Archive for August, 2012


Used in the shipping industry, wood pallets are typically overlooked when it comes to other uses.  But, they are becoming more and more popular for interiors.

I saw this pallet art at Whole Foods this week.  I thought it was creative!  Full size pallets painted and hung by chains from the ceiling.

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Austin, TX is many times abbreviated ATX, so that is what that’s about.

You can do a lot with wooden pallets, which many times can be obtained for free or very cheap.  And, while you are at it, you are upcycling which is very environmentally friendly.

Let’s look at some examples of what you can do.

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Amazing, huh?  Where can we get pallets stat?  I’ve seen them free on Craigslist.  Also most stores that get large shipments have them and give them away (except Lowe’s as they recycle).  Check local storage facilities as well, as many get left behind.

What would you make with pallets?  Or, what have you made?  Do you like the Whole Foods art?

Not all of these photos are linked to the source because I was unable to find the source on a few, so feel free to let me know if you know and I’ll update it.

Need to know how to take a pallet apart?  Go here.


Office is Painted

Horray, it was painted yesterday.  The painter did an excellent job!   Now to move everything back in.


What did it look like before?  It was the builder’s beige (Kilim Beige).  See all the sample colors on the wall?


Ignore all that junk.  I just didn’t want to clean it all up prior to moving all of the furniture out.

Now, it’s a warm gray, BM’s Senora Gray.  Here it is in progress.


And, an after shot, one more time.  I loved the Ben Moore Regal paint.  Low VOC, paint and primer in one.  Costs a little more, but one gallon covered this whole room and it just took one coat!  Good stuff.  I bought a second can which I’ll now need to use in other rooms.  Bummer, huh?   Can’t wait.


If you aren’t convinced the color is that different, take a look from just outside the door where the beige is still on the wall (for the time being).

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Can you see the faint greige strip on the builder’s beige in the first picture above?  That’s the color for the rest of the house’s main area.  Though I loved the BM paint, in the main area, I may end up having my custom mix done with Sherwin Williams HGTV line.  It’s a little less expensive and when you’re doing a large area, it adds up.  And, it’s no VOC.

I love the greige!  It’s softer, more soothing, more contemporary and brighter.  Can’t wait to do the rest of the house in a similar (custom) color.

What other plans do we have for the room?  Well, we’ll put the vintage mid-century modern L-shaped desk back in, towards the right side of the room.  Curtains will go up.  Perhaps some sort of rug.  A giant white board made from a sheet of acrylic on the wall shown to the right in the photo (back wall).   Antlers and such (hubby is a hunter) on the wall across from the window that is over the credenza portion of the desk.  A chair in that left corner that isn’t visible in the photos with a table next to it.  I’d love a tall bookshelf behind the chair, but there is a light switch there that would have to be relocated, so probably just art or a mirror behind the chair.

Colors?  I’m not sure other than his Red Rover dog.  But, definitely some blue since that’s the color that is consistent throughout the home.  One step at a time.

To keep you inspired, here are some finished offices that we love.  They are all over the map.  They have nothing to do with what we are doing in the space, but I love them.

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This is one of those spaces where ultimately function always wins out over form since my husband works daily from this office.  So, it’s all about making sure it’s functional for him.  But, I’m convinced we can couple that with pretty, even if a few monitors and wires are showing!


Painting Interior Doors – Trend Alert

I mentioned going navy with the office door on my last post.

Though it’s not a brand new thing, painted interior doors are definitely becoming a trend.  Painting the exterior of a front door has been popular for many many years, with red being the most popular color. But, what do you think of painting the interior?  Great way to add a pop of color?  What do you think of this trend?

Let’s look at some examples.

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The color I am seeing most often may be black.  Black is also probably the color for interior doors that has been around the longest.

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Black (and all these colors) certainly make an impact.  Especially with light walls.

Are you on board and ready to embrace this in your home?  Do you love it?  I do.  I need to find just the right door to paint in my home.

What are your favorite colors for interior doors?  Have you done this?

Oh, and if you do one door, do you feel the need to do them all?  Only one color or can you do one door one color and another a different color?   What do you think?

And, when you paint the interior of the door, where do you stop painting – do you paint the sides of the actual door or not?  The whole door?


Workbench Done!

If you are a regular around here, you know we’ve been working on getting our garage organized.  We added shelves and now a workbench.  You have to be organized enough to do those projects, right?

When I showed you last, the bench looked like this.


We used 2×4 basics to help us build a sturdy work bench that required no angled cuts.

Once finished, it looked like this.  (Except we added a 2×4 across the middle shelf in the end.)


We moved it into the little corner of the garage, next to the water softener.  By the way, check out the organizer for all of our nails and screws!  Love it.  Told you, I love anything organized.


Last, we built and added the shelves to the top, along with the pegboard.


There she is!

Plenty of fans there, huh?  Well, not everything has found its permanent home just yet.  We’re still getting organized.

In case you are thinking it looks a little crammed in the corner, it’s pushed a little into the corner because we left room to get to the water softener on the right side.  It’s movable though, should we want to move it.

Overall, it was pretty easy and is pretty sturdy.  We love that we can pull a stool up to it to work, stand at it, and use the shelves for more storage.  This system can be made in many sizes, depending on the lengths you chose to cut the wood.

Do you do your projects in the garage?  Do you have another workspace like one of those fancy buildings out back?


Choosing Paint Colors

Below is our my husband’s office space in the new house.  Messy, I know!

I have only shown it in the original house photos when we closed on the house 5 months ago, so of course it was empty then.  It’s still fairly empty other than a mid century modern desk we bought at Austin Antique Mall and my husband’s work equipment.


The desk was his choice, which I like… but don’t you just hate all that computer equipment.  Ugh.  He HAD to have his desk face the door  and HAD to have the equipment, which gave no choice.  But, I figure, hey, it’s his office and he has to work in it daily, so it’s important that he’s comfortable in it.

How do you hide big fat monitors?  Maybe I’ll box him in with a cubicle and he can return to his right out of college days. Just playing.  Restrict him to just a laptop and all other equipment on a credenza?  Wouldn’t that be ideal.  I have no idea, so I’ll just get over it.   Just like in most households, it’s a compromise around here.

On the up side, it is really nice that it’s a piece of furniture this time rather than built-ins like last time so if we had to move again, we can take it with us and it’s not money lost.

As you can see, we didn’t style or do anything for the photo above. I believe in keeping it real. It’s how it looks – lots of monitors and such as much husband works from home.  Paint cans in the corner ready for the painter, trash can with trash in it.   Probably hurts your eyes, but makes you feel better too, though, huh?  I know photos like this make me feel better.  Then, I know others don’t have perfect looking homes 24/7.

As you can see, we tried out a few paint colors in that corner.  Below is a close up image that I shared recently of the Benjamin Moore colors that I tried out in there.


We want to change out the Builder’s beige (SW Kilim Beige) to a more up-to-date color. We were looking at various greiges, as you can see.  In fact, I did a recent series on greiges that may be helpful if you are searching for that perfect paint color.

For the office, we chose the color Senora Gray by Benjamin Moore.  Our painter is supposed to come out in a couple of days to make it happen!

We also hope to paint a huge open part of the house where one wall connects to the next.  You know how that goes with newer builds and open plans?   There are many times no great stopping points and for the sake of continuity (making the house feel like it flows and is larger), I like one consistent color.  Unless, however, a room is clearly separate from the next or there is a great wall for a stencil or wallpaper.

The Senora gray that we chose for the office is possibly a little too dark for the bulk of the house, especially since we’d be doing ceilings as well.

So, my second choice was a color I had used before called Sandstone Cliff by Behr.  However, it was too light.  It didn’t pop enough against light furniture and trim.  So, we mixed it with some other colors we had on hand.  To be honest, I almost always mix colors in the end, so I can get just what I want.  This goes for furniture, walls and anything I touch with paint.  It’s commonly a mix.


It’s not a ton different than the builder’s beige, but it’s definitely less beige and more gray.  With it’s clear brown undertones, it’s a true greige.   You can see the original lighter Behr Sandstone Cliff color in the photo above as well.

Below, is a photo of the color painted by the fireplace in the family room.  You can hardly see it.  I considered not showing this photo, but why not.   Color is hard to capture in photos, but you can see the difference in person.  There is contrast between it and the fireplace, but, it is a light color.  It will give a light and bright feel to the space.


And, that brings me to a confession.  The art is still not hung. I’ll get around to it.  I’ve just been busy with client work and garage stuff so my own home progress is a little slower at the moment.

On the left are poster boards I painted with Senora Gray and Sandstone Cliff.  The custom paint color on the right is a color in between the two, which of course, looks a little different when painted over SW Kilim Beige (builder’s beige) than when painted on white poster board.  It actually comes out looking much more gray on the wall which is a little counter intuitive.

I’ll paint it on a few more walls in key places and then get it color matched for the entire main portion of the house!  We will hold off on bedrooms, bathrooms and anything clearly separate.

Now, let’s really hope these estimates for the main portion of the house come in at reasonable prices!   Cause I’m pretty committed.

Did you paint over your builder’s beige?  I don’t hate the colors builders use, but, it’s just not right for me.   Have you gone greige?  Don’t you hate pesky computer equipment?

Oh, and don’t you think that office door would be sweet in navy?!

Oh, and on a side note, Anneke from This, That and Life won the Blue Soul Designs Giveaway!  Lucky her!  She has a great blog, so check it out.


Garage Workbench – Done Easy

Last weekend, we got our garage organized.  Today we’re working on our garage workbench.

Let’s face it, we aren’t carpenters.  So we have to keep things basic when building.  That’s why we chose the 2×4 Basics system.  It can be found at places like Amazon.   Or, directly on the site.


What’s so great about this?  It allows for 90 degree cuts only.   Not miters or angles.  We just have basic tools around here, so that is super helpful to us!   And, it’s customizable, according to your space.

It is essentially a plastic system that allows you to just add 2×4’s and plywood.  The sturdy 2×4 framing make this kit strong.  Each shelf will hold up to 1,000 pounds.

Oh, and I was not given this product, asked to review it or compensated in any way.

What are some of the possible configurations?  Here are some photos submitted to their website by actual users.

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I like the idea of having shelves and a workbench that we can take with us, should we move.  At our last home, it was all built-in.  So, it’s a better investment.  Anything that has to be left with the house is money lost.

Below is the start of our new workbench.

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I’ll show you how ours turned out once we’re all done!  They say it can be done in an hour.  We’re going on our third hour soon (by “we” I mean mostly Chris), but it probably could be done faster.  We just hate to have a wrong cut and have to get more wood.

Have you built your own workbench?  Do you try to avoid angle cuts?  Or, is this all too simple for you?  Are we just wimps?  I love anything that makes a job easier!

If you haven’t, be sure to enter the Blue Soul Designs giveaway – the drawing is at 5pm today!   It’s super easy to enter.  Promise.


Getting the Garage Organized

I’m sort of an organization nerd.  As a kid, I organized for fun.  I enjoyed cleaning my room (not the cleaning, mainly the organizing) and when that was done, I’d look for other things to organize.  I had two little brothers and I’d take everything out of their backpacks once a week and organize it all.

They hated it.  I loved it.  Haha.

Well, I’m still a little like that.  I love having an organized house.  Not to the extent that everything is labeled and in similar containers.


Don’t get me wrong, though, I like that.  No, I love it.  I just don’t have the money and time for it.  So, I meet in the middle.  I just like for things to be in their place and to have a place.

Below is “the middle ground” that is found in my pantry.  It’s not art.  It’s not worthy of a tutorial, but it’s my version of being organized.


That’s part of our actual pantry.   Yes,  we like to stock up on certain foods.  Can you guess which ones?  Trust me, I’m not the pop tart lover.  And, this flavor is hard to find!

I love to be organized so much, that if things are messy around me, I have a very hard time being productive and creative.  Yet, on the other hand, I can sit there and see dust for quite some time before I’m driven to do anything about it.  Tell me others are like that!

I have a whole Pinterest board where I pin ideas on how to be organized.  There’s so much more we could do!


At the least, I need bills paid, papers filed, groceries put away, dishes in the dishwasher, the threads from my shedding area rugs vacuumed.  Just the basics.  I am alright with an unmade bed, a pair or two of shoes out and things like that…  I’ve come a long way – that would not have been acceptable in the past.  But, spouses do rub off on you, right?  I think we meet in the middle on many things after all these years.  And, it’s a good thing he has tamed that side of me down.

So, this weekend, we finally tackled our messy garage.  It’s a three car tandem garage.  That means one side is long enough to hold two cars, one parked behind the other.  We had this at our last home as well.  So, we use the extra car space for storage.

Let me back up for a second…  it’s tough just having that space for storage as our first home was in Utah.  You know, the land of basements and cold storage (look that up if you haven’t heard of it, I’ve just seen it in Utah)?  Well, we had an unfinished basement and could store everything we wanted down there!


We got pretty spoiled. It was a real shocker when we moved to Arizona and suddenly had to fit everything inside the house or in the garage. I’m still adjusting.

The garage was almost just as it was when we moved in five months ago.  Below is a before and after.  it’s probably best to just show pictures.


We got the shelves from Lowe’s and put them together.  It appeared super easy, but there is this one part where you are connecting the upper three shelves to the bottom three and it’s tough.  Not even the best design.

We added pegboard on the walls so we could hang things that didn’t make sense to put on shelves.

The containers and such are things we had on hand.  Very little money spent.

It took us a couple of half days to get this stuff in order.  We’re not quite done, but it’s much better!   I can breathe now and feel like we can really USE the space and enjoy doing projects…  and find things.

We still need to add a work bench on the back wall, hang the ladders, and a few other odds and ends, but overall, we’re almost there and there is still plenty of room for the cars.  Yay.

Have you organized your garage?  Are you an organization nerd?  Do you tend to clean out and redo each spring or just before school starts?

Oh, and those two huge boxes on the left hold our Christmas tree.  The green organizers at the top hold the ornaments and décor.  Where do you store your holiday stuff?


Blue Soul Designs Giveaway!

EDIT:  If you do love a piece that you see, Sarah is also offering free shipping on orders until the end of the giveaway.  Use code:  FREESHIP.

My friend Sarah, of Blue Soul Designs, is giving away THIS piece of jewelry to one lucky winner.

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Gorgeous, huh?  I’ve had my own eye on this piece for a while.

This stunning necklace features a Turquoise Quatrefoil, set in 24k gold. This rests on a 16 inch 14k gold filled chain.  The Turquoise Quatrefoil is 1″ long. The length of the necklace includes the length of the Quatrefoil.

She has an etsy shop that sells handmade jewelry.  I hope it will be a great new resource for jewelry for you!


She makes jewelry in order to distract herself through hard times and to help pay medical expenses for her Lyme Disease and mold illness.  Plus, she absolutely loves making jewelry!  She has four kids and they lost a home to mold last year.  So, it’s been tough and this has kept her sane.

Here are some examples of her work.

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Sarah has had the honor of gifting items to celebrities such as Mariska Hargitay, Vanessa Lachey, and Sarah Drew.  For a photo of the items gifted, she her Facebook page.

She also makes custom pieces for clients.

I’ve purchased three pieces from her myself and they are all exceptional.

The winner of this giveaway will receive the clover necklace pictured below.  Click on the image to see the listing on her etsy shop.


To Enter this giveaway:

You don’t even have to be a follower of this blog!  But, I’d really love it if you do choose to follow.

Simply visit her site and simply leave a comment on this post telling me which piece is your favorite.  That’s it!

For additional entries (one extra entry for each of the following):
1. ‘Like’ me on Facebook and leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you did.
2.  ‘Like’ Blue Soul Designs on Facebook and leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you did.   If you are feeling really generous, also send her some love on her FB page (not a requirement).
3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.
4. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.
5. Pin one of their items on Pinterest and leave a comment here with a link to your pin.
6. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.

The deadline to enter is 5pm on August 25th. The winner will be chosen via and announced on August 26th.