DIY – Stair Runner Upgrade

Our first project of the year is complete! After being sick most of January, we finally had enough energy to conquer this project which was a quick 3-hour project with a huge impact. After seeing Peony and Honey’s stair runner makeover, the wheels were spinning, but nothing started to move. It wasn’t until we put our removable stair treads back on our bare wooden steps that I was not loving the look anymore! So I did a little extra research, found some runner options, and pitched the idea to B.

We had a two-tiered staircase with a larger landing with bay windows going up to our second floor. So there was some debate about how to treat the landing – which may still be coming, but for now is going to be bare wood floors. Regardless, we needed to get two runners for our project to account for the two runs. We figured out our length needed by measuring the stair height and tread and then multiplying it by the number of steps to get our total length in feet. Oh! And this is definitely a two-person job if anything to help keep the carpet tight while the other staples in place.

DIY Shopping List:
– Runners according to your measure length – we ordered a 2x10ft and a 2x12ft rug
Electric Staple Gun
Staples
– Pliers
– Exacto Knife

I was honestly hoping this project would be a little more affordable, but we ended up picking out runners that were more expensive, which drove the majority of the budget. The runners are definitely more plush, which was good for hiding the staples. This one couple, which was part of my research did theirs for $100 – so it’s definitely possible to do this on the cheaper end with some more affordable rugs and different nailing tools. This DIY project was around $360 for us.

Before we got started, I vacuumed and washed the steps with Murphy’s Oil Soap to make sure they were super clean (& dry) before we put the runners on. After all of our construction, they definitely needed it! The smaller of the two stairs took us a little over an hour to get the runner on, and then larger steps, closer to 2-hours because it was a little bigger and these are the main stairs you see from the first floor.

Step-by-Step:
1. First you start at the top of your stair, with the flat end of the rug – make sure it’s centered within your stair with equal length on either side before stapling into place. Stapling along the sides of the rug and top is key to getting it secure!
2. Make sure it’s tight, as you work into both back of your stair to fold over top on the stair topper.
3. Once you get to the first ledge, it’s important to fold over and staple along the length to keep it in place and tight! Ours was tricky because it was very plush, so finding the sweet spot in between the plush was crucial to getting a tight and secure staple in.
4. Basically rinse and repeat down your stairs! You definitely get the hang of it after the first couple of stairs.
5. Once you get to the bottom, get an exacto knife to cut your leftover rug. We put a piece of wood underneath as to not damage our flooring and get a good straight cut across. Using heat along the cut edge will help from fraying – I suggest a heat gun. (We ended up cutting a little longer, and folding under to avoid the fraying).
6. Afterwards, I went back and replaced any staples that were super noticeable, or hid them by adjusting the rug with pliers ever so gently. I also went and reinforced any sides and areas that moved more than I liked.

B and I love how this turned out – and it is definitely an upgrade! As I mentioned, we may add a runner to the landing that matches or update the landing rug on the second floor to match this as well for a little more cohesion. I also feel like we need some new curtains for the bay windows… *immediately opens the Target app*.

Anthropologie Monogram Ornament Dupe

As soon as I saw Anthropologie’s Monogram Ornaments, I was instantly in love, instantly inspired to create my own twist. So here is my easy Anthro ornament dupe. (I mean, I’m not saying mine are cuter than Anthro’s but they’re still cute!)

Since this was pretty similar to a Pottery Barn place setting dupe I did a few Christmas’ ago, I had a pretty good game plan of recreating these monogram ornaments.

DIY Shopping List:
Plastic Large Ornaments
– Mini Trees (Gold or Silver)
Wooden Letters
– White Paint
– Cotton Balls
– Ribbon
– Hot Glue

Step-by-Step:
1. First things first, you’ll need to cut an opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully!  I used a sharp mini Philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of ornaments you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!

2. Before you get this started, you can start painting your letter. Make sure to paint both sides – pick fun colors that will coordinate with your metallic bottle brush trees. The bottle brush trees I recommend are also a bit too tall, so you’ll have to pull the bass off, cut about a half-inch off, and then reattach the base with some hot glue!

3. Using thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace, and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!

4. Once your letter is painted, and your tree is trimmed it’s time to hot glue your letter into your tree! You can try this out before committing with the glue, but just rest the letter in nicely. Then you can glue the tree to your base, pull apart a cotton ball and glue it down for your faux snow. Afterward, you can push this up into the ornament and glue it around the base at the seam.

5. With white paint, you can create a snow top, on your ornament – I needed to do about 3-4 coats of the white paint until it was thick and nice. You can then use pipe cleaner or ribbon to add a finishing touch around the base. Using ribbon and pom-poms you can dress your top however it works with your letter!

Gift to friends, family or trim your own tree with a fun keepsake ornament for the year! I may be making a few more of these – but for now, these are the finishing products.

Happy Holidaying!

DIY – Christmas Village Houses

Of course, I wanted to share this a week earlier – but I have been super behind on all things Christmas this year, we JUST got our tree and decorations up this past weekend. BUT – I have been crafting away and can’t wait to share my two latest Christmas crafts this week. The first one was inspired by social, and I just had to recreate my own – it’s using wooden birdhouses from Michaels and turning them into Christmas Village houses, the best part? Totally customizable to your Christmas decor and colors! Here is how I DIY’d a birdhouse in three different ways – because what started with a good normal idea, turned into some fun as the creative juices got flowing.

DIY Shopping List:
– Bird House of Your Choice:
Brownstown from Michaels
Corner Lot from Michaels
Craft Paint & Paint Brushes
Pipe Cleaners (I used Gold & Silver)
Glitter (I used the colors ‘Sugar’ & ‘Gold’)
Mini Trees (optional)
– Hot Glue & Modge Podge

Anything else that might be festive or ‘Christmas Village’ related could be used as a finishing touch to your Christmas birdhouse – I definitely got created and created my own pieces from what I had.

a Retro Christmas Birdhouse

I had the Corner Lot Birdhouse for some time, as I had big ambitions a few summers ago to do some birdhouse crafts – so when I was inspired to create, I was trying to work with the birdhouses I already had. I started somewhat bold with the color choice for my Corner Lot Birdhouse… and I quickly was regretting it and going to scrap it since I was able to secure two Brownstones. But, as I started to dig through my craft supplies, I found my silver pipe cleaners, had a mini silver bottle brush tree a silver, green and blue jingle bells. I was instantly inspired to create a retro Christmas birdhouse. And, oh my gosh I’m obsessed. The silver bottle brush tree also fit perfectly in the little corner behind the fence.

Painting Tip: For clean lines, I used tape to create a clear line between the fence and each house, the back houses as well. There are also a lot of nooks and crannies so take your time and be prepared to paint!

Glam Brownstone CHRISTMAS birdhouses

My original plan for the Brownstone Birdhouse was to go white and gold, which goes perfectly with all of my other Christmas decorations. Painting this white, was definitely tedious, but also relaxing – I did have to do multiple coats with the white colors, at least 3 or 4. Darker colors only took about 2-coats. As I worked through my Gold Brownstone, I still wanted to do something colorful, but not so bold as the retro house, and something that would still fit into our decor – that’s when I was inspired to create a pink and gold Barbie Brownstone to go with my Barbie tree (she is definitely my favorite!).

Creating garland and the wreath’s for finishing touches was also fun and used with pipe cleaners. I wrapped at least 3-4 pipe cleaners to create fuller wreaths to hang on each of the houses. The garland was created with at least 3 pipe cleaners woven together and then I added some clear beads along for added detail and to look like lights. To finish off the pipe cleaners also really added a pop along the base and roof lines to really give these a finished look – and the mini bottle brush trees were extra that I had, that were a perfect finishing touch.

The last detail is adding some sparkly snow to your rooflines, stairs and landing – with modge podge I just went glitter crazy and added as a fun pop!

Which birdhouse is your favorite? B loves the white and gold one… I’m a fan of the pink one but also really love the retro birdhouse, since I was about to give up on it early on.

Latest Obsessions 09.21 – Bubbly Fun Edition

National Prosecco Day was last month and I always first think holy sh** we’re half way through August and Summer is over… and then instantly like, oh but it’s National Prosecco Day. *pops open a bottle of bubbly* — I often joke that I try to live every day like it’s National Prosecco Day… but adulting and life sometimes interfere.

To commemorate a much delayed NPD, I’m sharing a few of my latest process-obsessions. We’re in the process of creating a built in bar in our basement to further complete our intimate basement space — and the best part about it all besides having a new space to decorate is the fact that we bought a champagne fridge! (I mean technically it’s a wine fridge, but we’ll be stocking up on the bubbles). So without further ado, here our my latest obsessions to help make our bar a bubbly sensation!

Prosecco Prints. I am playing around with a prosecco themed gallery wall – I love the idea of pulling in black and white to match our large painting we have in our basement. Fun illustrated bubbly bottle outlines, or even great champagne inspired quotes (ugh, there are so many good ones!) is what I keep coming back too – but can’t decide on.

Bubbly Quotes. OK, so there are like SO many good quotes about champagne (I know it’s NBD) and bubbles. And a lot of them are from the great F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Here are a few of my favorites:
– “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
– “Among the whispering and the champagne and the stars.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
– “Now we sip champagne when we thirsty.” – The Notorious B.I.G.
– “My only regret in life that I didn’t drink enough champagne.” – John Maynard Keynes

Champagne Fridge. We scored this fridge at almost 50% off – just by chance. We were going to do a bulk online order, and I just happen to just go into the store and saw it was discounted in store! Score – we just had to drive to another location that had the last one in stock. This Frigidaire 34-bottle wine fridge (is actually still discounted from $419 to $319) and fits better with the pre-fab cabinets we got as well. Even better, champagne bottles fit just as easily as the wine bottles. Now, we just need to keep it stocked!

DIY Cork Memories. Another fun little project I may tackle, is creating 3D art with champagne corks that we’ve saved and written on documenting special moments. We have one from our first Christmas married together and a few others – I think it’ll be a fun way to use those, while also creating a custom piece that is special and meaningful to us!

Life of course has been a little nuts, as I had full intensions on sharing this post a few weeks ago on National Prosecco Day, but that’s life! I cannot wait to share our DIY built in basement bar with all our fun bubbly pops and personal touches with you soon!

Kitchen Reno – Demo & Mood Board

Welp! Demo has officially started on our kitchen reno, perhaps a little preemptively but after meeting with our contractor to talk him through the plan – we quickly realized there were a handful of hidden outliers that had B and I itching to uncover. So last Saturday, we just tried to rip up a few of the lament floor tiles to see if the hardwoods were wrecked or not… a few hours later – we had half the room ripped up and the floor was looking in pretty tip-top shape. Since then we’ve (mostly B) taken down the ceiling, layers of plaster walls to continue to uncover what we’re working with. I mean… we live in a 100+ year old home. So far, we’ve uncovered a ceiling leak (thanks rain) and a few other janky workings.

I say we preemptively started demo, because once we start something – we can’t stop (especially B) and also because, we don’t actually have any contractor confirmed for when work is going to get started. We have gotten a few different cabinet quotes and think we have that nailed down at least the company and general direction we want to move forward with. But now that demo has started – there is no way this kitchen isn’t happening this year. We’re hoping to get a few follow-ups from our slow contractor and then go from there. So until then, I’m working to finalize some of the design and details as we work through the demo — it’s funny, now that we’ve disrupted our currently living room and are starting to get a blank canvas, the design and finishing inspiration is finally coming to life for me.

So now what? We’re going to continue to move forward and get our kitchen cabinets and counter tops finalized – the company we’re most likely going to move forward with the in home field measurement and design consultation to make sure we’re optimizing the most out of our space. Yes, this is getting us more kitchen, but it’s still going to be relatively cozy (that’s the nice way of saying small) — compared to what we’d really want in a dream kitchen — and sadly that still includes moving walls to extend our footprint.

Having a design consultation will be exciting and then we’ll be able to make sure we’re closer to exact as we’ve learned a few hard ways how important accurate measurements are. For example, our first cabinet quote was through Home Depot, super fast, great way to get an initial price for cabinets — but we ended up having more space in one area than we actually do (we had guestimates of our measurements when we went to this apt.) — the reality is those couple inches significantly impacted the potential sink size (like 33″ down to 27″) and the corner cabinet solution, i.e. lazy susan or something a bit unconventional. Luckily, with this new company – it sounds like they have some fun solutions to get us space to have a larger sink while being able to best utilize that corner spot.

Now, with the demo and our kitchen footprint pretty open, we have been able to put a few pieces to “mock up” the spacing to get a better idea of our kitchen nook area and what we can fit comfortably in the space while still letting it feel big and open. I even sat and browsed for products while we had the nook set-up and it was perfect – I can’t wait to hang out and blog while B cooks dinner. I was even finally able to decide on a few design pieces. I might even be as far as to having an idea of the backsplash that will go counter to ceiling on either side of the kitchen above the stove and sink area. Here is a look at a few of the potential final picks, a bit of mood board for our kitchen – I’m still trying to find an affordable faucet!

Since I want to incorporate brass/gold – it’s going to be crucial to make sure the shades of everything match up closely. That is why I was excited to find the light fixtures as that look pretty similar in the brass color that they are. Our appliances – as of right now – are white and gold, so as long as the back order doesn’t lead us to cancelling, we’ll be having pops of white and gold! Here’s to making some actual progress towards getting this kitchen done!

Fall Dining Room + Easy Pumpkin Centerpiece

With these cooler temps, it has definitely been feeling like fall, which has been more than welcomed at our house now that it’s October! And one of my favorite rooms to transition through the seasons besides our front door, is our dining room — this year I wanted to keep it simple, but of course create a statement! And I love the options this centerpiece has for this year and years to come.

This project cost a little more than I would’ve liked, but I was relying on the interwebs and getting things shipped to my door – so I was OK to pay a little more. I would’ve been curious to see what could’ve been found at the Dollar Tree or in an actual craft store. But I stuck to shopping on Amazon. I also got two different pumpkin varieties, because I wasn’t sure about the quality and tried to save a few bucks — I also ordered about 36-pumpkins, unsure of how many I would actually need and I used about 30, so it worked out perfectly!

DIY Shopping List:
– (2) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Green Stems
– (1) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Brown Stems (these were my favorite – price also went up)
Floral Dry Foam 2-pack
Bamboo Skewer Sticks
– Greenery/Fall florals
– Optional; paint with colors of your choice
– Wooden box: Whitewashed Planter or Wood Tray Centerpiece

Estimated Project Cost: $60

To create this centerpiece, it’s super easy! I broke/cut the skewers in various lengths to give depth and fill in and stuck them into the foam pumpkins. I filled them in mixing the larger pumpkins and smaller pumpkins, with a majority of the larger pumpkins alternated across the top. The best part if you mess up, or need to move a pumpkin placement it’s super easy to create a new hole/space with your skewer! Once I had all my pumpkins and the top filled, I took some left over greenery from a previous project and filled in larger gaps where you could see the green floral foam.

And wah-la! It’s a mini pumpkin statement and easy to move since it’s all contained. As you can see, the stem colors were different — originally I had the idea to paint them gold, but after getting them in place with the filler, the colors don’t bother me as much. I was planning to paint the white pumpkins in some dull, fall colors, but I ended up liking the all white look with the subtle pops of color with the table runner and faux florals. What do you think?

DIY – Easy Fall Floral Hoop Wreath

The fall hoop wreath trendy train drove by my house and I jumped right on! And I’m so glad that I did. To be fair, I was planning this for awhile — but I like to wait until October to give in to fall, and I always love a good statement piece for my Sherwin Williams Commodore front door! Best part? I purchased everything online for contactless delivery or pick-up and everything came straight to me!

Two key decisions were made early on; (1) I went the embroidery hoop route vs. a metal hoop, why? Because I felt it was a little more homey and sturdy. Decision (2) I wanted a big hoop, like double the normal size to really fill up my front door. So, because I went oversized with the embroidery hoop I needed to make sure I had enough florals to fill it in, and that they were proportionally sized to the hoop. I also picked colors that were fall inspired, but also would pop and coordinate with my blue door – orange seemed perfect with a mix of pinks and creams.

DIY Shopping List:
23″ Embroidery Hoop
(1) Jumbo Cream Peony Stem (my focal point)
(2) Sunset Orange Peony Stem
(1) Cream Peony Bush
(2) Orange Pom Pom Stem
(2) Mauve Spider Mums Stems
(2) Blush Chrysanthemum Stem
– Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Burlap ribbon / left over ribbon

Estimate project cost: $60

Step-by-Step DIY Instructions:
1. I started with my oversized cream peony to determine the focal point of my hoop wreath – so I plucked it from the stem and glued it on the rim of the embroidery hoop. From there I used the orange pom stems to help add a baseline for where the rest of the flowers would flow. I glued these right along on top of the edge of the hoop and bent the blowers in the arch shape.

2. Next, I plucked the orange peony and cream peonies and played around with arranging them to flank the larger peony. I put the orange peonies on either side of the oversized cream peony and then started to fill in with the pink spider mum and chrysanthemum. I also made sure to pull off some of the peony greens and filled in and layered between flower placement.

3. I made sure to raise one side up higher with more of the orange pom stems and greens! The best part to remember is you can play around with the flowers before finally putting them into place with the hot glue and take it one at a time to build and fill in your hoop wreath. I also didn’t want complete symmetry so made sure to keep it a little mixed up!

4. To finish off the floral hoop wreath, I found some old burlap ribbon and cut a little piece to tie around the gauge part on the embroidery hoop to cover it up to hang on the door hook and on our front door!

I really love how it turned out, and that I went with the oversized hoop — it really makes a statement on the front door, just like I wanted! If you decide to go with a smaller hoop, you probably won’t use as many flowers or need an oversized one and utilize a few smaller floral stems.

DIY – Painted Front Doormat

This weekend was pretty great, and Saturday was pretty perfect. The sun was shining all day long and the temp was ideal to catch some rays. Meaning we were outside pretty much the entire day. B touched up the paint on the front porch, we got our patio furniture out, got a run in and I even got this fun DIY project done. This painted DIY doormat is an affordable and fun way to add a custom finishing touch to your front door decor.
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Project Supply List:
Plain Coco Coir Doormat
Outdoor Acrylic Paint
Foam Brush Variety Pack
Satin Polyurethane

Estimated Project Total: $30

Step-by-Step:
– Once you have your supplies secure – which pro-tip you can still order from Michael’s and they’ll bring it out to your car and throw it in the trunk, no human contact.
– Your rugs will most likely come rolled, so make sure you get them flattened out before you craft, I placed some heavy photo albums on the ends for a couple days.

Pro-Tip: If you’re painting the whole back drop of your rug, make sure to grab two of  your background color – I barely had enough pink! Also grab 3-4 bottles of the Polyurethane. Also the assorted foam brush packet had the perfect variety of sizes for the detail of my design, not the best quality but got the job done.
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– Now for the fun! Figure out your design. I found my inspiration from Gradin Road and thought it was totally perfect and a fun pop of spring to add to our front porch! If you’re opting for a phrase with letters you’ll want to get a stencil cut out – a Cricket would be perfect to help customize (I don’t have one of those yet!)

– I hand drew and cut out the body of my bee to help get me started and then free handed the rest of my bee with paint and brushes. But feel free to create stencils and paint as you feel comfortable. I did a lot of dabbing with my foam brushes to make sure the paint covered the mat properly.
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– Once you have your design painted, go over spots with painted to make sure it’s covered and pops as much as you’d like. From there I picked my background color and filled in the rest of the doormat it was a tough decision between pink or green. As I said above, make sure to grab at least two tubes of your background paint, I barely had enough with one of my pink and just barely enough to cover my 30″ x 18″ rug.

– Once you’re happy with your paint coverage and design, it’s time for the final step! Paint your polyurethane over top the entire piece to help seal in the paint. I used two full tubes, but could’ve definitely used at least one or two more – it dries clear so it doesn’t impact your design at all!

There is still time to see how this holds up in the weather — luckily it is on a covered front porch, but definitely gets full sun in the morning. I love how it turned out and layered with a colorful underlay rug to make sure it really pops on the front porch!  I still have another plain rug to paint and create a fun design — I can’t decide if I’ll safe it for the holidays or a funny saying, time will tell!

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Before & After: Fireplace Hearth Makeover

We did a thing! We finally checked off another house project… that oooohhhh has been on the to-do list for the last few years. It wasn’t a huge project, but it was a little one that makes a bit of impact in one of the most lived in rooms. We retiled our fireplace hearth and completely refreshed the dated red tile!
Tile-beelifeblog(2)Honestly the toughest part and reason this has been on the to-do list for so long was just deciding on and figuring out the right tile.  So I finally got smart and figured out my newest project hack, especially when it comes to projects like this! What is my little secret you may ask? I bought a few tile samples from Lowe’s to put them into my space to help envision the whole look.

The Tile Dilemma. I definitely wanted to go with something a bit more modern and pull in white tile into the space. I was initially thinking larger marble, then wanted to do a bit more of a hexagon pattern — but I just wasn’t sure! Then another part of me wanted to do something with a pattern or a bit more Spanish style. I grabbed four different styles that I liked and brought them home and saw how they worked with the rest of our patterns and textures and colors in our living room.
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The Decision. We ended up going with a off-white blue patterned tile that had a little bigger footprint, similar to the original red tile square. B even ended up finding a blue herringbone pattern that we ended up cutting to make a boarder, which helped keep the large tiles full all the way across without having lots of little pieces for an awkward boarder.

The Project. Demo took B all of an hour to get up the old red tiles, from there he bought some cement board to get the surface level and prepped for our new tiles! He did this over the course of the week, so we were queued up and ready to work on it come the weekend. We even ordered the remaining tile for in-store pick-up and it was in and out to keep our project time low.

We ended up renting a tile cutter from Home Depot and completed the cuts and project within a few hours. I am the tile worker, and B is my tile cutter! It worked out well and came together after some trial and error. The boarder tile was much thinner than the main tile, so we had to really build up with mortar. We also ended up using pre-mixed mortar and grout that we had left over for previous projects, I think we only needed to purchase an additional pre-mixed mortar to finish the project. So within a few hours we had our tile laid and cut into place in it’s new home.
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The Result. After giving the mortar time to dry, we were able to grout! We used the same left over grout we had from our Basement Bathroom Makeover.  The cool grey color really complimented the tile color and style we picked to make it a cohesive space. We also had to be a little smart with tile positioning and organic since we were working with an un-even 100 year old space that certainly was not perfect or level, no matter how hard we tried!

Shop our products: Elida Ceramica Porcelain Tile from Lowes | Boarder Midnight Satin Herringbone Tile from Lowes | Warm Color MAPEI Flexcolor Grout 

I must admit — when it was first finished I didn’t completely love how this turned out. But I did like it and was happy to get rid of the old red tile and gross grout. It’s grown on me some, I like the boarder because it helps break it up and keep the larger tiles even but it also throws me off! What do you bees think?

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