Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DIY Built-In Bookcase Reveal

The office is {almost} finally ready to be revealed.  
Just a few more finishing touches and. . . we'll be DONE!
It's amazing how long a room reveal takes when you have two toddlers at home.  I swear we used to knock these things out in 24 hours.  
But we've traded in energy & efficiency for giggles and grocery store runs and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I like to call them happy little delays.  

Before it's completely ready, I did want to share with you our "easy" version of built-ins.  I'm sure you've all seen the Ikea Billy Bookcase hacks; so I won't try to reinvent the wheel for you.
However, I will show you a quick before and after {because that's always the best part anyways} and share a few tips we picked up along the way.
Here's the wall before we started:
Goodness GRACIOUS - it looks worse than I remembered!
We truly hadn't touched this room since we moved in. 
The first step was obviously painting the surrounding walls a crisp, fresh WHITE.  
We chose Sherwin Williams "Pure White" in flat.

Next, Michael built a base for the IKEA Billy Bookshelves to sit on and installed these gorgeous picture lamps from Amazon:
{Click the picture above to shop}

Then we stretched a canvas painter's drop cloth along the wall and stapled it tightly. 
Backing your bookshelves with even just a bit of texture really adds warmth and character to your space.  It gives even an IKEA piece some charm.
**Grass cloth would also be lovely; but we started this project on a whim and sadly I didn't have any grass cloth on hand.
Next, we added trim pieces to fill in the holes and re-installed the base and the crown to give them that truly built-in look.

NOW the fun part can begin. . . bookshelf styling.
Since I was going for a monochromatic, coastal feel, I painted all of the spines of our books with a mix of grey and white chalk paint. FOR REAL!
{I know, I know.... I'm a crazy person.  Officially lost my mind, clearly.}
But somehow it just seemed right to me in this space.
And to keep my book-loving, organized hubby happy, I added these labels from the Container Store so that we can always find just what we need.
Maybe not as quickly; but we'll find it eventually.

And here's the final look:
{Try your best to ignore those ugly speakers.  I'm working on a solution for that one!  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated} :)
Be back soon with my favorite bookshelf styling tips!

Cheers to completed projects and the happy little delays along the way,

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Top Two DIY Secrets

The home office redesign is in full swing and I couldn't be more thrilled about the progress.  We still have a weekend's worth of work; but we're baby stepping right along.
After painting the walls with Sherwin William's Pure White, next up was the desk:
Although I adored this World Market Campaign Desk as is,
it wasn't quite light enough for this airy office I've dreamed up in my head.
I needed something to give it a bit more coastal, driftwood feel.

That's where my #1 DIY Design Secret comes in:
If you haven't yet met, allow me to introduce you to: Briwax Liming Wax. 
It's a super simple wax to apply and gives wood that unique, aged white grain finish that I'm always craving.
Every single time I apply it to something, I feel like the piece instantly gets 100% more character and charm.  It even makes vivid colors become more pastel if you have a bright piece you want to tone down a bit.
I always have at least three cans on hand since it's super inexpensive on Amazon.
Shop it HERE.
This is the final result after just ten minutes!
{Gosh, I just love instant gratification projects}

Which is why My #2 DIY Design Secret is equally as wonderful:
The wheel, sliced bread. . . canvas drop cloth.
I'm telling you, it's right up there with the greatest inventions of all time!
And it's pretty great about offering instant gratification as well ;)
When stretched thin, it almost resembles a nubby linen and adds just the right hint of texture and color for that calming, coastal feel.
In this space we've used it to create a DIY inspiration board:
and to cover the backs of our built-ins:
{more to come on this project later}
Pick some up here and I am certain you'll find a spot for it.

Until my next office update...

Cheers to best kept DIY secrets,

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Pantry Makeover...Tips from a Pro

I used to think of myself as a moderately organized person.  And then.... I met Jillian.  Owner of "Off the Floor Organizing" and the Queen of symmetry, this girl can bring order to just about anything. 
Including my crazy mess of a pantry.
After we moved back in post-renovation, I paid zero attention to what was behind these doors:

I can't even say it was lack of time.  I just preferred to shut the doors on that mess and move on to a project that was more. . . visible. 
And that was fine for a while. 
UNTIL I found myself frantically shutting the pantry doors before guests arrived.
It had officially become an eye-sore.

and I can't even talk about the drawers:
We were literally just throwing things in there. 
Nothing had a home.

If you're lucky enough to live in the Charlotte area, check out Jillian's website here and then just scroll on down to the bottom for the after pictures in this pretty pantry/drawer makeover. 
But for those of you who aren't nearby, I took some notes as she was working so that I could pass on some of her wisdom to you:

1.  First: sort and purge
In the middle of five toddlers making laps around here, Jillian pulled everything out and took inventory of what we had. 
She asked along the way how frequently we use large items.
(i.e. that ice cream maker that was given to us five years ago shouldn't be taking up valuable shelf space.)  
We stored non-essentials like this under the kitchen island for that one rare Saturday when we can actually sit on the porch and make ice cream.  :)

2. Invest in Uniform Containers & Labels
Jillian chose the Ikea "Pluggis"bins for our pantry and 
chalkboard sticker labels from the Container store.
and these great $3 bins from Target for our over-sized pull out drawers
 Their uniformity helps to create a nicer aesthetic and higher end feel.
And as a bonus, plastic bins like these can be easily washed if needed.

3.  Aim for Symmetry
As Jillian says, "A space needs to be aesthetically pleasing as much as it needs to make sense for you and how you live."  
Symmetry is one easy way to do this:

4.  Refresh & Reorganize as Needed
I'll let the pro take this one:
"I always suggest my clients to 'live' in their space for a few days and see how everything flows with their daily routines. After a week or so, we tweak here and there to what makes the most sense for them.
I would also add that getting organized is one thing and STAYING organized is another. You might find that every 3-6 months your space may need a little organizing refresh!"

And just because I love a good side-by-side before and after, here it is one more time:

Thank you to Jillian for making our home so much more functional and beautiful!
Check her out here:
Off the Floor
and on Facebook here:

Cheers to an organized life!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

DIY Copper Hanging Rack

The dreaded chore. 
I've grumbled about it for far too many years now. 
{Especially the socks.  I'm the WORST with socks.}  
In the back of my mind, I was hopeful that after we moved back home, our post-renovation laundry room with a gorgeous view of our front yard MIGHT make it more enjoyable.
I was wrong.  
It's still my least favorite thing to do.

But I heard an encouraging message the other day from one of the lovely ladies at Proverbs 31.
It stuck with me and rumbled around in my brain and my heart so much that I thought I'd share. 
The speaker suggested that instead of saying:
"I have to do laundry today during nap time,"
we turn it around and say:
"I GET to do laundry today during nap time!"

I know, easier said than done.  Truly.
BUT when I really stop and think how blessed I am to
a. Have laundry to do
b. Have a house FULL of people big and small that I am able to serve by folding their clothes.
When you think about it that way, it's a gift, y'all!
Such a gift!

So here's to a change of perspective today and a quick and easy DIY that I hope you'll love:
Hanging Copper Clothes Rack
It's simplified my process and BONUS...made this dreaded room a tiny bit prettier. 
And wouldn't you agree that it's SO much more fun to do chores in a pretty room?

All of the materials cost less than $50 and in just an hour or so, we have a whole new system!
And when our little ones are just a TINY bit older, they can grab their clothes and take them right into their rooms to be hung. 
A perfect system in my book :) 

 Now since I'm the worst with detailed instructions and any sort of tutorial, I'm going to send you over to my inspiration at the Food52 blog:
She does an excellent job of walking you through the materials needed and steps to follow:

Cheers to grateful hearts and gorgeous homes,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Home Office Must-Haves

I made a design mistake.
I feel quite sure this never happens to design geniuses Emily Henderson or Suzanne Kasler. 
But PLEASE, please tell me it happens to you? 
Here's the back story: 
I wanted Michael to have a room all his own in our house {because goodness knows my saint-of-a-husband puts up with an awful lot of pink.} I was dreaming up a dark, moody gray color {we went with Benjamin Moore's "Kendall Charcoal"}, antlers, a cowhide, a vintage leather couch and LOTS of books {not just the decorative kind- the kind he's actually read}
Well...we got halfway there and then we BOTH realized that we'd chosen the wrong direction for our home office.
{Source unknown}

Though the color is GORGEOUS; it just wasn't the right fit for our light, bright & airy home.
The second the paint hit the walls it felt instantly richer; but also instantly smaller.
So now it's back to the drawing board.
We're lightening things up {with only a LITTLE bit of pink} ;)
Here are some of my favorite home office inspirations. . .

{via Glitter Guide}
The chunky, industrial desks are the winner here.  I believe they are from West Elm.
There's nothing better in my book than mixing a stark white palette with wood tones.

Though the colors aren't right for us, I adore the setup of this one.
{Especially for the fact that it includes the little ones}

{via the Decorista}
Stylish Storage is a MUST for us both.

{via Glitter Guide}
{via My Domaine}
Controlled chaos....keep the inspiration organized with a vision board.

{via the Decorista}
Pops of gold and a well accessorized desk are key components to the perfect airy office-whether at home or in your cubicle.