...because home doesn't happen overnight.

bedroom shoe cabinet 2

Remember when I relocated the shoe cabinet and octagon mirror to our bedroom? Well, after a while that mirror didn’t feel quite right. The shape was all wrong for the rectangular space between our curtained closet and bedroom door. The mirror itself was a tad small, too. And it was difficult to use the mirror for quick once-overs due to the straight dividers that broke the mirror up into four quadrants. So I replaced it…

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…with a larger rectangular mirror. {I’m going to apologize now for the inconsistent lighting in the upcoming shots. Our north-facing bedroom gets the weirdest green haze in the afternoon and the sun kept coming and going as I hurriedly snapped these pics while Mabrey was napping and the boys were reading. Still love me?} I also spray painted the knobs on the shoe cabinet the same gold as our nightstands‘ hardware. I wouldn’t be surprised if our local Home Depot is out of stock on gold spray paint. I can’t help myself.

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This wider shot better shows how the new mirror fills the wall between the closet and door.

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The mirror is very heavy. We ran into a little snafu when it came to hanging it just because we were expecting it to have ready-to-hang hardware on the back. But it didn’t. HH added two picture hangers on each side of the frame’s backside and then it was good to go. This particular wall is plaster so HH used wall anchors to hang the mirror securely.

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I love the solid wood frame of this mirror. It’s really simple – no mitered corners, no ornate details – and the finish is a warm, rich cognac. So, so handsome.

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It ties into the hardwood floors, nightstands and dresser really well. It just works.

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I added a few things to the top of the shoe cabinet last minute. Just stuff I already had on hand.

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The picture frame was {yet another!} HomeGoods clearance find – $7. I slipped a picture of HH and me inside. The votive was from Target. I clipped the flower from my backyard. The number tiles are the house’s original house numbers. {I switched up the order for privacy reasons.} I took them down last week when I started cleaning up the front entrance in preparation for a little makeover. They are soooo small! I’m not entirely sure you could even see them from the road. Our new house numbers will be much LARGER. I might end up gluing the old ones onto a piece of reclaimed wood or something but I like seeing them in our bedroom.

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The gold dipped bowl is a Nate Berkus piece. {You can see more of the votive and bowl here.} His stuff just keeps getting better and better if you ask me. HH empties his pockets into the bowl at night. I pulled the little plant from a container on our back patio and plopped it into a smaller IKEA pot.

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The best part about the new mirror is that it reflects way more light from the opposite window. Our bedroom needs as much light as it can get!

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You can’t see it yet but this view into the mirror will reflect large scale art one day. Isn’t that blank wall just begging to be artsified?

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Finally, I’ll leave you with this blurry teaser shot of a corner in our bedroom. There’s an empty dresser that we want to transform into a little workstation {HH works from home sometimes and needs a quiet spot to take conference calls} and we splurged on the super comfy saddle chair. It’s so comfy that I’m seriously contemplating the counter stool version as an upgrade to my $10 stopgap stool. Which begs the question…can one house have too much chevron?

Can’t wait to share more as we slowly make progress!

The new mirror is part of a monthly collaboration between House*Tweaking and Wayfair. All selections, images and opinions are my own. Thanks to Wayfair for supporting my habit.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

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Oh, hey. It’s Friday and I’m just hanging out in my laundry nook posing all The Price is Right beauty-like. I am so weird. My idea of a good time is staging amateur photo shoots in my house. Not necessarily with me in the picture but I like seeing other bloggers in their homes, so I thought I’d give it a go. I should have put on shoes.

The last time I showed you the laundry nook it looked like this…

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Not too much has changed but I would like to point out my recents tweaks and then give you the full monty. Of the laundry nook’s innards, that is.

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First up, I took all y’alls advice and rehung the homemade curtains {I cut up and hemmed IKEA linen panels} under the DIY countertop. Instead of clipping the curtains across the top, I gathered the fabric and clipped it about 2″ from the top hem. I guess you could call it the poor man’s pinch pleat. And it rocks. You guys are awesome with a capitol AWE! The gathered top looks more polished and pulls the curtains up off the floor a bit which makes sweeping easier. I haven’t heard other bloggers say this but I, for one, think a great advantage of having a blog is receiving ideas from the peanut gallery. Sometimes, even as a blogger, it’s really helpful to see my house through others’ eyes. Thank you!

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The other obvious change is the mirror. The original mirror wasn’t the best shape for the vertical space between the two upper cabinets. The round mirror hung above the mantel in our previous home and there was no harm in trying it out but, once I hung it, I knew I’d eventually replace it with something taller and leaner.

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I spotted Feiss’s Cleo mirror on Wayfair and the measurements were perfect. Its shape is curvier and a bit more feminine than I’m usually drawn to but I thought the curves would help break up the straight lines of the cabinets and countertop. Plus, hello, I am a girl {I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself a “woman” and feel comfortable saying it} and I am the only person in our household who uses this nook so I’m entitled to a little girlification when I’m handling dirty underwear, no? I clipped some forsythia, redbud and other green stuff from the backyard and threw them in a vase. Along with the leaning mirror, they give the nook a relaxed feel.

Please note the reflection of the dining pendant light in the mirror. Money shot.

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I also enjoy seeing pictures of all the people whose dirty underwear I’m tending to while I tackle mounds of laundry. The second tier countertop was the best idea I could come up with to hide the dryer’s control panel. The magnetic photo strip is angle iron that you can find at any home improvement store. Ideally, I would prefer a dryer with controls on the front but there’s nothing wrong with ours so I made do. I strategically placed a few horizontal photos near the start button for easy access.

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The photos can be removed to change the dryer’s settings but I rarely change them from load to load.

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HH made the wood countertops using boards he found in the attic during renovations. He secured them together lengthwise with joiner biscuits and wood glue to get the depth we needed. The lower counter rests on wall cleats at the sides and a 2×4 in the middle. I painted all the supports white to blend in. The upper counter rests on the wainscoting.

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There’s a secret trap door that gives me access to the washer’s control panel.

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HH installed sliding latches to lock the door in the closed position. The door itself can’t support much weight when closed {a full laundry basket is fine} but the rest of the countertop is really sturdy. I can stand on it, no problem, and I have. Both countertops – the lower, deeper one & the higher, shallower one – are removable in case we ever need to get to the water/electric hook ups for the washer or dryer. They just slide out.

And now for the full monty…

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BAM. The cabinets and woven baskets hold laundry supplies, lightbulbs, a water pitcher and our owner’s manuals. We have empty shelves!

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The washer and dryer take up most of the floor space under the countertop.

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There’s room next to the dryer for a rolling cart, drying rack, petite ironing board and small trash can. I hung the ironing board from a hook that’s screwed into one of the wall cleats.

My little laundry nook isn’t perfect but it makes me happy and I’ve come to love it. Since it is part of our mudroom/dining room, I keep it tidy and it keeps me honest. I try not to let laundry pile up in here. And whenever we get around to having a party {we are so due for a party}, I think it could moonlight as a bar.

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Everett really, really, REALLY wanted me to take his picture. He says he’s going to be a principal when he grows up {lord help us all} and this is his attempt to dress like one. A clip-on tie on top of an argyle sweater vest on top of a striped polo and everything tucked in to show off the *reversible* belt. So smooth.

Thanks to Wayfair for supporting my habit.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

12.14.12 / Recent Purchases

Here’s the deal. A photo shoot will be taking place at our house right after the new year. I know. What?! Who in the world would want to come take pictures of our house in the state that it’s in?

Our front door doesn’t work properly. The garage is completely dysfunctional and in disarray so we have resorted to entering/exiting through the mudroom’s french doors at the back of the house. There are some baseboards still missing in the hallway from our water leak scare. One full bathroom is gutted and awaiting finishes. The TV area above the mantel is open to the cinder block walls. All of the interior doors are installed but need paint and a few still need hardware. The laundry nook looks like we stuck the washer and dryer in a corner. And I haven’t done any real decorating other than Mabrey’s room which I wouldn’t consider finished. Don’t even get me started on the outside of the house.

Luckily, the photo shoot will only focus on three rooms of the house. But even those rooms need a ton of work before they’re camera worthy. With the holiday season in full swing, we’re in a rush to check off a bunch of projects on our to-do list. Nothing like a photo shoot to light a fire under your tush!

The good news is I’ll have a bunch of decor-related posts to share in 2013 but the bad news is you have to wait until 2013. And since I can’t postpone Christmas or the photo shoot, the blog is pretty much taking a back seat to everything else in my life. Which sucks. Because I really enjoy blogging. I write mental posts in my head all day long. I have 4,188 unpublished posts just sitting in my brain taking up space. In fact, that’s why I started this blog. To empty my brain. Oh, my brain is so heavy right now. My neck can barely support it. THE AGONY.

We’ve been fortunate to have a little financial help in the way of a photo shoot budget. The money is going towards projects and decor that we had planned on funding already. We’re not doing or buying anything that we wouldn’t have done or bought otherwise…just getting to it sooner than we had anticipated. This ‘recent purchases’ installment includes some of those photo shoot items AND some other random stuff. I won’t tell you which is which. Because I like surprises. Especially when I’m the one doing the surprising.

recent purchases dec 2012

 

1 – Endless Topography 4 I found this amazing original artwork via the Aldas Project on etsy. The plan is to hang it in the kitchen. HH and I are stoked about incorporating some real art into this house. We were drawn to the colors and movement of this abstract piece.

2 – Seagrass runner This rug is for the hallway that leads back to the bathrooms and bedrooms. I wanted something durable and simple. Seagrass was the way to go.

3 – Navy linen I bought 7 yards of navy linen to DIY a slipcover for the petite sofa in the mudroom/dining room. I had an interesting conversation with the employee at the cutting table. Of course, they always ask what you’re planning on making with your purchase. I told her a slipcover. She said I was braver than she was then said she never sewed anything without a pattern. I told her I was the complete opposite. I have never sewn anything according to any pattern. Not because I’m a particularly expert sewer. It’s just that if I have a pattern then I see all the things I’m doing incorrectly. If I make it up as I go, there’s nothing to tell me I’m doing it wrong.

4 – Tulip side chair We actually bought four of these for the dining room. They’re modern, comfy, kid-friendly and easy to clean…everything we were looking for in a dining chair. They came with plain white seat cushions. I’ll recover them at some point.

5 – Moravian star mirror I found this gorge mirror on a whim while perusing a Joss & Main event last week. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted a pair to hang on either side of the TV above the mantel. They are just the right size and shape to work around HH’s boob speakers. I’ve decided the best way to deal with the orbs is to just decorate around them. We’ll see.

6 – Stainless steel containers I bought four 3-packs of these containers to organize our herbs and spices. When we moved in, I threw all of my cooking spices into the cabinet above the microwave. What was I thinking?! Obviously, I wasn’t. I have to get up on a stool every time I need my oregano. Which happens quite often. Because I love tomatoes. And nothing goes better with tomatoes than oregano. I’ll be editing my spices and what makes the cut will live in these round containers on the side of the fridge.

7 – Chevron runner Nate Berkus. Chevron. Dhurrie. ‘Nuf said. This handsome man lives in my kitchen now.

8 – Batik pillow cover Have you been over on etsy lately? Seriously. Is it just me or is etsy just getting better and better? I couldn’t get enough of this vintage Hmong textile cover. I added it to my favorites and visited it several times a day for a week or so until I decided to go for it. It’s one of those decor items that I would totally wear if it were in clothing form.

9 – Velvet pillow cover I have been wanting a velvet-covered something for a while now. I love the texture velvet brings to a room. The bright pop of chartreuse is unexpected and fun. I’m going to try pairing this velvet cover with the batik one on the leather couch in our family room. No matchy-matchy pillows here!

There it is. My bounty. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some weekend warrioring to do. Yes. The weekend officially starts NOW. Go!

Click here to see who won this week’s giveaway.

images: polyvore collage by Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

11.28.12 / Well Hung

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. It was also my birthday. It was also the day HH hung a bunch of stuff in our house. He knows me all too well. I’ll take home decor projects over traditional birthday gifts anytime.

We finally added curtains to the picture window in the family room. It’s an improvement. What hasn’t improved is my ability to shoot directly into a window.

The curtain panels are from West Elm and you can find them here. I bought them over a year ago when they were on sale with free shipping and I had a stash of gift cards. The rod that West Elm suggests using with the panels doesn’t come long enough to work with our large window. Ideally, I was wanting a plain matte black curtain rod with enough thickness to it to hold its own above the big window. I finally found this less expensive simple rod that fits our window but the diameter doesn’t allow for the curtain rings to slide over.

I resorted to buying two $7 packs of metal shower curtains rings from Meijer to hang the curtains. I actually don’t mind the ring on ring action. It feels casual and undone. If I ever tire of the look, there’s enough length to the panels for me to remove the tabs & rings and sew a rod pocket into the top. By then, maybe our kid/guest bathroom will be complete and I can use the shower curtain rings in there??

One day we’ll add some textured woven blinds to fill the gap between the top of the window and the curtain rod. I’m thinking I’ll probably have to buy two or three narrower blinds to extend the full width of the window as a single blind that size would be crazy expensive and might sag. I’m also going to woo HH into building a window seat bench with open cubbies in it for toy and book storage. Or I might go all Ana White and bust it out myself. I keep asking HH to show me where all his tools are and how to use them but he keeps doing everything for me. I think he’s afraid I’ll mess it up. Which is highly possible. But it wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it? I should totally start wielding some power tools.

The curtain panel on the right is doing one of my favorite curtain tricks: hiding the big a$$ subwoofer on the floor. My feelings towards this piece of home entertainment equipment are similar to my feelings towards the surround sound speakers in/on the wall. As long as HH keeps hanging stuff for me, I’ll keep covering up his ugly speakers. Hehe.

Love the narrow ivory frame around the panels. You could DIY something like this with inexpensive gray curtains from IKEA by hot gluing narrow ribbon along the edges or even painting the narrow frame around the panels. In fact, you should do this. Don’t be lazy like me.

HH assembled and installed this shoe cabinet next to the front door months ago. I don’t speak of it because we don’t use it yet. Our original front door is, well, original and still out of order. Once we start accessing the house through the front door, this slim cabinet is going to be all the rage. Last week, I was feeling brave and ventured up into the attic to rescue the capiz mirror. It’s from a Ballard Designs outlet near Cincy and it used to live in the master bedroom of our previous house. It’s found a new home in our new old home. I love seeing the reflection of the kitchen in it.

Eventually, we’ll hang something on the other side of the window to balance out the mirror on the left. Not necessarily a round mirror though. That would be too matchy.

HH also hung a light over the dining table. Surprise! It’s the Hoyne pendant and it’s pretty much the most amazing light ever. We had purchased a really inexpensive FOTO pendant from IKEA and spray painted it matte black. HH had been trying to install it for months with no success due to a missing bracket part that IKEA was refusing to send us and HH was fuming over the idea of having to go buy one. After the snafu, I realized the solid pendant probably wasn’t a great choice for the room. The dining table needs direct light and the FOTO would have provided that but the rest of the room also needs lit. The ceiling light is the main artificial light source in the mudroom. There is a small can light in the laundry nook but it doesn’t provide enough lighting for the rest of the room.

This pricier pendant is the result of a new collaboration in the works {I can’t divulge all the details yet!} and it was my inspiration light. It’s the light I was dreaming would live in our dining room/mudroom and if I’d have had $350 burning a hole in my pocket I would have snatched it up before now. With the open weave of the Hoyne, the rest of the room recevies light – not just the dining table. The shadows that the light casts onto the ceiling at night are beautiful! And I like how the pendant lets natural light from the window and the french doors pass through.

Did you notice a change in the location of the dining table? When we moved, we thought we’d like to have the table over by the sofa for a casual place to eat. But after living with our mudroom/dining room for a while now, we’ve found that placing the table in the center of the room works better. We toss mail on it when we come in. I fold laundry on it sometimes. It’s multipurpose. Of course, we still need chairs around the table but having the table in the middle of the room makes the room flow so much better and keeps all the big furniture from tilting the visual weight of the room to one side. It reminds me of those fancy entries you see in magazines where there’s a big pedestal table gracing the middle of the foyer.

The sofa is staying put but I’m going to make a slipcover for it. And add pillows. Ahhhhh. Pillows.

So stuff is happening here. Slowly but surely. It’s starting to look and feel more like home with each tweak.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking