Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall-ified Front Door

Ummmm.... so ya. Right after I finished talking about how I don't seasonal decorate, I have a post on my seasonal decorating. But truly, I don't feel like this really counts. It's just my front door... soooooo... okay. I'll end this by saying don't expect any straw or acorns hanging around.

My sister bought me this doormat a couple years ago because we both thought he was so cute... how do you say no to that cute little owl face?! I refused to buy it because it was seasonal, and she sweetly surprised me with his cuteness. I picked up the mum on sale at Art Knapp's over the weekend and plopped it in an unused planter basket. I had the lanterns on hand already, they are battery operated lanterns that I found at Home Sense a couple years ago. Perfect for outside because I don't have to worry about unsupervised open flame. The pumpkins were from Art Knapp's too. I actually looked for some ugly plastic ones at the dollar store that I could spray paint but struck out. 

That's it. Pretty simple, but cute too. I cannot promise that I won't be completely hypocritical in the future again ;) What are your feelings on Fall/Halloween decor? Yay or nay?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simple & Pretty Tablescape

I finally got around to creating a centrepiece for my kitchen/dining table!! I think it turned out to be really pretty. It's not really Fall themed, but I'm not a big fan of stuff that's seasonal unless it's for Christmas. In which case, all bets are off and this house looks like Christmas blew up all over it. Anyway, we had a couple friends over for dinner so I even got to light and use the candles!


How amazing is that hydrangea??!
  • Table Runner - Ikea
  • Small Glass Votive Holder - Ikea
  • Tall Glass Vases - West Elm
  • Candles, candleholders were already mine
  • Flowers - Thrifty Foods
You better believe West Elm finally opened and I definitely forced Kris to come with me... I could have spent so much more without him there. Ha. So good thing I made him join me!! He picked the glass vases out. I love the blue and green glass too, but these are more neutral.

This is easy to switch out and give different looks depending on flowers in season... but I think this turned out so pretty and romantic looking!! It's going to stick around for awhile. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fauxdenza / Sideboard

Ya, we did. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but I think we were put off by the not-that-cheap price tag (even for Ikea), and the thought of making it built in. Which is what we wanted all along. The reality is that we know we won’t be staying in our house for that much longer, and didn’t really want to donate something (via sale of the house) that we made for ourselves. Call me selfish.

So, when I was putting the hutch back together, Kris suggested moving it to the opposite wall which I will totally admit – I staunchly refused. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was a better idea. It was a shallower wall depth-wise, so made sense to have a shallow piece of furniture on it. Plus, there’s also a bulkhead so our hutch doesn’t look so dwarfed by the high ceilings. Aaaaaand, then I could get deeper cabinets to make a fauxdenza with double the storage capacity. Booyah!! (Yup, I said it.). Sometimes, Kris has valid opinions.

Last weekend, we headed to Ikea (are we crazy? Yes.) and picked up:
2 Akurum Kitchen Base Cabinets – 36” long x 31” high x 24” deep
4 Applad Doors
1 set of Rationelle Shelves
Hinges and door dampers
I have to say, I find it so frustrating that Ikea is so piecemeal. When I see that a cabinet ”combination” is x dollars, I don’t expect to have to pay extra for hinges and shelves!! Really?! You can’t make it a cabinet without them, so how does that work out?! Argh. Guess I should know that by now.

We assembled as per Ikea’s usual helpful instructions (that don’t even have any words in them lol) which went pretty quickly. We joined the 2 cabinets first, then put the legs on.
For the top, we used a huge, enormously heavy piece of butcher block. It was an old work table (that Kris scored for free!!), so beat up like you would not believe, stained and numerous holes in it. I reeeeeally wish I had thought to take a "before" photo of it. Bad blogger, bad. I sanded it with coarse grit on the palm sander first, and then fine grit. It was larger than we needed so we had to cut it. And let me tell you – do not ever do what we did. Ever. What can I say... we had to improvise:
Ha. Not the safest of methods but we were in a bit of a pickle because it was so big. Believe it or not, our crazy method worked like a charm. The next step, not so much. Here's where we ran into a huge problem. I had sanded it like crazy with the palm sander, washed it down and started to stain it. And OMG. Disaster. The stain wasn't taking evenly so it was blotchy everywhere, and all the holes I had filled were practically neon lights. Super obvious. I would have thrown in the towel right there, but Kris insisted we could fix it so he borrowed his dad's belt sander and went to town on it. He stripped all of the stain plus some, then sanded more with the belt sander. We picked up wood conditioner and hoped for the best when we re-stained it.... success!! It turned out awesome (phew). We applied one coat of stain (Minwax Dark Walnut) and didn't want to lose all of the variation in the wood so left it at that. I applied 3 coats of Polycrylic sealer and we attached it to the cabinets using corner brackets. So while the top was free, it certainly didn't end up feeling free with all of that time, blood, sweat and tears!! So it goes with diy projects.

Oh and friends... wear your gloves while staining or suffer the consequences:
Won't forget to do that again. Here were the results of the first round of staining. Horrendous:
For the hardware, I decided to test out my Rub n Buff for the first time! I picked up some cheapie hardware with the intent of making it gold (and not paying an arm and a leg). While I started out with gloves (scarred from my staining mistake?!), I ended up ditching the gloves right away because they were just too hard to work with. I tried using my finger and didn't love that either... so I ended up using some art brushes and got the best result with that.
I do have to say that I was kind of disappointed with the inconsistency in texture. There was a lot of grit which made it pretty hard to get a smooth finish, even after buffing. I started out with European Gold but felt that was looking too yellow, so did a coat of Antique Gold and was much happier with the colour. Unfortunately, still not thrilled with the texture when it was all said and done.
It turned out to be pretty freaking enormous. 

Clearly, the choice to make the legs gold was last minute (as in tonight)! Our plan is to use it as a bar top (and for appies, etc when we entertain). Needless to say, the whole piece weighs a ton so I’m pretty sure we will have to disassemble it to move! I have a home for all of my appliances, a bunch of our wine and other less used kitchen things like my roasting pan (let's be real... never used. Yet.) and punch bowl. The real bonus was drilling a hole through the back of the cabinets and feeding all the internet cables, modum and junk into the cabinet so that it's hidden. Yay! That was such an eyesore. We are planning to put some shelving above the fauxdenzaboard (seems appropriate) and I'll dress up the top with some accessories once that is done. Stay tuned!

Aaaaaand I have styled the hutch but I have some empty frames in need of art. I'm going to get creative and diy some stuff this weekend so hopefully I'll have some finished photos next week!! Whew. Have you taken on any projects that grew way, WAY bigger than you anticipated?! We sure are glad this one is done.



Friday, September 14, 2012


Ack!! I’m pinching myself because Lindsey of Better After has featured our hutch makeover, I’m so excited! Her write up on it had me cracking up... let the record show that my hutch can sleep over with her anytime. If you want to check out the feature, click here. Thanks for the love, Lindsey! Now head on over and check out her blog because she features awesome furniture makeovers all day, every day.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I just have to say that I am SUPER excited... I started this blog 6 months ago (6 months ago yesterday as a matter of fact!) and virtually no one read it. There still aren't a lot of people that do. Actually, I think my mom is probably responsible for half my blog hits. But today, total hits surpassed 5000!! So, thank you to the few people that do read my rambling. It feels good to know I'm not just talking to empty cyber space.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Workin' on a little somethin'

Okay. So maaaaaybe I haven't posted the final photos of the hutch all styled and pretty. But I have a good excuse! When we finished the hutch, we decided to do a little furniture re-arranging which led to a little brainstorming... and then a little Ikea shopping... and then a day of assembly (curse you, Ikea)... and then a few more days of diy work. So here's a sneak peek into something we're working on! I promise, hutch photos will come.

Have you been up to any Ikea madness lately? And on a side note, what is up with Ikea's blob people in their instructions??!!


Thursday, September 06, 2012

September Long...

Snippets of our long weekend spent in Point Roberts - beautiful weather, lots of laughs, yummy food and great company. There's some funny stories in those photos ;)

How did you spend your long weekend? I wish I could go back!