Tag Archives: furniture

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!


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!

 


Seven Stylish Nursery Chairs

The chair in my daughter’s nursery was my best friend toward the end of my pregnancy—between my sore back and hips, raging heartburn, and trouble breathing, it was the only place I could sleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time. After Olivia was born, it was where we cuddled during 3 a.m. feedings. Now that we’re no longer breastfeeding, the chair is home to bedtime stories, afternoon dozing, and random snuggles.

I think it’s the most comfortable chair in our house. And since we chose a stylish upholstered recliner, its next life will probably be in our basement family room or living room. Nursery chairs are expensive, so why not choose a design that will travel well to another room in your house? Here are seven of the most fabulous nursery chairs I’ve encountered. (Pssst! Ours is number four on the list, and I think we paid around $350 for it.)

Best HAGEN Chair, See Retailer for Pricing

Nurseryworks Sleepytime Rocker, $700.00

Little Castle Allure Recliner, $889.00

Best TRYP Recliner, See Retailer for Pricing

Monaco II Glider, $658.00

Joya Rocker, $995.00

Little Castle Swivel Glider, $449.99


Great Vintage Furniture Finds

I stumbled upon this amazing web site, Fabulous Finds, while searching for a vintage cabinet/future bathroom vanity (have I mentioned that we’re renovating our master bathroom, finishing our basement, and getting our roof replaced ALL AT ONCE? Oy).

Anyway, Sharon, the site owner, collects vintage and antique furniture pieces that she offers for fantastic prices. She’s based locally in the DC area and holds “open house” barn sales several times a year. You can also make an appointment to check out her stuff in person. A few of my favorites. . .

How great would that giraffe chair look with a bright, glossy coat of red or green paint?! I would snatch it up in a second if I had anywhere to actually use it. And that pale blue dresser would be adorable in a nursery!

If you’re in the market for some vintage pieces to round out your home, definitely pay this site a visit!


Seven Great Bookcases for Your Little Bookworm

Olivia loves books; so naturally, her collection is growing exponentially thanks to yours truly (I read for a living, so I’m positively giddy that she likes books). It’s a good thing we are inheriting my sister’s old dollhouse bookshelf (as soon as we find a place to put it!), because we are rapidly running out of room. If your child’s library is also multiplying like rabbits, check out these great bookcases that are perfect for your little bookworm:

KidKraft Swivel Bookshelf/Mirror, $109.99

aly and company bookcase, $260

Oeuf Mini Library, $660

Firefighter Revolving Bookcase, $159.99

Target Tot Tutors Book Rack, $31.99

IKEA, Hensvik Cabinet and Shelf, $109

Land of Nod Library Cart, $199