Saturday, June 23, 2012

cabinet and living room makeover

So for the last year and a half, I have longed for a better solution for our tv situation. For the whole living room arrangement. Let me show you what I mean.

 More specifically this....

 (Please note, I don't take intentionally bad before pictures, I just never remember until the last minute and then its just not worth it to stage a good before. Also as you can see I had lots of man power to help move everything, so I didn't want to waste time!)

Its just not a pretty site. Also not functional. Maddox could (and loved to) pull everything out at will...which is to say he did so every day. At least once. I also never loved the whole layout with the tv against that little wall. It meant that we were always looking sideways when watching tv, and that just gets old. A pain in the neck - literally. The tv was on a pub table, and obviously  at an awkward height.

So all that to say I really wanted some sort of storage cabinet that the tv could sit on and everything else could be inside. Behind closed doors. But the thing is I am cheap. Like really cheap. Like I wanted to spend $20 on one I could paint. Now that isn't very realistic. Unless you have a sister who lived in Fredericksburg that had access to AWESOME thrift stores. A sister who could find such a unit a mere 2 days before moving to Lynchburg...and talk them down to $19. That's the kind of sister I happen to have. Eat your heart out.

Now unfortunately I don't have a before....its a long story and involves the fact that the camera eats batteries in 5 minutes. Anyway, picture yucky old wood colors, but beautiful detailing. Picture sticky worn finish, but solid wood. After a few coats of primer and paint ($2.50 oops paint from Lowes to be exact). That makes it sound like it took 5 minutes to complete. It didn't, it took several days...waiting for it to dry, etc. Anyway, here is the much more impressive after.

 Also in the mean time, Steve was offered those two club chairs (above) from his office. Uh yes please. He knows me well. It feels so good to walk in and see a functional, organized area, instead of the messy chaos that was there before.

 The remodel/rearranging also called for selling one of the sofas on Craigslist. I wanted to replace it with a loveseat. The same previously referred to sister just happened to no longer need hers and offered it to us to borrow indefinitely. I know, she's a keeper! So it has a happy home now in my living room for a while.

Here's a close up of the cabinet. The color is a creamy yellow (the picture above is more true to its real color). Not a great picture here, but don't you just love the detailing on the doors? I sprayed the hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze. The whole project cost just $36 out of pocket.

There is still lots of accessorizing to do in the living room but I am very happy with the progress so far!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


For at least 6 months I've been eyeing this image of bookshelves...All those books facing out makes my book loving heart happy!

There was this sad little corner of Tuckers room that barely deserved to even be called a reading nook. Not inviting at all, right? Even the bear is hiding his head in shame.

I knew those shelves would be perfect, but even though the plans looked simple it still seemed daunting...I don't exactly have a background in woodworking. But finally this past weekend I had some spending money and just decided to dive in and give it a go! I sort of followed this tutorial, although I did make some changes.

I got primed pine from Home Depot (YAY! I HATE priming). This cut out so much time that I would have spent painting. I used 1x2's for the front, 1x3's for the back, and 1x4s for the bottom. Am I the only one that things its dishonest how a 1x2 is really a 3/4"x 1 1/2"? I think we are getting cheated. I got 3 8' boards in each length and had Home Depot cut them down to 4' boards. After the first few screws I realized I needed to pre-drill the holes (I'm sure this is a no brainer but its called a learning curve for a reason!), then things went smoother. Until I realized I needed to countersink the screws on the front pieces in order to fill and sand them smooth. Thankfully we had those bits too and my sweet hubs lent me a hand till I got the hang of it. There were some frustrating moments, I'm not gonna lie! I also used wood glue to make things extra strong. I had visions of them being used as a climbing wall....hopefully not! Finally all the holes were drilled, screws were in, holes to hang them predrilled and countersunk, and I was ready to paint! I had white paint already on hand from the trim in our house, so I slapped on 2 coats with Tucker's "help". He used a little paint brush and his paint bib. I got them hung yesterday and here is the "after"! Ta-da!

 And from the side:

I LOVE it so much! I walk in his room just to gaze at them. Haha. Before, Tucker always asked for help finding books, but now he is so excited that he can see them all, and Maddox is pumped that he can reach all the board books on the lower shelves. Believe it or not, this is not all of their books. Yes, we are a family of readers!

Here are a few special books...Mickey Mouse's Picnic was a favorite of mine when I was young, and I buy any copy I find at yard sales. This is our third I believe, but they are so old and are also a favorite of Tucker's so they end up tearing or loosing a cover sooner or later. Usually sooner.  The Puppy Book was mine when I was young.

 Make Way for Ducklings was a favorite of mine also and I found this copy at a used store. Tucker has not come to appreciate it yet. But he does share my love of  Dr. Seuss!

Total out of pocket cost was just under $50 for all 6 shelves. So worth it! I just couldn't be happier. I know we will use this corner so much more than we did! In fact we already are. Is there a project you've been wanting to try but putting off? Do tell!