Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Guest Room Reveal

The guest room is one of the few rooms in our house that had been painted since it had been built. Once we saw the empty room though, it was obvious it wasn't a recent paint job- it was a grungy pale yellow with various marks all over. And the piece de resistance: the crayon colored ceiling fan. So hideous!

When I started working on this room, I decided to go for a faux board and batten look. I did this by nailing lattice strips vertically and horizontally. I've seen people use 1x2's and 1x3's but I like the thinner, more streamlined look the lattice gives. I also put a thicker piece on top to form a small ledge and bulk things up a little. The bead board in LMS' room is 4' tall and I didn't want things too match-matchy, so the top of the board and batten is about 5' tall.

Caulking and painting it all was time consuming, but the end result was worth it, and I love the aqua color above the board and batten. Though I will admit there was some trial and error in finding just the right color. I pick out a color I like, check it at different times throughout the day, buy it, paint the walls, and then don't like the result. Anyone else do this? In this case, some white paint lightened the color to a shade I liked.

We'll eventually replace the nasty mini blinds with cordless cellular blinds like we put in LMS' room, but given the width of the window the blinds have to be special ordered and aren't cheap.

I painted the ceiling white (like every other ceiling in the house- buh bye blah beige ceilings!) and replaced the hideous ceiling fan with a much less obtrusive white model.  As I've mentioned before, I'm not fond of ceiling fans in general, but with our climate they're a necessity.

It's looked like the above pics for awhile, till last week when I finally finished everything off. This included finally getting some crown moulding up (I had something specific in mind and had a hard time finding what I wanted) and painted, putting new switch and outlet covers on, finishing the closet, and getting the room "put together".

I didn't want standard crown in here, I wanted something that would go with the board and batten look a little better. I ended up using 3" MDF boards (they're lighter than solid wood) and laying them flat along the upper edge of the wall. Perhaps a bit unconventional, but I like it.

And here it is all put together: 
no, I didn't iron the bedskirt before I put it on. maybe I should have, but oh well. it was late and I wanted to finish so I could get to bed :)

I got a great deal on the wool rug at Joss and Main (sign up for their emails through this link and I'll get a credit when you make your first purchase from them). The quilt I found at Kohl's on sale for half off, plus I was able to use a coupon on top of the sale (score!). I love how it brings in more color and ties in with the walls and bed but isn't overwhelming.

Since we don't know if this is going to stay the guest room or become a little boy's room, I tried to keep everything flexible. If this stays the guest room we'll bring a chair up from downstairs and put it in the corner above. If this becomes the baby's room, the bed will go into LMS' room (replacing the log bed currently there) and we'll bring in a crib.

I'll also figure out some artwork for the walls once we know which direction this room is going.

I love how it's turned out- it's actually a space to spend time in now. Anyone want to come for a visit? :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Room Dresser Re-Do

I first showed this dresser here, and I liked how it turned out. However, once I painted the walls in the guest room I realized the colors just didn't go together that well.

crappy night-time picture, but you get the idea

While I was finishing up the closet in the guest room I repainted the dresser. I went with a light gray since I figured it would look good with the aqua on the walls. It's similar to the gray in the closet, but a little darker.

I ended up doing two coats of homemade chalk paint- the first one was too light, so I added more gray to the paint and got a slightly darker color that was more what I had in mind.

Because the edges had gotten a couple nicks in the original {non-distressed} blue paint, I went ahead and distressed the edges a little so future nicks would blend in better. I also put a coat of wax on top of the paint, which really changes changes the final feeling of the finish. It gives it a much smoother, less chalky finish. I never did a coat of wax over the blue paint, and it always had an unpleasant dry, chalky feel to it.

I left the knobs and handles white, but may eventually repaint them a very light gray or a darker gray so there's not such a stark contrast.

So much better! It no longer clashes with the walls and it ties in with the rest of the room (more on the room itself tomorrow).

Monday, April 29, 2013

Guest Room Closet Makeover

I'm going through each of the rooms upstairs, doing the finishing touches so I can finally call them done. I showed LMS' room here, and the next room I worked on was the guest room. Like the other bedrooms, the closet needed to be re-done, so I started with that.

Once again I didn't get a picture of it stacked full of stuff (we've been storing our suitcases and my massage table in there), but here's  a picture of it empty. I really don't understand the point of putting a clothes rod 6 1/2 feet up, in what will most likely be a kid's bedroom. Who thought that would be a good idea?

Like the other closets in this house, it was severely lacking in usefulness and adaptability. I altered this closet similarly to how I did LMS' closet.

I removed the lower shelf and did some spackling and sanding. After painting the inside light gray, I moved that lower shelf up so it was below the upper shelf at a more useful height. Then I added a vertical divider (that I'd already painted) so I could install some shelves. I screwed into the divider from the shelf above it, then added two L braces at the floor to keep the divider in place.

Next I added my favorite shelf strips. Seriously, these things are so useful! I looked through my wood stash and found pieces of shelving leftover from the library bookshelves- too small for the library, but just right for the narrow space in this closet.

Then I screwed the vertical supports into the studs and added the clothes rod supports and clothes rods. I used my Dremel to cut the metal rods to width because they were about an inch or two too long. The plastic end caps keep the metal ends from damaging anyone/thing and keep the rods in place between the wall and the divider.

After the interior was finished, I took the bifold doors off and turned them into regular doors, just like I did with the kitchen closet doors.

This time I remembered to chisel out space for the hinges and it makes a huge difference in how easily the doors close.

We still don't know if we're having a boy or a girl (one more month till the ultrasound!), so this room could stay the guest room or become a little boy's room. Either way, this closet is flexible enough to accommodate either use.

I used the same baskets and bins I used in LMS' closet. This closet is too narrow for two of the clear file boxes to fit on the shelf, so there's a basket and a file box up there.

So much better! I really like the light gray with the aqua on the walls and the space is now so much more efficient.

For now we're storing baby stuff in the baskets and bin. Once we find out if the baby's a boy or a girl we'll move things around a bit. For now it makes it easier to see what we have - I've slowly been buying a few things here and there to supplement the few things remaining from when LMS was a baby. I don't want to make the mistake of buying things we already have :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Christmas Dollhouse

Last year I built a play kitchen for LMS for Christmas. This year I built her a dollhouse.

I didn't have time to finish it before Christmas, but I decided that wasn't all bad. LMS could help me decorate the walls of each room if I didn't do it all first.

LMS was very excited and even insisted on playing with it in the car on the way home from my sister's. It ended up next to her in the space between her bench and the front seats, and even though it wasn't really that practical or easy, she managed to play with it and had a great time.

I finally got it caulked and painted a month or so ago, and then we went to Michaels and picked out scrapbook paper to use as wallpaper.

This week I finally glued the paper on the back walls. I had planned on using spray glue and every time I had a little free time to do so, it was raining. I finally had free time that coincided with nice weather and got it done. Unfortunately, the spray glue ended up not working- for some reason the paper wouldn't stick to the painted wood. I tried a glue stick, and that worked pretty well.

We used pieces of patterned and textured paper for "rugs". They can be moved from room to room, depending on where the Little Miss wants them.

Then I let my OCD run wild :) I cut both curved ends off of 4 packages of tongue depressors (about 300 all together) and went to town with the wood glue. I used my Cutco kitchen scissors to trim the edge pieces to fit and used painter's tape to keep everything in place while the glue dried.

 This step was completely unnecessary, but I love how it looks! The whole thing looks just a bit more "finished" than it would with a plain white roof. The Little Miss thinks it looks good too :)

Now she can move in her doll furniture and dolls.

I'm glad it turned out as well as it did, and glad I'm finally finished with it. 
Four months after Christmas :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Updated Little Girl's Closet & Room

This project took awhile (I started LMS' room 2 years ago when we first moved in) and went through a couple of incarnations before it finally got to a point where I can call it finished.

The closet is deep on both sides, which caused problems when it came to figuring out the best shelf/closet rod combination.

It started out as this:
not a great before picture, but it's all I've got

Then looked like this:

Then I ripped out the shelves and clothes rods and built some stand alone shelves and it looked like this for the last year and a half or so:

The problem was that the walls aren't perfectly straight, and the shelves ended up not fitting nearly as well as I had thought they would. This was pretty discouraging and I just left the closet like it was for over a year. During that time, I contemplated how to change things so they'd be more efficient and practical.

Last week, during spring break, I finally got to work on the closet.

I sanded the spackle that I had put on the walls after removing the old shelf supports, then put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. I really like this color and think it works great as an accent to all the purple in her room.

I had removed all the trim when I was going to install the stand alone shelves, so after the paint dried I reinstalled the trim and added the supports for the original ridiculously-high shelf and new supports for a lower, more useful shelf. I didn't want to mess with painting an 8' shelf top and bottom, so I took the easy way out and purchased a melamine-covered board from Lowe's for the new lower shelf.

Then I installed my favorite shelf strips on the walls on either side of the closet and searched through my wood stash for shelving. I had prepped some wood for shelving when I first started working on the closet, so I was able to cut down those pieces to the length and width I needed and only needed to paint one new piece of wood for a shelf- bonus for me!

One thing I noticed is that the left side of the closet is about 3" shallower than the right side, so the shelves are not interchangeable from one side to another. No idea why there's such a difference, but that's how it is.

After getting the shelves in, I needed to get the closet rods up. I ended up using pieces from Rubbermaid, which definitely aren't the cheapest, but they do exactly what I want them to do. I installed 3 vertical supports (they're screwed into studs), then 3 sets of rod supports at different heights to accommodate different items of clothing. The rods come in a set of 2 that fit together and are adjustable, but because of their length I ended up using one for the lower rod and the other for the middle rod. They're a bit long, and I haven't yet made up my mind about cutting them down a bit. I used a full two piece set for the top rod.

Once those were up, it was time to organize LMS' clothes. The large metal-framed canvas baskets (found at wally world about a year ago or so ago) were too wide for the space on the left, but I found some woven baskets at Lowe's that fit just right. We hung some clothing up and put the rest in baskets.

I then went all ocd and made tags for each basket, which I've actually wanted to do for a long time, and I feel so much better now that I have, even if it did take awhile to do them all :) I safety pinned the tags to the canvas baskets and threaded ribbons through the holes in the woven basket.

We store off season clothes and clothes that are too big in these file boxes I found at Target. I love them! They have hinged lids and work great for storing things in closets. I use them in our closet for Mr M and my off season clothes as well.

I love how much more functional (there's that word again!) LMS's closet is and the fact that she can actually see and reach all her clothes. I've noticed that she tended to wear whatever was on top of the basket, rather than wearing all of her clothes.

When we organized her clothes, we also switched out her cold weather clothes for spring/summer clothes. Just in time for weather in the high 80's- nothing like instant summer! Now she can see all her cute outfits (several of which I found on clearance at Crazy 8 a couple of months ago and have been saving for warm weather) and actually wear them.

A couple little details I love:

I switched the boring brass knob for a glass knob. It didn't come with the metal flange, which I had to buy separate. It's smaller than the original though, so the screw holes are over the original knob hole. Right now it's held together by the central screw that extends from one knob to another. Still thinking about a fix for this issue.

It's a nonfunctioning knob now- the glass knob didn't accommodate the tongue mechanism, so I just removed it. LMS doesn't like having her door closed and we don't think kiddos need to be hiding behind closed doors, so it's not a problem for us.

I also switched out the boring wood knobs on the closet doors for these cute purple polka dot knobs I found at Hobby Lobby.

And I finally hung pictures and hemmed the curtains:

Now that I finally have LMS's room finished, we're probably having a girl :) But I had that in the back of my mind as I worked, so everything can be rearranged a bit and still work with another little girl in this room. And if we end up having a boy, then LMS has lots of room to herself still.