Budget Kitchen Facelifts

I know pinterest can be a great source of inspiration but have you tried out Hometalk yet? It’s an amazing community of DIYers/crafters/gardeners, bloggers, and professionals that offer up inspirational projects and advice for home and garden. It’s a place to find ideas on making homes happier, livable, more organized, more stylish, or more relaxed. It’s a great forum and platform for sharing your home projects even if you don’t have a blog. Or if you need advice on a paint color or help identifying a plant …. the list goes on.

One of the reasons I use hometalk is because it serves as a great way to collect ideas and inspiration for projects like our kitchen remodel we completed this past year. I can search for the term “kitchen” and browse thousands of ideas and clip the ones that inspire me onto a board. Here’s my curated board on budget kitchen remodels for an example.

Budget Kitchen Facelifts


So what are your favorite sources of home inspiration? Pinterest, hometalk, houzz, blogs, or others? Spill it.

Hello Again

Summer is short and sweet in Minnesota so I took a little hiatus from the blogosphere to soak up as much vitamin D as I could. With the temps starting to decline I’ve found a sudden wave of motivation to get some half complete projects wrapped up and out of our garage so we can actually park cars in there this winter. It’s wishful thinking but a girl can dream.

Here’s where I show you a picture of the current status of our garage but it’s too humiliating so instead let me show off the first project moving from the “to-do” column to the “done” column. Remember the last time I wrote a post back in June and had this cute little mid-century rocker reupholstered and about 80% complete?


I spent some time last weekend FINALLY refinishing the wood arms and polishing up the legs. They were looking pretty sad to begin with.


After some tedious sanding to get back down to bare wood again I stained them with wipe on stain and then let them sit in the garage all summer because I had better things to do.

For my finish coats over the stain I used a two toner coats for added depth and one clear finish coat. My favorite go to wood finish is General Finishes Water Based Topcoat. To make my own wood toner I mix a small part dye stain with the clear topcoat in a clean jar. Toners do wonders to give better color consistency and also allow for a wider range of custom colors.


To get a super smooth finish I buff each coat after it’s dry with a fine synthetic finishing pad instead of steel wool.


I tried a little brasso on the feet with unsuccessful results since I wasn’t working with real brass (doh!) so instead they got the aerosol can faux brass treatment to freshen them up.


I think the wood refinishing was well worth all the effort because just look at these gorgeous arms and legs.


Here it is finally all together once again….


…and the obligatory before and after comparison.


Next victims on the list are the partially complete coffee table and storage bed we’ve had sitting in the garage since spring.

Midcentury Rocker Part I

About five years ago I was trolling craigslist to find a rocker for my son’s nursery and I came across a unique little midcentury rocker for around $30. I found an original tag and it was made by Paoli Chair Co. back in 1963! PaoliRocker

It was upholstered in some horrible stained red velvet but I figured “I’ll just reupholster it, how hard can it be” (previously, my only reupholstering experience had been a couple padded seat cushions). So I went out got a painters drop cloth to use as fabric, found some brown fabric in my stash for the welt cord and slowly but surely took it apart and put it back together again resulting in this functional little piece.


I say functional because it was perfect proportions for our teeny tiny bedrooms and it was a less horrid color, but as you can see the reupholstering attempt and the boxed seat cushion in particular left a little to be desired. Fast forward to present day and I’m in the midst of tackling this chair for a second go around after many late nights rocking my two babies asleep in it.

The thing that’s different this time (besides the chaos of now having a preschooler and toddler) is that I’m armed with a couple great resources via Amanda Brown: her new book (Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design) and her Boxed Cushion Sewing tutorial on Design*Sponge. Amanda’s an experienced expert and writes a far better tutorial than I ever could so I’m simply going to refer you to the two aforementioned resources and show you some new progress shots. I’m so proud of how this boxed seat cushion turned out this time – feast your eyes on how professional this looks now with aligned corners and a pocket for the zipper pull.



Next up … upholstering the back and refinishing the wood armrests.

Remodelaholic Feature

I have some exciting news today … our kitchen remodel is being featured over at Remodelaholic! I’m not above begging so please send me some love and click on over to check it out.

It’s Friday, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet but I’ve got no plans this weekend so it’s time to get this little blog caught up with all of our recent project happenings. I have a lot of things in the works but nothing quite finished and blog ready. My goal for this weekend is to wrap up a fabulous mid-century chair that I reupholstered and share it early next week (to see progress snippets follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram). I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend ahead, anyone have any exciting project plans?


Big Boy Room Before and After

Last weekend I had the pleasure of an helping a close friend turn her spare bedroom into a big boy room for her son to make room in the nursery for a new addition coming soon! I shared the mood board for the room last week and we had such a fun time putting this room together.

We began with a pretty blank slate with white walls, black curtains, a simple twin bed frame and antique dresser.




Instead of painting, we used some black adhesive vinyl to create an impactful accent wall. The cost was less than you’d spend on a gallon of paint with significantly less mess and effort. The vinyl came in a 12″ x 10′ roll which we cut down into  three 4″ wide strips and then we cut each strip into equilateral triangles by marking 60 degree angles and alternating the direction of each triangle. We were able to get over 150 triangles cut in about an hour.

I used a laser level to mark out the location of each triangle on the wall spacing my points 9″ apart, offsetting each row. With one of us marking the location and one of us adhering the triangles we had a dramatic accent wall in a couple of hours.


I swapped out the larger chair in the room with a smaller scale one from the basement and then we started adding some accessories like a mirror and two sweet prints from Minted.com.


Across from the bed we added an art area and storage baskets for toys. The clip boards provide a spot to display artwork and easily rotate in the latest masterpiece. The higher shelves will keep items like playdoh, framed pictures, ect. safely out of reach.

BigBoyRoom01 BigBoyRoom05

Out last DIY project was creating some book slings to hang over the dresser which we moved across the room to sit next to the closet. They’re loaded up with a collection of favorite reading material within easy reach of the chair for story time.

BigBoyRoom04 BigBoyRoom06

I’m in love with how amazing the vinyl accent wall turned out and my little buddy is pretty smitten with his little art area. Now here’s hoping that the transition from his crib into a twin bed isn’t too rough.