Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Room Redo - Before & After

It's time! :)
It's been a long time coming--I am pretty sure I started this room when I was still pregnant--but the Guest Room is finally done!

Here's how it looked before:

No paint on the walls, another room that was kind of a hodge podge of items from Mr. V and my collective pasts.  There was nothing offensively ugly or anything... just....blah.  It needed some freshening up and some color.
After all, if we wanted people to actually stay there, it should be inviting, right?  ;)

Here's the after:

Fun, right?
The color is Sherwin Williams Agreeable Grey.  It's a light and airy grey with a bit more blue undertone than the Mindful Grey I used in the guest bathroom.  I'm not really a huge fan of blue on walls in general and tend to steer away from blue-greys, but in this room this shade really works perfectly with Blue Betty up against the wall.
I have been in a yellow state of mind for the past 6 months and I think it's the perfect, cheery color for a guest room.  Since I knew I was going grey on the walls, though, I was wary of doing yellow.  The yellow/grey combo was so popular this past year, and I really was shooting for timeless, not trendy.

This bedding really spoke to me, and I deliberately chose the quilt and shams because the toile pattern gave it a very rustic feel - just the opposite of the modern design that has been trending.

 To avoid the bed looking like a sea of yellow pattern, I broke up the color with a crisp white duvet and a simple white sham with yellow detail.  I am still working on accent pillows for this bed - just haven't found the perfect combination of patterns just yet. 

I swapped out the slightly contemporary headboard/footboard for this simple metal headboard with a vintage farmhouse feel.

Blue Betty is holding court against the wall and still needs some real accessorizing, but I have to think about that one for a bit.

I know I need to update that mirror, but it will probably have to go back on the wall... I think it's a little too big for a leaner on Betty.

In the opposite corner is  one of my made-over dining chairs.  This is where it lives when we don't have the leaves in the table downstairs.  It's mate is chilling out in the basement.

I added the rug at the end of the bed for a little grounding with the black, but also to introduce a graphic contrast to the toile in the quilt.  It helps keep the bedding from reading too feminine or "old."

I am still trying to figure out what to do with this blank wall opposite the bed.

Right now I'm in the "sit on the bed and stare at it" phase...we'll see if any inspiration whacks me upside the head.
Walls: Sherwin Williams Agreeable Grey
Headboard: Target
Blue Dresser ("Betty" ;) ): Antique via craigslist
Lamp: Found in my basement, new shade from Target
Curtains: Pier 1
Bedside stool: Gordman's
Rug: Pottery Barn clearance
Bedding/Pillows: IKEA, Pottery Barn, Target, Etsy

Overall I am really happy with the room.
It's still a work in progress so I know there will be changes coming, but for now I think at least it is a marked improvement over the "before!"

Hopefully our guests agree! :)

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Roasted Chickpeas (no, really!)

I’m a total armchair cook. 

I love Top Chef, but I’m nothing superior in the kitchen by a long shot.
It’s pretty rare that you’ll find recipes and such here On the V Side, so when you DO, you know they’re going to be SUPER SIMPLE – because hey man, if *I* can handle it?  So can that monkey over there.  ;)

For the past year or so Roasted Chickpeas have become my favorite go-to snack.

Weird?  Perhaps.
Delicious?  Healthy?  Satisfying?  YOU BET.

A 1/2 cup serving of chickpeas contains 130 calories, 6 g of fiber and 7 g of protein.
They are naturally fat-free, saturated fat-free, and sodium-free.

Here’s how to make ‘em:

I usually used canned chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) for the convenience.  I’ll make two cans at once, then just store the extra in a Ziploc bag for easy snacking.

(Note: you can use dry chickpeas, too, but prior to the below steps you’ll need to soak them in water for 2-3 hours, then boil them for about an hour.  Rinse, drain and pat dry)

Rinse and drain the beans, then lay them flat and pat dry.
Place in a pan/cookie sheet that has raised edges so they don’t roll all around. 

Drizzle a *small* amount of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil over top – seriously, I only use about a tablespoon--two, MAX.  I do the drizzling right in the pan, and then use a rubber spatula to make sure they’re pretty evenly coated.
There are a THOUSAND ways to season these, but I go simple.  I just grind sea salt and fresh pepper overtop, and if I’m feeling a little crazy I’ll add some minced garlic, or a dash of garlic powder if I’m in a rush.  Shake the pan a little to help get things coated.

Pop them in the over for 20 – 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  I like the outsides crispy, so I cook them for 40 minutes.  If you prefer them softer, cook for less time.

Cool…. And then eat!

That’s it!

The seasoning possibilities are endless – experiment until you find the right flavor profile for you!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

On the V Side: Family Edition

Since I last shared a totally copy-worthy project from my sister, I'm in a family braggin' kind of mood. ;)

Check out the awesome transformation from Megan, our nephew's girlfriend (she's practically family, man.  It counts. ;) )
Megan snagged these Hemnes nightstands from IKEA and loved the glossy white finish.

 Problem was, they didn't quite gel with the existing furniture that belonged to my nephew:

But the dresser had good bones, was in great shape, and had tons of storage.  There was no real reason to give it up and buy something new, but it needed an update to coexist in the room.

Megan gave it new life with some glossy white paint, and went back to IKEA for the Hemnes hardware to give everything a cohesive look.
I think it totally looks like part of the same furniture group!

And then there's my sister-in-law Joyce, who was inspired to give her bathroom vanity an update.
She took her old oak vanity from mid-90s standard

To a fresh new grey for 2013!

Like so many of our vanities, the fronts are solid wood, but the builders build the sides out of plywood, then cover the exposed sides with veneer.
Joyce's veneer had see better days, and it was time for an update.

An easy - and beautiful - fix is giving it the beadboard wallpaper treatment. (it's the same stuff I used in this bathroom makeover - easy to use, and makes such a difference!)  It adds texture and dimension while covering the veneer.  I love it!

So that's just me, braggin' on my family.
What have YOU been up to?  :)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DIY Photo Table Runner

There are lots of benefits to having an older sister.  When you’re younger, you have a role model, someone to hand you down cool clothes, the older kids say hello to you in the halls at school because they know your sister… and let’s face it – you have someone to copy.
Well when you get older, those perks still exist.  Not only are sisters still cool, still role models… but when you have a sister with style and creativity, you still have someone to copy.  : )
So today, I can’t take credit for this cool project, but instead will encourage the rest of you to copy my creative sister.

As hostess for our Christmas celebration, she was inspired to incorporate some more personal elements into the table décor.  Cue sister creativity!  Check it out:

What’s more personal than family photos?  I LOVE this idea.

Now, what I would love even more would be if I hadn’t accidentally deleted the pictures of the runner from her beautiful table Christmas day.  Grrrrr.  I’m still so ticked that I did that. 
So, my lame version will have to suffice, but hopefully it still showcases the product of her crafty awesomeness!

She pored through tons of pictures, and chose photos from Christmases past… some really old, some recent, all super.   But this doesn’t have to be a Christmas-only project – this would be perfect for a birthday or anniversary party… for kiddos or grandparents or anyone in between.
She started by making copies of all the photos she chose (you don’t want to ruin your originals!)  Black and White always looks so classic and cohesive, and of course it went best with the décor.  Print them out on regular paper or a light card stock – printing on photo paper can throw a wrench into the finishing process.

She cut out the photos and mounted them all on cream-colored card stock.  Then it’s just a matter of laying them out on your table and arranging everything together in a way that you like the look of.  You can use a glue stick to keep them together, or double-sided tape.  Once they are arranged, take your runner to Kinko’s and have it laminated.  It will come back to you in one big sheet, where you can then trim the border.

The finished product is a totally personal, beautiful runner that you can reuse year after year, if you choose.  And, because it’s laminated, you don’t have to worry about all your work going up in smoke the minute someone spills a glass of wine or drops mashed potatoes off the edge of their plate. ;)

So hey, even if you don’t have a big sister to copy, borrow mine and take this idea. 
Big sisters are cool. : )

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home Goals for 2013

Well, it's a New Year.  And while I don’t make “Resolutions” per se, I do find that having a list of goals to work from does make me a bit more productive.

To that end, let’s take a look at what I set out to do in 2012.  I remember having very lofty goals…
..then THIS happened:

And, well… hmm.
“Lofty” goals, indeed.

First on the list is the downstairs bathroom. 

I wanted to add hardware to the vanity, frame or replace the mirror, replace the countertop and faucet, replace the fixtures (towel ring, etc.), refinish the vanity, and paint the trim.

I… painted the trim.

And that’s it.

The countertop is going to be the largest expense, so this year I’m committing to doing what I can to set aside some extra funds here and there for it.  I know what I want and I don’t want to settle, so instead of going cheaper for a lesser product, I’m just going to suck it up and save up, and try and be patient.

And that’s a long way of saying I really didn’t do squat in this room this year.
So, 0 for 1. 
What a sweet way to kick off a blog post, Emily!  ;)

Next up is the Kitchen.

I wanted to addhardware to the cabinets – Ha, Check!

And in my list I even said “daydream about refacing cabinets.” This one I’m really proud of, because I actually DID it! 

3 years ago when I really started seriously thinking about lightening up the cabinetry in the kitchen, I don’t know that I would have had the confidence to try and tackle this on my own.
But I did, thanks to a lot of great encouragement from you, lovely readers (you know who you are :) ) and I’m so super grateful because I love how they turned out!

The Laundry Room also made the list.

While a true makeover would require knocking down walls and adding onto the house for a spacious mudroom, I am pleased with the ‘before and after’ in this room.  And I’m happy to say that since this redo in February, we’ve been able to keep it clean and clutter-free for the most part. 
Every now and then you’ll find a bulky drying rack set up with wet snowblowing clothes or kids’ snowpants, but that’s not everyday. 
Generally, the organization setup really works for us and that makes me happy.

At the beginning of 2012 the Redhead’s bathroom
upstairs looked pretty much like this

And I made no secret of wanting to make it look as far from that ^^ as possible.

And really, when you’re 8+ months pregnant, what makes more sense than a bathroom makeover?  ;)
I said I wanted to paint the walls, paint the vanity, add hardware, frame the mirror, paint the trim and update the faucet.

This is probably my favorite part of that space.

Last on my list was updating the master closet.
It’s not worth even saying what I wanted to do to it because I’ll just let you know that it never even crossed my radar in 2012. 
Maybe next year. ;)

All in all, I’m batting about .500 on the “Home Goals 2012” list, which isn’t bad.
Here’s a look at what I’m going to attempt to take on in 2013…

Kitchen Makeover Part Deaux:
-          Add backsplash
-          Update Island
Right now it’s painted but I’d like a little more architectural detail.  You know, we gotta have a little flair. ;)  Here’s my inspiration:

Downstairs Bathroom
-          Do all the stuff I said I wanted to do last year. ;)

Master Closet
-          Add storage
-          Figure out some better [sustainable] organization

Basement Playroom
-          For this year I’d settle for simply making a plan.
I’d like to organize the closet a little better, but other than that, just a plan will suffice.

And there you have it!

Let’s see if I can improve my batting average a little in 2013!

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