Posts tagged ‘Library’

June 22, 2011

Summer Mantel

by Cait

For the past five months our mantel has been looking pretty much the way it did when I changed it up right after Christmas, aside from moving the Katie Bower print to the wall in the dining room.

Tonight, in a fit of needing to do something, I decided to change the mantel up, using things we had around the house. This is what I came up with. Cute, fun, and summery, but maybe a little too busy.

Then Robert decided to do a version. Still fun and summery, but also manly, colorful and maybe a little sparse.

Finally, here’s our combined version. Fun, summery and quirky.

In case you can’t read the titles, here’s a close up of them, to show why I called this quirky (aside from the giant blue head, of course).

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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.**)


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 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!

January 25, 2011

Retaining Water

by Cait

Everyone remember our friend Mr Ceiling Crack?

Meet his new BFF, Mr Bucket.

Blogging about your house is super glamorous.


Hello small window in which we must evict Mr Bucket. (Please don’t hate us for for the temps.)

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January 15, 2011

Simple Switch: Glass Insulators

by Cait

Just a quick Saturday post to say that our mantel was looking pretty bare since the Christmas decorations came down, so after getting tired of looking at it in such a sad state I swapped in a few things that were laying around the house and picked up these glass insulators.

I originally saw this done on House Bella

The photo in the center is from Katie Bower’s Print Shop, and if you are curious about where anything else is from feel free to ask!

Has anyone else felt like their mantel was kind of bare after taking the Christmas things down?  Or if you don’t have a mantel, have you changed up another display are around the house recently?

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) :

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.

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?

August 12, 2010

The Burning Question

by Cait

Have I mentioned the fact that I want to redo our fireplace?


Don’t get me wrong, the grey tile is nice and all, but the pattern on the accent tiles (which stop halfway down…?) isn’t matched up the right way, and sometimes it feels like the mantle needs to be grounded.  If it was just that the tiles stopped halfway down, I’d put something in front to block guests’ view so they wouldn’t notice, but since the accent tiles are wonky too, I just let it all hang out and tell them we plan to redo the fireplace if/when they notice.  Because I’m lazy on top of things like that.

The Hutch's New Home... for now

And as you can see from this picture, the grey tile wraps around behind the hutch, and then wraps around again to the small section of wall before the hall.  I find this a little weird.

Although we probably won’t be able to do anything quite yet about the fireplace, I wanted to start documenting the process here.  We were initially thinking of using flagstone for the fireplace, but now we feel like that wouldn’t go with the style of the room as well– too lodgey.  If the fireplace was in the living room instead of the library it would be perfect, but since the library is a little brighter and more open we want to pick a fireplace style that goes along with that.

I’ve been rereading Katie’s fireplace makeover over at Bower Power, and discussing with Robert the possible need to buy a tool he’s been eying- the powder-actuated tool like Jeremy used.  And maybe a hammer drill (because every once and a while you just have to let them buy power tools).  We might do a similar fireplace renovation, but instead of slate tiles we will probably use flagstone for the surround, or something similar in texture or color, like travertine.  We’ll drywall the other walls that are covered in grey tile, texture them to match the plaster walls in the rest of the house, and paint them the same Spun Honey as the main living spaces.  We’ll also beef up the mantle so it’s more grounded than the current one.  Hopefully this can all take place soon, it would be nice to have it done before the oh-so-harsh Florida winter.

Do you think flagstone will go with the look of our library, or do you think we should do the surround in something else?  Maybe a lighter or smoother texture?