Surprise – It’s April!

April2013

Oh hey there, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth just yet. I just totally flew through March! It might be the fact that it’s still snowing here in Pennsylvania, or that I have been so busy gearing up for the start of a busy wedding season, but I can’t believe it’s actually spring.

BookshelfI have been trying to do a little spring cleaning/organizing around the house, and so far I have only tackled our living room bookshelf, which I organized by color last weekend. It helps that Anthony has a serious book buying addiction, so I had lots of colors to choose from.

Couch Shopping

It’s time to retire our couch. I’m currently sinking deep into the cushions, and the fabric on the armrest on Anthony’s side is starting to disintegrate. We had an Ikea couch that broke shortly after we moved into our house 5 years ago, then we bought this pink plaid one from a discount furniture place in Connecticut and loved it ever since. It’s definitely seen better days.

We need something substantial – comfy and sturdy, without being too boxy or modern. I really like a cute little antique settee or chaise in a crazy pattern, but we need something a lot more practical this time. We’re also considering a sectional, which would allow us to get rid of the love seat that we’re not in love with (ha ha) and make the whole room a big comfy couch.

I am starting to look around for options – here are the top contenders so far:

Blake Sofa from West Elm

Walton Sectional from West Elm

Portico Sofa from Crate and Barrel

Dual Sectional from CB2

Genoa Sofa from Overstock

Belgian Shelter Arm Sofa Chaise from Restoration Hardware

Sorenson Sofa from Restoration Hardware

Craft Room in Use

My favorite place in our house is my craft room/office. On days when I’m having trouble getting motivated, being in there really helps me focus and be inspired. I was tempted to pull out the extra supplies and boxes from work currently in progress, but I decided to show you what it actually looks like IN USE.

My desk is in one corner in front of my peg board. I try to put things back in their original places so I don’t spend too much time searching for bits and pieces in the middle of a project. On the wall right next to the window, I made a big bulletin board from pieces of foam insulation covered in colorful fabric. I have been using it to hang some samples of printed pieces, work in progress, tiny things I don’t want to lose, and some glitter letters I made for banners and gift tags.The crazy color and pattern combo might not be for everyone, but I sure love it!On the next wall, we have an old futon that I covered with an Ikea duvet. It is sometimes covered in clothes, shopping bags, boxes, and other junk, but I cleaned it off just for you! The room does double duty as a guest room when we have visitors, and sometimes Anthony comes and sits on it and hangs out with meThe bulk of my stuff is stored in this big Ikea Expedit unit on the next wall. I need to work on my fabric stash, which is just piled on top, but the white and pink bins are pretty organized, and I use the open shelves for samples, binders of my work, colored paper (in the blue and white boxes) and different types of white paper (in the open trays). The pink bins all have labels on the outside to remind me what’s inside them, and every once in a while I open them up and go through them so they don’t get too filled up with stuff I don’t use. The white bins are awesome and I got them from Target. Here’s the inside of the one that holds my extra ribbon.I am so lucky to have this space and the projects I get to work on in here! 

Ikea Shopping

While we were in Connecticut this weekend, I did some shopping at Ikea. We don’t have a dishwasher in our apartment, and hand-washing has been tough on our everyday dishes which are getting a few chips and cracks. Anthony had the brilliant idea of buying a few cheaper dishes to use for daily meals so we don’t totally destroy are nice ones (which I love and they don’t make anymore). Luckily these super cute ones were on sale.My favorite thing is the little glass bowl printed with pink flowers. It is the perfect size for ice cream.I also found some tiny little glass bowls that came in a set of four and cost $2. I love tiny things, so they went right in my cart.

Bathroom Update

I did a lot of work on our bathroom, and it is getting closer to where I want it to be. Here’s a before shot.Obviously, we have some issues. First, is it just me or is our sink really short? Second, there is a window above the sink where a mirror should be. Third, the tile is awesome, but the part of the wall where the tile ends is caked in caulk. These are three things which I cannot change since we live in a rental apartment, the building is 100 years old, and we didn’t want to spend any money.

Here is where I ended up.The dark blue paint and chevron curtains are helping things look a little less sterile, and even though we still have the mini sink and no mirror, the room is a little happier. Anthony doesn’t seem to mind shaving in the small mirror, so that’s ok too. I also added a small moulding to the top of the tile to cover up the messy caulk. It’s kind of cheating, but who cares?

We love Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Soap in Lemongrass, so I bought some accessories to match – a green candle, a green plastic cup for our toothbrushes and a little green bird candleholder.I have a little bit of an aversion to things that are purely decorative, so this bird is a big step for me.I fooled around with some different options for art, and I ended up making small striped watercolors and framing them in big square frames.I have a few more things to add, like a new, bigger rug and possible a little plant.

Bathroom Update

Anthony is off to Chicago for work this week, so I needed a project to keep myself busy while he’s gone. I have been wanting to make some updates to our bathroom for a while now, so this is a perfect time. I bought some Martha Stewart Paint in Azurite (a nice deep blue) when we moved into the apartment, and I also have some yellow chevron fabric that I bought a few months ago for curtains.

I found some great stuff online to add to my blue and yellow theme.

There are a ton of issues with the room that I have to fix before I start accessorizing, and I am working on some good ideas for art and some small plants.

Living Room Art

It’s been a little slow around here lately. I had a cold on Monday that worked itself into Tuesday, I have a few invitation jobs going on, and our heat has been going on an off (the repairman is on his way), so I just wanted to bundle up on the couch on stay still.

I spent a ton of time on Pinterest looking for some king of art for our living room. We have a big empty space over some bookshelves, and I need to find something pretty to hang there. One of the challenges is that the walls are very solid plaster & brick, so it is almost impossible to hang anything on them. I found a few great ideas though:

This beautiful painting on Decor8

A series of small framed prints via Pinterest

A variety of framed prints in a gallery via House of Turquoise

Prints on hangers via Apartment Therapy (maybe better in the craft room?)

Fabric-covered canvases from Better Homes and Gardens

There are so many good ideas, I don’t know what to do.

Beautiful Bedroom Re-Do

For Christmas, my cousins wanted to give their mom a new bedroom. Her existing room needed a lot of TLC, and the girls wanted to turn it into a peaceful sanctuary. The tricky part was that my aunt would be home for the entire renovation, so they needed to do it quickly and quietly. The first thing they did was move her out to another bedroom in the house and ban her from the room until Christmas Day.

Then they went to work removing some of the more outdated and worn furniture, patching and painting the walls, installing new light fixtures, and hanging curtains and pictures. The result is beautiful.
The duvet is chenille, and they found it at overstock.com. The pillows and lamps are from Homegoods. The bed, dresser and nightstands were already in the room.
I think my favorite part of the room is the chandelier, which they bought at Home Depot (I think it looks antique).They also added galleries of frames on either side of the bed in different shapes and sizes, and filled them with family pictures.Since the renovation was a Christmas gift, everyone in the family wanted to get in on it, and each new piece was a gift from someone. In order to let their mom know where everything came from, the girls added gift tags.On Christmas Day, we all went to the house for brunch and the big reveal.

Fabric-Backed Bookshelf

Right before Thanksgiving I bought a very basic bookcase from Target for the other end of our long hallway. Anthony has a ton of books, and we needed extra space to store them all. I didn’t want to leave it completely plain, so before I nailed on the back panel, I lined it with double-stick tape and covered it with fabric. I finished the bookshelf according to the instructions, nailing the back panel in place. The shelf looked great empty, but we realized that either the walls or floors are crooked. Sigh. That is the fun of living in an old building.I am working on getting the arrangement of books and pictures just right on the shelves, and I am also going to add some shims under the base to try and straighten it out a bit.

Sweet Dreams

We have a big comfy bed with 9 pillows. It is the most important thing in the apartment because we both love to sleep. Today I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add a tenth pillow, especially a cute one.
I made this pillow case today from some of the chevron fabric that I ordered for our bathroom curtains (which are not finished yet), and some Silhouette heat transfer.There is still a lot to do in the bedroom until it is perfect. I want to re-paint our nightstands, find better lamp shades, make an upholstered bench for the end of the bed, and hang some art on the walls. But for now, the bed is comfy and perfect, and that is all that really matters.

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