Despite the fact that there are probably more pressing matters to discuss, I am really excited about this, so I’m just going to talk about it now!!
I finished Charlie’s nursery, at least for the most part. I am SUPER thrilled with how it turned out, so I want to share it with you guys. It’s the first room in our condo to actually be done, too, so that makes it even more exciting. I’ll share the other rooms (with before and after photos) as we finish them. To be honest, I'll probably share them with you as they're works in progress (rather than done) because I've gotten really picky about artwork recently and it's taking me awhile to visualize what I want for each room. But I digress.
So here are a few photos. The full set is on Flickr with more detailed photos, but here’s the gist!
First things first: the before photos. When we bought this place, it was DISGUSTING. Like, don’t-touch-anything-without-washing-your-hands-and-for-the-love-of-god-don’t-sit-on-the-toilet-seat DISGUSTING. The guys who lived here were foul, foul people. Notice in these pictures that the walls are dirty.
But it was the carpets that held the most evidence of their foulness. We’re talking layers upon layers of stains. For health reasons, we decided to have the carpets cleaned using a green carpet cleaning service rather than replacing them (did you know that new carpets out-gas for at least five years? Scary stuff). You should have seen what they took out of the flooring in Charlie’s room. Gross. Here’s the before (try not to barf):
And now, for the afters!
This is the view from the hallway (more on that wallpaper later!) and the entrance to her room. Last year, I saw a nursery on Ohdeedoh with a FABULOUS art installation. I stored it in the back of my brain, and it was the first thing I made for Charlie’s room (and I made it in December!). You might recognize the lanterns from our wedding ceremony. I love the idea of re-using items, and I think they’re much better executed here, haha. The alphabet print is from my store, and the dresser & storage containers are all from Ikea.
On the left, a close-up of the changing area. On the right, the glider area. The night stand is from Ikea and matches the dresser (they're both "Hemnes"). The glider was $40 from Craigslist and came with a nasty blue cushion. My fabulous mother made a new cushion (using fabric from Ikea), plus the pouf (using a pattern from Amy Butler) and pillow. The Felix the Cat stuffed animal was a gift from my grandfather, Charles. Charlie is named after him.
I am in love with the crib. I really wanted something sleek and modern (and non-toxic), and the Argington Sahara crib really fit the bill. The crib comes in several finishes, some of them retailing for over $1k. We ain’t made of money, though, so we chose the Red Maple finish from allmodernbaby.com, which was half the price and on sale when we bought it. The bumper and crib skirt were made by my mom, along with the beautiful circle quilt, which she made using a pattern from Bijou Lovely.
No nursery (well, room even) is complete without a little art! You can see detail shots of these on Flickr, but in summary, there’s an awesome frame with three images from an old Chinese children’s book I found in my in-law’s basement, a custom drawing I did of Charlie with her animal friends, the Wish Tree from my shop, and two free downloads from tinydecorblog.com.
Charlie’s bookshelf doubles as storage. We reused the Ikea Expedit from our apartment bedroom (it was used as a room divider there) and filled it with books and knick-knacks. Can you tell we're fans of Ikea? I love it. We now live 10 minutes from one, and it has allowed us to decorate on the cheap - and I think their stuff looks great!
So yeah, that's it! I am really not into baby-ish nurseries. I didn't want a bunch of frilly bows everywhere, and dolls & teddy bears kind of scare me. Luckily I'm not the only one out there with the same feelings about nursery design, and there's a lot of inspiration on websites like Project Nursery and Ohdeedoh. I hope you guys like it as much as I do!Comment
I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth of July! Ours was relatively uneventful, but it was nice to have such a long weekend with Y. Yesterday I spent driving all over the bay area, picking up random things from Craigslist. Why? Because I bought a fancy new printer, and it’s big. Too big for my tiny office. So we’re moving the office into the living room and splitting it into two rooms. Ah, yes. Time to rearrange and redecorate.
And speaking of rearranging/redecorating…how about remodeling?
Remember back in January, we were having our kitchen remodeled? And remember how you guys were super supportive, and you all wanted to see the finished product? And remember how I never posted the finished photos because I suck?
Well, here’s hoping you forgot that last part. ;)
Here I am, finally, with the finished photos. I am so thrilled with how it turned out, let me tell you. There are a few things I didn’t know about before that turned out to be great, and a couple of things I might have done differently had I known then what I know now. I’ll share it all with you guys, just in case some of you are looking to upgrade your kitchen at some point.
First off, here’s a photo of the kitchen as seen from our dining room: I love it. I love our pendant lamps, which we got on sale at EXPO when they went out of business. The bar is totally awesome–I don’t really eat there (which I’d pictured in my head), but I love that my friends (and Y) sit at it and talk to me while I’m cooking.
Also, you can see our fridge from this vantage point. Holy heck, you guys. Seriously. She’s everything I dreamed about and more. This fridge makes me so happy. She holds so much food! And that deli drawer is just as fabulous as I thought it would be.
My only gripe with the fridge is the fingerprints. When we were looking for refrigerators, I saw a few advertised as “fingerprint resistant.” I had no idea what that meant, and I definitely didn’t think it was worth the extra money. But…yeah. That would be nice. This sucker holds onto fingerprints like nothing I’ve ever seen. I try to use the handles, but we still end up with smudges. I can only imagine how dirty it will look with kids in the household. And considering we’re going to have this fridge for the next 5,376 years (because it was just that expensive), I’m sure it’s going to see some kid fingers. Wish me luck with that one.
On to the counters. We are very, very lucky that Y’s dad does kitchen and bathroom remodels for a living. As a result, he got everything in this kitchen at a deep discount. This limited our choices a bit (for example, we got to choose between three types of cabinets and 10 types of granite), but obviously our choices weren’t exactly shabby. ;) When Y’s dad talked to us about the counters, he stipulated that he wanted a granite backsplash. At the time, I thought it would be too dark, and I wasn’t sure it was going to be a good idea. But who was I to argue?
Man, was I ever wrong. I was soooo wrong. That granite backsplash is so classy!! I love it!! I also really love the combination of colors we chose for the cabinets and the granite.
I need to decorate above that window. I didn’t notice it was kind of bare looking!
One thing I wish we would have spent more money on (and if we were going to stay here forever, maybe we would have) is the dishwasher. We bought the absolute cheapest dishwasher we could find, and maaayyybeee that wasn’t such a good plan. Every dish has to be scrubbed before it goes in there, which kind of defeats the purpose. It’s also really loud and the cycle takes hours to complete. But alas, I hate doing dishes, so I use it anyway.
When we got our sink, we discovered that it came with a weird grate in it. We had no idea what it was for. Y even went so far as to say, “that’s stupid.” He ate his words pretty quickly, though, as we discovered that the grate is the best thing to happen to dishes since…maybe the garbage disposal? Even if you’re a slacker and leave the dishes in the sink (I’m not naming any names!), the nasty food stuff hangs out underneath the grate, so spraying it into the garbage disposal is easy peasy!
The other appliance I’m totally thrilled about is our range. It’s a Bosch gas range with convection oven, and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I treasure it. I’ve been cooking (and baking) up a storm!
This is our pantry, which has a ton of storage space, and a little wine rack. Yes, that’s Elvis Purrsley in there, begging for food. He is always hungry.
One last little detail is our menu, which was totally Y’s idea. He bought some wood molding, which we painted to match our barstools. Then he painted the menu on the door using chalkboard paint (which I promptly scratched and tried to fix, sorry darling!). Pretty sweet, huh?
I still can’t believe that I get to use this kitchen. I feel so spoiled!Comment
A few months ago, I saw an awesome post from Daily Danny about artwork made with tacks. I immediately starred it on my Google Reader and filed it in the forefront of my brain. I needed to do this for our house numbers (well, technically, our “fence” numbers, as this is on a fence you go through to enter our apartment). A long time ago I painted the house numbers on an old tile and haphazardly tied it to the fence. It looked terrible, and I wanted something much nicer.
I actually started this project about a month ago. I got the “42″ done, then procrastinated. I’m happy to say that I finished it this weekend, and I think it looks great!
The secret to getting the numbers (or letters, if that’s your bag) perfect is to find a font you like and print it out on your home printer, then tack it to the fence (or wood, or wall).
In order to get the tacks in the correct place, use needle-nose pliers and a hammer.
Then rip your paper off! I actually had kind of a problem getting all of the paper out of my 5. It’s going to rain this week, though–once the rain comes, the rest of the paper will disintegrate.
The 4 and the 2 actually started to rust during my procrastination phase, which looks really cool (far cooler than I expected). I’m looking forward to seeing how it changes with time.
What do you think?
Gung Hay Fat Choy, people!! As I’ve mentioned before, we’re in the process of having our kitchen remodeled. That makes it very difficult to do the top-to-bottom house cleaning that usually precedes Chinese New Year. So instead of cleaning, I’m going to do considerably less work and show you how the kitchen is coming instead.
Our old kitchen is very small, and it’s in a weird place. Basically, you had to walk through our storage area to get to it. See that door with the red thing on it from last Chinese New Year? That was the door you had to walk through (and that’s my card catalog, empty of all its drawers and ready to move).
This is what that wall looks like right now. They moved our fridge out into our dining area, moved the card catalog, and cut the wall down. They’ll actually be removing that little half-wall, too, and putting a short bar there instead.
The kitchen-to-be was one of two storage areas. As you can see, our old refrigerator is slowly-but-surely making it’s progress OUT (haha). That’s card catalog #2, empty of its drawers and ready to move into the back storage.
The floor in this soon-to-be kitchen area was two levels for some weird reason. You can kind of see the step in these photos. Walls were either totally unfinished or had big pieces of cardboard against them.
In order to even out the floor, they had to pour concrete and even things out. As you can see, the walls are now finished. The white door will have a step underneath it and lead to the storage area. The door on the left will be a pantry.
Originally, the guys were going to take yesterday and today off for Chinese New Year, but they just showed up! They said they had nothing to do and the kitchen will probably be done by the end of the week. HOW EXCITING IS THAT?! I am thrilled. Once it’s done, I’m going to do my Chinese New Year cleaning a week late. I have never been so excited to clean in my entire life!Comment
Anyone who knows me knows that I love organizing things. I’m a Virgo, so maybe it comes with the territory. Some of my favorite possessions include my iPhone’s calendar function, my label maker, and now this:
About a week before the wedding, I was perusing Craigslist when I came across a whole bunch of used library card catalogs for FREE. I’ve been wanting one of these for ages, but every time I’d seen them, they were hundreds of dollars. After all, this is a beautiful and hefty piece of furniture. It’s solid oak and has over seventy drawers!
Mr. Stinkerpants wasn’t nearly as thrilled about the prospect of getting these suckers as I was, but I really needed his help. Lucky for me, he’s a kind person and is generous with his time. :) We rented a truck from Zip Car (seriously one of the best ideas ever), drove over to Cal State East Bay and picked up two of them. Why two? Well, one for good measure (haha). It was quite an ordeal, I will admit: in order to make moving them manageable, we had to take out all of the drawers. I’m storing one in our basement until we move and I get a bigger office, and one is out for display.
I replaced all of the old labels with colored signs. The bottom half of the card catalog is for storing my various craft items–pens, adhesives, gocco supplies, etc. The top half is for storing the extra copies of projects I’ve done for my business, which I use as samples for various things.
Check it out! Pull out shelves, so I can take a drawer out to examine its contents:
I am in love.Comment
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