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    It's haaaaapeniiiiiing! The start of kitchen cabinets, hopefully to be installed around the new year. Let the games begin!! 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.

Ding Dong, Siding’s Done

After months of spending weekends replacing windows and installing new siding, we’re finished.  Just before the cold weather hit, allowing us to now focus on indoor remodels.


Currently, the steel has a semi glossy sheen to it.  Nothing that’ll blind the neighbors, but still.


Eventually the steel will rust, creating a contrast.   Because right now the steel is very similar in tone to the lap siding.


As you can see, we decided to cover the bathroom bump out in steel.  Something to add interest and break up the upper section.


It worked out well because we plan to cover the other peaked areas the same way.


Also, the lower section wraps into the bump out near the door.  The back of the pool house is all steel, thanks to the funky angles.  The rest of the pool house, now that’s a different project for spring/summer.


Finally, the section around the garage doors.  It follows the same line, wrapping around from the front.


We’re thankful to have the loose ends tied up.  You know what else we’re thankful for?  Our lovely readers.  To show our appreciation, we’ve partnered up with luxury linen retailer, Frette, to offer one reader a Terry Shawl Collar Robe.

Simply leave a comment on this post to enter!  I’ll announce the winner on Friday.  If you’re also in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving!

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!


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