the room switch project: the plan

What better way to spend the summer then rearranging bedrooms? Well one at least. My daughter has decided to switch to the guest bedroom which will give her a little privacy and separation from her two younger brothers. The guest bedroom is rarely used so it didn’t make sense to put a hold on an entire room in the off-chance that we might have a guest. Her old bedroom will become the new guest room. If any overnight guest requires a king sized bed she will hand over her room for that guest. That happens once in a blue moon so everyone will be happy. I think the big draw was that she gets the half bathroom to herself. With two younger brother I don’t think I need to go into detail! So in the process of switching one room around a couple other spaces were affected. I’ll take it one room at a time and show you what other rooms got the switcher as well.

Starting off this is what the guest bedroom looked like…

tween girl bedroom
tween girl bedroom
tween girl bedroom

It is bright and roomy with painted wood on three of the walls and a ledge going around most of the room. The hand drawn picture frames that I put up will be coming down and most probably painted over.

tween girl bedroom

Then there is the closet. It is huge. It even has an IKEA Expedit inside it. And yes, we built the closet around the Expedit. This will hold all her clothes with the purchase of some drawer bins at Target. Some of the cubbies will be for her items and some will be for the household storage since this is one of the larger storage closets in our home. This will keep her room a bit neater (I hope!) since a lot of her storage is behind this door. Weekly closet checks are planned! We will add a closet rod on the left side for all her hanging items as well.

tween girl bedroom

We removed the large bookcase and put it in the boys shared bedroom. The bed was then placed against the wall where the bookcase was. A temporary desk was placed under the window until her new desk comes in. This is the only item of furniture we purchased. No dresser since the clothes will be in the closet. I’d like to get a small table next to her bed but we haven’t found it yet. New bedding and pillows to come…

tween girls bedroom

tween girls bedroom

tween girls bedroom

The piano is being moved to the basement tomorrow which will leave room for the new desk. I’m not sure if we will leave the area under the window open or have some seating there. She wants a Beach Chic look with this color palette which we found on Design Seeds (great color inspiration by the way!)…

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via design seeds

I’m not repainting the white walls, just one accent wall that was never painted in the first place. The bedding will be new but simple. Right now it is a chaotic mess of stuffed animals and favorite pillows. The three pillow you see on the right do fit with the color pallete though. tween girls bedroom

tween girls bedroom

So next is emptying out the closet. I have my work cut out for me.

a trip to the Boston Design Center

I took a trip to the Boston Design Center the other day to meet with some clients. Visually it is an incredible place to walk through. This is what I came away with…

Fake grass on walls is really cool. Almost like hedges in an English garden but 1/80 th of the maintenance.

boston design center

Grasscloth + blue + accent lights + pictures hung from a rod = beautiful. This would be a good solution if you have really high ceilings or an awkward stairway and some artwork or family photos.

boston design center

Hot air balloon baskets are really cool. I can think of a million things I could put in there if I had the space for this.

boston design center

A very large display of random hand mirrors make quite the accent wall. It is hard to tell but this is about 5-7 feet tall.

boston design center

And last but not least. My love for stripes is totally legitimate and this floor proves it.

boston design center

gaining the three season porch back…

After the winter of all winter’s I was thrilled to regain my three season porch back again. It becomes a storage room during the winter but in the spring, summer and early fall it is one of our favorite spots in the house. So last weekend I put the troops to work. Everyone pitched in and helped empty the porch of the smaller items (ie. the things that fit through the door). Eventually the porch looked like this…

three season porch

and my back patio looked like this…

three season porch

Items were then put away, thrown away or donated. Then the entire porch was vacuumed, including window sills and curtains. I ended up throwing the sheers in the wash because of all the pollen and grime on them. Then the fun started, at least for my 9-year-old. I knew the boy loved to mop but was not prepared for him to do ALL the mopping for me. Three buckets full of dirt, winter grime, and spring pollen were cleaned up…

three season porch

and we got our favorite room of the season back.

three season porch

three season porch

three season porch

We even did some rearranging. This small secretary desk has moved from our dining room to my daughter’s bedroom to my bedroom in the last two years. My 9-year-old asked (after all the mopping) if he could have the desk and if the porch could be his office.

three season porch

Yes. Yes it can.

three season porch

DIY: how to use fabric as wallpaper

My master bedroom closet just did not feel complete without some color. I had thought at first to either paint or stencil the back wall since that is the main view you have when opening the closet door. The problem was I’ve already done that. I wanted to try something new. I decided to jump on the wallpaper bandwagon, just not entirely. First I need to back up a bit. I saw some fabric on Tonic Living (one of my favorite sites to browse fabric online) and couldn’t get it out of my head. This happens a lot. I then saw a couple of ideas on Pinterest that showed how to use fabric as wallpaper.

cliftonhallgemrpt400

The instructions seemed pretty easy and straightforward. All that was needed was basically fabric and liquid starch. Here is where I ran into my one and only problem. I couldn’t find liquid starch anywhere. I looked online and it is available at Wal-Mart which is about 45 minutes away, not counting traffic. I could have ordered it online but I’d pay more in shipping than the actual bottle of starch. So I went old school. Cornstarch and water. I would be making a paste out of cornstarch which would act as the glue.

I wasn’t sure if it would work but cornstarch is now my new best friend.

I started off by making the cornstarch paste since it required some cooking and cooling before I could apply it to my walls. It cooled pretty quickly so by the time I had the fabric positioned on the wall I was ready to apply the cornstarch paste.

First I boiled 4 cups of water. While it was boiling I mixed 3/8 cup cornstarch with a little water, just enough to dissolve all the powder. I then slowly added this mixture to the boiled water, making sure I was stirring at the same time. I lowered the temperature a little and boiled and stirred until it had the consistency of a thick gravy. I poured it out in a glass dish to cool. This dish also acted as my painting tray. I apologize for the pictures in advance. This stuff is sticky and messy. Which also means it worked!

how to use fabric as wallpaper

So while this was all cooling I attached the fabric to the wall. I used nails to hang the fabric up since tacks would not have been secure enough for me. The nails were not hammered all the way in. Just enough to hold the fabric on. When I was done I was able to just pull the nails out by hand.

I centered my fabric along the wall and made sure it was level. I also made sure that there was enough fabric at the top and bottom so that I could trim it when it was dry. The cornstarch paste does cause it to constrict a bit so I didn’t want a big white stripe at the top!

how to use fabric as wallpaper

Once the fabric was securely fastened to the wall with about 8 nails along the top and sides I started work on the cutouts. I cut vertically using an exacto blade where the closet attachments were. Once the paste was applied to the walls I knew I could secure those strips in place I then make the horizontal cuts when everything was 100% dry.

how to use fabric as wallpaper

I also placed some nails in the very center of the fabric, four in total. I would be pasting one side at a time and I did not want the pattern to shift on the wall at all. I removed the nails from the left side and started pasting. I used a foam brush for the very top and corners. I used a foam roller brush for the majority of the wall. Again no pictures because this was a two-handed job. It is a very doable project for just one person. It took me about 10 minutes to paste down this one panel of fabric.

As the fabric was going down in sections I made sure to smooth out any bubbles. I used a Lego to seal down the corners. I also used it to crease the fabric to the wall along the baseboard. Very professional isn’t it?

how to use fabric as wallpaper

I then let it dry overnight. All that was left was to trim the top and bottom. I wanted it perfectly dry in order to do that. I only needed to place one panel of fabric on this wall since my closet is not that wide. The fabric does not go all the way to the wall on each side. There is about three inches of “non-wallpapered wall” but you can’t even tell. Once the clothes are hanging it will be even less visible. If I had needed to do more I would have just lined up the pattern and pasted another panel on.

how to use fabric as wallpaper

The next morning I trimmed the top and bottom of my wall, as well as the cutouts around the closet system. It came out looking like I installed the wallpaper before the closet system. Once the paste is dry it hardens the fabric so that it is like cutting a piece of construction paper. The excess fabric then just pulls off the wall. Make sure your exacto blade is brand new so you get a sharp cut!

how to use fabric as wallpaper

When you get tired of the look you can gently pull it off the wall. You will need to use a damp sponge to clean off any cornstarch paste residue. I did not wash my fabric beforehand but others recommended doing this. I think it is only necessary if you have a thinner fabric where the colors might run. Do a test swatch on your wall first to make sure. This fabric was an upholstery fabric so it is on the heavier side. It is holding up great with the cornstarch paste. This is a fun and easy decorating solution for so many spaces; a child’s bedroom, an accent wall, a closet but especially for renters! If you want something easy and  temporary this is the DIY project for you!

temporary wallpaper image 5

temporary wallpaper image 6

Thank you to Tonic Living for collaborating with me on this post!

master bedroom closet; construction day

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ClosetMaid®. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

When I decided to make some changes in my master bedroom closet I was a little overwhelmed by the choices out there. I didn’t want to create the entire thing from scratch but I did want to be able to create a unique look. When ClosetMaid® offered to send me a complete closet system for both sides of my closet I was positive I had found the perfect way to go about it. I would be getting a classy looking closet with nice finishes and details. At the same time I could inject enough of my own style into that space to make it something I will love for years to come!

After measuring, remeasuring and then measuring again I was able to come up with a layout using the Impressions line. I went with the warm wood tones in the Walnut finish. I even put together a plan of what I was picturing in my head. This makes it easier to add in finishing touches as I go along.

Within a couple of days everything was ordered and at my house. My back porch became a warehouse/workroom for a couple of days. The poor porch was neglected all winter anyways!

master bedroom closet

With the help of my drill, hammer and screwdriver I got to work. It was a very simple job to follow the directions and build the tower units. All the supplies were included and within about three hours I had everything completed.

master bedroom closet

The units were then brought upstairs and mounted to the walls on studs. I loved the fact that I could mount it to the wall without removing the baseboards. The hardware included allows either option, meaning you decide how you want to go about this. If you are good at following directions and have ever successfully put together furniture from a certain company where all the instructions contain only images, this will be a piece of cake. I promise.
master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

Once the towers were installed it was time to install the shelves and rods. For each side of the closet I have a tower. For each tower I have one side with one bar (Longer items, dresses, etc) and the other side with two bars (shirts, pants, skirts…). I measured the distance from the tower to the wall and cut each shelf to size using an electric hand saw. The shelves were then installed using the brackets that are supplied. The closet rods were sized and installed as well. I needed to cut a couple of them down which was simple to do with my jig saw. This all could have been a one person job but would have taken me much longer to do on my own. Luckily my father likes this sort of stuff and came to help out.

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

Once everything was sized, cut and installed I finished it off with the supplied trim. I love this detail on the Impressions line. It takes what could just be a run of the mill closet system and bumps it up a notch or two. The finish detail adds a high-end look to my little old closet reno!

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

This closet has added an insane amount of storage to my closet! I haven’t quite figured out what is going on the shelves just yet. I’d like to put some baskets to contain items so that is next on my shopping list. The shelves are adjustable so I’ll wait to see how I’d like them placed before going out and purchasing anything. This is one of those form over function decisions though. I do like them to be symmetrical so that might be the deciding factor. Nothing to do with function at all!

There is one more big scale project in here before I share the finished product. I’ll be adding fabric along the blank wall in the back. I’d like it to have a wallpapered look without the work of permanent wallpaper. I’ve never done this before and have done quite a bit of research on the various ways to go about this. If you have had your own experience with this method I’d love some input!

master bedroom closet

Thank you to ClosetMaid® for partnering with me on this project!

master bedroom closet; the plan

Progress on the master bedroom closet is moving along. I’m in the building & installing phase at the moment. After the closet organizer (which ClosetMaid® kindly gave me to try out) is installed I’ll be doing my favorite part. Making it pretty. New lighting will replace the bare bulb. I’ll be making myself some wallpaper using fabric. I’d love some type of leaning mirror, an area rug and hopefully a bench or ottoman.  Here is a glimpse at what is inside my head…master bedroom closetIt is always helpful to have an image of where you want to end up when completing a renovation, no matter the size. This might just be a small closet but honing in on how I want it to look makes all the little design decisions fall into place.

master bedroom closet; cleaned up, gutted and painted

I like showing my horrible before pictures. Not to freak anyone out or horrify my mother (again mom, so sorry for what you are about to see). I show them because many of you have these kinds of closets. The kind where you just throw things in there because no one will ever see the insides of your closet. But you do, every day. And after a while you wish it were a little neater, a little more organized or just plain nice to look at. Remember my front hall closet? It still looks the way it does when I reorganized it a month or two ago, so it does work!!

Now that you are visually prepared for what lies ahead, here is my master bedroom closet…

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

So this is actually a good day in the life of my closet. Typically there are items on the floor so that you can’t even walk in. Some of the items might be mine. Some might be my children’s since they have decided that if they don’t know where to put something or don’t want it in their rooms anymore they can just throw it in mom and dads closet. We are working on that. Basically picture Monica Geller’s closet. Google it if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

This closet was getting the typical closet treatment from me. It has a door, no one can see inside, I can create a mess in there. So I did. Now that I’m on my “organize my closets” kick I’m going all out on this one. It will be neat. It will be organized. It will be pleasing to look at.  And it will stay that way!

So before all that good stuff has to happen it has to get even messier. Everything came out of there and was placed in storage closets, the trash or temporary storage in the guest room. As in the guest room bed is covered with clothing. It has actually been funny because my kids are confused as to why my husband is going to work in his “around the house” clothes. He stops off in the guest room and changes on his way in each day and throws them for a loop. So the guest room is a bit of a mess, and the master bedroom is also full of bins and boxes until this project is complete.

Once the closet was emptied I took down the closet rods on either side, the shelf on top of the closet rod and the wall moldings. Everything was off within about 30 minutes with the help of a crowbar. Here is the consolidated version …

master bedroom closetOnce the closet was empty I filled in the holes left by the nails and screws with spackle. A quick drying time and then I sanded it all down.

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

After it was dried, sanded and vacuumed (vacuuming before painting means not dust around to stick to your fresh paint!) it was time to paint. I went back and forth about painting this closet over since it was after all a closet. No one would really see it. Except me. And knowing myself, if I didn’t paint it I would eventually regret it. This means taking down the newly constructed closet and painting the walls and then putting it back up. Since I could see this happening I just painted it now to avoid any regret. I used Benjamin Moore Simply White which I had leftover from when I painted my kitchen. Since the walls were such a light color anyways I only needed one coat.

master bedroom closet

master bedroom closet

The difference might not be visible to some but it is much cleaner and fresher to me. I’m glad I went with my gut and did it. It makes for a much easier job now rather than a larger one later. I even ended up touching up the moldings and door to the attic. I’ll be sharing a moodboard of my closet a little later on and you’ll see why white works better!

master bedroom closet

So not that is has been deconstructed and painted it is time to build a closet!

the secretary desk: adding new hardware

While I was giving my Hemnes secretary desk a visual makeover I had plans to change out the hardware as well. I had a picture in my mind of bin pulls for the desk door and latch knobs for the cabinet doors. I had even gone as far as purchasing the bins pulls in oil rubbed bronze until I realized that they didn’t match the mirrors and fretwork. It became too heavy and pulled the eye away from the light and airy part of the new desk.

The old hardware stayed as it was for a while until I found an alternative. You can see below with one door on and all the old hardware in place that it is a bit distracting. I looked up some examples online to see what other mirrored furniture had as hardware and I came to one conclusion. Glass.

secretary desk

I found some glass hardware at Target without even looking too hard. If I was looking for a statement piece in hardware I probably would have looked a bit more. Since the “statmement” of this piece is the mirrored fretwork I felt this hardware was the perfect fit.

secretary desk

All the old hardware came off and the new hardware was installed. The saying is true that paint can change a room. Hardware can do the same thing to cabinets and furniture. Try it in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or mudroom!

secretary desk

 

modern farmhouse architecture…

I’ve been drooling over modern farmhouse architecture a little while now. Don’t get me wrong, I love my house, but if I could give it an exterior makeover I’d love to apply the modern farmhouse look. It is the effortless mix of modern and farmhouse to create a simple and comfortable design.

modern farmhouse architecture

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation, INC. / photo’s by Paul Markert

Urban_Farmhouse_Exterior_-_farmhouse_-_Exterior_-_Nashville_-_Marcelle_Guilbeau__Interior_Designer

custom homes by marcelle guilbeau

Pitched metal roofs are paired with simple wooden siding. Lot of straight lines finish off the windows and  covered porches. Patio’s, columns and chimneys are finished off with stone and slate to create this look. If I was building I could see myself going in this direction. White siding, black window trim, slate patios and walkways. All things I love. A few tweaks here and there to an existing home would do the job as well! If you are redoing your siding go white and vertical instead of horizontal. Replace your windows with simpler silhouettes or paint your existing window trim black. Simple lighting in a modern industrial style adds to the style. Stain your front door instead of painting it, or if painting, choose a fresh bright color. Bring some country to your urban space or some a modern feel to your rural home!

 

master bedroom closet plans…

I came to the realization a while back that I work better with my own closet systems in various forms. This might mean that I gut a closet and made it an office or just used some simple storage solutions to use it to it’s full potential.  I set my sights on my master bedroom closet for my next closet renovation. ClosetMaid® was kind enough to team up with me to get this closet under control. We started off by figuring out the dimensions necessary to maximize the storage in my closet.

The closet is a walk in that measures 62 inches deep and 65 inches wide. The door is in the center of the closet. As it is now I have rods and a shelf running along each side. I’ll be keeping the same layout since the master bedroom closet is also the access to the attic. This means that there needs to be plenty of space for a ladder to fit in order to climb up. I would have loved to include more storage along the back wall but this would not work with the attic access. So we kept the galley style layout. On each side of the closet I will be installing a separate system. One side for my husband and one side for me! Instead of just one rod and shelf along each side we will now each have two smaller rods (for shirts, pants and skirts), a tower with shelves and one single rod for longer hanging items. Each rod has a shelf above it.

master bedroom closet

Using the Do-It-Yourself Designer available on the ClosetMaid® website I was able to come up with an image of what each side would look like. I entered in the measurements and chose the configuration. You even have the option of selecting the finish and color that you want to get a better idea of what your finished product will look like. I decided to go with the Impressions in Walnut.

master bedroom closet

I love having an idea of what my end goal will look like. It also makes it easier to share those plans with the less creative minds in the house. I’m not pointing fingers or anything. Just picture the image above but on either side of you as you walk in the center of the closet. Now that the planning is done I’m off to gut another closet!