Monday, August 29, 2011

DIY weekend: Small Projects on the Side...because Renovating Your Kitchen isn't Enough...

That's right. I said renovating my kitchen was simply not enough of a project. At our house we like to see how many projects we can get rolling at once...find out what our breaking point is. (Heavy on the sarcasm here folks). I hit my breaking point on Saturday around 2 P.M. when a simple baseboard touch-up turned into a near 2 hour NIGHTMARE. When we moved we repainted most of the baseboards. We ripped our flooring out after the fact, which left about 1/2 inch of brown wood exposed. I decided that I would tackle the baseboard touch-ups while my husband took care of the disaster zone in our kitchen (pictures to come). Apparently the first coat of white paint went on over a clear coating on the wood baseboards. Imagine my delight and sheer excitement when I discovered that all of the paint that had just put on in November was already peeling off. Two miserable hours of peeling, sanding and re-painting later, that project was complete.
  While I was on a kick of fun projects, I knew one that, given the 114 degree blistering heat, would for sure be the cherry on top.  A month ago my mom and I happened to be in a Jo-Ann's Fabric purchasing things for my brother's upcoming wedding when we happened to notice some flower boxes on sale. I had been in search of planters to hang from my front windows for months, but couldn't bring myself to pay some of the hefty prices. We scored two window planter boxes for a ridiculously good deal on an "end-of-summer" clearance (if only it was the end of summer here). I had been putting off the actual hanging and planting until it cooled down, but being the over-achiever-beaver that I am decided this weekend would be the PERFECT time. I'll admit, I'm slightly driven by the fact that I have family coming over that might possibly only ever see my house this one time. Since I'm not an expert at drilling into brick, my husband drilled the planters into the brick wall for me. He added an extra screw for reinforcement, as there were only two to begin with. After hanging the planters we made our first of four trips of the day to Home Depot and picked up some succulent plants that can withstand our delightful heat. The front of our house takes direct sunlight until late afternoon, so we needed something that could basically withstand a blow torch. Here's some pictures from that project...
Before: All the white trim is set to come out one day soon...hopefully to be replaced with black shutters. I can't even fathom an outdoor project like that right now!

Planter box (I's not really a box) hung

Freshly filled. I love the look of green living things when everything is so dry and dead right now!

I also decided to take on another small project in this front flower bed. We had been using one of those hoses that has small coils like a snake. It was constantly getting stuck/clogged/not spraying which is very frustrating when you are trying to water your plants quickly and get out of the heat. I happened to be at Target and found a new hose for $6 and the holder for $13--pretty great deals! 
We just drilled straight into the brick. Excellent time to check out the garden department at your local Target for their
end of the season sales.
    It was an exciting weekend at our house. We literally had about 3 projects going at once all weekend. Both of us woke up with sore backs, bloodshot eyes, feeling sick and haggard- an altogether perfect way to launch the week of my brother's wedding. BUT, our kitchen looks ABSOLUTELY fantastic because my husband is truly a rockstar and knocked out an incredibly daunting task with none other than some tools and Zac Brown Band in the background. I can't wait to show you all the newest photos of our kitchen! Hope you all had a productive (but hopefully more relaxing) weekend!!  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekend DIY: Backsplash Phase 1

I realize I am exactly a week late in updating everyone on last weekend's kitchen escapades. We have had something going on every day/night since last Friday when we began our first phase of ripping out and replacing our kitchen backsplash and this is my first chance to update you all on how we did last weekend.
   If you haven't been following our story, my husband and I have set a goal of having our kitchen renovated by Labor Day weekend (yep, NEXT weekend). My brother is getting married and we are hosting a lunch on Labor Day. We are now 6 days out from needing to be finished with the kitchen!!! YIKES!!! This project began with counter tops, a new sink, faucet and garbage disposal on weekend one. Only one section of the kitchen is left- it needs countertops and backplash. In addition to needing to finish countertops and backsplash for that section, we also need to touch up with paint, and other tile-y things.
   It's been a whirlwind trying to finish this kitchen and definitely an exhausting experience. Last Friday night my husband and I started ripping the old nasty tile off the walls. He decided to begin tiling that night with the new white, subway tiles we had purchased, and kept working until 3:00 AM on Saturday!! However, I am so proud/blessed to have a husband that is able to do all of these projects since it is literally saving us THOUSANDS of dollars!!!
    I think the pictures will really speak for themselves, take a look at where we are at as of this weekend:
First glance at the white subway tile with black grout. My husband wasn't sure about the black grout at first, but it had been in my vision since day one. He told me after the fact that he thought it made the kitchen. 

Another after shot of the subway tile.

The black grout--I have to admit, I nearly had a panic attack when I walked into the kitchen and saw the walls looking like this! 

The subway tiles freshly hung, without the black grout. 

Nothing like having a saw parked in the kitchen for the weekend.

Backsplash around the stove area.

Hanging the subway tiles.

This tile is very special to me- it's the very first tile hung. I had a huge vision for our kitchen when we purchased our home and seeing this tile hung was all part of the dream coming true!

Scary looking walls behind our stove!

Yes, someone hung tile all around the window and on the ceiling. This area was a treat! 

So grateful that someone hung the tiles ON TOP OF WALLPAPER--it made taking the old tiles down a BREEZE and didn't destroy the walls!

Delicious looking floral wallpaper and its glue.

From the time we moved in, this was my husbands least favorite part of the kitchen. The tile job was HORRIFIC around this window and he constantly talked about wanting to rip these tiles out!

This spot is going to be fun this weekend---tile was laid over the door way! 

Another exciting spot to work on this upcoming weekend!
What do you guys think? It's come so far from it's mint green/white cabinet/white countertop days! I really wish that I had taken more before pictures of our kitchen when we moved in! Six days and counting, can't wait to share with you all where we are at by the time the family arrives for the wedding next week! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend DIY: The Never-Ending Kitchen Renovations

The weekend I've been waiting for since we purchased our home finally came. The weekend of new kitchen countertops, sink and faucet. When we purchased the home, I had so many visions for every room. Growing up in a home where we always gathered in the kitchen, I knew that I wanted our kitchen to be warm and inviting. Bit by bit we have updated our kitchen. As much as I adored our white countertops, it was simply time for them to say good-bye. My husband found a sweet deal at IKEA on butcher block counters and we picked them up this week. A while back I shared that he had scored an incredible deal on a farmhouse sink. Continuing with the theme of sweet deals for the kitchen, he purchased a new faucet and garbage disposal for ridiculously good prices as well.
   Three weeks from yesterday marks the date of my brother and his fiancĂ©'s wedding. Three weeks from tomorrow marks the date that my extended family comes to my home for the first time for a post-wedding luncheon. I haven't seen my extended family since my wedding (almost 3.5 years ago) and considering that my husband and I aren't planning on having a child anytime soon, and my brother is the last child to be married, this could be the first and last time my extended family sees our home. My sweet husband set a goal to have our kitchen pretty much finished by the time the fam arrives for the "Post-Wedding/ Labor Day luncheon." Three weeks. Three weeks for counters, sink, faucet, backsplash and touch-ups. I'm taking lots of "deep breaths" and trying not to stress about this. I'm so grateful that he wants to do this for me, but in the midst of all of the wedding festivities, all I can hope is that it will be completed at "go-time".
   I have a small problem that I'm aware of: overcommitting. This weekend was the weekend of my brother's fiancĂ©'s bridal shower and bachelorette party. While we were at it, I thought we may as well have a garage sale the morning after the bridal shower...oh and let's start in on the kitchen too!! So, while I was relaxing pool side at my favorite local spot, sweet husband began the kitchen countertops (I promise I asked to help in any way possible...he sweetly turned down my help with the power tools). When I arrived home late into the night, I was pleasantly surprised to see one set of countertops in along with the sink, new faucet and garbage disposal! Today, one more chunk of the countertops were finished as well. It looks like we might make that Labor Day deadline afterall!
        Here are some before pictures...

            And some pictures while in progress...

                            A picture of what I came home to last night...
                     Lastly, pictures of where we are at today...

                It's coming along and I couldn't be more excited. Owning a home was a dream of mine and I can't believe I get to share a home with so much history with my best friend and love of my life. Home renovation is definitely trying, but it has taught us A LOT! I'm so grateful to have such an incredibly gifted and handy husband---he is saving us a TON of money since he can do all of the work himself. I look forward to sharing our kitchen reno story with you as we continue along the next few weeks. 21 days until the unveiling for the family!          

Monday, August 8, 2011

Repurposing Old Books

Being the readers that we are, my husband and I have books all over our home. There are books in boxes, shelves, closets- you name it and there's probably a book nearby. Taking inspiration from my new favorite website, Pinterest , I've been looking for ways to repurpose old books. One posting had shown how to make decorative flowers with buttons for the tops of gifts. I thought these flowers looked simple enough, so attempted to make some tonight. I loved the way they turned out, and decided to decorate some plain cards I already had. To make these cards you need: stationary, an old book, a hot glue gun, burlap scraps and buttons.
                            The kind of stationary that I used---I picked this pack up at Michaels.

These cards were super easy to make, and I loved that I was able to make them using things I already had around the house. I also started some Christmas pieces tonight too (couldn't help myself)!! What have you been repurposing/upcycling at your home lately???

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Warriors: The Office Chair that Turned our House Upside Down

    Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful day thus far!! Our day started out bright and early, Charlie--our lab-- was ready to play at 6:00 a.m.! At first, I was not a happy camper about being up so early on a Saturday (if I can sleep in until 8:00 at our house, it is a small miracle). Once I got up and moving and stopped at my favorite local coffee shop, I was ready to hit the estate/garage sales around town. My husband had received an email about an estate sale nearby, and we were excited to discover that everything was 50% off today. The prices were great and there were definitely bargains to be had! My favorite find at that particular sale was our new office chair. We were able to purchase the chair for only $22.00. It's a beautiful chair, with great detail, and I'm sure it cost the former owner a small chunk of change.
   Purchasing a new chair turned into an entire upheaval in our home. Literally. Not one room at our house went untouched in the process of setting up an actual office space. That's right, I bought an office chair without having an office set up yet. We decided to create an office in our smaller guest room, the room we installed bookshelves in last weekend. The first thing my husband asked was, "Am I going to have to take down the shelves we just installed last weekend?" There was no way I wanted to get rid of our newly installed shelving system, so I made sure to make it work. Since we did not officially have a desk at home, I knew we were going to have to get creative. I was absolutely determined to not spend a dime on this DIY project, and I'm proud to say that the only money that went into a new office area was the $22.00 on the chair.
   Since my parents found a fabulous trunk -with wheels- for our living room, I decided our best bet was to create a desk out of our current coffee table. The coloring and size were a perfect fit for our small guest room. We tried several options to transform the coffee table into a desk. On our first attempt to stack books to create the desired height, we stacked books and then hung burlap as a curtain. Within minutes my allergies were a wreck, so I knew the burlap was a no-go in the office/guest room. After perusing the garage, I found old bed slats against a wall that matched the color of our coffee table almost perfectly. I liked that the wood was already distressed and old like the table as well. My husband sawed off the coffee table legs and created new legs out of the slats. I'm extremely pleased with the final result! I absolutely love having an office to type and work from! Of course I rearranged the entire guest room as well (and our other one...)
  Enjoy the pictures from our DIY project today!
            The new chair, our old coffee table and the existing dresser in the guest room.
        We moved our dog kennel out of the room and pushed our twin trundle bed against the front wall, which created this empty space under the print drawer we recently installed.
               The chair and former coffee table. We placed it against the wall we wanted it on and then decided how tall we needed the new legs to be.
                          I just absolutely love the detail on this chair. The fabric is a really fun dark orange and cream and there are even cute little wheels at the bottom of the wood legs.
                      Trundle bed now pushed in the corner, which I like a lot better. It now creates a more inviting day-bed type feel.
            We pushed our old dresser under the print drawer. I purchased the white lamp on the dresser at the estate sale for $10.00. It's a beautiful white glass vintage lamp. We will be changing out the lamp shade, so stay tuned for pictures of that DIY project.
                         Gotta love that my husband did a little DIY in the 100+ degree heat!
Coffee table with its new legs. I think the color of the old bed slats is a pretty good match!
I love that this desk is the perfect height for me. At 5'10", I tend to bump my knees on a lot of desks!

           I've been playing around with different decor for the desk, but the last picture is the most current as far as the accessories go.  I was so excited when I went out to the garage and found the old print drawer ( a mini version) that we had from a long time ago. I used some of my favorite glass jars and an old mail scale as well.
      I hope you've enjoyed our little Saturday project! My husband and I had a great time estate-saling and putting everything together. It really pays to get out there and shop around on the weekends. I'm excited to share the rest of our finds from the weekend, so check back later for more!