A little paint goes a long way!

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?! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Joys of Spray Paint

This isn't a reality show folks, but I'm feeling a confessional moment coming on. (((I love spray paint!))) It's the one thing I can afford when I can't afford anything else! It's my BFF--my tried and true friend.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, brass makes me gag. Like really. It's just so...yesterday. I remember a time when I thought if it was made of brass (or at least resembled brass) it must be expensive. So I loaded up on the stuff when I was in charge of my own space. I think I OD'd on the not-so-precious looking to me metal. Don't get me wrong--I won't judge you if you have brass in your house--I will just fantasize about sneaking into your house with my spray paint and gun. I kid. Sort of.

And just so you know that I speak it but don't always live it...take a look at my door knobs. And my ceiling fans. And a scant few lamps that I just can't seem to pitch part with...Their days are numbered!

Anywho, remember me telling you about the clearance find for bedroom lamps at WalMart? One problem. They were a color that slightly resembled brass (OK--they were butter yellow. Close enough.) but that didn't scare me! Their form--beautiful! Their color? Not so much. And nothing a little quality time with my BFF wouldn't cure!

Now, I've been known to go a little crazy with a spray paint can before--my bright and shiny brass light fixtures--now beautiful (faux) wrought iron thanks to my friend RUStoleum. These babies would be a piece of cake! ORB (that's industry speak for oil rubbed bronze) is my new fav! Here are my weapons of mass resurrection...

About 30 minutes and 2 coats later (drum roll please)...

Ta da!! (Do you see the brass lamp in the background taunting me? Ugh.)

A $10 lampshade (also from WalMart) and it's perfect!

(Disclaimer:  Please disregard the gross laminate countertop...another obsession project for another day. Might have to sell some plasma to pay for that though.)

That went so well I'm making a list of my next victims creations: door knobs, bathroom light fixture, and dare I try the dreaded ceiling fans? Oh the cockiness I can assume from one successful spray can encounter! I'd better stick to the bedroom project first. Focus Kelli. Focus!

Yo! Brass dude on the skirted table... I'm coming for you next!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lists, a big dog and therapy (not necessarily in that order)

Once upon a time, I couldn't sleep. Not that this is a news bulletin--it happens frequently when my brain is just too full of stuff to rest. On this particular night, I was distracted by all the things in my room that were not mine--the dog's bones, Legos on every table and dresser, kids clothes from last spring's closet purge and random lone shoes that are way too small for my ski-sized feet.

It was then that I had an epiphany--I needed to reclaim my bedroom in order to reclaim my sanity. I needed at least ONE room in the house that I could decorate and call mine. Let's just say for example, that because of my  OCD   endearing attention-to-detail, I moved a picture frame from a 45% angle to a 48% angle, I could reasonably assume it would stay that way for at least a week (or until other necessary readjustments). I love my boys more than life itself--I just wish they'd keep their adorable yet grimy little hands off my stuff! (I say that with all the love in my heart I can muster.)

OK--so there was one little problem with this plan. Well, three four problems really but who's counting? The Toys 'R Us in my room wasn't the only thing that kept me awake at night. Here's just a short list of my room's shortcomings (in my humble opinion of course)...
1. Hodge-podge furniture--an eclectic mix of unmatched everything including my Grandmother's laminate/wood dresser and chest of drawers, various tables that I commandeered for night stands, and the tropical-inspired rattan chair with ottoman--one of our first purchases as a married couple 18 years ago!
2. Old faded bedding that was a hand-me-down from my Aunt Phyllis (that sounds more desperate than it is...she had it made custom for her master bedroom...about 15 years ago!).
3. Gag-me-with-a-spoon window treatments that I never could seem to get right for our ginormous window (my budget couldn't support what I really wanted to do!).
4. Pink-ish tan walls that we inherited from the previous owners and a stained ceiling (thanks Hurrican Ike!).

(Oh yeah...5 One very big dog always on my bed!)

My other problem (and this is a big one)--no money to pay for a major overhaul. Mike and I have been on the Dave Ramsey plan for 3 years now. We successfully finished our Debt Diet about a year ago and now we're working to pay off our cars by May and save for our REAL major renovation--FINISH THE BASEMENT! So, whatever money I would need for paint, furniture, bedding, and window treatments would have to either materialize out of thin air, or I would need to raise some serious capital. Thanks to Half-Price Books, my favorite consignment shop and the friendly "we buy gold" coin dealer, I was able to raise enough money to get started.

I started by doing the one thing I do best...I made a list! What would I need to transform this space? Here's what I came up with...
1. New bedding (my first bedding set! I feel so grown up!)
2. Coordinating wall colors (i.e. new paint)
3. Matching night stands
4. New lamps (for nightstand and reading area)
5. New window treatments--drapery and bamboo roman shades
6. Paint the dresser/chest of drawers
7. Buy new drawer pulls and knobs to update the dressers
8. New comfortable reading chair
9. New furniture arrangement to balance the room
10. New ceiling fan--well, now I might be pushing the limits of my budget!

Contrary to what some may think (i.e. Mike--you know I luv ya honey!), I don't sit around thinking about all the things I want to buy and then go on an impulse shopping excursion! (OK--maybe once or twice I did that but that was before Dave and his stupid amazing debt reduction plan.) Sadly for me, I obsess contemplate things I want for a llllllllllllooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg time. For example, bedding sets. I have looked longingly at bedding sets for what seems like eternity. It was like I was searching for the Holy Grail or something. I just had to find the. perfect. one. After months and thousands of logged internet hours, I finally found The One. Now I had to wait for the Lowest Price of the Season sale with corresponding coupon. Two weeks ago was D-Day. It. had. to. be. mine. The set--comforter, bed skirt, shams, and 3 decorative pillows--on Door Buster at JC Penney. $89.99 with a $15 off coupon! Feel like standing in applause? I know!

Just a sneak peak! The colors are actually deeper than they look in this picture with deeper browns and steely blue/green. Gorg!

Now that I had the anchor for the room--I could start in earnest on everything else...paint selection, window treatments, etc. I spent the weekend browsing the stores and websites that worked with my ridiculous modest budget--WalMart, Big Lots, clearance aisles at Home Depot, Target, and yes--Craig's List!

Let's just say...I HIT THE JACKPOT on the clearance racks!! Lamps ($9), beautiful drapery ($10 x 4--big window remember?), table skirt ($5), new curtain rod ($10), BEAUTIFUL glass hurricanes ($4), vases ($2) and more! Add to that impressive list $5 nightstands on Craig's List and I got myself a room! This was more fun than I've ever had...guilt-free! And, it was cheaper than a therapy session! (Think I could get reimbursed by our healthcare flex spending account?) MORE MONEY!! :-0)

Stay tuned to see  if  how I pull it all together...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Big plans!

OK--so almost three looooooooonnnnnnnnnggggggg years (did I mention long?) on the Dave Ramsey plan and I'm ready to end my decorating drought.

Confession time--I love my house. I really do. When I first walked in to this house I felt like I had lived here my whole life. Now, something's happened to my field of vision and I only see the things I hate don't love so much--the cheap varnished hollow core doors, the brass fixtures (yes, there's still some brass left in the house only saved by my 4 years of grad school and 3 years of scraping pennies), and of course I can't leave out the disgusting carpet that needed replaced when we moved in 8 years ago!

While we're done with our "Debt Diet," we're still working on paying off cars (ya know, small bills like that!) so, I can't exactly go on a decorating splurge. After deciding that I just couldn't live another minute in the hand-me-down bedroom with Grandma's furniture (circa 1970), Aunt Phyllis's bedding set (circa 1990-ish), the rattan chair we bought 18 years ago when we got married (it was an extravagant $50 purchase at the time), and oh, did I mention the BRASS!

Ick--I went on a selling spree to raise some much needed capital. Books consigned. Clothes consigned. Gold sold. (Looks too much like brass.) One major shopping spree later...if one can call shopping WalMart's clearance rack, Big Lots, $10 night stands from Craigs List and coupon toting to the door buster sale at JC Penney a major shopping spree then OK!

So now it's time to start the real work--painting dressers, night stands--everything in the room basically--to transform it into a cozy traditional escape--NO LEGOS ALLOWED!!

I created this blog to catalog my experiences--hits and misses. Can't wait to see how it all turns out? Me too.