Sunday, March 30, 2014

the master is mellowed.

The tragedy that was our master bedroom is now a thing of the past, thank ya, Jesus.

Y'all saw a few weeks ago that we tackled the raised stripes that so lovingly adorned all four walls and ended up being exceedingly daring by painting our room a vibrant shade of....WHITE!

Bold, I know, but if Martha Stewart thought it was good enough to add to her paint line, it was good enough for me...and color-blind Mr. Spouse. Luckily, with this room, painting was the only un-fun part of the process. The rest was just decorating! Hoo-ah!

We snagged some bedding on sale from Pottery Barn (don't tell Phoebe Buffay), and since we finally decided to buy some big boy and girl furniture, we also purchased a new upholstered headboard from Wisteria (it took all I had not to outfit the entire room in Wisteria). I also grabbed a fabulously-trellised rug during one of Rugs USA's rockin' sales. All that put together gives us....

Sweet goodness, we finally have a big kid room! Who knew? Let's take a closer look, shall we?

I mean, it actually looks like real, live adults live here, y'all. The hardest things for us to find were definitely the nightstands. The Mr. really dug the idea of mirrored nightstands, but they were so stinking expensive that it took us a while to find a pair that fit our space and our budget. We ended up snagging a pair of nightstands for $150 on Craigslist. I could have kissed Craig and his list.

My other favorite find was this set of onyx cross-sections I found in Wisteria's "flea market". I am completely obsessed with the black matte and even more obsessed with the fact that it was originally $350 for the set and I got them for $120.

I am still absolutely loving our bedding as well. I was a wee bit nervous about having white bedding with navy piping knowing that I couldn't bleach it if needed, but really it's been easy to maintain and I haven't had any problems with keeping it clean. As for the shams, an unbelievably talented friend monogrammed the navy shams for us, and wanting a little pop of color, I made the two orange shams!

It's amazing what buying big-kid furniture can do for a room, amen?



Happy Sunday, y'all!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

mellowing out the master.

As you can tell from my post about our den, I kind of took a drink from a fire hydrant when it came to geometric prints and loud colors when we first moved.

Not really knowing my style or what I wanted for this house, I decided to go with what was hip and cool and now, followed the trends, and let those trends vomit all over my poor little house in the cheapest way possible. Welcome to life with a wannabe-style-diva-newlywed.

But as we continue to settle into this house, I'm finding that whites and greys are classically gorgeous "colors", I love pops of color in exceedingly restrained amounts, and it's okay to spend a little money on your house if you're spending it on the right pieces. Just like my momma taught me with clothes - spend the extra Ben Franklin on the black, patent pumps, not the extra plate for your crimping iron.

You saw a couple of weeks ago that I made a few changes to our den to help calm it down a smidge.

But now it's time to talk master bedroom. Back story: When we got engaged and starting planning life under the same roof, I completely blanked when it came to decorating our master bedroom. Why? Who stinking knows. For some reason, it just flustered me. What linens do boys AND girls like equally? Plaid? Stripes? Small florals? Solids? Navy? Green? I mean COME ON. I wanted the Mr. to enjoy this room just as much as I did, right? So again, not knowing what to do, I decided to go the cheapeast route possible. I snatched a headboard from my mom's garage, grabbed some shams and curtains from Target and a duvet cover off the sale rack at Pottery Barn. Winning combination?

I'm gonna go with no. Gender neutral colors? Sure. Stripes, florals and solids all represented? You betcha. Winner winner chicken dinner? Euh.

Let's break this down, shall we? Our master bedroom contained: a duvet cover that didn't even cover the sheets, wedding and candid pics adorning the walls...
{You can see I already got the itch to re-do this room with my paint swatches on the wall.}

...a tragically traditional, too-small rug that we got only because it was $75 (still overpaid if you ask me)...

...iron pieces on the other wall, because hey, we've already sunk this low.

I think it's safe to say that this room needed a complete overhaul. And I'm happy to say that I think we gave it that. We decided to spend a bit of money on this room to buy some high-quality, classic pieces that we can use for years, invested in some linens that actually covered our bed, and really took our time finding exactly what we wanted. 

But before all of the fairies and butterflies could come in and magically transform the room, it had to get ugly. And I mean really ugly. Because some previous owner in all of their infinite wisdom decided that two feet of one-inch stripes around the room would be the best design option for the space. See them?

Cute, right? We'll talk about the paint choice in a bit, but for now, we HAD  to get those stripes off the wall! It wasn't that the color was seeping through - the actual raised stripes were visible ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ROOM. Lovely. 

So that meant sanding. A lot of sanding.

I used a 150 grit sand paper on my electric sander and very lightly moved the sander in a circular motion in an attempt to remove the raised stripe without stripping the texture of the wall. I just didn't have it in me to re-texture the entire room. Who does?

I'm happy to say that after a few hours of light sanding, the wall had evidence of variously colored stripes, but no raised surfaces. Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Now all that was left to do was paint, paint paint! We decided to go with Martha Stewart's Picket Fence from Home Depot. After all that color from the bedding in the room, we really wanted a completely clean slate, and this paint color helped get us there. It's white (how daring) with more grey/blue undertones which we liked considering our plans for new bedding, etc. After a couple of coats, we were looking new, fresh, and ready for an overhaul!

More on this update soon, but for now, a lovely, SMOOTH, blank canvas. Glory be.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

bringing it down a notch.

Over the past few months, I have been trying valiantly to bring the exuberance of our den down a notch.
{You better be thanking me that the lighting in this pic is so moody. Your retinas would have detached if they saw this room in full-on daylight.}

Between the 800 different geometric prints, the vintage travel posters, and the statement curtains, one could CLEARLY see I didn't so much take a sip, as do a full-on keg stand of the kool-aid when it came to the whole resurgence of geometric, neon prints. As soon as we moved into our house, I felt like I couldn't get enough teal ikat or chartreuse honeycomb. Don't get me wrong, I still love me a good ikat, but when you have as much of it as I did, our den was quickly becoming less of a retreat and more of the next Plunko board on the Price is Right.

Luckily, the bones of the den were neutral enough that we didn't have to completely scrap everything - neutral couches, neutral tables and lamp bases, etc.. Truly, it was just a matter of replacing pillow covers, toning down the artwork, and reeling in every trendy whim in me to take this room back from Bob Barker.

The Billy Built-Ins were a huge step in the right direction. By decorating these with backwards books, milk glass, and gold or wood accents, the TV wall immediately became less overwhelming.

The next super quick and cheap-o fix were the pillow covers. I made new envelope pillow covers {following this sinfully simple tutorial} for all of the pillows in the room replacing the rainbow of ikat and chipper with various patterns of white and grey. On my larger solid grey pillows, I added a simple Greek key pattern, loosely following Sarah M. Dorsey's tutorial, to give them a little oomph without having to reapply for the nuthouse.

The art also got a face lift with a little DIY love from yours truly {tutorial on that forthwith - #downtonabbeyownsme} which helped tone down the room a bit more.

All in all, this room now only has a few "pops" - the curtains and the rainbow of books in the buffet - rather than the 1,239 pops it had when auditioning for the Price is Right. This more neutral, subtle color scheme makes for a more relaxing, cozy space in my humble opinion...aka - no more assaults on the retinas. Hallelujah.

Off to watch my girl Grace kill it in the figure skating championship! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

a happier hutch.

During our move to our casita, you might remember me finding this spectacular hutch at a garage sale on my way to a wedding shower for a mere sixty bones and restoring it so that it could take up residence in our dining room.

While I have been head-over-heels in love with this piece, over the past couple of months, the brass was becoming rather tarnished and discolored.

Sick out. Maybe I didn't polish it well enough with Brass-O when I first refurbished the piece or maybe the brass hardware was simply showing its age, but either way, it was an eyesore and it certainly wasn't making the name of "campaign" proud.

Since the Brass-O polishing approach failed miserably after the first attempt, I decided to apply a bit of Rub 'n Buff to each of the brass pieces so that they'd really pop against the smoky gray body of the hutch. Campaign Restorers Anonymous may tar and feather me for not polishing, but #sorrynotsorry.

For the hardware that was nailed into the hutch, I simply applied the Rub 'n Buff with the hardware still affixed so I didn't have to wrestle with those minuscule nails again. As for the pulls, those were easy enough to remove from the drawers and since they were more layered, I figured I would need to work on those in a more detailed manner. So I removed all of the pulls from the drawers...

...and after a single application of Rub 'n Buff, we were looking so much better!

With the pulls sufficiently buffed and the affixed hardware glistening like new, the hutch is looking so much more campaign-worthy!

Oh, Rub 'n Buff, how did I ever do anything without you?!