Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sliding Glass Doors

I got a Facebook message from one of my friends and readers asking a little decorating advice and I thought I'd blog my answer.

Mary wrote:
I need advice. We have a sliding door in our kitchen that goes out to the backyard. It is right behind our kitchen table. We have vertical blinds right now, which I can't stand. Just not sure what else to do. I think drapes will look weird. We have drapes on the slider in our bedroom and it looks fine, but it's in a bedroom. What do people normally do with sliders?

I think this is a very common problem.  I personally don't think drapery looks awkward.  I tend to treat sliders just like a big window, so here are some solutions I would suggest. 

Bypass Shutters: {this is what I did in our home}  They function like a typical plantation shutter with operable louvers, but they slide back and forth in front of your sliding glass door.  They offer privacy, architectural interest and energy efficiency.  {You can actually qualify for a tax rebate under insulation with these, I believe}.  I got mine at Budget Blinds and if you're interested, I think I can get you 20% off through a referral program.  I love mine and get compliments on them all the time.

Here are a few photos of what they can look like:

Disregard the "plant shelf"...I don't recommend that design feature ;)

You can get a center adjuster piece so they look more like traditional plantation shutters.  I opted not to get this. 

The track is on the top so they just kind of float on the floor.  You can move either leaf back and forth, but you cannot fully open them from what I know, so a set of panels will always be over one slider or the other.

Valance: This will jazz up the look of the slider, but doesn't offer too much privacy unless paired with side panels, bamboo shades, or window tint.

You could do a similar treatment to this which would dress up the doors while still providing privacy.

You can build down a permanent valance too.  Sorry for this poor example {use your imagination}.

Panels: This is probably the most simple and economical solution.  I know you are hesitant, but I would suggest that if you did panels on your slider, keep the window treatments on the adjacent windows as something up top only similar to the picture below.

living rooms - pink brown velvet sofa white wood lattice chair glass lamps silk pink brown drapes curtains valance wood accent tables  Thanks

I would hang them high {depending on what your ceiling height is, possibly to the ceiling or just below any crown} and make sure they're full and will actually close all the way, otherwise they'll look cheap.  You could stack them on one side as well to minimize the typical window style. 

Install Double Doors:  I know this solution might be a tad impractical, but double doors are much more attractive than sliding doors and if you could DIY, wouldn't really be that expensive.  It is much easier to find privacy solutions for double doors than sliding glass doors.

Tinting:  If you're only concerned with privacy, you can get the glass doors tinted to where you can still see out, but people cannot see in.  This will also help with energy efficiency.  Then all you have to worry about is dressing them up.

I hope these suggestions help and would love to know what you end up doing. 

Have any more questions?  We always love to hear from our readers and will be happy to offer any help we can :)


Saturday, January 29, 2011


It's Saturday of my favorite times {the other is Sunday morning} and I am watching an Oprah show about Happiness.   Isn't that what life is about?  Happiness...

My typical Saturday morning consists of kissing the sweet love of my life goodbye at 7:30am {he works every Saturday}, lazing around in the bed for another 30 minutes playing with Ozzie and kind of meditating silently in bed.  I get up, make coffee and waffles and sit on the sofa and watch DVR Oprah and Ellen while surfing the net for decor inspiration.  Sunday morning goes about the same way, but Drew participates :)  That is one of my happies = being at home with the ones I love in peace and relaxation.

It recently occurred to me that my weekend morning routine might come to a halt when baby girl gets here, so I am making it a point to soak up each and every one before that day.  Now, don't get me wrong...I'm sure when that sweet baby arrives, my old favorite mornings won't even compare to the pure bliss of being with this little thing that Drew and I created, but just in case...  ;)

I'm a simpleton, I know.  I've grown into that and come to accept that I might not ever enjoy traveling around the world.  I might always pick taking the family to the park over going to an extravagant meal.  That's okay with me.  Here are some other random things that come to mind when I think of what makes me happy {in no particular order}:

Sunshine: Since our recent vacation to New York, it has been confirmed that I am a 'fun in the sun' kind of girl.  Cold weather is not for me.  When I am outside and the sunlight is kissing me skin, I feel my soul refilling with joy.  I know that sounds corny, but I consciously think about how happy I am every time I'm in good weather...a light wind blowing...

Exercise: About 4 years ago, I lost 40 lbs.  It was life changing to drop that much weight, but more importantly, I learned how much better I feel when I'm active.  Like the rest of the world, I struggle with this daily.  I run out of time, I get tired, I make excuses, but at the end of the day I know if I am active...I feel better.  I have confidence, more energy and am happier. 

Dancing:  Anyone who knows me knows I was born to shake my tail feather.  I can be tipsy, drunk, sober, at a bar, in the house, at a wedding...I LOVE TO DANCE.  Music gets in my bones and I feel it.  If I hear a good song with a beat, my mood is immediately lifted. 

Obviously there are a ton of other tiny little things that make me happy, but lastly, working on my home, makes me HAPPY!  On that note, here are a few little beauties I found this morning:

How cute is this bathroom?  I want to see the whole thing because I'm thinking the wee bit of zebra rug in the right bottom corner is probably preeeeeeeetty cute.

In my future farmhouse on acres of land...this will be my kitchen inspiration ;)

I wonder if I could panel my long entry hallway???  hahahahahahaa, just kidding, but isn't this gorgeous!?

Alright everyone.  It's almost 10am...I guess I better get going for the day.  I'm interested to know what make you all happy.  Let us know!

Enjoy your weekend :)


Friday, January 28, 2011


I am in the process of selling several items and I thought I would slap them on here in case any of our {local} readers are interested! 

Item #1: Pottery Barn Persian Style Rug
image 2184879535-0 image 2184879535-1  Here is the craigslist post.  I'm selling it for $125.  I bought it for $179 and it is literally in brand spankin' new condition.  I got this when we were in our apartment and I want to replace it with something more muted and gray ;)  Imagine that. 

While we're on my entry {pictured upper left}, the plan is for hubs to make a cheap long skinny table and to whip up a table skirt for a look like this:


The little desk and chair worked great for a while, but I want something more streamlined and larger scale for the permanent piece.  The table skirt will also hide shoes, purses, etc for when we actually do use the front door.  Does anyone use their front door anymore??

Item #2: Ikea Slipcovered Dining Room Chairs

These are 'fine', but I am getting a little concerned with having a wee one and WHITE anything, much less dining room chairs plus the fact that I paid almost $100 a piece for these bad boys.  If I can sell them and get something less expensive, that would be ideal. There are 8 total.  See craigslist posting here.

Item #3: Pier One Imports Dining Room Table with Leaf

I have since replaced the table (post to come soon!), so I need to get it OUT of the house!!!  Someone please find a place for this cute little table!

Item #4: Large Wood Coffee Table

I haven't posted this on craigslist yet, but I will be trying to sell it for $100 (material costs).  See this post for a little explanation on why my beloved table has to go :(

I have a few more things to post this weekend, but these are the main items I would like to get rid of in order to keep moving forward with the mile long list of house projects I want to get done before the baby girl arrives.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

the crib

I had almost given up on my search for an affordable, cute, used crib.  Of course, it didn't have to be used, but the new ones I was loving were "affordable" at six hundred united states dollars.  Really!?!?  I could furnish my house over again for that kind of cash...well, almost.

I was trying to figure out how to make the standard Ikea crib work with my shabby chic glamour dream nursery when an e-mail from my friend and neighbor {who is also preg with TWINS!} came through showing a beautiful crib on craigslist {my favorite shopping source}.  I fired off a desparate e-mail right away "Is your crib still available?  Will you take less?".  I always ask for a discount, no matter what it is, what's it's worth, what it's marked or where I am.  Most times, I actually get one.  Not too long later an e-mail came back in "Yes.  You can have the crib, mattress, and whatever else 'baby' I find for $150".  So, we planned to go get it on Sunday. 

Saturday, I went on a 45 minute journey for this little bookcase I found for $35 only to see its raggedy self in person and run.  But, while I was in Largo, I decided to stay for a THIRTEEN HOUR day of junkin'.  I picked up a headboard for $7.50 for the guest room, a chandelier for $20, a mirror for $15,  2 vintage purses for $4, a china cabinet for $100, a lamp for $15, and a stool for $1.  What a day...

Here is some of the goods...

What a steal, right?  I'm not sure where it will go, but I've been hunting for a fixture of this style since I found the one below at Shades of Light

 Bamboo Tower Chandelier - 6 Light (6 colors)
  Of course, there are some slight differences, but this puppy is $325 + tax and shipping.  My lovely was $20 OUT THA DOOR!  It was originally marked $25.  After asking if it was half off {hey, you never know}, we settled on $20.

The owner of this store actually took my half off bait.  This mirror was marked $35 or something crazy like that.  I asked if that was as low as she'd go and she asked me what I wanted to pay.  I threw out $15.  She said "Oh, no honey, I can't go that low".  So I said thanks and continued to look around.  We chit chatted about the weather and whatever.  As I was walking out the door, she shouts "You want that mirror for $14.95?".  I whipped out my wallet and loaded it up.

I can't enjoy something unless I know I got the best deal humanly possible.

Last, but not least, I saw this china cabinet and knew I had to have it.  I knew I had no idea where it was going, it was not even on my long, long list of things to get and I didn't budget for it.  But I had to have it.  I flipped over the price tag holding my breath.  $197.  Yikes.  Then I noticed a 20% off tag.  There's hope.  I asked the woman if she would take any less {knowing I would only spend $100 max}.  She called the owner and asked.  She came back with $116.  I made my sweetest preggo face and said $100?  SOLD. 

Now, onto Sunday...

Drew and I left for our HOUR drive to go see the crib.  I was a little hesitant after the bookcase dissapointment, but we didn't really have many other options in the way of a crib and I was ready to get that piece of of the way.  As soon as we rolled up, I saw it in the garage.  L O V E at first sight.  It was gorgeous.  We loaded it up and headed home. Even Drew {who shows minimal excitement in my decorating finds} was blown away at how pretty it was for the money.  We unloaded it in pieces into the nursery.  It looked perfect even in 10 pieces laying on the floor. He quickly started assembling and I was snapping pics on my phone left and right sending them to everyone I knew...high on the purchase of my new crib.  Then it came to the adjustable rail. 

Fast forward TWO HOURS.  Drew is cussing.  I am crying.  Our dog is hiding.  The rail will not go in.  I think at one point I was sobbing "I'm never getting pregnant again"...because somehow in my  pregnant hysterics, I felt like a failure for not finding a crib that was easier to assemble and by Drew cussing at the crib, I felt like he was mad at me.  That's how my mind works these days.  I'm like a glass case of emotion.  lol

We gave up after hour two and spent another 30 minutes in silence.  I was folding laundry when I heard my name.  I flew into the nursery expecting hubs to be bashing the crib parts into the drywall.  He did a light internet search and apparantly found a solution.  We said a silent prayer and started again.  After 20 minutes or so, the crib was assembled. 

Lesson Learned: Craigslist items aren't guaranteed to come with instructions.  Use google when in doubt.

Well worth the drama, here it is:

So cute, right?  Especially for 150 bones.

Onto my next delimma = the layout.  The room is all of 10x10 max, so my ideal layout of two bookcases flanking the crib went out the window.  I belive that the furiture in there now, is all that's gonna fit.  Which is fine.  First I put the crib like this along the same wall as the chair.

It's really hard to get a good shot of the room because it's so small, so bear with me...and my crappy camera.

I don't think I've ever shown this view, but there is a window in there, lol.  {crib is to the right.  closet on left}

So, it can go like this


I can flip the crib.

Which one would you do???

This is what you see from the door when you enter and I'm good with that.  I moved the crib over to where this chair is and it looked like butt, so that option is out.  Use your imagination on that chair'll be reupholstered soon enough, but for now...the navy blue satin with gold seashells is a little distracting ;)

That's it for now.  Hopefully, next weekend the crown molding can go up, london shade window treatment can get started, bedskirt fabric can be purchased and walls can be adorned.

Happy Sunday!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

paint, check. lighting, check.

After hemming and hawing over what shade of gray to paint the babe's room, I finally settled on a purple gray.  The choices were down to a gray pink, a gray purple and a gray gray.  hee hee.

I got my inspiration from the following pics:

These are from the nursery of one of the writers of one of my all time favorite blogs Material Girls.  I thought I wanted a purple gray color before I found these photos, but when I saw it paired with the white and gold accents, I knew it had to be...

dining rooms - white mirrored buffet credenza gold sunburst mirror gray bergere chairs  dining room   gray textured walls, white mirrored buffet,
I like how the chair on the right is almost the same shade as the wall color.  I stole that idea as well ;)  The white looks sophisticated against the gray and of course, you know I gotta squeeze an weensie bit of zebra in her room somehow...

living rooms - gray linen sectional sofa lucite acrylic console table silver lamps purple lamp shades velvet purple throw pillows bi-fold doors gray walls silver chandelier gray shades parquet wood floors living room
This is my dream living room.  I don't know exactly what I'll take, if anything, from this photo, but it inspired the room in some way.

Today Drew and I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to clean and paint out the nursery.  It took us a couple of hours just to clear out the clutter.  The room had become {one of } the junk drawer of the house which collected golf clubs, random items to be sold on ebay, old electronics, papers to be filed and the random collection of baby items we've received to date. 

Here was the before in case you forgot:

This is the closet.  What's that gem in there being held together by one screw?  You know I get a little zealous on my dumpster dives and sometimes come home with pieces that really have no hope.  This is now by the side of the road if anyone else wants to try and make it a trash to treasure.  I just don't have the energy...

Lovely, eh?  That fan is one I've had forever and used to have to sleep with it on.  I've weened myself off of it, because it is completely heinous, but I kept it around in case I had a week moment.  It actually made it's way back into our bedroom somehow ;)  The sound of those rickety blades banging around is like music to my tired ears.  Lullaby. 

The nursery was also the perfect place for our vacuum.  We've since done a mini pre re-organization on our master closet so it has a permanent home. 

Whew.  So after we moved all of that jazz out, we got started painting.  I chose to go with Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige SW6073.  After we finished, Drew hung up my little light I found at Lowe's and here's the status as of today...

This is my favorite part.  I decided not to go with a chandelier like I originally wanted.  The ones in my dreams were no less than $2k and I just didn't want to scrimp on a tiny one, so I opted for this crystal flush mount.  It creates this sparkly pattern on the walls that I'm loving and won't compete if I decide to do a mobile. 

This is it with the lights off, so you can see the detail.  By by building standard boob fixture.  One down, three to go {master bedroom, guest room, and living room}. 

Yesterday on my all day shopping extravaganza in Orlando, I picked up this chair and ottoman I found on craigslist for $100!  How PERFECT!?  It's alot bigger than I thought, so I'll have to reconfigure my furniture arrangement, but for this chair...I would design my whole nursery around it.

nurseries - latte colors white chandelier French linen canopy crib french bergere chair art  serene gender neutral nursery  linen french bergere

I'm going to paint it {possibly white like the picture above} and recover it in this linen fabric:

tone on tone.

I spiffed up my free dresser with some Old English and once the drawer liners are in, I think this puppy is good to go.

That red piece is my other recent deal.  I picked it up for $25 at Salvation Army two weeks ago.  Oh...funny side note on that:

I'm checking out at Salvation Army and the middle aged man behind the counter goes "When are you due", "May 22nd"  "OH {eyes bugging out of his head staring at my belly}".  I just stare at him eyes half open like "what!?!?".  "You got a while to go", he says like I am going to need assistance being rolled out of the building.  "Yea, but I'm half way"  I say trying to smile and figure out where he's going with this.  "YOU'RE GOING TO BE HUGE" he says.  "Not in a bad way.  I mean, you look healthy and all, but that is one big baby in there".  I take a deep eyes dart back and forth and I can feel the sweat on my neck as I am trying to figure out if I can jam that pen he's writing with into his neck so he'll shut up.  I quickly wonder if I should say something like "you must not be married or have children" so he knows was a dumbass comment that was.  I decided against it.  I just narrow my eyes and flash the only smile I could muster up and mumble "what was my total".  The rest was a blur, but I made it out with a spiffy new red {possible} changing table and that man is still alive.


Still contemplating what to paint my new piece, but it was worth the complete mortification I had to endure. 

Here's the closet "after".  I took down the wire shelving determined to make better use of that space.  It now only houses some of my goodies that need painting or mending. 

What a day!  I am still on the hunt for a crib and even though I originally wanted bookcases to flank the crib, I just don't think it will work now with my almost 4' wide chair and ottoman...which just saves me more money, so I'm OK with that.  Stay tuned for more ;)

I have to paint most of the pieces I got a while back, come up with window treatments, find a crib, bedding, art, accessories and I'll be ready for this little baby to come home :) 

Enjoy the last remaining hours of freedom before Monday