Monday, June 9, 2014

Dining Nook Turned Office Nook

I'd mentioned that our dining nook attached to our kitchen has recently transitioned into our office. We're a long way from "finished" (am I ever "finished"?) but it's HUGE progress from where we started...

Here's what this space is looking like right now...

Here's where it was a few days before that picture was taken...

Junk.  Everywhere.


This post should really be titled, "Junk Nook Turned Office Nook" but let's pretend it had been used as a dining nook, ha!

The first and most major step of this transformation was with paint.  A good gallon of paint changes everything people.

I went with Benjamin Moore's Intense White - the same color we used in our living room.  Officially my new favorite.  It's just such a pretty, calming neutral, true grey.  Super pale and light - it reflects light beautifully, and despite it's name it is definitely GREY - not white.  After putting one coat on the walls, this space felt so much bigger and brighter.

The sage green was a decision my best friend and I had made together a few years ago when we lived here, and it was not one of our best decisions.  It was not bad per say, but with just two walls painted, it felt like an after-thought - especially when the rest of the room was a blah off-white.  

It was just too much contrast against everything else, and it ended up absorbing all the lovely natural light this room gets from all the windows.

A few weeks prior to re-painting, I'd hung some striped curtains right up at the ceiling.  That too made a world of difference in opening the space up.  Against the grey, the thin grey and white stripe fabric is so pretty and simple, and light.

We positioned this re-purposed desk in front of the windows, and while it may eventually move against the wall, this is the perfect example of up-cycling, and working with what you've got.

This desk was dead.  Beyond dead.

My best friend had inherited it from her parents and used it as a makeup table for years.  It had caked on makeup, spotty and chipped paint, and it was bad.

It was destined for the dumpster after my best friend moved out, but our of sheer laziness, it stayed in the apartment.  One night... I'm not entirely sure why... I broke out the sandpaper and the same can of paint that I'd used on our wine hutch.

20 minutes later, it was looking a million times better, and it narrowly missed it's grisly end at the dumps.  I WISH I could find a "before" picture of this desk, it was really REALLY bad.  If I can dig one up, I'll definitely be updating this post!!

I still want to add a pull to the drawer, and paint the back of the desk (you can see exposed in this picture) so that it blends in with everything else.  I mainly want to be sure it blends in, and right now the wood back sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

What else was added to this room??  

Um... a light!

Yep, this room was not wired for any overhead lighting.  Absurd.  Ikea just started selling this drum shade, and so I got that along with a cord kit, that can be wired into the wall.  It was super simple to put everything together, and after I anchored a mount to the ceiling, I got this bad boy hung.

Let there be light!!!

As I mentioned this space is a work in progress - I'm working on some art to hang up in here, and I still need to finish painting one of the walls (on the left) that runs the length of the kitchen into the breakfast nook (now office).

More (better) pictures will be included with those updates hopefully soon, but in the meantime, here is another picture from move in day...  a real "before" if you will:

And an updated picture from this afternoon:

So excited that this has turned into a pretty, calming, usable space.  We finally have a usable room!!!

I must also add that this space has been a pretty major revamp on a serious budget.  I've spent about $100 transforming it - the paint for the desk I already had, along with that wicker chair (another leftover from Kira), the rug (was in the dining room of our old apartment), the frames, the art, the curtain rods, and the accessories.

Here's what I bought: the wall paint (one gallon of BM eggshell paint) the curtains (another Ikea find) and the drum shade and light kit.  

I'm actually guessing I've spent closer to $80 so far... not bad, eh??

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pineapples are the "Owl" of 2014

Anyone else agree??

Do you know what I'm even talking about??

I'm calling 2013 the year of the owl.  Everywhere you turned, everything was in the shape of an owl...

Owl shaped lamp bases, owls on thank you notes, in photographs, on plates, baby clothes, salt and pepper shakers... seriously... they were everywhere, and I'm not even going to lie. I was onboard.  I have several owl figurines, a framed print of an owl (which I still love very much) and I'm sure several other "owl" things.  I got totally caught admiring "owl" things here, here, and here...

This year, it's the pineapple.  They are everywhere - do you notice them?  If you didn't before you certainly will now!

You can't walk down an aisle of lamps without seeing a pineapple among the group... here are a few that I'm admiring:

I love this white one from Pier One - for one, it's totally affordable ($99!!!), and the white / gold combo keeps it looking classic, and glam.

The yellow on the next two is just so fun. This one above is a take on the Horchow version (below) - very playful, but not for those that are shy of color...

If you're not into a pineapple lamp, perhaps incorporating pineapples via a piece is art is more up your alley?

Again, the burst of color in this print below is super fun, and kind of a great way to transition a space from winter and spring, to summer.

If a pineapple print doesn't say "summer" I don't know what does!

Still too in-your-face with pineapple art?  Turn to your bookshelves - the perfect place to display more funky pieces.

I love this white ceramic pineapple - would look really pretty against a dark back of a book-shelf.

Or go for book-ends to corral your books... these brass bookends are quirky without being "out there".

What do you think?  Are you going to jump on the pineapple band-wagon??

I'd love to personally - I think the pineapple lamps are really fun, and it's actually a really classic image - I'm sure Williams Sonoma would agree:

While I want to get my hands on something pineapple (because they are sooo cool), I'm exercising restraint.

My next endeavor is to clean through all the accent pieces I already have, and weed out the ones I'm no longer in love with before I can add any pineapples to the mix.  We have about 3 boxes in storage that are full of decor accents, and we just don't need them all.  A purge is on the horizon, and maybe as a reward when I've finished, we can see about a little pineapple piece :-)

Happy Friday my friends!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Our Hamptons Inspired Living Room...Coming to Life

Hey guys!!  Just wanted to check in with you - we've been making some real progress on the house which I swear I'm working on photographing and posting.  The deck is well on it's way, the dining room is in a good place (for now) and our kitchen nook has officially become Kris' office (and my little DIY spot for sanding, painting, building, and re-vamping).  It's been a huge mess for the most part over the last few weeks, but I have a few photos in a cleaned up state.  I hope to share with you later this week!

In the meantime I wanted to check in with you all on our living room.  Last time I posted about it, I'd talked about the new sofa we bought, along with the new coffee table.  Neither have arrived - actually the coffee table was supposed to be here this week but the delivery date has been pushed back.  SO FRUSTRATING.

Anyway, in anticipation of these two key pieces arriving, I put together a final inspiration board for how I see this room coming together.

It looks something like this...

I've been putting in A LOT of thought to how I want it to look, and feel.  I've posted some inspiration photos that I keep close to me at all times.  I'm still feeling really drawn to a more organic, preppy, "Hamptons" look.  Woven rugs, pretty wood in the coffee table, lamps, and picture frames, and LOTS of white and blue.

It just feels so fresh and calm to me.

Most of the details in this inspiration board are already ordered or purchased, but the finishing details are still in flux.

What still needs a decision??

The pillows - I'm planning to enlist the talent of my lovely mother to help me make larger 24" pillows for our now much larger sofa.  Right now we have 20x20" pillows, which are nice, but since the new sofa will have a back close to 10" taller than our current love seats, we are going to need something beefier on the sofa, so they don't look dwarfed.  I noticed that Pottery Barn was using 24" squares on their sofas, and loved how it filled the couch out.

In terms of fabric, I've been toying with many different patterns but one thing is for sure - a small scale blue and white stripe is happening.  I'm leaning towards the Covington Darlington pattern in the Mariner colorway.

I found it at Joann's in person, but can't seem to find it online now!  Grr!  It actually does not look quite so vibrant in person - its just really pretty and nautical.  Love.

Having this small scale stripe will read as almost a solid and will allow me to experiment with a larger pattern on the other pillows.  I learn slow, but I learn well people!

I definitely want some sort of Ikat or "enthnic" type pattern.  Not sure if that's the right word.  Tribal?? Worldly?  Who knows... not that concerned with labeling it to be honest.  A few patterns I still looovvvveeeee??

Duralee Kalah Blue.

I've posted about this one before, here and here... and I'm still totally in love with it.  So much.  It's just such a classic, and the blue is so rich and pretty.

Also, loving the Robert Allen Khandar Indigo.

I loved that the blues in this one were more light, and the background was a crisp white fabric.  But is it as classic as the Kalah blue??  Will I love it long term?? So confused.

And the final option that keeps coming back to me is the one I used in the mock up... the Duralee Woodblock Print in Indigo

Just love.  Almost as much as Kalah blue - it's more imperfect and handmade looking, whereas Kalah blue is more refined and "fancy" feeling.  Do you agree?

Still not sure which fabric to order, so if you have an opinion, I'm open to hear it!!

Other "up in the air" details - the art.  I have the frames, but no art.  I've been agonizing over this a bit because I haven't found anything I am obsessed over.  I like the sailing prints I used in the mock up, but I was really hoping to find something with more blue in it.  We have quite a few "warm" colors going on in the sofa, the natural fiber rug, the baskets, the wood table... I don't want to make it TOO warm. Does that sound weird?

I haven't ordered the prints yet, but I do like them.  Very calming colors, and they make me think of my dad (who loves to sail), and I really love that.  I definitely want to make a decision soon though so that the walls don't stay empty for long after the sofa arrives.  Since we're getting rid of both love seats, and the new coffee table is a smaller scale than our current one, the room is going to feel a bit empty at first... especially because we don't have anything to replace the second love seat with yet.

We are thinking of putting a chair in it's place (like the inspiration mock-up), and that's the last "big" piece we will be purchasing for this room.

I want something comfortable.  Something you want to sink into, but also something tailored.  I found this one at Ballard - it's the Manchester Chair:

Definitely want to check out a few other sources like Macys, since they are always having amazing sales, but I love that you can pick your fabric on this one...

Kris keeps pushing for a recliner - woof.  In his defense, we saw one at Room and Board that was a caramel leather, and really sleek - no clue it was a recliner, but it still wasn't really my taste.  We will see - if we can find one that is a compromise of comfort and style, then maybe I'll eat my words, but when I think of a recliner, I think of something like this, and that makes my stomach turn.

Anyway, that's where things stand as of now!  Hopefully, next time I'm talking about the living room, it's to post pictures of our fabulous new sofa!!!  Yay!

Fingers crossed that it doesn't get delayed like the coffee table!