Showing posts with label House related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House related. Show all posts

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Board and Batten is DONE!

A year in the making (stenciling, buying supplies, waiting for wall sconces that were on back-order for 4 months)…the stencil/board and batten wall in my bedroom is COMPLETE!

Lessons learned on this project:

1) Board and batten is easier with two people, however, if you have a foam roller and books, you can totally do it with one person
2) When you buy paint two years before you start a project, the paint company will probably change the formula when you finally start using it and need just a little bit more to complete the project. The paint guy at Home Depot will laugh at the picture you show him of how different the two colors look.

Step 1: Stencil. Forever. I wanted to punch the stencil in it's stencil-face at one point.

Purchase two school desks for $10 each from craigslist. Do a happy dance at saving $150 from the ones you were thinking about getting. Do not call desks "vintage" because you will never hear the end of it from your friends who sat in desks like these at school.

Spray paint non-vintage desks

Use a foam roller, books (thank you Tolstoy) and a level to nail the Board into wall. Grumble at builders for stud placement and warped drywall.

Determine spacing of Battens

Use new brad/staple gun and Liquid nails to attach battens. Caulk all trim. Paint. Realize that "Moonrise" two years ago is not the same as "Moonrise" now. Improvise with half gallon of "Silver Leaf"

 Mount brass wall sconces that were ordered in March and arrived in July. Smile at the finished product. Sit on bed and write this blog post :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Bench is Finished!!!

It only took me eleven months, but I finally finished the bench for my dining room table.

Last October, my parents came to visit, as one of our planned activities, Dad was going to help me build a bench since I had looked for months and couldn't find something I liked and that was reasonabley priced. I used plans from Ana White's website for the "X-bench." I was excited about these plans because I finally had an excuse to buy a Kreg jig (a Kreg jig allows you to make pocket holes, amongst other things). Both my dad and I had fun trying it out (he had never used one either!).

 Supplies bought!

My miter saw came in very handy!


Almost done... 

Kreg jigging it up...

My dad and I testing out the finished product

Unfinished bench (aww, you can see my old car, Miranda, in the background…memories…)

After testing out several stains, I chose to do a "paint-wash" using Behr's "Ebony" flat paint (sample can). I used a damp cloth to rub on the paint, layering until I had the color I wanted (my dining table is from Restoration Hardware and has that brownish/gray finish and I was trying for something close, but not an exact match).

Paint washing!

The impetus for finally getting the cushions on it was a dinner party I hosted a couple weeks back. I was super excited to use the brand new staple/brad gun I had bought for my board and batten project (pics coming this weekend!) - alas, I couldn't find the staples, and since the guests would be arriving in just an hour or so…I pulled out my handy glue gun and glued the coffee bean sacks I had collected around some cushion inserts. One dinner party down and the cushion is still intact! I may get around to reinforcing it with staples at some point…but with my track record on projects, probably not :). Since several folks have asked, the center coffee bean sack I purchased from a coffee plantation (Kona Joe's) when I was in Kona, Hawaii a couple of years ago and the others are from a local coffee shop that I go to (bags are from Brazil I believe).

The finished bench! 

I am quite pleased with the final product. Total materials cost was about $70 dollars I think…beats the several hundred dollar price tags on the majority of benches I was looking at. Yay for DIY! And a big thanks to my awesome dad, who had a lot of fun laughing at me since I somehow kept getting sawdust in my mouth and eyes and may have been a tad dramatic about it ;-).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Little Love for the Breakfast Nook

I finally tackled three outstanding projects for the breakfast nook! It's been awhile since a project post but trust me, there are several coming…apparently I like to work on 20.27 different projects at once (yeah…).

1) The first is boring: I never sealed the white paint when I refinished the table. Many cups of coffee and meals later, the table was looking like it had hosted many cups of coffee and meals. Thus,  I repainted the top and added three coats of polyurethane to make it food proof. So far so good! I didn't take pictures. It's a white table. Use your imagination :).

2) Artwork! This was fun! I used a rubber leaf stamp I already had, watercolors I already had, and photo frames I already had. All I had to buy were hooks and a can of bronze metallic spray paint and Voila! Artwork for the breakfast nook!

After stamping and painting

After framing and hanging

3) Hanging terrariums! I bought the terrariums from CB2 and since Home Depot was no longer carrying miniature succulents, I used some Hobby Lobby coupons and bought the fakes ones. With some moss and rocks, you really can't tell they are fake unless you are really close or you poke the plants (and really, who's going to do that?).

Hanging terrariums!

This spot is so nice to sit in late in the afternoon with some sunlight filtering through the blinds.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Filling out the house

Even though I've been in my house for three years now (!!!), it is definitely still a work in progress. I like adding things slowly and getting a feel for what I want in certain spaces. I've been happy with the results thus far, so I figure I will stick with this pace.

The living room needed something else...and I stumbled upon an IKEA hack of the VITTJSO glass and metal shelves. They are a black-brown and I wanted something more industrial looking and I loved what people where doing to them with just spray paint.

I chose a hammered silver spray paint. Two cans later...some awesome shelves that I think really help to fill up the room more.

Pre-spray paint (ignore my seriously messy it is on this year's spring cleaning list)

All hammered-silvery!

See? Much more filled out now. :)

I've also been searching for about a year for a mid-century style armchair for my bedroom. I wanted a reading nook and I was quite picky about the chair...I was going for a certain look and needed to be able to sit in it with my legs/feet curled up into it (um, that's how I like to read :) ). After scouring craigslist for months, and other furniture websites...I began to think that it was a lost cause...until my friends and I happened to go to IKEA and I saw the STRANDMON chair and ottoman. ANd it was comfy! And I could curl up in it! And so, it is now part of my reading nook, along with my craigslist lamp and mid-century table :) It's been getting a LOT of use.

So cozy...

Duct tape rocks!

My sewing skills are extremely limited. As in, I can never remember how to even thread the machine that I have. At most, I've sewn about 5 straight-ish lines in my life. That being said, I was extremely excited when my favorite DIY blog posted about making your own faux roman shades WITHOUT sewing. I've been wanted to do roman shades in the breakfast nook and kitchen but was intimidated by the need for sewing.

This is where the duct tape comes in.

The DIY blog used some fancy fabric-y white tape. I used good-old-tried-and-true duct tape.

Faux roman shades assembled with duct tape, pins, and no-sew-iron-hem tape. 

Duct tape rocks.

I searched for this fabric for almost two years. It's "Cecilia" from IKEA and they were always out of stock when I went there. I finally snagged 4 yards, measured, and hemmed using iron-on hemming tape.

My blinds are vinyl and at the top, there is a wider vinyl piece that hides where the blinds are attached to the window frame. I literally just duct taped the fabric to the vinyl piece. This is from where the faux roman shade will hang.

I then started pinning 4-inch folds to get the "roman" look. This took a bit to get everything even and lined up.

Mid-folding and pinning

Voila! Faux roman shades! You can't see the tape, you can't see the pins. Amazing.

I love them. And duct tape.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blinging out the cabinets

Over a year ago, I bought hardware for my cabinets. And I finally installed it over the past couple of weekends. Why did it take so long? Remember, it's my house...every project I tackle has some sort of story to go with it :)

The Hardware Saga:

I decided I wanted stainless steel bars for my cabinet hardware. Of course I would pick a pricey look...after pricing things out, there was no way I was going to spend so much money just for cabinet hardware. Enter IKEA. For literally a third of the cost of the hardware online or at local hardware stores, I picked up a blue bag full of LANSA drawer pulls. IKEA didn't carry the tiny ones I needed, but lo and behold, Target happened to have a package of four (which is what I needed) on clearance and I quickly snapped those up!

I measured and drilled the holes for one drawer and went to mount the hardware...and discovered that the screws were too short.

You see, IKEA drawers are comprised of only drawer box, whereas my cabinets had the drawer box PLUS a drawer the IKEA screws were about 1/2" short. And it turns out, the IKEA hardware is metric, since it is an overseas company. And you can't buy longer screws. Anywhere. Believe me. A ridiculous amount of research (and many exasperated snorts of "why isn't everything in metric!?) is behind that conclusion. On to plan B for the drawers. Thankfully, the screws were sufficiently long for the cabinet doors (sneak peek below)

The tools necessary for the project (minus the iron of course :) ). And tunes, gotta have tunes. Thank you Mumford and Sons. Your Babel album is good work music.

A trick I picked up from my favorite DIY blog, painters tape captures the sawdust and makes cleanup much easier. I only taped a few doors (this one is over the stove/oven and I didn't want to clean up that mess) since the mess on the floor was easy to sweep up

Plan B:

I bought a 1/2" bore drill bit and preceded to bore two holes in each drawer so I could countersink the IKEA screws. 

About to bore...


Yay it worked! The screw about to be countersunk...

The Finished Product:

Yeah, there's one missing, I miscounted and need to get one more pack of hardware...

I really like the finished look the hardware gives the cabinets. I'm not a fan of the cabinet color...I'd prefer white. But oak-y color they will stay. Next up is replacing the kitchen tile. It's going to be a shade lighter or so than the ceramic tile on the backsplash. One more light fixture and that will wrap up all the kitchen upgrades I plan to do. Slowly but surely checking off that to-do list!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New art for the New Year

I figured a gray, drizzly, cold New Year's Day was just perfect for working on two new art projects for the dining room.

The first was inspired from something I saw on Pinterest. The person had put all the coins she had collected during her travels into a photo frame. I've collected quite a few coins from my travels and rather than storing them in various jars,  I decided to hot glue mine onto a 5 X 5 inch canvas.

I cut some brown cardstock to 5 X 5, hot glued it to the canvas, and then hot glued some ribbon I had on hand around the edge to dress it up. After coming up with a design for the coins (the coins are from Lativa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, and Italy), I just hot glued those and voila! Art.

The second piece is comprised of pieces of terra cotta tiles I collected while on the beach in Cinque Terre. Same thing here - leaving the canvas bare, I glued a ribbon trim, came up with a design for the pieces, and hot glued those in place. 

I had already removed two black and white canvases from the dining room wall to make room for that oil painting you see in the bottom left's done by a local artist in Cinque Terre and it's of the town (Riomaggiore) that we stayed in.

Now every time I look at this wall, I will be reminded of the awesome travel adventures I have had thus far.

Christmas decorations put away for another year and new art up on the walls. Good start to the new year :).

Monday, October 8, 2012

A taste of Fall and Bookends

My fall decorations look the same as last year, but I do have one addition since I now have the dining table:

Fall leaves, pumpkins and gourds, and gilded scrapbook paper for placemats. Ahh, fall :)

I've been slowly collecting bookends to grace the shelves in my bedroom.  Most of them are from this online store called One Kings Lane - twice every day they have certain items for sale at really good prices and I've found three pairs of bookends there. The yellow "The End" sign was a score from my favorite store CB2.

Hello Mr. Owl

"The End" and Mr. Rhino

The group

See the bicycle bookends on the middle shelf?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weekend project

With my head clear, I was finally able to make some design sense of frames and a blank wall space I had been staring at for weeks and since I am driving again, I managed a trip to Home Depot to grab a couple of packages of hangers. The result is this - a much more homier dining room/entryway!

I used some newspaper to get a feel for the layout that I wanted and voila!

Clockwise from top left: rocketship print from Etsy, watercolor from Prague of the Charles Bridge, llama print from Etsy, two 8 X 10 canvases I had printed with pictures I took in Budapest, Hungary of the Parliament building and of some men fishing in Kerala, India.

On the entryway wall, I hung all those 5X7 black and white pictures I've taken during my travels. I did the same thing with the newspapers to get a feel for a layout and then hammered away!


Wide shot

Sidenote: several people have recently asked me what those Greek letters say. It's pronounced "koi-nee-nee-ah" and means "fellowship", because that's what I want my house to be about. People hanging out and having a good time. :). Stuff on the walls just makes a place look more lived in. I am liking the updates!