Archive for January, 2011

January 11, 2011

Movin’ On Up

by Cait

Exciting news! I finally got time to move our blog over to its own domain!  If you have been so kind as to link to us in your blogroll or add us to your Google Reader please update your links!  (Although it should redirect, hopefully.)

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January 11, 2011

Shedding Light on the Situation

by Cait

As I mentioned yesterday, we are trying to decide what to do as far as lighting in the living room.  Currently we have a ceiling fan with light, a lamp on our new sofa table (more about that later), a lamp on the side table we moved from the guest room, and a stool with a lamp balanced on it (a very temporary solution).  Shamefully I still have not taken an updated photo of our living room, but you can see the lamp on the side table below (the one with the white shade) and the lamp with the grey shade now lives on our Hemnes sofa table (I first mentioned wanting that here).  The ceiling fan was to my right as I took this picture, and the wall with the trees is just beyond that.



As I said yesterday, we are thinking of hanging a pendant light over the table in the living room.  The one I have been considering is the Eden pendant from CB2 (below).  The only problems with this choice are that I prefer the color the shade appears when on (right), and I think the diameter for the shade is a bit to large for our space.

I am also ridiculously in love with West Elm’s Drum Sconce and Flat Flush Mount Light.  Well actually, as far as the sconces go, I really, really love the way they look, but I’m not sure they are the best choice in this area.  I could very easily see putting one of these on either side of our bed, but I love our touch lights from Target, partly because I am lazy (I know you can get touch kits to make pretty much any lamp a touch lamp, but for now I think we’ll stick with our Target lights and drool over the ones at West Elm).  I think that the Flush Mount would be a big improvement over the current low-hanging ceiling fan (our tall friend, Jason, wouldn’t hit his head anymore!), and I have looked at a bunch of similar options from Overstock and Lamps Plus but I keep coming back to West Elm based on the size and construction.   Another thing going for the Flush Mount is that we could potentially use a gift card from our credit card reward points (although we don’t exactly rack those up quickly, so that would mean waiting longer for the light).

Even supposing we have solved the ceiling fan issue with the Flush Mount, I still want a light over/near the table that could be turned on independently of the Flush Mount.  Another CB2 find that caught my eye (but scared my wallet) is the Firefly Pendant Light.  It reminds me a bit of the light fixture we made for the dining room, and if we remove the ceiling fan we will have 4 seeded glass globes we don’t need so I could DIY another fixture. The correlation between the two would be nice, since the tables are in eye-shot of each other.

On a side note, Robert recently asked me about moving the hutch back over there, so we’ll see what happens!

There are a couple other lights that I am in love with, but that didn’t make the cut for this space (and for length purposes I’m not including them in this round up of choices).  Maybe soon I will do another post on lights that have caught my attention recently.

Has anyone else made a light fixture, replaced a ceiling fan with a light or put a light where there previously wasn’t one?  (Which reminds me I need to post about the process of putting the light over our sink.)  Personally I love Kara Paslay’s DIY Mason Jar Chandelier, and if you haven’t seen it you should check it out!

January 10, 2011

All Treed Up

by Cait

Back in October I mentioned that I wanted to paint birch trees on one of the walls in our living room.  We thought it would help define the area where we have a second table (which is sort of a long story in it self) in our 20×20 living room, instead of just having a seemingly random table sort of “floating”.  The fact that there is a beam in the ceiling and down the wall (to the left of the frame in the picture below) helped convince us that it wouldn’t be too weird to paint this section.

Other Table

I found this image (below) by Google searching, and while I loved it I didn’t really want to spend what they were asking for the decals.

from Etsy

I debated about free-handing some trees using this as an inspiration picture, but we decided the best option was probably to project the image I had found and tweak it slightly.  Having used an opaque projector in high school, I began scouring eBay until I found something that would make the trees the size we wanted without being too bulky to store, and for $52 (with free shipping) I found this:


From there it wasn’t completely smooth sailing (isn’t that always the way things go?)  When the projector arrived it was filthy, the two 200watt bulbs were dead, and the cord looked like a fire hazard (apparently the rolls switch died, so they cut it our and duct taped the remaining wires together.  Yeah… about that.)  We cleaned it up, replaced the bulbs, and decided we’d try using it just this once without fixing the wire (do as we say, kids, not as we do!)  So  after painting the wall with a quart of Valspar Mountain Pass, I printed out inspiration image out 6×6 in preparation.

This photo was taken in complete darkness with no flash as we needed the room dark for the projection to show.

For one reason or another, life kept getting in the way of us actually getting this project done.  Possibly because we needed it to be dark for the projection to show, and partially from laziness holidays and family obligations getting in the way.  Eventually we sucked it up and got to tracing.



You may notice that we opted to omit the majority of the overlapping sections at the top of our inspiration picture, this was because we felt that with the width of our wall and the height our ceiling it was better to keep things a bit more simple and spaced out.  Also, we chose to keep our trees a bit more sketchy/wispy than they would have appeared if we had just gone with the decals from Etsy.  We are considering adding a pendant light over the table to further “anchor” the space (and also replacing the ceiling fan that our friend Jason keeps hitting his head on!), but that’s a post for another day.

Has anyone else ever used a projector or painted something large scale on their walls?

January 9, 2011

The Joys of Being a Homeowner

by Cait

Occasionally projects we have had planned for a while (such as the living room curtains or the fireplace face lift) have to take the back burner to things that are more pressing.  This is probably not uncommon, but it is disappointing.

Don’t hate us for our floating rug.

So, in order to explain why our library currently looks like this after taking down the Christmas tree, I have to explain that a month or two ago we noticed the ceiling in front of the fireplace had a crack in it.  There had always been a seam there (which probably means there was a roof leak and a patched ceiling in our house’s past, but it’s a fairly old house; what 56 year old house hasn’t had some sort of roof or water damage?), but at some point recently the ceiling started to crack.  Everything went fine with our inspection a year and a half ago (at least in that area, the flat roof over the living room needed a small patch where it joined the porch roof), and up until now we have not had any reason to doubt the fairly-new roof’s soundness.

This is a spot in the ceiling to the right of the fireplace, normally over the PB chair.

Thankfully my parents just had some ceiling work done and they highly recommend the person they hired, so we plan to  have the same guy fix this after having someone else take a look at the roof and in the attic (because there is no point in simply fixing the cosmetic problem with the ceiling if there is a larger roof-related problem).  We would do the work ourselves, except that a) neither one of us is a roofer and b) as I learned by reading Katie Bower’s blog this kind of ceiling takes a certain skill set we aren’t sure we possess (although we did recently see a consumer grade version of the brush required for this type of ceiling at Lowe’s).

The problem/bummer is that we aren’t sure what kind of cost we are looking at with this, so we may be postponing some things we had planned for the house in order to tackle it.  Also, in case the fix ends up being more expensive  than we anticipate (or also because projects sometimes have a tendency to domino-affect; this could potentially lead to the fireplace face lift since they are in the same area, and we have other ceilings that need smoothing, etc) we may be taking on smaller projects that aren’t exactly sexy blog-worthy  (like the first section of our To Do List).

Has anyone else had to postpone projects that are mainly decor-related in order to take care of more structural things?  (I would ask if anyone has had a crack like this before, but I really don’t know if I could handle someone saying “yes and it led to us needing an entirely new roof”.)

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January 9, 2011

Post Holiday To-Dos

by Robert

Like some crazy people out there most people, we often make lists of things that need to be accomplished on the weekends (and occasionally these lists are a bit ambitious).  This weekend, that list revolved mostly around taking down Christmas decorations and some general clean up that hadn’t fully taken place over the holidays.  In the interest of not reinventing the wheel, we have linked to other blogs who did great posts on a couple of these subjects.

Also for the sake of irony (and because we didn’t post one earlier), here is our Christmas Tree.


Need To Do This Weekend

  • Quick whole house clean up
  • Caulk living room windowsKatie Bower on Weatherizing for Winter
  • Pack up indoor Christmas decorations & take down tree Rebecca on De-Christmasing (lots of other blog-world-peeps have posted on this subject, but Cait & I read this one most recently…and liked it)
  • Take down outdoor Christmas lights
  • Put door sweep on  back porch screen door to keep damn leaves out
  • Scrub kitchen&bathroom floors
  • Paint trees on living room wall
  • Recycle grocery bags and newspapers

Would Like To Do Today/Soon/Before We Die

  • Finish backdoor curtain (I ironed, it’s her turn now)
  • Start living room curtains
  • Stencil doorway between dining room and kitchen

Cait will be back later with another post about the backdoor curtain and one about why our library looks like this (which is sad…and may involve a floating rug for which we would rather not be hated) :