Monday, July 13, 2009

Sneak Peek: My New Office

Here is my new office! I wanted to give everyone a sneak peek, for now. The only thing left to do before I'm 'finished' is install the ceiling lighting I've purchased. Stay tuned for details of this project, including a breakdown of all the costs associated with the new room!

This was my office, before the makeover. So, what do you think? Feel free to share your comments. Thanks!

Painting Furniture 101

One of the key features of my new home office was the use of modern black furniture, instead of the original cherry wood furniture I've had for years. I decided to re-purpose the same furniture by re-painting it in black. This was not as easy as it sounds, but in the end it was still worth it!
At first, we thought spray paint would be the best option, but we soon learned that spraying the furniture black (even after sanding and priming it) did not result in the best finish. We started with the desk, and as you can see below the paint went on blotchy and did not look so great.
A quick trip to Home Depot to return the many cans of spray paint ended up in purchasing interior paint in a Satin finish to complete the project. I had to sand down the desk again, to remove the spray paint, and then applied two coats of paint with a small paint roller. The result: Success! As you can see below, the finish was even and had a nice sheen to it, and best of all, it was QUICK!

Here are pictures of the rest of the furniture, in various stages of repainting.



I hope this inspires you to re-purpose some pieces you have, and save some big bucks buying new furniture. In today's economy, we all need money-saving ideas that keep our house beautiful.
The cost of this project was under $50, including the can of paint and the painting supplies.
{A big thank you to my husband, Victor, for moving the furniture in and out of the office, as well as helping me tape and touch up the tedious corners and drawers of the furniture!}

Friday, July 10, 2009

Do Sweat the Small Stuff: Light Fixtures

When I bought my new home five years ago, I upgraded as much as possible to make sure I could have a home that was beautiful and elegant. However, the upgrades the home builder offered for lighting were still nothing but dull and dreary. I hope the pictures I share with you of the true upgrades I've made in my home inspire you.
In the dining area, I inherited an inverted half-sphere, which was standard but not very appealing. I quickly went out shopping looking for something more dramatic, and found these beautiful pendant lamps to hang over my dining room table. I bought three of them, and set them on a dimmer for mood lighting. I cannot stop receiving compliments on this quick update, which did not cost more than $200.

For the master bedroom, I found this beautiful capiz shell pendant that echoed the light colors of my decor and complements a romantic, airy style. I found this at Cost Plus World Market for under $100, and also put it on a dimmer to up the romance factor in the bedroom.

Every new home comes with these awful Vegas-style dressing room bulbs. I was also quick to replace those in the master bathroom. It really made a world of difference. See for yourself the touch of elegance it brought to the bathroom. These I found at Home Depot, and am sure I did not spend more than $100 on them.