Saturday, June 23, 2012

living room makeover

 I've been saying for awhile that I'm going to show you my living room
since my house has been painted and is put back together now ~
so here it is!
I've been procrastinating on posting the pictures because 
the room is far from finished.

With my cousin's advice, I moved the console table to the
front entryway. Found a new mirror at TJ Maxx.
The lamp used to be in our bedroom, but I moved it into
the living room because I want to incorporate blue/turquoise/teal
(haven't made up my mind on this - still "playing") for pops of color with all the neutral.

Moved the buffet, which used to be at the entryway, to this other wall by the couch.
 Dogwood blossom pictures and rug are from IKEA.
Cousin had suggested teal pillows for the couch, but I don't like these in
this setting. I think they're too bright. So now I'm on the hunt for new pillows.
Buffet vignette isn't finished either.

The little side table to the left of the couch will also be repainted.
I might do that in a light blue and distress it a bit. 

 Cousin also picked out these two pictures for over my fireplace.
Quite modern and totally different than what I'm used to,
but I think I actually like these. Sometimes it's good to break out of
your comfort zone.

Bought the black cube at IKEA last weekend. Not sure if that wicker
chair is going to stay there. I'm also trying to decide what
in the world to put on that blank wall. Another picture would
clash with the two above the fireplace and would be "too much".
I'm thinking maybe three floating shelves above the cube
and then a metal art sculpture (in blues!) next to the shelves, above the chair.
What do you think? Any other ideas?
Oh, and please excuse the crazy shadows on the wall. One is me and the
other is from the window on the front door.

 Here's a close-up of the cube. You can see how I incorporated touches of 
blue into the displays.

 The other area of the living room that I didn't show was the windows.
They're on the wall next to the console table. All that's on these
windows right now are wooden blinds. On the hunt for curtains.
Still lots to do!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a party weekend - and that darn fence

 This past Saturday, we had a family party in celebration of my mom's retirement.
We straightened and scrubbed inside, and mowed and swept and power-washed outside.

We got the patio all set up in case anyone wanted to sit outside for awhile - 
despite the 90 degree temps. 
We currently don't have matching patio chairs. We threw away the
matchy-matchy ones last year as they were falling apart ~
and I haven't found what we're looking for (vintage iron) ones yet.
So, in the meantime, cheap, unmatched chairs it is.

Outdoor striped rug is from Wal-Mart.

Remember in my last post, I complained about the neighbor's old, ugly
fence that bordered our property? Some of you said it wasn't that bad.
Well ~ you haven't seen the whole thing.
Take a look at this view where the fence is literally falling over!
In the colder months when the plants aren't there, there is actually
a huge gap underneath the fence. The neighbor can't even let
her dog run free in her yard because of this gap!

Anyway, onto the party girl. Doesn't she look happy and relaxed?
Her little dog, LuLu is so sweet. And, how do you like my quilt?
A very generous friend of ours - an older gentleman from our church -
gave it to my mom, and she gave it to me. This gentleman used
to sleep under this quilt as a child.
I am hoping that when and if I get a twin bed for the spare bedroom/office,
 this quilt will be on the bed.

Some of my lovely family...
From L to R: moi, my aunt by marriage, my mom, and my mom's two sisters (my aunts).

We had a ton of food...Italian beef, Italian sausage, baked beans,
Israeli couscous salad, potato salad, fruit salad, shrimp, chips and salsa,
cookies, ice cream, and sorbet.
Oh - and homemade sangria. Which rocked.
I'm going to make more this coming weekend and I'll be sure to take
a picture - cuz it's so pretty with the fruit floating in it - and post the recipe.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

how my garden grows - and being busy

I'm sure not going to start out by showing you my pitiful vegetable garden.
This year, we only planted two tomato plants and two pepper plants ~
and they're still tiny and not bearing any fruit yet.

Instead, I'll show you my pot of herbs ~ cilantro, dill, rosemary, and thyme...

Tiger lilies that are just starting to bloom...

A potted begonia ~ the color is unbelievable...

And, how about this cool succulent planter? I won it from a local nursery!

I have this planter sitting on an old tree stump on the north side of the house.
I took this picture just a few days ago and already these pink flowers have just about doubled.

Here's a comfrey plant ~ which I fondly call The Plant From Hell! My mom was right:
 it grows like crazy. She gave me a tiny cutting last year and this thing is already a monster.
I think I'll dig it out of the spot where I have it now and plant it on the other side
of the house against the neighbor's old, ugly fence that borders our property.
Might make a good cover-up.

Speaking of ugly fences, you can see part of it in this picture.
The neighbor put this fence up before our house was even built, so it's 
over 25 years old! Part of it is even falling over and yet the neighbor does nothing.
It's such an eye-sore. I'm hoping the part that's falling over finally
collapses soon. That way, she'll either have to put it back up (at least it'll be straight!)
or she'll have to replace it.

My butterfly garden, though not in bloom yet ~

South side of our house where the dreaded fence is. I try to "pretty" the area as best as I can.

I love this old window. It's from an old house down the street. It was sitting out by
the garbage can, so I snagged it.

I can't remember the names of these delicate little flowers,
but I've always loved the combination of yellow and purple.

The vines in this planter are growing like mad!

I'd love to show you my patio area, but it's not set up right now.
We have the table and a couple of (new) chairs shoved up against the house,
as ~ surprise ~ the neighbor's mulberry tree that overhangs the patio-side
of our house is dropping mulberries like a hailstorm.
Happens every year and it drives us nuts. I sweep up a ton of mushy mulberries
every day. Walk on the patio and you get mushed mulberries (jam, anyone?)
 all over the bottom of your shoes. Even worse, the mulberries also attract flies.

We're having a party for my mom at our house next Saturday, so we'll be 
power-washing the patio and setting it up properly (and crossing our fingers
that not too many mulberries fall that day!) I'll be sure to take some pictures.

In the meantime, I've also been working on re-doing my living room with 
help from my cousin whose eye for design is incredible.
We went shopping at IKEA the other day and I bought some new stuff.
To be continued!

Monday, June 4, 2012

new desk - such a deal!

 Saw this painted, solid-wood desk at a shop by my house
and knew it was perfect for the guest room/office.
It didn't have a price tag, so I asked the store owner about the price.
She said $75. I didn't think that was too bad, but then I realized
I had no way of getting it home. If we had to rent a truck at
Home Depot, that would be another $20. And the shop charged $25 for delivery.
Enter mad negotiating skills.

Since I have Phone Phobia, I had my husband call and ask if they'd take
$75 cash - total. The shop owner said the consignee would go down to $65 for the
desk, but that the delivery people still charged $25. 
I told Hubby fine; I really wanted that desk.
We went into the store and there was now a price tag on it of only $55!
We pointed it out to the shop owner and she said she had to honor that price
(you betcha, tootsie!)

 I was all set to hand over $80 but when she wrote up the bill of sale,
she wrote up the desk for $50!
Sooo...I ended up paying only $75 total.

The cats love to perch on the desk and look out the back window.
Should be interesting when I actually start using the desk.

Here's how the room is looking now.
I'm still hunting for:
  • A round rug
  • Blinds (maybe Roman shades?) 
  • Curtains if not using Roman shades

 I also need to start hanging things on the walls - artwork and shelves -
but that will come in good time.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

the new painted (but bare) walls

We are finally done cleaning and moving the furniture back into place.
 I decided since we're starting over, why not rearrange things?
Keep in mind ~ these rooms are not nearly finished yet.
I didn't even want to post the pictures because the rooms aren't pretty!

First up is the living room. (Hello, Zippo in the window!)
 The wall color is Cafe Latte from Glidden.
(Note: Some of my paint colors are from Glidden or Martha Stewart Living,
 but I chose Behr brand when I got the paint.)
Instead of having the large sofa on an angle facing the fireplace like it used to be,
I placed it against the long living room wall.
Where the wicker chair is (temporarily), there will be a slipper chair.
I'm still hunting for just the right one. I had a deep red club chair in the living room,
but I moved it into the guest room for now. It took up too much room
in the tiny living room.
Shopping for new curtains, too.

The green pillows on the couch will probably go and I think eventually, 
I will get a new rug. This one's a little dark, especially for the warmer months.
I have no idea what I'm going to hang on the wall above the sofa.

The fireplace wall is now Toasted Oatmeal (Glidden).

The kitchen wall color didn't change much - just a "duskier" shade of blue.
It's called Faded Ink (Martha Stewart Living).
Like the large living room wall, I'm overwhelmed by this large kitchen wall.
One day, we're going to have a big square shape cut out of the wall - like a
pass-through window to the living room - but for now, I gotta decorate it.
I have a collection of hand-painted blue, cream, and brown plates
from Mexico with birds on them, plus a collection of blue and white plates.
I'm thinking of doing some kind of plate collage on this wall.
(That's Clementine under the table.)

I could get as complex as this:

Or do a more traditional arrangement like this:

Decorative plate wall with blue and green plates, from the 2011 Princess Margaret Showhouse

Anyhoo...I've managed to hang one picture in the kitchen on another
kitchen wall. It used to be on the other side of the china cabinet.

Egads, I hate to even show you this photo of the main bath because
it's still ugly. We have picked out a new light fixture, a new toilet,
and porcelain tile for the floor, but we're still waiting on the contractor to write 
up an estimate to install everything. I found the black framed mirror at
HomeGoods in the clearance section (yay!) but we're not hanging it up
until the new light fixture is installed. I'm also shopping for 3 white floating 
shelves for the wall space above the toilet. (IKEA, here I come!)
I forgot the name of this paint color and I can't find the paint chip.
I was going for more of a classic gray, but it turned out to be a gray 
that has blue undertones.

I did find a really cool, colorful towel for this bath at HomeGoods though!

On to the master bedroom. Again, a photo I don't like showing because this
room needs to be totally redone. We've been trying to get rid of the elephant in the
room (AKA, the headboard) but no one wants it! It's a solid oak monstrosity.
It's beautiful - especially at night when you can turn the light on that's underneath 
the top portion and the whole headboard lights up - but it's just way too big for 
our small bedroom. Shopping for new drapes for this room, too.
There's outdated carpeting which will eventually be replaced with hardwood floors.
Paint color on the walls is Heavenly Blue (Martha Stewart Living).
Oh ~ and please ignore the ugly fan by the window. I obviously didn't stage this photo!

The hallway color is the same as the living room color, though it's hard
to tell in this photo. I LOVE my red accent wall!
Glad I took the risk on this one. A dark red is very hard to get just right.
The painter told me it took eight coats of paint!
The color is Red Delicious by Glidden.
Looking for a gold sunburst mirror for this red wall.

Then on to the guest room/office. Another color I am really liking.
This one's Frosted Lemon by Behr.
Miss Clementine had to get into this picture, too. She was following me all around
the house when I took these photos.
As you can see, these windows still need blinds AND curtains.
Lots of work to be done!
Did find a desk today though - an older white, distressed one. It'll be delivered
tomorrow and will go underneath the window to the right.

The only room I didn't show you was the master bath and that's because
it's a rather boring color ~ just a cream (Pip by Martha Stewart Living).
 Since the master bedroom is a bolder shade of blue, I thought it'd be
best for the bathroom wall color to be subdued. And when I saw the name of
the color, I knew it was the right oldest son, Philip who passed away
2+ years nickname for him was Pip.