Thursday, October 17, 2013

Home Office Makeover

Making over the office was something that got bumped up on the priority when I was given the opportunity to work at home (YAY!). We also decided to go back to school so we wanted to have a space specifically for homework... Our "office" somehow turned into our "don't know where to put it/catch all room" so we had to do a little re-organization in the process. Here is the after:

I love accent walls and I found this dark teal color that looked awesome but since it is a smaller room we wanted to do white furniture to brighten up the room a little bit and add some more contrast. We went to IKEA to look for storage ideas (since our house lacks storage) and ended up with a large white bookcase. 

The hubbs built a custom desk/table so that we could actually remove part of the desk and put the extra leg in to hold up the 4th corner that isn't attached to the wall. We wanted to be able to remove the part that sticks out so when we have guests we can put another bed in that area and still have room to move around. He also custom made the color to match the bookcase from IKEA because it wasn't the same white, so the desk and cube organizer (from Target) are the same white as the bookcase! 

The before: 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wedding Card Book

After I got married I wanted to do something cute with all of our wedding cards because I didn't just want them sitting in a box somewhere. So I went on Pinterest {of course} and searched for ideas and the one that stood out was making a book with them. 
So I broke out the scrapbooking paper, cardboard (for the covers), the hole punch, double sided tape and some ribbon and made my wedding card book!

My book is about 6 inches wide by 8 1/3 inches tall, slightly larger than the largest card. I wanted to make sure it had enough durability and the cardboard was strong enough and thick enough to keep it standing upright to be on display. The hardest part was punching all of be holes (especially the cardboard)! I actually used some left over white ribbon from the wedding!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Custom Fish Tank Bookcase

I have always had fish for as long as I can remember and have wanted a new fish tank since we moved. However it was a little low on the "to do" list so I never got around to getting one. Until... I got one for my birthday!! It's only a 6.5 gallon one but its awesome! The only problem was we didn't have anywhere to put it and we didn't really like anything that they had in different stores. I love the look of angled bookcases, the ones that have a deeper bottom shelf and gets smaller towards the top, but every one we found wasn't wide enough for the fish tank. Good thing the hubbs is handy! I sketched out a design idea for the bookcase and he went to HD and bought all of the wood and made it happen! I love the dark wood stain that seems to be the furniture theme that is throughout our house. The contrast with the dark wood and the bamboo flooring looks great. And this is now the home of our Glo fish, photo albums and a few wedding things!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pretty DIY Patchwork Headboard

I saw an article in "all*you" magazine about a DIY Patchwork Headboard and I instantly fell in love with the idea since we didn't have a headboard yet. I liked that you could customize it with whatever colors you wanted to fit your bedroom color scheme. In the "how to" it said to use squares of florists foam, plywood, quilt batting, and fabric. 

For the one we made, the only thing we really did different is we didn't use the florist foam. We went to JoAnn fabric and picked out 6 different patterns/colors and ordered the lengths of each pattern based on how many of each squares we wanted and went from there. 

We cut our squares to be 9 in x 9 in and the headboard itself is 4 squares high and 7 squares wide, so it is a little wider than our queen size bed. We ended up getting more quilt batting and cut it in squares so that we had about 11 layers total (and it was WAY cheaper than buying all of that florist foam!) and then started wrapping the squares with the fabric and then stapling away! 

I just started laying them randomly on the floor to get a not perfect pattern. 

Once we put all of the squares down and had a "design" we liked, we flipped them over and put the sheet of plywood down and marked on the plywood where the edges of the squares would be, so that we made sure we would "catch" each square and not be screwing into nothing. We used 4 small screws for each square just to make sure they wouldn't come off. We also made a support for the back of the headboard so that it wouldn't bend or warp over time. 

And here is the after: 

Hooray for a successful DIY project!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Opening Up The Kitchen

One of the things we loved about our house was how open it was. Between the room layout and the high ceilings it was awesome. 

Except the kitchen. 

That tiny opening that shut out the kitchen from the rest of the house :( 
Let's face it - everyone always ends up in the kitchen, so why have that completely closed off?? The window opening just above the sink was about 4 feet wide and 4 feet high and had cabinets above the sink...they were so low they covered some of the opening and if you were over 5 foot 8 you would hit your head on the cabinet if you were leaning...sounds like a good design feature... not... 

So one day I decided to take down the cabinets that were on the wall and above the sink and already it was better. (We didn't really use those cabinets anyway so we weren't really missing anything when they were gone.)

Next step: cutting through the drywall to see what inside the wall looked like. 

And then removing the 2x4's that were in the wall...

Luckily, my father-in-law is an electrician so he moved all of the wiring and light switches all into one area so that we could open up the wall as much as possible. He also added more outlets to that part of the counter!

He installed new can lighting in the area above the counter so you could see what you are doing now. The end result of just opening up that wall made so much difference! More to come when we remodel the rest of the kitchen!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guest Bathroom Makeover!

When we first bought our house we knew it needed some lovin' so our first real project (after painting the rest of the house) was a complete bathroom remodel. The previous owners had a pretty bad leak in the second bathroom and didn't fix it...they literally just spray painted over the water damaged wall...

->and queue black mold<-

Good thing we live 3 miles away from Home Depot LOL, but really the while project wasn't too bad. We had to completely gut the bathroom and replace the wall that the shower was on because that was the main part that was damaged. We installed a fiberglass two-piece shower/tub surround (one piece was the tub and the other piece was the walls) and other than the awkward shape of our bathroom, it went in pretty easy. We also tore out all of the 2 inch tiles on the floor and put down this awesome floor that has a little padding to it so its not as hard as the tile was. 

This is what it looked like when we started tearing it apart: 

No more tiles!!!

And down to the concrete and exterior wall:

Since its a smaller bathroom we went with a light green color for the walls to make it feel a little bigger and more open. 

A few months after I was watching the DIY channel and saw someone that had bead board in their bathroom and *light-bulb* that's what our bathroom was missing! So one last trip to HD and we had our last piece for the bathroom! It was a little trickey getting the right cut on one of the corners (again because of the odd shape of the bathroom) but it looked so much nicer!

I really love the end product! It's definitely a good feeling when you finish a project and can say "we did this" and it actually looks really good!!! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First Anniversary in Key West, FL

So this weekend was our one year anniversary {YAY} and the hubbs surprised me with a long weekend getaway to Key West! I've always wanted to go there especially to go swimming and snorkeling at the reef! His family has been at random times and loved it so I was excited when I found out where we were going! We left our house at like 3 am and started driving (we love road trips!) and we wanted to miss some of the holiday weekend traffic...

We stopped at Doc's Diner in Key Largo for an awesome breakfast (the pancakes were fantastic) and then kept driving south! Once we got to Key West we had some time to kill before we checked in so we just drove around and took in the sights! We stopped at Sandy's Cafe, a local favorite for some tasty sandwiches and then went back and hung out. 

Of course we had to get sushi (I love it), so we went to another local favorite, Ambrosia Sushi (delicious). The weather was so nice we walked over to Duval Street to see what all the hype was about. Key West, Duval Street in particular, to me is like a mix of New Orleans and Block Island with tons of bars, live bands, little shops and some {very} interesting people watching.

And of course our trip wouldn't be complete without having some Key Lime Pie!! So to local favorite #4 we went! Kermit's (key lime everything) was the best key lime pie ever. 

Local favorite #3 - Havana Key West for breakfast and then off to be a tourist! We drove around and found the Southernmost point buoy...

and then found Mile Marker 0...

which is especially neat to me since some of my family is from the way other end of Route 1, way up in Fort Kent Maine. 

Of course we had to stop at Margaritaville and then went back to the resort and hung out until we went to see the "must-see" sunset at Mallory Square. 

After we went to this awesome restaurant Hot Tin Roof and all I can say is... Best. Scallop. Ever. They had outdoor seating on their wrap around balcony/porch so you had a nice view of the water. 

I went on Pinterest before our trip and just searched "Key West" to get some ideas for things to do and found this picture of this awesome dock and it had bright painted tables, bar stools and bright umbrellas and I LOVED how it looked *cough* possible theme for back porch renovation? *cough* And when we were leaving the restaurant we stopped at an outdoor bar downstairs and I looked down the dock and I saw the same bright tables and barstools and umbrellas!!! I don't know why it was neat to see something on Pinterest with no label as to where it was and then randomly find the place!!

On our actual anniversary we went on a morning snorkel cruise! We stopped at Cuban Coffee Queen for a quick breakfast (bagel and cream cheese on a Cuban bread with honey! Soo good) and then waited to get on the boat. We went with Sunset Snorkeling company and I'm glad we did. We stopped at two different parts of the reef and snorkeled 30 minutes both places. It was awesome to see a live coral reef and a ton of fish (unfortunately no sharks) but it was cool to see everything. 

They had so many different key lime things it was awesome (yeah - that's some key lime fudge on the tiny spoons...) And after that we headed back home!