Thursday, January 29, 2015

These Little Lights of Mine, I'm Gonna Let Them Shine (for now...)

Today's blog post is purely dedicated to show everyone some true 1920s-1930s light fixtures.  They are 100% not our taste and we will be remodeling our home to a transitional design as the years go by.  But for now, this is how we live.  It is quite astonishing how great all of these fixtures look for their age.  I know these fixtures are so unique that they can go for a pretty penny nowadays.  So, eventually we'll be doing our research in how to sell them to go to a good home :).

To start, this is the astonishing outside of our house on the day we bought the house.  We are in love.  We need to spruce up the landscaping, but overall the architecture is marvelous.

Now onto the inside... and our light fixtures...

This beaut sits over our dining room table.

This unique piece is milk glass.

These guys are Depression Glass (one in green and one in pink).

I actually like this chandelier that sits in our breakfast nook.  We will re-purpose it to work in  our dream closet!

Some more depression glass in the form of sconces.  We have 5 of these.

We have three of these lovely pieces.

This is our stairwell chandelier!  I'm torn whether I want to keep this one or not.

This fixture is something else.  We own 2...

 Our nephew calls our house a castle.  This entry way fixture seems to fit in with our "castle theme"...

As a bonus, I'm throwing in a picture of our pink and black bathroom.  I'm amazed on how well these tiles have held up since 1930.

What do you think... Awful or vintage-tastic?  Comment below! more “These Little Lights of Mine, I'm Gonna Let Them Shine (for now...)”

Thursday, January 22, 2015

50 Shades of Gray - okay maybe like 4 or 5

A little teaser of our dining room flip:

The dining room was the first entire room "we" (mostly my decision) decided to cosmetically flip in our old house/new rental.  Matt had to go to Japan for a business trip and my mom stayed with me for the two weeks he was gone (good thing I like my Mom ;)).  She agreed to help me renovate while Matt was gone (all while I was still working my regular job).  Matt and I did two things together before he left. 

1. Pulled off the old baseboards which were two different pieces made to look like one (made for harder removal).  We used crow bars, pieces of plywood, hammers, and brute strength.  We tried just leveraging the crow bars on the wall and, of course, the plaster started to crumble; hence, we started using plywood to leverage against.  A lot of plaster crumbles off of the wall when baseboards are pulled off of lath and plaster, thus, we had to vacuum all the little pieces up for new baseboards to be installed.  Matt is so cute vacuuming after the baseboards were pulled off.

2. Pick paint colors.  Matt and I went with a greenish-gray color pallet using the lightest 3 colors.  We used these three colors from the same pallet called Reserved White, Silver Strand, and Magnetic Gray.

This pallet is from Sherwin Williams.  We bought the lightest color, Reserved White, in flat sheen for the ceiling. The next, Silver Strand, was the main wall color bought in Satin sheen. And the last, darkest, Magnetic Gray, was used the least on the outside of the main decorative trim pieces (also bought in Satin sheen).    

So, from here on out all work was tackled by my Mom and me :)  First step: PREP!  I was so excited to paint but there's sooo much that has to be done before paint can even be opened.  First we layed down tarps on the floor and blocked off all entrance ways to the room with plastic drop cloths - we wanted to minimize the dust, debris, and mess from the rest of the house since we were still living in the house.  

Next, we tore out the casing on the door to create an archway as seen on Door to Archway - Thanks Josh Temple.

Then we spackled and sanded all cracks, imperfections, and nicks in the walls/trim.  This included some pretty bad old patch jobs and lots of ceiling work.

This is a little of the aftermath from sanding.  Obviously I had all my proper PPE (personal protective equipment) on with that lovely dust mask outline and raccoon eyes.

Throughout this whole process I would run to the hardware store during my lunch break to pick up any supplies my mom and I would need at night.  

FINALLY, we were ready to paint!  We started with the 3 main grays.

... and I started to freak out.  Did I make a HORRIBLE choice with my paint colors!?  I mean they looked absolutely hideous next to that brown.  I realized the brown was going away but still!  It was so incredibly hard to visualize that there would be white trim.  My mom calmed me down and said let's just keep going.

Tip: Tightly wrap paint brushes and rollers in plastic bags over night so they don't dry out instead of cleaning them after every individual use.

#DiyDogProblems side story...
Having a dog that wants to do everything that we do is oh so cute... until we are trying to finish projects on the house.  Our dog, Teddy, thinks he is a human and gets cranky like a human.  While I was painting the ceiling, I didn't want any paint to drip on Teddy so i put him in his crate in the adjoining room.  Teddy could hear us and knew we were home so he kept whining and ruff-ing.  He wore me down and I had just finished the ceiling, so finally I let him out.  At this point in the renovation, there are tools and supplies everywhere!  He tried to jump over something and accidentally jumped right in the paint tray!  This is a slow motion type of moment where all I could do was scream 'NOOO' while simultaneously trying to pick him up.  I wasn't quick enough and he started running away since he thought he was in trouble.  I caught him before he could leave the room and it was kind of adorable the paint paw-prints he left behind on the tarp.  Impromptu bath time did occur and put us back 30 minutes in progress.  How could anyone be mad at this sad little face!?

So, we were finished with the main three colors and went onto trim.  This is where the real fun began... Taping every inch of trim in that room was a nightmare!  We had the ceiling, the crown molding, and the inlays on the walls!  Boy, am I glad that I didn't have to tape baseboards, too.  We went through so much painter's tape in this step.  Now, I'm sure someone is thinking 'Why didn't they just edge with a paintbrush instead of taping everything?'  Well I have a very good reason why everything was taped.  OLD PLASTER WALLS AND TRIM.  Nothing is smooth, nothing has a straight edge, and nothing is ever easy on old plaster.  In order to get straight clean lines, it had to be faked by taping everything.

Whew, everything looked MUCH better now that there was white trim and not chocolate milk brown, I can't tell you how relieved I was :)  Everything took three coats of white... that plaster crown molding was the absolute worst to paint by hand.  I wish we would have bought a paint sprayer.

Matt came home just in time for the finishing touches and to watch the tape come off.  His schedule was so messed up after coming back from Japan.  Look at these two bums sleeping during the day ;)

All we had left to do was spray paint the old register with Rust-Oleum® white, install the new baseboards, and caulk the trim around the windows and baseboards.  POOF *If only it was actually that easy* we had a finished, beautiful room!  Check out some of the POOF process at Door to Archway - Thanks Josh Temple, Baseboards Are Not My Friend, and We Need More Power, Captain. more “50 Shades of Gray - okay maybe like 4 or 5”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Stick a Cork In It

Using corks are a classic and relatively easy way to decorate - you can google "DIY Corks" and you'll see lists of the Top 25 Ways to Decorate with Corks and other articles like that.  Whether it’s from placing them in a vase or creating a piece of artwork, I am a huge fan of recycling and reusing wine corks.  Everyone in my family always keeps the corks after drinking a bottle of wine in order for these crafts to come to life.  I thought I'd show off some of our family crafts that haven't been massively pinned on Pinterest - although I do love me some Pinterest.  My cousin, Deb, has made lots of cork wreaths that she gives away as presents - she started way before it was cool on Pinterest.  One of my favorites that she has made:

Side note: Check out how we made this a feature wall with the use of stone in the post A Wall Cast in Stone!

I was lucky enough to receive one this year for Christmas and I absolutely love it!  Deb goes above and beyond and always puts in a little touch to personalize the wreath for the recipient.  She made sure that my wreath had a "B" for Brooke, an "M" for Matt, and a "Columbia" cork (Columbia cork not seen in this picture) since that is where Matt and I met.

She inspired me to make some of my own cork decorations (as presents and for myself ;)).  I made this “B” for my parents.

and an “M” for myself.
I first roughly laid out all the corks before gluing them together - making sure I liked the layout of the corks based on size and stained purple corks vs plain corks.  Then all I used was a hot glue gun to keep the corks in place.  It's extremely simple.  The only thing I would do differently for the next time I make a cork letter is using cardboard or wood as the letter template.  I decided to spruce things up by adding ribbons.  My cousin uses grapes as seen on the wreath pictures which really add a nice touch.  

Cork crafts help save money and look adorbs.  These wedding place cards are from my cousins', JR and Sheila, wedding and are absolutely gorgeous.

I think some of my next craft projects will be some coasters.  And i would love to incorporate cork flooring into our house!
There are unlimited possibilities.  So drink up and get to crafting - maybe even at the same time ;)! more “Stick a Cork In It”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Di-stress your life

One of my favorite things to do is distress decorations and furniture - especially pieces that are unique or outdated.  When complete, it looks chic and custom and it’s surprisingly an extremely easy process.  My number one favorite reason that I love distressing is that it doesn't have to be perfect.  The more care-free the effort, the cooler it looks.  You don’t have to worry about brush marks or nicks – because that’s what distressing is all about. 

This isn't one of my cooler distressing crafts, but I have a step by step on how I transformed this glass owl from golden drab to distressed fab.  This is the final distressed Mr. Owl sitting on our side table!

In this case i chose to distress because i happened to like the decoration, but not the original color.  The original gold was too dark yellowish for my taste.  I bought him in the Halloween clearance section at Home Depot for $3 with the intention of transforming him to go with our decor.

I wanted a black and white color scheme with mostly black showing.  In order to do this, first I sprayed the bottom layer white which will end up peeking through at the end.  A Semi-Gloss White Rustoleum spray paint runs for about $3.50 at Home Depot.  I already owned this so it cost me $0.

I let this sit for 24 hours because the bottom layer needs to be completely adhered to the object before the distressing process can begin.  This way the bottom layer will not come off when sanding the top layer during the distressing process.

I did this in the winter so I had to always bring Mr. Owl into the house for the curing of the paint.  Weird things happen to spray paint in extreme cold or extreme heat.  Just don't do it and stick with the recommended curing temperatures on the can.  I prefer spray painting on cardboard for several reasons. 
     1. It is easy to transport (in my case from outside to inside)
     2. Newspaper blows up in the wind and can mess up the paint
     3. Cardboard is one of the easiest free things to find - put those Amazon boxes to good
         use :)
After I was completely confident that the bottom white layer was cured, I sprayed the top layer.  I used a Black Hammered Rustoleum spray paint that usually runs for about $6.  Again, I already owned this so it cost me $0.  I usually would have used regular black instead of Hammered, but I already owned the Hammered, so why not?  Free is great!

This black top coat I allowed to dry for approximately 3-4 hours.  I kept testing the tackiness of the paint.  As soon as it was no longer tacky, I started lightly sanding the top layer with a piece of 220 grit fine sandpaper.  The sandpaper takes off the top black paint on all of the defining edges of the owl which really makes his features stand out.  This is what Mr. Owl looked like after sanding the front half. 

And here's the back complete!

There are numerous ways to distress items, but for a glass object like Mr. Owl, this was the best way.  Plus he ended up costing me a monstrous $3!  I wish all of our home decor had prices like that :). more “Di-stress your life”