Archive for February, 2011

A New Addiction

3 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, February 28th, 2011

Mike and I were busy bees this weekend, working away at finishing our office.  I have lots of good stories to tell of trips to Ikea and long overdue purchases, but it’s been a very long day!

My rough day was made much better when I came home to see that some fabric samples I ordered from Fabric.com had arrived. How did I not venture into online fabric shopping before?? I am in love with all of the possibilities! Here’s a little sneak peak at the first round I am considering…

I think I have a front runner and seeing this picture has given me even more ideas. I love seeing different patterns together like this, especially when designers make it easy for you by matching the same colors in a bunch of different styles! I am just learning to venture out with patterns and textures, so the online option takes some of the intimidation out of the way. It’s like a whole new wooooorld! Cue the Aladdin! Wait.. more about that tomorrow…

Did I just pull a teaser? Maybe :)

Office Bribery

16 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, February 24th, 2011

Tonight we started to put our office back together. I say started because the process will probably take us most of the weekend. Over the past couple of months, the office as become a dumping ground of sorts for tools, vacuums, holiday decor, gifts, clothes that need to be donated and a million other things. It drove me insane, but I knew the organizing part was a huge undertaking that we would need to plan for. The miscellaneous junk is currently being housed in the entryway…

The office is a no cat zone at night (they like to chew wires, we apparently raised puppies), so anything that needs to be kept away from them gets closed up behind those french doors. It is definitely our most useful room because of those french doors, so nice, neat storage is key.

We moved our desks back in last night, Lucy and Desi also made the move…

Considering they were framed and matted for our previous office, they look quite good in here! I am looking forward to getting them up on the wall soon! (please excuse all of the nighttime pictures, this all literally happened tonight)

We also moved in our Expedit bookcase and put together some storage cubes that we bought way back when we got the bookcase in the fall. The green as an accent will be staying, but the purpley boxes and trays will probably get a makeover since they don’t go with our last minute, more gray than purple paint decision…

Oh, and we bought and mounted a TV while we were at it…

I know, somewhere an interior designer is crying. You see, the painting of the stripes story had a little part I left out. When I asked Mike if he wanted to paint stripes on Friday afternoon, he said he would only agree to it if he could put a TV over the bookcase. Of course I said yes! I like to work with noise in the background and I figured if I could look up and glance at HGTV or How I Met Your Mother reruns every now and then, I wouldn’t feel like I was sitting at my desk at my day job or anything. Plus I really wanted to paint stripes last weekend…

So that was Friday, then we painted stripes and touched up through Sunday. On Monday, Mike was off for President’s Day and I was at work. I got a phone call from him telling me he drove an hour away and bought a TV on sale. Leave it to my husband to not procrastinate a single day when he’s searching for electronics! I trust his judgement and we did talk a little bit about how we didn’t want the TV to be bigger than the bookcase. So we got a 26″ LG TV with a low profile swivel mount.

The location above the bookcase means that a) we can hide all wires and devices within the bookcase and b) it can’t be seen from the entryway when you look into the room. In this picture, the screen is turned to face Mike’s desk…

The wires still need to be concealed since we just mounted this tonight. We’re planning on making an Ikea trip this weekend to buy some doors for two of the bookcase openings to hide the Mac Mini we have in there. Then it’s time to organize and find a home for everything else! I can’t wait to finally have some organization in my life :)

What We Ate Wednesday- Black Bean Tacos

14 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, February 23rd, 2011

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for our fifth installment of What We Ate Wednesday for Jenn’s link party over at Peas and Crayons! So far we’ve had mushroom risotto stuffed peppers, blackened mahi-mahi, beans & macaroni and homemade pizza. We’ve made a lot of delicious meals since last week, but then we got preoccupied with painting our office stripes and ran out of food. For two days, we’ve been eating Froot Loops (<3) and frozen pizza, thinking this week’s meal wouldn’t happen. But thankfully Mike picked up some basics on his way home from work and we were able to whip up one of our go-to meals just before Wednesday was over!

This one is simple, black bean tacos.

Ingredients:

Can of black beans (we like Goya)

Taco shells (stand n’ stuff will make your life easier!)

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Cheese

Guacamole!

Sour Cream  (which I didn’t take a picture of)

Sometimes we throw in extras like rice, peppers and onions or some fish.

The great thing about this meal? The only cooking required is to heat up the beans and the shells!

I have always loved tacos, Mike not so much, but I really really love black bean tacos and so does he. The beans fill you up, add a lot of flavor and they’re good for you! I don’t miss the greasy orange stuff that always dripped out of the chop meat version you make with the seasoning packets. We originally got this idea after eating at Moe’s shortly after giving up meat and ordering the unanimous decision tacos. If you’ve never been to Moe’s, you must go. Though we have an ongoing debate around here about whether or not Chipotle is better…I will not reveal which side I am on, but I will say that I am in love with both!

I just realized I didn’t take a picture of my assembled taco, but head on over to Jenn’s for some more recipes (complete with pictures! :))

The Office Stripes

46 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, February 21st, 2011

If you follow me on Twitter, you know what I was up to this weekend. Never have I thought of an idea on a Wednesday, blogged about it on a Thursday, started it on a Friday and finished it (mostly) on a Saturday.

Needless to say, we were a little spontaneous this weekend and decided to do this…

The temperatures were in the high 60s here on Friday, so Mike and I planned to take the afternoon off from work to do something fun. At 11:50, we still didn’t know what that was and we had an email exchange that went something like this..

Me: What do you want to do today? NYC, beach, stay local, find some waterfalls, Ikea, couch shopping, outlet shopping?

Mike: I don’t care, it’s your choice

Me: You know if it was up to me we’d paint the office

Mike: I’m game.

We did grab some lunch and take our time to relax, but by 4:00, it had begun.

I decided to go with my beloved Smoked Oyster by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic’s no VOC paint. We chose one shade more gray and one shade lighter, Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox, for our lighter stripe since the colors below Smoked Oyster on the swatch appeared lavender. We also color matched that to Olympic. We brought it home and started putting our “lighter” color on the walls and ceiling…

Holy dark! We also painted the ceiling this “lighter” color and yes for a little bit, we were completely panicked. I think the color match was slightly darker and a little more purple than the Silver Fox appeared on paper. After painting this, I knew we couldn’t go with the darker, even more purple Smoked Oyster for the stripes. Luckily I picked up some testers for our bedroom and tried out Olympic’s Silver Dollar and Gray Ghost on the wall. Silver Dollar was the exact same color as Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox (funny huh?) so we decided to go with the much lighter Gray Ghost, which was just one color below our darker one on the swatch.

The original, darker Smoked Oyster we were going to do for the stripe is on the right. The Gray Ghost, our new choice, looks white in this picture.

By around 8pm on Friday, our office was all painted, ceilings and walls.

The ceilings actually look higher now that they’re darker! I love a painted ceiling. I know not everyone understands it, but they don’t call it the 5th wall of the room for nothing! :)

We loved the way this color looked. We loved the drama of it and were a little nervous going with such a light stripe. But by Saturday morning, we had already gone to Lowe’s to pick up a gallon of our new stripe color and were hard at work taping out some lines.

Our ceilings are 9 feet tall, so to keep things simple, we did twelve 9-inch stripes. We are planning on adding crown molding to this room at some point, so I just measured from floor to ceiling. Our top stripe will eventually be cut in half or so by crown molding and our bottom stripe is currently cut in half by our baseboards. I didn’t want to try to estimate the width of our future crown molding, or have to live with a too large top stripe for years if we don’t install it right away.

As for measuring method, I know there are a lot of tutorials out there. We had a plan, but we didn’t stick to it. In the end we went with what worked for us. Mike ended up doing all of the taping. He said I was too neurotic and taking too long, though he wasn’t much better with the OCD. But thank goodness for him, he did such an amazing job, never once lost his patience and kept at it for hours and hours. Such a keeper!

Here is how we measured:

1. We started at the top and measured 9 inches down from the ceiling and made a mark about every foot or so across.

2. We then took a level, lined up the marks until they were level and drew a line with a pencil to connect them (usually about 3 feet long at a time, see photo above)

3. We lined the tape up to that line and stuck it to the wall

I did a lot of research before striping to make sure we’d get the best result possible. We took every single recommendation and precaution ever listed on the internet.

Extra steps for clean lines:

1. We used Frog Tape (and loads of it, about 50 feet!)

2. We flattened any bubbles in the tape with a credit card

3. We brushed some of the base color over the tape to “seal” any potential bleed through points

One thing we were not prepared for was the amount of time it would take to tape stripes. It took us all day Saturday. And by all day, I mean it took us about 10 hours to do. Granted, every single line in our office is perfectly level and 9 inches wide. At one point Mike told me he wished we weren’t such perfectionists, and he’s right, it would have been much faster to just wing it!

By 10pm Saturday night, we were ready to start painting our stripes.

We were nervous about painting over such a dark color. Mike thought we needed primer, but I was worried that multiple coats of paint wouldn’t allow for us to pull of the tape while the paint was still wet. So we took a risk and just put a very thick coat of the Olympic Gray Ghost. We worked fast, doing just one stripe at a time then removing the tape. The reveal part was extremely nerve wrecking.

See that line??? Clean as a whistle!! We were estatic at this point and quickly finished painting the stripes and removing the tape, probably in just a little more than an hour.

We had just a few touch up areas and we’re not sure why. In about 3 spots, the tape actually removed the drywall paper.

Maybe we used a little too much muscle with that credit card method! But these were much easier to fix than bleed through on every line. We just put a layer of spackle on them and sanded them down.

We painted them with a coat of the lighter color yesterday. Today we just re-taped the small area along the line, painted the darker color again and it was good as new!

And now for the before and after shots!

Before:

AFTER!!

Tonight we shampooed the carpet and brought our Expedit bookcase back into the room. We are definitely looking forward to some organizing and accessorizing this room this week! We’re so excited about how this turned out and we’re back on an office kick now :)

I’m sharing this little how-to at the Lettered Cottage’s link party. They also have awesome horizontal stripes so check them out!

Striped Walls

8 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, February 17th, 2011

I couldn’t think of a good title today.

Since we moved in, I’ve had striped walls on my mind. Originally, I thought of doing a light tone on tone horizontal stripe in our bedroom. I’m not sure where I got this idea, since I had it in my head long before I discovered house blogs. Probably some show on HGTV! I was thinking something like this…

(via Apartment Therapy)

Our bedroom is large and I knew the walls needed something, but I was too intimidated to try a stencil or wallpaper. If I ever made the bed and took a picture, I could show you a decent angle. And I’d rather not show you the uber embarassing kitten conference, unmade bed, pants on the ground picture again. So here’s an equally awful and creepy picture of the wall behind our bed, taken from our sitting room which has no light fixture in it (hence the ghostly looking cat…)

I just couldn’t imagine stripes in here, but it was the easy solution. Then I decided to man up and attempt a stencil.. attempt still pending.

So I diverted my need for stripes to another room after seeing this must-have inspiration photo from Elle Decor…

(via Elle Decor)

I fell in love with the dramatic contrast and figured the perfect place for something so bold would be the powder room. Until one day recently when I was analyzing the powder room and I realized my beloved stripes wouldn’t look good in there.

The ceilings are pretty high..

And the door is actually at an angle, so the room isn’t a perfect square.

At this point I figured that maybe I’d just use my dark brown stripes in our future basement. Note: our basement is no where near finished. By the time we finish it, I’ll probably think of something else. I have no clue why it took me so long to think of this, since this was my original, original idea, but the office could use some stripes.

Way back when we were buying office furniture and all gung-ho office, I wanted to do stripes but knew the bedroom needed a fancy wall paint more and I didn’t want to be the stripe house. We’ve lost some motivation in the office, since it needs so much organizing and I was having a hard time visualizing the finished space. We went with the furniture we could afford and I wanted to balance the Ikea modern with some more traditional elements to keep it classy. I think the stripes will do just that.

To reassure myself, I download Google SketchUp last night and played with it for just a half hour or so. Awesome program. I just fiddled and wasn’t aiming for perfection, but this is what I got…

The walls on the sides are the same color as the darker stripe, SketchUp just does a 2D shadow type thing. The room is missing the bay window on that left wall and the gallery wall would be on the right wall. The white line at the top is crown molding we’d eventually like to do. We’ve been eyeing up these white chairs from Staples and that’s as far as I got last night. I didn’t rotate that one chair, but then I realized it was kind of funny to keep it like that because we will probably never push our chairs under anyway! The paint color is the Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster we’ve had in mind since we moved in, though we’ll have to throw a little sample on the wall before deciding. The color in this SketchUp is far more purple than the actual color. Here’s a little image from the Benajamin Moore site…

We’d probably pair the Smoked Oyster with the Elephant Gray or Portland Gray. Smoked Oyster definitely has some purple tones (to make my purple loving self happy) but falls into the brown/gray family as well. That is the only reason why Mike agreed to it as well, I even gave him the option of a green!

Anyway I’m super excited about my new area to put some stripes. Now maybe the office will make some progress soon :)

Page 1 of 3123
Copyright 2010 - 2011. The Lil House That Could. All rights reserved.