Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

Build-in Envy, Part 2

by Cait

As I alluded to in my last post*, I’ve been rethinking the idea of the build-in in the library.  We were going to use Expedits, but I started having second thoughts about how that would look and those are “last chance” at Ikea now.  I know we can probably make our own build-in a lot cheaper than our former brilliant plan (of buying six Expedits), but I have no idea when we’re going to get to that.  What’s the line about the best laid plans…  (The real line, not the Eddie Izzard line involving mice putting all the cheese in the back of the Mini.**)

Library

We are currently discussing the idea of making something that is sort of a cross between the CB2 3.14 shelf, the DIY version featured on AT, the Expedit and a build-in like the ones below in Kara Paslay’s bathroom & the living room of one of YHL’s house tours.  We like the idea of molding at the top & bottom, but we also like shelves that are not perfectly symmetrical.  The whole eventual process should be interesting, to say the least.

Left from AT, right from CB2

Left from Kara Paslay Designs, right from YHL

Other build-ins that I love are the one in Sara at Russet Street Reno’s den/woman cave, and of course we’ve all seen YHL’s painted bookcases.

*Ok, my last post was random and fueled by coffee, this one was random and spurred by tiredness & Eddie Izzard.  Oops.  Meatier, heartier posts soon.  Hopefully.

**Don’t sit there, there’s a mouse making a plan!

February 26, 2011

Measure Twice, Buy Once

by Cait

This post is pretty much a random stream of thought fueled by coffee.

After reading Micha’s comment on my last post, I started thinking about using the Gislev in the art room again.  So I cleaned up the place where projects go to die art room, and stole the Gislev from the master bedroom (which I must say made the floor on my side of the bed look very naked).

While it doesn’t look too dark anymore (I may not have mentioned in this post that when I tested it for size it looked too dark for the room), but the Gislev is 4’4 x 6’5 and the rugs I’ve been looking at are all 3’6 x 5’6 – way too small, so glad I didn’t go ahead and order something!  I can’t decide if the Gislev is winning me over (and Robert is working on a friend’s car, so he hasn’t seen it yet aside from the picture I texted him).  And the Oh. My. Hell. moment of the day?  The much coveted  Option C from my last post is $345 in a 5×8.  So in short? Gislev it is for now!  (And also, if one of both of those chairs stays in the room, they need to have their seats covered again.)

Speaking of rethinking, a recent Apartment Therapy post (and the fact that the shelves we were going to use are “last chance” at Ikea) has me rethinking the build-in in the library.  That will be another post in itself, but it means that we need a place for our two Ikea Expedits from the library to go to die.

Messy Corner, I see a shelf in your future.

I have no idea what that means for door I had to have from ReStore.

While we’re looking at new pictures of the art room, to clear up any confusion: the closet office.  Currently it is hidden with a shower curtain from Target (that we originally bought for another purpose) when not in use, but  I will be making a curtain from the swatch on the wall soon.  Hopefully we can get the countertop from Ikea soon so the desk can go all the way across.

Oh, and when I stopped by Merrypad to oogle Emily’s Pebble rug in her bedroom?  (Not that I can afford that either.)  I found Zelda, and decided she needs to come live somewhere in the house.  Maybe the art room, maybe not.

So to recap,  I think this means the art room rug shopping crisis has been averted for now.

February 25, 2011

At a Standstill

by Cait

When I posted yesterday I mentioned my rug paralysis as far as what I think will play nicely with the new curtains in the art room.

I have scoured Overstock, RugsUSA.com, World Market, Target, etc etc, but at the moment I keep coming back to these 5 on RugsUSA.com.  I think I’m making it harder on myself than it really needs to be because I keep forgetting that it’s an art room and that the point was to find something that looks nice but can get paint and glue all over it.

See how I overcomplicate things?

a) Surya Frontier Collection FT50 Grey Rug $145
b) Surya Fallon Collection FAL100 Yellow Rug $165
c) Surya Frontier Collection FT40 Grey Rug $145
d) DC Mills South Seas Collection 90100 Natural Rug $89.76
e) Kas Oriental Yazd Collection Harmony Ivory Rug $144

I love a, b and c (ok, who am I kidding, I love a & c and love, love, love b to the point where I’d almost be willing to paint the guest room grey, and give my beloved Tarnby the boot).  Sadly when I look at it with the design board for the room I really feel like the less exciting d is still the way to go.

Would that make for waaay too much jute in our house?

February 24, 2011

Landing Pattern

by Cait

Now that most of the house has new curtains, I’m starting to notice that while I love mixing patterns, certain things just aren’t working.


Ikea Gislev rug beside the bed?  Sorry, this means you.  It’s been great, but now you’re cramping my style.  We’re over.  Maybe you’ll get along with the living room “entryway”.

On the other hand, our new West Elm pillow looks lovely with the curtains (at least until it decides to migrate somewhere else in the house).


And it would look nice with these West Elm sheets


And all of the above? I think it could look good with this rug.  (Although the website says it’s actually grey, which makes me nervous. Maybe it’s greige, that would be nice/perfect.)


And because we all know that things like to migrate around in our house, it also looks quite nice in the art room/office…  Which is good, because I STILL can’t decide on a rug for in there, especially since Megan mentioned RugsUSA.com on my last post about the art room/office. So. Many. Choices!

Does anyone else have competing patterns or rug shopping paralysis?

February 23, 2011

Curtain Master

by Cait

Please excuse the terrible pictures in this post, Robert needed the DSLR at work today, so I’m using old pictures and ones taken with my phone...

Although we like our Ikea curtains in the bedroom, my recent crush on Fabric.com means that I decided the bedroom needed new curtains.  Last night while Robert was in class I decided to be productive and get them hemmed.

Here is a (terrible) before picture of the window beside our bed.

You can see a tiny glimpse of the back porch out this window.

After I finished the first curtain and hung it up I realized just how much we need some sort of lining (or maybe bamboo blinds) before we hang the second curtain, because our neighbor’s garage light shines right in the window beside the bed.  So right now our room has really mismatched curtains.  We are a classy lot around here.

While looking for bedroom pictures for this post I found the ones I took of the second West Elm sconce after we hung it.  Oops.  So here that is…  (And also? I typed “scone” first, and now I really want the petite vanilla scones that Starbucks has/used to have… Mmm…)

February 22, 2011

Corner Office

by Cait

I was ridiculously excited last week when my backordered fabric arrived from Fabric.com about a month early.  I wasted no time in making three panels for the art room and while we were at Ikea this past weekend we bought clips to hang them.  I don’t know that I love the look of the clips, but I do enjoy not having to stand on a chair to open/close the curtains thanks to the fact that they slide easily.  (Ok, who am I kidding, I rarely opened the old curtains, I mainly left that task to Robert.)

As a quick reminder, here is the before.

Art Room

And the (hurriedly taken before the sun went down yesterday) afters.  (We’ll take better photos this weekend.)


The fabric we used is Premier Prints Suzani Slub Texture Yellow/White, and we like it so much that we’re using Premier Prints Suzani Chocolate/Natural in our bedroom.

Aside from the curtains, we are making very slow progress on this room.  We having painted the closet or started on the new closet desk (the hairpin legs arrived, but we couldn’t fit a 96 in counter top in a Beetle with three adults- go figure).  As far as what to do next, I’m thinking about having the metal side chair powder coated (it’s pretty rusty from living in my parents garage, and the idea of something tougher than spray paint is appealing), or picking/ordering a rug.  I recently found one on Overstock similar to the West Elm Ferris rug, but I think I’m still leaning towards jute or sisal…

February 17, 2011

Curtain Wrap Up

by Cait

We’ve been a bit curtain crazy around here over the last month or so.

There has been a lot of cutting…

Yes those are my hands & our curtain fabric, but that is not our floor.  Long story.

And ironing…

Notice we got a new-to-us ironing board and a new cover.

And admiring…

Helper Dog admires the library curtains.

And not freaking our while watching Criminal Minds...


And in case that wasn’t enough curtain-action already?

The 5 are swatches and the bottom is for the bedroom. Somebody stop me before I order again.

I promise we’ll be back with a real post about the art room curtains (and maybe some info on how we made the backdoor curtains if anyone is interested) soon!

February 15, 2011

Birthday Wishes

by Cait

I hope everyone in blogland had a nice Valentine’s Day!  My Valentine’s Day was filled with junk mail, speculation about things at my job, and three Hersey’s kisses from a coworker.  (But Robert and I got dinner from Whole Foods, ate chocolate covered popcorn, and watched a bit of tv, so it was a nice evening.)

I figured that since my birthday is some day before the 19th (as I mentioned to Karen in the comments on this post), I should probably post a wish list.  Anyone who knows me in person and who feels the need to buy me presents is now rolling their eyes because they have probably all bought something already.  (My Spidey Sense — oh, sorry Em/anyone else arachnophobic, I meant Super Sleuthing Skillz — tell me that Robert has been getting calls for at least a week now.  But he won’t tell me who they’re from or what he suggested.)  So, let’s not call this a wish list, let’s call this a list of things that would make me happy.  Some of them I might buy myself this weekend, because who doesn’t like buying themselves presents?

  1. I don’t actually need anything for my birthday, so it would be nice if friends/family to made a donation to someone who does instead.  The Humane Society (where we got both our dogs) and Habitat for Humanity (where we met, and a great place to learn DIY skills) are two of my favorite charities.
  2. Book Arc – Since we started setting up the art room/office I have wanted one of these for my MacBook Pro.  Granted, I want twin 27″ Apple displays too (so not gonna happen) and you don’t see me wish listing those babies!
  3. Ikea Pugg Wall Clock – We don’t have nearly enough clocks in our house (we both usually rely on our phones or computers), and this one is both stylish and affordable.
  4. Burt’s Bees Chapstick (the classic one, though I love the pomegranate one and the mango one sounds neat) – I use chapstick a lot and I’m constantly losing mine, using it all, melting it, breaking the mechanism that dispenses it, whatever. Simple things make me happy.
  5. I love gift cards!  My favorite places to shop are Target, Ikea, Pottery Barn/West Elm, Z Gallerie, Crate&Barrel/CB2, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, the Apple Store and iTunes.
  6. Dr Teal’s Eucalyptus Spearmint Epsom Salt – Great for unwinding after a long day of DIY (and looks great in a glass jar in the guest bathroom).
  7. Einstein Bro’s Vanilla Hazelnut coffee – (I couldn’t find a picture of the bag) I love this coffee.  With or without the toasted asiago bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese.
  8. Z Gallerie Ceramic Rhino – I’ve had my eye on this guy ever since we joined the White Ceramic Animal Club.  I may have to scoop one up on our trip to Ikea/Crate&Barrel/West Elm/Z Gallerie this weekend. (What Jess, you didn’t know we were going all those places? haha)
  9. Super Drive – While I realize that CDs/DVDs are practically obsolete at this point, we are in the process of digitizing our entire media collection, and since our Mac Mini Server (which doesn’t have a disc drive) I’m getting tired of burning things to my MacBook Pro (and then transferring them to the server).  And also?  Sharing media with friends (especially those who use Windows) would be much, much easier with if than one computer was capable of burning discs.

Ok but seriously, I’m not the only one who buys myself presents, right?

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February 9, 2011

Oh And Also?

by Cait

West Elm sent Robert a present for my birthday!**  Aren’t they nice?

My Super Sleuthing Skillz (in other words, me reading the top left corner of the box and spoiling any ounce of mystery left in Robert telling me that he maybe, possibly ordered something) tell me it’s the Flat Stock Flush Mount Light I wanted!  Woohoo!  Now we just need to add a switch for it, since the fan it will be replacing only turns on with pull chains (despite there being two mystery switches that don’t do anything near the door to the guest room).  Any volunteers to crawl in our super tiny attic and install the necessary wiring? ;)

PS- And by “sent Robert a present for my birthday” I mean, he bought the light I wanted when I oh-so-helpfully mentioned they were having a lighting sale a while back (and then it was on backorder, so it didn’t show up until now, but it did come before they said it would), because we are still way, way too small of a blog for anyone to even think about making offers of free stuff for us to decline.

PPS- I like the pretend to make a big deal out of my birthday by drawing it out for about half a month and calling any purchases “birthday presents”, when in actuality I don’t really care all that much and I rarely ever tell anyone when my birthday is.  In fact, Ryan (who I’ve know for over 8 years) still asks me every year around March or April “when is your birthday again?”

February 9, 2011

A Ledgedly

by Cait

Ok, the title of this post is a ridiculously bad pun, please forgive me.

A while back we had the idea to make metal picture ledges the ran the length of our living room windows, which are 105″ long.

images from West Elm

The shelves from West Elm only come in 2′, 3′ or 4′ sections.  We were going to have Robert’s best friend Ryan make us some, but the metal brake he and his dad have only bends 2′ sections.  To save him the effort of welding and smoothing at least four 2′ sections together into one long section, we decided to ask a buddy of Robert’s who works at a machine shop how big their metal brake was.  Unfortunately it turns out that the machine shop’s brake is only 6′ long.  I’m trying to decide if that is long enough, especially since there will be long curtains on the living room windows soon, meaning they will covering the ledge area part of the time.  (Yes, I want long curtains and I am also semi-married to the idea of ledges below the windows.  Is that weird?)

Anyone have any advice for us on the subject?  Should we just abandon the idea of long shelves and get Ryan to make us a couple 2′ ones for over the tv?