Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bedroom headboard

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ed's closet

I've been having problems posting photos with Blogger lately, but here it finally is. Our last closet to get the Closet Maid organizer treatment. This is part of the great master bedroom re-do. Although we have a large walk-in closet in the second bedroom, our master has this smaller closet, so Ed uses it. I designed it to hold his clothes, shoes, guitar, and on the top shelves, our towels and sheets. So this redesign frees us space elsewhere.

Ed did a great job installing the track system (superior, in my opinion, to the kind that attaches on the sides). While he was off at work last week and I was home on the forced Decorating Vacation, I learned that I can use the hand saw and cut the wire shelving, too. This closet also incorporates a new touch for us: the shoe shelves, which are regular shelves turned upside down and attached with a special hardware. This turned out really nice and should help keep the bedroom organized. Woo-hoo! We're all done now--all five closets in our home have gotten closet organizers. Thanks, Ed!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Stain master

So if you thought that wall behind the bed in my last post looked a little bare, you're right. But don't worry, we've got plans for a beautiful headboard. We ordered it from At Home Furniture, the closest unpainted furniture store to Chicago, which is halfway to Milwaukee in Libertyville! On Sunday Ed and I borrowed generous neighbor Reggie's van and drove to pick up the headboard and a shelving cubby thing, too.

On Day 6 of Decorating Vacation I set out to stain it. (Day 4 was spent painting the bedroom closet. See next post. Days 3 and 5 were spent relaxing.) Now, I've only ever stained one thing in my life, and that is this lovely frame built by my very talented brother-in-law. Originally this was supposed to be my bathroom mirror, but it ended up too big for the space (my miscalculation, not Andy's). But it does fit perfectly in our hallway and covers the ugly metal fuse box. Andy built it last summer and it took me several months to stain it, and then almost half a year to figure out how to get the mirror in the back (brads; those mirror triangles didn't work). Not knowing what I was doing, I brushed the stain/poly combo on, and it ended up dripping a lot. So I sanded and restained, but it still has some serious drippage.

So before attempting the headboard, I called my mother, who has refinished lots of furniture, for some tips. (The lady at the furniture store also clued me in.) You wipe the stain on with a rag, not a brush! Aha. That worked lots better as you can see from this lovely headboard. It's actually a bit darker in real life and should match our other furniture pretty well. I'm not going for the perfectly matched look anyway. I also have this idea to add some dark bamboo in those rectangles. We'll see how that works.

I also took this old (VERY heavy) mirror that I've had leaned up against a wall and sanded and stained it, too. This is a trash find. I'm hoping Ed can attached it to the wall behind the door. I have to have a full-length mirror to check how my shoes match my outfit. As soon as I'm done blogging, I'm off to do the all-important sealer stage. Two coats on the whole thing; and three on the front of the headboard, where it will get more wear. Then a few days of drying and we'll attempt the actual installation. Progress...

True blue bedroom

Get ready for a bunch of decorating posts, all you (five) readers out there! I had some "use it or lose it" vacation at work so have been home since last Wednesday. Last week we decided to adopt a boy from Vietnam while waiting for our adoption of Sophie from China, which means we might have a baby as early as Christmas! Of course, this threw me into a deocrating spin, as friends with children have warned me: Do all your home improvement before the baby comes, because you won't do any once he gets here. But before we get to decorating the nursey, I've got some work to finish in the rest of the house.

So, first I painted our bedroom (See photo above). Those of you who have visited Chez Schlumpf-Butler may recall that our master bedroom was already blue. Yes, but this is an ever-so-slightly different shade of gray/blue/purple that perfectly matches our new Calvin Klein Bamboo Flowers linens.

It took five tries (of sample squares, not the whole job!) to find the perfect color (and only one of those, of course, came in the handy-dandy Benjamin Moore sample size) but we finally decided on Yukon Sky, #1439. So I've got a few extra quarts of various light blues, but maybe I'll be able to use them for something in the baby's room.

Also, the woman who previously owned this condo painted with the cheapest of flat paints, so there were tons of nicks, scuffs, etc. I use Benjamin Moore Eggshell for a nice, smooth, washable finish. But I'm not done yet: I couldn't remove the fabric shades on the windows and we're planning to replace them anyway (need something that blocks out more light--for us and for baby!) so I skipped that wall. You can see the color difference above (new color on left). It's not very accurate, as the old color is somewhat shaded.

So that was Day 2 of my decorating vacation. (Day 1 involved biking to the paint store, about a mile or so away to buy a sample quart). Painting Day 2 also included two bike trips to the store, since I could only carry one gallon at a time in my backpack. Don't worry: Mom and Dad ordered their new hybrid car last week. As soon as it arrives (6 weeks to 6 months) we're buying their old Toyota Camry. After 5 years of carlessness, we're going to join the land of the driving.