I don’t know what it is. Human nature perhaps. But these days, I have buckets of motivation to spontaneously rip down sheet rock to expose an old wood wall, a project that took nearly half a day and is still under construction. But when it comes to doing a little decor project that would take 30 minutes…tops….it takes me nearly two months to get around to it. Enter project DIY deer postcards stage left.
Throughout the Christmas season, something always felt odd to me to have hula girl postcards up on the postcard ledges. Actually, it started way back when, before Thanksgiving while Colby was “upta” deer camp with his family.
I thought to myself, “self…you can’t keep these hula girl postcards up here throughout the holidays. Heck…you probably shouldn’t have them up there throughout winter. They’re just gonna make you all sad and depressed like because A) the sun sets around 3:30 pm everyday, B) it is precisely 30 below frigid outside and C) the dog keeps disappearing in the mountain of snow that is the back yard. It’s not hula girl season.” Self is so smart! That’s when visions of
sugarplums kraft paper deer postcards danced through my head.
It was a quick and simple switcheroo that I tackled intermittently during one of those 2 hour long episodes of Downton Abbey, which I’m currently catching up on and just finished season 3 and WTF mate?! The ending?! Really?! Anyway, the postcard project all started with a quick search of free deer sketches. Thank you Google images.
I dumped all those images in a folder on my desktop and then proceeded to drag and drop them into a little 8.5″ x 11″ template that I put together in Photoshop, complete with some cutting guidelines down the middle. Side note….if you don’t have Photoshop, Microsoft Word works too. I’m just an Adobe dork.
I ended up making about seven different sets of deer sketch postcard sheets, all of which I exported as a pdf since our printer doesn’t play nice with Photoshop. Then I printed a couple of each set out on some kraft paper card stock paper that I had hanging around the house, leftover from wedding projects I believe, and cut out each postcard utilizing those handy cut lines I drew out in the Photoshop file. Side note #2…if you don’t have kraft paper card stock hanging around your home, you can get a stack of it at any craft store. We got ours from Hobby Lobby in the scrapbook paper section for about $3 after using one of their mobile coupons.
Then I just swiped all of the hula girl postcards off the shelves and replaced them with the DIY deer sketch postcards for a way different look to our living room.
It’s definitely gives off a different vibe for the living room. I can’t say that I love them (or hate them), it’s just different. I think it’s just a bit too muted for me. I love color…lots of color and I really miss that vibrant corner behind the couch that was the hula girl postcard collection. But I am appreciating the more muted corner over the holidays so the Christmas tree and other holiday sparklies can really shine.
Pssst…You know how sometimes when you see a picture of your room (rather than just looking at your room in person), you have one of those “aha” moments? I’m experiencing that right now! I think the coffee table needs to go black…maybe a black polyshades stain? Thoughts? Am I crazy? Would that work?!
Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear…errrr…rug. Fuzzy wuzzy had no hair…errrr…bugs?! That kind of works…emphasis on “kind of”. But seriously y’all we bought a new rug for our living room and it is soooo fuzzy, cozy and awesome!
And so you can fully appreciate the new rug in the above “after” shot, here’s the obligatory “before” shot of our living room with the too small, not the right color, kind of disgustingly dirty, and not so fuzzy at all rug.
The old rug was a 4′ x 6′ and was definitely WAY too small for the space. It’s hard to tell in the above picture since it cuts off the rug, but it’s much smaller than the couch, which is a definite rug size no-no. One school of rug thought is that all couch feet should be able to touch the rug…and stroke it, caress it, and whisper sweet nothings to it. Are we still talking about couches?! And then the view of the living room from the parlor side of things:
But let’s talk about the rug a little bit and how amaze-balls it is in a bad infomercial kind of way. We have been passively shopping for a new rug for our living room space for a long time, pretty much since we bought the new couch last summer. Rugs for us are big purchases and ones we like to take our sweet time picking out. And since the living room has historically been the land of misfit furniture, it took some time for the room to evolve but it finally has. The living room space is really starting to come together and feel cohesive instead of a mish-mash of cast off furniture and accessories. So after we pillowed up, curtained up, and blinded up…it was time to rug up.
When I asked Colby what he wanted for a new rug in the living room, his only request was that it be squishy and fuzzy, the kind you can just lie right down on and make snow angels. Since Colby’s not one to EVER have special requests when it comes to decor (seriously…I asked him about nightstand opinions this weekend…and he responded with “you have good taste…I trust you…now go”), so I had to oblige on this one and found a super soft and squishy rug.
Throughout operation rug research I fell in love HARD with the West Elm Souk rug. So obsessed that I actually debated paying $899 for the 8′ x 10′. But I couldn’t do it. That’s more than what we paid for our couch and I could see it now…at $899, the rug would become a look-but-don’t-touch item in the living room. Considering we pretty much live in the living room, specifically on the couch, that wouldn’t be the most ideal situation. So then I came across the Marrakesh Shag Rug from Rugs USA. It had a similar look and feel as the Souk rug, just without the hefty price tag. This guy clocked in at $640 for the 6′ x 9′, which is still higher than I normally like to pay for a rug.
After showing it to Colby and making sure he was on board the Marrakesh Shag Rug train, I started to play the waiting game. Rugs USA is one of those e-tailers that ALWAYS has a sale or a coupon available. So I signed up for their email blasts and waited out for the perfect sale. I didn’t have to wait long. A few days later, Rugs USA posted a Halloween sale…meaning all rugs on sale, plus an extra 60% off, PLUS free shipping. Total end price for our rug…a whopping $167. Sold! We ordered it, it arrived a few weeks ago, and we finally rolled out the new carpet and have been happily squishing our toes in it.
And because a DIY dork’s work is never done, now that the new rug is in the house, I’m finally figuring out the finishing situation for the yard sale coffee table find. I’ve never liked its current shade/finish, it’s a little too on the bad orange side for me, and have been debating chalk painting it or applying PolyShades to it. But now with the rug in the room, I’m thinking PolyShades will be the winner in a dark, classic black shade.
We already have the stain. It was leftover from that time we thought it would be a good idea to stain the vanity (in the yellow bathroom mind you), black. It didn’t last long before it got painted white…it was a bit on the bumblebee side of things. But I think the black stain will be a much better fit on the living room coffee table since it would tie into the deep gray tones in the rug along with the gray couch.
In the end, after we PolyShades (totally a verb) the coffee table, and we don’t like how it turned out, we can always chalk paint it in the same finish as the side table.
Pssst…Who’s coming over to squish their toes in the new rug?! C’mon…you know you want to! All the cool kids pee their pants…I mean…squish their toes in the rug!
If there was such thing as “Blogger Scouts” I would totally be getting my “Annie Sloan Chalk Painting” badge for my inaugural chalk painting experience, making over our living room end table. Not bad for a first timer, huh?!
The old end table was in rough shape but still a keeper. I’m pretty sure it’s the one piece of furniture that I let Colby keep from his “pre-Angie” years. Well, technically he bought it about six months into our then infant relationship. It was a yard sale find at the neighbor’s house at my old apartment in Bangor. It was well worth the $5 price tag. But I wasn’t feeling the color in comparison to the other furniture pieces in the living room. I envisioned it a vision in white…not rough looking dark stained.
Ever since Haven, I’ve been dying to try out chalk paint. So I figured the side table would be the perfect piece to try my hand at it. It wasn’t a precious piece or a large piece, and would be the perfect project for my first go at chalk paint. Just in case I screw it up. So I whipped out the Annie Sloan chalk paint color chart, picked out “Pure White”, and trekked down to the closest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint retailer to us down in Nobleboro to pick up the paint.
Not only did I pick up the chalk paint but also some white wax from Miss Mustard Seed’s paint line. The one rule to working with chalk paint is that you have to seal it in the end and you do that with the wax.
Here comes “Angie’s beginner guide to working with chalk paint”. You’re gonna want to write this down. Slap on some paint, slap on another coat of paint, distress away. That’s it.
This is the beauty of working with chalk paint. You don’t have to worry about smoothing it out real nice or if you’re getting visible brush stroke lines, or if you’re dripping just a little bit. You don’t even have to sand or prep the work surface other than a little cleaning. It’s soooo quick and easy to use. The type A personality in me had a hard time not painting carefully and evenly since that’s what I’ve pretty much been trained, as a type A personality, to do. But once I let my hair down…ooooh eeeeeh, watch out!
I literally slapped on two coats of paint using a regular old paint brush (no need to buy those fancy chalk painting brushes) and then after it dried, sanded the whole piece of furniture down since I was going for that distressed look. I started by hitting all the high areas…like the edges, ridges around the table legs, etc. The beauty of chalk paint…if you mess up a little and sand too much off, just layer on some more paint and try again! Layers of paint blend seamlessly together.
For our Etsy shop, we offer white painted distressed iPad stands. Distressing chalk paint is officially one thousand times easier than distressing latex paint. The chalk paint finish is nice and soft, easily manipulated with a piece of sand paper, and just flakes off in a cloud of dust. The latex however, requires extra sanding oomph and often clumps when coming off.
The final step of our Annie Sloan chalk painting adventure…the wax.
There are several wax or finishing possibilities out there including different wax shades (clear, white, dark) and oils (like hemp oil). But after trying a few samples at Haven, I was sold on Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax. I liked the color, it’s ease of use, and the durable furniture finish it gave to chalk painted pieces.
Using the wax was equally simple as using the chalk paint. It was a matter of using a clean rag to wipe the wax onto the piece of furniture.
I ended up going over the entire piece twice, waiting a few minutes in between coats for dry time, to make sure I waxed all the spaces I needed to. In total, sanding AND waxing took a whopping 30 minutes to finish.
After about an hour of dry time, I moved the
beer holder end table back into it’s rightful position next to Colby’s “spot” on the couch. #thegoodwife
And soaked in the beauty of how the refreshed white end table plays off the breezy, white curtains with wood toned blinds. The living room is really starting to go down the beach cottage road. Oh…who I am kidding, we’re so far down that road we’re just about ready to turn back. Modern bohemian look time anyone?
Here’s a closer view of the end table so you can really see the distressed edges on the legs and table surface.
You know how when you’re slowly working on morphing a room into something just a bit more cohesive and more you? And you have that ugly thing? Then you make the ugly thing not so ugly or replace it with something oh so perfect? And then something else turns into the ugly thing?
The end table used to be that ugly thing in our living room…until I painted it. Now it’s a toss up among the too-small-and-ridiculously-dirty rug, the yellow toned coffee table, or the pink-coduroy-like-hand-me-down chairs. Me thinks a new rug is in order, the coffee table is also getting a white painting makeover, and those chairs are getting slip covered (with drop cloths perhaps?!). But now that I have the chalk paint itch (not to be confused with other not-so-pleasant itches), that coffee table just might be next on my list. Or refinishing those 11 porch windows we started but have still yet to finish. Doh!
Pssst…Have you guys tried chalk paint? Did you love it? Hate it? Do tell! And does it make you want to paint everything in your house with it? Dog included? Oh Goose…..here Goose-ie, Goose-ie, Goose-ie!
For their Threshold picture frame sale. Seriously, now through Saturday (me thinks) all their Threshold frames are buy one, get one (of equal or lesser value) for 25% off. And perfect timing for me since I discovered the sale while I was on a mission for not one, but two wooden picture frames for a little living room sprucing. It was like Target was having a sale just for me!
Pssst…Next up in project world, some porch demo and work. It’s about time we got cracking on the space. We’ll be spending our loooong weekend taking down old bead board panels, repairing porch windows and maybe even painting it up. What’s on the project docket in your neck of the woods this weekend? Or are you planning on soaking in the last few days of summer?
So you remember a week-ish ago when we “played pillows“? Probably not. Heck, I almost don’t remember it it’s been so long ago! Bad blogger…bad bad blogger. But I have a reason! Goooooood things are happening around these parts…super good things which I can’t quite spill the beans on everything just yet but come back later this week for some of the biggest news! Eeek! Anywho, after playing pillows I realized I wasn’t 100% happy with the turquoise curtains which have been with me since my first apartment circa 2005. So I traded them in for some sheers and shades…bam! An updated living room!
I love the final result, although it took as few steps to get there. I originally thought I would nix the turquoise-competing-for-attention-with-the-pillows curtains for some white sheers.
The shears came from Target…naturally. Where else do curtains come from?! The best part of the curtains is that they’re el-cheapos. We’re talking $7.99 for an 84″ crinkled, sheer white curtain panel.
After hanging the curtains it still felt like something was missing, and the sheers weren’t quite as good as the turquoise curtains in the tv glare blocking department. The window behind the couch is directly across from the tv which makes early evening movie watching a bit more difficult. Our Caddyshack watching ability is clearly compromised.
So I went on a
man hunt shade hunt. We had gotten woven shades from the Home Depot before (they’re the shades we installed in our master bedroom), so we started there. But alas…they only had 60″ wide woven shades and they were in the clearance section. The Depot did however have some bamboo shades there but at $35 a shade, they were a bit out of our budget. Next stop Lowes, where we found almost exactly the same shades for $13 each. It pays to shop around some days.
So we adopted them. Three of them to be exact, in the lighter of the two shades.
We had intentions of hanging them inside the casing of our window, which meant shaving down the 30″ wide shades to fit our 29-1/2″ window. But shear laziness set in (that happens when you spend all your waking moments when you’re not at your day job building iPad stands for your Etsy shop). And we experimented with hanging the shade on the outside of the window.
It was a perfect fit. I was a bit worried that they would look out of place or awkward hanging out outside the window, but once the sheers were layered back on top, it would soften the harsh edges and mask the awkwardness.
So we measured, marked and screwed in a pair of sheet rock screws (we always have those laying around) into the window trim to hang the blinds, which had a pair of triangle hooks attached to them for hanging purposes.
Up went the shades and the sheers were returned to their rightful position for an updated living room and parlor.
I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely adore how adorable the bamboo blinds look when combined with the white sheers in our living room. It gives off this easy breezy
beautiful Cover Girl coastal vibe in our living room. Between that and the hula girl postcard ledges, Maine Cottage style media cabinet, and lobster art, we’re bringing the Maine coastal vibe in here. Ironically not on purpose.
Total cost of the project, dressing up three windows in two rooms, a whopping $87 ($48 for the curtains and $39 for the shades). Now I’m really starting to feel this room come together. If only I could work up enough energy to refinish that living room floor in a dark walnut stain like the rest of the floors around it. Small victories, folks, small victories.
Pssst…Coming down the pipe at you this week here at the Roost, we’ve got a big old Inspired Design Challenge recap coming at you along with a roundup of all our July projects and a couple spray painting projects. Tis the season for spray painting! But enough about us, how you doin’?