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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4 Things I Wish We Knew Before Tiling Our Shower

With our bathroom project coming to a close – I wanted to share a few of our trials and tribulations, specifically from tiling our entire shower from floor to ceiling.  Tiling the shower was never something we didn’t feel confident doing – we had successfully accomplished a smaller tiling project a few years prior, so how hard could this be? *smiles*
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To preface, we did extensive research and YouTube how-to video watching and there were definitely a few steps that these DIYers seemed to leave out of their tiling videos that sort of killed us, from a timing and extra work perspective. Also – a lot of DIYers were using individual tiles vs. the sheets, so I couldn’t gauge if we needed to do anything special or not!

What I Wish We Would’ve Known

(1) Over Estimating Tile Purchase by 10%  Soooo this was something I’d seen on the inter webs, but not something we accounted for – this involved us having to run out and buy a couple more boxes of tile, while we were mid-way in the tiling game. This meant extra money we weren’t planning on spending. Not to mention a few of the boxes we’d purchased included broken tile sheets – so we were able to exchange/return others we worked with. We also hadn’t accounted for ceiling tile – so this was something we also had to pick out and purchase while we were prepping for this project.

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DIY – Floating Rectangular Wall Shelves

For our bathroom project we have an ugly door above our toilet that is access to a crawl space area that we don’t use, but might need to access so we couldn’t do anything too permanent. So in addition to painting this ugly door white, we wanted to hide it a little more, I knew I wanted to put some sort of shelf in that area, but I couldn’t decide how many, what kind or finding the perfect pre-made piece that fit.
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That is when I spotted some beautiful old wood we had in our garage and I was inspired to build our own rectangular floating wall shelf to help cover it up while also bringing in some natural wood feel into the space.  Since these pieces of wood were just shy of 4-feet they would work perfectly for the space. Here is how I built our shelf – you’ll need minimum materials, especially if you have your own scrap wood lying around!

What You’ll Need:
– Wood Glue
– Miter Saw
– Nail Gun + Nails
– Wood Boards
– L brackets for hanging + Screws

Step-by-Step:
1. Measure your space & determine the size of your shelf, I wanted it to be a bit oversized the crawl space door area, but didn’t want it to be too tall. So I went with 3-feet in length and then about 8-inches high including the thickness of the main shelfs.
2. Measure and draw lines and cut your pieces of wood for your main top and bottom shelves with the miter saw.
3. Determine and measure your in-between pieces and cut appropriately with the miter saw. You should have all your pieces cut! Two long top and bottom pieces and then two smaller side pieces that will fit in between the longer pieces, connecting them!
4. Add wood glue to your in-between pieces and attach the top with your in-between with a nail gun.  You may need a helper to hold the pieces in place while one staples, be sure to staple along the length of your board. Continue this for all four corners, be sure to wipe any excess glue after stapling the pieces together.
5. Let your piece dry before moving forward with adding the L brackets and hanging. Sand any rough edges, paint or stain if necessary based on your aesthetic.
Pro-tip: Make sure the screws going into the shelf aren’t longer than the board thickness!
6.  Determine spacing based on wall studs and add the L brackets to the inside of the top of the shelf and then drill into the wall with screws (this is probably a two person job!). We will be painting the metal part touching the wall – although once filled up with towels you can’t even tell!
7. Now for the fun part – adding the finishing touches and add your finishes!
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I’m so excited to be adding in finishing touches to our bathroom space – and as you can see you’re getting a bit of sneak peak of the space, but mainly the showstopper (that floor!) We still have small finishing touches to do around the room, like the crawl space door we’re trying to hide, we still need to cover up that heating pipe entrance – plus I’m sure I’ll be getting some different accents to put on top of the shelf.

Price Breakdown:
So the obnoxious part of this (for you, not me!), is the cost of this project was $0. The wood for the shelves we got from my sister in-law’s house, because I knew I would have a good project pop up to use them with!  Everything else was around the house – but pending the wood, you can get the Wood Glue for about $3, L-brackets for about $5, and screws for anywhere from .30 – .50 cents each. Meaning you could make this shelf for about $10-15.
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Since a lot of our bathroom is white with the black pops of black in the floor, I love the addition of natural wood, we have another finishing piece to help tie into this vibe that we have yet to do as well – so the big reveal will have to be a bit delayed still.  But I’ll be sharing some of our project woes, lessons learned to help you prevent the same mistakes on your upcoming projects!

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How to: Create an Off-Centered Gallery Wall

Everyone has seen a bunch of how-to’s and pro-tips on how to hang your standard proportional gallery wall with matching frames – don’t get me wrong, I love a perfect gallery wall, we have one as our main focal point in our living room. But I was recently inspired in one of our guest rooms – formerly our master – to do a fun little off-centered gallery wall around another photo we had hanging.
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What inspired this was a few things: B and I went to a Paint Your Pup canvas painting class so we took home two awesome portraits of our sweet Moz – but didn’t have a great place to hang them, I mean I try and keep the dog portraits throughout the house to a minimum. *smiles* But this was just sitting on the wayside, so I had the idea of expanding and making a little Moz-dog themed gallery wall based on other art prints we had around the house and some more original artwork! Once you have your art pieces picked out and framed it’s time to start hanging them!

What You’ll Need:
At least 6-framed pieces of art, I kept all my frames white for a uniformed looked
– Hammer
– Nails and picture hanger hooks

Step-by-Step:

  1. Determine your focal point – Once you have your focal point established, you’ll want to build off from here and building parallel working to the left and going up and down.
  2. Pick your lowest point – From the focal point, it’s time to work down to determine the lowest point – be sure to play around with placement before committing even as you work through these steps – see how they work before fully committing.
  3. Start working to the left, to the left – Working in that parallel pattern I next wanted to work up and to the left from my focal point and I chose the canvas so I could build around it with other frames and mix up the types of art.
  4. Work down! Since I had four larger 11×14 // 8×10 prints and frames creating a  diamond shape rectangle
  5. Build your final row. Repeat the process with your final row – my last two pieces were smaller squares which was a nice way to finish off  and work from large pieces to smaller.
  6. Last piece to the puzzle.  I put the canvas on the lower part of the third row so that the canvas’ were away from each other – playing around with them next to each other didn’t work out, but I love having two of those to mix in, they work since they’re different shapes.

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How to pick your art? Choosing a theme or topic can be a good starting point for you to stay focused – even if it’s vintage photos, places you’ve been on vacation, or a mix of photography and inspiration words. I had almost all of our art pieces around the house: one is an old drawing B’s made from grade school (of a dog!) the other is a fun Puggle print I got off Etsy.  The second square canvas was a DIY print that Moz made with her paw prints and then the other square print is a fun dog collage illustration from Society6. Which, btw, Society6 has a great variety of prints if you’re looking for so unique pieces.  When picking the art, I wanted a variety of styles – photograph, painted, drawn, while also having a variety of shapes with these – this helps with the off centered part. #notsponsored
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I had a lot of fun pulling this together and using pieces that are special to us and also center around pups and our Moz!  This space worked perfectly since I like to switch up this room, this wall either houses the bed (currently) – so the pictures won’t get in the way of sleep OR the new dressers I just recently made over butt up against this wall, which would also work around the height.  Ultimately it’s all about creating a statement in your home that feels good and special to you!

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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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How to: Upgrade an Old Dresser

Almost four years ago, I updated our bedroom dressers to better fit the aesthetic of our bedroom.  The dressers were originally B’s – and they were a glossy black with old gold handles – they were just dated and super dark!  So in order to do a quick update we had sanded and spray painted the dressers and the knobs, in order to save some money by NOT replacing the knobs.  It was an easy half a day project with a huge upgrade, you can see the original before and after here.

…. Well it was time for another easy upgrade – this time a color upgrade AND hardware upgrade.  I found a 25-pack of knobs for $32 on Amazon – when you’re updating knobs, be sure to check how many holes your current knobs use (one or two), if there are two holes you’ll want to measure the space between and find knobs appropriately! Of course you can fill holes and drill new ones – but that is a whole other ball game. 🙂
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As I mentioned above, when I first made over these dressers, I went with the spray paint route – which I do love the magic of spray paint. But this time around I wanted to use paint for ease of application and clean-up!

Upgrade Step-by-Step:
(1) Buy your supplies: paint, sand paper, roller, brush, new knobs, paint tray, hand-held screwdriver
(2) Remove your old knobs
(3) Sand all the surfaces you’re planning on painting – just a light sand to rough up the surfaces works.  Knowing I had dark black under my light grey – I didn’t want to have to do 50-coats of white by revealing too much of the original color.
(4) Be sure to wipe down your surfaces after sanding to get rid of any access dust before you paint!
(5) Start painting!! You’ll want to do at least 2-3 coats depending on the original color you’re covering up – make sure your surfaces are dry between coats and use a brush to get are the roll places for every covered.
Pro-tip: You might want to add an additional coat onto the top of your dresser surface since this will be getting a bit more wear and tear. 
(6) Once you’ve painted and everything is dry and covered it’s time to get our dresser back into place and had your hardware with a handheld screwdriver!
(7) Stuff with clothes & decorate!
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For the color, white was a no brainer and the gold knobs were an easy way to modernize the dresser with an elevated touch.  I was able to get these dressers updated within a few hours – the weather helped being so nice that the layers of paint dried pretty quick, so I was able to keep it going with little breaks in between!

Since these aren’t in our bedroom anymore, this was just another way to update one of our spare rooms – and these are the dressers B uses everyday so they definitely get used and needed more sprucing. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out although I do wish the knobs were a little more centered on the drawer, but I was using the existing holes so I’m ok with it! Dresser Makeover - the bee life (4)
After it was all said and done, this dresser upgrade only cost $32 and some change between the new hardware and a paint tray – I used white paint I already had around! The upgrade with the white helps brighten the room and the knobs get rid of that dated feel and make these dressers feel new and modern!

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Latest Obsessions 02.19

If you’re a frequent Bee reader – you might be noticing a pattern – the beginning of the year I start organizing and decluttering the house… and then I start scheming for upcoming house projects planning for when the weather finally breaks, and even a few while we’re stuck inside! So as I’ve been decluttering, I’ve started a list of projects that I’m looking forward to but also still looking for a bit more inspiration and direction!

Front Door Makeover. I shared my front door makeover wayyyy back on the blog and I love our blue front door, but a part of me wants to maybe explore another color? I’m just not sure since our tan house feels like it limits a few options – I was thinking maybe a deep pink? Or another shade of blue? Or a really stunning green? Or maybe back to it’s original wood? We shall see! But she is in need of a little love, or a fresh coat to say the least. More to come on this project!
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Shear Statement Curtains. Yes, I’ve been on the hunt to replace curtains in our stairwell bay window.  It’s great to have such big windows in an otherwise dark and narrow space, they’re the perfect spot for our plants – and I like keeping them fairly open without blinds, while still giving us a little privacy with the pattern on them.  They’re a bit loved and just need a refresh – but I want to find a 2-pack and enough distraction for the shear. I love the idea of these Ruffle Diamond Curtain Set from Target – but keeping an eye out for a better sale since I’ll need 4-panels!
Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life2Front Coat Closet. After updating our kitchen pantry and then our upstairs hall closet (above) with a fresh coat of paint, fun contact paper and matching baskets for better organization – I start thinking about our throw-all front coat closet.  Although it’s fairly functional, which I thought our kitchen pantry/hall closer both where, I think it could be improved more with better shelving and some purging! So I’m looking forward to giving the inside a fresh coat of paint, building some custom shelving and fully utilizing the space! Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life3We’ve been working through some other projects like our bathroom remodel, which was moving quickly but now we’re just waiting to gear back up on it for finishing touches – which I use very lightly! In between, I’ve been decluttering and better organizing these commonly used spaces around the house.  Beyond planning for house projects, we’re starting to plan for trips this year – it’s always important for us to get away, recharge, explore new places and eat some good food!

What’re you plans for the year?

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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.
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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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Bee Holiday Hacks – My Go-To Gift

I’m going to fill you in on another little secret of mine, it’s the gift I give every year… and sometimes even to the same people! But trust me, it’s anything from lazy, unoriginal or impersonal.  My go-to gift is ornaments! Growing up, every year we would get an ornament before the holiday – my brother collected the Puppy Love series from Hallmark, and I was usually a mix-match but usually went for the Barbie series from Hallmark.  Regardless, every year unboxing the ornaments and carefully finding a place for them on the tree is one of my favorite parts of the holidays, so I like giving that gift to others as well.
Holiday Hack - Ornaments - bee life blogOrnaments hold special memories, can mark significant moments or important dates, places traveled or a moment in time.  From an engagement, wedding, anniversary, to a lost pet or a new house our lives are captured into sweet little keepsakes to trim our Christmas tree year after year.

How I Make My Ornaments: I like to switch up my base for my ornaments whether it’s a large clear glass globe, wooden circular ornament (I used real wood we cut), shaped wooden ornament, or a round plaster ornament.  From there I like to search my nearest and dearest friends social accounts and find a few perfect pictures from the year that could easily be translated onto an ornament and make copies at a print-in-seconds Kodak machine.  Mod Podge is my best friend when it comes to putting these photos onto the wooden ornaments or ceramic.   I’ll add gold glitter around the edges so you can’t see where the picture doesn’t overlap – most important part is adding the year!   With my wooden ornaments I drill a whole so the ribbon can string through to be hung.  For glass globes, I’ll fill with glitter or sequins, or even ribbon or string and write on the outside – from fun hashtags, to new homes addresses, these are classic ornaments that are so simple and fun and make a big statement.
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Creating special ornaments of friends kids or dogs, special events, or anniversaries – I use stickers, gold markers and fun ribbon to add the finishing touches to these unique ornaments year after year, and my favorite part of all of it all is seeing these ornaments on our friends trees each year.   On top of making ornaments I do love shopping Hallmark’s ornaments each year and finding fun keepsakes for my family or even for B and I to hang on our tree.

What’s your favorite ornament?

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