Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ceiling Fans: Decor Hit or Miss?

This morning my daughter looked me in the face, and said with all the love in her heart, "Mom, you are a big fat piggy".  Then BAM, just like that, I became another faceless victim of brutal child honesty.  What does that have to do with ceiling fans you might ask?  Absolutely nothing. 

Okay, so I love watching design shows just as much as the next gal.  I mean, anytime Señor Hotness is out of town, the teen, the tween, and I stay up late(ish) doing facials and watch them together.  Its kind of a tradition.  One of my biggest pet peeves is how so many times the designers choose to ditch the ceiling fan.  This is a particularly heinous offense in the deep south.

Señor Hotness and I have moved around many times, but I must confess that Louisiana is the first state I've lived in that doesn't border Mexico.  In short folks, I have always lived where its H-O-T.  Just in case you all weren't aware anywhere in the deep south is also freakishly humid.  So here, where the humidity will make you want to pack up and move...every ten minutes, fans are an absolute must.  All silliness aside, if you don't keep the air circulating here everything will mold.  Its a real problem.

Which brings me to my family room.



This space is the bomb (is what I would say if this was the 90s), but the only problem, besides the beige, on beige, on beige color scheme happening all up in here, was no ceiling fan.


Which was super unfortunate since this is what our weather was looking like shortly after moving in. Have I mentioned the unbareable humidity that exists here sometimes?  Couple the 105 degrees with intense humidity, and holy heck, you want to die while sitting on your leather sofa ruining it with the fluid pouring off your body in the form of sweat trying to enjoy your new family room.


So as lovely as this fixture was.  It just wasn't cutting it.  We needed air movement.  We needed something to help cut the heat.  We needed a flipping fan!


We had this awesomeness to contend with after we removed the fixture, and I honestly still haven't don't anything about it.  Mostly because I was so flipping hot that I couldn't think straight.


So ceiling ring aside we set about getting a fan put up.  Now I know that there are a plethora of uber ugly fans kicking about out there.  I know when I think about ceiling fans I think about the ones my grandparents had in the 80s.  However for as many ugly fans there are there are just as many pretty ones.


If you've been hanging out here much in the past you will have noticed that I have a larger than normal love of french provincial style furniture.  That style usually screams for a more formal feel, but this being our family room, Señor Hotness wanted a less formal feel to this room.  So we decided to go with something that was a little less traditional feeling, and a little more contemporary but still beautiful nonetheless. 


I really love how it has glass with in glass.  Its simple yet there is slight elegance to the lines.  The best, however, is that we can now stand to hang in our family room once more.  You know so we can spend some cool time...as a family.  So I'm a fan of fans (awful pun, sorry), but I absolutely believe that with necessity you can still style.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Monkeys Begone



I don't have first hand knowledge, but I understand that monkeys are notorious poop flingers.  That being said that is not the precedence I want to set for one of my bathrooms.  Poop should never fling within the walls of this house.  Also it takes a super special chic to pull off monkey decor in a grown-up space.  I'm awesome, cool, quirky, delightful even, and special I'll grant you...but not that special though.

But even though Señor Hotness also hated the monkeys...he liked that the room looked "finished".


Here are a few up close pictures of the little buggers.




Yikes.  Now for the feel good tear down pictures.


This was more than a little therapeutic.


It came down so easily


Its like it was meant to be.


I'm not one to post potty pictures, but I have to say that behind the toilet was the hardest area to remove the wallpaper.  It came off the wall really well, but getting it loose of the pipes necessitated using scissors to get it off.  I don't think its possible to break plumbing with wallpaper, but I really didn't want to push my luck.

Señor Hotness REALLY hated it after I took it down.  The wall under the paper wasn't textured, and wasn't nice and smooth.  It was pitted, and pock marked, and I had no intention of fixing it right away.  I was simply going to paint over it.  It'll look ugly he said.  People will notice he said.  I was thinking how often do you check out other peoples wall texture when you are taking care of business?  Am I right?  I know that I never analyze walls in detail when I'm on the toilet. (You'll all collectively start checking out wall texture now when visiting a friends potty room I bet.)

So after I had filled all of the nail holes I primed the walls, and then I busted out paint that I have literally moved around with me twice.  It was left over paint from our living room in Texas.  Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.  I was beginning to think that maybe it wasn't the right color.  Maybe it wasn't as awesome as I remember it.  I'm proud to report that its just as awesome as I remember.  The teen and the tween both want this color gracing the walls in their rooms, but they change their minds about twice a day (if I'm lucky), about EVERYTHING, so we'll see if that really happens.

So in short I chose to deal with awesome paint over weirdly textured walls instead of enduring the monkeys for a while until I was able to give this bathroom the full force makeover that I envision.  But until then...



I started by cutting in all the edges, and getting all the tight areas painted by hand.  Mostly because that is the longest most tedious part of any paint job, and the part that I'm most likely to decide to put off until "later"...a.k.a. it would look awkward for months while I talked myself into doing it.   I'm not proud of being a procrastinator, but I can be honest about it.  If it doesn't happen first its not going to happen for a while.



Cutting in paint to the trim just using a brush is a perishable skill my friends.  If you don't use it you lose it.  As is apparent here.  The trim is actually all a cream color, and I'm wanting it a nice bright white so it will get fixed for sure.


Even this bucket is going to get a bit of a new look.


In my quest to snap a picture of the worst area of texture I neglected to take notice of the decapitated baby doll head.  Unfortunately this sort of thing is kind of the norm around here because my kids can be kind of creepy sometimes.


Painting behind this toilet was pretty much one of the worst things EVER.  Birthing a 10 pound baby at HOME was easier.  Ok, not really, but it was pretty stinky (get it?) trying to reach back there with my short arms.


These are old out dated switches that are actually starting to go out.  It sounds silly, but one of the biggest impacts you can do in a small space is pay attention to the switches.  They worked great when we moved in, but my kids, being the rough little heathens that they are, have a magical way of breaking things down.  Also as you can see there are a few touch ups that are left to be done.  It always amazes me how many white areas show up after everything dries.


In short I'd rather do a minor upgrade while I wait to do a major upgrade any day over living with a dated space that doesn't fit with our style.  While painting around a toilet is kind of a crappy task (pun totally intended).  Wonked out texture or not, it is completely worth the effort if it meant getting rid of the monkey scourge that was plaguing our guest bathroom.   

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linked up at: the-chicken-chick.com, www.funkjunkinteriors.net, www.simplelifeofafirewife.com, savvysouthernstyle.net, jannolson.blogspot.com, www.shakentogetherlife.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Every Man Should Have a Place to Put His...Deodorant

When I was a little girl there were two things every dude needed to be eligible for a man card. One was to serve in the military.  The other was knowing how to fix things.  All the men I knew had done those things so I thought it was just something guys did.  So when Señor Hotness needed a bathroom shelf solution, clearly he, being a guy, knew how fix the problem himself.


So even though our new house is beyond fantastically awesome.  Our master bathroom is somewhat humble as far as master bathrooms go these days.  I'm just happy to be able to take baths in peace without little ones randomly wandering in disrupting that peace and tranquility.  That being said we do have double sinks (bonus), and ONE medicine cabinet...on MY side.


See isn't it pretty.  Better yet it holds all those things that make women mysterious.  Like, tweezers, nails clippers, and...deodorant (this should be read in a breathy voice thus upping the MYSTERY).

According to Señor Hotness he too needed a place to shelve his goods, but because he's a man not interested in mystery, he wanted to do a small open shelf.  So after sketching, then coming up with a design he liked, it became a bit of brain bug for him that he couldn't get out of his head.  You know the kind that keeps you awake at night, that you think about day and night (this is not factual), and talk to your wife about none stop (totally true)...

So we wanted to procure some galvanized pipe fittings for this little project.  However, that is where we ran into our first snag.  Someday I'm going to do a project with no snags.  It will be glorious, to be sure...but I digress.  They didn't have everything we needed in plain galvanized.  They did, however, have a plethora of options in blackened pipe (which basically looked like a super greased galvanized pipe), and the best part was that they were actually cheaper.


Here is Señor Hotness degreasing the blackened pipes. Please excuse the mess.  I'd like to give a good excuse for this, but truthfully its just a by product of extreme laziness.


All clean...


After removing the old towel ring he then pre-drilled for the wall anchors.  Don't worry peeps he didn't hang extraordinarily heavy pipe simply using wall anchors.  Two out of every four holes lined up with a stud, because my stud knows how to find the studs.  Sorry for the bad pun, I couldn't resist. Actually I could, but I didn't want to.


He secured the middle piece first.


Then he double checked it to make sure it was all plumb.  For those not in the know, plumb is achieved when the bubble is in-between the lines on the middle gauge of the level.  The more centered the better, but anywhere in between those lines is totally fine.


At this point he joked that his vision had been achieved.  Clearly I'm not the only one with a sarcastic sense of humor in this relationship...our poor children.


The board he was using was a 1x6 piece of oak.  Just FYI, oak is known for being a hardwood.  So to save himself time, and effort we (and by we I mean he) held the boards up there while I pencil marked the holes so he could pre-drill them.  My one useful contribution to this project.  I'm of course not counting all the many times I offered him up my witty replies, and useful insight.  I'm just kidding I was pretty much just a smart aleck in the background with a camera on this one.

Also as you can see from the kid head in the corner of this picture.  It was hard for me to truly help because all of our littles were on deck and ready to lend a helping hand.  The teen and the tween couldn't be bothered to help out on this one.  The finished product did get their stamp of approval though.


After he finished pre-drilling he assembled the other pieces for easier installation.



The hardest thing about the assembly was working around the pipe to get all the screws properly secured.


Here it is partially done.  Then through the magic of the blogosphere...


Bam! Its done.  Well, mostly at this point we had not yet stained the wood.


Here are just a few up-close shots of the fittings.


I love that you can see the "1/2" that is on the pipe, and that he added a towel rod.  I'm in love with a very industrial country feel to things, and I love when the metal is married into design.  I especially love it if it seems aged, and that is the exact feel that we get once we cleaned to goop (technical term) off of those blackened pipes.  


I couldn't resist staging things just to get a glimpse of how awesome it could be, but...


Then it was time to bring this project home.  So we, and by we, I mean Señor Hotness, took this out to the man room off the garage to stain it.  The stain he used was American Heritage made by Minwax.


After letting it dry overnight he gave it a coat of polycrylic.  I don't think it really needed the protectant coat badly, but with it possibly getting toothpaste or shaving cream residue on it I wanted the surface to be washable.


Staining the wood really steps the whole thing up a notch.  I love how the stained wood really adds a whole other depth of color to the entire piece.  The pipes seem to be a richer color when in truth all that happened was the boards got a darker shade.


This was Señor Hotness's first attempt at staging for a photo.  It was a nice effort kid, but...


I think mine looks better.  The ibuprofen looks so incredibly awesome in the glass jar that I may decide to do that with my vitamins too.


But always in the end I like to keep it real so this is what it usually looks like.  It adds a super rustic vibe to our bathroom, and it turned out so incredibly cool its not even funny.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Home Tour


Well peeps I'm still here, and I'm still living it up, Louisiana style.  There is one thing that has changed though...MY ADDRESS!  We moved from The Internet Black Hole our rental recently to our super duper awesome new (to us) house.  Its actually the same age as Señor Hotness, but I'm thinking that's a good vintage.  I'm still in the process of unpacking, and organizing our mess...literally.  Stay tuned for pictures of us updating our home backwoods babies style.  Until then here are some pictures of it before we closed.  Looking all empty and lonely.  So without further ado...


Isn't she beautiful?  Pretty Miss J offered to name her for us, but we politely declined.  I didn't want our house's moniker to forever be known as Princess Pink Castle, but seeing as how our home is full of ladies (with the exception of Señor Hotness) maybe it was a fitting name. I'll pass all the same.


This is our formal living room.  What I love about this room is the awesome hardwood floors, and the plantation shutters.  Also the fact that when I have guests over it provides a place for the adults to hang out while the kids run wild in other parts of the house.  I'm not crazy about the beige, but that is a problem easily remedied.


Here it is so far.  Stay tuned to see how I tweak the furniture pieces to suit my style (on a shoestring). 


Just another angle of....AWESOMENESS!


The little desk in the corner is my office area, and was a freebie gift from my best friend, Awesome Kristie.  All of the furnishing in this room (except for the piano) were either free, craigslisted, or purchased off of a Facebook sale group on the cheap. Honestly most everything fits in the free category, which makes my heart happy.


This room is my family room, and I love it!  Here in the south is gets hot, and with the humity it feels like your face is melting off.  Its not though.  Its just you losing a majority of your body weight through sweat...I only wish I were joking.  Those stained concrete floors are refreshingly cool though, and a perfect way to combat that insufferable summer heat.  This room is sporting a lot of the same color though, and I'm honestly not a fan.  I prefer a higher contrast.  So this one will also be getting a new wall color to spice things up.


Just keeping it real. I though I should show where we are in our unpacking and organizing initiative.  When I move I use extra clothes to pad my breakables because I'm too cheap to buy bubble wrap, but the aftermath is, well...this.  Its getting better, and I'm determined to have this squared away tomorrow...hopefully.  I mean I have to because we are having birthday revelers over to consume vast amounts of cake.  Pretty Miss E and Pretty Miss J share a birthday, and I think it only fair for them to each have their own cake...but then we need help eating it.  Its rough being our friends.


Then there's the downstairs guest bathroom, or as we call it the 'monkey' bathroom.  If you've been reading my blog long you will know of my intense dislike for wallpaper.  Its a pain to remove, and it becomes dated far to quickly.  It is the tattoo of the design world.


I hate to be harsh, but I will say this was the only thing about the house that I REALLY didn't like.


I'm now in the process of removing the munching little buggers now.


Semi-updated pictures coming to a new post soon.


This is the breakfast nook.


I LOVE the brick flooring in here, and in the kitchen.  I sadly still don't have a table in here, but we are going to be using Señor Hotness's desk for its intended purpose in this room eventually.


Double OVENS!!!!  Please try to look past my mauve counter-tops.  I have plans to give these a new look until we agree on what surface we want to use for the counter-tops.  You never know.  We might just do pennies again.


I don't really feel strongly about the trash compactor, honestly, but we have one now so I'm sure to form an opinion soon.


The pictures make it seem small, but its honestly pretty roomy with lots of storage space.  Which is good because I have a lot to store.  Another awesome feature is the over-producing ice maker on this fridge.  Most might find this annoying, but seeing as how I live in the south where a beverage isn't refreshing unless its consumed on the rocks.  So this is a huge boon.  In all of our former homes I've had to ration the horde's ice consumption so that we didn't run the well dry on a daily basis.  I also realized that I would never be happy with any kitchen if I kept comparing them all to our Texas kitchen.  After I stopped holding up that impossible standard I could find happiness is my cooking space once again.


Do you see those double doors? Holy pantry space Batman, and this pantry is the same depth as the double oven cabinet so its extra roomy.


This is the dining room.  I will just say that I am not overly fond of the color, or the extremely formal curtains.  I'm just not a formal person, and the overall feel of this space doesn't fit with my personal style.  You can bet that I going to give it a little Backwoods Babies flair soon though!


Sorry I just threw this one in because I REALLY, REALLY love those floors.  Did I mention how much I love those floors?  I do love them...


This is the upstairs guest bathroom aka the little girls bathroom.  Nothing overly spectacular about it, but in case you are keeping counting that is toilet number two for our house full of ladies.  The wall color is absolutely perfect for a girly paisley shower curtain.  So yeah!  Not need to paint this room.  Just hang our shower curtain and done.


The is the room for the youngest two, Pretty Miss J (Destructo Girl), and Pretty Miss P.  You can't see it, but there is another closet.  So even though we are doubling up in the rooms they still each have their own closet.  I've got some fun ideas for this room that involves dots and stripes.


This beige room is where my middle two, Pretty Miss H and Pretty Miss A are going share.  They also have their own closets, and at 11 and 7, being women who know what they want, have decreed that the beige is blah.  They REALLY want to paint this a pale turquoise.  That's on the list to happen as soon as I de-jungle the bathroom, and banish the maroon from my dining room.  Thank heavens I already have most of the paint on hand.


In this house my awesome oldest, Pretty Miss E, gets to have her own room.  She has dreamed about this blue room for weeks, and it goes beautifully with the Parisian Hope Chest she and her sister worked on months ago.


Now on to the master bedroom.  I don't want to brag, but my bed looks like a million bucks in here.  I will have to take pictures soon after I get all the boxes out of there.  This room also currently looks like a war zone, but I will tell you that we are using sewing tables as our bedside tables and that also looks crazy awesome.  This room has a built-in corner unit, and his and hers closets.  These curtains here are also a little too formal for my liking so I'll be looking for alternative ways to dress these windows and the door.  Speaking of the door it leads out to our very own...


Balcony!  I have always wanted a balcony. As you can tell from this picture our new house is located in town.  I never really thought that I would want to live in town again, but this is in an old established neighborhood with big lots, great curb appeal, and is fantastically family friendly. Honestly its super quiet, and doesn't really feel like town.  I'm in love.  Okay lets head back in for a moment.


To the master bathroom, and there my friends is toilet number 3.  I know that in today's market its all about huge bathrooms with all the bells and whistles, but...can I just say that its been roughly 7 years since I've had a bath tub in MY bathroom?  A woman should be able to take a soak at a reasonable hour of the night without fear that any of her MANY female children are going to waltz in, rip back the curtain, and stare at her, naked.  The need is great, and for that reason I LOVE my new master bathroom.  It has his and hers sinks, and despite the shower/tub combo the tub is a surprisingly spacious tub, fabulous for soaking.


This was one of the biggest selling points for me.  This my friends is the "fifth bedroom", but its what we are choosing to call the...playroom.  What?! Thats right we have a playroom!  I want to scream it from the rooftops...or my balcony.  In this room there is also a large walk-in closet for all of our games, karaoke machine, and the horder-like toy collections that we have accumulated over the years.  The best is the walk in closet door has a lock so they can't just get it all out at once, and trash this room.  Also inside one of the attic access doors is an old wooden sled (not sure what use that sucker is in Louisiana but...).  Unfortunately my younger girls are having trouble with the word so if they ever tell you that we keep our slave in the attic...rest assured its really just an old sled.  No human trafficking happening here!


This was a selling point for our girls.  At least the little ones.


The play equipment.


Sorry for the rail through the picture, but I snapped this off the balcony.  As you can see this is where they are choosing to spend most of their time.  I often lose track of them only to look at the window to a scene similar to this one.  Unfortunately we are trying to get a handle of the mosquito problem because what isn't obvious is the creek that runs through the back yard.  Our girls love it, but it is a breeding ground for the buggers...and my kids are tasty.


Under the balcony, and outside the family room doors is this awesome feature.  The porch swing.  As much as I've always wanted a balcony.  I've also always wanted a porch swing.  How fortuitous that they came as a packaged deal.


The littles have also been loving the swing.  This home has been such a blessing for our family, and we look forward to making many happy memories here.

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