House Tour: Back Patio 2.0

In my July latest obsessions, I was gushing over our outdoor living space and back patio. Well it’s been two years since we first created this space and shared the initial reveal – but I don’t believe I ever shared the before pictures *shocked face* so on this house tour, I’m going to share a few befores of the space and where it is today.  Every year it changes a little bit – last year we added more furniture for company, the plants and greenery change each year, and the bistro light pattern gets mixed up too. This year we even rotated the dining table, I know – HUGE changes. *teasing*

The Furniture: We still love the furniture we got from Target and always keep our eye on the summer sales to see if there are any new pieces we want, or if we are ready to upgrade the dining set with one that matches our furniture. I was tempted, B however was not on board after he saw the price (boo!) – B has ulterior motives and wants the Fernhill Metal sofa, so that he can fit more comfortable for afternoon naps.  We also want to get another umbrella to have for our seating area, as the afternoons around 3-4pm is prime sunshine time, so it gets pretty toasty (and a little unbearable to be honest) which will be functional and pretty.

Color Scheme:  I’ve tried to stick pretty close to black and white to compliment the patio furniture – and I am sure you’re thinking, white cushions for outside?! They’ve lasted pretty great and came with Scotch Guard on them, and I recently learned you can buy Scotch Guard and reapply annually, so these beauties are getting a fresh coat so they can last! I’ve added in pops of green this year with the fun banana leave Tommy Bahama pillows from TJMaxx online (which are 50% off from what I got them for!). And splurge on the black and white pillows and chair cushions for the dining area last summer time.
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Stamped Concrete: When we were discussing our patio, we were gun-hoe on pavers, but after research in materials and then even discussing with family friends that pavers didn’t hold up as well. So we started looking more into stamped concrete and determined that was a more sustainable investment for our space, plus we had a little more customization options – we were super happy with the way it came out!

Gas Fireplace: This was another must-have on my list, as I HATE the smell of bon fires and smelling like them at the end of the night — this is the perfect central spot for heat, roasting marshmallows or even just a drink holder when the fire isn’t on. We didn’t want anything too big and something a bit more natural looking.  I also love the lanterns scattered throughout the space to give it a homey feel – especially at night it has quite the ambiance.

House Tour - Patio (4)We were able to completely transform a somewhat awkward nook and blank space in our backyard to a functional outdoor living space with living and dining space. It gives us the right amount of privacy, while still being open to the rest of the backyard.  Eventually we want to close off the small back porch to be all kitchen and would put a sliding door in where the window is in that back nook area – yes always planning for the next project.

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How To: Install Vinyl Flooring

As we were getting ready for our bathroom project and pricing out various materials and finishes, we quickly saw the dollar signs as we wanted a completely tiled shower stall and initially wanted a tiled floor.  In addition to the dollar signs, time, effort and labor came into account and as I found slightly more affordable vinyl adhesive flooring options – that also had great patterns – it quickly rose to the top as a realistic option for this space.
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In addition to being more affordable than ceramic tile, vinyl flooring has other benefits like it’s highly resistant, it’s easy to install and low maintenance. Which is exactly the perfect mix of things we needed for this bathroom floor space! It really ended up being a no brainer – so let’s breakdown what you’ll need and how to install your own vinyl floor!

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Easy Small Pantry Makeover

Being cooped up with the cold weather, I’ve been slowly working through the house and either deep cleaning or organizing and cleaning stuff out.  And one space that is neglected but highly needed and functional is our kitchen pantry! We already have a tiny kitchen with not a lot of storage so making sure this space is utilized and fully functional has been on the to-do list.
diy - small pantry makeover
I was inspired to organize the space, but as I was thinking about that I thought – what if I paint it? Which then spiraled into, oh! I have some left over wallpaper – so this turned into a mini-makeover that I did in a few hours. Our pantry was a place where we just threw stuff – probably because it helped cover the old and ugly, hence not being the most functional.

Tips for Organizing Your Pantry:

  1. Expiration Dates.  I know I’m not the only one that had a few pantry items that were expired – these are easy items to toss, especially if you’ve just been holding onto them – but not actually using them.  Even if things aren’t expired – clean up those straggler bags with the crumbs in them!
  2. Consolidated. This is crucial when you have a smaller space – I had multiple bags of confectionary sugar – so combining those into a container quickly gained space.
  3. Get Creative. Even though this is your pantry, have a little fun with the space! It would’ve been easy to paint it white and use generic shelving liners – but if you have some wallpaper consider using it for the shelf liners or the wall backs!
  4. Get Storage Containers/Shelves.  Luckily I had shelves that were white and useful in our odd space – so I just made a list as I was cleaning out my pantry of things I needed baskets or containers for.  In between coats of paint I made a Marshall’s run and was able to stock up on some containers to dried goods and clear trays for spices and such! I would’ve preferred all white lids, but since this was a bit impromptu – I bought what was in stock! I’m sure I’ll upgrade eventually.
  5. Organize By Food Group. I tried to think through the layout and organization by food group/pairings – for example – all of my baking ingredients on one shelf, spices and other cooking supplies consolidated together, etc.

8For our pantry makeover – I ended up painting the entire inside, this is one of the few spaces that lingering green from the previous owners – and although I’m a fan of some color, I love what white paint does to a space, especially a small one!  Since this space is not the greatest constructed – I didn’t want to mess around too much so I stuck with aesthetics and just updated the existing layout & pieces.  Here is the evolution off the de-greening. 9
I ended up taking the shelves out and gave them a good scrapping to get off the old wooden shelf liners.  They were so gross, not to mention hiding a few layers of other stickers underneath! So it was good to give it a good clean and fresh couple coats of paint. I had leftover wallpaper from my Skinny Dresser Upcycle – which I initially wanted to use this on the backs, but luckily decided to go the easier route with using it to line the shelves, which worked out because I wouldn’t have had enough! Plus I love the subtle pop of color and pattern that it adds to the shelves with the white backdrop.

67The other benefit of cleaning up the pantry was I ended up organizing and consolidating some things like our tin-foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags into a hanger on the pantry door which basically freed up an entire drawer in our kitchen! So the organizing, consolidating and purging spread out beyond the pantry which actually gave us room for things. With using up leftover paint we had, and buying some organizers and the leftover wallpaper I spent about $60 for a small thing of paint and 10-different organizers.  I’m unsure about adding labels, so I may still add a few more fun and functional finishing touches.

Beyond this space looking pretty awesome and making such a difference – it feels good to have this space cleaned up, organized and efficient.  Plus it was an easy weekend DIY with a HUGE impact, although I’m sure I’ll rearrange it like 20-more times. Yay, for easy makeovers!

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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 on 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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DIY – Upcycle Skinny Dresser

You guys, I’ve been so excited to share this DIY with you all.  We first picked up this piece in the winter on a curb, it was calling my name – although banged up with multiple broken drawers, I saw the potential.  I didn’t even have a space for it at first, but I just needed to take it and make it over – and I wanted to pull out the stops to make this a show stopper.

First we had to assess the situation, three of the six drawers were busted up, one significantly cut that needed a little extra TLC (still a work in progress).  With a little bit of wood glue and updating, B helped put these back to life.  The old handles really dated this piece, so we removed those and got to work sanding down the surfaces.  Surprise, surprise we went with an off white color that we had from the house and painted this piece instead of spray painting, which is usually my go-to.  Painting was surprisingly really easy, and covered the piece well with only a couple of coats needed.
DIY -- Upcycle Skinny Dresser - the bee life
Let’s talk finishing touches. I wanted to splurge a bit on the finishes and was really hoping to indulge in some hardware from Anthropologie, as mentioned in my Latest Obsessions.  But I didn’t want to order them online, the store near me was SUPER picked over and I couldn’t talk myself into spending $8 or $10 per knob, when I needed six!  So I stopped at Pat Catans on a whim, and found some knobs I kind of liked ($2.99 each) – the first knobs I bought didn’t do much on the drawers, they were small – I need something more… bold. I went back and traded the pink blah knobs for these chunky stunning silver ones.  These still might get switched out one day…

Inside of the drawers was another place I wanted to find something a bit more fun and fancy.  Just as I was about to compromise on some typical contact paper from Target, I ended up getting distracted, swooning over some Opalhouse when too my surprise noticed the wallpaper was 50% off! Light bulb! I put down the gross contact paper and bought this elegant peel and stick wallpaper! For $15, I was leaving with my show stopping piece I wanted to help finish off this piece – not to mention the peel and stick was super easy to work with and customize per drawer.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Knobs: $18
  • Stick Wallpaper: $15 (on sale)
  • Paint: $0 (already had it)
  • Sandpaper: $5
  • TOTAL COST: $38

We have this piece in our dining room for now, and aired out a few other pieces to make this work.  Worst case I will put it in my walk in closet and use it to organize my clothes (bummer!)  But it was a fun piece to update and bring back some new life too.  The drawers still aren’t perfect – but you’d never know!

DIY – Side Entry Tile

Our latest home project was tiling our side entry and the stairs that lead up to the kitchen area.  When we first moved in, the space was drab with gross stick-on tile with wood panels and layers of wallpaper.  Well our quick fix was an easy paint job and removing the wallpaper and floor.  We painted the revealed wood floor white and added some grips on the stairs – but as you can imagine white floors for an entry is not the cleanest or the prettiest. So, like I said, it was a quick fix in need of more help.

So it was Bentley’s idea to finish this space and add tile to the landing and to the stairs. This was the first time we tiled a space, so it was a little daunting at first figuring out what we needed, what tile we wanted, and when we would be able to do this.  The biggest piece that helped save us and this project, was being able to borrow my Dad’s wet saw to cut the tiles. B and I split up tasks, he would cut the tile and I would lay the tile!

The stairs went surprisingly well, but because we used large tiles there was a lot of cuts involved, although less pieces. I’m not sure if the stone we picked was the most cost effective (actually I am fairly confident it wasn’t) but we were going mainly off of aesthetic. Once we got to the platform it was very messy and hard to maneuver in the tight space without stepping on the tile! But we finished with only three trips to the hardware store once we got started. *smiles*

We waited the appropriate amount of time and then some before B finished the space with the grout and once that was dried he added some trim work. We finished off the space with a new storage piece to hide shoes and we were wrapped up!  It was fairly easy project once we got going, and we definitely feel like we’re tiling pros now.  This space has been instantly upgraded, it’s more durable, weather resistant and easier to clean up. We love how it turned out!!

DIY – Coordinates Sign

Remember our big attic renovation into our master suite?  Well the little details have still been a work in progress, as they usually are. But we are getting closer to getting the little details finished up. I am finally happy to share one of the last pieces to the gallery wall puzzle. It’s a coordinates sign that I made using old wood from our house and the renovation! IMG_4970IMG_4972I love the way it came out, the old wood is what brings this simple sign to life. The metallic silver lettering also pops on the wood grain with a nice mix of old and new. I wanted to keep it simple with the text and not do anything to fancy to really rely on the wood to pull this piece to life with the metallic accents. One of my goals for the gallery wall if you remember wayyy back to my Gallery Wall Inspiration was that I wanted to add color, textures, and different elements that represent B and I without it getting too girly.  I feel like the earthy wood grain in the coordinates sign helps balance the ‘girly’ along with pulling in the other wooden frames used on the wall.
IMG_4716IMG_4972For now the gallery wall is feeling pretty complete. There may be some additional pictures added below but for the longest time there was this awkward section where the coordinates sign ended up going, so order has been restored! And I am loving the piece of our home that we’ve been able to restore in more than one way.

DIY – Window Side Table

I am excited to share my latest project with all of you; a window table.  Once you have the materials, this project is pretty easy and low cost! It’s a win-win when it comes to creating a cool piece that’s custom to your needs, whether it be a coffee table, plant stand, or a side table the options are endless.

What You’ll Need;

  • Window (of your choice) – I used an original window from our basement, since they were pulled out when we had glass block put in. Total cost; $0
    • Don’t have any old windows laying around? Check garbage day, it’s amazing what people will put on the curb!
  • 4-Legs; length and style of your choosing. I used: Waddell Ash End Table Leg from Lowes. Total cost; $16
    • NOTE: I bought legs with pre-installed hanger bolts that allowed for a clean smooth finish without needing extra hardware to attach the legs
  • Wood Glue
  • Paint – color of your choice & paint brush
  • Drill and drill bit to predrill holes for legs
  • Blade to scrape off excess paint on windows
  • Timing; finished within a weekend

From there you can prep your window by cleaning it up and sanding if you’d like. I opted to keep the hinges and some of the other rustic elements since I was working with a 100-year old window.

Next, flip over and mark out where you’d like to place your legs – as you can see with the window I was working with the spacing and exterior width was inconsistent and not much to work with so I eyed about an inch from the edges. Once I had those marked, we pre-drilled a hole, although we didn’t go deep enough a few times so we had to go back over the holes.

Before screwing the legs in we added wood glue in the hole and around the bolt on the leg. Make sure your legs get all the way in and are secure, some of ours were wobbly, so we had to re-drill new holes and start over. But once they were in and secure you definitely knew it. The wood glue required about 12-hours to dry, so day one was finished.

After the wood glue was dried, I flipped the table over and began to paint! I opted to use a primer over the preexisting brown, and also did the legs in the same color.  I had to do 3-coats before this beauty was looking clean.

I let B do the fun stuff and scrape the paint I’d gotten on the window.  This really cleaned up the piece to give it that finished look. From there it was just giving it a good clean with some Windex and setting it up in place – we added this gem as an accent in our sun room. The light and airy of the white and windows ties into the space perfectly.IMG_4428IMG_4430IMG_4432Using most of what we already had, the main expense was buying the legs for $16 – you can’t even get a coffee table for that!  I love the way it turned out, it still has a vintage and rustic flare to it. Not to mention it has multiple purposes and I am sure it will change overtime for us!

Happy DIYing!

DIY – Childhood Nightstand

I recently received my old childhood night stand from my parents house, but it was in desperate need of a little make-over, since I had last repainted it in high school to match my pink and orange room. *sigh* I still wish I had a pink and orange room…

Anyways, I digress. This was a really easy and low cost DIY because all it really needed was a new coat of paint, especially since in my dark teenage years I had written touching notes on my night stand like; “love sucks” and other cryptic messages. *smiles* So it needed a little sanding and fresh coat of white paint on the base.

Before

Next, I painted the fronts of the drawers, Naval by Sherwin Williams, it’s such a pretty color, I am trying to figure out what else I can paint with it. I was planning on replacing the knobs, but they were painted on from previous paint jobs, and I really didn’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to wrangle them off and potentially damaging the drawers, so plan B. Plan B was to spray paint the handles metallic silver, which I just so happened to have from a few other previous projects. I had to make-shift something to cover up the drawers, so some magazines and painters tape did the trick. It actually worked out pretty well and I only had to make a few touch-ups with the navy.
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To give this even more of an upgrade, I went ahead and added some adhesive/ contact paper ($5.99 at Target) into the drawers to make it pop!  Not to mention, over the years this little nightstand has seen some love, so it was looking a little rough. I decided to put the contact paper on the outside of the drawers as well, so that when you opened them there was an added pop. I did some simple measuring and cutting, this was even easier because the contact paper has measuring lines on the backside – this probably took me about 20-minutes to finish up.

Even though this is for a guest bedroom, I think it’s important and nice to have nightstands and all the essentials for when your guests stay over – that’s why I’ll be getting a lamp as well to finish off this look!

After

Before and After - the bee lifeI love the way it turned out, and I am sure this little night stand will have a few more makeovers in it’s lifetime.  The added detail of the contact paper on the sides of the drawers and inside, just upgrade the whole piece.  I may still try and get new knobs at some point, but for now this little $5.99 makeover will do the trick and accomplishes the task of being functional and matching within the space!  What I love the most about some DIY’s is that it doesn’t take a lot, to make a big difference – time wise or cost.

Hope you all have a great week!