Saturday, August 29, 2015

An Office Affair

   We have a formal dining room at the front of the house. Do we need a formal dining room? My friends, we do not. What I did needed was an office.  So, I got a desk and set the formal dining room up as my office. I tried to decorate the big, empty wall.

Eh. It was okay. But lacked the wow factor for me. I decided I could do better.

I love mirrors. I have tons of them. Rather than keep them stored, I decided to use them. All of them. And I like the look.

 Ah yes, I will get work done here.

This is our old custom built entertainment center. Looked like poo in our living room, so I decided to make it into a bar. It is not quite finished. Maybe one day I will get around to finishing it and posting some pictures. Maybe.

Antique Shutter Tutorial

There are  a couple of ways to make something look faux antique. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to make that lovely little antique paint-peeling look is to use school glue. Yes, you heard me correctly, school glue.

I used this method to antique some vinyl shutters I picked up from the big box store.

You will need:
Paint for the areas that will show through the cracks (latex, acrylic)
School Glue
Paint for your top coat (latex)
Project surface

I started my adding the color that will show underneath the antique crackle. I used several colors of spray paint, hoping to achieve a weathered wood look. I concentrated on the areas that would naturally weather

And then I decided that I wanted to add some unexpected weathering. You know, just because

Plain old, school glue

Nicely layered on, I used a brush to even it out

 Add a top coat of (latex) paint in the color of choice

 See the magic begin

And the finished product dries with a weathered, cracked appearance

Awkward Things in My Living Room Pt 2

   I have huge blank walls. In almost every room. Blank walls. What's a girl to do? I am pretty sure I reached the end of the internet trying to find a solution. And all of Pinterest. All of it. In the end I decided to tackle this problem one blank wall at a time. First blank wall to tackle? The living room.
  Another consideration I had for this project was our television and where the cable outlet is located.  I think the intention when placing the cable outlet was to allow for the television to be mounted over the fireplace (if you like seeing a cord snaked around the fireplace by all means...) I am not a fan of the over the fireplace television. It would just make my already awkward living room more awkward considering my current furniture placement.

   I decided to wall mount the television on the giant blank wall

Check out this poor, awkward television and Ikea Hemnes television stand.  You know what is better than one Ikea Hemnes television stand?

Three Ikea Hemnes television stands. This still looks pretty awkward.

Innovation! I decided I wanted to add shutters to the wall. I searched high and low for antique, distressed shutters. I could not find the shutters I wanted that were in my price range or the look I wanted. In the end I decided to buy exterior shutters from the big box store and make them look distressed. I know this will be shocking, but I actually took pictures of this process so there will be a tutorial later. Please don't faint on me, there is more to see.

Hm. A big, blank space still remains. What can be done?

What's this? These are two vinyl lattice panels from Home Depot. They are available in different patterns. I mounted and framed these panels for a unique focal point
Here is the semi-finished product. I still need to hide the television wires and add more accessories.

Cost of this project: Approx $500.00 including three television stands, shutters, vinyl lattice

Awkward Things in My Living Room Pt 1

Each house presents it's own set of challenges for certain spaces. My house is not the exception to the rule. Take my living room for example. I have this awkward gas fireplace just floating in the middle of the wall. How does this even remotely look like a real fireplace? It doesn't.

   I came up with an idea to add a wooden box underneath the fireplace to simulate a hearth. Did I take pictures of this? Nope. I always forget until the end when I think, "I should have taken pictures of this process, I bet someone else would love to know how I made this." Sorry I am so selfish.
  Could I leave good enough alone? Did I stop at building the wooden hearth box? Goodness no! I decided to add faux stone too! There is a lovely little product that is called Airstone. It's a product that looks like a cross between a tile and a stone. These light weight stone tiles are installed very similar to tile (no grouting required!). Each box of product includes various sizes and colors to achieve a very realistic appearance. 
   The Airstone is available in several color kits. I chose the Spring Creek color kit (grays). Here are some of my pictures of the project process.

 I am a very messy DIYer

 And a poor taker of pictures

 Almost done

The final product with the wooden hearth box in place

    The manufacturers and other DIYers state that this product can be cut with a hacksaw. I had far too much cutting for this project for this to be an option. I used a tile saw to cut the Airstone with good success. Because of the shape of the walls I had to angle, miter, bevel, and back bevel the Airstone. I would recommend this method of cutting.
    Make sure you switch up your pattern. When I found myself repeating a pattern I would suddenly make a switch- turn a tile vertical vs horizontal, make a different shape by cutting a tile, choosing a different color.
   And for heaven's sake make sure that you plan for enough product. I purchased my particular set because of the color and it was on sale! (less than $40 a box). If I had not measured and planned for sq footage +1 box I might have been very sorry.  When I went back to pick up more adhesive someone had purchased all of the remaining boxes.

Total cost of project: Approx $300.00

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bathroom Floating Shelves

I've always wanted house with 10ft ceilings and I finally have one. Now all I can think about is all the wasted space I see. Take this area of the master bathroom:

Sorry, I always remember to take pictures AFTER I start the project

So what to do with this space? I did some research and decided on floating shelves. Here's how it turned out.
Ahh. No more wasted space. I got the idea and tutorial from desertdomicile

New House

We started off the new year in a new house in a new place. Let's see the overview

I've already got a list so long it leaves the hubby groaning. Some things I can tell you will be in upcoming projects will be:

1) Kitchen backsplash
2) Shelves in the master bathroom
3) Install a linen closet/cabinet behind master bedroom door in a completely weird space/area
4) Build a new entertainment center because I hate hate hate hate the one we had in the Texas house in this house
5) Build a corner entertainment stand for the master bedroom
6) Built a built in banquette/table in the eat-in kitchen
7) Insulate sunroom/add a decorative ceiling
8) Build an outdoor fire pit
9) Build a coffee station
10) Fix the fireplace situation - it makes me nuts seeing the fireplace hanging in the wall like that.

And in the future:

Replace flooring (tile)
Turn the formal dining room into a library
Master bath- replace tile around tub, reconfigure shower, add heated/tiled floor

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Been A Long Year

Okay, so I know I promised updates forever ago. Sorry about that. A lot has gone on in the past year. It started with my husband being sent to Korea for a year and upon his return we were going to be moving. This is par for the course being a military family.
Matt helped me finish up what he could before he left and then I completed the rest and put the house on the market. The house was under contract within 24 hours of being listed. Awesome!
It was a bittersweet parting. We worked hard on the house and it paid off. But we didn't really get to enjoy the house being completed.

I did take pictures, but I have to warn you...they are pretty bad. I am going to blame it on how darn busy I was. I will try to include before pictures if I happen to have them. I am really bad about the before pictures. Sorry y'all.

Remember this?

I had made a few updates, but was still not happy.

Here's how it ended up!
I removed the cabinet doors here

I will be searching for some before pictures for the rest of the house. Until then, enjoy the after pictures!