Makeover Mistakes

As someone who just completed a bathroom renovation (and is considering new floors & counters in the kitchen), an article in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune caught my eye. Instead of the usual “best resale investment” list, they went the opposite way with the worst choices–“Renovations that won’t come close to paying for themselves”. The list was all about what how much of your investment you’ll get back on resale, and while there were several no-surprise, a couple raised my eyebrows.

THE WELL-DUH CAMP:

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  • Swimming pools: I wouldn’t want to deal with one either–unless everyone else in the neighborhood has one (and buyers are expecting it), don’t expect to make the money back. Boyfriend’s sister and her family just bought a house with a pool, and the purchase was definitely in spite of the pool, not because of it.

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  • Over-the-top or too personal: Koi pond with water feature? Bathroom bigger than the living room? Basement model-train workshop? Huge garden of native flowers with ornamental shrubs? Great for making you happy…probably not going to mean so much to the person who might buy your house. The one above is gorgeous, but for a non-gardener like myself, it isn’t a selling point.
  • Bright colors: I love my teal hallway, but I understand others might not. And your bright orange kids room? Or the cobalt blue bedroom? Do it for you, but don’t think someone else will automatically love it as much as you do. Other than paint, my personal rule is that anything I install in my home should be pretty neutral. A new owner can change out my bathroom paint without much fuss, but green tile? Stuck with it.

Teal Hall outside bedroom door

  • Amateur Hour: Only DIY if it doesn’t LOOK DIY. Especially if it would be pretty expensive to get someone with actual skill to do it. (Of course, if you can pull it off, go for it.)

But the list contained a few things that I didn’t expect…

THE WAIT….REALLY?! COLLECTION:

  • Granite countertops: I’m considering upgrading my laminate to granite (or maybe quartz) so this was a big surprise, although the article does go on to explain that “it’s a poor investment to top your counter with granite in a Formica neighborhood.” So that’s a little different; I think especially when space is limited (in, say, Chicago condos) homes distinguish themselves with their finishes. A bigger surprise was a real estate agents comment that granite is too trendy–in five years it will “mark a home as being outdated.”

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  • Converted garages: I was surprised that adding extra living space to your house wasn’t considered a plus–but the article explained that many people look for a garage, and converted garages are often not-exactly living space, missing insulation or connection to the HVAC. They even talked about a house flipper who says his biggest profits come from buying homes with converted garages…and changing them back. The image above is from a real estate website article addressing this, and interestingly they all say the best case scenario is that they are a wash, but in most cases they reduce the value of the home.

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  • Home office: My home-stager friend and I were just talking about this, so this one was a big surprise. He told me that you should stage a spare bedroom as an office, because many buyers are looking for that space. My neighbors just sold their condo, and staged the second bedroom as a baby’s room, but buyers with limited imagination may not be as likely to see something used for a different purpose. And on the flip side, if you need room for baby, you’ll figure out that its a better choice than the office. So what was the problem? Built-ins. The picture above is Amanda‘s old office, with tons of amazing cabinets and shelves that her husband built from scratch. It’s pretty awesome. The issue comes in if you want to use the room as a bedroom–built-ins really limit options. So, unless you have plenty of space (they had four other bedrooms, so this was a great choice) use a room as an office but leave it flexible for other purposes too.

Did any of these surprise you? Should I still get granite countertops?

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Bathroom Built-Ins

Remember these?

Bathroom Final Built Ins

The awesome (if difficult to photograph) built-in cabinet & shelves in the new bathroom. The whole unit is only 12 inches wide (which means the shelves are only 9 inches wide), but it goes all the way to the 9 foot ceiling. And all the way back too (well, 26 inches from the door to the wall…its a very narrow bathroom). I have three shelves that are about 12″ high, and then the top shelf is about 24″, and then the cabinet encloses two more 12+” shelves.

This weekend (while in the midst of another project I can’t wait to share) I took everything out of the bathroom cabinets and reorganized. Here’s what ended up in that built-in:

Bathroom built in contents

That’s a lot of stuff. The cabinet holds extra towels, my bathrobe (out of season), with two sets of sheets on the top shelf with a basket of pillowcases and wash cloths in front of it. The three regular shelves hold:

  • Extra shampoo, conditioner and other toiletries in bottles (held in a basket, with a vase in front of it)
  • A cleaning caddy (covered by the canvas we made along with the birthday art)
  • A long open basket with small toiletries (floss picks, toothpaste, soap)

And the top one has toilet paper. I blame my father. He talked me into it when he took my sister and I to Costco.

That’s in addition to all the other storage:

Bathroom FInal Vanity From Above

The vanity cabinet with large open shelf below it (extra towels, first aid, some cleaning supplies, things I need when I inevitably break my ankle again)

Bathroom Final Shelves

The open shelves above the toilet, home to chargers on the bottom shelf, hand towels and a basket of toilet paper on the middle shelf, and hair products I don’t use on the top shelf [Fact: I can’t blow dry my own hair. This may be because I’ve never tried.]

Bathroom Final Bonus Cabinet

The high-up cabinet above those shelves–most people don’t even notice it, but its got beach towels and my old set of towels in it right now.

I’m totally amazed at all the storage I managed to build in to such a small room. It freed up a ton of space in the hall (only) closet, and it doesn’t look crowded at all. I still miss having a real linen closet, but this is not bad at all.

Do you have a linen closet? Where do you store all your bathroom stuff?

New Apartment: Bathroom

Practically speaking, the first room I needed ready to go was the bathroom. There were some considerations I needed to work around. Here’s the before:

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Here’s the current:

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I had to take down the cabinet over the sink because it was a little too scuffed, and since it was made of particle board, I couldn’t paint it. I replaced it with an Ikea mirror that uses a hinged mount – the perfect solution since the tiled part of the wall sticks out. It was also an oddly sized space for a mirror and this square one fit. (It looks a little high in the picture, but it’s really that the light fixture is oddly low. We hung the mirror at a height so normal-height people could use it.) I added two floating shelves with baskets above the toilet for a little extra storage within arms reach when I’m at the sink.

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Since I’m working with these odd cabinets in the shower (which are nice because of all the storage), I had to mount the shower curtain rod at ceiling height. I had to order an extra long shower curtain, so my options were limited, but I like the ruffled white curtain (with white fabric liner) – it adds some texture and feminity to my really linear bathroom.

We also painted the bathroom. Funny story – I had a ton of samples from the paint store and kept holding them up on the wall, and this one was the instant hit with me and my mom – and then I realized it was the exact same color I had painted my bedroom upstairs. So I just used my leftover paint from that room.

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And lastly, my pictures. I took the messed up framed butterflies from my hallway and cut them down to square size with a utility knife. Then I fit them in these extra-deep square frames from Ikea.

New Apartment: The before tour

I’m all moved in to my new place. It was a lot of work: new paint, moving of heavy objects, things into boxes and cupboards and bags. I’m still getting things sorted out, but I thought I’d give a preview of what I’m working with.

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Her’s the first bedroom: tannish walls, old taupe-y paint, no closet doors. Brand new carpeting though, so bonus!

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The bathroom needed a really good scrub down, but there are decent bones. In the shower, hidden behind the door in this picture, is a massive double-decker storage closet. The medicine cabinet is unfortunately made of particle board and badly in need of painting or replacing.

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The office. Again, tan and taupe, with no closet doors. And a big ol’ radiator in an inconvenient spot.

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The kitchen had bright red paint (very patchy in person), old green countertops, and really nice new appliances and cupboards.IMG_0082

Plus a ton of storage! Those are pull-out shelves in the tall pantry.IMG_0094

Plus there was a bonus banquet made from some extra upper cupboards. You can see in this photo that the one on the left is damaged – apparently cupboards aren’t made to withstand the weight of someone sitting on them.

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The living room was actually a decent shade of green and has giant windows and french doors. Unfortunately, as you can see on the left in this photo, there were some chips in the wall, so the room had to be repainted.IMG_0086

Another shot of the living room, showing off the chips and the row of pretty stained glass windows.IMG_0087

The back hallway, with another huge closet (this time with doors).IMG_0095

Here you can see my front door in the little foyer and one wall of the dining room. Both were a bright, vivid teal – but there were lots of scuffs from bicycles.IMG_0096

Another view of the dining room, showing the built-in buffet and large bay window.IMG_0098And another view of the living room, looking into the dining room with a tiny sliver of the kitchen. Very bright!

As you can see, this place has great bones, but really needed some love in the form of cleaning and painting. I can’t wait to show you some progress.

Sweet(er) Dreams of a New Bedroom

It’s time for a makeover. My bedroom was the first room to come together…nine years ago. Three apartments ago. And its time for a change.

Bedroom from DoorMeet purple. The purple was a good idea nine years ago. My furniture has a lot going on, so I knew I wanted to keep it simple and thought a solid color would be best. I finally got a headboard a year or so ago. It doesn’t read quite right in this photo but it is a sage-y green/gray.

This room is not bright at all. It faces North, and if you look at the picture you can see that the window has something just beyond it–the window opens on to the porch, so natural light is tough to get in here.

Inlaid dresserThe furniture is old. I got it when I was 16, from my grandmother. The art was a hand me down from Dad. He brought over all his rejects so I had things on the wall. I can’t decide what (if anything) on the dresser I like.

VanityThe vanity had doors once. And see that bench? Its upholstered with horsehair. It’s having a horsehair baby out the bottom and needs to be reupholstered. The shape looks easy, but I’m guessing switching out horsehair for cushion is a job best left to professionals.

Bedroom Window

See the horsehair pooching out the bottom of the bench? The curtains need to be rehung too…higher and wider.

But mostly…all. that. purple. The pillows are actually from my VERY first apartment, when I was a junior in college. It was a whole theme they went with…it involved a set of purple sheets and a sheet of green sheets. Also my mother and I sponge painted a dresser. We were awesome like that. I don’t think I have pictures, but I kind of wish I did.

While I still like purple, it isn’t fitting in too well with the other rooms in my house, especially the hallway. The bedroom is just off the teal hallway, and the rest of the house is more blues and greens. Since I only have four rooms (+ 2 hallways + a small porch + bathroom) I want to keep it cohesive. Plus its time for a change. The quilt is starting to get little tears–no complaints here, it has seen plenty of use over almost ten years–and the comforter cover has a rip and some small stains.

Bedroom from WindowsI got those two pictures from a street vendor when I went to NYC. The colors are green and purple. Look at that consistency.

So it’s time for a change. I’m just not sure to what.

Things that aren’t changing:

  • The furniture placement
  • The furniture itself (headboard, vanity, dresser)

Things that are changing:

  • Curtains
  • Quilt & comforter cover
  • Throw pillows

The rest is up for grabs. A rug? Could be nice. New art? A change in wall color? Who knows.

I’m having a tough time finding inspiration with such heavy dark furniture, but I’m not in a huge hurry. I think I can work a pattern in somewhere, and I like the ideas of blues and greens. That’s most of what I’ve got right now.

Thoughts? Know where I can find some pictures with dark bedroom furniture? I love mine, I just can’t find any pictures with dark furniture for ideas.

Dinners, Crafts and Games

When I was looking for my condo, I really wanted a dining room. My specific request was “a real place to put my table” but what I was hoping for was an actual dining room, not just a good sized corner for the table or an eat-in kitchen.

DIning Room Full

This was exactly what I wanted. When I first moved in, the dining room had a table & four chairs, an armchair in the corner and two bookcases. It was a little…sparse. It was also really beige. The walls are a perfectly acceptable neutral, but pair that with several wood bookcases, a wood table & chairs, bare wood floors…you get the picture. I wanted curtains to really soften it up, but I didn’t want just one color. I searched for ages for the right patterned fabric, and my mom sewed the curtains for me.

DR windows

The background is neutral, so it goes well with the walls (and new chairs), but brings in lots of color and movement. They have several shades of blue and green, with a little teal and yellow mixed in. Plenty of colors to play off of, like the green tablecloth I picked up on clearance at Target.

I got a china cabinet hand me down later, and then got my big break on an old original buffet living in the basement. Lesley and I decided to paint it a dark blue to tie in to the navy in the curtains (which was a little trial and error–oops).

DR from kitchen 2

I finally hung my birthday artwork and I got a matching frame to hang some new art (a photo my sister took on a hike in Tahoe). Along with the old china cabinet, these two provide tons of storage! This is also the room where I craft, and I have a lot of supplies that live in there. Adding all that storage from the buffet gave me a lot more space to store my supplies–and keeping them convenient makes it easier to use them. Its definitely still a work in progress, but I’m refining how and where I store things and I’ll get there eventually.

DR from Kitchen

The Birthday artwork is definitely the focal point in the room–I love all of the color it brings in. My best friend has requested I make him one as well, and that seems like a fun wedding project (he just got engaged).

DR Birthday Art

I just added the two new upholstered chairs–I was going back and forth on whether to get neutral or something fun/colorful/printed and how much to spend (high quality that I’ll be able to use in the future? Something cheaper that can be a fun accent for now?). I’ve been playing princess and the pea with chairs for months now, and haven’t found anything I totally loved–and $300 for a chair is a little ridiculous. When we went to Ikea on our post-Christmas shopping trip I sat on these–and they’re good! They’re less than $100 each, so two of these came right out of my Christmas money and the neutral cover ties in to the background on the curtains. The finish on the legs is even a pretty decent match to my table.

DR Table and chairs detail

How many types of chairs do you have around your dining room table?

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Style Evolution: Old Apartment

I started writing this post before I started moving. Then, no internet for three weeks (oh, the agony!). But now that I’m settling into the new place, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the old place.

Mary’s post about her living room is a pretty good description of how my style has evolved – I’ve worked with what I had and made the most out of things I don’t necessarily love. I have a lot of hand-me-downs, a lot of thrift store finds and a lot of furniture from box stores like Ikea and Target. And you know, I think I’ve made that work pretty well. That’s been my budget, and I think I managed to mix the practicality of using what I had and throwing in some smaller new stuff to make it work.

So let’s take a tour, shall we?

You enter the apartment at the top of a flight of stairs (no landing), and step into a narrow, L-shaped hallway.

The front hall

The front hall

Front hall towards kitchen

Front hall towards kitchen

When I moved in, most of the wall in the apartment were dingy beige and the trim was dusty taupe, and in pretty rough shape (tons of chips). It took about two weeks to paint the hallway, living room and bedroom. The gray here is Burnished Metal by Behr, and the Trim is Behr’s Ultra White. (I’m a huge fan of Behr’s Paint and Primer in one.) I love how this turned out. (I actually love this color so much that when I had paint samples stuck to the wall of my new place, I picked this color again, having no idea it was the same until I ran down to the basement to get touch up paint when I moved out.)

Since the space was so narrow (the exact width of the doorways), I only hung pictures on one wall in each passage, but I think keeping the frame sizes and shapes consistent really dressed up the space.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Since I painted so much of the apartment, I left the kitchen color as it was. It was a beige-y yellow that felt a bit Tuscan to me. The cupboards were a mishmash, but the giant wall of windows made up for any shortcomings in this kitchen. Pity the curtains are closed in this picture.

More Kitchen

More Kitchen

I invested in a nice island-type table that could seat four (even if you could only crack open the fridge when both flaps were up), added narrow shelves above the sink, asked my mom to make some basic cotton curtains for the windows (both for privacy and temperature control). And we added a ceiling fan, which made a huge difference in the functionality of this room in summer. Oddly, the bathroom was tucked under the eaves right off the kitchen.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Not stunning, but there was a ton of storage that made it usable. The sage green towels I’ve had for years looked pretty good too. On the other side of the kitchen was a small carpeted room that I used as a pantry.

Pantry

Pantry

Since it had an outlet and a light, I was not only able to store food in there, but kept my kitchen aid mixer and microwave in there too. It was just a step away from the stove, and really helped keep my limited counterspace clutter-free.

Looking into the living room

Looking into the living room

My living room evolved around a couple key hand-me-downs and some lucky clearance finds. The loveseat (and despite the size of the room, I could only have a loveseat because of the narrow hallway and door) was a gorgeous designer hand-me-down that used to belong to an interior designer friend of the family. The green chair and rug were both new, but floor models, so I got them each for about 75% off from Pier One and Ikea respectively. These are three pieces of furniture that I really love, but I have discovered that the loveseat is fantastic for curling up to watch a movie or read a book by yourself, but not really functional for company.

The "L" of the living room

The “L” of the living room

Now, you’ve seen these chairs before. They weren’t quite what I had in mind for this space, but they were a free hand-me-down from my mom, and I do love how they turned out with new paint and fabric. I also love how glass doors turn the cheapest Ikea bookshelves into something really special.

Living room looking toward hall

Living room looking toward hall

I also really like my TV armoire. I like that it keeps the TV dust-free and out-of-sight when I ‘m not watching, that it’s actually made of real wood with a nice finish, and that it was another free hand-me-down from friends of the family. I’m not crazy about the way you can see all the cords underneath, or about how wide it is, but all-in-all, it’s a nice piece.

Office

Office

Off to the side of the living room was another under-the-eaves room, which I used as an office. I had a desk made of two file cabinets and a huge glass table top. I regret buying that glass table top! It’s too heavy to move by myself and it’s so large I have to use brackets to brace it against the wall. The room had another sloped ceiling, but was long enough to pack in quite a bit of storage for my craft and office supplies.

Messy, messy office

Messy, messy office

Bedroom

Bedroom

The bedroom was one room I never really did much with. The Ikea dresser was purchased to fit a specific space in a previous apartment (and I’m sick of the blue) and I never really found a rug I liked, so I just threw down a tiny Ikea mat. Also, the radiator made bed placement really difficult.

Bedroom window

Bedroom window

I do love my textured white curtains (and the cute dog peeking out the window). But I’m not crazy about my headboard anymore. Or the return-discounted mattress set I purchased almost 10 years ago (it’s a full-size firm bed, and I’m a side-sleeper who’d rather have a soft queen-sized bed). Also not great? The blankets I constantly have on the bed to keep dog hair off my sheets because someone likes to nap there while I’m at work.

So there it is. Not super-stylish, but not too terrible either. But now that I’m in the new place, I’m eager for some change. And, for the first time in my adult life, I can actually purchase a few new things too. I still have a pretty strict budget, but there’s a little more flexibility to, say, buy a couch that I like, instead of one at Goodwill. So I think it will be really interesting to see how things evolve in the new place.

At the same time, I keep reminding myself that part of the reason I have inexpensive, fine-for-now furniture is because I rent, and I never know how long I’ll be somewhere or what the next place will be like. So it still doesn’t make a ton of sense for me to spend a fortune on  decorating a place I might be in for a year or two. And money I don’t spend on that, is money I can eventually spend on buying and decorating a place that I actually own.

Loving the Living Room

I moved the best of two worlds (my apartment and my sister’s; she headed for California) into my condo, but the best of both worlds came with some drawbacks. Having all of the furniture I needed meant I didn’t need to buy anything (yay!) but I also didn’t get to choose anything (boo!).  In a few rooms that meant giving myself some time to choose what I wanted and upgrade over time to better pieces.

My living room, however, was another story. That room was fully furnished, and much of the furniture was very nice.  The centerpiece? A (very valuable) Oriental rug from my grandmother. I also had most of my father’s newly-divorced living room set, with a masculine/traditional look going. It wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t my taste either. Especially with my darker-gray walls in a North-facing room, it also made the room feel dark and small.

Living Room Old

Also, it looked like my grandparents lived here. I felt like the sofa was old-man, the table was old-lady and the rug just old-people. I am a brat, and I am sorry. The table on the left of the sofa was nice though…honestly, that was the only thing I genuinely liked. I was neutral on the other end table and the blue chair.

I considered repainting the walls to make it work, but my friend Brad (he of the brilliant paint choices) suggested a new rug might make a huge difference. (This is probably why he now works for a home staging company, right?)

We went on a mini shopping spree, picking up a new end table lamp in glass (much lighter then the heavy ceramic you see above), a rug that was both smaller AND lighter, and new throw pillows for the couch. On a whim, he also talked me in to a new lamp for the mantel. I was “meh” about it when he picked it, but now I love it. I still wouldn’t necessarily say its “my style” but it is so perfect for the space–a great lesson about style not being the only indicator that something is right!

Living Room ProgressThat was two years ago, and I instantly loved it more—it doesn’t even look like the same room! Incredible considering we changed only three things (and added a cream blanket that was formerly hanging out in my bedroom).

So. much. better. I hosted game club at my house shortly after this, and one girl asked if I’d gotten a new couch and told me she really liked it. A couple days later another friend said the same thing. I don’t love it still, but it was a great working-with-what-I’ve-got lesson.

Next up, that table. It belonged to my parents. Who are divorced, and have been for 19 years. They bought it when they got married. Goodbye. I pinned the heck out of various table ideas. I thought glass would be great for making the room look lighter still, but Brad (yep, the home styler again) pointed out that his glass coffee table it takes two people to move it. Oh. So I settled on two smaller glass cube tables. These are really similar (identical?) to Pottery Barn’s Tanner Cube tables, except they were less than $100 each on Overstock.com.

Living Room Feb 12Oh, and I got the same Target chair that everyone else has. Can you spot my Christmas presents? The pillow is sitting pretty on the couch (love the rectangular shape) and the blanket basket is diagonal from this shot.

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Boyfriend got me a basket and a new blanket for Christmas. I don’t like the look of the red one, but its cozy so I live with it.

Blanket basketAnd the rest of the room? Here’s looking from the windows back towards the door…you can just make out the stenciled hallway reflecting in the mirror on the hall cabinet.

Living Room Door view

And from the center hallway, where you can see the lamp a little better. Both the base and shade are oval, and the color is just right.

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I’m mostly happy with the mantel right now. The photo is me and my parents before my sister was born–my uncle took it. And the little photo canvas is one of my grandfather’s photos. There was a huge set that used to be hung in their house, and when we divided up their estate I got this one. It was taken before I was born when my grandparents (mothers) came out to my grandparents (fathers) house in Tahoe. He was an avid photographer and my mom has some of his old photos displayed too. I don’t love the framing, but its permanently attached so I’ll deal–and the picture is gorgeous. I’m still working on styling all this, but its much better than it used to be!

Living Room Mantel

What are your best tricks for styling mantels? Tables? Mine definitely still need some work!

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Bathroom Updates

This is a short little post on a little bitty thing. But sometimes those updates are the most fun, so I’m sharing anyhow. I’m loving the new bathroom, but still having a minor issue.

Medicine Cabinet BeforeThat. Not just the part where it isn’t the tidiest, but the part where I can’t actually see things in there very well. My old medicine cabinet had a white interior, and I could see things in it. This one? Not so much. When I wash my face or brush my teeth I put my hair back in a headband and ponytail, so I leave those two things in there. Both are black. They’re on the bottom shelf. See them?

Yeah, me either.

I can lean all the way over and look close and I still can’t see them half the time, and it was driving me nuts.

The surface is also wood, and I worried that drippy toothbrushes and the like would hurt the wood eventually.

Enter the Target placemat:

Placemats Uncut

Which I cut into:

Placemat strip cut

And then emptied out the cabinet:

Medicine Cabinet Empty

And plopped it in (ok, so I measured too):

Strip in Cabinet

Now can you find my headband?

Medicine Cabinet with Wipe Clean placemat strip

Yep, me too! (It’s just to the left of the toothbrushes). If the mat gets dirty or sticky or anything, I can just pull it out and wash it off, leaving my medicine cabinet like new and me able to find my headband at 6 am!

This isn’t my first Target placemat use–I have a couple in my kitchen for things like the bottom of the baking pan cabinet and underneath oils. Super easy, cleans up and if it gets too dirty I can just toss it out and my cabinets will be none the worse for wear! They cost about $2 and although the designs change, they always seem to have these in stock.

Do you line your medicine cabinet? Ever used a placemat for an unconventional purpose?

Boyfriend Birthday Art

Boyfriend’s not a crafty guy. He’s not much of a reader either, and definitely not a Young House Love junkie like some people here.

But after teasing me about Lesley coming down and the two of us waiting outside in the rain to get our very own autographed copy of their book, he had to see what the fuss was all about.

YHLBookAnd he saw a picture of this:

(Not the picture from the book, which isn't even about the art in the first place)

And he really liked it. Enough to refer back to it a couple times, and for me to decide it would be a pretty good birthday present. So for his birthday, I grabbed a big canvas, some craft paint and a few brushes (ok, I already had the brushes). I wrapped them up with a little canvas (to represent the big blank one which I didn’t think was worth wrapping). After a little confusion, he was excited, and over Christmas break we got it done.

Turns out he’s also totally hired on as my new staff photographer (have you noticed how bad all my pictures are?), so that’s a plus.

So we got out our canvas, a yardstick, several shades of green craft paint + white + silver metallic for some depth, a couple brushes and a paper plate for mixing.

So we got out our canvas, a yardstick, several shades of green craft paint + white + silver metallic for some depth, a couple brushes and a paper plate for mixing.

Then I got to measuring. We did 1.5 inch marks, using the yardstick facing the same direction down both long sides and then lining it up between the two marks to make lines. Then I just grabbed an envelope and made some random arrows. This part was hilarious. It’s not for me, so I was asking Boyfriend what he wanted. So he went and got the book, and started scrutinizing the picture. “Well, she never does too many close together.” “Don’t do diamonds. She didn’t do diamonds.” The best was “Ok, she did two, then three, then two, then four…” as he actually started counting how many arrows in each line. I stopped him and pointed out it didn’t have to look EXACTLY like what Sherry did. That’s an IT guy for you, right?

Arrow art measure 1Arrow art measure 2Arrow art make arrows

Then it was time for painting. As with anything paint, you can always go darker, so I started with what I thought would be a mid-to-darker color (which was one of my greens mixed with white). Of course, it ended up being our darkest.

Arrow art progress 1From there, we just mixed new shades, usually just lightening what we were working with, and adding a lime-y green to some mixes, with silver to others (I didn’t want it to look too flat and Sherry didn’t provide formulas, so I was allowed to do this.)

Arrow Art progress 2My new photographer Boyfriend even made me hold it up at regular intervals to make sure he got some good progress shots (see, totally hired!)

Arrow Art Progress 3And I started on the little bonus canvas you see–see if you can find it later in my house!

Arrow Art Progress 4And then finally it was done! He loves it and so do I. Right now it’s hung sideways on a nail in my house waiting for his move to a new place at the end of the month. But it will be the first thing you see when you walk in his new place. Now if I can just convince him I don’t do this with everyone I date (which is true! Right Lesley?!)

Arrow Art Final 2

What’s your favorite piece of art you’ve made?