Monday, March 31, 2014

Desk as Bedroom Nightstand

I've been able to avoid the topic of a desk space for the hubby for only so long. You see, I have a desk (of sorts), which has absolutely no storage, very limited amount of work space, and our very large but necessary scanner/printer.  I've told him that he can use the space for when he's writing reports and stuff, but he graciously declines.  Maybe working from my girly desk just isn't setting right with him?  And it doesn't help that it's in a constant state of use for school work, drafting, and everyday computer use. So most days he does his best working from our bed or the dining room table.  But because he works so hard and deserves a better work space, I've been rethinking our bedroom situation to come up with a way to give him one. The room is a great size for us, but there really isn't any more room for another desk. So instead I've been considering swapping out his nightstand for a small working desk.  And yet I cringe at the idea of having more clutter around because of another added work desk in the room--he totally deserves one. 

As of right now, this is our bedroom (with a few minor pillow changes).  His side is on the left and so this is where the new desk would sit.  I love that his is on the opposite wall of the door because I think we'd have issues with door clearance.  

These photos are my inspiration for what I'd love to see in here.


Source Unknown

And of course while I'd love to do something in white with drawers like this piece
 from Martha Stewart Living, I think we're going to go a bit more masculine.  

MSL Home Decorators

I've been wanting to darken things up a bit in here and something with a dark wood stain would ground the space and give it a rich look.  And the x-base frames on these two desks below are what I'm leaning towards.  

Threshold X-base

Campaign Desk

Hopefully I can make this purchase soon because I've been thinking I may join in on the One Room Challenge with Linda at Calling it Home.  It's an amazing six-week challenge that follows a group of talented women as they redesign and decorate a room in their home or another's.  I've been thinking of participating because it would give me a push to finish this room...ugh.  Anyone else have a hard time finishing a space? Too many projects and a girl who has a hard time saying no--guilty as charged.  

Let's see if I can wrap up my inhibition and finish this room for good.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Lime Wash Table DIY

Hello, friends!  This corner has always been a challenge for me, originally a small square end table was here but it felt out of place and really small compared to the couch. So I'd been hunting for the perfect end table to take its place.  After weeks of looking on CL I found this round end table and knew right away she'd be the perfect fit.

 Unfortunately, when I went to pick her up...she smelled of cigarette smoke. Bleh! I totally hate when that happens...but at $35, it was too good to pass up, and the size was substantial enough for the corner space.  I wanted her bad.  So like any good diy'er, I decided I could fix the smelly problem with a little elbow grease.  

When I got home, I thought I'd try a few "Pinterest" ideas that included baking soda and orange oil.  Suffice it to say, I knew these things would only be a temporary fix. And  I wanted my end table like, now.  After getting a close look at the finish on the table, I knew I'd need to sand her down to the bare bones any who.  The stain was terribly done and who ever did it, seemed to be uninformed on how to properly stain furniture. So like any terrible blogger, I totally forgot to take a "before" photo of where we started, but take my word for it; it was dark and terrible.  And after about 3 days of sanding, she was looking pretty good.  Yep, that's right...three days. It's a pain, but the result will be worth it.

At this point, I still wasn't 100% sure how I wanted her to look.  We have a good mix of furniture in the living room: a white credenza, a dark walnut console table, and a new metal bookcase. But I couldn't imagine painting her. So I decided to do a lime wash finish. This technique can be done using a certain wax, or the inexpensive version I used: stain, white paint, and water.  

So to begin, I stained her with a fresh coat of Varathane, Early American.  

Using an inexpensive brush, I painted one coat of stain, following the grain of the wood.  

Once you are finished with a coat of stain, leave it on for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Now this is where the previous owner went wrong.  They did not wipe the excess stain off.  So using any clean cloth, wipe the excess stain off of your piece of furniture.  

The great thing about this stain is that it dries in an hour. Woohoo! Isn't she looking pretty? Now, if I wanted I could add another layer of stain, but because I'm doing the faux lime wash, one coat was all I needed.  

Now to begin the faux lime wash, all you need is white paint and a separate container for water.  For this project I used Annie Sloan's Pure White chalk paint.  

1.  Dip your brush into your paint.  And no need to dip the entire brush into the paint, I would dip just the tip of your brush.
2.  Immediately dip your brush into your water.  
3.  Allow your paint to dry onto the piece.  
4.  Using a sand block, either medium grade of fine, sand your piece down until you've acquired the look you want. 

TIP:  This part of the process really is your preference.  If you like a more finished and refined look like Restoration Hardware, then sand your piece really good.  If you like the more roughed up look, don't worry so much about the imperfections, it's what makes the piece more unique.

After I let my piece dry for the day, I put two coats of Minwax Paste Finishing wax.  And finito!  I'm pretty much in love with her.  I'm glad I decided to go with this finish, it's forgivable and not too stuffy for us. I'm thinking my other end table needs a good lime washing.   

Have a good week loves!


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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Secretary Desks

I've been completely obsessed over these lovelies ever since seeing Carrie and Big's on Sex & The City 2. Carrie's was really modern, but I loved how dynamic it was, especially when Big surprised Carrie with a large flat screen that fit inside. Gotta love a man's perspective, right? I think they work well just about anywhere, bedrooms, living rooms, and even in dining areas.   

1 (image unknown) 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 

Since finishing the credenza a few months ago, I've been enamored with the notion of investment pieces.  Things I can hand down to my children and so on.  I think if I found a secretary with great bones, this could be another to add to my collection.  What do you think?  


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ikea Vittsjo Bookcase in the Living Room

If you follow along with me on Instagram, you'd know I just recently sold the bookcase we had in here.  After finishing the credenza for the living room, I wasn't feeling the stark white combo of the credenza and bookcase together.  Or maybe I just needed an excuse to get rid of it. Either way, I wasn't all that happy with it.  But needed an inexpensive alternative. 

Enter Ikea's Vittsjo bookcase.  What's awesome is that it's on sale right now, so if you are an Ikea Family member (which is free to sign-up) you get the sale price, so totally sign up people. I love how airy and dynamic this piece is, it really lightens things up in here.

One thing I was excited about was bringing back in my gray baskets.  They keep books handy without them being cluttered and stacked on the shelves.  It was fun styling the shelves, although, I'm sure I'll be moving things around over time.  

The art on top of the shelves is one that I'm not entirely sure of.  We may be revisiting this and attempting something with a little more color.  As well as recovering that white box on the shelf, I'd say something colorful is in order, yeah?  

Point of the matter is, don't be afraid to make changes.  If something isn't working for you, try to come up with other alternatives.  I spent time perusing CL every day for the last month, and I also considered other styles, like this one, that I may not have considered in the past.  For us, the original white bookcase wasn't functioning the way we needed it to.  I had little shelf space to work with and we didn't need the bottom cabinet anymore.  Bottom line, make your home work for you.  And make sure you take the time to find exactly what it is you want.  Decorating your home takes time.  In the end, finding that perfect piece is what will make you love your home every step of the way.