MIA

So where the hell have I been?  I know, I know – life just got away from me.  I’ve been refocusing on myself a bit – trying to get healthier, taking care of some actual health stuff too.  Then a crazy girls weekend with my bests from college followed by getting sick for a full week just as I was cutting out caffeine and anything that tasted delicious….

Today’s gonna be a quick recap of updates around Chez Sledge.  Last when I left you, we were working on our office.  Since then we got our new chair from Wayfair:

New Office Chair!

And last weekend Jefe hung up some more art.  Can you believe he took those photos of Fenway himself?  The one of the stadium’s green seats with the single red seat is stunning.

Fenway Artwork

Fenway Artwork - Detail

The room is really coming together; I can’t wait until we can afford that armchair so I finally have my reading nook!  I’m planning to relocate that white chair to the dining room, scoot the shelf unit over and make room in the corner on the left for it, right by the floor lamp and next to the window.

New Office Artwork

Next up is a quick update in the master bedroom.  We finally managed to find a new nightstand for Jefe; it was made of solid wood with a reclaimed style to it.  It was the first time we ordered anything from Joss & Main and I was thrilled with the outcome.  Everything came pre-assembled and well packaged.  From date of order until delivery was less than 2 weeks!

Jefe's New Nightstand

Jefe's New Nightstand 2

We’ve slowly been switching out the furniture in this room and with the addition of the new nightstand, it admittedly looks a little more mismatched than eclectic at the moment.  That’s always the challenge once you move out of matching furniture sets to create a more curated look; it can look like quite the hodge podge of random items until you get close to the finish line.  Here’s a little refresher (with a few updates) of what I’d eventually love the room to look like:

Sledge Bedroom Revamp

If you’re following along on Instagram, you’ll notice that we’ve made some serious progress in our backyard.  But there’s a few more pieces to come so I’ll just leave you with this little before & after until I can give you the full recap.

BEFORE

Backyard - Before

AFTERIMG_6491

Lastly, I finally got around to tackling the lighting situation in our kitchen.  After a quick trip to HomeGoods during my girls’ weekend, I snagged a cheap, neutral drum shade to cover up that horrendous fake-brass boob light.

BEFORE

Kitchen Boob Light

AFTER

Kitchen Drum Shade

I still need to add a piece of fabric to it so you can’t see the ugly fixture it’s hiding underneath, but just by hanging the shade I can feel such a difference in the room.

Kitchen Drum Shade 2

Jefe and I also made a quick trip to Ikea last Saturday and managed to snag the Foto plug-in pendant and I can FINALLY see what I’m cutting while making dinner!  I need to use some white cord cover so it blends in a little more, but I’m really happy with it.

New Pendant Light

I tried hanging it with the ceiling screws included, but it turns out our ancient drywall is a bit crumbly in the ceiling so 3M hooks to the rescue.  I only wish I had tried them before I put giant holes in my ceiling but that’s what spackle is for, am I right?!

Here’s both lights in action:

New Kitchen Lights

All in all, we’ve been making some great progress around the place.  I’m really please with how it’s turning out!

 

Office Space

I’ve been keeping a not so little secret.  I teased it earlier this week but it’s time to confess: we revamped our office… in January.  Jefe had been working from home a lot and apparently had been really discontent with the state of our office.  So on MLK weekend, he sprung on me that he wanted to redo the office.  I hadn’t even gotten to finish the plans I had for the office and we were already redoing it!  Luckily what he wanted was in line with the overall plan I had for the space.  But with all that said, we spent our holiday off work driving all the way to Torrance for a coveted desk we had to have…

As a little refresher, here’s what we were looking at last fall:

New Office Mood Board- Nov 2014

New Office Mood Board- Nov 2014

And thanks to Jefe’s impromptu redecorating request, here’s what we’re looking at:

Updated Office Plan

We had already purchased the rug from Pottery Barn over Christmas thanks to their annual sale and that desk is the major purchase from our day of impromptu shopping.  It required contacting no less than 5 local World Markets to find the one we really wanted (the floor model we saw was just too wobbly and beat up to consider taking it home).  So we drove the 45 minutes to Torrance and got the only one left in the greater Los Angeles area.

During the redecorating discussions I also convinced Jefe to examine and remedy our currently too-short cord situation so that we can shift over the Expedit with the TV to accommodate an armchair by the window and floor lamp; his girlfriend needs a reading nook!  While at World Market we spotted this chair and I’m pretty anxious to add it to the soon-to-be vacated corner.

Charcoal Oscar ChairNow, let’s talk desk chairs.  The day we went shopping, after we had secured the desk, we made a quick stop at Target.  Much to our surprise they had a gorgeous grey linen dining chair with nailhead trim for $85.  DONE.  I was stoked to find something so beautiful within our price range.  I thought it was too good to be true.

Target Camelot Nailhead Dining Chair

 Fast forward two months and our desk is going strong (minus a small nick that I’ll cover DIY solutions for in another post) but our desk chair, not so much.  Apparently you get what you pay for:

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair 3

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair 2

Neither of us have any idea how or when that happened.  Needless to say I insisted on returning it.  Jefe was skeptical as it had been two months and he didn’t have his original receipt.  But I insisted.  One quick trip to Target later and we had our $85 back.  Lesson: never doubt the Target return policy… but be weary of their furniture!

As the chair was DEFINITELY an impulse buy, we hadn’t checked the reviews, which turns out, are quite mixed.  So I did a little digging and after some inspiration from Ellen’s Design Challenge, I decided to give Wayfair a try.

We really had liked the look of the nailhead chair but also knew it had to be sturdier than the Target version, have a slightly larger seat (as the one we returned was admittedly a little small) and have a chair seat height of 19″.  That’s a LOT harder to find than you might think.

But after a full week of research, I landed on this beauty which we are currently awaiting delivery:

Hudson Nailhead Dining Chair

I can’t wait to finally see it in the space.  My only hesitation is that it might be TOO close to the Oscar arm chair we want.  So we’ll just have to wait and see.

For now, we’re still using one of our dining chairs at the desk until the new one arrives.  Not ideal, but it will do for now.

Office Revamp Preview

So what do you think?  I’m really loving the vibe the office is giving off.  A traditional, masculine study with a few feminine touches.

Heat Wave…

For those that don’t know, LA was slammed with an unexpected heat wave this past weekend.  It really feels like summer and has only accelerated my plans to redo our backyard.

Since we moved in last year we haven’t really had a chance to do much with the space but now that the weather has really turned towards summer, I’m raring to go.

Here’s where we currently stand:

Backyard 3 Backyard 2 Backyard 1

Backyard Pano

Most of my plans consist of working with what we’ve got.  I’d like to relocate the trash cans entirely out of the backyard, but that’s not really an option.  So I’m going to scoot them over to the back wall where I feel they’ll be less of an eyesore.  The wall they’re currently in front of only contributes to them sticking out like a sore thumb with that big empty orange wall above them.  As of right now, we have some crawling vines along the targeted back wall and they’ve only been filling in with each week.  I’m hoping in the coming months the vines will really liven up the space.

With the trash cans out of the way, I need to spruce up that giant blank wall.  One of our neighbors added a few free trellis panels they got last year so I’m planning to lean the two of those against the wall.  To anchor them and fill in the space with some visual variety, I’ll add one of the small potted trees in the middle and a bunch of existing potted plants along the base of each.  It will provide a secure foundation for the panels and the plants are varying heights so it will really give that wall some newfound visual interest.

And a really rough mock-up I shared with my landlord to get the A-OK:

Backyard Mock Up

Now with our new rearranged space, we’ll pull out our furniture set and grill for cookouts.  But we can’t just leave it at that, can we?  As most of our cookouts happen later in the day, we’ll need some string lights to brighten up the otherwise dark space.  As there aren’t any outlets, I’m on the hunt for some great solar options.  I really want those beautiful cafe bulb-style lights, but I have yet to find any in great solar options.

And since we’ll be the new place to hang, I’ll obviously need some backyard-BBQ safe dish ware and beverage containers for all of our guests, am I right?  And because I can’t get enough, I’ve decided to go with a blue theme which I think will contrast nicely with all the burnt orange painted stucco of the backyard walls.

Backyard Revamp - Mood Board

solar lights  |  lantern  |  string lights  |  goblet  |  silverware holder

beverage dispenser  |  dish ware  |  beverage bucket  |  table runner

chair pad  |  furniture  |  grill

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!

Beauty Rest Bedroom

So now that the kitchen is looking good (pending some artwork decisions), it’s time to move down the long hall to our master bedroom.  Our big challenge right now is furniture – although we’re fairly content with the quantity of storage our current dressers provide, they leave quite a bit to be desired in the quality and aesthetics arenas.  And now that I have my rich, wood-toned nightstand, we’re anxious to get the rest of our room up to snuff.

Here’s what it’s looking like these days (excuse all poor iPhone photos – its the first time I felt up to blogging in a while and i was motivated to get it DONE!):

IMG_4951

The first piece we’re focusing on is a new nightstand with storage for Jefe.  His side of the bed is currently rocking the matchy-matchy black Hemnes I purchased 7 years ago when I moved to LA.

Hemnes Nightstand

Since I got so lucky finding my nightstand at the Rose Bowl, we’ve been focusing our search at the flea market.  So far we’ve struck out twice there and once at the Long Beach Flea Market where we ventured for the first time last week.  Frustrated, I started branching out to the usual suspects to see what new pieces retailers like Pottery Barn, West Elm and World Market had to offer.

Pottery Barn has this great Branford Bedside Table in Mahogany that would be perfect, but at $529 ON SALE, it’s not really in the budget.

PB Branford Nightstand

The next option I found was from World Market – the Sara Double-Wide Nightstand in a beautiful shade of grey blue.  With a price of $119 and by adding some more sophisticated hardware, I could totally make this work.  Then I remembered it would be sitting in front of NAVY curtains, next to NAVY and white striped duvet, and I’m planning to lay down an INDIGO rug….. Just too much blue (I didn’t know there was such a thing!)  But the minute they sell this table in a wood tone, it’s MINE.

483546_SARA DOUBLE-WIDE NIGHTSTAND

Target had some interesting pieces including this more rustic accent table, but there was nothing I liked that was tall enough.  I really hate the low-sitting bed trend.

Threshold Mixed Material Side Table

For now, I’m just going to keep looking.  We live 1 block from the Melrose Trading Post and have yet to venture over, so I think that’s where I’ll be headed this Sunday to continue the hunt.

The other pieces we’re looking to replace are our 2 existing Hemnes dressers and eventually our Hemnes bed frame.  Out with the matching bedroom suit, hello perfectly-curated eclectic mix.  We’re definitely looking to go vintage on the dressers so we can get something of real quality which is so much more important for those types of larger pieces.  I’d love to just pick up an antique back in Pennsylvania next time I’m home, but the shipping alone would break any budget we set.

For the bed frame, I’ve had my eye on a variety of slightly curved, nailhead trimmed headboards and Crate & Barrel just released the bed of my dreams.  I was lusting after the similarly styled Colette, but it wouldn’t allow for a box spring and sat too low.  But the Curve Queen Bed in Napa Camel is absolute perfection. Now if I could just scrounge up enough change from the couch cushions to actually afford it….

Curve Bed in Napa Camel

 

To soften things up, I’m dying to lay down this indigo Empire Scroll Rug from Pottery Barn over our hardwood floor.

PB Empire Scroll Rug

In terms of accessories, I’m still toying with that, but I think we’re going to stick with black and white photos for artwork.  We already have two great pieces hung, but we really need something for over the bed.  As we’re in earthquake country, there is very little Jefe will let me hang over our heads, but he has agreed to a lightweight canvas of some sort.  I’d like to find an image one of us has taken and get it blown up and printed on canvas by Shutterfly.  Hats off to Brooklyn Limestone for turning me on to the plethora of new home decor options they offer!

Now that I’ve racked up the costs for this “little” redo, I think we’ll stick with our current bedding, which I think will fit in quite nicely. Here’s a quick recap of the plan:

Master Bedroom Revamp Mood Board

I can’t wait to get started!  Now excuse me while I go rob a bank.

 

February Lust List

February has arrived.  And unfortunately for many of  you loyal readers, I hear Punxsutawney Phil prescribed a LONG winter yet to be had.  (To which my Jefe lovingly asked “who is Punxsutawney Phil?!” and I immediately whipped out Groundhog Day.) So while you’re bearing the inches of snow  and blustery wind Mother Nature is still sending your way, cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and Bailey’s and do a little window shopping with me!

Here are some of my latest design crushes:

February Lust List

1)  West Elm Hexagon Mirror – I’ve had my eye on this puppy for my hall entryway for quite some time and it’s now reduced from $149 to $79.  I may have to convince Jefe that we need to pull the trigger…

2)  West Elm Elton Settee – Although we are not in the market for any sort of love seat, I’m in love with the subtle curved lines, traditional tufting, yet overall modern feel of this piece.  And the blue fabric is to die for!

3)  Nate Berkus Lamp – I can’t believe this beauty will soon be available at Target.  Yet again, Nate Berkus knocks it out of the park with this modern piece of glam.  Look at those lines!  The inner shade’s lining!  GORGEOUS.  Also reminds me of the little Land of Nod lamp I used for my Dorm Room Decor Round Up!

4)  Lulu & Georgia Print – Is there anything Jenna Lyons isn’t right about when it comes to design?!  Now about the $300 price tag of those calf hair leopard flats I want….

5)  Nate Berkus Hexagonal Wood Tray – I’ve already seen this piece explode across the blogosphere and I am totally jumping on the band wagon.  If it had handles, it would already be in my apartment looking for a permanent place to live and corral things.  And after having seen it in person, I honestly was astounded at the quality of the piece for the price.  Bravo, Mr. Berkus.

6)  Sam Edelman Cheetah Loafers – So about those JCrew shoes… I’ve found your younger sister and my wallet loves her so much more.  I happened to see a coworker wearing these with a simple, jersey knit heather grey dress and it was the perfect mix of comfortable chic for the office.  I must have.

7)  Baublebar Slim Bow Pendant – I’m obsessed with costume jewelry lately.  And Baublebar has such fabulous sales (and credit for purchases made) that I never pay full price.  This one had me at hello so I snatched it up for $10.  It’s the perfect accent against my favorite emerald silk blouse.

8)  Magic Carpet Yoga Mat – Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I’ve been wanting to get back into my yoga practice and this is the PERFECT incentive.

9)  Baggu 13″ Polka Dot Laptop Sleeve – Last weekend I was at the Apple Genius bar for a tune up for the old laptop.  This adorable case caught the corner of my eye.  Five minutes later I was walking out with it.  It also happens to PERFECTLY complement the Baggu I got for Christmas (and yes, I actually kept and have been using the iPad case too!  It’s a perfect little set, although a little tough to get the iPad in and out).

10)  Baggu Small Leather Pouch / Gold – So I’m a little Baggu obsessed right now. But as my wallet won’t fit in my new Kate Spade purse, I need something to corral my cards and (small) amount of cash when I’m on the go.  This gold little pouch would be perfect!

Well there you have it, February’s Lust List.  What are you lusting after these days?

Decorating for the Soul

First and foremost – I’d like to send out a little love in to the universe as we’ve reached Sledgehammer with Style’s 1st BLOGIVERSARY!  I can’t believe I’ve been putting my random thoughts out in to the interweb universe and a few of you have actually read them and come back for more!  Thank you everyone for keeping me inspired to keep writing and decorating!

Speaking of decorating, today’s post is about how decorating can be therapeutic and great for the soul.  Who needs a shrink when you’ve got a 25% off coupon for Crate & Barrel?!  Such is the case for today’s “client”.  My best friend Harriet recently went through a life change when she and her husband amicably went their separate ways.  She kept their place in Boston and in an effort to get a fresh start, decided she wanted to revamp her bedroom.

So here’s where we are starting: a gender neutral space populated mostly with post-college Ikea furniture.

Before 5

Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

Before 4

So once the big split happened, the first thing I recommended to her is to rearrange her furniture.  It was the quickest and easiest way to get a new perspective on things without spending a dime.  So while we planned her new room, she literally flipped her perspective 180 degrees.  And what a change!  It felt like a whole new room.

Next up, she decided on her point of inspiration for the design: a peacock feather.  It holds some serious sentimental value for us as it was part of our sorority in college, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let her plaster the room with feathers and dip everything in peacock blue.  So we took the elements we liked such as that deep rich blue as a starting point.

Since it’s such a bold color, we decided that it could be an accent color while we would create a room around it with soft, neutral colors to give her a calming haven to retreat to at night.  So here’s my first run at a plan for her room:

Slide1

This is also the point when, despite her protests, I convinced her to paint.  It’s the quickest, cheapest way to totally transform a space.  We decided on a pale purple which would accent the peacock blue/teal accents we had been eyeing.  But as all designs go, we didn’t quite agree on which purple that was.  She’s a bit more of a girlie girl and leaned more towards a shade with pink undertones.  I recommended she pick up some test pots of a few colors and try them out before she paint the whole room in a color we (I) weren’t totally convinced was just right.  Here’s the tester:

IMG_20130915_133019

We both agreed that the one on the left was way too pink.  The one on the right is a bit more in line with what we were thinking.  So a few weeks later, she bit the bullet, bust out the credit card for some new furniture AND tackled painting the whole room herself with one fabulous finished product (I apologize for the photos as we haven’t had a chance to do some serious “after” photos yet):

IMG_20131001_084310

IMG_20131001_084323

Now we had some serious momentum to keep rolling.  The dresser is the Sorano 6-Drawer Dresser from Crate & Barrel.  It reminds me of driftwood; I’m totally in love with it.  Harriet and I went through a LOT of rug choices.  She was particularly found of this Sonnet Area Rug in turquoise from Home Decorators Collection:

Sonnet Rug

But ultimately, she decided on the Jasper Area Rug in aqua from Crate & Barrel.  And to round out her shopping cart, she chose this amazingly comfortable Haven Chaise which she had fallen in love with during a window shopping trip in LA with yours truly.

Then after a long search for non-white bedding that wouldn’t show dog fur (she has an adorable long-haired dachshund named Snickers), Harriet picked some great bedding from West Elm: the Braided Matelasse Duvet Cover.

West Elm Bedding

So after some tweaking thanks to a new paint color and some new design decisions, here’s the updated mood board for the space:

Slide1

Then thanks to the Red Sox fabulous season and a spot in the playoffs, Jefe and I took off for Boston for a baseball game and some much needed time with my bestie.  Unfortunately for her, the West Elm duvet was out of stock online.  I, however, live around the corner from the store…. so my carry-on ended up filled to the brim with bedding instead of clothes.

While we were enroute, Harriet had a great bed frame delivered.  It’s got storage for those bulky sweaters needed to bear the Boston winters.  It’s from a local retailer, Jordan’s.

Once we landed in Boston, Jefe had to take a work call so Harriet and I took a quick jaunt to Home Goods where we made an INCREDIBLE score.  We found a pair of AMAZING lamps that matched her new rug exactly.  And they were the perfect way to bring some of the pale, minty teal over to the other side of her room on her future beside tables.  Check out one of these gorgeous, curvy ladies (note that we ensured that we could fix the crooked shade before she purchased):

IMG_3616

What an amazing score.  Under $100 for BOTH of them.  We were stoked.  And Jefe gave us quite the look when we both walked in the front door, arm in arm with our lamps.  We looked like little girls with their arms caught in the cookie jar.

So now our search has turned to sheets, nightstands and a side table for her chaise and some artwork.  We both love the idea of black and white photos throughout the whole room; we just have to find the right ones.

And while we were there, we discussed a few other areas of her place we’d love to tackle down the road.  I love a good project so there will definitely be more to come!