Inspiration: Before & After kitchen nook

So some fun news… we officially have a dining table and chairs! Woot! “Where on earth would you fit it?” I know you’re asking. Lets just say, me and the hubs spent all day rearranging every piece of furniture in our entire apartment. So hopefully I’ll take some pictures to show you.

So i adore the table. It’s a classic “farmer” table with the wood top and white painted legs. Perfectly fits 6 and its just too cute. And then theres the chairs. They definitely match but they just don’t match us. So we are on the hunt for our first piece of furniture purchase as a married couple: dining chairs. I know what else you’re thinking; “Umm, didn’t ya’ll just buy the whole set?” Nope. Randomly hanging out with some friends that were trying to figure out which goodwill to dump their table. Then I said “our apartment”.  And done. How sweet is that?! Now we can eat at a table instead of on the couch! You guys have no clue – i would make a beautiful steak dinner… and then serve it on the couch. Oh it was just sad. But no more!

Anyway, when i eat at the table, I’m usually there a lot so i definitely need some cushion for the tush. I’ve been looking around everywhere for some chairs that we could afford on a mini budget. And of course, I’m 98% sure they are from ikea. I’ll let you know when we cross that road but until then. Check out this AMAZING before and after from Liz at It’s Great to be Home.

YES! That is the same nook. Can you believe it?! Such an incredible difference. I love the flooring, the built ins got a beautiful facelift… and just look at those chairs. So cute!

Can you believe they are PAINTED? Yes. Liz painted her kitchen chairs. And they are stinkin cute! Check out the whole step by step on Liz’s blog over here.

The more i read about these chairs, the more im pretty sure its a done deal. You will find out soon though! Until then, check out Liz’s blog all about her 5 house flips in 3 years! Its one of the most incredible stories on the interwebs. So read it.

Design Star

I have multiple blogs that i follow almost daily. I tend to panic if i dont get some Young House Love or MadebyGirl into my daily schedule. Amy at  Lovely Nest is at the top of the list… read all about her beautiful design and fabulous blog design over here. She recently she posted about Design Star… now, we don’t have cable so I miss out on all the good HGTV shows out there but OF COURSE, Amy decided to blog about a FABULOUS kitchen that was on Design Star this week. So… i jumped on my computer and watched 3 episodes in a row. Who knew there were full episodes online?! Anyway, i am completely in love with this beautifully designed kitchen!

How cute is this!? I love the yellow and turquoise color palate with the modern vintage feel. i ADORE the bakers rack – i love having metal and wood together and it just adds so much character. I also have a new found love for round breakfast tables. It just looks like a place where i can just have some girls over and chat over coffee. or wine.

And seriously – just look at this buffet. How can you buy matching room sets or crappy ikea furniture when you could have something with so much character and texture?! Don’t get me wrong – i love me some ikea (obviously if you read my post on friday) but for furniture, id much rather put down some extra time into fixing up an old piece than buying particle board that will just break in 6 months.

I’m only a few episodes in but I’m definitely looking forward to watching this episode!

All images by HGTV

Thanks Amy for sharing this beautiful space… I definitely know what color theme to go with in my kitchen now…

-Rachel

Roadkill Desk

So my dad used to call my boyfriend in high school Roadkill bc he rode a bike and my dad drove an SUV. My dad loved to traumatize me as a child. Anyway, this post has nothing to do with that. Its actual road kill. Not really but kind of. Last week i was cruisin around a neighborhood down town to meet a friend and i slammed on the brakes because i saw this baby on the side of the road:

Free. Solid wood. Adorbs yellow. And freakin dirty. I HAD to have it. And no, i didn’t take the tv.

So i threw it in the back of my car. By myself. BAM.

Yes, i know… i even impressed myself. I really enjoyed meeting up with Kenny later and saying “BTW, i might have a very large piece of furniture in the back of my car.” I dont know why things like this suprise him anymore…

Can i take a moment to just tell you how much I love my car (Scion TC)? Seriously, who else with a two door vroom-vroom car can fit a 7 drawer desk into their car? By themselves? This girl can. Go buy one.

Anyway, back on topic – so where on earth am i going to fit my brand new dirty but cute desk? Especially in our tiny one bedroom already full of furniture apartment. Honestly who cares? I’ll make it fit or give it to a friend to hang on to. Because when you’re in between apartments and a house – you need all the furniture you can get! Especially the free kind. So i brought her home in search of a good spot. Here she is in the hall. Just look at her dirty self…

So after shimmying things around the apartment, i found a good spot for her right around the corner. And then cleaned the sh*! out of her. Eww. Lets just say it was a bad idea to use paper towel… almost went through a whole roll.  And then… voila!

From roadkill to adorable! Yes, she is in need of new knobs, and yes, she has one really wonky odly placed knob… yes shes still dirty and beat up, but nothing some good TLC wont fix. I’ll keep yall updated with what i decide to do. Step one: get her some pretty (anthro?) pulls… or DIY? who knows?!

Have you found any good roadkill lately? Or bad roadkill? Ok, dont share about that last one if you did…

Till next time!

-Rach

ATX Digs

I love finding really fun and unique homes. I love it even more when they are from my hometown, Austin, Texas! The McCarthys were only in this home for SEVEN months before they almost completely transformed this house. Every room has quirky prints, bright colors and unique design. To see the original article on Design*Sponge and more pictures, click here. Read Bailey’s blog, Peppermint Bliss for design tips. All photography by the lovely Paige Newton Photography!

Image above: who wouldn’t love sailboat wall paper and quatrefoil tile?! I know i would…

A lot of furniture is from estate sales, hand me downs or from her old own in Chicago.

Ok seriously, does this chick love to take chances with fun wallpaper or what?!

I love this kitchen and the two part door… modern feel with older touches. Love it!

This picture definitely tells me these are Austinites. Who else would have longhorns above a guest bed? Hook em Horns!!

Yup, more fun wall paper!

This one would definitely be my husbands favorite part of the house. Freaking awesome shower. I love the unique look of it thats its almost window panes.

So many elements of this house I’m drooling over! Found any cool houses lately?

Have a good weekend!

-Rachel

Memorial Day Sales!

Well, its memorial day and of course that means great sales! Yesterday me and a buddy, Amy headed over to one of my all time favorite stores in the world. West Elm! Because of Memorial Day, everything thats already reduced is on sale another 15% in addition to whats already marked down! On top of that, they were trying to sell their floor models so a lot of items were marked down by 100s of bucks! Halla!

This table I’ve been eyeing for a while… our ourdoor table isnt so much an outdoor table. Its more a cheap $10 target temporary that is falling apart with all the moisture. But at 70 bucks, i just couldn’t make the purchase. BUT there was a floor model on sale for 30 plus the 15% off! Still suprised I didn’t snatch that up… so cute!

Amy was eyeing these pillows for her living room. But i thought it would be fun to find just a plain white pillow cover, get some fabric paint and paint it yourself! That would be so much more fun (and cheaper!)

Can’t wait to have a sweet dining room and dining table! Love the mix of the cozy chairs and the bench!

You know i have a love for succulents, I’m diggin them as a centerpiece…

I am definitely lovin this centerpiece – definitely a little messy for Memorial Day weekend but the mix of silver and teal just makes me happy…

Love this guy. Definitely approve of the faux animal head mounts. Always creeps me out to have an actually dead animal head on the wall. So sad. This is a very agreeable alternative.

Though this would be a horrible idea in my house (Im pretty sure I’ve mentioned how horribly clumsy I am, but i just loved those dozens of bottles all clumped together. Please dont do this at your house either. I think it works for West Elm, but not a home. Maybe pick up half a dozen. Not 100.

LOVE the mix of white lacquer and whitewash of these dressers and bed frame. It just has a beachy spa-like feel to it. I dig it.

I laughed out loud when i saw this cute lil owl in his cage. Poor lil guy.. his friends are free but he is not.

I ALWAYS love the displays… this would be awesome! Just paint one fun wall with chalkboard paint and add frames! Such a fun idea!

I love paint. Having “painted” bedding is definitely my idea of a good time. Plus i love the blues!

Amy crashed after a long day into one of the most comfy, absurdly expensive outdoor chairs in existence. Pretty sure its around 1,300. But its on sale! (for maybe 1,200…)

So go out and get you some cheap ol furniture. Also, did anyone notice the Room Store going out of business? So sad but you can definitely grab a great piece of furniture for super cheap!

Happy Memorial Day, Y’all!

-Rach

DIY Reupholstery Bench

I’ve been wanting a good reupholster project for a while now. I have done exactly ZERO reupholstering but I have a love for it (and a respect for those that do it well!)  I’ve seen a lot of bench re-dos and it seemed like a good starter project. So i found a storage piano bench on craigslist for 10 bucks!

Here is the before and After. Scroll down for the full step by step how to!

This piece has a great structure, nice storage and was very sturdy. But the velvet brown fabric was just begging to be thrown in the trash. First off, i unscrewed the cushion from the bottom.

Once the cushion was off, i started removing the 50,000 staples. ok there wasnt that many but AT LEAST 100 of them. it was pretty nuts.

Remove more staples for the piping..

And MORE staples for all the fabric. Seriously they used up a whole box of staples. I removed the sick nasty brown velvet fabric and was happy to find the foam in great shape. I was worried about stains or smells and needing to get new foam but thankfully it was perfect-o!

I then attached the fabric i wanted to use. Since i have a lot of fabric left over from the wedding, i decided to use that! Nothing better than paying zero bucks for fabric.

The buttons were the fun part. I got a button making kit from Joanne’s and it was pretty self explanatory. Plus they look so schnazzy with new fabric on them. I tried to use the old buttons but they just weren’t having it. It was only a few bucks for the kit so it was worth it. I also used scrap fabric left over from trimming the edges. I couldn’t take out the old staples without damaging the wood so i just cut the string to the old buttons and took them out. For the new buttons they suggest getting an upholstery needle… i definitely wish i bought one because it was difficult to get a piece of string through wood, foam and fabric. But i managed. Six times. Once I got the string through, strung through the new button and back.

I flipped it over to the other side to make sure it was tight enough. The tighter the string, the deeper the button. Once i got it to where I wanted it, i stapled the string to the wood.

Once i threaded all six buttons and stapled it once, I’d flip it to the front and make sure the buttons were at the same depth. If one was too shallow, i took pliers and tugged on the string until it was where i wanted it. then flipped the string the other direction and stapled it again.

I then added fabric to the underside to hide all the wood and staples. I just used the same fabric because I have so much of it. I also decided to go to the edges for a clean look.

Then I strewed the cushion back onto the base.

And Voila! Fancy new bench! I love the storage capability and the height. Its perfect for an entry bench, an ottoman or the end of your bed. Definitely going to get a ton of use out of this $13 project!

I really want to encourage you to just go out and try something. I never would have thought i could build furniture or reupholster but you never know till you try. This project was much easier than I thought it would be and maybe took a total of 2 hours (minus driving to joanne’s for the button kit and new staples from Lowes!) I love a project that makes you smile every time you see it!

-Rachel

Top Ten

Introducing: Top Ten! A series featuring top tens. Top ten what? Who knows. Top ten printmaking artists, top ten high heels, top ten product designs… top ten ways to go bungee jumping. Who knows. Thats the fun of it. Enjoy!

What the heck is that? Dwell Creative? Who knows. We might find out soon. Maybe. Anyway, on with the list!

1. First off, i have no idea how long this fake-animal-head-on-the-wall fad is going to last.. but i like it. Much better than read dead animals. Eww. Anyway, isnt this just the freakin coolest thing in the world? The polygon double deer is by the artist Koehi Nawa who has much more incredible work on his site. Considering this is the only piece in existence (for now), im pretty sure it would be pretty dang expensive.

2 & 3. Ok, doesnt that picture just make you want to go buy everything? It does for me. Atleast the poufs and the geometric side table. Both are from Crate and Barrel. I just love the bold colors and modern Moroccan look! Turns out the poufs are made in Minnesota. Not so much Moroccan. Still love them.

4. This sectional from CB2. Considering i have a huge maroon couch, I’m dreaming of a nice grey or neutral couch i could sink into. Im not dissing our couch, its just really hard to match with maroon! Just sayin.

5. I’ve been eyeing the arc floor lamp for years now. Love the 70s look while its great for saving on floor space. Also from Crate and Barrel.

6. I love that all you need is a throw pillow or two to completely change a room. Especially if its a few Caitlin Wilson Textiles pillows. ITS SO FLUFFY IM GONNA DIE! Ok no really, its just i love the colors and patterns. Its not like its a unicorn or something.

7. First off, let me just say that i am an artist without an easel. That is not ok. Second, isn’t this the coolest freakin easel you’ve ever seen? Its freakin clear! Love it. Damn you, CB2.

8. If you ever read my blog, i might have posted about these rugs 2 days ago. But they are just so beautiful to my eyes! Amy Butler. Always rocking my face off with her awesome patterns and colors.

9. You always need a good painting. Even if its a print of a good painting. At 300 bucks, its a bit pricy for a print. Ok its overpriced. But i still like it. Its better than the 3,000 painting I was going to put up. Ok so i swear im not sponsored by C&B but for some reason it sounds like i am. funny how stuff turns out.

10. I love plants. Even though i always end up killing them. I still love them and attempt to keep them around. Found out that i have 17 plants in our little one bedroom apartment. I’m telling you, i love me some plants. Especially succulents. Especially succulents in adorable terrariums from Zgallerie.

Whelp, there was the first ever Top Ten! I suppose it should have been Top Ten Crate and Barrel finds.. but I’m not going back now! By the way… its 2am and I literally haven’t stopped working since 10 this morning. Thats what happens when i sleep in… i stay up! Ok, ok, finally headed to bed! G’night! Err… morning…

DIY Vintage Trunk / Filing Cabinet

If you read my last post, you know that i hate filing cabinets and also that i decided to turn this vintage trunk into a filing cabinet and coffee table.

Step one was to wrap the leather handles. I waited until after i was done to decide what to do with those…

Here is what i used:

  • Paint – Olympic All in one paint + primer in semi gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic protective finish
  • Small foam roller (get a high quality dense foam. trust me, its worth it)
  • Paint tray
  • Small angled brush
  • screwdriver

The trick is to do multiple THIN layers. Lay it on thick and you’ll get lots of bubbles and drips. Eww. So here it is after 2 thin layers.  You can see why you need an angled paintbrush… to get in all the nooks and crannies.

Ok so want to hear a funny story? Ok its not so funny for me, but now it is a little bit. So i tend to do all my woodworking on the porch but a lot of the projects i do in my living room. Including this sucker. Its just whatcha gotta do if you have a tiny apartment and no garage. Anyway, i had JUST finished the last layer of paint, id cleaned up the roller and brush, put the lid on the paint and stood back to admire the splendor. I wasnt sure if it would need another layer or any touch ups so i didnt seal the lid to the paint. Bad idea. It was sitting in the living room on the paint drop cloth you see above. Now it was Valentines day so I was eating dinner and enjoying the boob tube when Maggie came in from the porch. Now, shes a pretty clumsy dog. She actually just recently got rid of the “cone of shame” which was even worse… ok, heres a picture because its just too dang cute not to share:

And yes, that is a tree branch stuck in the cone. Awesome. Anyway, Kenny walked to the kitchen for seconds (because im the best cook there is) and he started freaking out and yelling for me to come over. Mags had knocked over the entire can of paint onto the paint drop cloth. Thankfully it wasnt directly onto the carpet… but the drop cloth is meant for drips. Not an entire quart. So i dive to the ground and lift the drop cloth off the ground trying to keep the paint from soaking into the carpet while kenny grabbed a plastic trashbag to put in between it and the carpet (good thinking, hubs!) He then took the trunk off, and wrapped up the drop cloth and threw it on the porch (getting paint all over the porch carpet and pavement). Here is my arm after i had it under the drop cloth trying to avoid getting paint all over the carpet. We then used up an entire roll of paper towel trying to get the paint off the carpet. Miraculously, the spot is actually behind my arm. Where you might ask? I dont know. We should be professional carpet cleaners. We got maybe 98% of it up! Crazy right? Moral of the story… A. Seal your paint when you’re done painting. B. Dont paint in your living room. C. Dont own a clumsy dog.

Now that i went off on a complete tangent, lets continue…

Here she is after a little sanding. I wanted a little more dimension and character so i sanded all the edges, made all the bolts shine a little bit. Some of the white underpaint showed up too which had a cool effect.

For sanding, its best to use a foam sanding block with a fine grain. I used a 220 grit block which just makes it just look more natural. If you use 60 grit for example it will just damage the piece and it will obviously be sanded instead of a more natural “over time” look.

Heres the edge detail. You can see the white under paint and the metal as well. Love that effect!

Once i was done sanding, I decided to go with the minwax finish because its going to be a coffee table. High traffic = lots of paint coming off if you dont. So i did. Threw on three layers on the top for good measure. I chose a semi gloss but you can choose a Satin or a high gloss. It starts off looking almost yellow but it dries completely clear.

Here she is open up with my new file organization. I’ll post soon all about what i did with the files. As far as the plan for the interior, if it was in better shape, I’d love to keep it as is – it has a great texture and a vintage feel to it, but it has sections missing, stains, etc. We could definitely throw a cork board in the lid which would cover up most of the stains, but I’ll definitely let you know when we decide! Theres also a trey that goes on the inside that can hold remote controls, still that needs to be filed, etc.

See? How cool is that white/brown linen texture?

And here she is as our fancy new coffee table! Have you ever seen a more beautiful filing cabinet? The other great thing is, if we decided to use something else as a filing cabinet later, we can jut use this to hold the 57 blankets that we have hiding behind the couch. Hey, i get cold very easily, ok?

I am definitely loving it, the grey really helps balance out all the other crazy colors in the room.

Horrible Ugly Filing Cabinets

First off, i have to vent for a sec. Why on earth are there two types of filing cabinets in the world? Metal, beige, ugly as hell… or 400 bucks? I scouered Craigslist, considered repainting an ugly metal one, considered sanding an ugly metal one, considered building a wooden one from scratch… this went on for maybe a month. I’ve been looking all over the webs to find an awesome filing cabinet for cheap. Let me tell you… its non existent. Since getting hitched three months ago, we’ve had the dreaded filing issue… we both used small accordion folders to hold our paperwork but it just wasnt cutting it. My office started to look like a place where paper goes to die. There was paper piling up on my desk, on the floor, in nooks and crannys. With tax time coming up, we started misplacing W-2s, losing papers, misplacing bills… it was just not going well. I just cant have something looking ugly like this in my pretty office:

Can we say eww? So I had the idea to just bite the bullet and buy an ikea solid wood cabinet and hack it into a filing cabinet. Until i remembered seeing this on pinterest:

This was from the oh so creative Martha Steward and her “office in a chest”. I love this idea because its not a huge metal eyesore in the middle of your living room. Also there is a TON of space… i dont think we would ever be able to fill all of that with our paperwork. It also gives you the ability to have a trey for organization and the pinboard idea is pretty convenient as well.

But that involved buying a large ottoman. Not really a money saver. Until i saw this picture…

Holy cow… i have that EXACT trunk in storage! I didnt even think about it… but i stumbled across Jenna Sue’s design blog and was super excited. I bought the trunk a year ago from goodwill for maybe 10 bucks. I had great aspirations for that sucker but just never got around to it.

So here she is… aint she a beaute? Nope. Not yet. But she will be!

Its actually on its second coat of paint so i should be able to post before and afters soon! A vintage trunk / Filing cabinet is underway! Woot!

Apartment update

So if anyone has been in my apartment recently knows this whole post is a lie. My apartment doesnt currently look like this… i took these shots before the wedding and because of all the chaos hadn’t had a chance to post them. I’ll have an update with the post wedding stuff… but until then, heres an update of the apartment!

Livingroom:

Kitchen:

Check it out! My lil plant is still alive! I definitely killed the orchid… but hey, 50% plant survival rate is pretty good, i think.

“Diningroom”:

yea i know… its sad. We have two awesome bar chairs… that are WAY too short for the bar. Its actually pretty funny when friends come over and sit there with only the tops of their heads and eyes peering into the kitchen. Why is this our entire dining room? Because of this:

Office/Studio:

This is where “normal” people would put their dining room. Oh come on, priorities, people! Since i work from home and basically live in this corner… we decided it was completely fine to take up usual dining space that we would use maybe once a week to a full time office. I’ve actually been considering turning it into both… throw in a large dining table and make that a functional dual space… but we will see! Kenny’s dad is building (hopefully with my help!) a large dining table but that wont be for a few months. So until then, i get to work with the beautiful view of the trees. Not bad… but pretty distracting when youre trying to build a website. Anyway, check out my door to desk post on how i build my computer desk out of a door!

See the door to the left? Thats the porch!

Porch:

It has the lovely outdoor sectional that is still in desperate need of back cushions! Pretty much desperately. I’ve definitely been pretty distracted the last few months but im hoping to buy some new fabric for cushions and make maybe 6 large cushions (like the two already on there) but have them actually be weather ready. The two on there are definitely not for outdoor use. It rained the other day and they were SOAKED… aka, sick nasty. Anyway, i hope to make those soon along with curtains for the office and livingroom.

Bedroom:

Can we say cramped? This space has had a LOT of changes since i took this shot. Not much to help with the cramped feeling but still a lot of improvements. Hopefully ill get a shot sometime soon. To the right we have a second porch off the bedroom. Nope, im not going to show it to you : / really we are just using it for one comfy chair and our bikes. Nothing much to see there yet…

Of course my oh so lovely vanity with my DIY earring holder.

Well there you have it! The updated version of the place. I will be posting soon with the post wedding version… i just need to clean the place up a bit before that happens! Hey, its been a crazy few months, who can blame me?!