Built In Shoe Organization

My closet is in a constant state of disrepair, I have A LOT of clothes. And shoes. And purses. And honestly, if they don’t have an easily accessible place to go they’re going to end up either in the laundry basket forever or on the floor. I’m sorry, clothes. I can’t help it.

closet before

 

The plastic draws are a real hassle to tuck in all the way, and they leave my shoes in a jumble, and I can’t see them all. The wire shelves all the way to the right are awful because I have a lot of stilettos and they fall through, so I added a rag towel and now the cats push off the shoes to nap there. No good. So I decided to turn this little section of my closet into an organized shoe heaven.

Yesterday the ReStore had old wood shelves for $1 each, so I bought three (and only ended up needing 1.5!). I used my jigsaw to cut them down both length and width wise so they’d fit in the wasted space on the righthand side of my closet (a circular saw would have been better but I don’t have one). Then, I took the scrap wood from cutting down the newel posts on my salvaged endtables and used my miter saw to chop them into braces.

in process closet update

 

A laser level and some painters tape helped me figure out the spacing for my shelves, and the impact driver was awesome for pilot holes and screwing everything into the walls. I tested for studs but there were none, so I just used some long heavy duty screws…. these shelves aren’t holding more then 5 pounds of weight so I’m not too worried about it.

Since I had to cut the wood I bought width wise, I realized that in addition to shelves I would have enough wood to make some ledges for my heels as well.

built in shoe organization

 

The shelves have a brace on either side with the shelf on top and caulk along the back and they’re not going anywhere. The ledges each have 3 screws to hold them into the wall and they’re on there firmly as well. Then I’ve got one little green container for my Old Navy flip flops and one of the plastic draws to corral my flats and nicer sandals.

I could realllly used one more shelf so I don’t have to pile my wedges, but it would have taken away from clothes storage so that’s a no go.

easy DIY built in closet

 

One day I’ll clear out the whole closet and give it a fresh coat of paint, but that seems more like a dreary winter day project you know? This only took about 2 hours, I made all the cuts outside so I didn’t have to sweep up loads of sawdust and then organized it all right away.

I am IN LOVE with those shoe ledges, I’m so glad they worked out!

Now, in addition to painting, I need to continue working on replacing hangers (death to plastic hangers!) and pick up some cute cloth or woven baskets to replace the plastic ones on the floor… but those things will come in time. I have more important things to spend my money on right now.

Master Bedroom Evolution

I thought I’d easeeeee on back into blogging today with a nice picture heavy post about “finding my style” and how that’s led to the slow change in our master bedroom.

When I first saw the house, this is what the now master bedroom looked like:

As much as I love teal, lime green, and glitter letters, I thought maybe we should change it up a bit...

As much as I love teal, lime green, and glitter letters, I thought maybe we should change it up a bit…

So after a bit of getting settled, the room moved into it’s “work what you have” phase:

Not terrible, but we really needed actual curtains and all the decor was from our old apartment and didn't really fit here. Also, having 4 animals and a comforter that didn't fit in the washer was NOT an ideal situation.

Not terrible, but we really needed new curtains, and all the decor was from our old apartment and didn’t really fit here. Also, having 4 animals and a comforter that didn’t fit in the washer was NOT an ideal situation.

Here’s what the master is looking like today, 2.5 years in:

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house.

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house.

It’s not going to be in any magazines, but I freaking love it. And I can honestly say I think this will be the direction my style goes into from now on- a little rustic, a little industrial, a little funky.

Let’s get close up:

Matt's side of the bed

Matt’s side of the bed

Sheepskin: Ikea | Nightstand: Target | Art: Etsy | Beetle: Target

Planter: Bath & Body Works (it’s a candle holder) | Fan: Amazon

My side of the bed

My side of the bed. The art reads: “There is no denying the wild horse in us”

Curtains, Quilt, Nightstand, Chair, Lamp: Target

Throw: Marshalls | Candle: Somewhere in New Mexico | Art: Etsy

Bureau vignettes (if you can even call them that)

Bureau vignettes (if you can even call them that)

Skull: Styrofoam Halloween decor, painted gold | Tray: Target | Fox: Marshall’s

Swing Shelf

Swing Shelf

Swing Shelf: DIY from a friend | Art: Etsy | Muskrat skull: Ebay

Scented Thing-a-ma-bob: Amazon

So, basically most of my stuff came from Target- but MAN, Target is killin it in the home decor lately!! There’s one more wall I haven’t shown, but I’m still working on it. I’d actually like to build a piece of furniture for that wall, but I need to wait until there isn’t two feet of snow outside so I can stain in a ventilated area.

I’ve really learned, after decorating this whole house, that I need to appreciate wood. That I don’t care if I have multiple tones of it in the same room. And I really want to work on a gathered, eclectic look. I’m feeling super inspired by White Buffalo Styling Company and want to move more in that direction. That being said, I’m not going to go nuts redoing everything I’ve already put together in my more modern/trendy rooms… but when we move to  house #2 down the line, I at least have my starting point.

master bedroom

DIY’s shown in this post: How to turn a shirt into a runner | Hanging the Swing Shelf Staining a Swing Shelf

More Master Bedroom Updates

I’ve been plugging along with the master bedroom updates, making lots of tiny changes in hopes that together they’ll add up to a much warmer, calmer room. In addition to staining the swing shelf we finally have a set of matching nightstands and a little Ikea sheepskin on either side of the bed for when we step out of it.

Matt has never had a nightstand and mine was all sorts of busted up- our bed is a Malm from Ikea but after 4 or 5 moves the nightstand that attached to it had just had enough. I searched all over the internet and ended up with tried and true Target, with 20% off, and I am IN LOVE with these guys:

target nightstand, nightstand, metal nightstand

mixed media top and metal legs, took about 30 minutes to assemble both, and a little drawer for each of us. Perfection.

I can’t show you a wide shot of the room yet because it’s still in progress, but things are definitely looking so much better- nightstands and the little rugs made a huge, huge difference:

IMG_2819The rugs are so super slippery so I tried a few things (putting a shelf liner underneath, putting a few thin lines of caulk on the bottom), but nothing working. So now I just tuck it under the nightstand.

Here’s a source list for this little section of the room:

  • Nightstand, Slipper Chair, Floor lamp: Target
  • Rug: Ikea
  • Blanket: Marshall’s
  • Gold Basket: Bath & Body Works
  • Candle: Souvenir from New Mexico

What are your go-to’s to update a room on the cheap?

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Adventures in Staining

When we last left my swing shelf it was hanging gloriously in the master bedroom, but it was unfinished and now that I’ve decided (ahem, on a whim) to update that room it was time for the shelf to get a little attention.

Here’s what it was before:

swing shelf, hanging shelf, suspended shelf

A piece of wood with 2 holes drilled through each end and rope tied through the holes. Read the how-to on hanging it here.

Somehow I’ve lived in this house doing projects for 2 years and I’ve never stained anything, so here’s what I learned:

  • Stain is much more watery then paint, so choose a brush you can control and make long swipes with it
  • Paint thin thin thin coats, or it will bubble and you will panic.
  • Stain has a stank on it, so don’t be a fool and do your staining either outside or in a garage and then leave it there to dry a day or two. I was a fool, and then I got a real big headache and my house stunk.
  • Paintbrushes covered in stain are extremely difficult to clean. Mine is currently soaking in a cup of water on the kitchen counter.

Here’s an in progress shot so you can see the difference it made:

dark walnut stain, miniwax

And here’s the shelf now (I apologize for the grainy pictures, daylight savings time is making it difficult to get a good shot because I’m basically at work during all hours of sunlight.):

stained shelf

I’ve changed up the display a little- including keeping that teeny tiny succulent alive for like 3 whole months- and the stain makes a huge difference.

dat bottom. owwww.

dat bottom. owwww.

I used Miniwax brand stain in dark walnut with a poly built right in, and I would absolutely recommend it.

And, just because it’s too small a project to have its’ own post, I also painted a skull for the bedroom. Yup, a skull. I like how they look. Anyway, you can get a styrofoam skull for super super cheap after Halloween. I first spray painted it white with Kilz primer (which I sneak peeked on instagram), then I painted it black, then I painted gold craft paint as the final coat. I did a black coat because it darkened the gold a bit and shows through on a few spots. Mr. Skullface now lives on our bedroom tv stand as another part of our master bedroom facelift:

gold skull

The bookshelf might be on my list of updates for this room too, I haven’t decided yet. I think I’m kind of over the circle stamps.

So there you go- 2 of many tiny updates that will hopefully make the whole room look refreshed :)

 

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How to turn a crusty old shirt into a lovely stylish runner

I’ve got one of my favorite types of projects for you all today- quick, easy, cheap, and no sew!

For the past few months I’ve had  $10 Ikea sheepskin rug  serving as the runner on top of our bureau, and I loved it. But now it’s spring (so they tell me… all I see is snow…) so I wanted to trade it out for something a little lighter.

I went to the Salvation Army in hopes of getting something lace, but that’s not what the thrifting gods had in mind for me. I ended up with an old, lightweight beachy shirt and worked my magic to make it awesome.

PicMonkey Collage

I don’t have any how-to pictures because it was really trial and error but this is how it went:

  • I cut off the collar and the seamed sections where the buttons are. Then I cut off the arms and set them aside. Then I cut at the seam to separate the back from the two front panels and set those aside too
  • I laid the back on top of my bureau with the frayed edges tucked under, then I layered the two front pieces on top of it with the frayed edges tucked under.
  • It still looked a little thin so I cut the cuffs off the arms and layered them on top too

So no sewing, just tucking the cuts under so it looks like one cohesive piece. Just keep manipulating it around until it looks how you’d like.

My bureau is impossible to take a good picture of because the window just blows everything out- I tried morning, afternoon, night, sunny days, and dark days. So this is the best I’ve got:

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I think it looks perfect for summer, the fabric goes well with the burlap curtains and is a nice light color, close to the color of the slipper chair, so the gold candle holder and the picture frames can do all the standing out.

IMG_2369

I like the look of it being layered, and it can be moved around and stretched out- and it was $6. That’s probably my favorite part.

 

Have you switched out any of your wintery stuff yet?

 

 

DIY Remote Pouch

Today I’ve got a realy quick and easy project for you all: a DIY no-sew remote pouch.

We have 3 remotes in our bedroom- one for the tv, one for the DVD player, and one for the Roku box. All of them have been stored on the bookshelf we use as a tv stand, and that was really messing with my ability to style those shelves so clearly something had to be done. I decided to make a pouch to stick on the side of the bed so we could store the remotes there instead.

To do this you will need:

  • fabric of your choice (and actually, a cloth napkin or placement would probably do the trick)
  • velcro
  • hem tape

To make:

  1. Lay out your fabric with your remotes on top and cut enough so that you can fold the fabric up from the bottom and completely cover the remotes, then give yourself an extra inch or two to create a flap
  2. Iron your fabric to get rid of any wrinkles then using your hem tape iron in the sides to create a fray-free edge
  3. Once your sides have been hem taped, fold your fabric up (leaving that two in flap out of it) and use your hem tape to attached it all into a pouch
  4. Fold the flap over and iron it to create a seam- don’t hem tape it, you’re just doing this to train the fabric to lay flat
  5. Add velcro to the back and stick it to the side or back of your bed!

IMG_2330

I designed the pouch so the remotes could either stand up straight or lay on their side, it’s only about 6 or 7 inches long and a bit wider then that. I didn’t take any measurements or take care to make the lines all absolutely straight because this is going to be hidden anyway.

 

IMG_2331

If you don’t already have velcro strips lying around your house I recommend you buy a big ol’ box of them. I use velcro for freaking everything- even hanging pictures sometimes. It’s DIY gold.

 

 

IMG_2335

I didn’t take care to make this particularly gorgeous or perfect because it will always be hidden by the comforter when the bed is made, but it does the trick and Matt loves it.

 

IMG_2333

It doesn’t make the prettiest pin, but it does the trick :)

How I Showed My Closet Who’s Boss: Part II

Yesterday I shared with you how I took out my nasty closet door and hung up a sheet instead… and left you with a picture of Matt drilling into the ceiling right next to it. Get ready a post full ‘o pictures all about what we did next:

IMG_2104

Quality Control Inspectors Zsa Zsa and Dutch waited patiently while made made not one but TWO holes in the ceiling. He drilled holes for anchors, lightly tapped them in with a hammer, then screwed hooks into them. And what was to go on those hooks? A hanging shelf DIY’d by our good friend Scott.

To measure out the holes we just used our level, which is a few inches wide so by default that’s how we decided how far out from the wall to make them- no real science there. And the required drill bit for the anchors and screws came with them, which made that pretty simple as well.

IMG_2106

The shelf is just a piece of wood with four holes drilled into it (two on each edge) and some rope knotted through the holes, to make what I call a swing shelf.

At some point in time I might paint the shelf, or maybe just the bottom of it, but right now I’m digging it au’ naturale.

IMG_2111

The shelf is super thin- it doesn’t stick in your way when you walk in the room because it’s also where the door opens into. But it does a great job at filling the gap between the lazy sheet-for-a-closet-door and the edge of the door.

Let’s see that bad boy up close:

IMG_2115

For now on the shelf I’ve got 2 pieces of a 5 canvas painting, some empty jars form my hoard, and an old tea tin my grandmother gave to me. But you know that could change any day. I love that we’re finally getting to use at least some of that painting, unfortunately it doesn’t really have a place in this house to hang somewhere in its’ entirety. If you’re interested, it’s this unbelievably amazing piece - check out the seller’s whole shop really because she was lovely to work with and incredibly talented.

Life. Is. Good.

Life. Is. Good.

The closet door update is kind of meh, but with the addition of the shelf that side of the room is looking WORLDS different from where we started. Let’s not forget though, it’s not the stuff in the house that matters- but the people (and pets) you share it with. :)

And just for reference, here’s a shot of the other side of the room so you can see how it all works together:

IMG_2112

So what do you think: would you paint the whole shelf? Maybe jazz up just the bottom? Leave it bare?

Other DIY projects in this room: hand stamped tv stand // spray painted bureau
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Polkadot Pretties   Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

How I Showed My Closet Who’s Boss: Part I

Most of the projects I do around here get done because I just can’t stand to look at something any more. Such was the case with my closet… one morning I just woke up and absolutely couldn’t take it anymore.

Here’s why:

IMG_2045

When we moved into the house one of the mirrored doors was just leaning against the closet, not attached at all. I threw it in the trash because mirrored doors sucked anyway. But then we got a puppy and so I put this gate thing I found in the shed up against the closet door so he couldn’t get in and eat all my shoes. And it’s stayed that way for a year and a half. It’s disgusting, you’ll notice in other posts about the bedroom I shoot around it because I hate it so much. Finally, I couldn’t freaking live one more day with this monstrosity.

I brainstormed all day at work about how I was going to take this mother down and what I would put up to replace it- with a budget of $0 because that’s my budget for pretty much everything. When I got home from work I went through my hoard and marched upstairs with a screwdriver, a bedsheet, and a curtain rod. In a dreamworld I would have bought lovely doors for this closet, but those aren’t free. So after I took out some screws from the door and added some different screws in the wall I ended up with this:

IMG_2058

The closet door was literally only attached with two screws, it took under 5 minutes to get it off. The sheet is actually the sheet that goes with our bedset, but we’re weird and only use comforters so it’s just been used to protect our couch from dog paws. The curtain rod was leftover from our old apartment.

The sheet was queen sized so it had to be hemmed up about 16 inches, which I did with stitch witchery (no sew adhesive, see here). Then I just cut a hole on either end of the top pocket and slid it on the curtain rod.

But obviously while I was at it I cleaned my closet as well:

ooooh! ahhh!

ooooh! ahhh!

  • I moved all my excess duffel bags and totes into the guest room closet.
  • On the top shelf of the closet are totes and purses I use regularly and all my long sleeved shirts.
  • On the rod are, in this order: black pants, jeans, brown pants, summer pants, cardigans, button ups, dusters, dresses, zip ups, suit jackets (Note: I highly recommend you all go out and buy layered hangers for your pants- like these ones)
  • The floor from left to right has: sneakers (can’t see them), a tote for hats and scarves, a three draw chest (nylons, knee highs, and socks), another three draw chest (corkscrew open toed shoes, regular open toed shoes, flip flops and ballet flats), and a three shelf metal thingy that has been rearranged since this picture (black and brown shoes, color shoes, black boots)

And yeah, I still have a full bureau of clothes and an entire second closet downstairs with the rest of my shoes and all of my jackets. Yiikes.

But anyway, closed up the closet looks like this:

welcome to blahdom, population: this wall.

welcome to Boring Town, population: this wall.

The curtain is obviously less than ideal, but it does the trick and it matches the rest of the room. But you KNOW I didn’t leave that whole sad wall empty for long….

There's my main squeeze, drilling into the ceiling.

There’s my main squeeze, drilling into the ceiling.

Come back tomorrow to see what else we did!!

That’s right friends- A CLIFFHANGER!!

It’s Curtains for You

In my One Year Later post, I left you with a bedroom that looked like this:

It was ok, just sort of average and doing it’s thing without commanding any extra attention.

A few days ago I hand stamped our tv stand and I was particularly careful to crop the pictures because I also (as you may have guessed) got new curtains! I had about a million sets of Big Lots curtains, acquired over years of apartment living, and now we are officially a fancy curtain only household. And by fancy I mean either my  Nonna sewed them or I spent more then $10 per panel on them.

I’ve been wanting new bedroom curtains for oh, about a year now but it’s really hard for me to spend money on something like that. Curtains are  expensive. My new curtains were $25 a panel, and we needed four. But it was oh so worth it for this basket woven goodness:

Texture! Sheen! Burlapy!

I am in love with how they look in the room, and when it comes down to it, it was worth spending the money to really love how it looks in a room I spend a lot of my time in. Also, I plan to have these curtains for years so $100 on something I’m going to enjoy everyday for many days seems pretty worth it.

Originally I super wanted gold curtains, I actually had my hand on gold zebra striped curtains and really had to talk myself out of them. At the end of the day I want the bedroom to be unique, but also serene. And gold zebra stripes don’t really say “serene.”

I went with a texture instead of a pattern because we’ve already got patterns with the chair and the comforter set and one more would have just been too much (even for me).

Also, I have a really hard time photographing my bedroom because the light is so orange-y in there and I just have a point and shoot camera, but trust that it looks lovely in there. Also, moving the lamp from next to the bed to behind the chair made an unusually large impact on the room. It’s much less cluttered and easier on the eye when you walk in and now it looks more like a little reading nook then a random chair in a corner.

They have grommets! Man I love grommets! The living room curtains and sun room sliding door curtains have grommets as well (metal circular hoops instead of a fabric pocket).

The curtains go all the way down to the floor, which wasn’t really necessary but it’s what I could find so I went with it. Also, I would normally recommend hanging curtains about 5 or 6 inches above the window to elongate the room, but our ceilings are really low and we’re not able to do that.

What a difference new curtains makes! I don’t hate this room nearly as much as I used to anymore, and Matt was on board with the change as well so that was encouraging. It’s just so much cozier and warmer in the room with heavy fabric, and the burlap look really ties in well with the navy dresser.

Happy Friday!! :)

Sponges: The Anti Stencil

Man, I love the look of stenciled walls. I long for a stenciled wall. Alas, I am absolutely not capable of stenciling. I’m not going to stop trying to, but I am going to recognize that the problem is me and not the paint, or the wall, or the stencil, or anything else I try to blame it on.

ANYWAY since I did not make it to the top 10 of the Vintage Revivals Epic Room Makeover (my entry is here) I’m taking it upon myself to make my bedroom epic. I already customized my bureau and I felt the need to customize my tv stand as well. I thought I’d try a stencil-like look without the chaos of a stencil.

Here she is before (& blurry, sorry):

Just a regular old Target tv stand we bought two years ago, I think it was around $60

Inspired by this post over at Vintage Revivals, I thought I’d try to use a sponge to fancy this stand up a bit. First I took a regular kitchen sponge, traced the circular bottom of a candle onto it with a Sharpie, then cut out my circle. I chose a candle only because when I walked around the house looking for things that were circles, the candle was the size I liked best. My method is highly technical.

Next, I took some leftover paint from our half bath and a painters tray and did a few test stamps on a piece of paper. It looked awesome. So I cleared out the shelves and put painters tape around my borders:

Boom!

This method is supposed to look imperfect, it’s how I got around the whole inability to stencil thing.  I went up and across stamping rows of circles with my sponge:

Sometimes I went top to bottom, sometimes I went across. Basically, the amount of paint on your sponge determines the look of the stamp and I wanted varied and random application.

I just dipped the sponge in the paint, wiped the excess off in the painters tray, and then stamped 4-5 times before reapplying new paint. Sometimes I pressed the sponge on hard with the palm of my hand, sometimes just around the edges- this method, and rotating the stamp as I went along, got me the look you see above.

The side wall circles don’t go all the way in against the back or the top, but for the back wall they do- I just cut the sponge in half to fill my gaps. It’s not perfect, but remember it’s not supposed to be.

Once I was done I decided it need just a little bit more somethin’ somethin’. I got some cream colored craft paint and an angled painters brush and filled in some of the spaces in between the circles:

I just did this at random, three on each side and four in the middle. It took two coats and less then fifteen minutes.

Overall the sponge stamping took just over an hour and the craft paint about fifteen minutes, which makes for a super easy facelift.

Ta da!

I think it looks awesome, the circle shape ties in with the pattern of both the bedspread and the chair in the room and the uneven stamping gives it this cool industrial vibe that I really dig.

Huzzah!

Overall I am really learning that just because I buy a piece of furniture one way doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. On big bang projects like this- projects that permanently change the look of something- I sit on it a bit and make sure it’s what I really want to do. But I don’t not alter something just because it’s fine the way it is- fine just doesn’t cut it for me.

On the other hand, Matt says it’s “kooky” and “interesting” which is code for he hates it. Sorry love!

Have you ever stamp furniture or walls before? Any tips to help me learn how to stencil? I’d love to hear from you!

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