Monday, December 27, 2010

Halloween and Horror Themed Holiday Tree

We're neither traditional or religious. So this year, since we're together in the same home we wanted to put up a tree just because. We admit, this theme isn't for everyone, but it works for US.

We purchased a white artificial tree from

Then I (Rochelle) searched through the debts of internet-land to find Halloween ornaments, or items that I could hack into horror ornaments for the tree. If it wasn't for and craft stores, I don't know how I would have gotten this done.

Our Tree!

ERECT tree
Spray Paint ornaments 

The tree fully decked with my ornaments. Most I made myself.  I love the black leaf garland,  the black gauze  and the black and red beads  

I love the area for our dinner guests to take a photo with a zombie Santa of their choice


And of course I had to use our freshly painted chalk board paint areas to highlight our dinner menu and special contests for our dinner guests! 

Dining Room Table and Chairs

We  had my original dining room table and chairs from my childhood home. This remarkably modern dining room set is somewhere around forty years old. Surprising how timeless they ended up looking. Unfortunately, the natural wood finish did look a little dated - or at least did not fit into our overall plan. Originally buried (and unused) under tons of household detritus, we cleaned it off and prepped it for paint. Sanded both table and chairs, spray primer and finished with a flat black.

She said: I think it's funny that he breezed over the most important part of this post. The table and chairs that are over 40 years old - were his fathers. His dad passed away not too long ago, and he had the old table and chairs but wasn't sure if he wanted to keep them. After I saw them up close and personal, I realized that they were a classic style and very retro (which is a style of decor David loves). I knew they just needed to be revived with some sanding and paint. But more important, I wanted to save any items we could that brought back memories of his dad.  He doubted me through the entire process, but when he saw the finished product he admitted that keeping the set was the right choice.

The dining set had been at his brothers home for a few years prior to David saving them from being tossed out.


Casual observers will note the trippy seat cushion pattern - which is actually the original upholstery for these chairs! The chairs had been recovered twice, but we found the original trippy blue/green/yellow worked great with the black furniture and the mood we were trying to create.

She said: I originally planned to reupholster the dinning room chairs with a natural colored burlap. It was unusual but practical and durable for fabric and would have fit into the room decor perfectly. After stripping off two other fabric covers we found that the ORIGINAL fabric for the chairs was still intact.  
This was a big deal because it was the fabric David grew up with - the original fabric from his childhood. In this case , sentimental won over style. It was obvious (based on his reaction from the fabric still being there) that it was much more important to keep the original upholstery rather than match the decor. I like to think that there is no wrong decision if you've got an emotional attachment to a piece - thus we found a way to work the old fabric/design into the new room.  I chose some art work which contained some blues/greens/yellows - so that when in the room it would all pull together. I think it worked out just fine. 

To see the rest of this rooms final completion photos go here

This is the dinning room set BEFORE the rest of the room was decorated. 

To see the rest of this rooms final completion photos go here

Console Table Gets Painted

We purchased this piece specifically to hide 2 kitty litter boxes. All 3 doors slide open, the back of the unit is completely open (so the cat's can walk into the back) and inside we'll cut into the bottom 2 holes big enough to slip the boxes into. Scored off of Craigslist for $20, it only took some transit gasoline and some manpower to get it to the house.


We sanded off the glossy finish, spray painted primer, and hand painted a flat black. Although the pictures don't show it here, you can see the wood grain through the paint - so it looks like it was professionally finished.

After we got it into place, we realized we'll have to cut a kitty door into the side of the console because we like it best pushed flush against the wall. Which I might add was my original plan for the piece (men never listen).


Here is a shot of the console in the room with the rest of the furniture in place.

To see how those dining room chairs and table came to be, read their story here.

- Rochelle

Dining Room Apocalypse

The dining room itself was a disaster. When the house was purchased, the crappy carpet was pulled and it was discovered there was nothing but concrete floor. For the remainder of the years that I've owned it *6* the floor has been nothing but unappealing and unwelcoming concrete. I wanted a quick fix, not wanting to go through the entire process of removing the tile in the entire kitchen, so we were looking for a solution that would work for just the part of the floor that already had the concrete exposed. In addition to flooring, we obviously needed to paint.


I suck at painting, so Rochelle handled most of the paintwork

Stymied for last minute, easy flooring options, one of the guys on suggested vinyl flooring called TRAFFIC MASTER ALLURE (it's available at Home Depot). It's a really inexpensive solution, as you can install it yourself, it can go over any pre-existing flooring, and is about $2 square foot. The guy at said it was easy enough for the novice to pull off in a couple hours, so we rolled the dice.

It came out great!

Each piece of vinyl was 6" x 36" and attached to itself - like a giant carpet of vinyl (when done anyway). Looks like wood, durable, easy to install.

After that, all that was left was to move the finished Dining Set & Console table back in, and decoration.


Ignore that random black/red rug. Rochelle was in the process of mopping the floor and it doesn't live in our new dining room :)

It came out excellent - especially since this project was more or less put into motion on a Monday evening, and finished on the following Saturday morning - just in time to start cooking Christmas dinner for friends/family.

Laundry Closet Curtains

Update by David. Laundry ahoy!

As part of the breakfast nook, the laundry closet looked better after the repaint, but obviously the repaint drew more attention to the laundry closet than ever before. My laundry closet tends to be where miscellaneous junk tends to accumulate - where there is shelving, there be junk.


As can be seen, there is plenty of junk to be hidden.


Much better with paint, but still everything hanging out for the general public to see.

We went to Ikea and picked up a double track railing system and four cloth panels. Luckily, I had some molly bolts to attach the rail securely. After mounting the railing to the ceiling, the cloth panels had to be cut to length and have the bottom aluminium rails attached. Cutting the panels to size was tricky, but eventually we got it worked out.

She said: The best part about this is that the panels hide everything, but they also slide all the way to the sides of the walls so that we can fully access the shelves and washer/dryer. 

Clean and functional. Each panel slides for easy access to the washer and dryer (and junk).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Breakfast Nook - Repaint

This broadcast brought to you by David and Chocolate Noodles.

Boy, sure has been quiet around here, eh?

Well, my partner in crime and I began some improvement of the homestead yesterday. Actually, I give myself too much credit here. She did the majority of the work (like, the MAJORITY) and I mainly got in the way and created more work.

We started on my breakfast nook. My previous attempt at painting this room was pretty sad. I had picked the paint color because I liked the name (Gumball Red) - I'm a sucker for goofy names. Also, I had intended on a White Stripes kind of theme, and Gumball Red seemed to fit that need quite nicely. After attemping to paint with an eggshell finish (disaster) and finishing with a flat (less of a disaster, but not great), it was still in pretty sad shape.

She said: What the before picture doesn't show is that you could see streaks of white paint through the red. You could see every attempted brush stroke and it just looked... bad. I knew we needed a darker red to give the room a warmer feel (and though it goes without saying - we needed more than 1 coat)


Rochelle, the Wonder Woman of interior design, pitched me the idea of a darker red, along with a white chair rail and chalkboard paint. It came out TREMENDOUSLY AWESOME. The level of detail that she put into this was truly impressive. We chose Delicious Red (and it surely is!). The black squares are all chalkboard paint, and we can't wait to write snarky things and draw funny cartoons all over the place. The chair rail and grout where the tile meets the wall were both painted a heavy cream - and it really contrasts the black and red and POPS!

She said: We still need to add an organization center to one of the black squares. Something to hold chalk, and keys and letters. I wanted this area to be the one stop for all things schedule and organization. A place for  David and his daughter to write up their schedules and activities for the week.. and fun doodles of course!

This is the same area as Rochelle decorated it for Christmas.

For in-between photos - check out the slideshow -

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paint Samples: Round 1

So if you haven't added Home Depot on your Facebook page yet, you need to do so. During the holidays they're posting Facebook only exclusives. They've had some great deals so far on hand tools, paint and other home items like ceiling fans.

When I say great deals, I really mean it. I don't toss around that word "great" very often.

From one of the Home Depot Facebook Exclusives, we scored this Martha Stewart paint sample kit (which contains samples of her most popular colors) for $4.00 and free shipping! 

Unfortunately, only a couple of the colors work for use. We're still trying to find the right Reds & Greys we need for the dinning and living areas. The Red and Grey included in the samples just weren't right for us.

I will say however that they had a lovely Green (Okra) and Cream colors that we'll probably be using on accent pieces (to give some ratty old items a cool retro vintage look) - and for $4, these samples are a pretty good size - so we'll be able to use them for other crafts down the road.

 Best $4 spent so far! 

Our kit contained 14 samples, each 7.75 oz. - which covers 16 sq ft. ($4.00 w/FREE shipping) and here are the colors that were included. 

- Rochelle