Kitschdesigns

DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

October 1, 2012 07:01 by ehouston

As many of you know we have a 3 year-old little boy and just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  So now you know where I have been lately.  Our Little Guy has made the transition to a “Big Boy” room and at the same time he reluctantly gave up his nursery to his new little sis.  What that meant for me was a chance to girlie-up the décor of the nursery before her arrival.  For those of you that don’t remember, the room had been painted and decorated in blue, white and brown.  These colors were actually what I had used in my office at our old Nashville, TN home, so I could see them being used for a girl, but decided I wanted some softer touches and a new look. 

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(The Little Guy’s space before softer shades took over.)

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(The wall colors played well with his vintage globes and teddy bears.)

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(As you can see most of the furniture is very simple and modern in design.)

Plus, after nearly three years of looking at all those circles I was ready to stare at something different for a while.

This project began like most of mine, lots of ideas and no budget.  Literally I was tasked with making something from nothing.  I decided the easiest way to neutralize the blue would be to tape off the center blue band along the walls and paint it out, which would also eliminate the circles and dots, but spare me the need to redo the entire room.  In our paint stash I had a can of Oops paint from Home Depot that appeared to be a really pale misty blue-green, which although it may sound masculine, had a softness to it that seemed feminine and perfect to me. 

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(The furniture arrangement stayed the same- it’s the best layout for the space.)

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Unfortunately after taking the time to add the first coat it became abundantly clear that the color was more sage green in the room’s lighting and against the dark brown of the lower band.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Not only because the color looked so drastically different on the walls, but that this was the second or third time I had made this mistake recently and I no longer had the time to start playing the “find the perfect color” game.  Originally I had intended to paint or stamp a pattern along the middle band, so in my mind I figured that might tone down the color, but no luck.  So, in the end I sucked it up and realized I could not waste any more time worrying about the color and I just needed to move forward and learn to love it.

It was a only a couple of days later, while rummaging through my fabric stash that I realized I had some pretty cute fabrics tucked away that could play well with the shade that ended up on the walls.  So, I set to making curtains, covering pillows and creating some unique artwork.  You can find more details about how I created the fabric pieces over at my sewing and craft site, Chic Tweaks

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It was fun digging through my supplies to find vintage pieces to bring out and finally use and enjoy.

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(Vintage fabric filled embroidery hoop art.)IMG_3110(Vintage Flower Pin Art.)

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(Vintage Reproduction Fabric Quilt and Pillow Covers.)

Although, I am not a fan of making nurseries super gender specific I did have some favorite fabrics in a nice shade of pink that I thought I could make work with the otherwise neutral space.  Even though the furniture is all quite modern I feel like the reproduction fabric prints (from the 1920’s- 1940’s) fit in just fine without being too over the top and cutesy.

Just like in my son’s nursery, I personalized a wall mounted plaque with hooks by adding the new baby’s initials.

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(Initial wall plaque from my son’s nursery.)

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(The new version for our little girl, made with a patchwork of vintage fabrics.)

As you can see from the shots above, we kept the placement of the shelf above the dresser/changing table, along with all the teddy bears.  The bears were gifts from relatives to me and my brother when we were young.  Now they have been sitting watch over my little ones.  This time around I brought out a couple of the more girlie bears that didn’t seem right for my son’s nursery, but that I think our little girl will enjoy as she gets older.  My aunt also sent us my mother’s Madame Alexander doll, which she had been keeping for all these years (at the very end of the teddy bear shelf above).

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The doll has been tucked in with the loyal teddies and I think goes well with a couple other vintage pieces in the space; namely the tan bear above which wears the dress my mom wore home from the hospital and the big brown bear who is wearing my mom’s Brownie Uniform from when she was just a girl.  It’s fun to see all these sweet vintage mementos coming out from the attic to be enjoyed all over again.  The little white rocker was a gift to my son from his Great Grandma and has since been confiscated back to his room.  Jealous?  Well, maybe just a bit.  ;o)  The sweet corduroy lion was my son’s gift to his baby sister.  He likes to make sure she has it where ever she goes.  So, I guess it’s not all hate around here.

I will admit to having trouble bringing all my ideas together in this space. I finally decided to add everything I had in mind and just go from there. That is how the space ended up with a mix of vintage and modern, both in furniture and fabrics.  Taking this attitude helped me find a better home for my sweet mounted butterfly picture from the ‘60’s, along with some metal flower hooks I have lugging around for years.

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And, for a couple more fun elements I hung a framed alphabet picture that ties in with the flowery garden theme and I strung up several paper lanterns left over from my son’s “big boy” room to act as a mobile above the crib.  The lanterns were meant to be used for a shower (baby or bridal) and came with a bunch of paper butterflies to tape into place.  I used all 24 of the butterflies to add interest to just three of the circles and I think they work pretty well for a mobile*.  

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(Garden Themed Alphabet Picture.)IMG_3111

When I originally set out to write this post we were still playing the waiting game and I was sure she would be late.  The pink frames are still awaiting shots of baby and grandparents and the hand-me-down toys and books are on high alert for their second chance at life outside the toy box.  However, we have already worked our way through several boxes of the stocked up diapers, the dresser that was stuffed to the brim with pink, ruffles and lace has already undergone a weeding out of the too-small newborn items.  After nearly two months of use I have to say that the look is growing on me just as fast as the closet is filling up with pretty little dresses all in a row.

Now, if I could just get some sleep…..

Kitsch Krafts

*For those of you wondering, no, the paper lanterns are not meant to be used as a mobile over a baby’s crib.  In order to avoid a possible choking hazard if the butterflies were to somehow fall off, I hung them at the bottom end of the crib.  This way, if something should come down it will land below my daughter’s feet, and she still has a great view as they twirl around.

PS – Here is the cost breakdown for you DIY nerds out there.

Many items were reused from the original nursery and/or my vintage stash. Here is the list of those items.

All furniture – bed, dresser, rocker, shelving, bookshelf, side table/stool and hamper

Bedding – quilt, bed skirt and bumper (not pictured) These items are pale blue on one side and white on the other.  I choose to feature the white side for both the quilt and bumper, when it was in place.  The bed skirt is neutral in brown and white.

Accessories – Lamp, Weather and Temperature Center Clock, Books and Toys, Teddy Bears, Wall Plaque with Hooks, Curtain Rod and Finials

Purchases, Creations and Additions:

Two Fitted Sheets- From Target                       $15.00/two with special purchase

     One is pink and green polka-dots and the other is a geometric pattern in pink.

Pink Frames – From Target                             $8.99/three

Paper Lantern Mobiles – From Party City          Free/leftover from Son’s room makeover

Flower Pin Art – Supplies from Hobby Lobby & Joann’s          $7.33 for the fabric and two pins

     The vintage pins were from my stash, along with the mini canvas boards and ribbon.

Embroidery Hoop Art – From Joann’s               $16.00 for the hoops

      All fabric was from my vintage stash.

ABC Art – Frame w/Matt from Target               $16.99

      Art was printed at home on cardstock I already owned.

Curtains, Pillow Covers and Quilt – From my stash             Free- Already owned all the fabric

Metal Flower Hooks – From my vintage stash                    Free

Initial Art on Wall Plaque – Fabric from my stash               Free

Wall Color – Oops Paint from Home Depot         $7.00/ gallon

Grand Total:                                                   $72.30

Not bad for a quick reworking of the original space and I think there is a lot of change in there for such a small amount of spending.  Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear from you guys.


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DIY–Guest Bathroom–Artwork

June 29, 2012 00:05 by ehouston

Finally!  We got some artwork to complete our guest bath mini-remodel.  A couple of days after posting the big Reveal I attended the Richmond Craft Mafia spring craft event, called Spring Bada Bing!  As you can imagine there were lots of great things to choose from and I was a bit overwhelmed.  But, by the time we were getting ready to leave and coming back around to hit up some of the first tables we had seen I again found myself attracted to this print by ZouZou’z Basement.

Blue Peacock Limited Edition Print

Blue Peacock

It’s hard to tell in the picture above, but it’s actually a mixed media collage piece with paint and fabric.  I really liked the colors and the close-up and angle in which she captured the bird.  A little different than the usual focus artists have on just the tail.  I decided it would look nice in the guest bath, but unfortunately I had already spent my cash on other items at the event.  Flash forward about a month and my newly ordered print was sitting in my mailbox awaiting a frame.  After about a week of searching for something inexpensive and including a matt I realized the odd shape (12” X 18”) was going to require a more customized approach.  That’s when I wandered into Hobby Lobby to find a simple black open-back frame at 50% off.  Score!  So, for a total of $80.09 I had a matted, framed, and signed limited edition print of a pretty cool original piece.  Not too bad, I would say!

The second picture I have added to the space was a discovery the same day I posted the reveal.  Later that morning my son and I were out and about when we passed the ever enticing “estate sale” sign.  Of course, we made a beeline for the event, more to see the giant McMansion on the inside than anything else.  It turned out this place was full of neat artwork, however much of it was out of our price range.  On the way out, though, I discovered this little painting (or honestly it could be marker- it’s difficult to tell) with some bright flowers and birds.  I figured it would be a nice addition of even more bright color and at $12.00 I could not resist.

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So, here we are with these two new pieces added to the otherwise pretty neutral space. 

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I was hoping to find something for above the hand towel ring too, but no luck with that area so far.  But, the main walls that needed some lifting up are in business so I am calling this room done for now. 

How is your spring/summer decorating going?

Kitsch Krafts


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Yard Work–2012–Part 2

June 28, 2012 07:20 by ehouston

As I was writing several long weeks ago, we were attempting to raise the curb appeal around our place without spending a dime.  I know, what’s new, right?  Big impact wanted without spending.  Can it be done?  Well we decided to take a chance and drastically trim back the bushes along the front of our property.  We went into it thinking that they either needed to be trimmed way down or pulled out completely.  However, part of what we love about our property is that the bushes and trees are all very mature.  It’s also one of the things that we dislike because much of the greenery is getting to a point of no return.  Meaning the pull it out and start over method is what has been most prescribed by our lawn care folks, as well as, many of the reps we have been talking with about painting the whole place.  Of course, they are also willing to do all that plant pulling if it makes painting the house easier, but for a big fat price. 

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(Just like me, these bushes are all fat and out of shape.)

After hemming and hawing, as we usually do, we decided to go into attack mode and spent two sessions in the yard, hacking away at the the main bushes.  I should say, the Mister did the hacking and I (in all my big-bellied glory) did all the clean-up and bagging of the debris.  The first session involved a slight slimming along the fronts, a topping and a brisk, tight shave along the backs of the main larger holly bushes.  Then we rested and had a laugh at how nude several of them looked.

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(Nekkid! Tee hee!)

A couple of weeks later, on Mother’s Day, because yes that is what I wanted to do on my one day of rest, we took it all up a notch and really knocked off some girth and height all the way down the line.  Of course, at this point we had also invested in a small chainsaw to get busy with and I think The Mister had fun releasing some pent up aggression.  This time the trimming was to the point of needing the truck to haul off what we had hacked away.  And, this time when we finished we didn’t laugh.  Instead we said a little prayer to the Gods of Shrubbery that they give our toothpick plants another lease on life and at least a few more years for budget sake.

Fast forward about a month and a half and we have been happy to find our shrubs blissfully branching out and filling in. 

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(In the close-up above left you can see one of the larger holly bushes nearly covered the window and passed the roofline.  After trimming we now have a much shorter version, above right, and better access to the window.  Only problem is that as it has filled back in, it has also begun to grow all crazy too.  But hey, at least it matches all the goofy shapes of the other bushes now.)

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(And while the “nekkid” bushes near the front stoop certainly need a hair cut they have started to really fill in around the bottom, above right.)

So far no one has taken the leap off the cliff to the compost pile and several have even pushed out new limbs from areas that we guess haven’t seen the light of day for years.  The only problem is that they all need a good shaping and each weekend lately we have been faced with too many activities plus triple digit heat.  My fear is that by next spring we will end up with some even crazier shaped plants to hack away at and it will take years to get back to some decent curb appeal.  If only I had some energy and …well… no gigantic belly to work around!

By the way, have any of you ever attempted to drastically change the look of very mature hedges or bushes in your yard?  I would love to hear about the process you used and the outcome.  We have read plenty about the “ways to do it right” online, but then we decided to wing it and just see what happens.  If all goes well and we save on the cost of large shrubs along the house we hope to put that savings toward adding more large trees and shrubs to the perimeter of the property.  Why is it that we move into a neighborhood and then spend all our time trying to make our yard super private? 

Oh yeah, because mamma don’t like a long trip to shopping or fast food!

Just bein’ honest!

Kitsch Krafts


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Well Hello Der!

June 26, 2012 08:50 by ehouston

I have been missing you guys lately.  That is, if anyone is out there any longer. ??  ;o)  I have been working hard lately to end my 50+ day blogging hiatus, but it seems as though there is always something else that I NEED to do before I let loose this human inside of me.  We are officially at the 4 week countdown and something keeps bugging me about an early arrival.  At this point I have said that to enough people that she is sure to be late and I have doomed myself to more hippo time in the summer heat, as well as, two birthdays to celebrate during the month of August from here until eternity.  Although as I type that last sentence I can feel a leg (or some other appendage) kicking clear around my side to the back of my rib cage while simultaneously something is butting up against my bladder.  It definitely feels like the great escape is under way.  Pray for me, please!

We have been way too busy for me to even attempt to capture the essence of the crazy that has been spiraling around our home over the last couple of months.  Alas, the light at the end of the tunnel has become increasingly brighter as the “big boy” room and nursery are coming together nicely, and just in time.  The Little Guy has been happily sleeping away without much issue in his new, bigger and better (that’s how we’re selling it anyways!) room since May and as of last week the nursery furniture is in place and the bed is made and ready, should she arrive prior to her due date.  I am slowly pulling the décor together, although it has been a lot of trial and error and use of what we already have in order to keep to my usual non-existent budget.  The Little Guy’s room seemed set in stone until furniture arranging got the better of us and now all hanging of artwork has been placed on hold until we can decide the best configuration.  But, again, we will get there because living with the chaos has nearly taken it’s toll.

It may sound pretty tame.  Two rooms to fix up and rearrange.  Oh, the most famous of last words!  I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy-brain or simply that I am just not that good, but I have had the hardest time pulling the ideas in my head out and realizing them in my home.  As we round the corner and come to the end I have begun to find that I am okay with where we are, despite it not all looking as perfect as my mind was able to dream it up.  I keep reminding myself that in the first half of 2012 I have managed to complete a pretty decent guest bath mini-remodel, which I hope to have an artwork update to share with you all very soon.  I have also successfully repainted, rearranged and furnished our spare bedroom to create a decent space for a toddler-to-little-boy transition, and all on a very tight budget.  Along with that change-up, I made some modest switcheroo's in the nursery to accommodate a little girl without sending myself to a state of bed rest for the remainder of this pregnancy.

The toughest part during the last couple of months has been getting adjusted to having my office and craft space relocated to the playroom.  While I loved the solace of our shared space over the garage and just down from our bedroom, my husband longed for an office of his own.  So, with one enlightened conversation we managed a quick compromise (a miracle for even the best of marriages!) to place all the exercise equipment into my half of the office while bringing my crafting and workspace together in the playroom where all that equipment used to gather dust.  Now, if one of those psychologists from Hoarders could come by and help my husband with his pack-ratting issues we may get to a point where all that exercise equipment can be set up for use.  I certainly will be in need of some treadmill time in a couple of months.  Maybe the promise of a heightened derriere will help get his in gear.  I can only hope!

So now we come to the slow down and the time when I try to get my life back on a regular schedule.  No, the house is not as clean and tidy as I would like it to be before baby and family begin infiltrating our space.  And, yes, I would like to get a lot more food made and stowed away in the freezer before I have too many hungry mouths to feed and literally no energy to dial Chinese take-out.  But, in between putting away the painting supplies and the occasional craft project for one space or another, I am working to give my Little Man some undivided attention.  His monopoly on my time is about to abruptly end and in many ways that makes me terribly sad for him.  I will freely admit, I LOVE every waking moment that I get to spend with him. 

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Even those that have me walking away, teary-eyed, cussing and wanting to smother him.  Yes!  The one thing I have learned in my almost three years of being a mom is that no matter how much you love them or how cute you think they are, there are moments you want to lock them in a closet and drown your sorrows in the whir (because that’s all you can do when you are preggers) of the margarita machine. 

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However, as the birth of our little girl approaches and I slow down to take a breath I can see some hesitation and anxiety in his eyes.  I know he is over the moon at the idea of having a baby sister and getting the opportunity to teach her things, but as I have increasingly had to stop doing the more physical fun stuff with him I can see him starting to understand that his mom-time won’t be the same pretty soon.  So, before I regret this lost time I am setting aside all the excessive DIY, Crafting, Sewing, Blogging, Web Surfing, Facebooking (God, when did that become a verb?) and just putting my fatty pants on the ground to drive trains around endless wooden tracks, through Mega block castles with tunnels and read to George and Martha anthologies cover to cover for the millionth time. 

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I’m sure it’s the hormones right now, but I have had a couple of tearful moments realizing myself that my special times with my sweet little man are about to be bombarded with crying, nursing, diapering and sleepless nights.  It’s a bit of a mourning process I suppose.  After each good old-fashioned, self-absorbed and woe-is-me moment I then remind myself that it will be different, never the same as it has been, but it will be better. 

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My family is growing in a wonderful way.  My son will always have a playmate, confidant and someone with which he can share old age.  A true friend to experience the “firsts” of life with, good or bad, a partner in crime against the ‘rents and an eye-rolling buddy when the hubs and I can no longer hide our dorkiness.  So, for all the mixed emotions coming my way, and that of the rest of my family, I think happiness is what is standing out the most.  And, even though I feel I have let so many commitments slide and fall to the wayside, I am at peace with this place where I stand and can’t wait for our next chapter.

Kitsch Krafts

PS-I promise to get my narcissism under control before the next posting.  Sometimes it’s good just to let some things out once in a while, right?

PSS-As time permits I will share pics of all the changes happening around here.


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Yard Work

May 3, 2012 00:25 by ehouston

This year we are attempting to tackle the outside of the house and the yard.  We have made small strides toward getting the yard we really want, and putting off some things we really need.  Like, a paint job.  That one is really breaking the bank right now and has been put on hold until we can figure out how to get some needed repairs completed properly before slapping a on a new coat.  I never imagined it would be so difficult to find decent maintenance workers, but just getting a call back from an ad, a number in the phone book or even a referral has proven to be a full time job.  After a month of hanging around, waiting for people to come over and give us an estimate I am pretty much over it.  We have had bids ranging from a couple grand to new car prices.  Now you can probably understand why we have taken a step back.  This type of work seems to be priced all over the place and we have yet to find the best way to know if you are going to get quality craftsmanship.  Having used some referrals for smaller projects in the past we have learned this first hand.  You can see great work at your pal’s house, but that doesn’t mean you will get it at yours.

So, to bring this back on track, one of the items on our Yard To-Do list was to figure out a plan of attack for our shrubs and bushes out front.  We are quite aware that several are really much too large and they will soon be a hindrance for anyone attempting to correct any of the siding or window trim issues, let alone painting the house.  Rather than calling in the big guns and getting yet another estimate to have them trimmed and/or removed The Mister and I decided to trim them up ourselves.  A daunting task, even for seasoned lawn care workers.  We have very little yard work equipment, but the one thing we do have is an extension hedge trimmer and various pruning tools.  Figuring we were well armed, we decided to go for it a couple of sunny weekends ago.

These first two shots show how overgrown the bushes had become.  Not only are they far to tall and wide, but they were also sporting spikey tops.

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The Mister spent some time on the ladder tackling the two larger bushes on either side of the front stoop.

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And, while they look much better than they did, we had to laugh at how naked this one ended up after it’s initial “haircut”.

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We actually plan to trim these way down, but realized that our little handsaw will not work for this part of the project.  So, off to Home depot we go to add a small chainsaw to the arsenal.  Hopefully this next weekend we can do a little more damage, but in a good way.

Now, for the rain to let up so the deck guys can get back out here and finish the staining process.  It took long enough to find some guys we thought we could trust to do the work, so now we are VERY ready to have the work completed.  Shoot, I have patio furniture to arrange, large ceramic pots to plant and lots of other ideas about how I want to spruce up the area. 

Patience is a virtue…they say.

Kitsch Krafts


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DIY– A “Big Boy” Bedroom–Getting Started

April 16, 2012 09:02 by ehouston

If you are just popping in for the first time around here I will let you in on a little secret, we are expecting baby number two in July and I am just about killing myself to transition my 2.5 year old out of the nursery before that time comes.  I had already planned to update our guest bathroom during the first quarter of this year, along with our kitchen.  Unfortunately the looming due date made for a tough reno and pushed back any work on the kitchen until probably some time next year.  Wah-wuh…  In the meantime I am still working at full throttle, well as full as my big belly and lack of decent energy will allow, to get the “big boy” room together and the nursery girlied up a bit!

This post is really to let you know where we began in the process and of course to drum up any sympathy possible for my tired, aching bones.  ;o)  Being older and pregnant really kicks your butt!  So, without further ado here is the room we started with…

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This lavender and cream boudoir boasts a lavish (and I’m sure early ‘90’s Waverly) floral border worked into a faux “tray” style ceiling detail.  Meaning the lavender was also painted along the edge of the ceiling and another portion of the floral border was laid along the edge of that painted line and around the ceiling.  Ooooh, lovely!  Actually, in all fairness I’m sure this was a nice look at the time and I am also sure the original owners spent some cash to have this treatment done to create this effect.  Let’s just say, it’s really not for us…especially the little boy who is about to move into the space.

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Not only did this room serve as extra sleeping space for our guests, but the wall opposite the king sized bed housed my sewing and craft nook. 

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You can also see the edge of the door to the little walk-in closet, known as the fabric stockyard, in the shot above.  I will fully admit this room was decorated with whatever I had on hand that I felt could make it work for the time being. In decorating the space I felt more than a little trapped by the color scheme and floral details.

Heck, even the curtain rods had gingko leaves on the ends, which are nice, but still not the look I was going for in the space.

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The headboard consisted of a large piece of foam, originally purchased to create cushions for another nixed project, covered in a vintage dotted coverlet.  The large patterned barkcloth pillows, bed skirt and curtains were all vintage finds that seem to always get pulled out whenever I had a room that needs something to pull it together on zero budget.  I used extra pillows covered in vintage hand-embroidered pillow cases and another vintage coverlet to finish off an admittedly very out of character feminine look.  The side table, another vintage find, was topped with miscellaneous craft/sewing room décor from previous houses, a clock radio and some family photos.

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On the other side I stored my dress form, covered in vintage clothes.

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Over time, some of my creations ended up being pinned up on the walls, not only to keep them from being damaged while awaiting a buyer from my Etsy Shop, but also for my enjoyment until they left for a new home.  This room would be perfectly straightened up, as evidenced by these photos, for all of about 20 minutes before a new idea would hit and I would have piles of fabric and supplies chaotically strewn across every inch of useable bed, desk and floor space.  I enjoyed using this room, as did several guests, but it was time for a change that the Little Guy was anxiously awaiting.

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Over the course of the last few months I had tested the border to see how “stuck” it really was and just like the guest bathroom wallpaper, it came down easily and within minutes.  The Mister had talked me into moving one of the twin beds that had made up the “king” sized bed for this room, into the playroom for more comfy seating and to attempt to get me off the “I want a sectional” nagging bandwagon.  I will admit it’s better than the numb buns you get from sitting on the futon, but it only delayed the sectional talk for about a day.  Sorry dear! 

In the meantime, I had made up the other twin into a day bed we could enjoy until the real work started in the “big boy” room.  As you can see above, more toys had also been moved from the playroom into this space to help keep the Little Guy occupied on the occasions when I had to do some sewing for business.  Nothing like a mini tool bench to keep a kid happy for, oh, ten minutes.  Am I right?

As of today, the room has been cleared of everything, accept this bed and the floor has been covered in protective plastic.  The band of lavender along the ceiling got a first coat of primer and tomorrow I hope to tackle priming the most dreaded piece of this room to paint – oil-based painted trim!!!!!  UGH in SEVEN LANGUAGES!!!!  I am being lazy and praying that a good oil-based primer will solve my problems, but this could be the breaking point for the timeline of this mini-makeover.  I will keep you all posted on the success of that combo as I go along.

As for the plan of attack, here goes:

-Take the lavender to light gray, with a white ceiling and white trim. 

-Add horizontal stripes in a gray just a couple of shades darker than the other walls to the main bed wall. 

-Add already purchased simple bedding in gray and newly created bed skirt in a tweedy fabric. 

-Spruce up the windows with some thrifted, but new, curtains that I plan to customize with a patterned fabric border. 

-I hope to customize the Little Guy’s IKEA desk and chair set to be placed on one wall.

-Add a magnetic chalk board above the desk area.

-Add an already purchased large, family-sized beanbag chair.

-Clean up and paint an already purchased thrifted shelving unit.

-Find a small dresser for the space- clean up and paint as necessary.

-Add artwork and pillows in fun colors (primarily orange, the Little Guy’s fav!) against all the gray.

-Working on a possible A, B, C’s letter wall.

-Add brightly colored paper lantern lighting over the bed, if possible.

-Find something to use as a nightstand.

-Change out current light fixture in the center of the room for anything that isn’t brass!

-DIY a larger rug for the desk area from some thrifted rugs.

I’m sure I will think of more things to do as I go along.  For some reason that’s how it seems to go with any project I do for my kid.  I just want to do more, add more, get everything I think is cute or that he might like.  It’s a sickness really and I’m sure it doesn’t get any better as you add to the flock.

Stick around and I will add photos as things progress.  Please wish me luck in getting all this done, too, before we end up with one more family member to love!

Kitsch Krafts


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DIY : The Guest Bath Reveal

April 13, 2012 07:51 by ehouston

Finally!  I am ready to show off my handy work in our guest bathroom.  This one definitely felt like it took longer than it really did.  Unfortunately any time you work with stain you have to add in a lot of extra days just for drying time.  Anywhoo, the walls are no longer wrapped in striped paper, the cream door, trim and cabinet color have been obliterated and the hardware is donning a new coat of “chrome”.  Oh yeah, I removed the shower door, added a rod and curtain, and painted the lights too!  Whew! 

The space has gone from this:

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And this:

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And now to this:

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So we now have a pretty generic box, but it does feel a lot better in this bath to us now.  It will take some time to add more personality, as in some cool art for several walls, but I like to take my time with that sort of thing.  The water damaged cabinetry has a new lease on life and the faux marble vanity top looks less reddish brown than it did with the previous color combination.  This bath ties in better now too with the guest bedroom it is attached to.  I left a sliver of the light blue wall color showing in the first before and after shots above so you could see the odd original transition from the bedroom to the bath.  Now, with modern colors the rooms don’t look like they are from such vastly different time periods.  I think (and hope!) our guests will feel more comfortable using this lighter and brighter bath.

Below is a recap of my initial concerns, wants, needs, dreams of what needed to happen in that space.  It was so fulfilling to check so many things off the list.  I added pictures of the updates along the way.  Enjoy!

From original post on February 28th

Here are some of my Concerns:

-No Natural Light

-Sconces and ceiling fan light give off nothing more than a candle flame

When removing the lights for painting I discovered that what I thought was frosted glass turned out to be dust encrusted clear fluted glass!  Insert communal eeeeewwwww!  A thorough cleaning and we now have a good bit more light coming through.  Although it’s not the best fix for the long run, it works for now.

-Extra large, overpowering mirror

-Gold mixed with chrome and white porcelain

In an attempt to make a positive change on a small budget I spray painted all the gold knobs and even traded out the porcelain cabinet hardware for some of the old brass from the kitchen.  A coat of chrome spray paint later and they look like a million bucks!  I’m still on the fence about the actual door and closet knobs, though.  I’m not in love with the finish and I’m also unsure it will hold up to regular use.

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(The gold hinges will be replaced soon.  I decided not to attempt to spray paint anything else in this space.)

-Cream and white fixtures (vanity top, toilet, tub and tile surround are all different)

-No budget for new tile

-No budget for new vanitycabinet

Doesn’t matter now.  Gel stain made it look completely different.  Thank you, Minwax, Red Elm!

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Here are some of my Ideas:

-Paint the vanity cabinet a fun bright color (light, beachy green maybe?)

We nixed this idea in favor of something more neutral.  Not only is this a space for guests with varying tastes, but it’s one less space to have to worry about come sales time.

Or

-Gel stain the vanity to make it look like dark wood

As Dave on Storage Wars would say, “YUUUUUPPPP!”  The dark color helps hide the years of water damage and chipping areas, making the cabinet look completely new.  Yeah!

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See all the chipping paint and swollen wood above?  Not the best presentation for our guests, wouldn’t ya’ say?

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-Remove the wallpaper and paint the walls a light color (pale taupe to help neutralize the vanity top?)

If we had just removed the wallpaper and done nothing else in this space it would have been a much happier place than it was prior to the changes.  Although my Home Depot, “Oops” color ended up being a bit darker than I envisioned for this room, it was actually exactly what was needed.  Between the new wall color and the darker cabinet, the vanity looks much more beige with brown streaks than cream with red streaks, as it did before.

-Frame the large mirror (it does help to reflect what little light is in there)

Framing the mirror is still on the list for the future.

-Replace or paint the sconces and switch out the shades for something more stylish

In the future we may opt to replace them completely, especially since what we have gives off so little light.  For now, a couple of coats of chrome spray paint and the really good shade scrubbing has given them an almost free new life.

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Maybe I’m just too cheap, but the simple changes we made makes these sort of charming to me now.  Where before they seemed brash and old fashioned.???

-Paint all woodwork, and doors bright white

Done!

-Remove glass shelf behind toilet and replace with artwork or a more substantial shelf unit

I removed the shelf, but decided to paint it, put it back and add some different artwork to the wall above.

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I have yet to find any art for any part of the bath, so I just put back some of my ceramic pieces on the shelf for now.

-Add art work or large mirror to the end wall of the room

Still on the search for something I like.

-Change cabinet hardware, door knobs and hinges

I removed the old porcelain knobs and replaced them with leftover brass knobs from the kitchen.   Since the style was identical and I did not have the heart to paint the porcelain knobs, I opted to spray the gold ones chrome, along with the hinges, so everything looks new now.

If I had a bigger budget, or one day…..

-Would love to chip out the row of pink tiles in the tub surround and replace with something more modern in a neutral color combo

-Would love to switch out the cream colored powder room toilet with the white one in here

-Would love to remove the sliding tub door and replace with an extra high bar and long custom curtain

Done!  This ended up being so much easier than I thought.  Although, adding a extra high bar did not look as nice as I thought it would.  I decided to keep a regular height rod instead, which in the end meant I could avoid the higher cost of making (or buying) a custom sized curtain and liner.

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I found the shower curtain at World Market and at $29.99 I believe it was the most expensive purchase for the whole mini-remodel.  I also added the towel bar after removing the shower doors, which included nice long handles for draping wet towels.  Now we have this new chrome version, plus an additional towel bar set in the tile at the back of the shower surround.  The new bar is part of a set that I scored during one of my thrifting adventures last year.  I thought I would use it in the hall bath upstairs, but found a more immediate need in this room.  The set includes a more modern style toilet paper holder, which was relocated to the end of the vanity cabinet and out of view when looking into the space, a hand towel ring and a door hook.  All this chrome for about $3.50 at 50% off Wednesday at the Salvation Army.  Yeah budget!

-Would love to remove the large mirror and replace with smaller, individual oval mirrors

-Would love to get all new lighting

-Would love to remove vanity completely and replace with a higher cabinet (this one hits below my mid-thigh) and a Carrera marble top.  Oooooohhhh….

So, this is where we have arrived over the last month with this room mini-remodel.  I say mini because nothing structural changed aside from removing the shower doors, which was shockingly easy to accomplish.  Even though we have simply neutralized the space and did not do anything extraordinary in here, we are quite thrilled with how this room looks now compared to the circus tent of early ‘90’s Waverly wallpaper that it was before.  I think our guests will be much happier bathing in this space as well.

Here is a breakdown of our costs for the mini-remodel:

-Wall paint – Home Depot “Oops” color                             $7.00

-Cabinet Color – Minwax Gel Stain- Red Elm   Already owned $0.00

-Trim Paint – Valspar Semi-Gloss –White  Already owned       $0.00

-Ceiling Paint – Glidden Purple Tint          Already owned       $0.00

-Dry Wall Compound for repairs              Already owned        $0.00

-Primer for walls                                    Already owned        $0.00

-Chrome Spray Paint – Rustoleum                                        $5.49

-Rustoleum Auto Body Primer                                              $5.49

-Rustoleum Clear Protective Coat                                         $5.49

-Chrome Accessories- Sal. Army 50% off purchase                $3.50

-Tension Shower Rod- World Market                                     $10.99

-Shower Curtain Hooks-Chrome Ball – World Market              $10.99

-Shower Curtain- World Market                                            $29.99

-Towels and mats – on sale at Target                                   $30.00

That’s a grand total of:                                                       $97.95 

Considering I have two kid’s rooms to complete on no budget in the next month, I am pretty psyched about how low priced this mini-makeover ended up.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish by hitting up sales, keeping a lookout for those oddball, but useful things at the Salvation Army and, of course lots of elbow grease.

Did you guys make any big or little changes to your bathrooms over the last month?  I love to see what other people come up with in their own spaces!

Kitsch Krafts


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