November 27, 2010

{ Are You Ready? }

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Are you ready?
I'm off to a good start this year.
My Christmas shopping is done & our Christmas cards are in the mail!

source: unknown

I know...hate me.
I'm not trying to brag, I am just reeeeally happy that I did it.
Every year I say I am going to do it, but this is the first year it has actually happened.
It will probably never happen again.

source: HGTV

I haven't done any decorating, though.
I've been dragging my feet there.

These are pictures I found in my Christmas decorating file.
I love them.

I use a lot more color in my Christmas decorating.
But I love the all white with natural elements theme.
Don't you sometimes wish you could have another house
just so you could decorate it in a different style than you're used to?
I do.
Is that weird?

I am looking forward to getting out my decorations next week.
I hope my sisters will share their Christmas decor here on our blog. {hint, hint}

Merry Christmas!
{that was my first "Merry Christmas" of the year...yay!}

November 4, 2010

{ Living Room Improvements }

My husband and I bought our first condo a little over two years ago.  We were so excited, but it needed a little work.  Slowly we've been trying to do little things to help it to feel more like home.  This is what our living room looked like the day we got the keys.  It was ok, but nothing great.  I really disliked the Ikea bookcases that were on this wall.  I thought they were really ugly, but they also didn't fit into the space well.  The openings are different widths, so on one side the bookcase was too small and there were gaps.  On the other side the bookcase was so tight I had to use a hammer to smash it into pieces to get it out.  They were one of the first things I got rid of after we moved in.  Also, as you can see the fireplace looks a little bare.  There is no cover for it at all and it felt like it was unfinished.

We put a fresh coat of paint on the walls before we moved in which helped the room a lot.  I also found a decorative iron wall hanging at a garage sale for 15 dollars that I thought would be perfect for the front of the fireplace.  I forgot to take a close up picture of it before, but you can kind of see it here.

I spray painted it black and hung it onto the fireplace surround with a couple of screws.  I really think it added a lot to the fireplace.  It just looks finished, you know.  And when I want to use it, I can just lift the front piece off of the screws and light it up.  So easy!

 Back to the shelving.  After I took the bookcases out of the living room there was no place to put any cute accessories or too add anything with personality into the room.  There was just this big blank wall of Blah!  I was frusterated after looking for shelves that would fit into the space (remember the two sides of the fireplace are different widths) and everything was too expensive for the amount of them I would need.  My sister Jamie had a great idea to just build some ourselves. I would never attempt this on my own because I'm just not handy that way, but she convinced me we could do it together.  We went to Home Depot and got the supplies.  Long pieces of wood that we could cut down to fit the uneven spaces, corbels, and decorative molding to put on the front of each shelf.  First, I used Elmers Wood Filler to fill in all the grooves and make the pieces of wood smooth.

Then I painted everything white.

After I was finished with the prep work, my wonderful, amazing, talented, creative, beautiful sister Jamie came over and she pretty much built the shelves on her own.  I just gave her tools when she asked for them and ran to get supplies we had forgotten.  So here is the before picture...

And here is the after.  Doesn't it look soooo much better!  I think it's amazing and adds so much to the room.  Now I just need money so I can accessorize them.  Oh, and we also tucked all those cords in the wall so they would be out of the way.  Thank you Jamie for your help.  I could never have done it without you!