Cleaning House

Y’all, I’m so excited to share this. So! Excited!

Let’s just jump right in – because, really, I can’t wait any longer.

Mmmmm. Yeah, that’s my dining room. I’m in love.

But, let’s back up for a second.

We haven’t been doing much (or, anything) to the house lately. We’re trying to take care of some debt and get a few things in order before we take on any more house projects, so things have more or less been on hold around here. But. We had a few things brewing that added up to disaster. I’ll let you guess. We had…

- Decade-old (at least) carpet.
- Three dogs
- A doggy door
- A backyard. With dirt.
- Rain
- A baby who is getting ready to learn how to crawl.

Do you know what happens when you add all of those ingredients together? You know what, don’t guess, I’ll just tell you.

Yeah, that happens.

And I can tell you with certainty that it was much worse in person than it looks in these photos. It was awful. We’ve always dealt with this when it rains, because the dogs love to track in mud; but it’s never been more annoying than now, when we have a baby who loves to spend time hanging out on the floor. We’ve tried all sorts of things but nothing we could do really kept the carpet clean enough (and honestly, who has the energy to clean three sets of dog paws every single time they go outside?) and I finally reached the end of my rope. Corey and I talked about it and decided that there was really no good reason for us to wait.

We happened to have the money to take care of the floor (which doesn’t happen often!) so we decided to jump in and go for it. In the end, it’s totally worth it to delay getting rid of our debt by a few months if it means we get to enjoy this floor in the meantime.

This is the same flooring we used in Jackson’s room – just plain old vinyl plank flooring. Peel and stick, y’all. And I love it. It’s durable, it’s easy to lay down, and I don’t have to stress when the dogs scratch it up because it’s cheap. And it looks fantastic, to boot.

I won’t detail the process (because I already did that here), but I will add that it was slightly different than it was upstairs, since we have concrete subfloors down here. It just meant a little more cleaning/sanding and we had to fill in some holes from the carpet tacks, but other than that it was the same basic idea!

(Jack was a great helper!)

And now?

I don’t have to stress about nasty, stained, smelly carpet in my dining room. My living room, unfortunately, is still a carpeted mess, but we’ll be fixing that in the next few weeks! Getting the dining room done just made me that much more excited to get the living room done too, and I can’t wait to get started. And now, I don’t have to worry if I want to put Jackson down on the floor for a bit – it may not be quite as soft underneath him, but I’m actually able to keep it clean and we can always get a rug. It’s the best feeling ever to actually have my house look a little cleaner on a daily basis without any extra effort – that carpet just looked nasty!

Anyone else do any flooring updates lately? Please tell me we aren’t the only ones with completely nasty carpet!

Garage Update

It’s been a while since I told you what’s going on in the garage, hasn’t it?

For those of you who don’t remember, Corey and I are currently in the process of giving our garage a major overhaul and turning it into a media room/craft room/general room of awesomeness. We’ve never used it for parking our cars (most people in our neighborhood don’t, strangely enough), and my sister did it in her house and we love the functionality of it. So, that’s been going on for a few weeks now.

Last time I talked about it, it was looking slightly more like a room, but still pretty crazy.

We’ve made a ton of progress since then, even though it feels like we’re moving at a snail’s pace. Here’s what it looks like as of this weekend:

It actually looks like a room now, right?

As you can see, the paint job isn’t finished (the back wall still needs another coat and we plan on doing a stencil accent on the wall to the left), and the room is still a wreck…but it looks like a room!

Let’s back up a little, though, and talk about how we got here. This isn’t going to be a full tutorial on how to build a wall in your garage because, quite frankly, I only have a very vague understanding of how Corey made it happen and my tutorial would suck. So I’ll give you the quickie version and if you actually need help on doing something like this, I’m sure there are many smarter bloggers than me out there who can help you out.

So, we started off with a garage that looked like….a garage.

First thing we had to do was clear it out as much as possible and get rid of all the (disgusting, falling apart) built-in shelves that were in there.

Then, we had to deal with the garage door rails. Obviously we won’t be using the garage door anymore, but we weren’t willing to spend the money on completely taking down and framing in the garage door (plus that’s awful for resale – this renovation could easily be converted back into a garage someday when we sell!). So, Corey simply took down the motor for the garage door and cut off the rails right behind where the wall would be. The door is still supported (it’s very tightly attached to the wall on both sides of the door), and garage door rails aren’t horribly expensive for us to replace down the line if we ever decide to convert it back.

Then, once that was all taken care of, it was time to build the frame! Like I said, I know nothing about what exactly goes into this, but here’s what it looks like:

It was starting to feel slightly more like an actual room at this point, but we still had a long way to go. We had an electrician come out and add some outlets to the wall so we could plug in our AC unit and various other things, and then it was time to hang the drywall!

The next step involved taping, floating, and texturing. All things I stayed very far away from while Corey was working on, so I have minimal photos. But here’s what it looked like once all was said and done:

It’s a wall! It’s kind of hard to believe we actually did this ourselves – so proud of us! The hole on the left is for the window unit we installed in the room to make sure it stays nice and cool (we have the garage door slightly propped open on the bottom to help vent) and the one on the right is for a door so we can access that little area if needed.

That finally all got taken care of over the last few weeks, and by this weekend it was ready for priming and painting. So, I spent the majority of my weekend in the garage painting my life away, and I’m almost (ALMOST!) done. Oh, and Corey installed the window unit and the door – so now it REALLY looks like a room!

So what comes next? We need to finish the paint job (obviously), then we plan on painting the floors. We had played around with the idea of carpet, but we realized that painting the floors would be a fraction of the cost, so we’re going to try it out and see how we like it. We may decide to go with something else down the line, but for now painting the concrete will make the room functional (and, I’m hoping, pretty). Once that’s taken care of, we can start the fun stuff like bringing in rugs and furniture, changing out the light fixtures, and adding a big set of curtains to hide the ugly water heater and purifier (which would be why that whole corner has been left unpainted).

We’ve got a long way to go but I really feel like it’s finally starting to come together (at least kind of), and I can maybe see the beginnings of a light at the end of the tunnel!

Plus, I don’t know what could possibly be more motivation to get this room done than having two giant rugs sitting in my living room just waiting for it, and a ton of crap that will end up back in there (or at our local Goodwill) once the renovation is done sitting in my dining room. I want my house back! 

Anyone else working on some big projects lately?

A $40 China Cabinet

Remember our $40 china cabinet that I showed you while we were gone on our cruise? The one that was blue and yellow and so ugly that it kind of hurt your eyes to look at it?

Yeah, it totally doesn’t look like that anymore, I promise.

Corey and I bought this guy because it had great bones and a lot of potential, and, um, it was $40. We figured even if it turned out horribly, we could paint it and sell it for more than that – it’s a win-win! Thankfully, though, we won’t be having to do that.

We knew right away that we wanted this guy to be a crisp white. It’s way too large to be a bright color, and we plan on keeping all of the basic, large pieces in our kitchen neutral and adding pops of color through other things, like accessories. We also knew right away that we wanted the inside to be a different color than the outside – I love the two-tone look and I thought that an all-white china cabinet would just be boring.

We still had quite a bit of chalkboard paint left over from painting our pantry door, so after some debate we settled on black for the inside – it’s still neutral, which we really like, and it adds a ton of drama to the piece. We also wanted to incorporate some more black into the room so the pantry door wasn’t the only black thing in the whole room.

I know painting a wood piece is a pretty straightforward project, but I wanted to go ahead give you a few of my favorite tips and tricks that make it all a whole lot easier.

For starters, I usually try to sand the piece at least a little bit, especially if it’s already been painted. Corey and I learned in our great sanding experiment a few months ago that it’s not 100% necessary to sand every piece (all of our chairs are still looking perfect, even the ones we didn’t sand at all!), but with pieces that have been painted it’s not uncommon to have some uneven texture or spots where the paint is a bit thicker. This piece had a pretty awful paint job (as you can see from all of the photos), so Corey gave it a quick sanding for me, just enough to smooth it out and get it ready for primer and paint.

My next tip? PRIME, PRIME, PRIME.

I always (always, always) use Zinsser spray primer on every single thing I paint. It’s hands down the best primer I’ve ever used, and I refuse to use anything else.

Give your piece 1-2 thin and even coats of primer and follow the directions for dry time (every brand is different – I believe Zinsser calls for one hour in-between each coat and 24 hours before paint). Remember that the goal isn’t to completely cover the piece, or even to get completely even coverage. The goal is just to give the paint something to latch onto, and to make your job easier when it comes time to paint. I usually try to do at least two coats.

Once your primer is dry, it’s time to paint. I almost always use spray paint if I can, because it’s easier to get good coverage and you don’t end up with brush strokes (and I hate using rollers unless I have to). It might seem like it would be more expensive to use spray paint, but I used less than 3 cans of paint on this piece (after priming, of course), and at about $4 a can, that’s only $12 – not bad at all! I usually do at least two coats of paint, but I’ll do more if necessary. If you’ve properly primed it, though, two coats with a quick third to touch up any splotchy places should be more than enough.

Once I had my piece all painted on the outside, it was time to do the inside. I obviously couldn’t spray the inside without getting it all over the outside as well, and I already had some chalkboard paint lying around (plus some extra regular black paint for when I ran out of that), so I used a brush on the inside. If you have enough primer, it would be a great idea to go ahead and prime the entire thing, of course, but I ran out so I just primed the outside.

About 3 coats of paint later, I was good to go! And the finished product? It’s much more sleek, modern, and, um, pretty.

I ended up having just enough chalkboard paint for the top part of the cabinet and the drawer in the bottom part, and I did regular old black paint on the rest of the bottom. Since I had chalkboard paint in the top, I went ahead and scrawled a few labels in it so you can get the idea – I’m sure I’ll play around with it more later and it will be an ever-changing piece!

We weren’t in love with how this piece just sat on the floor without any legs, so you might have noticed that Corey and I chose to add some feet to it. All we did was use metal brackets to attach some cheap-o Lowe’s feet.

As you can see from some of the close-ups, the bottom doors fit on a bit funny and you can see the black paint along the bottom. The doors are pretty warped (and they got even worse when they were drying outside in our 100 degree heat!), and we haven’t quite decided what we’re going to do. We may try to buy some new doors, or we may build some of our own. I’m torn because I love the detail on these doors, but I don’t love seeing the black paint peeking out at the bottom! We’ll see where we land, and you know I’ll give you an update when we decide!

Ready to check out the inside? Let’s start at the top.

We found these pretty coral striped knobs at Hobby Lobby for some ridiculously cheap price, and we thought that they paired nicely with the slightly-nautical jute-covered hardware we have on the bottom (more on that in a minute). I love the pop of color they bring to the otherwise neutral piece!

As you may have noticed, the doors don’t have any glass right now. When we bought the piece, the doors were covered in fabric and we immediately ripped it out. We found some great, affordable glass at Lowe’s this weekend and we plan on heading back up there this week with our measurements so we can get some cut to size. I’ll probably also go back in and paint the back of the doors – all those paint splotches from the old paint job make me crazy!

And now, the bottom…

The hardware on the bottom is one of my favorite details of the whole piece. I promise I’ll get into more detail about it later, but these jute-wrapped cabinet pulls are so gorgeous, and I drool a little bit every time I look at them!

Whew, I got distracted! Let’s open it up and see what’s inside! It’s much more hidden from view, obviously, so it’s not as pretty, but I love the touch of the chalkboard paint on the drawer, and I’m obsessed with how much extra storage it gives us!

This piece adds so much to the room, and it fills the space SO much better than the tiny little wine rack we used to have sitting there! I love how it turned out, and it makes me even more excited for the day when we can finally retexture the walls in here and get that awful color off of the walls!

And, um, just as a quick reminder – here’s the before and after!

Pretty big improvement, right?

Later this week I’ll be back with details on those jute-wrapped cabinet pulls (they were a DIY project!), so be sure to come back and check it out!

What were you up to this weekend? Any big furniture makeover projects?

 

 

A Handmade Dining Room Light

I’m so excited to finally share this project with y’all – it’s been a long time coming! Oh, and this post also just happens to serve as my participation in the Pinterest Summer Challenge! If you haven’t heard of it, Sherry from Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power dreamed it up, and every season they challenge everyone to actually complete a project you pinned on Pinterest.

I’ve only been able to particpate once so far (with my DIY Silhouettes for the guest room), so I was crazy excited to get the chance to link up again this season. Katie and Sherry are hosting along with Kate from Centsational Girl and Michelle from Ten June, so be sure to check out all of the blogs when their posts go live tomorrow so you can see all of the amazing projects!

But, without any more babbling from me, let’s get on to the project.

When we left off last week, Corey and I had been inspired by this gorgeous light that we saw on Design*Sponge, and we were bound and determined to create a similar light on our own.

(Via Design*Sponge)

 The only question was how. Well, it took a lot of time and planning (and a lot of crazy looks from the poor employees at Lowe’s), but we did it and survived to tell the tale. And today, I’m gonna tell you all about how to accomplish this look on your own for LESS THAN $300. Seriously, I’m not even kidding – we spent about $250ish on this project (I intended to do a budget breakdown, but lost a bunch of the receipts, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one).

This is a pretty long and involved post, but I promise it’s worth it for the beautiful photos at the end. Plus, I’ll give you a tiny little sneak peek of what’s to come, just in case you’re thinking about not sticking around.

Trust me. You’re gonna want to see this.

To make our light, we started off with a 6-foot 1″ X 12″ – it looked a little something like this:

We cut it down to 5 feet, because that was the size we felt worked best with our dining room table (which is 9 feet long). If you choose to do this on your own, any length will work, you just may have to adjust the number of light bulbs accordingly.

We had an idea of how many light bulbs we wanted to do, but we wanted to see how they lined up on the board before we actually made anything official. We chose to use globe light bulbs (we used these from 1000 Bulbs, to be exact) rather than regular ones, but of course, this project would work fine with whatever kind of light bulb you want to use. We lined up our lights on the board to see how many across we could feasibly fit, and we ended up deciding that four light bulbs filled it up just enough without being too crowded. (Keep in mind, the lights are going to hang from different heights, so even though they look a bit bunched at this point, they won’t once the light is complete.)

Then, it was time to mark off for our holes. We started 1 inch in from the edge and marked every 3 inches after that (so we had marks at 1″, 4″, 7″, and 10″ – our board was technically only 11 inches wide, not 12, so we had to adjust for that).

We made marks on each side of the board, then used our straight edge to draw four lines down the board.

Next it was time to mark the rest of the rows and figure out where the working lights would go. Our bulbs were 3 inches across, so we decided that 20 rows of 4 lights would work best, so there are 3 inches on every side of the holes. We went down each line and marked every 3 inches to indicate where the rest of the lights would go.

Then came the part that hurt our brains a little – deciding where the working lights would go. We had decided on 20 rows of 4 lights, which meant there would be 80 light bulbs. Obviously, we weren’t interested in having 80 working light bulbs – that would be not only entirely too bright, but I don’t even want to think about how much it would have cost us to buy 80 light sockets. So, we decided that 10% of the lights would work, meaning we needed to mark spots for 8 working lights.

I’d love to give you some awesome method for figuring out which lights should be working, but it was a lot of trial and error for us. We played around with a bunch of different configurations (marking them with a pencil) until we found one in which they were all nicely spaced and looked pretty random (even though it totally wasn’t random) and we marked the lights with by circling them with a sharpie.

Then, it was time to construct the box. As I mentioned in our last post, we wanted something with a nice, large base (obviously, since ours is five feet long) that would camouflage the fact that the light socket hole in our ceiling is wildly off center. We also needed room for a ton of wires since we would have 8 working lights, which meant we needed it to actually be a box that hung down from the ceiling. We played around with some different measurements and decided that having it hang down about 6 inches from the ceiling looked the best, so our next step was to construct a wood box (the final dimensions ended up being 60″ long, 11″ wide, and 6″ tall for those of you following along at home).

Corey used our Kreg Jig to create pocket holes to keep it all together, and we also used wood glue to make sure it was nice and secure. I don’t have a lot of detailed photos of the process of putting the box together, but if there’s enough interest we can come up with some plans and a detailed explanation for y’all. But through the magic of the internet, let’s skip the box-building and go straight to the completed product:

Yup, it’s a box. It was time to stain, but first we wanted to make sure that the box actually worked in the room – we didn’t want to get all the way through and realize it looked ridiculous, so we brought it inside to check the dimensions in the room.

Looks good! So, after sanding it down to make sure all of the edges were smooth, it was my turn to step in so I could stain it. I used my trusty Minwax stain in Dark Walnut (pretty much the only color I ever use). Two coats later, we were good to go.

Then came the fun (or really awful, depending on how much you like being tortured) part. We had to hang it.

We used a couple pieces of scrap wood that we cut down to fit perfectly inside the box, and then we mounted them to the ceiling.The hard part was figuring out where exactly they should go. I won’t go into too many details because I’m not the math person in this relationship and it kind of hurts my brain to think about it, but we basically hung them so that the finished box would be centered on the table both lengthwise and widthwise. It took a lot of measuring, leveling, and a little bit of cursing (isn’t that an important part of any DIY project?) but soon we had ‘em hung.

(You can see the sadly off-centered light socket hole on the left side of the photo.)

Then, it was time to hold our breath and hope that we had hung them right so the box would fit over them (they had to be perfect since they were cut to fit exactly into the box – if they weren’t even with each other or if they were hung slightly crooked, it wouldn’t work).

It fits! Of course, we couldn’t actually hang it yet since there weren’t any, um, LIGHTS on it, but we’re getting to that.

Next up it was time to move onto the more fun parts. As I mentioned before, we have 80 light bulbs on our fixture but only 8 of them actually light up. So, 8 of the lights are hung with a light socket and wire, but the other 72 didn’t need to be, and we had to figure out an alternate solution for them (since we weren’t about to spend a million extra dollars on light sockets and wires that we didn’t need). We figured out that the light bulbs just so happened to fit perfectly into 1-inch electrical conduit (the same stuff we used to make our DIY curtain rods), so we decided to see if we could make some faux light sockets out of that. For reference, here’s what our real light sockets looked like:

(Via 1000 Bulbs)

We made our faux light sockets 2 inches long to match the length of the real ones as closely as possible. We started by using our reciprocating saw to cut the conduit to 2″ lengths – 72 of them, to be exact. Yeah, Corey had a blast with that one.

(As you can see, we used an electrical conduit strap to attach the conduit to our work table while Corey was cutting so the conduit wasn’t bouncing all over the place while he tried to cut it. Simple, but effective!)

Once they were all cut, our little faux light sockets were looking like this:

But they needed a top. Obviously, the light bulb would go on the bottom part, but we needed something on the top so they could be attached to the rope that we bought to hang them from (we’ll get there in a second). So, one night while we were watching television, we laid ‘em all out…

(This isn’t all of them, just the ones I was working with)

And we grabbed our materials…

And got to work! We used 3/4″ knock out seals for the top, and we needed the pliers and hammer to get them in there, and the super glue to make sure they didn’t go anywhere. Here’s a closer look at the knock-out seal so you can get an idea of how it worked.

Voila! Just like that, we had little faux sockets. We drilled a hole in the top to be able to string the rope through…

And then we spray painted all of them. This was a slightly unnecessary step, but the conduit and the knock-out seals are slightly different colors, and the conduit has some writing and random lines on it, so we decided to go ahead and spray paint ‘em a metallic silver so that they are nice and uniform.

Once we were done with this step (I know it looks quick and easy in a blog post, but just know that cutting and putting together 72 faux sockets is NOT a quick process!), it was time to piece it all together. We knew that we wanted all of the lights to hang from varying heights, so we had to figure out exactly how we wanted to do it. We decided on five different lengths, with the longest being 3 feet and the shortest being 2 feet.

You can see the breakdown in the photo a little better, but what we chose to do was 20 of the three foot length, 15 at two-and-three-quarter feet, 20 at two-and-a-half feet, 15 at two-and-one-quarter feet, and 10 at two feet. This was a bit of a random decision and there was no real method to it other than it just felt right to us. Once we decided on the lengths, I drew out a map of the light on a piece of paper and we color coded it so we could ensure that all of the lights fell in a random pattern. Here’s what it looked like:

The circled X’s are the ones that will light up – we decided that we wanted them all to be inside the light rather than on the outside edges and we didn’t want any of them to be the longest or shortest length – beyond that it was random. This was definitely a process and it took quite a bit of time to figure out how to do it, but we ended up with a light that looks like it was completely random, which was the goal, so we’re happy!

We bought the thinnest black rope that we could find for our faux lights – our wire is a vintage-style braided wire, so we wanted to match that as closely as possible. This is what we ended up with:

Again, for reference, here’s what our real wires look like:

(Via 1000 Bulbs)

I cut the rope to the right sizes and made piles of each length, we burned the edges so they wouldn’t fray (and so we could actually get them in the holes), and then we were ready to put them into the light. We plopped down on the couch, put the light box in our laps, and got to work.

All there was to this part was to push the appropriately sized rope through the pre-drilled holes and tie a knot. We had our little map sitting in the box the whole time and we each worked from opposite ends working to the middle.

As you can see, we left the circled ones alone for now because those are where the working lights will go and that needed to be wire and not rope.

As we worked, we randomly tried holding up the light to see how it was looking, and we were pretty happy with the progress we saw!

Once we got them all in, it was time for the wiring. Now, I need to pop in a quick disclaimer before I explain this process and let y’all know that neither of us are electricians and we have no idea if this was the “right” way to do this. Corey did some research and we felt like this was a safe method that we were comfortable with doing in our own home, but, uh, if you try it at home and blow something up it’s totally not our fault, mmmkay?

Here’s a little diagram I made of how the light wiring worked for us. Again, there are different ways you could do it, and this is just the route we chose to take.

And for a little perspective, here’s a zoomed out photo so you can see how they all connected a little better.

Clear as mud, right? It’s a bit confusing, but once you get doing it you can start to make sense of it!

Once we were all done wiring, it was looking a little something like this:

But, um, we had no idea if it was actually going to work. Luckily, we still had some wires with plugs left from when we did the paper lanterns in our guest room, so we quickly attached that, popped the sockets on, and put some light bulbs in. Then we both held our breath and crossed our fingers, toes, and eyes while Corey plugged it in…

Success! We were so excited that it actually lit up, and this was definitely the moment where we realized this might just actually work. We did some celebratory dancing and high-fiving, then we decided it was high time to get this thing hung. We brought it into the dining room to get it up on the ceiling. Corey had pre-drilled pilot holes in our box in the exact spots where the mounting pieces would be, so all that was left to do was drill the box in and hope it didn’t come crashing down (spoiler alert: it didn’t, although we totally spent a good three days with our couch cushions on the dining room table just in case!)

 

It worked! At this point it was late (as you can see by how dark it is outside!) and we went to bed. The next day we came back to it to finish up…you see we had a whole box full of these:

And they needed to be added to the light!

I did most of this next part on my own, so I don’t really have any photos, but from here on out the process was incredibly simple. I just stood on the table and grabbed a faux socket, strung the rope through it and tied a knot. Then, I grabbed a light bulb and put a few dots of super glue on it, then pushed it up into the socket and held it for a few second while the glue dried. Then I (slowly) let go and admired my handiwork! There were a few sockets where I had a hard time getting the light to stick into the socket, but with a little extra glue and a lot of patience I managed to get them all in there. I was careful not to add more than a few dots of glue in each socket because I wanted to be able to pull the light back out relatively easily if necessary.

Turns out, it was a good thing we were careful with the glue, because once we were done and stepped back, we realized that there were a few areas where several lights were all hung at the same height in a grouping, because even though we had planned the ropes to all be at different heights it was impossible to keep all of our knots the same size so the lengths weren’t exact. But it was no problem to pop the light back out, tie the knot a little higher on one or two of them, and see how that looked. We played around with it until we couldn’t see any areas that looked funny, and then we were done.

You ready to see? If you’ve actually stuck around for all 2,700 words of this post (geeze, I talk a lot!), then you totally deserve it. And if you just scrolled to the bottom to see the photos, then I totally don’t blame you, and you deserve to see it too. Let’s get to the pretty part.

(SIDE NOTE: We replaced the head chairs in our dining room a few weeks back and I haven’t talked about it yet because we haven’t gotten around to reupholstering them. Just know you aren’t crazy, they are different, and I’ll tell y’all all about them later.)

We are so in love with this light.

It’s exactly what we wanted, and we love that it’s completely unique and something that absolutely no one else has. We constantly catch ourselves just staring at it while we’re in the living room watching television or something, and we can’t get over how perfect it is for us. We also love how nicely it ties into our Ikea light fixture in the kitchen – the globe lights subtly mimic the shape of the light, and they coordinate nicely without being too matchy-matchy.

We also love how it looks from underneath – we tossed out a lot of our original ideas because we thought they would look bad from underneath while you’re sitting at the table, but this guy looks just as pretty from under it as it does from the side!

And, of course, we love the how it looks when it’s actually turned on. The light from the 8 bulbs that actually work bounces off of all of the other lights, and there’s an illusion that the whole thing is just glowing. It’s hard to capture in photos, but just know it’s beautiful! I’ll have to have you all over for dinner someday so you can see how it looks in person!

Yeah, I think we’ll keep it!

Now that we’ve got this guy and the curtains done, we’re finally getting close to feeling like our dining room is complete. We still need to reupholster the chairs and add a few accessories, and then way far down the line we plan to add a ceiling treatment, get rid of the carpet, add a rug, and do a super fun treatment to the fireplace wall, but for now we’re pretty pleased with the progress we’ve made!

If you could create your dream one-of-a-kind light fixture, what would it look like?

Pinterest Challenge graphic via Young House Love

** I’m linking up with Addicted2Decorating’s Addict’s (not so) Anonymous link party - check it out here! ** 

Bedroom Updates

Since we moved in about six months ago, I would have to give our bedroom the award for “most improved” so far. It’s gone from this:

To this:

To, most recently, this:

And I have to say that Corey and I are feeling pretty good about the progress we’ve made in here! It’s a colorful yet relaxing room, and I can literally feel the stress melting off of me every time I step in there. It’s a long way from finished, but we’re getting there.

The list of things we still want to do in our bedroom is long (as is the list of things we want to do in every room in our house, so who’s surprised?) but we finally got one thing crossed off recently.

That’s right – I’ve got a new “progress” shot to share with you today. Our bedroom now looks like this:

Ahhhhh, there’s nothing I love more than a crisp white headboard (well, okay maybe I love a few things more, but it’s pretty high up on the list)!

We’ve been wanting to give our bed a makeover for quite some time – the old look was okay, but it was much to traditional for our modern and colorful room, and even though we’re all about mixing wood tones, we didn’t love how the dark wood in the headboard looked with the lighter wood in our dressers (and when you think about adding in even darker wood flooring someday, the room started to feel very heavy filled with way too many wood tones). We love how our white nightstands pop against our deep peacock blue walls, so it was an easy decision for us to turn our wood-and-tan bed into a white-white-and-more-white bed.

This was another one of those projects that doesn’t even require a walkthrough for you, because all we did was take it apart, paint and reupholster it, and put it back together. It was beyond simple and completely transformed the look of our bed. Really, our whole room.

I’ll admit that I was really nervous about this project before we did it – I knew that I wanted to have a white, upholstered headboard, but this was the first time we’ve ever completely transformed a piece of furniture that we actually spent real money on. Most of our makeovers are to old, cheap pieces that we find at garage sales or thrift stores. This bed, however, was purchased from an actual furniture store for a (relatively speaking) large amount of money. I was terrified that we’d hate the result, but luckily we went with our gut on this one and ended up absolutely loving it.

Of course, now that we are in love with the bed, it just makes it even more painfully obvious that we have absolutely zero art up above it. That’s something we plan on fixing as soon as possible – as soon as we sit down and make a decision about what the heck to put up there.


Our bedroom obviously still has a long way to go – we still need to replace that awful carpet with some rich wood flooring, add some height to the room with a tall Ikea wardrobe along the wall next to the bed, get a nice giant rug, potentially add a sitting area in a corner of the room, and (of course) layer in a ton of accessories and art. But, for now, I feel pretty good about the baby steps we’re making.

And, you know, it totally doesn’t hurt that every time I see my new beautiful, white bed I start grinning like a maniac.

Have you ever made over a piece of furniture that wasn’t from a thrift store or garage sale? Did it make you as nervous as it made me?