Ikea expert

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Posted by Rebecca, October 4th, 2010

Darwin helping with the office makeover.  He was adopted, so it is quite possible that he has some Swedish roots….

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a very Ikea weekend

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Posted by Rebecca, October 3rd, 2010

This weekend we planned to enjoy the fall weather, maybe take a few pictures locally and get some small things done around the house.  On Saturday morning, I walked into our office to print something for my sister and law and this is what I saw…. (cue the horror movie music)

Not that I didn’t know this catastrophe existed, but I guess it’s just been bothering me more lately since this is my desk….

Yes.  There is no glass in that frame.  And my husband has been using it to store a bunch of empty boxes from things we have ordered.  So since my physical ‘desk’ is that, I tend to take my laptop and sit myself here, in the timeout chair…

While Mike sits here….

Now we’re both to blame for this mess.  The office has been a very neglected portion of our house, mainly because we had such big dreams for it.  The room is probably my favorite in the house… it has the bay window, french doors and loads of light.

Because it has doors that can be closed, it has become the “keep things from the cats” area.  So it stores tools…

And failed design projects, such as this large mirror from our condo I planned to hang over the fireplace…

And as far as storage, we had this piece of furniture left over from our condo, which I am fully to blame for cluttering…

Now the office is mostly Mike’s space, he spends hours in there each day so I wanted to make sure he got the dream office he always wanted.  I use my laptop and got used to having it on my lap while we lived with my in-laws, so I didn’t miss having a desk until I recently went back to school and started this gig.  Our original idea was to someday do custom cabinetry, where Mike could have an L shaped desk and I would get an extended portion of one end.  We even went so far as to sit down with some cabinet designers at Lowe’s who came up with this…

We planned to do some dark wood cabinets with my favorite countertops, the Eco ones from Cosentino.  However when we got the estimate, it came out to be a small fortune.  But we knew it was an investment and with all of the work Mike does, we wanted it to suit our needs.

Turns out we had another pressing project to put our money towards.  Next week we will be getting hardwood floors in our upstairs hallway and bedroom, as well as adding a wall up there.  More about that later, but we decided to put the office project on the back burner for a year or so.  Until yesterday morning…

When I was attempting to print, sitting in my timeout chair, a little light blub went off in my head.  I knew we needed more storage, so I told Mike that we should go to Ikea to get one of the Expedit bookcases I’ve loved for years.  I knew it would fit nicely inbetween our desks and we would get some much needed storage.

So Saturday afternoon it was off to Ikea.  We picked up this bookcase and headed home.  Fast forward to this morning, when Mike had the idea to just get two desks, which would face each other.  We bounced ideas off of each other and ran back to Ikea.  We found a bunch of things that would work for us, but they were out of some of the pieces.  So we ran to yet another Ikea, the third location in 24 hours.  Luckily they had everything we needed to finally organize our office… for a very small fraction of the price of cabinetry.

I’m actually more excited about this spontaneous change of plans then I was for the original one.  I’m always up for a challenge and in the end I guess we took our own office advice…

To be continued, office!

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saving the world, sorta

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Posted by Rebecca, October 1st, 2010

Back when we lived in our condo, my husband and I consumed mass amounts of water… in bottles.  When we began to think about our new fridge, we decided we wanted one with a water dispenser.  We went with the GE Profile, french door, bottom freezer, water/ice dispenser fridge…

We originally were just going to do the water dispenser, since it was nice and flat and so pretty, but we decided it would be more practical to include the ice dispenser.  We purchased some glasses from Crate & Barrel that were on clearance for $1 each and got some reusable water bottles for when we’re on the go.  Thinking about how much plastic we have saved makes me feel guilty that we didn’t do it sooner.  I’m very proud to say that water bottles are officially banned from the lil house!

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window drama

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Posted by Rebecca, September 30th, 2010

A while back, I posted this picture of a failed adventure in natural woven shades with separate you-attach-it-privacy liner.  The good news is, I figured out how to properly attach that thing.  The bad news is, I hated it once it was up.

I wish I could say this was the first time this had happened.  But it was the second.  Then there was a third. And a fourth.  Add in a bunch of ideas that were canned before we actually purchased them and we’ve gone through about 10 ideas for what the hell to do with the family room windows.  Someday, when we find a solution, I will go through all of the ideas and why they didn’t work for me.  I won’t do that now just incase I have to backtrack and choose one of the treatments I didn’t like… then eat my words that I described how cheap it looked on my blog.

For now, cue our most recent attempt…meet the Allen + Roth roman shade from Lowe’s in snow white.

The woven shade previously linked it also from the Allen + Roth line.  I absolutely love their stuff… our walk in closet and other roman shades were made by them.  Plus they carry 72 inch long shades in stock, for around $30 each.  I decided to give the white a try (I’ll explain my logic once I figure it out…)

The problem was, the white is too white.

(Tangent: ignore the random mish mash going on with the  fireplace.  The frames are going to be hung, the vase is experimental, and the fireplace is not yet finished.  Work in progress!)

Until we hung this, I had no clue that our trim work wasn’t bright white.  The mantel, baseboards and window sill looked dirty compared to the shade.  Which I’m actually happy about in the long run, since the creamier tones blend better with most colors.

There are a total of 5 windows in the room, so I’m limited price wise.  I’m desperately trying to avoid anything that falls into the ‘custom’ category! Suggestions welcome :)

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mailbox makeover

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Posted by Rebecca, September 30th, 2010

The very first project I tackled after moving in was to do something with this awful mailbox the builder gave us.

I just could not stand the font of the numbers and the fact that both the mailbox and the post were white. Where’s the contrast? So uninteresting!

So I decided I was going to paint it and change the numbers. Lucky for me, Lowe’s had some house numbers in a font that I actually liked for a couple of bucks each (I am extremely font-picky and swore I’d have to order some online). I also picked up a can of spray paint in a dark brown color to match our doors and shutters.

First, I unscrewed the very dirty mailbox and wiped it down (the thing was covered in orangey construction dirt). I also popped off the red mailbox “flag”….

Then I started to spray paint…

First coat….

Then second coat…

Then time to dry….

I then unscrewed the existing numbers to put on our pretty new ones!

There are no pictures of me with drill in hand :(

Then I snapped the red mailbox “flag”, arm thingy back on, screwed the mailbox back into place and tada! The finished product!

It was such an easy and inexpensive fix that helped our mailbox better compliment our house and stand out from the neighbors (we all got the same one). It is now very easy to give directions since we’re the only people on the block with a brown mailbox!

ps- These pictures were taken back in April, before we had sod, neighbors and when the street was very much a construction zone. I plan on posting an updated view from the street soon, since the final house on our street was recently completed :)

pps- I’m linking this post up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s spray paint party. Go check out some good spray paint makeovers!

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