Solar Shades...a cool, simple, modern touch

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hello All!! What a busy summer it's been!  This is the first summer I'm not tied down to a nap schedule which means we are on the go almost everyday. And the days I'm not going I'm doing laundry so we have clothes to go again! When we decided for Scotty to finish school I knew blogging would go on the back burner.  I always feel a little piece of me is missing when I'm not blogging and sharing... miss you guys!:)  We have taken a break from major projects this summer and decided to just maintain.  The past 3 years has been project after project.  So it's been quite refreshing to take a break and have laid back summer!

I have been able to squeeze in a few projects that take no longer than an hour to complete or install.  I've been wanting to replace our blinds for a while.  When we first moved in I bought some pull down blinds to fit each individual window pane for our bay windows (shown below.)  They looked nice but became more of a chore to open and close 7 individual blinds everyday.  I began to do my research for some new blinds, which ended up taking me over a  year to make a decision ......

There are soooooo many options for window coverings....  I took my time as I didn't want to make a mistake again. I got sample after sample. I knew I wanted something easy to clean. Something light filtering. Something private, at least during the day.   Something that blocked the hot sun.  And something that fit my style.  After researching and sampling, I finally put an order in and went with a couple of black solar shades.

 I have loved black and white for 10 years now, and I don't see that changing for a another 10. So I was pretty sure about the color and liked that it was a bit bold!  Modern is not my first choice in design, I have a classic/country, almost Ralph Lauren style.  But I have felt the need to add some modern touches to keep the room fresh.  I've seen solar shades in modern homes and at first I wasn't sure if it would fit mine.  But like I said I did a lot of research and took time to evaluate our space.    So with a  little risk with a lot of confidence,  I pleasantly found they added just the right amount of balance.....

One thing I love about these solar shades is you can see right out without opening them.   And when the afternoon sun beats in I can close them, and still have a view with my room cool and darkened.   Another  thing is they are completely private during the day.  Kinda reminds of an interrogation room.   I put my face right to the window from the outside and couldn't see a thing in.

You can see in at night, so we pull the curtains for complete privacy.

Slowing down a little gave me some time to evaluate our projects, time, energy, and budget. One decision I  have made was to give up upholstery.   I had to put some project boundaries up and this one I must say I'm not  going to miss.  I can upholster but I don't love it.  And I really don't love how much time it takes.  I will allow myself to do easy projects, like kitchen chairs.  But  anything that takes weeks to accomplish is out!  
"You can do anything but not everything",  has been one of my favorite quotes lately.   

So with that boundary is place I bought a new chair from Ikea for our living room. It's more modern and really comfortable. To keep it personal I put a cashmere throw on it and made a new throw pillow for it.   
Balance is a beautiful thing.  Have you taken the time to balance out your projects and put some boundaries in place?  Are you overwhelmed with all the window covering choices out there like me?

I'm sure we will be back to full board projects again, but I'm hoping this little break gives us just the wisdom we need to continue on!

Living and learning,

Painted Mudroom Floor

Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer is here and I'm so glad I had the time to squeeze in my painted  floor project!!  When  planning to paint our mudroom floor I knew I was going to use oil based paint, so that met I had to find the perfect week that wasn't too humid but warm enough to open the windows.  I posted pictures on Instagram of the process and had so many nice encouraging comments.  Not knowing exactly how it was going to turn out I felt a little pressured but I must say I'm pleased and wanted to give you a peak.....

Here is our before picture of the floor, just plain plywood. More of the before pictures ....HERE

And Here is the after.....
I had many ideas of what I wanted for this space.  My 1st thought was a gray tile. But the more I looked at tile the more I like the mixture of tile and wood.  The wood added a touch of warmth and class.  I knew we didn't have the skills nor the money to hire someone to get this look.  Then I thought why not try painting it.

So during the winter months I began to draw a design on paper...

I have found the times I draw things out and get a clear vision, the less trail and error I have.   I feel more at ease with a plan and it's so fun to see it come to life from paper to room.  

I plan to do a DIY post one day, but for now here are some pictures of the process. After drawing out the diamonds. I began staining the part I wanted to be wood.  

Then lots of taping....

Followed by lots of layers of paint and waiting for it to dry.....

Then it was time to add my beloved hunter green.....

It's all coming together. It's not perfect, my diamonds got slightly off and the wood it very rustic looking, but that fits in a mudroom.  The diamonds are very glossy, my boys didn't want to step on them at 1st because they looked so wet. Wasn't sure about my thrift rug but I think its complementing the floor nicely.
Baseboard is next on the list but for now I"m dipping back into the boys room working on window treatments.
I just love summer. Our days are longer and midnight project oil is burning brighter.  We are still focused on finishing the 1st level of our home.  We had quite of few outdoor projects last year with, growing grass, putting fence up, installing a place set , and adding a rock patio.  So we are just maintaining the outside this year, and  I'm excited to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  

I hope you all are taking advantage the these longer days!  Summer is a magical time.  My son was so cute the other night.  We were catching fireflies, and he said "they are sparkling and having a party for us!"