On the Rail

With my house finally coming back together after the floor/stair/railing reno, I have TONS of awesome DIYs planned for you guys.  For some strange reason, however, Hubby's pretty insistent that I install baseboards and door trim and finish painting before I start decorating.  Silly boy.  So basically, big, exciting things are coming, but my house needs to look like a house first.  Sad Trombone. I thought I'd pop in quickly today and show you that we are no longer at high risk for falling down the stairs- we have a railing!!!  I coerced my contractor (since we're still awaiting permit on the flip) to come and install this beaut.


With 2 super sexy newel posts that used to not be super sexy.



After all my crazy patching, I ended up painting it with a base of solid stain, then countless coats of Polyshades to give it a multi-dimensional, stained look.  I have some touch-ups to do now that they're installed, but I humbly think my paint treatment worked!

It's weird that we never realized how low our old railings were until we got one of the proper height.  Don't get me wrong, we knew the height was off, especially at the top, but check out the hole where the old railing hit the wall- a good 9 inches lower!


The entire old railing wasn't 9" lower, just the return at the top, but man was it awkward.  As you can see, 2 spindles are missing and replacements have been ordered.  For some reason, my count was 1 less than was actually needed since we changed the configuration a bit (the top newel post moved up a step) and one snapped during install.  No sweat, I've been assured by my contractor that I can install them myself without issue.


Now we just need to get used to not only using and seeing a railing again, but one that is the proper height!

Next step for these stairs? A runner!  These buggers are slippery now that they're refinished.  Slippery + already steep stairs = runner as necessity.

My Office Plan

Oh my office.  I'm excited to make this a workable office.  and tv room. and workout room.  It wears many hats, but the primary one needs to be workable office.  This is where the design magic needs to happen. Before we tore out the carpet, my office had stalled out shy of usable office.  No desk or workspace and the computer placement made me feel like I was in a cave.


While I'm still fleshing out the layout, I know what feel I want here.  This office (via House Beautiful) spoke to me.


Clearly I don't have anywhere near the space or want to fork over budget to replicate this, but I'm inspired.  Sometimes it's the hardest as a designer to work on your own spaces because of all the possibilities in front of you.  When I find myself getting tripped up like this I always try to pick a jumping off point.  For my office, it's this rug that I stumbled on at HomeGoods.  It's so soft and more subtle in person.  Traditional and feminine without being too girly.

HomeGoods rug find- Safaviah Calista Rug- via Year of Serendipity

From there I was inspired.

Fresh and fun office plan via Year of Serendipity

1.  IKEA ranarp task lamp.  I've had this lamp for over a year and I still love it- it just needs a better home.

2.  My vintage craigslisted settee will need to stay in the space (for the tv room functionality portion), but it requires some new pillows!  This fun stripe is Color Lesson, Cantaloupe from Tonic Living

3.  I love the way yellow pops with the rug, so my office chair might get a good dose of Heni Slub Goldenrod from

4.  #polkadotsforlife.  Polka dots make me weak in the knees, so I'm very very seriously considering a roman shade in this Small Ikat Dot from Tonic Living

5.  This room needs plants!  I'm still not so great at keeping them alive, but I'm officially a plant addict.  The one pictured is technically a small, artificial one from IKEA, but you get the idea.

6.  This image is courtesy of Apartment Therapy, but I am actively on the hunt for a small scale desk to maximize my worksurface in my small scale space.  Hopefully my besty Craigslist will help me out.

7.  Totally the same rug as above but it changes color in different lights- more beigy at times, and others more blue.  It's actually billed as silver which is probably accurate.  I stumbled on mine for an amazing deal at HomeGoods, but I found it later at Target as well- Safavieh Calista Rug

8.  If you have a really good memory, you might remember this guy as my $25 Brimfield pick from a year ago.  He's been patiently waiting in the basement for new upholstery- I'm thinking #3 above.  A nice yellow pattern would make him look super dapper, don't you think?

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve here too (like a creative way to hide the TV), but the bedroom floors are still unfinished, which means 1/3 of the bedroom is currently shoved into my office.  Another 1/3 in Hubby's office, and the last 1/3 in the living room.  The cats seem a bit bewildered as to why there's a mattress taking up the entire living room floor.


Hubby's Office Plans

With new (old) floors upstairs, that means the 3 rooms affected will also be getting new looks.  The bedroom's transformation will be minor with just a new rug and maybe new night stands and lamps, but Hubby's office and my office will both get pretty drastic changes.  Neither office got too much design, planning, or thought previously. Hubby's office was regrettably painted lime green (when we first got the house and were in desperate need of some color in the house....) and it inherited Clifford the big red chair when it got ousted from the living room by my reupholstered ikat chair.  Hubby loves that big chair.  I'd love it in another fabric.


Basically, I hate to admit, Hubby's office was where all the bad design decisions in the house went to die.  Out-dated messy gallery wall, clashing colors, ikea desk left over from my bachelorette pad....  Bad designer/wifey.  Hubby deserves better than that.

I'm deciding to finally be a good designer/wifey on this room and take my own taste out of it.  Clifford stays despite my best efforts.  Hubby's finally getting the dark, traditional office he's always wanted.  Complete with oriental-style rug and antique (craigslisted) desk.  The base layer is going to be very traditional.


Color: Behr Marquee Mossy Bench; Anya Chair; Task 1 Floor Lamp; Amida Rug

Hubby would die happy if I let him live in this room (with the addition of his computer of course):


image via

It's a little too buttoned up for me.  Luckily, however, Hubby's not as buttoned up as he thinks and there will be a heavy dose of cheekiness in his office.

The fun and funkiness will come in primarily through art and accessories.  You can't have too serious of a room when you have this hanging on the wall, right?

daisy charlie painting

hehe.  I'm really looking forward to styling in here (ya know, once we move the dresser and night stands back into the bedroom).  Mixing traditional paintings from Hubby's travels with a crazy anthropomorphic painting of our cats along with some fun/geeky decor which includes Optimus Prime.  This is going to be one serious room that doesn't take itself seriously at all.

I can't wait to share my office plans with you Wednesday!