Posts tagged ‘Light’

This is what I get for not being an architect…

Or maybe it’s what I get for not taking measurements. Anyway…

When Chris and I bought our condo the dining room measurements were listed as 8’x8′ on MLS Trend. When we got our condo appraised, the floorplan drawn up in the paperwork also noted the dining room as 8’x8′. When I bought a 16′ piece of wood from Home Depot and had it cut in 2 for the dining room bench, I assumed both pieces were 8′. So when I bought four 8′ pieces of wood for the bench back this week, I assumed they would fit.

Well it turns out our dining room is actually 7’10” x 7’10”.

The wood is still 8′.

Uh oh.

So after 3 trips to Lowe’s in 2 hours Wednesday night, the bench back is secured and upholstered..and standing on its side behind the dining room bench.On the bright side, the bench is reupholstered in this beautiful, more appropriate, more luxurious fabric. The brown pleather was nice in theory, but it was purchased before we painted the room. The red washed out the brown and it just looked cheap. I stapled the new fabric right over the pleather plus another layer of batting, so it’s plusher than ever.The Instructional:

I laid down the fabric first, smoothing out all wrinkles. The batting went over that and the wood over that. I utilized Chris to make sure the wood went down in its place in 1 try, as to not snag or fluster the batting. I didn’t think of how I would secure the 4 long pieces until I got home with the wood and realized I would need to lay a thin 1 inch piece perpendicular. This photo shows the 2″ pieces that I purchased as the bench sides, but they were too thick. So began my 1st of 3 journeys to Lowe’s.I purchased three 1″ thick pieces of wood to secure the four 8′ pieces. To ensure a tight fit for the fabric, I stapled the batting and fabric around all 4 sides before screwing on the 3 smaller pieces.Since this couldn’t safely rest on top of the bench, I had to head back out to Lowe’s for a picture hanging kit (This was actually the 3rd trip as the 2nd trip I forgot my wallet…where is my head these days?). I partially hammered the rings in until they were tight enough to screw in (a screwdriver can’t be used with these). After tying the wire through 3 rings it was ready to hang.The kit also included U-brackets to hang the wire upon. Each of these can hold 75 lbs. I used 2, 1 for every 4 feet.Re-upholstering the bench was a breeze. I pulled the bench a foot away from the wall, turned it on its side and laid the batting on top of the pleather.I repeated this step with the fabric and turned the bench on its other side to staple the bottom.Since the back was way too heavy and Chris wasn’t home, it took me about an hour of maneuvering and pivoting until I realized the back was too long. My shoulder muscles ache today just from getting it over the bench to its upright position.Being the optimists that we are, we didn’t let this snafu hinder us from enjoying Chris’ birthday dinner in our dining room. Truffle fries, grilled sausage with carmelized onions, and filet mignon à la Daddy Mims. Delicious!Excuse the lighting..Ambiance isn’t captured well on film.

What dreams are made of

I’ve had all kinds of closets in my 24 years. My first adult closet was a “walk-in” where the ceiling went from 6 feet at entry, to 2 feet in the rear. It was only 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep. It was more of a crawl-in.

My 2nd could hardly be defined as a closet. At 3 feet wide and 1½ feet deep, it was smaller than my current pantry. The bar was so close to the door that a hanger would prop the door open. To make do, my whole 12′ x 10′ bedroom became a closet. I had racks of clothing against the wall, shelves for jewelry and hats, as well as bureaus and baskets for additional clothing storage. My bed became a substitute for that cute little stool commonly seen in luxurious dream closets, upon which you rest to dress your feet.

My present closet was nothing but a long pole under 1 long shelf before I got to it.I installed the center compartment for shoes, gym clothes not pretty enough to be displayed, jeans and decorative accessories. The shelves down below are additional storage and allow just enough room for my bathing suits and socks to fit beneath, in the canvas drawers.

This is all good and well. Everything is within sight (except for fancier dresses and seasonally-inappropriate-but-too-good-to-stash-until-next-year-clothes that are toward the back). The point is, it works for now. I wake up, stare into my closet until I decide on something, and then I dress easily and without a struggle, unlike with previous closets. I’ll take it…for now.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream. In fact, experts say day-dreaming exercises the brain. I think I read that somewhere. So let me concoct my dream closet for you.

It’s got to have an island, with drawers. Similar to the Victoria’s Secret 4 for $20 underwear display.

It needs ample seating. Practically a living room for me to retreat to for inspiration, cat naps, social gatherings, etc.

Plenty of natural light, and mirrors also to bounce off the illusion of even more natural light.

A luxurious chandelier.

A fancy writing desk with beautiful stationery because my dream closet will give off so much inspiration I’ll need to instantly write down new ideas every time I enter.

Of course my mannequin Bella will be there, and she’ll have a friend so I can display outfit choices for the day…it’s all about organization.

While we’re displaying outfits, let’s throw in a few pedestals. If I’m going to have friends in here we’re going to be trying on clothes. And because…well why not?

Lastly, I want a wine bar. Because what’s a social gathering without wine.

This dream closet is a far cry from all previous spaces my clothes have resided in. It’s undoubtedly excessive, completely unnecessary, and in no way is it frugally smart. But how boring would dreams be if they stayed within our budgets! While it is responsible and mature and, some would argue, mandatory, to make smart financial choices, if I didn’t dream big I wouldn’t have the desire to make champagne out of beer. Where would we be then?

Reach for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars.

You’re all invited to my closet party in 2021. Please RSVP by 2018 so I can build accordingly.

Pictures from top to bottom:

My closet: My camera

Island: Closets by Design

Seating: Fabulous Bridal Boutique, Cincinnati, OH

Mirrors: Stylistsinthecity.blogspot.com

Chandelier: Maison Classique, $6100

Desk: Horchow, $1399

Mannequins: Paris.unlike.net

Catwalk: Blush Bridal Boutique, Las Vegas

Wine bar: Baller Toys, $2025

The VIP lounge gets a little more VI

Let there be light! My dad finally made his way over to fix our dining room light. We have ceiling fans in every room, only 1 has a light. It’s not necessary in the larger rooms because we have lamps but the dining room could not be used without a ceiling light. I tried to install it myself, and was about 95% accurate…just forgot to strip the wire. Now I know.

Since the light installation, I feel as if our condo has grown by about 70 sq. ft. We have a room in which we can dine! Who’d have thought? I was so excited that I had to hang the corbels right away. I came up with a layout and measured accordingly. The installation was very easy. Hammer and hang. I also found a 12 pack of candles..with votives..earlier in the day for $6. Could it be any more perfect?

There are 8 on the back wall and 2 on each side wall.

Still looking for a pullback for the drapes.

Master Suite Makeover Part 2

I completed most of the groundwork for my mom’s bedroom this past weekend. Headboard, check. Rearrange furniture, check. Acquire seating at a bargain price, check. Paint, che…let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But the colors are picked out and purchased.

The border came down with no problem at all (not photographed yet). The right wall behind the bed will be the taupe color shown in the photos above and below. The rest of the room will be a darker shade of purple.

The colors look a little skewed here, but the headboard and new wall color on the left are almost identical shades of purple. To dress the bed up a little, I plan on replacing the current matching bed skirt with a purple tailored skirt. Some bigger, more prominent pillows in coordinating colors will also be added. In place of the purple afghan will be a darker, plusher throw blanket to add contrast. (The left nightstand is spaced unevenly from the bed because of a vent, but I’ve got a plan for that).

These photos were taken prematurely. The room is still very much “in progress,” but after only a few hours spent over 1 weekend, the heavy labor is done. Only one wall remains to be painted, artwork to be found, lamps be purchased, and new window treatments to be hung. “Final touches,” as I call them.

 

While I originally planned on 2 accent chairs near the window, this chaise jumped out at me at Home Goods. Originally priced at $300 (which is already 20%-60% lower than department and specialty stores), it was marked down to $200. The color will look beautiful in the bedroom and along with a storage chest at the foot of the bed, will provide a perfect seating area for my mom and her sisters.

I’m still thinking about this armoire. The only thing I know is that it is not staying there. With the addition of the chaise that will go under either window, the armoire will be returned to caddy corner or placed against the right wall. Ideally though, I would love for the chaise to go under the right window. If only I could find a new place for that cumbersome armoire.

Stay tuned for a Headboard How-to as well as the “After” photos of the Master Bedroom Makeover.

The Office – post decorate, pre paint

I’ve hesitated to show our office for a few weeks now, because it has become our storage room since we hastily moved in. But with all the bargains we scored in this room, I just had to clean it up a bit for a photo shoot.Everything in this picture cost us around $350 out of pocket. The horrible uncovered light fixture was left in the condo and we have yet to install a light into the ceiling fan (are you sensing a pattern here? 4 rooms: 4 ceiling fans: 1 installed with a light). The recliner was given to us by friends who were moving and decided not to move this with them. Bella, my mannequin was a Christmas gift from my mother. If I ever finish the dress she’s wearing (currently inside out) I’ll showcase it on here. The bookshelf (behind Bella) was on sale at Walmart for $15, down from $25.

The desk was a Staples floor model. When our local Staples revised their business model and stopped carrying furniture, we scored this for 75% off…only $180. The real expense was carrying it up 3 flights of stairs. It did break up into 3 separate parts, the hutch and both halves of the L, all pieces equally heavy. Out of everything we now own, this desk was the worst thing to move in.

The futon was from The Dump: $150. Our condo has 2 bedrooms, this being one of them. Since we only need 1 for ourselves, we felt it wasteful to use the second exclusively for guests. We also needed a work room for me to sew and for he to work. The previous owner used what is now our dining room as his office, but as someone who loves to hosts dinner parties, our guest room became an office/guest room.

The closet holds mostly arts & crafts, such as fabric, sewing patterns, sketching tools, etc. But it also holds shoes, belts, and his endless supply of t-shirts (2nd shelf from the top: exclusively t-shirts). The top shelf consists of items that we have yet to find a place for: Purses that were taking up too much room, winter boots, guest linens, etc.

Suggestions welcome!

Obviously we still need to paint. We’re going with a light red color, possibly identical to the dining room, maybe lighter. A large piece of artwork is also missing from above the futon, just haven’t decided what it will be yet.

The top shelf in the closet existed before move-in. The lower shelves and hardware are from Home Depot: under $5 each. The 4 drawers on the bottom are 2 separate components from Target: $25 each.

 

 

The Room in which we live

DISCLAIMER: I wanted to wait until I got my new digital camera to post pictures of our most lived in room, the living room, but my impatience would not allow it. The photos here were taken with my cell phone (no flash). I plan on replacing all photos once my camera arrives. Please don’t judge by the seemingly dark room.
 

The before

 

The Present!

This room is still in progress, as is the rest of our condo, but it’s come far since we first moved in to bare walls with no light whatsoever. (I’m very self conscious by the darkness of this photo, but it’s only the cell phone, I swear. We live in an abundance of light).

We waited for this couch for 6 weeks. Our living room is so oddly situated that I had some trouble arranging the furniture. Once I convinced my other half to make use of the “hall” by putting the tv against the far wall, it was decided that the couch must go against the window. I originally wanted a chaise sectional, wall to wall, U-shaped. But in our price range, it was impossible to find. The non-negotiable was that it had to be comfortable. I wanted to be able to lie down together and watch a movie without feeling squished or falling off the couch. This couch accomplishes just that. I take many a catnap here without suffering back problems. It is my favorite place in the condo and for only $600 (JCPenney Memorial Day sale), it really makes the room. The pillows are still TBD. I made the sofa pillows without pillowforms and learned the hard way how lumpy cotton stuffing can get. The large blue pillow on the right was intended to be a floor pillow, but I failed to accommodate for how much the thickness would subtract from the size.

The chairs are from Pier 1, also on sale for $130 each. They’re more about practicality and style than comfort.

The ladder “end tables” I ordered from Amazon for $60 each, and they are worth every penny. We didn’t need true end tables with such a large coffee table, and these add height and dimension to the room without wasting space.

The coffee table is from The Dump (Langhorne, Turnersville, and Oaks) and we stained it from a very light color that was almost identical to the couch, to a deep cherry oak.

The rug I made using 4 layers: Non-slip rubber rug pad, canvas, 2 inch thick batting, and soft, fuzzy fabric, all from Joann Fabric. It was one of the hardest things to date and my blood, sweat, and tears are in it. The seam really shows through the thick layers and it gives it a one-of-a-kind look (which it is).

Still on the to-do list: Drapes, Entertainment shelf under TV (not pictured, on wall opposite couch), Art over chairs

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