Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Storage

As a former California girl, I had a surprisingly large collection of scarves, hats and gloves when I moved to Colorado.  I have been storing them in my coat closet in a box like this:
Image:  The Container Store

These containers are wonderful for items that aren't needed frequently.  However, during the winter months, my nicely organized box became increasingly messy and ended up in a state of disarray.  

I have been looking for a while for a piece of furniture for my entry way to store my winter accessories in a way that would make them easily accessible.  After not finding anything to my liking I decided to go a different route.  A few weeks ago I purchased this dresser from Craig's List for $35.

It clearly needed some work, but had a nice shape to it and was the right size for my entry way.  I stripped the paint off of the top using Citristrip.  It works well and has a pleasant citrus odor. 

Then I sanded like crazy to get a nice smooth finish.

Initially, I tried to stain the top.  But unfortunately, there was a spot in the top right corner that wouldn't cooperate.  

So after another light sanding, I painted the top to match the rest of it.  I also filled the holes from the original hardware and used pretty Victorian glass knobs instead.  

I love my new dresser!  It's so pretty and functional.  It was quite satisfying to transform this ugly duckling into a beautiful piece for my home.  I am now on the hunt for a nice mirror to hang on the wall.  I am even hoping to find something that is in need of a little TLC from me!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Springtime Surprise

It's a beautiful sunny day here today.  It's a nice change from the last 2 days of rain, although we desperately needed the moisture.  I have a tree that blooms with the most lovely pink blossoms each year.  Here is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago.

It's such a pretty sight to welcome me home.  The blossoms have pretty much all fallen off now.  But the tree still looks nice and lush and green.

When I came home today, I started looking a little closer at the branches.

And then even closer.

And even a bit closer, until I saw this:

Do you see Mama Robin sitting in her nest?  She wasn't crazy about me taking pictures of her.  So she perched up on some higher branches keeping a close eye on me.  I used this opportunity to take a peek inside.

Mama Robin

Two very pretty eggs!

I'm so happy that this little robin decided to make her home in my tree.  I'm looking forward to a glimpse of the babies after they hatch.  Mama Robin is back in her nest now that I have finished the photo shoot of her cozy, little home.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Air Up There

I've been thinking about a way to have line-dried laundry for a while.  Don't get me wrong, I love my dryer, but I've really been wanting a way to dry my sheets and some of my clothes by taking advantage of Mother Nature.

I have a small balcony that I haven't been using for anything.  There is a lovely view of the side of my neighbor's house.  I suppose if I had a view of the mountains, I would consider sitting out there occasionally.  But really, the only time I've actually gone out there was to enjoy a fabulous thunderstorm with a glass of wine!  I decided that this would be the perfect place for my new al fresco laundry facility.  Bonus:  my laundry room is upstairs and just steps away!  So I made trips to Home Depot and my garage and gathered up these:

The installation was so simple.  I drilled some pilot holes and screwed the laundry line into the wall.  I screwed the hooks on two places on the opposite wall, and the final hook on the original wall.  Now I can pull the line across the balcony and back, creating two lines for me to use.

I promptly went inside and washed my sheets so I could have something to line dry!

Here is a nice shot of the side of my neighbor's house looking over my sheets.

They dried super quickly.  And they smell so fresh.  When I got into bed last night, I was completely comfortable on my soft, freshly laundered sheets.  It's a great feeling to know that I can whiten my whites naturally with the help of the sun and save energy at the same time. 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bathroom Blues

I have lived in my current home for almost 2 1/2 years.  There are many things that I love about this house, but initially, the downstairs bathroom wasn't one of them.  The previous owner painted a total of 2 rooms in this house, and let me tell you, his painting skills left a lot to be desired.  His paint color choices weren't that stellar, either.  In this tiny bathroom, with no windows and only one light fixture, he chose to go with a deep forest green semi-gloss.

This picture doesn't do justice to the cave-like feel of this bathroom, but it's the only "before" shot that I have.  It didn't take long for me to start going through paint chips to select a new color.  I finally decided on Behr's Frost Wind.'s like a breath of fresh air!

I love this bathroom now!  I painted the entire thing, trim and all, in one day.  I used the Behr Premium Plus Ultra for the first time.  (This is the one that is a dual paint and primer.)  Would you believe that I was able to cover that horrid dark green in only 2 coats?  True story.  This bathroom is no longer a cave and I could not be more pleased with the light, fresh color.

I still want to recover the boxes on this little shelf.

I found these towels at T.J. Maxx and was thrilled with how they complemented the wall color.

The frames were very inexpensive clearance items.  I sprayed them in a glossy black to unify them.

I found the mats on clearance at a craft store.  The outer mats were some other color, so I painted them with the wall color.

The prints are all pictures that I took on trips to France.

Do you like my artsy mirror shot here?

It's amazing what a difference a one-gallon can of paint can make!  And...this little project has served as a springboard for me to tackle other rooms around the house.  I'm looking forward to sharing them here on Handmade Homebody.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Inspiration from Sarah & Tommy

Sarah Richardson is my favorite designer on HGTV.  I have obsessively followed the first three seasons of Sarah's House, and I still can't decide which house is my favorite.  There are design elements that I love from each season.  But...if I had to pick one, I suppose that her farmhouse is the one I like the best. 

Sarah's use of fabric, color and texture breathe life into the rooms that she creates.  She also loves to give new life to furniture from flea markets and auctions.

Of course her show is entertaining as well as informative, largely due to the great chemistry between her and design partner, Tommy Smythe. 

I am so excited because HGTV Canada has finally decided to share Sarah's Cottage with us here in the good ol' United States.  The premiere of Sarah's Summer House (fancy American title) will be on Saturday May 7, 8pm/7pm on HGTV.

Do yourself a favor and set your DVR to record every episode of Sarah's Summer House!

*All images from HGTV and HGTV Canada.