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Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY Farmhouse Style Desk

Are you ready for one of my favorite DIY projects ever?

Yep, my boyfriend and I built a desk! Actually, he did most of the building. I was mostly just an extra set of hands to hold pieces together during assembly.
We used the Fancy X-Desk plans from Ana White. The plans were great, but I’d suggest reading the comments before starting on a project. For example: the plans call for five 2’x4’s, but you really need six. Luckily someone wrote that in the comments or I would have had to go back to the store…and I would have been annoyed!

We also had trouble with a couple of the measurements, but maybe it was just us (although one of the comments mentions the same issue). 
You’ll notice that our back pieces face a different direction than the plans. We cut those pieces as described, but they didn’t fit correctly so we just screwed them onto the back.  No biggie.

Once the desk was built I used stainable putty to fill in any holes and then I stained the desk using Minwax Dark Walnut. We let the desk air out for a couple days (stain has a really strong odor) and then moved it into the office. It fit perfectly!
(Ignore all the cords/modem/router behind the desk)
Both of us are pretty proud of our build and happy to have our own desk space. Now I just need to bring in some accessories and storage. You’ll also notice that I finished the second yellow paint-dipped chair!

Finally, the office is actually functional for two people! And with that, another project is crossed off the to-do list (but another project has been added...it never ends):
Sell current desk on Craigslist
Clean out room
Replace outlets and switches with white ones
Build desk
Buy pair of desk lamps
Buy and paint file cabinet
Cords/modem/router solution – newly added
Mount TV on the wall
Create a gallery wall around the TV
Build pallet artwork
Buy sleeper sofa
Buy/build end table
Buy dresser
Paint dresser
Sew pillows
Add accessories

Furniture Feature FridaysLiz Marie Blog The Shabby Nest

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Charcoal Gray Sectional

After months of searching and another month waiting for it to be made, my sectional is finally here! And I couldn’t be happier!

It’s the Broyhill Ethan sectional with a customized layout and fabric. I bought it from a local store called At Home Furnishings. They were friendly and gave me a pretty good deal - I highly recommend them.
I ended up spending about $500 more than planned, but it’s exactly what I wanted plus it’s better quality than I originally planned on buying, so it was worth it. AND I already had the extra money saved up, so I didn’t have to charge more than I could afford (which I wouldn't have done anyway).  
Plus I was getting sick of looking around. I didn’t have the best shopping experience at a few stores, so I was pretty much over the whole buying process. I think maybe because I’m young some stores didn’t take me seriously. In a few stores I had sales people walk right past me to other customers and offer them help instead of me.  One sales lady very rudely told me they didn’t have what I was looking for and walked off. It was pretty crazy!

Anyway, I’m so happy with my new sectional! It fits the room so much better and now we have a lot more seating. Plus now there’s room for all of us to lie down – we spent about 7 hours on Saturday bumming around on the couch watching a Law & Order SVU marathon and it was amazing.
If you’re wondering what happened to my old couch, I put it on the curb with a free sign and put a curb alert listing on Craigslist. It was gone by the next morning.
Now that I have the main piece of furniture crossed off the list, I can really get moving on the living room makeover. I’ve already ordered a new rug!
Find sectional
Replace arm chair
Buy rug
Find coffee table
Sew throw pillows
Buy garden stool
Style entertainment center shelves
DIY abstract art
Re-paint console table?
Buy large plant/pot
Paint China Hutch
Decorate fireplace mantle
Sew curtains
DIY card catalog

Friday, May 24, 2013

Front Porch Planters

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.
Now that the weather is starting to heat up (we’ve already had a few 100°+ days), it’s time to get the yard cleaned up and ready for summer before it gets too hot to work outside. The planters on my front porch have been pretty pitiful looking since frost (and lack of watering) killed my poor flowers.
I’d say it’s time for some new flowers! I picked out a large marigold plant for each planter plus a few smaller packs of other colorful flowers. I like to use Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix when I’m planting anything indoors or in a container. I really does work better than the cheap stuff.
 Anyway, start by adding a little soil to the bottom of your pot. Add your largest plant - be sure to loosen up the soil and roots a little.
Then start adding more soil and the rest of your flowers. It’s such an easy project, but brings so much color and life to the front porch. Plus the planters are easy to move, so it’s a great solution for renters.
Once all of the flowers are added and soil filled in, sit back and enjoy the colorful addition to your porch. 
And now I have to show you how much better the porch looks with my new flowers plus my new spring/summer wreath. I think it’s fair to say my house looks a lot more colorful and welcoming now.
For more gardening inspiration, follow Miracle-Gro on Pinterest. It’s a great resource for fun garden projects and tips. You can also find articles and videos full of expert gardening tips at Miracle-Gro online. And check out The Gro Project for other fun gardening projects like the Toyarium or Origami Garden.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kitchen After…For Now

I still have a couple projects left on my kitchen to-do list, but I’m ready to call the room finished for now. It looks significantly better than the rest of the house, so it’s time to move on and share the love with other rooms.

As a reminder, this is what the kitchen looked like when I bought the house. This was taken during the home inspection:

Before I moved in I bought a new dishwasher and my parents bought me a refrigerator as a housewarming gift. Eventually I replaced the microwave and did a little decorating. This is what the kitchen looked like before I decided to focus on decorating/finishing the kitchen:

Back in February I created this mood board to help me focus my ideas and create a cohesive looking room (one of the things I always struggle with):

Three months later I’m ready to present the After…For Now pictures:

I still need to tile the backsplash, update the kitchen artwork, create a new sign for above the sink (to replace the bon appétit sign), and add some more finishing touches (potholders, towels, etc). Oh, and I decided not to add the “eat” sign (I didn’t really have anywhere to hang it), so that’s been removed from the to-do list.
Now let’s talk about everything on the list that I did finish, plus links and the budget breakdown:
Package of 10 Knobs $22.26 x 2
Single Knob $2.97 x 3
Drawer Pull $4.97 x 6
Knob/Pull Hole Guide$7.47

Replace stove (stainless steel) $622.63 - $17.13 (Ebates cash back)

Replace faucet $121.45
Update menu board $2.17 x 2
Re-pot plants $11.96 x 2
Add herb garden to window sill  
Small Pot $1.29 x 5
Small Saucer $0.89 x5
Craft Paint $0.33 x 3
Herb Plant $3.48 x 5
Set of Herb Markers $14.00
Gray/White Striped Fabric $36.20
Heat n Bond $2.40 x 2

Buy rug $38.00
Owl Crock $5.75
Bamboo Utensils $4.97
Fruit Bowl $9.58
Cow Creamer $5.48

Total $999.98
Not bad considering 60% of that is the new oven! After finishing the remaining projects and offsetting that by however much I sell my old oven for (still haven’t listed it on Craigslist) I should still be around the $1000-$1200 mark.

And with that I’m ready to call this project done…for now!

Monday, May 20, 2013

2012 Photobook…Finally!

Five months into 2013 and I’m just now putting together my 2012 photobook…I’m a slacker, I know. Honestly, they take a lot of time to put together and I just haven’t felt like putting in the effort. But I don’t want to get behind on them, so I finally got my pictures together and got started.
In the past I’ve used My Publisher and Shutterfly (you can see my New Orleans and 2011 photobooks here), but this time I decided to try Mixbook. I bought a Groupon for Mixbook last year and it already expired (bad, I know), but it’s still worth the $15 I paid, so I decided I might as well use that up and not completely lose my money.
I went with the ‘Everyday Chalkboard’ layout and an 8.5x8.5” hardcover book. Of course my two favorite critters are on the cover:

Pages range from a day at the lake to a day at Disneyland:

I’ve finally hit the age where there’s a wedding or baby shower almost every month, so of course those memories had to be included:

I wasn’t very good about taking pictures last year, so Christmas is the only holiday in the book. Ringo thought it was the greatest day ever.

Of course Ringo and Abby get their own spreads. Abby was born in 2012, so it was fun to look back and see how much she’s grown.

2012 was the year of Instagram, so I had to dedicate two pages to my favorite shots of the year.

I can’t wait until my book arrives! I’m going to put it on the coffee table, so we can enjoy these pictures whenever we want.
One of these days I’m going to start creating photobooks from some of my old pictures. They are so much easier to store and enjoy than giant photo albums.
Have you made any photobooks? What is your favorite site?  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fancy New Kitchen Faucet

A couple months ago I mentioned that I had one kitchen project left and then I was going to move on to another room. I still want to add a backsplash and update the artwork, but for now I’m done working on the kitchen.
The last project I wanted to get done before calling it quits was installing a new faucet. I forgot to take a proper before picture, but you can see my old faucet in this picture:

It looked a lot like this one:

It worked fine, but I hated the two knobs (as opposed to one lever) and it didn’t have a sprayer - plus it looked cheap. After searching around, I decided that I wanted one of those faucets with the pull out spray head…until I realized they are like $200! There was no way I was going to spend that much on a kitchen faucet, but I lucked out and a couple weeks later Overstock.com had a sale on select faucets – 10%-off plus there was a 10%-off coupon that you could use on top of the promotional discount!
I’d been eyeing this Kraus single lever, pull out kitchen faucet (in satin nickel) for a couple weeks because it had great reviews and the price was somewhat reasonable (before the discounts). After the discounts it was a steal for that type of faucet, so I jumped on the deal.

And then it just sat in the box on the kitchen counter for a couple months (you can see the delivery date was March 7th). I finally convinced my boyfriend to install it for me last week…and I’m completely in love (with my boyfriend and the faucet).

Not only is it 100x more functional, it makes the kitchen look more updated!  Seriously, doesn’t the entire room look so much more modern with the new faucet?!

I don’t have any installation tips for you guys because my boyfriend did it while I was at work, but he said it was pretty easy and only took about 30 minutes. We’ve only been using the faucet for about a week and a half, but so far I’m completely happy with my purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for this type of kitchen faucet.

And with that, I only have a few items left on the kitchen to-do list. I’m hoping to find some new potholders and towels this weekend, so I can share some “after…for now” pictures of the kitchen next week.

To-Do List:
Add backsplash
Replace faucet
Update kitchen artwork
Create “Eat” sign
Create sign for above sink (to replace bon appétit sign)
Add accessories: potholders, towels, bamboo utensils/crock, oil/vinegar bottles

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CB2 - Novogratz Collection

This post brought to you by CB2. All opinions are 100% mine.

CB2 recently announced that they are partnering with husband-and-wife design duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz for their latest collection.

The CB2 and Novogratz Collection debuted at the beginning of May and was inspired by the Novogratz vacation home in Brazil. Just like their bold, colorful decorating style, the collection features pops of color mixed with warm woods. Items and price points range from colorful pillows for under $30 to the modern dupla credenza for $499.

My favorite item in the collection is the figueira swing chair ($149). Now that the weather is warming up, how amazing would it be to lounge in that chair with a cool drink?!

To celebrate the new collection, CB2 is hosting the CB2 and Novogratz Brasil Sweepstakes! You and three friends could win a one week stay at the vacation home of CB2 collaborators Bob and Courtney Novogratz in beautiful Trancoso, Brazil!

Ten other lucky winners will receive a $100 CB2 gift card plus a personally signed copy of the book “Home by Novogratz”. The sweepstakes runs from now through June 3rd. Enter via cb2.com/sweeps. #CB2NovogratzBrasilSweepstakes

Good luck and don’t forget to invite me if you win! My passport is ready! =)

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yellow Paint-Dipped Chair

The birds are singing and the flowers are bloomin’ - that means it’s time for the Spring Pinterest Challenge!

Today I’m joining Katie, Sherry, Emily and Renee in their challenge to stop pinning and start doing! I have almost 200 pins on my DIY Ideas board, so narrowing it down to one was tough. I decided to go with a project that’s featured a few different times in a few different ways on my board. The paint-dipped look!
1 – Two-toned Stools from This Messy Business via Pinterest
2 – Dipped Planters from Parties for Pennies via Pinterest
3 – Ombre Utensils from Everything Etsy via Pinterest

I also went with this idea because I already had everything on-hand for this project, so it was FREE! My favorite kind of project!
I started with these two chairs that I found on the curb while walking Ringo and Abby. See, it pays to take the dogs out and get some exercise! They were in good shape except for the scratched and peeling paint.

I stripped off as much of the black paint as I could and sanded down the rest. As you can see, the chairs were painted a rainbow of colors under that black paint. This is where chairs become chair in this story because this is as far as I got with the other chair.  

I tried to spray paint the chair, but it was taking WAY too much paint, so I ended up using a brush and small roller instead. I used some leftover Creamy by SW to paint the chair white. It already looks so much better!

And now for the finishing touch!
I measured 5” from the bottom of the leg all the way around and taped it off. I used my painting trick of sealing the edges of the tape with the original color (to prevent bleeding) on each of the legs.

Then I used a small foam roller to apply the yellow paint! It’s Sweet Mustard by Valspar. I had a jar of it from when they sent out free samples a couple years ago. Two coats of Sweet Mustard later:

Paint-dipped legs!

I still have to finish the second chair and then we can use them as our desk chairs in the office! I originally planned to buy chairs, but you can beat free paint-dipped chairs!

Office To-Do List:
Sell current desk on Craigslist
Clean out room
Replace outlets and switches with white ones
Build desk
Buy 2 chairs – removed from list
Paint 2 1 chairs
Buy pair of desk lamps
Buy and paint file cabinet
Mount TV on the wall
Create a gallery wall around the TV
Build pallet artwork
Buy sleeper sofa
Buy/build end table
Buy dresser
Paint dresser
Sew pillows
Add accessories

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Katie, Sherry, Emily, and Renee’s Pinterest Challenge projects!