Thursday, May 9, 2013

Welcome ~ Definitely!


How is spring treating you?

I confess, I am guilty, I got hit by the spring fever, I have neglected the blog and the inside of the house, I have been up to gardening, OH the outdoors. I love flowers, I love gardening and I was so excited to get going and making the outside pretty that back in February I started some seedlings indoors, I took one of the bedrooms and made it a "green house"; Back in the fall, even before we closed on the house, I got risky and planted hundreds of perennial bulbs and a few baby trees, if anything would have gone wrong with the closing my plan was to go back one night and dig everything up, steal my own bulbs and trees :-)

With the spring fever I am suffering and with my working hours/commute, I was left with the weekends and week nights, after 7pm, to beautify the outside which means, no time for the inside, hey, have to carve some sleep time out of my day.

Some pepper, tomato, lavender, cilantro, basil and sage seedlings, the picture is from April

Thank goodness for fall planting, I got rewarded with the most beautiful spring flowers which have been coming up since the first week of April 

Now that the outside of the house is looking better, everything is flourishing and after I was given an ultimatum  agreeing with DBF, it was time to come back inside and finish our entryway, I had left everything the way it was in the last post, no, it was worst. I had started painting the doors, the doors were primed with two coats of Kilz Premium and 2 coats of Valspar paint and primer ultra white semi gloss, but oh those doors were such a pain to paint, that I just couldn't stop tending to my plants and bring myself back to apply another coat of paint, the scene was depressing: Closet doors against the walls waiting to be painted and hung back, newspaper pages under the doors, lights hanging from the ceiling, a real mess, talk about unwelcoming entryways.

This weekend we finally resolved to install the new lights and I finally decided to finish painting the door and finish making our entryway pretty.

Remember the wall that almost drove me nuts? here it is now:


And the ugly unpainted doors?

2 Coats of primer and 3 coats of paint, I won.

Aren't things looking pretty? Tino agrees!

I love the beautiful chandelier. Well, another confession I have to make today, not that I have not say it before (here), I have a fascination with glitz, always have, if it was up to me, I would be living in a crystal bubble filled with sparkle, like the holiday ornaments, but since I can't, then I am just "blinging up" everything I can, I think the most beautiful way to bring glitz into the space is with crystal lights. I ordered this girl last year, as I have said before, I dedicated my longs months waiting on the closing to gather things as they came.

She came in a box, in pieces, like a puzzle, it was
so much fun to put all the crystals together, yes I am sure it's a she, no male item is glittery and shiny.

I love the ambiance it ads to the space, surreal!

There is another one, different but in the same style, for the little hallway going to the living room, but unfortunately we didn't have the time to get it up this weekend, perhaps now that DBF is on vacation for over two weeks, a lot of things in the house will be magically done while I am at work ;-)

The little console table is one of my thrifty finds, the vintage iron and glass table has been with me for over 5 years now, purchased at that sale at that place that rents props for TV and movie productions I have mentioned here.

The lamp is a "Nate Berkus for Target" find, it was on clearance and the other accessories are either Pier1 or HomeGoods (my happy place). I don't know if anyone have noticed, but I have a problem with finding pictures to add to my frames, almost all the picture frames through the house are "artfully" decorated either with one of those pictures of people you don't know which come with the frame or with the pertinent store logo.

Who came up with the wonderful idea of making wood knobs for wood doors - So stylish!

Thankfully that was easily resolved, we found the mercury glass ones, I love the vintage look on them. I also added a second one to the door to make things even.

In another subject, don't you freak out when you do an internet search and suddenly every page you go to you get bombarded by little pop up ads with exactly the same item you were looking at, or some suggestions that you might be interested in? It totally freaks me out, but in this occasion it was all for the good of design that it happened. I was looking for area rugs, did not find what I was looking for then moved on, then by the side of my eye, right there on the screen, I saw the word "Flor" with a picture of a rug, it then hit me that I have seen it in another blog, "Inspired by Charm" (you guys should go and visit, you will fall in love with it and with Michael). The little area rug, is not a rug, it's Floor tiles from the Floor store, what an awesome concept, it allows you to design your area rug or to carpet your entire floor in any way or color you want, the possibilities are unlimited and they are very easy and fun to put together.

Please, feel free to ignore the hanging accessory on the ceiling, its our alarm waiting for the screws to go back in, or maybe a new alarm.

I used 8 tiles and played around until I decided that the mismatched checker pattern was better than all the lines going in the same direction, so to add some contrast to the stripes on the wall. 

The owls are HG finds, back in the fall. The shoe tray is from Ballard Designs  and the little ottoman is another thrifty find, it was about $15 at the thrift shop.

The kitchen in the background, THE KITCHEN, it is our most  daunting project to tackle, hopefully it will get done some time this spring/summer, and all the boxes are part of the putting the chandelier together mess.

Now, lets take a closer look at the chandelier, shall we? Ahhh, I love it.

And a before and after look of the entryway.

Oh so "fancy"

Yes, come in! 
Another project we have is the stairs, I can't wait to rip the dirty carpet off, and refinish the wood, but that is on for the second face of the fixings, the upstairs.

Hope you like the progress, until next time,


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Foyer - Welcome!

That is what you expect when you walk into a house, a bank, a business, etc., a welcoming space. In our case our entryway was, well, not so welcoming!

I have no idea, no the sightless idea of what the previous owners were intending to do when they decided to use some sort of silicone caulk or sealer or whatever it is they used in the walls, what a disastrous mess. The worst part? it was all over the place. They had opened a door under the stairs to be used as storage area, that was genius; the way they did it? not so genius. The wall is not straight by any means and the door is wrongfully installed and so on. Some genius thoughts were needed to make things look right.

A couple of weeks ago, at the same time that we were working on the living room, we decided to embark in the: "Lets have a welcoming entrance project", lets see how things are turning out.

The first thing we had to do was to figure a way to get rid of all the silicone and to fill all the holes, cracks, dents, etc. We had two options: 1- take the drywall down and do it again or 2- Spackle, tons of spackle. We went with option #2.

The pink spackle is pretty isn't it? I love that I know when the spackle is dry and ready to be sanded, it changes to white.

All the white you see here is spackle, already dry and sanded, the pink is about the 3rd , maybe 4th coat, I lost count.

And I have to admit, there were times that I felt like just hammering the entire structure down and start all over - what to do with the disaster below? Spackle, sand, spackle, sand, more spackle, sand some more. Insane!

Here is what my idea was back in the summer, last year... Not much as you can see, just plain white and gray walls. Please disregard the Asian style console, it was the only fitting piece of furniture available through the application I was using. Also, the stairs are a dream for now, it is all carpeted and is going to stay like that for a while, we dislike the carpet much but we have to focus on one project at a time, it will help us keep the little sanity we have. 

In my concept, (pictured) I wanted to open up the space under the stairs and use it as an office nook but unfortunately, we do not have a baseman, therefore that is a much needed storage space. 

I have always loved dramatic colors, and I wanted to create drama as people come into the house, the choice for the entryway was a very dark blue (what a surprise, blue again) accented with the same very dark blue glittery stripes, which translate to a lot of measuring and painters tape. 

When applying the tape, you have to be very careful because all imperfections will definitely show and if one stripe is bigger than the other, it will also show. It takes a lot of measuring and patience to do it. 

I couldn't find my ruler so I took a drive (what a sacrifice) to HomeGoods and brought
back one of the disposable ones  they have in the store

Here is the wall all ready for the glittery stripes, the blue in the painters tape looked so pretty that I almost wanted to leave it just like that, and DBF was loving it so much that he might have repeated about 100 times how much he liked the two blues together, to just leave it.

The trick to using painters tape, so I learned from reading numerous blogs, is to use the same color as the base color before painting with the accent color, that way the tape will be sealed to the wall with the same base color and there will be no bleeds. So I started to do just that, using a lot of paint to make sure to get a good seal... but maybe too much and panic started to settle when I noticed the painters tape starting to wrinkle. OH NO! Maybe I was applying too much paint so I changed how much paint I was using, more is not always better.

Wise decision since the tape stopped wrinkling, at that point I wish I would have listened to DBF and keep the wall just like it was, all blue taped.

The next step was to apply the glittery paint, made by mixing the Valspar signature paint with Valspar Paint Crystals. What I love about mixing my own, is that you can decide how much glitter you want to use, but I love glitter so I obviously used  a lot :-) So much that the walls looked "silverish" gray instead of the dark sparkled blue I wanted to achieve.

Instead of getting disappointed, I just decided to settle for whatever color the outcome after the paint cures would be, then after removing the tape right way, because I know better that if left there for long the paint will peel when taking off the tape, I was very cautious when removing the tape too, but regardless, the paint started to come off where spackle had been applied, yes, I made the stupid mistake and didn't primed the walls, again. If you might remember, I didn't prime the family room and it ended up costing me 5 coats of paint. I think I have finally learned my lesson, prime Sobe, always prime.

         Not a good feeling,  if you know what I am talking about.
         All the hard work, gone to waste. Impossible!

I had to rush out to "Family fun day", there was not time for fixings. That night after returning home, I started to feel much better; the "silverish" gray was turning into darker blue and, no matter how much patience was needed, I was determined to fix the chips, instead of painting everything over.

It took a good deal of patience but we got it done. No painters tape was needed, just the small angle brush and some of the same paint colors used, oh, you also need to hold your breath for what it seems like eternities at a time in order to be able to control your pulse.

The sparkled color is still not the final color, its been a couple of weeks after these pictures were taken, after the paint cured it became a few tones darker.

There is a lot more progress done to what is shown in this post. Right now we are painting the coat closet and pantry doors which were just as you can see in the picture below.

Starting to prime

New flush light fixtures are being installed so stay tuned to see the reveal on the next entryway post.

Here one coat of primer is already applied.
This little hallway seems to have taken for ever to be done, but we are also doing outdoor work; every time the weather cooperates a bit and we are not at work we run outside. So far DFB has been very successful power-washing the concrete floor and pool deck, cleaning the pool and fertilizing the lawn, is all coming back to life.

I in the other side, have been very busy planting flowers as a continuation to all the bulbs planting I did in the fall, setting up raised beds and starting vegetables and flower seeds indoors.

We cant wait to have everything ready to show you guys in another post. 

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Living Room

The living room have been our "mess" room shortly after we moved in. Every time we were working on an area of the house, things would get moved to "there"; I don't know what logic we have been using to do that, there is a big picture window from which our neighbors can see the entire dinning room and living room, yet, it was a big mess for months.

Maybe because it is close to the front door but any package that will get delivered to the house will end up in the living room, that includes ladders, power tools, huge boxes with furniture, you name it. I am certain that until last weekend our neighbors thought we were the hoarders of the blog; the window is big, yet, there were so many boxes pilled up that you couldn't see anything inside, only cardboard and cans of paint. 

Here is a picture of part of the LR how it was, yuk, there is the green again; don't get me wrong, I like green, but that color is not my taste, it's just blah, unispiring. 

To the right is the picture window, I am convinced that the window might be one of the reasons I liked the house when we first saw it. I love light, tons of natural lights, dark rooms depress me. I need light in my life, I don't even like to watch TV in the dark at home and I like to keep tons of lights on at night, now when it comes to sleep I really need total darkness, weird, isn't it? 

I had a vision of the living room, maybe inspired by all the light. I saw it in blue and white and maybe a "redish" orange accent. 

 I also decided that I wanted to add some antique or vintage piece, might it be a chair, a chandelier, something, so using the iPad program I designed the room in the pictures below.

Then while hunting for that "vintage" piece, I came across these turquoise chairs on Craigslist, I still cant believe I paid what I paid for a pair of old chairs, $150 a piece; I was so excited about my find but then soon after I bought the chairs, I discovered thrift shop shopping. I was so disappointed that I paid so much money for them, I quickly fell out of love... To help my broken love, DBF doesn't like them, my FMIL (future mother in law) tried to talk me out of buying them, she went with me to pick them up, I am stubborn, so I got them anyway. To be honest I am glad I did, but every time I look at them I also think about the other, much bigger, nice, vintage chair I got at the thrift for $15, I want to cry.  

As seen on Craigslist, this is the picture from the ad. These two are the first
thing I got us for our house, a year ago! 

I had even forgotten about the chairs, they were pilled up in a corner in the garage.

After painting the LR, and being tired of having a love seat purchased and in its box for 32 days, I made my way to HomeGoods, on the hunt for chairs and then there it was at HG, the magnificent rug with colors that will match the other pieces I have been "hoarding" for the room, which at this point was turning more monochromatic (blue) than the white and blue I had originally dreamed of. 

Well, I did not buy the rug, I was not sure if it was too big, so I made my way home that Friday night, the rug was in my head all night and the entire day on Saturday so I woke up bright and early on Sunday, and made my way to Pier1 Imports to find chair and try to forget about it because let me tell you, if you see something at HG, grab it by a leg or by wherever but don't leave it for later, you will regret it, the chances of finding it again are almost 0.

I did not find the chairs that I was looking for at Pier1, but I did find the wall art that would perfectly go with the area rug I did not get at HomeGoods. It is made of glass mosaics, it has texture, color, flowers (yet not feminine) so beautiful. It was on clearance, which made it super better but, I did not get that rug which meant no art, unless there rug was still at HG?? Could it be? At about 7 miles away, I had to check.

To my delight, the rug was there and I purchased it, then back to Pier1 and the art was still there, it was meant to be!!!!  

Not to make this post so much longer, I will leave you with some pictures of how things turned out to be, BTW, after I got the rug and wall art, I remember the chairs and they go perfectly with the room set up, so I don't regret getting them, even though I regret paying that much :-).

The kids  cats seem to approve, the minute the LR was done they moved all their belongings there, they even took a chair each. I assume that they used logic: Two cats, two chairs, it must be one for each 

Things that need to be changed: 
  • The fan, do not like ceiling fans inside a house at all, unless I live in the Caribbean, Florida or an island. 
  • There is a side of the LR you don't see, not point, there is nothing in there, I have an idea of what I want, will post that later
  • Add more curtain panels to the window. DBF doesn't like that people can see inside the house, when we are having dinner it give us the feeling that there is people looking at us, still, I don't want to add blinds, so more see-through white panels it is, that way people will only be able to see silhouettes.
  • The bench doubling as a coffee table needs to go, it's only in there temporarily as I borrowed it from the family room, we are looking for something similar but not so narrow. 
  • I need a comfy chair for the empty corner you see in the picture. 
I hope you liked the post, share, comment, re-post, and don't forget, if you have any questions, ask away! 

Until next time,