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

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

“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

Grandma’s Dresser Update

Thursday, July 19 2012

Grandma’s dresser” is coming along nicely..

A few coats of polycrylic and some fancy handles and she’ll be ready to go!  Aris chose the stenciled numbers along side the drawer fronts, as opposed to simply numbering each drawer (01, 02, 03, etc.).  I think it’s looking so cool.  We can’t wait until it’s finished!


Image: Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Planning a Shared Room ~ Hunk-o-Bunk Progress

Tuesday, July 17 2012

Looking at this before picture again gets me really excited for what I have been seeing lately in our shared room.  Here is the refresher picture:

And our current view, a sneak peek:

I truly feel like screaming, “The bunk beds are done!  The bunk beds are done!” Which, around here, is quite an accomplishment.  I don’t recall what inspired me to try out my spray paint gun on a typical hot and gusty Colorado afternoon, (p.s. Not a good idea to spray paint in 55 mph wind gusts!) but I did, and I’d say it turned out okay.  We love the color and how it mutes the bright green background walls.  We are working on the final tweaks of our shared space as the room comes together, nicely..and, slowly.  Celebrating this small feat of spray painting bunk beds (each board individually) triple coated, of course, is surely necessary.  After finishing this hunk-o-bunk, I swore I’d never spray paint again…  Of course, that was short-lived! (Dresser reveal is on its way).

But I am proud of my accomplishments, including hauling the air-compressor to the back yard without tipping over the wheel barrow and breaking my toes!  And, the end result is oh so much nicer than the once honey-oak.

Paint color: Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Shadows 1559

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Grandma’s Attic

Wednesday, July 11 2012

I recently acquired this lovely piece of  furniture from a local thrift shop.  I love this mid-century modern look.

Buying thrift and non-profit, I was justifying my purchase in my head at the time.  Since their area of expertise is rescuing injured or endangered wild life, after the Colorado wildfires, there has been a lot of rescuing needed around here.  Justifying too simply because it would have been much easier to buy a new dresser, however much more expensive and I could not find anything I liked enough to spend the money on.  I knew this piece needed some work, but in this case, my donation helped out a worthy cause and Aris may finally get a dresser!  Remember this plastic disaster?

With his pajamas in a bundle on the top (and his undies too because his pajamas don’t fit in the drawers) we need some kind of replacement.

And, although Rory’s first comment when he saw this ‘new’ dresser sitting in the garage was, “Where did you get that?  Grandma’s attic?” I was not disheartened.

Instead I quickly dug around the internet for some inspiration.

House & Home

Original Source Unknown


Ombre perhaps?


So many possibilities!  We are leaning towards a light gray outer finish with some pops of orange or turquoise somewhere, yet to be determined.  I think it will turn out great, but at our snails pace, let’s hope that happens before summer’s end!


Images: 1) Laura for monkeysonmyback, all others linked as known

ps.  What do you think of the new page design?  Honestly.  I have been wanting to change things up for a while now, but wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish what I have sketched in front of me.  It does look better.  Much easier to see the post with a lighter background for one.  It could still use some work.  So, don’t be surprised if there are more changes!  

Landscape Update

Thursday, July 5 2012

We are back from vacation, and a wonderful one at that. Yellowstone NP.  It truly was not long enough, and for the first time that I can remember, I did not want this vacation to end!  Usually, I get so uncomfortable, disorganized, or out of sorts (routine), that I can’t handle it – or the crabby children not handling IT – anymore.  But not this time.  We were without cell service, internet, and calenders.  It felt so good to be that disconnected… I didn’t know what day it was  and I didn’t care because I didn’t have any appointments, classes, or camps to attend.  We got up too early and stayed up too late watching buffalo and bear…

But, this is not a post on my vacation that I wish I was still on.  That was a sidetrack.

Before we left, we had some exciting changes take place to the front of our house, knocking down the ugly/excessive concrete surround and adding a new walkway and some plants for a little bit of curb appeal.  Check out these before and after pictures!  I can’t believe how bad the before looked when I see it now.

Rerouting the walkway and adding a berm to disguise the rest of the excessive stoop area makes the front of our home much more welcoming.  For the most part it is finished.  There will be a few plants added in some areas as we judge how well those planted mature.  A few more small touches include; lighting, potted planters to soften up the transition areas, and a new address plate.  But right now, we are exhausted and taking in the beauty of the area as is.

Here is a little collage on the process of the project.  I should add, we did not do this ourselves (as we usually do), but knocking out concrete stoops and finding a place to dump it all did not seem doable in our books.

We did, however, landscape the area (when I say we, I mean Rory planted and I distracted the kids, therefore ‘we’).

We are waiting to plant any more.  The area, for example,  next to the large granite in the center of the picture, may have some low growing daisy variety in the future, but we want to see how the rest grows in first.  Planting too much now, when the plants are still small, will only lead to a cluttered feel next year when they mature.  Over all, I feel the curvature of the walkway, mini tree, and little green plants, softens and ‘cools’ the look of the area incredibly already.

I love how the greens and yellows of the small flowers and leaves contrast with the dark granite boulders and the dark mulch.  Although it’s very common in our part of the country to landscape with only rock, we also like the contrast of materials between different sized rock and mulch giving some textural interest.

One of my favorite features is our dry river bed.

Here is a closer view of the cobblestone walkway (after a watering).  I am hoping the little yellow succulents fill in as they grow for a nice border.

It’s so awesome to see my once chicken-scratch sketch

turn into this:

Not too bad, I say!

Hope to have some future pictures of the area, a bit more mature, and with some added focal plants (Agave perhaps), and walkway lights.  For now, this is our new welcoming view.


Images:  All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Easy Chair Update

Saturday, June 16 2012


Ooh la la, isn’t she pretty?  This is Crate&Barrel’s Petrie chair.   You may remember that I added this chair to our Cozy Living Room Plans a while back, but dishing out the dough for this beaut (x2) with three sticky kids is simply NOT a good idea.

Which is where this, equally fantastic chair from IKEA comes into play.

KARLSTAD Chair IKEA Soft, hardwearing and easy care leather ages gracefully.

This is of the KARLSDTAD leather series.  These chairs are super comfy, and did I mention leather!  Well, we bought two of them, even though we did not like the look of the chair legs at all.  The legs look a bit, well, naked, or something.

Above is the IKEA version sitting in our living room.  I think they look much better in person, creamy, not stark white.  But those naked legs kept staring at me as I walked into the room.  I wanted to pretend I bought the Petrie chairs because I loved the look of them at first sight, so I decided to simply change out the chair legs.  I didn’t even know if it was possible at first, to switch them out.  Having googled the question, I found specialty sites on the web related to this exact issue.  The chair legs on the specialty sites were not exactly what I was looking for,  too ornate and colorful, but overall inspiring.  Heck~ I decided to just go for it after I found an Ebay seller, Wholesale Upholstry Supply, who sells similar chair legs to C&B’s; only not black.

I ordered the 6 inch legs, tapered.  After two rounds of spray on Zinsser Primer, and two coats of Rustoleum spray on semi-gloss Black, we have this:

And,  I love KARL’s new legs!

We are happy with the new modern, dark look of KARL’S legs.  The chairs look so similar to the C&B version now, too.

Oh, and did I mention they have easily wiped clean of all messes, from syrup to peanut butter  to markers, that the JAZ team has escaped the kitchen with?  This was certainly an easy update for our cool chairs.


Images:  1) Crate&Barrel, 2 &3) Laura for Monkeysonmyback 4) Ebay seller Wholesale Upholstry Supply, 5&6) Laura for Monkeysonmyback