Adding Function to the Laundry Room

Today I’m sharing a quick addition I made to the laundry room.  Now that we’ve got the counter top finished and the sink operational I found that we needed a spot for a hand towel to dry your hands.  I’d been eyeing this vintage industrial style shelf and towel bar for a while so when I spotted it for a good price I ordered it quickly, figuring it would either work in here or the guest bathroom.  Due to shipping costs I had to have it sent to my Mother-in-Law’s house and wait to pick it up until our trip earlier this summer.

This spot has had several variations since we moved in.  First I had some DIY decor here, then there was a rustic laundry sign, but I decided to sell that and have a different one made for the wall above the board and batten on the other side of the room where the tobacco baskets are currently.  Those will move to the guest room above the new headboard.  I plan on making that change this winter, when there’s not so much going on in the yard.

The metal look ties in perfectly with the DIY drying rack the Hubs built me above the window.  I styled it with one of my faux succulent planters and a blue mason jar that I’ll be filling with vintage clothespins.  I may add a few other little things, but will let those “find” me in the coming months.  You can’t tell from this angle but the bottom of the shelf is an open style wire so whatever I use on it will have to be big enough that it does’t fall through.

As you can see from the winkles in the towel, it’s been getting plenty of use and it’s just the right size for the wall without blocking my DIY soap pump in the corner.  One more project done, and you know functional decor is my favorite kind! 🙂

Going Farmhouse in the Kitchen

I’ve been switching up the decor in our kitchen for a more simple, farmhouse style and had this idea for a sign over the pantry.  Everywhere I looked I saw “EAT” and “KITCHEN” but I wanted one that said Dry Goods, because that’s what’s in the pantry!  I considered making one myself but life has just been too busy for that project and things won’t slow down anytime soon.  So when I spotted the style of sign I wanted for a great price at one of my fave local shops, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, who you may remember from the recent vintage market, I asked the owner if she could do a custom version.  She said yes and because she’s awesome she even kept it at the same price as the other signs she already sells!

It turned out awesome.  She made it to the dimensions for my specific spot and gave me a choice of colors so it was just what I wanted.  It’s the perfect addition to the cabinet top decor changes I’ve made so far.

On the right side the large white platter stayed where it was, as did our personalized cutting board, but the fruit basket was swapped out for this large breadboard and a vintage wicker wrapped jar.  I picked both of those up at an antique shop outside of Portland on our recent trip for a great price.  I’ll be sharing more of that shopping trip soon.

The other side kept several of the same pieces as before, just rearranged.  The wine rack I had in the corner was sold and I picked up this cute copper bucket that I’d been eyeing at Target for months for just $2 on the local buy/sell page.  That’s a 90% savings from the original price!

It sat empty for a while, but when I won an Amazon gift card at work I ordered my favorite purple pens and several bunches of faux lavender.  As soon as they arrived I knew they belonged in the copper tin.  I love the contrast of the colors and textures and am even happier that it’s something that can stay up year round.

I still may rearrange a few things as I find other items just right for this space, but for now I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking.  I’d love to hear your suggestions on moving things around or items to add, so leave me a comment if you have ideas!

Purdy-ing Up the Chicken Yard – Again

Remember when I decided to make the chicken yard pretty last year?  Well I’m at it again.  This time I went with planters that are up high and out of ‘chicken reach’ so they should be pretty safe.

I didn’t want to spend a lot for this little project since it is just a chicken yard and I am a self-proclaimed bargainista, but I still wanted it to be cute.  I’d seen wall planters made of various materials and realized they were just simple pockets of fabric.  I’m not a sewer so I brainstormed what might provide an inexpensive, already sewn fabric pocket.  Then the light bulb went off – a fabric shoe organizer!

I snagged this one at Fred Meyer for around $10.  I only needed 4 pockets but I figured it the idea panned out I could always make more for other spots too.  It was an added bonus that it was a cool grey fabric rather than the typical canvas ones I’ve seen that would show dirt immediately.

Luckily each row was exactly 4 pockets!  I cut off one row, leaving the seam and trim at the bottom.  From there I cut down the center of the stitching on the trim between each pocket to create 4 individual pockets.

I filled each with dirt and a plant while on skype with my mom on a sunny afternoon and then recruited the Hubs to help me hang them.  We folded over the top section of fabric for a bit more strength and just screwed them into the post using deck screws.

Although the screws are noticeable from the side angle, they blend in when you look at the planters from the front of the yard which is the typical way they will be seen.  Plus as the plants grow they should help hide them even more.  Hopefully they will have enough time to really fill in and start to trail over before the season wraps.

I also decided to give the block planters at the bottom of the posts another try.  The canvas curtains I made last summer didn’t survive well so this time we used scrap clear panels left over from building the green house.  It keeps the sight lines open for both the cluckers and the dogs, but prevents the chickens from decimating the plants.

The chickens were not to pleased with this innovation and kept trying to  peck at the leaves through the plastic!  They eventually gave up and went on about their clucking business elsewhere in the yard.  This time around I filled the blocks with mint, transplanted from the rain garden where it ended up after being in the herb container 2 summers ago.  Those who have grown mint, know it is super hardy so it can take some tough love, will return year after year and should spread to fill in a bit more.  I will have to watch that it doesn’t spread out from the blocks but it’s easy enough to remove if I catch it early so I’m not to worried.  Plus it will help keep things smelling pretty – because this is a chicken yard and there is always a constant supply of “fertilizer”!

Because we used scrap panels each is a bit different size so the panels don’t all line up with each other.  It doesn’t really bother me in person but looking at this image I really notice it.  If it still bugs me in a few weeks I’ll have the hubs cut the two larger ones down to match.

I put another clear panel on the front of the yard and added marigolds there for a bit of color.  Now if I could just get that darn walkway covered with gravel like I’ve been planning this space might start to really look complete.  Hopefully that will happen before the end of the season, but if not it will be on the list again next summer. 🙂

Herb Rack Update

I promised to provide an update on our indoor herb planter once we got some real plants in it, which proved to a be a bit more difficult than I anticipated.  It took a while to find what I was looking for at the various stores in town and then several of the plants didn’t do well so I replaced them.  As you can see below that still didn’t keep a few of the plants from failing again.

I think they just weren’t getting enough full or direct sun to thrive.  There were a few that seemed to do ok.  The bay plant did pretty well and the sweet basil did better than the spicy basil.

After replacing several of the plants 2-3 times I gave up deciding that the location just wasn’t getting enough light for herbs.  I moved the remaining viable plants outside on the deck to a raised planter (which you may remember from last season) so they are still nearby for use when cooking or grilling, but stay out of reach of the dogs.

They seem to be doing pretty well out here, and both varieties of oregano have grown since I moved them out here.  The basil and bay have stayed about the same, I think just from the shock of transplant.

I’m a little bummed that the indoor option didn’t work out as I was pretty excited about having fresh herbs all year long, but I’ll be sure to preserve some of these so they can be used throughout the winter instead.  I’ve already got a new plan for the space in the dining room where the rack was – but I’ll have to wait until after our trip back east this fall to put it together.  I’ll be sure to share that once I do.  In the meantime I’ve filled the rack with faux succulents left over from another project since all the IKEA plants are now in use in other spots.  Find me on Instagram to see how it looks today.

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A Daybed in the Office

Remember the cool daybed and trundle the Hubs built for the Foster room?  Like I often do, I changed up the plan – deciding to do bunk beds in that space instead.  The trundle idea was cool, but would be annoying to pull out every day if we had siblings placed with us and it was a tight fit so it would be difficult for younger children to manage.  That left the daybed ‘homeless’ until I had the brilliant idea to move it to the office as an extra seating.

This corner was originally my backdrop storage and set-up space, but I found that I’ve only used it once as I typically go to clients’ homes for shoots or use outdoor locations.  Sometimes the Hubs sits in the office with me to chat while I work on photos but it’s not very comfy to sit in an office chair for long periods.  Having a little daybed where he could stretch out and relax a bit seemed like a great idea.  I moved my backdrops to the guest closet with a fun little hack I’ll share sometime soon and that opened up the whole corner for the day bed.

Luckily, the bunk bed we got on the buy/sell page came with one mattress so I could keep the mattress I had on the trundle frame with the daybed when it moved to the office.  It was also the perfect opportunity to test out a bedding set I’ve been considering getting for the Foster room, called Beddys.  It’s an all-in-one set that includes the blanket, bottom sheet plus top sheet and zips closed on either side, making it easy for young children to make their own bed – especially on a bunk bed.  They are a little pricey, but I found the set I wanted on sale and considering that they include all of those items in one unit it’s not a bad deal.

The inside blanket is made with this plush minky fabric that is super soft to the touch.  You just zip down the side of the mattress to pull down the sheets and then zip it closed in the morning when you get up.  It’s a great option for the Foster room so I’ll be buying those sets in the fall when we finish up some other projects – although I’ll be watching for another good sale since this time I’ll be buying two!

I added some big fluffy pillows I picked up at Home Goods during our recent trip with the heart pillows I got from the Dollar Spot at Target back around Valentines and my favorite button monogram pillow to make it cozy.

 

It turned out to be the perfect little nook to hang out in and put the space to work since it wasn’t really being utilized before.  I’ve even used it a couple of times for my weekly Skype dates with my family.   Plus it’s an extra spot to sleep if we ever had a big group come visit and since this room now has the barn doors, it’s got enough privacy to function as a temporary bedroom if we needed – although there are no window treatments so guests would need to keep that in mind. 😉

I’d love to hear what you think of our little multi-function daybed made from an old industrial cart, so leave me a comment below!

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The New Guest Room Headboard

 

Another quick update we did after our trip to Portland was switching out the guest room headboard.  While the old one the Hubs DIY’ed back when we lived in Kodiak was nice (see it here), I was ready for something a little brighter in this space.  I still wanted something upholstered and had a few earmarked online but they were ranging from $200-600, which was a bit more than I wanted to pay for something that’s only going to see use a few times a year.  Luckily I stumbled across this one at Walmart as part of their Better Homes and Gardens line for $90!

It was only available online but I could do site to store shipping.  Unfortunately they didn’t offer that for Alaska stores so I had it shipped to the store near my Mother-in-Law’s house so we could pick it up while we were visiting back in May.

It’s definitely not perfect.  The nail heads don’t line up quite right in a few spots, but it’s hardly noticeable.  And at a third of the cost of similar ones I was considering I’m ok with the little imperfections.  I plan to sell the old one, which will likely pay for this one, so the change will be low – no cost.

We got it set up just in time for my sister’s visit last month along with the new dresser we added in here.  The two pieces work well together and give the space a calm, simple tone.

Because it’s neutral I can change up the bedding or other furnishings without an issue.  I’ve got plans to add faux shiplap to this wall like we did in the dining room but that’s a project for the spring when it’s still to cold to be outside.  Once we do that I think the headboard will really pop against the white and the space will be even brighter.

Now I just need to get the laundry room sign I want made so I can bring the tobacco baskets currently in it’s spot in here to decorate above the headboard.  Then once I refinish the dresser this room will be about done.. for a while anyway. 🙂

Getting FLOR’ed in the Master

I’ve been wanting a rug in our Master Bedroom since the day we moved in almost 4 years ago.  But I was in no hurry to disassemble our large captain’s style bed to put one down underneath of it.  Luckily reading another blogger’s post about creating an area rug with FLOR carpet squares sparked an idea – why not create a rug AROUND the bed using carpet squares?!  I posed the idea to the Hubs and he was on board so we figured out how much material we needed, selected a pattern and had them shipped to my mother-in-law’s house due to Alaska shipping costs.

 

The Hubs drew out a diagram for the layout and put them together one afternoon while I was out with photography clients.  He said it went together relatively quickly and easily.  You just line everything up using the markings on the back of the tiles to keep the pattern flowing correctly and then connect them in each corner with the adhesive squares FLOR provides.

You only notice the seems if you look really closely, which I’m pretty sure no one who is in our bedroom does.  😉  I LOVE the traditional neutral coloring in the pattern we picked out because it will go with so many things, even if I change up the colors in this space in the future.

We also bought enough extra tiles to create a runner in the closet over the crawlspace access panel.  We haven’t added the adhesive corners to this set up just yet, as we’re still trying to decide the best placement for a break in the joints so it’s easy to move when we do access the crawlspace.

But even without the adhesive corners it stays together pretty well and looks good.  Plus it’s nice and soft under foot, which I appreciate when I’m getting dressed in the mornings.

We’ve still got a little stash of extra tiles just in case we ever need to replace one, but the best thing about these are that if one gets stained you can pop it out and wash it in the sink!  That’s the perfect choice for a household full of pets like ours.

I’m loving the look so much that I’m considering ordering more to do a rug around the guest bed as well and perhaps in the main living area where I currently have a large outdoor rug just inside the slider to the backyard!  But those can both be projects for our long cold Alaskan winters.  I’d love to hear what you think of the new look, so leave me a comment!