Home Office Update: Paint and Chandelier

Jan 16, 2018

We're having a snow day today! It's the second time this year, which is unheard of for Houston. My kids took the tops off the plastic Christmas bins and are using them for sledding down the hill in the backyard. It feels like 15 degrees so they are in and out of the house, which is driving me crazy! It looks like the temperature isn't going to be above freezing until tomorrow afternoon so I'm pretty sure there will be no school again tomorrow due to the ice on the roads. When it snowed in November we were all so excited because it had been so many years since we had seen snow. It was also the first time I have ever seen it stick to the ground in Houston. It looks like we're going to have a repeat of that weather today!

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was planning to do an office update. I was considering a few options at the time of where to add the wainscoting and what color to paint it. The decision was made pretty quickly after I typed out that post. Sometimes I just need to organize my thoughts on paper (or on a computer screen) to work it all out in my head.

We started with plain white walls and a builder grade light. The furniture is old, but the rug is new. My husband and I started hanging the moldings first. I completely forgot to snap a pic. Here is an IG story pic I posted after we hung the chair rail and taped out the other areas the trim will go. I was trying to figure out how big to make the three boxes at the time.

The trim on the walls went up so fast! I didn't time it, but it only took a few hours. The next step was to pick the wall color and chandelier. I mocked up the lighting I was interested in using the pic collage app. It helped me visualize what it would look like once it was installed by taking a measurement of the middle box and fitting the light inside it so the scale would be correct. The paint was a bit difficult to nail down, but I finally settled on the far left color. It's Sherwin Williams Summit Gray. 

Here it is all complete! The chandelier is up and the walls are painted. I also painted the crown moulding and the baseboards the same color to give it an authentic paneled look. It took two full days, but it was so worth it. It feels dark and moody, but not too dark. It's just cozy and comfortable. I told my husband it's like a men's study/cigar smoking room. He won't be smoking in here of course! The next step is to pick the artwork for the middle box. 

You might notice the side walls only have wainscoting on the bottom third of the wall. It's like that all the way around the room. All of the crown moulding is painted gray. I just hadn't gotten to it yet in this picture. Only the back wall is completely painted gray. The top two-thirds of the walls will have a faux grasscloth in a sand color.

Here is a better pic of the chandelier from the website. I'll also link it at the bottom of this post. 

Once the artwork and wallpaper is in I'll give you a better tour of the room. That is all I'm going to do in this room for now. I'd like to eventually add new furniture, drapes and hardwired sconces on the back wall. Those things can wait a while as I move on to other projects. My goal was to do just enough to make it presentable. I think the before and after is already a huge improvement. 



I typically remodel my rooms in phases. I start with a detailed plan and then decide what can be done to make it look nice and functional even if it's not completely finished. It's not ideal, but we have to address other home projects that are more important first. Even though we aren't looking to sell our home it's a good idea to take this approach because if we do sell we'll have completed the projects that buyers would expect to be done. I have an entire list of things that include touch-up paint, refinishing the marble counters in the kitchen, and installing a balcony railing on the back porch. The latter is at the top of my priority list since it's a safety issue. However, if I happen to come across a great deal on office furniture I might just change my mind!


Kitchen Refresh

Jan 6, 2018

I think almost everyone can agree that our homes feel so bare when the Christmas decor gets put away. There are a few things in most rooms I'm ready to tweak a little this month. Even though I'm in the middle of remodeling our home office, I stopped and picked up a few things for my kitchen. Luckily, I knew exactly what I wanted and it was easy to make a couple of stops to pick up a few things one afternoon in between looking at paint and wallpaper. My husband's Christmas gift to me was a new coffee machine so naturally I needed a new coffee bar. I tried to put one together with everything I had on hand, but I really needed just a few more things so I wasn't running all over the kitchen to make my coffee in the morning. I am not a morning person!

My husband bought me a Jura that grinds whole beans and makes my espresso, coffee or cappuccino at the touch of a button. I needed a small cup to froth my milk, a place to hide my sweet n'low, a sugar bowl for the people not on a diet (I know nothing about that!) and a place for my stirring spoons.

The Jura really is the star of the show. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing this coffee tastes. I've made lattes, coffee, espresso and cappuccinos. The cappuccinos are definitely my favorite. I'm also hoping using 2% milk and a Sweet n' Low will be better than the 280 calories worth of creamer (I measure and die a little) I normally put in my coffee every morning. I realized the reason I was putting so much creamer in my coffee is because the coffee was subpar in my traditional drip coffee to say the least. Keurig was even worse! I can almost drink it black out of this machine. It wasn't me! It was the coffee! Next time you visit Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma try this coffee. They usually give free samples. I know it's expensive, but if you are a coffee connoisseur like me you will have an epiphany...or as Oprah says an aha moment. If you like the coffee buy it at Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can use your 20% off coupon!

I found the two tiered tray on clearance at Homegoods for $18! I can't believe it, but it wasn't even damaged. The coffee gods were smiling down on me that day. It's a very feminine look that I could easily change up if one of the four males in my house complains one day. I decided since it was hidden in a corner of the kitchen it wouldn't be such a big deal. Unsurprisingly, no one even noticed there was a change.

The blue and white pieces are from my china set. The sugar bowl and creamer cup that holds the gold spoons are from Anthropologie. The gold spoons were also a Homegoods find.

I didn't change too much in the rest of the kitchen, but I added fresh flowers and that made a world of difference.

I also added a marble and gold cutting board very similar to the two tiered coffee tray behind the stove. I felt there was a bit too much wood there.

My obligatory shot of Mario. He was not moving from the sofa when I was taking pictures. This is us having a stare down.

New Year, New Project: Home Office Inspiration

Jan 1, 2018

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. My favorite part of the holidays aren't the big celebrations, but the quiet evenings by the Christmas tree and fire. It's one of the reasons I still haven't taken down my tree yet. I just love when it lights up at 5 o'clock every evening. My husband said I should just buy a big ficus tree and put lights on it to enjoy all year. I really lol'd at that one! 

The bright side of the holidays being over is that I can focus on the projects I've been putting off the past couple of months, namely the home office. I started planning out the design this summer, but kept changing my mind. I have to admit it was all due to not wanting to spend a lot of money on a room that isn't regularly used or seen by visitors. My first thought was to hire someone to build built-in bookshelves. That's what all legit home offices need, right? 

My biggest inspiration came from a model home in my own neighborhood. When I saw this study I wanted to copy every detail (minus the furniture). The dark gray paneled walls, the bookcases and the sconces were exactly what I had in mind. I would have added filing drawers to the bottom of the bookshelves to be more functional. When I started dissecting the details on the actual cost that's when I realized the millwork was going to be very expensive. My husband and I can DIY the wainscoting, but not the bookshelves. That's when I decided to skip the non-functional shelves and just work on the wainscoting.

Huntington Custom Homes

I've found several examples of beautiful wainscoting. It has made my decision a bit harder. I could go with paneled walls all around the room. We would just paint the walls the same color as the trim so it would be faux. I thought about using wood floor to ceiling, but the cost of materials would be too expensive. I really don't want to redo the baseboards and the crown either.

Another option would be to wallpaper the room in grasscloth and use trim. It would avoid the faux wood look of the walls. The cost of the wallpaper and having to hire someone to hang it made me hesitate on this option. It also seems less like an study and more of a bedroom look. I decided to scrap this one, but I still want to show you the picture because it's so pretty. I may end up with his look in another room!

A third option is to partially panel the room. I could have wainscoting to the ceiling on the main wall behind the desk and then only on the bottom half on the other three walls. The top could be painted and maybe eventually wallpapered by myself. I think I might be able to handle small sections. I just love the shine of grasscloth, but I would also get the paneled study look with this option. I'm leaning towards this idea.

We decided to start hanging the moldings today! I just need to have my coffee and breakfast taco first. We're going with the last option, but we can always go back and add trim to the top of the last three walls if we decide that would look better. 

The next decision is the color of the trim, which will either be white or gray to go with the rest of the house. If we go with white wainscoting the other three walls with be painted gray or have gray wallpaper. If we go with gray wainscoting the walls will be a sand color like in the above photo. The first step is to get the moldings up. If everything goes correctly I'll post progress photos on my Instagram stories!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2017

Jennifer, Jason, Dylan, Ryan and Aidan

....and Mario

Bow Napkin Tutorial

Dec 19, 2017

Make your holiday table a little more special by folding your napkins into these adorable bows! 

1. Start by turning your napkin with the corner facing up. I obviously didn't iron these!

2. Fold it in half by bringing the bottom to the top.

3. Fold in small increments all the way up to the top.

4. It will end up in a long strip.

5. Fold the left third of the bow inwards. This will be one of the tails.

6. Fold an equal amount from the right side inwards.

7. Slide a napkin holder to the middle along the tail and the bow section.

8. Tweak the tail. I turned the right tail to the back in this picture.

It's so easy! It doesn't take long at all so if you have a full table of people I promise you won't be folding bows all night long.