Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This Entertainment Center's Got History: A story in Furniture Refinishing

In a recent post about updating the living room, you saw a glimpse of our little ol' entertainment center. This "entertainment center" has had a long history.

When my husband Justin and I were just married, we lived in a little "two bedroom" apartment. The second bedroom was just big enough for a crib, no more, no less, and we had about zero room for storage in the apartment. It was a cute little old house that had been segmented into three apartments. The washer and dryer were located in the middle of our bedroom and we had one tiny closet for the entrie apartment. Our [then dresser] was given to us by Justin's stepmother under the condition that we would treat it with love as it had been her mothers. We kept it in the hallway/entryway since it was the only place it would fit at the time. It eventually held both baby Oaken's and my clothes.

This picture was taken in that hallway in the mirror that hung above it then. A selfie, before selfie's were even cool!

Oaken was such a cutie patootie! 

Unfortunately, I don't really have a good before picture of the dresser. However, I did snap a shot of one of the drawers so that you could see the finish prior to sanding.

This old dresser does have a plasticy laminate top, which I had concerns about painting over initially. However, we did a lot of research and read that lightly sanding the laminate would allow paint to adhere successfully.

So we lightly sanded the entire dresser....

And just for good measure, we applied Klean-Strip deglosser to the entire piece following the directions on the bottle.

After giving it ample time to dry, we painted the dresser with regular semi-gloss interior paint.

When we were done, the once dresser had new life as an entertainment center in our Annapolis home. This picture was taken about 3 years ago.

It took a slight beating in our latest move, so we're considering giving the entertainment center another mini makeover in the near future, but it has otherwise help up wall and still has a place of honor in our new home.

Once again, it's amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can do.

Is there a certain piece of furniture in your home that has undergone a makeover? What kind of history does it have?

**This post contains an affiliate link, but we do absolutely swear by Klean-Strip Deglosser and have used in on many a project!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Decision Made - Bedding Sets Purchased

We finally took the leap and made a decision on a duvet/quilt option for the girls. The winner? The teal chevron bed-in-a-bag from Target.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Skylar and Clara both agreed that they like the "zigzags", so they were able to narrow down our possible selections to just three choices. Late Saturday night, I noticed the bedding had actually gone on sale at Target and there was no better time to make a final decision. After a little discussion, hubby Justin and I decided that the bed in a bag sounded like a wonderful deal. We paid online to lock in the sale price, and picked them up at the store the next day.

Though I would have loved to sew a bedskirt for each of the girls, the bed in the bag included one. And who doesn't love a time saver? Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy sewing, but I haven't had as much time lately tending to a clingy 7 month old. (Have I mentioned that Cullen and I are still not sleeping at night? I'm loosing my mind.)

I am super happy with how the new bedding looks!

Remember what it looked like before?

The girls are super thrilled too. They insisted on having their pictures taken while they pretended to sleep.

I swapped out their blah off white curtains for a sheer white pair that I had in my first college apartment, and the room look a million times better already.

Their little lamp is something that we picked up at Ikea when we first moved in since there is no overhead lighting, and we "shopped" for this little silver owl in our Christmas decorations.

Next, we just need to decide on a paint color, and then we can have some fun by pulling in some more accessories! (And figuring out exactly what to do with the blank expanse of wall above the beds.)

I'd love to add a pretty color as an accent to the wall with the window, but I'm afraid that will chop it up and make the room look smaller. What do you think? Accent wall or one cohesive color?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Minor Living Room Updates

We're still contemplating which duvet to select for the girls room. (What can I say, I have a serious issue with commitment?) While we finalize that decision and determine what direction we would like to go, we've made just a few updates to our living room.

The last time we photographed the space, it looked like this:

The walls are now painted the same color as our bedroom (Valspar's Notre Dame) and the Ektorp sectional has a new white slipcover.

The room feels so much bigger after painting over the dark blue color and I also can't believe how much the white slipcover makes a difference. As soon as we put it on, the room instantly felt just a tad larger. Awesome!

Now ask me how I feel about a white couch... So far, so good. I can't lie though, there have been a few incidents already with a pink highlighter, and a mystery spot that we attribute to a smooshed dandelion in someones pocket.

Our carpet cleaner has an upholstery attachment that has been super handy for immediately treating accidents like melted chocolate, but honestly, we haven't treated this slipcover any differently than we have with past colors. (We have had both the Idemo Beige and Idemo Blue.)

The new white slipcover has yet to be washed, but I'm hoping that a little bleach will help to remove the lingering dandelion stain. It's about time to do so, but I'm hoping that we can wait until we get a new washer. We sold our front loaders during our move here and are now stuck with a pair of ancient top loaders. The washer has the agitator that takes up so much space and I'm afraid the cover won't wash evenly if I use bleach. Once I actually have the guts to wash this thing, I'll let you know if I still like it.

It still amazes me what a big difference simple changes like paint and a slip cover can make.

This room has a long way to go, but we think that the next big thing to happen in this room will be to address the entryway. Though it looks fairly tame (and boring) in the picture below, it tends to get out of control pretty quickly.

There is a fairly good space along the wall that could accommodate a mixture of something like this, and this.

Another project that we're seriously considering attempting sooner than later is tackling the flooring. We had Stanley Steamer in to clean the carpets immediately after closing, but we're slowly seeing many spots return. It's looking a lotta bit grungy and gross at this point. The hubs, Justin, keeps mentioning how much it bothers him and I completely agree. I am 100% anti-wall-to-wall-carpeting. I keep expecting to walk in the door after work one day to find that the carpet has been ripped out in a fit of frustration.

We would love to pull up the carpet and simply paint the sub-floor like this until we can save up to put in all hardwoods on the main floor. (Including the kitchen, half bathroom, hallway and living room.)

Does anyone have any experience with painting subflooring? We're someone hesitant to find out what's lurking beneath that carpeting. What if the subfloor is in awful shape? What is it's uneven or really rough? We'd hate to go into this project thinking we'll spend under $100 for an easy fix and end up having to put in completely new flooring after all. We have a lot to think about...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seeking: Two Girly, Adorable and Affordable Twin Duvets

Before we jump into today's scheduled post, I wanted to apologize for taking so long to get this out this week. (And for not posting last week either.) It's been a bit crazy around these parts lately. Last week I celebrated my 30th birthday and I am admittedly in denial. We partied by staying in and watching trashy tv. We're so exciting! In other news, our family has managed to pass around a nasty little stomach bug over the last 4 weeks. The latest victim: baby Cullen. My poor, poor baby! The pukes are so awful for babies so little.

I will preface today's post by saying: Why is it so hard to pick out a duvet?

Since we painted our room, I've come to realize just how dingy our girls room looks.

Though the wall color is neutral beige, it actually looks dirty. Like, someone smeared dirt on the walls, dirty... I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that we are just now dealing with this. Okay, so it's not that bad. I'm sure that Justin would tend to agree that I might be a little dramatic at times. But hey, I need to be a little dramtic in order to get motivated.

To get the ball rolling on this room, I put together a little mood board (or two.)


So what's the hang up? Finding the desired cute duvet/quilt/fabric within our set bedding budget. All of my "designs" are somewhat reliant on finding the right bedding and I have been totally striking out. Making a duvet would be super easy but the fabrics I like are just outright crazy expensive.

As a result of the hunt for the perfect duvet/quilt, our children have grown to hate shopping with us. Just this past weekend we spent about 30 minutes in the bedding aisles at Target trying to convince ourselves that we liked one of the available duvet/quilt options. Our Target is currently under construction and inventory is disappointingly low. Rather than going home empty handed, we grabbed some Tostitos chips, a jar of queso, and called it a day. (Because it's blasphemy to leave Target empty handed. And I love me some Tostitos and queso.)

I've resorted to surfing the internet for options and it's up to you to help make the final decision.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

We're giving you the chance to VOTE for your favorite!

Once we make a decision, I'll be able to pick out a paint color for the room. Believe me, the girls room is in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint and I can't wait to get to that point!

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one to feel so paralyzed over a seemingly simple purchase? Who out there has experienced a similar commitment issue when it came to purchasing a home-good?

**This post contains some Amazon affiliate links, however, we are seriously considering all of the above duvets/quilts as possible options! Also, we reserve the right to override the above vote based on our final vision and budget allowances.