Thursday, April 30, 2015

ORC Week 5: Nuthin'

I had four days off between last week's post and today. Four days.

I didn't do anything related to my room until late yesterday.

10pm saw my husband and I picking up brick panels at Home Depot.

They're still in the garage.

I also went to an upscale lumber yard to find dimensional lumber for my table top. After doing math for about an hour (and making my head hurt) I found out they didn't have enough! And it is going to be much pricier than I'd ever thought.

I purchased the pipes and constructed the base some time ago. I still need to spray paint them.

It's all coming down to the wire, now.

I want to build my pipe table, put up a brick wall, cover my office chair and find a rug.

Oh, and paint a large canvas.

In less than seven days.

Please check out the rest of the panicked linking participants, here.

If you'd like to catch up on my progress, here are the weekly posts:

Week 1: Befores and a Vision
Week 2: The Painted Room
Week 3: The Agony of Decisions
Week 4: Texture and Art

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ORC Week 4: Texture and Art

A successful room is a room with a lot of texture. Nester, in her inimitable way calls a room with too many slick textures a diarrhea room. Most of our rooms, she says, are this way. What we need is more roughage.

Abigail Ahern, takes the idea further. Every room, she says, needs at least six textures.


She advises two from each category: smooth, rough and soft.

Smooth textures are things like glass, marble, smooth tile, plastic, fabrics like silk and satin, certain pieces of pottery and ceramics.

Rough textures include wicker, reclaimed wood, brick, stone, and luckily for me, book spines.

I got everything back on the Expedit during the Organize-a-thon last weekend.

Soft textures include most fabrics and feathers.

Her emphasis is on opposition, on contrast and juxtaposition. Smooth with rough, (a smooth ceramic lamp on a stump) soft with smooth, (velvet curtains over a glass window), rough with soft (a woolly blanket in a basket.)

So, I analysed my room and what I had.

Rough? Wicker chair, wicker baskets, book spines.

Smooth? Glass, ceramics, polished wood, plastic (the Expedit and the table are melamine, definitely plastic.)

I updated the china cabinet by taking out the mullions and lining the back with (photocopies of) pages from a Children's dictionary during the Organize-a-thon.

Soft? Velvet curtains.

A cushion on the wicker chair would help--as would a rug. But the cushion wouldn't add a significant amount and my husband doesn't think a rug is a practical idea in this room--and he may be right. 

So, it occured tome that some sort of textile art would be just the ticket. I had planned to put my large 3x4 foot canvas on this wall to help balance things out, 

but scraped that idea when I saw this:

So, I made an attempt at textile art.

The bottom is bothering me--I'm not sure how to finish it off. The width, too. Should it be wider? It may be too 1/2 and 1/2 dark and light. And is the branch too "rustic" for this room?

Your thoughts are welcome.

As usual, please check out the others, both the invited, who posted on Wednesday (and what an inspiration they are) and the party crashers, like me.

If you'd like to catch up on my progress, here are the weekly posts:

Week 1: Befores and a Vision
Week 2: The Painted Room
Week 3: The Agony of Decisions

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Organiz-a-thon is Done!

Such a great project.

Presented as a class with an emphasis on action, Simplify 101 offered me a chance to get some organizing done in my study which I am overhauling as part of the One Room Challenge. Participating in the forum with its built in accountability and encouragement from classmates was absolutely wonderful.

Here are the Befores.

I decluttered, again, as I went. (I'd decluttered as I had packed everything up, too.)

I got most of everything out of the living room and into the Expedit on Friday night.

Those boxes on the side are destined for the basement. Yes, it needs to be organized down there!

Saturday, after work, I worked on the China cabinet.

I lined the back with photocopies of pages from a children's dictionary. So sweet.

That's just white paper on the shelves.

Ever since I painted the door black, something about this view has bothered me.

Yes, they are both dark. Yes, the heights are wonky. But wait--the muntins--perhaps they're not getting along with each other?

So, since they were easily removed, I removed them.

Then, very carefully, I loaded it back up.

Sunday, I had a meeting over at my Mom's with a fellow bidding on some work in the morning and I had to work in the afternoon, so I set myself an easy task: pack up and distribute the stuff not staying in the room.

Some of it went back to the basement to be stored, some of it was wrapped and boxed up for sale, and some of it went straight into the donation station. I'm happy to say I got it all done! This is that last 10% of a project I find so difficult to do.

Then, I rewarded myself with some styling of the Expedit.

It was a great weekend!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Organize-a-thon


Aby is hosting a weekend organiz-a-thon at Simplify 101.

My task is not difficult: but it is daunting. I intend to get most of  this:

Back into this:

and this:

Just trying out an idea.

Since I am working Saturday and a half day on Sunday, we'll see how far I get by Monday.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

ORC Week 3: The Agony of Decisions

This week I bought a chair, hung my curtains, and looked at light fixtures.

Along with more than 100 other linking participants, I am scrambling madly to completely make over one room in my house in five short weeks. (Six posts, but five weeks if you start on the day of your first post. Fortunately, I started a bit before that--but not by much!)

I am doing over my dining room/study.

The plans for this room are here in week one: The Befores and a Vision
The adventure that is week two is here: The Painted Room

The chair was easy. I knew I wanted something comfy for reading in this room from the start. In fact, that's one of the reasons I took on this madness.

I decided on the Ikea Byholma.

With the Byholma flipped over upside down in my cart and on my way to the cash registers, I came across this little beauty.

Obviously, she came home with me. It's called Lacko, but I cannot find it on their site, strangely enough.

The curtains were a bit more complicated.

Also from Ikea, I bought a set at the same time I bought the chair. The next day, I realised I had bought the longer, more expensive curtains. So, I returned them. (I would have kept them, but I already had two panels of the shorter length.)

I washed both pairs and then set about to hang my curtain rods higher.

Did I measure the curtains?

No. (You can see where this is going. Why didn't I?)

I wanted to hang them high, so high I had to enlist my husband's help. While he was watching a movie.

That did not go over well.

Then, I realised we had hung them too high.

I wailed. So, no pictures. Taking pity on me, hubs drilled a couple more holes just below the first ones. Not low enough. Tempers frayed, we had a minor argument about the wisdom of doing projects late at night. And went to bed with lots of holes in our walls.

We tried again a couple of days later.

sorry, the cabinet is still dark. It just might stay that way. I haven't decided, yet.

Meanwhile, I searched the internet and brick and mortar stores for an overhead light fixture. I looked at thousands of lights and visited five stores.

I got a lovely lesson in design from a wonderful saleswoman on size and scale.

From my internet reading, I'd figured out that my light fixture needed to be the diameter of my room length and width (in feet) added together and expressed in inches. So, for example, my room is 10.5 feet by 11 feet. Thus, my light fixture should be at least 21.5 inches in diameter.

But then she asked me "What colour is your table?"

Here's why:

The size looks OK: but doesn't it look odd? There's no balance at all.

Here is a dark table and a dark chandy:

So delicious.

When I told her my table top was white, she said I should be looking at silver fixtures. (brushed nickel, chrome, etc.) I recoiled.


But we did agree it should be lighter in visual mass. Airier.

Something like this, I would imagine:

However, I am not so sure my table top is staying white. I'm giving serious thought to building something like the above (galvanized pipe painted grey or off-black and a "natural wood" top).

or this:

Dark metal legs and a lighter "driftwood" coloured top.

Decisions, decisions.

But I won't be doing any of it late at night. 

Catch up with the inspiring projects from the professionals here and the wannabees, like me, here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

ORC Week 2: The Painted Room

This week, the second in the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda of Calling it Home was all about the paint. 

I am the world's messiest painter. 

But before we get into that, I need you to know something.

I fell in love this week.


Isn't she beeyootiful?

Both my husband and my daughter said it was "too modern" (my son said it was boring) and when West Elm converted American dollars to Canadian (adding about 30% to the price) plus the shipping, what was barely affordable (and on sale!) became out of reach.

so, I let it go.

I am sad.

For the first few days after we painted, I wondered if I'd done the right thing going with the barest off-white instead of a happy blue-green. I had been going back and forth on it until I saw that Jonathan Adler--of all people--has light white walls.

Then I was happy again. No more goldy yellow!

(Though my husband and I both agree this is a very odd colour in this room--sometimes it looks pink, and sometimes like cantaloupe.)

What was once the desk wall now sports a rather nekkid Expedit,

and where the Expedit once was is now a random assortment of my leftover furniture.

Actually, I loved the colour when I first painted it--it was an excellent choice to bring together my white Ikea furniture and my dark walnut china cabinet.

Yes, I painted that old pine door black. I am going back and forth on that, too. And we painted the baseboards. No waffling on that. Best. Thing. Ever.

Because now, I am wondering what to do about that china cabinet!

It's a nice piece. I like its straight forward lines. But it has always been just a tad too precious.

But, how about painting it....say.....Tardis blue?

Or, dark blue--with a different colour inside?

I cannot tell you how much I love this emerald green:

I love this grey? blue? and coral combination:

Of course, there's always the option to go white with hidden depths:

I have no idea what I'm doing or where I am going. 

I am researching (affordable!) options for a table, a light fixture, and a comfy chair. I'm also keeping my eyes peeled for a rug (which I may paint). I don't really have a to do list for this challenge or a pre-set direction. I am willing to let things come together more or less organically. So far, I am enjoying it.

But, there's a really strong chance this whole laissez-faire approach is going to bite me.

Catch up with the professionals here and the gate crashers here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

ORC Week 1: The Befores and a Vision

It's time to crash the best party in town!

Yes, the ORC, (One Room Challenge), hosted by Linda of Calling it Home is back--and she's invited some wonderful designers and decorators to participate in transforming any room of his or her choosing for the next five weeks. That happens on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, any old riff raff like me can link up.

This my third time. The first, in the Spring of 2014, was all about my Mom's bedroom.

The second, last fall, I focused on my own living room.

This time, I am tackling my home office/dining room/study. I had been going to do a different area of the house, but Nester offered a course in decorating that runs concurrently with the challenge--so I am happily combining both web extravaganzas.

The last time I made over this room was in the Fall of 2007. It took us ten and a half weeks.

My husband and I transformed the room--painting it from red to a lovely muted golden yellow was only part of it. We bought and assembled new furniture, and sanded and painted and stained stuff we already had. We added things to make this room work hard for us. Mostly, we put up a lot of shelves.

This time, we're subtracting. We no longer homeschool--so I don't need quite so many shelves. I work on a laptop--so the desk isn't really needed either.  But, more than anything, I've been seized by minimalism--a radical idea that there should be nothing in this room that isn't absolutely needed for what we do in here. Well, that's the ideal. The reality is--some things need to be stored that aren't exactly needed just here: but here is where they will be because they have to be somewhere. Yes, I am thinking of my scrapbooks. But not, this time, of my scrapbook supplies.

I am quite excited to see what I can do to create an airy, light library/study/dining room.

Here are the official before pictures.

When you enter the room from the hallway, the first thing you see is my giant Expedit.

Turning right there's my desk (which serves as a buffet when this room is turned into a dining room).

That door leads to the kitchen which I revamped last fall as part of Apartment Therapy's Style Cure.

To the left, the north facing window wall, I have a folding table from IKEA over thirty years old.

Turn and face the China cabinet, and we are back at the pine door with more vintage IKEA beside it.

And here is something of the direction I want to go. Essentially, I want to capitalize on its libraryishness.

Here are the key elements:

Table and chairs by the window with a bookcase nearby.

I may go for a nice strong color on the walls.

I would choose a lovely blue-green.

(Then again, I may not.)

I love the idea of including a larger chair for reading.

Maybe, instead of the monster yellow library chair,  a rattan chair would do?

(Note the rug: love the stripes!)

Love the texture of wrought iron and natural wood together.

I would love to figure out how to do this with the table I have.

Lastly, I want a new light fixture and a rug. Given my budget, I'll probably have to make both myself.

Here is where hubs and I were at before dinner yesterday:

Stay tuned!

Here's a chance to see what all the other party crashers are up to: link.

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