Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bedroom Re-do Complete

We've come a long way in our bedroom, but I'll spare you what it looked like when we first moved in. One thing I always knew for sure, the baby blue had to go. This was definitely the room that I felt was going to have the biggest impact on us because we are in here a lot. We do have a great TV in our living room, but at night, we find ourselves wanting to "be on the Tempurpedic" watching mindless shows. Not to mention, our DVR is in this room.


It's become a joke among our friends that all we do is paint. We have some friends we always have breakfast with on Saturdays and every week, it's usually comes up about painting. Luckily, with this cold weather moving in, we've put a pause on painting the outside of our house and moved inside. 


So, we put on a podcast (Start Up, if you're wondering) and got to work. The bedroom, for our taste, is actually pretty big. I'm guessing something like 14x16, but I don't know exactly. We both said we wanted a color that was darker and richer that would make the room feel more cozy. The blue just wasn't doing that for us.


While we were at it, I also put a new layer of stain on our dresser. We picked this piece up about two years ago and it's moved with us from Fondren Corner, to our Chickasaw house now here. It's always looked a little scuffed and the wood looked "dry." 

After using my stain pen on our other mid-century modern dresser, I tried it on this dresser. What I found was that the whole thing needed some love, not just the scratches. You can tell in the picture below that I took the stain pen to the entire top left dresser drawer. It looks richer and smooth.


For perspective, this is what the side of the dresser looked like. Not good!


After a little wood filler to patch a few holes and a small can of stain later, the dresser looked so much better.


With everything back in place, the bedroom feels so much better. I find myself saying all the time, "This bedroom feels so different. It feels so much better."


Part of me feels like before I was living in someone else's bedroom. Until we painted, it wasn't completely "us." It feels so nice and, not to mention, we actually did this quickly over a couple of hours and it isn't even Christmas break yet. Points for us!


Here's to the next project!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Orleans Getaway

Ahhh... (as I sit down in my desk chair)

We just got back from a great getaway to New Orleans for a few days. A few weeks ago we were asked by our printer (who is in New Orleans) if we'd like to come to their Christmas party. We thought about it a few days, I took off work and we headed South. Paul hadn't caught up on the podcast Serial, so we listened to podcasts the whole trip and passed the time.


Our hotel was pretty amazing. They are transitioning from the W to a different type of hotel, so we got a great rate. I contemplated how much they'd charge me if I took that lamp home with me.


We also got a great surprise when we came back from our Christmas party the first night. We had mentioned to the woman at check-in that our anniversary was just last week, so this was sort of an anniversary trip too. Come to find out, she sent up dessert and champagne for us to celebrate with. We were very impressed!


Of course, we ate great food (though I didn't take as many food shots as I thought I would). We agreed that this was going to be a "where the wind takes us" trip, not rushed and planned. I had heard great things about Elizabeth's in Bywater and I'm not a girl to turn down praline bacon. I'd definitely be back.


A friend of ours, Josh, was just accepted and moved into the Bywater Art Lofts, which is this amazing project in Bywater to renovate older buildings and create a commune of sorts for artists. Here's more info.


One of the things Josh said we didn't need to miss was Crescent City Park, since it was right up our alley and just down the street. This is a project that reminds me of a hybrid between Millennium Park's urban garden and the High Line in New York. The strip connects Bywater all the way to Marigny next to the tail end of the French Market. 


At the top of the arch is a beautiful view of downtown and the bend in the Mississippi River.


That day we walked around the French Quarter, visited one of our favorite burger joints - Company Burger - in Freret and almost decided to take up permanent residence in West Elm on Magazine. It's been a while since I've been in a physical store - I've always bought online. My favorite store in the world, hands down.

One of the suggestions we got at the Christmas party when we asked about Christmas lights was Celebration in the Oaks at City Park. We kept saying things while walking through like, "I wish we had our nephews" and "If we had kids, this would be really impressive." It was fun for us, but I could definitely see how it could be magical for a kid, especially with all of the rides they had open.


Cajun Christmas with gators as reindeer was certainly my favorite thing.


We woke up Saturday morning and it was time to head back. The weather was perfect!


Of course, no New Orleans trip is complete without a trip to District Donuts. We've gotten different flavors before, like maple and bacon, but this time we stuck with chocolate and cinnamon roll. We also sampled a sweet potato and chorizo breakfast taco that was pretty out of this world. I'm going to have to try to reconstruct it at home.


It was such a nice trip, but I'm happy to be home for a day of rest before back to my last work week of the year. I can't believe it's upon us. I've got some major gift shopping to do this week!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving

I hope all of you had a great Turkey Day! We actually had Thanksgiving times two - first on Thanksgiving with Paul's family and then on Friday at our house with my side of the family.

Since we knew everyone was coming over, we decided we had to finish painting our dining room/front living room last weekend. We had painted half so we could do the At West End photoshoot this summer, but we never got around to finishing the space. Here's the baby blue that it was before.


So, after a little rearranging, the painting was done. We picked up a couple of tools at Sherwin Williams that made painting these walls go by so much faster. I think we finished the whole thing in an hour.

Before

After

Here's the front view. I had envisioned doing stripes on this wall behind the piano and have the paint to do it, but chickened out at the last minute. I think we're still going to do it, but I was too tired to think about doing it then!

 We've also had to undertake some major operations on our yard. There are leaves everywhere! Luckily we have this vacuum system that sucks up leaves, mulches them and puts them right in the trash can. I feel like I've gotten very personal with this thing lately!

We're making progress on our bedroom. I scored new lamps for us from Target for $12 each a few weeks ago that I really like and thanks to MyPoints, we got a new quilt for next to nothing with a gift card I cashed my points out for. Next up, painting the walls. We've got the paint and will probably do this over Christmas break.


 We had Thanksgiving at our house Friday and there was so much food!


I love seeing our house full of people.


We even got a little play time outside. Brody loved a little ball that our nephews found in the yard the other day when they were over.


By the end of the night, we were pretty pooped. Even the cat had a long day. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Projects: Mid-Century Dresser Touch Up

I live for moments when I can walk into a thrift store and see something so perfect that needs to come home with me. This dresser is one of those things. 

Paul wasn't so sure. We walked away from it. Looped back. I pulled the drawers in and out. I looked some more. "If it makes you happy, for $50, just get it," he said. Next thing you know, we're stuffing it in the car.


 To be fair, it'd seen better days.


But, armed with a stain pen and Old English, this dresser looked like new. For one, the wood had faded a good bit and really just needed some moisture. Below, I had put Old English on the top drawer, but not the bottom. It's subtle in photos, but it made all the difference.


Here she looks after twenty minutes of elbow grease. So pretty.


This weekend I finally went through my clothes in my old dresser and sorted things into the new piece - added bonus, these drawers are actually larger and more solid than the old one.

Here's to the next project!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Projects: Refresh Floor Registers

Even before we moved it, the floor registers in our house were a sore subject. After measuring them, we also realized all of them were a real weird size if we wanted to replace them. One of our friends said, "Why don't you just spray paint them?" If it were a snake, it would have bitten us. Why didn't we think of that?

So, armed with some bronze Rustoleum, we set out to tackle some floor registers in our back living room.



First, Paul dusted them off with a hand broom and then sanded them down with a block of sand paper.


Then, over to my station to be spray painted.


After a little drying time, they were back in place and oh-so-much better looking. One of the easiest changes that really makes a room seem that much more polished!


On to the next project!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How is it November?

Woof! These past few weeks have been so packed with so many wonderful things. I have so many house projects to tell you about, but I'll keep this about some of the other fun things going on. Most importantly, my sister is married and my best friend is engaged!


 Here's a photo of some of the flowers after I arranged them for Sital's engagement. Her sister, fiancĂ© and I were in cahoots together to make it all work. We had about 10 minutes to set up her whole apartment before they came back for the proposal!


 In the end, it worked out great and even the dogs got to be in on it.


 We are so happy to for them!

It was also the wrap-up weekend for wedding projects. KT wasn't so sure about the yarn not being for her!


Sital came over and we worked on this chalkboard art for MG. It turned out great!


Here's mom working on fishing lure boutineers.


I still can't believe it's already happened. So excited for them!


All the siblings all together.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Projects: Exterior Painting - Phase One

Phew! We just finished the first phase of what's probably going to go down as my favorite house project we've done to date. Operation: kill vine and paint house is under way.

This is what our house looked like before we purchased it. You'll see there's a huge vine growing up the side of the house. While it may look pretty, it was really not good for our house. This vine was vicious.

So, a few months ago, we chopped the vine near the roots and started to kill it. After a month or so, the whole vine was nice and dead. Honestly, taking it off the house didn't take that much work. Luckily it came off in chunks.

The big task was chipping off any loose paint over and above what the vine took off the siding and sanding it down.


The vine wasn't only on the front, it was on the back as well. I understand how pretty it was, but it wasn't going to be good long term.

Before

After prepping both surfaces, we got to work. We went to our favorite place, Sherwin Williams, and picked up a gallon of Duration paint. This exterior paint has primer in it, so you don't have to paint in steps. It saved a ton of headache.

Progress

Progress


I'm so happy with the results. Next up will be match up the trim and painting the front and back pieces.

After

After

We thought this project would be super overwhelming, but it only took about an hour or so to do both places. We're very pleased with the results!

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