We Finally Started Natalie's Room

This girl is about to celebrate a birthday.

Oh that sweet face!
Other than the gorgeous blonde hair, and the height she inherited from her father, she is my mini-me. At her age I was shorter, chunkier, and I had the baddest mullet in all of Yates county. 

Despite those differences, Natalie is the child most like me, delightful personality quirks and all. 

This Halloween...dressed as a hippie
In our former home, her room was the first to receive any attention, and Ella's was never really finished. So in the current home, to be fair, there were a few projects to complete before I was able to concentrate on her room. And it's worth noting that her room in this house was already really cute, just not exactly her taste. 


Before: pink walls and black & white curtains, no real plan or design on our part yet.


Natalie has a signature color, and although I've tried to convince her to consider other colors, she sticks with turquoise/teal. I really wanted to design her new room around plum/purple, but she wouldn't hear of it. Blushy pink? Nope. 

Onward with teal then! A word about the teal that we settled on, Valspar Alpine. It is three shades brighter than I would have chosen and three shades more subtle than she wanted. We were at an impasse but settled on this color after much debate and mutual concession. 

This room is another (practically) zero-cost project. We have everything we need on hand, but may switch out a desk or chair, a night stand, or paint a dresser. The biggest impact came with wall color and (eventually) curtains. And we definitely need a good afternoon of purging and organizing.

Yesterday I painted. I started listening to the Serial Podcast from the beginning. I've heard so much about it. Before I knew it the whole room was painted, the sun was setting, and I felt like I'd lost a day of my life. I hadn't showered or eaten. But her room was painted and I had listened all eight episodes. Weird.

So this is what the room looks like now, at half-done status.


Truthfully, I don't love the zebra rug. I'm not a fan of zebra. I'm sure they are lovely animals, but I don't love the whole effect in design. It's just a personal preference. But she desperately loves this rug and a coordinating blanket, so who am I to keep these harmless things from her?

This week I will figure out the curtain situation, and a few other details: memo board, dresser refresh, wall decor, etc. But she is happy and excited to get back in there once the paint fumes go away. And I am happy to focus my attention on her in time for her birthday and before the holidays take over. 
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So I Made Some Mittens...


I love projects that make use of old favorites things, ones that might otherwise be forgotten or thrown away.

This old sweater is too small for Natalie, and the neck opening is too large for Ella. It falls off her teeny shoulders.

The first attempt was a disaster. I know enough to begin a new project with throw away materials, because I mess up the first time, every time. Just like the first waffle. You always throw away the first waffle, unless you're Martha Stewart. So what did I learn from attempt #1? You have to make the wrist opening large enough for the hand to pass through. *smacks forehead*

For my second attempt, I overcompensated for my earlier mistake by making huge, baggy mittens that looked more like potholders. Fortunately you can re-sew a smaller shape then trim the excess material.


I love the colors in this fair-isle print.


I saved the arms of the sweater and other large scraps that could be used for another project.


This is the perfect project for me. I don't like to measure or pin. I adjust as I go. Maybe this is why it took three attempts to get it right? Whatever. Martha Stewart I am not.

I made a second pair from an old red sweater, because after that success, I caught the mitten-making bug. I was high on home-made mittens.

Natalie claimed the fair isle pair, and the red ones are too big for Ella, so I'll have to make a third pair for her. And then I'll officially be sick of this project and never make another pair. But it was good while it lasted. And our household will be three pairs of mittens richer.

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Another Touch Of Inkwell

I made another small change over the weekend.


See my little brass book ends? :)

I love when the backs of bookshelves are painted. It adds a personal touch and nice detail.

via


These shelves needed something. It feels like everything is floating in a sea of beige.




I like that this detail ties the living room and dining room together. 

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When Being Brave Pays Off a.k.a. The Dining Room Reveal

First, I must say that I am in love with this dining room. I walk past it and smile, I stare at it with the lights on, then for a while longer with the lights off. 



Second, I have to admit that painting the walls this color really freaked me out. I second-guessed myself every day. Just before painting, I woke up in the middle of the night regretting my decision. I tried to convince myself that beige isn't so bad. And why can't I just leave well enough alone?




I never regretted the decision once the paint was on the walls. Inkwell is a beautiful color. My husband even likes it, and he is a lover of beige. It feels regal and rich. I decided on a matte finish because such a dark color will appear super-shiny. This matte finish is like velvet. 




My mind always goes to resale value, even though I hope to stay in this house for many years. I don't think this is a color that a prospective buyer would be offended by. It feels classic and timeless.




The curtains made a big impact as well. 




I chose a simple unbleached linen set from Ikea. They're affordable, $35.00 for the set, and add a touch of texture and neutral tone to the otherwise dramatic room. These curtain panels come in a tab-top, but I'm not a fan of that style, so I flipped them upside-down and iron-hemmed a rod pocket and cut the tabs right off. 

The total cost of this room makeover included the cost of paint, curtains, and curtain rod. It came in under $100!

Before & after:





And compared with the design board...mission accomplished!




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Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick!


TDC Before and After
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