Weekend work

You guys- I got a TON accomplished this weekend.  So I have lots to share with you!!  First off- I finally got the office whipped into shape.  This has been on my to-do list for awhile now, and I’ve been dragging my feet about it because I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted it to look.  I was also trying to use what I already had as much as possible, so I really needed to spend some time thinking about it before trying to put it together.  Plus I have a nursery to decorate which is way more fun!  But I finally tackled the office on Saturday and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  There’s a couple more things I need to add in there, so it’s not 100% finished, but I couldn’t wait to share.  First, a couple photos of how it used to look:

This was the view as you walked into the room from the kitchen

And this is the view as seen from the bathroom attached to this room

Blah blah and more blah- and I hated the paint color from the minute I put it on the wall.  It has always read purple instead of blue (although it photographs blue) and it just never seemed right.  Took me almost two years to paint over it, but it’s finally a different color!!

Here’s the new view as you walk into the room from the kitchen

 Ahhhhh- so much better already.  As you can see, the desk and couch got new spots (and the cat LOVES the new placement of the couch).  I got a new desk chair (it’s this one from Ikea) and put up different curtains (these ones in 95″ length from Target).  I took down the metal blinds that came with the house and am planning to put up roman shades in their place.

This is the view from the couch- the door leads to the adjoining bathroom.  The bookshelf holds my knitting stash.  The ribbons on the wall (held up by these hooks from Ikea) are all of Ellie’s ribbons that she’s won from agility trials in the last year.  Together they make up her first AKC agility title (in novice standard)- I have the certificate for it, I just need to frame it and then it’ll go above the ribbons.
The ribbons that are still on the bookshelf are for her other novice agility title- she’s got to get one more qualifying score in order to earn her novice jumper’s title and then those ribbons can go up too.

I think my favorite part of the whole room is the gallery wall- I thought long and hard about this wall and am pretty happy with how it turned out.  I already had everything on hand, which is why the frames are all mis-matched, but I think it works.  Almost everything on the wall relates to my time spent in the Bering Sea- two of the photos are of the ship I was on (USCGC Healy, the canvas on the top left is me in front of the ship on the ice), the other canvas is of a snowy owl that spent some time on our ship, the two white frames have photos of sunsets on the Bering Sea, and the two large black frames have my diplomas in them. 

A couple close ups of two of my favorite ones- this is a patch I got while on the Healy that I stuck in a frame I already had.

This guy is a sea star that we found while working in the Bering Sea- it lives in the mud and feeds on animals that also live in the mud- we pulled it off the bottom with some of our samples and then dried it out (sacrificed in the name of science, right?) It came home to live with me, and was in a plastic jar on my desk but I thought it’d be more fun to have it on the wall, so I stuck some fabric in a frame and then hot glued him to the fabric.

That concludes my little office tour- I hope you like it as much as I do!!  Amber approves (which is all that really matters, right??)


So I’ve showed you quite a few of the rooms in our house (and you can see most of them on this page), but I always find it helpful to see how a house is laid out- so many times I picture someone’s house laid out completely different than it really is- pictures are often so deceiving!!  So I messed around with floorplanner the other day, and came up with a rough drawing of how our house is laid out.  This program was fairly simple to use, and it had decent amount of things for me to choose from to put in the various rooms.  These pictures are by no means perfect- and the scale is off because I was too lazy to get didn’t have the measurements of each room/window/door. 

Here’s the main level:

Basically you come in the front door and there is a bedroom off the left (that’s an exercise machine in there, FYI- yeah, was having a little fun with all the extra things I could add!).  The stairs to the 2nd story are directly in front of you.  The bedroom has a walk-in closet and a bathroom that also connects to the office.  The living room is long and rectangular.  The kitchen and dining room are connected and the deck is directly off the dining room.  Through the kitchen is the laundry room, and then the garage (which we only keep a car and lawnmower in, according to my picture- ha). Our bottom floor is basically a big circle- which is often confusing for some people. 

A funny story- the first night in our new house, Tim and Jackson went up the stairs to go to bed.  Ellie was being wild and zooming around- and she had never seen stairs before this house.  She watched Jackson go up the stairs, but instead of following him up, she ran around to the dining room and stood waiting for him to come out in there!!  Silly girl.

Anyway- speaking of, here’s the second story:

As you go up the stairs you end up in front of the bathroom, with a bedroom on either side.  We made the left hand bedroom our master bedroom because we were afraid if we didn’t, we’d never go upstairs!!  Plus it’s warm and cozy in the winter.  Both bedrooms have large closets (we are not lacking in closet space in this house).  There is a little storage space off our bedroom closet.  And a dormer in each bedroom.

And that’s it- all 1900 square feet!  Just the right amount of space for us and our 5 fur kids!  I love that we have enough extra space to have family and friends stay over.  I know that will change one day when we have non-fur children, but for now we have 3 extra rooms worth of space.  We had 5 friends come stay with us this summer and every one had their own room- it was awesome.

Did the layout surprise you or was this how you pictured our house?  Have you used Floorplanner before?


Happy Friday everyone!

Sometimes I get stuck on finding something for a space in our house- example: we needed a place to corral shoes by the front door, because I was getting sick of tripping over a big pile of them every time we came home.  So I searched, and searched, and searched for a shoe rack that would look decent, with no luck.  Problem was, I had tunnel vision and was only searching for “shoe rack”.  Sometimes I need to step back and think outside the box.  What else can hold shoes?  What else do I want to use this for besides holding shoes?  How big do I want it to be?

After thinking about what I really needed (shoe holder, mail and key holder, something medium height and not too deep because we have a small entry)- I stumbled upon the idea of using a bookshelf!  Duh.  I wanted something with a warm wood tone, and it needed to be well made, not out of particle board.  One day, I stumbled upon this:

Riley bookshelf from World Market**

I loved the look, color and the dimensions were perfect for the space.  Sold!!  When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised- it has a lot of craftsman details that you can’t see from the online photos, and it’s solid wood.  My husband put it together for me, and we both loved it.  He even had the idea to add some shelf paper to the shelves to protect them from mud/dirt from our shoes- genius!

Here it is in its new home:

Sorry to blind everyone with my running shoes- whoops.  It’s a perfect fit- to the left is the downstairs bedroom door and our front door.  I dressed it up with a basket to hold keys/wallet/cell phone/mail and a couple of accessories that we already had.  Verdict?  We use it all the time!  I can’t believe we lived here almost a year without it- it makes such a difference.

Here’s the entry before we got organized:

Ok, it was never this messy- this is from when we first bought the house!

And here’s the entry now!

It was a happy accident that the color almost perfect matches the frames above it and the front door- I guess it was meant to be. 

What do you think?

Have a great weekend everyone!

**Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated in any way by this company for this post.