Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dining room dream

Dining Room

Behold...the hopes for our dining room!  I do not have experience putting together mood boards for rooms, but with several comments from friends about wanting to know how I put rooms together, I whipped this up.  This is basically a mock up of images that float around in my mind of what I want for the dining room.  First, I want to say that I try to decorate any room spending as little money as possible, it's kind of a game to see how small of an amount we can spend on any given room or project.  Secondly, I almost always have something on hand, and rarely ever have to start from scratch.  Take the dining room for example: we already have the dining room table, a side board, hutch and the shelving (#5).  Speaking of numbers, allow me to break down the picture for you...

#1: represents the camel paint color already on the walls in the dining room. 

#2: these are the two types of chairs that I am wanting for the dining room.  The amazingly awesome completely clear chairs are called Ghost Chairs.  They are made entirely of acrylic which makes them modern, but their traditional shape make them oh so adorable to me.  The white chairs are from Ikea that I want (4 please) to go with the Ghost Chairs. 

#3: These are white Ribba frames from Ikea.  I have a lot of pictures and prints that I want to display on the the floating shelves.  I like the idea of the frames all being the same and letting the pictures be the "star." 

#4: This is the color palette that I am decorating with.  A sort of cornflower blue, bright green, and grayish brown.   Oh, and white...of course.

#5: These are the floating Lack shelves from Ikea that we already have installed in the dining room.  Don't let the picture fool you, the are over five feet long leaving us plenty of display place.

#6: These are the fabulous prints that I want from Crate and Barrel...I love them...sigh.  I am considering making something similiar, but I am hunting these two down (on clearance right now and I have a discount code from Crate and Barrel). 

Finally, #7: These are just representative of some of the accessories that I want for the space.  I love the idea of filling hurricanes with strange items.  Right now I have them filled with conversation hearts for valentines day with a candle in the middle (Matt keeps trying to eat them).  I love the blue bottles, well any bottles for that matter.  I think I've said before that I like to decorate with found, or non-traditional items. 

So, that's it.  This is how I plan a room.  I look at what the function of the space needs to be, look at what I have, and plan out what I need.  Hope that helps!

*Image from Polyvore - by Mary Baker

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ding, dong, dead...

We had a death in the household yesterday, may we have a moment of silence for our Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner (insert moment of silence here).

Okay, so let's say that I vacuum ALOT.  Matt and I both have allergies and of course we have a giant, shedding (but lovely) dog.  I wouldn't say that I vacuum everyday, but if my cleaning senses are tingling and the dog is particularly "sheddy" it has been known to happen. 

Our poor vacuum has been heading down this road for a while....doesn't it look sad?

You may have noticed the yellow band at the end of the hose.  That is tape...yes, shameful, I know.  Before the tape there was super glue (in full disclosure) in an effort to keep the hose hooked to the base of the cleaner.  The super glue failed and the "cap" started cracking even worse, so in came the tape.

Everything was working really well the last few days but then an unfortunate smoking situation happened while I was using it yesterday, so we had to go shopping. 

I've been purusing vacuum cleaners for a while (I had a feeling it would kick the bucket soon) so I had a good idea of what I wanted. 
  • Something light
  • lots of attachments to clean in nooks and crannies
  • Something with filters
  • Bagless (I hate having to run to the store to pick up more bags)
So I hit the pavement (or Google) and started searching.  Of course, the first thing that came up that met my criteria was this...

This is the Dyson Animal.  It would easily fulfill all of our vacuuming wants and needs.  It is light weight, bagless, has filters, and built-in attachments for easy cleaning.  Something I really liked is that it is certified to have an anti-allergen seal.  Very handy in our house.  Everything looked great until the $599.99 price tag hit me in the face.  I mean, come on...and with our middle of the road buying technique, this is a top of the line price, that we were simply not going to pay. 

On the complete opposite end of spectrum was this Bissell:

It's the Bissell Cleanview Helix, and it cost around $75.00.  It has most everything that we wanted, but it is a little bulky and we had something very similiar to it in the past (before the Dirt Devil). It worked for a little while, but started leaving more on the carpet than it was picking up, so I was hesitant to buy something like it again. 

So far, I wasn't sold on anything and then I found The Shark.  I think it came up while I jokingly typed "cheap dyson," into Google.  The Shark is something that you have probably seen in an infomerical.  I was a little skeptical, so I searched for product reviews and found that it was ranked the #1 affordable vacuum in 2011 and #2 all around vacuum cleaner, 2nd only to the Dyson!  Also, there were a thousand videos on youtube with real people using their Shark for the first time and being amazed by it.  I watched three of the videos (nerd alert, I know) and decided this is the vacuum cleaner for us. 

Irony of all ironies, it was on sale at Target.  I go there... a lot.  I remembered it was on sale, but what I didn't see was the $20 giftcard with purchase.  The Shark was 179.99, but with the $20 giftcard, it was $159.99.  A great middle of the road price that we were comfortable with and something that (hopefully) works!  An added bonus to all the criteria that I wanted, The Shark is Anti-Allergen also!

Oh, by the way, it works!  I had just vacuumed before we left.  Our Christmas tree sheds a lot, and since I had just taken it down (leave me alone) I needed to clean up after it.  This is what came out of the carpet, after I had just vacuumed the same day, from one room...

Amazing, and disgusting at the same time.  It is safe to say that I am vacuuming everything in the house.  I cannot believe how much it picked up, how easy it is to use...I could go on all day.  As Buddy the Elf would say, "I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!" 

So there you have it.  Does anybody else have a Shark and just love it?  Did you do any recent searches and product comparisons?  Let me know!

**Dyson and Bissell images from Target.com.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Frames are the name of the game today.  This project was not on my list (here) but is something that I have wanted to to do for a while now.  In the last year our Master bedroom has undergone a huge transformation.  We did not knock down walls or anything quite that dramatic, but it went from a white box with no personality to paint on the walls, matching bedding, furniture...etc. 

The walls are Secret Passage from Olympic Paint (Satin, NO-VOC).  Not a huge game changer from the white, but the paint makes the room feel a lot more special to us.  When we first got married we bought a chest of drawers, the four poster bed and a side table all in black.  The two armoires you see (you'll see the other in a minute) were painted black to match (Black Magic, Olympic Paint) and the smaller bedside table was purchased in the same color.  If the exercise bike assaults your senses...we are oh so sorry!  We actually like the bike where it is and if it's good enough for my gal Bethenny Frankel, it's good enough for me.  I bought new bedding, curtains and rugs for the room and stopped there.  I never knew what to hang on the walls before I painted and I was stuck again. Frame collages have been popping up all over the place on Pinterest and other DIY blogs that I love, so I thought that I would give it a go.

I started by laying the frames out on the floor...

 Sorry for the bad picture, my iphone was handy so, there you go.  My careful planning ended there.  I am far too impatient to measure everything out and ended up with a few extra holes in the wall than I intended.  Matt laughed at me a little, but I am quite handy with spackle and paint, so it's okay.  This is how the frames ended up on the wall...

While at the Holy Land Ikea I picked up all of the small white frames that you see.  They were $1.99 each, for the two beveled frames and $4.99 for the other frame that can double as a shadow box.   The two larger silver frames are from Target.  Normally those frames would start at $9.99-14.99 depending on the size.  I don't have the receipt in front of me, but I paid around $12 for the pair as they were on clearance.  I did not mind that they were silver because I was considering painting them.  I am leaving them silver though because of the subtle metallic "thing" that I am going for here.  It also ties in my sweet antique mirror which you can read more about here.

You will notice that there isn't art in any of the frames yet, but one step at a time I say.  I am having a hard time finding something that I "love."  That may take a while, but for now, we are enjoying just the frames!  I know that sounds crazy, but they make me smile when I see them...I love our home, what can I say (besides thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus.)  

*Paisley bedding is Liberty of London, curtains are Target Home, as well as the black lattice mirror.  The gray rugs (on either side of the bed) are from ikea along with the light fixture.  Any other items were thrifted, bought at garage sales or hand-me-downs.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Quick Change: Mirror Image

Hey everyone!  We had a quick change in the master bedroom recently that I thought I would share with you!  Our bed is a queen size canopy bed that can be converted into a four poster bed with the removal of the canopy pieces.  A few months ago we removed the slats to make it a four poster bed.  Once those were removed, the space above the headboard was much larger and needed "something." 

While at Ikea (of course) Matt and I picked up two large white frames that I thought were the right size for our room.  I had a harder time finding prints that I liked to go in the frames and half heartedly added some green wrapping paper into the frames as place holders.  It ended up looking like this...

I didn't love it, I have to admit, but I liked it enough to leave it until I found something better, which I did!  While garage-saling (yes that is a word) I spotted this gorgeous antique mirror at a friend's sale.  I loved it, but Matt wasn't so sold and I was short on money (after shopping all day) so we passed and grabbed some other things.  Weeks later at my sweet friend Jenny's house she said she still had the mirror and would GIVE IT to us if we wanted it because she wanted it gone.  Matt couldn't argue with free so we snatched it up and brought it home.  It hung in the garage for a little while until I decided where it would go.  I wanted to hang it in a nursery, but I am sadly not pregnant so it got bumped to the big show...the master bedroom.  Here is the mirror in its new home...

I LOVE IT!  Matt did not know if the mirror would "go" with the room, but agrees that its antiquey goodness mixes well with our newer pieces.  We hope that you like it as much as we do.  Happy Thursday!