Family room re-do inspiration

22 02 2011

Inspiration for my fam room

I saw this picture on the web somewhere and fell in love. I would copy it exactly if possible. However, I live in the real world with a real (tiny) budget. So I’m using this as inspiration and not a literal starting point. I love the colors and feel of the room.

My room is much smaller. And needs to contain toys. Because we live in here and a lot happens here (mostly activities that involve brightly colored plastic.) It’s a bit quieter than the front living room where the tv is, so I prefer this room. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I crave a little less color. I want a quiet grown up room to relax in. Not so grown up that the kids aren’t welcome, though.

fireplace in family room

This is the fireplace in the corner. Corner fireplaces are weird. The big white canvases cover a hole meant for a tv. I put shelves in it and hide lots of the kid’s games and puzzles in it. The mantle is actually an IKEA shelf that is a bit too short and not screwed in all the way. 😉 I just added it the other day. I want to remove the canvases and replace them with functioning doors, something shutter-like. I’ll probably have to build something. Eventually I want to rip all the black stuff off of the fireplace surround and replace it with slate.

my corner

Here’s my slipcovered chair in the corner. This is my favorite spot to sit. The sunlight that comes in the window is lovely. The table next to it is actually an outdoor table that lived in Mabel’s room until recently. It is pink but it won’t stay pink for long. Come on, spray paint season!

You may have noticed this room is carefully cropped and not completely shown. That is because it is always covered in toys. Step 1 of this room redo will be to tame the toys.

mood board for fam room
This is my inspirational mood board. They help me to envision what I want. It is also a way to “create” when I am unable to do it for real. I have changed my mind about some things since I made this.

For my wall color, I am searching for a perfect grey. I think the Flint paint at Restoration Hardware might be perfect. However, I might just be partial to the name. I might end up doing a stencil on one wall, similar to this one. The stairwells will be repainted a nice creamy color. The yellow was always a mistake. My blue IKEA chairs will be slip covered in tan canvas. My lamps need a small shade re-do. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all shapes up.


A family that crafts together…

15 02 2011

Laughs together?

My husband and I used to share my craft room, but we realized that we never went down to the basement. He moved his monster desk upstairs where it is now used daily. I toyed with the idea of moving my stuff up as well. However, reality got the best of me. I know that the kids would not be able to help themselves and would get into everything. I also know that I am not a tidy crafter.

I made it my goal to make the room more usable and fun for the whole family.

mspaint drawing of kids area in craft room
So I drew up plans in MS Paint (very technical!) and tried to accomplish them for as cheap as possible.

Craft room, kids area

One of my biggest pet peeves was the giant filing cabinet. I traded it for a shorty and purged a ton of junk. The table top is actually 2 IKEA desk tops that I found for $8 each. They are connected together with 2 metal pieces. They are attached to the wall with metal L brackets. I painted a chalkboard for the kids to write on. Mabel is a bit short to reach it, but Cale can. The plastic drawer thing is filled with their craft stuff. The missing drawer contains play-doh and it is currently upstairs. I still need to add buckets on the top shelf and move the rest of the kid’s stuff downstairs.
I plan on adding a leg to that side because I am just not comfortable with it not having one. I have noticed that everyone leans on it way too much.

Under the desk is file boxes filled with my husband’s miscellaneous computer cables and parts. Since I kicked him out of the room, I still need to find places for his stuff. The pink tote is my scrapbook bag.

My desk used to be against this tiny window. With it on the opposite side of the room, the light now pours in (apparently a little too much: the pictures suck!) I’ll have to take more pictures on a less blatantly sunny day.

I’m happy to say that I use the room much more, almost every day now! More pictures will come, including details of my craft space and the area I made for my husband to play guitar.

A room fit for a Princess

13 02 2011

I feel like I’ve written about this a few times, but I can only find this post.

I showed a bit of Mabel’s room when I posted about her quilt. I love her room so much. It’s one of the sunniest rooms in the house.

her new quilt

This is how her bed normally looks. Well, this is a good day. Notice the zoo of animals and stack of blankets on the end that would make the princess and the pea envious. The animals are typically accompanied by Princess Barbies and about 15 books. Actually her bookshelf is typically empty because they live in her bed. (She likes to “read” at night.)

Mabel's room
The vintage curtains were replaced with hot pink ones about a year ago. I hung all of my favorite baby outfits above her bed so I can remember how tiny she once was. The vanity, while not my favorite, is definitely her favorite! The plastic dresser stores Dora toys and Little People. Next to it is part of her dress up collection. The brass thing on the wall is a unicorn which will be spraypainted pink as soon as we get some spray paint weather!

Mabel's room
And then we have her dresser. It was one of those horrible French Country things from the 70s that is cream with gold trim. I painted it white. The handles might end up getting painted as well.

Future plans involve her closet. Right now it houses my dresses and skirts, but we need more toy storage so I might need to reorganize mine so I can give hers back. The kids rooms are tiny. So they need all the room they can get. Using the closets are a good way to get extra space. Plus, adding lower shelves allow them to get their own clothes.

White kitchen

12 02 2011

Last weekend, I decided to paint my kitchen cabinets white. You see, they keep me awake at night. The pink maple was screaming at me. So I did what any sane person does when their cabinets scream at them and started the very long process of painting them. This involved cleaning them thoroughly with TSP, then wiping them down with liquid sander, then removing them, priming them, sanding when needed and 3-4 coats for each side. Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! And although it was one of the longest painting jobs EV.ER., it was so worth it!


I still need to do some major uncluttering above the cabinets. And the stove and microwave will one day be replaced with shiny stainless steel ones.

kitchen wall
The pine island that I loved so much in my last kitchen really has no place here. I plan on adding more lower cabinets here and another white Ikea shelf here. In the very near future (this weekend), we will probably move it to the same level as the cabinets and replace the mismatched spices with pretty Ikea ones. Yes, we love that giant blue store.

I painted my kitchen  cabinets white
I also spray painted the hardware for now. I’m eying some pretty knobs at Anthropologie but will probably just do Home Depot knobs or pulls.

The only thing is that now, the counters are that much uglier. They are mint green and stain so easily. I really want to try this paint in Bombay Black but I’m afraid it will look like crappy painted counters. I read a few bad reviews and am a little scared now.

You can see the pink-ness of the kitchen before in this post. Look through the doorway.

A quilt for a girl named Mabel

10 02 2011

Just like I made one for Cale, I knew I wanted to make Mabel a quilt as well. I started it about a year ago. It took me a while to collect vintage sheets, plus as I found more, I added them to the cut stacks. It’s the same pattern as this quilt that I had made for a friend, a pattern From DS Quilts. The quilting follows the flowers on the vintage quilt on the back and they all connect. Not the prettiest quilting, but it works.

The pillow was made a few months ago. I love them together.


Forgive the camera strap. It’s the only picture without Mabel jumping on the bed. Even then, she had thrown a “blanket” on the bed. She found a few yards of fabric that I had intended on making pajamas out of for her and insisted that they be blankets instead.



Tiny steps

9 02 2011

In an effort to get back into blogging, I’m going to try writing again. I could give a million excuses but if you know me, you already know of them (school, kids, home life.)

chair from craigslist before

Anyways, a few months ago I bought this chair from Craigslist. I loved the blue ticking, but it was impossible to get clean. Kevin hates this chair but it is my favorite, so comfy. I had bought it with the intentions of slipcovering in white denim. After a few weeks though, the intimidation of white got to me. I knew I had to find a cleanable alternative. That’s when I ran across Miss Mustard Seed’s tutorial for bleaching drop cloths. Drop cloths are perfect. Light in color, durable and interesting in texture. Plus since I already bleached them prior to sewing them, I don’t worry too much about stains.

slipcovered chair after

I would love to say that sewing it was easy and came together quickly and perfectly, but that would be a lie. It was a labor of love though and I am so happy with the results. I love the ruffle at the bottom. And cheeto finger prints can be easily washed away.

The white is quite a departure from my normal palette but I am finding that I crave quiet colors as the stress in life increases. It sits in the room where I spend most of my time. The entire main floor of this house is pretty open so I have to be mindful of that as I make changes. I have a few changes in mind to make this room a little more peaceful, including new paint color, retiling the fireplace, closing off the space over the fireplace and more slipcovers. That will come in time. Like I said, baby steps.

Dining room redo and Mabel’s bday

17 01 2010

Newly painted dining room

Here’s our dining room all decked out for her party. Not that I want to take the flowers or pendants down any time soon. We bought this chandelier, oh about 3 years ago in Sicily. It has been rewired and hung finally. I’m so in love with it.
A mirror will eventually be hung behind the table.

tutus for little princesses
I made tutus for her friends.

Yum, plates!
And she had a blast at her party. My little princess is 2. It’s been a long 2 years. She is a handful. And finally getting easier.

Starting this week, I’m trying to re-do my craft room. It’s dark and dreary and uninspiring. It’s in the basement with a tiny window and dark pine ceilings so lots of primer and paint will be involved. I’m hoping I will want to spend more time down there if it’s more pleasant. We’ll see.