Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stair Stencil

After posting pictures of my cabinet project yesterday, I realized that I never shared the finished stair stencil I did over the summer.  This was a long process, as our stairs started out with carpet when we bought our house, and we ripped the carpet out when we added hardwood floors to the main living space of our house last fall.  

Let's take a look back at the ugliness of the carpeted stairs.  Ick.

Once we ripped the carpet out, we were left with less than desirable wood underneath.  The stair risers and treads were covered in nails and staples from the carpet and padding that all needed to come out.

After pulling out all of the padding, staples, and nails, we were left with raw pine wood with a lot of white paint overspray from the trim on the side of the steps.  We then had to sand off all of the white paint on the treads and fill in any holes with wood filler to make a surface that was ready for stain.

As you can see, the stairs still have a lot of "character" from some of the spots that needed wood filler.  We decided to just go with it rather than replace each tread.  That would have been a little more work than we wanted, not to mention incredibly expensive.  Once I stained all of the treads, I then moved onto painting the risers.  I painted them a chartreuse green, and would then go over that with white(just as I did the cabinet) for just a hint of the green to show through with the pattern.

I can't seem to get a great photo with the poor lighting in this stairway, but you get the idea.  It's a subtle detail, but really adds a fun element to something otherwise plain and ordinary.

All in all, I love how they turned out.  This was an easy project, but be prepared to spend some serious time on it if you choose to tackle it yourself.  I had to work on them in increments to keep from getting too tired of the project.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

8 months and almost done with nursery

I am officially 8 months pregnant now!  It is so hard to believe how time has flown.  What started off as little flutters in my belly, has now turned to full-fledged acrobatics.  Sleep is becoming non-existent.  And I can barely remember my own name with this new "baby brain" of mine. 

I can hardly believe I am going to share this, but here is how my bump has grown from 5 months to now 8 months.  Wow, what 3 mere months will do!

Thankfully, we are getting closer and closer to being done with our nursery.  I started planning and ordering items for the nursery 4 months ago, as soon as we found out the gender.  I knew it would be a long road to get it together the way I wanted.  But, I'm not quite ready to show the whole room.  Just thought I'd share a quick teaser with this old cabinet I have been working on for what seems like months!

It started off as a boring old white cabinet that we've had for years.  Nothing real fancy, but it offers a decent amount of storage.  I decided to spruce it up a bit by using the same stencil I used on my stairs over the summer.

I wish I had an actual before picture, but I forgot to take one.  Basically, it was a big white box.  I then painted the accent color(my wall color) inside the door panels.  And went over that with the stencil in white to only reveal a hint of the turquoise in the end.

A little paint and stencil turned this drab cabinet to a whimsical storage spot in the nursery.

Looking forward to sharing the entire nursery shortly!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY Built In Window Seat and Storage

As we near closer and closer to our expected due date, we are rapidly crossing things off of our to-do list.  Today, my husband and I finally tackled the built in storage bench.  We've talked about doing this for almost 5 years now(since we first purchased our house) in our dormer windows, but apparently baby boy was the kick in the pants we needed to finally get it done.  

I am thrilled with how it turned out and it really was an easy and inexpensive project.  In total, supplies cost just about $50 for something that really packs a punch.  We started off in the nursery, but plan to build one in the matching dormer window in our master bedroom as well.

So, do you want to learn how to build one?  Well, here are the steps we took to get it done.

First, we built a frame using 2x4's.  We started with the bottom, creating a box using 4 cuts of wood.  Each piece screwed into one another with 3" wood screws.  Then we added vertical supports in each corner, and topped those off with more 2x4's laying horizontally.  This added extra support for the top of the bench.

Once the base frame was built, we moved onto the top.  Using 3/4" MDF, we cut the top to fit the space.  We then, in a U-shape, cut out a section of the top for the lid to open and close.  We gave it a paint job before installing to minimize touch-ups on the wall, but there will still be needed touch-ups once all is said and done.  We then used a piano hinge for easy opening and closing.  Tip:  Make sure to give your lid an overhang so that it's easy to lift open.

After fitting the lid, we then added the front using 1/4" MDF.  Again, painted prior to installing.  We didn't want to tear out the existing shoe molding, so we instead notched around it and would later fill in gaps with caulk.  Using a brad nailer, nail the front and the top to your 2x4 base.

Next, we finished installing the quarter round in front of the built-in to give it that built-in look.  

Last, we added this pre-made piece of trim to give the front a little more style.  I then caulked around all cracks and gaps and filled nail holes with wood filler.  As mentioned before, there are still a few spots that need touch up paint, but for the most part it is done and I love this cozy little spot!  Once we add a cushion, it will be ready for cuddling up and reading a book.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vanity Stool Before and After

One of the little details in our master bedroom is a vanity stool for my beloved vanity.  I get ready there every day and wanted something cute and comfortable to sit on.  I searched for a long time for the perfect vanity stool but wasn't able to come up with anything from a store that fit just right.  What I did come up with was an ugly old garden chair from a thrift shop.  These chairs are a dime a dozen, and mine was actually free because I traded some old junk at a local thrift shop.  

Originally, it had the most hideous avocado green paint and a little rust, but I gave it a good sand, and a fresh coat of sealing primer and paint to start out with.

The next step, once the shell had been prepped, was to cut out plywood to fit.  I simply measured the round openings and used a nail and string to measure and draw the circle onto the plywood.  My husband then used a jig saw to cut the circles out of the plywood.  

For the seat we used a thicker 1/2" plywood for a sturdy spot to sit, and for the back we needed 2 exact cuts of 1/4" plywood.

The next step is to start covering your plywood cutouts.  For the seat, I first wrapped the wood in dacron wrap which is a spongy poly batting.  You can also choose to add a thin layer of foam for extra comfort, but I chose not to do that because I didn't want the seat to appear too thick.  After stapling the batting around the seat, I then went on to the seat fabric.

I chose this fun, upholstery weight green leopard weave.

When covering seat cushions in fabric, the key is to stretch the fabric as tight as possible when stapling to eliminate the initial wrinkles, and wrinkles down the road when the seat is used over time and the fabric ultimately stretches from a long period of use.  Start by stretching tight top to bottom, then left to right, then work your way around, pulling tight and stapling the rest of the way.

I used the same method on the front of the back rest.  Wrapped in dacron batting, then covered in fabric.  I chose to use a contrast fabric(leftover from my ottoman project) just to add to the fun factor of the piece.  

Then, to finish the open back off, you will simply cover the second identical piece of 1/4" plywood you cut out.  This time you don't need to add extra batting because it's just a finishing piece, there is no need for comfort.  Of course, you can always add it if you want a plusher look, but be careful not to make it too thick otherwise your two circles will not fit into the back of the chair.  Stapled sides of the plywood are sandwiched in the middle with finished fabric sides facing the front and back of the chair.

There we have our finished front with contrasting fabric.  And below, the finished back with small screws to hold everything in tight.

This really is an easy project from start to finish and I think it turned out to be a cute little addition to the vanity.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Master Bedroom Redo...Finally!

As if we didn't already have enough on our plate, we decided to go ahead and continue the hardwood floors into our master bedroom.  Might as well get it done before the baby arrives because heaven only knows when we would be able to get to them at that point.  Last year we installed them in our entire downstairs living area, then three weeks ago we carried them up into the nursery, and now they are sitting pretty in our master bedroom.  Again, my husband is my super hero!  He and a friend did our entire bedroom, start to finish, in one weekend!  Amazing.  I couldn't be happier with the results.

(garden chair turned vanity stool.  details on that later.)

Everything in the room stayed the same, with the exception of a new rug, but I think that the hardwood floors add so much character to the space. 

A little flashback of what the room looked like before the new flooring.  Yup, grayish blue carpet.  Oh, and months and months ago I painted the headboard bright white.

My man in action!


And now that the room is done, I can check it off of my mental checklist.  Thank goodness!  One less thing to obsess about before little man gets here.

Some of my favorite art from Etsy and a collection of my go-to jewelry in an apothecary jar brighten up this little nook in the room.  

So there you have it!  Our master bedroom all finished.  And for fun, how about a little bump shot?!  30 weeks preggo and growing.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Painted Kitchen Table

When we found out we were pregnant, I instantly went into "nesting" mode.  I think nesting is in my nature anyway, so it has been kicked into overdrive ever since the start of my pregnancy.  One of the small tasks on my never ending list was to get a new kitchen table since we would soon need to make space for another person in our lives.  I knew a high chair would be in our near future and the table we had currently was a little too big for one to fit in our eat-in kitchen comfortably.  

For years, we had this handmade farmhouse style table that I loved.  It worked well for us and it's casual style blended seamlessly into our casual cape cod.  

But again, space was something that would soon win over my love for this table.  So, I went on the hunt for something new.  What I came up with was a vintage oak pedestal table.  It has a great base with interesting lines and I knew with a little paint it could fit in nicely.

Unfortunately, it sat like this for far too long until I couldn't take the wood any more.  With a coat of primer and bright white paint, this table takes on a whole new life.

It has brightened the kitchen back up and offers much more room around the table.  We'll hold onto the leaves for when we need to seat more people, but for everyday use it's perfect for just the three of us.  

I am now dying to repaint the walls and cabinets for a fresher feel, and update my wall art.  That'll have to wait til post-baby.