Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome to the Dance Studio! AKA the living room.

This condo has a BEAUTIFUL, amazing view. But for some reason, when I walked into the room, all I could think about was being in the dance studio. I felt like I was at work.

That's me. I grew up dancing and I still teach dance at my mother's studio.
Anywhew....... I understand the theory behind putting mirrors along one wall in a condo: people think it makes it look bigger. Maybe it does, I don't know. It just makes me think "outdated", or "1990's". There are other ways to make a small space look larger, without using wall mirrors and re-creating a dance studio in a living room. Come on, that's just weird.

Carpet in the living room and the mirrored wall! The mirrors go into the kitchen and make the backsplash. Yikes!
..... and THIS is why the owners bought this place. Look at that view!
I started taking down the mirrored glass pieces that cover the seams. Then I thought that this job would be better suited for professionals. I really didn't want to cut myself. So I focused my attention on laying hardwood floors!
yeah, not a good idea for me to mess with glass......
Buh-Bye, ugly carpet!
down to the concrete.....
time to lay floors! (there's my hardwoods)
I got the flooring at a discount flooring store in Panama City. Since I only needed about 140 square feet, the flooring only cost about $650. Totally worth it. I installed a click and lock floor, which was SO unbelievably simple! I'm not writing a tutorial on it, because lets face it.... someone out there will make a video or write a tutorial that is SO much better than mine, and that's what google is for :) Also, my blog is more like a picture book that is written for A.D.D. people such as myself.
Too many words = me losing interest. quickly.
So, here we go.... pictures!!!

Once I had a few rows done, I took this picture. I was envisioning the entire room looking like this. In reality, only 5 rows of boards are laid at this point :)

almost done....
getting closer....
donesies!!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these floors. People thought that I was crazy for putting hardwoods in a condo rather than tile. My response was... they used hardwoods in factories built in the early 1900's, and they're still here today. They've made it through two rental seasons now and have held up BEAUTIFULLY! The original tile (from 2005), on the other hand, is cracking and will need to be replaced. So who's crazy now?

I had to wait a few days, but my mirror people showed up and removed the wall mirrors. This cost about $150. The awesome part about the mirror removal was the holes it left in the wall!

the glue from the mirrors pulled the smooth part off of the sheetrock and left me with the cardboard-like texture to deal with. And some thick black tar. I used a putty knife to scrape/tear/rip it off.
I patched and sanded, and sanded, and sanded....... 
Next, I painted. Although you can't tell in this picture, the finish on the wall wasn't perfect. There was no way to get it perfectly smooth. Don't get me wrong, it looked good. But I'm kind of a perfectionist. So to distract from the not-so-perfect wall, I decided to run floor-to-ceiling battens down the wall. I love board and batten anyway, and feel like it is PERFECT for a coastal home. So, I went to town!

The wall... NO MORE MIRRORS! and it's sanded and painted. There's a sneak peek at some of the furniture!
Time for board and batten. Again, there are some GREAT tutorials for this on the web. Just google it :)
Again, I used lattice strips purchased from the home depot. This wall probably cost about $40 to do.
Once I filled and sanded the nail holes and painted the battens, added my furnishings and a couple of extra little touches, the living room looked like THIS!

I'll talk about my furniture sources, my awesome curtains and really good deals in another post.
I am so EXCITED about my perfect coastal wall!
And with a few accessories via Marshall's and the Pottery Barn Outlet, my ugly little duckling of a mirrored wall turned into a beautiful swan!



^ That's not really a coffee table. It's a bench that I bought at World Market!
hooray for throw blankets!
Finally done :)
I am in love with this living room. It's so perfect. Since this is the longest blog post I've ever written, I'll share the rest of the room with you another day. I'll also give you some more details about the furnishings we used, why I decided to go with a WHITE slipcovered couch in a rental unit (nothing shows dirt more than white, right?) and share my deepest, darkest thoughts with you all. Hope everyone has a great day (or night)!

~Monica

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Turning a bunk nook into a swanky "bunk lounge"

Well, I'm only about a year and a half behind when it comes to blogging about my projects. I have SO many, so my posts may be rather short with a lot of iphone pics. Honestly, when I "read" a blog, I usually just skip the content and go straight to the pictures. Apparently I'm six years old and only like the books that have pictures. Anyway, here's the lovely bunk area that I started with.....

boring bunk nook
my favorite yellow color
it's okay, but could be better
Here's my inspiration pic for the bunk lounge.....
isn't it lovely?
I loved the beadboard on the walls in the bunks. It was so homey and coastal. I also love the rope and marine cleats that are used to make a rail, and I really wanted to replicate this. However, this condo is a vacation rental, and I'm afraid that some child's head is going to get stuck in the rope or something. So, no super cute rope and cleats for me :( darn kids.

So, I headed to the Home Depot with my rough measurements and had them cut and rip my beadboard for me on the trusty 'ol panel saw. I borrowed my dad's nailgun and got to work hanging beadboard!


Cutting the hole around the light fixtures..... not fun
top bunk
 ...... then I trimmed out my gaps with some lattice strips.....
I had to add some pieces of beadboard on to the wall to the right of the board to account for the difference in depth. This also gave me something to nail directly into. 
Trimming it out with lattice strips 
I also added trim around the corner, to finish it off. If I'd skipped this step, it would've looked awkward.
After trimming out my beadboard with lattice strips, I started to paint the beadboard the same gray color as the rest of the trim. It looked horrible. So I went with white and painted my lattice trim gray. It created a nice contrast and I LOVE the way it turned out!

painting the beadboard gray. BAD IDEA. It looked horrible.
Here's what it looks like, project ALMOST complete! (Just have to come up with a nice solution for a rail for the beds). 
I added pictures in each nook, they're a great focal point
Comfy cozy pillows! Not sure why the cover on the top bunk looks pink. Gross. I promise, it's not.
The view from further back
I think that in the future, after I add rails, I'd like to add some little curtains to each bunk for added privacy. Similar to the kind of curtains they used to have in the bunks on passenger trains. I think that the guests would like that option...... something like this....

Pinterest
Pinterest
But, this curtain project will have to happen another day. It'll be an awesome addition though! Can't wait to blog about it! Happy Summer everyone!

~Monica