Monday, August 29, 2011

Room to Breathe - More Closet Talk

I have put a lot of work into these guest room closets lately, and let me say I'm so glad I did.  These closets could have easily been overlooked and remained overstuffed but now they are one of my favorite parts of the house - and bonus - they are totally functional now.  Let's look back and see how far these sweet sisters have come-

Here's the first before picture - before chalkboard paint and all - very blah.

 A little progress on the doors with the chalkboard & magnetic paint but still very messy, unorganized and crazy on the inside.

So I cleaned these girls all out and started from scratch on the inside - 

I decided I wanted to add a color to the inside of the closets so I pulled out the leftover paint I had laying around from our bathroom update.  I had more than half a gallon leftover so I have been wanting to use it somehow.  I loooove the way it turned out.  For some reason having a cute color greet me on the inside of a closet makes me happy and forces me to keep it organized and clean.  After you squeeze yourself into the nooks and crannies of a little closet to make sure you have painted every inch you will want to keep it looking good - trust me.

After purging and putting things in their proper place I was ready to start filling these closets back up.  I have really wanted to make one of these closets a craft closet - so that's just what I did.  I moved everything craft oriented into one closet along with some games we had towering in our laundry room -

Haha, this picture always makes me laugh.  It's just so crazy looking.  Anyway, a lot of the items that we had here I moved to the closet.

It's amazing how much room you have when things are tucked neatly away.  I promise that I don't have a bunch of stuff laying around the house or stuffed in other closets after this closet clean out.  Everything either found a place or was thrown out.  

I slid all of our artwork that has yet to find a home under the guest bed so it is now out of sight, and was able to move in my little craft cabinet out of the room and into the closet - and made a little printing station too. 

The other closet just remained a nice storage space for coats, a few baby items, our vacuum and carpet cleaner and an old boot warmer - something everyone has right?  

All of those crazy sheets and such were folded and tucked away into this awesome box I have.  I found this at the flea market years ago and fell in love with it.  Justin just about dropped his jaw when I told him I paid $50 for it.  I know, I know it's an old beat up box - but to me it's so much more than that so he let me keep it.  He's such a sweetheart, isn't he?

After it was said and done, I paid $35 for all of the paint and spent several hours cleaning and re-organizing and now I feel like I can breathe again when opening these closet doors.  I even like leaving them open sometimes so I can see the pretty color inside.  That's crazy talk to me - leaving a closet open. Usually that's the opposite for me.  The closets are simple, functional and much prettier.  Simplifying is where it's at.  

One day I would like to take the craft closet up a notch and add some more organization type elements but for now, I'm basking in the simple organization we got going on.  So anyone else with me today?  Have any organizing and simplifying projects you are working on or need to work on?  Share it with us!!

Have a great week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Bench & Vanity Remake

Today we have some Simple ways to bring ugly furniture you try to hide into pieces that you want to show off.  Two pieces coming at you today.  Both are antique in nature and both required some sprucing up.  First is our sweet little bench we've had for years, it's seen better days.  And next is our cute antique vanity that Justin got for me a few years back - it's in a major need of a paint job and maybe even a little knob upgrade.  Here's a before pic of how it was in our guest room last week:

Yes, that's jungle safari parrot fabric covering this bench.  No comment.

Up close shots of the bad paint job on the vanity-

Ok, so first let's start with the bench.  I immediately ripped off the fabric and to my surprise revealed a cute toile fabric print underneath, not too bad.  I happen to really love toile.  But, it was looking pretty old and dingy and just didn't look that good.  

So I was off to search for a new fabric to cover the bench with.  I wanted something somewhat neutral and of course something reasonably priced.  I found a really great etsy site with a bunch of cute fabrics to choose from - Fabrics You Love - they are also very reasonably priced and I love supporting fellow etsy shop owners!  Here's a couple of the fabric I bought:

I decided to go with the striped fabric for this project and use the other print for a future project - both will be pieces used in the same room though so I love how they both share the same gray neutral tone.

Before I started on the reupholstering I decided to paint the bench a softer color.  I had a little paint leftover from Silas' room that worked perfectly - and you know how I love a free upgrade. (PS - It's Olympic zero VOC paint, in case anyone was wondering).

So reupholstering a bench like this is really rather easy.  After settling on a new fabric you just need a few tools, most importantly a staple gun.  I happen to love this simple tool.  Oh, also I decided to just recover over the existing toile fabric.  I could have ripped it off too but I guess I was lazy or wanted to make it harder for me - not sure which.  The striped fabric I used to recover wasn't not opaque enough so I needed a liner.  Luckily I just used a little curtain to back my bookcase with and had enough left over to use as a liner for this project.

A quick stapling of the curtain and I'm ready to cover with my new fabric.

To get a nice corner, just fold in your fabric - much like wrapping a present.

Reattach the seat portion back to the bench legs (mine just screwed back in) and that's it!  Such a simple project to brighten up a little piece of furniture!

Loving my neatly tucked in corners.

But wait, this post isn't over...maybe the most pictures ever in a post.  So I still needed to repaint our vanity and do something to the existing knobs.  

The knobs really weren't all that bad, I just wasn't feeling them in this room.  So a quick spray paint did the job.  I kept the vanity white - off the shelf Olympic paint and decided to keep the mirror unpainted.  This mirror is not the original mirror (although Justin was told that when he bought it - to his defense they were bought on different days - he received a call back from the shop owner a day after that he had "found" the mirror).  Either way, I like the way it looks.  Something about the wood and white work for me.

Still hasn't lost it's rustic charm, but it's much cleaner looking now with the new white coat of paint.

The new wall color and white trim look a thousand times better - just had to add that.

And now, all together...

Not a hugemungo difference but just enough to soften and clean everything up.  I love the clean and crisp look these pieces are now sporting.

Thanks for joining me today! 

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

How-To Paint Laminate Furniture: Part Two

I know, I left you hanging yesterday and didn't leave you with a final product - shame on me.  But, there was just too much to share for one day.  Here's what I left you with:

I shared with you the steps I took to paint our laminate bookcase but still needed to finish off the bookcase backing - which is an awesome two-piece cardboard back - stylish and chic, I know.

When I first started this project I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do about the back.  I had several thoughts, but I really didn't want to spend any money on it.  It just so happens that I was also organizing and cleaning out our closets at the same time, which lead me to discover my new bookcase backing - an old curtain.  Why not?  It was free, a nice color and I had no other use for it.  

So I simply placed the old cardboard back on top of the curtain, cut away any excess and used my handy dandy staple gun to cover the board with the curtain fabric (sorry, I have no pics of this).

Pretty simple, then I just used the same staple gun to attach the newly curtain/fabric covered cardboard to the back of my bookcase.  When you are working with materials like laminate and cardboard a good ole staple gun is all you need.

So in case you forgot, here's the before shot:

And now the after..all painted, dressed up and pretty.  It's so much softer and pleasing to the eyes now and I'm really loving it.  It may still be cheap laminate but you might have to do a double check before realizing it.

I know this bookcase won't last forever and that's why I made every effort to not spend any money on revamping it but I can live with it so much better now in the meantime.  Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to put in it.

So, yes you can paint laminate - it's totally doable and you can remake an ugly piece of furniture into something much more livable and pretty at hardly any cost.  

And even better, God has told us many times in scripture that Nothing will be impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).  God has done and will continue to do magnificent and wonderful things that only He can do.  He created life, our universe, the stars and our hearts.  He performs miracles, brings our lost souls back to his grace and raises Jesus from the dead.  Our God is Awesome.  So now I have a cheap laminate bookcase that will remind me of the Holy, All Powerful and Beautiful God I serve.  Truly, God is in everything.