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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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.

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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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41. A birthday gift for my mom.

My mom’s birthday was back at the beginning of October, and I promised her that I would refinish a pair chairs I picked up from Craigslist a while back as her gift.  She’ll be using them in her living room as additional seating.

The story behind these chairs is actually a bit quirky.  I sent an inquiry to the poster of the Craigslist ad, offering him $20 for both chairs (which are really just wood frames…I have to add the cushions on my own).  Lo and behold, the owner of said chairs was one of my husband’s previous co-workers.  Such a small world!

The frames for the chairs are solid wood, and they are HEAVY.  The original paint job was black and gross.  I initially intended to keep the chairs for myself, and originally stripped the paint thinking I could then sand them down and give them a clear coat.  The wood ended up being no so great, and the paint was a pain in the ass to get off.  I ended up painting ONE of the frames gray, and added some custom cushions.  You can actually see this chair in the background of our living room in the photo I showed in this post.

Here it is again to refresh your memory:

living room chair
It’s a terrible photo, I know, but I can’t seem to find any “before” shots.  I’ll have to snap a photo of the unfinished frame that is currently sitting in our basement…it is still half stripped and VERY ugly.

I decided that the chairs were too large for our space, and we don’t really need them as both couches are fairly large and provide plenty of seating.  My mom needs some extra seating for her living room, so I decided if I couldn’t keep them for me, who better to give them to?

I went through tons of fabric options with her (based on the color of her couch), and we decided on a cool blue linen for the cushions, with a nice floral print for accent pillows.  I’ll also be painting the frames a deep brown (“Espresso Beans” from Behr).

Large_DC-663

Source: fabric.com

Large_UD-085

Source: fabric.com

I really love the print, and I’m actually surprised that she picked it.  My mom doesn’t normally go for prints, but this one is pretty neutral, and has lots of color options to use as accents.

Don’t the fabrics look fantastic with the the deep, dark brown I’ll be using for the frames?

112113_2
I’m hoping I can finally finish these up over the next week or so, especially now that the custom cushions are in.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress!

XO,
Gabriella

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35. Before and After: Thrift Store Prints

Remember those prints I showed you a while back?  I scored them for only $3 a piece.  I really like the prints, but the frames…not so much.  Way too 90s for me.  I knew at the time of purchase that I would be either painting the frames or switching them out.  I decided it would be much easier to just paint them!

Here’s a before shot.  Such an ugly frame!  I like metallic silver, don’t get me wrong, but this is just yuck.

101213_01

These prints were professionally framed, which means the entire back was sealed.  I wasn’t about to waste time taking them apart to paint the frame, so I just slide some copy paper under the frame to protect the glass.

101213_02

Next, I painted on a layer of crackle medium; after it was dry, I painted on a thin layer of white acrylic paint.  That’s it!  Super easy peasy.

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I hung them up next to the DIY Feather Art I made a while back.  I think it looks pretty darn fabulous.

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I actually picked up these prints before I painted the feathers.  I picked the background hues so they would match. 🙂

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It’s super satisfying to turn a $6 find into something amazing.

I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend!

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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11. Updated inspiration board for our living room.

I’ve been playing around with the inspiration board I posted last week (see this post), and I think I’ve improved upon it greatly!  I’m not very adept when it comes to manipulating photographs, so please excuse the errant mess of pixels.  I added in our actual fireplace, along with some pretty curtains I found on Overstock.  I also added in the carpet, so you can really see how everything pulls together.  You may notice that the paint color shown is different as well…I just might have changed that, too.  (Can you tell I’m a perfectionist yet?)  It’s “night mist”, another lovely shade from Benjamin Moore.

Here ya go.

livingroomboard

Also, be sure to stay tuned for an inspiration board for our bedroom!  It’s shaping up into something really beautiful, and I’m excited to show you!

XO,
Gabriella

 

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10. We’re moving…again. Time to redecorate!

My husband and I will be moving again during the month of March…three cheers for paying double rent! UGH.

It all works out though, because this place has so many benefits over our current apartment:
1. It’s closer to both of our jobs.
2. Rent will save us almost $100/month.
3. It has a dishwasher.  Heck. Yes.
4. We will have our own private washer and dryer.  Heck. Yes.
5. It has a faux fireplace in the living room.
6. Way more cabinet space in the kitchen, and the landlord is putting in a brand new floor before we move in!
7.  Hardwood floors in both bedrooms.
8. We are allowed to change the paint colors, given that we let the landlord know what we are changing them to (see below!).

I’ve been trying to make up my mind what paint color(s) I’d like to see, and I’m thinking we’ll paint the majority of the flat (it’s an upper duplex) this really pretty light tannish-gray from Benjamin Moore called Revere Pewter.

Classic and beautiful, yet trendy and modern, no?  I also think it will go with pretty much EVERYTHING.

The current couch and loveseat we have look something like this one.Untitled

The shape is slightly different, but they are the same color beige microfiber, with two-cushion backs and dark wood feet (almost black, definitely darker than what’s shown).

I would love to add a coffee table/ottoman made of natural fibers, like this one from Overstock:

2

However, that $510 price tag doesn’t sit too well with me!  Fortunately, there are some similar options for a much nicer price.
From Pottery Barn, $129:
img88o

From Ikea, $30:
alseda-stool__24302_PE089431_S4

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but I absolutely LOVE Ikea!  We have a few things from there already, including our TV stand.  This is the TV stand we have, but the color is black-brown.  I’m also pining over this adorable chair, especially since it’s in one of my favorite colors.
3Finally, I’m trying to figure out a way to decorate the fireplace in our new living room.  It’s nonfunctional, but definitely gorgeous!  Here it is (yes, this is our ACTUAL living room):
livingroom

I’m really digging this decor idea, which incorporates slices of birch and lots of candles:d6a86aa722de86883394e518644c0111

That’s about where I am with the design of the living room.  Here’s an inspiration board with a few extras…I think everything pulls together quite nicely!  Please let me know what you think!
livingroominspirationboard

Have a great weekend!

XO,
Gabriella

 

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