“We’ll all float on alright”

I’m a huge fan of floating shelves! They are so modern, functional, classic, simple, and elegant. Floating shelves also really make your trinkets pop! While browsing the web I came across a post on Young House Love’s blog on how to build your very own floating shelves.  I won’t bore you with a detailed play-by-play. Rather you read this post for all the details on how to build them.

With my dad’s help we were able to follow the directions to create custom floating shelves for our home. I decided that I wanted 2 shelves above the buffet in the living room, and 2 shelves over the toilet in my bathroom. They turned out so great they have quickly become my favorite addition to the house yet.

Living Room Floating Shelves:
Since we moved the buffet into the living room I felt like it needed something to anchor it in the space. Floating shelves were the perfect solution because they are installed it makes the buffet seem like it belongs. Not to mention it’s a perfect place to store some fancy glassware and serving ware. Functional AND beautiful – swoon.
LivingRoomShelvesBathroom Floating Shelves:
Prior to the shelves, there was a mini storage thing attached to the bathroom wall. It wasn’t totally hideous…it just wasn’t my style. So, my first task was to remove it, patch the holes, sand the wall, and paint. I thought I did a pretty AWESOME job…if I do say so myself. You can’t event tell, look!

BathroomShelvesAfter that was completed, I was able to hang my 2 mini shelves in the same place. It really makes my trinkets really shine. Before you couldn’t even see what was in the glass case.
These shelves were surprisingly simple to install and are such a gem. Now that I have them I want floating shelves everywhere. I think I can survive for a little while with just 4…but I see more in my future.

Kitchen 1 – Christine 0

Our kitchen has been bugging me for a while. There’s just a lot going on that I didn’t (until recently) know how to handle. When we painted the house I had 2 days to decide all the paint colors for the house. I give myself mad props that I love all of my paint selections except 1, the kitchen. Which happens to be the most pain-in-the-butt room to paint. So, when I mentioned that we’d have to repaint the kitchen Taylor gave me the stink-eye. I let it slide because I want to give myself the stink-eye.

Currently the kitchen is painted a rich espresso brown. Which is a really pretty color and I still actually like it, just not in the kitchen. Why? Because I thought the kitchen would get more light than it actually does (well it gets gorgeous light during the day…but I rarely see the house during those hours). So, most of the time it’s super dark in there and not welcoming. The reason I’ve struggled with the kitchen is because of the combos that are going on in there. The cabinets are a honey color, and the granite (yeah, nice right?) is mostly black with flecks of brown, green, and turquoise. It wouldn’t have been my first choice but it’s actually quite pretty. So, when choosing a paint color I went with the brown since it was the easy choice.

DarkKitchenSee what I mean about it looking dark? On to the changes! I decided that I needed some inspiration so I went over to the Tile Shop. I took my paint swatch sample. Using the current bathroom color (Retreat) and found a lighter version for the kitchen. It’s called Sea Salt. This way I wouldn’t be introducing a totally different color. I also took photos of the granite. Here are the options:

TileKitchen

Which option did I decide? Drum roll……

  • Option 1 – Pulling out way too much green and was leaning towards masculine to me. It was also $30 a sq. foot. MOVING ON!
  • Option 2 – was beautiful! But when I saw it with the granite it became super busy. There was too much going on in my opinion. Plus it was $24 a sq. foot. NEXT!
  • Option 3 – seemed like it was going to be too simple. However, when paired next to the granite it really amplified the colors in it. And it was $7 a sq. foot. WINNER winner chicken dinner!

With option 3 all squared away I can rest easy knowing that I’ve figured out this room. All it needed was a great tile and paint selection!

Winter Project Mash-up

Despite the lack of activity on the blog we’ve actually been quite busy this winter. With a lot of our big projects completed, we’re finally able to start working on some of the smaller details. These details are exciting because they start making a house feel like our home. I’m currently obsessed with these “Best of 2012” lists that are all over the internet. So, without further adieu, here’s the Cashwell project mash-up.

1. Type Tray Earring Holder

EarRingImageI saw tons of photos showing how people turned old type trays into jewelry holders. Guess what? I had an old type tray AND paint. So, I thought to myself, “Huh, that looks easy!” Life Tip: When you think it’s going to be easy…it won’t be.  In all honesty, this was the most complicated and frustrating DIY project that I’ve completed. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, she’s over-reacting, it’s just a little paint.” I get it, I really do…but it’s not. Here’s what went down.

  • Step 1 – Clean the tray. Using warm, lightly soapy, water I rubbed down the whole piece. Making sure I got all the dog hair, dirt, and dust out of all the nooks and crannies.
  • Step 2 – Paint coat 1 of the tray. Since, I decided I wanted a simple glossy white I didn’t need to prime it. Thank God. Do you know how long it takes to paint all those little boxes? They each have 5 faces that need painting. Lets do a little math shall we: 1 tray back + 4 tray sides + (96 boxes x 5 faces) = insanity, epic hand cramps, and tears.
  • Step 3 – Paint coat 2. Yep, you gotta do all that again!
  • Step 4 – Have a mini melt-down because you realize it needs another coat.
  • Step 5 – Paint coat 3.
  • Step 6 – Have a drink during this phase of false security while you watch your handy paint job dry.
  • Step 7 – Simply screw in the eye-hooks and hardware. I thought those little screws would just…oh I dunno, SCREW IN? Nope, they did nothing. I had a perfectly painted tray box silently crushing my will to live.
  • Step 8 – Give up. Contemplate throwing it out the window.
  • Step 9 – Get mad. Become determined to finish this stupid project because you’re not a quitter and you can’t let the tray beat you.
  • Step 10 – Drill TINY starter holes into all 96 boxes.
  • Step 11 – Buy another tiny drill bit. Why, because you snapped that drill bit in half. Yep, those spaces are small and apparently drill bits don’t bend. So….
  • Step 12 – Drill holes in all the remaining boxes.
  • Step 13 – Screw in all eye-hooks by hand. Not skipping a beat when you completely destroy your manicure.
  • Step 14 – Be half-excited when you’re done because you know it’s tainted your soul.

Even though this project wasn’t fun to complete. It’s actually really fun to use. It does exactly what I thought it would do. Having all my earrings and bracelets in one place I can quickly choose a look for the day. However, I do give it a good stink-eye from time to time.

2. Necklace holder

NecklaceImageHi, my name is Christine and I’ve got a necklace problem. I’ve got a really nice acrylic box from the container store; however, I could only fit 1/3 of them into that space. Therefore, I was only wearing the baubles that were easy to find. I knew I needed a solution that allowed me easy access to all my necklaces. After a lot research I decided on a couple of things.

  • How do I organize them? Currently, I had them organized in a box placed into individual sandwich baggies. Even though they weren’t tangled I knew that if I couldn’t see them I wouldn’t wear them. So, I decided that I’d need to hang them up some how.
  • Do I want the necklaces to be decoration? My bathroom only has one wall. So I had to choose between displaying my necklaces or something else. I decided that I didn’t want the necklaces to be on “display.” I wanted to save that precious wall space for other décor (link this to floating shelf post).

My mom found this Elfa tie organizer and I knew it was the way to go. It has tons of hooks for future purchases, the hooks are deep giving my bib necklaces plenty of space, And it was SUPER easy to hang. I decided to hang it in the closest so I can see all my necklaces but they don’t have to be the only décor element in my bathroom.

3. Stair Rail

StairRailImageOur home was built in 1984 (coincidentally the same year my hubs and I were born). It’s common for homes built during this time to have natural, or dark stained trim. Luckily, the previous owners decided to paint all the trim in the house glossy white before we got here.  However, they neglected to pain the stair rails. I’m assuming they didn’t attempt it because they are against the carpet, thus making it difficult to paint. However, I’m not thrilled with the carpet anyways. It’s rather old, lumpy, and otherwise gross. So, getting a little paint on it was the least of my worries. It was a quick win in my opinion.

We already had all the supplies:  paint, brush, and drop cloth. I gave it a few coats of high gloss white and it really makes a difference! The railing blends into the room rather than sticking out…which was my goal. We’ve still gotta paint the long hand rail up the stairs…but we’ve have to wait until it stops raining.

4. Closet Shelves

closetImageThe closet in the 3rd “bedroom” is the second largest closet in the house. So, it was pivotal for it to be functional and be able to organize our stuff. It originally only had 1 shelf about 5 ft. up with a clothes poll below it. Can you say useless?! So, we took that out and measured the space. We decided that we wanted 4 shelves total … because we’re short people and we didn’t want things on the top shelf to be literally out of reach.

Ideally there would be an Elfa shelving solution in every closet in our home. However, this is real life and I had a coupon to Lowes so that’s where we went. We spent WAY too much time deciding, changing our mind, and circling back to the beginning. We decided to go with wire shelves because:

  • Almost no need to clean
  • Easy to install
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Hold a lot of weight

Not to mention that we know we wont be in this house forever…so I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on closet shelves when we’ve got other important things to take care of. The shelves came with all the necessary hardware and a detailed instruction guide. We were able to finish the project in about an hour.

Afterwards, I popped over to Target and gathered up some clear bins. The clear bins make it really easy to find what I’m looking for. It’s not the most beautiful closet system, but it’s got great personality.

5. Coffee Table vs. Ottoman

ottomanIt became clear that we needed something in the living room. But what to get? Taylor grew up with an ottoman and I grew up with a coffee table. Talk about lives divided.
So, we talked about what we wanted our new addition to do. At first I was weary about an ottoman because I feared that it wouldn’t be as functional as a table. However, after a lot of research it turns out that I was wrong… yep, I’m not afraid to admit that I was wrong.

The ottoman was actually MORE functional than a table. You can sit on it comfortably, you can rest your feet on it comfortably, they prevent clutter, and you can easily put a tray on it to accommodate the need to place something on it. Once we decided upon an ottoman I began searching for the perfect specimen. I had size, price, color, weight, comfort, and design mandatories. Me have mandatories…shocking.  I ended up deciding on a beautiful ottoman by West Elm, who in my opinion can do no wrong. It was perfect!

  • Size: Perfect 3ft x 3ft size for our house
  • Price: affordable and within budget (It helped that Christmas was around the corner)
  • Color: They had multiple colors and fabrics to choose from. I ordered swatches to help me decide upon the color
  • Weight: Not too heavy that I can’t move it and not too light that it slides around
  • Comfort: Very cushy and comfortable
  • Design: Modern with a flair of Moroccan in the leg style…love!

They didn’t sell the ottoman in stores because of the fabric options. So, I ordered her online and would be shipped between 8-10 weeks. WAIT WHAT? 2 months….sigh. It arrived in about 4 weeks…and we love it.

Not-So-Mini Bathroom Makeovers

If you could see our house you’d think we just moved in, and we did…9 months ago. The house is in varying degrees of disarray depending on what projects we’re working on, how busy we are, or if I’m traveling, etc. You can’t tell at the moment but Taylor and me are actually very tidy, neat, and organized people. Do you know what happens when people are forced to live in an unorganized home? Taylor and I were suffering from clutterphobia (yeah I made it up) and the side-effects are not pretty. So, we knew getting one space organized would stop our clutter nightmares. We figured out that the 3 most used rooms in our home are: the kitchen, living room and our individual bathrooms. (Sorry folks but it’s the truth.) We knew that the kitchen and living room were uphill battles but the bathrooms were relatively simple and affordable to update.

We’ll start with my bathroom since I’m telling the story. J First let me tell you that I’ve decided upon a “theme” for my bathroom.  This is always the hardest part for me because I have to commit to one style and not put everything I like into one room.  BUT I’ll give myself a pat on the back because I’m in love with the possibilities. Before I reveal the theme I’ll let you know how I got to the decision. I had some criteria that helped guide me:

  • Feminine (Not French country and fat cherub feminine)
  • Light and bright
  • Relaxing
  • Organized
  • Welcoming
  • Flow with the bedroom’s décor (since my bath is attached to the master bedroom)

I went to my old friend Pinterest for some inspiration. However, can I just say? Who has bathrooms that big!? Geeze. Anyway I found these photos and I knew what I wanted to do.

I know what you’re thinking, “a sea themed bathroom how original” but gimme a chance to explain my vision. Wow, how artsy-fartsy was that statement? Ok envision this:

  • Purple, grey, white and turquoise color palette
  • Small framed prints of coral
  • White sea pebbles
  • Floating white shelves
  • A few nice shells that I’ve found
  • Framed whale’s tooth (This is really cool. I found one on the beach recently)
  • A purple geode for texture
  • Small print of the image above
  • Accents of clear glass

That doesn’t sound too bad right? Actually it sounds quite beautiful doesn’t it? Trust me. Its gunna be quite the tiny retreat when I’m done. We’ve taken a few strides already and it’s on its way to being fabulous. So far we’ve:

  • Replaced the standard mirror with a framed one
    • We followed the same process as Taylor’s mirror update with a slight color difference. The mirror came from an old dresser that we had and it happened to be the perfect size.  We spray painted it white, strung some new wire on the back, and hung it up in place of the old standard mirror.
  • Removed the closet door and added a curtain
    • I decided to remove the closet door because when both doors were open the knobs would get locked together…causing me to go a little crazy. Plus, a curtain is much prettier than a boring door. So, I simply removed the door and it’s hardware. Bought a spring loaded curtain rod from Target. Then fed the curtain on and fastened the rod into place.
  • Adding drawer organization
    • I’ve got about 6 drawers and one cabinet under my sink. The lower drawers and cabinet were taken care of. But the top 2 drawers, that I use the most, were total chaos.  On one side I keep my daily necessities and the other houses my make-up. So, T and I went to the container store and found some nice acrylic drawer organizers.
  • Began hording cute accessories
    • I guess “we” haven’t been hoarding accessories, it’s just me. Either way with my “modern, undersea elegance” theme picked out I discovered that I actually have a lot of accessories that I can already use. I guess all those years of shell collecting finally paid off!  Check out the cute stuff I’ve found already!

    All these updates have been inexpensive and quick to accomplish. Now, my little bathroom is stress-free, more organized and well on its way to becoming a mini-retreat. This brings us to T’s bathroom makeover. The last time we saw his bathroom we had just finished updating his mirror but we recently completed a bunch more updates.  So far, we’ve:

    • Painted the sink cabinet black
      • Painting the sink cabinet made an immediate impact in this room. He wanted the bathroom to look modern and crisp and I wanted to make sure the bathroom contrasted with my bathroom while still complementing it.  So, we decided to go with a high-gloss black for the cabinet. It really pulled the room together. The grays, whites and blacks play so nicely together.  It’s also an easy color palette to add pops of color too because it’s neutral. Currently, he has green as an accent which is masculine and flows well.
    •  Replaced hardware
    • Following the gray theme we knew we wanted silver toned knobs. We found some really nice rectangle knobs at Lowes that had a brushed nickel finish. They really pop against the black cabinet.
    • Organized under the sink 
      • T mentioned that he could never find anything which made getting ready frusterating. So we were able to find some tubs, bins and acrylic trays that fit in the drawers and under the sink cabinets. A little organization makes a day-to-day use so much more enjoyable.
    • Added a glass shelf over the toilet
      • We found a small glass shelf that we loved AND it matched the hardware, Bonus! It looks great and adds a display area. T’s able to display some accessories that help give this room personality.
    • Replaced Light fixture in the bathroom
      • This is the one addition we are most proud of. We’re mostly proud that we didn’t electrocute ourselves. But we’re also proud that we did it on our own. It was really simple to replace.
      • Cut the power to the room (Thank goodness it was in the directions. Or we probably wouldn’t have thought about it.)
      • Unscrewed the old fixture and we found some HOT wallpaper hiding underneath.
      • Unhooked the wires from the old fixture
      • Attached the new fixture to the wires. The wires were color coded so it was really simple to figure out which wires went where
      • Mounted the new fixture over the existing mount
      • Little putty, sanding, paint and BAM. Done. (See how excited he is!?)

    All of our hard work has paid off! We’ve only got a few little tweaks until we can stamp this room as DONE. We’d like to move the shower curtain up, add a light above the shower, paint the trim around the sink and add some accessories. The small updates have made such a huge difference in this room. It’s nice to know that a little truly does go a long way.

We Picked a Peck of Perfect Pigments

We’re painting the house…the whole house. We got an AMAZING deal with a local painter who’s going to paint our entire house in 3 days. I know what you’re thinking. “You’re young, why don’t you save some money and paint it yourselves?” I’m glad you asked because I’ve compiled a list:

  1. We don’t like painting
  2. We can afford it – In true Godfather style, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse
  3. Hastiness – if we did it I wouldn’t be posting this until next year
  4. Quality – if we did it we’d get tired and sloppy
  5. We don’t have any supplies on hand (brushes/drop cloths/rollers etc.
  6. We have better things to do 🙂

I’m glad we’re all on the same page, moving on! I’m real excited about painting the whole house at once. I’ve never done it before and I think it’s a smart move because the whole house will flow. When choosing color palettes I like to think of adjectives that describe how I want the space to feel. We came up with classic, contemporary, and luxurious. Turns out, the colors we chose at Sherwin Williams are from their “Livable Luxe” and “Classic & Contemporary” color palettes, strange!

You’re probably wondering what colors we chose? Well, we decided to go with Sherwin Williams paint because I feel like they have the best color options. All their colors just feel “right” and go well together. Plus, HGTV has their own line and who doesn’t respect and drool over HGTV? So, here’s the breakdown of the colors per room:

Downstairs

  • Living Room & Stairwell – Requisite Gray (SW 7023)
  • Dining Room – Rainstorm (SW 6230) and Simple White (SW 7021)
  • Kitchen – Well-bred Brown (SW 7027)
  • Powder Room – Retreat (SW 6207)

Upstairs

  • Landing & Hallway – Requisite Gray (SW 7023)
  • Master Bedroom – Dovetail (SW 7081)
  • Master Bath – Requisite Gray (SW 7023)
  • Office – Serious Grey (SW 6256)
  • Second Bedroom – Silver Mist (SW 7621)
  • Second Bath – Requisite Gray (SW 7023)

Here’s a mock-up of the colors. The upstairs colors are on top and the downstairs colors on the bottom. (Note: Paint colors never look like themselves on computer screens. So, they look a little off but you get the jist!) We wanted the upstairs to be cool and relaxing and the main floor to be bold and contemporarty. I think we were able to accomplish this by letting the Requisite Gray be the color that ties the floors together.

I’ll be sure to upload some great before/after shots when the rooms get their fresh coat of paint!