Curtain Call

There are two things I have found that quickly turn a house into a home: hanging art on the walls, and adding the finishing touch to windows by way of curtains.

Lucky for us, we had a plethora of curtain options at our disposal for f-r-e-e thanks to our many-windowed Kansas bungalow (seriously, that place had no less than fifteen windows, most of which were dressed), so we pulled many of them out of storage and put them to work.

First up, the bedroom. This addition was one of the first things we tackled after moving in last May. I don’t want the neighbors spying on me pulling on my PJ’s every night or getting ready every morning, thankyouverymuch.

Bedroom Curtains

I like waking up with the light (getting out of bed in a dark room is almost impossible for me) so I thought going light with the curtains would be a great strategy. The heavier black iron-look curtain rod (here) helps polish things off, and the simple ring finials are so chic. The masculine rod balances the subtle feminine flower pattern in the curtains. We previously used these in the guest room in our Kansas house. Discontinued IEKA; we got these on clearance over two years ago.

Secondly, the living room. I wanted something navy to go go across the room of our dark teak credenza. The carpet and walls in the living room are really light and I thought that dark curtains would look really chic.

Living Room

These are the only curtains that we didn’t already have. I found this great fabric at IKEA that had an interesting pattern that I liked, and was pretty masculine so Doug was pretty excited. I flexed my long-dormant sewing muscle and whipped these up in about two hours. I’d like to add a lining and they are currently hemmed with pins, because I am debating if I like the one-to-two inch pool or if I want them to be a touch shorter. What do you think?

The office. Or guest room. Or catch-all room. No photographic evidence, sorry! We recently installed organizational shelving in here and it now houses all of our books and media. Curtains will protect them from the UV rays which can/will yellow the pages. This room gets amazing afternoon light and will be where I shoot most of the items for my Etsy store. I don’t want anything with a strong color distorting the sunlight, though. We grabbed a pretty silver rod from Home Depot’s Home Decorator Collection, which proved to be much easier to install than the Lowe’s Allen + Roth curtain rods we’d bought previously (note to self). We slapped up two cream-colored Chesapeake curtains from Target that we already had on hand from our old bedroom. Perfection!

Dining Room Curtains

The dining room was the last room to be curtain-ed, but I’m really, really happy to be able to use the now discontinued green vine IKEA panels. I didn’t even realize it until we hung them up, but the tree outside has red berries on it just like the pattern in the curtain panels. We used the KVARTAL system by IKEA which was surprisingly easy to put up. I was worried about sturdiness but I’m happy to report that it’s really much more heavy duty than I expected. We don’t close these much anyway, so it’s really mostly for looks, and the room seems much warmer with them up.

Catching Up- Living Room Photos!

Well, the self-imposed deadline I wrote about last time totally worked. By the time we had our housewarming party, the kitchen and dining room were painted, the curtains in every room but the dining room were hung, and everything was tidy!

Of course, I took photos to document it. A few things have changed since then, but I’m working on detailing that in other posts!

I always seem to have about five posts “pre-written” in my brain, but getting them down into the computer? Finding the time is difficult.

Forget what it looked like when we moved in at the end of April? Click Here. Has it been almost three months already?

The Patio

A Seating Area

Living Room

The week of the housewarming we pulled the trigger on the amazing credenza you see above from our favorite vintage shop, Vestige!

Living Room

Living Room

To those of you who follow my blog & were able to come to the housewarming, I had such a fabulous time! To my family members who joined us the following morning for Father’s Day brunch, same to you! I felt so happy to host two back to back gatherings in our new home!

Five Days to Deadline

Still trying to figure out the art situation in the bathroom! So let’s change topics, shall we?

This weekend we are hosting our friends for a housewarming party (Saturday) and our family for a Father’s Day grill-out (Sunday) so we have a lot of things to get going before those two events! Nothing like a deadline for motivation. It was the story of college, right?

I have my priorities, and Doug has his priorities, so I had him write a little list while I was at work one day, that way I could see what he wanted to accomplish. It was a great exercise, having him put some thought into it (he isn’t usually as house-preoccupied as I am)  without influencing him so much. I, naturally, have a mile-long list in my head which is continuously growing. It was important to pick out a few important and doable tasks to conquer before our next big weekend. Here’s what he came up with:

  • Finish the curtains
  • Organize the spare bedroom
  • Put up several pieces of art
  • Paint the kitchen and dining room
  • Put up the pot /pan hanger in kitchen
  • Sell/give away headboard

As of right now, organize the spare bedroom and put up several pieces of art are complete! Last weekend we got some real work done in that area. The spare room’s floor is no longer a tripping hazard!

Hanging some art made a huge difference, too. We put up my antique advertisement prints in the bedroom, a couple vintage canvases in the dining room, and a few frames in the hallway. The total cost of giving our existing artwork new context? Zero dollars.

art over dresser

These used to live in the TV area, and it’s refreshing seeing them in a new context over our bedroom dresser.

Vintage Dining Room Art

These vintage scandinavian canvases came out of retirement and look right at home on our retro wood paneling!

Art in Hallway

A couple sentimental prints (aligned to the right) gives the hallway a bit of interest. In our last place they were part of a mini gallery wall in the bedroom. Also, check out our vintage doorbell! I love it.

Art to cover electric panel

Oh, and a huge frame to cover our enormous (almost two feet tall) electric panel.

Painting the kitchen and dining room will be a huge improvement, and we are going to give it our best shot to get it done by Saturday. I’m not sure if it’s realistic, but like I said there’s nothing like a deadline to get the rear in gear. I do plan on finishing up the living room curtains and am trying to think of strategies as to not get rid of the plywood headboard (I love it too much! Photo from the old place).

Point Blanket

Looking at this photo reminds me that we need lampshades, too! Gah!

Wish us luck!

Bathroom, Sneak Peek

I said when I returned the bathroom would have painted walls, and here I am, true to my word!

Painting such a dark color over white took three coats. For those of you who missed the inspiration board, I used Arboretum by Behr in eggshell. It was very quick since it was a small space, and the transformation is totally worth it.

Bathroom, Painted

Although the color is super saturated, due to the white cabinet, toilet, and shower curtain, plus the ivory countertop and shower surround, the room does not feel dark. I am so pleased with the transformation, especially considering how quick it was to make a big difference. Someday I would love to change out the vanity/cabinet, and replace the light fixture. For now, I feel that the dramatic color elevates the existing pieces. It looks even better in person. I really ought to figure out how to manually white-balance my camera. Any tips?

Bathroom, Painted

Can’t wait to return with true “after” photos! I have some finishing touches to add (many of them are finished, but I’m waiting for an art print to come in the mail) and I’ll be ready to show ya!

Bathroom Plans!

It seems to be a well-established trend in Blogger-Land that the smallest spaces in the home are the ones tackled first. Going with the trend, the bathroom was the first space on my radar, especially since I wanted to paint something a BOLD color after living with white walls in an apartment for a year and a half. Since I want to stay largely neutral in most of the main areas, we certainly went dark, and it was so invigorating!

The space isn’t done yet but I did whip up an inspiration board as a kind of sneak peek. Making these is helpful to see if certain themes go together well, and makes it easy to swap art art pieces, for example, to find the best fit.

Arboretum Inspiration Board

artwork / elephant hanging / wall unit / turkish towel

bath accessories / paint / floor mat 

The paint color, which is already on the walls, is called Arboretum by Behr. I happened to grab a “color trend” leaflet while in the paint area and the intense dark turquoise immediately grabbed me! I thought it would be a cool way to play referee between the mishmash of white (cabinets, toilet) and cream (shower/bath, countertop).

Since the bathroom has two doors (one opens to the hall, one opens to the master bedrdoom), and the doors remained white, there is actually a lot of lightness remaining in the bathroom, even with a super saturated color. I love it.

Bringing in other neutrals such as the same wooden wall fixture we had in the other apartment was another way to connect the bathroom with other areas of the house. I hope eventually every room has at least one nice wood piece, be it a table, desk, dresser, or something else. I don’t mind mixing and matching wood tones, as long as the styles speak to each other.

Now we’re literally waiting for paint to dry, so we can put back up the hand towel hanger, shower curtain rod, etc. Hopefully next time I check in I should have some great photos to share!

Same Story, New Chapter

Sorry for going MIA on you here for a while, but I’ve been busy working two jobs and buying a condo.

Wait what??! Buying a condo!

It’s real. We moved in a week ago and already put most of our stuff away. My desire to make things look nice and Doug’s type-A “get it done now” personality really make moving in and making things look put together a fast job.

The Front Room

But first, some “empties.” I almost didn’t get a chance to take them. I felt weirdly self-conscious about taking these on the day we got the keys. I don’t know why, it was just Doug and I, but it was weird walking around and taking pictures of “nothing.” But I’m glad I did it. It’s already so different! Funny how furniture can do that, right?

Above, you see the entrance. The living room has a long sliding door that buts up against a little mini-wall. It juts out a couple of feet creating a tiny vestibule. What a grand foyer, right? Just enough room to store shoes and the dog’s leash. Already working on getting cute and functional items set up in that zone. To the left of Doug is the dining room, which leads to the kitchen…

The Empty Kitchen

The Empty Kitchen

Overall, the original 60s cabinets are in great shape, so before tearing them out and starting from scratch (like so many bloggers tend to do ASAP,) I am going to see what we can do to make them seem retro, which is fitting in our 1960s complex, but crisp and modern at the same time. Spoilers: It probably involves painting the yellow walls a brilliant white).

On to the bedrooms. The master bedroom is very large, and impossible to photograph well until I invest in a wider-angle lens. I did my best:

Bedroom, Angle 1

This shot is from the main door into the room. Immediately when walking through the door, a closet is to the right. It’s a standard sized clothes closet with two sliding doors. You’ll be able to tell better what I’m talking about in the next picture.

Bedroom, Angle 2

A second closet backs up onto the first closet and across from it is a little vanity. Quite fancy indeed! Naturally, Doug was kind enough to let me have that vanity and closet area, while he took the one near the door. I certainly got a keeper! He does have an ulterior motive: We both hope that it helps me keep my clothes, shoes, makeup, and hair stuff orderly. Only time will tell…

Bedroom, Angle 3

One thing I already know is that having this vanity area definitely makes this one-bathroom place seem less personal. Often in a one-bathroom home the people who live there have to toe the line between “I get ready in this bathroom every day” and “my guests don’t need to see all my toiletries.” I get to hide all my stuff in my vanity area!

The bathroom has one door that opens to the vanity (above) and one that opens to the hallway. This will be a really nice feature when we have guests. This shot shows the room from both doors:

Bathroom, Two Angles

Last but not least, the guest room “slash” office “slash” whatever we’re feeling like calling it at the time.

Guest Room

Guest Room

I am so excited to use this room as my blogging HQ, since I fully intend of making it a part of my weekly routine as it has been in the past. It also gets phenomenal afternoon light, making it perfect for photographing items for my Etsy store. The puzzling part is my intention of fitting a guest bed in here. What to do? How can I incorporate the storage I want while also accommodating a desk and a bed?

We’ll see how things progress… I am so glad to be living among a work in progress again–I love having projects! So many things to do, and now that our place is ours, the possibilities are almost endless!