Posts tagged ‘Windows’

September 2, 2013

Where’s My Fork?

‘Cause I’m done with my headboard wall.

Too bad the photo doesn’t do it justice. In real life, the drapes are so tall and the headboard is so low. It’s an elegant combination.

I had been searching for drapes for this space since April. I debated my color and pattern options, but I knew I wanted a 96″ length and back-tabs. Unfortunately, It seemed nearly impossible to find 96″ tall back-tab panels in a brick and mortar store in Oklahoma City. As always, I inevitably found myself looking through the many IKEA options.

I am a huge fan of the Aina unbleached linen drapes that are hanging in the dining room…

But I worried the linen color of the drapes might clash with the linen-ish color of the master bedroom walls (Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige). Just imagine if the drapes had a more pink undertone than the walls… I couldn’t live with myself!

I fully intended on taking down one of the dining room panels and comparing it to the wall, but I unexpectedly found myself 30 minutes away from an IKEA before managing to do so. No big deal, I could easily find another place to hang beautiful linen drapes, yes?

Obviously, I’ve ruined the suspense by putting the image front and center on this post, but imagine how thrilled I was, 500 miles later, to find the drapes to be almost an exact match to my walls. You can’t write this stuff!

So the master bedroom headboard wall is complete… save for a brass bird adjustment and ever-evolving nightstand styling.

By the way, that makes for 4 different IKEAs that I have visited – Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, and Centennial. I’m tied with Rob, but he has me beat by distance with a visit to a Russian IKEA. How many IKEAs have you been to? Let me know in the comments below!

February 2, 2013

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 2

I promised a full post wrapping up my first baby step to improving the kitchen, so here goes. Let’s start with the Befores.

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

These pictures were taken in 2011, but not all that much had changed before this past November, including my choice of pajamas. At this point, I was unhappy with practically every surface in the kitchen, but I knew I couldn’t afford any upgrades anytime soon… if ever. So, instead, I started thinking about ways I could improve the feel of the space without putting too much money into it. I came up with a plan, starting with addressing the items I disliked the most about the space.

1. The upper cabinets above the peninsula. I despised them. They got in the way of many conversations being had. I wanted to tear them down, but that meant patching the surfaces beyond. I had to be prepared for whatever state they may be in. I’ve had experience patching gypsum and texturing walls, so I felt confident I could fix whatever happened to the ceiling in the process. The wall, not so much. The backsplash tiles were cut around the upper cabinet, so if I took the cabinet off, the raw edges of the tile would be exposed. I do not have experience in tiling, so I did not feel good about that. Luckily, I had an idea. I designed a wood trim piece to cover the cut tiles and had a friend build it for me. I then painted it and liquid nailed it to the wall. You can see the down and dirty pictures here at my previous post on this subject.

Kitchen Progress

2. The dark and creepy window nook. I loved this window space when we first looked at the house. I thought it could be a cheerful space to grow herbs and other plants. Instead, it became a black hole that constantly felt empty, yet overcrowded. After staring at pretty kitchen windows on blogs, then at mine, I realized a curtain was the first step, and I could make it myself. But first, I painted the window frame to match my tile trim. Painting the trim white helped to brighten up the area and made it feel much cleaner than the old, worn stained frame did. I then got to constructing my curtain. I found a pretty simple tutorial here that is so easy I was able to start and finish the project in an evening. I then took the “less is more” approach to accessorizing the nook by removing everything I didn’t love. I was left with a knife block, a couple plants, three glass canisters (which each hold flour sack towels, dish detergent and fresh light bulbs) and a frosted mustard bowl to tie in my accent color.

Kitchen Curtain

3. Lack of interesting and cohesive accessories. What accessories I had were merely parts that did not add up to a cohesive look. Accessorizing is not my strong point, so I experimented with my accent color in various patterns. I mixed the geometric curtain with striped tea towels and a southwest style rug. Mustard colored bowls, a print with bits of yellow and produce helped add fresh color to the space.

Kitchen Accessories

4. The furniture in the space doesn’t accomodate the activities that take place there. Sure, a dinette table belongs in a dinette, but what if the dinette table only gets used as a mail sorter and a coat rack? The table just took up space and made it difficult to vacuum. What I noticed most was that guests preferred to stand close to the peninsula to watch whatever activities were happening in the kitchen. So how about some stools?

Kitchen Stools

Ok, enough ‘splainin’. Let’s get to the Afters!

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Baby step one is done. My plan, now, is to live with this progress a while and decide if anymore steps should be taken. At this point, those steps are painting the upper cabinets or painting all of the cabinets. We’ll see!

January 24, 2013


This blog may not have been bustling lately, but I sure have!

I’ve been working on lots of small projects, but nothing that seemed complete enough to warrant a blog post. Which is really just unfair. So I’ll compromise. Instead of a full-blown post about this and that, I’ll share little sneak peeks and give you the whole lengthy spiel when things are more complete. Deal? Ok, here goes…

Kitchen Window

Yellow Chairs


Elephant Ear


Yellow Chairs


June 3, 2012

Picture Window

One of our better decisions regarding the house on Penny Lane was placing a bird feeder in front of the picture window.

March 18, 2012

To Do List

It’s been a long while since I’ve last updated my to do list, so here goes…

Those items highlighted green are those that have been completed since I last updated the list (June 2010)

To Do List

1)  Replace carpet with wood

2) Replace existing tile

3)  Replace all light fixtures

  • Entry – pendant
  • Dining – pendant
  • Living Room – recessed
  • Kitchen – pendant
  • Master Bedroom – pendant/close to ceiling
  • Master Bathroom – pendant or sconces
  • Bedrooms – close to ceiling
  • Guest Bathroom – sconce
  • Exterior Front – sconce

4)  Demolish partial wall/cover existing opening

5)  Replace Living Room doors with windows  (I haven’t decided if I still want to do this.  Originally, I thought the door was inoperable, but the wood had just swelled the door closed.)

6)  Replace window treatments (I’m about halfway through with this one, not enough to cross it off, unfortunately.)

7)  Remove upper cabinets above peninsula in kitchen

8 ) Paint Fireplace

9)  Add Fireplace doors (crossing both 8 and 9 off my list because I’m fairly certain I’ve changed my mind about both items)

10)  Add pocket/barn door to Master Bathroom

11)  Replace Master Bathroom sink

12)  Replace toilets with dual flush toilets

13)  Paint Interior (I decided to paint the kitchen the same color as the living room and to paint the cabinets. I may treat the laundry room completely different from the rest of the house since that room is so dark and depressing.)

  • Living Room/Dining Room/ Hallway/ Kitchen – SW Pearly White
  • Kitchen Cabinets – White (which white, I don’t know.)
  • Laundry Room – ???
  • Office – SW Pearly White
  • Guest Bathroom – SW Worldly Gray
  • Master Bedroom/Master Bathroom – SW Balanced Beige

14)  Paint Exterior (In progress, yes, still.)

  • Trim – SW Black Fox
  • Field – SW Universal Khaki

15)  Replace Kitchen counter with quartz or butcher block

16)  Replace all windows (4 out of 10 of these will be replaced this year!)

I’m hoping this will be inspiring to those who feel they need to tackle everything at once. We have actually made great progress here in under 3 years, but I try not to rush myself. I’ve learned that my ideas change with time (see items 8 and 9) and almost always for the better. If I had tried to tackle my whole To Do List at one time, I would not be as happy with the (in progress) outcome as I am!

Enjoy it!

February 25, 2012

Nate & Aurelio

Way back in September, I blogged about doing some pro bono (ish) design work for my friends Nate and Aurelio (you can go back to read about the inspiration for the design here). I’m happy to announce that a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today in celebration of the completion of the project. Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely complete without my blogging about the process. Grab yourself a snack and find a comfortable chair because I’ve got tons of before and afters to share.


Please excuse the poor phone picture quality befores as well as any not-so-kind criticisms. They asked for my help for a reason, right?


Note the dark wallcovering that creates a cavernous entry.

Living Room:

Note the white walls, saggy futon, feminine drapes, pillows and artwork, and more tables than anyone could possibly need.

Dining Room Before:

Note again the dark wallcovering and just large amounts of stuff.

Of course there was also a lot of good stuff to be found. I had the foresight to take some pictures of items that stood out to me.

I knew this console table would make a good grounding piece for the entry way.


The carved detail on these nesting tables definitely made my socks go up and down.


A pair of leather-look side chairs intrigued me as well as an oddly placed stack of gentleman’s hats.

I proposed to Nate and Aurelio a more masculine feeling interior using the majority of their existing furniture with an emphasis on neutral colors. I put together this mood board to help visualize my idea.

The hard part was going to be implementing my idea on Nate and Aurelio’s budget. Over the course of the next several months, we removed wallcovering, painted (Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki), cleared out and purchased furniture, and hung drapes and art.

Enough already. Here are your Afters.

Items purchased:

Paint & Supplies – $136

Mid Century Modern Sofa – $235

IKEA Minut Wall Lamps – $20 ea.

Plaid Pillows – $11 ea.

IKEA Vilmie Figur Cushions – $13 ea.

Faux Fur Pillows – $50

Rugs – $55

IKEA Ritva Drapes & Hardware – $40 ea. window

Wall Art – $25

Lamp Shades – $15 ea.

Total: just about $700.


If you ask me, the best money was spent on paint and drapes.

It’s amazing what you can do with your own stuff and a few extra bucks, huh?


March 5, 2011

Raw Linen

Last month, I wrote about hanging IKEA Enje shades in our living room. We had purchased shades for our dining room window as well, but I knew they would be far too sheer to stand alone in the front window. So when Rob made another trip to IKEA, I begged him to purchase a couple sets of their Aina linen drapes. But I had to make a quick decision as to what color: bleached or unbleached.


image courtesy of Sterin’s photostream on flickr


image courtesy of MoreWaystoWasteTime

I was drawn to the unbleached drapes more, but thought the bleached would fit in more with our existing decor. So I asked around. With mixed opinions from my virtual friends, I turned to Rob who made a great point that the unbleached drapes would work much better with our future reupholstered white dining chairs.

And so it was.

Our new front window:

February 12, 2011

Enje Shades

You probably read here about our installation of IKEA Enje shades. I did my best to give a brief tutorial of how to cut and install the shades, but I knew most of my audience wouldn’t care, so I didn’t go into a great amount of detail. Luckily, Anna over at Door Sixteen recently posted a detailed tutorial on her own adventures of cutting Enje shades. I actually learned some new things that make me feel a bit stupid… but that’s ok. I’ll pass on the knowledge to you and we can pretend I didn’t do the needless, awkward things I did do.

image courtesy of Door Sixteen

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February 2, 2011

Snow White

Oh, what a snow day (in between making up work hours at home) will do for a corner of a house. Back in December, we bought a pile of Enje shades from IKEA. Yesterday we decided to actually put a few up. We had been putting it off considering we knew we would have to cut each shade to fit the windows. Luckily, I’m not the first to do this, so I had a bit of guidance.

But first we had to paint the inside corners of the walls where they meet up with the windows. We knew we would be replacing the blinds at some point, so we decided to wait until that day to give it a good coat without having to cut around the blinds.

Then we got to measuring and cutting the shades down. If you ever wanted to see Taylor when she knew she wouldn’t be seen, here’s your chance. Yesterday I was grunged out in my PJs, complete with a robe and Rob’s socks. Call me comfortable.

First, we put all the pieces together (the shade and two brackets) to figure out how much we needed to cut down. This was definitely a two person job as our windows are nearly four feet wide. Next we unrolled the entire shade, marking the cut line on the top of the roll. To make it as clean as possible, I then marked the full length of the fabric with a pencil and very carefully cut the fabric along that line. I used newish fabric scissors to ensure a clean, easy cut.


Once that step was finished, we propped the unrolled shade on a chair (we’re professionals). Rob held the shade down while I used a hacksaw to cut through the metal top. There is a metal rod for the bottom of the shade that I also carefully marked and cut with the saw. It took a few minutes and made a slight mess, but seemed to work great as now I have an After to pair with my Before.

Yesterday’s Before with medium tone wood shades that darkened the corner in more ways than one.

After with bright white Enje shades.

Pull mechanism securely attached to the wall

Safety first. I was sure to attach the pull mechanism to the wall in case any kiddos got to playing around in the corner.

Overall, I am very happy with the shades. Although they are a bit sheerer than I ultimately wanted. Sheerness is great during the day to allow ample light in, but once the sun goes down, it’s pretty easy to see in. Fine for our rear windows, which these are, but I will most likely add drapes when we install the shades in the front windows.

February 1, 2011

Clarity and Before

Having moved the large circular mirror from above the fireplace to our entry, I thought you might like to see the “new” living room without the ubiquitous fireplace emphasis. You see, when most houses have a fireplace wall, most people choose to make that wall the focal point, as they should. Unfortunately for us, we are not a family centered around the warm glow of a lit firplace, but instead the warm glow of a TV. There’s no way around it. Rob is a video guy, a movie guy and an all around tech guy. All that to say, we are excited to present our living room with its appropriate focal point – not the fireplace!

Is it odd that I actually like my fireplace more now that I’m not trying to hide it? It seems to be hiding itself, instead. Also, notice the pair of room darkening wood blinds in the back of the room? Yeah, those are gone. So even though this picture was taken just this morning, consider it a before.