painting things

brewster blues

we had a busy busy busy busy weekend in brewster! my feet are throbbing as we speak. i dumped my photos into my computer as soon as i got home so i didn’t lose momentum because there is a lot i want to put out here on my internets! first things first. our house is a new color! this is a pretty big deal. painting the house wasn’t really on my radar, and it wasn’t at all about the color (i actually really liked the original color). there was a good amount of rotting trim and chipped, weathered siding so mike felt like we needed to hire someone to deal with it before it got out of hand. we actually looked into it last spring- got an estimate and all that- but decided to hold off one more year (and i’m glad we did after such a cruel winter!).

this photo is from our first summer 5 years ago… both the siding and the lawn have gone down-hill quite a bit over the years.

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so while i liked the color, we decided that we might as well change it up in a dramatic way if we were going to invest in the paint-job. we agreed on a deep, nautical blue. it was actually really easy picking the exact color. what did we do before pinterest?

we basically found this grid on pinterest (a young house love original… shocking) and agreed on newburg green (also what yhl chose for their show house… again, shocking).

BlueHouse-Nine-Color-Grid

yhl

and here she is! we are really happy with it. its a crazy big change and just feels like another big step toward making the house our own. the fresh white trim really pops and the deck and roof look nice with the deep blue.

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it wasn’t outrageously expensive to have the house painted because the other two sides are clap board and just got a good power wash.

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this lower deck area has so much potential. i’d love to cover the concrete with something nice-looking, rig up a ton of string lights and invest in some good patio furniture. one of these years…

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the lower level finished floor update is on deck. no pun intended. (i might go to bed before dane tonight).

poo to blue

this is the story of a really ugly file cabinet. wouldn’t you say this is one of the ugliest file cabinets you ever did see? when we turned the dining room into an office-ish room i felt motivated to help this poor poo brown cabinet realize its potential. i got it for free in a day-after-the yard sale scenario in brewster years ago. the same day i got that free rocking chair (it was a good day). i really love painting free things… i will paint almost anything. this project happened over the course of a few weeks, per usual.

the drawer pulls popped out easily. i spray painted them w/ two coats of white (they were a nickel/silver color).

i sanded the metal a bit to scuff up the finish, then sprayed it with 1 can of kilz primer before hitting it with the paint brush.

the color is barnstable blue by ralph lauren. i brought a settee cushion with me to home depot to match the cabinet to the seats in the music room (you’ll see what i mean).

check out mr. poo cabinet now. he has a whole new outlook on life.
the two masterpieces sitting on top are by dane and, no, they are not for sale (well.. email me.. we might be able to work something out).

new urban outfitters rug. very affordable and a fun new color for the house.

here are the settees i referenced. now the two rooms flow a bit.

 i had this wooden tray laying around. i sanded and painted it as well.

so some good progress in the transition from dining room to office…
then:
now:

brewster : sunroom love

b o y  am i happy its the weekend. this is officially a brewster weekend. its been a long time since we’ve spent 3 nights in brewster (july?). per usual there is sooo much we want to get done – namely, finish the sunroom and devise a plan for the basement floor. mike even wants to start painting down there (white!)… ambitious, but i like it.

i put “brewster basement floors part I” in the title when i sat down to write this, but i am realizing i haven’t mentioned a thing about the sunroom work we’ve been doing. 
it began, yet again, with carpet woes. carpets have short lives in rental properties.. or so we’ve learned.. we wanted to get rid of the stained carpet which led to new baseboards and trim which led to finally painting the whole room. the usual.

here are some pictures from a few years ago (pre – renter era) when the carpet was in perfectly decent condition. we didn’t do much to the room. just sheer curtain panels, some hand-me-down wicker, those stumps, and crate & barrel (west elm?) throw pillows. don’t ask what i was trying to do with the weird tint in my photo editing here. its awful. here is my original sunroom post.

 
we never loved the yellowy walls but felt no urgent desire to paint.

fast forward to the carpet two years later. had to go.
we ripped it out along with all the baseboards and trim.

now, a few months later, mike has painted the floor and the walls bright white, replaced the baseboards (5″ pine flat stock) and trim (3.5″) and we hired a pro to paint the ceiling a pretty blue (nantucket fog).

its so bright and fresh and clean and i’m so excited to put the room back together.

oh, and my favorite – nice white outlet covers and switch plates. its the little things.

we’ll have to wait a few weeks for pictures of the finished (furnished) room because there is too much football to watch today to finish up! let’s go patriots!

big boy bed makeover

i have no real before pictures. i’m kicking myself because, you should have seen it… there were weird stickers and strange silly string-like gu all over the headboard and crayon scribbling everywhere. this is after we scrubbed and sanded and sanded and sanded. i found the bed on craigslist for $35. i need to learn to negotiate bc i bet it could have been less. either way, it was solid wood and totally paintable.
did i say “we” sanded? i meant mike sanded… with his poor little broken fingers. he’s the best.

this was the tedious part (the taping). i wanted to paint everything white except the dowels. i’m not sure if this was the best method, but it worked well enough.

we (there i go again with the “we”) used a can of primer and a can or two of white spray paint to cover everything but those dowels.

it was weeks and weeks before this was finally done. mike chipped away at it over the course of a few weekends when the weather agreed, we were actually home, and there was time.

and here’s how it looks… its sort of awesome, don’t you think!? i was so happy with the way it turned out. you know me with the white and natural wood combo. its my favorite.

i glazed over each of the headboard & footboard dowels with the same antiquing stain i used on the ledge in this bedroom, so it matches perfectly.

goodness my bed styling could use a lot of work. its totally bugging me looking at these pictures. everyone knows i’m supposed to drape a couple woven blankets on top of the comforter ever so imperfectly so that the bed is just begging for you to crawl in… i’ll be sure to do that when i take the final photos of this new bedroom 🙂

i came across this crib from the honest co’s the collective recently. totally the same vibe as our bed, right?! can you believe they are all sold out? i really do love the honest company.. they gave a crib to a family in need for every crib sold.

the plan is for this bed to be riley’s – or any other little person’s who visits.. there is a packnplay under the bed and a queen bed at the other end of the room, so it will be perfect for when my sister’s family visits (once her new baby boy is here in march!). i just need to finish decorating and making it cozy, then it will be all ready for them when they visit for christmas!!!

unspoonifying

this wall.

it needed some big, colorful art – so that you got a peak of it from the top of the steps.

big art for small money is not an easy thing to pull off.
enter: the spoons.

these huge 55×22″ spoon canvases were $40 each at ikea, which is way less than blank canvases i saw at craft stores or on the internets.

(this is best comparable i could find… its slightly bigger and $120 on amazon. slightly smaller at $60).

so i bought a couple spoon canvases and covered those spoons right up. sorry jo de pear.

i set-up shop outside with my apprentice.

and painted away with no real plan. i just used two paint brushes and the three colors (two green samples and some left over blue from the dining room) and brushed on overlapping sections.

i wanted really obvious brush marks and a random blend of the three colors. once the canvas was covered and i thought it was looking decent. i forced myself to put the brush down and walk away. less is more.

i asked my loving husband to build a frame for each of the two canvases. just a realllly simple frame. 
then i stained them with my trusty antiquing mixture and popped the canvas right in.

amazing right? i’m a regular van gogh.

next came my instagram masterpiece. i don’t think i photographed the process, but i literally just applied a coat of mod podge to the canvas, stuck on all the photos, then another coat of mod podge over the top the next day. easy.

confession: i don’t love the instagram collage. it could be better. ever since i finished i’ve seen so many versions of this and they look so much better when the squares are spaced out evenly with a white border separating each photo. (this is what i mean if you are curious). i sort of overlapped them a bit randomly to make them all fit and it doesn’t look as nice.

but overall i love the bright, happy, personal addition to this wall and being greeted by it every time we come down here.

and it was satisfying creating these big statement pieces for under $100.

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b e f o r e: (way before)
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better than spoons, anyway…

a quick knock-off

it all started in 2009 when i made my own centerpieces for my wedding… with lots of help from my mom… and they involved 16″ diameter mirrors that my mom accumulated from yard sales and craft stores and other mom-ish sources. 5 years later, i still had a number of these laying around.
so then i see these in a west elm catalogue.. you know those catalogues that they send you DAILY.

easy. i even had the perfect spray paint left over from the rods holding my new rug-on-the-wall creation.

but how to affix to the wall? i considered a number of options involving wood, gorilla glue, nails, and picture hanging hardware. it felt a bit messy and risky so i procrastinated a while.

enter the disc. i stumbled upon these things in a blog where someone was explaining the art of hanging plates on the wall. they worked perfectly!

and my wall is complete!

the sunburst mirror is from target and the little shelves on the other side are supposed to be square floating shelves, but i tilted them diagonally and now they are much more interesting.

standard bull dog position in this one, and can you spot the hidden stephanie?

half-painting things

hi. i painted stuff over the weekend! i also picked up a “big boy bed” for dane for $30 via craigslist that we are working on sanding down and painting. its been really nice spending some time at home for first time in a looong time. i’ve done some cleaning and organizing and some major rearranging.. more on that later.

so i’ve been on-board with the paint-dipped look from the get-go. now, specifically, i want to paint everything part-white. especially when its a neutral/natural something.

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here are a few things i’ve painted part-white lately. i didn’t really take “before” photos so you’ll have to use your imagination.
…a couple cardboard letters (a gift for twin baby girls who i am dying to meet!) :
and a free tray from the brewster swap-shop:

the half-white letters are awesome. since they are for baby girls, i thought they needed a little feminine flair (hot-glued ribbon).

and the tray was so quick & easy & now its just a little more interesting.

the only thing easier than painting is half-painting. hooray for half the work.

when i get around to it, i want to do something like this to a couple free road-side chairs i’ve been hoarding:
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this trend is right up there with uggs and jeggings… 

 the tray lives in my room now. if i could only clean my whole room. it may never happen.

some brewster business

this is from dane’s inaugural photography session with the dsl.. he had a little help, but not bad, really, don’t you think?

but about that business – the latest business in brewster involved the kitchen, some sand paper, and a quart of minwax polycrylic protective finish. this project ran me about 2 full nap times and change, but i feel really good knowing that all our hard cabinet painting work is sealed up.

 
 
yet again, for most of the weekend, the kitchen looked like we had been robbed. i sanded down some of the edges to give the cabinets that antiqued look. just enough for some of the wood to show through. i think they needed this treatment to look more authentic and not just like cabinets painted white, if that makes any sense (?)
 

i think we captured the kitchen robber on film.. he is about 2.5 feet tall with very bulbous cheeks and a lightening mcqueen tattoo on his right hand. call the police if you see a man fitting this description.

 
the antiquing and sealing effect was subtle, but i was pleased with the result. the polycrylic gives them a glossy sheen. you should be able to see the difference below -
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pay no mind to the pint of ben & jerry’s on the counter, the robbers must have left it…

and finally, a reminder of the pre-fatzified kitchen:

 
 
while i was at it, it covered the desk with the polycrylic as well. its really quick & easy to slap on and pretty dummy proof.

i have another little update to share before the long weekend.
 peace out!

wallpapered cabinet doors

we got the upgraded cabinet doors back on the built-ins just in time for dane’s party.

when our contractor left, they were in need of some serious attention.

i wanted to add texture, but keep it white and simple. here is my inspiration —

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i used martha stewart beadboard wallpaper to try to copy this vibe (in an easy and cheap sorta way). this textured, paintable wallpaper is genius. there are all sorts of patterns and widths and designs, its the perfect diy-on-a-dime medium.
these are a few in-progress pictures i took with my iphone. the first one is my “model” (its a creative process, people!) the second shows how we were playing around with wrapping the wallpaper around the cabinet doors and making sure they lined up (which was a little more difficult than we thought).

once we had the pattern lined up best we could, we cut it to size using a mat cutting razor. next, we smeared the door with wallpaper glue and slid the piece into place.

the final step was cutting two extra pieces for each diagonal, uncovered corner (not pictured). when the faces of the cabinet doors were fully wallpapered, mike gave them each two coats of the ultra white semi-gloss valspar paint we used on the rest of the shelves.
the doors don’t hang perfectly and i wish i thought to spray the hinges to match the new hardware, but i’m over it. the result is just what i had in mind and i’m happy.

the ring pulls are the same ones we used in the nightstand makeover last fall. quite the improvement i’d say!

i am counting down the days until mike must pass along his elaborate fantasy football trophy to last season’s new winner. i’m told this happens at the next draft. i am so outnumber by all these boys in my house.

the rest of the shelves are not quite presentable yet. i do not plan on making a big fuss about the “styling” or spending more than a few dollars on fluff for them, but i would like to put a little effort toward a little “reveal” for the memory books… potentially i can work around my TWO bridal showers and make it a weekend project!

oh and TGI freaking F.

invitations for the big #2

was this really TWO years ago? i can’t believe i’ve been a real life mom for two full years.
 
at the same time, i can hardly remember life before dane. he is pure joy… all i think about and almost all i care about. he’ll be two in just over a week [wimper].
 
so we have a very special birthday party to plan. unlike last year’s first-birthday-bonanza, we are keeping things low-key this year. the invite list is just family and a couple close friends.



 
i pondered over a theme. there were the obvious choices; trucks, trains, farm animals, sports… i thought about dane’s true passions… while he is certainly into all of the former, dane’s happy place is with a big sippie of milk in-hand. or “mooks” as he called it up until recently (it is so bittersweet when your toddler starts pronouncing things correctly). “i want mooks pease mommy”.. i could never say no. kid drank way too much mooks.
so we are having a milk party. not to be confused with a “milk & cookies” party (i’ve seen this done via pinterest) just a milk party.
 
tiny prints invitation contenders were as follows:
 
i love the chalk board look of this template… the mustache fit the theme (you know, like a milk mustache). below is the photo i chose… my little goober with his cow happily chugging his milk… the “antique” photo filter option in tiny prints works nice with the template.

with less than a dozen invitations to go out, i thought i’d have some fun with them. so i came up with the idea of sending them on milk cartons.

milk cartons painted with cow spots, obviously.

i used left-over (no voc) white interior wall paint we had laying around & chalk board paint for the spots.

 

then stuck the invitation lengthwise on the front w/ packaging tape.

 

i made mike take them to the post office (impossible for me with my current work schedule) he was thrilled. it was fun to get the feedback from everyone once these arrived in the mail (mostly positive aside from one person who “thought it was a bomb”)….

i ordered a few decorations for the party from oriental trading, but otherwise am planning to keep it simple. i generally struggle with ‘simple’, but with everything that is going on, i think its the only way. i will of course have plenty of party photos to share after the big (simple) day.