Aug 30, 2013

when DIY goes bad...

...i also could have titled this post :

"how to get paint out of your hair",


"how to get paint off slate floors"

cuz, yeah.
i had a little paint MISHAP yesterday evening:

as you know, i have been putting off painting gradys bathroom for weeeeeeeeks now. i finally got the motivation last night at about 8pm to start. i know. bad idea #1.

 things were actually going very well. i finished all the prep work in under an hour, started cutting in along the ceiling and around the toilet,vanity and door, and was rolling the walls by 10, happily and loudly listening to pandora on my iphone. (a little abba with some disney movie songs thrown in. don't ask. i was in a weird mood.)

 i had finished my second coat, and had some paint in a container that i was using to do touch-ups along the ceiling. i totally forgot that i left the container of paint on the ladder...until i went to move the ladder and felt the paint fall on my head!!
and drip down my neck!
and basically get alllll over me and the floor.

of course, i had a drop cloth down, but about half of the paint that hit the floor happened to land on the one spot where the drop cloth had pulled away! yeah. good times.
what a mess!

not to mention the fact that i was trapped---there was paint all over my feet, so i had my husband and kids race around the house to get me some rags and paint thinner.
oh, and a coke zero.
you know, just the necessities.

so, i first washed the slate with some warm soapy water, which might have been a bad idea, but i was in full panic mode, and would have rubbed just about anything on the floor if it was in the bathroom. it actually did a pretty good job of removing a lot of the paint.

when i finally got a hold of some  paint thinner, i put that on a rag and rubbed and scrubbed. i was a little disappointed. i had to rub REALLY hard (at first with the rag, and then a kitchen scrub brush) and even then, there were little particles of paint that were stuck in the "grain" of the slate.

i ultimately tried using steel wool with the paint thinner, which seemed to work really well, but what really helped to removed the last bit of paint that was stuck in the grain of the tile was a magic eraser!
who knew.

the base board is still a mess...
you can see the haze that is on the tile BEFORE the magic eraser:

and here it is after the magic eraser:

i was happy with how the paint came off the floors. 
(it was definitely more difficult to get the paint off of a natural stone floor that off of ceramic tile. because i have spilled paint on ceramic/porcelain tile before--although not to this degree!-- and it was much easier to get off!)

oh, and one painting tip:
wrap your toilet with a trash bag while painting to keep from getting paint on the back while painting!
(if only i had also wrapped my head!)

which brings me to another tip:
how to get paint out of your hair!!
(i never thought i would be writing a tip on removing paint from hair. or maybe i HOPED i would never be writing a tip on removing paint from hair.)

here is what worked for me:
round 1: 
conditioner + 3-row comb (also called a pocket brush)

i just put some conditioner on my hair, and combed through it for a few minutes with the 3 row comb. it was like MAGIC. i kid you not. doing this removed about 90% of the paint in my hair.
(there have been times when i have had paint in my hair for days after painting a room. not anymore! i am going to do this from now on.)

round 2:
shampoo + rinse + conditioner + comb.
i just shampooed and rinsed my hair like normal, applied conditioner and combed it again.
ALL of the paint was gone.

potential mental breakdown averted.
for now. is the room this morning:

it was a late night, and i have a busy day. i still need to finish cleaning up the non-paint-spill mess from the bathroom, and do about 35 other things around the house....

but, i am happy to report that the floor looks almost as good as new. 
i still need to mop it and do some touch up scrubbing with the magic eraser.
and, the baseboard where the spill happened will need to be sanded and repainted.

but that can wait for another day. my kids get out of school early today, and i think i deserve a pedicure.
don't you agree?

have a happy weekend!

Aug 29, 2013

a visit to west elm

earlier this week, i popped in west elm for a visit.
this west elm is located in downtown salt lake city, and is in the new city creek center, across from the historic temple square.
if you have never been to a west elm, you need to make a point to pop in the next time you are in a city that has one!

i love the way they have the most items displayed by color. 
such eye candy!

 if you have only been shopping on west elm online, you might have missed their new "market" area--where they carry dishes, and all things related to housekeeping. their stuff is seriously chic. i found myself daydreaming about throwing out all of my mixing bowls, canisters, hot pads, and kitchen "gear" and starting from scratch.

i am a huge fan of west elm lighting! their items are so unique and look great in any space. they always manage to stock items that add an edge to a very traditional room, or add some softness to a very modern space.

one item that i am particularly taken with is their version of the "bed in a bag". they come pre-packaged in coordinating sets so you can just grab and go and know your bed will look great.
this pretty maize version comes with the sunburst duvet cover and polka dot sheets, and then you can throw on whatever accent you want.

the patterns are so pretty together!

  this chevron is another version of their "bed in a bag". the tiny pin-strip sheets are a great compliment to the bolder chevron duvet cover.

love their accessories!


the center of the store has this fun glass enclosure with a large floating branch....

 isn't this fun?
i love the bleached wood plank ceiling. wouldn't this treatment look amazing in a beach house?

here are the two accent pillows that we purchased for the college dorm room:
(the green velvet pillow  is actually darker and more, well...GREEN in person)

(sorry about the blurry pic!)

thanks for coming along!

Aug 28, 2013

college dorm room schemes + design board

a friend of mine recently asked for some help in pulling together some bedding ideas for her daughter, who will be starting college in utah this fall. she mentioned that she was looking at some options at pottery barn teen, and i immediately stopped her and told her she was about to make a terrible mistake. (you can say mean things like that to a friend....i would have said the same thing to a client, but in a more professional and "nice" way!)

hey, nothing wrong with pb teen. i actually love pb teen, but taking an entire bedding ensemble from their collection can look a little juvenile--especially for a college student. their girl bedding tends to be bright, and more "clear" colors, which aren't as sophisticated as more muted tones.

for instance, yellow is a great color, but at full intensity (think big bird), and mixed with a hot pink AND a dose of turquoise, it can get bad.

(imagine mimi from the drew carey show... as a bedroom. yeah, YIKES.)

now, take that same yellow, but add some gray and brown to it, and you get a muted, pretty mustard color that will mix well with dusty blues, deep plum, lavender, and ALL kinds of neutrals. the palette can still be youthful, but in a controlled and sophisticated way.

here are a few color schemes that i came up with using a few of my go-to places for tween/teen/young adult bedding items: urban outfitters, west elm, etsy, and serena and lily.

so, which one did she end up choosing?
she chose the "dusty blue + black/white" option, and we ended up throwing in some green for an additional dose of color:

i am looking forward to seeing it all pulled together! my friend and her daughter flew in yesterday, and we met at west elm to make a few purchases....i will be sharing some pictures of my visit tomorrow, so stay tuned!

interested in working together?
i still have openings for september and october. 
email me at to set up a consultation!

Aug 27, 2013

new favorite thing: double tension shower rod

first of all, let me just state that--NO, gradys bathroom has NOT been painted yet.
i have thought about it at least 355 times since june, but i still have not taken the plunge.
this is due, in part, to me trying to spend as much time as possible with the kids before they went back to school (yesterday was the first day!). the other part is just sheer laziness. i just haven't made it a priority!

that being said, i am making p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s.
everything EXCEPT the paint is ready to go.
i shared my new design plan of this bathroom here, and one of the things i decided was that i wanted two separate, decorative shower curtains. i looked online to see if i could find a nice looking, double shower rod, and spotted one at bed bath and beyond.

i was going to order it online, but i decided to swing by my local store instead. luckily, they have one in stock, and so i brought it home and tried it out.

i am in love with this! it was really easy to install---it just went up like a normal tension rod. i actually think it was a tad easier because it was larger, and easier to keep lined up in the same place on both sides.

i placed mine right at the top of the shower tile.

 because the decorative panels have grommets tops, i did have to thread them onto the rod before tightening it into place. i put the rings for the curtain liner on after the rod was up.
because my panels are 84" long, i purchased an extra long (84") liner. i purchased this hotel fabric one because i want it to last for a long time, and want the option of washing it.

here it is!
i love that the shower is still totally functional, but the shower liner is hidden. i LOVE being able to see the tile in the shower, and feel that having the opening between the panels helps make the bathroom feel a little bigger.
*oh, and see??---the paint and all the supplies are just sitting patiently on the floor, waiting for me to get started. and i will. someday.