November 26, 2013

a feast of projects & updates

There's a lot going on around here this Thanksgiving week, and it's all "in progress." You know that really means just that things are messy and unfinished and ideas are percolating. And though I love when things are DONE, the creative process, though not pretty at times, is necessary to get to the finish. Let me fill you in.


We got a new rug for the living room, West Elm's Jute Chenille Herringbone, and it really is as great in person as it looks online. Super affordable and stylish, though I hope not too trendy for the long haul, it goes with anything (in fact I'm tempted to get one for our bedroom too). We got it as large as could fit in this room and it's making the space feel so fresh and expansive. A great update for not a big price tag. An A+ as far as I'm concerned—you cannot go wrong with this one if you're looking for a chic neutral rug.


The play table is built and laid out on some thick cardboard awaiting a few coats of stain. (Top to be installed afterward). I already love how it came out! Side note: in the background you can see my office needs a little work too. Another project to add to the list.


We saved lots by DIY-ing the table, so I didn't feel too guilty about splurging a bit on these little lovelies for seating. So cute! 


Then for some reason I turned my attention to our bathroom, which hasn't had an update in over 6 years. It's high time—that aqua wall color is feeling really old and tired to me! So I have in mind to neutralize bigtime. The wainscoting and medicine cabinet will get a few fresh coats of White Dove, the upper walls are going Elmira White, and the vanity is going Finnie Gray, with some new hardware to dress it up too (and a new faucet? We really need one as this one is loose and leaky). Realistically, the work may not happen til after the holidays, but it's already been nice to imagine a lovely, updated new space to get ready and wind down from the day. I did a mini spruce up in here with a new print and a frame that went gold in about 5 minutes thanks to Rub'n Buff. So apropos, as I'm really going to have to stay home to get all this stuff done.

And finally, client work continues. I'm deep into designing two bathrooms. Here's a little preview of options for the teeny tiny guest bath. 


Wishing you all swift success with your own projects, a lovely holiday surrounded by family and friends, and the gift of thankfulness for all your blessings! I know this year I will certainly be counting mine. 

November 12, 2013

a stylish & affordable kids play table

Now that the kiddo is getting a bit older (13 months already!), I've been thinking about carving out an "official" play space for her in our tiny little house. I've been looking at play tables, and while it's not hard to find stylish options these days, it is more difficult to find a good-looking option that's also affordable. I mean, it's gorgeous and I adore Serena & Lily's offerings, but who's really shelling out almost $400 for a table that's going to be used for just a few years max? That's a big chunk of change!


And even those play tables I found that were half that price still seemed too steep for me, for something that's going to be kicked and gouged, drawn and painted on. So, I figured this was a prime opportunity to diy. So yes, that means Michael has a new project ;-)

And besides, if we diy this, I figure that gives me a bigger budget to get the seating for this table that I really want—those adorable gingham poufs pictured above! And yes, I know they may get drawn and painted on too, but I can spot clean them, right? Or slipcover if they get totally trashed, I guess.

Anyway, some table ideas that I thought might not be too tough to build:

land of nod

west elm (unfortunately no longer available!)

paddington way

But here's the one we finally decided to model our diy on, with help from a plan from Ana White.


It's on sale now for $169, but I figure we can do it for less than half that (and in just a weekend day). We're also going to scale it down a bit so it fits into our limited space. I'm very excited for the girl to have her own little spot in our living room! Now let's hope I can nudge Michael to get it done in time to have it under (actually, near) the Christmas tree! 
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