Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

DIY: Recovering Kitchen Stools

Jul 14, 2021

It's been a while since I've posted here on the blog! It's been a busy time with work projects so I haven't done much with my own home to show you. I decided I needed a little decor pick me up so I finally got around to ordering fabric to recover my kitchen stool seats. They were a beige linen that I knew would not last with my crew of boys. Plus, it's an easy way to add a custom finish. I've had my eye on a blue-gray leopard print from Schumacher for at least a year. It's an outdoor fabric too so hopefully it will hold up to the inevitable spills. 

I followed a tutorial on the Ballard Design website and it was fairly easy. The fabric is stapled underneath so if you mess up it's easy to fix. If you have these stools or chairs they take about a half yard of fabric each. The fabric is to the trade only, but I can order it for you if you are interested. 

Non-linkable Sources: Stools, Fabric

Before and After: Juliet Balcony Update

Mar 6, 2018

It's finally finished! I posted about my Juliet balcony a couple of times as I finished each stage of giving it a makeover. I'll start at the beginning if you missed it.

This is a photo I took on moving day. The balcony railings were completely plain, and they didn't match the stair railings at all.

The railings had a detail on the spindles called a knuckle. I found the knuckles at Home Depot, but they only came in one solid piece. Since the railings were welded to the balcony floor there was no way to add a knuckle to them.

A google search led me to knuckles that came in two pieces that I ordered and installed in minutes when they arrived! The next step was to add moulding to the bottom of the balcony.

Most of the homes in our area included the moulding so I'm not sure why mine did not. I like the corbels on this one, but decided on the an easier trim for now.

Here it is complete! We just added a piece of trim to the top and to the bottom after we built the initial box.

I'm so glad that project is complete! It's been bothering me for almost three years. We also added the moulding around the windows you can see in this last picture. It makes such a difference! There are so many more moulding projects I'd like to work on, but I'm taking it one project at a time.

Home Office Update: Paint and Chandelier

Jan 16, 2018

We're having a snow day today! It's the second time this year, which is unheard of for Houston. My kids took the tops off the plastic Christmas bins and are using them for sledding down the hill in the backyard. It feels like 15 degrees so they are in and out of the house, which is driving me crazy! It looks like the temperature isn't going to be above freezing until tomorrow afternoon so I'm pretty sure there will be no school again tomorrow due to the ice on the roads. When it snowed in November we were all so excited because it had been so many years since we had seen snow. It was also the first time I have ever seen it stick to the ground in Houston. It looks like we're going to have a repeat of that weather today!

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was planning to do an office update. I was considering a few options at the time of where to add the wainscoting and what color to paint it. The decision was made pretty quickly after I typed out that post. Sometimes I just need to organize my thoughts on paper (or on a computer screen) to work it all out in my head.

We started with plain white walls and a builder grade light. The furniture is old, but the rug is new. My husband and I started hanging the moldings first. I completely forgot to snap a pic. Here is an IG story pic I posted after we hung the chair rail and taped out the other areas the trim will go. I was trying to figure out how big to make the three boxes at the time.

The trim on the walls went up so fast! I didn't time it, but it only took a few hours. The next step was to pick the wall color and chandelier. I mocked up the lighting I was interested in using the pic collage app. It helped me visualize what it would look like once it was installed by taking a measurement of the middle box and fitting the light inside it so the scale would be correct. The paint was a bit difficult to nail down, but I finally settled on the far left color. It's Sherwin Williams Summit Gray. 

Here it is all complete! The chandelier is up and the walls are painted. I also painted the crown moulding and the baseboards the same color to give it an authentic paneled look. It took two full days, but it was so worth it. It feels dark and moody, but not too dark. It's just cozy and comfortable. I told my husband it's like a men's study/cigar smoking room. He won't be smoking in here of course! The next step is to pick the artwork for the middle box. 

You might notice the side walls only have wainscoting on the bottom third of the wall. It's like that all the way around the room. All of the crown moulding is painted gray. I just hadn't gotten to it yet in this picture. Only the back wall is completely painted gray. The top two-thirds of the walls will have a faux grasscloth in a sand color.

Here is a better pic of the chandelier from the website. I'll also link it at the bottom of this post. 

Once the artwork and wallpaper is in I'll give you a better tour of the room. That is all I'm going to do in this room for now. I'd like to eventually add new furniture, drapes and hardwired sconces on the back wall. Those things can wait a while as I move on to other projects. My goal was to do just enough to make it presentable. I think the before and after is already a huge improvement. 



I typically remodel my rooms in phases. I start with a detailed plan and then decide what can be done to make it look nice and functional even if it's not completely finished. It's not ideal, but we have to address other home projects that are more important first. Even though we aren't looking to sell our home it's a good idea to take this approach because if we do sell we'll have completed the projects that buyers would expect to be done. I have an entire list of things that include touch-up paint, refinishing the marble counters in the kitchen, and installing a balcony railing on the back porch. The latter is at the top of my priority list since it's a safety issue. However, if I happen to come across a great deal on office furniture I might just change my mind!


Christmas Decorating Tips

Nov 25, 2017

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a successful Black Friday! I was able to get about half of my shopping done online the past two days. Thankfully, the boys are going back to school Monday when the boxes begin to arrive so I can start wrapping presents as they come in. I will be finishing up my Christmas decorating this weekend for a full house tour next week. I know many of you are already decorating your homes so I want to share a few tips that will hopefully make your decorating a little easier!

How to make a sparse artificial tree fuller

My new tree may be 12 feet tall, but it was not at all expensive. I looked for a full and pretty tree online, but the average price was $1500. I just couldn't even imagine spending that much so I went to Wal-Mart and found this pre-lit one for $250.

It isn't the fullest tree, but that's completely fixable. I separated the branches to make it fuller and filled the gaps with greenery. I bought several inexpensive garlands for $4 each and cut them up into six, one foot pieces. I used about four garlands for this tree. As you can see below, I just inserted the pieces wherever I could see through the tree.

How to fake wide, expensive ribbon

I love the ribbon at a local boutique, but not at $30-60 a roll. It's very easy to get a similar look by layering ribbon. Use a basic, wide ribbon like this mesh and then top it with a thinner decorative ribbon.

How to easily tie garland to a stair railing

Adding garland to the stairs has always been difficult for me until this year. I used ribbon in the past and it always came loose. There were many times the entire length of garland came crashing down into the entryway as I fought to put it up. I decided to try these garland ties I found at Home Depot. I couldn't believe how well these held the garland in place. It only took about 20 minutes to hang it all up this year.

Buy ribbon outside of the Christmas section

Every craft store carries ribbon all year round. Check that section of the store in addition to the Christmas aisles. The white paisley and burlap/gold ribbons on the stairs were non-holiday ribbons at Hobby Lobby, but they were still 50% off.

Ribbon Tutorial

I get the most questions about how to decorate a tree with ribbon. There is not just one way. I actually used a different method for my stair garland than my tree. I'll show you both.

On the tree, I knew I wanted it to be "ribbon heavy." I start at the top of the tree and work vertically. I secure the ribbon with branches like most people, but I prefer to secure them further inside the tree so there's less "branch pinching" to hide with ornaments. I make half circles with the ribbon that are tight enough so it's not slack, but loose enough to create a loop that sticks off the tree. I also like to use two different ribbons. In some sections they split apart and others they come together with one just peeking out behind the other. Even though I work vertically, I still angle the ribbon for interest.

You can see how they are paired together. Some areas they run together and other areas they are separated.

If you prefer a tree with less ribbon try cutting it into smaller pieces and only making two to three loops randomly on the tree. This is the method I used for my stair garland. I cut one foot sections of ribbon and just made two loops so it didn't overwhelm the garland.

I hope this helps if you are fighting with your ribbon or garland right now. Have a great weekend!

Living Room Update: DIY Window Trim

Oct 23, 2017

I think I might have mentioned the living room trim project at least a dozen times, and now I can say it's finally complete!

Here are the windows before. I tried to live with them, but I found myself shying away from photographing this side of the room because they just seemed so unfinished.

My first thought was to add drapery panels between each window from the top of the transom down to the floor. That would have worked to hide most of the drywall around the windows, but drapery that tall between every window is overwhelming. It's also very expensive! Trimming the windows gave them a custom look for much cheaper than four to six custom drapery panels. The total cost of the trim was what one French pleated 140 inch panel would have cost!

We used pre-primed boards to frame each window and a piece of crown molding on top, which is what we did in the formal dining room and study doors of our last house. The only problem was that the drywall around these windows was not even. If the board next to the window was flush at the bottom, it overlapped the top of the window by up to an inch.

My husband wanted to scratch the entire project and return the wood we had not yet cut, but I ran back up to Home Depot to stare at the wood trim and come up with a creative fix. If you have read my blog for a while you know this is not the first time I refuse to take no for an answer when a project doesn't go right! I found these L-shaped trim pieces that would just cover the imperfect areas where the wood did not meet the edge of the window. It's not the normal way to add trim to a window, but it works! You can see that extra piece of trim that wraps around the corners in the picture below.

I am thrilled about the result almost as much as I am about it just being done! I was on this hamster wheel of putty, caulk, and sand for weeks until I was satisfied enough to finally paint. All of those uneven edges and walls caused a caulking nightmare. I told my husband if he ever says I can hide something with caulk again then he will be the one caulking!

You would think I'd never try to attempt this again, but now we are working on the Juliet balcony trim I mentioned in my last post.

This time it will be simple trim under the balcony We'll see how this turns out next weekend!

My First "Easy" DIY Project: Juliet Balcony Update

Oct 17, 2017

One of the things that has bothered me since we built our house two years ago is that the Juliet balcony railing does not match the stair railing. I said I was going to have it replaced because it resembled a jail cell. I just figured that it was the way the house was built until I realized much later that everyone else with our floor plan had railings that matched their stairs.

You can see that the stair railings have embellishments called knuckles. 

I found knuckles I could buy at our local home improvement store, but they were in one piece. The balcony railings are soldered to the floor. There was no way I could remove a railing piece to add the knuckle. If they just came in two pieces...

Well, a quick google search showed me that this is really a thing. I found a local company that offered them for $1.29 each. I ordered them online and two days later they were delivered to my door.  They are plastic and come in two pieces that snap together. You cannot tell the difference between the iron and plastic ones at all.

Here it is finished! It took me forever to find a pattern that would mimic the stairs. I couldn't match it exactly because of the number of railings. I found a pattern that looks the same unless you are counting the knuckles on each railing. The installation was so simple, too! You just snap the pieces together, and you can move them up and down the railing to make them level.

Here is the before again.

Finally! I know we all have things that bother us about our homes. I've learned from experience it cane all be fixed with a bit of creativity not to just fix the problem, but make it one of your favorite features in your home. 

Don't think this balcony is complete! The homebuilder in the "expensive" section of our neighborhood has almost exact floor plans as mine, but with a bit more square footage and extra features. This wood trim under the railing is one of those features. I can have that same wood trim for about $50!

I just have to talk my husband into getting his saw out again!

DIY Bathroom Mirror Trim

Jun 12, 2017

When we moved in to our new house almost two years ago I thought within the first month we would trim our master bathroom mirrors. That obviously didn't happen! I did finally get around to it and when I timed myself it only took a few hours out of our day. It's such an easy and inexpensive update, and it makes such a big impact. 

Here it is unframed.

And after!

There are a lot of tutorials out there, but I'll give you a quick rundown of how we framed ours since it might be a bit different. I like to glue the wood right to the mirror so you don't have the visible seam between the wood trim and the mirror caulk doesn't quite hide. You can also customize your trim to fit the style of your home. We had a craftsman trim on the mirrors in our last house, but this house needs something a bit more elegant with a crown moulding piece on top. You will need a saw for this project so that might prevent some of you from trying this DIY. If you are game, here's the process.

This is basically four boards glued to the mirror in a square with two trim pieces glued on top. We measured and bought pre-primed pieces at our local home improvement store. The top piece is a wider board at 5 inches and the side and bottom pieces are about 3-3 1/2 inches. Since these are pre-primed there wasn't any painting to do beforehand. If you are painting anything other than white keep in mind to paint before you install the pieces on your mirror. The backside will show in the reflection of your mirror. Once the bottom piece was cut to length we used liquid nails to apply it to the mirror. We also held it temporarily in place with screws underneath until it was dry the next day along with the blue painters tape. Then we cut and installed the side and top pieces. I installed a trim piece on the top that resembles crown moulding and a smaller trim piece at the base of the top board. The next day I removed the tape and screws. I caulked the seams and painted it the same color as our cabinets. Done!

There's still so much to do! I'd like to replace the mosaic tile around the tub. I "think" I can DIY it since it's such a small space. We replaced a small section of our kitchen backsplash in our last house and it was really easy so I don't see this should be any different. That's what I'm hoping at least! The walls need to be painted. I'm really not looking forward to that, but at least it's a small space. I need decor-art, chandelier, and a rug. The most expensive item is going to be the shutters for the windows. We have privacy windows, but they are truly hideous as you can see in this picture. Shutters will turn builder grade windows into something pretty and give you window trim at the same time. It's definitely cheaper than replacing them. Most of the work is going to be pure elbow grease. Lucky me!

As a side note, I am finally going to have the time to work on these projects. Tomorrow is my last day of work as a nurse auditor. I'm going to concentrate on my design and staging business for now. It's been a side job for the last few years, but I'm ready to focus solely on it and see where it goes. You might start seeing some of the projects I've been working on soon!