Let There Be Lights

The bedroom has been getting lots of attention lately. First a new rug, then a headboard, and now some lights.

brass bedside sconces ashandorange.wordpress.comI wanted sconces instead of lamps to free up some of the very limited nightstand space.

I liked the idea of library sconces with adjustable arms. But they are too big (both visually and physically) for our small bedroom and nightstands, as well as being crazy expensive.

I obsessively searched for inexpensive brass sconces, found nothing, considered making my own, and finally found some $20 brass spotlights at Target when I should have been buying milk. In my defense, the lights are pretty close to the milk.

brass sconces ashandorange.wordpress.com

These lights are perfect. They are small so they don’t overwhelm the nightstands. They swivel 360 around the base plate and can adjust up and down, allowing you to direct the light where you want it. The soft brass color also blends really well with the small brass knob on the nightstand and the brass door knob on the closet.

brass details ashandorange.wordpress.com

brass lights ashandorange.wordpress.com

The cords are the typical clear plastic cord with silver wires inside. They don’t bother me too much, but in the future I may cover or paint them.

brass lights ashandorange.wordpress.com


Office Update: Gallery Wall and end of the January Cure

My goal was to finish the office during the month of January, as I participated in the January Cure. It is now mid-February and I am calling the office done…for now.

The reason the office did not get finished by February 1 is not me (I am perfect), it was the polar vortex. Besides causing major havoc and misery all over the United States, the freezing temps also delayed my spray painting, which delayed finishing the office. Again, this had nothing to do with me starting 100 projects at once and watching too much tv.

As I mentioned in this post, one of my goals for the finished office was to add a bulletin board. I found this bulletin board at Target for $10. The faux wood finish was gorgeous but I wanted a different look. I painted the frame with Rustoleum Metallics gold spray paint. Eventhough I sanded to frame to rough it up, the spray paint pooled in some spots and didn’t want to stick. After it dried, I used some antique gold rub ‘n buff to cover any wood that was peeking through where the spray paint did not stick. I then painted the cork with a sample pot of paint, Mariner by Martha Stewart. I like the navy and gold combo, and if I tire of it I can always paint it a new color or use some fabric to cover it.

navy and gold bulletin board ashandorange.wordpress.com

The other frames are Ikea Nyttja frames. I used the same spray paint, rub ‘n buff method with them. Again, I had issues with the spray paint adhering. Not sure if it was user error (likely), or if I need a primer over these plastic surfaces.

I made a calendar with one of the large nyttja frames. On the back of the plexi glass I drew a calendar grid with navy sharpie. I then attached a piece of scrap white fabric. I put the frame back together and added the month and day numbers with the same sharpie. When I need to change the month a little rubbing alcohol takes the sharpie off of the plexi glass. (You could also use a dry erase marker and skip the rubbing alcohol step). Immediately after I finished this grand feat of engineering I noticed I do not have enough spaces in the grid for a month with more than 28 days. Looks like I have some fixing to do, or I can just forget the last few days of the month exist.

calendar ashandorange.wordpress.com

I used white fabric scraps to back all the frames. The thin fabric worked really well in the smaller frame, but tends to pull oddly in the larger frames. I will probably try a thicker fabric in them. I added a black and white picture to the smaller nyttja frame and I’m still thinking about what pictures to add to the other large frame. The small square brown frame is from Target long ago and houses a watercolor painting of mine.

gallery wall ashandorange.wordpress.com

As for the rest of the office…things are looking good.

Office full ashandorange.wordpress.com

The rug is from Target and used to be in the bedroom. The desk chair is also from Target. It’s from their Room Essentials line and I haven’t seen it listed online. The desk was a thrift store find.

The aqua cart is the raskog cart from Ikea. I had absolutely no use for it, but bought it anyway. That is how it came to live in the office. The jury is still out if it actually works in here, but functionally it is great. It holds all the internet stuff in the bottom, and stationary in the other shelves.

On the other side of the room I made a seating area. I bought these chairs at a thrift store last year with plans to reupholster them…that didn’t happen. I hope to reupholster them this summer, but in the meantime they make a nice place to sit in the office.

chairs ashandorange.wordpress.com

The large shelving unit behind the chairs is West Elm from a while ago. I actually found mine on Craigslist about 2 years ago.

That’s the new and improved office. Did the cure work? I think so, being that the ultimate goal was a cleaner more organized space. The office started as a big disorganized closet and now we actually enjoy the space. It not only looks better; it is 100x more functional and has become a room we actually use.

Well done January Cure. See you in 2015.

Old Rug New Rug

Part of my office cure project list was to add a rug. After lots of searching for the perfect rug, that was also very cheap, I found a perfect option: the rug in my bedroom. It was very cheap (free) and it works perfectly in the office. We purchased the rug at Target, about a year ago, after the untimely demise of our previous bedroom rug by a sweet dog with a upset stomach.

Criss cross rug in badroom ashandorange.wordpress.com

It worked great in the bedroom. It is very plush and soft. The plushness does go down a bit after walking on it (think old teddy bear), but it still has great weight and feel on your feet. The neutral ivory and gray goes with everything and the rug is a steal at $130.

I like it so much that I considered buying another one for the office. That was until I spotted this amazing rug on Jenny Steffens Hobick’s blog. I would have never considered it from the picture on overstock.com, but the pictures in her blog show how beautiful it really is. It’s neutral with great accents of rust, navy, and lilac gray. I have wanted a persian looking rug for a while but they are always too expensive or my husband and I can’t agree. But everything worked out with this rug. It was under $200 (not bad for a 5×8 wool rug) and both of us really like the pattern and colors.

After some interesting maneuvering to get a 5×7 rug out of a 9×9 room, the criss cross rug found a new home in the office and the persian rug a new home under the bed.

The office:

criss cross rug in office ashandorange.wordpress.com

and the new rug in the bedroom:

persian rug in bedroom ashandorange.wordpress.com

bedroom rug ashandorange.wordpress.com

Our nightstands are a vibrant red-orange laquer. The rust tone in the rug works well with them. My favorite part is the navy blue accents.

Bedroom rug detail ashandorange.wordpress.com

It smells a little chemical-ly but it’s fading. It’s very dense wool and feels nice underfoot. Lucky for me, I have an in-house model to show how comfy the new rug is.dog on rug ashandorange.wordpress.com

Still lots of projects to do in both the office and the bedroom, but it feels good to at least have the rugs done and another project checked off of my office cure list.


Criss cross rug (now in office): Threshold Criss Cross Fleece Rug, 5×7, from Target

Persian Rug: Handmade Treasured Sand Wool Rug, 5×8, from overstock.com

Nightstands: Turned leg nightstand in Vermillion, from West Elm, no longer available (I found one of mine through craigslist)

Goodbye Barrister

The barrister bookcase served his purpose of holding the cable box and my fine collection of mason jars, for about a year. But as I mentioned in my original post about the barrister, he was a little large for the space and there was nothing to balance him visually on the other side of the fireplace.

bookcase before ash and orange

Enter the most wonderful place on Earth…Target. The Threshold line at Tar-jay has been knocking it out of the park lately with furniture and these bookcases are no exception. They were a small enough size, white, and on sale for $50. Sold!

After two Targets, $100, and a little assembly…

target carson bookcase ash and orange

They were incredibly easy to put together and for the price you can’t beat them. The laminate has a wood grain pattern, so they actually look like painted wood. The legs and molding also help them to look less like cheap flat pack furniture. 

The small piece of cove molding matches the molding on our fireplace making the bookcases fit in perfectly with the fireplace and living room.

target bookcase detail ash and orange

So, although the Barrister was a handsome and well traveled gent, it didn’t work out for him with the living room. Maybe he will have better luck in the office…or basement. Don’t fret barrister, there are a lot of rooms in the sea, I mean house.