Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our Dining Room Mood Board

I love making mood boards for my home! It gives me and my hubby a feel of how the room could possibly look. It also brings us on the same page so we're not arguing when one doesn't understand the other. If I'm not explaining how I want our dining room table, I just refer to the mood board. If I want to remember to DIY a certain element, I refer to the mood board. Everything I would like for a space is all on one image. Such a good idea them mood boards! Before I share our inspiration, let's look at some befores.

When we moved into our home, our dining room looked like this:

I need a moment to process how little my oldest daughter was in this photo. My youngest daughter is about that age now! Ok, moving on. Like the rest of the house, the dining room was old and outdated. It hosted our pub height dining table brought from our apartment up until January! As in, January 2013! Since our old table had a seating for four we didn't really use the room that much. Slowly, we've worked on updating in here. We replaced the carpet, curtains and switched out the broken sliders for French doors. They open up to the sunroom so on cool breezy days we keep them open. Here is how our dining room looks now:

I know what you're thinking. Contact Better Homes and Gardens right? NO? Well I wouldn't either. Especially with the missing trim and the unpainted French doors ;). What I love about this room is my table. Have you heard of Ana-White? I hope so, she's amazing. My hubby built this table for me from this plan. The chairs stick out like a sore thumb but I plan on sanding them down and painting them a navy. It's going to all make sense when it's finished! At least I hope so, because that's what I've been telling all of my friends and family. :)

Here is the direction I want to take the room:

As you can see I already have my farmhouse table ;). Progress people. What I love most and what I am trying to get my hubby to do next are the shelves. I want the long wall (that you cant see in the picture) to have is a layer of shelves like in the mood board. I have a bunch of vintage kitchen décor that I am eager to display and I'd like to try my hand at DIY'n a clock. Those pallet frames? Amazing! We have a big stack of pallets in our back yard (should I admit that?) so I probably could knock this out now ;). I haven't decided on a wall color but I'm assuming it'll be in the brown family. I originally wanted to stay away from builder beige but we'll see :).

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

DIY Chevron Bulletin Frame


Hey everyone!

So I know it may seem all I update are picture frames, but when I saw my stash of forgotten cork board squares I had to claim another. I mean, these cork board squares are at least three years old so why not?

I grabbed one of the squares and a frame that housed our fall bucket list. It has sat unused in my basement ever since. *blush* It would be nice to redo another thrift store frame and save a good white one, but I didn't have any older ones big enough.

After popping out the old bucket list, I used the glass as a guide for cutting my cork board. It helps if you score it a few times with the X ACTO knife instead of trying to cut all the way through. You are then left with a perfect 8x10 (or whatever size you are cutting) with no frayed edges.

Let's be honest at this point. I enjoy scrapbooking. I have a Silhouette Cameo that cuts all different kinds of shapes. It only made sense to have the machine cut the chevron for me. I wasn't about to measure if I didn't have to! Math is not my strong point.

I decided to make a vinyl stencil so all I'd have to do is apply it to the cork and paint in the negatives. Making vinyl stencils are super easy and super fast. If you don't have a silhouette machine and are pretty artistic or handy I am sure you could find an image online and trace it onto the vinyl. Then use your X acto knife to cut around the image.
Once my stencil was finished I used my X acto knife to weed out the negative part of the image. Since we aren't dealing with letters, I just tossed the pieces aside.

Most people who craft with vinyl are smart enough to buy more transfer tape than vinyl itself so they never run out. I am not one of those people. I never seem to buy enough transfer tape and instead I am left with using Frog Tape. It works just the same. Actually, I am smart. This saves so much more money so HA to the vinyl companies out there. :)

After covering my image with the Frog Tape I "burnished" the edges with my fingers. All that means is pressing down real hard. A credit card works great in this situation, but so do fingers! After that's finished gently lift the tape off of the vinyl backing and it should come up pretty smoothly.

I don't have a picture of this step but once I placed the image on my piece of cork I "burnished" the whole image so it would stick to the surface. When removing the tape its best if you do it at an angle. If you see the vinyl is sticking to the tape and not the surface change your direction and move slower. Since cork isn't a smooth surface you sometimes have to change your direction a few times!

Acrylic paint is perfect for these types of projects. I wanted a gray color but since I don't have gray I went elementary and brought out white and black. If you do this, make sure you mix more than what you assume would be enough. The cork sucks up a lot of the paint and its hard getting the same color if you have to mix another batch. I may or may not know that from this project.

This is how your project will look. I heart vinyl stencils, they sure make for crisp lines... if you burnish real well! Before the paint dries it's best to remove the vinyl. Just be careful the wet part of the vinyl doesn't touch the unpainted part of the cork!

Once it is dry just put it back in the frame! I decided to display a few Instagram (avillarreal140) pictures in mine for now. I think it'd also be cute to display earrings or on it's own in a space that needs more texture.

*I like these cork squares because I remember them being pretty cheap. However, if you make this project to display pictures or memos I recommend doubling up on the cork. It is pretty thin and with one piece the push pins will be exposed in the back!

Thanks for visiting!


Linking up with Yellow Bliss Road!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello Kitchen!

I hope everyone had a great holiday and enjoyed their weekend! We had a great time watching the fireworks, eating ice cream and spending the time with friends and family. Summer always seems to go much faster after the 4th of July.

In addition to the festivities we "finished" up our kitchen! We still have a list of things we want to do but for now, it's at least 75% complete. It makes me so happy seeing the kitchen now. All of the unfinished projects are finished, paint is on the wall, and our bead-board and toe kicks are complete. I'll share what we want to do to be at 100% at the end of the post. First, the before *shudder*:

The kitchen seriously needed some love and love is what we gave it! Here are the "after's":

 AHH! Isn't the after such a breath of fresh air? Last week we finally switched out our microwave from a giant one in the corner to one over the stove. I am so happy! Even though we have the island and the breakfast bar, that area right next to the stove is prime real estate when it comes to cooking. I do have "decor" and my Keurig has a new home in that location but it doesn't affect the space for prepping or spreading out.
 This view is from the door to the basement looking in. I used to have my fruit in a giant wire basket but being in a milk glass container really makes the color of the fruit pop and takes up less space. The fish will be moved eventually to our basement when we work on adding more furniture for storage! I don't have a lot of cookbooks because I'd rather Pinterest a recipe or search online so what I do have is in the corner with two mason jars as bookends. I'm not sure what to do with the white basket but for now it is holding our wipes and remote. The breakfast bar looks into our kitchen so it is always in reach. With a 3 year old and a 17 month old keeping them out of reach is key!

 This view is looking from the dining room into the kitchen. The bead board on the island is what started the whole thing ;). For the record, it was my idea to have the toe kick match the back-splash but my hubby is trying to take all the credit.
I made this growth chart over the weekend. I decided not to share a tutorial because the idea is not mine. I lifted it from Katie Bower of Bower Power and she has a great tutorial over on her blog. The only thing I did differently was to use my Silhouette Cameo to cut the numbers out of vinyl. We already have our first marks on it and I cant wait to see it fill up!

Well that's how our kitchen is looking today! Eventually, we want to replace the flooring with hardwood tile. As you seen in the before photo, our kitchen originally had blue carpet. So we were sort of rushed to get that  replaced and in the process the tile job wasn't done the proper way. Seriously, it's so uneven and crooked in person and you might be able to tell if you look close enough in the after photos. Also, I want to find a light fixture for above the sink. We bought one when we purchased the two we have now but I returned it thinking I could find something better. A year later and the spot is still bare! Ya live and ya learn. The door leading to the sun room will be replaced with a full glass one as well. Our house sits in shade so all of the light we can get to come in the better. Finally, we want to re-sand and paint the cabinets the right way. We'd like them to match before we purchase hardware and we'd like to sturdy up the stock cabinets a little more. 

Well, that is our kitchen. I love it!

Thanks for stopping by :).


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

DIY Washi Tape Frame

If you were to visit my house and I gave you a tour you'd probably start questioning my cleaning abilities once we got to the basement. We have a partial basement and only one half of that is finished. It's become a dumping ground, especially in the unfinished side. Beyond home décor and DIY projects I enjoy scrapbooking. The unfinished side will eventually become a scrapbook room/office but until then, it's where we store clutter.

Included in the clutter are items I've purchased at thrift stores or yard sales waiting for a new life. Thrift store visits like... last summer. This frame was one of those purchases. I can't remember how much it was but I'm sure it was only a few dollars.

Isn't she a beaut?
I have a faux entryway nook in my living room and the area has been looking a little drab. Last year, my house was decorated for every holiday, this year? Not so much. Recently, we found a dresser that fits perfectly in the nook and it has inspired me to pretty up the area again. This is where the Washi Tape comes in.

I love Washi Tape. It comes in a bunch of different colors and patterns and you can maneuver it without leaving any residue behind. Since I scrapbook, it's the perfect embellishment. It's also the perfect accent to any project outside of scrapbooking, like my frame.

I started wrapping different pieces of tape around my frame without following a specific pattern. If it looked good, it went on. If a color was needed more in one area it was added. Simple process for quick project.

Since some of the Washi Tape I have is transparent, the wood frame was showing through beyond my liking. Another muse of mine is to browse the "oops" paint section of Home Depot. Often times they have test pots in pretty colors for only $.50! It's totally worth taking a look.

I must admit, waiting for paint to dry is horrible! I was so ready to put my tape back on and see how cute it'd end up being. I had to busy myself with other things. While I waited, I browsed my free printables & downloads board on Pinterest. I found the perfect printable that was free, colorful, and cute!

Is that not adorable? It comes in a bunch of different colors as well! I chose yellow because it seemed to add more brightness and color than the other options. Although, all of the other options are equally amazing!

So for roughly less than $5, I have a colorful new frame to display in my home!

It looks so nice against our gray walls and next to my white bulb vases! I like these types of projects, cheap, cute, and home made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with: Two Twenty One's All Things Summer Link Party!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kitchen Progress

I cant explain how excited I am right now about where our kitchen is at. For the past two weekends we have gone from half finished projects to checking them completely off the list! Since we moved in before this blog was born, I thought I'd share where we started before I share where it's at. I cant say the kitchen will ever be 100% done, but it's so nice when our big projects go from 1000 down to 3. Ok, maybe not 1000 but that's how it has felt!

Are you ready to see how our kitchen looked when we moved in? I mean really, make sure you are. This is rough...

July 2011
What was your first thought? Did the mismatched appliances catch your eye first? Or was it the hideous wallpaper? To this day I don't understand why they put blue carpet in the kitchen. That should be a written rule! I refused to walk on it barefoot and needless to say, that was project numero uno! What the picture doesn't show is the other side of the kitchen. It really is a decent sized kitchen, especially moving from an apartment. However, it was more of an eat in kitchen meaning, the only counter space I had was what you see in the picture above!

After pulling up the disgusting carpet and laying down tile, I got to work on the beautiful (kidding)wallpaper. All I used was off brand fabric softener and sprayed it on. It all came down with ease.

My back was to the cabinets to get the shot above. The kitchen opens up to both the living room and the dining room. After all of the wallpaper was stripped we painted the kitchen cabinets white and the first color we chose for the walls (there were many!) was a green color. I can't remember the name, frankly because I don't want to. We did not like the green but lived with it for awhile!

After surviving cooking Thanksgiving dinner with minimal counter space, I had enough. I needed more room, like yesterday. Using tape is a great way to visualize things before it becomes permanent. We wanted to open the wall up to the living room and create a breakfast bar. The tape along the wall would be more counter space and cabinets. We lacked storage so badly the white you see to the left of that photo was bookshelves turned pantry! Meaning it was open, to everyone who walked in. It was so embarrassing!

Let's fast forward a bit to when the cabinets were installed. We used stock cabinets from Home Depot and making them more durable is one of the projects we'll finish at a later time. However, they work for now! We also had granite countertops installed and to play off of the black appliances we chose black granite for our breakfast bar.

Never mind the missing drawer ;)
Even though the cabinets weren't painted and we hated the green color, the kitchen looked so much better than the very first day we moved in! I mean, are you not in love with that breakfast bar? Knocking that wall out made the whole area feel so much more open. The granite countertop is probably my favorite part, especially on the island. I have storage now!

It's funny looking back at these photos. The final before photo in this post was such a long time ago. The kitchen looks so different to me now and I am excited to share it with you! We still have to paint another coat on the trim, touch up a few areas, and clean before I can share it with you. I'll also share what plans we have left for the kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by!