Dining Room Built-Ins

I love my husband for 1001 reasons – he is literally the best human and I’m forever indebted to him for all he’s done (and continues to do, you better bet that honey do list aint complete) for our family.

So these built-ins y’all. These built-ins are pushing him to the 101/100 level cause they are sweet as sugar and I’m totally obsessed.

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

We’ve had some practice in this arena with the other houses (like this, and this, and this), but we’ve definitely had learning experiences as we’ve gone along and I do feel like these turned out much better than some of our other attempts. Practices makes perfect, I guess! 😉

If I could hand a few silver nuggets on how to make builts ins look sublime this would be it:

  • Sand the hello dolly out of them (in between every paint coat – sand, too)
  • Add extra pieces of trim to the shelves to beef up the front and make it look chunkier (big difference between our first built-ins here, 4 years ago, and these ones!)
  • Always add crown – gives it the zinggggg 🙂

Builtin_Bookcase_Styling

We had a counter and cabinets in here before, so we knew we needed to order some to match when we renovated our kitchen a few months back. Although it definitely added to the cost to have a professional style base cabinet (vs the pre-fab options we’ve used in the past from Home Depot stock cabinets) but I think it provides continuity and a uniform look. Since these two rooms (our dining and kitchen) are connected to each other and in the same visual plain, it seemed important to have a streamlined look between the two spaces.

I had lots of fun styling the bookcases – and finally using some of the decorations and picture frames that we’ve had stored in closets for a year +

Bookcase_Styling_Inexpensive

Jay insisted on adding a beer opener, and fridge, hehe. We had a wine fridge here in the old design, which apparently, does not get cold enough for beer 😉

Bottle_Opener_Wall_Mounted

Another favorite new addition is this dining light. which I got on sale for $270 (which is still steeeeepp, but I do love it!). I wanted something classic and understated in this room, and this light fits the bill. We started out with a chandelier I found on craigslist (which you can see here) and it was too low (and people kept hitting their heads on it), so after a year I updated to this light and I love it.

Drum_Chandelier_Dining_Room

Another view. Smitten!

I love the brass detail on it and I think it adds some warmth to the space as well.

Oblong_Drum_Chandelier_Dining_Room

We also added in a kitchen for Mr. H in our dining room. Keeps him busy “cooking” for us while we make dinner each night! This was a $25 craigslist find that we painted navy for him and gift to him this Christmas. So far the paint is holding up fine (we just spray painted it…)

Pottery_Barn_Kitchen_DIY

Right now the bookcase looks a smidge bare, but I figure in a few months we will add to it with thrift store knick knacks and family photos.

DIY_Built_In_Bookcase

This is the before of the dining room – I love the white – it makes the space feel so much more open and bright!

Dining Room with Built in

And the full shot view once more, for comparison:

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

Industrial Laundry Room Inspiration

So each house, it seems, we move up one peg on the laundry room scene. First house – gloomy basement, second – still in basement, slightly less gloomy, still damp, third house – we added our closet laundry, but it was a tight fit, this house – a closet that’s actually planned to have a laundry in it. Maybe by our last house, we’ll actually have a room. he he. #LifeGoals

Ta da!! Behind door #1 and #2, is our laundry room!

Laundry Room Closet

Here is our laundry room as is below, pretty much how it looks on a daily basis. Can you see why I’m looking for some laundry room inspiration to spruce this joint up a bit? I love the industrial laundry room vibe – kinda the farmhouse look that’s going on right now.

Renovating Small Laundry Room

So things that left room to be desired in the laundry room inspiration category. Let’s start with the paint. I mean, need I say more.

There are things I really like about the room – like the hanging bar across the top. Tres functional.

Renovating Laundry Room

And there are things I don’t like as much – like our dryer (pan right…). It’s old and it sounds like an army of burly men are hiking through our upstairs every time we dry our clothes. Not good for evening loads when the babe is sleeping (or for that matter when we’re trying to sleep…)

Washer and Dryer Replacement

Before, the room had some beigey tile on the ground – the same stuff that’s plastered all over our bathrooms up here. Very builder grade, and not so much my jam. And definitely doesn’t fit the industrial laundry room vibe I’m going for.

Laundry Room Before and After

Once we had everything removed from the space, we had a very open, very green, room – ready for some over hauling.

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

As a sneak peak of what we’ve been up to in this space (more on that next week), here is my general mood board for our industrial laundry room inspiration and how I’d like this room to look. I think we’re going to get there in a few different phases, but I’m very excited with the progress so far! I want some raw wood elements, coupled with metal for that industrial laundry room vibe.

Laundry Room Mood Board

 

 

 

Dark Blue Nursery Inspiration

Oh it’s true – our little squirrel needed a room of his own. I think it’s probably one of the main reasons we started to get like desperate for a house after looking for a year. We just could not share a room with the babe any more – he more or less kicked us out anyway, so yeahhh. 🙂

Henry’s room in the new house is perfectly sized for the little tike and a few months of living here, we decided it was high time to get some paint up on the walls and transform his space from a room with a crib and some baskets – to an actual baby space! True to form, we started out with some mood board/pinterest inspiration. I knew I wanted to do a dark baby room this time. No white walls here.

Mood Board Boys Room

For reference, this is what the room looked like when we moved in. Along with the rest of the upstairs, the walls were painted a dark green color that wasn’t my jam. Upstairs Office Space

They were using the space as an office, as you can see from the photo above. It’s not a huge room, but for a little person, I mean really – how much space does one need?

Now if you’re new to this blog, you probably never saw H’s nursery. Funny story – but since we moved pretty much right after I popped this child out, he never slept in his carefully created little nursery – not even once. We did take some newborn shots in there after he was born. Look how cute and so little!!

Raleigh Baby Photography

And one more, just so this momma can bask in her little human that is now a much bigger human.

North Carolina Baby Photography

Here are some inspiration images I have pulled up for the space.

Dark Navy Nursery

I mean, really – I think the room above may just be the perfect dark blue nursery EVER. Love that persian rug – love it all.

And this one – I’ve got a special spot in my heart for this dark blue nursery. See we’ve always had constellation prints up in H’s room (his old room) and I’ve been dying to give them a dark, dramatic background, like a midnight sky.

Constallation_Art_In_Childs_Room

Here are the constellation prints up on the wall in his nursery, before we moved (Ballet White on the walls).

Constellation Artwork

Truth be told, I do wish we had wood floors in the upstairs sometimes, since the second room above (with the rug over the rug) is just not quite as cute (IMO) as the rug right up on a wood floor back drop.

Quick spoiler before I show you how H’s room is looking with the paint up on the walls next week, as a point of comparison – THIS is what the constellation prints look like with his dark blue nursery walls in the background! 🙂 I LOVE it! 🙂

Constellation Prints Childs Room

 

 

 

Pale’s in Comparison

Our new house is pretty open concept. Much more so than past houses in the sense that one wall color, more or less, covers most of the downstairs area. I had my heart set on going really dark in the dining room this time,  but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that would clash with the Living Room wall it connects to a bit too much. Likewise, when thinking about the Living Room color, we had to pick something that would work nicely with the Dining Room.

We landed on Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore).

Open Concept Living Room

We used this color in our bathroom remodel in the last house and I knew I wanted to also use it in our next house. It’s a great color with a slight gray undertone.

You’re probably noticing some other changes in the room as well… Y’all – craigslist is my bff as of late. You’re looking at a Pottery Barn Sectional that I snagged for $450 right there. It’s in immaculate condition – like brand new. This thing retails for $3,500. SCORE.

Open Concept Living Room

It’s super comfortable and fit our room just right. I also splurged (for me) on a quality chair that was recovered in a restoration hardware velvet upholstery for $300 on craigslist.

Restoration Hardware Upholstered Chair

This guy is so comfortable! The cat I’m afraid loves it, so it’s normally covered in cat hair (hence the blanket, ha ha!)

It’s the perfect addition to this corner, since it helps us hide H’s toys a bit!

Restoration Hardware Club Chair

And the final new addition to this space, are some sweet pillows I scored on clearance at Target. I’d been eyeing these beauts for 6+ months, but couldn’t justify spending $25 each. Well low and behold, I found them on clearance last week and along with a cartwheel promotion, I got them for $5 each!

Threshold Throw Pillows

Here is one final view of the room – first a before shot:

Family Room off of the Kitchen

And … progress!

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Built In DIY Closets

Man – ladies, gotta come out and say it – I’ve got quite the catch 🙂 He went up a solid 10 points in my book after he helped to bust out a built in DIY closet from heaven. See, old house = small closets = hair brained pregnant woman without enough places to store baby stuff. Why do baby’s come with so much stuff – it’s sorta ridiculous.

So one afternoon, I started sketching up some built in closet solutions for our Master Bedroom. A whole lotta work, and more money than desired later – we now have this!

Built_In_Armoire

AND this!

Closet_Armoire

Which equals a whole lotta storage! Here are the insides of our built in DIY closet project. One side just for Jay.

Closet_Storage

And one side just for me!

Built_In_Armoire_Storage

Although it’s not much space (and it’s pretty high up) there is also a shelf at the top of the built in closet that I’ll get some baskets for down the line. I figure it’s a great spot for seasonal stuff I don’t need on a daily basis.

Basket_Storage_In_Closet

In other news – my life is pretty much complete now that these little beehive handles have made their way into my house 🙂

Martha_Stewart_Hardware

Nothing like adding some more storage to make me happy as a fool on a warm summer’s day. Here is a final view of our built in DIY closet project. Love the storage, y’all!!

Built_In_Closet_Storage

Constellation Nursery Art

Well, our little one is mere weeks away, so Jay and I have been trying (trying) to get some things beautified over here. At the top of that list is the little man’s nursery. I keep telling Jay that before I pop this human out, I want the house to (as much as possible) feel done, serene and like a peaceful place to bring baby back to. That’s my goal. Some days I feel closer to it than others – we’re a work in progress over here.

So a few weekends back, Jay and I (and my sister, too) tackled some constellation nursery art arranging in Henry’s room.

Constellation Artwork

For a galaxy inspired nursery, I can’t think of a much nicer addition than some constellation nursery art charts for our little guy.

We hit up IKEA a month or so ago to get the frames and I found some free archived constellation prints online (here) that we just took them to Kinkos and paid $20 to have them cut to size, and printed on nice heavy cardstock. Not too shabby.

Constellation Art

Notice another addition in this shot?

Constellation Nursery Theme

When we were at habitat scoring the $11 sink for our bathroom, I also spotted a nice little chandy sitting in the lighting section. After our steal of a deal on the sink, the $20 I spent on it felt a bit steep, but heck – still not bad!

Wooden Chandelier

I love how the constellation nursery art looks up in the space and I think it adds the perfect focal point for this main (previously empty) wall in the room. A few final details and this space will be ready for baby!

Constellation Artwork

If y’all haven’t noticed – I’ve been recalibrating a bit over here the past month or so. As I look ahead to motherhood, and to raising our family, I really want to be actively present for my kids. I want them to know that mom is always here for them, and that I’m never too busy and can always make time for them. I don’t want to miss the details of my life. I want to see each moment, cherish each second, for the beautiful gift that it is.

I think in our modern day, technology driven world, that it’s very easy to become distracted from truly living and embracing our day to day and I’m feeling the need to put blogging in a space that it belongs for me in my life – and daily logging of our renos and home life just felt like a bit much. I’ll still be here – just a bit less! 🙂

After all, before you know it, April will be here and we’re going to have another human in the house – crazy sauce!

Constellation Nursery

Built In Shelf DIY

Whew! It’s been a busy week over here. We’re well into our bathroom renovation and I’m so excited with how it’s coming along! We’ll have some progress photos of the space up later this week for you all to check out (get excited!). (for those new to the blog – you can see the before and after shots, here)

In addition to demoing and rebuilding our upstairs loo, I took 30 seconds this week to do a first round of accessorizing on our newly refurbished built-in.

Remember this built in shelf DIY from last week?

Vintage Built In

That turned into this guy?

Adding Shelves to Builtin

Well I decided there’s no time better than the present and snooped around the abode for some accessories to add into the space.

It’s most definitely not finished, and it’s leaning a bit too traditional for me right now, but hey – it’s better than an empty cabinet, right?

Built in Bookcase

It was fun to be reunited with lots of the little treasures we still had packed away.

I love, love, love these little bookends I found thrifting a while back.

Marble Bookends

They are the perfect bookends for the (imperfect) books we found stashed away in our attic when we moved in.

Antique Books

They’ve got some water damage on them, but from a distance, it’s hard to tell 😀

Our little happy pig found a new happy home. Fitting that he overlooks our Dining Room where this preggo lady pigs out quite often.

How to Accesorize Bookcase

Right now, these little gold guys serve no function other than ornamental, but when we add in a little bar on the bottom shelf, I plan on using these for stashing some mixer essentials.

Accessorizing Bookcase

And above it all, Honest Abe sits looking pretty. Another fun thrifting find. 🙂

Abe Lincoln Bookend

What were you all up to this weekend? Anybody else renovating a bathroom?

Best Affordable Gifts for Ladies

Well we got the men covered on Monday, so I’m back with some of the best affordable gifts for the ladies in your life. Your sister, your wife, your mumzie or your bestie – we’ve got something for them all.

Again, everything is made in the USA!! Woot!!

Let’s start with the under $20 group.

Gift Guide Under $20

 

Maison Blanc Tin Candle $8 // Rachel Rhinestone $8 // Rifle Paper Pocket Notebook $10 // Kiehls Lip Balm $8 // The Balm Highlighter $20 // Let’s Get Lost $18

Ah sisters, where would the world be without them. Sister-less, what a horrific proposition. Well if you still are giftless for that sister in your life, look no further my friends, look no further.

Gift Guide for Sisters

Gold Foil Pocket Notebook $10 // Repurposed Wall Art $24 // Embroidered IKAT pillow $19 // Cocktail Maker Kit $30 // Almond Lip Balm $5 // Smooth Infusion Hair Treatment $26

And we can’t forget the mommas of the world 🙂 Here are some of the best affordable gift ideas for the mumzies.

Gift Guide for Moms

Pink Peony Votive $25 // Kiehls Helping Hand Essentials $28 // Lab Magnets $22 // State Tablet Holder $38 // Burt’s Bees Shea Butter $20

Happy shopping!

The Best Gifts for Men

Oh December. How I love thee. How I love thee infinity more now that I live in a climate with 70 degree December days. 😀 As Christmas get’s closer, I wanted to put a few fun posts together for holiday gift giving.

Added bonus – every single item sourced below is made in the U S of A. We’re all about supporting our local economy as much as possible, so domestic is always our holiday shopping preference! Today’s post focuses on the men in our lives 🙂 Here are some of the best gifts for men that I’ve rounded up.

Shop on!!

Gift Guide for Dad

Old School Men’s Bi-fold Wallet // Woven Silk Tie $49 // Frye Leather Conditioning Cream $9 // Field Note Portfolio $42 // Wood Flask $23 // Fullsteam Beer $4

Normally my list of best gifts for men (or my man) would circle around bike stuff, but after 3-years of getting him bike lights for Christmas, I thought it would be fun to switch it up with some new goodies 🙂

Gift Guide for Your Man

Wigwam Rebel Fusion Socks $13 // Steiners Slim Fit Tee $18 // Kiehls Essentials for Him $31 // Essential Shoe Cleaning Kit $16 // Beer Making Kit $40

What’s on your Christmas list? I’m starting to get a jolt to my system to finish up our shopping – I can’t believe it’s only a few weeks away!

DIY Built-In Bookcase

When we were in escrow with our little abode, I remember showing people photos on our phones of the new joint and they would almost always comment on the little built-in we have in the Dining Room.

And sure, it was nice. But it was also a lot less nice up close in personal than it was in those photographs. Which is why we decided to do a little DIY built-in bookcase action over here.

Vintage Built In

It was old, and the door stuck, and it was our official junk collection spot for things we didn’t know what to do with in the kitchen. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Plus, now that I’m all in hyper mama bear mode, I also started to think to myself that every time we opened those sticky, reluctant glass doors, we were probably risking exposure to lead paint and the likes.

Lead Paint on Built In

Anywhoo … I just didn’t want to risk it. Plus, the doors were a bit too kitchy for my taste. So one night over dinner, I said to Jay – let’s give that baby a makeover.

I wanted everything to look more built-in, so we decided to scrap the glass shelves that were in here before, and swap them out for solid wood shelves instead to create this little built-in bookcase.

Adding Shelves to Built-in

The good news was that we already had brackets mounted on the cabinet sides from the previous shelving, so it was easy peasy to get the new shelf in. We just measured, cut, and messed around with some different height options for a bit.

Since there were doors mounted to the sides of the built-in previously, we also had to come back through and add some putty into those gaps before we did our final round of fresh paint. Here it is, waiting to get a quick sand down in between coats of putty (I think we put on 2 coats, total).

Filling in Gaps with Join Compound

I can tell you, I’m already loving how simple this looks compared to the rather busy built-in view before. The panes of glass and everything, it made that corner of the Dining Room just look overly busy to me.

Here is a shot of it after we added a coat of Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Adding Shelves to Builtin

I’m really excited to accessorize this built-in bookcase now! I already found this fun serving tray at the thrift store for a few bucks last weekend. I think it would look awesome along with a little mini bar on that bottom shelf.

Brass Bamboo Tray

When everything is said and done, I see the built-in bookcase looking something like this! Stock that liquor shelf up, babbbbeeyy.

How_To_Style_a_Bookcase

MMMMMM – T-minus 4-months until this mama can get her hands back on a Margarita. That excites me more than it should. 😉