Monday, November 8, 2010

Back at the Ranch - Home Design Part Deux

Continuing where I left off a few days ago... Part Two!

I've slowly been working on other rooms in our house outside of the "public" rooms. Our bedroom has been a bit of a challenge, I've been in my house for about 2 years and the bedroom has been on a delayed schedule of sorts. The public rooms were so easy for me - but our bedroom has one small window and presented a challenge for fitting in a queen size bed and select furniture. I like a lot of open space in bedrooms, however this one is pretty small for a "master" bedroom - old house, small rooms. My goal for this room was to create a focal point around the window and bed, creating a giant headboard look. Also, I love sleeping under an open window all year-round. Fresh air helps me sleep so much better!

Sad, sad bedroom before:

Bedroom after. Reggie (cat) included:

I think the window treatment helps create a lot of height. The white coverlet reflects a lot of light. The cat adds drama.
I repainted two bookcases the same color as the walls so they would give a bit of that "built-in" look. The wall color is not quite so saturated - it's a more delicate aqua in real life. The roman shade I made from some vintage style repro cowboy barkcloth, repurposing the mini-blinds mechanism that originally hung in the window. The curtains are IKEA relics from my college days (I think those were like $10 brand new at IKEA? Love it!) I need to get photos taken of the rest of the room, but honestly it's still a work in progress. There is a lot of random wasted space along the walls, I think it will take a bit more thought and experimentation to finalize the rest of the room. Please ignore the ceiling fan - it's needed for airflow, but I really need to find a sleeker model (maybe this one?) I hate those dingle-dangle lights - ugh.


I love hunting for vintage housewares. LOVE LOVE LOVE. As I said in my previous post, thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies. Nothing like the thrill of the hunt - I really do get an adrenaline rush when I spot something I like... approaching it quickly and quietly, lest a fellow hunter reaches it first... quick assessment, quick iPhone lookup for price comparison and value, quick buying decision. I usually decide on larger pieces in about 3 minutes - gotta be quick on the draw!

I found these awesome lamps at the flea market a coupla weeks back. They were a very quick buy, I couldn't resist for $30:

Got them home and started the rewiring process (I ALWAYS rewire vintage lamps - electrical fires are not fun. Take heed, take heed!) After taking apart the lamps, I discovered that the ceramic bases had been painted. Originally pink - PINK! - so of course I had to restore them to their original bubblegum glory. A bit of graffiti remover and a LOT of scrubbing were required.

Polished up the brass pieces, put the lamps back together, and they're perfect. They now live on my dresser with my other favorite pair, my very large brass 50s deer. Those babies are heavy, made out of solid brass! Another flea market find and snap decision - who doesn't want giant brass fawns in their home?

Final piece for show and tell is my latest Goodwill find. For $6, you too can own a cool MCM magazine rack, though it depends on the quality of your local Goodwill. Ours have been going downhill lately in the furniture department (we have 3 locations in town), but I was happy with this find. A lot of Brasso and scrubbing to make this one shine, but it was worth it! Now housing Atomic Ranch and Vogue, so handy! Also makes a delightful kitty jungle gym, as I discovered after hearing strange noises coming from the living room.

Whew... that's all I've got for now. I have a friend coming over in the near future to photograph the house properly, so I'll soon have better pictures of all our rooms. Real photos, as I keep telling hubs. iPhone photos don't count as "real" photos I've decided.

Over n' out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home is Where The Heart Is - Part One

Yet again I'm terribly behind on posting. It happens - life just gets so out of whack sometimes; my husband and I feel completely out of sorts! The past two weeks have been avowed "return to normalcy" weeks, which have been very helpful and I genuinely feel much better mentally and physically. Something about a messy house, a hectic life and no downtime really does me in - talk about MAJOR burnout. Rockin' B had a long summer full of shows and traveling, which I enjoyed very much; however I love being able to spend time at home working on house projects and haunting my favorite thrift stores for housewares and furniture. Working on our house is definitely what I consider "downtime" - I love doing projects and improving/refurbishing things, it really clears my head and gets my creative juices going. After a long summer, I've been able to turn my attention back to my home and the cozy, kitschy world I've managed to carve out for us.

Interior design has long been a passion for me (can one consider crayon-embellished walls a decorative treatment? I started young.) I've been able to take some time to work on my ongoing house projects and collect more fun stuff for the house. I have a weekly schedule of thrift stores and flea markets that I stick to in a fairly strict manner, and it's been paying off this fall. I wanted to post some photos of my projects, so I don't feel like a complete slacker in blog-land. I've dubbed my decorating style "Atomic Rodeo Queen Meets Deco". Yes, totally serious. Or not so serious. Whatevs!

Our house is a very well-maintained 1920s Craftsman bungalow, with gorgeous original wood trim and doors throughout. We have lovely little leaded-glass bookcases in the living room, and our kitchen is a classic pre-war setup with the original cabinets and cast iron farm sink. I'll be honest, I bought my house for the kitchen. I gasped when I walked in and saw such a well-preserved vintage dreamland! I couldn't believe that someone would preserve it so lovingly, opting to NOT rip out the cabinets and stainless steel countertops. The people I bought it from took such nice care of everything, and it really shows. Thanks Dan and Judy for being so nice to your house for so many years! Ryan and I really appreciate it.

Here's our awesome kitchen sink and countertops! I've replaced the hardware on the cabinets since this photo was taken... no pics, apologies!
We haven't made any intense physical changes to the bones of the house, other than ripping up almost all of the carpet to free the hardwood floors underneath. I did take down the monstrous ceiling fan in the dining room and replaced it with a super atomic sputnik chandelier. However, most of what I've done is purely cosmetic - namely painting/decorating. Boy do I LOVE painting. It's one of my favorite things to do, absolutely therapeutic - I LOVE PAINTING! Every room in our house has been repainted, excluding our sad little bathroom (which is on the soon-to-be-remodeled list).

Here's a quick peek at things I've done to the house so far:
  • Living room/front door. I decided to paint a giant paint-by-numbers mural on the blank wall by the front door. Before photos are labeled (obvs) and the 2nd photo is the "after".

Not quite done, just a few more colors to add!
  • Dining room - I removed that horrid ceiling fan, and replaced it with my atomic sputnik chandelier. WHICH I LOVE. Also stenciled the walls to recreate a wallpaper pattern that I LOVE but is very, very beyond my price range - the Navajo pattern by Cavern Home. Everyone walks in and assumes it's wallpaper, but no - just 2 solid weeks of my hand-painting handicraft.
See our pretty leaded glass bookcases? Fancy! This is taken from the living room looking into the dining room.

Actual dining room. HIDEOUS FAN IS HIDEOUS!
I would like to point out that the after pictures are a motley mix. The nice, professional looking photo with our goofy mugs sitting pretty is actually from our engagement photo session. It's the only good photo I have of our chandelier and stenciled walls. Oh, and our kitchen clock.

Sputnik! Such a nice improvement. Also - hubs and I mugging for the camera. Oh, engagement sessions... photo by Dave Evans

This is the wall seen in the second "Before" photo, right next to the door into the hallway. Sweet baby sputnik lamp!
OK OK - enough of this for today. I will be posting a few more of my projects/rooms tomorrow. I'm going in for a medical procedure of sorts on Friday, so I have to prepare myself all day tomorrow - basically no eating. I will be a cranky-pants person, to say the least. But I have a pretty bedroom to show you! And rehabbed vintage lamps. LAMPS! Stay tuned.