Friday, February 24, 2017

My Very Pretty Office

Oh man, I have not blogged in a VERY long time.  The reason is, I just don't have enough time to devote to it. But from time to time,I get to do a bit of it because it is really fun. I don't make money from it cause I am neither good enough or have time to do it but I love looking back at all the stuff that's done over the years and reminisce.

Today though, I want to show you my new office.  It is pretty much how I want it to be and I am super happy. This is my sanctuary, it's a place where I do can do my job efficiently because it is soooo organized. It is pretty much the only part of my life that I seem to have altogether. There are no kid's toys in here, I can shut the door to the noise outside, and best of all it is very pretty.

Nice, bright, and open

See these cool chairs? Found them while driving down Southside drive. They are the most comfortable thing I have ever sat on, $15 each. At first I thought I would paint them white with chalk paint. Finally, I've decided I really like them as is.
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I get the window seat

I like to keep the office nice and simple as not to clutter up the space.

 Ok, Ben gets to use the office, I'm just nice like that.  See how boring his side of the desk is?

Idea curtesy of Pinterest. LOVE this tac board, HD or Lowes $7.00 

This door need some special interest but for now it's ok.

My favorite part, Yay! Everything I need is in here. That's all folks, until next time!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ugly, Moldy, Bathroom

We are currently fixing our house so we can list it.  Being a little overly ambitious, I pried opened the walls to find some nasty surprise hidden behind it.  I'm not sure if we're lucky we found the mold or not, ignorant is bliss? I am so thankful for my dad who came to help me fix the fiasco that I've gotten myself into.  Take a look.

This is the before: 

Here's my dad who came and rescued us.  He is meticulous about his work, I am sure my sloppy work drove him crazy.

I bought this vanity to put into this bathroom. I bought this before I knew that I was suppose to buy a vanity that was 30 inches high to accommodate for the sink vessel that sat on top. The height was perfect and it was a whopping $35. I did have to fix it a little, some of the veneer peeled off.  Otherwise, this piece was still in really good condition, it's mostly solid wood.

A little chiseling, patching, sanding did the trick

I've added a thin sheet of plywood underneath the molding

 Then Paint. This used to be a sewing machine, I think it's pretty.

So the bathroom is done. Voila.  It's really pretty and fresh. I was originally going to put in cool patterned tile from home depot, but decided against spending the money.  These tiles are so pretty, I really like the cool gray color and it didn't break the bank.  I also intentionally wanted the tiles to match from wall to floor.  It was .99 cent a sq feet.

I also added trim up above, it's not crown molding but it works.  I'm not going to tell you where but I found them for $1.00 A PIECE, it was still in GREAT condition.  I LOVE reusing old material, much more economical and ergonomical.  

I really hate to part with this mirror.  I found this mirror at Goodwill for $15 and fell in love with it.  The vessel sink and faucet is from Amazon.

The only draw back to this sink is that it was a bit too wide, as you can see, it's close to the toilet, oh well, I can't win them all. 

If you look closely, I've added "ship lap" to the wall.  I got the Lowe's guy to cut me 1/4 inch planks to put on the wall.  It does need a bit of light sanding, but for $13 for a sheet of 4X8s, well worth it. 

Anyway, it's been a tedious and fun learning project.  I have learned so much from this and I have now conquered my fear of using a tile cutter; literally another tool under my belt. 

Leave me a comment on what you think, I am up for hire : )

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Most Recent Diy

Since I haven't had any bookings lately for a photoshoot, I am taking this opportunity to finish some of my many diy projects.  I am going to try and convince you that having a stylish home doesn't have to get expensive; in fact, I vastly prefer finding quality vintage furniture over pricey store boughts any day.  I am so grateful to my wonderful hubby for allowing me to upturn our home in the midst of my project redos.

I've been obsessing about gold anything lately.  Since I had to redo my dresser, I thought I'd spruce it up a bit by adding brackets and spray painting them gold.

This is my favorite spray paint in gold, I can only find it at Michaels. The color is called Gold Leaf

I already had this mirror, it was a Goodwill find for $5.00 each, I bought three and spray painted them.  I also updated the mantel with spring florals for a fresh look.

I recently added a photo wall to my dining area.  I decided to keep them gold and white to keep it a bit more unified.  When I choose arts and prints, I choose things that I absolutely love. I also made sure that it matched the theme on my collection.  

 Although I love straight lines for the modern touch, too much of it can be boring.  I added a little vintage to make it less uniform and more glam.

See these frames, they cost $2-3 dollars a piece.  If you get them at Michaels, be prepared to pay $30 bucks or so for them.  My good friend Joyce took a picture of Ben and I at UPBC camp; we were newly dating.  What a perfect piece for the wall!

Decorating can be expensive.  Frames alone can cost $10-$30 bucks each and wall arts can cost about $30 easily if you don't do thrifts.  What I did was, I went to pinterest, typed in free printables, go to Fedex and print them off.  The large prints costs $1.30 on cardstock and the quality is amazing.  For smaller prints, your color printer will do the job well.

It's a bit crooked, sorry about that, it's hard to take a non crooked picture!  Another one of my favorite piece. I got two midcentury dressers for $30 total, the other one is being used as Isaiah's dresser.  I sanded it down, primed it, and repainted it white.  I know you are not suppose to paint solid wood but I did because this piece was not in perfect shape and I needed to hide the patch jobs.  Still beautiful and it is up-cycled.

Check out this find! I found this coffee table on craigslist for $20.  This baby is a beast; I tested it out to make sure it's safe for the kids, there is no way this thing will move. My wonderful hubby picked it up for me after work.  Originally, I was going to use the glass for a diy pallet coffee table, but after I saw it in my living room, I absolutely love it!  The base is rod iron so I decided to paint it gold.  I bet this thing cost around $300 originally.  

To decorate the table, I went to half price books and found some wonderful large books for $2 bucks each.  I also created a mini terrarium with succulant plants that is hard to kill (if anyone can kill a hardy plant, it's me.)

Here's the original.

 I love recreating things and my projects gives me a way to channel my creative energy.  So...are you convinced?  I hope you enjoyed the post. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What's Underneath those floors? (Part I, Boy's Room)

Have you ever read, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?"  Well it started off like that.  If you give Samantha a project, then you will have to....yeah, you know how it goes.  Anyway, what started out as a project to redo my son's room turned out to a MUCH bigger project than I anticipated.  The only thing I intended to do was to rip out the carpet, sand down the floor, and paint over it right?  Righhhttt.

 In the very beginning, Samantha decided to redo the floors.  

I mean, understandable right?  Look at the carpet pad, it literally turned into crumbs.  This is gross, it's more than gross, it is a health problem.  Will you put your face on that?  Well, my kids did cause they like to lay on the floors and wrestle and Lucy would take naps on the floor all the time.

Do you know what's underneath your carpet?  This is what happens to the spills in your room.

This is after I pulled out all the carpet.  Btw, pulling up carpet is the easy job, it's what comes after that's the killer.  My floors were so old that the plywood looked like stained floors.

After a good sanding down.  I didn't fill in all the holes to keep it looking rustic.

Of course after I pulled up the carpet, there were huge gaps on the bottom that must be covered up.  Lucky for me, I had a lot of old baseboard in the basement that I reused after I sanded them down and repainted.  

Here is the final product after 2 coats of paint.  I've decided on a grey blue for the boy's room.  I used porch paint so I didn't poly it.  I'll let you know how it holds up.

Well, that's part one of the floors remodel.  I will post more pictures after the room after all the furniture goes back in.

What's Underneath those floors? (Part II, Our Room)

Like I was saying, when you do one project it often turns into something more.  After I redid the boy's floors, I couldn't not do mine.  And if I were to redo my floors at all, this was the best time to do it since we could use the empty guest room to store our furniture.

For our room, I decided to try an exciting Pinterest project.  It seems like the current trend is to use plywood everywhere in a home.  You can use it on the walls, on the ceiling, and even use it as a cheap way to replace hardwood floors.  For a 300sq ft room, I spent $150 on 10 sheets of plywood cut into sixty 8-inch planks.  I heard that Lowe's would cut it for free, so I kept my fingers crossed and gave them a call.  I ran to place my order with them before they could change their minds.  The next day Ben helped me haul sixty 8-inch planks into the car and I started my project.

Before Picture; As you can see, it really did need to be redone.  

A good quality carpet should not look like this after 4 years.  As you can see, the installation was bad as well.

I am going to let the picture tell the story.

Ben was kind enough to give me a few hours of his time doing what he hates most in all the world.  But that just shows how much more he loves me right?  : )  

After a painstakingly long time of sanding down sixty 8-inch planks, it was time for the install.  At this point, I didn't even care to thoroughly clean the floors. I was ready to quit but my work was long from being finished.  

The floors are installed, yay!  I began by gluing them into the floor and then nailing them in with a nail gun.  After a few planks, I decided to forgo the liquid nails since it was going to cost me another $100.  I'll let you know what happens.

So...if you give Samantha a floor project, she is gonna want to paint the walls too.  

Paint Color 1 - Grey

Then I had to decide whether to stain or paint the floors.

Stain sample- 1st coat of PolyShade in glossy Espresso

Stain sample - 2nd Coat.  It wasn't as dark as I had hope for and too much grain was still showing.

Believe or not, the floor was the easy part.  Trying to decide on what to do with the walls, not so easy.  First I wanted to do stripes (thanks to Pinterest again)

But then it looked too much like an American Flag.

I decided to paint the floors black since I wasn't crazy about how much grain was showing.  I wanted white floors, Ben wanted black.  Since he was so nice to let me work on this project, I gave in as a way of compromising.  Even though I used paint, you can still see a lot of the grain, which is what I wanted.  I thought about adding polyurethane to make it shiny but I decided against it, I kind of like the matted look better.  Beware, black floors are hard to hide dirt....I know right?

Then I cried for three days because it looked like a teenage boy's room

So I changed the stripes to a baby blue.....and it looked like a baby boy's room

The baby blue just didn't feel quite right so I changed it to a deep nautical blue color.  Since I changed the blue, now I had to also change the other wall colors to match it.  I think I must've repainted the room 10 times.  By this time, I was inhaling too many paint fumes and was not thinking straight and I was very tired and emotional.

Finally it was time to move all the furniture back into place.  This was the really fun part.  I moved the bed to the other side of the wall which worked out soooo much better.  Now I don't have to look at the bathroom sink from my bed anymore.  I also got to pick out a fun new rug for the room.  I picked out three rugs and let Ben choose one, he chose this one which was surprising because of the bright colors.  It was also the most expensive of the three.  I was starting to really warm up to the floors.

Right away the kids brought toys into the room and started playing on the new rug.

These kids love their little brother and Ezra thinks they are hilarious.

And now, the room.  I got some nice decorative pillows, and a soft new throw to go with the bed.

I LOVE the deep calming blue.  I softened it up with lots of silver and feminine decor like the soft bedding, and the mirror.

 Ben got his reading chair right by the corner, looking out the balcony.

My new picture gallery.  I didn't fill all of them with pictures to keep it from becoming too busy.  I think empty frames add visual interests to the space.

We Love C.S Lewis

That's my work space in the corner, I love it.

Little details matter.  There are reasons why some things look good in certain places and not      another.  I can't explain it, it just does.   I got these mirrors from Goodwill for $5.00.  I painted them and I think they have so much character.  Decorating doesn't have to be expensive. Isaiah picked up these branches for me off the school ground.  They were even more perfect than the ones I planned to buy. 

Cost: Mirror $5.00, paint $3.00
Vase: Goodwill $2.50 (New from Target)
Branches (Free)

Before: Not bad except for the carpet

After: Better 

What I wanted from the beginning was a modern glam look and I think I achieved it.   With the masculine looking bed, the dark walls, and floors, I wanted to soften it up a big by adding color, texture, and curves to different elements of the room.  I try to avoid buying things that all have straight lines to them to keep it from looking too clean and sterile.

This room is now so relaxing to be in.  We love having the TV in our room.  It's a place where we can really let go of the day and enjoy a good show while eating dessert in bed.  Our kids are always in our room watching TV with us, cuddling, wrestling, doing homework, and reading.

This project was painstakingly long to do.  I worked a little here and there in between taking care of the kids, house chores, picking Isaiah up from school, and attending extra activities.  By this time, I was pretty burnt out from projects but it was definitely very rewarding.

About me

My name is Samantha Bartlett and I am a stay at home mom with two rambunctious and adorable children, Isaiah (almost 4) and Ana Lucia (almost 2). I am married to a Bartlett and that has been an adventure in itself. My challenge in life is to Love God with all my heart and to do the best with what I am given.

About me, I love projects! It is inherent in my genes; my dad is a natural born handy man that has an instinct to see how things work; my brother is an interior designer and furniture maker and my mom is a natural craftswoman; I grew up surrounded by these things. As for me, I love anything beautiful and to recreate something new from something old. My mind is filled with endless ideas on how to make things beautiful in a thrifty way. It is important to me to make my as warm, inviting, and efficient, as possible, and I believe anyone can do this in a practical and frugal way.

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