Monday, February 21, 2011

Going BOLD. . . and Making it Personal

Monday, February 21, 2011 5
How do you start planning a room? Where do you seek inspiration?  I often like to find some fabric and jump off from there.  With Signe's room we did have a picture of an inspiration room that got us going, but I knew I would need one fun fabric to plan the rest of the room around.  I was having a hard time finding one for some reason--I think because Signe had picked this raspberry red color that she had set her heart on.  It wasn't really pink, it wasn't really red--but it WAS really hard to find fabrics to coordinate with.

Then I stumbled across this really cool website,, that seemed to have endless fun and funky fabrics.  After searching all over the site for well over an hour one night I suddenly realized something. . . you can design your own fabric on Spoonflower.  How cool is that!?  You can draw your pattern and scan it, or design it in photoshop or another design program and upload it.  Then you can choose a scale and repeat pattern, and choose from one of seven kinds of fabric to have it printed on.  This might be sounding like an ad--it's not, I am just all kinds of excited with the idea of making my own fabric patterns.  I think this might be the beginning of a long relationship! 

So I set to work drawing up something.  I didn't think too much about how the pictures looked--I was too excited to order something and see how it turned out.  But none-the-less, I like how it turned out.  Here is my scanned drawing:

and here is a snapshot of the fabric:

I plan to use this fabric as a roman shade on her window.

Once it arrived I made a trip down to Fabric Depot--a HUGE fabric store down in Portland.  And despite the overwhelming amount of options there, I couldn't find any coordinating fabrics that were the perfect shade of raspberry.  I very nearly scratched my fabric and picked a different feature fabric--I had one all picked out.  But Rob (who was nice enough to go with me, despite his aversion to fabric stores), convinced me to stick with my fabric.  So we ditched the raspberry and went with red, which still worked great.  I'm liking it.  Here is a little spread of the general idea I am working with:

What do you think?  

There will be lots of white.  Her duvet cover and one of the two shams I plan to make will be mostly white.  And I have almost decided to paint her current twin headboards white (since Hannah insists on sleeping in Signe's room I have decided to stick with the two twin beds instead of finding a full sized Jenny Lind bed, as I originally planned).

Her dark green dresser and side table, however, may be going turquoise.  Because even though their current green color is very similar to the vine part of the feature fabric, I think we need a little more boldness.  We are taking a departure from the current warm and subtle hues, so we might as well do it BIG, right?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away. . .

Friday, February 18, 2011 6
It may be mid February, but I am ready for spring to arrive.  Winter wonder has always worn off by this time and spring seems so close, yet not close enough--particularly when pots of tulips and daffodils grace the entrance of so many stores these days.  Around here February is known for having a little burst of warmth before returning to winter for a couple more months.  Last year we got one good week of 70-80 degree weather, during which my husband and I finished building our raised garden beds in preparation for spring planting.  I have been praying for another week like that. . .

This week hasn't been it.  Instead, Tuesday morning brought snow and freezing temperatures.  We don't get a lot of snow around here, and so even though it was the kind of day we wished for a couple months ago, the window of excitement has passed (especially since school wasn't cancelled, and my power went out for three hours, leaving me no choice but to fold laundry!).

So if spring won't come to me, I will make a little spring myself.  Last fall, about the time I was making my first butterfly wreathes, I got the butterfly bug.  But they were not particularly fall-esque, so I tucked the urge away.  NOW, however, we all need a little of what the butterfly represents--because where there are butterflies, there are flowers, and sunshine, and warm weather.

Butterflies have been popping up all around my house of late.  First in the cake I baked a few weeks ago:

Then in the butterfly garland I started making last week:

And finally (because despite my general un"craftiness," part of me wants to be a party planner--Lisa too, judging by the party we threw our girls a year and a half ago) in the "Spring" banner I made yesterday:

AND the cute little butterfly tags:

It just makes me want to throw a spring party.

Plus it matched my daughter's room so well, it made me a little sad to be undoing all that lovely cream and pale pink in favor of bright whites and bold colors.

But Signe is ready for a change and I am sure her room will be fabulous once we finish the transformation.

What has you craving spring?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Laundry Room: Before and (Almost) After

Monday, February 14, 2011 13
I have a dream of one day being the kind of blog that chronicles the steady progress of one project at a time until it reaches completion--giving you all a fabulous before and after transition.  However, I clearly have design ADD.  My laundry list of half finished projects is lengthy.  But I can claim to be slowing ticking small steps off each list.  So while I have promised great progress pictures of Signe's room--which I have been working on--I am going to share the most recent progress in my laundry room saga.

When we bought our house, three and half years ago, my laundry room looked like this:

About a year ago I painted it a pale blue gray. I had reservations about doing too much to the room because we have toyed with the idea of doing an addition which would create a very large and lovely new laundry room.  When/if we do the addition, this room would become the mudroom, as it is the pass-through room between the garage and the entryway. 

Last May, as I was graduating from college (at long last) and dreaming of new patio furniture as my graduation gift to myself, our washing machine went out.  So my present became a new washer and dryer--which I found an ironic gift that sort of said: "Congratulations! Now get back to the house work." At this point I figured addition or no addition this ugly little room was in direct sight of the front door, and as long as the washer and dryer were out, I was going to at least do something about he ugly stained and torn linoleum.  So we ripped it out.

When I saw the pine tongue and groove subfloor I had visions of sanding it and painting it--maybe light gray, or even a white and gray harlequin pattern.  

I even had Rob convinced for about 12 hours. . . but after a good night's sleep he decided it wasn't practical for a laundry room--not to mention a few of the spaces between the boards were big enough for spiders to climb through out of the crawl space below.  So we tiled it.

Then there it sat.  For six or seven months.  Until Rob finally built the cabinet to replace the cheap-o sink and ugly shelving that we ripped out.  Remember a  month or so ago when I mentioned I had a project that I hoped to wrap up and blog about by the end of the week?  This was it. . . I didn't get it done.  We only got the counter and sink installed.

Once I started working on Signe's room last week, I realized that for the first time in a very long time we had two whole days with nowhere to go and Rob at home.  So I quit sewing curtains and bedding and started tiling and painting in the laundry room.  Because while I do all the actual tiling and painting, I am not a fan of things with blades, so Rob cuts the tiles where I mark them.  

And while I (once again) had high hopes that I would whip this room out and dazzle you all with the after, I didn't.  So here is a picture of the now tiled backsplash and partially painted cabinet (it needs a second coat, and the door installed under the sink. 

And just to remind you how far we have come, here is a before and (almost) after side-by-side:

For a very small room, it is taking me a very long time. . . but it's coming along.  Next we need to:

- finish painting the cabinet & hang the cabinet door
- order a new light fixture (I'm thinking a schoolhouse fixture)
- build a shelf above the washer and dryer
- install new hook boards along one wall (for coats and backpacks)
- attach the towel hook
- hang something above the sink. . . maybe a chalkboard with key hooks.  
- get baskets for the shelves

THEN I can show you the before and after pictures. . . instead of just the during pictures.  

In the meantime, I sort of got distracted making myself a new duvet for my bed.  I will post it when I finish--whenever that may be.


The cabinet is constructed of furniture grade plywood
Counter top is Ikea Numerar butcher block in solid beech: $89.00
Subway tile is from Lowes--Daltile .23 ea; trim tile was $4.17 each
Cabinet paint: Miller Paint, Rhino 05k0847 (I am working on getting all my paint colors matched to Sherwin Williams colors)
Floor tile is called Avila Al 12 X 24 by Roca  (a couple people asked and I forgot to add it) It is a porcelain tile with color all the way through so if it chips you won't see it.  

Happy Valentine's Day!  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mixing Things Up!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 9
I have survived the energy sucking, motivation killing, head cold that has been plaguing our household.  Actually, I was feeling much more energetic last Thursday and spent the better part of the day cleaning and organizing my house.  Then Friday morning dawned and I awoke with the intent to get back to work--I had plans, and lists, mind you.  But then, while making beds after the kids caught the bus, epiphany struck.

I suddenly wondered why the heck Signe's room was THE smallest room in the house--with her two twin beds and more clothing than any seven year old will probably wear before outgrowing them (not to mention her sister refuses to sleep in her own room, and so sleeps in the extra bed and contributes to the massive mess . . . in the room at the top of the stairs, visible from the entry way).

So my plans and lists went out the window while I proceeded to shift rooms counter clockwise: Signe's room became Hannah's room (after all, her bed is a full, her furniture and bedding is lovely, and she never spends any time in there--it's really a glorified dressing room),

After - Much work is still needed

Hannah's room became the guest room (or at least it WILL be the guest room--right now it is my temporary work room. I need a craft room. My sewing stuff keeps roaming around the house! I decided to paint the bed before I set it back up.),

After - Clearly not an improvement!

and the guest room became Signe's room (and essentially Hannah's room too).


 The guest room (now Signe's room) was the largest of the three rooms and rarely got used.  And it only took me three and a half years to come to this conclusion.

So now I have some painting to do and some lighting to address, not to mention curtains and wall decor.  But it all got me thinking about painting pretty much all the furniture in these rooms and making/buying new bedding.

I have a thing for white linens (bet you're surprised!) All my towels and sheets and a lot of our other bedding are white--except Signe's room.  But she wants to redo her room with lots of white and accents in bolder colors.  So I have been toying with ideas.

The girls produced this lovely artwork, which I decided to put in the frames which previously displayed pictures of green things--moss, ferns, ivy--when it was the guest room:

Signe has requested I use bold colors from the pictures here and there in the room.  So I have been trying out bedding ideas.  I made a couple pillows inspired by some I saw at Pottery Barn (though here they are on Hannah's bed). . .

But I wonder if I need to incorporate color with a ribbon or something--maybe make the ties on the end colored.

 Or maybe I don't need color here, but rather in the other bedding, like the inspiration picture:

I think I will paint the headboards, the dresser and night stand, and the desk I bought at Goodwill (which is not yet in the room).

Oh, and bring her chandelier in from her previous room--I bought a new one for Hannah's new room.

Whew! That was--and will be--a LOT of work.  Stay tuned for more progress!
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