Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank you Santa!

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas, we sure did!  I am happy to say that Santa brought us more than we deserved and also that he reads this blog and brought us some new tools for our DIY projects (note: Santa = Me and Matt). 

While Santa brought me beautiful jewelry and an entire store of Bath and Body Works, Santa brought Matt some things to help cross to-do's off of our list.

On the left is a Black and Decker sander with "Smart Select Technology."  That is a fancy term for the fact that you can change out the base for different jobs depending on what you need to sand.  It was $59.97 at Lowe's.  That was a pretty middle of the road price.  We do take price into consideration when purchasing items for our home (we aren't millionaires) and it usually ends up with a process of looking at what our dream item would be, looking at what we think is a cheap aka bad quality that we are going to have to replace, and end up with a middle of the road "good quality item," as cousin Eddy would say. 

The other item is a book (shocking I know) from Popular Mechanics on trim carpentry.  I was purusing through the local Half Price Books store looking for carving books for my grandpa (they do not exist by the way) and found this handy little number.  Matt has been dreading fixing the trim in our laundry room because he is not an expert on trim work.  Hopefully, this will help! The best part is that the book was way less than half the list price on the book ($19.95) and I scooped it up for $5.97...score!

Well, what about you?  Did Santa bring you everything you wanted?  Did he bring something to fix up your home?  Let me know! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Changes around Baker's House

Oh my, how time flies.  Matt and I hope that everyone is gearing up for a wonderful Christmas with your families and loved ones.  I have many projects scheduled to share with you all and I am excited to get started working again around the house.  The New Year promises a fresh beginning and also lots of changes around our home.

Just a list of things that I want to accomplish this year...

- Upgrade the master bath to match our master bedroom
- Switch the "sports room" and our guest room
- Updgrade the decor in the sports room
- Paint and decorate the guestroom
- Paint the laundry room
- Install new trim in laundry room (Marypoppins destroyed it as a puppy)
- Refinish the dresser in the guestroom
- Re-paint the coffee table
- Clean and stain the fence in the backyard
- Freshen up the paint on the outdoor trim

Looking around, this is all that I can think of right now!  This is a list of the major things that we will be working on, but this does not include all the quick changes that might happen and the little changes in accessories that make our house, our home. 

Thank you for reading! 

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

- Matt and Mary

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wooden Pallet Art...

So, as I have mentioned at least twice in previous posts, I love Pinterest, and get a lot of ideas from my virtual boards. It's not just home decor that I have gotten inspiration from Pinterest, but also crafts, recipes, fashion ideas etc. After pinning ideas for sometime, I decided I needed to get started on some of these projects.

My first major project that was inspired by pinterest were the drop cloth curtains that Matt and I made for our living room which you can see here. This next project is in the living room too. I wanted to turn the pile of pallets into some great art for the living room.

We have this great expanse of wall behind the TV in the living room.  I've always had a difficult time filling.  Most things that I choose are too small and and make the room look unfinished.  For a long time, I had a ladder hanging on the wall, which I loved that you can kind of  see in this old picture. 

I've been thinking of something to update the focal wall in the living room, and I started pinning pallets.  I seem to have an affinity for decorating with industrial objects. 

First, we had to find a pallet.  Matt was going to check at work, but one day at an electric store down the road from our house, we hit the motherload.  Middletown Electric frequently puts out used pallets and these huge wooden spools that they roll wire on and they are free for the taking.  We could not find one pallet that was whole which also didn't look too new, so we grabbed two pallets of similiar shape and weathering and threw them in the back of the truck. 

With a little elbow grease, Matt was able to remove an extra slat from
the pallet we were not using and...

he removed the broken slats from the pallet
that I wanted to hang on the wall...

Here is it, looking as good as new after adding the new slat to it!

Matt used four #8-10 screws and the #8-10 anchors to hang it on the wall. He estimates that they hold 50lbs each and since the pallet did not weigh 200lbs he thought it would be well supported. Sorry I do not have pictures of the hanging process...hubby does not like heights and let's just say he wasn't agreeable to a photo-op while standing on a ladder trying to hang a 100lb pallet on the wall for his crazy wife!  Here is what it looks like hanging on the wall, without the picture frames inside. 

Yeah, I thought since it wasn't hanging in the kitchen or dining room, that plates or serving ware wouldn't be very appropriate unlike my inspiring pins.  By the way, the prints on either side of the pallet are from Target (of course).  I bought them over the summer.  They were originally $45 a piece, but after watching them on clearance and checking at two different stores I was able to score both of them for $12.48 a piece! As for decorating the inside I decided on white frames.  I had a few extra lying around the house and on a recent trip to Ikea I picked up a few more frames in varying sizes.  I bought eight more frames for $20.  Most of the smaller frames you will see cost $1.99, which I why I love Ikea so much!  Here is the pallet from a few different angles...

And here are some close ups...

Just a few details: the large prints on the sides from the pallet are from Target, as well as the largest white frame inside the pallet.  The rest of the frames are from Ikea.  From the left of the pallet starting at the top, is a cobalt blue glass bottle I had on hand from Ikea.  Next I strung three skeleton keys from inside the shadow box frame.  The black and white print is of the Brooklyn Bridge that I found in a clearance bin at our local grocery store.  On the bottom is a quote from Harry Potter because I am obsessed a fan.  The middle one is from an old calendar of Paris that I have, and finally the last is a print from Ikea. 

I love it, and I am happy that it is finished. Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick Change

Not every project has to take 3 or 4 days, or even a weekend for that matter.  This post proves that a change of accessories can be a quick fix to freshening up a space.  In our entry way we put in the Hemnes shoe cabinet from Ikea seen here.  It is a great solution to the shoe problem we have had, which is crazy because it's just us and the mountain of shoes is ridiculous... I digress...  Anyway, I wanted to hang some art and accessories over the cabinet and this is how I did it.

Here is a close up picture:

This is the full length shot, which Marypoppins (our dog) had to make her blog debut!  

I liked this look, but after a while it felt a little matchy-matchy and maybe too much yellow for me all the time.  Plus, the "B" would always be crooked!  Just laying around the house I had white frames and I thought that would be too much white and well...boring.  So on one of my many trips to Target (I LOVE Target!) I picked up this little square number for under $5, $4.98 if you were wondering! 

It's really cute, a great pattern, and in my new obsession color: blue.  I actually thought that I would hang it up in our bedroom, but it was too blue (our bedroom has aqua colors and saddly, it clashed).  So, what did I do with it?


And this...

I love it!  It is just the right color and it broke up all the yellow we had going on previously.  Let me know what you think!

P.S.  Incase you were wondering, the yellow bowl, gold desk calendar and metal lunchbox were bought at a barn sale down the street (this guy has the best sales).  The picture frame and blue art are both from Target, the shoe cabinet (as previously stated) and white ceramic pot are from Ikea.  Also, you can get the art I have in my home from this free printable website.  They have several different colors of this cute saying about who you share your home with.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Curtains, Curtains, Curtains...

I have been wanting to change the curtains in our living room for some time now.  I have been slowly changing up the decor in our living room with more "inky" blues and the pale blue curtains were not cutting it anymore.  I knew that I wanted to make a bigger statement, so definitely something with a pattern or color...or both!  I did some scouting on my new favorite obsession Pinterest and I noticed a theme.  See if you can guess...


If your guess was stripes...you were right.  A few problems presented...Matt did not like them. Wah, wah, waaaaah.  He said they reminded him of a lighthouse, and then that was all I could think of when I looked at them.  Secondly, this type of curtain starts around $60 a panel, and I needed at least four panels.  That is around $240.  That is not bad, but it was more than I wanted to spend.  So I started "googling" around and found this...

Sorry that the picture is sideways :(  I tried 100 ways to straighten it out and just couldn't.  Anyway... these are painting drop cloths made into striped curtains!  I found them here on Dana Millers blog: House Tweaking.  She gives a great tutorial that I followed to make the curtains. 

I started out by heading over to Lowe's to get drop cloths and paint.  I bought three drop cloth panels each 6' X 9' they were $12.48 a piece.  What a steal compared to the $60 a panel that I was looking at paying before.  Next, I choose the color and ended up with Admiral Blue Olympic, No-VOC interior paint, in eggshell.  I bought a quart thinking that would be plenty for $9.98.  That would be three curtain panels for under $50 ($47.42 to be exact)!

I needed Matt's help to measure out the spacing and make sure that the lines...lined up.  I did not want them to be wonky! 

 They did line up perfectly, they only look crooked because they are not lined up together on the garage floor.  I did not want them to be too dark so I opted for a alternating pattern with a big cream white space in the middle.  Here is one of the three panels:

Now didn't that look easy?  It wasn't!  This one panel took two hours of work.  I promise that I am not a slow painter.  First, lining up the frog tape for the stripes took a good amount of that time and two people.  Once we had the lines straight, I had to start painting.  Because it is fabric the paint soaked right in which meant lots of reloading the roller.  I got one panel finished and had used 3/4 of the quart of paint that I purchased.  I was finished for the day, but on Sunday I went back to Lowe's and bought a gallon of my paint to finish the last two panels (making the total for this project $71.90 with the addition of the extra gallon).  By Wednesday they were finished and ready to hang.  I am in love!  Just one thing, I wanted to change out the curtain rod and clips that we had in the living room.  The curtain rod was a textured white, and I purchased silver clips from Target a while back, but wanted a cohesive look for the next curtains.  I chose Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint by Rustoleum (which I had on hand). I laid everything out on paper bags.  It took several light coats to achieve the look I wanted (oops, I forgot to take a shot of the curtain rods).  

 Anyway, all that being said, I am in love with them, and here is the before and after you have been waiting for...



Another after, sorry for the bad quality

Let me know what you think!

- Mary

Friday, October 7, 2011

My husband and I purchased our home in 2005 just before we were married.  We were new to being married and new to being homeowners...needless to say we had no idea what we were doing with anything!  For the longest time (4 years!) our house was "builders white" with a mismatch of furniture. Sort of like this...

We had some nice pieces, like the 1930's deco buffet and china cabinent, but everything was in a wash of white and did not seem very cozy.  It took some convincing of the hubby, but finally we decided to paint the majority of the interior in two tones of brown.  They are camel and saddle, both purchased from Lowe's (Olympic, No-Voc Paint in Satin).  Which you can see here. 

It definately warmed things up and gave us a neutral backdrop to use for when we want to inject color with furniture and accessories.  I know that brown or beige can be boring but I love it (and with 15ft cathedral ceiliings and lots of weird angles, I would rather change out accessories and furniture than repaint the main section of our house ever again)! It took three days of work for my friend Melinda and I to paint my living room, dining room, and kitchen.  I had to find colors that would blend throughout all the rooms and have a cohesive look as we have a newer model home with an open floor plan.  I think that it has worked out really well for us so far...

I have lots of updates to post already throughout the house and I look forward to sharing them with you!  I hope to turn this blog into a diy home decor blog where we can work and learn about home decor and home life together.  Thanks for stopping in to the Baker's House and you'll be hearing from me soon.