Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gradual bedroom makeover: Step 1

So, this is currently what our bedroom looks like. It's basically exactly what it was in my last home in Georgia except two people sleep in that double bed now and I have to take someone else's sleeping temperature needs into consideration in a new, hotter climate. I like our bedroom, it's clean, simple and calm. The bed (and I'm pretty sure bed skirt) belonged to my great aunt, Vaudine, then my great uncle, Robin, then grandmother and she gave it to me when I moved to Macon after college. I bought the candlestick lamps at the Dollar General for 3 dollars each and spray painted them red and the lampshades were also 3 dollars each from the Dollar General. The awesome bedside tables are from Rooms To Go. I'm pretty sure my uncle picked them out to go with the bed when it was in my grandmother's home.
So, now that I've told you what I like about our bedroom, let me tell you what I don't like. Because this is exactly the same set up and colors of the last rental house I lived in, I'm a little bored with it and the flaws are starting to bother me. I've decided to make changes gradually that make it a little more modern.The bed is beautiful but the beige-cream color of the bed skirt and frame really isn't the best for our home and style right now. I'm tired of all the red and white that I used to love, and it's no secret to my friends that I LOVE blue. So, I'd like to have a gray, white and blue bedroom now. (Jamie's on board but he's hoping a leave just a little red so it will look like "Murica.")

Here are some of the projects I'd like to take on with this room:
1) Update and repair the lamps.
        The lampshades got dented and scratched during our move to Houston so I'll be looking into trying ways to cover up the flaws. Paint is cheap, new lampshades are not.
2) Add more modern, panel style curtains that block more light.
        When Jamie gets home from traveling, he usually needs to sleep during the day to try to catch up on some. These white curtains are cute and I personally love all the brightness in our bedroom, but it isn't practical for a guy who works 24 hour shifts.
3) Hang some big black and white photos from our wedding above the bed.
        Ikea sells cheap, large frames and I'd like to have more wedding photos in our house.
4) I've already mentioned this in a previous post: Paint the bed.
        It can't hurt anything and I'm going to save paint chips from the original paint color in case I ever want to go back.

So those are my plans. It will probably take me until our lease is up to finish everything but that's okay! I enjoy this stuff and it gives me something to do in between school, work and catering to Ellie's every need.

Got any ideas for me? Have you ever painted a wrought iron bed frame?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Minute Ikea Hemnes TV Stand Update

So remember that week I was on vacation while my best friend was visiting me in Houston? Well, while we were on an obligatory sight seeing trip to view all the wonders of Anthropologie, we came across this super cool, geometric, gold drawer knobs.

Anthropologie always has the coolest hardware so I mentioned to Alex that I wanted to spruce up our Hemnes TV stand. When she showed me these, I immediately knew they would be perfect for our living room.

I've already painted a metal Ikea coffee table with gold spray paint so it would sort of look like a brass coffee table. (This is an older iPhone picture btw!) I might blog about that adventure some other time. The little details are starting to make our living room come together!
Aren't they just the cutest little things?!?
So yeah, all you do is unscrew the old hardware and screw in the new ones. Seriously less than five minutes and to me, it makes such a big difference in the way I see this piece of furniture. The knobs add just a little modern, trendy touch to the more classic style of the stand and that's just how I like it.

Side view.
Please pardon my disdain for dusting and our un-fixably crooked TV monitor.
I will post a pulled back picture of the full living room when I get more projects completed!

Have you got any go-to, quick Ikea furniture update tricks? If so, let me know in the comments section below! I would love to hear from you! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dreaming of pre-fab homes

Last week was full of celebrating success and growing families with dear friends. It's so great that I get to be included in the lives of my friends even if I'm a thousand miles away! This weekend, between doing homework and missing Jamie, I've had plenty of time to dream about having a little family in a house of our own.

I've always loved smaller homes and even from a young age when I saw a large, grand house my first reaction would be "Who is going to clean all that?" I started getting very interested in pre-fab homes when my dad and I started talking about turning a pre-fab storage shed into a stand alone bedroom at their house for me back in college. (I called it "The Shed" and I loved living there the last year of college. Free rent is awesome, but popping into your parents house for a delicious meal after a long day? Even better.) 

Jamie and I would like to build a home together someday and a pre-fab home is such a cool, fast way to do that! There is, hopefully, a lot of school between now and the fruition of these settling down, house building and kiddo plans.

Do you want to know more about pre-fab homes before we go any further? They're not just the typical "trailer" or "modular" style home we're used to anymore. Check this article out!

So, anyway, the top priorities in my imaginary future homes are lots of windows and natural light, well laid out kitchens, large living spaces and tiny bedrooms. Oh, and trees.  I love the charm and history of older homes but the long term costs of maintaining and fixing an older home can be really costly for growing families. So, I'll save rehabbing an old house for my retirement daydreams.

Blu Homes is a very popular pre-fabricated home manufacturer out of California. The homes are ultra-modern, stunning and expensive.

Blu Homes Photo Gallery
But did I mention how stunning they are? Look at all those windows!
The Origin Pod home, built by putting multiple pods together is actually kind of my favorite by Blu Homes because it's a pretty small footprint and easy to add on by buying another pod later if you need more bedrooms for more babies!
Blu Homes Origin Pod Home
Other than the very sad lack of trees, I would move here tomorrow. 
You can actually design your own home in 3D through Blu Homes which is a terribly excellent tool for someone like me with way too much time on their hands!

I really like this B-Line home from Hive Modular homes. Their B-Line style homes are designed and priced for first time homeowners in mind. Not all of the fancy upgrades available like Blu Homes, but they're beautiful, modern and functional.

Hive Modular B-Line Home, Lake Katepwa, SK
I'm such a sucker for a good front porch.
A little bit back up the price range scale, the Cottage Series from Method Homes is a much more traditional, craftsmen style pre-fab home. Even though I really like modern, I love the classic craftsmen style. I think the shingle siding is a really great touch.
Cottage Series, Method Homes
Orcas Island Method Cottage Series Home
I could imagine so many cozy evenings with cuddly babies in this house.
Orcas Island Method Cottage Series Home
Tiny bedrooms? Check!
The Cabin Series from Method Homes is a small, modern beauty.
Method Homes Cabin Series
M2 Home by Method Homes in Deming, WA
This kitchen is divine. That light! Those shelves! Be still my beating heart. 
Living Homes is another affordable pre-fab home designer and manufacturer. Their designs are environmentally friendly and beautiful.
Living Homes C-6 Tour, Acme Real Estate
I love the airy feeling of this small bedroom.
Pre-fab homes are growing in popularity as vacation homes around the world.
Photo by Simon Devitt for Dwell Magazine
Photo by Simon Devitt for Dwell Magazine
I think I could make this vacation house work as a full time home... What about you?
I would probably sit in the living room of this pre-fab home on the shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State all day.
Photo by Philip Newton for Dwell Magazine
Well folks, that's all the dreaming I've got to share this week. Would you ever consider building a pre-fabricated home?

DIY Updates: I'm a little hung up on my dining room re-do project because I've decided I just can't salvage the mildew-stained orange vinyl on the chairs so I'm exploring how to re-do them on the cheap. Does anyone have experience painting vinyl, or pleather, with chalk paint or Rustoleum's Fabric and Vinyl spray paint? That's what Pinterest advises me to do but we all know how that can go. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

It is FRIDAY!!!!

Hey friends and family! I've been a little quite lately because there are a million things going on out here that out rank blogging in priority.

1. I took the GRE yesterday so kicked up my studying a notch for the last few weeks.
2. Jamie was home for like 4 days in a row which was AMAZING!
3. I start classes at the University of Houston on Monday as a post-bacc.
4. I MADE A FRIEND! She lives down the street from us, has a heck of a green thumb, is a major DIY diva, loves Ellie and knows tons about Houston and is generally awesome.

This week instead of a list of the five things that made my week, I'll just share some snaps from my iPhone:
I took a study break at a thrift store and really wanted to bring this guy home with me but $45 was too much.

My hibiscus is slowly recovering from my neighbor's dog nibbling on the leaves.

I made this margherita pizza with dough from scratch before Jamie left. Looking for a pizza dough recipe? This one is simple and my favorite!

Ellie does this all the time and just lays there and balances on her back for minutes at a time, so strange. Does anybody else have a dog who does this?

I let Ellie sit on the daybed with me and she immediately snuggled up in the pile of clean sheets.

I am really, really hoping I can finish off the dining room this weekend before school starts!

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five things

I was really, really blessed to have a surprise visit from one of my favorite people in the world at the very moment that Jamie has begun traveling full time for his job. Like seriously... I would not have gotten through this week without Katie y'all. 
So, it's a little harder to express the five best things about my week with pictures because they're all moments this time so I'll try anyway! It's also just iPhone pictures this week but I'll try to get back into blogging next week!

1. Spending time with this kiddo and the rest of his precious family before they move to the burbs. (I'm sad about that but I'll still be seeing them!)
That's his happy face, promise!

2. A few peaceful minutes with Jamie and our friends before he left for the week.

3. Spending all day at the beach with this girl and then the delicious seafood we ate at a fancy restaurant afterwards!

4. The Fletcher Center at the Mission Centers of Houston and this smile. Thank you for introducing me to this amazing ministry Sallie!

5. When I cooked Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers. I highly recommend this recipe for its delicious flavor but I would not try to cook it during a pinch. Katie told me how delicious and wonderful it was. 
 (For the record, she also said this about everything else I cooked this week too. It's been awesome having her here.)

I'm having to adapt to a totally new lifestyle with Jamie's work so thanks for continuing to visit my blog during this time! I try to keep it real on the internet and in real life, so I'm just trying to be honest when I say that this season is hard for both of us. Please keep Jamie in your prayers as he works ridiculously long hours and travels constantly. 
See you guys next week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five things

1. This face. There's nothing like having your bestie to hang with in your new town for a whole week! (BTW, isn't she just so adorable? I so enjoyed our shopping trips to try on things we couldn't wear in real life like gold leaf crowns.)

2. This Mediterranean Chicken dish. It made me feel like a rock star of a cook and it made my hubby happy. Here's the recipe on The Cookie Rookie. Seriously, it's so good and easy. You've got to try it.

3. These thrift shop finds, they just looked so cool that I couldn't leave them behind.

4. Finally getting some organization underway on the crafting situation out in the workshop. (See that leather couch poking out in the right side of the frame? I'm working on turning the other side into a nerd cave for Jamie. Our neighbors donated their old living room furniture to the cause because they're moving to a fancy new house in the burbs. More on this project later.)

5. This air plant that I may or may not have picked up off the ground at a public park.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Jamie will be working hard all weekend in some place in South-West Texas with a population of 3000. So, I'm looking forward to spending time with a very dear friend who just happened to be traveling to the area for the weekend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All the updates!

Hey everyone! Thanks for tuning back in! 

Last week was legit!

It was so much fun having my best friend here to hang out and do all the girl things I've been missing out on! We did all the window shopping that Houston has to offer, so now I'm full of ideas that I can't wait to try! 

Here are a few phone snaps from our adventures during the week! 

Ellie managed to tear her dewclaw from her paw while hanging out in our completely safe back yard. This prompted a trip to the vet for it to be removed under sedation. The sedation prompted me to take embarrassing pictures of her drugged up.
A trip to Restoration Hardware left me with major indoor plant lust and a gnawing in my soul for a leather chesterfield sofa.
Our trip to Anthropologie resulted in my trying to figure out how to re-create this little situation in my own home. However, last week I purchased another big, white frame to go over the bed to hang our wedding pictures so it ain't happening. We also picked up two little gems from the hardware section at Anthro that I can't wait to show you in a blog post next Tuesday!

Now, to the DIY projects I've got going on...

Project 1
So remember those dining chairs I'm supposed to be working on? I somehow managed to put off working on them after I got burnt out with hand cramps from spray painting because Lowes was out of spray paint guns. But, good news! I found a spray paint gun yesterday and will resume painting pronto. I am making a promise to have an update with pictures regarding those chairs next week. Otherwise we will continue to eat dinner on the couch for eternity. 

Project 2
If you've scrolled through my Instagram feed lately, you'll see that I've picked embroidery back up after about a decade of not touching a needle. I have an old white tunic from JCrew that I got at a thrift store that I would like to embroider some accents onto. Have you guys noticed how expensive embroidered tunics are? I don't have money for that, and I own too many plain tunics.

Project 3
I've been dying to get rid of all the gray in our bedroom and our landlord even gave us permission to paint. But I really want a navy or dark blue room which is just a little inconsiderate since they'll have to use Kiltz to cover it once we leave. There's a new solution though! We have a wrought iron bed that was my great aunt's and then grandmother's. When I brought up painting that instead to Alex she thought it was a great idea! 
Have you guys seen this Lydia bed from Anthropolgie? It's a similar style to mine and sells for almost 2,000 dollars!

Here is a sampling of my inspiration from research on painting the bed from Scout House.

This is the paint color that I've chosen and I'm really excited to see how it turns out! The bed is currently ivory and doesn't go with the gray and white in the rest of the room regardless. I've also got some candlestick lamps in our bedroom that I bought from the Dollar General and painted red for my last apartment. I'm thinking I'll paint them blue or gold, I'm not sure yet.

Okay, there are actually a few more projects going on, but frankly at this point I'm a little embarrassed to even admit that.

One last thing.

I've decided to start posting on Tuesdays and Fridays. Friday will continue to be Five Things and Tuesdays will be a DIY project, gardening ranting or a recipe. Since I have so many huge projects that I'm working on, it will be difficult to churn out three posts a week with actual relevant content! Thanks for understanding and I look forward to seeing how this little blog can grow!