Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Have a New Obsession...

It's called the Antique Mall. It's a huge space with all sorts of vendors that I can, and just did, walk around for hours. Seriously, I had to drag myself out! There is such a fun mix of stuff, from kitchenware to decor to art to clothes. Plus I got to scratch my buy-things-itch without spending too much.

I originally went to find an old blue Mason jar to make this beaut:

{via pinterest}
Back story to the project goes.... About a month ago Peyton and I decided to hold each other to the plan of never leaving dishes in the sink. To some people, this may seem obvious and simple. To us, it was a big deal. Surprisingly, we've been doing an excellent job! The kitchen looks prettier and we feel better when we follow through, so follow through we have. But it's also meant more time at the sink, and the ugly Seventh Generation soap bottle has just been bugging me. So this cute mason jar DIY was just the solution. Until I read about the lids corroding and decided in other pictures I really didn't like the pump top sticking out. So around I perused until I found this gem:

Funky, fun, and a beautiful blue color. It's an old milk of magnesia bottle that cost $7.00. Right now I just have a cork in it, but for practicality I might add a little pour spout in the next few days. I then added this mat:

Nothing too special there, but I had been wanting another one after I washed the floors yesterday and then this guy appeared for just $1.99. Not too shabby, plus it ties in with the soap bottle. And to round off my blue mood I had to snatch this old farmhouse looking bowl for $4.99:

It had me at hello with its charming beaten-up teal paint and dark blue rim. I feel that in its past life it sat on an old wooden table, greeting children with freshly picked strawberries and peaches as they slammed the screen door. Sadly, its life here won't be quite as glamorous, but it will be useful for Peyton as a wallet and change depository after work. No more little piles on the table!

So there was my trip for today. I'm so in love with that place that when I go again, I may never return.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Working with the Man Stuff

Living with a man can be hard. Not to say that mine is bad per se, because honestly I kind of have it made. He is, in fact, finishing up his thorough cleaning of the fridge as I speak (rock on, awesome husband o' mine!). For me, and many other taken ladies, it's more the combining of goods and letting go of certain styles that brings the difficulty. Like lacy shower curtains, pink sofas, or closets such as this:

{via pinterest}
Not that I have any of those, but you know, the options are kinda gone. And it isn't simply the restrictions on style, but also by being given things that I have to live with. This too has been fairly easy (seriously P., not complaining!! :)) Besides having to widen my color range to Tennessee orange I would say that there weren't many demands. But there was one thing that was and is staying: the foosball table.

The foosball table is a slight dilemma to me. You see, I love foosball. And not to toot my own horn too much, but I kinda rock it. So when I moved in and saw it sitting in the limelight by the fireplace, my heart skipped a beat. But that was back in the days where this home was temporary, not my permanent nest to furnish. And let's just say, as much as I love to play, I really didn't love the laminate camouflage decor it sported nor the fact that it was taking prime real estate. My fantasy is to have a cozy sitting area around the fire where we will read books and banter, sipping cognac and watching dog paws running in unknown dreams. Yet with no furniture, no money, and no taste for cognac, those dreams are a bit distant. So the foosball table sits another day.

The look is another thing altogether. That I could change, and that I did. In a brilliant moment I came up with the best solution: paint it with chalkboard paint! My reasons were as follows: 
  • It's black = much more badass than pretend light green leaves stamped on = Peyton likey.
  • The matte finish will make it blend nicely with its surroundings. 
  • It's fun! And functional! I mean, who wouldn't want to keep track of their beat-downs in the most convenient location possible? What meany wouldn't want to draw a picture or jot down a quote to cheer up everyone's day?
  • It's changeable, homemade artwork to help it seem a little more purposeful in that spot. 
So with great intentions and Peyton's permission I set to work. The table went from this:

To this:

Added some primer to make the paint stick to the slick surface. 
 And finally, to this:

And I must say, by picture three I was not happy. I had turned a light and airy (albeit ugly) pattern into a black blob in the middle of our floor. Definitely not the inconspicuous finish I was looking for. But I stuck with it, followed the directions, and in three days prepped it by swiping a light layer of chalk on and wiping off. And hallelujah! All was better. The used, chalk-on-surface look softened the black to a nice gray. Plus I got to start my decorations, and that is always, always fun. 

Maybe it's not everybody's cup of tea, but it's making the best of what we have. It's the perfect compromise, and we love it. Plus wherever it ends up, which hopefully will one day be its own game room, it will still be functional, fun, and not permanently girlified. I'll keep you updated as it evolves, which I'm sure it will almost daily since I have an unpredictable walking eraser (*cough* Tegan *cough*). Anyone else make any fun, little changes this weekend? I'm always looking for more ideas and inspiration (especially when school hasn't started...)!

Anyhoo, time to go enjoy the last few hours of weekend while I still can. Trueblood Sunday here I come!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Get Your Paint On

Good morning and happy Tuesday!!

The up-and-at-em chipper bug has caught me.  How can it not when:

A. We just returned from a wonderful vacation.
B. The house smells like yummy cologne (thanks to our new roomy Manny!).
C. I have no obligations for a week.
D. I am actually feeling inspired to conquer my long list of to-dos... annnd
E. That instead of that list I am finally blogging.

I am very excited to recap the trip with delightful memories and pics, but sadly I left the camera 1,600 miles away so that post will just have to wait. Instead I will finally share the biggest thing we've done in the past few months. I've been meaning to put this up since May, but that means going through pictures, which means taking said pictures, which means getting the right light (yeah... I try, albeit unsuccessfully), which starts with cleaning. And that whole process apparently alluded me for quite some time. But here I am, three months later, sharing the simple, yet oh so gratifying, project that we conquered. We painted! And I feel like we did it right. Even though officially we aren't finished (booo to trim). But so it goes.

I've wanted to paint the main area since I moved in. It was a tired looking white that just made the whole space feel blah. We both loved the idea of a cooler neutral, so we decided to try to find a gray that was virtually the color of the white paint when shadowed.

It began with samples colors. This is something I've never committed to doing before, but for an extra ten bucks was sooo worth it. All were Behr Premium Plus Ultra and the four colors are as follows:

Top to bottom:
Manhattan Mist (760E-2)
Burnished Clay (UL260-12)
Subtle Touch (790E-1)
Graceful Gray (UL260-10)
And another look:

Graceful Gray, Manhattan Mist, Subtle Touch, Burnished Clay
We wanted to see how they would look near the floor since ours has a fairly red finish. We have hopes and plans to change that in the future, but we also don't want to live with some huge clash until then. Manhattan Mist was immediately out since it was too blue, as was Subtle Touch for being, well, too subtle. So we were down to Graceful Gray, which had a slight green to it, and Burnished Clay. We loved Graceful Gray, but I had worries that it might be too dark, so we slapped on some more.

All was looking snazzy so away we hopped on over to Home Depot and grabbed two gallons of Graceful Gray. And so followed came the "fun" stuff. Jamming out to "Rock Lobster" and the occasional Depeche Mode definitely kept us going.

And after hours of painting, an extra gallon of paint, three rollers, and some intense concentration on doing the edge work by moi (I was previously deemed unfit for precision work, so I mustered all the focus I had to finish what remained), we were left with a beautifully painted living room. And let's just say some boogying and cartwheeling ensued. Sometimes the mister is simply uncontrollable. :)

So let's take a gander at some before and afters:

Living Room Before
Living Room After
Living Room After
Fireplace Before
Fireplace After
Wall Before
Wall After
Kitchen Wall Before
Kitchen Wall After

So it definitely is a subtle change, especially in pictures. But in person it is just enough contrast to really freshen things up. Hopefully my picture taking abilities will improve by the next post, or at least I'll remember to get befores and afters in the same spot...

Time to go wash some dogs, do some shopping, and show congress how budgets are made!