Working for the Weekend

Although the week has started and I am already well into my crazy schedule, my mind is stuck on my weekend. In my mind I am still bike riding along the strand or sipping mimosas with a good friend after finishing our 10K.

Only a few more days before we get to enjoy another little life break.

weekend

For some extra fun-timez, here are a few great things the internet has introduced to me today:

  1. I just can’t quit watching the NPR tiny desk concerts, here is a great one of Swell Season.
  2. While I was considering just making some myself, these coasters may have changed my mind.
  3. Last chance to vote for Homies on Apartment Therapy – everyone should vote! (If you are dying to know who I voted for, here is a hint: rhymes with Ranhattan Fest)
  4. I think I could literally listen to Amy Winehouse singing Valerie for the rest of the week, straight.
  5. Booked our flights and our rental care for our spring break, Europe trip. Countries will include Belgium, Germany, and France. Send any must-see’s my way. (So far I have taken about 20 pages of notes from Oh Happy Day’s Paris posts)
  6. My type-friends will appreciate this: Kern Ring Set. I also appreciate and want to own them.
  7. Two favorite recent (crazy stylish and beautiful) blogs I have found: Sweet Thing and JASPR.
  8. My web design class meets for the second time tonight and I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite classes of all time. Big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  9. This Design Sponge, Bri Emery of Design Love Fest and Blogshop feature is so inspiring and motivating. Repeat – big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  10. This vegan paleo recipe posted by Jeremy and Kathleen has me wanting to go vegan paleo.

What are your weekend plans? What are your huge goals?

**Don’t forget to immortalize your favorite pet or loved one in a DIY cell-phone cover, either for the Hallmark holiday around the corner, or just because.**

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It’s DRAPERY. It’s a DOOR. NO, it’s a PANEL CURTAIN!

Tuesday this week was like Christmas and  I must have been a really good girl this year because Santa Apple brought me a shiny new Mac Mini.

It has been a very happy addition to the new improved office, but not the only one.

We also finally took care of the very odd 2 foot doorway/doorless-gap between the office/closet area of the bedroom and the bathroom. A door wouldn’t work because of the irregular size, so we decided to go with some sort of black curtain to at least block the light in the mornings.  I knew I wanted something more modern and clean than standard drapery — but I didn’t have any source ideas, really. I had also actually wanted something similar (but in white) for the sliding glass doors, so I took advantage of the wonderful Anna Dorfman’s (of doorsixteen) post a while back where she allowed readers to ask anything, a Q-and-A free-for-all of sorts and I asked Anna for recommended design solutions and she delivered (because she is amazing.) Her suggestion was to use IKEA’s panel curtains, they are slide along a track and are weighted on the bottom so that they hang straight – exactly the look I wanted. After some additional research we decided to go with it. It fits perfectly, we didn’t even need to cut down the curtain, although IKEA provides you with simple directions if we had needed to.

Here are the pieces required and the cost breakout in the event that you too have an odd 2 foot doorway/doorless-gap, or maybe just need/want a more modern curtain option:

One INGAMAJ black panel curtain: $14.99

One KVARTAL top and bottom rod set: $5.99

One KVARTAL single track rail: $5.99

Two KVARTAL ceiling fixture attachments: $2.50 ea/$5.00

Total: $31.97 

Not bad considering how much a custom door could have cost, and in this situation it looks much better than drapery, I would say.

We ended up going with simple white linen drapery curtains for the sliding glass doors, but mainly because purchasing enough panels to cover the length of the sliding glass doors would kinda add up, not to mention we would have to get a multi-track system so they wouldn’t run into each other if we wanted to enjoy our view. BUT, if we owned this place I probably would have gone for it. For now the white linen works fine in the still-needs-a-lot-of-work-kitchen.

Apart from needing to style the office shelves a bit and work on the cord situation, the office is pretty close to fini. Making progress on this apartment totally gives me some sort of equivalent to a runners high, without having to do that stupid exercise thing.

Oh and I need to do a THANK YOU MOM! shout out because this whole awesome office project was made possible with the IKEA gift card she gave us for our anniversary. I love you so much and Alex, Jenny, the new Mac Mini and I really, really appreciate your generous gift.

a little less PURPLE, a little more DESK

So, my computer was all like “Yo, Ryann, I am feeling like I am really ready to commit and settle down in one location, the life of a drifting laptop is getting a bit old.”

To which I naturally responded, “I hear ya, let me see what I can do, because I’m just that nice.”

I had thought of making a pipe shelving unit/desk, a la, The Brick House, but let’s be honest, I was too lazy. Instead we went with a much more simple DIY:

IKEA VIKA ALEX storage unit, white $50

IKEA LAGAN kitchen countertop 1″ x 25″ x 49″, beech $39

IKEA EKBY VIKTOR shelf 29″, white $6 (2)

IKEA EKBY STODIS shelf brackets, black $.50 (4)

Home Depot heavy-duty shelving brackets in white, $9 ea (2)

Screws, long and short

Screwdriver

Total Cost: $121

The challenge was the limited amount of space for the “office” in our apartment. In our previous place we had a whole second bedroom, but even there we never had a proper setup. With my classes I have been very excited to have my own space, a devoted area to do homework, and a much better spot to focus on my work rather than the couch or in the bed.

We needed something small for the very awkward, approximately 4′ deep space off the bedroom by the closet. Here is a before photo (please note again the purple):

First I painted over that yucky purple, which was the last of it – paint me a happy lady.

Secondly, I put together the storage unit. I am really happy with it and seems very sturdy. I also like that it is finished on the back, so there isn’t a bad angle for it to be seen from.

From here Alex and I went on a super duper fun wild goose chase – turns out Alex and I haven’t really ever bought any wood or been to a lumber yard — it also turns out a 1″ x 2′ x 4′ piece of wood isn’t something too easy to come by, at least in the South Bay. Everything is planks or thin pressed wood sheets. Maybe this is something most people know, but we didn’t and it was slightly embarrassing asking some workers who clearly thought this was common knowledge, that no, they didn’t have anything like that. So since we had already bought and put together the storage unit and had our plan, we didn’t want to back out and still wanted to find a way to make this work. As you can see from the supplies list above, we did find a solution, and while the dimensions were not perfect, I actually love it more than I thought. The IKEA countertop is great, it has a nice thickness and seems like good quality wood. I lightly sanded the countertop, cleaned it off with Murphy’s Soap and gave it some Teak Oil love and it came out looking perdy.

Once we had everything we needed, the rest was very easy. We put the storage unit up against the wall, marked the height and screwed in the heavy-duty L-brackets. Once the brackets were in the wall, we balanced the countertop on them and the storage unit, ensured that the placement was straight, and used small screws to attach the brackets to the countertop from underneath.

After then hanging a couple shelves, our make-shift office was turning out to be a nice little computer nook. It isn’t fully styled yet, but I am loving it so far. So is my computer. And Jenny. She is very pleased to be my fuzzy foot rest under this nice desk-cave we have seemingly built for her.

All we need now is to be on the lookout for a sweet office chair.

TWO TONE part two

I went with black and  white.  AND. I love it. 

When we grow up and own a house I will use Benjamin Moore paint, but Alex reminds me quite often this is a rental and we shouldn’t be putting a ton of money into it so I went with the next best paint, Behr.  The top is flat matte Ultra Pure White and the bottom is satin finish called Broadway.

BEFORE:

TOP HALF PRIMED AND PAINTED:

BOTTOM WITH TAPE:

TAPE OFF/SLIGHT BLEEDING TO CLEAN UP:

ALL DONE:

 

I also painted the doors and the mouldings with the white (if it wasn’t clear in the before photos, but they were previously coffee-teeth off-white, EW! YUCK!)

I am so happy with it.  What do you think?

TWO TONE part one

Finished painting the bedroom last night.. here are some (not-so-subtle) hints until I am able to take some photos:

via Poppytalk

via As de Trèfle & 7 de Coeur

via Farrow & Ball via Simply Grove

via Design Sponge

via Style by Emily Henderson

Waterproofing

Alright people, look alive — this one is exciting.

My Problem:  No dining room.  No outdoor furniture.  Small outdoor “patio.”  Left over dining table and chairs from previous apartment, which was much bigger (but also less glamourous – and if you know me, I basically ooze glamour.)

My Solution:  Waterproof that shiz!

Well if there ever was going to be a simple tutorial this is it…

SUPPLIES – Murphy’s Soap, Wilco’s Teak Oil, sandpaper, paper towels, rags, Waterproofing Finish, and item to be waterproofed

Step (1) sand any trouble spots–  I started with a cheap, plain wooden IKEA table that had been bumped and bruised a bit over the years, so I only sanded those  spots that needed a little love.  ONLY SAND IN THE DIRECTION OF THE GRAIN.  YES, I AM YELLING, and NO, I WONT STOP UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE SEVERITY OF THIS STATEMENT.

Step (2) clean —  I used Murphy’s Oil Soap, because it is the best, but feel free to use a lesser soap if you like being less awesome.  Try to get any little wood dust from the sanding and make it a fresh base for our next steps.

Step (3) rub oil all over it —  I used Wilco’s Teak Oil, which you need to be very careful with, but looks super duper beautiful.  Basic rule is to obviously follow the directions on whatever oil treatment you use, but here I simply took a rag covered in the oil and rubbed it on pretty generously.  Allow for this to sit for about ten minutes then rub off any access.  Depending on how much came off, consider doing a second coat.  The chairs only really wanted to drink up one coat and the table was a bit more thirsty and took two.  Generally, when you rub off the excess, if you have a lot come off, you were probably generous enough with the first coat and don’t need a second.  Naturally, the reverse is true, if you don’t have much rub off go ahead and do a second coat and repeat until your furniture appears to not be soaking up much more.

Step (4) waterproof — once your furniture feels dry and your excess oil has been rubbed off, use a waterproofing sealant to lock in all that hard work and beauty.  Be careful when purchasing a waterproofing finish, as most are tinted, for the look I wanted I selected a transparent solution because I wanted the color of the table to remain unchanged.  I used Behr’s transparent waterproof stain.  Mostly because I haven’t had horrible luck with Behr and it was the smallest available can.  It worked great and am very happy with how it turned out.

Unfortunately I didn’t take before pictures, mostly because I thought it would look the same, but afterwords I was kicking myself because the oil step really made the table shine and just look yummy.

Here are some after photos – yay!  Now come over, we will eat dinner, outside, whilst watching the sun set over the ocean!  Sorry to be such a snooty-puss about my view, but I still can’t get over it.  Too bad that Jenny’s legs are too short for her to see the view, she has no idea why we moved into this little box.

 

In other news, last week, about a couple weeks in, at 3 AM in the morning Alex and I were woken up by what sounded like raccoons fighting.  We run to the door, look outside, and there, in the pond right outside our door, were three soaking wet real-life RACCOONS…. FIGHTING.  It was pretty fascinating, but very loud so Alex told them to “get outtahar!”

In other, other news, I have primed the bedroom and living room and bought my paint.  Only took me about a month to prime, at this rate all the projects I have planned for the place will take me approximately seven years.  I suppose that highlights one pro about the apartment being barely bigger than 500 sq ft… at least there is only potential for about 500 sq ft of projects.

More photos and posts to come, lovelies.

itch your BLOGGY itch and my BRAIN sitch

I am having a complete and total home improvement freak out.  I LOVE our new place, like whoa.  However, we haven’t unpacked a lot of the boxes and the two bedrooms worth of boxes in our new one bedroom makes for one of those games where one piece is intentionally missing so that you can move around the pieces one at a time until they make a picture.  It is chaos.  Kinda like that last sentence.  And our bedroom is half primed.  Like awkwardly, not even done with priming the top half.   And I want to paint EVERYTHING else – so this is a very, very small portion of the work to be done.  I did patch a lot of nail holes and one major ninja-kick size hole in the bathroom — I know the owner should of done this, but did I mention I am having a freak out and that I want to fix everything, and fix everything NOW?!  If only I could afford to take like two weeks off from work and just focus.. ahh that would be so great.  Seriously, how does anyone own a home, have babies, dogs, a man, a car, a job or any of all that business.  Work, school, and a new apartment are making me lose my mind.  “What I wuss,” says Jenny.

So how am I handling this?  Well a few things: 

1.  I am not.  I went to IKEA yesterday, made a couple smart choices but many more bad ones and needless to say I will be returning a decent amount of these impulsive buys.

2.  Ok, I am kinda handling things. Now.  But only because I went to the Brick House and started from her very first post and read in a couple pages.  I totally forgot about what her place looked like in the beginning, considering how incredibly beautiful it is now.  And!  She had a whole house that needed SO much more work than our little condo.  This reminded me that things work out better when you breathe and such; when you really think through your decisions and only select things you really love.  Most importantly it has reminded me to be ok with slow progress.  As much as it totally blows.

All that being said, I am imagining that there may be a little bloggy hiatus.  You know, while I calm down and finish some shiz.  Like unpacking, because that would be a good start.  Or finals which are this week and next (yeah I know, SHUT UP. I am trying not to think about it.) 

So in tribute, because The Brick House has really helped me out today and to allow me to post without having to think too much (considering how healthy my mind is right now) – I am hereby sharing with you my master list of the blogs that I absolutely HAVE to check daily.  It is an obsession.  An addiction.  It’s an itch that I just can’t help but scratch, and I don’t even bother trying to fight the urge, because it is OH. so. good.

1. Style By Emily Henderson

2. The Brick House

3. Door Sixteen

4. Hommemaker

5. Manhattan Nest

6. SF Girl By Bay

7.  Apartment Therapy

8. Decor 8

9. Desire to Inspire

10. Design Sponge

11. Remodelista

12. Once Wed

13. Style Me Pretty

14. 100 Layer Cake

15. Studio 28 Photo

16. The Dieline

17. Cotton and Curls

18. Laateedaa

19. Purlbee

(Yes wedding blogs are a guilty pleasure, don’t judge me!)

ENJOY!  I know I will.

1-800-I-LIVE-HERE.com

Ohmygoodnesswowwowwow!!  This is where I live now.

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