Posts Tagged ‘Accessories’

It occurred to me that it’s been a while since I’ve posted any pictures of our family room. Although none of the updates are brand new, I figured it’s time to get around to showing them off!

1.  Media cabinet

The biggest change happened in December, when our media cabinet was delivered.  Ta-da!

For all the furniture in our house, it’s the first piece we’ve picked out and bought because it was exactly what we wanted.  Exciting.

We’ve intended to buy a media cabinet to house the receiver, cable set top box, Blu-Ray player, etc. since we bought our current TV and wall-mounted it.  That was, ahem, almost 3 years ago.  We finally decided to start seriously looking when we knew Marcy would be joining the family.  All those accessible wires under the sofa table seemed like a puppy dream – and a puppy parent nightmare.

We shopped pretty extensively, online and in store, across a variety of price points.  We ended up splurging a little on the piece we chose.  It is an Ethan Allen piece, the Jason buffet with glass on 2 doors (it’s also available with 4 wood panel doors) in the caraway finish.  It came about 2 weeks sooner than promised when we ordered.  In an ideal world, we might have found a piece that sat flush with the floor rather than on legs, so tennis balls (and paws) wouldn’t find their way under.  But such a piece was not to be found.  The legs on this piece are removable, but there’s a support piece under the rear middle that prevents it from sitting flat on the floor.  Unless we have as yet unforseen trouble with the legs, we’ll leave it as is.

2.  Pillow covers

I used leftover fabric from re-covering the dining room chairs to cover the throw pillows on the couch, two each in hounds tooth and paisley.

3.  Table runner for the media cabinet

I found enough of the hounds tooth fabric still at Joanne Fabrics (on sale, woot!) to sew a table runner for the top of the media cabinet.

4.  The puppy gate

The gate was a custom made birthday present from my dad.  We’d been keeping a baby gate leaning in that corner for the occasions on which we needed to keep Guin in one room – because we were brewing beer, moving groceries in/out, painting, trick or treaters were at the door, etc.  That gate became a full time thing when Marcy came home, until she gets a little older and a little more reliable with the house training.  I thought a permanent gate would be a useful thing to have, but I didn’t want anything that would restrict the width of the doorway.  Dad made the sliding gate out of cherry, and mounted it to the studs under the cutout.  Permanent puppy (and little kid) boundary!

5.  Recessed lighting and surround sound wiring/speaker installation

These were actually two separate projects, that happened a couple years ago.  I started a post on the project a long time ago, but I never got around to finishing it.  So, white flag.  In brief, since there is attic space above the family room, we were able to go up and relatively easily run the wiring for 5 recessed lighting cans, and rear and overhead speakers.  The 5 lights are on 3 switches – one for the row over the TV/media cabinet, one for the row nearest the exterior glass door, and one for the one spotlighting the fireplace.  The lights are all on dimmers, which makes for great “movie theater lighting.”

Eventually, we’re looking forward to a new sofa (brown leather?) and coffee table.  The ones we have are serviceable, but they were hand-me-downs and are showing their age a bit.

We’re going to hold on new leather furniture, though, until Miss Marcy outgrows some of the fiendish puppy chewing.

I’m also feeling a little undecided about whether the walls need something.  Looking at most of the photos above, I think they do.  But I like keeping the fireplace the center of the room, so we’ll see.

So there you have it, that’s our family room these days!  To wrap up, since today is Sunday,

Happy Sundogs!



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So, it’s been a while since I’ve visited Guin’s Yard.  Oops.  I’ve been a little busy this spring and summer:

In June I visited here:



and since February, I’ve been training to do one of these:


with some of this

<– in the middle.

My first tri was successfully finished a week ago today, although now I’ve done all this training, I’m planning to do 4-5 more races this summer, a mix of tri’s, open water swims, and road races.

All in all, I haven’t had much time for house projects.  Nonetheless, I did (finally) get around to finishing the cork wreath…  Ta da!

I’m pretty pleased with how it came out, although I didn’t anticipate that it would be so close to the color of the brick.

From any distance at all, it really kind of blends in with the brick facade of the house.  I bought some teal ribbon, and am considering a bow for it, just to see if that would help it stand out at all.

I don’t know about the ribbon… we’ll have to see.

In any event, I’m happy to have the project done, off the table, and onto the wall!


Dahlias are pretty.  Just sharing.  🙂

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…and, it’s tax time!  Time for a project to drown our collective sorrows!

For a while, I’ve been trying to think of a spring/summer/fall idea to take the place of the winter wreath I make every year from the bottom boughs of our Christmas tree.  It fills the space on the front porch so nicely, and since it’s covered by a roof, I have some options that will withstand being outside.

Since wine is pretty popular here at Guin’s Yard (we may or may not have had our wedding reception at a winery four years ago), I decided I’d try a wine cork wreath like the one here.

So I gathered up my corks, my hot glue, my straw wreath base, and my bottle glass of wine, and gave it a whirl:

(I’m not sure whether I’m more proud or embarrassed that I didn’t buy any of the corks; they’re all ours.  Well, I guess I did buy them.  In bottles…)

Unfortunately, I got maybe 2/3 of the way around the wreath and ran out.  Woe!  I guess I’ll have to drink more wine.  For now the project is stashed in a big shopping bag until my cork reserves bounce back (memo to friends & family:  donations gladly accepted!).  I’m pretty pleased with how it’s coming along so far though.  Hopefully it won’t be too long until I have finished photos to share.

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The good news is that we’ve decided on new bedding, ordered it, and like it.  We went with Pottery Barn’s Sydney Palampore duvet and shams:

…which in real life looks more like this – not quite so green:

The blue matches the carpet that I’m grudgingly coming to terms with, quite well — and the cream bedsheets that we already own match well too.  Thumbs up.  All we need is a new bed skirt, since the green one matches our old bedding, and doesn’t quite match these.

Even though I acknowledge that our blinds and valences aren’t the most hip window treatments ever, we already own them, which elevates them considerably in my estimation.  We have both blue

and mushroom colored versions of the same valence, holdovers from our last house (as well as green, hanging in the master bedroom now). Depending on wall color, either could work with the new bedding.

…all of which leads us to what is [not] my husband’s favorite part of this whole proposition:


The subject of paint in the master bedroom has been a sore one, since I’ve always been a little annoyed at mistakes we made when painting the room the first time.  I’m excited to get another stab at it now, and am like a little kid in a candy store.  I like paint.

Preliminarily, I’m kind of fond of some of these…

SW 6162 – Ancient Marble, SW 7050 – Useful Gray, SW 6071 – Popular Gray, SW 6073 – Perfect Greige, SW 6163 – Grassland
but SW was out of a few chips I was interested in, so I’ll have to take down a few that I can eliminate and add a few that are closer to whatever I decide I like of these.

Cream colored panel window treatments could be in our future, but for now, if we skip those, this room makeover is going to come in under $200 for new bedding, paint, and bed skirt.  Not bad!

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It has taken me quite a while to find something just right to decorate the upstairs bathroom.  Standing up to the steam, dampness, and heat, and coordinating with the aggressively blue floor and vanity was a tall order.  But I think I found it!

Sea glass reminds me – beach vacation is coming up!

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This may very well be the last room in the house to get any wall decor!

I took all of the photos on vacation last summer… so even if they’re not all that impressive, they make me happy.  And isn’t that what counts?  Our bedroom is one of our more piecemeal-furnished rooms, so any little bit to make it feel more “finished” and less “interim” is nice.

Alas, though, it turns out that our bedroom is the first room that will need a repaint job:

This area next to our bed is right above where Guinness’ dog bed used to be.  He has a thing for rolling around on his back on his fleece-topped dog bed – and rubbing up against the wall.  I’m pretty disappointed with how the paint wore:  it was Behr flat latex, mixed to match Sherwin Williams Gratifying Green.  Next time we’ll just spend the money for the Sherwin Williams paint, since it’s wearing so much better in the rest of the house.  Live and learn.

For the meantime, I’ve moved his bed and plan to spackle, sand, and paint over it with some of the leftover paint.  When we someday buy a real bedroom set (oh wonderful day in the future…) we’ve agreed that we’ll repaint the room a slightly different, less minty green.  Until then, I’ll just enjoy my beach pictures!

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In addition to working on Guin’s Yard, one of our other hobbies is backpacking in New York’s Adirondack Park.  There are 46 peaks that were originally measured to exceed 4,000 ft. in elevation, and the people who climb them all are known as 46r’s.  We are aspiring 46r’s, with 12 peaks climbed to date.

Now, thanks to the woodworking skills of Guin’s Grandpa B, we have a way to keep track of our progress:

We just have to decide how we want to mark the peaks we’ve climbed:  pins, flags…

We took the map to Michael’s to be dry mounted, to get it perfectly flat.  Word to the wise:  they won’t let you use framing coupons because it isn’t “framing” (even though it’s a service of the framing department), and they won’t let you use item coupons because it’s a service.  Ah well.  The frame was custom made to the map dimensions, and then there’s a piece of cut-to-fit carpet padding behind the dry mounted map in the frame.  The whole thing is backed by a sheet of MDF screwed into the back of the frame.  Hooks for the picture hanging wire are also screwed to the backside of the frame itself.

It’s pretty enormous – the map itself is 35″x45″ – and fun to walk past every day.

* * *

In addition to hanging the map, I also put the first coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets this weekend.  I’m undecided on the color.  It came out much greener and lighter than I expected.  That’s not a crisis; I opted for the lighter of the final two colors knowing it could be darkened more easily than lightened later, and I like green… but it’s not what I expected.

Final judgment is reserved until I see it in daylight, but it may need to go back to Sherwin Williams to be re-tinted a little darker.  We’ll see.  Pictures to come soon!

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