Ikea Woes and other Rambling Thoughts

I appologize for the project hopping, I realize that I have way too many projects going on at the moment for anyone (including me) to keep straight.

Don’t hate me because I ramble.. I think its “pregnancy brain” or that’s what I’m going to attribute it to anyway.

I’ll start with:

The Nursery and Ikea Woe #1

So after we set up the outdoors to our liking, we got down to putting together some of the other furniture pieces we bought from Ikea. First Jeff finished the Hemnes dresser for the nursery that I love:

And the Hemnes bedside table that I thought would make a good little side table for a lamp next to the glider. But I hate it with a passion:

It’s too tall ans skinny. I want something a little bit more modern too to go with the crib which is on order (coming next week). Here’s a pic of it with our same bedding in someone else’s similar nursery:

I just want something really simple, cheap and slightly modern. Any ideas?


I posted before about window treatments and haven’t really made up my mind yet. I found an etsy seller that puts digital prints on roller shades (such a good idea!) and I like this one alot:

Cattail Reed Print Roller shade from Etsy Seller Drinkanddream 

That got me thinking, couldn’t we design our own little print or silhouette and have it printed by some website on a shade? But this custom roller shade business is something that though quite popular in the UK, hasn’t caught on in the US yet.  Plus, it’s pretty expensive. Do you think we could just use acrylic paints on any old roller shade and get the same effect? Might be worth experimenting with if we can find really really cheap shades that we don’t mind ruining!

Speaking of which, I randomly came across this image that was in Domino Mag’s paint color inspiration gallery. It struck me because the wall color is almost the same as ours and they use the vintage wallpaper decals I posted about before!

But what really struck me about this picture is the black and white striped chair and the shades with the black butterflies on it (where did they find these, was it DIY?) ! It got me thinking of how cool black and white or brown and white would look in the nursery which made me think, naturally, of zebra rugs!

I like this one from Urban Outfitters as mocked up by me in the nursery in photoshop:

But I know from experience that Urban’s cotton rugs aren’t really very “rug like”. They are more like thick cotton blankets you lay on the floor.

Anyway, sorry for that digression. I guess my point about all this, is has anyone custom painted or printed on a roman or roller shade? Those butterflies seem like they could have been stenciled on.  Surprisingly, a google search didn’t turn up much about such a DIY project.

The Office – Ikea Woe #2

I put together one of the 2 Ikea Mickael drawer units on casters that we bought.. remember project office?

And quickly realized three things

1) We could put one of them together with no back and just one drawer and make a really good CPU holder!

2) The freakin files hang from the left to the right instead of the front to the back so you get about half the file storage that you think you are going to get.

3) Some of the screws were defective.

#3 was quite annoying. This has actually never happened to me in all my years of Ikea construction. There are all these little screws meant to hold on the metal tracks that go on the side of the drawers and 3 of them were too small, smaller than the hole in the drawer tracks so that they obviously wouldn’t stay on. This necessitated us opening the other box and stealing screws from it, so now I only have one completed new file cabinet in the office!

Technically we don’t NEED the screws re robbed from file cabinet #2 because we were only planning on using one drawer anyway due to our CPU holder plan, but, as I pointed out to Jeff we should return it anyway so that we have the option of putting in the other two drawers in the future.


But anyway, even the addition of the one cabinet to the left of the desk was quite an improvement over before:

Office before Mikael drawers 

Office with One Mikael drawer..

You may notice we took up the rug.. remember how I said the urban outfitters rugs were really thin? This one just kept getting in the way as the office chair would roll into it, the dog would snuggle up in it and it would bunch up and overall it just was making the space more crowded. It’s currently in the closet.

But anyway, even the one Mikael unit adds something I think, I have our modem and a bunch of wires hidden behind it. Plus it makes the desk feel bigger which I like.

We  haven’t yet hung the black and white curtains, which I think should add a bit of punch to the room OR found a good white desk as a replacement for the brown one. Actually, I did find the perfect CHEAP white desk ($99!) at the Christmas Tree Shop in Paramus, but it was the floor model and all scratched up. The CTS closer to home didn’t have the same one. So sad, I should probably try to phone around and locate another one.

At long last the end of my ramble.. baby steps are being made, but no earth shattering progress.
If you have any suggestions for the roller shade project or cute (more modern looking?) side table for the nursery, please let me know!

14 Responses to “Ikea Woes and other Rambling Thoughts”

  1. hello – i just read about painting on roller shades in a magazine – I think it was Martha Stewart Living or Better Homes & Gardens. Here are 2 links with DIY instructions:


    I’m sure you could get a butterfly stencil and recreate those shades!

  2. Too much for my brain to register.

    WalMart.com actual has some mod bedding for cribs and Dwell did a line for Target.

    I figured out why your posts on my blog were disappearing – WordPress thought you were a spammer. I *think* I corrected it.

  3. Damask:


  4. for the shade: another option is to find fabric you like, buy a blank roller, staple fabric (including cut to size sheets) to roller, hem or glue a wooden dowel into the “pull side”, hem the sides, and voila, you have a custom roller.

    caveats: takes patience to do it right. don’t skimp on the roller as they are frustrating when they don’t work. If it’s a seriously sunny window the fabric will fade…

    hope this helps,

  5. Hi! Love your blog, so full of ideas and your house is so cute. An idea for the side table for the nursery-Target has some nice ones from Victoria Hagan. There’s a few that you might like, but here’s an example. Good luck!


  6. I just love your style – so fresh and clean looking! I’ve added you to my blogroll if that’s ok:)

  7. I saw an episode of Room Service (with Sarah Richardson) on Fine Living once in which she bought a cheap roller shade from a hardware store or something, took the plastic off and replaced it with a white denim (I think) fabric instead. I’m sure you could do that and just paint on the fabric instead of messing with the original plastic-y roller shade. You could probably also get a lighter fabric than denim if you wanted. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what room it was or what date it aired, but I know you can do it. I want to say it was a child’s room because they wanted to block more light, which is why they used the heavy denim. Sorry I can’t help more!

  8. Actually, I found a link to DIY roller shades where she paints on it. Might be something to take a look at!


  9. Sorry for all the comments in a row, but here is another link. This is more similar to what Sarah Richardson did because this one replaces the vinyl roller shade with fabric:


  10. I have that issue of Domino. The shade is made of a patterned fabric, it’s not stenciled on.

  11. LOL Jean, I guess it was too much cause I’m not looking for bedding (I’m using the orchard bedding in the post!) But that bedding is really gorgeous, particularly for those having girls.. Jeff would sooner die than allow me to have damask in “his boy’s” room! Weird about wordpress..I never had that issue on any other wp blogs. I think I posted since you were away and didn’t have that problem again, but I’ll try today and see.

    ms ginger, I’ve heard of such a thing before.. I’m not sure I’m feeling that crafty or sure of my sewing skills, but I will definitely keep it in mind!

    Ines, thank you! I am a huge fan of Victoria Hagan and her side tables are gorgeous. I think they are a little feminine for this room though. Don’t know why, I’ve always thought of her style as “girlie” so it could be my own bias..

    One woman’s cottage life, of course it’s ok! You’ve been on mine for a while now. We’ve commented back and forth before, but you probably forgot about me because I took an extended blogging hiatus a few months ago ;)

    Katy, that first DIY tutorial is brilliant! I never would have thought of the wallpaper border idea, I wonder if you can glue on ribbon too? The second one is great as well, though a bit more of a project.. we’ll see how ambitious I get!

    Harriet, thank you so much for that info.. at least now I know there’s not some sort of stateside DIY shade movement I’m missing out on :)

  12. Love the rollar shade idea. You can definitely paint something yourself if you can find a stencil or free hand. Just make sure you get a roller shade made of a material that can be painted on.

    I love CTS!!

  13. FYI: I glued ribbon on my guest room roman shades. Not sure if it would work on rollers since it might take up too much space in the metal thingy but it was super easy on the romans.

  14. Hey Girl! I’ve been a bit behind on my blog reading up until this weekend but just started looking back and some of your posts and I just had to let you know that I actually have this rug from Urban Outfitters!
    You’re totally right that it is kinda just a blanket on the floor. I’m hoping to get a thick rug pad for it soon so that I have a bit more cushion and it looks more stationary. Actually I love the rug now but when I first got it I was very disappointed in the colours. The black is sorta faded and the white is sorta grey. It looks great now though and it works where I want it for sure. The weave is very loose and bulky so it adds a texture I hadn’t imagined but I enjoy greatly.
    I’ll post some pics once I’ve cleaned up my mess of a living room.
    Good luck with the wee one!

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