Friday, January 29, 2010

Pottery Barn Kids Playroom Remake

We were starting to be taken over by toys in the living room so a playroom was definitely in order. After looking for inspiration for the design, I found one in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Forget inspiration at this point, I loved everything about it and knew I wanted to recreate it but on a budget. 

This was my inspiration picture....

And this was the small room I had to work with.

I was not looking forward to painting over those dark walls. I read that the Aura paint by Benjamin Moore would be perfect for this project and it was. It covered the dark paint with 2 coats and no primer! It was awesome!

Next I commissioned my sweet husband to paint the trees and a few birds. I showed him this picture and he went to work.

Pottery barn was charging $100.00 for one decal!

 My handy Dad built a couple of bookcases for the room. This was his first time building furniture and they turned out great! These were a perfect first project because I was painting them. I only needed three tubes of caulk! Just kidding, only two! Love ya Dad!

There is a closet on the side wall so the bookshelves are not centered.

This dream house lived in the playroom until Santa brought the little one her very own train table. She is Thomas the trains #1 fan for over 2 years running. My dad to the rescue made the table.

On the other wall I made this butterfly art with a punch and a bunch of old magazines. I bent the wings a bit to give it a three dimensional look.

A butterfly artwork tutorial can be found Here.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Dreaming about Hawaii

Our daughter will be four March 27th, three days after my birthday. My husband and I have only been on a couple of one night getaways since. We have another one planned but I just can't help but dream of taking a real break, a vacation just us. Being a full time mom is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had, definitely the best job but challenging.

So this brings me to my recent daydream that I just can't get out of my mind, Maui.... just the two of us. We are just not ready to leave the little one for very long. I wonder if we will ever be ready.

Here is a little Hawaii for you to dream on, this is us 7 years ago....

Secret beach

Back to reality.....have a great day wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Living room before and after

Here are a few before pictures looking from the kitchen into the living room. When we bought the house it had pink carpet, pink walls and a small doorway between the kitchen and living room. Two ceiling fans were practically on your head and ugly metal awnings on the windows.

About an hour after we got the keys the first thing to do was rip those ugly awnings down! That weekend we opened up the little doorway.

Thanks for helping us out Dad!

Neutral carpet was installed until we were able to afford hardwood floors.

We scored the new wood front door for $100.00 because it was a cancelled order.

The stereo speakers are hiding under the two skirted end tables.

This dresser is one of my favorite finds. The mirror I bought at the flea market in Paris and carried it all the way back to our hotel in the rain. I fell in love with a chandelier for my dining room but passed it up because I didn't do my research about shipping things home. I regret that all the time it was so cool!

The nature inspired drawer handles are so unique, its a bummer the old keys are missing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bring spring inside

I love having fresh flowers in the house and have so much fun putting arrangements together for friends and family.

These were for my best friends baby shower.

She had twins!

This one reminds me of Hawaii, we were married there.

Love the white and green.


My hubby will usually pick up flowers from the grocery store and we try to buy them at the farmers market. Week to week the flowers are usually simple, like this bunch the little one picked out yesterday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Counting the days

Spring takes a long time to get here in Illinois and I can't wait to get out there and hit the flea markets. I was unable to make it to any last year so I am counting the days for some outdoor shopping.

Love this clock

 Here are a few Flea Market Pointers from Cottage Living

Do your research before you go. Several online resources such as Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles are helpful.

Make a shopping list with all of the measurements, color schemes, and pertinent information you need.

And set a budget; otherwise, it’s easy to overspend.

It’s also important to keep in mind you can’t return what you buy, so choose wisely.

When negotiating for a good price, instead of saying, "I’ll give you this amount," try, "Are you willing to take this amount?" Vendors respect bargainers with polite negotiating skills.

Happy shopping and have a great day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mary Walcott

Mary Walcott (July 31, 1860 – August 22, 1940) was an American artist and naturalist known for her watercolor paintings of wildflowers. She began painting illustrations of wildflowers that she saw on family trips to the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

In 1925 the Smithsonian published some 400 of her illustrations, accompanied by brief descriptions, in a five-volume work entitled North American Wild Flowers.

I was initially interested in her paintings after a vacation to the Rocky Mountains and the beauty of it all. I found the North American Wild Flowers book on e-bay.

I found some frames on sale and had the mattes made.

 They hang in my kitchen above the buffet. This picture was taken after the Christmas decorations were put away so the buffet is bare. No sunshine today to take a new picture.

 Would a set of these be a fun giveaway?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting organized

This is what happens when I get unorganized, I forget I have things. Last winter new hot chocolate mugs were on my mind to buy but I never did. Here we are again cold and loving a cup of hot chocolate so again I think about buying new mugs.

Like these from Pottery Barn

Yesterday while I was cleaning out the kitchen cabinets, I found the cutest mugs just for hot chocolate!  I bought them when I was in Paris April of 2008 and stashed them away. How could I have forgotten them?


 This should be my inspiration to stay organized.  Back to cleaning out and getting rid of things I don't need and maybe finding more surprises along the way!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Super 70s Ceiling

That's what I called our living room ceiling for about 3 years and hated it every time I looked at it. We enlarged the plaster doorway going into the kitchen the first weekend we moved in. Why didn't we drywall over the ugly ceiling when we took down part of the wall and make only one huge mess? That's called not thinking it through.

Look at that artwork!

So when we finally got to the point where we were going to install hardwood floors, I said we have to drywall that ceiling first knowing it would never get done once the floors were in.

This is one project we did not want to tackle and paid someone else to do the job. That's called thinking it through.

I have always wanted a chandelier in the living room and now that the ceiling is looking up, I convinced  asked my hubby to hang one for me. He was not sold on the idea at all but changed his mind, right honey?

My husband laid the floors with the help of his brothers (cheap labor) and me. It took a few weeks but doing it ourselves saved lots of $$$$.

All new beefed up baseboards came next. I will show you pictures with furniture soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We need a place to hangout when the little one is in bed. She has to have her door open at night. The dining room is the perfect place because it's on the other side of the house. The only problem is we don't use it as much as we would if it were more comfortable. I have always loved dining rooms with a settee and it would be a perfect solution for making our room more versatile.

                                              Country living November 2009

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

I started looking on Craigslist and I finally found one. Knowing it would need to be reupholstered or slipcovered I wanted to find a great deal on a quality piece.

So here she is in all her blue velvet glory for $75.00.

I'm thinking a slipcover would be a practical choice or maybe indoor outdoor fabric and painting the legs.
What do you think?