How To: $60 Shiplap Wall

One of our side projects for our Basement Renovation was a statement wall that we decided to finish with shiplap.  If you read my post about Shiplap Wall Inspiration, you saw there are a lot of options and considerations for a shiplap wall! Well, B and I weighed our options and since our basement look is more of a unfinished-finished look, we didn’t want to drop too much money into this and opted for a more natural wood look vs. painted.  And I’d say we were successful with the whole statement wall because it is definitely a statement and looks more than just stained plywood.

We also decided to do long singular unison pieces, since we were working with a smaller wall vs. doing alternating pieces.  Our wall was also not level – being a century home and in the basement so we had to get a little creative once we started placing the actual boards.

What You’ll Need:

  • Measure your space & determine your measurements; we bought (2) 4×8′ maple plywood boards from Lowe’s ($25 ea.)
  • Table Saw – this will ensure even and straight cuts for your panels, we cut our panels to be 8″ wide (my dad helped us with this one!)
  • Stain of your choosing, we used Minwax – light Walnut ($9)
  • Nail Gun w/ compressor and finishing nails
  • A couple of popsicle sticks

Step by Step:

  1. Before you get your wood, you’ll want to prep your area, we removed some walls/studs and had to put up new studs since we were working with some odd configurations – we also made sure that all of our water proofing paint was taken care of on the wall, floor and the pole in that area.
  2. Upon determining your measurements and purchasing the wood, you’ll want to measure and cut your boards to create your panels – as I said we decided on 8″ for our panel width. A table saw will be super helpful in this case to make sure your panels are straight all the way across! Be sure to use the proper safety precautions when cutting.
  3. After we had our boards cut, we picked out a stain – light walnut to be exact. We applied two coats of stain over the course of 2-days.  I used a foam brush for easy application.  I wasn’t too careful about the thickness of the stain for the first coat since I knew it would soak into the wood, which it did. After the second coat the color was the dark hue I was looking for, we were ready to hang!  If you’re using this in a more finished space, you might want to consider putting a poly over top to keep it a bit more polished and shiny.
  4. Thanks to our handy friend C – we were able to borrow his compressor and nail gun, which allowed putting up the boards quick and easy.  We measured each board and made final length cuts on the site before securing into place, because we were butting these up against an uneven wall.  You may be wondering about the popsicle sticks, well we used these in between each panel to have even space, we put these in tight and removed once we had our next panel up.
  5. Beyond the minor cutting of the ends of the boards, we only had to cut around one outlet and had to do a smaller skinner piece across the top that took some measuring twice and cutting three times. *smiles*  We were able to get all the boards up in one night, although it was a little late by the time we finished!

The nail gun was crucial to getting this wall up and making the boards look almost like they’re glued up and hole free! It was a dream to finally get to use one, they’ve always looked like fun and I have to say it was awesome and efficient.  I am trying to think of other projects and excuses to borrow it again…. but I digress. With our Shiplap statement wall complete we were one step closer to wrapping up this makeover and adding the finishing touches!

For $60 we made a huge impact and it was super easy to pull together, the natural wood and color pull into the ceiling of the original beams and makes this unfinished finished basement feel cohesive and complete.  B was pretty impressed and happy with the way these turned out, it was an all around win!

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DIY – $50 Trunk Makeover

You see, we found this old trunk on a neighbors tree lawn and had to snatch it up, it had admittedly seen better days… but that never stops me.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it just yet, but that would come in time… after some trunk searches on Pinterest I determined to flip this baby into a coffee table, but I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to finish this piece.   I was tempted to go the all white route or maybe pink with gold accents? And then the inside… what was I going to do with the inside?!  Oh, and we didn’t need another coffee table. *smiles*

The trunk was pretty banged up, it had old stickers all over it and then the inside was a little stinky with some blue paper that was torn.  It was a little daunting – how easy was the inside paper going to come off? What about the outside… and getting those stickers off?  Well with a little bit of water and a scrapper the paper came off with a little added elbow grease and help from B.  To my surprise, the stickers came off the same way! Although, I still didn’t know how I wanted to finish this sucker.

After doing some research, I liked the look of Hairpin legs and found these 6″ black ones Amazon, so I purchased – still trying to figure out the color scheme, knowing I could spray paint to match if the black wouldn’t work.  I finally decided I was going to stick to the trunks original colors and just bring some life back to it! I loved the gold accents and couldn’t cope with the idea of painting over them in white or another color. After a good clean and a few layers of paint, this trunk was seeing new life.

To finish off this DIY, I finally went with some fabric for the inside vs. peal and stick paper.  I thought the fabric would be nice to work with, and a lot of options for the patterns and colors.  $18 later we had our fabric picked out, I bought 4-yards just to be safe and within one night cut and place the fabric to line the trunk with 3M Adhesive spray.   Before adding the fabric, I did spray the inside with bleach a few times (with weeks in between) to help with the smell and kill anything that might be hanging out!

DIY Cost Breakdown:

  • Trunk = $0.00
  • Hairpin Legs = $25.00
  • Paint Supplies = $12.00
  • Fabric = $18
  • TOTAL = $55.00 

We also figured out a home for this guy, with our Basement Makeover happening, this was another piece of the puzzle that fit just perfectly with the overall look and feel of the space.  It’s a little side table and perfect for some extra storage for blankets, games and extra candles!  Of course, I love the way it came out and how the gold pops against the black – plus it looks perfect in the new space.

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Latest Obsessions 09.18

This month’s latest obsessions is all about making a statement in your home, whether it’s in your bathroom, your bedroom, in a office or your main living space – there are easy ways to focus your efforts on creating a big visual impact and making a room feel special even if it is just your bedroom. Latest Obsessions 09.18 - bee life

The best part about making a statement is sometimes you only need to focus on one aspect of the room, or a finishing touch which could be furniture, paint or a orientate tile – so remember you don’t need to rack your brain to pull off a show stopping look, just keep it simple!

Painted Wood. This can really add for some drama in a study/office or even a dramatic wall in your master suite in place of a headboard.  Although this might not be for everyone, especially if you’re going a bit extreme with the purple study above – you

Patterned Bathroom Tiles.  It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of a good statement tile, and I think pulling it into your bathroom can be a really great way to add some flair to functional space.  Whether it’s on the floor or a whole wall in a glass shower – it’ll really impress, but remember with tiles you’re making a little more of a permanent commitment so make sure it’s something you’ll love or is a little more neutral and classic.

Modern Aesthetic.  I’ve been on a bit of a kick of pulling in a little more of a modern aesthetic, especially for our basement makeover.  If done correct you can really add some drama into your space with modern furniture pieces and accents.  A good way to accomplish this is with a great couch, I love West End 96″ Sofa in the Blue from Value City.

Statement Mirrors.  A good mirror can add some drama in any space, but a fun place to splurge a bit is with a vanity or make-up station.  Things to consider with statement mirrors is either buying a mirror that feels oversized for the space – to add that impact, or to buy a mirror with thick frame work and detail – this Amelie Wooden Arched Mirror from Arhaus is a stunner with a vintage twist.

Making a statement can be a fun project, but can also seem a little daunting depending on how bold you want to go! I’ve been on a kick of a modern pop for our basement makeover, which I’m excited to share with everyone soon!

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Image Sources: Bathroom | Statement Vanity | Painted Study | Modern Living 

Shiplap Wall Inspiration

Mini-spoiler, we’re working on our own shiplap/wooden plank wall for our Basement Makeover. Since it’s just for our basement and we’re going for the unfinished-finished look, we wanted to keep it simple and not spend too much money.  With that said, when I started looking into DIY’s on the different options of how we could accomplish our shiplap wall, I was overwhelmed at the options and price variations.
Shiplap Wall Inspiration - bee life blog
So if you’re like me and researching the many options of how to shiplap your space,  here are some things to consider while you plan your own DIY.  Take into consideration the overall look, how you’re finishing the rest of the space and how much effort you want to put into this project!

Straight vs. Alternating Boards. The way you decide to finish the space is something to think about! Whether you’re going for a straight across board look or mix and match sizes they’re two completely different looks, especially depending on how you finished them and how much you’re shiplapping.

Pre-finished Wood.  This seemed like the path of least resistance, although the price point and the amount of pre-finished wood we would need with this option added up quick. Although from a low maintenance perspective these options like this Home Depot’s Nantucket Gray Poplar Weathered boards or this kit from Lowe’s of White Barnwood Shiplap Plank Wall kit are great options.

Painted vs. Stained. Depending on how you’re placing your boards – straight or alternating, this may determine the way you want to finish the look!  Also thinking whether you want something painted or stained may affect the pattern you decide.  We decided to go the stain route, because it’s easier and we ended up painting way more than we expected with other projects.  Plus, I think the stain look with bring in a nice place with some of the other unfinished elements.

Type of Wood.  Determining the type of wood you want to use, can also affect your cost and overall look.  Whether it’s plywood, finished wood, actual barn wood, or the pre-finished wood mentioned above.  We ended up going the maple-wood plywood route loosely inspired by this DIY tutorial by Angela Marie Made.

I’m looking forward to sharing more details on our Shiplap Statement Wall DIY in the coming weeks – we are definitely excited to see how it turns out and think it’ll be the right amount of finish for our unfinished basement.  View more shiplap wall inspiration here!

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Image Sources: Half Stained Image | Straight plank with wreath | White plank bathroom 

 

6 Budget Friendly Ways to Upgrade Your Home

We were fortunate enough to find a home that didn’t require a lot of major renovations or immediate upgrades – for us a lot of it was taking out the 40-years of style, giving it a little bit of love with easy cosmetic updates.  And because of that we were able to make a huge impact with these budget friendly upgrades, without breaking the bank which allowed us to splurge on grown-up furniture and help cover those surprise homeowner expenses!
Budget Friendly Upgrades for Your Home - the bee life
So I wanted to share the wealth! Here are a few tips and ways you can upgrade your home without spending a ton of money.

Paint. A gallon of paint can work WONDERS!  We literally painted our entire house, including the ceilings ,and just alone from a paint perspective the house looks like a completely different place.  Another pro tip is working from a similar color palette which can help save costs and create a cohesive flow throughout your home.  Painting with lighter colors or even the ceiling can help make a room look bigger and brighter with just 40-bucks and a little bit of elbow grease.

Light Fixtures & Ceiling Fans. This was a project we worked on updating throughout the house when we first moved it.  Updating old ceilings fans, to something a little more white and modern can help make the space look larger and blend more into the room vs. a bit eye soar.  One of my favorite updates was our dining room chandelier it always gets a ton of comments and looks almost original to the home.

Blinds & Curtains.  We had 1-inch blinds throughout the house when we first moved in and gradually updated all of the blinds to 2-inches.  They look that much more high-end and help with privacy and darkening the room.  Adding in some curtain shears overtop help to add dimension and also makes the room feel cozy and inviting.  You can also help make a statement with a fun patterned curtain in a room that might be more subtle and subdued – just be careful these can sneak up in price especially if you’re shopping for a new curtain rod.

Hardware.  Although this can add up quickly, it doesn’t compare to a whole new kitchen. Updating your hardware or plumbing fixtures can be easy and a more affordable way to make a statement in rooms that need a little extra love.  We updated our faucets in our kitchen and bathroom, and although we’re still waiting for the major reno for both these spaces – it helps!  Adding different knobs in our kitchen helped getting out the old and adding in some new.

Flooring.  Whether it’s ripping up some old dingy carpet to unveil beautiful hard wood floors or buying a nice statement rug for a room – these are other ways to pull the look and feel of your room together and add a more finished look. If you’re shopping right you can usually find a good deal or discount on a rug, too!

Pops of Color.  This can be accomplished with blankets, pillows, photos or a fun tabletop lamp.  Using pops of colors in accent pieces, decor or accent furniture can allow you to update a bit easier if you are ever in need to switch out seasonally or ready for an upgrade.  One of my favorite ways to do this is with H&M’s pillow covers.

It’s easy to want to go all out and make everything perfect when you first move into a new space/home – but it takes time and money!  Hopefully these tips can help you get your home into a better place as you continue to figure out and finish your space.

Questions? Comment below!

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Basement Makeover – The Gameplan

Earlier in the month, my August Obsessions post, mentioned that since we organized and cleaned up our basement – the vision of turning this into a more usable and livable space has slowly started turning more into fruition.  So here are a few “before” pictures to walk through the vision of where we want to take the space.  WARNING: Prepare for some not so glam or blog worth photos – but it’s the reality we’re dealing with (and will make the reveal that much better!).
Basement Before (1) - the bee life
Creating a Dedicated Space.  The goal is to help close in the ‘living’ space by using pipe and a drop cloth to make a large curtain ‘wall’ to help close off the electrical box, furnace and shelving in that back corner from the other area.

Painting & Waterproofing. One of the biggest steps that will help improve this space significantly (in multiple ways) will be painting the walls with waterproof paint to help with any dampness that might try and sneak in, while also transforming the space and brightening it up! I cannot wait to see the end result – we’ll also paint the large meter sticking out of the wall to help this blend into the space better.

Functional Furniture.  Because the space will remain largely ‘unfinished’ – i.e. sticking with the brick walls and an open concept ceiling (removing insulation to help with this) I want pieces that are indoor/outdoor or can be easily cleaned and not too costly.  My thought is using a larger outdoor rug as the base to cover the floor and then layering another fluffier rug on top to make it a bit more cozy.

Lighting.  Currently there are terrible florescent lights down there, and although we may not be taking them down just yet (not ready to do dig too deep into the electrical game) – adding some fun string lights from the ceiling will help brighten the space and again make it feel homey.
Basement Before (2) - the bee life
Beyond dressing up this area we also have plans to expand our lonely basement toilet into a full bathroom complete with a shower, sink and walls!  That will probably be happening at some point this winter, as we are already starting to plan and window shop for vanities, fixtures and finishes.

With the right mix of livable space and storage the basement will really become a more functional space for our everyday lives, especially once the bathroom is complete — check back for reveal pictures!

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Latest Obsessions 08.18

Surprise, surprise – this month’s latest obsessions are mostly house obsessed, as I’ve got my eyes on the next prize and the projects just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger.  Beyond the house project bug, weekend getaways and trips or seasonal parties also have me heart-eyed with excitement.
Latest Obsessions 08.18 - the bee life
Basement Projects.  This is a two part.  Part one has been talked about off and on with B, but seriously discussions and planning have started to take place to build out a full-bathroom.  A good friend is a plumber, so with his expertise and help it doesn’t seem so daunting, yay!  Plus, it will add value to our home, making it 2-baths vs. 1-bath. Part two, is making the other space a bit more livable – we have a decent amount of space for storage, so the configuring has been playing out in my head and I think we can make it work.  The livable space might just be a bit industrial chic vs. completely finished basement. I love this article for some inspiration on finishing touches for your unfinished basement.

Seasonal Parties.  I can’t help but get excited for upcoming season parties, whether we’ll be hosting or attending – from the calm bake, to dare I say it…. Christmas?! Yup! I’m just looking forward to creating new memories and fun with family and friends.  And the only reason I have these on my mind, is because schedules get so crazy – we have to plan that far ahead especially if we want any chance of getting on our family/friends schedules!

Getaways.  Whether it’s a quick two-hour drive or a flight across the country, the travel bug continues and I’m excited to get out of town for a bit in the coming months.  With that, I can’t help but want to find the best brunch spots, shop for a few new outfits, and figure out other fun details to weave into the trip.  I’m trying not to wish these to come too soon though, because time has certainly been flying lately!

What’ve you been obsessing over? New house project or fashion trend – leave a comment, I want to know!

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Image Sources: Bathroom Inspiration Party Decor Inspiration Unfinished Basement

Dog Inspired Home Decor

I’ll be the first to admit it, I am a dog lover – and I am mildly obsessed with our little puggle, Moz!  We’ve invested in a few custom portraits of her,  have attended Paint Your Pet classes and frame some super cute photos of her. And although I feel like our house is quickly becoming consumed with mini gallery walls, I can’t help but want to create a Moz gallery wall. And, it’s okay if you’re whispering ‘crazy dog lady’ or rolling your eyes at me, as you read this!

Needing some inspiration like me? Here are some super cute ways to incorporate DOGS into your home in a chic, playful, sophisticated and not so crazy way.  From a nursery, entrance, living space or even your bathroom, I hope you’re inspired like I was to see how these can pull off a high-end look while still satisfying that inner-love for dogs.

Illustrations are a great way to incorporate your pooch, as the simplicity brings that certain level of sophistication. Incorporating canvas’ with multiple pieces and parts also helps create more of a statement without all the gallery wall work and planning.  Whether it’s created in a DIY paint class or an option you sourced online – there are plenty of options to purchase/create your custom pup portrait.

Another fun way to pull in your love of dogs is with some bold wallpaper that could be used in a mud room.  Wanting to keep it simple? Get an entry rug that will welcome guests and instantly set the mood that furry friends await. Photography is another way to pull in those sweet pups, with a gallery wall of three large prints – I mean, how cute are those puppy photos for a nursery? or using a common thread of familiar frames or black and white photos helps tie everything together for a cohesive look in the space.

If you’re considering adding in your furry friends to your home decor, it’s also important to consider what spaces might be appropriate for this with the way your house functions.  A few starting points to consider might be your master bedroom or theming a guest room themed with dogs (there are so cute dog bedsheets you can score; like these ones from Cynthia Rowley). A guest bathroom or mudroom might be a good space to bring in your love of dogs.  Start small or in a dedicated space and make sure you bring through your love of dogs in a sophisticated and stylish way!

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Shop the Looks & Image Sources: Gallery wall with furry bench Frenchie Canvas Vintage Dogs Illustrated Wallpaper Three Puppies in a Nursery I hope you like dogs rug |Golden Gallery

Breakfast Nooks for Days

So now that we have our Front Landscape project wrapped up, I’m ready for the next and still dreaming of our someday kitchen makeover… One piece that I particularly want when we makeover our kitchen is an adorable, cozy and functional breakfast nook!
Breakfast Nook - the bee life
As I started looking for different breakfast nooks – I didn’t realize how many different options there would be! Traditionally you think of a galley style booth or a half circle of benches – but news flash! There are SO MANY other options! Let me walk you through the many considerations and options of a breakfast nook.

Permanent & Functional. This is a great idea if you’re truly committed to having a breakfast nook. With a permanent bench you can also be sure to build in extra storage so it’s functional in more than one way.

Movable Furniture Pieces. Mind blown? Yup, mine was. And I think this might be one of the ways we end up going.  Whether using a Settee or this awesome customizable piece from the Home Depot.

Square vs. Round Table.  This is another piece that can make a huge difference depending on the base you’re working with.  A square/rectangular table could work for a larger space or a foldable one could work for a smaller space.  A round table is just another perfect option that can work in an L-shape bench layout or your half-circle nook.

Accents Chairs. Depending on the route you go, the accent chairs opposite of the bench are just as much of a statement as the rest of the set-up.  These can be industrial, warm and cozy or traditional.

Bold Colors vs. Classic Neutrals.  Either way you decide to do it, you can either start with a bold footprint with your main bench, or add in pops of color with wall art and pillows. Neutrals can play on each other bringing in deep wood grains from your floor or table can really pull a neutral look together with your other pieces.

Working with a Window? Don’t be afraid to build your bench in front of your window.  No window? That’s okay – breakfast nooks work either way, whether it’s behind a half-wall or in a corner of a room don’t let one or the other hold you up from creating your space. We only have windows on one side, so we’ll be able to have a little bit of light and fun with our space.

Pillows & Cushions, Cushions & Pillows.  One of the parts I love about breakfast nooks is they’re so warm and inviting, and one of the reasons is because of all the pillows and possibilities of bench cushions!  It is no secret I have a slight pillow addiction.

All Shapes & Sizes. Whether you’re working with a tight space, or have a 12-foot wall to fill with your breakfast nook, this is once piece that can work in any kind of space, especially if you decide the non-permanent route! So don’t feel like you can’t fit in your breakfast nook if you have limited space!  On the contrary, if you have extra dead space this might be a great way to fill it or make up for a lack of a dining room.

Lighting.  Depending on your overall style of your breakfast nook, you can either play it down or create a bold statement with a chandelier.  Not ready to commit to a chandelier?  Consider wall sconces to book end your space or light the way.

I was always dreaming over our breakfast nook as super traditional with a built in bench with storage, circular table and calling it a day with some pillows.  But now that I see all these different options and all the fun color options I am wide-eyed and drooling over the possibilities.   I mean that pink sectional and shell chandelier directly above is Oh. Em. Gee. Swoon worthy.  And I think we’ll probably end up going with the less permanent, yet cozy route with a great Settee or baller sectional.

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Image Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Settee Neutral | Corner with Red Chandelier | Black & Gold | Mustard Bench | Classic U-Shape | Pink Rectangular Swoon