Archive for June, 2012

Previously on The Lil Office 2.0

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Posted by Michael, June 28th, 2012

Previously on the lil office that could, we told you our plans and initial work for the new office.  Fast forward a baby and six months later, the project resumed!

To recap, we’re moving the existing striped wall office upstairs (sans stripes).  The existing office will become a playroom and toy storage for Easton.

We knew the new office needed storage, so we decided to do built-ins cabinets along the wall with our windows.  Our end goal is for the new office to have built-ins much like below.

(via Plans Now)

Way easier said then done, especially when Rebecca and I lack any type of building experience. 

In late December and into early January, we thought the entire thing out.  And after several trips to Lowes to browse building materials, we decided our best option was to go with prebuilt cabinets via Ikea.

We figured having the base cabinets somewhat prebuilt would make the process a ton easier.  It did make things easier.  But looking back now, we should have just built these things from scratch.  Oh well, there’s always next time!

I built a frame out of 2×6 boards.  This allowed us to elevate the cabinets so we can place molding underneath them.  As you can see above, I also ran some electrical towards the top of the wall in order to do some puck lighting down the road.

The above is where I left you, six months ago.

With Easton here now, we knew we had to get this office completed.  Since I work from home these days, I need a space where I can work and Easton could play.  The existing office just couldn’t handle that.  So while Rebecca feeds Easton during the day (just about every 2 hours), I’ve been working on the new office.

Due to the length of the wall, the Ikea cabinets couldn’t eat all the space.  I built boxes to fill the space and then attached them to the Ikea cabinets with some glue and screws. I built 3 of these boxes; two for each end and one in the middle.

Once the boxes were completed and attached to the Ikea cabinets, I secured the entire unit to the frame on the floor and to several studs within the walls.  Now since we couldn’t match the sizes between wood available at Lowes and the Ikea cabinets, I decided to add some trim.

As you can see above, adding the trim really gave everything a unified look.  And if you look even closer, I even began adding floor molding!

Once the trim was added, Rebecca and I began wondering what we should do with the top.  We eventually want to add a fabric top, but ultimately wanted this thing to look finished.

Since my saw is unable to do these types of cuts, I had Lowe’s cut down two ready-to-paint wood boards to our size.

The top hangs off the cabinet tops by about a half inch which is exactly what we wanted.  It gives the cabinets a nice finished look.

And here is where we currently are.  I mounted the top with some liquid nails and some screws.  There is a seam between the two boards, but I used some wood filler to really hide it. I also added quarter round molding to the floor to match the rest of the house.

So what is next?  There is a slight gap between the top and the trim.  I had to use some shims in order to get the top completely level and in doing so, it left a teeny tiny gap.  When you walk into the room, you can’t see it.  I debated if I should let it be, but I knew it would annoy the crap out of me; even if no one could see it.  I’ll be off to Lowes in a couple days to pick up some trim to fill in this area.  Easy stuff.

I’ll also begin building the side bookcases during the week.  Now that I’m incredibly more comfortable with building these things, I’m sure I’ll be able to bang them out in a day or two.  Once completed, I’ll then work on the valance to go across the top along with the puck lighting.  Almost there!

Diggy was the first to discover the new built-ins and immediately jumped on top to check out the view!

Decking the Nursery Walls

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Posted by Rebecca, June 26th, 2012

Over the weekend we finally got around to hanging some things on the nursery walls… including the alphabet art I showed you sitting against the wall last week

All of the deets about making the art can be found in last week’s post, which is here. But it’s now safely hung!

Much better, eh?

Since we were on a roll with hanging, we also decided to hang this metal E that I picked up at Anthropologie way back in February…

I love this thing and it’s one of my favorite things in his room. It took us a long time to decide where to hang it. In the gallery wall? Over the crib? In the end, the skinny wall next to the closet won.

Please ignore the disarray in the closet tower since I was doing laundry and digging through bins that day. Whoops.

Now it seems like all we have left to do in here is get a gallery wall going, which I honestly haven’t put much thought into. We were able to hang the alphabet art and the E because we brought Easton upstairs with us for one of his naps. He camped out in his crib :)

No we’re not mean, he literally spit that pacifier out on to his chest. Anyway, now that it took me 4 weeks to realize that I can put him in his crib while I work in his room, maybe I’ll try it again to plan out his gallery wall. I’ll add that to this week’s list of goals :)

Alphabet Art for the Nursery

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Posted by Rebecca, June 22nd, 2012

Before Easton was born, I posted about my plans to make some sort of an alphabet print for his room. My original inspiration image hailed from Pinterest…

(from Free Home Decorating Ideas via Pinterest)

My previous post covers how I went from planning this out using paint and canvas, to printing on canvas, to finally just making it a print using Photoshop.

I’ve said this before, but I am no Photoshop expert. In fact, I have no clue of what I’m doing 99% of the time. When I posted about deciding to make the art using Photoshop, I figured Mike would make it because I was lacking the skils. Well, throw in a late baby, a husband who is busy with his own work and me spending hours in bed and guess what? I did it all by myself :)

I camped out in bed the last days before Easton came and one of the things I did was whip up a little art on my laptop. I started as just playing around to give Mike an idea of what I wanted, so that he could then do it better. As I played around, I realized I could do it on my own if I just kept tweaking it. It ended up being far easier than I thought!

I started with a rough draft… all I did was type some letters in Photoshop and change the font, color, size and location of each individual letter until I liked the way it looked. I was surprised at how easy this part was since each letter was it’s own layer and I could go back and tweak whichever letter I didn’t like.

My first attempt looked like this…

I liked it for the most part, but there was a lot of dead space. I had to figure out how the letters would look in the frame and make sure there wasn’t too much white space at the top and the bottom of the letters. We had picked up a large Virserum frame from Ikea before even starting this project, so that we were sure that we could size the print properly to fit the inexpensive frame. You may remember seeing the frame hanging around in some pictures…

The frame is 30 ¾” x 41 ½” and the mat opening is about 27 ½” x 19 ½”. I mentioned in my previous post that I saw on Shutterfly that I could order a print as large as 30″ x 20″, which was perfect. I would just have to make sure that my text was centered around the  27 ½” x 19 ½” size of the opening and that I made the image large enough pixel wise to print clearly.

So I set my Photoshop canvas to the size of the print (30″ x 20″) and began to tweak my first draft. A little bit of making fonts bigger, a little bit of overlapping letters and just playing around, then my final product looked like this…

I ordered it and it cost me a whopping $15 to print through Shutterfly. It was supposed to take over a week to come, but it ended up arriving in a few days and coming the day before Easton was born. If you remember from my birth story, I was already in labor at this point so Mike ran it upstairs to show me how great it printed. He put it in the frame just so I could see how it looked, but I didn’t snap a picture of it.

The large canvas size I chose worked because the letters were not at all blurry.

We planned to put it on the wall in between the giraffe sconces.

Since the sconces are white, the dresser is white, the frame is white and the mat is white, I thought it was too much white. It would look nice and clean, but I was just looking for a little more fun and contrast on this wall. So I decided to spray paint the mat navy blue.

I picked up this can of paint while I was in labor. I figured walking around Lowe’s would help, though I was in such pain that I could hardly walk and I had to stop and sit on a pile of wood. Whoops.

Finally this week, I decided to take the hour I had in between feeding, burping and cuddling to run outside and spray the mat. Hello backyard, I haven’t seen you in a while.

I just laid the mat on the grass because Mike was due to cut it anyway. The blue will be gone with one pass of the John Deere :)

It took several coats to make sure there were no white spots. My hand started cramping since the Valspar trigger was really hard to push down, so Mike took over.

Once we were done, the grass looked like this (which was actually really cool looking)…

But the mat looked like this!

Fast forward a few days after it completely dried and I had another baby nap to put the mat in the actual frame. Sidenote: Mike’s been spending most of his spare time working on the built-ins in the new office that we abandoned to work on the nursery. So I’m usually on baby duty and can’t work on projects, but I can’t complain because the built-ins are looking awesome :)

First I wanted to make sure the blues looked good together. The lid of the spray paint can looked more bluish than navy, but it was the most navy one I could find. Thankfully, it dried much darker!

I put it in the frame and I was surprised that he “glass” in the frame is plastic. No wonder why Ikea can sell such a large frame, with a mat for just $29.99!

We couldn’t find the hardware that came with the frame, so I just leaned it up against the wall to see how it would look.

And I love it. I’m shocked at how well the colors match the color scheme of the room. I really just tried to incorporate the blues of the bedding/curtains/ceiling, the greens of the bedding/closet/bookcase and the gray of the walls. This artwork was meant to be the glue that brought everything together, and I think it does.

The plastic “glass” of the frame made for some awful glare, so it was hard to capture pictures. I may actually just remove it when we mount the frame, at least to take better pictures for you guys :)

Though the glare does allow you to see the other elements in the room with the art, like how you can see the chevron curtains hanging out in this picture…

One more picture from the other side of the room!

Not to shabby for $15 for a DIY print + $29.99 for a large frame and mat. Oh and a couple of bucks for spray paint!

Since this post took me 3 sessions to write, Mike is actually at Lowe’s at the moment picking up some stuff for the office and some hardware to hang this bad boy. Hopefully this weekend we can both have time, at the same time, to hang it since it’s a two person job. Then we’re one step closer to actually being ready to give you a full nursery reveal and tour. I’m so excited :)

Update! Since I just completed this and I didn’t have time to tackle a new project, I decided to use this as project as my summer Pinterest Challenge entry, hosted by Young House Love, Bower Power, Centsational Girl and Ten June, all of which are some of my favorite blogs. 3 out of 4 of my Pinterest Challenge projects have been some form of wall art, guess you can tell what I like to do for fun…

Oh and we did get around to hanging this print on the wall, which I posted about here.

Tada! :)

When we vacationed in Jost Van Dyke earlier this year, I realized that I really want a room with a view.  Waking up, and falling asleep, to magnificent water views was not only incredibly relaxing but inspiring.  There was no need for a television or fancy decor in this room to keep us entertained.  The views were plenty; the sounds, too.

So it was no surprise that when I stumbled upon Jack Dorsey’s New House in San Francisco on home-designing.com, my eyes (ok, my wide open mouth, too) were fixated on the views this property has.  Jack Dorsey is a co-founder of Twitter and he picked up this cliff side house for a cool $9million in San Francisco.  It has views of the San Francisco bay and the Golden Gate bridge.

Jealous, I am.

If you’re looking for interior shots, head on over to home-designing.com. Until then, here are some of the incredible views.

Hopefully that SongMeanings IPO takes off one of these days and we’ll be able to live in a house with spectacular views quite like these.

My Parents’ New Kitchen

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Posted by Rebecca, June 19th, 2012

Waay back in the fall, I shared some before pictures of my parents’ kitchen before they were set to remodel it. The kitchen had remained practically the same since we moved in when I was 2 years old… 26 years ago.

My parents updated the flooring and appliances, but the old dark grainy cabinets, florescent lighting, faux brick backsplash and faux wood laminate countertops were there when we moved in.

I shared the mock ups my parents had done for their new kitchen layout and said that the contractor was all ready to start. The kitchen was set to be done by Christmas, and it was… but we had so much going on post wise getting ready for the baby that we didn’t share it. Now we shall :)

Pretty drastic change, huh? They went with white cabinets, white subway tile backsplash and darker Silestone countertops. Oh and they removed those awful soffits.

The lighting alone makes a world of difference in the room. The florescent light was long overdue for a kick to the curb. They added recessed lighting throughout the kitchen as well as under cabinet lighting.

By reconfiguring the location of the stove, they gained a ton more cabinet space as well.

I really still can’t believe it’s the same kitchen I looked at for my entire life. It looks so much bigger and brighter, quite the drastic change!

Okay, we all love a good kitchen remodel, who else has one to share?! With all of the time I spend watching HGTV while nursing every 2 hours during the day, I’ve been scheming some small updates for our kitchen…

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