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Jul 31, 2012

freshening up the outside...

I haven't done a thing to the outside of our house since we moved in. Things are changing around here and this time I'm focusing on some outdoor projects. Nothing huge, just some cosmetic changes that will freshen up the overall appearance. Currently the front of my house looks like this...

The projects on my list include the following.

1. The front door will be painted a new color (it is currently maroon). I have the color narrowed down to a calm blue, Behr Ozone. I've matched my house color to paint samples I brought home. The closest I can get to the actual color is Behr Bone.

All the hardware will be spray painted to look like oil rubbed bronze. The hardware is currently an very aged looking brass. The door step will also be repainted.

2.  The vinyl shutters are currently a nauseating shade of dark green. I'm hoping that by spray painting them black it will change the look of the house color as well. The color currently looks dark yellow (nauseating as well) but when black is placed against it the color warms up a bit to a beige yellow that I can live with. How do I know this you ask? I wrapped a black garbage bag around one of the shutters and stared at it all day. Scientific methods are used up daily here.

3. The third change is very exciting. I'll keep it under wraps until it is completed but I think it will have quite an impact on the curb appeal!

All of these changes do not cost much at all. I will only be purchasing a couple cans of outdoor spray paint, enough paint for the front door and the surprise which I'll give more information about later. Stay tuned...

Jul 29, 2012

no. 29 design was featured on...

My IKEA Hemnes wall of built ins hack was featured over the weekend on Ikea Hackers!

This site is full of some amazing ideas. Take a peek and see what you can transform for your own home!

Jul 22, 2012

my sofa is joining the circus...

My nieces were quick to point out that bringing my six year old daredevil to the beach trapeze act might not have been a good idea. After that all I could think about was what new trick was he planning for my tufted sofa.

He currently uses it for his trapeze act. He stands on the arm and does a graceful flip, landing on his back on the cushion. Hopefully that is as far as it goes...

Jul 18, 2012

design gone wrong...

One week since my last post can only mean one thing, I'm on vacation. Spending some time away with family can be very relaxing. Beach, sand, no schedules or calendars. The nature all around me is gorgeous. The interior design, not so much. 

We are staying at a place where the person in charge of decorating was given a credit card and told "Decorate!" That person then happily made their way to HomeGoods and bought. In the back of their minds they had a little birdy saying, "Keep it beachy." They went through the list of items needed to decorate and fill the rooms. A mirror here, a table lamp there. A bench for the hallway. They ended up with a hodge podge of styles and items. Beachy, country, cottage, art deco, 1970's and much much more are all crammed into a two bedroom apartment. Here is what they came up with...

Don't forget, this is all in one apartment! I'm all for themes and various styles but the only time this large of a group should be seen together is in the clearance aisle in HomeGoods. So the lesson here, pick a theme or style and stick to it!

Jul 12, 2012

a july thank you

In saying "thank you" to my sponsors I thought I'd include a glimpse of what they have to offer. 

Happy Summer!

Jul 9, 2012

how to fake open shelving...

My love for Pinterest is no secret. It is such a great resource for ideas and inspiration. I've used so many of those ideas that I've found there throughout my house. So when a Pinterest Challenge was announced by Young House Love, Bower Power, Centsational Girl and Ten June to complete a project or idea from your pinboard, I got to work. 

A while back I had been searching for ideas on how to spruce up my kitchen, without doing too much. I've always loved the look of open shelving but would never me able to commit to doing my entire kitchen. Some things are better left behind closed doors! I still couldn't stop myself from pinning kitchens with open shelving. Here are a few of my pins...


{better homes and gardens}

{house beautiful}

{better homes and gardens}

{better homes and gardens}

{better homes and gardens}

{better homes and gardens}
{young house love}

Although I love all of these ideas it is not something that would happen anytime soon. So no open shelving for me, until I came across this...

pretty handy girl

The doors were removed from one cabinet, fabric added to the background and I too could have instant open shelving. With a few simple supplies, most of which I already had on hand, I got to work. Here is what my cabinet on the right side of my kitchen sink looked like before...

Boring, right? The cabinet has three shelves, the top one of which is rarely used since it is so high and I am vertically challenged. I removed the doors and hardware, and then the shelves. All the holes were patched up with wood filler and then sanded down. 

I painted the back wall of the cabinet the same color as the kitchen walls, Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige. The sides, top and bottom of the cabinet were painted white. Since the top shelf is never used I had just one shelf cut out of plywood. The original shelves were melamine and not too pretty. I then purchased 4 brackets from Home Depot which I primed and painted white to match the cabinets.

I attached the brackets using wood glue. The first two I placed under the cabinet to look like they are holding it all up. The second pair were glued to the bottom of the shelf. No screws were used at all. I could have used screws on the shelf brackets but the pair "holding" up the cabinet needed to fit flush (or at least look that way) with the bottom of the cabinet and could only be installed with wood glue. There is a slight gap as evident in the picture below. Unless you are under 4 feet tall you can't even tell. It held so well and dried so quickly that I ended up using the same method on the top two brackets as well. The actual shelf is held up by small clips on the sides so the brackets themselves are purely decorative. I measured and lined them up with the shelf, placed upside down. Once they dried overnight I was done.

I now have pseudo open shelving, but good enough for me! It actually opens up the kitchen a bit and I love having a useful display area. Here's a before and after for comparison...

Thanks to Kate, Sherry, Katie and Michelle for challenging me to tackle something on my pinterest board. How did they know I love a challenge? 

Jul 5, 2012

painting a desk {tutorial}

The new secretary desk is all painted and in full use. I'll eventually need a matching chair in a similar style. Painting this desk was so easy and straightforward that I'll enjoy finding another piece of furniture to paint! Breathing new life into a tired older piece that has been sitting around the house, basement or attic just requires a few steps. Here is what you will need...

wood filler (I used Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler)
putty knife
angled brush (I used Wooster Shortcut)
foam rollers
paint tray
latex paint
new hardware

Start by taking the piece apart. I removed all the hardware, the drawer and the flip top desk. I also removed the decorative molding at the top of the desk. This was evidently a later addition to help with the pink girly look. I started out by lightly sanding the entire piece. This will help the primer as well as the paint stick and not peel. I also drilled a hole on the back left side to pass the cord for my laptop charger through, allowing my laptop to charge while the desk is closed.

Once the piece is disassembled begin filling any holes with the wood filler. Use the putty knife to scrape off any excess wood filler. I did not refill the holes I knew were being used again, such as the drawer handles. Once the wood filler has dried sand the area. Make sure to remove any excess dust. 

I then began priming different pieces, the desk itself, the flip top and the drawer. I used Zissner BIN primer and found that I got the best results with a foam roller for the large areas. For corners and hard to reach spots a angled brush worked best. I used light coats so the paint would not form bubbles,  painted 3 light coats of primer and then let it sit overnight. This is not very typical of how I work but being patient paid off. I usually like to see results but all the advice I found said to go slow. Great advice! One personal word of advice about cleaning up after primer. Don't bother, messy, messy, messy! Buy a package of roller attachments. That way there is no cleanup and you can just throw it away. 

The next morning I started painting again, this time using Glidden's Arctic Stone in a semi-gloss finish. I applied 3 light coats using the foam roller and small brush for the corners again. I had been planning on then using a Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish but decided against it. My father made a good point that if this desk got damaged at all, which is very possible in this house, I'd have to start the process all over if I put a protective finish on it. If I left it I could just touch up whatever bump or scrap occurred.  I was also happy because it meant I was done a day earlier!

I then began putting the desk back together. The new drawer hardware went in...

the decorative brass hardware was nailed back on...

and the desk top and hanging hardware were assembled.

Now for the fun part, putting everything in its' place. 

I did not expect this to be this easy! I've got the painting bug now. Being patient is the key to success when painting a piece of furniture. Thin coats of primer and paint go a long way! Just by changing the color and updating the hardware this desk has been completely transformed. A couple simple changes such as drilling a hole for any cords and chargers can update this piece for modern day use as well.

I'm sharing this project with
Tatertots and Jello
The Shabby Nest
Shabby Creek Cottage
Live Laugh Rowe
The 36th Avenue
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