Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Started With No Curtains...Now We Here!

It seems like every time I turn on the radio Drake's "Started from the bottom" song is playing...on REPEAT, hence the title of today's post.  It's funny because the song is rather fitting, especially for us bloggers.  I mean no one ever thinks that they will start a little ol' blog and people will actually read it and become nationally known, but Young House Love, Bower Power, East Coast Creative, and many more "started from the bottom" and look at them now.

My windows started from the bottom too, lol!  We recently shared our new window molding, which definitely took our windows to another level.  I loved the molding so much it was hard for me to cover them up with curtains, but the room just didn't feel complete without them. 

We knew that we wanted to hang our curtains higher and wider to show off the rooms height and large windows and we needed at least 96" curtains like these Crate & Barrel beauties, (insert screeching tire sounds here) but not at $100 a panel.  In our living room alone we need a total of eight panels, you do the math.  That's over $800 for curtains...I don't think so!  I have too many other projects that need to take place to spend that kind of money on curtains, so we rolled up our sleeves and DIY'ed some of our own.

  • Canvas Drop Cloth (We used 9' x 12' and we have 9' ceilings)
  • Latex Paint
  • Paint Roller/Tray (We used a small foam roller for a smooth finish)
  • FrogTape (It make clean lines, unlike the other brands)
  • Tape Measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine (or HemTape)
How It's Done:
  • Find a large area to work (a garage or basement works best, but our dining room has to do!)
  • Lay down floor protection (We used plastic drop cloth)
  • Tape down the outer edges of the drop cloth, making sure that it's pulled tight so there are no wrinkles
  • Measure out your stripes (We went with 12" stripes)

It's not hard to get straight lines!  We just marked both sides of the drop cloth and while I held one side, George pulled the tape tight and layed it down flat for straight lines.

When doing the first set of curtains I forgot the fabric medium.  But I remembered the next go around.

We made a mixture of 3 parts latex paint to 1 part fabric medium in a paint tray and rolled the paint mixture onto your drop cloth. I applied 5 coats of paint in order to get the color we were looking for.  We learned that it was best to allow each coat to dry completely before starting the next coat.

To hang the curtains we used simple grommets.  You can get these at any craft or hardware store.  I got ours from Hobby Lobby.

In order to get exact measurements for where each grommet should be placed, we used our old curtains and traced the inside of the grommet, cut out each hole, and snap the grommet into place. SIMPLE!

Hang, step back and admire your work! I'm loving our new curtains and it was worth the ten
days it took to complete! And with all the money we saved we can use it to share more DIY projects with you guys!



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Friday, April 26, 2013

Design Porn Fridays - Vintage Revivals Kitchen Renovation Reveal

Mandi over at Vintage Revivals did an amazing job creating this space.  It doesn't even look like it's the same house....don't you just love those type of reveals!  Mandi transformed this space for her MIL and it looks like something straight off HGTV. Check it out!  Maybe it will inspire you to transform a space in your own home and show off your DIY design skills!  Happy Friday!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Design Porn Friday - Mom Cave Makeover

Every man I know always dreams about his "man cave", but what about us?  Shouldn't we have a space of our own that looks like it should be featured in Better Homes and Gardens?  No toys all over the floor and some place you can't hear your husband and the kids yelling..."Mom I can't find it!" or "Sweetie what's for dinner?" 

Well, Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters did just that and frankly I'm jealous! Check her out and maybe it will get you thinking about creating your own space....because YOU deserve it!!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Maintain Your Swimming Pool the Right Way

Today our post is coming from Becky Flanigan who writes freelance articles for PoolCenter.com. She has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely golden retrievers. When she’s not taking care of pool maintenance and adjusting chemicals, she spends hours at her family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs play and have fun. She is also a dedicated runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon. Follower her @Becky_Flanigan.
Now we know that everyone is ready for Summer weather...heck we can't even get Spring here without Winter trying to make another appearance, but when it gets here you want to have your pool up and ready to roll.  So check out Becky's important pool maintenance tips:
A family swimming pool can provide hours of fun for the family. That part is well established. The other part – maintaining the pool – it’s not so much fun. That part is well established too. But pool maintenance is just a part of the swimming pool package, and if it’s got to be done, taking care of it properly will minimize the hassle. Part of pool maintenance is the actual process, the things you have to do. An equally important component – how you approach the job:
Have a plan. Make up a checklist of items that have to be handled – check the filter, check the fence around the pool, balance the pH, add the chlorine to the proper level. Then work through the checklist. Don’t consider the maintenance done until all the items are checked off. It’s easy to get distracted and think “I’ll get around to it later,” until one day you come home, walk out into the pool area, and discover a green scum on top of the pool that wasn’t there before. Or you discover that the pool pump hasn’t been working properly, and the water looks murky and brown. The longer issues are allowed to go on, the worse they get. A regular plan can make sure things are handled on a regular and routine basis.
Work that plan. Do you use a calendar? It’s a great way to schedule pool maintenance. Google Calendar for instance, is a great way to set up and schedule time for the pool, and allows you to add a reminder. That way, the pool maintenance doesn’t get overlooked or ignored. It’s easy to see pool maintenance on the schedule, and since you’re not that excited about it anyway, let it slide for today. “I really had to get the kids to soccer practice – I just couldn’t get around to the pool.” Experience will prove that ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away on their own. They have to be handled, and adhering to the plan will make life a lot easier in the long run.
Be regular about pool maintenance. The key to a pristine pool with wonderful clear water is regular, routine care. If a pool pump is broken, it’s not going to fix itself on its own. Someone will have to attend to it – either the pool owner, or a professional with a service company. It’s just part of the deal that the pool – like the kids, the pets and the house – needs regular attention. If the daily schedule is getting too packed to fit in regular pool maintenance, consider hiring a pool service to handle some of the tasks. They can stop by on a regular basis and check pH levels, add pool chemicals, clean debris out of the pool pump. The expense will pay off – it will likely be less than the problems associated with ignoring a broken pool pump, or a clogged pool filter.                                                                                      
Spend some time on pool maintenance. Yes, you’ve scheduled in your pool maintenance. But have you scheduled enough time to really get the job done? It’s best to check a pool’s chemistry at least twice a week in the summer, and once a week over the winter. Make sure the pH level is checked often and stays at the proper level – around 7.5 is the proper level. Don’t let it get above 8.0, or drop below 7.0. You can’t just stick your hand in the water to make sure the pool is OK – the pool owner needs to spend that time to make sure the chemicals are in balance. If they’re not, “I’ll remember to add the chlorine tomorrow” is going to put the project on the back burner. After a while, the effects will build up and the pool will need a lot more work. Brushing the tiles and walls of the pool if they need it – if you allow algae to build up, or the pool tiles get calcified, it will require a specialist to clean them, leading to further expense.
Cleaning and maintaining the pool is not the glamorous part of owning a family swimming pool. But if handled the right way, it can be a minimal time expenditure, lowering expenses in the long run. It will bring about hours of pleasant pool time, having a dip while watching the kids play.


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Friday, April 5, 2013

DesignPorn Fridays

Every Friday I get excited about the weekend and it gives me two whole days to re-arrange, DIY, or just do whatever the hell I feel like doing!  This weekend I'm going to leave you with Alania Kaczmarski's Chicago Apartment Tour over at The Every Girl. 

Styling my home makes me happy, it's my stress relief, my designporn, it gets me off!  I always need a little inspiration and today it came from the perfect space!

So, ladies and gentleman welcome to Alania's home....

To see the complete home tour check out The Every Girl to get your fix.
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