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    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.

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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.

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:

Laundry-Room-from-Door

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.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Finished-in-Master-Bedroom-2

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.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Trim-Cut-OUt

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

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Inner-Frame

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

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Frame-and-Backing

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.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Back-Cleat-Detail

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.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Gap

Because we had all materials, this project was free.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Finishsed-in-Master-Bedroom

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.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-in-Master-Bedroom-Side

I’m smitten.

Framed-Wall-Mirror-in-Master-Bedroom-Detail

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

Framed-Wall-Mirror-With-Plank-Wall

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

Framed-Wall-Mirror-Finish-Detail

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

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.

Master-Bedroom-Window-Trimmed

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.

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstands-at-Night

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

Halloween-Entry-ConsoleDecorations

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.

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstand-Shelf-Brackets

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

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstands-Hollow-Inside

Then, the box frame slides over the brackets.

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstand-Frame-Cover

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

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstand-Detail

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.

Master-Bedroom-My-Nightstand

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.

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstand-Bens-Side

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

Master-Bedroom-Floating-Nightstand-Overall

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

His and Hers Tasks

Good news, everyone.  The siding is 99 percent finished!  Ben took the last three days off work to get everything done before this weekend’s cold snap hits.  After starting with the most tedious part, everything went up smoothly and mostly without incident.  With much hemming and hawing, we decided to wrap the bathroom bump out in steel.  During install, Ben was on the scaffolding while I was at the bottom pounding each panel up.  While pounding a panel in place, a prybar fell off the scaffolding and on my arm.  A string of four lettered words spewed out of my mouth.  Other than that, no problems.

Lower portions were a breeze by comparison and Ben had most finished by day 2.

Steel-Siding-Lowe-Section-on-Front

We know this siding choice is different.  People seem to love it or hate it.  Fortunately, several neighbors have come over to tell us how much they like it.  They could love the steel, or just that it’s finished.

Steel-Siding-on-Garage

Regardless, we’re thrilled.  Both with the look and that we’re almost done.  To finish off the outside corners, we’re waiting on five pieces to cover the edges.  You can see one by the front door.

Steel-Siding-by-Front-Door

While Ben was siding (and didn’t need my help), I was inside painting trim and a few walls.  Here’s a peek at the first coat in our bedroom.  As the McDonald’s slogan goes, “I’m lovin’ it.”

Master-Bathroom-Wrought-Iron-Sneak-Peek

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get our siding trim pieces to wrap things up.  Once that’s finished, we can take down the scaffolding and get working on kitchen plans.  Wishing you all a fun and productive weekend.

Light Bar

Several years ago, I bought this lamp for 10 dollars at a vintage shop.  The broken, ribbed blue shade wasn’t looking so great, but the base was ace.  Now you can have ‘The Sign’ stuck in your head.

White Glass Lamp Before

I recovered the shade with navy linen and put it in the boys’ updated room and called it done.

And it never gets used.  We read bedtime stories in the living room, then brush teeth and tuck the boys in.  Essentially, it was a decoration.  One that could be used in another room.  Our family room is a tough space to light because there aren’t floor outlets so cords are a tripping hazard.  The only place to have a plug-in lamp is on the bar.

Stump-Coffee-Table-in-Family-Room

Oddly enough, I’ve been pining over this lamp from Schoolhouse Electric and recently realized how similar the base is.  Even if it is the shorter cousin with more junk in the trunk.  Because it’s all about that base, ’bout that base.  Oh jeez, I need to take a break from pop radio.

So, I took matters into my own hands and made a few quick changes.  A new shade from Target + a stained round wooden base from Hobby Lobby + a little spray paint = Schoolhouse look-alike.

Glass-Lamp-Wood-Base

To get the base right, I stained it with Minwax Special Walnut.  The bottom of the lamp is open and hollow, so I essentially made a large toggle bolt to hold the wood in place, but not permanently attached.  I started by drilling holes in the center of the round and a piece of paint stick.  Gluing a nut to the top of the paint stick made up my toggle.

Glass-Lamp-Base-Toggle

After putting the bolt in and tightening it halfway, I slipped the wood strip inside and cranked the bolt.

Glass-Lamp-Base-Attachment

Keeping a little pressure against the wood will allow the bolt to snug up.

Glass-Base-Wood-Round

To give the neck a little spruce, I sprayed it with Rustoleum Dark Walnut paint.  Add a new shade and it’s finito.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-Detail-Vertical

Not a bad knock off for less than $20, including the price for the base.  Adding a wood base and new shade to any gourd lamp could give a similar look.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-in-Family-Room-2

Now it sheds light on the bar area and adds some height.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-Detail

Honestly, I’m stupidly excited about the new look.  Schoolhouse has some amazing pieces.  Sadly, I have a hard time justifying that cost for a lamp.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-in-Family-Room

Sometimes though, I get lucky and find similar items.  Like this wool blanket that is a dead ringer for their Kelly Green Throw.  That my friends, is why I love thrifting.

Marble Topped Box

Everyone has ugly things that are necessary for life.  Feet, cords and wires, and remotes, to name a few.  Hiding feet is an easy change.  We still (going on two years now!) have to build doors to hide the cords in the entertainment center, but that’s a different project for another day.  That leaves us with remote controls.  Perhaps your situation is different.  Maybe you’ve got a fancy universal remote.  We don’t.  Nope, there’s one for the tv, another for the receiver, and the controller for the Play Station (our dvd player).  Before this, the three squished together in a too small open tray on the coffee table.

Two-Tone-Wooden-Box-Finished-Outside

To give those ugly necessities a home, I built another recessed lid box.  With a twist.  I paired a 1/2 inch MDF base with a marble tile top.

Marble-Topped-Remote-Box-for-Remoted

Following the same process, I crafted the simple box, using our remotes as a dimension guide.  Two coats of Tate Olive inside and out for a touch of color.  Then, Ben cut a 12 inch square tile (left over from the master bathroom shower) to size for me and drilled a hole in the center.

Marble-Topped-Remote-Box-Above

A semi creepy pull from Hobby Lobby is a fun accent.  Kind of looks like bird claws, no?

Marble-Topped-Remote-Box-Detail

Hobby Lobby knobs come with the bolt attached to the pull.  Sometimes it’s nice, when turning knobs into towel hooks, but other times, it just adds another step.

Marble-Topped-Remote-Box-Knob-Bolt-to-Cut-Off

After securing the knob with the washer and nut, I used a hacksaw to cut off the rest of the bolt.  Voila, a chic remote house.

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