Curtains = Cat Beds

Did you know that curtains can also double as cat beds? Zoey certainly thinks they can. Normally when I’m working in my office, Zoey can either be found laying in my lap or the desk by my feet. The other day, she was no where to be found. That is, until I looked behind the curtains to find a sleeping kitten:

I’ll admit it was a little chilly last week, but I didn’t think it would be cold enough for Zoey to seek warmth in the curtains. Maybe she is just getting herself ready for the winter months. It was really cute to see her all snuggled up in the curtains. I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of when she was sleeping on the other side of the room on top of the curtains.

Here is Zoey all tucked in her new curtain bed.

To give you some perspective, I have one curtain panel hung on each window of my office and then the curtain is draped over a hook. Zoey was laying in the part of the curtains that gathered on the floor.


S
o aside from finding sleeping kittens in our curtains, BJ and I have been busy working on projects around the house.

Here is a sneak peek of some upcoming posts about our projects.

The blue paint is finally on the wall! Remember the paint chip that we taped on our wall nearly one year ago:

Well, we finally finished the wall!

Over the weekend, I learned a very valuable lesson about gardening. Do not put off cleaning your flowers beds and then spend all day working on them. You will wake up the next morning with sore muscles you didn’t even know you had. My hat goes off to professional landscapers. I’m still beat from spending all day weeding, trimming flowers and bushes and pulling out unwanted sticker bushes. And there is still more to do.

The before:

It’s already been a busy October and there is still more month ahead!

Shelves and new projects

The shelves are up and the wait is over!

As I posted a few weeks ago, there is a large purple wall in my office that was a blank canvas. Originally, I wanted to hang a photo collage on the wall. But after looking at photos of other home offices and thinking about it, I decided I wanted to do shelves. Before I found the floating shelves at Ikea, we were going to make our own. I would’ve been a lot of fun to make our own, but the Ikea shelves turned out really well.

Remember the blank purple wall:

And our fabulous find at Ikea. Floating shelves!

Prior to the shelf install, my rendering of what the wall would look like included three white shelves. After some thought and measurements, I decided  on two shelves for now. I can always add a third which would be lower to the ground.

Putting up the new wall decor was more difficult than I thought. The shelves came with metal braces to hold them on the wall and then you put the shelves on to the metal braces and screw them into place. Seems simple, right?  The truth is, it was not easy to measure, level and hold the brace with only two people. The brace was flimsy and I couldn’t keep it still.

One of the issues we ran into was the lack of studs in the wall. So our solution was to use anchors to make sure the shelves are stable and we do not wake up one night to the sound of everything crashing in the office. Those little white holes in the wall are anchors. They look like big white plastic screws with holes where the smaller metal screw goes. Evidently those little suckers can hold up to 75 lbs!!!

After we got one shelf up on the wall, we used it to measure where we were going to put the second shelf. We used a very sophisticated method: Post-it notes. Hey, it worked! The fancy red arrow on the wall is our Post-it. Now BJ can no longer tease me for having millions of them (another post for another time). In time of need, the Post-its came though.

Here is the finished product with both shelves on the wall.

And thanks to the anchors, even with the decorations, they are still solid! (I always worry)

Now I just need to do some rearranging, hang some more pictures and my office will be complete! For now 🙂

With the temperatures outside cooling off, BJ and I are getting into home improvement project mode. There is a wall in our kitchen/living room that we are planning to paint blue as an accent wall. In a few weeks, we can finally start painting. It’s been too warm to open up the windows while we paint. We are also going to put up crown molding in the living room and kitchen to hide some wires from our ceiling speaker install. It’s going to be a busy fall for us! Here is a preview of our upcoming projects:

Painting the accent wall:

And crown molding to cover our speaker wire:

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Sneak preview: the shelves are up!

All the cool kids are doing home improvement projects on Friday nights. What did you do tonight?

So because it’s late and it’s been a long week, I’m not going to dive into how we put up the shelves tonight. I will update you on the start to finished process in my next post. But as promised… here they are:

I apologize for picture quality. There is not much light to work with in my office.  I usually work with just my desk lamp at night. The glowing ball of light in the corner is my paper lantern light.

More pictures to come. I will some better shots in the morning. 🙂

In the meantime… goodnight all! Check back soon!

Another busy, yet accomplished weekend

These days it seems like every weekend is a busy one. However, this weekend was successful despite our busy schedule. So to catch you up on the past few days, I’ve spent most of the week calling home and working on projects around the house. Here are the highlights of this past week’s happenings:

1. The earthquake on the East Coast.

Since all of my family lives on the East Coast, I spent Tuesday evening sending text messages and calling home to my mom and dad to hear the stories of their experiences during the quake.

2. Hurricane Irene.

It’s been a crazy week for my friends and family on the East Coast. More phone calls home and watching the weather to see the path of the storm.

3. Despite the bad weather on the East Coast, it’s been a beautiful week here in the Midwest.

Although I hoped to get more work done outside in the beautiful weather, I’ve been spending some time indoors trying to get projects done and catch up on some cleaning, etc. Tonight is the first night we’ve opened up the windows since sometime in April or May. Zoey is so excited to see the windows open that she’s been running from room to room.


Yesterday, we got up in the morning, went to breakfast and then headed over to Borders’ going out of business sale. It’s sad to see places like Borders close. I’ve been frequenting the sale over the past few weeks buying up photography, decor and comic books.

In the realm of home decor, I found a couple of great buys for my mom on organizing and a few on home decor and Real Simple’s book on simple solutions:


After our trip to Borders, my husband and I hopped back in the car and headed to Ikea for the afternoon.

Earlier this week I signed up for Ikea Family and wanted to go pick up my new card and check out a few items that are on our project list. Our visit to Ikea was a successful one and we came home with a few new items for our home and even got to enjoy a few frozen yogurt for signing up for Ikea Family!

Our trips to Ikea not only end up with new stuff for our home, but we always leave with a better idea of what we might pick up on our next visit. This time we shopped for couches. Previously, we were set on the idea that we would be buying a different couch then the one we picked out this time. When we walked into the showroom on Saturday, this particular couch caught our eye:

We are looking for something that sits low to the floor (because our entertainment center, which is also from Ikea, has our TV sitting pretty low to the floor) and is large enough that when we have a guests over, everyone can find a place to sit to watch a football game, movie or play video games. Right now with one couch, most of our guest have to curl up on the floor with a pillow.
We really like the charcoal color they had in the showroom and since we have a palette of neutral colors in our home, my plan is to brighten up the couch with brightly colored throw pillows and blankets. I especially love this couch because it is so large and both BJ and I can curl up and watch a movie and be completely comfortable! Now we just need to do some measurements to see if it will fit in our living room. If not, there are plenty of configurations for this couch, so we can go with a smaller option.
And of course, a trip to Ikea isn’t complete without the adventure of figuring out how all of your purchases will fit in the trunk! This time, I thought for sure we would get everything in without a problem. Especially since we didn’t buy as much as we normally do. But, in perfect Ikea trip fashion, there we were standing at the car sweating it out because the shelves I picked out for my office didn’t fit even with the seats folded down. But no worries. We got it all in! And this is how we drove home:
Now that everything we bought is safely at home, here are the finished results of another successful trip to Ikea.
Hallway to garage and utility room before:
Hallway to garage and utility room after:
We also purchased a bench for shoes that we put in the kitchen which allows us to come in the garage door and have a place to sit down and take off our shoes. And it also serves as storage for our shoes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve tripped over my own shoes in that back hallway. I’m glad we now have a place to put them that is out of the path to the laundry room.
And lastly, coming soon will be a post on the finished project of adding shelves to the wall in my office! Look for that post in the future!

Wall Art

“No, Watson, this was not done by accident, but by design.”
— Sherlock Holmes

Foyer photo collage

I love photo collages. I love designing them, hanging them and most of all, I love taking the photos that make up our many photo collages. To me, photo collages are a simple, yet elegant way to hang photos like art and showcase my hobby to those who visit our home.

Photo collages are a great DIY project for someone who is looking to dress up a wall with their own personal touch. You can use family photos, scenic photos, nature photos or mix and match. The sky is the limit.  If you are not photographer by any means, or just aren’t sure you want to hang photos all over your wall, you can instead use framed fabric or beautiful wrapping paper. You can even dress up a wall with several different styles of frames. It’s up to you. Below are a few of the many photos collages around our home. Almost all of the photos (which the exception of one or two) were taken by me or my husband BJ.

My favorite collage is the one that hangs above the dining room entryway. It’s located in the front foyer and catches your eye as soon as you walk in our front door. In order to get the photos up that high, I really had to plan out exactly how I wanted to execute the finished product.

Supplies needed: frames, photos, computer paper folded to the size of the frame, painter’s tape, nails, hammer, level, one really tall ladder and courage (to climb the really tall ladder).

In order to get the photos on the wall in the arrangement  I wanted, I needed a way to transfer the arrangement from floor to the wall so I could see to move things around if needed. This also help prevent multiple nail holes. Below is the collage arranged on the floor so I could use something to reference when I transferred the design to the wall.

Next, I took the computer paper that I folded to match the size of each frame, and taped it to the wall.

Once I finished arranging and making adjustments to the paper on the wall, BJ used the paper as a reference to place each nail hole. Below is the finished product:


Here are a few more photo collages I designed.

This arrangement is located in the guest bath. The quote in the black square frame was done using a graphic I found online and then overlaying text on top of graphic. I used Pixelmator to design the finished product and then printed the design and cut it to fit the frame.

The collage below is part of an arrangement in our living room.