Thursday, March 31, 2011

Through the Ceiling

So if you're ever planning on walking on an attic ceiling, and don't know the first thing about it, follow this advice:

Otherwise, this might happen.

M decided to tackle our storage room over his spring break, and then had a whim to go into the attic of our townhome building, which wasn't accessible before because it was blocked by stuff, and take down this stupid Christmas start that's been in the little octagonal window since we bought the condo.

He took one step, and crash, through the ceiling of our garage. Eight feet down, and he fell onto the side of his car.

Thank God he wasn't hurt. I am still shaken up by the whole experience.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Clouds and Bots: Kid's Room Themes

First two photos from Apartment Therapy (Ohdeedoh).
This cute room posted on Ohdeedoh today jumped out at me.
It reminds me a tiny bit of Sebastian's room already, with the blue and green scheme and the clouds, but it also incorporates his other two loves: robots and Ugly Dolls. I was trying to think of a way to bring robots into his room, which has more of a flying theme with clouds, airplane and hot air balloon decals. This room does it really well... I love the robot/cloud painting and the cloud shelf.
But I also wonder if in someways it's silly to totally deck out a child's room in a theme. S's room is actually more just kid-room, than an airplane room or a balloon room or whatever. He just got a big retro Curious George print that I will blog about later, and he has some alphabet paintings, his "cozy" letters and all the cloud stuff. Maybe I just need to go ahead and bring in some robot stuff (like robot toddler bedding once we switch over to a toddler bed) and not worry that it's not going to "match."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bedroom Wall Art Idea

I am getting sick of the skimpy-looking three pieces of art above our bed, and have been for awhile now. I found the second picture in this series on Apartment Therapy. It's actually hand stenciled wallpaper, and it obviously looks great with our duvet.
I'm thinking of buying a big canvas and copying this idea for above our bed. It would lighten up the orange walls and be a bigger statement piece. Even my hasty MS Paint job makes it look pretty good. I'm excited about it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Living Room Curtains

I pride myself on being a completionist (which is not a word, but go with me). I am not really a perfectionist ... I just really like to get stuff done. So while my DIY and home improvement projects might not be perfect, they are done in a timely manner. I guess I'd rather have some imperfections then feel paralyzed at the idea of even starting something that might not be perfect when I finish.

Which is why it's so weird that it took me five years to hang living room curtains.

To be fair, I spent many of those years perfectly happy with my lack of curtains. The condo came with 1980s vertical blinds, and those hit the dumpster immediately. We have a very wooded area behind us, and we're on the second floor, so we never really felt the need to have privacy (in fact, these will provide no privacy at all ... more on that in a minute).

But I've spent an inordinate amount of my free time these days surfing design blogs, reading design books, and I came to realize that a sliding glass door with nothing over it was a bit of an eyesore. It just looked unfinished to me. Plus, curtains add that element of softness that this living room, with its cool green walls and angled fireplace, really needed.

So I talked about curtains to M for several weeks, and I know he just wanted to shout, "just buy some already!" but he humored my photo texts of cool fabric I'd found and pondering of oil rubbed bronze rods vs. brushed nickel rods.

In the end, I chose white curtains from Ikea with a subtle gray floral pattern (Alvine Trad in white/gray) for $14.99, and a brushed nickel rod, finials and curtain clips, also all from Ikea. I hung them about five inches from the door, and maybe three inches wider than the frame, to give the appearance of taller ceilings and a wider window. I really, really like them.

(An aside... we got a console table! I bought it from a friend who wasn't using it anymore for $30. I heart it. The red lamp we pulled from our storage room.)

Anyway, the curtains were hung, but it took me a good three weeks to get around to hemming them. I wanted them to hit the floor, but not pool. I finally tackled that project tonight, and used the Ikea hemming tape that came with the curtains. And it sucked! I've made curtain panels (in S's room and our kitchen) using Stitch Witchery or liquid stitch. But the stuff that comes with Ikea curtains doesn't seem to stick quite right. Plus, the instructions said to put the tape in the seam, iron it, and then cut the hem. But that meant the tape kept slipping, and I ironed part of it all crooked and it was cumbersome. For the second panel, I just cut the hem one inch longer than I wanted it, put the tape in, folded it up an inch, and ironed. It was much easier.

So the big thing to point out about this curtain project is that it's completely decorative and non-functional. The bit of wall between the fireplace and the door is really skinny, as is the other corner. If we wanted fully functioning curtains, we'd have to cover a significant portion of the sliders. Since we're north facing, we really didn't want to do this. We need as much light as we can get. And besides, we lived without curtains for five years. We obviously aren't concerned about the privacy factor. I ended up just folding each panel in half, and using only one pack of curtain clips to hang them. So each panel is half the width of a normal panel. I think it turned out nice - they look like normal curtains, but don't cover up that precious window view.

Here is the progression of our living room, from when we first bought it with the ugly verticals, to the bare window, to our nice, soft new curtains.