Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


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Awash in Color

If you’ve been keeping up and read my last post you know that we bought all new paint colors for the house. While picking out the colors and bringing them home hand me jumping up and down like an excited school girl ready to jump right in and start painting – my more practical counterpart ensured we did the proper prep.

We collected all of the painting supplies we had leftover from when we painted the condo (see here, here, and here) and laid them out on the dining room table to see what we had and what we needed.  Then Ken went around the room with a flash flight (the lighting in there is currently a single bulb in the center of the room – thus very very bad) to find any imperfections (paint drips, globs, popped nails) in the wall so that we could mark them to be sanded down.

Inspector at work

Inspector at work

Then we covered the dining room table in a tarp which I think made it look like a Dexter Kill Room

paint prep dining room 1

paint prep dining room 2

Perhaps it is.. Afterall this is the Room the Builder Grade White Paint Came to Die dun dun dun… Thanks to the Master Hide (seriously that is the name of it) paint the builder used there were actually quite a lot of imperfections; some we had noticed previously, some we had not. They were all sanded down and the ones that needed it were compounded then sanded down again.

Thankfully the builder was nice enough too lazy to move the paint out and we used it to go over the sanded spots bringing it back to a nice smooth even colored surface. Had we been priming this step might have been unnecessary however we are using the builder white paint as a primer level and didn’t want any discolored spots showing through.

After the “primer” dried I worked my way around the room with a ladder cutting our chosen color (Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore) in while Ken taped off around the doors and windows. Including this nice teeny tiny area between the window and the door. Seriously what were they thinking when they put these things so close together?

tiny space between door and window

tiny space between door and window

Not only does it complicate the painting (I had to use a tiny craft brush) but it creates a conundrum on how exactly we are going to hang a curtain rod here. We have some ideas but are definitely open to suggestions as well 🙂

Once the taping was done and I was about 3/4 through the room with the cutting in process Ken rolled the walls. This is a decent sized room and we really wanted to try to get it done in one coat and with one gallon. (paint for an entire house is expensive) Lucky for us we had decided to go entirely with Benjamin Moore paints for our house – a brand we had never used before – and learned you definitely do get what you pay for with paint. The Benjamin Moore paint covered much thicker, didn’t come off the wall if you rolled over a still wet painted area and had a much more even coating we couldn’t see the roller or brush marks after the one coat which is something that always bothered us with the “bargain paint” when painting the condo.

We made it by the skin of our teeth, there was merely a drop left in the bucket once the first coat was done. I wasn’t able to get very good pictures due to the crappy lighting single bulb and the fact that the kill room will be set up until all the rooms are complete; but you can get the general idea for now.

dining room

dining room

that pesky spot

that pesky spot (still wet thats why the shiny spot)

So there we go, 1 room down 9 more and the hallways to go!


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Zippered Pillow Covers

We’ve done a lot of work in the Guest Room since moving into our new house. The original room inspiration and all the work can be seen here, here and here. It’s coming along :-).

I really wanted some throw pillows for the bed (I LOVE throw pillows) however neither of us could decide if we wanted the accent color to be light blue or yellow – so we decided to make it changeable so depending on the season or our mood we could change it up. I started with the yellow accent pillows and added a zipper to my homemade pillow covers to that I could re-use the pillow insert.

here's how it's done

here’s how it’s done

I started with the pillow insert I was going to use and measured the entire width and height of the pillow.

make sure to go seam to seam

make sure to go seam to seam

Your fabric needs to be 1 inch wider than your pillow to allow for a 1/2 inch seam allowance and 1 1/4 inches longer to allow for the seam allowance on the top and the zipper insert on the bottom. My pillow was 21 inches square so for my fabric I had to cut out two pannels to be 22×22 1/4.

Draw out your measurements on the BACK of your fabric. If you have a directional pattern like my chevron make sure the lines are straight with the pattern not with the top of your fabric. Its not always the same thing.

see how my line doesn't line up with the edge of the fabric?

see how my line doesn’t line up with the edge of the fabric?

one cut the chevrons are even

one cut the chevrons are even

iron your fabric pieces

iron your fabric pieces

Lay your ironed fabric pieces out and line up the zipper on the longer side of the fabric facing down towards the side of the fabric. I used a 12-inch zipper so I centered it on my 22 inches of fabric. You can use a zipper the entire length of your pillow – its probably easier but thats what I had on hand.

zipper pull should face down

zipper pull should face down

pin in place

pin in place

Sew the zipper to the fabric using a zipper foot. Make sure to not sew around the zipper pull. When you reach the pull manually wind your needle down into the fabric lift the foot and zip the zipper out of the way so you can continue sewing a straight line. Make sure to backstitch at the begining and end so your zipper stays put.

attach the first side of the zipper

attach the first side of the zipper

Do the same process for the other side of the zipper. Make sure the right sides of your fabric are facing each other.

repeat the process with the other side.

repeat the process with the other side.

Now you have two fabric squares attached in the middle with a zipper.
zippered pillow case (9)

Fold in half right sides together at the zipper and pin the pieces together around the entire perimeter – make sure your zipper is at least half unzipped so that you can turn it right side out when you are done.

pin all sides

pin all sides

Sew the two squares together backstitching at the begining and end for added support. Flip right side out through the zipper.

empty pillow cover

empty pillow cover

Stuff your pillow insert into your new pillow cover. If you used a small zipper like I did – be careful you don’t want to pop your stitches.

carefully stuff your insert into the case

carefully stuff your insert into the case

There you have it, a professional looking zippered pillow case!

zippered bottom

zippered bottom

Add it to your bed or sofa and change out the cover to your hearts content!
zippered pillow case (15)

Zippered Pillow Tutorial

Zippered Pillow Tutorial


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The Guest Room becomes more Welcoming

I don’t know about you, but one of my personal pet-peeves whenever I spend the night somewhere is not having somewhere close to the bed to put my phone. Guest rooms and hotel rooms are harder to sleep in as it is for the simple fact that it’s not your room. Having my phone which I use as both a clock (to see what time it is in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep) and an alarm clock (to let me know when it’s socially acceptable to leave the room). Whether everyone is like this or not, everyone should have the opportunity to do this when they stay at The Hicks House. That’s why we were on the hunt for not one but two end tables.

They had to be white for one to match the dresser we spray painted, they had to look nice, and they had to be cheap. This is the guest room after all, they won’t have the everyday wear and tear that the dressers go through in our room.

This hunt took a lot longer than I would like to admit. I feel like when I was looking for dark wood furniture over the last few years, everything in the stores was white… now that I wanted white everything was dark. Uggghhh. Finally we found something we liked at Target.com it was also on sale score so we ordered it.

Arrived!

Arrived!

The fact that it came Ikea style was ok – I mean it was expected after all and it was cheap. It went together pretty quickly too.

It went together pretty quick

It went together pretty quick

Ken had both put together in about an hour. Then we added some fab lamps we also found at Target – in the store though. The shades are a bit too big, but they were clearance $5 so we made the executive decision that they looked just fine. We had a perfectly perfect lamp that matched bedspread it had the same pattern only in the reverse white on blue instead of blue on white. The problem was that I only got one, and despite a statewide hunt of varying HomeGoods I could not find another.

But these look pretty neat too.

But these look pretty neat too.

shot of them both

shot of them both

Slowly coming along.

getting closer to the inspiration room...

getting closer to the inspiration room…

Some throw pillows for the bed, some paint and art on the wall and some curtains and this room will be the perfect home away from home. But not too perfect – I love my guests but they can’t live here. 🙂


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Custom Art for the Living Room

If you’ve been following along with the blog (if you haven’t then shame on you!) you’ve read about the The Living Room Plan, and The Living Room Becoming Livable. As its starting to take shape we we’re talking about what kind of art should go above the fireplace. The builder wired for the cable and TV to go there but we had decided to move the wiring to the adjacent family room which was much bigger.

We both really wanted something abstract and cool. I saw this painting on Joss and Main and we fell in love. With everything but the price and the verticalness of it.

Inspiration Painting

Inspiration Painting

It was just so cool all the random shades of color. But for over $100 plus shipping and no returns I wasn’t sure. And before I could decide how unsure I was the sale was over and it was gone forever. But how hard could it really be? I mean the painting isn’t really of anything so how can you mess it up? So I measured the space above the fireplace, headed to Joann with a 40% single item coupon and bought a huge canvas.

I set up a small folding table in the craft room and covered with some scrap paper to protect it, broke out a 2-inch paint brush and some .50 tubes of acrylic paint (most of which I had at home left over from high school – it doesn’t go bad right?) and got to work. Using the inspiration painting – propped up on the iPad – as a guide I started painting. The great thing about the abstractness of it was the ability to simply paint over areas if I didn’t like the way they looked. The bottom of my canvas has much more paint on it because of this, it was coming out to dark so several extra coats were added to get the effect I wanted. Due to less use of paint on the top you can see brush strokes where I went back and forth real quickly but I kind of like the way it looks.

here's the finished product

here’s the finished product

I actually like it better than the original inspiration. It looks much better in our space. I had to place it up on the mantle to admire it.
painting-2

The statue on the left of the painting we fell in love with while out running errands one day, It helped jump start the painting process and inspired the color choices. The vases were a gift from my Aunt’s who surprisingly had not seen either the statue or the painting, but they look like they were custom chosen for that spot.

actually hung!

actually hung!

We loved it so much we actually hung it, despite not having paint on the walls yet. Ignore those pillows they came with the sofa and were so over-sized for both the sofa and the chairs they will be finding another home. I’m thinking getting a new cover and going on the Guest Bed.

one more view with the fireplace lit

one more view with the fireplace lit

I think its the perfect compliment to the space! So now our living room list looks like this:

  • Find and purchase two chairs a-la inspiration room style
  • Find and purchase sofa a-la inspiration room style
  • Ground the space with an area rug
  • Decorate the top of the mantle
  • Paint the art masterpiece for above the fireplace
  • Find or make coordinating curtains
  • Hang curtains
  • Get an ottoman or coffee table to put in the center
  • Get end tables
  • Make pillows for the sofa and chairs
  • Pick a paint color that will work in both the kitchen and the living room
  • Paint the walls
  • Get a fabulous light fixture


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Living Room Becomes Livable

If you remember back in September I posted about the beginnings of our living room as well as the inspiration room. In case you need a little refresher here is the inspiration

We’re getting closer, the sofa we ordered came in. Due to the size of the room we opted to get the loveseat rather than the full sofa so as not to crowd the room and have space on either side to walk around.

The new sofa

The new sofa

As you can see the sofa in the inspiration has nailhead trim on the arms however the chairs we purchased have the nailhead so we thought it better to forgo it on the sofa which is a more substantial investment than the chairs. It has the streamlined contemporary look in the arms and after living with for a little while I actually like ours better. It’s less stuffy.

View from the side of the sofa

View from the side of the sofa

view 2 looking into the TV room

view 2 looking into the TV room

We also decided to lay it out with the sofa facing the fireplace rather than perpendicular. Our room is open to the kitchen where the design room seems to be closed off and we thought it important to create the feeling of a separate space and avoid the bowling alley look.

If you notice there are new baubles on the mantle as well.  The flame sculpture we fell in love with at a local decor store and the vases were a gift from my Aunt’s who ironically enough had not previously seen the room.  I think they look perfectly at home up on the mantle.

The blank canvas is another project I plan to paint it in an abstract design using the colors of the sculpture to pull the design in more.  I also want to sew some throw pillows for the sofa and the chairs.  The ones that came with the sofa were hideous and way too large in scale to be recovered for this space.

It’s coming along!  On the list of to do’s for this room we’ve got:

  • Find and purchase two chairs a-la inspiration room style
  • Find and purchase sofa a-la inspiration room style
  • Ground the space with an area rug
  • Decorate the top of the mantle
  • Paint the art masterpiece for above the fireplace
  • Find or make coordinating curtains
  • Hang curtains
  • Get an ottoman or coffee table to put in the center
  • Get end tables
  • Make pillows for the sofa and chairs
  • Pick a paint color that will work in both the kitchen and the living room
  • Paint the walls
  • Get a fabulous light fixture

So what do you think?  I’m loving how its coming together


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Guest Room Beginings

As someone whose parents and siblings like over two hours away I was really looking forward to having a designated guest room in our house.  The distance isn’t so far that visiting is difficult, however a 4-5 hour round trip isn’t really something anyone wants to do in a day.  I constantly felt guilty when my parents would come up to visit and either day-tripped it due to our lack of space or sucked it up and slept on the blow up mattress on our condo’s living room floor. (not fun)

Luckily we had the spare mattress and metal frame in storage in our condo garage leftover from when we replaced our own mattress.  We decided not to throw it away so when we finally bought a house we wouldn’t have to buy a new guest mattress – I know we’re planners.

What we didn’t have was linens for the guest room (not any I liked anyway).

The Centsational Girl had posted about her daughters navy and coral bedroom last year and I absolutely fell IN LOVE with the bed spread

gray-walls-trellis-linens-cg

The coral is a little too girly for us since this is a cohabiting household after all… But the bedding I had to have. So this is where we stand:

Ready for guests!

Ready for guests!

There is a master plan for the room. We couldn’t decide if we wanted to use yellow or light blue as an accent color so I think we are going to do both which will give us the ability to switch it up. Maybe yellow for fall and winter to brighten up the room and light blue for spring and summer? I’ve bought all the accent fabric to make throw pillows to add to the bed – hopefully coming soon.

The accent colors will also be mirrored in the curtains. We have some short white linen linen like curtains and had the idea to sew a piece of velcro on the bottom so that we can add swappable colored panels to make them full length. This is a really cool project I’m excited about getting to at some point.

For extra furnishings I plan to refinish an old mid-century modern dresser that was left behind in our condo attic. A couple coats of white spray paint and it should look more in line with the overall feel of the room. Nightstands are also needed. Someday I’d also like to try to tackle those awesome upholstered headboards I see online and obviously some wall color – something neutral but more fun than the drab off white thats there now.

So that’s it – nothing to brag about yet, but a step up from an air mattress on the floor. What do you think?


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Craft Room Mood Board

One of my favorite things about this house is that I finally have a place to do my crafts.  As the owner and designer of Dani Designs, having my headquarters on the dining room table of our old condo left much to be desired. All my fabrics and accessories were upstairs, sewing machine downstairs so doing a project required lots of stair climbing.  A bit of a workout however not the most productive use of time.  Having to constantly pack up and put away my sewing machine also didn’t bolster my creative spirit.

So with a designated Dani Designs Headquarters in the third bedroom, the creative wheels start spinning on just how to decorate such a space.  Much time was spent on Pinterest and Houzz looking at endless inspiration photos, then much more time spent looking for things that you didn’t need to be a millionaire to afford.

This is the original room I saw on Houzz that had me swooning:

Isn’t it dreamy?  Everything about this room is so welcoming and makes me want to create things here.  However it doesn’t really meet my needs as this is more of a home office than a sewing room, plus it looks oober expensive.  So this is the mood board I came up with for the room that is more practical while retaining the color scheme of the inspiration room:

craft room mood board

craft room mood board

I think I’m going to keep the pale blue and white color scheme, I just like the feel of it.  Hopefully I’ll eventually get a glamorous chandelier as well.

So far the tables have been purchased by way of a massive Joann sale.  (They were specifically chosen due to the sale price – table aesthetics came second to super cheap)

They came in boxes like this...

They came in boxes like this…

Which looks like a whole lot of Ikea-eque building. But you get what you pay for I guess, I’ll have to draw your eye to the beautiful curtains I am going to attempt to make. In all of my sewing this is a task I have not yet tackle. I’m a little intimidated but I think the end result will be worth it.