Thursday, April 30, 2015

Redecorating Plans for the Guest Bedroom

The nursery is thisclose to being finished.  The main holdup is my glider.  It likely won't be delivered until the end of May (don't even get me started).  So you may not see much more of the nursery until it arrives and I can photograph the space for the reveal.

Until then, I'm shifting my focus and what little energy I have to the guest bedroom.  

It's current condition is not bad.  It's certainly functional.  I'm just ready to change it up.  I've grown tired of all the yellow.  And it's leaning a bit too country cottage-y for me.

This is where things are headed.

Guest Bedroom Redesign

[Remaining items:  The dresser is a stand in for a mid-century Bassett dresser that we have.  The sconces are from Crate and Barrel years ago.  The navy pillow is an old West Elm purchase as is the square pin tuck duvet.  The desk is a stand in for a DIY.  The wooden mirror is a stand in for one that I found on Craigslist.  The goodnight wire art is a stand in for a possible DIY.]

My goal is to create a relaxing, inviting space that is suitable for more long-term guests.  The dresser and desk will hopefully help with the latter.  I'm not 100% sure about bedding or the rug yet.  Also, I am on the fence about painting the mirror.  It depends on where I end up hanging it.  If I decide to hang it above the dresser, I feel like it would be a lot of wood in one corner of the room.  If it goes somewhere else, I'd be more inclined to leave it as is.  I don't really want to paint it.  We'll see.  

Most of the pieces we already own (including all but one piece of the artwork) so pulling this together shouldn't take too long.  I hope to have a reveal for you in the next 2-3 weeks!  

Friday, April 24, 2015

DIY Tripod Floor Lamp

As promised, I'm back to show you how Seth built a tripod floor lamp for the nursery.  After browsing West Elm and Target and finding nothing that I liked for a reasonable price, I remembered this tutorial from Sarah Dorsey.

Although a bit more complex then the branch light, it looked feasible.  And for <$20 in materials (not including the lamp shade of your choice), I knew that we had to try it.  And Seth agreed!  :)

Sarah's instructions are quite thorough but I'll run through our process as well including a few snags we hit along the way.

Our supplies:

  • scrap piece of 2x4 (pic shows it after Seth cut and sanded it)
  • harp (bottom part shown, top part not pictured)
  • socket
  • threaded nipple
  • hex nut
  • metal conduit (we used two of these cut into three 4 foot sections)
  • cord with plug
  • spray paint (not pictured)
  • rubber leg tips (we used these)

Note: We already had some of the lamp parts on hand so it was cheaper for us to purchase these items individually, but you could also purchase a lamp kit.  We also opted to pick a socket with a pull down cord versus a switch in hopes that it would be easier for me to reach.

Now for the building and assembly...

First, you'll need to drill the holes in one of your conduit legs for the cord.  You want one hole on what will be the inside of your leg and another on the outside.  

Next, you need to fashion your piece of 2x4 into a center piece that will hold your three legs and your socket (see first pic above).  

Seth used the template from Sarah to mark the three hole locations.  

We ended up drilling these three holes at about a 10 degree angle.  Seth made a guide with some scrap wood and used one of our larger drill bits to pre-drill them.

Then he used an 11/16 paddle bit (this was the exact size of the outer dimension of our conduit) to widen the holes.

Next, he used a glass to trace a circle and cut it out with the jigsaw.

At this stage, we mistakenly followed Sarah's tutorial and attempted to make an indentation in the center for our socket to nestle down in.  Seth also drilled a hole in the center of the circle for the threaded nipple and cord to run through.  

He sanded the circle and it was looking great until he attempted to insert the conduit legs.  It was a tight fight since he had drilled the holes to the exact measurement of the conduit and so he gently tapped them in with a rubber mallet.  And then the wood split in two.  Sad day.  

However, he realized that since we were using a harp for ours, we didn't need the indentation for our socket to sit in (the bottom part of the harp would prevent the socket from being able to nestle down into the wood).  So, he went through the whole process again minus the indented area for the socket hoping this omission would make the wood stronger and less likely to crack.

Still, despite being super careful, the wood started to crack again during the leg insertion, but he did get the legs in without it completely splitting.  To fix the crack, he used wood glue and some hose clamps.  

He let that sit overnight, gave it a light sanding to get rid of excess wood glue, attached the rubber leg tips, and spray painted it gold.

After it dries, you will need to thread your wire through the holes in your leg, up through the threaded nipple, and wire your socket.  (If you're using a harp, don't forget to place the bottom piece over the threaded nipple before wiring and attaching your socket.)

Then, attach a shade of your choosing and you're done!  (I splurged a bit on this ikat drum shade from the Young House Love collection at Shades of Light.)

I think it turned out great.  It goes well with our other nursery decor.  We only have a few things left until the nursery is complete!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

DIY Overhead Nursery Light

There was no way that I was leaving the builder-grade boob light in the nursery.  In case you're not familiar with that terminology, here is the definition from Urban Dictionary.  And here are some examples.

After reading Jenny's tutorial for this DIY branch light many months ago (we were only still discussing the addition of a child at that point), I actually went out and purchased the supplies to make it with the intention for it to replace the chandelier in our closet that only has 2/3 working sockets.  But then I never built it.  

Turns out that was a good thing as it is perfect for the overhead light in the nursery.  

This is a really simple light project that anyone can do.  There is no wiring involved in making the actual light (just in installing it in the room as with any overhead light).

  • ceiling medallion (optional)
  • socket splitters (I think I used 14)
  • light bulbs (I chose clear, round 25 W bulbs and needed 15)
  • porcelain ceiling socket
  • spray paint

To assemble, simply screw your first socket splitter into the ceiling socket and then continue adding splitters and shaping it into a design that you like.  I played around a bit and came up with this.

You could also do a longer, "drippier" design like this if you have tall ceilings.

Then, I stuffed cotton balls into the sockets to protect the electrical elements and Seth sprayed it and the ceiling medallion gold.

After that, it was just a matter of installing it and adding the bulbs.

With fifteen, 25 W bulbs this baby gives off quite a bit of light.  Thankfully, when Seth replaced the cream colored switches, he installed a dimmer switch for this room.

The "branching" aspect of it ties into the subtle woodsy/nature vibe that we have going on (which you'll see soon enough).  

Next up, I'll show you the tripod floor lamp that Seth made.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Transforming a Lane Acclaim Side Table

Most mid-century enthusiasts are very familiar with Lane Furniture.  The company was started in Virginia in 1912.  They are famous for their quality craftsmanship and you can spot their pieces by the presence of dovetail joints, tapered legs, metal details, and rounded corners.  While my mother and I were shopping the Longest Yard Sale this past summer, I came across a Lane Acclaim side table.  It had seen better days for sure, but I couldn't pass it up.

I snatched her up for $20.

According to the serial number, it was manufactured on September 10, 1966 (I found out that you read it backwards).  The extra number (2 in this case) represents that plant where it was made.

After wiping it down with a wet washcloth and letting her air dry, I started the long laborious sanding process.  I had to sand quite a bit to get most of the discolorations out and was never able to entirely eliminate the pink stain (nail polish???).

I went overboard with the sanding trying to get the pink stain off and ended up gouging the wood.  :(  Sad day.  

It makes things more difficult when the grain is running in different directions around the dovetails.  Oh well.  The good news was that I was refinishing this piece for the nursery and have no plans of selling it.

Next, I applied Minwax's Special Walnut stain (while wearing a mask to help protect the babies from fumes) followed by two coats of Acrylacq.

Another great option would have been to use some Restor-a-Finish in walnut instead of stain.

It appeared that the original tips of the tapered legs were painted black (?).  If I was going for the most authentic look, I should have repainted them black.  However, I decided to do something a little different and spray paint them gold (revealed below).

And here is the finished product in its new home.

I'm pleased with how it turned out.  It's not perfect, but it has some character.

And I like the gold tipped legs.  Even if they aren't authentic.

Next week, I'll show you the overhead light and floor lamp that Seth and I made for the nursery as well as a sneak peek of the accent wall!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Kitchen Has Tile!

I am so excited to share our tiled kitchen with you today.  (I decided to skip over a separate cabinet reveal/painting post as there are a zillion cabinet painting tutorials out there.) For those that are new here, we recently hired someone to lay a tile floor over our ugly laminate and install a tile backsplash (we previously didn't have a backsplash at all).  We also painted out cream cabinets bright white and added new hinges and hardware for a more modern look and shifted our wall oven down a bit to make room above it for our microwave.  I'll be quiet now and let the pictures do the talking.

We chose a white subway tile with medium gray grout for the backsplash.  I like the blend of the traditional subway tile shape in a modern bright white color with the gray grout.

For the floor, we chose a medium gray 12" x 24" tile with the same gray grout.

It's definitely an amazing transformation from what this space looked like when we moved in.

Sorry for the cloudy day pictures.  It really is much brighter in person.

We still need to fix the gap over the sink where the scallop trim used to be (see photos above), add the floor transitions,

and demo (ugh.....) behind the fridge a bit as it is now too tall to fit in the opening (AGAIN). Poor Seth.

We also need to add a kitchen table and chairs and I have a few small project ideas for the laundry area.  You can read about other parts of the kitchen transformation at these links (painting a chalkboard wallbuying new countertops, a new stovetop, sink and faucetpainting the ceiling and making curtains, purchasing a new wall ovenpurchasing a new vent hood).