Tag Archives: nook

Painting a Nook

I have confession to make: I dreaded painting our dining room nook that doubled as a laundry zone. I painted one living room wall to correspond with the the hall and dining room color (gotta love town homes being one long open room), but I stopped at the nook. For FOUR months. Ugh.

Today, we summoned some daring and Daniel cleaned our living room carpet and filled nail holes from our gallery wall of pictures I decided to remove, while I tackled the nook. Oh, that nook.

Three hours later … I feel extremely proud of myself and can’t stop staring lovingly at the soft dove gray/beige color that looks quietly stunning against the white trim. Ahhhhhhhh. Yes. That is why I wanted to do this.

And just to remember just how far we’ve come … here’s a progression from the past seven months:

I’ve got to say, the hardest part was getting past my reluctance to do the trim and cutting in. I was terrified I’d mess it up, but I didn’t. In fact, I think I did a pretty good job for an amateur, and my artist brushes came in handy for the tiny spots! I don’t have wallpaper up in between the shelves as I had initially considered adding, but that’s okay; this is good as is.


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Filed under Dining Room, Painting

Laundry Zone, Cont.

There’s only so much you can do on a limited budget, but that forces you to get creative … to think outside the box.

I daydream of days when I find somebody’s old mid-century modern castoff sideboard from Grandma’s house tossed aside on the side of the street, waiting for me to take it home. Or I purchase a rare decorative item ready to be spraypainted into new life, that had just been sitting on a shelf in Goodwill and on sale for .99 cents. I get excited when I find a starburst mirror at Target. Obviously, I’m not going to go out and buy a Saarinen dining table tomorrow. Now, if anyone has one they want to give me, I’ll take it! I’ve only been drooling over it in every major design magazine layout I’ve loved for the past ten years.

In the meantime, while we pay off debt and built up our savings, I re-use, recycle, and renew. Take, for instance, the familiar dining room nook:

It’s not where I want it to be yet. That will come later, in time. But for now, there was a basket, a vase, a figurine with great emotional significance given to me by a dear friend of my mother’s, and some matching bowls I made in one of my college pottery classes. I “shopped” from other rooms to find some items that suited this nook. Total cost to us: $0.00. Well … maybe¬† .45 cents. The flowers were on clearance at Kroger for .99 cents and I split the bouquet into smaller groupings throughout the house.

The basket is dual-purpose. Gotta love that! It not only adds some visual interest, but it also holds the extra kitchen towels that won’t fit in the drawer, and the stain removal pens. The counter top I left empty … ready to use to fold laundry, like the shirts I have on there currently.

We’re getting there! It’s definitely a work in progress.


Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room

The Laundry Zone

Balancing aesthetics and practicality is always tricky. I realized recently that I was going to need to give up my dining room nook in order to gain room to do our laundry. The laundry took over the dining room, anyway. It was time to face the inevitable … bye-bye shelf I keep meaning to put something decorative on. Helllooo laundry zone.

I had to say goodbye to this mess, as well:

Yes, those are Christmas ornaments you see there, and some packaging, as well. Yes, they’ve been there since just before Christmas, when I wrapped the last minute gifts. And yes, I cringe to be posting this incriminating image, but it is all in the name of transformation and my quest for truly functional organization.

Once again, I looked for the following things as I decluttered:

  • Items to be tossed
  • Items to be transferred to another location
  • Items to be sold or given away
  • Items to be kept

We had a large cookbook collection that I decided to pare down to just the essentials.¬† The books that we are most likely to use I kept downstairs. Right now they’re on the shelving in the nook, but I might need that shelf while I’m folding, so I’m still thinking about that. We’ll see how things go while we adapt to our new zone.

I threw out our phone books. It was a matter of some debate in the Brame household. It just seems like one of those things you SHOULD have, you know? Let your fingers do the walking, and all that. But it was taking up space and, as Daniel pointed out, we never look in it anyway. We always use Google. So out they went, saving me the trouble of figuring out a logical spot to put them.

Then, I collected the Christmas items and put them in one spot, threw out some junk mail, and rethought my storage of fragile items on the top shelf.

I ended up with this:

I’ll need a place for my pre-wash stain removers, and I’m trying to think of what else would be useful to keep in the new laundry station. Detergent I keep above the washer. Dryer sheets (if any–those darn fragrance allergies) and our small steam cleaner I keep above the dryer. I don’t have room to put an ironing board in between, but that would be ideal.

At any rate, now we have a laundry zone! It might not be so pretty now, but I have big plans for it. The aesthetics will come along soon. Hint: it has something to do with color and pattern and those paint chips I’ve had up.

{Photos: Andrea B of Behind Closed Drawers}

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Filed under Dining Room, Laundry