BIG…BOLD…COLOR

Something that I’ve noticed as a trend on Pinterest (follow me!) is that everything is BIG.BOLD.COLORFUL.

Like:

Either that or its Benjamin Moore [something esoteric] Grey.

 

 

Now I want to be clear. I think all of that is BEAUTIFUL. Just not for my house. Maybe I can hop on the “Gray” family bandwagon, I would be lying if I said my bedroom wasn’t gray; however it was a very light blue gray. I just couldn’t see going jewel toned in any room in my house.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been there and done that? See when we lived in Hoboken, I had every room painted a different color. They were bright colors too! I would love to share, but they seem to be on my Kodak Gallery account and they haven’t yet been migrated to shutterfly.  The living room was deep orange, with a brick fireplace accent wall (yes that is what sold me on the apartment to begin with). One bedroom was yellow, the other was supposed to be sage green but turned out to be a bit more minty and the bathroom was purple with gray tile. My future husband wanted to kill me when we were painting it!!!!

When we moved into the house, it was move in ready and looked like a Pottery Barn catalog. So he lucked out, no painting! However, everything is beige on the first floor. But of course not all of the beige’s match?! I honestly don’t understand but whatever. I’m looking forward to refreshing but also nervous about it. I really liked the color of our bedroom so I think we’ll do it again. It’s honestly like floating on a cloud. So lovely.

Our empty (former) bedroom

And the kids room, I also LOVED. It was their ROOM!!!!  I painstakingly marked where the stripes that no one could see would be, my father in law did a great job hanging a chair rail and they were able to personalize it with stickers!

the little one’s side

the big one’s side

 

So you see, I’m not color adverse, or even trend adverse (did you see my closet!!!)…. just a little in awe of people who put such BOLD BRIGHT COLORS in their homes!

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Love from little boys

I take the big one grocery shopping just about every week. It’s become one of “our” things. We’ve brought the little one sometimes or hubby as well and it totally changes the experience. D and I wander the aisles, if he’s good I let him pick out a book or small toy… today he got … Continue reading

Hall Closet Makeover

This past weekend I had two major wallpaper projects.  The first was the kitchen, but after pulling off part of the countertop I realized it was actually going to be a two day job. So onto the next project…. the hall closet.

As I had posted the other day… here is the before:

Before… cramped, cluttered, can’t see the floor or any of the jackets inside.

annnnnd the After:

Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!

And how did we get from there to here… well let me tell you, it WASN’T EASY.

First I unwrapped the wallpaper and after reading the instructions three times realized it wasn’t pre-pasted. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! It’s 2012 how can it NOT be pre-pasted. I’m hoping one of my interior designer/DIY/crafty-crafter can tell me this because I find it reDOINKulous. So after being all fired up to finally get started, it was quite the wah-wah-wahhhhhhh moment.

Clearly I had a lot to get done, and that now included running to the hardware store. To have at least a small sense of accomplishment I pulled everything out of the closet.

A blank canvas

without the shelves or bar.

So now I was at a standstill…. off to the paint/wallpaper store I go.  I made a conscious decision to NOT go to Home Depot because I didn’t want to be sidetracked by shelving or anything else and I wanted personal care. So I went to our local Benjamin Moore Dealer, Young Paint & Wallpaper. Feeling all sorts of confident, I walked in and asked the nice man at the front desk for wallpaper paste.  …………

There was palpable silence, he was clearly waiting for me to say something else. But what? I had no idea!!!! So I just started blurting…. I know nothing about wallpaper, I ordered this online and one roll came in prepasted the other didn’t and I just want to hang it up. I did all my research on how to do it but it was based on prepasted yadda yadda yadda…. can you help me?! It soon became clear that this guy was more of a paint than wallpaper guy. So he directed me to another woman who after asking me a series of questions to which all I could answer “I don’t know.” She gave me your basic wallpaper paste with the suggestion of taking a solo cup drizzling it onto the back and then using a sponge roller to spread it.

Now I was set…. I had my supplies

One gallon of wallpaper paste… check
One sponge roller… check
ready for this???? NOPE!

I put a long drop cloth on the ground and measured off 96 inches (the height of my walls). [I probably should have thought that one through a little better, but when you get to my wrap up you will see my takeaways.]

When this stretched out the width of my living room I should have thought twice about the length

Then I started the task of applying paste. When someone tells you that you should be able to drizzle it on and then spread that would give you the impression that it is somewhat more liquid on the viscosity scale …. you would be wrong. It was much more like Vaseline. So I would scoop a bit out and plop it on the back and start spreading.

Plopping the paste

It wasn’t so difficult, just tedious. And exhausting. So after all 100 inches were properly coated (I was told to put extra at the top and bottom) I “booked” the wallpaper which meant folding it in half and then in half again paste to paste and pattern to pattern and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. Much like a well cooked steak.  I realized this would be a good time to draw my plumb line.  That is a line that is perfectly level regardless of your walls and ceiling. I took out my trusty level and put that sucker up… With no regard for the width of the wallpaper…. Then I brought the wallpaper over to the wall, crawled up onto my ladder and unfurled my “book.” Since I was by myself I don’t have any pictures of the hilarity that must have been me hanging up the wallpaper. It was on my head, attached to my legs, wrapped around me at various points. thankfully I didn’t rip any of it. After a few minutes the first sheet was up….

so proud!!!!!

After that was up, I stood back to admire it and though to myself… HOLY HELL how am I going to get the seams to match up?! What was I thinking???? Wouldn’t PAINTING have accomplished the same luxury????

ANSWERS: Very carefully… Its so pretty… and yes probably but this is WAY more fun.

So after a few tries, I figured out how to line up the paper and……. I made that seam my bitch!

what, whaaaaat?!

I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS!!!!! Not only am I very proud of myself I am also in LOVE with the pattern and how lovely and luxurious it came out. And let me tell you I am so so so lucky that I had enough wallpaper to cover the whole thing. The seam on the right side doesn’t exactly match (except at eye level because that’s important). I never would have thought I would have run out given the area was 2′ deep and 3′ across, those 8′ high walls really killed it!

Next that needs to happen is that we get the closet organizer in there. But that’s not going to be for a few weeks. We have quite a few things going on the next few weekends.


Here is my takeaway from the project, if you are thinking about wallpapering here are a few tips that I think would have been helpful

  1. Buy pre-pasted wallpaper. What, are you like me and didn’t know that it COULD come unpasted?!
  2. If you DO purchase unpasted wallpaper, use a sponge roller to spread it! Also tape down the edges so it doesn’t roll up on you.
  3. Have a helper. Now I had wanted to do this by myself so this one is my own fault but another set of hands would have come in handy.
  4. Cut and tape up first before applying to the walls. Little things would have come to light if I had done that such as the physics of a 62 inch person applying a 96 inch strip of wallpaper to a wall.
  5. Measure twice, cut once!
  6. Hire someone!!!!! HAHAHA

Summer Rental – Part 3 twofer

This gallery contains 13 photos.

It’s two… two for the price of one! A little gallery for your perusal. First up the bedroom… you can see the before and after there. It’s pretty straightforward. you might have noticed that in our bedroom there isn’t a closet. we actually use the one in E’s bedroom. this is just my side of … Continue reading

R&R

Let me first start by saying, I love my husband and kids more than anything. Let me next state how they are up at my in-laws tonight so I could do some DIY (more on that later). And I will follow that up with a William Wallace cry of…..

FREEEEEEEDOOOOOOOMMMMMMM

What have I done with my day you ask? Well they didn’t leave until after lunch so all four of us went out to lunch together. E did the absolute cutest version of Twinkle Twinkle.  E at the Diner

Then it was a few errands around town, then it was down to brass tacks. Like I said, some DIY’ing around the other place. On the list was the backsplash in the kitchen and the hall closet. I’ll go step by step with that in another post, they are both a work in progress (mostly because I’m planning on finishing the kitchen tomorrow) and the closet because I have to figure out a few things.

If you’ll remember, this is what the closet looked like before we left:

Before

 

Everything was thrown on the floor, it was hard to get to the shelves at the top for hats/gloves/scarfs even though I did have them in lovely bins. We had an over the door organizer for hats, which honestly isn’t very functional. It is hard to close the door with all the hats we… ahem, my husband… have.

Step by step will come in another post, but here is the first stage after…. cue the oohs and aaahs

Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!

DYING!!!!!!

The only piece of advice I will give is to make SURE that you get pre pasted wallpaper. This stuff…. not so much.

Now that this is done I have to figure out the shelving situation. Originally I wanted double hung bars. Then today, I got nervous about that because I realized that the kids jackets aren’t going to be so small forever. So I think I am going to get adjustable shelves. The kind that you put the metal in the back and then insert shelves… you know these:

Clearly not this big but something like it.

I am not going to have time this weekend to hit The Home Depot but it’s good to have a game plan.

So now I’m home, had myself some leftovers, a couple of Woodpecker Ciders and watching Man on A Ledge…. doesn’t suck.

I’m loving life.

One Way, Or Another

One way or another I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha
One way or another I’m gonna win ya
I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha
One way or another I’m gonna see ya
I’m gonna meetcha meetcha meetcha meetcha
One day, maybe next week
I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll meetcha

Bet’cha been wondering what’s been going on with the actual remodeling… Well wouldn’t we all want to know. Turns out our permits were filed incorrectly by the architect… so clearly they were not approved. So now our general contractor has taken over the process and has resubmitted.

What does that mean? Well the obvious is that we’re now about a month behind schedule. And yes that is INCREDIBLY frustrating. INFURIATING even.

But ever the optimist, I’m looking at the silver lining. And hubs even agrees, now we have more time to complete some of the DIY that we wanted to in the house. I actually have a project planned for this weekend that I will be sure to update everyone about next week with pictures.

Here is the complete list of DIY’s that we would like to complete. Some can be done before construction begins, others need to wait until it’s over.

  1. Coat Closet organization and general prettying (wallpaper + closet system)
  2. Front Closet organization (this is this weird little linen/pantry thing, still not sure what I’m going to use it for)
  3. Backsplash in Kitchen
  4. Paint Family Room
  5. Paint Living Room
  6. Paint Kitchen

Good list, right?

Stay tuned!

What I did on the Fourth!

Remember in school in September when you had to write the whole “What I did on My Summer Vacation” essay. And you’d try to distill 3 months of fun into a few short paragraphs… That’s almost how I feel about putting together all we did yesterday.

First off, everyone slept in, which was AWESOME!!!!  We had a nice lazy breakfast and then got down to it. G and I had a list of things we needed to accomplish.

  1. Laundry
  2. Furniture Shopping (new couch for family room)
  3. Pool

Somewhere in there needed to be nourishment as well but that’s a given. Now I know three things doesn’t sound like a lot, but man did it feel like it.

I think I’ve mentioned that laundry is a little wonky these days. We don’t have a laundry in our rental, so we’re carting our laundry weekly across the street. It is super annoying but it is what it is. So while G headed over to bring our laundry started, I corralled the kids got them dressed and told them the plan. I think D was hoping we were going to the store with the goldfish (Bob’s) but we weren’t so I did what any good parent did and avoided the conversation.

We all piled into the car, it was about 90° and it was only 10am. OY! Headed straight to Raymour & Flanigan where a lovely assistant latched onto the shit show that was our family in that store. They got balloons which was great as we could see where they were in the store because they went crazy!!!!  I think they jumped on every bed and rolled on every couch. The wheels were coming off the bus!!!

We did find a lovely couch.  It was  very hard to concentrate though because as soon as we’d sit down on it, something would happen that would cause one of us to get up and go running into the leather sectional section, or to the beds. Finally we put them in time out and Hubs and I could have a conversation that lasted longer than a grunt or a “your turn.”

We almost bought it, but i didn’t LOVE it. And when we asked about getting it in the color we REALLY wanted, chocolate brown, it got quite expensive. Even with the Fourth of July sale.

 

So we decided it was best if we went and grabbed lunch so off to Panera we went. The kids definitely were hungry and once they ate were MUCH better behaved. Do we dare push our luck and head to the next store… OF COURSE we do. Gluttons for punishment is what we are. Off to Macy’s Rt. 22 Furniture Gallery We’ve had luck here before, we purchased a rug and was impressed with the furniture selection. Even though the store is a little sketch sometimes.

It’s SO different from the other one isn’t it!

Anyhoo, after about a half hour of hunting, sitting and chasing the kids through rug piles with a quick pit stop for the Big One. We found a couch!!!!

It’s the Raja 2 Piece Microfiber Sectional. Instead of the Mocha color that it comes in we’re getting it in GODIVA! YUM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND the best part was that we got a SWEET deal and even with custom fabric it came out MUCH cheaper than the Vegas Couch… (Insert Favorite Vegas Joke Here)

So NOW I am super pumped to put together the family room. It is right next to the kitchen, so whatever we do in one, has to be able to live with the other. This actually helps another HUGE decision I was in the process of making regarding the kitchen but I”ll get to that later.

Here is how they looked pre-move:

Clearly this was not “shot for the blog” otherwise I would have cleaned up a little!!!

From another angle:

I can’t believe I didn’t do anything with those blinds in 7 years!!!

And this is what I am hoping it will look like post construction:

OOOOOH AAAAAAH

I took some pictures of the empty family room just for this very purpose, I’m just so happy that I actually got one from the right angle. I *think* I have the proportions right on the sectional but you get the idea.

I want to pull from this color palette:

However, I’m not going to lie, I’m a little scared. I LOVE all the modern graphic patterns and I’m going ALL IN, and I also LOVE the color combo of blue and brown. I just have to fully convince myself that yes all the other colors go as well and I can mix patterns.

I’m going to paint the walls the slate gray color and use the yellow, green and blue as accents throughout.

How awesome are those curtains!?!?! LOVE THEM. I’ll be placing an order for them soon, just have to get the Hub’s approval on everything.I want to hang them closer to the ceiling as I’ve heard that it makes the room seem bigger, at least that’s what my friends on HGTV and TLC have said. Has anyone tried that in their homes?

I also found those great pillows on Etsy, however I’m not getting them. Not that I don’t love the lattice pattern, but I’m going to buy non-designer pillows most likely at Target but maybe Kohl’s or Bed Bath, and Beyond. We beat up our couches and pillows, I don’t want to spend a lot. They are just inspiration. Ways of getting a little more pop of color.

So that’s the plan! The couch won’t be due back until we’re almost ready to move back in. And they might have to do work in that room while they’re building the addition so I won’t be donning my coveralls anytime soon to paint. But it is SUCH a relief to have a plan. For at least one room!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. When you move into a “move-in ready” house you tend to not do anything to make it your own. I am SO excited to be changing things on the first floor. Yes things are fine and we’ve lived with them for 7 years but they aren’t OURs.

Onward and upward!!!

OOOH I almost forgot… we did make it to the pool… finally.

How adorable are they?!

D and his friend participated in the balloon toss. They did pretty well!

E invented a new way to eat an ice cream sandwich…. with a spoon of course…. that’s my girl

Sleep Training — Days 4-6

It seems like everyone wants to know what is going on with the Sleep Training. Thanks so much for the emails and direct feedback. Today will be Day 7 so let me catch you up on Days 4-6.

Day 4 we spent the night in an RV in our friends’ driveway. He actually went to sleep fine (around 9), but G cuddled with him. I totally busted him on the video monitor LOL. But like I said, it was an RV, we’ve NEVER slept in one before, we’re not campers so it was fine.

Day 5 I got a little grief, we’d been out all day in the sun and driving back from our night away so he was a bit out of sorts. We’d also just had a most exciting playdate with SueAtHome’s kids and some other friends. D and the girls. He had them shooting nerf guns at each other and playing the most rambunctious game of dress up I had ever seen. We had 3-4 pirates and cops and robbers running around. So he fought me for about 10 minutes but once he closed his eyes he was out! Hubs told me last night that the Big One told him “Daddy, the guns were a BIG hit!” When I asked him if that’s what he said, he told me “It’s true! They were a BIG HIT!” And then he took G around to all the places the girls were getting the darts stuck.

Day 6 Both kids were not very tired. They spent the day with my parents, as they do every Monday, and the Little One apparently took a very long and very late nap. So she was screaming for a good portion of the evening. The Big One gave me a lot of grief and wouldn’t stay in his bed. I tagged out with Hubs and D was out cold within minutes. Hubs and I actually got to watch some quality TV last night…. to the tune of The Real Housewives of New Jersey! I actually got him watching the Orange County finale the other day. I think he might be as excited for the reunion as I am.

Summer Rental – Part 2: Multi-Purpose Room

Next stop of the home tour is our multi-purpose room.

We treat it as our playroom, dining room, hangout, and hallway. It is the central room in the house.
Here is a crude diagram showing the layout… probably should have done that before but hey I’m new to this!

Our abode, absolutely not to scale, it’s to my best guess =)

I really do have a new found respect and love for ranch houses. It’s not a style I would have thought that I liked but there is something to everything being on the same floor and the kids not feeling left alone anywhere in the house. The’ll even sit in the family room watching TV while I cook dinner or clean the kitchen. They’d NEVER do that at our house. Hopefully little things like that will stick when we relocate back across the street.
Anyway, originally we had wanted to put the kitchen table into the kitchen, but once we were in there was no flippin way that would fit. And I’m so much happier with the storage we gained. Part of me actually is thinking about getting rid of the kitchen table and having us eat in the dining room everyday and putting storage in the kitchen as well but I don’t think that really makes sense. Plus I’m the kind of person that really digs a formal dining room and I totally heart mine. I would hate to let it get all casual. But that’s another conversation all together. This is about the Summer Rental.
We basically decided to line one wall with kid things and the opposite wall with adult things. So we have our kitchen table and a small love seat on one side and all the kid’s toys on the other.

Through the kitchen window

a little less “moody” of a shot

Have I mentioned how much I love this setup! The best part about everything in the rental is that we truly don’t care what happens. You want to draw on the walls, sure go for it. Paint the couch, go for it! (we’re not planning on bringing back either of our couches, upgrade baby!)

All the toys

Originally, G didn’t want to hang anything up. And if you knew G you would know how monumental of a statement that is. Whenever we move anywhere the FIRST thing he wants to do is hang things up. Regardless of not knowing where the couch, bed, chair, bookcase etc are going to go. It grounds him. I respect that… I don’t like it and I fight it tooth and nail as I will plan things out for years before putting a single hole in the wall but I digress… again.. (I do that).
I always had a plan to hang the kids art in the Summer Rental. I think it’s a great way to add some personality for cheap. You know in a child labor kind of way… totally kidding! I have everything that I’ve saved from their school up on the wall. From the time the Big One was a little one until now. I tried to group them together by both theme as well as time.

My favorite part of the whole house!

The only thing I’m truly anal about is the toy organization. Not so much in a “no wire hangers” kind of way but more in a “I can’t be bothered to try to find Perry the Platypus’ fedora every time you want to play with it” kind of way. I broke down and got one of those bin things from Target. The reason I say broke down was because I foolishly thought we could contain all the toys we had in our basement built-ins. However I don’t know if your kids are like mine, but they tend to be a bit more “I need to see it to want to play with it” so all their toys were always out and in bins strewn around the floor. Not very organized. Basically I try to keep the Big One’s toys on top and the Little One’s toys on the bottom. All SuperHero related toys go on the top right, all Transformers go on the top left and then wen have SuperHero vehicles below in the center. After that things start to get wonky. I had at one point had all licensed characters in one bin but that was soon overrun, so then I tried Disney and Nickelodeon/Viacom but that was too ridiculous, even for me. So the only other bin I keep neat is the Little People one. Ironic since I brought all of the kids’ Little People playsets back to the house (minus the figures).

Our toy bins in action

What else…. OH YES. My GORGEOUS lamp that I bought, assembled and hung all by myself!!!!

The dining area was a little dark, so I ordered this on Amazon and 4 hour later I got it up. Every single one of those cones has to get assembled by hand!!!! INSANITY! But I LURVE it! I might actually hang it in E’s room when we move back in. Here it is from another angle:

dining area

So that’s that…. Next up the family room.

Here’s one last shot of the multi-purpose room….

Love this filter on Instagram!!!