Organizing More of the Garage

I find sometimes that if I have too much to do, I tend to find a reason to organize. This weekend, I was frustrated by trying to find the right hardware to finish my sewing room updates and overwhelmed by how much I had to do, I instead opted to tackle organizing the front five cabinets of my garage. I even just jumped on it so quickly that I was nearly completed before I realized that I hadn’t taken any “before” photos. Sigh. Trust me when I say these cabinets were a mess and this really had been a long time in coming.

When we moved into the house over ten years ago, I spent the first year making the house exactly as I wanted it. And that included cabinets from here to Sunday to keep things neat and organized. The garage was no exception. But time takes its toll and before you know it, things are a mess again.

I will just show you the “after” shots. We (me and The Kid) added shelves and additional organizers. Total cost about $200.

DSCN2746These are the existing cabinets… they run across the entire back of the garage. We had them installed by California Closets when we first arrived. There is nothing better than having cabinets with doors, so when everything isn’t perfect you can just hide it from the world!

 

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The first cabinet got the most in the makeover. New organizers for nuts, bolts, screws, nails… all those little pieces of hardware necessary to build, assemble and fix.

DSCN2749Second cabinet… luckily the rags and paint cloths were already in a fairly neat pile in the drawers. The upper cabinet was rearranged, moving most of the nuts and bolts from this cabinet to the next. I re-used some of the old organizers here and left untouched the scoundrel piece that started it all: that little drawer unit in the bottom cabinet.

 

DSCN2751Another cabinet without much updating. The one thing I did do was add additional shelves to all the cabinets… that is the most amazing trick to organizing that I know.

DSCN2752Another trick is to throw out stuff you know you will never use. Or collect what is still useful and donate it to your favorite thrift store or give it away on CraigsList.

DSCN2753This cabinet isn’t my stuff… this is plumbing supplies that belong to the resident plumber. Rather than try to do too much here, I simply removed anything that wasn’t plumbing supplies and added the third shelf. If nothing else, it looks more organized!

Lastly, I did actually do some work on one small project. I have four very large and spindly plants that need to be re-potted and provided with some nutrients and fertilizers. To get started I bought a very large clay pot and saucer and primed them and then painted them red. Once I allow them to “cure”, I will transplant all those plants into that pot. And get healthier, I hope.

DSCN2755But in doing the painting, I realized that I am really in need of “paint booth”. Somewhere that I can always paint, and not worry about the painting floating beyond that space and landing on things that it shouldn’t land on. I learned that lesson a very expensive way, when painting a large project – somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 cans of white spray paint – that a large portion had landed and coated my sports car, also parked on the other half of the garage. It cost me almost $400 to get that taken care of. I am a bit more careful to never have my car in the garage while painting, but it needs to go further than that. A temporary “wall” of cardboard was put up to help, but there needs a more solid way to deal with it.

Soon, I will be undertaking that project. In one short afternoon, I think I have figured out how to use PVC piping and connectors to hang either heavy duty plastic or canvas to form a small paint booth. When not in use, I will simply push the curtains back to opposite corners. I am pretty good when it comes to planning. Cross your fingers that it works like it should.

julie

From a Desk Into A Tower of Drawers

Some time back I came up with a solution to the thousands of skeins of embroidery thread that I bought and collected over the years (and in anticipation of a very large cross stitch project) by using those boxes designed for storing photographs.

While this did work for a while, I found that it wasn’t pleasing to the eye and if you needed a color that was at or near the bottom, it became a bit of a pain to have to move all of the boxes to get to the one that you needed. I started looking around for something different.

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During one of my routine trips to thrift stores, I found a very cute and very well made children’s desk. Of course I hadn’t taken a photo before The Kid started taking it apart, but this will give you kind of an idea of what it looked like before we started. The drawers were removed and set aside for painting.

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Removing four screws and the top came right off. Then the supports between the two base sections also came right off, when you find well made furniture it doesn’t have an over abundance of glue or nails used. I suspect this is late 1930’s or maybe early 1940’s.

One half was flipper over and we removed the “feet” section. Again, four screws.

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Then one piece was set on top of the other. We simply used the same holes used to originally assemble it to attach one piece to the other. Bonus!

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There were some holes and a little bit of damage where the back support had been attached, so a little wood putty and some sanding and it was ready for priming.

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I knew I was going to paint it my signature red, so the primer was tinted almost the same color. Less coats of paint to get a rich red.

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Drawers were also prepped for painting the same way:

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We built the cabinet top from paint stir sticks. You can see the whole process here. We just laid the top down and flipped the cabinet upside down and attached it, again, using the existing screw holes. Here you can see my “assistant” helping!

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And more paint. We also had to fill in the gaps of where the two cabinets came together, that was a little trickier.

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After several coats of paint (yes, that it what is required when you’ve chosen such a deep red color) and new drawer pulls and viola! Here is the cabinet in the front entry.

Red Thread CabinetShortly after, it was moved to next to one of two re-purposed china cabinets in my living room. And all of the embroidery thread was then transferred from the boxes to the cabinet.

Since I’ve been working so much, I haven’t had a chance to finish up any projects… so am using the time to get caught up in writing about previous projects. The blog (actually “blogS” as I have another) seem to be a third almost full time job as well. But I love it all!

julie

 

 

Wind Chimes Redux

I love wind chimes. I heard once that the music from wind chimes will prevent evil spirits from entering your home. I kind of like the sound of that. But what I really love is the music that comes from wind chimes.

When we moved into our new home, I knew that I had to hang chimes. Not those twinkly little chimes, but large, full chimes that ‘bong’. Almost like church organs. It didn’t take long for me to have the roof lines of both decks lined with wind chimes.

But, as things do with time, the chimes began to break down. We would find tubes or hangers of various chimes on the ground below the decks. I would dutifully collect the pieces and soon, I had a box full of tubes.

With the advent of spring and the upcoming neighborhood garage sales, I knew that I would have to get this project completed. I had done this once before (you can see the blog post here) but there was a big flaw in my execution.

This time around, I determined to do it better. The design had two 2×2’s about 36 inches long, with two shorter pieces at each end. Then the pieces were bolted together (thanks to the help of The Kid).

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Once this was done, we drilled holes about one inch apart for the length of the open portion, which turned out to be right at 30″. Then it was just a matter of threading the tubes on, varying the length and colors for an interesting look.

Once complete on both sides, all that remained was to add the change for hanging. I threaded two eye bolts on each end and ran a short length of chain between them. Then, using the remainder of the chain, I threaded the chain between the ends.

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Then, it was time to hang the chimes.

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The chimes were hung at the right time… we’re expecting a typical Midwest thunderstorm which promises to bring some wind which will equal some beautiful chime music.

I was able to hang it alongside of the other chimes that I created at the same time. This one has lasted much longer. It was created using a enameled pot lid and half of a dozen enamel-wear spoons, using a large ladle as the clanger, topped off with a small cup. I love the way this turned out (you all know my love of red and white)!

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Whenever I go thrifting (as I call visiting thrift stores) I am always on the lookout for unique pieces that might make for interesting chimes. Below are the pieces next up for an interesting chime, the base is a red colander and the clanger is a small colander in silver. I think this will make for a unique chime in the end.

Collander ChimesI had written this particular post and made the mistake of not saving it. So this is the second re-write and I am sorry, but I am sure that I missed some important parts in the re-writing. Please, if you have questions, I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

julie

Tale of Four Victrolas, Part Red

So, with the last post, I began telling you about four old Victrola cabinets that I picked up for free from CraigsList. I showed you the first (along with a purple vanity makeover) and here is the second Victrola cabinet.

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Technically, this cabinet isn’t a Victrola, but the brand name is Cecilian. Personally, I’ve never heard of that brand, so out of convenience, I will just refer to as a Victrola cabinet. :-) This one is the one of the left in the picture above.

This next cabinet was destined for the same treatment as the turquoise one, until it hit me one day. I have a little area of the dining room table where I do bills and mail. I have, for some time, been trying to get the dining room table cleared, so that we could, oh, I dunno, eat dinner there?

So, I opted to keep this one and turned it into a mail organization station. I think it was kind of inevitable, considering that it was already painted the perfect red (remember how much I love red?)… which, I assure you was coincidental.

This particular cabinet started out much like the last. The body was in need of some real reconstruction, but the top was in pretty good shape. So, the body was primed, sanded and painted and the top got the customary two coats of walnut stain (with a light sanding in between) and then two coats of polyurethane. Once I decided to keep this one, I opted for some really nice hardware (read: paid some real money!) and got just the right look.

The inside was finished, again, much the same way as the first. Hate to be redundant because I am feeling like I am starting to sound like a broken record, but the inside was so nicely preserved that really a good wipe down with cloth and then a very light coat of poly to seal it all.

DSCN2397Then, with the help of my handy assistant, we installed two metal rods to hang folders in the open side. It was really very easy and inexpensive. The 5 foot steel rod was a mere two and a half dollars at The HomeDepot and The Kid was able to cut them easily and a couple of drilled holes and they were installed. I had this little pencil holder gadget from something I had taken apart in the past, and I thought it was the perfect finishing piece to keep a pen or two handy.

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The other side, I left without any changes (I think this was where the records were kept when it was a music player), so I can keep whatever I need close at hand.

DSCN2398So, after completing it, it was a matter of pushing it into place and loading it up. I know that I have a habit of filling up a space (and then some!) and I am worried this is a little much for the space. I’d like to think that if it helps me organize the space, then it should be okay. What do you think?

DSCN2396So, originally when I thought that the piece would be for sale, I painted a matching mirror. If you recall, I picked up three of these mirrors from the Penney’s Outlet store for a pittance and the idea was to include one with each of the cabinets.

I definitely don’t have space for a mirror in this room, since this one is pretty much filled with windows. So, I will either include this with something else or sell it by itself. Either way, I love that red! ;-)

DSCN2406Okay, now I am down to the last two cabinets. One will require that we build a new lid but I am excited that the Kid and I have the skills to do this. I promise I will take more pictures!

Today was an ‘off’ day, I think that the Kid and me deserved to sleep in late. Right back at it tomorrow though!

julie

 

One More Denim (Finished a While Ago)

I know I made the proclamation that I wasn’t going to make any more quilts in denim for a while, but I actually did complete this some time ago and have had it stashed for a while. I finally when through the inventory in the guest bedroom, I ran across this one (and one other) that I have opted to place for sale on eBay.

DSCN2298I love the nuance in the shades of the denim, and I love the idea of the life that was worn into each of the squares of denim and then rescued and displayed in the quilt. The paisley fabric I chose for the trim looks almost like bandana material, and just compliments the denim. There is a small print red heart fabric on the back that really gives the calming influence of the blues and white – a nice contrast.

photo 1For what it is worth, this is the other quilt – also finished sometime ago – and going up on eBay:

DSCN2300I used the same fabric as in the sashing for the back. This is just hard candy colors and sometimes it is just fun to play with the dynamic colors. I could see this as a quilt for a boy or a girl that just graduated from a crib to a “big kid” bed. Or to hang on the wall of a nursery or kid’s room. I hope that someone buys it and loves the colors and the happy feeling that comes from it.

Okay, that’s it for today. I am in a very weird place… kind of in-between everything. I can’t really get excited about working on anything new and really, I shouldn’t be starting anything when I have so much to finish. But I really am having a tough time really getting back to the already-started-pieces because it means that there it will require working in the garage and the temps just aren’t all that comfortable. And that is probably just an excuse, I just am unable to get motivated.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

julie

More Denim, This Is It For a While…

Okay, I persevered and finished another denim quilt. This one fought a long and hard battle. It is the first time that I had to really rip seams and fix mistaken cuts. And not just once. And to add to the fighting, the weight of all that denim had me uttering choice phrases to the sewing machine. I even had to throw my hands up in defeat and leave it for a couple of days while I pondered the best way to finish it.

I think it all boiled down to four diagonal set-in seams. I have never been a big fan of set-in seams anyway, but that they were on a bias and diagonal didn’t help. Oh and yeah, broke four! needles in the process. Denim is not kind but I love the end result.

IMG_6145Now I have three more denim tops completed and have really paired down my stash of recycled denim, I am going to swear off working with it for a while. I flipped through a few books and magazines that I’ve marked with possible ideas but nothing seems to be sparking or lighting a fire under me. Maybe I need to take a break from sewing and concentrate on finishing at least one or two of the Victrola cabinets that I picked up a few weeks ago.

I’ve decided with one that I am going to turn into a little bar… with a little ice tub and a place for bottles and decanters and store glasses and napkins in the cabinet where albums were kept. I am thinking a walnut stained top and painting the cabinet a deep brown. The other cabinet is going to be an entertainment cabinet… using the former horn as an amplifier for an iPhone/iPod/music player and then adding a turntable and also making place for game controllers. This piece is going to be walnut stained top with a deep red/maroon cabinet. I think this will be really sharp.

There are two additional cabinets, a taller one that I think The Kid has his eye on it to be restored to the same sort of end product… a place for gaming systems and also a music system. And the last one has the makings to be the perfect bathroom vanity. I will have to replace the top with a solid piece (it splits in the middle right now), but I could see this is a beautiful ivory with maybe a piece of granite or ivory on top. Guess we’ll have to see how this proceeds.

Tomorrow I may go down to the Habitat’s ReStore and check out what they have in terms of granite or ivory and if they might have any vessel sinks that might work. Or any other interesting pieces that might be fun to work with. I still have the whole garage/shop job that I have planned, a post for another day.

julie

The Apple of My Eye: Kitchen Stained Glass

One of the things that drew me to my house was the use of arched windows. They add some real drama to the front of the house. I have one in the kitchen and it allows some really wonderful light to flow into the space. (Excuse my messy kitchen!)

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A few years ago, I noticed though, that the arch of the window had something happening between the panes of the glass. I pretty much ignored it. Most of the time it wasn’t even noticeable, or more accurately, I didn’t notice it.

But recently, it seems that it has kind of taken over the window and I looked into it. Seems that this isn’t repairable, it has to be replaced and this is an expensive window. I would either have to bite the bullet or live with it. Things have been a little tight when it comes to be expenditures, so I knew that I would have to live with it. But the work I have been doing with the faux stained glass paint made me think I could at least dress up the window or at least hide the issue.

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I did a Google search on red and white stained glass and stumbled over this image:Stained Glass - Red & White Design_001I knew that this would be a perfect starting point for my design. And isn’t the red and white striking? So I made a online template and then played with options until I got it just right.

So, I had the Kid tape sheets of paper together and cut me a perfect size and shape template and I took it to a glass place and had a piece of 1/8″ glass cut. Then, using the same materials that I use in all of the faux stained glass, although this time I took to using larger bottles of paint and longer strips of the ‘leading’.

DSCN2056So, I started by laying out the edge leading, two rows about two inches wide. I really just eyeball it, I like any imperfections that come out of a less-than-strict way of doing this.

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DSCN2055Next came the center image. I toyed with using the Apple Macintosh logo, since I am a big fan, but when I bounced the idea off the Kid, he thought not. Years ago, prompted by my love and use of Macs, people started giving me Apples, in all shapes, sizes and materials. I haven’t been able to display the entire collection since we moved here (still working the logistics – am thinking a built in cabinet in a nook at the bottom of the staircase) and I have a few of the apples in my kitchen around the sink. So, having an red apple in the center of this piece just made sense.

I found an image online and increased the size until it was just right and then printed it. I slipped the paper under the glass and then used the liquid leading. Its a little more difficult to use and practice does help, you really just have to go slow and steady.

DSCN2057Once it has dried, it was just a matter of filling in all of the areas with paint. Everything got two coats to make all the of the paint colors more vivid. Then the piece around the apple was filled with Crystal Clear and if you use the tip to put bumps and ridges in it as you apply it, when it dries it has a more authentic look.

After a few days of drying time, it was time to place the piece. Since I really didn’t want it to be permanent, I sized it to fit inside of the most inner trim of the window and used mirror clips to hold the mirror.

And here is the final look:DSCN2187I am very happy with how this project turned out. It is tough getting a photo of a window with the light shining through, and the piece really just shines. It is a real focus point in the room.

I liked so much how this came out, that I am doing another larger window sized piece. This time on another favorite red and white item: images-1I already have all the leading completed. Not sure where it will go, but I am sure that it will turn out wonderful!

julie

PS…for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share with you my success.

Can You Tell I Love Red & White?

I finished another quilt and wanted to post it quick to the blog. If you’ve read much of my blog or know me, you know that I am head over heels in love with the red and white color combination. My kitchen, living room and dining room are all done in red and white.

Sometimes that spills over into other things, like my wardrobe. I am just sort of drawn to the color combination.

This time it was a quilt. This was part of that big box I just got back and because it was the biggest one, it waited ’till last. But it didn’t take long to finishing the binding.

And here it is:

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I hung it over the deck railing before the big snowstorm, just to get an overall picture. I didn’t realize that the edges had flopped over… I was holding the quilt and The Kid took the photo. I didn’t think to remind him.$_12-1Here it is in all its red and white (and a few other colors) on the guest bed. Can you tell that room is used for much more than guests sleeping? In fact, it currently houses most of the ‘Dolls & Cupcakes’ inventory, quilts waiting to be completed and other craft tools. It is a mess! But that is the great thing about that room, when it is too much to deal with, I simply close the door.

Problem solved!

Thanks for stopping by!

julie

Moving forward… slowly but surely.

A little progress has been made on the doll house, but no matter how much I accomplish, I always feel like I should have gotten more done. There always seems to be a lot of waiting: waiting for paint to dry, for stain to dry, to find that needed ‘thing’ or get something assembled or installed.

Much work has been accomplished on the third level, which is actually a separate piece. I thought ahead and actually painted the interiors before we assembled it. No funky corners or angles to have to paint carefully and not worries about the flooring stain and the walls latex would interact.

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I opted to not make a peak in the ceiling line and rather have a flat space on top. I think I am going to put a railing around the edges and use like an outdoor patio. I picked up the most awesome little wicker set that will just be wonderful there. I think I want to install outdoor carpetĀ  (or what looks like it) and then scatter a bunch of small planters with flowers behind it.

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Isn’t that little wicker set just darling? I have no idea what the original purpose of that set was, but it is perfect size for the 18″ dolls. It was just happenstance that I ran across it on one of me and the Kid’s ‘thrifting’ afternoons.

Speaking of waiting, here are the floors for the bedroom and kitchen, finished with two coats of oak colored stain and then two coats of polyurethane. I just love the way they look.

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The plan for the bathroom floor is black and white checker board tile… I just hope that it doesn’t add too much weight to the overall piece. To help prevent grout cracking, I am going to use flexible grout. Won’t a pink bathroom with black and white tile just be the cutest? I have a little claw foot tub ready to go in and have already made the sink and vanity. And of course, a toilet!

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I’ve started fitting in the lower cabinets and have set the range and refrigerator in to check for spacing. In the corner next to the refrigerator is a small narrow cupboard. There is a part of me that wants to rebuild it a bit taller, but again, I don’t think it is absolutely necessary. You cannot begin to believe how many accessories I’ve purchased, created, made or found to make this house complete. I am feeling like I am turning a corner to having this done. The hope is that it will be done soon, making it a perfect Christmas gift for some special little girl.

As to the other project – the large black wardrobe – has had progress. I’ve finished all the touch up on the black, white and shades of gray. I settled on the accent color of turquoise, and used it sparingly. Also, in the end, if I decide I would like a different color, it will be easy to change. Next step, wait for a warm day or two (or figure out how to warm the garage) so that I can apply two or three coats of polyurethane. I can’t wait to see it completed. Although the interior still needs to have a good cleaning with Murphy’s Oil soap and one or two pieces of trim to replace. This is turning out quite beautiful, if you ask me! What happens to it when I am done still has not been decided.

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Its a bit hard to see, but the center dot as well as four dots are the only spots of turquoise. Everything else? Shades of black and white. Oh and you’re looking at the rebuilt bottom, no sense in painting that, when it will never be seen.

One last think I wanted to throw in at the last minute. Autumn has definitely fallen here in the Midwest. We bought this house 9 years ago and the grand total of trees on our over sized lot was one lone oak in the backyard. Over the years we’ve planted many more, but the two in the front yard have just surprised us with their growth… these trees were about 4 foot tall and no bigger around than a pencil. And the fall colors in their leaves made me stop and take a photo on my way into the garage the other day. Too bad the color doesn’t stick around very long. Or that someone has to rake them up eventually!

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I sometimes forget just how lucky and blessed I am. I hope everyone takes a moment and counts their blessings too.

julie

The Kid’s Room is Done, An Unveiling

After spending a few extra hours over the past couple of days to complete artwork, the Kid’s room is declared done. He is very happy with the results, and in the end, that is all that matters.

If you want to refresh your memory of the way the room had been for the first eight and a half years, you can see the “before” pictures here. I also have some photos that I shared with some of the transformation that you can see here.

The best way is to just jump in and show you photos of the room. When you enter the room, to your right is his bed. This is a custom built bed, designed to be a bit of a combination of a day bed and a platform bed. Meant to be comfortable enough to sit upon and play games or watch television. We wrapped the head and left side of the bed board with a leather-look vinyl. Using leather wrapped buttons, I attempted to tuft the boards, but it didn’t turn out exactly how I had pictured it. The frame, however, turned out better than I had hoped. The legs are actually fencing post tops, turned upside down following being painted black.

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The room’s overall theme is a combination of technology and industrial; blacks, grays and a accent color of red. New silver/gray microfiber sheets are topped with a very red comforter and sham. Sitting next to it, is a “leather” wrapped night stand. Sitting on top is his pipe lamp:

DSCN1535Continuing around the room, we have his leather easy chair, kind of a unique design that I found on Craigslist. Immensely comfortable!

DSCN1541It is on this wall, above the chair, is the first of the two pieces of art. Recently having stumbled across a very unique animated movie titled “Angels and Idiots”, both the Kid and I have fallen in love with the artwork. Together, we chose two large digital image from the movie and had them printed out in “industrial size” and then mounted with glue onto stretched canvases. It took a couple of tries to get it to the correct size and clarity of the print. I also used watercolors to add just a hint of the color that was part of the original print/movie. Just a very watered down ‘color wash’. I then painted the sides of the canvases gray on the three part print.

DSCN1540I neglected to mention that the room is painted in shades of gray; three walls in a lighter shade than the fourth wall (the wall on which the desk sits).

It is the desk that we come to next. It stretches the width of the wall, built around the large window. More details exist on an earlier post, which you can see here. He uses the desk often and provides much storage for extra computer pieces. He has set up all of his computers and servers on the right, taller desk top.

DSCN1529We found a unique chair for the desk:

DSCN1542Over each desktop, lighting has been installed to provide specific lighting. I managed to pick these up at a large retailer for 90% off as they were the floor models. Can’t beat that!

DSCN1532As we turn to the fourth wall, we have the piece that started it all; the buffet that was painted black. Perfect for storing his gaming systems and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. Has enough surface that he can have a television for his new gaming systems and a second one for his ever-expanding collection of older gaming systems.

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On this wall displays the other print that was made, this time on a single large framed canvas (note the color wash of his jacket and smoke):

DSCN1539This pretty much concludes the details of the room makeover. We did keep the rug that I hand hooked from his “camo” room, the colors mostly match and it is so very soft (made for 100% wool yarn). I will just throw a few more photos for your pleasure:

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Piping used throughout the room adds to the industrial look:

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The addition of a very modern/industrial ceiling fan and light fixture:

DSCN1526And so this concludes the work done to makeover the Kid’s room. He turns 18 in about six weeks and I hope that having a hip and comfortable space to call his own will keep him from spreading his wings and leaving the nest. :-) I suppose most parents are anxious to have their kids grow up and leave home, but not me. As far as I am concerned, he is my best friend and I hope to remain as invested in his life as I have been for the first 18 years.

Thanks for dropping by. Leave a comment if you’ve seen anything you like or have questions. And as always, keep making beautiful things, just for the sake of beauty.

julie

 

 

PS… I almost forgot to include a panorama photo that the Kid snapped with his iPhone. Pretty cool, huh?IMG_4846

 

 

 

 

 

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