Duo Ventures

Monday, January 27, 2014

Favorite Statement Chair & One Kings Lane Home Decor Resource

I was recently contacted by One Kings Lane asking to share my favorite statement chair & help them introduce their Home Decor Resource...  

The folks over at OKL created the Home Decor Resource Guide to help educate & inspire home decor enthusiasts when purchasing & reupholstering statement chairs.

On their website you'll also find style & period overviews detailing the history of chairs,
ranging from the 16th century to more contemporary modern day design.  

It's a great online tool to find out more about any antiques you might have as well.  I've been thinking about rehabbing & reupholstering some vintage family pieces given to me by my mom recently.
The thing is, I know nothing about them:
I'm curious to see which era & style they belong to.
I would love to turn them into statement pieces one of these days!

Until then, my current favorite happens to be not one, but two chairs - the pair of upholstered slipper chairs in our home office.  The chairs provide the pop of pattern in the room & are the definition of statement chairs.  Since the print is fairly busy, I kept the rest of the room more neutral & monochromatic:

While the beautiful linen fabric is what initially caught my eye, the clean & simple lines were what sold me in the end.  If I ever tire of the fabric, I can always reupholster the chairs & maintain the classic look.
I also like that the low profile & armless design help to keep the sitting 
area feel more open & less crowded - great for space flow:

While my chairs are more contemporary in their design, I learned that slipper chairs actually originated during the 19th century.  Apparently, slipper chairs were historically used in the bedroom to help women dress.  Their design made it easier for women to sit and put on their stockings & shoes - hence the term 'slipper' chair.  Who knew?

I hope that you'll find their Home Decor Resource helpful if you're looking to DIY your own statement chair or even if you'd simply like to brush up on your furniture history for all those
thrift store & yard sale adventures!


This is not a sponsored post - just sharing a resource that might come in handy for someone!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Organizing: Gift Wrap & Supplies

Originally, I had been storing all of our gift wrapping supplies in various boxes & bags -  maybe you can relate?  Everything was kind of all over the place - it was not the best system.

Luckily, we had a rolling 4-drawer organizer that we weren't using, so I decided to turn it into a mobile gift wrapping station.

In the top drawer, I stashed all of our ribbon, gift tags, & tape:

I threw all of our gift tags in a plastic bag to keep them together:

All of our bows are stored in the second drawer:

I put all of our tissue paper & gift bags in the third drawer:

Lastly, I popped all of our gift boxes into the bottom drawer:

To maximize space, I placed all of the smaller boxes inside of a larger box:

In the past, I had issues finding the corresponding bottoms & tops, so I placed rubber-bands around all of the matching sets:

To finish it off, I labeled each drawer using my label maker & some clear label tape.  Then I stuck the labels on top of some yellow striped paper tape:

We store most of our gift wrap in a clear gift wrap box that I purchased from The Container Store a few years ago - any wrapping paper remnants are stored right underneath the rolls:

There are a few rolls that are too long for the container, so I just store those right on top of the box.  We keep the gift wrap on the top shelf in our coat closet store the rolling organizer right underneath the bottom shelf:

Whenever I need to wrap gifts, I just roll it out into the kitchen!
We are lucky to have the extra space in our coat closet to store everything - if we didn't have the extra room, I would have definitely installed one of those over the door organizers. For now though, I'm happy with this system!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Organizing: Tool Pegboard

Project Garage Organization is in the works this month & I'm starting with our tools & supplies!

To give you an idea of where everything was originally stored...
here's what our garage looked like in December, post-holiday decorating:
On the black shelving unit (hiding behind the leaning pegboard) is where most of our tools were stored.  You can see other supplies were stored in various plastic bins.
My goal was to get the following three categories onto the pegboard:
1.  small hand tools & drills
2.  painting tools & supplies
3.  gardening tools

We felt the best way to organize these items was by utilizing a pegboard.  If you'd like to know how we hung the pegboard itself, you can check out more on that here.
So here's where we left off in the last post:

  We bought a variety of pegboard hooks @ Home Depot &
I just played around with the placement until everything fit:

On the left side of the pegboard I hung all of our basic & most commonly used hand tools & drills:
After looking at these photos, I realize that we don't have that many tools - we don't even own a set of wrenches or screwdrivers.  Is that weird?  I guess it's because we have one of each that is adjustable/changeable?  Anyways...

In the middle section, I hung up all of our painting supplies & putty knives:

All of our smaller gardening tools are hung on the bottom right side of the pegboard.
On the top, I hung our hand saws (since that was the only space I had left):
There were 2 shelf brackets included in one of our pegboard kits - 
so for now I'm using a scrap piece of 2'x6' as a shelf for some pots.

Some of the hooks came with black peg locks which keep the hooks from pulling out of the board.  I would highly suggest using these locks.
Otherwise, every time you take something off...the hook pops out.  And that's just annoying:

We hung the hook rail a couple of years ago to organize some of our larger gardening tools & brooms:

For now we plan on storing our larger power tools on the shelving unit.  Eventually, we would like to DIY a work bench to fit underneath the pegboard.  And, of course, I need to finish organizing the garage...

Anybody else have the 'new year organizing bug'?


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to Hang a Pegboard

Like many people, the new year brought out the urge to get more organized.
One area of our house that needs some organizing attention is our garage.
More specifically: our tool storage system.

This is what it looked like during our holiday decorating spree in December:
If you overlook the messy explosion that was our garage, you can see that some things were somewhat organized & labeled in bins.  However, it wasn't very functional - we had to constantly pull out bins & dig around to find certain tools or supplies.  It wasn't a terrible system - just simply not the best solution for us.

We felt the best way to organize all of our tools & supplies would be by installing a pegboard onto our garage wall.  We don't know if there is necessarily a right or wrong way to hang a pegboard,
but here's how we did it...

First up, we made a stop @ Home Depot & picked up some pegboard.  We bought three 2'x4' white panels which were $8.45 each.  We also purchased an assortment of pegboard hooks & brackets.

Once we got home, the first thing we did was draw a level outline of the boards onto the wall - Nader held the boards up while Mel traced them.  Our total pegboard size would be 4'x6':

Next, we had to decide on a way to hang the pegboard panels.  Pegboard can obvioulsy not be hung directly onto the wall because there needs to be space behind the boards so that the hooks can be attached. 

So first, we had to attach some sort of frame to the wall.  Through some online browsing, we saw that there are many ways to hang pegboard.  Some people built an entire frame for the board, but we 
A) didn't think that was necessary & B) didn't have enough scrap wood for that anyways.  

We did, however, have some leftover scrap wood from our laundry room & creativity closet makeovers.  During those shelving projects, we had to trim down several white melamine shelves & were subsequently left with a bunch of  2"x12" scraps.  Turns out the shelves were the perfect thickness too - about 5/8".  This meant our pegboard would be raised off the wall enough to attach the hooks, but it wouldn't jut out super far (like it would have if we had used 2'x4's for example).

Using drywall screws, we attached 12 of these scraps onto the perimeter of the outline.  Some scraps screwed into actual studs - but not all of them (there won't be a lot of weight on our pegboard so we didn't think it was necessary).  We also attached 4 smaller scraps in the middle to support the area where the boards would meet.  We made sure to center those four pieces so each pegboard would have room to attach on either side of the frame piece:

Once we had all the frame pieces in place, we hung the first pegboard onto the left side.
You can see how there is still room on the frame pieces for the second board to attach to:

 *Tip*: make sure your screw heads are larger than the pegboard holes OR use a washer when you attach the pegboard.

Here it is all finished:
It was a fairly quick & easy project, but we think it will make a world of difference for us.
Now that the pegboard is hung, it's time for Mel to organize all of our tools.

Until then, check out Mel's Pinterest Garage Page for some finished garage organization inspiration!

Mel & Nader

Monday, January 6, 2014

Plans for 2014

 We hope everyone had a nice holiday break & a happy New Year!
Right about this time, it seems most people are ready to get started on new goals & plans...
and maybe finish old ones?  We know we are!

On a personal note, we're planning on starting a new chapter of our lives in 2014.  The biggest change for us this year will be involving our work/travel schedule.  We would like to start a family sometime this year, which means career changes are in the works (our previous jobs consisted of nearly 100% travel for most of the year).  We're feeling apprehensive, nervous, & anxious about the upcoming changes...but happy & excited at the same time!  
The reason we wanted to touch on our personal agenda a bit is because these changes will directly impact our house projects & blog.  Now that we won't be traveling all the time, we'll be able to tackle some projects we've been meaning to do for awhile now...and hopefully start posting about them more frequently.

Providing that time & budget allow, we'd like to check some of these items off of our list this year:

Large Projects:
1.  install new kitchen counters (like this)
2.  install new kitchen backsplash  
3.  finish the hardwood floors on our first floor - the original owners laid hardwoods everywhere, except the living room (you can see what we're talking about here)
4.  remove carpet on stairs, stain the stair treads, & paint risers white (like this)
5.  replace carpet or install engineered hardwoods upstairs
6.  repaint all the white trim, baseboards, molding, & columns throughout the house (even though the house is only 7 years old, we think it all just needs a fresh coat - it's getting scuffed & banged up a bit)
7.  install a board & batten wall in guest bedroom (like this)
8.  paint the exterior of our house...eeek! (HOA is having making everyone repaint)

Furniture Makeovers/Small Projects:
1.  refinish or paint a set of 4 kids chairs (we got these from Mel's parents)
2.  fix hole in mirror, paint, & hang in half bath (it's from HG- it was an 'as-is' due to a small hole in the frame)
3.  paint rocking chair (Mel's from when she was little)
4.  turn bottom drawer of our office dresser into a pull-out printing station 
5.  paint & reupholster a settee (belonged to Mel's great-uncle)
6.  re-do octagon side table (thrift store piece that needs a makeover)
7.  re-do library card catalog (would like to DIY into a table of some sort)
8.  turn mirrored dresser top into faux fireplace (here's the before)
9.  refurbish vintage rolling desk chair (a piece from Mel's mom)
10.  DIY a headboard for guest bedroom (like this)

Organizing Projects:
1.  garage (like this)
2.  install a peg board to organize our tools
2.  studio (it's pretty organized, but needs some finishing touches)
3.  master bathroom (need to purge, reorganize, & implement some cabinet storage solutions)
4.  office (need to finish up on some filing systems)

There are, of course, other items that we are probably forgetting about and/or haven't thought of yet - but that's the general plan.  

First up...finishing our peg board!

Mel & Nader