June 14, 2013

Changes

I feel like I should apologize for the lack of posts this week, but really, I’m not sorry. Let me explain.

Like I’m sure most others do, we’ve been struggling for quite some time to find that perfect balance between work and family life. I love this blog like it’s my baby, but I also love my real babies. And quite a bit more. I know when I look back on this time in 20 years I won’t be kicking myself for not getting enough blog posts out each week, or not getting that particular project completed fast enough. So, for the sake of our precious time together as a family, I’m taking a little step back.

I’ve been working things out in my head for a few months now and I’ve come up with a new structure for the blog. A structure that should allow us a little breathing room. Of course, this probably is not what’s best for Cape 27, but what’s Cape 27 without a happy family behind it? Here’s what you can expect.

• Quality, not quantity. Basically, less, but better, posts. Instead of shooting for 4-5 posts per week, I’m thinking 2, maybe 3 on a good week. Series like “That’s Pinteresting” and sharing mood boards may go out the window, which frees up more time for me to do awesome projects and put together some great content for you guys. And, naturally, more snuggling time with my girls.

• A casual posting schedule. Some may have noticed, others not, but in the past, posts went live at preset times on specific days of the week. It was a major stress factor. I started this blog as a creative outlet, and I’d love to get back to those roots. I will no longer pressure myself to write when I’m just not feeling it, or when our family life isn’t allowing it. I’m over it. Posts may still come at 9am on Monday, but the next may be Thursday at 1am. Who knows. I’m letting life take the wheel on this one.

• A third change, that isn’t blog related, but more about our design services. The mood boards. I mentioned going on a break until July/August, tweaking a few things, and then opening up shop again in the fall. Well, I’ll go ahead and put this out there. They may not come back. We’ll have to see if our lives allow room, but for now, they’re on hold, indefinitely.

When it comes down to it, this is really just me choosing my family over all other things. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in working when it’s something you love so much. I hope you guys will be understanding and stick around while I try to work a few of these issues out. Heck, many of you may not even notice a difference :) Love, love.

Psst! – Check out a roundup of my favorite products from Lamps.com and score 10% off with the Coupon Code: 10Cape27

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June 5, 2013

Mood Board: Amy’s Living & Dining Space

Back with another mood board today!

Here’s what Amy had to say about her Living & Dining Space:

“Our living room/dining room is really a blank slate! The only items that should stay or possibly get incorporated into the space are the brown leather ottoman, small side table and black table in the entry way.  We are not attached to anything else! We plan to buy new furniture when we move since this is our rental but I am hopeful we can create a livable space for this house in the meantime and then we can incorporate some of those elements in our next home. I think my style is more contemporary. I definitely use my space but want it to look nice too.  I think I prefer casual modern glam chic if there is such a thing! But, would like my guy to feel comfortable in the space too.  I’ve attached samples of spaces I love. I like texture….  Like rustic with iron but softened with pillows, lighter colors etc.

This room is used mostly when we have people over which is fairly often. The dining table is used for family dinners and the living space is for hosting movie nights, superbowl parties etc. We had our Christmas tree in here this past December. We moved the TV to the left wall and placed the tree in front of the windows.

My hubby is a firefighter and therefore loves the color red.  I love rooms that have that one color that subtly pops throughout. But, red may be a bit bright for a living room? Perhaps burgundy? I am up for either color as the subtle color incorporated with neutrals or grays  My bedroom is done in black and grays and I am still attempting to make slate blue and dark purple my “pop” colors. I also love ivory.

We are not attached to the dining table and chairs, the couches or the stand the TV sits on. As I mentioned earlier it would be great to incorporate the small side table, brown leather ottoman (i think that offers a nice masculine touch to the room even though I am not a huge fan of brown!)  I have always planned to paint the dining table and redo the chairs-the project has just never happened!  I am soooo over the light pine color. I hate the dark brown couches. Since this is our in between house we have just been using furniture we have acquired over the years.”

And here’s what I came up with!

Custom Mood Boards | Cape27Blog.com

Note: As some of you may have noticed, I did not include links to the products within the mood board. Unfortunately, I’ve made the choice, based on several reasons, to no longer provide them here on the blog. As much as I’d love to, providing links a second time is extremely time consuming. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean you won’t have access to sources! I create Pinterest boards specific to each and every mood board that I create. You can simply hop on over and scroll to find any product you may be interested in! Here’s the direct link to Amy’s Space!

Update: We’re taking a quick leave from mood boards and will NOT be accepting new clients for the time being. I’m currently booked through August, so we plan to reopen shop (or at least give an update) around that time. Thanks for your patience!

Check out more details & past examples.

June 4, 2013

Put Some Grass on Those Walls

Yesterday we played catch-up with a few quick updates we’ve been planning around here, and today I’m back to share our progress. Our first step in giving the entryway a mini makeover was attacking a  wall treatment. As I mentioned in the past, our main goal here was to lighten this side of the room. The last time we shared the entry it was looking like this…

Entrway/Office/Living Room Combo | Cape27Blog.com

However, in real time, after moving the office to the bedroom we’ve been living with this:

Entryway | Cape27Blog.com

Even after lightening the photo quite a bit you can still see how dark, not to mention uninviting, the space is. And please ignore the random collection of pieces. Pretty much every single thing in this photo is a temporary filler and will go elsewhere as we find replacements.

To ensure that the end result would in fact be significantly lighter, we started by framing out and painting the lower two-thirds of the wall in a bright off-white (a custom match to our Ikea Adel cabinets in the kitchen/dining room).

Bring Character to an Entryway with an Easy Wall Treatment | Cape27Blog.com

 Ricky just used a few basic 1×3′s to make the frame, the same size boards as used on the craftsman door trim around the front door. It really helps the space feel as one, like it was always there, and brings so much character to the room. I always felt like the pallet wall, opposite the entry wall, was really heavy in the room and pulled your eyes directly to that side of the room. This new feature is definitely helping to balance that out. The pallet wall was another reason we opted not to do the typical board and batten within the frame. We felt like all the horizontal pallet boards mixed with vertical board and batten slats would just be too much for the room. So glad we recognized that before it was too late.

And BAM, instantly brighter.

Bring Character to an Entryway with an Easy Wall Treatment | Cape27Blog.com

I’ll have to share a picture looking from the front door into the kitchen area, it’s so light and airy. I’m LOVING coming home to this new space.

Now, for the upper half. We played around with the idea of installing a gray grasscloth wallpaper above the chair rail for quite some time before settling on an option. I looked into buying it online, and even ordered a few samples, but all of the options seemed really dark and heavy. Then I remembered reading about Kate purchasing gray grasscloth wallpaper from Lowe’s. I flipped through their books with no luck, but what I did find was their selection of in-stock wallpapers. They didn’t have any gray grasscloth, but what I did find was Allen & Roth’s Grasscloth in Beige. You can probably guess what this painting-fool was about to do :)

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

At just $20 per roll and at my immediate disposal, I didn’t even question whether or not to give this project a try (most other grasscloths were only available by the double roll, costing $60+ and had to be custom ordered). I made sure to cut out a small sample of the wallpaper and paint it before wasting any time with the entire roll, and left it up on the wall for a few hours to decide if the color was a go. Which, for anyone curious, we chose to paint the grasscloth one shade lighter than our existing BM-Gray Husky wall color, with Ben Moore’s Silver Chains.

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

The paper was pre-pasted so I didn’t have to mess with any crazy wallpaper glues either. Hanging was crazy easy, coming from a girl who has never wallpapered or witnessed the process. I just simply cut the paper to size, submerged it in water, and smoothed it out on the wall. I picked up one of those wallpaper water trays to dunk the paper in, which was manageable with smaller strips, but if you’re looking to wallpaper an entire wall (floor to ceiling) I might suggest using a spray bottle to midst the paper instead.

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

In older homes the walls are never straight, so I was pretty much banking on a fight if I tried to precut the paper before hanging. Instead, I just left an extra half inch or so on both top and bottom and then cut the paper with an x-acto knife once it was snug on the wall. I found that using the smoothing tool to hold the paper in place, while I made each cut, kept the paper from sliding around or snagging.

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

Even with the beige color, I was already loving the look.

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

The seams were a little more noticeable that I had hoped for, but no worries, the paint takes care of them! From a distance they blended in quite well anyway.

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

I allowed the wallpaper to set up for a few days before tackling the painting phase, which is not really a “phase” at all since I painted the grasscloth exactly the way I would have any other wall surface. Bonus – it covered in one thin coat!

I’ll admit, it did lose some of the texture, which could have been assumed since we were covering the variation of colors with one solid color, but it still has plenty close up!

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

Form farther away, it blends perfectly with the other walls :)

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

I know, it doesn’t even look like wallpaper. Which, I kind of love. It’s a nice little surprise when you get closer up!

Here’s a very boring, and very poorly staged version of what we’re planning for the space. Of course, the mirror needs to be hung, we’ll be replacing the console with a dresser, adding a few accessories, hanging a couple coat hooks, and we might swap out the chair. We’ll see :)

Paint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.comPaint Grasscloth Wallpaper for a Custom Color | Cape27Blog.com

We’ve almost wrapped up the mudroom lockers (I know, I’m jumping around on projects like a crazy person. Sorry, get used to it.), so maybe we could squeeze in DIY’ing a dresser for this space sometime relatively soon. That is, if we finish up Zoey’s closet this week. Whhhat? I know. We’re nuts. Why do we do this to ourselves? We’ll be sharing more deets later this week :)

June 3, 2013

Entryway Mini-Makeover Plans

I’ve been withholding a few updates around here (I know, bad blogger), but only for the mere reason that I didn’t find them interesting enough to share. Well, a few weeks later and this place is starting to look a little unfamiliar and I have some serious explaining to do.

Last time I shared our living room/entryway it was looking like this (minus the dot art that we replaced:

Entrway/Office/Living Room Combo | Cape27Blog.com

My office space has always been near the front door, which I despise, but we had attempted to make the situation a little more manageable by adding a few new organizational tools. It was working great.. however, still directly in the path of the entry. So, we did a little rearranging in the master bedroom and were able to squeeze my desk in, opening up an entirely new wall of potential in the living room!

Once complete, we plan to use the mudroom as our main entry point to the house, and only use the front entrance occasionally and for guests. It’s open to the heart of the home (kitchen, dining, and front living room) so we want the space to blend and feel casual as the other rooms do, but I’m still hoping to make it feel a bit more formal. Which, around here, just means not a dumping ground for everything we bring home.

I whipped up a quick mood board a while back to help the process move along. These are just the beginning stages of the space, but here’s the plan!

Entryway Mood Board | Cape27Blog.com

First and foremost, the wall treatment. The front of the house receives a decent amount of natural light, but this wall in particular is SO dark. Even with the light streaming through the windows in the door, it’s still always significantly darker than the rest of the house. I’m hoping to really lighten up the area by painting the lower two-thirds of the wall in a bright white, framed out with a few 1×3′s. It’s not a full on board and batten look we’re going for, it’s really just a way to make the white look a little more intentional and give it some purpose. The upper third of the wall is going to be texture galore with a gray grasscloth wallpaper. So pumped about this mini-makeover. We’ll also probably throw a few hooks up there, near the door, for guests to hang their coats.

Outside of simplicity, another goal for this space is texture and layers. I’m hoping to achieve a room that is streamlined, but thriving with warm woods, high contrast, and a few colorful accessories. Since our floors are pretty dark, I want to layer on a lighter wood tone for a console table, like the dresser pictured in the mood board above. I’m actually really digging everything about that piece. The drawers provide plenty of storage for corralling miscellaneous accessories, while keeping them out of sight, and the lines are so simple and carefree. The price tag is making us think it could be a potential DIY project?

And a few accessories that we know are in the running – This Robert Abbey Lamp that I’ve been dying to use somewhere in our house and the rustic, wood mirror from our previous home that’s been eating up garage space for over a year :)

I’ve been slowly chipping away at it, in between entertaining the larger projects going on around here, so I’m hoping to share some really fun progress with you guys later this week!