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Guest Project: Samantha Sciotti’s Nightstand Update

29 Mar

Just a couple days ago I received a text message from our friend and former roommate, Sam, asking about the best ways to paint a piece of unfinished wood furniture. In return for our knowledge, she promised to take pictures of the process and send them our way:

Supplies:

Piece of unfinished furniture or wood

Paint or primer

Stain

Paint brushes

A piece of plastic on which to do this, if working on this indoors

Dry cloth or rag

photo 1

“I took an old Ikea night stand that I have had for years.”

photo 2

“Stenciled on a design I wanted”

photo 3

“Took primer and painted the areas I wanted white then used a stain and stained the whole night stand.”

photo 4

“I took a dry cloth and wiped down the white areas after because they seemed a little sticky but it wasn’t really necessary.”

photo 5And there you have it! In just a few simple steps, Sam turned this run-of-the-mill nightstand into a personalized piece with lost of character!

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100th Post- Blogs We Are Thankful For

22 Nov

We are excited to announce that this is our hundredth post! Thanks to everyone who has come along for the journey, and we can’t wait to share our next 100 projects with you.

We decided to pay it forward on this post and share with you a few of the blogs we love! In the Thanksgiving spirit- here are the top 10 blogs we are thankful for.

If you have a blog of your own that you would like to share- please post the url in our comments section and we will be sure to check it out. 🙂

The Jealous Curator – “A collection of artwork that inspires & depresses me. I know it’s good when I’m left thinking, Damn I wish I thought of that.” I couldn’t have said it better. This is the perfect site to visit to give your eyes a treat and view some fine art that is unique, beautiful, sometimes strange, but always impressive. -Emily

Design SpongeThis is definitely an example of a design blog done right. They cover everything from interiors, to interesting cities, to fashion, to (our favorite) DIY. Over the past few years Design Sponge has become a household name with a best selling book, over 75,000 hits a day, and New York Times even named it “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials”. One of the most impressive aspects of this blog is that it is updated around 6 times a day. (If Heather an I update 6 times in 2 weeks we are impressed with ourselves.) -Emily

Young House Love – The cutest little family with the most amazing blog. I stumbled across this blog on pinterest recently and it was where I originally heard the idea of raising your shower curtain to update your bathroom in my last blog. This family is full of amazing ideas and projects to update their new home, and I guarantee you will be as hooked as I am! -Emily

Made in a Day – The perfect site for all of you crafters out there. There are tons of easy DIY tutorials and there are always new blogs being featured. Two Girls was even featured a few times! She hosts awesome link parties every week too, and who doesn’t love a good party? -Emily

Knock Off Decor – Exactly what it sounds like. Find ways to make those expensive items at Pier 1, Anthropology, Williams-Sonoma, and more. And make them for much, much cheaper. Love. -Emily

Wellness MamaThis woman has done so much research and tried so many options in the quest for the healthiest life for her and her family. This blog is where she shares those tips with the world. With tips on living naturally and recipes galore, this site speaks to everyone. – Heather

Apartment Therapy – “Helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online.” But it’s WAY more than that! I was introduced to this site six months ago (Thanks Francine!!!) and have been hooked ever since. Whenever I am fresh out of ideas, this is the place I go to and just scrolling through the first page usually sets things in motion in my brain. -Heather

MoCo LocoI found this blog when I was studying interior design at SCAD and I spent hours devouring page after page of the site, and it quickly become a daily read. A lot of what they feature is industrial design and architecture, but I have also been introduced to many interesting artists through their posts. I am ever-inspired by the work that practicing designers are creating right now. -Heather

Extra Extra ExtraThe best thing about going to art school is meeting creative people, bouncing ideas off each other and being fueled by that energy. Lucky for me, my assigned dorm roommate ended up being this amazing artist and a great friend who I don’t get to catch up with as often now that we are separated by five states. This blog gives me a peek at what she’s up to, and nowadays she’s making it as a freelancer, which is such an inspiration for all those struggling artists out there. So snatch this lady up for your next project! -Heather

Design For MankindI honestly cannot describe to you how much I LOVE this blog. Every single post makes me excited, the writing is perfectly quirky and sincere, and the overall style is the most amazing combination of beautiful and weird. This site is my brain vacation. -Heather

Window Storage Cabinet

20 Aug

This project sort of just fell into my lap – I came home one day to an old window sitting in my driveway just asking to be repurposed. While scraping the old green paint off, I ran through a bunch of ideas in my head of what exactly to do with the window. By the time I chipped off as much green paint as possible, I had decided on turning the window into a clothes storage cabinet to replace the last piece of plastic dorm-style chest of drawers I had left. Adulthood here I come!

Supplies:

Old window

Scraper

Sand paper

Glass cleaner

Power drill

Paint brushes

Paint

Primer

L brackets

Door pull

Hinges

Plywood

Shelf pegs

Painter’s tape

Door catch hardware

Furniture feet and attachment hardware

Detail trim

Level

Measuring tape

Pencil

Storage bins

(This supply list looks a little daunting, but it’s mostly just the tools and hardware, I promise this was a pretty simple build)

Here’s the window – in rough shape and in need of some crafty loving care.

I found these scraping tools among my family’s tool collection, they worked great for the nooks and crannies of the trim around the window panes.

Scraped and sanded, I got to work measuring out the window to come up with a design for the cabinet.

Lucky for me, we had some scrap wood available that was perfect to build the structure of the cabinet with. I decided to go with three boards on the two sides and back to mimic the layout of window panes.

I used small L brackets to attach the sides to the top and bottom. At first it is really flimsy but once the shelves go in, the cabinet becomes very sturdy.

Here is the cabinet with two sides attached.

Here you can see the furniture foot attachment. It’s really easy to do and makes it easy to switch out the feet if you ever wanted to.

Now time to attach the window! I just used basic hinges and attached them to the inside of the cabinet. I ended up adding an extra L bracket to the top and bottom of the board the window is attached to. This helped to keep the board in place when the window swung open and close.

I marked where I wanted the shelves based off of where the horizontal mullions were and drilled holes for the shelf pegs. Once the cabinet was all built, I attached a door handle and a door catch so that the window would stay shut when closed.

After the cabinet was built, I decided I didn’t like the unfinished look of the top and bottom edges. So I went and picked up some simple decorative trim and attached with some finish nails.

Now for the fun part (sort of, haha)! I primed the whole cabinet and didn’t fuss with taping the windows off because I was feeling lazy.

I left the interior a glossy white(surprise, surprise) and painted the exterior a glossy fuschia.

I dreaded having the scrape the paint off the windows so maybe tape would’ve been a better idea. Though to get the paint off easily, I sprayed the windows down with Dirtex and let it sit for a few minutes and then took the tool above and just scraped away.

One of my major issues with this project was finding storage bins that I liked and weren’t ridiculously priced. Luckily, I found these bins at Home Goods for a decent price and if in a few years I get sick of them, I can easily just swap them out for a new set. The bottom shelf will be home to my printer, so the gaps between the boards work perfectly for all those cords!

I am excited to fill this up and put it to use! This project should have taken me just a couple days, but other things came up – projects, school, a wedding, so it was spread out over a few months. It was actually nice to work on this in stages, breaking it up into more manageable pieces and not rush through it just to get it done.

–Heather

Apartment Redesign

2 Jul
I told you guys I have been working on some big projects and I wasn’t lying! My friends Patrik and Francine live in a little studio apartment that was in desperate need of some reorganization and furniture upgrades. They had seen the work I had done for the blog and asked if I would be interested in helping out. A real life interior design project? Yes please!
Supplies:
A truck
Power tools
Lumber
Paint
Stain
Brushes
Wood glue
Wood putty
Screws
So here is a look at what the apartment looked like a couple months ago. The clothes armoire took center stage on the most prominent wall, along with a small shoe rack and some storage bins.
The couch was essentially unusable and sagging in the middle(as covered by the pillows).
The windows were blocked off by the tv, a desk, a catch-all table and other odds and ends. The bookshelf to the left also took up valuable floor space.
So with all these things in mind, I drew up a few quick sketches for a new desk, a shoe rack and some wall-mounted bookshelves.
With the sketches and a list of materials in hand, we headed to Home Depot and stocked up.
Patrik got to work drilling the holes for the shoe rack. We just used a couple 2×6 boards with 1/2″ wooden dowels as the shelves.
Once the shoe rack was put together, I sanded down all the dowels so they were flush with the boards, filled in any imperfections with wood putty and let dry.
Meanwhile, Patrik started drilling the holes for the shelves on the desk – we made a row of holes on each section so that the shelf height can be adjusted as needed. Also, you probably want to prop up whatever you are drilling onto something else so that you don’t accidentally drill holes into your floor. But if you do end up drilling through, rub a little olive oil(or any available oil) into the holes and no one will ever notice!
Here is the desk all put together. Afterwards we decided that the desk would look better with some feet on it, so we just picked some up at Lowes and screwed them onto the bottom.
Their pans were taking up a lot of counter space so we screwed some hooks to the underside of the shelves in the kitchen to hang them from.
Here is the shoe rack all painted. We had decided to paint one of the walls an accent color so the shoe rack corresponds with that.
The desk got a coat of stain to finish it off and the bookshelves were stained as well.
Here is the accent wall!
The bookshelves all in place above their bed – looks like Patrik and Francine can now expand their library!
We moved the armoire over to the wall where the couch was and put the shoe rack conveniently by the door.
The wall sconces were a faded brassy color so we gave them a facelift with a coat of sleek black paint and crisp new white shades.
The tv was mounted on the accent wall with the desk below. This allowed them to watch tv both from their new couch and from their bed.
We also found some organizers at Ikea that we mounted on the wall behind the computer to collect little office odds and ends – pens, pencils, mail etc.
I wish I had gotten a better picture of this. But we picked up a nice fairly new couch from a craigslist ad and almost everything is gone from in front of their windows. The last thing to do is frame and hang some artwork above the couch! We did all of these projects in a total of four full days, just spread it out over the course of about a month and a half. The total cost, including the couch, came to just around $500 – not too shabby for a couch, desk, shoe rack, bookshelves, tv mounting bracket and a fresh coat of paint on the accent wall! The apartment is so much more efficient now and really feels spacious.
–Heather

Tea Cart Upcycle

15 Apr

When my Aunt texted me last week saying she was getting rid of her antique tea cart, I couldn’t be more excited.  I had been waiting for an opportunity to try out a mosaic-like technique I saw on a coffee table a few months ago.  This turned out to be a great upcycle and an easy, FREE way to create a mosaic illusion under any glass surface.

Supplies:
Piece of furniture with glass
Paint Sample Cards
Spray Fixative
Exacto Knife
Spray Paint
Glue stick
Paper punch or scissors
This tea cart was pretty boring. All brass with 2 glass shelves.  I cleaned it off and sprayed it with Indoor/Outdoor Semi-Gloss white spray paint.

2 coats and it was good to go.
I went back inside and laid the glass shelves down on a white poster board I bought at Rite Aid for .99 cents. Then outlined the glass with a pencil.

I had this handy paper cutter that cuts perfect squares. Definitely made this project 100 times easier, I recommend picking one up in whatever shape you desire before doing this project.
The paint samples I picked up from Home Depot, they are free…so I filled up my purse. I’m pretty sure anyone watching thought I was crazy…but the end result of this project was so worth the 5 minutes of embarrassment in the paint aisle. 

Cut squares, cut squares, cut squares. 

This took the longest.
So with my hundreds of squares, I took a glue stick and glued them to my poster board within the outline that I had just traced.
Here is one of the mosaics right when I finished it. I was getting so excited at this point.
Molly played with the extra squares.
After I finished both mosaics for the top and bottom shelves, I laid my glass back down and used an exacto knife to perfectly cut the mosaic from the poster board.
I then sprayed some spray fixative lightly over the top of the mosaic, and laid the glass down on top.  This way, the poster board wouldn’t buckle under the glass shelf.
How fun! And so EASY and so CHEAP (free!). How could you pass up trying this out for yourself??
No one would ever guess those squares are paint samples.
I have big plans for this tea cart, this is just a temporary spot. Think: top porch garden! I’ll make sure to post pictures next week once we start fixing up our porch.
Now go steal some paint samples from Home Depot!
–Emily Jo

Furniture Facelift

5 Dec
This little shelf unit was redone for my friend’s mom and I was given free range to do whatever I wanted with it, so I was excited to see what I could come up with. This piece was in very rough shape when I picked it up, but I knew I could modernize it and make it functional again.
Supplies:
Sandpaper – a sander helped a ton on this project, but it could also be done by hand
Wood putty
Primer
Paint – latex and spray paint
Two drawer pulls
Acetate scrapbook paper
Spray adhesive
Painters tape
Paper towels
Paint brushes
This piece started out looking pretty beat up – a few holes right through the sides, the back was beginning to mold and lots of dings and scratches. So to begin with I took the back completely off and secured the drawer back into place.
After a quick sanding, I began patching up the holes.
Round two of sanding and it’s already starting to look better.
Time to prime!
So I had some pretty grand ideas for a mercury glass-esque faux finish for the top and sides of this piece. I used paper towels to cover the front and back and spray painted the top and sides a shiny silver.
Then I went in and painted the shelves beige and the front white.
Once I had given the faux finish a try, I knew it wasn’t going to come out how I was hoping so back to the drawing board(aka Michaels) I went. I came home with some clear acetate scrapbook paper with a black damask print on it. I also picked up this paper cutter that I’m not sure how I lived so long without. I cut the paper down to 2″x2″ squares so that they would fill the space evenly.
With the cutting all done, I layed out the squares like tiles, alternating the orientation of the pattern.
I was nervous for the gluing part, not knowing how the glue would show through the clear acetate, but ultimately it looked great. So I sprayed enough glue to lay down two rows at a time, making sure the glue didn’t dry out too much before I got to it.
This is the point where I decided I wasn’t loving the beige on the shelves and slapped a couple coats of the white paint on instead.
I also sprayed the top and sides down with a clear gloss, just to protect the squares a bit from lifting up.
Hopefully I can get a few pictures once it is installed in the McKelvey home!
–Heather
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