Category Archives: Furniture

Paint It Black

I’ve made no bones about my love for the Rolling Stones.  Well, the time has come for me to see them live (while they’re still alive!!) when JT and I plus some friends depart for Desert Trip.  To say I’m excited does not do justice to the range of emotions I am experiencing … I am ready to dance my ass off and jump up and down until I can’t walk the next day (wouldn’t be the first time, might be the last time).  Living a five hour drive from Southern California has been pretty sweet.

desert-trip-poster

So, I have been cranking the tunes and getting some projects done around the house in advance of our friends’ arrival (they’re flying into PHX and we’re all trucking it out to Indio)  While we were working on some projects in the music room hanging shelves and artwork, “Paint It Black” came on our feed and I though it might be the perfect song for our new lounge.  While I know this is actually a song about a young girl’s funeral, I just think the Rolling Stone’s and Charlie Watt’s drum beat were guiding me to the perfect color for this room.

So, as a refresh, we started here:

That was sort of around move-in mess, I guess…. those were some of the only “befores” I kept around.

And now, here we are:

 

It’s like a little aerie as the windows wrap around the corner and it sits on the second floor facing towards the street and above the front door.  The side window has a great view towards the mountain and we originally had the desk right there but it gets too hot.

img_4606

The Danish Daybeds make a perfect spot for lounging and I love having them side-by-side.  I added a few blankets and cover for dog protection as this is one of Shenanigan’s favorite perches.  It’s hard to believe these daybeds are the same ones I scored off Mister Modtomic all those years ago.

MR MODTOMIC DANISH DAYBEDS

JT installed guitar “swing” hooks into the stud for secure guitar storage/display.  He still has a bunch of guitars in STL that need to make the trek to PHX … anyone up for a drive?  The wall shelves are from Ikea, the “Skogsta”.  The wood tones help warm things up against the blue-black walls.  This is the darkest wall we have done to date.  I thought about doing the ceiling too but my arms just weren’t up to it.

music-room-02

We have a lot more space than our first house, that’s for sure … remember that music room?

Image 10

I sure do miss those fans though!  We still have the ugly ones upstairs in the new house…

So, there just seems to be something about a music room and a moody wall color that works for us.  It’s helped to have a dedicated work space also for days when JT remotes in from home or when I need to work late and would rather be in my pajamas.  The TV is mounted on a swiveling wall mount and so it can be pulled out for watching TV/playing Playstation from the daybed or we hook the computer into it and use it as a second screen (like now, as I type).  It’s turned into a very flexible and multi-functional room, which is great.

Next stop, Rolling Stones!!  Paint it Black!!  (Something about WordPress is not letting me link to the YouTube song and I can’t find the song in our iTunes library either).  Go forth to the internet and search up some Rolling Stones! I’ll leave you with my other favorite:

Cheers!!!! CT

The next living room change is …

As I mentioned in the last post, I foresee some changes happening to this room as it has started evolving more rapidly since the addition of the area rug.  The paintings are still safe for now but JT and I have discussed a re-do. (He’s on board, gotta love that guy.)   Instead we had an out-of-the-blue, spur-of-the-moment, why-the-hell-not ottoman makeover project on our long Labor Day weekend.

It started a while ago, when we got the new sofa.  We’ve been loving this thing and basically live on it (I’m typing from there right now).  We thought an upholstered ottoman might be more comfortable than the Ikea Strind for general lounging about – the Strind has two large glass panels that have somehow survived two moves but did take out JT’s smartphone once – and on a half-off Saturday at Goodwill we came across the perfect candidate. Will you look at that, it actually fit perfectly into the truck.  (Can you tell we’re kind of in love with our truck?  #trucknerds)

IMG_6580

If your eagle eyes can read that Goodwill tag on the ragged corner of this bonded-leather beauty, you are correct that it says $5.99.  And don’t forget – it was half off day!  So this ottoman only cost $3.00!  Not quite because we still had to purchase fabric as I wasn’t keeping it in THIS condition but not too shabby.

While we still had “the thing” penned up in the back of the truck and airing out from the eau-de-Goodwill, we stopped by Joann for the next purchase.  JT was definitely the only man in the store and he marveled at the size and quantity (and need for) so much crafting stuff.  Or maybe he was more perplexed than marveling.  Your call.

IMG_6607

We found this great Nate Berkus fabric that should have been $45 for our three yards but we scored for $22.50 thanks to a major Labor Day sale.  So let’s bring our ottoman price up to $25.50 and call it good.  I also bought the buttons shown in the picture above but decided once I had the thing upholstered that I didn’t want them.

Then began the disassembly process.  JT tackled the much-abused base with some Restor-A-Finish we had on hand from the Danish Daybeds.  I removed a percentage of the staples (especially around the corners where I knew we would need to be adding more staples back in) and the black tack fabric to remove some bulk.  We left the bonded leather in place and cut the tufting buttons free from the inside of the frame.  The fabric cutting and sewing process did not get photo documentation but took the span of about five Friends episodes and ended with a locked up sewing machine about one inch from the end of the last seam.  I need to take the machine in to get oiled and serviced, it’s probably about time.

Once the bottomless cube was (imperfectly) sewn up (and please note I was careful to choose a fabric that would disguise my low seamstress skills), it was time to stretch that baby onto the (heavily Febreezed with my own homemade concoction of vodka, vinegar and lavender essential oil) base!  We used our trusty Stanley staple gun with 3/8″ staples and pounded in any stragglers with a hammer.  The staples didn’t have any trouble going through both our new upholstery and the bonded leather (or vinyl?) so I’m glad we didn’t go to the pain of removing the original material.  I included the last picture above to highlight JT’s drill bit extender – this has come in really handy when you need to attach screws in a deep pocket like this frame had.

And the afters!  We’re loving it and definitely changing out our paintings to get rid of the mossy greens and clay colors.  And that wet bar … I’ve got my eye on that catch-all-junk, 80s eyesore of a wet bar.

IMG_6614

There’s starting to be a lot of pattern going on in this room and we considered going with a milder ottoman fabric but we figured for the price we might as well “go bold or go home” as they say.

Then I styled it up with a tray I had on hand and some of the items that were living on the coffee table before.

IMG_6618
There you have it – the living room has morphed again.  All while Shenanigan gave us the cold shoulder from his puppy pillow perch in the corner.  He is still mad at us for a camping “adventure” we had Friday night near Flagstaff.  Needless to say he was not a happy camper and so we cut the trip short and so our ottoman project was a great diversion on a long weekend.  Have a great short week and we’ll be back at the weekend before you know it!  Cheers – CT

IMG_6612

Master Bedroom Tour

Before we moved in, we painted the bulk of the first floor Benjamin Moore “White Dove”.  We stopped the paint at the corner at the bottom of the stairs before it turns and goes up into the two volume space.  So for a while, downstairs was gorgeous gleaming white and the upstairs was still that dingy, fleshy beige that drives me crazy.

Part of living in the desert means that all of the creepy crawlies that live outdoors would much rather live in your home.  And the creepy crawlies out here are so much more terrifying than in the Midwest I have found.  The long segue I am trying to make here is that we ended up moving into the guest bedroom for a time after we discovered a few scorpions living in our master bedroom.  There was one in JT’s shoe which was stored in one of the under-bed drawers and another hanging out on the inside of the shower curtain one morning.  Not cool.  While we were waiting for the pest people to come back, we decided to go ahead and get the master bedroom painted.  So here it is …

Bedroom 3

We have nice high ceilings in this room and so we decided to accent the end wall with Sherwin Williams “Porpoise” which was a color we had in our STL house as well.  I guess I just really love that color – it’s a pretty perfect warm dark grey.  The canvas artwork has moved with us too and lived in a few different rooms before ending up here.

Bedroom 2

I have a love/hate relationship with the mirrored closet doors.  They’re so functional yet so …. tacky.  They do help bounce the light around the room.  You can kind of see in the reflection that we have the Koehler white vinyl rocker/lounger in the corner for a little sitting/clothes piling area.  JT got that chair from Goodwill during college and I think we may have it forever.  I love it – there’s nothing tacky about it!   You can kind of see beyond that the master bedroom opens into the sink area of the master bath and then around the corner and behind closed doors is the water closet and a large tub/shower.

Bedroom Outtake

Here’s an outtake from my little photo shoot – Shenanigan was done with being photographed and wanted O-U-T of the bedroom.  Tough luck little dude.  The blue duvet cover and pillow shams came from West Elm about two years ago.  Next steps for this room is a proper headboard – we still haven’t had one of those in almost 11 years of marriage!  It would also be nice to upgrade our bedside tables and lamps as well at some point.

Shenana Snores

Above is a little scene from this A.M. – Boo got scared of something in the night and jumped up on the bed.  The dogs are getting older with creakier joints so they actually don’t get up on the bed with us as much anymore, which is probably good for both the husband’s and my back.

Sophie Yells

Not to be left out, I also caught Sophie the dog mid-yawn this morning.  You can see how the carpet has some Sophie spots on it.  JT and I would love to replace the carpet for hardwood or maybe an LVT floor as Miss Sophie has left her mark a few places when she wasn’t feeling well with a UTI.  We’ve rented a steam cleaner twice but haven’t had any success getting fully rid of the telltale stains.

The best part about this house and especially the master bedroom is the view – there’s a balcony looking out over the mountain.  We picked up some cool chairs from Lowes and JT and I sit out there some mornings, sip our coffee and soak in the scenery.

IMG_5603

Below is a better view out the sliding door and over the balcony.  It was a rare(r) rainy day the other day and like a true Phoenician, I took a photo of the rain.

IMG_5222

You can kind of see the hot tub below on the left and the hammock is hanging out down there.  JT has been itching to find some pavers and fill in the large “sand box” we inherited and create a nice outdoor living room.

So that’s the master bedroom in the new house, a little sanctuary in the sky.  There’s still work to be done in there (we need a non-ugly fan STAT!) and I didn’t show more photos in the bathroom part of the suite on purpose – it’s a work in progress but we’re loving it.

Hopefully this week we’re going to finish up a little laundry room renovation and I also have some more of a room-by-room tour of the new house.  The hot weather has finally left Phoenix and I’m starting to get my home project mojo back.  Have a great week!  Cheers – CT

Tree Stump Table

So we have this amazing view of South Mountain in our backyard, but when we moved in it was blocked by two trees. Well, one tree and one sad-sack-of-shit tree stump that was totally overgrown with weeds. We were sure it was providing hiding places for snakes, coyotes, tarantulas, hikers, hipsters.

Big crappy trees

Big crappy trees

No more big crappy trees

No more big crappy trees

We had someone come out and cut them down, which they did in about 2 hours flat. One by-product was a couple logs, one of which I decided to turn into a tree stump table so I could contribute to CT’s living room design.

When I went to grab the stump, I found a giant bug on it. Maybe it was a molted shell, maybe it was alive……I don’t know. All I know is I saw something brown, green and about 5 inches long in a split second before I dropped it and jumped-jerked-pirouetted away. I then soaked it for about 3 minutes with the hose. From there I gathered up the courage to gather it up and set it in the sun for few days to dry out in the midsummer Arizona sun.

Sanded, ready for poly

Sanded, ready for poly

Once I got it into the garage, I began sanding it. Quite honestly I really didn’t know how much sanding I wanted to do. The whole idea of this project was bringing in a rustic touch, but at the same time I needed some leveling of the ends. My solution was starting with medium-coarse grit and finishing with 600 grit. Just enough to smooth out the real rough spots. I cleaned it off with a can of compressed air, and started in with layers of clear brush-on polyurethane. After a few weeks of curing, it was ready to bring in and enjoy.

3EB6F042-C389-4A1F-AAC8-D339A5EF9D0C_L0_001

Hanging It Updates

Hey everyone – it’s been awhile so I thought I would just plunge in with some updates, highlights and clips of what life has been like around the Living Analog household lately:

After another trip around the blazing hot sun (it was 104 degrees here yesterday on the first day of October!)  JT rewarded me with something I have had my eye on for a while now …. an Eames Hang It All!

E9D79BA7-4B04-47B7-A827-32698E4DDAE8_L0_001

Husband is actually very smart and lets me self-select most gifts as I am ridiculously opinionated on all things that live in our house.  He did also surprise me with flowers at work this year, bonus points husband.  Back to the Hang It All – is it a little overpriced for a coat hook? Sure.  Do I love it and want to keep it forever?  Yes please.

9ACF37BE-B33D-4FC2-91C6-5784874DFB08_L0_001

It’s right inside the front door so I can now just drop my purse and bag right when I get home from work.  It keeps everything off the floor (e.g. dog hair free) and did I mention that I love it?  Moving on …
IMG_5179

Some more little updates from our world:

– Also for my birthday (did I mention I’m pretty spoiled?)  JT and I took a weekend road trip to southeast Arizona.  We visited Tombstone for a few hours (that’s about all the touristy time we could handle) and stayed the night in Bisbee, which I really loved and reminded me of the American West version of Portwenn in Doc Martin but far and away the highlight of the trip was the winery region around Sonoita.  It was so beautiful and there was some good wine.  We are going back and hopefully soon!

CDB080CC-3033-468E-93A5-50A3A7A49440_L0_001

The high desert is amazing.  I took this picture from a moving car while driving east from Sonoita towards our hotel in Sierra Vista.  Amazing views for miles and miles.  And – five years late I joined Instagram.  I posted the above picture up and was proud to add the hashtag #nofilter!  My Instagram handle is ct.livinganalog.  I’m hoping to use Instagram to help me get my photos out of my phone more and into an actual printed form.  If anyone has some good recommendations for Instagram prints, I’m all ears.

– Sophie (the dog) is on antibiotics after getting her first UTI.  She started peeing inside the house once a day and we figured it was just a part of the old age thing so we got her a doggie diaper (that didn’t stay on … I also tried the toddler diapers from Target with a hole cut out for the tail but that was even worse …).  The drugs seem to have kicked in and we are back to a pee-free house.  However, we are now also a rug free house because she has done a LOT  of damage.  The carpet on the second level was pretty well toast when we moved in but now it’s beyond gone.  Thanks Sophie …

804DD477-9AD5-4106-9CF4-649119573A12_L0_001

(She’s so cute though  And we’re glad she’s feeling better.)

– JT made me a log table!  We had a tree crew come and cut down a dead and mostly knocked over tree as well as the tree at the back most corner of the yard.  Couple that with our backyard neighbor getting their tree (excessively) trimmed due to aggressive hybridized “killer” bees, and things got kind of bare in our backyard for a while.  The quail all quit us for a little bit but we got a huge bird feeding block from the hardware store and now they’re starting to come back.  JT will have to do a proper post about the log table but it’s been a great addition for the living room – perfect for holding a beverage and just looking cool.

3EB6F042-C389-4A1F-AAC8-D339A5EF9D0C_L0_001

– There have been other, more terrifying bugs than the hybridized bees around … I found this THING in the garage the other day, words don’t even do it justice.  It appeared to be part large black spider and part scorpion or crab.  It was waiting for me at the door from the laundry room to the garage (it was inside the garage though, not actually in the house).  I was too terrified to get a picture of it while alive and the dead picture doesn’t even show what it could be but here goes ….

2D76B2EA-6C37-4C85-BC57-430BFA989B6C_L0_001

The body part of the creature was about the size of a quarter and then the legs when out from there …. I hope I never meet that bug’s mother.  I think it was an alien.

– We’ve been taking lots of little trips and one big trip (to Portland!).  We’ve been traveling around Arizona and camping and staying as many places as our three day weekends allow – Payson and Lake Pleasant and Tucson, Jerome, Prescott and Apache Junction.  We’ve driven to Las Vegas from here once (it’s about 5 hours and you go through about 5 different types of environments – even a Joshua Tree forest).  Driving in Arizona is fascinating and terrifying because once you get out of the valley, the scenery is breathtaking but the roads immediately become steep, winding and full of tractor trailers going too fast.

7D87BECF-8840-4B60-95A8-41FC5BA22053

Above is a snap from one of our jaunts – the Elvis Chapel at the Superstition Mountain Museum.  Yes, Elvis (or a non-lifelike replica statue) was inside. Yes, my sunglasses are too big for my face – look at all that sunshine!  A girl has to take cover where she can get it in this state.  Portland (Oregon) was so amazing and such a great respite from the heat we’ve been plodding through.  I’ll do a better Portland recap in my next post.  I loved it there and I could easily see doing a 6 month split with Phoenix – live in Portland for the 6 months of summer and Phoenix for the 6 months of winter.  Now I just need to find a job that will let me telecommute like that …..

I hope all is well with my interwebs friends!  I’ll be around more and I hope to catch up with everyone.

Cheers – CT

So early retirement didn’t quite work out ….

Something has happened here at Living Analog that has pulled me out of early retirement, off the bench, back from the dead …. pick your metaphor. It’s been a long strange trip, but the Danish daybeds we purchased way, way, way back in 2011 are done.  Upholstered (by a professional), wood doctored up (by me with Howard’s Restor-a-finish) and in place in our new house.  Yes, we bought a place in Phoenix and are working, working, working to make our new house feel like our home.

But first, the daybeds.  Here they are in all their glory on Mister Modtomic’s driveway:

MR MODTOMIC DANISH DAYBEDS And here they are now, presiding over the living room of our new house.  LR_01

(That’s JT’s guitar hook on the wall, the guitar was with him at band practice but it is a refinish job that he did and matches the grey of the new upholstery really well.)IMG_4512

I was able to get the fabric on super sale at SAS Fabrics up on 19th Avenue.  They were getting rid of a lot of their upholstery fabrics and so the grey material was really cheap – I can’t remember exactly (because that was like 6 months ago and I’m losing my mind) but I think it ended up being around $5 a yard.  Don’t quote me on that.  Upholstery labor costs seem to be a bit more affordable in PHX than they were in STL as well…

IMG_4514

My mom paid for the upholstery work as a house-warming gift and I love these guys so much.  We decided to go with five 24″ x 24″ loose pillows for the backs rather than replicating the triangle bolsters that had been on the daybeds before.  We got new 6″ super firm foam for the bases as well.  These daybeds are comfy – both JT and I have already taken a few snoozes on them.  The dogs are getting older and with no traction from the tile floor, don’t like to jump up that high so they just keep to their dog beds on the floor, which is fine by me.

IMG_4515

So that’s our news.  My goal is to begin posting again more regularly as we start up all sorts of fun projects on the new (to us) house.  We are in the Awhatukee  area of Phoenix with short drives to work and an amazing mountain view.  And a hot tub in the backyard from which to enjoy said mountain.

IMG_4412

The location is really what sold us on the house …. from the front it is all garage and tan stucco which is pretty much the bane of my existence.  For my next post, I’ll go into the back story of the new house.  I’ve missed my little corner of the blogosphere, thanks to those who dropped me notes to check in.  Our laptop was at the point where it took at least thirty agonizing minutes just to load the internet and after a 10 hour work day, I just didn’t have the patience to fight the computer over a blog post.  JT found us a mac he was interested in for music recording purposes and I love our zippy new machine although I’m having to relearn all things posting related since I haven’t used a mac since my college days ….

Cheers!  CT

Phoenix is being very shelf-ish

It’s an age-old conundrum – once you are seeking something specific, you cannot find it.  The universe hides it from you (or something).  Well universe I need a set of shelves for my kitchen and you can stop playing around now, okay!

Here’s what I’m blabbering about:

HOLE IN THE KITCHEN

Why leave such a random hole in such a random place.  Run the counter top to the corner.  Put in a few more cabinets. You’re killing me Smalls.

What’s really killing me is Craigslist.  I think I may have taken St. Louis offerings for granted but the general style in Phoenix seems to be too much money, not enough good taste.

METAL AND SLATE ORNATE BAKERS RACK

Above is what I have been finding when I search “baker’s rack” on Craigslist Phoenix.  Not quite our style here at Living Analog.

So, like my “Dreaming Of” post, I thought I’d be more proactive in this needle-in-a-haystack search and tell you guys what I am looking for.  For starters something like this gorgeous industrial bakers rack via Hudson Goods.  This one was listed for $1089 . . . .

HUDSON GOODS BAKERS RACK

Or the amazing Decker Bookcase from Anthropologie at a mere $798 . . .

ANTHROPOLOGIE DECKER

And one runner-up – the Emerson Bookcase from World Market as styled and lived with by the lovely Jones Design Company.  Getting better on price at $349 but still too wide for my weird little space.

JDC DINING ROOM SHELVES

I did find something to buy on Craigslist under my search term “shelves” . . .

MCM WALL UNIT

Really stunning but at $850 and with nowhere to put it, someone else is going to have to buy this beauty. (Pretty please and let me visit it.  Thanks.)

So that’s what I’m searching for.  A three-foot wide set of shelves that is maybe around seven-foot tall.  With glass or metal or wood or whatever combination of those makes sense.  I know it’s out there and I’m going to keep on keeping on until I find it.  What are you searching for?  Any particular item that just eludes your grasp?  Let’s commiserate.  Cheers – CT