Re-Arranging and Re-freshing an Apartment {Dylan and Kim}

Two of my favorite people in the world bought a house and it’s the cutest house on the block! In March, G1 and I traveled to San Diego to visit our old friends, Kim and Dylan, and their new house. Since moving in, they have been making  a lot of changes but since they knew I was coming, they left a few projects for me. Talk about good friends!

Let’s take a tour. If it’s not apparent to you, then NO, these are not Iphone photos… and if it is apparent, I’m guilty.

A view from the living room looking back at the entrance. Neither Kim or Dylan were smitten with the plastic vertical blinds that came with the house, so they had ordered new shades that had just been delivered and were waiting to be installed.

 

BeforeLivingRoom

This is an odd nook in the dining area. To the left is the table and to the right is the living room. This space is difficult to work with as furniture didn’t quite make sense; who needs a table next to the dining room table? So we had some brainstorming to do.
BeforeQuiltWall

Now you are looking at the kitchen bar window. I don’t think it was intended for bar-stool seating, but more of a means for opening the kitchen into the living room. To the left of this picture is the front door, behind the window is the kitchen, and left of the kitchen is the office area.
BeoforeKitchenWindow

This lonely lamp is in the corner next to the chair in the above picture.
BeforeGalleryWallYou can see the front door in the left of this photo. Kim and Dylan turned this room which used to be the dining room into an informal office/entryway. Behind the shelf in the corner is a drop through mail box. They were clever and placed the shelf there so the mail would have a landing spot.

 

BeforeOfficerWe got busy and changed out all the vertical blinds for horizontal wicker blinds. The blinds were an essential improvement! They transformed the room from immediately, making it feeling cozy and comfortable.

 

AfterLivingRoomRemember the odd nook next to the window in the dining area?

 

BeforeQuiltWall

Kim and I decided to hang her beautiful hand-made wedding quilt. For their wedding, they asked every guest to send a square of fabric with their RSVP and each piece was quilted into this beautiful heirloom. They used the quilt at their wedding during the ceremony.

We took a standard curtain rod and hung it on the wall and draped the quilt over it turning the quilt into a piece of art. It softened the dining room up and added color to the white wall.

 

 

AfterQuilt

I spy my square: two rows down and 7 squares from the left.

 

 

Remember the lonely lamp?

 

BeforeGalleryWall

We decided to dress up it’s equally lonely wall with a gallery arrangement.

All of the items featured on the wall were shopped from their home. This was a great project as all of her pieces were cohesive and she had a variety of items to chose from, including photos, canvases, coordinates to their wedding location (!), and the bow-tie their adorable pup Gus wore at their wedding. Swoon.

 

AfterGalleryWall2

We shifted the chair that was previously under the kitchen window into the corner, creating a cozy nook.

 

AfterGalleryWall

AfterGalleryWall3

The office/entryway used to look like this:

 

BeforeOfficer

We organized and decorated until we had a welcoming corner. The 4-square white wall unit is actually a shoe cabinet from Ikea. These are great if you don’t have a closet as they hide the shoes and can be used as an entry table.

 

AfterOffice

Ideally the shoes live in the cabinet. That is unless you are having a wild weekend with your friends from Seattle.

 

The bench against the other wall was also a piece from their wedding. They placed it at their reception and asked everyone to sign it – what a great idea! Everyone needs somewhere to sit down and put their shoes on, especially if you ask Mindy Kalling, AKA Kelly from The Office:

“There’s a certain meticulousness that I notice with all guys when they put their shoes on. First of all, they sit down. I mean, they need to sit down to do it. Right there, it signals, ‘I’m going to be here for awhile. Let’s get settled in.’ I can put on a pair of hiking boots that have not even been laced yet while talking on my cell phone, without even leaning on a wall.”

Dylan can appreciate the bench placement.

Since we removed their shelf from the corner where it was collecting mail and made room for the bench, we placed a small basket beside the bench to catch the mail. In addition to that, we hung a two-tier metal basket on the wall to further sort the mail.

 

AfterOfficer2

Welcome Home!

 

Acting as an entry table, the shoe cabinet hosts a phew photos and dried flowers.Kim found the mirror at a garage sale and it quickly found a home above the cabinet where both Kim and Dylan can quickly check themselves before they leave the house. Next to the mirror, Kim hung a twig that her and Dylan repurposed as a key-holder.

 

Thanks for letting me play in your home!

 






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Reorganize, Rearrange, and Refresh {Our Office}

 

I have been lusting after a magazine worthy office for quite some time. But let’s be honest. I didn’t want to spend the money on buying all new furniture and wanted to make what we had work! So when we decided to move all of our “office” stuff from our larger bedroom into our cozy bedroom, we really needed to be realistic about the furniture we wanted in there.

I love to shop my own house. It saves a lot of money and it’s exciting to find new uses and homes for things you already have – keeping it fresh! That’s exactly what we did. And would you believe we had an entire office set-up, matching to-boot, in our home already?

 

G2 Desk After

Here are a few before shots for dramas sake. Looking into our expected new office from our living room. With the glass paned windows, we were constantly looking into the room which provided extra motivation to get this place cleaned up.

Office Door Before

 

After we moved everything over from the larger room, we realized we had quite a bit of stuff in there. We were using the other room (with a large closet) for both office and sewing/crafting.

OfficeBefore

This is G1’s corner of the room.

I shopped the two wicker chairs from our dining room table. Matchy matchy is the name of the game. Office Before 2
Office Before 3

Office Before 4

And my corner. Here you can see that we had shopped 2 laptop desks and one shelving unit from Ikea from other areas of our home. They were a great choice for this room for a few reasons: 1. I needed 2 surfaces for our computers 2. They are shallow, taking up minimal space. 

Office Before 6After a few hours of cleaning and putting items in new homes, we ended up with a room that we actually like!

 

Office After Door

 

Office After 1

Office After 2

 

You can see how I made the paint card sample art here and the animal string art in the window,  here.

Office After 3

And for all our other items that needed a home, I ended up adding shelves tiny closet. I’ll post more about that later.

 

 

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DIY Paint Sample Card Art

DIY Paint Sample Card ArtAll of the times I have been to the paint aisle examining paint colors has finally paid off. A while back, I found a frame at Goodwillys and brought it home. It wasn’t amazing. It was plastic made to look like wood and there was plastic in-place of any sort of glass.  But it worked! I very quickly through together a collage from my collection of paint sample cards (is that what you call them?). It remained this way for over 2 year! And it lived in the basement for nearly 1/2 of that time.

So after we reorganized and refreshed our office area, I decided that it was time to breathe new life into the piece.

Here is the original collage:
Paint Sample Card Art 1

ooooh – ahhhhhh

Paint Sample Card 2

During our office clean out we decided this ship painting on canvas needed to have a proper home. You can see here that the frame it’s living in now is a bit too big. Notice the spaces at the top and bottom.

Ship Painting Black Frame

Ship Painting Black Frame

I dug right in, hoping  it would turn out a little less collage-y and more arty.

I took out all the old paint sample cards from the original frame including the cardboard backing and recycled  what was left of the frame. Since I had used double sided tape to place them initially, a lot of them were ruined in the removal process… this limited my options a bit.

P1050441

There is a lack of in-progress shots! I used a paint sample card for a stencil, laying it on the larger sample cards, tracing around it, and then cutting out a new size. With the remaining colors that survived the removal process, I decided to do a sky, land, water piece. I used tape to adhere them to the cardboard and then framed it in the frame the ship had originally been in. Here is the final result.

oooh ahhhh.

Paint Sample Card Black Frame Paint Sample Card Black Frame 2

And here it is hanging next to my desk in our new office space.

Paint Sample Card Art Hanging

Paint Sample Art Card Hanging 2

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Merman

After a trip to Goodwill I ended up with an old frame with a wood backing to it. I really had no idea what to do with it so I gathered a few different blue paints I had from past projects and began painting. It quickly began to look like water and I thought that was OK. It remained that way for many months. Recently I decided I needed a rather large piece to use in the bathroom so I pulled it out (thinking it was calming) and hung it up. It was all wrong and so bland! It was very obvious it needed to have a mermaid swimming in it. DUH!

Mermaid Tail

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I used a white chalk marker and drew directly onto the painted surface. It took a few layers.  I then began to draw a pattern in the middle with a pencil. After I was satisfied with my pattern, I used blue chalk markers to trace over the pencil lines.

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I used 2 different shades of blue, a gold marker,  and weighted the lines. 20140210-185606.jpg

The finished result:

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I love it in our bathroom – just the splash we needed.

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Dried Orange Bunting

 

I saw this on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. The smell of the baking oranges was heavenly and I really enjoyed the burst of energy in our windows.

Dried Orange Bunting

There aren’t too many steps:

1. Slice the orange.

2. Lie slices on a baking sheet. I chose to line mine with parchment paper.

3. Set in over at a low temp. I chose 200 and watched them for about 30 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different!

Dried Orange Baking

I let mine sit for around 15 minutes and enjoyed the aroma!

Dried Oranges Cooling

I took a thread and needle and strung them together. To keep them from sliding around I tied each one into place with a knot.

Dried Oranges Hanging

 

Enjoy! Dried Orange

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Re-Arranging and Refreshing an Apartment

A good friend of mine recently moved into a new town home style apartment and asked me to come help her make it cozy. Quickly I agreed!

Our challenge was to find a lay-out that worked with the hall-way layout. Unfortunately, there isn’t a wall in the living room that is bare – one has windows, the other a fireplace and the the last wall had an under-stairs storage door.

Here are a few before shots (sorry about the Iphone photos! I always forget my camera):

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She had the TV in front of the windows and the couch opposite, creating a plane and a bottle-neck for traffic, ultimately blocking the flow of the room.

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You can see here that there isn’t a true wall in the house so we had to be a bit creative. Below is evidence of the bottleneck created by the couch when it was positioned perpendicular to the wall. On a positive note, having the couch in this position sectioned off the “hall-way” and created two distinct spaces. Ultimately, flow and function beat out the separate spaces as my friend was expecting her first baby and wanted there to be room to play.

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First, we swapped the TV and the couch and moved the purple flower area rug up into the baby’s room.  Although the TV seems unconventional against the wall, it has a swivel feature that allows for a great view from the couch. The TV/Stand isn’t altering the flow of the apartment and is still functional.  The rug didn’t quite fit in with the rest of room and she loved the idea of adding it to the baby room. Win, win, win.

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In the space above the fireplace, we decided to add mirrors and use it for book storage. I am an advocate of shopping your home, so we quickly grabbed a few mirrors and used them as a backdrop. The mirrors bounced light out of the dark nook and gave a sense of a window. Since shooting this photo, we have added two frameless mirrors that fill the space and turned all the books with their spine facing the mirrors.  I love how the area turned out.

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We didn’t want to place any large permanent furniture agains the wall with the under-stair storage door as it is used frequently and the area doubles as a runway for the stroller. We knew this would be a great place for a gallery wall. She had enough prints for more than one wall, but we tried to squeeze as many as we could!  The space besides the under-stair storage door was left blank to house a chair in the future. Since taking this photo, a beautiful vintage chair has been added.

Over the gallery wall, we added a few branches she had collected and also placed more above the windows behind the couch. I need to take more photos soon with all the updates!

Enjoy!

Art Wall

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Combing Jars

I wanted to share a quick update of how we store our dog food. How exciting!

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Our dog is fed twice a day, so we were looking for a convenient location for his food. We quickly discovered that we didn’t have room for the bag of kibble (Taste of the Wild) and the box of dehydrated dog food (from The Honest Kitchen) on the counter and I definitely dislike reaching my hand to the bottom of the bag of food . So, we decided to put the food in jars and place it in an easily accessible location: the counter.

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I’m not entirely sure why I did this in the first place, as I do not like counter clutter, but it was incredibly easy to feed the dog this way. After realizing I would rather have a clean counter, I made room for the jars on the built-in shelf in our kitchen, conveniently under the rest of the jars! We had already placed a jar of treats there and figured adding two additional food jars made sense.

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I gathered two more similar jars and filled one with dry kibble and the other with dehydrated dog food and placed them in their new home next to the treats.20140205-182806.jpg

There you have it, a quick clean up of counter clutter and an all-in-one dog feeding station. 20140205-182833.jpg

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