DIY Pinterest Challenge (it actually happened)

Back in my undergrad, I lived with a few girls in the dorms and as sophomores, we finally had more than the 10×10 shared quarters that the freshman dorms had provided. The four of us had two bedrooms AND a living room. Plus an odd bathroom setup where there was a shower and sink room and then also a toilet and sink room, but for four women it worked out well. What we didn’t have, coming from the freshman digs, was a lot of furniture. So we decided to buy a 3×3 cubby style storage bookshelf sorta thing to hold up our 20″ TV. I will admit, and I am sure anyone who has had the pleasure of rooming with me will agree, I am probably a terrible roommate, so when these great girls just wanted to go four ways on a $30-40 piece of put-it-together-yourself-Target-furniture, I of course refused because I knew at the end of the year we would argue over who it belonged to – or who had to take it with them, depending on how much we had grown to enjoy it – and instead I paid the full amount myself and claimed it as my own on moving day.

Since then, it has always been one of the hand-me-down-type pieces that I have consistently felt ho-hum about. I appreciate the storage it provides, but also loath its appearance. That is, until now.

I found this IKEA hack a while back, and suddenly, there was hope. There was this faint brightness in the distance and I knew when I received the push I needed, I would one day head towards that light. Kisha, of Chronicled, who hosted a Pinterest challenge, was indeed that push.

IKEA hack inspiration:

ikea-hack-storage

Certainly, if you follow this blog, you have noticed it has taken me a while to get to this post and perhaps you have even read my super complain-y post about the many layers of paint it has needed, but I do kinda love it. The IKEA hack version does work better, I think it is because it has more boxes, but I do like mine and how it turned out. I didn’t end up going with the leather handles I mentioned in my initial post, but that was only because I had some unused, ready-to-go black IKEA ones. I might just stick with it though, because I do kinda love their black glossiness. If, at a later date, I decide to go with the leather ones, I will definitely paint the door white as well. Anyway, I consider this a success.

Untitled-1

Here are the steps I followed:

Gather the materials – for me this was only the piece of wood, white paint, and door hinges (but I had the unit, primer, rollers, paintbrush, wood stain, and the cabinet handle on hand)

Reassemble the 3×3 – None of us were pre-med or rocket science majors and it is probably a good guess we were most likely drinking while assembling (sorry Mom). So, as it turns out, this thing has been sitting pretty (ugly) while having been put together incorrectly, for years. Finally everything is facing the right way and right-side up.

Clean, sand, then wipe down the piece – Besides some light dusting and maybe a slight rub down pre and post moves, this piece doesn’t get a lot of cleaning love, and it mostly has been hiding in a corner its whole life. It needed it, especially since I was about to paint a piece of faux wood furniture.

Prime – Maybe I didn’t need this step, but I really wanted this paint to stick, so I did it anyway. Two coats. But then it was grey, which made it harder to cover with the (cheap) white paint which would follow.

Paint – SO MANY COATS! Ugh. I actually don’t mind painting walls, but this piece got to me. Dislike. But at least it looks good.

Stain ‘door’ – I got a light, cheap piece of wood to cover four of the nine cubbies. I had some stain laying around from another project. I may add another layer of stain or two down the line.

Attach door and handle – Pretty straight forward, but challenging when you don’t actually own a drill. Whoops.

Now to style it (better than done above).. oh boy.

AND! Remember to check out the other awesome gals doing this challenge with me:

Amy of Love on Sunday : http://loveonsunday.com/

Donna of Soul Pretty : http://soulpretty.blogspot.com/

Renee of Typewritten Bubbles : http://www.typewrittenbubbles.com/

Kisha of Chronicled : http://www.chronicled-blog.com/

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Never ending coats of paint

So truth time: last week didn’t end up being DIY week. Turns out, back in August I kinda forgot that September was trip month (in other words – I’m the worst) that, and my project still needs ONE more coat. This is about one thousand paint coats more than I had anticipated. Soon, it WILL look awesome (note to self: what everyone says about cheap paint needing billions of coats, is true, buy the good shiz.) But, it is happening, tomorrow, after today’s coat dries. Might be late. Might be early. This over-anticipated Pinterest challenge will have it’s day. Tomorrow. Luckily this blog is just for personal fun, otherwise I would really feel bad.

I might still feel a pretty bad.

Speaking of DIY’s – Almost Makes Perfect just posted a DIY I had been thinking of doing FOREVER, she just beat me to it =). Naturally I immediately went and bought some bottles after I read her post. And I am going to copy cat this so hard.

diy-pretty-shampoo-bottles-via-almost-makes-perfect

Today I am listening to: Carried Away by Passion Pit

Am feeling inspired by: The beautiful, white apartment in Sweden where Design Love Fest is visiting (photo by sfgirlbybay)

sweden02

Want to be wearing: This cute and flowing jumpsuit worn by the perdy lady at The Tiny Closet

blog184sitting

How iced coffee saved my life

To say I am not a morning person is a pretty extreme understatement. It is especially noticeable because I am married to Captain Happy who legitimately wakes up every day like it’s Christmas and he just can’t wait to  open the presents. Except that there are no presents and he is just super stoked to go have another day, a totally normal day. Luckily, in the past couple weeks I have found something that makes the morning a little more exciting, or in the very least seems to brighten my gloomy morning blues. ICED COFFEE.

It took me 25 years and reading it over and over and over on numerous blogs, but I finally tried it and am absolutely loving this iced coffee business. I used to have a Diet Coke in the mornings, because it is my crack, but all the while I was still willing to admit that it was a little gross to have a soda that early. Also, I was never a real fan of the severe withdrawal problems I would get along with the DC cola habit, so I was very much looking for a good replacement that wouldn’t have me twitching by 10 AM if the vending machine I was counting on, was out. In fact, I am now only really having one soda a week, and have hopes to maybe even cut that one out. ICED COFFEE YOU ARE MY HERO.

Now, I absolutely have a plan to try what is supposedly the best iced coffee recipe, but because I wasn’t exactly sure how iced coffee world would stack up to my almighty diet soda, I first decided to try the Trader Joe’s brand cold-brew concentrated iced coffee. Right now, I use 1/3 cup concentrate to about 1/2 cup water topped with a healthy dollop of light coconut milk. And it is glorious. I am still going to try the recipe, but for anyone out there that wants a quick fix, I only have wonderful things to say about this product.

icedcoffeess

I MIGHT have even had a mini second glass today. The morning grumpies were especially persistent today.

For some other fun, today this is my jam – MR MS, Hurricane:

And my inspiration – Pennyweight‘s House Tour on Design Sponge:

4Elise1-500x625

And an outfit that I wish was in my closet – craving comfy, via The Day Book:

IMG_6284

Happy hump day, you internet camels.

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.

MOORE-haus STYLE

I hate the idea of confining myself to a “style” – but as everyday I (somehow) get more and more people stumbling onto this blog, I figured it was about time that I tried to explain our style, our design goals, and maybe a bit on the dream house.

While today our apartment is messy, cluttered, and makeshift, I hope to one day own and have decorated a home that I feel is refined, cultured, clean, sophisticated,  and modern.  I know that’s a lot of words, but I feel it’s more appropriate than saying “our style is mid-century modern/mad-men chic/70s palm springs” as much as any of those might be the closest to the “style” we would like to emulate.  We like (or I like and I am working to convince the man) angles and clean lines, geometry influenced art,  white or black walls (Alex here would say: “boring”), and furniture that looks like it’s been collected out of  a 70’s design book, Sweden, or a maybe a piece or two from BBC’s Sherlock Holmes – without the price tag.

We are obviously are just getting started and are still “practicing” on rentals before we buy a house but hopefully all these baby steps will lead to us one day looking at our home as a true reflection of us and the things we love.

Here are some of my favorite design photos right now, to give you more of idea of what I would love to have our place look like.. you know.. when we grow up:

(You can also follow me on Pinterest and see all my design “pins”)

via Elle Decor

via Designed for Life

via Desire to Insprire

via Malabala

via Matthew Williams

via The Brick House

There are many more that I have saved, however, I don’t want to post any photos that I don’t know the source on this blog, so deal with it.

RYANN-MAS

Today is my birthday and yesterday I got back from a nice,  but long trip to my home state of WA (which I will blog about in a couple days).  The reason I share these fun facts is not to solicit birthday wishes (who am I kidding, gimme), but rather to illustrate that (a.) I am exhausted, and (b.) it’s my birthday so anything goes, including this blog post. 

I now crown this post “RANDOM MUSINGS.”

1.  Dear Wes Anderson (you sneaky fox,)

You have officially done it again.  And thus you remain my all time favorite director.  In return for all the joy in my life that you have brought me, I will proudly spread the word of your fantastic new film, Moonrise Kingdom.  Everyone who is anyone should go see this movie, for it is sweet, imaginative, and transfers you to a world full of fond childhood memories and your first experience of crush-induced butterflies.  It is beautifully quirky, whimsically dark, and brilliantly funny.  The film is stylized in such a way that it could only be yours, yet the eloquent dance between love and melancholy, I believe, in this movie is the strongest of all your past work, followed closely perhaps by The Royal Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic.  Hats off to you, sir (again.)

The best part is, I know when I watch it again, I will find a million more things I love about it.

Always,

Ryann

2.  There are few things that infuriate me more than when cops are talking on the phone whilst driving.  It is illegal for me, it should be illegal for you. 

3.  Groundhog Day is a much better film than I remember it being.

4.  Which is worse for you Aspartame or High Fructose Corn Syrup?

5.  My friend is getting a loft in downtown LA and I am going to help decorate it, YAY!!  Watch out Rose Bowl, Long Beach, and Santa Monica Flea Markets!  Also she writes a killer blog that I read every day and you should too! 

6.  I wish I could sing so that I could be on the Glee Project.

7.  I started my graphic design certificate at OTIS College of Art and Design and I COULD NOT BE MORE STOKED!  So far it has been a blast and makes me so very excited about the future.

8.  I am DIY-ing, believe it or not, just my current project has taken a tad bit longer than anticipated (like weeks longer) so don’t fall off that edge of your seat.

9.  I missed Jenny whilst traveling.  Lots.  And while I love her dearly as she is, I sometimes wish she was tiny enough to fit in a little bag so I could take her anywhere, even though I dislike little bag-dogs.  I think I need to ask Mary Poppins where she got her purse.

10.  If I am ever in a bathroom –like any bathroom, including family’s bathrooms– if there is a curtain or shower door that I cannot see through, before I can begin any of whatever business I have in there, I must first ensure that there are no murderers or dead bodies in the bathtub/shower.  It is a strange fear, I will admit.  Just thought I would warn you in the case I ever visit your non-transparent-curtained bathroom and you wonder what the heck I am doing in there.

11.  Number 10 got me thinking about bathrooms and it reminded me of one of my biggest pet peeves involving public restrooms — phones.  Specifically people who insist on being on the phone while in the public bathroom.  Seriously, person in the stall next to me, hang up with your BFF, Tina while you take a whizz, what if she heard someone toot?  (I say toot only because I felt really weird about having a post with the word ‘fart’ in it – well shiz, I guess it was unavoidable).  I, for one, would think it was really weird if I was talking to someone and I heard a bunch of farty bathroom noises in the background.  Not that women toot or fart anyway.  Nor do we sweat or burb, because we are ladies.  Good day.

12.  I have decided if, or when, we get another dog it must be another corgi-mix, or somehow a short-legged version of a normally proportionally legged dog.  I have a dream of having a herd of short-legged puppies.

(I hate not citing photos, but these are all just Google Images – well except the first, that is Jenny and I, in which Jenny is standing up, not laying down)

Oops that last one is a cat, but seriously how cute is my fake dog family?

13.  I don’t want to get into a discussion about babies, but the other night I had a dream that Alex and I had a little boy and we named him Wesley James Moore and he was required to wear a bow-tie until the age of 10 (I mean, duh, his name was Wesley).  But how cute, little onesies (with bow-ties), little toddler get-ups (with bow-ties), and his first day of kindergarten outfit (with a bow-tie and suspenders).  We probably shouldn’t have children.

14.  Have you seen how cheap these chairs are at Overstock?  Once my dining table chairs break down, or when we get a bigger table I am going to get four of these and two of the armed chairs for the head and end of the table.  And yes, I know they are knock-offs.  I care not.

(Photos from Overstock.com)

15.  I think I am going to make my car into an art car.  The challenge with this is going to be avoiding becoming really tacky, really fast.  I need some ideas.  If any of you have any – that you wont be using because you have too nice of a car to sacrifice (I clearly don’t have this problem) – please feel free to share. 

Well, thank you for letting me have this day, bloggy friends.  I generally hate reading these kind of posts, so you don’t have to like it, just respect that it is my birthday and I don’t give a truck, ’cause it’s my birthday.

Also, as the card Alex got me today states, “If I were Jesus, today would be Christmas.”  Happy Ryann-mas.

UNIT B

As I mentioned in a previous post, we recently gave notice to the landlords of Unit B and we will be moving on to a new rental come July.

But before we get into the excitement of apartment hunting, the stress of yard selling, or the disaster of packing, here is a little of what Unit B has seen over the past two years:

*  Alex and I had a very DIY heavy wedding, so prior to the event itself we decided it would be best to move in then rather than add some stress to the back-end of all the festivities.  It was only a couple of weeks early but the point is, this apartment witnessed us in both the state of couple-hood and then as married folk, as well as the transition in between.

*  We found Jenny at a dog adoption event around the corner and she has pretty much been the best thing ever.  Plus Unit B has hardwood floors so the apartment has taught Jenny about traction, which is something I believe Jenny would say she is very grateful for.

*  We held many get-togethers with friends, including but not limited to:  Settlers of Catan dork-fests, margarita fueled guitar singalongs, Xbox Kinect dance-offs (the less coordinated, the better), Mimosas Volleyball and Pancakes (MVP) mornings, Christmas gift exchanges with heavy homemade eggnog consumption, and Oktoberfest after parties, which naturally involved things like Batman-masked hallway karate matches.

*  When we first moved into Unit B, literally almost every item of furniture was a hand-me-down.  Now, two years later we have started the daunting task of slowly replacing this furniture with items we love, very carefully selecting each piece.  This will naturally be a forever job, but it is exciting to have started this process together, I guess it makes me feel a little growed up.

(see below, ugly green couch – behind my silly dog’s yawn)

All in all, I believe this apartment will always hold a special place in my heart – regardless of how many more apartments we are to have.  This is where I lived when I married the man of my dreams, my best friend; where we had some of our first real fights, first real make ups, and this is where we grew so much as a couple and have really learned how to communicate with each other.  And of course, this is where our family has made its first expansion, adding the fluffy little bundle of joy that is our Jenny dog.   And now we are Team Awesome.

Now for a little tour — you didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging there with all that sappy stuff and no photos, did you? — for shame.  (Keep in mind, there is still a high percentage of hand-me-down/making-it-work business up in here)

Now raise your glass (pick your poison: beer, wine, Yoo-hoo,  Sobe Lean, Hot Tottie,  Ensure, etc) and let’s cheers to first apartments – may their happy memories always make you smile.  Salut!

Oops.. I just chugged the rest of my drink just thinking about apartment hunting.. groan..

HI, my NAME is RYANN and I am a COLOR ADDICT

So I discovered this blog today and it literally is like internet crack.. for some reason I just can’t stop looking at this:

http://design-seeds.com/

I think this one might be my favorite.. so far.

I apologize to all of the addicts I create from this post.  Although, as sorry as I am, I am not THAT sorry because this shiz is the tits.

WATCH a CUTE LADY on TV!

No… not me.  Or Jenny.  But thank you for the compliment.

Her name is Emily Henderson and she is adorable, hilarious, and oh so stylish!  So stylish, in fact, that she has her own show.. called “Secrets from a Stylist” on HGTV, which is seriously the numero uno reason I am so sad we don’t have television.  (I KNOW!  We are weird, deal with it.)  Thank goodness HGTV sometimes is cool and posts the episodes on their website.  That being said it usually takes them like ten months to finally add them, so I am pretty much constantly like the weirdo that just saw Titanic for the first time and is now raving about it to all their friends who don’t give a crap because, duh, they saw it when it first came out, and double duh, they know its amazing. 

Anyway, she is seriously the best thing that has ever happened to HGTV, without a doubt.  I have loved HGTV forever, but this is really the first that I would DIE to be on.  Her show is such a refreshing experience because it illustrates that not everyone wants a Tuscany inspired Kitchen or Contemporary Living Room.  It really feels like it could be for us younger, newlywed, apartment dwellers as well as the older, richer, fancy Malibu homeowners, and pretty much for any sort of style.  Basically, I hope that HGTV is paying her some big bucks because I think shows like hers are what will end up saving the network from dying out.

OK, I know I sound like a totally crazed stalker fan.. and while I can see what you are saying, I am not (kinda), I am just so stoked that HGTV is getting younger and hipper, and I would argue, much more stylish.  That and I have been reading her blog FOR. LIKE. EVER.  Like even before she won Design Star, so I basically feel like we are best friends even though she doesn’t know who I am.  But if you someday happen to read this Emily, let’s totally have a double date, you bring Bearcat and I’ll bring Jenny and we will go somewhere so totally trendy and stylish and have the time of our lives, become best friends forever, like with bracelets or those half heart necklaces and everything, and then you can come design my house for free just because you love me so much. 

Side note – I know, via her blog that she goes to the LA Flea Markets and Alex and I went the other day, as to be discussed in a forthcoming post, and I’ll be honest, half the time I was looking at furniture and fun flea market stuff, and the other half I was looking around for her or Orlando (who is her awesome and handsome right hand man for design related activities – ie her show, interior design business, painting her house, etc.).  You should read both their blogs:

www.stylebyemilyhenderson.com

www.hommemaker.com

 Anyway, the point of this post is that she has asked her readers to spread the word about couple awesome shows she will be the host on that will be airing tonight on HGTV that sound super fun!  And because I am cool now and have my own blog and can say/endorse whatever I damn well choose – I hereby demand you to watch the heck out of these shows!  I mean, if you can.  Like if it works for your schedule, and/or it interests you in anyway.  I would totally watch, if I had television… =( and I totally WILL watch if HGTV puts it on their site.

About the shows:

It is called “Behind the Sets” and will be airing at 6 and 6:30 PST (two different episodes).  In the show, Emily goes on a few of the sets of some of the Hollywood shows and interviews set designers, creators, and some actors.  Some of the shows she visits include – Modern Family, The Good Wife, Malcom in the Middle, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, and the Big Bang Theory.  Sounds fun and interesting and you should watch!

You should also watch her regular show!  DO IT!  Go to HGTV.com to watch some episodes from the first couple seasons and watch for Season 3 on HGTV.

So, have fun, enjoy, and have a uber-fabulous weekend!

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