Posts filed under ‘Our house’

Guestroom after and…after

I’ve been working on decorating our guestroom, and while I would normally show a “before” photograph, the room was basically just a small white box. So picture an empty room with white walls, and you’ve pretty much got it.

Since the room was a blank canvas and all we had to go in there was the bed, that meant I got to start from scratch and do whatever I wanted in the there.

Our guestroom is small — about 9 feet by 10 feet — and the queen bed is about 5 feet by 7 feet, so we really only had room for the bed and side tables.

I love how this room turned out. It came together very organically, one piece at a time, each piece chosen based on the piece before. When I decided to paint the side tables that minty shade of green, I thought that red would be a good accent color. But when I tried it, the red was just too harsh for the room, so I decided to go with a soft peach instead.

We still need a few more things for the room, specifically lamps for the side tables. But I don’t want to rush it and buy something we don’t love, so the lamps will happen when they happen. 

I found the side tables at the Salvation Army and painted them “Cool Aloe.” I made the curtains and the throw pillows — the green and blue flowered fabric is Amy Butler. I’ve had the two small shelves for years. They were white, and we painted them with the leftover pale aqua paint from our dining room and guest bath. The white duvet cover is from Ikea.


September 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm 2 comments

That’s more like it

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!

I took the green bowl back to Home Depot and picked out the matching paint color with my eyes, rather than relying on their color-matching machine that let us down the first time. It’s a perfect match, which seriously makes me giddy. It’s the little things. You know.

Alex and I painted both guestroom nightstands with the “Cool Aloe” paint, and we absolutely love how they turned out.

I also found an Amy Butler fabric that matches the tables that I’ll use to make throw pillows for the guestroom bed, which is an easy way to make the bright green look like it belongs without overdoing it.

It’s a beautiful color, but I think too much of it will overtake the room. So I’m mellowing it out with punches of red and aqua.

Once the room is finished, I’ll post pictures here, but it’s definitely the sort of room that is being pieced together, little by little, over time.  My favorite kind of room.

August 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm 4 comments

Going green

We’ve been in the new house for about a month now, and two weeks ago, finding nightstands for the guest room became a bit of an obsession for me. That’s nothing new. It’s how I work. I get something in my mind that I must have — a pair of gold sandals, a pink peacoat, red plastic retro chairs for the dining room, a white vintage kitchen table — and finding the perfect one becomes a mild obsession for me until I’ve found it.  

So for the past two weeks, I’ve looked through every local thrift store, vintage store, Salvation Army, Goodwill and Craigslist listing for the perfect side tables for the guest room. There were specific criteria, of course — less than $50 for the pair, no wider than 24 inches, couldn’t be too girly, etc.

I finally found this pair of rather interesting tables at the Salvation Army that I fell in love with, even though they’re pretty beat up and definitely need a coat of paint and some TLC. I knew this would be one of those purchases that I would have to explain to Alex with, “Trust me. I have a vision.” 


Luckily, he does trust me, because I’m pretty sure I saw him cringe when I dragged these puppies out of the back seat of my car.

So the next step was to choose a color of paint. I decided to go with a jade green to perfectly match a bowl that I purchased at a vintage store several years ago.

Unfortunately, the bowl’s shiny glare messed with Home Depot’s paint matching machine thingy, and I ended up with this dull, muddy, boring version of the beautiful minty shade of green I had in my mind.


I’m going back to Home Depot, and I’m going to try to find — with my own two eyes and not with the assistance of a machine — the shade of the bowl from within the paint color samples. If I can’t find the right shade, I’ll play it safe and paint them red.

August 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

Bedroom before and after

We are finally completely moved into the new house, and we’ve been working on it a little bit at a time ever since. We’ve still got just a few unpacked boxes and some prints to hang, but it’s cozy and comfortable and completely livable.

Here is our bedroom before we moved in. A boring white box. But, as you can see from the plastic tarp and missing outlet covers, we were getting ready to change that.

Here is our bedroom now.

We went with a warm shade of brown called “Wooden Swing,” which is just dark enough to make the room cozy without making it feel like a cave.

The flower print is a Vera Neumann tablecloth that we found at a vintage store and stretched across a canvas frame. The lamps are from Pier One. The side tables are pieces that we found for free on the side of the road and repainted. The bench in front of the bed is a vintage piece from a local Tampa store called Vivant House. The owner, Anthony, reupholstered and repainted it. Before he got his talented hands on it, it had rusty gold legs and a blue vinyl cushion, most likely from a doctor’s office.


And after…

If you look carefully, you can see some white crown molding under the bed. One of the projects on our slowly-getting-shorter House Project List is to put that up in the bedroom. We’re getting there. Every day we get something else done, and every day this place feels more and more like our home.

August 9, 2009 at 8:09 pm 7 comments

The pink chair

Alex and I have been on an Ikea bender lately. Our latest trip was for curtains to cover the double French doors that lead from our bedroom to the large screened-in back porch, which has quickly become our favorite place in the house.

We don’t have it set up the way we want yet, but we’re still out there whenever possible. We love that our indoor cats can enjoy the outdoors. When it’s not too hot, usually in the evenings, we just open the French doors and let them wander in and out as they please. They are truly happy kitties.

While we were at Ikea, we decided to check the “as-is” section, and I found this hot pink chair for $3.

I’d been eyeing it up as a desk chair for my new craft studio anyway, so when I found it in the as-is section with just a few minor smudgey scratches on it from being the display model, I grabbed it. Seriously, three dollars? Yes please!

My studio is still a complete mess, but I can already tell that the chair is going to look awesome sitting in front of my sewing machine. I can’t wait to get in there and organize everything and start sewing again.

Oh, and today’s lesson? Always — ALWAYS — check the as-is section at Ikea.

July 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm 1 comment

Poodle and paint

This bag is another one of the totes I made for last year’s Atomic Holiday Bazaar, and then forgot about. 

I haven’t made anything with an animal on it for a while, so once my craft room — which I have decided to call my studio because it sounds so much cooler — is all set up in the new house, I’ll make a couple of new antelope and poodle bags and aprons.

In the meantime, this one is available here.

We spent this past weekend painting a couple of rooms in the new place, which included removing the hideous, 1990s country wallpaper from the guest bathroom so we could paint it as well. Our two good friends helped us and got a really good start on the bathroom on Saturday, but Alex and I were on our own Sunday, and we spent about eight hours spackling, taping, priming and painting.

To give you an idea, this is what it looked like when we got there Sunday morning. You can see the old wallpaper in the medicine cabinet nook.

We finished painting the bathroom but still have to rehang the mirror and medicine cabinet and pull the tape. I’ll post more pictures once we’ve moved in, because right now it just looks like a big aqua (“Adriatic Mist”) box.

We haven’t moved in yet, and we already feel like this home is ours. Even though we’re renting, our new landlord is very laid-back and has encouraged us to do things like paint to make the house our own. This weekend is the big move. Which means….back to packing.

July 20, 2009 at 7:18 pm Leave a comment


I made a couple of bags for last year’s Atomic Holiday Bazaar (in December) that — I just realized this evening — I never took photos of or posted to The Boutique. I guess I just forgot. For seven months.

This is one of the bags, which I’ve listed here (edit: SOLD!). I love this bag! I can’t believe I forgot about it.

Lined in Alexander Henry.

Alex and I got the keys to our new house last night, and, after getting official approval from our landlord on our paint choices, immediately purchased paint, brushes, rollers, etc. We’re getting in there tomorrow to paint a couple of rooms.

We have two friends helping us, who we’ve bribed with pizza and beer (the traditional “help a friend move or paint” bribe), so it should go pretty quickly. I’m hoping to post before and after pictures once we’re settled and decorated.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

July 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

Visit my Etsy shop

Click here to visit my Etsy shop. The Boutique


Fat Orange Cat is a site about finding the beauty in all things homemade, appreciating the secret story of dusty vintage pieces, and realizing there is nothing cozier than curling up under an old quilt with a glass of wine. ::: If you feel inspired, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! ::: Email me at karynjeanne12(at)gmail(dot)com.

Upcoming craft shows

Copyright information

All material on this site is sole property of Fat Orange Cat. Feel free to link to my site, but please give proper acknowledgment.


Support handmade!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!