Random Rambles… Where I’ve Been

Just in case you’re wondering where I’ve been the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d post a little update this afternoon.  If you’ve been reading Storywood Designs for awhile, you know that I sometimes joke about getting distracted by spontaneous projects and joke about having ADD.   Well… it’s like I always tell my boys… when someone jokes and teases about something, oftentimes there’s an element of truth underneath it and they’re feeling a little insecure.

Two weeks ago, I sent the following text to some close girlfriends about a furniture piece I planned to finish last week… “No, I am going to finish (the bench).  In fact, I was working on it this morning.  Until I thought about my jammed vacuum cleaner and then found myself taking the screws out of that to fix it.  And then instead of going back to the bench or vacuuming I came upstairs to list my chairs for sale on Facebook.  I got upstairs, forgot to list the chairs for sale on Facebook and jumped in the shower instead.  Then remembered to list the chairs on Facebook while I was drying my hair.  Got bored drying my hair and stopped halfway through to list the chairs on Facebook.”

 Storywood Designs Getting Organized

In response, my friend sent this back.  Laughter is the best medicine…that text makes me laugh everytime I see it!

The honest truth is that I’ve spent the past few months feeling increasingly scattered and unable to get anything done.  I’d stay on the go from morning to night, not stopping to sit down.  But when the day was done, I had a hard time coming up with things I’d actually completed during the course of the day.  I’d started lots of things… but following through and finishing was another story.

Looking at the way I run my life, I realized quickly that things needed to change.  I’m 38 years old, have two busy, young boys, a family and house to coordinate, after school and volunteer activities to participate in and a business to run and I have never kept a calendar.  When I type that out, it’s sounds ridiculous…. because, let’s be honest…  it is ridiculous.  Part of the reason I’ve gotten away without a calendar for so long is that I’m very rarely late to anything… in fact, most times, I’m early to scheduled appointments.  I very rarely forget things that I’m supposed to do and places I’m supposed to be, but they “sneak” up on me… I tend to remember them at the last minute and as a result, am scrambled and stressed out getting things done on time.

And so, in an attempt to take back control of my life, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on client projects and working to organize myself.  I’m using a my calendar and to-do list on my phone, clearing out clutter and things we don’t need and use in the house any longer… I’m determined to make a change.

I apologize that things have been a little quiet around here, but that’s about to change.  I’m almost done sorting, selling and donating the things I needed to get out of the house, I’ve decided I like working off a calendar and a list and I’ve got Storywood Designs projects lined up well into spring.  As always, thanks for reading and supporting me (and all the crazy that comes with me!).  If you have any go-to organizing tips and tricks, please share with me… I’d love to hear them!

The Master Bedroom Details – Creating a Sitting Area

I’m all turned around again this week… the boys are out of school (again!) today and I’m struggling with a few last minute details on my makeover project for the week.  So, today, I’ll post what I planned to post at the end of last week…  my last post about the master bedroom details.  It touches on the part of the room makeover that I was completely comfortable with… the part of decorating that I feel like I know better than anything else… repurposing furniture and pieces within my own home and making a space work by using what you’ve got.

Storywood Designs The Master Bedroom Tour

Needless to say, with almost all my budget going towards the bed, there wasn’t much left over for the other parts of the room.  There definitely wasn’t room in my budget to purchase the two cute, upholstered club chairs I always imagined sitting side by side in the little space we’ve carved out for a sitting space in our master bedroom.  One of the selling points for me when we looked at our house was the fact that the master bedroom had just enough room for a little sitting area.  I’d always loved bedrooms with sitting areas and in the 6 1/2 years we’ve lived in our house, we’ve used our bedroom sitting area.  But finding the right configuration for our sitting area has been a different story.

For years, up until this past makeover, a leather chair and ottoman served as our sitting area in the bedroom.  We used the chair because I loved the look of it and didn’t want to get rid of it, but we didn’t have a better place for it in the house.  So it sat in the master and we sat in it, night after night… despite the fact that it was way too big for the room.  With that realization and a master bedroom makeover on the horizon, the game of musical chairs began.

 Storywood Designs Creating a Master Bedroom Sitting Area

The brown leather chair and ottoman made its way down the stairs and into a room they are much better suited for… our living room/reading room.  I moved the old wingback chairs that were always too big for the dining room table upstairs in their place.  Their size and scale fit the space much better… but they don’t exactly invite you to snuggle up and settle in.  And then, one day my friend Amy from Eat.Sleep.Decorate. posted this image on her instagram feed… and I had my lightbulb-above-the-head moment.

Storywood Designs Creating a Bedroom Sitting Area

I loved the settee and thought that it would be the perfect solution for my petite bedroom sitting area.  A blend of form and function, size and comfort…  but with no budget, it wasn’t an option.  I started thinking through pieces in the house and realized that I had the perfect solution sitting right downstairs.  .. the settee that sat in our living room.  Even better, I planned to re-home the settee in the near future as we transition the living room to a reading room.  You can see it in the living room here.

 Storywood Designs Creating a Master Bedroom Sitting Area

The settee belonged to my grandmother and under its slipcover is the original celery green striped fabric that she upholstered it long, long ago.  Eventually, I’d love to recover it in linen or a velvet that works with other colors in the room, but for now, that DIY slipcover works just fine.   I was able to reuse the little round table that has always been in the room… it’s the perfect size for a lamp and a couple of books, with room left over for a cup of tea.  The large linen pillow lived on the settee during its time in the living room and I made a cover for an insert I had stashed away using some of the Sarah Richardson fabric I added to the bed.  The drapes and rods are Ikea sets that I picked up a couple of years ago and never put to use.  One of the few times my hoarding of home decor has paid off!

Storywood Designs Creating a Master Bedroom Sitting Area

I love that this part of the makeover cost me nothing… I love the impact that something as simple as rearranging furniture pieces and moving pieces around your home has on making a room feel fresh and new.  It’s always worth trying to work with what you’ve got before assuming you need something new!

 

 

My Master Bedroom Bed | A Perfect Blend of Splurge, Save and DIY

Thanks for all your kind words about my master bedroom makeover!  I really am thrilled with the results and am so enjoying the space.  If you missed yesterday’s tour, you can find it here.

IMGP0680

The bed was by far, the biggest piece of my makeover budget.  I think that almost 80% of the total budget went towards items on the bed.  Why?  Well, while we have wooden furniture pieces galore in this house, we’ve slept on a mattress, box springs and simple metal bedframe for nine years.   For nine years, we’ve used spare coverlets, quilts and blankets as our bed linens.  In undertaking this makeover, I wanted the bed to be the centerpiece of our room and for that to happen, I needed to be willing to put a major chunk of my budget towards it.  To create the bed I imagined in my head, I needed to carve room in the budget for:

  1. An Upholstered Headboard
  2. A Bedskirt
  3. A quilt/coverlet
  4. A duvet cover
  5. Pillow Shams
  6. Accent Pillows

It was a tall order to fill and a lot of expensive items to fit into a fairly meager budget.  I made things worse by poring over Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn catalogs looking for inspiration.  What I wanted was something like this…

Storywood Designs Upholstered Headboard Bedskirt DIY Details

Source: Cote de Texas Blog

… but according to my favorite catalogs and websites, it would cost me almost $2000 to achieve it.  Not.gonna.happen.  In the end, I was able to accomplish what I set out to do… to create a calm, peaceful and inviting bed on the budget I had to work with.   I did it by splurging on a few items, getting a steal on a few others and DIY-ing a couple of items well outside my do-it-yourself comfort zone.

This is a lengthy post, so I apologize in advance, but am hoping that this will answer the questions I’ve had about the bed.  If I miss something, let me know and I’ll be sure to answer!

Storywood Designs Upholstered Headboard Bedskirt DIY Details

1. An upholstered headboard was first on my list for the bedroom.  I scoured every website imaginable to find something that had the shape I wanted, but everything I loved was well out of my price range.  This was one area that I didn’t want to compromise.  I wanted something hefty and tall and wanted a headboard that I could attach directly to my existing bedframe vs. having to attach it to the wall.  Ballard had a headboard I loved, but at $900 before shipping, it was out of the question.  Overstock had headboards in my price range, but they looked short and it bothered me that they just cut off at the mattress.  On top of that, I felt strongly that I wanted the headboard and bedskirt to have matching linen fabric.  So, out of options to give me what I wanted, I turned to DIY.  I’d never upholstered a headboard and was very hesitant to do it myself.  But I found a wonderful tutorial online (picture heavy, which is what I need) and realized that I could create something with the shape, heft, height and fabric I wanted for about $80.  I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, so I won’t post a headboard tutorial here… but if you’re looking for a well written tutorial, this is the one I used.  It was great, self explanatory and easy to follow.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I will be happy to answer!

Storywood Designs Upholstered Headboard Bedskirt DIY Details

2.  The bedskirt… Oh, the bedskirt.  I could write an entire post on the saga of the bedskirt.  I’ve had my heart set on a pleated linen bedskirt with an 18″ drop for over a year.  I’ve had my heart set on that bedskirt matching my upholstered linen headboard.  To be completely honest, that linen headboard and matching bedskirt were the items that every other item in this room was built around.  But once I priced the bedskirt out, I was in sticker shock.  Because I wanted a very full, pleated bedskirt and because I wanted my bedskirt to match my headboard, I would have to have it custom made.  But custom made bedskirts were not in my bedroom makeover budget.  So, once again, I had to DIY it, not by choice but by necessity.

Now, I am not a seamstress and my previous attempts at bedskirts have been quite laughable.  I scoured the internet looking for another amazing tutorial like I found for the headboard, but this time, I had no such luck.  And so I built off the bedskirt mistakes of my past, and successfully sewed a pleated linen bedskirt with an 18″ drop.  I got my linen on sale at Joann’s and had my other supplies on hand.  I estimate that fabric included, I spent about $80 on creating the bedskirt.  Not a total steal, but a far cry from the $250 a custom-made skirt would have cost me and much more friendly to my budget!  I have thought about attempting to put a tutorial for the bedskirt together since it really wasn’t that difficult and anyone with basic sewing skills would be able to accomplish it.

Storywood Designs Upholstered Headboard and Linen Bedskirt DIY

3.  Surprisingly, the quilt was my splurge.  I love that it’s slightly tufted, making it a little more substantial and a little heavier than other quilts I’ve seen.  I love that it’s made of linen and I love the simple diamond pattern and banding around its edges. I’ve had my eye on this Pottery Barn diamond tufted quilt for over a year and waited and waited for it to go on sale.  But it didn’t.  And so, one day not long after this makeover started, I caved.  I drove to Pottery Barn and dropped more on a quilt than I’ve ever dropped on anything for a bed in this house before.  It wasn’t a impulse buy and it was something I’d carved out room in my budget for, but I’m not going to lie… I had heart palpitations and guilt afterwards.  While it took a big chunk out of my budget, but I looked and looked for more affordable alternatives and couldn’t find something I wanted.  The quilt is white and machine washable (a number one requirement for all my bedding) and so far has held up well in my house full of boys.

Storywood Designs Upholstered Headboard LInen Bedskirt Ikea Buffalo Check Duvet

4.  The duvet cover was my huge save.  I had my heart set on linen and buffalo checks in the room.  I’d pored over fabric websites looking for buffalo checked fabric and found some last week at Calico Corners.  It wasn’t machine washable and at $22.95/yard, it wasn’t terribly expensive but it wasn’t incredibly budget friendly (especially after my quilt purchase).  I wanted buffalo checks so badly that I was willing to overlook my “must be machine washable” rule.   I figured that I had enough in my budget to buy the fabric for two pillow shams and down the road I could look at having a duvet cover made.  But then, fate stepped in.  I found myself in Ikea unexpectedly and ran across their duvet sets wandering through the store.  I remembered they had a buffalo checked duvet but the color had always seemed “off” to me.  I went to take a closer look at one of the duvet sets and again, the color wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.  But as I picked up another duvet set, I realized that it was a little darker, a little more “linen” looking… I don’t know if the sets were dyed in different lots or at different times, but it didn’t matter.  The duvet set was almost identical to the fabric I planned to order… it was machine washable… it included the duvet cover and 2 pillow shams… and it was $39.99!  I was so excited that I practically danced to the check out.

Storywood Designs Master Bedroom Makeover Preview

5.  The pillow shams on the bed are just the buffalo checked ones that came with the Ikea Duvet.  The euro shams are Pottery Barn ones that I bought with birthday money last year, but they did still have them in the store when I bought my quilt.  I’m hoping to get the euro shams monogrammed in the near future.

Storywood Designs Upholstered Headboard Bedskirt DIY Details

6.  I definitely wanted the room to be neutral and not too feminine but all that linen left the room in need of a bit of color.  I found a fabric I loved at Mill Outlet Village here in Raleigh.  It was a bit of a splurge, but I loved the soft combination of the taupe, gray and coral and since I only needed a bit of it, the price per yard didn’t sting too badly.  The fabric is a little girly without being overwhelmingly so.  I was able to get three simple pillows out of the two yards I purchased with enough left over for another one down the road.   Doing the sewing myself allowed me to splurge a little on the fabric and pick something that I really loved.

And there you have it… all the details about our master bedroom bed.  Whew… that’s a lot of information!  Thanks for sticking with me to the end.  This bed makeover is defintely proof that you don’t have to blow your budget to get a look you love.

Storywood Designs House Tour | The Master Bedroom

Storywood Designs The Master Bedroom Tour DIY-Upholstered-Bed

It’s a little crazy to think that I’m showing you my master bedroom today.  When I made my list of projects at the beginning of the year, I never thought it would be the first room added to my home tour in 2014.  It sat for so long with mismatched furniture, a hodge podge of linens, just a mattress and box springs and no cohesive plan in place to change it.  The master bedroom is an easy room to neglect… it’s a private space that not a lot of people see in your home (unless you put it out on the internet like I’m about to…).  When budgets are limited and priorities have to be made, the master bedroom often falls to the bottom of a to-do list.

Storywood Designs Master Bedroom Makeover Preview

But no more… not in this house.  I mentioned yesterday that this master bedroom makeover was made possible by the hoarding of my Christmas and birthday gift cards.  They gave me the freedom to do something for myself… something selfish… and that something was to finally makeover our master bedroom.   Like everything else in this house, I had a strict budget to stick to… the value of my gift cards.   I always tell my friends that I have Dom Perignon taste on a Boone’s Farm budget… and that can get me into trouble when it comes to decorating the house.  In order to get the look I wanted without breaking my bank, I had to do with what I do best… I had to work with what I had.  Most of my budget went to the bed, meaning that I had to shop the house and work with the existing pieces in the room.  In the end, a little creative spending, a little DIY, a little paint and a lot of working with what you’ve got gave me the look I wanted.  My goal was to create a calm, inviting and warm space using neutral colors and simple fabrics.  I didn’t want the room to feel too feminine and didn’t want it to feel fussy.  I wanted it to be a space where we could sit back and relax without freaking out that someone would ruin something.  I couldn’t be happier with the end result… and crave getting to “retreat” to our room at the end of a long day.

Storywood Designs The Master Bedroom Tour

Today I’m posting pictures of the entire room…  I’ll get into some of the details and where I splurged and saved in posts later this week.  Check back tomorrow for details about the room’s biggest project and the one part I didn’t want to DIY (but had to nonetheless)… the headboard and bed! (Update: Bed details can be found here)

Storywood Designs The Master Bedroom Tour

This is the view as you come into our room now… it makes me smile all the time.  Such a huge difference from just a few short weeks ago!

Storywood Designs The Master Bedroom TourI’ve already shared with you the stories of Mike’s and my bedside tables (if you want to catch up, you can find them here and here).  But, this antique chair was passed down to me and sat, unused, for years. When I redid my vanity, I added a little liming wax to the wood frame and reupholstered the seat in a slubby linen.

Storywood Designs The Master Bedroom Tour

 The room is big enough for the small seating area that we love and use often, but door placement in the room makes the layout awkward and hard to work with.  We went through several rounds of musical chairs before finding the perfect fit for the space with this love seat. (Update: Sitting area details can be found here)

IMGP0681

Several years ago, I bought existing bookcases off of Craigs List and “built” them into the nooks in our room.  One belongs to Mike and another belongs to me.  I love that we have storage in the room for our unending supply of books.  I also love the warmth and color that they lend to the space.  The tops of the bookcases below each window are filled with personal photos, sentimental books and trinkets from my childhood.   Master bedrooms, more than any other room of the house, should be a reflection of us and should be filled with the things that give us joy and happiness.

So, that’s just a quick look around the room.  Tomorrow, I’ll share details about the headboard, bed and linens.  The bed was by far my biggest project in the space, where I spent the bulk of my budget and where I refused to compromise the look I wanted with what I could afford.  It’s also the story of the project I didn’t want to DIY… but didn’t have a choice.  Thanks for reading friends and for indulging my excitement at completing Project Take Back My Master Bedroom… I hope to see you back here tomorrow!

Linking up to:

Savvy Southern Style

Project Take-Back-My-Master-Bedroom

Do y’all know that it’s been nine (9!!) years since we had a “real” bed?  Nine years ago, we sold the mission style bed that Mike purchased several years before we were married.  My plan was to put an upholstered headboard in its place.  You know what they say about best laid plans… long story short, life got in the way.    The past nine years have brought 2 little boys into our lives and two little boy rooms to decorate with them.  The past nine years brought a move to a new house and more important rooms to focus on.  The past nine years brought a big career change for Mike and bigger priorities for us to focus on than making a relaxing and peaceful place for us to sleep.  And so, it was easy to let the master bedroom sit, on the back burner, with its hodge podge of furniture and bedding… it was easy to let it become the land of misfit belongings in our home.

Storywood Designs Master Bedroom Makeover Preview

Christmas and my birthday fall back to back and this year my wonderful parents and in-laws gifted Mike and I with gift cards to spend on ourselves… for something we wanted.  I knew what I wanted to put my gift cards towards… our master bedroom.  The master bedroom was on my list of home projects to accomplish in 2014, but it was way down the priority list, because it was a want, not a must-do room.  But when you consider home projects that I wanted to accomplish… that master bedroom makeover was at the top of the list!  After nine years of waiting, it was finally time to take back our master bedroom and make it a space we want to spend time in and retreat to at the end of the day.

Storywood Designs Master Bedroom Makeover Preview

It’s taken a few months to put it all together (a good project for our long, dark winter) and I have a few, very last minute details to deal with this week, but to say that I’ve loved seeing our bedroom come back together is a huge understatement.  So, to celebrate finally being finished, I’m dedicating this week on the blog to Project “Take Back My Master Bedroom”… a story of the journey to reclaim the master bedroom and make it ours again.   All week long, I’ll sharing some of the things I did to get the bedroom I wanted on the budget I had to work with.

Storywood Designs Master Bedroom Makeover Preview

So, be sure to back by tomorrow to see what our room looks like now and check back during the week for the details on all the master bedroom projects!

 

Makeover Monday… One Paint Color, Two Different Looks

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

I’m sitting here today, writing this post, with both (practical and sturdy) shoes on, a simple ace bandage on my ankle and no crutches in sight.  What a difference a week makes!  I’m still trying to take it easy and give my foot lots of rest… I’m still a little awkward walking around but I’m so thankful not to be tied down by that big ol’ boot… so thankful not to be in pain and to be comfortable walking around.

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

During my convalescence last week, I was able to finish a project for a client.   She’d brought  3 simple wood pieces to me to paint… 2 wooden booster seats and an old mahogany coffee table.  None of them were priceless antiques, all of them a little scratched and worn, and all of them prime candidates for a makeover.  In order to cut costs, we decided to paint each in the same base shade… General Finishes Antique White.  But that is where the similarities between the pieces ended.

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

The two booster seats were given the same paint treatment… a couple of coats of Antique White and sealed with Polyacrylic.  The end result is a simple and unfussy painted finish…making both booster seats look fresh and clean.

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

 

One booster seat would be used for extra seating at the kitchen table, but the other made a perfect desk chair for her five year old daughter.  For that chair, we added a sweet monogram on the chair seat in the same shade of pink as her daughter’s bedroom walls.

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

The coffee table, with its turned legs and carved details needed a little bit more… a “fancier” finish to highlight the curves and details hidden beneath the dark stained finish.  The mahagony top was scratched and dented and I worried about the bleed through on the entire piece.  I coated the legs with polyacrylic before painting to prevent the red stain from bleeding through and gave the coffee table top a good coat of a bonding primer before adding the General Finishes Antique White.

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

After the Antique White dried, the entire piece was waxed with a tinted furniture wax.  I decided to tint clear furniture wax with a little General Finishes Outback brown to create a softer antiquing wax than what I had on hand.  I didn’t want something that would make the surface look aged and dirty… I just wanted to highlight all the carvings, grooves and turns that the coffee table had to offer.

Storywood Designs Antique White Booster Seat and Coffee Table

Two pieces of furniture… the same quart of paint… but two very different end results.  Proof that the finishing steps of painting a piece of furniture is where you really create its ‘look’… that it’s the details that really define the look and feel of a refurbished piece of furniture.

Art in the Master Bedroom

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

A few weeks ago, as I started our master bedroom facelift, I started looking at options for art over Mike’s library table.  I knew I wanted a natural landscape… Mike loves the outdoors, the coast and waterfowl.  I also knew that I wanted the art to be watercolor.  I felt like the softer effects of watercolor would work really well with other planned elements in the room.   As much as I would have loved to purchase an original watercolor for the space, it just wasn’t in the budget.

Mike’s dad is an incredibly talented photographer who focuses on nature and the birds and “critters” of Eastern North and South Carolina.  (His website is here… if you’re intrigued by the wildlife around us in North Carolina, you should check it out!).  We have several framed photos of his work and I actually thought about looking into the possibility of having him send me some photos and using a photo editing tool to make the photos look like watercolor.  But, in the end, that just felt wrong.  He’s already an artist that has created a gorgeous photograph.  It’s one thing to take my own picture and edit it.  Another thing to take a photograph and have it painted by an artist (with permission from the photographer).  It didn’t feel right to take his photo (even with his permission) and let a computer app change it.   So, I moved on to Plan B, found something I loved and ended up with beautiful art for above Mike’s library table (back to that in a bit).  Ironically, about a week after those pictures had been hung, I discovered Waterlogue.  A little too late, but that became a blessing in the long run.

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

Home Sweet Home… in Waterlogue

Waterlogue is fun… if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m more than a little obsessed.  Basically, Waterlogue is an iphone app that takes any photo you upload or take on your iphone and instantly turns it into a watercolor painting.  It’s not a free app, but you can print your “paintings”, so if you use it to create inexpensive art, it’s definitely worth it’s $2.99 purchase price.

Some of my favorite pictures turned “watercolors” via Waterlogue:

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

Sweet Emma

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

The end of Folly Beach, SC

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

My Bedside Vanity

I’ve loved playing with the Waterlogue app with my own pictures.  I’ve realized that while it does a good job of creating watercolor pictures, but the results aren’t always what you want them to be.  Pictures that I think might make a beautiful watercolor sometimes end up too soft, too blurry.  But I’ve had a lot of success with the app too… I’ve loved the pictures of my homes, Gracie and Emma, and still life shots from around the house.

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

But in the end, I’ve realized that technology can’t substitute for the work of an actual artist.  An artist captures the details in a watercolor painting that no app can possibly replicate.  And with that, we’re back to the search for a watercolor for above Mike’s library table.  When I decided not to use photo editing software to create the look I wanted, I turned to one of my favorite sites for art… Etsy.  I was able to search for waterfowl and coastal watercolors and found an artist whose works were exactly what I was looking for (Here is the link to one of the prints I chose).  I chose coastal scenes that look like they could have been painted right here in the Carolinas…. soft muted colors… exquisite details.  An original watercolor print on heavy paper in an 8×10 finished size was perfect for what I was looking for…. and at $20, it fit right into my budget.  It was a win-win.  I found art for above Mike’s table that I loved at a price that didn’t break the bank.  While it’s a print,  it’s from an Etsy shop.  That means it hasn’t been mass produced, and it feels unique and original to me.

Storywood Designs Waterlogue and Watercolor

That’s not to say that I don’t have plans to try printing a few of my Waterlogue creations and framing them here and there around the house.  I think Waterlogue is an amazing, fun (and addictive) app and love the results of some of the photos I’ve played with there.  But for our master bedroom, I’m so glad I ended up choosing “real” art.

So, I’m curious… if you’ve downloaded the Waterlogue App, what are your thoughts on it?  And if you’ve used Etsy to purchase art in the past, who are some of your favorite artists?

An Unexpected Hiatus | Dreaming the Day Away

That expression “the best laid plans” and the meaning behind it came to fruition in my life this weekend.  I went into Saturday morning full steam.  We had a morning of basketball games and a weekend of gorgeous spring like weather on tap.  Mike and I had plans to knock out a list of items around the house (one of which included moving the new headboard upstairs).  With the warmer weather, I’d started painting client projects sitting in my workshop and had renewed energy and enthusiasm to work through my backlog and make some additional pieces available for sale.  And then…

Storywood Designs A little hiatus

Yes.  Yes, I waterlogued my boot.  What can I say?  Waterlogue makes everything better… and I’ve been bored.  Very bored.

I stepped wrong off the driveway and ended up in a boot and on crutches.  It was definitely not the way I intended spending the weekend.  Sporting a clunky boot and not being able to drive was definitely not in my plans.  But good friends made my little emergency a minor disruption for the boys.  My mom made my little emergency a lot less stressful for my CPA husband.  While lots of “toes above nose” time and uninterrupted computer time weren’t in my plans this week, it could have be so much worse, so for that I’m thankful.  Slowing down and sitting still aren’t easy things for me to do, but I don’t have a choice, so I’ll apologize in advance if you get some random posts from me this week!

So, after being stuck in bed all weekend instead of outside enjoying a sneak peek of spring, I’m sharing with you today a couple of images I found during all the one on one time I’ve had with my computer.  Places that look sunny and perfectly warm… quiet and insanely relaxing… places that are dreamy.  Places that I’d love to put my feet up and happily spend some time recuperating.

Yes please.  Just deposit me in that hammock and with that ocean breeze, I’ll be a happy, happy woman… boot and all.  Does it get any better than the combination of green grass, palm trees and bright blue ocean?  This house tour on Houzz has some amazing images… you should definitely check it out if you want to do a little beach dreaming yourself.
Even better… A bed.  By a pool.  On the ocean.  No other words are needed.
A girl can dream, can’t she?

In all seriousness though, I should have a belated Makeover Monday post up later this week.  Despite my current predicament, I was able to hobble my way through finishing a couple of projects today and hope to get pictures tomorrow.  I had hoped to take pictures of our new headboard and bedskirt this week but that won’t happen until I’m able to help Mike maneuver that headboard up the stairs.

I hope your weekend was less exciting and more productive than mine was and that your week has gotten off to a great start!

A Lesson Learned… and a DIY Fail

You know it’s not good when your boys walk into the house from school, drop their backpacks, take off their shoes and ask (and I quote), “Mom, why did you ruin the kitchen table today?”.  True story… it happened to me yesterday.  While I wish it hadn’t happened, I can honestly say… lesson learned.

Storywood Designs Kitchen Table Makeover, Take 2

From here it doesn’t look so bad…

Storywood Designs Kitchen Table Makeover, Take 2

…but from here?

Surprise, surprise… I haven’t been thrilled with my kitchen table the last few months.  If you’re familiar with my kitchen table saga, you’re probably not surprised (if you want to catch up, go here).  Long story short, I finally found a table that I loved the shape, size and base of and gave it a quick makeover.  I liked it, but as the months went by, I didn’t love it.  And once I decided that I didn’t love it… I couldn’t just leave well enough alone.

Storywood Designs Kitchen Table Makeover, Take 2

(This is well enough.  I should have left it alone.)

With planning a new paint job in the kitchen, part of master plan is to finally put cushions on the built in bench area and truly make our eat in area a comfortable spot to relax.  I’ve also been eyeballing wicker chairs from Ikea for months and loved the idea of a solid painted table with them.  I imagined something in a soft color, a lot like the table base, with a little distressing… something worn that wouldn’t mind the abuse that kitchen tables in our house are often subjected too.  It’s not something that I’ve pinned… just an image in my head that I want to work towards.

Storywood Designs Kitchen Table Makeover, Take 2

Then came yesterday.  In the midst of putting away groceries, cleaning the kitchen and dreaming of spring, I decided that it would be simple and easy to slap the same MMS Milk Paint on the table top and get a little of my favorite drug… immediate gratification.  I can blame the decision on a lot of things… my ADD kicked in, big time.  The weather was sunny and warm and I needed a little punch of something new in the house.  My newly bought tulips would look so pretty and happy on a freshly painted table top.  It may have been a mix of all of the above, but the next thing I knew, there I was, mixing MMS Milk Paint in Grain Sack and plopping it down on to the table… without any bonding agent.

Storywood Designs Kitchen Table Makeover, Take 2

MMS Milk Paint – Bonding Agent = Chippy… at its chippiest.

I should have added the bonding agent.  I should have really thought about what I wanted the table to look like before just diving in.  It might have been a good idea to get the kitchen painted before “slapping” some paint onto the table top.  But I didn’t… live and learn…. and I definitely learned.

Storywood Designs Kitchen Table Makeover, Take 2

To his credit, Mike didn’t say much when he arrived home from work yesterday… he only raised his eyebrows (and possibly rolled his eyes).  The boys will have to just deal with the “ruined” table for a few weeks…because I’m taking that step back a little too late.  With the tulips sitting in its center, it’s not as bad as I originally thought it was… with the right chairs, the table may be just what I envisioned.  I’m just not sure that it’s the look I want and am comfortable with for my kitchen.   But, the table will eventually get where I need it to go… and this time, I’ll actually put a plan together to get it there.

Considering Kitchens | Cabinet Doors

I’m sitting here, writing today’s post at 4am while Emma trembles at my feet.  There’s a full-fledged thunderstorm rumbling outside and Emma is terrified.  So we sit, me writing and her trembling, as the storm passes.  I guess Mother Nature read my ramblings on spring yesterday.  This weather isn’t exactly what I was  imagining, but it’s supposed to be 70 today and I got a good dose of sunshine yesterday..so I’ll take it, thank you.

Storywood Designs Kitchen Cabinet Doors

As I get ready to take on painting our own kitchen, there are several pieces of the makeover I’m working on and laying the foundation for in advance.  One of those items are our kitchen doors… yes, I’m planning to put doors back on our upper cabinets.  The problem is that we originally removed the doors because we didn’t like their design.  They dated and aged the room and their style isn’t really reflective of who we are.  Paint can transform and change a kitchen, but it can’t change the design of a cabinet door.  A full kitchen remodel is definitely out of the quesiton, so, I’m in the process of investigating replacing the doors and crossing my fingers that my plan is successful.

While my plans take shape, I’ve been clipping images that reflect the kind of kitchen I love… the kind of kitchen I’d like to emulate in our own home.

I’ve learned that I love a simple kitchen… plain and simple shaker style doors are my favorites.

I love glass doors with classic split panes or a single, simple panel of glass.

I love an inset cabinet door… but have read that they are more complicated to install since the have to be made precisely to fit the cabinet opening.

I would love to install cabinet doors with euro hinges that are completely hidden. That look would modernize the kitchen, but comes at a cost. From what I understand, euro hinges are a lot more expensive than traditional mounted ones.

This kitchen makeover is going to be an long term and evolving project… pieces will be changed as we have the budget and I have the time.  But a fresh coat of paint and new doors will go a long way towards getting us to our end goal… a simple classic kitchen that’s timeless in style and reflective of our personality and lifestyle.