Oh, YellowDoorWorld! How have I let you go so long without something fun to share. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas 2014 have come and gone and here we are in the last month of the first quarter of 2015. Time has flown by, winter has been busy, house projects have been minimal and let’s just say, the “now what” bug is biting.
Most shopping continues to take place at Homegoods and TJMaxx. Sometimes we find things at Pier One and we love looking at Ballard Design, Home Collectors and HGTV magazine.
In the coming days, I’ll write quick posts with a few pics of rooms we’ve added a little of this or that to; and hopefully, some new updates will be shared too. There might be even be some guest blogs from pals with projects worth sharing.
Meantime, some holiday delight for reminiscing…
When we built YellowDoorWorld we had to decide whether or not we wanted a bonus room done above the garage or a finished basement. (Sadly we had a limited supply of dollars.) We loved the idea of a bonus room from the get go and knew it would a well-used space in the house–and if you didn’t do it to start we couldn’t do it later. Decision made.
We’ve been in YDW for a year now and pretty quickly had it feeling like a cozy room. Ben’s great Black Friday purchase of our 60+ inch TV helped too. The thing is though, it felt a little boring and we didn’t purchase anything new for the room when we moved in. I looked around the room one day and realized some new pillows could be the fix. Enter a trip to Target some months ago and spotting a new offering of gray chevron pillows for $24.99 each and I was set. All it took was two and voila–a fresh look. That satisfied me for a while and then I looked around again and rearranged some furniture. It’s amazing how strong a determined women can become when she wants a 300 lb armoire moved! That helped for a while and then one day I knew what needed to happen–curtains.
The chevron pillows really were a great look and the the chevron curtains we’d purchased from West Elm for the kitchen and gathering room felt right for the bonus room too. Plus, I liked the idea of some consistency throughout these spaces.
I’m pleased to say the curtains fit my fix and look great in the room. Now if I can just find the right piece of artwork for that one wall this room will surely be a double bonus !
Remember that game “Light Brite” where you could make cool designs, pictures or patterns with different colored pegs that lit up when you plugged it in? I recall playing that game at my Grandma’s a lot as a kid, always suprised by how neat it looked when you turned it on. Fast forward to today and Ben and I both still have a thing for lights and designs and patterns. Lights in a house are a good thing to look at every now and again as a potential way to update a space or create a fun, new look.
When we built YellowDoorWorld we were pretty specific as to the places we wanted light fixtures vs. recessed lights. At $110 a pop recessed lights were spendy and worthy of serious thought while the standard light fixtures we knew could be easily replaced. Almost a year in we haven’t regretted our selections for the positioning of the recessed lights but have reached our tolerance of what some refer to as “boob lights.” I mean, really, who wants to look up and see an image of that?!
We decided to start with Owen and Logan’s room and a trip to Ikea proved valuable. They had huge drum shades that we’d seen before and I thought it could work for their room. We picked up two of them for a mere $29.99 each plus what we thought was the lighting adapter for another $10.00. The drum shade has Velcro and a piece that it easily wraps around. Upon our set up at home, Ben realized we didn’t get the right adapter piece but leave it to him to come up with an alternative. He used the lighting part of our original island lights and worked his magic to create a great new look in their rooms. Light Brite never gets old, I guess.
There is a variety of business that happens throughout one’s home but some business people prefer to have happen behind closed doors. The master bath at YellowDoorWorld, similar to many other master baths these days, has a separate area for the toilet. While we had the main part of the master bathroom figured out with decor early on, it took a long while to garner any inspiration for that smaller space.
Sitting on the throne one day (I couldn’t resist), I realized some shelving would help add a little dimension to the flat boring walls and I figured I could probably find some things around the house to put on the shelves for some pops of color.
So off to TJMaxx I went but disappointingly, this go round I left empty handed. A quick trip to Target and I found a set of shelves in just the right size. And, it was perfect timing, too, for the dollar spot section of Target had adorable gray and white chevron pencil box holders for a mere buck! With the extra quatrefoil towels I bought while we were building the house (tip: when you find something you like, there’s nothing wrong with buying back up items), I was starting to get a feel for how it would come together.
About this time I also saw a great monogrammed piece of art on Joss & Main. From the color it appeared to be (key word “appeared”) on the site I was excited and ordered it right up but when it arrived it was tinted purple and I figured it wouldn’t work. I was wrong and it actually added a good contrast.
Once the shelves and art got on the walls the space went from a cold blahthroom to an inviting space– perfect for doing some business.
Summer, dare we say, has arrived and with it the burning desire for projects!
We’ve been cooped up for so many months and any nice weekend in April and May has been chalk full of activities so for the long Memorial Day weekend we opted for zero plans with anyone but ourselves. It’s been glorious. As we looked around the inside and outside of the house we realized a perfect easy project would be to stain the front porch, which we didn’t get to last fall.
I don’t know how often people stain their porches or decks but when we went to The Home Depot it sure seemed like there were a lot more options than when we stained our deck at our 1475 West Pond Road house. Ben and I agreed we didn’t want to just put a coat over the cedar but deciding on the color wasn’t easy.
The gal recommended transparent but the color options weren’t what we were going for–and then I saw it–semi-transparent Coffee. I could picture the color working well with the gray of the house and bringing out the darker color in our front stone. Too, it just felt a little rustic which is something we like both inside and out.
Two easy coats and voila! The porch looks night and day different. There are three things I love about the stain color we selected:
1. The gray and white trim really pop.
2. The varying colors in the stone definitely stand out more.
3. Our porch looks significantly bigger.
And so, with that I can gladly say to neighbors and visitors, have a porch of coffee.
Few things in life, besides the obvious of faith, family and friends, make me as happy as those instant moments of inspiration for a project…
We found ourselves in Rochester the first wknd of March for Owen’s state basketball tournament. There’s a Hobby Lobby there and Ben’s mom loved that store as does my Aunt Caryl. Any trip to Roch requires a stop. On this trip we happened upon a variety of letters in gray chevron but of course the letter B was out. Alas, I found an O and it hit me then and there I could have some fun. My initial thought was to find a mirror and use to fill in the hole. That in and of itself made got my happy juices going. But the other night I found a letter B I purchased and painted for another project that it didn’t work for and realized I had something better on my hands.
I used some of the corrugated cardboard left over from when we purchased plates this fall (saved bc it’s perfect for crafts), taped it to the back of the O then put the B on the top of the O for a monogrammed piece of art. Best part, under $10 for the project and it looks perfect in the Mudroom.
Now that’s a Big O to smile about!
There are two specific costly things that seem to get glossed over when building a house–gutters and window treatments. The thought, let alone the cost, didn’t fully cross our minds until we were a few days away from moving into the house.
The gutters got priority voting and after the rotten winter we’ve had I’m very glad we didn’t wait. The window treatments however were of little importance to us especially after our fab neighbor Eydie clued us into the inexpensive room darkening $5 blinds at Home Depot. We scooped those puppies up in august and they fared just fine. Minus the tedious nature of putting them up each day (8 of them), they looked and worked perfectly. Plus the estimates we were getting ranged from $3000-$6000+ for what we invested $40 in with the paper blinds. Oy!
In January we finally decided to be become adults and invest in real window treatments but still didn’t want to pay the obnoxious cost. Enter our neighbor from the Twins Court ‘hood, who as an interior designer, was able offer expert input and helped us out with finding a great product for a fraction of the cost. We went simple white, up/down cordless blinds and are satisfied with the result.
The real issue was what to do with the kitchen. Our backyard view is fabulous and you don’t see anything but yard and trees. We all agreed to not get blinds for either set of windows but knew we needed something for the side window where we can see the houses on the hill to the left. We thought we’d carry through on the burlap look on the lights in the gathering room and counter chairs but Benji found fantastic gray/off white Chevron curtains at West Elm. We ordered four panels for each of the kitchen windows and… They. Are. Perfect.
In the end, while we were apprehensive to put anything on the windows given how pretty they look on their own (and the cost), we knew were a necessary evil.
Now, when needed and wherever we are in the house, we can have a curtain call anytime we want.
I’d say that deserves an encore.