Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kendra's Room - headboard part 1

Do you know what this is?

or...I should ask do you know what I'm going to do with this old chair?

It has become this frugal lady's foam and batting for Kendra's headboard.

Before you turn up your nose and say ewww, know that it has belonged to me for quite some time. I know who has used it and that it's in good shape. I'm pretty picky. It has to be in great shape. This chair lived a good life but with broken springs and torn edges it was time to be recycled.

I also have done this before. I don't have to tell you DIYer's that foam is expensive. If there's ever a way to save and still make things look fab - I'm in!

All you need is a little elbow grease and a sharp razor and you can find all kinds of material for projects. Look at all the foam and batting that I was able to salvage from this one chair! Always look for the 'other use'. It could save you a bundle!

I'm on my way to pick up the headboard which I had someone else cut...I know, I know. I said yesterday I have a hard time paying someone to do something I can do. Turns out the guy cutting for me refinishes furniture and I traded out the old hardware from Kendra's bedroom furniture for his time. LOVE HIM!

My bestie Jill, has also offered to sew my curtains tonight - she must have heard the desperation in my voice when I said, "I reeeeeeeeeaaaaaalllly don't want to sew these today but I have to get this room done." LOVE HER!

Room is coming along....slowly.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Painting of the Trim

I posted a few days ago about my relationship with my current house and the need for updated white trim. I dove into that task and let me share a little bit about what I discovered.

Before I made the decision to paint the trim while it was on the wall, I investigated the idea of painting and installing brand new trim. I wanted a taller trim and I have a spray gun that would make the painting go very fast. I priced new trim and needless to say it didn't fit into the 'flip it in a few years' budget.

I then investigated the idea of removing the trim from the wall and painting it with the spray gun. Again, making this task a very quick one. I got VERY excited about this idea when I pulled the carpet back and found that I really do have taller trim. The carpenter who installed the trim actually did a no no and installed it flush with the subfloor. You should leave a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap to account for the carpet and pad. My excitement was quickly extinquished when I gently tried to remove the trim in two places and it split both times. That's when I decided painting it was the best option. I do plan to replace the doors. I have a really hard time with painted flat panel doors. CAN - NOT - DO - IT. Husband has new six panel doors ordered. :)

I will share that if our 'flip it in a few years' plans change and wood floors find their way to this house, the trim will have to be replaced because of its placement on the subfloor. I can only hope.

Back to the painting...

The first thing to know about painting anything is that 90% of the work is the preparation of the surface. We all read that. We all understand that. But doing it? I think a lot of you are like me and you just want it done and know that you'll probably be changing things up again in a few years so why bother to make it perfect. Am I right? Well, I really wanted to do this right. I know we'll be selling this house in a few years and I want things to not only look good but to be done well.

That decision had me spending a few hours calling professional painters, researching painting blogs and asking on professional forums. This is what I learned:

  1. Preparation is the key to a good looking job. Spend the time.
  2. Buy good quality primer, paint and brushes. Don't skimp on this one. You'll pay for it in a few months.
  3. Use Zinnser BIN primer. EVERY professional I talked to told me this. There must be something quite special about that formula.
  4. Don't rush it. Give every coat time to dry.
So with this information in hand, I purchased supplies and prepared for a two day project. This one room will be the starting point for an entire house project this summer. Sigh.

5 - 150 grit sponge sanding pads (to be able to reach the curves of the trim)
1 gallon of Zinnser BIN
TSP no rinse alternative
Acrylic Latex Caulk (I bought the quick dry)
Wood filler
Masking tape
1 gallon Dutch Boy Interior Semigloss in Ivory
1 good quality (like $15) paint brush for oil based paints (the BIN)
1 good quality (again $15) paint brush for latex paint

Remove doors and hinges. Patch any scratches or scrapes that will show once wood is painted. Typcially, when you have darker trim, scratches and gouges aren't seen. With painted trim, EVERYTHING is noticed. Spend some time on this task. Use a flashlight to shine on the trim while you move around on your knees. You'll notice a lot more this way. Use the caulk to fill any gaps between the trim and the wall. These will also be more noticable after the trim is painted.

Sand the patched areas and all other parts of the trim. Use your vacuum to remove dust and then use a tack cloth to remove any left over residue. I went the extra step that a number of professional recommended and that was to wipe the trim down with TSP. It is a specially formulated rinse to remove oil, grime and other things that make it difficult for paint to stick. There is a regular TSP that needs to be rinsed and there is a new NO RINSE TSP. Go with that one.

Step 3 TAPE
Tape off the carpet and any other areas you don't want painted. I planned on painting the walls so I didn't tape those. Taping my carpet was difficult because it is so plush and I spent a lot of time reading about the best way to do this. The best way, I was told, is to tape the trim as shown below and then push the tape under the trim using a flat edge. If your carpet isn't plush you may have an easier time with this task than I did.

Step 4 PRIME
Prime all trim surfaces using Zinnser BIN. This formula allows for any type of paint to adhere to the surface. Let dry at least 1 hour. The directions, and the professionals, say it will work on just about any surface. I'm excited to try this.

Step 5 PAINT
Paint all trim surfaces with latex paint. I chose a semi gloss in an Ivory from Dutch Boy. There are a bazillion different whites out there. If you're having a hard time choosing, go with the premixed white that most brands offer. My trim took three coats - YES THREE! I waiting 12 hours between each coat and it looks wonderful.

It was work but it was definitely worth it. It just makes me feel good to be in there now. Bright. New. Fresh. LOVE IT!

If you give a girl a project...

If you give a girl a bedroom to makeover, she'll realize the closet needs to be organized. After the closet is organized, she'll need new shelves to store everything in the closet.... and so the story goes.

First blogging lesson learned. Never say "I'll post tomorrow" :)

Kendra's room has been coming along beautifully. There is so much more than just painting and rearranging when it comes to your own home. There's always that second step...and then the third...and before you know it, you've spent the hours on things you hadn't planned. That's what's happening with Kendra's room. I feel like the mouse who was given a really BIG cookie but only one day to eat it. Uber bliss....come back to me!

Three updates to give...
1. I sent Kendra fabric samples and she told me last night that she loves them. She's very excited! So am I!
2. The walls, trim and furniture are painted. Check out today's second blog about painting the trim.
3. We have family coming from out of town who will be sleeping in her room on Thursday!!! AHHHHHHHH! The out of town guest situation is a catch 21. I LOVE having a deadline and it makes me work harder to get the room completed. BUT...I have a headboard to make, curtains to sew, a room to accessorize. I have a very busy day!

The painting is done. It was uber fun to paint! I've painted more rooms than I can count. Like Janell at Isabella and Max Rooms, I have a hard time hiring anyone to do something I can. This room painted beautifully. The paint poured out of the can like Paul Deen hot chocolate and dried on the wall like even yummier dark chocolate. The color is Dutch Boy Coffee Connoisseur and it works perfectly with the fabric. The trim, walls, furniture, accessories - it's all painted.

I am definitely a thrifty girl. I LOVE finding the deal and turning it into a hot treasure. The top dresser I found for $25 at a DAV Thrift Store. The bottom dresser at a tag sale for $25. Kendra had her eye on a dresser similar to it in Pottery Barn. Both painted up beautifully and were meant for her room.

Saturday was a complete spray paint high! :) After sanding, filling, priming and painting, I was ready to call it a day.

Yesterday I went through all of the boxes and storage containers as I moved Kendra's closet. All Barbie's, American Girls, Bratz and their lovely accessories have been cleaned, sorted and most of the them stored for safe keeping. Although it was time consuming, I really enjoyed doing it. It brought back a lot of little girl memories that seemed like a few months ago. Sigh. Where does the time go?

Here's a funny for all of you decorators...This is a great picture I found at Nell Hill quite a few years back. It was originally priced at $550.00 but the glass was broke out of the front and I got it for $89.00. UBER BLISS! It has hung in both of my new homes but has been in storage since our move to this home. I painted it white and will use the graphic fabric on the foam core - that is already in the frame - as a bulletin board in Kendra's room.

Here's the funny. There's wire, curling ribbon AND PANTYHOSE (LOL!) on the back as the hanging mechanism! I had a good laugh about this one. I'm sure not a single one of you has ever improvised this way?!

Thanks for following along. More posts of the room soon. Definitely before Thursday :)!

Friday, June 18, 2010

House...you brought too much baggage into this relationship

I love new homes. I love the smell. I love the look. I love designing exactly what you want. I love the feeling that I'm the first person to use every inch of it.

Now...I'm in a relationship with a new 'used' home and he's brought some nasty baggage that we've got to deal with if we're going to make this work.

A little background...I've been very blessed to have build two homes in the last 10 years. When I say built, I really mean with my own hands - framing, wiring, tiling, painting. My hubby works in the building materials business, I am a quick picker upper and fearless when it comes to learning new skills so it just made sense that I would help with every aspect. So we found some land and built the first home. We sold it four years later and built another one next door. That's my second baby in the photo at the top - oh how I miss you baby. We sold it four years later and have landed gently in a used home where we plan to live out the high school years of our kiddos. This lovely home is smaller, lowered our mortgage by half (thanks to Dave - live like no one else!), fits in our short term retirement/move to the lake plan but definitely needs to be updated.

A strong relationship needs to have great communication skills. The first week in the new diggs I grabbed paper and pen and sat down in the living room. "House", I said, " We need to talk. I love you and I know we're going to be spending some quality years together. I know you want to change, too. Let me help."

That was the beginning of a long and frustrating year. But I have to tell you, we're making progress. Any good therapist would tell you to write it down. Set goals. Take baby steps towards your changes. Good advice.

After a year of making lists and prioritizing our relationship goals we decided these issues needed to be addressed first:
1. Light oak laminate flooring in the kitchen
2. No built in's flanking the fireplace
3. Textured walls
4. Popcorn ceilings
5. Dark, dark, trim and doors
6. Off white carpet - even on the stairs from the front door!
7. Bathrooms with tiny toilets, vinyl flooring, old vanities and lighting
8. Old kitchen appliances
9. Bad lighting in every room
10. Really rough berber carpet in the basement

Shwoo! It's a long list but me and the house, we came to an understanding that changes would happen in good time. The house was going to sit back and relax and turn things over to me. I'd call when I needed him.

I called on my contractor friends, worked my magic and immediately marked three things off the list.
3. Textured walls....the only way to get rid of them was to have a skim coat of drywall mud put over them or to replace the sheetrock. First choice - too costly and messy. Second choice - are you kidding??!!
4. Popcorn ceilings...removing the popcorn wouldn't be difficult because they had never been painted. They are in fabulous shape (thank you previous owners for never smoking) and I really didn't want to deal with the mess or patching any hiding nail pops. I decided this was a flaw I could live with.
8. I searched Craigslist and found appliances that are PERFECT and PRICED GREAT! Brand spanking new at used prices...gotta love Craigslist!

So, here we are. Me and the house. Working on the rest of our issues and trying to make this relationship work. I have to tell you...he has been easy to work with. Patient. Easy going. I think I could learn a thing or two from him.

My post tomorrow will be about tackling the dark, dark trim. I found great tips online and from some master painters I can't wait to share. Starting on Kendra's room has started the project dominoes.

Speaking of Kendra's room...The walls are painted and I'm working on the furniture. I'll do another post today with the progress. Uber fun!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Come to This

I admit it. I've been one of those insomniac blog readers. If I couldn't sleep, I'd sit down at the computer, hand on the mouse searching for anything to keep my mind off not being able sleep. Typically, I find myself searching decorating and design blogs that give great ideas and a little spark to fuel my flame for my next decorating gig.

I can honestly say - I HAVE NEVER COMMENTED ON ANY BLOG I'VE EVER READ WHILE DOING THE INSOMNIAC SEARCH. I know! It's a shame. I've read some fabulous blogs and learned so many wonderful things. The blog that sent my thoughts into overdrive wondering if I could do this myself? Janell Beals at Isabella and Max Rooms. Love her ideas - simple and practical. Love her style - beautiful and in the moment. Love her blog - like conversation with the girls.

So...why would I be starting my own blog hoping for readers? Decorating gives me UBER BLISS! I believe the only way to find it and keep it is to be committed to keeping my creative buzz a goin' by sharing current decorating jobs and personal projects. So...off I go into the world of blogging.

First project...my daughter's room. Kendra is 14 and she's gone to camp for a month. This is the PERFECT time to take her ideas of the ever so popular turquoise/orange/hot pink fake fur and beads and create a contemporary room that still oozes of girlie fun.

I found this FABULOSO fabric at Joann's Fabrics and Crafts last night and I now have all the inspiration I need. The last yard of chocolate flowered fabric screamed 'buy me!' and the creative buzz began. Within a minute the entire room unfolded in my head and I can't tell you the UBER BLISS that I found. UBER BLISS, people!

More later about the thrift store finds and hands on projects that will accompany these yummy fabrics.