Tuesday, November 29, 2011

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

So I am a freak about Christmas Trees.  I love them.  I have been collecting and displaying all different kinds of trees ever since I established my own home years ago.  I am pretty sure I am over compensating because my parents were not at all into decorating for the holidays.  We were lucky if our tree got put up the weekend before Christmas.  For the last few years that my parents have been empty nesters they haven't even put up any decorations.  So analyze away.  

Now at my house we get a real tree for the living room and then we have 3 medium-sized artificial trees in various rooms and then many more smaller trees throughout the rest of the house.  I love everything about them:  the lights, the ornaments, the garland, the skirts, everything.  It makes the house seem special and homey.  

The craziness starts the day after Thanksgiving when I ask my husband to get all the many boxes and bins and such out of the attic.  Then the kids and I try to decided which tree goes in which room.  Then we start fighting with the lights.  Then there are a few trips to the Target and the craft store for new lights.  Then we hang all the ornaments.

A few years ago I decided that it would be nice for each tree to have it's own theme so today I am going to share our snowman tree.  All the trees in the house have white lights just to make everything somewhat cohesive.  This particular tree is done with blue, white, and silver balls, white glitter snowflakes, glass icicles and all the ornaments are snow or snowman themed.

One of my favorite things about having all these trees is the glow of the lights on the tree in the evenings.  We put this one in our office/library/music room.  You can see that I did switch my bookcases around to accommodate the tree.  Usually the kids books are in the corner shelf but I didn't want little readers knocking over the tree so I just flip flopped the contents of the 2 bookcases there.  I like how the family sign ended up as a backdrop for the tree. 

The next few pictures are closeups of some of the ornaments on this tree.  Most of the ornaments were gifts from my sister over the years.  She is really good at finding special original ornaments.

I love this next one because it is 5 snowmen just like the 5 members of our family.

I did take pictures at night and during the day.  You can see how the ones at night have that special glow while the ones taking in daylight are crisper.  

I'll share the rest of the trees this week.  The weather here has not been nice so we haven't picked out our live tree yet.  I'm sure we'll get it sometime this weekend.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone is having a nice day with family and friends.  I plan to eat a little turkey, drink a little wine and relax.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New House New Kitchen Lights

The final kitchen light arrived this past week and so we installed it this weekend.  I think the new lights are so much better.  Better finish.  Better style.  Better everything.

Just to refresh your memories here are some shots of the old fixtures.  This first one is the pendant that was above the island.  The brass and the scrolls are just not us.

This is the chandelier that hung above the table.  

The last one is the small light that was above the sink.  It was just kinda plain.

I put them up on craigslist this weekend.  All 3 for $50.  Not a single bite.  Not at all surprised.  I think they will be heading to Goodwill this weekend.

So here are the new fixtures.  They are all from Rejuvenation from the period classics collection.  At first they seem expensive but once I really started pricing out what I wanted I found that Rejuvenation was very affordable.  It is also really great place to shop because you can custom  order your finish, the shade and even the length of the chandelier.  

This light is above the island.  I love it because it casts a lot of light without taking up a lot of visual space.   Not to mention that the oil rubbed bronze finish goes really well with the new faucet and the counters.  

You can see a little peek of the new backsplash.  It has been grouted but I haven't had time to get the new switchplates yet.  I'll share once I get those in place.

This one is above the kitchen table.  I decided to go with the semi-flush mount instead of a chandelier because I hated how the previous chandelier obstructed the view between the kitchen and the family room.  

Here you can see both the island light and the table light together.  They both have the same finish and the same opal shade.

This is the light above the sink.  It has the same semi-flush mount as table light and the shade is the same color but I had to get a different shape because the opal shade didn't come small enough to fit the space.  

I am still working on finishing up the island upgrades and the paint in the rest of the kitchen.  I am hoping with my husband home for the long weekend that I can finish up some of the odds and ends so I can share more of my projects next week.  Of course, I also want to get my Christmas decorations up on Friday too so we'll see how many things I can get done in one weekend. 

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Linking up...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Antique Hook Coat Rack

How come we never seem to have enough places to hang coats and backpacks and other such paraphernalia?  I thought this house would be different because it has such a large front closet. What I didn't account for was that little ones cannot possibly reach the hangers.  And I must have been drinking if I thought they would actually put a jacket on a hanger.  Besides the front closet is called a front closet for a reason.  It's in the front of the house.  Not by the back door that is used most often.  Hmmm.  Must be a man who designed this house.  

Anyways, for the past few months this situation has left us with backpacks and jackets being left all over the floor and hanging off kitchen chairs.  This past weekend I decided to use some of my remaining antique hooks to get things under control.

I knew the drywall would not hold the hooks in place for long so we found a piece of scrap wood in the garage, measured it to fit the wall and screwed that into the studs.  We did make sure to put it at a height that the kids could easily reach.  Then I covered the screws with wood putty, let it dry, sanded and finally put on a quick coat of white paint.  After that was all done my husband attached 7 hooks from my stash into the board.  

It looks great and was quick and free solution.  It sure beats the versions at Target, etc where you get 3 small hooks on a piece of wood a foot long.  I think ours can stand up to generations of abuse.

Now I just hope the kids will put it to good use.  Okay.  I know what you are thinking.  At least I will put it to good use.

Here is a close up of one of the hooks.  It still has some old paint on it.

This one has a bronze copper color showing through the black.  

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

Do you ever find that changing one small little thing in a room ends up in an avalanche of redecorating?  Well that is what has happened to me in our dining room.  It all started with the new chandelier.  Once that was up it really emphasized the fact the we needed prettier window treatments so I made new drapes that you can see here.  

Then once the drapes were up they just did not go well with the old area rug.  Now to be honest I had a feeling that might happen and luckily I had a gift card from Pottery Barn that came in handy.  I ordered the Paris Diamond Rug and it arrived a few days ago.  It looks lovely - so much better than the old rug, which I did adore, but it just did not match and it was worn out.  

Quick aside - I put the old rug up on craigslist super cheap just because I wanted it gone quick. My plan was to put it to the curb if it didn't sell by garbage day.  Within 12 hours a woman responded to my ad and picked up the rug a day later.  She gave me $40 for it, not bad for something that was worn and falling apart, and she is putting it in a store at the local mall.  Apparently they are going for a shabby chic look and the rug will fit in perfect.  I thought that was kinda neat.  Then I thought maybe I should have charged more:)

Once the new rug was in place it was terribly obvious that I would have to recover the dining room chairs.  I am not too ashamed to admit they were just plain beyond help disgustingly stained.  We bought the set 10+ years ago and between parties, kids, and daily use they just became very unsightly.  So I took my rug profit and headed to the fabric store.  After a few hours of work the chairs look as elegant as the rest of the dining room.  

Now I know that was long introduction to get to the point of this post which is really the new dining room chair seats so here's the reward for your patience.  This is the before shot.  Yuk.

Here's the after...

I think they look unbelievable.  I am so happy with how they turned out.  Now they match the rest of the room.  The one below shows a side by side comparison.  Not only is the new one clean but the fabric is just more elegant than the plain white.

I bought my fabric at Joann's using a 50% off coupon so it was $40 - it was more than I had wanted to spend but I justified that I just made $40 off the old rug so really it was free - my husband calls this funny math but I just call it Alissanomics.  I did get upholstery-grade fabric because I am hoping it will hold up longer than a lighter weight fabric.  I have 6 chairs so I bought 3 yards of 54" wide fabric.  I probably have a 1/2 yard leftover.  

There are a ton of great tutorials on the internet for how to do this yourself but I thought I would give you my easy breezy version. 

Step One:  Turn over chair.  Unscrew seat from chair frame.

Step Two:  Remove old fabric from seat.  My seat had a nice piece of black felt that covered  the raw edges of the fabric and the plywood.  I removed this and then removed the original fabric.  There were a lot of staples.  It took about 10-15 minutes per chair using a flat head screwdriver and a pair of pliers to get all the staples out.  I considered just putting the new fabric over the old, but I was concerned it would make the corners too difficult to staple down.  I was also afraid the fabric would get too bulky at the corners and then the seat would not fit nice on the frame again.  

Step Three:  Using the old fabric as a template cut out your new fabric.  

Step Four:  Place your new fabric on the table and put the seat with the wood side up on top of fabric.  Then you just have to eyeball it and play with it until you are comfortable that the pattern is straight.  If you use a plain fabric or one with an all-over pattern this is really easy.  I avoided stripes because I knew I was not skilled enough to get it straight on my own.

Once you are ready use your staple gun and staple the fabric to the wood starting at the top middle.  Then stretch it tight and do the opposite side and then do the right and left sides.  Then I just started stapling from the middle to the corner keeping my fabric tight.

When you get to the corners you just have to pull and play with the fabric until you get it to your liking.  I did refer to an old seat to see how the real upholsterer had done it originally.  The best advice I can give is to just keep it tight and don't be afraid to use a lot of staples.  

This picture shows the bottom once I was done with all four corners.

I had saved the piece of felt so I stapled that back on to hide the ugliness.  The stapling part of the process took about 15 minutes per chair.

Step Five: Screw the seat back onto the frame of the chair.

That's it.  A very easy project that really paid off.  

I also want to show you how well the chair fabric works with the rest of the room now.  This was totally unplanned but notice the diamond pattern in the fabric and now do you see the diamond pattern in the rug - yep.  Total coincidence but just pretend with me that it was a calculated design choice.  I am also really happy with how well the tone and color of both the chair and curtain fabric work with the new rug.

Now I just need to add the crown molding and paint the walls and maybe some decorative trim and paint the buffet and some new wall art and...

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

I'm linking up...


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Progress in the Kitchen

Just a quick post today to update everyone on the progress being made in the kitchen.  The honed granite counters were installed last Thursday and the tile work started on Friday.  The tile guy was back yesterday afternoon to finish the installing the tile and hopefully he will be grouting today.

I don't have any beauty shots but here are some of the work that has been done so far.

The next picture shows the island with the beadboard paneling installed and primed.  The black counters looks so much better against the white than against that orangey oak wood.  Like a million times better.

Putting up this paneling was so easy.  After I get the job finished I will do a separate post on how I did it.

You can see the new faucet was installed and the glass shelving in front of the window has been removed.  Taking down the shelving made a huge difference.  The window seems bigger and there's more light coming into the kitchen.

Here you can see the new paint going up in the kitchen which is meander blue from Sherwin Williams.  I only have the one side of the kitchen started but it is night and day from the other side.  The blue side is bright and cheery and the tan side is just blah.  I can't wait to get it all done.   I think the molding around the chalkboard looks so much better against the blue than the tan.

Try to ignore the loving message from my son to his sister.  Arrrgggg.

We also - well mostly my fantastically patient husband - installed the 2 lights that had arrived from Rejuvenation.  We are still waiting on the one for above the island.  So much better than the old brass ones.

You can see I am painting the trim in Pure White by Sherwin Williams.  I think white trim makes almost any paint color look better.  Even the yucky beige tan looks better against the white trim.  

So that's what's been done so far.  I am hoping for a big reveal soon.  There's not much left except for painting the cabinets which of course will take the longest to complete.  Although this kitchen has fewer cabinets than the last one, and it is just killing me to have the beautiful tile and counter without the cabinets done.  Maybe it will inspire me to work faster.  

~Gold Shoe Girl~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today's the Day...

...that the counters are finally installed.  I've been waiting forever - okay not forever - but 8+ weeks since I first got the estimates for the new granite counters.  If you remember this post I talked about the choices I had made and how I had to order the appliances before I could get the counters.  Well, the appliances finally arrived 10 days ago and as soon as they were installed I called the granite guy.

Here is a picture of the new appliances just waiting for their new counter.

Funny little story about the wine rack above the fridge.  So when the handyman was installing the fridge it just barely fit under the wine rack cabinet.  He had to really squeeze it in and at the time I told him if it wouldn't fit we could just remove that cabinet.  I said something to the effect of that being a useless anyways since it is too difficult to reach.  Then he says yeah that's why they usually put the wine rack up there because it's something you don't use that often.  Well, then I am like oh we use ours all the time so I'd rather have it lower.  He just looks at me and goes back to work.  Hmmm.  Yes.  We have 3 kids.  We like to drink a little wine at dinner.  Every night.  Don't judge.  

Anyways, while waiting I have been busy gathering all of my other "needs".  The picture below shows the new faucet, the tile for the backsplash, the paint chip for the wall color, the drawer pulls, and the glass shade for the light over the sink.  

I started painting the walls and the trim 2 days ago and all I can say is that it is turning out fantastic.  Fan.  Tas.  Tic.  Already the kitchen is brighter and more cheerful.  I can't wait to finish it.

So the counters will be done today and the handyman is coming tomorrow to do the backsplash so hopefully I can post some really great pictures this weekend.  

The only problem will be that I know I will want to go ahead and paint the cabinets white asap.  I did this last year too with the kitchen at our old house.  I start a huge project right before the holidays and then we get distracted with the business of the holiday and the kitchen is a mess until March.  Oh well.  We all have our demons.  Anyone else want to make me feel better and share theirs???

~Gold Shoe Girl~
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