Basement Chronicles #56784

First the walls came down

Well actually it would be more accurate to say first it flooded and then everything got ripped out.  Which prompted the idea for a much larger renovation, therefore causing the walls to come down.  Just to be precise.

And then they went back up.  And then we had fun with electrical, plan changing, tiling, painting, fireplace installing, molding and my personal favorite, caulking.  Which brings us to a very important day in the life of our basement-functional with some furniture.

basement progress

Don’t let the one randomly placed pillow fool you, we still have a long way to go.  Like scraping the paint off the windows. 

But a couple of movie nights have already been enjoyed down here.  And it was awesome.

basement progress

And while some members of the household will beg to differ, my favorite thing in the space is not the TV, but the entertainment console.

basement progress

It is metal and therefore very heavy.  At least that is what I am ascertaining by the grunting that occurred getting it down the stairs.  And it already looks beat up and old, so there will be no worries when Carter continues to beat it and make it look older.

basement progress

It is technically a buffet, but it works perfectly under the TV and a quick hole drilled in the back made it an instant entertainment center.  We were a little worried about the height when we saw it it in the store, but I am so happy we took the leap.

Love it.

The sectional was also a great find as it was the exact dimensions we needed/wanted and liked how it does not feel oversized. Oh and it is comfy.

basement progress

Since the walls of the workout room came tumbling down to  make way for bigger and better things, we built a workout closet.

basement progress

basement progress

Still missing the barn doors to cover it all up (hey we need a toilet in the bathroom first), but I love how it works in the basement.  Because it does not take up too much space and can be easily hidden.  And you can still work out while watching TV.

basement progress

Far away TV, but TV nonetheless.  Jillian does not need to be up close and personal.

I could list all the things we still need to construct, do and decorate in the space (hello toilet), but for now we are just enjoying the “done-ness” of having a place to sit. 

And watching movies and drinking wine…with the hum of a baby monitor in the background.

Nursery Reveal

We made it!  The nursery is officially complete even before he has decided to make his arrival.  It has taken a lot longer to put together than I envisioned back in January when we started this project, but considering the construction, all the DIY, our insanely busy spring and that I am the ultimate procrastinator, it is really not that surprising.

But before you scroll down to see what we put together, let’s walk down memory lane with the befores to see what we we were working with. 

What the space looked like when we moved in-

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And then what it really looked like for 2 and half years…..affectionately referred to the junk room.  Don’t know where to store something?  Throw it in there.  Need to paint some cabinets?  Scoot some crap around and have at it.

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And now here it is waiting patiently (unlike Derek and I) for it’s new occupant-

completed nursery

completed nursery

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nursery

Back in the beginning when we were planning the space, my first idea was an orange and aqua color scheme but no real theme.  I figured once we knew if we were having a boy or a girl we could add blues or pinks to make it a more gender specific space.  Of course, I figured a lot of DIY and sewing was also going to be in the cards.

One of the biggest projects in the room (and our first) was the window seatcompleted nurserycompleted nursery

Because of the window configuration, limited furniture was going fit on that wall anyway and I thought that an architectural feature that was also functional from a storage and seating standpoint would make the room.

After the construction and painting was going, we started to pick up random items we found that we thought we be good fits in the space.  Hmmmmm…somehow we had a lot of animal things so that is the loose theme we decided to run with.  However, I am a big believer in adding things that you love and not just because of a theme. 

completed nursery

completed nursery

Items with personal significance were also something I wanted to incorporate in the space.  We have not shared baby boy’s name with anyone (but my mother-in-law has a pool going if anyone is interested).  However, the first initial is common knowledge.  So of course I had to incorporate that.  On the gallery wall are also photos we took at the San Diego zoo during our last vacation (technically baby’s first).  After he is born, the clip art hand and footprints will we replaced with his (and yes I realize my stand-in has a disproportionate hand to the size of the foot…I was just using those to make sure I liked the idea).

But personal items don’t end with the gallery wall as I wanted things that meant something to us, but not scream “look at my name" all over the place (although I know some curious family members that were voting for that tactic).

For example, I needed some bookends and I love that this has his birth month stamped on it.

completed nursery

Or that all of those blankets were handmade for him by generous friends and family.  And that the silver scooter reminds us of Italy.

completed nursery

And that cross from the Vatican in Rome was the very first thing we ever bought for, at the time, our future baby.  completed nursery

I won’t bore everyone with the personal significance of everything in the space, but overall I tried to have at least one item with meaning on every shelf.  However, don’t get me wrong, some things are in the room because they are fun and I like how they look.  Like this…

completed nursery

I guess you could also say that DIY was a major theme in the space.  The only pieces of furniture that were store bought were the crib and the chair.  We either made or “revised” everything else.  I have already talked about most of those projects as we embarked on them but in case you missed them check out the abacus, dresser, changing table, bookshelves, stump table, pinwheel mobile, quilt and bedding

The space also had to be functional besides nice to look at.  We have never done this whole baby thing before, but from what I have heard, they can be messy.  So every single cloth surface (minus the chair that is stain protected) can be thrown in the washing machine.  Every pillow and cushion cover is removable and the although it took forever to find curtain fabric that I loved and could be thrown in the wash, I was ultimately successful.

The curtains are also not just for looks.  I made four panels that stretch all the way across for light control.

completed nursery

I am still planning on adding black out lining to the back of them for even more light control, but I decided not to sew them together as I read varying reports about the washability of black out lining.  So it is getting hemmed separately and then just clipped behind the panels.

The cushions also remove from the window seat easily to access all the storage underneath.  In addition, the neighbor kids have shown me that they make great hiding places.  Maybe we need to drill some more air holes.

completed nursery

Also every item that is hanging on the wall in baby’s reach is securely fastened to studs with screws.

completed nursery

And the ultimate storage area also went through a little makeover.

completed nursery

Lots of clothes and other baby paraphernalia waiting for him, but we still have tons of room that I know we will fill in the future.

completed nurserycompleted nursery

And finally just some more pictures of details of the space that I love…

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completed nurserypinwheel mobilecompleted nurserycompleted nursery

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nursery

abacus makingcompleted nursery

pinwheel mobile

So what do you think?   You can see from some of the pictures that a furry friend already likes to spend time in the space.  Although this is normal position…

completed nursery

…trying to will the stuffed animals that make noise when you squeeze them from the crib into his mouth.

Want to know where I got something?  Here is the source list for everything in the space.  Just got a little too long for a single post.

Missed the other nursery posts and want to see the DIY how-to?  Catch up with the window seat construction, abacus, dresser, changing table, bookshelves, stump table, pinwheel mobile, quilt and bedding

Stumped

Do you ever come up with an idea that you think is awesome but everyone you tell about it thinks it sounds stupid?

Yeah this was this project.  Luckily my husband loves me enough to spend a lot of time on a project which he was convinced was going to flop.  Who needs diamonds when you have DIY?

Back to the beginning…..

I wanted a side table next to the rocker in the nursery to be able to set things like drinks, burp cloths, cell phone etc.  Problem was we did not have a lot of space.

shelf DIY

I looked high and low for a small side table that would fit and not looked too cramped.  And not be breakable.

This search took awhile and I almost did a ceramic garden stool because of the correct size and shape, but it was pretty light and would be easily knocked over and shattered.  It was during this search that I came up with the idea of a stump table.

Not that it was an original idea….West Elm sells one for $200 and Mrs. Brooklyn Limestone made one herself.  So why did every time I mention it to someone did I get this reaction…”A Stump?  Really?”

Even from my husband.  But being the good sport he is, he proceeded with the project as long as he “had veto power in the end”

Yeah!

So first task….finding a stump.  Hmmmmm.  Derek called lumber yards and tree removal places but was not very successful.  (Again, he must love me since I know he got a lot of incredulous “you wanna buy a stump???!” when he made these phone calls. Hasn’t anyone seen the West Elm catalog recently?)  So far no stump.  Maybe it was not meant to be.

Then on the Friday before Easter, a tornado hit very close to my parent’s house in St. Louis.  Miraculously no one was hurt. But by close I mean the damage started 6 houses from the entrance to my parent’s subdivision.  Scary stuff.  Their house had zero damage, but  they kept telling me that I just needed to come visit because there were tons of stumps everywhere around them. 

I laughed it off because I knew that they thought the stump table was dumb and was I really going to take advantage of a natural disaster to get my table?

But then we came into town a week or two later (unrelated to the stump I swear)….and they were right… there were stumps sitting by the road everywhere, just waiting for the city to pick them up and dispose of them.

I was still a little iffy on the tornado stump.  But from my parent’s perspective it was going to be gotten rid of anyway and a stump from there would have meaning unlike a random piece of wood from a lumber yard.  Like being thankful…and making sure you head to the basement when the tornado sirens go off.

So while I was napping, Derek did a little stump recognizance to find the perfect specimen and the stump was buckled in the backseat on the way home.  Would have been weird to explain that one if we had gotten pulled over.

The stump in all it’s glory.

Stump

Now what we he did to it to make it table-like:

1.  Using a crowbar and hammer remove all the bark.  According to Derek, this step was pretty easy.

Stump

2.  If your stump is uneven or too tall, even it out the best you can with taking off slices with a chain saw.

3.  The longest part…..sand.  And then sand some more.  And when you think you are done sanding do it again.

Stump

For this project, we became the proud owners of a belt sander.  Which I was told made the sanding go so much faster than an orbital sander.  He started with a lower grit sand paper and moved up to a finer grit to make it smooth.  He sanded it while the wood was still considered “green” as it had only been cut down at this point for a couple of weeks.

4.  Add wheels for easier movement (stumps are heavy) to help level it even more.  He used washers to help achieve this.

stump

5.  Since our wood was still green, we let it then sit in the space for a couple of months to dry out with plastic underneath in case it dropped sap.  As it dried it starting to develop cracks and the grain became more apparent….yeah!

stump

6.  You could leave it the natural stump color, but I knew I wanted it darker to match the other wood in the space.  But I was not sure how long had to wait for it to dry before it would accept stain.  We were at 2 months.  Google did not give me a definite answer, so I decided to test some colors and see how it took it on the bottom.

stump

It sucked it right up, so I decided to go ahead with the stain.  Worse case scenario, it looks awful and Derek can just sand it again.  I kid.

Derek gave it one final sand with a very fine sandpaper and I stained it with MinWax Jacobean. 

And this is what we came up with-

stump

stump

I love that it is not perfect and adds a rustic element.  And it is the perfect size and height for the chair.

stump

I am going to add polyurethane to protect it in the next couple of months, but for now I think it still needs to breathe and dry before I seal it.  Since I am a wood expert and all.  In the meantime we will protect the finish something on top like a piece of glass. 

And I am happy to report that “veto power” was not needed.  Which is good since he would have wasted all of that sanding for nothing.  And we got a new belt sander out of the deal.

Glazing-Not Just for Cabinets

I love how some brown glaze can redo honey oak.  Like in the guest bath.

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But why should cabinets get all the love? What about other types of wood or furniture?  Like dressers?

nursery progress

Well I was going to find out.  These dressers were hand me downs from my family and they were solid wood and not oak.  Which were two huge bonuses in my book.  But considered that the cousin whose nursery they were in is now in college, the color needed some updating.  Not to mention that the bow and flower decals did not fit in our boy decor.

(For the full glazing how-to, please go to this post)

Of course we started with the worst part of the glazing process…the sanding.  Luckily for me in my delicate state, Derek took over this arduous task.  Two hours later it was sanded and Derek was very dusty (and will think again before volunteering for the next sanding project).

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

Then the glazing started.  We wanted the dresser to match the crib as much as possible, so we started with Behr’s Spiceberry mixed with the glaze like I described in original full how-to post.

dresser glazing

After it the first coat was dry, it looked too red and too light in relation to the crib. Hmmmmm….

dresser glazing

So to darken it up, I mixed a second glaze with Sherwin William’s Black Bean and put this on as the second coat.

dresser glazing

Much better.  And I loved that the two different color glazes gave the finish even more depth.  My color misjudgment turned out to be an awesome find.

I added 5 coats of water based polycrylic to get this finish.

dresser glazing

Perfect.  You can still see the grain and the finish is really close to matching the crib as planned (don’t worry that is not the mirror’s permanent home…..the floor is not exactly a child proof spot)

dresser glazing

The drawers were painted with my favorite paint….Ace cabinet and trim in high hiding white.  And then polyed for durability.

So happy how it turned out…..

dresser glazing

The lamp is not permanent….just a stand-in stolen from the guest room to figure out spacing until I find the perfect one.  Homegoods has been letting me down lately.

Anyway ignore the accessories and just enjoy the dresser….

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

dresser glazing

What should I glaze next?

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I get bored easily.

Especially when I am not busy painting a new project.

It gives me too much time to look around and want to switch something up.

Even in a perfectly good room that we remodeled less than two years ago.

I don’t think this trait is on my husband’s top ten list of things he loves about me.

It may have to do with spending money.

Or cutting into football watching time.

 

So when I started thinking about the rooms I wanted to make changes in, it happened to be the first three rooms that we completed when we moved it.  And as I disclaimer I still love them, but they all needed a little freshening up.  And to of course on a budget (see above).  The three rooms are the dining room, family room and office.  And while the office and dining room are still works in progress, the family room’s minor changes are complete.  And they are just enough to keep me happy with the space.

And I am happy to report that no football watching time was infringed on for any part of it.

The Family Room

Issue #1- Too Much Brown

  Since we bought the bookshelves, I have been trying to convince Derek to let me paint the back.  Or apply pretty fabric or decorative paper to give them some pattern and pizzazz.  Just something to break up the boring brown. 

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But that idea got vetoed.  Maybe because he knows my propensity to want to change things and anything permanent would not bode well for the solid wood bookcases.  I could day that we could just add built-ins when I get tired of them but I don’t think that would help my case.

So for two years I let it go and tried to enjoy the brown.

Then one day it hit me…..what about spray paint?  It is cheap and easily re-doable and who needs to touch the bookscases?  Why had I not thought of this brilliant idea sooner?

So I spray painted the lamps a blue gray and got new drum shades.  Then the brown tray got a coat of silver.  And I thought I would love it and it would solve of my brown problems. IMG_2947

But a couple of weeks later I am still not sure.  Maybe the blue is too shiny?  Maybe it is too much contrast with the brown bookshelves?  Maybe the lamps are too skinny?  Maybe I should just go with gray instead of blue-gray? Maybe I am just feeling fall-ish now and this is just reading a little too springy?  Maybe I way overthinking this and just need to be happy that is not brown and get over not painting the interior of the bookshelves?

Anyways….

Issue #2 It Just Doesn’t Feel Done

There is another change in the family room that I am 100% in love with….the rug.

I was a little iffy on adding an area rug over carpet.  But the space was not really unified and I wanted some more modernish touches in the room to make it flow more with the adjoining kitchen.  So I got out one of our 5x8 area rugs that we were not using and see what I thought of the idea.

It was love at first site….except the rug was way too small.

So that led us on a rug search.  It had to be big.  And cheap.  And modernish.  And good colors.  And not solid brown (see above). And not matchy with the walls.  But not too orange either. And not too busy.  Basically perfect.

We went everywhere in the city that carried rugs and came back with nothing.  It may have had something to do with how picky I was being.

Overstock had some great and cheap ones, but the colors and sizes were not matching up.  I then stumbled on Rugsdirect.com and found a couple that met all of my criteria.  And free shipping and returns. 

It was a very exciting day.

We ended up with this one.

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And I am amazed about how something so simple can complete the space.

Some friends commented that it was brilliant that the circles of the rug complemented the circular coffee table so well.

Ummmm….yeah.

I was totally thinking that when I picked it out.

Issue# 3 Throw Pillows

You also may notice we now actually have some throw pillows on the couch and chair.  There are still some more half finished in the sewing room, but we at least have some color on the sofa.

But I have a confession to make.

I asked you opinion on throw pillows a long time ago.

About whether I should use the home dec fabric I already had or go with more modern cotton prints.

And the majority of you said to stick with what I had.

Well I didn’t.

Sorry….but I did listen on your advice on the kitchen curtain color, so you can’t stay mad.

Right?

 

So what do you think?  Hopefully I am not the only one that gets the itch to change things up.   But I think I am satisfied with the space and will be able to enjoy my time hanging out in there and not thinking about what I want to change.

For now at least.

Finally

I have been promising this for awhile, but the outdoor space it finally ready.  But next time I want to finally get an outdoor space together, I need to actually make progress before August when it is too hot to be outside even at night….. and when all the flowers and herbs are looking a little wilty….well because they are hot too.

Anyway it would not be an After without an Before. So he is the unofficial before (stolen from the raised beds how-to).  Basically when we moved in we plopped a table in the middle of the deck with cheap plastic chairs and hung lights very very straight on the pergola.  Oh and Derek  installed outdoors speakers as soon as the wire was discovered.  Priorities.

Here we are now:

Outdoor space 8/10

I swear I did not have Winter pose…that is where she was laying when I walked out with the camera.

The other side-

Outdoor space 8/10

My reading corner-Outdoor space 8/10

The umbrella gets moved frequently to shade the plant and the sectional.  I can’t decide if I like it better with or without….hmmmm.

Outdoor space 8/10

The long view.  Yes I am aware that it leans.  I swear this is the only angle you can tell.  A couple of people have given us ideas about how to fix it but frankly none of them sound that fun and we have not cared enough to pursue it yet.  10 points if you can spy the shell pink mini blinds in the ugly master bath in this picture.

Outdoor space 8/10

On a daily basis I use our rolling cart for gardening stuff, but it multi tasks for entertaining or BBQing-

Outdoor space 8/10

Some herbs and the grape trellis.  Hopefully the grapes will be higher than the first level and able to be seen next year.  Outdoor space 8/10

And at night (without a tripod obviously).  I like how the sectional area is less lit but still bright enough.

Outdoor space 8/10

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And to prove they were not nearly so cooperative the entire time….

Outdoor space 8/10

In case you are wondering, here is where I got stuff (on a budget of course):

Tile-Top table and umbrella- Lowe’s or Home Depot years ago on clearance

Sectional: Wal-Mart (blogged here)

Rocking Chair- Jo-ann’s (blogged here)

Outdoor Rug: Home Fabrics and Rugs (blogged here)

Garden Stool: Homegoods (here)

Blue side table- hand me down transformed with the power of spray paint

Outdoor Pilliows-made by me

Rolling Cart- made my Derek (tutorial here)

Painted Pots -another DIY project (tutorial here).  The non-painted pots are from Homegoods.

And the final DIY project- the canvas panels on the pergola (here)

So what do you think?  Now I am starting to get the itch for fall and cooler weather so we can start spending time out there again.

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How-To: Outdoor Rolling Cart

In re-designing our outdoor space, I realized we were lacking some storage.  Sure there were tables, chairs and a sectional, but no place to just set stuff. And while the garage was just a few steps away through the interior of the house, I learned quickly that it was just too far in the summer and therefore I just plopped things on the ground.

So we needed a flat surface to set stuff.  And it as luck would have it, we had a perfect awkward space for this storage to fit into.

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It had to be pretty and look like furniture.  I was envisioning a simple slatted console-table like thingy.  That I could set stuff on. In a fun color. 

That was the very thorough description I gave to Derek.

He took it a couple of steps further and designed and made this-

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A double decker rolling cart.

Backing up……

After I explained my master vision we headed off to the hardware store for some lumber and outdoor stain.  After much debate and price comparison we decided to go with cedar because it was not that much more expensive than pressure treated wood and I could treat it with color right away.  And it smelled nice.

And by much debate, I mean we put wood on the cart and then exchanged it for a different kind three times.  The Home Depot guys would have thought we were crazy if they did not know us so well from our frequent visits.

Anyway, we spent about $60 on wood.

Now for the Jenny version of the how-to (with pictures of course):

We made the frames for the shelves-IMG_0926

Added the slats-IMG_0927

Screwed on the legs-IMG_0928

Assembled the layers and added the wheels-IMG_0929

Simple right?

Well for the more technically inclined here is the Derek version with fancy schmancy measurements-

The cart is three main pieces.

The upper shelf is made completely of 1 x 4 boards.  The slats are 1x4 of 16 ¾ in length.  There are 9 of them spaced approximately ½ inch apart.  The long sides are two 1x4 boards hooked together.  The outer board is 7 inches shorter than the inner board (29”).  The inner board is 36” long.  This allows 3 ½ inches on each end for the vertical 2x4.  The short sides are connected with a 1x4 that is 11 ¾ inches long.  When looking at it from the short side you would see the 1 ½ inch side of the 2x4, then the ¾ inch side of the inner 1x4, the 11 ¾ inch 1x4 and then a mirror of the other side.  This totals out to 16 ¾ (1 ½ + ¾ + 11 ¾ + ¾ +1 ½)

The lower shelf is made the same way except the two outer slats are cut shorter to fit within the vertical 2x4’s. 

The vertical 2x4’s are however tall you want to make them.  Our cart is 37” from the bottom of the vertical 2x4’s to the top of the upper shelf (not counting the wheels).

OK enough of that…back to the pictures.

After the cart was assembled, it was my turn to take over with filling the nail/screw holes and sanding-IMG_0933

But happily we were going for a rustic outdoor look so not that much sanding was required.

Which is good because sanding is not rated as one my favorite DIY tasks.

I then finished it in an opaque stain in Shipmate Blue.IMG_0935

Ultimately I would have loved to do a semi-transparent stain in blue, but I could not buy it in a quart.  And I did not feel so strongly about it to justify the extra cash.

After two coats of stain we got this-IMG_0947

Or should I say this-IMG_0949

On a typical day I plan on housing most of my gardening supplies here so they are not just scattered around the deck. 

But it also can be used for this purpose-

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Or for sangria...or a bucket of beer…..or lemonade.  Or setting the mint plant on there and whip up some mojitos.   Or a serving table for food.

Or a fiesta…

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Confession- I was tempted to set up all of these those little vignettes and take pictures to illustrate the many uses of the outdoor cart.  But a) it would have been obvious that I had a little too much free time and b) my neighbors were in their backyard….they probably would not look at me the same after seeing me rearrange beverages on the cart six times and then snap pictures.  Especially at 8 on a weeknight when it was just the two of us outside. 

But I did capture the cart in all of it’s wheeling glory without causing neighborly concern.  It makes a perfect BBQing accessory-IMG_0954

It was super easy to construct (or so I am told) and cost less than $70 for all the materials.  And I love the pop of blue. 

It looks perfect in the completed outdoor space and I love the functionality.

Outdoor space 8/10

Outdoor space 8/10

 
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Spring Steals

So I am taking a big step and taking a personal day today.  I have never taken one before, but I am so proud of myself for taking a day to myself and all the projects waiting to be completed. 

Well let’s be honest…..half a personal day.  I have things scheduled at work in the morning but I will get out of there by noon.  Promise. 

Small steps.

While I use my extra couple of hours to work on the ten different spring projects that are partially done, I wanted to share all my great spring buys that I have found recently.

First, has anyone else noticed how expensive outdoor furniture is?  Ouch….especially when you are looking at comfortable outdoor sectionals.  Even at all of our favorite cheap places were were looking at least $1000.  Sigh. I will admit I was frustrated and thought that our outdoor space would be bland and not as functional for another year.  And what fun is that?

But then Wal-Mart.com came to the rescue with this-

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Any guesses on how much?  Under $500.  Yeah, so it probably won’t last a million years and become a family heirloom but oh well.  A couple of summers of enjoyment is all we are asking for.  It was also free to ship to the store. 

The box barely wedged into my small SUV.  And by barely I mean we had to take out the carpet in the back for that last centimeter and actually take the sectional out of the box piece by piece while it was in the car because it was so snug in order to extract it.

I am in the process of buying fun fabric for pillows to make it more summery and bright.  Because the throw pillows it came with were pretty ugly. Add that to the project list.

And did anyone spy the other thrifty find I scored this past week?  I will give you a second to scroll up in case you missed it. 

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Yep a garden stool for 20 bucks at Homegoods.  I am thinking to use it as a little side table right now but as the outdoor space comes together we will see where it ends up.  Anyway I love it.  And the color.  And the price.

I can’t wait to put together all the details and make our deck an extension of our house.

But in the meantime I will pretend that I am going to spend my afternoon of freedom stopping and smelling these-

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(and because of my spring fever I not able to resist at least one flower pic in every post….it will pass soon I promise)

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Details Details

I may have mentioned our bed before (like here here and here), but I promised a process post and I wanted to make sure I delivered.

The entire room is not complete, but I am happy to report that the bed is done (except for pillows of course….a little color is coming)
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I love how the room does not feel so monstrous anymore and our furniture now looks like it fits.  And the couch does not look like it is swallowing the bed.  For example-

Yeah much better.

And the best part….the bed cost less than $250 to build.

We are forever indebted to Ana at Knock-Off Wood for the plans (here).  We used the Farmhouse Bed plans in the King size and a canopy with just a couple of adjustments.  I have said it before, but she is a goddess for DIY’ers and we can’t wait to try out some more plans.  Well I am at least….

Since we have a more modern and less rustic aesthetic in the master bedroom, we used a solid piece of wood with a little molding in the headboard and footboard instead of the slats.
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I also had Derek raise the height of the footboard in order to combat the couch scale problem.IMG_0782
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For the finishing, I debated between staining, painting and glazing.  For a very long time. But since we had to use three different types of wood to get all the sizes we needed (we only could find 4x4’s in cedar) I was worried that the different grains would look different and wrong if you could see them with stain or glaze.  So instead I went with old faithful- Ace Cabinet and Trim Paint in Cannonball.

First, I filled all the screw holes with wood filler and sanded it all down with an orbital sander and medium grit sandpaper.  Then one coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 waterbased primer, two coats of the black and three coats of polyurethane (in satin finish) later we were complete.  The next day we put our new mattress in and were enjoying our new bed.

Buying all the wood in the proper sizes (especially since I wanted some minor modifications) took some time at Home Depot, but I am happy to report that this project was a one tripper.  The lumber is where we spent all the money of $250 since we had all the supplies and if we were successful in finding 4x4’s in something other than cedar ($$$) we could have probably saved another $75.  And Ana was correct, the only tools we used were a drill, sander, tape measure, miter saw, level and nail gun (hammer would have done just fine if we did not have the nail gun).

So here is my view from my pillow on the new bed……ahhhhh.
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Well if I was being honest that is the view up….unfortunately with the new furniture placement I look directly into the hideous and dated master bath.  There is a reason that there are no pics of it on the blog.  Think pink blinds, carpet, wallpaper and brass.  Yum. You know what that makes me want to do…….
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Canopy Fun- Part One

While there were a couple of moments where it was considered....no bonfire was necessary this weekend.  Whew.  Thanks for all your votes of confidence.

In case you missed it, we I decided that there was no time like the present to follow Knock-off wood's plans to make an awesome canopy bed.

Derek had his doubts in his carpentry abilities, but I had confidence in his skills.  It was a long weekend in the cold garage but I am so happy with the results so far. 

On Thursday night Derek whipped up the headboard (this is the back side with all the knots)-


On Friday night we went out and partied put together the footboard -



Saturday started with moving our old bed into guestroom (where we will be sleeping for awhile).


And then one of the most difficult parts of the project (in my opinion at least)....moving the pieces upstairs.  You would not think the seperate pieces would be that heavy right?  Well let's just say that halfway up the stairs I started crying and decided that I just could not lift it anymore.  I bet you can guess how well that one went over.  Sadly, I don't have any pictures documenting that moment of fun. 

They are super super heavy....I am not just a big wuss....I swear.

Anyway we finally got them upstairs.  Where they had to be sniffed.


Then it was time to build the bed frame.  This probably should have been the easiest part.  But because of slightly bowed boards this took awhile.  Ana mentions on the plans that bowed boards are the worst thing to deal with.  Listen to her.



But my carpenter husband figured it out (with my help of course) and we got the main bed together by the time it was dark.


And then finally it was all together. 




Another picture that did not make the cut was the first canopy.  Let's just say it was way too tall.  Derek had it all together and it just did not look right.  The bed looked ginormous.  I wanted the scale to be bigger to fit the room but it was way.too.big.  So I rechecked the plans and then measured as Derek was putting in the final screw. 

J: Why do the plans say 83" tall but it is 99" tall?
D: You said you wanted it to be tall.  83" is for rooms with normal ceilings.  Also the picture above the bed will fit perfectly.  It would not fit if I had made it smaller.
J:  I can put that picture somewhere else in the room....if it "fits" perfectly it will look way to big for above the bed.  The canopy just looks way too tall.  You really decided the height by the picture?  Thank you of thinking about it but it just looks like a bed for giants.
D: You're serious?
J: Yes.
D: (edited to keep the blog family friendly)

In the end he took the canopy down and all the posts, took them back to the garage to cut them and then put it all back together again.  True love.  Or he just did not want to hear about how it was too tall for the rest of his life. 

Now you see why I did not document that particular step by pictures.

For the next week I will be working on finishing it...we are going with black but I am on the fence about whether to paint it like the kitchen cabinets or glaze it like I did the bathroom cabinets.  Hmmmm..... 

Stay tuned next week for the final reveal!
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Knocking-Off Furniture Find

I love to copy furniture pieces from expensive stores.  I love to build things. I love new furniture pieces.  I love can tolerate painting and staining.  So when I found Knock Off Wood this weekend I spent hours and hours perusing it. And planning.



You probably have already heard of Ana since she has been featured on Apartment Therapy and Young House Love, but just in case you missed it, I wanted to share my new favorite place for ideas.

Basically, she finds an awesome piece of furniture from Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, or West Elm, and then gives you the plans to make it yourself.  Like really awesome gorgeous furniture. For a fraction of the cost.  With no specialized tools.  And did I mention for free?

Wow.

Go check out all the plans because there are tons, but the one I have my sights set on first is this baby-

I have dreaming about a canopy bed forever....  In our old house the ceilings were too low....so I waited.  Our current master bedroom has the perfect ceiling for one, but since we have a a perfectly decent set of furniture I have still waited.  But our room is just screaming for one because everything looks so tiny in that much vertical space.


(more master bedroom pics here)

After finding these plans I am re-engerized in my quest for a canopy bed and would already be sawing and hammering except for one detail....Derek wants a bigger bed....which means a new mattress.  And with all the Europe trip planning going on a new mattress might not happen right away.  So I hope to be sharing my handmade canopy bed with all of you ASAP, but until then I hope you all can find some amazing plans for your home as well. 

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Craft Room Reveal

I love craft rooms. They can be painted in fun colors and contain DIY projects on the more "funky" side and can get away with it because it is a "creative" room. They also have to be heavy on organization if they are not going to be a mess. Not to mention that they are a room that you can start projects in and then leave them out without worrying about stuff being all over the house. I am so lucky that we have space so that I can have an entire room to myself right now. Once we have two kids I will have to fight them for it.

This craft room reveal has been a long time coming. And honestly there are some things that I can see changing in the future.  But before we see what it looks like now, let's take a stroll down memory lane and see where we came from.

All my favorite design features in one room-wallpaper, honey oak and a poorly anchored brass ceiling fan.

When we moved in I thought a good solution would be just ripping down the wallpaper and enjoying the pink paint until I got around to painting. Unfortunately after ripping down the wallpaper I learned that the previous owners had not painted all the way to the ceiling. So I lived with this for about a year.

It was nice to have a room dedicated to creativity, but I was majorly lacking organization and did not have enough workspace.

That brings us to what it looks like today-

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The cutting table/craft desk was DIY and you can make one too following the tutorial here.  I knew that this was the one space I could get away with some fun stripes and while it took awhile for all the taping, I loved how it turned out (tutorial here).

And I love my sewing corner….

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Across the back wall I had Derek install a curtain rod for me to hang “in progress” projects.  I love how it works, except for the fact that a lot times projects don’t move from “in progress” to “complete”.  Oh well.

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Above the rod are pictures I cut from an old Anne Taintor calendar.  Would they look better in frames…yes.  But this is a low budget craft room redo.

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Above the cutting table is my inspiration board/bulletin board to hang random stuff.  To make it look non-bulletin board like, I wrapped it in fabric and stapled it to the back.  Super quick and easy.

In the other corner we have more storage space.

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Oh and the chandelier.  I really wanted something cool (and expensive) of course.  But the ole budget brought us back to DIY as I detailed here.

I still have one blank wall which my ironing board sits below.  My plans for this area include adding a quilt design wall so that the floor can be retired for this purpose.  Oh and getting a new matching (and unstained) ironing board cover.

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At one point I wrote a post about how I was organizing everything (here).  Well that has all changed as my fabric stash has grown and I am making different things.  And it will most likely change again.  But for now here is the newly organized closet.
 
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Yes that is what I call organized….you should have seen it a couple of days before this.
 
I am also utilizing the storage on the cutting table for in progress projects.  each cubby is a different project.
 
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Like I mentioned before, this room was done a low budget. Here is the breakdown in case you are curious:

Craft Desk: $125 (how-to here)
Sewing Desk: $100 (JCPenney outlet store)
Paint: $70 (painting stripes how-to here)
I used one gallon of Tupelo Tree and one gallon of Sassy Green from Sherwin Williams in this room. We had all the other painting supplies.
Chandelier: $40 (how-to here)
Drapery: $20
For the curtains I used some of the fabric I had originally bought for the kitchen (you know the ones that turned out to be two different colors like I mentioned here). Well, I recycled two panels of that fabric and I had lining fabric left over from the family room panels. So all I needed to buy was the rod and the rings.
Shelving: $125 (from Home depot)
I decided to go with adjustable shelving because at that time I was not sure how I was going to organize everything and it would give me flexibility in the future if I ever changed my mind. Not that that ever happens....
Miscellaneous Organization supplies- $75
Most of the organizational things I had previously and either repainted or recovered them. But I did buy some things to organize all the drawers as well as other things for the shelves.
Sewing Chair- Free
I swiped this chair from Derek's poker table in the basement. Eventually I would like something cuter....but this one matched as was the right price so it got moved to my room.

Grand Total: $555

Not bad for an entire room make-over.  But of course that does not include my fabric stash.

I Love These Chairs!

I love the designer Angelo Surmelis on HGTV's Rate My Space. He does great designs and on top of that he seems line a genuinely great guy. His show is on my DVR list. Also, his blog is one of the ones on my Google Reader and last night he posted about his new furniture line here. I love it! The pieces are so stylish but affordable. Here is one of my favorites:
from Design Geek Blog-lots more pics on his post

According to the post they will be available this summer on Overstock. I really wish that these would have been an option when we were looking for a piece for out master bedroom. I wanted something with a pattern but everything we saw was either an ugly pattern or too expensive. I love this entire line and really appreciate his commitment to making them inexpensive. He is very talented and I hope that his new line will be very successful. Go check it out over on Design Geek!