Monday, April 29, 2013

before & after: painted desk

I wanted to share another thrift store project from one of our guest bedrooms.  This small desk was a mere $10 at our local Salvation Army.  With that kind of price, it was hard to pass up.  I knew I wanted to do a piece of furniture with a painted bottom and stained top and this desk was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Here is what the desk looked like before...


I sanded down the desk and drawers to remove the existing varnish then added two coats of primer to the base of the desk and front of the drawers.  On the top of the desk, I used Minwax stain in Dark Walnut which I had already from two other projects {here} and {here}.  I sanded the primer in between coats.


After two coats each of paint and poly and replacing the hardware with some new drawer pulls from Home Depot, this is what the desk looks like now...


And a quick comparison...


I love how the desk turned out.  It's amazing what some paint and new hardware can do for an outdated piece of furniture!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

before & after: thrifted end table

The proverb that "everything comes to him who waits" is absolutely true and definitely applies to the table I am writing about today.

I had a large empty space between the wall and the couch in our family room for what seemed like forever.  I kept trying out different end tables but all of them seemed too small or too low.  I decided I needed a round decorator table but could not swallow the cost of buying one (most of the tables in the size I needed were about $100 plus shipping).  Therefore, the thrift store was the perfect place to begin my search.  For about six months, I kept my eye out during every trip to the thrift store but could not find the right size.  Just when I was about to give up and order a table, my patience finally paid off and I found this table at Salvation Army for $12!!!

Here is what the table looked like straight from the thrift store...


And here it is all decorated next to the couch...


I was so happy to finally fill that empty space!  Here is a quick comparison...


So I guess the moral of this story is if you want to find a great deal at the thrift store....go often and be patient!  The wait is definitely worth it!

Monday, April 22, 2013

before & after: succulent planter...

This past weekend was beautiful in southern California so we spent Saturday outside enjoying the weather.  As you can see, our dog Panda, definitely took full advantage...


With all this great weather, I thought it was a perfect time to share a wood shim window box planter I made for our patio.  I saw this project on Centsational Girl last year and wanted to try to make one for our backyard to hold succulents.  Centsational Girl has a great step-by-step on how to do this project so I won't go into full detail but here is a quick summary...

I bought the wood shims, window box planter, and succulents at Home Depot.  I already had the craft paint (from Michael's) and the water bulbs are from Amazon.  I painted about 45 wood shims 4 different colors and used a miter box to cut the wood shims to size.  I added some water to the craft paint to thin it out and applied a thin layer of paint with a dry brush to give the shims a weathered look.  I spray painted the planter box with white primer so it was a closer match to the painted wood shims.  The wood shims were thin and light enough that I only needed wood glue to attach them to the planter.


Here is what the planter looks like with the succulents...




I love how it turned out and plan to make another one using the extra shims in white and cream hues.  The weathered look is perfect since the planter will be outside and subject to weather conditions anyway.   



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

mother's day gift ideas...

So Mother's Day will be coming up next month on May 12th.  For those of you who have not had a chance to shop yet for that perfect gift, I thought I would share some gift ideas that I came across...

{1} West Elm / Ikat Printed Bowls

{2} Sur La Table / Le Creuset Skinny Grill
{3} Nordstroms /  diptyque Joinquille Candle
{4} Fossil / Vintage Revival Satchel
{5} Williams-Sonoma / Zoku Popsicle Maker
{6} Restoration Hardware / Luxury Plush Robe
{7}Etsy / Rock the Custard Mom Art Print



Monday, April 15, 2013

ikea hack: lack foot stool...

I have a couple of Ikea Lack side tables left over from my college days that I am not using.  These tables come in a few different colors and are an awesome deal considering the white ones are only $7.99!  Here is what they look like...


Ikea Lack Side Table
{source}

I decided to make one of the tables a foot stool for our guest bedroom.  I forgot to take pictures while I worked on this one but there is a great tutorial at East Coast Creative on how to upholster these tables.  You can check out their great Ikea hack {here}.  Basically the steps are very simple and involve (1) unscrewing the legs, (2) stapling foam, batting, and fabric to the table top, and (3) screwing in the new legs.

I decided to use different legs for the footstool to better match our furniture and also make the foot stool lower.  I got the legs and mounting plates from Home Depot...{here} and {here} respectively.  The legs come unfinished and only need a couple of coats of wood stain.


Here is the finished foot stool.  I used a burlap fabric that I got on JoAnn's fabric.  As you can see, our little guy Tater has already claimed the foot stool as his own so this may end up being a dog bed instead.


Friday, April 12, 2013

plastic molded chairs...

I saw this pair of molded plastic chairs on Amazon the other day and thought I would share since they are a great deal for $169 for the pair.


Amazon
They look a lot like the Eames molded plastics chairs from Herman Miller shown below (which would cost you about $499 for one chair).
Herman Miller
These chairs look great in a dining room or kitchen area but also work as an office chair or around a conference table.  Check out these spaces using similar chairs...

{source}
{source}
{source}
These chairs are slightly different but I loved the space so had to share...

{source}

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

to the floor...

As I mentioned in my last post, we have been slowly working on updating our home.  When we moved in, one of the things that bugged us the most in the house was the carpeting.  It was old, dirty, and had an ugly floral pattern.  No matter how much we cleaned, it always looked and felt dirty.  As much as we did not like it, we held off on replacing it for a bit because we wanted to get dogs.  Puppy training is tough and not having to worry as much about the flooring was good.  Besides, living with gross carpet was worth it to hang out with this cuteness..


Anyway, as soon as our dogs were fully house trained, we set out to pick flooring.  We knew we wanted flooring in a grey distressed finish much like these pictures I had gathered for inspiration...

{source}
{source}
{source}

We ended up picking an oak gray laminate at Floor & Decor.  Hardwood in a gray distressed finish would have cost us a fortune so laminate ended up being a great alternative.  If you live near one of these stores, it's definitely worth checking out!

We bought one box to try out first before fully committing.  See the carpet...GROSS!!!


Here is a before and after shot of the stairs...




I love our floors now and was so happy to say goodbye to that gross carpet!

Monday, April 8, 2013

painted fireplace mantels...

Our home was built in the 80's and so a lot of the changes we have made (or would like to make) involve updating outdated parts of the house.  Our home is a constant work in progress but I feel like we have come a long way since we moved in.  For instance, we had two oak fireplace mantels that bugged me from day one.  Here are some pictures of them from before we moved in...


The one on the left is in our family room and the one on the right is in our living room.  The oak was nice but very outdated and did not match our furniture.  I decided painting the mantels would be a great (and cheaper) alternative to replacing them completely.  After some sanding, priming, painting, and poly, this is what they look like today...


Here is a quick comparison...



So much better right?  The white mantels make the rooms look lighter and more up to date.  So if you ever come across the same dilemma, I would definitely recommend painting an outdated mantel before replacing one.  Just think, if it ends up not working out, you can always replace them later!

Check out these other great painted mantels...

{source}
{source}


Thursday, April 4, 2013

x-benches...

I was looking at wicker x-benches the other day to possibly put in front of the twin beds we have in our guest bedroom {discussed here}.  I really like these guys over at Pottery Barn and Overstock.

        {Pottery Barn} / {Overstock}

X-benches are great because they can not only be used to add some texture or a pop of color to a room but are also functional as extra seating or if you just need to fill up extra space.  Here are a few examples...

Extra seating tucked under a hallway console or sofa table...

                 



They work well in front of twin beds but can also be paired together in front of a larger bed in a master bedroom.

{source}
{source}
{source}

They are great for extra seating in a living room and can even serve as a substitute to a coffee or end table.

{source}
{source}

You can even stick them out as extra seating on your patio.

{source}

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

home bars...

So I think I finally got my workload under control enough that I can post more regularly now.  As I mentioned {here}, work got a little crazy this past month.  However, I did find some time recently to duck in Salvation Army to pick up a few items for some new projects.  I cannot wait to get started and share them with you soon!  I will also be helping a friend decorate his condo soon so I have been researching ideas for his place.  First up for him will be a home bar of some sort.  We have the same job and he has also been working a lot lately.  Therefore, now that he has more time to hang out with friends, this will be perfect for entertaining guests or if he just wants to wind down from a long day at work.  Here are some great examples I found that I thought would be perfect for a guy's place...

{source}








{source}

{source}
{source}