Inspiration: Side Tables (and a Sneak Peek of the Laundry Room Wallpaper)

Happy Monday!  I have been CRAZY busy lately!  I have about one million projects (yes, that’s right) in the works right now that I’m looking forward to sharing, but the only thing is that I need to focus in and wrap them all up in order to do that. I’m thinking later this week or early next week I’ll have my laundry room finished and ready to share on here… exciting stuff people!  We got the wallpaper up this weekend, here’s a sneak peak for you:

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Another project I’ve been working on recently is helping my cousin decorate some rooms in her house.  I’ll be sharing the whole process here.  It should be really fun because the rooms we’ll be doing are basically blank slates so we can do anything we want in them (I love this stuff… so excited!).  I’ve warned her that once I start something I go full throttle until the project is done, so I hope she’s ready!

Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of online browsing the last couple of days for ideas for her house and I came across so many cute side tables while doing so.  I’ve rounded up a group of my favorites:

Side Tables
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

 

I love them all!  I don’t think I could pick a favorite out of this group.  There are so many more out there that I loved too.

Which one is your favorite?  Link me if you have one in mind!  Also, stay tuned for the laundry room reveal…

Making Your Own Frame Mat (and Filling Your Walls on a Budget)

posted in: Art, Decor, DIY, Home, Posts, Projects | 0

Even after living in our house for about 2.5 years, we still have plenty of blank walls and little nooks that would look much better with a piece of art.  This little corner in our kitchen was one of them.  With my new and bright plant stand finished I decided it was time to get on it already and hang something on this little sliver of wall.  The only requirement was that I wanted to spend zero dollars.

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Every time I buy frames or get frames at thrift stores and they come with a mat I don’t need, I always save it.  Same goes for cardstock that comes with frames or anything else.  I just know that eventually I’ll have a use for it.  That’s exactly what happened here.  I took a trip over to the closet in our spare room/workout room (calling it that is completely laughable since we haven’t had time to work out in it in weeks and it is currently just a dumping ground for any item we don’t feel like dealing with at the time) and picked up a piece of spare grey cardstock, a white mat from a smaller frame, and a brass thrift store frame I had bought a few months back for a few bucks.

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My goal was to go for a double matted look.  First, I cut down the cardstock to fit the size of the frame.  Then I centered the smaller white mat on top of that and glued it on with some regular old Elmer’s glue.  I put some books on the sides to weight it down and keep it from curling up while it dried.

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Now that the mat was complete, I needed something to put in there.  I bought this really awesome set of Vanity Fair vintage postcards on Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  They are the cover art from the magazine from 1913-1936. I am in love with these postcards.  I bought them because I was planning on using a group of them for art in my laundry room when it’s finished (which I’m still going to do — we are currently DIYing our hearts out in there right now so stay tuned), but I figured that since it came with 100 of them I could use a few of the others around the house too.  They are just too cute.  And they are soooo worth the $20 price tag.  Such a great deal.

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The postcards are 4×6 and the opening in the mat is 5×7 so I just got out some of my trusty washi tape and taped the postcard right in the middle of the opening.  Andy was my helper this time around.

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Since there is some space you can see a sliver of the grey cardstock behind the postcard too. I really like how the finished product has a textured look.  And if I feel like switching out my postcard to a different one it will be super easy since the washi tape will just peel right off.

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And there you have it, since I used only materials that I already had on hand I got a framed and matted piece of art without spending any money!   But even if you didn’t have everything on hand like I did you could still frame a piece of art this way for only a few bucks with a thrifted frame and mat.

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I’m all about making my own mats for frames.  It helps everything look not-so-the-same.  What about you guys? What are you hanging these days?

Dressing Up an Old Plant Stand

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I picked up this old dirty plant stand at a used furniture shop a couple of weeks ago. I really liked the solidness of it (it’s heavy!) and I liked the lines a lot, but there were quite a few imperfections and the old wood finish on it was tired and just plain ugly.  Note: Bruce is an expert at photo bombing a good majority of the pictures we take.

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I knew paint could cover up those imperfections and make this thing look brand new again.  I love little projects like this because you can get them done in a day and they are super inexpensive — all I had to buy for this one was a test pot of paint at Home Depot which ran me about $3 (I buy the little test pots all of the time for projects like this).

Here’s how I did it:

First I gave it a really good power wash outside with the hose.  This thing was diiiiirrrty.  I did it in the middle of the day so that the hot sun could dry it out after I was done.

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Then I sprayed on a coat of primer just to make sure that the paint would grip to it.

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After the primer dried I brushed on about four coats of paint.  I could have actually done another coat or two, but I sort of liked how in you can sort of see some of the striations of the wood under the color (you can see this is the pics below).

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We decided to do a color that was a little less safe and a little more fun for this stand (Mike actually picked this color).  The color is more true to how it shows up inside of the house rather than out here with the sun shining on it.The color we went with was Red Tulip by Benjamin Moore.  It sort of reminds me of a neon salmon color.  It has orange and pink undertones and I really, really like it.

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Sometimes a risky choice like this ends up paying off.   It helps that I definitely don’t shy away from decorating my home with bold colors.  I figured we had nothing to lose since we could just paint over it if we hated it.  And the nice thing is that when we get sick of this color that’s exactly what we’ll do!  The stand is currently living in a corner of our kitchen — it’s the perfect spot for it.

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Ahh, the power of paint!  It can fix anything!

What have you guys been painting lately?  Have you been making any riskier choices with your paint colors?

The Laundry Room Door Goes Navy (After Some DIY Trials)

Happy Monday all!  For the last two weekends we’ve been working on and off on painting the door in our laundry room that leads out to our garage.  It’s kind of funny how a pretty small project like this took us 2.5 years of living here to actually tackle.  Here is a shot of how our laundry room and the door looked before we painted it:

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For the most part this room has been pretty untouched the entire time we’ve lived here.  Back when we moved in we painted it, added new baseboards, and did some other updates (like added the cabinets and the utility sink). But we really haven’t done anything since then except for purchase a new washer and dryer.

That door doesn’t look as terrible in these photos as it did in real life.  It was supposed to be white, but was discolored to the point of looking yellow and had other stains on it as well.

First, we just sprayed grey primer on the door since it’s metal and we wanted to make sure the paint would stick well.

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I have been pretty set on a deep glossy navy color for the door for awhile now.  So, I got a quart of Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray color matched at Home Depot in a high gloss finish.  Then we busted out our critter sprayer.  This little sprayer is great.  It is so easy to use and very easy to clean up.  The spraying commenced.

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Here is where things went wrong and why it took us two weekends to finish this should-have-been-easy-project. While the critter sprayer is great for spraying smaller items, it was the wrong thing to use on this door.  The sprayer aerated the paint WAY too much for this type of job and the paint came out rough and definitely NOT high gloss. No good.  Bummer.  But this is what I’m here for, to tell you the good and the bad so you can learn from our mistakes.  :)

After we got over being bummed out about this option not working, we dragged the door back into the garage and decided to go the slow route and hand brush the paint on.  After getting the first coat brushed on we knew this was the way to go.  The result was pretty and glossy, just how we wanted it.  HOWEVER.  The paint color was not the deep moody navy that I thought it was going to be.

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So, I packed up Jack and we headed back to Home Depot.  If at first you don’t succeed… Right? This time I got Benjamin Moore’s Polo Blue color matched (one shade darker on the same swatch).  After brushing on one coat over the last one I knew this was the right choice. Deeper, darker, more what I was thinking for this door.

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The thing about brushing paint on is that you will get some brush marks.  But I actually don’t mind the brush marks. It makes it look real and gives it some texture with all of that pretty glossiness.  I ended up brushing on 4 coats of paint on each side of the door.  A little tip: after painting the door on one side and letting in dry, hang it back up and paint the other side while it is hanging, that way your freshly painted side won’t get scuffed up when you flip it over.

So there is a little tale about how things are not perfect with DIY and definitely go wrong all. of. the. time.  But, with some perseverance this little (turned big) project came out exactly how I wanted it.  And now we have a pretty navy door in there.  I think it’s a huge improvement in the room already.

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Stay tuned, I have lots more updates coming up in this laundry room!  One of them involves a unique wallpaper DIY that I think is going to look awesome in there!  Since Jack’s arrival I spend a lot more time in this room so it feels good to actually start doing something to make it less boring in here.  :)  What have you guys done to make your laundry room/area a little easier on the eye?

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