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!!

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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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!

Fireworks and Flea Markets

Hollis and I headed to Kansas City to spend the July 4th weekend with my family. (Brian had to stay here and cut wheat). We usually get together and stuff our faces and then blow some things up.  The fourth has become one of my favorite holidays. It’s just so relaxing and stress-free. There’s no gift buying or wrapping or slaving away in the kitchen. Everyone is happy just grilling and eating pasta salad all day and homemade ice cream….can’t forget the homemade ice cream. Along with the food, there was also sun rays being soaked up, outdoor games being played, catching up with family, and Sangria!

This was Hollis’ first 4th of July and her first look at fireworks….she wasn’t a fan. Luckily her Uncle Tyler brought some glow sticks which she was a BIG fan of. She was also a big fan of everyone fawning over her (only grandchild on my side) and her furry cousins (my furry nieces) running around. The weather was beautiful and made the day extra enjoyable. Normally we don’t really venture out of the house until it gets late enough to cool down, but the whole day was sunny with a nice cool breeze. Perfection.

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The next day we had a relaxing morning (love it when the 4th falls on a Friday) and then my parents took us to Cockrell Mercantile. I’ve heard my mom talk about it forever, but I had never been…Now I’m going to want to go every time we visit. It’s made up of 4 or 5 buildings and each one is filled to the brim with kitchen goodies, housewares, accessories, and antiques. I fully intend on doing all of my Christmas shopping there, not just because I know I will find something for everyone, but because it gives me another excuse to go and oggle  look around. My mom and I got to leisurely stroll around and shop while my dad entertained the baby. (thanks dad!)

I walked away with this beauty…my kitchen was practically begging for it.

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And I couldn’t pass up this little dinosaur creamer. I mean who doesn’t need a dino creamer?

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On our last day (Sunday) we headed to church and then for some Chinese food. This is a big deal for me because I cannot get decent Chinese food out here in Central KS. Which is probably for the best as far as my waistline is concerned. Luckily I got to burn a lot of calories off by walking around a nearby flea market! Basically the best kind of exercise, ever. My mom had been there before and said that it’s kind of hit or miss. Of course it was a big hit for me because I had limited trunk space. If I had brought the truck and had plenty of room, I’m sure I wouldn’t have found anything.

Princess Ariel was there to greet me so I knew it was going to be a great trip…

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I was in the market for a bench for our entry way, I also told myself I could use a telephone (or gossip) bench instead if I found one. Well….I found both! So ended up getting the telephone bench AND a bench for the entry way. They were only $25 and in really great shape. So I decided I would take them both and see which works best for the entry way and find a home for the other.

I’ve been seeing these telephone benches all over Pinterest and it has given me ideas on redoing it, but for now I kind of like him as-is. So until I figure out where he’s going, I’m going to just clean him up.

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Here is the bench I also snagged for $25. I know, I know…it has hearts on it. It’s VERY early 90’s country-chic right now BUT I have some ideas on how to eliminate or at least disguise those hearts. I picked him up, not only for the price, but because he is solid wood and very sturdy. He’s also the perfect size for our somewhat narrow entry. I had to take him apart to fit in my trunk for my trip home, but I was able to easily screw him back together. (luckily!)

 

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This copper tray jumped out at me and made me bring him home too. And for $5 I obliged.

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This wire basket also grabbed my attention, he needs a new paint job, but for $3 I can handle it.

 

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I was keeping an eye out for frames, they’re something I always need and try to look for at flea markets and garage sales. My grandma caught me about to buy one and told me not to buy anymore until I look in her attic at some old frames she’s no longer using. She let me take a whole box full of frames I could use and would have shelled out money for at the store, for free! Hollis also approves of my new frames…

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My grandma also sent me home with this beautiful tapestry. Aren’t grandmas just the best?! Mine is. It’s so pretty and I love, love, love the colors. I don’t know for sure what I’m going to do with it, but I will find something. It’s enormous. It’s large enough that I could use it for a queen size bedspread…and maybe I will.

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Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

Not Your Grandma’s China Hutch…

Or maybe it is, I don’t actually know your grandma.

My husband, Brian got me a china hutch a few months before we got married. I was instantly in love. Even better, he got it for a great deal on Craigslist, which only made me love it more. We had registered for china and of course, wanted a place to house all of it. As the months rolled by and our wedding day came near, I had already accumulated a good deal of china. I opened each box excitedly, and started to display it in my new hutch. I wanted it to look pretty, and fancy, like I thought it should, in our formal dining room.

1383039_897326300865_4007006705870023573_nWhen we made the decision to move here to the farm and I started to pack up my china hutch, I was a little sad. All that hard work of meticulously placing each piece of china in the hutch in a formal display that I’m sure no one appreciated except for myself. At that point I was pretty sure we weren’t going to have a formal dining room here in the new house and the hutch was going to end up in the kitchen. I decided then that I wanted it to be a more functional piece and not just a display case.

I finally got around to unpacking all of my china and glassware a couple of weeks ago. (I didn’t want any of it to get dusty or broken while we were working away in the kitchen.) I decided to just unpack it all and lay everything out where I could see it. I collect turquoise glass and I’ve acquired quite a bit of it over the years. I’m not sure how the obsession with it started, but if I see a piece at a flea market or antique store, I instantly gravitate towards and knock anyone in my path out of the way. (So look out!) Now that we have a little one who is constantly on the move, I can no longer safely set my treasures out and about in the living room or anywhere else my little monster can hobble over to. So I knew I wanted to make room for some of my collection in the hutch out of her reach.

After seeing everything spread out across my living room floor, I realized how much of it goes unused. Not because I couldn’t use it, but because it’s normally packed away in a tote or a cabinet and I forget all about it. My favorite thing about moving is seeing all my stuff in a new light and trying to figure out a way to use it in the new space. I get so used to things being a certain way and then I get stuck in a rut. I need to take inventory of things more often and repurpose them instead of only doing it when I move!

I started out slow, just adding a few things at a time. I didn’t  want it to look too thought out. I wanted it to be like me in yoga pants on the couch drinking wine….casual and classy.

IMG_0413I tried to set things at varying heights and group like items together. I wanted it to look  interesting, not cray-cray….there’s a very fine line.

IMG_0417Of course not everything made the cut. Only a very small fraction of the turquoise collection made it. The rest, I tried to sprinkle around the kitchen and other parts of the house that the baby doesn’t play in. And a lot of things ended up in the built-in in our living room closet where I was able to at least unpack it and set it up where I can see it.

IMG_0481IMG_0484I can’t believe I wasted all that time using it for just china, it fit so much more and I haven’t even filled the drawers or lower cabinets. I love that I can walk by and see everything easily. And it doesn’t feel empty when I need to take something out to use it.

IMG_0518P.S. It does have glass doors that go on it, but I took them off while photographing to keep that darn glare down.

I’m A Cheap Date

I love flea markets…and garage sales…and thrift stores….and generally anything that saves me a few bucks. I just love shopping for stuff, even groceries. It’s a sickness I’m pretty sure. One of the reasons I became an interior designer is because I get to basically go shopping for pretty things with other people’s money. What’s better than that?! Nothing.

So when Brian pointed out to me that June Jaunt was coming up, I got super excited. “What is June Jaunt?”, you ask. Good question. It’s basically a neighborhood-wide garage sale on crack. It runs from Tribune to Ellinwood Kansas the first weekend in June. Each town along the way has their own activities going on. Some had concerts, dances, walk/run, car shows, relays, dodgeball tournaments….so many different things to do. Most importantly, there are flea markets, antique stores, garage sales, crafts, food, etc. We only went as far as Rush Center and then made our way back down to Ellinwood which is the closest town to us. This was my first time and I was really only interested in the shopping aspect this trip. When Hollis is older, we may hang out longer in each town and participate in more of the other activities going on.

Bright and early Saturday morning we headed to Rush Center with my list in hand. Yes, I take a list when flea market shopping. Sometimes I get too excited and want to buy every sparkly, shiny thing I see, so a list keeps me on track. Of course if I see something super awesome that’s not on my list, I still usually end up getting it. On my list for this particular trip was: a bench, unique containers, mirror, side table, and frames.

And here is what I actually ended up bringing home…

IMG_0457 ^^  Aren’t these 50’s style chairs great? I got the pair for $45 thanks to Brian’s aunt Carolyn. I hemmed and hawed a little bit before deciding I couldn’t leave without them. They weren’t on my list and I was trying to decide where I could use them in my house….I’m still not 100% sure, but I will find a place for them. I mean, they are gold and glittery! Not to mention they are in great shape, I don’t have to do anything to them except clean them up a bit.

IMG_0454^^ Here is a close-up of that gold glitter, it’s a little hard to photograph, but it’s there and it’s awesome.

IMG_0465^^I’ve been keeping an eye out for some new lamps for our bedroom and this guy was only $2. So now he’s mine. There was another brass one with him, a big chunky round one, and I’m regretting not snatching him up too.

IMG_0468^^I didn’t need this light at all, but he and the light above were both at garage sales that you could tell were heavily hit on Friday and didn’t have much left when we were there Saturday. The sellers were VERY motivated to sell the rest of their stuff and close shop. The owner of this light was going to throw it away. I offered her $1 and she said I could just take it, so I did. I might be able to use it on the back porch or something.

IMG_0472^^This mirror was actually on my list, so I was very excited to find him. We found him at our very first stop, so I almost didn’t get him because I thought for sure I’d find plenty of mirrors along the way. Luckily I did get him because I didn’t find anymore after that first stop. I paid the full $15, which I thought was a really fair price. It’s a BIG mirror, a lot bigger than I was really looking for and I couldn’t find a single scratch on him. Delilah is a big fan of lying around and looking at herself if in it already.

IMG_0474^^This little brass thing I think is a sconce plant holder of some sort. It was marked .50 but I ended up getting it for free with my other purchase. I’m wanting to do a chalkboard wall somewhere in the house and I thought this would be a cute little container to hold chalk and erasers.

IMG_0479^^I got these little tea boxes at the same place as the sconce. There’s so many things they could be used for and they were only a $1. For now I’m going to actually keep, wait for it….tea in them. They fit perfectly in the cubbies of my coffee bar.

IMG_0488^^I also came home with a handful of scarves and handkerchiefs. I love them for a few different things. My mom always gets hankies at antique stores and now she’s got me doing it too! But they are they perfect size and material for little baby head wraps.

10155883_880433065045_7337572592432989243_n^^See?! Perfect.

I’d like to check June Jaunt out again next year. I think I would try to go on Friday though instead of Saturday just to see if there is a lot more stuff. As sparce as some of the sales were on Saturday, I can’t imagine anything would be left on Sunday. Any other thrifty shoppers out there? What do you like to look for at flea markets and garage sales?