Thursday, July 28, 2011

office/school room reveal

(My new favorite place in the house...)
After the hubby moved into his "real" office, I knew that the space needed a major overhaul to accomodate the chirren's learnin' and stuff. Also, I really had to have a place to put all of our "home" paraphernallia (i.e. bill paying stuff, files, manuals, paperwork) and my crafting/sewing stuff. This room is multipurpose if there ever was one. Sooo, here 'tis.
Like I said, this is my favorite spot. It is the reading "nook". I have one more little touch to add, in the way of some decoupaged letters, but that is for another post (and tutorial).
I saw this petite little chair at Pier 1 months and months ago. I fell in love! Something about the little ruffles and pops of bright color in the midst of the cream and brown just got me. I just didn't have a spot for it, so I forgot about it. Then, the other day, as I was sketching out my new office/schoolroom, I realized that I had a perfect place for it..and it was on sale! SOLD! I adore it...and it is kid sized, but perfectly comfortable for the vertically challenged, such as myself.

A book "nook" for each kid. I got them at Hobby Lobby (when they were on sale for 50% off, of course) for $20 each. I sprayed them white (they were scuffed and the finish was worn when I bought them...they were ALL that way), and added little metal book plates and finished it off with their names.
I am obsessed with this print. I got it here. I purchased it, downloaded it to my computer and had it printed off at Costco for $2.99. It is 12 x 12, perfect for my cheapo IKEA frame.
I have a magazine fetish. Books are great, but they are a time commitment. I can commit to about 15 minutes at a time, and I am am immediate gratification girl, so magazines fit the bill. Wow, more than you wanted to know, right? Anywho...I got these at IKEA. They come in packs of 2, and at $10, I thought it was quite a steal. I really wanted wood. I didn't think the cardboard ones would hold up, and these, I could stain and bring in a natural element to the space. I just went all designer's challenge on like that? ;)
Okay, so I just had to show the frame peeking out from the picture above. Honestly, I gasped when I saw it. It looks like it is made out of shell or something. It is perfect! Well, almost...have to fill it with something ;)
The paper boxes are from IKEA ($8 for 2), and the wooden crate came unfinished from Hobby Lobby. They were $10 each ($5 with a coupon). I distressed, stained and (will) wax them (when I get a minute).
My work space. Let me put a little note here. I am having a heckuva time with the corkboard. I got it at Homegoods for $50. It is BIG. The frame is about 5 inches wide. It was originally a brick red color, and although it was gorgeous, I knew it wouldn't work in this space. I primed it and painted it orange/coral. No bueno. It just didn't work. So, I went for pink. I like it okay, but I really think that I am going to go with the color of the desk and bookshelves. That or apple green. The verdict is still out, but in the meantime, the pink will do just fine.

This candle mold came from a nearby antiques shop. So did the kid's chairs you'll see in a minute. It is perfect for holding all of those necessary (and not so pretty) office supplies. The weathered star is from Joann's fabrics. I am always surprised when I go in there. They have neat little stuff every now and then.
Can you believe this is a fake plant? It looks very realistic EVEN in person (not so much on the website though). It is from IKEA, as is that pot. It just goes to show you that IKEA isn't strictly modern design. They also have hanging pots to match this one. I had to show some restraint or I would have loaded my basket with them for the back patio.
The woven star is from Hobby Lobby (I have one hanging on my living room wall as well) and was $5. The notebooks are from Target. $2, I think. The colors were my inspiration for the color palette of the room. You never know where inspiration with strike!
The prints above are of vintage alphabet flash cards. I got them here, & just printed them out on some heavy carstock, trimmed them up and framed them in IKEA frames. Super cheap art. They are my kiddo's initials.
Vintage banker's chair from Craigslist. I think I paid $30. It needs a little work, but I have a thing for these kind of chairs and they last forever.
More storage. The bakets on the bottom are from Hobby Lobby...all together..."ON SALE". Under $10 a piece.
The wicker topped jar is from TJ Maxx ($13) that holds those fun little shaped erasers. I am going to fill it with little goodies for the kids that they can use for school. The gumball machine is from TJ's as well from forever ago. It was cheap. Notice it is almost empty. Wonder how that happened? I may need to rethink this little accessory.
The whiteboards are from Mardel. I think I paid about $10 each and they are held on with 3M velcro hangers. We can pop them off if we need to, but they will probably stay right here. I am going to write each munchkin's assignments for the day on the board, and they can cross them off as they finish them. That is the plan. It may just end up being a drawing space. Either way, the kids LOVE them.
Old school desks painted white. I got them for $4, then painted them out and purdied up the tops. The one on the left was painted with chalkboard paint (not sure it is's kinda messy) and I decoupaged some magnificent wrapping paper on my little girl's desk.
This is a close up of the love love... (Found it at TJ Maxx)
I got the chairs at the same antique shop. There were 2 of them. I paid $20 a piece. The chairs are just a bit different from each other, but finished out the same. The seats were originally upholstered, but the fabric was removed and some woven caneing was added. I think it is fun and definitely a departure from the regular kid's chair.
Easel from IKEA. Chalkboard on one side, whiteboard on the other. For $5, you can buy a big roll o' paper. It came unfinished and I just spray painted it. I like the white, but a bright color would have been fun too. I just had the white spray paint on hand. I smell a masterpiece a comin'!
These Lenda curtains from IKEA are $20 a pair. Yes, you read that right, a pair. They are 96" long, and they come with tabs at the top. I simply cut the tabs off, cut 1/3 of the tab off, refolded it and reattached it to the panel where the top of the folded tab came about an inch or so from the top of the panel. I sewed them in place, then sewed on a piece of gathering tape right, gathered it up and hung them on my existing rods.
Easy peasy and cost about $11-$12 a panel. The fabric is nice and thick and it has just a hint of a stripe running vertically. Looks good, don't ya' think?
By the way, I got the idea from this post. Gathering tape is my new friend. It made this project ridiculously easy.
This little spot is to the left of the desks. I finally (after 10 years) framed my diploma. It only took me 7 1/2 years to get it. I was on the 8 year BA plan, but graduated early. HA! I thought the cute little old framing dude at Hobby Lobby was going to stroke out when I said I wanted to mat it in hot pink. I thought it was fun, and why the heck not? The pillows are from TJ's way back. They can be thrown on the floor to read or sit or be jumped on too. Seriously, that is what will happen if you know my kids.
The giant basket looks familiar...but I got mine on clearance from Hobby Lobby for $15 beans less & I liked the finish better...whooo hooo! It is where I keep my sewing maching and other sewing related thingamabobs and dohickeys.
So, there's the grand tour! I thought I would break it up into separate posts, but I just got too excited to show it all and couldn't wait. I love it. I love that it is the one room that I feel like is totally me. I wanted to love everything in it and not worry about if it was the proper or popular thing to do. I like the quirkiness of it. It is so much more intersting that way. It makes me smile :)
So, are you freaked out like Hobby Lobby mat dude? Are you shaking your head? Or do you love it?
P.S. Anyone else having trouble with Blogger? It won't let me publish straight from the edit page. Also, when I add a picture it automatically puts it at the top of the page. Is that normal?

Friday, July 22, 2011

yes, this room is, sadly, in my home...scary

Okay, so first of all, the following pictures might possibly be a hazard to your health (your eyes, mainly). If you have been following my blog, you will know that my not-so-fancy-schmancy camera kinda pooped out on me. I have been using my phone for pictures since then, which I kinda like. I usually use the hipstamatic app (which is the bomb diggity) or the Instamatic app. Both are phenomenal and free/cheap. If I don't, I usually send my regular pics over to Picnik and fiddle around until I am happy with them. I wish I had photoshop, but I also wish I had a DSLR camera, a bigger laundry room, kids that slept through the night, a smaller waist and a toilet that cleaned itself, but that is neither here nor there. Anywho, you are getting the unrestricted, untouched, frightening pictures of my new office/craft/billpaying/internet surfing/blogging/homeschooling room. I have about 5 days to renovate this thing, so here are
the plans:
I love this trellis pattern that I handpainted a while back, but I see every little imperfection and it stresses me out. I also want to lighten the room up, so the medium khaki color has to go. Sorry trellis, we had a good's not you, it's me. I am thinking of going a very very pale robin's egg blue. I have a little tester sitting around, so I am going to test out a bit and see what I think. I'll let you know. Oh yeah, behind door #1 (which is the one that is closed), is a little closet. It houses lots of coats, board games a small file cabinet, some things for my hubby's work that he has to have here, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves...oh wait, that's the other closet.
This is a SE facing window. Lots of great morning light. I am going to replace the drapes with some plain-ol' white ones from IKEA and use some gathering tape at the top. I saw this tutorial over at Jones Design Company and thought I would give it a whirl. I have always wanted to use it, so we'll see how it goes. Looks easy enough.
In front of this window, I plan on putting the kid's desks. There are three, so they will be tight, but I have a feeling we won't be schooling from here most of the time anyway.
Wow, this is the really scary part. I love my IKEA desk, but they don't match the bookshelves. Long story, but they originally weren't in the same room. I am going to paint the shelves to match my desk (the closest color I found was Sherwin William's "alabaster"). I am also going to paint some large horizontal stripes along that wall with alabaster and the other blue color. I have a large whiteboard on the left, I will have a large framed corkboard above my desk, along with the woven baskets on the left of my computer. You see them? They are awesome and hold file folders for all of my paper junk. I am going to put the old wooden banker's chair back (after I heist it from my hubby's new office...have to replace it with something else though because he won't work without a chair. Selfish!) and maybe give it a sweet little seat cover. On the right of the desk , I am going to put up my kid's 3 little book caddies and a little chair to read in. Other than that, there will be lots of DIY artwork, places to put the kid's artwork & school masterpieces, and whatever works. Lots of organization, lots of baskets and magazine files, etc. etc.
So, there is my newest project...I'll keep you updated ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the prairie & a little ice cream

I apologize in advance for the disjointed post. I have had some weird computer/blogging issues and it has literally taken me over a week to get this post put together... so here goes nothin'...
Before we headed to The Prairie, we had to take a short detour to Brenham...home of Blue Bell ice cream.
No tour for us, just our $1 scoop of ice cream. Butter pecan. Mmmmm.
Is it weird that I want one of these to deliver kids ice cream in. Seriously, it would be the greatest job in the world...all of those smiling & sticky little faces?
After our quick stop, on to The Prairie we went.
This is Pearl. She kept us company at The Prairie. She was the sweetest thing.
These two wonderful folks are Lisa and Danny. Lisa was the sweetest thing. We felt like we knew her forever. She made us feel very welcome. What a sweetheart! Did I say she was sweet? Oh, good.
Big Danny was the first person we ran into at The Prairie. He's not quite what I expected. Big burly Danny at this Shabby Chic place. It works though. In fact, it was perfect. Big Danny in his tiny floral apron cooking some of the most amazing breakfasts that I have ever had.
This is what we saw when we first arrived. The main house is where you can kick up your feet on the most comfy couch ever, watch a little t.v., grab a cup of English tea, sit on the back porch and watch the sun set, and give Pearl a little love.
Now, onto our room...We stayed in the Cornflower Cottage. It was stunning. This is the chair that I plopped down into as soon as we walked in. The door to the right is where you walk in. That aqua door had me.
Just to the left of the chair was our bed. A bed fit for a princess. The linens are from Rachel's Shabby Chic couture line. They were soft and luxurious. Exactly what you would expect.
The lace covered lampshade on the chippy wood side tables...mercy...
The mix of rustic wood with the antique vanity and pale robin's egg blue lampshades on the sconces...
The bed with it's soft and shabby linens. Ahhhh. Perfect...
Even the coffee mugs were perfect. Perfectly simple. Linen covered hangers. The smallest details...
Book bound with the softest leather.The view outside of our window. This little "house" looked to be something of a greenhouse. All I could think about was how I wish I could pick it up and set it in our backyard for our little girl...well, really for me, but she could use it too. ;)
The dining room was full of little vignettes everywhere, but nothing looked forced. This giant wooden rosary was gorgeous. I was smitten...
Big Danny fed us the most delicious breakfasts. Sweet potato wedges, asparagus, scrambled eggs. Yummy. I didn't take a picture of our breakfast the second morning, but it was chicken enchiladas with grits & polenta (I was a firm moist cornbread type dish). It was equally as amazing. Apparently, Danny's breakfasts are pretty famous around town. We ran into a couple of locals that told us how lucky we were to be eating Big Danny's food. He is quite a mean cook. Even in his little floral apron.
We fell in love with the dining set. Sorry for the poor picture. It was breathtaking. The slipcovers were mixmatched, but perfect. Have I mentioned how perfect everything was? Oh, sorry ;)
This car was in front of a funky little shop next to Royer's Cafe (which had the best pie I have ever eaten...seriously, there is a reason it is world famous).
Royer's crazy & awesome decor. Definitley not going on Pinterest, but something unique and memorable and perfect.
This was one of the many old trucks that we saw while driving around Round Top. I really really love/want one.
It is such a charming tiny little town with the friendliest people. Everyone seems to know everyone.
If you ever get the chance to go, don't expect that there is a bustle of activity. It is a place to relax and unwind - as it should be. Go to the Stone Cellar and have one of the best pizzas you've ever had and listen to some live music.
We met both of the owners and they were so charming. Loved giving them our business (2 days in a row...totally worth it).
I had no idea, but Round Top is also home to one of the most gorgeous concert halls that I have ever seen.
Browse the art shops. Go check out the French Antiques on the road to Carmine (pronounced Car-meen, not Car-mine) & and be sure to stop by JW's and get the of the best you've ever had.
If you are lucky enough to stay at The Prairie, you will not be disappointed. The food is perfect, the rooms are perfect, the views are perfect, everything was, well, perfect. Be sure to give Pearl a good scratch and tell Big Danny and Lisa "hello" from us.
And take a nap in "my"chair...