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), 3) Google Images
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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,, 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


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

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 

Good Times with Gray…and Pink!

Thursday, May 31 2012

The long weekend has come and gone, well equipped with warm weather, projects and holiday fun.  Did I mention that school is out here too?  Our summer is in full swing; so much so that my down time to write is getting a bit “eaten up” by entertaining the kids.  Nonetheless, we have big progress to report; well, big for us.  

May Re-cap

Seems our month of May is coming to a close quickly, but it’s nice to remember what we’ve accomplished.

1. Check out that Gray and Pink, and the built in window seat!  I am getting ahead of myself here, but we are excited about how far this plan has come in a matter of two weekends!  You may remember seeing the beginning stages here.  At that point we weren’t too sure how we were going to actually build a wall around the book shelf, but I have a thing for wainscoting and love this horizontal look.  We only needed thirteen tongue and groove boards to finish this part off.  It looks kind of funky with the blue tape.  The shot above shows the knotty pine boards covered in two coats of primer.  More on the gray and pink in a moment…

2. Here we are, Jada and I, just before our first (together), Bolder Boulder 10k.  After her 6.2 miles of jogging, walking, eating marshmellows, running through sprinklers, seeing dancing grannies, and doing slip-n-slides, Jada informed me that she would ONLY do this again if I bought her new shoes!  Ha! She did great!

3. See that handsome boy on the left?  Pre-school graduation time and all smiles!  We have been waiting for this moment all year, more than I can explain.  He is so ready for Kindergarten…more than I am, that’s for sure.

4. Sometimes I wonder how anything ever really gets done, especially when put down our things and stop projects mid-stream so often.

“One, two, three, four, six!”  Pardon me, we are counting like Zander today because I am too lazy to change it!  Did you notice? Ha!

6.Here I thought we were looking good and  ‘almost done’.  Not so!  We decided to change up the color scheme of the room, feeling like the walls were really screaming at us still every time we walked in the room…goodbye bright purple little girl room…

7. The boys and I were busy setting up some photo shoots for their bedroom art this month.  The subjects were very cooperative.  It’s gonna look great!

8. Here is Zz at the CU Buffalo during the Memorial Day Ceremonies.  Cute picture to remind us of a great weekend full of festivals and fun..and where has May gone?

9.  Remember that large world map that Aris loved when planning his room?  Well,  it’s up!  I hung a small amount of gray linen fabric behind it  to allow for a better contrast against that wonderful green wall.  We think it looks awesome!

And, that’s the lowdown around here.  I will post more on the rooms individually as they come to completion; if that ever happens.

Earlier I mentioned that I was getting ahead of myself showing the picture of the window seat and the newly painted gray and pink walls.  The room is really coming together quickly, and perhaps because our Jada no longer has a bed we feel like we need to get a move on.  After starting to frame the IKEA shelf in her window alcove, here,  we kind of felt the bright purple and orange room was too much.  Remembering a picture we saw at IKEA, we became inspired.

BILD Poster IKEA Motif created by Dan Bennett.

We loved the pinks, and yellows, and oranges in this picture.  When searching for a good pink, not too bright or neon, just inviting, we came across Benjamin Moore’s Wild Pink.  I don’t think it’s all too wild because it is not bright and even has a touch of gray to it, which helped us match it too Behr’s Graceful Gray.  And those are the colors you saw on the walls above, a sneak peak of what’s to come.  Below is the room plan.   A fraction of what our room plans include rarely play out, but we will see where this one takes us.  Jada loves her pink wall and her almost done window seat.  Hope to have more on that soon…

Gray & Pink Room
As quickly as our days pass, full of chalk drawing, playing cars and riding bikes, somehow our projects are making headway..a little bit at a time.
Images 1) Laura for monkeysonmyback 2)IKEA 3) Gray & Pink Room by monkeysonmyback on Polyvore

Coming Along

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just popped a lovely batch of corn to accompany me in writing this post.  Indiana Jones is on and a bit distracting down the Foyer hallway, and I keep looking in his direction because I can see half of the 50 incher from my computer desk.  There are lots of action scenes, of course.  But, I have some progress to report! (Rare around here these days!)

From where I am sitting, I see this, basically, only the TV is on.

And, here comes the ‘progress’ part, Niche #1 is coming along and looking a little different.  Two weeks ago I started to plan a re-dec of the area, and have found this Niche difficult because my taste in decor does not include large curly pots of faux plants, which I frequently see in something like this.  Could not imagine what else this spot’s intention would have been when constructed?

Here we started:

Here we are, progress:

Hope to be here, soon:

Foyer Niche

As you can see it’s coming along.  The large background vase was delivered in two pieces and shipped back the same day.  The hanging light is on hold due to the ceiling plate not being large enough to cover the hole we already have, and therefore, the company is trying to see if they have another size.

Focusing on the progress, rather, I can report the ‘hanging of the houses’ today.  This was accomplished while I inadvertently skipped my daughter’s first soccer game of the season…oops!  Let’s focus on the houses, shall we?

You are about to witness how I hang pictures, so prepare, because it’s not pretty and I am sure it’s not the easiest way to do things such as this.  While Rory walks up to the wall and “Bang” pounds a nail and hangs the picture in two steps, I add about ten, steps that is.  The whole process goes something like this:

1) Measure paper for area of wall and cut it out.

2) Lay frames a bunch of different ways until I like what I see.

I had about six other layouts, but you get the picture…ha ha!

3) Choose the best layout.  Measure for placement, mark nail spot,  and trace frame.


(A great way to mark the hanger do-hickey is to color it with a marker (Crayola washable kind) and then place the frame where you want it, inside your traced lines.  Remove the frame and  then get a dot of color  which marks the nail placement.  I didn’t do that this time.  Probably because I was skipping steps to try to save time and pay attention to my kids, who, by the way, where busy doing this:


4) Tape paper to wall and put the nail on the spot marked, hang frame

5) Remove frames.  Pull off paper, nails are in place.

6) Rehang frames. Done.

Now, obviously, hanging one picture is not this involved.  But I was not home with any helpful hands at the time, well, any clean helpful hands.  And, I wanted the pictures centered and even on the wall; very hard to hold a frame or two, a level, a hammer, and a pencil.

I chose the two house pictures only, instead of including our LINDQUIST 2012 print that I made a while back, because I felt it looked too cluttered.  I am big on anti-clutter and preserving open space inside my house.  I feel, that sometimes, we get too hung up on hanging stuff up and cluttering the walls which makes me feel claustrophobic.  I have enough to think about during the day, my brain doesn’t need complex bombardment from my eyes being overstimulated.  Huh? I like simple.  Not too many things to look…just simple and obvious.

Anyway, I like my progress for today, too.  That small task is a huge accomplishment around here for one day.  The LINDQUIST print is going to be added down the hallway towards the door when I get my foyer console table.  The plans look something like this, but are already swaying a bit:


Well, Indiana Jones is over and my bowl of popcorn is almost gone, which is my signal to turn off the computer for the night.


~ Laura

Images: Laura for Monkeysonmyback, Foyer Niche and Fabulous Foyer created on

Niche 1 update

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I wanted to post a quick update of my foyer niche project.  The skinny mirrors from CB2 have arrived, in perfect condition, and were hung last week sometime.

Here is a quick reminder of what the spaced looked like pre-mirrors.

My plans include something along the lines of this:

Foyer Niche
The number three in the picture above represents the mirrors that I am referring to.  We also received the vases, but, unfortunately, the largest vase, shown in the back, arrived with a huge crack down the backside.  And,  therefore, was sent back.  Of course,that vase is now on back order until April.
Anyway, here is some progress:

It is amazing how much these mirrors play with the light in the house.  In stead of walking under the balcony into a dark cave, like in the past, we now feel like we are walking into a lighted room.  The mirrors reflect the family room windows and outside, as you can kind of see, which makes it feel so much bigger.  And, I do love the sleek design of these skinny guys.  (A side note, these mirrors are more than 50% off right now and ship for $4.95 flat rate, in case there is a place for them in your pad.)

So, it’s coming along.  I also received my free sample color slate from Barnlight Electric for the light fixture.  The sample shows  a bit darker and less aqua in real life.   Since our interior has splashes of greens and blues throughout, I don’t think this will matter.  The pendent light has not been ordered quite yet, though.

On a search for some nice Etsy art prints to put in the frames that will go on the left side of the niche.  Once the art is up, I think it will really start coming together.


Images: Laura for 

Crazy about Niches~Decorating Ideas

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You may remember this piece of crafty copy and paste letter art I created this past weekend?

You can find out more about this, here.

I like it and I want it to be somewhere that establishes placement and pride in our house, which got me thinking about one of our many wall niches.  I have a hard time decorating my niches, (I will share others later on), because they are oddly shaped and because I am not interested in tapestries or large coiled pots with faux plants.

Anyway, here sits Niche I, in the Foyer hallway.  It is begging for some decor, as right now it looks like this.


(Night shot, a little bit dark)

Below is a better picture, close up, with  more accurate color of the wall.  Nice and triangular…hmm…

(Yes. Tape helps me visualize)

Previously, before paint work this summer, it was decorated like this.

I know, I know.  It needed some attention.  I put the vinyl sticker up and got lost in life’s chaos and, with lack of decorating direction,  it was never truly completed.

Which brings me back to mentioning my letter art.  It will have a new home in this niche.  I am not exactly sure of the size I am planning to order.  (Did you see the tape in the picture above~that’s why it’s on the wall).    For some reason my monitor does not show the real color of the blues and oranges in my creation.  The blues are more aqua and the oranges a tad lighter, which looks good against the gray backdrop.  So, picture that mixed in with this:

Foyer Niche
Here is a quick run down of the objects in the photo:
1. Ivanhoe Pendant light ~ Barnlight Electric
2. Number 5 ~ Hobby Lobby
3. Infinity shadow mirrors ~CB2
4. Bell Jar Saucer ~ Crate & Barrel
5. Various size vases ~ West Elm
6. Walnut box frames ~ CB2
Some of the items above have been ordered.  Other items must wait until after our fabulous February birthday parties.  I will be sure to share the end result, however.  And, don’t worry, in this house we are getting crazy about our niches and will be sharing more decorating ideas about them soon..well, not too soon…let’s just say, someday.
~ Laura
Images: All Images, Laura for Monkeysonmyback,  Foyer Niche created on by monkeysonmyback

Tri-pod or Quadra-pod? A Look-alike for Less!

I happened upon this Tri-pod floor lamp from this morning and was shocked at the ticket price.

Tripode Floor Lamp

Tripode Floor Lamp

Our price: $1,080.00
+ Free Shipping
At least it has free shipping!
Seeing this lamp made me even more pleased with the look-alike version I found from World Market last week.   The World Market one is not exactly a tri-pod (or pode?), but a quadra-pod I guess.  This picture is from their website; the Tristan Floor Lamp.
Tristan Floor Lamp Collection | World Market
If you remember, I was looking for a tri-pod floor lamp for our family room, but the one I bought we are very happy with, even though it’s not quite Tri.  I like the huge shade and the skinny black legs.  It has the same little step on switch like it’s more expensive friend from Y. This is much better than seeing the cord running down the wall, in my opinion.   Here is a very blurry picture of the lamp in its new home.
  (I will have more before and after pictures of the Family Room soon.)
Again, the contrast against our Kingsport Gray walls is nice.  My original idea for a large shade lamp came from this picture a while back.
Julianne Kelly eclectic living room; Jullianne Kelly ~ 
My Tristan Lamp is not quite as tall as the awesome purple guy above, but it does cast a nice high light right around the top of our fireplace mantel.  This is nice for some variation in decor and to complement the height and vastness of our family room walls; 18 feet or so.
I am also considering covering our new lamp with this gray and white greek key pattern fabric.
Charcoal Greek Key (Nickle not included)
 I think the shade needs some pattern or texture since it sits next to our white wooden mantel and behind one of our white leather chairs.  Yet, another project to add to my to-do list.
Silly me! I get really excited about good deals and look-alike products for less.
That’s all for now!  I’ll have some updates soon.  Enjoy the weekend before the holiday craze.
Images:  1) 2) 3) Laura for 4) 5)