Bedroom Makeover

“Makeover” actually isn’t the right word because the bedroom was never maked to begin with.

Bedroom Before

We had an off-white carpet remnant rug that got dingy nearly immediately – terrible idea! We had a picture ledge that I always intended to style but never did. We had matching MALM nightstands that were too small. I later bought an old pair of nightstands (one seen on the right) on Craigslist that I refinished, immediately decided that I didn’t like and then sold for a profit.

Bedroom Before

I swapped out rugs, blankets, etc. as I honed in on what I wanted and didn’t want — the former is always much harder for me than the latter — and I finally gathered all of the pieces and put everything together in one exhausting weekend.

Bedroom To-Do List

And here’s where we are today:

Bedroom

I bought a new rug from Overstock and stained, painted and added hardware to a new pair of IKEA RAST nightstands.  The wall art and framing was less than $25 total, and I reupholstered our existing headboard with new fabric, adding nailhead trim.

Bedroom Wall Art

Bedroom RAST Nightstand

I swapped the dresser with one I had in the basement and plopped a plant in a basket.

Bedroom Window

Bedroom Dresser

Doozy is indifferent to the changes but I am pleased to finally have a bedroom that feels put together.   I will write follow-up posts on the headboard, art and nightstands, so check back later this week if you’re interested in details on any of those projects!

Bedroom Cat

Building a Picture Ledge for a Neon Sign

This right here is the kitschiest thing I’ve ever loved.

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I found it in an antique mall in mid-Missouri (Apache Flats represent!) for $30. Something about it is hilarious to me. Neon seems appropriate for vices, like BEER or GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS. Not SALADS. It lived in the basement for a while, illuminating our ping-pong parties, but I decided I liked it enough to display in the kitchen.

West Elm, Pottery Barn, IKEA, etc. have lots of options for picture ledges, but 1) they’re expensive, 2) they weren’t the exact width and depth I wanted, and 3) they have a raised lip on the front, which I didn’t need. I wanted a floating shelf that would hold the sign and virtually disappear.

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I bought some inexpensive wood and used glue and screws to join the two pieces. I put my new countersink drill bit to work so that the screws would sit below the surface of the wood, and I filled in the recesses with wood filler before painting.

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I wanted the ledge to look like it was one single piece – not two connected pieces – so I waited to cut the ledge to the correct length until after I joined the two pieces.  This worked really well – my chop saw ensured the edges aligned perfectly and after smoothing the end grain with some wood filler and painting it, the ledge looks legit.

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Similar to the oddly but perfectly placed outlet in our living room (for our leaning bookshelves), we have an oddly but perfectly placed outlet smack in the middle of our kitchen wall.

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SALADS!

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(The sign is discretely tethered to the wall at the top so there’s no danger of it toppling over.)

Just a couple of other changes to the kitchen since you saw it last back in summer of 2011 – as a reminder, it used to look like this before I painted the wainscoting, scored the STENSTORP island off Craiglist and painted the ceiling fan:

Kitchen

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I bought the ubiquitous BONDIS wall clock and I ordered the Tabouret counter stools from Overstock.com after months of Craigslist searching didn’t turn up anything I liked as much.

Stools

I highly recommend these stools – they’re super sturdy and you can’t beat the price (under $80 with coupons for a pair).  They also come in fun colors, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’m not, but it’s fine if you are. No judgement.

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DIY Project Round-Up

Happy new year to you all and welcome to new readers!  Now that my subscriber count has surpassed 1,500 (thanks, everyone!) and we’ve rolled into 2013, I wanted to pause to do a DIY project round-up.  Not necessarily comprehensive, just a visual introduction to what goes on around here.

Decorating DIY Projects1: Operation Obscurement: Window Film
2: Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener
3: The Framer’s Intent: Scarf Display
4: Gallery Wall: In Praise of Chopsticks & 3M

DIY Experiments1: Gold Leaf Paint Options
2: Metal Cutting Options

Furniture DIY Projects1: A Harmless Dresser-to-TV Stand Conversion
2: Step by Step IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Table Hack

Garden DIY Projects

1: Raised Garden Beds: Two Tons of Soil, One Bucket
2: Tools for (Over) Planning Raised Garden Beds
3: Canopy Fail, Cinema Success
4: Pipe + Netting Garden Trellis

Cat DIY Projects

1 & 2: Cat Concessions: Plants and Upholstery
3: CATHOLE: Litter Box Cat Door
4: Catio Cleanup

Finally, because I’m always a bit embarrassed by blog’s name, I’d like to remind you that when I say “project!”, I’m channeling Cher Horowitz and her love of makeovers.  Because somehow that’s less embarrassing?

Portrait of a Doomed Art Project

There might come a time in your life – or perhaps that time has already occurred – when you see a piece of art and think “I bet I could make that!” (Not in the dismissive way that people say “My two-year-old could paint that” but rather “That’s a good idea that seems within my range of skills.”)

Art

Art

I encourage you to rage, rage against the DIY art muse – she’s a Siren designed to lure you to a dimly lit basement sink with eight yards of burlap and four bleeding Rit dye packets.

Basement Art

Basement Dye

These are the sails of a craft shipwreck.

Doomed Art

Hardwired HEMMA: DIY Closet Light

While cleaning out our closet this weekend I decided that cleaning out our closet would be nicer if there were a ceiling light in there.  More often than not, mundane cleaning initiatives like this are waylaid by the allure of PROJECT!  You know what’s not exciting? Cleaning. You know what is? Wire stripping!

HEMMA Light

We have outlets at the back of our closet and I had a plug-in HEMMA cord set from IKEA on hand.  My original idea was to use the cord set to hang a light from the ceiling with the addition of a pull-chain socket adapter (like this) so that the light could be turned on and off easily.  I went to Matty K’s — a great independent hardware store in Lincoln Square — to pick one up, but realized that the adapter pull-cord was actually pretty hard to pull and would put a lot of stress on a ceiling anchor hook.  I then saw this porcelain lampholder with a pullchain.

Porcelain Lampholder

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts in which people cut off the plug of a HEMMA cord to convert it to a hardwired light fixture, which gave me the idea to cut the socket off instead, leaving the plug and hard wiring the cord to the lamp.  A super nice Matty K’s employee suggested that I mount an electrical outlet box to the ceiling as a base for the lampholder, making it safe and sturdy.

HEMMA Wire Strippers

Porcelain Lampholder

Light

Closet Ceiling Light

I stripped the cord to expose the wires, connected them to the lamp holder, mounted the electrical box to the ceiling and the fixture to the box, and routed the cord down the back wall to the outlet.  Easy peasy.

DIY HEMMA Ceiling Light

Pro tip: Use the cutest Japanese toy you have on hand to personalize your pullcord.  Rilakkuma FTW!

Rilakkuma

See how it works?  There is no light on the left and there is light on the right.  VICTORY.

Light Before and After