Monday, March 28, 2011

Fabric Bulletin Board

Have a bulletin board that needs a quick remodel? We had two. When we were young, my mom made bulletin boards for my sister and me. She bought just your average bulletin board and painted them with our name and some pictures (I had hearts and my sister had flowers). As amazing as the bulletin board is, it just didn't fit in our new house. Plus, R had a plain (boring) bulletin board from his room at home. It looks, well, like it lived in a boy's room for 20-odd years. It was not pretty. But I can't just throw stuff away. So from apartment to apartment it sat in the closet. Then when I remodeled my office, I realized that the two walls on either side of the windows would be perfect for matching bulletin boards. But they'd need to match. And both be hung horizontally (the one my mom made had to be hung vertically). So in about an hour I transformed them.
The first step was to fine something to cover the cork with. To save some money, I first decided to look through fabric I already had and hope to God that I had something that not only matched the walls but also would fit both boards. I tried a couple different colors, but eventually settled on this pink. Not only did the color look perfect with the white trim and blue-ish walls, but it kinda sort matches my new Ikea lamps!
The next step was to take the frame off of the bulletin boards. Seems simple enough, right? WRONG. The frame is held together by these crazy looking zig-zag pieces of metal which do not want to come out! Nothing I did made them budge a millimeter! I tried a hammer (in many different ways), pliers, a staple remover... Eventually I got just a little frustrated and just started hammering away on the thing. I broke off a chunk of the back of the frame, just enough so that I could get the hammer in there and smack that stupid zig-zag out of there!
Because I was worried about breaking the frame beyond all repair, this is as much as I took apart. I gently slid the cork out of the frame and left the rest of the frame corners intact. Then I painted the frame front and sides using two coats of white paint.

While the paint was drying, I ironed the fabric like crazy. I cut each piece about 2 or 3 inches larger than the front of the board. I started at a shorter side and after making sure that the fabric was centered (to be sure I'd have enough overhand on each side), I stapled it to the back of the board. I put a staple every 3 or 4 inches or so. I then moved on to the other short side, then the two longer sides, making sure to pull the fabric as tightly as possible before stapling. This is very important because it would be very noticeable if the fabric isn't straight or tight.
All that's left is to reattach the frame, which is much much easier than removing the frame. Time start to finish? Including waiting for the paint to dry, about 2 hours. I love the new bulletin boards! They look perfect in the room! Now I just need to find stuff to hang on them! Total cost? $0.00!
See it next to the lamp? I love it!!
The new bulletin boards also inspired me to clean up my desk and bit and unpack some more office boxes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

February Was a Slow Month..

We didn't do much around here in February (or really all winter). It seemed like every single weekend was dedicated to either shoveling or fixing yet another snow blower (R managed to break a snow blower every time we had a storm.. it was insane).

A couple weekends ago I put together my birthday present from my mom... my pretty new bookcases.  They're from Ikea and I think they look perfect. Originally I wanted to fill the whole wall with bookcases, but I think this arrangement works much better for this room. I also have curtains, my desk set up and some new Ikea lamps. And a rug picked out, but just not purchased yet. I'm really starting to love how the whole room is coming together.. I took a couple pictures but for some reason blogger won't let me upload them. I'll get them up as soon as I can.

Because our renovating has been put on a winter hold, I've been doing some unpacking where I can. Mostly stuff in the Living Room (which is almost done.. just waiting for a warm day when we can open the windows so we can use the paint remover on the trim), my office and the Guest Room. Slowly but surely it's becoming our home.

This past weekend was warm (New England early March warm... it was 40 degrees and sunny) so we had a window or two open and while R worked on cleaning up the yard I did some prepping and painting in the Laundry Room. 

The backyard was a mess.. after over 3 feet of snow being on the ground for basically 2 1/2 months we have a lot of mud. There's also a ton of branches, big and small, scattered around the yard. Once it's really warm out we'll be spending a lot of time out there cleaning up. We do have a couple tulips, daffodils and crocuses popping up though... can't wait until they bloom!

The Laundry Room deserves it's own post, so be looking for that (I'm waiting for a nice sunny day to take pictures). The wallpaper in this room was removed months ago (on a weekend when we had a lot of extra helpers!) and with the bare walls and creamy colored trim the room just looked dirty (and it looked even dirtier once I started painting the trim white). This is a room we walk through many times every day (to get to our upstairs bathroom) so it's nice to have it cleaned up and nice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Old Laundry Room

Now that I work from home, it's easier to get work done on the house. The best time to paint in this house is when it's sunny out. It gets very dry in the house, which means that I can put multiple coats of paint on quickly. And because the house was designed before fans or air conditioners, the window placement was designed to provide amazing cross ventilation. You've got to love the spring breezes coming through here!

So my first project was to paint the Laundry Room. The Laundry Room is located on the second floor, off of the back hallway. The upstairs bathroom is located directly off of the Laundry Room. At one point in time we believe that the Laundry Room was more of a dressing room, complete with a sit down vanity (which we found in the basement). When we bought the house it looked like this:
The closet you see is a linen closet. The existing space also had a large window that looks out to the driveway and a large upper cabinet. The previous owner had his washer and dryer in the basement (actually they're still down there), but because I didn't want to be dragging laundry down 2 tight, narrow, uneven sets of stairs, I convinced R that we should put our washer and dryer up here. The only problem with the set up was that there wasn't a dryer vent, so for the past couple months we've just been opening the window and putting the vent out the window.

Back in August, on a really productive day, the wallpaper got taken down in here. We had 2 helpers who were working way too fast, and they needed something to keep them busy! :) But then we never got around to painting in the room. So for about 7 months, the room looked like this:
 So nice that this is one of the first things you see in the morning. Needless to say, it was starting to drive me crazy. The room just felt icky and dirty. The walls were disgusting looking (never would have thought that anything was worse than the wallpaper that was on the walls before!) and the trim/doors/windows were all a dirty cream color.