Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pretty Patio Makeover

This is a post I have been waiting to write for over a year, let me back up and give you some background first.  Early last spring while setting up my patio furniture for the season I took a look around my back patio and thought to myself how boring and tired my brick red patio cushions and umbrellas looked.  The color did nothing for the whole aesthetic of the lovely lush backyard we had been working so hard to create.  So… off to the fabric store I went to look for new outdoor fabrics to enhance the landscape of our outdoor room.  Originally I was looking for some bright red, yellow and green to perk up our tired reds but the more I looked the less I liked the colors, after about two hours of going back and forth and trying different color combinations I finally ended up choosing an array of blues, greens and yellows, some of my favorite colors and new on the popular scene of color choices for interior and fabric design.  The spring and summer flew by and I never got around to making and covering the cushions; just too many things going on in our family.  When spring rolled around this year I was determined to sew up those new cushions and put out all the little accessories I had been collecting over the past year.  I have lots of before and after photos for you so here we go…..  By the way I adore how my new patio makeover came out, it is a pleasure to sit out there, such a peaceful sanctuary it has become.



This is a very pretty after shot, I added new pillows and made new cushions for the bench and footstools and created cushion sleeves for the love seat and chair cushions I purchased on Clearance at Target. I also purchased a new outdoor rug, two umbrellas (all on clearance at Target) and made a nice little centerpiece to place on the glass coffee table. More plants, pillows and a sweet little birdcage complete the picture.  Here are the rest of the before and after shots, what a difference.



I hope you enjoyed all the photos of my Pretty Patio Makeover; it was such a fulfilling project to complete after collecting all the fabrics and accessories for over a year. I loved seeing it come to life after creating the project in my head for so long and having it come out just as I imagined it.  I truly hope it inspires you to look at your outside spaces with new eyes and maybe freshen them up a bit, you will be happy you did.
See you soon.


Monday, August 12, 2013

My New Office

I am back with the final photos of my completed office, well at least for now, I am always mixing things up as my business needs change and grow.  I promised to tell you why I wanted a bigger office so here it is; the larger office is in preparation for the launch of my new on-line pattern business and eventually an on-line fabric & notions shop.  I am so excited about both ventures that I wanted to have everything in place and ready to go as things progressed.  In the past I would start or expand a business with no idea how or where to put it and end up behind the eight ball, not this time around, I am ready with room to grow when necessary.  This new space gives me lots of room and freedom to draft and create patterns without having to go too far to sew up the test samples, just right across the hall; low to no overhead is always good. In my last post I shared some of the accessories I used as the jumping off point for the color and room theme which is blues, greens, yellows and botanical prints, very calm and soothing. I have lots of photos to share so let’s get to it right away since this is a long one with lots of eye candy!

These beginning photos show the desk between two IKEA EXPEDITE bookcases already loaded with office supplies and work binders.  I also used some of the soft sided CLOSETMAID Cubeicals fabric drawers from Target for storage for the things I did not want visible. (I will be doing an organization post on items I used in the room with close up photos.) So far I am not sure about the desk placement, I am not crazy about facing the wall and the added glare to my computer screen, I am thinking of swinging out my desk and facing the window, time will tell.

On the opposite side of the room is another bookcase turned on its side with one of the tower bookcases on the end forming an L shape work/storage area for more supplies, my wireless printer and paper cutters.  Several more bookcases can be stacked on top of each other to create more storage for bolts of fabric down the line. For the time being I can use the top of the bookcase as a work surface for packaging and cutting.  Eventually a cutting table will be added in the middle of the room when I add fabric into the mix. For the time being I left the wall decal up because I like the cool colors which give the room a little added extra playful outdoor feeling.

These are the window wall photos, tough to get a good image with my current camera but you get the idea anyway.  I really love, love, love my new chevron striped curtains the colors are cool to look at and tie all the elements in the room together.  Remember to always have one item in a room which helps to make all the rest of the pieces make sense in some way, either by color, shape, style or theme, in this case it is the drapery that does it in this room.

 I was not pleased with the large space over the desk, something was missing.  I tried all my smaller bulletin boards from my old space but they were lost on that wall.  I took a cruise through my Pinterest boards and found I pinned a lot of large bulletin boards made of all kinds of different materials.  A trip to my outside studio revealed leftover lumber from our kitchen island build out and some foam insulation packing material from a large shipment.  I had what I needed to create my oversize bulletin board I just needed a large piece of fabric to complement the other elements in the room.  After checking my fabric wall I did not find any and since our quilt shop closed I was stuck, off to Target I went to look for sheets, drapes or shower curtains to use in place of bolt fabric.  I found a great shower curtain with just the right botanical print and colors, I was in business.  My hubby cut the board to fit the foam pieces, we sprayed the board with adhesive spray and mounted the foam.  Once it was dry I cut the shower curtain to fit and  used my new heavy duty staple gun to tack down the fabric.  I recommend turning the fabric under before stapling it in place to keep it from ripping.  I added two pieces of ribbon to section off the board just to add a little pizazz and create separate spaces for information. 

I am very happy with how the bulletin board came out, it really pulled the whole work area together with just the right colors.

Last but not least are some photos of where those small bulletin boards from the old office landed in the new office. I decided to use every available space and wall to its fullest extent by placing the smaller boards on the sides of the bookcases next to my desk and my printer.  I also used the other side of the bookcase by my desk to place the blue wall mount envelopes I use to collect my assorted papers and receipts on, no wasted spaces here.  Last but not least I placed the largest of the bulletin boards, my clock and a cabinet on the short wall between the closet and the doorway; it is the smallest space and the one I love the most! 

My new office is light, cheerful and fun, the perfect place to write blogs, design patterns and run a business from, I am a very lucky lady. Thanks for letting me go on and on about my new creative space, I hope it inspires you to possibly add a bit of light and playfulness to your workplace.
See you soon.


Sorry about the font size change, every now and then Blogger gets a technical glitch I have no control over! Yikes!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Office Relocation-Expansion

Recently I read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Jen at IHeart Organization, talking about the changes she was planning to make in her blogging style and content.  The post really spoke to me when she talked about trying to write her posts in real time (as it happens) instead of after the project was completed.  I love the idea and think I will give it a try for any new upcoming projects I plan to do in the next few months.  I do still have a ton of projects I already completed during the spring and summer months so I believe you will get a mixture of both, how fun is that going to be!

With that being said, I am going to share my newest project which is the relocation and expansion of my office from the guestroom into what was the toy room.  If you follow me on a regular basis you already know I completed that project just a year ago, but things and family needs change, the room was not getting any use.  I thought the grandchildren would be here a lot more often then they have been, we usually go visit them at their house a few blocks away so the room sits unused.  My little blue desk was crammed into a small space in the guest room which was fine until I decided to expand my business and blogging enterprises.  I really love that guestroom but I am claustrophobic and the more I worked in there the worse it got, pretty soon I was not working or writing in that tiny space at all, hence the need for change.  It truly made more sense to take over the toy room, all I had to do was move around the Expedite bookcases, reconfigure them to fit my current needs and take out the toys, maybe not quite as easy as I first thought but I did not need to paint or take down any shelving or wall decals, just tweak them all a bit.  Time to share the photos of what we have done so far, here we go.

First up, out came the toys and we took off the long padded cushions we put on the bookcases we turned on their sides to make benches. We also took down the drapes making the room much brighter and more spacious; the room is the smallest one in the house.

We immediately moved around the double and single Expedite bookcases (from IKEA) all around the room trying to decide on the best configuration for the use of the room.  You are probably wondering why we needed all that storage; I will get back to that in a little bit.  Once we had them in place we brought in my small turquoise desk from the guestroom and realized it was way too small for the space and the kind of work I was currently doing.  I really did not want to buy another desk and was totally depressed until my smart Hubby remembered the Art Deco desk I had in storage.  It was totally buried in the absolute farthest corner of our large storage unit piled high with boxes and other stuff; I completely forgot about it! Chalk up one for the Hubby! The desk was used in my outside studio in our old home for over 20 years; since it is metal it could take all the extreme changes in weather and not get damaged at all.  We spent several hours digging out the desk then putting everything back into place.  The monster desk is really big which is why my husband thought it would be perfect for the space, it measures 60” long x 21” wide, a perfect work surface.  We were really worried it would not fit up the stairs and into the space but he managed to muscle it up the stairs and into place without a problem.  I really love the size of the desk top, all the drawer space and how it just fits between the bookcases.  The thing I did not love was the color, it is a nasty mauve/pink, the original color it was painted way back when it was new. It made the bookcases and room look awful, my husband assured me we could get it professionally painted a high gloss white to go with everything else in the room; thank you my darling!

That was as far as we got the first day with all the organization of the storage unit and moving everything around.  You will have to read about the rest tomorrow to see how things progressed.  I will give you a bit of a teaser with some of the accessories I planned to use in the room, they are so pretty!  I decided to keep with my blue theme using several tones of aqua and turquoise and several shades of green with touches of yellow here and there.  I can’t wait for you to see the rest!
See you soon,


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