Friday, November 30, 2012


I've been slowly adding things to our freshly painted family room walls, and most recently, I tackled that back corner.  It definitely needed something to balance out the pop of yellow in the frame on the left.  When I was deciding what to hang there, I couldn't help but think of using empty frames in some way.  I've pinned various images that I've been drawn to lately. 

Like this one from Real Simple.

Use empty picture frames to create visually striking geometric patterns against a wall.

And this one from My Colortopia.

overlap frames

And this one from Apartment Therapy.

love all of the empty frames except one

I ended up gathering unused frames from around my house and played around with an arrangement on the floor.  I couldn't tell if I was going to like it or not, so I just started hanging them with hopes that it would turn out and I wouldn't end up with a wall full of nail holes for nothing.  And...I loved it!

I had a general sense of the layout when I got started, but I made some changes along the way.  I spaced out the dark wood frames, one on each end and the big one in the middle.  Then I scattered the white, off-white, and birch ones throughout.  I kept the yellow frames on the one wall to balance out the yellow framed ribbon to the left of the couch.

I'm happy with how it turned out.  Especially since it was a FREE project because I had all of those frames on hand.  And if I didn't have them already,  I would have scoured some thrift stores or yard sales for super cheap ones. 

Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kitchen Shelf

I love the idea of open shelves in a kitchen but I can't see myself ripping down our cabinets anytime soon.  So I decided to take advantage of the small wall next to the window and create a sort of coffee nook using one shelf.  It by no means falls in the catergory of 'open shelving', but it'll do.

I liked the Ekby shelf from Ikea but the length was too long.  I ended up buying it and B.J. took it to his dad's to cut it to size.  The unfinished end tucks right inside the metal bracket so you can't see a thing.

I hung one shelf for now, but I could always add another one above it if I'm feeling crazy. 

I topped the shelf with four coffee mugs, a bowl filled with tea bags, and a ceramic cream and sugar set.  Then, I spray painted a metal espresso sign and hung it on the wall for a little pop of color.

I think the shelf helps make the kitchen feel relaxed and comfortable. 

Grab a mug and pour yourself a cup of coffee!
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Lego Bench

A few weeks ago I turned an Ikea shelf into a dollhouse/bench to give away for Sophia's 40 Day Challenge.  My sister-in-law asked if I would also like to make something to give away to a boy.  I decided to turn the same shelf (different color) into a Lego bench. 

To start, I gathered some paint chip cards from Lowe's and drew windows and doors on them using Sharpie marker.

I cut the paint chips at varying lengths to create a skyscraper scene and then attached them to one of the shelf nooks using spray adhesive. 

For the other nook, I created a wooded park scene with trees, clouds and sunshine.

I bought the green and blue baseplates from the Lego store and attached them using Gorilla glue.

Finally, I added two white cushions on top to make the bench a little more cozy.

Hopefully this Lego bench will make a little boy very happy!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Gonna Make This Place Your Home

I love Phillip Phillips' song, Home.  I'm definitely guilty of playing it on repeat (along with Call Me Maybe).  So when I was trying to think of a good quote to put on a DIY wall hanging, B.J. immediately quoted Phillip Phillips.  Sold.  Done and done. 

A long time ago I came across this house tour on Apartment Therapy.  I loved the DIY wall hanging Dana did in her hallway.  She painted a line from her son's favorite bedtime song onto an inexpensive dropcloth.  You can read more about it here.

Image from
In the midst of painting and making other changes to our family room, we decided to move the artwork that used to hang above the couch to a different corner of the room.  I've been drawn to all things graphic for a while now, so when I was reminded of Dana's dropcloth art in the Young House Love book, my decision was made. 

I bought a $10 dropcloth and a sample of charcoal paint from Lowes.  I couldn't find stencils large enough so I bought some paper letters in the kids project aisle of Michael's.  First, I cut the dropcloth to the size I wanted.  Next, I laid it out on the counter and started spreading out the letters.  I tried my best to center the words evenly and I measured to make sure the words would be straight.  Then I traced the letters in pencil.

Once the letters were drawn, I outlined them with paint using a small brush and filled them in with a sponge brush.

When all of the letters had been painted, something didn't look quite right.  I decided the letters were too Comic Sans for me, so I went back and made the corners of each letter a little more pointy.  Once the paint was good and dry, I hemmed the top, leaving a large enough loop to fit a curtain rod through.  I hot glued wooden beads that I painted yellow to the each end of the curtain rod for a subtle pop of color.

This definitely wasn't the quickest project, but it was very inexpensive.  I'm still deciding if I love it enough for it to hang above the couch, though.  I'll probably live with it for a while to see how I like it.  What do you think?  Keep it on the wall or use it as a dropcloth?

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Cafe Curtains

This little project has been a long time coming.  I'm talking like a year since I first pinned this image from Flower Patch Farmgirl.

Pinned Image

I instantly loved the rod in the middle of the window and the idea of using cloth napkins as the curtains.  On our family vacation to Hilton Head last July, I went to World Market and found some cloth napkins with a fun yellow and turquoise design.  I thought they'd be perfect for cafe curtains.  At the time, our kitchen was orange and they didn't match, so I held off on hanging them.  Now that the walls are gray and the overall look of the area has evolved, the napkins were ready to be hung. 

Here's what the space looked like before.

First, I hung the rod holders halfway down the window.  I picked up the rod and curtain clips at Ikea.

Then, down came the blinds and up went the curtains.

Can you believe those are the first curtains that have been hung in our house and we've lived here two and a half years? What's up with my fear of hanging curtains?!
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Old Frame, New Ribbon

Even though I'm going for a new look in our family room, I'm trying to use items we already own to create that new look.  With a little tweak here and there, I've been reusing old things in a new way.  For example, I changed the  fabric on the coffee table for a whole different look.

A while back I added some ribbon to this white frame to add a much needed pop of color to the corner of our family room.

I knew I wanted to keep this frame in the room, and I love the idea of using ribbon to add color, but I just needed to tweak it a bit to fit the new space.  The main accent color in the room will be yellow, so I decided to use two different yellow ribbons and some brown paper raffia.  I tore off the turquoise ribbon and tossed it in my ribbon box for future use.  Then I laid out the new ribbon in a pattern that I liked.  I went for a  simple, stripped look this time.

I attached the ribbon with hot glue and it worked really well.  Side note: I love using my hot glue gun, I think because it reminds me of doing crafts as a kid.  Mostly, it reminds me of Christmas time because we always made homemade ornaments for friends and family.  My sisters and I would paint, color, cut, etc. and my mom would do the hot gluing.  Oh the good ol' days.

So this is how it turned out. I like the pop of color with the neutral paper raffia.

Not only did I change out the ribbon on this frame, but I also changed out the piece of furniture that it's sitting on.  We used to have an orange parsons desk from West Elm sitting along side our couch.  I didn't want orange to be a main color in the room so I hauled it upstairs to the guest bedroom and brought the dresser down in it's place.

I'm pretty sure B.J. just smiled and nodded when he saw what I was doing.  I know that it sounds crazy to put a dresser in a family room, but I think it works.  Just go with it.

Overall, the room still needs lots of work, mostly in the way of wall decor and possibly window treatments.  But, so far so good!  Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fabric Swap

As you know, I'm in the process of changing the overall look of our family room area.  Patterns, colors and textures in fabric definitely define a space, so after I painted the walls, I started thinking about swapping out pillows and other fabrics in the room.  The coffee table has a glass top that I covered in fabric a couple of summers ago. You can read more about that here.

I'll just remind you what the table looked like when I found it at a yard sale for $2.50.

Then, it looked like this.

Now, it looks like this.

I searched at Joann's and Hancock for a gray printed fabric but I had no luck.  I ended up looking online and came across this chevron print that I loved from Carousel Designs for only seven dollars a yard.  Seven dollars?  You don't have to ask me twice.  I was shocked at the price and the quality.  I will defintely visit this site again.

To get started, I peeled off the old fabric and cut my new fabric to size.  Next, I took the glass top and fabric outside to attach it with spray adhesive.  Once it was attached, I ironed it and placed it back on the table.  Quick, easy and painless.

I love quick, inexpensive projects that make a big impact.  The best part, I have more than half a yard of fabric left to use for other things down the road.  I actually used a small scrap of it already as a gift tag on a birthday present for our friend's little girl. 

Stay tuned for more quick changes I'm making to the family room!
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