Office Redesign

Last week I gave you a little preview of our office and today I’d thought I’d share the full plan and a little DIY!

For starters, gaining this space when we moved was a huge stress reliever.  Jefe works from home a fair amount so he needs a quiet space to take those 6am calls with his East Coast colleagues.  Our last place, although it boasted an open floor plan, left a lot to be desired if you needed your own, private space.  It made Jefe’s working from home and my keeping up with yoga near impossible because let’s be honest – I love him, but I’d rather he not stare when I’m going from downward dog into ANY other pose.

So – new room means new space to decorate.  As the space will primarily be for him despite my push to make it a craft room, I decided to focus the design around the few items he’s already got that he wants displayed… and I’d prefer they’re not sitting in our living room.  So thanks to shelves and shelves of bobbleheads and mini helmets, I’m aiming for an old world study with splashes of vintage sports paraphernalia.

The room is still a serious work in progress, but here’s where we stand:

DSCN1860

Current Office View #2

Current Office View #3

Current Office View #4

And where I hope to be:
Mood Board for our new office space - Nov 2014

Last weekend we picked up a Kallax at Ikea to replace that sad and lonely bookshelf along the wall with our diplomas.  It will give us space to finally set up our scanner, spread out our books (pulling a few from the full shelves in the living room) and accessorize a bit.  Hoping to have that built before Jefe gets home from a work trip on Friday!

While flea marketing a few weeks ago, Jefe also mentioned he’d be open to a new desk so I’ve got my eye on a few contenders; I’d still like something large enough that we each can have our own area, so I’m thinking an old dining table.  It will give a vintage feel while still providing a long, open workspace.

The rest of the mood board is fairly self-explanatory (and I’m getting a little wordy), so time for the promised DIY!

When we first moved and established this as the office, Jefe mentioned getting a dry erase board.  But why buy a boring, sterile looking thing from Office Depot when I can whip one up in a flash?  I saw this and knew it’d be a cinch….

Dry Erase Board

source

Famous last words.  I knew you could use dry erase markers on glass, so I immediately thought of just buying a huge frame with an edge we liked.  Then I’d slip some paper or fabric behind the glass to give it some added character.

Flash forward to his birthday, I got the genius idea to paint behind the glass with Benjamin Moore’s new Fenway Collection.  Nothing but Green Monster Green for my Jefe.  Well, apparently they don’t sell a New England baseball team inspired paint collection west of the Mississippi.  So after many phone calls to 20+ paint stores, I found one that called BMoore’s headquarters, got the color formula, and custom created it for me.  For those that would love to avoid this hassle, here’s the color formula:

Benjamin Moore Green Monster Color Formula

Benjamin Moore Green Monster

The rest was, in fact, fairly easy.  I picked up some matte board that had a bit of texture to it and just slapped a few even coats of the paint on it.  I could have painted directly on the back side of the glass, but wanted the option to be able to swap it out if Jefe ever got tired of the green.

Benjamin Moore Green Monster

Benjamin Moore Green Monster

Once dry, I slipped the matte board inside the frame and voila!  Instant, custom dry erase board.

Dry Erase Board Preview

I considered painting “Fenway Park” in white like it is on the scoreboard of the ACTUAL Green Monster, but second guessed myself.  Luckily, Jefe likes it better this way and we can always add it later if he changes his mind.

Green Monster

And for those still reading, I have some exciting news!  Jefe has taken it upon himself to prep a blog post for you guys!  Can’t wait to share it with you all in the coming weeks!

Sledge is Back… Again!

For those readers still sticking with me, thank you!  I know it’s been awhile; the day job has taken a bit out of me the last few months but the flip side is all of those hours came with a long-awaited promotion!

But I’ve missed all of you and my little design projects.  So there’s definitely going to be more to come in the next few weeks, especially with Christmas right around the corner!

For now though, here are a few little teasers:

Fall Dining TableAnother quick fall update to our dining area.  I saw that great footed bowl at Target a few months, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the $40 on it.  Flash forward to 2 weeks ago and it was $10.95 in the clearance section.  Bam!  New bowl for my gourds.  Jefe knew he couldn’t fight it.  Home decor on clearance is my Achilles heel.

 

Fall Flower ArrangementTrader Joe’s has been selling some knockout fall bouquets the last two months.  For $8 I can get two of them that are overflowing, pop them in my glass pitcher and I’ve got a beautiful, full fall arrangement.  The yellow candles are also from the Target clearance section for $1.99 for a set of 2.  I may have grabbed more than one pack…

I’ve got a fun DIY dry erase board coming your way that is perfect for any Boston Red Sox fan in your life (yes, that is Green Monster Green for those wondering).  Jefe got this as one of his birthday presents this year.  Instructions to follow (along with our plans for the very unfinished office).

Dry Erase Board Preview

 

And last but not least, a little preview to my first holiday project of the season:

West Elm Design Love Fest DIY Garland

Will have more for you guys next week!

 

 

Knob Job & Lighting the Kitchen Shadows

(This post is prefaced by apologies for the shotty photography.  One of these days I’ll learn to remember to take pictures during daylight hours on a tripod….)

Continuing on our kitchen adventure, there is one thing that has been just NAGGING at me since we moved in.  Its presence has offended me since I walked in the door.  The culprit:

The great gold offender

The world’s ugliest gold-plated cabinet knob

So on one of our many trips to Home Depot over the last few weeks, I knew I had to find a replacement IMMEDIATELY.  Lucky for me, I found a new brushed silver version that was sold in a 10 piece multi-pack.  This value pack was a lifesaver as we had 18 knobs to replace!

Once I knew they were within budget, I knew the little gold ones’ days were numbered. Why wouldn’t I switch them out for $45 and about 10 minutes worth of work?!  Now some of you may say that’s a LOT of cash for something so insignificant.  But I’ve swapped out knobs on dressers, kitchens, etc and they ALWAYS make a difference.  I’ve never regretted it and provided you save the offending originals, you can take your pretty knobs with you when you leave.  95% of knobs like this are all installed with a single, universally-sized screw which makes replacement a snap.

The great gold offenders - Part 2

Before (insert sad trombone here)

Lovely silver knobs

After (and the heaven’s just opened up and harps are playing my favorite tune)

Now on this same trip to Home Depot and thanks to the moving coupon we signed up for, I knew that I still had some cash left so I decided to fix another simple, but glaring problem in our kitchen.

We are the proud renters of an apartment with boob lights (yes, that’s plural).  We have a horrendous monstrosity that matched those gold knobs currently hanging in our kitchen.  His (or should I say hers?!) days are also coming to a close.

Boobilicious

But while I prep that DIY (thinking a little John & Sherry action here like I did 2 apartments ago for the same problem), I figured I’d fix the sheer lack of light it puts out.

Exhibit A:

DSCN1698

SHADOWS.

DSCN1700

How is a girl to chop an onion without chopping her finger which I have been known to do from time to time….

DSCN1717

Or wash dishes in the dark?!

So thanks to a bit of searching and the eagle eyes of Jefe, we found these little self-sticking, battery operated puck lights.  We needed something that wasn’t permanent and I preferred to not have to worry about finagling a cord.  I also didn’t want something super expensive on the off chance the adhesive wasn’t so easy to remove later on and they become a permanent part of the kitchen.

Now check out the beauty:

Let there be light

DSCN1720

Now that I see this picture, I think I need 1 more for the sink…

Based on the “lip” on the underside of our cabinets, it hides the puck lights perfectly and the light they cast looks like the nicer, permanently installed version.  And the best part – they’re LED without casting that ugly blue light which was a serious prerequisite of mine.

Puck it

In all honesty, these only get 4 stars in my book.  They have an auto shut-off feature after 30 minutes which in theory is great since it saves the battery… until you find yourself hands deep in raw hamburger making dinner and these suckers all decide to go off at once.  Overall though, I’m really pleased with our $12 finds.

Since I ended up using all 3 puck lights we purchased under the sink side of the room, I need to make one more trip to find another option for over the stove that puts out a bit more light and can be left on for much longer periods of time.

Dark sad stove

There a couple of alternatives Home Depot offered, but we wanted to test out our little puck lights first to see if they were even an option with how much light they put out.  Ultimately, we may have to resort to a wired situation here, which I don’t love, but I just feel like this area needs a whole lot more light so I can see what I’m cooking.  No one wants burnt bacon, now do they?!

And since I know it has been awhile and I have yet to show you the rest of the place since we moved in, here are a few teasers of what we have going on in the other rooms:

IMG_4883

Living Room

IMG_4887

Dining Room

IMG_4888

Office / Second Bedroom

IMG_4891

Master Bedroom

So thats the latest around Casa Sledge & Jefe.  Happy Friday!

Hiatus & a Project!

So I inadvertently have been taking a blogging hiatus.  Work has been nuts and as of my last post, Jefe and I were traveling.  A LOT.

Since then, I’ve felt less than inspired as I grew so tired of seeing the same stuff online recycled over and over and felt the pressure that if something wasn’t “Pinterest Perfect” that there was little point in blogging. But I do love writing.  And designing – be it for myself or my limited group of family and friends who are crazy enough to unleash me on their own homes.

With that all said, I have a new life update that will include a LOT of projects in the future that I will do my best to write about and recap in semi-real time: Jefe and I moved!  Now, don’t get too excited dear East Coasters, we haven’t moved that far (yet).  We’re only went a mile east and 2 blocks north of our last apartment.

You may ask – why bother if it’s really that close in the same hood?  #1 = square footage.  We gained over 300 extra square feet back by upgrading to a 2 bedroom.  #2 – PARKING.  I finally have a garage space to call my very own!  No more fighting for a spot and worrying about early morning moves to avoid street cleaning.

There’s also a million other reasons like the 3 walk-in closets, a backyard, etc.  But I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  And note these are all 100% before pictures as we’re still unpacking boxes and I’m not quite ready to share the place in it’s current state.  I also have HUNDREDS of ideas of how to make this place a true stunner that we can call home.

Bedroom: It was painted grey by the previous owner.  And we would have loved to keep it.  But our landlord is pretty strict about paint and we didn’t want to inherit the financial responsibility of required professional painters down the line.  So white it will be (But we’re keeping the navy blackout curtains.  Nap time just got 1,000 times better.)

IMG_3462

IMG_3463

IMG_3467

IMG_3469

Second bedroom: Our future office.  I’m already worried this is going to turn in to a bobblehead museum, but one challenge at a time Sledge.

IMG_3475

IMG_3471

IMG_3474

Bathroom: So this may be the one down side – we’re downgrading from 1.5 pure white bathrooms to a single with pink tile. Luckily, a non-clear shower curtain can cover 75% of it.

IMG_3483

IMG_3484

IMG_3486

Hallway: Closets. Closets.  Closets.  I think I just heard an angel sing.  The grand total is 3 walk-in closets and 2 linen closets, one of which we’ve already turned in to a pantry.

IMG_3482

IMG_3481

Kitchen: What it lacks in counter space it definitely makes up for in storage space.  And new appliances are a definite perk I was afraid we weren’t going to find again.  And although I’d prefer stainless steel, I honestly don’t mind the white, especially with what I have in mind.  Winner winner, chicken dinner.

IMG_3498

IMG_3500

IMG_3505

IMG_3506

IMG_3501

Living room: All the space we could need and then some.  I’ll just need to create some sort of fake mantel/shelf getup for the Christmas stockings.

IMG_3493

IMG_3495

IMG_3520

Dining room:  No longer will we have to cram into a tiny space between our dresser in the living room, the bedroom door and the sliding balcony door.  We shall have a whole room for eating and entertaining.  And it’s got a walk-in closet.  I am officially spoiled.

IMG_3519

IMG_3521

Backyard: The landlord told us no one ever uses it and we’re welcome to set up a grill, furniture, etc.  My head is bursting with ideas, I can hardly stand it.  I’m already envisioning dining al fresco, Parenthood-style.

Parenthood Outdoor Dining

IMG_4720

IMG_4722

So there you have it friends, the new space.  We moved in two weeks and although we still have a ways to go, its already starting to feel like home.

I’ll be back soon with ideas and plans for each of the rooms; I can’t wait to get started!  But for now, I’ll leave you with a preview of the first real project in the new place:

Instagram - Kitchen Islands

Share Your Heart

Last night I ducked out of the office (before it was even dark!) and headed over to West Elm for one of their DIY workshops.  This particular event was Valentine’s Day themed – crafting paper hearts to be sent to St. Jude’s Hospital where they will string them all together in an attempt to create the world’s largest paper chain!  And for each heart we created, West Elm donated $1 to the hospital.

photo 3

The actual crafting was free and they provided all of the supplies.  While there, I met some great people including a group of visual merchandisers for Macy’s, West Elm’s store manager and CJ, a stylist who runs their Instagram, @westelmla.

photo 2

There were also some great-looking refreshments, but as I’m still sticking hard core to my Weight Watchers plan (down 3 lbs so far!), I opted to just capture it on film.

IMG_4123

So let the crafting begin.  For my first heart, I knew I wanted it to be purple-themed in honor of my childhood friend Jill and all the kids like her at St. Jude’s.  I started out with a giant sheet of purple tissue paper.  I started doing a little ripping for a “rough edge” and needless to say, the finished project is not my best work, but I think the kiddies will like a heart option that isn’t pink or red.

IMG_4140

Next up, I snagged the roll of gold tape about as fast as I could and some letters for a little Jefe + Sledge action (that’s Geoff & Mallory for those new to the blog).  Of course, I opted for stripes.

IMG_4136

And lastly, I came across this ribbon at the bottom of a supplies bucket and knew exactly what to do with it – a little Kate Spade inspiration for a sickeningly sweet, picture perfect pink heart.

IMG_4139

So that about rounds out the night.  Here’s a little hint at what this store’s portion of the paper heart chain will look like strung up in St. Jude’s.

IMG_4141

If you want to catch some of the other hearts created, check out West Elm LA’s Instagram feed or search for their hashtag: #shareyourhearts.