Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kitchen Remodel: Inspiration

Image via Sycamore Street Press

Hello All!

Since this past weekend was a 3 day weekend, Adam and I decided we were ready to dive head first into our kitchen remodel. We know this will be no easy task, but we are really trying to get our house in tip-top shape before my nephews birthday party in July. Plus this is something we've been talking about since the day we bought our house. We've already made a lot of progress, but it will be about a month (hopefully!!) before I'm ready to show pictures of the new look.

Here are a couple of before pictures from our home listing:

Some people may really like the kitchen in its former state, but I'm not one of them. Here are a few things that really bug me about this kitchen:

1) I despise those ugly brown walls. Not only because it is an ugly color, but it also really darkens the whole room. It is hard to tell in these pictures because of the flash, but just trust me. It is true.

2) Those cabinets. I'm just not a fan of the color wood they chose and the only thing that makes them worse is the matching door pulls. 

3) The light fixtures. They just do not match the time period of the house. They are way too modern for what I'm going for. 

4) The floor. Since we have giant messy dogs, this light grey floor just does not work for us. Plus, you can't tell in the picture, but most of the tiles are either cracked or loose. This is on our list of projects, but I don't think it will be finished until probably next year sometime (if not a little longer).

So there is plenty more that really bugs me about this kitchen, but I won't go on and on about it. I'm sure you get the point. 

Here are some amazing pros to this kitchen:

1) The giant windows. They let tons of light in, but you can't tell because the walls darken it so much
2) Tons of cabinet and counter space
3) A great layout that makes it easy to enjoy cooking.

So that's enough about the current state. Let's move on to the big plans I have for this room!

Since our home is almost 100 years old, I really want to keep an industrial feel without getting too modern. I want an update, but not something that will feel weird in such an old home. Here are a few pictures of what inspires me:

Image via Elements of Style
I absolutely love this kitchen. It is sleek and modern, but not TOO modern. It is rustic and a little industrial and I love it.

Image via Nordic Design
I love the light fixture in this picture. It is fun and interesting and will add much more light than our current fixtures. 

Image via Remodelista

I love the use of plants in this room. It really brings new life and color to the whole space. 

So to wrap this up, here are my goals for our new space:

1) I want to brighten the space
2) I want to incorporate wood and iron elements
3) I want lots of plants!

Check back in several weeks and I should have a progress report for you. Between now and then, expect lots of DIY posts for kitchen projects!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Etsy Love: Planters

Oh how I love spring!

I don't know about you guys, but for me, spring seems to bring a new burst of motivation for new projects and remodeling. I have been spending tons of time lately in my flower beds and my garden and I've been trying to bring all of that greenery inside so I can enjoy it ALL the time.

Unlike other decor, plants are something special to me. They add more than just color and variation, they bring life inside. Maybe that sounds crazy...I'm not sure. But anyways, one of the fun things about bringing plants inside is finding creative ways to display them!

Here are a few really fun planter ideas I found on Etsy.

How adorable is this fox planter? Perfect for a bookshelf or in a grouping of other plants. 

This dino planter is bright and fun! 

 I've really been getting into industrial type styles lately, so this geometric concrete planter really works with my current style.

And finally, a pretty mid century planter. You can never go wrong with vintage.

These are just a few things that I'm loving on Etsy right now. I also have a few planter DIY projects I'll be posting in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back to see what I've made! If you are looking for a super quick project to hold you over, check out these painted terra cotta pots I made awhile back.

Happy planting!


Monday, May 19, 2014

DIY: Industrial Towel Rack

Hello! Today I am really excited to share our latest project with you! It is one of those projects that is fairly easy, not very time consuming, but has a major impact. Definitely my favorite kind of project!

First, let's talk about supplies.

Here is what you'll need:

6- 3 1/2" Black Steel Pipe Nipples
6- Black Steel Floor Flanges with 1/2" openings
6- 1/2" Black Steel Caps
24- 3/4" Screws for Floor Flanges (I also call them "bases")
2+- Mounting Screws
*We used 3, but if you use a longer/shorter board, adjust accordingly :)
Power Drill
Screw Driver
(either/or will do, but the drill makes this job a lot easier

To begin, we first measured where we wanted to place each of the hooks so they would be evenly spaced. Our board (after cutting) was 45 3/8". Since we had 6 hooks, we divided the board into 7ths so that there would be even spacing on both ends and between each of the hooks. Our final measurement was a hook every ~6.5". If you are using more/less hooks or a longer/shorter board, just use the same math as above to come up with your spacing.
If you look closely at the board, you can see the holes for the mounting screws and the markings for where the bases were to be mounted.

We chose to use these screws mainly because they were pretty. You can use whatever you'd like as long as the heads are big enough to not slip through the holes of the bases.
Make sure to put on some good music while you work! We were listening to our Boston record that we are currently obsessed with.

After measuring and marking the board (we set each base on the board and traced the holes so we would know where to drill later), we took it to the bathroom and measured where the studs were. We went ahead and drilled the holes in our board for the mounting screws so we could make sure that the hooks didn't cover the holes. We found that one of the screws would be under one of the hooks, so we knew we were going to have to wait to screw that one down until after the rack was mounted (more on that later). 

Now that we had everything laid out, it was time to start mounting the bases. We just realigned the bases with the marking from earlier and started screwing them down.

You can use a power drill for this part and it will go a lot faster. We started with a screw driver because we didn't have a flat head drill bit, but we ended up "making one" because we were lazy.

After you get the base screwed down, you can go ahead and screw in the other pieces. We went ahead and screwed down all the bases at once before we put the rest of the pieces together.

Here is my other "helper"

You can tell from the picture that one of the bases isn't mounted yet. This is the one that was going to cover one of our mounting screws. We just left it off until we had the whole thing mounted on the wall. We made sure the board was level and then just screwed it into the studs to make sure it wasn't going to fall later. After we assembled the caps and nipples to the bases, we went back with a pair of channel locks and tightened them even further. This step probably wasn't necessary, but we did it anyways.

 Here is the final product!

I'm totally in love with how it turned out! I was worried that the wood wouldn't match our bathroom because we don't really have much natural wood in there, but it was perfect. It added some much needed character to our otherwise boring bathroom. 

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments and if you decide to make one of your own, I'd love to see it!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

New in the Shop

Here are some of the new items in the shop this week! There are still more on the way, so be sure to check back soon. You can navigate to the shop via the shop button on the left, or you can use the links below each picture. Enjoy!

Happy weekend everyone!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Suspended Book Rack

I don't know what it is about books, but I can never have enough of them. I've always been somewhat of a bookworm, and even as I get older, I try to make as much time for reading as I can. I go a little crazy when I go into used bookstores (especially cheap ones) and I stock up on anything that may be remotely interesting. If it only costs a nickle, why not give it a try? I've found some really good books this way (and some not so good ones), but you never know until you try.

Not only do I love reading my books, I love to display them. I have quite the collection going now and I have more books than I have shelves. Recently, I saw this book rack and I knew immediately I had to have one...until I saw the price tag. For weeks I tried to figure out how to make one, and I finally came up with something close. It isn't identical, but I absolutely love the way it turned out.

Here is how I made it:


  • Wooden Dowel 
  • Crafting String
  • Small wooden disks
  • Stain (optional)
  • Drill
  • Hangers (I used some that went to a curtain rod I was no longer using)
I found the first three things at hobby lobby for less than $10 and the others I already had on hand. The size of the dowel doesn't matter too much, but you will want one thick enough to hold books. I knew I was going to cut mine to fit in this cubby hole, so I knew it wouldn't be completely full. If you want to use the whole dowel, you will probably want one that is a little thicker than the one I used. I found the disks in a variety pack in the woodworking section of hobby lobby. They are pretty brittle, but the were cheap and I had a lot of spares.

I started out by staining the wooden disks and dowel because I wanted it to be darker than the natural color. The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, so I took everything outside. After my stain had dried, I drilled 2 holes in each of the disks. 

I think the disks I picked up were made out of balsa wood, so they were very brittle. I was glad I stained extras because the majority of them cracked during the drilling process. If you can find it easily, it wouldn't hurt to use a thicker disk than what I used. These work fine, but only the few strong ones will survive.

I cut my string into about 3' long pieces. I only had 14 surviving disks, so I cut 14 pieces of string. I ended up not using all of them, but I have extras in case I ever want to add more books. I wrapped the strings around the dowel and secured (I think the knot I used is called a girth hitch). Hopefully the pictures make more sense than me trying to explain it.

I didn't worry too much about spacing because I knew it would change when I put the books on the rack. Once I had all my strings in place, I started attaching the round disks to the bottom.

(Sorry that the last picture is a little blurry! The ropes wouldn't quit swinging while I was trying to take a picture.) 

Anyways, after you get all the disks attached, you are pretty much done at this point! The last thing left to do is hang it and put books on it. Like I mentioned earlier, I just used some hooks from a curtain rod that I was no longer using. This worked really well because it has screws to keep the dowel in place and the dowel is just a little smaller than the curtain rod that came with it. 

To hang the books, I just slipped the string around all the pages leaving out the front and back cover. I had to play with the strings a little bit to get them to sit straight, but once I had them in place they were pretty easy to keep there.

I'm so happy with this new project and I love the way it turned out. If anyone else decides to try this, let me know how it turns out for you. I'd love to see the results!

P.S. If you like the flower pots, I posted about them here ;)

xo - Nancy

Sunday, February 23, 2014

DIY Lace Print Frosted Glass

Since we moved into our house in June, I've been struggling with what to do with our front door. Initially, we had a curtain hanging over it to give us some privacy. Because of the pups, it was impossible to keep it clean and keep it from getting torn up or torn down. For a little while, we just left the door uncovered. I wasn't really happy with this solution because we didn't have any privacy and it was pretty easy to see straight into our house from the road. I wanted to give the windows a pretty pattern, but I hadn't figured out how I was going to do this. I was with a friend last week when she was telling me about glass frosting. This seemed to be the solution to all of my problems. Glass frosting mixed with lace is obviously a natural combination. Here is how I did it.

Supplies Needed:
  • Glass Frosting Spray
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Lace
At first I tried to tape the lace to the window frames, but that didn't work out too well because the lace was still a good half inch away from the glass. I knew it would distort the pattern too much. I ended up using my hot glue gun to tack down the lace in multiple spots to keep it from moving when I sprayed the frosting. Despite the warnings on the can of glass frosting, I sprayed the outside of the door. With my big, furry pups, this method wouldn't last a week without getting ruined if I sprayed the inside of the door. There is a glass door on the outside, so I'm hoping that will protect my hard work from the weather.

This was how I managed the first section that I did. I used a magazine and junk mail to cover up the other panes to keep the frosting from getting on them. The tape is pretty much just for looks. What is actually keeping the lace in place is hot glue. I put one dot in each corner and one in the middle of each side. I tried to put it on spots were the roses were so that it wouldn't leave an awkward dot.

This is what my door looked like after 3 squares were finished. I learned as I went that it really makes much more sense to do more than one square at a time. What I did was used the big piece of lace and covered 6 panes at a time. This made the process go much faster. 

This project was pretty quick and easy once I figured out what I was doing. I love the end result and I love the added privacy we have now. You can still see inside, but not as easily as before. During the day you can't see inside at all unless you put your face to the glass. 

I'm very happy with the results and I have a feeling I'll try some more glass frosting projects with my leftover spray.