A little paint goes a long way!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Freaking Fantabulous Foyer!!!

Hello again! I know, it's been way too long! No, I didn't check myself into reno-rehab, I just got a little busy this year with, well, LIFE!! Don't worry, I didn't give up on my favorite past-time (I'm still eating too ;-0)) I just didn't have time to write about it, or take pictures, or well, pretty much anything other than life and the occasional decorating project.

I hope you're ready for this because I'm back with the best, most aggressive, most insanely exhausting house project ever...our Freaking Fantabulous Foyer Redo!!!

Just so you can fully appreciate the awesomeness that is '90s craptastic construction, here's how this lovely monster looked before in all her two-story glory...

...the incredibly exciting half bath couldn't be ignored...

I know...sponge painting. With just one color. Sad, I know.

And now, for the big unveiling. Let me just say that I've been wanting to paint these two areas of our house since we moved in 9 years ago. But two-story foyer, I-can't-get-to-that-with-a-ladder concerns, and Dave Ramsey painting-your-foyer-isn't-in-your-budget concerns delayed this project by about 9 years give or take a few months.

I also need to come clean about one thing...being the avid DIY blog reader that I am, I was tricked into thinking this could be done in just a weekend--or at least that's what I let myself believe, and what I told my hubby, swearing on the nearest bible. What I didn't completely confess is that it was, indeed, a weekend project--it just stretched over 6 weekends!

But alas, it's finally finished and I think it's my favorite space in our house! It may have even usurped my--gasp--bedroom! I know. I can't believe I said that either.

Here she is in all her awesomeness...

(sorry for the craptastic iPhone pics! I still can't figure out how to work our new camera!)

I should have waited until I had better pictures--but given our life's insane pace right now, it's not likely that we'll get better pics anytime soon so there you have it!

Next project: the BASEMENT!!!! Yes, finally! It's a total construction project this time...from unfinished to fabulous! Can we do it? Will it be done before Evan leaves for college? Can we afford my Pinterest board of ideas? Will we end up just moving because it's easier and cheaper? All fair questions! Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Big Reveal!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Martin Luther King Jr Day! These are the holidays that have passed me by since my last post. Life has been a bit...can we say...NUTS for the last three months of my life and none of it, absolutely NONE of it has had anything to do with my Mom Cave project. I have been killing myself creating a winter wonderland in every nook and crany of my house, and then tearing it back down again and redecorating every usable and visible space because I'm SO.OVER. just about everything in my house! (That's the danger of creating a fantabulous space like my bedroom oasis--nothing else quite compares.)

I'm so tempted to string this out and show you just bits and pieces but really, who do I think I am? Oprah?!

So, here are the before shots of my room. They aren't pretty. It was an eclectic mix of retro laminate, hand-me-down bedding, window treatments only a grandmother mother could love, and one ginormous dog for good measure. Well, I decided to keep the dog, but I trashed, donated or painted nearly everything else!

Just remember...I warned you...Please don't judge.

Lovin' the well-fitted bedding now aren't ya?? And those shears...get over yourself right?!

And the part hubs doesn't want me to show you. His smartly-appointed chest of drawers...
Yes, those are spare socks. We weren't exactly going for organization awards here.

Don't forget the famous retro-laminate maple furniture that was a hand-me-down from my Grandma as well as the cherry laminate and way too overcrowded bookshelves...

And of course, there were the Legos. Endless piles of Legos and other assorted kid toys that kept finding their way into MY space!

And did I forget to mention the hodge podge furniture and very cute, but very out-of-place lamps that just didn't work?

Umm, this is where the "Please Excuse Our Dust" sign comes into play.

I can't even believe I lived with this room for so long. I was just blind to the possibilities. And to how incredibly thrift savy I could be when obsessed with driven by a goal to preserve my sanity and create my own heavenly space to disappear into.

Remember how I told you this wasn't a budgeted project so I had to nearly sell everything that wasn't bolted down to pay for it? Don't worry. I kept the kids. And the dog. And, yes the hubby despite the piles of lonely socks. Are you ready for this? The sum total cost of this amazing project was...


You're not even gonna believe it when I tell you it was less than $500!!! $420 to be exact! And yes, that includes EVERYTHING. Not as impressive if you don't see the results right? Well, brace yourself. Here goes nothing (and please remember that I'm still exhausted from this 40-day marathon so be gentle!)

Excuse the old bedding, but this is an impossible shot to get during the day and I took it quite awhile ago.
And, best of all--no room for stray socks on this chest-of-drawers! They've now been banned!

Yes, these are the same pieces of laminate furniture painted a GORG black suede satin paint but with new hardware.
Doesn't it scream "I was born to look this good!"

No room of mine would be complete without another hand-me-down from 
Aunt Phyllis! Is that Mirror to DIE for or what? And completely perfect for my diva wall!

And one more picture of my amazing spray-painted ceiling fan!!

Ta-Daa!! Well, I'm not sure the pictures really do it justice. But let's just say that when I walk in to this room, surrounded by so many things that I completely LOVE, and with everything in it's rightful place, I finally have a room that I can BREATHE in! I can REST in here. I am CONTENT in here. And there's not one single thing I want to replace. Yet.

Over the next week, I'm going to blog about some of my most favorite things and share with you the amazing deals I found throughout this journey. The accessories are my favorite part of the whole thing! That and the wall colors. And the spray-painted ceiling fan. And the seating area. And the...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Windows are the thing!

I think I've mentioned before that I usually crash and burn on anything window-treatment related. I can never make up my mind what I want, and what I do decide would look half-way decent ends up being a rather nice down payment on a car--so those ideas usually go right. out. the. window. so-to-speak ;-0)

I knew the window treatments I chose for the bedroom would either make or break this little project. My fear of course was that it would also break the bank, given the fact that our window takes up almost the entire wall. Seriously! It's a big honkin window.

Here's what I started with...

Yeah, did I mention that they are also IMPOSSIBLE to photograph because there's so much light coming in? You get the idea. When we moved in, they had tabbed curtain panels and no blinds, so every night, we had to close those panels and they weren't exactly easy to close. And, because of all the light, they were completely faded. It doesn't take long to fade fabric in this room. We also had nice pink stains all along the carpet from when they would forget to close the windows during the rain. The stains are still there and will be until the kids graduate from college and we can afford new carpet!

I never could figure out how to do blinds in this room because the middle window (the wall is made up of 3 separate windows--one small on each end and a large one in the middle) didn't have anything above it to anchor blinds to. Now, I'll admit that my brain power is challenged from time to time, and I more than likely started to think about different options to solve that seemingly impossible dilemma, but I'm sure was interrupted by a fight slight disagreement about who had which Lego first. I mean. Really. If you couldn't tell already, Legos are a hot commodity around here. Just not enough to go around. Yeah. Right.

I've been loving the look of bamboo shades lately and I'd like to transition all our rooms to them. I just think they really warm up a space, and they aren't as much of a nightmare chore to clean. I'm sure they get plenty dusty too, but since they're brown, who could tell? It's when your blinds look brown but they're supposed to be white that it bothers people. Am I right?

On my dream shopping day when I splurged $200 on everything window treatment and accessory related for this room, I found the perfect panels for the space--they matched the BGG (my code for that heavenly blue green gray color) in my new bedding and they were only $10 a piece at the budget decorator's palace--Big Lots! They also had these amazingly BIG and BEAUTIFUL copper grommets so no additional hardware to buy! BONUS!!

Bamboo shades are pretty cheap as far as shades go, and I didn't splurge on the ultra private ones because I was planning to line them myself (not as hard as it sounds) so that was about $70 + $40 for 4 curtain panels = One cheap a$$ window treatment for my new MomCave!! (Sorry for the swearing...there just isn't a better way to say that peeps!)

So, here's the before again...

Farewell Aunt Phyllis's valance and my nasty old grandma-looking sheers.

And here's how it turned out...

Can I get an AMEN!! I mean, this is insane it's so good!

We (again using "we" loosely) put a 2x4 above that middle window braced between the two smaller windows and voila...I finally figured out the maddening predicament for using blinds in this room! (For those of you thinking, well, duh! I know. I get in my own way sometimes.)

I know. You're really missing the 20-year-old laundry holder  rattan chair with matching ottoman aren't you?? Yeah. me too. NOT! A BIG. HUGE. GOTTA LOVE HER. THANK YOU to my sister-in-law Trish for her donation of two leather barrel chairs for this project. I gladly lifted those off her hands when she was looking to purge some furniture from her old house. SCORE!!

I know, the GORG new (looking) black chest of drawers is taunting you, making you want to scream "Where'd those come from!" All in good time peeps. Gotta get some snow angels from outside and get back to work!

Ceiling fans...love 'em or hate 'em??

Sorry it's taken me so long to post an update...I'll spare you the details but as soon as I finished the big room redo--it was time for Thanksgiving and another massive project...my annual Deck the Halls O' Kurtz! You did read that correctly, the room is officially D-O-N-E!! And if I do say so myself, this room should have its own show! I'm going to get her an agent. Really. Any minute now, I'm sure Oprah will be calling. Or Candace from Devine Design. Or <<gasp>>, maybe my gay boyfriend Nate Berkus will phone me up to say he can't live without me to pal around with One. More. Second. (((sigh)))

I'd love to show Nate my bedroom in a purely platonic, gay boyfriend kinda way! I think he'd be so proud. Of course I'd have to blindfold him as he maneuvers through the rest of the house and that might just be enough to TOTALLY FREAK HIM OUT so maybe I'll skip the blindfolding and just take a few pictures, ummmmkay? That's probably for the best.

Well, as tempting as it is to just hop right to it and show you all the fabulous pictures and do a little "Move that Bus Mouse" game with ya, I need to explain the complexities and purely blissful details of each little makeover success (and fail) in the room so that you truly appreciate my neurosis thought process and attention to detail.

This room redo is a collection of little transformations. My goal was to reuse and repurpose as much as I already had because my budget was teeny tiny, nonexistent, had to sell things to get the money kind of budget.

If you've followed this blog at all, you know that I HATE BRASS. And I'm quickly developing a dislike for wood trim. Well, cheap wood trim. Some wood trim is kinda nice, but I'm missing my big thick painted wood trim in our old house. It just gives the perception of clean--with extra emphasis on "perception" especially in this house of little messy men!

I had several points of interest in my room that just had. to. go. For starters...the dreaded ceiling fan! Now, I'm not all HGTV-gotta-get-rid-of-the-ceiling-fan-in-every-room-or-I-might-hurl kinda designer. I like my ceiling fan especially when our budget planning doesn't accommodate air conditioning until say JULY! That's when my ceiling fan and I are buds. I just hated its color. I know, I know, don't judge a fan by its color--it was functioning and did a nice job without much noise. But when I'm lying in bed staring at my ceiling (yeah, like I have much time for that--but let's just imagine that I did this quite often ummkay?) I want to rip it down and blame the kids. Really. That bad.

I've also told you before that I'm all kinds of patient right? Yeah, we'll go with that. Anyhoo, I broke the number one rule of blogging and forgot to take a before pic of the lovely little whitish brass gem on my ceiling so these will have to do...

Now, in full disclosure...I'm not a real Rock Star, I didn't take this down myself. That's what my handyman Mike is for! Every girl needs a hot assistant right? ;-0) I don't do electric. Or power tools. Yet. Get me inpatient enough and you just never know!

So we took this down and dismantled the whole thing piece by piece. (And by "we" of course I mean Mike with me offering a tremendous amount of encouragement.)

Using my fav BFF Rustoleum ORB, I sprayed every honkin' thing with light coats being careful not to super saturate the inner workings of the fan. Then I used just plain old brown spray paint for the blades. At first I wasn't sure--Mike thought it looked a little like car primer! But when we got it together and put it up...



This is just the first installment of some other awesome transformations in the room...I hope to get to more posts this week!

Gotta run...I think Nate is calling. Byyyeeee!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love is...

I can't believe this has happened to me. I've gone and fell deeply, madly in love. Yes, I've been here before...or at least I thought I had. But this time, it's different. It's like the clouds have parted and angels have decended singing a magnificent heavenly chorus like something I've never experienced. What they say is true--when it happens, you'll just know. I'll admit, I was a sceptic. Love is so subjective, how does one really, truly know? Well, I was wrong. You do know. You will know. When it happens to you too. I've found the one. Actually, more than one--there are two of them. I know, I know, how can I possibly find room in my crazy life for two? I just don't know. But it's happened. And I couldn't be more blissfully secure in this feeling that I've picked the perfect ones for me.  Juniper Ash and Chateau have made me the happiest woman alive. Thank you Home Depot. My life may never be the same!

Swoon. I <3 paint. It's an unhealthy, but relatively cheap addiction. And selecting these paint colors for my little Kelli cave project has just about killed me. I mean really. It has to be perfect because I likely won't get this chance again (or at least for a few years until the honeymoon wears off). Go big or go home right? Given the total amount of brain capacity I've used trying to decide these paint colors, I could have cured cancer. Or solved world peace. Or at the very least figured out how to change the time on my microwave. But no, I've instead killed off another thousand brain cells obsessing pondering colors. All kinds of colors. Thousands of variations of colors. Daily trips to Home Depot and Lowes to collect more colors. You think I'm joking?...

And that's just two days worth! I've already filled dumpsters with the chips I threw out. I never knew there were this many ways to make browns, tans and that blue/green/grey color that's been screaming for a more exciting name. In all fairness, tans and browns are hard. They are either too pink or too green. And they're tricky little suckers. What looks great in the store ends up looking like baby poop or mud when I get it home and tape it to my wall. Wondering how I know what baby poop looks like on my wall? I have three boys 'member? Ummm, yeah, we won't go there.

If I were a simple girl, and wanted to pick just one perfect color, my world would be a tranquil place. But nooooo, I have to go and get a ginormous mater bedroom with a perfectly tall accent wall suitable for, well, accenting! So it just wouldn't be right to dress her in the same drab color as the other walls would it? I mean this girl is screaming for the spotlight! Who am I to disappoint?

I know this isn't the best picture, but I didn't
realize at the time that she would become the bane of my existence!

And here she is getting ready for her makeover!
(No, the milk chocolate color is not staying--too pink. Ugh!)

All this time I was fixated trying to find the perfect deep brown to metalicize and play off my GORG new bedding set and that was just sending me down the wrong road altogether. <<<<<<<Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!>>>>>>
(That was my attempt at a choir of angels singing--doesn't come across as well in type. Oh well, you get the idea!)

This wall is directly opposite my equally ginormous set of windows that again, are trying to kill me as I think about how to dress them. Yes, basically, I have a room full of primadonnas here all begging for my attention! The window treatments I bought (and LOVE because of the color AND the price at just $10/panel thanks to my BFF Big Lots) are BGG (my new name for the blue/green/grey color) Doncha just love that name? Reminds me of...

And that just makes me smile ;-0) I kinda love the gold metallic--gotta figure out how to work that in to the room now too! tee hee hee

So anyhoo, at first, I casually thought about matching the BGG for the diva wall, but thought it might be too much and take away from the window treatments. But in the end, in my epiphany on the 100th trip to Home Depot (They should have a rewards program for how many times you walk through those doors there. I mean, seriously!) I realized that the right BGG would totally play off the window treatments and anchor the room. You can say it, go on....DUH!!!! I lose decorating points for how long it took me to get to that decision. 

Before I could change my mind. again. and again. I bought the dang paint Saturday morning and got started! (That is, after I spent hours trying to figure out if I should try the new Martha Stewart paint, get the new Behr Ultra, or go cheapo on the budget and pay half for Glidden. If you haven't figured it out yet, no decision is off limits for this overthinking methodical brain of mine!) I've always loved Behr paint. Well actually, I was a Sherwin Williams girl until one day I got lazy and bought paint at HD because it was closer to our new house and that's when I switched. I love Behr paint. Easy to work with, never disappoints me, and much easier on the budget than SW. After reading some bad reviews about Martha (and having this thing about slapping a celebrity's name on something and charging extra for it), I decided to try the Behr Ultra. I had a $10 off coupon from Lowe's that HD will match ('cuz we're buds ;-0) so it was like it would cost the same as my tried and true Behr Premium. And maybe it would actually save me some time.

And the verdict is in...I HAVE A NEW BFF AND ITS NAME IS BEHR ULTRA!! I am obsessed with this paint! It's nice and thick and only took one coat and a few touch ups--even over the chocolate brown color!

I worked my (not so) little tail off all weekend and finished painting the God-foresaken vaulted ceiling (12-ft in same places) and the Chateau walls. Monday night, I painted the diva wall Juniper Ash. And that's when I knew. I. WAS. IN. LOVE. When I walk in the room, even though it's mostly bare, I can't quit staring. And since all our window treatments are down and we're living in a fishbowl, I'm sure my neighbors are enjoying watching me stand in my room staring at my blank but beautiful walls. Oh well, I'm sure they're getting quite used to watching the crazy lady with the house full of little men!

I'll have pictures to post soon of the finished product, but this week it's crunch time as I get ready for the big move-in weekend!!! Everything should be ready (crossing my fingers and my legs at this point). It just has to be ready. Christmas decorating begins in just 10 DAYS!!! GGGGAAAASSSSSPPPPP!!!!!!!

Until next time...Swoon. I'm going back to stare at my walls. Again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

DADD--I need meds!!

Happy All Saints Day!! (Is that really a happy occasion?) I guess it's better to be a saint than a goblin right? After all, you get those beautiful flowing robes to disguise extra pounds, a halo and maybe even some wings (err, that is if you're an angel) OK I'm confusing myself!! In honor of All Saints Day, I'd like to dedicate this blog to St. Jude--the patron saint of  lost causes. What? Does that sound too negative? OK then, how about St. Anthony--patron saint of miracles. Yeah, we'll go with that. 'Cuz I'm starting to think it will take a flippin' miracle for me to make significant progress on this project! Not only do I seem to be time-challenged these days, but I also am battling a very serious disorder. Prayers and intercessions are appreciated.

Even St. Anthony can't get away from the durn Legos!

We're among friends right? I have something very difficult to talk about. I decided to start this blog as a way to recapture my sanity. So, it's only through talking about my issues that I have any chance of healing. Ya with me? 

...Hello. My name is Kelli and I have Decorating Attention Deficit Disorder (DADD for short). It's a serious disorder and it's quite debilitating. When I put my decorating hat on, nothing is safe in my house. NOTHING. My brain tends to go into hyper drive and I scrutinize every square inch of my house. Every. Square. Inch. It's enough to drive a person insane. And when you're not all together anyway--well let's just say it's downright SCARY!! My poor husband.

So, as I'm searching the bargain bins for my bedroom project, I can't help but get all caught up in the other areas of my house that drive me to distraction (I know...it's more of a putt than a drive. It's not my fault 'member...DADD) As I searched for the  cheapest  perfect window treatments for my bedroom, the patron saint of clearance racks pointed me to lovely $7 window panels that would be PERFECT in my dining room. I mean PERFECT. I fell in love. Really. That good. And the price? Yeah. Like I said. PERFECT. Thank you St. WalMart! I followed the call and bought them, telling myself that I would start on the dining room as soon as the bedroom is complete. Well, that's usually when my sickness really kicks in. Add a little impatience and... 

My bedroom makeover project is SSSSLLLLLOOOOOOWWWLLYYY  progressing. And there's really nothing exciting to talk about. I mean, talking about it is about as exciting as watching paint dry. And I've been doing a lot of that lately. Primer. Paint. Poly. The 3 "P"s of my life right now as I tackle these  stupid  lovely Craig's List night stands. I think they are done. Unless I decide to put yet another coat of polyurethane on them. To be continued...

So I had to tackle something for a little project satisfaction this weekend since there really is no cure for DADD. With Mike's help, I transformed our dining room with some fab window treatments!

Our windows look the same as they did when we moved in--basically, a long piece of fabric thrown over the top with some embellishments added to make them look like I thought about it for more than a minute. The disgusting economical vinyl miniblinds had seen better days and I vowed the last time I cleaned them in 2008 not long ago that I would never do that again!

Notice that I didn't zoom in too close!

I've become obsessed with bamboo shades lately (I think they really warm up a space) and just knew these would be perfect in the dining room. I used some of my gold-selling proceeds to buy these very affordable window shades, topped them with a $5 wrought iron curtain rod I bought on clearance at Big Lots a few years ago, adorned it with my GORG new drapery panels and...


I'm in LOVE!!

I mean really? Can you just STAND it??

I can't quit staring at them! One of these days I'll be looking at something very similar in my KelliCave. (Just a hint of what's to come!)

Later this week I should have my new black nightstands and a pair of CUSTOMized  bookcases to show you. And, if St. Anthony really intercedes on my behalf...a beautiful dresser and chest of drawers to oooh and awwww over!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So much accomplished this weekend (and not a lot to show for it!)

Let's just say this weekend was all about one thing...DISTRACTIONS!!!

As I was enjoying Saturday morning catching up with a dear friend and running errands for my productive (insert laugh) weekend, the boys had other ideas for how I'd spend my time...

Amazing how these seem to multiply while I'm away...

So after a few hours of cleaning up the place, it was FINALLY time to....make Connor's Halloween costume for his party at 5 p.m. <<sigh>>

What? Haven't you ever seen a laundry basket before?
Isn't this the dream costume for every 7 year old boy?

Hey--he came up with this idea, and the fact that it was FREE was a bonus (Again, Dave Ramsey would be so proud)! As I drove him to the party I fantasized about how much I could accomplish while he was away for 2 WHOLE HOURS!!! Fake spiders, ghoolish Halloween decorations and Connor's new found fear of them, however, were not part of my plans and I ended up staying at the party as Connor's laundry   captive  helper.

2 hours, 1 beer (I love hospitable 2nd grade parents), a burger and 2 pinatas later...we were back in business! (Insert the sound of slamming brakes and one snotty, sickly, needy teenager) Ugh. After lots of mothering, medicating and making sure no one else interrupted me...it was really time to get down to business...around 9 p.m.

The laminate bookshelves needed to be cleared and ready for their new life as black and beautiful, custom (-ized by me) furnishings. But something interesting started to happen as I got to work...there was a very strong yet annoying gravitational pull coming from my cozy bed. I fought the good fight and managed to empty 1 bookcase over the course of 3 hours and umpteen battles with the gravitational pull.

Sunday would prove to be a better day even with one cheerleading competition for one of my 4 favorite nieces (I'm an equal opportunity aunt that way :-0)), a surprise visit from my Mom ("Plans? No, we don't have any plans. We'll be home all day!"), one skeleton book report project and an hour search for those cute little brads to hold him together...

and I did get a few things done. Really. I swear.

I know you all are hanging on every word of this replay of my weekend--what's that you say? Where's the decorating? PATIENCE PEOPLE! I got a life to survive live here!

My $5 night stands have gone from this...

To this...

Primed and ready to go!

And just so you all don't feel cheated, I'll share a quick tip I've learned from some of my deco-blogging sisters out there. Doncha just hate paint clean up? Well, my personal blogging hero over at Thrifty Decor Chick gave me the brilliant idea of free (how many times can I say "free" in this blog hmmm?) paint tray liners...

Thanks Kroger!

Now that little secret is worth the price of admission ain't it?!