Office/Guest Room Rearranging

Continuing from the Office Closet Storage Post, the entire room had to be re-arranged.

This is how it looked empty and moving in.

I don’t have a before photo of the re-arranging but you can see that the bed is where the chaise was and Robert’s desk is on the left.

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You can see how full and packed it was.

We found out we were getting a renter as we were finishing up the closet.

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So I knew we had to change the room around because it was just so crowded.

I also knew for a while that I was going to have to sell my wonderful desk. 😦 It was just too big for the condo and I knew that I needed to get a smaller desk.

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I bought the large desk for $550 (including tax etc.) and I sold it for $300. Which is about half, but since we were going to have a renter we would more than make up what I bought it for.

I bought this smaller desk a few weeks ago for $50.

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The legs were a bit wobbly but I thought I would be able to glue it or something.

Fun story, I finally put it together a week after I got it (since we were re-arranging it was easier to leave it taken down), and I hated it…

It’s really pretty. It just isn’t for me. So I sold it for $40. Which is $10 less than I got it for but it was worth it for the experience.

It’s actually for the better right now since we have a renter for the next 1-4 months and it gives more room in the office/guest room.

Here is what it looks like now.

 

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We have gotten rid of some books, completely re-arranged the room, bought a dresser, (soon a mirror and a clothes hanger), and new bedding.

I was searching high and low (I went to 12 thrift stores in 2 days) for a duvet cover of any size I could cut down. (Post coming soon).

Also, the dresser post coming soon as well.

Office Closet Storage Organization

I have been going crazy with our guest room/office/storage room. We couldn’t figure out what to do with the room, how to organize it, or even where to start.

In the typical Kate way, I decided I wanted to get a closet organizer so I did a little research, went out that day and got the whole closet organization system.

The ones I had found on Storables and other websites were around $600 for what I needed.

I found this one at Home Depot (including the second shelving unit shown in below pictures) for about $350 including the drawers.

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This is from Home Depot

I knew I wanted more shelving than garment racks because I knew the room was more storage/office and less guest room.

Here is the transition from junk closet to organized closet.

I wanted nice cream storage boxes. I HATED all the ones I found in 5+ stores and online.

They were either all wicker or all V shaped rather than square.

Both of these are from Amazon 1 and 2.

I finally went to Loews and found these:

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They also had 2 other matching ones in different sized. Lowes.

Here is the photo of it all together.

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It is so much cleaner and organized now.

Upholstering Another Antique Chair! :)

I love re-upholstering antique chairs. As much as I love keeping the original essence of each piece, often it is in need of repair or updating.

I bought this antique needlepoint cushion chair for $9.99 at Value Village. The seat was falling out in the bottom a little bit.

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You can see the indent in the middle of the chair. I started pealing back the layers. And there was so much dust. Robert said “I hope I don’t get the plague. There must be some disease hidden in the layers of dust.”

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The main problem is that the woven straps had frayed and broken at the edges. I had wanted to keep the straps to use again. I went back and forth between wanting to be authentic and using modern materials to highlight the original beauty. So I opted to use new straps and staples as opposed the the original nails.

I was happier with this than I would have been washing the old straps for hours. And hopefully not getting the plague.

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I then put 1.5(?) inch foam on top but I noticed that the straps sagged a little so I added 3 layers of batting just in the middle. Then I put batting over top all of that.

I was searching for the best fabric to showcase the wood. I contemplated a pattern or red but I thought it would look best with cream (of course). I also wanted it to be a little velvety/suede like.

Surprisingly I found the exact one I wanted very quickly.

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I serger-ed the edges and stapled it on. I also found the trim I wanted fairly quickly as well. Again, I contemplated a contrasting shade but I didn’t like the 3 colors of the wood, trim, and fabric together.

Here is the finished product.

I think it looks a lot cleaner next to my vanity and other white chair.

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I also kept the original purchase tag on the chair.

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Dollhouse Remodel – Part 1

I am a Real Estate Agent and I have loved houses since I was little. My grandparent’s own a 1910 Craftsman in Oregon.

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Top is the front of their house. Bottom is the “Red Room” that I typically stay in when I see them.

I was shopping at Goodwill with my mom and I saw a dollhouse. It was somewhere around $40. I didn’t get it but I was inspired. I HAD to have a dollhouse. So I started looking online. I found one on eBay about 40 minutes from where I live. There were a few bidders but we didn’t hit the minimum “threshold”. My max bid was $279 and the threshold I assume was $300. It was in serious need of a remodel.

Since I wasn’t the winning bid for this huge custom dollhouse, I found a few others but I found 2 on Craigslist for $30 total and got them. The problem was that I had to build them myself. This is what it looked like after I built the first dollhouse.20150901_114904

I was happy with it, but I kept thinking about that huge dollhouse that I really wanted to remodel.

Then I got an email. They asked me if I would buy it at the $279 price that I offered. I sat on it for a day then said YES! I had to have it.

So I had a friend go up with me and get it. I had to borrow another friend’s van to get it. The friend that came with me had a baby so you can see the car seat in the back. We had to tip it sideways (which was very scary since it was built in the 80s.)

I got it home and over the next few months I tore it apart.

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Stay tuned for part 2!

Christmas Decorating

Since it is my first year as a full fledged adult, you know, making your own dentist appointments, having your own car insurance under your name, owning a home, having insane amounts of bills. You know, adulting.

Anyway…since it is my first year as a full fledged adult I wanted to decorate and organize my Christmas decorations precisely how I want it rather than getting ornaments I kinda like and will donate later.

We went out to buy a tree. But I refused to pay $80 for a 6 foot tree. So Robert found out that Lowes had trees for $43. So much better. And it fit in the car!

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We wanted a tall (6 feet) and fairly thin. We got it in the car no problem.

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I think it fits perfectly in the condo.

My grandmother has a tradition of putting up her Christmas Village every year the day after Thanksgiving. I decided I wanted a Christmas Village of my own but I didn’t have room for such large houses. So I found a fairly mini village.

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We also had cocoa during decorating.

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Robert had to make strings for our bulbs that didn’t already have string (we have regular string now but didn’t at the time). But the cat though differently.

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I love my stocking (Robert’s is on the way.) And the beautiful flowers in the tree.

And everything together!

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We also did gingerbread houses!

And our completed houses! Mine left, Robert’s right

I really like how it turned out.

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas decorations tour!

DIY Christmas Decoration Bows Fail

Not all of my projects turn out…

This was one of them. Normally we all post our success projects but I am not perfect so I wanted to post my projects that don’t work out as well. And what I lwarned from them.

I wanted to make these beautiful bows that Victoria Elizabeth Barnes made in her Christmas Bows decorating post.

Aren’t they pretty?! – Totally check out her blog if you love Craigslist finds like I do.

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So, I tried my own DIY…

First I wanted to use a shiny material that would stand out. But there were 2 problems. Shiny = slippery. Which means my cutting lines weren’t straight. And second, I didn’t have a lot of extra fabric.

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Which means the material is useless. Luckily it was only about $15 for the material.

So I tried to use another material and that turned out a lot better. Except…

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It didn’t turn out well since the material didn’t stand up well. 😦

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It looks nothing like Victoria’s bows. I feel like she used a more stiff material than I did.

Oh well, not everything I make can turn out well.

What I learned: It’s ok not to have ever turn out the way I want. There’s something to be said about pressing seams. You always need more fabric than you think. Planning (as I did) is useful. And even with the most careful planning, things don’t always come out the way you want.

Bonus picture: My cat loves sitting on my clothes or anything on the bed. She doesn’t do it with papers on the floor or boxes. Only fabric on the bed.

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DIY Christmas Tree Skirt

It is now Christmas decoration, song, and present season in stores. Since this is the first year I will be having Christmas in my own home I really wanted to make it beautiful and classy.

I am going to get a real tree as my first Christmas tree as a full-fledged adult. But I needed a tree skirt (and about a million other pretty Christmas decorations). I was looking at all the different tree skirts and I didn’t like too many of them. Lots of them had ruffles or linen fabric which I didn’t like.

But I found this one which I thought was pretty. It was $29.99.

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However it was that weird linen blend. I was also on a sewing kick so I decided I wanted to make my own tree skirt.

I still had just enough fabric from reupholstering my dining chairs:

So I decided to make one. A quick trip to JoAnn’s and I found some pretty fabric for the other side so it could be reversible and some cording for the edge. Everything including the remnant from the dining chairs (besides labor) was about $25. But I got exactly what I wanted.

You would think it would be easy to make a circle. It is and isn’t I did the whole string and pen trick which made it a whole lot easier. Then I cut out the rest of the fabric. I made the skirt as large as my remnant from the dining chairs would let me. I don’t know what the traditional size is but I think it is roughly the same.

Then I ironed the edges under so they would be easier to sew and there wouldn’t be any weird puckers.

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Then I pinned some of the cording on to see how it would look and I also cut the opening using a small salad plate to get an accurate circle.

I sew them together and I just love how pretty this seam looked after I ironed it down.

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After sewing everything up I made little tie closures and sewed them on so they wouldn’t show the edge. I could have sewn them inside the fabric but I had already sewn up the openings.

 

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And here is the finished product!

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And, it is, of course, reversible!

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I am super proud of myself. I feel very accomplished.

I think I am still on the sewing kick and I am going to make pillow bows, a stocking for Maia, and a table runner.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe. I will be uploading my DIY pillow bows soon!