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Decorating

After a much longer than intended absence, I am back! Back with an update on some winter cleaning! I was recently talking with a co-worker about how big my closet is and how it’s organized, but it could stand a little tidying up. You know how it goes – you move into your house or condo or apartment and get everything all set up and organized and over time as you go through your daily routine, things start to get a little less organized here and there. As I was putting away my luggage from a recent trip I got into a clean-things-out-and-organize mood, so I did just that.

Mostly I needed to clean up the top shelf of my closet, which was occupied by a bunch of stuff I never use and really probably didn’t need and I’d been itching to reorganize my little jewelry table.

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You can see that my top shelf is pretty functional and my milk crates add another layer of shelving while separating things like my scarves (these are just the thick winter scarves along with hats and gloves – the thinner scarves hang on a hanger in the far back left) so they don’t get all disorganized and they’ll stack higher. I’ve also got two bags full of bags. One is gift bags and tissue paper and the other is a tote I have my clutches and small purses in. Then in the back of my closet is my yarn stash and fabrics/threads for sewing. Lets just ignore that I have THAT much yarn, shall we? You can also see in the foreground some sheets and all my sandals. We don’t have a linen closet and I don’t remove things from my closet seasonally. Blame it on living in Texas and always needing to have sandals handy!

I organize my clothes by type too starting with sleeveless shirts and working back to dresses and then pants and skirts. Within each type, they are rainbow organized. If nothing else, I can tell when someone has borrowed my clothes without asking me. This came in quite handy in college. Hah.

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This is the left wall of the closet and the aforementioned jewelry (and sunglasses) that needed a little love. I still don’t love the way this is organized and am hoping to get a different sort of system…something like this. Right now all my earrings are in a broken plastic thing I got from container store when I moved to New York in 2006, so an upgrade could be a good thing.

Anyway, that’s my update on some little tweaks I’ve made and a nice peak into my huge closet that I’m super grateful for! How do you organize your closet? Got any tips or ideas for me?

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I like painting. I like painted, colorful walls. Everywhere I have lived for the last 7 years has had white walls and I haven’t stayed long enough to warrant painting. When we moved into our new apartment a couple of months ago, there was this perfect, curved wall leading into our apartment that I thought lent itself PERFECTLY to being painted. Stripes specifically. I thought it would be perfect to draw you into the apartment and I thought it would give a nice visual. The hubs said he trusted me and agreed that we could paint the wall, so we did.

Here’s where we started:

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My friend, Christi, came over and helped since she had recently painted her own striped wall in her apartment. We measured down the wall and marked where the tape lines should be to make sure everything was even. The taping took us forever. We were using a level and it turns out my level wasn’t level, so we had each took the tape on one end of the wall, pulled it across to the markings on either end and then went back and measured in the middle to be sure we kept the lines straight. We measured in centimeters and millimeters and were a couple of millimeters off in a few places, but in the grand scheme of things you really can’t tell. Also, we had been trying to get the wall taped correctly for hours (literally), so we were in that place where we just went with it. On top of that, there are a couple of funky places in the wall where you can tell the dry wall was seamed/pieced together and that was throwing off the evenness of everything too. All in all, the taping (by far) took the longest.

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Then we painted. We used Valspar Eggshell paint from Lowe’s in a grey color. We started to notice that as it was drying, it didn’t look dry. You can tell in the pictures below. Then we realized it was because of the eggshell finish. For whatever reason, with grey paint and an eggshell finish, you can see every single stroke the roller made. We tried going over it a couple of times to even it out, but it never quite worked and it drove the hubs crazy. He wanted to paint over it with flat paint, but since taping was such a nightmare the first time around, I told him I’d have no part in doing it again.

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So, he did it himself, but I did end up helping with the majority of the re-taping. It wasn’t quite as much of a nightmare this time around since we already had the proper lines to follow and because I cared a little less. So, here is it re-taped and being re-painted.

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Here’s the finished product (with our unfinished entry way in the background). Doesn’t it look good?!? We love it!

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The biggest thing I learned from this experience that I think people really need to know is, if you’re going to paint something grey, use a flat paint!

This weekend we had our housewarming. I don’t feel like the apartment is complete yet, but it is getting there. I am waiting for a few finishing touches and will get some pictures posted soon!

I spent most of Friday night and Saturday preparing for the party. Here is what my food spread looked like minus the cake. I still needed to frost it, but wanted to be sure I got a picture before everyone arrived.

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My decorations made me really happy. I ordered washi tape and striped straws from Cute Tape and used the washi tape to accent both of my vases. The gladiolus came from the Daley Center farmer’s market and I think the colors were pretty perfect. I buy these almost every week; they make such a statement and remind me of my childhood, so they’re two-fors.

I made the “Home Sweet Home” and “Welcome” signs while at my parents’ last weekend with thick paper from Hobby Lobby, some cheap ribbon, a glue gun and a Sharpie.  It was a quick easy project and I’m happy with the way it turned out.  I did, however, burn myself pretty good with the hot glue gun, which is the worst.  Once you get it on you, there’s no way around a burn.  Be careful with those things!

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Next was the food.  I spent some of Friday and most of Saturday preparing this food.  I tried to keep it simple, but I’m not very good at that.  I figured since the party started at 8, we didn’t need anything other than munchies, so we had a veggie tray, crackers, cheese & meat spread, chips & salsa (at my husband’s request), and spinach dip in a bread bowl.  For sweets we had chocolate chip cookies (I shared the recipe here) with Peanut Butter M&Ms instead of chocolate chips, pumpkin spice cookies, brownies, and a chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting that I made from scratch.  I hadn’t made a cake from scratch in years and I was really, really happy with the way it turned out.  I used this recipe from Kimberly Taylor Images that I found on Pinterest – I definitely want to make this again and again.

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All in all, it was a pretty fun party. We were able to spend the evening with a good group people and it allowed me to have a nice weekend creative outlet. Hopefully our guests enjoyed themselves and will want to come again for the next party!

A quick update on our apartment!  A housewarming party has been scheduled and it is starting to feel like home.  By the time I get home today our entire apartment will have a coat of fresh white paint on it.   Our chairs (pictured here) are finally being delivered on Tuesday.  I have ordered all the pillows I have on the couch here from Etsy.  The pillows in the chairs have been purchased from West Elm.  The rest of this room is all in place.


Next weekend I will be painting one of our walls to look like this and hanging art on our walls.

Photo Source: The Inspired Room

We’ve also gotten all of our new bedding.  I cannot wait to get everything into place.  It’s starting to come together.  Once I feel like everything is all put together, I’ll post some pictures.  Maybe I should have taken before shots.  Too late now!

So, what do you think of the pillows?  I feel like they’re really going to help add some color that was much needed in the room.

Again, while catching up on my Google Reader over the course of the weekend, I came across this tutorial for these adorable polka dot bottles/vases.  Would it look silly if I piled these all over my house??

Definitely check out the tutorial on Ruffled.

The colors pictured would be so pretty for New Years Eve.  I am imagining multi-colored polka dots for a children’s birthday or a summer bbq.  These are so simple and look like they’re so quick to do.  Maybe these will be my new housewarming gift for everyone I know.

The hubs and I are now in our new apartment and in the process of getting settled.  I think we’re down to 5 boxes and he considers them all mine.  But, what’s mine is yours, right?

To go with our new livingroom, we were in desperate need of new lamps.  We decided to put the lamps we had in our livingroom in NY in our bedroom here and the lamps we had in our bedroom in NY are now in our guest bedroom (which we didn’t have in NY).  Until we got new lamps, our old livingroom lamps were in the livingroom so we had some light since that’s where we spend the majority of our time and our bedroom was just dark after sundown.

On a furniture scouting trip I took at the beginning of July, I spotted these beautiful lamps at World Market and loved them.

They go perfectly with the look I want in the livingroom.  Friday night, the hubs and I ran some errands after work, which included walking miles and miles and miles to get these lovelies.  They are now in our livingroom (with white shades), the old lamps are in our bedroom and we’re no longer in the dark at night, which means reading in bed (yay!)!

They look pretty gold here, but in person they look silver.  Full pictures of the livingroom will come as soon as we get the chairs we ordered from West Elm – which I learned yesterday will probably be October rather than the September time frame they quoted us.  Can’t wait!

On Sunday, the hubs and I went out to pick up some things for the new apartment.  I’m super excited about our purchases and can’t wait to get them into our new apartment.  Most all of these things were featured in the picture I posted here, but we picked up a few additional items too.  I’ll post some pictures once we get into the new apartment and get a bit settled.  Here’s a look at what we got!

Industrial Stool from West Elm
Sweep Upholstered Armchair in Performance Velvet color Lagoon from West Elm
8’2×10’6 Stockholm Rand Rug from Ikea
Vase from World Market
Stria 3-drawer Dresser from West Elm
Stria 6-drawer Dresser from West Elm

The Dressers almost became an issue at West Elm and we almost walked out without buying anything at all because they’ve marked up the price by $100 each in roughly the last week.  I had the catalog with me that I got in the mail last week, but they wouldn’t honor the lower price.  Luckily, the hubs noticed the floor model still had the lower price on it, so we told them they had to honor it or we were going to walk away with nothing.  I’m so glad they ended up over riding the computer price because I really wanted those dressers & chairs!  The stools were an impulse purchase (of the hubs, not me), but we really like them and we’re excited to have them.

More to come on the apartment decorating front, you can count on it!