Friday, March 10, 2023

Fill Hard-To-Decorate Wall Space With Charming DIY Shelving

This has been the year for shelves in our house!
In the last 12 months, we've added wall shelves to three different rooms and I keep wondering why I didn't do it sooner.
I invite you to come have a look-see!

I had some wall space in my house where nothing looked right.

First up was this big blank space over my buffet in the family room.
I gotta tell you about this buffet before we move on to the shelves.
Someone posted it in our neighborhood facebook group as a "Free, come and get it! Would make a good workbench in a garage".  Whoa, whoa whoa. Honey, I'm there. Don't anyone be puttin' that in their garage with greasy tools! It's going straight in my family room AS IS! That's right, I didn't even dab some Old English on it. 

So it's totally against my norm, but I bought the materials for these shelves (the wood from the other projects were salvaged barn wood). These metal brackets and boards were from Menards. I had every intention of staining the wood, but once I got them up and staged them... I couldn't decide what stain I thought would look good and then the more I looked at them the more I felt the boho vibe comin' off them.... so call me lazy or call me a trendsetter, I don't give a rip. I'm leavin' 'em raw.

(Yup, records are cool now. But some of us never stopped listening to our vinyls....)

I'm not big into knick knacks taking up residence on side tables, etc. so shelves are a great way to show off things like my wood cat statues and things I pick up at yard sales that I find interesting.

Over-The-Computer-Desk Shelves

This space also always puzzled me. Everything I tried hanging on the wall felt "off" with that computer screen. 
Why did it take me so long to think of shelves? I feel like an idiot.

Tim ordered these metal brackets online but I wanted them to angle up so so the boards appeared to be floating shelves. They blend in with the black walls and also the objects on the shelf would hide the hardware if they didn't hang down. We had to cut off the end because it curved up and they weren't the right size. Nothing a black sharpie couldn't fix! Just colored in the cut edge. The boards were a little warped because they were from an old barn, but they had the perfect rustic patina. 

An awkward corner is now interesting and full of style! 

Click HERE to see the full living room makeover.

Last and definitely least...

Half Bath Shelves

My mom has been bugging me for yeeeears to put shelves over the toilet in our half bath.
So I did have a few fleeting anxious thoughts of not having cabinet doors to hide bathroom-y things behind... but there is this ancient old invention that we still use today - 
BASKETS. This "before"  photo is about 10 years old... I had painted over the subway art a few years back, but this is the only before photo I could find. (I really went through a phase where I subway arted everything!)

Yup, so much cuter now! You were right, Mom!
Again, those are made with salvaged wood. These particular ones came from a friend who tore down his garden shed and donated them to my stash. 
I'll always be grateful to all the folks who call me before starting their fire!

Got a spot on your walls you want to add shelves to after seeing this?
I hope you've been inspired!
Pin this post for future reference!
And I'd love to see YOUR shelves!
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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Repurposed Antique Stereo And Vintage Painting (Print)

Welcome to the stereo redo!
This one took a little elbow grease. 
Elbow grease? Sometimes phrases hit me weird when I type them out. I just googled "elbow grease" and found it was first published in a satirical book on the English parliament in 1672.

Let's see the "BEFORE" photos so you can see what I mean!

The front part pulled out at an angle to reveal a record player. I cut all the wires, unscrewed all the screws, and then called in the big guns (my 16 year old son) to put one foot the top corner of the door, while I put my foot on the other corner and on the count of three we jumped. The door cracked off, the turntable went sailing, I screamed, and Tobin said "Am I done?"

I deeply regret not taking more photos of the makeover process. I used a wet rag and a hot iron to get the very damaged veneer off the top. You can see a short video tutorial on how to do that HERE. (Link will take you to my facebook page where the video is uploaded).

I had just happened to pick up some scrap wood from an older gentleman who stopped me on Main Street and told me to come help him clean his garage out. I took a whole load home and promptly put some of the boards to use as the "floor" in the stereo cabinet.

I was scanning my shop for a piece of wood I could use across the back when my eyes landed on an old framed painting. I loved the idea of using it for the back after holding it up and seeing the uniqueness but I was afraid others wouldn't go for it. After searching for a few minutes and finding nothing suitable, I decided the painting was the way to go!  I used my miter saw to cut it down to size. I have discovered the hard way that it's never a good idea to cut anything other than wood with this powerful tool... but this was thick enough that it didn't cause me any more gray hairs and actually cut nicely.

Darn. I had to cut off that cute little barn.
I used my cordless Ryobi staple gun to attach it to the back.

Now if I only I had that 4th knob........

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This, along with many other furniture upcycles and decor will be for sale in my barn on November 4th & 5th!
Check out the details here:

A couple more makeovers that will be for sale in the barn:

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Saturday, April 2, 2022

Delightful Dill & Cream Cheese Quiche

A whole new world opened up to me when I finally realized after about fifteen years in the kitchen that it wasn't a sin to BUY A PIE CRUST. Now I am a quiche making queen. Well, not really. More like a Nestle Toll House Pie making queen. But this quiche is definitely queen-worthy if I do say so myself.

Dill and Cream Cheese Quiche


pie crust
1/2 brick cream cheese (softened to room temp)
5 eggs (or 6 makes it a little firmer...)
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons Dill (I used freeze dried from the seasoning isle)
1 teaspoon mustard
salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste
1-2 cups shredded colby jack (or cheese of your choice. I used closer to 2 cups...)
1/2 cup chopped up ham optional (can use ground cooked sausage or bacon)

Line greased glass pie plate with crust.  If you desire meat, I sprinkle that on the bottom next. In mixing bowl, use a hand held mixer to mix cream cheese, eggs, milk, dill, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir in shredded cheese. I set some aside to sprinkle on top before popping it in the oven. Pour over crust and meat. Pop it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes or the middle is no longer soupy. Let sit and cool off for 5 minutes before cutting. Bon Appetit! 

Disclaimer! I made this up last week for my Airbnb guests.  I did not measure anything exactly and I made two so our family could also try it! Both my guests and those in my household loved it so I tried to scribble out how I made it on paper quick so I could share it with you all!  One thing about an egg dish is that they are very forgiving. You can change up the cheeses, spices, and meats and make it your own!  The dill and cream cheese is what makes this one have exceptional flavor!  Hope you enjoy!!

Add-in ideas: chopped spinach, diced peppers

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Painting My Living Room Black {room makeover}

A couple weeks ago I got the impulse to paint the light aqua blue walls in my formal living room black. I told my mom to calm down, it would be OKAY. I told my nieces that no, this did not mean they should buy me goth wear for my birthday.

 I do lots of things on impulse. A couple days later I made the big nine mile drive into town, convincing my daughter to go with me, and we spent a whole three minutes pouring over all the paint chips Lowes had to offer before we settled on Corduroy Black by Valspar. I got two gallons in satin, gave my big beautiful blue piano away (replaced with a used Clavinova) and we started painting the next day. 

Tori liked painting the first few hours. But these walls are bears to paint. We're talking grizzly, not cute little smoky mountain black bears. It was obvious when I shared my progress photo why people thought I was painting stripes!  Nope, not stripes. You just have to use a paint brush to paint in ALL. THE. GROOVES. Twice, since one coat didn't quite cover. The thick paneled walls may be pretty but seriouslyyyyyyyyy.

Shall we just skip right to my boat load of "after" photos now?  Yes, let's do that! Now let me just say, when the sun hits this room, it looks a lot more like a deep navy than black. "Corduroy Black" definitely has some blue undertones - which I'm down with. 

Now without too many more comments.... Here we go:

My cats love the new look. So many rooms to hang out and catnap in, but now they won't leave this one. I'm glad they approve. Otherwise, I'd have to paint it another color and that's just a lot of work for a cat like Nelson who never really learned how to show appreciation. 

This feline insisted on licking her behind while I was engaging in this little photo shoot. I kept making weird noises at her so she'd look up from her hygienic activities and not ruin my pictures. 

I was on the hunt for a piece of art to go over the mantle. You know where I found this moody beautiful ship painting? At the Parma Antique Mall, that's where! One mile down the road.

The frame was hand made and had more of a reddish tint to the finish than I preferred. Nothing the Ryobi orbital sander didn't take care in a few minutes!

This beam is a shock to most people. Why? Because it's made out of Styrofoam and we found several of them up in the garage attic when we moved here. The finish was dark and shiny and just really clashed with the black walls.  I never really liked that about it anyway, but my mom thought she could use tan acrylic paint to fix the problem and by George, she did! I wasn't holding my breath and had a wet rag ready to go just in case it looked like crap. It didn't. Way to go, Mom.

I'm not sure why it took me seven years to think of putting shelves over the desk in that corner... nothing every looked right over the computer screen. Shelves - BINGO!

I'm pretty excited this old chair I had matches my new desk so nicely. And the good news is, if you want one, I have one for sale in my booth at Michigan Ave Antiques in Parma! It's a lighter color wood and it would look perfect in your office. Yeah, YOUR office. Trust me.What's that? Ergonomical? Does it matter?

Before you see the next photo, can I just go back seven years when we bought this house and show you what that wall looked like? We built the surround without spending a penny - just digging stuff out of our barn! (See the original post on the DIY fireplace surround HERE.)

My only regret is this rug I ordered. It was half the price of my other option and shipped the next day. Enter my lack of patience and hubby saying why would you buy the more expensive one when this one is fine?? But sometimes you just don't know until you see it! The description said ivory and light gray, but it gives off more of a light blue vibe. Not what I was going for. There's still a chance I can roll it back up and ship it off to Amazon... but my hubby is extremely annoyed at the idea. Eek. And do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pretty 12'x15' rug that I don't have to take out a mortgage on?

I loved my black lantern wall sconces that were here, but obviously that's like using peach colored ink to put a tattoo on a Caucasian. Corduroy black walls begged for gold!

I think this Clavinova was one of the best investments we've made in awhile. My middle child gave up his dream of banging on the drums a few years back and has a newfound interest in playing Snoop Dog on the piano. 

My favorite piece of furniture has got to be this Eastlake dresser. Any guesses where I picked it up? Nope, not a yard sale or on the curb. I actually paid for this beauty - but I'd say it was a great deal at the Parma Antique Mall. Yup, there's that store again....

My coffee table is a bench I actually pulled out of my mudroom. 
It's still filled with hats and mittens. 😂

One last parting shot of my fireplace... because it's my favorite part of the room! My decorating guru friend Maran said I couldn't put two plants on top and two on the bottom... too symmetrical. Now usually, she is the be-all end-all for me when she has a strong opinion. But I added llamas and I think I made it work. When I asked her if the llamas made it okay, her text simply read "hahaha". I have no idea what that means. 

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