Thursday, December 13 2012

Updates and project progress around here is slow lately, mostly because there are so many fun distractions:

tree decorating,


visiting that man in red,


and, general goofiness, of course.


However, somehow, after investing in and applying 7 gallons of paint for our two-tone basement (don’t worry, someday it will be revealed), I was motivated to paint a little bit of chevron for our focal TV wall, as well.  Of course it is not done yet either, but  here is a quick sneak peek of the two-tone colors and the chevron pattern.


Notice, not all the chevron is connected yet, nor is the area beneath the ceiling done.  I painted this on two separate nights when the only thing on was football.  Sneaking away to the downstairs to “stencil” does not appeal to my husband, although he really likes how it is looking.  The progress shown has taken me a total of four hours…uh hum, did I mention my addiction to HGTV?  Honestly, this wall should be done.  Oh well…

Distractions.  Distractions.



Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

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Tuesday, October 23 2012

I can hear my husband ripping painters’ tape in the basement.

The project this time, painting and organizing the basement into something of an inviting movie-watching area.  And, since this project feels so “big”, so “all-encompassing” to me right now, we are merely focusing on our tiny (hint of sarcasm)victory of picking out of paint colors.  Yahoo!  In the past, this great feat has taken many months of time-sucking trips to paint stores for swatches and samples.  It was very common, when we were ‘going gray‘ throughout the upstairs sections of our house, that our walls resembled a patchwork quilt.  But, this time, we picked some colors and stuck with ‘em!  Heck! I may be getting better at this, after all.

So, our basement, a-very-close-to-the-color-of-poop, chocolate brown, not only is in need of a new color scheme, it needs a lighter color palette all together.  This is going to be hard for me since I tend to lean towards darker shades.  So, to compromise, we chose both; light and dark, that is.  After seeing this inspirational image of a bathroom with split wall color, I decided this concept would work well in our basement.

Not only will the lower walls get a darker, more kid friendly color, we will create a brighter space by adding the upper section a much lighter shade…perfect.  We hope.
So the colors we chose are:
Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore
 Aged Beige by Behr
Both of the colors read as softer, warm tones, not cold steely gray.
And, yes, the chair rail is up to divide the space already.
So, there you have it, a two-tone room in the making.  I can’t wait to cover up those ugly brown walls!
“Keep rippin’ that tape!”
Images: 1 & 2) Houzz.com, 3) Google Images

Good Times with Gray and Pink Room Reveal

Thursday, October 18 2012

I recently revealed this dresser that we tweaked for our seven year old’s newly decorated bedroom.

Cute as can be and functioning well so far.  Finally, with a clean room this past weekend, I clicked some shots of the rest of the space. Taking advantage of the mere 2 or so hours before the messes started morphing in the middle of the floor once more, we have a room reveal to share.   Some final  pictures follow, but first, a quick reminder of our starting point.

Actually, this is really the only picture that I have of the room before, and the mess in this picture is not far from the caliber of mess that this room still reaches from time to time.  Now, however, we do have much more storage, with each paper and toy having its designated spot…whether it ends up in that spot is another story.

The end result.  Well, almost.  I still plan to add a valance over the window, and perhaps a fun little rug somewhere, too.  But the colors are so much more calming.  We love hanging out in this relaxing room, with plenty of cozy and inviting spots to curl up with a good book; one of Jada’s favorite things to do.

This picture shows the real colors better, without the window glare.

My favorite addition to this room might just be the 3D butterflies.  Not forgetting to mention this killer headboard, AND the awesome custom-made window seat, of course!

Having started this in May, yikes, I am ready to leave this room alone for a bit and call it done for now.  Some day my motivation will draw me back to that naked window.

For now, here are a few more shots of the room.  I love where the grey and pink meet.

Room Sources:

Paint Colors: Wild Rose BM, Graceful Gray Behr, White Dove BM (trim)

Wall Art:  Land of Nod, Art.com, IKEA (Frames Target and IKEA)

Pillow Covers: Flamingo Pillow (West Elm), Dots and Giraffe Print (Etsy)

Bookshelf: Old Target purchase, painted back board yellow

Star Mirror: IKEA spray-painted Silver

High Shelf: IKEA LACK

Butterflies: Umbra.com

More info on this room can be found here, and here.

And, just in case you needed something to look forward too…

Right now, on top of soccer Saturdays and flag football Sundays, we have suddenly switched gears to the lowest level of the house, by interest of Rory.  Yep, that’s right, we are suddenly full swing into yet another project, redecorating the basement.  In other words, football season started.  I wonder what sparked his interest?  Do the words, ‘man cave‘ mean anything?  We have big plans for our basement space, which will be written about soon.  Just for fun, this is what we are dealing with:

Lots of space and potential…but Brown!  for a basement?!  The color is in the process of changing to another shade of grey, which we can’t get enough of apparently.  We are currently looking for a really warm super light grey to lighten up the space without making it feel too ‘cold’.  Any ideas?  Please share.

I’ll be back with some updates soon on that end.


Images: All Laura for monkeysonmyback

Hemnes Hack

Wednesday, October 10 2012

If you remember, we were pondering some customization details for a HEMNES dresser purchased recently for Miss Jada’s room.

We started with this.  A dresser that was too tall for her to see in the top drawer, while the bottoms of the rest of the shallow drawers were caving out due to the repetitive shoving of clothes that did not fit.

For our needs, this IKEA HEMNES did fit in many ways; large and short with deep drawers.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.

The drawers are extra deep and the bottoms of the drawers are a rigid, colorful yellow and white stripe board; a pleasant surprise that matched our room perfectly!  Overall this dresser is very heavy-duty.  So much so, that I never did fully complete my idea of dipping the legs in pink…once this thing is put together, there is no moving it! ( I write this in case anyone is considering the purchase of this beast of a dresser, not because anyone told me to.)  For us, beasty dressers are good.

Here is our simple customization of our HEMNES dresser.

Jada loved the look of the shapes around the knobs in one of the inspiration photos,  and we decided together that it would be fun to add a pattern to the outside, as well.  She commented on how she really liked the boys’ curtains and thought we could glue some of the left over fabric to the outside…”maybe?” she asked, hopeful.  Of course, I had some other ideas up my sleeve.

Instead of taping off 12 perfect squares in the exact middle of the drawer and making them all level (which they would have never been), we went vinyl!  The squares are simple vinyl squares 4″ x 4″ and the chevron is a 4′ x 3′ vinyl sticker as well.

Jada chose the yellow knobs and it really makes that color pop in the room.  Such a sweet and personalized touch, especially because she choose the look of  the dresser on her own.

We are really pleased with how it turned out.  Now, if she would just clean her room so we could reveal the rest of it!

Dresser: Ikea HEMNES

Small Vase: Ikea

Mod Flower Poster and Frame: Ikea

Square Tray: CB2 (spray painted silver)

Vinyl squares and chevron stickers: Uppercase Living

Yellow drawer knobs: Myknobs.com


Images: 1, 3-6) Laura for Monkeysonmyback 2) Ikea.com

Random Living Room Finds

Thursday, September 27 2012

Tonight I got totally distracted dreamshopping online (I didn’t really buy anything).  I really had no mission in mind at all, but occasionally I sit down to tweak a few of my past mood board sets; changing things up a bit.

So, tonight I was focused on the living room, which was first posted about a year ago.  Crazy! One. Whole. Year. YIKES! I thought I’d be further along than what we actually are, but at the same time,  nothing happens very quickly around here, except maybe meal time!  (Snail’s pace, I say!)

So, anyway, here is a little update.

First from the original plan:

Cozy Family Room

Cozy Family Room by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

The past year included painting the 20 ft. cathedral walls, purchasing the rug, two white leather chairs and the couch with a chaise lounge on one end!  Whew!  Just typing that brought back exhausting memories.

Here are the Living Room purchases:

Living Room

Living Room by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

Yep.  After 25 paint swatches on the walls for about 3 months straight last summer, and green painters tape mapping out about 4 different seating options, then waiting another three months for our sofa sectional to be delivered, that is where we are!  Deep breath.

We are very happy with our paint color and our furniture purchases, but I am constantly looking at other decor options.

Random Living Room Finds Worth Finding

Random Living Room Finds Worth Finding by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

It’s fun and very distracting.  Suddenly, 10 minutes of an innocent blog check turns into 2 hours of surfing, pinning, and organizing.  The room is coming together nicely though. Slowly, but nicely.


Images: Laura for monkeysonmyback on Polyvore.com. 

Lights out

Friday, September 14 2012

It’s getting dark earlier. Today, I noticed the angle of the afternoon sun casting longer shadows over my students during class.  I can feel the calmness of the sun’s warm rays, instead of the intense blasting heat.  Yep, close to the Flatirons already, casting an eerie sort of glaze upon the trees, the sun is.  The angle of the light almost makes a shimmer across the landscape.  This happens every year around this time, Septemberish, that the sun and the mountains get ‘closer together’ much quicker. Of course, you are thinking, that’s what happens in the Fall.  Earth rotation, etc..  But,  I feel at 5, 400 some feet, this is ever-so noticeable.  I didn’t grow up here.  I don’t recall noticing this change in my Midwest living years.  (I was younger then, and clueless).  For me, though, this casting of the sun brings with it such a calm and peaceful announcement, “Fall is here.

I love this time of the year.  The smell of Fall, the crispness of the morning.  It’s still amazing to me how the morning temperature can be 50 degrees, but the warm Colorado sun can reach 80 degrees by day’s end.  I am embracing this gentle change of Fall.  Embracing  before the wind-whipping, snow-twirling, winter air rushes down those mountainsides.

The sun went down behind the mountain tonight around 7pm.

Not only are we reminded of our days getting shorter, but someone (who shall remain nameless) has also reminded me of something else I have been putting off this summer; updating the lighting in our family room.  It’s dark in our family room.  It’s like living in a cave when we can’t rely on the summer sun to cast a nice glow into the late night hours. Okay.  Yes, I have put this off for at least a year, first ordering a couch, then waiting for some chairs…always seems to be something else.  Realistically, however, one can not read a book or magazine with the glow of our TV, and it’s time to look into some lighting purchases.

I’m not really sure what I want, which is part of my procrastination.  My goal is to provide a light source near each seating arrangement.  The chairs/couch shown are similar to, or are the exact pieces we have already in our room.  The couch has a console behind it for the lamp to sit on, obviously.

Lighting Ideas

I like the sleek, clean look of these pieces.  I don’t know if it’s too much of the same thing or if it provides unity in decor?

Here’s the quick rundown:

The ceiling fan; modern and hopefully brighter and less squeaky than the one we have.  I’ve always liked the look of the arc style floor lamps, see no. 2, which hopefully can tuck nicely behind or alongside the chair.  I am considering a swing arm lamp behind one of our chairs, such as in No. 3, to provide more floor space for plants and shelves and things.  This busy base table lamp (no. 4), which would sit on our bookshelf console already behind the couch, will mix up that slick silver just a bit, and hopefully not get kicked off the table by a small boy’s foot. This may be a plan, but I have not yet committed.

Have you purchased any lighting lately that you are happy with?

We shall see when I actually get around to this.  I am still working on Miss Jada’s dresser customization.  So, in the mean time, as the earth continues to rotate, and someone continues to complain about not being able to see the remote, I will continue to enjoy the daylight we have left and maybe, just maybe, go to bed a little bit earlier.

Lights out.


Images: 1) Fairview High School, Boulder, CO Google Image 2) Source Polyvore


Friday, September 7th 2012

Today I purchased this dresser for Miss Jada’s room make-over.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.


It is not exactly what we had planned, but this HEMNES from IKEA is roomy and straight; two of our main criteria.

We are considering adding a bit of personal touch to it, somehow.

What do you think?  Do you see any inspirational ideas below?

cg dresser left side

Think design ideas.  Jada is all about Pink!

Furniture Trends | perfectly imperfect | painted furniture

Perfectly Imperfect

I have a feeling that there might be a bit too much pink in this room after it’s all said and done.  But I also have to remember it’s not my room.

Below is my top inspiration picture.


Those HEMNES legs might have it in them to add a bit of pink to that bad boy.  The dresser will sit against a Graceful Gray (Behr) wall.  Yellow looks great with grey.  Maybe a pop of an unexpected color like turquoise will win out?

Honestly, we are still pondering it all.

~ Laura

“to the moon and back”… Headboard Complete!

Wednesday, August 29 2012

We are over the moon with our faux – barn wood headboard!  Our inspiration, once again, was this awesome piece.

Design Sponge

Seeing this photo online, Jada knew right away that she wanted it in her room.  What can I say?  The girl’s got good taste!  I just had to re-create it somehow, and barn wood around here is pretty pricey.  So, for a long while, I put it off and toyed with the idea of making a fabric covered headboard.  Then, one day, I happened upon some beautifully grayed Ceder fence planks at our local ReSouce center.  Bingo!  Here’s our the end result!

We customized our headboard with a little message and friendly reminder.  I traced the words onto the headboard after coloring the backside of my printed paper with chalk.  The end result was a nice outline.  I then painted the words with a paint pen from the hobby store…well, actually three paint pens.

A wider view of the room progress.

Uh oh! Noticed the nicely organized, and unmentioned -for-a- L O N G time, window seat, did you? I’ve been very bad at sharing our updated window seat progress and I don’t know why.  But we have been very busy decorating in here and love how this room is turning out.  Oh, and, the horizontal theme was not planned.  We just really like stripes!

I looked for a before picture of this space and this was all I could come up with; a very messy ‘during’ scene.  Notice how the room layout was so inviting to the possibility of a window seat.

And, a closer view of the area now.

Now, if I could just find the time to hang art, a shelf or two, and a window treatment..being very careful not to block the view of the moon, of course.


Images: 1) Design Sponge 2) monkeysonmyback

Inspiration Link~DIY Headboard

Thursday, August 23 2012

Have you checked out the ‘inspiration link’ to the right of this post?

If not, it’s time to get inspired!  We did!

Design Sponge

We are currently working on a similar headboard for Jada’s room, and are almost finished.  Can’t wait to put that puppy up on the wall and share the results!

Of course, there are two methods of thought when it comes to decorating a room, such as the bedroom:

1. Buy the bed with the matching headboard (and, possibly purchase the matching side tables  dressers, or armoires).  This is a great way to get a room furnished all at once.

American Furniture Warehouse

2. Find furniture pieces that balance out the room by complementing each other and add texture and visual interest to the room without being too matchy, matchy.

I choose the latter approach.  (This does take me quite a bit of time, however).  Mixing new pieces with older ones, and modern pieces, such as the small table, with traditional, can add visual interest to a room.  And, if we can put our personal touch on something in the house, consider it done!

You may remember Jada’s room idea shared awhile back.

Gray & Pink Room
So far, we’ve purchased the bed, the duvet, some wall art and painted the walls.  It’s coming together nicely as we pull pieces together from various sources.  But, as mentioned earlier, this method takes me a long time…it’s not one stop shopping!
So, in the mean time, here are some more great DIY Headboard ideas!
tufted headboard final
We hope to have our headboard up shortly.  Have you thought of trying a DIY headboard?  Or, maybe you were just a little bit inspired?  I hope so!
Images: All Image sources linked below picture

Planning a Shared Room ~ Final Result & Sources

Tuesday, August 13 2012

I am finally here to share the end result of the boys’ shared room, which was first mentioned w a y back in April; see that here, and here, and here.  And, considering everything (from building benches, to taking two distant vacations, from day-to-day fun), I am pleased with the speed of our progress.  That being said, why beat around the bush?  Let’s take a quick look at the beautiful bright green room beforehand, with its minimal furniture, and little storage, this room was in dire need of a revamp.

Not to mention, Big bro still thinks Little Z will sleep with him, which has not happened and is protested daily by Z.  I think Z will cave eventually since most of his toys are now stored   in this cool, newly organized, room and he has a dresser here as well.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

We are really pleased with how this room turned out.  And, in our books, the room is complete for now.  I say this knowing that at this time there is still only one boy sleeping in here full-time.  When Number 2 moves in, he will bring more toys, which will mean I get to buy more storage containers and organize again!  There is plenty of room under the bed for storage and I have already eyed up some handy low storage for the future, such as these from Land of Nod.


I am also really considering some more book storage for when Zander moves all his books over, each his favorite so there will be no parting.  I am liking these, also from the Land Of Nod.

LockerBasket _0111

Now back to the room reveal.  Of course, we love our low storage shelf under the window that holds some books and a few baskets of toys.  The small table to the right,  fits perfectly in this strange little corner, and is used daily for Lego building.

And, one of our favorite pieces in the whole room, is the mid-century dresser that was found at a local consignment shop.  After being painted in greys, orange, and teal, this dresser has found its new home.

The stenciled numbers, in case anyone is wondering, are actually the boys’ birth dates.  They are mixed in with some random numbers.  If you look closely, you can see one birthdate, 02/07/07.  (The other birthdate is painted on the top of the dresser.) A neat way to add a little personal touch to something made especially for the boys!

Here is the Room Source List:

Bunk Beds:  Owned and painted Benjamin Moore Arctic Shadows 1559

Book Shelves above beds:  IKEA Spice racks

Curtains: Fabric is Premier Prints Storm Twill Zig Zag from Fabric.com

Bamboo Shade: Homedepot.com

Book Shelf under Window: IKEA EXPEDIT

White Storage Tub (in book shelf):  The Container Store

Floor Pillows: Made from old Duvet (PBteen still carries  this Duvet)

Small White Table: IKEA

Espresso Table Chairs: Target.com (clearance)

READ Letters/A & Z Letters: Hobby Lobby (spray paint Rustoleum Aqua)

Elephant Head: Amazon.com

Dino Sinclair Sign: Hobby Lobby

Hanging Metal Buckets: IKEA

Large Map: Wayfair.com

Duvet on Beds: Target.com  (RE Style Duvet)

Dresser Paint Colors: Drawers, Benjamin Moore Classic Grey; Outside, Benjamin Moore Silver Song; Drawer inset, Behr Citrus Blast; Stencil/handles, Behr Spring Stream
Lastly, a few close-ups of some personal touches, here and there…