Living Room Art

It’s been a little slow around here lately. I had a cold on Monday that worked itself into Tuesday, I have a few invitation jobs going on, and our heat has been going on an off (the repairman is on his way), so I just wanted to bundle up on the couch on stay still.

I spent a ton of time on Pinterest looking for some king of art for our living room. We have a big empty space over some bookshelves, and I need to find something pretty to hang there. One of the challenges is that the walls are very solid plaster & brick, so it is almost impossible to hang anything on them. I found a few great ideas though:

This beautiful painting on Decor8

A series of small framed prints via Pinterest

A variety of framed prints in a gallery via House of Turquoise

Prints on hangers via Apartment Therapy (maybe better in the craft room?)

Fabric-covered canvases from Better Homes and Gardens

There are so many good ideas, I don’t know what to do.

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Beautiful Bedroom Re-Do

For Christmas, my cousins wanted to give their mom a new bedroom. Her existing room needed a lot of TLC, and the girls wanted to turn it into a peaceful sanctuary. The tricky part was that my aunt would be home for the entire renovation, so they needed to do it quickly and quietly. The first thing they did was move her out to another bedroom in the house and ban her from the room until Christmas Day.

Then they went to work removing some of the more outdated and worn furniture, patching and painting the walls, installing new light fixtures, and hanging curtains and pictures. The result is beautiful.
The duvet is chenille, and they found it at overstock.com. The pillows and lamps are from Homegoods. The bed, dresser and nightstands were already in the room.
I think my favorite part of the room is the chandelier, which they bought at Home Depot (I think it looks antique).They also added galleries of frames on either side of the bed in different shapes and sizes, and filled them with family pictures.Since the renovation was a Christmas gift, everyone in the family wanted to get in on it, and each new piece was a gift from someone. In order to let their mom know where everything came from, the girls added gift tags.On Christmas Day, we all went to the house for brunch and the big reveal.

Fabric-Backed Bookshelf

Right before Thanksgiving I bought a very basic bookcase from Target for the other end of our long hallway. Anthony has a ton of books, and we needed extra space to store them all. I didn’t want to leave it completely plain, so before I nailed on the back panel, I lined it with double-stick tape and covered it with fabric. I finished the bookshelf according to the instructions, nailing the back panel in place. The shelf looked great empty, but we realized that either the walls or floors are crooked. Sigh. That is the fun of living in an old building.I am working on getting the arrangement of books and pictures just right on the shelves, and I am also going to add some shims under the base to try and straighten it out a bit.

Sweet Dreams

We have a big comfy bed with 9 pillows. It is the most important thing in the apartment because we both love to sleep. Today I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add a tenth pillow, especially a cute one.
I made this pillow case today from some of the chevron fabric that I ordered for our bathroom curtains (which are not finished yet), and some Silhouette heat transfer.There is still a lot to do in the bedroom until it is perfect. I want to re-paint our nightstands, find better lamp shades, make an upholstered bench for the end of the bed, and hang some art on the walls. But for now, the bed is comfy and perfect, and that is all that really matters.

Easy Kitchen Curtains

It took me a while to decide on the kind of curtains I wanted to make for our kitchen. I finally made them yesterday after looking at tons of different pictures for inspiration, and I am pretty happy with the result.
I was kind of making it up as I went along, so I took pictures and wrote down the steps just in case I ever want to make them again. I started with 3 yards of Amy Butler Midwest Modern print, plus an equal amount of lining fabric. I used a little less than a yard for each window.

The window in the picture is 33″ wide (measured from the outside of the frame), so I added an inch for seam allowance and cut 34″ lengthwise and used the width of the fabric with just the selvedge trimmed off. Then I cut an equal size piece of lining fabric and pinned the 2 pieces together with the right sides facing.
Then I sewed down 3 sides (left, right and bottom), and turned it inside-out like a pillowcase. Once the piece was inside-out, I pressed the edges.
I sewed the edges again, just to make sure that the curtain would lay flat, then I decided to add some pleats to the bottom.
I folded over the bottom edge 3 inches and pressed the fold, then sewed 1 inch in to create a pleat.
Then I folded the fabric over again, 3 inches from the previous pleat, pressed and sewed 1 inch from the fold again.I repeated the pleating step again, and added a third one.

That was enough for me, so I finished up by creating a rod pocket on the top of the curtain and I was all done! I am definitely still a beginner at sewing, and this project could not have been easier.

The kitchen still needs some work, and I need to paint the window frames over the kitchen sink before I can hang the curtains.

Long Hallway

One of the things that is helping me feel settled in our new apartment is hanging pictures on the wall. Yesterday I finally got around to hanging our collection of original drawings from Sam Brown in our very long hallway.

Anthony and I have been joking that we get all of our exercise from walking up and down the hall, since our living room is at the front of the apartment, and the kitchen is at the back. Since I had seven framed drawings, I wanted to space them evenly on one side of the hall. I started by measuring the entire length of the hall (it came out to 35 feet), and then dividing by 8 since I had 7 pictures to hang. I ended up with 4.375, but rounded down to 4.25 in order to make it easier on myself.

I marked the wall with painters’ tape at regular intervals, 4.25 feet apart. You can see the tape and the shelves I put in the cabinet at one end of the hall in this picture.

Once I marked off the wall, I measured for the hooks 14 inches up from the moulding. I like to use picture hanging hooks whenever possible, as the little pins don’t need to go too far into the wall and cause much less damage than regular nails or screws.

Then I hung the frames, and it was done!
Since we spend so much time walking back and forth in this hall, it’s nice to have something good to look at. I still need to put something at the far end of the hall, and it looks like we’ll end up with a bookcase, since we have an overabundance of books in the house. I am going to start searching craigslist and thrift shops for something solid that I can paint a fun color. The carpet in the hall is an ugly brown industrial berber, so I may end up trying to find a runner to put over it as well.

Craft Room Pegboard

I have a craft room! It is coming together slowly, and the best thing about it so far is the pegboard.
I ordered the pegboard and all of the hooks and accessories from a website called DiamondLife. The board itself and all of the stuff was not more than $50. When I was placing my order, I started out with a 2″ x 4″ board, and made a diagram of all of the pieces as I was placing them in my cart.The layout was great, because otherwise I would definitely have ordered too many or too few accessories. It also helped me think about the stuff that I needed to store and where it was going to go.

The board I ordered started out brown, and I used some paint I already had to paint it turquoise. The painting process was the hardest part, because the tiny holes kept filling in with paint. I also used a foam brush, which started deteriorating because of the uneven surface. If you plan on painting a pegboard, spray paint might be easier.

It looks so great over my desk, and I can already tell that I am going to be spending a ton of time in the craft room.