Furniture, Interior Decorating, Paint

A temporarily permanent mirror

I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a hard time letting go of items I’m positive I can use someday. And every time I did deep into a pile of long-forgotten gems, I am always so pleased that I didn’t do away with them.

My best friend knows I love mirrors and thrift store finds, so several years ago at Christmas she gave me two beautiful wooden mirrors in major need of some TLC. I have saved these mirrors for easily three years, if not longer.

Traditional Mirror Before

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve seen my console table in my family room that is just begging for a mirror above it. It sits directly across from our bay window, and a mirror would brighten up the space so wonderfully.

Gallry Wall_Living Room

I’ve been searching high and low for a mirror to hang above the console table, checking HomeGoods, Target, Craigslist, thrift stores… the usual spots for inexpensive decor. I was in no rush, so I chose to be super picky (I didn’t want a square mirror and was hoping to find a mirror with a unique, not trendy shape). I’d found a mirror I loved on Craigslist, but it was too pricey. By the time I decided I should just go for it, it was sold. It just wasn’t meant to be.

I was avoiding the pair of mirrors from Dana for many reasons. First of all, they are tall and skinny, and the orientation cannot be changed because of the fancy detail at the top. Plus, I only needed one mirror and didn’t want to split up the pair. And lastly, they were just fancier than I wanted. I don’t think of my house as fancy and really love the relaxed vibe the whole house has, so I didn’t want to throw this traditional mirror in the mix and have it look strange.

I leaned one up against the wall as a test many times and wasn’t crazy about the look, but I bit the bullet and decided to go for an update to the mirrors because they needed it anyway. Who cared if one sat upstairs for a while as the other pined away for its mate in the basement. They are just mirrors, after all.

I sanded down the frame and taped off the edges of the mirrors, then proceeded to paint the whole thing white. I only have transformed one of the mirrors because I wanted to make sure I liked it.

Turns out, I do. And these fancy mirrors don’t look half bad on my console table!

traditional_mirror_white

I titled this post “A temporarily permanent mirror” because I plan on continuing my hunt for a different mirror, either new or used. Regardless of my hunt, I’m so pleased that I like this mirror in my house and over the table — I truly didn’t think I would, but it’s growing on me. I still think it doesn’t have the right proportions for the space, though. Plus, it kills me to separate the pair of mirrors. Now I just need to paint the second mirror white and find a place for the pair. I have a couple of ideas where they might look nice.

These mirrors are super heavy, so if I do choose to leave it, I’ll need to get heavy-duty hanging materials for the wall. I like it leaning, but I think for safety reasons I’d rather it be mounted instead. I’d hate for Remmy to bump the table and for this to fall and hurt him.

Anywho, don’t you just love when someone that’s been sitting in your basement for years turns out to be just what you were looking for, even temporarily? I know I do!

—————————-

UPDATE: I found a mirror I loved at Target, and with that my temporary mirror has been relocated back to the craft room *whomp whompppp*

Here’s the new setup:

Mirror and Console

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Home Improvement, Interior Decorating, Paint

So fresh and so clean

Our master bedroom is the perfect display of what it means to be indecisive, something that has plagued me my entire life. Dramatic, yes. True, yes.

I remember waiting in line at the grocery store when I was little and my mom let my sisters and I each choose a candy bar. Well, I couldn’t decide on what to get, so I ended up getting nothing. That’s scarring for a small child, folks. Scarring!

Anyway, back to our bedroom. We wanted to paint most of the rooms in our house before we moved in three years ago (this march, holy smokes!).  I don’t think I’m ever as indecisive in life as when I have to choose a paint color for something. There are sooooo many choices. The master bedroom started off beige, and that was never going to work. The folks who updated our house before we bought it painted everything terrible, boring beige. It all had to go.

First, I bought teal. And I love teal. But it was sooooo bright for a bedroom, so that got nixed before I got farther than a sample coat. I ended up using the color in my craft room, which is in the basement with no windows and needed something super bright and cheery.

Second, gothic amethyst. I should have known from the start that a color with “gothic” in the name wasn’t going to work in my bedroom. It’s a gorgeous purple, and since we are Ravens fans I thought it was a color B could get behind. He liked it. I didn’t. I ended up using the color in my bathroom. I get so many compliments on this color in my bathroom, too! And my stepmom actually just took the remaining paint for the bottom half of her chair rail in my parents’ new house. It looks great, but I’m still glad it isn’t my bedroom color.

That’s the funny thing about me and color. It’s not that I don’t like the colors I choose. I do. It’s just that they don’t seem right for the space.

On to color three: darkish, bluish-gray. Ugh. This was the only color B and I seemed to agree on (he wanted hunter green….) for the bedroom. So I took it as a win that we painted another room in the house a shade of blue and we actually painted the room this time.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bluegray

Well, this should come as no surprise…. I wasn’t ever super happy with this color. It was just. so. dark. and. gloomy. And I’m not a dark and gloomy kind of person. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I love the brightness of white, but cannot stand the lack of color. So most every room in my house is a light, bright color of some sort.

So yeah, the blue/gray color didn’t work.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

I finally persuaded/annoyed Brian that I’d we’d be happier with a more cheery color, and after years of badgering he acquiesced.

So I wasted no time. I sampled five colors, thinking I wanted a bright neutral. But like I said before, the neutrals lack color (duh) and I seem to always end up not choosing a neutral no matter how hard I try.

So we ended up with Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, a beautiful, super light green that sometimes looks gray.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_In Progress

Here’s the room in progress. Don’t you love my style of painting? No tape, no drop cloth, no furniture removed? Hey, it works for me.

The other exciting thing I did in our room while doors were off closets and clothes were out – I painted our closets a bright white. Check this out:

Before

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_open closet

After

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_closet after

SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN! Minus the dirt in the corners… I painted the doors, the trim and the insides of both closets white and it made such a world of a difference. The whole space felt bright and airy. And clean. So very clean.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_Closet

Once the paint was dry and everything was put back together, I happily shopped at Target for a new duvet cover. I actually ended up keeping the old, dirty-looking duvet we had and simply buying a beautiful knit blanket for the top of the bed. I threw some matching pillows on the pull in the green and blue, added a pop of pink. And voila! Love it.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_pillows

The final step that I’ve done so far is to treat myself to a new bed. I looked for months on Craigslist and at Habitat Restore for a bed I liked, but I couldn’t find one. So I bought us a brand new bed online. It is so pretty 🙂

A Smith of All Trades_Bedroom_final1

There is still quite a few things I’d like to do in our room:

  • Iron the curtain I put up for Brian’s closet door. So doable, probably won’t ever happen since I hate ironing. Hey, just keepin’ it real.
  • Get taller night stands for next to the bed. The ones we have a so short it drives me a little nuts. But I haven’t found the right thing yet. Plus, I’d really like to redo these myself.
  • Get B a new dresser. His is old and clunky. And while I actually like the color against the Sea Salt walls, it is time for something a bit larger and more in-line with our style. I’m waiting to find something I can paint in the same color gray as my dresser.
  • Art for behind the bed. I’ve tossed up the idea of doing several gold mirrors or framing some botanical prints. I think this will have a huge visual impact when you walk into the room.
  • New duvet? I still might change up the bedding. I like the knit blanket a lot, but knit doesn’t hold up great. The problem is the dog gets on the bed, so we don’t want to splurge and buy really nice bedding on the off chance it gets dirty. Because it will get dirty.
  • Build a long, skinny console table for under our painting. It is lonely on that wall. Or do something completely different on that wall altogether. Only time will tell.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_another view

On the whole, I am loving the update to our room. B doesn’t seem to miss the blue, that’s a win in my book.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

P.S. This is actually what our room looks like. Notice the stick of deodorant on B’s nightstand and Remmy’s oh-so-dirty doggy bed. And his sweet stick bone. You can also see the basket by my dresser to hold dirty towels to wipe Rem’s paws. The only thing I changed in here for a nicer photo was not adding our duvet under the blue blanket so it laid flat. Arguably I should have added it since the banket hangs over so long, but whatevs. Perfection is overrated.

Proof: Here is our duvet stuffed nicely into the hamper for this photo shoot hehe. Back on the bed it goes!

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_hamper shot

Other than that, this is it, baby. Far from perfect. Not even close to matchy matchy. But it’s ours and we love it.

OK, OK…. this is really what it looks like 😉

I couldn’t write a post about our bedroom without including Rem. It is his favorite room in the house, after all.

What do you think? Are you a fan or darker walls or do you like the light and brighter colors?

 

Furniture, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating

These are a few of my favorite things

I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of some sort in my living room for months now. I am not one of those people who is naturally talented at gallery walls. In fact, I almost always hate them when I’m finished with them.

We’d hung a gallery wall in our bedroom that we left up for no time at all because B and I both ended up not liking the way it looked:

20120624-210044.jpg

This one was just so blah and symmetrical…

Even though I’ve been a gallery wall failure, I always admire them. I decided to try again in our living room and boy was it a process.

This is the wall I started with:

Child's Desk shelves

OK, so that’s an awful photo. But basically it had one large canvas piece on it I got from Home Goods. I love the painting, but it doesn’t look nice above our mint couch, which is now on the wall in our living room. Plus, it didn’t fill the space on the wall enough.

new couch

Here’s the first iteration of a gallery wall I did:

Gallery-Wall_photosA few things to note:

  1. Look how far this room has come! Holy smokes, I still can’t believe it. (Better photos at the end of the post, I swear)
  2. I was trying to decide if I wanted to abandon my mint curtains for white curtains, hence why they are the wrong way on the window. I got a lot of questions about that from guests 🙂

I bought all of those frames from Home Goods and really liked the mixture of wood, metals, rustic and glam. But I just never loved it. I think part of me is sick of seeing the same photos over and over again. We’ve been married for 3+ years and engaged for 5+ years, so the fancy engagement and wedding pictures are old news at this point. But they are still the most frame-worthy photos we have and they are always what I resort to.

gallery-wall_photos_close

To get this arrangement, I laid all of the frames out on the floor and put a lot of thought into which frame went where. This ended with a mostly symmetrical arrangement.

Here was my beef with this wall:

  1. Too symmetrical
  2. Too photo-centric
  3. Old photos

Really, it just seemed like I was trying too hard. At least to me it did. I left it like this for months until I could figure out what I wanted to do differently. If you notice the horizontal photo that was displayed vertically — yes, this was left this way for months, too.

I started to think I wanted to redo some of the gallery wall after B’s birthday. I gave him an amazing print of our pup, Remmy. It’s basically the best gift I’ve ever given anyone. 

Birthday Portrait

We hung it immediately in place of one of our real photos, because how could we not?

It wasn’t until after Christmas that I had the idea to completely redo the gallery wall with art only. You see, B gave me two amazing maps of Maryland. The big kahuna was a map from 1880 — holy old! We had the map custom framed and needed a spot to hang it. B wanted to hang it over our console table, but I’ve got my heart set on finding the perfect mirror to reflect all of the natural light from our bay window. The map has mint and pink in the outlines of counties and cities, so I thought it would look marvelous over our couch.

I started messing around with the wall little by little, pulling down artwork from other spots in the house.

Gallery wall_adding in art

Finally, I just decided to go for it. All of the photos came down and the nails came out of the wall.

gallery wall_map is up

I started my placing everything on the floor, but again I made the design so symmetrical. So I hung up the map (my anchor piece) and two other pieces of art and left it alone. It looked like this for a week before I decided to do what I do best and just wing it.

At this point the wall was already riddled with nail holes that needed to be touched up, so I just went for it. Everything was added one by one. The spacing isn’t even, the whole wall isn’t symmetrical… and I LOVE IT. It just fills the large wall so nicely without feeling too huge.

Gallery Wall_Complete

You’ll see a lot of things I’ve shared before on the blog:

  1. Sentimental Map Art
  2. Love Pallet Sign
  3. Do What You Love Print
  4. Remmy Print

Gallery Wall_zoomed in

You’ll also see a bunch of other art I’ve collected over the years:

  1. Golden Pond canvas print (Home Goods)
  2. Shadow box full of roses B has given me
  3. My two new Maryland maps
  4. A graphic print of dogs my coworker gave me
  5. Two bird paintings from one of my favorite artists

Basically, it is a wall of my favorite things: dogs, birds, Maryland and love 🙂 I seriously couldn’t be happier with how this turned out.

Funny enough, I’m sure it isn’t 100 percent complete. As you can see, I left room around the edges for small additions. I’d like to do a more colorful print, replacing the Do What You Love print. And I am always checking out Pratt Creek Art for more bird paintings.

Plus, I really need to patch the holes you can still see and hang everything (in the exact same spot) maybe a tad bit straighter ;p

On the whole, It really does so much for this room. I love my gray walls, but with nothing on them they can be quite dreary. This art wall adds much-needed color and pizzaz to my favorite room in the house — a room that really has come a long way.

It just goes to show you that rushing into designing a room doesn’t always end with the best result. We’ve been in our house for three years now and this room is now just starting to feel like it is almost finished. All it needs is a mirror, and I am one happy home owner!

Gallry Wall_Living Room

Next week I’ll share the redo of our master bedroom. It’s not complete yet, but it looks a lot better than it did a month ago.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!