Thursday, March 31, 2011

Family Room Progress--Craigslist Tables and Marshalls Lamps

I blogged about my latest design dilemma here, the Family Room.  This is the room that gets the most use, is smack-dab in the middle of the house, and right now its really boring plain.

I found some end tables on Craigslist.  I really wanted something round, at least on one side of the sofa.  I didn't necessarily want matching tables and didn't necessarily want more dark brown wood--but I liked them, they were the right price, and there is always paint! 

For $100 I bought the 2 end tables and the matching coffee table.  I can sell the coffee table later on if I don't find a place for it. 

I was on a roll because the next day I found these cute lamps at Marshalls for $30 each.

Here is one of the tables and one of the lamps in the Family Room.

And here are the two identical tables and lamps flanking the sofa:
The sofa is looking really sad in this picture, its really not so bad--needs fluffing!  Here is a closer look at the other table that's in the corner.

At least its a start.  Next up.....fabric.  Here is a sneak-peak:

Side note:  So far my photography skills are lacking, I'm putting 'improving my pictures' on my todo list.

Blankets, A Girl's Best Friend

I took at trip to the fabric store to search for color to add to my Family Room and brought my 2 girls.  While I went to the back of the store to search through the home decor fabric the girls did their own browsing.  It wasn't long before they were running up to me so excited to have found the 'perfect' fabric for a blanket.  I couldn't say no, how often do I see my kids excited about fabric?  The good news is that I did manage to find some really nice fabrics for the Family Room--at only $3 a yard!  (Post about the Family Room progress coming soon.)

I got home so excited to start making panels for the Family Room but there was no way I was going to be able to do anything before the blankets were done.  So I spent that evening making 2 blankets (2 mom points for me).

Blanket #1.  Double-layer fleece blanket.  I purchased 1 1/2 yards of each color, lined them up and stitched up 3 sides and most of the 4th side, leaving a 5 inch opening.  There is no need to put right sides together with fleece because both sides are 'finished'.  I flipped the blanket inside-out, pushed out the corners, and hand stitched the 5 inch opening.  The 1 1/2 yards makes a blanket that is close to the size of a throw.

Blanket #2.  Small snuggle blanket.  I got 1/2 yard of the pink faux-fur.  For this blanket, I just folded it in half with finished sides together.  I stitched the remaining 3 sides leaving a 3 inch opening.  Once again I flipped the blanket inside-out, pushed out the corners and hand stitched the 3 inch opening closed.

Not sure if its obvious, but both girls LOVE their blankets.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Family Room--Indecision

I'm not even sure if indecision is an appropriate word for my feelings toward my family room--I can't figure out where to start!  The entire first floor of my home is open--all of the rooms flow into each other.  I would like to paint but right now I'm not ready to make a decision on the colors for the entire first floor.  Here are some pictures, hopefully I can call them "Before" pictures soon!

BEFORE (currently)

Here are the things that I like in the room:
*  The fireplace.  I've always wanted a stone fireplace and I finally got one (this in house #5 for me btw).  I love the stone, I love the colors of the stone. 
*  The rug.  I know its plain and boring but once again I choose this because I didn't know what to do with this room color-wise.  Even though its plain, its real comfy, I put a carpet pad underneath to make it plush.  And I like the light color on the dark floor.
*  The blinds.  Like the ceiling fan, they are dark and kind of weigh down the room but they are functional and look like nice quality blinds.

Here the things that I can live with:
*  The ceiling fan.  I feel like it weighs the room down but I like having a fan for the function.  I think its a little dark so maybe I'll work on that.
*  The sofas.  I've had these monsters for a while (9 years?) and they have been through the ringer with the kids.  The cushion covers have been washed so many times.  They are a little large for this room but still comfortable and still look pretty good after fluffing.  I would love to have a sleeker sectional that would wrap around the 2 outer walls.

Here is the room layout (pardon my limited photoshop skills):

Here is my todo list:
*  Curtains to add color and/or pattern.  Its spring and I really want something bright.
*  End tables.
*  Lighting for either side of the sofa (maybe table lamps), and for the chair (floor lamp?).
*  Decorate the fireplace mantle--something simple.
*  New/different artwork on the walls. 
*  I would LOVE to get a flat screen TV and hang on the wall to replace this old dinosaur, but that is not in the budget right now.

Just writing this post is motivating me.  I will update you soon with my progress. 

I would love to hear your suggestions!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Refrigerator Platform

We have a really small garage.  Well, it is a 2-car but with my van, my husband's Prius, 6 bicycles, golf clubs, tennis racquets, basket balls, footballs, baseballs, etc. oh, and 2 huge trash cans--its packed.  We were trying to figure out a way to add a full-sized refrigerator and I had an idea.  I can't say its an original idea because I saw something like this in my friend Erica's garage (hers was beautifully built, ours would be a purely diy job).

Here is the situation.  You can see my huge van and how I have to squeeze it in.

Here is a better "before" picture, minus the vehicles:

After getting the measurements for the refrigerator we wanted to buy, it seemed like it could fit in the corner to the right of the door.  It would be tight but it really, really seemed like it would fit.  Worth a try.

Time for some destruction.  The small wall had to go.  I didn't have a crowbar so I used my hammer and the really long tree clippers which acted like a crowbar.

There's my guy!  Didn't there used to be something here?

Time to build the platform.  The plan was to build 2 U-shaped supports with 2x4's, hereafter referred to as the "U"s.  Here they are completed.  We used two 2 1/2" screws at each corner.  At first we tried the screw without drilling a pilot hole but it was real difficult, almost impossible, and the wood started to split.  So we used pilot holes.


I went to Home Depot and had them cut some 3/4" plywood into 4 pieces.  One piece of plywood was secured to each U with six 1" screws.

I didn't get pics of the next few steps.  One U was placed on each side of space where the platform is to go.  A few nails were used to attach U's to the wall.  The final step was to secure the top of the platform to the supports and the top step.  We ended up using 2 pieces of plywood on top of each other, using the screws to hold everything together.
Strong enough?
It was really, really solid!  Two days later the refrigerator was delivered.

It works!  Yes, a tight fit but really convenient and we weren't using that corner of the garage. 

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