Progress on the Desk!

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When I saw this campaign style desk in the warehouse for my favorite resale shop, my first thought went to a blog post I read a couple of months ago, where several bloggers had “The Great Crate Challenge.”  I loved the emerald green against the brass, and knew I’d found the right piece to finally incorporate green into the house!

Green Living also sells CeCe Caldwell paint, so I grabbed a quart of Emerald Isle and planned to use the rest of the Endurance top coat from another project.

I removed the handles, but couldn’t get the brackets off.  After two coats of paint, and a chance to dry overnight, I already saw a big improvement.  This picture makes the desk appear aqua, but it’s more kelly green.  Of course, it was after I painted the desk that I realized I had Bar Keeper’s Friend in my laundry room and decided to start scrubbing the brackets.  As careful as I was, I kept rubbing off the paint near the brackets.

Two brackets down, eight to go!

Since I wasn’t making fast progress on the brackets, I decided to work on the drawer pulls.  What a difference a few minutes of scrubbing makes!

When I got home from Bulgaria, my hubby said he had a surprise for me.  As soon as we turned the corner into the guest room, I squealed.  It really doesn’t take much to make my day.

Even though he says he doesn’t like the desk, he’d made it his mission to get the brackets off so I could really clean them.  Maybe it’s growing on him?

So, since I have a Saturday with NO PLANS, I’m working on finishing this desk!  Once it’s finished, I’ll be able to decide on some other things for the room, like bedding and curtains.

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A Room for Two

My 11- and 4-year old girls were not only sharing a room, but sharing a full-size bed.  This wasn’t really a problem until recently, when my 4-year old decided she needed all but 6″ of the bed, and would kick and toss and turn, keeping my 11-year old awake.  I’d planned on them having their own beds, and they used to have their own beds, but with the addition of adopted children, I did a lot of rearranging furniture and ended up one bed short of finding beds I like and that fit my style.  (Truth be told, with the boys having bunk beds, I’m still short two beds I like, but they have their own space to sleep, so it’s not as big a deal right now.)

This past weekend, I went to an antique store and bought two mismatched but similar beds, and then began the hunt for bedding.  The girls have some decorations in turquoise that I knew I wanted to work around, and I also knew I wanted a bold floral pattern.  The bedding sets came in (minus one sham, with the replacement on the way) and went right on the beds, and they’re exactly what I wanted!

The secretary from the guest room has been moved into the girls’ room and fits nicely between the closet and bathroom doors.

I still need to find a chair.  Oh, wait.

There it is.  This is controlled chaos, people.

I still have other things to do in this room, like buy blinds for the windows, make curtains, and ideally find a different piece to serve as the nightstand/dresser.  I’m toying around with the idea of wall-mounted lighting for the beds, which I’m sure will just make my husband’s day!

It’s progress, and progress feels so good!  Plus, the girls are both saying they’re sleeping better!

Playing “Musical Furniture” Upstairs

When we moved in, my husband put every piece of furniture exactly where I asked, without (much) complaint.  At the risk of sounding mushy, I adore that man.  I mentioned in my last post that I was shopping for two twin beds to replace the full bed two of my girls had been sharing.  Well, I found them, drove 45 minutes to pick them up, drove home and dropped off my husband, kids, and beds, then drove to the mattress store to buy mattresses and bunkie boards.

I managed to order mattresses and bunkie boards, but the ones I wanted weren’t in stock.  I’m waiting for a call anytime now, since they’re supposed to be in today.  Which means the girls are still sharing a bed, but only for a couple of days.

Anyway… while I was shopping for mattresses, my husband was at home putting the beds together.  When I arrived home, I found the assembled beds sitting in the middle of the room, waiting to be told where to go.  The full-size iron bed had been moved to the guest room and was already set up, so that was one big job done.  I started playing with the beds, and realized that the highboy my girls keep their jeans and shorts in just wasn’t going to work in the room.  Leaving it in its place meant the beds had to be scrunched on the other side of the room, and arranging the beds how I liked meant the highboy looked out of place on either of the walls it could live.  I like that piece too much to have it look like an afterthought.

I mentioned to my husband that I’d just have to find another room to put it in, and his immediate response was “On this floor, please.”  Well okay.  The guest room had a small secretary against one wall that actually belongs to one of the girls in this room, so I brought the secretary into the girls’ bedroom and moved the highboy into its spot in the guest room.

At first I felt like I was losing so much storage space for the girls, because their closet is the smallest of all the closets upstairs.  The nightstand they’d used previously was much too small for the space between their beds, so I moved the nightstand into the guest room and moved a chest from the upstairs landing into the space between the beds.

I’m not crazy about the chest as it is now, but my grandparents were getting rid of two of them, and I knew I could do something with them.  (The twin is in my bathroom, which had ZERO storage space.  Not even a place for my toothbrush.)  Ideally, I’d have a piece slightly shorter and wider to better fill the space beneath the window.  But it works for now.

Back to the subject.  The three drawers in this chest work just as well as the five drawers on the highboy because part of the highboy was used for linen storage.  I can keep extra linens for all of the upstairs bedrooms in the bottom drawers of the highboy, and still leave space for guests in the upper drawers.

I had some errands to run today and one of my girls spotted the mirrors that are now hanging over the beds.  The other day, I told her what I was looking for, and she asked if these would work.  Why, yes.  Yes they will.  (My husband just looooves drilling into plaster walls.)  By the way, I’ve tried many different ways to figure out how to hang pieces at the exact same height, and I finally figured it out.

First, my son held the mirror where I wanted it to be on the wall, and I measured the distance from the ceiling to the top of the mirror (19″).  I flipped the mirror over and measured from the top of the mirror to the places where the nails would hook in (8.5″).  I marked a spot at 27.5″ on the wall.  Then I measured the distance between the two hook-in places (11.5″).  I measured the total width of the part of the wall I was working with (between the window and corner), marked the middle, then marked 5.75″ out to the left and right.  Make sure your marks are level!  Drill into the plaster, put in the perfectly spaced nails, and hang perfectly level piece!  No guessing, and no sheepishly asking your husband to re-drill a hole a fraction of an inch away.  And easy to repeat on the other side of the window for a matching piece!

I can’t wait to see this room with bedding, bedside lighting, and who knows what other fun stuff!

Dressing the Windows

Our new house has great windows.  As in original to the house rope and pulley windows with big ol’ trim.  My husband asked if I wanted to replace them in the future (for energy efficiency reasons), and I reminded him that I’m a form over function girl, and he wasn’t going anywhere near my windows!

Covering these windows is not something I’m crazy about doing, but I realized two nights ago why I really have no choice, at least for the bedrooms.  The house next door has been under renovation for some time now, but apparently it’s finished and the neighbors moved in while I was gone.  As I was helping kids get ready for bed, I realized I could see our neighbors walking around, which meant they could see us!  Not what I want for bedroom windows!

The view from the boys’ room isn’t much better, as far as visibility and privacy are concerned.

What a dreary day with all of the not-snow we were getting.  But I digress.

I called Lowe’s yesterday to order Levolor faux wood blinds for all of the bedroom and bathroom windows, had them cut to fit, and arrived to find them all waiting in a cart with my name on it.  I love Lowe’s!  I moved the boxes upstairs so we could get an early start this morning.

We started in what will be the guest room since we wouldn’t have to move furniture.  Path of least resistance and whatnot.  We never use the screws that come with anything, because they almost never work as well as our own screws, so I can’t comment on the screws in the kit.  With the exception of the thank-goodness-these-windows-aren’t-even-a-tiny-bit-narrower tight fit, the blinds went in smoothly.  We did have to bend the clip on one bracket out to get the top bar in place, but it’s in!

the future guest room windows

We worked out a good system of me being two steps ahead of him at the start of each set of blinds so I could go back behind him and add the decorative trim to the top and pop in the little plastic pieces on the bottom bar without slowing him down on the next set.  We worked on the guest/boys’ bathroom next.

Who wants to use the bathroom knowing you’re that exposed!

My son was upset that we were hanging blinds on the window closest to his bed, because he likes looking out the window in the morning.  Once I showed him he could open the blinds while still in bed, he was fine.  Boys.  The blinds in the boys’ room and the girls’ room that faces the neighbor’s house were all tight fits like the guest room, so we had to convince the blinds they wanted to go up.  Gave my husband an excuse to use his hammer, at least.

It feels much better knowing my girls have privacy in their bedroom now!

Lowe’s was short two blinds, so I wasn’t able to put blinds up in the second girls’ room, but all of the windows that face other houses or the street are done.

After finishing the girls’ bathroom, I had my husband drill holes in the plaster to hang a few pictures.  May as well get as much as possible accomplished while everything was out!  Now, I’m heading to an antique store to pick up two twin beds to replace the full bed in one of the girls’ rooms.  My 11 and 4 year old girls have been sharing a bed, and my 4 year old is training to be a boxer in her sleep.  Time to end the suffering!  The full bed is moving into the guest room, so it will no longer be (almost) empty!

Things have been busy here since coming home, just the way I like it!

Well, I Dropped Off the Face of the Earth

Okay, not really.  But I did go to Bulgaria for two weeks to pick up my daughter!  Which means a lot of things.  First, I was in one of my favorite places in the world, I explored new and familiar places with my best friend and daughter, and my husband was busy getting the last of our things out of our old house and into our new house.

We couldn’t move during our adoption process, but we didn’t want our daughter to go through two adjustments.  So my dear husband was busy getting things ready at home while I was off playing on the other side of the world!

Every time I go to Sofia, Bulgaria, I visit the outdoor flea market by the Alexander Nevsky cathedral. I found a blog that mentioned an even better indoor flea market in the basement of a church.  When I realized I walked past that church every. single. day, I had to go check it out.

One of the best hidden treasures in all of Sofia!

And oh my word, I could not have imagined I’d find THIS!

It was floor-to-ceiling, climb-over-all-the-things packed!  Did you have to dig to find treasures?  Yes.  But my husband is a history major and this place was right up his alley.  We would go in one day, clear a space to look for something, and go back the next day to find even more things piled up.  Doors that would open one day were almost sealed shut the next, but none of the spaces were off limits, so we’d just squeeze in and see what new things were there.

Some things were so precariously perched we couldn’t even attempt to move them, but we still found quite a few things that made their way into our luggage, from signs to old piano music, a small Russian clock to little alphabet blocks with the Cyrillic alphabet on them.  I even found a little truck with the кока-кола (Coca-Cola) logo on it, and brought it home for my son, who has a love for vintage toys.

My daughter was carrying around the drum, and when I asked how much it cost, the gentleman told me it was a gift.

I’m glad to be home, and I’m especially excited to get started on taking this house from a blank slate to my dream house!