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Little Office Design

June 15, 2015 — 4 Comments

Well, hello blog. It’s been a long time.

While this blog may have been dormant, I certainly have not been. I’ve done a few projects around my house and hopefully I’ll catch a second wind one of these days and write about them, but for now here’s a project I did outside of my house.

The company I work for recently moved to a new building and I now have my very own office. I have a door! And windows! And a super random fireplace! As you can imagine, getting my own office is a big deal, not just because I got my own office, but because I got to decorate it as well. Considering I have this blog, you can imagine how exciting it is for me to have a new space to decorate.

Here’s my office pre-makeover. Well, technically I did already have some influence on the space prior to these photos. The owner was repainting anyway so I was able to choose the paint color, it’s Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray. It’s a great dark gray (grey???).

IMG_7124_1024 IMG_7126_1024 Why yes that is a random fireplace in my office. This office was at one point an apartment so I got what, I can only assume, used to be the living room.  IMG_7129_1024 Here she is post me getting my grimy hands on it: thumb_IMG_8205_1024 Anyone else weirdly obsessed with taking pano photos on iPhone? They are so weird and useless and also look sort of distorted, but I still take them because sometimes you just can’t get the whole scene in a frame. thumb_IMG_8199_1024 I love the free ‘Dress Your Tech’ wallpapers from Design Love Fest, I highly recommend checking them out. thumb_IMG_8189_1024 The desk and rug are World Market. The desk is probably too small for an office desk, but I couldn’t handle the idea of having a big boring (albeit super functional) desk. Of course, lots of cords because, you know, it’s a functioning workspace. thumb_IMG_8058_1024 The painting is from an auction and I’m obsessed with it. Soooo beautiful. It’s by a local artist and was painted in the ’30s. I got it for $50! Chairs are from the Container Store.

IMG_7280_1024 2 Two boxes of Pantone postcards from Amazon and a lot of tape and I got this super cool (and super affordable) wall art. IMG_7186_1024 For my birthday last year my two best friends got me this awesome Rifle Paper travel calendar. When I was trying to come up with something to put on the walls in my new office, this calendar came to mind. Frames are from Hobby Lobby and I spray painted them gold (naturally). One of my brothers said it looks like a travel agent’s office, but I’m okay with that. The long white bookshelves in the background are actually metal ones I found on craigslist (obviously). $30 for both of them! They were a total b to paint though. I tried spray painting them but that got out of control so I used a roller to paint and seal them. A total hassle, but overall a very affordable solution. Most of the stuff on them is stolen from my house. It was kinda fun to “shop” my house for things to bring to my office.

I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak it because that’s just what I do, but for now I love it.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

Nesting Dolls Art

December 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

When I was in high school my Dad went to the Ukraine and brought me back two sets of nesting dolls. I still love them to this day. Maybe you’ve noticed them?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art So cute right? I managed to keep them alive and well for like 12 years and then came Bob. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, I mean in the two years that I’ve had Bob he’s eaten $300 eye glasses, caused $500 worth of damage to my laptop, and then there there is the priceless damage to my sanity. My nesting dolls probably didn’t cost much but I really like them, so when I came home the three mini ones chewed up on the floor I was upset.

Have I mentioned Bob sucks? That dog is going to be the end of me.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art But dang it if he isn’t super cute.

Anyway, the three mini-dolls were on my campaign dresser in that spot for like six months and then one day, just one day, he decides to eat them. Trust me, he got an earful (but no physical damage, I swear).

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art *tear*

*sigh*

Moving on…

So I decided to make destruction into art because sometimes art is the only answer.

My original idea was to create a sort of mosaic with all the broken pieces, but like most art projects I changed my mind midway through.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art I bought a shadow box picture frame on sale at Michael’s for $5.99. The background was black so I covered it in a scrap piece of white fabric I had. My plan was to then glue all the pieces of the broken nesting dolls onto the fabric but then I noticed that amid the destruction, four nesting dolls had survived (mostly) unscathed. Then I found a second unexpected thing.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Inside of each of each nesting doll there was a tiny piece of paper, two of which survived the Bob mauling. I’m completely aware that these are the tags that come with some products that say “made in China” or “inspected by Veronica”, but come on, they have a cool design! they are in a foreign language! written in pretty script! And let’s be honest, they had me at tiny paper.

And then I called it a day. I kept all the little pieces and maybe some day I will do my original idea, but I like that I was able to save and display some of the original dolls. Bonus: Bob cannot get to them!

So where did I hang it up?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art The bathroom, naturally.

 

 

 

Hello friends! Though I haven’t been posting as much lately I promise I’ve been busy behind the scenes. I got a new job (!) and I’m adjusting to my new schedule, but I’ve got lots of projects in the works.

First up, I’d like to introduce a new series which I’m calling (for lack of a better title) the Use What You’ve Got Series. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I’ll be going to different people’s house and helping them with a specific project using what they have on hand to help them create a look they love!

So many times when I’m unsatisfied with how a wall or table is decorated and styled I get stuck in that spiral of ‘if only had this or that I would like it. Or if I only had more money to spend on this or that I would be happy with how it looks.’ But it doesn’t always have to be like that. Chances are you have a lot of great things in your house that just need to be moved to the right place or grouped differently to get the look you want (or at least tide you over until you can afford what you want).

First up is my friend Kristen’s mantle. Kristen and I grew up together and we reconnected when her and her mom, Kim, came to the Irvington Home Tour. It seriously made my day to see them there and we decided to get together soon. Cut to me coming over to Kristen’s house and helping her style her mantle.

We started with this blank slate:

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After trying about three other pieces (a piece of art, a mirror, a screen), we landed on this arrangement:

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Normally for a mantle I prefer to use one large piece of art or a mirror but this series is all about using what you’ve got and I really the use of two pieces here. We combined a canvas print from her wedding and a cool window pane from an auction (which she plans on painting words on).

Then we added accessories. I would ask for something tall or books or something with color and her and her mom would scurry around the house to find stuff. It’s amazing what most people have hidden in other rooms and in boxes. The middle of any project looks crazy like this:

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But the end result is worth it!

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I Photoshopped (yeah, I got Photoshop NBD – actually just kidding, it’s a huge deal and I’m in love) over the window (poorly, I am aware, I just got the program, I’m learning) to show what it could/will look like when she paints words on the window pane.

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My favorite part of this series is that it can give life to items that have been hiding in your spare room or basement.

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That brown jar is from Kristen’s trip to Romania and it means a lot to her that it is now out and visible on the mantle.

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The blue Mason jars are from her wedding.

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And the shamrock plaque celebrates her Irish ancestry.

So there you have it, a meaningful and “free”update to a super awesome house (seriously, her and her husband have done an amazing job on their house!).

Do you want to a part of this series? If you want me to come to your house and help you style a specific area of your home here is the criteria:

– You live in the greater Indianapolis area

– You have a specific area in mind that you want help with and you are willing to act on the project while I’m there (for example, if you want me to help you lay out a gallery wall, you’ll need a hammer and nails because we’re hanging them up that day!).

– You have to be willing to let me photograph our project for use on this here blog 🙂 I’ve decided to do this series as a free service because I love doing this sort of stuff and it gives me content for my blog. It’s a win-win!

– I won’t be able to get to everyone but I’d like to do one a month so if you are interested and you fit the criteria fill out the Contact form and we’ll get the ball rolling! Get excited!

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is my dining room as of September 2013, enjoy!

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

An Instagrammed ‘Fridge

October 30, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my 200th post! What??? Anyway, on with the show…

Can you believe Instagram has only been around since 2010? I can’t remember life before it! (I wish I was joking about that) I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Instagram, but I keep coming back to it because those filters make everything looks so dang good!

This is by no means an original idea, but this weekend I Instagrammed my ‘fridge and I love it!

Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge

There are tons of places online to print Instagram photos but I chose Printstagram. They sell 24, 4″x4″ prints for $12, a great deal if you ask me!

I originally decided to print them because I wanted to give one away as a gift, but it turns out most place don’t just sell one or two you have to order many. So I went with it.

Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge

I laid out the photos on my table first so I could arrange them in an aesthetic order before I committed them to tape. It made me realize that I take a lot of photos of scenery and Bob and none of my friends. Next time.

Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge

I just used scotch tape to put them on the fridge so I’m not sure how long they will last, but I’ll keep you updated.

Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge

I think it would be really cool to continue to add to this collage until my whole ‘fridge is covered. I’ll have to really up my Instagramming to get to that point though!

This collage used up most of the photos, but one of the prints got the special treatment:

Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge Little House Design: Instagrammed 'Fridge

Me and my besties in Chicago last year. Our goal for that weekend was to have an awesome time and to take a photo of the three of us that we all liked (not an easy task for three women). We succeeded on both counts! The frame is from an online shop called Poppin. I only mention that because they sent me a handwritten thank you note after my purchase! Who does that??

My gallery walls are full of old pictures taken when I was in high school and college so I am happy to have a few updated photos around my house. It makes it look less like I’m obsessed with the past/living in a time warp.

Have you guys done anything with your Instagrams? I also love the mini-magnets you can get, they are adorable!

when to buy vintage when to buy new

One of my greatest dilemmas when buying things for my house is whether to buy vintage or buy new. There are merits to both! There are pitfalls to both! A classic pro and con list is called for.

Pro: Buying Vintage 

If you found a (seemingly) one of a kind item at some dusty thrift shop on a gross side of town then make way for some major bragging rights. Oh, that old thing? It’s unique, awesome, and it was only three cents. Also, vintage items have that perfectly rusted and perfectly distressed look to them that just cannot be recreated (although we’ve all tried at some point). Vintage items can also be significantly cheaper than new items that look old. In my experience the further away from any major city you go the cheaper the items are (not to be city snob but country folk don’t always know what they have). Another pro? Finding a cool vintage piece feels like winning the lottery. You searched and you found that perfect vintage school map for under $100 and the shopper’s high is incredible.

Con: Buy Vintage

Buying vintage is kind of a lot of work. I mean, it’s not like you can just go to the one perfect thrift shop in town that has all the cool stuff for affordable prices (unless that place exists, in which case, tell me where!). Buying vintage takes driving around to all the thrift shops in town and sifting through loads upon loads of unorganized, dusty junk to find that one brass figurine that your heart has always desired. Your hands will smell and you’ll be hungry and you’ll get drowsy from all the driving. Not to mention that vintage items can be really overpriced. I’m sorry, you want how much for the dinged up, not to mention non-functioning, letter ‘T’ from an old neon sign??? I mean it would look insane in my dining room but I’m not paying three figures for it! And now with the proliferation of blogs and Pinterest that once unique light up globe lamp that you found for $12 (ahem) doesn’t look so special when ever other photo on the internet showcases one. If you think about it, we are basically buying stuff that was mass produced 50 years ago, it isn’t really that unique, it just happened to have survived the last few decades.

Pro: Buying New

Pretty much any store that sells housewares has vintage-looking items. That distressed crate with French words, the side table with the brass capped legs… you know what I’m talking about. The obvious pro to buying new is convenience. Any home store will have a vintaged-ly patterned china set and hey! it will all match and you won’t spend hours/days/years thrifting to find a matching set. Also, can I just say cleanliness. Thrifting isn’t for the faint of heart, I have been in some straight-up nasty stores looking for vintage stuff, in comparison, you could perform surgery in Target it’s so clean. Buying new will also provide you with more knowledge of the piece you are buying. If you are buying a new mid-century style dresser you will know the quality based on where you purchase it, buying the same style dresser at a vintage shop and your guess on it’s origins, quality, and life span are only just that.

Con: Buying New

My number one problem with buying new stuff is unoriginality. Sure I love a lot of stuff at IKEA and Target but the likelihood that someone I know will also purchase the same piece is up there. Number two? Price. I wanted a side table that looked like a bar cart but I knew that if I purchased it new it would be over $100, so I buckled down and thrifted until I found what I wanted for $15. Also, buying new doesn’t necessary mean it will be good quality. Most furniture sold today is particle board or some sort of manufactured wood, but vintage stuff can often be well made. Just think about it, there is a 0% chance that Lack side table from IKEA is going to last even until next year let alone 30 years from now. Vintage furniture has stood the test of time.

So what do you think? Are you dedicated to the vintage hunt or are you happy with the convenience of buying new? I definitely lean more toward vintage but I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of buying new things. I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!