Monday, July 12, 2010

Next Project...????

So I haven't disappeared...I've just kind of decided my all design all year long thing was unrealistic.  For time purposes, energy purposes, design idea purposes...and what was that other one....oh yeah... money purposes.  Despite all the incredible ideas the DIY-ers have on the internet, I'm still pretty much a retail girl at heart.  I'm pretty sure I'm coming back to this...I've squirrelled some gift money away specifically for our master bedroom...but I need to get inspired.

So stay tuned...I'll be back.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Before-After: Home Office

Let's start with some side-by-side before & after comparisons.

I think I'm done with this space.  Good-bye dorm room/junk room. 

Hello elegant and comfortable home office.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slowly but Surely....Home Office Finishes

Hubby was a trooper and figured out all the necessary carpentry issues to get the closet doors cut (due to carpeting, they were now too long) and hung (old screw olds were no longer viable and the tracks were dented and bent. The whole thing needed delicate overhaul and tweaking.  So now our doors our up - hiding our expensive organization system and all the crap that filled it.

The doors will should make it harder for Penny Cat to get into mischief on the TOP SHELF.

Today we tackle the blinds. 

Although the pool and patio are calling to us.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nearly a month of inactivity

I just realized it has been nearly a month since my last post.  Let me assure you I've been busy, but not really with reorganization or redecorating.  I've been busy earning the money to pay the bills for the reorganization and redocorating, and I've been busy with just the normal upkeep of the Yellow Cottage. (I should say WE).  Kip has been working hard to get the pool open for the season, and since the equipment is starting to show its age, this means some mechanical work and replacement parts.  I've been doing gardening in fits and starts, but not a great deal of progress made.  Regardless, this is the time of year where we get outside more often and just weeding the front walkway can be a full afternoon's work...then again, so can reading a good book poolside.

Due to budget priorities, some weekend trips, and the general need for upkeep I anticipate the blog will continue on its current slow-down pace.  But I'll try to get a little creative with the small projects that are low-budget but can bring impact.

Here are a few thoughts (if I can get motivated):

  1. Finish the home office!  This includes the blinds that finally came in, the closet doors that need to be re-hung, and the last cleanup of the odds and ends that have piled up.  Then I can post a true before-after conclusion entry.
  2. Paint the upstairs bathroom.  I added all the white accessories - which I'm still learning to live with - lots of bleach filled laundry happening at the cottage these days.  But the paint really needs freshening.  Someday we'll gut this room, but not anytime soon.
  3. Shop for (and buy?) a new couch.  Our couch desperately needs to be replaced - the fabric has worn through on the arms - but I just haven't been in the mood for a big item shopping excursion.
  4. Reorganize kitchen cupboards.  Actually, what I need to do is reorganize the contents and downsize things we don't really use, line or paint the interior shelves, prime and paint the cupboards, add latches to all the doors.  This may be too big a job for my summer weekends.
  5. Paint kitchen built-in.  Strip all decorative items off, paint, and merchandize.  Add hardware.  This is a smaller job...I may be up for this, but I also need to be sure I get the room trim and walls touched up too.
  6. Make design plans for bedrooms.  I need the perfect bedding for these rooms to get me started...then I need carpeting and window coverings, then paint, and accessories....oy...this one is overwhelming.
  7. Furniture rehab.  I have two iron patio sets in need of rehab.  This is a good summer project. Also, I have a jewelry/mirror cabinet that I've been eyeing for a while as the perfect test item for a paint treatment.  So many project bloggers fearlessly attack their wood finish furniture with gel stains and/or primer and paint....I'm thinking of changing it from current oak finish to either cottage white/distressed, or staining it darker cherry/mahogany....
lots to think about, but for now, my book is calling tuned...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Unplanned progress

I never expected to get anything done this weekend.  Yesterday was my total down day, and today, we had plans to host my in-laws for mother's day, so I was fully expecting no progress.  But Kip had other ideas, so I went along for the ride.

Penny, as always, was in the thick of things..."helping" as we put together our mail-order bookcase.

We FINALLY got the guitars hung too.

And here is the final result for our organized hobby corner.  The bookcase is assembled and filled with books on painting, photography, home-brewing, masonry, religious studies, and general fiction.  We are assembling a few family photos for the top and the hat boxes contain many more snapshot not organized (yet) into albums.  These are part of those crucial "what to grab in the event of a fire" items.

As a final treat, we hung two mixed media (watercolor, pen&ink) pieces we purchased from one of our favorite Cape Cod artists - and fellow Fresh Paint gallery artist of Kip's Selma Alden.  We love her work.

The task list is not yet done, as we still must tackle the closet doors and the grid of Kip's photos.

But I could not be happier with the feeling I get when I step into this room.  While work must be done here, it is still a haven...which was exactly what we hoped for.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Not much has been happening at the cottage this week.  I had a whole lot of work to do at that place they pay me to go to every day, so no time to work on the house projects.  I must say though the home office is getting a lot of time spent in it, even though it isn't about finishing the decorating. It's been purely about using the space for its intended use - work at home.

Our bookcase arrived from the Home Decorators catalog order (although still no sign of the blinds from JCP...) and we'll put it together soon.  We've also selected, printed, and framed the photographs from Kip's collection to go up on the wall, but decided to wait for a time of patience and attention to hang 9 identical square frames in an exactly spaced grid.

The closet doors also remain uncut and unhung.  But today, for me, was a total day off.  I started the day with a couple of episodes of Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 in bed...and by 10AM was downstairs scrounging up some breakfast.  Then I found myself comfortably ensconced on the couch watching the rain pour down and the wind howl around outside, while I watched the next 3 DVDs in the season set.

I did take on one small I watched the wind howl I realized our pool cover and the cement blocks holding it in place were in serious danger of flying into the pool.  I doubt this would be a good thing for the 10 year old liner.  So I rigged up some boards set between and weighted down by the cement blocks to minimize airflow under the liner.  I also decided to untangle the hose and hook it up and begin refilling some water into the pool under the liner to further support the cover.  This was rather ambitious of me today...and took me all of about 25 minutes.

After that, fully spent, I returned to the couch with my glass of diet pepsi and my LL Bean blanket and dissolved back into the cushions.

Some weekends, when I blow off errands and tasks and projects, I find my mood disintegrates as I realize I've wasted precious time off from office duties.

Today?  Absolutely no regrets.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Progress Photos

Monday 04.23.2010
Not quite, done...but significant progress.


AFTER (or at least current)

What stayed the same:
  • Furniture (except for chair covers)
  • Furniture placement (with small adjustments)
  • Window trim color.
What is biggest change:
  • Tone of color.  While both green, very different feel of cool and calm now.
  • about tonal color change!  From HOT and crazy to cool and neutral.
  • Window treatments - from dorm level mis-fitting mismatched shades, to elegant drapes.
  • Crown molding.  Really stepped up the room to a more elegant feel.
  • Light fixture - although new one is not in the new least we don't have the broken saloon fan anymore!
  • DE CLUTTERING!  We removed a tall misfit bookcase and an antique school desk opening up the space.  We added a closet organizer to better store our materials.  We freecycled several boxes of things and tossed out 4 bags of shredded papers from our files.  We are also trying to be very selective about what lives on our desk and under our desk.  This will be an ongoing battle.
Overall, we've already achieved the greatest goal of this project, even though a few things remain to be accomplished.  This room no longer looks like a dorm room.  It actually is starting to feel like a home  office suited to the two corporate managers who live here, instead of two starving college students (which is so many years ago!).

Still to do:
Wash windows (if only I had done this before moving in the furniture...duh)
Hang artwork and guitars.
Recieve and move in new bookcase (and load with books)
Hang closet doors.
Add wood roman shades (still on order).

Longer term to do:
Radiator cover (but it is hidden under my desk, so not too worried about it right now).
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