Tag Archives: decorating

Random Update and House Inspiration

3 Jun

Hey friends! I am seriously lacking on blogging inspiration and ideas right now, so I thought I’d share some randomness with you:

1) Last weekend, Travis, Emma and I went to one of Travis’ cousin’s graduation open houses down in the Cities and then we spent the night at my parents’ cabin, which is an hour north of there. They hadn’t seen Emma in over a month! It was fun and we got to help them with some yard work. I’m going back down there this Sunday while Travis travels for work. We’ll make our way down to Rochester too, and I’ll stay until Thursday-ish. So nice to have flexible plans when you live in the same state!

2) My second oldest brother, Brian, is marrying his dream girl, Jill, on Labor Day weekend this year in San Francisco, where they both live. Travis and I just booked our tickets last night! I’m so excited! They’re not having a bridal party, but all immediate family are in the procession. I’m excited to go dress shopping with my mom.

3) Instead of spending $3,000-3,500 on a brand new dining room table and sofas, Travis and I are bargain hunting. We found a couple of LaZBoy couches on CraigsList for $600 (we paid $500) that are the exact ones we were looking at (though a better color) and are in near-new condition. Score! We had to drive to Perham to get them (which was about 2.5 hours round trip) but totally worth it to save $1,400.

And then when we were up at Travis’ parents’ cabin on Memorial Day weekend, they said that there was a maple dining room table and chairs that were just going to be burned if no one wanted them. They were in rough shape, and they’re not necessarily what I would choose if I were paying for them, but hey, they’re free! We are going to refinish them with milk paint and distress them, giving them an antique look. I’ll post befores and afters on the blog.

4) Speaking of house projects, I joined Pinterest for the sole reason of getting house ideas. So I’ll leave you with some of my faves right now (that I might actually try to do):

trunk coffee tableLove the trunk as coffee table


We have this Poang chair in black, but I’d love to recover it with a fun fabric like this. (Does anyone know if Ikea sells just the cover? It didn’t look like it to me…)

understair playhouseThe house we’re buying has a built-in monster old-school flat screen TV underneath the stairs, along with a cubby for DVD and VCR players. If we removed them, this would be an awesome idea of what to do with those built-ins.

breakfast bar stool

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this chair and distressed look. And amazingly, I was able to find this exact chair unfinished on Bellacor’s website. I think Travis and I will buy 3 of these for our breakfast bar, but we’ve agreed to finish them with varnish instead – probably a 2-tone with dark cherry and a lighter oak color.

green wallpaperOur basement has 3 built-in bookshelves and I’d like to put peelable vinyl wallpaper on the wall behind them, just for a little something extra. This wallpaper from Lowe’s is a front runner.

purple tv stand

Our colors downstairs are going to be a toned-down lime green, plum (like the above TV stand) and brown. Would LOVE to find an old dresser and refinish it like the above for our TV stand.

crate flowers

I bought a few crates like this from an antique shop and plan to use them on our front porch for displaying annual flowers. I like this arrangement.

basement ledgeOur basement has a ledge like this, but right now it is just sheetrock. Travis and I plan to finish it with wood like this. The colors down there are actually these exact ones too – tan on top, green on bottom. Not the greatest picture, but I think it will look sharp!


Well, that’s all I have time for today! Have a great Tuesday. If for some reason you’d like to follow me on Pinterest, my name is Kathy Kluthe. 😉

Master Bedroom Update

1 Aug

This was a house project that I’ve been meaning to do for over a year. Our master bedroom used to have shelves on the walls, like in this picture:

But I was getting tired of the knick-knacks and then one of the shelves fell off the wall at least twice and ended up breaking. Time to replace them (12 months later).

I made my anniversary map project with the plan to hang it up in the master bedroom eventually. Last summer, I found a bunch of plain wooden frames at a garage sale for 25 cents each and this summer, I bought a can of off-white spray paint to redo them. With some other cute wall decorations on sale at Kohl’s and Hobby Lobby, it came together.

On the left side:

(Obviously, I still need to replace one picture but I haven’t been able to find a vertical picture for it yet.)

On the right side:


The ivory frames in this picture are the ones I spray-painted.

Also since the time when the first picture of this post was taken, we have painted 2 of the walls in our bedroom blue (because we replaced the windows) and installed dual rods, so that we could still have the sheer curtains but also have heavier ones to block out the light in the morning:

It felt good to get that project done! One down, 100 to go.



DIY Valance

23 Nov

Ever since starting to work at home back in March, I have been on the hunt for the perfect valance for my office. I love damask patterns, so I was really looking for one like that but couldn’t find one that would fit since the window itself is only 2′ tall.

So I made my own!

I had attempted to sew things before making this valance with the sewing machine I got from Travis’ grandma but the thread kept bunching up on the underside of the fabric and I couldn’t figure out why. Beth (my MIL) suggested adjusting the thread tension, which I did. And while I think that was part of the problem, I soon discovered the real reason I was having problems: I was forgetting to lower the foot where the thread comes out (excuse me if there’s a technical name for that). D’oh! So now, I just have to learn how to feed the fabric through in a straight line!

Regardless, here is the how the valance turned out:


Colors for the office are now pink, orange and teal

I had at first planned for it to be just a piece of fabric hanging across the window (like a flat valance) but even though I only made it 12″ long, it covered up 1/2 the window. And since my sewing job wasn’t the greatest, bunching it up and tying bows helped to make it shorter AND hid my poor seams. 😉


Closeup of the fabric and bows

Since I am proof that even a non-sewer can sew something and make it look decent, here is how I made this: I bought 2 yards of fabric (the window is about 4′ wide). I folded the fabric in 1/2 the long way and sewed shut all the open ends (top and 2 sides). I then folded the top down about 3 or 4 inches (depending on the size of your curtain rod) and sewed that, creating a pocket for the curtain rod. If you are creating a flat valance, you would probably also want to sew a seam along the bottom (about 3″ from the bottom), just for the visual.

Anyway, it’s not complicated or hard at all. It’s pretty much just using common sense. But not only was this cheaper than buying an actual valance (I think the fabric was less than $10), I got to choose the fabric I wanted AND make it the right length for our window (since it’s more of a midget window than a normal one).

Here is my office right now:


Where I have been spending my workin' days - see the cute pink lampshade?

I am planning on adding wooden letters painted pink and orange spelled HOPE right above my desk, to the left of my lamp. It’s on my To-Do List!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!


An eventful weekend

4 Aug

My weekend started earlier than I had planned it would. Around 9 AM on Friday, I started having chest pains, so much so that it became hard to breathe. Every time I inhaled, the pain worsen and it was impossible for me to take a deep breath. But I was in a meeting taking notes. At first, I thought it would pass. I had experienced a tight chest before but it went away after about 15 minutes. But this lasted–through our entire one hour meeting. By the time the meeting was over, I knew this was a special case and felt I needed some medical attention–not just because I thought it might be serious but because I wanted someone who could alleviate the pain I was in.

So I told my boss Carol Ann that I needed to go to the ER because I was having trouble breathing. She offered to take me and long story short, that’s what ended up happening. I called Travis on the way there and he said that he would leave work right away to come meet me (and he literally dropped everything on the spot–that sweetie). When we got to the ER (which seemed to take forever), Carol Ann told an EMT standing by that I was experiencing chest pain and having a hard time breathing so they made sure that my oxygen level was good (still 100%) and put me to the top of the list. About 5 minutes later, I was called back into triage.

I could bore you with the details but I won’t. Let’s just say they asked me a lot of questions, many of them 4-5 different times, gave me an IV, did an EKG, drew blood for lab tests, x-rayed my chest, gave me some nasty chalky stuff to numb my throat and stomach, the whole shebang. All of the tests (thank the Lord) came back negative. Turns out I’m actually pretty healthy. They even asked me if I was an athlete because my heart rate was so low (abnormally low–in the 40s–but then it stabilized around 64 or so).

But turns out that I have acid reflux. Some people get it because they’re overweight. Some people get it because. (I can’t help but wonder if all those nights of binge drinking in college has anything to do with this…that was before I was a Christian though! Don’t be getting the wrong idea about me!) Anyway, the doctor told me about the esophagus and the muscle between the ribcage and lungs can get inflamed by the acid. Then those muscles that normally help you breathe feel like sandpaper rubbing together. Beautiful picture huh?

Anyway, I got released with a prescription of Prilosec. I took a nap after getting home and then got up and painted our house (I’m a diehard, what can I say? Plus, 2 of our friends came over and helped us. I couldn’t just sit around!) But Friday night was miserable. I couldn’t lay down any which way without intense pain so I propped 2 pillows against the wall and tried to sleep sitting up. It didn’t work. About 2:30, I got up and went to Walgreen’s for some pain medicine (we didn’t have any at our house because we hadn’t moved all of our stuff down yet). That helped–so I got about 5 hours of sleep that night.

Saturday was Moving Day. We got up at 7 and went to Home Depot because we weren’t quite done with painting and needed to buy one more gallon for the living room. After finishing that, we drove up to Boulder and some of our other friends met us there to help us load the truck. About an hour and a half later, our lives were loaded into a 16-ft Budget truck. We drove down to Boulder and the unloading began. Another hour later and we were done (with that part)! We ate pizza at Beau Jo’s for lunch and then it was back to the grind.

Or not. I tried putting stuff away for maybe an hour or two but I was so in pain (this time it was my collarbone…?) that I eventually had to call it quits (against my stubborn nature). I took some Tylenol PM and watched TV (we finally get some stations!) waiting for it to kick in. I decided to sleep on the couch that night because I was scared of the bed (it was so mean to me the night before). Travis, again what a sweetie, slept on the futon so that he could be close to me. What an amazing man, huh? I actually slept really well on the couch–I could even lie down flat!

Sunday I felt good. I had a little pain in the morning but I took some more ibuprofen and I was good to go. Which was SUCH a blessing from the Lord because Sunday was Apartment Cleaning Day. It took Travis and me 4 1/2 hours to clean our tiny 700 sq ft apartment. But it is DARN clean, let me tell ya. Let’s just see what the landlords think tomorrow at our walk-through.

I even felt good enough last night to put stuff away in our apartment. I was a whirlwind–I unpacked all of our boxes and organized everything but our picture frames (I can never figure out where to put those!)

Anyway, this blog post is way too long now and you’re probably not even reading it anymore! (If you are, thank you for your dedication to my nothingness) 🙂

What I hate about moving…

1 Aug

Travis and I painted more last night and actually got quite a bit done. We painted the guest bedroom so that is done, except for the baseboards. We also painted the purple wall in the living room. It is now a celery green. But there isn’t an overhead light in the living room and we were painting it at sunset (and it faces east, not west) so there are a few minor spots that we missed with the roller. We’ll try to touch them up. The other wall in the living room that we were going to paint (to cover up some marks) we’re just going to touch up. The couch will go in front of the marks anyway.

Then Travis left for his hockey game so I started working on the trim. I finished one doorframe! Doesn’t sound like much huh? Actually, I got one coat on the closet and door frames of the MB, on the door frame of the GB, and on the door frame of the linen closet. Everything is going to take 2 coats so it’s just a long tedious process.

Tonight, we’re going to paint the office and try to get all the baseboards done in the rooms where we’ll have furniture against the wall. Then we’ll be ready to move in tomorrow and we finish painting over the next week or so.

A reassuring thought, though, while I’m busting my butt doing all this painting (I painted last night from 5 PM-11 PM) is that this is our permanent residence. We can live in this house as long as we want. And we don’t have to worry about our rent going skyhigh or landlords tweaking out. We can make improvements like this and ENJOY THEM for longer than a year! Seriously, I haven’t lived in one place longer than 2 years since moving to college. My freshman year, I lived in the dorms. Then I lived in a house my sophomore year. Then I lived in an apartment my junior year. Then I lived in another house my senior year and stayed there the year after I graduated (because Travis lived only 3 houses away!) Then I moved when we got married. Then we moved to boulder, Colorado. Now we’re moving to Wheat Ridge. And all that since 2002. Whew!

This is what I hate about moving:

Changing your address with the bank, school, work, credit cards, and places you never even think about until you get a forwarded letter in the mail that they had sent to your old address.

Having to throw out perfectly good address labels because you no longer live at that address.

Having checks with the address on them that you lived at 2 houses ago because you didn’t live there long enough to actually use up those checks.

Having mail go to 3 different houses at one time.

Going to all the work of making your residence liveable only to move out a year later.

I heart my new commute

31 Jul

It only takes me 10 minutes to get to work from our new house. Woohoo! I won’t even mind going to work now…just kidding! If anything, it’s even harder to go to work now because I’m so excited about the house.

We slept on our new bed last night. We bought the Durango from Denver Mattress. It is lovely. It has the individually pocketed coils so that you can barely feel the other person move around. And it’s a queen so we have a lot more space on it than our old bed. I bought new teal sheets (on sale) from BB&B with a matching bedskirt that I just happened to find on clearance (love it when that happens!) We’re going to put the new duvet cover (that I bought with my mom in MN) on our bed and our old duvet cover on the bed in the guest room (Travis wanted a change).

I got our whole kitchen unpacked last night and went grocery shopping. So at least we can eat real food while we’re moving in. It’ll take a little while to get used to a new setup (as it always does) but it’s SO nice to have a bigger kitchen!! The cabinet arrangement isn’t ideal but we’ll make do. After Travis left for his “guy time,” I started to paint the trim until I realized we didn’t have any painters tape (I forgot it in Boulder). Kind of a necessity. So I decided to prime the guest bedroom instead. I got it all done by about 10:15 and then went to bed. I am such a messy painter–I get paint everywhere, including the carpet at least once or twice–so I have paint all over me today!

Tonight, we are going to paint the guest bedroom, prime and paint the purple wall in the living room, repaint another wall in the living room (they puttied holes in the wall without repainting–but they left the paint), and try to get some of the trim done. Tomorrow night we’ll paint the office and more trim. Then Saturday we move in! Yay!

Excitement kills the work ethic

29 Jul

It’s not Monday but it still feels like it! For the next couple of weeks, it’s going to be really hard to be at work and be productive–I am so excited about our house that I can’t concentrate!! Add to that, we’re going to have so much going on outside of work that I’m pretty sure by the time my brother’s wedding rolls around, we are going to be exhausted (and might not be able to drive back!)

Tonight, we are going to go look at beds again. We have a full-size bed that I’ve had since my sophomore year of college. It’s getting a little old to be in such a small bed. So we’re going to buy a queen. We went looking on Sunday and found a couple that we’re interested in. It’s just so hard to know which one we’ll like! So we’re going to go lay on our 2 contenders again tonight and make a decision. We’re going to have it delivered to our new house and move our full into the guest bedroom. Yay! But that means I have to buy queen sheets sometime in the next couple days…

Then we’re going to buy paint and champagne for our little party tomorrow night. Except Travis is eating dinner with some friends from church so we won’t be having dinner on the floor. Oh well, I’m so excited to paint and be in our new house that I really don’t mind.

We’re also going to pack up the rest of our stuff tonight (like our dishes, computer, DVD player) and bring as much as we can down to the house tomorrow–I want to get as much set up as possible because we have a limited amount of time. Plus, I want to be able to eat actual food for the next week, instead of getting takeout and fast food every day.

Tomorrow, I am going to stop by the house in the morning to put all our perishable food in the fridge. Then, I have to work 😦 but after work, we’re going to pop the cork, toast to our new house, and get the paint brushes out. I am also going to do laundry (way past due) and try to put away all our dishes and pans in the kitchen.

Until Friday, that’s pretty much it but then on Saturday, we’re moving all of our furniture out of our apartment. Sunday, we’re going back to the apartment to clean everything so that we can just be done with Boulder already! (I am SO excited to not make that drive everyday anymore!!) Monday and Tuesday will be unpacking. Wednesday I go get my bridesmaid dress from the alterations place and a mani/pedi. Thursday night, we leave for Minnesota. Friday is the rehearsal and grooms dinner (it starts at 3 in the afternoon!) and then Saturday is the wedding. Sunday we’re planning on just hanging out with family and then Monday we drive back. Whew! It will be a whirlwind of activity but good thing it’s all exciting stuff. Except that part about going back to work on the next Tuesday.

Anyway, I know that I will want to stay up until midnight every night putting stuff away but I cannot let myself–or else, I will not be coherent for the wedding or the drive to MN. I just have to be patient…which I’m not very good at!

They accepted our offer!

16 Jun

As of 5:41 PM today, our house is officially under contract. The sellers signed our offer “as is”–which really surprised our realtor. She said that it rarely happens that the sellers sign the offer without changing a thing. Does this have God written all over it or WHAT?!?!?

So Travis and I are WAY pumped about “our” new house–Travis would remind me that it’s not officially ours yet. But I don’t care about those petty little details. This means that I can officially start planning out how I want to decorate the house. It is going to be SO HARD to wait a month and a half to move in! I’ve been looking at magazines, The Nest, and other people’s blogs for ideas. I went on Craig’s List to look for cheap furniture but I didn’t find anything. I know we shouldn’t buy anything right now anyway because whatever I buy now, we have to move later.

The theme of my decorating is going to be “on a budget.” We won’t have much money to decorate with at first so I’m going to go to antique, consignment, dollar, and thrift stores as well as garage sales and Craig’s List to find furniture and wall pieces.

This is what I’m thinking so far: the main bathroom has a mirror and vanity of light-colored wood. The accents in the tiles and sink are a light tan color. The color scheme is going to be sage green, white, and light-colored wood/tan. I want a shower curtain that is white with sage green leaves on it, kind of like this one from Bed Bath and Beyond:

shower curtain






I’ll buy sage green towels and press wildflowers into frames to hang on the wall.

For the master bedroom, we will keep our current bedspread (light tan with a white vine design) and I want to add details like these awesome pictures, also picturefrom BB&B:











They’re a little on the spendy side so what I’m going to do is see if I can find 12×12 scrapbook paper kind of like this (at least the same color scheme) and glue them to a 12×12 canvas from a craft store. The master bath will be this same color scheme: taupe and light blue. LOVE IT!

I have more ideas but it’s time for bed. I’ll keep them flowing some other time. 🙂