Posts Tagged 'Decor 101'

Decor 101: Decor Friendly Storage Solution – Dog Food Storage

A few weeks after Matt and I married we decided we needed to add to our family, and instead of going the baby route so early on and to stick to the five three year plan for starting our family, we got a sweet little puppy from one of my co-workers. A black border collie mix, whom we named Piper, who was quite the entertainer and we loved having her around.  However, after a few months we felt she might need a “day” companion to keep her company, at which point we decided to adopt dear Peyton, a yellow lab mix (he looks like a miniature yellow lab with a permanent puppy face).  To feed two dogs that are both roughly 37 lbs requires buying dog food in larger quantities than one can fit in a kitchen cupboard.  I faced a dilemma, how to store food attractively AND safely.  We live in the south and although we haven’t had a problem with roaches since the first few weeks of living here (the house was unoccupied for over 6 months), they are quite common down here and they just so happen to love dog food.  I wanted to make sure the food was protected from roaches, obviously because I didn’t want them in my dogs food, and I didn’t want them in the house (ew gross….) – I could live the rest of my life and never see one again.  After the first one we saw we had the house treated and the only ones I’ve seen since have been dead ones around the perimeter of my house.

We considered our storage options.

1.) Trash Can with a Lid Approach.  Doable, wouldn’t look completely out of place but where to put it?  We have one trash can in the only spot one will fit (we tried putting one under the sink and it did not work, it got filled up far too fast and just did not work for us).

2.) Rubbermaid Container.  Most inexpensive.  Best seal.  But…BUT… by far the most unattractive.

3.) Decorative Chest lined with plastic.  Most expensive.  Adequate seal.  Far more attractive and who doesn’t love the idea of hiding something so stinky and atrocious in something pretty?

While we were paying off our (really mine…I brought 17K in school loans to the marriage) debt and following the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover we were really watching our money and silly as this may seem, but the trash can was even out of our budget unless I had been able to score one at a garage sale for a great price.  We ended up going with the highly “glamorous” Rubbermaid container that sat in a corner of the dining room.  Blah. Blah. Blah.  So unattractive.

But then about 10-12 months after paying off our debt (Yippeee!) I found these beautiful wicker/”banana leaf” chests at Target, on sale, for $37.99 a pop.

Image From "Banana Leaf Trunk"

If we ever don’t have dogs in the future (what a sad day that would be) we could use these for something else.  They are modular and easy to move.  And although they didn’t come lined with plastic, a trip to Home Depot’s paint isle and snagging a heavy plastic painter drop cloth would do the trick.

What I love the most about them is that they add some texture to the living room and no one would ever guess that we have dog food stored within.  Although we were initially afraid one of the dogs would discover they could eat through the wicker to the food…they never have.  We’ve had them for over a year now and they are one of my favorite storage solutions that are decor friendly and don’t ruin the over all look of our home!

Two Banana Leaf Storage Cubes/Benches

I’m always looking for creative solutions like this to help keep my house looking pretty but not losing the functionality that I need in such a small house!


Decor 101: My Ballard Design Artwork Knock Off

SO I got my latest issue of Ballard Designs and saw these beautiful paintings

Ballard Designs, Custom Soliloquy Giclee Prints (Photo from Ballard Designs)

…and just so happened to have two blank, waiting to be painted panels just sitting around from some past projects.  So the little artist in me was itching to get out and I decided, what the heck, why not.  I don’t mind saving some money and I could really use some new artwork for the living room above the couches and I just loved these paintings from Ballard.

The end result is definitely different than theirs, but I’m loving how the artwork came out.  They look so much better in person, but I couldn’t get my white balance quite perfect so the pictures look a little yellower than I would like and a lot of he detail got lost.  Oh well.

Ballard Knock Offs

Decor 101: DIY Console Table

A few months ago I stumbled on the website,  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

Decor 101: DIY Interesting Wall Art

I’ve been working on a collage of frames to fill the empty spot next to the IKEA shelves…only I’ve not come up with anything to put into the frames….until the other day.  I’ve seen many people do it (on various blogs…and decor sites) and I’ve always loved the look, so I decided it was high time to make two that were personalized for us.  I did one based on our lovely hometown, Greenville, and one for the passion of liberty that both my husband and I possess. Here’s what resulted, I think the Liberty one is definitely better, but love how these turned out:

Copyright A Starter House.

Copyright A Starter House.

Anyways, just thought I would share!

Decor 101: Turn over a new leaf…

I found this guy at goodwill last week:

Sorry for the flash....I took this at night and the lighting was not working in my favor...

…and guess how much it was at Linen & Things….$14.99….and I paid only $1.50.  Granted, I like things better when they are a dollar or less, but I could swallow the extra fifty cents to get a new centerpiece for my coffee table. I ALMOST passed it by, but then I thought of what a little spray paint could do.  After a little sanding and two coats of Heirloom White, I had this pretty centerpiece to call my own:

Nice soft lighting... LOVE how it turned out!

Another shot....lovely space heater to ruin the shot!

I think I will sew a runner for the coffee table…I’m thinking some type of burlap or linen to add a little texture to the room.  So excited with how this turned out, and only $1.50!

Decor 101: DIY Headboard….Repurpose of a Cabinet Door

So you may or may not remember the project I started eons ago…you know the little entertainment repurposing project.  Well guess what?  It’s done.  Confession, it has been done for a while – I think even before I lost my job. I know I know I should have posted it sooner.  But then I lost my job….Christmas….New Years…and now I finally get around to it.  Well, I finished it…I’ll post pictures of that later, in my opinion they aren’t as exciting as these.

When I was tearing the entertainment center apart, I almost, ALMOST threw the doors away.  For whatever reason I had a moment of inspiration.  “This is long enough to be a headboard”  Sure enough it was!  I put both doors aside, originally only intending to use one or the other, as one was thin, and the other had glass in it.

I ended up using both doors though, I sanded them and then painted them with a nice satin espresso.  I removed the glass from the one door, and attached the two doors to some 1″ x 2″ X 4′ pieces of wood.  I also picked up some foam from the local sewing store and a piece of remnant I had purchased at my FAVORITE fabric store in town, called Tony’s.  They have remnant interior fabrics that they sell for dirt cheap.  The entire piece for the head board (I had enough left over for 5 oversized patches for a quilt I made….yes, I’ve been busy….)cost only $4!  It is gorgeous fabric too…I wish my pictures would do it justice.

Anyways….my search for a headboard for under $100 is OVER! Sweet. All materials included…foam was $8, fabric $4, paint $3.50, wood was $2….I have a very custom headboard that I am in love with for under $20!!!! 🙂 Best part is the fact that I have a lot of supplies left over for another project.  So what do you think?  My parents got to test it out this weekend – I was so excited:)  The guest room is so close to being done.  so close.  Just need a few pictures to fill the frames, and then really just something to go over the bed to fill the empty space – always open to ideas:)

Have a great day and hope you had a fun weekend!

The headboard in its new home....

ignore unfinished pillows please….

The whole room shot I could get!

Linking to: Trash to Treasure at Reinvented.


to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Do It Yourself Day

Decor 101: Christmas time is here….

Christmas time was always magical to me as a child.  I always got very dreamy around this time of year and often would look out my bedroom window staring at the snow as it fell, practically dancing in the moonlight.  It is important to me on many levels, the first being my faith, the second the closeness to my family, and also because of the spirit of grace & giving that Christmas should exude!  So this time of year always brings me back to those feelings I had as a child and I get rather giddy about the little things.  My favorite tradition was putting up the tree.  I still remember the first Christmas I got to help put the tree up (we had fake growing up because I was allergic to pine trees…thank goodness I grew out of that allergy!).  Eventually it grew into helping with the lights etc – so again this year when Matt & I put up the tree, all my memories came flooding back and I thought of the many times I had helped my dad check the strings of light! Goodness I could write a book about my Christmas memories…so without further ado…here are a few shots of Matt & I’s Christmas decorations.  We’ve been enjoying the tree lights and the aromas (Matt even turned the lights out last night so the Christmas tree would be the only thing on!)  They may not be spectacular but we love them! (Matt wanted to make sure I pointed out the tradition of “snow” that he has asked to continue in our family)  I’m going to write a post on it soon – but enjoy the lovely close ups 🙂

Christmas Snow...Campbell style

The jingle bells are from the dollar tree!

The front entry way all decked's hoping the dogs don't knock the vase over!

That’s it for now…I might update with some pictures at night.  And watch for the post on snow!

I’m linking this to the Christmas tree party at Thrifty Decor Chick, although I am quite positive there are much more impressive trees out there, I’m just curious if anyone else has done this snow thing my husband so loves:)

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