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Posts Tagged ‘weekend projects’

And now, a pictorial overview of what we’ve been up to.

Well, first we were up to this… Before we even moved our stuff in, Ryan and Brodie were already tearing the carpet up in our upstairs hallway.

Which led to this. Ahhhh…. much improved over the mint green shag that had been there.

And then we got into a little of this… that’s wallpaper being taken down, if you can’t tell.

And, of course, we couldn’t stop there. We had to do a little of this…

Thank god we got a new roof just in time for the wind storm…

But, we’re finally at the point where we can do a little of this…

It’s been one heck-of-a month, and we are immensely enjoying our new house—the good, the bad, and the ugly! I didn’t even get a picture of the trash pile that was in our driveway for a month and the industrial-sized dumpster that followed. Or, the deer munching and pooping in our backyard. Or, the spectacular fireworks from McIntire Park that we watch from lawn chairs in our front yard. Looking forward to sharing our updates along the way!

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Yep! I’m back to the old blog format. I’m sure I’ll change it again… it seems the grass is always greener when it comes to blog themes. But, it’s back to basics for now.
Look what I did today!

That’s because it was doing this outside today.

I know I should be disappointed, given my last post, but I will take a snow day any time, any day, any month. And, it give me a chance to finish this little project that I’d picked up supplies for yesterday at Target.

Every night before I go to bed, this is what I look at.

Not horrible, but just kind of abandoned and unfinished. I am already the type of person who goes to bed at night thinking of everything I didn’t get accomplished that day and everything I have to do tomorrow, so the last thing I need is a visual, albeit subconscious, reminder that I have left things unfinished at the end of the day. So, this corner of my bedroom/ mind had to change!

I pulled out these fabulous prints I bought last summer in Bethany Beach, DE by local artist and photographer, Jon Olsen, that I hadn’t found the right place for yet. I found two terrific frames at Target to emphasize the sparse nature of photographs.

On a whim, I picked up a trendy sunburst mirror to round things out. It has an oil-rubbed bronze finish (or ORB as YHL would say) which is a subtle compliment to the black frames and softens the grouping up a bit.


I’m so on a black/ white/ tan kick right now!

All the materials for this project (minus the cost of artwork) cost less than $60. One more reason to sleep easy tonight!

 

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Yep. I’m back to talking about my plants. Ryan and I had a super productive weekend. We cleaned our house (majorly), rearranged his new office, and I even got around to re-potting my two orchids and buying some basil to try to grow in my kitchen.

There they are! We’ll see how long they last.

I went to Fifth Season Gardening on Preston Ave. to get my orchid soil. It was my first time going there and the people couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. The smallest bag of regular soil they sold was still way too huge for the little pot I needed to fill for my basil, so they just filled it up for me for free, nada!

And, miraculously, this weekend, I was able to convince Ryan to go see Water for Elephants with me. The movie was ok,  but Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon were both so gorgeous. All I could say after the movie was… they were so beautiful. Really, really beautiful.

Anybody else think that Robert Pattinson looks like Elvis?

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After a very unsuccessful shopping trip on Saturday… the kind where I desperately hope that, at any moment, Stacy and Clinton will jump out from behind a rack of clothing and rescue me with their $5,000 credit card and styling expertise… I decided to clean out my closet. I guess I was hoping that, if I cleaned out all the clothes I am really sick of, maybe I would like my remaining clothes more?

So I started tearing apart my closet and my room looked like this:

And this.

Do you like how Ryan is pretending to be asleep so that I a) won’t ask him to help me and b) won’t ask him to pose for a picture. Major fail.

Something must have gotten into me yesterday because I decided to let go of a lot of items that I’ve been hanging onto for a while. Such as:

  • shoes that I wore to my high school graduation (probably my college graduation, too!)
  • a black tank top that I purchased the summer before college and wore to just about every frat party I ever went to
  • my first only pair of Seven jeans… they are torn to shreds and about 10x lighter than when I bought them… I loved those jeans!
  • many, many clothes and shoes that I purchased and wore during my years at the Alumni Association… I can’t believe it’s coming up on two years since I left… I guess I was hanging onto them in case I ever needed to go back, but it’s looking like I’m in the clear!

It was really tough to get rid of some of those clothes. It’s a very tangible and stark way of analyzing your life and acknowledging which parts are over. As tough as some of the decisions were, and as long and tedious of a process it was, it feels great to have a closet that now looks like this.

That’s right. I put some of my shoes on shelves like Oprah.

And, yes, I labeled my shelves. Eventually, I get lazy and resort to cramming things in wherever they will fit. I’m hoping my little signs will keep me tidy for longer than I would be normally.

Now I just need fun, new clothes to put in my organized closet. Oh, Charlottesville, I love you but I hate your shopping.

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Man, I have been blog crazy recently. Not only have I posted a lot this week, I have been embarrassingly, incessantly stalking the Petersiks (of younghouselove) while they renovate their new house.

So, I’ve decided to put up a few pics of our house (which I haven’t really done before) because I want to see if anyone has ideas as to what we can do with it. Ha! Ryan and I have been here a year-and-a-half and, if Brent has his way and we are lease-abiding residents, we will be here another year-and-a-half— definitely enough time to change things up and have enough time to enjoy it! Before I start with the picture show, I’ll say it’s amazing how much perspective you can get from taking a photograph. It’s such an incredible way to “step out” of the room and see the big picture, without actually having to leave the room.

First room…. drum roll!!!

So, here’s a pretty basic shot of our living room. I’m, generally, pretty happy with this room, given what I have to work with. We can’t paint the walls, we are required in our lease to have that awful (big) blah rug, and we have yet to cough-up $1,000 to get our sofa (which we LOVE by the way) recovered, so we are stuck with A LOT of beige.  The wicker chairs and (little) rug are hand-me-downs, as is the coffee table…  again, working with what we’ve got!

What’s so laughable in this picture is the eye sore that is the big-ass plain wall behind the couch— fortunately our couch faces the other way, so we don’t have to look at it for too long. Our original idea was to cover the walls in art, but after a year-and-a-half, the only art we have amassed is a cut-out Louis Vuitton newspaper ad featuring Keith Richards. Yes, this amazing print, which we someday hope to acquire and custom frame.

dailymail.co.uk

I’ve much debated it and I think I can no longer deny it: I need curtains! Any ideas on color, pattern, or texture? Initially, I’m thinking something light and airy, but that has little pops of color, maybe draws in the blue?

Moving on to the dining room.

This room perplexes me the most for several reasons. 1) We use this room for a lot of different functions: eating (obviously) but, for example, right now, I’m typing at it, and I often play guitar in here, so it’s kind of a dining room plus activities room. 2) We’ve basically taken all the pieces that don’t fit anywhere else in our house and put all of them in this room. Note the large, antique, roll-top desk in pic #1 and the full-length dresser in pic #2. Both of these are pieces that we are unwillling to part with right now because they are sentimental and we feel like they could have nice places in our future homes, but right now, I feel like they are dragging our dining room down!

I’ve toyed with the idea of painting the dining room chairs and/ or the base of our table (not necessarily to match) and reupholstering the cushions, but I don’t know if that will do much to affect the overall look of the room. Thoughts? Ideas? We also like the idea of changing up the layout to possibly get more use out of the room, but we don’t know where to start.

Last, we have our bedroom. Speaking of, I don’t think I ever posted final pictures of my headboard makeover, so you’ll get to see it… and I’m talking to you here, Mom.

Here’s a view of what our bedroom looks like when you enter it (minus the usual piles of clothes!). Note the Circa dresser, mirror, and chair!

And here are the ol’ DIY fabric art I made and baby blue— still lookin’ good!

So here’s how the headboard turned out. If it looks a little wobbly, that’s because it is. We have yet to secure it to the bed frame and we’d ideally like to saw a few inches off the bottom… this headboard is unusually tall!

We’re still trying to figure out what to do with this wall. I’ve been thinking about framing some vacation and honeymoon pics (8×10’s or larger), and arranging them in grayish frames to sort of draw in some of the tan and linen colors. Black might work, but I thought it might make this corner of the room look unbalanced and heavy compared to the rest of the room that doesn’t have much black. Any thoughts?

Well, there you have it. Most of our house. We love this apartment dearly and want to make the best use of it, so if you have any fun ideas… shoot them my way!

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So, after watching about a dozen episodes of Sarah’s House on HGTV online last week, I was officially sick of my apartment. The way I looked at it, I could do one of two things: a) dig myself deeper into a hole of disgust with my apartment and begin to look at houses or b) redecorate. After weighing pros and cons and doing a little fast math, I came to the (fairly obvious) realization that there would be a cost savings of about $300,000 if I redecorated instead buying a use. Redecorate, huge debt, redecorate, can’t afford to eat. Redecorate it is!

Out of fairness to myself (and current furnishings), I should say that the word redecorate is not exactly correct. When Ryan and I moved into the apartment together, I was about to quit my job and so our decorating philosophy was simply to make best use of our hand-me-downs. And, I must say, we have some great hand-me-downs to work with. But, there really was no money to pick out new furniture to really customize our apartment to our taste. So, really, when I say redecorate, I mean, for the first time, throw a little money at purchasing a few pieces that we I want and making the apartment feel perfect.

So, where do I choose to  start my journey? Puh-lease, where else? Circa. And, what do I find there on my first try?

This little gem, fresh off the auction trucks. Made in Italy with hand-carved detailing. For $45 it was mine!

I had visions of this chair (which I planned to use as an accent chair in our bedroom) looking like this beauty of a chair from Jayson Home and Garden.

Black, but with a hand-rubbed feel and a burlap seat. I have a big, beautiful mirror in our bedroom (that incidentally came from Circa that my brother refinished for us) that needed some grounding and I thought a black chair would be just the thing to do it. (Note to self: do a post in the future about the mirror!). (Note to reader: this chair is listed at $495 on the Jayson Home and Garden Web site!).

So, here begins another adventure in furniture refinishing with Dan Kosut. My dad was excellent— filling in chips in the wood, sanding and smoothing them out, and ultimately doing all of the work (including taping up the pesky, yet beautiful, wicker backing) while I sat and gave directions. So, here’s the chair after being sprayed down with black, satin spray paint.

Loving how the black looks against the caramel of the wicker!

Then, we took same paint thinner to bring out some of the original wood stain on the hand-carved detail. Like this.

Then, we reupholstered the seat with some basic linen/ burlap fabric that I got for less than $10 at Williams & Sherrill and voila!

Here is our finished masterpiece. All for a grand total of $55 (because my dad had the spray paint and provided the labor).

And, here is the artist with his masterpiece.

I have to say, the finished product of this chair so vastly surpassed my expectations for it. I couldn’t have predicted how the contrast of the black against the wicker would bring out its beautiful color. In fact, I was worried that the black would overpower the wicker, but I think it did just the opposite, it brought it out even more.

This project didn’t just leave me wanting to do more for myself, though, it left me wanting to do more… for a profit! I neglected to mention that, while my mom and I were picking out fabrics at Williams & Sherrill, we spotted this chair.

A nearly exact replica of our chair, painted in a gray/ green wash, priced at a cool $489! I look at fancy design magazines all the time and am used to seeing ridiculously priced furniture, but the stark contrast of this chair next to our find really shocked me. So, who knows, maybe you’ll see me and ol’ Geppetto (aka Dan Man) selling our refurbished finds online somewhere down the line. Screw this whole helping kids thing… I want to be like Sarah Richardson!!!

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Must be this fresh, fall air— we got so much accomplished this weekend! The main goal of the weekend was to start reupholstering this very traditional headboard that Peggy “donated” to me and Ry. Apologies! All photos in this post were taken with my iphone, so they’re a little grainy.

For the longest time, I have been pining over custom, upholstered headboards from places like Ballard Designs.  But, new and custom-made, headboards can easily cost between $300-500, so I had kind of put the thought of getting one on my back burner/ major wish list.  I had envisioned a rounded top or an interesting cut out for my “dream headboard”, but when Peggy mentioned she had this rectangular headboard sitting in her basement and offered to give it to me for free, I couldn’t say no.

I mentioned to Alli that I had this project on my hands, and she jumped at the chance to come along with me to u-fab to find a piece of fabric for it. And, we thought, while we’re at it, why not make a day out of it and hit up all the Cville diy stores that we’ve been meaning to visit? So, drawing inspiration from blogs like younghouselove, three men and a lady, and brooklyn limstone, Alli and I hit up Goodwill, Michael’s, Lowe’s and Circa to comb through Cville’s hidden treasures.

Getting back to the headboard. Going into the project, I had in mind a natural, linen fabric, but at the last minute, I decided the linen might look a little too french country and I opted for a basket-weave fabric that looks like this.

It’s very natural and organic looking but also has a really terrific sheen to it. So, with the fabric determined, I started to get the headboard prepped. I decided to leave the original fabric of headboard on (instead of stripping it down to just the foam) but I wanted to make sure we removed the decorative trim so we had a flat, smooth surface underneath.

After lots of pulling and plying (and Ry coming behind me as clean-up crew for the really stubborn staples), we finally ended up with a clean surface. Those are Ry’s hands in the picture above, by the way. Just wanted to clarify :)

The first thing I did was lay my fabric out over the headboard and align it exactly how I wanted it— making sure that the very faint lines of the fabric were not crooked. Then, working one side at a time, I began to staple the underside of the board, pulling it taught as I worked. Instead of flipping the entire headboard over (which I thought would make it harder to ensure that the fabric was still aligned), I just positioned the board off the side of my bed, so that whatever side I was working on was about 10 inches off the side of the bed. Like this.

Then, I wrapped up the corners at the top, almost as if I were wrapping a Christmas present.

That should be the end of the project, right? Oh no. I couldn’t stop there. Because this headboard is so massively tall and I chose a solid fabric, when I “finished” it, it just looked a little blah. So, taking a few tips from this three men and a lady post, I decided I’d try my hand at adding a nailhead trim.

At this point, I feel I should mention that my account of today’s events is heavily edited. This whole process wasn’t quite as easy and abbreviated as I’m making it sound. For example, once I got the headboard positioned and I was ready to start stapling, I realized that I had bought the wrong brand staples. Right size, wrong brand. Come on, give me a break! But, I guess I wouldn’t be a true Kosut if I could make it through a  home improvement project with less than two trips to Lowe’s. So, back to Lowe’s I went. But, on the bright side, it gave me an opportunity to pick up 200 nailheads.

200. Wow, I severely overestimated myself. Michelle, from three men and a lady, warned that it would take about 50 tacks to get the hang out of it, and, man, she wasn’t joking. Out of the first 25 tacks I tried my hand at, only 12 were successful. Even though they are a royal pain in the butt and it’s going to delay me getting my project done, I am already so happy with the preliminary results.

It will eventually be a solid line of tacks, but I wanted to create little “mile markers” that will help me split up the long line into manageable segments.

With the grocery shopping, laundry and fun time with E&A and Ry this weekend, this was as far as I got. If you were hoping to see “final product” pictures at the end of this blog— well, I guess you’ll just have to check back later in the week. More fun details from this weekend to come later, too! And, it’s the week of Melanie’s due date! Hopefully, in the next week we’ll have pics of the new little baby and, of course, the big name reveal.

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