Archive for the ‘office’ Category

Rapid-I AM A DAMN GOOD-Roller

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Posted by Michael, December 5th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, Rebecca was contacted by a representative from Black & Decker who asked if we would like to try out one of their products. We decided to paint office 2.0 over the weekend using the RapidRoller they so kindly sent us. I have to be honest, when the RapidRoller arrived I wasn’t entirely excited to use it. Lets face it, painting is not fun — and painting with fancy products (especially consumer grade products) never works out for us. They’re often cheap and end up causing more work than what they were designed to do (yeah we had some bad experiences with gadgets when painting our stripes). So it’s safe to say I went into this thing just waiting for it to be an epic fail. I cannot believe I just said epic fail.

Setting up the roller consisted of maybe 3-4 easy steps. But the instructions confused me. Probably because I can’t follow directions and steps in numbered order. I’m special, I like to skip around. But when I stepped back and gave it some thought (actually read the directions in the order they suggest), I realized how truly easy it would be to set this bad boy up.

Then it came time to hook the roller up to the paint can and again, I must be honest – I was expecting for this thing to shoot paint all over me. But much to my surprise, the roller sucked a good amount of paint into its handle (see that blue stuff in there?!) and I was ready to paint.

For paint, we went with our usual choice of Olympic no-VOC paint. The color we chose was called Denim, a dark navy blue with some gray undertones.

To draw paint from the handle to the roller, you press the trigger and you’re set. As you are rolling, you’ll notice the need for more paint. My instinct at first was to put the roller down and go into the tray for more. But with this tool, you just pull the trigger and more paint gets sent to the roller. Going back to when the box arrived, I was expecting paint to be all over the place when the trigger was pulled. Once again, the tool proved me wrong. No mess and a clean Mike. Shocking considering I usually have paint all over me when doing projects like this.

The paint went on quite nice with the roller, but I’ll still have to do some touch up work since we used such a dark color. I guess I can’t get off that easy when painting! The roller does have a spatter shield, which is nothing revolutionary but I never used one before. It worked like a charm and prevented quite a few drips and splatters.

So best thing ever? This thing has a kickstand. No more worrying about rollers falling over and sending paint everywhere while you take a break (or in my case, a slice of cold pizza). Why hasn’t the kickstand thing been done before?

via One Project Closer because I forgot to take kickstand pictures.

Here is my only complaint. When the entire handle is filled with paint, it is incredibly heavy compared to a traditional roller (it sucks up about 1/4 of a gallon of paint at a time). But I get it; the RapidRoller gives you the added bonus of barely ever having to refill with paint (the paint is stored in the handle) but with a little more muscle on your part (to lift the handle filled with the paint). I don’t think the added weight is anything that will hinder your painting process, but you’ll feel it. Rebecca stuck to her usual edging process, but I don’t think she would have lasted long rolling. Then again she gets winded when walking up the stairs these days…

I can’t really comment on the pivoting head. I tried rotating the head when getting close to the ceiling, but it takes some adjustment to feel comfortable rolling horizontally. It seemed to have worked but I wanted to go the other way with it, like I was before and how I’m used to naturally rolling. And because I have the attention span of a 3 year old, I reverted back to the traditional approach almost immediately.

Clean up was alright. It’s an easy process, but you’ll be there for a solid twenty minutes. I was worried that if I didn’t clean this thing right, it wouldn’t work the next time around. So I patiently cleaned the roller. It all comes apart quite easily and it’s just a matter of soaking some things and rinsing others as the directions indicate.

In the end though, we painted the office probably an hour quicker than we normally would with traditional rollers and paint trays. But 20 of those minutes previously saved then goes to cleaning the tool after use (typically we buy disposable rollers and trays). I’d say we saved a solid 40 minutes using the tool, plus the time we would have spent cleaning up paint drips. Also, throw in the time I normally spend washing paint out of my hair and buying new t-shirts because I dripped on them. Maybe we’ll up the time saved back to an hour then! Not really a game changer when you’ve committed to painting a room, but lets face it, painting sucks and if something helps me save time when painting, I’m all for it.

::drum roll:: Here’s our finished product, before some touch ups we have to do (some areas are a little streaky)…

We’re very happy with the color and our process was made much easier by the fact that we didn’t have to paint around baseboards! We’re planning on adding taller baseboards in here to match the rest of the house (the builder gave us tiny ones in the spare bedrooms).

We’re thankful that the people at Black & Decker sent us the RapidRoller to give us the kick in the arse we needed to paint this room. And for the gadget that made this job less time consuming when we are so pressed for time this month!

If you are pressed for time like us but want to paint a room, you’re in luck! On Wednesday (after Rebecca finishes up her final presentation tomorrow night), we will be hosting a giveaway where one lucky reader will win a RapidRoller! Be sure to come back to enter  🙂

Random Ramblings

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Posted by Rebecca, November 30th, 2011

I managed to write 35+ pages of papers since Thanksgiving, so needless to say I’ve been a little busy. However, we do have a few minor things to report on, so why I figured why not throw them all in one post? So here you have it, our random ramblings…

1. It gets dark before we get home from work now and the 3 spare bedrooms do not have lights in them. Taking pictures of the new floors all cleaned up has been difficult. Even more difficult when I finally got a spare minute to take pictures and the camera died on me… and the battery charger was missing… as was the extra camera. Here are the lone pictures of the new floors. This happens to be the new office.

2. The future office will soon be getting more action because this weekend we decided to paint it! We picked out paint then proceeded to run a bunch more errands and by the time we got home, we only had an hour before darkness. The color we chose is Olympic’s Denim. Unfortunately I could only find this tiny thumbnail of the color on Olympic’s site…

Hopefully this weekend when we’re a little less chaotic we’ll get some paint on the walls before the sun goes down. We really need to get a light in that room.

3. Speaking of lights! (you like that segue?) We went to Ikea last weekend to pick up a light I wanted for the playroom (the old office). You know, this room with the stripes…

No we didn’t clear the room out yet, but I chose this picture because you can see that we currently have a ceiling fan in there. We need the fan for whatever room the office is in because all of the hardware we have produces some major heat. We decided to take the ceiling fan from the stripey room and put it upstairs in the new office. To replace the ceiling fan, I wanted something fun, but that would still look classy as it will be seen from the entryway. We picked up this guy…

Of course, he still has to be put together and hung.

4. Speaking of lights! Does that work twice? Anyway our Jonathan Adler giraffe sconces arrived early!

I think I have an idea of what I want to do with the nursery and I’m planning to write something up in the next few days. Right now I’m leaning towards giving the baby the room with 1 window, as it’s known around here. This one…

Bedroom 2 is still a consideration. At first I always imagined using bedroom 2 since it has 2 windows and a walk-in closet. I imagined the pretty window treatments I could have, but I think that bedroom 1 has more wall space for a better furniture arrangement. Decisions decisions.

5. While we’re on the topic of window treatments, the 6 white roman shades that we ordered for our master bedroom came last week. We’ll throw those on the weekend to-do list too since they won’t take very long to install.

I think that pretty much catches you up with what’s been going on around here. Thanks for hanging around through the chaos. I’m looking forward to December 21st when I can finally put my feet up. But then we’re hosting Christmas events on the 22nd and 24th… so maybe I’ll put my feet up on the 26th 🙂

Office 2.0.2

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Posted by Michael, November 9th, 2011

Oh yes, we’re officially in version control for Office 2.0; considering we mention the new office quite often these days such as here, here and here.  I’m a total geek.

Lately, I’ve been telling Rebecca that I want to frame some album art for my side of the office (and maybe hers, not sure if she wants to participate in AWESOME SIDE OF OFFICE or not).  I spoke here about painting some dramatic lyrics on the wall (dramatic meaning BIG and BOLD, not lovey and all sappy) and I certainly still want to do so, but I figured we can throw in some nice white frames in the mix to offer some contrast with some of my favorite albums inside them.

So while working today and sorting through Spotify, I began thinking about which album art I would showcase.  Of course, I thought about some of the best such as Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ With The Beatles, Nirvana’s Nevermind and The Beatles’ Abbey Road.  But, quite like my lyrics on the wall idea, I knew I wanted albums that actually meant something to me.

Here are a few that are in the running.

Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever AmenSongMeanings was actually founded on a discussion around a track on this album.  Pretty essential to be in office 2.0.

Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill – Some of my first music-related memories are because of this album.

Michael Jackson – Bad – Much like the Beasties, this album was always in my Walkman.  Plus if the family wanted me to come out of my shell growing up, there was a good chance I would if Michael Jackson was playing.

Funny, I don’t think that has really changed — though maybe it’s more Justin Timberlake these days.

Beck – Odelay – One of the albums that made me want to be a DJ.  I tried doing it in high school for a couple of years, but damn, it was a crazy expensive hobby.

I can’t wait for my future son or daughter is all like, “Daddy, I want DJ equipment!” and I’m all like, “LETS GO MAX OUT THE CREDIT CARD!”.

Weezer – Weezer (or the Blue Album) – I wore the hell out of this album in my discman back in 94-95. I found the album art and insert a few years ago and I remember noticing how beat up it was. It’s one of those albums that I can listen to over and over again (and heck, I did so today).

Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds – This is just one of those albums that continually gets me in a good mood (and wanting to dance (oh yes, I enjoy dancing)).  And because I have a guy crush on good ol’ JT (yeah, I admit it) — though I wish he would ditch the acting gig and put out another album.

Jack Johnson – In Between Dreams – When Rebecca was away at college, we were an hour away and I would often visit on the weekends.  Looking back, my memories of those drives were listening to this album.  This album always seems to bring me back to those days.

Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak – I’ve always been a huge Kanye fan, but this album always stands out to me.  It was a drastic musical departure for Kanye after going through so many different events.  And I loved how he was able to really tell a story in every track on this album.  Much like Weezer’s Blue Album, I can listen to this thing over and over again.

I’m not sure if I’ll go with all of these albums above.  I know there are a quite a few I’m missing (Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy just came to mind), but I guess you’ll just have to wait for the reveal down the road!

So how about you?  Any favorite albums or album art you’d think about framing and rocking out on a wall? 

The Baby To-Do List

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Posted by Rebecca, November 7th, 2011

Thank you all for your comments on the post revealing our big announcement! It has been rough juggling a full-time job, 2 graduate courses, writing posts and doing projects for posts… while being ridiculously tired and usually nauseous around 9pm. Today has been one of my worst days…strangely, considering I’m out of the first trimester. Maybe that flu shot I got yesterday me the sleepies? But I always manage to find a little extra time and energy to blog because well, I love doing this 🙂

One of the hardest part of keeping up with the blog while being pregnant hasn’t been the exhaustion or sickness… it’s been the fact that I could not share all of the plans we’ve been working on! We have 3 rooms that will be directly affected by this baby… THREE. And I could not really talk about everything we’ve been working on which was even more challenging.

But I finally can, so here are the preliminary changes that will be going on around here in the next 6 months 🙂

1. Remove carpet in 3 upstairs bedrooms and have hardwood installed

Last year we removed this carpeting from our bedroom and upstairs hallway. We waited on the other three bedrooms to save us some money since we weren’t using them. Now with the baby taking one room and the office being moved to another, we figured it’s time to remove this beast. This is necessary not only because hardwood looks pretty, but well, we have a cat who is fighting a form of kidney cancer and carpeting is our worst enemy these days (besides cancer). Plus Macky loves to shred this particular type of carpet (it’s the less expensive carpet that some moron decided would make a great scratching post material), so we figured we’d start ahead of the game this time and nip any issues in the bud before they come up. Oh and I have a horrible fear of our child being allergic to cats (both Mike and I were as children), so any dander collectors are out! Right now we’re scheduled for flooring install November 21-22 so our hardwoods will be nice and seamless upstairs 🙂

2. Move current office furniture upstairs to make room for playroom

We discussed moving the office and some preliminary plans a few times because that was the only room we could really talk about! The truth is, ever since we bought this house we knew that the downstairs office would one day be a playroom. That is why we never attempted built-ins in this room and instead went for removable Ikea furniture. It is entirely true that this office was no longer working for us, which is why we were moving it upstairs. Several people asked us what would become of the room with the pretty stripes and the answer is now obvious, it will be a playroom and the stripes will of course stay 🙂 The future of the room was indeed considered when we painted the stripes and we knew that it would one day make for a fun playroom.

3. Replace current office/future playroom carpet

This is the carpeting we currently have in the office. We added a bright green area rug, which will be likely moving upstairs with the office furniture to protect our soon to be new hardwoods from our rolling chairs. While we chose this carpet before our house was even built, we had no idea what it would look like in the room and had no idea that we would be painting gray stripes. But that’s not the reason why we have to replace it. The reason is that little orange guy in that picture. It’s one of those things a lot of people don’t talk about but hey! I’m saying it twice in one post! My poor kitty was sick and couldn’t make it to the bathroom at his worst and this carpet took the brunt of it. Anyone who has struggled with animal accidents (especially under heartbreaking circumstances) knows that they are not easy to resolve. I don’t think we can get this carpet back to it’s former glory so we plan to replace it with something more gray, fluffier and hopefully eco-friendly. We have a $200 giftcard to Home Depot that we’re hoping helps us a lot with the cost since this room is relatively small (11×11). No Darwin, we’re not mad at you, we’re happy that you’re still here with us and that you get to be a big brother 🙂 Now it’s time to get a job…

4. Choose a room for the nursery.

No picture here, we have no clue what room to choose of the remaining two. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

5. Decorate!!

Once all of the logistics are done, we can get around to all of the projects we have in mind for the 3 new rooms. We’ve talked a little bit about the new office (which is still very much up in the air), but we also have some built-in solutions for the new playroom including a storage bench and bookcases. The nursery is still a giant question mark but I have begun the epic search for an environmentally friendly crib and will of course keep you all posted on my progress!

I think this is the first time we’ve done anything in this house with a deadline. Though of course, the baby won’t mind if the playroom isn’t completely decorated in time for his/her May arrival (let’s face it, the baby won’t be doing much playing at that point…) But we’re hoping to have all of the new flooring down by the end of the year, then we can clear out the current office and the priority will probably be the baby’s room. I would like to get the built-ins done in the playroom to store the mass amounts of stuff that comes with a baby. The rest of the playroom will probably be evolving as we get used to this new gig we’re taking on 🙂

So that’s the overall, shortened version of what will be going on around here. Now I’m off to Pinterest to find some inspiration. Wait I’m lying… I’m off to go back to bed… 🙂

The New Office Inspiration

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Posted by Rebecca, October 19th, 2011

No, I’m not talking about the Office with Andy Bernard in charge (which just isn’t the same, btw), I’m talking about the office we plan to move upstairs that I mentioned here. I’ve blogged about how I’d like to build a window seat and Mike posted about how he’d like to do some dramatically large lyrics on the wall, but other than that we haven’t told you much. We have received an estimate to continue the hardwood flooring we added to our hallway and master last year into the remaining 3 bedrooms. That would mean that our entire upstairs would be seamlessly full of this…

This was our plan all along, we just tried to break up the expense over 2 installs. Since we’re getting serious about moving the office, we figured the carpet should go before we do so. Macky looooves shredding that particular type of carpet and whenever he weasels his way into one of the spare bedrooms, he immediately goes to town. This would probably drive us crazy after about…. an hour of sitting in the new office.

Then we bought a couch and a tv so the addition of the floors got put on the back burner. We like to only tackle a major expense at a time, so we’ve decided to wait until November/December to add the floors (depending on our contractor’s availability). In the meantime, Mike and I have been scouring Pinterest for some inspiration. Yes, Mike sneaks on Pinterest and sends me links to things he likes quite often.

First, the chalkboard walls. We want chalkboard paint walls behind our desks. We’re both desperately missing a space to jot down notes, code and to-do lists in our current office and chalkboard paint is the natural choice.

(from Craftaholics Anonymous via Pinterest)

I love the clothesline for inspiration pictures in this one, though I’m not sure it’s chalkboard paint, it could be!

(from The Marion House Book via Pinterest)

(from Decor Pad via Pinterest)

And the classic chalkboard calendar from good, ol’ Martha.

(from Martha Stewart via Pinterest)

Other than giant chalkboard walls and a built-in bench, we’re not entirely sure what we want to do with the rest of the room. The room is so large that it’s hard to visualize and I’m afraid we’ll end up with 2 smallish desks floating in the center of two 15 foot walls. Then today, Mike found a few ideas that I think can work for us.

First, some wall cabinetry flanking either side of the desk to break up the large chalkboard wall…

(from Blueprint Bliss via Pinterest)

Second, maybe some high, open shelving to keep the “backsplash” area open for chalkboard writing.

(from Design*Sponge via Pinterest)

Furthering the open shelving look, I like the idea of doing just one continous shelf around the top of the room. Sort of like the top shelf in this picture…

(from Marcus Design via Pinterest)

Whatever we decide, the change will likely be gradual. I know Mike wants to get settled into the office quickly, but we’ll still tackle one project at a time and see where the room takes us. We just know we want it to be streamlined, clean, full of storage and uncluttered. We’re currently having a serious paper issue in our office. Meaning that, Mowie chews paper… in our office. She ate my softcover, rented textbook last night. Needless to say, we’re reaching our limit with storage-less desks and we’re looking forward to some new solutions 🙂

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