83. Plans for “new” TV stand.

Jason and I are in the process of getting ready to move (more details about that soon!), and I’ve been busy selling off a lot of our current furniture so we can upgrade to new(er) stuff.

I’m really digging this TV stand.

tvstandinsp

South Shore Reflekt TV Stand

I am not, however, digging the ~$216 price tag.  You know how I love getting what I want for as little as possible.

My solution is to just update out current TV stand, which is an older Ikea Besta model:

besta-adal-tv-unit-walnut-effect__0088921_pe220583_s4

Ikea Besta Adal TV Stand

The shape is pretty close already, right?

The plan is to paint it white, add some wood veneer to the front of the drawers, and update the legs.  The hairpin legs I picked out were delivered yesterday, and they are gorgeous.  I’m planning to work on this project over the next few days, so I’ll hopefully have some before and after goodness ready for you lovelies by the weekend!

XO,
Gabriella

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66. Plans for the spare bedroom.

The spare bedroom in our apartment is pretty much our dumping ground.  Don’t have a place for that box of random cords?  Just put in the back room.  Folding tables?  Back room.  Stuff you might eventually list on eBay?  You guessed it, back room.

But that’s all going to change!

It’s always been the plan to use the back room as a little studio for my jewelry and as a space for overnight guests to feel cozy.  I’ve been putting the transformation off for quite a while, but my dad will be visiting next week and I figured it’s now or never.  I think he might want an actual bed to sleep on.

I set up my studio space against one wall, which leaves plenty of room for a full-size bed.  We decided on this one from Ikea:

fjellse frame ikea

Fjellse bed from IKEA

It doesn’t have the greatest reviews regarding durability, but I’m hoping it will last us a bit longer since it will be used pretty infrequently.

Since the walls are painted a dark gray, I wanted the bedding to be bright and fun.  I ended up choosing this set from Target.

mint chevron bedding

Room Essentials Chevron Bed in a Bag from Target

I was surprised to find that the actual color is more of a seafoam green, not true mint green.  I was on the fence about it, but I think it still looks nice enough to keep.

As for the mattress, we took a gamble and ordered a mattress in a box from Walmart.  Yep, you can order a mattress that comes rolled up and vacuum-sealed in plastic.  I was pretty apprehensive as to whether it would be of decent quality and at least somewhat comfortable, but I’m pretty impressed, especially for the price.  If you want to check it out for yourself, this is the one we ended up going with.  For reference, we got ours on sale for $149.  Not bad for a full-size mattress, especially since shipping was only $5 (it was actually free, but I upgraded to make sure it got here on time).  We will see how it feels once we get the bed set up.

Speaking of which, the bed frame is getting delivered today!  After tonight, we will have an official guest bedroom…something I have never, ever had before.  I’ll make sure to take some photos once everything is set up…and organized. 🙂

XO,
Gabriella

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42. Before and After: IKEA Expedit Hack

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of The Home Depot, and this post contains affiliate links to homedepot.com.  I am not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. If I claim or appear to be an expert on a certain topic or product or service area, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Hey, remember back in September when I showed you a sneak peek of the IKEA Expedit shelving system makeover?  It’s FINALLY finished!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

ikea expedit
Now, I am happy to present you with the final product!

Boom goes the dynamite:

ikea expedit hack
I cannot tell you how excited I am that it’s finally done.  Well, I guess I did just tell you…I’m excited that it’s finally done!

If you want to accomplish something similar, you’re in luck; I’m going to tell you how to do it.

IKEA Expedit Makeover

Materials:

Assembled IKEA Expedit shelving system
Plastic dropcloth
Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Paint in Dark Pewter
Paint brush
Foam roller
Small paint tray
Fine/Medium sanding block
1/4″ sanded pine plywood, cut into 13″ squares (8 total)
Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
Minwax Wood Finish in “Early American”
Clean rags (old t-shirts work well)
Rubber gloves
16 hinges (two per door)
8 cabinet pulls
Gorilla glue
Drill and drill bits
Phillips head screwdriver


Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. Now available at a H

Directions:

Step 1: First, make sure to lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor in your work area.  Wipe down the cabinet with a mild cleaner.  You don’t want any dust or dirt or your finished paint job will look (and feel) gritty!

Step 2: Add a thin coat of primer to the entire cabinet.  Allow to dry for at least an hour. (I used this Zinnser primer because it sticks to ANYTHING, even veneers, without having to sand the surface first.  Sounds good to me!)

ikea expedit hack
Step 3: Lightly sand the first coat and wipe down with an old rag.  Again, make sure you get rid of all the dust.

Step 4: Add a second coat of primer.  Trust me, you want two coats if you’d like the top coats of paint to stay put!  Allow the second coat to dry for a full 24 hours.

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Step 5: Lightly sand the cabinet and wipe it down.  You’ll start to notice a pattern here…

Step 6: Add 2 coats of the Behr paint, making sure to sand after the first coat.  I used the foam roller for these coats, just to make sure everything was nice and smooth.

ikea expedit hack
Step 7: Sand all the edges of the 8 cabinet doors.  They don’t need to be perfectly smooth, but you don’t want to give yourself a splinter every time you open one of the doors.

Step 8: Choose which side will be the front of each door, and apply a coat of pre-stain using a clean rag.  The pre-stain is optional, but it really helps with an even coat of stain and prevents blotches.  Allow to set for about 5 min, and wipe off excess stain with another clean rag.

Step 9: Apply the stain and allow to set until the desired color is achieved; I had mine on for about 10 minutes.  Wipe off excess stain with a clean rag, and allow doors to dry for several hours.

raw wood stained wood

Step 10: Measure and mark for a hole to mount the cabinet pull.  I placed my pulls at the center (6.5″), 1.5″ in from the edge.  Drill a hole using the suggested drill bit (it should say on the package).  Attach the cabinet pulls.

112413_7

If you like the pulls I used, you can get the same ones
here
.

Step 11: Measure for placement of the hinges.  I placed mine 1.5″ from the edge (on each side).  To attach the hinges, I ended up using gorilla glue; I couldn’t find screws short enough for the 1/4″ plywood (the screws need to grab the wood without going completely through).  If you decided to go this route, make sure to either clamp down the hinges while they dry or stack some heavy books on top.  I used a bunch of old textbooks and it worked like a charm.  Allow the glue to dry for several hours.

Important: You will need to purchase inset hinges for this project.  I used a set similar to
these
.

Step 12: Pre-drill holes for the hinges, and attach the cabinet doors.  Make sure to leave a small amount of room for the doors to swing in and out (I used a straight-edge to set the doors a tiny bit above the shelves so there wouldn’t be any friction).

cabinet details

That’s it!  I had the cabinet painted and sitting in my living room for the longest time, but I’ve been so busy the rest of the materials just sat around for the past two months.  With Thanksgiving coming up (which we are hosting), I decided it was about time to finish up this project once and for all…especially since it provides us a with a bunch of hiding places for all our junk.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Here’s a “before and after” to really convey the transformation:

ikea expedit hack before and after

I hope this project has inspired you to breath new life into your favorite piece of furniture.  Here’s to a great start to the week!

XO,
Gabriella

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30. Sneak peek at my IKEA Expedit makeover!

I am doing something today that I rarely ever do…I’m showing you a project that I’m not finished with yet!

Gasp!  Shock!  Awe!  (I have to break out of my comfort zone sometime.)

I recently decided that I was no longer in love with our IKEA Expedit bookshelf.  We have the 4×4 version in black-brown.

091013_1
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great piece of furniture!  Really sturdy with plenty of storage space.  However, my decorating has recently veered towards lighter colored furniture, and the color of this shelving was (in my opinion, anyway) darkening the room.  It’s just…blah.  You know what I mean?  I originally planned to get rid of it, but then I had a bright idea:  why not just give it a fresh look?

I, of course, went looking through tons of inspiration photos.  I love this one.

b052d8e3c72245a2c4204759e6c0b10a

Source: flickr.com

I will similarly be adding eight doors to the bookcase to make it more like a cabinet, but they’ll go on in a different layout (down the center two columns instead of across two non-adjacent rows).  I’ll hang the doors so they open out like a cabinet instead of opening in the same direction.  Genius idea, right?

Before that happens, though, this baby needed a new color.  I used some of the gray we had left over from painting the spare bedroom.  It’s Behr; I think it’s called “Dark Pewter”.

How pretty does she look now?!

091013_2
I’m super happy with how it’s turning out.  I definitely don’t want to get rid of it now!

I also got in the hinges and door pulls I ordered from Home Depot.  They have an antique gold finish, and the pulls are lion’s heads.  Super quirky and fun!

091013_3
I’ll hopefully get this cabinet completely finished by the end of the week, so make sure to stop back to feast your eyes upon the final product!  You know you wanna.

XO,
Gabriella

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18. So, let’s be brutally honest…I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 1)

This post is the first of a series of posts dedicated to the crazy plans milling about my brain.  Please stay tuned for all FOUR posts!   (Don’t act all surprised…you read the title, folks.)

Too many projects.  And yet, I have the urge to add more things to the list.  Poor hubbins, he will want to declare mutiny one of these days.  Some of these projects are actually completed…or close to being completed, and I just need to write up a nice, tidy blog post about each of them (tidy? ha!).  Others are in the midst of being worked on, and yet others…are just in the back of my mind and don’t actually exist yet.  Yes, I am a crazy person.  I just feel like there is always something that can be rearranged or reworked or refinished or replaced (with an equal or greater thing).

Again, if you don’t know me well enough…I WANT ALL THE THINGS.  ALL OF THEM.

Let’s begin with the living room.  Here is the blank canvas with which we started.  (I know you grammar fiends out there are smiling at my beautiful sentence construction.)

081313_1

The color is staying because a. I don’t mind it, and b. you can’t tell from the photo, but the walls are textured (almost like Spanish plaster), and ain’t nobody got time for that.  Also, we can’t change anything structurally (remember, we are just lowly renters), and I also can’t paint any woodwork that isn’t already painted.  I love me some white trim, but that’s not gonna happen in this house.  That means the off white carpet and light fixtures also stay put.

Here’s what we have as of today.

081513_2

Not terrible, but it’s definitely a far cry from what I’m picturing for this room.

Plans for this room:

1. Get rid of wooden spool tables.  They are super awesome and I love them, but they just aren’t practical.  They are a bit too high to use as footrests, and that was the original purpose I intended us to use them for.  They also have holes in the center (into which lots of things get lost…remotes, earrings, crumbs, etc.) and bolts sticking out of the top.  I currently have one in the corner between the couches, but it’s a little low (you can’t even see it in the photo above).  Maybe I could add some height with a few hairpin legs?

2. Fabricate new ottoman(s) to replace the tables.  I will probably make these from scratch.  I’m thinking low, tufted ottomans with a chic print.  Maybe something like this.  I’m already cooking up some plan and a tutorial!  It will be frickin’ magical.

3. “New” stand for the TV.  I haven’t decided whether I want to hack our current stand from IKEA, or replace it with a distressed dresser or buffet.  They don’t sell the exact stand at IKEA any more, but this one is pretty close to what we have:

Source: ikea.com

Source: ikea.com

I’m thinking I might try to hack it first…and I’m sure that idea would sound better to Jason than hauling yet another piece of second-hand furniture into our house.  I’m pretty sure he gets a horrible sense of dread every time I start a sentence with the words, “So, I was looking on Craigslist…”  (The TV and stand are to the right of the radiator…just out of frame).

4. New throw pillows.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the ones we have, but I feel like the colors are clashing a bit too much.  I’d like to tone it down and have them all in neutrals like gray, white, taupe, and cream.  It’s not boring I swear!  We have a pretty big antique cabinet in our living room that houses my yarn addiction…um, collection…and it’s a deep turquoise (you can see it in the back right corner).  I’d rather let that color be the focal point and not throw in too many other crazy hues.

5. Wall art.  We don’t really have any cool pieces of art to display (besides a painting or two from my dad).  I want special pieces, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open while perusing thrift and antique stores.  We honestly have only one piece of art displayed right now.  You might have noticed it in the photos of our DIY rustic dining table.  It’s a really pretty print of “White Mums”, a painting my Neal Butcher.  I couldn’t find out much about him, so I’m not sure if the print is worth anything…but it only cost me $7 at Goodwill.  Sweet deal.  I’m debating about whether or not I should change out the frame (or at least paint it).  Perhaps that will be a future post.

6. Give our Expedit a makeover and move it into the living room.  I love the storage space, but I’ve grown tired of the dark “wood”.  We have this one:

expedit-shelving-unit__0092703_PE229404_S4

Source: ikea.com

I’ve seen some really cool hacks for this system whilst browsing the internet, and I’m especially fond of this one.  I’d like to paint ours gray and add wooden doors to half of the cubes…perhaps the center columns, just to do something a little different?  Another reason to keep reading my posts, I suppose. 😉

Well, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the living room!  Make sure to check back soon to read all about the plans for the rest of our place.

XO,
Gabriella

 

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