Deuce Cities Henhouse

Slowly Figuring it Out

Vintage Modern Bedroom
Heya! Welcome to the post wherein I blabber about minute details of my bedroom for a very long period of time. Ready? Here goes.

I dunno about you, but when I put together spaces in my home, everything is extremely thought out. I find that it really helps to have a detailed plan from the jump, and every element should be as functional to the space as possible while looking super fly. I start with the big decisions and than whittle my way down. Basically one decision leads to the next, to the next, and so, on until everything falls into place. I nag my husband and my girlfriends constantly about my options and ideas to reassure myself I am on the right track. There is a lot of self doubt involved in this process, it’s how I roll.

I hope you don’t mind that I go back and forth in real time on the blog showing you guys my sometimes crazy detailed thought process. I still see this blog as a diary of some-sorts, so if things take a long time and I change my mind, then so be it. I’ll blog about it. I hope you guys don’t hate me for sharing all the mundane stuff too.

Remember, a few weeks ago I was gung-ho on a wrap around fauxdenza? Well now (after much thought) I have come to the conclusion that I need to start with the big design choices before I start figuring out the secondary stuff. I get overly eager to just do things sometimes, which on occasion is a benefit, but in this situation I need to take it slow. I now realize that sticking cabinets on my walls is not always the best decision. The bed needs to come first because, it’s just more important to the room, I mean it is a “bed”room after all. I’d hate to invest in semi-built-in-cabinets and then not have it jive (yeah what, I said that) in the space. After much consideration we made a decision and ordered a real-deal-grown-ass-person bed.

When Waff (aka Jeff Allen) and I began looking for a bed we wanted to find something upholstered in a light neutral fabric. Although I like platform beds we had decided we didn’t want something low to the ground, and narrowed our search to beds that included both a headboard and low footboards with clean modern lines. We felt squeezed financially on almost all the beds that fit our criteria though. Most of what we saw ranged from $1500 – $1800 bucks, and although I’m sure the price is totally worth it, we really didn’t want to shell out that kinda dough.

I had noticed the upholstered sleigh bed at West Elm a long time ago, way before I started the bedroom project. I had even pointed it out to Jeff, and he agreed he liked it, but we figured that there was no way his 6′ 4″ body would fit in it comfortably. The footboard is a little higher than most, and he wouldn’t be able to let his dogs dangle. So, I just stopped thinking about it. But now that we were actually in the market for a new bed it popped up on my radar once again. If only I could chop a few inches of his body everything would be perfect. Long story short, we could not chop up Jeff and the bed needed a closer look. We made a stop into West Elm and I made him lay down in the bed, in the store, in public. I’m pretty sure he hated me for it, but whatever. He almost fit in it! We were looking at the full sized model and figured that since we had a queen, which was 6″ longer than a full bed we might be in luck. The price was so good, we just had to see if it worked. We went ahead and ordered the bed directly from the store, we saved $100 on delivery and I signed up for the West Elm store card saving us another 10%. We basically got the bed for $825 before tax, which seemed like a pretty sweet price to us.

Vintage Modern Bedroom
Guys, we totally love this bed! We have been going to bed at like 8:30 because this bed is sweet and comfy. Our mattress is finally adequately supported, and the platinum grey upholstered headboard and footboard just make it feel like you are so tucked in. We are really happy with the choice we made, and it makes the room look god damn adult. I’m honestly a bit uncomfortable with how grownup we are getting.

Vintage Modern Bedroom
In case you’re new around here, this (above) is the position we have always had the bed in, perpendicular to the long wall. We never really considered anything else because we had the corner of the room eaten up with the angled wall that was hiding that tank, remember? Now that’s gone, and the corner is squared off so there are more possibilities for furniture layout in this room. More possibilities means more driving myself crazy, naturally.

Vintage Modern Bedroom
I’ve reached this phase of my bedroom project where I just have to pause for awhile and figure out how the space is going to function the best for us. I mentioned this in my last post about the floor plan, but I don’t think I emphasized how much we are really, really taking this slow. Right now things are stuck as we try and figure out what goes where. A few of you asked or suggested in the comments that I turn the bed on a 90º angle putting it centered on the newly wallpapered wall. This was also my first instinct, and it’s exactly what I did after wallpapering. That was a few weeks ago, my bed was just a mattress and box spring then, strategically placed on a broken frame and some books as to prevent it from sinking into itself. After sleeping with the bed on that wall for one night we decided that it just didn’t feel right. It puts the head of the bed in the darkest part of the room, and this makes waking up in the morning so difficult. Then there is the problem with the entire bedroom seeming like a bowling alley. When the bed runs parallel to the length of the room, everything else begins to seem really far away. We put the bed back in it’s original po-zish (aka position) the next morning agreeing that it just wasn’t for us.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and here we are with a new bed. The new bed frame adds a few inches to the length of the bed and elongates it (dur), and we decided to give the wallpapered wall layout another whirl. I have to admit, it all makes a lot more sense with the new bed. I like that everything is nice, orderly, and centered when you enter the room. From the doorway you see the entire bed instead of just the side of it. There is still bad stuff though. The bed is still positioned on the darker side of the room. We don’t like that much. Also, if we were to keep the bed in this new position we would encounter some new design hurdles. I’d have to find a piece of furniture to put at the end of the bed, without something there the bed doesn’t feel long enough for the space. That old dresser pictured above is just there to illustrate furniture placement. We’d also have to come up with a creative solution for our TV because we are TV addicts! I am 100% certain that there is a way to include our beloved TV in this layout, it just needs to be discovered. Please note that the yellow lamp or the side tables won’t be staying in the room. I’d like to have wall sconces for both sides of the bed and matching night stands. I’ve got more on all that stuff coming in another post.

We like having the bed positioned to the perpendicular wall too (the orig way). If we were to do this I think it would be best to get some narrow piece of furniture on the wallpapered wall whether it be the fauxdenza or some other sort of credenza/buffety/dressery type thing. When positioned on this wall the bed faces east and we can see the sun come up right out through the sunroom windows. This really helps us get up and moving in the morning. I know it’s not the most inviting thing to walk into a bedroom and only see the side of a bed, and it’s not fun having to walk around the bed in the middle of the night when I you have to use the restroom, ya know? Seeing daylight out the windows in the morning is really nice though. What are we to do?

Obviously, I’m undecided on this issue. I think we’ll literally sleep on it for a few days and see how the room feels to us with the bed on the other wall. I’m also going to be nagging my friends for input and advice. I’m a huge believer in designing a space slowly so that you can see how it functions best for you. Sometimes living with something (or a certain layout) for years makes it really hard to see it in a new way without feeling strange. Wish us luck!

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in Bedroom

Bedroom Floor Plans

Bedroom Floor Plan
Whut Up? I bet you guys really want to know about the floor plan of my bedroom, right? Well for those of you who care, you might find it a little interesting as it has a bit of history and some tricky design obstacles. It dawned on me after reading some of your comments, that I never have really taken the time to explain our semi-unconventional bedroom. It’s not really that crazy, it’s just that it is in an old house, and obviously people used to do things a bit differently back then. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not your typical modern bedroom. The room isn’t nice and square, there is no dedicated wall to put the bed on, it’s long and narrow and layout has always been tricky for us. Things make a lot more sense design wise after getting rid of the hidden tank and squaring off the corner, but it’s still tricky.

We have a sunroom off of our bedroom which is awesome but not typical. The entrance of it consists of one large door with a large glass window pane with two full sized double hung windows flanking it. The sunroom has windows on all three walls, and it is our only source of natural light in the bedroom. Depending on the time of day we get a lot of natural light but there are still some dark spots in our bedroom and it can become very cave like on dark cloudy days. The newly wallpapered wall adds a lot of life to the room and helps offset the darkness.

The sunroom most likely used to be an open air porch or a sleeping porch. Now that I have learned more about these old houses I believe it was probably a sleeping porch used during hot muggy summers nights. It’s been enclosed and insulated and although there is no heat source (only the radiator in our bedroom) it stays relatively warm in the winter and we use it all year round. Since updating it last spring we now use it all the time, the kids lounge there to watch TV, and we hang there at nights enjoying a cocktail while devouring the latest spy show starring cool 90′s teen babes.

We don’t have an en-suite bathroom or a walk in closet or anything like that. The interior entry door splits the room almost in half and acts as an invisible hallway directing traffic straight into the sunroom. It’s not a path I really feel like interrupting with furniture. Since there is an invisible barrier between the “bed side” of the room and the other, I thought it would be best to define the “other” space as a functional area in our bedroom and I think I have a plan.

Back in the middle of summer I found a framed full length mirror at Ikea for $30 bucks in the AS IS section. I nabbed it without giving it a second thought. We had been living without a full length mirror for years, and I was over it. Anyway, that basic framed mirror began the downward spiral that is now the bedroom redo. The mirror is the most uninspiring piece of furniture ever, but I bought it on a whim and didn’t measure. It turns out it totally doesn’t fit on the wall I was planning it to rest on. So of course that meant furniture rearrangement, and before I knew it big ideas started coming. It wasn’t all just the mirrors fault, I had been planning on a bedroom makeover eventually, especially since we had finished the sunroom, the bedroom was begging to be changed up. Then mirror just pushed me over the edge. Before you know it I was tearing down the walls and uncovering old mechanics.

Wow, I really get off track quickly, guys, sorry. Back to the far side of the room (aka the “other” side). I was thinking since we don’t have a big closet it would be nice to make it a dressing area. Of course it would include the full length mirror and a tall chest of drawers. Directly across from that I’d like to incorporate a new chair for sitting on (duh) as part of the dressing area. A babe needs a spot to put her shoes on. Behind the chair I’m toying with the idea of adding a mini library, because there are chairs in libraries, so obviously. I know it doesn’t all make tons of sense yet, but I can see it coming together. I know we’d never actually sit there to read, but I think a corner book shelf mounted on the wall would be kind of cool. It would solve the problem of our homeless library of books and the chair would make it feel libraryish. Get it?

It’s all still a big work in progress. I could never be a real designer because I just can’t make all of the decisions in advance. I really need to spend time in a space and witness it slowly coming together, while bothering my husband with hypothetical design questions. I gotta have time to simmer bros. Since I first started stewing I’ve come up with even more specific design ideas for the space and I’m hoping to share those with you next week. This is the long game, my friends. Hang in there.

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in Around the House, My House

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig - Deuce Cities Henhouse
Friends! Just wanted to give you a little fiddle leaf fig (aka ficus lyrata) update. Both my fiddle leaf figs (1 and 2) have grown tons this summer, it’s is really exciting watching new leafs appear all the time. One of my figs (the younger one) really began growing rapidly from the center stalk. It was actually starting to look a bit funny, like an awkward gangly teen (as you can see in the above photo). I really want to encourage my tree to take on a more rounded shape so I decided to do something drastic. After scouring the internet on fiddle leaf fig pruning advice I decided to go ahead and chop off the top of my fig. Now I’ve got to let you know that I didn’t find a lot of solid info out there on the old net, so after some careful observations I came to the conclusion that I’d have a decent chance of creating new branch growth if I lopped off the top of my fig tree, so I did it.

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig - Deuce Cities Henhouse
Minutes after carefully chopping off the top of my tree with a pair of sharp pruning shears I was filled with regret and worry. I wasn’t confident that this was really going to work. That was nearly 7 weeks ago. I was expecting to see a new branch after about two weeks. This totally didn’t happen, then the days passed and there was still no sign of growth. I was sure that I had ruined my tree. I could’ve cried about it, fer real. After four weeks passed, something amazing happened, I spotted the smallest little bud beginning to be formed! My plan worked!

Now mind you, the whole intent of this was to create two new branches in hopes of creating a more rounded vibe for my tree, but when I saw that new growth, I could care less, I was so happy and relieved to see something growing from the main stalk. I was sure I had screwed up my tree for lyfe. I also can see what appears to be the very beginning of a new branch bulge (whatever, my words aren’t technical) so I still am keeping my fingers crossed that it will produce more than the single branch. I’ll let you know what happens over the next few weeks.

If you’re gonna take on pruning your tree, make sure to do so in the months when it is growing – this is super, super important. I read somewhere that August was best, but I bet it would almost be better in the late July months. I am no expert, so don’t take my word for it, just consider what I have to say. If you’re gonna try this it is best to prune your tree immediately after a leaf, you can see in the photo below where I did this. I also paid careful attention to where my fig had been pruned prior (before it was mine). I even examined all the fiddle leaf figs and their pruning scars when I visited the garden center. I’m totally a tree detective.

I imagine my tree has another leaf or two to grow before it ends this growing season. I’m hopeful that next spring it will really take off and the new branches will begin to actually look like branches. I am really, really hoping.

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig - Deuce Cities Henhouse
So, have any of you ever tried doing this before with your Ficus? How did it turn out. Let’s start a discussion about pruning our super fast growing Fiddle Leaf Figs!

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in Awesomeness, gardening

Amped


Hey Guys! Just wanted to pop in and say that I am really feeling reinvigorated and positive about blogging, and projects, and life, and all that stuff. I always tone down the frequency of interior projects over the summer months for a few really good reasons. I don’t want to miss out on any of that sun and warm weather, our summers are packed with lots of vacation time and family stuff, and my summer projects mostly involve being in the garden. But most importantly I think taking things slowly during the summer months is a really good way to get amped up for that changing of seasons in the fall. We all need a bit of down time in our lives and perspective to survive the winter.

Unlike previous fall transitions it’s been a bit different this year. Finn, my oldest, is in all-day kindergarten now, which leaves me and the little guy, Gus, with many hours to fill together. This is awesome because Gus rarely has one-on-one time with Jeff or I. He needs it, and we need it. I’m sure a lot of you parents of siblings understand this. Finn has a really large personality, is a bit competitive in nature and often needs to be the center of attention. Gus happens to be totally fine with this, as he prefers to sit back in the cut and take the world in at a slower pace. However, the little dude needs some time out of his brother’s big shadow. With Finn in school and Gus to myself I’m hoping for really great changes in Gus’ growth. We’ve got memberships to the train museum, the zoo, and the children’s museum. We have been out and about multiple times a week! To say we have been busy is a major understatement.

Making time to blog and do house projects has been tough, but one thing is very clear. I love the blog and need it in my life. Having the blog as an outlet to incorporate all my favorite things is crucial to my personal fulfillment. So I will carve out time where I need to to make it happen, even if that means dedicating a night or two it each week to work on it.

Guys! I’m super amped for the fall, I’m looking forward to squeezing in projects and blogging as well as getting the opportunity to have very special and rare time with my little guy. I can’t wait to just dive right in to everything! Hoping you are all having a great start to your week!

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in My Life

Wallpapering 101

Instructions on How to Install Wallpaper
Guys! Today I am going to teach you how to install wallpaper on an accent wall. This is a job that is fairly easy, a tiny bit stressful, and 100 percent totally worth it. This my friends, is the third time I have ever wallpapered, so I pretty much consider myself an expert. Stick with me and you’ll be alright.

I have a method and it seems to work pretty well, so I’mma share it with you. Wallpapering isn’t that scary, actually it’s pretty straight forward and makes a lot of sense. You are pretty much gluing paper to a wall, which isn’t that hard, my six year old does this sort of stuff all day at kindergarten. A more complicated project might involve wallpapering around fancy moldings, windows or in a small room. I am not showing you how to do that stuff, I am simply sharing instructions with you on papering that all important “accent” wall. I am going to share with you the basic principles of wallpaper (aka wallpapering 101) like finding where to mark your plumb line, determining paper length, matching the pattern, hanging the paper, removing bubbles and trimming the edges. It’s not rocket science bros, but it works.

I’m not gonna lie to ya, there is always a stressful moment in wallpapering, you know, that serious “oh shit” moment. Anticipate that and you’ll do just fine.

Wallpapering Supplies

1
Wallpaper – Peonies in Copper Colorway from Hygge & West
2
Zinsser Sure Grip Wallpaper Paste
3
Straight Edge
4
Level
5
Paint Brush & Roller
6
Seam Roller
7
Paint Tray
8
Tape Measure
9
Pencil
10
Wallpaper Squeegee or Smoothing Tool
11
Sponge
12
Straight Edge
13
Bucket or Pail

 

Step One
Prepare Walls

Make sure to fill any holes in the wall with spackle and sand down any rough spots. Make sure to wash your wall with a damp sponge prior to starting your wallpapering project

 

Step Two
Draw Plumb Line & Cut First Strip of Wallpaper

Line Up Pattern Repeats
Measure the width of your wallpaper. Working horizontally out from the right corner of the wall, measure out the width of wallpaper minus two inches. Draw a vertical plumb line at this spot on your wall, using a pencil and a level.

Measure the vertical length of the wall.

Measure out your first strip of wallpaper, take the length of the wall and add five inches, (this will allow you to have a few extra inches of paper for both the top and bottom of the sheet). The excess paper will later be removed.

 

Step Three
Match Repeat with Second Strip on the Floor

Line Up Pattern Repeats
Prior to hanging the first strip of wallpaper layout the second strip on the floor to the left of the first strip. Wallpaper patterns have repeats, and you want to make sure to line up your second sheet of paper to match the pattern repeat from the first strip. When you have the pattern lined up, roll out the paper and cut the second sheet to match the length and pattern of the first.

*Note, your second sheet will most likely be longer than the first sheet due to the placement of the pattern repeat.

 

Step Four
Roll Paste & Fold Paper Book Style

Roll Paste and Fold Paper Book Style
Make sure to read the label of your particular brand of paper before beginning to paste. Some wallpapers come pre-pasted, in that instance you only need to wet them to activate the glue. I’ve also used paper that only requires the walls to be pasted prior to hanging. The point is, make sure to read the label of the wallpaper as well as any instructions provided on the label of the wallpaper paste.

This specific wallpaper required me to roll out paste on the back of sheet of wallpaper. After a generous pasting I was instructed to fold the paper to the center (booking the ends). I made sure that the edges lay flat so the glue wouldn’t dry out. Booking the ends of the paper also allows you to easily move the wallpaper around the room without risk of dimpling or kinking the paper. After folding the paper wait 5-7 minutes for the paper to “relax” while at the same time allowing the glue to get nice and tacky. Feed it a cocktail to ensure extra relaxation.

 

Step Five
Hang First Sheet of Wallpaper on Plumb Line & Smooth Out

Hang First Strip of Wallpaper on Plumb Line
Now this is where it gets a little hectic. I’ve wallpapered three times now, and even though I think I am a pro, there will always be a few minutes of stress and chaos, guaranteed. Usually it happens sometime around the first or second sheet of paper.

I start the process of hanging the first sheet by unfolding the paper, it easily drops down when you use the book method of folding. Begin lining up the paper with the plumb line you previously drew out on your wall. Once the paper is place, begin smoothing out the paper using your hands and good pressure. Follow it up by using a the edge of your smoothing tool (aka wallpaper squeegee) to remove bubbles. The squeegee tool is essential, and is the difference between having a successful project and a shitty one. If your wallpaper isn’t lining up how you wanted it to, try not to worry! I know, that’s hard, believe me. Go ahead and redo what you have done, partially remove the wallpaper from the wall and start over. Crazy, I know, but it can be done if you are working quickly and carefully. Generally speaking, you have about 15 minutes from the time you start hanging the wallpaper to get it right.

 

Step Six
Line Up Third Strip on the Floor & Hang Second Strip

Now you might want to go ahead and hang that second strip of paper you have lying on the floor, but don’t! Before hanging the second strip use the same exact technique as explained in step 3 and 4 (above) to match your pattern and determine the length of your next sheet.

 

Step Seven
Trim Excess Paper with a Straight Edge and Sharp Utility Knife

Trim Excess Wallpaper with a Straight Edge
While you wait for 2nd sheet of paper’s glue to set up, go ahead and trim the excess paper from the first sheet hanging on the wall. This part is really satisfying because you finally get to see a crisp clean edge, and everything begins to seem possible! Use a straight edge and a very sharp utility knife to slice the edges of the paper. Be extra careful around corners and moldings. If you are wallpapering a large wall change your blade throughout the project.

 

Step Eight
Hang Second Sheet, Butt up Seams

Okay, now I give you permission to hang that second sheet of wallpaper! Begin by lining up the second sheet with the first sheet at eye level. I suppose they say to do this because that is where your eye will naturally go, so might as well have get it right at eye level, makes sense, I guess.

Smooth the paper out from the middle moving upward and out to the left, and then downward and out to the left. Follow it up with a good squeegee working down from the top. I find it works best to move your squeegee out from the seam, towards the left and across the paper. Don’t overlap the wallpaper, carefully butt the sheets up to one another. The paper will expand in contract throughout the seasons, so small gaps may occur depending on how humid or dry the air is.

It’s never going to be perfect, guys! Wallpaper has give and it will stretch! No matter what you do and how hard you try, it will never line up perfectly. The good news is that no one will ever notice except you, and even then you’ll really have to look for it. Believe me, I am crazy about that stuff and I barely notice.

 

Step Nine
Use seam Roller to Flatten Seams, Clean up Excess Glue with Sponge

Use Seam Roller to Flatten Edges, Clean up Excess Glue with a Damp Sponge
So your edges aren’t sticking down as nicely as you’d like? This is where a bit of glue and a seam roller comes in.

Using a brush add a bit of extra glue to the back edges of the paper. Using the seam roller and applying even pressure, roll it up and down the seam. Use a damp sponge to clean up extra glue that might spill out.

 

Step Ten
Repeat!

I feel like you’ve got the hang of this, continue on repeating steps 3-9 until you finish your wall!

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in DIY, Tutorial