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Posts Tagged ‘blue’

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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Sweet, sweet completion.  After 4 full months in various stages of being torn apart, it’s put back together again and ready for guests.  Without further ado:

Paint:  SW Interesting Aqua and SW Alabaster | Tile:  Tracce del Tempo in marrone 13x13s | Sink:  Mansfield Barrett | Toilet:  Mansfield Barrett, a discontinued version without concealed trap | Faucet, towel ring, and TP ring:  Moen Eva collection in brushed nickel | Mirror:  Lowe’s

We’ve worked on it most of the last bunch of weekends, and I confess I got so tired of the project toward the end that I wasn’t enjoying working on it, let alone taking pictures or writing about it.  So, I stopped blogging about it – this is supposed to be fun, right?  Besides, nobody wants to see pictures of “and then I did another coat of white paint!” or “and then we ran out to Lowe’s again!”

We did a lot of that – the running out to Lowe’s again.  It seemed like every step that could’ve had a hangup, required another trip to Lowe’s, needed a different part, or had 8 more steps than we thought, did.  Most parts of the project weren’t that difficult, but they were almost all things we don’t do everyday.  “One off” sort of projects always take more time and effort than you expect.

But finally.

After it was all finished, it struck me how similar it was to what was previously there – it was really just a nicer, more polished version of itself.  The layout is the same.  It’s still blue, and still has neutral colored, square-patterned flooring.  The shift from bisque to white fixtures isn’t dramatic.  The mirror and vanity light were things we’d had in there before.  But the overall impression, I think, is much nicer.  It’s the little things.  Looking at the befores:

There’s no more gapping between pieces of laminate flooring, no more vague smell of mold (the old toilet wax seal leaked), no more pinky beige, circa 1985, no more shreds of wallpaper that I couldn’t quite get out from behind the baseboard molding, no more shoddy finish carpentry, more floor space, and a cleaner, brighter look.  It’s warmer, with a forced air heat register that now opens into the room, and radiant heat in the floor.  It feels more like part of the house, not part of the garage.

We still have a few little tasks left to do:  we need to install a threshold between the tile and the family room carpet, just to finish it off.  I’m also thinking about what to hang on the walls.  A floating shelf over the toilet would provide space for extra TP rolls, etc.  I admit I will probably miss the vanity storage space a little.  With the heat vent where it is, I think we made the right decision to use a pedestal sink, but it always pains me to sacrifice storage space.

We’re also going to replace the lauan door – which looks so orange against all that white! – with a solid pine 6 panel door that will be painted white to match, with a brushed nickel knob.  I am ready to give that up for now and call it a separate project.  I need a little break where I’m “done” for a bit.  We’ll eventually be doing all the interior doors in the house, and they’ll all still be there next month.

Just for funsies:

2008:

and 2012:

I’m pretty proud of that!

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It has been a busy week+ in half bathroom progress.  I haven’t had time to update, because I’ve had to choose between doing the work and blogging about the work (and, well, catching Olympic swimming), and blogging was a distant third.  But here we are.

Last Saturday, we grouted the tile floor.  Grouting is just kind of tedious, but it’s gratifying to see the floor going from looking obviously in-progress to DONE in an afternoon.

Sunday, when the grout was dry enough to walk on the tile, I primed the ceiling and walls so they could be painted.

We also went to Lowe’s to buy the beadboard and molding.  4’x8′ sheets of beadboard don’t fit as well into a Subaru Forester as one might hope, but we got them home.

Monday I got up early and painted the ceiling white before I went in to work, so I could do the walls that night when I got home.

Tuesday the beadboard started going up:

The hole saw was nobody’s BFF, but we got the job done.  Since this is the only piece with holes, the hardest one was out of the way first.  We adhered it to the wall with Liquid Nails and actual nails into the studs.

The beadboard + chair rail will be about 40″ off the floor.  That will be about 6″ higher than the top of the pedestal sink, and a couple inches below the light switches and outlets.

The pieces of beadboard were not as long as the walls were, so most of the walls (all except the door wall) have joints in the beadboard.  They’re about 1/8″ wide, caulked, so there’s room for the beadboard to expand and contract a little, and the caulk should hide it.  The goal was to make it with the beadboard around the corner where the toilet will sit, so we could put the toilet in and not have to take it back out again to finish the trim work.  We also needed to put in the baseboard molding behind the toilet.

The remaining days of the week were mostly spent painting.  Three coats of semigloss paint took some time.  Yesterday, I finished the third coat of paint in the morning, cleaned out the accumulated tools, washed the floor, and the toilet went in — just as weekend guests were arriving.

The bowl went in pretty uneventfully, but when we sat the tank on the bowl… womp, womp, womp.  The pieces don’t match.

The bowl is white like it’s supposed to be, but the tank is bone colored.  We’d ordered white, and hadn’t checked the boxes to make sure both pieces actually said white.  What a pain.  So that is still to be resolved.  The white sink pedestal is also still on backorder, and will (really) hopefully be here soon.  The only positive that I can say for all this is that it makes me feel good about the decision to replace the old bone colored toilet in favor of a white one, rather than just buying a bone colored pedestal sink and being done with it.  I like the white with the white beadboard.  I think it’ll look great when the trim work is finished and the sink comes in.

In the meantime, we’re finishing the beadboard and baseboards, and will then do the chair rail over the beadboard.  New door casing will be part of that, again with lots of painting.  Eventually we’ll need to pick out and hang a new door, since the Lauan door that’s there has seen some better days (and even those days were not as awesome as they could be).  Solid pine is a possibility for the new doors.  Whatever we pick will probably become the standard for the rest of the house as we slowly replace the stained Lauan doors throughout.

The bathroom is far from done, but at least there’s been some significant progress, and it’s starting to look like a bathroom again!

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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:

PAINT CHIPS!  Whee!!

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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When I picked our bedding out, we were engaged (and armed with a wedding registry scanner), and had just signed a lease on a small house with white walls and hardwood floors:

Unfortunately, a couple years after that, we bought a house with carpet that just does not go:

We talked a good game about replacing the flooring throughout the house, but as our two year home ownership anniversary rapidly approaches, we’re no closer to new carpet, and I’m finally starting to think seriously about how to work with it rather than decorate in spite of it.

For whatever reason, our duvet cover wound up tossed in this room recently:

and dude! – it looked great!  So the wheels in my head started turning.  What if we move the guest bedroom furniture into this room, put our green & yellow striped bedding on the guest bed, and buy new green and blue bedding for our room?

It would be reasonably inexpensive, would keep most of what we have in use, and would work with, rather than fighting, the carpet that we’ve got.

It was a great idea, until I realized how hard the execution would be.  Just the right green and blue bedding is hard to come by.  Dark enough to go with the carpet, light enough to feel bright and airy… eep.

My first stab was this duvet cover from Target.  It’s not available in-store, but the website photo looked promising, and the price was great.

Above:  Liberty of London for Target – Paisley Duvet Set

Pretty, no?

But then, I did a little more searching online, and came across an ebay listing for the set.  The listing photos, which I suspect may be more accurate, show a different color that I didn’t like anywhere near as well.  So back to the drawing board.

I’ve been drooling over LL Bean’s Pincushion quilt, pictured in the ad below, for the last several home catalog mailings:

Drool.

But alas… not only do they only seem to have the twin available on the website, but it’s a little more than I was hoping to spend, only to likely need to buy another, warmer blanket to go under it for the winter months.

Since LL Bean has so many coordinating items in the palette I’m aiming for, I perused a little more.  This comforter cover is pretty, but I’m not sure there’s enough blue or green to accomplish what I’m looking for.  The dark blue floor might sooner swallow the pattern up.

And so I continued my search…

Pottery Barn – Sydney Palampore (and it’s on sale!)

(but it might not pass the “no flowers” test…)

Pottery Barn – Sienna Paisley

(Very pretty, but would it coordinate with the dark blue floor?  I’m thinking not.)

I checked every other purveyor of bedding I could think of, or Google could point me to:  Bed Bath & Beyond, Linens N Things, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Eddie Bauer, overstock.com, amazon.com, and ebay, to name a few.  I found a bunch of stuff that I felt pretty uninspired by.  All of which led me to wonder if I should consider a Plan B.

The master bedroom was the first room in the house that we chose paint for, and I have never been especially thrilled with my selection.  It isn’t bad, but it was never quite what I was going for.  The shade in the green guest room (my second stab) is much better.

Every time I’ve suggested repainting the master bedroom, I’ve been met with a stinkeye of massive proportion.  We eventually reached an agreement wherein I would be allowed to repaint when we eventually buy a bedroom furniture set, and the room gets emptied out anyway.  It seemed like a victory at the time, but given that, like the carpet, bedroom furniture hasn’t cracked the top 10 list of priorities (nor have I found a set I must have anyway), I’m pretty sure I accepted an offer that my contracts professor would’ve shamed me for.

Leaving the Stinkeye Factor alone for the time being, what if… I moved all the green into the green guest room, repainted the room something in the gray/greige/taupe/blue family, and just embraced the concept of a blue bedroom?  That would broaden the option field considerably.

Crate & Barrel – Lindsey Paisley

I will inevitably keep brainstorming for a while, and keep adding ideas here, which serves as my best shot at getting all my ideas together in one place.  As always, the other option is to just leave it all as it is, and wait until we finally replace the carpet.  But what fun is that?

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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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I’ve been meaning to post pictures of our rearranged family room for a few weeks now…

Uncle Sam owed us a refund this year, and we used it to treat ourselves to an upgrade from our old 21″ CRT TV, and MDF TV stand (as drenched in awesome sauce as they were).  Around the same time, we had the opportunity to adopt a sectional sofa from friends who had moved, and didn’t have a room the right shape/size for it anymore, as well as a coffee table from my great grandmother’s house by way of my grandfather’s.  Put it all together, and our family room now looks like this:

Guinness’ crate is tall enough to make a comfortable height end table next to the sofa:

We still have a ways to go to finish it off, of course, but it’s SUCH an improvement from here:

Fall 2008

Seating for so many more people by the fire, and comparatively speaking, this feels like our own personal movie theater.  The couch is more comfortable (and more attractive) too!

Still on the to-do list, eventually we’d like to find a credenza to hold the media equipment a little more gracefully than the sofa table, something along the lines of this one:

Bassett - Guilford Credenza

But we have a piece that does what needs doing, so that affords us plenty of time to find the right piece at a reasonable price.  I’ve trolled Craig’s List for something to paint or refinish, but haven’t found anything close to the right size and shape, we’ll hold for a bit.

Also on the functional side, we’d like to install recessed lighting in the ceiling, because there isn’t a ton of room for end tables and lamps (the standing lamp is where it is – next to the TV – only because that is the outlet that is controlled by the wall switch).

In the meantime, though, this is one of our favorite rooms – and now one of the most “done” in the house!

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