Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Things are looking up!

Joel and I have long discussed putting hardwood floors in our living room.  It's a high traffic area and really isn't suitable for carpet.  We also both really like the look of wood floors.  In one of our many discussions, Joel had mentioned also putting hardwood in the box ceiling.  At first I wasn't too keen on the idea, but after seeing a few of these pictures, it started to be more appealing:

Alas, the project proved to be cost-prohibitive, so Joel had another brilliant idea - paint it!  I'm a bad, bad blogger because I forgot to take "before" pictures in the midst of my excitement, so here is a picture from the MLS listing before we bought our home:

Observe the boring white box ceiling.

Luckily there was a gap above the ceiling fan, so rather than having to remove it I just taped around the base of the fan and around the edge of the "box."

And the after:

I'll admit, it's not exactly a gasp-producing massive makeover.  It's a pretty subtle change, but in person it really makes the room feel much taller because the color guides your eye up a bit.  It also makes our ceiling fan look richer!

We love it!  What do you think?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting Organized!

It looks like the contents of our spice cabinet have come crashing down on me for the last time.  When I opened the cabinet this morning while making breakfast, towers of spices spilled out of it, eliciting a few not-very-nice words from me.  As part of our recent resolution to cook more and eat out less, I decided to get my spices organized so that they're more accessible and less dangerous.

After a trip to WallyWorld and World Market, I brought home 15 empty spice jars, 2 bamboo tiered shelves, a plastic bin, and this guy:

I've wanted a label maker for a while because it helps to stay organized when you know where everything's "place" is.  With my new supplies, our spice cabinet went from this:

to this:

Here's another look at those labels.  For anyone looking for a little organizing boost, I'd highly recommend the Dymo!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Out with the old!

Since our home went unloved for many years before we moved in, the hedge in front of the house became overgrown.  Texas sage is a beautiful plant, but if it isn't pruned regularly, it becomes more of an eyesore than anything.  Our hedge was huge and lopsided.  It looked disproportionate to our entryway, but because it hadn't been trimmed much before, the insides of the bushes were brown and didn't have any leaves.  Once a texas sage bush gets overgrown it's all but impossible to trim it back, so we decided that it had to go.  We also used that opportunity to take out a few more creosotes!



See the problem?


Let's look closer...

Yeah.  That's the spot that the painters missed on our house.  Apparently when they repainted just before we moved in, they thought it was a good idea to paint AROUND the hedge??  Now that our hedge is gone, we're left with a big white spot on the main column right next to our front door!!  Eek!  And that's not the only spot:
There's THAT one. And many more!  Since they also "forgot" to paint our fence, I guess we know what we'll be doing this spring!

Friday, February 4, 2011

HOW cold is it?!?

25 degrees.  Yes, that's right...in Phoenix!  With temps dropping below freezing this year, we've had to cover all our cacti at night for the last week or so.  It looks pretty ridiculous to have a yard covered in blankets and towels, but hopefully it will pay off when they all survive to spring!  (pictures of that to follow soon!)

Despite the death threat that faces most of our desert native plants, we had a little surprise in our backyard a few nights back.  A mystery plant that, until now, was just a group of little green nubs surprised us by throwing out a beautiful little flower!

What a nice little winter surpise :)

Bathroom Redo! (Before & During)

Sorry, no "after" pictures yet. :)  After getting a little restless and anxious to do some more decorating, I decided to take on the 2nd bathroom!  We're not sure what we want to do with the master bath yet, and since we have guests coming to visit in a few months this is a great room to warm up!

Don't get me wrong...I think the yellow looks nice in there.  But....it also looks nice in every other room in the house!  It's a great color and I'm sure that's why the previous owner chose it, but I'm getting a little yellowed out about now.  This particular bathroom only has one tiny little window and tends to be a bit dark and cave-like, so I decided it needed to be lightened up a little to make it more inviting.

I chose Glidden's "Natural Wicker" as a medium beige but it ended up being more of a light beige.  Still nice, but the room will definitely need some colorful accessories!  The new paint (We'll call this the "during") :

After putting all the hardware and switchplates back on the walls, I realized that those would be 2 very easy ways to give this room a new look.  So I added these:

...and then I covered the switch plates with fabric to transform them from this:

....to this:

Love them!  And now I'll be using that fabric as inspiration for the rest of the room!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clearance is my friend!

This morning, thanks to their mailing list, I discovered that West Elm actually has REAL stores!  Up til now, I'd thought it was all online...but once I found out that they have a physical location, I had to visit it...NOW!  I love home decorating stores, and Scottsdale's Kierland Commons did not disappoint.  I stopped by Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, AND Z Gallerie, all less than a block apart.  If only I'd had more time!  Since I was just killing a little bit of free-time before a meeting, I skimmed through the previously listed eye candy pretty quickly and rushed over to West Elm.  I loved a lot of what I saw, but being the cheapskate that I am, it was the clearance that caught my eye.  I'm a sucker for a good deal.  I should rename this blog "Thrifty K's Adventures in Decorating"...  Anyway, I ended up finding a 3x7 runner that's a nice cushy high-quality 100% wool and originally listed for $129.99 marked down to $34.99.  With an additional 20% thanks to an ongoing sale, I ended up scoring this rug for only $28!!  I wasn't sure where I was going to put it when I bought it, but I couldn't pass up the deal.  Since it was too long for every other long skinny space in the house, this is where it landed.

Our walls are mostly bare, so I guess you could say that it *sort of* matches the rest of the decor.  Maybe I'll have to find some wall art to coordinate??  Either way, walking down our main hall is much more pleasant now and the sparrows even grew on Joel once he walked on it a few times.

Going up!

After 5 months of bending over backward to wash my hair every morning, I finally found a solution to our way-too-low shower head.  For some reason, the person who built our home decided to install the shower head about a foot below where normal people like it.  As a result, Joel and I either have to a) not wash our hair (eww.) or b) contort our bodies into all kinds of weird positions just to get a little rinsing action.  It got to be a real pain in the neck (pun intended), so when I saw this at Home Depot today, I was ecstatic:

Here's what a painful shower looks like (don't mind the boring curtain and outdated tub):

A few quick adjustments and tons of plumbing tape later, we ended up with this:

Can't wait to try it out!  Not exactly the most eye-catching home improvement project, but it will certainly make life a little more pleasant as we save up for our future bathroom over-haul.