Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Office Re-Decorating

Hubby and I spend a lot of time in our home office. He likes to game in the evenings and I'm pretty much in here if I am awake doing either hobbies or my dissertation. Therefore, it is important that we love the space. A while back I decided that I wanted to paint the office electric blue. However, after considering the existing color scheme of various shades of purple, we opted for a much different color: Globe Thistle by Valspar.

First, a short story. Hubby and I were at our local home improvement store and ended up having the following discussion:
H: Are you philosophically against white walls?
Me: Yes, white makes me crazy.
H: ...
Me: I feel like I'm staring into the abyss with white walls. Color makes me feel sane.
I may be a minimalist at heart, but I have found that I need color to function. We bought two gallons of paint and I set off to getting the room ready. I had previously patched the holes and dings in the walls, so I just needed to cover the furniture in plastic and set to sanding the patches. I'm super glad that I bought a power sander and didn't need to hand sand the entire room. Even so, it took me over an hour to sand and then another two hours to clean up the dust.

Before I show the after pictures, let's see what I was working with:

White walls and a stuffed book case. This office was far from ideal.
The above pictures were from when we first moved in to the house. I didn't really have a "vision" of what I wanted this space to look like at the time.

After I painted and rearranged the furniture, things are starting to come together:

Globe Thistle is lavender grey that says "soothing and contemplative" to me. I wanted a color that made the room feel cozy and didn't horribly clash with our existing decor. Bold, but not too bold. We moved my desk to by the window so that I can take advantage of the summer light. I added a project planner board next to the desk to keep me organized and the shelves hold my current dissertation books and craft supplies. I swear I only own enough yarn for the projects that I am currently working on.

The shelves are a combination of picture ledges and short shelves that we had left over from the apartment. I hung them just high enough so that my cats aren't able to jump on them. The books that I am not currently working with are stored in the cabinets under the window.

All in all, I am loving the monochromatic purple color scheme. I am happy that we were able to achieve so much positive change with just paint and by "shopping" our house for additional touches. The next steps for this room are refinishing the door, re-hanging our space pictures, and adding some curtains. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Summer House Projects

Summer break is finally here, even though summer weather has yet to make its appearance, which means that it is time for me to start summer house projects. While I managed to complete many of my January projects during the last four months, some of them are reappearing here.

Living Room:
  • Caulk quarter round trim
  • Paint trim
  • Touch up paint
  • DIY window treatments
  • Re-hang picture (completed 5/3/2014)
Dining Room:
  • Touch up paint
  • Caulk quarter round trim
  • Paint trim
  • Touch up paint
  • Paint cabinets
  • Add drawer pulls
  • Hang mirror
  • Paint walls (completed 4/27/2014)
  • Hang picture ledges (completed 4/28/2014)
  • Hang shelves (completed 4/28/2014)
  • Re-hang pictures (completed 5/3/2014)
  • Paint trim/ceiling
  • Sand door
  • Re-paint door
  • Paint walls (completed 9/10/2014)
  • Paint trim (completed 9/10/2014)
  • DIY headboard
  • Sand door
  • Re-paint door
  • Plant container garden
  • Hang solar lights (completed 5/5/2014)
  • Take down shed
  • Fix fence
There is a lot to do on this list, but with the weather getting warmer I think that I can manage most of it. Most of the projects require sanding or some sort of mess making that would be better done outside. I'm looking forward to continuing to transform our little house into our little home.

Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY Chair Socks

Since moving into the house, I have had a love/hate relationship with felt pads.  On one hand, I love that they protect our hardwood floor from scratches.  On the other hand, they fall off and need to be replaced and are cat/dog hair magnets.  I've been searching for a way to protect my floor with something that could be easily washed.  Also, I wanted to learn how to crochet in the round.  Enter the chair sock.  I found chair sock patterns here, here, and here, but ultimately decided to wing it for a few reasons.  

I got excited and went to the store to buy yarn for the project.  Ultimately, I picked a grey worsted weight cotton yarn (the exact type is unknown since I threw out the yarn info accidentally, *update* linked here) that, despite my best efforts, cannot be worked with a smaller hook than a size I (5.5mm).  Most of the patterns that I found call for a much smaller hook.  I really like the yarn though, so this is the pattern that I came up with:

Row #1: Chain 11
Rows #2 - 10: SC in the round
Bind off and weave in the ends.

This pattern fits our Ikea Henriksdal bar stools and took a bit of trial and error, but I'm happy with the results.  Once I figured out the pattern, each "sock" takes about 20 minutes for me to crochet.  I like that I can easily change out the socks in the course of an afternoon with a new color.

Close up
I'll report back in a few months with how well the chair socks are holding up. So far they seem to be doing the intended job.