Friday, March 23, 2012

More Office Updates -- Diploma Wall Collage

I wanted to share some more before-and-afters of our office updates.  If you missed part 1 of the office update you can read about that here.  Here is the wall of shelves before paint and the track lighting.

And here it is lit up in the nighttime pic with the walls painted.  We still need to organize the shelves...

Here is the diploma collage before we painted. 

Another angle.

And here is the new-and-improved diploma wall.  BTW, most of these are Alex's.  I also remounted and reframed one of Alex's water-damaged diplomas using the method I blogged about here.

Thanks for stopping by!!
----xoxoxo   Adrienne

Linking to:


TDC Before and After

Monday, March 12, 2012

Office Updates--Paint and Light

Here is our office "before".  I only started to take before pics after I was already done taping.  We have a nice wall of built in shelves.
A big huge desk. 
A collage of diplomas and a small extra desk/table.  We really need 2 workstations in here with 4 kids.

The other wall is mainly windows.
We painted with a bold blue/gray color, SW Tempe Star (color matched to Behr paint and primer in one--I love that stuff!).
This room had no ceiling lighting and was dark.  I wanted to try some sort of lighting that we could hang on the ceiling but also plug into the wall as an inexpensive solution.

This is what we ended up with, purchased from HD for $35.  Its track lighting.
We also bought a plug-in cord to connect to the light for around $10.  The track lighting kit came with hardware for connecting to a ceiling pre-wire, but this plug snapped right in.  They are the same brand and the helpful guy at HD told us they were compatible.

Alex getting ready to drill.

We drilled a hole through each shelf (down the middle row of shelves) to kind of snake the cord.  There is an outlet in the bottom shelf.
 Here is a view of some of the holes Alex drilled through the shelves.
Then Alex screwed the track to the ceiling, 2 small screws.  We used wall anchors.  You can see the cord snaked through the holes we drilled.
Then it was a matter of kind of snapping in the 3 light fixtures that came with the light kit.  The cord is barely noticable.

Here are some after pictures of the paint and the new light. 


We swapped the bulky brown small table out for this sofa table which gives a lot more space in here.  Not sure if this table will stay.  I really want a comfy upholstered chair in here, but we really need that other desk area.  Darn.  We'll see.

So far we are loving the bold color in here.  I still have to put the diploma collage back up and possibly hang another track light on the other side of the room.  Then maybe declutter and organize all the stuff.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bye Bye Big Huge Monster TV

So, we've had this TV for a looooonnng time, I think its around 11 years old.  I feel like we're the last family to upgrade to a flat screen.  The picture doesn't quite capture how massive and invasive this TV was in our small family room.  Not to mention that it was just plain unattractive.  I tried artwork around the TV, things on either side of the TV, nothing seemed to look right.  Please ignore my husband's hat hanging on the bamboo (Alex: it served as good luck for the Yankees last season until they lost in the 1st round of the Playoffs).

Being frugal-minded, I ordered this mount from Amazon for about $30.  There was a ton of reviews online and mostly positive so I felt pretty good about ordering it.  This is a basic no-frills mount, but that is what we wanted.  Any similar mount we could find in the stores were at least $75, and most were at least $100.  I have no idea what the difference is with this mount and the others. 

I measured the wall, measured the TV, and used my painter's tape to mark the top and bottom of where we wanted the TV to hang.  Then I looked for the studs (Alex: Adrienne is an expert when it comes to finding studs). 

This was very confusing.  I used the stud finder then nailed a bunch of holes with a thin nail to figure out exactly where the stud was--studs are supposed to be 1 1/2 inches across, but that wasn't what I was finding.  Check out all my nail holes.  The 'S' means I thought is was a stud.  This was way longer than 1 1/2 inches.

After about an hour of contemplation, I just decided to go for it.  I figured that probably was somewhere in the middle of some sort of stud.  Drilling the pilot holes and screwing in the lag bolts was pretty simple.  Just had to make sure the mount was level.

We did have a small problem with the screws that held the bars on the TV.  The screws provided in the kit were too long (even though the instructions said they were the most common sized screws for these TVs).  Alex and I both went to different Home Depots to find shorter screws, he was successful.  Then, we encountered problem no. 2 - the tilt "option" was not being an option for us.  We decided we wanted a flush mount and not a tilt but had a hard time tightening the arms into a mount that would be flush against the wall.  We tried tightening both screws on each arm that we thought controlled the tilt to the point that we were bending the metal where those screws were tightened. We also found a couple of nuts that fit properly to further tighten one set of screws. We also stuck loose screws into a gap and finally seemed to have our flush mount. For some reason, no one commented about this problem in the Amazon product reviews but they did about the length of the screws.  

For now we're using this sofa table to hold the cable box.  Look at all of our lovely wires!  Once we figure out what to put here for a console of some sort, we'll hide them in the wall.  :)
P.S.  I know my bamboo still looks ridiculous.  Even minus the Yankee hat (Alex: maybe I'll try putting a Nats hat up this year).

Thanks for visiting!
---xoxoxoxo   Adrienne


Powder Room Facelift

Welcome to my little half bath (emphasis on little).
This is where the "beautiful" builder-grade oval mirror was.  I didn't take a before pic, and broke the mirror into a zillion pieces while I was removing it.  Whoops.
There is no light over the sink, rather there are 2 recessed lights in the ceiling.  Nothing wrong with these but I'd like to swap them out for 2 pendants.
Here is the decor, and the the towel rack that noone uses.

Alex and I were walking through JC Penney on our way out of the mall when we spotted this on clearance for $25.  Mirror, Stainless Steel
The finish was scratched, which was why it was probably on clearance, but I asked if they would sell it for $20.  As soon as we got the mirror home, my motivation to paint this space kicked into full gear.  I already had a beautiful warm gray color picked out.  It was a swatch I picked up at Walmart, their Better Homes and Garden line of paints.  I had Home Depot color match it though.

First, I had to hang the mirror.  it had these hooks on the back.
I dug into my stash of hanging hardware and found these.
OK, now I did some holding the mirror up to the wall and some measuring.  I figured out where I wanted the bottom of the mirror to be by holding it up on the wall.  I made a small mark and then measured on the mirror to the height of the hook.
Here is my tape trick.  I rip of a piece of painter's tape the width of the mirror and put it on the wall at the height I want the hooks.
Then I take my trusty level and make sure the tape line is level.  After this I nail the hardware in and hang the mirror.
I sanded and puttied over the old mirror holes.
Also removed the never-used towel bar and sanded and puttied those holes.
I taped up the room and was finally ready for the beautiful paint!  I just love this color and of course the pictures are not showing it.  Its so pretty and warm at the same time, strange to say for a grey but I guess it had enough tan in it.

OK, here are the admittedly really poor pictures, but you get the idea.

Thanks for visiting!!

---xoxoxoxo  Adrienne

TDC Before and After Party