Monday, May 4, 2015

Our New "Garage" Living Room/Kitchen

Renovated garage.
We have finally put the finishing touches on the garage renovation where we converted our two-car garage into a WOman Cave or guest suite.  On what had been "my" side of the garage where I stored "stuff", we now have a living area and a "kitchen-like" area (no real kitchen). 

One of the first things we did was to install a nice television.  It is super for watching sports and cooking shows.  The TV we have in the house is quite old, and we have never upgraded it. We don't watch a lot of TV, but it is nice have a better TV in the garage..  The entertainment console has an electric fireplace which is a comfort in cold weather.  It puts out a good amount of heat. 

Electric fireplace.

I have always been fond of this 1930s chest of drawers that belonged to my Aunt Jewel.  Patrick had it in his townhouse, but was happy to let us have it for the garage. 

Aunt Jewel's 1930s chest and recliner from our bedroom.
The green recliner had been in our bedroom, but we needed to get a safer chair for Dan so we moved the recliner out to the garage.  The green became one of the accent colors in the suite, and it just so happened when I was in LAZBOY looking for a chair  I spied this beautiful vase with the perfect colors..  Kelly and Brian, our neighbors, of  Kelly Odom Florist, designed the arrangement in the vase---I particularly like the use of "open cotton bolls" because I grew up in cotton country. 
Interesting piece of pottery from LAZBOY.
In the front corner I used a photo screen to obscure the broom, mop, dustpan, etc.  that sits in the corner. 

Photo screen hides items in corner.
We had looked at love seats and even sofas, but decided the space would be too crowded so we settled on a nice cushy chair with ottoman.  The ottoman adorned with a tray makes a nice coffee table, but when I'm out there I use it for a footstool. It can be used for extra seating as well.

Great place to watch tv or read.
At the back end of the room we already had a fridge and by adding a microwave and a coffee maker the "kitchen" makes a nice place for a continental breakfast.  I also keep microwave popcorn in the fridge for popping when watching basketball. 
Kitchen area at end of living area.
Coffee maker.
To keep the kitchen area separate from the bedroom, we hung a painter's drop cloth over the doorway between the two. This is very nice fabric and I was thinking what pretty curtains it would make. 

Painter's drop cloth serves as curtain between kitchen area and bedroom.
The bookcases are cast offs from Patrick.  With all the books, we can retire to the garage and spend a rainy afternoon reading. 
Lots of books to read.
Finally we decided to install a bamboo Roman shade that could be used to close off the bedroom from the living area. 

Roman shade (Select Blinds) that separates living area from bedroom.
Texture and color of bamboo Roman shade blend nicely in the room.
All in all, this has been a delightful project---harrowing at times---but we are quite pleased with the result.  We now have extra room for company---we had a couple staying there for the weekend.  And when we need to have a live-in-caretaker, the suite will provide supplemental living area.

Should we sell our house and move to an assisted living facility, the garage suite should be a plus for someone needing a mother-in-law suite or a suite for a grown kid.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Our New "Garage" Bedroom

Our garage "guest suite".

In renovating our two-car garage, which never housed a car, into a guest suite or WOman cave, we turned what was Dan's workshop into a bath and bedroom. 
Queen size bed.  Bedspread colors greens and browns determined the color scheme for suite.
The tall cabinets that store items we rarely need to access serve as the headboard for the queen size bed.  The bed was one in Patrick's place that he was no longer using, and the bedspread was one I had on hand.  The colors in the bedspread were used as the color scheme for the entire suite. 
Screen that hides water heater made of stockade fence pickets.

In order to hide the hot water heater, Steve built a screen from stockade fencing washing it with a thin coat of wall paint to let the grain of the wood show through.
Garage door track exposed in room.
Gear clock fits right in with the "industrial" look of the place.
Since the very front of this side of the garage serves as a tool shed, the tracks of the garage door are exposed giving an industrial feel to the room.  To continue the industrial theme, I found this wonderful gear clock that is perfect for the space over the HVAC unit. 
Shelves added where Dan's tools once hung.
Shelves perfect for displaying baskets, pottery and books.

The wall that formerly housed many of Dan's tools, was converted into shelves for books, pottery and other collectibles. 
Clothes hamper and basket of towels handily within reach of the bathroom.

At the entrance to the bathroom door, a basket on top of the clothes hamper contains towels and bath mats. 
This wall canvas has the perfect lime green and rust browns to complement the color scheme.

Not only did I find the towels for the bathroom at Big Lots, I also found this wall canvas (for $12.00) that carries out our color scheme perfectly. 
IKEA lamp with shade sprayed black. 

The lamp is from IKEA.  It had a gray shade, but Steve sprayed this black and it fits nicely into the room.

We are expecting two couples for a visit this coming weekend.  One couple will be housed in the guest suite.  I hope they like it. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Our New "Garage" Bathroom

Small bathroom.

We have turned our two-car garage into a "guest suite" or possibly a place for a full-time caretaker when the need arises.  Our "garage" was never used to park cars.  Dan had his workshop in one half, and we had storage (mainly for my pottery collection) in the other side.  The bathroom was built at the back of what had been Dan's workshop.  It is quite small (4' x 10') but quite adequate. 

Because of the size of the room we chose "small" fixtures that the space could accommodate.  We opted for a shower kit that was installed in one corner. 
Corner shower kit.
The sink and medicine cabinet are the smallest we could find. 
Small vanity and medicine cabinet.
Mirror and lights over the vanity.

The toilet is regular size, but at Wayfair online I found a tiny little cabinet to use beside the toilet that is perfect for storing toilet tissue and other bathroom necessities.

Small cabinet from Wayfair.  (Photo from their website.)

The tiny cabinet from Wayfair is perfect for this spot beside the toilet. (I am going to add brushed nickel knobs to match the vanity and medicine cabinet, and to make it look a little more upscale.)
Because of a bedspread I had on hand, I chose lime green and tangerine for the color scheme for the suite.  In looking for towels I had not found what I wanted, but I was in Big Lots looking for something else and accidentally found just the color green that I wanted in two bath towels. These were on sale for $3.00 each---a great find. Coincidentally, the towels have a little chain stitch very much like the chain stitch on the bedspread. 
Lime green towels and brown ones to blend with the wall paint.

Chain stitching on the towels.
In order to find matching hand towels and wash cloths I had to check every Big Lots in the area, but I managed to find both.  In the same style, were brown ones that blended well with the wall color. 

The floor is solid bamboo used throughout the guest suite.

We love the beautiful solid bamboo flooring.

To add a little whimsy, we mounted a painting of a crocodile above the shower.  Although I once was an avid collector of crocs and gators, I have pretty much given up that hobby.  But at the Hickory Pottery and Antique Show the other week, I couldn't resist this little guy in a booth next to mine and thought it would be perfect for the bathroom.  And it is.

Le gator above the shower. 

Although the bathroom is quite small, because we chose small fixtures, it really seems spacious and not crowded at all.  There is a pocket door that separates the bathroom from the bedroom.  I will show what we did for the bedroom in another blog.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"The coolest wrinkled musicians this side of the Stones" *

The California Raisins.
In decluttering the attic I found this "collection" of California Raisins.  These must have been give-aways from some fast foodery, but I don't remember.  Anyway I do remember the singing commercials on TV.  If you remember these it dates you, because it would have been the middle to late 1980s.  


This takes me back a bit.  But so do the Rolling Stones.  They are coming to Raleigh on July 1 as part of their Zip Code Tour.  I won't be going, but my son Patrick will.  I went with Patrick to see them about ten years ago when they were at the Duke Stadium. 

Wrinkled yes, but still able to play, sing, and dance around the stage. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Creative International Wedding Invitation

Invitation to Thomas and Rebecca's Wedding in Northern Ireland
Rebecca my first cousin, twice removed (her grandmother is my first cousin), is marrying Thomas in Northern Ireland, and their wedding invitation is the most creative I've ever received.  Rebecca is the talented blogger,The Clothes Horse , and Thomas is a documentary film producer so I'm not surprised that they designed this clever invitation.  I am so looking forward to the wedding in June.

Front of the "passport" invitation. (Designed by Rebecca and Thomas.)
Inside of "passport".  Notice every little detail on this. (Designed by Rebecca and Thomas.)

Our "boarding pass" and stub for RSVP. (Designed by Rebecca and Thomas.)
The wedding will be outdoors at the Parkanaur Manor House in Northern Ireland (inside if weather dictates) with reception to follow.
Parkanaur Manor wedding and reception venue. (Photo from Parkanaur Manor Website.)
Reception area at Parkanaur Manor. (Photo from Parkanaur Manor Website.)
Rebecca and Thomas (Photo by Epic Love Photography).

I know this is going to be one beautiful wedding.