Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm Relocating...

After only a few months of blogging here on Blogger, I'm relocating House*Tweaking to Yep, that's right, I got my own domain.  (Not that I really knew what a 'domain' was just a few short weeks ago.)  I'm definitely learning as I go in the technical aspect of having a URL.  It's still pretty basic but I'll keep posting about budget decorating, do-it-yourself and cheap finds.  I hope to add some fun new topics too!  (One idea is "Tweak Peeks" where I go into family's/friends' homes and pick something that I totally love about their space and share it with you.  Who wants to offer up their home first?!) 

Please bear with me while I continue to 'tweak' my new site.  Sorry, for any lost comments in the transition from Blogger to House*Tweaking.  All of my previous posts can be found at the new site (with a few minor spacing issues but nothing awful), so feel free to cut yourself off from my blog here and follow/subscribe over at House*Tweaking.

Here's to new beginnings!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Airing Out

It seems like at any given time between the months of October and March, at least one person in this family of four has a snotty nose or cough.  Being in the Midwest, we don't get out as much during winter and germs can easily take up residence inside.  They say indoor air is more polluted than outside air due to all the chemicals that are released from cleaners, perfumes, hairspray and even furniture.  In an effort to keep our home's air fresh, I 'air out' the house once a week for 15 minutes.  Even when it's cold outside.  This simply requires opening a bunch of windows.  The only thing to keep in mind is air flow.  For instance, if I open a window at the front of the house, then I need to open one at the back of the house also to pull air through the house. 

And don't forget upstairs if you have a second story...

With all the recent painting events that have taken place here this week, today is Ultimate Airing Out Day.  I'm keeping the windows open (and putting up with the slight, temporary chill) all morning.  Not to worry though, I've got my sweatpants and sweatshirt on to keep me toasty.  Who am I kidding?  This is my normal attire on a winter day.

Ahhhhh, I'm breathing better already.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Painting Project for Anyone

This empty storage cabinet had been sitting in the family room for a while. 

It was missing a knob that was to be replaced by the manufacturer.  Turns out, there were no replacement knobs because the cabinet was discontinued.  (Duh, that's how I got it for cheap.)  So, the company gave me $28 to buy new knobs!  Awesome.  The white, wooden knobs were pretty plain anyways.

I found four of these bad boys for $3 each.  (That means I had $16 leftover!)

With the knobs all accounted for, I decided this little cabinet needed some 'tweaking'.  (Which is what I think about most things.)  Wouldn't the inside of the cabinet look great painted green?  With the leftover knob money in my pocket, I snatched up some paint.  Glidden's Celery Sticks, to be exact.  After attaching the new knobs, I taped off the back of the cabinet and brought it to life. 

It's still an empty cabinet sitting in my family room.  But, at least, it's got four knobs now.  I'm on the prowl for some storage baskets, boxes, printed paper and other knick-knackish goodies.

I'm in love with the fresh, springy green. It's helping me forget that it's 20 degrees outside. A little.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How's It Hangin'?

This is our main floor powder room.

Nothing special but simple and quaint nonetheless.  I've always had one small problem with it though.  Well, not a problem... more of a small nuisance.  Because I like things functional.  Most days this is how the powder room looks.

The hand towel is usually crumpled up in the sink, completely wet, after my boys wash their hands because they can't reach the towel ring to hang it back up.  (That is, when I can get them to wash their hands.)  But one day while browsing Lowe's, I came across the perfect solution.  A self-adhesive brushed nickel hook for $3.  Perfect!

I easily attached it to the wall between the sink and the toilet just above the kids' step stool.

It looked great and I thought the nuisance was short-lived.  Essentially, there was a place for the kids' towel and a spot for the adults' towel.

As is pretty typical around here, I was wrong.  This is what the bathroom looked like after the first time Layne used it with the new towel hook.  (I even made a big deal about how I put up this hook just for him, right at his height.)

Apparently, he wasn't used to hanging up his towel.  Bad habits are hard to break.  Especially in children.  A few weeks later, we have progressed to this.

But usually the towel ends up on the floor or in the sink, soggy.  I think I remember seeing white hand towels at IKEA that have loops on them to hang up.  I may break down and buy a few. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

HGTV Dream Home 2010

I finally got a chance to tour the HGTV Dream Home 2010 online.  And I entered to win it.  (You're right, I probably can't afford the taxes but I still want to win it.)  I'm showing my favorite pics here but, really, there's not a room I wouldn't live in. 

The front door entry (this is the view I'd get when greeting my guests)...The stunner?! Those knotty wood ceilings and beams! Gorg.E.Ous.  And my eyes really like those contrasting painted doors and baseboards.

The view my guests would get after entering the front door...A nice wide open hallway of sorts leading back to the great room and views of the landscape.  How could you not look out those windows?!

To the right of the entry is this cozy seating area.  I'm surprised by how these wingback chairs fit into the style of the home.  They really do work.  And just look at those beams defining (but not separating) the entry from the sitting room and dining room.  So airy. 

To the left of the entry is this simple, refined dining room.  This may be my favorite dining room picture of all time.  Usually, I don't like formal dining rooms (basically because it would be wasted space at my house) and this one is anything but formal.  The slipcovers and sisal rug set the stage for a casual meal.  The head-of-the-table rope chairs lend some texture along with the floor-to-ceiling drapes.  Geometry in the curtain print and the streamlined pendant light both take this room from almost shabby-chic to modern.  And although the wood tones are all a little different, they work together because they are all light. 

Make your way back to the great room and you won't be disappointed.  Livable furniture in an open floor plan... HGTV, you know your stuff.  Notice, once again, the added textures (sisal rug, dried grasses behind the sofa, baskets on the wood coffee table) and geometric-printed fabrics.  When combined, they really make this house 'livable modern'.

The tiled wall gives the open kitchen a background to rest against.  The island pendant lights give an industrial edge without feeling sterile.  (I want them.)

Who am I kidding?  This kitchen wouldn't make my cooking any better tasting... but, damn!, I would look good cooking in it!

I actually enjoy doing laundry.  This laundry room would be icing on the cake.  Something about rustic wood and stainless steel together make me want to stare.

This bathroom has just helped me make up my mind about what color to paint our guest bath vanity.  A medium sage-gray hue would look great with the white marble countertops we already have.

Last, but not least, this guest room is about as girlie as I get.  (I'm not too girlie.)  The grayish lavender wall color feels calm and inviting.  I want to sleep here.  Everything else in the room is neutral...just goes to show how paint can really carry a room.

So, there you be.  Some highlights of the tour.  If you want to see more or get in the running for a chance to win it, head over to HGTV Dream Home 2010.  You can enter once daily up until 2/19/10.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Tale of Two Curtains

I live 15 minutes from IKEA.  (Have you seen their new commercial, by the way?!  It's hilarious.  Yeah, the one where the wife/mother tears into the front yard with her flatbed truck full of IKEA boxes.)  It's a blessing and a curse.  Steve gets scared whenever I mention I'm headed there.  On one of my recent trips, though, it WAS a blessing.  I found 2 'damaged' MATILDA curtains in the "AS IS" section for $1 each.  The only 'damage' was a few of the curtain rod loops had come unstitched.  Luckily, I paid attention in home ec.  So, that's at least 6 yards of white fabric for $2!!!!  I ran with them to the checkouts. 

Back home I had 2 black leather storage ottomans hidden in my son's closet.  I totally loved the idea of them - we store board games in them - but they were pretty dark for my taste and our decor.  Enter, stage left, the new 'damaged' curtains.  I was sure I could make simple slipcovers for the ottomans... even though I had never attempted to slipcover anything before.

So, a few months later (yeah, this past weekend) I finally got around to making those slipcovers.  First, I threw the fabric in the wash to preshrink it.  I wanted the slipcovers to be totally removable and washable because, remember, I have two little boys!  From the clean, shrunken, newly-ironed curtains I simply cut out 10 identical 20"x20" squares of fabric.  Two squares for each top of the ottomans and eight for each vertical side. 

Then I simply stitched them all together and hemmed 'em up.  Here are the fresh white ottomans after $2 and 2 hours of ironing, measuring, cutting and sewing.  (Yes, that's HGTV Property Virgins host, Sandra Rinomato.  Now ya know what I like to watch while I sew.)

I placed them on either side of the TV console to try to soften and lighten it up a little.  Plus, I think they mimic the square artwork.

To the left of the TV...

To the right of the TV...

Some textural close-ups...

They aren't perfect but I'm in love with how they turned out.  More slipcovers may be in my future!  For more IKEA-related decor and projects, check out IKEA FANS.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Mini-Mudroom

Back in August, we were featured on Young House Love's website as one of their infamous Reader Redesigns.  I was ecstatic!  They declared the small renovation of our hall closet into a mini mudroom worthy of mention to the decor world.  Want to see what all the fuss was about?  Check it out here.

And if you just want the short of it, here are the before and afters.  (Remember, I alluded to this in a recent post about my laundry room makeover... the paint color is Glidden's Gentle Tide.)

Before (well, during)


For specifics on products, cost and the DIY work, swap over to YHL.