Saturday, September 17, 2011

Who Needs Missoni?

As you may have heard, earlier this week lots of people went crazy for Target's new Missoni line. I am a fan of the chevron patterns that have been so popular lately, and had already decided to use this fabric to make my own curtains for our office. Thanks to an awesome sale, I scored four yards for $35 and created these on Wednesday/Thursday night:

I looove how bright and sunny they look in our office (which until this week has been lacking window treatments completely). I've also got some lime green and gray going on in there... not sure how it'll all look in the end, but hopefully bright and playful and fun (not boring and office-y)!

They did require me to break out the sewing machine, but I'm really a novice, so there was just basic stitching involved. Here's a look at both panels (and the side of our neighbor's house): 

I'd definitely say I prefer them to these Missoni curtains (which are arguably hideous for $40 each). And, of course, sold out.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Front Door Paint Job

I got the biggest item already checked off my list for this weekend. On Friday, I painted our front door to match our new shutters. As you may remember from that post, the door was really ugly:

Here it is now with the new paint job:

It's not amazing (it's still a plain, six-panel door), but it does make a big difference on our little house. If you too need to paint a door (or anything else...) here are my tips from this project: 

1. For six-panel doors, it's always good to follow the directions (like Pretty Handy Girl's, here) instead of just painting the whole thing in a random order like I tried to do on the first coat. Things start to dry out of order and you risk pulling up partially dried paint otherwise (super hot weather made this even worse!).

2. Always read the product's instructions before you use it. I was using a Pittsburg Paint exterior product that was supposed to have "paint and primer in one." I read it in the store; it said it was OK for metal. No problem! Then, when I re-read it immediately before using it, it said to "prime metal surfaces with the appropriate primer before using." Oh. That brings us to tip #3...

3. Have lots and lots of tools/paint/brushes/stuff in your house. Seriously, deciding to prime the door at the last minute was no big deal, because I own at least four different types of primer. Yeah, I might have a problem. I ended up using a spray-on oil-based primer, which was awesome — it was easy and I didn't have to clean any brushes!

Probably the most hilarious part of this project was deciding how to take the door off to paint it, since I wanted to lay it flat across sawhorses in the garage while I worked. Leaving a gaping hole in the front of our house for 8 hours was a problem due to bugs, weather, cats, etc., and we currently have no storm door. We ended up taking the door off the back of the garage to put in its place, since it was 100+ degrees yesterday and I needed to keep the AC going. It was exactly the same size and color, so I'm not sure our neighbors even noticed. The hinges were on the wrong side, though, so we just pushed a recliner up against it (from the inside of the house) to hold it up. Somehow, it worked wonderfully!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Contact Paper Window

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this idea and got super excited. We have a door off our kitchen that leads to our backyard and deck. It's a pretty ugly door and it unfortunately faces our neighbor's deck (as does our deck). Frequently I have found myself looking right out our window at our neighbors grilling on their deck whenever I'm doing laundry or getting something out of the pantry. There's really no privacy, even when you are in the house. The window had cheap blinds when we moved in, but the cats soon disassembled them (and they were especially ugly to begin with) so we didn't replace them. So when I saw that I could potentially change this door for just a $6 roll of contact paper, I was thrilled!

Here is the door before, with the view off our deck and into our neighbors' yards:

That is two properties — our next door neighbor's with the light blue deck and the next house over with a red deck. Yikes! 
I followed the instructions (linked above) and cut out many, many, many shapes from contact paper. I ended up splitting up this project over several days so I wouldn't get burned out/have carpal tunnel from the scissors. I only bought one roll of contact paper (it's actually "clear" but shows up frosted on the window). I probably used about half of it. Here's the after photo:

And here's a close-up photo of the pattern: 

I love it! It looks stylish, gives us tons more privacy than we had before, lets in light, and only cost $6. 

Up next is the front door. I'm almost done painting it (coat two is currently drying in the garage!) and it looks awesome. I think it's the nicest paint job I've done yet. Which is great, as it's right on the front of the house and hard to miss ;)