Entertaining Entertainment

We’re slackers and haven’t built anything from start to finish since starting this blog.  Our laundry room progress has taken a back seat to project ADD life.  I thought I’d redeem myself by sharing a plan for our built-in entertainment center.

We knew we wanted hidden storage for toys and electronics, so we made a plan for cabinet doors on the lower half.  Open shelving for decorative storage above takes some of the focus away from the tv.  The shelves are fixed, just because we don’t prefer the look of the adjustable metal tracks.

When we build cabinetry, we start from the bottom up.  Ben worries about the durability and strength of everything he builds, so he uses 2 by 4s on edge for the toe kick and counter top.  Then, the cabinets are faced out and doors are added.  It’s pretty much the same process for the upper shelving.  instead of 2 by 4s, Ben uses 1 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch thick MDF to support the shelves.

It’s difficult to get into the particulars on how to build the entertainment center without step by step pictures.  I promise, when we finally have the laundry room cabinets done, we’ll share every detail.

Until then, I want to know if you’ve built a piece of furniture?  What about a built-in?  Not brave enough?  Try buying a plain bookshelf and add crown molding and taller baseboards to give it a more custom look.

Shopping Trip

Warm weather makes me want to get out of the house, whether for a walk, watching V play at the park or shopping.  Of course, this is about shopping, because you probably don’t want to read about our walk or trip to the playground.  World Market sent me a postcard for $20 off a purchase of $20 or more, as a birthday gift.  How thoughtful, seeing as we barely know each other.  Anyway, the boys and I strolled over to World Market, postcard in purse hand.  Here’s what caught my eye.  The Josephine Desk for $199.99.  The design is classic and simple, but I know Ben could build something for less than 200 bucks.  This desk would also look great as an entry table.

This industrial chic dining chair for $109.99.  They also have a coordinating backless barstool.  I don’t think Ben would go for an industrial style, though.  Oddly enough, the man doesn’t like the manly look.  No, he’s not gay.  Haha.

We walked out of World Market with two green Velvet Toss pillows and a bag of chocolate pennies.

It was a toss-up between the green and Moroccan blue, but I think the blue was too similar to the pillows we already have.

And the yellow-green is the perfect spring color.  It reminds me of the first leaves after winter.

After WM, we walked over to Ross.  These lamps are great, especially for $29.99 each, shade included.  Am I the only one who thinks anything more than $30 is too much for a lamp?

My sisters just came out for a visit and we took a trip to Ross to find lamps.  Ash and I saw an awesome set for $45 each, but she didn’t know if her boyfriend would.  Upon his approval, she bought these:

When she brought them in the house,with all seriousness, Vincent said, “Oh my gosh!  Those are incredible!”  Can you tell he shops with decor loving parents?

I’ve been looking for a table to sit over the theater room sub woofer, which is smarter than your average bear (name that cartoon) taller than the average table, with little luck.  Every cheap table is just that, cheap.  I like the style of this table, but I think Ben would like to build something sturdier, even if it is $29.99.

Lastly, we dropped by Bed Bath & Beyond.  This pillow would be fun to duplicate.  If you think I’m cheap because I don’t want to spend more than $30 on a lamp, you know I’m too cheap to buy a $29.99 pillow.  At least I can’t make the lamp.

Josephine desk: $199.99

Industrial chair: $109.99

Ceramic lamps with shades: $29.99

Side table: $29.99

Textured pillow: $29.99

Mr. Ev with Mrs. Meyers: Priceless.


We’ve never used Mrs. Meyers’ laundry soap, so Vincent picked out a trial bottle for $1.99.  Then, Ev wanted it and wouldn’t let go.  Silly boy.

We love Ross for their deals on rugs, bedding, and housewares.  We’ve snagged a few friends from World Market and got a smokin’ deal on our dining chairs.

Have you seen new items that made your heart pitter patter?  Do you have a price your unwilling to go over for certain items?  Do you use Mrs. Meyers stuff to clean your abode?  Maybe you have kids who prefer strange items over toys?

Musical Chairs

A little over a week ago, I shared that my baby turned one.  But, I didn’t tell you that my parents visited from Minnesota to celebrate.  They arrived on the 24th and stayed until this Saturday.  My dad has had a rocking chair since I was a baby.  He’s addicted to it.  So, he bought one for our house so he had one while visiting.  Well, I think it’s ugly, so when they’re not here, it stays in the large basement bedroom.

Yep, it’s buried under the sleeping blanket we use for our backyard picnics.  Well, we were a little slow to bring it up this visit.  I swear my dad became physically sick because he didn’t have his rocker.  Then, we realized what the problem was, hauled the chair up from the basement and he was completely fine from that point on.  So, for the past week, we’ve lived with our living room disassembled a bit.

The Dolce chair moved to the guest bedroom, the matching club chair took its place and the rocker took the club chair’s place.  Musical chairs, I tell ya.  You might have noticed something is missing, too.  If you haven’t, maybe this picture will help.

Yep, the child’s desk we’ve used for the past four years is gone.  My sister just bought a house, so she asked if we would send our small desk back for her.  Fortunately, that desk was a temporary solution from day one, so we loaded it up and said good riddance to it.  Even though I hated that desk with a passion, I’m sort of missing it.  Without the desk, I have no designated place to surf the web, which is fine because of the laptop, but the cords bug me.  Anywhere I sit, the cord follows.

And yes, our house is messy without my maid mom here.  Just kidding, mom.  Our house usually has this kind of mess.  Check out our living room.

On a really good day, (or really bad, depending if you prefer the mess) our house looks like this.

We always have my family haul things out from IKEA, like a Ribba frame for my new print from Little Brown Pen.

Occasionally, they return home with some goodies, too.  Other than the desk, we sent my parents home with a floor lamp that we were no longer using, a bag of books, and another bag of clothes.

Speaking of giving things away, I’m taking Jen’s 30 in 30 challenge to purge our home of thirty items in thirty days.  Technically, those four items we pawned off in April, so they count, right?  Or is that wishful thinking?  Maybe we’ll count them if we’re short at the end of the challenge…

Now you’ve seen our house strewn with toys and cords and in disarray with chair swapping.  Are feeling the itch to get some spring cleaning done?  Care to join me and Jen to shed our homes of 30 items?  Have you received furniture from a friend or family member recently?  Maybe you’re addicted to a rocking chair just like my dad?

Pillows in the House

Er, shop.  That’s right folks.  Our first set of pillows are on the market in our Etsy shop.  To be completely honest, these pillows aren’t a recent creation.  I made them for our house back in 2008 when we had a duck egg blue and red color scheme.  You may remember catching a glimpse of them in this post about our living room phases. 

Well, I was clearing out our linen closet the other day and I stumbled across these.  I decided it was time to part with them.  So, if you have a duck egg blue and red color scheme, I’ve got just the pillow covers for you. 

The covers are sewn from duck cloth, a canvas-like material which is very sturdy and durable, making the pillows great for families with children.  At 14 inches square, these pillow covers are perfect for a couch, chair or bed.  Depending on how fluffy of an insert you want, you can buy either a 14 inch square form or a 16 inch square form. 

I hand embroidered the modern red flowers.  Here’s a closer look at the fine details. 

The pillow covers are machine washable.  Simply turn inside out and wash on a cold, gentle cycle.  Then, tumble dry on low.  If you forms have stretched due to use, this will shrink them back down a little.  I need to get my butt in gear to add a few more pillows to the shop, but now we’ve got something!

Make a Move

When we set up our Christmas tree, we moved our La-Z-Boy rocking chair to the basement.  With the holidays behind us, we took the chance to bring in a chair substitute.  We have a club chair that matches our couch, so we brought that up from the basement instead.

I love the new and FREE look.  First, because the chair matches the couch.  Secondly, because this chair has a considerably lower back, making the living room feel more open.  Wondering where that pillow came from?  I made it.  Find the tutorial here.

Remember this?

Compared to this?

Much better, no?  The painted white frames help out, too.  Have you shopped around your house to change up the decor?

P.S.  Design Mom, Gabrielle Blair has featured our Mr. and Mrs. mugs and our Family Tree Cut Out artwork today!  Talk about exciting!