Tag Archives: decorating

The Cold from Hell and a Peek at the Family Command Center

I didn’t disappear this week, even though there were times when I wished that I could.  I wanted to finish my coffee station and the family command center last week, but instead I had to tend to the kids who were taken down by a microscopic germ–genes in a box–also known as a virus.

My son was the fist victim of the nasty little bug followed by my daughter a week later.  I was super careful about washing my hands and cleaning anything the germ carriers came in contact with, but I was infected nonetheless.

At the first sign–a slight sniffle and runny nose–I knew that I had that little bug in my body. Normally I would attribute the sniffle and runny nose to seasonal allergies, especially since we are still acclimating to our new environment.  I decided that this little bug was going to DIE before it took over.  I pumped up on vitamin C and took 3 doses a day of Airborne.  I wanted to use Zicam, but the PX (that’s like a Target type store on Army bases) was completely out of it.

Here’s how my week went:

Morning of Day 1 (May 17): sniffles, runny nose

Afternoon of Day 1: Headache, sniffles, runny nose

Evening of Day 1: Cough, headache, sniffles, runny nose

See where this is going?

Day 2: STUFFY nose, headache, and RUNNY nose! I don’t understand how that is possible, but it happened!

Day 3 and 4: Fever, stuffy nose, runny nose (couldn’t catch that little guy!), and a cough.

Days 5-6: dry nose but still stuffy, cough, cough, cough!

Today: coughing a little and nose is back to normal.

Since I felt so much better today, I finished the Family Command Center. I will post the full article on Friday, May 24–but here’s a sneak peek!


Turning Drab Army Housing into Our Home: Blog Series Introduction

Home vs Residence

Home isn’t simply where you sleep or live–it’s the space in which you do your living, and as such it should reflect your personality and express your lifestyle.  It should be a place that makes YOU feel welcome and comfortable.  It should function in a way that makes your life just a tad bit easier.  In all, it should be YOURS and not “theirs” (aka the manager/owner).

The Renter’s Dilemma

Because every rental comes with its own special set of rules, renters often feel that they must live with those white, off-white, or other bland colored walls.  Though we are allowed to paint our space, I am going to try my best to avoid it simply because I don’t want the hassle of repainting them when we leave in 3-4 years (which is inevitable in the Army).  We are however, allowed to mount pictures and shelves with no repercussions or special repairs before we move out.

In this blog series–which I will complete over the next year–I will share the process of making any drab rental into your home.

Drafting Ideas

I have several ideas brewing already and can’t wait to share all of the finished projects and rooms with you.

Here are some of my plans for our new space.

The Entry Nook

After entering the house, there is a longish hallway with an opening to the immediate left that leads to the sitting room/dining area followed by a strange alcove that sort of looks like it could be a closet, and then another opening to the left that leads into the kitchen.

I call this weird space the Entry Nook.  I want to use this space pragmatically, but make it stylish at the same time.  The idea is to have a dresser with four drawers (even though I drew it with three)–one for each family member.  Hats, scarves, gloves, umbrellas, purses–or whatever can be stored here. It is a dropping zone right now, and I hate it.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

2014-02-20 17.33.01


 The Dining Room

This is our dining room. In this picture it is pretty empty because I took it the week after we moved in (2.5 months before our furniture arrived).  This is still the basic plan, but we are planning on buying Ikea’s Ingatorp table and Ingolf chairs in white.

The door in the picture leads into the kitchen. The bookcase corner is positioned between the dining room and living room, but the hubby wants to put a large fish tank there. It is still under debate.

2014-02-19 17.36.18


Blank “Hallway”: AKA the Family Command Center

As I mentioned before, there are two openings to the left of the entry hall. This area is almost like a small hallway. There is a good sized blank wall and an otherwise useless space.  Here, I have a temporary “command” center.  I should have all of my supplies for this space in the next week or so.  This will probably be the topic of my second or third posting in this blog series.

2014-04-27 17.40.40


The Coffee Zone

We are coffee LOVERS in this house. As soon as I saw this kitchen, I knew exactly how this space would be used.  After a recent trip to Ikea, I now have pretty much everything I need for this space and will be posting about it soon.

To help make more sense of the layout of the house, I’ll tell you what is behind this wall: It’s the Entry Nook!  And behind the wall of the command center is the guest bath.

2014-02-20 17.49.45


I am very excited about the upcoming projects and hope you will enjoy this blog series.


The Master Suite at Pennington House

One of the primary reasons that we chose this house was the Master Suite.  From the window of the bedroom and bathroom we could see Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak.

The hubby was deployed one month after we moved in.  So while he was gone, I decided to get busy on turning this house into our home.

I tackled the master suite first.  I wanted him to have a retreat from the Army world and created a space that felt like a room in one of those spa vacation hotels. Well, that’s what it felt like to us.

A Corner For Entertainment
A Corner For Entertainment

The most difficult task in this room was finding a spot for the TV and stereo.  The TV was for my benefit while hubby was either deployed, working nights, or away for training.

A Place for Liberty--Our Dog
A Place for Liberty–Our Dog

I was happy that we had this empty corner because our dog, Liberty, loves to sleep in corners.

Bed Fit for Royalty
Bed Fit for Royalty

Though hubby hates excess pillows, he often laid down on this bed–just as it is in this picture–and fall asleep.  His intentions were to just rest for a moment, but he would inevitably end up taking an hour long nap.

A Grand Entry
A Grand Entry

I hung these drapes in order to create not only privacy, but also to add some drama to an otherwise boring open entry into the bathroom.

Speaking of the bathroom…I miss my huge tub!

Master Bathroom--I think it's referred to as the ensuit?
Master Bathroom–I think it’s referred to as the ensuit?

That candle sconce in the upper left corner is mounted on the wall just above the bathtub.  I meant to install a dimmer switch eventually, but never got around to it because I enjoyed the candle light instead.

Of all the rooms at Pennington House, I miss the Master suite the most.  Perhaps someday, after the Army is done with us, we will return.



Updated Rococo Style Vintage (70’s) Wall Mirror

I found this fantastic mirror at the thrift store for $6.99, but It was purple tag day, so it was marked 30% off! I just couldn’t pass it up! I had been wanting one for a long time to finish off a wall in my modern glam living room…and even Mr. Wallet couldn’t say no to $4.90.


The mirror and frame were extremely dusty, so my first step was to clean the whole thing.  First, I removed the mirror, then I sprayed a light solution of TSP (yes I know it’s bad stuff) over the frame and scrubbed all the crevices with a nylon brush. After thoroughly rinsing it, I set it in the sun to dry.

The next step in the project was priming.  I used short bursts with the spray.  I wanted to be very careful not to apply too much, as the primer and paint can pool up in the crevices.

I let the primer dry for 24 hours because We had a bit of a late afternoon thundershower which caused the humidity in the garage to rise.


It is already starting to look fabulous! Next up: High Gloss Black Spray Paint.

Two coats of this stuff, and it looks like the real deal!

Rococo Mirror
Rococo Mirror

Perfect fit for my modern glam wall.

Rococo Glam Wall
Rococo Glam Wall

I’d say it’s a pretty close match to my Inspiration Design Board.

OB-Modern Glam Liv Room

Just in case you forgot how ugly the mirror was here’s a lovely before and after photo.

Vintage Sewing Box

New Life for an Old Candle Sconce

A few weeks ago I found a treasure trove of items at my local thrift store…all at 30% off the sticker price.  Oh how I love the Purple tag sale days!  I found a Rococo style mirror from the ’70’s, a Rococo style wall planter thingy, two matching wall decor frames, and this beautiful bronze candle sconce from the ’60’s.  Okay, I know, it’s ugly.  But I knew that it had the potential to be beautiful.


I removed the mirror and then sprayed the sconce down with a light solution of TSP and water and then scrubbed it with a nylon brush.

After it had dried, I noticed that the dust/dirt build up in the crevices was still there, so I sprayed it again with the TSP and used a brass cleaning brush. I got a set of three prepping brushes in the paint section at Lowe’s for about $3; Included were: a nylon brush, a brass brush, and a steel brush.

After it was dry–again–I gave it a nice coat of primer.


Now to choose a color.  Blue? Turquoise? Yellow? Red?

I really could not make up my mind, so I posted the pics up on FB for a vote.

And the winning color was: Turquoise!

Wall Sconce 032

And if you forgot how ugly it was here’s a before and after to enjoy.


Linked To:

The Shabby Nest


If It's Not Baroque

It's Overflowing