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Posts Tagged ‘design’

988. That’s how many square feet we have. That’s two bedrooms, each with two tiny closets, one small bathroom, a relatively large, but narrow, living room/dining room combo, and a small, but functional kitchen. Our house was built in 1928, so closet and storage space is sparse. The two closets in the bedrooms and a small, half-closet in the bathroom for linens is all we get. No pantry. No coat closet. No hall closet. No extra storage.

So needless to say, storage is an issue for us. Which is why it’s important for us to gain a little storage wherever we can. We look for furniture that can do double duty. Everything has to be functional. Extra functional, even. Which is why we recently got this:

It’s the Queen Brimnes storage bed from Ikea (seen here). The bed was $249, and the slats were another $40, for a total of $289. A LOT less than many of the storage beds we’ve looked at. We snagged it a month or so ago when we took a 5-hour road trip (each way) to the nearest Ikea. We live in St. Louis, and the closest one is in Chicago. We made it a day trip and got tons of stuff, but the biggest and most exciting purchase was the storage bed. And we were definitely in need of a bed, in general. Since we moved into our house, more than a year ago, we’ve been sleeping on our awesome Denver Mattress Company mattress, on the box spring, on the floor. Kind of sad. And a little ghetto. So a bed was on the wish list, but I was waiting to find the perfect storage bed.

I’ve been wanting a storage bed since before we even moved into our tiny, but lovely house because it really just makes perfect sense to me, no matter how much (or how little) storage you may already have. The space under the bed is such a waste. When I was a kid, I used that space, but not effectively. It was basically just the place I shoved everything I could when I was told to clean my room. Then, when I was told to clean under my bed, I had to get a broomstick or something to get all the crap out. Like I said, not effective use of that space.

But the storage bed is perfect. (Or at least, our’s is.) It utilizes all the space under the bed with two huge drawers on each side that allow easy access to everything stored under there. No wasted space. Everyday access. Double-duty furniture. Function!

You might have noticed in the picture above that one of the drawer bottoms is white and one is brown. I get to blame that on Chad. I did the majority of the assembly while Chad was out golfing (we both have our hobbies…), but when he came home, he graciously offered to help. Hence, the wrong side of the bottom got assembled on the right side. By the time I noticed, it was really too late to change it without a great deal of effort. Oops. But no matter. It’s just the inside of a drawer, and I will probably end up putting a liner over them anyway. Eventually.

Here are a few pictures of the assembly process, in case you’re interested.

As you can see, it came in three, flat boxes. Gotta love that we were able to get a queen-sized bed from Chicago to St. Louis in our old Subaru Outback.

I organized all the hardware on a sheet pan to keep things contained and easy to find before starting the assembly process. Plus I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any pieces.

Besides the mattress and box spring, which I stood on their sides, I had already cleared everything from the room for my recent paint job, so I had plenty of room to assemble the bed.

See all that space? We don’t just get to put a bed on top of it. We actually get to use it! Can you tell I’m excited about storage? Anyway. I think this is about how much progress I had made when Chad arrived and offered to help finish the job.

Just the drawers and slats left now. First, the slats.

That’s me. Once we got the slats in place, we were eager to put the mattress on the bed and see what it was going to look like. We could have used the box spring in addition to the mattress, but the slats make it unnecessary and the bed would have been much to high with the frame, box spring and mattress. So the box spring ended up in the basement. (I guess I should have mentioned that we do have a basement for long-term storage, for which I’m so grateful.)

The drawers were the last thing to assemble. You can see that the drawer with the wrong-side-up bottom was the first to be assembled and put in place.

There I am putting the final touch (the handle) on the last drawer. I can’t really explain why this picture is in black and white, except that when I was going through the pictures, I guess I thought I looked a little less grubby in black and white. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m definitely not a get-all-cute-before-DIYing-stuff kind of girl. But maybe this blog will change that. Maybe.

Here it is all assembled, drawers in. Chad was clearly exhausted by his day of golf and bed assembly.

And there it is all made up. You might notice the mismatched headboard back there. I got that for 10 bucks from Goodwill a while ago. I’ll be back to tell you more about that later.

In the meantime, let me know what you think. Do you have (or lust after) a storage bed of your own? Are you as perplexed as I am that storage beds aren’t the norm? Please dish.

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If you don’t know what Pinterest is, go request your invite now (unless, of course, you want to keep yourself from spending far too much time in front of a computer screen “pinning” and “repinning”). But seriously, it’s worth checking out. Here’s some info about it.

If you do know what Pinterest is, you are probably already an addict like me.  And maybe you already know about “The Pinterest Challenge” — the brainchild of Sherry and John over at YoungHouseLove.com, Katie and Jeremy from BowerPowerBlog.com, Joey and Lana from JoeyandLana.com, and HGTV’s Design Star, Emily Henderson at StyleByEmilyHenderson.com. If not, you can check out their posts about the idea here, here, here, and here, respectively (there’s even a funny little video to explain the whole shebang). And since they’ve invited all of us to join in the fun, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pull a project or two out of the inspiration I’ve been gathering for a while now.

Here’s the Pinspiration for my project:

One of the really nice things about Pinterest is that if you see something you like, you can just click on the image and go directly to the original link. If there’s a tutorial, you’re right there to see it. And you can repin the image as a reminder to yourself and a catalogue of ideas — no bookmarks necessary. (I should mention that, although I sound a bit like a Pinterest commercial here, I wasn’t paid or perked to talk about them; I just think it’s a cool concept and spend a fair amount of time pinning the hours away.)

This particular pin linked to a tutorial from MarthaStewart.com for making flowers to adorn some throw pillows. I wasn’t really interested (or shall I say, pinterested? Har, har.) in the pillows — just the flowers.

I had bought this felt from Felt On The Fly through Etsy.com a while back:

So I used the white piece of felt to attempt the flowers in question. I cut petals in a variety of sizes, including really teeny tiny ones (smaller than I thought would even work, but it did!). First, I cut strips of felt; then I cut the strips into tiny rectangles, like this:

Then, I cut the rectangles into little petals, like this:

I found that they really didn’t have to be perfect or all exactly the same, as long as I started with the same size rectangle. There’s a template on the link, but I just eyeballed it. I should probably mention, in case you hadn’t noticed, that I opted to make a five-petaled flower instead of the four-petaled variety shown in the original Pinspiration. I just liked it better that way, but I think you could do any amount of petals you’d like. Once I had the petals cut, it was easy to take a little length of thread and a needle and connect the petals like this:

Then, I just had to pull the thread tight and tie a knot or two in the end of it.

And it’s a flower! So simple.

You can see that I made a few different-sized ones. You can also see that the flowers look different in the center depending on how tight I pulled the thread before tying it off. I really like that they’re all a little different. At first I didn’t really know what I was going to do with them, so I just propped them up against some frames that I have waiting to become another Pinterest-inspired project.

But then I remembered another project that I had started. I decided a while back to make a wreath for our bare front door out of sticks I collected from our tree-covered backyard. This is how it started:

I didn’t have a wreath form sitting around, and I was anxious to get started, so I went searching around the house for something that might suffice. I found the long stems with thick wire inside — leftover from some silk flowers that I bought a few months ago for my wedding. The stems were super long, so I had cut them shorter, but saved the leftovers to be re-purposed — it turns out — into a wreath form. After bending two stems into half circles, I used the florist tape that I had leftover from the silk flowers wedding project to join and cover the two stems.

Then, I took a bunch of twigs and broke them into similarly sized pieces and plugged in the hot glue gun. Once they were all broken, I started gluing them on the circle.

There are lots of ideas on Pinterest that use sticks, but here’s an example of one that inspired this project; Let’s call it my twigspiration, originally from here:

I had a picture in my head before I started, so I arranged the sticks as close to that vision as I could.

But I quickly decided that I didn’t like the way it was looking. I might have been able to salvage it, but the angles were annoying me, so I ripped all the sticks off the circle on which I had just glued them. Fail. Or rather, try again.

I liked this a lot better than the first attempt. I felt like it definitely needed something else, as it was kind of scrawny. But I was out of time, so I stuck it on the door until I could figure out what to add to make it a little more fun.

Are you getting where I’m going with this? That’s right. Remember those felt flowers?

I just placed them around the wreath in little bunches.

I made quite a few more flowers once I decided to put them on the needs-something wreath. In fact, I just had the wreath in front of me and kept placing the flowers on the wreath as I finished making each one until I liked the way it looked, then put a little hot glue underneath them. I even made a tiny flower and glued it in the center of the largest flower, just because I thought it was cute.

Once the wreath was full of flowers, I put it back on the door. And rather liked it.

It’s still a little on the scrawny side, but I like the difference in texture between the rough sticks and the soft felt. Here’s another closeup, this time hanging on the door outside.

Another view of the whole door all fancied up with its new wreath.

And one more picture for good measure.

So there you have it. A couple Pinspired crafts, put together to make one new wreath for my previously bare door.

What do you think? Should I have just waited to make a wreath until I had the “proper” supplies? Or do you like that I re-purposed old stuff I had around the house? I’m pretty excited to see if others who’ve taken on “The Pinterest Challenge” have used old stuff to make cool new stuff. Feel free to share your projects here. Otherwise, I’ll see you over on Pinterest. Oh, and feel free to follow me, too.

Update: Don’t forget to check out the projects that the founders of “The Pinterest Challenge” dreamed up. YoungHouseLove’s clothespin chandelier, BowerPower’s shim mirror, JoeyandLana’s chalkboard fridge, and StyleByEmilyHenderson’s nailhead closet doors. They’re all pretty awesome. Go see.

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Why is it that the master bedroom — where I sleep every night, dress every morning, and begin and end each day — is the last place I decorate? I guess it’s just that I can close the door when guests are over and devote my time and energy to the rooms in which they will be instead.

Oh well. Now that I’ve lived in this house for more than a year and have gotten a basic layer of decor in the common areas of the house, I can finally work on creating a space for my husband and myself that will welcome us to each new day and calm us into sleep after that day has taken its toll on us.

After finally finding a duvet cover that I liked/was willing to pay the asking price for (seen here), I got to paint! I had been waiting for this moment pretty much since the day we moved in. I was lucky enough to really love the color of the living room/dining room (it’s one big room, really). The same color is in the hallway. I’m good with that. The kitchen is perfectly neutral, as is the bathroom. And the guest bedroom definitely isn’t my first choice in paint color, but it’s fine for the time being. (I’m hoping that it won’t be more than a year or so before I’m contemplating what color to paint the nursery — which is what that room will ultimately be — anyway.)

In sum, I’m good with the colors of all the rooms in our little home, except our bedroom. At first, I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t really like it. But after looking at the house a couple of times before the sale was final, I decided I kinda hated it. By the time we moved in, it was official. It’s not that it’s an inherently bad color. It’s just that the slightly salmon, kinda terracotta, almost orange hue was too energized for a space that I feel should be soothing. Here, you can see what I mean. (Or not. Maybe you love it. That’s OK, too.)

You can also see that I was prepping for a paint job. (And that I threw all the covers and sheets into the middle of the bed when I moved the bed to the middle of the room so I could get to all the walls. Embarrassing.)

Anyway, once I got the duvet cover, I finally felt like I had a centerpiece to build a room around. And I finally felt like I could pick a color scheme. And that meant I finally got to paint my room.

I had originally been kind of obsessed with aqua and thought I might paint my room some shade of blue/green/turquoise/teal/aqua. But the duvet dictated otherwise. Gray seemed like a natural choice. Plus I’ve been loving all the gray walls over at YoungHouseLove.com lately.

So off I went to the hardware store to pick paint swatches. I was honestly kind of bummed by the selection of grays, but it’s probably best that my choices were sort of limited because I don’t always do well with decisions. In any case, I brought them home and pretty quickly narrowed the selection down to two or three and showed Chad. We both liked one in particular — Notre Dame (5006-1B) by Valspar (in a flat finish) — so off I went to get paint and supplies from the hardware store.

After using our vacuum’s dusting attachment to get the dust off the walls and molding, I taped off the room using Scotch blue painter’s tape with edgelock. I considered just cutting in by hand, but it’s been a while since I’ve painted anything, and I didn’t really want to risk it. Plus, we don’t have an appropriate ladder, so I would be using a step stool to reach the top of the wall, and I didn’t want to be stretching my arms and trying to be accurate with a paintbrush. But it was definitely a pain. It took quite a bit longer to tape everything than I anticipated. Probably an hour and a half or so.

Then, I started painting.

Again, the process took longer than I expected (which always happens to me – I guess I’m just an optimist and always think projects are going to be quick and easy…). In fact, I had intended to finish the whole project in one sitting, but I had a potluck to get to that night and barely finished the first coat of paint before I had to leave to get to the potluck (and I was still a little late).

After that first coat, I only had about 1/3 of the gallon of paint left. And the coverage was pretty good. Except for a few spots. Boo. I thought about just touching up those spots where a little orange poked through the gray, especially since I chose a flat finish for the project, which is the easiest finish to touch up. But I worried it might look kind of patchy and/or I might miss a few spots and it would bug me down the road.

So a couple of days later (the first chance I had a few hours at once to work), I went back to the hardware store to get an extra quart of paint. I mixed the quart with the remaining 1/3 of the original gallon, just to make sure the color was seamless, and got to work on coat #2.

I don’t know if I was putting too heavy of a coat on the walls, but I ran out of paint again. Boo. I did realize that the Valspar paint I was using claimed to be “thick, one coat coverage,” so maybe I was just using a little too thin of a coat the first time around, actually. In any case, I think I had a premonition that this might happen and I decided to paint around the room in the opposite direction for the second coat than I did for the first coat. In other words, I started both coats on the wall where the door is, but for the first coat, I went clockwise, to paint the wall to its right, all the way around. For the second coat, I painted counter-clockwise.

As a result, the last wall I painted the first coat (which seemed to be the spottiest paint job — probably because I was rushing a bit by the time I got to that wall) was the second wall I painted the second coat. So I had plenty of paint to make sure all the spots got covered. By the time I ran out of paint the second time around, I had nearly finished the whole room. I was bummed, but I waited a couple of days and decided that I couldn’t tell the difference between the area of the last wall that only got one, thick coat and the area that got two. And I decided that if I couldn’t tell the difference, no one else would be able to either. So I declared myself done.

Then it was time to pull the tape and see the nice crisp edges that it left.

Or not! Can you see that bleeding? Bummer. All that time spent taping, and it didn’t even really work. I don’t know if I did something wrong or if this just happens, but I’ll think a little harder before spending time taping next time. On the bright side, once I had nice fresh paint on the walls, the trim started looking pretty dingy to me. Normally, that wouldn’t be a bright side at all, but at least when I finally get around to freshening up the paint on the trim, I can make those edges a little more crisp, too. One day. Maybe soon…

OK. So, now that I’ve managed to write 1318 words about painting a few walls, let’s see the finished room, shall we?

There are a couple of projects hiding in this picture that I’ll be back to tell you about soon, but until then, what do you think about the gray walls? Do they work with the duvet cover? Did you prefer the original color, or do you find the gray more soothing, as I do? And while we’re at it, do you have any tips for using painter’s tape (or for NOT using painter’s tape)? Should I have done a better job on my first coat of paint and skipped the second coat altogether, or should I have gone a little thinner with both coats to ensure I had enough paint to cover the whole room? Thoughts? Tips? Advice? I’m all ears.

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