Sunday, November 2, 2014

how I found my way - a time of reflection

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Oh, how easy it is to attempt to plan our own way without relying fully on Him and the plan that He has already laid out before us. It is in our darkest hour, that He reminds us that He is in control. Sometimes the nice guy finishes last, and that's okay. Be kind. Be genuine. Pay it forward. Do something you love. 

To speak of something I love, I now present the Ikea dresser hack!

The master bedroom is lovely, but was definitely lacking in storage. Insert, the Tarka dresser from Ikea. I hunted around interested and gathered a few of my favorite ideas. I couldn't be more thrilled with final the result!

Hand me down vase (spray painted gold of course), jewelry case from TJ Maxx (only $20!) and a darling picture of the most precious goddaughter of all time!

Wooden monogram instantly fancied by a few coats of gold spray paint!

The added touch of the gold brackets completely ties together the look. I picked up 6, 4 pack for about $2 each at Lowes. Bonus, already gold/brass!

I replaced the original wooden knobs with these funky gold and ivory knobs from Anthropologie! I love the fun detail that they added. At $18 each, there were definitely the splurge item for this project. See similar knobs from Anthro, here.

Mr. added small felt pads behind the drawers to keep the from slamming.

This is what the dresser started as! At $149.99, this was definitely a budget friendly project compared to some dressers that I have been coveting on OKL and Joss and Main. 

I started by lying each piece in my covered garage, sitting on bricks, to allow for good even coverage on all sides. 

BIN Primer by Zinsser is great for sealing knots in wood and ensuring a sleek and even surface for painting. I use it for 99% of my projects.

For the primer, I used a 4'' roller for 'doors and cabinets.' Between coats, I wrapped the paint tray and roller in saran wrap to keep everything from drying out and having to open a new roller and tray. That little trick works great!

First coat done! I applied three even coats, waiting about 3-4 hours between each application. 

Second coat done! You can still see some of the knots and wood grain. 

Third coat done! After the third coat, I waited 24 hours before starting with my colored paint. 

Everyone has their own preference for paints, but I really like the new Valspar Hydrochroma paint featured at Lowes. It has excellent coverage and when it comes to paint, you definitely get what you pay for!

For the colored paint, I used a medium nap, full size roller to ensure smooth even coats of color of the orange paint I had picked. 

Again, for the color, I applied 3 even coats, waiting about 6-24 hours between each coat of the Valspar. 

I brought the all the painted portions inside for the third and final coat to prevent any environmental dust, leaves, straw, etc from attacking my finish. After allowing the surface to dry for 48 hours, I assembled the drawers. After the drawers were assembled, I applied 2 even coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I bought a thick brush specially for application of this type of finish and followed the instructions on the can exactly to get a perfect, protective finish!

Next came the knobs and brackets. I have to admit, this was the part I was most excited about!

#sweetizzygirl even helped me with this one! I think she loves the final look! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I got stripes

For nothing will be impossible with God
Luke 1:37

I must admit, there are times that I question this, and one of those times was during my most recent project. I truly felt like this one might be impossible, but I was going to give it my A+ effort nonetheless, and would not stop until I was done. I was on a mission, and I got stripes! (Get it?? Anyone??) 

To say that I love the final product is a gross understatement! But, let me tell you this my friends, things did not start out so gorgeous. I've been scanning design magazines for months and months and months and two of the things that I was adamant about for our little house were hardwood floors installed at a diagonal, CHECK (blogpost coming soon!) and horizontal stripes on the walls of one room. Because the main living area includes the kitchen, dining and living rooms, I knew the horizontal stripes would be a bit overkill for that area. That left one of the bathrooms… no way, too much work for one small room which would end up looking too busy OR the guest bedroom. Bingo! Guest bedroom it is! Now that I decided I was actually going to move forward with stripes, I thought it over and gathered up the supplies that I thought I'd need. Let me start by saying that once I decide I am going to do something, I do it. These pictures are not professional grade because 1. I am not a professional photographer and 2. I get so excited about my projects that I have to force myself to stop working to grab my iPhone for a quick second to take a shot. 

You really only need a handful of supplies for this project. It is relatively inexpensive but packs a huge punch if you have the time and patience to do this yourself. 

I collected:
one roll of painters tape to mark my lines
a pencil
tape measure
laser level (that will attach to the wall)
step stool (so that I could reach the higher stripes to be made)

First, I measured the total height of the walls so that I could calculate the width of the horizontal stripes that I would paint. This would be based on the final number of stripes that I wanted. My walls were ~90 inches so I knew that I could paint 6 total stripes and easily measure out each horizontal stripe to 15 inches. Get it? 15inches x 6stripes is equal to 90 inches/wall height

After that calculation, I went around to each corner of the room and measured/marked increments of 15inches from the floor to the ceiling. I did this on each wall at the door frames as well. Because I wanted to ensure this project turned out well, I measured in increments of 15 a few inches over from each corner and door frame too. This way, I had a measured place where I could stabilize my laser without compromising how straight my lines would turn out by the doors and corners of the room. Check out the picture above to see exactly what I mean. 

After all of the marks had been made, I used my laser level to reach mark to mark. 

I decided that the first stripe would be the base wall color. I had already trimmed around the baseboards with the base coat and didn't want to create extra work for myself. This meant that the second stripe would be in color 2. To ensure that the stripe that would get painted would be the fill 15 inches wide, I placed the painters tape below the first laser line. 

Because I knew that I would have 6 total stripes, all in equal width, once the project was over, I marked whether the tape was above or below the stripe to be painted. Before I started marking the stripes with painters tape, I had applied a solid, even coat of paint that I wanted to be one of the stripe colors. This ensured that I had even coverage for my base color. 

This picture shows the arrows that I drew on the painters tape all around the room. Those arrows in the picture above indicate that the stripe above the tape would be painted. 

To create the full 15 inch horizontal stripe, I put the tape ABOVE the laser line for the top of that painted stripe. Now the area between those two tape lines will be painted and measured the full 15inches.  

This picture better shows the difference in the tape-marked stripe widths. Again, each stripe is marked whether the painted stripe will be painted above or below the tape lines. 

Here you can see my order. There are six stripes marked in total. Like I said before, from floor to ceiling I decided that I wanted DARK, light, DARK, light, DARK, light. My tape always stayed on the DARK paint side of my laser when making the stripe lines, ensuring the appropriate width for the light lines that would get painted. 

I'm sure that you can do this project without a laser, but because I marked all of the lines myself, I didn't think it would hurt to use this little guy that we already had around the house. If you don't have one, you can find this Black and Decker laser level on Amazon for about $10. For me, this would definitely be worth the investment. Black and Decker is not paying me for this endorsement and I don't have any type of affiliation with their company, I just know that it was a huge help during my project!

Now that all of my lines were taped off, I started to paint, carefully following my arrows that indicated which stripes needed to get painted with the contrasting color.

Wow, I was actually starting to see progress!

I applied two coats of the lighter paint to ensure I got full coverage before I even thought about peeling the tape.

I waited two long and torturous days to remove that tape. I had been so patient during this project that I did not want to spoil my walls with hasty removal!

It was love at first sight!

And second!

And third! We finally had a room that was done and could be decorated!

I used my antique oak dresser and bed from college (yes, college, I bought them as investment pieces knowing that I would have them for years) for our guest room, along with some other pieces I picked up. The lamp came from my local Home Goods and the vase and frame came from Target. 

This painting belonged to my late grandmother, Mottie. It is so special that I have this in my home now and reminds me of her every time that I walk past it! I had these books in my collection and decided decorate them since our storage space is limited in our little house.

Old and new linens (all from Pottery Barn) give this room such a cozy, but modern feeling. I love all of the different elements that make this the perfect guest room for our little house! 



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

in case you've been wondering where I've been

But all things should be done decently and in order
1 Corinthians 14:40

Hello! I'm still here, but in case you've been wondering where I've been…

Surprise! The floors are on a diagonal in the house and to say that I LOVE them is a gross understatement. I am obsessed. I think they are gorgeous. Magnificent. Stunning. Beautiful.  Do you understand how I feel about them?!

The floors in the master bedroom will be done once this small area and the two closets gets floors down in them. The baseboards are down and have already been painted 'Swiss Coffee' by Valspar. It's hard for me to even remember what all the wood looked like when it was stained in a 90s version of honey oak.

Oh wait, just kidding! This is what it looked like! I still can't believe how far we have come considering the state that the house is still in (We also updated the closets with a Rubbermaid system to optimize storage in the small spaces. I'll share more on that later, too!)

This is the entrance to the master bedroom from the hall. I, I mean we, chose 'Blue Arrow' (also by Valspar). 

Looking into the master from the hall, the laundry room is on the left and got a much needed makeover with a little paint. I can't wait to share the final transformation of that tiny little room!

Ground Zero.
This is where every box of hardwood floors gets opened and sorted before we start arranging and nailing them down.

Welcome to our living room! Why yes, that is our new queen mattress brand new that we've had for 6 months and haven't slept on yet because we are waiting to get everything finished before we take of the protective covering. And yes, there is no 'living' going on in this room, only renovating and working. 

Yes, we do have a drying rack in our living room to hang up our towels because the bathroom that isn't ripped down to the studs doesn't have towel racks in it. I must admit, I may have been hasty in the 'demolition' phase of the remodel.

The struggle is real, people. Our cabinet doors still aren't back up after being refinished, but here is a peek into the kitchen after updating cabinets. And yes, that is a tub of spackling on our kitchen counter. I told you the struggle was real!

I feel like we've been working on putting down our floors for months (well actually, we have), but we were able to save THOUSANDS of dollars by purchasing 'imperfect' floors. This translates to us having to sort each of the forty something boxes of flooring that we got, literally, board by board. Once we got a good system for sorting and organizing them, it became much easier to keep up with. Now, when we are working, I know where to go for exactly what we need. The time investment has been much more significant than if we had gotten 1st quality flooring, but the $8-10,000 savings was worth a few more months of construction, at least in my eyes. Don't ask Charlie, I don't think he'll share my sentiment. I will share more of our adventure in installing our own hardwoods floors later, but I wanted to give an update of the progress that we've made since I've been slacking on the blog front.

These pictures aren't perfect. Neither is life. Or the condition of our house at the moment. Or moving into a house and renovating with your spouse during your first year of marriage. When all is said and done, I know that we will love our little house even more knowing how much we did ourselves and all the bumps and bruises along the way. 


PS. I've also gotten busy working on refinishing a dining room table that was given to us from Charlie's parents. Not only is it the perfect size for our little kitchen, it's solid wood. I made sure to snap pictures along the way of this project and will share a little DIY when it's all finished!