Feb
25
2015
The Design Confidential Boys Plus Bathrooms Equal Trash Basket Baggu Solution

Boys plus bathrooms equal trash basket Baggu - trust me on this one. You see, I am a mama to two boys, which some of you may already know... and as the only female in the house, it has been an eye opening experience to see first hand what goes on in the mind of a boy. My oldest babe is now 7, and we are well past many of those lovely first stages of life learning every kiddo goes through - like potty training. At least with him, we are. When we were deep in the trenches of ridding our world of diapers, everyone had plenty of advice to spare. Which was welcome, to be sure, especially as a first time mom and as a mom of a boy which of course I have nothing in common with where it concerns bodily functions - if you know what I mean. Stand up, sit down, so many things to consider... eek. Everyone has a different method that worked for them and sorting through it all to find the gems was a bit overwhelming at times. Somehow we managed to survive the experience, picking and choosing the pieces of advice that seemed most likely to work for us (and him). What I found, once I was on the other side of that stage, is that there is a whole host of 'things' that little boys do and that no one seems to have mentioned anything about. Perhaps it is because they simply suffered through these 'things'... or perhaps their children are angelic and never dared to find the sort of adventure and fun in the bathroom that I will dare to speak about today... I couldn't say.

Baggu Bag / Sailor Stripe

The Design Confidential Boys Plus Bathrooms Equal Trash Basket Baggu Solution

All I know for certain is that when you find yourself wondering why the bathroom smells weird even after you clean, you might think twice about where you place your trash basket... just sayin'. After flipping my lid over this recurring issue in our house, I finally took drastic measures and took the trash basket out of the bathroom altogether. Until of course I realized that it's really me who uses that sucker and that it is utterly inconvenient not to have one in there. That is right about the time my creative tendencies kicked in and I decided to put a trash bag hanging from the inside door handle. Problem Solved! Except then it wasn't pretty when guests would come over. I suppose a little ugly is definitely better than smelly, but I always prefer to have my cake and eat it too, don't you? And then it occurred to me that my Baggu totes are super cute, completely affordable, and very, very washable! Light bulb moment... Any washable tote of this variety will work, I just happened to have these cute guys already.

So for those of you who have boys that are young, this simple little solution is for you, and you're welcome. You will save yourself a lot of hassle and even more frustration if you nip this problem in the bud, before it even begins! Of course if your door is too far away from the toilet, perhaps place a cute hook that hangs well out of ... range?! Not sure how to politely phrase that one, but I hope you know what I mean.

Baggu Bag / Llama Black + White (Dog Pattern is Similar)

Kiddos 
Feb
19
2015

I would just like to state for the record that I know absolutely nothing about the actual person(s) who happen to live in this home in real life. But in my mind, the people who live here seriously have their shit together. They stick to a relatively low key schedule that includes daily yoga and long lunches at farm to fork inspired restaurants. They spend days taking meetings with important people in their glamorous offices and their weekends are spent traveling or lounging about with small cups of coffee and the newspaper or magazines spread out carelessly across the bed. Their lives and their home run like a well oiled machine and require very little effort to maintain. In other words, the precise opposite of what it's like in my home. There is nothing I love more than my two babes, but I do indeed dream of the day when I can have white furniture and carefree days spent in leisure... and tiny cups of coffee that don't have to be reheated 47 times and added together into a huge cup of coffee, just to survive the day.

If you are new to the Room Envy series, you can catch up right here. Basically this column is a way for me to share a space that is inspiring me while I give a fictional commentary about the people who live in it and then in turn tell you 5 things about me, my life, or my family that I bet you didn't know. It's my way of keeping it real without turning into a mommy blog or a fashion blog... perhaps the first item of note would be my sarcasm since the latter of those two blog types is slightly laughable.... says the gal wearing yoga pants and sawdust.

One // This cute guy and this cute guy have decided to become roommates. This has been an interesting transition and not one without some interesting hurdles. I will share more on this soon.

Two // Item one above has left me mourning the fact that I never had a fully finished nursery space for Penn. He wouldn't lay flat for the first ten months of his life (not an exaggeration) so naturally he didn't sleep in his crib until he was nearly 11 months old and quite honestly life got in the way. Now here we are with him on the verge of boyhood and I fear I have completely missed that window of opportunity.

Three // I am slowly learning that when your kids start school and begin to make new friends, that it isn't only them who must do this new friend-making. This seems to be the case when your kids are still really little and especially if they are boys. They just aren't able to navigate that whole play date thing all that well on their own and gone are the days of home phones so as a parent this falls to us. I have to say it does feel a bit like grade school all over again, but luckily I have met some amazing moms along the way!

Four // If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know this... but a few weeks ago I started a 108 day yoga program. I can happily report that with my wisdom teeth and of course life happening, that I have successfully completed about 7 days worth of yoga in the last few weeks. But those 7 days were the best and worst days ever so I feel positive about how things are going (sarcasm again). Once I get the green light I am super excited to get back on schedule because it is the greatest ass kicking yoga I have done in a very long time, except the stretching sessions... bleck. I like to feel the burn and I have the attention span of a gnat, so those are hard for me.

Five // I started watching Arrow after I heard mention of it from this cute gal, and I'm totally hooked! Soooo good. I like all kinds of tv from the period dramas to the ridiculous reality shows and so naturally I consider myself an avid fan of the person who invented that sucker. But seriously, it's a super duper good show and it will hook you right in!

IMAGES // Via

Design 
Feb
13
2015
Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

Sorry for the radio silence my sweet friends... it was D-Day for the wisdom teeth removal and I was a complete loony toon in a crazy amount of pain there for a bit. I am still a loony toon (thank you pain meds) but at least now I can move my fingers without fear that it will hurt my face, so we can return to some of our regularly scheduled fun!

This project probably lets the cat out of the bag on what I have been working on, but yahoo, a major closet overhaul is under way and it is looking mighty fine so far! Like - damn girl, you fiiiine - kind of fine, which is perhaps appropriate given our impending heart shaped holiday? There are a dozen and one projects on the web for creating hanging coat racks, closet rods, and other awesome but similar things. Rather than jumping right onto that bandwagon and giving you my take on the same sort of thing (same, same only different - as they say in the East), I thought I would give you more of a recounting of the materials I chose and why, where you can find them, along with some tips (that I learned the hard way of course) for doing this successfully and in a way that will work for real people with real wardrobes. Not that I don't look longingly at those other DIY project beauties, with their 5 items hanging on them, because I do... they are so good-looking with only 5 items hanging from those cute minimal rods with all of the items only in black or beige. Oh to be that gal, am I right? But of course, I'm not, and you probably aren't, and in fact they might not be either and might just pull out the rest of their clothes once the photoshoot is over... so I guess in a round about way, this is a project for all of us while we daydream about being all of them, who may not even be 'them' in real life, and who clearly don't have children climbing the walls and swinging from your favorite sweater while you race to get the remaining items hung. Le Sigh.

Materials Needed for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

Let's talk turkey... or paracord, whatever - same diff. The materials I used for my sexy sleek hanging rods cost around $30 to make 2. This price goes down for each additional pair of rods you plan to make since some of the items allow for multiple rod making.The most expensive item on this very small list is definitely the hooks. They run about $6 per hook for a swiveling ceiling driller toggle hook that is rated for holding at least 50 pounds and preferably 90 pounds. Just consider what you will hang on your rod and purchase accordingly. This is where the cost will add up since you need 2 per hanging rod (duh), but is quite frankly the lynch pin for the success (or failure) of this project. If your ceiling is made of drywall, which for 99% of you is definitely the case, and if you plan on hanging real clothing from your rods, which 99% of you probably do, then you need these hooks to be heavy duty and have this toggle bolt functionality to be as secure as possible. The braided cord is actually very inexpensive and comes in a fun assortment of neon colors as well as some basics like white or black. Now the item I chose to use for the rod portion is indeed actually a closet rod and is adjustable in length which means that when you purchase it, it comes in a package with two separate rod pieces so you can essentially buy one package and get 2 rods from it. You will need to remove a screw at the ends (where the rods would connect if you were using this traditionally) and otherwise there is no cutting, painting, or drilling involved with this project whatsoever. This is always a yahoo in my book because this means that the project will come together quickly and easily - as in - under 5 to 10 minutes maximum to whip this together quickly, kind of quickly... ha. Of course you can use many different things for the rod portion, like copper or steel and even a dowel would work so get creative if you like.

I created one big loop of rope that I threaded through the rod looped over the hooks. To secure the ends of this big loop together I simply tied 3 knots and then cut a separate piece about 12 inches long and made a gathering wrap to sit over the top of this. Then I got to play with fire for a bit and used a lighter to melt the cord at the ends as well as around the gathering wrap so I felt extra sure that baby was nice and secure. I let that knot sit inside the rod to hide it.

Sloppy Closet Before Makeover for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

So now that you know what I used for this project, let's take a peak back to the beginning and gaze at my wiry slobs (the before shot).

The hardest thing about planning for this space and in deciding to completely gut it and start from scratch in here, was coming to the realization that even though there was a crap ton of completely functional wire shelving in here, that it was not being used well. I have lived with it for 2 years now and kept thinking that the problem was me, and the busy life I lead (which is partly true, to be sure). I had plenty of space to hang things, plus a ton of surface space and shelving for the clothing that will be folded. But, when you are using shelves to store your folded stuff instead of drawers, this inevitably means that the minute you are in a hurry and can't find something, you make a complete and utter crazy mess of things. That is a losing battle, because it means my closet looks like the image above virtually all of the time. Not to mention that when Mike does the laundry and puts things away, he gets completely confused about how to sort things since items like tops (at least for us gals) should be sorted by purpose to keep the stacks from getting too high. Who can blame him, this is a very specific type of organizing that most people find impossible to do for someone else.

Completely Gutted Closet for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

It is pretty difficult to make the decision to get rid of things that should, in theory, be working beautifully, but just aren't. For a gal like me who feeds off of functionality and hates to spend money on things that I don't really need, this was initially a painful 'coming to terms' decision. If it isn't broken, then why try to fix it, am I right? But once I decided to take a good look at this space and try to figure out what on earth it needed to make it better, I was able to see that ven though it wasn't technically broken (physically), it was still in fact actually broken (mentally perhaps) because it wasn't working, for me.

Once I have this sort of light bulb moment, it's on like donkey kong and I embrace change like a champ. If it means the possibility for improvement, then I am all for it. The Mister, on the other hand, apparently hates change (who knew? certainly not me until this project came along) and takes much longer to warm up to an idea. Removing all of the functional and plentiful wire shelving and rods, it appears, is one of those things he doesn't find easy to jump on board with. Subsequently, I started this project on my side, and he has been able to warm up to all of the possibilities, by seeing the actual changes as they unfold - on my side.

Simplified and Streamlined Closet for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

And so... this closet was entirely gutted - on my side (3 walls) - and where there was once chaos, now there is utter beauty and simplicity. My original inspiration came from a recent shopping trip to HomeGoods, where I stumbled upon a gorgeous selection of velvet hangers. I thought to myself... I love when all the hangers are the same, and everything is awesome... and great (a little Lego Movie throw back). In that moment the seeds of change were planted and a simplified wardrobe and lifestyle were born. I purchased 100 of these velvet hangers (4 packs of 25) and decided that Mike and I would each get 50, and have no choice but to slim down our wardrobes accordingly. No exceptions. And of course, if we could streamline our hanging items and cut them down below our individual limit of 50 hangers, well that would be a lovely bonus as it would greatly simplify and reduce the number of things we have to launder and put away each week. Win, win.

I took a fine tooth comb to my clothing and forced myself to part most of those things I have been hanging on to for far too long. Turns out hanging onto things for the possibility of needing those things at some point in the future is not all it's cracked up to be. Having so much of this type excess was weighing me down. I cut myself some slack throughout this process and allowed myself to keep some of these items that were particularly hard to part with, and gave myself time to come to terms with giving up those little bits of my past life. I think this left me the space I needed to mentally deal with moving on from my youth and into a more current version of me. As I have been forced over the last couple of weeks to take the time to hang these items and watch my once light and loosely packed rods become full and cramped, it has become much easier to part with these pieces of my former self. I have definitely embraced this new found simplified life, wholeheartedly. It seems to be the good life, so far, and I haven't once looked back in regret at donating those someday pieces. Just wait till you see the other areas I worked over in this space. Can we say, downright skimpy? Yes we can - but in a good way of course...

Jan
23
2015
The Design Confidential Room Envy // A Tall Drink of Water + 5 Things

This room is everything. Really it's more like a wall within a room, but still... soooo good. This space is like a tall drink of water in the Sahara - relaxing and serene yet filled with life, warm and calm like a gentle breeze in the hot desert sun. It draws me in like a stressed out mama to netflix with the promise of hours upon end of binge watching the last season of Peaky Blinders (so good - by the way).

It has been a while since I have posted a Room Envy article and 5 things so I thought today would be the perfect occasion! If this is your first Room Envy + 5 Things here at the House of TDC, you can read past articles here, and they are basically my chance to share a room or space that seems to represent a life or lifestyle worthy of envy and 5 things about me that you likely don't know. A little up close and personal with a bit of pretty inspiration thrown in, so here goes...

1 // I am supposed to be at ALT this very minute and instead I am sitting here with a sad face moping about how fab last year's ALT was, while I focus on everything I am missing out on. Ya, a pretty positive way to handle things, no?

2 // I turned 35 in November. In many ways it was unremarkable, which I consider a good thing, because it is not lost on me that I very likely seem older to younger people and I am now officially no longer part of the young adult crowd. At 35 I can't even stretch my imagination to claim such a thing. It isn't as if I could at 30, but I guess it finally dawned on me that I am now seen differently from the outside world than I feel on the inside. It is a weird dichotomy, to be sure.

The Design Confidential Room Envy // A Tall Drink of Water + 5 Things

3 // I get to have my wisdom teeth removed in two weeks. Yep, lucky me, at the not-so-young age of 35 I get to party like a young buck with nothing but a popsicle and water diet. Maybe I will lose 5 pounds in the process... A gal can dream can't she?

4 // This Room Envy space is actually the inspiration for my Dining Room. You saw my unlikely nightsand turned dining room storage and display and I will be sharing other tidbits next week. I am not sure how close to the original inspiration the room will actually be, but it was a fabulous jumping off point.

5 // I am working on one of the greatest makeovers of all time, while I am chipping away at the Dining Room. It is a whopper of a before and after reveal, I can say that for sure and I am not even close to the after yet. Well that isn't precisely true, I guess I am more than half way finished and it is incredible already. I will be sharing the before pictures with you next week also! But you have to promise not to judge... or at least not to judge to harshly, eek!

Images Via

Living 
Jan
21
2015
The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

Oh yes, my fabulous unlikely nightstand has a new home. It seems like every time I finish a space, I systematically undo everything good about the space and start again in some way. Obviously I have a loose screw. But in my defense, I have been on the hunt for a vintage dining room table and chairs for some time, and I recently found something that made my heart skip a beat (I will share all about my new beauty later in the week) and that something happened to be blond. Now, I don't mind mixing wood tones, or metallics for that matter... obviously. Once I found the table I took a good look at my Master Bedroom and felt like with recent changes I have made in there, this gorgeous shelf was a bit of the odd gal out, if you know what I mean. Since she is blond like my table for the dining room, it got me thinking that it would perhaps be the perfect thing to fill this awkward wall that spans clear to the second story. Such a tricky thing to style since it is relatively narrow but super duper tall. It would be overwhelming to go all the way up, but not going up high enough would be equally not perfecto. These shelves with their height and open framework are the perfect compromise of size and weight and I couldn't be happier with the new space for me to store and display my goods.

Truly equal parts form and function here. Yahoo.

Master Bedroom for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

The shelves in all their glory in the previous space, worked with the headboard situation I had going on at the time this image was shot. But alas that has also changed in the last month (I know... such a horrible blogger who takes years to update you all) and so there isn't much left to tie these shelves into the space anymore. Of course this leaves a rather large gap in my Master that will need to be addressed real quick like because it is making me twitch when I walk into this now undone room. Seriously.

Just for the hell of it, let's take a look back and see how far this unlikely nightstand has actually come. It feels pretty monumental to me, but I still have so much work on the dining room to finish before it feels truly full circle I guess.

Unlikely Nightstand for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

Her modest beginnings as a brand new member of the family, nearly a year ago (or more? eek). Oh how my eyes lit up when I stumbled upon her, left out in the cold as someone's trash. A little bit of TLC and she was shining bright in her new home as my unlikely nightstand.

Master Bedroom Makeover for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

As this space grew and morphed into my dreamy master bedroom, so did these shelves grow to feel a bit more grown up and complete.

Weekend Wall Challenge Art Update for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

As I updated the art, and focused on the gallery wall flanking these shelves, the more spectacular they became... until I threw a wrench into the whole plan and ripped them from their comfy surroundings and put them into an entirely new space and with an entirely new purpose. Yikes! It's a damn good thing this new arrangement feels like home for these shelves... for now.

Penn undecorating for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

Of course no project would be complete without this cute face helping dismantle everything I do as I go along. Oh how my boys both love to decorate and undecorate. They Must get it from me?!

Design 
Jan
14
2015
The Design Confidential Vintage Vulture // My New Old Sofa + DIY Reupholstery Or Leather Restoration

That new year nesting fever has kicked into high gear around here and I am project crazy at the moment. But I would be nothing without a hot mess of vintage goodness to work over at any given time. When it comes to vintage, there are a few things I am constantly on the hunt for... Seating, Tables, Good Lighting and Art. Naturally, after years on end of this quest for the perfect vintage gems, my collection of chairs is a tad out of hand and at the moment I seem to be swimming in sofas. Don't even get me started on vintage art - for a gal who hates clutter and chaos, I sure know how to create it with the blink of an eye and 10 minutes at a thrift store, antique fair or craigslist. Eek

But, like all good things, with time and patience and some hand cramping from excessive craigslist trolling, you will of course find some winners in your price range (mine equals dirt cheap). When the Bird (Penn) decided to flex his creative muscles on my sofa (not once but twice with permanent marker and ink) I decided it was time to switch gears from my ongoing hunt for dining room tables and chairs (a story for another day) to sofas and loveseats. And then I did. I stumbled head first upon a fairly deceptive ad on craigslist (and by deceptive I mean - not easy to see it's gorgeous potential and very likely to scroll right past it) and with a few back and forth emails with the fabulous gal who had this listing, I knew it was going to be mine... oh and it came with a matching Loveseat. I mean... can we say meant to be? The price was perfect for me and she was selling both pieces for $175. The fabric was in good condition with no rips or tears and while the color was not ideal, I knew I wanted to reupholster them in leather (or faux leather which is basically vinyl - cuz I have 2 boys and I'm cheap like that).

Anthropologie Sofa Inspiration for The Design Confidential Vintage Vulture // My New Old Sofa + DIY Reupholstery Or Leather Restoration

This beauty looked just enough like my favorite sofa of yore - that no longer exists and was never actually affordable anyhow - to make me think this caramel slash lager colored leather (vinyl) would be perfect.

Can't you see it now. So dreamy. I immediately called several upholsterers in town and then promptly sat in the corner to cry once they all told me that even with supplying my own material (which of course they don't recommend, duh), the labor alone would be several thousand dollars. How could this be? Did I just happen to call the most expensive upholstery peeps in the biz? It's possible, but not that likely. Which means it is simply not affordable for the average person. So close yet so far away.

Thus began my new quest for a way to make this baby into my dream sofa. Now, I am pretty confident when it comes to my DIY abilities, I mean this is after all a DIY blog and I have after all been known to rock out a DIY project or two here and there... but you guys, I'm not precisely an ace on the sewing machine and leather (vinyl)? Seems so easy to screw up. With the exposed frame and a mix of sectioned and loose cushions - well reupholstering this guy wouldn't exactly be as simple as a staple gun and some tufting - not that, that is simple anyhow.

Arm Detail for The Design Confidential Vintage Vulture // My New Old Sofa + DIY Reupholstery Or Leather Restoration

So I decided to really get up close and personal with this guy. If you take a good look at the arm in the image up above, perhaps you will see what I saw. It looks like this baby might well have been a leather (vinyl) beauty in a past life. Which of course got me thinking. It certainly needs a good cleaning, and I can see areas where there is still leather showing, and wouldn't you believe it is the most gorgeous color of caramel lager that I ever did see. But alas there are areas where the leather (vinyl) has worn clean down to the fabric and so much so that it did indeed originally seem as though it was fabric. But there is a moderate amount that isn't half bad which led me down the rabbit hole of leather restoration and what that entails.

There are a million and one videos on upholstery, so if I stripped the existing upholstery off and used it for a pattern, I might get relatively close in my finished version. But those seams, eek. I have never sewn anything other than curtains successfully and I don't see leather (vinyl) as being very forgiving. Once a hole has been made, it isn't as though you can back out of it and not have it show. Eek. Now I do think I have  a decent amount of confidence in my ability to paint, and feather, and work a surface until it is somewhat perfect, and this is what restoration seems to involve. But how will it look? Will you know it has been restored since I am nothing close to a professional at leather and vinyl work. Will it look like a weird shiny surface? 

Oh what is a girl to do. This is causing me heart palpitations and I'm entirely unsure where to go from here. I might purchase a restoration kit and test it out to see what exactly it entails and how it looks. No harm no foul if it goes awry and I have to go back to my original thought of reupholstery.

Do any of you have experience with leather restoration or upholstery? I'm dying for some advice and input here.... I'm scaaaaarrrrreeeeed, but dying to get this baby up to snuff.

Design 

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