July 26, 2011

I am on vacation!

If you visit A Sister's Home these days, I am still on vacation! Once I am back, it will be back to home decorating and organizing business cause, Baby! we have a lot to do!

Since working on our master bedroom and Nico's big boy room, our home has been a chaotic mess! We quickly realised that we have A LOT of purging to do around the house as we have already run out of storage space!

Plus, since our new master bedroom used to be a JUNK room, that closet hid a lot of things that had no home. Now, we need to find a better spot to store all the leftover stuff from that closet and other areas, cause right now, it has landed in my hubby's computer room and he ain't too happy about it! Plus, the closet in our new master is much smaller than our previous closet and can only really fit my clothes, which calls for a new closet solution for Jon's clothes. As his computer room has no furniture in it other than a computer desk and a book case, we figure we can buy a few free-standing wardrobes and use them for his clothes, as well as for out-of-season jackets and other items that need to be stored and organized. I'm thinking two of these babies should do the trick, either side by side, or on different walls. Priced at $149 each, it is a good deal and the best solution for us.

DOMBÅS wardrobe from IKEA:
So, the first task on my TO-DO list once I am back from vacation and back into the swing of things is a HUGE home purge so that we can organize the stuff that we really want to keep {as opposed to just keeping everything as we are doing now}. We actually have a lot of storage space in our laundry room, but stuff has just been thrown in and nothing is quite organized, so there is a lot of wasted space. And if you remember my Home purge To-Do list for 2011, which I referred to here and here, re-organizing the laundry room was on this list. It just needs to get done! Plus, we have an ultrasound on August 5 and will hopefully find out if this baby is a boy or girl, after which I will be dying to decorate the nursery... but the house needs to be organized first!

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying yourselves as I am enjoying my vaca! And since this post is quite boring without other pictures, I leave you with this belly pic of my 17th week of pregnancy:


July 15, 2011

Nico's Big Boy Room reveal: Part 1

I know, we have been super busy! This last weekend, we tackled Nico's Big Boy Room as our plan all along was to prepare his new room while he was away so we can surprise him with it upon his return from holidays {I miss him terribly! Can't want to go find him in a few days...}

Our first step was to prep the walls. As I had created a faux headboard directly onto the wall using trim and paint {see picture below}, I knew this wall would be damaged and require a lot of patching and sanding.

Because I chose to paint the upper and lower walls two different colors for Nico's room, we decided to start with the upper walls so that we could paint the upper, then paint the baseboards and closet doors white {which were beige} while we waited for the upper walls to dry. This would also allow the patches on the most damaged area of the wall {the old headboard spot} to dry properly before painting. It took us about 1-2 hours just to prep the room. Then, we applied two coats of my gray color called Silver Quill by CIL to the upper walls, and two coats of our on-hand white glossy paint to the baseboards and closet doors. For Nico's room, I was still in sticker-shock from the cost of my Benjamin Moore paint for the master bedroom, so opted to go for CIL's no VOC Naturaliving paint in semi-gloss. After our second coat, we removed all the painters tape. That was day 1...

TIP: FrogTape painter's tape is awesome! It did not bleed in a single area!

On day 2, we taped the room in preparation to paint the lower walls in my selected dark moody blue called West Pointe Blue by CIL. As this paint was very dark, I could not use CIL's Naturaliving as they only make it in a white base {I needed a darker base} and it would no longer be considered "no VOC" due to the amount of tint that would be required to achieve the proper color. The helpful gentleman at Home Depot suggested CIL's Dulux latex in semi-gloss, which is recommended for kids rooms due to it's durability and easy clean up. It was low VOC and the smell was not super strong. It covered the walls in two coats, but this time, the FrogTape did not do as good a job. I think we may have not pressed it down as well as the first time. So, many touch-ups are required, on both the walls and the baseboards where the paint bled.

We decide to let the walls cure for a full day before applying more tape as we still needed to paint the trim around the doors and window. But a few days turned into too many days... and now I have run out of time as I am leaving tomorrow for my vacation!

Yesterday, which would be considered day 6 since this project started, we dressed Nico's new queen size bed and brought in his second-hand dresser which I purchased for $30 from the same Kijiji seller who was selling the bedside tables for the master bedroom. The handles need an upgrade so it is on my TO-LIST for this room.

For Nico's bedding, I purchased a 100% cotton knit bedspread in white from Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19 {it is plain but I had to keep in mind that my Mom is making a quilt for him using his new room color scheme}. I also bought a set of apple green sheets from Wal-Mart for $30 to add some color, and a body pillow cover for $8 that had a white and green striped pattern for a body pillow we currently owned which had no permanent home.

A few weeks ago, I had purchased this twin duvet cover set with the intention of making a window treatment with the cover, and using the pillow on the bed to set the color scheme for the entire space:

I decided to sew a faux-roman blind using the cover. It was easy enough as I could follow the straight lines in the pattern. I then decided to hang it using a "U" shaped curtain rod, as I wanted the curtain to stand out as opposed to the rod.

My Dad built this bookshelf {inspired by Pottery Barn} which still needs a coat of our glossy white trim paint, but has been temporary installed at the foot of the bed for the reveal to Nico, along with a little chair to create a sort of reading area:

We also brought in some of Nico's toys from the basement. Seeing as this is a such a large room for a child with very little furniture, we had decided a while ago that this would also serve as the playroom. We will bring in his toy chest and play mat once all the painting is done. The larger toys will be placed on the floor in the closet.

And now, the full monty:

The Befores and Afters


AFTER: Part 1 {about 50% complete}

Here is a reminder of my inspiration board for the space:

I am happy with the room makeover so far, other than the FrogTape not being as awesome with the second color, and all the touch-ups and tasks that remain to be completed in order for this room to be 100% done. The scheme of the room is young but not "baby" young. I really feel that Nico will be able to grow with this room!

We still have a lot to do in this room!

Still on the WISH LIST {and what has been done so far}:
-paint room two tones
-make faux roman out of duvet cover
-purchase bedding
-paint existing mirror apple green
-add apple green lamp
-touch-up paint bleeds
-paint trim around window and doors
-paint 2 blue stripes on gray portion to create a transition between the colors OR add white trim
-add/create art work
-purchase world map for wall
-paint bookshelf
-purchase area rug for beside bed
-move in toys and play mat
-update hardware on dresser
-paint name letters in West Point Blue and hang on wall
-replace brown metal blinds with black out blind to control heat and light
-paint shelves {made by my Dad and not currently being used anywhere} and hang on either side of window until we can... {next bullet}
-flank window with bookcase on either side
-build window bench
-purchase closet organizers
-make beadboard headboard

Can't wait to see his reaction when he comes back home wiht us in a few weeks! For now, I am exhausted... but happy!

July 13, 2011

Master Bedroom reveal: Part 1

It took three + days of painting, two and a half gallons of paint, 2 coats on all walls, one stencil application and abandonment, 4 coats on the closet doors and trim, and several touch ups...  By the way, did I tell you how bright those closet doors were? ELECTRIC BLUE, which is what my sister Sophie named them! {Doesn't that make you think of Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth song? LOL!}

And you thought I was exaggerating! The funniest thing is the rest of the room was just primed... While painting, we spotted remnants of neon green on the walls, and this same electric blue on all the trim... The previous owners had painted this entire room in neon green and electric blue! I am glad they opted to prime it before selling the house...

Moving on... this is our {new} current Master Bedroom.

The Befores and Afters

{These pics were taken months ago when the guest room underwent a serious clean up as it had turned into a gathering space for all things without a home. Basically it was a junk ROOM.}

{keep in mind, this room is only 50% done...}

{Please note, I did not add that squiggly mirror. It was glued there by the previous owners, and Jon and I were afraid to break it if we tried to remove it... so it is staying for now...}

{This is my jewellery armoire [more on that later...]. The sewing case on top I already owned! It just happened to work in the space so it is staying out}.

Details, details, details...

I chose to go with Benjamin Moore's Natura paint. It is no VOC even after tinting, so it made it safe for me to paint while pregnant and is family friendly too. It was super thick and had awesome coverage! I was expecting to have to use a dark tinted primer and at least 3 coats of the dark purple, and I only ended up using 2 coats of paint and zero primer! The ONLY downfall of this awesome paint product? It costs 64 bucks a gallon! Eek! {Keep in mind, the last time I purchased paint for a room, I selected recycled paint at $9.97 a gallon}. But, it saved me from having to buy a gallon of tinted primer, so in the end, I feel I came up even. Plus we were able to paint the other 3 walls with less than a gallon of the gray due to its awesome coverage!

Now, this will more than likely sound weird to most of you, but I don't choose a paint color unless I like the name... At one point, I even desired the job of the person who comes up with paint color names... anyhow... The colors I chose are called Passion Plum {obviously, this is the purple} and Stormy Monday {which happens to be one of my favorite Eva Cassidy songs}. 

For the stencil, I mixed half and half of the Passion Plum and Stormy Monday {which I guess gives me Stormy Plum or Passion Monday... !} to achieve my desired lighter purple.

Here's where it started going downhill. I was too cheap to order a stencil online from a certain Etsy shop as the shipping alone was $20, so the total cost for the stencil would have been almost $60, and I knew I could make my own for way less... I purchased a blank stencil sheet {measuring about 10" x 40"} which was only about $4... way better! I found a pattern online that I liked and enlarged it using a photocopier. I traced it on my blank stencil then cut it out with an Exacto knife. Ta-da!

I started applying my stencil working from the bottom up so that I could always tape my stencil at the top and on one side. The first few were okay but my paint was already bleeding underneath the plastic {did not use re-positionable adhesive like I knew I should have... my bad}. I was also only relying on my eye to keep the pattern straight. I completed 2 and a half rows before realising deciding admitting that it just was not going to work over an entire wall. I called Jon in, who immediately said "Oh, you are going really crooked". Although we both really liked the pattern, the overall look would have been far from perfect, would have taken at least 3-4 hours to apply, and would have required at least 1-2 hours of touch ups, if not more. So, I let it dry, and felt pretty bummed seeing as my entire room inspiration was based on having a stenciled focal wall, and I planned to keep the rest of the room pretty simple.

Here are some pictures I took to show you this epic fail:

It took two coats to cover the stencil, which brought my wall back to this:

I again started searching on Etsy for a less expensive but more professional option. I found a shop called Lights Forever, and really liked this stencil:

And bonus: the total cost with shipping was less than $14.00! That works for me! Once I receive it, I will determine whether I am painting it all over or in random spots.
The rest of the process went well!

For now, we have simply moved our current furniture into the space. I purchased new hardware for the closet doors from IKEA, which were priced at 2 for $9.99:

I will more than likely purchase more of these down the road to add to the first two drawers of our chests of drawers, just to achieve a cohesive look.

For the curtains, I opted to go for these 100% cotton, dark gray RITVA curtains from IKEA, which were $39.99 for the pair. I hemmed them using the tape provided with the curtains and a hot iron! Sweet and easy! And the look is dark and dramatic! I purposely hung them way close to the ceiling and all the way to the ground to create the look of a full window {see the picture above for the actual window size}.

I used a black curtain rod which I already had on hand, and purchased a pair of black finials, on clearance at Bed, Beth & Beyond for $6.99 a pair. Because I wanted to add a bit of glamour to my curtain wall, I purchased self-adhesive crystals from the scrap booking collection by Martha Stewart at Wal-Mart, and added a row of crystals to each finial.



Remember those lamps I told you about in this post?


They got a treatment of sprayed-on sunshine! Actually, they received a first coat of Krylon's Bauhaus Gold. At first, it looked okay... but I thought it was "too orange" and reminded me of the color of the painted lines on roads or Kraft Dinner.


So, I purchased a second can of spray paint, this time Rust-Oleum Painters' Touch in Sun Yellow. The only reason I switched brands was because they didn't have Krylon at the Home Depot where I was. I actually like both brands equally.

I also covered the previously beige lamp shades in left-over white fabric that I had on hand, using my trusty glue gun.


Much better and more complimentary to the purple and gray!

I was browsing Kijiji one day for no particular reason and came across this seller who was offering a lot of stuff and for cheap. He was offering a pair of small 3-drawer units at $25 for both. I thought they would be prefect as bed side tables with a bit of storage for things that have a tendency to clutter these often-used areas.

I had this old apple green two-drawer organizer from IKEA which was not being used. I decided to spray it in the same Sun Yellow to coordinate with the lamps:



The final touch I added this weekend was a gray and yellow patterned pillow, that I just happened to find at Wal-Mart while cruising down the aisles. It was regularly priced at $20, marked down to $12.69! SOLD!

Now THAT is a lot to accomplish in just over a week... !!!

Here is this room's makeover TO-DO list and what remains to be done:
-paint walls (focal wall purple, the rest gray)
-stencil focal wall in lighter purple
-paint all trim and closet doors glossy white
-purchase purple quilt set (IKEA)
-add full length curtains
-create artwork to hang over each bed side table using canvases from previous artwork
-create diamond tufted or nail trimmed headboard in gray faux silk
-accessorize with clear, white and yellow accents {probably buy inexpensive items and spray paint in desired color}
-add decorative pillows
-update mirror from previous master using molding and paint glossy white
-spray paint lamp bases in yellow and recover or paint existing shades in white
-create reading nook with chair and lamp
-purchase white duvet cover set {Bouclair Home}
-new ceiling light fixture or ceiling fan {not sure which option yet}
-dye bed skirt darker gray {currently a greige [gray-beige]}
-hang hooks behind door

Of course, I will share pictures as I add these additional touches. For now, I am pleased with the results! Onto Nico's big boy room...