Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Attempt at Abstract Art

I know I promised in the last post that we'd talk about our newly painted half bathroom but I am just way too excited about my recent art project that I HAD to share.  For a while now, I've been wanting to update the art above our mantel.  When we first moved in, our initial thought was that we'd eventually mount our TV above the mantel. There aren't a lot of practical spots for the TV in our living room (more on that in a minute), and we aren't thrilled that our current TV stand is partially blocking a window. However, we've heard from friends that they don't love their current tv-above-the-mantel situation due to always having to strain their necks looking up. First world problems.  Additionally, if we bit the bullet we'd have to pay an electrician to install an outlet up there because the LAST thing I want is a bunch of ugly wires hanging everywhere. No bueno. So what do I do when I'm debating over a room layout? I draw it out. Lucky for me, my mom went to school for interior design and I happen to work in the furniture industry which means I know a little thing or two about drawing floor plans.

First, I'll share a few pictures of when we first moved into the house, in case you're one of those visual people that need to see the actual room.
As you can see, the previous owners had the same issue and stuck that monstrosity of a TV stand in the corner. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Dirty Dancing anyone?

Here's how our living room currently stands. We love how we have a great view of the TV from the kitchen but like I said, we have the issue of blocking part of our window.
*Side Note: We don't currently have a sectional but both really want one so I've included that in the plans. I also didn't bother measuring the room or drawing to scale because, well, I'm lazy.

 Here's our second option of putting the TV above the mantel. I think this option would provide the best view from all areas of the kitchen and living room however we still have the whole straining-our-neck problem, and we'd also have to get creative with a furniture piece to store the cable box and all that jazz.

Some of you may be thinking...Why don't you put it on that right wall?? Well, I'll tell you why not. We'd have to reposition the future sectional to accommodate the TV location, which in turn blocks a large portion of our walkway between the breakfast nook and living room. Even if we didn't get a sectional, we'd want our sofa  in front of the TV, not awkwardly to the side, for optimal football game/Real Housewives of Beverly Hills watching. Don't Judge.

 All of that to say, the TV location is still under debate here in the McEntire house. In the meantime though, I've been wanting a large piece of art above the mantel. We don't have much hanging on the walls yet and didn't want to spend a lot of money on art considering our room layout is still up in the air. So I decided I was going to attempt at painting something myself. I stumbled across this blog with the coolest abstract art piece that gave me inspiration.

It looked decently easy to do so I thought I'd give it a try. I was discussing these plans with my mom and she gave me the best idea. I'm seriously mad I didn't think of this myself. Instead of spending $50-$75 on a large scale canvas, she suggested I should make a canvas myself. Here's how I did it:

First, I Cut a couple 1x2 wood boards to the size I wanted. Remember how I convinced the Lowe's guy to donate a few pieces of scrap wood for our cabinet painting project? Those donated boards happened to be 1x2s. Holla! We bought four 'L' brackets and screwed our wood frame together.

Bear is such a camera hog.

Next on the to-do list was to purchase fabric to wrap around my wood frame. Mom suggested we buy some drop cloth for this. It's thick enough so that the paint wouldn't bleed through yet flexible enough to wrap around the wood frame. She's a genius.We spent around $20 but the great news is that I have plenty of extra drop cloth to spare for future projects.

I also went to Hobby Lobby and bought a handful of the little acrylic craft paints.

 I cut the drop cloth to size and ironed it out before painting.

 And then I just went to town. You can call me Picasso.

After a couple hours putting a little blue here and a little green there, I completed my masterpiece.
I patiently waited for it to dry, and then stapled it to my wood frame.

I couldn't wait to put that bad boy up on the mantel to see how it looked.

I love how it turned out, if I say so myself. What do you think? Do you have issues with your TV above the mantel or in front of a window? Regardless of where the TV ends up, my artwork will be staying in our living room.

I promise next time we'll show you what we've done with the half bath.

Night night!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Don't Try to Outsmart the Sherwin Williams People.

 We love our laundry room. It's a nice size, has lots of great storage, a window to bring in some natural light, and even a built-in desk for crafting. The only problem: It's very visible from the kitchen. Since the garage door, half bath, and pantry all connect to the laundry room, it isn't blocked off by a door, which means it has to look nice. So, re-doing our laundry room suddenly made it's way up our priority list much faster than it normally would have.

We threw around the idea of doing a neutral color to blend in with the kitchen, but that's sooo boring. Having to do laundry already sucks as it is, so we needed an inspirational color on the walls to get the laundry detergent juices flowing. I searched pinterest for inspiration and realized I was loving the light airy blue/seafoam green colors like these:

SaiFou Image | Welcome to SaiFou – Inspiring imagesFun laundry room color & makeoverlaundry room color, hanging rod
Doesn't it almost make you WANT to do laundry? Almost.

So, we picked our color and off we went.
*Side Story: If you haven't noticed, we're cheap. We'll try and save any dollar we can. So we thought we'd outsmart the Sherwin Williams guy and only buy the little test can of paint because those little cans have quite a bit of paint in them, and we figured we were only painting the laundry room, right!? Well as it turns out, our laundry room is a LITTLE too big for that. And when I say a little, I mean a lot too big for that. Our cheapskateness bit us in the hiney this time. The little test can made it through almost one full coat on the walls, and we were definitely going to need another coat. We headed back to Sherwin Williams to get another test can, because surely that would be plenty to just do a quick second coat. NOT. The second coat made it through finishing the the first full coat and maybe halfway through the second. So long story short, after our THREE test cans costing about $10 each and gas going to and from Sherwin Williams THREE FREAKING TIMES, we could have just bought a whole gallon of the color and had extra to spare. So take it from us: Don't try and outsmart the Sherwin Williams people.

Here's what the laundry room looked like when we bought the house:

And here's what our laundry room looked like three test cans of paint later:
 The color just screams 'Do your laundry!'

We already had some green striped curtains that I thought would be fun to put in here.
It felt so fun and happy. It reminded me of the blue and green color scheme that I saw in my pinterest inspiration photo here.

But after looking at the color explosion from the kitchen, and listening to my husband complain about how it looked like we were living in a real-life Dr. Seuss book, I thought it was probably best to go with more of a neutral color.

I found these beautiful beige ikat curtains at TJ Maxx for only $15 smackaroos. It pays to be a maxxinista. The color goes perfectly with the countertops and backspash in the kitchen, and it's dark enough where it doesn't look too beachy with the blue and tan combo. It also goes great with our existing neutral wool rug.

The oak curtain rod still didn't look right, though. The existing homeowners kept the curtains and rod there for us, so we just reused it. I have literally never seen Devin install a curtain rod without 1. cursing at himself or at me, and 2. drilling at least one too many holes. So not only are we being super hipster by recycling it, but it helps our sanity having one less curtain rod to hang. You may remember from the last post that we sprayed it with our buddy, Oil Rubbed Bronze. Much better!

 We also replaced the old white and brass cabinet pulls with shiny new silver ones

We love how the color really makes the new washer and dryer pop

 My aunt gave me this super cool vintage washboard that she found at a thrift store. Don't ask me why there are bullet looking holes in it.

And here's the connecting half bath. More on that in the next post.

For the most part, we can stick a fork in this room but we still have some longer term goals that we'd like to achieve such as:
-paint the ceiling
-hang a chandelier like here, here, and here.
-bleach the tile grout (that's a short term goal. it's grody)
-replace the floors in here as well as the whole house. We love wood but aren't sure how it'll hold up in rooms like the laundry room and kitchen so we're tossing around the idea of using a handscraped looking laminate like this. Has anyone else had luck with handscraped laminate?
-add crown molding
-replace the desk countertop with maybe a quartz like this.

We loved our laundry room before but are obsessed with it now. I currently have a load of laundry washing as we speak. No lie.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our New Love: Oil Rubbed Bronze

After we saw how great our chandelier turned out, we were hooked on spray paint (it's not what you think).  Let's just say we went a little spray paint crazy. No surface in this house is safe. A few months ago, I got some inspiration from my favorite home DIY blog, YHL, on how easy it is to spray paint door knobs. We looked into replacing all of our brass door knobs first, but let me tell requires a lot of cheddar (that's slang for Dollars, for those of you who didn't grow up on the South side of Flower Mound aka Flo Mo). The cheapest interior door knob we found at Lowe's was $9.97 each. Exterior door knobs with locks are even pricier at $21.97 each. We have 15 interior and 3 exterior brass door knobs, so if I do a little mental calculator math, that adds up to a whopping $215.46. HOLY SMOKES that's expensive. Who knew replacing a few door knobs would cost an arm and a leg? Not me. Knowing all this, we definitely wanted to give spray painting them a try. We went to Lowe's and picked up Rustoleum's Paint and Primer in One, for a grand total (with tax) of $14.60 for two cans. We love the look of a dark door knob on a crisp white door so we went with good ole Oil Rubbed Bronze.

We got home and had to youtube 'how to remove a door knob'. Don't laugh. I really don't know what we'd do without youtube. After a simple tutorial, we got all the knobs off, took them to the garage, and sprayed away.
One tip we read before spraying was to put the key inside the exterior locks before spraying so that the paint didn't clump up inside the lock mechanism. That worked out really well for us.

They turned out so great! Even better than I would have ever expected. They're smooth and shiny and don't look spray painted at all...or maybe they do and I'm just in spray paint la la land. But who cares, I love them.

It's amazing how changing the look of some door knobs will really update a house. Slowly but surely, we're moving towards a brass-free environment around here. It feels so good.

I did find a chip on one or 2 of the knobs, most likely due to the screw driver scratching it when we had to reinstall them. We could easily remove the door knob again and respray but the chips are tiny and hard to notice so we didn't bother. Other than that, we haven't noticed any issues with the paint rubbing or chipping off in the last few weeks since we sprayed them.

We also had this strange upper lock on our back doors that we absolutely hated when we moved in. I mean, I really appreciate the extra safety precautions and all but they weren't the prettiest things in the world to look at. We considered removing it all together, but didn't want to stare at the remaining nail holes every day. We ended up spraying them too, and I actually don't mind them at all anymore...If anything, it gives the door a little more character.

We also spray painted the latch strike plates. In hindsight, we probably should have just replaced those. It didn't really make a lot of sense spray painting them, considering they rub against the door every time they're opened and therefore rub all the paint off. But we're cheap around here so we'll try and save every penny possible. Lucky for us, these little guys are only $2.27 at Lowe's so we'll probably end up replacing them (or at least the more visible ones when guests come over).

 We basically got hooked on ORB....So we didn't stop at door knobs.

 These are the built-ins in the study...The wood will eventually get painted or stained, but they're now one step closer to looking more modern and brassless

 Guest Bedroom closet knobs.

Is that curtain rod metal you ask? Nope. It's wood. The previous homeowners left this curtain rod along with some patriotic curtains that just weren't doing it for us. So naturally, it had to be painted.

 Here's the old rod and curtains in case you were curious george.

 So that's that. We love ORB. And our new knobs are amazeballs.

If you're the extra observant type, you noticed in the 2nd to last picture that the laundry room is light blue...More on that in the next post.

Night yall!