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Home Again (and a Progress Report)

I’m home again, and while I (really) miss the California sunshine, I couldn’t have been happier to spend the last half of the weekend with Scott. Please, don’t get me wrong; my time crashing Kalli’s couch in LA was an invigorating welcome break from the daily grind (and in the dead of the Chicago winter no less), and while we spent our days exploring caves, stalking Hollywood dog parks and road tripping to Palm Springs, I know Scott enjoyed downtime with the kiddos, trivia nights with our closest friends and grabbing drinks with the boys.

He surprised me upon my arrival on the train platform, holding a Vargo sign and greeting me with hugs and kisses. Funny, we realized that we hadn’t spent an entire week apart – ever – and I found myself thinking of him on every hike and every meal. (I’d say, Scott would love this view! or Scott could eat ten of these tacos!) Gah, I really missed his face, which actually surprised me. (It shouldn’t have; he’s the coolest guy I know.) Before celebrating my return with a dinner on the town, I squeezed the cats and scratched Jack’s belly raw. The home was sparkling clean (I should leave more often!), and even our chalkboard back splash welcomed me back:

And while there’s no place like home, I do find myself missing California already. Or, perhaps, it’s the company I’m missing. (Yes, that’s definitely it.) There’s just never enough time when you’re catching up with an old friend.

In any case – and in addition to our squeaky clean home – the studio made progress during my absence! The entire day before I left for LA, Scott and I hung our DIY shelving above the fauxdenza in what was otherwise a big, blank wall. While that may sound random, you may have seen snippets on Facebook as we began ripping down wood, priming and painting. While I was gone, Scott caulked visible seams and installed a television for my Today show viewing pleasure (my hero!). Last time we showed you that side of the room, it looked like this:

It’s not complete; there are still a few things needed such as touch up paint, more caulk and (ugh!) crown molding. It’s pretty close though, and right now, it’s looking like this:

Of course we’ve been snapping photos of every step, and details will follow soon. We’re in the home stretch, and you know I’m already daydreaming of how to fill those shelves. The honey-do list is shrinking, and we’re thisclose to getting me up and running. Here’s what’s left:

Prime the walls, trim and doors
Paint the walls, trim and doors
• Install crown molding and chair rail (screw it, we’re hiring a professional)
• Paint the painting table for the new room (yes, really)
Sell and/or donate the unnecessary furniture
Design, build and install a storage wall (similar to our media wall)
Decide on artwork for the room
Clean, paint and prep thrifty frames
Frame, mat and hang inspirational artwork (using this technique)
Decide on lighting
• Decide on textiles: rug, curtains and upholstery for seating (halfway there)
• Buy the decided upon things. Budget. Install them. (halfway there)
Re-stock painting, shipping and packaging supplies
• Pull it together like we own it
• Return to normalcy (we can only hope)

Remember when we said our goal was to have a functional room by February? That was funny. Sure, our deadline has been pushed back, and yes, I’m typing this from our kitchen counter, and yep, I’m still painting your pets from the table in the living room. It’s no big deal (really!), since that’s all I’ve ever known, but omg, I am getting excited to start working from my own room – er, studio – with a door and everything!

So, what’d I miss in the last week? What are you doing/building/making? Aside from my photo sharing, I was virtually web and television free. (It felt good, too.)

A few things: 1) You can see my entire California trip by day in photos: one, two, three, four, five and six, 2) Won’t you vote for us in the Apartment Therapy Homies, please? and 3) See more of our studio ideas on our Pinterest board, right here.

  • Jimmy - February 28, 2012 - 8:29 AM

    Love that chalkboard backsplash. We’ve been debating what to do in our kitchen, and I think that might win out for its looks and sheer ease of installation. Just pinned it.

    California pics were great. We’re planning a potential 2013 return trip to Napa. Such a pretty place – always wonder why I don’t live out there.ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - February 28, 2012 - 9:11 AM

    Just voted for you, Bunny – or does only Scott get to call you that? Too cute!

    Your and Kalli’s CA photos are amazing! Have so loved seeing your trip through them. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie - February 28, 2012 - 9:47 AM

    Welcome back! The studio is looking fantastic….that pink paint is so serene…I think you may have convinced me to try that out in our next house!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 28, 2012 - 9:54 AM

    Thank you guys!

    Susan, you literally made me laugh out loud with the “Bunny” reference. I suppose only Scott calls me that, but it made me happy that you did, too!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - February 28, 2012 - 3:53 PM

    Since I am living in a dorm room this year (ugh!) I’ve been missing out on all the crafting and painting and decorating ( … I sung that in my head as I typed it by the way).

    BUT! (this is a good but) I’ve been apartment searching over the last week (on the internet) and tomorrow I’m going apartment viewing! I can’t wait to get in there in April and go go go. My first mission? Painting my bedroom the loveliest pink ever (yep, that’s right … the one you have on your walls) and I think I’m going to start a blog (for the … ohh? 4th time — but I’m going to stick to it) on my 2nd apartment decorating adventures (because I think we need another one of those out in the blog-o-sphere. HAHA!)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 28, 2012 - 4:06 PM

    Amanda, good luck on your apartment hunting! How exciting!

    My little piece of advice: We weren’t the biggest fans of the Olympic brand paint. Take a swatch of Diana from Lowe’s, and see if you can color match it with another brand. Our favorite affordable brand is Behr. We’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t do that in the first place! The flat enamel finish in Behr is awesome – one step up from plain, old flat, but still sophisticated and easy to clean!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - February 29, 2012 - 2:24 PM

    Web and TV free sounds amazing! Nothing big on my end. Except… I sewed my first thing ever! One pillow with two more to go. Haven’t posted it yet. I’m waiting for some pretty light and a clean, dog free bed. Welcome back!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 29, 2012 - 5:53 PM

    Thanks, Jen! I’m not a sewer, so I’m impressed!ReplyCancel

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