walls republic giveaway winner + project update

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thank you to all who entered in the Walls Republic Giveaway!  The winner is...

Congratulations Bharati!!!


Memorial Day weekend was spent painting my heart out on this beast.

The wall of built-ins in Mike's office.  I'm pooped.  Real pooped.  It's a big job but totally worth the $1,800 in savings we were quoted for painting.  I finished up the shelves and cabinet doors yesterday afternoon.  This weekend I'll stain the table top that runs the length and then the fun part begins, putting all of his stuff up on the shelves.  This will actually be pretty tough.  This man has a lot of knick-knacks (is it still ok to call them knick-knacks or is there are more decorating PC term nowadays???) that are full spectrum.  Anywhere from signed college footballs to hand carved pieces he picked up while serving overseas.  It's his space so I don't want to go all perfectly styled in here.  It's about him, not me.  Must remember it's about him, not me.  About him, not me... ;D

walls republic wallpaper giveaway!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thank you for your kind words on my laundry room makeover!  The wallpaper is clearly everyone's favorite part of the room.  Me included.  It definitely makes this space.

I worked with Walls Republic for the wallpaper and decided on Grey Geometric.  They had SO many options.  So many really, really great options.  They offer 5 free samples, and I highly recommend getting samples before you take on a wallpaper project because they look entirely different in person.  I was actually pretty sure I was not going to choose this pattern when I ordered the samples, but threw it in there as part of my 5.  Glad I did!

Here's the room before paper went up.  Bones were all in place, but it was pretty boring.

I was a little uneasy going into this project because a) I've never wallpapered before, b) I remember my mom struggling with pre-pasted paper years ago, and c) I had A BUNCH of cut ins to make.  A lot of my fears were set aside when I realized this is not our momma's wallpaper.  Paste is applied to the wall and then the paper is laid on top.  No pre-pasting (pre-pasteing??) the back or having to run it under water to activate an existing adhesive.  Such a better method!

My apologies for the crummy photos.  I did a lot of work at night after kids were in bed and was snapping pictures with my phone.

Another thing that I was pleasantly surprised with was how thick their wallpaper was.  I was worried about tearing the paper while working with it and that I was going to see all the imperfections of my textured walls coming through.  I had zero problems with it tearing on me and I did a lot of tugging at times.  And I don't know if it was due to the thickness of the paper, the darker color, or both, but I don't notice the texture behind the paper.

Now the areas where I had to cut around built ins and shelving was a booger.  Not gonna lie.  Had I done a regular room without having to work around built-ins it would have been a breeze!  I heard someone say wallpapering is a lot like child birth.  While you're going through it you swear you won't do it again, but what you end up with in the end erases all the bad memories.  The pain of a few difficult cuts was totally worth the finished product.  It has been papered for a couple of weeks now and I still walk in there just to look at it.

Wallpaper can be a bit of an investment, so I love the idea of using it in a smaller space like this where you get a lot of bang.  I've seen so many great uses of paper lately where just a little changes everything.

Above wall molding

Accent wall


Backs of bookcases

So... who wants to win some wallpaper?!  Walls Republic and I are giving away one double roll of Grey Geometric to one lucky reader!!!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  Giveaway open to US Residents only.  One random winner will be announced Thursday May 28th.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Walls Republic for providing me with the wallpaper for this project.  I wasn't otherwise compensated and all options are my own.

laundry room reveal

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I feel like this laundry room has taken forever to get completed, but I can now finally say it's done!

  Before the full reveal I wanted to remind you of what we started with.  You can see the progress here.  We had existing cabinets and a rod on the wall above the washer and dryer (not shown in the photo below) and a rough-in for a sink on the opposite wall.  You can see my plans for the sink still hanging on the wall from when the house was built almost a year and a half ago.  Why did I never take that down???  Other than that it was a completely blank slate.

There is zero natural light in this room.  It's right off our kitchen and the entrance from the garage.  The white walls weren't doing anything to help brighten the space up.  It just looked dead.  So instead of fighting the dark I embraced it.

Here's the new laundry room!

The washer and dryer were taken off the DIY stand we built several years back and I gave them a built in look with a folding table up top.  No more items falling off the washer and dryer into the abyss!  I'll share with you guys how I put this together in a separate post and let you in on the little secret it's hiding that makes it so awesome ;)

For me, the showstopper in this makeover has got to be the wallpaper.  Is it not amazing?!  The photos totally don't do it justice.  There's a wood grain looking texture in the gray background and what looks like a white pattern on top is actually silver. 

The plumber thought I was absolutely crazy when I told him what I wanted to do for a sink.  This was a regular galvanized wash basin and we had him add a drain basket and trap so it would function as a regular sink.  I love it so!  The white subway tile is a repeat from our kitchen backsplash.  While super pretty (I would have loved to have had it all around the room) it's main purpose is to keep the wall from getting wet if any water splashes out of the sink.

The built-ins on either side of the sink are a complete game changer in this room.  One holds our trashcan and other random items, and all of my cleaning items and vacuum are in the other.  We did have these built for us, but saved money by painting them out myself.

I forgot just how drastic the change was until I was putting this post together and went through the before pics.  Quite the change!

SOURCES: walls republic wallpaper . galvanized wash basin . faucet . cabinet color (Benjamin Moore - Simply White) . knobs . grey frame . white frame . faux aloe plant . clear storage jar


Be sure to check back here tomorrow because I want to talk some more about the wallpaper and oh, I don't know, give some away!!!


laundry room | sneak peek

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This weekend I wrapped up the wallpaper in the laundry room.  There for a moment I didn't think I was going to survive.  You can check the past progress here.  I'm so stinking close to being finished with this room.  I had a couple of favorite photos that had been stuck on the computer printed off.  I need to do more of that.  It's amazing how many photos you forget about until you get in there!  Once those come in I'll be able to snap some final photos for you.  But for now, here's a sneak peak from my phone of the wallpaper and a little corner in there.

It's gonna be good!

rug FAQ + rug pad corner review

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I've received a number of emails over the last two years from readers asking about the natural fiber rug in our living room.  People tend to be nervous about buying this type of rug.  I totally get it.  I was too.  So, I thought I would answer a lot of those questions here if any of you might have the same questions.

Does it shed?

Short answer - yes.  Does it make me go insane - no.  If you sit down on the rug in black pants you're going to have little fibers all over your pants.  I don't usually sit on the ground, and if I do it's not that big of a deal.  Do as Taylor says and shake it off, shake off.

Does it smell? 

There was a bit of a smell to the rug when it first arrived.  Kind of smelled like wet grass, but it wasn't a deal breaker.  After a few days the smell was gone.

Does it stain?

Yes and no.  The usual wear from shoes or dirt from dog paws hides incredibly well.  I have never noticed stains or wear from that.  However, if the rug gets wet from oh I don't know your child vomiting all over it after having drank a colored fruit juice, then yes.  Yes, yes, yes, that bad boy will stain and there is not much you can do about it other than pout for a good long while.  Speaking from experience here :( Food spills don't seem to do any damage to these types of rugs but a wet spill is a different beast.  You can only clean them with water (no carpet cleaning chemicals) and the water always leaves a bleached looking area where you cleaned.

Here's what is left from the sick child incident.

Apparently, and of course I know about this after the fact, there is some type of granules like saw dust out there for cleaning natural fiber rugs.  If you guys have had an experience with those let me know!

Does it hurt to walk on?

It's certainly not soft, but I actually like the way this nubby rug feels on my feet.  And it has substantially softened up over time with regular vacuuming.  I don't lie on the floor in here, but if you were someone who wanted a comfy rug for that purpose then this is not your rug.  You'd probably get poked by some of the thicker fibers and hate your life.  But again, it's not something we do in this room so it's a non-issue for us.

Does it shift? 

This is the part that I really had a problem with.  It shifts.  It shifts like ca-ray-zay.  And there were constantly ripples through out it because the darn thing would shift below your feet.  Our arm chairs even moved around from it.  It always looked wonky.  Even with one of those waffle non-slip pads underneath. 

I hated this part of the rug but suffered through it because I loved everything else about it.  And when our dog would get excited and run into the living room (like a million times a day) he would hit the brakes as soon as he got to the rug and the thing would pull up and he'd kick his feet around in it.  Ugh.  I was ALWAYS flighting a loosing battle of straightening this rug!

The problem with all the shifting was from the loose weave and shedding fibers along with dirt falling through the open portion of the rug pad.  It was disgusting under there.  Prepare yourselves.  

And the thing is, I vacuumed all the time and cleaned the undersides of the edges too.  It was just plain gross.

I decided to do some research and find a real rug pad.  Enter Rug Pad Corner.  I called them up and told them the type of rug and floors I had along with my problem.  They were incredibly helpful and directed me to their Ultra Premium Non Slip Rug Pad.

The surface of the rug pad is what makes it a miracle worker for me.  It's made out of recycled felt and is given a this diamond looking design that makes it grab onto the back of your rug, keeping the rug from shifting on top.

The back of the pad that comes into contact with your floors is made out of real rubber that won't break down over time, and is heat sealed onto the felt so there is no glue used which could cause damage to your floors.  There's also a texture to the rubber backing keeping it securely in place.  Oh and did you notice that the floors are actually clean underneath the pad?!  The pad is nice and dense so none of those rug fibers or dirt can slip through to the floor.  Ba-bam!

I've had this pad down for almost three weeks now and have not once had to straighten it or worry about our dog flipping the edges up.  Not once you guys!!!  This is pretty huge for me.

And look at it?! Not at all the wonky mess it was before!  My husband and I were even really surprised as to how much softer the rug was to walk on after we got the pad down.  It was a huge difference.  One we weren't even expecting.

So, if you decide you're going to go with a natural fiber rug, do yourself a favor and don't waste your time with the typical non-slip pads.  Get a real pad from the get-go and save yourself the hassle.  Like most things, I really wish I would have done this sooner.

Do any of you guys have a natural fiber rug?  What do you use to clean it?  I need to have something on hand for the next time vomit-apocalypse takes over.

// SOURCES: PB Owen rug (sold out - similar here) . ultra premium rug pad // 

Disclaimer: I was provided a rug pad at my request from Rug Pad Corner; however, all opinions are my own.

living room updates

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I was looking around the living room yesterday and realized I have never really talked about some of the changes I have made in here.  This post is picture heavy, but you'll now be in the loop.  I'll stick a source list at the bottom.

We finally pulled the trigger on the chairs late last year.  We decided on the Pottery Barn Carlisle upholstered chairs in Metal Gray twill.  I love these things.  Dirty 2-year-old boy hands don't stand a chance.  They are extremely deep and so in all honesty they are slightly awkward for sitting upright in, but they are perfect for lounging back and curling up in.  They're also wide enough that Izzy or Sam can snuggle up next to us in them (although both at the same time isn't out of the norm).

As a reminder, here's the lone chair we had been working with.  While I luuuurve me a wingback chair, this one was so old and the seat cushion was pretty much non-existant.  Mike and I always fought over who would get to sit on the couch.

You can also see the old black coffee table in that Christmas photo.  You couldn't really tell how beat up it was in photos, but trust me, it was.  You can only glue legs back on so many times and after a while black permanent marker doesn't hide gouges like it used to :D  So once the new chairs came in it was glaringly obvious that a new coffee table was in order.  If you give a mouse a cookie...

We went with RH's Dutch Industrial coffee table because A) I've always loved it, and B) it's darn near indestructible.  I've always got to keep that in mind with Sam slamming toys into and onto everything.

Another update I never showed you the final product of is the TV gallery wall.

Here's what the space looked liked before.

Some of my favorite piece are the black and white water colors (painted by my aunt) and the sketch of my great-grandmother done in New Orleans in the 50's.  It freaks Mike out, he thinks he's always being watched, lol!  But I absolutely adore it so it stays ;)

And just because I don't think you've seen the room from this angle and how it flows into other areas of the house.

Also, I get a lot of questions about the natural fiber rug, so I'll be answering the FAQ's later this week.  It's a love hate relationship.

SOURCES:  chairs // sofa // lumbar pillow // coffee table (similar look here) // metal accordion table // rug (no longer avail - similar here and here) // bamboo blinds // white drapes // DIY mudcloth pillows // DIY lacquer tray // 3 round mirrors (sold out - similar here) // DIY sunburst mirror // DIY leaning floor mirror // DIY striped candles // wall color (PPG Palomino Grey)



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