New Year, New Room Refresh – Week 1

It’s week one of the New Year, New Room challenge, and I’m excited to be whipping our guest room into shape over the next month along with these lovely ladies!

I think we all at some point have that room in the house where things just aren’t really working, and for whatever reason you just can’t get things to a place where you’re satisfied with them. That’s been the guest room for me basically since we moved in. It didn’t seem like it needed a lot and so I didn’t give it a lot of attention. There was a point in the spring where I had it in order for a short time. You can catch up on that here: 1) Inspiration for a Bold Blue Bedroom 2) Trial and Errors in the Guest Bedroom 3) Guest Room Update: Paint Reveal

Then a couple of things happened. First, I fell out of the love with the “all pattern all the time” thing I had going on in there. Secondly, we finished the master bedroom and started living upstairs, whereas we’d been using the guest bedroom for our own room for 10 months. With us went a bunch of our stuff, and with the room already looking kind of empty I found myself shopping the room regularly for stuff to use elsewhere in the house.

All of that leads us to the sad state in which you find the guest room today.

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As you can see, I clearly made no attempt to make this look nicer for you or for the benefit of the picture, but neither did I intentionally make it look worse. This is simply how I’ve been living–with a table lamp on the floor for no real reason and a bed adorned with pillows that have no covers.

On the upside, Jellybeans is digging it. A few days ago I couldn’t find her in any of her normal spots and eventually tracked her down right where she is in this picture. Just a dog chilling out on a wool next to one of the hottest vents in the house. The door was closed and she was effectively trapped, but why would she ever want to leave?

Onto my plans for the room. My main goal is to keep it light and bring a greater sense of calm than I had in the previous design scheme. This means using a more limited palette with fewer high energy colors (like red and bright yellow) as well as fewer patterns.

I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but here is my main inspiration, and I am using a few of these elements in the room.

Guest Bedroom inspo2

  1. Double gourd lamp – I’m loving this lamp from the Lamps Plus exclusive lighting collection Color Plus. And ps, if you like browsing paint swatches, you will be in love with the Color Plus collection, too–all the lamps are available in 190 colors based on Sherwin Williams and Pantone and paint shades. I picked West Highland White, which seems a little boring on my part, maybe, but I’m thinking the curvy profile and light color do well to break up the large wall the bed is on.
  2. Vintage desk – I’ve had this yellow desk for a couple years (it’s pictured here in my last house), and I’m planning on bringing it in to do double-duty as a side table and hopefully make the room a little bit more functional day-to-day.
  3. Emerald throw – I fell in love with this Rose Uniacke-designed room in the Copy Cat Chic Instagram feed and was able to get a green throw like the one pictured on clearance a Pottery Barn. You guys know how I love green. And clearance. I’m planning to use white bedding as well.
  4. Land of Infinity art print – I have wanted this photograph by Debra Butler for Minted for ages and ages, and I don’t want to pick favorites, but this *might* be the thing I’m most excited about for this room. My husband grew up in the middle of nowhere with cattle in his backyard, and even though it was not in the West, and he claims that has nothing to do with why he likes this picture, it has a lot to do with why I like this picture.

I’m also hoping to do some other improvements to the room, like replacing the baseboards and maybe painting the upper half of the wall white (above where that random piece of painter’s tape is in the before picture. But realistically I’m filing those in the “maybe” category, since we are still working pretty intently on the hallway right now.

That’s all for me this week, so please check out the other participants! I’m personally super excited to see what everyone has planned.

New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge Participants:

Many, many thanks to our New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge sponsors.

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New Year’s Updates and Announcements

Hello and Happy New Year to all! I don’t know if it makes sense anymore to say I’ve been taking a blog break when I am breaking about as often as not, but in any case, it’s been a while. I hope everyone had a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season, that you shopped in your pajamas, that you ate the requisite amount (or more!) of pumpkin and peppermint things, and that you’re jazzed and ready to go for 2016.

I’m not sure whether I’m ready for it or not. I turned 30 in 2015, and I realized recently that I only ever really thought as far as the year when I turn 30. So 2016 feels like uncharted territory. It’s a new decade, and I’m excited and nervous to see what it brings.

So what have we been up to lately? Personally, I have been eating a lot of candy. And I’m not just saying that to make you feel better about what you’ve been eating. I feel like I need to confess it to someone. For someone over the age of about 12, it’s been a really astounding amount. But as far as the house goes (which seems a little more relevant to this particular venue), we have been working several labor-intensive and frankly not very exciting projects.

Like fixing this big patched area in our upstairs hallway.

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And starting work on our front entryway, tearing out the tile and beginning to refinish the stairs.

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I’m so excited for the green paint in the entryway. I’ve gone with more neutral paint in most of the house, and this little bit of drama feels exactly like what I’ve needed.

I’ve also been scraping popcorn wherever I can, which you can see on the hall ceiling above. Do I love the scraping? NO. I do not. The mess is crazy, and it makes me crazy. But the more I do it the more I realize that I gotta scrape it all. It makes that big of a difference.

So now that I’ve filled you in on what’s been going on around here (scraping, patching, tile demo, painting, candy eating) and justifying the break to myself if not to you, I want to mention a couple of things that are coming up on the blog horizon.

First of all, staring NEXT WEEK, I’m participating in an exciting New Year’s room refresh with a few other awesome bloggers.

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Clearly I need to get motivated in the new year, and I’m really glad to have these ladies to get me moving in a meaningful direction. It’s the perfect time to do a little somethin’ somethin’ to cheer up a neglected space. Not all-out crazy time like I tend to do during these room makeovers (hello One Room Challenge) but something smaller-scale and more doable.

Finally–and this is the big one–though Jellybeans will remain my muse forever and always, I will be retiring White Dog Vintage and migrating to a new blog at the end of this month. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but have hesitated to put a plan in action. Part of this been uncertainty about what I wanted to the new blog to look and feel like, but another big part of it has honestly been fear of losing all you lovely people who read here but–who knows?–may not make the leap with me to a new site. I’m staying with WordPress, so if you follow through WordPress or an RSS feed, you will automatically be following the new site when it switches over, but if follow through Bloglovin’, Feedly, Pocket, or another platform, you will probably have to add the new site with the new address, brittkingery.com (don’t bother checking it out just yet–there’s nothing there at the moment), and I hope you will.

I’ll be posting more about the move before it takes place, so you will have other reminders. But just to give a sneak-peek, here’s a look at the in-progress interface of the new site.

 

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Nothing is set with it yet, and it doesn’t look super realistic because there isn’t any content in it, but I think I hope this gives you some idea of the direction the site will be heading. It’s a little more sophisticated and professional than the site I’ve been using, which I hope will get me feeling enthused to post here more often. Hey, it could happen! I read that people who love their blog design actually do publish more frequently. It could be true, or it could be a ploy to sell WordPress templates. In either case, I was clearly buying.

So that’s the update! Don’t forget to come back next week for the beginning of our room refresh challenge, and stay tuned for more new blog news.

Master Makeover – ORC Week 4

Welcome back to Week 4 of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda at Calling it Home. If you need to catch up on our makeover, check out Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3.

As for Week 4–well, in short, everything seemed to go wrong last week. By everything, I mean our hardwood floors. We were planning to refinish and re-stain the floors, which I repeatedly said were in good shape. I don’t know if I jinxed myself or was just being overly optimistic, but we found out the very hard and dirty way this week that the floors were not, in fact, in good enough shape.

Here’s how it happened. Friday night, we rented a sander to start refinishing the floors. We sanded all Friday night and most of the day on Saturday. From the beginning, there were signs that the floors weren’t going to turn out quite as planned. For one, the discolored areas where the old walls used to be were not sanding out. Also, the floors had been quite dirty, and when they started to clear, it was evident that the wood was much more blotchy, and in some areas, stained than we had realized. After about 3 hours, I was concerned. After about 6-8 hours, I was doubtful. We should have known then that it just wasn’t going to happen. But we wanted to restore these floors so badly that we forged on. It took over 12 hours to sand, condition, and stain the floors. We wrapped that up Saturday night. On Sunday morning, when I opened the bedroom door and saw the floors “finished” (minus poly) for the first time, I was crushed. Here’s a look at one corner.

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I have to admit I had myself a couple pretty good cries on Sunday.

Then I had to remind myself, there’s no crying in the One Room Challenge. You have to keep going. I knew by this point that the only alternative was to paint. At first I thought white would be the way to go, but after putting down primer and getting a sense of how it would look, it felt like one of those dressing room moments when you look in the mirror and say, “It’s pretty, but it’s just not me.” So the floors will be black. High gloss black, because 1) I know from our green floors that polyurethane makes painted floors much easier to clean, 2) since we are going so dark with the color, we need a reflective quality to give back some of that light, and 3) drama.

Here are a few of the rooms that inspired the black paint choice.


Hus & Hem via Desire to Inspire (GO look at this tour–it’s gorgeous!)


via Old Brand New


via Milk Magazine


via Paige Morse Creative

The black is super chic, right? It can look stark (the pics of the room right now are still a little scary–hopefully I can share some sneek peeks next week), but with a lot of texture and natural elements, it feels cozy and inviting. With our large, colorful rug, plenty of other textiles, warm wood furniture, and a few plants, I think it will suit the room well. Had I known from the start the floors would be black, I might have gone with a straight-up white on the walls, but as it is, we are using a very light, warm gray (SW Icy Avalanche), and it looks good, too.

Possibly the worst news is that the failed stain job set us back about 5 days. Not only did we waste a bunch of time with the marathon sanding, but because we put down oil-based stain, we had to wait 2-3 days, then put down a oil-based primer before we could apply the floor paint. We will polyurethane the floors tonight, then we’ll have to wait a week before furniture can be moved in. It’s going to be down to the wire for us for sure.

Anyway, if you’re still reading this tale of woe, thanks for sticking it out. The design plan is going to stay the same generally, but in a way I feel the vibe of the room is going to be different than I had originally imagined. The wallpaper that everyone generously weighed in on last week (thank you for that!) is pretty much ruled out. I definitely think it would be over the top with the bright rug and dramatic floors.

Hoping to have happy news for next week’s (final–eeeeek!) progress post.

Now head on over to Calling it Home and check out the other participants’ progress. We’re getting close to the end, and I can’t wait to see how all these fab projects are getting on!

Master Makeover – ORC Week 3

In the ” worse before it gets better” trajectory of a renovation, we have so far been stuck in the “worse” phase of our master bedroom. If you missed weeks one and two, you can see the project introduction and before pictures here and the first week progress and mood board here. To briefly recap, we are doing a floor-to-ceiling reno of our master bedroom that has so far included scraping the ceilings, tearing out the carpet, and laying and patching some of the original flooring (more on that in a bit). Justin has said to me a few times  that “this is as bad as it will get,” and he may finally be right. After discovering plywood in both closets and several sunken or split boards in the floor, the patching is done, and the makeshift carpenter’s shop that popped up will soon exit the bedroom. We plan to sand and refinish the floors this weekend, and after that, things should start to get cleaner and more orderly. Fast! That’s the hope anyway.

Here are a couple of mess/progress shots from this week.

IMG_7600floor beforefloor after

Very glamorous over here this week, you guys.

I also promised to breakdown the mood board for you in this post–which I will–but it took only since last week for the plan to change, or at least for a few question marks to crop up.

Here’s what I started out with:

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  1. Pattern People for Hygge & West Forest Floor wallpaper – Early in the project I was really committed to putting wallpaper on the wall behind the bed, basically to emphasize the focal point and give some added visual interest since we aren’t using curtains. As the room is getting painted, though, I’m less and less sure about the wallpaper. I still absolutely love the design, but the plain wall looks so serene (remember it from last week?). My taste usually tends to land on the side of MORE but I’m wondering if that’s the right call here. It’s a dense pattern with lots of movement and really packs a punch, but I’m not sure whether I want this room to punch in that particular way. I figure I can always order it later if the room starts to feel lacking, but I know Justin would politely but firmly pretend to not hear me if I ask to take it down in 6 months. What’s your feeling? Wallpaper or no?
  2. Photograph of Positano – Lots of wall space for art in this room, and photos of the Italian coast have really been speaking to me as a (half) Italian girl. We also thrifted a large vintage poster over the weekend, so if I can sneak “build custom frame” onto Justin’s to-do list, it could also be an option.
  3. Glass lamp with cork shade – We’ve had these lamps and shades from Target (the smaller version of the ones linked) for a few years, and the cork works well with the “natural elements” aspect of my design plan.
  4. Broyhill Brasilia nightstands – These are our existing nightstands, and they’re so fabulous I would never really think of replacing them. We also have a mid-century dresser set that will be going in the room (you can see it in our old bedroom here).
  5. CB2 Alchemy Bed – Pulling a little bait-and-switch on you with this one. This gorgeous bed is actually not the one we’re using. Instead, we got the trusty Ikea Tarva bed, which I’ll be painting black (matte or gloss TBD, but opinions welcome). BUT, I needed a black bed for the mood board. The Tarva’s original natural wood just did not give the right effect, while this lovely bed is truly the stuff of dreams.
  6. Red Afghan Rug – My lovely red “accident” rug (see week one for more details) has grown on me a lot since it first arrived, and I can’t wait to see how it looks in the room. I bought it on eBay from this seller–just beware the coloring in the photos.
  7. H&M Cotton Pillow – I love these H&M pillow covers. They’re REALLY reasonably priced and nice, too! Ikea sells 20×20 pillow forms for like $6, so I’m going to grab a couple of those and call it a day for only about $30 for both.
  8. H&M Velvet Pillow
  9. CB2 Mint Lumbar Pillow – I’m not at all pleased to tell you that after 10 days of waiting impatiently for this pillow to arrive, I noticed in my order that it is backordered, and CB2 reports it will not be in stock by the end of the ORC. So, I’m going to buy only the pillow form and make the cover myself.

Wallpaper thoughts, PLEASE! I feel you need to be really, really, really sold on wallpapering before you hang anything, so maybe the fact that I’m second guessing it is my answer right there.

Also don’t forget to check out the rest of the linking participants over at Calling it Home!

Living Room Update | 1

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Hello again, friends. It’s been a while (again) since I posted, and to tell you the truth I had to scramble to finish this post to get it out on August 31st and avoid having a calendar month that contained zero posts. But as the saying goes, something is better than nothing, and the something that I have for you today is, in fact, pretty good! I left you last time with an update on the dining room, since we had just (at the time) done a switcheroo with our living/dining room spaces. I promised you then an update on the new (at the time) living room space, and I finally have that for you today!

Let’s start from the very top with this space. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in in February.

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Next, we have the dining room phase. This was part one of the dining room phase, when we still had our round table. There was a part two of this phase in which we had our current table in this space, but let’s just skip that, mmmkay? The dining room phase in all its parts was clearly a misguided phase.

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And finally the current much-improved living room space!

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Tons better, right? I realized I never even posted a picture of the living room furniture in the other space, and that’s because it never really worked in that space enough for me to want to show it to you. Even though this space is smaller, it’s much better suited for furniture to be grouped for conversation, and of course it will be nice to use our fireplace in our actual living room during the winter.

One of the reasons we initially didn’t want to use this space for the living room was that we didn’t want the TV over the fireplace. It wasn’t even so much for design reasons that we wanted to avoid this as for a host of other logistical inconveniences, including: uneven mantle, need to potentially drill into brick, lack of ready electrical source, presence of ready heat source in close proximity several months out of the year. The solution we came up with was to house the TV on a bookcase on an adjacent wall.

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I like to think this maintains the fireplace as the focal point of the room. The TV is still a little bit of an eyesore, but I hope as I get around to hanging things on the wall it will become less attention-getting. Ps, the TV console is an Ikea Billy bookcase to which we added the nifty Morliden glass doors. I love how much more custom the doors make the piece look. Right now I have them lined with fabric, but I could see doing marble paper, or a cool printed gift wrap or wall paper.

All in all, the living room is in pretty good shape, but there are still a couple projects left from the master list:

  • Refinish floors
  • Paint
  • Replace trim
  • New light fixture

Justin has been working on installing the trim (which I can’t wait to show you), but it’s definitely still going to take some time before it’s all in. We also have to add that list to replace the weights inside the windows that allow them to be raised/lowered. They were removed at some point in time and for who knows what unimaginable reason, but Justin is going to repair them when he removes the window trim. Thank goodness he is so handy because I already broke one storm window all by myself–I’d be living with Saran Wrap over all the windows in no time.

I do plan to be back with more regular updates and content as we move into fall and (say it ain’t so) winter, so hopefully there won’t be any more long periods of radio silence on my end. Hope you’ve all had a lovely summer! I bought a water color set and have been painting as gleefully as (and definitely no more skillfully than) a five year old. What have you been up to lately?

Dining Room Update | 2

Vintage bar setup

Hello again. It’s been a little while since I’ve had anything new for you, though I honestly didn’t realize how long until I looked at the date of my last post. The summer is positively flying by, and I’m mostly just confused whenever I consult a calendar. Can it really be July already? As I have said many, many times here on the blog, I hate winter, so you can imagine that I’m really relishing the long, warm days and plentiful sunlight. I have eaten boxes upon boxes of push-pops and creamsicles and biked through my neighborhood at dusk wearing inappropriate shoes–it’s been quite wonderful. Now if only time would slow down, or summer would last forever, things would be perfect.

Amidst all the summer revelry, we have still managed to get in some projects around the house. We’re trying to get the main floor in a DONE-ish sort of place this summer so that we can start working on the upstairs a bit in the fall. I’m rarely a girl to take one project at a time, but after having a prolonged mess on the first floor from February until very recently, it feels good to say “not now” to some things.

I think that part of the reason I ended up taking a break the last few weeks was that even as we were moving forward with projects on the first floor, things weren’t really clicking. I felt frustrated and uninspired. Thankfully–miraculously even–a couple tweaks to the floor plan was all it took to get back on track.

When our house was on the market, the previous owner had flipped the floor plan and was using the living room as the dining room (and vice versa) as shown in the MLS photo below. At the time it seemed to work really well.

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Beyond seeing the furniture arranged this way, we’d also just we bought a massive couch (more about that here and here) that fit exactly into the window nook, so it seemed logical that we would use the flipped floor plan, too.

At first was okay, but as time went on, I liked the living room in this space less and less. Directly in front of the couch was the walkway to the kitchen, so traffic was constantly passing right through the middle of the room, and it was hard to arrange the furniture well for conversation. At the same time, the dining room space wasn’t working either. The table blocked the fireplace, and with a full set of 6 chairs, the room felt small and strange.

For all these reasons–and also for the sake of curiosity–I wanted to try switching around the living room/dining room furniture and testing it out with the intended floor plan. As soon as we moved the furniture, both spaces immediately made a lot more sense. The small dining room was cozy and inviting when arranged as the living room; the living room could be divided into a dining space and a display space with a natural walkway that didn’t disrupt the rest of the room. It just WORKED.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught a sneak peak of how things are looking in the new living room at the moment.

Blue living room decor ideas

I’ll be sharing more of that space next, but for now I want to look at what’s up in the new dining room. If you missed (or just plain forgot about) previous dining room posts, you can see them here:

IMG_5710-2Eclectic vintage living roomBissman dining table Ikea kallax shelving. Bookcase styling. Ikea kallax for record storage.

There’s still a lot to do in this room (like finish baseboards and window trim) and with the decor. We are searching for a bigger rug the chairs can sit on more comfortably, and once we’ve found that, I’m going to reupholster the dining chairs and paint the bench. The bench actually came in from our deck, so I’m not sure what we might do with it in the future. I’d like to possibly change out the legs at some point, but for now, it’s really sturdy takes up a lot less visual space than chairs, so I think it’s a step in the right direction.

How has your summer been so far?

Kitchen Update | ORC Reveal!

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to finally get to show you the kitchen makeover we’ve finished over the last six weeks as part of the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. I’m going to get to the pictures stat, but first, you can find updates from the last five weeks here: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5.

Now, without further ado…

Before
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After
White cabinets + green painted floorsGreen floors and white subway tile in bright kitchen

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White cabinets with white subway tile.

Open cabinetry in small kitchenGlass front cabinets. Displaying dishes in open cabinets.Plants as decor in the kitchenSmall bright kitchen; all white kitchenStyling in the kitchenIMG_6481IMG_6464 Bohemian modern decor with rattan and plants

Finishing this project in five weeks was definitely a challenge, but seeing the room come together has been incredibly satisfying. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that we just moved into this house three months ago, and since then we’ve spent a lot of time making and living in messes. In the few days since we wrapped up the project, we’ve SO enjoyed spending time in a complete, clean, and beautiful space that really feels like us. I love everything, but the green floors are obviously the pièce de résistance. They’ve got to be one of the best decisions I’ve made, maybe ever.

From the beginning, I’ve really emphasized that we were doing this makeover on a budget, with the goal of staying under $400. Even though we doubled the amount of tile we installed, I’m happy to say we made it! Here’s how it all broke down.

  • Wall paint – Leftover from living room
  • Cabinet paint – $21
  • Floor paint – $35
  • Polyurethane – $50
  • Spray primer for brick – $4
  • Cabinet hardware – $5 ($85 paid – $80 made from selling our old hardware)
  • Plexiglass for cabinet doors – $21
  • Silicone for installing plexiglass – $4
  • Trim for installing plexiglass – $20
  • Subway tile – $80
  • Tile saw – $50 (split purchase with friend)
  • Tile grout – Had from previous project
  • Tile adhesive – Had from previous project
  • Over-the-sink light – $15
  • Flush mount LED lights for sunroom – $60
  • White outlet receptacles and switch plates – $15
  • Microwave – $-40 (Yes, we made money on the microwave by selling our over-the-range model and buying a less expensive countertop model.)

Which comes to a grand total of $340!! Obviously I feel awesome about the investment we made in this space and the bang we got for our buck.

It’s pretty obvious, too, that this project would never have gotten off the ground without Justin’s tireless, unflagging help and support. You cannot even imagine how much I have talked out loud, hogged the computer, decided things, undecided things, bought stuff, returned stuff, left paint brushes in the sink, left power tools in the rain (they still worked though), and NOT cooked suitable food over the last five weeks (while constantly adding more tasks to the project). So thanks very much to my lovely, saintly husband.

And thanks to everyone who encouraged me here! This was my first time participating in the One Room Challenge, and I had a blast! I’ve already decided on the room I’ll be making over for the fall edition of the challenge, so now I have an excuse to procrastinate on it for the next 5 months. 🙂

Now get on over to Calling it Home and check out lots more amazing reveals. If you haven’t checked out any of the other projects before, today is definitely the day!