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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House Tour: Basement Makeover Reveal

Last August we were game planning and getting ready to give our drab basement a little makeover to be more functional from a storage perspective, while also creating additional living space with a unfinished-finished room.  Our game plan for our basement (and some gross before pictures) started relatively simple and functional – I also had some ulterior motives to have the extra space prepped for B’s surprise party.  So from that perspective, I was trying to keep it simple and low budget – but that didn’t stick!
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Basement Makeover – Check-In

Over the summer I shared our Basement Makeover Game Plan – which I admittedly had some ulterior motives to have some extra space ready for B’s surprise party back before the holidays (but he didn’t know that *smiles*)! We were able to knock through a lot of the to-do’s and really transformed this space. Here are a few of the first items we knocked through with some photo updates too!

P.S. Before you keep reading – be sure to check out our Basement Makeover Game Plan to see the hideous before pictures, and to truly appreciate the afters!

Created a Dedicated Space: We had to move all of our storage shelves, while also buying new plastic black shelves and containers to get things organized and contained – we moved all of this either under the steps where we have a decent amount of storage and then also created a “storage room.” Also to help make this storage room and create our “living space” – we had a plan to put up a faux wall with a painters drop cloth as a large curtain, curtain clips and a gas pipe for it to hang from. Basement Makeover - Checkin - the bee life (4)Painting & Waterproofing: This was super fun, not! *tongue out face* … in order to properly prep the space we had to do a lot of scrapping, sanding and getting the exterior walls ready for the waterproofing paint.  This was dusty, tiring and time intensive – but we wanted to make sure we were doing this right! Once the wall was prepped – we started painting with the thick waterproofing paint – I think we ended up doing at least 2-coats, and then painted with normal paint overtop the waterproofing paint.  We even painted the floor! So we had a completely white space – the paint alone made our basement look 10x bigger!

Accent Wall: We ended up creating an accent wall with shiplap wall – you can see our full DIY and How-to here for $60.  I’m so glad we did this – it helped pull in the industrial feel I was going for with the whole finished-unfinished look.  Not to mention, this was pretty effortless compared to drywall or something else and cost effective!
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As we continued working through these and saw how the space was really coming together – which was a bit beyond what we both expected, our plans for furniture and a few other finishes started to change.  I was initially just planning on using our patio furniture down here in the off season, butttt that changed and we ended up finding some awesome furniture that we pulled the trigger on.  Even finding the perfect rugs to layer started pulling the whole vision together while using string patio lights from the ceiling to help light the space! Basement Makeover - Checkin - the bee life (3)Basement Makeover - Checkin - the bee life (2)I can’t wait to show the finished space with you soon – with custom art and other DIYs like the old vintage trunk I upcycled for $50, it’s been really great to have a secondary living space as an option, hangout and the perfect spot to watch movies at during the weekends!

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Mood Board – Basement Bath

Remember when I mentioned we were working through a mini basement remodel for additional living space? Yeah, I know it’s been a minute – don’t worry the reveal is going to be shared in the coming weeks!  Well, part two of this project is working on expanding and updating a bathroom to continue making more of our house livable!

Nailing down the style for this space was key and I did this with a mix of online shopping, Pinterest browsing while working through the function and flow of the room.  I landed on vintage and classic while the plan of resting on classic pieces like penny or octagon patterned tiles as the foundation with the floor, walls and shower.  From there it’ll be reinforcing this style through the color pallet, light fixtures and a classic yet modern vanity.
basement bath mood board - the bee life Shop My Mood Board: Vintage Gold Bath Light | Aberdeen 36″ Vanity in Dove Grey  | Montaigne Weathered Oak Vanity | Retro Octagon Mosaic Porcelain Tile | White Glossy Porcelain Penny Tile | Amberes Azul Ceramic Floor Tile 

Honestly – the vanity has been the toughest part to find, as we’re trying to stick within a reasonable budget yet not something that is completely generic or stock.  But I can’t seem to find a good happy medium, although Home Depot is the leader in variety of style for decent price.

White tile will be a must.  Although I’m tempted to figure out a fun, yet stylish way to incorporate a bold statement tile into the space either a backsplash or statement wall – but I think that is still TBD. I’m also tempted to work in some natural wood with shelving and/or the vanity – since it would be nice to pull in natural finishes like we did with our statement shiplap wall in the living space of our basement.
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Image Sources:  Left image | Right image

How do you plan your home projects?  I like to map out a direction, do my research and usually end up sticking to something pretty classic! We’re excited for this next project and will share the latest DIY’s and How-To’s along the way, all leading up to the grand reveal!

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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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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!).
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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.
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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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