Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wall Gallery... Finished!

Just realized I never posted our finished (for now) wall gallery over the Billy Built-Ins. Here's a pic from a few months ago, we love it. And I can't wait to replace the center piece with a holiday wreath for xmas. 

And a pic of the entire wall gallery with the Billy 'built-in'. It's so hard to photograph because our room is not that big so I can never quite get the entire thing in there and our house is also old and not quite square so it always looks crooked or bowed somehow, oops. But we still love it.

The wall and room looks so much better painted in BM Revere Pewter. (prev post!) as well...plus it stops giving my photos that strange yellow tinge.

The one thing that would be fabulous is if we had done these with the newly released 15" billy bookcases from Ikea. REALLY would love a little extra depth for some of our toddler's toys. Maybe in our next house!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What a Difference A Little Paint Can Make.

I know we've all heard it before, but painting really can freshen up a room.

When we moved in, we loved the way the house was painted. But the prev owners didn't leave us any touchup paint for 1/2 the house (living and dining and our bedroom). That's fine for a year or so but it's 2+ and... it's getting a little scary in there.

Took a swatch to HD and tried to have them match. FAIL. Ace told me they could probably do it but they'd need at least 30 min and I haven't had the chance to stop in and drop off my swatch (which is really just a cutout piece of the actual living room wall, yeah I'm dedicated).

In the meantime, Pinterest has been giving me goosebumps with all these amazing gray walled rooms with white and colorful accents. So I wanted to go gray.

I put swatches of a few colors up. BM Stonington Gray, BM Revere Pewter, and Mythic Foggy Skies. We went with Revere Pewter at 125% and I slapped it up on the wall during our toddler's naptime. I just did one wall to see how we liked it. While it was drying, it was a little questionable, looking a little bit like cement. But after it was all dried, it was amazing. Love.

So now we gotta figure out how to paint the rest of the room, all the 125% or to make a few of the walls the 100%.. the 125% is awesome but could be a little dark if the whole room is done in it. The wall I did paint could function as an accent wall if necessary.

And here's a little compare to the original wall color, on the right. Revere Pewter is on the left. Super love. And those sweet little turquoise lamps? Home Goods.Which I learned about thanks to Young House Love, and while my wallet does NOT thank them, my little home decor loving heart surely does.

Now to finish up the wall with my photo gallery. I would love to just put my sunburst mirror up but it's a little small for the space solo. Hmmm, another reason to buy a mirror? Like I needed it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Building a Wall Gallery...Very Slowly.

Now that we've got the Billy hack done... I have been jonesing to create my very own picture wall gallery. Pinterest has some amazing inspiration as usual, and I'd saved a ton of ideas.

Funny how when you start actually gathering what you have around the house and putting it all together, then taping up the cutout newspaper shaped like your pictures, things seem to come together.

Then they don't. Once I had all my stuff pinned up, I felt like it was closing in the room a bit. Our living/dining room is like a 'great room' but it's like the world's tiniest 'great room'. I think it's something like 18x40. And maybe that seems big but we have a lot of large-scale furniture from our old place which had really high ceilings...and many times it just feels cluttered in here.

So I removed some of the items at the suggestion of a friend. It looked better. Then I started putting up the pictures. And found that even though the newspaper looked great all pinned up, when I started putting frames up to see it in real-life, it wasn't totally jiving with the paper templates. So I closed a few things in and moved a few things around.

And came up with this so far.

Originally I wanted to do all white frames and sunburst but we kind of like the contrast. I actually painted the two light brown frames black and am painting a few other frames white/black to make the balance a little better but we are going to leave it b/w for a while and see what we think. And when we get sick of it (if?), I can paint it all white. Or all black. Or turquoise. Because that's the beauty of spray paint. Which I actually haven't posted about yet but I am firmly on that obsessed bandwagon. How did I never know about this before? So simple.

In any case, we are LOVING the Billy hack and the wall gallery thus far. I don't even mind that it's not totally finished because I am kind of digging the raw look and some of the open back frames and all that. Now if I can just get my husband to pull the Billy away from the wall and snake my new lamp cords behind the thing so we can get some real light into the room, I'd be an ecstatic girl.

Oh did you catch my new turquoise/aqua lamps hiding off on the edges? Those are from Home Goods...my other new obsession. $29.99 each. Perfect way to bring a little bit of new color into this room. Love.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ikea Billy Hack... Almost Like a Built In!

We've got a big wall in our living room that's been bugging me for years. Our house is small to begin with, so space is at a premium. This wall felt like we should have been utilizing it more effectively but somehow it never gelled in my mind.

Enter my new obsession, Pinterest. That place inspires the mind like no one's business. I came across a project that is forever etched in my mind, IHeartOrganizing's billy built-in IKEA hack...also inspired from another blogger, Maillardville Manor's hack (actually they did two!).

Now we're not really crafty. Well, rephrase. My husband CAN be crafty but he doesn't have much time so he prefers to do other things with the time he does have. I am a crafty dabbler, but my idea usually is where my mind gets way ahead of the actual execution and I just want the finished product.

It's Mother's Day. I show my better half the blog and he says the magic words: "We can do that". Done. Well in my mind anyway. So as part of my Mother's Day (and our 7th anniversary) gift, we embark on this project.

First off, the bloggers make it sound so easy. It might be because they list things in simple steps, such as 'head to store, buy moulding, screw bookcases together and paint'. Easy peasy! Except if you don't have simple things like a miter box or an air nailer then it's all just that much harder. However, WE DID IT! It took a total of 2 weekends and there's still a few things that need to be finished up, but it looks amazing and I am so proud of us, well really mostly my husband but I like to think I helped too.

Here's how it all went down.

1. Obsessively research your space and the Billy specs and look online for any type of built-in bookcase that you remotely like, save them all to Pinterest for repeated viewings.
2. Buy bookcases at IKEA. Have husband assemble the boxes/frames only. No shelves, no backing.
3. Head to Home Depot with husband and toddler in tow for moulding and top scouting mission. Spend 2 hours here and come home with not much info on moulding or MDF tops, but with a bunch of cut-to-size beadboard wall paneling which will go on the Billy backs instead of the IKEA cardboard. Oh and a few samples of moulding to 'see' what you like.
4. Argue with husband over whether or not painting the beadboard in the evenings during the week will actually help progress the project faster come Saturday morning (the day of reckoning aka building).
5. Paint beadboard in the evenings.
6. Prop one Billy up against a scant area of space on your wall and eyeball it on and off with beadboard paneling for the rest of the week. Obsess. Scour Pinterest and the internet for more bookcases and moulding comparisons.
7. Have husband disassemble the entire existing wall as it stands now and remove old furniture to your Mother's house (or any family member willing to take excess furniture!)
8. Line up the bookcases on your space. Take pictures with and without backing/beadboard paneling and obsess for the next hour over yay or nay. Then spend the next 3 hours on HomeDepot.com trying to find a moulding for top and bottom you actually like and can imagine on the bookcases (outcome: never happens). Take yourself off to bed at 12:30am wondering why the other bloggers who did this hack were able to do it so quickly and easily without hours of research.
9. Wake up early and make detailed list for husband to take to Home Depot. Send him off with a cup of coffee and no breakfast and tell him to be home in an hour and a half.
10. The MDF top (3/4" thick), the top moulding (for under the top), a miter box, small finishing nails, 2 small finishing hammers, your husband and a bag of donuts arrive back home.
11. Assembly actually commences. Husband works for 7 hours straight except for one 30 minute break to attach the beadboard to the bookcases, screw the bookcases together, secure them to the wall in 2 places, affix the MDF to the top, and cut/miter the moulding. I help by hammering the moulding into place and filling holes with wood filler (this is all I was allowed to do by the way!!).
12. Head to Home Depot the next day for the bottom moulding, and small pieces of finish trim to fill in some areas. Cut/miter the bottom moulding, attach, fill holes and sand flat.
13. Paint the finish, trim, moulding, and the top a color matched color to the Billys (I took in a shelf to have it color matched in Satin).
14. Put the shelves in, and start to decorate (best part!)....99% done!

A project is never really 100% done. But we're almost there. It was not HARD, if we can do it, honestly anyone can. And my obsessiveness over the moulding was borderline crazy...but I blame a slow week at work on the fact I even had mental capacity to obsess.

So for anyone considering this, DO IT. It has transformed our room and I simply love it. Best part is if we really wanted to we could take it with us when we moved, as it's only attached to the wall in 2 areas and it is still 3 large pieces. But for now we're simply enjoying it.

Total cost was around $360 for 171" of finished shelving about 42.5" high.
Bookcases: $250ish
Moulding: $40ish
MDF Top: $31
Paint: $10
Misc (miter box, nails, hammers): $30

We have a table saw but it's in storage so we did this entire job with only a hand saw and a miter box. Home Depot cut our MDF top for us to specs, and our beadboard for us (something like 8 cuts, they are awesome!) for free. We just tried to go during a not busy time to ensure it wasn't a hassle for them.

We had a custom paint color matched but I also picked up a test sample of Glidden GL02 and it actually is an almost perfect match, so wonderful that I can use it as a touchup. Only downer is it is in Eggshell and I chose Satin for the bookcase, but in a pinch it won't matter. Martha Stewart's Talc is also very close match.

And I am still working out the best way to decorate it and how to use the new storage space it affords us. You can see our little x-pen for our curious toddler, can't wait to get rid of it soon. I still really am entirely floored because I can't believe we did this and we don't even really know what we are doing. Thank you Pinterest for fueling my dormant DIY spirit, and huge props & a thanks to this post @IHeartOrganizing, an amazing blog that gave me the idea in the first place. On Pinterest too? Find me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blogging from a Petite Brick House

We live in California. In a small brick house.

Living in a small space offers it's unique challenges as many people know. We fit ourselves, our 16mo old toddler and a small 22lb white Westie in our 1600 sq ft...which to some may not be that small but it seems like we have a ridiculous amount of stuff squeezed in here.

As a result, we love the internet to help us stay more organized and give us awesome ideas on how to keep our home from looking cluttered and crazy with all the toys and stuff that the 3 of us + pup can come up with.

Speaking of loving the internet, I am currently obsessed with Pinterest. If you haven't checked it out, definitely do so. It's invite only, not sure WHY really but if you know anyone who has an account, you can pretty much get an invite. I have only been on it a few weeks but I already have multiple mood boards just waiting for more drool.

And at first you may have to get a little used to how to use the interface... my first conversation with my girlfriend who invited me went something like this:

'Are you using Pinterest?' (her)
'That thing sucks! How do I do anything on it?" (me)
'It's super easy, just click and pin or like. You can pin from anywhere.' (her)
'Yeah right, it's not that easy' (private mental thought from me).

Surprise it was pretty easy. And now I'm obsessed. AND a little po'd that I didn't think of this wonderful idea. The internet is amazing--thanks to sites like Pinterest and all the many blogs out there, you can easily take pictorial tours of peoples homes and see all the amazing things they do to them on a daily or weekly basis. And it's a fabulous way to get ideas for your own place. I can spend hours on it. Which isn't good for my body as I sit in a funky cramped position on the couch in the evenings, but I don't really care. Love. Internet. On Pinterest? Find me here!