Friday, May 25, 2012

Put some paint on it, Part 2

While I was painting the filing cabinet, I used my "put some paint on it" method to beautify another piece of furniture: one of our nightstands. It's a black malm nightstand from IKEA, pretty functional but also quite dark.

As mentioned, I've trying to inject some color into the bedroom. So I slapped some of the robin's egg blue paint on the nightstand at the same time as I was painting the filing cabinet. I rubbed on some Minwax Wipe-on Poly as well, to protect the finish and give it a bit of a shine.

Much better, in my opinion. But it was still missing a little pizazz, so I decided to add some pulls to it. First, I seriously considered ring pulls, like this nightstand that just also happens to be a malm makeover:

(courtesy of fabric paper glue, absolutely adorable)

But as I visualized it, I just felt like they were a little too dainty and would get lost against the bold color. So I decided to go with something a little more striking that I found on Etsy for -- get this -- $4.80. With shipping, still just $8.

(the shop is called ShabbyChicnanigans; those of you who know me well know I'm a sucker for a good portmanteau)

They came as a set of three, but I only needed two. So I'm sure you'll see the third one show up in some project or another down the road. I just measured to find the middle of each drawer, drilled a hole through, and attached my new pulls.

I think they're cute, and I'm quite pleased. Since I was using leftover paint, this whole project cost me just $8!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pardon the delay...

We have some super exciting goings-ons in our personal lives right now (the major theme is siblings who are graduating from college), so home improvement and blogging have been taking the back seat. Never fear, I expect lots more to share soon, as I officially have less than 2 weeks of work left and then it will be all DIY all the time if I have my way (which I will, because there won't be anyone home during the day to stop me...).

In the meantime, congratulations Isaac, Ian, Dewey, and Delaney! (wow, we have some alliteration in our families....) And congratulations to everyone else we know who is graduating/has graduated this spring!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Put some paint on it

I decided to take a huge step forward in my coming of age odyssey and purchase a filing cabinet. A place to store my many important documents. And to hoard an even greater number of unimportant things like user manuals for items I no longer own, cords that belong to who-knows-what (is this for charging the swiffer we owned in 2009? better save it!), etc. But I convinced myself that if I buy a filing cabinet, I will be motivated to sift through this mix of unimportant and extremely important and bring order to my life. So I made the plunge and ordered one from Staples.

Before tackling the hard part, I decided to focus on the fun part: making it pretty! Nothing like an ugly utilitarian filing cabinet to bring me down and make me dread the act of filing (ironically, I am all about filing and organizing in my professional life -- I just can't stay on top of it in my personal life).

"Please help me be less boring," it's whispering pleadingly.

I knew I wanted to put it under my desk, which is in one of our more colorful rooms (paint chip art, turquoise dresser, magazine rack, etc...) -- so even though there are some amazing and fun filing cabinet makeovers out there on the internet, I didn't want to do anything too dramatic that was going to look too busy in the space. Instead, I just slapped on a few coats of the robin's egg blue paint that I have leftover from the hallway project, and voila:

I told one of my friends I was planning on doing this, and she said: "you can paint a filing cabinet?" Yep, I've discovered that you can slather almost anything in paint. As you, faithful readers, may have noticed, it's one of my favorite DIY techniques -- though I'm sorry, it doesn't make for the most exciting blog entry.

Here it is under my desk:

I'm a fan. It's fun (for a filing cabinet) but also relatively subtle which is good given everything else going on in the room. Plus, it matches the Sweet William fabric on the chairs I upholstered, including one that I use as my desk chair. I might want to add a few details (like card holders), but for now I like the little upgrade!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

[Hallway] Chaos Theory

We have this habit of piling things up at the end of the hallway, in front of the linen closet door -- backpacks, purses, bike helmets.... Not only does it look terribly messy (in my beautiful brand new hallway!), but it makes it a pain to get into the linen closet (which I've commandeered for all my craft supplies). Of course, it would be lovely if we could keep the hallway clear of clutter forever. You know, if we just got rid of all our stuff. But I think the worst thing you can do in designing a space is to ignore the way you'll actually use that space when the "big reveal" photo shoot is over and things go back to normal. So, that means finding strategies to artfully wrangle the stuff. Always a work in progress around the house, but here's one step forward for the hallway:

I found some knobs I liked at a local store called Boutique Fabulous (some great vintage stuff, and locally owned), and mounted them on the closet door. Here's a closer shot:

Not a huge additional amount of storage, but enough to hang up a few bags and helmets!

I installed the knobs a little bit lower than the line of sight from the front door (so you can see everything hanging there when you walk in a little ways, but the pie safe in the hallway blocks the view of it all at least at first). If we have to have stuff, at least it's a little more orderly!