7th House on the Left

BACK TO SCHOOL

posted by Ashley  /  3 Comments

Today, we have a fun feature post to share with you. Krista over at KJ and Co asked us to be a part of Bloggers Back to School where we would round up our favorite school supplies if we were heading back to school this season. With Greg being a geek and me being obsessed with office supplies (and secretly wishing I were in 8th grade again to have an excuse to stock up on Paul Frank notebooks and Sharpies), we had to say yes!

bloggers back to school

Click on over and check out our must-haves-if-we-were-going-back-to-school items (His + Her Favorite Things style) here.

Also be sure to check out some of our other blogging friends’ Bloggers Back to School features on KJ and Co. like Dana from House*Tweaking (see her back to school must haves here), Andrea from Decorating Cents (check out her round up here), and many more.

How about you? If you were going back to school, what would be your back to school must haves?

SIMPLE STORAGE UPGRADES

posted by Ashley  /  28 Comments

Our laundry room still has a way to go before we get to the point where we “love” it. So far, all we’ve done in this room is paint the walls and replace the light fixtures…

And in the “laundry nook”…

We have plenty of hopes and wishes for this area of the house… like replacing the tile, purchasing a front-load washer and dryer and installing a countertop above them, taking out the temporary bookcase (which is from our apartment’s pantry/laundry room) and replacing it with something more functional, hanging a pendent light in front of the window, window treatments…. and all of that doesn’t even include the half bath!

Those to-do’s will come in due time, but for now, we’re working with what we’ve got. And that includes the awkward shelf over the dryer. Over the past few months since the above “progress” photo was taken, it has been turning into a messy “catch all” of sorts. This is better explained with a photo:

No matter how neat and tidy you try to be, you always have that one catch-all shelf or drawer in your house. The thing that’s been bothering me the most (aside from the general disorganization), was the plethora of dog treat bags. We give Bentley one every time he comes in from “using the restroom”, so they need to be accessible. Before I get to my ultra simple solution, though, remember when I mentioned this mud room in the new Ikea catalog?

red and blue laundry room

Well, I still can’t decide if I love the red/aqua combination for our laundry room. Something about it is so “I Love Lucy” (which I love) and then on the other hand, it may not blend with the rest of the house either. I can be so indecisive sometimes! So, to test the waters, I ended up buying a $2 canning jar and spray painting the lid apple red.

apple red spray paint

I really love this particular shade (which by the way is Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch in Apple Red)! It’s very cheery, bright, and has a slight 50′s flair to it. I thought this would be a quiet way to introduce red into the room. And if I end up changing my mind (again!), it can easily be painted another color.

A few coats of spray paint and some drying time later, we now have a new and much improved treat storage system:

Since I was in the “prettification” mood, I also found this small $2 tin bucket at Target and thought it would be perfect to corral the small odds and ends on the shelf.

It’s not an extravagant 10-step DIY project or anything, but it’s an ultra-simple solution to a small problem. It’s little upgrades like this that can make an otherwise messy shelf much easier on the eyes.

Since we’re on the topic of laundry (sort of), I’ve been wanting to trade in the detergent and try out a more “natural-ish” option. I’ve heard great things about making your own (my aunt does it all the time) and the Trader Joe’s brand detergent. Any other suggestions?

DECORATING ON THE GO

posted by Ashley  /  23 Comments

For months, I’ve been keeping paint swatches of the colors we’ve used in our house in my wallet just in case I happen to come across fabric or wall art that might look good somewhere. The only problem was, the swatches were so small, it was hard to really get a good idea of how the combination would look.

The obvious solution was to make something a little larger that would accurately capture the wall color. It didn’t need to fit in my wallet, just my purse. Of course, this isn’t exactly the biggest problem in the world, so it just sat in the back of my head, and I didn’t really give it much more thought until I stumbled upon this at Office Max in the scrapbook/craft section:

It’s 5 pages of 6″x6″ chipboard, made into a “book” with a metal ring and cut into a cool pattern. I’m not sure what they are normally used for, but it looked like a good alternative to my teensy weensy paint chips.

When I got home, I gathered the paint from the shed. At the moment, we only have four paint colors, including the trim, so I’m just saving the fifth card until we have another paint color to add to the mix. Now, when it comes to painting, I tend to make a mess. Apparently I’m not coordinated enough or something. I don’t know. So, just in case, I laid down some kraft paper in the dining room, and set each card on a paper plate to dry:

Once they were dry, I put the cards back on the ring and ta da! New and improved, larger handy dandy paint swatches for when I’m on the go:

These swatches are so much fun to use, I ended up making a second set to keep in my desk.

Now, I’m not sure what I’d do without these. They’re small enough to fit in my purse, but large enough that I can get a real idea of what something might look like against our walls. The perfect solution to a small problem!

How about you? Any on the go decorating tips up your sleeve?