Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Brother's Office Reveal

Remember when I gave you a before shot of my brother's office? It's "done!" I can't wait to show it to you! Let me show you the before. 
The before before:
 These are shots from when we saw the house for the first time (and of course my idea board)
 Isn't this curvy wall great? 
 This is the before shot. My brother decided to paint the room. Some walls white, the others yellow. The yellow was a little too fluorescent. 
He had bought and built the black bookshelf and the black desk still in the box on the floor. The rest is still moving mess. This was his catch-all room. 


 This is the room after I painted it with my leftover dining room paint. I left the white walls white though. 

My brother is obsessed with stripes since he saw my house. He wanted stripes anywhere possible. I used my leftover kitchen paint to paint a few stripes for him.  
 Here they are! They look so similar to mine, but mine are tan and these are grey. 
 My brother was in charge of building the desk. I opened it up and it was a billion pieces. He finally started working on it and realized the top was cracked in half. 
 This is what I encountered when I went over a few days later to work (check out that crack right down the middle!)
 I took over his guest room to build some Ikea furniture and accessories I'd picked up. You've seen these boxes all over my house. They're $9.99 for 2. 
After they were built they were used to hide some things that I didn't think needed to be front and center in the room!
You also have seen this before! I have a bigger version under my TV. This guy is $39.99. We got 2.  
 I also picked up a desk there for $119. One of my least favorite things I've ever built from there! Good thing I brought a helper!
 He also got this 3 pack of shelves from there for Christmas that I thought would be perfect for trophies and stuff (and wouldn't block the doorway). That's why I only painted 3 stripes... I had a plan!
 After everything was built I got to work filling the place up. My brother is annoyingly great at everything! He's smart. He's a great athlete. He's musical. He's sweet. He's now a fireman and paramedic so he also gets to wear fun uniforms, help people, and drive cool vehicles for work. There were a lot of different things to show off! 

I found this among his stuff. My dad took it. He's the one who's on the top of the pile and closest to the ball. 
 It will become very apparent that I'm from Chicago and my family supports Chicago teams as you look around this room! He also got the rug from Ikea for Christmas. I love the green. I also love that he had some sporty green stuff (said like only an un-athletic person could say it!) to pull out the rug color. 

 I'm really sad about blocking the window with the bookshelf. If I had my say the fake wood on the back would come off so that it was see-through, or I'd have bought a different shelf! But, I can't be the boss of everything!


 I think this really gives a good idea of all of the cool things my brother can do:
I used some frames (also from Ikea... They seriously should be paying me!) to show off things I found among his papers. It's hard to display newspaper clippings. He also has been to a million games and concerts. I tried to showcase the ticket stubs as well:


Aren't the skinny shelves perfect?
 The room isn't totally done. You can see how gross and yellow the trim is. My mom is the designated trim painter of the family. She is super fast and doesn't need tape somehow.
There was an tacky light fixture up here before too. He has a new one, but needs to wire it. This is what he's working with right now:
I mentioned the desk was hard to build. I screwed up! I'm sure you can tell from looking that it's going to be hard for a drawer to slide in and out when one of the tracks is facing the wrong direction! Ugh. 
 He's also moving a recliner upstairs that will sit in the very empty looking corner Zulu was relaxing in in most of the "after" shots. This green blanket will be going on it.

He is also much better at waiting than I am. He sees no need to buy a desk chair now. He'd rather wait until garage sale season and grab one then. I couldn't handle photographing the room "as is" so I stole his piano bench (I told you the kid was musical!). 

Aside from a few small things though the office is done! What do you think?






Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quick Tip for My Ikea-Shopping-Smart-Phone-Owning Friends

I go to Ikea a lot lately. I have several projects I'm working on that I'll unveil soon that will explain why! I always notice that people pull out papers and pencils to write down where to pick up their furniture. Here's a quick tip for my smart phone owning friends:

I take a picture of the item and its name and then the self serve tag. When you get to self serve you can pull up the picture! If for some reason the item isn't where it's listed on the tag (this happens more if you pull up its location online than when you reference the in-store tag) you can pull up the item's name/pic on your phone. Usually the isle's don't change often, but the bin is the mismarked number. You can use the item name/picture to quickly scan the isle and find your item! I hope this helps! It helped me this week!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets

I know you think I'm perfect. 

Ok, so you don't. But I know my house is always clean and shiny in pictures. I thought I'd let you in on my dirty little secrets that I fix before I start taking pictures!
I make my bed when I wash my sheets or take a picture of my rooms for this blog. That's it. 

I always forget to empty my garbage can in my office. My computer also never lives up there. It's always on my coffee table. This room is pretty much just for looks. I also keep my Mighty Mouse  in that little mesh basket. The rude cat likes to knock it on the floor so that the batteries come out. 

See that spot of blue painter's tape? It's in an awkward spot. It's been there since I painted the trim... Almost two YEARS ago. I see it every time I go to the bathroom. I need to peel it off. 

The cat's food lives on the shelf of the kitchen table. The dog eats his food otherwise. He loves to throw it all over the place. Whenever I photograph the kitchen I try to hide the bowl... Or clean up the thrown food. Normally I just leave it.

Sometimes I need into the attic behind my headboard. I just drag the bed across the white wood floors. It's scratched off the white paint and brought out the green. I need to touch it up whenever I move the bed. It's a pain.

I read this tip about how to clean stainless steel. Use vegetable oil. I tried it. It left everything filmy. I decided it was fine. The next day I came into the kitchen and found tongue marks all over the dishwasher from a certain Zulu dog! Today I finally scrubbed it all off and used "stainless steel polish." I don't have a clue what I'm doing with stainless. This is what I'm looking at now. I have no idea what to do! 
I put off folding laundry for as long as possible. I hide it in another room when I take blog pictures!

I am a klutz. I am always breaking something, falling up stairs, etc. 

I have had to learn how to do things by doing it the wrong way first too many times (last winter I accidentally bought water softener salt to melt the ice)!

I'm handy... But some things I outsource. Here's my brother installing a new shower head. 

These are a few of my dirty little house secrets!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Need YOUR Help!

It's time for a project. It's time to tone down the oak I've got going on in my house. The floors are AMAZING to me but the cabinets take the whole thing a bit too far! So, I ask for your help. I want to change this:
With paint.

Do I paint it black, do I paint it white, do I paint it something else like light grey or dark grey?

Here are the plans for the rest of there room. Replace the fake oak (what a sin!) medicine cabinet with two round silver mirrors. Possibly paint the blue the leftover light grey from the kitchen. That's it. I want a cheap project that kills the oak. 

Here is how you can help. Vote!!!!
You're awfully silent. You like to come to my blog a lot and not say anything. I would love if you'd give me a comment every so often, but for right now help me out and vote!!!!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Where Did I Get It?

I was recently thinking about how far the house has come since I moved in and wondering how much I'd spent improving since I moved in. I also know that I've been asked where I've gotten my kitchen table, or what color a certain wall is. I thought I'd go through and make a list with links of everything I've done/painted/bought since I moved in. For your shopping pleasure, here it is (just click on the name of the product and you'll be linked to it):
1. Re-Finished Stairs with Deck Restore $35 on sale at Home Depot in the color Chocolate 
2. Re-Painted doorknob and mail box with Rustoleum Hammered Metal Spray Paint for $7 in Black
3. Re-Painted exterior trim with Glidden Interior/Exterior high gloss paint for $18.99 in White

Front Porch Re-Do: $60.99
1. Two plastic Adirondack chairs from the Home Depot (sorry no link) for $14.99 each
2. Re-Screened screened porch for $19.49
3. Bought two wooden rocking chairs from a garage sale along with other furniture (hammock and stand, dining room buffet, kitchen cabinet, and guest room dresser) for $200. Repainted from green to white with 3 cans of spray paint at $7.99 each in White 



1. Two wooden rocking chairs as part of a big furniture garage sale purchase $200 & $23.97 on paint.
2. Table from Ikea for $19.99 painted with Glidden Exterior semi-gloss paint in custom yellow color $14.98 for a quart.
3. Remaining trim paint from the front door used to clean up the brick wall. 

Red Deck and Screened Porch Re-Do: $141.74
1. Suncast Vertical Storage Shed for my lawnmower and other things the would live in a garage $150 (I think) from the Home Depot (sorry no link)

Side Patio Re-Do: $150
1. Re-Covered pillows on the couch from my favorite online fabric store
Rosemarie Lavin, Spa, Pom Poms in Teal $8 for 1 yard
Rosemarie Lavin, Spa, Pom Poms in Java $8 for 1 yard
2. Erslev rug from Ikea for $39.99 painted with junk paint from Home Depot called Speed Wall color matched to Behr Wheat Bread $19.99
3. Vejmon Coffee table from Ikea $149 
4. Behr Satin Interior Paint in Wheat Bread $20

All house trim: Glidden America's Finest Semi-Gloss paint in White 2 gallons $20 each. 
1. Expedit Shelving Unit from Ikea $69.99
2. Various storage boxes from Ikea $20
3. Erslev Rug $39.99 & paint
4. Vegmon Coffee Table $149
5. Stair Project $165. Here & here are links to the supplies. 
6. Behr Interior Satin paint in Chocolate Froth $20
7. Behr Interior Satin paint in Wheat Bread $20
8. Wicker table from a garage sale $20

Other things not shown: $90 Samsung Blu Ray player, $673 AOC Flat Screen TV, & $50 wall mount bracket. 

Living Room: $1392.97
1. The garage sale buffet. Part of the $200 furniture deal. I painted the knobs for $4 with this
2. Chairs from Target. I'll give you a kind of close to it link but they're not available online. They're merchandised by the folding chairs in every store. I bought four for $25 at one store and two for $29 at another. 
3. I bought the table legs from here four for $18 each totaling $72 and used more of the $4 paint on them 
4. Erslev rug $59.99 & 2 Quarts of Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer in Spiced Butternut $29.99 
5. Barn Wood tracked down on Craig's List $20
6. All curtains in my living and dining room are made from two $22 table cloths cut into 3rd's with the edges hemmed. I hung them with drapery hooks $9.99 for a pack of 10 (they sell them everywhere. I can't remember where I got them from.) It took me 10 hooks per window. I got my curtain rods from Target. They were $9.99. I have 10 of this size in the house. 
7. Behr Interior Satin paint in Chocolate Froth $20 (same gallon as used in the living room)
8. Behr Interior Satin paint in Porpoise $20
9. Light fixture from Overstock.com $111.99 (it's cheaper now if you want it!)

Dining Room and All Window Hardware: $733.29
1. Behr Interior Satin paint in Gentle Rain $20
4. Shorter wall cabinet so the microwave would fit $94
5. Knobs for kitchen & bath cabinets and basement doors $78.99
6. Cup drawer pulls for kitchen and bathroom $69.50
7. Pantry cabinet $279
8. Curtain rod $16.99
9. Behr Interior Satin paint in Swan Sea $20
11. Whirlpool dishwasher. It's close to this one without the big Whirlpool on it 
12. Delorean Grey grout  for $22.97 and Marazzi tile $9.95 for a 12"x12" square. I think I needed fourteen for a total of $872.59... Ugh!

I didn't put prices next to the appliances because I negotiated a deal for all four of them. I bought them here (not a big chain... sorry!) for $2200 for all four. 
1. Sweet bird print from this Etsy Shop (print not available anymore I don't think) $15
2. Chairs from Ikea. Four at $59.99 each for a total of $239.96
3. Curtains made of fabric hung on drapery hooks. The fabric here and on the cabinet is from my usual  place and is:
Amy Butler, August Fields, Fresh Start in Grey $10.50
Jessica Levitt, Timber, Apple in Mist 4.5 yds.@ 7.75 for a total of $34.88
4. $16.99 curtain rod
5. Kitchen table from Overstock for $226.99 (also cheaper now than when I got it)
Basket on the bottom of the table from Hobby Lobby $9.99
6. Behr Interior Satin paint in Swan Sea $20
7. Bird Chirping Weather print for $15
8. Cabinet from the $200 pile of garage sale furniture. Doors covered in fabric scraps stretched over foam core board

Kitchen: $4249.19
1. Cup drawer pulls from the kitchen
2. Curved shower curtain rod from Overstock $28.49
3. Towels from Target $41.77
4. Behr Interior Satin paint in Delicate Mist $20

1. Curved shower curtain rod
2 &5. Towels from Target
3. Behr Interior Satin paint in Delicate Mist $20
4. Frames from Hobby Lobby $30

Bathroom: $120.26
1. $5 garage sale table painted with extra trim paint
2. Lowest thread count possible sheet set from Target $19.99
3. Pillow made from fabric:
Carolyn Gavin, Wild Thyme, Wildflowers in Natural $6.00
4. Prints and frames from Ikea $19.99
5. Framed scrapbook paper $0.30 and frames from Hobby Lobby $5.99
6. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Toasted Wheat $20
1. Mirror from Hobby Lobby bought @ 50% off for $19.99
2. More framed scrapbook paper $0.10
3. Dresser from my pile of good finds from the garage sale for $200
4. Glass knobs from Hobby Lobby $20
5. $5 garage sale table
6. $5.99 Ikea lamp base

Guest Bedroom: $156.68
1. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Classic Taupe $20
2. Left over kitchen paint Behr Interior Satin paint in Swan Sea
3. White trim paint
4. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Weathered Sandstone $20

1. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Weathered Sandstone $20
2. Glass block windows. I needed three @$79.30 for a total of $237.90
3. Pom Pom fabric from upstairs. These pillows are living down here while I have red pillows upstairs for winter.
4. Two pillows from Ikea for $7 for a total of $14
5. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Classic Taupe $20
1. Frames from Hobby Lobby $20
2. $5 from Hobby Lobby 
3. Grono Table Lamp from Ikea $7.99
4. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Classic Taupe $20

1. Toilet $70
2. Towels from Target (They don't sell the polka dotted ones or the $20 Tree Curtain in front of the closet anymore) $9.99 each. Total for hand towels, bath towels, and bath mat $44.95
3. Bath Accessories from Target. The yellow was on clearance so the soap dispenser was $2.99 and trash can $5.99 
4. Behr Interior Satin Paint in Mountain Haze $20

Basement (not including plumbing issues): $488.82
1. Mirror from Kirklands that had a dent in it so I got it for $69.98
2. Fan from Target $52.49 (I think I got it cheaper for some reason. Maybe a sale?)
3. End table from Target that is no longer on their website $39.99
4. Faux wood blinds that were a gift $0
5. A quart of custom tinted Behr Satin Interior Paint $14.99
6. A gallon of custom tinted Behr Satin Interior Paint $20
7. A lot of sand paper and two gallons of Behr Premium Plus Porch and Floor Paint Ultra Pure White at   $29.98 each for a total of $59.96
1. Two gallons of Behr Premium Plus Porch and Floor Paint Ultra Pure White at   $29.98 each for a total of $59.96
2. A gallon of custom tinted Behr Satin Interior Paint $20
3. Ladder desk (I broke the last one in a freak accident) for $99.99
4. Sylvania TV  $129
5. Doorknob project (this is clearly a before picture) Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Metallic Finish three cans for a total of $9
6. Wireless Add on Switch  (since the real switch has been rewired to be where the TV is plugged in) $21.96
1. A quart of custom tinted Behr Satin Interior Paint $14.99
2. Two gallons of Behr Premium Plus Porch and Floor Paint Ultra Pure White at   $29.98 each for a total of $59.96
3. A gallon of custom tinted Behr Satin Interior Paint $20
4. $9.99 curtain rods from Target
5. Curtain hooks $9.99
6. Gift blinds

Bedroom: $517.66
1. I used this cloth clock tutorial from a blogger I went to college with. I substituted cloth for cheap scrapbook paper though. $1.00 on paper and $3.99 on the clock at Target 
2. Assorted storage boxes from Ikea $19.99
3. Black spray paint on an ancient garage sale bookshelf $3
4. Behr Interior Satin paint in Delicate Mist $20
5. Joy picture that was a Christmas gift (it's $15 though)

1. Behr Interior Satin paint in Delicate Mist $20
2. Behr Interior Satin paint in Celtic Grey for $20
3. Curtains hanging from curtain clips made from the fabric:
Jessica Levitt, Timber, Pear in Mist 5.5 yds.@ $7.75 for a total of $42.62
4. Rug from Target that I can't find on their website for $19.99

1. Behr Interior Satin paint in Delicate Mist $20
2. Tullsta Chair from Ikea for $99
3. Curtains made from Jessica Levitt, Timber, Pear in Mist 5.5 yds.@ $7.75 for a total of $42.62
4. Hol Table from Ikea for $34.99 

Office: $264.58

Ready for the grand total? I am not. But... Here it is!
$8276.18

Yikes! The good news is that the the government gave me the $8000 new homebuyer tax credit. I saved half of it and spent the other half on home improvement. I financed the rest with some really good bonuses from the Top Secret Retailer! 
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