Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Game of Thrones...

ok Facebook page is finally up and running!  Don't forget to follow along!

So...you know that project that hangs over your head and every-time you look at it (or in my case sit on it) you think "what the heck... finish that already".  Well, it took me 1 year to complete the most simple and cheap upgrade...but I finally upgraded our new thrones!

I found these chairs on Craigslist last year and I just adored the high backs and circular design and they were in great condition.  Best Part - we paid $75 for 5 chairs and 1 captains chair.  (The seller felt bad for us because we were actually trying to buy the table too, but she sold it before we got there.)  
Andy look away now...Helpful Tip:  I find that Guilt is a great negotiation tactic, don't be afraid to negotiate on craigslist! 
As you can see the chairs are in great shape...but the dated maroon fabric was a tosser!
Last weekend I found a spool of gray velvet on the markdown rack at Jo-Ann's - marked down to $8/yard.   
(For those of you thinking how the heck do you have time to go to Jo-Ann's...i snuck by after a ragin 3 year old birthday party at Wiggle Works - Savannah was so hooped up on cake she didn't know what was going on!)
And all i needed was 2 yards to cover 6 seats - at $8/yard I was felling like a lucky duck!  Andy got rolling on unscrewing the chair seats while I put Savannah down for the night, then as soon as she was sound asleep I whipped out the staple gun and got busy.

Here are my tips:
Just Cover It - if the original cushion is in good shape...just cover it!  You can also add a light layer or batting for quilts if you need a little extra cushion!
Pull tight and pull often - don't be afraid to use a screw driver to remove and re-staple if it's not right.
Push hard - on the gun to make sure your staples are driving...use a hammer to reinforce if needed.
Scotch Guard - if you have kiddo's it might be worth spraying your fabric for extra protection.

I often find that one reason why I don't jump on a project is fear of making the wrong design choice.  A lot of times when I'm DIY'ing I get drawn to the new trend...but i constantly have to remind myself brighter, bolder and bigger isn't always better! So i was inspired by my favorite store - West Elm - and went for a bit more refined look.

If you just look at this chair you might think BORING...but for the current room decor (curtains are Bold and art is Bright) I really didn't need or want too much of a statement!  
I love the new look and I'm finally feeling like things are coming together in this room!
And the best part of the project - it cost $16 and only took 1 hour!  

One of my favorite part of DIY'ing is seeing and hearing Savannah's perspective on the project, especially since most of them are completed when she is asleep!  We often get a Christmas like response when she wakes up in the morning.  For a 2 year old she is really encouraging and supportive.  It's not uncommon to hear "oh mamma it looks FABULOUS!" and "oh it's BEAUTIFUL!" and if I'm working really hard I get a "congratulations".   

To her these chairs were "Oh it's soooo cooozy!"

Hope this little tut helped anyone wanted to mix up fabrics...I've done more technical re-upholster projects as well (ottomans and wing back chairs) so if you have questions don't be afraid to ask!

- Katie
This Post is Shared on These Linky Parties:

Monday, April 29, 2013

1 mile of paint - trim and doors galore!

I promise this shameless promotion will end soon...I know it's annoying, but i have to ask!!!
#1 please sign up for my email list….how?  Look to the right in the side bar, add your email and then go to your email to confirm you are a real person!  In the future I hope to have more interactive posts and this will ensure you are first to know about them and show me that you like what I’m doing!  I like positive reinforcement …wink.

#3 If you like my style and want to see what inspires me and see products I love.  Click here to follow my pinterest boards, or you can look to the right and click on my “follow me on Pinterest” button!

Oh I wish this post was somehow more interesting but lets be honest...it's a total snooze fest.   I'm painting trim people...painting and painting and painting.

I'm not gunna lie to you and say "this is so fun" or "what an easy project" because this is an incredibly time consuming and boring one for reals! But I will say that it has a huge impact and you will appreciate the result for years!
In the last 2 weeks I have painted 7 doors (inside and out), all the molding around those doors (inside and out) and all the base board in the Master Bedroom and 2nd floor hallway!
Now add up all the square footage and times by 3 (one coat of primer and 2 coats of paint).  Does that equal a mile of paint...OMG it sure feels that way!
 So here's my attempt at making this post fun...Savannah photo BOMB!
 I let her help me sample the new wall color and she was having the time of her life!!!
ok...back to doors and trim...
By the time I finish this project (not to mention the 2 other bedrooms I haven't touched) I will have officially painted every inch of trim in our 2700 square foot house.  Can I please dub myself a trim painting professional?
 The project has taken about 10 hours...3 rounds of paint and each round takes just over 2 hours.  I completed one 2 hour stint during a super long nap..thank you Savannah!  And the other 2 hour stints were early Saturday mornings when Andy was taking care of Savannah Savannah was taking care of Andy.
Sorry Andy...I just had to! It's too stinking cute!

So here are a few tips I learned along the way...

Steps To Prep for Painting Doors and Trim:
  • Clean molding with wet rag and mild soap
    • Double check your cleaning - that molding edge really harbors dirt and grime!
  • Opt for a tooth brush to clean all the 90 degree angles in the molding (trim and door) 
    • Bonus Tip:  Make sure you clearly label said toothbrush or your husband will use it...sorry Andy!
  • Tape off floor edge 
    • I'm a trim before wall paint kinda girl
    • I am putting on new door hinges so i just painted over the old and will install new once I finish all the painting (if you aren't this is where you would tape them off)
  • Remove door handles - all you need is a philips screwdriver - very very easy to do!
  • Prime - apply with good quality brush
  • Paint - I apply paint with quality brush and then roll over with a smooth foam roller to smooth any brushstrokes

One Fool Proof Painting Doors Strategy:

Apply first with brush
Apply paint with your brush to get all cracks and creases in the molding and hard to reach edges.

Before it dries move onto the foam roller and smooth out the paint, then cover the entire door with paint using the foam roller.
Check out that DARK wall sample color...probs the new master bedroom shade...more on that to come!
Once you have covered the door, monitor the paint to make sure drips don't appear.  Check back a few times in the first 5-10 minutes.  If you find one, soak with a black foam thingy (technical term).

Favorite Products for painting Trim and Doors:
  • Frog Tape - aka the green stuff...it really works better!
  • Zinsser Primer - latex (but if your molding is untreated wood use oil based and be prepared to do multiple coats, untreated wood soaks up paint)
  • Benjamin Moore Advanced Paint - Satin Finish - Color; Dove White - I'm obsessed with this paint and here's why.  It is latex but hardens like an oil based paint.  It is incredibly durable for cleaning and cures hard for heavy wear and tear - that's why i use it on doors, trim and cabinets.  Plus it is self leveling so the brush strokes just blend away as it cures.  Seriously amazeballs.
And here is an image that kept me motivated through this project...

I never really noticed how dark the doors were until i got some white primer up there.  And I am soo pleased with how crisp and clean the new doors look!  I'll be back next week with final pictures once i re-install the door handles!  Oh and yes that yummy greige is going to be the new master bath color...exciting!

Thanks for reading and I'm off to the Chiropractor to get an adjustment - this painting is so rough on my back!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sign up to Show Love...Come follow me!

Thank you for visiting me!
First off…thank you for taking the time to visit our blog and checking out our DIY Adventures!  Please enjoy, comment and ask any questions…I take the time to read everything and I will  always comment back. 
Can I ask one thing of you?
#1 please sign up for my email list….how?  Look to the right in the side bar, add your email and then go to your email to confirm you are a real person!  In the future I hope to have more interactive posts and this will ensure you are first to know about them and show me that you like what I’m doing!  I like positive reinforcement …wink.
#3 If you like my style and want to see what inspires me and see products I love.  Click here to follow my pinterest boards, or you can look to the right and click on my “follow me on Pinterest” button!

I'm aslo on...

Subway Tile is Up and it's the Bomb!

Ok, I seriously love white subway tile and  I love that they are everywhere!  They just feel so clean and organized!  You basically can't look in a design magazine without catching a glimps of this stuff.  And I'm pretty sure that every one of my favorite bloggers have subway tile somewhere in their house.   
Random Fact - We had originally planned on doing subway tile for the kitchen back-splash, but now I'm much happier with our marble choice...but it is set in the same pattern. 

After posting about {the inspiration} for the laundry room, I went to Home Depot to buy materials and almost did a jig in the aisle when i realized the entire back-splash install would cost $25!  Yeah you heard me correct...$25 dollars!  Get it GUUURL!!!

{DIY} Subway Tile Back-splash
  • Subway Tiles and Subway bullnose edge tile $16
  • Grout $9
  • Thin Set Mortar - free - already owned
Total Project Price = $25!!!

Laying the tile took just under 2 hours, Grouting took under 1 hour and sealing the grout 15 minutes.   So what's my new favorite project in the house?
Oh, it's the $25 and 3 hours spent laundry room back-splash! 
Is it weird that i creepily sweep my hand across it and smile every I walk in there?

What a cheap and easy transformation!

Of course I couldn't take pictures of the actual tile cutting - Andy was occupied for hours putting Savannah to sleep (that sounds crazy, i know, but no joke this process can take up to 2 hours...she is the queen of deflection.  What 2 year old actually needs 1 cold carrot at 9pm and then again at 2 am?).

So here are some shots of the process...to start make sure your edge is level.  The subway tile is super easy and self explanatory...I worked out to in (by "in" I mean the corner, I'm really good with technical terms).  Start your 1st row with a full tile and second row starts with 1 tile cut in half.  Then repeat!
**I used a bullnose edge which is optional
 The spacers are just over 1/8"...placed at every edge, vertical and horizontal.
 For your thin set mortar (bonding agent for the tile) I prefer to use dry mix and make a batch every time...vs the pre-mixed stuff.   Not sure why it's just my preference!

And here is the money shot, all clean and grouted!
Since I used 1/8" spacers I went with a sanded grout (any spaces 1/8" and larger you should use a sanded vs non-sanded grout).  Grout Color Choice was just slightly off white.
**I also love dark gray grout in subway tile and if my counters were white...I would have chose that option...
If your interested in seeing this project from the start...here is the link to the post on laundry room progress.

Here is an easy how to on tiling and grouting...or just email me and ask!   I'm no expert but I'm full of advice!
Well I hope you enjoy and I can't wait to get this room accessorized and share a final reveal!!!
- Katie
Don't Forget!!!
#1 please sign up for my email list….how?  Look to the right in the side bar, add your email and then go to your email to confirm you are a real person!  In the future I hope to have more interactive posts and this will ensure you are first to know about them and show me that you like what I’m doing!  I like positive reinforcement …wink.

#3 If you like my style and want to see what inspires me and see products I love.  Click here to follow my pinterest boards, or you can look to the right and click on my “follow me on Pinterest” button!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dirt Cheap Crafty...{DIY} Paper Art

OK we're going to play a little game of Word Association...When I say "scrapbook paper" what comes to mind?
a) you have too much time on your hands
b) what is that?
c) Dirt Cheap Art 

answer is C my peeps!  I love Crafty and I love Cheap...So here is some Dirt Cheap {DIY} Art!

Custom Letter - Paper Art under $15
  • cardboard letter under $10
  • mod podge - Free (already owned)
  • scrapbook paper - $1.60

Custom Framed art $6
  • Ribba frame Ikea - $4.99 
  • Scrapbook paper - $1.00

Ribba Ikea frames range from 1.99 - under $20.  And they come with a Mat.  Score!
***just a note they are great for ledges but the back is deep which makes them really hard to hang on the wall!

another close up of framed scrapbook paper...

And my ultimate favorite....the Pirouette Marbled Paper from Paper Mojo...$0.75 per sheet.  This paper is just lovely, it's tissue thin, with beautiful colors and gold!
Custom Framed art $6
  • Gold Frame from Goodwill - $4.99 
  • Scrapbook paper - $0.75 
And yes, i know what you are thinking...that mat is crooked! I used an exacto knife and card stock for an interim mat...lazy!

Well I hope you enjoyed some Dirt Cheap Crafty!  

- Katie
This post is also shared on:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kitchen Remodel Complete...

I'm so excited to share the completed Kitchen Remodel and I'm not going to lie, this project was completed a while ago, it's just really difficult to take pictures with a dog and toddler running around!  A day when the house is clean, we have good lighting and an entertained toddler is very very hard to come by. 
   OK. Enough with the excuses.   Here we go!
  Aside from the same layout the kitchen is unrecognizable...said while patting my own back.  It feels so much brighter...happier!

We did some shape shifting...ohhh I just had to get some vampire lingo up here...and removed counters above the peninsula.  Taking these out opened up the room so much that we never even think twice about the loss of cabinet space.  
We created a comfortable eat-in breakfast nook by extending the counters 7 more inches so we have 19" of functional eating space!
 Kitchen Upgrade Changes include:
  • Painted Cabinets - done by yours truly. Paint color is White Dove by Benjamin Moore in Advanced - Satin finish (best paint ever read more here).  Painting cabinets it not hard it's just time consuming!  I probably spent over 10 hours on this portion of the project alone.  Cleaning, filling holes with wood putty, de-glossing, priming and 3 coats of paint. I wish I had taken better notes along the way, but YHL has a great post on this; YHL; How to Paint Cabinets. The work was long and tough but we saved thousands of dollars by refinishing the cabinets.  No joke....THOUSANDS!
  • Removed Cabinets above the peninsula - demo'd by Andy and I, fueled by Corona 
  • Removed country chic cabinet trim that ran along the top of the cabinets; just used metal cutting saw and trimmed at the nail...easy peasy!
  • Black Granite Counters - by NorthWest Stone Fabricators; they were awesome and had tons of options.  Why I love them...price, quality and service!  
  • Added Eat-In Breakfast Bar to peninsula by extending counter 6 more inches.
  • New Marble Back Splash Tile - Installed by me and my Dad.  Andy and I picked out this polished marble mosaic tile from Home Depot.  Dad cut, I laid the tile and  Andy managed Savannah.  This was backbreaking work, I'm not amazon but at 5'9" it was hard to tile under those cabinets!
  • New Hardware from Ikea, so sleek and easy to install just get one of these measuring tools to prevent uneven handles especially at this size and length having un-level handles are OBVIOUS!
  • New Sink and Faucet from overstock. **Special Tip:  if you buy the same brand you have a better chance your finish will match...just because you buy brushed nickle does not mean that all brands will look the same! 
  • Painted; the walls are Moonshine by Benjamin Moore and Window Trim is off the shelf white in semi-gloss.
  • Plumbing - I did hire this portion out. It was just too big to concur ourselves.  **Special Tip: when doing a reno like this you can save major bones on a plumber by keeping your sink depth and drain location similar to your previous arrangement...the re-configuring of the pluming is what really hits the pocket book!

Check out my West Elm bar stools...incredibly comfortable and the high back is great with the kiddos.  This is where Savannah and her buddies sit for lunch!

Below you can see the "Bar" area.  Originally there were 4 wine racks and we cut out 2 rows to provide more open shelving.  There was also  a hanging rack for the wine glasses where the coffee maker is.  Considering we are not really drinkers..yes college friends you read that right...all the booze cabinetry just seemed excessive. 
Now it is much more open and is my favorite spot in the Kitchen...mmm coffee.  Love my Keurig. 
Random Fact: in College I did a PR internship in NY and my product...the Keurig Coffee Machine.  If I only new then what I know now.  
 This is also a great shot of the polished marble mosaic back splash.   The pictures don't do it justice but the tiles have that great color variation that's typical of marble.  
Love Love Love.

What's Left To Do:
  • Window treatments
  • Rug
  • Wall Art
  • Under cabinet lighting
  • and the Big One...relocate recessed cans over the bar area for pendant lights! Probs schoolhouse style. 
Well thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!  Let me know if you have any questions!

Update:   We have since installed Crown Molding onto the Cabinets and Instantly Upgraded this space...Check it out here! 
- Katie

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Master Bedroom: Before Pics and Inspiration

The laundry room project is nearing a close (final reveal coming soon..booya koosha) and of course I am getting antsy for a new project.  I really feel like a master bedroom overhaul is just the right fix.  And to tell you the truth, in the 6ish years that Andy and I have been living together we have never put our bedroom a priority...sad face.  Even in our previous home, the bedroom furniture was hand-me-downs and anything that we did purchase was small and fit for town-home living.  But now we have a redonculous sized master bedroom and all those pieces seem miniature!  So the executive decision is made and a master bedroom redo is Happening.  But honestly if we don't do it now, we will just have more babies and then this room will continue get put on the bottom of the reno list.

So my inspiration hit me upside the head like a 2x4 and here is what we've got: Dark, Dramatic and Masculine (I'm calling it that to get Andy's buy in).

Bold Walls and Gold Accents
Atlanta Home Magazine
I just love this mix of color...dark gray walls, white curtains and linens, mustard and blue pops of color...yum yum yum

I love the everything here: crown molding, symmetrical staging, pops of gold, dramatic headboard.  It's the bomb.

Drum Roll please....Board and Baton Wall!   I soo want this but I'm thinking more of a wainscoting look to go with what we already have in the house...

This Headboard is rockin'...I'm totally making this.  XL sized, tufted with gold nail head trim...yes please!

This DIY Campaign dresser will be the new Nightstand.   We need more places to store our junk.  Can you believe this is actually an Ikea Dresser...

I just love all the Textures going on in this room: fur, lace, silk, velvet.   It's totally DELUXE!

And here is the starting point people.   This is our Master in it's current state.  BORING!!!  I want to smile when I walk though these Doors!!! 
Oh and if you didn't get enough..one more shot of BORING!

 I am so excited to steamroll into this project...first thing's first I have got to settle on the wall color.  So I'm off to Benjamin Moore..also known as my happy place.  I can't wait to share progress! 
 - Katie

Monday, April 22, 2013


Every now and a then there is trend that hits the blogoshere and I just can't stop myself from jumping on the band wagon.  There is something about Pom Pom Fringe that just hits me in the nostalgia department and makes me giddy.  I think every little girl has some encounter with this trim and I can attest to a 2 year old's fascination with it...as I watched Savannah wrap her dolls and toys in the scraps of fringe for days.  It really has some magical power over both of us. 
In my book there is really never too much of a good thing so I decked out my my living room top to bottom literally (my curtains are hung floor to ceiling - 96" long) with Pom Pom Fringe!  
Check it...

The whole process is super simple and you can do any fringe with this method.  Here are a few other trim ideas i love!

greek key trim - another personal favorite

What you need:
  • a sewing machine
  • curtains - just get these from Ikea.  They come in a variety of lengths/colors and are easy to re-construct and size down to your windows.  And they are dirt cheap....seriously dirt cheap; $24.99 for a 2 pack of 57"w x 96"l curtains!  Amazeballs.
  • fringe of choice 
  • thread that matches your trim

**Size drapes to window - hem where needed, pin fringe and sew.  That's it people! 

**The Pom Pom fringe does have a give to it and it is slippery when sewing. So pinning down was key for this project.  

**And if you don't know how to sew, go for a no sew method.  Use stitch witchery; cut and iron!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the Pom Pom Curtains as much as I do!!!

 - Katie

Friday, April 19, 2013

Organization Progress...

It definitely seems very strange to be writing about organization and DIY with all the craziness going on in Boston and Texas right now. I'm thinking about all the people who have lost their lives and been injured in Texas and in Boston.  Both are just incredible tragedies.  It feels crazy to just go on with my life and not do anything...I guess I can at the very least donate blood, think good thoughts and blog?  I'll provide some mindlessness, this definitely helps me at times.

Well...contrary to my expectations I actually did get a little organized!  
I posted {here} about some little organization ideas that I found on Pinterest...and I actually did a few! Check it!

Chalkboard labels for the garage just makes everything look so much more purposeful.  I have 5 different styles of Tupperware bins and creating the chalkboard labels just makes them unified! 
Project cost was Free!  Already owned everything (but at Lowe's a quart of chalkboard paint is about $13)!

And why not finally get these pantry essentials labels.  This one has been 3 years in the waiting...you don't even want to know how many times I grabbed the sugar when looking for the flour!
Project cost was Free!  Already owned bins and chalkboard paint!

For the Chalkboard label projects I follow the below steps:
  • Clean bins with rubbing alcohol
  • Tape off area with Frog Tape - (the green painters tape its the bomb)
  • 1 layer of Zinsser 123 primer paint
  • 2 layers of chalkboard paint 

My ultimate favorite!!! Command Strip Hooks to hang up the pan lids!   Finally...can I get a hallelujah!   
Project Cost was $8 for a 9 pack of command hooks!

And Here is one that I just love!  Cork-board tiles on the inside of our cupboards.  We have two cupboards that are used for storage/books, randoms & office stuff.  This is such a great place for me to leave mail for Andy or leave his to do list...wink wink.  I have the right side cupboard and Andy has the left side.
Project cost was about $20.
The cork-board is sold in a 4 pack and run about $10-20 for a 4 pack depending on the style you get. They also come with command adhesives!  

I'm so appreciative of these small steps in organization. ..sometimes its the little things that make the biggest difference!

 - Katie

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Malachite...Hot or Not?

OK..I regularly read a couple of east coast blogs {listed under my fav blogs section} and there is a ton of Chitter Chat about Malachite.   I seriously just can't stop thinking about it..I'm concocting DIY ideas.  I'm pretty close to running down to the thrift store and DIY'ing some lamps for my master bedroom.   The look is an acquired taste and it definitely would not fit into some of my more playfully inspired rooms.  It's serious, dramatic and kinda masculine and that's just what i want for the master bedroom.  So here is an image of actual malachite...
Its a crystal...but this design is just yummy.   And duplicating the circular image on art or furniture is pretty simple...check out these ideas below.  I defiantly want to try this lamp idea.

And here is a very creative faux malachite table.  Yumm

Thoughts people?  For some reason I'm just so drawn to it, but then again I wore MC Hammer pants every day in 4th grade.  Knowing this fact, I should often question my judgement!  So I'd love to hear from you peeps...is it Hot or Not!?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let there be light!

New pendant light is hung in Savannah's big girl room and check it out, I loves it!  It has great simplicity but just enough wow and playfulness...in a glass orb sorta way.  

 When I purchased the {pendant light} I had actually intended on buying the style that you just screw into your light bulb and instantly converts your recessed light to a pendant. Genius invention...it requires no wiring and no tools necessary.  But in true absentminded form I ordered the hardwired version - not the easy converter...aww shucks!  
But I found {this} amazeballs convert your recessed can to a pendant light product at Home Depot.  It has a some wiring required but it is very easy to install so I didn't have to do any excessive wiring, patching of drywall..etc.  If/when I do have a major home reno and hire an electrician out for major projects, I might permanently convert some recessed cans to pendants but for now, this is a down and dirty trick!

The Glass Orb Pendant was form Home Decorators - $45 (I had a $10 off coupon)
The Converter Kit was from Home Depot - about $13

What a quick, easy an inexpensive transformation!

The room has so much more light...I love it!!!  I'm thinking about getting more of these converters for my hallways, laundry room and kitchen!!!  Hope you enjoy Savannah's big girl room, I'll add her room to the {House Tour} page soon! Hope you all have a wonderful week and thank for reading!
 - Katie