Archive for the ‘office’ Category

Goal Setting 2012

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Posted by Rebecca, January 16th, 2012

Since I finally put away our Christmas things, I feel as though I need to write out everything we want to get done around here while it’s fresh in my mind. If I could have tackled all of this tonight, I would have. I am so anxious to finally organize this house and make some progress on projects that were put on the back burner when I was busy with school.

Oh, and we have a baby coming in May so many of these items are marked urgent. Some are just marked as “they are bothering us and we’d like to do them ASAP”. Since we realize we have to prioritize (I’m approaching the third trimester here, eek), I’m putting them in the order we’d like to do them.

1. Finish built-in bench in new office

We scratched our heads and shopped for wood this weekend, but hit a standstill when we realized we need to buy a table saw or something. And we’re cheap a–es. Solution pending.

2. Move office furniture in

Mike needs this room to work in and be organized and our goal was to get him somewhat settled in the new office before the baby comes. We’re going to use the furniture we currently have with some potential hacks.

3. Remove wire rack from the baby’s closet, paint, stencil and add closet system

(from Roomzaar via Pinterest)

I put this as first in the baby’s room progress because the closet is the most needed to start to organize some of the stuff we already have. Hanging tiny little clothes in a huge closet is killllling me. Must. Make. Closet. Pretty.

4. Add board and batten to the baby’s room

(via Decorchick)

We plan to add molding high and all the way around the room, like Emily’s living room. Pattern to be determined 🙂

5. Add crown molding to the baby’s room, paint, add furniture, etc.

I know this category is huge and can probably be another to-do ist in itself, but we kinda have to wait until we get through other stages to work this part out. We have furniture in mind and a general idea of where we’re going, so we’ll share as much of it as we can as we go along (being sure not to spill any gender specific details :))

6. Replace playroom carpet

We originally planned to do this before Christmas but that didn’t happen. Since it’s not a space we’ll be using right away, we put the new office and the baby’s room first. But this carpet has got to go. If carpet wasn’t so expensive, we probably would have committed to this already.

7. Add bookcases to playroom

(via Centsational Girl)

We want to add some Ikea bookcases to the wall where the shelving is in the picture above and make them look built-in, like Kate did with hers.

8. Finish up the molding in our entryway

We need to add the box portion underneath our chair rail in the entryway and upstairs hallway. Mike is itching to finish this one but we reeeally need to do the baby’s room first. We’re just dying to get to number 8…

9. Start our gallery wall(s)

(via Sawdust and Paper Scraps)

I’ve shared this inspiration picture from Sandra before and we’ve been slowly accumulating frames to hang all the way throughout our entryway. We haven’t hung any yet because we figured we’d have to take them down to nail into the wall to finish the molding, so we wanted to do #7 first.

10. Build outdoor kitchen

Despite the fact that we’ll have a newborn, we’re hoping to make some progress in our backyard this year. We seeded back there in the fall and we hope to do something with the landscaping and start working on the built-in grill we’ve been dreaming of (and drawing in Paint :))

Um anyone else overwhelmed by this list? I’m about to have a Jessie Spano freak out moment and start screaming “there’s never enough time!!!”….

So Much Wood

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Posted by Michael, January 11th, 2012

It’s been great being able to work on SongMeanings during the day and have time at night to work on projects around the house.  Just a few weeks ago, it was working all day at Corporate America, coming home exhausted and working on SongMeanings as much as I could until my eyes got too tired and strained.

It was nearly impossible for Rebecca and I to really get anything accomplished house-wise during the week.  My schedule has been roughly 8:30-5:30 dedicated to SongMeanings and the business; mostly coding away on new features and taking a few conference calls.  At night, it’s been a mix of things — still working on SM, calls with the business partner, spending quality time with Rebecca when she’s not blogging (err on Pinterest), annnddd building the office window seat.

This weekend, Rebecca and I picked up some lumber from Lowe’s; three 12-foot 2×6 boards.  The car ride home was quite funny with a good foot of wood sticking out of the trunk.  Rebecca was paranoid as can be thinking a) we’d kill ourselves or b) we’d kill someone else.  I kept telling her I’ve seen my father do much worse and be successful, but for some reason that didn’t exactly comfort her.

I cut two of the boards to be able to span the entire width of the wall, or just under 12ft.  With the remaining piece of 2×6, I cut out eight 12-inch pieces.  These would connect the long boards to essentially make up the frame.

I used wood screws to screw the boards together.  There was conflicting information online on whether to use nails or screws when building a frame.  Some said nails allow for flexing while others said screws would be more reliable.   Using the screws were fairly easy; the hardest part (or tedious rather) was continually drilling pilot holes.

And for fun, I decided to write our lil domain on one of the planks.  I figured if someone ever dismantled this thing and the blog was still operating, he or she could then contact me to ask me what the heck I was doing building this thing.  I’m still asking myself that same question.  I also wrote when we started the project.  But the world is going to end in a few short months, so I’m not quite sure why any of this mattered.

(via Plans Now)

We wanted to install puck lighting on our built-ins much like the inspiration above.  We had an existing outlet centered on the wall which I could tap into.  The only problem was actually running the electrical wire through the studs and up the wall.  I discussed the plan, and route, with several friends.  When one of them told me to stop being wuss and do it already, I took the leap.  After a couple of hours that spanned two nights, a dozen or so curse words, getting shocked once and causing some open wounds, I finally succeeded in running the wire — all within code, too.  Phew.  The idea was to get an outlet at the very top of the bookcase and then use the variance to hide the additional wiring for the puck-lighting.

That wire you see on the cabinet (isn’t live) and is just extra cord.  I’ll be trimming that down to fit into the outlet — or as seen below.

One issue I ran into, and it was one we were expecting, was the molding on the window sill.  The cabinets come up too high, so we’ll be removing them shortly.

I was expecting when I finished the frame and rested the cabinets on it, it would not be level.  But best thing ever?  I put the level on it and sure enough, it was damn near perfect on both sides.  I was assuming I’d have to use shims to get this puppy level.  I’m not sure how I accomplished it being level, but hopefully it makes the rest of the project much easier.

So next steps?

  • Attach the frame to the studs in the walls for a secure fit (right now the frame is just resting in there).
  • Remove the molding from the window sill.
  • Start building the open boxes which will sit on side each of the cabinets against the wall.

Besta Husband Ever

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Posted by Rebecca, January 5th, 2012

Today is Mike’s birthday, yaaaaay!

But he’s not the best husband just for being born. Today the Philly Ikea got 17 units of the Besta cabinet bases that we tried to buy on Monday in stock. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here, but Mike left his full-time gig at Merrill Lynch just before Christmas to dedicate his life to SongMeanings. Since he wanted to put the cabinets together ASAP so we can get the new office rolling, he decided to go pick them up this morning. When I told him he should call just to make sure they had them his response was “well I haven’t moved my car in a few days and I should probably take it for a ride”. Ahh to work form home… especially when the wind chill makes it feel like 2 degrees out like it literally was yesterday morning…

Mike told me that Ikea was completely empty. Gloriously empty. He even considered stopping for some 99 cent breakfast, which strangely for all of our Ikea trips, we have never been in the cafeteria. Occasionally we’ll grab a drink or a frozen yogurt on the way out, but we’ve never been in the full size place. Instead he got his cabinets and cruised through to the register with his 2 bases. Hallelujah! We considered them to be a joint birthday gift since mine was last week and we decided not to exchange in order to save for the many larger purchases we have coming up (babies are mucho dinero).

Not only did the Besta Husband Ever to go Ikea alone on his birthday to buy cabinets, but he assembled them. Not only did he assemble them, but he made a video of the assembly then emailed me at work proclaiming that he had a video for my blog 🙂

Please note the Italy shirt and the fist pumping music in honor of the season premiere of Jersey Shore tonight! Of course he also included some Kanye and Jay-Z terminology. This may be the only house blog out there where you also receive an education in the latest rap music. The music he used is by will.i.am, which replaced his initial choice of Jay-Z and Kanye. When I played it, it was full of bad words. I had to remind Mike that my mostly female population of readers do not necessarily appreciate the eff word…. Thankfully, even on his birthday, he changed it up. Keeping it PG-13 around here 🙂

Anyway, seeing the cabinet frames together made us even more excited to get to work on this project!

The before shot, which is hard to see because of the lack of window treatments and dark paint…

The in-progress with some cabinets…

We played around with some configurations to see how we’re going to work this all out. By we, I mean Mike because I was still at work 🙂 He also added some paper blinds in an attempt to block out some of the daylight for the pictures. They failed.

When I got home, Mowie decided to give the new bench a trial run, despite the fact that it needs 8 million additions to be a bench…

Where Mowie is sitting will probably be the final placement of the cabinets. At least as of today. We’re going to have to tweak our inital plan and therefore, ditch the single cabinet we bought at the last minute on Monday. We plan to build small bookcases on each side (though at one point today we considered doing a center bookcase, or no bookcase). We also have to build a base for the cabinets and raise them up a few inches to add baseboard. Then we’ll need to add some filler pieces, paint everything, add crown molding, put the doors on, make a cushion… oh and do something with those window sills until it looks somewhat like this…

(from Plans Now via Pinterest)

This weekend should give us enough time to do all of that, right? 🙂 Probably not, but a girl can dream.

Project Planning

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Posted by Rebecca, January 3rd, 2012

We took it easy last week on the posting side of things because we needed to catch up on some project planning! With school, I didn’t have too much time during the past few months to tackle things on the weekends. Now I feel like a 500lb sumo wrestler has been lifted off of my shoulders and I have my life back!

We spent some of last week and this weekend getting back to house brainstorming. We have a slew of projects coming up and we finally took some time out to come up with a game plan of what to tackle first and how to tackle it. We started with an Ikea trip… or 3.

Remember how we said we wanted to make this built-in bench and bookcase combo in our new office (the one we just painted?)

(via Anything Pretty)

Well we decided to make the bench out of some cabinets so we went to Ikea yesterday to weigh our options. I also wanted to pick up some supplies to organize some gift wrap and general supplies in the office, a la this inspiration picture…

(via Brooklyn Limestone)

We figured this would be a quick trip and we could come home and organize some craft supplies that are hanging in a spare bedroom, then begin to assemble the cabinets and decide how to frame the rest out. We found a cabinet solution rather quickly– we decided to go with the Besta frame in white with shaker style doors.

 (via Ikea)

We swung by the kitchen hardware section to get the bars to hang the wrapping paper when we realized that they were completely wiped out. They had the bars but not all of the accessories I wanted, since they appeared to be marked “Last Chance”. Can I tell you that “Last Chance” at Ikea stalks me? I swear if I want it, it’s guaranteed it will be marked “Last Chance” and will send me on a wild goose chase. So we left the area with the possibility of heading to another Ikea another day and seeing if they had them.

So we proceeded to the furniture pick up area to get our Besta pieces. We picked up 4 doors right by the entrance then went to hunt down 2 of the double bases in white. But they were completely wiped out. Nada. Since Mike had his heart set on assembling these things during the week while I was at work, we decided to try another Ikea that was nearby…

There, I found what I needed to organize gift wrap, yay!! But guess what we didn’t find… Besta bases! Booooooo!!!!

We headed home after that. I learned a hard lesson while Christmas shopping that my pregnant body cannot walk around all day and survive. I go from zero to lightheaded with swollen ankles in a matter of minutes, so I had my first Sonic blast (I seriously had no clue there was a Sonic 5 mins from our house?!) and set to nap.

Mike wanted to head to a 3rd Ikea. Yes ladies and gentlemen, living in NJ smack in the middle of NYC and Philly gives us at least 4 Ikea options to shop. I agreed after sitting on the couch for an hour, which I figured was a sufficient time out me and the baby. It actually worked out well because since we knew we wanted the Besta cabinets now, we had an information sheet with the exact measurements and we could better plan out our bench. We decided we needed a total of 5 cabinets: 2 double bases and 1 single.

We managed to find the single base we added on but the double? SOLD OUT. Oh and this Ikea didn’t have the shaker style doors, so we’re down a single door now.

However, this was the first time where there was actually a “temporarily oversold” sticker on the double bases. At least then we knew someone else wasn’t running around the NJ/NY/PA area buying up the white Besta bases. After seeing the sticker, we asked a sales person what was going on with them and when they were expected in. She let us know that they would be getting a shipment next week. It killed Mike’s plans of assembling them this week and starting to build our base this weekend, but at least we knew that they weren’t discontinued or anything.

It sets us back a little since all of our projects seem to domino effect into each other. We want to get the office done now because we need to move the furniture from the former office upstairs in order to replace that carpet and make it a playroom. I figured the only time we have for this is now, because we need to get working on the nursery once we nail down those plans.

Speaking of nursery plans, it’s coming together…. in my head 🙂  We know the gender and I actually picked out and ordered some bedding this weekend. I know I know, I said I wasn’t going with a bedding set, but there was one I absolutely loved which met much of my criteria and the price was right with clearance. But it’s not gender neutral so you’ll have to wait about 4 months to see it 🙂 We also selected a crib this week but we still need to order it, so once all of that is settled we can start working in there.

We also have some serious plans for the baby’s closet that we stumbled upon randomly while at Lowe’s looking for cabinets for the office bench. I’m anxious to get started in there, since the little one is already acquiring some clothing and gear that I want to organize.

I’m super excited about everything we have planned and it’s nice to be back on the project wagon. Hi I’m Rebecca and I’m addicted to Pinterest, Twitter and making multiple Ikea trips in one day, remember me? 🙂

ps- Mike has informed me that the Philly Ikea will get a shipment of Besta bases on Thursday… maybe we can start this one late this week/this weekend? Hmmm…

Our Favorite Projects of 2011

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Posted by Rebecca, December 29th, 2011

2011 is over already, can you believe it? Since this year was our first full year of blogging (and living in the house), we figured we’d jump on the end of year list bandwagon! So without further adieu, here is a list of our top 5 favorite projects that we completed around the house this year…

5. Powder Room Paint Job

Though painting is nothing all that special, we took a flying leap out of our comfort zones with this near-black paint choice. I think it paid off 🙂

4. Pencil Eraser Art

This was another project that didn’t take me long, but had a big impact. I still love looking at this thing and I’m thinking of ways to use some pencil eraser art in the future.

3. Entryway Chair Rail

This was our first molding adventure and we got a serious high off of conquering those funny angles. Therefore, we loved it this year.

2. Stamped Concrete Patio

While we did not attempt this one ourselves, we definitely did not expect to have an awesome patio this year. It’s a reader favorite so our wood plank stamped patio gets the runner up position on our 2011 list!

1. Office stripes

Measure once, measure twice, okay measure 5 times then level, remeasure… 18 hours later peel off tape and have clean stripes! The amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into taping this room and the almost perfect finished product (we needed a few touch ups) make this our favorite project of 2011. Plus looking at the stripes through our french doors everyday makes it even better!

Honorable Mention:

The Baby.

Look at the little chin chin! I couldn’t resist the baby bomb 🙂

Hopefully 2012 will bring even bigger and better projects. We’re really surprised at how many things we’ve checked off our to-do list this year. We have a bunch of things to get started on for 2012 ASAP! What should we tackle first?!

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