A Modern Look for an Ikea Hemnes Dresser

Our bedroom dresser is finally finished! And can you believe it’s Ikea!?

It took me a long time to find a style of dresser that felt right for the room, and then I came across this one and fell in love . . . with everything except the price tag.

I decided to try to recreate this look using a much less expensive Ikea Hemnes dresser. Last week I shared how I sanded off the old gray stain and re-stained it in black (read all about that process here). Although the Hemnes does come in a brown-black stain, my Ikea didn’t have it in stock. This ended up being a blessing because it would’ve been too hard to try to fill the drawer pull holes and stain those as an exact match to the original black stain so my only choice would have been paint (and I am so glad I still have a stained wood look!)

I searched and searched for leather pulls to attach to the top of the drawer fronts and stumbled upon these beauties on Etsy. I chose brass nails and cognac leather.

When the pulls arrived, I realized that there wasn’t quite enough space for them to sit on top of the drawer front without catching the dresser frame so I asked Justin if he could cut small notches at the top of each drawer front to create space. This ended up being a slow, laborious process and we’ve spent our evenings working on through it. We set up shop in our basement, turned on the TV, and tackled each drawer pull one by one.

First, I measured exactly where I wanted each drawer pull to be (it ended up being just shy of 5 5/8″ from the end of each drawer front). Once I had the pull in place, I marked it on each side with a pencil.

Then Justin clamped down a straight edge to create a guide marking the bottom depth of where he wanted the notch to be. He took a hand saw and sawed over the lines I had marked until his saw hit the depth of the straight edge.

He then took a chisel and started chipping away in between the two saw lines.

By far, the chiseling took the longest! He had to try to be as precise as possible so that he wouldn’t chip away too much that the drawer pull wouldn’t cover it.

Once the notches were finished, I took over the rest of the process.

The notches often had the tiniest of chips on the edges, but I took a black permanent marker and colored them in and they became invisible! This would have actually been easier with a fine-tip marker, but I worked with what I had.

Once the edges were colored in, I set the drawer pull inside and hammered it in using the brass nails that came with the pulls.

Repeat twelve times and you have yourself a fully functional dresser! I am really happy with how these drawer pulls turned out. It looks like they were always meant to be inset like that!

I knew I loved it before, but once everything was in place in our bedroom, I couldn’t even contain my excitement. It is PERFECT for the space and I love that we spent the extra time and effort to really make it shine.

I still plan to create a large gallery wall above the dresser and I’ve been slowly gathering things to include – I think that will be the perfect finishing touch to this part of our bedroom!

Dresser Budget Breakdown

Ikea Hemnes Dresser: $298.53

Black Stain: $13.32

Polyurethane: $17.09

Synthetic Bristle Brush: $7.60

Leather Drawer Pulls: $101.61

Total Cost: $438.15 – much much better than my inspiration dresser’s $1800!!

Top 12 Tools for DIY Projects

Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the Top 10 Staples I always have on hand for DIY Projects (check out that post here). Looking back over that list, those ten items are still the ones I always keep in stock at our house so I’m ready to jump into a project whenever I want. Today I thought it would be fun to have a follow-up post that focused on the specific tools that we have that we use the most for our projects. Yes, we have more specialized equipment in our workshop, but the twelve items I’m going to share are what we use to complete 95% of our projects. Some are big, some are small, some are investment pieces, some are inexpensive, but these twelve things are the top items that we find ourselves reaching for again and again to successfully accomplish DIY projects at home. And I promise you, even if some of these tools feel intimidating, you can learn to use them!

A small disclaimer before we start: I believe everybody should have a quality hammer and two screwdrivers: one Phillips head (the tip looks like an x) and one flathead (the tip is, well, flat!) These three tools are the most basic items that I think should absolutely be in your home/garage/toolbox and aren’t included on my list, but if you don’t have them already, definitely start there!

Compound Miter Saw

By far, this is our #1 workhorse. A good miter saw is an investment for sure, but it is completely worth it. We use ours for nearly every single DIY project we do! Our miter saw has helped us build everything from small shelves to play kitchens from scratch, update window trim and baseboards, shiplap our office, create a geometric accent wall, even built our basement dining table! It doesn’t have a huge footprint and is easy to set up on sawhorses in a garage, yard, or directly in your workspace. We highly recommend it!

Orbital Sander

We have both a cordless and a corded orbital sander and they each have their pros and cons (battery means more flexibility, but might die midway through on a large project while a cord can be limiting for location, but it lasts as long as you need it to). Regardless of which one is your preference, I highly recommend a sander. We use ours from everything to sanding off old stain to smoothing edges and surfaces on a finished DIY. Having a variety of sandpaper grits available (Justin usually stay stocked with at least 80, 120, 220, and 400) allows you to be ready for any project.

Quality Tape Measure

This one seems so simple, but there really is a difference between a solid, quality tape measure and a cheap and flimsy one. It is definitely worth spending a couple dollars more on a high quality one (or three!) that will give you accurate measurements and last a long time.

Level

We actually have three levels: nine inch, 24 inch, and 48 inch and choose whatever size we need based on the size of the project. From the most basic of DIYs, like hanging a picture frame or shelf on the wall, to more advanced projects like building a play kitchen or custom built-ins from scratch, a level is super helpful for ensuring precision. In the picture below, Justin is using a level to make sure the window trim is perfectly vertical while he attaches it with . . .

Nail Gun

I will admit, a nail gun seemed like an intimidating tool at first but now I actually love using it! It makes installing projects like window trim and shiplap so much quicker and easier, and I just think it personally feels empowering to use. Anytime we are installing trim or baseboards or are building anything with wood, we’re pulling out our nail gun. Ours attaches to an air compressor but there are battery-operated options available too. We keep 1 inch, 1.5 inch, and 2 inch nails on hand so we’re ready for different depths based on the scope of the project.

Stud Finder

Another small but mighty item, a stud finder is incredibly helpful in the install stage of DIY. If you’re nailing, screwing, or installing an anchor in a wall, you want to know if you will hit a stud or not ahead of time. While you can gently knock across the wall to listen for a difference in hollowness, a stud finder is a more precise way of finding exactly where the stud is. We use ours for everything from hanging a picture to putting up trim – any time we’re attaching something to a wall.

Circular Saw

In the picture above, Justin has created a guide using scrap wood and clamps and is cutting a large piece of plywood using a circular saw. We do have a table saw as well, but we’ve found that we often use a circular saw in place of a table saw for various projects (plus it’s much cheaper and more versatile!) Justin uses this saw whenever we need to cut down a larger piece of wood, like an extra wide plank that is too big for a miter saw to handle or a sheet of plywood.

Power Drill

When I shared the Top 10 Staples I use over and over, an electric screwdriver was one of them. I use ours all the time for small projects around the house and while it is incredibly versatile and handy, a power drill just brings a lot more power (obviously) to a project. It’s great for drilling holes and installing screws quickly and easily. We also feel like it works really well when we’re using larger screws or heavier-duty materials.

Kreg Jig

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With our power drill, a kreg jig has come in handy for many projects where we need to screw pieces together securely, particularly when two pieces are coming together at a right angle. We’ve especially used it for projects like shelving, whether it’s a small shelf for books or our large built-in, and attaching table legs.

Clamps

We use clamps over and over (and over) again. Justin frequently uses them to keep wood in place when he needs to make a precise cut, and whenever we use wood glue to attach two pieces together, we use a clamp to keep them tightly bound while the glue dries. I recommend several clamps of different sizes so you’re able to easily clamp in place whatever you need to!

Sawhorses

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We have two sets of sawhorses and they get a ton of use during projects. They do everything from holding Justin’s miter saw on projects outside of our home to providing a level surface for a long piece of wood being cut to holding my trim pieces in place while I paint them. Ours are light and collapsible and very easy to cart around the house depending on where our project is.

Right Angle

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When I asked Justin what tool he thought should round out the list, he was quick to say a right angle. He has four different sizes of right angles and finds himself reaching for them again and again. It’s always helpful to know when you’re bringing together two pieces squarely, or to test whether the corner of a wall comes together square (spoiler alert: walls rarely do haha!) He is very precision minded and this tool is incredibly helpful in making sure each project is precise and corners are accurate.

And that’s our list! If for some reason something would happen to our workshop and we needed to start over from scratch, these are the twelve items we would start out again with. These are the tools we have to thank for most of the transformations we’ve been able to make in our house and they’re the ones we know we’ll be reaching for again and again in the future. In fact, as I think about the next big project I’m considering tackling, I already know I’ll be using almost this entire list of tools. Time to start planning!

My Go-To Places for Finding Artwork

Big news around here today – the hardware for the dresser arrived early! Once it’s installed I’ll share it on the blog, but in the meantime you can see the hardware I chose, as well as a little problem I’m encountering with it, on my Instagram stories today. Since the dresser is so close to being finished, I’m ready to shift my focus to planning the wall around it. We already have a full length mirror in the room and we never used the mirror over our last dresser, so instead of a mirror I’m going to pull together a gallery wall above the dresser.

A portion of our playroom gallery wall blends family photos with original artwork (peach & pineapple) from JBeck Studio

When it comes to buying artwork for our home, I refrain from buying everything at places like Target, TJ Maxx, and Hobby Lobby. There’s nothing wrong with art from those stores (and I definitely have some pieces from them!) but it’s mass-produced and can feel like everyone has the same things. I prefer to create a more collected look by mixing in framed family photos with artwork that feels a little more unique and personal to me. I’m going to spend the next few days gathering all the prints and images I want to use for our bedroom, so today I thought it’d be fun to round up my go-to places for finding artwork for our home.

Butterfly print from BFF Print Shop paired with an original piece bought from a street artist in Florence, Italy

Juniper Print Shop

Juniper Print Shop’s Dab paired with a postcard I received from a friend

Whenever I need a print for my house, this is the first place I typically look. I love their curated collection of unique prints and it is really easy to mix and match them throughout the house. You can purchase a physical print and they’ll print it on high quality paper and ship it or you can purchase the digital download and have it printed yourself. I’ve always purchased the digital download and have never been disappointed! Their resolution is fantastic and many of the prints look like they have texture even though they do not. I’ve been eyeing this cute one for years now and I think the bedroom gallery wall will be the perfect place for it! I’ll mostly likely also incorporate a landscape print, like maybe this one or this one.

BFF Print Shop

I downloaded and printed this vintage Cracked Flower from BFF Print Shop

I think I’ve purchased four prints (again via digital download) from this store so far and I’ve been really happy with them all. The collection is huge so it’s a little harder to sift through and find just what you’re looking for, but the positive side is there are a lot of options so you’re more likely to find something that fits your vision. Their vintage collection is especially good and I love pairing a good vintage print with a thrift store frame for an elevated look at a low price. I also like their nature prints and modern line drawings for creating more eclectic pairings. I like the idea of finding some travel photography this time around to add to the bedroom gallery wall – maybe something like this or this?

Etsy

Modern, Bright Entryway Makeover

Etsy is a bit of a mixed bag and there are soooooo many options to sift through, but it’s always rewarding when I can find the right thing! The landscape above is one of my favorite prints in our home and I’ve had guests over who can’t believe it’s a print. I also got the prints in LJ’s room from Etsy, so I’ve had some success there, but it does help to search for something specific. As the gallery wall comes together, if there’s a certain type of piece I feel like I need, Etsy will be a great option to search!

JBeck Studio

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I have several pieces from Jenni (who just so happens to be my very talented sister) and they bring such a unique touch to whatever space they’re in! I also love supporting small businesses and having original art in my home, so this feels like a triple win.

Turn Mementos into Art

Art is so subjective and it should be meaningful to you, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box – it’s the easiest way to make your house feel uniquely yours! I have framed postcards from travels, recipes written by our grandmothers, handwritten lyrics of a hymn found tucked away in a family bible, and even an old wallpaper label found buried beneath layers of plaster in my grandparents’ farmhouse. I’ve framed a graphic print of the map of city that’s important to us. I’ve picked up original art from both a street vendor in Italy and my local farmers’ market. One year at the Christmas party for Justin’s work, they hired someone to do caricatures and ours is now framed in a gallery wall. Things like this always give such fun, unique touch to any wall so I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting finds to add to a wall.

Since this gallery wall will be in our bedroom, I’m going to add a few personal touches from our relationship. Several years ago I had a lettering artist create artwork out of our vows and that is already in our bedroom, but I think I’m also going to dig through a box I keep of other mementos and maybe frame a handwritten card or ticket stub or other small item that signifies something special about our marriage.

I’m so excited to dive in to this project and curate a gallery wall that feels just right for our bedroom!

Staining an Ikea Hemnes Dresser Black!

When I was searching for dresser ideas for my primary bedroom renovation, I came across this dresser and it stopped me in my tracks:

I loved so much about this dresser: the clean lines, the black stain, the subtle wood grain, the leather drawer pulls. Really the only thing about it I didn’t like was the price. Yikes! At first I considered building my own dresser to mimic this one, but thankfully I was talked out of that. Instead, I decided to take a basic Ikea Hemnes dresser and recreate this look for a tiny fraction of the cost.

The Hemnes does come in a black-brown stain but it was out of stock so I bought it in a gray stain. At first, I covered it with a coat of paint in Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, but I did not like the way it turned out at all. It looked like, well, a cheap dresser that was painted. Luckily, the latex paint sanded off very easily and I was able to start over with a different plan. Here’s what I did:

Materials

-Ikea Hemnes Dresser

-Orbital Sander + 80 grit and 120 grit sandpaper

-Plastic Wood

latex gloves

Black Stain

-Foam Brushes

-Clean, dry cloth

Painters Tape

Brown Stain

Polycrylic

Synthetic Bristle Brush

Tack Cloth

-220 or 400-grit sandpaper

The first thing I needed to do was sand off the old gray stain. By far, this was the step that took the longest! I used an orbital sander and 80-grit sandpaper to get most of the stain off, then I went over the whole thing again with 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the coarse surface.

Before sanding down the drawer fronts, I filled in each of the drawer pull holes with plastic wood. This product only takes about 15 minutes to dry and then you can sand and stain it just like the rest of the wood.

You can see that there are still some traces of gray stain left on the dresser above. I decided to save myself the time and effort of removing every tiny bit because I knew that the black would cover it up without anyone being able to tell it was there.

After everything was sanded with both grits of sandpaper, I wiped down every surface with a tack cloth to collect all the dust. I also used painter’s tape to tape off the bottom of the legs (making the top of the tape line even with the bottom of the dresser body) because I wanted to stain that part a different color. More on that later!

I tested out a few black stains and settled on this water-based solid color stain. I used a foam brush to apply the stain in long strokes, making sure to follow the direction of the wood grain. I like to wear latex gloves when staining to protect my hands.

This stain is thick and absorbs pretty quickly so I worked in small sections and wiped the excess stain off with a clean, dry scrap cloth.

You can see above what the wood looked like after one coat of coverage. I wanted to see less of the wood grain, so after letting the surfaces dry for about 2 hours, I reapplied a second thin coat of stain on top using the same process as before, except working in smaller sections so I could wipe the stain off a little quicker (thus, keeping it from penetrating too much and getting too dark). Here’s a good comparison of what one coat vs. two looked like:

After all the black stain dried, it was time for the bottom of the legs. I tore off the painter’s tape at the bottom of the legs and put new tape that lined up with the bottom of the black stain (note: for the bottom of the legs, I made sure to sand away all of the previous gray stain). I had a bunch of random stains leftover from previous projects and after testing them out, I settled on this provincial.

I set the legs on top of scrap wood so I could get all the way to the bottom without ruining the floor. I didn’t want the stain to be too dark so I applied a light coat of stain with a foam brush and wiped it off almost immediately. Then I removed the tape – I love a nice, crisp line!

After the provincial stain dried, the dresser was ready for topcoat. I chose this Polycrylic Protective Finish in a clear matte finish. After carefully stirring, I used a new synthetic bristle brush to apply a thick layer in long strokes, again following the direction of the wood grain.

Polycrylic looks white and bubbly when first applied. It dries clear, but the bubbles do leave a slight amount of a textured feel. After letting the first coat dry, I used a 400-grit sandpaper to very lightly (seriously, hardly any pressure is needed!) sand the surface smooth again.

After sanding the dresser and drawer fronts, I wiped everything down with a clean tack cloth and then repeated another round of Polycrylic + light sand + tack cloth. Once everything completely dried, I could pop the drawer back in and admire the (almost) finished result!

Even though I’m still waiting on the new drawer pulls to come in, I am so so thrilled with how this dresser is turning out. The picture truly doesn’t do it justice. It looks so chic! It has the same clean lines look and subtle wood grain that my inspiration dresser had and I love the added character from the stained legs. It definitely looks like a higher-end product and I’m so glad I went with my gut on re-staining this one!

No-Sew Method for Hemming Curtains

For as much as I love DIY, sewing is one skill I haven’t grown to love that much. I do love the look of curtains though, and they rarely come in the correct length for what I need. When I bought the 96″ curtains for our primary bedroom, I knew I would need to hem them. I like a slight pool of fabric at the bottom, but these curtains were still a couple inches too long for my taste. Today I thought I’d share a little tutorial for my method for hemming curtains – no needle and thread in sight.

This no-hem method is a low-cost, quick, and simple project that is perfect for beginner DIYs!

Materials

HeatnBond hem tape

-Iron

-Paper clips (or pin of your choice)

-Scissors

-Ironing Board (or other heat-safe surface)

Ideally you would use an ironing board but I didn’t have one so I improvised with two folding chairs and an old table protector pad. Before beginning, I recommend cutting off the curtain tag at the bottom (if there is one). I found that the hem tape did not adhere as well to the tag. Once the tags were removed, I folded the bottom of the curtain to create the new desired length.

For me, this was easy because the width of the existing hem was the amount that I wanted taken off overall length, so I could just fold the curtain over on the existing hem. I chose to secure them with paper clips because they’re easy for me to slip on and off and safer than sharp pins if I accidentally dropped or lost one and a child or pet found it.

Once I had secured the entire bottom of the curtain, I ran the iron lightly over of the new folded seam to create a nice crisp seam on the bottom.

Next came the hem tape. At first I accidentally bought super weight (it’s supposed to be for heavier fabrics) but it worked fine for my cotton curtains. I did run out and have to buy a second roll so I bought regular weight that time and honestly didn’t notice a difference in how they worked for my fabric.

I chose to work in smaller sections and ripped off roughly 8-10 inches of hem tape at a time. I placed it underneath the folded fabric and ran the iron across to activate the adhesive. (Note: the curtain edge is peeled back in the picture below to show you where I placed the tape, but make sure it is lying completely flat when you run the iron across)

I found that it worked best to hold the iron over each section for a good five seconds before moving it down the line, and I overlapped the iron each time for additional heat. If I spent less time on each section, the adhesive didn’t get hot enough to work. My iron was on the cotton heat setting since the curtains were cotton.

When I came to the end of the curtain, in addition to the hem tape running parallel to the old hem, I ran a small piece of hem tape along the outside edge to keep the fold secure.

To finish the seam, I flipped the curtain over and ran the iron once more over the hem tape from the other side, spending about 1-2 seconds on each small section.

That’s it! Once the fabric cools down, the glue dries and creates a nice new hem. This project cost less than $8 and took roughly 10 minutes per curtain. Quick, easy, and inexpensive! The perfect little DIY šŸ™‚

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Foggy Day

Curtain Rods

Curtains (out of stock ā€“ similar here)

Basket

Vanity + Chair are vintage

One Year Later: How has the Basement Kitchen held up?

My Google Photos sends me a lot of “one year ago” flashbacks and lately, all the pictures have been flashbacks to our basement kitchen renovation. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since this transformation!

This project was a great example of the power of paint, as paint was the biggest tool I used to transform the space. Painted walls, painted counters, painted cabinets, painted floors . . . lots and lots and lots of paint went into this renovation! I thought it would be fun today to take a look at the kitchen one year later and see how everything has held up so far. There’s also a few small changes since the initial reveal – see if you can spot them!

Cabinets

I’m still in love with the cabinet color (Rock Bottom by HGTV by Sherwin Williams). I chose this paint brand and I have to say I’m very impressed with how it has held up. This kitchen doesn’t get normal everyday use, but now that our kids play in the basement so much we use it for snacks frequently and the kids even play in the kitchen sometimes. We also use it as a hosting kitchen whenever we’re entertaining, which we’ve finally started to do more of now. There is not one scratch in the paint on the cabinets and it doesn’t need a single touch up!

Countertops

I also am really glad I chose to paint the countertops instead of replace them. You can read all about that process here. Even though it’s not perfect (there are about 3 places where I didn’t get the epoxy quite thick enough so there’s a small hole in the top layer), it was a super cost-effective way to get a new look. When guests come over, no one can believe it’s paint!

I will say, the counters do show some very slight scratching from use, but it’s hard to see unless the lighting is just right. It’s so minor that I think it’s one of those things that no one else notices except for me because I know to be aware of it. Would I recommend painted counters as an update? YES! I think this is a perfect way to inexpensively elevate a kitchen and it’s a fairly easy DIY. I do think that it’s probably a better “short-term” fix (like 5-10 years) and not necessarily a good permanent solution for counters you plan to use for 25 years, particularly in a kitchen that gets heavy everyday use. I just think it would likely show more wear and not hold up quite as well for that long. But it’s a great solution for counters that you hate but can’t afford or don’t want to replace yet!

And speaking of counters, the butcherblock is also holding up very well. This gets the most use: it’s where my kids eat snacks, where we prepare food for guests, where we set out food when we’re entertaining, and where we first drop things off when they come into the kitchen. The butcherblock is easy to clean and still looks great after a year of use!

Floors

The only painted surface that I am not very thrilled with one year later is the floor. The picture below is a realistic glimpse at how it often looks after a light sweep of the floors.

Painting the tile was again, an inexpensive way to transform the look of the floors. And the paint kit I chose (you can read the whole process here) was a great decision, as the actual paint itself has held up well. The floor gets heavy use from kids playing and guests walking in and out; I’ve had to scrape food off the floor and even when I have to use my nail, no paint scratches off. The quality of paint is great! I just wish I had chosen a different color.

White on floors is a horrible decision in a kitchen. I wish I had chosen a darker base color or a different pattern (or at least much larger triangles) so not as much white was showing. It’s just so hard to keep them looking clean! They show so much dirt and almost always look like they could use a good scrubbing. I’m someone who doesn’t actually scrub the floors super often – I want them looking clean with a light sweep and then an occasional deep clean. I typically don’t see dirt on the gray triangles, just on the white, but there is a lot of white!

We had to buy a new fridge when the old one died a few months ago, and the new one a little smaller so some of the old tile now shows at the bottom. I’m seriously debating whether I should continue the pattern under the new fridge or use this as an opportunity to re-paint the entire floor in a darker color. . . hmmm.

Overall, I’m still really happy with this space and I’m so glad I decided to invest a lot of time and effort into making it shine without breaking the bank (this whole reno was under $1500!) This is a space I know we will be enjoying for years to come!

For all sources, you can check out the bottom of this post.

ORC Week Eight: Primary Bedroom Reveal(ish)

After several weeks of work, our primary bedroom is . . . halfway done!

Yep, you read that right. I’m only finished with half of the room so far, but my oh my do I love this half!

Here’s a reminder of where the space started at the beginning of the One Room Challenge:

Throughout the past nine weeks, I painted the walls, baseboards, ceiling and windows. I also replaced the window casing with chunkier trim and updated the outlet and switch covers with wooden covers painted the same color as the wall. Justin and I hung new curtain rods and curtains, new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, installed sconces, swapped our nightstands with the ones from our guest room, and of course, upgraded our bed, bedding, and rug.

I have realized something important about myself in this process. I understand the value of planning out a renovation ahead of time. The mood board I created at the beginning of the project was such a helpful guide for me in making decisions early on and to gather all my thoughts in one place. That being said, I realized that I also really like slow, thoughtful design decisions. I like to solidify a choice, see it in my space, and then finalize the next choice from there. This room started with the bed. I knew I wanted a platform bed in a deep, solid color. Once I had the bed in place, I could gather bedding ideas and a rug that would all coordinate well, and once I sat with those choices for a couple weeks, I found the curtains that worked perfectly to complete the look.

Looking back at my mood board, I stuck with a lot of materials and products that I first envisioned, but I’m glad I didn’t jump the gun and order everything at once in the beginning. Take the curtains for example – I originally envisioned a solid mustard color. As the renovation went on and everything came together, I realized with solid color walls (I did not do limewash as I originally planned), a solid color bedframe, and a solid color throw blanket, I needed more pattern! I wanted a subtle graphic pattern to balance out the bolder, more intricate pattern in the rug and I really wanted to stick with a mustard color. It was actually very hard to find affordable, in-stock, 96″ length curtains in a small, mustard-colored, graphic pattern that I actually liked, and I searched for weeks before finding these beauties (snagged on sale for under $50 a pair!)

I’m very glad I didn’t let the pressure of a “deadline” with the ORC rush my decision because I’m so so happy with the end result!

My goal when starting out with this space was to create a colorful, moody retreat. I wanted a place that felt relaxing for Justin and I – a little haven just for us away from the chaos of sharing a house with two toddlers and two dogs. The bedroom before was a functional, but boring blank slate. We are both so happy with how it feels now: a restful, soothing space just right for us.

Now that I’m finished with the “bed half,” I am ready to focus my energies on the other half of the room: the half that currently looks like this.

I have an Ikea dresser I plan to hack for this space, as well as add a little vanity table, more curtains, and possibly a different mirror. Again, I’m taking things a little slower and honing my vision one decision at a time! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Foggy Day

Ceiling Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Upholstered Bed

Nightstands

Cream Pillows

Green Pillows

Lumbar Pillow

Quilt

Floral Sheets + Throw, both from Target (no link available)

Rug

Eucalyptus Stems

Wall Sconce

Curtain Rods

Elbow Connectors (used to make the rods work for a bay window)

Curtains (out of stock – similar here)

Dog Bed

Be sure to check out all the other One Room Challenge reveals here!

ORC Week Six: The Sconces are In!

We’re in the home stretch of the One Room Challenge!

Justin and I are on vacation this week and it has been amazing to take some time away together. Right before we left, I finished painting the walls and we tackled one more small project in our bedroom: putting up our sconces!

I love the look of sconces but didn’t want to hardwire them because a) it’s expensive to do and b) we will likely move where our bed sits when we remodel the en suite bathroom/move a wall in 3-5 years. At that time, we’ll hardwire them because it’ll be a more permanent spot for our bed. Until then, Justin just attached the sconces directly to the wall and I used these battery-powered, remote-controlled puck lights in place of lightbulbs. This solution works for now, but the puck lights aren’t super bright with the white globes so I’m on the lookout for a similar light with more lumens.

Side note…can we talk about how my library check out pile has officially gotten out of control!?

Also, if you’re wondering if the smoke alarm placement bothers me, the answer is YES but the previous owners hardwired it there and we’re not going to move it right now so I’m learning to deal with it. Win some, lose some!

Okay back to the sconces. They are from Illuminate Vintage, a small business out of Houston that I discovered and fell in love with. Made in the USA, conscious of sustainability, gorgeous styles and high quality – sign me up! I was immediately drawn to these Erie sconces which feel modern and fun and I chose a raw brass finish that will patina over time.

When we come back from vacation, I need to paint the ceiling, hang curtains, replace the baseboards, install window trim, and the big one: complete my Ikea dresser hack! It’s a tight timeline but I think we can pull it off!

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Foggy Day

Upholstered Bed

Nightstands

Cream Pillows

Green Pillows

Lumbar Pillow

Quilt

Floral Sheets + Throw, both from Target (no link available)

Rug

Eucalyptus Stems

Wall Sconce

ORC Week Three: Fabric Sample to the Rescue!

Another week of the One Room Challenge has come and gone and if this one was a Friends episode, it would be titled The One Where Almost Nothing Happened. Ha! I say “almost” because one very small but important thing did happen yesterday afternoon, in the final hours of a week full of no other progress.

ORC-Guest-400x218.png

When I first ordered my bed, the estimated delivery date was May 14. Then I got a notice that it would be May 17. Than I got another notice that it was backordered and wouldn’t arrive until May 25. I’m crossing my fingers that that will be the actual date of arrival but at this point, I’m not very confident.

Unfortunately, our bedroom has more or less been at a standstill with the delay of the bed. I had been waiting on it before making decisions with other colors, textures, and textiles to bring into the room so it’s been very frustrating to not know when it’s going to arrive. Then last Saturday, I realized that I could order a fabric sample of the upholstery! I immediately ordered a free sample, only to have it tell me the estimated delivery date was June 15. Sigh.

I ordered it anyways, thinking maybe it would still come before the bed. I’m so glad I did because it completely surprised me by arriving yesterday! Although the order on the website still says “preparing for shipping” with a delivery date of June 14 so that really doesn’t give me confidence in Wayfair’s delivery notifications. Hopefully that’s not a bad omen for the bed’s shipping…

Now that I at least have the fabric sample, I feel like I can actually proceed with making some other decisions. I’m feeling energetic and excited to get moving on this again!

Make sure to check out the other ORC participants here. They probably have made a bit more progress than I did this week. šŸ˜‰

Home Tour 2021

It’s been two years since we first moved into this house. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been that long. On the other, it feels like so much longer! Last year I posted a tour of every single room to document our progress one year in (to see last year’s tour, click here). Today, I’m once again sharing every single room in our house, now two years in to living here. Something interesting I noticed after the fact is that last year, I titled the post “house tour” and this year, I titled it “home tour.” I think this subconscious decision speaks to the fact that we have been working really hard to turn this house into our home and with each little change it feels more and more like us.

This post is inevitably a long one but I tried not to make it even longer with a lot of words, so anytime the italicized room name has a hyperlink, that will take you back to the renovation post. If you want to read more about how that room was transformed, click the link and you can see before and afters! The rooms that haven’t been addressed don’t have hyperlinks but I’ll share a few thoughts about what the room has been through so far and what still needs to happen.

These tours are fun to look back on because not only does it show all the changes this house undergoes, but it also shows the changes in our family (cribs to toddler beds, stuffed animals now to older choices later, etc). For that reason, I didn’t really shift around much for these pictures. Obviously I cleaned so it’s looking its best šŸ˜‰ but I still wanted this to look like us. I didn’t suddenly style a coffee table that normally we keep empty due to toddlers or didn’t take down LJ’s creations on our fridge or move our exercise bike (even though I wanted to!) or anything like that. In one case I didn’t even pick up LJ’s toys. This is just our home in 2021.

Basement

Guest Bedroom

I would still like to go back and add wallpaper to this room at some point!

Guest Bathroom

Entertaining Space

This is a space that’s been added to and adjusted in bits and pieces over the time we’ve lived here. I’m constantly rearranging all the plants on that shelf as we collect more or they grow and get re-potted so this space is always evolving. I still want to swap out the old window trim and paint the windows at some point, which I think will make a big difference!

I found this huge piece of furniture on Marketplace and I have some ideas in mind to really transform its look but for now, I’m just glad we have something other than a bent folding table to hold our TV!

Behind the couch is the dining table Justin made from scrap wood paired with chairs I found on Marketplace for $2 a piece. Right now, that space is also occupied by our exercise bike (Quarantine Splurge #1). I’d really rather that be somewhere else but Justin prefers to have it there so he can ride and watch TV at the same time. Did you also see all the weights and yoga mat to the right of the entertainment center in the picture above? We really need a dedicated home gym space . . . more on that in a minute.

Perhaps my favorite part of the basement is the kitchen I renovated last year!

On the other side of the basement is a wide open space that wasn’t really utilized until Quarantine Splurge #2 entered the picture. This bounce house was purchased over the winter and was a total game changer for life at home with two toddlers who can’t go anywhere. Even now that the weather has warmed up and we go outside more, this still gets used almost daily and is so great for getting energy out!

There’s also a treadmill that we never use that just needs to be sold to get out of the house and a lot of wide open space for the kids to play. I decided to leave LJ’s toys out instead of clean them up for the picture because he is obsessed with tractors and loves to line up his toys and I know I’ll miss these sweet little lineups some day.

Mudroom

The last room in the basement is by far the worst room in our home. It’s my Monica closet for all you Friends fans. I’m cringing just looking at it! It’s been used for storage but it’s cluttered and unorganized and so badly needs attention. I actually want to totally re-work this space and use it as a workout room for all the exercise equipment taking up space in the basement so that may be a project one day!

Now we head up the spiral stairs to the main floor of the house!

Main Floor

Laundry Room

This room has been pretty much untouched since we moved in but I have big plans to address it this year!

Full Bathroom

I did a zero dollar update to this bathroom off the laundry room last summer and still love how it turned out!

Powder Room

This room has been untouched so far and it low on our priority list right now. Someday, my friend.

Office

By far my favorite project to date!

Dining Room

Kitchen

This was our most recent renovation and I’m still pinching myself over how different it looks in here now!

Playroom

We renovated this room back in 2019 but this past year we did give it a few updates like new window trim and a light and a DIY play kitchen!

Living Room

Another untouched room with tons of potential, but life with toddlers has made this a very low priority over the past two years. It’s functional and kid-friendly and that’s what we need right now!

Foyer

This has been . . . somewhat addressed. Ha! We need to hire a painter to complete the top half of the walls. We also have plans to eventually knock out that little closet, replace the front doors, update the railing, replace the light, the list goes on! I think this could be a showstopper someday.

“Secret” Nook

Top Floor

Landing

Notice LJ’s ever-changing artwork – it looks like a Q but I think it’s a person!

Kids Bathroom

LJ’s Bedroom (complete with Scout!)

Vi’s Bedroom

Primary Bedroom

This room is our current project, although all we’ve been able to address so far are the windows. And our new adjustable bed base is just hanging out in the middle of the room as we wait for the mattress. I can’t wait to see it all come together soon!

Primary Bathroom

A gut renovation will still happen someday, but I’m still so glad we did a phase one update back in 2019!

Whew! That’s a wrap on the house! We’ve still got a lot to do but it’s come a long way and I’m glad to have a minute to sit back and just enjoy all the progress we’ve made so far. And I’ve got to end on this picture – LJ and Vi ran in from playing outside with Justin as I was photographing and insisted on being in a picture. The lighting is off and it’s blurry but I love it so much. My two little kids cheesing after a fun day outside – this is what it’s all about. This is why I work so hard on this house. It’s for our family and our life together. It’s the safe space for our family, the place we gather with our loved ones. This home is the backdrop for all our sweetest memories and I love finding all its hidden potential.