Posts tagged ‘Ikea’

Tiny Dancer

Since cohabiting, Chris and I have realized that we have very different tastes in art. He likes cityscapes, but not of places he has no connection to. I like abstract, something that can be seen in different lights. We both agreed that we don’t want something that everyone has. You know how embarrassing it is to be seen at a party in the same dress as someone else? We feel the same way about art. Ikea would naturally be the place to go for inexpensive, trendy wall art. But it’s instantly recognizable.

Ikea - $59.99 (3' x 4.5')

Home Goods and TJ Maxx have unique pieces, but are either too “girly” or over-priced, or both. Then we turned to Etsy. Etsy provided some quality pieces that we may turn to in due time. At present, however, we needed something fast (potentially spending hundreds on sight unseen requires some deliberation). So, the creative couple that we are, we decided to make our own painting.

We bought canvas in a pack of 7 for $19.99 at Michael’s. We bought 2 tubes of light blue paint ($0.88 each) and a large tube of black paint ($4). The yellow paint we had left over from our living room walls.

First we chose a lay-out for how to hang the canvas on the wall. Then we drew a checker pattern, spacing the lines 4 inches apart with a ruler.

After labeling each diamond with a “b” for blue and “y” for yellow, we went to work painting.

We let these dry overnight before painting the silhouette.

We lined the canvases up like a puzzle before drawing the dancer. We lined up the posterboard on top of the canvas so we could make sure she was drawn to scale. We both had a hand in drawing. I initially drew her, then Chris edited an arm, a leg, the hair, and the waist, before I redrew the hands and feet. Teamwork at its finest.

Paint inside the lines, then put back together. The puzzle was much easier this time around.

There you have it. One of a kind wall art that we can take pride in, all for under $30.

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Window treatments are such a treat!

I finally finally found affordable drapes!! And what¬†a difference they make in a room. Boscov’s seemingly ongoing curtain sale finally came through for me and my condo. I remember months ago stopping into Boscov’s after seeing a commercial for their amazing kitchen sale. While I drooled over knives and coffee makers, my friend was busy looking at drapes. It was before we moved and I didn’t have measurements nor have I ever had to purchase drapes for previous apartments, so I didn’t give it a second thought. It only took me 5 months to remember how good their prices were. It’s not custom made and you do have to dig through their “self-serve” section to find anything longer than 63″ but it’s oh so worth it. Drapery rods and other accessories are best bought at TJ Maxx for $7-$14, but for the actual curtains…Boscov’s is the place to go.

I started out with Ikea tulle in our bedroom..2 packs for $5 each. But it added no texture, no dimension, no color…it was just boring. Instead of wasting the $10, I added Liquid Gold brand drapes ($10 each) in gold to either side.

My bedroom now feels like a 4-star hotel room (it will get to 5 once we dress the walls up a bit), which is exactly the look I was going for. No dressers or armoires taking up space. All clothes are kept neatly in the closet or in the footboard drawers.These drapes have not yet been steamed ūüėģ

I had no idea my windows were even this large! The living room drapes give off the illusion of a beautiful picture window. I’m still shopping for pillows and also a throw blanket to break up the bland color of our most comfortable couch. The 5 panels above were all $9.99 each. The blue ones are reversible and come in a variety of colors. The ones above are light blue and teal blue, but they also had more contrasting pairs such as cream and amethyst. (Again, these haven’t been steamed).

What a difference!The only undressed windows that remain are in the office, and the color choice for that is proving to be a difficult one.

 

On an unrelated note, my corbels came in the mail Monday for the dining room! I hope to have them painted and hung by this Monday…I’ll remember to take step by step photos.

VIP spot

While writing the last post, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted the dining room with all its updates yet. My corbels haven’t arrived yet and I’m still sifting through old photos for the right and left walls. As such, the walls are still bare, but look at what a difference table dressings and accent pillows make!

I experimented with drapes over the entrance, both in my head and dining room. I got funny looks when I told people¬†my idea, and therefore¬†second, third, even fourth-guessed myself. But I stuck with my gut and headed over to Boscov’s (the only affordable drapery!). My 9 foot ceilings require 9 foot drapes that will be seen from both sides. Luckily, I came across 18 foot scarves ($20) that I considered hanging as you would a scarf over a window. But my attempts to get it stay wrapped failed and the scarf pretty much fell over the rod like this, with 9 feet on each side.

This look is 2 different scarves, 1 in bronze-ish red, and 1 in gold. I planned on leaving it only to 1 side like this as to not overwhelm the room. But I love it so much I am going to repeat the look on the other side. I will also install¬†metal¬†drawbacks¬†instead of the current tasseled string so that it doesn’t taper¬†quite as¬†much toward the bottom.

I’ve complained about the price of pillows before, so I usually buy anything that are priced reasonably and fall into the right color scheme (which is¬†hard to come by). The floral one is actually a seat cushion that I cut the tie strings off of. They were $1 at Walmart! I wish I had use for more of them!¬†The rosy textured pillows came in a pair for $12 from Home Goods. The taupe pillow that doesn’t photograph well is from Ikea and was sold as just the pillow case, $7. The pillow form was sold seperately for $2. I’m always shopping for more pillows but I’m happy with the progress so far.

The red place¬†mats are also from Walmart, $4 for the set. I went a little fancy on the napkins after receiving a promotional email from Pier 1. I’m a big believer in individuality. I use wine markers even if there¬†are only 2 of us and¬†1 of us is drinking from a margarita glass.¬†So of course I’m going to¬†let everyone get their own special napkin ring!

The room is undoubtably premature for dinner parties. The table is deserving of a pretty centerpiece other than this top of the line martini shaker.

But for now,¬†it’s nice to look at on my way out the door.

My Bedroom in all its imperfections

My last post about the canopy gone wrong made me realize that I haven’t photographed my bedroom in full yet. This wasn’t just a misstep on my part, but a deliberate attempt to not show what was not yet done. But I’ve gotten over that and am ready to reveal my “in process” rooms, no matter the state.

Here goes:

*Pay no attention to the “canopy” above the bed that I haven’t taken down yet.

The window valances came with the bed set and are not staying. I hung them up with white sheer panels that I “eyeballed” instead of taking measurements. They were about a foot short of touching the window sill.

I may have previously mentioned my newfound addiction to wallpapering furniture. That is on display in these photos.

The bench at the foot of the bed is made up of 2 2-drawer components from Target. I made the bench pad from foam, batting and the same velvet fabric used for the headboard. The trim from JoAnn fabrics is only fastened with pins right now because I didn’t buy enough and haven’t sewn it yet.

The drawer front is a different pattern than the sides.  Not sure if I love it yet. In the picture above it seems to go together, but up close it looks a little more clashed. Take a look:

I bought the rolls of wallpaper on Ebay for a total of $20 (1 roll of each).

What triggered the addiction was my bedroom vanity. One of our first furniture purchases was a TV stand from Ikea for $50. After falling in love with a coffee table that didn’t match this style at all and deciding to mount our tv to the wall, we had no use for this TV stand. I mean NO use. With a little over 850 sq ft to work with, we brainstormed every room. Maybe a buffet in our 8×8 dining room. Maybe a wall mounted shelf over our bedroom closet. Maybe a work area in the office. None of these rooms could spare the space. It stayed in our hall for a month while we thought of who we could give it to or if we should eat the $50 and throw it out.

Finally! when talking with a friend about my desire for a vanity in our bedroom as well as my wish for a versatile mini bar, she suggested I add taller legs to the trash-bound TV stand and paint it. We left for Ikea immediately and bought 4 legs at $12.50 each with casters for easy mobility.

It was decided the surface couldn’t be painted without sanding, and wallpapering would be the way to go.

The result is my beautiful bedroom vanity:

The ends are a little messy so I plan on adding a gold trim…just haven’t figured out how yet.

The stool is from Home Goods, $30. It’s a little short right now, nothing Ikea legs can’t fix. Still not sure if I will keep it. I wanted a vanity stool that could look good on its own if I ever move the vanity into the living room to serve as a buffet table during a party. But maybe that’s a silly idea to decorate around.

The mirror will be hung on the wall. We’re also still looking for alot of creative art work. Don’t judge our bare walls just yet.

Revisions to be made to the scene on the left:

  • Canopy removed
  • Pendant lighting hung above nightstands.
  • Wall art

 

 

 

 

Revisions to be made to the scene on the right:

  • Mirror hung on wall
  • Wall Art
  • TV wires hidden (in living room)

Dining Room ‚Äď During the Upgrade

I have become addicted to wallpapering furniture! I toyed around with the idea in my head for a while, wondering if it would be financially smart as well as a beautiful outcome. It has proved to be both. I bought the diamond checkered pattern on ebay for $10. I did the table top and drawers, and I also did my new vanity/bar, which needs another post entirely.

The table folded down to a tiny drink station

You may be able to tell that we haven’t solved the lighting solution in this room yet. I do plan on keeping it darker to add an ambient atmosphere, but as of now we just have a lamp plugged into the wall to add light when we painted.

We haven’t moved the bench out to paint behind there yet either. There’s no doubt that this room is only about 40% finished. I plan on adding some drapes to close it off a little, and throw some pillows together for the bench as well as new ones for the chairs.

We’re also at a standstill on the wall. The original plan was to stencil the fleur de lys onto the wall in a diagonal criss-cross pattern, but after we painted we started brainstorming other ideas. Maybe have frames of different shapes and sizes covering the back wall. Maybe thin gold stripes. Possibly leave as-is? To be determined..

I love this room as a lounge. The small trunk between the 2 Ikea chairs is from Home Goods. It’s perfect for setting down a drink or for a tray of appetizers. The room looks so bare in thie picture but once the drapes are up, the lighting is perfect, the bench has pillows, the walls are decorated,¬†then voila! it will look wonderful. How is the smallest room the hardest to decorate?

 

The Dining Room..the smallest space proves to be the biggest project

The "Bonus" Room

Our dining room is just awkward. The way our condo is shaped, the dining room is set in the front of the unit right by the door. If you follow the hallway from the front door, past the dining room, you are lead into the kitchen/living room, and the rest of the otherwise-open-layout condo. It is easy to forget that the dining room even exists, especially with the breakfast bar where we eat most of our meals anyway.

It is only 8ft by 8ft and therefore very difficult to plan a formal dining room around. Now, in the defense of the architect, this room was not necessarily planned as a dining room. I’ve seen it used as an office, a sitting room with a small TV, I’ve even considered converting it into a 2nd bathroom. But as someone who loves to cook and entertain, a dining room was inevitable.

Folded down at 10″ wide

Fully extended to 5 feet

We¬†were given¬†a versatile Ikea¬†table and chairs from as a gift.¬†It was¬†perfect for the small space. It can be folded to a minimum when I’m going for a lounge-type feel, 1 side down for an intimate dinner for 2, or fully extended to accommodate a group. Although the versatility was like magic, the simplicity wasn’t my cup of tea. But the renovation deserves its own post.

¬†I built a bench for the back wall of the room using wood from Home Depot and a drill. (Having two 8ft 2x4s cut into several 16 inch legs by the Home Depot tech was¬†a major stress saver!) It was much easier than I imagined and it cost around $20. With a staple gun, I covered the top of the bench in thick batting, and topped it with a faux leather material from Joann Fabric’s clearance section. However, I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my own work, and the batting wasn’t quite as thick to conceal the hardwood feel, and the fabric wrinkled a little after haste stapling. So my next step is to remove batting and fabric and¬†add a thick piece of foam (2-3 inches) cut to size from Joann Fabrics. With their never-ending¬†40% coupons found in every ad, this should¬†be under $10.¬†
These are the ‘befores.’ Since the ‘afters’ don’t exist in photograph or my home, stay tune for the ‘durings.’
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