Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Put a Ring on It

My mom made curtains for Little Girl's room and I love them so much, I put a ring on them. 20 rings, to be exact. Ha! ;) Backing up for a minute, though...
Little Girl's room has a wall of windows. Remember this picture from right after we finished the board and batten? The room is nice and sunny with all the windows, but we knew we'd need a solution to make it darker for nap time.
The existing roller shades were old, warped, and broken, so we tossed those. We were thinking of doing blackout Roman shades, but they were crazy expensive. We liked these curtains, but would need three panels. But, what do you do with 3 panels? When pulled back, there would be two panels on one side and only one panel on the other. My OCD can't handle that. ;) Four panels would have been way too much fabric. And we haven't even discussed the outrageous cost yet. What to do, what to do? 
Image Credit: Pottery Barn

You know my money saving self had to come up with a cheaper solution! I really wanted curtains, but the panels would need to be over 65" wide each to be able to get away with only two panels. I looked at fabric to make curtains with, but even the upholstery fabric was not wide enough to make panels in the width we needed. Sigh. 

Then, I found this duvet at Pottery Barn Teen and it was the exact shade of pink in Little Girl's quilt. It was printed on both sides and the twin was 68" wide and 90'' long. I called up my mom and begged asked her if she'd be up to sewing curtains out of the duvet fabric. Side note: It always helps to start the conversation with, "Mom, have I ever mentioned how much I love you?!" Hahahaha! She is an amazing seamstress and was up for the challenge. 
Image Credit: Pottery Barn

I purchased the duvet and had it shipped to her and she got to work taking the seams out of the duvet, leaving two giant pieces of fabric that were wide enough for the curtain panels. 

One more problem, though... 90" wasn't long enough to get the curtains to the floor. Whomp whomp. After a brainstorming session, we came up with the idea to sew white ruffles at the bottom to lengthen the curtains. She picked up two flat, white sheets at Walmart for $8 a piece to use for the ruffle material. She also purchased some inexpensive blackout material at the fabric store. It didn't come in extra wide, so she had to piece it together. But, since the blackout material is on the back, no one is the wiser...except you now. Oops. ;)

After approximately 11 billion hours and 57 sewing machine needles, she finished the curtains and mailed them to me. I was SO excited to hang them up and am absolutely ecstatic about how they turned out! Thank you, Mom, for all your hard work on the curtains! You're awesome!
She originally sewed the curtains to have a top pocket for the curtain rods. There was a curtain rod already up in Little Girl's room that the previous owner had left, but it had been painted and the paint was flaking off. We repainted them, but the paint still did not want to stick to the rod. In addition to the paint problem, the curtain panels are very heavy and kept sticking to the curtain rod, making them impossible to open without standing on a step stool. Boo.

We finally broke down and replaced the curtain rod with a brushed silver rod and attached curtain clips to make opening and closing the curtains much easier. Works like a charm! We also installed matching tie backs to keep the curtains back and the sunlight pouring in when the windows are open. Love!
Want to know the cost breakdown? It cost me a little over $100 total for the duvet, sheets, and blackout material that Mom used to make the curtains. It would have cost $210 for three of the Pottery Barn curtains in this fabric or over $500 for Pottery Barn blackout Roman shades!

Whew that was long! Thanks for sticking around for our window covering saga! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

White Washed Wood in the Living Room

We've made a couple changes in the living room that we're really enjoying. I love black picture frames with white mats. I'm a sucker for the contrast of them! However, we have several black frames around the living room and entry way and I was afraid of it getting too matchy matchy in here.

I really like the look of white washed wood and wanted that to be a secondary look in the room. It's light enough to still be airy, is a bit rustic and has some character to it, and has a slight coastal vibe. Our overhead light was not bright enough, so we needed to add a lamp to the room. I fell hard for this Threshold floor lamp at Target. I actually scored it for 15% off on a Cartwheel deal. Yay! We put it in the corner between the couch and love seat and it adds the perfect amount of light.
Image Credit: Target    The color is way off in Target's photo!
Side Note: A table lamp would look more natural here, but we are gearing up to change out the furniture and were thinking ahead to what would go best with the new furniture.

A couple months later, I picked up this frame on clearance at Target to tie the white washed wood into the fireplace decor.
Most recently, I finally found a solution to the empty space above the TV. It has been bugging me since we moved in two years ago, but I just hadn't found the perfect thing to go there. I was browsing the Target frame aisle and spotted this frame and knew it was the perfect thing for above the TV! I love it! It's the perfect size and adds another touch of washed wood.
Image Credit: Target
I'm loving natural touch the bits of white washed wood bring! The living room is as done as it's going to get until we purchase a new couch set. Can't wait for that! I'm so ready for a lighter color pallet!

Now to fill that collage frame with pictures... ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hooked

Let's take a field trip to the never been seen on the blog before kids bathroom, ok? I've honestly been kind of lost trying to decorate it, so it's pretty bare. The walls were white with sage green trim when we moved in. I haven't been able to decide on a color for the walls, so they've stayed white for the past two years. Oh indecisiveness! :)

I love the shower curtain and hooks we found at Target a couple years ago. The colors are my favorite and it's just fresh and cheery looking. We found the shower caddy at The Container Store to hold all of the bath toys. Works perfectly!
For some reason, greens never show true to life on my blog. They always look darker! 

The sink area is kind of a hot mess, though. I've been hemming and hawing over what to do in here for the past two years and am finally starting to get my gears moving. The towel rack was pretty much useless because it was hung so high Little One couldn't reach the towel without it falling down. It has been bugging me! I decided that a hook would be much more useful and kid friendly for hanging hand towels, so we took the towel rack down.

We have a subtle sea life theme going on in here, so I was hoping I could find decorative hooks to match the theme. Then it hit me! I remembered seeing Young House Love's post about their upcoming Target line and thought they had an octopus hook. The line had just hit the stores a few days prior and a quick Target search confirmed that they had the most adorable octopus hook ever!
Image Credit: Target

Jeremy and I agreed that they were the perfect solution and I headed to Target to get the hooks. Jeremy even smiled and said, "Those are cute!" when I showed them to him. That's a huge compliment, John and Sherry! :)
We hung them up and absolutely love them! We decided to hang them closer to edge of the counter instead of centered on the wall so that the kids could reach the towels easier. Sometimes, practicality comes before aesthetics. But, I have a plan for artwork that will make everything look more balanced!
To make the towel hook solution even more kid friendly, I took their hand towels and stitched on a little ribbon loop to make it easy to hang up and to keep the towels on the hooks even when little ones are pulling on them.

For the loop, I looped a 2-3" ribbon strip, then folded the end under to protect from fraying, and sewed the ends down. Then, I sewed it onto the middle of the towel. It only took me about 5-10 minutes to hand sew, but if you are a sewer, this would probably take 30 seconds on a sewing machine! I am absolutely terrible at sewing (remember this post?!), so I stuck with a simple needle and thread. :)
If your towel is solid colored or entirely patterned, you could sew the ribbon strip straight onto the middle of the side seam, too. I couldn't do this method, though, because my towels had a design at the bottom that would look funny hung sideways.

Now to decide on a paint color for the walls... I actually like the white in here, I'm just not a huge fan of the green trim. I'm also not a fan of how the white walls make the yellowed counters so obvious. Still stewing on a wall color, but I'm thinking something super light. Maybe grey? We'll see...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday

Here's 5 Random Things for Friday!

1. It's official, I've had a stroke of genius. Behold...
You know when you hand a kid a juice box and they promptly squeeze it and spray juice everywhere? No more! Just pop the top tabs of the juice box for them to use as handles. You're welcome. ;) 

2. Spring is here and everything is blooming! I love it! Jeremy bought me a bag of tulip bulbs this past fall and they are blooming! Aren't they gorgeous? By the way, buying your wife flower bulbs is a very smooth move. You get all the "awwwws" in the fall when you gift them to her, then another set of swoons when they bloom. It's like a BOGO flower gifting deal. Well played, Honey. Well played. ;) 

3. I've been obsessed with Nivea body wash for a few years now. My favorite scent is called Happiness (although all of their scents are amazing!) and it is the perfect fragrance for summer. Try it out! 
Image Credit: Target

4. I find Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs irresistible. There's just something about the peanut butter to chocolate ratio. Perfection. 
Image Credit: Target

5. I'm finishing up a project in the kid's bathroom. Can't wait to show it to you next week! 

Happy weekend, everyone! 


Monday, April 7, 2014

Consolidated DVD Storage

I've officially started on our home reorganization project! The first room I'm conquering is the living room. I needed a place to store all of the cords and gear for our computer and camera. The drawers in our TV stand were a natural choice for these items, but they were completely full of DVDs. I remembered Jen at Iheart Organizing storing her DVDs in sleeves instead of their original cases, so I took her idea and ran with it!  
I loved this DVD storage solution I found at The Container Store, but it was too tall for our drawers. Sigh. So, onto Plan B!
Image Credit: The Container Store

I emptied all of the DVDs out of the cases and put them into DVD sleeves I found at Target. I labeled each DVD using self adhesive index tabs I had on hand that were leftover from my college days. Um, yeah, I graduated college in 2005. Does this qualify me as a pack rat?! Anyway, I turned the sleeves to the side so the tabs wouldn't prohibit the sleeves from opening and closing. I bought the colored version of these DVD cases. Similar self adhesive index tabs can be found here.
I put all the DVDs into a media box I found at Target a few years ago. (Similar options here, here, and here.) There is still plenty of space in the box to add more DVDs in the future and to store extra DVD sleeves and labels. 
The DVDs took up a drawer and a half before, but now only take up about a third of a drawer leaving plenty of new storage space! Winning! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dad


For those of you who aren't aware, my father-in-law tragically passed away last month. I can't even begin to put into words the heartbreak and grief we are feeling right now. He is loved and will be missed more than I could ever express. 

We had a memorial in his honor on Saturday in Florida. Now we are trying to figure out what the new normal will look like. Thank you to all of our friends near and far for all of your help and prayers this past month. The hospitality, meals, cards, calls, emails, texts, flowers, babysitting are all so appreciated and make us feel so supported and loved. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. 

My blog has been slow for obvious reasons. We have literally been gone from home for 2 out of the past 4 weeks. I'm looking forward to diving back into our home projects and getting into a routine again to feel a bit more normal. Be back soon, friends. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Making Room

Sorry for the silence around the blog lately. We've had a major family emergency and would love your prayers if we come to mind. Thanks, friends. 

Let's talk about organizing... Our house is not necessarily small, but it's not huge either. It has plenty of living space, but organizing it over the past (almost) two years has been tricky due to the lack of closet space downstairs. The biggest area where I feel the lack of closet space is in the kitchen. We do not have a pantry and don't have a ton of cabinet space either. I cook a lot, so I have a lot of kitchen tools and pantry items. We also shop at BJ's. Have you even seen the size of their products?! ;)

My kitchen has literally overflowed into several other areas of our home. Crockpot and rice cooker in the coat closet? Yup. Paper goods in the playroom closet? Mmmm Hmmm. Griddle and serveware in the linen closet. Why not! Beloved hand painted dishes from Grandma in the office/guest room cabinets? Sigh. Ice cream maker in the master bedroom closet?! Now we're just getting crazy!

In the middle of the night, I couldn't sleep, so did what every rational person does. I planned how to reorganize my entire house more efficiently. Nerd alert! :) I got up the next day and wrote out my plans. So, that's the challenge! Go through every room and organize it the right way!

Now, what in the world do I mean by the "right way"? I am cheap and like to use what I have on hand. For the most part, I've used plastic storage bins from my teaching days to organize our home. I try to make the organizers work for what we have instead of intentionally purchasing organizers that fit the things we have and provide the best function. We've been thoughtfully considering the best way to organize each room, not necessarily the cheapest way. Obviously, we'll continue being our frugal selves, but we are going for quality here and may have to do this slowly to save enough beans for each project...and that's totally fine!

Here's our to-do list for the next several months! I'll be sure to post about each project!

Living Room:

-Storage for baby items
-Consolidate DVDs

Coat Closet:

-Storage for bags
-Scarf organization
-Door organizer for accessories
-Extra upper shelf for storage
Image Credit: The Container Store

Breakfast Nook:

-Possible bench with shoe storage?

Linen Closet:

-Wire shelves for tiered storage
-Candle storage

Playroom:

-Drawers for art supplies
-Wire shelves for tiered storage
-Wrapping paper organizer
-Possibly replace closet doors?
Image Credit: The Container Store

Kitchen:

-Install pull-out shelves in pantry cabinet
-Wire shelves for tiered storage
-Additional door organizer for Ziplock bags
-New basket for towels
-Rack for cookie sheets
Image Credit: The Container Store

Laundry:

-Laundry storage drawers
-Replace current shelving with cabinets
-Iron holder
-Hanging bag for rags

Attic: 

-Shelving for seasonal items

I'm almost done with the living room already! Hooray!