Archive for March, 2010

To do…or not to do….

Last week I made a list of things I wanted to do to the house before the end of the year.  As of Sunday we’ve officially been in our “Home Sweet Home” for Two years. I can’t believe how quickly its gone…especially considering we haven’t done a whole lot to it since, outside of floors, the bathroom and such….so I knew it was time for a list.  I love lists…they make me feel accomplished when I actually get something done.  Is there not so much satisfaction in crossing something off the list? 

Well, here’s what I came with up….

Kitchen:

*Strip Wallpaper

*Paint

* Paint/Sand Cabinets

* New Hardware

* New Counter Top

*New Quarter Round

*New Flooring

*Rug

*New Sink (I want a farmer’s sink like you would not believe….too bad they run about $150 and up, even at Ikea…)

*Spray paint my rusting fridge 😦

*Subway Tile Backsplash

*Placemat/tray for dogs

Laundry:

*Organize

*Paint Bins

*Paint Shelf

* Buy Clear Jars and Scoops

Maintenance:

*Roof needs fixed 😦

*Heater Repair

*Clean Gutters

*Strip ceiling of popcorn, paint over them

Master Bathroom:

* Strip Wallpaper

*Paint Walls

* Paint Vanity OR find something on craigslist and convert to uber awesome vanity

*New Hardware

*New Quarter Round

*New Tile

Living Room:

*Build window seat

*Clean curtains

* Make/Buy Pillows for windowseat

* Baskets for Windowseat

* Paint Living room/Dining Room

*Find awesome Potterybarn couches or set of conversation chairs (not gonna happen, but I can dream!)

Outside:

*Raised Garden

* Wildflower Bed

*Finish off space under deck into something other than a gross mud pit.

Organization:

* Clean out front closet

* Clean out Filing system

* Clean out Office Closet

* Clean out Linen Closet

* Clean out Guest Closet

* Move some things to Attic

*Create easier to use financial system

* Organize Recipes

* Paint Campbell on Bulletin Board

Dining Room:

* Find/Make Buffet

* Make dining room table

* Move some kitchen stuff to buffet.

* Paint Chandelier

And there’s more, but I want to reveal that in my second round a little later. But I know this is ambitious…but I was encouraged when I managed to put new tile in the Master Bath, put in my wildflower garden, paint the chandelier, organize my laundry “room”, painted the shelf in the laundry room, and painted the bins.  I have to finish between 1.5-2 of these a week in order to get them all done by the end of the year.  No small task but I’m definitely up to the challenge.  Some of them will require outside help….some will be easy and I will get them done on a weeknight…others will be a great weekend project.  But I’m excited to have some goals laid out so that I can actually get to where I want to be with the house!

Stay tuned for pictures of this weekends projects!

Decor 101: DIY Console Table

A few months ago I stumbled on the website, knockoffwood.blogspot.com.  To my amazement, Ana has been making “plans” of popular furniture….that are easy and available to DIYers like you and me!  For the past few months I’ve been practically drooling over her amazing work and dreaming of where I would put these once unattainable pieces in my house.  I wasn’t sure when I would be able to convince my husband to let me spend money on wood on something that might or might not turn out.  I don’t blame his doubt as I’ve never really worked with wood outside of a few very very simple projects.  Wood can get expensive…and I was relatively wary about doing it myself – surely it couldn’t be THAT easy and I’m impatient which meant the project could end in disaster.  BUT, long story short, Matt and I have been trying to stick to a budget a little more faithfully, and that budget just so happens to give me what we call “blow” money – money we can spend on anything we like.  And yes, you guessed it, some of February’s money went towards the purchase of some wood and a set of drill bits I needed.

So here’s my first wood-working story….

I first chose a plan from Ana’s selection…I needed a console and it said it would be a good beginners project.  I printed off the list of supplies and headed to Home Depot to gather supplies.  That was relatively easy once a Home Depot guy came to my rescue and then helped me cut all the wood (NOTE: if you have them cut your wood, double check accuracy of the cuts, mine were a little off, and I had to do some adjusting once I got home.  I had tools, but I figured they would be more accurate then I would, but that wasn’t the case with all of the cuts.  So just keep that in mind).  When I got home I followed Ana’s detailed plans and slowly started assembling the parts – as you begin to put the pieces together, you have to check for squareness (Ana shows you how to do this here).  Two hours later I had assembled the entire table!

The next step was filling in all the screw holes with putty.  THat took awhile, wood putty does not like more, or rather, likes to stick to me and not the wood.  When the putty dried I took my new sander to it and also began sanding the edges of the wood to give it a more weathered look.  I did have to go back and put more filler in the holes to make sure that it was flat, but I was able to sand that over the next few days until I was satisfied.

The next step was choosing a finish.  I really, REALLY wanted to stain this piece.  I had some left over stain from our transition pieces, but after experimenting with it on the wood, I realized that I was not yet skilled enough to stain the whole piece in a way that would be attractive. So I went to my good ole standby Heirloom white.

The last step was distressing the piece.  Sander and a little stain helped make this look a little more worn.  All in all, I LOVED this project.  Tools aside I think I spent about $45 on wood and screws.  If it hadn’t been for the fact that I had to buy treated 4x4x10 for the legs, it would have come in under $40….including paint!  I’m so happy with how it turned out, and so excited to have this piece in the house.

So What’s next?  Much to Matt’s chagrin (Another LARGE project in the house)….a plan for a Farmhouse table.  Not sure when I will tackle this yet, as we will need chairs still…and I can’t make those…but I CAN’T Wait.  Be sure to check Ana’s site out and see if you find yourself building something to!

Knock Off Wood


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