Dressing Up The Coat Closet

>> 8.22.2014

Our coat closet gets a lot of use, and the door gets left open a lot. Which means I get to stare at the contents a lot and gives me a lot of time to contemplate it's messy, dingy state. So in preparation for school starting next week, I decided to make it a pretty place to store their awesome new school bags and shoes, which will get used...a lot. 

I started by clearing out the closets, wiping down the baseboards and painting the walls a nice light aqua color called Tidewater by Sherwin Williams. 

Next I added a shoe rack to the top shelf to store board games. We used to have a lot of family board games which were stored in a cabinet in the family room, but we discovered after a few board game casualties that they needed to be up high for a while until curious fingers stopped destroying them. So we chose the coat closet to house them for now. The best thing about the shoe rack is that it breaks up the games so they aren't stacked on top of each other which helps with easy access. And when we want to move the games to a different part of the house, the shoe rack can come down and be used in a different way. 

I found a great yellow striped basket at Target for $11 to put shoes in, and then hung their new backpacks. Now I feel like the closet that gets so much use during the year is ready for school to begin. 

And because I've never done one before, here's an animated process of the closet update. 



Kitchen Window Succulents

>> 8.20.2014

I have been trying to incorporate more plants into our home and it all started with my succulent bowl. I haven't killed them yet, so I thought I would add a few more to the kitchen by putting them in white bowls in the kitchen window. I have been trying to collect milk glass for a while, but finding the right size and shape hasn't been as easy as I had hoped. So I decided to go ahead with what I have, and then I can transfer if I find other authentic milk glass.

My kids helped me pick out the succulents, and my daughter and two of my nieces helped me plant them after a singing performance, hence the matching shirts. Oh, and please excuse the awful iPhone pics.

We started by placing small river rocks in the bottom of each bowl. Succulents do not do well when the roots are sitting in water, so the rocks act as drainage.

Next add potting soil and water and you're done. Potting is easy and takes no time at all. The hardest part is keeping them alive!

Succulents require little water, and I only water once a month, which seems to work well for the succulents in my large succulent bowl. These however will be sitting in a window that gets harsh direct sun for a large portion of the day, so I will probably need to water them more frequently.


Dig a Little Deeper

>> 8.18.2014

We have a grand plan to turn our office space (which was intended to be a formal dining room) into a closed-in office with pocket french doors and floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves, but it's not quite in the budget to get that done any time soon. With only a desk and a few random small bookcases, the space doesn't seem to have an identity or purpose. It is a very open space right as you enter the front door and directly across from the front sitting room. With those major updates not in the foreseeable future, I really felt like something needed to be done because the space didn't make me happy, and I was getting a little depressed staring at it, knowing that it was going to be a while before it looked the way I wanted it to look.

 I'm going to be honest, and I'm sure many of you will agree, that it's really frustrating to want things for your home, but not have the budget to do it. As much as I love bargain hunting and getting deals, sometimes you just want to do it exactly the way you see it in your head, and that's usually never cheap. So when your ideal isn't possible, you've got to dig in deep and find creative ways to make things work and make you happy within the boundaries of your budget. So that's what I did.

I love the new seating arrangement in adjacent from room, but the piano being in the same room makes it a little cramped. So as a starting point I decided to move the piano into the office to make it an office/music room.

I wanted to stick to a more neutral palate in that room, so away went the huge orange flower and in its place went a new minimalist collage wall. I got the black frames at Target with a 20% off Cartwheel discount. At $84 for six frames, I think that's the most I've ever spent on frames, but they're just awesome so it's worth it to me. All the images were purchased from various shops on Etsy and all were digital prints that I downloaded and printed at home. So easy.

With the piano in there I felt like that room had more purpose, but the accent wall on the opposing wall didn't make much sense, so my next step was to paint the entire room teal. Oh yes I did. And I love it. Maybe teal is over done, but I have always loved the color, and I felt like staying true to me and my style was more important than what is popular.

The color is Hallowed Hush by Behr.

I found a fiddle leaf fig at Home Depot for $15 and bought a cheap Walmart pot and painted it to give it a more modern vibe. I'll post more on that later.

This room update was so cheap and easy, and although it isn't exactly how I want it yet, I love it so much more now.

Here's a breakdown of what I spent:

Frames: $84
Art: $30
Fig Tree: $15
Plant pot: $9
Total Spent: $138


Furniture Feature - Llave Designs

>> 8.12.2014

A while back I met Blanca with Llave Designs when I bought a dresser from her. I felt an instant kinship as we talked about our love for furniture, and she showed me around her workshop and I got to see some of her work. I have seen my share of refinished furniture, and many people get it really wrong. But let me tell you, I was SO impressed with Blanca's work! She has a fantastic eye, and she definitely knows what she's doing and she hits it out of the ballpark every time! I really wanted you to meet her, so I had her answer a few questions for us! So without further ado, here's Blanca!

Q: What is your name/business name?

A: Llave Designs

Q:  Tell us what you do.

A: I find and restore vintage furniture.

Q: Where are you located?

A: My workshop is in Garland TX

Q:  How did you get started doing this?

A: I started on our tiny apartment doing pieces for myself and within a year I was blessed with
an 1800 sq ft warehouse.

Q:  Do you remember the first piece you ever refinished? (If you have a picture please share)

A: Yes, I refinished a black bar cabinet. I painted the inside of the flip top with chalk board paint.

Q: Where do you go to find furniture to refinish?

A: I never really stop looking but most come from thrift stores or connections I have made with
“pickers” in the last 2 years. My favorite avenue would have to be Garage sales, they always
have the best prices and most of the time you can get the story behind the piece.

Q: What part of the refinishing process do you dislike the most? 

A: PREP! Cleaning and sanding is very tedious and messy.

Q:  What do you love most about your job? 

A: I love that I am able to take a discarded piece of furniture and bring back or show its value. I also
love working with customers who can appreciate vintage furniture.

Q: What’s your favorite refinishing project(s) to date? (Please provide a picture(s))

A: I would have to say it’s between the mint campaign desk and the coral dresser I just did.

Q: What is your decorating style at home? Do you have a favorite room or piece of furniture you'd like to share? 

A: This is a tough one for me. I have a love and appreciation for most styles. I am also in the middle of redecorating so at this moment we have an “industrial chic” look ;) we have an iron coffee table on casters (unfortunately not vintage), a small farm house table and a very primitive buffet. I have purchased a very fun dresser that will be painted Kelly green for my dining room and fantastic Henredon chest that I will leave as is.

Q: Without sharing all of your secrets, do you have a tip about refinishing furniture that you can share with the rest of us?

A: Never stop looking for that perfect piece! You never know where you will find a treasure. I would also recommend chalk paint. I recently started playing with a few brands and really like the Annie sloan paint. It is very easy to use and you don’t have to do as much prep work. I have used it on mid century modern furniture and really love the way it looks.

Thanks Blanca for letting us get to know you better! For more eye candy, and to get your hands on one of her amazing pieces, go like her Facebook Page!


Giveaway Results!

I'm back! I've spent the last two weeks doing a singing camp for a bunch of giggly girls, so the blog has been put on the back burner. Sorry if any of you were dying while waiting for the big giveaway results, but wait no more! The moment is here!

I selected a number using random.org, and here's the winning number!

And the eleventh comment was from Erin!

Erin,  7/24/14, 1:02 AM  
I love the poster size me post! Such a great way to decorate their play space. :-)
Congratulations, Erin! Send me an email with your address and I'll get your special prize in the mail to you soon! 

For those of you that are curious, I'll reveal her prize next week once she's received it!


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