Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I can smell the potential

We have a sun porch.  Actually, we have two, but here is the one that I'm referring to:
This porch is right next to the driveway and is what we walk through to get to our back door in the kitchen.  It's really not even a porch, as there are no screens.  And it's not a sunROOM because it has no framing or insulation.  So, right now it's pretty much a storage area because we don't know what to do with it.  LAME!
It has a screen door that the cats can totally open if we don't make sure to pull it shut.  This door has started many rounds of the 'find the cat' game in our neighborhood, which I'm sure the neighbors find charming.  At least that's what I tell myself. 

It is a good-sized space, 9 x 15 feet.  Since it has those awesome french doors that lead into the den, (remember when the other side of them was maroon?) it has great potential to be an indoor-outdoor extention of that room.  The door to the kitchen is on the right. 
There is a non-operable window that brings tons of light into the kitchen.  I love it, but I can't help but think how cool it would be to have an open-able window to pass booze through to my guests!?  Booze is very important when planning our spaces, you know?   
The beadboard ceiling is fab, but the light fixture will definitely be replaced with something more interesting. 
Shaun came home one day last summer and told me he saw a nice wood loveseat on the curb down the street.  I was surprised he mentioned it, since he hates random furniture laying around.  I'm glad he said something, because it will be nice when I get around to fixing it up!  Don't mind all the lumber on top and the pink bedsheet on the cushions. 
There are many things that need to be fixed in this room, like the lack of screened windows, the dirty brick floor, and the completely rotted wood on one side:
The room is pretty drafty as well (usually the case when there is no insulation!), so we're talking to some contractors about rebuilding the wood areas and installing new windows and a storm door.  I can't wait to see how great this space can be, just in time for summer! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A hairy review

We usually have enough hair on our couches to make another cat. So I clipped a coupon for the new Scotch Fur Fighter and took it home to try it out.
It's a textured paper that sticks to a large plastic handle.   
This is what it looked like after one pass of the top of the cushions, where the cats love to sprawl out.  Yum.
And after the couch was done:
After both the couch and chair were done, I guess it just couldn't look any worse than it already did.
Yowsa!  The tool works really well, but I can't justify using it daily...I think it's a waste to throw out the sheets after every use and buy replacement sheets all the time.  My good old Magic Brush does a fine enough job when combined with the vacuum.

I may buy replacement sheets when they are on sale and I have a coupon, for all those "people are going to be here in an hour!" situations.  Have any of you tried the Fur Fighter yet?   Any new devotees?

Friday, May 21, 2010

That was fast

It seems like my lilac just started blooming, and now it's already turning brown.  It was a gift from our neighbor Margo last summer, who drove to a specialty nursery in the next city just to buy it for us, free of charge.  I know!  A perfect, sweet, wonderful neighbor...or, the total opposite of Boozy Susie.
I finally made it out there yesterday to cut off some blooms for inside the house.  Talk about late in the game!  For some reason, I thought they bloomed longer.  I remember walking around in the summer stealing people's lilac blooms when I was younger...or, two years ago, whatever.  Guess I was either high on life, or it was still springtime. 
I stripped off the leaves and some of the buds, then plopped them in a little coffee glass in the kitchen to mask the odor of the nearby cat litter box add a little scent and prettiness.
They smelled strong and wonderful, and looked like Sideshow Bob.
Separated at birth! 
I had some little clumps left over from the 'arrangement', so I plopped them in a hurricane with some water in the potty.  NOT WATER FROM THE POTTY.  That room definitely needs all the good fragrance it can get. 
And that is how I squeezed a little home decor from my almost-brown lilac blooms. 
Hopefully I'll remember to start cutting them off earlier next spring! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Order is restored

It seems like I've been trying to get my dressing room put back together for weeks.  Probably because I have been.  Actually, it's been almost a month since we moved the furniture back in there.  Yikes!  I'm happy to say that I can finally shut the door on the room without feeling guilty.
I love the dark floors with the yellow rug! 
I added these hot pink frames by the door because I loved the pop of pink.  The shade matched my closet accents, and I thought I could put in pictures of myself in a bikini to make me feel extra bad when my pants are tight.  Until then, they say HOT GOTH.  Seriously, Sheffield Home? 
Another TJ Maxx find was this little pink Jewelry Mannequin on the dresser - which was already spied by the eagle-eyed Amanda at Hip House Girl last week.  It was on mega clearance and I needed somewhere to put my necklaces that didn't involve a bulletin board, chicken wire or creativity.  I don't have time for that stuff!
I actually felt bad about stabbing it with the decorative pins.  So, I compromised by putting two pins as 'arms' and one as a non-critical side wound.  I'm such a weirdo!  I also thought for a moment about spraying the base to match the pewter of the dresser and mirror, and then decided living my life was more important. 

Thank goodness everything is back to normal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I love coupons

And I'm sure everyone else likes coupons, too.  So, I have decided to share a couple links with you all thanks to my friends at One Project Closer.  They maintain coupon pages for Home Depot and Lowes on their site, and I have added those links in some new buttons on the bottom of my sidebar: 
Anytime there is a new deal, either advertised on the store's site or found in other ways, they will have that information available to their readers.  Check out their Home Depot Coupons page, and their Lowes Coupons page today.  Happy shopping! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another closet makeover

At this point, I should probably rename my blog 'Russet Street Clothes Storage,' but it's a project I did, so you're gonna read about it.  My dressing room is just a big closet, but it has a small 'actual' closet where I store my shoes and extra clothes.  You know, the clothes that don't fit in the regular 9x12 space....sheesh!  Here it was empty:
When the closet was all emptied out for the floor refinish, there was no way I could just put everything back in there without painting it.  This closet had the same spackling mess that the master closet had, so I had lots of sanding to do.  There was also a pretty big hole that I filled with the old 'rolled up newspaper and spackle' trick:
After a coat of my leftover BM Coventry Gray paint, viola!  No more hole. 
The melamine of the closet organizer had yellowed considerably, so I rolled some Rustoleum white oil-based paint on all the edges with a foam roller.
Check out the difference the paint made in this 'action' shot!  Holy yellow.
And then everything was painted, the newly stained dowels were in, and I was very happy. 
And here is the closet all crapped up with my stuff:
I added some 98 cent hooks from Home Depot to the sides to hold purses....  
...scarves, or (what will ultimately happen) shirts that need to be ironed.
The yellow box (that matches my rug!) was a fortuitous find at TJ Maxx one day.  I found the hot pink tote at Target and it looked so great with that contrasting trim.  They are currently holding tights and trouser socks. 
And of course the wicker storage unit that you already met yesterday...
Here is a before and after:
It doesn't look that different with everything in there, but I love the changes.  

TJ Maxx box: $5.99
Target Tote: $7.49
HD Hooks: $6
Wicker makeover: $10
Total: $29.50

Only 5 more closets to go....(please shoot me) 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ugly wicker stuff

I have some.  Well, probably everyone has some.  But I have quite a pile of it.  Some of it still has Hobby Lobby tags on it, talk about a big fail. 
I decided to use that tall drawer unit, rather than give it to Goodwill.  It was pretty cool when my mom bought it, but has since lost it's appeal.  Don't be offended, just can't stay looking like that!  It needed a heavy dose of spray paint.  So I took it down to the dungeon.
I pulled a 'Boozie Susie' and made a very sad attempt at wiping everything down, I just didn't feel like it.  There are some painted dust bunnies inside the drawers, but if anyone is offended, I will just ask them to please stop snooping in my drawers.  
One coat of Cover Stain primer later, and it was looking pretty good!  Cover Stain is a great spray for wicker, it really clings to slick and shiny surfaces. 
I used Rustoleum Universal spray in White Gloss for a finish coat.  Love that stuff!
The frame was just about the most annoying thing to paint, ever.  Our entire basement now has a fine mist of white thanks to this thing and the crazy angles I had to spray in.
I cut a few more corners because this spray paint costs one million dollars and no one needs to see the back or bottom of my storage unit.  Got it, snoopers?!          
 So basically, the fronts look really nice.
And here she is looking cute in my closet!  Does it sort of echo the white wicker furniture that some of us girls (or our friends) had in our bedrooms as kids?  Yep.  But that is ok with me.  It's way better than the before!
Now I have somewhere to store my extra toiletries, sewing supplies (using 'sewing' very loosely) and other things I don't want to clutter up the linen closet.  Best thing is the whole makeover cost about $10 in spray paint.  Thanks, mom!