Benjamin Moore Halo

15th January 2015

Our dining room recently got a subtle update in the paint color department. It’s so subtle that I debated if it was even worth a blog post but then I stumbled across the Benjamin Moore 2015 Color Trends pallet and figured it deserved a short post since my color pick, Benjamin Moore Halo OC-46, made the elite list.

Just over a year ago, after installing board and batten in the dining room, I painted the upper walls in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. It’s a lovely tan-ish neutral but it didn’t look good against the gray color of the kitchen cabinets so I couldn’t carry the color throughout the open areas of the main floor for continuity.


After holding up a couple dozen off-white paint swatches against our BM Sandy Hook Gray cabinets I narrowed it down two and purchased some actual paint samples. The winner was Benjamin Moore Halo.


Narrowing down to one perfectly subtle off-white was painstakingly difficult for me and I suffered from paint paralysis for nearly a year but finally decided to commit go for it (it’s only paint). This time I think I nailed the subtle color I was going for … it only took me a year!




DIY Industrial Style Coffee Table

11th January 2015

I was reminded the other day what a lucky woman I am because among many things I have a husband who is both a banker (by profession) and carpenter (by hobby). Sometimes I know I take it for granted that he can build me just about anything so I figured this would be a good opportunity to brag about him a little bit and show off one of his recently completed DIY projects – our new industrial style coffee table.

industrial-style-coffee-tabInitially I was inspired by the Beaumont Coffee Table. Jens liked it but being the wood purist that he is wasn’t too thrilled about the MDF construction. The solution: he’d build one similar out of solid hickory for us.

We had planned on doing a welded together square tube metal bottom half with the slatted wood shelf but that plan fell through and we went to plan B: joining the square tube metal together with metal brackets. While I had my doubts about this plan B, we forged ahead with it only to find out that it was too flimsy to support the solid (and heavy) top. Finally we resorted to plan C: threaded together round black pipe and forego the slatted wood shelf.

And plan C ended up turning out better than I could have imagined. Take a gander.


I had little to do with this project besides the wood finish work in which I used two coats of a light toner (clear finish + dye stain) to bring out the warmness in the wood followed by a couple good clear coats of my favorite water based General Finishes High Performance Polyurethane in semi-gloss.

industrial-coffee-tabletable-box-joints ring-pulls

It’s nice to now have a proper coffee table in our family room and a place to stash away the remotes so they don’t get lost. It also makes a perfect spot for endless lego construction when not “styled” for blog post photos :)

So far this piece gets the award for my favorite piece of furniture my husband has made for me. Anyone else have furniture pieces made by loved ones that they cherish?

Master Bedroom Updates

6th January 2015

Well last year was a rough year for blogging and I could go on and on with excuses but it wouldn’t change anything. It’s a new year and I’m finally feeling inspired to share content again and hopefully get into a regular posting schedule but I also know that I’m also likely to totally drop the ball when life gets crazy so I’m not going to over promise. Let’s face it, blogging  is hard work (even when it’s a hobby) and sometimes I’d rather just binge watch my latest TV series obsession on Netflix.

I think Allison from House of Hepworths hit the nail on the head with this post and her new resolve for a more simplified focus on inspiring blog content and forgetting all the extra blog promotion, SEO, analytics and advertising crap that goes with it. I got too caught up in the “extra” blog stuff in 2014 and just fizzled out on it. For 2015 my plan is just to keep hacking away at my never ending project to-do list and share the progress along the way- keeping it simple and not worry about all the “extras” that make blogging feel more like work.

Since it’s been such a long time since my last blog post there’s a lot to update you on in the next coming weeks like a DIY industrial style coffee table, dining room updates, and the start of a master bedroom update. Today I’m starting with the plans for the master bedroom since nothing gets me more inspired than a putting together a fun mood board and throwing paint samples up on the wall.

Currently our bedroom is a pretty blank canvas. It’s one of the only rooms in our house that hasn’t really been touched and it needs some love desperately. The room is tiny and has two doors (hall and master bath), two windows, and a smaller closet with bi-fold doors. I’ve struggled for years on how to make the furniture arrangement work for us with a queen bed, and two dressers but nothing ever clicked and mornings were always chaotic as Jens and I tried to maneuver around the furniture and open doors/drawers while getting ready. I finally had a light bulb moment one day and realized that we could ditch the dressers if we could utilize the storage under our bed.  Here’s how simple the furniture layout will be.


On Christmas Eve we did what other normal people do while having company over – we pulled all of the furniture out of our bedroom and ripped out our nasty beige carpeting to reveal the hardwood floors below. Thank goodness for grandparents and their ability to entertain the grandkids while we’re taking advantage of a block of time to accomplish this two person task.

My plans for the room are:

  • paint the walls
  • replace the trim/baseboards
  • finish constructing a platform storage bed
  • add new lighting
  • remove/find an alternative for bi-fold closet doors
  • organize and add storage to the closet
  • add a fauxdenza for storage
  • add a gallery wall
  • purchase new mattress/bedding
  • and finally some new decor to bring in some texture

I’m envisioning a dark sophisticated teal blue wall color (inspiration photo one and two) and simple textured decor for the room as I’m showing in this mood board.


So far we’ve got a good start on the storage bed and moved our new Casper mattress (our Christmas gift to ourselves) into the room yesterday. I have a couple dark teal paint swatches up on the wall and I’m currently leaning toward Everard Blue on the left. I can’t wait to start painting but I’m forcing myself to finish a few other painting touch-ups throughout the house first.


Stay tuned for an update soon on our new coffee table and some small updates in the dining room coming soon.

Budget Kitchen Facelifts

1st October 2014

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

13th September 2014

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.