Oct 16, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 14/31


A while back, while reading Young House Love, I fell in love with their idea of a custom console table for their Ikea Karlstad sectional. This was back in our previous home, long before we had a Karlstad of our own. Regardless, the idea stuck and I couldn't wait to make one of our own once we moved into our current home. 

The upstairs entertainment room in our current home is quite large with 9'4" ceilings. It was definitely one of the selling features of the home for us considering how small our last entertainment den was. That said, this spacious room comes with a challenge: as much as I love them, spacious and lofty rooms sometimes lack coziness. It's the catch 22 of moving into a larger space. You'd like a bit more space to spread out in but you miss the coziness your more cramped quarters seemed to come by rather naturally. 

This has kind of become my mission with this particular room: embrace the gained square footage we've always wanted (and are glad to have) while decorating in a way that makes the room feel intimate, cozy and relaxed. And one of the most effective decorative principles I've found is working wonders with this mission is scale. Furniture has to be just right…not too big and not too small. So once we decided on the components that would make our Karlstad just the right size, it became quickly apparent that though it was expansive, it wasn't quite deep enough to balance out length of the room. That's where our custom console came in. It bumps the couch into the room by about 14" while providing a great landing spot for lighting, drinks and movie snacks. 

Ryan built the console to run the exact length of the couch, which gives it a nice custom feel. And while I don't have plans (he kind of winged it….hello Mr. Handy!) or progress pics to share, I can say it took us about one full day of work split between a couple weekends. The Kreg Jig got a serious workout and I made my first attempt at white washing as a finish. More on that later. He was also kind enough to heed my request for a couple of decorative cubbies for me to store….more baskets! The poor man. He's so patient with my basket habit ;) 

Overall, we absolutely love the piece. It's fits our space just the way we wanted it to and it's another DIY project in our home that reminds us how much fun it is to tackle projects together as we work to personalize our space. 

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 13/31


Curtains! One of my most favourite additions to each of the homes we've lived in. Hung high and wide, they broaden the perceived size of windows and add a texture and softness to walls that's difficult to achieve without them. In our first rental, the size of our windows and the view were less than desirable. But layered curtains, hung floor to ceiling, seemed to do wonders for letting the light pour in while masking our ultra premium parking lot view ;) In our previous home, our windows were bigger which was lovely, but our home backed right onto other people's homes presenting a bit of a privacy issue. Once again, light layered curtains did a wonderful job of broadening the perceived size of our windows while letting light in and keeping neighbours from seeing directly into our home. 

In our current home, we're so glad to be backing on to a wooded area so privacy isn't as much as of an issue. That said, my love for soft curtains has not wained ;) So you better believe they're going up all around the home. Whether the window has blinds (we purchased blinds for the windows that face our neighbours and the front street) or not, I find layering curtains into the space can add so much to a room. In the top picture, we even used curtains to mask an awkward wall space and connect two smaller windows. I'll write more on that project later. Really happy with how it turned out. 

As Ive been known to do for many (many) items in our home, I seem to always go back to Ikea for curtains and curtain rods. In every home so far, all of our curtains have been from Ikea. Despite previous attempts to diversify, I can't help it! I'm a sucker for the customizability, price points and simplistic styles their selection offers. Plus the $1 froyo after checkout never hurts either ;)

Oct 15, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 12/31


When I first had the opportunity to start decorating my own home, plants and I were slow to embrace one another I'm ashamed to admit. I guess I was haunted by the grimy bay windows of some houses I'd walk by as a kid that proudly boasting their owner's fern and spider plant collections in all their overgrown glory. I remember scenes like these rather vividly for some reason haha. Not sure why, but they left a lasting impression on me and somewhere in my subconscious I decided I wouldn't have plants in my home when I grew up. 

That was, until I realized they didn't have to consume and condensate my bay window. Mostly because I don't have one ;) But seriously, once I realized the variety of plants I could choose from (so many!) and all the beautiful containers I could house them in I was sold! Today I have a steadily growing little collection of plants peppered throughout the house and I love them. They bring the outdoors in and add a bit of cheery personality while they're at it. And in my quest to add character to this newer home of ours, I find happy thriving plants go a long way in making our house feel like a lived in and loved on home. 

Oct 13, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 11/31


Like many people I'm sure, we have several pieces of furniture tucked away in our unfinished basement which used to work in our prior home that we don't seem to use anymore. Nothing wrong with them functionally. They just either don't fit in our new space or more likely, don't go with the decorative feel of our new space. In our last home, our kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors and most of our wood furniture was deep, espresso brown. Moving into our new home, we new we wanted the major structural components of our home to be much lighter and brighter. And while we're loving our white kitchen, white baseboards, doors and trim it turns out a lot of our pre-existing furniture doesn't seem to fit in … at first glance. 

That is, until I get my painting paws on it. I've been painting and repurposing furniture for some time now, but this project is my first attempt using chalk paint; thanks to a sweet DIY loving neighbour and friend, who graciously lent me her supplies. The verdict? I absolutely love the stuff and plan on buying 10 cans as soon as I possibly can. Nothing in my house is safe from a paint makeover at this point. Nothing I tell you ;) 

The project came together so quick and so easily. After painting and waxing the two side tables, I switched out the silver nobs they came with for a couple of distressed, wrought iron knobs I bought at Hobby Lobby for $2/ea. a couple weeks ago in Spokane and they were done. I can't wait to get them moved into our guest room sometime this week! 

I love little projects like this. Using items I already have, but re-imagining them in a way that better suits our current space and lifestyle is always so rewarding. 

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 10/31


Similar to my lighting post the other day, several months ago we also decided to add a little character to the lighting in our bedroom. One of the few upgrades we made in this home was to vault our master bedroom ceiling. We're pretty tall, the bed we built is tall, our dog is tall, you get the picture :) And in our last home, the bedroom always felt a little cramped because of the ceiling height. So when we set out to build this home, we knew we wanted to amp up the ceiling height in our bedroom if possible. Turns out vaulting was an option with our builder, so we jumped at the chance. 

Of course, upon moving we realized the light fixture included with our home did a sad job of celebrating our new found ceiling height. Womp womp :( And while we loved the look of certain light fixtures from places like Restoration Hardware, I couldn't seem to find an exact fixture or a price point I loved. That was, until we stumbled upon this little beauty …. at Lowes of all places. For less than $100! 

We've since added some pictures to our bedroom, more furniture and changed the bedding around, but we still love the light. It casts beautiful patterns at night, highlights the vaulted ceiling and adds a personalized charm that makes the room feel more us

Oct 11, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 9/31


Adding character to our home through crafting seems to be right up my alley these days. Must be all that nesty-ness flowing through my pregnant veins ;) But seriously, I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize how fun it is to personalize our space through little crafting projects. 

I tackled this particular project over a couple nights, while we were unwinding from the day watching TV. Originally I was winding the yarn to create poms when Ryan asked how I was making them. After explaining, he surprised me by very chivalrously offering to wind the yarn so I could create and perfect the poms #hesakeepermyfriends.  So, together, we created this little garland for baby girl's room and I couldn't love it more. 

Oct 10, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 8/31


Oh Etsy! What a treasure :) Lately, I'm particularly in love with the digital download options so many print shops offer. Whenever I think a spot in our home needs a little extra TLC, something that speaks to us personally, I often find myself trolling Etsy for the perfect digital download. I search quotes, images, themes, whatever I'm feeling really. For around $5-$6 dollars I can have a digital download immediately. Printed at Staples or Walmart for another $1.50-$2 at most, and I've got sweet little print to hang somewhere in my house for $8 or less. Love super affordable and personalized touches like these that I can add to my home at a moment's notice. 

P.S. We got our new counters in yesterday (!!) Pictured above. More on those later, but just wanted to say YAY!