchen, which was about 15 kinds of scary when we first bought our house last September.

Kitchen

We were not loving the cheap appliances, plastic blinds, cheap faucet, cabinet hardware or contractor beige walls.  Also with counter space at a premium we needed to come up with a way to keep our microwave off the counter.  So we started by painting the walls a light green color (twice actually, once with leftover Valspar Cool Reflection from the bedroom, which was sort of a disaster because in the different lighting it was far too minty, and finally with Valspar Sea Mist Green), changing out the cabinet hardware, and got a faucet as a gift from my parents.

Kitchen

Then while leafing through Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen Idea File in the bargain section at Barnes and Noble we got the idea for this.

moving back in

Then we wanted a light over the sink, which actually took far more effort than it really needed to, because we didn’t discover Glo Stix right away.

kitchen light

After that we scored a cast iron sink on Craigslist for $60, which I neglected to add a picture of, and finally, we upgraded our appliances for stainless, thanks to the Sears Outlet and my parents, who gifted us the stove they bought for the house we were house sitting.

Kitchen

Cost Breakdown:
Paint – $24.47
Hardware – $58.81
Faucet – Gift
Sink – $60
Microwave Shelf – $24
Light – $22.37
Rug – $19.99
Dishwasher – $728
Stove – Gift

Total – $937.64

August 25, 2010

More on the Living Room Remix

by Cait

These are for Eric @ My First Garage who requested a reverse angle picture of the living room switch up seen in this post.

August 24, 2010

Living Room Remix

by Cait

Our living room is a pain in my behind.  It’s a pain to to photograph, which I blame the tiny windows combined with the dark ceiling and the size of the whole room (it’s about 20×20) it is not at all a reflection on my photography skills. It’s a pain because the floor is two slightly different levels.  Not big enough to warrant a step, just about an inch or two lower, so a former owner stuck a piece of quarter round all the way along.  I guess as a visual so that people don’t break their necks?  It’s a pain because we hate the carpet but can’t afford to put down wood yet, and I can’t figure out what kind of area rug would look good over it’s fugliness.

We pretty much painted it and plunked the furniture down.  The last load of furniture that we moved was kind of haphazard, and if I remember correctly, the couch was set down facing the back door…  So I moved it like this by myself while Robert was at work to how y’all know it.

Living RoomPlease ignore the jumbled mess under the coffee table, it doesn’t usually look like that so I didn’t notice it.

Cue this post from Yellow Brick Home, and some thinking I did on our long drive to Ikea that I mentioned here. On the drive I started wondering if moving things around would make it look less “I give up” and more “defined spaces”.  I asked Robert his opinion and he agreed to help me switch things around when we got home.

Whoever sees the other glaringly obvious reason the living room is a pain gets a cookie. Two cookies if you never mention it again.

This is what we came up with so far, although we still have some other things that we want to do to.  I’m thinking about some sort of blinds or curtains but I’m not sold on the idea yet. Also I am not in love with the recliner at all, but a new chair is not in the budget right now.  In the future we would like an Ikea Expedit 5×5 behind the sofa as a room divider to create am entryway kind of space by the back door with storage, which will be especially helpful for when we take bike rides.  It’s taking some getting used to, but we really like it so far, it seems to define the areas better.

Have you rearranged any rooms in your house lately?  If so I’d love to see them!

August 24, 2010

Build-In Envy

by Cait

I should begin by saying that our house would be filled with build-ins if Robert would let me get away with it.  (Hey, we have to take turns being the voice of reason.)  I love libraries, books and bookshelves…  Robert can attest to the first words out of my mouth upon seeing our house being “build-in”.  I have spent many nights with a measuring tape, the laptop, and the Ikea website.  So when I see a picture of someone else’s space filled with books I can’t help but instinctually save the image for inspiration (or to use as a desktop background, or just to look back on and drool over later), they just get me like that.  I only wish I had the links for the images I saved while reading blogs and Google searching on my phone!  Robert once likened the photo gallery on my phone to a Pottery Barn catalog.

LOVE.  Originally from Apartment Therapy, seen on Urban Nest

Both from Young House Love

From Young House Love

From Kara Paslay Designs

From Design*Sponge

From Design*Sponge

And for a wrap up of where I am convinced we need build-ins of our own…

LibraryBehold our future build-in.  Otherwise known as the first project on the list when we have money. But more on that later.

Dining RoomWe may or may not have plans for a build-in around the doorway here.

What is it about your house, or someone else’s houses, that makes you go weak at the knees?  Are you a bibliophile like me?