Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Herringbone wood plank accent wall

This project has been swimming around in my little noggin for the last 2 years since we moved into this house, and it feels so good to get it out and into the realm of reality!  It was a little time consuming, but not difficult and CHEAP (which makes any time investment exceedingly worth it, in my book.)  I thought the herringbone patter would require a lot of head-scratching and math (ewwww), but it’s just 45 degree angles one way or another.  Easy peasy.

Here’s how we started out:


Very white.  Very plain. Very boring.

This is “the boys” bathroom, which should be called “the kids” bathroom, but my 7 year old daughter refuses to use “the boys” bathroom, and who can blame her, really? Boys are gross.  And boys’ bathrooms are REALLY gross!

So, I wanted the room to be masculine.  I wanted to bring in the gray and navy from the kids’ loft area that’s just outside this bathroom.  Both kids’ bedrooms that are also off the loft have wood elements in them, so that seemed a pretty natural choice as well.

To create the herringbone wood planking, I bought two 4’ x 8’ sheets of 5mm flooring underlayment (the thinnest of plywoods) from Home Depot.  They are about $12 a piece, so the wood was only $24 and I had quite a bit left over.  They were stained with Minwax Dark Walnut.  They ripped the 4 inch wide planks for me at HD and I used my compound miter saw to make all the 45 degree cuts.  I attached them to the wall using my Ryobi Air Strike Nail Gun (what would I do without this tool?!?!  It’s amazing!  You need one!)

Flipping the light fixtures from down-facing to up-facing makes the room instantly brighter and feel taller. (My favorite free fix!) And I also added a taller (96”) white shower curtain to take full advantage of the 9 ft ceilings and further brighten up the space.



I’m still on the lookout for the perfect fabric to make a valance for the window, but other than that, this room is done!  AND it’s the last room in the house that hadn’t been addressed.  You know what that means?  I guess it’s time to move. ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

130 Dollar Bathroom Makeover

Wanted to share with you today the way I made a huge impact in my own master bathroom, only spending $130!  These were simple and inexpensive spruces that anyone could accomplish with just a few hours of work.

Our master bath, like everything in our newly-built home, had great space but was completely boring.  Clean, nice, new, but boring none-the-less.


Since the giant wall of mirror always seem to scream “I’m builder basic!!” to me, I really wanted to take it down and replace it with two stylish framed mirrors.  When we got to looking closely at it, I’m 95% sure that it’s attached to the wall with a generous smattering of adhesive, and to remove it, I would have ended up having to do some extensive drywall repair and retexturing to make it presentable again.

Then I came upon some pics while browsing Pinterest that had me settled on hanging the framed mirrors over the existing wall o’ mirror.  I really liked the look, and it would be so much simpler that trying to take down the ginormous mirror that was there.

So with that plan of action, I got a pair of framed, beveled-edge mirrors from Ross for $25 a piece (what a steal!)  Then I had to figure out how to go about hanging them in front of the existing mirror.  I briefly considered getting a diamond drill bit and drilling through the mirror to the wall and attaching them with wall anchors and screws.  But what if I cracked the mirror while drilling?  I’d be right back where I didn’t want to be repairing a drywall mess.

So I came up with the idea to hang them from a decorative hook mounted to the wall above the light fixtures with a chain attached to two d-hooks on the back of the mirrors.  The “decorative hooks” I used were actually back plates and knobs from my (extensive) hardware stash, so they were free! (Such a melodious little word!)  The chain and s-hooks were about $10 in the Walmart hardware section.


The astute observer will also notice that I flipped the existing light fixtures over from down-facing to up-facing.  I have a thing about visible light bulbs.  It’s just not attractive to me.  This was a super-easy fix that.  The fixtures have two little nuts that screw on and hold it in place.  All I did was loosen and remove the nuts (be careful not to drop and loose them, and maybe close your sink drain before you get up there to do it just in case you do!), turn the whole thing upside down (downside up?), and screw it back in place with the nuts.  You don’t even need to disconnect the wiring! 

Once I got them changed, it’s amazing how much brighter and what a nicer, disbursed light there is in the room!  The light from the bulbs reflects on the white ceiling and lights up the whole room very evenly and pleasantly instead of the harsh light from the bare bulb just pouring down on you and your sink and counter.

I stenciled the herringbone brick design on the section of wall between the top of the existing mirror and the ceiling using the Herringbone Allover Brick stencil from Cutting Edge.  I just love what it added in here!  Looks like herringbone tile that is everywhere right now.

About $20 for the trim at the ceiling and the top of the mirror finished it off nicely.


The fab, tall, chrome vase was also a Ross find.  It was only $8 on clearance!  The vase filler was another $8 at Ross as well.


The AMAZING little hex prism knobs were from Target for about $25 for the set of 10.


My long-term plan in here involves:

  • upgrading the sink faucets
  • adding feet to and painting the vanity a creamy white
  • painting the walls a subtle beige
  • taking out the existing fiberglass shower and basic shower fixtures and doing a new, tile shower with glass door

But this little stage 1 spruce up made a huge impact in here for me for very little expense or work.  It’s certainly enough to tide me over until the larger expense and more difficult upgrades are in the cards to tackle.

Master Bathroom Before and After

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bohemian woodland shared room reveal


It’s been so long that I may have actually forgotten how to write a blog post.  If you’re still around and reading this, you are a trooper, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I’ve been very busy at ”blog worthy” endeavors, but somehow became completely unable to post here.  But I’ve decided I’m going to try and jump back in. Bear with my clumsy return to putting a blog post together!

I shared some plans, long, long ago for what I was deeming a “Bohemian Woodland” shared bedroom for my 3 year old son and 6 year old daughter.  I started redoing the room, but before it was “finished”, we sold our house and moved.  Now, I’ve been working on doing their room in our new house for, oh, just the last year or so.  Even though there are a couple of things that I’d still like to do in here (adding a few more things to the left side gallery wall and doing a couple of toadstool stools for the ends of the beds), I’m calling it done enough to share.   ; )

Boy/girl shared bedrooms can be a real design challenge.  I hope this room, which is not too girly and not too masculine, but just fun, bright, and whimsical, gives you some good ideas if this is a design dilemma that you are facing in your home.

Just about everything in this room is vintage and upcycled, and I love the collected, cozy feel of it.




I used the Birch Forest Allover Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils as a running border at the top of the room, which really set the mood for the whole design.  I used the sweet little curtain tiebacks, bought from Urban Outfitters to hold the branch that acts as the rod for the cafĂ© curtains (which are actually just a quilted blanket cut in half.  I didn’t even finish the cut edge!)

I really wanted to do some raw-edge wood trim to finish at the top of the walls, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where I could find such a thing.  I ended up using some 1 5/8 pine lattice moulding (only $3.59 for 8 feet!) with some Dark Walnut Danish Oil.  It was cheap and easy and a great finishing touch!



Don’t you love the fun, collected gallery walls?



There was no overhead lighting in any of the upstairs rooms, so adding the hanging lamp was a necessity! I used the Hemma cord kit from Ikea that’s only $5, and fancied it up by covering the cord with some gathered fabric (again, using my trusty hot glue gun.)  I covered a very plain drum shade with a fun coordinating paisley fabric, and “tied” it to the ceiling hook with some satin ribbon.





Cutting Edge Stencils would like to offer one lucky reader a stencil of up to a $50 value! Enter the giveaway below, ending Friday, September 12, 2014.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Evolution of a 60 dollar Entertainment center and homeright giveaway!

I told you guys a while ago about the china cabinet I repurposed into our entertainment center when we upgraded to a large flat screen a few years ago.  It’s gone through a couple incarnations in our home, including the most recent off-whiteifying when we moved into our new home this past April. 

As I alluded to in the above post, I have endured lived with my husband’s 1990 Bose speaker beasts for the last 13.5 years.  They came with him, which I knew from the beginning.  His awesomeness far outweighs their unsightliness. (And I will admit, they do produce a pretty amazing sound.)

Nevertheless, I’ve been planning ways to disguise them and make them a little less hello-we’re-from-twenty-years-ago.  I was actually planning on building some shelves on either side of the entertainment center that could house the speakers on the bottom and have shelves to display books and brickabrack up top.

But then the heavens opened up and an angel my mother-in-law showed me a pair of shelves that she picked up at a yard sale and said I could have (read FREE) if I wanted them.  It was completely meant to be, because the bottom opening of the shelves were EXACTLY the right size to house the speaker-beasts!

They were laminate and not in great shape.  Of course, I was so excited to get them fixed up and painted and in my living room that I didn’t take time to snap a before pic of them, but let me paint a picture.  Think college dorm chic; Very abused and covered with stickers.

My HomeRight Heat Pro Deluxe heat gun made pretty quick work of removing the stickers, like a hair dryer on steroids.

It’s a handy tool!  Crank up the heat to high and you can even strip paint with it, without all the goopy chemicals!

Once they were prepped and ready to go, I whipped out another indispensible tool from HomeRight, my Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Paint Sprayer.


To say I love this thing would be an understatement.  It’s really become my right hand in furniture refinishing.  It gives such a nice finish and was incredibly easy to use, right out of the box.  I’ve tried so many paint sprayers over the years, and this one is by far my favorite option.  And it’s airless, which means it houses it’s own turbine air supply and doesn’t need a loud and cumbersome compressor.  And at under $70, it’s incredibly affordable!

So, back to the shelves!  I painted them the same creamy white of the entertainment center and added new backer boards (to replace the cheapo cardboard one’s that came on them) painted slate blue. 

The new backer boards and a little bit of trim I replaced were the only costs to me for the new shelves and was less than $20.  Add that to the $40 I spent on the china cabinet in the beginning, and I have an awesome entertainment center for under $60!!  My inner cheapskate sleeps well at night.

Evolution of a $60 Entertainment Center

I’m just going to wait until the paint is fully cured before I style the shelves.  Don’t want anything sticking!  You really should wait at least a week for latex paint to fully cure before putting anything on it, FYI.  : )

I’m thinking at a later date I might also add some decorative metal grating like this to the fronts of the cabinet compartments, painted the same color of shelves to further camouflage them, but for now I think it’s a big improvement!

And the price CERTAINLY beats the $3,400 for this Pottern Barn option!

… although I am a little jealous of their slim tower speaker, truth be told.

HomeRight wants to give one of you a leg up on your furniture refinishing exploits with your very own Finish Max Fine Finish Paint Sprayer AND Heat Pro Deluxe Heat Gun!  The giveaway is open to US residents, 18 or older.  Good luck!


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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

accent wall with airstone & the finished dining room

Accent Wall with AirStone

I actually did it!  I got my dining room AirStone accent wall done before Thanksgiving!!  We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time in my adult life and had 22 people over for a very enjoyable feast.  This was one HUGE project that has been on my plate (in bite-sized portions whenever I had the time and inclination to work on it) for like 5 months.  It was such a relief to finally have it completely finished!  And with it’s completion, I’m call the dining room DONE (or at least until I decide to change it up again.)  The AirStone accent wall made such a huge difference in warming up the space.  I’m completely in love!

AirStone Wall Dining Room Makeover


And, let me tell you, it was so easy to do.  This was a big project, so it was time consuming, but really simple.  All it takes is buttering on the premixed adhesive with a putty knife and sticking the lightweight faux stones to the wall!  The stones are easily cut to fit with an ordinary hack saw.  Those are the only tools you need for the job! I also appreciated that the adhesive came in premixed, resealable containers.  I could work on as little or as much as I wanted, then seal up the container for the next time.

AirStone also has the environmental benefit of being made from 80% recycled materials, so it’s very eco-friendly.

The product is available through Lowe’s.  Keep in mind that not all stores carry AirStone.  If they don’t, however, they may be able to special order it in for you.  My local Lowe’s didn’t carry it, but were able to special order it.

A couple of tips for you.  You will inevitably have some small spaces or gaps where the underneath wall will show through.  I realized this once I started the first few rows, so I went back and painted a grey coat of paint on the rest of the wall so grey would show through the gaps instead of white. 

Also, the edges of the stones sometimes had little nubbins (the technical term.)  I would knock these off with a butter knife before sticking them up on the wall so they would sit more flush together.

AirStone Edge Detail

When I got to the section that went over the window opening and there wasn’t a row of stones below to hold them in place, I added some painters tape to help hold them securely in place while the adhesive dried.

AirStone Above Window Opening

Now, onto the pretties of my totally-done-on-time-for-Thanksgiving dining room!

Finished Dining Room 2

Finished Dining Room 4

Sideboard and Plate Wall

The plate wall got lots of complements from everyone.  Still loving my happy, green sideboard, and it was even prettier covered with Thankgiving desserts, let me tell you!! 

Sideboard Plate Wall and AirStone Accent Wall

And did you spy the hollywood regency bamboo chairs in there?  They were painted the same color as my sideboard, so I decided we would use them for some needed extra seating for the holiday feast.  But they look so at home in there that I think I’ll keep them. :)

That lovely chandelier was a total steal for $79 at Home Depot.  I love it!

Dining Room Chandelier only $79 from Home Depot

Finished Dining Room

It turned out to be such a warm and inviting space, which is just what you want a dining room to be, whether your eating pizza with your kids, or Thanksgiving dinner with a crowd of family.

Someone said to me during the holiday festivities, “Your house is so bright and fun!”  And I couldn’t have asked for a better complement.  That’s exactly what I want it to be. :)

I received product from AirStone for this review, but received no other compensation.  I was not told what to say by AirStone and all opinions are completely my own.

Monday, November 18, 2013

patina finish using modern masters metal effects

I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Metal Effects line of paints and patinas from Modern Masters.  I’ve gotten the chance to use it on a couple of projects so far, and wanted to share this fun product with you.

The water-based paints have actual metal particles in the paints that react over time (if left to the elements) or react right away with the addition of Modern Master’s chemical reactors, giving authentic patinaed finishes on any surface that you can paint!

I was working on a set for a client’s guest room, including a desk, chair and nightstand.  I big-fat-failed to get before pics (I hate it when I do that!), but the desk, like many out there, had some pretty deep gouges and years and years worth of damage on the veneered top.  Since the client wanted the body of the desk stripped and stained, and only the desk drawers painted, I had to come up with a solution to cover the damaged top.  There was some gorgeous wood inlay in a pretty border around the desk top, so I decided to mask inside the inlayed border and paint a faux blotter using Modern Master’s Iron Reactive Paint and Rust Activator.


I was so happy with how the set turned out, and so glad the client felt the same way! :)


I also used the Iron Reactive Paint/Rust Activator in combination with the Copper Reactive Paint/Green Patina Aging Solution on this side table top.  I love how it turned out in combination with the turquoise base (CeCe Caldwell’s Destin Gulf Green.)  This is southwest done right! ;)

Modern Masters Metal Effects Reactive Paint Patina

Here’s a close-up on that fantastic patina!!


I love the look I’m able to create with these paints and reactors!  Thanks Modern Masters for the opportunity to try them out!


(While I received product to review, I was not given any further compensation from Modern Masters.  All opinions are completely my own.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

how to make a realistic faux card catalog from an old dresser

How To Make A Faux Card Catalog From An Old Dresser, from Twice Lovely

One of my favorite sources for affordable drawer pulls and hardware online is D. Lawless Hardware.  I don’t know if you’re aware, but they recently designed and released their own line of Library Card Catalog style Label Holder Pulls that are surprisingly inexpensive, and if you’ve ever priced this type of drawer pull, you know that they can be very pricey!  They offer two different styles and 4 different finishes. 

I couldn’t wait to find just the right project to use these great pulls and create a realistic-looking, faux, library card catalog.  I got this simple but substantial 10 drawer dresser that I thought would be the perfect piece to execute my vision on.

Dresser Before

First, I went to Home Depot and had them cut 30 (3 for each of the 10 drawers) little squares from a sheet of 5mm Flooring Underlayment (around $15 for the sheet and I had tons left over!)  Then I began the tedious-but-necessary task of sanding the fronts and four edges of all 30 pieces.  Yikes!

Once all the edges and corners were rounded and they were nice and smooth, I used wood glue and clamps to affix the little faux drawers to the drawer fronts.

Create Faux Drawers from 5mm Flooring Underlayment

Once I got all the faux drawers attached, I started to get very excited about how it was coming together.

Smaller Faux Drawers attached to Dresser Drawer Fronts

I decided to go with the bright, shiny brass cup label pulls from D. Lawless, with some extra realism added using this little half inch brass knob below the label pull.

Yay for Hardware!

A dramatic, warm, charcoal gray was a great choice to showcase the beautiful hardware and allow it to really be the star of the show.  So excited with how it turned out!

Faux Card Catalog from an Old Dresser at Twice Lovely

Card Catalog Hardware from D. Lawless Hardware Online

Faux Library Card Catalog from Twice Lovely

I took it to the Vintage Market I participated in this past weekend, and though it didn’t sell (lucky for you locals it’s going to be at Livy Lou’s very soon!) it was totally fooling people all day long!  The larger drawers make it much more practical, usable, and versatile piece than a real library card catalog.  I think it was totally worth the extra effort. :)

I received the hardware for this project from D. Lawless, but received no other compensation for my review.