Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Window dressing

When we moved in there were actually blinds on almost every window.  The problem is, they were kind of fug.

They actually don't look terrible from far away, but they were plastic faux wood blinds.  Could be worse I guess, but I wanted to try something new.

Shortly after we moved to the new house I ran to Target to grab some curtain rods.  I'm super cheap and I'm yet to be convinced that expensive metal rods are better than cheap metal rods, so I thought the Target ones would do.  That said, these are definitely pretty cheapo, but I really don't think you can tell unless you're staring at them up close.  If you disagree and can totally tell these rods cost $10 from these photos don't say anything.

Putting these up was a huge pain.  Since our house was built in 1937, we're blessed with wonderfully crumbly plaster walls.  I'm still having nightmares from ripping 800 plastic wall anchors out of the wall and spackling over the destruction before we painted the living room, so it honestly pained me to put more of these suckers into the wall.  However, since I wanted to keep my curtains on the wall it was kind of a necessity.

At the old apartment I hung our curtains almost all the way up to the ceiling because the internet says that's how you make your windows look bigger.  Thanks, internet!  I thought about doing the same here, but our ceilings are a little bit higher (9' as opposed to 8') so I after some deliberation I thought hanging the curtains too high may look more dramatic than the casual look I was going for.

For the curtains I used the dependable Ikea Vivan in plain white.  I've been really into white lately, probably because I have too many other decisions to make without worrying about a thing like color.  Super lazy here.  However, since the white curtains are a little sheet, I wanted some extra privacy - that side of our house faces an apartment building and I don't want people seeing how much reality TV we actually watch.  So, I stole an idea from Young House Love to pair my boring white blinds with bamboo curtains.

 I'll spare the gory details because they're really just boring and involve lots of internet searches for bamboo blinds.  Shockingly exciting.  Also involved was a trip to Home Depot to buy the wrong size blinds, then another trip to Home Depot to return those blinds, then ordering online at homedepot.com with a $10 off coupon code.  The fun don't stop 'round here.

The result is this (I may be a few curtains short and need to take another trip to Ikea, don't tell).

Yippee pretty windows!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Little touch ups

The problem with having so many projects going on simultaneously is that it's easy to get sick of one and start on another...and another.

Painting the living room trim was one of these projects.  The baseboard were a mess after we got the wood floors refinished (which I don't think I've posted about, oops).  So, one night a month or so ago I taped off all the trim in the dining and living areas with painters tape and got to work.  I got about half way through before I decided I was sick of it and would finish it later.  So the trim remained half painted for the next month or so. 

The evidence:

Classy, right?  It got to the point that I got pangs of guilt every time I spotted that ugly green tape...but I wasn't actually guilty enough to finish painting.

Last weekend I had a friend coming over to see the house for the first time so I figured I should probably finish what I started.  It literally took about an hour of scooting around the living room on my butt to finish it up, which was pretty embarassing given how long I put it off.

Much better, right?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Guest House: Done! (for now)

Since our first guests are rolling into town tonight, now seemed like as good a time as any to finish setting up the guest house.

Painting ended up taking for-ev-er.  We had to do 2 coats of white paint, which was fine and totally expected, but the detail work was very tedious.  Lots of windows means lots of trim and paintbrush work.  Which means lots of me looking around the room at the unfinished trim and wanting to drown myself in a can of paint. 

For the white paint we used Home Depot/Glidden's Freshaire paint, the same stuff we used to paint the trim in the house.  We literally have about 10 gallons of this stuff because it was discontinued and went on sale for $5 a gallon.  The only problem is that I discovered later that they also discontinued the special colorant to tint the paint, so we're stuck with white for now.  Anyhow, as it turns out, it works just fine when you wanted to paint a room white!  And $5 a gallon means that I believe this whole painting project cost us under $30 (the primer was full price).  We used just about the full gallon of primer, just about a gallon of white eggshell paint, and a bit of semi-gloss for the trim.

I used eggshell finish for the walls and semi-gloss for the trim.  Except for an unfortunate incident where I mixed up the cans while doing touch-ups, so there are stripes of shiny paint all over the walls in half of the room.  I was going to fix it, then I realized I was sick of painting.

So, we finished painting a few days ago, let it air out for a few days (the Freshaire actually doesn't have much of a smell, but just to be safe), and moved the in furniture last night. 

I should note that we're still looking for a lot more furniture, but since we're craigslisting it we just have to wait for things to turn up that work.  I'd love to get a small round kitchen table for the chairs, and maybe some comfy slipper chairs to round out the room.  And some artwork/decorative accents/curtains.  It's a little spartan for now but our houseguests this weekend told us they'd sleep on the floor if they had to so hopefully they'll be ok with it!

Without further ado:

Excuse the wrinkled bedding, it was in storage.

Two lonely chairs ($10 each on craigslist!) waiting for a table to call their own.

I'd like to replace the old metal blinds with...something else.  That something else might just be white miniblinds because they're budget-friendly, but we'll see what I can come up with.  Also toying with the idea of curtains.

 Bed ($80 on craigslist, mattress we owned already...craigslist mattresses are icky), already owned bedding, already owned nightstands that I'd like to replace with vintage-looking ones eventually.

The bed kind of blocks the fireplace, but there's really nowhere else to put it that makes sense.  Unless we do a sofa bed/futon which we've toyed with.

Kitchenette is pretty much the same.

This ceiling lamp will also be replaced, eventually.

Other side of the room.  I'd like to put some kind of furniture in the empty middle space, I'm just not sure what.

 Bathroom pictures - not very exciting - but Sean was in charge of bathroom design and I'm proud of his choices.  The man knows his Bed Bath and Beyond, what can I say.

Semi-opaque shower curtain since the shower is kind of small and coffin-like which is not the feeling we'd like to create for our guests.

 Ooo toilet pics!  The wallpaper in here is kind of meh, but we have other projects to tackle before taking it on...like the wallpaper in the main house.

 Cute vintage-looking light pull Sean picked out.  It was previously a ratty piece of string, this is much nicer.

So - that's the guest house!  I'm sure it'll evolve from here but I'm super happy with how the painted wood panelling turned out.  We're taking our time finding furniture and accent pieces so it may take a while, but I'm very happy to have a nice little space to offer guests for now.

RIP wood panelling.  1937-2011.