House Tour Part 4: Sewing Room

Friday, March 21, 2014

I know you've all seen those gorgeous craft rooms where everything is light, airy, and completely color coordinated.
The space is so organized and dreamy that it makes you wish you could just visit and craft forever.

That is NOT what my room will be like.

Nope, not at all. My room will be cram packed with years worth of hoarded fabric, yarn, paper, ribbons, thread, patterns, knick-knacks, do-dads, and what-nots. It will be full of pencils, pens, markers, scribbles, and more lists than any one person could possibly keep track of in their lifetime. Almost every single surface (including the floor!) will be covered with some sort of something, and certain folks may actually be frightened to enter sometimes. (Honestly, I'm not sure why those people would want to visit me in the first place.) 
But the thing is, I don't think I'd have it any other way.

I love looking at those beautiful rooms just as much as the rest of you, but they just aren't me. 
I am messy. I am random. And I often work on a dozen different projects at a time.
This room will be mine! Now let me show you what I plan to do with it...

- Paint: I think I've chosen the perfect color, but it wouldn't be right if I didn't waffle for a little longer. (spoiler alert - it's teal!)
- Get an Algot stand for the printer to sit on, and maybe another one for under the table to hold embroidery machine goodies.
- Install a shelf above the desk for some of my cute knick-knacks.
- Find a new desk chair. Maybe I'll steal mine back from Ant and make a slipcover for it.
- Add a giant piece of sheet metal to the wall between the computer and shelf. A magnet board is just what I need to help corral my lists!
- The third thread rack is already hung, but that wall could still use a bit of art or decorations of some kind.
- Add more color! Right now everything is pretty much a boring blue or white. We need some pink, green, and patterns!

- We've already added shelves to the left side of the window to match the right, but I'd like to paint them all a pretty color.
- Hang a white board on this wall so I can keep better track or my Etsy orders and collections. More lists!
- Add a curtain rod above the white board and use it to hang backdrops for photo-shoots.
- Build a cutting table to help store a good chunk of my random crafting supplies.

The cutting table is by far the project I'm most looking forward to. I've designed it to work for my specific needs,
and since my dad already has all the necessary skills and tools, he's agreed to help me build it. Yay!

The top will be 40x60 so I can work will more than a full yard of fabric without having to keep wiggling it (or myself) to make things fit.
On each end will be a mini 3x3 Expedit kind of shelf/drawer/paper cubbie combo thing where I can store all my yarn, scrapbook paper, zippers, do-dads, etc. Then between the two end units will be more shelves where I can stash my bolts of fleece. I'm even considering adding a magnetic bar for my scissors, and a few hooks to keep my clear rulers handy. And to make it even better, the whole thing will be on casters so I can move it into the center of the room if I'm cutting out large pieces. Doesn't that just sound amazing?
It's like sewer's bliss actually, and I'm so excited to start working on it! **insert fangirl squeal**

Moving on...

- Paint and organize the shelves. 
- Give the bookcase a makeover with a fun new color.
- Hang some kind of garland or bunting above the window.

Holy cow I've got a lot of junk!

- The paint rack was already hung above the light switches, but it still needs to be sanded and painted.
- Hang the pegboard vertically beside the bookcase.
- Find drawers (maybe more Algot ones) to stick below the pegboard as storage for my Etsy shop back-stock.
- Paint the ugly grey screw drawer organizer.
- Decide weather or not to keep the ceiling fan

Well, I guess that's it!
If you've been following along through parts one, two, and three, you can see that I've got plenty of work ahead of me.
And when I say me, I mean Ant. Oh wait no, I really mean me. ;-) Of course it won't all be done at the same time, and some of it may not even be finished this year, but at least we have a plan. So now if I randomly disappear from the blog for weeks at a time, as I'm wont to do, at least you'll all know that I'm off on some kind of sanding/caulking/painting whim that couldn't wait a minute longer. 

Happy Friday!

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House Tour Part 3: Basement and Yard

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Well, we covered the kitchen and dining room in Part 1, the bedrooms and bathrooms in Part 2, and now it's time to head down into the cavernous depths of the basement where we hide our children so no one can hear their screams. Ha ha, I'm only kidding! I definitely lock them down there when I need to, but you can totally hear the shrieks of "Mommy I want a juice!!!" from anywhere in the house. Lucky me.

Updates planned for the stairwell

Basement Stairwell
Would it look odd for the downstairs and upstairs to have different color banisters?
Also, I still LOVE our Dyson Animal vacuum, and yes that is a dirty sock at the bottom of the stairs. :-)

- Re-caulk all the cracking trim
- Choose a paint color
- Replace the brass light fixture
- Possibly change the color of the railing and banister. 

basement layout

The lay of the land...

Plan for the storage room

Storage Closet
This is probably the coolest little closet ever! If we didn't have so much junk, I would probably turn it into a cute little room for the kids, but alas, I'm a hoarder so too bad for them. I'd like to build something like this eventually, but for now, as long as I can keep hiding away the things I don't know what to do with, I'm good.

- Build a shelving unit
- Buy more totes
- Purge like there's no tomorrow!
- Sort and organize what ever is left

Updates planned for the laundry room

Laundry Room
If you saw my Valentine's day public service announcement about cleaning your dryer vents, you'll already know that this was my very first project as soon as we got moved in. Maybe one day we'll install a cabinet and cute it up a little, but at least it's functional now. 
And of course it's always nice that we're less likely to burn down the house trying to dry our never-ending mountain of clothes.

- Check if Dad has any extra cabinets hidden away. (Everyone in my family is a hoarder!)
- Paint: Something fun and fresh. Is lavender weird for a laundry room?
- Hang up the ironing board
- Maybe build one of these for the laundry baskets.
- Replace the light fixture. The old one has a short in it...and it's brass.

Bathroom redo plan

Basement Bathroom
This room is the very definition of the phrase "half-assed", and I don't even like to think about the amount of work we'll need to do in order to make it an actual NICE bathroom. The medicine cabinet and towel bar are falling off the wall, the faucet knobs pop off, and the plumber decided to "fix" a lose pipe (a stipulation in our contract) by wedging a shampoo bottle between the pipe and the wall. I didn't even bother to take a picture of the tub, but trust me, it looks like a bath fitter project gone wrong. Since we don't have much use for a basement bathtub, I'm not sure what we'll do in here yet. But if I ever win the lottery, you can bet the whole mess will be torn down to the studs for a complete do-over. At least in the mean time I've got a close place to pee when I'm in the middle of a project. ;-)

Updates planned for the playroom

Plan for the playroom makeover

I'm so sick of helping pick up toys and then seeing them all dumped back out 5 minutes later.
Can't we just leave it like this and pretend everything's invisible? I know some of you would totally do the same!

- I already installed a blower on the fireplace so now maybe it won't be so cold in the basement during the winter.
- Bring the sofa and chair down from the living room
- Paint: What color says "This is a fun kid's room, but we aren't ashamed to have adults over for a movie"?
- Block off the drafts around the sliding glass door and the back wall along the foundation. I started, but didn't make it very far.
- Get rid of the vertical blinds and find a sliding curtain option. (The kid's have helped by ripping most of the blinds down already!)
- Figure out a way to organize the toys. I like the trofast system, but these goobers just keep standing on the buckets.
- Either bring down the old tv from the living room, or get a new one to hang over the fireplace.
- More brass, but I think you guys have probably figured out how I feel about that by now.

Updates planned for the backyard

Updates planned for the backyard

Plan for the backyard makeover

Most of our time here the yard has been filled with snow, (seriously, we got 6 more inches yesterday!)
but once it warms up it'll be so nice to send the kids outside and let them burn off some energy.

- Remove all the timbers, pebbles, mulch, and pavers and start from scratch.
- Level the gate so it doesn't drag on the ground a find a latch that locks. Corbin has already figured out how to break out.
- Prune the ginormous azalea bush that is taking up a quarter of the yard.
- Get rid of the ten (yes 10!!) bags of rock salt that the old owner left behind the lattice.
- Throw down some grass seed and try to conquer that moss that's taking over the right side of the yard.
- Bracket the stairs in place since they aren't actually attached to the center support. 

We're totally gonna eat most of our summer meals out here!

- Remove the extra handrails. Why are they doubled up to begin with?
- Take down the lighting on the stairs.
- Fix all the protruding nails before someone gets snagged.
- Sand the railings. I really don't want to have to wrestle splinters out of anyone unless I absolutely have to!
- Bring up the kid's plastic table and stools and spray paint them something other than neon green.
- Buy some flower boxes, and get a bit of color going out here.
- Get a grill and some patio furniture. Ant would like to sit out here with his morning coffee.

That's it for the main bits of the house, but don't forget to stop back later this week for a peek at my own personal space - my Sewing Room! *squee* I can't tell you how nice it is to say that after working out of the dining room for so long, and I'm super excited to get everything in order so I can start creating again. I can already feel that this is going to be my most productive sewing year ever, and I can't wait to share some of the surprises I've got in store for you awesome readers who have stuck by me during all the moves, babies, and crazy parts. Thank you so so much. I truly hope you'll enjoy the fun adventures to come!

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House Tour Part 2 : Second Floor

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

 In case you missed it; You can check out Part 1 for a look at our plans for the Kitchen, Dining, and Living rooms. 
Today though we're gonna head upstairs and see what kind of damage I can do in the Bedrooms and Bathrooms. Fun!

Plans for updating a peach stairwell
Makeover plans for a peach hallway

Upstairs Stairwell and Hallway
I'm not sure that these pictures truly do it justice, but this area is a WHOLE lot of peach. The previous owner obviously had a thing for the seashore, but seeing as we're at least 2 hours from the closest beach, and 4 hours from the ocean, I just don't quite get it.

- Paint. No ideas on a color yet, but almost any other neutral would be an improvement.
- Re-caulk all the cracked trim. I've already scraped most of the old stuff out, so the rest should be easy.
- Reorganize the closets. I'd love to swap out the wire shelving, but we'll see.
- Change the color of the banister and railing? This will likely only happen if I can convince Ant to change the hardwood floors too.

Master bedroom makeover plans
Plans for updating a master bedroom

Master Bedroom
Have you all noticed yet that our house is pretty much straight out of an Ikea catalog? Don't get me wrong.
I love Ikea, but after going through at least 5 moves, this Malm set-up has seen much better days.

- Make a new bed. I'm thinking about DIYing one of those cute tufted headboards that have been so popular lately.
- Get new dressers and end tables. It doesn't look like there's any hope in salvaging the old ones.
- Paint: Ant and I have tentatively agreed on a color (nothing short of a miracle!), but it could end up being a bit too dark. Gotta test it.
- The mirror was left behind by the old owner and I can't decide if it should stay where it is or go down to the dining room to hang above the (imaginary) buffet table. Either way I think it needs some kind of frame.
- Curtains: I like the black-out ones that we used before, but the design in my head will probably look better with sheers. Hmm, Do I want it to look pretty or do I want to get more sleep? That's not even really a question is it?
- Yay, more brass stuff! Who wants to come over for a spray painting party?

Master closet before the makeover

Master Closet
As you can see, I pretty much never have a reason to even go in here. Of my whopping 8 hangers, one is a scarf holder, and 2 are cardigans that still have the tags on a year after I bought them. Oh well, I'd still like to get rid of the wire shelving and make it nicer. Or maybe I should put the makeover money towards buying myself a new wardrobe instead. What do you think?

*For those of you who are wondering, my clothes are in the 3 drawer dresser in the bedroom pictures above.

Plans for updateing a master bathroom

Master Bathroom
Where do I even start in here? I'm not completely sold on the boring white tiles, but I'm not sure 
if I want to rip everything out and start over, or just try to liven it up with some paint. 

- We've got another super snazzy border to take down.
- Replace the sink/counter top. There is a giant crack in the bowl of the sink and even though it doesn't leak, it's still ugly.
- Paint or replace the vanity cabinet. I can't help myself. Wood just shouldn't be orange...It weirds me out. 
- The floor of the shower (the bottom plastic liner part) was painted. Who does that? Anyway, they didn't even bother to scrub off the existing soap scum before painting, so it's all cracked and peeling. Gross.
- Re-grout the cracks in the shower. I have no idea how to do this, but there's always google.
- The vanity light... Well just look at it. It's pretty much the same one they put in every basic house/apartment everywhere. Lets update!
- The extra mirrors were left behind by the old owner, and I'm not sure what to do with them.
- The flooring is linoleum, and if we do decide to do a major overhaul, that'll be going away too.

Kid's fish theme bathroom

Main Bathroom
This is pretty much the only room in the house that actually looks a little "put together", and that's only because I took everything from the bathroom at the apartment and tossed it in here. I'm sure we'll at least update it with a new coat of paint eventually, but it's probably the lowest room on our list of priorities. Seriously, the kids aren't gonna mind - Corbin isn't even potty trained yet! (Gotta work on that too.)

Plans to update a little boy's room

Corbin's Bedroom
Speaking of Corbin, his room looks like a tiny mint colored box right now, and I honestly have no idea what to do with it. We decided to carry over the "woodland" theme from the apartment, but while I had a great plan for the old room, here I'm drawing a complete blank.

- Paint. Most likely a different shade of green, or a sky blue kind of color. 
- Get rid of the crib and bring over Reli's old toddler bed. 
- Find a coordinating dresser.
- Mend and hang the curtains from the old room. (They're super cool. I can't believe I've never shared them before!)
- Install some kind of light fixture. Not sure if it'll be a lamp, or ceiling light or what, but right now we're only using the window.
- Wall art and decor thingys: We've got a few of those big Ikea leaves, and I'd like to keep the tree trunk nook and the grass rug (Two more projects I never shared. Duh!), but no ideas beyond that. 

Plans to update a little girl's room
Plans to update a little girl's room

Aurelia's Bedroom
This is the first room we're going to tackle because I (kinda) have a plan about what I want to do. Of course, Reli keeps telling me that she wants a giant My little Pony mural complete with a castle, sunshine, and flowers, but since I'm not quite up for that right now, I've decided to go in a more "shabby chic" kind of direction. I'm not thinking all frilly pastels though, so we're going to shoot for a more garden feel with brighter pinks, greens, and blues. I've already bought the bedding, and the daybed was actually left behind by the previous owner, so at least we have a place to start.

- Paint: We'll probably go with a light to medium shade of pink. I'm not opposed to dots, stripes, ombre, or any other really fun painting techniques, but I'll need to coordinate it with whatever furniture we can find.
- Move the walnut bed over to Corbin's room. (My Dad actually made it, but more about that later!)
-Pick up some new blinds. These ones are broken and are currently tied to the curtain rod hooks to keep them up.
- Purge/donate/pack away all the kid's too small clothes. We've currently got boxes of them spread over 3 different houses!
- Take back my dresser, and find a new one for Reli. I'm picturing a wide 6 drawer piece with a large mirror above it.
- Choose either a tall desk, bookcase, or armoire. I'd love to paint it a fun bright color.
- Get a new mattress. (That was left behind as well, and it kinda creeps me out.)
- Remove the closet door, add a curtain, and make the inside pretty somehow. 
- We'll need some wall art in here too - Maybe some big cute empty frames.

Well, I suppose that's it for the upstairs. I'm working right now to pull together an inspiration board for each of the bedrooms, so I'll definitely be sharing those in the next few weeks. Then you guys can help me out and give your opinions. There seem to be a bajillion ideas bouncing around in my head, and each time I hit up google or pinterest in an attempt to straighten it out, things only get worse. 
There's just too much awesomeness!!!
In the mean time though we'll finish up the tour of the basement and sewing room because I know your all still waiting for that. ;-)

So tell me, where do you go for decorating ideas? Magazines, Blogs, Pinterest, Ikea, Websites like Pottery Barn? 
I already love Design Seeds for color palettes, but I really need to bring it all together somehow.
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House Tour Part 1 : First Floor

Monday, March 10, 2014

We've been moved into the new house for about a month now, and do you know what that means?
It means that I've pretty much been putting off doing a house tour for about a month now too. I'm not sure why exactly, but part of me kept saying "after I get this fixed I'll do it. No wait, after I get that fixed." And then I finally realized that if I just suck it up and show you the most terrible, cluttered, dirty, REAL before photos, then my after pictures will just look that much more awesome. And trust me, my decor skills need as much help as they can get!

So without further ado, this is how our house looked as of last week, along with a few of my very vague plans to transform it. 
And don't forget, you guys darn sure better let me know if I mention wanting to do something that sounds totally stupid. 
I promise I'll trust your judgement over mine in this department.

Updates we plan to make to the front of the house

The Front Yard/Exterior
The HOA pretty much limits us from changing anything out here, but we do have a few projects we'd like to tackle. 

-The storm door wasn't installed properly, so we need to fix the frame, and fill in all the drafty bits.
-The bricks under the stairs have a few cracks, and since my Dad just happens to be a mason, I'm gonna have him look at these and fix them up however he thinks is best. (This one is definitely not in my skill set.)
-The bay window needs to be completely re-caulked before the wasps and birds move in, and I'd love to figure out a way to insulate the underside because the dining room floor is downright freezing.

Anthony is also super excited to be able to finally do some landscaping! But so far we haven't been able to agree on much.
 Those lower windows are to my sewing room, and after practically living in a cave for the past 3 years, I don't want to risk blocking any of my newly acquired light! (especially since the tree will already be shading it once it blooms) Unfortunately that takes most of my favorite flowers right off the table. :-(

 I want to add lots of pretty colors, but Peonies, Lilacs and Hydrangeas all grow too large, I don't care for Petunias, and Pansies are just boring. I'm thinking maybe some Balloon or Bell flowers would be nice, or possibly a kind of Miniature Rose. If it's not too late for bulbs, I might even try some Ranunculous. They're so lovely! (as long a I don't accidently kill them, which is a definite possbility)

Updates we plan to make to the dining room
Updates we plan to make to the dining room

 The Dining Room
Isn't it funny how you can go from having too much junk to fit comfortably in an apartment to having a house that looks
completely devoid of furniture? Obviously our old dining table just isn't gonna cut it in here. Sorry Ikea.

- Hit up the Salvation Army for a new 6 place dining set. (A table with an extender leaf would be great for Holidays!)
- Find a nice buffet/sideboard/credenza type thingy to go along the left-hand wall.
- Brass, brass, and more brass. Replace it, spray paint it, and go to whatever lengths necessary to get rid of it forever!
- Figure out what kind of drapes work on a bay window and take down the goofy mini blind over the door.
- We're probably gonna need a really big mirror or piece of wall art to go above the buffet table.
- Paint. We haven't the slightest idea what color though, so this may very well be the last step in the process.
- Do something about that weird piece of mini chair rail on the left in the second picture. Longer or Gone altogether? It's odd.

Updates we plan to make to the kitchen

Terrible speckled epoxy countertops

Plan for adding a pantry to the kitchen

The Kitchen
I'm pretty sure it was our second full day here when Ant suddenly proclaimed that he hated everything about the kitchen, and it needed to be completely overhauled. Ok maybe, but since he likes dark cabinets and I like light ones, it's not a project we'll be starting right away.

In the mean time we'll...
- Get rid of the border. I'm sorry if you like them, but I grew up with these in almost every room, and I honestly don't think I've ever seen one that didn't look tacky. Maybe in a nursery...maybe. But this apple/basket stuff has got to go. Soon.
- Build a pantry in the "breakfast nook" area so we'll have more storage. (It's sad I know. Go ahead and laugh at my drawing :-)
- The counters wont be changed in the near future, but I just had to point them out. We assume that they started out as regular old (hunter green) laminate, but the old owner decided to try to make them look high end with some kind of paint on fleckled epoxy kinda stuff. The result was pretty much a splotchy, drippy, chipping mess. Who wants a textured counter? You can't roll out cookies!
- The cabinets are pretty standard builder grade oak colored things, but like I said, we don't know how we'll update those yet.
- The knobs on the sink fall off pretty frequently so we should probably fix/change those too.
- The floors are cracked/dinged/burned linoleum that could use a lot of help.

Ok, so Ant's right. This baby needs an update! 
If I can convince him that we need to go with white cabinets and grey counter tops what colors would you suggest for the walls and floor? I kinda figure that since there aren't any windows we need to make it as bright as possible. Oh, and don't tell Ant, but I'm not married to the oak hardwood in the dining room, so I'd be happy to swap them if they don't match my awesome new kitchen...eventually.

First floor hallway

Updates we plan to make to the living room

Plans for the living room built in

The Living Room
So yeah, we don't own a single flat screen tv. Heck we only have one tv to begin with! 
Way back when we first got married, I pretty much told Ant that he couldn't have a fancy new tv until we bought our first house. I was almost certain he would "accidently" drop our big ol' monster during one of our moves, but he must have known I was serious about this. I honestly don't see any reason for getting a new tv until or current one dies, but this past Christmas Ant's Dad and Uncle actually started asking if they could buy us one. Needless to say, now that we've moved, someone is practically giddy with the prospect of upgrading.

- Banish the sponge paint...and the beige...and the brass. How many of you noticed the light switch and outlet covers? Snazzy right?
- Fake a "built in" for the new tv, our massive book collection, and as a way to hide our movies, games, cd collection, etc.
- Find a new sofa, chair, and coffee table set. We're planning to move the old ones down to the basement for the kids.
- Get a new desk and chair for Ant's computer, filing, and "stuff". 
- Find a new home for the secretary desk. We'd like to keep it, but don't know where it'll fit in.
- Install a new thermostat. Those programmable ones seem pretty nifty.

Ta da! That's it for the first floor.
(Well except for the powder room behind the front door. We don't use that one unless we want to freeze our tushes off!) 
Anywho, if you actually made it the whole way trough my mess of ramblings you're awesome! You totally deserve a cookie. But since I haven't figured out how to reach through the computer just yet, you'll just have to settle for a "Yay, You Rock!" because you do. a lot. 

Now some time in the next few days we'll also be walking through the upstairs, basement, and then everybody's favorite, the sewing room. I know that's what you guys really want to see, but since that's the only room I actually have a plan for, we've got to muddle through the boring stuff first. And like I said, if you've got and ideas, or I said something dumb, Please, please, please let me know! 

Happy Monday!
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