Thursday, October 27, 2011

Office Area Sources

I've had a couple of questions about where we got everything in our new office area (check out the reveal here), so here's a list of sources...
Desk: Bedford Collection at Pottery Barn
Ottoman: Urban Outfitters
Wicker storage cube: Target
Lamp base: Target
Lamp shade: Target
Desk organizer: Pottery Barn
Coaster: Anthropologie
Ceramic owl candle: World Market
Glass vase: Goodwill
Frames: Ikea
Decorative paper: Blick

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kid-Friendly Christmas Decorating

I know it's not even November yet, but I have been perusing all the lovely Christmas catalogues (not to mention Pinterest) and it's got me feeling pre-emptively festive.

Having kiddiewinks in the house can put limitations on your decor choices (glass ornaments and little hands are not a good combo) but there are plenty of gorgeous things out there that won't pose a hazard to little ones. I've rounded up a few pretty offerings...
{Set of 6 Burlap Bird Ornaments - Ballard Designs, $25.00}

{Set of 3 Button Owl Ornaments - Crate & Barrel, $23.95}
{Burlap Ribbon - Pottery Barn, $18.50}
{Set of 6 Rustic Bell Ornaments - Crate & Barrel, $12.95}
{Set of 6 Bell Ornaments - Crate & Barrel, $17.70}
{Set of 24 Wooden Snowflake Ornaments - Crate & Barrel, $9.95}
{Set of 4 Mother of Pearl Peace Dove Ornaments - Wisteria, $39.00}
You could always make your own, like these using pretty fabric over a foam ball:
{Good Housekeeping}
You could also take DIY inspiration from these etsy beauties, or save yourself the time and just buy from them:
{Set of 6 Rainbow Wool Acorn Ornaments - astashtoys on etsy, $12.00}
{Set of 6 Crochet Snowflakes - also available in other colors - Caitlin Sainio on etsy, $15.00}
{Sheet Music Ball Ornament - made with foam balls - MusicallyMade on etsy, $9.00}
{Set of 3 Burlap Stockings - KatysHomeDesign on etsy}
{Set of 10 Felt Poms - also available in other colors - littlenestbox on etsy}
{Vintage Sheet Music Ornament - EclecticPaperDesigns on etsy, $20.00}
Over the past few years, I have been collecting my own baby-friendly Christmas ornaments - usually in the after-Christmas sales. I'll try to wait till after Thanksgiving before busting those out, though.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Office Area Reveal

Our "new" office area is finished - finally. It only took me like three months (and no, there wasn't that much to do, I just procrastinate a lot). Anyway, check it out.
(Please excuse the child-proofing on the drawers and PC tower - they're rather a necessity in our house).

I'll give you a quick recap of how this little nook came to be... we started with this:
It was the messy corner of our living room devoted primarily to the Little Man and his toys. The bookshelf is moving to the other side of the room and getting a makeover, the toys are mostly moving into S's bedroom, and the rug has a new home elsewhere, all so we could move our desk out of the guest room and in here. And that is where it sat looking miserable for longer than it should have...
I attempted a gallery wall, but I didn't like the results...
The wall itself was fine - it actually grew on me in the time it was up there - but it didn't work with the simple, clean lines in the rest of the room.
See? Just not doing it. So I took the whole thing down, patched all the holes, touched up the paint, and started from scratch. I decided on three matching white frames over the desk instead...
This project wasn't allowed to cost any money. I already had the frames and I filled them with wrapping paper I also had on hand. I might change them out eventually for some pretty prints or something, but I'm liking them for the time being.
You might remember that in the process of sorting out this space, I reorganized all our desk drawers.
I also added file folders to make the desk organizer more efficient.
So now the whole space is working much better for us, which makes me happy. :)
 And it's much more cohesive with the rest of the room. Which is nice.
Also - side note - check out the ceramic owl candle I found at World Market the other day - isn't he cute? (Technically, buying him means that I failed on the not-spending-any-money-on-this-project thing, but I don't think it really counts, right?)
So, to recap, this was the before:
And this is the after:
Not the world's most dramatic reveal, obviously, but it does make me feel like the room is that much closer to being finished, which is always a good thing.

Update: If you're interested in a list of sources for this space, check it out here.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Searching For A Side Table

I recently sold our oak side tables because, as nice as they were, their traditional style and medium-toned wood weren't vibing with the rest of the room. Here they are in an old photo of our living room...
(Incidentally, looking back on pics like this, it seems my attention to detail in photos has improved a lot since I started blogging. I mean really, I couldn't have put away the highchair, play tunnel and coffee mug? Ah well.)

I've replaced one with a trunk (I'll post pictures soon) and am on the hunt for a solution to fill the gap left by the other. It has to be affordable - my budget is somewhere around $100, and I'd like to keep it lower than that if I can. In my design board for this room, I used this $80 drum table from Target.
I liked the round shape, the dark wood tone, and the price. Why not stick with it? Well, when we went to check them out in the store, the Little Man pulled it over really easily because that pretty shape makes it very top heavy. And anyway, it's not available anymore.

So, other options... I could do something fun and colorful...
{Ashley Painted Table - Home Decorators, $99}
{Loft Accent Table - Home Decorators, $129}
I considered a more industrial vibe, but obviously metal edges and/or glass plus toddlers is not a good combo, so these are a no-go, as pretty as they are.
{3 Shelf Metal End Table - Walmart, $99}
{Foxed Mirrored Side Table - West Elm, $199}
{Elements Grey End Table - O.co, $122 but currently sold out}
How about something altogether more rustic? Might make a nice contrast to our concrete ceilings and metal piping.
{Reclaimed Teak Jigsaw Stool/Accent Table - O.co, $107}
{Hand-carved Wooden Accordion Side Table - Wisteria, $199}
{Tribal Carved Wood Accent Table - World Market, $149}
Of course, there was this beauty, which was a top contender for a while, but adding another color to the turquoise/pink/white/metallic thing we've got going on would be confusing, I think. And it's a budget buster.
{Isala Table - Ikea, $179}
Speaking of budget-busters, I do love these pretty pieces...
{Reflections Mirrored Accent Table - Home Decorators, $399}
{Clairemont Side Table - Crate & Barrel, $449}
Then there was one of the original inspiration pieces for my coffee table...
{Bungalow 5 Marco Side Table - $455}
I was thinking another Lack Hack might be in order, and it would probably only cost me about $30 (two Lack side tables at $8 each plus lots of nail head trim). Then, just recently, I stumbled upon the blog Clementine & Olive, who just did just that - isn't the knock-off version pretty?
{From Clementine & Olive - see the post here}
My only reservations about this option are the sharp edges (and possible injuries to the Little Man and future Little Lady, although I could probably find a solution for that) and that it might be a bit matchy-matchy with our coffee table.

Honestly, I can't decide. Right this minute, I'm torn between the Lack hack and those colorful Home Decorators pieces. Or even searching Craigslist for a project piece. I'll keep you posted, and feel free to weigh in if you have a favorite!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Better After Feature

If you're popping over from Better After - where Lindsey very kindly featured my Ikea Lack makeover today (thanks Lindsey!) - hello and thanks for stopping by. I love having new visitors. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Updates

You may or may not have noticed two new pages pop up on my blog - Design Boards and For Sale.

I created the Design Boards page to keep track of the boards I've designed for our place, and I hope to add to it in the future with designs for reader spaces too. If you'd like a free design board to help you re-imagine a space in your home, please email me at prettycitythings@gmail.com - I'd love to help!
The new For Sale page is really my version of nesting, I think. With a new baby - girl, by the way! - due in a few months, I have been trying to clear out all the stuff we don't use to make room for a whole new person and all the things that she will amass, no doubt. It's mainly to help me keep track of everything we're selling on Craigslist and eBay, but I would be willing to ship smaller, lighter things to readers if anything really catches your eye.

Finally, the gallery wall in our new office area that was causing me much consternation is gone, and has been replaced with something cleaner, simpler and more in-keeping with the rest of the room. I've got a little bit more to do in that space but I'll post more soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

An Organized Office Space

I'm still considering options for the wall above our new office area, but in the meantime, I have been making the rest of the space more efficient.

I first sorted this space a long time ago, so I don't have proper "before" pictures. Just imagine piles of pens, pencils, cables and office supplies. Something like this:
In the years since it was first sorted, the Mr has been gradually un-organizing it all (he has a certain knack for that), so I spent a bit of time clearing out the clutter and making everything easy to see again. The key ingredient? Plastic fishing tackle boxes with adjustable dividers. You can buy them from a lot of places (including craft stores like Michael's and JoAnns), but I've found the best prices at hardware stores like Menards and outdoor shops like Bass Pro. Amazon also sells some for very reasonable prices (like this).

I have five boxes total - two large, two medium and one small. Have a gander at drawer number one...
Here are the contents - cables (which the Mr seems to collect), SD cards, adapters and cell phone accessories.
Another drawer...
This one holds yet more cables (I'm hoping he'll go through those and we can get rid of some), a calculator, glue, tape, labels and a label maker and other office supplies.
And the last one...
...which holds two medium tackle boxes and one small one. (Note the reason my photos aren't great on the left of this pic - I was in a bit of a rush before little hands started rearranging everything!)
These ones hold pens, pencils and smaller items, like thumb tacks, paper clips and rubber bands.
I've seen prettier office drawers, but I honestly don't think I've seen any that hold so much so efficiently - I love how easy it is to pull a box out and find exactly what you're looking for straight away.

I will add that before this little reorganizing project was that we had amassed a collection of no less than twelve old cell phones. Did you know that Best Buy and Target both offer trade-in programs for old cell phones as well as a lot of other used electronics? Both stores offer gift cards in exchange, and Best Buy also offers cash checks at about 60% value. It's worth checking both, because I had a few that Target wouldn't accept but Best Buy would and vice versa. And, if your old cell phones aren't worth anything, both stores offer recycling services.

You can get estimated trade-in values or just trade in online here:
Target Trade In Program
Best Buy Trade In Program

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