Monday, February 10, 2014

Change of seat-ery

We've been using an Ikea dining room chair from the as-is section as our desk chair for a few years now, and while I appreciated the price and the easy washability of the slipcover, anyone who's had a Henriksdal knows that the padding covering the front edge (where your hamstrings hit) doesn't last very long.

So we've been eyeing replacements, but they've all been rejected for price (3 digits just seems like so much, for one chair), comfort (brand new, and I could feel the hard bar of wood under the padding!), or ugliness (why is EVERY office chair terrible?).

 So, for a long time, we've just lived with it.

Until this weekend, when the Mr. and I were killing time at the local mall before our dinner reservations, and we stumbled into Crate and Barrel.  Normally, that's outside our budget for furniture, but it's fun to daydream.

Then we saw this little guy... the all wood seat was surprisingly WAY more comfortable than the padded options we've tested out.  Maybe because there's no sinking down?

And, because we found him all alone in the clearance corner, we took him home for a song.

Yes, that's right - Regular Price 299.00, Sale Price 199.00, Final Sale Price 43.00.


And now he fits just right, and we can get down to work, chic and cheap and comfy.

This might be our biggest discount deal to date - what's the best deal you've ever scored?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Media Storage Solution

Sometimes, a tiny change can make a HUGE difference (and after the bathroom adventure, I only had enough energy left for a tiny change!)

Like our living room TV stand - cute table, but always a major mess.

Now, replaced by a $135 bookcase from Target, all the wires are hidden, movies organized, and there's still space for baskets for the Kiddo's toys.

Much better!  Have you had any minor changes make a big impact in your house lately?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Getting Nook-y

When we replaced the big boring master bathroom mirror with 2 cute mirrors, I realized the medicine cabinet in the adjoining wall stuck out too much to accommodate the new mirror frames.

It unscrewed really easily.

And then I was left with a hole in the wall.

Of course, I wasn't content with one hole in the wall.  I wanted two.

Time to break out the drywall saw.  Very important tip - if cutting into a wall with electricity, always do a tiny hole, see where the wires are, and then cut away from them.

 Hooray, 2 little nooks!

The stubby 2x4 was in the way, but wasn't really holding anything up.  So we cut it down to size.

 Then, in an effort to control the wires, we cut a channel in another piece of wood, and boxed it in.

We were all ready to add a shelf and call it a day.

Unfortunately, this solution had the small problem of the lights flickering every time we turned them on.  Pinched wires are no bueno.

We took out the wood pieces we just added, and the Mr. built some boxes out of scrap wood from our garage.
Lumber hoarding has its benefits
Thin plywood for the backs

3/4 inch plywood for the sides and shelves

Always make sure to dry fit all your pieces so you catch little fixes while they're still easy to cut and fix.

Screw and wood glue are all you need to hold everything together

We used some scrap quarter round trim as shelf supports

Because the boxes were slightly smaller than the openings, I used some shims to make them as even as possible.

Then, time for some quick 45 degree cuts to disguise the gaps

And some silicone for the gaps in the trim...

Two final coats of paint, and hello, storage!  I didn't want these to stand out too much, so I painted them the same color as the wall.

Pretty Potty Storage and Picking Paint

As we were tearing things up in the mirror department this weekend, we took the chance, while we had all the tools out and up there already, to make a change in our less than happy looking above-potty storage situation, and the weird orange-y brown wall paint color.

Cheap cabinets, updated with nicer pulls, are still cheap

Sad cabinet door that never closed right

I had this shelf lazing around in the garage, and decided to put it to work.

 First, I needed to clean it up, and get it ready for paint.

But, I didn't sand because I am lazy.

 I love these little painter's pyramids, because you can paint both sides of something without waiting for it to dry completely.
I covered it in 2 coats of primer, then I painted the shelf the same color as the rest of the trim in the house.
Color Continuity or Laziness?

Then, we had to make some paint decisions.  I've painted this bathroom 3 times.  There is NO natural light in there, which makes the lighting weird, and makes colors look VERY different from the swatch in the store.

One piece of advice - if you don't like the color at the first swipe, you are not going to like it any better when it's the whole room.

If you look closely, you can see the lavender that was supposed to be light gray at the edge of the orangey-brown.

We started by grabbing every color we even remotely liked at the Lowe's paint section, and narrowed it down to 3 options.

Then we realized how tomb-like that room would be in the deep brown, and narrowed it down to 2.

Given the weird lighting, and our history of multiple attempts at painting this bathroom, we chose the lightest swatch and got rolling.  This time, I painted the ceiling the same color (because my roller slipped, to be totally honest), and it made the ceiling look a million miles high.  I really don't like the work of painting a ceiling, but it really is worth it.

Thankfully, the 4th time was a charm, and the paint actually came out lovely and soothing.  And it picks up the gray in the floor tiles so well, you can barely see where the Kiddo stepped in paint while he was helping!

Also changed out the old robe hook for a cuter one.

After the paint was all dry, I mounted the shelf, first making the Mr. sit down to ensure head clearance.

 I moved the art into the big empty space above the shelf, and added some cute basket storage.

Crisp, clean, not-broken, and still functional.  Win.