• About Us

    We're two avid DIY-ers raising two rambunctious boys while tackling large and small projects, living to share our tale. All with the hope to inspire and encourage others.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Favorite Posts

  • Planked Wall

  • Full Sun Plant Guide

  • Faux Zinc Finish

  • DIY Sunburst Mirror

  • The Power of Paint

  • On Instagram

    I'm loving the way everything looks against these dark walls. Similar to white in an art gallery, but more dramatic. Jazzed up our new curtains with a few supplies and a little time. Read how on the blog now. I think he's trying to tell me something... Perhaps I need to remind him where to start a sentence. Hashtag four year old problems.

Put it on My Tab

Moving on with our master bedroom makeover.  With the new window and door in and trimmed, our old curtains were too short.  This set will work perfectly in the basement, but we needed something else.


I’m no stranger to making curtains, but I wanted to add a little detail: leather tab tops.  While in Minnesota this summer, I found a few scraps of gorgeous cognac toned leather.  Just enough to make my tabs.  Using other supplies Ben had, I was able to finish the job.  I used 1 1/8 inch wide by 7 inch long leather strips, a leather punch, and screw post rivets.


First, I used the punch to make a hole 1/2 inch from the bottom of each end of my leather strips.  Surprisingly, the punch made a clean hole through three layers of my linen panel, too.


Then I put the smooth side of my screw through the leather, then my curtain top, and through the other end of the leather piece.


Rather than basic white linen panels, there’s just a touch of rich leather.


And the way these hang?  Perfect draping.  So much more sleek than the bulky blackout curtains of yore.


Honestly though, the suede backing doesn’t slide super easily.  We’ll live with these a few more days to see how it goes.  I’m thinking I could cut another set of leather strips to add inside.  That way, the smooth side could face the rod, but we’d still have the pretty side to look at.  Any other suggestions to solve this problem?


Yet another simple change, but something I’m crazy about.  Here are my two current favorite elements together.


Baby steps, but we’re nearing the end.

Mirror, Mirror Against the Wall

This house came with three large, awkwardly placed mirrors.  One floor to ceiling next to the fireplace, which sadly, broke after moving it.

A shorter, wide one that’s still in the laundry room:


Though I don’t have pictures, the most um, interesting placement was at the end of the basement hall.  Right next to the bathroom door.  The first time we walked through the house, it startled me.  We decided to take it down to put to better use as a large framed for our bedroom.


To start, Ben cut a piece of OSB four inches wider and taller than the mirror and cut 3 inch strips of cedar.  OSB created a rigid backing for the mirror and frame.  We wanted to avoid glue, so Ben used the table saw to create 1/4 inch by 1 1/4 inch grooves in the back of the frame pieces.


The notched out section overlaps the mirror, leaving about two inches on the OSB sheet.


Short nails secure the frame to the backing, leaving an ugly edge.


For added interest, and to cover the sides, Ben added a 3/4 by 1 1/2 trim piece.  I wanted a 1/4 inch reveal for a layered look.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Outer-FrameDuring the planning process, I said I wanted a leaning mirror.  Ben prefers wall mounted, but the height wouldn’t work between our trim.  So, we compromised on a slightly floating, completely straight mount.  To sit flat against the baseboard, Ben secured a scrap of trim to studs at the top.  This sets the mirror away from the wall, and gave a place to screw the mirror to the wall.


The cleats are about 3 inches shy of the mirror width, so they’re not obvious.  Unless you are literally against the wall, as I was to take these pictures.  Even then, the shadow blends in with the dark walls.


Because we had all materials, this project was free.


Filling this wall with a mirror gives function to an otherwise wasted space.  With the new dressing area, the old sconce boxes make sense.  Now to find the right lights that don’t look too bathroom-y.


I’m smitten.


Using the same cedar as the wall and night stands brought a small touch of the same to another wall.


I adore the way the wood (and everything else, for that matter) looks against the black walls.


Next for the bedroom: curtains, paint touch ups (note to self, don’t use the cheap tape!), fixing/changing the bed, and hanging art.

Gimme a Giveaway: Studio Cherie

Doesn’t everyone have one ugly piece of furniture?  If you’re lucky, it’s made of wood.  Something easy to sand down to stain or paint.  But what about that super comfy chair, that shows how much it has been loved over the years?  That’s where Studio Cherie’s Custom Slipcover Craftsy class comes in.

With step by step instructional videos, you’ll have a personal seamstress fairy watching your every move.


Really, you’ll learn about fabric selection, sewing basics, and how to tackle the sticky situations involving rolled arms and piping.


If you need to give a chair some love, this class is right up your alley.

The Goods:  One free Slipcover Craftsy Class with Studio Cherie.  

To Enter:  Tell us about a piece of furniture you’ve got that could use a new look.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook.  Come back to leave a second comment.

2.  Like Studio Cherie on Facebook and on Etsy for the latest updates.

Contest Closes: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Number of Winners: One!

Ships: No shipping, hooray for online courses!

Other Info: We will select the winners using random.org and announce on Friday, December 5th.

Concrete Cast Planter

Over the last year or so, I’ve amassed quite the collection of plants.  It’s border line hoarder, to be honest.  I can’t help myself, the cheery green has a way of brightening up a room like nothing else.  When NativeCast reached out to see if I’d be interested in trying one of their CYO (Cast Your Own) Concrete Planter Kits, I said yes.  First off, they’re freaking adorable.  Second, I’ve wanted to make a concrete planter for ages, and this fool-proof kit was a great test run.


Each kit creates a small planter, using a paper mache box as the mold.  Genius!  Part of my issue making my own was finding the perfect container.  Now I’m thinking a cardboard box or two would work wonderfully, though I may be proven wrong once I try.

The kit comes with everything you need: mold, concrete mix, dirt, seeds, a small mixing spoon, and instructions.  You only add a small bit of water.


A certain someone was very excited to mix everything for me.


With the concrete mixed, we pressed it against all sides.


After letting it dry for 24 hours, I used a utility knife to cut away the box.  Inside is a perfectly imperfect, 100% cute pot.


Just add dirt and the seeds.  Right now, I’m waiting for the seeds to sprout.


I’d really love to take this idea to cast a planter large enough for my fiddle leaf fig.  Right now, it’s in a bucket.  It’s not the worst, but I’d like something a with a little more heft and interest.


Repotting it would probably be best, because I can see some roots at the top.  Is this normal?  Or will it cause my tree to die if left alone?


The leaves have looked a little droopy recently, perhaps the small exposed roots are the cause?


I didn’t realize how much it has grown until I saw this picture from March.  That’s about a foot of growth in 8 or so months.


Disclaimer:  I was given a NativeCast CYO Kit to use in our home and review.  All opinions are my own.  We choose products that we use/would like to try and are relevent to our DIY/home improvement content.  Thank you NativeCast for the lovely kit!

Floating Night Stands

Why is the master bedroom usually the last finished/decorated room?  Our bedroom was a mixed bag of old furniture, all functional, just not what we liked.


While inoffensive, the Ikea side tables just weren’t the best shape or size.  An off-center window left a little more space on one side of the room, too.  To play nicely with the planked wall, Ben built cedar night stands.


Originally, my plan was a simple double shelf, very similar to our entry console.


After using the entry shelf, I decided I wanted a single shelf, as the lower would be another surface to fill.  I tossed out the idea of a basic shelf with black brackets, but Ben thought it would look off.  We agreed a floating shelf would look great and blend best with the plank wall.  There are many ways to make a floating shelf, but here’s what we did.  For the base, we bought four heavy-duty right angle brackets.  Look for something with a consistent width, as this will determine the shelf spacing.  Mount the brackets into studs with the 90 degree angles to the outsides.


Using scrap cedar, Ben built a hollow, tight-fitting box using the brackets as spacers.


Then, the box frame slides over the brackets.


As a bonus, cords tuck inside the shelf, hiding away the extra length.


My nightstand is 24 inches wide and centered on the area between the bed and wall.  I hung a small square print to add interest to the grouping.


To make up for the slightly wider space on Ben’s side, we built his at 30 inches wide.  It’s mounted the same distance from the bed as mine.  A wider print fills the space nicely.


Now to finish painting the room and get longer curtain panels.


And we should get the outlet properly mounted and covered.  Ahh, there’s always something.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,994 other followers

%d bloggers like this: