Archive | January, 2013

Conquer the Closet

31 Jan

So I think every home has at least one spot where crap just gravitates toward. Our house, has multiple crap magnets, but we are officially down one cause I tackled the closet! Since we moved in, I’ve just been stuffing things in there. Things that totally don’t belong there. Like paystubs, old prescriptions, toilet bowl cleaner. Yeah – let’s just say it was a catch all. Here is a lovely image to help you understand how much this closet was just not functioning.

Organization closet

Cluttered Closet – Before

Inspired by the William Morris project over at Pancakes and French Fries, I decided that today was the day. To Conquer – that – Closet. So I started by grabbing a selection of baskets from our stash in the basement (another area in dire need of being conquered, alas, not today). And I set to work purging this baby of all it’s unnecessary items. Funny, I thought for sure we would have to take a trip to HomeGoods or Ikea to get some new storage for the closet, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a solid stash hanging out in the basement. I found that the one great thing about moving, is that you can go shopping in your house, cause ya land up hoarding random things all over the place and finding them later. It’s awesome.

Closet organization

Baskets | Closet Organziation

I started by just emptying the whole kit and caboodle out so that I could systematically tackle it. When we were packing to move to this house, I actually found that I really like organizing items into a defined space. I was the master of packing boxes. I swear, it’s like another being zapped into my body (I’m talking Quantum Leap, here – do you remember that show!?) Just like that, like vrooom – and a jolt – and this new identity takes over. I would just look at the box, and all the stuff around me I’d have to pack and it just all magically fit. The closet felt like the same type of challenge. Defined amount of space, lots of random crap to fit in. I was up to the task. My alter ego that is, was up to the task. Of course, the Orange Tabby was there for moral support.

The orange tabby helping

Malcolm Helping

I started up at the top, and just worked my way on down. Here are some close-ups of the finished closet. Found some pillows just laying around, figured the linen closet was a good place to put em’ 🙂 We have mostly linens and medicine stocked away in this cabinet, so I started compartmentalizing everything into separate totes to organize.

Closet Organization, Storage

Closet Organization

Here is the long and lean shot of the space. Much improved! Feels good to check that beast off the list!  Only took 3-months. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Linen Closet Organization

Linen Closet Organization


Can you Give Me a D. S. L. R.

30 Jan

Yep – we took the plunge. Entered into the sweet abyss of the DSLR world. Although I do love my trusty iphone, there were a few issues that were starting to develop as I took more and more pictures. One, I mean an iphone is great for – we are at the bar with our friends – let’s take a picture, capture the memories type of warm and fuzzy moment. Great for that. Not so great for all the close-up shots around the house we have been taking lately. I’ve been visiting other blogs and just drooling over the way better quality of photos y’all got going on. So although I lasted a few weeks exclusively with the iphone, it’s time to bust out the wallet and commit already. Plus, one of my day zero goals was to learn to take better photos, so that helped push me along as well.

Pretty much since we got married I’ve been pegging for one of these beasts so I am pretty excited that I can actually call one mine. Once I got it set in my head that I was going to buy a DSLR, I recruited Jay to help me snag the perfect one. I had a few very practical considerations.

1. Price: $500 was my max. I mean, I’m sure those $2,000 + DSLR’s work like a dream, but I’m a girl on a budget. Plus, this is my first DSLR, so although I want it to be nice, it doesn’t have to be a Rolls Royce, ya know?

2. Function: Anytime Benjamin Franklin shows his face during a purchase – I want it to be something I can cherish and use for a long time. Like, this camera will probably be given away in my will. Anybody want dibs 😉 So I want to make sure this camera is going to be the cats meow and the dogs bark too. It’s gotta check quite a few boxes.

3. User Friendly: Being the total type A that I am, I want to grab this camera up and immediately be Annie Leibovitz. I know, I know, I’ll need to temper my expectations a bit – but I want to be able to produce a quality product – or learn to do this, with relative ease.

So we decided on – drumroll please – the Nikon 3100. For the price, it just seems like a pretty darn good bang for your buck. I was prepared (as mentioned) to pay $500, but then I went and scored one on craigslist for $350. Put your hands in the aa-ir!! AND it includes a 16 MB memory card and a 4 MB memory card, along with a tripod. Yeah – I’ll take that!

Nikon 3100 DSLR

Nikon 3100 DSLR

So of course, the first subject of photo taking escapades was the orange tabby. I mean, he was just kinda sitting there looking at us, and he’s awfully handsome, so we thought we would capture some of his outstanding looks. Since he tends to move a bit more than the inanimate objects around here, he was also hard to get a good shot of with the phones. The shutter speed on this is obviously just way better than the trusty ole’ phone – plus – um, amazing quality!! Here’s my favorite shot of the Orange Tabby, taken on the first day we got it.

The Orange Tabby Being Cute

The Orange Tabby Being Cute

So far – I gotta tell ya – this thing works like a dream! The quality of the images are just unparalleled to anything you can get on your tele or a point and shoot (which is what phones have come, it seems). Jay is totally into it too, so we kinda fight over who gets to take the pictures. I usually win though 😉

In all honesty, I am super excited to take on the challenge of learning how to use this camera. Having the capability to produce high quality images for our home documentation, and life documentation is just super exciting to me! I can’t wait to capture a few more moments around here.

Sealing the Deal

29 Jan

As mentioned in this post, energy efficiency is one of our main goals for the new abode. Sure, a swanky looking space is great, but even better is a swanky house that cost you less dollar bills each month. More money to put toward home renovations, as far as I see it! 🙂 We got a steal of a deal on a home energy audit, and through participation in the program we were also able to qualify for some pretty sweet rebates. Looks like we will be moving forward with a new furnace for the home, and although we would have preferred to wait until the current one keels off to replace it, the fact that they are going to double our rebate (taking almost $1,000 off the price!) compelled us to pull the trigger a wee bit sooner to snag a good deal on a really energy efficient unit.

During the audit, the guys came through with a thermal camera, which helped us to see where we have leaks in the house. In the shots below, where it’s purple, that’s bad. Like winter seeping into your house through all your cracks bad. Crack(s) are whack – we all know that.

Energy Efficiency Drafty

Infared Camera Images

So, Jay did what any enthused energy efficient loving husband would do. He gleefully ran to his caulk gun and started sealing away! I was like giddy with excitement the entire time. On one hand, you can’t believe that you have had the gaping holes existing for as long as they did, I mean, I was paying to keep the outdoor kitties warm for a bit there. No wonder they hang out around the house so much…

Check out this beast of a gap. Apparently when the last owner installed this side door, they just forgot to seal this baby. So we had a solid inch of a crack that was letting in a hella of a lot of winter. I literally could not believe it when I stood next to the door – so drafty!

Energy Efficiency, Door Leak

Leak in trim around door

And after Jay came through with the trusty caulk gun, this area was looking a lot better! I can’t believe the difference in comfort in our Dining Room already. It even looks better aesthetically!

Energy Efficiency, Caulked Door Trim

Caulked Door Trim

Another spot I did not realize (at all) to check for, is under the baseboards. Most of our boards were sealed pretty well, but there were a few that were really gappy, which leads to leaks. Here is a before picture of some of the trim in our living room. As you can see, there is a noticeable amount of air space there. If you put your hand along the bottom, you could definitely feel the cold air pressing through.

Energy Efficiency Caulking Trim

Leaking Baseboard Trim

And here it is after, looking mighty improved!

Energy Efficiency Caulked Trim

Caulked Trim

So if you’re reading this and saying – hot damn! – I need to seal up my old house, too! I would start with the following steps

  1. Anywhere your windows/door/trim meet the big bad outside world, take your hand along the seam and see if you feel any cold air coming through
  2. If you do, grab a caulk gun a get a going! Caulk generally costs around $5, and you can get a lot of space done with (1) caulk gun. Last time I checked, my utility bills were considerably more than $5, so I consider it money well spent. Plus your house feels so. much. better (sitting in the previously drafty dining room right now typing)
  3. Another space to check for are external wall light outlets. Air can actually seep through there as well.
  4. Our basement joists also had some air seeping out. Our contractor suggested this kit (for $329), which will set us back considerably less than the price quoted to have this professionally done ($2,000+)
  5. AND – If you want to shell out $100-$250, start with a comprehensive energy audit. Ours was only $100, which we got back to apply toward the purchase of anything recommended in the audit. This investment was SO worth it to us, because we really wanted to see everything that needs to be done long term to make this house as energy efficient as possible. One major perk to doing this route is that they will come through and do a blower door test, where all of the air gaps in your house are amplified for them to really discern the areas that need to be tackled. During the blower door test, they ran around with the infrared camera, which is where the thermal images came from.

We are feeling more energy efficient already. And a bit richer, cause ya know, it’s always best to spend your hard earned dollar bills heating your house, and not your neighbors ambient air. I feel like my Dad right now – shut the front door! I’m not paying to heat the outside! Well – now I can say with a bit more confidence, that we are indeed not paying to heat the outside. Winning!

First Things First

28 Jan

Our house, is a very, very, very fine house. With one cat in the window. And two humans in the kitchen. The kitchen is probably our favorite room, that, or the dining room 😉

So although we love our house, as it is now, we’ve also got some pretty big plans for this little abode of ours. Before delving into the description of all the new additions and modifications we plan to make, I thought I would dedicate a post to providing an overview of the house as it stands today. And although it’s a very, very, very fine house – there is always room for improvement. 🙂

First Floor Layout

Layout of First Floor

Our first floor is really the main floor we are living on right now. It’s got two bedrooms, which is one more than we really need – so it’s plenty of room for our little group these days. The Living Room upfront is really more of a formal living space – since we actually have TWO living spaces in the new house! That was quite the bonus, considering the home is a 1940’s bungalow, so it’s pretty rare to find a finished (and DRY!) lower level.

Our big plans for the first floor are to basically tear out the wall between the current Kitchen and Dining Room, and to convert the current screened in porch to our formal dining space. Our Kitchen is really small presently (10×9) and although it functions pretty well for it’s small size, we are so, so excited to have a combined kitchen dining space with an open concept where we can entertain. Of our mucho dinero projects, this is the first we are planning on tackling, so that is super exciting! We plan to get some quotes late this summer, and hopefully proceed with the Dining Room portion in the early fall. Here are some images on how we envision the kitchen space looking post reno:

White Kitchen Marble

Kitchen Inspiration

We plan to put a nice peninsula off the side with room for a few stools, so it will really lead to the open concept feel. We are SO excited. But also kind of nervously waiting and biting our nails to see how much we are quoted for some of the work we cannot do ourselves. It’s the first time we are looking to actually add-on to a house … permits … $$$$ … etc.

These days, we have been chilling a lot in our basement 🙂 Totally a novelty for this little group of bumkins. Our last basement, well, let’s just say not as relaxing of a destination. The space down here is huge, so it’s become a favorite hang out spot for us. We’ve been making lots of progress on the space, and it already feels a lot more like “us” than when we moved in.

Overview of our basement floorplan

Basement Floor Plan

Our big plans for this space are to gut the bathroom, and totally finish the side laundry room, which is just a slab o’ cement right now with lots of wires popping out all over the space. It’s a decent sized footprint though, so there should be some room to work with. I also want to add some built-ins for the TV, and some customized storage in the utility room. But…. it’s the basement, so we are tackling the no-cost/low-cost solutions right now, and when I get board of modifying the main floor, I’ll tackle this space with a bit more earnest.

Attic Conversion Layout

2nd Floor Layout

Finally, we have our second floor, which is just a carpeted, non-insulated attic at the moment. In our last home, we had a really nice space on the second level that was converted to a Master. Although the space functioned well on a square footage basis, like our current attic, this one had NO insulation, and it was really quite awful to sleep in it during the winter and summer months. Live and learn my friend. Luckily we will be tackling finishing off the second floor ourselves, so we will be able to add mucho insulation, and customize all types of built-in details to finish off the space. Since we are planning on adding a dormer and a bath upstairs, this is also a project that will require some professional expertise, so this is one of the long term objectives for the house. Can’t keep me from dreaming though! I’ve already got a pinterest board dedicated to this baby, and know exactly how I want it to look when finished.

Attic Conversion Ideas

Attic Conversion Master Inspiration

So needless to say – we are pretty excited to see where this house takes us. Read a quote when we first moved in, and I thought it was pretty fitting for this new little abode of ours. It said, “Home is where every corner is brimming with possibility.” I think ours is brimming with at least a few years of possibility! Can’t wait to see where the journey takes us!

Also, if of interest. I used a handy little free program to put our house layout together, great tool – even let’s you upload images, if you already have a blueprint laying around, so it’s really easy to quickly produce the home layout. 😉

This is How We Do It

25 Jan

Winter bike commuting, it’s not for the faint of heart. Then again, with the winter we had last year {warmest on record, ya know}, it’s not all that bad, either. 😉 With this week, being an extremely notable exception with the weather. Holy Mother of Christmas – it’s COLD OUT THERE.

Last year, Jay and I both worked right around 4 miles from our work locations respectively, so we both biked pretty much every day. I would bus every once and a while, and since Jay is not on the bus line, he would also drive if the roads were too slick to accommodate his trusty set of bicycle wheels. BUT – I think he drove like twice last winter because it never snowed. In Michigan. Go figure.

This year has started out with a bit more snow – but – overall it’s been manageable enough for Jay to cycle in pretty consistently. The key to pulling it off is to dress in layers. Lot’s of them actually! 😉 In all seriousness, as long as you have a few pieces of vital gear. You are good. to. go!

For reference here is Jay’s bike. It’s the Trek 7.2 .I’ve got the same one. but the ladies version 😉

Trek 7.2

Trek 7.2

First and foremost – is warmth. Since the mornings here in the mitten are often hovering around 20 digits, you want to make sure your phalanges are sufficiently covered. I opt for my trusty mittens, as my ride is short enough that I really don’t have a chunk of time to warm up as much as Jay does. He theory is usually to start out a wee bit cold {wakes ya up ;)}, and by the time he hits mile 1 or 2, he is feeling just about right. That being said, for your hands and feet, there really isn’t much extra blood pumping through em’ after a few miles, and if anything they get colder as your trip goes on. So…. for Christmas Jay asked for a pair of military issue trigger mittens. These things are embarrassingly ugly, in my humble opinion. But he loves them. I mean he puts these on his paws with pride and big old foolish smile on his face. So ya know – if they keep his hands warm – live and let live, ya know. 😉

Trigger Mittens

Trigger Mittens

Equally important is your safety. It’s always important to wear extremely bright clothing when riding a bike into work, but in the winter, the days are pretty short so a light is really crucial. We recently got this light for Jay and it’s hella bright. Helps me rest a little easier to know all those drivers can see my hubby chugging along on the road. He also was gifted a great Sugoi bike jacket for Christmas from his family. It helps complete the legit, bike commuter look. 🙂 Plus it has reflective piping all over it, another added safety feature.

Sugio Bike Jacket

Sugoi Bike Jacket

As a comparison, I usually choose to bike commute 9-10 months out of 12, and I like walk the coldest days {1.5 miles, 20 mins}, or if it’s rainy/crappy out, I take the bus {6 min. ride to downtown}. Jay likes to bike 12 months out of the year, and he only drives if the roads are too icy to bike, or if it’s raining. He is hard core. I mean, look at his lobster gloves. For schlepping all his work clothes and lunch, Jay uses this Topeak bag, which has great side pockets to store lots of extra stuff.

Topeak Bag

Topeak Bag

Biking to work, and to all of our life activities, has truly been one of the BEST changes Jay and I have ever made. Since we got hitched, Jay has probably lost 30 lbs {I would say due to my cooking, but he is the cook! ;)} – and we are both so much healthier. When we were house hunting, one of the most important things to us was our location – which has paid off dividends. Our commutes take 20 mins, but they are also our exercise  so it’s a total win-win. We love it!

Going Cordless

24 Jan

One of the jankiest things about our basement built-in has been the cords that are all over the counter top. I hated those things. They were like weeds coming out of the cabinet and making the whole area look totally unkept and ugg. With a capital U. Here is a before picture to refresh your memory.

Computer with Cords

Computer with Cords

So when I brought up hiding the cords and organizing the space and Jay said it would be no problem to tackle – that made me happy. I didn’t believe him though. I thought he was pulling the whole happy wife, happy life routine. So I said great! … and anticipated not so great. To my complete and utter amazement this was SO EASY. Granted I stood beside him and snapped pictures, but he seemed to know what he was doing. Leave it to the pros, ya know?

The key was in a specific drill bit that he was able to borrow from his co-worker (thanks Ron!). It’s got a diamond blade – fancy, eh? So this beast of a blade cut right through our tile and made the most perfect little circle! I was totally envisioning tile shards flying everywhere and a totally messed up looking counter, but I guess I shouldn’t have doubted the man. So here’s the play by play. First, and most importantly go get a diamond edge hole saw, this is the one we used. You really need this if you are trying to create a hole in tile or stone. If you are just drilling through wood, you can use a normal hole saw, which is what we used after getting through the first layer of tile.

Drilling into Tile

Drilling into Tile

First thing Jay did was get the area just a little wet. Probably a few tablespoons of water – just to helped with the friction. It decreases the heat and you do notice a funky smell if you don’t have a sufficient amount of water on the tile. You can see that a mud like substance starts to result as the tile and grout mix, and the hole begins to form. After this step, ya have a nice little perfectly rounded hole.

Hole in Tile

Hole in Tile

Next, after you get your layer of tile out, you need to come back through and get the chunk of wood underneath. This only took a second, and Jay just switched out the bit on his drill to a 1″ spade bit, which is just a normal circular wood bit.

Drilling into the Wood

Drilling into the Wood

Pretty much done at this point, just need to chisel out any extra wood pieces that are left on the outside perimeter. Look how intensely he is chiseling out that wood! Focused on his work, totally ignoring the paparazzi.

Chiseling Out Wood

Chiseling Out Wood

After we cleaned up, we were left with this! Totally loving this FREE and super easy upgrade. The counter is feeling a lot more airy and open now – definitely a move in the right direction.

Computer Monitor

Computer Monitor

And a view from the back – look at how nice those cords look!


Entering Our Abode

23 Jan

This post is part of the William Morris Project, hosted by Pancakes and French Fries. 

Our little entry way is one of my favorite things about the new house. We usually have it closed for energy efficiency, but I think it is so sweet and quaint. I can’t wait until summer when we can leave the front door open, and Malcolm can hang out and watch the neighbors coming by. That poor kitty is getting cabin fever. Now that the days are getting longer, the poor bugger has been crying for us to open the windows. A few more months, my man. Here is a snapshot of the entry. It’s a nice place to put coats and all that jazz – definitely an upgrade from the last house!

Front Entry: Progress

Front Entry: Progress

For reference, here is what it looked like on move-in day.

Foyer - Before

Foyer – Before

Most of this art has been added over the years from etsy (thanks, Mom!). I usually put 1-2 esty finds on my christmas list and my Mom always gets me at least one in a nice frame. She’s awesome. Here is a close-up of some of the art in the entry. I am totally digging this cookie press of Shakespeare. Saw him for 3 dolla billz at Treasure Mart and picked him up stat! Also found this great map of Rome for $9 on etsy. Never been to Rome, but I gotta soft spot for maps. I imagine I would also have a soft spot for Rome. Another day and another dollar my friend. I actually found the frame for free in someone’s front yard. It was in good shape, so I popped in the new print and voila! Cheap art!

Etsy Art - Front Entry

Etsy Art – Front Entry

On the other side of the door, we’ve got this sweet mosiac print of a kitty (we are fond of kitties around here), and a bicycle print (we are also fond of bicycles). I don’t think I would want to commute into work on this particular bicycle, but still a rockin’ little print to hang out below the cat. Both of these were gifted from my Mom. The top frame is even made from recycled wood – kohl’s sells them I think. I like that it looks a bit more grainy. Adds some texture that you are often missing on a brand spanking new, mass produced frame. Not that this one wasn’t mass produced though if we’re being honest, I mean, it is from kohl’s! 😉 Can’t win em all.

Entry Way Art

Entry Way Art

Here is the light we selected for the space. It’s a small little drum light that has two layers, with a linen exterior. Totally love how it looks! Adds some sophistication to the entry and ties the space together nicely.

Progress Lighting

Progress Lighting

We spray painted the front hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze in order to have it match the hardware on the door. MUCH better than the bling bling gold we had going on when we moved in, let me tell ya! Still not exactly what I would pick out – but for now – it will do just fine. The trim on all the doors in Benjamin Moore, Simply White. 

Front Door Hardware

Front Door Hardware

Here is a look at the entry area from our Living Room. It has a glass door, which is awesome since we are able to close this area off and keep the house a little better insulated throughout the winter. The door itself still needs some attention (paint on the glass from previous owners). Once we work on the door and add a small rug, this space will be well on it’s way. Entry From Living Area

Baked Brie Recipe

22 Jan

Hey – that rhymes! Especially if you say it like – Baked Brie Re-ci-pe. Like a cheer. He, he, he.

Ok, this is like the easiest recipe ever. Made considerably more easy by the fact that we quasi cheated through using crescent rolls. He, he. Jay is a master bread maker, so one of these times we will have to actually make the pastry dough for this.

Here is a snap shot of all the starting ingredients, all 4 of them. 😉

Baked Brie Ingrediants

Baked Brie

All you need is brie, crescent rolls, an egg and jam! Here it is with a cost breakdown:

  • A wheel of Brie $2.30 {on sale BYGO at Meijer or $2.30 each}
  • Crescent Rolls $2
  • 2 ounces of strawberry jam $.40 {lots left over for PB & J!}
  • An egg $.20
  • Total: $4.90 

Jay suggested taking the rind off the cheese first, just to help it stick to the pastry dough a bit better. He told me to take this picture. 😉

Cutting Board

Cutting Board

Then smatter the jelly all over the crescent roll. We had a bit of a tricky time when we first put the roll down on the sheet, as it wanted to separate where the edges were. If you just kinda smoosh the edges together a bit, it helps to close the crease so that the cheese and jam do not seep through when baking. Update: We went shopping tonight and I saw that pillsbury now makes a crescent roll dough option for pastries with no edges!!

Jam on crescent roll

Jam on Crescent Roll

Then all ya gotta do is plop the cheese smack dab in the middle and wrap the dough around so that it covers all of the cheese. Then it should look like this. Like a mummified wheel of brie.

Wrapped Brie

Wrapped Brie

Last you slather that hunka hunka cheese and dough and jelly up with egg and pop that sucker in the oven! Easy, right?! For more precise cooking directions, please see below 😉


1 wheel of Brie
1 egg yolk
1 Puff pastry dough sheet
1 Tbs water
1/4 c fruit preserve
  1. Cut the rind off the top and bottom of the brie to make the pastry adhere better to the cheese
  2. Unroll the puff pastry
  3. Spread the fruit preserve on the center of the puff pastry
  4. Place the brie on the puff pastry and fruit preserve
  5. Wrap the puff pastry over the top of the brie and press all the seams to seal
  6. Flip over so the fruit will be on top during baking (optional)
  7. Beat the egg yolk and Tbs of water and brush over the puff pastry
  8. Bake at 350F for 25-30min or until the pastry is golden brown

And here is your finished product! We used apple slices to eat along side it and I thought it was delish. YUM in my tum!

Finished Bake Brie

Finished Bake Brie

As for the rind that Jay took off – that did not go to waste. The orange tabby and the husband happily shared the remains. 🙂

Jay and Malcolm

Jay and Malcolm

This blog post is linked to the link party over at Real Housemom’s, see all the links and projects here.

A Glimpse of the Guest Room

21 Jan

Like the Master, the second bedroom on the main floor is also quite small. But ya know, it’s enough room for a bed and a dresser – so it works great for us! 🙂 Some day in the future, we will probably transition this space to a nursery for a mini-me, but for now, it works great as Jay’s dressing room 😉 He is usually up 30 mins before me, so it’s great to be able to get some additional shut eye without him rummaging around the room. When we convert the attic to a Master Suite – we will definitely be thinking about these types of logistical issues – for now – it’s nice to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t for when we design that space.

Most of this stuff is recycled from the old house, but we have a few new adds as well. Overall, I’m thinking we still need a rug, perhaps an ottoman for the end of the bed and some ART! There is not anything on the walls right now, and it’s looking sparse. Sad and sparse. Need to get on that stat. Here is a view of the bed, the main attraction in the room.

Guest Room

Guest Room

Sad but true, this is the fist room in the house that actually has a color in it, and not a neutral, beige or off-white tone. When it comes to colors, I just vastly prefer a soft a neutral palette, and anytime I’ve risked it and opted to add some color to the base – I usually HATE it. But, I decided to take a risk on this room, and I am so glad I did! We went with Wisdom by Behr, and it reads like an overcast sky. So lovely, and calming. Glad we opted to add just a hint of color in this room for something a bit different.

Here are some close-up shots of some of the details I love in the room. This mirror was a great find from HomeGoods. I love the texture on it, just adds a bit of depth to the room. The dresser still needs a lamp on it, or some other small details. Over time, those details usually fall into place. You can see that this bedroom is off to the side of the house, and looks out into the hall, and living room.

Guest Room - Dresser and Mirror

Guest Room – Dresser and Mirror

Another HomeGoods find – love this blanket! It is so incredibly soft! Fun little print that adds a little bit of a modern touch to a room that feels a wee bit too traditional to me right now. Got spice this one up a bit! Maybe with the art…

Guest Room - Bedspread

Guest Room – Bedspread

And here is a close up of the pillows. Mostly from Homegoods, the back two are from IKEA. I liked that you could see the stripe on the side, kind of whimsical and fun but still understated. I am concerned that these pillows may be a bit too big for this headboard, but I am going to keep them for a wee bit. Over time I may switch them out, but for now I am loving the linen fabric as a backdrop. The pillows were only $12.99 for a 26″ x 26″ linen cover, so that is a steal for the size! You do need to buy an insert – but being IKEA, that was only $7.99. Huzza!

Guest Room - Pillows

Guest Room – Pillows

Overall – still some stuff to do, but the room is ready for guests – so come on over! 🙂

Loads of Potential

18 Jan

So when we moved into the house, we realized right away that our current Master Bedroom was small. We kinda missed our his and hers closets in the last place. Jay got the boot to the second bedroom downstairs, and I tried to make the most of the current closet space. It has tons of great storage in it, but it’s all up high. Like grab a ladder and tote your tuckus up there high. Not exactly the best thing for your morning, I’m running late for work, rush.

I also realized that the only space in our teeny tiny bedroom where extra storage could fit organically was in between the closet door and the entry door. Problem is, the space is 30″, which is pretty small for most dressers out there. I had it in my mind to do an IKEA hack on this dresser, but then, I found this guy – for $15 on craigslist. It was actually listed for $20, but I used by suave negotiating skills to get it for $15 😉 Still haven’t ruled out the idea of dressing up the IKEA dresser, but for now – I think I am going to try modifying this guy and take the economical route.

Bedroom Cabinet

Bedroom Cabinet

Although it doesn’t look like much right now, I think it’s got some serious potential. Look, even Malcolm thinks so! 🙂

Malcolm in Cabinet

Malcolm in Cabinet

It’s got lots of depth, which will be really great for storing all my stuff. That doesn’t fit in the closet. Yep – too much stuff. I’m thinking about putting some baskets in there for storage. Favorite thing about it – the drawer on top is super smooth. Thing slides like butta. Which ya know, when you are getting your duds on craigslist – ya never know how it’s going to be. Right now the drawers need to be modified to slide in and out easier. They are presently a tad too big, so they hit the doors each time I slide them in or out. Not good for easy access – so Jay will help me modify them.

Cabinet Storage

Cabinet Storage

I’ve got my mind to paint to all white, with some beautiful new hardware on it. Only trouble I’m having is trying to figure if I want to do the same hardware on both the drawer and the cabinets, or knobs on the cabinet doors and a pull on the drawer. I’m leaning toward the same hardware I intend to use for the basement built-in, below. This way I can give it a trail run before I buy the entire lot. I’ll keep ya posted 🙂

Hardware Option

Hardware Option