Room To Lounge

There is one room in our house that is in constant flux. The playroom. I’m ALWAYS in there cleaning, picking up toys, rearranging things to accommodate our (quickly) growing children. It seems like every few months the kids’ needs change, and thus, so does the playroom.

I’m so grateful we have a room to use just for the kids to play in. Especially since we don’t have a finished basement and our bedrooms are all upstairs, it’s nice for the kids to have a safe place on the main floor to play where I can keep close watch of them. I’m especially grateful for it this Summer because it has been too hot to play outside some days, like this ENTIRE WEEK. While it has been so hot, we’ve been having afternoon movie time. I turn the lights off, close the curtains, make a comfy pillow fort, grab some snacks and lay down and watch a movie, or two. This movie time is awesome because 1. it’s a cool distraction from outside and 2. both kids usually fall asleep!

I noticed that the rooms current layout was not very accommodating for movie time, or even just lounging, especially for us adults when we are in there. The room is large, but has two large picture windows and two large door openings. Our t.v. has been on the wall in the corner which made it tricky to comfortably place a sofa without it being in the center of the room. The t.v. placement was one of those decisions we made hastily when we first moved in, without really knowing where we would need/want it.

Here is a look at the previous layout. Basically the sofa was in the middle of the room, and the four corners were separate little play areas. I liked this layout while the kids were smaller, because they could both play with their own toys in separate corners. These days, they are more into the same toys and need more room to spread out and play.

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Since the room is somewhat long and narrow, I decided to split it in half and dedicate half to a ‘lounge’ area and half to the play area. This required moving the wall mounted t.v. and praying that the cable cord would reach to the new spot. Luckily it did with a little finesse.

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I moved all of our toy storage onto one wall and painted the old bookshelf a glossy white to make it look more like one unit. I got really lucky that it all fit nicely onto that one wall and then centered the t.v. above it.

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I also got lucky that our sofa/futon just barely fit along the back wall.  I wish I had a little more room for an end table or two, but I may end up finding a long narrow table to go behind it. I’m not too worried about it right now, because the futon will be replaced one of these days when the kids are older. Right now though, we are loving having a futon in this space for movie watching, naps, and when we have extra guests staying with us.

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I love that it feels cozy, but there is still plenty of room for the kids to get out their toys in this area. Lots of Duplo building goes on in this space. We had a hard time getting our tent out without moving things around before, and now there is plenty of room for it.

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Hollis did end up losing her painted house mural, but I promised I would fix up her little kitchen area as a compromise. The Ikea kitchen needed some paint touch-ups and while I was at it, I just ended up giving it a whole new farmhouse makeover. I still have a shelf to hang for her baby doll accessories and I let her pick some artwork to hang along the walls.

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Bowen is a big fan of the kitchen lately too. I have plans for a little tool/garage area for him on the opposite wall. He is getting a workbench for Christmas this year so I have a little time before I focus on that. I’m sure Hollis will enjoy it as well.

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I’m sure this room will change again, but so far I’m really happy with this new layout. The kids seem to be really happy with it too. It just feels so much bigger and more open. I love makeovers that just require a little furniture rearranging and minimal paint…and that are totally FREE!!

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That Time I Painted Upholstery…

We’ve had these set of three chairs that we snagged for free from the very nice people at our bank, of all places, for months. Two of them are meant for Brian’s office, but the third…the third one is all mine (rubs hands together maniacally). The chairs are in great shape, they just have a very 60’s, masculine vibe to them. I’ve used the third chair in almost all the rooms in our house, most currently in our bedroom. We have a weird little nook in our bedroom with Brian’s dresser and one of these chairs fits there nicely too. It really comes in handy when you want to sit and tie your shoes or set the laundry basket in for a couple days…or weeks.

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As most of you know, I’ve been working on our master bedroom and trying to make it feel a little more ‘polished’ and little less ‘hot mess’. Currently this chair is just too brown and orange for my needs. I want to lighten it up a bit and make it feel more rustic/shabby chic and less 60’s office waiting room.

I started by spray painting the wood frame an ivory color. I planned on removing the cushions and covering them in a nice gray, velvet….that was the plan. The bottom cushion cooperated nicely and was super easy to remove with a few screws. The back cushion was not going to come off easily I realized after removing half of the studs. My fear was that I would tear it up too much to be able to re-attach it. I had this problem with the last chairs I re-upholstered. I never could get the backs back on them, so they stayed off. Luckily those chairs didn’t really need the back cushion, but this chair does. It just wouldn’t be comfortable without it.

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Cut to me watching 37-ish tutorials on YouTube about how to paint upholstery. I know…I was skeptical to say the least, but after watching video after video, I felt somewhat confident that I could do it. Worse case scenario, it doesn’t work and I rip out the back cushion and try to recover it.

I bought some acrylic paint (some video tutorials used latex), and some fabric medium. The directions were pretty simple: combine one part paint, one part fabric medium, and one part water. I did about 1/4 cup of each since the area I had to paint was actually pretty small. I chose a medium gray color for my paint because the cushions were pretty dark. I didn’t want to choose a color that was too light and have to paint 10 coats.

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The first coat was scary. I really started to second guess my choices at this point. The paint is pretty runny and it looks a lot like a stain more than a coat of paint. Also it is really important to let your fabric have a full 24 hours to dry in between coats. Another tip that I found weird, but necessary, was to sand the fabric in between coats with a fine sand paper. It sounds crazy, but it really helped the fabric to soften up and feel less stiff.

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Luckily after three coats things started to look a lot better. The pattern of the fabric still shows through, so if you don’t like the pattern on your upholstery, this is not a good option for you. Also, the upholstery is NOT as soft as it was originally. Even with sanding between coats, it ends up feeling more like a canvas drop cloth. Still comfortable to touch, just a little more stiff.

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After I reattached my cushion, I decided that the ivory paint was too basic and boring.  I just wasn’t feeling it. So I grabbed some gray stain and dry-brushed it all over the wood frame. Then I grabbed a sanding block and roughed up the paint around the edges and the spindles. I love that rustic, well-loved look on this chair.

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I haven’t antiqued much furniture, but I feel like it really works on this chair. I kind of want to find more furniture try it on…(more maniacal hand rubbing).

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Also, I saw this pillow at the back of the store all the way from the entrance. It was practically screaming at me to take it home with that bold navy and white print. Then I got closer and noticed the blush pink tassels and it immediately went into my cart. And yes, that store was TJ Maxx.

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I have to say, painting upholstery was not something I ever thought I would try, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Would I paint a comfy chair that I love to relax in or cozy up and watch a movie in?…Probably not. But it works for a chair we sit in occasionally for a short periods of time. I feel like it adds just enough farmhouse/shabby chic-ness to the bedroom and is a nice contrast to the dark walls and wood trim.

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No More Plain Jane

So our bedroom is NOT done, but I thought I’d share the progress that is happening. Other than painting, this room has been pretty neglected since we moved in. I really wanted to keep the deep, navy walls, but things were feeling pretty dark and cave-like in here. My goal was to lighten the space up and add some finishing touches to it so it doesn’t feel like everything was just an afterthought.

My first step in lightning up the room was to address the windows. I thought about buying new curtains that are a little more sheer, but I really liked the blue, heavier ones that we got when we got married. The baby likes to nap in our room and the curtains make it nice and dark when we want it to be. I decided first to take down the old roller blinds that were on the windows. They have been on the windows since we moved in and served their purpose for blocking light, but I really was ready for something that looked a little prettier (also they were broken and wouldn’t open up all the way). I hemmed and hawed as I always do when it comes to window treatments. I finally decided on 2″ wide, faux wood blinds in a bright white. I really love the contrast of them with the dark wood and dark walls. They are also super easy to clean and allow us to have a lot more control over how much light comes in.

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My next focus was the bedding, or lack their of. Our plain white bedding just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. It felt unfinished. I dreamt of white, fluffy hotel-like bedding, but instead our bed was looking more like something you would find in a college dorm room. So I began a hunt for bedding. I wanted something light, and something with some color and pattern to it. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I change my mind often and I wasn’t 100% sure what I was looking for, so I just couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on new bedding. Luckily I already had a down comforter that we liked and just had to find a duvet cover and some shams. I searched far and wide, but ended up on a steal at TJ Maxx….I honestly found like six choices there that all would have worked. I settled on this one because it didn’t feel too girly and had a little gray and a little aqua in it that would pull from other things already in the room. I’m super happy with it and it was only $30!

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I ended up back at TJ Maxx (I swear this isn’t an ad, I just love them!) and looked for some throw pillows to add more color and pattern to the bed. I love mixing color and patterns for more interest and I think it feels so much more intentional and sophisticated. I had to sneak a little pink in there in one pillow and also added a little to some diy abstract art on the walls.

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I still have plans for the other side of the room. I’m on the hunt for some sconces to replace the lamps by the bed. I also have a big chair makeover, that I’m nervously preparing for, and I have plans for the mirror (the one covered in toddler handprints) that I can’t wait to get started on!

Reaching The Unreachable

Guys! The wall along the stairs is FINALLY painted and I didn’t die or break any bones!!

So as you know, I’ve been living with an almost finished paint job for weeks (so many weeks that I’ve lost count). We had everything painted except for one spot directly above the bottom 3 stairs. I was desperate to get to that spot, no matter what. We came up with a slight sketchy plan, that kind of freaked us out. It involved cinderblocks and more than one person holding the ladder…and we were not super excited about trying it.

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Luckily, we got rain here…lots and lots of rain. Which gave Brian a day off and led us to heading to Menards. We went in for something completely unrelated to painting, but Brian suggested we peruse the paint isles just in case we were missing some magical answer to our paint problem. We ended up grabbing a few gadgets that I haven’t tried before, but I didn’t have a whole lot of hope that any of them would help me reach the spot.

We grabbed a couple of things, one of them was this little corner roller attachment that goes on an extension pole. I wasn’t too confident about it, but for less than $4, we got it to try. I figured I could use it for future projects at least.

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It is super lightweight and the shape was perfect for getting into the grooves of the paneling as well as along the quarter round piece of trim that connects our trim and ceiling.

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You can see above that I got a couple of spots of paint on the ceiling. One of those spots is actually from our regular roller where I tried to reach and slipped. So only one is from this little corner roller. I will get out the ceiling paint and try to cover those up soon. I plan on taping my paint brush to the extension rod to do so. I used this trick in the pic below to finish up the wall paint in the few spots that the corner roller didn’t get to.

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I was super scared to try this with the paint brush, especially around the window trim, but it actually worked great. I definitely didn’t trust myself to get too close to the ceiling with it, but it did a pretty good job of filling in the gaps.

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Sorry for the super blurry Snapchat pic, but I was so dang excited for this moment!

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Here is a little less blurry pic of the after. You can still see a few lighter spots where the paint is still wet from my touch up.

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I can’t even put into words how happy I am to cross this project off my list! Especially without having to do any balancing acts on the ladder again. I am so happy to get the giant ladder off our stairs where it’s been living for the last couple of months. So far are really happy with the color…which is great, because I am NOT painting in here again for a long, long time.

The Stairwell Is Painted!…Well, Almost.

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

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In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

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We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

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I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

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If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

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So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

 

 

 

Musical Chairs

I inherited a pair of chairs from Brian’s aunt. I liked them immediately, they are very sturdy and well-made. They have been used in almost every room of our house, but never really had a permanent spot. They’ve been used in our bedroom, Hollis’s room, the office, the hallway, and most currently, our living room. I love that they are light and easy to move around if we have company and need an extra chair, or two, and they are actually really comfortable.

What I don’t love about them, is that they are purple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE purple. I just don’t have a lot of purple décor happening in our home, so they stick out like a sore thumb. They are bent wood chairs with purple vinyl on the back and seat. I have never repurposed vinyl chairs before, so this is new (scary) territory for me.

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I didn’t have a solid plan when I first began this transformation. As you can see in these pics, I tried gray spray paint first, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I also saw some people that spray painted vinyl on Pinterest. I tried that too. Not a fan of the final look for this particular project so I nixed that too.

I had to bite the bullet and remove the vinyl seat and back, which I was really nervous about because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get them back on.  It took A LOT of work to get the backs off. Like I said, they are very well made chairs, but after a couple hours of staple removing, I got them off. Luckily, the seats came off easily with just a few screws.

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I finally decided on black for the frame. I like black. It’s simple. It’s classic. And lord knows I always have it on hand because I use it on everything.

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Next, it was time to cover the vinyl seats. I chose a simple, tan and black Gingham fabric. I just cut them to fit the seat, then used a spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the vinyl and keep it from shifting. Then I finished it off by stapling the fabric to the underside of the seat.

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As you can see, I didn’t put the back on the seat….mostly because I tore it up too much while trying to remove it, but also because I really like the way it looks without. I did wrap a little twine around the back just to tie in the tan from the fabric and to add a little interest.

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I think they turned out pretty good for my first vinyl chair makeover. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for people who do upholstery. Right now this pair is sitting in our living room until we get a loveseat or something else for this spot. I already have the chairs next spots (I will have to split them up) picked out for when we do get something. They are much easier to place around the house now that they  fit in with our décor!

A Tale of Two Night Stands

I remember finding our night stands on Craigslist when I was pregnant with Hollis. In fact, we picked them up in Springfield, MO on the way home from our babymoon. And the previous owners who we bought them from, were a lovely young couple that we ended up chatting with in their living room for like half an hour. It was love at first sight, they were the perfect height and they had a huge drawer to hold all of our crap. They also had a very mid-century modern vibe that we liked. The only thing we didn’t love was that they had a thin, pale wood veneer that we weren’t crazy about. We easily fixed that with a few coats of charcoal gray spray paint. Of course this was all before I started blogging, so I have no before photos!

Since purchasing these beloved night stands, we have moved to the farm and purchased a new bed. Luckily our nightstands are still the perfect size and height, but the dark gray paint is starting to chip and look worn. And since painting our master bedroom a dark navy (which I still LOVE), the dark gray night stands just sort of disappear into the darkness of the walls.

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I knew I wanted to lighten them up and I wanted to add a little modern farmhouse feel to them while I was at it. The furniture in our bedroom is pretty modern, but since the rest of our house is a little more rustic, I wanted to blend the two together so it makes a little more sense. I had some leftover peel and stick tile from Hollis’ ceiling and thought it would add the perfect amount of ‘rustic’ to the night stands. It also adds a little more durability to the top, I mean it’s made to walk on so it should hold up well, right?! We’ll see.

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I bought some drawer pulls too, but haven’t attached them yet. My only worry about adding the peel and stick tiles to the drawer front, is that it may start to peel away on the sides where we pull the drawers back to open them. I’m going to give them a little time to see if we really need the drawer pulls or not, I really like the look without them, but time will tell if they are practical or not.

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I was a little worried Brian wouldn’t like them, because I made these over while he was away on a business trip…I always seem to make over furniture while he is gone! I think it’s a subconscious thing to keep him from telling me my ideas are totally nuts…Luckily he really liked this makeover (wipes beads of sweat off forehead).

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I just love how they turned out! They pop off that dark wall so much better now and they just feel clean and fresh….almost like brand new night stands.