Thursday, June 20, 2013

floor lamp makeover

Before I start this post, I have to apologize for the picture quality you're about to see. Between the lack of natural light in my condo and trying to take pictures of a light with my simple camera and limited photography skills, it's not great. I know, and I'm sorry...

My bedroom has no ceiling light and one of the outlets in the room is supposed to work with the light switch, but none of them do. So I have to switch lamps on by hand at night, and most of the time I end up using other nearby lights because it's just easier. Not ideal, but I've never bothered to have an electrician figure out which outlet should be connected to the light switch and fix it. Maybe one of these days...

Anyway, I've had this floor lamp in my bedroom for years. When I bought it I thought I was going to use a lot of this brushed silver look, but at some point I changed my mind and I have nothing else like it anywhere in my house. The color and style of the lamp really stuck out in my bedroom and I knew I needed to change it.

Here it is outside before I started the makeover.

 I took off the plastic shade and taped off all the electrical stuff, then I spray painted it with oil rubbed bronze. 

Changing the silver made a big difference, and I also wanted to do something with the shade since the old one didn't go with the style of my room. I bought this drum shade with the intention of covering it with fabric, but once I got started on that I wasn't loving it and I actually really like the color and texture of the original shade, so I decided to just leave it as is.

The best and easiest part of this makeover was "installing" the new shade. I literally just plopped in down right over the top of the old one.

Here it is back in my bedroom. I know it's hard to see, but hopefully you can get an idea of how much better it goes with the rest of the room.

Here it is in better light

I would still love to add something to bulk up that long pole, but for a quick and inexpensive makeover I think it's good for now.

This is another one of those things that I lived with for years even though I didn't love it (like the knife block I painted last week), and now that I spent 5 minutes fixing it up a little bit I wonder why I didn't do it earlier. It isn't perfect, but it's so much better than it was before!

Monday, June 17, 2013

painted knife block

Last week I showed you this desk that I found on the side of the road and refinished.
I am so in love with that paint color (Sherwin Williams Grays Harbor) and have been thinking about other places to use it in my house. I want to paint everything with it. No paintable surface is safe.

My first victim was the knife block in my kitchen that you can see next to the fridge in this picture.

The same honey color as every knife block in every kitchen.

And here it is painted! 

It was bugging me that you can still see the original wood color in the knife slots, but once the knives are in there you can't even tell (missing a few that are in the dishwasher).

It looks brighter in this picture than it really is, but I love that I'm adding a little bit more blue to my kitchen. I bought that bowl on the right side of this picture a few years ago in Italy, and until now it has been the only blue thing in my kitchen.

It's funny how you live with something you don't like even though changing it is so simple. I never liked the color of the knife block but didn't think to paint it until recently, and once I decided what color to use it only took a few minutes to transform it. I don't know how much you can love a knife block, but I do love the added color in my kitchen!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

kitchen update

Some things have changed recently in my kitchen, so I thought I would do an update and show you the progress over the last 6 years that I have lived in my condo. 

When I bought it 6 years ago the kitchen looked like this

Before I moved in, I made the first set of changes and this is how it looked for about 4 years.

New paint color, darker cabinets, and tile on the floor

Then about 2 years ago I needed a change and did this
Painting the cabinets and adding handles made such a big difference! My kitchen feels so much brighter now, and 2 years later I still love it.

But...the lighter cabinets made these awful appliances look even worse.

The off-white color on the cabinets made them stand out and I was reminded every day that they were 20 years old and so ugly.

Only 3 of the burners on the stove worked, and I can't tell you how much I hate coil burners. Cleaning under them was one of my least favorite chores.

This microwave was a beast. For how huge the whole unit was, the inside was barely big enough to fit a dinner plate and it didn't have a turn table. It was so heavy that it took 2 people to carry it outside when I finally replaced it.

This year I used my tax refund to pay for a trip to Costa Rica and still had enough left over to buy new appliances. Definitely my favorite tax refund yet. It has been a few months since the kitchen looked like this, and looking at these older pictures I can say with total confidence that I do not miss those appliances one bit.

So much better!

I love my glass top stove and do not miss the coil burners one bit

And this microwave is such a huge improvement, both in looks and function. I love it!
(that's me in my shirt from Dublin)

Now for the keeping it real portion of this post ~ that 2 inch strip below the microwave was there for about 3 months. The old microwave used to cover it, and since I got the new one I had been meaning to paint it but just hadn't gotten around to it. Taking these pictures was just the motivation I needed though, because after I took them I finally got the paint out and just did it! No new picture, but it's finally done. And it took a whole 5 minutes :) 

One last before and after, because they're fun :)

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

home tour

I live in a small 1000 square foot condo that I bought 6 years ago, and today I'm going to take you on a tour! It's just a living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a laundry/utility room, so it won't take long.

This is what you see when you walk in the front door 
Before I moved in, I had all the carpet replaced, put tile in the kitchen, painted the living room and kitchen, and refinished the kitchen cabinets. There are a few before shots below.

To the right is the living room, and through the glass door you can see my only outdoor space ~ a tiny balcony. There's no furniture or anything out there, because it's the only place I have to paint so I need the space.
(Sorry about the dark picture. It was taken in the middle of the day, but I don't get much natural light so it's hard to get good pictures.)

The living room from another angle. I got that dresser for $20 online, sanded it down, and painted it the same off-white color as the kitchen cabinets. That's the front door you see there on the right.

This is what the living room looked like when I bought it ~ dirty old carpet, yellow walls, and awful vertical blinds.

To the left of the front door is the kitchen


Six years later I still LOVE this tile. There used to be carpet under the table (why?), so this is a huge improvement!

Kitchen before

New tile, paint, and stained cabinets

After about 4 years with the dark cabinets I was ready for a change and painted them this off-white color (white with a little bit of the wall color mixed in). The kitchen feels so much brighter now!

I recently replaced the 20 year old appliances with these and I can't believe how long I lived with the old ones! So much better.

As you go down the hall, the first door on the right is my travel/craft room. Right now it looks like this ~
I just refinished the desk last week and the room is a complete disaster from taking out the old table that was there and bringing in the new desk. So please excuse the mess, some big changes are coming soon!

The first door on the left in the hallway is the laundry/utility room which I don't have any pictures of. It's awful and there's really nothing I can do about it, so I just keep the door closed unless I'm in there doing laundry.

The next door on the left is the guest bathroom
I recently did a lot of work in this bathroom, and it's not done yet! (Check out the horrifying before pictures here)

And finally we have the master bedroom and bathroom
(another dark picture, sorry)

The door on the left goes out to the hallway, and on the right there are closets on either side as you walk into the master bathroom.

This bathroom has also had some recent changes, and there are more coming soon.

And that's it! It's a small space, but I love it. I have put a lot of work into making it mine, and even though there is always more to do, it's home.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Bathroom rehab ~ where things are now

It's been awhile since I posted an update about my bathroom, and that's because things pretty much came to a screeching halt (in there) when I went back to work after my Christmas break. But, I have done a little bit more than the last post I did about the bathroom, so here are a few pictures of where things are now.

I installed a new towel bar because the old one was very cheap plastic, and it wasn't hung straight which drove me crazy.

I bought some new towels that are so perfect. I love the light aqua color and it matches the shower curtain so well, and the swirly stuff ties in the beige of the floor and the new rug.

There wasn't anything here to hold a hand towel, so that ring is new too.

I love that paisley shower curtain and how all the colors work together.

The old toilet paper holder was also cheap plastic, so I installed a new one of those too.

Now, down to the uglier side of things. There are still things I want or need to do in there, including the most obvious ~ a new light fixture. I took the fan cover down to clean it, and you can see how far I got with that. (Sorry about the dark picture. It's hard to take a picture of a light.)

Then there's this. Looking at the pretty shower curtain you would never know that this mess is behind it. I haven't gotten around to cleaning the grout or re-calking yet, so I just close the curtain and pretend it's not there. One of these days...
I would also like to replace the floor, counter, and sink someday, but for now I'm just happy to have another functioning toilet. My goal in this bathroom was to make it cleaner, lighter, and brighter...and I think I have accomplished that so far.