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 πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

Abe Lincoln Bookend

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

Howdy Neighbor: J Squared

Tell me, who doesn’t love a good house crashing post. Perhaps it’s my nosy nature, but I just can’t get enough of peeking my eyeballs into all the lovely abodes around me. This Howdy Neighbor post is near and dear to my heart for a few reasons. First – it’s my first o-fficial rendezvous with this post series, so that’s pretty spiffy to start out with. But secondly, and most importantly, this post features the home of two of my favorite human beings ever. Joel and Jessica – aka J squared. We left these prime examples of all the goodness of humanity back in Ann Arbor and my heart hurts just a little thinking about how far away these two lovely people are.

Joel and Jessica

The second you walk into Joel and Jessica’s house, you notice two things. First, this couple has got class. Β Now, although Joel is one dapper dude, most of the lovely lookers around this house are the handy work of his lovely lady. See, Jessica is a thrifting FIEND. Never in my life have I met someone with the made skillz this lady has got. The second thing you notice when you trounce into their joint is that this couple is all about the American made find.Β Whether it’s thrifted and vintage chic, or straight from the American factory line, this couple loves to support the good old U.S. of A. Rock.

American Made

If you hang a right when you swing in the front door, you land up in their ginormous kitchen. Selling feature, people. It’s gorgeous.

Island in Kitchen

Although I pretty much wanted to smuggle half of Jessica’s thrifting finds away in my purse, her beautiful little Kitchen Aid mixer really caught my eye. It didn’t fit in my purse though … so I had to leave it behind. πŸ˜‰

How to Style Kitchen

The kitchen opens right up to the Dining Room, which sits like 29 people. I’m lucky to fit me, the orange tabby and Jay at our table – so their’s feels awfully spacious. πŸ˜€ One of our favorite Ann Arbor traditions was a monthly Dinner Club we had with all our besties and their table was perfect for fitting the whole crowd, which is usually 10+

Dining Room Table

To the right of the Dining Room is my favorite room in the house, largely because of Jessica’s all time best thrifting find (IMO), which graces the center of this room.

Vintage Chesterfield Sofa

Do you see that chesterfield tufted sofa at 12 o’ clock. Guess how much she paid for it – seriously GUESS. It’s was fa-reaking FREE, people. Free!! My respect for this women went to new heights when I got the deets on that one.

Here is another view of this amazeballs room. LOVE.

Chesterfield Sofa

One of the best parts about their house are all the unexpected details you see pop through the space as you walk around. Jessica has so many thrifting treasures, each with their own, unique story. See that bull below, Joel won a bull riding contest to snag that bad boy. Nearly died.Β 

Accessorizing Bookcase

I kid, I kid. πŸ˜€ I just took a close up shot of it since I thought it was boo-tiful πŸ˜€

Now if you hang a left when you walk in the front you land up in their sweet little guest room.

Guest Room Layout

I love the attention to detail for each of the nightstands.

Styling Nightstand

I adored the look so much, I took a picture of both sides. Tres chic, right?!

How to Style Nightstand

Leaving no detail unturned, Jessica styled the hall between the Master and the Guest room with some more of her thrifting treasures.

Art Collage on Wall

No surprise, but Jessica’s propensity for having high style standards started back when she was a wee little one. Β She told me this gorgeous pencil poster bed dated back to her pre-teen days! Talk about a classy big girl bed!

Vintage Poster Bed

Once again, the attention to detail in this room was bar none. I was cray cray about the lamp and bedside table – both thrift finds and dirt cheap (jealous).

Vintage Nightstand

Right off their Master, they’ve also got a sleeping porch. Perfect for hosting extra guests come a warm Michigan summer night! Also a great spot for Jessica to stash all her extra thrifting finds πŸ™‚

Sleeping Porch

To cap off the tour of Joel and Jessica’s house (I know, sad but true, all good things must come to an end), I’ve got a few shots of their bonus/TV room. From the sweet monogram pillows with their initials on them to the amazing art work adorning the walls, I’d watch TV in this room any day. Class act.

Arranging Furniture around TV

No wall is without personality in this house. I love the little Southwestern corner they had off to the side of the TV room. In love with it all – aren’t you!

How to arrange Art

Pillow Fight

Oh man, I’ve been thrifting again and I’ve got some mad spoils to share. Mostly, more linens πŸ™‚ Oh, and more art. πŸ˜‰ Last time I went to Kiwanis I stocked up on new sheets for the bed, but alas, these sheets were without one essential element – pillow cases.

So our extra set of pillows looked like this. Oye.

Old Pillow Cases

Rather embarrassing, especially when you have extra peeps coming through your house via airbnb. So when I found this group of bad boys for a buck a pop, I couldn’t say no.

Pillow Cases From Thrift Shop

Although not all of them are in sets, I think they will work well for spare pillows for when we have extra people in the house. I also like that they are all neutral enough that we can mix and match them with other sheet sets and not feel like they are sticking out too much. Normally, I wouldn’t go for a pattern, but I love the soft floral options we found along with the solids.

After the pillows were looking so nice and new, I thought it was a good time to tidy up the linen closet and give them a good new home. Malcolm helped. πŸ™‚

Orange Tabby

This is how everything looked after we had them stocked away. Much better.

Organized Closet Tricks

Here’s a shot of the purty little pillows looking mighty nice organized up top.

Organizing Pillows in Closet

During our thrifting trip, I also picked up this sweet little art print, which we currently have up on the front foyer table. It adds some texture to a space that had a lot of dark wood going on right now. I think I may be starting a gold obsession over here. πŸ˜€

Antique Gold Frame

We also got a frame for the orange boy’s baby picture. Only set us back a buck and it’s the nicest little spot for us to admire his infinite cuteness.

Small Gold Frame

Has anyone else been out thrifting over the holiday? Share what you snagged!

Dining Room Double Take

Designing just the right space, it’s an iterative process, ya know. Although I lovey dove our dining room table (that we refinished after snagging this beaut on the (craig)list) the more I thought about it, the more the circular dining table made the space feel a little less formal and a little more breakfast nookie to me. Now I’m as big of a fan of a breakfast nook as the next guy, but since we don’t have any other dining space in the house, I kind of wanted our dining room to feel a bit more formal than the look we had going on.

Since we really like our dining chairs, and they were a steal of a deal at $139 for 2, we decided to get two more so we’d be set when and if we decided to expand our dining space to accommodate more people. So, being the little problem solver (maker) that I am, I schleped those babies right on up into the dining room, just to see how it would look with two more chairs capping off the end. And by George, I liked it. It looked official. Like a legit dining room.

Dining Room Set for Two

Only trouble was that with the current table, people’d be losing their meatloaf off the side, cause there just wasn’t any table to put their plate on. Not good.

Current round table wouldn’t work – so I moved on to plan two. First, I did a quick scan of the internet and found a few contenders. But our space is small, and most American spaces are BIG, so most America furniture is BIG, too. Take this table, for instance that I found at Art Van. It was sleek, it looked small, but it was 60″ wide. When your entire dining space is 96″ wide, that is taking up a solid chunk of the real estate. When you’ve got chairs that bump out for people to get in and out of them, that makes things even tighter. Oye.

Art Van Woodmont Table

So then I started thinking we could make a table. Perhaps something that more or less met our current dimensions, but had a different shape to it where I might be able to fit all (6) chairs. I mean, 4 legs and a chunk of wood on top. Easy enough, right? I got even more hopeful when I started looking at Home Depot to get some prelim pricing info. Legs were like ten bucks, and the top was around $40. Building a custom table seemed more and more like a winning idea. Although I liked the table legs at the box stores, they weren’t calling me name. They were kind of skinny, and I was looking for some hunka hunka burning legs. So I went back to my little chrome book and started searching. And found the perfect furniture table legs. But they were $100 each. Wha wha whaat? That ain’t happening.

Being the craigslist addict I am, I started to look around for table that would catch my heart. Now it’s a rare day when you go onto craigslist and actually find the exact item you’re looking for. I mean, the exact, item you are looking for. Can I get an amen fellow craigslist addicts? Well this day, I’m pretty sure that Craig himself pulled out the stops for me. Here I was, browsing the ads on a Sunday Night when I came across this guy. 45″ square. Why yes, I think I can work with that. Same dimensions as our current guy, but with a bit more room for the guests to spread out. So I promptly bought it for $125. Bam!!

Antique Dining Room Table

See those beautiful legs. Man, they just don’t make them like that anymore. Seriously – not for $125, that is fo shizzle. The legs I wanted that were half as chunkalicious were going to set me back $125 – a piece – on the online furniture store.Β Alright – anyone want to call me out – go ahead and count the chairs… Yes, there are still only four. After bringing the beast (it was seriously, the heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever lifted) home, we figured out it would only fit four chairs, just like the last one. Jiminy cricket. But I digging this new dude of a table, so we’re keeping it.

Notice anything else different? Since we had to cart ourselves out to Canton to get the table, we decided to swing by our local IKEA to pick up the Egeby Rug. Love. It.

Sisal Egeby Rug

Tricky thing about our space (we quickly learned), was that an 5′ x 8′ was actually going to be too large for our space. You heard me right, an 8 foot rug would have practically have been hitting the side of the cabinet face. I wanted a rug that pretty much covered the entire dining room space, since I wanted to distinguish the space as it’s own little area but hitting the cabinets was a wee bit too large. Since the rooms are open and joined to each other, I felt like a rug was a good solution to kind of give the dining space it’s own identity. The IKEA rug was 7’7″ x 5’5″ , so it was literally perfect for the space. A bit wider to accommodate chairs pulling out, but less length to keep it from hitting right up against the kitchen cabinets. Plus, it was only $99 (!) Yippie skippie.

Sisal Rug in Dining Room

Here is a shot of the new space from the Living Room, onto the screened in porch. Lots of natural light that pours in each morning.

Brookline Tufted Chair

The game plan is to pop the old table on craigslist and see if we get any takers. Giving that we paid $90 for it, and refinished it into some prime time glory, I’m pretty sure well be able to come out ahead on this whole table switcharoo. Sa-weet.

For reference, here are some before shots (a la, when we moved in) to help you track the progress in this space.

Dining Room Before and After

And here is a shot of how the room looked before the rug, and the new, square table.

Refinished Antique Table

Kiwanis Collection

Yep, you heard it here first, folks. Genuine vintage prints, only $1 bill. Holllaaaa. I had it in my head that I wanted to hit up Kiwanis this weekend to get some new art, and MAN did I hit the treasure trove.

Like this little guy, popped it up in the downstairs bath. Guess how much it set me back. If you guessed one green back, you’re the grand prize winner. Yes sirree, that’s some cheap art. Sure it’s small, but it’s just so stinkin’ perfect for our downstairs bath. I’m rather smitten.

Small Antique Frame

We also found some big old prints at Kiwanis that were also – wait. for. it. – a buck!! None of the art was priced so I pretty much couldn’t contain my excitement when the sweet old lady at the art counter kept telling me all my treasured finds were $1 each.

Granted the prints had seen a bit more wear in their day, but I’m just going with the theory that it makes them look more genuine. πŸ˜‰ And, the larger ones didn’t come with frames. Being highly motivated to see our new lovely prints popped up on the wall, we took an afternoon jaunt to Michael’s, where we snagged these frames (which are HUGE) for $26 each. Being used to IKEA frame prices, this was actually a wee bit of a splurge for us, but with the art only being a buck, I figured it evened itself out.

Frames from Michaels

Much to our surprise, since I thoroughly measured the prints before we went out shopping, we actually had to trim the art down a bit before it would fit in the frame. We couldΒ have used custom framing for the prints, thus avoiding the use of scissors on our freshly minted, beautiful little art friends, but let’s be honest, that’s pricey, and I’m cheap.

So we very carefully set to trim the sides of the art to get the right dimensions. Malcolm offered a paw. πŸ˜‰ Five seconds flat that little orange boy was laying on the mat and “helping”. His favorite thing to do πŸ˜‰

How to install art

Malcolm continued to offer a helping hand as we put the wire on the back of the frame, in order to hang the print up. Being the greenies we were to home improvement, we never put a wire on the back of our art, and over time, we started to notice that our heavier frames would buckle at the top from the weight pulling down on the frame. Since we had the wire just laying around, we figured it was best to do things the real deal, legit way and avoid ruining our new expensive frame.

How to Hang Large Art

Here is the first print above the bed in the guest room. It’s not perfect, since technically the print could use a larger frame that would allow a mat the entire way around, but ya know what, it’s good enough for now. We can always get a larger frame down the line and add matting. The frame actually matches the bed frame perfectly. Win.

Vintage Mountain Landscape

Here is a close up. It doesn’t fit perfectly, but I’m calling it good enough for now πŸ™‚ Not bad for a buck!

Antique Art Print

My last one dollar find at Kiwanis was this guy, that I decided to put above the dresser in our living room. It’s in the same frame as the one in the guest room (they were buy one, get one free! :)), but I think the rooms are far apart enough that it isn’t too distracting. It’s not like we are the Louvre here people. πŸ˜‰ We initially had intended to pop this guy up above the couch, but it just looked too small there. On to plan b.

Vintage Art Print

My final find at Kiwanis this weekend, was this awesome dude. Still trying to find a name. Thinking Geoffrey, or George. he he. One of my friends mentioned that he’s kinda scoping out anyone that comes in the door and protecting us – see how he’s looking right at the door! πŸ™‚ He was a SPLURGE at $6. Overall, (4) pieces of art for $10. That’s my kind of shopping.

Antique Painted Portrait