Saturday, March 20, 2010

Starbucks Giveaway Winner Announced

Thank you to everyone that left a comment on my sidetable renovation.  I was blown away by all your comments, and appreciate all the suggestions.  I am still on the fence on what process I will apply, but I plan on making my decision mid-day today when I go to the hardware store to get supplies.

With that said, I want to announce that the lucky winner of the Starbucks gift card is Colleen from  Once I get your address, I will drop your goodie in the mail.

Thanks again for all your suggestions!  I look forward to completing this project!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let the Sunshine NOT Roll.......

Our great room has lots of natural sunlight, and that was one of the biggest selling points for us when we purchased our home.  We wanted a house that offered lots of natural light.  However, we did not realize that all this light would come at a price.  Our great room faces southwest which results in lots of hot summer sun pouring into the room.  The light is nice, but the heat, and the glare do not make for comfortable and easy television watching.  The wood blinds do assist a bit with these problems, but the extra uncovered window untop the windows are problematic. 
I thought about adding the protective window covers that you apply directly to the windows to assist with light, but it appears they already have these applied.  Therefore, I abandoned this idea, and starting looking for a drapery option.

I was very inspired by the look below from Pottery Barn (the PB Casual cotton drape).  I sought an airy option that would filter the sunlight out a little, but not all together.  My options were a bit limited though because I needed the curtains to be 115 inches long.  Pottery Barn did have a curtain available, but I wasn't super pleased with the price.  I thought I could do better....               
Enter a trip to our favorite store IKEA.......I found just what I needed and wanted at IKEA.  The Vivan 118 inch curtains were perfect.  They offered me a sheer curtain that allowed light to filter through.  At $14.99 a pair, they were very economical.  Therefore, I grabbed two pairs, and was off to work on my curtain project.  I decided I only wanted to have one panel per a window.  Our fireplace is located in the middle of the windows, and I just wanted to avoid lots of extra fabric near potential flame.  So far I am pleased with the look I achieved.

The drapery rods I found at Target on clearance.  I think I may have paid full price at Target for the clips, but I was okay with that since the savings on the curtains and rods were robust.  I washed and dried the Vivan drapes about 3 or 4 times to get the airy, flowy look I wanted.  Out of the package, the Vivan drapes are a bit starched so washing them up is a must.  The overcast today has not provided me with the best lighting options for picture taking.
View from the balcony upstairs
I am very satisfied with my choice, and the look I achieved.  We can now comfortably watch television in the afternoon with limited glare. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sidetable Revamp & A Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway.....

The weather has finally started to warm up a bit here in our neck of the woods, and you know what that means...... New furniture projects of course!  Below you will find my latest project.  This table was a hand-me down from my husband's parents.  I love the bones, but not a fan of the honey finish.  I had wanted to tackle this project last fall, but the weather got too cold too quick for me.
This sidetable calls our living room home.  I love how this table offers a large table top for display, and then a segemented second shelf.  Our living room is a more casual space that we use for reading, and I really like the idea of displaying magazines  or some cool looking books on the second shelf. 
In the close-up you can see the edges have been a little worn, and the table is just screaming for a facelift.
I spent a sizable amount of time sanding the sidetable down. I started with 80 grit sandpaper, then bumped up to 100 grit, and then 150 grit. About a hour in to sanding, I realized that the top of the table was screwed into the second shelf by screws underneath.  It was a welcome suprise as I was able to take the table apart, and then sand the second shelf down all the way, as well as each of the divider pieces.

I was able to get all of the old stain off the second shelf, but a bit remains on the edge of the top table surface.  I am still undecided what my next step is going to be. 
As you can see, the legs still have a bit of stain of them too.  It it very difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies to remove the stain.  I am pretty satisfied with the my efforts so far.
Now I just need to decide what the next step is going to be.  Initially I thought I would restain it a very dark brown color to match all the other furniture in the room, but now I am thinking of painting it black since I haven't been able to remove all the former stain off the piece.  I am not sure if I am drawn to this option because it is easy or if it is because I think it will work best for the room.  Two of the major wood pieces of furniture in that room are a very dark brown stain, but the wood mirror is painted white, and most of the frames are black.

Below is a picture of a table that has been my inspiration for this project.  It is Pottery Barn's Rustic Pedestal Accent Table.  The finish on their table is an "expertly crafted of distressed espresso-stained hardwood, with mortise-and-tenon joinery for lasting stability and all sides are antique finished using a multistep process". 

Here is a close-up of the table.

As I mentioned above, this table is stained an expresso color.  I have never used stain, but if I recall right, all the previous stain must be removed for stain to work, right?  If so, do any of you have any ideas of how I can achieve this look with paint?  I don't think there is any possible way for me to get the rest of the stain off.  I have considered using a liquid sandpaper option, but I am not sure if that would work (I also am a bit scared of it since the label pretty much spells out it is dangerous).

Therefore, I need some advice.... Does anyone have any suggestions?  I am stuck with what the next step should be..... Please help!

For your time, I will be raffling a $15 Starbucks card to one lucky winner that posts a comment to this post.  I will draw the lucky winner using on Friday, March 19th.

Thank you in advance for all your help!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Saw the Sign....

Vintage signs are all the rage these days, and I thought I would share a sign I am really loving right  now.  I spotted it in the lastest LL Bean Home Catalog.  I love that it can be personalized to whatever location you pick.  I am toying with making the sign myself, but at $29.95, it might be worth ordering it (read: I am lazy).  I think the sign might be a bit too cottagey though for me, so I am considering revamping it to look a little more like the subway signs everyone is duplicating on blogland.

So what do you think?  Should I bite the bullet and buy it or should I be ambitious and make one?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It's Getting Hot in Here....

Again, I am stricken with my over ambition of not taking pictures from the beginning of my project.  We will have to use our imagination for a minute, imagine the walls and ceiling are olive green in the picture you are viewing.  Perhaps it will not be hard to imagine since you can't see the wall paint all that well because of the glaring sun coming in from the sliding glass door.  The door you are viewing faces southwest so it gets all the hot evening sun.  Initially I was thinking that we would leave the window uncovered since it faces the backyard which is relatively private.  However, the heat, and a few break-ins in our neighborhood last spring and summer caused me to change my game plan.
Pic #1
Pic #2
I struggled with an appropriate window treatment choice for this door. I had two purposes I was hoping to fix: 1-create privacy so burglars do not have a big picture window to glare into the house, and 2- a choice that would help insulate this room from the daily evening heat-up. There was one other concern- I did not want curtain panels that would go behind the garbage can. I strive to keep things clean, but the garbage area in one's kitchen is not known to be a super clean area.  I thought about relocating the garbage can do a different spot in the kitchen, but there was another reasonable option.  Finally, I did not want to go with traditional vertical blinds because I am just not a fan of that look.

Surprisingly, I did find a vertical option at JcPenny's that fit my needs. I stumbled upon the stylish Linden Street Cotton Duck Thermal panel System. I thought this was the perfect solution to my problems. It provides the thermal protection against the heat, provides privacy if needed, but can be slide back and forth if needed. I struggled with selecting the right color. I was between cream, desert khaki, and the chocolate options. I like lighter window treatments, but was worried that the cream would get dirty since the panels are within inches of the trash can. The desert khaki was nice, but it just didn't go well with the Bittersweet Stem paint color. I kept gravitating to the chocolate, but worried it would be too dark, and make my very sunny kitchen cave like.
After much thought, I pulled the trigger on purchasing the cream panel system.  I couldn't be happier with my choice.  This panel system is a wonderful solution to my needs.  Although I would have preferred to keep the windows open, I think this is the next best answer.  It looks wonderful in my kitchen.

I apologize the pictures are so dark, but I forgot to take shots this afternoon.  So what do you think?  Have you come up with any creative solutions to cover your sliding glass doors?  Do you have window treatments on the windows that face your backyard?

Lesson Learned.....

Hello friends!  I just wanted to apologize for all the craziness you may have experienced if you tried to view my blog for half of last week.  You see, it was taken over by a crazy widget/gadget that I carelessly applied to my blog.  I didn't do my due dilgence, and randomly added a blog counter to the bottom of my blog to see how many hits I was getting.  I should have read the reviews to make sure I was using a good one, but I used one of the first ones I found online (I was being lazy; I admit it).  After struggling for a few days to remove the html code, I am happy to report that the blog is free of all the wackiness you may have experienced.  I guess I should cross my fingers when I say that because at least today, it appears to be A-okay. 

Needless to say, I have learned a valuable lesson: Make sure you know what you are adding to your blog before you do it....

Happy Sunday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Earsing the Past Can be Daunting

I finally tackled a project I have wanted to complete since last March when I painted our kitchen. You see, I was a bit of a novice when I painted our kitchen and did not realize I should have painted the molding BEFORE I painted the kitchen walls. It could have been easy peasy, but I sometimes like to do things the hard way. Not so.... I should have planned better.
 This is the best pic I have of the before color of the kitchen.... It was taken right after I had 10 inches cut off my hair to donate to Pantene's Great Length Program...
At any rate, when we purchased our home in May of 2008, I immediately had a love hate relationship with the very dark olive green color our kitchen was at the time; seemed more like a cave than a kitchen to me. It took me a few months to find the right paint color. Our granite countertops were very neutral with lots of creams, khakis, browns, and a bit of black specks. Therefore, I choose to paint the walls Bittersweet Stem by Sherwin Williams. After finishing two coats of primer, and two coats of paint color, I was in love with my new kitchen, and never wanted to paint again.

Then, I saw it.... The past was staring me in the eye all over the kitchen. The old owners did an awful job when it came to protecting the molding during their painting projects. Depending on where you were, you could see shades of olive green, country blue and bright yellow shining on the dingy white molding. I have quite the eye for detail which has turned into a curse at times for me. The paint “vomit” was driving me nuts, but I was a bit intimidated with taping off the molding, and repainting it. I didn't want to harm the walls that I worked so hard to paint. So I waited, and stewed, and waited some more until I could not handle it anymore......
Evidence Pic #1
Evidence Pic #2
Evidence Pic #3
Well, the wait is over. This past weekend I got the confidence to get the job done. I hit up Lowe's and purchased some Frog tape (I was giddy to try it since its praise has been all over blogland). Initially I thought about free handing my molding project, but I didn't trust that my hand could be that steady.

Anyhoo, I sanded down the parts of the molding where paint had chipped, and filled in some areas that were a bit dented with some wood filler. Then, I spent some quality time taping off the walls where the molding met the wall, and were the molding met the wood floor. It seemed like this took forever, but in all honestly, it took about 1.5 hours.
Once the tape was up, I got to painting. I used Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White in semi-gloss. I applied three coats of paint just to be sure that I was able to cover that olive green paint up. After two coats, it looked like it was covered, but I wanted to be sure because I did not want to have to do this project again.

I am allayed with the results. The molding looks so crisp and clean, and I am so happy to be rid of the past. My husband was a bit skeptical of the worthiness of this project, but once it was complete and all cleaned up, he realized that the crisp white molding was the final touch for the room. Needless to say, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief in the kitchen because I finally got this major project checked off.

Although, I think I created a bit of a monster now….. Now I keep thinking, perhaps I should repaint all of the molding in the house. Next up, the foyer and main hall walkways…..
My opinion on Frog tape…. Not sure if it is worth the extra money. All and all, I didn’t see much of a different between blue painter’s tape vs my use of Frog tape. The semi-gloss paint bleed through in about 4-5 locations on the wall that I will need to touch-up. Therefore, I am just not sure about it….