Monday, February 27, 2017

Refreshing the Laundry Room in the City House

Have you ever walked through a room in your house and all of the sudden get hit with the knowledge it's well, awful? That happened to me this past week. I usually come into the city house through the laundry room as it is the pass through from the garage to the house. Just a warning - these aren't pretty staged photos...they're real life.

Here's some before pics:
door goes to garage
cat food on top of the dryer...keeps the dogs out of it :o)
opposite the washer and dryer, shelves for storage with a curtain to hide it

I see it so often (going out to my car, doing laundry), I've become "blind" to its flaws.

That is until last week. Something finally clicked and I saw how shabby it had become. Yikes. Time to make a plan and give this space a makeover.

First thing I did was take a look on how the space was used. Here's the list I came up with:
1. My major way in and out of the house - it would be nice to utilize the space with that in mind.
2. Obviously laundry
3. It's where the cat litter box is kept
4. Storage shelves

Here's a diagram of the space:

The niche where the freezer is supposed to go (we have always had it in the garage) has been used for all sorts of things: it was our Office in a Hole (the name our children gave it) when we needed an office spot, it was a crafting area, a sewing area, and finally it's where the litter box is. There are shelves above for storage.

It just wasn't working for me anymore. It was cluttered and dirty (I swear I clean in there but it certainly didn't look like it. Gross).
Niche area - I'd already started clearing it when I realized I hadn't
taken a picture. There were 3 shelves all a full as the one shown.

Here's the plan I came up with:
First, find a cabinet or bench the litter box would fit in/under to hide it from view. Secondly, go through everything and get rid of the excess. And third,  provide some kind of hook or shelf to put my purse and keys on. Perhaps like this old window only with the shelf at the bottom.
source
Ok, now that I gave a plan, I can start. First up is to find something for the litter box. I was in IKEA and came across their Trofast.

Hm, it was just the right size and will work as a bench too. I figured I didn't have to use the middle pieces. I grabbed one and came home with it.

I took the curtain down I used to hide the litter box and shelves and pulled all the stuff out.

Of course in doing that I noticed how scratched up the walls were. (Thought process....I think I need to paint...do I really want to paint?...yes, it needs it... I don't want to buy paint...surely I have enough already?)  I found a gallon of the living room color and about 3/4 gallon from the master bathroom closet redo a couple of years back. Ok, those will work!

So much for an easy refresh. The whole laundry room is getting a fresh coat of paint and I have stuff to go through and get rid of. I'll be working on it the next week or so. In the meantime, the breakfast room window seats are full of junk useful items.

And in case you're wondering about the gallery wall, I have a couple of minor things to take care of (while paint dries, perhaps?) and then I'll be able to share it.

I've always said I have decorating ADD and I think this proves it...I can't finish one project before I jump into another. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that!



Friday, February 24, 2017

Creative Friday #4 - Time for Tea

Welcome to Creative Friday #4! Today my project is inspired from a trip to England.

Once upon a time, I tagged along with my husband to England. I fell in love with the beautiful landscape and the history of the places we went.

I adored Bath,

and London.



Stonehenge was something to see,

and the little villages with their picturesque buildings...oh my. I loved it all!

But my favorite thing there? Tea time. The thought of a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam makes me long to go back.


Of course, I've tried to recreate it here but clotted cream isn't something I can find, but tea? That I have in droves. :o) Now if I just had a pretty way to display all my different kinds of teas.

Then on my last trip to Canton, I found this cute little box on clearance at one of my favorite shops - Simplicity.
Loved the size but the Lost & Found on the front would need to go.

But its little compartments were perfect for a tea box and the price was right! Of course it came home with me.

Sadly, the color doesn't go with my house plus I needed to cover up the words. Time for a makeover!

First, I taped off the glass (yay for Frog Tape!), then painted a base coat of white.

The second coat was grey - I used Folk Art's chalk paint in Castle. (By the way, I'm not being paid to advertise for either them or Frog Tape. I just love the products).

A light sanding to let the white show through; I then added a new saying and painted a cute teacup - red, of course.

Afterwards, I sealed it with wax. I also decided to leave the inside the pretty aqua color although the partitions come out easily so painting it wouldn't be a big deal. I just like seeing that peep of unexpected color!
the inside of the box is washed out...trust me, it's still aqua!


I love it! It's whimsical, it looks cute in the city kitchen but the color will look nice in my farm kitchen too. I now can easily see my all my teas.

Done just in time for tea! I may not have an English cream tea to serve but homemade lemon bars are just as tasty.

Tea in a pretty teacup makes it even more special! Ahhhh, what a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Tea, anyone?



Sharing at these fun parties:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Progress at the Farm


I've been hard at work on the flowerbeds - along the driveway, around the house.

Leaves had to be raked and briars dug up. Good grief. Those things have huge tubers...no wonder you can't kill them!
I kept finding more and more until I had a huge pile of potato looking tubers.  The plant is Smilax. It grows all over the place.

They fought me leaving me scratched up but I won! The bed is cleaned out. 


 There were several creeping lantanas in front of the garage. They take over the sidewalk every Summer so I dug them up - all sixteen of them. I transplanted them to the driveway bed which should be the perfect spot for them. They can spread out and bloom away. A big bonus - butterflies love them!

I know it doesn't look like much now, but soon the slope will be covered in yellow blooms.

My oldest sister gave me 4 native lantana bushes. They got planted along the driveway too in the back of the bed.

Oh! While digging the briars out, I kept finding these concrete edger pieces buried under the dirt. Once upon a time, I think there were some really pretty flowerbeds here. #thankyouformerowners! 

I used them to edge the back flowerbed behind the garage. It should help keep the dirt and plants where they belong. :o)


Jay and Bruce got all the leaves raked up in the front wooded area where the little dogwood tree is budding out. I see a flower peeking out at me!

I'm excited about getting this area cleaned up! I can't wait to plant a woodland garden!
Random bulbs that were half buried in the leaves!

I can just picture a pretty bench in this area facing the house with pretty plants. With the years of leaf accumulation gone, I can finally see my vision coming to life!

Plus, I started weeding the front flowerbed. Can I just say it's going to take time? #neglectedforwhoknowshowmanyyears and full of weeds.

Spring is showing up early in all sorts of ways - tiny wild violets

With several of the trees sporting a hint of green and the redbuds blooming.


The bees were buzzing all over the redbuds! #buzzbuzz

And all the outside trim on the studio is up and painted! Woohoo! It looks so good!

Next time the door will get its new red coat. Then the outside will officially be done and it's onto the interior!

Definitely making progress! It sure helps that the weather has been so mild. I just hope we can get most of the outside stuff done before the heat hits. All in all, it was a very productive couple of weekends.