Tuesday, January 22, 2013

At last!!! Updates to Home Sweet Home...

It's been a busy month, even with an extended month off from work, I actually feel more exhausted than when I was working--but a happy exhaustion at that, as I am finally making over the home!

It has been a year since we moved here, and while I was happy generally with the house (newly painted and all), I wasn't quite as proud of the decor--because there was none to speak of.

So this break, I wanted to focus on a couple of spaces in our home (Hubby warned me to not be overly ambitious, so I tried...hmm...), and even though it's not entirely done still, I couldn't wait to post these for you.  Thank you for waiting so patiently!

Family Room
"In Progress" photos:
The in-progress family room...shelf to left of fireplace to be replaced soon.
I should add that things started to come together for me after I found these great mustard yellow and gray decorative pillows (I'll have a close up soon), and then I found the courage to go with a WILD safari rug (wild for me, since I'm usually pretty tame. haha.  Lesson learned here is sometimes you just have to get one right piece first, and the rest will fall into place!
The newly improved fireplace, with some ferns growing inside of it!
I spent a couple hours scouring the inside of this 20+ old fireplace.  I don't think anyone has ever attempted to do it, as it was super SOOTY.  For days, I contemplated on how to brighten up this little space without completely rendering the fireplace useless (lest someday a family after us wants to use it...yes, I am a long-term kind of gal).  I thought about painting it, but if someone were to use it, the paint would bubble and peel off (found out fireplace parts need to be painted by the manufacture, or at least I was told).  So I'm proud to say that I found my solution to the fireplace beautification problem at Marshall's, where I had been a dozen times the last 2 weeks--always looking for some home decor inspiration.  Anyway, what you're looking at is a gray-n-white zig-zag contact paper!  What a brilliant idea! (pat, pat : p)  That way I can peel it off if I ever wanted to change the decor.  

I envisioned a aluminum planter, but found a painted metal one at IKEA.  Since all the ferns were close to dying there, I picked up a few healthy ones at Home Depot.  The artwork behind it is a drawing I did when I was little of a bundle of withering flowers--didn't know where to put it, so thought it would look neat inside.

My first wall gallery of art by my artist friends, ourselves, & even baby june!

Above you'll see the gallery of artwork.  It's just the beginning--I know I have some prints that I still have around somewhere, but I decided I would start with what I have and build upon it.  It ended up being a lot more colorful than I had thought, but I kind of like it.  Baby J's handprints at 5 months is on the top right--I just love that she contributed to the wall too!  And Hubby's watercolor painting of us eating his chicken katsu (japanese chicken fried steak) on a V-day from ages ago, I finally decided to feature it. :)

NOTE: see the doorbell on the upper left of the picture gallery?  (Before pic below)  Well, I decided for now, I would paint this eyesore out with the color of the wall.  It kind of did the trick, not drawing too much attention to itself.  Yes, I was feeling quite pleased and handy. ; )

"Before" photos:
This is a shot of the fireplace about a year ago...
Then some mindless adding of "stuff".  Particularly not fond of the shelf lined with DVD's.

Hubby's video games spewing out of the TV console...oy!
Oh, how "lucky" we are to have 2 fireplaces!  My mission was to beautify it.
My very handy Hubby unrolling the newly purchased rug, just 2 weeks ago!

Baby J's Bathroom
Since my last bathroom art post, I have done a great new thing (not at all well-represented in this photo since the bathroom window is always going to create a backlight unless I become a master at shooting these shots--maybe in another life)--I hid the fugly (freakin' ugly--I don't use swear words) shower doors in June's bathroom with a simple solution!

I bought a brushed metal tension rod from Target and, remembering I had some semi sheer windowpane curtains (I had made almost 10 years ago for my first apartment, then we used it in June's first nursery at our last place), I hung them high off the ceiling to hide the shower doors we can't afford to replace.  This also makes the bathroom feel more elegant and more spacious because of the dramatic height of the curtains (taller than the standard shower curtain height of 72").  

Hmmm, no "before" photos of the shower doors, but I thought you'd like to see how much Baby J enjoys her new bathroom, right when she woke up!

Living Room
If you remember from my very first post over a year ago (*sigh* another reminder of how long this has taken...) of our house, you'll see that this was a very inexpensive solution to create the window seating I had always dreamt of but couldn't afford, and don't have the skills to build.  
The original window before moving in...
The new window seating, with added upholstered by me. :)

This was an IKEA Expedit shelf turned on its side.  I wanted a built-in shelf but no one in my family (basically myself and hubby) is handy like that, so we built this one with baby J's help!  Then I bought foam on sale at Jo-Ann's, and upholstered the cushion, finished with piping that you can't even see...great. : p

Anyway, it was exciting to see it come together, after seeing so many ideas on Ikeahacker.net.  I intentionally made the cushion longer so that it would stay in the window opening.  I love that baby J has a little more storage for her toys and books.  She seems to enjoy it too.