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3rd Monthiversary

August 31, 2012

90 days. We've lived in our house 90 days! I feel like we just moved in last week! Where does time go? And can you believe it'll be September on Saturday?! WHAT?!

Anyway, all freakouts aside, let's look back on what I've accomplished during our third monthiversary! In the past 30 days, I've done the following:

•  Completed my HomeGoods Console Table Makeover




•  Replaced my drop cloth drapes with navy ones




•  DIY'd a pair of $9 string globe bar pendants




•  Spent $10 to makeover my $15 Goodwill dresser




•  Updated my living room




•  Showed you how we'd like our living room to look in the future




•  Failed at building our 8' dining room table :(




•  Went back to the dining room drawing board to show you our new plans for the room




•  DIY'd a pipe shower curtain rod after ours fell down three times




•  Got an incredible deal on a chesterfield loveseat for our loft




Whew! I can't believe I got that much done! I checked off 6 of the 9 things on my second monthiversary list which isn't bad!

I didn't get around to adding some drawer pulls to our entertainment center (I bought the crystal ones I mentioned in the post but they were wayyy too small so I returned them) or creating a dual office space for my boyfriend and I. I also didn't get a chance to update our coffee table although I mentioned several promising tables in this post.

Let's see, over the next 30 days I plan on:
  • Breathing haha I feel like I've been going a mile a minute both at home and work so some down time over the upcoming 3-day weekend will be nice :)
  • Getting our dining room put together a little more. First step, buying our table at IKEA over the weekend!
  • Finally building some floating shelves for our powder room
  • Building some more floating shelves for our laundry room
  • Starting to turn our loft into a lounge/upstairs living room area
  • Creating a dual office space for my boyfriend and I. This has to happen if I want to transform our loft into a lounge since Chester is hanging out in our loft and my desk is sitting where I'd like him to go haha
  • Adding some drapes to the windows in our dining room and living room. I'm thinking about getting some white ones to stencil a pattern on. This is a maybe project though so I can't guarantee that it'll happen :)

That's about it! It's a short list but I think my brain is already in vacation mode so I can't really think of anything to work on haha

What was your favorite third monthiversary project? What are you looking forward to seeing me do in the next 30 days?

IKEA, UKEA, We ALLKEA

August 30, 2012

Since this weekend happens to be a holiday weekend where I get 3 days off, I'm planning on making the most of it. In doing so, my boyfriend and I are going to make the 2 hour trek up to IKEA to pick up (and look at) a few things!

The first item on our list is the Bjursta dining table I mentioned in this post:



We don't really need a dining table right now but with holidays right around the corner, I figured now is as good of a time as any to buy it! Plus, buying it now means we'll have plenty of time to put it together, find some chairs for it (that don't cost $1,000...) and get it set up in time for the first year of holiday dinners at our new house!

The second item on our list is the Dalfred barstool:



If they're in stock on the day of our trip (they tend to sell out fast at our IKEA), I'm planning on buying 4 of them for our breakfast bar/island in the kitchen. A while back, I mentioned how our breakfast bar is 42" high which means we need barstools that are at least 30", preferably 32", and those can be expensive.

The Dalfred stool is adjustable and according to IKEA's site, it's suitable for bar heights between 35 3/8" and 43 1/4" AKA our bar. I like the industrial look and I read something in HGTV magazine's latest issue about how round barstools offer a better flow to a room than square ones do so I feel like I'm on trend with this choice haha (Lame, I know!)

The third item on our list is the Hektar floor lamp:



I never really thought I was a floor lamp person until I spotted Hektar. Something about his cool industrial vibe got me hooked and I think he'll look nice hanging out in the corner of our living room by the as-is IKEA club chair we got back during our last trip in April:



While we're there, I'd also like to check out the oh-so-popular Alvine Ruta rug:


I'm thinking about pairing it with Chester in our loft but I don't know if it's going to be big enough so we'll see!

I also want to check out the larger planters they have (since our front porch is nekkid and needs some love), their throw pillows (I'm eyeing this one in particular), the as-is section, and all of the other fun little things they have to offer!

Have you been to IKEA lately? What caught your eye? Did you go home with anything good?

Chester

August 29, 2012

Over the weekend, my mom and I went to an open house at her office where we were invited to take a tour of the airplane hangar where her company's planes are stored.







We were able to crawl into the cock pit of the planes and see their interiors but sadly, no pictures were allowed inside the planes. The open house was a lot of fun and I was finally able to tour my mom's workplace, see her office, and meet some of her co-workers! We stayed for a couple of hours and after we left, we stopped at Copenhagen to browse around.

Our Copenhagen is different than most since ours is a clearance center (AKA a giant warehouse I could spend hours in) where all of the furniture is discontinued, canceled special orders, or scratch-and-dent so nothing is full price and everything is deeply discounted – even the throw pillows and artwork! That being said, Copenhagen's furniture is pretty expensive as it is so sometimes the discounted prices are still way out of my budget (hence why I hardly ever shop there) but I happened to get lucky this time :)

You guys, meet my new love(seat), Chester:



He's being delivered today and I can't wait to see him set up in our loft! He's a Natuzzi Editions leather loveseat and was discounted for less than half of the original price.



[ Image via Natuzzi ]

The sales lady saw my mom and I checking him out so she came over and chatted us up a little bit. My mom was interested in the matching chaise (you can kind of see it in the left of the photo below) so the sales lady went and asked her boss if he could give us an additional discount on both pieces. A few minutes later she came back and whispered to us that he'd take an additional $150 off the chaise and $150 off the loveseat if we were interested. Ummm, YES!



Sold tags replaced the price tags and our delivery date/time was set up. My mom generously purchased the loveseat for me (I'll be paying her back) and I can't thank her enough!

I've wanted a chesterfield sofa forever now and while Chester is only a loveseat, he's 7 feet wide which is the length of some sofas so I'll think we'll be very happy together! And if my mom ever gets sick of her chaise lounge, she knows where to send it ;)

What's something you've purchased lately that you've always wanted? Does anyone else talk about furniture like it's your friend?

DIY Pipe Shower Curtain Rod

August 28, 2012

After this happened:



Three times:



I figured it was time to replace the builder basic shower curtain rod in our guest bathroom. Rather than buying one, I decided to DIY one since the rod I wanted isn't what you'd typically find in a big box store.





Yep, you guessed it! I DIY'd a pipe shower curtain rod!



I'm assuming you got that from the post's title though...

Anyway, I don't have a step-by-step picture tutorial since it's a pretty simple process :)

Allow me to explain:

1. Head to your local home improvement store of choice (mine was Lowe's) and buy the following: 2 floor flanges (I bought 3/4" galvanized ones), and a piece of pipe in your desired dimension. I bought a 3/4" x 60" black iron pipe that I had cut down and threaded (for free!) to 58" because that's how wide the opening of my shower is. While you're at the store, don't forget to buy spray paint or screws (to mount the rod with) if you don't have any at home!

2. Remove any stickers from your pipe and clean the sticky residue off with Goo Gone or your preferred cleaner of choice.

3. Set up a spray paint station.

4. Spray paint the 2 floor flanges, the pipe, and the tops of the screws you plan to mount the rod with the color of your choice. I chose oil-rubbed bronze since the curtain hooks I was using were ORB. They're from Target, if you're wondering :)



5. Let everything dry for the amount of time the spray paint can specifies. My can said the paint would be dry to the touch in 30 minutes and fully cured in 24 hours so I let everything dry overnight.

6. After everything is dry, determine where you want your rod to be hung on the wall. To hang my curtain rod, I eyeballed where I thought it should go, held one of the floor flanges up on the wall and marked where the holes needed to be. Then I drilled pilot holes and repeated the same measuring/marking process for the other flange on the opposite wall.



7. Assemble the shower curtain rod by twisting each floor flange onto the threaded ends of the pipe.

8. Find another person who can hold the pipe rod up while you screw the floor flanges into the wall (preferably into a stud since the pipe is kind of heavy).

9. Hang your shower curtain on your newly DIY'd pipe curtain rod and smile at the fact that it's never falling down again :)






Now that that project is complete, I feel like some more updating is in order :)

What do you think? Am I the only one whose shower curtain rod jumps off the wall?

Disclaimer: I can't guarantee that your shower curtain rod will turn out just like mine. Differences in materials and tools used, and your skill level, will yield different results. I cannot be held responsible for a failed project or an injury of any kind so proceed with caution and build at your own risk. Remember: always use caution when working with power tools and read any instructions before beginning any project.

P.S.: Bathrooms that have no natural light are hard to photograph so I apologize if these photos look odd...

Dining Room Drawing Board

August 27, 2012

After I gave up on our building our own dining room table, I started to think about other options. I visited a couple of local stores and saw some tables I liked but they were all way out of my budget at $1,500+ each. One store was having a 50% off everything sale which brought the tables down to $750 but that still seemed like too much so I passed and continued looking.

I tried searching Craigslist but 8 foot tables are hard to come by on there and my local Goodwill's stock of furniture has been low lately so they didn't have anything either. Having struck out locally, I decided to do a little online window shopping and that's where I found IKEA's Bjursta dining table:



The table isn't new but somehow I overlooked it before. It comes with two leaves and when they're in place, the table extends to seat 6-10 people. The best part? It's only $300! I like the brown option the most since it's similar to the stain I was going to use on the table we were building. I think it'll fit in with how I was originally planning on decorating the dining room so I'm excited :)

Speaking of plans, here's what I'm thinking:



1. Our DIY $9 string globe bar pendants.

2. The navy drapes that we hung above our sliding glass doors.

3. I'm planning on buying 4 of IKEA's Dalfred bar stools for our breakfast bar which will add additional seating for guests and will finally make our breakfast bar functional!

4. I'd like to hang an industrial pendant lamp above our dining room table but this one has been discontinued. I like the look of it and I've seen several DIY tutorials for similar ones but I'm still looking around for other options.

5. This massive print used to hang above the fireplace in our old condo and I've been thinking about hanging on the big blank wall in our dining room but I'm not sure. The print itself is 40" wide and with the frame, it's a little shy of 4 feet wide. The wall is 8 feet wide and the 4 foot print looks a little small, surprisingly.

6. I'd love to own a set of 6 of these tall tufted dining chairs but a set of 2 is $330 which means a set of 6 chairs is almost $1,000! Even if I had that kind of money to spend on chairs, I'm not sure if I could ever pull the trigger so until I win the lottery, I'm looking for alternative options.

7. West Elm's jute bouclé rug is my rug of choice at the moment since I think it'll hold up really well and if any food or drink is dropped/spilled on it, I think it could be cleaned up pretty easily. I could be wrong though!

8. The above mentioned IKEA Bjursta dining table in brown.

Another thought I had was to buy another one of Nate Berkus' dhurrie rugs so the living room and dining room would have matching rugs:



It would tie the rooms together for a cohesive look but is it too matchy-matchy?

Dining Table Disaster

August 24, 2012

Maybe disaster isn't the right word but remember on Monday how I said I wanted to show you the finished dining room table we were in the process of building? Well, it's still sitting in our garage unfinished. It's not that I didn't have time to finish it (I did), it's just that I gave up on it :(

After we attached the hardware and stood it up to see if it would stand, I started noticing some problems. I tried to look past them and gave myself a day to figure out a solution but after thinking about it I realized that my heart wasn't in the project any more and it seemed silly to spend more time (and money) on something that I don't like.

The table has potential to be great but not for a perfectionist like me. The "X" legs we made aren't wide enough so the top isn't in proportion to them which makes it look like it's too big/wide:



The top boards are wavy and uneven:



The board on the far right bends down even though we ran some Liquid Nails between the two boards and jammed another board up under it to hold it in place overnight:



There's a gap between side edges of the apron (above) as well as the top of the table and the apron (the piece with the hardware):



I applied some stain to the tabletop last night to see what it would look like and it looks nice, but not nice enough to change my mind:



Sigh, I'm so disappointed. I really wanted this to work and if I wasn't so picky, I'm sure it would. I feel so bad for wasting my boyfriends time. He says we can use it as a work table in the garage and set our saw up on it so at least the time and effort we put into building it will kind of pay off. I'm also thinking of repurposing the hardware on something else but we'll see.

I thought this would be easy and even though I had drawn up some detailed plans, I'm clearly not cut out to build furniture haha Looks like I'll be sticking to simple DIY projects from now on!

New Coffee Table: Buy or DIY?

August 22, 2012

Even though I'm second guessing my plans and doubting my DIY abilities, work is still continuing on our dining room table. However, since I don't have much to show you, let's turn our attention back towards our living room.

Last week I showed you some of the small updates we made:





The changes we made aren't groundbreaking (or that impressive, to be honest haha) but we do have plans to add additional finishing touches in the future:



One of those future finishes is going to be a new coffee table. We bought our current coffee table off of Craigslist for something like $100 over two years ago. Its served us well but the edge got a little beat up during our recent move:



It's not a big deal so we may keep the table and just update it a little. I've thought about spray painting the chrome base/legs oil-rubbed bronze and then unscrewing the white top and bottom shelf so I can replace them with a DIY reclaimed wooden top/shelf but I'm not 100% on board with the idea.

It'd be a cheap and easy fix, don't get me wrong, but I've never really liked how close the shelf is to the bottom of the tabletop and honestly, I think I'd just like something new and a little more rustic looking. That being said, I did a little internet window shopping and here's what I found:

Coffee Table #1
Better Homes and Gardens Rustic Country Coffee Table



[ Image via Walmart ]

I really like the look of this coffee table and all of it's little details like the casters it sits on, the "X" braces on the side, and the low shelf. The $105 price tag isn't bad either! The only thing I don't like about it is that the wood top/shelf isn't made of real wood and people have complained that the finish peels right off. I suppose I could buy my own wood, stain it, cut it to fit and use it instead? Hmmm...

Coffee Table #2
Home Decorator's Collection Holbrook Coffee Table



[ Image via Home Decorator's ]

This coffee table makes my heart pitter patter but its $303 on sale price tag makes it momentarily stop beating. I'm sure it's made from very high quality materials but $300+ just seems like a lot of money to spend on a table I'm probably going to put my feet up on haha If I knew how to weld, I could see a DIY project in my future...

Coffee Table #3
World Market's Aiden Coffee Table



[ Image via World Market ]

This coffee table is similar to the Better Homes and Gardens one above but it's missing the "X" braces on the sides and the little corner details on the top, which I think are a nice touch. It also costs $125 more at $230 (on sale) but I'm sure it's made better and I wouldn't have to DIY my own top or shelf.

There's always this DIY option too:
Rustic X Coffee Table



[ Image via The Friendly Home ]

It doesn't have casters but it's similar to the tables above and I'm sure it'd cost less than them too. Building my own table also means I can customize the size and add all of the details I'd like so I'm kind of thinking about it.

If you were choosing my new coffee table, which one would you pick? Would you buy or DIY?

Dining Table Dash

August 20, 2012

Happy Monday! Guess what? It's DIY dining table week :D

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a few sneak peeks of the progress we made on our table over the weekend.

We finished building the second "X" leg Saturday night:



Then on Sunday afternoon, I started to attach the hardware to make sure the legs would support the weight of the top of the table:



When my boyfriend got home from work, we flipped the table over and stood it on its legs to see what would happen and ... it held! You guys - we built a freakin' table! :D

We left the table standing on its legs overnight to see if it would break, bow, bend, etc. but so far, so good! If it's still standing when I get home tonight, we're going to flip the table over, remove all of the hardware, patch the remaining screw holes/gaps, and sand everything down.

We're much further behind than I thought we'd be but if we can get all of the above done tonight, hopefully I can start staining the table Tuesday night and polying Wednesday night. I'm really hoping I can share the finished table with you on Friday so keep your fingers crossed for me!

What'd you get done this weekend? Am I the only one who falls behind on projects? One minute I'm ahead of the game and the next I'm 20 steps behind!
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