Thursday, February 27, 2014

Upstairs Loft: Plans

Right at the top of the stairs, we have a loft area.  This area has been empty since we've been here.  It's really been the catchall for things that no longer fit into any other room at the time.  Around Christmas, it looked like a toy store with all the kids' toys all spread out.  We decided it was time to do something with this space.

Last week I showed you the new pillow covers I ordered from H&M.  I don't really have a set color scheme for this room.  I just want it to be fun and a place where we can lounge and watch movies.  Kind of a media space. 

Here's what we're thinking.

The main piece in the room will be a gray sectional.  We wanted something functional that we could all lounge on.  I really wanted gray because I knew there would be a possibility we would be eating and drinking up there, so the gray should cover any stains or mishaps.  It will go on the right wall when you first walk up the stairs.  We're still debating on a rug in the room.  Sure it would bring more pattern to the room but not sure if it's really necessary.  I've been eying this one from RugsUSA.

We want to put a cabinet above the sectional.  This will house decorative pieces but also be additional storage.  Since this is a media space, we want to include a few movie posters and other movie related items.  I don't want this space to be movie themed, but movie related, if that makes sense.

The wall opposite the sectional will be dark gray.  I figure the gray on the wall will make the room a little moodier and cozier.  Even though this room is in the middle of the house, it still gets a ton of light and the darker color will make it feel warmer should we decide to watch a movie in the middle of the day.  I plan to put a photo gallery around the tv.

I will to bring in colorful accessories to liven things up a bit.  Things are already starting to happen.

Stay tuned!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Hall Bathroom Is Done!

I finally finished.  It's probably been finished for a while.  I had some pieces but hadn't put them in the room yet.  What I thought would take me a month or so took a few months.  I see what I want it to look like in my head but sometimes the pieces don't always fall into place like I want them to.  I think I was over thinking things.  This bathroom doesn't need to be fancy or over the top.  It's going to be for my son and any guests that we do have over.  I want simple and fresh.  So here goes.

I love the soft blue-gray in this room.  It makes it light and airy in here.  Now that the mirror is framed, it pops off instead of blending into the walls.  I went with a white frame to keep the colors light.  I almost went dark but changed my mind last minute in the store.  All the bathroom mirrors are framed now and make such an improvement in the look of the bathroom itself.  More of a finished look instead of a builder basic piece.

In the end, I decided to keep the cabinet color as is.  Later on I can change if I feel the need but for now I like them against the light blue walls.  I thought about going dark or even gray.  To be honest, I think the decision to not paint them was the thought of doing the work itself.

To help bring out the gray in the walls, I went with gray towels.  I didn't want to do anything too bright since it is the boy's bathroom.

I went with nickel towel rings and towel bar.

I found this cute vase at Ikea and thought it would be the perfect little accent to the blue and gray.  The decorative sticks also came from Ikea.  They have a soft scent to them which gives a nice smell to the room.


The small tray was added to corral the items on the sink.  It works perfectly for the soap pump and my re-used candle holders.

There's my spray painted light fixture.  It looks better than before and works until a new one gets put in.

Towel rings went on both sides of the vanity.  I went back and forth on this in my head.  I thought about only putting one ring but since there are two sinks and potentially there could be two people washing hands at the same time, I went ahead and put two.  Over thinking again.

And for the bathing area.  You can see I didn't go with any of the shower curtain options I showed you before.  I saw this one from West Elm and had to have it.  It was fun with the pattern but still had the gray that I wanted.  I think I had about five shower curtains already before I saw this one.  I just noticed it's on sale for super cheap now.  Bummer, because I bought mine months ago before it was marked down so low.


I found this cute printable and framed it for a clean look over the toilet.


Let's see a before picture shall we?


Nice new look with some paint and accessories.

Shower curtain / West Elm
White towel / Kohl's
Gray hand towels / TJ Maxx
Towel rings and bar / Target
Sink tray / Target
Toiletry holders / DIY
Soap pump / Bed, Bath and Beyond
Yellow and white vase / Ikea
Decorative sticks / Ikea
Light / DIY

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dining Chair Options

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I sold our dining room chairs.  I was never really a fan of them but they came with the table so I lived with them.

That is, until I was seeing other styles that I liked.  Sure, we don't use the table often but I at least want the dining room to look good and be a reflection on our current style.  It has changed over the past few years.  If you look at pictures from the last three years of living here, our house doesn't look the same.

Here are the previous chairs...

They had a curved, slatted back that wasn't really that comfortable.  If we were to have guests over for a fancy dinner party (yeah right), I at least want them to eat in comfort.  You want them to relax and be able to linger after dinner's over.  The seats were a tan microfiber which is great for messes but I need something different.

With the new chairs, I think I want something tufted.  Oh yes, the drama!  The tufts just look so elegant but still casual at the same time.  I was so excited to find these online at World Market only to call and find out they were dis-continued!  They are exactly what I want and in the perfect light gray color.


These chairs from Lamps Plus are also beautiful.  They only come in natural color though and I want something a little darker.

I found these at Target but the lighter gray color is sold out at the moment.  How convenient that this was one of my first choices and they are not available?  Talk about frustration.  The only color they do have in stock is a dark taupe which would work but I don't want to get them and change my mind later.

I will keep looking around to see what I find.  Any suggestions on a good place to find tufted dining chairs?  I do need six of them so they can't cost cost an arm and a leg.

Anyone have tufted chairs?  How do you like them?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Adding A Rug Pad

When we put in the new rug in the family room, we noticed it wasn't very thick.  We experienced this with our last rug as well.  We had hardwood floors so of course it's not going to feel like air when walking on the rug.  I had thought about getting a rug pad but never actually went looking  for one.  I know rug pads protect your floors, make your rug last longer, and keep the rug from slipping.  I also know they aren't cheap so I didn't want to bring it up to hubby.

It was perfect timing when RugPadUSA contacted me about trying out one of their Premium Lock rug pads.  After placing my order, the rug pad arrived within days.  I'll be honest, when this huge package showed up on our doorstep, I shoved it aside for about a week because I didn't feel like moving the sofa and rug around.  I knew it would take forever to get it back how I had it.

Well one afternoon I got tired of seeing it sit there and finally got to work laying that thing down!  And I would pick a day when hubby wasn't there to help me move the sofa.  Before moving anything, I marked on the floor with painter's tape so I would know the rug's position.  I dis-connected the sectional and pushed both pieces back far enough to roll the rug up.  Instead of rolling it all the way up, I folded one side of the rug over so I could lay the rug pad down on that side.  Once that side was down, I was able to pull the rug over and pull the rest of the rug pad underneath.  It was some work!  Now mind you, I was doing this with two kids running around.  My son is crawling everywhere, so he was curious and wanted to see what I was up to.  Since I had marked a corner of the rug before moving it, I was easily able to get it back to its original spot.

Immediately after putting the pad and rug in place, I could tell a difference.  The rug was instantly more cushioned and comfortable to walk on.  I was surprised there was no odor once I opened the package.

The top layer is felt padding.

The pad is about 1/4" thick so that's why it feels so nice underfoot.

The underside of our rug is a little rough, but the rug pad will now be a barrier and prevent the rug from scratching the floor underneath.  The bottom of the rug pad is rubber which provides a non-slip grip and will keep the rug from sliding around.   Also, with the top of the rug pad being felt, it grips the rough rug bottom and secures it in place.

Our rug was cut two inches shorter on each side so it would fit perfectly under our rug.

The sides roll over just enough so you're not tripping over them.

Here are some qualities of the Premium-Lock Pad:
  • high performance recycled felt + rubber
  • 1/4" thickness provides protection for your floors
  • adds comfort and insulation
Don't forget, rug pads can also be used under rugs on carpet floors.

Overall, I love our rug pad.  With the cushion underneath, I am now more comfortable with my kids playing on the rug knowing that if someone falls, they will be fine and not actually hitting the floor.  Now that I know how important rug pads are and that they actually keep rugs in place, I need to order some for the rugs upstairs.  They're on carpet and move all the time.

You should definitely check out RugPadUSA!

*I received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

New H&M Pillow Covers

Last week I ordered several new pillow covers from H&M Home.  They are for our loft that we are going to be working on soon.  I just recently discovered that H&M carries a home line.  I was pretty shocked.  I have a few pieces from their clothing line and the quality is ok.  You get what you pay for.

There is a pretty decent selection of covers.  They have so many styles and colors to choose from and the prices can't be beat.  Most are cheaper than it costs to make one of your own.  I went with graphic prints and bold colors.  Our loft is going to be a family space so I wanted to bring in fun colors.  Bright colors will make for better moods...hopefully.  The covers have hidden zippers on the bottom, which I love.  With the kids around, it's going to be easy to take them off and wash them.  I was a little hesitant before ordering because you can't return items to the store, only by mail, and you have to pay for return shipping.  I took a chance and ordered anyway. 

I also stocked up on feather pillow inserts from TJ Maxx.  Trick is to wait until the pillows are marked down on clearance, buy them, and replace the covers with some of your own.  Pillows inserts are more comfortable and can be fluffed back up when you're done laying on them.  No more flat pillows.  It is a little bit of a splurge to replace all the existing pillow inserts with feather ones but I think it's so worth it.

Look at how bright the colors are!  Very impressive.  Even though they were cheaper, the quality is good.  The lines are crisp and the seams are strong.  The striped covers are cotton and the two solid ones are a thicker canvas. 

Then there's the infamous karate chop to the middle.  I know they won't always look this perfect, especially once the family is all over them.  At least I have pictures of how they look now. 

I think I'll definitely go back for more covers from H&M Home since they are so affordable and look good too!

Have you ordered from H&M Home?  Do you use feather inserts?

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pencil Valentines

Over the weekend, my daughter and I put together class valentine cards for the their card exchange on Friday.  I don't like using the store bought ones, even though it's easier.  I like things to be a little more personal and she enjoys the process.  I also like handing out something besides candy.  I know plenty will be coming home from other kids.

I picked up some Valentine pencils from the Target dollar spot.  I made a couple cards in Picmonkey and printed them out on cardstock.  I did two versions with different sayings that pertained to writing since we were using pencils.  We punched holes and inserted the pencils.  The pencil packs were assorted and it was interesting to hear how she picked out the pencil for each kid.  There will be one boy that gets a pink pencil.  Sorry, but it is Valentine's Day and I'm sure that won't be the only pink item in his bag.

Super simple and she can say she made them herself!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Washi Tape Tea Lights

This is such a super simple and cute craft.  I keep my washi tapes and tea lights in the same drawer.  I was looking for something one day and realized that I could put them together.  I usually pop the tea lights into fancy votive holders to decorate the table.  But why couldn't I use the washi tape to make them a little prettier for use on their own?

Now they can be scattered anywhere and hold their own.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

GE Reveal Light Bulbs

I've always had a hard time finding light bulbs that I like. Regular incandescent, soft white bulbs are always too yellow to me. I've tried bulbs that claimed to be more like outside light and I didn't like them either because they were too blue almost fluorescent. They were nothing like natural outside light. So, in lamps and overhead lights I've gone to clear lights. They are brighter and less yellow than regular bulbs.   Brighter lighting tends to make me feel happier and energetic.  When the room is dim, it feels dreary and the moods seem to be gloomier. 

Lighting is important for me. We use lamps instead of overhead lights at night and I hesitate to take pictures then because I know the pictures are going to be so yellow and look horrible.

GE contacted me about trying their new Reveal Light Bulbs.  I was skeptical to try the GE bulbs at first because of my dealings with others. I decided to try the bulbs in the entry hall. 

The before with a regular soft white incandescent bulb is on the left.  The picture comes out yellow and the surrounding wall color looks different than in real life.  The right is with the GE bulb. Can you see the difference?  After putting it in, I immediately noticed the difference. The lighter is whiter and not yellow. 

About the new GE Reveal Light Bulbs. 
  • It is the same size and shape of a regular incandescent light bulb but has a brighter, whiter light and filters out dull yellow rays.
  • These GE energy-efficient reveal bulbs fill rooms with clean light while using 28% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs.
  • The halogen technology inside delivers outstanding energy efficiency, helping save money on energy.

In January 2014, manufacturers will begin phasing out the regular incandescent bulbs.  This new GE bulb will be a great transition to brighter and better colors throughout your home.

Check out Target's Cartwheel app for 25% off your purchase of GE Reveal light bulbs.  Just search "GE reveal" to find it.  Offer expires 2/28.

*I received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Industrial Shelves

I keep seeing these pop up all over blogland!  The shelves are such a wow factor since it can easily transform a blank wall into a massive piece of art.  They seem pretty easy to do using some metal pipes and wood.  I really love the look but it's not exactly our style or else I would find a place to put one.  It's more rustic and industrial than what we're going for in our home.

DIY Showoff added shelves to her pantry to maximize storage.

My mouth fell open when I saw how gorgeous this one is from Jessica Kraus.

Beneath My Heart built them in her kids' room.

Michelle did a smaller bookcase version which I may be able to tackle. 

Even if they're not made of pipes and wood, I want wall shelves somewhere.

What you think?  Have you put in some industrial shelves?

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