Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Some Decorating Dilemmas Solved

When we moved in, I wondered how I was going to decorate the dining room and entry. Both spaces were beautiful, but large and daunting. I love decorating, but needed some help getting started, and was the answer! This is my current favorite website, and has proven even more addictive than pinterest!


We moved into the house with plenty of stuff for the dining room, but the scale just seemed off. I knew right away a larger rug was needed, and there's only one place to go when one needs a rug...The Dump! It's a really fun store to visit, and their rug selection is MASSIVE and beautiful.
Most everything in the dining room has been passed down to me from someone. It's the 'Where's Waldo' room of family heirlooms! The table, chairs, hutch were all my grandmother's. The silver came from Dan's grandparents and the oil painting on the wall was my great-grandmother's in Vienna, Austria.
I'm also excited about the drapes. When we moved from the old house, we took all our custom drapes with us. We weren't sure we would be able to re-use them, but couldn't bear to leave them behind. I'm so thankful we did, because they look beautiful in the dining room! Originally, they had been on a narrow window and closed completely, but I think they look amazing this way too! I'm so glad we're so cheap sometimes!


We were starting from scratch in the entry, and this is where really came in handy. I scrolled through enough pictures to know we needed a long console table and storage ottomans positioned underneath. After hours online, and visits to no less than 6 furniture stores, we found the perfect table at Pottery Barn. The storage cubes (or extra seating) and lamps are from Target, and the bowl and decorative balls are from Pier 1. The rug is from The Dump, of course! My favorite part of the room? We have the lamps on a timer, and it's always a welcome surprise to walk in the room and see the warm glow from the lamps when evening arrives.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Large Chalkboard in Playroom

before chalkboard

I've always wanted to put a large chalkboard in the kids' playroom. It just so happens the large blank wall in the walkway to the playroom was the perfect spot!

chalkboard after

I decided that we should build it ourselves so I could add the magnet board on either side. I love how it turned out!


It was surprisingly easy, and Walter wanted to help, of course!


The chalkboard paint needs a few days to 'cure' so we haven't been able to test that out yet, but Sydney is already using the magnet board!

Like I said, this project ended up being easier than I thought. If you're interested, here is a quick tutorial and materials list:

Tile Board - 4 ft x 8 ft sheet
Rust-Oleum Specialty 30 fl oz Black Flat Chalkboard Paint
20 in x 10 ft roll galvenized steel flashing
Ultralite MDF Casing-
-2 pieces of 3-3/8in x 89 in -2 pieces of 3-3/8in x 41 in
Fiberboard Rosette Blocks (3-1/2 in x 3-1/2 in)
MDF moulding
- 2 pieces 1 in x 41-1/4 in

(The MDF moulding, rosettes and casings are already white, but we sprayed them with a light coat of white gloss paint before starting the project.)
1. Scuff the surface of the tile board with fine sandpaper to help chalkboard paint adhere. Clean surface and paint tile board according to directions on chalkboard paint. I ended up doing 3 coats of the chalkboard paint.
2. After paint has dried, measure and cut steel flashing pieces 20 in x 4 ft. Attach these on either end of the chalkboard. We used liquid nails to glue flashing to tile board. (It didn't stick as well as I would have liked, but by the time everything is mounted on the wall, the glue isn't critical.)
3. Next we mounted the board to the wall. We placed it where we wanted it on the wall placed screws into studs on the top and bottom of chalkboard.
4. Once it's secure on wall, add casing and rosettes. Dan did this using a borrowed Porter Cable 18 gauge brad nailer with 1-3/8 in nails. (We definitely NEED one of these!)
5. Attach moulding strips to hide where flashing meets chalkboard. We used a Porter-Cable 18 ga. Finish Crown Stapler with 1/2 in staples.
6. Fill nail holes with white caulk and you're done!