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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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    One Halloween costume down, one to go. Kids come up with the craziest things. Like batteries. The Frozen crew, as drawn by a four year old. Things I love. The boys picked out orange mums. Fresh fall flowers for the win.

Green Velvet

Not to harp on our living room, sad little guy, but it feels lack luster and boring.  Almost completely devoid of color with the exception of plants and a few pillows.  I usually prefer a touch more color.  In addition to framing out the recently replaced windows and adding a new rug (any suggestions?), curtains are on my list.  The dropcloth panels are fine, nothing amazing, but get the job done.  All the gray on gray is getting dreary.

To shake things up, I’ve placed an order for green curtains.  Before pulling the trigger, I photoshopped some color over the current set.  Perhaps an olive toned set?  I know where I can get a similar linen.

Living-Room-with-Bright-Olive-Curtains-Mock-Up

Deeper, almost emerald could look nice?

Living-Room-with-Moss-Green-Curtains-Mock-Up

Or cheery kelly green…

Living-Room-with-Dark-Green-Curtains-Mock-Up

Then I saw these green velvet panels at World Market.

At $35 per panel, they’re cheaper than I could make.  Sign me up for skipping sewing large panels!  Seriously, I loathe sewing curtains.  Cumbersome pain in the butt they are.

Online, the color didn’t get me too excited.  So, I stopped in our store to take a look and walked out with six 84″ panels.  Including the floor model.  Cleared them out.  At home, I tossed one over the rod to get a better peek.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Left-Side

Other than the panels being a few inches short, I’m diggin’ it.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Right-Side

I’d say the color is less deep green than the description and more leafy green.  Very similar to my fiddle leaf fig, actually.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Color-Closeup

I’ve already placed an order for eight 96 inch panels (need four to cover the front window) and have returned the original six.  Hopefully they’ll arrive in a few weeks and we’ll have a happy new look.  Just in time to offset the winter blues.

SnapPower

Outlet covers always seem like an afterthought.  I know they’re not something I put effort into making look good.  They’re utilitarian and not usually something we want to draw attention toward.  For that reason, we’ve always used standard white covers and switch plates.  Until now.  I know this looks like a standard cover.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers-by-Back-Door

But, take a closer look.  That little dot is actually a light sensor.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers-by-Back-Door-Close

Which automatically turns into a night light when dark.

SnapPower-Outlet-Cover-in-Family-Room-at-Night

The company behind this genius, SnapPower, have made a safe, convenient, unobtrusive version of a nightlight: the SnapRays Guidelight.

SnapPower-Screen

No ugly plug-in and it frees up another outlet.  Three small LED lights at the bottom of each plate are energy efficient.  Prongs on the back rest against the outlet, drawing power without using batteries or wires.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers

It’s literally as simple as removing the old cover and popping on the new one.  Currently, we have one by the back door, another in the hall, and a third near the top of the stairs.  Our hall outlet is always in a shadowed area, so during the day it has a dim light on.  It gets brighter at night when completely dark.

SnapPower-Outlet-Cover-in-Hall

I should add another to the main bathroom to help the boys at night.  I’m surprised by how bright these are.  The night photo is an accurate display of the light given off.

Disclaimer:  I was given a few SnapRays Guidelight outlet covers to use in our home and review.  All opinions are my own.  We choose products that we use or would like to try and are relevent to our DIY/home improvement content.  Thank you SnapPower for the lovely night lights!

Apartment-Therapy-Dark-Division-Winner

In other fun news, our master bathroom was chosen as the dark division finalist in Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color contest.  We’re so excited and honored!

Last note, the Minted giveaway is now closed and an email has been sent to the winner.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  We’re hoping to install a few more windows and get ready for the steel siding.  Almost done with the exterior.  Can’t wait to wrap it up to show you!

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.

Room and Board

Certain rooms feel like the come together quickly and with very little effort.  Things magically fall into place.  Our living room is the polar opposite.  We’ve got a plan for how we want the finished room to look, but getting there has been a struggle.  Honestly, finding furniture that fits our style, budget, and room, but is also comfortable seems impossible.  Our sofa situation is a perfect example.  Looks right, but wasn’t comfortable so we returned it.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Toward-Entry

I’ve found a few decent pieces thrifting, but something is still off.

Two-Tone-Wooden-Box-on-Living-Room

Our limited store selection doesn’t make this any better.  Yes, I realize I could shop online, but I’d rather sit/feel/touch before I take the plunge.  All that to say, I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of small-ish chairs for the living room.  Or one slightly wider chair to take up a little more space.  Something comfy, upholstered.  The kind of chair you’d curl up in to read a book.

Apparently a pair of chairs is as easy to find as a unicorn snacking on a field of four leaf clovers.  So I started thinking perhaps I could keep the one chair and find/build it a brother from another mother chair.  Kind of like the set on the left side of this image:

Mismatched-Chair-Pair-Inspiration

(Sorry, I don’t know the source because I took a screen shot on my phone.)  I brought over a metal and black vinyl sling chair to get an idea.

Chairs-in-Living-Room-2

What if I made a similar style chair, but with the same proportions as the other?  I didn’t have much faith I could find what I had in mind.  And worried I’d make something that would crash down if an adult sat in it.

Chairs-in-Living-Room

A day later, I stumbled on the perfect slightly oversized upholstered chair in a consignment shop.

Room-and-Board-Jasper-Chair-Toward-Front

I sat in it and felt like Goldilocks.  This chair was juuuust right.  I lifted the cushions to make sure everything was in good shape.  I almost choked when I saw the tag on the seat:

Room-and-Board-Jasper-Chair-Tag

It’s from Room and Board!  I have no idea how old it is, but it looks like the Jasper chair.  Instead of a $699 price tag, this was only 40 dollars!  I snatched the tagged cushion and nearly ran to the checkout to claim it right away.  The nubby tan fabric looked a little mustard yellow under the stores flourescent lights, but in our room, it looks pretty nice.  Even if it does remind me of an old mens coat with leather elbow patches.

Room-and-Board-Jasper-Chair-Fabric-Detail

Just not with our current sofa.  Which is okay, because this one was intended to stay in the family room.

Room-and-Board-Jasper-Chair-in-Living-Room

I’m sure finding the perfect couch won’t be an easy task.  That can wait until we find the one.

Room-and-Board-Jasper-Chair-in-Living-Room-2

I’m just happy this new addition adds little heft to that side of the room.

Room-and-Board-Jasper-Chair-from-Hall

Feels like the perfect reading chair.  For myself and the boys.  I’ve already caught them cuddled together reading books.  Finding this chair made me feel like I won the lottery.  Our living room thanks me.

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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