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Well Hello, Fireplace

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Home Decor, Home Improvement | 5 comments

I’d like to introduce you to our fireplace.


It belongs to a part of the house that I have neglected to share on the blog: the living room. Here’s a pic looking back in that direction.


I currently hate the living room. It’s barely furnished and the layout just doesn’t work. But that’s a post for another day. Today we’re focusing on the fire place.

I’m not a huge fan of the brown tile. If you look closely at the first photo compared to the second, I started painting the grout grey to give it a small face lift which helps a little (I just haven’t gotten around to doing the back side yet).

But I have grand plans for this fireplace. Ripping up the mud room floor has given me all sorts of courage to tackle the fireplace next, and Zack seems to actually be on board with this. When I first mentioned it months ago he didn’t quite like the idea. But I think after the success of the mud room floor and how many positive comments we’ve been getting, he has more faith in me and my projects.

The plan is to pull off the tiles and resurface it. Ideally I’d like to mount the TV above the fireplace which would help with the layout issues in the living room. Then I’d live to add a mantle. I’m thinking two different textures on either side of the mantle, so it would probably have to wrap all the way around.

I really like this fireplace with the planked wood up the top. But I’d probably paint it white to light the room up some more.


I’m not quite sure what to do underneath. It’s a large surface area so it’s going to get expensive really quickly.

I love herringbone tile but I think the area is just too big for it:


Although maybe I could sneak something like that on the hearth?

I quite like the white marble the Petersik’s from Young House Love did in their old house (again with the herringbone):


I think it would look great if I did planked wood above it in a dark stain.

Then I could also do the same textile on either side of the mantle like Jenna Sue did. But again, I think this would get really expensive quickly:


I’ve also thought about doing a bench around the bottom like this 3 sided fireplace, but I’m worried about it eating up to much space.


Any thoughts/suggestions? It’s so much surface area I know it’s going to cost a bunch.

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Funky Chairs

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Home Decor | 6 comments

I have a mud room update on the way! The floor is officially done and it was a lot of work, but it looks great. But today I thought I’d update you on a different room in the house, our dining room.

The last time I updated you on this room was when we installed the curtains back in March. Oops, it’s been a while. But it was looking like this:


Since then we got some cool new chairs. I’ve wanted upholstered chairs always, but they’re expensive, so we were probably going to get just some plain wood chairs and then we spotted these Mudhut chairs on clearance at Target.com (OMG, they’re even more on clearance now *sobs a little*). They’re an awesome deal, you get two for less than what you’d usually pay for one. There are other patterns I’d prefer, but we couldn’t beat the price so we went for it. And now the space looks like this:


I also hung some art up on the wall at the same time I did the gallery wall in the living room.


Ideally I’d like a large photograph hung up on the wall, but haven’t found anything I like that’s reasonably priced. (btw, like my chicken?! I saw it at a garage sale over the summer and couldn’t pass it up).

So really the only thing left on my to-do list is to add a rug. I want something plain and simple. I’ve been eyeing this rug at Target, but not sure if it will be big enough:


I may add a fake plant or something in the corner?

Anyway, let’s go back to the very beginning and see how far this room has come:

(This is actually right after we had already painted)

And where we are now:


Ahhh… that feels much better.

Happy Monday! Today I start my new job at our corporate office, wish me luck!

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DIY Throw Pillows

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in DIY & Crafts, Holidays & Events, Home Decor | 1 comment


I know that it’s now past Christmas, but it’s something to keep in mind for next year, plus you can actually do it for any holiday season, or just to have some cute throw pillows lying around.

For today’s tutorial I’m going to show you how to make your own Christmas decor cushions out of placemats. I saw this on somebody’s blog a year ago (I can’t remember who/where) and kept it in mind ever since. And when I spotted some placemats on sale for 50% off I couldn’t resist.

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DIY Framed Chalkboard

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in DIY & Crafts, Home Decor | 4 comments


The other day Zack asked me if I had a chalkboard that we could use to hang up in the basement as a scoreboard for the dart board (yea, throw more “boards” in that sentence). My over-enthusiastic response: “No, but I’ll make you one!” *claps with glee*

So over the weekend I wondered off to the local Salvation Army store in search of a cheap frame. I found one for $3 that I quite liked (and after cleaing it I liked it even more I almost didn’t want to spray paint it). Then I went to Lowes and bought a can of coloured spray paint and some spray chalkboard paint.


I took the glass out and spray painted the frame. The back of the frame didn’t come out, it was a fold out one, so the back got painted too. I just followed the directions on the can for coats and dry time.


(Such a pretty colour! *pets it* It’s Valspar “Nautical” in case you’re wondering)

And did the same to the glass with the chalkboard spray paint.


I basically went back and forth doing coats between them. I did two coats on the frame as directed. The chalkboard I did 4 coats, just because I wasn’t sure how well it would go on the glass.

To prep the surface of the chalkboard, it’s suggested that you first rub the chalkboard with chalk. I don’t know why, it’s just what I see everyone do, so I did it too. I guess so whatever you write first isn’t forever etched on it.


I used some twine to tie a piece of chalk to the back of the frame.


Put the chalkboard glass in the frame.


And then hung it in the basement.


I think it looks great!


Zack has been teasing me that the colour is too girly for his “man cave” but he can suck it up, I wanted to buy a colour that I would use again. And I do adore the colour.

But the chalkboard seems to work well. I haven’t tried scratching it off or anything, but it didn’t come off when I used it, that’s always a plus.

So the whole project took me about an hour for all the spray painting, then it was just letting it dry over night. It cost me about $13. Yes, it would be cheaper to go to the store and buy a cheap, little chalkboard, but that’s including the cans of spray paint which can now be used for anything and everything. I’ve been looking around rooms in the house pondering what would look good in “Nautical” (hint: everything! … here kitty, kitty! I joke… maybe).

But it’s a fun, easy afternoon project. And it looks so much prettier than a plain chalkboard. What do you think?

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Gallery Wall

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in DIY & Crafts, Home Decor | 5 comments

We have been in our house 17 months and I haven’t hung anything on the walls (except this mirror in the front hall, and this board that is actually no longer on the wall since I’ve been rearranging the room). I know, it’s pathetic. Our house looks so abandoned.

But all that changed the other weekend. I was shopping at Michael’s. Not for anything specific, really just because I was bored and was trying to find something to do. I stumbled across these Gallery Art pads. I’d spotted them before and really liked the idea of them.


They were 50% off, so what was holding me back? I also found a bunch of frames on clearance, so it was meant to be.

I’ve always envied the pretty gallery walls you see all over Pinterest, and was sure I’d never be able to create one that looks half as good. But you never know unless you try.

They have a few different pads. I went with this one because I liked the LOVE letters. I think I may go back and get another pack to vary things up, cause there’s only so much ‘love’ on my wall I can handle.


It actually had multiple pages inside with layout suggestions. For the $7 I ended up paying for it, I’m pretty happy.


I basically just started picking the ones that I liked the most with the size frames I had and the photos that I already had in frames (from when I last put pictures on the wall…. the apartment before our last apartment. I’m so bad). And I just started laying them out on the floor.


There were several variations after this. I just kept moving things around until I was happy.

Then I took paper and traced each frame and cut them out.


Side note, this room is a total disaster zone at the moment. The coffee table was pilfered for the basement, there’s an extra couch shoved randomly behind the recliners that was in the basement, and it’s just in general not show-able. So all my photos are me trying to avoid showing this room.

Once I had them all done, I started sticking them up on the wall.


To hang the actual frames, I took down the piece of paper, lined it up on the back of the frame, and poked a hole in the paper where the hook needed to go. Then I just put the paper back up on the wall and scribbled a circle through the hole so I knew where to nail.


And continued to do one frame at a time…


Until done!


And now it looks like people actually live in our house! Ok, I exaggerate, it’s easy to tell someone lives here if you just step into the giant mess that is my computer/craft room.

Anyways, I’m quite happy with the finished product. It’ll be more fun when I get more of a variety of frames, and it’s easy to add/change out photos. I’m also contemplating painting the F.

What do you think?

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2015 Ikea Catalog

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Home Decor | 6 comments

If that title doesn’t have you giddy with excitement then I just don’t know you.

I was pretty excited last week when this shows up in our mail box:


Here are some items in the catalog that I quite like…

Wing ChairLet’s start with the love of my life Strandmon Wing Chair. I think this one came out last year and every time I go to Ikea I stroke it lovingly. Realistically I have nowhere in my house currently where it would fit/work. But gosh this chair is so stickin’ cute, I can find a place for it.

Also pictured is the Raskog cart that came out last year as well. I’ve seen so many people with this and I want it. It comes in a pretty turquoise that would just look fab in my craft room. This one is actually practical for me, but not sure if I like the $50 price tag that comes with it.

Double Light This new Hemma cord set is a definite buy for me next time I’m there. It’s a cheap way to create a cute light fixture. And I just found that they actually have a triple cord version as well for $5 more, not bad. I like the Hemsta shades pictured as well, it’s a cute combination. I don’t like the idea of the bulb being exposed underneath though, so I’d probably DIY a piece on the bottom to diffuse the light a bit. I’ve been trying to find a cute pendant for my craft/computer room and I’m thinking this might be it.

WallShelf The new Hjalmaren wall shelf is so cute! You can never have too much shelving, right? I’m not sure what I’d do with it, but again, I could find something for it; perhaps a cute bookshelf somewhere, or it might be cute in our basement (which is almost finished!) with all of our board games on it. I could also do something similar to the picture and use it in our main bathroom for cute towel storage. There’s also a similar towel holder with rungs from hanging towels.

Finally, these new Ikea storage modules where all over the catalog. I’m not really sure what to think of them. They’re open on 3 sides, and I guess there are additional pieces to cover up a 4th side, so you can stack them together however you want.StorageBoxes But $45 per box seems a little excessive. They look nice and sturdy, but it’s just a box in the end.

And a few more items that caught my eye:
• The new Nockeby couch collection looks nice and comfy.
• The storage tray table is kind of fun and colourful. I think it would be cute for a kids room or a dorm.

And a few items that I didn’t like so much:
• I think this corner cabinet is so ugly!
• I’m also not a fan of this weird triangle, hanging wall shelf.

Have you had a chance to look at the new Ikea catalog yet? What Ikea items are you in love with?

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