Sidebar Redo

It’s been a while since I’ve done a really satisfying furniture flip and I am super excited about this piece. According to my Instagram feed, my friends pulled this off the side of the road for me 38 weeks ago and I justtttt redid it two weeks ago. Whoops? I swear I meant to do it like, 35 weeks ago.

dresser buffet sidbar DIY redo

This piece is solid, heavy, and definitely meant for a dining room. We decided to use it in my husbands office- the side drawers will hold clothes and the center ones will hold papers/job stuff (he’s a high school English teacher).

Honestly, I did not give this piece the love it deserves- it needed repair work and a good sanding and I didn’t do either. My thought process was that we could not carry it just the two of us so it needed to be done while in place in my husbands office, and I didn’t want to get sawdust everywhere. Also, this isn’t a family heirloom we’re talking about there, so I don’t feel guilty just painting it.

old wooden buffet - before - close up

I removed all the hardware and REALLY tried hard to restore them to bright shiny brass. It got to the point though where the brass was starting to wear from all my scrubbing (they’re just brass plated), so I had to call it off.

I gave the whole piece one coat of gray based Zinsser primer and one coat of Behr Wheat Bread paint in eggshell, then just a touch up second coat. Once that was dried, it got 2 coats of polycrylic (and an additional 2 coats just on the top, to help with durability).

Here it is styled up in my husband’s office now:

gray and gold buffet turned dresser - furniture flip

Isn’t it gorgeous?! It’s such a beast, and it fills the space perfectly. I love it! It’s hard to get a great picture of it because it’s so long, and the room is not that big- but it fits perfectly with the deep blue wall color and new rug.

painted furniture - grey and gold - dresser redo

As a reminder, here’s what the other side of the room looks like:

It’s not exactly gorgeous, and there’s a lot of decluttering that needs to happen- but it’s getting there!

What do you think??


Updates to the Office

My husband has two spaces in the house that I generally try to leave alone- the basement movie room and his office. I’ve taken over pretty much the entire rest of the house so it’s only fair.

But point blank- his office makes me twitch. It gets dusty and it’s cluttered and he has no storage and the rug is too small. It needed a littttttle Stephanie-ing. Here’s a picture of it from 2012, and not much has changed in there over the years (until now!):

office- 2012

Recently, Wayfair sent me a new rug and I thought it would be perfect to replace this too small one from Ikea (which also happens to be at least 10 years old). Luckily Matt was on board so in the rug went:

gray navy wooden office

It’s gorgeous, and works so well with the wall color. It feels much more distinctive and office-y then the other one, actually fits the space, and we even sprung for a rug pad! How fancy! If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find it here.

home dynamix rug close up

The two tiered night stand that was originally next to the reading chair never really fit the space well, so that’s been replaced with some upcycled logs (see the how to here), and a year or so ago we added another book shelf because my English teaching husband has a book hoarding problem. I also covered the chair with a blanket because the pattern didn’t really go and I got bored of it.

navy and wood office

It’s super difficult to photograph this room because we don’t have blinds on those windows and my camera CAN NOT figure out what to do- even when I try the manual settings. But that paint color is pretty true to life and I am obsessed with it- Smokey Blue by Behr.

But wait! There’s more! When you give a mouse a cookie… that mouse is going to have her friends grab a massive piece of furniture from the side of the road, drive it to her house, place it in the office, and then redo it completely. Whoops?

Here’s a sneak peak of the opposite side of the room:

sneak peek- gray and gold

I’ll be posting all about it next week, so stay tuned!


Thanks again to Wayfair for the rug! I was not even asked to blog about it, but I fell in love and had to share. 🙂



DIY Ottoman (from an end table!)

Matt’s office is terribly un-styled, mostly because he won’t let me style it. But there’s one little corner that I claim as mine and it was a real hot mess and needed to be adjusted.

office reading corner


If I said this corner was where I read all my fancy leather bound books whilst Matt typed his memoirs I’d be lying. It’s really where I sit when we watch funny YouTube videos on his computer.

I bought that coffee table for under $15 at the Habitat Restore well over a year ago, and it just doesn’t really fit that space at all. Also, the tupperware of junk needed to be sorted out and that bookshelf needs to be replaced with something heftier.

ANYWAY- the coffee table. It’s in great shape but it just wasn’t working and I knew I could do better and make it more useful. So I hacked it up.

end table to ottoman

I used my coping saw to cut off the top of the table, which was super easy and only took about 10 minutes total. Then I sanded the bottom of the feet to even them off and put little furniture pads on the bottom (those felt ones you can buy in bulk).

It needed a little more fancying up before it could fulfill it’s new destiny as an ottoman, so I added a pad to the top.

upholstered ottoman


I took a spare piece of MDF (you could use scrap wood instead if that’s what you have) and cut it to size with my jigsaw, then upholstered it.

A loooooong time ago I had to repair this chair after the cats scratched it up (see how to do that here) so I had some leftover fabric, which I used to create the ottoman.

Once the quilting batting and fabric was attached I used my power drill to screw it onto the new ottoman, just drill from the bottom and make sure your screws are the right length so they don’t poke through.

office corner reading nook

Oh look! That’s where the other tree stump end tables ended up 🙂 Much better. I propped these ones up on a rectangular lazy susan I had lying around to give them a few more inches of height and a little more interest.

My upholstering skills have improved, but I definitely still need to work on my corners. Overall though, this area is much more functional and comfortable now.

diy ottoman to end table

Luigi approves. And promises not to scratch it up. For now.

So there you go – I repurposed an end table that just wasn’t working into some that really serves my needs better. This corner is so much less crowded now and a lot more appealing when you walk into the room! I also cleaned up the tupperware of nonsense… but you’ll see that later in the week.  😉


Sometimes, my cats are jerks.

Here’s the thing, I love my cats. All 3 of them. I promise. But MAN can they be destructive…. I’ve already sacrificed a life filled with beautifully woven rugs for them, and I am not about to sacrifice cute cushioned chairs too.

About a year ago I bought 2 slipper chairs, one originally lived in the sunroom but was later moved to the bedroom, and the other lives in Matt’s office. The one in our bedroom has been perfectly untouched, but for some reason the other has been ravaged to bits:

WTF cats. You have 3 scratching posts in 3 different rooms, including this one.

WTF cats. You have 3 scratching posts in 3 different rooms, including this one.

I love the pattern of this chair so I wasn’t about to completely reupholster it with something new, and a very very long time ago Pepper Design Blog was debating curtains for her dining room and this pattern was one of the options she was considering. I snuck through her archives to find the curtain post  but because it was so long ago the site she linked to no longer had the product- it did have the product name though, so I popped it into Amazon and ordered a yard of it (Thomas Paul Dahlia Aegean fabric). I also ordered a pack of cat scratch guards, which seriously I should have had all along.

Once it all arrived, here’s how it went down:



When I say “measure the fabric,” what I really mean is “hold the fabric up against the chair and eyeball a piece a little bigger then you think.” I talked about how to use no-sew hem tape here, and that’s exactly what I did the tops and sides of this fabric (the bottom would be stapled underneath so it didn’t matter).



I hand stitched the fabric up through the binding so you can’t see it at all, then I spent a heck of a lot of time very tightly wrapping the fabric underneath the chair and stapling it down- the legs do not come off so I didn’t have the option of removing them. I will say that this is the 5th piece of furniture I’ve done some sort of reupholstery to and the first piece where I did the corners halfway decent. It’s a skill learned through much swearing and screaming.



And voila! No more damage!  So my friends, if your animals destroy a piece of furniture, all hope is not lost!

What have you sacrificed for your furry kiddos?

The Office

I don’t post about the office too often because it’s Matt’s space, and I try really hard to respect that and not decorate in there. It’s difficult. Super difficult. None the less he has let me do a few things:

  • Pick the paint color (he’s color blind, so that’s always a given)
  • Add a bulletin board and some wall storage
  • Rearrange the furniture (at least 3 times…)

I have a really hard time getting this room to look good in photographs, even in the after pictures it still looks super cluttered. But in perspective, this room was actually the master bedroom for the previous owners because it is the largest. Also, I don’t show the whole room in the pictures because the back wall is where the litter boxes are so you know, you don’t really need to see that.

Anywho, after I went a bit hog wild on chair hoarding I reorganized this room to accomodate the slipper chair that was originally meant for the sunroom.

Here’s how it was before:

Super cluttered everywhere.


& lopsided.


I got rid of that black bookcase because it was old and cheap and falling apart anyway. Then I moved the wooden bookcase (on the right side of the first picture) to the other side of the room, which made room for the slipper chair. Then this past weekend I picked up an end table at the Habitat Restore for $12 (which I may or may not redo, we’re feeling it out first). And voila…. it’s not my dream room, but Matt sure likes it:

The desk is still far too unorganized for my liking- but it’s not my liking that matters here. I think this new set up gives the room a little more space to breathe.


This new little corner gives me somewhere to sit with my laptop while Matt’s on his desktop, and it softens the room up a bit as well. Those shelves on the wall are from a consignment shop, maybe $14 total, and spray painted with leftover spray I had in the basement. Unfortunately the cat post needs to be there or that chair will be destroyed, so I at least got a sisal one instead of a carpet wrapped one. 

So basically, this room has taught me a few things:

  • Not every room in my house can look picturesque, because not every room in this house is mine.
  • I love all 4 of our pets and I need to stop trying to hide their furniture- we have 3 scratching posts, 3 litter boxes, 4 bowls of water, and bones up the wazoo. And that’s just what’s happening.
  • Matt won’t let me style his shelves no matter how much I beg.


So there you go- what do you think of the end table? Would you redo it? Does this room look at least a little better now?


And don’t forget, you’ve got all week to link up with the DIY Action Squad! Whether your project is from the Young House Love book or just inspired by the blog, link away! 🙂 We can’t wait to see what you’ve done!



ONE YEAR LATER: Master Bedroom & Office

All this week I’m going to be posting before and after photos of the house, so keep tuning in to see what a completely different place we live in now!

Let me start by saying that the “before” pictures for these two rooms are particularly awful- at this point in touring the home I had already fallen in love with it and had stopped caring what the pictures looked like. Yes, I fell in love with the home in it’s before state.

Let’s start with the Master Bedroom before and now’s:

This was the view from the doorway of the room, which was originally shared by two preteen girls. It was actually pretty cute for them- crowded, but you could tell they had free reign.


The new view from the doorway makes it look like a completely different room. I think because our bed is on the opposite wall it really throws you off when you see it.


From another corner of the room you can really the bright, bright lime green of the walls. That was easy enough to fix with primer, but I had to sand all along that navy border to make sure the lines of it didn’t show through our new paint color.


I’m not crazy about our bookshelf, but it’ll do for now. I’m also getting used to the empty space on the right of the dresser, I don’t think I’m going to fill it in with anything.


THIS disastrous closet is still haunting me, getting new doors is definitely a year two project!


Don’t mind the “no trespassing” sign- we used that gate to cage in an inflatable T-Rex during a Jurassic Park theme party 🙂 Because we’re grown ups.


The room right next to the bedroom was originally the master, and we are now using it for Matt’s office. When we first moved in I thought we’d be able to get away with not painting it, but once it was empty we could see all sorts of dust stains and divets in the walls so it got the paint and primer treatment too:

This picture was taken from right in front of the closet (which you’ll see in the two “now” photos). We chose to use the other room as the master instead of this one because it seemed a little bit larger and the layout was easier to work with.


There’s still something that’s just …off… about this room- it’s too crowded in some spots and too empty in others. It’ll stay as is for a while because there’s more important things to deal with, but it’s definitely on my radar. So is that cat haired covered rug.

I don’t understand why these people don’t have closet doors, but I plan to start keeping an eye out at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to hopefully get some soon.



What we’ve done:


Still to do:

  • Find and install closet doors for both rooms
  • Finish up wall art for master bedroom
  • Better organize and set up office
  • New curtains for master bedroom



And so that wraps up the week long ONE YEAR LATER series! I’ve left out the bathroom, basement, and yard for now but we’ll get back to them soon.

What’s your favorite room? Mine is definitely the kitchen!








Art Up!

Matt’s office has been painted and set up for a few weeks now, but we’ve been really dragging our feet hanging up the art. However, it’s finally done!

This room and the movie room are really the only spaces in which Matt has a say what gets hung on the walls (sorry,  Matt)- not because he has bad taste but because he has SO MANY POSTERS that I know they’d creep into other spots if I didn’t hold firm. There were talks of hanging a Nightmare On Elm Street print in the half bath at one point and seriously, I just couldn’t pee under those conditions. But anyway, I digress.

The only thing left to do in this room, besides vacuum the rug, is to hang window toppers. Unfortunately, the past two times I went to Walmart to grab black window toppers they had none. Maybe third time’s the charm!

Here's the view of the room from the back left corner. Matt's got two posters up, a bulletin board, and some wall storage. It's crowded, but I think it looks really nice. And yes that's our trash can on the desk- Dutch loves to run in there at 5am, pull everything out of it, and bring it to us while we're sleeping so it had to be elevated.



Our friends got us the Frank Turner poster at a concert we had tickets to but were unable to make, I picked up the Anberlin poster at Bamboozle Left last year, the bulletin board is about 15 years old and we got it from my brother's old bedroom, and the metal storage pockets are from TJ Maxx.


I framed the two posters myself with frames from Michael’s, they each took two nails so I used my trusty tissue paper method. I tape tissue paper the length of the frame to the back of it and poke holes where the nail hooks are. Then I tape the tissue paper to the wall, use a level to get it right, and hammer away!  I’m sure there’s a more efficient method out there, but that’s what works for me so I’m staying true.

On the opposite wall hang two of Matt's most prized possessions.... right on top of the cat restroom station. At least it's hidden behind the door, so you don't see it until you walk all the way into the room and turn around.


Up close and personal: Matt's two signed Cinematic Titanic posters along with 2 signed tickets from their shows. Once again, I framed these myself.


So there you go, another room that’s just about complete! We are moving along here people!