Friday, January 9, 2015

Dining Room Plans

As we finish up our projects in the family room, I've starting considering the next things I'd like to take on.

In our home, the dining room is the center of our main floor. It connects our living room/entry area, the kitchen, and our sunken family room. It's a fairly small space, and there really isn't all that much that I want to do with it that doesn't effect another area. Basically, I just want to make it a little more airy and visually appealing
The biggest change I want to make in this room is extending the entryway from the dining room to the kitchen. While you can't see it in this photo, to the right we have our entryway from the living room, and it is about x3 larger than this. It looks extremely off balance, and I'd like to correct that.
I toyed with the idea of knocking out the wall completely and extending the counters into a breakfast bar area. I've seen a lot of that lately, and while I do really like it, I don't think it would look right with our layout. Instead, we have a new minimalist, stainless steel island that I think will great with the doorway opened up.
The second, and by far easiest, change I'd like to make is add some greenery. I'm a bit of a black thumb if the thing isn't a cactus, so we'll have to see. I think the room is a little stark and could use a bit of life.
Lastly, I really would like a new banister with modern lines (see my inspiration photo below). Finding something similar that isn't heart attack inducing expensive has been a bit difficult so far, but I'm hoping to find something I love with a price I can live with.

Considering my history, I think this is a pretty low-key plan. We'll see if Mr. B agrees when the time comes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fireplace Insert Facelift

Hello, my name is Ramona. I'm here to take you on a tour of my home.
Just kidding.

Although Ramona is doing her best to take over this blog, I am in fact here to show you my update fireplace. I had an extended stay-cation at the end of the 2014 and came very close to doing absolutely nothing to the house. I was pretty proud of myself. Just relaxing and enjoying my free time (I also had the flu). That all ended on New Years Eve, though.
I partially blame the flu, because I spent so many hours (when I was actually able to get out of bed) staring at those stupid brass doors. Stupid, stupid brass doors. We spend the majority of our time in this room, and it was also the room that needed the most work. After we had the drywall done and I got the whole bottom floor of the house painted, I felt completely stuck. I had originally thought that it was the carpet driving me crazy, but now that the fireplace doors are done I think they were the source of most of my grief. The carpet isn't really bothering me anymore, huh.
So I've been doing research on fireplace doors for about a year, and was pretty determined to try painting them instead of buying a new set. The doors themselves are in great shape, they were just... ugly. On NYE, I finally broke down and drove to Lowe's to buy my paint.
Oh, hello again, Ramona. Let's just take a moment to appreciate her photo bomb skills.

 Okay, this one is just because she's so cute.
Anyway, there's really no reason to put together a tutorial on this, and I'm sure someone else has already done it. Basically, I taped a bunch of newspaper around my insert and over the glass and sprayed away. I used Rustoleum's High Heat in black matt, and it worked wonderfully. By the time Mr. B got home the room didn't even smell like spray paint anymore, which I was happy about. So here you go, a completely new look for only $9!
On a related note, I'm thinking it's time to finish up this room. I don't think I want to replace the carpet now, and so that just leaves the baseboards and door trim. I've already sanded down and stained the trim and door (which were originally much darker to match the paneling), so now they just need to go up.
The between difference between what the room looks like now, and what it looked like when we moved in is truly like night and day.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Weighed Down

Do you ever take a look around and just feel utterly overwhelmed by the amount of things in your life? I feel like we as a society are so consumed by things we want and things we think we need, we hardly ever snap out of it long enough to realize we're half-buried in junk.

Maybe it's because I'm working from home now, and I'm inside these four walls constantly. Maybe it's the shocking speed we went from our home looking bare of belongings upon moving in to overflowing.

I'm not sure, but either way, I feel weighed down. Lately I find myself just wanting to sell everything and live in a camper. Haven't quite convinced Mr. B to do that just yet, but it's a dream. There's just so much stuff, so much distraction.

It's a confliction too, as someone infatuated with design and décor. I love the pretties. I want the pretties. But I also know when I don't need the pretties (why am I saying pretties so much?) I still have a hard time walking through Target or perusing Dot and Bo and the like without Sméagol-ing out like every other girl.
But the confliction comes as I'm waiting for Mr. B to pick the ice cream he wants to get for the night and I'm staring into my cart at the [insert unneeded item here], and I realize I totally don't even really care if I have that. Tomorrow I'm not going to wake up and think, "MAN! I can't wait to go downstairs and see that brass knick knack." It just doesn't matter. And it kind of sucks, because I can't just stop at the knick knack. I start side-eyeing that table in the living room, then I'm side-eyeing the living room itself, because HEY we already have a family room and a basement. Then it's the bedrooms. Well, we don't really need a three bedroom house. After all, it's just the two of us!

And here we are. I'm not saying that I think it's bad that we have things. I wouldn't say that it's good that we have the amount of things we have. Or the amount of things I have (I'd never start making Mr. B part with things against his will, unless said things were gross). I'd definitely say it's a conviction, so we'll see where it leads me.