Bedroom Dresser

There’s a project I totally forgot to share with you! It’s a no big deal sort of project so I guess that’s why I forgot, but I’ll share it with you now!

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I painted this dresser in our bedroom! The dresser actually has a pretty neat story. My dad built the dresser over 30 years ago when he and my mom were expecting their first child. It since then was in the nursery for  my sisters and I. The dresser was hanging out in his basement, and he gave it to us when we needed a dresser for this spot in our bedroom. It’s really cool that my dad built it and we wanted to hang on to it, but the color just didn’t feel right for us. So I painted it.

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After sanding, I primed and painted. It’s always a bit scary looking after the first coat.

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After 30 years of use, there were a few cracks and gaps like this. Simple paintable caulk makes for a clean gap free dresser once painted.

While this was a simple little project, it did require patience. A nice paint job requires ample drying time between coats. I painted 4 coats of Valspar Paint Plus Primmer in Ultra white over the course of a few days. The longer you give between coats, the more durable your paint job will be.

People do ask about my painting techniques quite a bit so here’s a little refresher. I prefer to paint furniture with a brush. I find I like the look of subtle brush strokes instead of the shuttle bubbled finish of a piece painted with a roller. Although, I have had success using one of those small foam rollers. It’s just a matter of preference. When using a brush, pay close attention to you brush strokes. Brush in one direction,and apply thin coats. Be sure to check corners and edges. This is where I find I tend to have drips and funky brush strokes most often. Let each coat dry several hours before applying a new coat. I generally like to wait a minimum of 6+ hours between coats, but I often go ahead and let coats dry overnight. I typically caulk anything that needs it after the first coat of paint has dried. It’s easier to see what will need caulk after a coat of paint. Let the caulk dry for a couple of hours before moving on to the next coat of paint. If it’s a piece of furniture I want a really smooth coat of paint on, I often lightly sand between coats. If sanding between coats is involved, you want to be sure to let the coat of paint dry overnight first. Use a very light grit sand paper. The package of sandpaper will often specify that it’s for sanding between coats of paint. The same as for painting, sand in one direction. Wipe the piece down and move on to your next coat of paint. After the last coat of paint, I wait at least overnight before I replace hardware, doors, or drawers.

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There it is painted, and you might also notice I painted the bedroom walls white. Surprise, surprise! I also painted our dog-scratched door. I had already painted the exterior of the door but hadn’t get gotten to the inside. It now matches it’s black exterior. We need to clean up the hardware at some point, but who knows when we will get to that.

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Our bedroom is slowly, but surely, coming together…one little project at a time.

Still waiting patiently for the closet doors, but feeling hopeful it will be coming soon-ish.

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Baby Bump Body Pillow

There’s this ongoing joke between Shane and I about my sewing skills. He seems to think I should be able to whip out anything on the sewing machine. He has encouraged me to make clothes, sew entire couch covers, and many other things I’m totally not capable of doing! My sewing skills are completely limited to 8th grade home economics class at best, but because I’ve made the occasional curtains and pillow covers, Shane thinks I should be a pro or something. He just doesn’t get it. Sewing gives me anxiety! Something always goes wrong with the machine, and I just know far too little about it to not feel completely helpless. With all that said, I recently tackled a little sewing project anyway…

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I made a cover for a body pillow. My baby bump is getting bigger and bigger by the day, and sleeping is getting tougher and tougher. I felt like a body pillow would probably help me a bit. I have an aversion to buying on of those fancy pregnancy “c” pillows because I know I won’t be using it forever. This body pillow can stick around after the fact. Since body pillow covers are a bit harder to find, I decided to just make my own using some fabric I picked up at Ikea.

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First, I laid the pillow out to just get an idea of how wide I needed to cut my fabric. Once I decided on a measurement, I took a tape measure and measured all down one side and made my cut.

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I then cut another piece the same width, but longer. I needed this piece to be longer so that I could create an over lap in the back. The overlap will become the slot the you can take the pillow in and out of the cover for washing.

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I cut the longer piece of fabric in half, pinned, and hemmed one side of each piece. (And also prayed I wouldn’t have to wind a new bobbin. I’m pretty sure I never do that right.)

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I pinned the three pieces all together, making sure the right sides were all in and overlapping the two shorter pieces. Then you just need to sew al the way around the outside. I generally opt to just sew one side at a time instead of a continuous stitch all the way around.

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All you pro sewers are probably laughing at my technique, but it gets the job done. Once you turn the pillow case right-side-out all you can see are fairly nice seams. I’m pretty intimidated every time I pull the sewing machine out of the closet, but really little things like this are super easy and quick! This really only took me about 20 minutes tops. I can handle a little anxiety for 20 minutes. I have plans to make several pillow covers for the pillows going on the nursery day bed. We will see if they go over as well as this little job! Keep your fingers crossed!

I’ll show you the pillow on the bed soon, along with a few other little bedroom surprises!

 

 

Nursery Project #1

Let the nursery fun begin!!! We found out that we are having a little girl, so now we can officially start putting together her nursery! I’m pretty excited about this step. I think the idea of bringing home a baby is going to feel a lot more real when we have a space to bring her home to. Unfortunately, it may be a while before the space is completed. We have quite a bit of work to do in the nursery. I’ll post pictures of it’s current state soon. We have yet to really touch that bedroom since we moved in 6 years ago. There’s lots of plaster patching that needs to be done. We will be doing the ceilings like the rest of our house.

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The nursery and the bathroom are the only ceilings we haven’t gotten to yet. They are still the ugly stomp ceilings…EEEEEK!

We will also be building a custom closet for the bedroom, much like what we did in our bedroom. (When I say “we” I totally mean Shane will be building a custom closet like the one he built for our bedroom.)

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So we’ve got some fairly hefty projects to do in the spare room, and Shane is the ringleader of hefty projects. Unfortunately, he is currently on his way to Colorado for work and I don’t expect him back at home full time until about November. So no matter how incredibly nest-y I’m feeling, there isn’t much I can do about it for what will feel like a very long few months! (Sad Face!)

Instead, I’m trying to busy myself with planning and all the small projects I can do in the meantime. So what’s the plan?

Nursery Plan

The day we found out we were having a little girl, we made a run to Target and I just so happened to stumble upon these notebooks. (My apologies for the terrible quality internet picture I found.) I instantly fell in love. Thus, I bought them and they became the inspiration for the nursery. Shane was totally onboard, too. I loved the colors. I knew I didn’t want a “Pink vomited all over the place” nursery, but I also like a little bit of soft pink. We both really loved the flowers, too. They are sweet, but also have a bit of sophistication to them.

I was SUPER anxious to get going with any sort of project for the nursery. So, I jumped right in! Shane and I had a lamp sitting around and we hadn’t really known what to do it. I decided it would be a perfect fit for the nursery, but had planned on buying a new white lamp shade for it. Then I got to thinking….What if I just painted the flowers on the shade? If it didn’t turn out well no biggy. I had planned on buying a new one anyway.

So here’s what I started with.

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This is the lampshade we had on hand, but it wasn’t going to work in the plan. So I just went ahead and painted it a soft teal like in the inspiration print. I just used acrylic paint because that’s what I had. (Again, sorry for these not so great pictures. I was hanging out at Shane’s workshop, where the lighting is poor, and all I had was my iPhone.)

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Once I had the lampshade painted, I roughly sketched my flowers all the way around. Then I started to paint them in solid.

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After they were all painted in solid and dry, the fun part began!

Painting the detail!

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That’s me getting my detail on! It was super fun, because the little one kicked the entire time I painted her lampshade. I think she’s excited about it!

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Once the detail was done, I was totally in love! It’s now such a sweet little lampshade perfect for our little girl’s nursery! The best part is…I don’t have to buy a new lampshade now!

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And there it is on the lamp it now belongs to! Shane and I both worried that it might end up looking a bit funny when the lamp was on, but we have good news! It doesn’t look funny at all. Mostly, light doesn’t come through the shade anymore except on the teal parts without the flowers. There are parts that let little dots or lines of light through that kind of gives it an antique kind of feel. I really actually like it.

So, the first nursery project was a total success!!! It’s time to get on to more!

 

REMODELISTA Feature!

It’s an exciting time for Shane and I and our little blog! We’ve gained a bit of attention, which always feels nice! About a week ago, I received an e-mail from the fine people at Remodelista. They wanted to feature our ceilings on their blog, too! We are honored when anyone wants to share our hard work! We, of course, said yes!

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There’s our ceiling hanging out on their website! Click the above picture to follow the link to the post and read all about it!

Be sure to check out the rest of the website for some truly great content! For those of you that loved our DIY dining room light be sure to check out this post!

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Click the above picture for a much easier and cheaper Lindsey Adelman DIY similar to ours! Trust me when I say, “Go for the easier one!” It’s just as beautiful!

A BIG HUGE thanks to Remodelista! It’s been such a pleasure working together!

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Apartment Therapy Beadboard Ceiling Follow Up

Well, we’ve officially hit it big! Hahaha just kidding, but give me just a minute to be excited about it anyway! Whooot whooot we were on Apartment Therapy! It’s exciting no matter how big or small it actually is!

Now that all the unnecessary celebration is out of the way…Our little blog has gotten a ton of traffic on THIS post all about our ceiling makeovers. With the added traffic, I’ve been getting requests for additional information on this project. So, here we go!!! I’m going to try to give you as much (probably too much) information as I possibly can!!

We started with ceilings like this…

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While I am uncertain of the technical term for this texture, we referred to them as AWFUL….Just plain AWFUL! On top of the awful texture, we had years of previous water damage and terrible repair jobs to portions of the ceilings in our living room. I’m still kicking myself for not getting pictures of the really terrible areas, but I have a picture of a terrible (but really not so terrible in comparison) area that was in our dining room.

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This picture was taken mid kitchen renovation, so please don’t judge me on the dust. We knew all the the leaks had been fixed. We had the roof replaced a few years back and there haven’t been any further leaks, so we new it was finally time to tackle the awful ceilings. Please believe me when I say, “The picture above isn’t half as bad as what the living room ceiling was.” Salvaging what was there with repairs really wasn’t an option at all. Not to mention the face that we HATED the texture.

So, the brain storming began. The first option was, obviously, to tear down the ceilings and start new. You fellow DIY’ers know what I mean when I say that just the idea of all the dust made me want to pull out my hair. That option was just out for us. The next option was to drywall over the existing ceiling, but there’s still the dust of finishing the drywall that I didn’t want to deal with. I have ALWAYS liked the look of coffered ceilings. I think they are beautiful. There’s something about a fancy ceiling that just seems so lush to me. I knew a traditional coffered ceiling wouldn’t work for us, though. Our ceilings are just too low at only 8 feet. So that option was out, as well. I first suggested the idea of MDF beadboard and trim years ago. It took Shane quite a while to commit to the idea. I’m not sure he was catching my vision of the “lightly coffered” look. Eventually, he just just jumped in. We are risk takers, and I have to say usually it pays off….USUALLY.

We started with our bedroom. It felt like less of a commitment than the living ares just in case we hated it. It gave us a chance to get our feet wet with the project, too. We were in the midst of a complete bedroom renovation repairing walls and a custom closet build. So, we opted to do all our cutting and sawing right in the bedroom since it was already a mess with dust anyway. If you aren’t mid renovation the cutting could easily be done outside. It would save you a ton of clean up.

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First off… the beadboard.

We are pretty much regulars at Lowe’s. It’s our go to place for any project. So here is the beadboard we went with.

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Our bedroom is an 11’x15′ rectangle so the layout was pretty simple. We needed 6 sheets of the 4’x8′ beadboard. Then we purchased enough MDF 1×4 boards to do the trimming. When it comes to starting the instillation, be sure to measure and plan out your layout first. We measured and used chalk lines to plan out the grid, keeping in mind getting the most out of our material and starting in the middle. Since we have a light fixture in the center of our bedroom we wanted a seam to run through the light fixture. We liked the idea of the light fixture being on the “beams” vs. hanging out in the middle of one of the squares.

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Once we had our chalk lines, we started nailing up the panels. We did have to cut a few inches of the length of each panel and a few inches of the width to get it all to fit. While you want fairly clean cuts, remember that all the seams will be covered so you have a little play room. We used 18 gauge 2″ finish nails to nail the panels up once they were cut. A nail gun is a lifesaver on this step! We started nailing in the center of the panel and nailed out to the edges. It’s important to nail from the middle first to keep the panels from bowing and bubbling. Though, we didn’t have a specific rhyme or reason for how many nails went into each panel, I would say each panel probably got at least 10 nails. We tried to nail in the groves of the panels because we figured it would be easier to fill and hide the nail holes in the groves than out on the flat surfaces.

There are two things to note on this portion of the project…. First being, it’s nearly impossible to get the panels perfectly flat without a little bit of bowing. The panels have a ton of give so they will bow a little, but once the trim is up, the ceiling is caulked and painted the bowing is really really hard to detect. The second thing to note is that occasionally the nails will pull all the way through the panels. You don’t want to use nails with a real big head because then they will be hard to disguise later on. Finish nails work best but expect some of the nails to pull through. Just remember that the trim adds a lot of added reinforcement to the whole thing.

Once all the panels are up, it’s time to add trim!

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First, you need to trim around the perimeter of the room. We used the same 1×4 on its end, but this is were you could do crown molding if that’s your thing. We wanted it to be a bit more plain, however. Once you have all the exterior trim up you can start trimming the interior seams. We wanted the center “beam” that the light ran through to be a little beefier and more of a statement. So, We ran two 1×4’s side by side and then one on top to cover the seam. A square block was cut for the light to mount to since the base of the light was bigger than 4″ across. Then, we just had four more interior seams to cut trim for. We used the same finish nails for all the trim, but this is where you could use a little bit bigger nails for extra reinforcement. T

here’s really only one thing to note on this portion of the project. At this stage the wave of the beadboard becomes even more visible because it’s up against the straighter lines of the trim. You will see gaps in places between the trim and the panels. Don’t freak out!!! Caulking around all the trim does WONDERS. It will really look perfect once it’s been caulked and painted, which is your next step!

I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. Caulking all of this is TERRIBLE! It’s a slow slow process. Just keep your eye on the prize! if you haven’t done much caulking in the past, be patient with yourself. You will get a lot better at it as you go on. You want to be sure to caulk around every edge of the trim. It’s painful, but well worth it I promise you.

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Since our bedroom went so well, we tackled the ceilings in our living room, dinning room, and kitchen!

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I’m glad we got our feet wet with the bedroom and the living room first. They are simple rectangular rooms. It was very easy to decide the layout. The picture below is our dining room and that’s where we had a few head scratching pow wow’s about the best possible layout. Our kitchen and dining room are two separate rooms with a very large opening instead of a doorway. So the ceiling flows as one room.

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Our biggest hurdle was continuing the lights in the “beams” theme that we started in the bedroom and living room. We liked where the lights were but it if we started with our beams there, we would end up with little 1 to 2ft “coffers” around the edges of the dining room and kitchen. We hated that idea. We wanted all the squares to be pretty uniform. We felt like it would be way too distracting to have little squares at the edges. So we had to make a risky call. Even thought the dining room and kitchen are open to one another, we had to make the panels different widths in each room. It was no more than a 6″ difference, but we were still pretty scared about the difference as we were putting the ceiling up. It seemed like the best option. We didn’t want our lights outside of the “beams” and we didn’t want to have little squares around the edges. The edge panels are still a little bit smaller than the center panels but not significantly enough to tell. In fact, you can’t really detect any of the differences at all! If this is a project you plan to tackle yourself, keep that in mind. You aren’t tied to 4×8 squares just because the panels are 4×8. Sometimes it works out to make them all a little smaller to keep from having strange end pieces. My biggest suggestion is to really spend some time figuring out what layout works best for your space. Measure, draw it out, and then do chalk lines on your ceiling to be sure you feel good about it. Just diving in and starting from the middle often won’t look the best.

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We did these ceilings in the middle of our kitchen renovation. A couple of these picture were taken before the kitchen was complete.

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Some other little tidbits and things to think about:

One MAJOR thing to note is that if you have drywall ceilings you will want to be sure that you are finding studs and nailing the panels into studs. Plaster, which is what we have, makes it a little easier because there are wood lath boards behind the plaster spanning the entire ceiling. the nails will hold in wood, but not so much in just drywall. If you have drywall I would suggest first laying out a furring strip system running perpinducular to the studs and that is nailed into the studs. Then, you could nail your beadboard to the furring strips. This method wouldn’t be a bad idea in any scenario, that way you are certain that everything is securely nailed to studs.  Here’s a picture as an example.

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By the time we got to the kitchen and dining room we got smart with the painting. We ended up painting the panels with a roller once they were on the ceiling, but before we put up any of the trim. It made the painting a little faster, because we only had to paint the trim once it had been caulked.

Since we were renovating our kitchen at the same time we were doing the ceiling, we were able to plan our cabinet placement around the trim we new we would be putting up. If you have cabinets mounted to the ceiling, it’s likely you won’t have the space for 1×4 trim around the top. You will either need to consider different trim or move your cabinets to work. I think it really looks best to have the trim around your cabinets match the trim that’s around the rest of the ceiling. If your cabinets aren’t mounted up to the ceiling you have nothing to worry about.

The light’s in the “beam” scenario doesn’t work in every case, like our pendant lights in the kitchen. Consider making “platforms” for lights that don’t hit a beam to mount to. I think it looks a little cleaner and more intentional than a light that’s just hanging out in the middle of one of the square pieces of beadboard

Don’t forget to fill in all your nail holes as well as caulking the edges of the trim.

There was a panel in our bedroom that seemed to start bowing a little more after a few weeks. We just popped in a few extra nails and problem solved.

Though we have not yet done these ceilings in our bathroom, we do plan to. I think we are going to cut the panels down and use smaller squares, because of the added humidity in a room like the bathroom, there’s a chance for more bowing. I feel certain smaller squares will solve this problem. I would not want to do smaller squares in bigger rooms because of the added cost of extra trim and the extra caulking time, but our bathroom is small enough that it won’t make a significant cost or time difference.

The ceiling in our bedroom had been up for a year and I love it just as much now as I did the day we did it!

I wish I had kept better track of the expense of this project, but I didn’t. :/ Fail. 12ft 1×4 boards are $8.76 a piece at Lowe’s, and the panels are $19.97 a piece. My “guesstiment” is that our 11’x15′ bedroom was just under $200 before caulk and paint. No it’s not a spare change kind of project, but we have never regretted the investment for a minute. Our house feels SOOOOOO much nicer.

One person has asked about the paint we used. We used Valspar. The color is Ultra White in a satin finish. Please note that Ultra White is VERY white. It works for us because all of our walls and trim is painted in Ultra White, but if your trim is already white I would try to match that. Likely Ultra White will look much brighter than your existing white trim.

I hope this helps everyone considering tackling this project! we absolutely LOVE it! Our ceilings are not an understated focal point. They don’t jump out at you but it’s a pleasant surprise once you notice them. Even though our ceilings are now a tiny bit shorter they actually feel much taller since they are such a cleaner look!

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West Elm Rug Samples

One of my absolute favorite stores is West Elm. I don’t really buy things there often, but I love to check it out just for inspiration. It’s fun to see all of their products together and all styled. A few weeks ago, I dropped in to West Elm to do my usual inspiration shopping, and I found these…

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Here’s the story… West Elm sells beautiful rugs, absolutely beautiful. They sell rug samples so that you can take it home and make sure it works in your space before you make the big purchase. Then, you can simply exchange the sample for the real deal. Well they obviously discontinue and change out their rugs occasionally, and the little (they are about 18×18 I think) samples get left behind. West Elm then sells the old samples for $4.99! I couldn’t resist! They are so beautiful and fantastic quality. I just knew I’d use them somewhere. I picked out several that I felt coordinated and I plan to stitch together my own rug. Then I picked out a couple more that I liked for other odds and ends projects. One of the workers at the store also suggested that they make great placemats.

Want to see my first project involving these samples?

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I made a pillow! So here’s what I did… The rug sample is very heavy weight. I figured my sewing machine couldn’t handle it. So I picked up some cream fabric for the back and cream embroidery floss and sewed this bad boy by hand. I sewed three sides of it inside out to hide the stitching, and the final side I sewed after I had stuffed the pillow.

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It was a nice watching TV project. I don’t have enough of those kinds of projects, where I can just sit and zone out for a bit. It was a welcomed change. This pillow is a bit itchy and scratchy so it’s not the kind of pillow you want to use to nap, but it’s a nice pillow for your lap while hanging out on the couch. I tried to offset the scratchiness by making sure to not over stuff it and use very soft cushy stuffing. It makes it a very pliable pillow, and that helps with comfort. I really love the way it turned out, and it’s a nice addition to our couch pillows. I’ll have to take a picture of it sometime when there isn’t a couple of dogs using it as their own personal pillow. One West Elm sample rug project down and a few more to go!

What’s Shane Been Up To?

Shane has had a whole slew of projects happening lately, but one of his most recent has been a custom closet build. The bedroom it went into had a little nook area, where the owners had put up some generic polls and shelves, but it just wasn’t working well. It just looked messy, and it wasn’t the best use of space. So Shane built a closet similar to the one he built for our own closet!

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I wish we had before pictures so you could really see how big of an improvement this is! He really did a beautiful job! It has a really pretty deep brown finish on the inside. He spent a lot of time working on this. He built it in his workshop at home and then just installed it there.

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I feel certain that Shane is going to be building more and more things as time goes on. I’m excited to see what he does next! His newest project is going to be an exciting one!