May 29, 2012

Whatta wedding weekend!

It feels like a long time since I last posted but I think that's just because we had a long and full weekend! We made the trip up north to PA for a beautiful wedding for one of our dear family members, JMB! The sizzling temps and off and on rain couldn't take away from the bliss of being around family, some of whom we haven't seen in quite some time. Colin and Shire, our 2.5yr old twins, were both in the wedding so they got to dress up extra fancy for this special event.

3 of my 4 dates :)

My heart.

The studs. Don't they look handsome?!

One wedding down, two more to go this summer. I LOVE wedding season! Do you have any special events coming up?


May 23, 2012

~Before/After~ Small Bathroom #1

You may remember this post a couple weeks ago about some cute ideas for revamping a couple of our itty bitty bathrooms. Well, I got to work last Friday on one of them and am so excited to show you a now finished product! This is our basement bathroom before:

Medicine cabinet mirror, pedestal sink, painters yellow on the walls, ill fitted switch covers - we are grateful for the full bath in our basement but it was pretty sad looking and had nowhere for overnight guests to settle in with their toiletries.


Project A: Drawer Shelf - see bottom for details

Project B: Framing the mirror - see bottom for details

Project C: Drawer face-turned towel rack - see bottom for details

Project D: Bleaching old rug - see bottom for details

So refreshing now, don't ya think? This may not be your particular taste, but here is how I approached each piece of this bathroom in case you want to try any out yourself!

First off, I purchased the shower curtain last week at Walmart just because of the colors! I had recently decided to paint the walls white and play with color elsewhere, so when I spotted this shower curtain it really started giving me ideas for what other colors I wanted to pull into the room. ($9.99)

Project A: Drawer shelf - I had saved this drawer from a large dresser that is currently getting remade into a TV console. The sheer depth of it and the fun news print floor gave me a feeling I'd be able to use it for something else. Turns out when I was brainstorming some different ideas for storage for this little bathroom, I knew I wanted to keep 'stuff' off the floor. There is hardly enough floor space for a waste basket, so a shelving unit on the floor or a basket was just out of the question. This drawer, hung on it's underside, works perfectly for holding fresh guest towels, extra tissue, toiletries, etc. I painted it a custom teal color and kept the original drawer pull to hang our monogrammed hand towel from.
(free since I already had the supplies)
Project B: Framing the mirror - I had envisioned removing this medicine cabinet mirror and hanging something oval with a scalloped frame....til I realized this cabinet was set inside the wall and I wasn't interested in any major demo for this room. So, I went to Home Depot and found some pretty 1" trim, painted it in a very soft gray, my Husband cut the proper angles, and then I used Liquid Nails to glue it to the edge of the mirror.
($5 for the trim - but you can find decent 1" trim for as little as 50cents, which I did, but this one really caught my eye and since I was saving so much money elsewhere I splurged)
Project C: Drawer face-turned towel rack - This piece is actually an old face of a drawer that belonged on another dresser turned TV console, (don't ever throw 'parts' of a piece away, they may come in handy!). Husband removed it from the drawer, I painted it the same custom teal to match the hanging shelf and then he attached a single double hook unit which straddles the middle knob.
($2 for the hook)
Project D: Bleaching old rug - This rug used to be a dusty blue, (if my memory serves me right - it's old!), and I bleached it a long time ago into a very creamy peach. I think I had it sitting in a sink full of bleach, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 or 4 hours. We didn't have any immediate use for it in this house right away so it's been in storage for over a year, but it's so soft I didn't want to throw it out. Glad I didn't! I really love how this soft color contrasts with the cool gray floor, the teal shelf and rack, the orange on the shower curtain - and it just feels good under the feet. Bonus :)

So, that's how I fixed up a once dingy bathroom into something functional, colorful, and inviting. Do you have any transformations or unique storage ideas to share?


May 16, 2012

Playing with CoLoRs!

Hello again! It's been quite a week so far, let me tell ya! My 2yr old twins have both been a little 'off'. If you're a parent, you know what I am talking about. Whether you are or not I'll spare you the details because I'd really like you to come visit my blog again! ;) Anyway, I feel like I'm pulling teeth just trying to get them to nap for more than 30 minutes in the afternoon! Perhaps it's the warm sunny weather just calling their name :)

Amidst this 'phase' that we have found ourselves in, I did manage to finish 2 end tables in the past few days. One is new, the other I've had for a while. You may have seen it from photos before. A friend gave this to me to redo, and because of it's size I was a little dumbfounded by what exactly to do with it. First I painted a base coat of white and topped it with gray, then distressed it down to see some of the white and natural wood. This is how it looked for quite a while:

But, it just never felt right to me. It didn't seem done for some reason. So this past week I dusted it off and started working on it again. I added some faded yellow stripes to the top and sanded it down all over, (again). I clear coated it in semi gloss and - Ah-hah! Much better, I think :)

For faded/weathered looking stripes, I painted the yellow on with a dry brush technique, then once it was dry, I used a fine sanding block to remove excess paint, allowing the gray to be seen underneath. I love how these two particular colors play off each other.

Who says you can't have print on your furniture? Every room needs a balance of solids and prints and I absolutely love how stripes go with any other print; floral, paisley, geometric, adds an element of whimsy that I have grown to adore. Stripes definitely call a bit more attention to this table than it previously had. :)

Now onto the other table I was simultaneously working on. This one is newer to the Garage, but I took it back a few decades by adding several layers of color. This little number was given a base coat of black, a layer of soft yellow, and finished in a light peach. Then came the fun of distressing and with this piece I didn't hold back! You can see all the layers of colors which makes this small, soft peach table look like it's seen nine lives. It's small and chippy and perfectly imperfect.

I decided to keep the original hardware because when I removed it I realized it was tarnished and blackened on the back, so I decided to put it back on backwards, showing the blackish edge.

This was sealed in Minwax Polyurethane Semi Clear Gloss for a smooth, shiny finish. Wouldn't it be cute as a bedside table?! Or in a foyer to throw your keys? Or in a bathroom for spare toothpaste and brushes for guests? Or in a reading nook? Oh, I could see this little number in some fun places :)

These pieces will be saved for now as I am in the process of collecting once again for another sale! I'm hoping to have one at the end of June or beginning of July. We have to plan around some upcoming family trips so I am not exactly sure at this point how much stock I will have by mid-end of June and I want to be sure to have plenty! I will definitely let you know when a date is set!

In the mean time, do you have any fun transformations happening in your home? We'd love to hear about em' - you can even post pictures when you leave a comment!

Have a fun day!


May 10, 2012

Small bathrooms, BIG plans

Hi! I'm going to get right to it today: I want to update our teeny tiny bathrooms. We have 3 full bathrooms and 2 of the 3 are on the small side, (1 of those 2 is about the size of an airplane bathroom but with a shower stall). Our bathrooms were not even on my radar of things to do for our home. We've got a kitchen in serious need of revamping, (30yr old cabinets, mismatched appliances), and a basement that we've been just chipping away at but are excited to complete once and for all. Our list of home improvements excites me. Working and sweating together to make our home a reflection of us is something that both husband and I feel is completely worth our time. The bathrooms, I realized just the other day, would be a job I could easily do on my own. What have I been waiting for?! So, I've been researching some small bathroom design ideas and came across the following:

This one is covered in this geometric wallpaper which is just so fresh and clean looking! I love the idea of an allover print. Neither bathroom has a window so why not play around with something fun to look at?
 (Design Your Renovation)

Talk about fun to look at! This bathroom doesn't even try to pretend it's big. A large, bold allover print on the walls makes this room cozy, intimate, and most definitely fun!
 (Decor Pad)

...Or we could use a hit of color near the top of the walls to draw the eye up and give the illusion of a larger room. Dear Husband, if you are reading this, I want to use beadboard someday. In some way, shape, or form, we must! I love the texture of beadboard. I love the airy, beachy effect it has on a room especially when done in white and how pristine and clean it feels! Oh I just love it. I also love this sink with it's stainless steel legs and storage basket underneath. Ours are pedestal sinks so this would not work...but cool idea!

Holy stripes, Batman! (sorry, Colin's been over-wearing a batman t-shirt lately and I love it)...Anyways, I love the continuation of the stripes from the wall to the ceiling. This works so well with an elevated ceiling...which ours are not. But I think stripes could be really fun to work with on the walls!

Oh how lovely. This just whispers "I'm pretty and clean" :) An oval scalloped edge mirror might be a must. I wonder how hard it was to match the gray on the walls to the gray towels...
 (My Interior Design Info)

My stripes and gray all in one room! A perfect balance of whimsy, lovely and clean. I wonder though, for a small bathroom with no window, how much I'd really like the color gray. It would absolutely have to be the right gray, which is hard to find! Something with a bit of soft blue in it would be lovely.

Well, I certainly have plenty to think about now! Looking forward to picking out some paint in the very near future. I'll keep you posted!
*Special Note: I'd like to invite you to become a Garage Guest! It costs nothing to join my site, won't take long at all and you can choose to have my blogs automatically emailed to you so you don't miss one, (but you don't have to). Many have been emailing me comments regarding various posts and sharing your encouragement and ideas that way, (or on facebook), but if you would please join the site, then you can leave comments directly under each post. My goal for this blog is to be interactive with my readers and share ideas/thoughts with one another. I have readers from around the world now and would love to share inspiration with one another. Thank you for following Chelsea's Garage!

And to all you precious moms and moms-to-be out there, have a wonderful Mother's Day. If you're from a country that doesn't have a Mother's Day....celebrate yourself anyways!
*I am adding this long after I created this post. Check out what I did to our tiny basement bathroom here!


May 4, 2012

Our place of peace, (if not quiet)

Hi dear friends! Today I want to invite you into our bedroom. I don't think I've shown it to you yet and it is really one of my favorite rooms in the house. Everyone needs a spot in their home, if not a whole room, where they can totally let go and feel themselves relax. Our bedroom is where my mind slows down from overdrive. Because I can retreat to this quiet serene place at the end of the day, I'm okay with my morning downstairs starting like this:

I actually love this. My kids play hard and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's the stage of life we're in right now so why not embrace it....right? (Trust me, some days I feel like I have to talk myself into believing this...) Anyways, a level 5 hurricane in our living room is fine and dandy with me as long as I have this to retire to every evening:

 I really love a transitional decor style of mixing old with new. The whole bedroom set, (bed and both chests of drawers), has been passed down through many generations in my family. I believe my great grandmother was born in the bed! With such 'grand' furniture, I wanted to keep the decor otherwise simple. No bold colors, just light and airy, letting the antique pieces take center stage. The leaning wall shelves were left uncluttered and simple.

 This was one I did a while ago. I replaced the rusty hardware for some strips of linen which I think soften and lighten this otherwise chunky piece.
You can make color on color work when you have a variety of layers and textures, as seen on the bed with white on white.
One of my favorite uses of our bedroom?
Saturday morning cartoons with my favorite people:)

Where is your peaceful spot? What does it look like? I would LOVE to hear!