Monday, April 23, 2012

The New Apartment...the After

We had our first visitors to the new apartment this weekend.  They weren't stay-over visitors, but they were coming so it meant cleaning!  And, since we cleaned the new apartment (yes, some of that meant merely shoving things in closets for the moment), it was a perfect time to snap a few shots of the new place to share.  I hope you all enjoy!

Here's a shot of the Entryway.  It was a great place to put our dental cabinet from Brimfield and our simple, sleek black chair.  It's close enough to the living room that we can pull it in when we need extra seating, but it works great here for taking on and off rain boots.

This is our Living Room.  It's almost the exact same size as our old living room, but set up differently.  Just to the left is the entryway and barely visible to the right are the french doors on to the deck.  Further to the right is....

The Kitchen!  Jessica used some of that fabulous curator knowledge to come up with the idea of hanging our orange metal tray and large wooden serving tray on the wall as art using L-pins.  That way we can spin the pins to get them off the wall when we want to use them, but when they aren't in use they are easily stored and give some decoration to the kitchen.  And, see that spot above the cabinets?  With some clever engineering we were able to use the tops of the cabinets as storage for all our cookbooks.  Yes, I have to stand on the counter to get to them, but at least they are in the kitchen!

Here's Jessica's Office, which will also be used as the Dining Room when we have Dinner Club at our place.  This room is actually twice as large as it appears, but the other half is still housing some unpacked maybe you'll see it later!

And finally here is the sewing/crafting area of the Spare Room that I claimed for my own.  There is also an antique desk in another corner, from which I am writing this post, but I forgot to snap a picture. So, you'll also have to wait to see that. 

I hope you've enjoyed the brief tour of our apartment, and all the new paint colors!  More pictures will eventually crop up as more and more gets done around the apartment, and especially around the back porch...but that project is on hold until all this rain clears away.  I guess I should be glad, it is letting me get away without watering my plants this week.

Have you made a brave and bold color choice lately?  Painted any rooms dark red or bright blue?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Before and After: Stereo Cabinet

Moving into our new apartment has been stressful, exciting, and a challenge.  One of the first challenges we faced was what to do with the television.  Our new living room is about the size and shape of our old living room (narrow and rectangular) but our old set-up just was not going to work.  At our previous apartment, the TV sat on a short bookcase with a large bookcase on either side, which was great since that was the only available place to keep all our books.  However, now that our books are kept in an entirely separate room, we could do something a little less imposing for the TV.

We decided that something light and airy would be perfect, and settled on a mid-century credenza-style TV stand.  After realizing that a credenza might be a bit long for the wall, we decided to keep an open mind, but stick to that sort of look.  Of course, we did not want to just go out and buy something, because we pride ourselves on a nice mix of aesthetics in our apartment: antique, contemporary, refurbished, bold, neutral, etc.  So, after carefully measuring our space, we went on the hunt.  I think we each trolled Craigslist about five times a day, plus stopped in every antique store and resale shop we came across over the last month.  Finally we found something!  Below is a brief history of how we made our new TV stand...

After relentless searching, we finally found this gem on Craigslist last week for.....$50!!!!  I'd say that's a pretty perfect price! 

Now, don't get confused.  After we picked it up and got it home I thought "hmmm...I'll put in dinner and then we can start working on this while it cooks."  Silly Me!  I forgot how we work in our household...something comes in and it INSTANTLY gets started!  By the time I put dinner in the oven, Jess had already taken one of the speaker fronts this is only a sort-of before picture.

As you may have realized with the mention of speaker fronts, this is not a credenza but a mid-century stereo cabinet.  The previous owner had already removed all the internal workings for the stereo, but that just made our job less difficult and much less guilt ridden!  (For the longest time we were finding "working" stereo cabinets online but just couldn't muster the resolve to rip out a perfectly good stereo.)  Since the finish on the wood was in beautiful shape, we did not have to worry about stripping or refinishing. 

We built a shelf to go inside each of our soon-to-be-created cabinets.  One on the right measured to fit the DVD player, old-school Nintendo, and the Wii; and one on the left to hold some of our DVDs. 

When we pulled off the speaker fronts we were left with this...

We removed all the speaker components and the old fabric coverings...being careful to first remove the applied stereo emblem so we could re-attach it later.  It was amazing how many teeny tiny bolts, nuts, and washers were holding this thing on!

Next we covered the speakers with a thin layer of batting to camouflage the holes left by the speakers, and then covered the entire front with some fun fabric purchased for just this occasion.

We decided to go with something modern, but with a vintage feel to compliment the mid-century design.  After wrapping the front tightly and stapling it around back, we cut a piece to cover up the backside so when the door is open you can't see the rough edges.  We didn't want the staples showing, so after turning under the edges it was hot glued in place.

Once the doors were finished, we added gold nobs, replaced the stereo emblem and hinged the doors onto the front of the cabinet.  This is where our major "oops!" moment came in...we had cut down the top of the speakers so they would sit on the outside of the cabinet (they had originally been mounted on the inside) but had forgotten to cut down the sides to allow for the hinges.  However, with some quick thinking from Jess, the doors were mounted and it was ready for the television. 

And here is the finished a sneak peak of the wall color in the living room.

We were pretty pleased with how our first furniture DIY for the new apartment turned out.

Have you ever tried making over a piece of furniture?  Did you find it harder than all those blogs make it look, or easier?  Most importantly, did you follow that good ol' fatherly advice to measure twice and cut once?!?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Before...

March was a CRAZY month!  We painted, we moved, we moved, and we moved some more.  Here are just a few quick pictures from before the painting and after we get things all unpacked I'll get some pictures of our new paint scheme.  Even though it is a rental, we think it is well worth the effort to paint.  I fully believe that a coat of paint is the fastest way to make a place your own.

Enjoy the pictures!

One Bedroom...

And the other...

The Office/Library/Dining Room....

The Living Room above and Kitchen below...

Have you ever painted a rental?