Now that we’ve established that not only will Kris Kross make you “jump jump”, but also “flop flop”, I think we can get along with today’s oh-so-riveting (note the sarcasm) blog post about table flopping. But before we start, show of hands, how many of you now have that dang Kris Kross song stuck in your hand?! Muah ha ha ha ha! My evil work is done.
Some of you may have noticed in some of the recent blog posts about our kitchen that our dining room and kitchen tables have performed a little flopping around. Like a fish out of water kind of flopping around. Case in point…the previous dining room table and the new-to-the-dining-room table that was living in our kitchen:
And here’s the kitchen table when it was in fact in our kitchen (also about 8 million kitchen projects ago):
And now with the previously in-the-dining-room-table that’s now in the kitchen:
I think it was New Year’s Eve, Colby and I were hanging out in the kitchen getting ready to blow this taco stand…I mean…house….and head out for our annual New Year’s Eve date night. (Random side note…Colby and I officially started dating on New Year’s Day five years ago after meeting the good ol’ fashioned American way…at a bar. We go back to this bar, the Sea Dog in Bangor, every year on New Year’s Eve and even request the table that we met at. It’s our little thing.) Somehow the topic of the kitchen/dining room tables come up and we start messing with the idea of switching them around. All of a sudden I’m silent, which NEVER happens, and Colby looks at me says “you want to move them now, don’t you?!” Oh dear husband you know me too well! So we flopped them. And I have to say, I’m particularly loving the new dining room setup.
So why did we flop the tables around?! Trajectories dear Watson! Trajectories! Actually, it’s mostly about choosing the path of least resistance. When the brown table was in the dining room, it was much rounder so we had to walk more around the table to go down the hall from the kitchen. Now it’s a much straighter path. Even straighter for Goose who just tromps right down the middle of the table…underneath it of course.
Same situation in the kitchen. When the white table was in the kitchen it was more rectangular and didn’t quite fit the little breakfast nook. But when we moved in the rounder, brown table it fit like a glove and I…I mean…the laundry fairy could get to the laundry room MUCH easier!
It was one of those “duh” moments that I wish we had thought of sooner. We’ve lived with them like this for a couple of months and have no table flopping remorse. Although, now that they’re flopped I’m super jonesing to paint either the brown chairs or the brown table or both to break up the overt brown-ness of the kitchen. But the new dining room table…me-ow!! I’m totally digging it. Especially from this angle in the kitchen, where you get a snippet of that exposed wood wall along with the white, curvaceous table:
Feel free to ignore those mis-matched ladder back chairs. I had spray painted one as a desk chair back in the day but not its match. Then later decided to use them both…together…as dining chairs. Then I totally missed out on spray painting the second chair during the three week window of spray painting season here in Maine (which is wedged between mud season and black fly season). So I have a brown chair. So sue me. But I’m thinking of painting both chairs a bright new color. Yellow perhaps?! Green?! The color wheel is my oyster!
Pssst…For the record, I’ll be spending the rest of the day reminiscing while listening to 90s hip hop on Pandora while breaking out my acid washed jeans and responding to Goose’s complaints with “as if”. Happy Monday all!
I’m about to let you in on the deep, dark, inner workings of my brain, particularly with my thought process. Women and small children, those who are pregnant or who could become pregnant should use caution before proceeding. Officially consider yourself warned. This evening…we’re talking about curtains with and underlying theme of my indecision. And it all started with these guys.
I went to Target the other day with a shopping list that included “tea, rubber gloves for cleaning, and some Goose cookies”. Somehow I ended up in the curtain aisle after a brief stint perusing the sheets. Dang you Target (she says while shaking fist in air)! It’s like that cartoon on Sarah’s blog post about our Target edition of the Inspired Design Challenge. Isn’t that crazy?! The cartoon was about impulsively buying curtains and I JUST impulsively bought curtains! Target gets me every time. I couldn’t resist the pair of coral curtains, which were $24 a pop and we could use some curtains for the Etsy office, right?!. The poor window was naked…a Will Ferrel “we’re all going streaking” kind of naked.
So home I came with my pair of coral curtains and a basic, $10 curtain rod, ready to put Colby to work on hanging the suckers. Simple project, right?! No such thing! We LOVE hanging curtains on the studs. Especially since Goose has a habit of yanking on the curtains while he’s “protecting” us from evil yard squirrels. But alas, the studs around this wall were completely off center and generally out of whack. One stud was just above the trim and the other was about a foot off.
So we improvised and tried our hand at some super heavy duty, you can swing off this sheet rock screw like a monkey, anchors. This was our first go around using the anchors and so far so good on the ruggedness quotient. To install, it was just a matter of drilling a hole into the sheetrock using a spade bit, inserting the screw with the “wing part” into the wall. And then tightening the whole thing up until the curtain hanging bracket is flush and tight with the wall.
And tah-dah! Coral curtains in the Etsy office!
I love them! Stupidly, ridiculously love the coral curtains in this space….however….of course there had to be a “however”, I already had this fabric kicking around:
I had picked up the fabric for around $20 during a not so recent Jo-Ann’s fabric sale and got just enough fabric to make curtains for this space. Mind you, this was back when we were going to turn this room into a guest bedroom with a daybed in front of the window, complete with tons of white, squishy pillows for lounging. And this fabric was going to be the big pop of color, curtain fabric. But now that we turned the space into a workspace, design plans have changed. But I still wanted to give the curtains a chance, so I quickly snipped the fabric in half to make two panels, and clipped the panels up onto the curtain rod.
Please excuse the fabric pooling on the floor. I still have yet to sew these bad boys.
Hmmm…I kind of like these curtains too. I sense a dilemma brewing. This has the potential to rival the great “which spatula do I buy debate” of 2002. Do I get the spatula with slats? Or the solid spatula? Hmmmm…three hours later (I kid you not) I still couldn’t decide and came home with both spatulas. Both of which I’ve used up until Goose became a part of our lives and decided spatulas ranked right up there with meaty bones on the yumminess scale.
So if I keep the green/yellow curtains in the craft room, what to do with the coral curtains? They were clearly not going back to Target. They’re just too pretty for that and were destined to live in my home. Then I remembered the dining room and the black plaid curtains in there.
I’ve been thinking of replacing them for a brighter pair. Coral is brighter than black. Situation solved.
Swoon! I love those curtains! I swear since replacing the black plaid curtains with the coral curtains, the room feels brighter and more dynamic. It’s like all of a sudden there’s life in the room and the windows no longer just fall flat. The coral really makes the room pop.
So here’s the worst part of this dilemma…I love the coral curtains in BOTH the Etsy office and the dining room. What to do, what to do?! Do I keep the coral curtains in the dining room and the green/yellow curtains upstairs in the office? Or do we put the coral curtains back upstairs and bring back the black plaid curtains? Or maybe go a completely different route in the dining room? Oh decisions how I loathe thee! Save me!
Pssst…I just have to mention, I’m about to head to the Haven Conference and am SO ridiculously excited about going! If you’re heading to Haven, let me know so we can meet up!
Welcome back Inspired Design Challenge followers/readers/general awesome people. How was your weekend? Mine was fantabulous…thanks for asking…mostly because we tackled this little Urban Outfitters inspired project:
Boom! New plant hangers for the dining room in your face! Sorry. Apparently I get a little excited about plant hangers. Anywho, this week for the Inspired Design Challenge we were charged with using the gorgeous goods from Urban Outfitters as our inspiration. I have yet to set foot in a physical Urban Outfitters store as there isn’t one near us, but I had a HARD time leaving the virtual Urban Outfitters store when trolling for project ideas. I wanted EVERYTHING. But I settled on this little plant hanger as inspiration.
Especially since our pre-project plant hanging situation in the dining room included an overgrown, not doing so well pothos plant (I think that’s the right name for the plant…I am soooo bad at plants). AND the poor pothos plant was still in its original, cheap plastic container from the store. Doh! We actually purchased the plant last summer as wedding decor. Cue up the awwwwwww! So here’s the before/after for comparison’s sake.
Much classier with the updated plant hangers, no?! So let’s get into the good part…the part I’m sure all you guys are DYING to read all about…the “how we did it”. First starting with the supplies.
Our supplies list included two cheap metal mixing bowls from Home Goods for $6 each, a can of black hammered metal spray paint for $6 from Lowes, way too much gold/black chain from Lowes (we bought 20′ for $20 and only used 6′ for $6 thanks to poor planning…but we’ll use the leftover chain for another project later on), a pair of o-rings for $2, and a pair of hooks for $2 which we never ended up using. Our original intention was to hang the plants from the ceiling. But we couldn’t find a stud, didn’t want to punch a dozen unsuccessful holes in our ceiling, and decided to just hang them from the curtain rod instead.
The fist step was to drill the holes into the bowl…three equidistant holes. To measure, we wrapped a piece of twine around the bowl, measured the twine length, divided by three and marked the three hole locations on the string. Then wrapped the twine back around the bowl, marking hole locations on the rim, and drilling through the bowl using a bi-metal drill bit slightly larger than the chain width.
And tested a chain link by looping it through the freshly drilled hole just to make sure it fit.
Next up was spray painting time. Since the bowls were super shiny, smooth and glossy AND a round, non-flat surface (which means difficult to sand) I tried something new in finish prep…liquid deglosser.
I was apprehensive at first. I didn’t think that wiping a chemical across a metal bowl would really scuff it up and “degloss” it like sanding would. But oh my word did it work! I am now fully on board the liquid deglossing train and am lining up the projects I can more easily tackle with this stuff!
After layering on a trio of thin and even coats of the black, hammered metal spray paint onto the bowls, and letting them dry overnight, it was assembly time.
Colby assisted me with the chain de-linking process as he is the card carrying member of the “gun show” and I always buy tickets to that show! Seriously…my man is strong! Using a pair of pliers, he pried apart the chain links so we could attach one end of each chain piece to the bowl and the other to the o-ring.
We used a very precise method of having Colby raise and lower the bowls up against the window, underneath the curtain rod until I found a high/low combo for the planters that I liked. Then I measure the distance from the bowl to the hanging point on the curtain rod at an angle to simulate the chain angle hanging from the o-ring, center point. The planters ended up being about 15 chain links for the short hanger and 26 links for the longer one.
Then it was a matter of linking the chain through the bowl (and the other end around the o-ring) and closing the links back up using a pair of pliers.
Then we just split open our curtain rod in the middle and looped the rod through the o-ring.
Even without plants in the pots, they were already looking pretty adorable. But they weren’t fulfilling their plant hanging destiny so we had to fill them with green goodness. I had been told by a coworker that if you clip pothos plant stems and stick them in the dirt that they grow. And since our plant was looking a little sad and scraggly, we decided to give it a try. First by clipping the plant stems:
And sticking them into the dirt. Fingers crossed they grow!
With the plants planted, we just looped the plant hangers back onto the curtain rod and gave them a solid drink of water. I’m not gonna lie, it will probably be the only time I water them. Have I mentioned I’m bad at plants?
And now our dining room is looking just a tad bit classier with some dressed up plant hangers going on. Now I want to tackle more dining room projects…like maybe some new/more colorful curtains, or some seat cushions for the chairs, and maybe some art. It just seems like soooo long since we’ve done anything to this room. I think the last project we did in here was turning that corner china cabinet into a hidden closet door. Oh yeah…we really did that and it’s awesome!
So now I encourage you all to go check out the blogs of four of my bloggie colleagues with their amazing Inspired Design Challenge projects. They each are DIY/design super stars, we’re talking Mary Katherine Gallagher smelling her armpits super stars, so you don’t want to miss what they’re dishing out this week.
- Jennifer from Brave New Home
- Lindsay from Life of Splendor
- Kristin from Bliss at Home
- Sara from Embrace My Space
And because I LOVE a good teaser…here are all of their inspiration pics. But I’m not going to tell you which pic belongs to which blogging buddy because I think it’s fun to make you guess which one belongs to who. I was THAT kid growing up. My poor parents (“guess what I’m thinking, mom” and “dad, guess what we did, no, you have to guess” were my favorite games).
Pssst…Did anyone play along with us this week? If so, don’t forget you can either send us a link to you Urban Outfitters project in the comments section or for you non-bloggers, email it to me at email@example.com and we may just feature your awesome project!
One of the keys to finally finishing painting the corner hutch, which we revealed back here, was our investment in a paint sprayer. I haven’t always been pro spray painting. You could say that I’ve crossed party lines. Sorry…I couldn’t help myself throwing in a little election night pun. Consider yourselves lucky that I’m not posting a vote on the blog about whether or not buffalo check is the new chevron. But back to the hutch. I started painting it with my typical brush tendencies. But over thirty minutes into priming the first coat, I had barely finished cutting in the strange angles in the upper cabinet area. I made early projections of it taking precisely 18
electoral votes hours to finish painting it. Just call me Ohio! It was a battle ground state but I was leaning paint sprayer and finally pulled the trigger. Since Lowes is practically in our back yard, I started doing research on the Lowes website, poured over tons of reviews and compared prices before finally settling on the Graco Spray Station 2900 for $119.00.
So off to the store we went to pick up said spray painter and bring it home with us.
This is where I admit to you all dear blog readers that I am 100% chick when it comes to all the girly things in life (makeup, cleanliness affinity, decorating, pink, fancy dishes, and most importantly bling) but when it comes to direction reading, I’m 100% dude. Seriously…sign me up for my man card and throw me some Carharts. I don’t do instruction manuals. Ever. Even when the instructions come with a fancy instructional DVD, like the paint sprayer did.
So out came the paint sprayer and I quickly put it together, which included attaching the air hose to the sprayer and filling the paint container with primer, and dove right in.
And then I went to town spray priming away.
Now this is where I tell you everything that I did wrong so you can learn from my mistakes. A life lesson of sorts. My main piece of advice to you…READ THE DIRECTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM. I learned by trial and error, consulting the instructions when I ran into problems. So here are a few tips:
- All paints have a different viscosity. And a different viscosity sprays differently. The spray painter kit came with a viscosity tester and a guide to help you determine how much to water down the paint. I opted to use the trial and error method instead which may not have been the way to go. But I did learn about how much water to add to my primer vs. gloss paint. I’ve got it down pat for the perfect finish.
- Thin and even coats are always best. I learned, again by trial and error, that setting the paint sprayer for a lighter spray and moving the sprayer steadily was my preferred mode. I tend to be an oversprayer so the finer the spray the better. After three coats with the paint sprayer, I had excellent primer coverage.
- Don’t water the paint down too much. When you do, it splatters, doesn’t adhere to the painting surface, and generally looks awful. But trust me, those air bubbles come out seamlessly with a light sand and another coat of paint.
By the time I got around to painting the interior of the cabinet navy, I had the paint sprayer pretty much figured out. I owned that paint sprayer and coats were getting quicker and quicker. I could put a coat of primer onto the whole cabinet in less than fifteen minutes. Shortly after I finished painting the hutch’s interior blue, it was hurricane Sandy time. So we moved the hutch inside and turned our vacant front porch into a spray painting station. We plopped down some drop cloths and plastic-ed up the windows in the unfinished space. But overspray was minimal with the sprayer, especially with the nozzle set on low.
To protect the navy interior from glossy white paint, we taped up a piece of cardboard, which also served as a nice little surface to test my paint settings on.
Now that I was working on the finish coat for the hutch, I wanted a really nice, smooth finish. But for some reason, no matter how perfectly I nailed the viscosity/water down the paint combo, I kept getting splattering. Then I discovered something. The smoothness of my finish was directly correlated to how clean the spray nozzle was. After three primer coats and three coats of navy, the nozzle was starting to clog with the three coats of glossy white paint.
Armed with a paper towel, I wiped the nozzle clean periodically while spraying the cabinet. Worked like a charm! Another key to the perfect finish with a paint sprayer is practice, practice, practice. Between coats, I would let the paint sprayer sit dormant on the porch. For some reason, when I picked it back up an hour or so later, the first few “sprays” ended up splotchy. It was like there was air or moisture pooling making the paint finish inconsistent. This was remedied by first spraying on the cardboard until a consistent paint spray and finish comes through.
I learned alot about how to properly use an air powered paint sprayer. By the time I finished the cabinet, I felt I knew what I was doing, had learned my paint sprayer, and was ready to spray paint EVERYTHING in our house, Goose included. I think he would dashing in green! So now, I give you the official Graco Spray Station 2900 rating…Siskel and Ebert give it two thumbs up…I mean…Angie gives it four out of five paint cans.
I scored the paint sprayer four paint buckets out of five. Here’s why:
Pros: Lightweight, long hose, many paint settings, easy to clean, excellent trouble shooting guide in the directions booklet, great value, multiple directional spray settings, sprays in all angles, uses less paint than traditional paint brush painting, minimal overspray.
Cons: If you don’t REALLY push the hose into the sprayer it pops out (the hose is hard for me to push in but Colby handles it like a dream), nozzle clogs quickly.
I would absolutely recommend this product. I love it and I can’t wait to whip it our again for another project. I’ve got a few lined up, including thrift store chair painting. Stay tuned.
Pssst…How about you guys? Have you made the switch from brush to sprayer recently? What machine did you go with? Any of my other fellow ladies out there have dude tendencies? Like in instruction reading?!
The secret closet door china hutch is painted…boom! And all setup and fully stocked…double boom!
When we last left off in our little “let’s turn a china hutch into a hidden closet door” saga, we had yet to paint the hutch. And boy did this guy need a couple coats of paint. It needed paint bad…kind of like how our dog badly needs a bath after rolling in turds and dead snakes all afternoon. You see, the hutch came with our house. The old owners had left it for us. And since the old house stunk of mustiness, the hutch still smelled of mustiness. It needed paint. Not just for looks and such, but to cover up the stench.
Choosing the colors for the hutch was pretty simple. I knew I wanted to paint the majority of the hutch white, the same white as the trim, but paint the inside of the glass door section a darker color. Our wedding china is primarily white, so to help make the dishes pop, the dark navy would be the perfect color. It’s one of the shades in our ombre staircase balusters, it looks great with the light blue door color also in the dining room, and looks AMAZING against our china.
With the paint colors selected, I went to work painting the hutch and the doors using a brand spanking new paint sprayer that we picked up from Lowes. More details on the paint sprayer tomorrow. I can’t believe that I haven’t come home with one sooner! The finish is amazing, it takes MUCH less time to paint furniture, and uses less paint than a brush.
I layered on three thin and even coats of primer on the hutch followed by three thin and even coats of glossy white paint (it’s Valspar’s Betsy’s Linen in a gloss). We waited about 24 hours for the paint to harden up, which was another bonus of using a paint sprayer. The coats of paint were so thin that even just an hour after painting a cabinet door it was already dry to the touch. Only 24 hours after finishing painting the hutch, it was dry enough to assembe and not sticky at all. But anyway, back to our gorgeous, freshly painted, no longer stinks of old musty house, cabinet.
We first attached the hutch to the wall and made sure that it still worked well on its casters, before re-attaching the doors. We chose to recycle the old hinges, since they were old and pseudo rusty and gave the cabinet a bit more character.
But I did end up picking up some new door pulls for the upper and lower cabinet doors. I wanted an upgrade from the old, boring wood door pulls that the cabinet used to sport. The new pulls came from Lowes in the cabinet hardware section and only cost $1.49 each.
I love how the coppery color in the door pull plays off the coppery color going on in the hinges. And the darker, oil rubbed bronze shade plays off the curtain rod and the light fixture in the room.
With the glass, upper doors attached it’s kind of hard to see the inky blue cabinet interior thanks to the glare from the super sunny room. So let’s take a peak at the cabinet with the doors open.
And a wide angle shot with the whole room.
Colby and I are totally digging the cabinet, and not just because it’s also a secret closet door. It’s purty! If we were French we would say “it adds the je ne sais quoi to the room”. It’s like the room finally feels finished or homie. But of course we didn’t just stop at putting the cabinet back together again…we…and by we I mean just me…had to stock it. Colby doesn’t seem to share my great joy in decorating or house accessory tweaking. Apparently he wants to keep his man card for another day. He did just barely get it back after losing it for awhile for watching “My Fair Wedding” while at a local bar.
I shopped our house for accessories for the cabinet. On the open shelf, I went with a Nate Berkus for Target accessory that I just picked up, so it didn’t have a home yet. To go along with it, I added an antique pitcher filled with paint brushes.
I know it’s weird to store paint brushes in your dining room but it works for me. I use them just about everyday so I like them accessible and not in the basement. On the inside of the upper cabinet area, I filled the bottom shelf with our wedding china, the middle shelf with some found glass bottles, and the top shelf with some soda bottles wrapped in jute (they’re leftover wedding reception decor).
The two shelves of bottles probably won’t stay long term. I was just searching for some filler decor and shopped around my personal decor store…aka the basement…until I found something I could use.
I’m not sure what I want to store in the cabinet long term, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out along the way. In Angie dream world it would be full of our wedding place settings, maybe some service pieces, or the wine glasses from the kitchen. But I also fear of breakage when we open and close the china hutch door so we’ll see. But for now, the bottles are working out just fine.
And I’m loving the contrast of the white, sparkly dishes (they’re Royal Doulton’s Precious Platinum series) against the navy background. This pic doesn’t even do it justice. It’s so much more contrast-ie in person. It’s a word I swear. It’s right up there in validity along with right-indeed-ie-doo and re-sarcastical-izing.
I’m debating painting the back of the open shelf, the one with the pitcher and urchin-ie thing, navy as well. But I’m leaning more towards leaving it as is these days. I kept thinking a darker shelf and back would make the white pitcher stand out more, but I’m starting to really like the white on white.
So now that you’ve seen all the ridiculously good looking parts of the china cabinet, you know…the Zoolander-like ridiculously good looking parts, let’s take the party South a bit. The dirty South. We still have a little bit of finish work to tackle to make the closet door hutch look more built-in and hide the casters under the cabinet.
And while we’re at it, we also need to figure out how to replace the baseboard trim piece that we had to rip out to make the hutch door open to it’s full potential. We haven’t quite figured out those parts yet but we’ll keep you posted when we do.
Pssst…So while we were up to our eyeballs in paint and hinges this weekend, what were you all up to? Any painting projects?