Category Archives: For the Casa

DIY Headboards

A simple headboard can make a $50 Hollywood Frame look like a million bucks, and it can really make a statement in a room. Unfortunately, many headboards can set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. So I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite inexpensive, DIY headboard ideas. Enjoy, and happy headboarding!

Painted shutters- simple, beachy, perfectly shabby chic.

Via The Lettered Cottage

Turn a door on it’s side, slap on some crown molding and a coat of paint and voila! Want to try this one out? Click here for a tutorial.

Via Grand Design Co.

Use reclaimed planks or a wooden pallet and put your inner artist to work. There are so many possibilities with this one! I absolutely love this one from House Tweaking (click for step-by-step instructions).

Via House Tweaking

Perhaps the most time consuming DIY headboard project, but if you can pull it off, you’ve saved yourself quite a bundle! (Pssst, there’s a DIY tutorial here!)

Via Addicted 2 Decorating


Egg-cellent Easter Tables

This week has been a bit hectic, so today I’m posting an oldie but a goodie! Enjoy!

Yep. I went there. And you know what? I’m not even ashamed of that one! You know what else? I don’t even really like eggs that much (scrambled is okay but never hard boiled). I do, however, like dying them for Easter and decorating my house with them like I suddenly live in a chicken coop.

I was looking online the other day for inspiration on how to use my brightly colored and be-glittered eggs on my Easter table and came across some pretty amazing ideas, some of which actually include eggs. My dining room table is neither big enough nor grand enough to accommodate most of these decorations (seriously, where does the food go? over-the-top doesn’t even begin to describe them), but I have to say, I rather like the one with the egg cups and the Peeps—no eggs, but cute nonetheless!

Photo via Good Housekeeping

Photo via epicurious.com

Photo via Potterybarn.com

Photo via thepartydress.net

Photo via toriejayne.blogspot.com

Photo: Tonya Lee, About.com Guide

Photo via Ladies Home Journal


The Look for Less: Jenny Lind Bed

Before long, Olivia is going to be making the move to a big girl bed. I’ve been looking at our options, and I am absolutely in love with the Jenny Lind bed from The Land of Nod. It reminds me of my bed growing up, and it would look adorable with a colorful little quilt. The only problem? They’re freaking expensive! Call me crazy, but I’d prefer not to drop $550 on a kid’s bed.

So I set out to see if I could find a cheaper knock-off version, and you’ll never guess what store delivered … Walmart! And for $300 less than the nearly identical Land of Nod version! Granted, the Land of Nod beds come in fun colors, but it’s nothing an afternoon and a can of spray paint can’t achieve.

What do you think, pretty good right?!

Now to find a cute quilt!


The Master Bath Reno Reveal

I can’t believe I am finally writing this post—it’s so exciting! Our master bathroom renovation was a labor of love … a really, really long labor. I will never forget the day I was washing dishes downstairs and heard an ominous banging overhead. I raced upstairs and found my husband standing in the shower of our master bath with a crow bar and a mallet methodically demolishing the tile. Apparently, we were renovating our bathroom.

Over the course of the next several days, our bathroom was ripped apart. And then it stayed that way—for six months. We finally decided that, with both of us working full-time and having a toddler, we needed to hire a contractor or we would never use our master bathroom again.

So finally, one year and two months later, here you go … our big master bath reveal!

Before

Our house was built in 1979, when apparently master baths weren’t a selling point, so ours is on the small side. Expanding the space during the renovation wasn’t an option because of the layout of our house, so we tried to make the most of the space we had. Everything “before” was original to the house, right down to the sweet vanity light and wall-sized mirror.

Drum roll please …

After

This was a total gut job. Turns out we had to replace some of the plumbing, so it was a good thing we took it down to the studs.

 

For the shower tile, we loved the look of the glass tile, but it’s a bit more expensive than your run of the mill white subway tile, so we decided to just work some glass tiles into the white shower surround. Before the white tile went up, we went through with a Sharpie and marked X’s on the sheet rock where we wanted the glass tiles to go. This whole idea was a leap of faith because we couldn’t find any similar pictures or ideas online on which to base the design. We were thrilled with the way it turned out! We feel like we got a custom-looking shower for a much lower price tag.

A real point of contention during the design process was the shower door. While we both agreed that we wanted a glass door, I was fine with one with a chrome frame across the top. My husband, on the other hand, was really pushing for a frameless shower door. I don’t know if you’ve ever priced out frameless glass shower doors but they’re waaaaaaay more expensive than regular glass doors. I wasn’t ready to break the budget over a stupid frame. But my determined hubby found a frameless door online for much cheaper than all the others we had seen. It was still more than a regular door, but it was a price I could live with. And I will say this (honey, are you reading this?), he. was. right. There, I admit it.

We had a challenge finding a vanity out of the box that would fit the space. Because of where the rough-in was for the toilet, the vanity couldn’t be more than 42 inches wide, which isn’t a standard vanity size. We also really wanted a marble top, which limited our options even further. At the end of the day, we opted to convert a piece of furniture into a bathroom vanity. Best decision we ever made. Yes, it was more work than just picking something out at Home Depot, but we were able to get the exact look we wanted at the right size (and price, thanks to the cabinet being on clearance!).

The real reason it’s taken me so long to write this post is because it took us forever to find a mirror. What can I say? We’re very particular. We bought five or six mirrors, but the second we held each one up in the bathroom, we instantly hated it. Imagine my excitement (and shock) when we both agreed that this last mirror was “the one.” FINALLY. To top it off, it was only $60 from HomeGoods!

 

The fixtures are all part of the Moen Waterhill family, right down to the towel hooks. We saved around $115 by ordering them through Plumbersstock.com instead of picking them up at Home Depot or Lowes.

I think my favorite part of our bathroom is the flooring. I love the look of wood floors in the bathroom, but it’s just not practical. So we went with a faux wood porcelain tile instead. It really warms up the small space and feeds the vintage-y look we were going for.

To really maximize the natural light we get from the window in our bathroom, we decided to apply a frosted treatment to the window rather than covering it with blinds. It’s amazing how much lighter the bathroom feels now!

We are so happy with our new master bath, and we really feel like we made the most of our small space.

A few tips we learned to really maximize the space in your small bathroom:

1. Take your shower tile up to the ceiling to heighten the room.

2. Keep the color palette light and airy to really open up the space.

3. Go for a small scale toilet to gain a little extra space.

4. Make the most of any natural light you have by keeping your window free of blinds and applying a frost treatment for privacy without sacrificing light.

5. A glass shower door can make your bathroom appear a couple of feet larger.

Materials we used:

Shower DoorDreamline Mirage Sliding Tub Door *We ordered ours from Overstock.com but it looks like it’s no longer available on that site.
FlooringBayur Borneo from The Tile Shop
Mirror—HomeGoods
ToiletAmerican Standard Clean White High Efficiency Toilet
Fixtures—Moen Waterhill collection
Shower Tile—3 x 6 basic white ceramic subway tile and 3 x 6 Daltile Arctic Ice Glass Tile
Marble—White Carrera marble from USA Marble and Granite
Vanity Cabinet—HomeGoods
LightingHinkley Avon Chrome Wall Sconce  *We opted to flip ours the other way for more lighting.

 


How to DIY a Holly Berry Monogram

I saw this holly berry monogram wreath on the blog Our Unexpected Journey and figured I’d give it a shot. It took a little longer to complete than I expected, but I think it turned out pretty good!

What you’ll need:

Large wooden craft letter

Fake holly berries (I couldn’t find stems of these at Michael’s so I bought holly berry garland and snipped the berry clusters off with wire cutters- this is probably why this project took me a while, ha)

Hot glue and glue sticks

Cranberry-colored acrylic craft paint

Ribbon (I used burlap ribbon from Michael’s)
If your letter is natural wood or white, I recommend painting the entire thing (both sides) with the craft paint before attaching the berries. That way, any small spots that aren’t covered by the berries won’t show so bad. Once the paint has dried completely, glue the berries on using the hot glue. Be sure to cover the sides and inside of the letter.

Once the glue has hardened, string your ribbon through the letter and knot it at the top to hang it. For a little extra embellishment, use another piece of ribbon to tie a bow around your original loop. If your letter isn’t one that you can string ribbon through, like a W, use the hot glue to glue two pieces of ribbon to either side. Tie them together in a bow at the top for hanging.


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Pinterest!

After we had our downstairs painted this summer, we put up floating shelves in our dining room, which means that this Christmas, I had two new spaces to decorate with holiday cheer! So naturally, I hopped on Pinterest to see what DIY hijinks I could get up to.

Voilà, the finished product!

For my first attempt decorating a mantle-type thing for Christmas (we don’t have a fireplace), I thought it turned out pretty good. I framed last year’s Christmas pictures of Olivia for an extra festive touch.

The centerpiece on the table is made of fraser fir Christmas tree clippings. Oh, and Christmas tree clippings are FREE at Home Depot. Woot woot!

The white tree on the top shelf is made of a styrofoam cone, white felt, and straight pins. I got the idea for this DIY project from this post from Scissor Variations.

The jar of Christmas tree clippings on the bottom shelf is a mason jar painted white on the inside. Just pour in acrylic craft paint, swirl it around to coat the entire inside, and let it dry. So easy!

Have you done any DIY decorating? I would love to see how you decorated for Christmas! Post your pics on our Facebook page!


Custom Photo Transfer Giveaway!

I have mentioned my friend Stephanie a few times on this blog. She’s the creative genius who made this adorable sign for Olivia’s Sesame Street party, this fun Valentine’s Day garland, and this DIY decoupage ornament. I don’t think there’s an artsy thing she can’t do!

She also happens to be a talented photographer. While looking for new ways to display her art, she started experimenting with photo transfers. Her work won such rave reviews from family and friends that she decided to open an Etsy store—For the Birds.

Stephanie specializes in taking photographs and transferring them by hand to various materials, including wood, canvas, glass, tile, and acrylic. The transfer process gives the photos a vintage, Instagram-ish feel. Check out this collage of photos she took while in Charleston, South Carolina this summer:

Charleston on Canvas, $50

Amazing right?! The best part is that she takes custom orders. Have a collection of pictures from a recent vacation that you can’t figure out how to show off? Still trying to figure out what to get your parents for the holidays? Here’s your answer!

I love the finished product so much that I’ve collaborated with the artist herself to bring you an awesome giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a free custom photo transfer! The winner will be able to choose between one 12×12 wood or canvas transfer OR two to three smaller sized (think 5×7) transfers. Stephanie will work directly with the winner to recommend the best medium, size, etc. for the photograph(s). Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Seven Inspired Ways to Paint a Nursery {or Big Kid’s Room}

It’s amazing what you can do with a little paint and some elbow grease! Check out these unique ideas for how to transform your baby’s nursery with just some paint (and in some cases, a LOT of painter’s tape).

Argyle Wall via Decorating Obsessed

Striped Accent Wall Via Project Nursery

Chalkboard Paint Via Nite Nite Mommy

Painted Chevron Ceiling Via Project Nursery

Single Stripe Via Apartment Therapy

Colorful Painted Squares Via Project Nursery

Chevron Wall Via Lowes


Nursery Trend: Yellow and Gray

**I’m going green today and recycling a post I wrote last October. This may be an oldie but it’s a goodie! Hope all my fellow East Coasters are safe and dry. We were lucky never to have lost power and, other than some trees down, to escape Sandy’s wrath.**

This color combo is really fresh and modern for nurseries or big kid rooms. You can accent with girly ruffles or clean lined-giraffes to make the room perfect for a girl or a boy, which makes this an ideal palette for surprise deliveries. Here are some of my favorite yellow and gray nurseries I’ve come across:

Photo via www.rhoneydesign.com

Photo via www.rhoneydesign.com

Photo via madebygirl.blogspot.com

Photo via realhousewivesofbc.blogspot.com

Photo via thedomesticwannabe.blogspot.com

Photo via littleelephantstitchery.com

Embroidery hoops with fabric via littleelephantstitchery.com

Photo from taliaaudenart.blogspot.com

Available on Etsy @gusandlula ($16)


Converting a Cabinet into a Bathroom Vanity

I think this was the mother of all DIY projects in our house. It’s by far the most ambitious one we’ve ever tried at least, and my husband did an amazing job! When we renovated our master bath, we had a really hard time finding a bathroom vanity that fit our vision for the space. We have a small bathroom, but we wanted to maximize the space we had, which meant that we needed a vanity that wasn’t a standard size. We also loved the idea of having a marble counter top. Those two things together meant that we were looking at spending $2,000 on the vanity alone, not to mention all of the other bathroom expenses.

So when we came across the perfect sized cabinet on clearance at HomeGoods for $250, we decided we could do it ourselves for less. And we did. With the custom-cut carrara marble counter top, we ended up spending about $800 total. Yes, we could have gotten a smaller, standard vanity from Home Depot for cheaper, but it wouldn’t have been exactly what we wanted. This project let us achieve the look we were going for while keeping an extra $1,200 in our pockets!

Here’s how you can DIY: 

1. When you choose your counter top and sink, request the sink template from the vendor to use as a guide for cutting out the top of the furniture. You may need to coordinate this with your vendor to make sure you’re cutting the void for the sink in the correct location.

2. With all measurements accounted for, tape the sink template to the top of the furniture and trace it using a pencil or marker. You may want to add an additional ½” – 1” to the outside of the template to account for the brackets that attach the sink to the bottom of the counter top.

3. Assess the supporting points on your furniture and plan your cuts to retain structural integrity.  If cuts are necessary that may compromise the structure, plan to install new supports to help bear the weight of the new top. In this case, we added 2 x 4’s cut to length for support. You will want to reassess the stability after you cut out the section as well.

4. Drill a starter hole near the center of the traced template, and then use a jigsaw to cut out the top of the furniture.  If you are able to cut the full sink void, do so.  If your furniture has a center support, then you may need to cut the void out in sections. You can then use a hole saw to cut your faucet voids.

5. Measure the depth of your sink.  If a center support exists, transpose the measurement to the support and use your jigsaw to cut away the appropriate section.  If there is a shelf near the top of the furniture to support drawers (as was the case with our piece), cut out the appropriate void in this shelf as well to account for the depth of the sink.  Be sure to reassess the supporting structure to verify the furniture’s stability and strength.

6. Measure the section of plumbing on your bathroom wall.  Transpose those measurements to the back of the furniture (remembering to mirror the measurements) and mark out a section large enough to accommodate the plumbing. Cut out your marked area, and reassess the structure’s support and stability. At this point, you can add your extra supports if necessary.

7. To attach your new counter top to the furniture, dollop the appropriate adhesive around the top of the furniture. If needed, get assistance in placing the new top on the furniture and adjust to final position.  Be sure to allow for proper drying time. Once it’s dry, you can install the sink and faucet hardware.

8. Our furniture had two drawers at the top that now ran into the sink, but we wanted to utilize at least a portion of these drawers. If your furniture is similar, you can measure the area that the sink now occupies and subtract that from the previous drawer layout.

9. If possible, try to utilize the existing drawer sides and simply cut the bottom and the back of drawer to achieve the new size. Using wood glue and small nails, reconstruct the drawers. Because you are essentially losing the built-in track on one side of your drawer, you may need to install new drawer tracks to allow for proper movement. You can find these at any hardware or big box store for pretty cheap.

10. Finally, move your new vanity into place and secure it to the wall. Attach your plumbing, and you’re done!