Friday, February 27, 2015

Year of Change Challenge {February Reveal}

It's time for our February Year of Change Reveals! We each be addressing organziational ideas, tackling specific areas of our homes that are stumbling blocks to staying organzied. I know that I personally, spend so much time on the decor in my home, but sometimes struggle to keep things thoughtfully organized. 
I'm sharing how I turned my laundry room from 
PLUS: Some solutions for every day clutter.

Be sure to visit my gang of gals and their organizational projects this month:
and this month's Guest Blogger: Christina Williams
Chris is sharing her SUPER COOL Laundry Room Makeover 
and FREE Organizational Printables!!

I really couldn't wait to tackle my laudry room. I'm not someone who loves chores, but they're a necessary thing, aren't they. I had been putting off addressing this room for quite some time and let's just say it really needed an infusion of fresh and was seriously so dreary, disorganized, and a very un-utilitarian Utility Room. When we moved into the house it  became a sort of catch-all room. 
I always put off organizing it and needed to find space for all of the cleaning supplies, clutter, etc. 
I  set out to accomplish 3 things in my tiny laundry room:
1. Make it brighter, and more functional
2. Use a shot of bold color, but keep in mind re-sale 
3. Frugality. Accomplish this entire make over with the stencil + $20 + things I already had that I could re-furbish to work in this space

Ready to see?

Here is the before. Yup, I'm a real person.
With real kids(4). And a real dog.
And a really small, junk in the trunk laundry room.

Total craziness describes the before of this room. 
I was ready for a BIG CHANGE.

I knew I wanted to lighten and brighten but keep things functional. That meant getting rid of the pale blue wainscotting and changing it to a darker shade of gray. I used  "Urbane Bronze" by Sherwin Williams. I've had a client use this color before and have seen amazing results with painting woodwork this dark, warm charcoal color. {Have you seen Life on Virginia Street's Office Makeover with "Urbane Bronze"?}
So I went for it!

Like I said, originally, the beadboard was painted a very pale, baby blue. It showed everything. Every scuff, knick, smudge. Did I mention I have 4 kids and a dog? And that this was where all the dirt and doggieness ends up?
This was going to go dark.
I was a little nervous at first but knew that this would be practical as well as add balance to the space.

Painting the beadboard: It needed 3 coats, you really need to get in those grooves. B ut I was able to accomplish this plus paint a faux window casing with a small sample size (29.5 fl ounce) from Sherwin Williams. 

I then painted out the rest of the room with "SnowBound".
It was a HUGE change to brighten up the space. I also taped off and added that faux window casing with "Urbane Bronze". I didn't want to block out any of the limited natural light coming in from the window, so instead of adding a window treatment, I left the sort of crummy/basic blinds in place and added the painted window casing to see if it enlarged that wall. I think it did. I will probably follow up with building in a real wood window casing and usuing a brightly patterend fabric for a roman blind.

Next up was a stenciled floor mat. I used a $5.99 painter's canvas from Home Depot. Cutting it in half length wise gave me the perfect runner for the space. I then used my hot glue gun to run a bead of glue down the edge to for a seam. {Pardon the UGGS, it was snowing}.

And then, I began painting AGAIN. I taped off a border and then I used a roller to paint the white background and sort of Gesso or prime the canvas. 


I loved the sort of free-form shapes of the stencil, reinforcing the handmade/handcrafted feel that is indicative of Otomi. So for my striped border, I sort of just went for it and didn't measure or worry about anything lining up. As if I was an artisan or something ;)

Once complete and dry, I took the tape off and then added 3 coats of MODGE PODGE to seal the runner. This will give me a good, sturdy mat that is waterproof and that I can wipe down. 

So now that you've seen the projects, see how the light, bright and clean feel  it inspired the rest of the room!
I added baskets to conceal/house the everyday cleaning items as well as a few plants and decorative items. This made the room a happy place that is orderly and pretty. 

You also may be wondering where all junky stuff went. I relocated all of the paper goods that were lurking behind the shelving curtain, moved all of the cleaning products to the baskets and small cabinet under the counter that is to the right of the doorway, put mops/brooms/etc. hanging on hooks in the garage. This was such a small space that it is so much more functional now as a laundry room to just keep things off of the floor space. 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Bees Knees: L I T T L E . R E T R E A T S

A few weeks ago, I had a lovely time at See Jane's L I T T L E  R E T R E A T S! Jane hosts creative get-togethers at her AMAZING home. This retreat was all about learning basic Calligraphy from Melissa Esplin.

Little Retreats by Jane calligraphy via seejaneblog
That's me, 4th new, struggling Calligrapher, from the left.
viaJane Rhodes, See Jane

The evening started out with warm conversation amongst the guests while soaking up the fabulous Mid-Century / Industrial spendor of Jane's home. I would have done the dishes just to be able to hang out in Jane's stunnning abode. She has mastered the art of decorating according to the style of the architecture and feel of her particular space. (I really am into this same camp of decorating: Change your style according to the style of the home you live in. It creates a much more symbiotic vibe. For example, we had a VERY TRADITIONAL home in Tulsa, where we used to live. My taste honored the Traditional touches by staying Traditional in paint colors and furnishings, allowing for contemporary slashes in art work and accessories. But the overall vibe of the house was in keeping with the architecture of the house. Don't fight it. Work with it). And Jane's house is absolutely incredible, Architecturally. We're talking Architectural Digest and Elle Decor, people. 

Mid-Century / Industrial

So, overall it was an inspiring evening with atmosphere and hospitatlity by Jane, Calligraphy Tutorial by Melissa and incredible food by Kitchen.88 . 
For more of Jane's home, check out See Jane and follow her on Instagram.
She is incredibly cool. 

Here is my recent progress as a student of Calligraphy:
I'm still pretty stiff, but I know that practice upon practice will get me to a place where I will achieve a fun HAND LETTERING Style. I find it therapeutic. Sort of like coloring when you were a kid.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Downton Abbey Season 5, Episode 8 {London Calling}

Who didn't LOVE last Sunday's Episode?
Who doesn't love a little recap?
If you haven't seen it or want to watch it again, here it is!
I'm going to skip over the plot details and stick mostly to set stand-outs!
Ok, how fabulous was it to really see so much of the Grantham House, the Crawley's London Townhouse?!

I think my favorite details are the:

Mehry Rug Oriental Weavers Revival Teal/Beige Area RugPantone Universe Expressions Red Oriental Area Rug


Downton London House

Edgecomb Gray BM 

Downton Debbie Downer

Caliente BM


Downton Dressing Gown

Downton Rose

A&B Home Group, Inc  Loveseat
Safavieh Sarah Tufted SetteeSunpan Modern Malibu Loveseat


Downton Wedding Gowns

Downton Doubtful

Downton Buck Up Little Camper




"Dont proclaim your intransigence as if it were a virtue". 
I really was taken with how lovely Violet looked in this scene. I think they softened her so that it was more believable that she could be the object of Prince Kuragin's
decades upon
decades of long lost love.

Downton Declarations Part Seven

Looking forward to next week!
Anna's in jail.
Rose married for love and may be shunned.
Prince Kuragin wants to be more than friendly with Violet.
Mary is solo.
Tom may be headed to Boston.
Edith's secret is out of the bag.
Molesly and Baxter will be the next to marry, I'm thinking.
Thomas has a new direction.
Cora and Robert are BACK ON TRACK.
(I loved the return of Robert as hero last night, didn't you?)
And Scotland and all of it's grouse AWAIT!

Downton Crane Shot

* FYI: There was a Prince Kuragin in War & Peace.
And....this is what Violet (Maggie Smith) would have looked like when she met him!
(Hope you liked that!)