Friday, June 29, 2012

Still Painting...

Yup, I am still painting the bookcases for the built-ins and believe me, I can't wait to be done! After a full coat on the cases, I painted two coats on the shelves and cabinet doors.

What's that...unpacked boxes you say? Not me...

I did wind up going with Benjamin Moore's White Dove but not without a fun little story:

When I brought my Benjamin Moore paint chip to Home Depot to get it color matched (because I like to save money, nothing against you Ben) the lady simply looked up the color in the computer (since HD has all the Benjamin Moore colors on hand) and mixed up a batch of whatever the formula called for. She put the little sample on the lid, handed me the can, and went on her way. I felt like the color was a little different but decided I should let it dry before I made any assumptions. After walking around the store for ten minutes I finally took out my paint chip and compared it to the paint I was holding: it was completely wrong! The paint she gave me looked almost pink compared to the true White Dove so I brought it back to the paint counter where another employee noticed the irregularity right away. He just said, "Yeah, that's pink!" What happened was the formula in the computer that they had for White Dove was wrong and contained too much magenta. So the second time, they scanned the paint chip directly to get the true color matched.

It's hard to tell here but the color was all wrong

Moral of the story: Be sure to check the paint before you leave the store! I'm sure you all know that color-matched paint is non-returnable so if I had gone home and opened it up to start painting and then realized it was wrong I would have been stuck with it, and very T-O'ed. 

But all's well because my built-ins are coming along quite nicely. One more coat on the bookcases and then two coats on the undersides of the shelves and doors and we should be getting ready to put them in place. Then next comes the bench! We have really no idea how to build a bench so this should be fun... 

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Succulent Entry

If any of you are wondering where the built-in progress photos are, well, you're gonna have to wait a little longer. This past weekend a nasty virus rendered me useless Saturday night, all of Sunday, and most of Monday. Therefore, progress kind of came to a halt. I am back in the saddle now, thank the Lord, so hopefully I'll have photos to share soon!

While bigger projects were put on the back burner this weekend, I've simply been enjoying the little things like these two potted succulents I picked up at our grocery store (Wegmans) of all places! They were only $5 each including the pots so even if I can't keep them alive, at least I'll have something to remember them by. And refill.

Our entryway is pretty much constantly evolving so here's the most recent state with my ombre basket. Now excuse me, I have lots of painting to do...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Best Ever Baking Powder Biscuits

I've been making these biscuits ever since high school and they always come out perfectly yummy. They are almost as easy to make as opening up a roll of Grands yet so much better tasting, and better for you! If you don't overwork the dough the biscuits come out light and fluffy with layers of goodness. If you make them quick however they may not be very flaky but they're still oh so delicious. Here's the simple 5 ingredient recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 5 TBS cold butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
After preheating your oven to 450ºF, combine the three dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut up the butter into little pieces and work throughout the dough with a pastry cutter or your fingers (I prefer the latter). Pour the milk and add more if needed then work together with your hands until the dough stays together and all the dry ingredients are wet. No need to overwork the dough-- again the flakier the better!

Place the dough on your floured counters and push down with your hands to spread it out. Use a pastry cutter or a drinking glass to cut your shapes. The leftover edges can be squished together to make "free form" biscuits.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Enjoy with butter and jam!

Friday, June 22, 2012

DIY Ombre Basket

This little project was literally so easy and was finished in about five minutes, I almost debated not posting it. But since I told you guys I had something in mind for one of my new Goodwill baskets, I figured I should follow through and show you! This is all part of my effort to actually finish projects that I start and I'm really trying my hardest to be true to my word.

If you'd like to attempt this, start out with a cheap-o thrifted basket (the cheaper the better):

Then you heavily coat the bottom in whichever paint tickles your fancy. Since I was mid bookcase-painting, I used the same Dove White on this basket. Then the next layer you paint a little thinner, followed by simple upward brush strokes and just barely paint the third layer. That's it my friends.

Now the trick is, will it keep us any more organized? Oh well, at least it's cute. I hope to have more bookcase updates for you next week so stay tuned.

Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gettin' Chippy With It

I have to start this off by saying this is nothing new nor nothing you've ever seen before. I myself have seen it done a bunch of times but still every time I see it I think "I love how that looks, I'd like to do that someday." Well that day has come. I am talking about paint chip art my friends. Not only is it f-r-e-e it just plain looks cool and adds a nice dose of color to any wall. In order to do this I raided my paint chip box and found as many chips as I could in the same color family. No surprise here, they were mostly blues and greens.

After laying them across my frame (already had hanging in our room, originally from a thrift store) I decided I liked the cleaner look of overlapping each chip so the paint ID number is hidden, leaving only their names visible.

Oh and just for reference this is the wall it is hanging on, next to Dan's closet (my dressing room is in the far end). We removed the smoke alarm soon after moving in to a more appropriate location.

And if you're observant you'll see the wall is also a different color. I painted that area at the top of the stairs between our room and the dressing room months ago but could never get the lighting just right to photograph it properly. It's Behr's Perfect Taupe (scored in the Oops section) if you're wondering. It's also the same color I used in our downstairs hallway.

So there you have it: free graphic art using things I already had laying around!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Opposite of Painted Furniture

I'm still chugging away on the ol' built-ins but I wanted to take a break from wood-filling and sanding to discuss a trend I'm seeing more and more often. We've all seen our fair share of painted furniture, I mean hey I'm about to do it right now to our bookcases! But more and more I've been drawn to the opposite of painting furniture: stripping it down to it's original beauty. Here's what I'm talking about...

  • Kirsten over @ Restored Style took this beat up beauty and after giving it a second life with white paint, decided things would be better, well, restored:

  •  Karen actually did the same thing with this free dresser scored out of a friend's garage. After painting it white, she decided it needed another makeover so she stripped the paint, stained the piece, added glass knobs and iron casters, and now it is a vintage delight.

  •  Although there is no before for this guy, you can still appreciate the amazing job Jen and her husband Dave did on this dresser. Stripping it down to it's original glory and highlighting it against a stenciled mural makes for one "eclectically timeless" room.

  • This last one just may be my favorite from the ever talented Jenny Steffens Hobick and has given me some serious inspiration for our dining table. This table went from varnished top with a white painted base, to all over black semi-gloss, to a matte black and now the best of them all: stripped down and rustic chic.

So what are your thoughts on this newest trend? Did you ever paint a piece of furniture only to decide later you should've just left it alone? I hope I'm not the only one with my hand up...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beefing Up the Built-Ins

Hey guys, I hope you all had a fantastic Father's Day weekend and were able to spend it with some special men in your life. While Sunday was spent with my Dad and our family, Friday and Saturday were spent at home making some major progress with the built-ins.

Friday night we headed to Home Depot to pick up the supplies we needed: wood for the sides, top, and trim as well as screws and braces (L brackets).

Then came lots and lots of measuring, remeasuring, and cutting. The first pieces to go on were these long sections that attach onto the wall side of each bookcase. I didn't like the look of the bookcases pushed all the way to the side wall so we decided to make "dummy" panels for each side to bring them out a little. Five braces on each side and we're good to go.

Then we had to build the boxes for the tops of each bookcase to beef them up and make them reach the ceiling. Each box has three sides with five screws each.

Now all together:

I had to take the baseboard moldings off to push the bookcases all the way back so this is the classic "during" phase:

Although the sides are attached, the top is not. It still needed the face trim so we pulled them back down to attach the trim. Before that happened though I couldn't wait to do the most fun part: painting the back a nice rich navy blue (December Eve by Behr). To refresh your memory, this is the same blue paint I picked up in the Oops section back in October and attempted to paint our bathroom with. Although it didn't work out there, it worked perfectly here and best of all it was free.

To mark where I needed to paint I simply traced the opening with the bookcase against the wall and then pulled it forward leaving my pencil marks as a guide.

A little trick I used to keep things neat was to cover our cable outlet cover in a plastic bag and tucked it around the bottom. It worked like a charm.

Oh man I love it. Navy blue is probably my favorite color (both in home decor and my wardrobe) so I'm excited to finally use it in our home. I'm surprised it never made its way in before but now the room is starting to feel more "me" and that makes me very happy.

After painting we attached the trim pieces to each box:

(Before we screwed it in...the gap is now gone)

Then I broke out the wood filler and filled in all the gaps and cracks:

Now things are looking more like this:

The boxes still need to be attached but I'm going to prime them off first (as suggested by my smart husband) then attach them and paint the whole thing. There is still a ton more to do but we're getting there!

P.S. I organized my Pinterest boards a bit and now have a dedicated Built-Ins Board if you're interested in getting some inspiration of your own!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Barn Light Electric Giveaway

Oh how I would love to win this, and I'm sure you would too! Barn Light Electric is hosting a Giveaway for three lucky winners in three different amounts: $1000, $500, and $250 to spend on their amazing light fixtures! Since I hope to replace pretty much every light fixture in our house, this is kind of a big deal. Here's what I would love to make mine:

Can you tell my style is kind of all over the place? Sheesh. Winning this would hopefully help me to narrow things down a bit. Although if I did win I would honestly be completely overwhelmed at having to decide on one thing!

So, you want in? Here's what you have to do:
  1. Look around online at Barn Light Electric and pick lights you’d love to own
  2. Feature your lighting picks on your personal blog, and link to the lights if you can!
  3. Copy/Paste these rules at the bottom of your blog article
  4. Once your personal post is up, you must email your blog link to: to be qualified to win – the contest ends July 2nd, 2012
  5. Don’t have a blog? Find out how you can enter by visiting our website or read these Official Rules

For those that do not have a blog but wish to enter, please email the following information to
  • First & Last Name
  • Mailing Address
  • City,State, Zip
  • Valid Email Address
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