DIY – Wooden Couch Sleeve

Ever have those pins that you saved at the beginning of Pinterest-time and have always wanted to make? I’ve wanted to make a wooden couch sleeve for a long time — it seems like an easy, practical solution without having side tables everywhere.  But our main living room furniture has rounded arms and these wooden couch sleeves definitely seem better suited for a squared off arm.
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I knew I would be able to make this fairly inexpensively as long as we had some scrap wood laying around — and luckily we did! I was able to utilize tools that we already had, so this project cost me $0.  And with our basement makeover, our furniture downstairs had squared off arms with a lower side table that only serves part of the seating, I thought this would be a perfect addition to our ‘finished-unfinished’ space especially with the natural rustic wood piece.

What You’ll Need:
– Scrap wood
– Table saw
– Sandpaper
– Satin/Gloss Clear Coat Spray Paint
– Nail gun
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Step-by-Step:
1. Determine the length of your main top piece based on your furniture. I decided on 13″ long and kept the original width of the board. You’ll want your sides to be the same length, width of sides can be all equal or shorter.

2. Using a tape measure and straight edge, draw a straight line for your top piece, then cut with table saw. For the sides because my scrap wood was older, I cut the same length and it pretty much split down the middle to make two smaller pieces.  I liked the more unfinished, raw edges as I wanted to keep the integrity of the older wood.

3. I then sanded the pieces on both sides and all of the edges.  Again, I liked the color of the wood – I just needed to work out a few rough spots and clean it up. After sanding, be sure to wipe down the pieces with a cloth to get rid of extra dust.
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4. I then did a top coat with Satin finished spray paint — that I happened to have at the house already.  Spray top coats are a little trickier to see full coverage until dry – so for that reason you may need to do a few coats depending on the finish and coverage you want (above picture before spray, bottom after spray).  I did two coats on the main top and sides, and one on the underneath part.

5. Once I was content with the top coat it was putting everything into place with the nail gun.  I opted NOT to use wood glue for two reasons (1) being lazy (2) we don’t have clamps, so we would’ve nailed in place shortly after gluing like we did for our floating shelf. This was a two person job to ensure the nails went in securely.  We put the sides in a bit so they would be snug against the couch, since I opted to keep the top the original width of the wood, avoiding too many cuts.

Pro-tip: I made sure all my cut edges were in the back of my piece, so the original rough edges would be facing out. I also determined my top early on when measuring and cutting pieces.
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This is the perfect addition to the space, and it’s sturdy for an afternoon cup of coffee, the remote or a glass of beer watching the game! Although we have a super cute trunk side table in this space, it’s much lower than the couch and chair so it isn’t exactly convenient for ongoing sipping. This couch sleeve is also portable, so it can move around depending on which spot you’re in or who needs it. I love how it turned out and it’s imperfections!  Plus — this could also be a sweet Christmas gift for just about anyone.

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$12 Custom Bathroom Drawer Storage from the Dollar Store

With our recent bathroom makeover and having the addition of a second bathroom – a few floors below our main bathroom – I wanted to make sure it’s stocked just like our upstairs bathroom with all the essentials. The vanity is extra wide but is the only true storage for this space so I have to be smart with it!
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One of the top drawers has an opening for the sink pipes so it’s an odd U-shaped drawer. But since it’s the first main drawer under the sink, this seemed like a good spot to stock up with all the bathroom must-haves. In order to accommodate this unique space, I created custom drawer storage with a high-end feel using 3-inch square glass votive holders… from the dollar store! I use these for various things throughout the year, entertaining with snacks – votives – seasonal decor, so I gave these a try in the space and they ended up working out perfectly.
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After the glasses were in place, I tested opening and closing the drawer and noticed they were a little clanky.  To help with this, I added felt furniture pads in between a few of the glasses to avoid the clinking noises. On top of having high-end custom drawer storage with these glass holders, they can double for vanity decor holding goodies like cotton rounds, q-tips or cotton balls, especially if you’re having company coming over! Then you can pop them back into the drawer and easy peasy – storage is still on point. So for $1 per glass, you can truly make a statement while staying organized!

Shop the Pieces:
– (12) 3″ Glass Votives from Dollar Store
– Optional: Felt Furniture Pads

And then stock up with essentials like band aids, cotton products, tampons, floss, nail care and toothpaste!
StorageUpdate(2)beelifeblogI’m not used to having so much space to fill up, especially in my bathroom! But I love how this came together and is nicely organized while also having options for guests while the essentials for us — another drawer is completely full of toilet paper, but I still have a few more drawers that have extra space for more towels and other bathroom essentials!

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House Tour: Our 5 Favorite Projects to Celebrate 5-Years in our Home

This week marks our 5-year house anniversary! It’s sort of funny and crazy to think we’ve lived in our house for 5-years, because when we were looking our realtor and even friends buying houses at the time were saying “this could be your 5-year house.” Well… when B and I were searching for homes, we were considering something that could live with us for awhile. So to have a little fun with this post, I sat down with B and we chatted through our favorite house projects!

His #1: Attic Renovation – This was a space that when we first moved in we weren’t using so when we finished it, it opened up so much space on our second floor. Not to mention we use this room everyday since it’s our master suite! This project was our first big project and took longer than we wanted but we did 90% of it so it was really cool.

Hers #1: Basement Living & Bathroom – This is my number one because it was a space that I never had any plans or expectations for, especially within the first 5-years. I basically wrote this space off as basement storage. But once the vision, planning and work started and we starting seeing the potential of this space it was a really incredible feeling. Especially creating two new function spaces on top of maintaing storage and laundry, this makeover just pushed everything over the top!

His #2: Back Patio (he thinks) … haha B said it’s fun to entertain and have a space outside especially in the spring/summer months. It’s the perfect spot for weekend afternoons, late nights with friends or family or even just the two of us.

Hers #2: Our Dining Room – this was the first room that really came together and we actually had furniture for.  Once we figured out paint and had the chandelier put in, it was like one of those moments like ‘Wow we have a dining room.’ We also designed and finished our dining room table, so it’s a custom piece for us. I wanted this room to be a space where everyone could gather around this huge table and when those moments come true I just want to pinch myself.

His #3: Basement Bathroom –  B said it was tough to nail down why but said he thinks it’s because it’s functional for when we have overnight and weekend guests are over. B said he also likes how I really took over with the design and vision of the space that we actually made happen.  This was also a project that we did 90% on our own, and the satisfaction after finishing one of those is indescribable.

Hers #3: Attic Renovation – This project will always be special to me, because it also holds a lot of memories around when B and I got engaged!  We had actually spent all afternoon working late to get a lot of it wrapped up before he proposed. This space was always planned to be our master and it definitely came out way better than I think both of us imagined and like B said it was our first big project that he really tackled and he really did like 90% of all of it – I was totally impressed!

His & Hers #4: Front Landscape – This project just gave our house a complete transformation and added so much curb appeal.  Our front was always pretty much a blank canvas that we always had plans for, but just never had the time or full commitment to figure out the design, plants and getting the job done.  It was also a project that was on our house project to-do list every year since we moved in and we finally finished it up last summer.  Once we finished we were both blown away, and our plants all came back year 2, wooo!

His #5: Floating Shelves in the Office – We were trying to remember, but this was definitely one of the first DIY projects we tackled together (without having any of the right tools or experience). So B said; “this was the start of everything and we’ve learned so much but also knew of all the bigger and better projects that were to come after this.”

Hers #5: Back Patio – This was a project that I didn’t have prioritized to get done when we did it, as it was definitely something B wanted done more than me.  So after some discussion, compromise and design considerations, we pulled the trigger.  It’s a massive space and it’s really like having another living and dining room outside during the warm months – we truly live back here in the summer! We also splurge on furniture that is modern, functional and classic that really makes the space.

We are lucky that we both enjoy working on house projects to transform and continually make this century home ours, while still enhancing all of it’s beautiful charm.  We still have a few other big projects that we want to do at the house, with the big one being our kitchen — although we talk about it every year, so we will see when we can actually turn it into fruition!

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Want to see more from our house? Check out these links: Office Tour | Our Living Room | Basement Bathroom | Basement Living Room | Our Sunroom | Guest Room Makeover

House Tour – Festive Fall Front Porch

There may be few things in life that I love more than drinking champagne and decorating our front porch for fall.  There is just something about fall and all the beautiful things that bring a bit more fun, pop of color and truly make a bright statement.  With gorgeous mums, classic orange pumpkins, gourds, lanterns and then even some Cinderella and pink pumpkins — the colors, shapes and sizes make up the perfect combination.

It took me a little longer this year to pull it all together as I’m a firm believer of no mums or pumpkins until at least October 1st, and with our warm weather lingering even into October it was still hard to pull the trigger. In addition to being a big pop of orange this year, our porch and steps are looking much nicer than last year as they got a paint at the beginning of spring so our porch is generally just looking a bit more polished since last year!FallPorch19-beelife(1)
Last year I a bit heavier on the mums and this year I went heavier on the pumpkins and gourds — I also bought larger mums this year, so they took up a lot of space without having to really bunch together while also helping fill in a few empty spaces like the big orange one next to the stairs.  I also love transitioning my lanterns from our back patio *tear face* to the front porch so they get more use and help make the front porch feel homey as the seasons transition.  Sadly the patio hangs are becoming fewer and farther in between.
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One investment I made a few years ago was buying these plain white plastic planters – they were fairly inexpensive and all matched — I use these over the summer for various plants around the front porch and back patio. They’re also perfect for placing the mums in them for a clean look, I’ve looked for more at the spot I got them but haven’t been able to find any, luckily I have a good variety of sizes and quantity so they work all year long!

Beyond the front porch, I even picked up a few extra pumpkins to help decorate inside — my goal for interior decor this fall season was minimizing! I’ll share a few easy tips for making a simple fall statement in a blog post coming soon.

So one last thing, are you more of a mum guy/gal or pumpkins?

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DIY – Painted Paper Mache Pumpkins

Looking for an affordable fall craft to kickoff your October?  You’re in luck, I have this super easy and affordable craft using Target’s $4.99 paper mache craft pumpkins and craft paint and a gold craft pen you can create colorful and custom pumpkins for your fall decor! For around $10 a pumpkin, you can craft and create a fun piece to add to your interior fall decor collection.
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What You’ll Need:
Paper Mache Pumpkins – $4.99 each
Craft Paint Colors of Your Choice – $0.79 each
Foam Brush – $0.49 each
– Optional: Gold Craft Pen – $3.79

Pro-tip: Stock up on all the colors for your acrylic craft paint, you’ll always use them and a nice selection is always great to have on hand for spur of the moment crafts. Same goes for foam brushes, just grab a handful or two!

Step-by-Step:
1. Determine your colors! I opted for a paler orange and a lighter green for my pumpkins.  I mixed my colors with white to lighten them up a bit.
2. Paint your pumpkins completely using the foam brush and your paint color – leave stem unpainted, unless you want a more simplistic look.
3. Allow to dry before adding a second coat – you can determine the number of coats of paint based on how much the paper mache shows through.
4. Once your pumpkin base is painted, now it’s time to paint your pumpkin stem.  I opted for gold, I used metallic craft paint for this. You could also cover you stem with gold glitter!
5. Add detail with paint or gold craft pen – I kept this simple and added some flair around the stem. You could also do gold polka dots, stripes or writing a fun message or sentiment like “hello fall” or “I’m here for the boos.”
6. Style and decorate with other pumpkins around your house!
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I am still getting all my fall decor out, so I am sure these guys will be moved around a bit more — but this was an easy and perfect DIY to get all those fall decor juices flowing! How would you paint your paper mache pumpkins? Would you keep them simple like mine, or punch them up with patterns or words?

Happy Crafting!

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Trend Spotlight – Fall Opalhouse at Target

It’s the first day of Fall! And the new Opalhouse collection at Target is here to satisfy all those #falldecor vibes.  This brand always brings their A-game, but it’s especially hard not to swoon over their seasonal pieces, because they’re fun and trendy, but also classic and adaptable year after year. Opalhouse is known for it’s funky and electric flair, amazing patterns, deep colors while also bringing an effortless balance through whites and neutrals in color or in material.
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The other weekend, I saw the shelf switch happening in Target in the Opalhouse section, I was immediately excited for all the new, beautiful things to come and couldn’t help but swoon over all the new seasonal table decor. If you read the Bee Life often, or just know me, you know I can’t help myself with a good seasonal tablescape. I typically like to keep my fall table decor a bit more streamlined with a white/gold table runner and decorating on top.  But after seeing this rich, beautiful pumpkin table throw I think I may be changing my tune and wanting to add a bit more color.  I love the deep pattern complimented with a sheer, lighter table runner over top and more electric pieces mixed in through the placemats and decorative pumpkins.  What do you guys think?Opalhouse Fall - beelifeblog(1)Shop table decor pieces: Pumpkin Table Throw | Purple Velvet Pumpkin | Pink Metal Pumpkin | Shear Woven Orange Table Runner | Round Basket Placemats – 4pack 

So beyond having a killer fall tablescape there are lots of other ways to start introducing fall into the home.  Easy ways to do this could be anywhere from an entry rug, fun faux wild flowers, festive coffee mugs (I love coffee mugs), or even transitioning your comforter with the change in seasons. One of my favorite parts of fall are all the deep and sultry colors – but I am also loving seeing some lighter blushes, natural whites and hues thrown into the mix to help soften everything up.

Another fabulous thing about fall decor? All of the patterns *heart-eye emoji*, there is just something about leopard print in the fall! Is it just me? I can’t explain it, but as soon as I saw that circular velvet leopard print pillow, I had to push my jaw up.  And complimented with the orange fringe, #needtohaveit. What are you favorite patterns and colors of fall?
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Shop more fall faves: Woven Fringe Rug | Round Velvet Leopard Pillow | Straw Flower Wreath | Hyacinth Natural Pumpkin | Sunflower Mug | Faux Pod Flower Arrangement | Pink Crochet Throw Pillow | Printed Stripe Duvet | Yellow Metal Pumpkin

So in advance, I’m sorry to your credit card, but also you’re welcome to your home… I am pretty obsessed with those colored metal pumpkins, and might be getting a few of each color! I still have yet to pull out the fall decorations, but this might just jump start it before I head to Target to grab a few of these pieces.

Have you decorated for fall yet?
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Easy Wall Decor Upgrade for $30

Our favorite, homey guest room needed a little upgrade.  This one larger wall space, that had a half finished gallery wall that was honestly just thrown together.  It just wasn’t working, I switched out a few frames – added a few and then slowly started deconstructing it.  As you can see in the only before picture I have below it was a little sad looking. So, I had been thinking about what to do with this wall, how to incorporate a few photos still – but also wanting to simply the space.

I started looking into a few DIYs around picture ledge shelves and considered the time, money and effort it would take into making one, and I didn’t necessarily love how you would have to hang the DIY ledges either.  So I popped on my trusty Target App and found these 23″ x 4″ White Picture Ledge Shelves – they were even 10% off at the time! The price was reasonable and the color and style was just what I was looking for.  Based on the space of my wall, I ended up getting two shelves to create one long ledge vs. stacking as many of them are styled.

The install was easy, with a hanging template included – we were able to secure the screws and hang the shelves (and by we I should really say B!) with 30-40 minutes.  Creating one long shelf with the two, the space was instantly cleaned up and transformed.  Plus these wall shelves, allow for endless ways of customization and easy to switch up frames, photos, styles based on the season or as the room changes! The only thing I will say about the shelves is they’re pretty fragile and got dinged easily, the corners were a little rough, we checked these out before purchasing at the store.
Wall Decor - thebeelife(1)After styling with my grandma’s gold finch painting and a few other sized photos it was exactly what this space needed.  I’m sure this will change a few more times, but for now it’s more finished, polished and still helps fill a big empty space! And the best part is it was affordable and minimum effort to give this space a little upgrade.  What do you guys think?

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Nursery Closet Makeover for under $200

Oh my gosh! I’m so excited to share this fun before and after with you on a recent nursery closet makeover, I helped my mom with! Plus, I’ve included products, price details and specifics in case you want to recreate or source for your own closet makeover.  I was so happy my mom asked for my help, as this was a baby shower gift from my parents to my brother and sister in law.  Which is also such a fun idea to help get the nursery baby ready and organized!
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Starting with an empty slate and working from Kiera’s Pinterest board, my mom really figured out the solution for the space and I was pulled in to help put the finishing touches on it. The closet had a few oddities that had to be considered and worked around, but they actually ended up working out perfect for the customization we added.  There was a weird step that ran most of the length of the closet and then a lower ceiling drop down.  Here’s a side by side of the inspiration and a sneak peak of the finished space:

We sourced a cube storage unit from Target that had the perfect dimensions to fit on top of the weird permanent step. There were a few options to pick from, but the dimensions were the difference and we settled on one that was a little more money but the perfect size for the space. We ended up getting this 6-cube unit for $59.99. We also knew we wanted to add in some shelves as there were wood rails along the back and on the side area – that seemed to be made and waiting for shelves.  We bought two different pieces to fit the spaces.  The first shelf was the perfect fit for that area, which we secured this by drilling down into the wood rail that was already there. The side shelf was cut to fit in the space, this was accomplished through a little trial and error.


For the deep side of the closet, we added another shelf and then stacked clothing bars for adorable baby clothes.  This was an idea that I helped finalize for mom – because it was a little awkward where a clothing bar or two might be able to go based on the shelf space.  The stacked clothing rods are perfect for longer items and even as baby gets bigger for tee and pants.  We grabbed cute storage bins/cubes in various sizes to fit into the spaces and incorporated pinks and whimsical patterns to play off the woodland nursery theme.

Price Breakdown:
– (1) 6-cube bookshelf = $59.99
– (3) 13″ Fabric Bins = $30
– (3) Medium Bins = $18
– (1) Large Shelf = $16
– (1) Small Shelf = $13
– (2) Closet Rods = $17
TOTAL: $154
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Shop the pieces: 6-Cube Storage | Medium Weave Light Pink Baskets | 13″ Fabric Storage Bin in Green | Metal Closet Rod | Laminate Wall Mounting Shelf 

The finishing touch to get this ready for the big reveal to the parents to be was staging it with all of babies things! I had a lot of fun doing this part to get it ready, while also thinking through all the possibilities and everything that can be stored in the newly organized space. We instantly took this closet with no storage into a fully functioning closet, ready to stock all of babies things from diapers, to wipes, to books and all the adorable clothes you could think of!

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Closet inspiration link resource: ShopStyle

Latest Obsessions 08.19 – Faux Plants

I’m coming clean – I may or may not have a slight addiction with faux plants, as they’ve been my latest obsession.  Ever since our bathroom remodel and adding those finishing touches faux plants have been the answer to help spruce of the space since it’s in our basement!  So, I’ve been on the hunt, looking for great deals while also finding stuff to compliment the space. The ones that didn’t find a home for in the bathroom, have found homes in our basement living room helping give it a bit more life to this darker space.
Latest Obsessions - faux - beelifeblog(1) I haven’t really been a big fan of faux plants or flowers, just greenery around the holidays, until now and that’s because I think the faux plant industry as seriously picked up their game. There are so many more options available, that are beautiful, life like and are now available in an endless number of stores, from Marshall’s, to Target and even craft stores like Michael’s.  From succulents, to cactus or fig trees you can really create a statement in spaces were these real life creatures might not survive or if you want a low maintenance option for you living space – and all sort of styles and sizes.
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Guess what! There are end of season deals on some of these more summery faux plants – so I’ve shopped a few steals for you to keep an eye on when you’re out and about that I’ve taken advantage of our am about too!

Michael’s Craft Store: 6ft Dieffenbachia Tree originally $200 now $40 – style this in a fun basket and you’ve got an awesome statement.  Mini mixed cactus plant pot originally $20 now $4 or this mini succulent plant pot originally $15 now $3 (check stores for availability) I stocked up on these when I saw them severely price cut in stores and bunched them in our basement bathroom on the window sill, even one within the shower stall window! It really gives it a spa-like feel.

Target Opalhouse: 19×14″ Artificial Orbit Peacock Plant in Pot Green/White originally $24.99 now $12.48 in select stores (and other plants too!). I couldn’t pass up this 50% discount, plus it was a decent size to add a little more umph than a table top succulent.  I knew this guy would have a spot in our basement living room (pictured above).

TJMaxx: 36″ UV Proof Rubber Plant in Ceramic Pot originally $49 now $39 OR this 39″ potted cactus originally $99 now $75.  Before I settled on the stems and mini succulents for the bathroom, I REALLY wanted to get a massive cactus for that corner, but the numbers and the size I wanted to make an impact were a bit out of my budget (like this 5ft one from Target, still a hefty $129.99) – so I figured my alternate solution and maybe if I see one I like on sale I’ll go for it!
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I’ve also started to have a little fun with stems and styling those with various vases or even baskets – there are so many fun ways besides the traditional planter that faux plants (and real for that matter) can be dressed up to fit into your home – plus you can find them pretty affordable, without the worry of killing off a cool looking plant. SO! I have to know, have you been on the faux plant train for awhile? Or you a new found convert like me?

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