July 18, 2012

Family Pics

You guessed it.

We had a friend of ours take some new family photos at our house a few weeks ago. They turned out Gorge. Capital G.

Nikita, you do some seriously amazing work girl. We love ya. And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share a few of our favs. Well technically not favs. Because they are all re-dic. Now, what other words can I shorten to further reveal my age… ;)

God I love those babies.. Even if they do keep me up at all hours of the night and day and push me to limits I never even knew existed ;) You girls are my world.


July 17, 2012

Kitchen Island Tutorial

A few of you have been asking for more details regarding the kitchen island construction as well as the island countertop. Today we’ll cover the cabinet choices that we made and how we DIYed the butcher block.

First up, the island base. We used Ikea’s online kitchen planner to plan out every inch of our kitchen. Whether you’re going with an Ikea or not, I would highly recommend giving this program a shot. If you have your kitchen dimension you can get a great visual of all the possible layouts. We chose to do a 6′ x 3′ island base with approx. 6′x4′ countertop (12 inch overhang for the counter-height seating). Here’s the top-view using the kitchen planner:

1 – 30″ base cabinet with 2+2 drawers. Our microwave lives in this cabinet, but the 30″ cabinet would work just as well on it’s own.

2 – 18″ base cabinet with 3 drawers

3 – This a 24″ opening with no cabinet, just a simple panel running along the entire side of the island to enclose it. We have our beverage cooler here, but a basic 24″ base cabinet would work as well.

4 & 5 – 26″ wall cabinet with 2 doors. Because theses two cabinets are only 12″ deep we had to use wall cabinets. The only major difference here was the lack of legs for support. We screwed the legs in manually, however a separate base can be built instead.

And if anyone is confused with how the cabinets are working together, individual front views:

Now, moving on to the butcher block countertop. As mentioned in the source list we purchased two separate pieces of butcher block from Lumber Liquidators, each 25″ x 8′. We could have opted to purchase a single slab (not offered at Lumber Liquidators) but it would have cost us several thousands of dollars more than the $518 we spent.

After cutting them to size at 25″ x 6’2″ (make sure you have a sharp blade, the butcher block is very dense) we drilled pilot holes on an angle from beneath the countertop with a 3/16 inch counter-sink bit. To combine the two pieces we used several 3-inch wood screws to secure. This process gave an extremely tight fit for a nearly seamless countertop.

And at a distance, the seam is nearly invisible..

We then finished with a few coats of Minwax’s Dark Walnut and a water-based polycrylic (note: not food safe).

If I’ve left any major details out, be sure to let me know in the comments! I’d be happy to clear up any remaining questions :)

July 16, 2012

Step Stool Refresh

We purchased Ikea’s BEKVÄM step stool nearly three years ago. And then it sat in our last home’s kitchen; unpainted, unfinished. Which was fine for maybe a week, and then we used it. Three years later, it sits in our new home’s kitchen; unpainted, unfinished, and completely trashed. Foot prints, paint spots, drywall mud, all the good stuff. Hello, get on it already??

The stool has great lines. Clean, simple, and dying for a fresh pop of color. So yellow she went.

We chose Ben Moore’s ‘Yellow Brick Road’ using just a sample quart we picked up at our local Sherwin Williams. It is in your face, which I love for such a small piece. On four walls? Not so much. We started by giving her a good sand. Years of built-up gunk had to go. We decided to skip the priming step, not exactly sure why, but we lucked out and the paint covered great. After about three coats of yellow she was ready for some coverage. We layered on an additional three coats of water-based polycrylic to keep those future foot prints from destroying her new look.

I love how a fresh coat of paint can bring an entirely new look into a room, even with small accent pieces.

And if nothing else, Zoey loves collecting her magnetic letters on top of it.

Any quick fixes for you guys this week? Fresh pops of color sprucing up a room? Love to see them :)

July 12, 2012

Bath Art

We made a small update in our guest bath. It’s definitely no big reveal, so don’t be disappointed. We’ve had our eyes out for some artwork to fill our completely bare walls in the newly renovated bath. I finally took matters into my own hands a few weeks ago, and then the art sat on our dining room table for three weeks until we decided it might look better actually hanging on the wall ;) Genius.

We used a few pics (that hubs took himself on our first ever vacation, more on that here) from our previous home’s bathroom. But I decided to switch things up a little with the mat inserts. I LOVE simple white frames (who doesn’t) but they can tend to get a little repetitive, aka boring, throughout an entire home. A simple way to switch it up without losing that cohesiveness and flow in your home is to get creative with the mat. Spray painting the mat in a fun color, or replacing it with simple construction paper can really make you’re photos pop. Another trick I love is adding fabric or material around the mat.

This time around we chose to go with burlap. I had some extra lying around from a table runner I made a while back, so this didn’t cost a thing. I just cut it to size, wrapped it around the mats, and secured with painter’s tape. So easy, but I think it really adds a lot of interest and A TON of texture.

Burlap is a little messy up close, nothing we can do about that, but I’m kind of loving the homemade/ not so straight lines look.

Coming down the hallway and seeing this out of the corner of my eye just makes my day.

We have a piece in mind for the opposite wall from an amazing Etsy shop that will bring in a ton of color. Just a matter of pulling the trigger…

Tackled any burlap projects of your own lately? Any cool ideas for dressing up mats? I’d love to hear em :)


July 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge

If you aren’t familiar with the Pinterest Challenge, it’s a little less formal than it sounds. Basically just a super fun way to encourage yourself to pull yourself away from the addicting site that Pinterest is, and actually.. wait for it… DO something that you pinned. Crazy concept right? I’m so down for this brilliant challenge thought up by duh, Sherry & Katie. And considering that I only have about 70 pins on my “DIY board” alone, deciding which project to tackle only took me a few hours ;) And this winner is…

A growth chart for the kiddos, decked out in all it’s rustic-ness. The best part, it hangs right on the wall so you can easily take it with you to the next house or simply another space in your home. We’d be number two on that list. No moving here. This house is a lifer.

So, despite how fairly simple this project turned out to be, I spent at least six to eight months eyeing it on Pinterest before taking the leap. And to be completely honest, it would’ve most likely been another four without this challenge. I’ll walk through a few of the steps we took to get from “a 2×10 piece of wood on the shelf at Lowes” to “growth chart awesomeness”.

First up, cutting the wood to the correct length. We knew that we wanted ours to sit a few inches off the floor (enough to allow for the 4inch baseboard plus a few inches above that). We went with six inches off the floor and cut the board at an even six feet. That allows for a max height of 6’6. Lets be real here people, 6’6 is re-donk-ulous. I tap out at nearly 5’3 and Rick is a tall 5’6.. and we’re not the short one’s our families. Plus, lets just give the girls the benefit of the doubt and say they reach six foot someday. Who in the world still measures they’re kids’ heights when they’re over six feet tall? Please don’t let us be those parents.

Moving on. Sanding and staining. Since this piece is meant for the kids’ use and will be in their reach at any given point throughout the day we made sure to make it nice and smooth. Rick sanded it down with 80 grit sand paper and applied a single coat of our fav, Minwax’s Dark Walnut.


We thought about beating it up a little, taking a few chains or hammers to it. You know, some distressing to go with the rustic feel. But… we got lazy and called it a day. HOWEVER, we think that’d be a totally cool look if you’re up for the additional five minutes of labor ;)

We let the stain cure overnight before I hit it up with some black paint and sharpie. Really, I don’t know I’m doing a “tutorial” on this. It’s self-explanatory. I used a sharpie to mark the inches and basic black acrylic paint to stencil the numbers.

A few hours later and several coats of water-based poly and ta-dah. Pinterest Challenge DOMINATED.

In Love.

Head on over to check out the other challengers here! Any others get their pinterest on this week? Feel free to link to your own projects. I’d love to see what you guys have come up with :)

Obsessed with Pinterest as much as I am? Follow me here!