My Dream Bookcases

>> 2.24.2015

Ever since we moved into our house I have dreamed about having built-in bookcases in the front room, but it's taken two years to finally set aside the money, stop talking about it and do it f'reals.

The ideas that we have for this space really include a four-step plan. This opening here is a walk-thru that leads to the kitchen, but in between the kitchen is our laundry room and very small pantry.

Our first step was to close off the walkway so that eventually we can expand the pantry and close it off from the rest of the kitchen. Step two is a wall of built-in bookcases against the far wall. Step three will be to close in the walk-thru on the other side to create a larger pantry, and step four, which we aren't sure about yet, is to close in this front room and add french doors to make it more of a study.

But because we don't want to fork over the money just yet, we only opted to do steps one and two right now, and then maybe in the summer we will do the rest.

Since neither my husband or I are reno DIYers, and knew it would be a hot mess if we tried, we called up our amazing carpenter friend, Travvis to create something we would love.

Travvis closed-off the walk-through, and then he got started on the bookcases. Most of the building was done in our garage, and he brought it in and installed large sections at a time. He was nice enough to let me take progress pictures throughout, so that I could make a fun GIF to share with you all.

After he completed the bookcases, he sanded them down and left them for me to paint. I chose to paint them myself to save money, but if I could do it all over again, I would have paid to have someone paint them for me. Dude, when I was in the thick of it I would have paid a thousand dollars and given my firstborn to have someone paint it for me. It was a LOT. And it also made me very nitpicky about my own work. It's not perfect, and because I painted it, at first I was critical of the imperfections.  But now that it's finished and styled and I'm not looking at it with a magnifying glass anymore, I am able to let the little flaws go, and I love it.

By far my favorite part of this process was styling the bookcases. I have been buying things in anticipation for this bookcase for a long time and it was so fulfilling to finally get everything out and play!

I do want to get a different chair (the one in there now is a $5 garage sale find) and we also need to raise the ceiling fan (or replace it,) but for the most part, the room is done and it's officially my favorite room in the house. Hope you love it too!

Linked to:

TDC Before and After

Upcycled Treasures

The DIY Dreamer


Mini Makeover Monday

>> 2.02.2015

When my husband asked me to incorporate one of his favorite scriptures into the design of his new office I knew just what I wanted to do. I had recently found this awesome distressed 20x25" frame at a thrift store for $1 and decided it would be perfect for the project I had in mind.

Since the scripture was short, I wanted to make something subway art-ish and get it printed into vinyl lettering. I'm no graphic designer like my sister, and I give mad props to those people that do stuff like this every day! It's tedious and hard in my opinion!

I created my design in Photoshop and sent it over to my friend, Alisha with Reflections in Vinyl and she printed it for me that afternoon. Love having nice, talented, local friends!

I got a piece of hardback panel board cut to size and put the vinyl on. That stuff is magic I tell you. Then I secured it inside the frame and it was finished!

The lettering cost $20, the panel board we already had lying around from another project, and the frame was $1, so in all this project cost me $21! For a large-scale piece like this, that is a really good deal.

If you want to do a large piece like this, find the frame first, because many of them are odd sizes, and then decide how you want the lettering to fit. Then give Alisha a call and she can work up a custom piece for you and even ship if you aren't local. You can also get lots of great ideas from Etsy, where the options are endless.

When choosing a material to mount the vinyl, pick something with a smooth finish like wood, mdf or panel board. And if you want it to last, choose something that will not warp or discolor over time. Foam board and mounting board are less than ideal options.

So there you go! A quick, affordable way to create large-scale custom art in your home.

Now...what am I going to do with this painting?


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