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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Trend Spotlight – Fall Opalhouse at Target

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Latest Obsessions 08.19 – Faux Plants

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

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

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

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

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Easy Home Decor: One Banner, Three Ways

It’s no secret I love being festive for the various holidays that come throughout the year – and during the summer that is no exception, except I’m a little lazier and lean on the American flag to help get me through from Memorial Day to Fourth of July to Labor Day.  Last year I scored some discounted American flag banners and have had fun using them differently throughout the year to help mix-up my indoor and outdoor decor.

I wanted to share some inspiration on how you can use one banner three different ways throughout your home to help switch up your decor each year/holiday without needing to buy more pieces!  A banner and even a wreath is a classic piece that can be mixed up and hung in conventional and nonconventional places…

Front Porch: For some added red-white-blue love, I hung these banners across the front of our front porch railing. This is a little pop to accent our American flag and front door decor especially through our front landscape. Disclaimer – I do have two of these banners, so this is the only spot where I felt like one banner just didn’t cut it based on the length of the porch rail.

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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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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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Accessorizing a Black & White Bathroom

As we continue to work through our bathroom remodel and have made decisions on a lot of the major, more permeant pieces, I’ve started to explore the fun accessories to include in the space to really finish it off! Since our floor tiles are a pretty bold black and white pattern, I’m going to be keeping most of the finishes white – but want to incorporate a little color in to the space without competing with the tiles and letting them be the true statement of the room.
Bathroom Accessories - the bee life (1)Since our floor is going to be our statement, in addition to our shower – we really want to compliment the space, while enhancing the neutral colors and adding a little umph the space.  Since we have gold faucets, hardware and overhead vanity light, the look and feel that we’re going for, for this space is classic with a little bit of vintage glam.

Option 1: To help keep the classic, vintage glam feel – one color accessory option would be incorporating shades of blush pink and more white with towels, baskets and rugs.  If we go the pink/white route, it would still be really subtle and I would continue to work in some gold accents with the toilet paper roll, hand towel bar and maybe even a soap dish for the vanity!
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Option 2: As much as I love the pink route – there is also a part of me that imagines adding in big pops of color, like a deep mustard towels, accents of a dusky green or blues into the space.  Of course, I wouldn’t have all these colors in the space – just a few deep pops to play off our black and white canvas.  With a big pop of color, there would still need to be other supporting accessories of blacks and whites – like the the Jute Storage Basket (also comes in a Laundry Basket size) from H&M comes in this fabulous natural white – but also comes in a dusty rose that could be perfect for option 1!
Bathroom Accessories - the bee life (2) Shop the bathroom accessories:  Tuft Spa Bath Rug from Target | Gold Etched Metal Soap Dish from Target | Woven Pattern Washcloth Peach | Blocked Border Bathroom Towels, Set of 6 from Anthropologie | Brass Medallion Bathroom Hardware Set by Anthropologie |Textured-weave Bath Mat from H&M | Dark Mustard Yellow Jacquard-patterned Bath Towel from H&MSolid Bath Towels Blue from TargetMagazine And Toilet Paper Holder from Anthropologie | Jute Storage Basket from H&M

What do you guys think, Option 1 or Option 2?  I have to say I think I know which direction we’ll go down to help pull together the space.  But I also can’t wait to incorporate an old vintage mirror that was left at our house, maybe a plant or two and some other functional shelving or decor for the space.

Planning a bathroom makeover soon? I’ll be sharing a DIY checklist on an upcoming blog post!

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Trend Spotlight – Opalhouse Spring 2019

Opalhouse joined the Target home decor collections last spring – which I was a tad obsessed with, as they introduced bold colors with fun patterns and a unique offering of styles for everyone to love.  Low and behold, I was happy to see Opalhouse stay through the holiday season with it’s own offering of stunning pieces like this gold leaf & berry (which can still be purchased for a steal of $6.49!) or simplistic red polka pillow with it’s accompanying fa la la pieces — so I had a feeling some more beautiful things were on the horizon!

Thus, the Opalhouse Spring collection (as I’m calling it) is starting to creep it’s way onto shelves and into the cyber shopping charts – with vintage floral patterns, stunning gold terrariums, natural woven baskets with a hint of fringe and woven pillows with bright colors – I’m swooning again!  The floral patterns give me a tingle of a reminder back to some of my grandma’s old dishes/home decor – especially the Apple Woven blanket below! I’ve also noticed they have a ton of new outdoor/patio decor available for shopping too… oh patio season, where are you?
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Shop the pieces:  36″ x 10″ Brass & Glass Parasol Terrarium | 10″ x 6.4″ Brass & Glass Parasol TerrariumLumbar Chunky Woven Outdoor Pillow | Floral Doormat Natural Green | Blush Table Runner by Opalhouse | Apple Woven Throw Blanket Gold |Water Hyacinth Fringe Oval Basket Natural |Multi Floral Print Reverse to Velvet Oversize Square Throw Pillow 

So with this small tease, I can’t wait to see what other pieces drop into the Opalhouse collection.  I’m wanting more outdoor dining pieces, like new patterned plates and some new peel and stick wallpaper options, too!  You’ll be seeing plenty more of the Opalhouse collection on the bee life this year.

Happy Shopping!

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